Facebook is targeting jerks who spam your News Feed
Facebook is targeting jerks who spam your News Feed
Image: brittany herbert/mashable
By Karissa Bell2017-06-30 19:36:22 UTC
Facebook is taking new steps to fight spam.
The social network will now weed out posts from spammers who fill their friends' feeds with "vast amounts" of links to "low quality content."
"We want to reduce the influence of these spammers and deprioritize the links they share more frequently than regular sharers," writes Facebook's VP of News Feed Adam Mosseri.
In this case, Facebook is setting a pretty high bar for what it considers a "spammer." The update was designed to address the "tiny group" of users who share 50 or more public posts a day.
Mosseri notes that the change will only affect links, since "research further shows that the links they share tend to include low quality content such as clickbait, sensationalism, and misinformation."
The update is the most recent step in a series of changes the company has made to combat fake news since the election. Earlier in the week, Facebook announced it would no longer allow users to manually change the headlines and descriptions of links they share.
While Mark Zuckerberg and other executives have in the past insisted that Facebook so-called "fake news" problem is one that's perpetuated by only a tiny fraction of Facebook's 2 billion users, the reality is that these spammers are increasingly savvy at figuring how to game Facebook's algorithms to have the greatest possible impact.
Importantly, this latest update is only meant to address spam that comes from individual accounts, not pages, so publishers or others that share dozens of links to less reputable sources won't be affected. It also does nothing to address people who frequently share spammy clickbait, but at a frequency of less than 50 times a day (though Facebook has taken other steps to reduce the spread of fake news in its News Feed).
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June 30, 2017 at 03:35PM
Made You Look! 3 Creative Marketing Tips to Help Your Business Stand Out
In order for a brand to appeal to consumers, it must stand out from the competition. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean your business has to set up an inflatable tube man out front; creative marketing simply means that when other brands zig, yours should zag.
Suzanne Copeland, former CMO of Sterling National Bank, found ways to zag every day. It was her job to market Sterling in a way that distinguished it from other banks and turn consumers’ heads. With a marketing background and a sharp instinct for creativity as her go-to utilities, Copeland innovated campaigns that paid dividends for her bank.
You can hear Copeland speak about her creative marketing experiences on the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast below.
As a lateral thinking whiz, Copeland offers some expert advice for making brands stand out. Here are three creative marketing tips that can help your business make a name for itself.
1. Do What Other Brands Don’t Do
Whatever your company’s industry, there are probably like-minded organizations with the same goals that offer competitive benefits to consumers. Although it’s important to provide customer experiences that are just as good—if not better—than your competitors’, it’s equally important to bring something new to the table. Copeland acknowledges the struggles of differentiating a brand, citing the specific challenges she faced in banking marketing. She says, “Everybody tells you that their customer relationship is better. It’s kind of hard to really tease that out to some specifics that explain exactly how you’re better.”
Complex problems like this require renegade thinking—and that’s exactly what Copeland used to help Sterling contrast itself from rival brands. Even though many marketers in the banking industry have sought out digital platforms to promote their brands, Copeland’s team went old-school with one of its primary advertising projects. The finished product was Connect Magazine, a print publication featuring the success stories of Sterling’s business clients. Copeland says, “Connect is a beautifully produced magazine. This is a small magazine, but it’s something that you would stop and take a few minutes to look at.”
Connect Magazine doesn’t just help Sterling’s clients get their brand names out there; the publication also helps Sterling present itself in a special way, as featured clients explain how the bank has helped them achieve their goals. “There is some relationship building with regard to the prospects, and, quite frankly, most of Connect is mailed to prospects, and that helps build our brand,” Copeland says. “But at the same time, it is going to our clients…it is creating brand ambassadors that will praise our services.”
2. Maintain Brand Focus
As any marketer knows, there are seemingly endless outlets for promotion in this day and age. Unfortunately, having too many options can distract marketers from their advertising goals. Copeland sees channel proliferation as a potentially harmful trend. “It’s almost endless, the different choices I could be making,” she says. “[Channel proliferation] is dizzying, especially as we try to make the marketing function as efficient as possible, spend the fewest number of dollars, and have them go to the exact perfect ways to get the exact results we want. And with more choices, that makes it much more difficult.”
Copeland’s solution is simple—focus. Know where you want to take your business and maintain a grounded approach when exploring new marketing frontiers. She explains, “I think you’ve got to have a focused plan…I think it’s so easy to get distracted by the new shiny object and start pursuing new tactics and get lost in the weeds.” The more focused your creative marketing strategy, the more sharply it can identify and follow through on the company’s larger goals.
3. Stay in Touch
Any lapse of consistency between how a business runs and how it is marketed can also muddy the brand image. A disjointed business structure could hinder a company’s objectives, says Copeland: “Many times there is a disconnect there, and I just think it’s hard to make good marketing decisions if you don’t know what makes the business run.”
The best ways to avoid this problem are to communicate clearly with the other parts of your business and to stay in touch with your industry as a whole. Marketing is, of course, just one component of any business structure, so it’s important to know what surrounds it. Copeland explains, “I think that the biggest ‘don’t’ for me is getting cornered in the marketing world. I think you’ve got to be able to have relationships beyond that in the organization and really understand what other parts of the organization are doing.” Keep those words in mind at your next company picnic.
The post Made You Look! 3 Creative Marketing Tips to Help Your Business Stand Out appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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June 30, 2017 at 03:18PM
Twitter inks live stream deals for Wimbledon, Comic-Con coverage, and more
Twitter is continuing to grow its live streaming business, with a series of new deals announced over the past week or so, including a partnership that will bring live streams from the floor of the San Diego Comic-Con in July, as well as behind-the-scenes action and news from Wimbledon, among several other efforts.
