The Secret to Successful Buzz

If you work with religious or non-profit organizations, you know just how limited marketing and media production budgets can be. That’s why I’ve always kept an eye out for alternative marketing and promotion avenues. Things that create a “buzz” without costing an arm and a leg.  

A few years ago, Keller Fay Group, in association with BzzAgent released a study that indicated the products that are easy for people to discuss and recommend to others are more likely to achieve word of mouth success than goods solely perceived to be new and innovative. Nearly half (45%) of the study’s participants chose to promote products that were “easy to talk about.” “Something that is worth talking about” and “Something I’m proud to share with others” followed closely behind at 42% and 40%, respectively.

What does that mean to us? It means that innovation isn’t as important as usefulness in promoting word of mouth. In many ways, that’s why a ministry like Joyce Meyer has achieved so much popularity and success. Her messages are about practical, real-life issues and she’s careful to relate simple ways to put them into action. She teaches about solutions people want to share with their friends. To be “worth talking about” is something that makes a profound difference in someone’s life.

The question is: Does the message you’re teaching, service you’re providing, or the product you’re selling get people talking?

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Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California ( he helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."