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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.

Backyard Games To Remain Popular Post-COVID

In times of social distancing, how can we still connect with friends and play sports and games? We looked to Google Trends to find out which backyard games were more than just a COVID fad. We found that both cornhole and pickleball saw highs in search volume in the summer of 2020, and we predict that they will continue to trend up in 2021. Pickleball Pickleball had a spike in the summer months of 2020 and continues to rise in popularity through April 2021. According to Google Trends, the keyword “pickleball” had its highest search interest over the past 5 years in late April/Early May 2021. Users were mostly interested in the rules of the game and how to play. Some of the most popular pickleball keywords and questions were: Keyword April 2019 April 2020 April 2021 pickleball 246,000+ queries 201,000+ queries 550,000+ queries what is pickleball 22,200+ queries 18,100+ queries 60,500+ queries how to play pickleball 6,600+ queries 8,100+ queries 18,100+ queries pickleball court near me 6,600+ queries 6,600+ queries 40,500+ queries how to score in pickleball 320+ queries 390+ queries 880+ queries   Cornhole Looking at Google Trends over the last 5 years, we’ve seen seasonal spikes for cornhole searches in the summer months. However, cornhole saw its largest search interest in June 2020. As of the end of May 2021, this trend looks like it will continue – and potentially even pass – the volume of searches that we saw in 2020.  Keyword April 2019 April 2020 April 2021 cornhole 110,000+ queries 135,000+ queries 135,000+ queries how to make cornhole boards 5,400+ queries 18,100+ queries 8,100+ queries how to make cornhole bags 1,300+ queries 4,400+ queries 1,900+ queries bean bag toss 12,100+ queries 14,800+ queries 9,900+ queries custom cornhole board 8,100+ queries 12,100+ queries 14,800+ queries Yard Games Lastly, we found that people were searching for yard games in general, which may have led them to find cornhole or pickleball if they were previously unaware. Consumers were searching for any ways they could get outside and have some fun while social distancing. Some of the most popular keywords related to yard games we found were: Keyword April 2019 April 2020 April 2021 yard games 18,100+ queries 33,100+ queries 22,200+ queries lawn games 9,900+ queries 14,800+ queries 14,800+ queries backyard games 8,100+ queries 22,200+ queries 14,800+ queries backyard sports 1,900+ queries 6,600+ queries 2,900+ queries diy yard games 1,000+ queries 1,900+ queries 720+ queries   Game On What may have started out as a socially-distant, at-home activity novelty in the summer of 2020 has progressed into a behavioral change. These backyard games and sports have taken on a life of their own as more people become aware of the fun that could be had in their own yards. Will this trend continue beyond 2021? We can’t say for certain; but as for this summer, the popularity of these backyard games is increasing. Like how we pulled these insights from search data? Learn more about our SEO agency services.

After Pride: 6 Ways Your Brand Can Be an Ally to the LGBTQIA+ Community Year Round