You may recall that Wimbledon was the first live-streamed sport to pop up on Twitter’s network last year, after the company had announced its $10 million deal to stream the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games. The Wimbledon coverage wasn’t then heavily promoted by Twitter, and was instead seen as more of a test of how live streaming would work across Twitter’s platforms.
How times have changed. In the year since, Twitter has delivered a slew of live streamed sports, sports-related programming, news, concerts, and other events to its service, including streams from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NLL, college sports, even esports, and many more.
This time around, Twitter’s Wimbledon deal is with the The All England Club, not ESPN, which is partnering with Twitter to live stream The Wimbledon Channel during the event. This coverage will include daily content, like news and interviews, behind the scenes footage, and “selected action” from the matches. (In other words, you can’t watch the matches in full, live).
The addition is one of several deals Twitter has announced over the past couple of weeks. Another notable partnership is with IGN, which will live stream from the huge entertainment event, San Diego Comic-Con 2017, via comiccon.twitter.com. The media company will broadcast up to 13 hours of live coverage from the show floor from July 19 through July 22, Twitter says.
This will include interviews from ABC, AMC, DC, Lionsgate, Marvel, Netflix, Starz, TBS and others, including live pre- and post show commentary from IGN hosts and special guests. The coverage will also be augmented with trailers, behind the scenes footage, interviews with actors and producers, cosplay worn by attendees, and more.
The deal represents an expanded relationship between Twitter and IGN, which most recently used the social network to broadcast coverage from the esports-focused event, the 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in L.A.
Other recent deals will bring more sports to Twitter as well, as the company is snapping up access to more niche programming, like that from the Canadian Football League (CFL), the Arab world’s inter-club football, and the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).
And previously this summer, Twitter live streamed other events of significance, like James Comey’s Congressional Testimony via Bloomberg and Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester benefit concert, for example.
Though a continued focus on live streaming is helping Twitter to better deliver on its mission to be the network where you go to find out what’s happening now, it’s also facing heavy competition from live streaming rivals and other major tech companies when it comes to scoring the sort of flagship coverage people actually want to watch. (Canadian football is not it.)
For instance, earlier this year, Twitter lost the NFL deal to Amazon, which reportedly paid $50 million for the rights, or five times more than what Twitter had paid last year. That’s led to some criticism of Twitter’s efforts in the live streaming space, with pundits saying that it just won’t have the funds to keep up with today’s major players – it will be outbid on the better live stream deals, that is, and left to pick up scraps.
In response to the loss to Amazon, however, Twitter partnered with the NFL on its own live video deal that includes news and highlights, but not games. This may not be the best NFL content, but it does fit in with Twitter’s news-focused reputation. It is, after all, where news breaks, is discussed, and where a large number of journalists generally hang out.
Still, some of Twitter’s recent announcements do make it appear that it’s doubling down on sports’ long tail and other smaller events that lack mainstream appeal. The company said in May it has 200 premium live video partnerships, which seems to back up the assumption that it’s doing a ton of “small potatoes” deal.
But while you can dismiss the individual deals as being non-consequential, the cumulative effect – or, at least Twitter hopes – is that people will begin to think to check Twitter to see if something is being live streamed. And if Twitter can gain mindshare around live video even without deals as big as NFL games, that could long-term help boost its other metrics – like signed-in users, ad dollars, and more.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
June 30, 2017 at 12:45PM
How I Built 826 Backlinks to a Single Article in 8 Weeks
No matter how much SEO evolves, backlinks remain the primary “currency” for Google when ranking websites.
In fact, a November 2016 study from First Page Sage found that backlinks are still the number one overall ranking factor in Google’s algorithm:
And I seriously doubt this will change any time soon.
Of course, there are other critical ranking factors, but building backlinks should still be your top priority.
When you break it all down, the more high quality, relevant backlinks you have pointing to your site, the better your rankings will be.
And that’s great and all, but how exactly do you go about quickly sending a high volume of backlinks to your website?
More specifically, how do you send them to a single article?
I’m about to show you.
I’m going to use a particular guide I created on Quick Sprout a while back as an example.
It’s The Advanced Guide to SEO I wrote with Sujan Patel.
I managed to build a grand total of 826 backlinks in just eight weeks to the guide.
First, let me give you a quick overview of the article’s stats.
I’ll use SEMrush to show you the details.
Now, that’s just a drop in the bucket when compared with the total number of backlinks for Quick Sprout.
The particular article I’m referencing accounts only for 1% of Quick Sprout’s overall backlinks.
But when you beef up the backlink volume for multiple articles, it all comes together to create a very powerful link profile for your site.
How did I do it?
It all starts with epic content
If you look through the Quick Sprout archives, you’ll see a massive body of content.
Some articles are better than others, but I always strive to maintain quality.
One content format that’s really helped bring in backlinks is the in-depth guides.
There’s a guide for general online marketing, content marketing, landing page optimization and so on.
Here’s a list of 12 guides and two courses offered.
And, of course, there’s The Advanced Guide to SEO I’m using as an example for this post.
If you browse through it, you’ll quickly see it’s not your average guide.
It’s incredibly comprehensive and detailed.
There are nine exhaustive chapters, covering everything from indexation and accessibility to link-building techniques and search verticals.
The various techniques are also broken down step-by-step so beginners can understand the specifics and ultimately gain a deeper perspective on the underlying theory.
In other words, it’s not something you’ll find on your average SEO blog.
My point here is you need to begin with epic content.
It needs to deliver value the bulk of your competitors aren’t currently offering.
As I’ve pointed out before, this doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel.
In fact, you can take an existing topic, improve upon it and still completely crush it.
This is known as the skyscraper technique.
If the quality level is there, the backlinks will come.
But if it’s not, it’s going to be an uphill battle.
Target multiple keywords
I’m sure you know by now that long-form content ranks consistently higher than your average, run of the mill, 500-700-word post.
One of the more recent studies on word count from Backlinko found that “the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.”
