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Why we’re not doing the Harlem Shake

26 Feb 2013
By Corinne

I’m sure that by now you’ve heard of the Harlem Shake: a meme which has been sweeping the internet, usually a 30 second video starts with one person, often masked, dancing while everyone else in the room pays no attention. When the chorus kicks in (half way through) they all join in, usually wearing crazy costumes or with props like blow-up giraffes or bicycles.

Since it went viral earlier this month, thousands of copycat ‘Harlem Shake’ videos have been uploaded onto YouTube.

With online marketing experts heralding 2013 as the year of content marketing, keeping an eye on the pulse of the internet, understanding trends and memes like this one, and being capable of generating an agile online response for your brand when necessary are all vital for giving you the edge against your competitors.

Falling behind?

Some commentators have suggested that brands who haven’t created their own version of the Harlem Shake by now are going to fall behind in the race to achieve content-related buzz and engagement.

But while nobody wants to be seen as out of touch, there’s a difference between creating thoughtful and engaging content, and automatically jumping on the bandwagon of the latest internet craze.

Be the first

Clever online content is engaging because it goes beyond what has come before. Instead of following the tide, brands need to focus on doing something which differentiates them from their competitors.

This year’s best content marketing will be less a matter of ‘keeping up’ than ‘getting ahead’ of the general flow of content creation. It will be about making something new which is genuinely useful, interesting or entertaining.

So, instead of blindly following the trend and making your own version of the ‘Shake, think about what your brand represents, what kind of content your consumers are craving, and what you know will enhance their experience with your product. As the residents of Harlem might say: “You gotta start with the heart.”

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