The news changes minute by minute, but some stories stick around for longer. England’s win against Panama in the World Cup yesterday is a great current example of a ‘light’ news story (i.e. not a major catastrophe, tragedy and something that Donald Trump has done) which captures the public interest for longer than the average news story and will continue to do so until we win the whole thing… or get knocked out.
So, should a small business jump on news bandwagon to obtain a little publicity for themselves? Many do, sometimes more successfully than others, and small businesses can too, providing they take consideration of the following three ‘rules’ for success:
It must be quick: to jump on a bandwagon effectively, your leap must be almost immediate. Leave it more than 24-36 hours and you will have missed the boat, and then risk looking foolish and making comment on something that others have already lost interest in.
It must be light-hearted: nobody likes to see a cruel advert or comment about a light-hearted news story, and a little wit goes a long way for encouraging engagement, especially on social media.
It must be relevant: your business should have a link to the news story you are commenting on to give your publicity context and make sense to the viewer. Without it, you may risk appearing as though you are simply using the news for publicity’s sake, which could turn potential and existing customers off. The key here is to keep your message simple, so that the relevance isn’t lost to the viewer.
In the example of the World Cup, just being supporters is enough of a relevant link, but you may need a closer link for certain other news stories so consider involvement carefully before jumping straight in.
For small businesses, this style of marketing is usually best achieved via social media or email marketing due to its immediacy in reaching the intended audience without breaking the budget. Providing the three rules above are followed, there is no reason why small businesses cannot make use of news stories to give them an angle for short-term marketing and can help to make a marketing message memorable. So go ahead and jump on that bandwagon!