Lead Magnets: The Definitive Guide for 2019

lead magnets_ the definitive guide for 2019You already know lead magnets are essential – that’s why you want to learn how to craft the perfect one.

But did you know that the right lead magnet can transform your simple online business ideas?

For prospects to hand over their email address, you need to make an offer they can’t resist.

Here’s the thing, nobody cares about your free newsletter. At least not right now.

When someone first lands on your site, they don’t know anything about you. You’ve got 30 seconds or less to make them an irresistible offer to give you their email address.

Once you’ve got their email, then you have time to build the relationship – and maybe even make them love your newsletter.

For a lead magnet to work you need to grab them first, nurture them later.

In this guide, you’ll learn strategies for creating a lead magnet that will guarantee conversions down the line – no matter if you are looking to sell courses online or physical products from your garage.

You’ll also get plenty of ideas from killer lead magnets working right now to build huge email lists.

Let’s start at the top.

What’s a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is something you offer to your website visitors in exchange for their personal information.

The aim is to attract potential customers (leads), in the hopes that they will agree to be contacted directly by your business.

In digital marketing, a lead magnet is used to build an email list. It can be any valuable resource, offered free of charge when someone signs up to your email list.

Here are just some of the forms a lead magnet can take:

eBook
Checklist
Cheat sheet
Video course
Discount on products
Free trial of a service
White paper
App or software tool
Goal setting worksheet

For example, BidSketch offers a Sample Client Proposal as its lead magnet.

lead magnet idea free proposal

Now that you know what lead magnets are, the next question is:

How do you create lead magnets that attract leads like crazy?

Read on to learn about creating the best lead magnet for your landing pages, blog posts, and affiliate marketing campaigns.

Features of an effective lead magnet

Lead magnets that do a really good job attracting and converting leads have a few characteristics in common.

They are:

1. Specific

A lead magnet works best when it’s ultra-specific.

It’s important to have a narrow scope in the problem your lead magnet will solve. Aim to address one specific need of your target audience.

For example, Just Creative offers a Logo Inspiration eBook.

This lead magnet aims to attract people who need branding and design services for their business. An eBook on graphic design would be too broad and generic.

Instead, this eBook addresses one aspect of branding — the need for ideas and inspiration for a new logo. It’s specific.

ebook lead magnet

Here’s another example to demonstrate how to narrow down your lead magnet. DebtHelper offers a Free Budget SpreadSheet to help their audience stop losing sleep over their expenses.

It solves a single but important issue.

budget planning spreadsheet lead magnet

There’s no need for your lead magnet to be an all-action warrior.

To convert site visitors into email subscribers, focus on providing a solution to a single problem for your audience.

2. Easy to use

When you get a new email subscriber, you haven’t won them over yet. They can easily unsubscribe from your list if they don’t get anything useful from your lead magnet.

Here’s an example of a lead magnet that’s simple to use. It’s a one-page pdf, and the information can be put to use immediately by bloggers and marketers when they write their next headline:

headline template

Even though it’s free, your subscribers expect to achieve the desired result right away from your offer. That’s why lead magnets should be easy to implement and valuable.

If you’re offering a report, guide, or eBook, make it easy to read, with short sentences, short paragraphs, and bullet points.

The same ideas apply to video, audio, or email courses. Keep it simple so your leads can benefit right away.

3. Targeted

When it comes to lead generation, quality over quantity is best.

Strive to attract a specific group of people with your lead magnet — the people who make up your ideal customers. On our list of 101 best business books, we offer a free download of our book. You can’t get much more targeted.

Customers want to feel like you understand their needs, so be clear about who you are trying to help.

If you’re in the finance industry, for example, a report on the latest changes in the investment industry is way too generic — it’s for anyone who has investments.

To get more targeted, narrow down which investors you want to help. “Baby Boomers’ Guide to Minimizing Estate Taxes,” makes it clear immediately that the lead magnet is for older investors. Even more specifically, those with sizable assets pass on to their kids.

The lead magnet below from MuleSoft targets SaaS providers. Specifically, SaaS executives who want to sell their product at the Enterprise level:

saas lead magnet

Don’t cast your net too wide or you’ll attract passers-by who don’t care about your business.

4. It’s action-driven

Your potential lead should be able to take action immediately based on the information in your lead magnet.

