First off, it’s important to realize that there is a difference between content that is trending and content that is viral. If you see an image or text on a social channel and it is generating lots of views, shares, or comments; then it is considered to be trending on that social channel. Because it is so popular and expansive, social media is the quickest and easiest way for content to become trending. Content that has reached a viral status is when it becomes so universally viewed that you see it shared by many friends over short time period.

So those are two levels of popular content. Let’s look at how we can find visual content that is trending and use it to increase our online presence for this piece of our ZooSEO content mentoring.

Why Look For Visual Content?

Trending visual content is something that has already grabbed people’s attention online, so you know it has the power of popularity on its side. Using that visual content is a simple way to take advantage of that popularity. For instance, use a currently trending picture meme as your blog post header. This way, when you share the post, the image appears in the social media stream. Because the image is already recognizable, it gets noticed much quicker by people.

Some visual trends to keep watch for are popular cartoons, memes, current events, popular quotes and the like. As you watch for these visuals, you will begin to get a feel for what kind of topics can triggers emotions and engagement.

You can see visual content everywhere. Below are some tips to finding visual trends.

  • Gain a love of the Hashtag. When you look at various relevant searches using hashtags, you can often spot accounts that have consistent quality posts. You can follow these for references later on. One tool for exploring trending and related hashtags is Google + / Explore section.
  • Pinterest is a wonderfully useful platform to spot trending images. Search basic categories that are related to your niche or industry, or you can search images from a keyword. Pinterest is also a great tool for creating your own trending images since you can see what is popular and make something similar.
  • Expand beyond photos. Visual content also includes comics, videos, slideshows and infographics with the latter begin very popular. Look for all these mediums to share.
  • For inspiration try sites like: Theoatmeal.com and asofterworld.com. Look for things that make you laugh or feel inspired or motivated. You can create some great visual slides at slideshare.net. The point being that you aren’t limited to photos or any one thing, so shoot for the stars and go crazy.

Summary

Visual content is what you want when you need a boost or inspiration to our online marketing strategy. You can get much more exposure when you use content that is already popular, even by just re-sharing it. Be careful not to get tied in to any one pattern or way of searching. Visual content is practically everywhere and even a basic Google image search can produce results.