Customer Focus | Digital Marketing | Strategy

Expiring Content & FOMO: the Fear of Missing Out

The Fear of Missing Out – affectionately referred to as FOMO from this point on – has likely been around for as long as humans have walked the planet.

Marketers have used it for as long as marketers have been marketing – just with other names: “keeping up with the Joneses”, “the grass is always greener on the other side” and “I’ll have what she’s having.”  Let’s take a look at how it can be used to further your sales goals today and into the future.

Leveraging FOMO in 2017 and Beyond:


While FOMO is all about your desire not to miss out on something awesome, it also has an element of expediency about it: make a decision now, do something now or you will miss out on the greater fun waiting in the wings. Choose now to head out for dinner with friend, or perhaps miss a great meal and wonderful conversation. Put a bid on the house now or let it go to another buyer. And so on.

  • Expiring media allows you to capture a prospect’s FOMO.

Expiring media – also known as ephemeral media – is content that disappears after a certain amount of time. Think of Snapchat, with messages that disappear from a receiver’s smartphone in mere seconds once opened. Or Instagram Stories, or Facebook Live.

Expiring media allows a marketer to capture a prospect’s FOMO because the fear of missing that message! What’s in it!? It could be great! lets you cut through the noise and get a prospect’s immediate attention. In addition, you don’t need to spend a massive amount of money on it.

Let’s say you work in enrollment management at a college or university and are looking to attract more students to your school. Your database undoubtedly is full of prospects who have visited campus at least once, students on your wait list, accepted students who haven’t yet committed to you, and so on.

With that data, you could send these prospects news that might interest them, such as:

  1. The better dorm rooms are filling up quickly, so accepted students may want to commit sooner rather than later.
  2. Only X number of slots are left in the Class of 2022: it’s time to make a decision.
  3. If really bold, you could offer a considerable tuition discount if students commit and make a deposit by a certain date.
  • “Content upgrades” can be used to your advantage.

This is where you offer more content in exchange for something such as an e-mail address. You tease the prospect with a bit of the information, piquing his interest.  Then let him know that you normally charge for this information, but for a very limited time (one or two days, max), you’re offering it free. Make sure the content does normally cost money to receive; never lie.

This type of FOMO marketing taps into a prospect’s fear of missing out on important information, making him more willing to give you something you want (his contact info) in exchange.

In essence:

If you still don’t quite understand what FOMO is, you’ve undoubtedly experienced it at some point recently: a favorite band is coming to town on short notice and you feel you must get tickets or you will miss the chance of a lifetime. Your sister-in-law has told you her family is taking a cruise soon and she found some great deals, but if you want to go with her and grab those great discounts, you have to act fast.

Using FOMO and expiring media together can help nudge prospects along your sales funnel by capturing their interest and instilling a worry of missing out on something valuable.  Let Detroit-area Ingenex Digital Marketing help you discover what content your prospects will respond to and create a FOMO campaign around it.


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