With online market becoming crazy competitive, marketers are looking for unique methods of digital marketing. Viral marketing is one such technique. However, it does have some downsides. In this article, you will find out various advantages and disadvantages of viral marketing.

For those new to the concept of viral marketing-

Viral marketing is a digital marketing strategy where businesses influence audience to share a particular content and spread it all over the internet. It largely depends on social media since it’s where things easily go ‘viral’. Wherever you go through your social media news feed, you’d come across at least one viral video or photo.As its name goes, it spreads like a virus from one person to another.

Any content goes viral when social media users find it interesting enough to share further. The idea of viral marketing is to create such brand related content that is compels people to share it. Funny videos and challenges are two examples of such content.

But viral marketing is not flawless. It also has some drawbacks. If you are considering viral marketing for your business, there are a few things you need to know.

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Advantages of viral marketing

A unique way of digital marketing

Viral marketing is doubtlessly a unique way of digital marketing. When your content goes viral, it is not limited to your target audience. With this you reach new audience and target new demographics. Thus, it helps you widen market for your brand.

It cuts cost

Viral marketing is ridiculously cost effective. It’s your customers and prospects that spread your marketing message. Thus,you won’t have to spend on marketing or advertising your content. This is how viral marketing saves money.

Brings out your creative side

Viral marketing doesn’t mean putting your work out there on social media and expect people to share it. You need to give them something share-worthy. Thus, it is where you can bring out your business’s creative side.

It complements word of mouth

Businesses keep seeking to develop a positive word of mouth around their products and services. Viral marketing is close to word-of-mouth, except that the former is a complex version of the latter. Thus, if your brand content goes viral for good reasons, it will help you shape a positive word of mouth for your business.

Disadvantages of viral marketing

Limited control

Once your photo or video goes viral, you lose the steer of your campaign. So, if your content goes viral in a negative way, you won’t be able to do much about it. This can harm your brand in ways that are often irreparable. This makes viral marketing a risky bet.

You can’t define your audience

Wide reach makes your brand more vulnerable. People outside the confines of your target audience might not necessarily like your content. Even worse, they might find your content objectionable or offensive. This can damage your brand’s reputation undo your whole marketing efforts.

Your viral marketing campaign may irritate people

Seeing same content at every corner of the internet can get irritating at some point. It doesn’t matter how cool your viral content is, after a certain point of time, it will lose charm for people. And if such people continue to see your content, they might associate your marketing efforts with irritation. Moreover, most people out of your target audience might not be interested in your brand and having to see your content regardless can greatly annoy them.

There’s no particular way to measure viral marketing

It’s crucial to measure your digital marketing efforts in order to improve. Viral marketing leaves little to no scope for it. Thus, you can’t ascertain your ROI or gain anything much insightful. A viral marketing campaign either goes hit or flop. There’s not in between and nothing to learn.

Bottom line

Viral marketing is a step away from traditional marketing methods and can yield great results. At the same time, it has some drawbacks which can threaten your whole digital marketing structure. This form of marketing might suit some businesses and might not to others. Understand your marketing requirements and examine your brand content before going for viral marketing. This form of marketing has great potential but it comes with high risks.

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Somya Sharma : Regardless of being a Delhi University graduate with a major in English Literature, Somya's interests are not limited to poetry and drama. As a person who loves researching, discussing and writing about topics rooted in various disciplines, the list of subjects that tickle her fancy is ever-growing. She finds the power of psychology in marketing particularly intriguing and has set out writing blogs with the aim of helping budding marketers polish-up.