We live in a climate that readily shares industry trends whether you are scrolling through Twitter or watching the news. Trending topics give you the opportunity to find new and relevant information to share with your audience. When you are creating content using a specific trend these are a few important factors to consider:
- Is it relevant to your brand or industry?
- What type of content are you creating?
- Did you do your research?
- What is your angle?
- Is it timely? What is the shelf life of this trend?
You can benefit from using trends in your content whether you’re creating a blog or making a post on Instagram. As a business or brand looking to position themselves at the forefront of your industry, you want to take advantage of the vast network that is our internet culture. Whether your goal is to rank higher in search results or grow your customer base, using a trending topic is low risk with the potential for big results.
Using Trends in Your Content
When using trends in your content, research is your best friend. The internet is full of resources and tools like Google Trends, BuzzSumo, and Trendwatching.com that can show how a trend is performing with insights, analytics, and keywords. After you conduct your research then you can determine how to implement that topic in your content.
Keep a nearby list with 3-5 keywords to use when you are researching a trending topic. Selecting keywords that are relevant to your industry will generate the type of trending topics you write about whether you are using an online tool or searching on social media. For example, if I have a cake shop, I could research my trending topics based on keywords like “cake decorating,” “types of cakes,” and “cake decorating supplies.”
Trending tools like BuzzSumo can populate trending topics that you can use to help inform your content. Deciding which trending topic to use is based on the overall purpose of your content. Are you teaching your audience something new? Is this a piece of content for entertainment? Will you be writing a blog or creating a video?
If you want additional research on a topic, you can review the analytics on the topic. It’s always important to see how audiences are engaging with your trend so you can determine if you want to pursue writing content about that specific trend. There are various online tools that can report the number of current articles around a trend, how it’s performing within a certain timeline, and where it’s being discussed on social media.
Don’t overwhelm your content with trending topics, there will be moments when there isn’t a trending topic that fits with your brand and that’s okay. Researching a trending topic is about seeing what’s relevant within your industry and exploring how you can capitalize on the conversation. As you continue discovering new trends to use in your content, you can also stay up to date by exploring trends on social media.
Using Trends on Social Media
Think of social media as an amusement park. You’ve got a variety of platforms, audiences, and options for sharing your content, but you don’t have to use all of them. On social media, trends can appear in the form of #hashtags or keywords which can show up in the search results of the platform you are using. Social media trends are a quick way to discover real-time conversations around a trending topic.
Here are 3 recommendations for using a trend on social media:
- Is it a topic that is now ranking (ex: top 10 on Twitter)
- How long has the topic been trending?
- Where is the topic being discussed? (social platform)
- Have discussions with fellow users on the trending topic to gauge audience sentiment.
- Test out a content idea and see how people engage or interact with it by evaluating the comments, shares, or likes.
- Monitor if people are engaging with the trending topics with gifs, images, or long discussions.
- Always share any content that uses a trending topic on your social platforms.
- Make sure to incorporate #’s when you are posting to make your content accessible to a wider audience.
- Create click-worthy and shorter links using Bitly or Rebrandly to make your post more appealing to readers.
Using trending topics on social media gives you the opportunity to make content that is interesting to your readers while potentially increasing your social media presence. When you use trends on social media you have the opportunity to:
- Increase how much your content is viewed by organically sharing your content.
- Improve your SEO by using relevant keywords within your industry.
- Share researched and insightful content to build trust with your audience.
Trends on Twitter
On Twitter, you can tailor your trending topics to #’s that will be relevant to your content strategy and audience. Twitter allows you to get quick real-time responses and engagement on a trend from anywhere in the world. #Trends on Twitter can be followed through a hashtag, location, and are viewable through desktop and mobile. You can adjust your Twitter settings to pull trends based on your location and who you are currently following. Users can also engage industry-related Twitter chats or host a Twitter Chat.
Trends on Instagram
Instagram allows you to research hashtags and keywords on the explore page and will populate the top-performing accounts or posts based on engagement. You can use the search and explore page to see what content is being liked and what accounts are being followed with the #trending topics you want to create content around.
Trends on Facebook
The list of social platforms continues to grow each year, but 69% of users still use Facebook. Facebook shows trending topics to the right of your newsfeed and will populate a list of top 10 trending topics. There are several benefits to using Facebook such as:
- Sharing your content with a personal or branded Facebook page.
- Using Facebook Live for organic engagement and real-time interactions with audiences.
- Joining a FB group tailored to your industry/brand/business that will directly engage with your content.
