What Is Buzz Marketing? (With Benefits, Tips and Jobs)

Dylan Buckley

Updated October 5, 2021

Published February 4, 2020

Dylan Buckley is a freelance writer based in California and the chief content/marketing officer of Furzly, a pet company he co-founded. He specializes in developing content for the cryptocurrency, mental health and business industries.

The introduction of the internet effectively changed the face of marketing. Brands are now looking to 'go viral' by generating excitement online and boosting engagement via social media platforms. This is called buzz marketing, and its purpose is to leverage social audiences to generate a lot of conversation around the newest product or service. In this article, we define buzz marketing, outline how to create a successful buzz marketing campaign and provide some helpful tips to enhance your marketing efforts.

What is buzz marketing?

Buzz marketing is the practice of leveraging word-of-mouth advertising and digital advertising strategies to create anticipation among consumers about a new product, service or business. Buzz marketing generates viral excitement by cleverly getting consumers to promote a product or service through conversations with family, friends or social media networks, with the former and the latter often being connected. This helps companies develop awareness around their business and create a 'buzz' or excitement.

Unlike other marketing tactics, this marketing strategy is driven primarily by influencers who receive the product to try for themselves before the general public has access to them. These individuals then share their experiences to garner interest and get their followers excited. Influencers' opinions tend to have a wide reach, which can have a huge impact on sales as news of new products travels among their follower base more rapidly. For these reasons, marketers are eager to partner with these influencers to build anticipation.

Buzz marketing vs. conventional marketing

The major difference between buzz marketing and conventional marketing is that buzz marketing is rooted entirely in the use of the modern social media consumer to create excitement around and awareness of an anticipated product. Meanwhile, conventional marketing strategies focus solely on using available marketing channels to gradually attract the attention of new customers to make them aware of a product, service or business they've yet to hear about.

To summarize, buzz marketing differentiates itself from conventional marketing by:

  • Focusing on marketing products and services through social media consumers rather than through a comprehensive marketing strategy

  • Cultivating trust by leveraging a consumer's audience and reputation, whereas a conventional marketing strategy relies on public perception and existing reviews

  • Allowing the consumers to control the narrative so as to benefit from their influence and reach rather than creating viral marketing campaigns meant to be distributed through multiple channels

With that being said, consumers have grown accustomed to buzz marketing, making it easy for them to spot a campaign that sounds inauthentic or too much like a sales pitch. Therefore, it's important to control the narrative and leverage influencers who truly believe in the product or service when using a buzz marketing strategy.

Related: How To Market a Small Business: A Complete Guide

Benefits of buzz marketing

Buzz marketing has become a popular marketing strategy in today's world due to its speed and efficacy. Some of the key benefits of launching a buzz marketing campaign include:

  • Speed: Word of mouth travels fast, making it easier for businesses to get word of a new product or service out into the world with little effort. This can help businesses get to their launch sooner once their consumers help them reach their desired level of interest.

  • Ambassadorship: When implemented properly, the consumers advertising a product or service do the bulk of the marketing work. By sharing posts, telling their friends and actively using their products in their own life, they essentially become a walking advertisement.

  • Cost: Buzz marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing methods when compared to conventional types of marketing. The already-low cost is offset by its ability to generate income, increasing the brand's ROI fairly easily.

  • Uniqueness: Buzz marketing is a distinct strategy when compared to traditional marketing tactics. For brands looking to stand out and define themselves, this can be an essential quality to have in their marketing strategy.

  • Brand recognition: With buzz comes awareness, and with awareness comes engagement, leads and conversions. Once a customer makes that first purchase, they move into the retention category, and they also have the potential to become ambassadors for the brand, or at least for a specific product, by sharing their thoughts on their recent purchase with family, friends and the internet.

  • Popularity: The modern world relies on the internet for most activities, making social media the go-to marketing channel for all businesses. The popularity of the internet and the popularity of social media platforms consumers are using makes it extremely easy to generate awareness and buzz around a new product or service.

  • Accessibility: Some marketing strategies are challenging for smaller businesses to execute due to high costs or difficulty creating the necessary promotional materials. Buzz marketing, in comparison, is accessible to small businesses and larger enterprises alike, making it the perfect marketing tactic for any product or service from any organization.

How to create a successful buzz marketing campaign

As with any marketing technique, this strategy works best when applying best practices commonly associated with the tactic. Follow these crucial steps to successfully use buzz marketing for short-term and long-term success:

1. Time your marketing campaign right

The timing of social media buzz plays a crucial role in its efficacy. If you employ a buzz marketing strategy before your company has conceptualized the product, users may lose interest waiting for the product's release. Make sure to conduct buzz marketing once your company has a strong brand and a product that's almost ready to distribute.

