Word of mouth. Viral activity. Earned media. Consumer activation. Buzz. Whatever you call it - it is the key to mobilizing your campaigns and making your budgets work harder. Every marketer wants it, but few find it in any scale. I asked our agency teams across disciplines to think about some tips to effectively create consumer buzz and incite sharing. Not surprisingly, I got back a list with a lot of overlap. It turns out, again - not surprisingly - that the answer is simple but incredibly difficult to execute.
That deceptive simplicity is what goads unwary marketers to make word of mouth (WOM) a goal and to pin their campaign performance on something that is at least 90 percent out of their control. There are limits to how many viral hits can grab the public conscious at any given time and news events, competitor activity, non-competitor activity, and sheer random luck all play a large part in your success.
So what can you do to increase your chances of consumer uptake and sharing of your marketing message?
The bar is constantly being raised. With everyone intent on creating new and surprising content, the general populace is getting harder to surprise. How many items will the average consumer (or even active promoters) share in a given day, week, or month before their friends, family, and colleagues implore them to stop? Be on the lookout for emotional, relevant, and surprising content that you can create or leverage appropriately to tap into our human desire to share, but don't count on it to meet your marketing goals.
What tactics have resulted in WOM for you?
Speech Bubbles image on home page via Shutterstock.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Robin is the CEO and cofounder of NetPlus Marketing Inc., a top 50 interactive agency established in 1996 to focus exclusively on online marketing and advertising best practices. Robin brings innovative strategy and a depth and breadth of marketing experience to the agency's practice and management. As one of the industry's pioneers, she is a driving force behind NetPlus Marketing's ongoing success with a diverse and discerning client base that considers online results critical to their business success.
Robin is a frequent speaker at national industry events, including ClickZ, internet.com, OMMA, Ad:Tech, SES, Online Marketing Summit, and Thunder Lizard conferences and is a sought-after resource for industry and business publications for her insight and advice on such topics as digital strategy, social media marketing, and behavioral targeting.
March 19, 2014