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IT Tips with Marcin Kulik - Five simple strategies for viral marketing

Last update - Thursday, March 15, 2012, 02:18 By Marcin Kulik

Previously we looked at how to set up a viral marketing campaign for your business. This time out I want to outline some strategies for your campaign.

Holding a referral competition is probably the easiest of viral marketing strategies, but it works. This strategy is based on a simple formula: people can win awards by referring large numbers of their friends to your product. The referred friends will then refer their colleagues and so on.
Another strategy is based on referral competitions but involves target-based awards. In other words, users will need to refer a set number of friends to be able to take part in the competition. This strategy is simple and effective, as it motivates people to deliver numbers.
A third easy viral strategy is based on free giveaways and services: the more useful your service is, the better the response.
The perfect example of this is Google, which launched Gmail to a limited number of users, then allowed them to invite others to join, and spread to millions of users in a short amount of time. Since then Google has developed a wide range of other free tools such as Google Maps and Analytics which are widely used and promote the Google brand.
The next strategy is knowledge-based, in other words creating a valuable knowledge source, such as a blog or forum with useful and trustworthy information that will encourage people to share and link to you.
One more strategy involves social media and use of video. This is based on creating attractive and interesting content or posts and encouraging visitors to share them via social networks – such as using a Facebook link beneath a video to persuade people to ‘like’ it. Most of people will have friends sharing the same interests so you may quickly reach a wide swathe of your target audience.
These are only few examples of useful strategies, but as I mentioned before, the most important elements in viral marketing are imagination and creativity.

Marcin Kulik is the owner of MK Design Studio, a creative web design agency based in Malahide Co Dublin.
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