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The 6 components of a scalable style guide that you need for communicating your brand’s unique identity and business goals. A style guide is often seen as little more than a reference tool designers or design teams use when creating assets. As a document, or set of documents, the guidelines and standards of visual design elements, such as typography, color, iconography, buttons, forms, and grid systems provide countless design efficiencies. That being said, people often overlook the key elements of a style guide that ensure scalability. Over the years, we have found that our clients typically take one of two approaches to their style guides – the “document-as-you-go” method, and the “built-it-before-it-comes” method. Needless to say, one of those methods creates more problems than they solve. Here at Amp Agency, our approach is the latter of the two. This is because the challenge with creating style guidelines only when you are in need of elements is that it often overlooks other existing visual elements. This leaves designers and consumers of your brand unsure of the essence and consistency of your visual language. By taking the time to develop these guides, you decouple design decisions from real-time/urgent needs and obligations that often result in “good enough for now” solutions that cannot scale. Another reason we feel that a well developed style guide is an invaluable tool to have in your marketing toolkit is that it provides a foundation for business growth. Modern rapid business growth strategy is completed through acquisitions, mergers, and partner affiliations. When integrating with other established entities, it is important to know the details of your organization's brand and brand values, in order to clearly identify the similarities and differences with your new partners. This provides the integrating groups common guidelines to communicate around and through, and they allow consumers to feel grounded when interacting with you afterwards. The 6 Components of a Scalable Style Guide Typography: The typography section of a style guide should include font families, font weights, and font sizes. It should also provide guidance on when and how to use each font family and weight. For example, a style guide might specify that headings should use a bold sans-serif font while body text should use a lighter serif font. The typography section should also include information on line height, letter spacing, and other typographic details. Color: The color section of a style guide should include a color palette and guidance on when and how to use each color. It should also provide guidance on color combinations and contrast. The color palette should be selected to reflect the client's brand identity and should be consistent across all design elements. Iconography: The iconography section of a style guide should include guidelines on when and how to use icons. It should also provide guidance on the visual style of the icons, such as their size, shape, and color. The icons should be consistent with the client's brand identity and should be used sparingly to avoid visual clutter. Buttons: The buttons section of a style guide should include guidance on the visual style of buttons, such as their size, shape, and color. It should also provide guidance on when and how to use buttons in the design. For example, a style guide might specify that buttons should be used for primary calls to action, while links should be used for secondary calls to action. Forms: The forms section of a style guide should include guidance on the visual style of forms, such as their size, shape, and color. It should also provide guidance on how to style form elements, such as input fields, checkboxes, and radio buttons. The forms should be consistent with the client's brand identity and should be designed to be easy to use and understand. Grid Systems: The grid systems section of a style guide should include guidance on how to create layouts using a grid system. It should provide guidance on the number of columns, the width of each column, and the spacing between columns. The grid system should be designed to be flexible enough to accommodate a range of design elements while still maintaining consistency across all layouts. Here at Amp Agency, we know your brand identity is unique and deserves a custom style guide that reflects your individuality. Comprehensive style guides provide your designers and design teams clear guidelines and standards for each design element to ensure consistency, and they preserve your brand's equity as you grow your business. To learn more about Amp Agency’s UX Consulting & Design services, and optimize your brand’s equity, please reach out to us via our Contact Us form. Additionally, you can read about our entire suite of Experience Design and Website Development capabilities on our Services page.
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 April 2023. 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+ (sometimes 100,000+). 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. It Must Be The Showers As the season of Spring to its full bloom in the US, the search volume across the whole month appeared…down. We weren’t sure if Google Trends had revised the way it reported the number of queries per day or what, but the month seems lackluster in the topics that were queried and in the volume of searches. Through it all, we captured the top 3 phrases every day and have them here to review. From cable news anchors losing their jobs to boxing matches that dominated an entire day to NBA playoff action, we have the keywords that make sense of what was happening last month. Here is our take on what was reported by Google Trends. April 27th Was The Day To Search There were no phrases that were queried over ten million times last month. The most popular phrases only made the five million query count and they both were reported on the 27th. Jerry Springer - 4/27/2023 - 5,000,000+ queries NFL Draft - 4/27/2023 - 5,000,000+ queries Jerry Springer passed away on that day and news spread, driving search activity. Unrelated, the NFL held the first night of its annual draft and it piqued the interest of fans wanting to learn more about the event. Were We Not Entertained? Here’s a list of phrases that are related to the world of Entertainment. CMT Awards 2023 - 4/2/2023 - 200,000+ queries Star Wars - 4/7/2023 - 100,000+ queries Taylor Swift - 4/8/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Millie Bobby Brown Jake Bongiovi - 4/11/2023 - 100,000+ queries Love is Blind live reunion - 4/16/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries In terms of shows, the CMT Awards found its way into the daily top 3 as it typically does every year. More popular than the Country Music Awards was the topic of the Love Is Blind Reunion show. We’re not sure if people wanted to know more about the show or why it didn’t air during its planned time. Technical difficulties do lead to increased search volume. The other three items show that people are still interested in Star Wars as news was announced at the Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023 convention. Relationship news rounds out the other phrases as Taylor Swift split from Joe Alwyn and Millie Bobby Brown and Jake Bongiovi got engaged. The Holiday Query The one big holiday in April didn’t garner