Viral is Not Social. It is a Virus

You are a Marketing Manager. Your budget has been cut dramatically. Solution: look for a mechanism to get your "advertisement" shown to as many people as possible, without paying for TV placement.

Enter: video viral marketing. Copy an idea, write a short script, film with actors. Pop onto Youtube, initiate the viral campaign.

The only difference from traditional TV advertising is the cost. Production outlay, and that is about it. ROI: easy: saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV (and potentially radio) advertising. In the case of xxxMan (not going to provide too much juice), nearly 45000 views I would consider as epic fail.

On the face of it, if you present this advertisement as a bit of fun; make it slightly obvious it’s not real. Cool.

But this is not social media. Or positive in a sharing culture. There is no people to people connection between the company and it’s customers. Sure, it may generate both positive and negative comments in YouTube and the internet. The agency may respond and behalf of the customer. This is not social media nor a sharing culture.

People trust and like to speak to people. Put the best people in your organisation up front, and support them.

Viral is not Social, it is just a Virus.

Oh, by the way: Laurel is right on this matter. 🙂

The New Nickel-Tube: Google and YouTube

So Google purchased YouTube. US$1.65B in shares, paper-work money or an entry in an SEC filing.

In cold-hard numbers: YouTube has a reported 100 million viewers per day; based on the purchase price, each view equates to US$0.0452 over a year. Or, another way to look at it: as long as Google “earns” US5c for each pair of eyeballs for a few minutes, within a year it is financially ahead.

Considering the current cost of both text-advertising and TV advertising; and the oncoming onslaught from competitors such as Microsoft and Yahoo!, US5c per view seems rather attractive.

Opportunity cost of not owning YouTube: a competitor would have purchased it, first. Fox had already purchased the young Myspace eyeballs; and Microsoft is serious about the online world and has all those XBoxen, Vistas, Zunes to capture other eyeballs. YouTube was obviously on the block for sale, and each viewer is valued at US$0.0452. US$1.65B is not too much compared to a competitor getting the brand. YouTube maybe the “text breakout” and single product weakness that dogged Google in recent months. (Robert Scoble has a perspective on this, too)

Looking into my crystal tube: Google’s Video Future: It is all about about the advertising. Potential changes to Google Adsense:

  • Text links inside an ad (transparent text on bottom); through to top+tail video or sound bytes
  • Throw more smart maths at technology to recognise the content inside video and then attach appropriate a like advertisement
  • The original publisher of youtubes (another verb coming on, here?) self-categorises, so advertisements could similarly be targeted.
  • For youtubes posted on blogs or other non-Google web sites; understanding the context would permit smarter targeted Adsense ads

Instead of crawling the internet, Google is becoming the internet. This is rather a scarily thought that crossed my mind when reading this Wired article (The Information Factories) on their new data center in Washington state, US. Ultimately, it may have been cheaper to buy YouTube than create a backing-store to hold indexed video and sound.

So next: watch Apple and Google. Not sale or purchase, just closer ties. Apple needs the content, Google needs the hardware. Microsoft is the common competitor.