April 07, 2009

New Chart: Marketers Disclose Viral Video Costs

SUMMARY: We asked more than 1,000 marketers who are actively using video in their efforts about their campaigns. Viral video is a hot topic, since the promise of free distribution is a tempting one.

Find out what we learned about the relationship between their budgets and campaigns' success.
Creative Cost for Viral Video Production
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With bought media, the success or failure of any one creative execution is often not obvious, since success metrics must be extrapolated from sales, conversions, or other actions that are separate from viewing, and are difficult to tie back to unique TV ad exposures.

With viral media, however, the simple act of being passed on from one person to the next can be factored in as a judge of success. Using that yardstick, one can quickly assert whether a particular video is thriving or not.

We took at look at many of the different factors that go into the creation of a viral video in order to contrast the successes and the failures. One of the most interesting conclusions we came to is the discovery that the majority of successful executions were made on low budgets by TV commercial standards, but large budgets by typical DIY viral-video costs.

When media budgets are tight, it’s always a good idea to determine how much to budget for creative expenses on a viral video shoot; also, it’s important to know what you’re up against. While a small percentage of viral video makers shoot the moon and spend upwards of $100,000 on production, this huge gamble often does not pay off.

That said, the Internet is awash with poorly produced videos. At the very least, spend the money for a professional video producer who knows the ropes of online video and can produce something palatable, even if the rest of the video is on a strictly amateur budget. From a risk-and-return point of view, a small gamble can have massive payoffs, but one that’s too little or too large can cause you to lose.

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