Tag Archives: Google for Creators

Use these tools to boost Web Stories performance

Once you’ve created content in the form of Web Stories, you’re probably wondering who your Web Stories are reaching and whether they’re resonating with your audience. Google Analytics and Data Studio are easy-to-use tools that help you understand how your Web Stories are performing on your website — or anywhere else on the web.

Viewing Web Stories performance in Google Analytics

The first step to measuring your Web Stories performance with Google Analytics is to set up tracking. Most Web Story editors, including Web Stories for WordPress, MakeStories, Newsroom AI and others, provide a simple way to add tracking in Google Analytics for each story created. You’ll need to provide the UA Tracking ID associated with the Google Analytics property you’re using for Web Stories.

Once your Stories are being tracked, key performance metrics will become available via the Events report in Google Analytics. This report is accessible by navigating to Behavior > Events > Overview in the navigation bar. The metrics available include:

  • Story Starts: A measure of how many users started reading your Story. These are reported as pageviews in Google Analytics.
  • Time Spent: A measure of how long users spend reading your Story, on average. This metric is helpful when determining how engaging your story is. This is reported as Avg. Time on Page in Google Analytics.
  • Story Pages Viewed: A measure of how many users read each page in your Story. This can be a helpful indicator to determine how far users get into your Story and where they might lose interest. These are reported as story_pages_viewed events in Google Analytics, and can be found in the Events Report.
  • Story Completions: A measure of how many users completed your Story by reaching the last page. These are reported as story_completion events in Google Analytics.
A detailed screenshot of a Google Analytics report focused on Event Action metrics.

The Events Overview report in Google Analytics will report the story title under Event Category. You can click into each of your Stories listed to view data for each of the metrics above by selecting Event Action as the primary dimension.

Even simpler access to Web Story performance insights with Data Studio

A screenshot of the Web Stories Insights dashboard displays a blue and yellow line graph charting Story Starts and Story Completions, charts showing audience demographic and other metrics.

The Web Stories Insights dashboard template in Data Studio provides an overview of your Web Stories’ performance by pulling data from Google Analytics into a simple and visually engaging report. The dashboard displays several essential metrics to consider when evaluating performance, including:

  • Key Metrics: Story Starts, Page Views, Time Spent and Completion Rate
  • Audience Metrics: Age, Gender and Device breakdown across all stories published
  • Top Stories: Your top 10 stories during the selected time period, sorted by Story Starts
  • Traffic Channels: An overview of where users are finding and reading your Web Stories
  • Story Level Performance: Key metrics and a breakdown of pageviews for a specific story are available on the ‘Story Level’ page.

Anyone can access the dashboard by visiting goo.gle/web-stories-insights and selecting your Google Analytics account via the Click to Select your Data dropdown. Note you'll only have access to analytics that your Google account is linked to, so be sure to verify which account you’re using. You can also create a copy of the template and adjust it according to your specific analytics needs.

We hope that Google Analytics and Data Studio will help you improve your Web Stories for your audience.

Gen Z creator uses the web to educate on racial justice

Kahlil Greene is a self-described “Gen Z historian” who uses social media to advocate for change. He established himself as an influencer, educator and voice for justice with his thought-provoking videos, engaging oratory style and eye-catching graphics. He has more than 500,000 followers and 20 million views across his social media profiles — with 5.5 million likes on TikTok alone.

From influencer to entrepreneur

Kahlil first used social media to educate, activate and inform students while he was a sophomore at Yale. He was elected the college’s first Black student body president, and worked to represent student activists, whose voices were historically marginalized or suppressed. To help do so, he designed social media infographics for the Yale College Council, and their Instagram post on “Being the Change” lists over 70 advocacy projects that were completed under his leadership.

Off campus, Kahlil worked to develop an online presence as a racial justice advocate, usinghis TikTok andInstagram accounts to spark candid conversation about Black history and racism. HisJuneteenth slideshow on Instagram from July 2020 “went insanely viral,” with over 57,000 likes. Another post from a month earlier about how people talk aboutviolence against the Black community gained as much attention.

Kahlil’s Instagram profile features his image superimposed over posts addressing current events.

Kahlil’s Instagram profile features his take on current events, using videos and infographics.

Today, Kahlil is an in-demand public speaker and consultant, educating schools, nonprofits and businesses on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. He also works with brands on their corporate social responsibility campaigns. “I share a Gen Z perspective on subjects related to history, culture and politics,” he explains. “I can amplify arguments that other Gen Zers might not be able to make. I'm forging a bridge between our generational ideas and large organizations and their leaders.”

