Viral Marketing - Definition, Importance & Components

Published in Marketing and Strategy Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing is use the internet to spread a message or create excitement in s short span of time. Viral marketing utilizes the power of social media and the number of users with it. This marketing technique is used by companies & organizations to create brand awareness using viral content, specially for a short duration instantly for an event relevant during that time.

Importance of viral marketing

There are thousands of companies selling millions of products to billions of people. Each and every person is busy in their lives but still manage to find time to socialize. This is where the concept of viral marketing becomes increasingly important. Viral marketing taps the fact that socially connected people use their smartphones, tabs, laptops etc and connect with each other using the internet.

This gives an opportunity to companies to attract and lure customers with a good message or communication, which can spread instantaneously and quickly to a huge number of people with a cascading effect.

Viral marketing depends on the rate at which information gets passed on to other people. If the pass-on is low then this strategy won’t work. Viral marketing strategy is based on the fact that people across the world are interconnected and can spread information easily using their electronic devices, which are connected via the internet. Viral marketing or viral advertising can be done using word of mouth strategy in which the message is forwarded on internet, social networking sites, through videos, etc. This instantaneously makes the marketing communication message extremely relevant for the audience and the brand gets awareness.

Components of viral marketing

There are broadly three main components of marketing. They are messenger, the communication message and the environment, which are explained below:

1. Messenger- The person or company which sends the message is known as the messenger. In viral marketing, the messenger is the most critical component. If a powerful brand or celebrity has a huge fan following and brand loyalty, the chances that a message will go viral are extremely high and vice versa. Hence, a film star, sports celebrity or a big brand always are able to viral a content, which results in a huge reach.

2. Communication Message- With volumes of content and advertising communication being present in the world, people have become selective in what content can go viral. Hence, content which is contemporary, gripping, attractive and intriguing are more likely to go viral. Hence, companies come up with several marketing campaigns which are intended for viral marketing the product or service

3. Environment- External factors like timing of the marketing campaign, type of media used etc decide whether a certain content will go viral or not.

Hence all these above factors influence viral marketing in some way or the other.

Viral marketing methods for success

There are several ways in which viral marketing can become a success. Some methods are described below:

1. The content must be short, crisp and must attract the audience

2. Viral content must be spread across all possible media to maximize the effect

3. The marketing campaign must involved the customer though emotion, humor, intent etc so that they are motivated to share it with others

4. Companies often urge or tap people of high importance, which gives a stronger impact to the message. 

Even though there is no sure shot way to succeed, these parameters help companies and brands in viral marketing.

Advantages of viral marketing

Viral marketing offers several benefits to the companies. Some advantages are:

1. Viral marketing is very cost effective as it doesnot required too much spend like in TV, print media etc

2. It helps spread news about the brand in a short span on time

3. Helps boost the business by creating a buzz

4. Viral marketing ensures that people are connected to the brand, directly as well as indirectly

Disadvantages of viral marketing

Despite several benefits, there are certain disadvantages of viral marketing:

1. A negative word of mouth can really finish the business of a company

2. Sometimes false allegations and wrong news can adversely affect the business of a company

Hence, this concludes the definition of Viral Marketing along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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