Marketing and Sales

6 Ways FOMO Marketing Still Helps Growing Businesses

9 minutes

6 Ways FOMO Marketing Still Helps Growing Businesses

What if we told you that as you’re reading this post, all of your friends are out having fun? You’d feel like you’re missing out, right? That’s FOMO in action — the fear of missing out.

FOMO, of course, isn’t a great feeling. However, FOMO marketing is a well-established and effective way to encourage customers to buy something. Rather than making customers feel like they’re missing out on a social occasion, though, FOMO marketing is about offering something that is too good for the customer not to have.

Because we’re wired to feel emotions like FOMO, using FOMO marketing can be a great way to leverage human psychology to grow your business. Read on to find out how it can help to scale up your company.

4 characteristics of FOMO in marketing

Before you start to think about how you can use FOMO marketing in your business, it’s important that you know exactly what this type of marketing is. Whatever your business does, from selling a cloud phone system to pre-loved clothes, you should be able to recognize some of the main characteristics of FOMO in marketing.

Generates urgency through time-limited offers and exclusivity

Quick! You’ve only got a minute left to finish this post! That’s not true, of course, but we’re sure that it briefly raised your pulse and made you read with a bit more urgency. There’s nothing quite like a time limit if you want someone to achieve something — and that’s as true for marketing as it is for anything else.

FOMO-powered marketing will often use time-limited offers to encourage customers to make a purchase. Think about popular sales such as Black Friday: one of the reasons why they’re so effective is that customers know that the offer will only last for 24 hours.

Brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers like H&M have been using this tactic for many years — and it still proves effective today. By plastering eye-catching visuals around your store or website and incorporating words like “FINAL,” they create a clear sense of urgency that makes customers want to cash in.

create a sense of urgency
H&M uses bold colors and strong wording to create a sense of urgency

Utilizes social proof to showcase popularity and desirability

A big part of the feeling of FOMO is the natural desire to follow the crowd. If you see lots of other people wearing pink blazers on your commute to work, you’re probably going to be more likely to check whether you can find any in your size. This idea of social proof is a big part of FOMO marketing.

It might seem easy to generate social proof in traditional businesses — a busy restaurant is likely to attract customers who are walking by, for instance. But online businesses have to be more creative. This means using features such as customer testimonials in digital marketing materials.

Sustainable toilet paper brand Who Gives a Crap takes that creativity to the next level. By weaving their brand voice into the mix, they showcase customer testimonials in a highly visual way by showcasing a community of customers and supporters.

social proof
Who Gives a Crap leverages social proof to showcase its community and enhance its brand voice

Social proof will make your brand appear trustworthy and reliable, as well as make potential customers feel like they risk missing out on the positive experiences that are suggested by your customer testimonials.

Appeals to the desire for exclusivity and a sense of belonging

In today’s world of social media, creating a sense of exclusivity and belonging has never been more effective as a marketing technique. FOMO marketing leans into the feeling by making potential customers feel like they’re joining an exclusive club by making a purchase.

A great way of doing this is by partnering with social media influencers. These influencer marketing campaigns will see influencers use your products in posts. Followers will then start to feel FOMO about not having those products, encouraging them to find your brand and make purchases.

This strategy is increasingly used by beauty brands like Bali Body Skin, which partnered with digital content creator Alana Hosn on Instagram. Alana has created a community of followers who love learning more about her skincare routine and product recommendations, so the partnership made for an engaging campaign that created a sense of exclusivity among her audience.

create a sense of exclusivity
Bali Body Skin partnered with influencer Alana Hosn to create a sense of exclusivity among her engaged audience

Triggers emotions, evoking FOMO for immediate action

Another crucial feature of any good FOMO-powered marketing campaign is a focus on triggering emotions. FOMO is an emotional response rather than a rational one, so you’ll want to create marketing materials that aim to set off this emotional response.

Instead of focusing on simply listing the positive aspects of your products or services, emphasize features such as scarcity or popularity to drive immediate action. Examples of this include showing decreasing stock levels next to a product or highlighting positive customer reviews.

Don’t forget about the visual aspect as well. Below, you can see how Good & Well Supply Co complements its urgent language with an appealing GIF that encourages shoppers to immediately click through to the sale.

Good & Well Supply Co uses fun visuals to drive immediacy

6 ways growing businesses can benefit from FOMO marketing

The features of FOMO marketing are easy to get your head around — and they’re fairly simple and straightforward to implement. While you probably have a good idea of why they’re effective, though, what about the concrete benefits of using FOMO marketing to grow your business?

Here are the six main ways in which FOMO marketing helps growing companies.

Improved conversion rates

There’s no doubt that one of the biggest benefits of using FOMO marketing is its ability to boost your conversion rates. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than knowing that you’ve got customers viewing your website without actually making that final action to spend money.