Brands value the perspective and insights Kahlil brings, as they seek to reach Gen Z — a socially conscious, social-media savvy generation. “Society is trending towards the values that Gen Z holds,” Kahlil says. “Gen Zers are graduating college and choosing where to work. I wrote a Harvard Business Review article about how companies fail to meet those standards. Diversity and inclusion is not a 'nice to have' anymore. It's a 'need to have.'”

As Kahlil’s influence grew, businesses were reaching out to him via his email links on social media. “But those [profiles] didn’t tell people enough about me,” he says. “Other creators I admired had websites with blogs that looked very professional.” Kahlil decided he needed his own website to develop his voice as a writer, showcase his work and create a hub for his brand.

Kahlil is pictured on his website smiling, wearing a black Yale sweatshirt with a big  kente-patterned “Y” and jeans. His homepage text lists his accomplishments as the Gen Z Historian.

Kahlil’s website pulls together his experience as the Gen Z Historian.

Creating a business website

Kahlil launched his Gen Z Historian website in March 2021, bringing together his ideas, experiences and media coverage. “I wanted my own space where I could document my journey and develop deeper connections with people,” Kahlil says. A website also gives Kahlil ownership over his content, he notes. In January 2022, he launched his blog, where he posts long-form articles such as “What Is DEI in the New Decade?,” a popular topic for his public speaking.

Kahlil keeps an editorial calendar and posts frequently, including around holidays, remembrances and other events, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. His ongoing Instagram series on “Hidden History” tells America’s untold stories, such as the link between racism and the Salem Witch Trials. He plans to reach an even wider audience through book, podcast and TV projects in the works.

Kahlil stands outside, in front of a tree in a green and white striped shirt and khaki pants. A building can be seen in the distance.

Kahlil encourages other advocacy-focused creators to find their voice on major online platforms to engage and enlighten audiences.

Finding a voice

To creators seeking a platform for advocacy, Kahlil offers this advice: “Find out what is not being said clearly, and use your voice to clarify that. Also, find topics that haven’t been talked about to death. A lot of my niche and audience come from either ideas that I clarify with my communication style or ideas that exist but haven't been shared for mass audience engagement. Those are the ways that you grab an audience if you want to be an online educator.”

This creator turned donuts into dollars

Google for Creators recently launched The Conversation, a new YouTube series spotlighting the experiences of women of color creators. This month, we’re featuring designer, photo stylist and donut aficionado Samantha Ushiro, the talent behind the successful online brand Aww Sam. Learn more about Sam below and check out the full interview.

Samantha Ushiro’s love for donuts, confetti, bright colors and vintage fashion led to an unexpected — and successful — career move. Today, her Aww Sam brand has nearly 300,000 followers across her web properties, including her Pinterest profile, which receives 2.4 million monthly views. She’s also partnered with brands like Refinery29, Bustle, HGTV and Brit + Co.

Sam made a leap of faith to get where she is today. She was studying industrial design at the Parsons School of Design in New York. For her final project, she created a photo book of handmade, colorful donuts decorated in her whimsical style. A blogger since high school, Sam decided to post some of the photos online. “People were asking me, ‘What’s the recipe? How do I make these?’” Sam recalls. “That’s how it all started.”

Sam began posting her work on Instagram. Brands took notice of Sam’s upbeat, retro style, and paid gigs started rolling in. “I realized, OK, I could make a career doing this,” Sam says. She left her job in 3D modeling to dive into online content creation full time.

In 2015, Sam launched Aww Sam, a creative lifestyle blog “with a focus on making every day fun.” She expanded her content to include party planning, crafting, vintage fashion and home décor. Her audience ate it all up.

Sam now toggles between New York City and her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her husband, Kyle, and new baby Kiki. Here, Sam shares a few ingredients from her recipe for success.

Screen capture of Sam Ushiro’s “Category: Donuts” webpage features a photo of Sam in a pink dress and hat emerging from a giant box of donuts, along with other donut photographs.

Sam Ushiro’s love for decorated, handmade donuts launched the Aww Sam brand.

Commit to your passion

In the beginning, Sam was juggling college, a job and her social media content. Like so many aspiring creators, Sam had to choose where to focus her time and energy. “Some people wait until their social media work surpasses their salary, then they make the leap full time,” Sam shares. “It was hard for me to do both at once.” She decided to take a chance and become a full-time content creator. “I figured, if this fails, I can go back to my industrial design career.” Sam never had to revert to plan B, as Aww Sam became even more successful than she imagined.

