These are all examples of marketing campaigns that not only delighted consumers, but grabbed their attention, and got them to engage with brands and make purchases on a highly effective level.
Why did these campaigns work so well? One of the reasons is because of the fear of missing out on something—commonly known as fear of missing out, or FOMO.
For marketers, this is a powerful and well-known emotion that we sometimes try to capitalize on. You know that your product is the next big wave in finance, tech, health, fitness, or several other possible categories—but you want your potential customers to feel the same urgency you do.
One powerful way to create FOMO is with video. It’s an effective way to incite a positive emotional reaction in your target audience and consumers, but your content has to be genuinely relevant and valuable first.
We’ve seen FOMO in videos working really well with travel campaigns, for example. Successful travel videos inspire that feeling in consumers that they’re missing out on a fabulous vacation or destination, and therefore, result in longer engagement times.
They’ll also often inspire clicks through to the site, consideration of a purchase, and even the actual purchase itself of different travel related products and services.
This video nails FOMO perfectly:
This Visit Pittsburgh campaign ran on Taboola, and was able to keep an audience engaged for a while; a long while. The colorful images, movement and action in the video helped to inspire this reaction in their target audience.
When people saw how much fun Pittsburgh could be, they started feeling that small twinge of FOMO and started considering a visit.
Not all of your campaigns will be in video format, and for the text-based content, FOMO is still a useful marketing tool. Similar to our example title above, you’re going to want to think about using titles or text that incites emotion like this:
“Don’t Buy Your Next Smartphone Before Checking out This Site”
This title alludes to the idea that there is important information about smartphones that the reader may not know about, and that if the reader does not view the site, they could potentially miss out on something—like the opportunity to save money, or a better quality smartphone.
We took a deep dive into research that’s related to FOMO, to try to understand why it impacts us so much. There were two main reasons that came up—one related to the feeling of community and the other related to our tendency to avoid loss.
One of the most basic psychological needs, as described by two human motivation researchers, is called psychological relatedness, or closeness with others.
Many of people binge watch certain TV series, not only because they’re really good, but also so they can chime in on the pop culture conversation that you have with your colleagues at the water cooler. Many times, clicking, binge watching and scrolling through notifications makes us feel part of the greater group.
When it comes to content marketing, we are fine with devoting a few minutes of our day when we click that headline to find out about a hot new product, a city that’s getting a lot of visitors or what our favorite influencer is vlogging about now.
We don’t want to lose out on potential knowledge and acceptance. So, we click. We watch. We consume—all to win the battle against the FOMO.
FOMO also works incredibly well because of the intensity of which people feel loss. Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman who is well known for his book Thinking Fast and Slow, where he studied different human tendencies and how they impact our decisions.
One of his major theories discusses the tendency to prefer avoiding a loss even more than acquiring an equivalent gain.
This tendency is one explanation for why FOMO is so impactful. If we don’t click on that headline, or don’t think about visiting Hawaii after watching that video, a powerful feeling of potential loss arises, which motivates us to take action.
When you’re able to create a video that not only promotes your product and explains why it’s so wonderful, but also hits that FOMO nerve, even just a bit, you’ll be increasing your chance of post-watch or post-click actions.
FOMO is real. When you’re producing your next marketing video, take into account that a feeling of missing out and that strong desire to be included in a community.