Situational Marketing: the Art of Quick Response and Referencing

5 May 2023
Reading: 1 min

Any social event gives a brand a chance to remind its clients about itself, even if the event is not directly connected with the brand. Just try to imagine what your target audience is interested in and what gets them talking. The release of the new season of The Witcher on Netflix? A new drop by Versace? Maybe a presidential election in the USA or the awakening of a volcano in the Pacific Ocean? Anything that causes a public commotion can be used in your marketing campaigns, and that’s where the term situational marketing comes in.

What situational marketing is

Situational marketing is a brand’s response to any social event, relevant to a mass audience. The idea is simple: If something is interesting to your target audience, why not cover it?

A very good example is beer advertising during soccer championships. Beer brands often invite the stars of the season for the commercials, make references to outstanding matches, and show soccer fans who are at home on the couch watching the championship and drinking beer. 

Situational Marketing: the Art of Quick Response and Referencing

Situational Marketing: the Art of Quick Response and Referencing

Situational marketing allows you to quickly engage new audiences in the sales funnel at early stages. Also, situational marketing helps you retain your current audience.

The rule is, the faster and better your response to different socially significant events, the better the results. It’s a signal to your clients that you’re aware of what’s going on around them, know what they care about, and share it. That way they are more interested in following you and remain loyal.

Types of situational marketing

Viral advertising

The most appropriate channel for situational marketing is social networks, where users spend a lot of time and actively discuss everything they are interested in. Here you have the opportunity to gather maximum coverage through likes, reposts, and forwarding to friends.

The idea is, as soon as something important happens, you immediately create a post or meme with some smart reference to the event. You can also add hashtags, so that it shows up for everyone who follows the event.

Situational Marketing: the Art of Quick Response and Referencing

Humor and entertaining content work well here, because in social networks the audience is more receptive. The options for realization are limited only by your imagination. It could be something “sticky”, like games, tests (e.g., “What “Twilight” character are you?”), stickers based on a new series or movie. Also, it could be a community cover or stylization of the brand’s logo for the event.

Сontextual advertising

Contextual advertising works for search engines. It is an opportunity to show ads to the maximum target audience in response to a problem that is exactly what people are discussing and trying to solve at the very moment.

To get to the first place in the ad unit, you need a lot of money. However, if you do everything correctly, usually the game is worth the risk. 

Article updates

Keeping your content up-to-date is important if the brand runs its own blog. People are much more interested in fresh materials than in those that have lost their relevance and cannot be used any longer.

For search engines, updating blog content is an additional ranking factor: updated pages get higher positions in search results. Try to respond to any updates as quickly as possible. This improves your position in the search engine and provides more conversions.

Breaking news 

These could be:

  • Statements by famous people: they quickly go viral on the Internet, and many resources are happy to use them in their marketing campaigns.
  • The news that something has gone the wrong way or has been broken: people love bad news about things that are not related to them personally.

Situational Marketing: the Art of Quick Response and Referencing

Where to find the material for situational marketing

  • Follow the news on a daily basis
  • Keep track of topics that are relevant today. On Twitter, for example, they’re on the home page
  • Use special services to find popular content on social networks for specific communities and pages or categories (e.g., SmmBox)
  • Don’t forget about the planned events (e.g., holidays, sports events, etc.): You can prepare for such events in time and make high-quality content


Situational marketing is an opportunity to get a huge amount of traffic in a short period of time. If you run the campaign promptly, there is a high probability that your investment in it will pay off many times over.

Carefully choose the events for your situational marketing campaigns. Be prepared for the fact that the same news can work out for you in one case and flop in another. If the subject matter is far from your competences, it’s better to ignore it and wait for a better occasion, otherwise you risk looking a fool.

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