What is Viral Marketing? Advantages and Disadvantages

The process of viral marketing largely lies with individuals rather than a company or an advertising firm. The viral marketing doesn’t follow the traditional marketing methodology as you will understand further reading this detail on how the viral marketing is carried out. This method of marketing is named after “virus” is because of its nature that spreads like a biological virus among individuals and the public. This way has become popular when Hotmail.com has used this method through e-mails. As the name suggests this method of marketing is largely applicable only on Internet, particularly via e-mails. What Hotmail did was they have placed a link underneath the e-mails that everyone used to send across to their friends, families and for other commercial purposes.

Viral Marketing Methodology

What is Viral Marketing?

What happens naturally is, when everyone receives the mail with a note under the mail, they would click and signup to create their own account. Viral marketing methodology requires less effort but a targeted platform is required to perform this. This spreads very fast. Added with these advantages, the other advantage is that the cost incurred by the advertiser is minimum and they will be able to advertise through the existing resources. Viral marketers use the existing communication networks like social media networks to spread their word about their products or services. One of the other major benefit and advantage is when the advertisement is being shared to you via e-mails and social networking services, you have positive impression over the product as you feel that your friend or relative has endorsed it. It naturally creates a mindset that the sender (either your friend or known person) has used the service and got benefitted out of it which made them to share the information with you.

Viral marketing is faster than any other conventional third-party advertisement campaigns. There are different types of viral marketing exists but the principle is being same it is a successful method in modern marketing trends. The principle of viral marketing is simple – pass on the message and encourage to pass it on to others. These ad texts or messages are made available at the bottom of the e-mails, video clips, etc.

Other than spreading the messages to every individual personally, another way is also being carried out through gossips and rumors or through word of mouth that spreads the news easily and faster than any other methods. The disadvantage or the criticism about viral marketing exists as false news are also spread easily which is not a genuine way to harvest business. Also, there strong allegation and criticism from users, consumers and marketing gurus are about the unsolicited e-mails those are being sent to others inbox. A good viral marketing firm avoids sending unsolicited emails to get a genuine number to its database and have a positive impression about the product or service for which they do marketing.

Like a viral cold, the viral marketing also reaches maximum number of people in very short period of time which further continues like a chain reaction. Social networks are their major platform to perform a viral marketing task.

The concept or source of this successful viral marketing is very simple – it is just the word-of-mouth concept being used with available technology and the power of internet which empowers the social media networks.