Many entrepreneurs have a deep passion for building. Sometimes, though, even they are not sure what to build next. Successful entrepreneurs are people too, and creator’s block is an equal-opportunity face-slapper. One method we like to suggest for idea creation, is trendspotting. Learning how to spot trends can help you identify a new market, a new problem, a new solution, a new partner or even get your creative juices flowing again.
Here at Rainfactory, we’re a startup in the business of helping startups. That’s why we put together a list of places that you can go to identify trends that just might spark your next big idea. Once you have that idea, this list can even help you shape your messaging or feature set.
Here they are below, in no particular order.
- Google Trends is an amazingly powerful, yet simple, tool for exploring trends based on what people are currently google searching. It allows you to hone in on particular terms to find out if they are currently popular, have been popular, where they are popular, as well as any related topics and queries. If you are creative and strategic with your thought, you can use the wealth of data to help you learn about competitors (direct and indirect), get an idea if particular features might be wanted, popular colors, textures, or materials, possibly even demographics. You can export all the data to csv and work those pivot table or linear regression skills that have been at the back of your mind getting dusty. They also have a Top Trends section if you want to have your finger on the pulse of what people are searching for across a myriad of categories.For particular business niches, Google + Trends could be a valuable place to see what’s hot. Keep in mind that the audience typically skews heavily male, over 35 years old and from the US. We’d maybe put this one on the back burner, but you never know what causes inspiration to strike!
- The value of Reddit is mostly in its hyper granular subreddits where you can find like-minded individuals. It has subreddits for the Entrepreneur, for startup ideas, for finding a business partner, and especially for staying motivated (watch out, the deeper you go, the darker it gets). If you want to stay more general, you can check out the different trending sections from Reddit here, here, or here.
- Buzzsumo is a tool that you can use to run content research, influencer searches, and even a question analyzer that pulls from forums, e-commerce sites and Quora. It is a paid tool, but has a free portion where you can search terms and URLs and get links to popular and trending stories.
- Hootsuite Insights is another paid tool that supports trend listening. We haven’t used this, but Hootsuite for managing and scheduling multiple social media accounts is pretty great; we’d bet this tool works just as well.
- Blogs. If you are confident in your ideas, but not sure how to make them relevant to popular culture for marketing purposes, you can try some popular blogs, such as Buzzfeed. There’s a general trending section here, as well as what is trending this very moment here.
- Trends Map is a really cool tool that visualizes popular Twitter words, hashtags and users on a world map. You can click each one to explore related posts. While the home page is free to click around, this is another paid tool with lots of deep features if you subscribe. They will even give you a tool for creating customized visualizations for use in presentations, articles or reports.
- Sprinklr is paid software that deals in all things customer and data. We like the social listening, but it has access to data that will help you see your competitive landscape or even manage your brand. It is an expensive tool, but it is one that can stick with you no matter how large your business gets.
- Trends24 gives you the top 10 trending Twitter topics, updated every hour for 24 hours. Not much to say about this one; it’s a simple way to see what’s popular, right now.
Now get out there and start creating! If you get the product bug and need marketing or crowdfunding help, we know some experts in trendspotting who can help! (Psst. It’s Rainfactory!)
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