Many people believe that viral marketing is a uniquely online phenomenon, but this is entirely untrue. While many companies have found incredible success launching online viral marketing campaigns, the method itself has been around much longer than the Internet – in fact, the Internet itself was built up and sold as apart of viral marketing. It began as a small cluster of connected computers until word of mouth developed the idea that the Internet was the hot new thing, and the demand that this generated created huge success for the Internet without a huge advertising campaign.
This viral marketing campaign simply is word of mouth advertising that passes along quickly and creates a “buzz” about your company. Many companies use the Internet for their viral marketing because it is a handy and inexpensive tool that can be used to launch a viral marketing campaign. Also, many online businesses that use viral marketing obviously want to use the online medium that their customers will be using. However, many great viral marketing campaigns have been conducted offline. And in fact, many of the top marketing companies in the country currently use offline as well as online viral marketing strategies.
If you are a small business, offline marketing strategies make plenty of sense and they are quite easy to create:
Step 1: Interact directly and give directly.
Having a sales team to give away freebies directly in the street, at events, or in stores is a great way to ensure that your potential customers get personal contact with someone who believes in your business. You will also be able to reach a wider audience this way, including those who do not spend a lot of time on the Internet. As an added bonus, by giving away wrist bands, pencils, hats, or other merchandise, you will ensure that people will be able to look at your business logo even when they are not online.
Step 2: Talk to the Right People
You can easily generate explosive marketing potential by targeting the correct audience. Most businesses assume that they need to be targeting potential customers, but this is not always correct. You should also always try to target those people who are in a position to influence your target audience. If you are trying to sell cosmetics, for example, you should also be targeting people beauty salons, models, and actresses. If you are selling roof shingles, target contractors, homeowners, and home hardware stores. Customers are likely to react to your business well if they hear about you from a trusted source. Plus, by targeting several groups at once you really create explosive word of mouth marketing.
Step 3: Talk to traditional media.
Send out a press release about your business and especially about any new product or service you are offering cost-free. Many people still believe more in traditional media than in what they read online. Traditional media will also help you reach those customers who do not spend a lot of time online.