Buzz is something that everyone wants to generate for their company, brand or product. But what is buzz and how can you generate it? Buzz is an ethereal intangible concept, it is difficult to define and even more difficult to attain. I know, so not helpful. Here are a few tips that will help you define buzz for your brand and a few steps on how to help you create it.
1. Define what buzz means for you:
As in any business, if you don’t have a goal, there will be no way to reach it. This means that first and foremost, you must decide what successful buzz will look like for you whether that is press coverage, event attendance or product purchase. The more specific you can be with these goals the better chance you will have at attaining them.
2. Set your lead time and timeline:
First things first, don’t shoot yourself in the foot before you have even started. This means don’t decide that you need buzz 2 weeks before an event and expect to get any results (unless maybe you have a big PR and marketing team behind you). While buzz may look like it just happens, it actually takes quite a bit of time to grow. Therefore, buzz is incredibly difficult to produce last minute so get ahead of the curve to begin with.
Of course the next obvious question is, how much lead time do I need? This depends on many factors all of which you will need to address. The amount of lead time depends on what kind of event or product launch you are doing, where the event is being held, and how many people you want to attend or buy your product. These factors will determine the kind of lead time (the time before the event, launch, etc.) you will need to produce the desired results. For example, if you are doing an event for a new alcohol brand in Los Angeles at a beautiful venue in the spring, you probably need less lead time then say an event in Valencia for a book about biology in the winter. Either way, the most important takeaway is to make sure you give yourself enough time. Decide what your lead time will be early on and work backwards.
Setting an appropriate timeline for benchmarks for your event will also ensure success. This is especially crucial if you are trying to create PR buzz in print media. Writers, bloggers and photographers usually have their schedules bombarded with events that need coverage. It is unlikely you will get them to cover your event 1. If you have no relationship with them and 2. If you don’t give them enough time to make sure the event is on their schedule
3. Decide what media outlets you are going after:
A crucial step in the process of creating buzz is deciding what media outlets are of value for your brand. Hopefully you have been in the game long enough to know which ones have value and reach in your industry. Not only is it crucial to know these, but it is invaluable to create relationships with the publishers, editors and content creators. Relationships are of utmost importance when creating buzz. This is the reason why, when you’re ready, it is important to hire the right PR company, because it is, after all, all about the relationships.
4. Give it away, give it away, give it away now:
Make sure you are giving away your product or service to a few tastemakers. Tastemakers are people in your community or in your target market that that other people listen to. These people are also called “influencers” and are crucial to helping you create good buzz. Again the first step is figuring out who the biggest tastemakers are, how many you want to target and how broad their reach is. Many brands are hesitant to give away product for free. This is understandable if they have seen no return on this type of investment. Appropriate “swag” given to the right people can be critical to spreading the buzz to your target market. After all, no one is going to buy your product or service if they 1. Have never heard of it and 2. Don’t know anyone who has experienced the value of that product or service firsthand
5. Social social social, networking and testimonials:
One of the best ways to create buzz at minimal cost these days is through social media. Buzz about both good products as well as bad spread like wildfire throughout the social community. Make sure that you are engaging with influencers and users within your target market. This builds goodwill and will further your buzz goals.
In the same way, getting out into your community and going to networking events where those influencers frequent is a great way not only of getting them to use your product or service, but real life interaction and relationship building will be of ongoing significance as you introduce other products or services to the same market. Getting out there and talking about your brand means that you are engaging others to do the same. It is also a great way to get feedback about what that target market needs and wants within the scope of your offering.
Ultimately, once you have build relationships with these influencers and tastemakers, you should ask for testimonials. Nothing speaks for your brand better than a key influencer’s testimonial. These can be invaluable quotes or preferably dynamic video content that you can use throughout the life of your brand.
At the end of the day the takeaway is this: Creating key relationships within the community and utilizing social media and networks to create buzz around your product or service is one of the best and least expensive ways to create buzz. Make sure you set yourself up for success. Now go get busy bees!
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Photo Credits: freedigitallphotos.net, Stuart Miles