Viral marketing has been hot for many years and constantly proliferated by social media. You never know how big your viral idea might be or who might actually talk about it to help you make it take off. Getting your idea in front of Matt Lauer of the Today Show or even higher up to Oprah-land sounds exciting, but isn't something you should count on.

But there are a few things that you can do that are sure to go viral. They may not take off to be an overnight sensation but they can get your name floated more (and for free!) than usual.

Free for Non-Profits

Offer your product or service free to non-profits or at a significant discount if you can. The non-profit community has an amazing network, and if they love your product, they'll shout from the mountaintops how much they love what you offer. And many people that work or volunteer for non-profits need what you have to offer in their day-to-day jobs too.

At my last company VerticalResponse, we initially were going to offer our email marketing services for 50% off to qualified non-profits. But a great idea sparked by an awesome employee - to give it away for free - really took off. For years we were written about by non-profit publishers and the non-profit world sang our praises! It was also a terrific way to recruit amazing employees who wanted to work for a company that did great things for non-profits.

Create an E-book

You probably already have 'thought leadership' content that you write for your blog or other publications. Why not consolidate that content and create a downloadable e-book with all of the content in one spot? Get an ebook template and start inputting your images and your copy. Then host it on a landing page, make sure you search engine optimize it for your keywords so your ebook will be found by the search engines and let it go! Remember to socialize it on your social networks as well. If it's content that doesn't really have a date stamp you can keep it going all year.

Create an Infographic

Infographics still seem to take on a life of their own. People love to look at them, email them and share them on social media. I've talked about two online products you can use to make them and they're super easy.

Two ways to get content for your infographic is to do a survey and use the data from the questions you asked that are interesting. You can also augment your own survey data with outside industry research. Just make sure you cite where your research came from.

Last year I created an infographic in a few hours called A Day in the Life of a Social Media Marketer. And I created it using a free template. (Incidentally I used to work for a company that spent $10k to develop one!) What did we see? An 8x increase in traffic from social channels where I was talking about it and a 3x increase in referral traffic (we got picked up on a few sites.) To this day we still get some traffic to that post.

Do you have a success story with a piece of viral content or an offer that you want to share?