There’s never been a more challenging time to work in marketing – especially when you’re on a small budget. On one hand, the internet allows brands to connect with a larger audience than ever. What’s more, the seemingly banal act of “sharing” has been a game changer for marketers, amplifying their messages thousands of times for no extra cost. The result? Your audience is potentially your greatest ally.
But there’s also a catch. The 24/7 news cycle has made for a fickle digital audience; “trending” issues dominate online discussions, yet change by the day. The result? A failure to understand your audience can leave your campaign dead in the water.
No matter how you look at it, there’s an important lesson to be learned: for marketers, understanding the audience can be a make-or-break factor in your success. So how can you keep up?
Enter reactive marketing: the approach that puts your audience front and centre.
If you can’t beat them, join them
Reactive marketing is the art of integrating your campaign message into the day’s hot news topics — in other words, your campaign takes its cues from the subjects attracting your audience.
What are the benefits of this approach? In one word: engagement. By definition, people want to talk about headline news, so linking your brand message with those issues allows you to tap into the ensuing hype of the story, and transforms your audience from an obstacle into a loudspeaker. Still not sure what we mean? Let’s take a look at an outrageously good example of this phenomenon in action.
Nearly everyone has access to news – so how can you leverage current events to promote your own brand?
The first step is to ensure an agile marketing approach: Set up processes enabling your team to exchange news and react to them quickly
Here are a few tips for integrating news hype into your campaign.
Break your brand message into keywords — and use them to set up news alerts
It truly is a golden era for news junkies. Never have there been so many news curation services available — all you have to do is set up alerts for topics that matter to you.
News aggregation services like Feedly or Storyzy allow users to curate relevant news content by keyword or name. Buzzsumo is another great platform allowing you to create multiple alerts for you to get notified when your brand name is mentioned or when something trending is being discussed in your niche:
By setting up notifications with services like these, you’ll always know when a story breaks that’s relevant to your brand — leaving you time to get creative with your campaign. These are also useful tools for reputation monitoring.
Text Optimizer will help you understand your brand’s context and create a more informed monitoring routine:
Share your monitoring routine with your SEO team and ask them questions as to how they can utilise your findings in their SEO strategy.
Curate news quotes that fit in with your brand message
Quotes are incredibly powerful. Coming from a well-known speaker, they carry a level of trust and credibility your brand’s own voice simply can’t.
To be in the know, your whole team should be monitoring industry resources regularly.
This is not as easy as it sounds. It is an organisational change. Your team members are already busy with daily tasks. I am sure you may be reluctant to allow them to spend hours reading news.
And yet, if you maintain an active social media and/or blogging strategy, your company needs to always know what’s happening, so news curation is key.
Come up with a creative approach. For example, assign one different member of your team to go through news every week and curate them for the whole company to quickly scan through. They can take turns doing that. This way your whole company will be up-to-date with trending and hot content without spending too much time reading it.
Make sure to include seasonal trends in your curation strategy. This will allow you to identify recurring themes you will be able to prepare for next year.
Your content calendar should include all those seasonal and general trends for you to generate more traffic from hot topics. Determine the main categories you want to cover in your content calendar. These topics should align with your brand.
Enhance your trending content with supporting material. For example, if you’re writing a blog post on a trending topic, create complementary social media posts or videos to promote it. This helps maximise engagement and reach.
While a content calendar provides structure, be flexible enough to adapt to emerging trends. If a new topic suddenly gains popularity, consider incorporating it into your calendar to maintain relevance.
For great social content that not only hacks into hot stories but also cultivates trust in your brand, make sure you check out who’s saying what in the news. One great place to start is Storyzy, the news quote curation service that allows you to curate brand-relevant quotes for your social media platforms.
Take advantage of social media monitoring
News travels — and it travels first on social media!
In an age when nearly every well-known individual has an online presence, you’re spoiled for choice in terms of big statements. Monitoring services like Mention allow you to set up alerts by speaker or Tweet content, so you’ll be notified about Tweets by influential speakers in your industry, or postings that are relevant to your brand themes. Republishing these makes for interesting content that also promotes your brand. Here’s a great example:
Integrating trending Tweets into your campaign could see your brand benefit from thousands of extra shares, meaning a bigger audience and a better chance of your message converting into sales.
Finding great content is challenging, but not impossible. News and big issues are fantastic sources of inspiration and generate their own buzz. So for up-to-the-minute content that drives engagement and conveys your brand message, keep an eye on the headlines – and get creative!
With Shout at the helm your business can level up their campaign and leverage new trends. As a leading social media company we have the expertise and the experience to use new and upcoming trends to expand your social media campaigns. Our experienced marketing company has all the tools you need to get the tangible results you’ve been looking for.