As we approach 2009, you may be looking for marketing tactics and strategies that will do more with less – less time, less money and, in some cases, less staff. Viral marketing is a powerful tool in your toolbox. Think about it. How many times today have you forwarded news, articles and even jokes to a co-worker or friend? A report released by Sharpe Partners found that 89% of US adult Internet users share content with friends, family and associates by email and they do it frequently. The study reported that 63% of the respondents’ shares content at least once a week, and 25% share daily or most days. In addition, 75% of the content that is forwarded is sent to at least six other recipients. What every you call it —word of mouth, buzz or viral marketing — having other people tell your story can drive sales and profits. One person sends it to a friend, then that person sends it to her family and then yet another sends it to a co-worker, and on and on.
The challenge for many marketers is to harness the amazing power of word-of-mouse. MarketingSherpa found that many “newbies” to viral marketing have unrealistic perception of the cost of viral marketing to assess ROI. The formula for success includes a combination of some great — and inexpensive — web content (a video, blog entry, interactive tool, or e-book) that provides valuable information (or is groundbreaking or amazing or hilarious or involves a celebrity), plus a network of people to light the fire and links that make your content very easy to share.