Why is it useful ?

Word of mouth marketing is powerful.

Edelman’s 2008 Trust Barometer shows that 58% of respondents trust “a person like me” as a spokesperson. In the social media chapter, you learned some of the ways that marketers can tap into the media that promote this kind of trust.

Messages passed on from “a person like me” is word of mouth marketing, and online that same message can be passed on through social media.

Viral marketing is a form of word of mouth marketing which aims to result in a message spreading exponentially. It takes its name from a virus, because of the similarities that marketers aim to emulate:

· It is easily passed on.
· The number of people who have been “infected” grows exponentially.

Viral marketing campaigns can have other similarities with a virus. Viruses often spread by masking their true intentions. Some viral marketing campaigns are similar – they hide their true message in an attempt to spread. Viruses rely on the connected nature of people to spread, and so do viral marketing campaigns.

Viral marketing campaigns are not as easy as they may appear. They require careful preparation, and a little bit of luck.

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