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Our industry is ever-changing. Get insights and perspective from our experts as we share our knowledge and experience on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.

Jessica Dancewicz joins AMP Agency as VP of Account Management

We’re excited to announce that Jessica Dancewicz has joined the AMP team as the new Vice President of Account Management.  Dancewicz will manage the agency’s relationship with clients and leading initiatives that go beyond digital-marketing campaigns, using personalization technologies and deepening connections with customers across all touch points. Dancewicz joins AMP after a long career with MullenLowe.  Check out this featured spotlight  in Ad Age’s People on the move: https://adage.com/people-on-the-move/jessica-dancewicz

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of May 3, 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. TIKTOK LAUNCHES LEAD GENERATION ADS TO HELP ADVERTISERS COLLECT AUDIENCE INFORMATION TikTok is looking to help advertisers gain more direct insight on potential customers via a new Lead Generation ad option, which will enable brands to capture user data directly from their in-stream ads.   FACEBOOK FLAGS CHANGES TO NEWS FEED RANKING, WITH NEW TESTS TO DETERMINE WHAT USERS WANT TO SEE Facebook has outlined how it's looking to improve its feed ranking processes by undertaking a range of new assessment approaches, including updated user surveys, soliciting different types of feedback, and weighting posts based on 'angry' reactions.   FACEBOOK TESTS NEW VIDEO AD OPTIONS, INCLUDING UPDATED TARGETING CATEGORIES AND INSTAGRAM REELS ADS Facebook has announced new topic-based targeting options for its in-stream ads, as well as the first stage of ads in Instagram Reels, expanding its outreach options.   That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

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!

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of April 26, 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 IS ADDING NEW TOOLS TO PROTECT USERS FROM ABUSIVE DMS AND REPEATED, UNWANTED CONTACT Instagram is adding some new options to protect people from abusive DMs, with the capacity to filter DM requests that include offensive words, and a new way to stop users you've already blocked from contacting you via a different account. Read More   TWITTER LAUNCHES INITIAL TEST OF 'PROFESSIONAL PROFILES' FOR BRANDS AND CREATORS After previewing them at its recent Analyst Day overview, Twitter is now officially launching a live test of its new 'Professional Profiles', which will provide a new way for brands to present themselves on the platform, with dedicated tools and features aligned specifically with work use. Read More   GOOGLE ROLLS OUT NEW INSIGHTS INTO RISING CONSUMPTION TRENDS WITHIN GOOGLE ADS With the COVID-19 pandemic causing various significant shifts in online shopping behaviors, it can be difficult for marketers to keep up with the changes in their niche, and optimize their campaigns accordingly. This is why Google is adding new emerging trend insights within Google Ads, based on Google search activity, which will alert marketers to relevant shopping and discovery changes in their sector, enabling them to update their ad strategy in line with demand. Read More That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

