What are the disadvantages of viral marketing or does it have only positive qualities?

What are the disadvantages of viral marketing or does it have only positive qualities?

Viral marketing refers to the technique of running an advertising campaign where users themselves distribute the necessary content. As a result, the target audience shares photos and videos differently, making the information contagious. This method is often used in the case of global brands’ famous marketing campaigns.

Types of viral marketing

Viral marketing can be found everywhere in everyday life, from street promotions to smartphones to television. Such advertising uses any content – any picture, any video, or an individual who is widely known.

Certain varieties of viral marketing are:

  1. Cartoons and videos. These can be videos of any content that meet the audience’s interests or evoke certain emotions.
  2. Memes. It is an excellent method of spreading product information through an audience of young people on social media.
  3. Infographics and pictures with helpful content. This information spreads quickly over the Internet and is sent out to a circle of users.
  4. Interactive advertising. It refers to any advertising that allows users to interact with information. It enables users to share such content with their environment.
  5. Social media. Developing content distributed through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can help promote a product.
  6. Bloggers. Collaboration with representatives of the blogosphere allows one to increase one’s audience and widely distribute content. For example, bloggers create text and video product reviews that can “infect” users.
  7. Promotions and contests. Receiving a prize for free has a positive effect on users. Such promotions are common on sites and can spread quickly.
  8. Word-of-mouth. In this case, it is enough to interest the target audience, and then it spreads positive information about the product among friends and acquaintances.
  9. Rumors. It is the oldest type of viral marketing used to hype a product, service, or event.

In addition to the options listed above, there are plenty of other ways to make one’s marketing go viral. The advent of the Internet has only improved user interaction with content that aims to gain product recognition.

The benefits of viral marketing

Using this method of product promotion has several advantages:

  1. The absence of permanent investment. Contextual or targeted advertising leads the audience to the product as long as they are paid for it. Viral marketing works even if there is no money and has a longer perspective.
  2. Common interest. Viral marketing is not intrusive advertising in the form of signs, appeals, or cleverly crafted ads. Instead, the information provided interests the audience, and they share it.
  3. It’s memorable for a long time. Viral marketing is short-lived, but the effect is long-lasting. 
  4. It evokes trust. If the tool has worked well, the audience will begin to relay the information through their loved ones. As a result, people trust this advertising approach more.

As can be seen, viral marketing is more effective than other types of promotion of a single product.

Disadvantages of viral marketing

Like any marketing activity, viral marketing has a downside. However, many companies that actively use this method to promote their products have noticed it. So, the disadvantages of viral marketing are:

  1. Lack of control. It is not possible to manage this type of advertising. It is never possible to accurately predict the audience’s behavior, which may appreciate or loathe the content or product.
  2. The need for improvement. It’s worthwhile to stimulate the audience’s interest in the product periodically. Create and distribute new content, revealing the merits and other new details of the product being promoted.
  3. The lack of only one channel. The best interaction is not provided by only one channel to spread information about the product. Experts recommend using other advertising techniques to make the product popular with the audience. It is impossible to achieve high sales by marketing viruses alone.

Viral marketing is like the lottery, where everything depends on luck. Unfortunately, predicting the audience’s reaction is not always possible, so advertising must be comprehensive.