In this day and age, it’s becoming increasingly important to get a good grasp of what is important to your target audience.
Knowing their likes, dislikes, and what they care about can give you an idea of the types of content you should publish to get their attention and stimulate engagement. One of the smartest ways to come up with relevant content is through current events.
Viral news topics, political and sporting events, natural disasters, and holidays affect the daily lives of your audience so they can easily recognize and relate to them. You can capitalize on current events by integrating them into your marketing communications and campaigns.
Using a timely subject matter in your posts, ads and other marketing activities can spark interest in your audience and increase your chances of getting noticed. But you need to be careful because “newsjacking” can be a tricky and sensitive thing. Not all brands that use this tactic were successful. Some even gained a bad rap.
In this article, we will discuss how current events affect your digital media strategy and tips on how to use them to boost engagement and increase brand awareness for your business.
Thanks to social media, people today are becoming increasingly involved in what’s happening around the world.
Whether it has something to do with political, social, sports, or a viral subject matter, everyone seems to be updated and wants to take part or share their opinions about it. It is a great opportunity for businesses to get involved and be a part of the conversation by publishing relevant content.
Integrating current events into your digital media strategy will not only spark interest in your audience but also encourage them to engage with your brand! It also allows you to build trust and connect with your audience.
A good example of this is the Harlem shake. It was a silly random video made by teens that went viral. Everyone was doing it, and it spawned over 32,000 versions overnight.
Many companies were smart and quick enough to join the trend.
They recreated the Harlem shake in the form of advertisements and everybody could relate well. Some brands did it for fun and it was entertaining to watch.
Another great example is Nike’s 2018 ad with Colin Kaepernick. The ad featured the former quarterback and other superstar athletes like LeBron James, Serena Williams, and others.
It had a very striking line: “Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything.” It touched on the controversy of NFL players opposing police brutality, racial inequality, and other issues.
It garnered a lot of negative reactions from people at first. Some even went to the extent of uploading videos on social media of themselves burning Nike products. But later on, Nike’s stock price reached an all-time high.
Now that we’ve tackled how some brands were able to successfully integrate current events into their digital marketing strategy, it’s now time to talk about ones that failed.
In 2017, Pepsi released an ad featuring Kendall Jenner walking up to a police officer with a group of protesters behind her and handing him a can of Pepsi. The goal of the ad was for people to think of their product as a culturally unifying force.
Unfortunately, using a white, attractive model to unite both sides came off as offensive and insincere. The ad received so much hate from the public that it was taken down in a day.
Another bad example was Dove’s Facebook Ad in 2017. Dove posted a four-panel image showcasing a young African American woman removing her shirt in the first three panels. The fourth panel, however, revealed a young white woman.
The original intention of the ad was to demonstrate the “diversity of real beauty”. Unfortunately, people saw this ad as racist.
Incorporating current events, cultural trends, and what’s hot in pop culture into your digital marketing strategies can make your content more relevant and interesting to your audience.
But make sure to use it carefully to prevent offending your customer base and target audience.
Current events encourage your audience to engage with your brand in real-time. They’re also highly relatable subject matters, so incorporating them into your marketing efforts allows a larger market to relate to them.
It’s also a great way to gather user-generated content, which you can use as a marketing aid and reduce your advertising cost by a lot. Plus, they’re effective as long as you use them well!
Many companies now run contents where users submit photos or videos by posting them on social media to win prizes. What’s great about it is that it costs 0 dollars to do, yet it’s great publicity.
It also helps increase your reach because once a user shares it to a hundred friends and those friends share it to a hundred of their networks of friends, it’ll never end! It also helps boost brand recognition and help you generate new leads and customers!
Not all current events resonate with your customer base or target audience, so you need to choose which trending subject matter you should capitalize on. You need to know what they care about and the challenges they’re facing right now.
Once you have a solid understanding of what topics evoke interest from your audience, then selecting which current events to use will be a much easier task.
For example; during wedding seasons, a financial management firm can generate content around creating a practical wedding budget or investment alternatives that might attract people who are concerned with budgeting, personal finance, or debt.
Plan for regular or predictable events or holidays, like Christmas, New Year, Valentines, 4th of July, and more. Publishing content that is timely during these events helps you stay relevant.
It’s best to plan to simplify your long-term content planning since you can use these topics again in the years to come.
Plus, it also helps you stay one step ahead with organizing future communications or promotions.
Although it’s important to plan for annual events, you shouldn’t forget to leave room in your content calendar for unexpected ones. You can use “hot topics” that are related to your industry to naturally boost the visibility of your content, especially if they’re trending on a national or international level.
Hashtags are everywhere! Make sure to use relevant hashtags in your posts, so whenever a user searches for a hashtag, your content is also generated.
It’s also good to come up with your unique hashtag. Just remember to use these hashtags carefully. Do your research first to make sure that your content is relevant to what the hashtag is about.
Aside from choosing the right subject matter, it’s also important that you use the best platform for publishing it. Using the best platform guarantees that your message reaches your audience fast and effectively.
Publishing content with timely subjects can establish how your business fits in with current events and other important things that are happening with your audience.
It will not only allow you to connect with your audience, but it will also drive more traffic to your site from social media accounts and search engines.
And more importantly, it helps you generate new leads and customers.
If you don’t feel confident incorporating current events into your content and digital marketing strategy, Digital Resource can help you! We specialize in digital media, blogging, SEO, and social media. We can help you stay relevant and drive your narrative straight to your target audience!