After all, viruses that invade your computer can be a decidedly bad thing and we are always being warned to look out for them. Of course, viruses that infect the human body are rarely seen as a good thing. However, viral marketing can be a good thing if it is used correctly.
Viral marketing was given that name because it can exponentially increase, much like a real virus does, the number of times that your message is seen. It really is nothing more that a way to get others to distribute your information for you. If every person who sees your message sends it along to others and they in turn send it on to others, very soon your information has flooded the internet with very little work on your part.
So how do you accomplish such a feat? By understanding human nature. People love free things and will pass the information about them on to their friends and colleagues, but only if it requires no effort on their part. It works best if people aren't really even aware that they are passing on your information.
Perhaps the best example is Hotmail.com. They offered free e-mail. Everyone who signed up for e-mail accounts with them sent an advertisement for Hotmail every time they sent an e-mail. If they had been asked to tell their friends about Hotmail, the strategy would quite likely have failed.
Instead the information was sent out every time the Hotmail e-mail was used with no additional effort on the part of the user or Hotmail's management.
So, What is viral marketing? It is a method of getting information out and it can be a great asset to you business. Offer a product or service that people truly want. Make it easy to pass that information along, if possible without any additional effort. Then sit back and watch your numbers grow.