Viral Marketing

Search Engine Ranking alone will not get you, your company, or you brand to the pinnacles of success alone.  Marketing and Branding your service or product is key to gaining customer retention and awareness.  You may or may not have heard of the term "viral marketing", but you probably have seen it in action on TV, YouTube, Facebook, or even at work via a co-worker.

What is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing according to Wiki:
Viral marketing, viral advertising, or marketing buzz are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks and other technologies to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses (cf. Internet memes and memetics). It can be 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, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, text messages, email messages, or web pages. The most common utilized transmission vehicles for viral messages include: pass-along based, incentive based, trendy based, and undercover based. However, the creative nature of viral marketing enables an "endless amount of potential forms and vehicles the messages can utilize for transmission", including mobile devices. 
The ultimate goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to create viral messages that appeal to individuals with high social networking potential (SNP) and that have a high probability of being presented and spread by these individuals and their competitors in their communications with others in a short period of time 
The term "VRL marketing" has also been used pejoratively to refer to stealth marketing campaigns—the unscrupulous use of astroturfing online combined with under market advertising[clarification needed] in shopping centers to create the impression of spontaneous word of mouth enthusiasm.
Now that you have a better idea of what viral marketing is, you probably want to know how to use it to your benefit.  The truth is that each company's product or service is unique and have a viral marketing plan may work in avenues that may not be in line with your business.  But for the most part, some kind of viral campaign can be achieved for all models.

How do I Create a Viral Marketing Strategy?

Example Situation: Company A would like to expand their shoe business which is currently only being sold by cold calling brick and mortar retail outlets and making direct sales.  They want to launch an ecommerce store and implement a "viral marketing strategy" to assure that there business online is successful and grows awareness at an exponential rate.The company currently has wholesale manufacturing connections in China and has inventory, but a limited supply.

Example Viral Marketing Strategies

  • Send celebrities shoes that are to be worn in front of press, photographers, and at events with high coverage.
  • Become a drop shipper of shoes, and allow other online shoe stores to list your products with no cost to them.
  • Shoot a 30 second Internet trailer clip, which "shocks the conscience" and begin to share the clip through social media. (this example is most comparable to the GoDaddy commercial during the Super Bowls).
  • Allow other brands, with other products, access to your online store via registration for the purposes of listing their items on your ecommerce store.
When most marketers talk about viral marketing, they simply mean a piece of advertisement that spreads and spreads like a weed in the field.  This is narrow thought, and one should realize that "going viral" is more than marketing and extends to the core business model.  How do you make money??  Can you make that viral??  The answer is yes and online and tech companies have proved it time and time again.  A simple "Tweet This" or "Share This" button after a purchase on your product page will lead to a viral effect infecting other networks online with your brand that otherwise would not be reachable.  

Caution: Going Viral does not always mean success.  Some ad campaigns and viral models do nothing but make a bunch of noise with little to no efficacy in business development.  Have you ever seen a really funny commercial and don't remember what company or product it was for? or keep hearing about this dance people are doing, but aren't quite sure why a company would have ads like that??  These are examples of marketing schemes that have seen hundreds of millions in views or "eyeballs" (what the marketing industry calls views) and have left the consumer forgetting about the product.  Remember, your viral scheme should positively impact your bottom line.  

Hope this was helpful,

The PushYourRank Team
Author: Nicholas Coriano

About The Author: Nicholas Coriano is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, Social Media Marketer, SEO Consultant and the founder of this blog and The  While developing websites for his own businesses and marketing his entrepreneurial ventures online, he began blogging useful tips and "how-to" articles on for reference purposes.  To retain Nicholas for help with your Website, Social Media, SEO or other online/technology needs, email

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