Has there ever been a more explosive trend than the beloved Baby Yoda? From the moment Disney+ launched in November 2019, this unbelievably cute character rose to fame with unparalleled speed, breaking records and topping charts in a single bound. Thousands of internet memes were created, the demand for merchandise skyrocketed, and in just 2 short months, Baby Yoda made the Top List of Google Searches for the entire year.

As a business, it would seem foolish not to hitch your wagon to this famous little alien, right? Why not piggyback on the #1 trend in America by incorporating him into your marketing strategy with funny memes, promotions, and the like? Everybody knows him, everybody loves him, what could go wrong?

I’ll tell you.

If you’re not careful, chasing trends like Baby Yoda will force choke the life out of your marketing strategy. Here’s how.

The Dangers of Trend Chasing

Ask any Jedi: chasing trends is a frivolous technique that takes far more than it gives, whether that trend is an adorable green baby or a specific keyword. Here’s why:

1. Trends Expire

Every trend has a shelf life, which means every piece of content you create around a given trend will only be popular and relevant for a short time. Once the hype subsides, your content will lose value. What’s the point in putting so much time and energy into something that will soon be outdated?

2. Trends are Demanding

Trend chasing is terribly time-consuming. Keeping up with what’s popular in the constantly shifting winds of the internet can suck all your marketing time and energy. While you’re hunched over your computer scouring the web for the perfect Baby Yoda meme, your competitors are improving their SEO and strengthening their marketing strategy.

3. Trends are Distracting

Chasing trends will quickly shift your focus and give you a bad case of tunnel vision. It is all too easy to waste hours coming up with the perfect meme or digging through the trend piles to find something good. Don’t fall for this trap. Let the force guide your focus to big-picture goals and long-term results.

The Right Way to Use Trends in Your Marketing

I’m not trying to tell you that you can’t use any Baby Yoda memes — that would be cruel. When appropriately combined with evergreen marketing, trends can be a fun and refreshing way to engage your audience and flaunt your brand’s unique personality. It’s similar to the long-standing debate of PPC vs. SEO: it’s not about which one is better, but how you use both to achieve awesome results.

Maintain a healthy balance between the two with these 5 golden rules for using trends in your marketing.

1. Don’t Build a Whole Campaign Around a Trend

The worst thing you can do is dump loads of time and resources into building an entire marketing campaign around a trending topic. Chances are, that trend will already be fading into the shadow of the next best thing before you’re even halfway through your campaign.

Instead, build out your campaign around an evergreen topic (something that will still be useful and relevant months — or even years — from now). Once you’ve got a solid strategy carved out, you can weave trending topics into your well-rounded campaign.

2. Only Capitalize on Trends Your Audience Cares About

When searching for trends to adopt into your marketing, it’s easy to blur the line between what you’re interested in and what your audience is interested in. Before you start creating all these clever analogies between your business and your favorite trending Netflix original, ask yourself if you’re appealing to your business demographic. You may need to do a little more digging to find out what kind of content your audience really wants.

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3. Jump on a New Trend Immediately — or Not at All

As we’ve already mentioned, every single trend has a shelf life and more often than not, that shelf life is extremely short. Whether you’re trend jacking a specific keyword or a current event, you better act fast before the world moves onto the next hot topic that appears.

If you wait, you run the risk of publishing content that seems outdated and disingenuous to your target audience. Not to mention, you’ll be trying to catch their interest with old news.

4. Let Your Trend be the Side Show

We can’t stress this one enough: be mindful of how much time and energy you put into developing content around a trend. Keep your greatest articles and graphics centered around evergreen topics so you can continue to use them as new trends come and go.

If you’ve already made this mistake, don’t be afraid to revise your great content to filter out old trends and incorporate more substance that better serves your target market. Worst case scenario, you can store those trendy articles or graphics and use them periodically when a relevant topic emerges.

5. Don’t Lead Your Audience to a Dead End

No matter what trending topic you hitch your wagon to, make absolutely sure that it doesn’t lead your target audience to a dead end. The whole point of trend jacking is to capture the attention of your audience and guide them to a conversion — which is impossible to do if you jump on trends that have absolutely nothing to do with your business.

As you’re creating your memes, promotions, etc., make sure every piece of content you create leads to an effective and relevant call to action. Mold these trends to work in your favor, or don’t use them at all.

Bottom Line: Don’t be a Jawa

In case you’re not a die-hard Star Wars fan, the Jawas are the infuriating little creatures that roam the deserts of Tatooine looking for wayward ships, cruisers, and other machinery to make a profit from stolen parts.

Trend chasing is a comparable venture; combing the web for a temporary patch, a quick fix, or a brief boost in leads. Swiping small parts will only get you so far, and there is a temporary nature to this incredibly time-consuming task.

It is far better to focus your efforts on tactics that last; create evergreen content, strengthen your SEO foundation, and let the trends be the occasional cherry on top of a solid marketing strategy. If you need some help crafting a strategy that will yield profitable results, Big Leap is the SEO agency you can trust. Learn more about our search engine optimization services, or check out our offerings in high-quality content marketing.