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Blogging and viral marketing – Part I

October 28, 05 by Bharani

An entry for Bloggers Park contest, IRIS, IIM Indore

A month ago, Timothy Draper of DFJ, a famous Venture capitalist firm, visited ISB
Campus. It was during that time that I realized an interesting information. That Timothy Draper was one of the key members instrumental in coining the term “Viral marketing”. This term refers to the now-famous “Word of mouth propogation” effect. The “Word of mouth effect” is a deceptively simple concept with a super-natural might.

While the conventional media like Television, Radio, Newspaper has a mass-reach, the message conveyed through these media doesn’t reach the hearts of everyone who reads/watches/hears the advertisement. But if someone close to you, someone who you know, someone who you rely upon says about a product or news, the message reaches your heart straight. Straight as light rays! The Benefits doesn’t end here. When you have registered a message in your heart, the message doesn’t stay in your heart. It reaches your near-and-dears, their near-and-dears and so on…The snow-ball effect, geometric progression, gathering momentum are all perfect analogies to illustrate the effect. The practice of employing this phenomenon for marketing is called “Viral marketing”.

The face-to-face conversations, telephone and emails served as tools for “Viral marketing”….but the companies were still exploring for a more effective tool. A tool which will provide the ‘personal touch’ along with the snow-balling potential.

During the same time, Blogging as a hobby was gathering popularity. Weblogs shortly called as ‘Blogs’, are online journals where people can write their opinions, publish their life stories, share their feelings and experiences. Blogs unlike a website or a news portal doesn’t have huge readership. The reader base is small, but the reader base is incredibly LOYAL. The blogs which reside in Internet, an ubiquitous medium, also became a victim of the snow-balling effect. The following report from Technorati portrays the current situation of growth in blogs. As of July 2005, approximately one blog was created each second…

http://www.technorati.com/weblog/2005/08/34.html

Moreover, the blogs are inter-linked with each other. For example, Blog A might have links to Blog B and Blog C. Blog B might in turn have links to Blog D, E and so on. This created an intricate network of bloggers..

Thus, Blogging became the next BIG THING in internet world after e-mail. Companies began to think “Why not use the blog as Marketing tool?”….

To be concluded

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