Google recently released a blog post that analyzed how consumers are searching as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Not only are people spending more time online as we’re practicing social distancing, but our search behavior is shifting and changing as well.

One of those changes is a rise in “with me” searches and ways to engage with others online. Now, you’ve probably heard of “near me” searches and how those have increased exponentially over the last few years as more and more people are searching on the go.

But, while we’re not really able to be on the go right now, consumers are looking for new ways to connect with businesses, friends, and family.

“With me” searches are one of the results.

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What are “with me” searches?

These searches are what they sound like — people are looking for content that allows them to follow along with someone. This has especially manifested itself on YouTube where content creators are churning out a lot of “with me” content — you’ve probably seen some like “bake with me,” “clean with me,” “organize my closet with me,” and more.

And consumers are actively watching and engaging with this content. They want to feel connected to people experiencing the same things they’re experiencing and get ideas for what they can do while they’re home.

You’ve probably seen this on other platforms, like Instagram, too. I know pretty much everyone I follow on Instagram has baked banana bread in the last three weeks and shared their step-by-step process either in an Instagram Story or through a post. And I’ve engaged with almost all of these posts in some way — I love seeing what people are doing while they’re at home like I am.

How can your business get in on this?

This brand created a “Get Ready with Me” playlist (prior to the pandemic).

It may make sense for your business to create some “with me” content right now. Consumers love to peek behind the curtain to see what’s going on. Here are some ideas to help you reach consumers in a different way right now.

Create your own “with me” videos.

No matter what kind of business you operate, there are some opportunities to create your own “with me” videos. They don’t have to be professional or even very long.

  • Show them how you’re disinfecting your business location to welcome customers.
  • Show them how you’re staying in contact with your team if you’re working remotely.
  • Walk them through how you’re fulfilling orders if you’re offering curbside or delivery services.

Show them how you’re promoting togetherness.

It might not make sense for your business to create this type of content, and that’s fine, too. You can still get in on the trend by promoting togetherness in some way.

  • Go live on Instagram with someone from another local business that’s also temporarily closed or experiencing similar challenges that your business is facing.
  • Host a virtual happy hour with members from your local community to encourage engagement.
  • Highlight local heroes by posting a fun video mash-up of you and your team members (submitted from their own homes, of course) thanking healthcare workers in your area.

Consider the other ways consumers are searching now.

Aside from “with me” searches, other types of searches are on the rise, according to Google.

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Take a look at this list and consider how your business can meet some of the needs consumers have right now — especially in your marketing during the coronavirus pandemic. Our branded content experts have identified messaging that resonates with consumers right now that you can incorporate into your marketing.

  • Share information from reputable sources to your social media pages so you can become a community resource.
  • Show how your team members are helping the community or supporting others right now.
  • Host social distanced gatherings outside your location to give your community members a way to get out of the house.
  • Share how you or your team members are taking care of their mental and physical help right now.
  • Feature a local physician giving tips on how to stay healthy.

Right now, we’re all experiencing a lot of turbulence and change, but there are opportunities for your business to connect with consumers in a new way and build loyalty so when life starts looking normal again, they’ll remember the businesses that were there for them.

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