There is quite a bit of buzz in the air about an old fashioned marketing technique. The approach to getting the word out is historically proven, but is now being taken to the next level. Buzz marketing is the name. New mass marketing techniques may get more hype but they have not been proven to yield more effective results than buzz marketing. That’s because personal recommendations and testimonials are still the best form of advertising. How can marketers harness the power of buzz marketing and reap the rewards for their own companies?
Buzz marketing can only work if people talk about the product. To get the chatter, or buzz, going, a marketer needs the assistance of buzz agents. Each agent is supplied with a free product or service. The agents then share their unique experiences with others. This discussion turns into buzz over the product or service. The agents track certain data which the company then uses to analyze the campaign and audience. This helps the marketer to know exactly who their target market should be based on the demographics.
Buzz agents usually have to abide by specific regulations. They have to provide all the details of their experience, even if it wasn’t all good. They must also reveal the fact that they are working for the company that makes or distributes the product. This way, nobody will feel duped if they later learn that the person who convinced them to buy a product was indirectly working for the company.
Buzz marketing, at its most basic, utilizes the curiosities inherent in every person. People want to talk. They like to gossip. Buzz marketing is an extension of this natural tendency. Just as a newspaper, magazine or broadcast will take advantage of intriguing headlines to draw in viewers, so too will a buzz marketer with their product.
They can take an aspect of the product, for example, the rags to riches story of the product’s inventor, and emphasize that story rather than directly promoting the product. They will give the public something to talk about, and the buzz will circulate on its own.
A buzz marketing campaign should have a hook to it that causes the general public to take notice. The aspect needs to be desirable and unique so the company’s product or service stands out among all other similar products or services. Marketers can differentiate themselves with a personal life story, company history, product, or a great sales promotion.
After the hook is in place and the story formulated, the marketing crew can set the buzz agents loose, both online and in the real world. Giveaways, raffles, and similar promotions will rev up the buzz. Social media presence, blog giveaways, and sponsorships are all ways marketers use to connect to people and move the buzz along.
Advertisers have to keep in mind that as good as positive buzz is for a great product, it can be just as bad if the buzz is negative. Positive buzz will only be generated by a quality product. Marketers need to be sure that the product lives up to all of the claims that have been made about it. If it does not, the buzz marketing campaign will be a flop.
Marketers are finally tapping in to the benefits of word of mouth advertising. This new, purposefully driven form of interpersonal advertising is a powerful new cousin to the old chatter over the back yard fence. The value of buzz marketing is now being recognized and it is being used as an intentional part of a solid marketing and business plan. This affordable, almost gentle approach to marketing is an exciting new approach for marketers everywhere to directly reach out to their target audiences.