Do you invest time / money / resources into short lived trends?

27 replies
I have noticed short lived trends since social media has allowed the world to connect so easily. These trends are known to expire but some have major impacts by the time they peak. Two examples are the Harlem shake and the Ice Bucket Challenge (was for a worthy cause).

My question is... do you invest time / money / resources into these trends and ride the waves with the intent to benefit financially (launching websites, selling t shirts etc)?
#invest #lived #money #resources #short #time #trends
  • Profile picture of the author PrettyJenny
    I would definitely. However I will have to make sure that my trend piggybacking projects have good ROI.
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  • Profile picture of the author Saiah Davis
    Hi PrettyJenny...

    Thnx for your response. I'm curious... let's say you notice a trend via social media, word of mouth or however it grabs your attention.

    You do a check and see it's being hash tagged, you check youtube and see videos are being uploaded and are generating views and comments, you check google.com/trends and notice that the search term is being searched so there's traffic for potential conversion.

    If you catch the trend in it's early stage how would you go about identifying its ROI before investing or would you test and then conclude?
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    • Profile picture of the author PrettyJenny
      Originally Posted by Saiah Davis View Post

      Hi PrettyJenny...

      Thnx for your response. I'm curious... let's say you notice a trend via social media, word of mouth or however it grabs your attention.

      You do a check and see it's being hash tagged, you check youtube and see videos are being uploaded and are generating views and comments, you check google.com/trends and notice that the search term is being searched so there's traffic for potential conversion.

      If you catch the trend in it's early stage how would you go about identifying its ROI before investing or would you test and then conclude?
      Hi Saiah,
      Thanks for a good question. You can go about it in both ways: estimate the ROI of your project and if it sounds promising, start small to test water instead of going all in in the beginning.

      There is no accurate way to calculate ROI and I cannot say if my way is the best way. ROI depends largely on the channel to reach your target audience and how well that audience converts.
      Let's take a simple example: you want to ride on the Harlem Shake trend to sell a video dance course which costs $49, earning you an affiliate commission of $25/sale. You get a deal with a Youtube influencer to feature your link in and under one of his popular videos on Harlem Shake. Your cost is $200 for 40,000 video views. And let's say it takes you 4 hours to set up the link and communicate with the influencer, your labor cost would be $80 at $20/hour. I assume that the conversion rate is 0.05%, a bit pessimistic rate as your product is not directly related to the Harlem Shake.

      So your ROI for this simple project is (200+80)/(40000*0.0005*25)=56%, which is not a bad rate considering you don't have to do a lot of work.

      Based on the calculated ROI, you can decide if you want to test water to see if the actual ROI is close to your estimated one to invest more money or labor.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Saiah Davis View Post

    I have noticed short lived trends since social media has allowed the world to connect so easily. These trends are known to expire but some have major impacts by the time they peak. Two examples are the Harlem shake and the Ice Bucket Challenge (was for a worthy cause).

    My question is... do you invest time / money / resources into these trends and ride the waves with the intent to benefit financially (launching websites, selling t shirts etc)?
    I have and probably will again in the future. I wouldnt try to make my primary income this.

    As long as the event has enough interest, it can often be profitable to have a small run at something.
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  • Profile picture of the author SnackMemory
    Short term trends can be very profitable i would suspect. but it must be dependent on things such as timing and good choice. Picking what is trendy and how your to profit from it carefully but quickly will be key.
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    • Profile picture of the author Saiah Davis
      Originally Posted by SnackMemory View Post

      Short term trends can be very profitable i would suspect. but it must be dependent on things such as timing and good choice. Picking what is trendy and how your to profit from it carefully but quickly will be key.
      Hi snackmemory... Timing, being able to identify that the trend will be profitable and quick execution are indeed important. I have not mastered the process but have had some success doing this.

      I spoke with another marketer tonight however and their view was it's a waste of time as they preferred more stable income modules
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  • Profile picture of the author Saiah Davis
    Hi Chrisba... Thnx for the response.

