FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a common psychological trigger that is based largely on one’s perception of how they compare their experiences with those around them. We get anxiety that we’re missing a cool event that others are getting to enjoy and, as a result, can feel out of the loop or left out. Though FOMO is a relatively unpleasant (though hardly serious) experience, you can use it to great effect through your marketing campaigns.
There are some who consider that limiting access to a product entirely can be somewhat anti-consumer, so more savvy customers can be turned off by such a tactic. However, timed exclusives and timed discounts can heighten the benefits to those who are ready to act on it as soon as possible, creating a whole new level of hype around a product that might not even otherwise have a great deal of it. You don’t want to rely on this too much as too many exclusives can cheapen the impact of each next one.
Don’t reveal your whole hand
A little mystery in marketing can go a long way to stoke feelings of FOMO, as well. For instance, some companies will use campaigns that don’t initially reveal what they are about to get people talking, and revealing it exclusively to some can create a much greater social buzz. An easy way to do this in a smaller scale is to make QR code links to content from things like leaflets and billboards. You use the initial curiosity to get them on the hook and the act of following the code gets you the opportunity to market more directly to them.
Find your ambassadors
What can really get people feeling the urge to join in? Positive social proof. This is, effectively, showing that your brand is worth supporting or products and services worth using by showing those who are already using and benefiting from them. One of the best ways to do that is to invest in affiliate marketing programs that allow your most loyal and vocal customers to earn either money or some form of loyalty point by encouraging others to join.
Find bigger platforms
You can make good use of positive social proof in the form of your own customers, but there are some people that tend to tip the scales of public opinion a little more heavily than others. We call these influencers and the reach and audience they can bring to your marketing campaign can make your services and products seem like the hottest ticket items that simply must be tried. Influencer marketing doesn’t work for every kind of business, such as most B2B arrangements, but for those it does work for, it can result in huge gains.
FOMO shouldn’t be the only tactic you use in your marketing, of course. You typically want to rely on positive motivators (that people wants your products and services because of the benefits) more than negative ones. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some benefits of a good psychological trigger now and then.