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Maria Hatzistefanis

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How to Create a Buzz Around Your Products

Posted: 12/15/11 11:20 AM ET

A lot of people ask me how I create a buzz for my company and my products, so here it is:

You have created your dream product and now what? Buzz is everything, you need to get potential customers to be talking about it.

You may think that buzz is created overnight. Buzz is the result of consistent work over the course of a few months that becomes viral due to a trigger event. The infrastructure should be ready for the viral message to be transmitted, whether this is an email database, followers on a social media platform or the press that is aware of your product.

It usually takes seven encounters of your product name for a potential customer to fully recognize it. Buzz works in a similar way. People will see or hear about your product a few times before it fully sticks to their mind and are ready to spread the word.

Follow these simple three steps to create maximum buzz with minimum investment:

Create anticipation:

To create buzz around the time of your launch, you need to start building anticipation. Get your potential customers excited even before your launch:

Launch a holding page on your website with your logo and a few words of anticipation a few months before the launch. You don't need to have your full website developed. Just make sure the style of the holding page reflects your brand image and has a few sentences summarising what your product is all about.

Ask for visitors to register their email address to get notified when the product launches. You are building anticipation and building your email database at the same time.

-- Invest in PR:
Whether you do it yourself or hire a PR agency, PR is important to get your product known to a wider audience. You can do it yourself but unless you have a background and contacts with the press it is a better use of your time to grow your business and hire an expert to do your PR. You need to focus on the publications that reflect your industry and for that reason you need to hire an agency that already has a few clients within the same industry. Depending on your budget you can go for a large agency who can create a lot of buzz around your product at the launch and open doors for you but in the long run, a smaller agency will work harder and get you more consistent press.

-- Hire a PR agency at least three months before the launch. The national glossies work on 3-4 month lead times, so get talking to them as early as possible to ensure the press is out when you launch.

-- Work the social media: Social Media is becoming very powerful in spreading buzz very quickly. Set up a Facebook and Twitter account a few months before you launch so you can start recruiting followers and build a solid database ready to read your news as soon as you launch.

-- Social media is becoming as important as the press and can turn a message viral very quickly. In order to build a strong follower base, you need to spend a few hours a day connecting with people. You can get sites to get you a lot of followers for a fee but you should try to get quality followers who are potential customers, rather than just a lot of volume.

Once you build a base, start communicating with your followers and get to understand them. Build trust and be genuine, rather than bombard them with promotional messages. Social media is a way for potential customers to get to know a brand on a more personal level and that is what creates brand awareness and buzz.

Take risks.

You have set out the platform to spread the news virally. What do you talk about? You need to take risks. If you have an average product with an average story, don't expect a lot of buzz. You need to take risks, think out of the box and forego conventional business decisions in favour of something unusual that will get people talking about you and your product.

Once you find what is so different and unique about your product, a different and unusual type of use, a certain association, then you can work on your existing platform to make it viral and create a buzz.