“FOMO” stands for the fear of missing out, a psychological trigger, humans can’t help responding to. According to a study of the phenomenon published in Computers in Human Behaviour, FOMO is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.” Let’s face it; nobody likes feeling they’ve been left behind. FOMO marketing is messaging that triggers your audience’s innate fear of missing out in order to make them more likely to take action.
Why Use FOMO in Marketing?
Let’s take a look at some FOMO statistics, as that’ll help you understand why FOMO marketing campaigns are so effective, especially with certain demographics. Around 69% of millennials experience the phenomenon, and according to Strategy Online, 60% of millennials make reactive purchases because of FOMO. In other words, they’ll buy something just because they feel they might miss out. However, it’s not just millennials who suffer from FOMO. According to other data, more than half of people using social networks suffer from FOMO.
Let’s look at a few ways you can leverage FOMO in your content marketing and use it to help increase conversions.
Utilize “Content Upgrades”
A content upgrade plays on the fear of missing out because the reader has already invested a lot of time into the content – they want the full picture, but part of it’s being held back. They fear they’re missing out on important information, so they become much more willing to hand something over in exchange for that information.
Often, issues with a site’s usability won’t be uncovered during testing, coming to light only once the site’s actually being used by a real-life audience. It makes sense, then, to initially roll out a site to a very limited audience, so that potential issues can be identified and fixed before becoming a free-for-all. Executed correctly, limiting the availability of something makes it all the more desirable.
Attach a Time Limit to the Availability of Your Content
This is a similar idea to the above, except, you place a time limit on your content. Just because you attach a time limit to your content initially, doesn’t mean you can’t make it available permanently shortly down the line. Think of the limited release as a “content preview” that your email subscribers or social following can get exclusive access to.
Re-Engage Idle Readers
Sometimes, a reader will be impressed with your content and sign-up to your mailing list, but never actually open your emails or return to your site. With a cleverly-worded email, you can strike the fear of missing out in those forgotten readers and re-engage them with your emails, site, and content.
Craft FOMO Into Your Titles and Subject Lines
Getting your content (and emails) read is easier said than done. On average, for every 10 people that see a headline, only 8 will read it (the headline, that is) and only 2 people will go on to read the actual content. That said, you can increase the odds of your content being read – and of your emails being opened – by writing an awesome headline.
And one way you can do that is by incorporating FOMO.
Use FOMO to Enhance Product Pages
The most prevalent use of FOMO in sales copy and on product pages is “limited time FOMO.” While cashing in on our inherent fear of missing out is by no means a new or ground-breaking marketing tactic, it remains a very effective one that marketers will want to introduce into all aspects of their website and digital promotions campaigns.
Deceptive FOMO tactics will eventually catch up with you when customers start to realize they were misled by inflated numbers, exaggerated scenarios or seemingly time-sensitive or exclusive offers. The websites and apps you build for clients shouldn’t just attract and convert customers. They also need to help your clients retain that business and loyalty over the long term. By being more responsible with the messages you’re sending, you can help them accomplish that.