Do you ever notice upon Apple Inc.’s announcing their latest product, lines around the block are filled with eager patrons anticipating having this newest gadget? How about on Black Fridays in the U.S., when adults fight to take advantage of a store’s blockbuster deals? These scenarios are courtesy of well thought-out and highly effective hype marketing strategies.
A hype artist, as described by Michael F. Schein, CEO of MicroFame Media, is someone who gets “a large group of people emotional enough to take an action that benefits you — that you want them to take.” Michael shared his insights about how effective hype strategies can help marketers reach their target audience, generate conversions, and create consumer loyalty during the recent AMA New York workshop “Hype Strategies to Help You Survive an Economic Crisis.”
From corporate employee to CEO, Michael’s career has guided his outlook on taking the blueprint of a hype marketing strategy and leveraging it to thrive in challenging times. He shared three key hype strategies featured in his book, The Hype Handbook:
1. Challenge industry norms. With a hype marketing strategy, if you can identify your unique viewpoint and approach an audience with an appealing perception of your brand or product, they will begin to look at you as the go-to leader in that space. As Michael began questioning the advice of marketing leaders, he noticed there were people in the industry with whom his own insights resonated. It would have been easy to go with the established attitudes prevalent in the marketing industry, but instead, he chose to use his platform to elevate diverse perspectives. If you are looking to forge this path in your work, consider Michael’s prompts for how to distinguish yourself from the crowd:
- What’s a point of view in your industry that you’re 100% confident is accurate?
- What point of view in your industry is almost accepted as gospel but really irritates you?
2. Build authentic relationships. Once you create your distinct voice, the next step is to build an authentic relationship with your followers. Marketers who are strategic and concentrate on smaller target audiences, especially those with established subscribers, have a better chance of making conversions and creating brand advocates. One tactic that can help hype marketing strategists is to network outside of your peer group. Do you only connect with marketing professionals? Are the people in your network primarily at the same stage in their career? Find common areas of alignment outside of work, such as personal interests, where you can begin to build relationships. Above all, be sure to add value to the relationship and be consistent in this process. People who feel you have helped them are more inclined to return the favor.
3. Work smarter, not harder. When your audience feels invested in your product or brand, they are more likely to stick with it. Companies like Weight Watchers, for example, create a system where people join a weight loss community, but it’s ultimately up to the individuals to have the drive and willpower to achieve their personal goal. Similarly, Michael suggests marketers, especially consultants navigating through challenging times, try the approach to “come up with an offering in which you’re giving people the tools — you’re giving people the mindset — and they have to go out and implement it by themselves.” Create a structured process where you produce conversions and they invest in implementing the tools you’ve created. This type of call to action has been successful with business coaching and self-help companies, for example. If done in an ethical manner, this can help create a new avenue for your business or career.
A key takeaway from this workshop is to be your own best hype artist and begin building an authentic and unapologetic brand. The bottom line is that marketing professionals will always face challenges; if you prepare your hype strategy today, you will be ahead of your contemporaries facing these obstacles head-on.
Watch this workshop on demand and learn how to turn current challenges into marketing success.
Kenyatta Skyles is a nonprofit professional with a background in marketing and sales. She is a digital marketing strategist with a passion for video content creation. As a volunteer with AMA New York, Kenyatta serves on the Programming Committee, creating post-event blogs. You can connect with Kenyatta on LinkedIn.