In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to find out what’s popular. If a piece of content is popular, it doesn’t matter where it is or in what format. As interest in it grows, it’ll make its rounds throughout the inboxes and feeds of countless users across platforms.
The term “trending” has become synonymous with popular content. When a similar piece is viewed, interacted with, and shared consistently, platforms will make note of it and sometimes give it a higher priority as a result.
Knowing how to find trending content is very important for content marketers. When you find trending content, you’re finding something you already know people are interested in.
With this knowledge, you can capitalize and get in on the action. Whether you’re sharing the content itself or emulating it in your own work, you have the opportunity to get the same kind of traffic and build the same kind of buzz.
There’s just one important question: How do you find trending content? Whether you’re looking for the best blogs, the most virally beloved social media posts, or any other type of content, there are numerous ways you can find what you’re looking for.
Remember, you’re also finding what other people are looking for. It’s like striking gold for any content marketer.
Why you need to know how to find trending content
Before we cover how to find trending content, you should understand exactly why it’s important. We covered the basics in the intro, but there are some specifics worth expanding upon when discussing trending content.
For one, finding trending content is a huge source of inspiration. Your brand needs a content marketing strategy. Marketers are spending more on content marketing than they have in the past, and, thus, it’s more important than ever for that content to be worthwhile.
There are many metrics to go off of when you’re aiming to see if your content has potential. However, the consensus is arguably the greatest tell of all. If millions of users have shared a piece of content or interacted with it in some way, it’s a good sign that this type of content has great potential for any marketer.
Let’s say short videos on social media have shown great potential, especially when mixed with a bit of comedy. Even those brands that never interject humor into their content may be swayed to try their luck with this trend.
Sometimes it’s easy to find trending content. For example, if a big holiday is coming up, it’s safe to say people will be talking about it online, thus giving you direction for your content.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Remember, content creators don’t always have to emulate shared content. Sometimes, if it’s relevant enough, they can simply share it on their own profiles. Sharing content from a reputable source can help a brand seem more relevant and improve their image to their audience.
Sharing content that’s already popular can help generate authority for your pages and profiles, while also making hesitant users feel more comfortable engaging. If you’re talking about something popular, especially something they’re already interested in, it can make them want to reach out.
Find trending content using these strategies
If you’re going to build a reputation for your brand or emulate content that’s popular, you need to know how to find what’s trending. Try these strategies to find what’s popular across the web.
Social media trending lists
Luckily for content creators, social media platforms know how much people love to see what’s popular.
Plenty of the world’s major social platforms have their own trending sections. You’ll notice the change option next to the top of the list. You can alter the trends around certain fields or locations, making it easier to see what’s popular among the topics you’d like to share for your own brand.
With over 60% of adults getting some amount of their news from social media, talking about trending topics from these platforms can give you a lot of common ground with your audience.
News sites covering trending topics
It may not seem like it at a glance, but many of the internet’s leading sites covering trending topics can be a great place to find what’s popular.
Not everything you see pop up on a site like BuzzFeed or Reddit will be worth covering with your brand. However, there’s a reason these sites have the type of reputation that they do. They’re currently rated as the 269th and 19th most popular sites in the world, respectively, and their sub-sections make it easy to find content relevant to your own industry or brand.
If you’re up for manual browsing and don’t mind looking around to see which stories are interesting and which are worth passing over, you can find some real gems here. They’re also great for finding stories as they break, rather than waiting a day or two until their appeal has worn down.
While sites are good for getting trending content, not all of them are news sites like these. Some are platforms designed specifically to filter popular content and rank it for you based on a variety of adjustable criteria.
Social platforms have sections showing the trending topics on their own site. But what about for content like blogs, that may be scattered across millions of sites? For this, you’ll need a tool like BuzzSumo.
Whether you’re searching for a site, a specific keyword, or a topic, you have plenty of options to narrow your search. You can search in a variety of time frames to find out how long topics have been popular. Remember, sometimes what’s popular today can fall out of favor by tomorrow.
You can also search by country, language, and even individual content type. If you’re trying to emulate great blogging topics, for example, you can select that to make sure you’re as focused as you can be with your trending topic of choice.
BuzzSumo also covers content trends through reporting and has provided insights such as the increase in overall content volume despite a reduction in social sharing throughout previous years.
Knowing how to find trending content requires you to know which tools can offer you the most in-depth and versatile snapshot of the web at any given time. While BuzzSumo is great for this, it isn’t the only option out there.
Like BuzzSumo, Feedly allows you to sort your results by publisher, topic, domain, and keyword. Whether you want to see what the leading social profiles are talking about or which blog topics are getting the most buzz, a tool like this can provide the insights you need.
The difference between the two tools is only really observed through working with their interfaces and seeing the results they offer. For some, it’s a matter of personal preference. The best way to use these tools effectively is to try them out for a period of time, then see which delivers the best results.
For some, one of the algorithms or interfaces may be better than the other. Another content creator could have the opposite opinion, so testing them out is really the only way to tell.
We close out our list with a tool integrated into the world’s most popular search engine. Google knows how important trending topics are to content creators, so their Google Trends tool can provide the best insights for their own engine.
Source: Google Trends
When you type in a term, you get the option to filter it by location, time, category, and more. You also have the handy option to compare it to another term, just in case you’re wondering which topic you should tackle.
The handy graphical representation of interest over time can help you see whether you’re on track with a viral “flavor of the month” topic or if you’re discussing something that’ll be popular for a long time to come.
When you scroll down, you get a representation of interest per location, along with a handy list of related topics and related queries. If you’re trying to build a content marketing schedule covering a lot of similar topics so you can interlink your pieces, this is extremely valuable.
Google isn’t the only search engine out there, but their trending tool makes them an easy pick for the best one if you’re looking to keep up on current trends.
Knowing how to find trending topics can help any business or content creator. You’re much more likely to keep people engaged if you’re talking about something that’s popular or if you’re emulating content that makes its rounds on the web quickly.
When you’re trying to find trending content of various types, remember:
- Popular news sites can show some good options (but sorting may be required)
- Platforms like BuzzSumo and Feedly can show you trending content based on your interests
- Search engine tools like Google Trends can provide long-term glances at trending topics
There are plenty of ways to put your trending content insights to use. For starters, learn how to build a social media strategy using the information you’ve gathered.