Have you got your finger on the pulse of American pop culture?
Are you usually aware of the latest fads, trends, and fashions?
If so, this is something you can use to your advantage when it comes to content marketing.
This can be a bit of a delicate balance. It's one of those things where when it works, it works beautifully — but when it doesn't work, it looks really bad.
What you don't want to do is to come in too late on a recent meme or fad.
Remember fidget spinners?
Brands that are still talking about those are going to look like they're out of touch. After all, the definition of a “fad” hinges on its brevity.
They come and go fast. A lot of memes work that way, too.
There are also trends, though. The word “trend” isn't necessarily synonymous with “fad.”
Trends are more subtle and more long term.
And for brands, they're a way to make a solid connection with audiences.
In a recent blog post, Convince and Convert relates the story of how SunGard used the ongoing zombie trend to give themselves an edge in a competitive market.
Capitalizing on Pop Culture
SunGard had a challenge that so many brands can relate to: a product or service that doesn’t stoke people’s interest.
However, they became a buzzed about brand in the crowded B2B technology space (Objective) by capitalizing on our fascination with zombies.
SunGard focused specifically on reaching IT executives (Audience) with an infographic and ebook that showed the importance of having a resilient business infrastructure, in this case one that could survive a zombie apocalypse (Content).
The infographic took the audience step by step through the procedures used to protect data and applications in the event of a zombie attack.
To disseminate its gory graphic and the corresponding ebook, SunGard initiated two email campaigns: one broad-based to IT executives with titles director and above for companies earning more than $50 million annually, and another to IT executives who hadn’t responded to a SunGard email in six months.
What made this zombie infographic extra killer?
The call to action.
Recipients clicked through to a landing page where they could enter to win a physical zombie survival kit.
As the campaign took off, SunGard monitored how many times the infographic was shared by influential third-party cloud-based sites (Analyze and Adjust).
The brilliance of this campaign comes from its use of zombies.
Had they intended to connect with prospects only a step or two from making a purchase, zombies and a survival kit likely wouldn’t have moved the needle.
When considering whether to invest in one solution or another, people tend to want cold, hard facts and case studies.
However, for brand awareness, SunGard’s decision to capitalize on the zombie trend more than did the trick.
SunGard’s zombie campaign produced astounding results, tripling expected downloads and doubling expected click-through rates. A
dditionally, several niche cloud websites featured the infographic on their home pages. Following this success, SunGard adjusted the program, initiating a direct mail-campaign and then a social media campaign.
The accomplishments of Michael Smart, Xerox, and SunGard flow directly from their well thought-out approaches.
Success doesn’t have to be predicated on a long history of content production.
Content marketing come-latelys can enter this saturated arena and drive results. The key is being strategic and focused on a single goal.
You can find more clever ways to reach your content marketing goals over at Convince & Convert.