Web publishing is subject to the same rules as any other industry, and you must simply deliver what’s demanded. In other words, your content must resonate with your audience’s needs. So you create, you share your knowledge and opinions with people interested in what you have to say. Though these days, what you’re offering must be not only entertaining but also up-to-date with what’s trending. Keeping up with the latest trends is a great way to spice up what you already lure people with.
Keep your finger on the pulse
Following what’s going on is an essential part of existing in the online sphere. The digital world is dynamic and has no mercy for sleepyheads ignoring its constant changes. Taking that rapid nature into account when strategizing is necessary if you want to be credible. Including trends in content planning and applying them on an ongoing basis is a cost-effective strategy that allows you to keep in touch with your readers and build a meaningful connection. With smart trend identification, you can get ahead of your competition and deliver your readers what they look for with valued time precision. And that will not only be appreciated by them, but also by Google algorithms resulting in search traffic increase.
Which way to look?
These days trends rule almost every aspect of every market, so how to identify those significant for your business? Firstly, there are two angles to pay attention to. The first one, more future-oriented, is about what influences the whole market you’re a part of ⎼ such market trends prompt directions to stir your development towards. Today’s technology progresses incredibly quickly and just as rapidly influences our behaviors and habits, especially online. There is no need for complicated examples. Just look how our device’s preferences changed recently. The number of people consuming digital content via mobile devices keeps growing, and it has a significant meaning for how to shape your website. Another market trend worth bringing up is programmatic advertising, which value continues to grow from year to year. You can’t deny the great impact of these recalled examples on the development of digital publishing and your business decisions as a publisher.
But industry trends are just as important to follow. Those have a direct impact on how up to the date your content is. Keeping up with current trends proves you know what your audience follows and cares about. And that makes your website interesting and convincing. For example – just like 2020 got us stuck at home, so if you run a blog about parental matters, it was a time to tip your readers with ideas on how to organize children’s time while your work; or if you’re in the fitness niche – ideas for home training were the topic to explore. In other words, industry trends are a connection between what you share and what people are currently looking for.
Build your arsenal
Since, as mentioned above, trends run the world, there is no shortage of tools to help you identify and exploit them. Some are designed to point you in the right direction, some to find vibes to connect with your audience, and others to explore some trending inspiration.
With Google Trends, you can learn about current trends in searches. It allows you to monitor what interests users and actively attracts their attention. You can type any topic and see how commonly it’s searched in a specified location. However, the results are presented on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 meaning the highest popularity, so it’s not complex data. If you want to find an exact number of searches for a given keyword, you can use Keyword Planner, a feature within Google Ads. Information gathered with these tools comes in handy in website positioning or looking for inspiration for articles and following seasonality, which you should also befriend, so check out our article about the importance of the seasonal cycle.
Just like the tool above, it’s a tool known to any content creator serious about his business. This one, though, instead of location, focuses on social media platforms. BuzzSumo tracks users’ social media activities on a topic or specific content, so it’s all about likes, comments, and shares. Since we’re talking about Buzz prefixes, another one worth attention is BuzzFeed, a gigantic database of what’s happening in social news and entertainment.
Just like marketing guru Neil Patel recommends, Freedly is a great tool to have in your arsenal. With Freedly you can create a sort of a content base that you can categorize and analyze. Creating such a catalog allows you to run comparisons, gather insights, and of course, find inspiration. And what makes it truly awesome is that you can do all of that in one place!
Quora is a users’ insights heaven. It’s a platform to ask and answer questions, generating an ocean of bottom-up content in many languages. That’s the place to find and connect with people in your field, as well as learn about issues they face. There is no better way to find out what people think than diving right into a community-generated by them and for them.
You can look at Reddit as a giant, virtual library of links leading to various places. Though sometimes it can take you to some dark places, essentially, it allows you to track down millions of online threads on thousands of topics. Since the algorithm organizes posts according to up-votes, it’s a great place to explore what’s trending. Just like Quora, it’s one of the best places to sink in users’ narratives.
Don’t hesitate, just dive in
Use one of those tools, use all of them, basically use trends to your advantage in all aspects you can. So test multiple ways, look for those that will allow you to discover your audience’s interests and connect with them. Remember that there is no Golden mean for everyone. You must try and test different methods to find the one suiting your needs. Of course, it’s just a piece of a much bigger puzzle, but a significant one to make your work compelling and credible.