There’s always a lot of hype surrounding viral marketing. The idea that someone can create a single blog post or page and receive thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of clicks and social shares is extremely popular.
In this post, I’ll go over what it takes to be successful as a viral affiliate, and why it may or may not be a reliable strategy for your affiliate site.
What Is A Viral Affiliate?
Firstly, it’s important to understand exactly what a viral affiliate is. Viral marketing is the art of designing content with the intent to be shared. Rather than a promote a specific brand or product, this content usually has some element that engages the reader and prompts the reader to share the page with friends.
Examples of this might include amusing photo-quotes, videos, or even fun mini-games or surveys, and there are a number of techniques used to spark the viral element, most of which are outside the scope of this post.
The important thing to note is that viral affiliates will leverage the principles of viral marketing to try to funnel a user through to an affiliate sale, earning a commission in the process.
Pros and Cons of Viral Promotions
There is, of course, a tremendous upside associated with viral promotions. If a piece of content becomes truly viral, the level of traffic your site sees will spike dramatically, and its possible to see significant revenue even if your conversion rates are fairly modest.
Unfortunately, creating truly viral content is extremely difficult. While there are some common techniques that can be employed, the successful launch of a viral campaign requires a strong engagement factor with the reader, whether comedic, controversial, or empathic.
Launching a viral campaign also requires an initial distribution network to ignite the viral flow and get the first few thousand hits to the site page.
The reality is, developing this kind of content only comes with significant experience, and even very successful viral marketers often have tons of misfires before they push a piece of content that catches on.
Not only that, but viral traffic usually comes as a one-time spike. While this can obviously be a good revenue boost, it’s rarely a sustainable marketing style.
For a more consistent approach to your marketing efforts, you might want to try the base hit approach instead.
Read more about how to get started affiliate marketing.