2. Create an interesting and immersive story

Buzz marketing relies on a narrative that resonates with today's audiences in a specific industry. Consider both your company's voice and the voice of the consumers who intend on sharing the message to create an interesting and immersive story. This way, you can excite prospective customers and prepare them to buy your product.

3. Put out a teaser

Teasing new products can help build anticipation and make launches more effective. Putting hints about your product online can keep audiences excited about new developments and ready to buy as the release date nears. Once the 'buzz' takes hold, however, engagement is of the utmost importance. Two-way communication builds trust with users, creating the feeling in the consumer of being actively invested in the brand's success and involved in the release of the final product.

4. Use all the tools available to you

Buzz marketing shouldn't be confined to just one social media platform. Rather, diversify platforms to keep users engaged and boost reach. Then, analyze that data to determine which tactics seem to be most effective to improve engagement and further your buzz marketing campaign.

5. Enlist the help of influencers

Reach out to social media users who are well known and respected to build a mutually beneficial relationship with them. Their existing popularity helps ensure that the content they post has a wide, relevant reach. Their opinions about a new product can improve your company's reputation and visibility.

6. Track and measure your success

Before a campaign begins, put tools in place to track the success of each channel you plan to use. For example, you may use hashtags, an affiliate code, special links or SEO. No matter what you choose, learning what works and what doesn't helps ensure that your a company is allocating its resources appropriately.

Related: Marketing's Promotional Mix: Definition and How To Use It

Tips for a successful buzz marketing campaign

A successful buzz marketing campaign relies on specific strategies the company employs. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your buzz marketing goals:

Control the reach of your message and adjust your inventory as needed

Reach can be a tricky thing to control. Once a message is out there, the spread or perception of it is out of your company's control, which can directly impact your bottom line. Making sure to direct the narrative (when possible) and adjusting production to meet the growing demand helps ensure your company is ready to benefit from the success of its buzz marketing campaign.

Manage expectations and create a product worth the buzz

A great buzz marketing campaign boosts visibility, but it also has the potential to create unrealistically elevated expectations among consumers. This has the potential to negatively affect your brand if the product doesn't fulfill the expectations set forth by the campaign's messaging. Buzz marketing should effectively communicate the benefits and highlights of the product without exaggerating characteristics of a product that don't exist.

Accept that you have limited control over certain factors

Consumers are ultimately in control of a buzz marketing campaign's fate once you've released it. How many times they choose to share it, how they interpret the message and where it goes from there is up to the consumer. If a buzz marketing campaign doesn't seem to be moving in the right direction, start from the beginning and work on addressing these issues that impacted the current campaign.

See what the competition is doing

Buzz marketing is not a new concept. Taking the time to conduct competitor research can help companies understand what has made buzz marketing campaigns effective in the past and how they can incorporate those elements into their own campaigns. Whether it's diversifying channels, using unique marketing tactics or incorporating a new tone or style into the promotional materials, there's always something to learn from the competition to help a product stand out more effectively.

Related: Creating a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

Jobs that use buzz marketing

Those interested in buzz marketing can find numerous roles that may appeal to them in today's professional environment. Some popular jobs that leverage buzz marketing techniques include:

1. Social media manager

National average salary: $46,940 per year

Primary duties: A social media manager oversees a company's social media accounts. They use a combination of learned skills such as marketing, social networking, SEO and brand marketing to create brand promotions that successfully engage customers, navigating them through the sales funnel toward the conversion. They're also responsible for identifying target markets, creating engaging social media content, engaging on social media platforms with current and potential consumers and monitoring social account statistics, such as engagements, follows and conversions. These professionals work with content writers and SEO experts to produce the most effective messaging.

Read more: Learn About Being a Social Media Manager

2. Digital marketing manager

National average salary: $63,317 per year

Primary duties: A digital marketing manager oversees the marketing team, and their main responsibilities focus on developing, executing and overseeing short- and long-term digital marketing campaigns. These professionals also increase brand awareness, drive website traffic and identify sales leads. In addition, they provide support for researching and tracking consumer behavior, finding and using new platforms and tools, monitoring and analyzing website traffic and creating and implementing effective digital marketing campaigns.

Read more: Learn About Being a Digital Marketing Manager

3. Product marketing manager

National average salary: $93,534 per year

Primary duties: Product marketing managers expertly promote their company's products, driving sales and generating leads from their existing customer base and the general public. This role's responsibilities include creating customer-facing messaging that communicates valuable features and benefits of their products and tracking and monitoring product sales. They work interdepartmentally with marketers, social media managers and the advertising team to come up with creative marketing approaches, and they work with the sales department to ensure each salesperson is familiar with the company's products.

Read more: Learn About Being a Product Marketing Manager

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