    I have also launched a few projects based on trends and profited and lost. I do find the ones that I lost on were not thoroughly researched and I jumped in too early while one was due to a lengthy affiliate approval process of a physical product which matched the trend.

    I agree that this should not be the primary income module as your primary income would be short lived.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    I have never been fast enough or it was a trend I didn't want to be associated with or was too far from my main niche. I have seen a few other creative marketers have some quick but fleeting success. I would say it is worth it to keep your eyes and ears open and jump on it if it doesn't distract you from your other marketing efforts.
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  • Originally Posted by Saiah Davis View Post

    My question is... do you invest time / money / resources into these trends and ride the waves with the intent to benefit financially (launching websites, selling t shirts etc)?
    Corporate brands take advantage of short lived trends all the time.
    It's very apparent in the food industry. "Gluten free" anyone?

    Also I see a growing trend of food companies / services jumping on the bandwagon to remove harmful ingredients from the poison they have been feeding us all along. Mostly due to pressure from consumers who are now voting with their wallets. This seems to be a trend. (for financial gain).

    Hopefully this is not short lived, but never the less, it's a trend, and it seems that every day a new company comes forward and says: "ok, ok, fine, ...we'll take out some crap, (and silently replace it with some other new crap that has not been proven to cause harm yet)"

    Other trends are of course "visit us on "Facebook" or,
    "Go buy our product, and then join the discussion on Twitter, and talk about our product".

    As for going all out and jumping on every trend full force,
    I think If you already have quality evergreen products and services,
    it's not difficult to adapt your promotions to whatever the current trends are when it comes to advertising.

    But do you have to? Not always.
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  • Profile picture of the author st0nec0ld
    Originally Posted by Saiah Davis View Post

    I have noticed short lived trends since social media has allowed the world to connect so easily. These trends are known to expire but some have major impacts by the time they peak. Two examples are the Harlem shake and the Ice Bucket Challenge (was for a worthy cause).

    My question is... do you invest time / money / resources into these trends and ride the waves with the intent to benefit financially (launching websites, selling t shirts etc)?
    It is not a bad idea to ride on what's currently trending.
    It can actually compared to seasonal occasions like holidays.
    It doesn't happen all the time but at some point it has an impact to people.
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    • Profile picture of the author Saiah Davis
      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      I have never been fast enough or it was a trend I didn't want to be associated with or was too far from my main niche. I have seen a few other creative marketers have some quick but fleeting success. I would say it is worth it to keep your eyes and ears open and jump on it if it doesn't distract you from your other marketing efforts.
      Hi Janice Sperry... thnx for your input.

      Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

      Corporate brands take advantage of short lived trends all the time.
      It's very apparent in the food industry. "Gluten free" anyone?

      Also I see a growing trend of food companies / services jumping on the bandwagon to remove harmful ingredients from the poison they have been feeding us all along. Mostly due to pressure from consumers who are now voting with their wallets. This seems to be a trend. (for financial gain).

      Hopefully this is not short lived, but never the less, it's a trend, and it seems that every day a new company comes forward and says: "ok, ok, fine, ...we'll take out some crap, (and silently replace it with some other new crap that has not been proven to cause harm yet)"

      Other trends are of course "visit us on "Facebook" or,
      "Go buy our product, and then join the discussion on Twitter, and talk about our product".

      As for going all out and jumping on every trend full force,
      I think If you already have quality evergreen products and services,
      it's not difficult to adapt your promotions to whatever the current trends are when it comes to advertising.

      But do you have to? Not always.
      Thnx for sharing your view from a different angle. Indeed when you have set up and are promoting a stable quality product or service you can benefit from these trends by incorporating them into your marketing campaigns. Using one of the examples of a short lived trend that I mentioned... the harlem shake... I guess one could have participated in the harlem shake trend and incorporated product placement or anything related to your business in your participating material and get some exposure. The traffic would not be as targeted as offering a user something related to the harlem shake concept but it could create product/service awareness..

      As you mentioned however, you don't always have to participate in the trends so you could look out for trends that would best fit your business model.