that much query volume for Google Search. Happy Easter - 4/9/2023 - 500,000+ queries Looking at the Doodles page, there was no Easter Google Doodle for 2023 which is a big factor in the lack of holiday phrases since many Doodles are connected to queries. Not so much for last month. Earth Day got a Doodle but it didn’t impact search queries. The Met Gala At the end of the month, the annual fundraising gala held for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City was held and the theme this year was a tribute to the late designer Karl Lagerfeld, who passed away on February 19, 2019 Karl Lagerfeld - 4/30/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Met Gala 2023 - 4/30/2023 - 500,000+ queries This event has made our report before so we pulled the chart for the past 5 years on this topic: The chart shows the highest popularity in 2019. Looking at the trend, the interest in the Met Gala this year was down as compared to the 2021 and 2022 event. Cable News Anchors Not that the networks coordinated with each other, but two well-known cable news anchors parted ways from their employer. Tucker Carlson - 4/24/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries Don Lemon - 4/24/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries In terms of search volume, Mr. Carlson’s name was the winner and his departure shakes up the prime time schedule for Fox News. Political Queries One could argue that our last section could have been included here but we’re separating it. Here are the phrases that were searched most that were tied to US politics Donald Trump - 4/3/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Trump - 4/3/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Wisconsin Supreme Court election - 4/4/2023 - 500,000+ queries Chicago mayoral election - 4/4/2023 - 200,000+ queries Tennessee - 4/6/2023 - 200,000+ queries Although the volumes do not compare to what we saw in November 2020, it does show that elections and current/past elected officials drive people to search for information. Business Items Moving on, we saw two queries that are connected to two different companies with two different trajectories. SpaceX - 4/20/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Bed Bath and Beyond - 4/23/2023 - 500,000+ queries SpaceX launched its Starship rocket on the 20th for a test flight but it exploded before stage separation. Bed Bath and Beyond announced that it is closing stores after filing for bankruptcy on the 23rd. NCAA Tournament March Madness finishes up in April, naturally. Here are the phrases related to the final games of the Men’s and Women’s college basketball tournament. UConn vs Miami - 4/1/2023 - 100,000+ queries LSU women's basketball - 4/2/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Angel Reese Caitlin Clark - 4/2/2023 - 500,000+ queries March Madness - 4/3/2023 - 500,000+ queries It’s a bit odd that we didn’t see more queries for UConn as they won the Men’s tournament. We think Donald Trump’s indictment may have overshadowed that championship’s winner. Masters The Masters Tournament held in Augusta, Georgia drove searches over a few days in the first week of April. Masters - 4/6/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Viktor Hovland - 4/6/2023 - 200,000+ queries Jon Rahm - 4/9/2023 - 500,000+ queries For the big golf tournaments, we tend to see keywords related to the leaderboard or names of the golfers who win. Jon Rahm gets that honor this year. Boxing From time to time, Boxing matches get top billing in Google’s Daily Trends report. Here’s one from last month that took over the top three spots on the 21st and the top spot on the 22nd. Ryan Garcia vs Tank - 4/21/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Tank vs Garcia fight - 4/21/2023 - 500,000+ queries Tank vs Garcia - 4/21/2023 - 500,000+ queries Ryan Garcia - 4/22/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries This fight got a lot of attention because it was a bout of two undefeated fighters, billed as It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This. Even though Gervonta “Tank” Davis won the fight by KO, it was Ryan Garcia’s name that got the most queries. The AMP team sees this phenomenon where the team or individual that gets defeated is searched for more. The queries could be motivated by the need to understand why the loss occurred. Oh, and because we predicted that UFC would show up in the April 2023 report in the March 2023 report, here’s the proof that it happened. UFC - 4/8/2023 - 500,000+ queries The NBA Has Our Full Attention With the regular season coming to a close and the playoffs starting last month, NBA-related keyword phrases made up a large portion of the data we collected for this report. Check out the timeline from April 2023: Lakers - 4/4/2023 - 200,000+ queries Dallas Mavericks - 4/7/2023 - 100,000+ queries Rudy Gobert - 4/8/2023 - 200,000+ queries Lakers - 4/11/2023 - 500,000+ queries Miami Heat - 4/11/2023 - 100,000+ queries Bulls - 4/12/2023 - 200,000+ queries Bulls - 4/14/2023 - 200,000+ queries Timberwolves - 4/14/2023 - 100,000+ queries Warriors - 4/15/2023 - 500,000+ queries Celtics - 4/15/2023 - 200,000+ queries Lakers - 4/16/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Warriors - 4/17/2023 - 500,000+ queries Draymond Green - 4/17/2023 - 200,000+ queries Suns - 4/18/2023 - 200,000+ queries Lakers - 4/19/2023 - 500,000+ queries Warriors - 4/20/2023 - 500,000+ queries 76ers - 4/20/2023 - 200,000+ queries Lakers - 4/22/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Bucks - 4/22/2023 - 200,000+ queries Warriors - 4/23/2023 - 500,000+ queries Celtics - 4/23/2023 - 200,000+ queries Lakers - 4/25/2023 - 500,000+ queries Lakers vs Grizzlies - 4/25/2023 - 200,000+ queries Warriors - 4/26/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Miami Heat - 4/26/2023 - 500,000+ queries Lakers - 4/28/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries LeBron James - 4/28/2023 - 200,000+ queries Suns - 4/29/2023 - 500,000+ queries Warriors vs Kings - 4/29/2023 - 200,000+ queries You can see the list is mostly composed of team names. Did your team make the list? The Most Popular Sport Even though the NBA had its time in April, the NFL is the most searched for American Professional Sports league. Besides the top query of the draft on the 27th, here are the other NFL related keywords. Aaron Rodgers - 4/24/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Will Levis - 4/27/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Will Levis Draft - 4/28/2023 - 200,000+ queries Aaron Rodgers joining the New York Jets and the curious case of Will Levis’ draft day(s) made the most searched terms on April 27-28th. Boston Marathon Looking back at the last 4 years of collecting daily trending keywords, the Boston Marathon has never made our list. This year is different. Boston Marathon 2023 - 4/15/2023 - 200,000+ queries Boston Marathon 2023 - 4/17/2023 - 500,000+ queries The 15th marked the 10 year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing and on the 17th, the race was run in all its glory. See who the winners were. NHL Last but not least, the NHL started their playoffs in April 2023 and there were two team names that made our list. Kraken - 4/29/2023 - 100,000+ queries Bruins - 4/30/2023 - 500,000+ queries Sorry, Boston fans. The team came up short yet again. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.
