Viral campaigns are, as you might imagine, highly contagious. They have always been around, however in a global economy they are far more visible and the speed at which the bug can spread is faster and, of course, it can contaminate the whole world, or at least a lot of it. It might take a few goes for you to get your campaign right, but when you do it could be spectacular. Below are some tips and ideas for getting it of the ground.
Make it easy and simple: The faster and easier it can be passed on the better. You want to allow users to spread your message with just a few clicks. Have a 'Recommend-it' button on your website so that customers can inform others via email or social networks of your offer.
Get high profile backing: Celebrity endorsement is always nice. But also be aware that highly influential bloggers and writers are valuable too. Court the people who influence the influencers.
Optimise your website: If you don't know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) then it's about time you did. It involves the use of keywords which users are already typing into Google and makes it easier for search engines to find you.
Give rewards for referrals: Free products, heavily discounted products, a prize giveaway or cash bonuses to users can all give your promotion a push.
Sponsor give-aways on your site: Donating prizes not only has the advantage of a banner link, but you can also ask for the e-mail addresses of entrants and collect valuable data.
Provide useful information: Send out e-mails with summaries of your goods and services, or create lively articles connected to your product. But beware of turning away customers by spamming.
Have an original or unusual website design: This will make your site memorable and get people talking, as well as increasing your chances of receiving press recognition.
Ensure your URL is highly visible: Include your web address on your e-mail template and on any packaging you may use. This will help increase your website traffic and potential sales opportunities.
Be good: Positive word-of-mouth is the key to viral marketing. Provide your customers with a good value product or service, an easy method to let others know about it, throw in a prize or points scheme for good measure, and sit back and watch your customers drive business to your site.