FOMO: Effective techniques and tips to leverage it in marketing campaigns

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FOMO is one of the primary psychological approaches that you can tap into in order to increase the likelihood of success of your marketing campaigns.

Due to the rise of Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, online shoppers are experiencing FOMO more and more when they see their friends sharing what they are doing and buying. When you have a strategic plan to incorporate FOMO into your marketing efforts, it will help you raise recognition of your brand, increase brand engagement, and eventually drive sales.

In this article, I will show you how to execute FOMO marketing and achieve all of the possible results that it can deliver. Let’s get into the details.

What Is FOMO?

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FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO is a psychology reaction. As humans, we have a desire to feel belonged and connected to a group. When we see a large group of people having fun doing something, we’re likely to have the urge to do it too. This is how trends start. The core principle of FOMO is that we as humans don’t want to miss out on great experiences or opportunities, so we want to grab them as soon as we can rather than letting them slip away. Keep this principle in mind as it’s the key to plan and execute a FOMO marketing program.

Why can FOMO marketing increase your conversion rates?

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Fear Of Missing Out

You can understand that FOMO marketing takes advantage of a simple yet primitive human desire to belong to a group of people. No one wants to be left out as an individual in their group, after all. Missing out is universal anxiety that goes back to the dawn of humankind. It’s a disadvantage for a person to be out of the loop. That creates social pressure and can be a threat to one’s survival back in the days when our ancestors were living in the wild. And while humankind has reached advanced civilization up to now, this feeling of FOMO is still embedded deeply into our psychology, and therefore inclusion is a priority for us as humans.

“FOMO is represented by the typical desire to stay continually connected with what other individuals are doing,” the 2013 study adds. In our highly connected world with endless status updates on social media, breaking news and events unfolding in real-time, people are more likely to experience pervasive anxiety that they may miss something important. In a survey, 56 percent of the asked people say that they are afraid they’ll miss out if they don’t keep themselves posted of what’s happening on social media.

This fear is an even bigger concern for younger people. A study was done by Eventbrite even found that 69 percent of millennials experiencing FOMO. “For millennials, FOMO is not just a cultural pressure, it’s an epidemic.”, says Eventbrite. “In a world where social media continuously shows them what their friends are experiencing, FOMO urges millennials to show up, share and engage; it is a driving force behind the experience economy.”

If you understand marketing, the fact that marketing is playing to human emotions is a no brainer. So, FOMO marketing acknowledges this fear of missing out and leverages it to capture the attention of consumers, get them to engage and ultimately buy. That’s why FOMO marketing will help you boost your conversion rates and drive sales when you implement it correctly.

How can you leverage FOMO in your marketing campaigns?

Before you learn how to use FOMO in marketing, it’s worth mentioning that FOMO should be used responsibly as it’s a powerful tool to influence both good and bad actions.

While FOMO urges people to take action, it can trigger some really negative emotions. A study done by Citizens Relations discovered that:

  • 39 percent of the people in the surveyed group felt envy
  • 30 percent felt jealous
  • 21 percent felt sad or disappointed

Feeling like they’re about to miss out on a great opportunity can create a real sense of discomfort for many people. Therefore, you need to keep the right intention in mind when formulating your approach. Modern consumers are becoming smarter and savvier, which means they can usually sense when a brand is trying to use tactics to deceive or manipulate them. If you “overdose” yourself with FOMO marketing where you try to deliberately trigger unpleasant emotions, that can end up backfiring and lead consumers to hate you rather than buying from you.

As you’ll need to use FOMO properly, here’s how you can do it.

1. Show That Something is in Demand:

The last thing that people want to buy is something that is not in demand. They don’t want to spend our hard-earned money on a product that no one tries before; it’s too risky. When you show that a product is in demand, it arouses some level of interest in people, which encourages them to explore more. And that exploration leads to more actions, which leads to a conversion. If consumers don’t feel interested enough to even find out more about your products, you won’t stand a chance to get them buying it.

2. Show That an Offer Won’t Last:

Urgency is one of the most commonly-used techniques to create scarcity, and it is highly effective. It can also yield a powerful impact in FOMO marketing.

Showing your prospect a count-down clock and they will realize that, as the clock is ticking, the offer will not be there forever and if they don’t take action now, they will lose it. You can see this tactic used all over the place.

One thing to keep in mind with using countdown timers is you need to stay true to your words, which means don’t extend the lifespan of your offer when it ends, otherwise, the customers who have already bought will feel that they are tricked, which is no good for your brand reputation.

