In simple terms, buzz marketing is an online viral advertising strategy that attempts to create a buzz around a particular product and make people talk about it.
Buzz marketing is the best large-scale advertising strategy available today. It is something you can easily do, provided you have mastered the necessary techniques, and it requires virtually no investment. And social networks create unlimited opportunities toBuzz marketing practice buzz marketing techniques from the comfort of your home.
In the so-called mass marketing, companies used TV, e-mail, radio, and social platforms to bombard masses of people with their ads as an attempt to draw their attention to a particular product or service. The idea was to send messages to as many people as possible, hoping that at least some of them would respond.
Contrary to that, buzz marketing has decided to focus on the recipient individually. Instead of counting on numbers, it aims at creating personalized ads to make you feel excited about the product and, ideally, talk to your friends about it. Word-of-mouth is what buzz marketing hopes for. The ultimate goal is to make lots of people talk about a product.
Two general tactics have been used for that:
Arranging exciting social events at which the product will be discussed or seen
Targeting popular, famous, or influential people to get through to larger crowds via those sociable individuals
In every case, however, the main idea is to create a buzz around a product and make people talk about it.
Companies also use social media to generate discussions and enlist followers. The prime gateways are the social network profiles with many friends and followers. Establishing personal contacts with famous bloggers works well for buzz marketing too. Social platforms provide excellent opportunities for companies to socialize with their potential customers, exchange feedback, and advertise their services.
Several types of buzz marketing strategies have been developed. Each one tries to use a particularly exciting event or a powerful emotion to associate it with the object of advertising. In fact, word-of-mouth and association seem to be the two main buzz marketing tools.
If a picture you see on the screen grips or stirs you, it will spark your interest, and everything in your visual field at that moment, including a commodity placed nearby, will look interesting to you. Moreover, it is likely to stay in your memory for a long time too. And whenever you think of the picture again, you will remember everything there was in your visual field at that time, including the product.
Of course, the vision was just an example we used here. The principle of association applies to sounds, tastes, and feelings just as well. The trick is to compel you to pay attention, and the following types of buzz marketing have been found to work particularly well.
Few things stir our minds more than controversy does, so this buzz marketing technique strives to create a sense of that. It could be a photograph or a topic for discussion. A controversial subject is better because it employs both the association and the social tools of buzz marketing.
One particularly powerful technique is to make the object of advertising a controversial topic to discuss. Saying Herbalife works is better than saying that it doesn't. But the best is to make people wonder if it really works. Or is it mere hype? There is one way to find out.
This technique might require some creative thinking, but the main objective is to be odd, to look weird, to stand out. Surprise is what the target should feel.
Humour is another powerful buzz marketing tool for attracting an audience. We love everyone and everything that makes us laugh, and even if we are not sure it is something good, we are always willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
That is another way to make people wonder. Curiosity is the key to successful buzz marketing. When we feel curious about something, we want to have more of it to quench our thirst for information.
Besides, something we know little about seems very special to us, and there is always an aura of exclusivity around it. Letting potential customers know a little about your services will make them want to come and discover the rest.
We have looked at the sensory techniques in the previous section. Here, we shall mention some social buzzing marketing tactics.
1. Offline Promotion
Offline buzz marketing refers to personal face-to-face contact with a potential or an actual customer to exchange feedback or offer some guidance and assistance. Typical customer support in the offline mode is the best example of this type of buzzing.
2. Online Promotion
It is the closest that buzz marketing comes to traditional advertising techniques. An advert is stream-posted on numerous social networks to draw maximum attention and stir discussions.
3. Promotional Buzzing
This type of buzzing involves arranging a grand or exciting social event specifically to promote a product or a service. Herbalife and Amway used to do that a lot about 25 - 30 years ago, and they were, probably, the pioneers of buzz marketing.
4. Celebrity Buzzing
The purpose of this buzzing marketing strategy is to involve some famous bloggers or very sociable users on a social network to help you promote your product or service among their followers. Celebrity buzzing is an ideal tool for reaching out to the largest groups of people with minimum investments.
5. Deceptive Buzzing
One more type of buzzing marketing tool to mention here is to buzz when there should be no buzzing at all. Deceptive buzzing refers to attempts to create artificial demand by advertising, for instance, a limited edition of some commodity or VIP admission to an event. Famous music bands announcing their final tours belong to this category too.
Buzz marketing has proven to be an enormously powerful strategy of letting people know and talk about your brand. If you would like to implement it for your business purposes, here are some tips on how you could buzz more effectively.
Remember that you count on word-of-mouth. You want people to go and talk to their friends about you. Therefore, your first buzz marketing step is to decide who your target audience will be.
When you have identified your buzz marketing subjects, you can learn more about them to decide how to attract their attention. You should understand what they like and what turns them on so that your buzzing would catch their attention.
Your audience should feel that something great is going to happen when they get your product. Ideally, people should start feeling that way before they even know what that product is.
Simulate high demand and limited availability to create the fear of missing out on the invaluable opportunity you provide. The most effective buzzing marketing technique is to make people worry that they might miss their chance.
To make it easier for people to remember and discuss your product, you can think of a word, a phrase, or a picture that will become a symbol of their eager anticipation. Ideally, that symbol would either be something exotic and intriguing or, on the contrary, something perfectly neutral and unclassifiable. One way or another, it must be something that is not easy to classify.
Your buzz marketing will not go far if you continue to do it all by yourself. You ought to find somebody to buzz with you. The best strategy is to make some celebrities or famous bloggers feel excited about your product so that they would do buzz marketing for you.
If you have done well so far, you are ready for the final and most productive step in developing your buzz marketing strategy, namely large-scale buzz marketing in the media. Social networks provide the quickest and most profitable opportunities for global buzz marketing that require minimal investments.
A buzz marketing champion of all times, Apple relies almost exclusively on word-of-mouth in its self-promotion campaign, buzz marketing nearly two billion products worldwide.
The world's largest restaurant chain, McDonald's, began to advertise itself in the media at the end of the 90s only. It had already become a global symbol of unconditional success by then, serving nearly 100 million customers every day. About three-quarters of its 40,000 restaurants are its franchisees paying for the privilege of buzz marketing its name.
Whichever types of buzz marketing strategies you choose to adopt, the two keys to their success remain the same:
Draw people's attention to yourself
Make them talk about you