To build and maintain a loyal reader base, you must generate fresh content on a regular basis. However, if your material is dated or even obsolete, you won’t keep users’ attention for very long. They’ll quickly get the impression that you’re out of touch and not relatable.
So don’t let last week’s news seep into this week’s blog post or tweet. It’s the online marketing equivalent of wearing ’90s everything—and not ironically!—to the hottest club in town. Here are five resources to keep your topics current.
Consider social media your jumping-off point. If you make a habit of following the big names in your niche on Facebook and Twitter and regularly browsing YouTube and Reddit for the latest, you’ll be up-to-date on what’s going on in your industry. Look for memes, infographics, inside jokes, trending posts—anything that tells you what the hot topics are. When everyone else is dropping lines about Gangnam Style, don’t be left in the dust with the Honey Badger … or, worse, Hampster Dance.
You don’t have to become a champion couch potato to tap into television as a resource. Even if you catch 15-20 minutes of evening news or celebrity gossip and a few commercials, you’ll have some fresh ideas. You can also make a habit of tuning into a few shows that relate to your industry. If your company designs custom jewelry for brides and bridesmaids, for example, a few of the latest episodes of a wedding-planning series will give you an idea of what’s in and what’s out.
Newspapers, Magazines and Print Media
You can do research anywhere, including on the train ride to work and in the waiting room at your dentist’s office. Leaf through the daily paper or a current magazine, spending time on the relevant headlines or photos that capture your attention. If you’re doing SEO on beauty products, for example, dive straight for the glossy fashion magazines. Even if you just remember a few important words or names, you can always find out the full scoop online later.
Websites in Your Niche
Make a habit of checking in with sites that list, review, and/or blog about your products or services. If you’re an online travel agency, for example, bookmark pages where users can review travel agents, hotels, and vacation packages. Likewise, if your company sells art supplies, check in with bloggers who are passionate about knitting, scrapbooking and stamping. Just keep abreast of what real users are talking about.
Word of Mouth
Believe it or not, the everyday conversations you have with family, friends, colleagues, and even people on the bus or in the coffee shop can provide the insight you need. Listen carefully at the water cooler, and you’ll have a better idea of what’s on your readers’ minds. And soon enough, with the right inspiration, it’ll be you!