How will consumers find us online in 2017?
That’s the question most digital marketeers will want answered as we plow ahead into the new year. And, sure, there are niches and corners and special consumer audiences here and there (all over, actually) but one simple truth which can’t be ignored is this one: search.
Most consumers will find you with searches – far more often than not on mobile devices and into which they will speak (not type) “I want to know…” queries. At least that’s the answer from the ubiquitous search overlord, Google, which defines consumers’ quick (and fleeting) times of query as, “micro-moments.”
“(They are) those times when there’s an immediate need to fulfill. In those moments, consumers want to know, go, do, or buy—and they turn to search for information and inspiration,” explains Google.
It is true that to divine the future one must keep an eye also on the past. And Google’s annual Year in Search review always gives us hints about the upcoming year.
Curiously (and perhaps ominously) Google’s take on search in 2016 included a harsh revisit to the Great Depression of 2008.
“Marketers responded in 2009 with a spate of feel-good advertising,” Google points out in its 2016 Year in Search review. “Coca-Cola and Pepsi debuted competing upbeat campaigns, ‘Open Happiness’ and ‘Refresh Everything,’ respectively. And Anheuser-Busch InBev doubled down for 2009’s Super Bowl with seven beer commercials that were ‘lighthearted or warmly emotional rather than infused with slapstick and sight gags,’ according to The New York Times.
“The current climate is similarly ripe for optimistic, heartwarming messages. Marketers must find ways to reassure consumers and position their brands as trustworthy. And in order to succeed, they’ll need to be relevant during the moments that, together, will add up to another big year in search.”
Ah…”relevant.” There’s that word again. Funny how it keeps popping up in all forms and platforms of digital marketing.
So, to look back to 2016 in hopes of discovering clues for 2017 here’s how Google breaks down the most searched topics of the year:
And other “top” lists of searches at Google’s Year in Search review.
Feature photo at the top by Peter Hershey @ Unsplash