Haven't we all been in this situation - you're trying to have a conversation with someone, but they keep talking about themselves? Somewhat masterfully, this person always steers the conversation back in their direction. Someone might even come to mind as you're reading this! This lack of connection can remind us how these conversations miss depth and meaning and can leave us feeling disconnected. Healthy relationships are based on mutual engagement, where both parties are empathetic and continually learn from one another. In short, the relationship is a two-way street. While this behavior might be easy to notice in our personal lives, it's common for it to go unnoticed in professional settings. It's often masked in the form of a disconnected Zoom meeting solely focused on services, capabilities, or products that are just missing the mark on the real benefits to the client. To truly connect with customers, we must get to the heart of the matter, uncover what motivates them personally, and focus on the benefits of our offerings. This is the crux of the features versus benefits conversation. Confusing your services and products as benefits is a well-intentioned habit we can all fall into. However, a potential consequence of this habit is that you miss meaningful connections by concentrating solely on the services or capabilities of your product offering. When we remember clients are interested in how your service can help them specifically, we can uncover the benefit behind the offer and understand what motivates them personally. The WIIFM ("What's In It For Me?") formula has always been a powerful tool to help unlock critical insights from value-adding and benefit-centered conversations. Having an empathetic, benefit-focused approach allows us to understand the needs and priorities of our clients and tailor our conversations accordingly. Reframing the client's needs within the context of benefits is essential to create a stronger connection to cultivate both trust and loyalty. You can demonstrate how your services will meet their needs by emphasizing this. For example, if you're marketing an innovative software solution, you could highlight its ease of use, ability to save time, and how it ultimately increases your team's productivity. By course-correcting your conversations in this way, you're prioritizing the value-adding benefits over the alternative: a tunnel vision conversation focused solely on the characteristics and facets of the software. When examining your product offering, it may feel like a Catch-22 - and that your capabilities are the features. However, by looking closer, you can bring the benefits your organization offers to the forefront in crucial ways. For example, creating a user experience that maps how your customers shop for your product can be an invaluable benefit-adding tool. The recent partnership between iRobot and AMP's Tech team is an excellent example. iRobot and AMP partnered to develop a marketing intelligence platform that uncovered significant, noteworthy advantages and benefits for iRobot's valued customers. AMP provided iRobot customers with an understanding of the capabilities and differences between their variousmodels so they could make better purchasing decisions. The platform features three main components: an in-store application, a consumer quiz, and a comparison chart that allow users to interact with the product and receive tailored recommendations in a matter of minutes. A vital feature of the platform is an interactive product showcase that leads customers through a quiz about how they'd like a vacuum to operate, shows them how the technology works, and makes specific product recommendations based on their input. The standout benefit the platform provides for iRobot is valuable insights for future campaigns and sales analysis by consolidating customer data and enabling ongoing engagement. The overall benefits for both the customer and iRobot are also clear. Customers can quickly and easily understand product capabilities and differentiators and receive intelligent AI-driven recommendations tailored to their specific needs. This speaks directly to their consumer's personal "why" and WIIFM "What's In It For Me?" value, which in this case could be ease of use or convenience, to name a few. The platform also provides an excellent user experience that empowers customers to purchase immediately after completion. In addition, the platform enables iRobot to gather data from across the globe through physical, tablet-based retail experiences, embeddable web experiences, CRM data tools, and social engagement tools. Using this collected data, iRobot is able to provide ongoing customer engagement and sales analysis to its customers to improve future campaigns and increase sales. The iRobot case study demonstrates that AMP’s efforts went beyond creating a simple in-store product matching tool and consumer quiz. The final product provided customers with the value-adding benefits of informed decisions, trust, convenience, personalization, and efficiency. By empowering customers to make quick and easy decisions through these benefit insights, iRobot saw an increase in sales and engagement both domestically and internationally. At AMP, we understand that delivering value to clients and their respective customers is much more than providing trendy designs and snappy load times. Our tech and UX teams prioritize benefits by crafting digital experiences and solutions tailored to every brand's needs and business goals. This empathetic and personalized approach enables AMP’s team to initiate new business opportunities as equally engaging partnerships from the onset. As much as providing outstanding digital experiences, we also strive to create unmatched customer-centric relationships. Our dedication to creating value through empathy ensures that clients feel both seen and heard in the solutions we provide. With over 25 years of experience, AMP’s technology teams are highly skilled in creating user-friendly and elegant designs for even the most complex platforms all the while building experiences and digital solutions based on targeting customers’ needs in mind. Elements like responsive design and fast load times then become table stakes. The iRobot case study showcases the benefits of the technical solution that met iRobot's business needs and surpassed expectations on delivered results. This is just one example of how prioritizing customer-centric connections makes sense for the long run. We believe that empathy is the key to not only building successful brands but also to creating