Pillar #4: Third-Party Resources
Viral marketing campaigns take advantage of other people’s resources.
For example, authors who give away free ebooks or software and allow users to
spread them around are taking advantage of other people’s resources.
It is the user who is paying for the listserver and bandwidth costs when he or she
sends out this free ebook or software to their ezine.
Pillar #5: Scalability
The failure of many companies that run a viral marketing campaign is the fact
that they could not scale from small to large quickly enough, killing the host in
For example, at one point Hotmail could not handle all the email accounts that
were being registered and used. They simply did not have the resources to
manage the explosion in new accounts.
There is a good chance that they could have ended up going out of business if
Microsoft had not bought them out and infused their own resources into the
This is also the primary reason why a lot of hit exchanges and banner exchanges
crashed in the past. They could not handle the bandwidth on their servers and
their services ultimately came to a screeching halt - causing many of their users to
If you create a viral marketing campaign that is dependant on your resources, you
must plan ahead to handle additional growth.
Developing a viral marketing campaign will be pointless if it ends up killing the
host while it expands exponentially.
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Social Networking Traffic
Web sites like MySpace.com and YouTube.com command enormous amounts of
traffic because of their users. They have created social networks that allow
people to get in touch with each other more easily and share items such as videos.
The thing that makes these web sites so powerful is that they are completely user
driven. It is the community that builds that web site and content. It is the users
that are spreading the message