The rise of social media platforms and influencers helped breathe new life into buzz marketing. Brands use this technique to boost virality and generate interest for their buzz-worthy products and services. From cell phones to tv interviews, buzz marketing can be used to promote the launch of almost anything, if it’s worth the hype.
In this article we will define buzz marketing. We will also discuss why buzz marketing is effective, pre-launch buzz campaign examples, and successful buzz marketing activities.
Buzz marketing is a strategy that creates word-of-mouth marketing with viral content, influencers, and interactive events to create buzz around the launch of an upcoming product or service. Buzz marketing campaigns have a viral element to them.
They aim to have consumers circulating the content for them, whether through word-of-mouth with family and friends, or on their social media. The idea of scarcity also drives successful buzz marketing campaigns.
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When working to create anticipation for an upcoming product launch, you would send free product to key influencers and thought leaders in your category. They will then post about your product on their various social media platforms to create excitement among their followers. This helps create conversation with a wider audience about your product.
Buzz marketing thrives on the idea of scarcity. These types of marketing campaigns capitalize on the desire to fit in by having a popular item and the fear of missing out on the next best thing.
By using thought leaders in various categories, the marketing message feels more personal to consumers. When it’s coming from a person they closely follow, the message carries more weight and trust than a billboard, radio ad, or tv commercial.
Working with influencers to create buzz is effective because a lot of followers subconsciously have the desire to be more like the influencers they follow. Using influencers to show how great a product is also implies that having this product makes you one degree closer to being like them.
It’s important to point out that buzz marketing is only effective when the product or service you’re promoting actually lives up to the hype after its launch. If your product or service falls short of your customers’ expectations, they'll begin to lose trust in your brand and they won’t be excited for your next launch.
One of the most famous buzz marketing campaigns was for the failed music festival called Fyre Festival. The promoters used celebrities and famous models to build excitement around the event and to promote the festival’s beautiful location. They also promoted the luxury villas, gourmet food, and amazing musical acts they were offering.
However, once the overly excited guests arrived in the Bahamas, they were greeted with tents, slices of bread and cheese, and no cell service, running water, or portable toilets.
The buzz marketing campaign was very successful in creating excitement and interest in their event, but the actual event was a major letdown. The organizers clearly didn’t meet the expectations they set forth.
Live-stream videos are a successful buzz marketing activity because they provide an interactive element for consumers. When people feel like they’re part of the conversation, they feel more invested and connected to your brand and what is being offered.
Hosting an engaging live-stream gives people something more to talk about beyond just a product. It’s an exciting event to relay to their friends and family, further capitalizing on word-of-mouth marketing.
Another common way to promote the launch of your product or service is to hire vloggers to create YouTube videos reviewing your offering. With the rise in popularity of YouTube and vloggers, there’s a large pool of talented content creators to choose from.
Highly skilled content creators will be able to talk about your product or service in a conversational way with their audience that doesn’t sound like a paid advertisement. Longform videos allow people to thoroughly review your product or service and help create sufficient buzz around its launch.
As podcasts increase in quantity and popularity, they provide a great opportunity to meet consumers at their particular areas of interest. Choosing to advertise on podcasts in niches related to your brand can help you create buzz within a specific community about your upcoming launch.
Apple is a company that uses buzz marketing campaigns repeatedly to promote the launch of each new iPhone, iPad, iPod, and AirPods over the years. With articles, commercials, and other advertisements detailing the features of each new product, word-of-mouth marketing amongst excited consumers takes over. The line you see of people waiting overnight and sleeping in tents just to be one of the first to receive the new iPhone is a testament to the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Our second example involves the promotion of a television special. With television and long form interviews becoming a thing of the past, the 2021
Oprah interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry needed sufficient buzz created around it. This monumental interview needed to draw a large audience. Using the buzz marketing technique to promote this interview was widely successful because the interview more than lived up to the hype of the previews.
The few teaser clips released of jaw-dropping revelations by Meghan were just the tip of the iceberg. They had a shock factor to them that caused news outlets to discuss them on-air, influencers to discuss them on social media, and viewers to discuss them with friends and family.
If anything, the preview clips undersold the interview. The subsequent bombshells revealed in the interview far exceeded what was teased in the previews. The full interview more than lived up to the anticipation created around it.
Buzz marketing is a technique for creating word-of-mouth marketing with viral content, influencers, and interactive events to create excitement, anticipation, and interest around the launch of a product or service. There is typically a viral element to buzz marketing campaigns.
When executed properly, consumers end up circulating the information for them on their social media accounts and in-person with friends and family. Scarcity, the fear of missing out, and the desire to fit in all drive effective campaigns.
Buzz marketing is successful because it uses trusted voices in various communities to push a brand’s messaging. When the message comes from someone you like and trust, it feels more personal and carries more weight. Live-stream videos, partnering with vloggers, and advertising on niche podcasts are examples of successful buzz marketing activities.
Time and time again, Apple uses buzz marketing techniques to create anticipation around each product launch. The recent television interview Oprah conducted with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was highly anticipated thanks to the buzz marketing campaign beforehand. An example of an event that didn’t live up to the excitement generated from its buzz marketing campaign is the failed Fyre Festival.
After defining buzz marketing and discussing various techniques for execution, how will you create buzz around your next launch?