There are multiple theories as to why this correlation exists, but regardless of the reasoning, it’s undeniable.
One reason why I really love long-form content is because it gives me the opportunity to rank for several different keywords at once.
Just think about.
If you’re writing a 500-word post, you’re essentially limited to targeting two or three keywords (unless you’re obnoxiously stuffing keywords).
But if you go significantly longer and hit upwards of 2,000 words, you can target several different keywords.
This approach allows you to cater to multiple segments of your demographic, increasing the number of times people link to your article.
Longtail keywords in particular are great for maximizing your organic traffic and attracting a larger percentage of your audience.
Let’s say you’re a web developer writing an article on the topic of coding/web development.
You’re looking to showcase your expertise, build backlinks, bring in organic traffic, etc.
Just a little keyword research on The Google Keyword Planner will supply you with a handful of potential keywords to target.
Here are some keywords that look pretty good to me:
From there, you could include different sections in your article to cover PHP, RWD and mobile web development.
As long as your content hits its mark, it’s reasonable to expect that a sizable number of people will link to you.
Answer a relevant Quora question
I’ve mentioned before that Quora can be an incredibly powerful resource for generating referral traffic.
But it’s also a great place to build backlinks.
Here’s what you do.
First, do a search that relates to the article you’re trying to build backlinks to.
I’ll stick with web development as an example.
Just type in “web development” into the search box to find a relevant topic.
Then click on the topic you’re interested in.
This particular topic looks good because there are over 163,000 questions and 1.5 million followers.
Now, scroll down until you find a question relevant to your article.
This one might work:
It’s got plenty of upvotes and comments, which is good.
Now, leave a detailed, quality answer, and link to your article.
The idea here is that people will be impressed with your answer and click on the link you provide.
From there, a portion will be even more impressed with your article and link to it.
That way, you’re instantly gaining a solid link from Quora and potentially more from people who land on your content.
But here’s the thing.
You never want to be spammy about it.
This is only going to hurt your credibility on Quora.
That’s why it’s essential that your link is highly relevant to the question asked.
Spy on competitors for backlink opportunities
Sometimes, the best way to build backlinks is to simply ask for them.
But how do you know whom to ask?
One technique I’ve found useful involves first seeing where your main competitors are getting their backlinks from.
Since you’re in the same niche, there’s a good chance the sites that link to your competitors will link to you too.
Here’s what you do.
Start by searching for a competitor’s backlink profile on Cognitive SEO’s Site Explorer.
I’ll just use Backlinko as an example.
Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see who’s been linking to their site.
From here, I can see exactly where those links are coming from.
Next, reach out to those relevant sites with an email like this:
This is a great way to get on the radar of some of the more influential sites in your niche, and it can help you quickly gain some valuable backlinks.
It can be a bit of a numbers game, so you may need to send out a high volume of emails to get the results you’re looking for.
Create a round-up post
Okay, this last technique is a little different.
It doesn’t involved building backlinks to an existing article.
Instead, it revolves around strategically creating a “round-up post” with the specific purpose of gaining massive backlinks.
If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, it works like this.
You come up with an interesting question a lot of people have.
Then you contact a large list of experts and ask them for a response to the question.
Here’s a really good example from Clambr:
In it, Richard Marriot asks 55 experts what their three favorite SEO tools are.
A quick search on SEMrush lets me know he got 56 backlinks, which isn’t too shabby.
But there’s no reason you couldn’t get a lot more than that.
And the process is fairly straightforward.
You identify at least 30 relevant experts to answer your question and contact them.
HubSpot provides a template for your email:
You then compile the answers you receive into an easy-to-digest article.
The logic behind a round-up post
You may be wondering what the point of creating this type of article is.
Well, it’s simple.
After you’ve published it, you send all the participating experts a quick email that includes the URL to the post.
You can expect a fair number of those experts to link to the article or share it on social media.
In some cases, your article might even go viral.
Just think of the implications of a big name expert, with a massive following, linking to it.
At the very least, you should be able to generate a good number of backlinks.
For more on the topic of round-up posts, I recommend reading this guide from HubSpot.
It will fill you in on the details.
Google looks at numerous factors when deciding where to rank your site.
But backlinks have been and will continue to be one of the primary ranking factors.
You need to come up with a viable strategy for generating backlinks—and plenty of them.
I find that creating top-shelf, long-form content and targeting a handful of relevant keywords is a good starting point.
That’s half the battle.
Beyond that, there are several strategies you can implement that will increase the visibility of your article and encourage others to link to it.
The ones I mentioned here can be a tremendous help and net you as many as 826 backlinks in just eight weeks.
What’s your number one go-to backlinking strategy?
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June 30, 2017 at 10:00AM
Creating Advanced Facebook Custom Audiences Using Google Tag Manager
Do you know you can combine Google Tag Manager with Facebook Pixel Events?
To explore the value of using these tools together, I interview Chris Mercer.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
In this episode, I interview Chris Mercer, an analytics expert who specializes in helping marketers measure and optimize their marketing. His course is called Master the Fundamentals of Google Tag Manager. You can find him at MeasurementMarketing.io.
Chris explores how to use Google Tag Manager to take your Facebook retargeting to the next level.
You’ll discover how to create and use Facebook Pixel Events in your Facebook marketing.
Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
Facebook Pixel Events and Google Tag Manager
Chris, who has a background in sales and marketing, left corporate America to investigate online business. Five or six years ago, he started a site called WP Training Videos. The site was designed to help people understand and learn WordPress, but after customers requested help with building websites, the company’s business model changed.
To learn about analytics, Chris installed Google Analytics and set up tracking on opt-in and lead generation forms. When he showed his analytics to a client, the client stopped asking about changing the website design and wanted to learn more about tracking results. Chris soon had more clients who were interested in analytics, and about four or five years ago, the business pivoted again.