Start with what you have

Sam didn’t start out with fancy equipment or a studio. Working out of her one-bedroom apartment in New York, she taped paper to the walls to create a photography backdrop. “I used Photoshop to extend the colored backgrounds,” Sam shares. She had a flip phone (no smartphone), so she improvised with the tools available. “I used a digital camera,” Sam explains. “I would email the photos to myself, and then I’d go on my iPod touch and post them on Instagram.”

Sam, Kyle, and baby Kiki pose against a shimmery, wintry white backdrop. Sam wears a baby blue princess dress and hair bow, Kyle is in a white suit with a blue scarf and black top hat and baby Kiki wears a yellow dress with a blue pom-pom headband.

Sam’s husband, Kyle, and baby Kiki are part of the Aww Sam experience.

Find inspiration in unexpected places

Sam’s design aesthetic is uniquely her own. But she’s drawn inspiration from outside of the Aww Sam orbit, too. “I look at other creative things, like films, graphic novels and surrealist art,” Sam says. “You can gather inspiration from stuff that’s not directly related to your work.”

Sam’s pink Jell-O crown cake has red and orange fruit chunks and white balls of cream. It sits atop a yellow cake stand.

Sam’s Jell-O crown cake is inspired by vintage recipes, when Jell-O was a kitchen staple.

Use your platform for social advocacy

Sam has built her brand on spreading joy. But she also uses her platform to educate her audience. Her Instagram Stories cover the Black Lives Matter movement and other important issues, including the rise in violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. In one post, Sam shared her experience growing up as a Japanese American, and how her grandparents were relocated and confined in U.S. internment camps during World War II. The post enlightened her audience, “some of whom didn’t know Japanese internment camps existed,” Sam says.

Photo of Sam as a young child. She sits on top of a green bouncy ride outside, wearing a blue dress, white tights and her hair styled with bangs in a bob cut.

Sam shared her experience growing up as a Japanese American with her followers.

Sam hopes her content serves as a bright spot in her followers’ social media feeds. She encourages other creators to start posting and see where their journey takes them. “I think all creative work is valid,” Sam says. “Even if you don't think you've done a good job, you still made this thing. You made something out of nothing. And that in itself is still valid.”

Want to hear more? Check out the full video interviewwith Sam on The Conversation.

XWP helps publishers get creative using Web Stories

Editor’s note: Today’s guest post is from Amit Sion, Chief Revenue Officer at XWP.

Content creation is growing at a faster pace than ever before. Digital media has made it easier for niche publishers to reach global audiences. And publishers are now competing for readers’ attention and time not just with each other, but with social media platforms. With seemingly limitless ways to get news, entertainment and other information, publishers need to find ways to stand out.

Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, our web agency XWP works with technology, media and publishing companies. Part of what we do is help publishers engage readers and thrive in today’s highly competitive and often mobile-first marketplace. One way we help them do that is through Web Stories.

A carousel of five Web Stories is featured with topics like tech, music and film.

The Australian features their top Web Stories in a carousel on their homepage.

We recently began working with News Corp Australia to use Web Stories across their family of publications. For example, Australia's most prominent newspaper, The Australian, just added a Web Stories carousel to their homepage under the “Visual Stories” heading. They are using Web Stories for a variety of sections, including news, travel, lifestyle, arts and entertainment.

We are also working with News Corp brands in the U.S., like The Wall Street Journal, and hope to bring Web Stories to even more News Corp publications. In each project, we learn something new and try to share that experience globally.

A man stands over a bar with three friends laughing and drinking beer. The text on the image reads: “Bored during COVID, Rich Joyce, left, decided to put a television in his garage for a no-frills hang-out spot. Before he knew it, he had spent about $5,000 to convert the garage into a pub, with a 4-foot wooden bar, a pinball machine and a sign dubbing it ‘Joycee’s Bar & Grill.’”

The Home garages getting pandemic makeovers Web Story in The Wall Street Journal shares many garage renovations, including this transformation into a pub.

"News Corp Australia is producing more Web Stories a week than any other publisher in the world,” says Rod Savage, Partnership Editor of News Corp Australia. ”We could not output such volumes of quality content without a quality publishing system and XWP's plug-in has proven to be robust and intuitive. We're looking forward to continuing to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the common goal of making Web Stories a stunning user experience."

