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Google Expands Consumer Trend Data Beyond Search & Why It Matters

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This week Google announced it is expanding the scope of insights found on Google Trends beyond search data, incorporating news, shopping, images and YouTube data. According to the blog post:

Google Trends can be window into the world, giving us a peek into what people are searching for…Now you can see the world in realtime through more lenses: News, Shopping, Images and YouTube. We’re opening up more data to show what people in the world are looking for, as they’re looking for it—whether it’s just out of curiosity, to write a story or something else.

For marketers, the tool offers many different ways to understand consumer interests. For instance, you could run search trends for a clothing brand, see how interest changed during the recent shopping holiday, compare this activity against a competitor and see trends across image, shopping, news and YouTube searches.

Another interesting use would be measuring how YouTube strategies are paying off. If a company invested in creating and publishing many brand-building videos, the Google Trends data allow marketers to see if the content is resonating and resulting in more related video searches.

From a content development perspective, the trend data helps marketers understand what people are talking about, allowing for an opportunity to be more timely and relevant with social media and blog content. In many cases, timeliness (speed) is the difference between having content shared a lot or a little. The trend data can help marketers more quickly recognize and respond to these consumer trends.

The data may also inspire short term paid search campaigns. If trends are anticipated or recognized early, marketers can capitalize by creating campaigns with trending keywords before others start bidding on the same keywords and drive up the cost per click (CPC). This would require some creativity. For example, if a celebrity’s recent visit to a major fast food chain was getting a lot of search activity, that chain could develop a short-term paid search campaign to capitalize on these specific keyword searches and end the campaign when the activity declines.

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Another very valuable layer of data is the location insights (above) which allow the data to be parsed based on geographic location. In the US, the data can be sorted by regions, states and cities, helping marketers see where the activity is most prominent and target efforts based on these insights.

Overall, the data allow marketers to anticipate, track and respond to consumer interest as determined by searches, and now, by news, shopping, images and YouTube traffic data. With a little creativity and timeliness, marketers can use these insights to develop thoughtful marketing campaigns.

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