Carlie Sitzman MA, CT
How to Find Trending Content That Works for Your Brand
It takes more than an in-depth knowledge of your brand and professional industry to find ideas for trending content that works. Using your expert knowledge to give consumers the facts they crave is key to a successful content marketing strategy. Luckily, there is a wealth of information online about consumers’ interests and the latest popular topics of discussion. You just have to know where to look. Read on to discover five ways to uncover trending content that will resonate with consumers.
1. Read Online Product or Service Reviews
When a consumer purchases a product or service online, they are usually given the option to submit a public rating and review online. Companies with a rich tradition of collecting reviews include Google, Amazon, and other major merchants. Be sure there is a place on your website or elsewhere for customers to review your offerings. If there is no uniform review system, however, typing “Reviews of XYZ” into a search engine usually yields results.
Paying attention to reviews can help you identify common ways customers use your offerings, frequent problems they face, things they love about your product or service, and things they wish your product had. Reading reviews of similar offerings from your competitors can also help you understand how your brand stacks up against the others. Start by setting up a spreadsheet with a column for “Company”, “Recurring Themes”, “Frequency”, and “Notes”. As you comb through reviews, record recurring themes and count how often they appear. Once you have an idea of what topics are trending, you can choose one as the theme for a blog or social media post to flesh out your content marketing strategy. Content might address common issues with your product, highlight something consumers love, or present ways to use your offerings more effectively.
2. Keyword Research
A keyword is a word or phrase that a consumer types into a search engine in a quest to find or learn about something. Keyword research allows you to uncover the words and phrases consumers are using most frequently to find your offerings. Since it reveals exactly what people are typing into the search engine, it can serve as an outstanding source of information about what people are saying, asking, or thinking about your offerings or industry.
Information on keywords is generally obtained through keyword research tools. These are comprised of a type of software that collects data about searches performed on various search engines and displays this data in easy-to-understand graphs and tables. The first step in using a keyword research tool is to type in a word or phrase you suspect consumers use to search for your offerings or related offerings. The software will provide you with data on how frequently the phrase is searched within a certain time period, how much you will have to compete with other companies to capture consumers’ attention with that keyword, and related keywords.
The related searches feature can be especially helpful for discovering trending topics, since it will help you identify popular keywords that you might not have cooked up yourself. If you search for “blue bicycle”, for example, the tool will show you data on searches for “blue bicycle” as well as related searches such as “navy blue unicycle”, “How do I buy a blue bicycle”, or “blue bicycle wheel”.
Moz, Semrush, and SpyFu are examples of keyword research tools you might use to find just the right keywords for your content marketing strategy. Google also offers a number of free tools, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics, that can be useful in this arena. One somewhat unique and highly useful keyword research tool is “Answer the Public”. This tool allows you to type in 1 to 3 suggested words to find questions people frequently type into search engines in relation to your specified topic.
3. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is free and can be linked directly to your website. It is capable of giving you a wealth of information on how your website is performing on Google. You can see the total clicks in search, total impressions, average click-through rate, and average position of your website in search as well as many other things.
The most useful feature for identifying trending content that will work for your brand is the “Queries” section. This area shows what people type into Google before clicking on your website. You will be able to read how many people actually saw a link to your website after Googling a particular word or phrase and you will also see how many people subsequently clicked on the link. If you find keywords here that are getting very few clicks, yet are pertinent to your content marketing strategy, you can write a blog article on the subject. Featuring these important and underutilized keywords in your content has the potential to drive more customers searching for those words to your site.
4. Hashtags on Social Media
Hashtags are a way for people using social media to find posts relating to a specific topic. I will discuss hashtags using the examples of Twitter and LinkedIn, but they are used widely on other social media as well. If a person posts something about chocolate cake, for example, they might include “#chocolatecake” in their post. Any person who comes along later and types “#chocolatecake” into the search feature on Twitter or LinkedIn will then be able to view every single post written about chocolate cake with that hashtag. Hashtags may or may not correlate with popular searches on search engines and they tend to be very short.
When you are just getting started, you may want to try typing a short two-word expression that did well in your keyword research in as a hashtag. You may also want to type in a simple word describing your product. Look to see if the social media platform tries to autocomplete your suggested hashtag. If it does, the hashtag is probably very popular and will return a lot of results. Analyzing hashtags can give you a lot of excellent information about how consumers are interacting with your offerings or what is happening in your industry.
5. Trending News Feeds on Social Media
Some social media sites will have a “News” bar on the right side of the screen displaying the top ten or so trending topics of the day. Top trending topics may not always be related to your industry, but they can be very powerful when they are. If you click on one of the topics, you will usually find all posts related to that subject. There will also be a place for you to enter a comment including the associated hashtag. Commenting and/or posting a link to relevant content on your website can raise your profile by drawing traffic to your social media profile and/or website.
With trending content ideas and associated keywords in hand, you will be ready to share your expertise with the world.
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