Recently I gave an presentation on what is viral marketing.And How it started and how it works. This post is an helping hand to those who wish to study more on this topic of Viral Marketing. This are some pointers on which a you should concentrate while studying viral marketing as it is important part of social marketing. I will write a detailed post on same subject in coming weeks.

Viral Marketing: Definition

What is Viral Marketing??
Viral marketing is an idea that spreads–and an idea that while it is spreading actually helps market your   business or cause.
Viral marketing, viral advertising, or marketing buzz are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques
They use pre-existing social networks and other technologies to produce increases in brand awareness 
Also to achieve other marketing objectives through self-replicating viral processes, just to the spread of viruses or computer viruses.


The emergence of “viral marketing,” as an approach to sales, has been tied to the popularization of the notion that ideas spread like viruses.
The term was popularized by Rayport in the 1996 Fast Company article “The Virus of Marketing”.
Tim Draper and Steve Jurvetson 1997 to describe Hotmail’s practice of appending advertising to outgoing mail from their users.
1995-2000  Hotmail went from zero to 30 million users with a then-revolutionary viral email ad “Get your own free email at


Facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message
Viral marketing depends on a high pass-along rate from person to person. 
If a large percentage of recipients forward something to a large number of friends, the overall growth snowballs very quickly.
If the pass-along numbers get too low, the overall growth quickly fizzles.
If successful, it spreads like a ‘virus’ and grows exponentially

Basic Method of doing it.

Delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks. 
Viral marketing may take the form of video clips,
Interactive Flash games, eBooks, images, text messages, email messages, or web pages. 
The most common utilized transmission vehicles for viral messages include: pass-along based, incentive based, trends based.
However, the creative nature of viral marketing enables endless amount of potential forms that can be utilized for transmitting message

Viral Marketing > What is it not

Evangelism marketing: Your customers love you so much that they will tell others about you. Highly profitable and targeted, but also fairly focused and controllable.
Influencer marketing:  Tightly targeted campaigns, often conducted offline, to get a very small, highly-influential demographic/psychographic to use your product, hoping the masses will then copy them slavishly.(Celebrities, ultra-trendy youth, …)
Buzz marketing: A type of PR whereby you engage in either publicity stunts or plant content (Blogs, articles, message board postings) hoping to get a “buzz” generated about your brand. Often used as part of the “seeding” campaign to help get the word out about a new viral ad.

The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing

Gives Away  Valuable Products or Services
Provides for Effortless Transfer to Others
Scales Easily  from Small to Very  Large
Exploits Common Motivations and Behaviours
Utilizes Existing Communication Networks
Takes Advantage of Others’ Resources

Viral Marketing >Why People Forward/Share

An online survey revealed the following reasons to forward:

Make people laugh
Recommend something
Competition (join or help you win)
Earn you some money / reduction
Call for charity, noble cause
Join a petition
Chain mail
Courtesy : The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing.  DR.   RALPH F.  WILSON 
EMAKINA: Viral  Strategies and Buzz Marketing


Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top