Um, it happens when people watch videos on YouTube, right?
Viral Marketing is quite the buzzword right now, but I am surprised how many people I talk to misunderstand the basics of how the process works. The concepts that YouTube is the sole repository of viral videos, or that “it’s all about” being someone’s friend on Facebook are unfortunately common. It is very easy for plugged-in social media experts to forget that there are a bunch of people for whom viral marketing is still a completely foreign concept. It is with this in mind that I have co-authored a short document called “How Does Viral Marketing Work?”
There are a couple important things to know about the document:
- It is an introduction to viral marketing, the first in a series that will get increasingly detailed and insightful.
- It is not a case study. For people who already understand the role of word-mouth-on the internet and want to read more about the science of the viral effect, you should tackle all 46 pages of “The Dynamics of Viral Marketing” (an excellent study of the effect of referrals.)
- It was created to encourage understanding and discussion of viral marketing, not to talk about services.
By now, I’m sure you’ve already clicked over to the PDF and are joyfully reading about the mechanics of the viral spread. Even for people who think they are already experts, a brush up on the nuts and bolts might not be such a bad thing. Marketers have said to me that sometimes, in the frenzy to create something new and great for a client, they lose site of the fundamentals of the medium. That is: word-of-mouth marketing amplified by the power of the web.
The internet has given word-of-mouth marketing something it desperately needed: scale.”
In the discussion of how the web has made word-of-mouth mechanics into a truly viable form of marketing, I also discuss the concept of the “super-participant.” A super-participant is someone like my little blue friend to the left. Super-participants make viral marketing work. Bloggers, popular YouTube users, Social news/bookmarking power-users, they are all super-participants. “…on the internet there are tens on millions of potential super-participants. The web is a fully democratic medium and the constant micro-segmentation of interests and ideas allows for almost anyone to be the “mass media” of their microcosm.”
Again, you can read the full document here. This report is the first in a series which will discuss topics such as:
- The Differences Between Viral Marketing and Traditional Marketing
- How Not To Use Viral Marketing
- The Power of an Engaged Consumer
Make sure to stay connected with us by subscribing to our RSS feed. You’ll get our reports as they become available and all our great blog posts in between. We want to build a destination for unbiased, insightful information of the viral and social media marketing world and we welcome your voice.