Daniel Moreno, Senior Connections Manager, shares 2 interesting insights on how the cost of living crisis is affecting searcher behaviour in the UK.
It's no secret that the cost of living is a hot topic right now. In Q3 alone, UK social mentions and Google searches for 'inflation' have increased by over 264% and 71% respectively compared to the same time last year. And it’s not about to get easier, as inflation is forecasted to hit a record high of 13.3% by the end of 2022.
We will continue to see rises in prices, affecting most households in the UK. In turn, this will also influence buying behaviours as consumers adapt to challenging circumstances and look to be more conscious of how they spend their money in the months ahead.
As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers find a way to adapt to unexpected situations, and the current economic crisis is no different. By analysing data from popular search platforms, such as Google and Youtube, it’s clear to see some changes in searcher behaviour have already begun, and two interesting themes have started to emerge.
2. Financial efficiency is top of mind
Personal finances are top of mind for many, and it’s not surprising, we’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis. But among the wide variety of financial concerns people are experiencing, one key theme emerged above others;consumers are looking for tips and guidance to help them become smarter with their everyday expenses.
Budgeting apps appear to be on the rise with nearly 10,000 searches for ‘best budgeting apps’ in Q3 2022, a 30% increase from 2021 and 95% increase since 2020. While searches related to saving money have increased exponentially compared to previous years with 'How to save money tips' and 'what is a budget' increasing by an average of 73% year-on-year in Q3 2022.
On YouTube too, demand for common questions like ‘how to budget your money’ have increased by over 87% over the last 12 months. And it’s no surprise that finance-related sites catered to everyday consumers like MoneySavingExpert are also getting a 33% lift in branded searches after seeing consecutive drops in search interest in 2021 and 2020.
As brands across the financial sector look to support their customers through these challenging times, they should consider exploring educational content and resources to provide customers with valuable and actionable finance tips on how to get the most mileage out of their money. Whether that’s newsletters, in-app content or a robust online hub, publishing helpful content can be a great strategy to engage with your audience and be seen as a trustworthy and supportive brand that people will remember when we come out on the other side.
3. Using data to understand changes in searcher behaviour
In a day and age where consumer behaviour changes in a matter of days or weeks, we can expect to see even more interesting shifts influenced by the rising cost of living in the UK and other European markets. Thus, brands can use insights from search engines as an essential and efficient data point to understand consumer behaviour changes.
Search is not often thought of as a research and audience listening tool. Yet, insights generated using search data can do far more than inform SEO content and PPC campaigns. They can also help inform marketing strategies, creative approaches, and overall business decisions. Ensuring brand actions are aligned with cultural nuances and external factors affecting purchasing decisions, like this cost of living crisis.