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Viral marketing is a buzzword for promotional messages that spread through social networks. Viral marketing campaigns hinge on finding a catchy medium for a message and then propagating it through different online channels including blogs, microblogs, posts, crowdsourcing and so on. The actual message may be in the form of an advertorial, but is more likely to come in the form of a branded game, video clip, image or other format that can be branded. Generally speaking, the goal of a viral marketing campaign is to raise brand awareness - or mindshare - rather than convert clicks into sales of a specific product.
Viral marketing is also referred to as viral advertising.
Viral marketing is all about creating a marketing buzz around new product releases or simply bringing a company to the forefront of consumers' minds. There are three factors that play into whether a marketing campaign goes viral:
Viral marketing has become a mini-universe of buzzwords. People who share a viral marketing message are called sneezers and the actual message is sometimes referred to as a marketing meme.