Spot Trends

Last week, we discussed “How to Spot Trends to Create Content that Gets Discovered!” A number of interesting questions were asked during the webinar. For those of you who missed it, here’s a summary of the questions asked at the session.

View the Recording

Question 1

Will trending topics generate traffic?

It’s really about identifying the trends relevant to your business or relating the trend with something that’s relevant to your business, and using that to generate traffic. Here are a few examples of brands who took advantage of trending topics (when Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Football World Cup Match 2014) to generate traffic:

This one from Trident Gum is hilarious:

However, Snickers stole the show that day:

[Notice how many ‘Retweets’ and ‘Favorites’ each of the tweets got!]

Question 2

Would you be able to tell me the approximate number of leads I can generate from a trending topic?

It’s very hard to say. When you catch a trend, it would be difficult for you to understand the buying behaviour behind that trend. If someone is searching for an examination topper, very likely it would be the parent or the student (potential customer) who is searching for it. If you are catching that kind of a trend, it is more likely that the leads you generate might become customers.

However, it’s not the same always. Recently, Sec 66A was trending. Everyone searching for it may not have a buying interest. So that basically tells you that trending topics attract all kinds of traffic. Such trends are beautifully captured by brands as they cater to everyone but they may not be relevant to other businesses.

Trending topics would largely benefit consumer brands. If you pick the relevant information or relevant trend, for your business, it is more likely that you will attract relevant traffic for your business.

Question 3

Suppose I spot two different trends, should I implement one at a time or have a parallel strategy?

Ideally, you should take advantage of both. If you can’t, you need to prioritize on the one which is more important over the other.

Question 4

If we use trending topics in Adwords which may be irreleveant for our business, what is the use of traffic in that case?

Not all trends are to be monetized. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is trending a lot these days. If you are part of the ecommerce business, you can create AAP t-shirts, to stay up with the trends. Of course, this can be done only if your business allows you to do that and if it makes sense for your business.

The other way to benefit, which is not a paid one, is to write a blog post around that. For example, what can someone learn from AAP from a marketing standpoint? What are the different tactics used by AAP to win the Delhi election? So you need to draw a similarity between the two and write around that. That would get you additional traffic, as it may show up under trending topics/searches.

All trends may not be utilized from an Adwords standpoint. If you are in a specific industry, you could predict these trends. For example, in the education sectors, results would be trending after a specific exam. Take advantage of that.

Question 5

How can we judge the CPC of a trending keyword?

You can just use the normal keyword planner for that.

Question 6

When should we take advantage of trends in Google Display Network (GDN)?

If it’s a local trend, affecting a city or two, it may or may not be a good choice. If it’s a global trend, affecting a lot of people, you can take advantage of it.

Question 7

Are the trends only useful to drive traffic to our site? How are trends useful for sales?

  • Getting visibility:

Sales will happen in a variety of ways. I can’t say if there will be a sale but it will certainly bring you visibility. For example, if JEE is trending and you write about JEE toppers, that would help your post rank higher on Google, giving you a better opportunity to be seen to visitors. The downside to this is, that you may get bad traffic as well. You need to take a call on what kind of trends to catch onto, and that will come through experience. This will definitely help you attract and gain attention of the potential customer or prospects.

  • Enhancing authority and trust about readers/visitors/prospects:

If you are in the education industry, you keep writing about the latest news about relevant stuff, and if you get a lot of traffic from that, you establish yourself as an authority as well. Students would start trusting you as a credible source of information. When that happens, it leads to sales as well. We have seen it happen in case of a couple of our clients.

You’ll have to keep on doing it to actually get your arms around it. The simplest way to do it is to look at the ads to target trends.

Here are a few examples of brands/business who took advantage of the recent Cricket World Cup 2015. I can’t say whether they converted to sales but they surely generated traffic.

Jeevansathi incorporated the trending hastag #ICCWorldCup2015 perfectly:

Clever idea by Lonely Planet:

And here’s an example from one of our customers:

Question 8

Which are the best resources to stay updated with the latest trends?

Try looking for local trends around your area, for example, topics trending in a particular city or region. You could also look for trends in a specific industry. The news will not cover deep industry information. In that case, you should follow industry-specific news sites or blogs for relevant information. You could also subscribe to newsletters.

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