How popular brands like BTS, Starbucks, and Apple make the best of buzz marketing?
What is Buzz Marketing?
“Buzz marketing is a strategy that creates word-of-mouth marketing with viral content, influencers, and interactive events” (4). Brands use this strategy to create a buzz around the launch of an upcoming product or service, “build brand awareness, generate leads, increase product adoption, and maximize sales” (1).
The aim is to have consumers circulating the constant through word-of-mouth or social media. For example, companies can create anticipation for upcoming product launches by sending free products to key influencers and thought leaders in their category. The influencer will then post about the products on their various social media platforms to create excitement among their followers to help create conversations with a broader audience about the product.
Buzz marketing is effective because it creates scarcity, builds excitement, creates FOMO, and spreads quickly. The “5 notable buzz marketing appeals include inspirational, inclusive, hilarious, controversial, and exciting” (2).
Examples of brands using Buzz Marketing
- Tech Giant – Apple
Apple has made it its mission to appeal to Technology Enthusiasts and Visionary, who can then act as banner carriers to the rest of the world. It does this in every possible way, including through personalized engravings on your iPhone to equipping elementary schools.
It creates content in the form of articles, commercials, and other advertisements that detail the features of each new product, especially the ‘WOW’ factor or feature, and lets word-of-mouth among excited consumers take over. The long queues of people “waiting overnight and sleeping in tents just to be one of the first to receive the new iPhone is a testament to the effectiveness of their campaigns” (4).
- Global Music Sensation – BTS
It’s almost impossible to scroll through social media without stumbling into a post on BTS. They have revolutionalized how brands can use social media to their advantage. Before their debut, they already had content such as covers and dance practices videos on several media platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, and Soundcloud. These allowed them to engage and interact with fans, building a solid fan base (the fandom), popularly referred to as the ARMY, and increasing its visibility.
The BTS A.R.M.Y, more so through its viral hashtags, works to the advantage of the group. For example, it has succeeded in connecting BTS with other acclaimed artists leading to mega collaborations. Also, they have performed many good deeds in the name of BTS, constantly matching the group’s contributions to fight social injustices. For example, they matched BTS’s pledge of $1 million for Black Lives Matter within hours using the hashtags #MatchAMillion and #MatchTheMillion. BTS Indian ARMY raised about 3 million Indian rupees in a day with the help of international ARMY to support COVID relief in India. The ARMY has created a significant buzz giving BTS a platform to reach a wider audience than any other group of their time while becoming the most powerful fandom in the world.
- Main representation of the US of coffee culture – Starbucks
Starbucks uses buzz marketing as a continuous activity. For example, to create a buzz effect, Starbucks writes customers’ names on cups, gives loyalty cards, designs comfortable coffee, and gives free Wi-Fi. They also go ahead to offer Starbucks a seasonal collection of merchandise, e.g., the 2021 summer collection. Customers become part of the buzz marketing activity by sharing their Starbucks cups on social media, including Tiktok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
How to Create a Buzz
- Get to know your audience:
Buzz campaigns can take all shapes and forms. Knowing your audience will help you decide on an appeal that will work for them.
- Build anticipation:
Give users a reason to interact with your product. For example, to keep the ARMY engaged and ‘buzzing,’ BTS stays connected with their fans, provides “Beyond The Scene”, coverage of their waiting time backstage before concerts, spontaneous lives from members, collectively or individually, with or without a defined purpose. They also broadcast exclusive shows and concepts.
- Encourage early adopters:
Companies like Apple keep in touch with early adopters. Also, they have demonstrated that they listen to their suggestions by incorporating them into their update.
- Take advantage of Referral Programs:
Reward loyal customers by offering points, discounts, and more incentives if they refer their friends and more to the nosiness.
- Leverage social media and PPC campaigns to expand reach:
These are cost-effective and allow you to reach a big audience quickly.
References used to write this article: How Popular Brands Make The Best of Buzz Marketing:
- Clement, M. (2021, February 22). What Is Buzz Marketing? And How to Actually Create It. Rocks Digital. (URL)
- Gotter, A. (2019, July 2). What Is Buzz Marketing? Single Grain. (URL)
- Gübür, K. T. (2020, September 1). Buzz Marketing: Definition, Examples & Guideline. Holistic SEO. (URL)
- Joran Hofman. (2021, March 10). What is Buzz Marketing? – Strategies and Examples. Sales Loves Marketing. (URL)
- An Asian Success Story: Bangtan Sonyeondan – BTS. From (URL)
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