If you’re reading this, it probably means that you, or your brand, are interested in becoming a stronger ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. Welcome! We’re happy you’re here. To our LGBTQIA+ readers, we hope this blog post will be a helpful resource for specific strategies and information that you can share with your brand, colleagues, employees, partners, or clients. At AMP Agency, we believe that people of all genders, sexual orientations, and romantic orientations deserve to feel safe, respected, loved, validated, and represented. Through this lens, we’ve curated a list of actionable ideas that your brand can incorporate into your workplace and year-round marketing efforts. 1. Establish an Atmosphere of Respect within Your Workplace Before your brand can be an LGBTQIA+ ally to the general public, it must be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ people behind the scenes. No matter how inclusive a campaign appears on the surface, it will feel inauthentic (and perhaps even disrespectful) if the brand that created it doesn’t treat its own employees equally and with respect. In addition to the following sections of this blog post, which include tips for brands to use internally and externally, here are a few more tactics you can use to make inclusivity a key component of your company culture: Hire LGBTQIA+ employees and work with LGBTQIA+ influencers, partners and clients year round. Did you know there are professional recruiting events specific to this community? There are also employment programs for community subgroups, like the SF LGBT Center’s Transgender Employment Program. Create employee resource groups to foster a sense of community among workers. For example, our parent company Advantage Solutions created the group PRISM to nurture personal and professional growth among our LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies. 2. Learn the Language and Use It Thoughtfully Like other cultural groups, the LGBTQIA+ community has its own language, which includes slang, acronyms, personal identifiers, and more. Learning appropriate terms and using them considerately in your workplace and marketing efforts can build authenticity, loyalty and respect. However, please keep in mind that your brand’s historic and internal use of the language will impact how the public receives your current, public usage of it.  For example, if you use the term “yasss” on a branded Pride shirt — a phrase that originated in 1980s ball culture among LGBTQIA+ people of color — and your brand has never previously spoken or acted in support of LGBTQIA+ individuals and/or people of color, that would not be a respectful or authentic use of the language. And more importantly, this surface-level celebration could come across as exploitative. When it comes to branded support, walking the walk must come before talking the talk. So, what does it look like when a brand thoughtfully uses language to support the community? Check out the inclusive work that Sephora has created in recent years, like their “Identify as We” campaign. Not only does it spotlight LGBTQIA+ people, their lives, and their pronouns, but it was also created by and for the community. Allure reported in 2019: "Both in front of and behind the camera, the campaign is populated with exclusively members of the LGBTQA+, transgender and gender-fluid community. Activists and influencers like Fatima Jamal and Hunter Schafer appear, putting on makeup, showing off beautiful hairstyles, or just plain old making out." It’s a great campaign on its own, but it’s even more powerful if you take into account Sephora’s continual allyship efforts. For example, they have beauty classes designed specifically for the transgender comunity. Authentically using language is important, but it’s most effective as part of a larger allyship initiative. With that in mind, here are some great resources for learning basic LGBTQIA+ terminology: The Trevor Project’s glossary of key terms The Safe Zone Project’s glossary of LGBTQ+ vocabulary “LGBTQ definitions every good ally should know” from USA Today GLAAD Media Reference Guide - Transgender Before we dive into the next section, we want to call out a few additional tips for thoughtfully using LGBTQIA+ language. First, language is fluid. The words we use are constantly changing in connotation, usage, and relevancy. For example, the term “queer” has historically been used as a slur, but many in the community have since reclaimed it. Still, others find the word offensive. Check out this article from them, a next-generation community platform, for a nuanced look at the term. Second, every member of the LGBTQIA+ community is an individual, and thus has their own unique cultural identifiers, preferences, and opinions. Think about which other cultural groups someone might identify with. This intersectionality may impact the language they use, like how the term “Two-Spirit” is used as a gender/sexuality/role identifier among some Indigenous North American communities. 3. Make Sharing Pronouns as Easy and Comfortable as Possible Across Your Brand Experience Pronouns can dramatically impact how an LGBTQIA+ person feels about themselves and others. Schuyler Bailar, the first trans D1 NCAA men’s athlete and owner of the popular Instagram account @pinkmantaray, explains the feeling of being misgendered in a 2020 blog post: When [you] call me the pronouns & name I no longer identify with, it says: You don’t exist. It says: I don’t see you and I value my view of you more than I value your comfort and safety. Misgendering me hurts my feelings a great deal. I know I might look a different way now than I did but I am still me. And I have always been me. And [you] using the name and pronouns that I use now – always, even with old pictures – is a way to validate that. To validate me. To say you see me.   Click the links below for resources you can use to better understand pronouns and how to apply them in daily life: LGBT Life Center’s “Understanding pronouns” guide “Pronouns 101: Why They Matter and What To Do (and Not Do) If You Misgender Someone” from Medium “Why You Should Put Your Pronouns in Your Bio” by Schuyler Bailar Once you’re more familiar with pronouns, start incorporating them into your company culture and brand strategy. How? Share your pronouns when introducing yourself to new clients, partners, or members of your workplace. Whether or not you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, this can create a safe space for people to share their pronouns, if desired. Add your pronouns to your social media bios, email signature, Zoom title — or anywhere else that might be relevant — as a sign to others that you support the LGBTQIA+ community. When your brand partners with an openly LGBTQIA+ individual, make sure you know their pronouns and how they identify before you post anything that specifically references their pronouns, sexuality, or gender. Be especially cautious when working with transgender and non-binary partners to make sure you don’t misgender or deadname anyone. (Deadnaming is when you refer to a transgender or non-binary person by their birth name or other former name. It’s often harmful and can be traumatic.) If your brand is creating a contact form or hosting a survey, consider adding a section for people to provide their pronouns. If you ask for someone’s gender, provide a variety of options to choose from, as opposed to the historically binary choices of “male” and “female.” Many governmental and medical forms still use this binary structure, which excludes many members of the LGBTQIA+ community. 4. Be Mindful of News, Cultural Events, and Legislation That Might Impact Your LGBTQIA+ Audience Since American marketing and advertising began, the LGBTQIA+ community has had to deal with exclusion, harassment and discrimination — both inside of and outside of the industry. That’s still true today.  When we create campaigns targeting or spotlighting this demographic, we should make sure we consider the personal, societal, cultural, and political issues our audience may be dealing with at the time they encounter our marketing. This is a tactful act of strategy as much as it is an act of allyship and empathy, because this insight makes your brand appear more in touch, aware, and authentic. At AMP, we loved working with Eastern Bank to bring their “Join Us For Good Good Votes” campaign to life. When transgender rights were being debated on a Massachusetts ballot in 2016 and 2018, Eastern Bank provided support to the transgender community through lobbying and rallying support, employee engagement, philanthropic assistance, and community engagement. This wasn’t just a one-time act of allyship, it’s consistent work. And we’re so proud we get to be a part of it. While Pride Month is an important time for the LGBTQIA+ community, allyship moments can arise at any time of year. Stay in the know, and act when something resonates strongly with your brand’s values and capabilities. 5. Resist “Rainbow Capitalism” and “Rainbow-Washing” When Designing Your Campaigns Custom Pride collections can be fabulous. Who doesn’t love a rainbow hoodie or “Y’all means all” bumper sticker? But they don’t often help a brand stand out from its competitors, especially not in June. And more significantly, these merchandise-based initiatives can occasionally worsen a brand’s reputation among the LGBTQ+ community, if they’re seen as rainbow capitalism or rainbow-washing. A recent CNN article defined rainbow capitalism as “the idea that some companies use LGBTQ allyship for their own gain.” In that same article, digital communication expert Chris Stedman is quoted as saying the following about Pride merch: "It feels like a violation in some ways because these companies are taking our language, our memes and our norms and using them for their own gain without fully understanding them or investing in the community. This language and imagery emerged in spaces that have been a refuge for people who haven't been safe and welcome in other communities. And I think that's why people are so bothered by it." Similarly, rainbow-washing “allows people, governments, and corporations that don’t do tangible work to support LGBTQ+ communities at any other time during the year to slap a rainbow on top of something in the month of June and call it allyship,” according to Social Media Coordinator Justice Namaste in this 2018 WIRED article. If your brand is exclusively supporting the LGBTQIA+ community through branded Pride merch, you might want to rethink your strategy. Here are some starter questions to get you headed in the right direction: What has my brand previously done to support the LGBTQIA+ community? How were those efforts received? Do I feel like my brand is genuinely helping with this campaign, or does it feel like we’re checking a box? How can my brand’s unique product or service improve the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community specifically? Is my company inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community in the work environment it creates, hiring tactics it uses, and resources it provides? Are there any openly LGBTQIA+ individuals on the client team, creative team, strategy team, etc. for this project? If not, might this be an issue? Does this campaign feel authentic? Authenticity is especially important here — partly because consumers in 2021 crave authenticity, and partly because this value plays a huge role in the LGBTQIA+ community. Embracing one’s LGBTQIA+ identity means letting your real self show up in a world that doesn’t always get you or respect you. That’s incredibly authentic. This year, Getty Images partnered with the non-profit GLAAD to improve LGBTQIA+ representation in advertising. We love this campaign because it tackles a relevant issue (increasing visibility of an underrepresented group), it’s authentic (campaign links directly to the Getty Images brand), and it’s creative. Another example of authentic marketing is Verizon’s moving “Love Calls Back” campaign. In both of these campaigns, the brands have innovatively used their products and services to make the world a better place for LGBTQIA+ individuals.   6. Keep Accessibility in Mind When Creating or Sharing Content According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has a disability. And PRNewswire reported in 2018 that “among lesbian, gay and, bisexual adults, 30 percent of men and 36 percent of women also identify as having a disability.” Creating accessible content is essential to allyship because many members of the LGBTQIA+ community (and their allies) have a disability. And if you want to have the most inclusive, intersectional and visible content possible, you should consider accessibility. A few starter ideas for making your brand content more accessible: Add alt text to your brand’s Instagram captions. You can either select automatically generated alt text, or customize it to add your brand’s personal flair. Use Instagram’s new automatic caption feature for Instagram Story. Learn how to improve your brand’s digital accessibility with the A11Y Project. Follow ADA-approved design guidelines. Final Thoughts Whether you’ve been an LGBTQIA+ ally for decades or are just getting started, we’re excited you’re putting the work in to become an ally year round. Remember that you and your brand aren’t always going to get it right, and that’s OK. All allies make mistakes, whether they’re individuals or Fortune 500 companies. It’s because we’re human. Making mistakes is a part of our growth process. What matters is that you hold your brand accountable in an authentic way and work to do better going forward. For example, if you accidentally misgender someone in a client meeting, apologize, correct yourself, then move on. Allyship matters all 12 months of the year, not just during Pride. How your brand shows up will be unique and ever-evolving, but it matters that you are showing up. Thank you.

