Staying relevant on social media usually means following the latest trends or taking a piggyback ride on the latest fad. For some, that means diving headfirst into TikTok or devoting time to Instagram Reels. Whatever the case may be, staying relevant is important, but trend hopping should be the basis of a marketing plan. It’s not strong enough to use as a foundation for all aspects of promotion.
As a tactic, trend surfing is absolutely crucial to building a rapport with a mainstream audience and connecting with audiences outside of an already loyal fanbase. It also gives companies the opportunity to showcase themselves in creative ways and to present themselves in a distinctive manner. However, there is no substitute for a solid marketing strategy.
Focusing on the tenets of your brand values is usually the place to start. Why? Because brand values closely align with a brand’s goals. If your brand values community and networking, then one of your brand goals will be to expand your following and your digital outreach. As a trackable metric, this would mean reaching more people, striving for higher engagement, and increasing followers. If your company values collaboration, then your brand goals will be to connect with key industry leaders. As a trackable metric, this would mean working with more people in your field.
The end goal for all companies is the same: acquire more sales consistently. The method of getting there will vary from industry to industry, but following the roadmap of your own brand values is a solid starting point. Using trends to your advantage means working with mainstream concepts and adding your own twist to them. This isn’t with the intention of going viral one day and hopefully taking the market by storm on the next, but it should do two things: tie your brand seamlessly with the mainstream and follow your brand values. As easy as it seems, it’s easier said than done.
It is obvious when there is an ad campaign directed solely for the purpose of cashing in on something extremely popular. There is usually a sharp disconnect between that campaign and previous campaigns. Staying relevant should come at the expense of alienating a loyal customer base. This could prove to be more harmful because it shows desperation to reach more numbers or a higher value for a larger audience rather than a loyal one. While the goal of digital promotion is to reach new eyes, catering to old ones is equally important. Nurturing your current audience keeps companies running by inspiring repeat sales. Customers are more likely to purchase from companies and brands they have already had experience with.
Using trending hashtags and challenges is a great tactic, but only when it’s used strategically. It is in no way a cure for marketing ills.
Say hello! Introduce your audience to engaging content.
Get free access to everything you need to kickstart your content campaigns.