Last week, Apple sent out an invitation to media, bloggers and influencers for an event in San Francisco, in which the company hinted strongly that it would be unveiling the iPhone 5. Social media have already erupted with discussion of what the new iPhone will feature and what will be revealed at the event. It’s clear that Apple fans and media are eager to see what happens Wednesday.
Since the unveiling of the iPod, Apple has long been unbeatable in the areas of marketing and advertising and provides a perfect example of the how to employ buzz marketing successfully. The brand employs several basic, easily replicated and cheap strategies that you can use at your company.
Obviously, you need to put out a great product to create a loyal following, but simply providing a great product isn’t enough to generate a following. Before your product comes out, work with the media and create buzz. Bloggers and writers rave about Apple products and what they might do months before products launch. You don’t have to have Apple’s reputation to do something similar. Send out news releases and talk to bloggers before launch so your product is expected. Also, give inside scoops to relevant bloggers and what have you so your product is being discussed.
It’s also important to look at the way Apple chooses to talk about its products. You won’t see Apple going on and on about the screen or the hard drive of its devices because that’s information most people won’t care about — and the ones who do care can easily find that information online. Instead, Apple chooses to use a more personal, human approach: It talks about customers’ lives and how their lives can be made easier and better with the newest product from Apple. The company paints a picture of a world that customers want to be part of. This is an easy technique to employ: Advertise your product in a way that is less technical, more personal.
After building up anticipation and buzz about a product that allegedly will revolutionize your life, Apple throws an event to launch said product. Make your product launches a big deal. Apple hosts a huge, meticulously planned event. The company even closes its online store during product launches, so everyone knows something is going on and people need to pay attention. And Apple events aren’t like other launches, with a public relations representative coming out to simply read a news release for the media. Every Apple product launch is like a huge conference, and everyone is talking about it. As illustrated by the graph below, conversations about Apple spiked dramatically the day the invitation went out. Anticipation surrounding the iPhone 5 is high, and Apple knows how to create and foster that kind of sentiment.
Graph by Alerti
Even with a small budget, techniques that have made Apple a success story can easily be replicated at your business. It’s important to be original — don’t try to be Apple — but its marketing and PR tactics are unbeatable and worth integrating into your marketing, social media and PR plans.