Chris’s business became Measurement Marketing, which is dedicated to making Google Analytics more accessible to the masses. His clients were often people who installed Google Analytics but didn’t know how to use it. Today, Chris works with marketers, marketing teams, and agencies. He shows them what’s important to measure, helps them build measurement machines, and shares what to do with the data they collect.
Listen to the show to discover one of the biggest struggles for marketers.
What Is Google Tag Manager?
Google Tag Manager is a tool that was designed to solve an enterprise-level problem. The problem arose about 10 years ago when this new upstart, Facebook, started putting out pixels (snippets of code to copy and paste on a site) that enabled marketers to track things online. It was revolutionary at the time.
After the Facebook pixel arrived, large businesses had to figure out how to bridge the gap between marketing and IT.
To add the code to web pages, marketing had to submit IT help desk tickets, because IT developers were the only people allowed to mess with the website. As a result, IT departments developed bottlenecks and couldn’t focus on the right projects, and marketing teams couldn’t get the pixels on the pages fast enough. By the time IT added a pixel to a page, the campaign that marketing wanted to measure had been over for eight weeks.
Tag Manager was created to solve that problem.
Marketing teams can use it to put out individual snippets of tracking code (for instance, a Facebook remarketing or conversion pixel) that they can use at any point without having to involve developers. Tag Manager gives marketers granular control over their measurement and tracking.
I ask about the difference between Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, and Chris explains Google Analytics does three main things. It collects its data, stores the data, and builds reports based on the data. Google Tag Manager replaces Google Analytics’ ability to collect its own data.
Tag Manager collects the data and sends it to Google Analytics so it can store and report. As a go-between, Tag Manager can send the same data to Facebook, AdWords, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on, so that all platforms get the same version of the information at the same time from the same source.
Using Tag Manager also improves your website performance. You put one piece of Tag Manager script onto your site. Your tags, which are instructions about what analytics to collect, all go into Tag Manager.
For example, a tag might be: “Send a page view to Google Analytics so it knows somebody is on the site.” When someone visits your website, Tag Manager uses asynchronous loading, which means the tags can load on Google’s servers and don’t slow down your website’s load times.
Listen to the show to hear the benefit of having a developer help with Google Tag Manager.
What’s New With Google Tag Manager
Tag Manager has changed in a couple of big ways recently. First, the way you publish the tags has changed. What used to be a one-step process is now a two-step process. With this change, you can now save your tag as a draft before you publish it.
The Google Analytics settings variable has also changed so it’s much simpler to use. When you create a Universal Analytics or Google Analytics tag, you no longer have to adjust individual settings. You have one place to choose all of the settings and your preferences appear in all of your tags.
If you created tags using the old method, Chris says those tags should still work. However, he recommends updating your legacy tags so they use the new method.
Listen to the show to hear how publishing tags and setting variables worked before the recent updates.
Tag Manager and Facebook Custom Audiences
Tag Manager gives you the ability to tell the Facebook Ad platform that you don’t want Facebook to know about something yet. With this capability, you get more power to fine-tune your analytics so they’re more accurate.
For example, in the Facebook Ad platform, you can tell Facebook pixel that you want people who saw these two URLs but not that URL, and thus build an abandoned cart sequence. Or you can also say you want people who saw the product but didn’t purchase or become a lead.
However, when you use only Facebook pixel, it records a page view for anyone who accidentally clicks a link, loads the page, and bounces off after half a second. That page view can put a visitor in your remarketing audience, even though they visited your page by mistake. Your ad then follows that visitor all over Facebook, because Facebook can’t tell the difference between somebody who was exposed to information and somebody who engaged with a page.
With Google Tag Manager, you have more control over who ends up in a remarketing audience. Say you set up a Facebook campaign that boosts a blog post. You don’t necessarily want to remarket to people who click the ad, open the blog post page, and leave. You might put those people in an audience that sees other blog posts, but you want to show offers only to the people who engage.
To narrow down that engaged audience, you can use Tag Manager to create a tag that triggers a Facebook custom event pixel only after someone remains on your site for 45 seconds and scrolls halfway down your blog post page.
In Tag Manager, built-in triggers include page loads, time on page, link or image clicks, any clicks, and scroll. However, Chris says you unlock the true power of Tag Manager by learning how to use the data layer. You can tell the data layer to store information and then create tags based on that information. With the variables and values stored in the data layer, Tag Manager triggers are limited only by your imagination.
I ask Chris to explain the data layer in a little more detail. He compares the data layer to a virtual filing cabinet. In the data layer, variables (such as one for scrolling from the top of the page) store values, such as how far down the page in pixels someone has scrolled. You can use these variables and values as triggers. For example, Tag Manager can tell a pixel to record data only if someone is a logged-in user, scrolled halfway down the page, and completed an ecommerce transaction of more than $50.
If you don’t have the technical background to work with the data layer, you can work with a Tag Manager expert. As you screen potential candidates, make sure they know the data layer because it’s a basic feature. To get more information about the data layer, do a search for “tag manager data layer” or “how to get information into the data layer.” For technical advice, follow Simo Ahava. He’s a developer who speaks to developers and is an excellent resource.
Alternately, you can use a WordPress plugin to add information to the data layer. Chris recommends DuracellTomi’s Google Tag Manager for WordPress plugin.
With this plugin, you can simply check a box to put information into the data layer, such as how far someone scrolled or how quickly they scrolled. Based on this data, the plugin can help you differentiate between readers and scanners (who reach the bottom of the page in 60 seconds or less). So you could remarket to readers differently than scanners.
Chris also likes the plugin because it’s frequently updated and integrated with powerful services. These updates and integrations keep the plugin current and add new capabilities. For instance, Contact Form 7 and WooCommerce are recent integrations. So with the plugin, you can now tell Tag Manager to collect your ecommerce data (such as SKUs or purchase amounts) from the data layer and send that data to Google Analytics for your ecommerce reports.
