Each year brings new audience segments as consumers age, which becomes the focus of marketers. In 2021, for instance, the oldest Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) will be 24 years old. The younger Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are also around their mid-20s and early 30s.
What this means is that both generations, while having distinctive differences in consumer behaviors, are becoming more active members in commerce. But they have one thing in common: Recent trends have shown that Millennials and Gen Zers connect with others on social media through internet challenges.
And this kind of trend can be a valuable strategy for marketers.
Internet Challenges: What They Are and Their Benefits to Businesses
Internet challenges, as the term suggests, is an internet trend where users record a video of themselves doing a “challenge” — e.g., a dance, doing something outrageous — and then posting the video online, often daring or nominating others to repeat the same challenge.
One of the most popular early examples includes the Ice Bucket Challenge that gained popularity in 2014, which is a charity-driven challenge to raise awareness about the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease.
How do internet challenges benefit marketers?
- Boosts engagement: Challenges are fun, inspiring, and often silly, and this type of content drive active engagement from other users.
- Connects with audiences: With engagement comes connection, and it’s especially true if you as a marketer take the time to proactively respond to challenge “participants.”
- Provides you with user-generated content: One of the most practical content marketing strategies is to encourage users to generate their own content about your brand. Internet challenges do just that.
- Enhances brand awareness: Lastly, internet challenges help users become more aware of your brand, and more so if you accompany the challenge with a branded hashtag.
How to Make Internet Challenges Work for Your Brand
1. Include a branded hashtag to your challenge
Hashtag challenges are especially useful if you use TikTok for your brand. Of course, doing the same for other social media platforms is also important.
Including a branded hashtag to your internet challenges not only boost brand awareness but also allows users to easily discover your content.
To make this work well for your brand, make your branded hashtag share-worthy and easy to remember. You can also add your brand name to the hashtag to foster brand association.
2. Create a challenge that makes sense to your brand
One crucial thing to remember about internet challenges is that it should make sense to your brand — that is, it should align with your brand personality, image, and overall brand message.
One example is Chipotle’s #GuacDance challenge, which was considered as TikTok’s highest-performing branded challenge in the US in 2019. The #GuacDance is so fitting to Chipotle, given that guacamole is one of their popular menu items.
Another example is #PepsiCanBalance. The challenge keeps the focus on Pepsi’s product. It also works well with Pepsi’s brand personality as fun and youthful, as well as making sense with their collaboration with pop music group Now United.
3. Cultivate a positive brand message
While dance challenges are the most popular, internet challenges that have a unique combination of fun, creative, and educational are also appealing to users. When starting an educational internet challenge, make sure to cultivate a brand message that’s relevant to your audience.
For example, Kaiser Permanente’s #OwnTheCurve challenge encourages people to adhere to current health protocols, such as washing your hands, staying at home, and observing social distancing. The challenge promotes a brand message that’s both positive and makes sense to their brand (healthcare-related).
To make this work for your brand, first, determine why you want to initiate the challenge: What is your goal? What message are you sending to your audience?
4. Collaborate with influencers
Influencer marketing is a key facet in internet challenges. By collaborating with social media influencers (popular content creators), you expand your reach even further by tapping into their already loyal following.
One great example is Guess’ #InMyDenim challenge, which encouraged users to show off their best denim looks using Guess products. They partnered with several influencers, such as Madison Willow and TikTok tandem Chriss Kerr Rio and Sharla May, to promote their marketing campaign. The challenge amassed 38 million views and helped Guess appeal to a younger audience.
Wrapping It Up
Internet challenges are but one of the many ways to gear your marketing campaign towards young adults and teens. The key takeaway here is to create content that’s not only engaging but also relevant and creative. To learn more about content and social media marketing, check out our blog at https://www.ilfusion.com/blog.