No matter what form it takes, the content that works best is actionable and easily digestible — that means keep it short.

If it’s too long, your new subscribers will read or watch halfway without getting the promised result.

Marie Forleo offers 3 Secrets to Copy That Connects and Converts as a lead magnet for a copywriting class. The target audience will perceive “3 secrets” as being short, which means they can apply them right away.

easy to use lead magnet

Make sure your tips can be implemented right away. That’s why checklists, cheat sheets, and templates make some of the best lead magnets. They promise instant execution.

5. It solves a problem

Pain is highly motivating – just like our list of motivation quotes. If your lead magnet promises to solve an urgent problem (or show the steps to fix it), they will rush to fill in that opt-in form.

Just remember: your lead magnet has to deliver on that promise.

When you ease that pain point, you immediately build trust. And you’re well on your way to converting leads into customers.

ConversionXL offers a lead magnet promising a solution to low conversion rates. The good thing is the user can download and apply the tactics right now.

increase conversions

Even though your lead magnet is a free offer, it has to deliver. Make sure it really solves a problem (besides your need to capture email leads).

If you begin your relationship with a subscriber on the wrong foot, you lose your best chance to win them over as customers.

6. It’s delivered immediately

Never make your potential lead wait.

Don’t forget they want that solution right now. In most cases, there are two ways you can deliver it “right now.”

One way is to place the lead magnet on your thank you page after the lead has entered their information.

AdEspresso delivers their “Guide to Facebook Custom Audiences Guide” on the thank you page.

download lead magnet on thank you page

The other way is to send your lead magnet by email. If you use a double opt-in, which is advisable, you will be asking new subscribers to confirm their subscription.

You can send the lead magnet through an automated welcome email once they confirm.

7. It’s free

The worst mistake when it comes to list building is adding a price tag to your lead magnet.

People are giving you something valuable in exchange, which is access to their inbox.

No matter how much time and money you invested in creating it, you should expect to recoup those costs by converting leads into paying customers down the line. If you don’t, your email marketing strategy needs to be improved.

For example, Erin Stutland’s lead magnet is valuable. She offers a free audio workout.

lead magnet for fitness

The rule is simple: You should offer your lead magnet completely free. That’s the fastest way to build your email list.

Lead Magnet ideas

Many forms of lead magnets can work online. It’s difficult to say that one format is the best.

However, there may be the best format for your business. By testing different offers, you can find out which ones convert.

When you hit on the right format, you’ll know. Your conversions will skyrocket.

What are the types of lead magnets you can use on your landing pages and other website pages?

1. Guides and Reports

Guides and Reports are some of the most popular types of lead magnet.

People are always looking for information about topics that are important to them. In fact, it’s usually what brings them to your website in the first place.

If you make a guide about a topic that your site users (i.e., ideal customers) need help with, they will gladly sign up to receive it.

Reports can have the same effect. Did you research a trend in your industry?

You can summarize the results of your research into a report. One example of this is the State of Inbound Report conducted by HubSpot.

research report lead magnet

Original research reports can provide new industry insights that can’t be found elsewhere. Professionals in that market will be very interested in getting the inside scoop.

HubSpot has many guides and reports on its website. One of them is a guide for people looking to learn how to make money online, promising to teach the essential building blocks.

essential guide to internet marketing

2. Toolkit

This type of lead magnet includes resources like templates, a glossary of important terms, or step-by-step instructions and SOPs.

For example, a fitness business might offer a workout tracking log. You could get specific by gearing it towards achieving a short-term goal with pre-set exercise routines.

Another example of a Toolkit is MindTools’ lead magnet. When a user fills out their form, one of the tools they’ll get is the Activity Log shown below.

activity log lead magnet

Below is another example by Trello, featuring templates for specific outcomes.

templates lead magnet

Check this out if you’d like to learn the best online business tools for small business.

3. Free trial

Offering a free trial as a lead magnet works especially well for apps and software platforms.

Free trial offers are powerful because, in the end, users are very motivated to upgrade. They’ve already invested time exploring the tools and features. Plus, they know without a doubt if the product delivers on its promises.

ActiveCampaign offers a free trial of their email service. Users love it because they don’t even have to use a credit card to sign up.

activecampaign free trial lead magnet

When you offer a free trial, you have the opportunity to convince your lead to upgrade to your paid service.