deep and meaningful relationships that extend beyond projects and deadlines. It's not just a marketing or sales strategy - It's a necessary shift in mindset to connect with people on a deeper level. In doing so, we can directly speak to the benefits related to clients' personal ‘why’ and WIIFM. At our core- this belief in empathy drives all we do. We're not just here to design beautiful websites and seamless digital experiences (which we love and do well!); we're here to create products that mean something, resonate with our clients on a personal level and make a difference. Authenticity always attracts; we know this in our personal lives, and now we have to put it into practice in our zoom calls! By using this benefit-focused approach, you can continue to build trust, loyalty, and lasting relationships for years to come. SOURCES: https://clutch.co/web-designers/resources/top-6-website-features-people-value https://www.searchenginejournal.com/features-vs-benefits-content-marketing/331221/#close https://www.sfappworks.com/blogs/enterprise-web-development https://www.zyxware.com/article/6453/enterprise-web-development-everything-you-need-to-know https://www.liberty.edu/web-services/blog/feature-vs-benefit-driven-copy/ https://www.yesware.com/blog/feature-benefit-selling/ https://proechosolutions.com/customers-buy-benefits-not-products/ https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/features-vs-benefits-messaging-ht
The AMP Agency SEO team is passionate about predicting consumer behavior with search query data as the source of our projections. At the start of December, we released our report that predicted what the top trends of Winter 2022-2023. Now that spring is here, we can look back at our predictions and see if search data we collected from the winter months backs up our claims. For the Winter report, we explored 8 consumer topic categories: Fashion Beauty Food & Drink Entertainment Activities Decor Travel Holidays In this article, we'll be assessing the search query volume for specific topics from our Winter Trends report and measuring it against our earlier projections. We have updated the charts with the latest data spanning three months (November to February 2023), which was made available by Google's Keyword Planner after the initial report was published. What do you think - were we able to see the future? Read through the category highlights below! Fashion Ultra Mini Uggs The popular boot brand of the early 2000s went out of style for a bit but now they are back and imploding in popularity. Last Winter we saw a slight interest in “ultra mini uggs” at a peak of a little over 100,000 but we predicted we would see an even larger increase in search volume this Winter and we were right. In October, when we made our predictions, the search volume for the keyword “ultra mini uggs” was 8,100 and reached its peak in December of 2021 at 110,000. In October of 2022, search volume for the boot was already at 165,000 average monthly searches! We expected this number to grow, and it did, by 309% from December 2021 to its new peak of 450,000 searches in December 2022. Flare Leggings Yet another early 2000s fashion trend is coming back: flared pants. Gone are the days of skinny jeans and ankle-length leggings which are being replaced by flare jeans and flare leggings. Although we were seeing an increase in interest this Winter, was it enough to surpass last year's numbers? Are people really following this trend? It looks like they are! Last Winter, the search volume for “flare leggings” had a decent peak at 135,000 from November to January of 2021. When we saw the search volume for the leggings was already at 201,000 in October 2022, we knew this Winter would surpass last Winter's numbers. Search volume hit a new all-time-high in search volume at 246,000 in November 2022. Search volume slightly decreased to 201,000 in December and January, which is still an increase of 49% compared to last Winter's all-time-high of 135,000. Beauty Beauty Advent Calendar Who says advent calendars can only be for chocolate? In comes the “beauty advent calendar”! These advent calendars are a great way to test out some new beauty products during the Winter season. In the past few years we’ve seen slight peaks each Winter but thanks to TikTok and search data, we knew this year's numbers would blow last year's numbers out of the park! Were we correct? Yes, we were! Last year, the search volume for “beauty advent calendar” hit a peak of 110,000 in average monthly search volume. This year, search volume hit a new all-time high of 110,000, which is an increase of 172%. Search volume throughout the Winter season continued to surpass last year's numbers by more than double and sometimes even triple! Next year we can probably expect more brands to participate with their own “beauty advent calendars”. Chestnut Brown Hair Everyone is always looking to switch up their hair for the colder months. But what color is everyone going for this Winter? We predicted the hair color chestnut brown would be the “it” Winter hair color this season. Were we correct on that? Kind of! Instead of seeing a new all-time high in search volume this year, we saw search volume matched last year's peak of 18,100. The trends pretty much stayed the same as last Winter, however, last March, search volume continued to stay at an average of 14,800 monthly searches, and this March search volume for “chestnut brown hair” climbed up to 18,100. Maybe we’ll see this trend reach a new all-time high next Winter instead. Food & Drink Airfryer Brie We had a feeling that this appetizer recipe would be a hit this past Winter season, and were we right! It slowly started gaining popularity on multiple social media platforms, and before we knew it, the phrase “air fryer brie recipes” had collected over 5.7M views on Tik Tok alone! People were looking for an easy and delicious appetizer to add to their holiday table spreads, and this recipe and its variations seem to have fit the bill perfectly. But like most viral food trends, its popularity was short-lived. This query reached its biggest-ever peak in search volume during December 2022, with over 14% more searches than the previous year, yet by February of 2023, its search volume had already dropped over 50%. With that said, despite this trendy food’s cool down, airfryer brie is still holding onto high monthly search volumes compared to the same time last year. Dessert Cocktails During the early Winter months, dessert cocktails became all the rage as people sought a boozy and sweet way to round off their holiday dinners. However, with