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AMP Agency Names Michael Mish To President

AMP Agency, a division of Advantage Solutions, has named Michael Mish president. Mish, who joined AMP Agency in 2012, most recently served as SVP, general manager and previously as SVP of business development. As president, Mish is responsible for agency operations, strategy and growth, including strategic acquisitions. Under Mish’s leadership, the agency has experienced consistent year-over-year growth on a national and now global scale. “AMP’s growth is in large part attributable to Michael’s focus on shifting to strategic relationships and evolving AMP’s capabilities to meet the changing needs of clients,” said AMP Agency Founder and CEO Gary Colen. “Michael has specifically focused on the demand for top-tier, growth-focused digital media services, experience design, dynamic creative, data science and advanced analytics.” Mish serves on Advantage's DE&I board, which is supporting a multiyear diversity, equity and inclusion strategy that includes the establishment of employee resource groups, training programs, talent benchmarks and policy recommendations. Working with other senior executive leaders, Mish is focused on developing a positive culture and recruiting diverse talent to the company. “Improving DE&I within the marketing and advertising industry is nothing new,” Mish said. “As a Hispanic leader from humble beginnings, I recognize the need to create opportunities within and outside of our agency. “I want to be part of the change in the industry. At AMP, our core values are Openness, Empathy and Growth. Our leadership team is focused on developing an inclusive culture and recruiting multicultural talent. Not only is it the right thing to do, but diversity of thought and experience will drive breakthrough work for our clients, increase innovation and accelerate our momentum.” Last year, AMP established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and developed a pro-bono program, setting a goal of dedicating up to 10% of annual billable hours to support organizations led or owned by Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+ people or people impacted by disabilities. “We decided our role in solving inequalities is to focus our intellectual capital on growing businesses that support these communities,” Mish said. “When Michael joined AMP, he immediately drove value for the agency and our clients and has always stood out as an innovative and strategic leader,” Colen said. “The larger vision for the agency has consistently been at the forefront of his contributions. I’ve always looked to Michael for opportunities to lead and guide the agency, given his proven marketing genius and passion for growing our clients’ brands with breakthrough work and for growing our people. In his new role as president, I know he will combine these areas of focus to continue to elevate our agency and our people for our clients.” Mish has had an amazing journey here at AMP! View this video to learn more:   Congratulations, Mish! READ THE NEWS:  https://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/amp-agency-elevates-michael-mish-to-president/173862/

2021 Fall DE&I Challenge

This fall, AMP is kicking off its first ever DE&I challenge! We're playing bingo all month long and we invite you to join us. There’s gonna be bingo, there’s gonna be prizes, there’s gonna be education we can use to make our workplace and the world more equitable and inclusive. Get ready to celebrate diversity *and* simultaneously compete with your fellow AMPers for some awesome grand prizes. To play, screenshot the bingo card template in our Fall 2021 DE&I Challenge highlight on our Instagram page, and re-share it to your Instagram Story as you complete challenges. Tag us in pics of you completing challenges for a chance to be featured in our Highlight reel! For recommendations and resources, view our Instagram page and click the link in bio to view the resource list. LINKS: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amp_agency/ Resource list: https://linktr.ee/ampagency We encourage our industry peers to join us in taking on the challenge!

