Simple Viral Marketing Techniques

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Viral marketing is any technique or a set of techniques that encourages people to pass on a marketing message to their friends, family or other people in general.
The idea of this is that it will produce an increase in the awareness of people towards a particular brand, product or website and enhance the marketing message.
Viral Marketing mainly involves giving away free products or services so the people receiving them will want to share them with other people.
Viral marketing is an extremely easy way to promote your business.
It costs very little to implement and if done correctly it could have almost world wide exposure through the mass media.
Recent successful viral marketing campaigns can include the Aqua Teen Hunger Force "light boards" that were put up all around various American cities displaying characters from the show.
Unfortunately in Boston, this was seen as an alleged terrorism attempt.
Whilst it looked bad that the campaign was seen as a terrorism attempt, (It wasn't actually meant to be seen this way) it gained the companies involved world wide exposure for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force brand.
Because of the media buzz around the event, they managed to save millions of dollars which they would have had to spend in advertising to achieve the same effect.
Whilst this wasn't a "give away free stuff" viral marketing campaign it does show how powerful viral marketing can be.
On the Internet things are done slightly different.
A lot of movies have produced strange trailer and or websites to help create a buzz.
By allowing people to interact with the viral marketing message (even if it wasn't seen as such to start with) it allows it to be carried more effectively around the Internet.
When people don't actually know they are passing around a marketing message it can get passed on more effectively.
This can be a down side if it's a stealth marketing viral message ( a viral marketing campaign that's designed to look like it's coming from the community rather than a marketing company).
A good example of this is to sign up for a free eCard site.
They put a link to view the eCard online and encourage you to sign up (for free) and send your own cards in return.
This helps them recruit free members and recurring visitors.
They generally make their money from advertising but can be a good way to build a list or market other related products on the back-end to their free members.
There are so many different ways in which you can apply viral marketing to your business, more than you can contain in a simple article.
Just looking around you, even on the website you're reading right now, you can probably see at least 3 different ways in which viral marketing is being implemented.
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