Microsites, viral games and viral video have become the weapons of choice for seasoned marketers waging "explosive growth" campaigns, according to Marketing Sherpa’s "2007 Viral Marketing Survey."

Experienced viral marketers recognize that creating a separate presence for viral campaigns can have a huge impact. "Creating cool microsites" topped all other tactics, with 37% of very experienced marketers saying they produced great results. One-third thought that online games brought great results.

Video clips got generally good reviews from marketers, with about three in 10 saying they yielded great results, and just 13% admitting their results were dismal.

Viral Marketing Tactics with

With experience comes expense, however. Some 43% of experienced marketers say they spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on video clips in their viral campaigns, while 49% of less-experienced marketers say they get the job done with $2,500 to $5,000 in spending.

Price Estimates for Video Clips for Viral Marketing Campaigns according to US Marketers, by Experience, April 2007 (% of respondents)

About two-thirds of the consumer marketers in the Marketing Sherpa study said they planned to use video in a campaign during the coming year.

But what are the chances of a video actually going viral? According to an Online Publishers Association (OPA) survey, not that high.

When people view online videos that are compelling, amusing or just plain weird, they tell other people. Only 9% of respondents to the OPA survey did so frequently, but an additional 29% occasionally let others know about online videos.

Frequency with which US Online Video Viewers Let Others Know about the Online Videos They Have Watched or Heard about, February 2006 (% of respondents)

There are two ways of looking at the OPA study’s results, according to eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman.

"Since fewer than one in 10 people frequently tell others about online video, it could be argued that the whole concept of viral online video is somewhat overblown," says Mr. Hallerman. "Having said that, only about one in 10 people in any field are the ‘influencers’ who give word-of-mouth marketing its power."

"Reliance on viral video, rather than making it just one element for getting the message out, will succeed only in rare cases," he adds.

Via eMarketer

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