On the Google app on Android and iOS, News Corp’s Web Stories appear on Discover (currently available in the U.S., India and Brazil). This is a useful tool for reaching new audiences, and our customers are seeing positive results in their web traffic.

We’re also helping smaller, independent publishers use Web Stories to engage their audiences. For example, a COWGIRL Magazine Web Story promoted a documentary about Wyomingrodeo athlete Amberley Snyder, who built her life back after losing the use of her legs in an automobile accident.

Amberley is sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a black blouse, blue jeans and a cowboy hat. She is putting a brown saddle on a horse.

COWGIRL Magazine used the Web Stories format to share how rodeo athlete Amberley Snyder began riding horses again after a car crash that left her paralyzed below the waist.

“It's a different way of telling a story online, unlike anything that anybody's doing out there,” says COWGIRL Magazine Founder and CEO Ken Amorosano. “[Social media stories are] rapid fire…but they’re not really telling a story. A blog post is telling a story, but it's out of sequence, as a photo doesn’t necessarily link with a paragraph. With Web Stories, every word with that image, with that video, matters. And it matters to the actual flow of the story. It has a beginning, middle and an end. And it's very, very, very powerful.” Check out my interview with Ken to learn more about their experience using Web Stories.

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about how to develop, deploy and enhance Web Stories for publishers. We’ve found that you can't just take an article and break it up into pages with text — it has to be more engaging. Web Stories offer the ability to add video, sound and images, and publishers need to find the right balance of using multiple media to tell their stories. When we start with publishers, the first thing we do is look at some existing stories. Then we encourage them to think about how to transform them into immersive Web Stories.

We can’t wait to see where Web Stories take XWP and our publishers next. That includes working with Google to develop Web Stories for WordPress, and helping even more of our customers experiment with Web Stories to grow their audiences and create new reader experiences.

From intern to million-dollar creator in four years

Christina Galbato began her career as a public relations intern in 2015. She launched a personal blog and an Instagram profile in 2016, posting about travel and life in New York City. “Back then, it was just a passion project,” recalls Christina. Soon, she started connecting with other content creators, including those earning income as bloggers and social media influencers.

That led to a life-changing, “aha” moment.

“I realized I could actually make money and have a full-time career doing this,” Christina says. She landed her first paid gig creating content for a Caribbean tourism board. One job led to another, and another. She grew her network and built herwebsite, herblog and her following, establishing herself as a dependable and engaging influencer. Other brands came calling, and Christina’s success skyrocketed.

Within a year, she’d earned enough income as a content creator to quit her job as a marketing assistant. She built her portfolio and attracted more business deals, earning six figures from brand collaborations. She traveled the world, visiting 16 countries. As her community and success grew, things began to shift. “My followers started to ask me, ‘How can I do what you do?’” Christina says. She transitioned away from travel content to become an online educator, creatingcourses and apodcast to help other creators monetize their businesses.

Screen capture of a website features images of women against a pink background, and titles of three different podcast episodes focused on content creation.

Christina’s podcast includes influencer industry news, business and blogging strategies and social media advice.

By 2020, Christina’s business brought in its first $1 million in revenue. By 2021, she more than doubled that revenue stream, with enough work to hire 20 team members — most of whom are women. With an audience of over 500,000 online, she has already helped 10,000 other women become successful influencers and is expanding her courses and coaching offerings to help even more.

Christina offers her advice in the latest Creator Insights series, launching today on the Google for Creators YouTube channel. “I'm excited to encourage other creators and show them a number of different ways that they can monetize their content,” she says. Some topics Christina covers include creating a strategic content plan, making your pitches stand out to brands and calculating rates for sponsored content.

Here, she shares three tips for content creators to get on track to achieve their own success.

Christina leans against a railing overlooking the water and the New York City skyline. She is smiling with long brown hair, wearing a flowy, long-sleeved red dress.

Christina transitioned away from travel blogging to become an online educator, sharing what she’s learned with other content creators and social media influencers.

Network with other creators and brands

Christina’s success didn’t happen by accident. She followed and connected with other content creators, inviting them into her community and tapping into theirs. At the same time, she reached out to brands and public relations companies representing brands. “Do not underestimate the power of networking,” Christina advises. “You want to run a business that serves people, that serves your audience. So if you're not talking to them, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.”