Google Search Trends Insights March 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 March 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 Cruelest Month Is March We know that T.S. Eliot, in his poem “The Waste Land”, stated that April is cruelest month, but we beg to differ–and we aren’t the only ones. Here in the Northeastern part of the USA, winter sticks around too long and the thought of being cooped up in the house for another month is enough to make us loathe March. Last year, the lockdown started in March, so we can add to the list of bad stuff that happens in this month. Luckily, there were more things to distract us this year, like The Grammys, movie releases and NCAA basketball. Let’s take a look at what drove people to search last month. Here are the top Google Trends keywords of March 2021, as analyzed by AMP Agency. March 13th - Wha’ Happened? March is so cruel, Google Trends skipped a day. For some reason, Google Trends didn’t post any information for Saturday, March 13th. There appears to have been a glitch that lasted over 24 hours. From the screenshot, you can see that March 14th was also affected. Typically, for any date, the top 20 phrases are posted in the Trending Searches module. On the 14th, only the top 5 were reported. It’s a good thing we don’t use Google Trends in place of our calendar because we would be at least a day behind while writing this article.   Coming In Like A Lion Along with the March 13th glitch, we had a doubled query count on the first of the month. Dr. Seuss - 3/1/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Dr. Seuss - 3/1/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries The announcement from Dr. Seuss Enterprises stating that they will stop publishing six of its books did stir users to search for more information but we’re not sure why this query had to be published twice. March is so cruel. What Keywords Were Searched The Most in March There were four phrases that drove over 10 million queries in March 2021.  Texas - 3/2/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Meghan Markle - 3/7/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries St. Patrick's Day - 3/16/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Spring season - 3/19/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Texas was hit with extremely cold temperatures and massive power outages in the beginning of March. The Oprah Winfrey interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was quite the bombshell and people wanted to learn more about it. This interview drove a number of related phrases that will be examined in the next section. The other two phrases were driven by Google Doodles where clicks on the altered logo are registered as queries.  About That Oprah Interview As stated, the Oprah Interview had some lasting effects in the daily top 3 most searched keywords: Meghan Markle - 3/3/2021 - 200,000+ queries Piers Morgan - 3/8/2021 - 500,000+ queries CBS Oprah interview - 3/8/2021 - 500,000+ queries Piers Morgan - 3/9/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Piersmorgan - 3/10/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Before the interview aired, Meghan Markle was in the news because an investigation was started into her alleged bullying of two personal assistants that forced them to leave their positions. After the interview aired, the UK broadcaster Piers Morgan reacted to the story Good Morning Britain, which led to him walking off the set and quitting the show. Other Holiday Queries St. Patrick’s Day and the first day of Spring were the most popular dates, driven by Google Doodles. Here’s the list of the other top searched March holiday related keywords. International Women's Day - 3/7/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries St. Patrick's Day 2021 - 3/16/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries St. Patrick's Day - 3/16/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Leprechaun - 3/17/2021 - 200,000+ queries April Fools pranks - 3/31/2021 - 500,000+ queries International Women’s Day gained in search popularity year over year. Looking at the 5 year trend, there were more searches for the holiday in 2021 than in 2020 and 2019. AMP Agency celebrated the day this year and you can read more about it in this post. Entertainment There were a few movies that were released during March 2021 that made the daily top 3. Also, the Grammys were held last month, which is unusual because they are typically held in late January or early February. Raya and the Last Dragon - 3/5/2021 - 500,000+ queries Coming to America 2 - 3/4/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Grammys 2021 - 3/15/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Justice League Snyder Cut - 3/18/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Godzilla vs Kong - 3/31/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries The four movies that are listed above had the highest search volumes in the month of March. We like to use the search interest in films on their opening days as an indication of how many people are going to watch, either in theaters or at home. It’s curious that Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon did not make the 2 million plus query mark.  The 63rd annual Grammy Awards reportedly had less than half the audience tune in to watch the show live in 2021 vs. 2020.  The search volume was down year over year but not by 50%: According to the same reports, streaming of the event was up 83%. From our search data analysis, it appears that audience interest in the awards show is down but not dramatically so. Politics Thankfully, with no raid on the Capitol or impeachment trial this month, there were much fewer keywords related to politics making the daily top 3 in March 2021.  Kyrsten Sinema - 3/5/2021 - 500,000+ queries Covid relief bill - 3/10/2021 - 200,000+ queries Matt Gaetz - 3/30/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries The senior United States Senator from Arizona made headlines with her vote on the minimum wage bill last month. The H.R.1319 - American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 became law on the 11th and the announcement that Matt Gaetz is facing an inquiry from the Justice Department made headlines on the 30th. NCAA Basketball We guess they don’t call it March Madness for nothing. The NCAA Basketball tournament was back this year and queries related to it took up a lot of the top 3 this month. Check out the timeline of these 15 keyword phrases as the tourney progressed. Michigan basketball - 3/12/2021 - 200,000+ queries March Madness 2021 - 3/14/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries NCAA Tournament - 3/18/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Oral Roberts - 3/19/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Syracuse basketball - 3/19/2021 - 500,000+ queries Abilene Christian - 3/20/2021 - 500,000+ queries VCU basketball - 3/20/2021 - 500,000+ queries Oral Roberts - 3/21/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Illinois basketball - 3/21/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Michigan basketball - 3/22/2021 - 500,000+ queries Oral Roberts - 3/27/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Syracuse basketball - 3/27/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Alabama Basketball - 3/28/2021 - 500,000+ queries Gonzaga basketball - 3/28/2021 - 200,000+ queries UCLA basketball - 3/30/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries The maddest thing about the tournament? The champion isn’t crowned until April. We’ll have to wait until the next article to discuss it. So cruel. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we invite you to learn more about our SEO services. Until next month.

