Hands down, the easiest way to make your brand trend in the news is to run afoul of public opinion or embezzle money. However, the goal here is to trend in the news and build your business, not tear it down. And that’s a little more difficult.
There’s no magic one-size-fits-all formula for generating media traction, but there are things your brand can do to increase the likelihood of hitting the news media’s brief attention span – and then making the most of it. Here, we’ll explore a few ideas to consider to help your brand trend in the news media, with a focus on:
- Monitoring trends religiously
- Curating your approach
- Targeting the authors that matter
News media is still widely consumed via television with older generations. Not surprisingly, however, younger generations tend to get their news from social media and online versions of major news outlets. Here are a few of the top outlets in the English-speaking part of the world:
- By monthly visits, the top news websites in the US this year are CNN, Fox News, and the New York Times.
- As of 2020, 70% of the UK population accesses news content online, with BBC News coming in as the leading online news brand.
With the speed of today’s news cycle, let’s get into a few things you can do to grab attention, grow your relevancy, and hopefully, get your brand to trend in the news.
Monitor Trends Religiously
Unless you’re keeping a keen eye on emerging trends, then you run the risk of stepping on the toes of public opinion. Emerging trends indicate a change in the social mood, and if you go too far out of bounds, you risk being ignored at best – and inviting a blitzkrieg of negative press at worst. And that’s not ideal.
Trends are important to consumers and the news media for a reason, and should temper how your brand approaches the market – both in innovation and messaging. Social media monitoring will keep you alert to changing attitudes and behaviors and allow you to watch as interest in particular areas waxes and wanes over time. Contrasting social and news media interest on the same subjects will alert you to disparities in these narratives, as well as when they align neatly.
The ultimate goal of getting your brand to trend in the news is to raise your brand’s visibility. But it’s all for naught if it doesn’t capture the interest of your target audience. Therefore, trend monitoring is critical to know which inroads your brand can take concerning innovation and messaging. And equally important is knowing how sentiment aligns between the news and social, so your efforts aren’t in vain – or worse, have a harmful effect when you’ve misread the room!
Curate Your Approach
Once you are familiar with trends and their relationship between your audience and the news media, you’ll have a much better idea of the areas in which you can insert your brand into the narrative. Of course, these angles will be a lot different for a pastry company than a heavy equipment manufacturer. The idea is to find the best fit for your brand that creates interest in the public eye by aligning with trends and standing out above the crowd.
Your brand can be pushing a witty or thought-provoking campaign or getting ready to launch an innovative product that’ll radically change your industry – done successfully; either route can potentially lead to getting your brand to trend in the news. Better yet, combine the two to maximize your chances of traction.
Take notes from brands like Samsung and Apple. Yes, they’re huge brands with massive budgets, but their products and messaging have one thing in common – polish. Whether you’re introducing the world’s first flying car or creating a campaign that tells your brand story and what you’re doing to combat climate change, a polished yet straightforward approach is the way to go. It shows that your content is on-brand, aligned with trends, and gives people what they want (or want to read about).
Take Apple’s new Macbook Pro, for example. On October 18, they issued a press release unveiling the features of their new 14- and 16-inch models, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. Not only are they larger than their 13- and 15-inch predecessors, but they’re loaded with tasty upgrades to the camera, processors, and speaker configuration. Not only that – wait for it – they finally returned all the ports they removed from the lineup years ago. It made fans jump for joy and got the media gushing about the news.
Of course, Apple has built seasonality into its product announcements over the years, so consumers and the media know what to expect. They don’t always hit a home run, but this time they hit the nail on the head by innovating towards consumers’ wants and needs while staying in step with industry trends. And it definitely got their product to trend in the news.
And there’s a little more you can do to increase your odds of media traction. Let’s check it out.
Target the Authors that Matter
Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to approach the media institutions most likely to take your story to the masses. This will be part marketing and part public relations – and it’ll help to think like a journalist too. Better yet, find the ones already talking about your brand, vertical, or similar products.
With the proper media monitoring tools, this isn’t hard to do. For instance, here we’ve pulled in the top reporters talking about Apple’s new Macbook lineup and placed them on a bar chart sorting for social engagement. Here, we find Joe Rossignol from MacRumors and Adrian Kingsley-Hughes from ZDNet standing out above the crowd regarding the traction they’ve generated with their articles.
The takeaway here is you want to find the journalists most likely to get your brand trending in the news. For Apple, these are those folks. They are the ones you want to consider because you want them to see your press release, the buzz you’re creating about your product launch, and you may even want to send them an early release for a professional review.
However you choose to approach them, your analytics tools should provide you a running list of journalists covering the angle you’ve determined that’s a fit for your brand, emerging trends, and, most importantly, your audience.
None of these journalists listed above work for the world’s biggest news sources. In this case, they write for tech-savvy publications that have the eyes of the audience most interested in what Apple is putting out next. And that’s what you’re looking for with your brand.
Learn their names and develop a professional relationship with them. Take them to lunch. By tracking emerging trends, maintaining relevant messaging and innovations, and getting your ideas out to journalists gaining traction, your brand is in the best position to start trending in the news that matters to your audience.
Is your brand positioning itself to trend in the news? Reach out for a demo, and we’ll help you get there with world-class media analytics tools.