When we are talking about Word-of-mouth marketing, a lot of people think that it is old fashioned. Is it though?
With the explosion of digital media, branding and online marketing, Buzz marketing is what we refer to as a good kind of marketing. The most modern way that we can use in order to get some feedback from an online community.
Origins of word to mouth marketing
People have starter domesticating wild animals and plants in order to feed themselves. It happened a long time ago, even before Christ. Then, they have realized that they have a certain power in their hands. The power to create more products for the people that don’t have what they have, and to sell it to them. Well, not actually sell. At first, people traded things. For example, some property had pigs and another property had cheese and milk, because of that, they traded in order to get everyone to have everything necessary for living. Afterwards, ancient Egyptians and Celts, used ring money and bracelet money to sell something that they had. It’s in those times that Word-of-mouth marketing started to develop. People used to talk good or bad things about products from some land owners and in that way, they could distinguish people they would or wouldn’t buy from.
Nowadays, with internet development rising from day to day. With Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook being involved in our lives most than ever before, we have Buzz marketing. What is it actually?
Let us start with explaining the community members on the internet. Since the internet started to bloom, we could easily differ a few kinds of its users. It is in our nature to put certain things in the boxes, even though we are trying not to. But considering it exists, it would ease the way of explaining the whole marketing process nowadays.
We have a community architect or the person that creates the online profile and is involved with the purpose of it. Then there is a community manager that is managing the online presence and measuring all the details like, how many people are reacting to the content, which people are interested in it and from which reasons etc. Professional member is paid for contributing to the site and should keep consumers interested and involved in what is happening on the profile.
Other than that, we have free members (who are visiting most often and represent the majority of people online), passive and active lurkers that just absorb or use the content created on the site, and power users that give positive or negative feedback on the product or site created, and have a certain influence on the users mentioned above.
The point of Buzz marketing
So, the mere purpose of Buzz marketing is actually creating a certain buzz about your product and to turn the internet users (free members, passive and active lurkers, as well as power users) into consumers. So, by creating an interesting content and revealing the quality of your service, you are able to make the passive users of the internet to the active consumers of your creation.
Positive or negative buzz?
Some people are still centuries behind in using the internet for marketing purposes. Before the whole internet era, there was TV advertisement. There weren’t so many people involved in it, and people who had enough money could keep advertising their products and sell everything they could think of only because of the presence in the media. Those were the times when people thought that even bad kind of marketing is still a sort of marketing, and the media (or radio and TV presence) would make people buy anything regardless of the quality.
Nowadays, things have changed
The negative buzz is something that could create a lot of consequences to the brand right from the start. Internet users are more likely to comment on the bad buzz and on the bad quality instead of praising the good side of it. Using controversy in creating buzz is riskier than having a neutral topic and neutral marketing tactic. If the buzz is harder to grasp and is argumentative among the users, it would create a buzz blast that wouldn’t last too long, and after a while it will drop significantly.
In order to grasp whether the buzz you have created is effective and beneficial, you would have to monitor the effects it had on the internet community. There are two ways of buzz monitoring you can use:
- Volume – mainly focused on the amount of interchange it had in internet community
- Rating/level – focused on the amount of engagement the buzz had created on the internet. It is actually a more precise way of monitoring the activities and calculating the quality of the whole process.
It is important to follow up the comments, shares and likes of your content to get an objective overview of the work done. In that way, you will be able to see which types or groups of people are commenting on your content and in which way. And you will be able to see which market you should invest in and which marketing strategy you should use further.
Back to word-to-mouth marketing
Even though the technology is undertaking the most of our daily life routine, and there are many social media platforms we can advertise ourselves in, the most important thing are the people. It is 2017 now, and it is more important to use the created content to talk to the consumers.
The less important thing is to create content that google search would find appropriate and positive if it is not people you are communicating with. That was the mere purpose of word-to-mouth marketing before and it is the purpose of Buzz marketing now. So, to simplify things, nothing has changed. People are talking to other people about things happening and new brands coming up. Technologies will change, technologies will come and go, but people are the ones that stay, and you should work on your appearance and on your strategy in that way that people are going to be interested now, and after the buzz of “that new brand” is over. In order to get the right feedback, you should understand why people are sharing, liking and commenting on your content and in that way you will get more customers to show up and say to the whole world why you are good. If you show understanding, a lot of new doors and possibilities will open for you and your team.
Feedback from users
As already said, we are looking for a feedback in order to communicate with other internet users and gather all the needed information. We are checking social networking websites, self-publishing platforms, tagging, “like” buttons and bookmarking. In that way, we can see which users are adding value to our content, and by generating and processing that data, we are able to grasp in which ways they are doing that. Are they uploading some content themselves by being inspired of our content, or just commenting and sharing it on their own platforms and in that way, making our brand or product visible online.
This kind of marketing is being created by certain buzzwords that are actually making users to take action. The word we are using becomes more popular with time (considering it is high-quality and impressionable). Buzzwords often origin from jargon, neologisms and acronyms. That would further mean that we are, in a way, free to be creative in order to inspire the consumers to continue using our buzz words and for example, hashtag them on Twitter. In that way, with our own, original hashtag, our brand becomes popular online, and everyone knows where it originates from.
There are some buzzwords that are overused and for example, LinkedIn is publishing them every year. Those are the words you should get away from. Just “think outside the box”, and try to be as original as possible. It is the only way to make your way through the rigorous internet search criteria.
Yes, I believe the Internet changed the game. With today’s opportunities you can succeed with less resources than ever before. It is possible to build up a community of customers without lots of expenses, what you need is Internet connection. You have of course to invest a lot of hard work, time and effort. But I believe now there are many opportunities available for young entrepreneurs. There are many ventures, investors – business angels ready to hear you pitching, many funds you can apply, competitions such as Kickstarter, and similar.