Do you remember making snowmen when you were a kid? Remember how you started with a little ball of snow, and kept rolling the ball until it became a large ball? Did you ever roll your ball of snow down the hill and watch as it got bigger and bigger and bigger!?

Well, that’s how viral marketing works. You start a viral marketing campaign, give it a push, and it goes under its own power, getting bigger and bigger. Of course, all the while it is creating traffic to your website and generating sales for you. Quite an attractive setup, huh?

Truth be told, a successful viral marketing campaign requires any time, effort, and investment to get it started, but if you do it right, it’s worth it.

A good viral marketing plan could be broken down into three parts:

1- The bait
To start with, you need a free gift that you can give away. It must be extremely valuable, because you want people to share it with their friends, etc. Some examples would be an ebook, a video, a forum, etc.

2- The hook
Once you have created your bait that you’re going to distribute to people (and they to others, and they to others, etc, etc), you need a hook. You need a way to bring all of these people who are enjoying your free gift back to your website to buy. If you’re giving away an ebook, embed links to your website in the ebook. Depending on the product, you’ll have to use different kinds of hooks – be innovative!

3- Marketing
Yes, that’s right! You have to market your viral marketing campaign. (This is the push that you give your snowball to send it rolling down the hill. ) You have to promote your free gift, so that people start using it and distributing it.

Viral marketing can be an extremely effective marketing method – but it will require any time, effort, and lots of ingenuity on your part. Happy marketing!