I’m often asked by other communications friends what digital marketing tools I’d recommend for them. It’s a fair question. I do work for a very good digital marketing firm. Shameless plug I know. And we do use some really cool tools every day. Some are free and others are very expensive. I do pay the bills here. There are so many wonderful tools that make us smarter, faster and more insightful. The key here is finding ones that are simple to use and easy to engage with throughout a busy workday.
One of my favorites is Google Trends. It’s tools like this one that make me sound really smart in client meetings. Who am I kidding? And cocktail parties too. Google Trends is a searchable tool that allows you to determine how much interest there is in a topic by showing past and current search behavior. You may remember that Google first tested its Trends tool by predicting the severity of the flu in the U.S. a few years ago by tracking searches regarding flu-related topics. I don’t even like to search for the flu on Google. Since then, Google Trends gave the flu its own site. So hypochondriacs all over the world can decide if they want to ever leave their homes again?
While the data science isn’t exact, it does provide interesting and useable data that can be filtered by time, geography and by Google search features like news, images, shopping, YouTube and other key categories.
Is Google Trends perfect? Far from it. Is anything perfect other than a sunrise or the sound of a baby’s laugh? Our search engine marketing and analytics team refers to Google Trends as Google Adwords Keyword Planner for Dummies. I’m never sure if they’re serious or just making fun of me?
Give Google Trends a try. It’s easy to use and provides a quick report on the relevance of a specific or related topics. We’ve used it when developing key messages for clients and when determining marketing angles. And at cocktail parties when people ask me if I’m on Facebook all day.