Traditional advertisements and marketing campaigns can only take your business so far. If you want to truly spread the message, you need to create a buzz about your business. After all, what better way to get your name out there than to let your audience do it for you?
Below, you’ll find some tips for getting your audience buzzing about your company.
Hold a contest – Contests can be powerful tools for generating a buzz about your business. Just make sure the prize is something people care about enough to get them talking and spreading the word about your contest and your business. I once saw a top web hosting company hold a contest where they gave away an iPhone every day for an entire month. To enter the contest, you had to reTweet the details of the contest. This led to thousands of people each day mentioning the contest and the web hosting company.
Publish an explosive report – When you have interesting, explosive news, there’s a huge opportunity for making it go viral. You see this happen a lot of times with special studies and reports issued by companies (e.g. Butter company releases report that margarine causes cancer; Internet marketing company releases report that web marketing has 10 times the ROI of offline marketing). Make sure the news is something that instantly grabs the attention of editors, journalists, and your business’ target audience, and present it in an explosive way.
Give out something for free – People love getting something for nothing. Your giveaways could range from a free eBook in exchange for an email address to something unique like tree saplings (Green Mountain Energy gave these away to capture the attention of eco-conscious customers).
Get social online – Social media is a powerful medium for creating a buzz about your business. Blogs, forums, social voting websites, YouTube and social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) can all be used to quickly spread your message to thousands and thousands of people throughout the world. A word of advice: Before you try to leverage any of these tools, always make sure you spend time understanding the intricacies of the community so that you don’t violate their established etiquette.
Create a referral program – Creating a program that rewards customers for referring new business to you is a good way to stimulate word-of-mouth marketing on your behalf. The reward could be anything from cash (this is probably most appealing) to significant discounts on your products or services.
Leverage the power of charity – Do you have a cause you believe in? Why not find a way to support this cause and to help your business at the same time? Many companies have leveraged the power of charity to create a buzz about their business. Consider the example of Tom’s Shoes, an American footwear company. They give away one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes that is purchased. The campaign has received mainstream media attention, which helped to support the cause and to increase business for Tom’s Shoes, a win-win.
Be unique – Above all else, creating a buzz requires that you be unique. You need to stand out from the crowd so that people will take notice and talk about you. Here’s an example: When Einstein Bros. Bagels opened a new store, they used a “bagel band” – a tube band with huge pictures of bagels on their horns – to attract attention. While the band played during rush hour, employees handed out samples to all who walked by.
What have you done to create a buzz for your business? Share your best tips in the replies.