Viral marketing is a term used to describe the act of spreading information among people over the internet. It ‘s one way to market your business, and it can be effective, and best of all, free. Instead of relying on sophisticated tools and programs to promote your business, people do it for you, much like a domino effect. The more people that hear the message, the more buzz it creates. Yet, the bigger question remains: Will viral marketing increase sales?

In short, yes, viral marketing DOES work, and it has the potential to drive up sales and product interest. It works in the sense that it spreads information, creates buzz and gets people talking about your product or service. Viral marketing isn’t necessarily a direct ticket to more sales, however. This point is important to remember since many companies think that viral marketing somehow results in, well, results. But this isn ‘t always the case. Instead, think of viral marketing as a way to brand your business and get people noticing your cause.

One of the greatest advantages to viral marketing is that it can take you from zero to hero in a matter of a few clicks. You could be a small, locally owned HVAC company that produces a unique and funny clip on YouTube that is marketed across the globe. Even though your services won ‘t be needed by people on the opposite end of the country, you ‘ll drive attention to your business, increase your Facebook likes and gain a few new local customers in the area.

Now, not everything goes viral. In fact, it ‘s often the silly, unexpected things that go viral as opposed to the things that people deliberately put out there. So, if you ‘re trying to get your business some exposure from one person to the next, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Present easy to share information. Most things can be sent via email, but make sure that what you put out there doesn ‘t require slow downloading times or large files.
  • Include your URL. Sometimes, marketing material has almost nothing to do with the company ‘s product. People watch and laugh, but they don ‘t carry out the desired action. Add a call to action next to your URL.
  • Offer a sign-up section. When people visit your site or watch your clip, give them the option to subscribe to your site for more fun finds.
  • Make a follow-up. Many viral videos have follow-ups, either from the original source or from other people. Use your follow-up as an opportunity to suggest downloading an ebook on your product or service.

Viral marketing is smart, clever and resourceful. It ‘s an effective way to brand your business, but in order for it to catch on and increase your sales, you must create something unique. Always think to yourself, “Would I want to watch this? Would this make me laugh?” If yes, then you’re golden.