19 Viral Marketing Techniques

With the onslaught of marketing campaigns geared towards Internet users, viral marketing has paved the way and has become one of the top methods used in advertising. 

The principle behind the success of viral marketing is the number of users reached through the campaign. There are several viral marketing techniques that can be applied for an advertising campaign to succeed. Take a look at the following:

1. Creating viral marketing awards.

Creating viral marketing awards help both the companies and users by creating even more users. Awards in viral marketing help innovate the industry more and bring out more effective marketing techniques. 

2. Distributing  free software.

Anything useful and free gets an instant “fan base” on the Internet. Provide online users with any software that they need for free – even for a limited time – and they will surely grab it. 

When using free software, you can run the program to suit any application, check the flow of the program to learn how it works, make improvisations and have the right to distribute the software for free. 

3. Providing a free email account.

This is what Microsoft did to initially launch Hotmail. They put in a “teaser” at the end of the free e-mail messages that they send out providing a link for users to sign-up for a free and private  email account. 

The word “free” has sparked the interest of online users, as well as the fact that this is something that online users really need. Soon, almost all Microsoft users signed up for  a free Hotmail account. This started the viral marketing fever. 

4. Providing free web space.

Personal web logs have become all the buzz on the Internet. 

There are companies now who are competing like crazy just to offer customers the lowest cost on directory listing and have the biggest space allotments. 

This competition will benefit the users in such a way that they get their pick from a host of web space providers and have the greatest deal. 

5. Creating a top 100 site.

Online users often need a list of websites relating to the topic that they need. Creating a top 100 list is one way to build your list and increase your customer base.

6. Offering free e-cards.

Egreetings.com is one company which provides teasers for online users to send electronic greetings cards. They are animated and personalized, so most users take advantage of the offer. 

7. Offering free graphics, banners, templates.

Just like the marketing of regular consumer products, anything that is free and useful will catch the attention of a lot of people. Banners, graphics, templates and other items that online users can use is a welcome addition to their list of freebies and will infuse the viral marketing fever. 

8. Offering free consultation.

Most online users do not know exactly where to go for consultations about web services or other services in various fields. 

Free online consultation websites require you to enter your name, e-mail address and other pertinent information and this would help add up to your subscribers and customer base. 

9. Offering specialized link directory.

Specialized links directory help build a more specific clientele, as the users who need this service can be classified. This technique yields more accurate results.

10. Free newsletter with bonuses.

An online shopping company might use this viral marketing technique. Offering catalogs with free online gift certificates will generate a huge customer base. 

11. Free redirect service.

Redirect services give out the new contact information of a web site that changed hosts or servers, as well as redirecting users to a new or personalized domain name. This is an alternative to the much longer and complicated URLs offered by most web hosts. 

12. Free screensavers.

You cannot browse through the Internet and not find popup advertisements about free screensavers. This is one way of getting the user’s email address for a company to start building a solid customer base. 

Getting online users to take advantage of free screensavers, as well as emoticons or other downloadables that  they can use on their computers is one of the most effective techniques used in viral marketing. 

13. Free autoresponder service.

Autoresponder services add up to your company’s sales by using follow-up e-mail messages in marketing. 

14. Free email course.

You cannot believe the wealth of information that you can gain from free email courses. Most publishers of free ebooks want to share their knowledge to other online users and this is a good way to entice users to your website. 

15. Writing articles and distributing them for reprint with a resource box. 

When writing articles for free download, make sure to  have them reprinted with the resource box.

A resource box is a box on one side of the web page where you got the article, and it shows the complete contact information of the author of a particular article. 

16. Using forums and discussion boards which use signatures.

The  users of discussion boards and forums have the same  interests. By getting their signatures on message boards, you can have a very wide array of potential buyers from  a specific target market. 

17. Starting  your own affiliate program. 

This is  one of the best methods to generate traffic and sales to your site. Here, a specialized link is provided for your affiliates so that users can be veered towards your web site. 

18. Providing a free guestbook.

A guestbook makes a list of all your online visitors. After a user visits your website, you would have their contact information for future marketing and mailing purposes. 

19. Providing free forums.

Online forums have a lot of participants which can be a very useful viral marketing technique. 

By applying these viral marketing techniques to promote your products and services, you will surely generate traffic to your website, build a huge and solid customer base, add to your sales and contribute towards the success of your company.

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