4. Cheat sheet

Everybody wants a shortcut once in a while.

A cheat sheet doesn’t need to provide too much explanation about a concept. All it needs to do is show your lead how to complete a task better.

Below is an example of a cheat sheet by Jon Morrow. Knowing how much bloggers struggle to write compelling headlines, this lead magnet gets straight to the point with a “Cliff Notes” on how to start a blog.

cheat sheet

5. Discount/Free shipping

If you have a product that’s in demand, you can offer a discount or free shipping to increase sales.

58% of buyers abandoned items in the cart when they saw shipping charges. Interestingly, half of the customers surveyed said they can wait a few days for free shipping.

free shipping

This can serve as an incentive to someone who’s interested but doesn’t want to pay the shipping fee.

In e-commerce, making that first sale is key for growing an email list. Customers who have already made a purchase are the most valuable subscribers — they are more likely to buy again than brand new leads.

Kate Spade, an e-commerce store offers 15% off plus free shipping.

discount and shipping

The same thing applies to discounts. They’re mostly used by e-commerce stores to incentivize an initial purchase.

Rosegal offers a 15% Off for new users. However, the user has to create an account and subscribe to their newsletter to claim the coupon.

discount email signup

6. Quiz/survey

A cleverly crafted quiz can be irresistible to your website visitors. People love to learn more about themselves.

After completing the quiz, visitors will have to submit their email address to get the results and recommendations.

In fact, it works so well that we have our own quiz as a lead magnet. This quiz is aimed at our readers who want to become entrepreneurs.

entrepreneur type quiz one

But guess what? A user has to enter their email address before they can see the quiz results

Creating your own quiz is simple to do with the Thrive Quiz Builder.

7. Assessment/Test

This is similar to a quiz but it’s usually related to a website or a type of content.

For people to have access to the results, they’ll need to provide their email address.

Below is an example by HubSpot with its Marketing Grader.

assessment lead magnet

8. Consultation

A free 30-minute consultation session is a great incentive for consultants, coaches, and service agencies.

It’s perfect because not only do you get an email signup, but you get a chance to speak directly to your potential customer. If you provide enough value in the initial session, they’ll know it’s a safe bet to sign on as a client.

Check out this example of a free consultation designed to capture leads below.

free consultation email signup

9. Sales catalog

If you have a list of products that potential customers want to see, you can create a product catalog.

In markets like fashion and home decor, shoppers are eager to see what’s new each season. It’s a perfect opportunity to capture email leads of people who want to stay on top of trends.

A company that does this very effectively is IKEA. Check it below:

catalog lead magnet

10. Video series

Sometimes a video tutorial or course is the most effective format for the content you want to share. Although this is not a common lead magnet, it might be just right for your audience.

See this 7-Day Video course by Timothy Sykes which he offers as a lead magnet for free.

video course lead magnet

How to Create a Lead Magnet

Now that you have some ideas about what makes a good lead magnet, you’re ready to take action.

Here are steps you can follow to create an irresistible lead magnet that will grow your email list fast:

1. Define your audience of one

“Know your audience” is Marketing 101.

To be able to create any type of content that your target audience will find helpful, you need to know them deeply.

It’s hard to know a crowd — the thousands of customers you want to eventually reach. To make it easier, define one person as your ideal customer. It doesn’t matter if you are creating a product or starting a podcast, understanding your ideal client is essential.

Begin by creating a detailed persona about that one person you’re serving with your lead magnet: Your Audience of One.

When defining your ideal customer, include as many details as possible. Think about all the aspects of a person’s life, not just those that have to do with your business, to truly understand who they are.

Include details like:

Name
Demographics
Education
Career
Primary needs
Problems
Desires
Likes
Dislikes
Interests

Here’s a detailed buyer persona as an example of how deep you can go with a profile. It includes personality, life goals, and motivations:

buyer persona

You can read more about creating buyer personas on the Shopify blog:

How to Build Buyer Personas for Better Marketing
2. Research specific problems you can solve

When you have deep knowledge of who your potential customer is, the next step is to identify specific frustrations.

Focus on finding an urgent problem that could be solved quickly.

Here are some ways to research:

Ask questions on forums and discussion boards in your market.
Browse online communities like Reddit or Facebook groups to see what questions people in your niche are asking.
Perform keyword research with tools like SEMRush to find popular search terms related to your business.
Ask your existing customers what they’re struggling with right now, by survey or talking to them in person.

