by Seth Godin
Viral marketing is an idea that spreads–and an idea that while it is spreading actually helps market your business or cause.
Two kinds of viral marketing: The original classic sort in which the marketing is the product and which a self-amplifying cycle occurs. Hotmail, for example, or YouTube. The more people use them, the more people see them. The more people see them, the more people use them. The product or service must be something that improves once more people use it.
A second kind has evolved over the last few years, and that’s a marketing campaign that spreads but isn’t the product itself. Shepard Fairey’s poster of Barack Obama was everywhere, because people chose to spread it. It was viral (it spread) and it was marketing (because it made an argument–a visual one–for a candidate.)
Something being viral is not, in an of itself, viral marketing. Who cares that 32,000,000 people saw your stupid video? It didn’t market you or your business in a tangible, useful way.
Read more via Seth’s Blog: What is viral marketing?