seo malta
seo malta

This week we are widening our topic from Search Engine Optimisation to Internet Marketing by touching on the subject of viral marketing. As its name suggests this refers to marketing ploys that spread a company’s message in an exponential manner. An example of this could be the creation of an e-mailing campaign with a juicy incentive attached to it in the form of free giveaways, or other promotional enticements.

The company would send this email to a select targeted group of influential persons in the industry, who in their turn would spread the word by sending the email shot to a number of their friends, who in their turn would do the same. Thus, the email would spread throughout the internet community like a virus infecting hundreds and even thousands of people within a few clicks.

This is the equivalent of effective word-of-mouth marketing. It is cheap and provides a hefty return on investment. However, there is a catch. The marketing campaign has to be creative, attractive and very well planned. You want the campaign to be a success. Your intention is to tickle the curiosity of potential customers, to have them wondering what it’s all about, wanting to see it, love it, spread it and share it with as many others as possible. Viral marketing can prove to be an exceedingly powerful medium that can reach 500-1000 times greater impact than that achieved from regular advertisements. So your goal of ultimately increasing online sales is attained!

In a nutshell, the idea of viral marketing is that you gain the benefit of your customers delivering your sales message to their friends and acquaintances consequent to their own gain from a utility or service that you have offered to them.

Examples of successful viral marketing campaigns

• Hotmail was launched in 1996 and each email that was sent form the account had a Hotmail advertisement in the footer. It utilized pre-existing social networks to spread and its message was the medium. In 2.5 years it had achieved a membership of 30 million. Today, hotmail users have reached the amount of 260 million worldwide.

• Cadbury’s Dairy Milk 2007 Gorilla advertising campaign was heavily popularised on YouTube and Facebook.

• An early form of viral marketing can be detected in Multi-level marketing that was popularized in the 1960s and ’70s. Here, representatives gain income through marketing products through their circle of influence and give their friends a chance to market products similarly. When successful, the strategy creates an exponentially growing network of representatives and greatly enriches adopters. An example of this type of marketing is Mary Kay Cosmetics and Tupperware.

• The release of the 2007 concept album Year Zero by Nine Inch Nails involved a viral marketing campaign that included the band leaving USB drives at concerts during NIN’s 2007 European Tour. This was followed up with a series of interlinked websites revealing clues and information about the dystopian future in which the album was set.

• The marketing campaign for the 2008 film The Dark Knight combined both online and real-life elements to make it resemble an alternate reality game. Techniques included mass gatherings of Joker fans, scavenger hunts around the world, detailed and intricate websites that let fans actually participate in “voting” for political offices in Gotham City, and even a Gotham News Network that had links to other Gotham pages such as Gotham Rail, a Gotham travel agency, and political candidates’ pages.