Viral marketing is one of the most powerful e-marketing concepts ever. Here, we will explain how you can implement this wonderful marketing method.
The term Viral Marketing is an offensive term. If you introduce yourself as a viral marketer, some people may be shocked by this and ask if this is a virus, is there a cure for it? I’m joking with you but I meant, at the beginning, to make you feel strongly about this type of marketing as the term itself shows. This term shows that this marketing method works the same way as the virus or in the sense that it works the same way of spreading as the virus.
The virus, in general, copies itself and moves from body to body very quickly and if it’s attacked, it creates strong defenses which often cannot be defeated. This is the nature of the virus and this is also the nature of viral marketing which mean that your marketing message will copy itself, move and spread among your targeted customers very broadly and fast.
Note in this figure how viral marketing propagates and spreads
The best way to explain it is to start with a real example of e-marketing, one of the most famous examples in this field.
Launch of HOTMAIL
Hotmail is the first free private email service and is currently one of the most popular email systems.
When Hotmail was launched and at one of the early meetings held by Hotmail founders, they discussed about the best way they could use to spread Hotmail as quickly as possible at low cost. There were many suggestions, such as huge advertising campaigns to spread Hotmail, but this couldn’t be useful because the service itself is free and there was not a source of profit yet, so one of the founders suggested this wonderful proposal:
Let’s add, at the bottom of any Hotmail mail, a message with the registration link and the message is (Get your private, free email at www.hotmail.com) and thus any message sent by any user to any person will contain an advertisement showing the service and thus Hotmail users will auto market for Hotmail on their own Networks.
With this simple and creative idea, the Hotmail spread widely. Microsoft bought Hotmail for $ 400 million in 1998, which was, Of course, a huge price. The more important thing is that the deal was made just two years after Hotmail was launched. No other marketing method could achieve this which shows the great power of this creative type of marketing.
Now let’s explain Viral Marketing components and how you can start using this method.
1 – Provide a service or product with good value and free
Free: This is one of the most powerful terms used in marketing. It is not necessary here to offer 100% free service, but to make something free such as providing a free and paid package, free trial, free information related to your product, service or free books, free courses and so on.
The goal is to get the attention of your targeted customers and get them to know your brand, product or service.
2 – Make the publishing process easy for your customers
The Internet has made communication between people very easy, instantaneous and inexpensive, so it’s considered as a fertile environment for your message to spread in, just as any virus that needs a fertile environment to spread.
What you have to do is making your message as easy as possible such as in the Hotmail example: (Get Your Free Private Email) in addition to providing an easy channel and suitable strategy for publishing such as in Hotmail in which the message will be at the bottom of any email being sent.
With the same thought, you can apply this to your business. To make it clear we give an example here of how to apply something similar in an online store. Let’s Begin…
The free item: that you can offer in an online store is a gift voucher with attractive value or a free discount coupon.
The message can be as follows: A free gift voucher worth $10 from “store name”.
That’s great! So how you can make this message spread on its own, all you need to do is providing a simple incentive for your current customers to post this message among their friends.
The incentive can be like this: Share this message with your friends and get a 10$ gift voucher for you and all your friends.
Now, you have better means for spreading than those were available during the launch of Hotmail, as we have now great communication means, which are called social networks. So, they will be essential for your message spreading.
3 – Spreading channel and strategy
The spreading channel is a means of communication and as we have explained; the most powerful of these means are social networks, and then emails. To make it easier for your customers, follow these simple steps:
- Edit the welcome message that appears during the registration of a new customer on your store and add your message (share this message with your friends and instantly get a 10$ gifts for you and your friends).
- Add a special link, that leads to a special page for this offer, on your store or website so that the customer can access this page with one click. This page should contain a clear button to share the offer through the well-known social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Anyone who registers through this page, send him a gift voucher.
If you are a user of the Expand Cart platform, you can contact the support team to help you make your own software upgrades in order to do this professionally and accurately.
It’s that simple. But despite its simplicity, it’s very influential as we explained that it starts with one person then a group of people and from a group to a larger group and so on. In this way, you can spread your marketing message using the viral technique.