Reels vs. TikTok 2021: The Social Showdown

In the world of social media, trends, features, and even platforms can seemingly become a phenomenon overnight. One night, you go to bed after scrolling your Instagram feed, and the next morning you wake up to a brand new, intriguing yet unfamiliar app called TikTok. It doesn't take long for this app to surpass all others as the most downloaded app of all time with over 1 billion active users across the world.  Flash forward to the present day where Instagram - and almost every other popular social platform, for that matter - are scrambling to keep up with this new app. So, what makes TikTok so attractive, and can Instagram compete with their look-a-like competitive feature, IG Reels? Well, let’s dive in!    Why is short-form video so popular all of the sudden?  Before we talk about Reels and TikTok, let’s first address why the short-form video nature of both platforms caught on so quickly. For a long while, social media marketers have strategized their content around the fact that the attention span of our followers is short- and we mean short. According to Facebook, marketers only have 0.25 seconds to capture a user’s attention before they keep scrolling.  With that in mind, snackable video content became the name of the game for brands and content creators and opened the door to a scrappier style of content - especially for brands who had typically seen video content as an expensive, high-production-value ordeal.  The lower production value required for a high-performing Reels or TikTok video was key for brands. That, paired with the fact that these platforms became widely popular during a pandemic when creative teams were developing content out of their own homes. Additionally, it opened up a new door for brands and content creators to turn out quick-hit, entertaining content.    What’s the difference between Reels and TikTok?  Now that we’ve covered why short-form video content is so popular across both Reels and TikTok, let’s discuss the key differences between these platforms that have affected how they’ve been adopted by social users.    Reels TikTok The Takeaway The User Experience To navigate to Reels, users must first open the Instagram app, where they will be shown their regular feed from accounts they follow. Then, they will select the Reels icon from the bottom menu to start viewing Reels in a TikTok-esque feed of content that’s been curated for the user by Instagram’s algorithm.  When a user opens the TikTok app, they are immediately shown a curated feed of TikToks the platform’s algorithm has chosen - AKA the “FYP” (for you page). The full screen and vertical swipe feed create a frictionless user experience that makes it as easy as possible to enjoy the app.  TikTok’s unique user experience puts short-form video content curated just for you at the center stage, creating a seamless and simple way to enjoy content. On the other hand, Reels is only a feature of Instagram among many others.  Music & Video Editing Tools Due to copyright concerns, Instagram business accounts only have access to Reels’ library of royalty-free tracks, while content creators have access to a larger library full of popular copyrighted music. While Reels does offer video editing tools, they can be tricky to navigate and their filters and effects are not very extensive.  Music and sound are the cornerstones of a TikTok video, and the app has nailed this feature with its extensive library of music and user-generated sounds available to content creators and brands alike. On top of that, TikTok’s video editing features are user-friendly, and they offer a wide variety of filters and video effects.  TikTok is the clear winner when it comes to music and video editing tools given their extensive music and sound library and editing capabilities.  Platform Purpose   Instagram, home of Reels, is a network-oriented app, where users are used to seeing content from people they are familiar with and have chosen to follow. However, in the Reels section of the app, it takes on a content-oriented approach, serving users content from people they don’t know.  At its core, TikTok is a content-oriented app. It normalized the experience of seeing content from people you don’t know in your feed based on your usage history and learned preference.  While both platforms' short-form video features are content-oriented, Instagram is known for being a network-oriented app. Instagram has offered a similar user experience through their “Explore” page since 2012, so this balance between content and network orientation is something they’ve been teetering for a while.  The Algorithm  Instagram has been less transparent about the Reels algorithm, however, it has provided a few best practices for success. For example, Instagram recommends that Reels content is entertaining, fun, and inspiring, uses the app’s creative editing tools, and leverages the music or sounds provided. Instagram has also shared that content that is visibly recycled from other apps (e.g. contains a TikTok watermark) will also be deprioritized by the algorithm.  Beyond all of the features listed above, TikTok’s arguably largest advantage is its algorithm. The platform’s parent company, ByteDance, has been very transparent about the large investment they made to design the app’s algorithm that picks up on users' personalized interests in record time, contributing to the effortless and enjoyable nature of consuming content on the app.  Overall, TikTok’s algorithm is the first of its kind and unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the social space, which ultimately contributes to its success. We don’t know as much about Instagram’s Reels algorithm, but we can assume it attempts to mimic the TikTok experience while staying true to the app and attempting to keep Reels content unique.     How Brands Can Be Successful on Reels and TikTok To be successful on Reels and TikTok, brand content shouldn’t feel like brand content. Brands need to get scrappy and creative to grab user’s attention and not stand out like a sore thumb among the style of content shared by individual creators. With that in mind, both Reels and TikTok require a unique content strategy within the brand’s larger social strategy. However, that inevitably requires extra time and effort. To decide which of these platforms to begin focusing your efforts on, ask yourself these two questions:  Which platform is your audience on currently?  Which one can you commit to doing consistently?  While there are many benefits of TikTok as discussed above in our comparison of the two platforms, many brands have already established themselves and have grown a following on Instagram, and therefore beginning to utilize Reels has a low barrier to entry. While cross-posting between the two platforms is an option we’ve seen numerous brands take, a carefully thought out strategy for each channel your brand has a presence on is more important than simply having content out there. When it comes to a brand’s social presence, quality is always preferred over quantity.  The social world is ever-evolving - and at the end of the day, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to which platform is best - the answer is unique to your brand’s priorities and your team’s bandwidth to thoughtfully manage the channels on which your brand appears.  

