Copyright 2005 Peter Dobler
When I first heard of the term Viral Marketing I thought immediately of a virus. No, not the flu, a computer virus. I avoided viral marketing like the plaque. I’m sure many of you are doing the same thing. Every email labeled viral marketing got trashed and I immediately run an anti virus check on my computer.
It actually took me long time and the convincing words of a dear friend of mine to change my attitude towards viral marketing. Call it ignorance, but I just didn’t have the confidence in something that sounds like it wants to harm me.
Today my whole world changed and now I’m an active advocate to promote viral marketing. The concept is not new and it was created by the brightest minds in the business.
Viral marketing capitalizes in the sharing habits of the human beings. It’s quite extraordinary. We all tent to share with friends and family the bargains or freebies we were able to get. If we can copy the freebie we will do it and give it to our friends and family. Take the music industry as an example.
Ok, we established that viral marketing is giving out free stuff and that this free stuff will be passed around. So how do you capitalize on something everybody expects to get for free? You don’t. You just use the freebie as an advertising vehicle.
See, once you started giving out software or a book for free, it will snowball from there. Granted that the software is any good and the book provides some value. There is no telling on how many copies of your software or book will float through the internet. The only thing you now for sure, it takes some time to gain momentum.
Take Hotmail as an example. Hotmail build its empire solely on viral marketing. Every email you send had a little line at the end advertising free email from Hotmail. That’s it. No expensive marketing strategy, no TV ads, nothing but a little advertising line at the end of every email. It took years of building momentum, but today Hotmail is a giant pulling in billions of dollars every year.
I’m not expecting to repeat Hotmail’s success with my little viral marketing project, but I’m convinced that sooner or later the profits will come. It is simply a matter of time. All you need is a good product that you control and be able to give out for free. Make sure that you will be able to place your advertising on the front page of the product.
You can advertise your newsletter, your web site, products you’re selling, anything you will make a profit if somebody clicks through the advertising on the freebie. I spare you with the details why the same ad advertised through viral marketing is so much more effective than regular advertising.
Just one thought. Would you click on a single ad embedded in a software or book send to you by a friend you trust? Of course you would. There is nothing suspicious about this. It’s your friend who recommended this in the first place. On the other hand nobody actually clicks on advertising popping up on strange web sites you never heard of before.
Now you see why I like viral marketing so much. Quite frankly I believe in the future it is the only marketing that works. SPAM filters and popup blockers already make it almost impossible to get through to our prospects and it will not get any better.
Prepare your self for the future and implement viral marketing today. You will be glad you did.