Updated: Dec 12, 2019
She who has content is Queen!
In our world content is king (and queen); it enables us to establish ourselves as mavens in our given professions, as well as helps us signal to potential clients that we know what we are doing, can deliver the services they need and should be hired. In a past blog, Feeding your blog: 6 ways to find content, I talked about developing content and how to deal with blogger's block; now let’s discuss utilizing and exploiting trending ideas or events as the best source for quality content for your blog.
What’s a trend?
I was taught that a business trend - especially an economic one - can only be recognized and then measured utilizing three to four quarters of results and that in a seasonal business, a trend may only be recognized in day-to-year terms. When it comes to social media trends (in both ideas and events) that kind of lead time is both ludicrous and so out-dated it might as well be compared to communicating using two Dixie cups and string versus using a smartphone. There is simply no comparison!
Trends and timing
Today, just about everything can be considered a trend - even fake news. I no longer look at how long a topic/event is discussed, so much as how a specific target audience responds to it on social media. If there is, for instance, an outbreak in salmonella poisoning in the news – then a quick post or link to a post on food safety is well placed. An old blog on food safety or cooking methods can be dusted off and re-posted. Timing is everything and waiting days to ‘catch that wave’ may take you out of this trend and make your post obsolete or at the very least ‘just another blog’.
Converting trends to blog content
So how do we keep abreast of trends? The Internet is at our fingertips and with it, universes of information. It’s all there for us to pick and choose what information we want to blog about. Perversely, in our at-your-fingertips-world, we can spend our entire lives just searching trends and never have time to write a blog, much less run our businesses.
3 easy ways to find trends
The solution to accelerating the search for applicable trends - which in turn can help hasten the blog writing turn around - is simple as 1-2-3! (Sorry, I can’t solve your time-management issues, unless you hire me to write your blogs.)
Use your client-specific key words (how your clients search for you) and industry-specific key words to discover the trends that matter to your readers and your industry.
Learn how to find the trends (explained below) in real-time.
Use hashtags intelligently – both in your posts, blogs and in searching social media for similar topics.
How to streamline your trending searches
Just as there are industry-related blogs and client-related blogs, so too there are two sides to trending – one is industry-generated and can be technical in nature and one is reader or customer-generated and may be less technical.
Here is an easy list of where to discover trends on a regular basis. But, keep in mind, there is no Chinese Wall between the two worlds – content found for one audience can be used (with lesser or more degrees of editing/modifying) for the other.
Where to find Industry-generated trends:
Subscribe to industry-specific e-zines.
Join LinkedIn (business-oriented) groups.
Sign up for industry-specific blogs – get ideas from your fellow industry bloggers. You can ask to share their blogs on your site (only on the condition they are not in direct competition with you) with full credit and link and don’t forget to ask for reciprocity.
Keep an eye out for industry-specific videos and podcasts.
Check out your competition and see what they are blogging and posting about.
Attend conferences where – hopefully – you will hear about upcoming trends.
Where to find customer-generated trends:
Join online forums and scan the chatter.
Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups – both location and topic-specific, such as all the ‘Secret’ groups and the like. Pay attention to discussion threads, requests for recommendations and the like.
Trend-watching online platforms
A note about trend-watching online platforms, such as BuzzSumo, Feedly and the others. I have found that the trends found and analysed on these platforms are more international-facing and not necessarily trends that may affect or even interest our ‘in-house’ Israeli audiences. In fact, I found that in certain key words the trending was based on stats formed in India and other very populous areas. If you deal with international markets, these tools may be worthwhile for your business. As many of these platforms offer free trail periods, take advantage of these offers before you pay for their services.
On your way to becoming a recognized name
Trending is a great way to mine for blog content. It takes time and effort, but like everything else worth doing – it is worth doing well. I believe that your investment in keeping your finger on the pulse of your trends and then writing well-timed, appropriate and valuable content is well-worth the effort to become a recognized name in your industry.
Do you want to open yourself to a more successful business? Are you lost in the social media jungle? Let me help you re-energize your business and rediscover your passion in your profession. We’ll work together to improve your marketing strategy and online exposure and find the perfect target markets for your business. Contact me today to schedule a free introductory meeting.