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 April 19, 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 WILL ENABLE USERS TO CHOOSE WHETHER THEY WANT TO HIDE POST LIKE COUNTS IN NEW TEST Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has now officially confirmed the launch of a new test that will enable IG users to choose whether they display post Like counts or not within the app. Read More INSTAGRAM PROVIDES TIPS ON HOW BRANDS CAN UTILIZE UGC [INFOGRAPHIC] As many experts will attest, user-generated content is one of the best ways to maximize your marketing performance on Instagram, with the more organic, platform-aligned approach often a better fit, both for feed and Stories posts. Read More TIKTOK SHARES NEW AD STRATEGY TIPS, BASED ON RESPONSES FROM 25,000 USERS With TikTok on the rise, and on track to become the next billion-user platform, an increasing number of marketers are also looking to the app and considering if and how they might integrate the platform into their promotional efforts. Read More That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

Kiki Takakura-Merquise joins AMP Agency as VP of Digital Transformation

We’re excited to announce that Kiki Takakura-Merquise has joined the AMP team as the new Vice President of Digital Transformation. Takakura-Merquise has split her career between client and agency, and her life between Japan and the United States, bringing a depth of experience to AMP's clients. Take a look at some of her career highlights:  Her vision has helped shape strategies at Alphabet/Google, Dell, Microsoft, T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom) and Toshiba.  While in San Francisco, earlier in her career, Kiki worked at Nokia in CX strategy and product management, leading a global, virtual team, uncommon at that time.   At a global strategic design agency in San Francisco, she was instrumental in rethinking a luxury retailer's complicated customer segmentation strategy. During the last seven years in Japan, she worked at the giant data analytics company, Alliance Data Systems: Epsilon International, now a unit of Publicis Groupe.  Here’s what she had to say about the new role:  "Frankly, what I have found is that a lot of clients will spend millions of dollars with some of the major, global consulting firms, for strategic plans that are not attainable," she said. "These clients basically have flushed a lot of money down the toilet. At AMP, there is a heavy focus on pragmatism. Our point of view is to help a company transform and get to the next stage in a way that is in tune with who they are and in a way that is authentic to them as an organization." Learn more about Takakura-Merquise’s position and what it means for AMP in this Adweek rundown.  https://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/revolving-door-roundup-amp-agency-deutsch-ogilvy-and-more/171780/ 

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of April 12, 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. FACEBOOK LAUNCHES TEST OF NEW, CLUBHOUSE-LIKE APP AS IT LOOKS FOR ANGLES ON THE AUDIO SOCIAL TREND Facebook's experimental NPE team has released yet another new app, this time focused on the rising interest in audio social, though with the addition of alternate elements to hopefully enhance the engagement process. Today, NPE has launched a beta test of 'Hotline', a web-based app that incorporates the engagement features of Clubhouse with more visual and text tools, including optional video streaming for hosts and speakers. Read More TIKTOK ADDS NEW MUSIC-TRIGGERED VISUAL EFFECTS TOOLS TikTok has added a range of new visual effects that are triggered by sound, providing new creative options within your TikTok clips. Read More LINKEDIN ADDS NEW PROFILE FEATURES, INCLUDING VIDEO COVER STORIES AND 'CREATOR MODE' LinkedIn's looking to help users share more of their personal story, and maximize their on-platform presence, with the addition of a range of new features for individual member profiles in the app. Read More That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of April 5, 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. LINKEDIN IS ALSO DEVELOPING AUDIO ROOMS, TAPPING INTO THE AUDIO SOCIAL TREND Given the rising popularity of Clubhouse and audio-based social interaction, and its capacity for connecting professionals around niche, industry discussions, it will likely come as no surprise to find out that LinkedIn is also developing its own audio rooms product to tap into the trend. Read More INSTAGRAM OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES TIKTOK-LIKE REMIX OPTION FOR REELS After it was recently spotted in testing, Instagram has now officially launched its new Remix option for Reels, which enables Reels creators to add their own take to eligible Reels clips, which can help fuel content trends. Read More   TIKTOK LAUNCHES NEW 'PLAYLISTS' FEATURE TO GROUP CLIPS INTO THEMED COLLECTIONS This could be a great way to boost engagement with your content on TikTok. Late last week, TikTok began rolling out a new 'Playlists' feature with selected creators, which enables users to group their TikTok clips into themed collections. Read More   That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

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