It should be fairly obvious how FOMO marketing will improve your conversion rates. Features such as time-limited offers make customers feel a sense of urgency about making a purchase — it’ll be much less likely that they’ll leave your website to think about the product, only to then forget about it entirely.

The social elements of FOMO marketing — such as using influencers and customer testimonials — will also improve conversion rates, as they’ll mean that more people come to your website intending to join this community of buyers.

Once you’ve converted leads, it’s crucial that you encourage them to stick around. You can do this through membership programs, subscription services, and exclusive offers that reward repeat custom.

Clothing retailer River Island’s RI Insider program fosters a community of shoppers who want the latest trending pieces. By encouraging people to sign up with the lure of exclusive discounts year-round, the brand creates a sense of exclusivity and encourages repeat business. This is an excellent way of encouraging customer loyalty and increases the chances of customers spreading the word about your brand, helping you improve conversions further.

loyalty program
River Island’s loyalty program leverages insider-only discounts to create FOMO

Higher customer engagement

Your marketing campaigns shouldn’t just be about encouraging immediate conversions. It’s also important that you consider the long-term success of your business — and customer engagement is a crucial part of this.

While traditional methods of nurturing customer engagement, such as making sure to send recurring email messages, might be effective, using FOMO marketing will also help you grow engagement.

This is because more of your customers will have been prompted to do business with you due to social psychology rather than any other factor. They’ll feel that continuing to engage with your company will mean that they’re part of a community, whether that’s a community of social media influencers or other customers who posted customer testimonials.

Amplified brand awareness

These effects on customer engagement will have a positive impact on your brand awareness. If a customer discovers a brand on social media, they’ll be more likely to post about any purchase they’ve made — this is a way of communicating that they’ve joined a social group.

Growing your social media audience is crucial for any growing business and is a great way to amplify brand awareness. It also effectively replicates those feelings of FOMO as more people see your products online.

Enhanced repeat business and loyalty

Repeat business is the goal of any business that wants to grow — after all, loyal customers are likely to spend more than new ones, while you’ll have less pressure to spend big on marketing if you have a loyal core of customers.

FOMO marketing can help you achieve this. You could give existing customers exclusive deals, triggering feelings of FOMO if they don’t make that purchase.

Global brands like Starbucks have been incorporating this tactic for years, encouraging repeat business — it’s simple: the more customers spend, the more stars they get. The more stars they get, the more perks they gain access to.

benefits and freebies
Starbucks customers collect stars to unlock more benefits and freebies

Alternatively, you could create a loyalty program to further build the feeling of community around your brand.

Let’s say that you’re a company that sells a business VoIP. Rather than simply selling the product and moving on, a FOMO-powered marketing strategy would ensure that customers are shown how other customers have supported their original purchase with other related products, such as communication apps. This will encourage repeat business.

Productive lead generation approach

You won’t be able to improve your sales if you’ve got no one to sell to — this is why lead generation is so important. You’re going to need a bank of contact details to ensure that you’ve got a long-term audience who can buy your goods.

Luckily, FOMO marketing can be used to get potential customers to hand over their contact details as well as make a purchase. A great way to do this is by showing how customers risk losing out on potential deals if they don’t sign up for your newsletter — an effective and straightforward use of FOMO for lead generation.

Uniqlo keeps it nice and simple: customers add their name, email address, and birthday to the form and instantly receive a code for money off their first order (and a free birthday gift when the time comes).

offering customers a discount
Uniqlo collects data by offering customers a discount on their first order

Increased competitive advantage

FOMO marketing might be a well-established technique to grow sales, but it also includes a range of innovative marketing tactics, from collaborating with influencers to launching exclusive time-limited deals. These innovations will be a crucial point of difference between your company and your competitors, increasing your competitive advantage.

What’s more, the long-term effects of FOMO marketing — with it improving customer loyalty and brand awareness — will mean that this competitive advantage won’t be short-lived. Instead, you’ll be reaping the rewards of FOMO marketing long into the future.

FOMO marketing — still growing businesses today

Fear of missing out is a strong emotion. This means that it shouldn’t be a surprise that basing your marketing around FOMO is still a really effective way to grow your business.

FOMO marketing — including features like time-limited offers and exclusivity, social proof, and emotional trigger points — is a surefire way to boost conversions. However, it also has other benefits for companies looking to grow, from increasing customer loyalty to enhancing brand awareness.

So what are you waiting for? Start using FOMO marketing today — after all, you’ll only be missing out if you don’t!

Date of publication:

October 3, 2023

Ryan Yee

Ryan is an award-winning copywriter with 20+ years of experience working alongside major US brands, emerging startups, and leading tech...

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