Focus on your audience, not yourself

“The biggest mistake new creators make is too much focus on ‘me me me content, and not enough on value,” Christina observes. “The online landscape and what it means to be a successful influencer has changed a lot. Five years ago, you could post about what you were doing, selfies, pictures of what you were eating. People don't care about that stuff anymore. People are always asking, ‘What is in it for me?’ Lead from a point of view of always providing value to your audience — whether that is entertainment, informational content or inspiration. That's going to set you apart from people who aren’t leading with that mindset…and bring you success a lot quicker.”

Diversify your platforms and income streams

Christina’s content strategy includes a website that serves as her brand hub, which branches out onto her social media channels. She also reaches her audience through an email list and her podcasts. “It’s not just being on Instagram, but also having an email list and growing your audience on a platform that you own, like a blog,” she advises. “Creators should also explore different ways to monetize their content. In addition to brand collaborations, there’s affiliate marketing, creating online courses and other digital products. Never put all of your eggs in one basket, whether it's a content publishing platform or an income stream.”

Holding her dog, Koa, and smiling, Christina stands on the sidewalk with a wrought-iron fence and brick building behind her. She has long brown hair down and wears an off-the-shoulder, long-sleeved peach-colored dress.

Christina is expanding her classes and coaching programs to help more aspiring entrepreneurs become successful creators and influencers.

Want to learn more about becoming a successful content creator and social influencer? Watch Christina’s first Creator Insights video on the Google for Creators YouTube channel and stay tuned for more.

How live streaming helps this creator connect with fans

Tokes Ojo-Ade is a marketing professional, wife, mother — and successful web creator. Her blog,Tokes’ Take On Style, offers fashion, styling and shopping tips for busy working women.

“As a working mom, I know we all juggle a lot,” says Tokes, who lives in the Washington, D.C. area and works full time in the financial services industry. “Given how time-strapped a lot of us are, we could all use effortless styling and shopping tips along with easy style inspiration,” she says.

Wearing a long-sleeved red dress, big sunglasses and hoop earrings, Tokes poses outside of an office building.

Fashion, style and beauty influencer Tokes blogs for busy, working women.

Tokes works to keep her blog’s content fresh and engaging, like adding tappableWeb Stories andYouTube videos to the mix.

She also live streams to connect with her fan base more directly. On her biweekly Instagram TV (IGTV) live stream, “Thursday Tips with Tokes,” she shares quick and easy styling tips with her audience — sometimes reaching over 21,000 views. Fans are drawn to Tokes’ warm, personal style, and her take on fashion and beauty to help women feel more confident.

Tokes spoke with us to share a few tips on how to create a successful live stream.

Wearing a long-sleeved blue dress and cream-colored pumps and carrying a designer tote, Tokes walks across a city street.

Through her blog, videos and live stream shows, Tokes helps women find style on a budget.

Prepare before you go live

While trial and error is part of the learning process, Tokes says preparation is key to live streaming success. “You have to figure out what the intent is, what the goal is, what you're trying to do,” Tokes says. “If I'm sharing tips, do I need props? If I'm showing and telling, what are the pieces that I want to share? How long am I going live for? How many outfits can I fit in during that time? Also, I have to anticipate questions that people may have.” She suggests making a list of everything you need for your live stream and reviewing it in advance to avoid any mid-stream glitches.

Tokes also recommends preparing based on the platform you’re using. She says while Instagram is great for quick and spontaneous live streams, her Amazon Live shows require more prep with choosing products to feature that are a good fit for her audience.

Involve your audience and other influencers

Tokes kicks off every live stream with some audience banter, welcoming her viewers by name. Engaging with the audience as soon as she goes live helps them feel like they’re part of the show. “I always ask where people are joining from because you're bringing them along,” Tokes shares. “It doesn't feel as much like you're talking to a screen because there's that engagement and interaction going on.”

Tokes also features other influencers on her shows as a way to expand her content and build community between their audiences. “I did [a live stream] recently with two plus-sized influencers, and we talked about styling tips for plus-sized women.”

While popular influencer live stream shows have a casual, laid-back feel, successful creators like Tokes put in plenty of prep time. That foundation makes it easier for creators to relax and have fun with their audiences, knowing they’ve mapped everything out in advance.

Want to hear more from Tokes? Watch our full interview on the Google for Creators YouTube channel and check out her Web Story.

5 Google for Creators highlights in 2021

Before we jump into 2022, the Google for Creators team is looking back at some of our favorite moments from this year. Check out our top five highlights from 2021.

