Keeping It Trendy

Courtney Grossman

Posted On September 1, 2016

Why Current Events Need To Be Part of Your Brand’s Content Mix

We live in a time where brands can be connected and engaging with consumers, in real time, at any time thanks to social media. It is important to remember that on digital platforms, consumers can engage with your brand at their convenience. It’s a fingertip away and (again for emphasis) on their time. With this in mind, your content needs to accommodate the consumer. Pretty generic advice, huh? It’s not that simple. 

Consumers’ attention is constantly shifting due to such a dynamic marketplace. New trending topics surface everyday and on an hourly basis. It seems like a never-ending uphill battle for brands to stay relevant in the conversation.

Don’t get lost in the noise.

Take advantage of the shifting focus.

Attach your brand to current events and trending topics

Unrelated is relatable

Contradicting, right? Why waste time with unrelated topics? And wouldn’t this content be unappealing to my audience?

Here’s an example to answer why: “Today is national (insert literally anything) day.” It seems as if everyday is a new holiday, but this is a trend that brands are taking advantage of. How? By creating content related to a holiday and associating it with their brand.

More importantly, this association results in shareable content – AKA, free exposure. Additionally, it makes your brand relevant in today’s conversation and more personable. People love the holidays, so give the people what they want! This is an opportunity to create content that will resonate with people who may have never heard of your brand prior. You can argue that these users aren’t in your target audience, however, they may share or tag someone who is.

Pro tip: There are 197 U.S. holidays to choose from. Seriously, check them out.

Newsjacking /n(y)o͞ozjah-king / verb: A content strategy that associates your brand with a current event or news story. The result of newsjacking is driving trending traffic to your brand. Readers are always interested in learning more about a story, even if you aren’t a go-to source for news. However, this is still an opportunity to gain readership. Furthermore, consumers trust your brand since you are seen as up-to-date with times. Newsjacking is something any brand can do. However, it favors observant people who listen to the conversation, quickly react, and communicate appropriate content.

Pro tip: This may be obvious, but stay away from politics. There are enough Facebook users that have become experts in politics.

Leo Burnett Tweet

Consistency to the ever-changing madness

Social media is a landscape that is rapidly changing, but there is consistency—your brand voice. A voice is a huge part of branding. Social media allows people to always read, save, or screenshot your voice (technically words, but you know what I mean). It is important to maintain a brand’s voice even with varying content. A consistent brand voice builds a loyal following. Let’s compare two different voices to give you a better idea:

RGA TweetWhen it comes to current events, RGA can be seen as a witty commentator. Even with sarcasm, they still incorporate industry-related content. Contrasting RGA, Leo Burnett can be seen as more of an authoritative and informational source. They are viewed as a very “corporate” brand at all times.

Act fast to ride the wave

Oreo Tweet

The benefit significantly decreases if you are late to the conversation. This strategy, compared to others, is more dependent on timing. Here’s a thought that will contradict what most digital markers will tell you —approval and planning can be a disadvantage. Approval is important but don’t let it hinder the process of getting content posted.

Some events happen instantaneously and are unplanned. In order to take advantage of the short duration of buzzing attention, you can’t have layers of approval. The team managing Oreo’s account nailed taking advantage of the Super Bowl blackout, and it wouldn’t have been possible if they had to get approval from multiple people.

If you reached this point of my blog I am grateful you took the time to read, however, refocus and get trendy. You probably missed a new story or trend already.