Believe it or not, viral marketing did not originate from web. Named after microscopic organisms that reproduce at a very fast rate, viral marketing traces its beginnings from offline marketing. More popularly called as word-of-mouth advertising, this method has been one of most powerful yet cost-efficient ways of promoting a business.
Viral marketing involves exponential spread of a business message. After an initial distribution, business message can potentially reach many people in a short span of time.
As an example, if you deliver your business message to ten people and give them enough incentive to pass it on to ten more people in their respective network, you’ll immediately have garnered attention of a thousand potential customers. But it doesn’t stop there, because new tiers could spread word to even more individuals, and this same cycle would go on and on while you concentrate on other matters of your business.
Studies show on average that a person has 12 people in his network. This statistic can be deceiving. Ten persons can have 2 people in their respective network, while one person can have 140 people in his. We would then arrive at same median.
Here are some of things that Internet marketers use to encourage people to distribute business message. Bear in mind, please, that these are all offered for free. Free is still most powerful word in marketing, after all.
1. E-BOOKS. An e-book is most popular method of delivering business message. An informative one would cater to needs of many people, which is already enough incentive for its self-propagation. You strategically place links within pages o e-book to promote your business or your affiliate products.
2. SPECIAL REPORTS. Special reports are just like e-books, only shorter. Special reports have also taken an aura of reverence in recent years as they are excellent vehicles for communicating a novel idea.
3. SOFTWARE. Perhaps you have a program or a script which you would want to share. This software can be designed to provide for a link to your site every time its features are used.
4. SERVICE. You could provide for a hosting service or an e-mail accounts to entice visitors to spread your business message.
5. MEMBERSHIP. You could also establish a membership site and give away access to same. The membership site could contain a lot of free or discounted goods to its members.
6. NEWSLETTER. A newsletter or an eZine is also a popular way to kick start exponential distribution of business message. By constantly providing your subscriber base with informative pieces on a variety of topics, they would feel inclined to tell their friends about your business.