Photographs of two women and a man with an animal perched on his shoulders and floating colorful shapes surround a bubble with the words “Google for Creators.”

The Google for Creators website features guides, event listings, a blog and more to help creators learn and grow.

1. Launching Google for Creators

In October, we launched Google for Creators, a hub for content creators looking for information and inspiration. Along with guides for creating a content strategy, expanding your audience and choosing a monetization approach, you’ll find upcoming events, tips from seasoned creators and blog posts with the latest updates from the creator economy.

2. Celebrating women of color creators

On November 19, Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we launched The Conversation, a new video series celebrating women of color creators. Guests, like beauty and lifestyle creator Tyla-Lauren Gilmore and fashion model and creative director Hannah Mussette, talk about how their backgrounds have shaped their brands and share their personal successes and struggles as full-time creators. Stay tuned for more episodes of The Conversation in 2022.

A screenshot of the homepage of Mochi Magazine shows a grid of images and headlines.

Google for Creators interviewed Giannina Ong, the Editor in Chief of Mochi Magazine, the longest-running online publication for Asian American women.

3. Interviewing inspiring creators

We’ve interviewed so many fascinating people on our blog, including the editor in chief of the longest-running Asian American women’s online magazine; a queer automotive educator, journalist and influencer who started an inclusive car blog; a former lawyer who became a full-time vegan food blogger; and a ceramicist whose content showcases her artistic process. Their stories show the endless topics, communities and niches that you can create content for and about on the web.

4. Tapping into expert insights

For our Creator Insights YouTube series, we asked some of our favorite creators — like Eden Hagos and Elle Asiedu of BLACK FOODIE, and beauty blogger Keiko Lynn — to share their top insights and strategies for creating content, building a brand and making money as a creator. Some topics included how to find your niche, avoid burnout and pitch yourself to brands.

A screenshot of an Instagram post from @googleforcreators displays a designed  prompt that says, “Tag a woman identifying creator who is doing a great job.”

Follow Google for Creators on Instagram and Twitter, where we regularly connect with the creator community and post advice and insights.

5. Connecting with creators on social

We hope you’ve been following Google for Creators on Twitter and Instagram, where we share everything we’re up to. We also love connecting with the creator community on our social channels. If you’ve ever wanted to ask us a question, or answer one of ours with your own tips, that’s where to do it!

We had a blast sharing stories and insights from all the creators we spoke to in 2021, and we can’t wait to connect with even more next year. See you in 2022!

Get content inspiration from December’s top search trends

Google for Creators is partnering with Google Trends to share some of the top searches every December. With the holidays upon us, we hope this helps creators put together any last-minute gift guides, listicles or other seasonal content your audience might be searching for.

What foods are people searching for during the holidays?

Seasonal eats are (of course) on people’s minds. Top food searches in December include mulled wine, hot cocoa, hot toddy, fudge and cookies. Speaking of cookies, the top-searched types are sugar, gingerbread, peanut butter, chocolate chip and shortbread. Stomach grumbling? Us, too.

Christmas-themed, frosted sugar cookies sit on a bed of shredded brown paper.

Sugar cookies are the top-searched cookie type in December.

What are the top-searched holiday movies in the U.S.?

When December comes around, people are ready to curl up on the couch with a holiday movie. “Die Hard” is the top-searched holiday movie in the U.S., and other favorites include “Gremlins,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Home Alone” and “Lethal Weapon.” Fun fact — the U.S. is the only country where searches for “Elf” rank higher than “Love Actually.”

What are people in the U.S. curious about during the holidays?

You’re sure to hear a lot of Mariah Carey this time of year — which explains why one of the top-searched questions about her in the U.S. is “How much does Mariah Carey make every Christmas?”

Another insight that might help with last-minute gift guides: “Gifts for boyfriend” is searched two times more than “gifts for girlfriend,” while “gifts for wife” gets more searches than “gifts for husband.” Two gift ideas you might also want to cover, based on top-topic searches, are socks and sweaters.

Food and drink-focused creators, take note: The top day for cocktail searches is December 31, so be sure to line up some content about your favorite drink recipes in time for New Year’s Eve. Some other, not-so-surprising insights: Every December, search interest in “resume” goes down, while “champagne” goes up; and the top day for “hangover” searches is January 1.

A pile of red and white holiday boxes are wrapped in a variety of gift wrapping and bows.

People search for gift ideas for their partners during the holiday season.

What is everyone else in the world searching for in December?

