Blog Posts

Beyond Newsjacking: Pop Culture in Content Marketing

The expression “newsjacking” has been popularized by David Meerman Scott and the available material on the topic is near limitless from case studies of Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark Twitter ad to missed opportunities by Poland Spring.

Related to newsjacking is the practice of leveraging popular culture references in brand messaging. Movies, music, memes and more can be deftly integrated into your social media and content marketing programs to provide an entertaining context to otherwise boring business information. Beyond attaching to something that’s popular on TV, the best applications of popular culture references find creative ways to make a connection back to the brand’s products or services.

Pop culture and content marketing is a balancing act between the popular content and the target audience’s interests. B’s are people too after all.  However, it is not enough to simply post status updates about a popular television show or movie. Brands must provide a cultural connection back to the organization.

Before you think about hopping on the pop culture bandwagon in your social media and content marketing, ask yourself this critical question:

Will this popular culture reference interest my customers AND reinforce our relationship with them?

If there is any lingering doubt on your marketing team, address it before publishing anything pop-culture related. That Game of Thrones blog post you have in mind will only work if you bridge the cultural gap between the reference to the show, your business objectives and the interests of your target audience. If you’ve never tried connecting to a pop culture reference in your content and social media marketing efforts, try testing your concepts on a smaller sample of your target audience first.

Determine how far you can stray from the “character” of your branded content – if the radius is short, think twice before potentially alienating a large segment of your audience.

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