the arrival of spring and its warmer temperatures, the search volume for this trend has taken a steep dive. Let's face it, a heavy dessert cocktail may not be the coolest thing to sip on after the holidays have passed. Back in October, we predicted that dessert cocktails would reach an all-time high in popularity, and we were certainly right! In late October, dessert cocktails peaked with a remarkable 24% surge in search volume, surpassing all previous records. That said, as the Winter season progressed, the search volume for these delectable cocktails returned to normal levels, remaining consistent with the previous Winter season. Entertainment Avatar 2 The original Avatar movie was a cultural phenomenon, holding the top spot for domestic-grossing movies for over 9 years. At the time, it was praised for its cutting-edge visual effects that have become the norm these days. Fans have been waiting patiently for over 12 years for James Cameron’s second installment in the series to see if it can hold up to the standards of the first movie. Our prediction came true, as Avatar: The Way of Water beat out all other releases in the Winter season bringing in $134,100,226 domestically in the opening weekend. The movie that was closest was Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at $106,109,650, however even a Marvel blockbuster couldn’t beat out the highly anticipated Avatar sequel. Will Avatar 3, 4, and even 5 continue this trend, or will fans start to get Avatar fatigue? Winter Market Winter Markets offer a unique opportunity to celebrate the Winter season in a fun and festive way, while also supporting local & small businesses. Over the last 5 years, search volume for “winter markets” has consistently increased, which led us to our prediction that this trend would continue into the Winter of 2022/2023. Our prediction came true, with the keyword “winter market” seeing a 50% increase in search volume YoY in December 2022, while also reaching a new high over the last 5 years. This trend is one that we think is here to stay. Do you think Winter markets will continue to be a popular activity next Winter? Activities Indoor Golf Indoor Golf has been steadily rising in popularity over the last few years and for good reason. Golf is a seasonal sport, but with more and more indoor ranges opening up, golf enthusiasts can practice their skills year-round. And for the non-enthusiasts, indoor golf can be a fun social event with friends complete with food & drinks, music, and good times for all. We predicted that this trend would continue into the Winter of 2022/2023. While we did not see search volume for “indoor golf” increase this year, it reached the same peak as 2022 and had a much higher peak than the previous all-time highs in 2019-2021, which shows that the overall trend is still increasing. We think this trend will be here to stay in the future, as something both competitive and casual golfers can enjoy. Skijoring Skijoring is a competitive Winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, or snowmobile. This sport has been steadily increasing over the last 5 years across the US and Canada. While it has been gaining popularity recently, Skijoring in the United States dates back to 1915, even appearing as an Olympic sport in the 1928 Olympic games. We predicted that the search volume for “Skijoring” would continue to increase this Winter. Our prediction about search volume did not come true, as we saw a decrease in searches for “skijoring” this Winter compared to last. However, the overall trend is still up as searches this year surpassed searches in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Some of this can be attributed to the weather, particularly on the east coast as it was a warmer-than-average Winter. Can Skijoring gain enough popularity over the next few years to once again become an Olympic sport? Decor Bouclé Even if you aren’t familiar with the name, you’re probably familiar with bouclé’s fuzzy texture that is used for cozy clothing and to upholster furniture. Bouclé has been gaining popularity steadily since 2019, with interest peaking every winter as comfortable and insulating textiles become more desirable. We predicted bouclé would continue its upward trend into the 2022-2023 winter. Our predictions were correct, with bouclé hitting an all time high in search volume in January of 2023, with a 22% increase in search volume over the previous January. While such an inviting and warm fabric might experience a dip in popularity over warmer seasons, it may be here to stay as an interior design and fashion staple. Black Accent Wall Starting from barely any search interest in 2019, black accent walls have been seeing a steady rise in search interest for home decor. While painting an entire room black is not generally a recommended style tip, utilizing just one wall with black paint has become a popular way to create a strong focal point in a room and give a contemporary feeling. As black accent walls seem to be searched more often in the winter months, we predicted this winter they would be more popular than ever. While search interest did reach the same levels as last year, our prediction about black accent walls was not realized. Hitting the same peak as 2023, this trend may have reached its maximum. While it still may be a decor choice that stands the test of time, we don’t blame you for considering putting down the paintbrush! Travel Puerto Rican Resort Resorts all over the world have seen a rise in search volume and bookings that closely matches when pandemic restrictions began to ease. Puerto Rico has been one of the hottest emerging destinations for resort vacations, with a 307% difference between February 2019 and February 2021. When February 2022 was even higher, we predicted Puerto Rico resorts would keep up the upwards trajectory again. While Puerto Rican resorts did not surpass the peak of the year before, they hit the same number of searches as the year before. While resort vacations may not continue rising, they are likely here to stay as travel and vacationing becomes more important in a post-pandemic mindset. Ski Resort Ski resorts have become a very trendy winter getaway option, eliminating a commute into the mountains in order to hit the slopes. These resorts have also become popular for remote workers. We have seen their popularity increase consistently for the past several years and predicted this winter the trend would continue up. Ski resort searches reached an all time high over the winter, peaking at a 22% increase over the previous year in January. As