A How-To Guide On Spotting Trends In Your Niche

Are you paying attention to trends emerging in your niche?

If not, you're missing a huge opportunity to get ahead of your competition and put more eyes on your brand.

But spotting and acting on new trends isn't something as simple as, "This is going to be BIG so I need to do that!"

It requires setting up and following a method that identifies trends early and then capitalizing on them so you can reap the benefits.

So in today's post, I'm going to show you a way to do just that using tools available to you - no matter what kind of online business you're running today.

Because if you ask 10 online business owners what their biggest challenge is, at least 9 of them would tell you it’s “being able to generate traffic in a cost-effective way.”

In this article we’re going to be taking an in-depth look at how you can effectively spot trends and use those trends to get cheap traffic to your website.

3 Reasons Why Spotting Trends Is Important

Before we get into everything, you might be wondering, “Why is Spotting Trends Important?”

1. Get Ahead of The Curve

The first reason to spot trends is that it allows you to get out in front of your competition.

When you are first, you get rewarded by Google as well as those who are searching for that trending subject RIGHT NOW.

This can be invaluable as oftentimes there is a lag between when something becomes a trend and when it "Tips" or goes mainstream at which point everyone will be writing about it.

Need an example? Go search for “Marketing trends for 2017” and you’ll find a variety of posts from experts going all the way back to October of last year, with more and more posts coming as people try to ride the wave.

2. Get Cheap Traffic

As the title of this article implies, another benefit of spotting trends early is that it allows you to capitalize on getting cheap traffic before the rest of your industry catches on.

We’ll be discussing this in depth later in this article but it’s important enough to emphasize it again.

3. Become An Authority

The last reason to spend some time searching for trends is the opportunity to stake your claim in the trend and use it to become an authority.

If you do this correctly it could even end up getting you free media exposure and you might even end up on TV like several political bloggers who came to prominence during the last election.

The earlier you start tying your content to a trend the better you will be positioned as the “go-to” authority on the subject.

2 Keys To Spotting & Capitalizing On Trends

Now that you know why spotting trends is so important, I want to introduce the 2 keys to spotting trends and capitalizing on them...

1. Anticipating Change - How To Train Your "Reticular Activating Center"

The first step to recognizing a trend is to adopt the mindset that “change is the only constant.”

No matter what industry your business is in, changes are coming.

When you focus on looking for ways that your industry is changing you trigger your "Reticular Activating Center" or RAS. 

Your RAS works like a radar system for your mind, so the more you train it to focus on what is going to change, the easier you will find it to see emerging trends.

The business owners that have the hardest time with spotting trends are those who operate with what’s called a “fixed mindset.” Or those who believe things will always stay the same.

A good way to start to train your RAS is to begin asking yourself questions like “what is the biggest change coming to my industry in the next 6 months, year, or decade?”

2. Finding An Edge

Most people are not bad at spotting trends - we can tell if an item of clothing is going to be popular based on how many times we see people wearing it or if a car is a best seller by how many times we spot them as we are driving.

The problem most business owners run into, is capitalizing on those trends.

The key to capitalizing on trends is find an edge.

I’ll explain using a gambling analogy. When you bet on a sports game there is what’s called a money line, which is based on what percentage the bookmaker gives each team of winning.

For the Super Bowl this year, the Patriots were a -120 favorite which means that Las Vegas thought they had 54.55% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The way successful gamblers make money is by finding an edge on the line. So for example if you have done some research and find you think the Patriots had a 65% chance of winning the Super Bowl your edge would be about 11%.

That’s what you’re looking for when you find a trend, you need an edge over the other side.

If you don’t have an edge related to your product and service that you can tie to the trend then it’s not worth using. Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense now in a little bit I’m going to teach you how to use “bait” to make sure that your content has an edge no matter what the trend is you’re riding.

The 4 Steps To Spotting Upcoming Trends and Getting Cheap Traffic

Ok, now let’s move on to teaching you exactly how to find trends and use them to get cheap traffic.

Step # 1: Research

The first step to finding an upcoming trend is research.

There are 3 different websites I like to use to do my trend research:

1. Google Trends

The first and most obvious place to start your research, Google Trends is the standard for trend research.