3. Show How Many People Are Buying:

Imagine that someone has grown interested in your product. They have browsed your online store, done their research, and thought that your product will solve their problem. But they’re still hesitant, they are not sure if it’s the good decision, they are not sure if there’s someone who has bought this product before. When that’s what’s holding them back, you need to provide them a re-assurance.

Here’s an example of a clothing company putting this into action.

Showing them that other people are buying the product, and even better, how many people are buying it can provide the hesitant customer with the proof they need to proceed with their purchase.

When prospects are browsing their website, banners will pop up telling them that people are buying products on the site, so it should be safe to proceed. We have a dedicated Social Proof app built for this great FOMO marketing function, you can download it for free.

4. Use Exclusivity

Online shoppers love exclusive offers. Having access to discounts and great deals that other people don’t can get online shoppers super excited as it makes them feel special. You can create a feeling of exclusivity in your offer to encourage the target audience to take action. 

Take this promotion for example.

Besides earning a 15 percent off coupon, those who sign up will receive exclusive offers as well.

Offering a 15% percent off might sound too ordinary and hard to get people to take action. But when they know that they can get an exclusive offer too (which makes them curious because they don’t know what it is), people will be more likely to take your call to action as they’re afraid that they can miss something valuable if they don’t. Make sure that your secret offer is truly exclusive and special, otherwise the offer taker will just feel that they are cheated and upset.

5. Offer Limited Time Free Shipping

Shipping is expensive, and people love free shipping. According to a study, nine out of ten consumers say free shipping is the best offer to shop online more, and orders with free shipping are 30 percent higher in value on average. This is understandable. When it comes to shopping online, shipping costs feel like a surprise burden. When you have to consider the cost of the product very carefully and decide that you will spend your hard-earned money on it, there comes the shipping cost. It feels even heavier to pay for the shipping than to pay for the product itself.

This particular offer guarantees free shipping until the end of the year.

So, why don’t you solve that problem for your customer to encourage them to buy more? Shipping costs, in many cases, are the obstacle between proceeding an online order and abandoning it. Adding FOMO to your free shipping will urge your customers to take action even more quickly.

6. Offer a Discount to Early Purchasers

A common promotion for many sports events is to give away a free T-shirt, a hat or wrist band to the first 1,000 or so people who come to the spot. This reward encourages participants to come earlier. Learning from sports events, you can use this tactic in your own promotion programs.

While you don’t have to throw tons of money out of the window to offer loads of free products as sports events do if you don’t have the budget, try to make your offer truly valuable so that people want to take it (quality is over quantity).

Here’s a great example from a restaurant that gave the first 100 customers to use their app 50 percent off of their order, a free drink and a free cupcake.

 

7. Leverage Testimonials:

Speaking of building trust and driving conversions, testimonials are one of the most effective tactics of all times. Though being highly effective, all this approach requires you to do is asking your existing customers to validate your brand and product. Using testimonials is the segment that you should always include in your FOMO marketing strategy.

This technique helps you convert because it lets your prospects know that there are other people who are using your products and have succeeded with it already. The prospects, then, shouldn’t hold themselves back anymore, and take action if they don’t want to miss out on the benefits that your product offers. 

Here’s an example of a brand selling “The Shakur Shades,” created in the style that Tupac Shakur used to wear.

FOMO

8. Install an Exit-Intent Campaign:

Pop-ups can be annoying, yes, that is true. But they can still be beneficial if one knows how to use them properly. The very important goal that pop-up can achieve is retaining a customer who is about to leave your website. It does that by showing them a valuable offer. Pop-ups are defined as, “a message that appears in front of users who are about to leave your site.”

The people who exit-intent campaigns aim at are those who are about to leave your website. And the offer is to try to talk them into staying, or give you their information before they leave. It’s good enough to get their contact (often emails) as you can use it for remarketing purposes.

Here’s an example of Danish bag company, Helm using an exit-intent campaign to encourage visitors to sign up for their email list.

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Using pop-ups can increase your chances of turning a squandered lead into a cash-paying customer. All it takes to achieve that is providing them with a bit of motivation.

While this approach won’t always work, tons of eCommerce have tried this method and found that a decent percentage of website visitors are receptive to exit-intent campaigns. This is why you see exit popups on almost every eCommerce website that you visit.

Final Words

FOMO is real, and the job of marketing is to take advantage of this human primitive emotion to build their brand recognition and ultimately drive sales. As great as this approach is, online marketers need to use it responsibly and prevent themselves from overusing it, otherwise, FOMO marketing will make their customers hate their brand instead of buying from it.

I hope this article has given you necessary insights into what FOMO marketing is, why it works and how you can use FOMO effectively to increase conversion. Now it’s time to execute! Bring the methods that you have just learned into your next campaign, and see how they yield their power and bring you your desired results!

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