Google Search Trends Insights July 2021

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for July 2021. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+. After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. The One and Only For most months, there are multiple keyword phrases that are searched over ten million times. In July 2021, there was only one: Giannis Antetokounmpo - 7/20/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries We still have a hard time pronouncing his last name but “The Greek Freak” had his moment not only in his sport but also in Google search when he helped his Milwaukee Bucks win the NBA championship for the first time in 50 years and earned himself the Finals MVP award. The fact that an NBA player’s name was the only phrase that made the 10 million plus club should be seen as foreshadowing.  There will be more to come on the topic of sports.   Independence and Ice Cream We love seeing search query data related to holidays.  Here are the top ones related to the Fourth of July:   Independence Day - 7/3/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Fourth of July - 7/4/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Joey Chestnut - 7/4/2021 - 500,000+ queries The 4th just wouldn’t be the 4th without Joey Chestnut making the top 3 most queried phrases, as we discussed last year. Another “holiday” that we thought would drive a lot of queries in 2021 was National Ice Cream Day. National Ice Cream Day 2021 - 7/18/2021 - 200,000+ queries We were excited to see it make the top 3 on July 18th.  We’ll write up the companion piece to our original food and beverage holiday post in the coming weeks.   July Movie and TV Show Premieres If you want to answer the question of, “What are the most popular movies or TV shows?” at any given time, look at Google Trends data. It will show you what people are searching for, which you can translate into what people are interested in watching. Black Widow - 7/8/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Never Have I Ever - 7/15/2021 - 200,000+ queries Space Jam - 7/16/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Money in the Bank 2021 - 7/18/2021 - 500,000+ queries Jungle Cruise - 7/30/2021 - 500,000+ queries It looks like people really wanted to see the Space Jam sequel during its opening weekend even if it didn’t get the best reviews from critics.    Billionaires In Space July 2021 will be remembered as the month when two guys with extremely large net worths got into rocket ships and blasted off into space. Richard Branson - 7/10/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Jeff Bezos - 7/19/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Even though Richard Branson could note a ‘win’ by beating his rival Jeff Bezos’ launch date by 9 days, there was no win in search interest. It was about the same for each launch.   Gaming News There’s always one topic that gets a few phrases into the daily top 3 that we bring forth in these posts. For much of 2021, it’s been the meme stock phenomena.  In July, we were happy to see two keyword phrases related to gaming as it is one of the industries in which we have expertise: Steam Deck - 7/15/2021 - 500,000+ queries Pokemon Unite - 7/20/2021 - 200,000+ queries Sports - The Most Searched Topic Of the 93 keywords collected each day in July 2021 (the daily top 3 most queried phrases) 58% of them were sports-related.  That’s one percentage point better than in June. With the combination of the NBA Finals, International Soccer, MLB All Star Game and trade deadline, and the Olympics, search interest in sports was at an all-time high. In this section, we don’t present all of the phrase but key moments during the month (there were a lot of them). Since Giannis took the 10 million plus queries award, we’ll list all of the NBA related phrases: Bucks - 7/1/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Bucks - 7/3/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries NBA Finals - 7/8/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Suns vs. Bucks - 7/14/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries NBA Finals - 7/17/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Giannis Antetokounmpo - 7/20/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries NBA Draft 2021 - 7/29/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Russell Westbrook - 7/29/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries The championship matches of two international soccer tournaments occured in July 2021 and the growing US interest for what the rest of the world calls Football continued: Euro 2021 - 7/2/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Copa America - 7/2/2021 - 500,000+ queries England vs Denmark - 7/6/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Italy vs Spain - 7/6/2021 - 500,000+ queries Argentina vs Brazil - 7/9/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Italy vs England - 7/10/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries England vs Italy - 7/11/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries With fans back in stands, interest in Major League Baseball is back up this July: Home Run Derby 2021 - 7/12/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries All-Star Game - 7/13/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Washington Nationals - 7/17/2021 - 200,000+ queries Yermin Mercedes - 7/21/2021 - 200,000+ queries Anthony Rizzo - 7/28/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Anthony Rizzo - 7/29/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Javier Baez - 7/30/2021 - 200,000+ queries Nick Madrigal - 7/30/2021 - 200,000+ queries Even the NHL, with its Stanley Cup Finals ending on July 7th, had a few phrases make the daily top 3: Tampa Bay Lightning - 7/7/2021 - 500,000+ queries Seattle Kraken - 7/21/2021 - 500,000+ queries Evander Kane - 7/31/2021 - 200,000+ queries Although it was reported the TV ratings of this year’s Summer Olympics were poor, the search interest spanned across more than a week.  Here are the top queried terms related to the games: USWNT - 7/21/2021 - 200,000+ queries Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - 7/22/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Olympics 2021 schedule - 7/22/2021 - 200,000+ queries Olympics schedule - 7/23/2021 - 500,000+ queries Michael Phelps - 7/23/2021 - 200,000+ queries United States Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - 7/24/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries USA Basketball - 7/24/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Olympic medal count - 7/24/2021 - 500,000+ queries Simone Biles - 7/25/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries ROC Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - 7/25/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Simone Biles Olympics - 7/25/2021 - 500,000+ queries Katie Ledecky - 7/26/2021 - 500,000+ queries Tom Daley - 7/26/2021 - 200,000+ queries Simone Biles - 7/27/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Suni Lee - 7/28/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Katie Ledecky - 7/31/2021 - 500,000+ queries Melissa Gonzalez - 7/31/2021 - 200,000+ queries The team at AMP doesn’t think that this monopoly on search interest can be maintained by the world of sports. There were a few factors that led to the large number of sports-related queries making the daily top 3. The sheer number of interesting sporting events happening during the month was one factor. For example, the Olympics don’t happen every month.  Also, with people returning to stadiums to watch games, the level of search interest in professional sports has increased. We think that we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of fan-attended games to drive interest. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services. Until next month.

