7 Easy Ways to Find Trending Content
ADRIENNE WOLTER | 7 JUNE 2017
We all want to stay trendy and relevant, and the web is the place to do it.
Any brand or business will benefit from keeping up with the times, and getting on board with trending topics while they are still developing is a great way to gain exposure and ensure a place in the ongoing conversation.
Getting the timing right can be a challenge, however, as content destined to go viral is tough to discover before it does so.
Waiting too long, on the other hand, makes your content just another bandwagon post if it already has.
Making a splash on the internet is often a matter of luck, but persistence and an eye for opportunity can help get you there.
Just paying attention will only take you so far, so in this post we will cover seven platforms that enable you to tap into the ebb and flow of a digital audience’s attention as easily as possible.
The number one culprit for our dropping workplace productivity might be a good place to start being productive, in this case.
A ton of trending content makes its debut on one of Reddit’s countless communities. These communities, called “subreddits,” target specific hobbies, topics, or disciplines. They are an excellent pulse check of what is hot with this particular group, right now.
Each subreddit also features filters at the top of the page that enable you to view recent, top, hot, or controversial posts – and almost every post comes with comments, a timestamp, and sources to investigate.
If the best-performing hiking posts all get started on a specific outdoorsman’s blog, a sporting goods manufacturer has just discovered a direct line to what their customers care about.
2. Pinterest Explore
Pinterest is a more visual alternative to Reddit, with images taking up the majority of the screen’s real estate. A favorite of creative types everywhere, Pinterest has risen to become the largest social image sharing website, and is where many bloggers are able to rise from obscurity for the first time.
A recent development, Pinterest’s “Explore” section was launched right at the end of 2016. This new service offers filters to help you spot pins that are starting to gain momentum, and you can even choose specific categories to search through.
Every New Year’s Day, posts abound that deal with resolutions and 30-day challenges. This could easily be an opportunity to create a challenge of your own and have it make the rounds, doubling as a tool to inspire potential customers.
BuzzFeed may have a bit of a stigma attached to it as a place where reposts are the order of the day, but there is no denying that it helps serve niche content to a much broader audience.
This exposure from their posts almost always leads to a surge in social media attention, and a quick enough person could easily mooch off the inevitable rise in related search traffic. BuzzFeed writers do their homework, after all – they find trending content for a living!
4. Google Trends
Where will people wind up when they are curious and want to read more about a recent trend? Google is a safe bet, as the most popular search engine in the world. Thankfully Google offers a variety of tools to help us track their users’ interest in any topic.
Google Trends allows you to follow the search history of keywords, compare related keywords to get a feel for how searches are carried out, and view all of this information as a convenient set of line graphs.
This is great for forecasting seasonal trends. Notice an uptick in Halloween searches in September? You can be one of the first in your niche to put Halloween content out for your followers to discover.
Buzzsumo takes some of the grunt work out of hunting down trending topics, and is a powerful tool for the savvy content creator. The previous 24 hours of big hits all over the internet can be analyzed for free and mined for potential content under the Today’s Trending Content section.
Where this site really shines, however, is in its paid services. All of the most-shared content around a given topic – or from a specific domain – can be filtered through and monitored for any developments worth taking advantage of.
Additional information on who is sharing, how many links the content has earned, and the content’s success across the full spectrum of major social media platforms is also available to be picked through. If you are browsing popular posts and see health and wellness products like your own performing particularly well on Facebook, you can adjust your advertising accordingly to favor that platform. Buzzsumo Pro is easily an investment that could pay for itself in time, as for every ounce of hard work put in a pound of effort is saved.
If you are following a large number of blogs, news sites, and YouTube channels, it may help to have an organized means of sifting through the bulk of what is posted. Feedly is a longstanding favorite for RSS feed aggregation. From the in-browser app interface, you can designate categories for sorting your feeds, and read through them at will. You can also set alerts to go off when certain keywords are mentioned, search across feeds for specific terms, or discover related content producers based on what you have already followed.
There is no clearer sign that a topic is starting to trend than numerous blogs all covering it within hours of one another. Knowledge is power, and Feedly is the perfect way to keep the knowledge from becoming too messy.
7. Trend Forecasting Services
Riding the waves of trending content on the web is an art form, and some people just do it better than us. Some websites are devoted to discovering trends at the source and broadcasting them to the world. Some of these websites are free, but if you are looking for the big guns you might need to shell out a little dough.
Two popular services are Trend Watching and Trend Hunter, each of which have active, free communities of businesses and individuals working to keep each other on the cutting edge of trending topics. Beyond that, both function primarily as paid professional tools for trend forecasting, and cater to some of the world’s largest companies among their clientele.
In particular, Trend Watching specializes in analyzing the market and developing strategies for its paid members. Many of the most tantalizing features may seem prohibitively expensive, but these are services that cater to businesses at the cutting edge, and there is no doubting their influence and credibility in the dynamic online environment.
All of the tools mentioned above are just starting points – the greatest payoff will always come from researching your specific industry and finding the curators who cater specifically to your audience. A healthy amount of success can be had just by observing the ever-changing darlings of the Internet.
This is not to say that you should always be a follower, though. Sometimes forging ahead on your own leads to greater success, and becoming the epicenter for a new hot topic or product can help establish your brand as a mainstay. Too much regurgitated material lends itself to looking dull and lifeless. Without any unique personality to your brand, the eyes you have worked so hard to attract can just as quickly depart for the next viral post.