One of the great features of Google Trends is its two part layout. The two part layout allows you to see what is trending now as well as what is at the top of the charts.

Additionally at the end of the year Google releases its Zeitgeist video, which is chockful of data and insights on the previous year.

2. Spyfu

As the name implies, Spyfu allows you to “spy” on your competitior’s keywords and adwords!

Additionally Spyfu is a bit more comprehensive than Google Trends as it allows you to see advertising histories, domain data and more giving you all the access you want to industry leaders data and the trends you can steal right out from under their noses!

3. Keyword Tool. I.O.

The last tool for doing trend research I want to share with you is the Keyword tool on Keyword.IO.

The Keyword.IO tool allows you to pull tons of keyword suggestions and trend data from hundreds if not thousands of different keywords.

It also allows you to use Google autocomplete to get related data with alternative searches like those with different numbers or letters.

The keyword tool also offers data for full years as opposed to just the month by month breakdowns offered by Google.

Step # 2: Find Trends That Are “Little Stretches”

Once you’ve done some research into what is trending in your industry right now, it’s time to pick a few different ideas.

I recommend that you pick between 5-10 trend ideas to test out.

When you are picking trends you’ll want to look for what I call "little stretches.”

What I mean by a little stretch is that the trend is only loosely connected to your product or service.

For example, if the Super Bowl is trending but you sell a course on how to self-publish a book you could “stretch” by titling your content video “The Super Bowl Of Self Publishing” and then describing an epic win by one of your students.

The key is to pick trends that are little stretches rather than trends that are completely different from your content simply for the sake of riding the trend.

I call that coat-tailing and Google is actively trying to cut down on the rankings benefit non-relevant videos get so it’s a bad strategy from an SEO perspective as well

Step # 3: Optimize Your Content

After you have decided on what trends you want to create content around, you’ll need to optimize your content.

This means you need to:

  • Have a title that includes the trend, 
  • Mention the trend within the first 5-10 seconds of video or 1st paragraph of a blog post
  • Reference the trending term 4-5 other times throughout your content.

In addition to optimizing your content, you may want to experiment with A/B testing different headlines and introductions.

Step # 4: Use “Bait” To Keep The Traffic.

The last tactic I want to share with you is the idea of using bait to keep your traffic.

You probably already know what your Bounce Rate is.

If you don’t, it’s how long it generally takes someone to leave your website, blog or video.

One of the most common problems businesses have when they begin to try to use trends to get cheap traffic, is that they have a very high bounce rate.

The reason is relevancy.

While an optimized headline may be enough to grab a click and get a visitor to your content, it is often not enough to keep them there for any significant amount of time.

This applies to all forms of content and is why video views are often sold as 3 or 10 second views on pay per click networks.

The bottom line is you only have about 10 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention and get them to engage with the video.

Bait is one of the most effective ways of doing this.

Let’s talk about the 2 easiest ways to use bait to keep visitors on your content.

Open Loops

An open loop is an unfinished thought.

For example, if you’re going to teach “3 easy ways to market your personal training business” you might give 1 point right away, then say something like “I’ll get to the other 2 points in 45 seconds but first,” and then continue on to another subject.

Human beings crave completion so leaving an unfinished thought right away will compel your viewers or readers to stay put!

Table of Contents

When I say use a table of contents, I don’t mean the type that you’d find if you pulled a novel off the shelf.

Instead I mean a brief rundown of what the viewer is going to learn from consuming your content.

You can do this verbally in a video or by laying your blog post into sections and showing the reader where what they really want to read about can be found.

Another place where you can use the table of contents technique is in the description of your content you use which you can time stamp for videos so viewers know where to go.

Start Spotting Trends Today & Get Ahead Of The Competition

Spotting Trends is like predicting the weather.

When people think of weather forecasters, they like to point out when they got it wrong, like when they said it was going to rain and it was 75 degrees out, but we tend to miss out on the fact that more often than not they get it right.

Spotting trends is exactly the same way.

You might get a few wrong especially when you’re just starting out and you'll catch some flak from jumping on the wrong fad here or there...

But if you continue your due diligence in researching trends and using the right data, you'll create relevant content and unlock the key to generating cost-effective traffic

 

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