Everyone markets themselves in some way every day. Parents market themselves by posting pictures of happy children on Facebook. Gamers market themselves by posting videos of their latest outstanding adventures. Even the recommendation of a restaurant to a friend is marketing. These examples are all designed to do one thing: create a buzz.
There are a number of ways that marketing professionals can create a buzz around a specific product or service. Here are just a few example of how businesses get people talking so that they’ll want to try something out first-hand.
1. The Super Bowl
Tens of millions of people watch the Super Bowl every year. There are certainly some fans who are invested in the game, but many of those who watch the game are waiting around to see the commercials. Many businesses have come together to create what might be the best buzz marketing example ever created. By releasing videos of commercials online before the game, discussing the amount of money paid for a 30 second spot, and creating one-of-a-kind ads that may only air during the game, people get excited to watch that content.
When people get excited about content, then they remember more of it. Each company benefits because they’re reaching out to a mass customer segment in a unique way. The value multiplies with every commercial and the buzz becomes intense.
2. Customer Forums
Buzz marketing is more than just some positive word-of-mouth conversations that promote the value of a brand. Sometimes it means understanding what the needs of a customer segment happen to be. Clorox has done that successfully with their creation of the Clorox Lounge. It’s an interactive website that has customer forums, contests, and surveys. The goal is to help the brand stay connected while providing consumers a chance to come together, share advice, and even discuss the pros and cons of Clorox products.
3. Outside Blogging
There are numerous bloggers that are popular within their niche demographic. These outside blogs provide the perfect forum for an advanced review of a product. Companies send samples to these bloggers so that they can be tried and used in an authentic way. In exchange for a free product before it is released to the general market, a review of the product and how it performs is generally expected. The buzz that these reviews creates does more than generate excitement. It allows a brand to piggy-back off of the relationships people feel like they have with each blogger to generate higher levels of brand loyalty.
4. Front and Center
The goal of a buzz marketing campaign is to generate a sale, but not through a hard sell. The goal is to keep a brand in the front and center of a prospect’s mind. Dell accomplished this through a recent college campus campaign to increase sales of their laptops. Not only did they bring in brand ambassadors, but they also encouraged those ambassadors to discuss more than just the benefits of owning a Dell computer. They talked about real life with each prospect, sometimes letting a discussion about Dell become secondary to a meaningful conversation with someone. Contests on social media were run and students were encouraged to interact with the contest media.
The end result created three specific outcomes.
1. College students felt more connected to the Dell brand because their ambassadors were establishing true friendships with people.
2.The amount of followers for Dell increased across their online platforms.
3. People got to see the first-hand value that a Dell laptop could provide.
There are other ways to do this as well on a smaller scale. A follow along PPC campaign, for example, can provide further branding to someone who clicks on an ad, but doesn’t become a paying customer.
5. Create Ongoing Demand
When the first Paranormal Activity movie was released, no one believed that it was going to go anywhere. It was a small, independent movie that had a $15,000 production budget. The fact that it even got a limited release in theaters was considered successful. When people saw the trailer for the movie, however, a buzz was generated. It was interesting and different, which made people curious.
Because of the limited release by Paramount, at the end of the trailer, viewers were encouraged to demand the movie in their area. A system was created where if enough petitions were generated, Paramount would release the movie to that city. The lesson learned here is this: the best buzz marketing campaigns sometimes show that when people can’t have something that they want, then a powerful force is unleashed that transitions that want into an actual need.
6. Market Your Marketing
One of the best examples of buzz marketing happened when KLM decided to you public information on social media to identify where their customers were in real-time. Then they would look at the social media profiles of that customer to get to know them better and then they would present that person with an individualized gift.
Forget for a moment the fact that there is so much information out there on the internet today that allows a company to do this. Many businesses have used this surprise concept before, but relied on word-of-mouth marketing from those that received gifts to increase business. KLM instead took cameras along with them for the surprises and put every interaction on tape. Good marketing always works, but to get a lot of buzz, sometimes you also need to market your own marketing.
7. Horror Sells Too
Many buzz marketing campaigns are based on happy feelings. After all, when people are happy, they’re more willing to purchase something, right? The Take This Lollipop campaign shows the effectiveness of an app that can use public information from a Facebook profile and then create a video in a dark basement hallway that is watching a video of you. The implication is clear: you’re being stalked.
Fear is a very strong motivator. Religions have known this for centuries, but the business world is starting to catch up. When people are scared, they will purchase something to eliminate that fear – or to have a good laugh. That’s why huge stocks of emergency food supplies fly off of store shelves. The original soundtrack adds to the creepy level, as does the thought of the dirty guy in an A-frame t-shirt coming to visit you. Telling you who’s next? Icing on the cake… or lollipop. 15 million people and counting have like this buzz marketing effort.
Buzz marketing examples have a full range of emotions that will generate a response. Go beyond basic recommendations and build a foundation where people feel a need to experience your product. When that happens, whether the buzz is big or small, your goals will have been accomplished.