Unexpected peaks and troughs: How to ride the wave with Digital PR

While there are predictable peaks and troughs occurring consistently throughout the year, there will be fluctuations in multiple industries due to social and economic factors that can’t be forecasted and these will have an effect on your brand engagement and sales one way or the other. 

We’ve seen that clients investing in Digital PR, the right way, have scope to capitalise on spontaneous peaks or remain relevant during unpredicted off-seasons, providing them with continued visibility and the ability to recover quicker. 

Here’s our take on exactly when reactive content is most useful and how to approach it.

Causes of unexpected peaks and troughs in engagement

Unexpected peaks in consumer engagement are commonly due to trending news, products and campaigns. For example, with the popular TV show Love Island announcing that they will be collaborating with eBay to dress contestants in second-hand clothes, there is set to be a huge spike in Brits investing in ‘pre-loved’ items. Such sudden and heightened engagement in the relevant field provides an opportunity to get your industry expertise out there, reeling in potential new customers.

Unexpected troughs are likely to come off the back of economic factors such as the rising cost of living and industry and supply chain disruptions. For example, due to widespread flight delays and cancellations across the UK during peak travel season, many Brits are reluctant to book holidays abroad this year. It is vital to push for maintained visibility during these unexpected downtimes to ensure your brand is retaining industry authority and not falling behind competitors. Such measures will increase the chances of your brand engagement bouncing back quickly after unexpected troughs subside. 

The importance of timing, value and creativity in reactive content 

You may see trending news, topics and events that provide an opportunity for you to share relevant expertise but might not know how to approach this effectively. There are three main considerations when going after these reactive opportunities; 

Timing

As you are piggybacking on current events, timing is the most important factor in executing a successful reactive campaign. It is therefore vital to think fast and be strategic about the timing you choose; moving too fast might cause your campaign to get lost in the noise, whilst missing the boat will dramatically reduce the value and coverage potential of your expertise. Striking a balance with your outreach and follow-ups is key to giving the best opportunity for success. 

Value 

Producing valuable content is another important factor when it comes to gaining coverage. Ensuring that you’re reacting to trending news or events with relevant and informative insights promotes more meaningful engagement by positioning your brand at the forefront of industry know-how. Such value also increases the chances of your expertise being picked up outside of targeted outreach and taking on a life of its own. 

Creativity

Creativity with your approach is what will make your campaigns stand out amongst other competitors that are also looking to capitalise on trending news or topics. Think outside the box with what you can bring to the table and the way you present your expertise. This urgency and need for innovation make having a robust newsjacking process in place imperative. 

Getting buy-in for reactive content from your internal teams

Whether riding the wave of increased engagement or finding a way to remain relevant in unexpected off-seasons, reacting to trending news with fresh or repurposed content is an excellent way of increasing coverage success. However, as an in-house team, there may be limitations around the scope of your brand’s expertise or target audience. 

Having a degree of flexibility increases your chances of gaining relevant, high authority backlinks in a variety of niches and expanding the audience demographics that are interacting with your content. For a better chance of buy-in, work to demonstrate the value of reactive content for both brand engagement and image through its heightened coverage potential. 

Here are some examples of successfully reacting to trending topics to capitalise on increased engagement or remain relevant during unexpected troughs: 

eCommerce Case Study: Men’s Mental Health Month 

In the lead-up to men’s mental health month last June, we worked closely with our client, Better, to explore how body image is impacted by external factors and how it can affect our daily life, with a particular focus on male attitudes as this is a topic not discussed as frequently as female body image. By reacting to the heightened engagement brought on by the awareness month around men’s mental and physical wellbeing, Better was able to add meaningful content to the conversation and in the process secured coverage in a variety of publications ranging from the Independent to Wellness News. 

Travel Case Study: Wellness campaign for Icelandair

As engagement with the travel industry is still recovering post-pandemic, we worked with Icelandair on mobilising trending topics to promote travel content. With the media’s recent focus on both mental health and working from home, an index study was created, exploring the best countries for wellness workstations, equipped with expert travel insights. 

This creative and explanatory piece has accumulated nearly two hundred referring domains across a variety of international publications, increasing brand visibility during a time of lower engagement and providing content that puts its audience at the centre, aiming to help them in a particular area, benefiting both brand and user.    

Remaining relevant and visible when engagement drops

And why it’s crucial to your brand exposure, image and reputation. 

Digital PR is key to remaining relevant all year round, regardless of consumer habits. Producing useful content is the primary way to communicate with your target audience and promote engagement with your brand online, giving you both industry authority and authenticity. 

Such engagement plays a key role in the decision-making process, and can often mean the difference between a customer choosing your brand over a competitor. Recent findings show that 82% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading meaningful, customised content. 

Developing your brand’s online presence with valuable content also promotes organic backlinks from relevant and niche websites, improving your ranking in the SERP and further expanding visibility and consumer engagement.

At Builtvisible, the Digital PR team has worked closely with our Technical Director, Will Nye, on creating an in-house tool that allows us to spot rising trends as they happen so that we can use them to help keep our clients remain relevant all year round. 


In conclusion, producing relevant and valuable content is a great way to build a strong online presence. Having a robust reactive process in place is key to maintaining brand engagement throughout the year, allowing you to make the most of increased momentum or counteract unexpected troughs.

At Builtvisible we use a wealth of tactics, both reactive and otherwise, to promote engagement with our client’s brand and are constantly working on new and innovative ways to ride the waves of engagement and keep our clients one step ahead of competitors. If you’re currently experiencing peaks or troughs in engagement and want to capitalise on this, reach out and we can chat about options with you!

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