Every December, people all over the world search for cheese and wine, baking, mince pie, tamale, candle, snowman, scarf and beanie. Certain countries see interest spike in particular seasonal goodies. In Japan, where eating fried chicken on Christmas Day has become a tradition, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is the top food search. In Israel, latkes are always number one — but this year, searches for the fried potato fritters are at an all-time high. In France and Italy, the most-searched foods in December are Yule log and panettone, respectively.

Three tamales and a sprig of cilantro sit on a pale, off-white plate.

Tamales, a popular Christmas food in Mexican and Central American cultures, are one of the most popular search terms in December worldwide.

What are some other top global seasonal trends?

Ever wonder what Boxing Day is all about? You’re not alone — it’s the top-searched question worldwide in December. People around the world also start searching for snowman-related topics, like how to draw and make a snowman. Another insight that might help family-focused content creators: This year, searches for “elf” and “the Elf on the Shelf” are at all-time highs.

A blue line graph shows how many people searched the phrase “The Elf on the Shelf” worldwide from 2004-present.

This year, people are very interested in “the Elf on the Shelf.”

We hope you enjoyed these insights from the Google Trends team, and that they help you spread even more holiday cheer to your audiences.

A creator who started posting at age 12 now has over 700,000 fans

Google for Creators recently launched The Conversation, a new YouTube series spotlighting the experiences of women of color creators. This month, we’re featuring 21-year-old creative director, model and social media influencer Hannah Mussette, who began creating and posting content at age 12. Learn more about Hannah below and check out the full interview.

Social media influencer Hannah Mussette grew up on the internet, creating and posting content starting at age 12. Now, at 21, Hannah has a successful brand and over half a million followers. But the road to get there wasn’t easy. Like many others, she found that middle school wasn’t always a welcoming, inclusive environment. “I had very bad social anxiety,” Hannah recalls. “I was getting made fun of in school. I didn’t have any friends. My only outlet was to turn to the internet.”

Hannah began creating and sharing videos as a way to express her bubbly personality — showing what she had in her backpack or just goofing around with her sister. “I felt the internet wouldn’t judge me,” she shares. “I felt more comfortable being myself online, which I couldn’t do in [my] environment.”

Hannah began posting makeup tutorials in high school, taking note of what other women of color were doing online. At 16, she decided to go public with a deeply personal issue — her hair. “I used a relaxer, which is the devil,” she says. “My father said, ‘Do something with your hair. It looks fried.’ I said, ‘OK, I got you.’” Hannah took matters, and scissors, into her own hands. 30 minutes later, she emerged from the bathroom with her hair cut short. She documented the process in a YouTube video calledMy BIG Chop!, which quickly went viral. “I was watching the views go up,” Hannah says. “It was 20,000. Then, it was 50,000. Then, it was a million before I knew it. I was like, ‘Wow!’ And I knew that was my niche.”

Hannah’s YouTube homepage featuring her “Nighttime skincare and shower routine,” among other haircare and skincare videos.

Hannah shares haircare, skincare and modeling tips, as well as her thoughts on sexuality and self-care, in her YouTube videos.

Since it was first posted in 2016, Hannah’s haircut video has attracted more than 1.5 million views. HerYouTube channel now has 433,000 subscribers, who watch Hannah’s take on natural haircare and skincare, beauty, style, relationships and more. And herInstagram profile has 240,000 followers.

Today, Hannah is a professional model, content creator and social media influencer, with sponsorship and affiliate deals from multiple beauty brands. She is also co-founder and creative director ofJumu, a company that sells natural hair products.

Hannah shares some of what she’s learned from growing up in the social media spotlight.

Hannah smiles as she shows off her brown curly hair, which she wears in an afro. She has on a tank top, gold necklaces, hoop earrings and rings on her fingers.

Creating and sharing content helped Hannah overcome anxiety and find herself. It also jump-started her career in modeling and business.

Evolving with her content

Hannah’s content evolved as she grew into a young woman. “My content has changed dramatically,” she says. “Between the [ages] of 14 to 17, it was usually hair videos or school vlogs. I would take my camera to school and film with my friends.” Today, Hannah still shares beauty and styling tips, but she also vlogs on self-care and sexuality. She even opened up about her adoption story. “Now we're talking about grown-up stuff,” she says. “We're having girl talks.”

