When it comes to creating a digital marketing strategy, ignoring trends on social media is like passing “Go” in Monopoly and refusing to collect $200. You can keep moving forward, but you’re not profiting from a potential layup. To put it in business terms, you’re ignoring the fundamental concept of Borrowed Interest. Advertisers already know this as an intentional association of a leading trend along with their client’s product, service or expert/celebrity to attract attention. Why does it matter so much? Because in a world where it’s increasingly harder and harder to “get attention,” it’s nice to find an opportunity to participate in an ongoing dialogue where listeners abound.
Borrowed interest is not a one-size-fits-all approach and the practice only gets results if you’re intentional, thoughtful and contribute something of value. You need to do these two things first: become a “trend tracker” and strategize how you can participate.
Becoming a Trend Tracker
The savviest marketers aren’t deterred by small budgets. Even without a large budget, you can optimize trends by monitoring the digital landscape. Set up a mini monitoring system of the places most important to your specific project, campaign or client. It might be a combination of Twitter Mobile Alerts, Syften niche community monitoring, thread response notifications and/or Talkwalker Alerts. That listening stack alone will increase opportunities to follow things as they begin a trend or go viral.
When developing a list of places where trends emerge, don’t forget to include things like:
- Tik Tok Challenges
- Twitch Livestreams
- YouTube Shorts
- Twitter Trending Topics
- Quora Questions
What to do When You Get There
Marketing departments often have limited resources and small teams to maintain social media presence. It’s a good thing, then, that you can get involved with trends in a variety of ways. If you want to be part of the conversation, you need to know how to respond.
Without a doubt, visual and audio content performs better online. This even applies to how you respond to trends on various social networks. There are thousands of tactics you can apply for a brand response, but let’s talk about video because it’s ruling the world in terms of engagement.
- Tweets with video see 10x more engagement than those without – and Promoted Tweets with videos save more than 50% on cost-per-engagement
- LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to share a video on the platform than any other type of post
- Pinterest users are 2.6x more likely to make a purchase after viewing brand video content on the platform
- Video generates more engagement than any other content type on Instagram
-via Social Media Today
Paul Robert Cary, founder of Kamua, has worked with multiple brands over the past year who have amassed millions of content views and engagements simply by following video trend best practices.
“Different platforms require different approaches. Algorithmic discovery platforms (TikTok, IG Reels, YT Shorts) are seeking to disseminate the best content, not show typical branded content to a group of die-hard fans and followers. It’s a common mistake to assume that an IG Story can also function as an IG Reel and a TikTok,” said Cary.
Cary’s watched multiple businesses across industries find success with video on social media. In the last year, with the increase of video importance in social strategy, he said these four lessons were the most important to learn.
How To Make Great Video Responses
1 – Show Your Brand in the First 3 Seconds
The best hook on TikTok is the one that gets the user to watch until the end. On TikTok, there are many factors that go into creating a successful post and few creators make it past 3 seconds. However, getting someone to watch for even 3 seconds is still great because there’s a chance they will see your brand and call to action.
2 – Make it About the Viewer (or Audience)
Marketers often fail to realize that saying the word “You” in the first 5 seconds of a video increases views by 66%. If “you” is used twice, the increase goes up to 97%. You can also consider an alternative approach and think about the #WordlessWednesday weekly challenge and how without using words you can make an impact. A simple mindset shift in how you create your video reply can make a big difference on social media.
3 – Captions are Essential
Forgetting captions on videos is like forgetting to tie your shoes before a race. Most people watch videos with the sound off, especially on mobile. This means, if you want to get the most views, you’ll have to anticipate people’s needs: namely, captions.
Creating an engaging mobile video is challenging enough, but not having captions makes adds an unnecessary challenge. When you’re using social media to market your business, you should use captions every time because, quite simply, you’ll get more views. Captions help viewers who are hearing impaired, along with helping people engage with content even on poor Wi-Fi connections.
4 – Remix, Remix, Remix.
“We are seeing a large amount of cut-downs (shorter versions) of content being produced from a single source,” Cary offered. “That means video marketers are remixing their content to A/B test what works. Nobody yet knows in advance if a TikTok is going to “kill it”, meaning it won’t thrive under the algorithm, so they have to drip more videos into the feed to see what happens.”
Trends give us insight about the best way to engage with our audiences. This is essential information in any digital marketing strategy. Trends may come and go quickly, but following their progression can help companies stay on top of the game every time. Video has emerged as the best option for brands to engage with trends, especially if you want to go viral in your sector. You don’t have to be a pop culture expert to determine the patterns of peoples’ interest online. Take note of what you see occurring over and over, and try it out on your platform. Utilize tools that help you recreate trends and put your own spin on them, and make sure that you are getting the most out of your social strategy by incorporating video regularly. It is, after all, one of the most promising trends of today (and tomorrow too).