In this post we’ll be covering Google Search and YouTube Trends, and how to use the free tools provided by Google to understand trends across the web. Understanding trends can be valuable for several reasons. Not the least of which is finding those topics people are now (even those they will be) interested in.
Match Marketing Campaigns with Trends
By using information about trends we can match marketing campaigns to trending topics of interest. These topics can even be narrowed down to the metropolitan area for some searches. Here we’ll focus on the value to content marketers specifically. This information will also be valuable to online marketers more broadly. We’ll cover how to target products and services in marketing campaigns using trends information.
To begin with, the Search trends tool is available at google.com/trends. What you’ll see is a dashboard with several features, and a lot of information. In the bottom left, click on the colorful boxes to see a full screen live version of Google Search terms. Top left of this screen allows you to expand the number of searches you see on screen at the same time. This view gives you a kind of real time look of the current searches for any region globally.
Going back to the main dashboard, click over on the right on “Explore In-Depth” to see the real magic. Now enter a search term, for example, “Sochi olympics”. Right off the bat you’ll see that Canada, and countries to the north, are more interested in these games than anywhere else. Likely because these are winter games.
Here you can also narrow your search by time or region. Click on the “Regional interest” graphic to drill right down into this data. Often you can see interest in your chosen topic on a granular level like a metropolitan area. Using this information helps us to target our message to specific geographic regions. You’ll also find that you can view this interest over time, which looks a bit like viewing a weather radar. Like weather patterns, use trends to help predict what topics will be of interest to people.
Regional Interest and Related Searches
Below “Regional interest” you’ll see “Related searches”. Here you can find related topics to your search term, and you can see specific queries that people are using related to your topic. One of the best features, we think, is in this queries section. Click, “Rising” to see those queries that are rising in popularity.
Rising query information can help you match your message with a topic that is growing in interest. The idea here is to meet supply with demand as it peaks. There’s nothing worse than writing about a topic that is “so last week”. In our example, as of this writing, we see that the area of most interest is surrounding the opening ceremony.
Trending YouTube Search
You can change the trends search from “Web search” to “YouTube search.” Doing this you’ll find detailed information about what people are searching for on YouTube. If you’d like to explore YouTube trend data more in depth there’s a YouTube trends dashboard. A great benefit to the YouTube trends dashboard is the ability to break down results by demographic data. So for example you can see what males between 18-24 find most interesting.
One of the most interesting features to YouTube trends is the ability to switch from “most viewed” to “most shared”. Breaking down the results by “most shared” shows you what topics are going to be popular soon. For example, I filtered YouTube videos by males, in the United States, between 25-34, sorted by “most shared”. I found this video, “ANCHOR CONFUSES SAMUEL L. JACKSON WITH LAURENCE FISHBURNE LIVE ON AIR KTLA” which had about 600k views. The next day that same video had almost 1.5 million views. Using YouTube trends I was able to accurately predict what would be a hot video the next day.