"There are three things which the public will always clamor for, sooner or later: namely, novelty, novelty, novelty." -Thomas Hood.
Burger King garnered much attention, good and bad, for its Halloween Whopper that featured a jet-black burger bun. Then this month, McDonald's seemingly countered with a gray burger that is now available in China. Taco Bell seems to release a new menu item weekly, which is especially impressive considering all of them involve cheese, meat and tortilla in some combination; one would think they'd run out of new ideas eventually.
What each of these fast food giants realize is that novelty sells. As marketers, it's often our job to create novelty around a brand, regardless of the product.
Here are 5 ways to create a sense of novelty on social media that will attract consumers to your brand in droves.
Capitalize on Trends
Some trends you can prepare for, and others you can't. Your brand should be ready to do either. Build content, campaigns and conversations around topics people are talking about, otherwise you're missing a key component of what makes social media special.
Become an Early Adopter
Most new networks will fail, and so will most forays onto unproven platforms. Yes, you may waste some resources along the way. But in the rare instances when the network does work, you can really build buzz around your brand in an uncrowded space and get a leg up on the competition. Vine hasn't taken off the same way some folks thought it might, but Lowe's and General Electric's presence there has shown they're willing to take risks and be innovative. If you think your brand might benefit from wading into uncharted territory, trust your gut; if things don't work, at least you tried, tested the waters and gathered insights.
Create Real-Time Content
This one's a no-brainer. Ever since Oreo blew marketers' minds by quickly responding to something everyone was watching, brands have been trying to replicate that level of success. Sometimes that requires forcing it. Honestly, for some brands it's necessary to set a slightly lower bar for content around a real-time event or trend, simply to stay relevant. The exposure it may create is worth taking that chance. Just don't do anything stupid.
Everyone thinks it's hilarious when brands talk to one another on social media because it gives brands a chance to create a dialogue and personality. Burger King (again) invited McDonald's to create a McWhopper for Peace Day, which sparked a lot of controversy and interest. Think: How can your brand cross-promote and interact with partners, like-minded brands or even competitors through social media?
Honestly, the last 4, while innovative in their own right, aren't truly innovative because I told you to do them. Innovation doesn't come from following old paths, but rather from creating new paths. And most importantly, don't forget that while novelty can add spark and sizzle to your marketing, there's no replacement for quality content that's both informative and entertaining to your audience.
What are your thoughts on creating novelty around a brand?