Viral marketing is a tough business and there are more failed viral marketing programs out there than successful ones. To be successful, viral marketing relies on individuals promoting on your behalf. If you can identify key influencers in your niche then your task could be made much easier.
Rather than trying to market to the world at large, you can target those who have influence in your niche. By winning their support (and that is not always an easy task), they will start to promote on your behalf. Because they have some influence in your niche, others will listen and often follow.
Influencer marketing is not new. Look at some of the major fast food outlets. They target youngsters for two reasons. One – they influence moms and dads when it comes to buying fast foods, and two, if you can win them over when they are young, you have them for life. We are interested in the first reason, they influence their parents.
There are many professionals who have significant influence. Teachers and education; food writers and restaurants; and entertainment critics and the entertainment industry are just a few that stand out. They are not the only ones, of course. You can find on niche sites small groups that others often defer to – or look to for advice. In non-professional circles, the women in a man’s life may well influence him in his purchases so the women become the marketing target rather than the man (this is an old tactic that has been around for decades).
If you are looking at a viral marketing campaign, stop and consider who the key influencers are in your niche. Can you influence them? Can you develop a relationship with them first that can then be used at a later date to promote your campaign? If you can develop a relationship then you may find a viral marketing campaign much easier. Of course, you still need to have the right marketing materials.