Social Media: Brands Need To Make A Good First Impression

How the first impression a brand makes on social is similar to online dating: Online dating… It's an often-times scary place for newcomers and people who want to find a connection. Similarly, social media is oftentimes a scary place for brands that are looking to make a splash, tell their stories and create longtime, engaged customers. But how do you do this? It’s all about the first impression, and then, of course, keeping people interested. And more importantly, sharing interesting and entertaining content that either sparks joy or inspires the audience to want to know more.   It’s all about the first impression People put a lot of effort into their online dating profile, showcasing their interests, and selecting the best photos that show off a full life. When you think about a brand’s social media presence, are the best images being shared? How do you want the audience to feel when they view the content? Is the brand showcasing a lifestyle that is aspirational and grabs interest? Can the audience visualize the product or service in their life at first glance? Can you think of the last ad or content on social from a brand that made you think “Wow, that was funny” or “I need that product in my life”? Whatever it was, try to evoke that same feeling in any ideas or strategy.   Is the content conversational? On a dating profile, the hope is that the profile info is interesting enough to grab someone’s attention so they *swipe right*, so to speak. On social, there’s a difference between talking at the audience and inspiring engagement, whether through a like or comment. Nobody likes being talked at or told to buy something they might not need. It doesn’t feel authentic and it doesn’t spark a 1:1 conversation. When you look at other brands, are their captions engaging? Is it only informative and robotic, or is it playful and humanized? Nobody wants to date a robot.   Swiping right vs. hitting follow on social: With online dating, the goal is to get people to swipe right on your profile and be interested enough to send a message. For brands, the goal is to get people to hit follow and engage on a regular basis. If a brand’s not getting any engagement or steady follower growth, the question could be asked: Is this content boring? Is there anything interesting enough that inspires people to follow?   Keeping your followers interested If someone is dating you, they have decided they find you interesting enough to want to be more immersed in your life and interests. Similar to a brand’s social media, once the first impression is nailed with a following, the real work comes in by knowing how to keep them interested. If someone is following a brand, they likely know what the products are or what the brand is all about. So, how do brands keep them interested as time goes on, knowing they already know the brand? New product launches, new special features, and staying up to date on all the latest and greatest ways to make content (*cough, cough* TikTok). Also, consistency. Is the brand trustworthy? Similar to dating, would you introduce the brand to your friends? These two things go hand in hand.

Google Search Trends Insights June 2021 - AMP Agency

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for June 2021. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+. After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. So Many Doodles Every month, there’s at least a few keywords that get queried 10 million times or more during the day. Here are many of them that we recorded for June 2021: Shirley Temple - 6/8/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Father's Day 2021 - 6/19/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Tommy Kono - 6/26/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries   The query volume of these keyword phrases were driven by Google Doodles, the logo alteration that the search engine publishes from time to time. This month, Google celebrated the actress Shirley Temple and the Japanese American weightlifter Tommy Kono along with the Father’s Day holiday.    One other phrase hit the maximum reported query volume level in June, but it deserves to be a part of its own section. Recognizing Juneteeth The search popularity of Juneteenth has been growing over the last few years; but in June 2021, it had its peak (so far).      The phrase and its companion phrase of “Juneteenth federal holiday” made the daily top 3 most-queried phrases five times during the month.  Juneteenth - 6/14/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Juneteenth - 6/16/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Juneteenth federal holiday - 6/16/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Juneteenth federal holiday - 6/17/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Juneteenth - 6/18/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries   A Google Doodle was published to celebrate the establishment of Juneteenth as a US Federal Holiday, which helped to drive the query volume beyond the 10 million mark. AMP Agency will not be surprised if Google reveals at the end of the year that Juneteeth was one of the most queried phrases of the 2021.   Summer Food Holiday   Shifting gears, it was good to see that a query related to National Donut Day made the daily top three this year:    National Donut Day 2021 - 6/3/2021 - 500,000+ queries   The AMP Team predicted that this special day would be popular this year in our hot trending summer food and beverage days blog post. There are a few happening in July, so we’ll wait until the data is in and then we’ll share how right we were!   Summer Entertainment Queries   AMP Agency is fascinated with using search query data as an indicator of a film or TV show’s popularity. Check out the titles that made the daily top 3 last month. Did you see any of them, or are you just pumped about the iCarly reboot?   The Conjuring - 6/3/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Loki - 6/9/2021 - 500,000+ queries In The Heights - 6/10/2021 - 500,000+ queries iCarly reboot - 6/17/2021 - 500,000+ queries Fast And Furious 9 - 6/24/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries   Britney Spears was in the news as she went to court for her conservatorship case.   Britney Spears - 6/22/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Britney Spears - 6/23/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries   There are a few AMPers who are pulling for her. #FreeBritney   Technology, Ecommerce, and Finance   Knowing that technology news drives people to search, here are the top queries related to that topic:   Zoom - 6/7/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Nintendo E3 - 6/15/2021 - 500,000+ queries Windows 11 - 6/24/2021 - 500,000+ queries   Zoom, the company with the name that is synonymous with video conferencing, had an earnings call on the 7th. Nintendo had a presentation of new and upcoming games at the Electronic Entertainment Experience (E3) event, and Microsoft introduced Windows 11, which will be released later on this year.   Amazon Prime Day - 6/20/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries   Everyone’s favorite discount shopping day that’s not Cyber Monday had a ‘just ok’ search volume level this year as compared to other years.     This chart shows the level of search interest in the two main keyword phrases associated with Amazon’s big sale day. The peak appears to have happened in 2018 from a search perspective.   Meanwhile, financial resources report that total Prime Day gross sales were up 7% year over year to $9.55 billion.   Lastly, meme stocks are still a thing. AMC stock - 6/1/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries AMC - 6/1/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries AMC stock - 6/2/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries   Americans Love Their Sports   If you follow this monthly series, you know that sports-related queries make up a big chunk of the most popular phrases of any month. It is noteworthy that in June 2021, of the 90 phrases we recorded in our daily top three collections, 51 were sports-related – 57%!    Queries were driven by pay-per-view boxing, international soccer (football) and the NBA playoffs.    Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul boxed each other and the search interest level was quite high, extending over many days. People searching for the time of the bout was the most popular phrase.   Mayweather vs Logan Paul time - 6/4/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Logan Paul vs. Mayweather - 6/4/2021 - 500,000+ queries Logan Paul vs Mayweather - 6/5/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul - 6/5/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Mayweather vs Logan Paul time - 6/6/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries   After a year of postponement, international soccer tournaments were back this June and drove people to search for information related to the UEFA European Championship and Copa América. Spoiler alert – there will be more phrases to be reported in the July 2021 post.   Mexico vs USA - 6/6/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Euro 2021 - 6/11/2021 - 500,000+ queries Christian Eriksen - 6/12/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries France vs Switzerland - 6/28/2021 - 500,000+ queries   Next, let’s take in the dominance of the NBA in terms of their league related queries making the daily top 3 in June. Almost a third of all of our collected phrases for the month were NBA related. There were so many, we broke them into 2 groups: teams and players.   NBA Teams (note: the Suns made the top three twice on the 28th with the same phrase!)   Clippers - 6/2/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Lakers - 6/3/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Suns - 6/7/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Clippers - 6/8/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Sixers - 6/8/2021 - 500,000+ queries Utah Jazz - 6/10/2021 - 500,000+ queries Sixers - 6/11/2021 - 500,000+ queries Sixers - 6/14/2021 - 500,000+ queries Nets - 6/15/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Sixers - 6/16/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Clippers - 6/18/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Nets - 6/18/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Bucks - 6/19/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Clippers - 6/22/2021 - 500,000+ queries Suns - 6/24/2021 - 500,000+ queries Bucks vs. Hawks - 6/25/2021 - 500,000+ queries Suns vs Clippers - 6/26/2021 - 500,000+ queries Suns - 6/28/2021 - 500,000+ queries Suns - 6/28/2021 - 500,000+ queries  Bucks - 6/29/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Suns - 6/30/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries   NBA Players   Damian Lillard - 6/1/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries James Harden - 6/5/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Kyrie Irving - 6/13/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Ben Simmons - 6/20/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Devin Booker - 6/20/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Trae Young - 6/23/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Giannis Antetokounmpo - 6/29/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries   It’s interesting to see the jump in the number and volume behind these queries as people have been allowed to attend games. When the league was playing in a “bubble” last year, the search interest was not as large.   Lastly, Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to publicly come out as gay and his announcement drove search queries for his name:   Carl Nassib  - 6/21/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries   As a part of his statement, he pledged to donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to crisis intervention and suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth.  Happy Pride Month!   Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.

