Posted August 12, 2009 3:32 pm by with 11 comments

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A survey from Association of National Advertisers (ANA), BtoB Magazine and ‘mktg’ indicates that marketers are turning to viral videos and social media marketing more and more, despite continued reservations.

Two-thirds of marketers surveyed said they were using SMM, up from only 20% of marketers in the 2007 survey. The most popular social sites for marketers were Facebook (74%), YouTube (65%), Twitter (63%), and LinkedIn (60%). Only a quarter of marketers were using viral video in 2007; now half are using this tactic. But marketers are concerned about how effective these techniques are:

Despite the growing use of social networks and viral videos, marketers do not think they are using these media in the most effective ways and are still struggling with measurement and media-mix allocation issues. The top concerns for marketers when considering newer media platforms are the inability to prove ROI (45%) and worries about not having metrics to properly allocate the mix of traditional and digital media (43%).

On the other hand, the most effective of the newer media platforms are those which marketers have been doing for longer periods of time and those for which more measurable results are available:

  • Search engine marketing (SEM) (65%)
  • Own website (59%)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) (55%)
  • E-mail marketing (45%)

Naturally, these new efforts have to be paid for. In February, the ANA reported the 77% of marketers were reducing their media budgets this year. However this study indicated that “55% of respondents have shifted funds from their traditional media budget, while 48% shifted funds from other marketing communications budgets. More than one-forth of marketers (26%) created an incremental budget.”

And what’s coming up? Next year, the top new formats (for marketers not currently using them) were blogs (34%), mobile (28%) and social media (23%). But the most money will be going to clients’ websites (26%), SEM (19%) and online display (17%).

Are you still doubting the value of social media? Omniture has a new webinar available on the value of social media, with hard data on just the impact social media has had on companies like National Geographic (to the tune of >2500 subscriptions in one day). You know how I love data!

What do you think? Have you seen an increase in your SMM or viral video marketing? Are you concerned about their effectiveness?

(via @JOwyang)

  • Free Wii

    have always been interested in viral marketing but it’s not the easiest thing to get your head round. I would not like to be the person at any of the large companies trying to come up with a successful viral video. the problem is alot of the time it just depends on luck for a viral video to be successful so as a way of marketing its very high risk!

  • Jordan McCollum

    Agreed—I would have liked to see some measure of actual or at least perceived success rates.

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  • Harry

    I personally think that viral video marketing is more than efective….the bigest problem is that the percentage of videos which become viral is extremely small if you compare to the total number of videos on the internet….You have to be a creative genious in order to a create a viral video.

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  • Magnolia Medina

    I am doing a research on viral marketing for my master. The purpose of this study is to analyze three successful viral marketing campaigns. If you want to participate, please click this link:

    Thank you

  • Jordan McCollum

    @Harry—Right, the odds of a video going viral are very small, so overall the effectiveness rate will be very low.

  • Video Marketing

    Interesting post! I agree with Harry, viral video marketing is more than effective and we need to be creative in creating viral videos in order to be competitive and get the attention of online viewers. I do
    video marketing for small local business to promote their products or services. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks and keep it up.
    .-= Video Marketing´s last blog ..Local Internet Marketing Question? =-.

  • Jordan McCollum

    Maybe I wasn’t clear—when it works, yes, viral video is effective. But it works so rarely—and the factors that make it work are so difficult to predict and harness—that the overall effectiveness rate (the rate of effective campaigns over total campaigns) is extremely low.

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  • Viral Videos

    Nice and very usefull post!