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Viral Marketing Techniques For Your Business

By: Lisa A Alexander
One of the best examples is an e-book. Some companies use e-books to spread the word about their business, but just not about the products and not anything pitchy. It will be free and valuable content that somehow helps the potential customer. Some businesses even step it up a notch and allow others to pass it along for monetary returns, such through affiliate marketing.

In other words, you can acquire the company's e-book free of cost, usually a "teaser" e-book that you can brand with your name and affiliate links, in-turn forward this on to others, and if they click on your affiliate link, purchase something from the company, you gain a small commission.

It's an incentive for you, the affiliate, to be motivated and pass along the word about the company's goods or services. Viral marketing isn't just about e-books though. It's any type of advertising that spreads the word, like a virus, from consumer to consumer. It is really designed to spread a lot of enthusiasm very quickly.

Now that we've covered what Viral Marketing is and one way to get the word out, let's talk about other techniques you might consider using.

One that you've probably noticed a lot on the internet is the "tell a friend" mechanism. You see it on websites, embedded in email and yes, even e-books. If a customer really likes your site, they may be inclined to pass the word along to a friend or family member.

Tell a friend advertising is most commonly used with social bookmarks, like Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious, ClipMarks and more.

This type of viral marketing can morph itself into social networking as well, so you almost have the best of both worlds. Let's take Digg for example. You go to a blog or website. You click on the Digg vote button because you really dig their article or blog post! You then comment on it so your Digg friends can read what you think.

Later, one of your Digg friends shouts about their opinion on your Digg. Now your friends, "friends" list reads his shout to you. They decide they'll take a look at the Digg and maybe a closer look at the site you originally made your Digg vote on.

You tell one person, they tell two people, and then they tell two people, now seven know and so on. It ends up spreading extremely fast.

Here's an example of what viral marketing can look like. One line illustrates a person. As you look at this you can see how fast word can spread.

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The viral marketing technique you use may end up exploding after just a few generations, causing it to spread like a virus, hence the word viral! The core principals of viral marketing are as follows:

1. A company offers a free give-away.

2. It has to be easily transferred from one person to the next.

3. You should use existing communication networks.

4. Able to spread like wildfire. The free give-away has to have a ton of value in it!

There are more fundamentals than just the one's listed above, but that should give you a good idea of where to start. Using FREE and very valuable content is the first key to the success of viral marketing.

I can remember back, when I was first introduced to viral marketing, and without knowing what it was I was getting into. I just knew I loved the free product and people in my circle would too. So I took advantage of it and passed it on, over and over again.

It was as simple as sending out an email to those on my list who I knew would enjoy it and get something out of it. I used my existing network of friends and family first. They loved it so much, they in turn did the very same thing I did, but in their existing communication networks.

Viral marketing can be a huge asset to any business and especially an online business. Like any marketing technique it takes practice, a strong desire to succeed, and a strong command of your niche market, with a little elbow grease and patience, you'll begin to see how effective viral marketing can really be.***

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Lisa Alexander, a professional entrepreneur based out of Michigan and currently studying Internet Marketing and work from home researcher (http://www.iCanWAH.com for more info).
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lisa_A_Alexander