Word of Mouth Marketing on The Web
Word of mouth marketing refers to a type of marketing that promotes something by enticing independent parties to promote the service, idea or product to friends.
The idea is to create a buzz for the subject matter. In creating the buzz, the goal is to create enough word of mouth momentum to get the idea to spread quickly. People are the sole conduit for the momentum.
If you get it right, an entire product can become an established success with little or no paid marketing.
A classic example of word of mouth marketing, often called viral, is the situation involving Red Bull. Red Bull is an energy drink. When it was first introduced in Europe, rumors spread that the drink was an aphrodisiac. Nobody knows who started the rumors, but Red Bull became very popular. It then evolved into a mixer for alcoholic drinks in nightclubs and the rest is history. It is a hugely popular product and much of the popularity arose through this word of mouth process.
Word of mouth marketing online works in much the same way. The primary difference is it tends to happen much quicker than in the real word. The Internet is full of forums where like minded people congregate. A new, cool product, idea or service can blow up a site over night. If you dont believe me, consider the wild success of the My Space platform, Napster, EBay and so on.
Most of these sites grew into behemoths because of word of mouth endorsements, not paid advertising.
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