AMP Agency Expands Digital Experience Services with SmallTalk

PRESS RELEASE:  AMP Agency, a full-service marketing firm based in Boston with teams in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and Austin, will combine its capabilities with SmallTalk, a digital experience agency acquired by AMP Agency earlier this year. Bringing expertise in strategy, product management, product design and product development to an array of high-profile brands, the combined group will be known as AMPXD™. AMP, the 200-plus-person agency named to Adweek’s inaugural Fastest Growing Agencies list in 2019 with clients that include Facebook, Sam Edelman and more, envisions a seamless transition to support its growing national client base, furthering its insightful and innovative approach.   “As our clients’ business challenges become more and more complex, it’s crucial that we demonstrate our expertise across the entire customer experience,” said AMP Agency SVP, General Manager Michael Mish. “With SmallTalk’s proven expertise in the space, this combination expands and enhances our experience design offer.” SmallTalk, based in San Francisco, California with more than 40 employees, names VMware as one of its clients, among other noteworthy North American and global brands. Some of the agency’s best work is in digital product design and enterprise CMS Websites with a focus on ADA-compliant experiences. SmallTalk always aims to align itself with the client mindset and long-term goals. “Designing and engineering creative, complex digital experiences is our specialty and SmallTalk truly feels we fit neatly into AMP’s wheelhouse of work—it’s a complementary relationship that felt right from our earliest conversations,” said Robert Balmaseda, founder and managing director of SmallTalk Agency, who has managed and sold several successful agencies. “We pride ourselves on serving immediate client needs, while offering progressive and extended solutions that might not have been considered within a short-term goal.” Balmaseda has a deep understanding of technology and market trends having spent more than 10 years at SolutionSet/Epsilon helping organizations like California State Lottery, Chevron, Cisco, eBay, UPS and Wells Fargo create digital customer experiences. Prior to SolutionSet, Balmaseda held key management positions for various agencies, startups and consultancies, including Carat Interactive, iGeneration, HardCloud, USWeb/CKS and Digital Planet. “AMP will continue to invest in UX, design, technology and digital solutions that enable us to transform and build businesses,” Mish added. AMP Agency also recently hired Kiki Takakura-Merquise as vice president of digital transformation to elevate its business strategy offering to better serve clients navigating emerging technology and media and complex shifts in business. Learn more about the new San Francisco team here and explore our mobile & web services here. Check out the story on Adweek, Campaign US, Little Black Book and MediaPost.  