App Tracking Transparency & Intelligent Tracking Prevention

Apple is aggressively pursuing end-user privacy improvements and marketing them as positive enhancements to their users; at Apple’s 2021 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC21) the company has announced several new privacy enhancements to the default applications and services within MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, and WatchOS. As with recent proposed changes to iOS14 and the App Store marketplace, the new enhancements are designed to provide transparency to end users about the ways in which they are tracked online and provide options to opt-out of tracking altogether. This will primarily take the form of increased notification popups prompting users to allow or deny permission to allow reporting of behaviors and activities from within applications, emails, and websites. “[The changes] will arrive as part of the fall software update to iOS 15, iPadOS 15, MacOS Monterey and iCloud.com.” At the moment these OS updates appear to be scheduled for release in September of 2021. As with the recent announcements by various providers to move to a cookie-less web in the near future, the changes Apple is introducing into its ecosystem are a clear indication that brands will need to take a thorough look at their marketing data collection procedures and usage of 3rd party services and trackers. Investments into 1st party data collection, server side analytics, and native in-app tracking events will help mitigate current and future marketing changes due to a rapidly evolving focus on user data privacy.  App Tracking Transparency (ATT) Starting with iOS 14.5 app developers must disclose tracking to the end-user and “ask users for their permission to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies” (see User Privacy and Data Use - App Store). This change led to a precipitous drop-off in opt-ins with nearly ~80% of the iOS 14.5+ user base choosing to decline participation in 3rd party tracking within apps. This is compounded by the iOS 14.5 adoption rate with 90% of devices released in the last 4 years running on iOS 14 and 85% of all iOS devices running iOS 14.  iOS 15 will now also include the ability to run a privacy report to review “how often each app has used the permission they’ve previously granted to access their location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts during the past seven days” and make changes as they see fit. Given the iOS 14 adoption metrics it can be presumed that the majority of iOS devices will update to iOS 15. Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) Intelligent Tracking Prevention has been included in Safari web browser versions going back to 2017 and was originally built to protect unsuspecting end-users from agents that were surreptitiously collecting data and inputs from browser sessions. The agents targeted were primarily spyware, malware, or other scripts built for nefarious uses such as identity theft. Overtime, ITP has evolved to also provide tracking protections from a much broader set of legitimate 3rd party tracking cookies and pixels. Similar to ATT, the intention of ITP is to provide web users with transparency into how, when, and who is tracking their browsing activities. ITP has the potential to prevent 3rd party tracking cookies and even analytics events (such as Google Analytics) from properly reporting activities or attributing activities to a unique user id. Although Safari does not make up a large market share of browser sessions, this may skew web analytics and events negatively. Safari 15 will be included in the rollout of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and MacOS Monterey with some minor updates to ITP 2.3 such as blocking agents from recording a user’s IP address. The lack of IP availability makes it much more difficult to stitch together user profiles from other data sources and will have an impact on marketing activities such as retargeting.  Apple is now also including ITP in other default applications with the biggest impact being the inclusion of ITP into Apple Mail. This inclusion in Apple Mail is significant to both MacOS and iOS devices as it will potentially prevent tracking pixels contained within HTML emails from loading, severely impacting email open and click metrics. This is especially concerning as the Apple Mail app in iOS currently makes up 38.9% of total email client market share. Desktop Apple Mail makes up 11.5% of market share for a total impact of potentially 50% of all users sent marketing emails not reporting basic email metric information. Link decoration has been a common work around to some of the challenges that ITP has presented wherein data is included in the URL query string of links that can be detected and read on the target server. Another approach is to pass links through a proxy service that tracks clicks and attribution before redirecting to the intended destination. This allows 3rd party services to exchange information about a user to each other without cookies or database connections. Common examples of link decoration include Google UTM parameters for GA attribution or Facebook Client IDs for FB conversion pixels. Link decoration detection and suppression have been part of ITP since version 2.2 and its inclusion in Apple Mail makes tracking pixel workarounds within emails incredibly difficult and not worthwhile.  In addition as a result of these changes to cookie policy in ITP, all Safari client cookies not set explicitly with a “Set Cookie” http header will expire in one day. On subsequent visits outside the initial 1-day timeframe, the user would be tracked as a new visitor. These non-explicit cookies are typically assigned from Javascript snippets using the “document.cookie” method. The forced expiration of cookie trackers especially affects tracking of anonymous visitors who have not been identified to the app/web-site via a 1st party login mechanism. The forced expiration of cookies in this manner makes it harder to track full user journeys as there are no easy solutions to link customer touch-points.  iCloud Plus: Hide My Email & Private Relay Apple has also updated iCloud with a new iCloud Plus subscription option that includes two new privacy features: Hide My Email and Private Relay. Hide My Email allows the user to generate a one-off alias email address for use in marketing forms as a means to protect the user’s true email address; Apple will allow the user no limit to the number of aliases in use. Since the user will potentially sign up with multiple email aliases across different services it removes a key piece of personal information used in data stitching across various data sources. Private Relay is effectively an Apple provided VPN service that uses a double blind strategy to ensure that the user’s web activities are hidden from their ISP and Apple. With Private Relay in effect there will be no ability for IP tracking to occur in any browser or application while the user is connected. Since iCloud Plus is a paid subscription service it is unclear as to what the adoption rate may be across Apple devices but it can be estimated based on reported subscriptions across other Apple services to be in the 100M+ market share. In Summary Transparency and notification to end-users of 3rd party tracking has become a de-facto standard within Apple ecosystem User who are provided notification and opt-in/opt-out decision buttons select to opt-out the majority of the time as has been shown with iOS ATT notifications Primary keys such as email address and IP address are increasingly being obfuscated on Apple devices making user data augmentation and stitching of customer profiles increasingly difficult ITP is targeting workaround mechanisms such as link decoration, proxy servers, unique user ID (UUID) assignments, and social media buttons to prevent unintentional data sharing from end-users which is making conversion and attribution tracking increasingly difficult from Apple devices and browsers Inclusion of ITP into Apple mail clients may severely impact basic email metric reporting and any downstream campaign logic or optimizations built on basic email KPIs (e.g. open email triggers next campaign step) Continued evolution of privacy evaluations and criteria in ITP may impact conversion tracking, attribution, and basic web metric reporting from Safari based browsers  Any easy technical workarounds to ITP are likely to be suppressed in future ITP updates as has been shown in ITP development history so far Owned technologies and platform solutions are very resource intensive but provide brands a more future-proof solution in an evolving privacy landscape Conclusion With all of the proposed privacy changes to the Apple ecosystem as well as changes in the broader Internet software market it is becoming increasingly key for brands to own and architect their own data collection mechanisms as a means to ensure meaningful marketing signals are still accessible. Efforts should be made across several workstreams: Increase 1st party data collection through owned channels so that key identifiers such as email, name, contact information are collected Drive collection via compelling content Exclusive promos Exclusive content Uniqure offers or forms of loyalty programs Rotating editorial content Exemplary service such as concierge services Foster 2-way conversations Store data in owned data warehouses or data lakes Increase conversion of anonymous users to registered users to enable deeper behavioral tracking and prevent ITP and VPN blockage of key metrics by utilizing identifiable 1st party app sessions (cookies) Reduce reliance on 3rd party vendors and service providers including Data brokers (list buys) SaaS analytics Data insights augmented with non 1st party data Channel attribution from 3rd party mechanisms such as query string links (see below) Social media login mechanisms that don’t generate a local session Where possible implement owned server side analytics to track key events and ensure continued capture of behaviors that enable marketing segmentation Key app events (both web and mobile) Key page/screen views Registrations and logins Evaluate experiments, optimizations or smart campaign flows that rely on open and click email metrics for potential impact Drip campaigns are of particular concern Evaluate usage of attribution or other data sharing through URL query string parameters or proxy domains (such as link shortening services) These are potentially impacted by ITP

