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Is Your Marketing “Buzzing?”

Looking for a new way to add liveliness to your marketing strategy? Buzz marketing may be the answer. In a nutshell, buzz marketing is the practice of getting people to talk about your products or services. It’s word of mouth marketing, only better.

What is buzz marketing and why is it better than standard word of mouth marketing?

The majority of word of mouth marketing happens by accident. You offer spectacular products or services and people talk about it, refer or recommend you and your business grows.

Buzz marketing is more deliberate. With buzz marketing, while there are various forms of it which we’ll discuss in just a bit, the idea is to choose people to give your product or service to with the intention that they will go out and talk about it, blog about it, and chat about it on social networking sites. The goal is to choose movers and shakers in your target audience – people who have a huge following on social networking sites, who blog and are active in the blogging community and who also fit your target audience.

Type of buzz marketing

There are essentially two types of buzz marketing strategies. The first is to find what’s called a connector. This would be an icon in your industry. For example, if you’re in the real estate industry and could have Donald Trump talk about using your products or services, the buzz would begin right there and spread rapidly. If you’re in the crafting industry then perhaps Martha Stewart would be a connector. She’s active online and certainly an icon in the industry.

The other type of buzz marketing would be to find influencers. For example, if you are in the crafting industry and you want to promote your scrapbooking products, perhaps you’d find the biggest and most active crafting forum and give away 20, 30, 100 crafting kits. You could do this at several of the major crafting forums. Now your product is in the hands of crafters who are active online. This means that you can connect with them before, during and after they use your product to ask for feedback, reviews, and to promote online conversation.

The controversy about buzz marketing

There are two essential debates about buzz marketing. The first is an ethical debate. Are marketers who utilize buzz marketing taking advantage of the public by intentionally manipulating public opinion about their products or services? This is particularly the case when using a connector who may not really utilize the product or service. Additionally, are marketers using people to market their product, without compensating them?

The other controversy is whether or not buzz marketing really works. It’s difficult to test and track word of mouth marketing. The question you have to make as a marketer is whether your products and services are interesting enough for people to talk about. If so, then buzz marketing may be exactly what you need to take your business to the next level.