Lessons from Dr. Pooja Lakshmin on Burnout & Boundaries

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Ad Club’s Women’s Leadership Forum. It was inspiring to hear so many accomplished women share their knowledge and experiences with us. As a young female professional, early on in the grand scheme of my career, it was refreshing to hear about a topic nearly everyone is impacted by but few speak about: burnout. The session, poetically called The Betrayal of Burnout, was led by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a psychiatrist and author specializing in women’s mental health.   Burnout is a word that feels all too familiar to many of us — especially in this past year and a half during the pandemic, where it’s been challenging to separate work life from home life when they are taking place in the same space. Dr. Lakshmin poignantly suggested the term ‘burnout’ itself exonerates a system that does not do enough to support mental health, working parents, or child care. According to Dr. Lakshmin, the most frequent response to an individual expressing burnout is “Are you going to therapy?”, or “Are you doing self-care?”. This, she claims, places the burden of responsibility onto the person, and not onto a system that is evidently flawed. Faux self-care practices like yoga, meditation and spa retreats will not solve the problems that come with burnout. Those are privileged solutions that many people do not have access to, and oftentimes are not long-term solutions. The only thing that worked for her was learning how to say no and setting proper boundaries. Below are a few important lessons that Dr. Lakshmin shared to help women set boundaries in their professional lives. The outcome? Increases in quality of work and client satisfaction are just a few of the benefits that stem from women in the workplace setting boundaries and avoiding burnout. No one is going to make the choices for you and your best interest — you must make those for yourself.  As women, Dr. Lakshmin says, we tend to put ourselves last. She warns that getting into a “martyr mode” comes with a cost. In order to truly prioritize your mental health, you need to make space for yourself. Whether it’s setting your Slack status to “Away” to take that midday walk that gives you a mental reprieve, or declining to take on a new project that would strain your already tight bandwidth  — these are the decisions we can make for our own mental health that help make us more focused while we are working and more easily unplug when we aren’t. Communicate your priorities to the people in your life.  Dr. Lakshmin encourages women to decide what your values are in your current season of life. Different seasons bring different priorities. Some seasons, she suggests, are for prioritizing your family, and some are for your professional work. You can communicate those to the people in your life. For example, if it’s important to you to have dinner with your family, then let your colleagues and clients know that you’ll be offline at 6pm. Setting those expectations creates clear boundaries your team and clients can respect. Sharing these priorities also humanizes us and can encourage our team and clients to do the same, creating a more empathetic workplace for all.  Feeling guilt does not mean you’re making the wrong choice.  Dr. Lakshmin recognizes that sometimes when we set boundaries as women, we feel a sense of guilt for putting ourselves first. In a society that conditions women to be the caretakers, this is an all too common reaction. She instead offers to think of your guilt as a faulty check engine light: just because you feel guilty does not mean something is wrong or that you’re making the wrong choice. Reframe it as building up your muscle to tolerate self-care.  Most importantly, Dr. Lakshmin reiterates, when you’re feeling burnt out, try to remind yourself this is a systemic issue. This is not something that we as women are creating for ourselves; instead, we are simply reacting to it. We must remember self-care is a verb, not a noun, and the real work is internal. We need to get our feelings out in a trusted space whether that’s with our partner, mentor, or friend. Holding those feelings inside will only work against us. Just like Dr. Lakshmin, when you take the risk to advocate for what you need and want in the workplace, you're empowering the women that are coming behind you as well as making yourself a better employee and partner to your clients. 

