"It's blue and black", "It's white and gold". It was practically impossible to go anywhere last week without hearing about that dress.
If you were under a rock or on a plane and had the 'misfortune' of missing out on Dressgate, then allow us to fill you in. A picture was taken of a blue and black dress in such a light that to some it looked white and gold. Yes, that's it. An optical illusion. Naturally, the internet exploded as the debate raged on as to which colour everyone saw.
The dress, perhaps understandably, was loved and loathed in equal measure as it dominated websites and covered news channels. At Curated Towers, we thought it raised an interesting point. When do you 'cash in' on a trend and talk about it as part of your content strategy?
Every website is different, and everyone wishes to put their company style on their site. Last week, articles began cropping up all over about the dress. There can be no doubt that writing content based on trends is an effective strategy, especially when a trend can be predicted. For example, next month we can guarantee that a flurry of St Patrick's Day content will appear, and in many ways this is a good thing if you are updating your content. It is showing relevance to trends and proving to visitors and customers alike that the site is updated and cared for. For many companies, the dress proved to be a story that would allow them to create relevant content and show that they were adapting to trends. However, with so much content created at once, were pieces simply lost in the flood?
While relating such trends to content can be beneficial, if it is not unique, somewhat original or present some new information, people will simply not be interested, having already read the same story. A quick search on Google News allows anyone to see how dominant the mainstream media outlets are. If you are failing to provide something new or of interest, or if you relying on large media companies to provide inspiration for news stories, your content may get a small amount of traffic, for a short while. In the long run, these strategies fail. While it is important to show relevance, you need to put your spin on a story or trend in order to have worthy content for your site.
When a newspaper or media outlet is deciding which story to publish, it will apply a series of news values to determine which should be prioritised:
It is important to apply news values, similar to those held by large media corporations, to your site. In order to do this, it is important to measure and analyse the impact certain stories have on your content. Knowing your audience is half the battle. Initially, you may need to guess which piece of content may apply to your audience, but eventually you will be able to determine which trend you should jump on based on analytics and previous experience, and which ones you should let go.
Trends can be beneficial but also detrimental to a business. The bigger the trend, the more eyes there are potentially looking at a story or your content. Despite this, it is also important to note that with substantial stories or trends, more established sites are likely to take the vast majority of the traffic. It is important to pick your battles, plan your content in advance and stick to your audience's principles.
At Curated Media, we are specialists in writing content for legal companies and firms. If you require a content strategy, aid in content marketing or any advice regarding your content, our team will be able to build an approach to content marketing tailor-made for your business. Get in touch by calling us on 0141 811 0286 or by using our online contact form.