Next, I ask how you control the way the main Facebook pixel, which you put on all pages, interacts with Facebook custom event pixels, which may appear on only one page. Chris says many people are confused about how to set up the different pixels. To understand how to manage different pixels, you first need to understand how the pixels work together.
The main pixel script lets Facebook know somebody is on the page. In technical terms, this pixel initializes the visit. (In the code, you see ‘init’.) Facebook then stands by for more information. Only when the pixel is listening for more information will built-in or custom event scripts work.
After you add the Facebook initialization pixel to your page, you can add a code snippet for a built-in or custom event below the initialization pixel code. This way, the page view initialization pixel fires before the event pixel does. If the sequence reverses for whatever reason (someone engaged, but Facebook didn’t record the page view), Facebook won’t know where to store the engagement and will ignore it.
Chris says to manage several pixels, don’t create exception (blocking) triggers. Instead, use tag sequencing in Google Tag Manager. Enter a snippet of event code, open your advanced settings, look at tag sequencing, and tell the Facebook page view pixel to fire before this custom script.
You also want to make sure the main initialization and page view pixels don’t fire several times on a page. If this happens, Facebook (incorrectly) records multiple page views. To avoid this problem, on the initialization pixel, go to the advanced settings and tell the pixel to fire only once per page. This will restrict the page view pixel. If another event occurs later in that page view (an additional trigger), Tag Manager won’t fire the initialization pixel again. Only the event pixel fires.
This fire-once technique also ensures the initialization happens. If for some reason the initialization pixel didn’t fire for Facebook, Tag Manager will fire it. Facebook gets the exact data it needs and you don’t have to worry about 700 different exception triggers. With Tag Manager sequencing, everything is automated and the analytics are clean and streamlined.
Listen to the show to hear how I plan to change the way we use Tag Manager at Social Media Examiner.
Tracking Social Engagement
In Google Analytics’ Social report, you find a listing for Plugins. The report tells you how many people are clicking, liking, tweeting, and sharing. You can put all of that information into Google Analytics and track it.
For social media marketing, you want to know how many people engage with your content so you can measure and remarket. For example, with that information in Google Analytics, you can build remarketing audiences in AdWords. You can also use Google Tag Manager to start marketing to the hyper-engagers who are sharing a lot of your content.
Create a Universal Analytics tag through Tag Manager. Tag types include page view, event, and social, so use social. The tag allows you to define a network (for instance, Facebook). For example, you can create a tag that says, “When someone clicks the Facebook Like button, please tell me about the Facebook like.” You can also define the URL or whatever it was that the person liked or shared.
You have the ability to track several levels of social media engagement so you can prove that what you’re doing is working. This data can help guide your marketing, your budget, and the size of your social media team.
Listen to the show to hear an example of how you can use the report information to show your social media marketing is working.
Storeo is a cool iOS app that helps you produce Instagram stories.
Record a regular-length video on your phone, open it in this app, and the app chops the video into 15-second segments, the correct length for an Instagram story. For example, the app would split up a minute-long video into four 15-second Instagram stories.
When you use Storeo, your Instagram stories move seamlessly so each segment feels like one story. As a result, when someone starts watching the first story, they’re more likely to watch the later ones.
Because Storeo works with videos that you record on your phone, the production process is easier than recording with the Instagram app. On Instagram, the timer prompts people to slow down or speed up near the end of a 15-second recording. Then, when your story viewers can tell you’re transitioning, they may not watch the next story. However, if you record your video as one segment on your phone and then slice the video in Storeo, viewers won’t even notice the change from one story to the next.
Storeo can also work for Facebook Stories and Facebook Messenger Day, because in these features, the video segments can be a few seconds longer. However, because Snapchat videos are 10 seconds, Storeo doesn’t work well with Snapchat.
Storeo is an iOS-only app. You can try it for free, but this version adds a watermark. If you like how Storeo works, the full version costs $8.99.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how Storeo works for you.
Listen to the show!
Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:
What do you think? What are your thoughts on Facebook Pixel Events and Google Tag Manager? Please leave your comments below.
June 30, 2017 at 05:03AM
Creating Advanced Facebook Custom Audiences Using Google Tag Manager
Are you looking for advanced ways to build Facebook audiences for retargeting? Do you know you can combine Google Tag Manager with Facebook Pixel Events? To explore the value of using these tools together, I interview Chris Mercer. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Chris Mercer, an analytics expert who specializes in helping marketers measure and optimize their marketing. His course is called Master the Fundamentals of Google Tag Manager. You can find him at MeasurementMarketing.io. Chris explores how to use Google Tag Manager to take your Facebook retargeting to the next level. You'll discover how to create and use Facebook Pixel Events in your Facebook marketing. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Pixel Events and Google Tag Manager Chris's Story Chris, who has a background in sales and marketing, left corporate America to investigate online business. Five or six years ago, he started a site called WP Training Videos. The site was designed to help people understand and learn WordPress, but after customers requested help with building websites, the company's business model changed. To learn about analytics, Chris installed Google Analytics and set up tracking on opt-in and lead generation forms. When he showed his analytics to a client, the client stopped asking about changing the website design and wanted to learn more about tracking results. Chris soon had more clients who were interested in analytics, and about four or five years ago, the business pivoted again. Chris's business became Measurement Marketing, which is dedicated to making Google Analytics more accessible to the masses. His clients were often people who installed Google Analytics but didn't know how to use it. Today, Chris works with marketers, marketing teams, and agencies. He shows them what's important to measure, helps them build measurement machines, and shares what to do with the data they collect. Listen to the show to discover one of the biggest struggles for marketers. What Is Google Tag Manager? Google Tag Manager is a tool that was designed to solve an enterprise-level problem. The problem arose about 10 years ago when this new upstart, Facebook, started putting out pixels (snippets of code to copy and paste on a site) that enabled marketers to track things online. It was revolutionary at the time. After the Facebook pixel arrived, large businesses had to figure out how to bridge the gap between marketing and IT. To add the code to web pages, marketing had to submit IT help desk tickets, because IT developers were the only people allowed to mess with the website. As a result, IT departments developed bottlenecks and couldn't focus on the right projects, and marketing teams couldn't get the pixels on the pages fast enough. By the time IT added a pixel to a page, the campaign that marketing wanted to measure had been over for eight weeks. Tag Manager was created to solve that problem. Marketing teams can use it to put out individual snippets of tracking code (for instance, a Facebook remarketing or conversion pixel) that they can use at any point without having to involve developers. Tag Manager gives marketers granular control over their measurement and tracking. I ask about the difference between Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, and Chris explains Google Analytics does three main things. It collects its data, stores the data, and builds reports based on the data. Google Tag Manager replaces Google Analytics' ability to collect its own data. Tag Manager collects the data and sends it to Google Analytics so it can stor...
