Viral Advertising is The Magic Formula for Small Businesses

The reason I wanted to write this article is to address a problem, this problem is that small businesses ignore the advertising method that is the most suitable for them.

As an advertising agency (MediaO2) we have many services, viral marketing is one of our main services, but while big brands understand the value, and rely heavily on viral marketing to create buzz, unfortunately small businesses and startups don’t even understand the importance of this type of advertising!

viral marketing
photo credit: Tulane Public Relations

Because they have a small budget for advertising, and due to lack of understanding of advertising, they often spend their small budget on traditional advertising solution that are often ineffective on a small scale.

On the other hand, if the same budget is to be spent on a small viral campaign, it could in worst case scenario, bring 10x the interest traditional ads bring.

Companies often decide to go with the traditional methods, printing catalogues, brochures, flyers & distributing them, sometimes they try more modern approaches like Pay per click ads on Google & Facebook … These are ok methods to get few clients, but these methods have a very high cost per client and thus cannot really be relied on for a company growth.

For your business growth, you need a method that does not have a high cost per new client, and most importantly a method that will bring you clients long after you paid for it… this method does exist, it is called Viral Marketing!

To understand this, I’ll present a case study: a start-up approached us for our viral marketing services, only to withdraw after knowing our consulting fees (which are 1000$ per campaign plan /for start-ups and small businesses).

The problem with small businesses is that they fail to value advertising consulting and ideas, if we are not producing something concrete for them, then most think it’s not worth the money… It is, unlike bigger companies that pay consulting fees for lawyers, accountants, and many other professionals… Small businesses are not used to pay money for just some ideas and plans.

The below case study will show you how a startup that reconsidered paying 1000$ for a viral marketing consultancy, will end up paying 100 times more and never get the results that our viral marketing plan would have provided!

A couple of weeks ago, we received an inquiry from a new business, the founder was smart enough to consider viral marketing in his advertising plans, this new business offered dry fruit snacks, and are operating on a startup budget…

We asked ourselves, what does this startup needs to take off?

Traditional advertising wise, they will need:

  1. Frequent TV ads for a specific time period, (prime time: 30 sec TV spot costs $110k).
  2. On the ground promotions, (hiring a team to do promotion for a month + related gadgets needed).
  3. Good distribution of the product, (having attractive stands in the shops + cost of negotiating that).

The total cost will vastly vary, but if we do some simple math, adding the cost of a TV ad run “for a week” ($770k) + $30k for “on the ground promotion” + probably $20-30k for “distribution” = they’ll need more than $800k to have a successful launch of their startup .

Now let’s see what it would have cost this startup to have a successful viral marketing campaign, he’ll have to first buy our consulting package for 1000$,”what does this exactly represent?” It’s the most important part of a viral marketing campaign, during which we analyse the situation and create a viral idea as well as lay down the execution plan, the second stage is the most costly usually, it is basically executing the viral idea! The 3rd stage is a second life to the campaign through an online video.

In numbers: $1k consulting + $1k to $20k execution + $4-5k viral marketing = total: $25k for a viral campaign that is probably 10x more effective than a $800k traditional campaign, and the effects of a viral campaign will last 100 x longer than the brief advertising campaign!

For a startup, viral marketing could be the x factor that could make the business take off! You may ask, but can they afford it? That’s why we offer consultancy separately, we provide the idea and the execution plan, and they can execute it according to their budget.

So in short they can turn a 1000$ investment into a viral campaign worth $100k to $300k, I’m no genie but it’s still way better than using traditional advertising.

About the Author: Abdallah Alaili is founder and CEO of MediaO2, a European Design, Marketing and Advertising company. Let’s connect on Google+