There was a time when products and services were discussed from neighbor to neighbor over backyard fences or at the local market. People still call it word-of-mouth advertising. Modern marketers call it buzz marketing. With the effectiveness of older marketing strategies waning, buzz marketing is begining to flourish again through the form of personal recommendation. Marketers, particularly of small companies, may not be aware of the far-reaching nature of buzz marketing.
Essentially buzz marketing and word-of-mouth advertising are the same concept. The whole concept is based on a marketer providing a few handpicked people with free information about their product or service and getting them to share their product experiences with other people. It really is that simple.
The group of people is made up of individual “buzz agents” whose job is to get other people talking or “buzzing” about a product. Buzz agents are required to always give their honest views about a product. The best reviews include both benefits and drawbacks to a product. In addition, buzz agents have to tell their friends and family that they have been recruited to tell people about the product. This way, everything is above board.
The information that buzz marketers collect is very important and is recorded by the marketer. This information provides valuable demographic information that can help any marketer effectively create an advertising campaign and judge its results.
Buzz marketing boils down to the most basic human instinct which is natural curiosity. People want to know what is going on at all times about anything that interests them. Regardless of the topic, nobody likes to feel left out of the informational loop. People are in love with gossip whether it is celebrity gossip or local gossip. People also enjoy knowing all they can about significant events. The aim of buzz marketing is simply to send their product spiraling into the public via these gossip channels.
People also like to hear tales about other average people who overcome obstacles to succeed. A marketer worth his weight will be able to take such a story and relate it to the product at hand, making the product memorable as part of a memorable story. The marketer makes the story interesting and attaches the product to that story. The gossip train takes it from there. Eventually, the story is all over the web. Wherever the story goes, the product or company name goes, too.
Like any kind of marketing, buzz marketing must be done with the small features about a product that set it apart from everything else. Whether the story, the process or the company provide the interest, people should be drawn into the story and filled with anticipation.
This unique twist gives the product potential in the world of buzz. Savvy marketers further the buzz through social media outlets. Social media outlets, namely Twitter and Facebook, are ideal for this word-of-mouth advertising. The product – the subject of the buzz marketing – must hold up to its reputation in order for the practice to be effective.
When people hear the buzz, they develop opinions and expectations about the product. If the good, service or company are not living up to the buzz, the enthusiasm will fizzle and the negativity will emerge quickly.
While buzz marketing is relatively new as an intentional marketing tactic, word-of-mouth is here to stay. Buzz cannot carry a company on its own. The company needs a strong product, a great production and distribution plan, and an overall marketing strategy. By taking the proper steps to generate the right kind of buzz, few other marketing tools can be quite as powerful.