2108 was quite the year in search. From viral videos to controversial news, audiences found commonalities in the subjects they were searching for. Among the millions of Google searches for “Fortnight” and “How to buy a bitcoin,” Google’s 2018 search trend engine research revealed a lot about our consumers. In fact, their research turned out to be much more than just consumer information. It’s emotional. Just check out their moving recap of the year’s top search terms:
So how can this information help us be better marketers?
Identifying popular search terms and subject trends among your target audience can help you create content that will drive traffic to your site.
But the problem we most often find is that companies are only identifying the “what” when it comes to consumer trends. Captivating content that will drive traffic not only has to consider what consumers are searching for but why they’re searching it.
To help you perfect your 2019 content marketing calendar, we’ve outlined how you can use the past year’s search information to create and share content that will drive consumers not just to your site but drive them to become a loyal customer.
Gather Industry Research
All SEO content should start with trend research. This includes using tools like Buzzsumo to see what types of content have been most popular among audiences during the past year. Concurrently, use search tools like Google Trends and Google Search console to see what search terms your audiences have been using
Use social listening tools too, to tune into the conversations surrounding your industry, your brand, and to see what else your audiences are talking about. Think outside the box. Don’t just focus on the obvious. For instance, if you’re a car dealership, don’t just research content trends about types of cars, but find out what else is important to your drivers. Maybe audiences have been focused on new legislation that will impact the timeliness of highway projects in your state. Become an industry leader by relating to your audiences on subjects they care about.
Organize Your Findings
After you’ve completed your research, organize your trends into appropriate categories. Organize them however you see fit. For example, you might organize them into different target audiences, specific trend subjects, or location on the buying funnel. Include types of content, content subjects, and related search terms in each sector. This will help you grasp the scope of your subject entirely and make it clear what the biggest trends are.
Uncover the Deeper Meaning of your Trends
The amount of content you can create in correlation with each trend isn’t infinite. If you know your car dealership audiences care about that road work legislation, there is only so many times you can write about its progress, or what cars are most durable to drive over a pothole.
This is when you start asking questions. Insert human emotion. What’s driving them to talk about these subjects? Why are they using these search terms? What do they care about?
An influx in conversations and searches for road work legislation says a lot. You’re audiences care about safety, local initiatives, politics, and issues surrounding their city. Asking these questions and determining the why behind the what gives you the ability to produce a substantial amount of content throughout the next year. You’re no longer restrained to content so closely related to each trend, but instead, can easily create content that is meaningful, can be altered to target at during moment of the purchasing funnel, and will consistently drive traffic at all times.
“Today’s consumers expect more. They want assistance at every step,” Jason Spero, VP of global performance solutions at Google, wrote in an article this year. “Therefore, as marketers, we need to be one step ahead of our customers — it’s time to start predicting their needs regardless of where they are in their journey.”
Create Emotionally- Driven Content
Now that you’ve uncovered the meaning behind these trends, you can use your content to connect with your audiences on an emotional level. After all, we are marketing to humans. Create a calendar that will hit audiences at each part of the funnel and that relate to each trend that you’ve found, as well as potential future trends. Make sure to include the meaning behind each, the “why should they care” piece. Including this in your content plan will serve as a constant reminder to humanize your content, and give purpose to everything you are doing.
Choose the appropriate medium for your content, as well as an amplification or campaign strategy, depending on the content. Keep in mind the channels your audiences are on, and what type of content will resonate best on what channels.
Combining careful research with human emotion will produce content that is easily found, on trend, and will drive traffic, but also captivating and emotion in order to connect to your consumers and turn visitors into leads and conversions.