Google Search Trends Insights May 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 May 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 Highest Queried Phrase in May 2021 (according to Google Trends) Unlike other months where we see multiple keyword phrases hit the maximum query number, we only have one to report for this May.  Memorial Day - 5/30/2021- 10,000,000+ queries Even though this term is related to a holiday and the unofficial start of summer in the USA, the query numbers were aided by a Google Doodle which records a query with every click on the modified Google logo. AMP thinks the lack of compelling news stories this month was the reason we didn’t see many 10 million+ queried terms, which is probably a good thing. May 2021’s Other Holidays and Special Occasions Memorial Day may have been the holiday that got the most queries, but there were other days in May that sparked the need to search for information using Google: US Teacher Appreciation Week - 5/2/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Cinco de Mayo - 5/4/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Cinco de Mayo - 5/5/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Happy Mother's Day! - 5/7/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Mother's Day 2021 - 5/9/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Happy Mother's Day - 5/9/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Teacher Appreciation Week is a subject that makes the top 3 most queried terms in Google Trends on an annual basis. It has grown in popularity over the last 5 years. With the pandemic raging last year, it hit new heights, which you can see in this chart:   In 2021, the topic wasn’t as popular as it was last year, but that can be expected. AMP does anticipate that this week will become a more popular gift giving season in future years. The two other holidays, Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day, had multiple entries across multiple days. We found the 2 day Cinco De Mayo queries interesting as it may show the last minute planning that is associated with this holiday.   As for Mother’s Day – who doesn’t enjoy seeing an exclamation as a top queried phrase? Looking at the data, Mother’s Day continues to be a popular May holiday for US search audience. Top Movies and TV Shows To understand the popularity of a movie or TV show, AMP Agency looks closely at Google Trends top queried phrases. Here are the films, trailers and TV shows that were searched for the most in May 2021: Those Who Wish Me Dead - 5/14/2021 - 500,000+ queries The Woman in the Window - 5/14/2021 - 500,000+ queries Army of the Dead - 5/21/2021 -1,000,000+ queries A Quiet Place 2 - 5/27/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Cruella - 5/28/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Friday the 14th was a big night for streaming as two films were made available on that day. Towards the end of the month, the sequel to A Quiet Place and a 101 Dalmatians prequel of sorts drove search interest. Previews of upcoming films sparked the imaginations of searchers with the trailers being released in May: Dear Evan Hansen - 5/18/2021 -500,000+ queries Eternals - 5/24/2021 - 500,000+ queries The film version of Dear Evan Hansen is set to be released in September 2021 and Eternals has a November 2021 release date. Fans of the ‘90s television show Friends seeked more information about the cast’s reunion that was available to be streamed on HBO Max: Friends reunion - 5/27/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries At 2 million plus queries, it was the most popular TV event of the month, using search interest as a proxy. Finance and Technology With the meme-stock trend that started back in January of this year, the AMP Agency team has been keeping a close eye on keywords related to financial matters. Here are the top phrases for May 2021.  AMC stock - 5/13/2021 - 200,000+ queries AMC stock - 5/26/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Keywords related to stock of the movie theater chain made the top 3 of Google Trends twice in May as speculation about the stock’s price was in the news and discussed on message boards. Phrases related to cryptocurrency were prevalent during May 2021: Dogecoin - 5/3/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Elon Musk - 5/8/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Dogecoin - 5/9/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Bitcoin price - 5/12/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Bitcoin price - 5/16/2021 - 500,000+ queries Bitcoin price - 5/19/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Queries into Dogecoin and Bitcoin led the pack this month, and Elon Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live had effects on query volume related to cryptocurrency. The more recent queries about Bitcoin were driven by its falling price. Lastly, the gasoline shortage fueled by (pun intended) a ransomware hack drove people to search for gas price apps: GasBuddy - 5/11/2021 - 500,000+ queries   NBA Playoffs A clear indication that things are getting back to normal, keywords related to sports took up a third of all of the queries we collected for the month. The biggest segment of sports queries were related to the NBA playoffs. Here’s the list of NBA team name keywords that spiked when the team was playing. Warriors - 5/16/2021 - 500,000+ queries Celtics - 5/18/2021 - 500,000+ queries Lakers - 5/19/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Miami Heat - 5/22/2021 - 500,000+ queries Knicks - 5/23/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Lakers - 5/25/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Clippers - 5/25/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Knicks - 5/26/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Lakers - 5/27/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Celtics - 5/28/2021 - 500,000+ queries Celtics - 5/30/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Seeing the Lakers and Celtics make the list 3 times each is bittersweet since they were both knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. Oh well – there’s always next year. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we invite you to learn more about our SEO services. Until next month.

