What does Black Friday, Women’s History Month and Easter, all have in common? They are all cultural moments that you should use in your marketing strategy!
According to Adweek, cultural moments happen when “brands and trends intersect”. It’s when you take a big cultural event that’s happening on and offline and use it to enhance your brand message. These small pockets of time give us the rare gift of a pre-engaged audience. The collective experience of occasions like holidays, sporting events, award shows, trends, elections, and even social causes, provides ready-made trends for us to ride and create an almost guaranteed marketing impact.
Content for these moments has the power to really resonate with your consumers. In an age when most people prefer to spend money on culture experiences rather than on material things, we can no longer just rely on the merit of our product. By participating in the conversations surrounding these moments and cultivating a shared online experience, you move past being just a product and become a brand that people are naturally drawn to.
With this in mind, consider the ready-made Promo Calendar the key to a treasure trove of cultural moments that attract organic views.
Listen to the social conversation
We are not the only ones who use cultural moments to drive brand relevance. Twitter released an official marketing calendar for 2019, which includes highly anticipated events and the estimated amount of Twitter impressions. Hubspot also offers a free social calendar that is definitely worth following. With the speed that things are changing nowadays, it’s pretty sweet that we can plan for these social trends months in advance!. You can also just keep close tabs on all that’s happening in the world of social media and search engines to see what all the cool kids are talking about in real time. These events are basically the digital equivalent of a silver platter.
Branded content – What kind of content should you share?
Not all marketing efforts have to directly showcase the qualities of your product. In this case, it’s about aligning your product with the moments and movements that your target audience cares about. That is where branded content comes in. According to Marketing Land, the definition of branded content is “content funded by a brand which promotes the brand’s values and provides something of value to audiences — often by entertaining, informing and/or educating.”
By reinforcing these big moments with tailored content, you are clearly connecting them with your brand and product. But remember – even when you’re not showcasing a specific product or service, you have to use other features that present your brand, such as your logo and unique brand voice.
Let’s get to some actionable examples of the varied types of cultural events that your brand can benefit from.
Let’s use the month of March as an example calendar:
Cultural days for your marketing strategy:
Oldies but goldies
The traditional moments that were celebrated by various cultures years before we could even say “marketing strategy” have the potential to resonate deeply with your audience. Faith and tradition drive a lot of customers’ decisions so consider taking note of these moments. While some of the bigger holidays, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, target a much broader audience, content for the smaller niche holidays have less competition and a deeper impact on the audience it is relevant for.
Pro tip: Some of these March holidays are sexier than others, but they all deserve a shout out. Thanks to social media, you can celebrate cross-culturally with all your customers without spending too much of your budget. Just a respectful “blessed Ash Wednesday to our Catholic customers” or “Happy Holi to our Hindu friends”, will cultivate a sense of inclusiveness and resonate with customers of all religions and ethnicities.
Social justice days
Make marketing matter
In the age of social justice, we are facing the concept of critical consumption – when consumers take their ethical beliefs into account when making purchasing decisions. One way to appeal to these consumers is by listening attentively to the social conversation and incorporating messages of support in your marketing efforts. More than ever, brands are aligning themselves with hot button topics. If you can handle it, you can support a movement or a cause, or even do a little newsjacking, but this might be a little risky for a small business. A great (non-controversial) way to do this is to honor important days that have already been integrated into mainstream values.
Cesar Chavez Day
Employee Appreciation Day
World Consumer Rights Day
Pro tip: Create real connections with your customers by authentically aligning yourself with values that are relevant to your business. For instance, a shout out on Employee Appreciation Day shows your customers that you are a fair employer, and backing Consumer Rights Day shows that you value honest trade over profit.
Yes, these are all but completely made-up but when enough people share them, they actually become something. These micro-holidays take place almost exclusively online. There your silly days for foodies, pet-lovers and more. Some months are busier than others, so for those that are sparse, this is actually a pretty good way to stay on trend. You can choose which ones fit your brand vibe and will engage your target audience.
National Puppy Day
National Goof Off Day
National Spinach Day
Pro tip: No one celebrates these holidays religiously so it’s your chance to have fun with the content. You can create a list of fun facts and or useful tips that are worth sharing. Also, keep track of those days that are specifically relevant to your industry. If you’re in the food industry, there are national ‘some kind of food’ days galore. If you’re in fashion, keep track of days like “Hat Day” and “Underwear Day”. There are also days like “Talk Like A Pirate Day” that we can all enjoy.
Be there or be square
These are the cultural moments you can’t afford to miss. These are the big ones, marketing tentpoles if you will, that will be trending on all social media platforms. They’re our award shows, sporting events, elections, major holidays and, of course, the release of the next Star Wars movie. Anyone who is anyone needs to get in the conversation – no excuses. If you have limited resources, these are the cultural moments that you should focus on. These are the “Small windows of time where people are collectively turned-on, tuned-in, open-minded, and socially active.”
St. Paddy’s Day
Pro tip: Because the competition for these big moments is so fierce, it’s not enough to simply mention it – you need to make it your own. You can take a page out of these brands’ playbook and see how they strategically placed their product or brand voice within the context of the major event.
Keeping a social calendar
These moments are a valuable marketing commodity, yet not enough brands are taking full advantage. Constantly staying attune to the cultural zeitgeist may seem intimidating, but a social calendar is a fairly simple way to get started.
You don’t have to monitor the 24-hour news cycle or to note every cultural day, but a calendar will help you map out the ones that are relevant for your brand and plan in advance. The value of cultural moments is not something that you want to miss – it’s the perfect way to cultivate meaningful messages and attract organic engagement that will boost your brand a step forward.