skiing becomes a more popular sport and more people are able to utilize resorts as a location for both recreation and work, we think ski resort searches will only continue to rise in the future. Holidays Crafty Valentines This past love season, couples got extra creative. Pinterest boards and instagram feeds were filled with Valentine's Day craft ideas, making it easy for people to surprise their loved ones with creative, hand-made cards, and gifts to express their love. The popularity of the query “Crafty Valentines” was undeniable, and our predictions of its popularity during the Winter months proved to be accurate. While search volume did not reach the anticipated all-time high levels, it remained consistent with previous years reaching nearly 80,000 searches in the month of February alone. This past winter, it was definitely heartening to see that people continued to embrace the crafty spirit and opted for more personalized and thoughtful gifting options, rather than relying on store-bought gifts. Pink Christmas Tree Despite receiving a lot of attention on social media sites like Pinterest and TikTok, this unique and eye-catching holiday decoration didn't spark the kind of interest we were hoping for. Even though this unusual trend was all the rage online, it appears that when it came time to decorate their homes, many people chose the more conventional, and on theme green Christmas trees. In spite of our expectations, search volume for the term "Pink Christmas Tree" dropped by 0.47% from December through January. This suggests that the popularity of this trend was fleeting and that it was unable to maintain interest for an extended period of time, showing that even the most talked-about and viral trends can quickly lose their appeal and gradually fade away. Conclusion: Overall, we're pleased to see that our predictions were largely on target, with many topics seeing the expected increase in search volumes during the winter months of 2022-2023. However, there were a few surprises as well, highlighting the notion that past query volume doesn’t necessarily mean that the trend will continue. Most of the time, the data shows us what we can expect in future months and it is important to stay close to these trends. We truly believe that this data set can help you prepare for the future. That’s why we prepared the Top Trends For Spring 2023. We will see if the warmer weather trends play out the way we thought they would in a few months.
SVP of Media, Sascha Lock, recently shared his insight on the future of advertising on an episode of the Marketing Smarts podcast with Anne Candido and April Martini. The future of advertising is broad and difficult to chart, but Sascha predicts that it will distill into four key ideas: human connection, carefully curated advertising mixes, influencer storytelling, and tension with short-term trends. Dive deeper into these predictions by listening to the Marketing Smarts podcast here!
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 2023. 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+ (sometimes 100,000+). 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. Marching On March 2023 gave people a lot to celebrate. We had holidays supported by Google Doodles and an Oscar Award show that drove queries about other topics other than a slap. On the other hand, there were some things that happened that weren’t so great like banks collapsing. Gwyneth Paltrow took up some of our attention with her trial and we were mad for the NCAA basketball tournament. The AMP Agency team looked through all the collected phrases of the month to share them with our thoughts in this post. Celebrating Women This year, we saw International Women’s Day queries appear in Google’s Daily Trends for 3 straight days. International Women's Day - 3/6/2023 - 10,000,000+ queries International Women's Day - 3/7/2023 - 10,000,000+ queries Día Internacional de la Mujer - 3/8/2023 - 200,000+ queries Yes, the volume of queries was aided by a Google Doodle logo but we dug deeper. We wanted to see how this past day of celebration compared to past years. Clearly, there was a huge jump in search interest in 2023: When we look back on the interest over time back to 2019, the chart shows us that a step change has happened in 2023. So much so, that the Spanish version of the query garnered over 200K queries on the day of the celebration. Pay attention to this topic moving forward. Other Days of Celebration The subject of another holiday had Google changing their logo into a Doodle. Every click on the logo was registered as a query and the Daily Trends reported more than ten million queries. St. Patrick's Day - 3/16/2023 - 10,000,000+ queries Although the holiday occurs on the 17th, it appears Google Doodle queries get reported mostly on the day prior. Our team has reported on this phenomenon before. There seems to be an alignment with a timezone closer to the International Date Line rather than the Pacific Time Zone. No matter, the query volume can be used as directional. Erin Go Bragh! Other days worth that generated search queries in March 2023 were as follows: Daylight Savings - 3/11/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries First day of spring 2023 - 3/18/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries First day of spring - 3/19/2023 - 500,000+ queries Ramadan - 3/20/2023 - 200,000+ queries People grumpy about losing an hour of sleep probably were using Google to learn when the clocks were springing forward and why we keep doing this thing. The first day of Spring was a momentous occasion and its interest spanned across two days. Lastly, a query related to the start of the holy month of Ramadan made the daily top 3 on the 20th. It officially began in the evening on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 Thankfully, No Slaps The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award show was back on March 12th and 4 keyword phrases were reported in Google’s Daily Trends as having some of the highest search volume of the day. Everything Everywhere All at Once - 3/10/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries Everything Everywhere All at Once - 3/12/2023 - 10,000,000+ queries Jamie Lee Curtis Oscar - 3/12/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Ke Huy Quan - 3/12/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries A few of the top award getters also got the top keyword query volumes: Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor. Other Entertainment A few TV series were popular with the search audience last month. Attack on