Sunday, November 30, 2008

Disadvantages of Viral Marketing

First we should clarify: "What is a Viral Marketing Campaign?" or "How can I use Web 2.0 marketing to help my business?" We also have a website with viral marketing examples and as the old saying goes "a picture is worth 1,000 words" so you might want to check that out.

We believe the disadvantages of viral marketing are exaggerated but will list them.
  1. You might have your business associated with groups you'd rather not be associated.
  2. You want to sell a product or service and viral marketing mainly promotes your brand.
  3. Greater awareness of your business can lead to more spam.
  4. You don't control what people say about your business in social sites
What we like about viral marketing campaigns is easier to list because there are so many great advantages. With that in mind here is our definition of viral marketing. Below we list the reasons we like viral marketing campaigns.

  1. Potential to reach thousands or millions of people for a relatively low cost.
  2. Word of mouth advertising is more believable than paid advertising.
  3. Once the campaign is launched it may continue for years at little or no additional cost.
  4. This type of marketing is available to all businesses no matter what size.
Let's compare viral marketing with TV advertising.

If a small business wants to advertise on TV they might pay $5,000.00 to $20,000.00 or whatever their advertising budget will allow to have the TV commercial produced. This business could spend the exact same amount to have a viral video produced.

The next step is to buy some time on a TV station. You can spend a minimum of $1,500.00 per month to advertise your business on TV. Of course with $1,500.00 your TV commercials won't run very often and would be on only one network in one city. On this link TV advertising price you can get more general information about TV advertising and see examples of TV advertising schedules. People often ask what it will cost to advertise on TV and the link above answers that question. Let's say that you want your TV commercial to run on TV all across the United States. The cost to do this would be $50,000.00 and up each time that spot runs so your TV advertising campaign would cost whatever you spent on the TV commercial production and the monthly advertising budget. For a national ad campaign the cost could easily be in the millions of dollars. Locally you could spend $1,500.00 to $100,000.00 or more depending upon who you are trying to reach and the size of the local population.

Now let's see what it would cost to run our viral video nationally or internationally. In either case the cost to post a video on YouTube.com is the same, FREE!

So just to compare if we spend $5,000.00 to $20,000.00 for the TV commercial and the same amount for the viral video the savings becomes obvious when we want to put it either on TV or on the Internet.

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