Should Your Business Try Trendjacking?
The marketing strategies for the Minions campaign were so successful that the yellow creatures and their fans seemed to spread across social media channels like hordes of minions. Trendjacking was one of the campaign's strategies. The marketers helped Despicable Me become one of the best-performing movies of 2022 by creating memes, GIFs that commented on trending events, and pairing movie clips with viral TikTok sounds. In this article, we'll define trendjacking, discuss its advantages, and provide some pointers on how to employ the strategy.
Trendjacking is a social media marketing strategy in which a brand connects with their audience by using trending topics, events, or memes. "The number one goal of marketing is attention," Daniel Murray, creator of The Marketing Millennials, a podcast and newsletter for marketing professionals, explained. "Trendjacking is a technique for gaining attention by incorporating your brand into everyday conversations."
What are the benefits of trendjacking?
While trendjacking provides numerous opportunities for businesses, a few of the most significant advantages are as follows:
To be successful on social media, you must first attract your target audience and entice them to follow you. Trendjacking shows people that your brand will provide engaging content in addition to advertisements and promotions.
According to Murray, increasing your follower count can lead to more business. "Do the math: only 2% of my audience converts," Murray explained. "2% is 200 conversions if I have 10,000 followers." "2% is 400 conversions if I have 20,000 followers."
Trendjacking increases social media engagement by requiring your brand to join an already active conversation. Furthermore, people enjoy sharing things that make them laugh. "If you look at the most shared things on Instagram, it's memes," Murray explained. "They're constantly shared."
Appeals to Gen Z
According to market research, 85% of Generation Z learns about new products through social media. Because it taps into the generation's interest in humour, authenticity, and creativity, trendjacking can be an effective Gen Z branding tool.
Because you only need to capitalise on concentrated attention, trendjacking can be one of the most cost-effective types of marketing. There are no additional promotion costs, and you can create a post in less than a day. So, if you're short on cash, you can use trendjacking to generate interest without breaking the bank.
What are the drawbacks of trendjacking?
Although trendjacking can be a low-cost way to increase your following and amplify your brand, it is not without risk. You may turn off segments of your audience or ultimately miss the mark, affecting the reputation of your brand. Trendjacking is also not appropriate for every business. The strategy may not be appropriate for a company with an older clientele, a more formal brand, or one that deals with sensitive subject matter.
How to decide if and when trendjacking works for your brand
Trendjacking can help your business if it fits with your social media branding. The social media skills and bandwidth of your company also play a role. "If you think this is one way to get attention for cheap because you have a limited budget, this could be one of the things you focus on," Murray said. "However, if trendjacking is just a side project for you, it may not be very successful."
How to make trendjacking work for your business
Trendjacking, like most social media trends, can be simple if done correctly. Use the following trendjacking tips to expand your strategy:
Use audience research tools to stay in the know
Research the trend
Set brand guidelines
Dedicate some time to scrolling
Get to know your audience
01. Use audience research tools to stay in the know
Murray suggests using trend-tracking tools like Google Trends and social-listening tools like SparkToro to stay on top of the conversation. Set up Google Alerts on relevant topics and notifications on relevant accounts to capitalise on trendjacking opportunities as they arise.
02. Research the trend
If your post falls flat because you didn't fully grasp the trend or didn't have anything new to add to the conversation, you'll come across as unauthentic. Worse, you may unintentionally participate in a meme with political or harmful undertones. To avoid this, use sites like Know Your Meme to research the trend before participating.
03. Set brand guidelines
Trendjacking requires speed because trends move quickly. You don't have as much time to plan, design, and think about a post. Setting brand guidelines enables your company to capitalise on trends and introduce content that is consistent with your marketing objectives and identity. "You must commit to having guardrails and not micromanaging," Murray said. "That is where brands will fail with trendjacking." It won't fit if you try to make it too buttoned-up."
04. Dedicate some time to scrolling
Spending time on social media is the best way to improve at trendjacking. Murray claims that trends usually begin on Twitter and Reddit, so spend time on those platforms to stay on top of the game. Follow meme accounts to keep up with the latest trends.
05. Get to know your audience
Beyond demographics, you must understand what your customers care about, what interests them, and how they communicate. "You're not going to hit with the audience if you do a Friends meme and none of your audience knows what Friends is," Murray explained. Create a customer profile that includes information about what they watch, read, who they follow, and how they spend their time. This profile can serve as a guide to determining which posts will be of interest to them.
Start by commenting on viral posts if you're new to trendjacking and aren't sure if it'll work for your brand. "People forget that commenting is a form of content creation," Murray says. "Commenting is a great way to test content because if your comments receive a lot of likes, you can go ahead and create [similar] content."
07. Be human
The most successful brands approach social media with the same zeal as an influencer. The content managers at Netflix, The Museum of English Rural Life, RyanAir, and Duolingo understand that they must speak the language of social media in order to harness the power of the Internet. "We live in a time when people want to follow people," Murray explained. "People want to see what goes on behind the scenes." People are curious about who works for your company. People want to know that you're a real person."