What do the Gulf oil spill, Apple iPad, and Justin Bieber all have in common? They are three of the top 10 Twitter trends of 2010, meaning they were three of the most discussed topics on the Internet this past year. Keeping tabs on trends presents a valuable online marketing opportunity to make content relevant by riding on the coattails of online conversations.
Basically, using trends is the process of tying a message to what people are posting and searching for online. For instance, writing about Lady Gaga’s hairstyle can provide the opportunity to inconspicuously promote a certain brand of shampoo. Bloggers and businesses can attract a greater number of readers and customers to their sites by appealing to a wider audience.
Benefits of Trends
Using trends in content can increase new traffic by snagging viewers who weren’t necessarily browsing for what the site primarily has to offer. This online marketing tactic can direct a surfer’s attention from a particular trend to a good or service.
Trends can also provide engaging material that prompt current viewers to return. There is additionally a creative benefit for the creator, who may be struggling with a lack of ideas.
Where Trends Work
Trends are most useful for the same applications on which they are created: search engines and social media. A website can gain significant traction in search results through a trend that’s been placed in its content, similar to the use of keywords in SEO. Meanwhile, if viewers find the content interesting, they are likely to share it with others on social media, thus continuing the conversation and trend.
Using Trends Effectively
Simply including the BP oil spill in a post about shampoo won’t guarantee the desired result of increased traffic. Instead, trends have to be used strategically in a timely manner. They must have some form of relevancy. Content that’s flooded with trends will undoubtedly put off readers.
When used properly, trends can be highly effective in building awareness for a brand or message. They provide a creative avenue to build fresh and diverse content.