Viral, topical content represents an active brand; likewise, sharable content boosts SEO signals for your website. Your audience is hungry for new, relevant content rather than the same rehashed and recycled articles. By going out of your way to piggyback current events, you can set yourself apart from your competitors and build a stronger search engine presence.
12 of the Best Examples of Piggyback Marketing Done Right
By looking at the 12 following examples of piggyback marketing done right, you can understand how to best use strategic piggybacking to drive traffic and attention to your own business.
Perhaps the most popular form of piggybacking, newsjacking involves using popular or breaking headlines as a means of giving your business a boost. This almost seems like a no-brainer, right? If everyone’s talking about something, why shouldn’t my business get in on it as well?
For example, many brands jump on the newsjacking bandwagon every Oscar season, as the public is buzzing over who got snubbed and who wore it better. Here’s an example of Charmin capitalizing on the red carpet hype by getting creative on Twitter:
Charmin’s tweet shows that just about any product has newsjacking potential (yes, even toilet paper).
A couple of years ago, Australian telecommunications giant Optus came under heavy fire when an iPhone error and time-zone glitch caused the alarms of many Optus customers’ phones to trigger an hour earlier that set. In response, they posted this status update on their Facebook page. Although not everyone took the company up on the offer, many were impressed by their thoughtfulness. It was a very appropriate and timely response, given the nature of the situation.
The potential drawbacks of newsjacking rear their head when businesses try to capitalize on stories which may be seen as controversial, or perhaps even in poor taste (such as American Apparel’s “Hurricane Sandy Sale” in 2012).
While trying to make light of a serious issue is bound to fail, doing the opposite can often work. Case in point is The Salvation Army in South Africa and their take on “the dress“ viral phenomenon. They took an interesting, though lighthearted meme and used it as a way to amplify their message about abuse against women. It was a bold move that worked well in their favor.
Although it may be tempting to play with the buzz surrounding the current political drama in your next Facebook post or blog, doing so has the potential to alienate or turn off a good chunk of your readers or followers.
On the other hand, some brands embrace controversy as fuel for their marketing efforts. Consider the recent example from Royal Jordanian Airlines. On the morning of US Election Day 2016, Royal Jordanian posted this tweet, capitalizing on Donald Trump’s threats to ban certain immigrants to the US. A sensitive subject, the airline managed to pull it off with a manner of finesse.
David Meerman Scott, the man who coined the term “newsjacking” published “The Best Marketer Has Been Elected President” the day after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. A timely post relating David’s content to a current popular news item. What better example could you have of newsjacking?
There are potential piggybacking opportunities out there every single day, so don’t feel pressured to capitalize on a story where your marketing efforts aren’t a strong fit.
Harnessing Hashtags and Viral Trends
If you’ve found yourself searching “Which example is it where social media was involved in piggybacking marketing?” – Well, the answer is a lot of them!
The recent explosion of Pokemon Go is taking social media and the blogosphere by storm. So it’s no surprise that marketers in just about every industry are jumping on any opportunity to capitalize on the app’s popularity.
For example, here’s how automotive repair chain Service King looked to catch the attention of those trying to “catch them all:”
While Service King may be a brick-and-mortar business, the same rules of marketing can be applied to your own business online. Although viral trends often have a relatively short shelf-life (remember the “planking” fad?), they do have the potential to get your business seen on a larger stage. In what other situation would a brand such as Service King be getting national attention for their marketing strategy?
Harnessing the power of hashtags and viral trends requires similar care and attention to that of newsjacking. That is, you need to understand the context of the trend and avoid anything potentially touchy.