Titan season 4 part 3 - 3/2/2023 - 200,000+ queries Daisy Jones and the Six - 3/3/2023 - 200,000+ queries Succession - 3/26/2023 - 200,000+ queries The very specific episode of Attack on Titan drew search interest as it is the first half of the last final installment of the series. Netflix released Daisy Jones and the Six, starring Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, on March 3rd and the first episode of last season of Succession aired on the 26th. For films that were released in March 2023, only a couple were interesting enough to make the daily top 3 of search queries in Google. Scream 6 - 3/10/2023 - 500,000+ queries John Wick 4 - 3/23/2023 - 500,000+ queries With a half million queries on each of their release dates, both Scream 6 and John Wick 4 did well on their opening weekends, topping the box office. Court Trials and an Indictment In March 2023, there were a few high profile court appearances that prompted people to search in Google. Murdaugh trial - 3/2/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries The trial of the South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh for the murder of his wife came to an end on the 2nd. Gwyneth Paltrow ski collision - 3/21/2023 - 200,000+ queries Gwyneth Paltrow - 3/24/2023 - 200,000+ queries Gwyneth Paltrow verdict - 3/30/2023 - 200,000+ queries Gwyneth Paltrow was in a Park City, Utah courtroom in a case where she was sued over a 2016 ski collision. Interest spanned over three days. Trump - 3/18/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Trump indictment - 3/30/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries Lastly, the former president Donald Trump announced on social media that he expected to be arrested.. On the 30th, he was indicted by the Manhattan grand jury.. This TikTok Trend In other news, this phrase caught our eye. We didn’t know what it was about since sometimes moon-related queries do make the Daily Top 3. Moon phase - 3/5/2023 - 200,000+ queries This keyword wasn’t driven by the orb in the sky but rather a TikTok trend where you can see if you are compatible with someone based on the moon phase when you were born. Seems like a stretch to us, but we saw a lot of TikToks about it on that Sunday. Financial Troubles Banks are failing and rates are rising. Silicon Valley Bank - 3/9/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries Credit Suisse - 3/14/2023 - 500,000+ queries Credit Suisse - 3/15/2023 - 500,000+ queries Fed rate hike - 3/22/2023 - 200,000+ queries This timeline shows that the populace continues to be seeking information about the stability of our finances. Dangerous Weather In other not-so-uplifting news, strong storms brought tornados to different parts of the country. Tornado Los Angeles - 3/22/2023 - 200,000+ queries Rolling Fork MS - 3/24/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Tornado - 3/31/2023 - 500,000+ queries Weather-related keywords can be used by people seeking to prepare in the moment or to learn more about the aftermath of the storms. The Madness of March College basketball’s championship tournament is a March tradition. Check out the timeline from this year. NCAA Tournament - 3/15/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries March Madness - 3/16/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries NCAA Tournament - 3/16/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Duke basketball - 3/17/2023 - 500,000+ queries Gonzaga - 3/23/2023 - 500,000+ queries Florida Atlantic University - 3/23/2023 - 200,000+ queries Creighton basketball - 3/25/2023 - 200,000+ queries Final Four - 3/31/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries Like we have seen in previous years, there will be more college basketball queries in April too. Baseball Is Back Another tournament happened at the global level in March. Baseball teams representing different countries around the world competed in the World Baseball Classic. World Baseball Classic - 3/11/2023 - 500,000+ queries Mexico vs Japan - 3/19/2023 - 500,000+ queries USA vs Japan - 3/20/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Mexico vs Japan Baseball - 3/20/2023 - 200,000+ queries MLB - 3/30/2023 - 500,000+ queries The tournament led right into Major League Baseball’s opening day on the 30th. The Off-Season NFL players signing with new teams (maybe?) drove name-based keyword queries. Lamar Jackson - 3/3/2023 - 200,000+ queries Derek Carr - 3/6/2023 - 200,000+ queries D.J. Moore - 3/10/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Jalen Ramsey - 3/11/2023 - 500,000+ queries Aaron Rodgers - 3/13/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Jimmy Garoppolo - 3/13/2023 - 500,000+ queries Lamar Jackson - 3/27/2023 - 200,000+ queries The AMP team loves the symmetry of Lamar Jackson bookending this timeline. NBA Keywords Going back to a league that is still in season, The NBA had a few keywords related to teams and players that made the daily top 3. Suns - 3/1/2023 - 500,000+ queries Ja Morant - 3/4/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Knicks - 3/5/2023 - 200,000+ queries Kevin Durant - 3/9/2023 - 200,000+ queries Warriors - 3/26/2023 - 200,000+ queries Lebron James - 3/26/2023 - 200,000+ queries Warriors - 3/28/2023 - 100,000+ queries Next month, when the playoffs start, we will see more NBA keywords in our report. Soccer Matches Month in and month out, search query data reveals how big its audience is in the States. Real Madrid vs Barcelona - 3/1/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Man United vs Man City - 3/1/2023 - 200,000+ queries Liverpool vs Man United - 3/4/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Champions League - 3/7/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Bayern vs PSG - 3/7/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Man United vs Real Betis - 3/9/2023 - 200,000+ queries Real Madrid vs Liverpool - 3/14/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Man City vs RB Leipzig - 3/14/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries We’d like to say that this past World Cup is a big reason that the search volume is still strong but these types of phrases have been in our reports for a long time now. The UFC is Also Popular When there is an Ultimate Fighting Championship event, it makes the daily top 3. UFC - 3/4/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries UFC - 3/17/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Strong prediction. - we will see a UFC keyword in our April report., probably on April 10th. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.
