A sharp and timely reaction to a high-profile news feed can bring your brand popularity and new customers.
Want an example? For several years in a row, the fashion house Balenciaga has been producing controversial bags that look like ordinary string bags or shuttle trunks.
Recently, a bag appeared in the collection, which in shape and color closely resembles the Ikea shopping bag called Frakta. The Swedish company immediately responded to this “blatant plagiarism” and issued instructions on how to distinguish an IKEA original from a fake.
We’re not sure how well the blue Balenciaga bag is selling, but Ikea marketers shouldn’t worry about Frakta’s popularity. A couple of such successful cases will be useful for any business.
Today we are figuring out how to learn how to apply situational marketing to promote a brand.
What is situational marketing and how does it work?
The company’s reaction to the news feed, playing with news in the interests of the product and for its target audience is situational marketing. This is an actual action on a situation that has arisen and its use for advertising purposes. In fact, you can use any newsfeed. The main thing is to properly bind it in your activities.
The reason may be:
- A long-awaited release of the film: for example, every next season of Game of Thrones is regularly played on social networks or banner ads.
- Popular song. In Moscow, the organizers of the Van Gogh exhibition provided free admission to all girls who came in Louboutin shoes or on heels above 10 cm. And men with the name Seryoga, upon presentation of an identity document, could receive a 50% discount on a ticket.
- An event that everyone is talking about. The giants of fast food: McDonald’s and Burger King immediately reacted to the launch of Elon Musk’s rocket to Mars. And also many other companies.
- Statements of celebrities, politicians and other public figures. The Internet community quickly pulls them into memes and quotes, and the most advanced marketers use them in advertising.
- Industry news. This method of situational marketing is called newsjacking and implies a reaction to the news, innovations in a business niche. Let’s talk about the features of newsjacking below.
Most of the time, situational marketing is used on social media. Because you need to react to the event promptly. But it is also often used in billboards or video advertisements. Situational posts should not be the only content. They need to be used in a targeted and appropriate manner in order to get the appropriate return on the target audience.
Benefits of Situational Marketing
With the right approach, you can:
- increase the coverage of publications;
- increase the loyalty of the target audience;
- involve clients in communication;
- achieve high brand awareness.
And the result of all this will be increased sales.
Expert situational content is a good way to build a reputation
Using news in combination with expert opinion is the most professional way to get users on the spot. And unlike discussing any other newsfeeds, it shows your expertise.
You can use:
- industry news (in the country, in the world);
- news from your partners or competitors;
- recent research;
- legislative innovations;
- development trends;
- release of new products;
- landmark events for your company or for the history of the industry as a whole;
- global promotions or holidays.
For each of these reasons, you can make an expert comment, analytical article, or case.
The most common formats of situational expert content:
- Instructions (FAQ) – as soon as your company has created a new product or an important discovery has been made in the industry, you can release a tutorial on how to use the new item. It can also be answers to the most frequent questions about the implementation of a particular technology in life, or detailed instructions on how to use something.
- Case studies – success stories are a very popular content format. They are especially often used for the B2B segment. Sometimes anti-cases also work great – if you managed to defeat the global fail, you can describe how you dealt with the problem.
- The history of the brand is the same success story only in a global context: a story about the formation of a company, its achievements and victories.
- Reviews – any news in the industry, especially the release of new products, can be described in detail, tested, compared. Shoot expert videos or write a review – your target audience will be interested to hear the opinion of professionals.
- Forecasts are a must-do for every self-respecting digital publication. And not only. A detailed analysis of the existing situation, building hypotheses, generating new trends is a good way to show your level of expertise. Please remember that all numbers and data must be current and truthful.
- Analytical articles or expert comments. These formats provide a lot of creativity. Write long reads or short notes, do a detailed analysis of the situation, trends, discuss news and explain legislative initiatives. Create useful content and get reputation bonuses.
Where to find informational reasons
To always be aware of events and respond promptly to them, use our tips where to find information:
- Read the news and subscribe to news feeds on social networks. Make it a rule to regularly browse popular news media, specialist sites, and business and technology resources (like Habr, etc.). Use news aggregators (Google News or Yandex.News) and subscribe to chat bots in a telegram.
- Use social networks: on Twitter, Vkontakte or Facebook, all relevant news are displayed under the appropriate hashtags.
- Sign up for the Google Keyword Newsletter or check out Google Trends regularly.
- Create a calendar of important events: holidays, release of iconic films or books (if it is relevant for your business), memorable dates in the industry.
7 Essential Tips for Successful Situational Marketing
- Preparation: many news stories are known in advance. For example, product releases or movie premieres. Consider how you can use these facts to generate content. Prepare creative publications in advance and use them at the right time.
- Brainstorm from time to time. Write down even the most incredible and crazy ideas – some of them can really “shoot”.
- Prompt response is the key to success. After a day, or even after a few hours, the content may already be irrelevant.
- Use different platforms: social media, website, third-party media, or even offline advertising can bring you new fans.
- Be witty, but don’t lose your brand. In pursuit of the wow effect, you can easily slip into banal humor and forget about the main idea. The main thing in situational marketing is not only to surprise or delight users, but also to make it clear that you are on the same wavelength. There should be a connection between the situational content and the company’s products.
- Uniqueness – is it worth saying that creativity should be absolutely innovative?
- High-quality implementation and closeness of content for the audience – speak the same language with clients. And don’t skimp on design or text.
Depending on the industry, you can implement situational marketing in the form of expert content, product styling, or brand attributes. Get creative with stickers, banners, postcards, promotions, etc.
In situational marketing, the chances of success, as in the popular joke about the probability of meeting a dinosaur, are 50 to 50. It is impossible to predict in advance whether you will hit the target. Reactions to the same newsletters from different companies can go unnoticed or become very popular.
But using this method to promote your business is definitely worth it.
Consider the advice above or trust your intuition. Not everything can work out for you the first time, but the chances of getting into the TOP are also high.
Correlate news stories with brand principles and do not succumb to momentary desires to seize your moment of fame at the expense of your reputation.