2 Aug 2019 Strategies

Search listening, Love Island and understanding your audience

Love Island sandy beach with golden heart

Love Island, it’s been the talk of the nation all summer. It’s as polarised as Brexit or Marmite. Wherever you go, people are gossiping away, but what are they searching for?  What can marketers learn from ‘search listening’ about new audiences?  

Search listening 

Sophie Coley is the director of Answer the Public. Answer the Public is a ‘search query visualisation tool’ which shows you keyword predictions that you see when a user makes a Google search. This means that we, as marketers, can answer our public/audience better. It does what it says on the tin really. 

Search listening uses search data to uncover motivations, attitudes and truths about audiences.  This can allow you to identify more specifically who you are targeting. Ignoring this data would be almost criminal because you are missing out on a wealth of information about your target market and it’s FREE. 

Consumers won’t tell marketers what they want, they don’t trust us enough to do that. However, they do tell Google. The search engine is treated as a confessional booth or a friend. Be honest, have you ever asked Google a question that you wouldn’t ask friends or family? Probably. This data means you can go into a huge amount of detail to discover user personalities and needs with no research bias. 

Explore tribalism in online communities

The notion that humans are born with tribal instincts, that you naturally affiliate to people like you, such as when you go on holiday and see another family from the UK.  

For example, people may search for “hair like” and, by doing this, you can get valuable insight on key personalities that are influencing particular products, eg “Hair like Molly-Mae”. Now you know what sort of celebs your audience enjoy. This can help new businesses without personas to work with further audience focus and shows you what makes those people tick. 

Search listening is a great way to gain insight into what your consumers want. This may not be blatantly obvious at first, you may have to infer the real desire behind your audiences wants. Henry Ford once said:  

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”  

And for me, this is the perfect example of analysing what your consumers say they want, as opposed to what they really want. The way consumers talk to Google as a friend means you are likely to get the truthful insights you are after. Directly asking your consumers what they want in a focus group, for example, could be a little more ambiguous. When saying they wanted faster horses, people were really saying, I want to get from A to B faster. That’s when Mr. Ford created his T model, probably smirked and said, “how do you like them apples”. * 

*at least that’s what I’d like to think anyway. 

So, search listening has some real power. It can enable your business to drill down into the nitty-gritty of your target consumer persona, meaning your marketing can be shown to the right people in the way that best suits them.  

Answer The Public (ATP) 

Let’s say you know your business wants to target women who are 18-34. Well, you are in luck, because one of the biggest shows in UK TV history, with that audience demographic, has just finished. Now, you may have missed the hype of Love Island while it was running, but you can still see what that audience is searching for. 

We went on Answer the Public and put in the keyword “Love Island” to see what we could decipher from the most common questions asked about the villa of long, hot, summer loving. 

and put in the keyword “Love Island” to see what we could decipher from the most common questions asked about the villa of long, hot, summer loving. 

The questions 

1. Are the Love Island contestants paid?

It Is What It Is Michaelgriffiths GIF by Love Island - Find & Share on GIPHY
They get paid, it is what it is.

Some of the biggest questions are surrounding the show’s integrity, such as do the stars get paid? Is the show one big scripted fake mess? Among lots of speculation in the newspapers and on social media, there are points to take from this. 

On ATP you can select a question and it will bring up the Google results for that question. The results for these questions showed the types of media that your audience is consuming, the likes of Cosmo, Metro, the Mirror, the Sun, Heat, the list goes on. 

So, now you have more insight into the media they consume, you can better target your audience. 

2. Are Love Island couples still together? 

Who Knows Time GIF by Love Island - Find & Share on GIPHY
Only time will tell for the couples on the outside

We all want the juicy gossip. Who is still together? Who has had a dramatic split, *cough* Anna & Jordan *cough*. Give us a break, we are having withdrawal symptoms. We all want to see if they will work on the ‘outside’ and what they are doing now.

Thinking analytically about this one, your audience is displaying an active interest in the lives of these people even after the show. And where is this most likely to be broadcast? On social media.  

This could spark some thought into using the contestants as an influencer.  But if your business can’t afford the rates of these eight-week superstars, another option is to look at the products and people they are already endorsing.  Molly-Mae’s YouTube consists of brands such as Boohoo, PrettyLittleThing and OhPolly, to name a few.  

3. Are Love Island contestants on steroids? 

This is a serious issue surrounding the show and their portrayal of body image. Your audience is searching for these issues, which means they actively care about mental health and the effects that TV shows have on society.  

Six Pack Flex Sticker by Love Island for iOS & Android | GIPHY
Anton may be one big muscle but he’s got a big heart too

From this, you can infer that your audience will have an interest in the topic of mental health and charities like Mind, Heads Together, SANE. You can use this information to better tailor your content/ads to reflect the themes that your audience are talking about. 

4. “Where Love Island Villa”?  

For some reason, the ‘where’ questions are somewhat illiterate. Nonetheless, we all want to know where that villa of perfection is. The answer is Majorca, about an hour from Palma airport. We sent our research team out there on a recon mission and he got these priceless snaps. (The boss went on holiday.)  

The view of the Love Island villa from our “research teams” room

The security was so tight that this was the closest he could get (without getting out of bed or missing the all-inclusive breakfast). 

We are thinking about the location on this one. Majorca is going to be a hotspot for fans of the show, although the villa cannot be rented, Casa Amor can be. However, it’s probably out of budget for most fans though, ranging from £5,000 to £8,000 a week.

Curtis Wow GIF by Love Island - Find & Share on GIPHY
What?! A week in Casa Amor is how much?