Capitalizing on a Peak Moment
You want to be ahead of the curve when creating content and you can use a trending topic to your advantage when an item, subject, accessory, is popular or about to “peak,” due to a viral trend. Peak moments have the ability to make your content soar if you’re able to create content around that trend in a timely manner. These are trending topics that can create a buzz that peaks at a timed moment, you can anticipate the “peak,” because typically there have been breadcrumbs leading to the climax.
Here are a few examples of “peak” moments we’ve seen this year.
- Remote working
- Video chat
- Live-streaming workouts
- TikTok Challenges
- App-based therapy (Talkspace, Betterwell, Calm)
- Streaming Services (Disney+, Quibi, Peacock, HBOMax)
What makes a peak moment so valuable is that it has numerous content resources to accompany the trending topic on the internet and social media. You can monitor the engagement, news, and conversation around a peak moment as you create your content which helps keep it timely and relevant. You don’t want to write about a trending topic that’s no longer garnering interest or engagement with audiences online.
If you decide to explore creating content around a peak moment, make sure it fits with your industry. You never want to use a peak moment to make your content go viral because if it doesn’t align with your brand or business, you could seem inauthentic and lose customers. When a trending topic is used properly, it has the ability to enhance your content and showcase your expertise within your field.
Getting Creative With Your Content
Content is not a one-trick pony, it has endless possibilities. We have so many online resources and tools to create content that can enhance our web presence. Trends give you the opportunity to get creative with your content and utilize the trend in an engaging way for your readers. You always want to think outside the box and make your content shareable so it can reach a wider audience.
Here are a few ways to get creative with your content.
- Don’t limit yourself only to stagnant blog posts.
- Utilize infographics.
- Add video content.
- Educate your audience in a live webinar.
- Collaborate with another brand.
- Have a guest author or conduct an interview.
After you’ve done thorough research on your trend, you are ready to start creating content! Try selecting 3-5 trending topics and see how you can organize them into your current content schedule. Each month people celebrate holidays or commemorative events like “National Pet Day,” or “National Selfie Day” which gives you the opportunity to capitalize on existing trends. Keeping a content calendar can help you organize your ideas and help you identify where your trending topic fits with other content.
Organizing & Sharing Your Content
After you have compiled a list of trending topics you’d like to write about, organize your content by creating a content calendar. Writing out a detailed content calendar will help you develop a timely posting schedule and decide what type of content you plan to create around a trending topic or event. Most importantly, it keeps your readers and audience engaged by preventing your content from getting stagnant, repetitive or overly random.
Color coding your content is a fantastic way to start strategizing how a trend fits within your current content structure. It’s a great visual aid that also helps you determine how you want to use your trending topic. Maybe you plan to use your trend on social media instead of blogging…using a content calendar can help you get more granular and decide which social platform is best for that trend.
Trending topics have the ability to be read by a wider audience but don’t forget that your content needs to be relevant to your target audience. Your target audience is the person (or personality) that consumes your content and any trending topic you choose to write should always align with the needs of your audience. The important aspect of using a trending topic is finding an organic way to blend it into your current content schedule and deciding where you are going to share it.
Sharing Your Content
Once you create and organize your content, it’s time to share it with the world. While a blog could perform well on your website, a how-to tutorial or live stream might getter better engagement on YouTube or Instagram. Sharing your content is key for driving traffic to your site, increasing your SEO, and growing your customer base.
If you have a WordPress website, you can drive organic traffic to help grow your website when you use plugins like Yoast SEO or W3 Cache. Social media platforms encourage using hashtags, keywords, and tapping into your community to share your content. What is your plan for sharing your content? Do you know where it will shine the best? Is your content mobile friendly?
Make sure that you have a few options for sharing your content and that it’s available in a variety of formats.
- Schedule or share your content through personal/brand accounts.
- Share your content with your professional network on your LinkedIn profile.
- Share your content with subscribers that are loyal to your brand.
Social News Sites
- Reddit and Buzzfeed allow you to create accounts that let you share your content within those communities.
- Think outside of the box.
- Be inspired to create fantastic content.
- Whether it’s a niche topic or a specialized industry, make sure that you follow #trends that are beneficial to your brand.
- Confuse your audience.
- Post unrelated content.
- Don’t trick your audience with clickbait.
Writing content from a trending topic is all about timing. You can capitalize on a trend by creating content while a trend is fresh and buzzing on the internet. Remember the key to making your content soar is having fun and getting creative with whatever trending topic you choose.