Jeffrey Bonkiewicz

The best marketers in the world do this exceptionally well.

The best marketers in the world do this one thing exceptionally well.

Build Anticipation

Great marketing builds anticipation. What’s coming? What’s next? What are we excited for today? Where are we going next week? The software release uploads in six months. Great, what will they get out of it?

The best online and offline marketers build anticipation for their products, services and live events. Since they always have to be creating, they also always have to be promoting the next thing. In fact, as soon as one promotion ends, another begins typically only a few days later.

Digital Marketer begins building anticipation and selling tickets to their flagship Traffic & Conversion event held each February in September, a full six months in advance. Selling tickets to live events is hard. It is a difficult sell because there is no immediate need, no immediate gratification, no immediate scarcity six months out, the event itself is down the road and few people plan that far in advance, some people hate to leave home to travel and stay in hotels, etc. And yet Digital Marketer gets 5,000+ people to show up in-person in San Diego each year to its event. They pull this off largely through building anticipation and excitement for the event and through inciting intrigue.

The software company Salesforce holds the largest user conference on earth in San Francisco each September called DreamForce. Over 180,000 people attend each year. This is an astounding number of people for any conference. For comparative purposes, the Consumer Electronics Show or CES held each January in Las Vegas, which is the largest digital and electronics trade show in the world, gets around 105,000 people to attend. Salesforce gets 180,000 people to show up for its multi-day event, most of which are already customers. Yes, it is a Rah-Rah event. But it is also a celebration of people and the successes they’ve had working with Salesforce.

Salesforce builds anticipation for the DreamForce event months in advance. They ‘leak’ early schedules. They create teaser videos. They show video from the previous years’ shows. They list past speakers. They talk about the bands that play live there. (Metallica just played in Sept.) They talk about the next software release and the company vision going forward. They talk about what they stand for and what they stand against. It’s all done to build anticipation for the next DreamForce conference and to get people to attend. And attend they do — at great cost to them and their firms.

No one is going to be as excited for your creation as you are.

Great marketers understand that no one is going to be as excited for your creation, for your course, for your coaching service, for your live event as you are. So, you better be out there, telling anyone who will listen how excited you are about what is coming up. And you should tell them why they should be so excited for it. Tell them what’s in it for them. Lay it all out. Tell them exactly what they’re going to get by buying. Show them their desired outcome. You’ve got to make sure they get why they should be excited or else they won’t be.

Something is always coming.

Building anticipation is not a one-time event. It is an over and over again promotion. You should always be building anticipation. Something is always coming for your fans.

Look at a band getting ready to release a new album. They don’t just say, “Hey everybody. We’ve got an album coming out in April 29th. Go on and buy it.” They ‘leak’ an early track to iTunes and Spotify and the other streaming services. They talk about it on their email list. They go on the message boards and talk about it there. They create in-the-studio videos of them making the record and release those on YouTube. They talk about how excited they are to go out on tour to support the new album. They build it up to be something far more than it actually is. They market and sell it. They know that no one will be as excited for the new music as they are, so they better get busy marketing it and talking about it. They aren’t just creating. They are busy building anticipation.

Use this Hollywood secret.

Hollywood is notorious for building anticipation for its releases. The movie trailer has transcended industry and is now one of the preferred formats to promote other things, such as courses, live trainings, books and various creations. Trailers are preferred formats because they are familiar and they work. They’re also easy to create and share. And if you watch them over and over and over again, you really can’t wait for the release date of the actual product. Trailers are efficient and effective at building anticipation.

What’s coming up for you? What’s next? When’s the release? When’s the next new creation dropping? What are you doing to build anticipation for it? What are you doing to get people excited for it? Remember: no one will be as excited for it as you are, so you’d better get busy creating that excitement.

Another great way to build excitement is with a contest. Contests work to build buzz and awareness for product or a service. If you can align your contest with something happening in the news, all the better. Your contest is designed to build awareness, to build buzz, to market and to sell.

I’m a sales, marketing and tech Pro who creates content designed to help people solve problems and shift perspectives.