Most Popular House Plants Based On Search

We have all had different coping mechanisms since the pandemic began. Stuck inside, many of us realized how lifeless our living spaces were. Some of us opted to adopt a living, breathing, loveable dog (see Sean Adams’ article on the top quarantine pooches), but for many who were not ready to take that plunge – we chose another way to bring life inside. Yes, I’m talking about houseplants.   Houseplants became a newfound passion for many during their days in quarantine, and existing plant parents only seemed to expand their brood. Time seemingly has ground to a halt for the past year, and new leaves on my plants remain one of the only ways I am convinced that any time has passed at all.    To a pedestrian, keeping a plant alive may seem like child’s play. However as many of us new plant enthusiasts have learned, it is anything but. Many plants are sensitive, needy, and dare I say dramatic (looking at you, polka-dot plant!). As always when in doubt about really anything at all, troubled Americans turned to Google for help in their plant-parenting journey.   THE MOST POPULAR INDOOR PLANT DURING THE PANDEMIC: BATTLE OF THE PLANTS   We pulled historical data for the most searched houseplant keywords to see if the supposed quarantine plant craze is real (it is), and after that we set out to determine the ultimate pandemic plant. What was the most popular indoor plant during quarantine? Read on, reader. N.B. We have done our best to account for data related to Seth Rogan’s new business “Houseplant”   First, to prove I am completely normal for acquiring over thirty plants since last March, we looked at thousands of the most searched queries for the past several years that contained the phrase “houseplant” or “house plant” (yes, it makes a difference to Google). You can see plants were enjoying some popularity in 2019, but their moment in the sun truly arrived right as quarantine began. They saw some drop off over the winter, but are on the rise again this spring. This may be because plants don’t do as great in the winter, or because this winter was particularly depressing and we could all barely take care of ourselves, let alone our plants. All in all, house plant queries increased 97% between February and May 2020, when they began to total over half a million searches per month.    So, lots of folks decided that watching plants grow was more entertaining than anything else they were doing. Any millennial could have told you that. We wanted more; we wanted to know the absolute hottest quarantine plant. We wanted to know, if put to the test, who would prevail in a(n epic) battle of the plants? MOST POPULAR HOUSE PLANTS   To start our investigation, we first gathered a list of common houseplants and plugged them into our search listening tools to find out the most searched plant types. We didn’t stop there, because we wanted to know not only the most Googled house plants in general, but the one that saw the biggest spike in popularity during quarantine.   Of our list of 60+ common plants, the only one that did not see an increase in search interest between March and May of 2020 was aloe vera (go figure).    The most searched overall during May of 2020 -- the height of the plant craze -- was lily of the valley, followed by orchid and snake plant.      HIGHEST QUARANTINE SEARCH INTEREST   When we looked at which plant had the most dramatic change of search volume from the pandemic, certain plants stood out.        Although searches for lily of the valley skyrocketed during quarantine (+307% from March to May!), other plants made it out better with sustained interest post-spike. Notably, snake plants (+124%) and philodendrons (+124%) have held onto their newfound popularity quite well. Begonias (+233%) and hostas (+307%) and the lily of the valley both enjoyed lots of spring interest, but searches fell off in the winter. Today, they are rising once again to easily beat 2019 numbers.  Why are people searching for these particular plants? We took a deeper dive to see what questions people ask Google about their photosynthesizing friends.   ARE LILY OF THE VALLEY POISONOUS?   You may be asking yourself: How cool even is lily of the valley? In short, it’s cute, smells good and will bloom in the off season if you keep it inside. Sounds good on the surface level, but we found there may be a dark side to this sweet lil’ plant.    https://s7d1.scene7.com/is/image/terrain/53318663_000_a?$zoom2$    It turns out the most searched question related to Lily of the Valley did not have to do with their soil preferences or water schedule. Instead, searchers wanted to know: Are lily of the valley poisonous? (yikes!)   Well, are they? Yes! Lilies of the valley are very poisonous to humans, dogs and cats. Do not, we repeat, do not chop up some lily of the valley for your next summer salad. If you don’t have kids, pets or you are just trying to go full Breaking Bad, Lily of the Valley might be the perfect fit for you. If your life is otherwise fulfilling and you don’t want to casually keep poison in your home, maybe consider another plant.   HOW OFTEN TO WATER SNAKE PLANT?   Ah yes, the forgiving snake plant, also known as “mother in law’s tongue” (rude!), is a favorite among those who struggle to keep a pet rock happy. First-time snake plant owners want to get down to basics, (probably hoping to keep a plant alive, for once) so their most popular question was how often to water a snake plant?   Snake plants like dryness and do not need much water at all. In fact, it’s more likely you will overwater your snake plant than the chances it will perish of thirst. Adjust accordingly, but a snake plant really only needs to be watered once every two weeks. Make sure you give it a good drink!    https://www.thespruce.com/thmb/3ZzeafMMYBupme3O5dodMz3uoxI=/2048x1545/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/snake-plant-care-overview-1902772-04-3f69d04885af4613bf2eda197704fe20.jpg    HOW TO GROW BEGONIAS?    Begonias are hideous (I said it) yet still somehow achieved huge popularity during the initial months of quarantine. Yes, they have beautiful flowers. Yes, they come in a huge variety of size and shape. However, if you aren’t ready to wait for it to bloom (could be years if you are a mediocre plant parent), you’re gonna get real sick of looking at those misshapen crinkly hunks of leaves. Trust me.    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91awtOV4jTL._AC_SL1500_.jpg They happen to look pretty cool in this picture.   Popular questions searched about begonias are quite innocuous compared to the deathly lily of the valley. In fact, one of the most popular questions was simply how to grow begonias?   To which I would say, the only thing you have to remember is to not water it too much. Or too little. Also, it needs a good amount of sun, but also do not put it in a window with too much light. Oh, also, I’m sure you’ll do great at the whole plant thing, but don’t forget to fertilize it. But be very careful to not over fertilize! Prune it in the summer, but not too early. See? Plant parenthood is a piece of cake.    HOW TO PROPAGATE PHILODENDRON?    Philodendrons are the standbys of the plant world. Picture any plant right now, and there’s a good chance it's some variety of philodendron. Some of them have vines, some grow straight up and collectively they are all the craze. There are so many varieties, all seemingly unrelated to the next. There are the ultra-trendy monsteras, with their huge swiss-cheese leaves. Then there’s its cousin, the silver philodendron, that has shiny metallic patches on its leaves that cascade down vines.   http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0150/6262/products/the-sill_silver-satin_variant_small_grant_terracotta.jpg?v=1621860945 https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/cheese-plant.jpg  Seriously, how are these plants related?!   Philodendrons are living in their golden age; everyone wants a piece. So it’s no wonder one of the most popular questions was how to propagate philodendron?   To propagate a philodendron, the primary thing you need is courage, especially if it’s your first time (listen, I know it is scary chopping up your babies). With clean scissors or a knife, you’re going to need to lop off a leaf node from somewhere on your plant. Anywhere a leaf grows out of is the magic spot that needs to come with your new plant cutting so it will grow new roots and can be healthy by the time you gift it as a thoughtful housewarming present to your friend. Once you’ve secured a chunk of plant that includes a node, it will have to be placed in soil or water until it grows those oh-so-important root systems. Usually after a few weeks your plant cutting will grow roots and can be replanted!   SO WHO WON THE BATTLE OF THE PLANTS?   We officially decree a tie between lily of the valley and snake plants as the ultimate champions of quarantine plant battle. Although lily of the valley had stronger overall interest during the height of the plant craze, the snake plant has managed to hold on tight to its increased popularity and benefitted the most from our collective suffering. Essentially, the winners are “poison” and “an outdated joke about mothers in law.” Congratulations!   Now, only one question remains: will these two plants reign supreme in 2021? We’ll have to wait and see.   A BIT ABOUT AMP SEO   Every day, there are 3.5 billion Google searches about everything under the sun (including plants). Google is everyones’ most trusted adviser, strategist, and confidant. To know what people search for is to know their true concerns. After all, why would you lie to Google? And if enough people search for the same thing, our search listening tools can pick it up, and we can analyze the inner workings of American minds. By utilizing our Search Intelligence services, AMP can help you unlock a trove of valuable market intelligence data sourced directly from the Google queries of your customers. If you have an interest in analyzing search data to drive brand & business decisions or in monitoring search data on an ongoing basis for up-to-date audience insights, you may want to learn more about our SEO agency services.

