Everyone has heard of social listening. If it's not part of your digital and social strategy today, then you’re likely not able to be a relevant brand in the social space. But most brands who are activating social listening fail to look beyond social chatter to see what their consumers are interested in seeing, learning, consuming.
Daniel Moreno, Connections Manager at VMLY&R London, explores the use of keyword search data as a research tool and how it can provide your brand with valuable insights into consumer preferences and online search behaviour that other data points cannot reach.
2. So, why is search data so valuable?
A great way to start understanding the value of using search insights is by comparing this process to other research practices, such as Social listening.
Social listening, for example, is a process that enables you to track, monitor, and analyse social conversations and commentary around specific topics. It's a widely established method to understand consumer sentiment about almost any subject, brand, or issue in one particular industry or niche. However, this is limited to what people are willing to say online.
The filter that gets applied to opinions and comments shared on social media are not present when it comes to Search data as these keywords represent actual queries that consumers are typing in on search engines. Thus, Search presents itself as one of the truest data points we can get as marketers in this day and age.
The filters that get applied to opinions and comments shared on social media are not present when it comes to Search data as the keywords are actual queries that consumers type in on Google. In fact, Heather Physioc, Managing Director of Discoverability at VMLY&R, said in her recent masterclass exploring How to Use SEO to Grow Your Marketing Agency, that search presents itself as "one of the truest data points that we can get as marketers in this day and age."
Just as content marketers use keyword data to spot content opportunities and help their websites rank higher on result pages, marketers can also use search data to spot market gaps that competitors are currently not exploring.
3. How can search data help you?
Here are five powerful ways in which search data can help you or your marketing teams make data-driven decisions:
1. Understand consumer preferences and measure demand
Search can provide a unique view of consumer preferences and market demand around services or products related to your brand. This can be done by analysing multiple sets of keywords related to your business and comparing search volumes between those buckets of keywords. This comes in very handy when guiding clients on which features are the most sought after in a specific product. Search data can also help spot market gaps and opportunities that competitors might not be capitalising on yet.
2. Unveil growing trends and changes in search behaviour
Search engines are a reflection of what's happening in other places on the internet. While online trends might not start in Search, engines like Google are usually where consumers turn to get more of that thing that everyone in their social groups is talking about. Every day, we see this with thousands of topics that erupt somewhere else, and people rush to search engines to learn more.
3. Identify common issues or challenges that consumers are having with your products/services
Just as frustrated customers might turn to Twitter, tag your brand, and tell you how much they hated/loved interacting with you, they will likely perform a search to check if other people are having the same sort of problems. This data gets collected by Google and even with a simple keyword research exercise, marketers can use that data to understand your audience's challenges and measure the demand each one gets.