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June 30, 2017 at 05:01AM
Three Tips for a Dynamite CRM Strategy
We are all human beings living in the 21st century, and so we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements—especially in the digital realm. It’s not uncommon for our Facebook and Twitter feeds to be cluttered with ads, so it’s easy to tune out even the most persistent social-based marketing strategies. In order to connect with consumers in our target audiences, we, as marketers, need to rethink how we promote our materials.
Luckily, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of Nimble, claims we can expand our consumer base simply by utilizing a strong CRM strategy to educate prospects about our products. As a two-time entrepreneur, Ferrara recognizes that people don’t like to be force-fed advertisements (even when those ads are for products and services they desire). Instead, he focuses on the importance of serving customers before selling to them.
In Part II of his interview with Drew Neisser on the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast, Ferrara talks about his experience with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and how it surged his business. You can listen to the podcast below.
In the meatime, here are some expert tips Ferrara offers in the episode that can drastically improve your company’s CRM strategy.
Expand Your Sphere of Influence
The key to helping customers embrace your brand is to connect with the authorities they follow on the web. As Ferrara points out, “To access prospects and customers at scale, don’t think about marketing to them. Think about identifying their trusted advisor, their influencer, and help build relationships with those influencers and help those people succeed.” By helping influencers reach their goals and encouraging them to teach prospects about your brand, your CRM strategy will let potential customers get all the information and social proof they need to buy.
Although this kind of service may seem like a supplement to a marketing strategy, Jon argues that relationships are at the core of our trade. “Business isn’t about business,” he claims. “It’s about connecting with people. That way, [customers will] remember you.”
Rethink Your CRM Strategy
In order to make business about people, we have to incorporate the philosophy of marketing as service into the way we organize our companies. Ferrara explains how marketing and CRM play different roles in business. “Marketing is that high-level buying thing that happens over the battlefield where you’re dropping bombs at scale in order to soften the battlefield,” he says. “But to win the war, you need to put boots on the ground. The boots on the ground are your customer-facing business team members.”
Perhaps a war analogy isn’t the friendliest way to explain how we should care for customers, but its message rings true. Businesses that focus solely on their marketing tactics and downplay the role of customer service in delivering quality results probably won’t be as successful as those that do. That’s why Ferrara founded Nimble, a CRM product that helps small businesses connect with their target audiences and follow-through on providing excellent service.
Show, Don’t Tell
As an innovative thinker and pioneer of CRM strategy, it’s no surprise that Jon thinks outside the box when it comes to selling. “I really believe that marketing won’t help you grow your business,” he states. “What will help you grow your business is aligning the promises that you make to the experience that you deliver.” When businesses do these things, they can organically increase their brand footprint. Don’t tell your customers about the amazing products you offer—show them.
Ferrara notes that implementing a great CRM strategy can not only improve conversion, but it can also increase retention. He says, “If you have a connection with another human being, if there ever becomes a burp regarding pricing, product, positioning, or whatever, you’re going to ride through those bumps of life if you’ve paid that relationship forward and there’s a human connection.”
Since each one of us encounters so many advertisements on a daily basis, marketers who make a concerted effort to genuinely connect with their audiences will likely succeed over those who don’t. Striving to develop those relationships can lead to bigger and better business both now and in the long run.
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June 29, 2017 at 07:30PM
5 Ways to Find Your Dream Job Using Social Media
Looking for a job is a deeply ‘social’ exercise. You need to reach out to as many people as you can, talk about your talents, showcase your degrees and certificates, and bag an interview with the right company.
While it’s easy to use social media for staying in touch with friends and marketing your business, finding a job is slightly more complex. Most social media platforms (besides LinkedIn) simply aren’t designed for formal conversations and serious work-related issues. They’re more casual and friendly, and looking for employers is sometimes difficult.
So, here are the top five tips for job hunting on social media:
Focus on your certificates and accomplishments
There’s always an ‘About Me’ section on every social platform. Use this to your advantage and list every single qualification or degree you have. For example, you could talk about the experiences you gained from training for your forklift training certification and the lessons it taught you. Spend a few words talking about your experience teaching English in Hong Kong, helping your friend with their house interiors, or valuing a company on the stock market. Prove what you are capable of before you reach out to anyone on social media.
Build a network on LinkedIn slowly
LinkedIn is probably your best bet for a job hunt. However, it can be tricky building a network on the site if you don’t already have a ton of contacts within the industry. LinkedIn doesn’t let you reach out to people you don’t know personally, which means there’s a chance you’ll get blocked from meeting a lot of key and influential people because they don’t know you. The trick is to start slow and build a small network first. Expand your network slowly as you get to know more people, before you start outreaching for the recruitment team at a big company.
Reach out to close friends on Facebook
You never know how your personal network might be able to help. Post your qualifications and talk about the kind of job you’re looking for. Your friends and family may not employ you directly, but they could know someone who might be able to help. It’s certainly worth a try.
