Monday, January 02, 2006

What Makes a Buzzworthy Story

The books out there on Buzz Marketing will tell you there are things that make your story really take off. Is it sexy? Is it incredible? Is it a secret no one is supposed to tell? All very true things that can work. Not always the most practical solution for a business, and not something you can do every month, or eventually it would just stop working because people would recognize it as your standard mode of operation. So let's assume you are going to do two to three Major Buzz Campaigns. What about all of the other time in between? In advertising, you see the same ad time and again because repetion is what creates familiarity. In word of mouth, it may take hearing about something from two or three sources before you create a sense of real desire on the part of the listener. Take for example, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. My business partner has told me to read it, one of our clients has told me to read it, and a vendor told me to read it. I still have not read it, but I will soon. How can I not read it after that! So if you are really interested in creating word of mouth and buzz, you need to create repetition and have people hear about you from different sources at different times. Which gets me to the point of this post: What makes a good, Buzzwothy story. Not necessarily one that is so big that people in China are talking about it (unless you are a chinese business.) A good story should be:
  • Easy to tell (See post on evaluating story)
  • Easy to repeat
  • Easy to slip into a conversation for non-sales people
  • Remarkable enough that it makes the teller look smart and interesting
  • Illustrate how your organization helped someone
  • Include mention of the organization

A good story should also be something that all of your employees and customers are aware of and encouraged to repeat whenever they get the chance.

Good buzz is reinforced with different stories from different sources, which will create the illusion (or illustrates the fact) that you have a diverse, caring organization that everyone is talking about.