In case you’re allergic to social media and haven’t ever before heard the term, FOMO means “the fear of missing out.”
But what is FOMO marketing?
We’re all familiar with the fear of missing an amazing opportunity.
We don’t want to look back on our lives and wonder, “What if?” Savvy marketers have tapped into this common anxiety among consumers to great effect.
FOMO marketing can make a huge difference in how you structure your messaging to prospective and current customers.
If you’re able to tap into this psychological construct, you can gently encourage your prospects to jump on an opportunity you’re serving up on a silver platter.
First, though, you must understand exactly what FOMO marketing is and how you can apply it.
In this post, we’ll provide you with an understanding of the term and detail 10 techniques you can start using today based on the fear of missing out.
What is the Meaning of FOMO Marketing? (The Fear of Missing Out)
FOMO marketing refers to messaging that appeals to consumers’ desire to latch on to every opportunity before it slips through their fingers.
Many people would rather make an impulse purchase than regret failing to act later.
The psychology behind FOMO marketing works because we’re a risk-averse species.
In some cases, avoiding risk means passing up a purchase because we fear putting our money behind something that won’t meet our expectations.
However, risk avoidance can also mean preventing the possibility of regretting an opportunity. We don’t want to put ourselves in that position.
Let’s say that you’re thinking about buying a car. You have a general idea of what kind of vehicle you want and how much you’re willing to spend.
Suddenly, you see a Facebook Ad announcing a huge promotion at your local dealership. You see the exact car you want. Maybe you hadn’t yet committed to a vehicle purchase, but now your FOMO is in high gear.
You’re afraid of missing out on this chance to save tons of money because it might never present itself again. That’s FOMO marketing.
If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably seen this play out many times. Every viral campaign has helped trigger FOMO among consumers. When you see everyone around you buying a product, you want in on the action, as well.
You can’t always orchestrate a viral video or social post, but you can engineer FOMO marketing. By using a few tried-and-true techniques, which we’ll cover below, you can instill FOMO in your prospects and convince your prospects to buy.
How to Use FOMO in a Sentence
If you’re still confused about FOMO, here are a few ways to use FOMO in a sentence:
- I bought that luxury car because I was inspired by FOMO.
- Every parent bought that toy last Christmas on account of FOMO.
- FOMO hit me hard when I saw that ad on Facebook.
It’s used informally without the word “the” in front of it. If you want to sound smart during a marketing meeting, slip this little buzzword into the conversation when it’s appropriate.
Maybe you should also recommend a FOMO marketing technique. That’s a great way to impress the higher-ups (or your employees).
10 Effective FOMO Marketing Techniques to Increase Online Results
One note before we dive in: FOMO marketing isn’t always a slam-dunk. You have to be honest with your audience and create offers that resonate with them.
If you’re disingenuous about your offers, consumers will smell the duplicity a mile away.
For instance, if you say you’re only offering a discount code to your email subscribers, you can’t broadcast the code — or a similar one — over social media a few days later.
Now that you know how to speak the FOMO language and avoid making people mad, what does FOMO marketing entail?
Let’s look at 10 of the best FOMO marketing techniques you can leverage right now to inspire conversions and sales among your target audience.
Keep in mind that they’re not designed to exist in a vacuum. You can combine these techniques in myriad combinations to flesh out your latest marketing campaign.
Technique #1: Set a Strict Time Limit
There’s nothing quite so effective in marketing as a time limit.
We’re conditioned from an early age to respect deadlines, and we make impulsive buying decisions under the pressure of a ticking clock.
The catch is that you have to abide by your time limit. Don’t keep delaying its expiration because your customers will know you tricked them. That’s bad for your brand reputation.
Take a page from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday handbook and offer your audience a deal they can’t miss, such as 20 percent off your most popular product if they order within 48 hours. Hype the offer through email, social media, and other channels.
You can also keep your offer front-and-center on your website with a Hello Bar. Set the animation to On to make it even more attention-grabbing.
Technique #2: Quote a Celebrity, Influencer, or Authority
When someone with influence or fame talks about your product, quoting that person can lend a significant boost to your FOMO marketing campaign. You don’t need a high-level celebrity, either — though that would be nice.
Influencers are dominating conversations across social media. According to a recent survey of influencers, Instagram is far and away the most effective platform for getting across brand messages.
If you plan to blend FOMO marketing with influencer marketing, make sure you have a solid social presence on Instagram now.
Keep in mind, though, that as influencers spread your brand message across social, you can use their quotes in your own marketing. Put them on landing pages, sales pages, and other places your audience might see them. They even make great subject lines for email marketing.
Technique #3: Add Lots of Testimonials and Other Social Proof to Your Landing Page or Sales Page
Social proof is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal, but you have to implement it at the right time. Ideally, you want to aim for the bottom of the funnel because those consumers are ready to make a purchase decision.
Maybe you’ve been in a situation where you saw a “feeding frenzy” at a kiosk at the mall or noticed that a certain product is always sold out at your favorite store. These small cues tell you that something is popular and can trigger FOMO.
The same thing applies when you pass two restaurants. One has a full parking lot, while the other one looks abandoned. You’re going to choose the first option because the parking lot full of cars subtly communicates that you’re missing out on something good.
So, how do you deploy these concepts digitally?