What is the Most Popular Dog Breed After COVID?

Engagements. Breakups. Weddings. Pregnancy announcements. Needless to say, a lot of major life events filled peoples’ timelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of our personal favorites to see at AMP was the increase in pet adoptions – specifically dogs. This surge in furry friends not only brought smiles to our faces, but an important question to the front of our SEO team’s minds: What is the most popular dog breed since COVID? An analysis of the most queried “adopt + dog breed” searches shows which kinds of pooches Americans gravitated towards when looking for some extra company during the doldrums of the COVID-19 quarantine, and which dogs breeds are the least popular according to organic search data. How did you determine the most popular dog breeds? To identify the most popular pups during COVID, AMP used DogTime.com’s list of All Dog Breeds to create a list of 455 dog breeds and breed-mixes. We then added the word “adopt” before each breed, meaning breed names like “Border Collie” became “Adopt Border Collie.” Once we had our final list, we entered the queries into Google Ads Keyword Planner and exported the last 48 months worth of Monthly Search Volume data about each breed, going back to April 2017. “MSV” is the rough number of queries a keyword gets in organic search. Since Google is the most popular search engine in the country by far, we use their data to paint the most accurate picture we can of the search habits of the American public. Using this data, we can visualize interest spikes for certains breeds and try to correlate them with real world events – most notably the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders when many American realized just how empty their houses could get as hours spent inside turned to days and weeks. Most popular dog breeds before and after COVID: Keyword Avg MSV adopt golden retriever 14,300 adopt french bulldog 13,815 adopt corgi 11,219 adopt pug 9,952 adopt greyhound 8,075 adopt husky 7,260 adopt dachshund 6,525 adopt poodle 6,144 adopt pomeranian 5,681 adopt chihuahua 5,546 Do you know someone with a new Golden? Evidence suggests you might. Maybe it was all the Tucker Budzyn videos we were watching during quarantine, but as can be plainly seen, the popularity of Golden Retrievers surged higher than any other breed during quarantine and continued to do so after, reaching new highs in interest in November 2020 and January 2021. Before the quarantine, the ever-Instagramable French Bulldog (or “Dutchie” as they are known colloquially) was the most sought-after dog during the majority of months throughout the last four years. You can see it indicated by the orange line on the graph. Many other breeds have been the “breed of the month” since May 2017. Corgis, Greyhounds, and Pugs have all competed for the top spot. “Adopt Greyhound” in particular experienced a major MSV increase in November of 2018, which correlates with a ban on Greyhound racing overwhelmingly passed by Florida voters in that month. Since at the time Florida contained 11 of the country’s 17 remaining dog tracks, there was a massive newsburst relating to how Americans could adopt these soon to be jobless pups.  https://lifehacker.com/how-to-adopt-a-racing-greyhound-after-the-florida-ban-1830343694  Which dog breeds are the most adopted according to organic search interest? When users are specifically looking to “adopt” a breed, these are the ten breeds they are most likely to search: Keyword Avg MSV adopt golden retriever 14,300 adopt french bulldog 13,815 adopt corgi 11,219 adopt pug 9,952 adopt greyhound 8,075 adopt husky 7,260 adopt dachshund 6,525 adopt poodle 6,144 adopt pomeranian 5,681 adopt chihuahua 5,546 According to our data, April and May 2020 were nearly tied for the most popular month ever to adopt a dog, showing that at a time when spirits were down and man needed a friend, there was none better than his (or her) best. With this in mind, humans have been doing a great job upholding their end of the bargain. Since the start of the pandemic, interest in adopting different breeds of dogs has grown by an average of 81% over pre-quarantine numbers. Which breeds benefited most from the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders? The Lagotto Romagnolo sticks out to us as the single breed with the greatest increase in sustained interest resulting from the stay-at-home orders, presumably because “I just adopted a new Lagotto Romagnolo” is so fun to say. This guy https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/lagotto-romagnolo  Over the last 48 months, 67.85% of all searches for “adopt Lagotto Romagnolo” came during the last 13 months, March 2020 to April 2021. In March 2020, MSV was 480 searches a month; however, April showed a growth of 83% to 880. Which are the least popular dog breeds during stay-at-home orders? Pretty much all dogs got a boost during the COVID lockdowns from the Affenpinscher to the Yorkshire Terrier. That being said, some breeds did see a reduction in adoption interest since the start of quarantine, or at least didn’t experience the interest bump that other breeds saw. The least popular breeds during quarantine are shown below and they are, for the most part, unsurprisingly, NOT creatures you would want to be stuck with indoors. The honorees are semi-feral Canaan Dog- a variety of Jordanian street dog, and the presumably entirely feral Australian Dingo. Cute, but not an optimal Netflix companion. The 3.5 billion different Google searches that take place every single day are all the result of human curiosity. We trust search engines with our most intimate and our most mundane questions. While your individual search history will always hopefully remain anonymous, the aggregate search history of the public at large is not. If a query is asked often enough, by enough unique individuals, it will be assigned an average number of monthly searches. We can make use of this information by exploring the many different queries relating to a topic and analyzing how the search volume of different queries changes from month to month. 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.