Takeaways from The 2021 Women's Leadership Forum

AMP Attends the Ad Club Women’s Leadership Forum     On the eve of AMP’s quarterly mental health office closure, a group of AMP’s female associates virtually gathered to attend The Women’s Leadership Forum (2021) hosted by the Ad Club. The tagline of this year’s event, Nevertheless, She Persisted, was a foreshadowing of the primary theme throughout each session: persistence. By extension, this stands out as a reflection of an AMP core value: growth.    Fighting Invisibility     Gender and ethnicity also served as contextual backdrops for the stories told within each session. Award-winning author Gish Jen discussed her experience of becoming a novelist as an Asian American woman and the outside responses this frequently evoked. Being questioned as to why she wasn’t writing stories set in China was a common occurrence for Jen, and she explained that experiences like these often leave Asian Americans feeling invisible. However, instead of playing the role of a “professional victim”, as Jen puts it, she chose to stand her ground. Her decided response was: “Do Asians write about these topics? They do now.”    Making Intentional Choices    This notion of choice recurred throughout several sessions, with speakers explaining that having intentional responses to negative situations has profoundly shaped their journeys. Former NWHL Player & Pro Scout Blake Bolden owns that her successes have always come from the choices that she’s made. Growing up as a Black female, she had to rely largely on herself to make these choices as the sport lacked other Black females whom she could look up to. Now, Bolden is able to be that role model for other young women. “When you decide to wake up an choose to be better every single day, you’re not just making in an impact on yourself, but you could also be making an impact on someone else,” she noted while retelling the story of meeting a young Black girl who’d been inspired by Holden to play hockey. It was then that Holden realized she wasn’t just playing for herself, she was also playing for the people that she inspires. “You always have an option to choose,” she says.    Being Kind To Yourself    That said, getting better every day doesn’t mean working around-the-clock and ignoring burnout. To visual artist Nancy Floyd, giving herself permission to reflect and reset has allowed her to rediscover her passion for artistic endeavors that she’s become disinterred in. “Take baby steps,” she advises. “You don’t want to work out? Drive to the gym, and if you still don’t want to work out, drive home.” While she certainly isn’t a procrastinator, self-forgiveness and kind inner talk live at the center of Floyd’s creative process.    Staying The Course    During another session led by Wendy Ong, U.S. President of TaP Music & TaP records, listeners learned about her unconventional journey from a small apartment in Singapore to leading record labels and discovering top talent in the U.S. After moving to the U.S. with her then-husband, Ong did everything she could to land a job in the music industry, including blindly knocking on doors at record companies in NYC. After finally breaking into the scene, Ong experienced several years of success before a particularly disheartening experience at a label that left her wanting to quit the industry and return to Singapore. With the encouragement of her parents, she decided to keep marching towards her dreams. Now, as the President of a major U.S. record label, paving the way for other young women in the industry has become one of her primary passions. Noting that she wouldn’t want others to face the same struggles, she goes out of her way to “dust off the path for others so they can start their journey a little easier”.    Becoming Unstoppable  Each of these women come from vastly different backgrounds. Unwaveringly though, throughout their stories we are met first with persistence and then with growth. We quickly learn that when determination is combined with intentional choices, self-forgiveness and the understanding that actions can lead to positive change for not just the person taking action but others who look up to them as well, we become unstoppable.

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