Holiday deals to the Balearic Islands are going to be the hot ticket this summer, so collaboration with brands for holiday deals could be an excellent way to spread the word about your product or service. 

Collaborative projects with companies that are offering holidays to the island of red-hot loving are a great way to gain exposure for your brand to the right people. For example, you might be selling a face cream with SPF in it. A tester of your cream could come as part of a holiday ‘starter kit’ when paying your holiday deposit. 

5. Will Love Island 2019 be on Netflix/ITV player? 

Picture the scene: You have just been dragged out to a family meal at the local Harvester. As much as you love your family and being pulled from pillar to post by three young cousins wanting to play hide-n-seek, truth or dare and snakes and ladders all at the same time, THEY’VE MADE YOU MISS LOVE ISLAND! 

Chives Tommy Fury GIF by Love Island - Find & Share on GIPHY
If you make someone miss Love Island, expect them to be chived

Unless you have Sky/Virgin boxes, you need to know where you can get your next fix of drama from the villa. So, naturally, you turn to your good pal, Google.   

This is a great way to find brands that are associated with the show. Dominos are sponsors of ITV Hub, UberEATS sponsor the show, I Saw It First is the official clothing partner, the brands your audience are looking at are piling up. 

And if your audience is on Netflix, they probably aren’t watching Love Island, because it isn’t on there. 

6. What Love Island girl/boy am I? 

You probably already all know what this page would look like. We have all done a BuzzFeed quiz to find out which character we are, whatever the show. I took a quiz to see what Love Island girl I would be. I got Amber, so I guess that makes me a winner, even if I am a guy. 

Sticker by Love Island for iOS & Android | GIPHY
Amber flicking because she knew she had it in the bag from day one

To me, this search is interesting as it’s showing a need to relate to the contestants in the show. There is a desire to have traits like them, fashion sense, hair style, etc. 

This one is for the long run. Keep your eye on the contestants, especially the more well-known ones rather than the likes of first-week exit Callum MacLeod. But be sure to follow the trends, change in style, brands they endorse, stay ON IT. 

7. Can the Love Island contestants get drunk/smoke? 

We have all sat at home and thought, I wonder if they’re allowed to get sloshed or have a wee puff on a cigarette? Then you think, obviously, these chiselled hunks and tanned goddesses wouldn’t intoxicate their temple bodies with that.  

But, seriously, can they drink and smoke? Yeah. However, it’s limited and that is not the only condition that the islanders face going into the villa. Believe it or not, you can “do bits” to your heart’s content with Love Island-branded condoms, but you can’t give out any “self-love”, if you catch my drift.  

Love Island GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
The Love Island mantra, “eat, sleep, crack on, repeat”

Sherif broke the rules early on and made a mutual agreement with producers to leave. This caused absolute anarchy on social media. There were speculative stories about why Sherif had gone. These conversations took place all over social media and in major newspapers.  

But what can you take from this? Well, now you know where all the action goes down. Where your audience is connecting with each other. They are mainly on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. You could even take it one step further and get to know your audience further by browsing a few pages of those involved in conversations and find out what makes them tick. 

8. Can Love Island bottles go in the dishwasher? 

Let’s face it, it’s the king/queen of all water bottles. Not only that, it’s personalised! The last thing you want is to put it in the dishwasher, take it out and your name has disappeared and your sister is stealing it, writing her name on it with a sharpie in a font that resembles nothing like that of the Love Island font. 

By the way, they are NOT dishwasher safe, so don’t use it. You’re gonna have to wash that beauty by hand.

Life Tommy GIF by Love Island - Find & Share on GIPHY
Washing up, by hand? “why is my life so difficult”

But what does this say about your audience? 

Personalisation. Everyone loves something with their name on it. It goes back to tribalism, you see. It’s personalised, so it’s yours. But it also makes you part of a social group. Understanding that the personalised consumer experience is becoming more prominent in the modern world is essential. Ads are becoming more personalized, so should your products/ services. 

9. When is Love Island reunion? 

WHEN IS IT BACK, JUST TELL US, WE NEED IT. It’s on Sunday 4th August, at 9 pm on ITV2. Oh, and it’s coming back next year as usual, but for TWO SERIES A YEAR?! Yes, please. 

Break Up GIF by Love Island - Find & Share on GIPHY
“The heart wants what the heart wants” and that’s Love Island

Search listening, 100% my type

Search listening is a great way to focus your understanding on your audience. From our basic target audience of women 18-34, we have identified many different aspects of their personas. Brands they like, topics they are discussing, charities they take interest in, magazines/newspapers they read, trends in their consumer habits, the list goes on. 

Anyone working in the search industry will understand the mountainous task of keyword research. It’s time-consuming, the big brands are ranking for the hotly-contested keywords and your niche words just aren’t hitting the numbers you and your company desire. So why aren’t people focusing on keywords and their audience?   

“You might argue that a keyword focus is a proxy for an audience focus, but I’d disagree and suggest that, broadly, the search industry has for too long been hung up on the words that get entered into Google’s little white box – rather than the people who are typing them (or voicing them)

Sophie Coley

Of course, you can’t just throw all your SEO understanding out of the window, but considering who is searching on Google is just another way your business can understand who they are speaking to, how to connect with them, rather than just showing them ads because they searched for that specifically.  If you want to make sure your SEO skills are top-notch, check out our blog: How to SEO in 2019 – The Ultimate Guide


Get in touch

We’d love to know what you think in the comments below. If you would like to discuss anything to do with marketing please do get in touch.

See you on Sunday for the reunion.  

Kem Cetinay Yes Sticker by Love Island for iOS & Android | GIPHY
Kem just a little excited

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