The fear of missing out (FOMO) has only become an official term in 2013; not that long ago for a concept that has existed for as long as you can possibly remember. It’s a timeless angst present in movies, books, and every teen drama series on TV.
Long before the term FOMO was coined, the idea of missing out on the fun happening elsewhere is a relatable experience for anybody. Sitting at home, alone and neglected, was the cliched basis for every teen movie since forever.
So how do we, as marketers, take advantage of this timeless psychological experience that humans can’t help responding to?
Make Use of Ephemeral Content
An obvious FOMO marketing tactic would be to create content that mixes scarcity, urgency, and exclusivity altogether. The three work to ramp up the FOMO vibe.
Ephemeral content piques your visitor’s interest, encouraging them to keep their pulse on all things your business is related to or they’ll miss the latest updates.
Social networking sites themselves, are prime examples of ephemeral content — one of the best updates developers have made.
Stories on Facebook’s Messenger, Instagram, and of course, SnapChat’s entire platform is all based on content disappearing after 24 hours. The novel aspect of ephemeral content compels users to tune in at certain times, and even on a regular basis.
For this reason, creating engaging content is emphasized as a necessity. You can try holding Q&A’s, product demonstrations, showing what happens behind-the-scenes, or hold livestreams. The possibilities are endless.
Social media is the perfect place to advertise sales and attract more customers. How do you inject FOMO marketing into this? Provide these sales for a limited time to compel them to buy. You can also add a clock ticking in real-time to drum up even more urgency.
Your followers will feel like they’re missing out when they miss the sale date, or when other customers get their hands on their desired product before they do.
Constantly Promote Customer Experience
No matter how old FOMO is, it’s modern incarnation has its roots buried in social media. A recent study involving Canadian millennial found that 68% purchased products because of FOMO triggered by seeing someone else’s experience.
It would be good to invest in starting user-generated campaigns. Through this, you let your visitors and other potential customers share their experiences while using your products and services. Real proof from real people is much more compelling than any FOMO marketing strategy you’ll think of.
It’s a tactic that will not only attract new customers and engage followers, it also boosts brand loyalty and awareness!
The thrill a secret organization or club can bring is as timeless as FOMO itself. People love the idea of exclusivity. There’s an old saying that goes, “People want what they can’t have,’ and it forms one of the most important aspects of marketing.
Likewise, creating exclusivity in your campaigns can — and most likely will — activate a recipient’s FOMO. Fostering the idea of an exclusive club will make your members feel special, knowing that they have access to privileges that others can’t have.
Make use of imagery that indicates private spaces — like curtains, or use words like ‘private,’ ‘exclusive,’ or ‘premium’ to activate their FOMO and compel them to sign up.
Say ‘NO’ to FOMO
On the other hand, you can always go for a roundabout approach. Tackle FOMO from the other side of the spectrum, and discourage its rise.
Because while FOMO can be such a great marketing motivator, any person who interacts regularly in the world wide web will tell you that being absorbed in the FOMO can be exhausting and anxiety-inducing.
The more we spend time on social media, the more we become overwhelmed with people’s different posts, flaunting all the fun they’ve been having, the more we see that there’s so much going on that we’re not getting to be a part of.
Capitalize on the so-called ‘outcast’s’ feelings, flip FOMO around. Encourage your followers to step away from the internet for a while, and value real-life person-to-person interaction. The experiential opportunities for a campaign such as this is rich in possibilities.
And in relation to your promotion of anti-FOMO living, always, always alert your followers on social media. Whatever the latest trend is, or whatever product your brand is pushing out next, notify your followers and promote a brand identity that’s inclusive.
There’s a benefit to be had from siding with FOMO and aligning against it.
Clearly, the FOMO trend is a useful way of generating traffic and encouraging engagement in your social media platforms.
Using this age-old fear allows social media marketers to generate a sense of urgency, compelling consumers around the world to act now or forever miss out on the great opportunities.
On the other hand, FOMO creates a space that alienates those who simply can’t — in every sense of the word. Perhaps they don’t have the resources to attend to your every update, or lack the budget for limited-time offers they would love to purchase themselves.
Standing against FOMO can also help you cultivate a social media space where your followers will feel a sense of belonging.
Nevertheless, however you choose to use FOMO, it won’t change the fact that you have massive advantages to reap when you start incorporating it into your next campaign. Whichever way it swings, it helps ensure your brand’s relevance and compels your audience to act — and act fast.
About the Author — Al Gomez is the President and Founder of Dlinkers — a company dedicated to providing complete digital marketing services. With more than ten years of experience, he enjoys supporting smartpreneurs like himself to achieve online success.