Viral advertising: what’s it all about?

Long gone are the days of gaining most of your advertising business from print ads. The newspaper isn’t the go-to source for driving your business anymore. These days advertising has gone viral and the ways to promote services, business and products are more plentiful than ever before.

And viral advertising is one of the most interesting of the new avenues advertisers are taking.

Forms of viral advertising

Viral advertising refers to any advertising that uses social media and the internet for promotion. Businesses, blogs, and products can advertise using social media sites that they are already using and the best part is that a lot of this can be done free or with very little money. Viral marketing can be video clips, interactive games, text messages, emails, images, and many other forms. An advertiser can use interactive polls, SEO, blogs, and social media.

Viral Marketing has encouraged many to join industries that they wouldn’t have had the funds to otherwise do so, since the advertising costs are much less. The entire premise relies heavily on placing the right information with the right audience. Once it get’s going and goes viral, the cost to maintain is minimal and the payoff can be huge.

Dam, that’s good!

Take the recent Volvo truck ad featuring two Volvo trucks and Jean Claude van Dam straddling them as they trucks drive backwards. Within days of its release on the internet, the daring video had 24 million views! That’s an amount of viewership that would be hard to find elsewhere. Short of buying a Super Bowl commercial for millions of dollars, Volvo would be hard pressed to reach more people. Plus, all of this happened without paying for advertising. The video went viral because of the social media shares. Can you imagine the amount of money they saved?

Viral charts

There are blogs completely dedicated to the most viral ads of the week, month, or year. Viral advertising has become such a phenomenon that people talk about advertising in ways that weren’t so with traditional print ads. Every once and a while, someone might have seen a funny newspaper ad that made people talk and discuss it around the water cooler, but it’s nowhere near the scale of viral marketing. Not only do companies and individuals advertise for the sole purpose of sharing but the medium for sharing is so fluid that the payoff is much faster.

Viral advertising is constantly changing. With the emergence of new sharing sites all the time, the market and availability to viewers and consumers is always morphing. Today, the way to reach consumers is as varied as are the reasons people choose to advertise.