Once you’ve brainstormed a list of possible issues, narrow it down to one.

Remember, be specific and solve an urgent problem to get the best conversions.

3. Determine the best format

Depending on the need or problem you will address with your lead magnet, the right format could be obvious. For example:

Solving the issue of how to pass the final level in a difficult video game might work best as a video walk-through.
Solving the issue of what to make for dinner on a busy weeknight makes sense as a recipe eBook.
Solving the issue of finding side hustle ideas you can start while working would make sense as short report.

If you already have a website or blog, take your cues from what type of content your visitors engage with the most. Is it video, audio, or print?

You can also research by looking at your competitors to see what’s working well for them.

When in doubt about what kind of lead magnet you should offer, just keep it simple.

Remember, the goal is for your lead magnet to solve a specific problem. It’s better to share one idea that works than to share 10 ideas and overwhelm your audience.

Here’s a list of the easiest lead magnets to create:

Checklist
2 – 3 part video series
Free email course
Worksheet
Short Report (5 Steps to…)
Audio (A recorded interview or webinar)

Here’s a secret to creating an awesome lead magnet without starting from scratch:

Repurpose existing content.

Some websites use their viral content as a lead magnet by repurposing it into another format. Repurposing content offers a lot of benefits:

For example, there might be an option for a page visitor to download a PDF version of a blog post to print as a reference document.

Marketo created a Definitive Guide Series with more than 100 helpful pages.

One of the repurposed guides, “The Definitive Guide to Social Media,” has generated over 102,000 views.

definitive guide lead magnet

4. Launch and test

Once create your first lead magnet, it’s time to put it to work. Place the offer in an opt-in box on your website.

As you send traffic to your site, you’ll be able to see how well your lead magnet performs. The conversion rate tells you how many people sign up to your email list, as a percentage of those who see the offer.

If you’re getting good results, you hit the mark. Good job!

But if your conversions are not stellar, carry out tests and work on improving.

Here are some things you can tweak about your lead magnet offer for better conversions:

Try different call-to-action buttons for the same lead magnet. Changing the text, color, and placement of your opt-in box could improve results without upgrading the lead magnet.
Test different formats for the same content. For example, you could test an eBook vs. a video, or a report about a current trend vs. a tool.
Try variations on the size of your offer. For instance, do your leads prefer a 15-page ultimate guide or a 2-page checklist?

With the results of your tests, you can focus your efforts on refining your offer for maximum results.

OneMan Financial tested its old landing page against a new version and found a winner. Within a few months, email capture rates increased by 29% and the company added additional 1,000 subscribers to their retargeting campaign.

testing lead magnets

Start growing your email list faster with awesome lead magnets

The perfect lead magnet is invaluable.

It shows potential customers you understand their challenges. When you deliver value, it proves you can help.

With a high-converting lead magnet, you’re on course to achieving your list building goals.

The post Lead Magnets: The Definitive Guide for 2019 appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur.

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Google tests showing weekly site visits in automated ad extension

Google has numerous kinds of automated extensions that can show in search advertisements — — seller rankings, call extensions, vibrant sitelinks, and so on. It’s presently evaluating a brand-new variation that highlights a website’s appeal.

Spotted by Kristie TC Liu , digital marketing strategist at KoMarketing in Boston, the automated extension on a WeWork advertisement states, “10K+ check outs today” and is preceded by an individuals icon. Check outs here describes site gos to, not shop gos to.

An automatic extension revealing website gos to. Screenshot: Kristie TC Lliu of KoMarketing

Social reliability test. We presume this automated extension is powered by WeWork Boston’s connected Google Analytics account, however Google hasn’t supplied extra information. “We’’ re constantly checking brand-new methods to enhance our experience for our users and marketers, however wear’’ t have anything particular to reveal today,” a Google representative informed Search Engine Land.

Why we ought to care. Google is constantly running tests. If this one shows effective — — most likely the success metric here is click-through rate — — and presents, it might imply an increase for more popular websites. In the example revealed above, the extension appeared on a brand name search. If this is likewise running on non-brand inquiries, we aren’t clear. You might remember another automated extension that was targeted at offering social trustworthiness : Google+ fan counts. Will this newest test have more remaining power?

