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How to Use Trending Topics for Your Content Marketing

How to Use Trending Topics for Your Content Marketing

By smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
Published: August 28, 2014

If you’re like pretty much every person who uses content marketing to grow a business, you probably run into some creative challenges from time to time. After all, isn’t there a finite number of topics to cover? Occasionally you’re bound to run dry when it comes to ideas for content.

While there are other tools and techniques to help you come up with content ideas, one strategy is to pay attention to trending topics, both in the news and on social media.

Trending topics are essentially what people are buzzing about right now. That could be the latest celebrity faux pas, conflict in other countries, a natural disaster, a sporting event, or a feel-good story that restores your faith in humanity.

Use the topics people are currently interested in as a launching point or inspiration to develop your own content marketing ideas. But find your own unique angle or approach. Present it as commentary in a contributed column or a blog post. Or expand upon it to extract lessons or tips. Or write on a similar topic, one that is triggered by seeing what’s in the news right now. The key is to stay on top of what people -- specifically, your audience -- care about at the moment. Use them to feed your content fire!

Where to Look

Let’s investigate where you can learn more about what’s currently trending online.

Nightly News Programs

It may seem “old school” but you’d be surprised how many ideas you can come up with just by watching the nightly news. Whether it’s local news, national news, business news or even sports news -- ideas abound.

Google Trends

Google has an entire trends site that tracks hot topics of the moment. Go to Google.com/trends. Explore to see what people are searching on across the United States. You can also insert words to search on to see how much search volume there is. You’re bound to find at least one topic of interest.

Twitter

Twitter does a great job of identifying trending topics. People use hashtags to talk about a subject, and at the bottom of the search page, you see the hashtags that many people are using right now.

These also appear on the left sidebar on any page of your Twitter account. Clicking on one of the hashtag links will show you all the mentions, links to articles and images that use that hashtag. You can read some of the content to generate ideas for your own writing.

The default on these Trends is that they’re customized to your geographic location. If you want to see trends for another area, simply click “Change” next to the Trends title.

Social Discovery Sites

Sites that allow you to share links to content are also great for generating content ideas. StumbleUpon includes a page of the content that’s currently trending, and BizSugar shows you which content is the most popular at any given moment on the home page.

Social Streams

Using a social media management platform like Hootsuite, you can set up a stream to track all mentions of an industry or keyword. The nice thing about Hootsuite is that you can track multiple social platforms. So let’s say you’re in the aerospace industry. You set up a stream to show you any mentions of the word “aerospace,” as well as the hashtag #aerospace. At a glance, you can see all the updates that include these words. You may discover breaking news or topics of interest that will provide fodder for your own content.

It doesn’t have to be time-consuming to stay on top of what’s trending. With a few tools and strategies, you will never be short of content ideas again.

About the Author:

smallbiztrends
Anita Campbell

Guest Blogger

My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 6 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.