FOMO marketing is a widely used sales technique that exploits the anxiety of “missing out” on an event, an offer, or a social interaction to create a strong sense of urgency and encourage people to buy, share, and interact as quickly as possible so as not to miss the opportunity to be an active part of an experience.
The spread of social media and mobile devices, especially smartphones, has made it easier to share moments of one’s life, making it part of daily normalcy to be always connected, reachable, and with a constant online presence.
The fear of being excluded from the digital world and, consequently, from a part of community life is fueled by the innate need to satisfy one’s sense of belonging and community to the extent that, in some cases, FOMO can degenerate into a true addiction and emotional suffering.
In this article, I will talk to you about:
- What is FOMO Marketing
- Why it’s useful to use “Fear of Missing Out” in a marketing strategy
- How to do FOMO Marketing in a few simple steps
- 3 examples of particularly effective communication campaigns.
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What is FOMO Marketing
To understand the importance of FOMO in marketing strategies, it is necessary to first define its psychological weight and how it can influence people’s choices.
What does it mean to do FOMO in marketing? FOMO is an acronym that stands for “Fear Of Missing Out,” which, literally translated, means “the fear of being left out.” The Treccani dictionary defines it as “the disease of our century,” in which most people are obsessed with the thought that others are doing something more interesting, with the anxiety of missing out on something, and with the need to constantly monitor everything that happens on social media and the web.
As social beings, humans have the innate and legitimate need to self-determine through the eyes of others, to interact, and to feel actively involved in a community. If this desire is not satisfied, it can lead to a strong sense of anxiety and discomfort, even to the point of experiencing depressive states.
In the digital world, the psychological state of FOMO translates into an obsessive and compulsive need to constantly monitor what is happening on social media and the web to stay up to date on everything that is happening and what other users are posting.
According to studies by the University of Essex, this dependency affects 70% of millennials and members of Generation Z, who were born into a highly digitized global community and are naturally inclined to actively participate in social life by sharing their daily life experiences.
What does FOMO represent for marketing? In everyday life, these marketing strategies that stimulate the sense of belonging are more present than one might imagine, and brands have understood this for a long time. From social media notifications to limited edition offers to calls to action, the web constantly pushes for action to avoid missing unique, unmissable, and captivating opportunities.
The main goal of FOMO Marketing is to convince hesitant users to purchase a product or take a specific action that brings immediate benefits to the company and, above all, triggers a lasting process of loyalty over time.
In this process, social media play a fundamental role because they create a community of satisfied users, allow for immediate communication with customers, can increase a sense of urgency and scarcity with countdowns, and encourage followers to participate in exclusive trends and events.
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Why use FOMO in a Marketing strategy
Utilizing the psychology of FOMO to boost your sales is not a new technique in marketing. In fact, among the many ways that brands and companies approach their customers, neuromarketing techniques are the most effective in influencing and directing people’s choices.
Starting with statistics, campaigns that use the “Fear of Missing Out” are particularly effective, especially when targeting specific age groups. In fact, approximately 69% of millennials feel the urgency to stay connected daily, and 60% of them make impulse purchases because they feel they might miss an opportunity. If you also consider that there are over 3 billion social media users worldwide, the potential consumer base increases exponentially.
Adding to the demographic data is the powerful lever of social proof, which is the desire to own a particular product that others have already purchased and are satisfied with. This need goes beyond imitating the behaviors of others; it becomes an urgent psychological need for acceptance in a particular community that possesses something unique and exclusive and designed for a select group of privileged users.
Furthermore, FOMO Marketing techniques are perfect for optimizing sales and increasing profits because the urgency to purchase a product with a limited-time offer, which could sell out quickly, predisposes consumers to complete the purchase as quickly as possible, ensuring that the shopping cart is not abandoned at the last second.
Another very important aspect for which it is useful to use this particular communication strategy is undoubtedly the possibility to increase customer loyalty levels by making consumers the protagonists of the entire process through sharing and exclusive offers reserved for community members.
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How to do FOMO Marketing in 5 Steps
How can you do FOMO in marketing? As just mentioned, this mode of communication is fundamental to achieve excellent sales results, but it’s necessary to follow some guidelines to make it even more effective and create offers that customers absolutely cannot refuse.
Build your sales funnel
The sales funnel is a process that encompasses various strategic phases, through which customers are attracted to a specific product in order to persuade them to make a purchase. The funnel model aims to attract as many people interested in a product or service as possible, guiding them to take specific actions, resulting in targeted and informed purchases, as well as a high level of customer loyalty.
