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Monday, November 19, 2012

Successful Viral Marketing Strategy For Home-Based Business

If you brought a useful item or availed of a good service and you are generally satisfied with what you were able to get, do you often recommend that to your family members, relatives or friends? In addition, if you make such recommendation, do your family members, relatives or friends really purchase or avail of it as well?

In our daily life, we do usually express our satisfaction with certain product or service by letting our family members, relatives or friends know about our good experience, no matter we do it intentionally or unintentionally. Some of our informed people will trust us and really try our recommended product or service. In that case, we have just essentially helped advertising it via word-of-mouth but the product (or service) provider does not have to pay a penny for the advertisement. That means we help running this kind of advertisement campaign free-of-charge.

This is the exact idea behind viral marketing and why it is so useful for any business owners, especially for whom lacking of advertising budget such as home-based business owners. But what is actually viral marketing? Viral marketing is, by definition, an advertising strategy which entices people to pass along a desired marketing message to their family members, relatives or friends. It is named as such owing to its similarity to a typical epidemic that can spread out quickly, with an exponential rate, as long as an individual kicks it off.

How could this viral marketing phenomenon begin?

Viral marketing, which means passing on a marketing message, is actually not a new business concept and has already been around for many years. There was just no official description for it until 1997 when a famous venture capitalist, Steve Jurvetson, made use of a specific term viral marketing to precisely describe Microsoft Hotmail's advertising strategy.

Microsoft Hotmail's advertising strategy was simply to append an advertisement of itself on every message that was sent via its service. When any message recipient got interested and then clicked on the advertisement, it would instantly lead him to Microsoft Hotmail's signup page. This signup process would go on and on, and its rate of growth was just similar mathematically to an exponential curve. This was where a successful viral marketing phenomenon could begin.

Types of Successful Viral Marketing Strategy

For business owners, particularly who are running home-based business with limited advertising resources, there are several ways to run a successful viral marketing strategy, as follow:

(i) Pass-along.

It is perhaps the most common form of viral marketing technique. Websites that entices their visitors to tell-a-friend regarding their products or services is a typical example of pass-along advertising strategy. There is, however, an increasing risk that the advertising message will be classified as spam by major email system providers. Therefore it is critical that the email subject lines or email addresses do not consist of any word which can be flagged as spam.

(ii) Buzz marketing or edgy gossip.

Buzz marketing is the most usual type of advertising strategy for entertainment business world. One common example for this strategy is spreading various controversies, such as getting married or divorced. It is similar to a word-of-mouth type of advertising for the marriage agency.

(iii) Undercover.

Undercover advertising strategy is the most difficult type of viral to spot, because it sends out viral marketing messages which are disguised as a normal page or source of news with no noticeable business link citations.

(iv) Incentivised viral.

It is a popular advertising strategy used by business owners that offer rewards to affiliates if they can refer customers to them. This is effective as long as the referred person has to take certain qualified action before his affiliate can get referral rewards.

By using the above successful viral marketing strategies, you can surely increase your chance of success for your home-based business. In our coming posts, we will discuss into further details how to specifically promote your home-based business by some more advanced viral marketing methods.

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