To be truly successful at content marketing, today's brands must pay attention to consumer interest. It doesn't matter if you're a world famous DJ, run a startup, or if you work in the enterprise. It is absolutely mandatory that you ignite peoples' interest and get them to share your content. These days, news is often passed along not by word of mouth, but through social media posts. One of the best ways to learn more about your customers is to find out what consumers are talking about on a given day.

When a topic generates a great deal of buzz, it falls under the category of "trending." One news item can be shared on sites like Facebook and Twitter millions of times, at which point it gets added to lists that bring even more attention to it. At that point, brands can either post their own content related to those trending items or try to create trending content of their own. Here are a few sites that can help as you try to keep up with the things that have everyone talking.

BuzzFeed Trending

Acknowledging that social media has changed the way consumers get their news, BuzzFeed bills itself as a social news and entertainment company. BuzzFeed Trending keeps up with the topics that are trending on a given day, showing both the items trending now and the top news for the week. BuzzFeed uses its own built-in algorithms to gather news from sites across the web, only posting the most interesting and popular content for its readers.

What's Trending

Like BuzzFeed, What's Trending scours the web for interesting news and shares it on its site, supplementing its popular daily interactive YouTube talk show. Stories are organized by most popular and most recent and are a combination of videos and articles. What's Trending's show has been nominated for several major awards, including an Emmy and a Webby.

Dotmos

When you want to determine interest in a subject, basic web searches can be misleading. You'll likely see business websites and online magazines but little else. Dotmos brings social media and videos into the mix, displaying all of the results in a format that makes it easy to get a big-picture view of a subject. If you look up a particular celebrity, for instance, you'll see pinned photos of that celebrity from Pinterest, news items, Reddit threads, traditional search results, and much more.

Quora

Quora captures what people are talking about now, with people asking questions and other members of the community stepping forward to answer. Members upvote the answers they like with the results helping future people who conduct a Google search on that question. The homepage captures the day's top stories, displaying the questions that are getting the most attention at that time. If you have a particular topic you're working up content for, you can search the site for that topic and see the questions members have asked about it.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo specializes in trends, helping brands find the most buzz-worthy content across the web. In addition to searching any topic, members can set up alerts that notify then when content mentioning a specified keyword has been posted. Brands can also monitor their competitors' content performance against their own to find ways to improve. For brands interested in finding influencers, Buzzsomo helps by showing which influencers are most effectively amplifying content.

Social Media's Trending Panes

One of the best places to see what's trending each day is on the social media sites you're already using. Facebook lists trending news in the right pane of your newsfeed and Twitter's trending information is on the left pane. On Twitter, you'll see how many tweets have been sent on a specific topic while on Facebook, clicking on an item takes you to a page that reveals the most recent shares on a story.

By keeping an eye on trending stories, you can formulate your own content marketing strategies and increase your chances of success. Whether you're coming up with new topics or checking to see how your own content is performing, innovative tools can give you a competitive edge.

Published on: Jan 13, 2016