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What’s All The Hype About?

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March 26,2014

What is hype, and why you need it.

By Heather Wied, Pubsoft

When you hear the word hype, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe the question, “what’s all the hype about?” But hype, although we may not call it exactly that any longer, is an essential part of creating a brand community or tribe that marketers need to have loyal customer followings. Hype these days is synonymous with “generating buzz.” It’s all simply a matter of semantics as far as what people call it, but it’s basically a concentrated effort to spread a message in a concise amount of time to get as many people as possible to be aware of who you are and what you are doing. It can be PR related, as in traditional PR outlets, such as press releases and news stories from media outlets, but these days it also includes the use of multiple different blog sites, social media sharing, and if you’re a master of creating hype, the all-important trending topic on Twitter. When there is buzz around your product people want it, and it satisfies the first three stages of the AIDA consumer behavior purchase model: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.

While the final A of Action is always in the hands of the customer, it’s the savvy marketer’s responsibility to fulfill the first three stages of the model and get them to that point. One way of getting a customer closer to action is hype. Hype is what makes people interested, and makes them want to belong to a group and be a part of the momentum and excitement of a product, service, or idea. People want to know why everyone else is talking about X and they don’t know about it or haven’t tried it yet. There’s nothing wrong with making people want what you’re selling, just be prepared to deliver, or else you’ll disappoint, and once customer is lost, recovery can be very difficult.

Ways to create hype

  • Get your team on board. Make sure that your inner circle is synchronized and everyone is on the same page. Set a time for everyone to tweet or retweet, and share posts. Attach a unique identifier to a consistent, but uniquely voiced message. We’re talking about those hashtag phrases you just can’t shake these days. #Hashtag, anyone?!
  • Send out a press release, doing so will help you communicate more easily with your local and target market-specific media outlets.
  • Get your social networks buzzing. Make sure people are talking about your product on social media and sharing your content. Don’t be afraid to send out an email to remind people to comment and share.
  • Organize a special promotion around your campaign to entice people to action once you’ve captured their awareness, interest, and desire.


Does hype help or hurt?

Quality product is the crux of the situation. If you have a great product that you truly believe in hype won’t hurt. If there is no quality product to fulfill the hype, you will find that all of your publicity will turn to negative publicity when it gets out in the market. Especially with the advent of social media, your product can go from crowd favorite to community pariah in the space of a tweet.

Your hype efforts don’t necessarily promise results.

Does anyone remember The Casual Vacancy? No? Didn’t think so. The Casual Vacancy, was supposed to be J.K. Rowling’s first foray into the world of adult fiction. The work was heavily promoted with much hype and fanfare behind it, thus creating high expectations for delivery. Perhaps the world was waiting for an edgier version of Harry Potter? What they got was nowhere near what they’d come to expect from their favorite author, and the book failed miserably by industry standards. In order to free herself from the confines of the image she had created through the Harry Potter series, and the dismal results of The Casual Vacancy, she wrote under a pseudonym and employed the polar opposite of strategies in order to release The Cuckoo’s Calling. And we all know how that story ended, because as soon as the floodgates burst, everyone had to get their hands on the new book, and the result was astounding as the book jumped tremendously in popularity and still remains a bestseller, but mainly due to the hype around the secrecy of her publishing stunt.

Sometimes no hype creates its own hype.

Similar to the J.K. Rawlings example, there’s been a trend, specifically with popular music recording artists, to release albums with no publicity prior to release. We’re looking at you, Beyonce and Kid Cudi. This choice to consciously do the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing, causes people to pause and say to themselves, “What?! How come I didn’t know?” Which drives them directly where the marketers want them. In one fell swoop the ultimate anti-marketing campaign becomes its own hype-generating machine. However, don’t misunderstand, this is not achievable by everyone; however, it does illustrate the importance of building a large base of loyal customers, fans, and followers.


Heather Wied is the Marketing Director for Pubsoft. Follow @Pubsoft on Twitter.

Pubsoft is a digital publishing engine that is empowering the next generation of great publishers with an array of intuitive solutions to manage multiple facets of publishing and sales. The easy-to-use administration portal lets publishers instantly create and manage an ebook store for direct sales to consumers, drive social media-enabled marketing campaigns, deliver ebooks to mobile devices, manage authors and distribute royalties. With backend solutions that streamline administration and a unique interface that connects publishers, authors and readers with unparalleled transparency, Pubsoft is poised to change the way publishers operate in the 21st century. Learn more at Read our blog at


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