The Power of Curiosity — Popular Search Trends and What it Means for B2B Marketers in 2018

Tammy Borden
Posted by Tammy Borden on January 10, 2018


We humans are a curious bunch. We want to know the who, what, when, where, why and how of things. And it’s not just that we want information; we want that information now! That’s why Google and voice assistants like Siri are such powerful tools. They can give instant answers to your most pressing questions and scratch that mental itch.

Want to learn what a Bitcoin is and why it matters? Wondering what features the new iPhone X has? Want to know when the Packers play on Sunday? Oh, right, they didn’t make the playoffs this year. Sigh. Wait! Who won Super Bowl XLV? Ahhh... much better.

A lot of B2B marketers are fully aware of popular search trends from the life they live outside of work. But when it comes to SEO and getting their company’s content to rank high in online searches, there’s often a disconnect. “That’s great for someone who wants to know what they named April the Giraffe’s baby — it’s Oliver, by the way — but hardly anyone searches for our highly complex manufactured goods.”

Just because your product or service isn’t as popular as my favorite TV show, This is Us, or can’t pull ranks like a solar eclipse doesn’t mean there aren’t lessons to be learned from the motivations that lead millions of people to search for them online. Here are some insights into how your company can leverage the power of curiosity to drive SEO and attract sales qualified leads in the B2B world.

The Science Behind Curiosity

For B2B inbound marketing, knowing why people look for answers is just as important as knowing what answers they’re looking for. One of the biggest reasons why Google is the most popular website in the world is because it feeds people’s need-to-know characteristic. And that curiosity leads to more than 2 trillion searches on Google every year.

One study discovered that our brain’s chemistry changes when we’re curious, making it easier to retain information and increase our learning. Our brains are hardwired to examine and settle what’s unresolved. But let’s face it, a lot of manufactured goods — say, ball bearings used in an engine — aren’t exactly the #1 search topic.

Dare I say, some manufactured goods can be boring? So how can the science of curiosity apply to B2B? Researchers in that same study discovered that curious brains are better at recalling and remembering boring topics, and that’s great news! The key then for B2B marketers is to pique their target audience’s interests enough to take action so that, when a lead sees your offer, they not only act; they recall and remember.

How to Pique the Interest of B2B Buyers and Improve Search Engine Results

A typical manufacturer’s target persona is in research and learning mode, and they’re curious about how to solve a very specific problem. This presents an incredible opportunity to leverage the power of search engines to guide potential customers to the best solution — yours.

Your target audience will be much more likely to open your email, download your eBook or click on your blog article when you can feed their curiosity and cater to their need to know and desire to learn. It could be tempting to adopt the strategy of some popular sites by writing sensational “clickbait” headlines, but that contradicts another trend among search engines: relevance.

Google is making strides in filtering out content that doesn’t meet the needs of its users. While a sensational headline may get someone to click on your article and increase the number of page visits initially, it will tarnish your reputation in the eyes of Google (and your customers).

On the contrary, some manufacturers are notorious for using a lot of technical jargon in their content which, for the right content piece, may be appropriate. However, overly technical content can be dry and lack the qualities that lead someone to want to know more. It’s important to find a balance. Use headlines to make a promise or address a specific pain point. Even technically minded seekers want to be delighted, and when you delight and deliver, they’ll be drawn in and remember.

A great way to pique interest is to pose a question that your target buyer might ask. For example, an email headline that reads “How to improve production floor efficiencies” may bring a yawn and be glanced over. However, posing a question such as, “Are you making these mistakes on your plant floor?” will be much more compelling. Natural curiosity will lead someone to click on the link to the related blog article because the recipient will want to know if they really are making a mistake.

And don’t forget video! Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, and including video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%! Video is expected to continue to grow and must be part of any forward-thinking marketer’s toolbox.

Take a Lesson from Top Search Trends

If you’re responsible for marketing a B2B organization, take note of the common search engine trends you see and apply them to your own marketing strategy. Customers who are in the market for what your company has to offer are most often beginning that search online, and the factors that may cause someone to choose one link over another depend greatly on the content you provide and, just as importantly, how that content is presented.

There’s a jungle of online content vying for your customer’s attention, and sometimes it feels like a fight for survival. Thankfully, we’ve developed a guide to help you navigate through the challenges of ranking in search engines and maintaining your SEO. Check out our free guide below and reach out to us with any questions.

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Topics: Search Engine Optimization

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