How search trends can help sell more cars
An important part of any content marketing campaign is identifying the keywords you want to target.
Before you create your first blog post or start filling out your editorial calendar, you should spend time researching the relevant words and phrases that people are searching for and think about how you can work those into your content strategy.
Once you know what your target audience is typing into Google, your blog, website and social media content can be purpose-built to provide the information people actually want.
You might think that demand in your particular niche is driven primarily by brand-recognition. People know who the main players are and will look them up when they want to make a purchase.
But even in industries dominated by well-known and long-established brands, searches on particular products, themes or questions will often play a more important role in driving sales. This makes thorough and regular keyword research vital for generating a return on investment from your online marketing.
What car buyers want
The car industry is a good example of this. Leading car makers are among the most recognisable businesses in the world and the huge investment required to design, build and market modern motor vehicles mean new entrants are rare.
Traditionally, Google searches for leading car brands have been seen as a good indicator of future sales trends. But a recent study identified a strong, positive correlation between sales and “non-brand” search terms, such as specific product features.
The research published in the Journal of Marketing tracked trends in sales of cars over a period of six years. Researchers found that searches for particular features, such as fuel economy, body type and acceleration, could be used to accurately predict what product consumers would buy.
“This is a call to action for marketers to become more skillful in using big data sources such as Google Trends to follow changing consumer tastes,” the authors of the study said.
Agile content creation
One of the great benefits of content marketing is its agility. If a car company identified a spike in demand for information about assisted parking, it would take time to adapt what it was doing on traditional marketing channels, such as TV advertising.
But that same company could start blogging about assisted parking right away. In fact, the editorial calendar for the company’s blog, social and email activity could be heavily influenced by trends in search, questions posted in forums or popular topics on social media.
Building this responsiveness into your content marketing allows you to quickly tap into the conversations happening around your business. As well as attracting these potential customers on to your website, you can also start building long-term relationships with them by providing useful and helpful information that might not result in a sale today, but puts in the place strong foundations for future sales.
As the car industry study showed, consumers use the web as a research tool and what they search for is a strong indicator of what they will eventually buy. If they don’t see your content during this research phase, it’s much less likely that you’ll see them when they’re ready to make a purchase.