current-eventsIn the world of SEO and content marketing, brands work to develop relationships and engagement with their customers. A lot of planning and strategy goes into digital marketing to ensure you create interesting and informative content for you readers. A digital marketer’s dream is to have their content go viral, though this is not an easy feat.

So, what makes content go viral?

There are many theories—maybe the content is contagious, sparks an emotion, or is based on a current event. To build a campaign around a current event you must be on top of pop culture, news, and industry buzz—anything that people are talking about. However, there are those rare times a campaign falls into your lap.

Recently, we had had two campaigns based on current events that really took off—one well planned and executed, the other completely unexpected. Here’s what we did.

The Well-Planned Plan

With one client, we developed a campaign around a popular and controversial series. Our goal was to spin the series in a more positive light to start a discussion around relationships and how everything is not always black and white.

We appealed to the human emotion to look at the relationship between the two main characters to help people understand what drove them towards each other and their relationship. Through this campaign, we saw a great response from our client’s audience. The article was shared 860 times and the related quiz, to date, has been taken 1,094 times. In addition, the client received 49 new eBook downloads directly from this campaign.

By structuring a marketing campaign around the series, we capitalized on the situation to release a follow up article about creating healthy boundaries in a relationship that was shared on social media 5,484 times.

An Unexpected Situation Turned Viral

In a totally different situation with another client, a lighthearted news story involving our client went viral overnight. With this unexpected event, we used the situation to our advantage to further promote our client through brand mentions.

As a result of our efforts, we had 7 new high quality links added to high-ranking sites and saw an increase in organic traffic. Although it is too soon to measure the total impact of the campaign, we have seen a 60% increase in organic traffic over the last year.

Grab the Moment

One thing we learned with both situations is that there is a lot of untapped potential when you use current events to connect with people. Build upon trends and events to spark interesting discussions and increase engagement with others.

Not sure where to get the latest news on current events? Here are 6 news outlets worth checking out:

Other places to get some great current event ideas is on the site, Days of the Year. This site gives you all the weird, bizarre, and fun holidays for every day and month of the year. There are so many random and fascinating holidays taking place, you are sure to find something you can build a campaign around.  


Danielle Schwager
SEO/Social Media Specialist at Big Leap
Danielle is an Online Marketing Specialist at Big Leap. She specializes in content writing and outreach. In her spare time, she enjoys British television, creative writing, and celebrating obscure holidays.