      Originally Posted by st0nec0ld View Post

      It is not a bad idea to ride on what's currently trending.
      It can actually compared to seasonal occasions like holidays.
      It doesn't happen all the time but at some point it has an impact to people.
      Good point on the impact it can have on people and the comparison to holiday occasions. I guess you know it's only for a time but has the potential of generating lots of revenue just like the holiday season would.
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      • Profile picture of the author muchacho
        I think it also depends on how you're generating the traffic.

        For instance with SEO, unless your website is spidered and new articles are ranked extremely quickly (my new articles for instance normally take around 3-4 minutes before Google has it ranked), it might not be worth it unless the trend lasts a long time. If it takes a week before Google rank your page, even if it ends up in the top 10, it could be too late with search volume back near zero.

        But if you're generating traffic via social media, you can jump on a trend much sooner, depending on what it is. I guess it also depends on how you're monetizing and what the trend is.

        I saw something recently called 'Paracetamol Challenge' - now this would probably work well with social media and Adsense, because it's a medcine and thus usually a high paying CPC and you can get traffic to it quickly.

        So I think whether it's worth investing time on a Trend depends on several things.
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        • Profile picture of the author agmccall
          I, personally, do not bother with trends. most of the time when I spot a trend, it is on its way out and by the time I can get anything together it is gone. I guess I should set up a website, with a generic name, to use for these quick hit "trends". That way I could be ready, toss up a CPA offer, then bang out some facebook ads.

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  • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
    I used to always teach my students to do top trends. I stopped with the google updates of 2013 since you just cant put up a doorway page and get traffic to it.
    I do still teach doing trends off already ranked websites and blogs though.
    I make my money in new trends now with ppc (not google) and commercials tv and radio as well as block ads on highly viewed sites.

    You will be surprised at how low you can buy media ad spots especially in a co-op. -
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    • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
      Before i get the pms. I want to say i wont give away all my secrets, but here is a link to very low cost tv ads. I have used them quite often and this is not an affiliate link.
      http://lastsecondmedia.tv/CheapNationalCableAdTime.php
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  • Profile picture of the author VinMarketer
    I think one needs to further define or refine what we're talking about in "trend". As mentioned by others, longer term cultural trends (like gluten free foods) are easier to tap into.

    Your OP speaks of shorter-term trends that might speed through social media, but I might call those "flashes" instead. If it's just a viral social thing, will there be any products to be sold on it? Maybe a t-shirt, but not if the flash starts to look silly. So, question is how to make money on something like that? If you have a system in place to quickly test & launch, then maybe, but that starts to sound like your primary business or income.

    My take is you have to make it your primary business, otherwise it's a distraction and the opportunity costs (from your true primary business) are too great.

    I prefer to wait for trends that dovetail with a primary business and tie into them via content marketing or publicity or a video response.
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  • Profile picture of the author HDRider
    I used to when SEO was a lot easier, you could slap up a page and get one of the top spots on Google really easy. Made some decent money quickly, but those days are over.

    Like everyone else says I'm usually too slow and the trend is going down by the time I get in on it. Now I concentrate on evergreen products only.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      IMO, short term trends should be a part of most Internet businesses. There are ways to take advantage of short term trends beyond selling tee-shirts and launching trendy web sites.

      Mentioning trends and how they may impact your niche is a smart move for bloggers and should help them to get more notice to their posts.

      Including trends into pod casts, reports, and videos will often help them to be ranked higher than they otherwise might.

      Being able to discuss trends and their affect on your subscribers should help to get your emails read.

      By being conversant and knowledgeable about the latest trends shows your audience (and subscribers) that you are an active, engaged, and concerned about the current state of affairs.

      Yes, it's difficult sometimes to ride the crest of the initial wave of a trend, but that is an enviable position to be in very often.

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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Originally Posted by Saiah Davis View Post

    I have noticed short lived trends since social media has allowed the world to connect so easily. These trends are known to expire but some have major impacts by the time they peak. Two examples are the Harlem shake and the Ice Bucket Challenge (was for a worthy cause).

