Marketing tips: How to find out what’s hot (and not) locally

The way I see things, it’s usually a good idea to jump on the bandwagon, because even if you’re the last person on, you still get the benefit of the ride.

The “bandwagon” I’m talking about here is trending Internet topics. We’ve posted here before about sites to check out in your search for trending topics to use in content marketing. Among those are Twitter and Google.

I want to quickly touch on that topic again, but focus on local trends. For many small businesses, global trends may not be as important as the trends in their states and cities. Fortunately, you can drill down on some sites to get more localized trend intelligence to use in your digital marketing.

Twitter is the place to begin. By default, you get what Twitter calls “Tailored Trends.” These combine your interests and your location. I believe it also includes the larger “global” trends. In any case, sometimes you can squeeze more information out of Twitter Trends, by changing your settings so that it only includes trends based on your location.

On your Twitter home page there’s a box labeled “Trends for you.” Click “change,” then click “change” again in the pop-up that follows. Next, you’ll see some recent locations. The location you want to check – your hometown, for instance – will probably be listed there. If so, click on it and you’re done.

If you don’t see the location for which you would like to see local trends, click on “Select your location” in the middle of the pop-up box. From there you’ll get two pull down menus that will let you select your country and your city.

Go through these steps and you’ll be able to see exactly what Twitter trends are sweeping your local area.

You can also evaluate local trends on Google. By evaluate, I mean that you can measure the relative interest of trending search terms. You can’t go to Google and find out the search trends for your area; you can only get as “granular” as your country.

However, if you want to find out the relative popularity of a specific search term in your area, you can drill down to your state and the bigger cities within your state. Here’s what you do:

  • From the Google Trends page, enter your search term at the top of the page and hit return.
  • In the Interest by region box, click on the United States (or your country).
  • In the Interest by subregion box, click on your state.
  • Find your community or nearby larger city to see the relative popularity of your search term.

Armed with these local insights, you have the power to create content that engages local prospects by jumping on the bandwagons that they are already riding.