The post Google tests revealing weekly website gos to in automated advertisement extension appeared initially on Search Engine Land .

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3 key tenets of successful full funnel search

In my very first post on complete funnel search , I made the case that a lot of paid search programs focus a great deal of invest in the bottom of the funnel which is misaligned to today’’ s truth on how customers in fact utilize online search engine for purchase research study and decision-making. Accepting a complete funnel search technique will open SEM to really take full advantage of the overall organisation effect of the channel.

Previously I discussed why the core reason paid search has actually been rather relegated down funnel since bottom-funnel metrics constantly look much better on the month-to-month or weekly marketing report. When assessed versus bottom-funnel KPIs, Upper funnel search metrics will never ever look great.

.3 crucial tenets of complete funnel search.

Moving far from almost twenty years of the manner in which paid search has actually been practiced and examined can be tough. To take a quantum leap forward on how SEM can make the most of company effect, our market requires to provide search online marketers brand-new talking points to begin planting the seeds within their companies why complete funnel search is the best method.

In today’’ s post, I begin my objective to equip search online marketers that narrative to facilitate this required shift in thinking, beginning with the 3 essential tenets of complete funnel search marketing.

.Complete funnel search tenet # 1: Every pertinent search is a possible sale.

Over the last years, brand-new publishers, channels, targeting abilities and advertisement formats have actually equipped online marketers with sophisticated methods to engage and affect customers. This is a double-edged sword…… there is more sound and mess in the market than ever in the past.

Marketers can not forget simply how essential an appropriate search on an online search engine is to their organisation. In contrast, the number of advertisement boxes on a page reach individuals who both:

.All set to stop what they’’ re doing and engage with a brand name message; and.Intrigued in the services or product is being promoted?

This doesn’’ t indicate other channels wear ’ t have’worth. It ’ s not about any worth, when it comes to marketing financial investments, it ’ s about the most worth “. Keep in mind, “ clicks are no longer clicks; they represent specific customers on particular journeys.” ”

.

The complete funnel search method argues that every appropriate search has one of the most worth since it is being started by a customer looking into on the other side of the screen which, by default, can be presumed to be thinking about that subject and ready and all set to pause their day and engage.

Can anybody argue what is a much better advertisement impression –– online or offline –– than a paid search advertisement served to somebody who has simply browsed on among your most appropriate keywords?

.Complete funnel search tenet # 2: Know your funnel.

Just since every pertinent search has worth (tenet # 1), it doesn’’ t suggest that every search ’ s worth is the very same. You need to understand your funnel! Every brand name’’ s funnel is special. Even various items at the very same brand name have their own, distinct funnels.

In our example, the term bike might be possibly important to hundreds, if not thousands, of organisations. You, as the search online marketer, require to comprehend your services or product and how customers research study. What are the upper funnel keywords that are more than likely to drive an ultimate sale? Do you require to bid on those terms or can you bid on the mid-funnel terms that the majority of your purchasers likewise browse?

Understanding your funnel is vital to a complete funnel search method. Item or service line is brand-new to the market, you might have to invest more budget plan to catch customers on a purchase course to fill your funnel if your brand name.

Full funnel search is not a license to bid on every keyword appropriate to your organisation. You need to finest comprehend your purchaser’’ s courses with keyword research study. Keywords at various funnel phases require the best advertisement copy to draw in excellent potential customers while warding off the bad ones. Landing pages require to resolve the purchaser at whatever phase of the funnel they are at the time of the click.

Intimately discovering your special funnel and acknowledging when you require to press upper, bottom or middle activity with your search projects is essential to a complete funnel search method.

.Complete funnel search tenet # 3: Evaluate SEM efforts in a different way based upon funnel phases.

With a brand-new method to browse, a brand-new method of assessing your efforts is required.

Just concentrating on last click conversions is a bottom-funnel strategy. This won’’ t work for middle and upper funnel traffic as these customers are still looking into and may not even make certain yet if they’’ re even going to purchase anything.

What makes this more complex is how challenging the client journey is to track –– and it’’ s ending up being significantly harder with internet browsers moving towards obstructing increasingly more pixel tracking systems. Upper funnel terms may definitely be driving conversions, however in some cases the tracking simply doesn’’ t show that.

