Marketing Minute | 2022 Year In Review | SizzleForce Marketing

Marketing News: 2022 Google Trends Year In Review

Welcome to the Marketing Minute, a carefully curated rundown of our favorite things sizzle-worthy in marketing news.  Normally we only look back at the previous month, but this month we are doing something a little different…. 

We’re looking at the search terms you all used the most in 2022 (we honestly can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year). 

You typed them into Google. You asked Alexa. You got the answers you needed to thought-provoking questions like, “How to pronounce puzzle” and “Who is the king of England?” 

But while the 2022 Google Trends report offered much to unpack–we pulled out the tastiest morsels to inform you in your own marketing practices. 

In this edition: 

  • Our thoughts on that game (you know the one) that became an overnight, international internet sensation.
  • Why sriracha is the new toilet paper. 
  • Backstreet’s Back – Google tells us so! 
  • Starry nights and the power of social media. 

Starry Nights and the Power of Social Media 

When you think of Vincent Van Gogh, what immediately comes to mind about the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter? Is it his famous Starry Night piece, featuring swirling brush strokes of stars in the night sky? Or perhaps his Sunflowers painting, which features a bouquet of bright yellow blooms in a vase? Or it could also be his tragic life as the classic “tortured artist.”

What is clear is that you wanted to know more about the artist, because in 2022, the top-searched exhibits on Google Maps were Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience for Washington DC and Seattle, Washington. This incredible exhibit brings the paintings of Van Gogh to life in a stunning 360-degree digital art experience.

But how is it that this has claimed the top and 3rd spot on the list, respectively?

Digital marketing and social media. 

One of the members of our team has been seeing lots of social media ads for the Van Gogh experience near her location. While you can get tickets through the ad, it may also be something that stays in the back of the viewer’s mind while they’re scrolling. Later, when they’re curious about where in their city the exhibit is, they just head to trusty ol’ Google Maps to find it.

Plus, the dreamy exhibits provide the perfect backdrop for social media, whether FOMO-inducing posts of the exhibit itself or selfies to prove that you attended. 

Our Takeaway?

Never underestimate the power of social media ads and user-generated content to generate excitement for your product! Plus, having interactive experiences like this or finding ways to be creative with spaces can help you with selling your products or services to a variety of audiences.

Trying to attract an audience that wouldn’t normally be interested in what you sell? Try repackaging it in creative ways. We’re pretty sure that all those attendees at the Van Gogh exhibit wouldn’t call themselves artistic connoisseurs. 

Sriracha is the new toilet paper. 

Forget toilet paper. Sriracha was the hoarding craze in 2022, as “sriracha shortage” was one of the top searches in the past year. 

After owner Huy Fong announced that chili peppers had a bad season (and supplies would be low), hot sauce lovers worldwide went into a sriracha-buying frenzy to stock up (because there is nothing worse than a meal without chili garlic sauce!). 

But some people were upset about all that hoarding. These crazed sriracha shoppers, they say, selfishly kept all the hot sauce to themselves leaving none for the rest of us who didn’t get the memo. 

All we keep thinking is–what is it about sriracha that has gotten it such a cult following? Trader Joe’s and Tabasco have their own versions, but they can’t hold a candle to sriracha’s popularity. Perhaps the key is in the chilies themselves…

Reportedly, Fong monitors the crop of chilies meticulously to make sure they are up to par with his family recipe. That kind of quality is something you can taste–or so the teeming masses have declared. And they are willing to storm grocery store shelves to make sure they never run out. 

But here is the kicker – sriracha has NO advertising department. The product relies entirely on word of mouth. And Google Trends seems to indicate it is working. 

Our takeaway: Sometimes the quality of your product speaks way louder than any advertising campaign. Key differentiators often come in the smallest of details. 

Backstreet’s Back, Apparently

Nobody likes an earworm, especially an earworm that they just can’t place. You know, the kind where you hum it over and over again to a confused friend who has no idea what song you are talking about?