YouTube vs. TikTok – Which Is The Better Educational Platform?

YouTube is the world’s favorite teacher We’ve all been there: you need to fix something, cook something, build something, or understand how the heck something works and the last thing you want to do is read a manual or a lengthy blog post. So, you hop onto YouTube for a tutorial or explainer for the problem at hand. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. According to Think with Google, 7 in 10 YouTube viewers use the platform to help with a problem they’re having with their work, hobbies, or studies. 86% of US users say they often use the platform to learn something new. Especially now, consumers are flocking to YouTube for how-to’s and classes while stuck at home.  But there’s a new educational platform in town – TikTok. A growing number of consumers are leveraging TikTok for inspiration and lessons in every area, using #TikTokMadeMeDoIt to track their results. The platform is even looking into baking this behavior into their interface, testing a dedicated “Learn” tab to host snackable educational content.  Putting platforms to the test The benefits of quality explainer content go beyond helping people with day to day tasks. Brands can leverage this content to educate consumers about their products or related topics, engaging and helping their targets to build a deeper connection. But a major question still remains: what platform is the better teacher?  We decided to put them both to the test by trying out tutorial videos on both YouTube and TikTok from two of the most popular categories: cooking and crafts. Each of us took a week to try a tutorial from each platform in our respective categories. Along the way we learned the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, implications for brands who want to dip their toe in the educational waters, and whether or not that viral ramen dish tastes as good as it looks.  Shelby’s Tutorial Head-to-Head: Cooking  TikTok Tutorial One day while scrolling through TikTok, I stumbled upon a video of someone making ramen. The yellow noodles were covered in a miso peanut sauce and made a satisfying squishing sound – a sign of any great noodle dish. Completely entranced, I watched as the cook broke down how to create this comforting meal in ten easy steps, most of which were just combining the sauce’s ingredients in a white ramekin. While watching the cook make the ramen dish reeled me in, it was the simplicity of the recipe that truly sold me on trying to make it myself.  Luckily, I already had most of the ingredients lying around, but I needed to get some ramen. Running to Whole Foods, I was a little disappointed in their slim selection of noodles. Most of them looked a little too healthy to actually taste good, but then I remembered the TikTok cook saying that any ramen noodle would do; so I grabbed a box and checked out. This was my first mistake.  After getting home, I gathered all of my supplies and returned to the TikTok video. Even though the measurements showed up on both the screen and in the voiceover, I was having a hard time getting them right because the video moved so quickly. After missing a crucial step (I didn’t reserve some of the ramen water, which the cook deemed essential) and having to listen to the same audio play over, and over, and over again, my boyfriend recommended that I screenrecord the video so I can pause, rewind, and play with ease. Brillant.  I followed the cook’s suggestion of adding bok choy and sautéed bell peppers (he used mushrooms, but I can’t get past their texture) to the finished product. Did it look as enticing as the bowl featured in the video? No. I have the thin, healthy, organic ramen noodles from Whole Foods to thank for that. But, did it taste good? For the most part, yes. The flavors were amazing, and the texture was fine. However, not having the right noodles really put a damper on the whole dish. The TikTok cook led me in the right direction with the sauce, but the “any noodle will do” bit was my ramen’s downfall. YouTube Tutorial Discovering a recipe on YouTube was not nearly as organic as it was on TikTok. YouTube’s algorithm shows you videos on your homepage that you might be interested in based off of other content you’ve watched. This makes sense. However, all of my suggested videos were either related to yoga, drag queens, or makeup tutorials - not very helpful in this particular instance. I knew that I wanted to bake something, but I really didn’t know where to start. Relying on my previous baking and cooking knowledge, I decided to search for some well-known chefs to get the ball rolling.  After skimming through a couple of Ina Garten videos (the Barefoot Contessa), I was served suggested videos that might interest me along the right side of the screen. That’s when I saw videos from the Bon Appétit YouTube account. BA’s YouTube channel, and the company in general, has recently come under fire for numerous reasons (foodies will know), but these recommended videos reminded me of a recipe that I have always been dying to try: Claire Saffitz’s Blood Orange and Olive Oil Cake. Reinspired, I took to the search bar to find a video that would help make my citrus confectionary dreams come true.  Not being picky, I clicked on the first suggested video and followed an amateur’s baking journey. Interestingly enough, he decided to also bake a version of Saffitz’s cake with more pedestrian ingredients along with the original recipe. This off-the-cuff element was surprising and transformed the once-traditional tutorial format into an exciting experiment.  The video was definitely longer than your typical TikTok video, but I didn’t mind the extra time since it included helpful tips and tricks pulled straight from Saffitz’s book. I’m a visual learner, so the close-ups of how the batter should fall off the whisk when it’s done and other visual cues were extremely helpful. I also was thoroughly appreciative of being able to easily pause, rewind and play the video – something that definitely tripped me up while trying to follow the TikTok recipe.  All in all, my cake wasn’t as beautiful as Claire Saffitz’s,. But guess what? Neither was the YouTuber’s! As someone who has a hard time when my final products don’t match the original inspiration, this greatly comforted me. Following a video from a baker with a similar skill level as me and not stressing about having to play the video over and over again to view the ingredients really allowed me to have fun. Julia’s Tutorial Head to Head: Crafts  TikTok Tutorial  My first experiment started unintentionally. While scrolling through TikTok, I was served a video showing a now-viral trend of a woman turning old glassware into chic faux ceramics using a coating of paint mixed with baking powder. That’s it. Mix, paint, done. No ratios, no specific recommendations for the types of glassware. I was skeptical that the project was that easy, but the results looked so good, I was eager to try it out.  I took one more look at the video and grabbed the paint and baking supplies lying around my apartment, along with an old vase from a flower delivery. I added a heaping tablespoon of baking powder to the paint (let’s be honest, it wasn’t an actual tablespoon. I used a plastic spoon from the takeout I had forgotten to trash), and voila! I had a thick, foamy coating that looked exactly like the mixture in the video.  Thirty minutes and a few decorative details later, I had a cute vase that looked as if I had discovered it in a small, beach town shop and not in the literal recycling bin. As the kids say, I was shook. YouTube Tutorial  My journey into YouTube crafts was not as organic. I stared at my homepage for a few seconds until I lamely typed “crafts” into the search. The first few videos I was served were from the much maligned 5-Minute Crafts series which featured explainers for gold plating your toilet (not really my style) and how to sneak food into a club by taping it to your body (not a craft; also, gross). There were also several supercuts of DIYs using items from stores like Dollar Tree, but clocking in at 30+ minutes, they seemed too long to sift through. I figured I needed to narrow things down and searched “paper mache” to fuel my new upcycled-craft obsession, which gave me thousands of videos with different project ideas. I ended up choosing an intriguing yet approachable short video from DIY Mom titled “How to Make Papier-Mâché - Unicorn Head Paper Mache”. Luckily, the extra time was appreciated as I parsed out how to approximate the shape of a horse head out of newspaper. This is where pausing and rewinding came in handy as well, as I needed to take a second look at the example in the video, and quickly skipped over any filler monologue and the big reveal at the end. Overall, the format worked well with the more involved project.  Platform Pros & Cons    YouTube  Pros Cons Unlimited time to dive into complex topics and details. Creators will often pad videos with excessive and unnecessary information. Users can easily pause, fast forward, and rewind to review specific notes. The sheer amount of content requires some sifting to find the best choice. Videos are easily searchable. Limited discovery – users must have a rough idea of what they’re looking for at the start of a search. Has a very personal feeling due to its blogging format. Overly-polished influencers can be intimidating or off putting. Best practice tips include featuring bloopers or outtakes. AKA, making mistakes is okay. Recommended videos aren’t always as directly related to those you’re currently watching.   TikTok  Pros Cons Content is quick and digestible. Videos are difficult to pause and often have to be rewatched multiple times. The For You Page adds an element of fun and discovery. Searching for content isn’t as clear. Tutorials are easy and straightforward for the most part. The library of videos is more limited, especially if you’re looking for a specific answer. The overall style of the platform is looser, more playful, and more relatable. Format is limiting for more complex explainers. Creators frequently respond to followers’ comments and questions. Users are not able to organize saved TikToks, so it can take time to find a specific saved video. By interacting with tutorial videos you’re interested in, the algorithm will make sure similar videos are featured on your For You Page. Having to listen to the same audio over and over again can be irritating.   There’s a lag between tapping the video and it actually pausing.   Implications for Brands Be where your audience – or potential audience – is Spoiler alert: There’s no winner when it comes to YouTube vs. TikTok tutorials. Instead, marketers should think about where their targets spend their time and how they search for information.  Understand your brand’s social ecosystem Think about how you can leverage your other channels to drive to your video content, or vice versa, to boost engagement and create a holistic social experience.  Deliver unique yet relevant tutorials that fit to your brand Think about how you can make your content stand out from the sea of videos while still being helpful. This could be achieved by showcasing a new recipe or a creative makeup look.  Save more complex tutorials for YouTube, and lighter ones for TikTok If a tutorial can’t be simplified, leverage YouTube’s longer run time. Shorter tutorials should go to TikTok, rather than trying to stretch them out.  Consider who is representing your brand If you choose to leverage influencers or talent for your videos, consider how well they deliver information and if they fit with your overall brand look and feel. Make sure content feels native to the platform Content should fit with the look and feel of each platform. For YouTube, that means well-lit, quality videos that are clear and digestible. For TikTok, content can be looser and shot on a phone camera, using native editing styles. 