Each search marketing program is distinct and will require a distinct set of examination requirements. Here are some ideas to how this may work:

Upper Funnel Search must be dealt with as a real, awareness activity such as broad reach tv or online display screen projects. These channels are typically examined by impression shipment and their performance at providing targeted impressions to an audience. What is the CPM of your daytime cable television daypart on TELEVISION? What is your typical CPM on your branding (non-direct reaction) online screen and digital video advertisements?

On the one hand, these other channels can argue that their advertisement formats are much better at storytelling, however on the other, a search advertisement is provided to an interested customer at the time they are ““ raising their hand.” ” Not just that, however an online marketer just spends for a search advertisement when it is clicked, so there’’ s a double-validation here that somebody has actually looked for a keyword or expression appropriate to your company and likewise has actually checked out the advertisement copy and thinks that there is some intriguing worth a click away.

Middle Funnel Search is connected to other channels that drive engagement. A customer browsing on among these terms must be thought about extremely important and certified, even if they aren’’ t yet prepared to fill or purchase out a lead kind. As soon as once again, the reality that it takes a click to invest the marketing budget plan indicates that the customer felt obliged to visit your site through the search advertisement.

Metrics such as page views, time invested in the website, and return sees may be more fitting to determine the success of middle funnel search traffic.

Bottom Funnel Search can still be held to today’’ s CPC and ROI requirements. Really, if search online marketers just reported on these KPIs for simply their bottom funnel activity, the metrics would be immediately much better than ever due to the fact that of the elimination of the mid-funnel and upper projects.

.Conclusion.

Moving to a complete funnel search technique won’’ t be simple. For brand names, it’’ s the best thing to do. We require to continue thoroughly, have those difficult discussions with our leaders and groups, and utilize both sound judgment and screening to discover our method.

The post 3 secret tenets of effective complete funnel search appeared initially on Search Engine Land .

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Frederick Vallaeys on why digital marketers will still have jobs and what they’ll look like in an AI world

We all know automation is dramatically changing the way we approach PPC. From setting up to managing and optimizing campaigns, our roles are evolving. In his new book “Digital Marketing In An AI World,” Frederick Vallaeys, former Googler and co-founder of campaign optimization platform Optmyzr, discusses why understanding the fundamentals of PPC matter more now than ever, what machine learning can (and can’t do) and the skills and capabilities marketers will need.

I sat down with Vallaeys at SMX Advanced in Seattle last week to chat about the book. We discussed his time as an early AdWords team member and one of its biggest advertisers, and why he’s optimistic about our various roles as digital marketers in the age of automation. Have a listen or read the interview below.

 


This interview with Frederick Vallaeys, CEO of Optmyzr, has been lightly edited and condensed.

Let’s talk about it on a very basic level: What we’re talking about when we talk about AI, when we talk about machine learning and when we talk about automation and what marketers need to really understand about what these terms mean that gets thrown around so much.

At a super high level, you have to understand where the technology is coming from and how fast it’s evolving. And fundamentally, understand that this is a very real change that’s going to have a big impact. But it’s also not as all-encompassing as a lot of people might think.

So if you look at traditional media or movies, AI is like these humanoids that do basically everything, and that’s not where we’re at. In PPC, it’s mostly machine learning, targeting very specific problems like, “Hey, how do we set the right bid if we have a ROAS goal.” Because we have to put a CPC bid because that’s how the Google auction works right?

So the automation is very specific to that. But then also understanding, I think, at some level the history of it. So AI is actually not that new in Google Ads. So quality score, I mean, that’s like over a decade old. That was the original machine learning system — figuring out what’s the predicted click-through rate on a certain keyword and ads combination for a certain query.

Which you had a hand in building.

Yeah, I was on that team. So it was kind of a fun part of the book too — lending that insight or perspective and telling some stories of, you know, playing hockey with the founders and cross-checking Sergey [Bring, Google co-founder] and then still be lucky enough not to get fired that day.

Talk a little bit about your history at Google and some of the highlights of the stories you have.

First of all when I was joining Google, I had put a pretty short list of companies I wanted to work at, and Google was sort of up and coming but it wasn’t that big of a deal, yet — which is why I could play hockey with Sergey, and I cross-checked him because I didn’t really know who he was at the time. Then he became really famous.