Taking on social issues

Hannah also promotes Black-owned businesses and posts about women’s rights and social justice issues. She doesn’t intend to stir up controversy, but she doesn’t shy away from it either. “I’m trying to educate,” she says. “People will either agree with me or they won’t. That’s the joy of social media. For every negative comment, there are 30 more from people wanting to know more, and thanking me for posting and speaking up.” Still, living in the social media spotlight can be challenging. “Social media can be a little bit scary,” Hannah admits. “I’m showing my personality, but some people will throw that back in your face. I try not to listen to [the negative] comments.”

Being a role model

Hannah wishes she could tell her 12-year-old self that everything would turn out OK. Now, she wants to inspire other girls and women of color to feel good about themselves. “My biggest inspiration is little girls, Black girls,” Hannah says. “Because when I first started [posting] the hair videos, the initial comments were, ‘Oh, I'm 10, or I’m 12, and my mom won't let me cut my hair, but I want to. I want to be like you one day.’ I want to be that person for little girls… that person that they can look up to.”

Hannah stands on a sidewalk in Manhattan, New York, with trees and a metal fence behind her. She wears a red, oversized blazer with a lacy black top, red lipstick and her hair in braids.

Hannah looks ahead to a bright future, which includes inspiring other girls and women of color.

How this travel blogger pivoted during the pandemic

Gabby Beckford is an expert planner, even when things don’t work out as expected. Shortly after graduating from college and getting her first job in engineering, she realized that working in an office wasn’t for her. But this didn’t throw her off course, it presented an opportunity. Over the next two years, she used savings from her job to become a full-time travel blogger. On her website Packs Light, Gabby writes travel tips for Gen Z, offers influencer guides and services and runs occasional partnerships with travel brands and companies.

In February 2020, Gabby planned to go to Bali for a month. But just a week later, the lockdown took hold and airports started to shut down. True to form, she decided to turn things around. “When the pandemic hit, I was in a reactive state anyway,” she says. “It was actually a benefit because I could pivot kind of easily.”

Luckily, she could live at her mom’s house and had a consistent, if small, income from the blog. Even though she (and everyone else) was stuck at home, she doubled down on travel writing — but now, she was pitching publications.

Gabby is happily traveling the world again, and now incorporates guidance on doing so responsibly during the ongoing pandemic. She has some tips for how creators can pivot in the face of unexpected challenges, and even uncover new prospects for growth and success.

Don’t quit, adapt

Gabby noticed that many travel bloggers shifted their focus to topics like beauty or fitness, but she decided to stay true to her core mission. “I knew that no matter how long this pandemic lasts, there would be a travel reboot eventually,” she says. “So it was an investment in myself to stay in this industry and continue building when the competition was low.”

Sticking to her mission while pivoting to evergreen topics, like how to apply for a passport or travel as a full-time student, also aligned with what her followers were interested in. “Just because people stopped traveling doesn't mean all 10,000 of my Instagram followers stopped caring about what I did, or about travel in general,” she points out. This continued focus cemented her reputation as a dedicated travel blogger.

A woman in a bright pink tank top and jeans leans back against the stone railing of a bridge set in a forest.

Gabby posts about evergreen topics in addition to travel destinations.

Be ready to jump on opportunities

In the corporate world, Gabby was used to planning things a year in advance. But the uncertainty of the pandemic forced her to think just a few months ahead. “Every three months, we were reassessing,” she says.

Luckily, growing up in a military family that moved around a lot prepared her to react quickly. She started proactively reaching out to write content. “In the beginning, brands were screaming, ‘Someone give us an idea, our content schedule is out the window,’” she remembers. “It was a very unique opportunity to partner with brands I probably would never have partnered with before.”

Focus on community building

Sharing opportunities with other creators helped promote her brand and expand her network. “[On] Patreon, I'll share if a brand comes to me for an opportunity and I can't take it because the rate isn't right or it's not my brand,” she says. She also posts paid travel opportunities on her site.

Building a community grounded in generosity was essential not just for business, but for Gabby’s mental health during the early months of the pandemic. “You want to make sure you’re on the same page as everyone,” she says. “Is everyone feeling the same way I am? Is anyone else still indoors?”

A woman in a red dress reclines on a chaise in front of a pool and palm trees in a courtyard.

Gabby is writing about travel again, with a special focus on responsibility in the age of COVID-19.

Trust yourself

In difficult times, it’s natural to second-guess your choices. But indulging in doubt can be damaging. “You don't have to have everything figured out, but you have to have the confidence and trust in yourself that you can figure it out,” she says.