Buzz marketing: What it is and how to do it

30 Jul 2019

Content marketing

Megan Boyle

Megan Boyle

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How many times in your life have you talked something up to your friends or family? Maybe it was a new film you watched recently, a restaurant you tried for the first time or a cosmetic company you spotted on Instagram, it doesn’t matter because we’ve all done it. And in that moment, you become a marketer.


What is buzz marketing?

Buzz marketing is a form of viral marketing – as in “going viral” – that works by creating hype or excitement (or a buzz) around a particular brand, company, product or service. This could take the form of an energy or emotion can be built up in person, or on social media, and is all about focusing the spotlight and attention on the subject as much as possible.

People who work in buzz marketing, well, it’s their job to stoke the fire as much as possible. 

How does buzz marketing work?

For buzz marketing to actually work and be effective, you have to get people talking about something. You don’t want people to read your blog post, you want someone to say to their friend, “hey, have you read this blog post?” and for them to read it and pass it on, and so on. 

But before that can happen, there needs to be a trigger; something that kicks off the word-of-mouth marketing that buzz marketing thrives on. This trigger could be a single idea, a repeated phrase, a logo, a tagline, an advert or even a mascot. Whatever it is, it needs to get people talking.

Five types of buzz marketing

Ready to get started with buzz marketing? You’re going to need one of five key ingredients…

1. Something controversial

This is the one that’s most likely to get you talking, but it requires a little more prep. The juicier and more taboo, the better, but it’s guaranteed to get some people riled up. Make sure you’ve done your research and are prepared for anything that may come your way, because people will come your way. With little internet pitchforks and everything.

2. Something weird

The weird and wonderful is always guaranteed to get people talking. The more outlandish the better. Something that makes you do a double take or snap a picture in the streets and send it to your mates is bound to do the trick.

3. Something secret

Nobody likes to miss out, and no matter how much we protest we all support from FOMO (fear of missing out). But a secret doesn’t have to mean that you leak – or pretend to leak – footage of what it’s like inside Area 51. Secrets can mean sneak peeks at upcoming collections or products, behind-the-scenes shots or even industry secrets. 

4. Something inspiring

We all love a heartfelt and uplifting story, don’t we? Something that makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, or something that sparks a fire in our bellies and makes us think “Whoa, I need to do something with my life.” But forget overdone clichés and quotes, instead tell us a real story that is going to fill us with hope.

5. Something funny

Last but not least is something that is guaranteed to get people talking. Humour. But make sure it’s actually something funny, not just something you think is funny. A perfect example is Innocent’s social media page – they are hilarious and natural and it works for them. We can’t count the number of times Innocent have cropped up in office conversation with something that’s made us chuckle. Humour makes your brand relatable and like one of the real guys. 

Is buzz marketing right for me?

When it’s done right, buzz marketing is a fantastic way for your campaigns to take off and soar while you bask and reap all of the benefits it sends your way. It gets people talking about it, your brand awareness soars, your credibility skyrockets and sales hit record highs. 

But, heed our advice. All marketing involves some level of risk, but as with all of your marketing decisions, it should be a calculated and well-thought out risk. 

Doing something extreme runs the risk of turning people away from your brand, and that’s something you absolutely don’t want to be doing. You want to get lots of attention, but you should also want it to be the right kind of attention. 

For buzz marketing to work, you need to have a thorough understanding of your industry, your products and your audience. What is going to make these people happy? And how can you make it happen? 

Need a little helping hand? Our Digital PR team is here to give you and your business a boost.

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