What is Viral Marketing?

Wikipedia gives the explanation of Viral Marketing like this "The buzzwords viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages. The basic form of viral marketing is not infinitely sustainable. The goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to identify individuals with high Social Networking Potential (SNP) and create Viral Messages that appeal to this segment of the population and have a high probability of being passed along."

Viral marketing belongs to online marketing. It pushes users to pass on something including ad information actively through providing valuable information or services. In fact, the connotation of viral marketing is how to make full use of Internet resources, especially free sources, to enlarge the channels of delivering online marketing information.The power of viral marketing is beyond your imagination. It is just like when you throw a pebble to a peaceful lake, the ripple will extend without margin.

There is a typical example of Coco Cola, gathering 40 million people in only 40 days. This is "Online Torch Relay" hold by Coco Cola, supported by Tencent. If you get the qualification to participate "Online Torch Relay", entitling "The Torch Ambassador", and then you can invite one of your friends to attend it. When your friend accept your invitation in ten minutes which means you are entitled to use customized QQ for "Online Torch Relay" from Coco Cola with lighting your icon. Then the friend who accepts your invitation can invite others to join like what you do, and so forth. Because netizen think it's an honor to be a member of "Online Torch Relay", so you definitely cannot predict how many people are infected by this "virus".

There are some main points of the implement of viral marketing.
1. Provide valuable products or services for free
2. Provide an easy and convenient way to transfer information
3. Information should be delivered from small group to large ones.
4. Make use of the activity and behavior of the public
5. Make use of the exiting resource on Internet
6. Make use of resources from others