The majority of Americans do not trust advertisements, but nine out of 10 people believe in word of mouth endorsements. Bandwagon advertising lets you combine powerful peer recommendations with traditional ads to potentially skyrocket your conversions.
In this post, we’ll explore what bandwagon advertising is, as well as its potential benefits. We’ll then help you decide whether this marketing technique is right for you. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Bandwagon Advertising (And Why You May Want to Use It)
The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) can be a powerful motivator. Whether it’s jumping on the latest trend, purchasing tickets to an event that’s generating a social media storm, or pre-ordering the latest must-have product, we all want to feel included.
This is where bandwagon advertising comes in. As a part of this strategy, businesses convince customers to make a particular purchase in order to be part of a crowd. If you’ve ever seen an ad claiming that a product is America’s favorite, or that nine out of ten people recommend, you’ve encountered bandwagon advertising:
This form of advertising often creates a sense of urgency by encouraging customers to take advantage of an opportunity before it’s lost forever. Popularity also implies quality. If you can convince potential customers that lots of people are converting, they’ll be more likely to check out your product or service:
Some bandwagon campaigns even attempt to establish a certain position as the ‘winning’ side. They then challenge the consumer to get on the right side by purchasing their product or service:
These advertisements may use language such as best in class or number-one to create the narrative that they’re the right choice. For this reason, many bandwagon advertising campaigns also talk about awards that the company has won.
Is Bandwagon Advertising Right for You? (3 Key Considerations)
When used carefully, bandwagon advertising monetizes the natural human fear of being left out. However, this approach isn’t ideal for every business. Here are three factors to bear in mind when deciding whether this marketing strategy is right for you.
1. Your Current Social Proof
‘Social proof’ is a psychological phenomenon where people copy the behavior of their peers in order to adapt to a certain social situation. When it comes to e-commerce and bandwagon ads, many businesses use positive reviews and testimonials as social proof. This is wise, since a product that has reviews is 270% more likely to be purchased.
If your business has a backlog of positive feedback, then you already have some powerful content for a bandwagon campaign. For example, you could feature your social proof prominently on your homepage, place it alongside the relevant product, or include the best quotes in your social media campaigns:
In order to drive conversions, it’s vital that you display positive social proof. If your business has attracted some less-than-glowing reviews, then bandwagon advertising may not be for you. This might also be the case if your website has mixed reviews. If you’re obviously cherry-picking the best comments and ignoring the rest, consumers may feel that you’re deliberately misrepresenting your business.
If you don’t have a stack of customer feedback, you may want to gather this content before launching a bandwagon campaign. Fortunately, though, the first five reviews have the biggest impact on conversions.
Even better, 76% of consumers are happy to leave a review if asked. This means that acquiring the content you need for a successful bandwagon campaign shouldn’t be too difficult. Simply send a follow-up email to your customers requesting their feedback, and you should get a response.
2. Your Overall Sales and Other Key Statistics
Bandwagon advertising is all about convincing potential customers to follow the crowd. This means that persuasive sales figures can be a powerful addition to a bandwagon campaign. When lots of people are using a company’s products and services, it implies that these customers are satisfied with their experience:
In this way, bandwagon advertising is ideal for established businesses that have already made a large number of conversions. You may also be able to impress visitors if you’ve made lots of sales in a short span of time. For example, if you sell a product every minute, or recently achieved a record-breaking number of signups within a single day, that is great material for a bandwagon campaign.
If you’ve experienced a surge in popularity, you may also want to branch out into bandwagon advertising. A campaign that claims your company recently enjoyed a 200% uptake in sales is a great way to present your company as something special.
After you’ve crunched the numbers, if you aren’t happy with your statistics, then bandwagon advertising may not be right for you. You should also avoid the temptation to try and spin more flattering figures in order to make them appear more impressive.
Presenting your stats as percentages or fractions may make them seem more persuasive. For a brand-new startup, two additional sales can translate to a 100% increase in conversions. However, most modern consumers are savvy, and will easily spot any deliberate attempts to mislead them. This kind of bandwagon advertising campaign can misfire and damage your reputation.
3. How Frequently Your Visitors Buy
Bandwagon advertising is often most effective when there’s a sense of urgency. Your typical consumer won’t want to risk missing out on a great deal, or being left behind by their peers.
If your website attracts a constant stream of conversions, you’re in a strong position to capitalize on this sense of urgency. In particular, many popular sites display a feed of real-time customer activity. This may include data about when customers purchase your product, sign up for your newsletter, or join your membership:
By displaying real-time customer activity, you can convince visitors that they need to jump on the bandwagon right now, before it’s too late. However, not every website can boast frequent sales.
If you’re a new venture, you may still be growing your audience. There are also many established, profitable businesses that thrive on a small number of conversions. For example, if your e-commerce site only stocks expensive electronics, you might only sell a limited number of units.
A slow or even static activity feed will make your site seem unpopular. In the worst case scenario, visitors may even wonder if your business has been abandoned. For this reason, you may want to avoid bandwagon advertising if your site isn’t currently generating lots of conversions.
With so many skeptical shoppers, bandwagon advertising may feel like an easy solution, but this technique isn’t right for everyone. It can work well for established companies with a backlog of positive reviews and conversions. However, startups and smaller businesses may benefit from building up these resources before launching their first bandwagon campaign.
Do you have any questions about whether bandwagon advertising is right for you? Let us know in the comments section below!