Viral marketing has changed a lot over the years. In the early days marketers would write tons of articles and distribute them through article directories, attracting thousands of links in a few days. The reason this worked is because those marketers were able to write great articles that publishers didn’t mind printing. And they put their own links at the bottom in the author’s resource box. That was good promotion.
Other forms of viral marketing sprung up as we entered into the new millennium. Article marketing still works, but now viral marketers have blogs, video, social media, and a collection of friends built up from doing business online. Even ad networks can become a viral hit if done right.
The way viral marketing works, no matter which medium you are operating in, is you – the marketer – produce great content that gets people excited about something. It can be an innovation in technology, something funny or controversial, or anything that people will respond emotionally to. It’s got to have some kind of emotional appeal. That’s the attraction.
If you are really good at producing something with emotional appeal then people will link to it. They will also share it with their friends. Soon, it takes on the qualities of a virus and spreads on its own. Good viral marketing campaigns spread so fast you hardly notice it happening. That’s when you know you’ve done your job as a marketer and you’ve done something to be proud of.