sly : marketing

The future is viral

You have probably heard about it and you have probably seen it all over. I am talking about viral this and viral that. Viral is the new trend. What viral really means, is something related to viruses. So, at first you might think of it as something bad, something you really don’t want. But at second thought, it’s something that “everybody” will have sooner or later.

According to Wikipedia, viral marketing and viral advertising are “marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of a computer virus. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can harness the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly.”

There are tons of examples of viral marketing, but I think that the most interesting viral trend is viral videos. YouTube, Metacafe, Break and MySpace are among the big companies spreading videos around the globe (To get the top viral videos from all of them, check out

It’s like the perfect marketing for any company, using people all over the world to send their products to their friends. But how does a video become viral? I think that it needs at least one out of three ingredients, it should be:

… and of course, it can be viral with other ingredients as well, but I think that these three are the main ingredients for something viral. But will this also be the case for creating viral marketing for your company?

Well, I think that to create something viral you need to be lucky. You know the ingredients and you might think that you have everything that you need to make it successful, but you will not know for sure before it “hit the streets”. You never know what to expect before your customers/readers actually gets their hands on it. But of course, it helps to do some research. You can test it on a few readers/customers first and get some feedback from them. If they really enjoy it, then many others might as well.

You have to think as your readers/customers, would I send this story/video to somebody else? Would it benefit me to do so? If I send a video to somebody else, it’s either because I think it’s really funny (and I believe that the other person will think so too) or that it’s something I just got to share with the other person and I believe that I found it first.

The future is viral, in the sense that we all pass along information every single day. We pick the top (most interesting) and pass it along to our friends and colleagues. That’s what we do. If you want to be successful you need to come up with something that people want to share and not just keep for themselves.

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