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Viral Marketing
Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing can provide incredible exposure to a business. There are significant differences between viral and word of mouth marketing.

Word of mouth is focused on sharing within a close group of friends or family (usually five to ten people); whereas in viral marketing information is shared with group of friends or family and then a compounding effect occurs when those friends or family then they share again with their group of friends or family, who also share, so thousands, even millions could see it..

What makes something go viral is not entirely understood, however emotional involvement is certainly part of the success. It could involve your audience being in awe, getting angry or even anxious - these have all been contributing factors to the success of posts, video and other content that has been shared and reshared with large numbers of people.

What can go viral?

When we think of something going viral, we often think of the video content that we share across the internet - you know the ones that get millions of likes! But viral marketing is not only about high profile video sharing. Yes, that would be nice, but let's think about what might be realistic for a small online business.

Consider using your content marketing strategy to create shareable content that may tap into your target market’s emotions - awe, anger, anxiety, humour.

Read this great case highlighting the use of viral marketing for a small business - it is the story of a young entrepreneur in Newcastle, Australia, who created ‘Ship Your Enemies Glitter’.

Viral marketing small business is limited only by the creativity used to tap into the emotions and relevance to the target audience.


We have taken a look at both word of mouth marketing and viral marketing, and some of the opportunities available within an online business setting.

Thinking about your own online business, how could you use viral marketing to create awe, anger or anxiety around your product or service?

Post your ideas in the Comments section.

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This article is from the free online course:

Online Business: Digital Marketing for Success

RMIT University