Your Definitive Guide to Small Business Trend MarketingJune 22, 2021 - 12 minutes read
Accelerate your business’s growth by building a consistent buzz.
With brands and businesses creating more digital content than ever, cutting through the noise takes more than writing a few generic blog posts and hoping for the best.
Today’s tech-savvy, information-rich shoppers and consumers crave value: they want to be entertained, enlightened, and inspired, and they want to connect with content that is relevant—not only to their needs but also “the moment.”
But how do you achieve such a feat as a small business owner? Trend marketing is the answer.
Trend marketing is a powerful approach to business promotion and, if executed the right way, will help you reach a wider audience.
Here, we’re going to consider the importance of trend marketing and how you can use it to promote your small business.
What is trend marketing, and why is it important?
Our job is not to create content. Our job is to change the world of the people who consume it. – Andrea Fryrear
Before we dive any deeper, let’s look at the definition of trend marketing:
Trend marketing is a branch of digital marketing based on delivering inspiring, targeted content across a range of channels and mediums. It uses current online trends, emerging news, or powerful content as a vessel to boost brand awareness, encourage positive responses, and broaden commercial reach.
Today’s online shoppers spend around one in every three minutes messaging, social networking, and sharing information with their peers. Plus, 85% of Millennials and 98% of Gen Zers own a smartphone.
Given that today’s tech-hungry digital natives love spending time on social networks, the potential of engaging with online consumers in real-time is huge.
You can grab people’s attention by tapping into breaking news themes or the latest trends in your niche or industry and using them to share messaging or create relevant content. When you do that, more people will engage with your business or share your content—and your brand awareness will skyrocket.
Google reports around 100 billion searches in any given month. And half of the global population prefers to get its news from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Trend marketing taps directly into the heart of a hot topic or emerging narrative, using content to connect with consumers where they feel most comfortable.
It’s about riding the crest of a popular wave and capturing the attention of people in the moment (or as close to the moment as possible). Doing this consistently will accelerate the growth of your business and, ultimately, boost your bottom line.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you sell—if you’re not seen as relevant or forward-looking, you will fall behind the pack. Trend marketing will keep your business at the beating heart of buzzworthy topics, keeping your brand current while driving traffic to your website or online store.
How to source buzzworthy trends & create “trendy” campaigns
Now that you know what trend marketing is and why it’s important, let’s look at ways you can connect with the right trends and develop business-boosting campaigns.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, choosing the right topic will form the foundations of any successful trend marketing campaign.
To gain access to a consistent flow of trending topics and buzzworthy news in your niche, you should create a curated list or spreadsheet of relevant industry publications to explore regularly. You should also join industry groups and follow relevant hashtags across social media channels. Google Trends is an excellent outlet for exploring emerging trends in just about every niche imaginable.
Another powerful approach to connecting with the latest news or topics is by setting up a Facebook group. There, you can connect with consumers on a personal level while gaining first-hand information on the kind of things they like to discuss or news that sparks their interest.
Keep your ear to the ground and learn how to connect with powerful subject matter or spark up meaningful conversations with our essential guide to social listening.
When it comes to effective trend marketing, it’s not only good enough to connect with the right topics—you have to create content and messaging that will resonate with your audience. To do that, you need to get to know your customers.
In addition to social listening and connecting with your audience through Facebook groups, you should also analyze behavioral as well as demographic data, using it to create profiles of your model customers, also known as buyer personas.
Here are two resources that will help you on your journey towards understanding your customers:
- A guide to using data to improve your business’s eCommerce strategy
- A step by step guide to creating effective buyer personas for your business
Once you’ve taken the time to understand your audience and source buzzworthy trends and topics, it’s time to get creative.
When it comes to trend marketing, time is of the essence—but that doesn’t mean you should put all of your eggs in one digital basket. For effective and timely campaign content delivery, you should decide on the main channel or medium you’re going to use and the channels or platforms you’re going to share that content on.
For instance, if you’re a sustainable makeup brand, you might find that animal rights activists have protested against inhumane testing. Using this trending news, you could create a short YouTube video documenting the situation while offering your thoughts on animal testing in the makeup industry—outlining your brand mission or unique selling points (USPs) in the process.
Before creating your video, you should decide where you’re going to amplify your trend marketing content (TikTok, Instagram, and Medium, for example), appointing different responsibilities to your team members (video ideation and creation, social media caption or ad copywriting, and social media monitoring—responding to comments and tracking post performance).
Doing so will ensure swift and smooth delivery while earning the best possible levels of engagement for your efforts.
Tip: The key to trend marketing is trimming the fat. So, rather than trying to share your “trendy” topics across every platform imaginable, you should analyze where your audience likes to engage most and focus on those outlets. The more focused your activities, the better. Remember, trendy-worthy content usually has a short shelf life, so you need to make an immediate impact to reap maximum commercial rewards.
One of the best ways to ensure your buzz or trend-based content travels far and wide is by working with influencers.
Influencer marketing goes hand in hand with trend marketing, as consumers are far more likely to take notice of what you have to say if the right person shares it with the right audience. Nurturing relationships with influencers in your niche will give you access to a wider audience while boosting your brand authority.
Our guide to working with the right influencers will tell you all you need to know to get started.
Inspiring examples of trend marketing
Now that you know how to tackle your trend marketing efforts, let’s look at two inspirational examples of trend marketing in action.
ALS ice bucket challenge
The concept behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was simple:
Film yourself having a bucket full of freezing, ice cube-filled water dropped on your head and post the footage on social media using the hashtag #icebucketchallenge. Then, nominate three friends via social media to raise money for ALS-related charities.
The challenge and nominate approach to this powerful campaign format inspired droves of official ALS charities to spread awareness about the disease by nominating staff and developing relevant content across social media channels. In total, this incredible trend marketing-based initiative resulted in:
- $220 million raised for ALS-related charities and organizations.
- More than 1 billion YouTube views.
- Over 28 million Facebook engagements.
- A huge breakthrough in ALS-related research.
Lego: hands, elbows, face, space
To offer its audience value and boost brand awareness during the first COVID-19 lockdown, Lego launched its “hands, face, elbows, face” campaign.
Riding the crest of the social isolation and homeschooling trend in an approachable, productive way, Lego created head-turning animated videos asking children to be superheroes and stay safe during the pandemic.
To support the video campaign, the brand created an educational hub offering insightful tips and STEM-based Lego-building activities to enjoy while at home. This savvy feat of trend marketing earned Lego record sales during the early wave of the pandemic.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about” – Benjamin Franklin
We hope our trend marketing guide helps you get ahead of the pack. For more promotional pearls of wisdom, discover how to get the most from your paid marketing activities.