Buzz marketing, also known as viral marketing or work-of-mouth marketing has been the buzzword talked about in marketing circles for the last decade. Simply put, buzz marketing is about getting people to talk about your business by using unconventional marketing tactics. These days consumers’ ears and eyes are so inundated with marketing messages that it is difficult for small businesses to stand out and get noticed unless they do “something different.” This is where buzz marketing helps.
Buzz marketing not only helps businesses stand out from the crowd; but it does so by businesses having to spend less money than traditional marketing techniques such as newspaper ads or television and radio commercials.
Those who are regular readers of this blog know that we are big proponent of non-traditional marketing techniques that provide the better return for your money. We discussed 5 fundamental rules of marketing in an earlier email. We also showed how you can ask your customers and employees to help with marketing.
So how can you create buzz for your products and business? Based on our own experience and of others we have come up with building blocks to create a buzz. These are the pre-requisites for a company that intends to use customers to promote their products.
- Build buzz-worthy products
This is a must-have for a business that wants to create a buzz. Nobody wants to talk about the ho-hum products to their friends. Here is a simple test to find out if the product is buzz-worthy – if you are carrying the product to a party how many people notice it and ask about it? How many people gather around you or your product? Look at the products introduced by Apple and compare them to the ones from their competitors and you get the idea.
- Generate conversation
Once you have built the buzz-worth products you need to help people start conversation about it. All you have to do is seed the conversation with influential customers and let them carry it forward. The influential customers are those who are at the center of large network. You need to ensure that the product gets in their hands before it is introduced to the masses.
- Create suspense
People like to go to suspense movies because it gives them excitement from anticipation of what will happen next. People don’t like talk about something that everyone knows about. They will talk about, however, something of which only few details are available. Before introducing new products you should “leak” few details about it in the press or community and let people “spread the rumor”.
- Develop Scarcity
Remember beanie baby craze!! Customers getting into fights with other customers to get their hands on the limited edition Beanie Babies!! This is marketing with scarcity at its best. It’s a human nature to want something that is in short supply. The kids are always fighting for that one toy even when there are 10 others lying around. If you want to create buzz for your products make them in limited quantity. Let people clamor and fight for it. The buzz will follow.
This is what we call the anatomy of buzz. In the next posts we will show you practical tips for creating the buzz and examples of some of the great buzz marketing campaigns from the past. Till then let us know if you have successful buzz marketing stories to share with other readers.