Hey Brands - These Summer Food + Beverage Days Are Popular!

Since January 2019, The AMP Agency SEO team has been tracking the top three most searched queries, as reported by Google Trends, on a daily basis. Over this time, we noticed that national days of celebration have been popular drivers of search behavior. Some of these national days have been dedicated to food or beverages. Because we have been recording and tracking these phrases over the last 2+ years, we’ve gotten a taste of what national days may be popular in the future. For this article, we are focusing on a few food and beverage “holidays” that occur in the summer. Over the last several years, these days have been gaining popularity in search interest. This year, the stars are aligning for these days to reach peak popularity. AMP Agency believes that this type of data (trending search queries) attached to brand-friendly topics (National Celebration Days) can be a powerful tool for our clients and prospects in planning their marketing activities.   Now there are many National Celebration Days during the year. It seems every day is a holiday for something, if you look at the right calendars. The issue is that not all days are as popular as others. Below are three National Days that have captured the imaginations of a large group of the populace and are primed for a cultural explosion this summer.   National Doughnut or Donut Day  This national day is celebrated in the United States and in some other countries on the first Friday of June of each year. Here’s a chart from Google Trends that shows the search interest in this holiday over the last 5 years. AMP Agency pulled data based on Trends’ categorization of this query as a “Celebration”, which compiles data of related queries and displays them in one chart. As you can see, there is a small spike in interest during the month of November. From our research, we learned there is a less popular competing National Doughnut day that occurs on November 5th.  Because of behavioral changes caused by the pandemic, the interest in the June observation of this holiday was not as large as in prior years. AMP believes that this popularity will rebound in 2021 as more people get vaccinated and donut lovers will feel more free to enjoy a treat on June 4th. National Ice Cream Day  National Ice Cream Month is celebrated each year in July, and in the United States, National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in July. This chart from Google Trends shows the search interest in the holiday since 2016: This day of celebration has some real clout – it was signed into law back in July of 1984 by President Reagan. Although the search interest waned a bit in July of 2020, July 18th of this year should prove to be a wonderful day of honoring and consuming ice cream!  National Tequila Day  The only fixed date of the bunch, every July 24th is the day that Americans can set aside time to celebrate National Tequila Day. This Google Trends chart conveys the rising popularity of this National celebration day: Many of the websites we reviewed when researching this holiday stated that its origin is unknown. Looking at the all-time Google Trends data, National Tequila Day became a measurable search term in 2007 and gained its first spike of search query activity in July of 2009. With a return to social gatherings this summer, the popularity of this day could see new heights. How Can Brands Prepare There’s a bigger takeaway from this article than just the fact that people have interests in days that celebrate donuts, ice cream, and tequila. Clearly these are not traditional holidays – and the public’s interest in them is fueled by free giveaways and brand promotions. Brands have the ability to capitalize on national days of celebration and it seems like most days in the calendar have been designated already to be a special day set aside to celebrate something. Not all national days of celebration are popular, but they have the potential to be. Brands can own these days with proper planning. With AMP’s Search Listening platform, we’re able to predict what days are gaining interest and can instruct brands on the search terms they are using when seeking information about the special day. This data can be used to create a marketing campaign to reach and engage your target audience. So, work with us and we can set a plan together. Is there a National Day of Celebration that makes sense for your brand? Does your audience know about it already? Is there an opportunity to add to the momentum or do we need to build it up from scratch? Additionally, if your brand is in either the Doughnut/Donut, Ice Cream, or Tequila industry, contact us right away!