Last year, Gen-z’ers rocked social media and shifted their preferences to authentic feeds. So, we introduced 3 up-and-coming apps that were dedicated to showing more authentic views of users’ day-to-day life. Among these apps was BeReal, which had a download growth of 315% in 2022. But alas, even BeReal is too staged with many users only posting on the app when they're doing something worth showing off. BeReal currently has a 95% drop in weekly U.S. downloads along with sparse activity. Users are looking for the next big thing as they get wary of the average social media feed, and look for more real and inspirational content. Let’s dive into 3 new apps that might just be the new best thing, with one that even relies on AI. Lemon8 Launched by TikTok owner ByteDance, Lemon8 is a new app that users are describing as a crossover between Pinterest and Instagram. The main page includes “following” and “for you” tabs similar to TikTok, but the feed still feels very Instagram-esque and is dedicated to still images and some video. Content on the app revolves around small photo carousels with longer descriptions such as “Amazon Favorites” or “What To Wear When You Have Nothing to Wear”. The app encourages users to share where they bought things to help other users purchase products from their posts. Lemon8 is rising in popularity as it jumped into the U.S. App Store’s Top 10 Chart in March 2023. In April 2023, it ranked #2 in Lifestyle apps, ranking above Pinterest. #Lemon8 has over 2.4 billion views on TikTok as users are leaving reviews and even encouraging their followers to follow them on the app. A few brands like Chipotle are already on the app, but keep in mind that without a profile verification system, it’s difficult to tell if brand profiles are real or impersonation. Gas Gas allows users to anonymously compliment or "gas up" their friends through a series of polls. Gas app authors all the content so that you’re answering polls that are generally uplifting and positive. Polls tend to range from thoughtful to flirty questions like "I'd say yes if [name] asked me out on a date" or "I think [name] is the coolest kid in school". Users select a name to fill in the blanks, and then others can see the results without knowing who the response was from. Users can connect with others by joining their highschool or syncing their contacts to find their friends. The app has taken measures to prevent bullying such as not allowing DM’s within the app. The Today Show reported that 1 in 3 teens are using the app and according to Gas app founder Nikita Bier, more than 1 billion compliments have been shared. Artifact Created by Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Artifact is a personalized news feed powered by artificial intelligence. The founders decided to leverage machine learning at the core of this app to improve and adapt its user’s feed the more they use the app, rather than on a smaller scale similar to that of Instagram. The news feed feels similar to Instagram and even allows you to upload your contacts in order to see if a particular article is popular in your network (without telling you who read it). Users have full control over their interests as they log-in for the first time and in the settings. The co-founders have promised their news app would later evolve to include more social elements, like being able to discuss news with friends. What does this mean for brands? See if there’s a space for the brand and take a calculated risk If there’s a new platform gaining traction, it’s worth vetting the platform and seeing how audiences are using the app. It’s not unusual for brands to hop on an app and utilize it in a creative way; take Chipotle on BeReal for example. It’s worth brainstorming how to join the conversation. Front runners are often rewarded, but you have to be willing to take a slight risk by jumping into a lesser known territory. Keep relatability at the center of content strategy Consumers want brands to create content that feels real rather than polished. It’s important to remember that social is entertainment first and it’s crucial to optimize content for entertainment. Consider creative ways to make content feel like something you’d send to a friend rather than a brand talking to an audience. Lo-fi content (such as iphone photos), zoom ins, and even photo dumps are great ways to start. Consider your engagement strategy Engagement goes hand and hand with relatable content. Joining a new app means entering a space with mostly consumers, where brands may or may not be greeted with open arms. Consider how you will add to the conversation and engage with users. This is a great way to connect with fans of your brand and even learn more about how to navigate the new platform.
We’ve all had those moments when we are presented with an “obvious to everyone other than ourselves” event where we realize something about ourselves. Ours happened a few weeks ago when someone said to us, “Thank you for really listening to our problem and not just pushing another platform.” It was at this moment that we realized that what is second nature to us isn’t all that common. Our technology team at AMPXD has decades of collective experience implementing content management systems (CMS) and solutions for a wide variety of clients and industry verticals. What we didn’t realize until that moment is that part of our collective success has been that we, as technologists, are natural listeners. When our clients are describing their business challenges, we don’t take the position of listening for the pauses to push a preset solution but, instead, we take in their words as our own and use them to find the right solution. Actively listening is just one of the many reasons that we do not approach our projects with a preconceived solution or a packaged offering, but it is a critical one. Through the years, we found that every unique business problem statement has an equally unique approach. When it comes to CMS, this uniqueness could be how the CMS will interact with other established software platforms, or it could be a very specific set of business requirements that require more creative thinking. Without listening, we would become biased in our opinions and unable to truly consider a CMS platform (or any software). By listening to our clients, we came committed to the belief that technology should enable people and be complementary to different processes as opposed to dictating. At AMPXD, we take the appropriate time to understand the use case criteria of the problem, balance the many variables of platform selection such as: evaluating functional requirements, level of effort to implement, total cost of ownership, and both internal and external resource availability before committing to a solution. Our experiences of implementing many different CMS platforms such as WordPress, Optimizely, Sitecore, Contentful, and Drupal honed our ability to use the right-sized tool for each project we encounter. Over the course of our upcoming series of posts around technology, we will share stories of uniquely different CMS solutions in practical implementations. If you have an upcoming CMS project or need to discuss content management strategies, the team at AMPXD would love to assist you with your needs. Reach out to us via our Contact Us form.
Creative Director, Liz Furze, was recently featured in Air Magazine's 100 Creative Directors series, which highlights Creative Directors from various firms and backgrounds. Liz discussed her journey into becoming a Creative Director and how she leads her team to deliver inspiring ideas. During her interview she calls out how there are still so few Creative Directors who are women. In fact, women make up only 35% of Creative Directors. Liz is one of many women who are working to increase this number and improve representation in creative fields. Read Liz's interview with Air Magazine here!