    My question is... do you invest time / money / resources into these trends and ride the waves with the intent to benefit financially (launching websites, selling t shirts etc)?
    It really depends. The efficacy is there. As there are plenty of people who live off short term trends and make fantastic income doing so.

    Like I said if thats your thing its definitely something to capitalize off of.

    Go to Google Trends and keep an eye on what is happening in our Society. There are Trends in the News everyday.

    Ex. the political scene with the presidential election coming around the corner.
    May be a good time to sell some Teespring geared towards political parties or political nominees



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  • Profile picture of the author samng
    Yes I do but the different short term trends (though all are short) have different "life spans". Key is to be one of the firsts to discover and act upon the trend. It can be negative or positive but it helps if its a very targeted niche.

    But it does not form a basic form of income for me
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  • Profile picture of the author workhomeplanet
    I personally prefer to invest my time and money in trends that will be always around like Forex, Stock Market, Value Investing, etc...
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    • Profile picture of the author viper217
      I think that short term trends are more usefully described as fads, while in themselves they may not be profitable because of their limited lifespan, they might be more useful as indicators of an overarching theme that's is becoming more prominent.

      Example - No MSG & No Aspartme are all fads, but they point to the theme of people being concerned about what they consume and put into their bodies and their childrens bodies.

      So the theme is eating healthy, what are the emerging fads that may be profitable that you can get ahead of and build up your site as an authority?

      Now if we were to look at all the stuff that goes into food, we could probably come up with other things that shouldn't be in it that has dubious health effects. Now say we were to create a few simple sites outlining the ingredients that have potentially bad health effects, and laying it all out, we build a simple facebook and twitter accounts linked and we write a few articles, set up the analytics and then watch what traffic comes your way (this could be done in a couple of hours for each site and over time you look at the analytics and see what bites with the public interest).

      I like to think of the process as a form of natural selection, just as a virus looks to mutate to adapt so must our thinking, look for themes that are in your area of interest (this helps if you write your own stuff, it is really hard to write engagingly about something you aren't interested in).

      Build, test and scale successful sites, the real challenge is in finding products that tie to the concern, need or fear.

      There are still a lot of gurus recommending watching trends and getting ahead of the emerging wave, not easy to do and unless you have a very rapid deployment model for small sites, this grinding out of sites can become very soul destroying.

      The best of luck and the real trick is finding where to watch for fads/trends emerging
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  • Profile picture of the author globalexperts
    The key here is act fast! If you're into other projects / marketing stuff, this might not be for you since you probably do not have the luxury of time to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabenb
    As long as it's close to my niche I do but just following trends in the hope to get some traffic that's not related won't help I guess ;-)
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    • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
      Asides from using "Google trends" where do you go to spot on "upcoming trends ?" And no, I'm not talking about hashtags that are trending for the day but something that you see is trending over time.

      For instance,
      How did people know ecigs were going to trend back in 2012-13? Asides from word of mouth? Is there a site you go to? etc.
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      • Originally Posted by GGpaul View Post

        Asides from using "Google trends" where do you go to spot on "upcoming trends ?" And no, I'm not talking about hashtags that are trending for the day but something that you see is trending over time. For instance,
        How did people know ecigs were going to trend back in 2012-13? Asides from word of mouth? Is there a site you go to? etc.
        You guys might find this interesting.

        World Future Society | Tomorrow is built today.
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        "I LOVE The Song! The Vibe Is Positive And Firm!" - Kymani Marley. (Son of Bob Marley)
        "Keep Up The Good Work!" Tony Lindsay - Lead Vocalist, Carlos Santana.

        "Very High Quality!" Jeremy Harding - Manager / Producer. Sean Paul.
        "They Are FANTASTIC!" - Willie Crawford.

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  • Profile picture of the author icoachu
    For me, it's a better use of my time focusing on EVERGREEN niches.

    People are fickle.

    You don't want to waste time, effort, and resources on trends that will go up in smoke overnight....
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