"woman hitting snooze button"One of the most popular forms of marketing on the Internet is known as “viral” marketing. If you are not already aware of this, it is a form of marketing which involves placing advertisements on the Internet and creating a buzz around them by targeting them in a way which makes it almost impossible to avoid noticing them. Whether it is in the form of an off-the-wall video clip, a free game or a character blog, it can be immensely effective.

Viral marketing is possible without the Internet, but is a touch more difficult to achieve without the instant connection that the web gives to users. It requires a little more trickery to make it work, but if you are prepared to put the time in it can be as effective as the Internet form. You need to start by arousing curiosity. People need to think “what is this about?”. It could begin with a letter to a local newspaper which makes some outlandish claim, getting people to respond and building into a local news story.

The idea is that you build up hype around the product without revealing what it is. People will be keen to join in the guessing game so that they can be the one to say “I was right!”. When you eventually reveal what the fuss was about (and it is a good idea to have something pretty special to show the customers at this point), you will have the attention of a large group of people, something that advertisers will pay huge money to get.