Make your profile professional
The problem with social media is that it is completely casual. People say things and post pictures they would never want their employers to see. So, if you’re serious about job hunting on social media, spruce up your profile. Clean up all the posts, pictures, and articles you’ve ever shared.
Create expert content
Getting people and employers interested is tricky online. Social media is simply too crowded. Your best bet to stand out from the crowd is to create intelligent and thought-provoking content that employers and experts in the industry would be willing to read. If your job isn’t technical, talk about your experiences and express your views about what’s happening in the industry.
It’s difficult but not impossible to find a job on social media. In order to be successful, it’s vital that you shout about your achievements, clean up your profile, create some meaningful content, and reach out to the right people.
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June 29, 2017 at 11:36AM
How to Build Backlinks for Your Blog From Quality Sites
Wondering how to get influential people to link to your cornerstone blog content?
Having multiple high-quality websites link to your blog content demonstrates to search engines that your blog offers valuable information.
In this article, you’ll discover how to get high-quality, authoritative links back to your blog.
#1: Publish Content That Is Sourceable
You’re probably already aware of which types of social media posts perform best for your business. For example, you might use an engaging video, aesthetically pleasing images, or inspirational quotes to get followers to like, comment on, and share your posts.
However, the content that gains links from social media is generally different than those examples.
If you want authoritative bloggers, journalists, and publishers to link back to your website, the best way to encourage them is to post content that is positioned as a source, such as an article with original research and data, or a selection of best practices unique to your industry. Those sites will be more likely to link to your article if your research confirms industry standards or debunks industry assumptions.
The key is for your social post to be the seed for someone else to write a story about. It’s unlikely that writers will update a previously published article to include your statistic in place of ones already used. However, if your content includes newsworthy information or a statistic people don’t typically think about, they’ll be more likely to write about it and link back to you as the source.
#2: Create an Outreach List of Priority Targets
Now that you know what content you’re going to promote, it’s time to identify writers and journalists you want to prioritize for your outreach. There are a few ways to do this.
Use Twitter Advanced Search
For instance, if you own a gym, you might search for #fitlife, #fitnessgoals, and #getfit to find users who are tweeting about fitness. Look through your search results to identify writers who might be a good fit for promoting your article. Look at their profile information, number of followers, and previous tweets.
Find Media Contacts Using a PR Tool
A faster way to find background and contact information on niche-specific media is to use a PR tool like Cision. You can search for media contacts by name, subject, keyword, media type, and more. The software will then pull relevant contacts along with complete profiles that include their areas of expertise, background, Twitter following, and most importantly, contact information.
To illustrate, if you’re looking for journalists who write specifically on the topic of fitness, you’ll see thousands of potential contacts to reach out to, plus a quick summary to help you determine if they’re a good fit for your pitch.
The downside is that this type of tool is costly, so if you don’t do outreach frequently, you may not be able to justify the price.
Set Up Google Alerts for Industry-Specific Keywords
Google Alerts are a great way to see who’s writing articles related to your industry. For example, you might set up an alert for the keyword “gym workout.” You’ll then receive the top articles of the day related to your search term.
Click on a link to find the journalist and see if they’re likely to cover a topic related to your industry. You’ll also want to make a note of any contact information you can use to target them on social media (Twitter handle, email address, etc.).
#3: Target Your Prospects With Social Posts That Link to Your Content
Once you’ve researched your targets, it’s time to get social! Your goal is to make the biggest impact with your post by sharing it with people who are most likely to link back to it.
While sharing your sourceable content on your social media channels is a great start, there are a few ways to make an even bigger splash with your target audience.
Promote Your Post With Twitter Ads
Twitter moves quickly, so if you want to increase the chances your post will be seen by the right people, it’s a good idea to pay to promote it. Plus, with Twitter’s advertising dashboard, you can target the specific handles you captured in step 2 of this process; Twitter will then display your ads to people with interests similar to those accounts’ followers. Simply search for users or import a list of Twitter handles into the system.
Promote Your Post With Facebook Ads
If you have the email addresses and/or phone numbers of the media members you want to target, you can upload their contact information to create a custom audience on Facebook.
If you don’t have this type of information, you can still get pretty granular with whom you target. One way to do that is to serve your ads only to people with specific job titles and places of employment.
This type of targeting ensures your ad will be shown only to people in the media, and even better, only those who work for outlets that often write about your specific niche. And, if you’re on a budget, you can sometimes get credit towards your advertising on Facebook, especially if you’re a first-time advertiser.
You can also take advantage of LinkedIn’s new Matched Audiences.
Hopefully, by now your ideal audience of writers and journalists in your niche has seen your article and maybe even liked, commented on, or shared it. To increase your chances of having these people write an article and link back to your site, it’s important to nurture your relationships with them.
Because you’ve taken the previous steps, when you message these people (either directly on social media or via email), they’ll likely already be familiar with your brand. Therefore, they’re warm leads and more likely to respond. You may want to offer something in return for linking to your site, such as sharing their article on your social media accounts once it’s published.
With the help of social media, you have another avenue to reach influencers who are likely to write about topics related to your industry. By utilizing this three-step strategy, you can make sure you get the most out of your link-building efforts.
What do you think? Have you tried any of these tactics to get high-quality websites to link to your site? What tips can you offer? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
June 29, 2017 at 09:49AM
The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Programmatic Marketing
The evolution taken in place in digital marketing over the last decade is amazing.
We’ve gone from horrendous keyword stuffing and “spray and pray” campaigns to incredibly smart and efficient strategies that maximize ROI.
This evolution has largely been fueled by data and predictive analytics.
And what I love is the power that small-scale marketers now have.
The tyranny of traditional gatekeepers in marketing has been drastically diminished, which to me is a beautiful thing.
You don’t have to have a massive marketing budget to get results anymore.
