Let’s start with a quick definition:
Viral marketing aims to get potential buyers to share information on electronic media about a product or service, a brand or a message, to their contacts so the information spreads like a virus. Also defined as word-of-mouth transmitted via the Internet, or electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM). Word-of-mouth (WOM) is a positive or negative statement that a person makes about a company, product or service.
What are the key facts you should know about word-of-mouth
Conventional word-of-mouth communications have been studied since the 1950s and attested to have a direct impact on consumer purchase decisions, as well as to generate attitudes and expectations upon the product. Peer-to-peer communications increase the credibility of the message, and are more powerful and more influential than company-to-consumer communications.
Nevertheless, e-WOM has some limitations compared to non-electronic referrals: as it does not occur face-to-face, most of the time the information is sent out to people who are not searching for it, so it is unlikely that they will pay attention to the message.
What are the benefits (and drawbacks) of viral communication?