The acquisition of Urchin. Flying down to San Diego and getting to meet that small team, that eventually became Google Analytics. And that’s one of the most foundational things in online marketing nowadays, right? What would we do if we didn’t have these numbers?

Some other highlights: So I actually started advertising while I was working at Google because I saw the light. I was like, “Oh my God, people are spending $30,000 dollars a month — and that back in the day made you a Tier 1 advertiser, that was like the biggest of the biggest.

You were able to be an advertiser, which informed how the products got developed.

Exactly.

Because there’s sort of that gap between the people building these tools and people using these tools, and you helped kind of make those connections.

Right, and you see that even here. I’m at SMX, and there is a keynote from Google. It’s a great vision that’s being put out there, but there’s a certain gap between that vision and how do you get there. And so that was kind of my role in Google. I started advertising and became a pretty big advertiser and affiliate advertiser, and I don’t know which of my keywords are converting. And guess what? Conversion tracking didn’t exist back in the day.

We all had this concept of, yeah, PPC works great, but really, we still didn’t know what was actually working. We were just throwing money at it. And so, I built my own little conversion tracking system. Then the team took note and said, “That’s pretty cool. Maybe all advertisers should have that. Can you go talk to the product team?” That was one of my early product things.

So you say in the book, thinking about the skills that we need to have, that many of us don’t need to understand kind of the technical details, but do you need to understand what the “smart” systems are doing, and not doing, which I thought was really important. What factors do PPC marketers who are not in the weeds on the technical side of this need to understand about the factors and ways that these tools and systems are working to be able to make better decisions and make sure the machines are doing what they’re actually supposed to do?

And that’s one of the big premises and, I think. One of the big things PPC marketers are going to have to work on going forward is helping the machine learn by giving it more data about your business. And sometimes that’s scary, right? You talk to plenty of businesses that say, “We don’t want to give Google more data because you’re going to do something nefarious with it.” I worked at Google. It’s not a nefarious company. I don’t think it’s changed since I left in that regard. And ultimately one of the safeguards is it’s still an auction, right? So, you know, you give extra information, and all Google really does with it is it tries to increase your bids when it thinks there is a higher likelihood of it converting and vice versa.

But now, I think the foundation or the fundamentals of PPC are still so important to understand. I talk to people, and they are using tROAS bidding. I ask them, “Well, how do you go from a target ROAS to an actual CPC based on your conversion rate and values?” And they can’t do the math. And if you can’t… I don’t expect you to do it on the spot, but you should be able to think through that and actually kind of explain and then be like, “Well, if it’s using historical conversion value per conversion or per click, what kind of data do we have that maybe informs certain audiences that perform better or worse, and what can we do with that? Should we supplement Google’s understanding by building a new audience that takes a look at something that matters to us?”

Because that’s one of the fundamentals of machine learning, that it uses historical data to make predictions about the future. And so the kind of big shift is thinking about your data in a new way. And one of the things you talk about is informing these algorithms with more data, and that there are gaps that Google has. So when teams are talking to each other about, OK, we want to use smart bidding — and maybe it’s not even Google’s Smart Bidding, its any smart bidding, it’s a third-party tool — and you figure out, OK this is the data we have, and this is our goal. Can this help us achieve our goal?

So, what are the steps to thinking through that process and thinking about, “What are the gaps?” How does somebody come back to the office and say, “This is our challenge. How do I either do this on my own or work with teams because I don’t have access to this data right now?”

Right, and that’s really one of the big things that PPC experts are going to play a role in, and I don’t think it’s a simple answer, but that’s kind of why we will have jobs going forward. It’s just our jobs have been redefined because of this new question. There are several problems with it. One of them is Google doesn’t really tell you what data it has or what data it uses. So one example I gave was for quality score. At one point, we said, “Hey, we should look at the lunar cycle and figure out if that impacts predicted click-through rate.” And we found that system-wide, it really didn’t – so we decided not to use it as a factor. Now, if you’re a tarot card reader or a psychic, you know, maybe it does matter.

I know, when I read that I thought it also maternity wards. So many … deliveries happen based on the full moon. Any maternity ward nurse will say, the full moon is when we’re full. So I was thinking, Oh, that’s a great example of, you know, on the whole, lunar cycles may not have mattered, but there are things like that.

There are specific verticals and industries. And then if it does matter for you, that’s when you have to figure out, how do we inform Google about this. Right?

