Viral marketing is defined as any online strategy that encourages internet users to pass on a 'marketing message' to others users, creating the potential for explosive growth in the original message's online exposure, web noise and influence.
Similar to a virus, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands and even millions of users.
Viral Marketing works for two reasons:
1. From a simple SEO approach Google loves the latest, up to the minute blogs, 'word on the street news' and ranks links from this type of link to a website highly. Although changes in Google's algorithm have negated some of a blogs power it still proves a lasting influence in building an online presence.
2. The power of referrals is phenomenal, and extremely cost effective when executed correctly. Getting 'strangers' to rank and rate your website or product is the icing on the viral marketing cake.
Viral Marketing results that are 'positive' are an effective means of building credibility. Many users will believe an ' online review' of a company, whilst being sceptical over a company's claims of being the fastest, cheapest etc.
It is particularly suited to email and the web due to the immediate nature of the medium, and it's infiltration into our homes, workplace and everyday lives.