Latest Google UK Search Insights
The COVID 19 pandemic has disrupted business in the UK as we used to know it. Consumers have gone online to search for things they would get in the real world, such as being part of a community and connecting with nature. Since consumer behavior has changed profoundly, there is a need to reevaluate marketing strategies to reflect these changes.
Research indicates that most UK residents increasingly search for when amenities such as schools, transport networks and retail stores near them will resume operations. They use search engines to determine the type of activities that are allowed and those that contravene regulations. Due to government ambivalence, consumers are always following updates on the latest changes in lockdown measures.
The lockdown has disrupted most business operations leaving both consumers and business owners in a precarious financial position. Most people are searching for financial aid and income-generating opportunities as a way of compensating for the sudden loss of income. For instance, social care jobs are one of the leading search trends in Britain.
Focus on wellbeing
People have become more self-aware during this crisis, possibly because isolation increases interest in physical and mental wellness. Searchers are interested in physical fitness, the type of food they consume, and overall wellbeing. Major search trends include nutritional supplements, weight, and taking a balanced diet.
Others are exploring reflective rituals such as meditation and yoga as a way of revitalizing their souls. There is also a growing trend towards making virtual connections and forming online communities for interaction and entertainment purposes. Indeed, online social networks have experienced an increase in both the number of users and the amount of user-generated content.
Thirst for knowledge
Because people are idle at home, they increasingly seek to gain new skills by taking online tutorials. Most consumers want to know where they can get online services, such as digital education. Indeed, YouTube has experienced an increase in downloads for language lessons in recent months.
Search for art and nature content
One of the major outcomes of the lockdown is that consumers have plenty of time in their hands. Consequently, they are looking for ways to deal with the boredom, anxiety, and sense of inadequacy that result from being isolated for a long period. People are looking for activities that increase their confidence and productivity while reducing boredom. One area that has benefited from restricted travel is interest in art and the desire to reconnect with nature.
The restricted movement has transformed homes and family settings into offices and other types of workspaces. Since most home designs are not conducive to work, consumers are searching for office furniture and other items that can make them comfortable while they work. Searches for ergonomic furniture and other office applications have increased since March.
Building virtual camaraderie
Since employees are working in isolation, employers are struggling to implement the old norms they used to enforce organizational culture. They are looking for new ways of keeping employees engaged and productive. There is increased interest in team building and group dynamics that can help workers focus on their tasks. The demand for technologies and equipment that facilitate virtual bonding is on the rise.
Increase in empathy
People have developed a strong desire to connect with others and learn about their cultures and perspectives about life. They are looking for communities that can help them cope with isolation and quarantine with terms like ‘alone together’ trending for the last few months. There is also a sense of empathy towards those who are in dire need of support. Further, some internet users have joined networks where they conduct mundane household activities as part of a community.
The profound changes in life during the COVID 19 lockdown have created a need for marketers to review their marketing strategies. At the core of these changes is the need to for marketers to target the needs of consumers who are operating from their homes. Marketers can use this crisis to strengthen their brand because most competitors will respond to the crisis by cutting down on marketing expenditure.
The challenge is to devise ways of helping customers as they grapple with the evolving needs. Equally important is the need to create content and provide solutions that help consumers deal with boredom while solving their needs.
Marketing content creators also need to focus their creative energy on information that is helpful and sympathetic. Some of the content ideas include providing guidance that helps them navigate a tricky situation, such as accessing basic amenities during quarantine.
Further, seize opportunities to humor loyal customers or brand ambassadors because they need somebody to cheer them up in the face of this hardship. The key to connecting with them is to position yourself as an empathetic fellow human rather than sounding like a soulless corporation.
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