Affiliate Marketing in 7 Steps Series (5/7)

Create and distribute a free or viral product

Armed with your affiliate links as well as your USP, you are ready to announce to the world your entry into the playing field. And how else should a winner like you announce his arrival?

With a bang, of course! – Here’s a great tactic for your first product promotion. - Viral Marketing

Make your first product capable of being distributed virally – that is of outstanding value.  This digital product can be a timely eBook or special report, the pages of which contain your affiliate link.  It can be a software program where your affiliate link will appear in the user interface.

Now, here’s the clincher… distribute the viral product for FREE.

I’ll say it again, create a product of high value, distributed for free!

What’s the purpose for that? – Well, suppose you receive something valuable, for free.  Wouldn’t you feel special?  Wouldn’t you feel lucky?  Wouldn’t you feel happy?  Wouldn’t you want to share such feeling with your closest friends?  You family members?  The people you chat with in your favorite online forum?

This is why it’s called a “viral” product… because like a “virus,” it spreads quite quickly, at an exponential rate at that.

What if every person who gets to enjoy my viral product refers it to 3 of his/her friends?
  • 1 prospect can quickly become 3 prospects. 
  • 3 prospects can quickly become 9 prospects.
  • 9 prospects can quickly become 27 prospects.
And so on and so forth.

It can become a juggernaut of a cycle for the first few days.  And often, such lasts for many, many months, if not years.  Believe it or not almost all of the Super Affiliates in the Internet Marketing industry are still generating clicks from a viral eBook or software they distributed 2 or even 3 years ago!

Creating a viral product is actually not that hard.

Ask yourself, what are you good at? – If you can create software programs, create software programs. If you can write, write eBooks and special reports. If you have a flair for videos or broadcasting, create a video or audio product that can be downloaded. If you can’t do any of these, hire a freelancer from websites like, package the created product well and upload it to your website.


Promote the viral product on your landing page and the people who visit your website can download it. 

Just make sure that the following guidelines are observed:
  • Make sure to CLEARLY remind your visitors that they can download the said product for free.  People are generally hesitant to download anything on the World Wide Web, believing that there is no such thing as a free lunch in the real and the online world.
  • Make sure to CLEARLY remind the people who will download the said product that they are free to distribute it to other people.  Sometimes, that reminding push goes a long, long way.
  • Make sure the FREE product is top quality, I can’t stress this enough. Quality is key in order for the entire tactic to work.

“Quality, it seems, is a necessary, but insufficient attribute for success.”
                                                                 ― Derek Thompson

The usage of a viral product is part and parcel of the powerful promotional strategy known as viral marketing.  Viral marketing is basically word-of-mouth advertising in the virtual world.  You want people to talk about the product you are promoting to generate that much needed hype.

Viral marketing has the following elements that are worth studying:

Viral marketing makes use of existing social networks.  There is no need to create your own web of contacts.

The business message must be easy to seed.  It must be made apparent at the earliest stage.  A convoluted message would just make the viral marketing campaign useless.  If your business message, for example, is the promotion of your website’s link, make it appear conveniently and immediately.

The business message must circulate naturally.  The goal is to reach as many people as possible.  The means to achieve that goal is to promote persistent circulation of the business message.  Circulation must be facilitated with minimal interference from the business owner.  The message must replicate on its own.  We should keep these in mind as we formulate a viral marketing plan.

You must have a value proposition.  

Let us illustrate this maxim through an often-used technique.  Suppose your business offers a software package.  How do you promote it through viral marketing?  You could offer a free trial of your software for a certain period.  This is your value proposition.  As more and more people get exposed to your software, they’ll come to know of its worth and spread the word to their friends.  Soon, after their trial period expires, they will have to order the full version.  This is your contingent proposition.  From the latter, you will derive the profit to replace what you have spent in your initial investment.  

You must have a contingent proposition.  

Do not lose sight of your bread and butter.  The point to viral marketing is to sell your goods and services.  Your goods and services are your contingent proposition.  Once your value proposition has lured the attention of your prospective clients, it is time to win them over to purchase your contingent proposition.

You should provide benefits for the participants.  One thing that predominate viral marketing campaigns is the constant use of the word “free.”  As many marketing resources have stated, the said word is probably the most powerful weapon to attract customers (although there has been a trend lately to use synonyms to avoid overuse).  

Offering free goods or services to potential clients is an old and established rule in marketing, both offline and online.  It makes good use of basic human inclinations: the golden rule.  Do unto others what you want them do unto you.  Potential clients who benefit from the freebies you distribute will feel that they have to repay the kindness you have shown them. 

Observing these principles of an effective viral marketing campaign will ensure a fruitful experience for your website.

Until Next Time... Never Give Up!

>> Continue to STEP 6. Your Content Marketing Strategy