As the old saying goes, “show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are.” But in 2018, we don’t need to look deep into personal relationships to have a better understanding of someone — we can simply look at their search history.
A look at past search trends can help provide valuable insights as to where we’re headed. Understanding what Filipinos typically search for the most can help you craft a better message to improve your brand and your online visibility.
1. Filipinos love to sing.
With a karaoke machine on probably every street corner in our small archipelago, is it any wonder we love singing?
In 2017 alone, “Despacito lyrics” and “Versace on the Floor lyrics” headlined the top overall searches for the country. No surprises here as these two songs have been very popular among Filipinos. In fact, almost all the top searches in the past 5 years have to do with music.
Whether it’s in karaoke bars or in singing competitions (The Voice and The Voice Teens being among the most frequently searched TV shows in 2013 and 2017, respectively), Filipinos are renowned for their love for song; just ask world-famous chanteurs Lea Salonga and Jake Zyrus.
Brands like Shopee have taken advantage of this by incorporating melodies of hit songs like Baby Shark (Top 3 Music search in 2017) into their advertisements, with beloved Filipino celebrities like Anne Curtis or Jose Mari Chan singing their own versions of the song.
Digital marketers need to consider accommodating songs and lyrics in their marketing strategies. If creating a branded version of a trending song (a la Shopee) is too much for your marketing budget, you can start small by coming up with witty content that references popular songs.
2. Pinoy pride is alive and well.
It’s been widely reported that the crime rate in the Philippines drops to zero every time Manny Pacquiao has a match. Whether or not this is accurate, this anecdote is a solid testament of how much Filipino representation means to us.
Sports have become a main source of pride for many Filipinos, with a Pacquiao fight trending nearly every year since 2014. We also never miss a chance to support our Filipino athletes in other international sporting events like FIBA, SEA Games, and even the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Sports isn’t the only arena that the Philippines dominates in, however — we’re also famous for making a career out of pageantry, and it shows: since 2013, Miss Universe has been one of the trending searches nearly every year. Maureen Wroblewitz, the half-Filipina winner of Cycle 5 of Asia’s Next Top Model, also broke through the Top 5 Female Personalities searches in 2017.
But what about singing, the Filipino’s favorite pastime? 4th Impact, a Filipino girl group who competed in the 12th series of X Factor UK, may not have made it to the finals, but they certainly made an impact on Filipinos as the 4th most-searched female personality/ies in 2015.
Many brands strike while the iron is hot and sign on international Filipino celebrities as endorsers, but one need not spend too much to endear to our sense of Pinoy pride. Quick reflexes, creative copy, and sincere messages of well-wishes and congratulations can go a long way, like this tweet from McDonald’s on Pia Wurtzbach’s Miss Universe win:
3. VOD takes TV international.
Ever since Meteor Garden aired on ABS-CBN in 2003, our airwaves have never been the same again: TV networks left and right have been scrambling to find the next big Asian obsession, and 15 years later, we’re still not satisfied.
Nowadays, the increasing penetration of digital has empowered Filipinos to go beyond traditional means to sate their hunger for Asianovelas. Whereas a decade ago, we might have had to make do with whatever was on air, we now have video streaming services like iWant that let us choose what to watch. No wonder Asianovelas (and actors) have consistently taken up at least 1 spot on the most-searched TV shows for the past 5 years.
But with Netflix entering the country in 2016 for a slice of that video-on-demand pie, it’s no surprise that Western TV series have also trended in the Philippines, with shows like Stranger Things and 13 Reasons Why landing Top 2 Trending TV Show in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Johnnie Walker is a good example of a brand that successfully capitalized on the popularity of a TV show. They came up with a clever White Walker brand of whisky (in line with their other colored whisky brands), a play on the White Walkers of popular HBO TV series, Game of Thrones.
Filipinos anticipating its release – both out of curiosity and for its collection-worthy bottle – Googled the limited-edition product and ended up visiting the Johnnie Walker website. This is a classic example of driving SEO traffic with a successful co-branding campaign with a popular TV show.
Incorporate the Top Categories in Search in Your SEO and SEM Content
The past couple of years have given us a great deal of information as to which items Filipinos search for the most — the insights above are just a small taste of what we’re interested in, or even passionate about.
Armed with these pieces of information, marketers need to include these popular search categories in their SEO and SEM content. Doing so helps marketers ride on the popularity of these topics that millions of Filipinos are talking about and are searching for.
Even more so, enabling your brand to have a strong connection to these popular search terms can help build brand awareness and establish a stronger connection with your target audience. Luckily, keeping a pulse on the latest popular search terms is no longer a difficult task, thanks to the various tools available online. Check out our article on the SEO tools every marketer must have.