The internet is a random creature with the most unusual things gaining incredible traction across many platforms. Trying to force your message to go viral can often be a waste of time.
It may seem like the holy grail of internet marketing but going viral isn’t your only option. Attaching yourself to something already going viral can be more realistic, more practical and quicker.
Plus you don’t have to come up with the idea – you just latch on to what’s already trending.
Nine tips for trendjacking
First you’ve got to find out what’s trending. Here are four ways to do this:
- Front-page news
Read front-page headlines on top news sites: guardiannews.com; dailymail.com; Buzzfeed’s homepage and their ‘trending’ page.
Remember to check out other audience or industry-specific publications. For example, if your readership is mostly women, look at Mamamia or Kidspot.
- Google Trends
For a more analytical look at what’s current on the net, check Google Trends. This shows the top trending stories for the last 24 hours in your country.
You can also sort through categories and be country specific and don’t forget to search keywords to see how they’re trending and find key topics.
Sign up to SourceBottle.com for alerts in your preferred niche so you’re ready when opportunities to latch onto trends come along.
- Think seasonally
The same trends pop up every year – the Melbourne Cup, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Hollywood Awards’ season – so you can plan ahead and prepare some content in advance.
Five questions to ask yourself to stay realistic on trending topics
- Does my target customer care about this issue?
If it’s not relevant, your readers will sense something strange and you’ll gain less traction. Make sure your message is still in keeping with your company’s values and product.
- Do I have an opinion on this issue?
To really gain traction you have to be on one side of the fence or the other. It’s harder to be successful if you’re not polarising. At the same time, there’s no need to be ‘silly’.
- How can I add to the conversation?
Think what positive impact you can have on fuelling the discussion around this topic. People tend to respond better to positivity online.
- What advice can I offer?
The majority of people use the Internet for two things: to solve a problem and/or to be entertained. Trendjacking a viral topic will keep them entertained, so make sure you can help them while you’re at it.
- How can I adapt a trend in another niche to work for me?
Think outside your niche. You can hop on the bandwagon of another niche very effectively – look at food trends riding the coat tails of the travel industry – Cuba and the rise of the Cuban sandwich for example.
Most importantly, you have to respond quickly. Trends online change so fast that if you’re not ready with an idea, you’ll miss the opportunity.