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How to Use Trending Triggers to Create Contagious Content

Authors: Marcus Ho
Posted Under: Digital Marketing

Trending triggers are a very powerful way for brands to connect with their audience. There will always be news concerning any brand’s industry, providing a limitless source of content for brands to make use of and get audiences to engage with them.

Jonah Berger, social media expert and scientist, believes that content going viral on social media does not happen by chance or luck; there’s a science behind it. He found out that triggers make up a large part of a potential buyer’s decision to make that purchase.

And it’s because of this theory called, “Top Of Mind, Tip Of Tongue”.

For example, everyone knows about Bud Light. Or more affectionately, the “Wassup” beer. The ad campaign for that was very simple; it featured a bunch of dudes going “wassuuuupppp”.

And that was it.

The reason it got so famous was simply because of how easy it came to the top of consumers’ minds. When consumers went to buy beer, they usually buy what they can remember, or whatever has a strong sense of memory recall in their minds. And in today’s fast-paced, highly reactive information world, trending topics get shared so much it would be foolish for brands NOT to want to ride that bandwagon.

So that said, what kind of trending triggers can your startup use to connect to your audience? There are three main types of content you can use: Topical News, Industry News, and Festive Greetings.

Topical/Industry News

Any trending triggers you use should be highly relevant to current news, as well as your startup’s values, and should ideally be used within three days of the news content breaking. One brand that makes very good use of this is Snickers, who have taken every chance they can get to leverage the World Cup events, like the Tim Howard record 16 saves in one match:

How to Use Trending Triggers to Create Contagious Content

Or when Liverpool player, Luis Suarez, bit Italian Giorgio Chiellini:

Creating Contagious Content - Trending Triggers

Snickers’ content instantly resonated with their audience, while positively promoting themselves as a humorous, updated brand. It did not take a lot for Snickers to make use of trending triggers, and the resulting reach was enormous, with almost 1,500 shares for the Suarez post.

Going back a bit further, the world saw San Antonio Spurs beat the famous Miami Heat at the NBA finals on 16 June. Within a day, Bud Light rode on the NBA hype with this:

Creating Contagious Content - Trending Triggers

Linking a hot news topic with their brand via their caption (“The perfect beer for celebrating when your favorite team cements its legacy as one of the great dynasties of all time”), their brand saw hundreds of shares.

Simple photo, simple caption, great results.

Festive Greetings

Festive greetings are simply content that leverages on festive or memorable dates such as Mothers Day, or Thanksgiving Day. But when doing so, the all-too-common mistake that businesses tend to make is to merely write something like, “Happy Thanksgiving Day”.

Although the content comes with good intentions, such content usually tends to be ignored because it is hardly related to your brand. In other words, it is vital that every piece of content demonstrates your brand’s values. (tweet this)

The idea here is to take a seasonal topic (such as festive greeting, memorable dates, etc.) and create a piece of content unique only to your brand. Here’s what Nintendo has done well by connecting Siblings Day with their Super Mario Brothers:

Creating Contagious Content - Trending Triggers

How will trending triggers help my company?

Trending triggers remain one of the most effective ways for brands to connect with their audience, simply because of how sustainable they can be. They are always relevant, as they make use of trending news and topics for content.

If done right, trending triggers can be one of your company’s most powerful tools. Effective use of trending triggers will allow your company to brand and position itself amongst its competitors in terms of its brand values, and thus give your target users a clearer and more precise image of what your company’s values and interests are.

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