Within the customer journey, FOMO Marketing strategies play a crucial role and can maximize their effectiveness. For example, to increase the sense of exclusivity and the need to seize an unmissable opportunity, you can offer free products or services for a limited time or in limited quantities to “hook” the user and encourage them to make a quick purchase.
However, the offers must be truly exclusive, and it is necessary to avoid reprising them at a later time or after the expiration date so that users do not lose trust in the brand and consider it unreliable in the future.
Embrace influencer marketing
More and more often, we hear about influencer marketing and how it has changed the way companies approach their customers and create their advertising campaigns. It essentially involves a new form of marketing based on the influence exerted by certain individuals in the market and on consumers’ purchasing choices, primarily through social channels.
The persuasive power of an influencer is an excellent lever for FOMO Marketing. Thanks to the influencer’s popularity and word-of-mouth (WOM), the product or service is presented to a wide audience of followers who follow the recommendations of the public figure because they find them helpful and reliable. Inevitably, if the offer is enticing, exclusive, and, above all, limited, it will fuel FOMO and the need to complete the purchase, even without a real need.
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Create limited edition offers
The scarcity of a product and the opportunity to purchase it at advantageous prices for only a limited period of time make customers face a choice they absolutely cannot refuse and increase FOMO.
Using a countdown in the dynamics of FOMO Marketing is a simple yet extremely effective way to convey urgency and the idea that the offer is about to expire, missing the incredible opportunity to obtain it at a discounted price. It provides valuable assistance in overcoming the indecision of some customers and convincing them not to postpone their shopping to a later time, abandoning their cart.
Alternatively, you can offer a product or service at special conditions for only a limited period of time or for a specific quantity, such as free shipping for only one month a year or a special discount on purchases made during a promotional period. In this case, as well, FOMO Marketing will play its part in guiding the customer towards the purchase without further delay.
Some booking websites for stays and travel even use competition to encourage users to make a purchase before others with messages like “5 other users are viewing or purchasing this offer.” It becomes essential to act quickly, so as not to miss the opportunity for a dream vacation at a special discounted price.
Utilize content and storytelling
Content marketing and storytelling are powerful tools in FOMO Marketing and should never be underestimated. In fact, engagement through words, images, and videos is the best way to pique users’ interest and drive them toward a product or service.
Storytelling must create strong engagement, for example, through short content that stimulates curiosity and ignites users’ imagination. The basic principle of FOMO Marketing is to amaze and inspire followers with exclusive previews and revelations, as well as offers that reward speed or trust, in order to strengthen the connection with existing customers and encourage them to stay updated.
Engage your users
Beyond persuasive advertising messages, through social media, users themselves offer valuable content, with stories and experiences from storytelling that are always fresh, natural, and genuine, just as millennials and new generations like.
Just think about bloggers and their communities, who love to follow them and receive constant updates through notifications and email marketing, or the fans of YouTubers who are afraid of missing the latest video. A real goldmine for companies, which can gain visibility and already loyal customers.
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Examples of FOMO Marketing
FOMO Marketing strategies are an opportunity not to be missed for many brands, websites, and platforms, especially to increase sales, customers, and conversions steadily and achieve very high levels of competitiveness even in the long run.
Clubhouse is one of the case studies that has made the most waves in the last two years. It’s a new audio-only social platform that can only be accessed by invitation and according to criteria set by the platform itself. The exclusivity of the registration process has increased the “fear of missing out” among Italian users and the desire to be part of a very exclusive community.
In reality, after an initial period of enthusiasm, the platform saw a decline in subscribers and had to make some changes to the platform, such as making interaction mechanisms simpler and allowing registration from any mobile device without an invitation.
Another site that makes extensive use of FOMO Marketing practices is Booking.com, with numerous messages aimed at accelerating purchases and instilling a strong sense of urgency. For example, highlighting that visitors have just missed a great opportunity when availability at a property is sold out or indicating how many other users are viewing the same hotel.
Lastly, another example is Snapchat, because with its disappearing content, it combines urgency, scarcity, and exclusivity. One of the reasons Snapchat is so successful, especially among young people, is that if you don’t view the content while it’s online, you lose it forever and can’t recover it.
To sell online, FOMO Marketing techniques are essential, especially when combined with an effective and targeted Social Media Strategy. Moreover, creating a sense of urgency and the need to always be connected to avoid missing out on an advantageous opportunity allows you to build a loyal and ever-present community.
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