The Intersection of Relationships and Empathy in PR and Influencer Marketing

The Intersection of Relationships and Empathy in PR and Influencer Marketing The nature of the job for public relations professional and influencer is to inform, drive and capitalize upon trends and insights, but the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the tumultuous political landscape in 2020 resulted in a re-evaluation of how we approach important conversations and relationships with media contacts, influencer partners and all of their respective audiences, and that is bleeding into how we march forward in 2021. Understanding the intersection of new and continued relationships and cognitive empathy will drive success in 2021 across all marketing disciplines, especially within the public relations and influencer marketing world. Here are five important pillars that reflect what we learned and applied throughout the course of last year, and how it can help move brands forward: Build Solid Foundations for Trust Whether it’s in developing trust with new press contacts or influencer partners, the first step to truly building a solid foundation for trust is demonstrating an understanding of workload and being transparent surrounding your goals or those of your clients. This can be accomplished from the very beginning by developing a thought-out program brief outlining everything from content usage and timeline requirements or even priority storylines to help streamline any work that needs to be completed on the partners’ end. These first steps serve as a kicking off point for continued conversations and a mutual understanding that their time is valuable, ultimately gaining points and trust with any type of partner. Utilize Shared Experiences and Values While it can be difficult to break through to new contacts, what better way to get someone’s attention than to start up a conversation about a shared experience or value you may hold? Perhaps you recently saw an article pointing to a product or service you chose to try thanks to the very media contact you’re reaching out to, then mention that. Or maybe you saw the influencer you’re working to secure visited that donut shop you’ve been meaning to try—use that as a starting point for your potential relationship. Utilizing shared experiences and values is an approach that can humanize the person behind the email and show a media contact or influencer that you took the time to be thoughtful in your engagement with them. Prioritize Personalized Communications In 2020, it became blatantly clear that pitching products or generically conducting outreach to influencers just wasn’t enough anymore, not when there was so much noise to break through across all industries. On top of that, media newsrooms shrunk dramatically, making it more difficult, and even more important, to prioritize personalized communication. Dedicating time to researching each and every media contact and influencer, followed by tailored outreach, is a sure way to balance the messaging you’re trying to get across while also remaining human and showing that you’ve paid attention. An example would be to put yourself in the shoes of an influencer partner you’re trying to reach who you know just recently had a new baby. How would you approach communication with someone that likely has a lot on their plate but would benefit from a partnership with the brand you’re representing? Prioritize a hyper-personalized note that will mutually help you gain perspective on their current situation while also educating them on how you’re here to potentially help make their every day easier. Understand Transparency Openness, clear communication and accountability all factor into understanding transparency, and ensuring this pillar is a part of all relationships you curate is paramount. When it comes to any media or influencer relationship, being up front and clear about your goals, expectations and preferred outcomes helps guide conversations and educates both you and your contact. As it pertains to influencers, we found it was particularly important to be in tune with upcoming local and national events to appropriately communicate any needs to shift posting dates. Being empathetic and mindful of the larger cultural atmosphere ensures that both the brand and the partner do not risk coming off as tone deaf during a sensitive time. Develop Genuine Long-Term Humanized Relationships Once a solid foundation is built and trust has been established, development of that genuine long-term humanized relationship isn’t as difficult as it might seem. At the end of the day, behind every screen is a person, just like you, curious and happy to be asked about their day or their recommendation for a fun at-home activity they recently enjoyed. Staying in tune to what is happening in the media or influencer’s life can be a great way to do this, i.e. sending flowers for an engagement or sharing condolences on a recent loss. Authentic and continued empathy is the key to developing genuine long-term humanized relationships. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that people like to be acknowledged for their work and capabilities, but through a humanized lens. Finding the right intersection between new and current relationships and cognitive empathy has the legs to make anyone a great communicator, not just a skilled public relations or influencer marketer. When we put people at the center of our business we are all better together and can prioritize a listening first approach to further foster unconventional ideas that will grow brands.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of March 15, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. INSTAGRAM TESTS NEW AUTO-CAPTIONS OPTION FOR INSTAGRAM STORIES This would be a welcome addition for many social media managers. Instagram's currently testing out a new 'Closed Captions' sticker for IG Stories, which generates automated captions for your Stories clips in a range of text formats. Read More FACEBOOK OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES TEST OF OPTION TO SHARE INSTAGRAM REELS TO FACEBOOK Facebook has been working to quell the app's growth where it can, and stop both Facebook and Instagram users from migrating across to the short video app. Read More   TWITTER IS TESTING A NEW, FULL-IMAGE DISPLAY IN TWEET TIMELINES, SUPPORT FOR 4K IMAGES Twitter is testing a new way to display images in tweet timelines, which would see full images shown in tweets, as opposed to cropped previews. Read More   That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

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