Well, apparently that song for 2022 was one that took Halloween parties of the 90s by storm–the one and only Backstreet’s Back featuring your favorite boy band decked out in villainous costumes and doing a little zombie dance. 

It was the top song featured on Google’s “hum” feature, which, if you didn’t know, allows you to hum a tune and get a response as to what in the heck you are trying to hum. 

But why, we wondered, is this song getting so much attention? It might have something to do with a Samsung ad featuring Addison Rae, in which she hums the tune into her phone to demonstrate its song-identifying superpowers. Before you can say “rock your body” the video comes on TV, backyard lights come on, the whole world is transformed into a dance party all with a little help from technology and voice command. 

Our takeaway: We aren’t really sure (other than the ad’s tongue-in-cheek self-reference to influencer culture and “hype house” living) but as at least two of our team members are squarely in the #teambsb camp, we are pretty upset that people don’t know who sings this song. 

You Can Have a Lil’ Drama. As a treat.

Here at SizzleForce Marketing we’re all about empowerment, positivity, and making the world a better place. But Google Trends and one of our own blogs have come together to prove one thing to us in 2022:

Ya’ll love some drama, don’t you?

As marketers, we know that human beings love watching a train wreck unfold. It’s sort of in our nature, it’s why reality TV got so popular, and it’s why the two most Googled figures are men who were embroiled in some of the most public marriage-related debacles we’ve ever seen. 

Usually, we steer clear of the drama. Not because we’re not as likely to watch a train wreck as the next person, but because we try to make sure the content and messages we put into the world are positive. That being said, we have covered one of the controversies on this list. We sat down and learned everything we could about marketing from the one and only Anna Sorokin (Anna Delvey) and shared some of what we discovered from her Instagram. This turned into one of our most popular blogs this year.

So what can we learn from this? People like a lil drama sometimes. If you incorporate it into your content marketing in a way that is positive and interesting you can garner some attention without sacrificing your overall message. 

What’s In A Word(le)?

Wordle launched in October 2021 and by mid-January 2022 it was an internet sensation with over 300,000 people playing every day. Then creator Josh Wardle sold the game to the New York Times, and it grew even more quickly, reaching daily play numbers in the millions by the end of the month.

Since then, it has spawned spin-off after spin-off (we’re particularly big fans of the Taylor Swift-themed Taylordle and the math-themed Nerdle)… but the trend didn’t stop there. 

Wordle wasn’t just the number 1 search in the Games category in the United States, it was the number 1 most searched term on Google across all categories, globally.

Leading us all to one big question… WHY?

Of all the games on (and off) the internet, what in the world is so special about Wordle?

Here’s why we think the internet is so crazy about this game:

  1. It’s simple. You spend 5 minutes (maybe 10 if it’s a particularly hard-to-guess word) in exchange for a sense of accomplishment that gets you through the morning. And if you get it in 2 or 3 guesses? You could ride that high for days!
  2. It keeps you guessing (literally). As soon as the excitement wears off today, you immediately start anticipating tomorrow’s word.
  3. It’s easily shared. In a time in our world where connection has been at an all-time low because of the pandemic, Wordle came swooping in and gave people a way to stay connected virtually. Whether you’re sharing your results with Facebook friends, racing with family and friends to see who can guess the word first, or texting your results to loved ones in other states every morning, people have connected through Wordle in a way that many people were desperately missing. (and who can forget the Chicago woman who was saved from a home invader because she didn’t send her Wordle results to her daughter!)
  4. It gives you a sense of belonging. Knowing that millions of people are playing the same game at the same time every day, gives us all a feeling of “we’re all in this together”. On this one thing, every day, we’re all working toward the same goal.

So what can we learn from Wordle?

To put it simply:

  • Give your audience quick wins as often as you can.
  • Keep them in anticipation of what’s coming next. 
  • Give them a community they want to be a part of and facilitate genuine connections within that community.

Have these insights into Google Trends inspired you to ramp up your own marketing game? If you are not sure where to start or where to put your energy when it comes to marketing, we can help

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