Buzz Generation

I am sure you have all encountered the term ‘buzz generation’ before. It is in essence the attempt to draw positive attention and interest in something. For businesses, it means the attempt to create interest in a product or service. You are hyping up your product and service in order to reach your customers.

For marketeers, Buzz generation or buzz marketing is defined as follows:

Buzz marketing examples include companies creating online videos, usually centered around something humorous, controversial, unusual or outrageous, that hope to cause a sensation and get people talking about it, sharing it via social media and driving up views on websites such as YouTube.


You are essentially attempting to leverage other people’s audiences to drive your content through Paid, Earned, Social, and Owned channels. Hello LOPA PESO! Leveraging other people’s audience to drive content through paid, earned, social, and owned channels.

Buzz generation and LOPA PESO

Traditionally, when we LOPA PESO, we use Google, Facebook, and the media for buzz generation. We plan for and execute on content to generate coverage of that content (the buzz). And then we leverage that buzz to power boosts our marketing campaigns.

The most common practice is to separate the content from the distribution channel or distribution channels. The thing to remember here is that it is not putting content into a distribution channel that drives the value. Rather, you are paying for access to the channels. These are your paid ads, or you are paying for placement, visibility, and ranking.

As with all buzz generation marketing strategies, there are pros and cons to the PESO. Let’s break them down for each of the PESO components.

Paid Media

Paid media in our social media era include but are not limited to buys such as Facebook sponsored posts, sponsored tweets, Twitter cards, Outbrain and Taboola, PPC networks, and influencer buys.

The pros are:

  • Reliable: guaranteed exposure for your message
  • Scalable: more money means more distribution
  • Fast: media can be placed in front of an audience today

The cons are:

  • Low trust: everyone is a bit skeptical of paid placements or ads
  • Expensive: as reach or frequency increase, so does cost
  • Ephemeral: once you stop investment, the returns drop off quickly

A little pro tip in this regard. If you have a faddish product or a fatuous audience, one suggestion would be to ‘buy’ an influencer on or aspireIQ. In the end, of course, the decision lies with you. You know your product and your audience best. If you determine that the best strategy for buzz generation lies with paid advertising, go ahead.

Earned media

The second part of PESO is Earned media.

Earned media is creating advertising content that journalists and opinion-makers can report on.

Dictionary definition

Earned media examples include but are not limited to media relations, blogger relations, investor relations, and influencer relations.

The pros are:

  • Authoritative: you are vouched for by a third-party authority
  • Cost-effective reach: leverage the size and trust of an established audience
  • Long-term: past press mentions or placements can be referenced to create long term SEO and referential benefits

The cons are:

  • Unreliable: you can never guarantee a press mention or placement
  • Hard to scale: does not scale well to global efforts or high volumes of messages
  • Expensive: an effective PR campaign takes time and money

Another little pro tip: Publishers are said to be the best advocates. Why? Because they have a promoted voice and they have credibility.

Shared media

Shared media is social media postings shared on a wide variety of social media networks. This includes but is not limited to Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, etc.

The pros are:

  • High trust: people trust their peers more than media or an ad
  • Low cost: the amplification of your content is tied to its quality, not the dollars behind it

The cons are:

  • Unreliable: it’s hard to predict what will be shared in advance
  • Unscalable: simply producing more content doesn’t always mean more shares

Owned media

As the name suggests, these are publication outlets that you own. These could include blogs, magazines, movies, etc. The content you would share through these channels of publication include

  • Create from experts
  • Employee stories
  • Customer stories
  • User-generated content
  • Reviews
  • Brand journalism
  • Webinars, videos, & podcasts

The pros are:

  • Low risk: you can’t be shut down when policies change or a platform dies
  • Long-term: evergreen content will draw audiences as long as it’s relevant, your tribe will serve you as long as you nurture it.

The cons are:

  • Slow: it takes time to build an audience
  • Not independent: takes a combination of paid, earned, and shared media to build an audience

You need to decide whether PESO is a marketing strategy that is worth your marketing dollars.


Buzz generation without breaking the bank

How do we generate and track buzz without depleting our marketing budget? By moving from content to advertising to advocacy.

So, content is separate from its distribution channel. But, the medium is the message.

The form your marketing message takes (which is determined by the medium or distribution channel) influences how the message is received. Both in the sense of how the message was read or watched or scanned etc., and how your potential customers are reacting to it.

It is this second aspect that turns content into advertising. Someone notices the content (your marketing message) and they will act on it. Mind, this does not have to be a positive reaction. Somebody could click away from the content, or vote it down, or negatively comment on it.

Ultimately, of course, you want your content to prompt potential customers to purchase your product or service. Ideally, you also want positive feedback. That is when advertising turns into advocacy.

And advocacy should be your ultimate goal. Why? Because advocates work for free!!!!!

This is how buzz generation can work without big bucks being involved.


What is Tribe Advocacy?

Advocacy can exist on many levels. I want to talk about Tribe advocacy.

Tribe advocacy is the process of getting influential people and organizations to talk about your brand through ‘omnichannel’ media.

Let’s unpack this a bit.

Omnichannel media means attempting to create or expand your brand’s presence across multiple media channels. These can be online, such as websites, email, SMS, social media networks, etc. Or, omnichannel marketing can occur offline, such as actual brick-and-mortar stores, print ads, promotional events, etc.

It leverages, then, inbound marketing to nurture brand advocates and turn them into buyers. It means creating valuable content and experiences that your audience will actually want. Inbound marketing makes connections by giving your audience what they are looking for: solutions to problems they have defined themselves and a more meaningful long-term marketing relationship that is fruitful for both sides.

In short, with inbound marketing, you are fulfilling the needs and wants of your tribe.

The tribe in turn will reward you with advocacy for your brand because of the connection


How does this type of advocacy work?

Influential people use a wide variety of media channels to discuss their promotional campaigns. Because of their established influence, they have coverage. And because of their wide coverage, they don’t pay for their promotional campaigns to be distributed.

Nowadays people care less about where they get their information from. In today’s social media world, the message has to be separated from the advocate. Rather, tribe advocacy is driven by shareable content that is freely distributed. Like a many-headed hydra.

If your marketing is too closely tied to specific advocates, you are intertwining your fates. Your marketing message has to be able to stand on its own. You want to reach the brand advocates’ audiences. You have to offer them something worthwhile.

Your marketing message should be a continued, stable stream of interesting/ entertaining content that is brand-driven. It could be short video spots, short films, banner ads, text-only ads, white papers. And a ton of pictures, memes, and posts. Your content should be designed to leverage other people’s audiences (the LOPA).

Make buzz generation work for you…without depleting your marketing budget. Let your tribe advocate for you.

One more thing

I included below the Conversation Prism. It is a visual map, launched in 2008 and periodically updated, of the social media landscape. It’s an ongoing study in digital ethnography that tracks the currently dominant and promising-looking social networks and organizes them by how they’re used in everyday life.

Check it out. It can be a very useful tool in understanding the state of the contemporary social media landscape. And where it might be heading.

Use it to determine what existing social media networks might work best for your social media marketing strategy.

About the Author
William Flanagan
William is the founder and CEO of Audienti and a regular contributor to at Medium, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and more. He is also the founder of Growmance, a free GrowthHacking Slack community. Connect with him about sales, marketing, ebikes, and music on Twitter, LinkedIn, or on Growmance.