It’s more about being savvy and staying ahead of the game.
One particular technique beginning to pick up steam is programmatic marketing.
If you’ve never heard of it, it can seem a little complicated at first—especially when you examine it on a granular level.
But when you look at the big picture, it’s pretty straightforward.
In this post, I’m going to explain the fundamentals of programmatic marketing, its outlook over the next few years, best practices and how to get started.
Let’s start from the top.
What is programmatic marketing?
State of Digital offers a basic explanation:
Here’s another definition of it from Kenneth Kulbok of LinkedIn:
At its core, programmatic marketing involves advertisers competing in an automated, real-time auction, where the highest bidder wins the impression.
From there, the visitor will see an ad from the winning advertiser.
Everything happens within milliseconds, so there’s no lag or disruption in the user experience.
It’s all seamless.
If you’re still a little unclear, this graphic breaks the process down step by step:
As you can see, it’s very streamlined.
Rather than relying upon humans to manually complete the process, programmatic marketing uses an algorithm to handle it automatically.
I find having a concrete example to look at helps me connect the dots and fully grasp a concept.
So, here you go.
Here’s an example provided by Decisive, which involves Words with Friends, a word game:
In this case, Words with Friends is the publisher.
Words with Friends gives its ad inventory to an ad exchange.
The ad exchange then has an auction, where advertisers get information about a person using Words with Friends, which is called a bid request.
This information could include their IP address, operating system, type of device and so on.
From there, advertisers examine the bid request and send in their bid price.
Once the ad exchange gets in all the bids, the highest bidder is the winner, and their ad is shown to the user.
The amazing thing is it all takes place in milliseconds.
Within an instant, the user is shown a highly relevant ad from the winning bidder.
Besides the inherent efficiency, the primary advantage of programmatic marketing is the quality of leads it generates.
The extent to which you can target your ads is pretty amazing.
An algorithm examines a vast amount of data to instantly identify visitors that match your demographic.
As I mentioned earlier, this technology can look at factors like age, gender, geographical location, etc. as well as the context of the website being viewed to find highly-qualified visitors.
That way you know for a fact your leads are highly qualified.
As State of Digital also points out,
You also have plenty of control over your budget and can have your ads featured across several different publishers with a high degree of flexibility.
This means you have way more opportunities to reach your demographic with this method than with a more conventional, like a traditional PPC platform, method.
The bottom line is:
Now, you’re probably thinking that programmatic marketing seems legit enough.
But is it really a viable marketing technique that’s here for the long run?
Or is it just some fad that will quickly fade away?
Well, there’s a solid body of data that suggests it’s here to stay.
For starters, here’s the rise in interest in programmatic marketing between 2012 and 2016, according to Google Trends:
There’s no denying interest has grown considerably.
Here’s a chart that shows how programmatic spending has risen over the past six years:
As you can see, there has been a dramatic rise in spending.
According to MAGNA GLOBAL,
They even predict that ad spend will reach $37 billion by 2019.
Clearly, programmatic marketing is growing by leaps and bounds.
The US in particular is spending money like crazy.
Just look at how the US compares with other countries:
It’s safe to say this is something that digital marketers will want to know more about and at least consider implementing and experimenting with.
Let’s say you’re interested and are looking to get your feet wet.
What are some of the most important things to keep in mind?
The way I look at it, there are four key factors you’ll want to pay attention to.
Factor #1: ROI
First, you need to have a clear understanding of how much you’re willing to pay in order to get your ads in front of visitors.
Your ROI isn’t something to be taken lightly.
Set some specific ROI goals to ensure you’re spending wisely and getting the most bang for your buck.
Factor #2: Data
Data is vital to making programmatic marketing work.
The more data you have at your disposal and the smarter it is, the better the likelihood of success.
Use your existing customer data to gain a thorough understanding of how to best reach your demographic.
This should enable you to approach your campaign with greater confidence and minimize waste spending.
It will also help ensure that only highly qualified leads are seeing your ads.
In other words, you won’t waste money on crappy leads unlikely to buy.
Factor #3: Mobile
It’s safe to say that having mobile-friendly ad content is a big deal.
Just look at data from a recent Hootsuite study:
Considering nearly half of all Internet users are on mobile, make sure your ads are compatible with all screen sizes and devices.
Otherwise, it’s like flushing money down the toilet.
Factor #4: Preventing ad fraud
Finally, you’ll want to understand the dangers of ad fraud.
Not to freak you out, but there are definitely cases where ad buyers were left with bogus impressions and visits.
Make sure you don’t become a victim.
The best way to do this is to check out how an ad exchange buys ad inventory and the types of vendors they work with.
If they partner with any questionable vendors, this should be a red flag.
I also suggest you inquire about the policies they have to prevent ad fraud from taking place.
I would imagine programmatic marketing will become more and more regulated over time, but you’ll want to take proper precaution to prevent ad fraud.
For in-depth information on this topic, I recommend checking out The Programmatic Marketing Guide from Smart Insights.
It covers everything from developing a strategy to understanding the criteria for choosing a platform.
Ad exchange platforms
By this point, you’re probably wondering about actual providers.
What are some ad exchange platforms you can use for your programmatic marketing campaign?
There are numerous platforms on the market, but I suggest these three:
As technology continues to advance, digital marketing becomes increasingly sophisticated.
To me, programmatic marketing is the natural next step in the evolution of digital marketing.
It’s extremely cutting-edge and is the perfect way to use big data to your advantage.
This way you can do more with your marketing budget and ensure your ads are being shown only to highly qualified leads.
I also love it because your ads can be distributed across a variety of platforms.
You’re not limited to a single network such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.
It still remains to be seen what the full impact of programmatic marketing will be.
But it looks very promising and could be a real game-changer in the digital marketing realm.
Have you ever experimented with programmatic marketing?
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June 28, 2017 at 10:00AM