Publish lots of testimonials and other social proof. If you visit the Crazy Egg homepage, for instance, you’ll see a line of logos representing just a few of our high-profile customers.
These recognizable logos plant a thought in your mind: Other brands are using Crazy Egg, and I don’t want to miss out on the benefits they’re enjoying!
This works with written customer testimonials, too, especially when they’re accompanied by identifiable details, such as last names, photos, or even videos.
Technique #4: Create a Special Offer With a Deadline
We already talked about the ticking clock, but we were focused mostly on discounts. You can also use deadlines in FOMO marketing to give your customers other advantages if they shop with you.
For instance, maybe you’ll offer free shipping during the month of May. On June 1, the deal goes away, so your target audience needs to start shopping now.
You could also offer a free bonus with every purchase if consumers buy before the deadline, such as a downloadable product or a gift with purchase. People experience FOMO when they know they could get something for free that would otherwise cost them.
Technique #5: Advertise a Bundle of Products or Services
Bundles are huge across numerous industries. You’re probably familiar with two of the most popular ones: cable television and insurance products.
If you buy your cable, Internet service, and phone service from the same company, you pay less than you would if you were to buy each one separately. The same goes for insurance.
Companies reward you with discounts if you get your homeowner’s, auto, and life coverage from the same brand.
However, FOMO marketing offers creative ways to implement this strategy, especially if you’re willing to add a ticking clock.
The website DesignCuts.com, for instance, regularly offers huge bundles of digital products for 97 percent or more off the total cost of the items separately. Each bundle has an overarching theme, such as fonts or patterns.
The catch? You have to take advantage before the deal expires.
You can use this strategy regardless of your industry by cleverly packaging your products or by creating new products that you’ll bundle at a steep discount before selling them separately.
Technique #6: Use Clever Messaging
Language matters a lot when it comes to FOMO marketing. You want your audience to feel as though time is running out and that they’re about to lose on an amazing offer.
When you’re crafting your marketing materials, use strong verbs and adjectives to instill FOMO in your target audience. Phrases like “don’t miss this” and “while supplies last” are good examples, but you can get more creative.
- You’ll kick yourself if…
- The hourglass is almost empty on your opportunity to…
- Halt! You’ll want to hear this…
- Craving some [name of product]? Here’s your chance!
- Supreme Sale Sunday: [Offer]!
You get the idea. Your goal is to send the message that, if your audience doesn’t act now, they’ll regret their decision.
Think about your target audience when you’re designing your FOMO message. For example, if you’re marketing to people who love gaming, use gaming jargon to communicate your offer.
Technique #7: Scatter Your Content
FOMO marketing isn’t just for boosting sales. It’s also extremely helpful for building your brand, especially if you’re taking an omnichannel approach.
Renowned marketer Gary Vaynerchuk recently sent out an email to promote his podcast. He mentioned that he wasn’t seeing a lot of cross-pollination between his email list and his podcast subscribers.
He goes on to let his audience know that he’ll be releasing special content on his podcast that isn’t available anywhere else. In other words, you’d better listen to your FOMO if you’re a Gary Vee fan.
When you let your audience know that you release special content on different channels — including, perhaps, discounts and other special offers — you can build your follower counts across multiple channels. That helps build brand recognition and loyalty.
Technique #8: Design Limited-Issue Lead Magnets
Who says lead magnets have to remain the same forever? You can change them up and use FOMO marketing at the same time.
Let’s say that you’ve created an amazing infographic with tons of data your audience will find useful. Advertise it as a limited-edition lead magnet that your audience can grab, but only if they act before a certain date.
In this case, we’re using FOMO marketing to build leads rather than sales, but it works the same way. You want people to overcome the hurdle of handing out their contact information by providing them with something they don’t want to miss out on.
Technique #9: Solicit UGC
Social proof, testimonials, and influencer quotes are all great, but don’t ignore your audience when it comes to FOMO marketing. If your followers are willing to create content about your brand, you can use it to generate more FOMO than ever before.
People pay attention to celebrities and influencers, and even strangers who just happen to be fellow consumers, but they listen to their friends and family even more.
When someone in your audience creates user-generated content and shares it with his or her friends, the recommendation matters even more.
GoPro has elicited a ton of UGC for its Instagram account and other online profiles. It’s extremely beneficial for the brand, and it also gives the brand’s audience members some exposure.
You can do the same thing. Consider hosting a contest or giveaway to incentivize your audience to create UGC, which you can then repurpose for FOMO marketing.
Technique #10: Activate an Exit-Intent Popup
Another great way to inspire FOMO among your audience is to use an exit-intent popup that gives a one-time opportunity to save money or enjoy some other advantage.
Exit-intent popups appear when your visitor goes to close the browser tab or window.
Don’t be afraid to go bold with this type of marketing. Use language, imagery, and excitement to let your visitors know that they get one shot at an awesome opportunity.
FOMO marketing is real. So is FOMO itself. If you create a situation in which your audience has to act fast to get an opportunity they might not get again, you’ll encourage sales and conversions.
The best way to do this is to target the right people with the right offer.
For instance, your frugal customers want discounts. Shaving money off the purchase price is always a good way to break through objections.
Don’t be afraid to offer different opportunities to different audiences. You might offer something special for your email subscribers, but target your Instagram followers with something else entirely.
Before you know it, you’ll get to see FOMO marketing in action.