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Viral marketing is something that everyone wants, but few people really know what it means. It’s a bit of a fancy word. We know it when we see it, but we’re not sure how to go about accomplishing it for ourselves. A WebProNews article can shed a little light on it.

Jonah Peretti describes viral marketing in real simple terms:

Simply, stuff that has the best opportunity to spread is stuff that people want to share with others.

So the essence of viral marketing is really finding something that appeals to a lot of different people. If one person likes it, you’ve got one fan. If a thousand people like it, it’s viral material. Take that to the hundred thousand person level and you’ve got viral content on the go.

How do you create content that goes viral? Is it planned or does it just happen? There are examples of both kinds of content, but I think the best kind of viral marketing is planned.

Your content must possess three qualities if you want it to go viral. It must:

  1. Appeal to a large number of people
  2. Be published and in a format that is easy to share
  3. Be a positive representation of your company or brand

With those three qualities, your content has the potential to go viral. Think about what your audience likes. Give it to them. Then the promote the Dickens out of it.

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