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What Can We Learn From Pumpkin Spice? How To Leverage Trends and Build Loyalty.

By OpenWeb

Summer came and went. 

Even though autumn doesn’t officially begin for a few more weeks, as of late August coffee companies and other brands have already kicked off the fall season, introducing Pumpkin Spice drinks and products back into stores.

Pumpkin Spice isn’t new. Consumers’ affinity for the flavor can be seen even during the off-season, too. And for years, the annual deluge of memes and countdowns until the return of the widely-loved flavor has begun to crowd social feeds. 

Yes, thousands of memes, recycled and brand new, are already littering our timelines from Twitter to Instagram, TikTok, and beyond. To some, it’s a delight. To others, it’s a nightmare. But everyone talks about it.

While the long-running annual trend of Pumpkin Spice is widely known, enduring, and largely predictable, communities across the internet famously turn trends like this (and its more ephemeral and unpredictable trend-cousins) into content ripe for engagement. 

Today, publishers often have trouble quickly recognizing and creating content around these trends, ceeding engagement to the social platforms. It doesn’t have to be this way. Below, we’ll look at how publishers can stay on top of trends by fostering a loyal community, become a part of the conversations that matter most to their highest-value users, and invite new readers to join the community in the process.

Media Brands Curating Content to Monetize Internet Trends

Rather than letting consumers discuss their love (or hate) of a given trend—let’s stay with Pumpkin Spice for our example—on social media, publishers can anticipate these moments and use them to foster community and conversation on its own platform. 

Editorial and audience engagement teams can curate content to mirror, or get ahead of, what conversations are taking place in their own communities.

It’s simple: looking at what your community is excited about should be an indicator of what content you create next. This should keep your audience engaged for a longer period of time, with more content. Publishers should leverage the plethora of first-party data and audience insights at their disposal. 

To maximize potential engagement with content, publishers need to hone in on the trending conversations that are taking place amongst their community members. These are a publisher’s highest value readers. If the editorial team creates more content that aligns with their interests, they’re even more likely to engage with your content.

Let’s revisit our Pumpkin Spice example.

If your team notices an uptick in comments on an article about PSLs returning for Fall, they can use that as a jumping-off point for your next slate of content. One step deeper: analyze whether these comments are positive or negative. Then the editorial team is equipped with audience insights to create articles – for instance, listicles of Pumpkin Spice products, local coffee shops serving unique PSL drinks, alternative flavors to try if you don’t like Pumpkin Spice… The possibilities are really endless when you leverage community insights.

This type of content fuels conversation – and community – among a publisher’s audience. And this we know: conversation drives engagement, and engagement means better monetization. Of course, these trending moments don’t last forever. Pumpkin Spice conversations are already slowing down, and we haven’t even started picking season yet. But, by leveraging audience insights, publishers can ensure they’re staying ahead of the next trend their community creates.

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