And then the other question that’s really hard and that we’re going to have to play a role in as well is the maternity ward says, “Yeah, we’re full.” But really, how full? Are you 25% more full than unusual? And if you’ve reached capacity, then does that actually mean you want a bid higher or do you want to bid less?

That becomes a strategy decision, and it becomes a matter of you probably having to plug your data into your own machine learning system — and if you don’t have enough data, you can still do some statistical analysis on that. But now you have data points. You can say, “OK for a full moon we’re going to increase our bids by 20%.” And so increasing a bid in the old days used to mean “boost your CPC 20%,” now it could mean “increase your CPA target by so much or lower your ROAS by another number” because you know that on the back end your conversion rate is going to spike. And even though you’re supposedly willing to pay more for an acquisition, the added conversion rate’s going to make up for that. And again, that goes back to fundamentals. If you don’t understand how conversion rate and CPA targets interact like that, you’re just not going to be able to make the right decisions.

I am thinking about, you know, the newborn photographer … who says, I know I’m going to be really busy at this time. What are some of the resources and best ways to start making sure that you know what you’re talking about and know how to plan?

Read the book. [Laughs] There are three sections in the book. The introductory section is about what is this technology. And I think understanding the technology that’s driving it helps you position yourself, but also helps you think about, Oh, how could I leverage that similar technology for my own benefits?

And one concept that I introduced in my talk at SMX Advanced was about automation layering, and it is huge. So you have these in-engine automations like smart bidding, and they do certain things really quite well, but they don’t do it perfectly. So how do you layer your own system on top of that to either change the targets or take action when you see that there’s some outside factor that influences it? And I think just by understanding the core technology, the core machine learning, you will be in a better position to build your own solutions for it.

And I loved your analogies for the doctor, the pilot and the teacher roles. You know, this is one of the things we talk about — is what our role is going to look like and will we have jobs? Can you talk about the doctor and the pilot and the teacher roles and how those apply?

I really just wanted to simplify it and give an analogy that people can easily understand. And so when you think about a doctor, you go to a doctor with an ailment, and a doctor knows there’s 17 different drugs that might work for this, and some of these drugs are more aggressive have more serious potential side effects. And so they kind of take a look at the patient, and they say, “Well how serious is this issue?” And then they prescribe what they think is the right level of drugs. And they know about interactions. They know about other conditions that you have. So what’s the interplay? Bringing that back to PPC, it’s like, well, if we’re going to automate bidding, that’s not just a button that you push. It’s like now you’ve got to choose between, I don’t know at this point, like the nine types of automated bidding that Google offers. And if you choose one specific one like target ROAS, now they’re introducing seasonality bid adjustments and introducing conversion value rules, and there are ways to track it. Understanding all these interplays and what’s the right solution, that’s kind of the doctor.

And the secondary part of the doctor as the bedside manner. You’re not always going to hit your targets you’re gonna have a bad quarter and understanding why that happened and what you will do about it and talking to your boss about that. That’s important because the machine learning system doesn’t explain why it missed its targets.

The pilot actually breaks down into two kinds of pilots. There’s the commercial pilot whose job it is to get everyone there safely, you know, usually not taking her jets out along the way. And so it’s an oversight role. It’s making sure that the systems that are monitoring the plane are working correctly and that those decisions are being made correctly by the auto-pilots. The average pilot flies the plane like seven minutes out of a flight — one crazy little stat that’s out there. And then there is a fighter pilot. So as you see competitors maybe using automations and you figure out what the shortcomings are — so maybe that psychic or maternity ward is not looking at the lunar cycle, and you do, well that’s a competitive advantage. So figuring out, “Oh, they’re using that technology platform, and that one doesn’t take them into account.” So how do we pick a better tool or put in more information to achieve that?

So I think those are the two most common roles: the doctor and the pilot that PPC people today will start to play. The third one is a little bit more aspirational, I suppose, for most people, but it’s how do you teach a machine. Because the machine learning system doesn’t just magically exist. Someone has to build it. And that’s pretty valuable work. If you know how to build that system just a little bit better. When I was at Google, quality score, we make one percent improvements to it every now and then. And that’s one percent, who cares, right? But if you look at the billions of dollars they’re making, do one percent on top of that, yeah, that’s serious money. So there’s a lot of money in this space if you can figure out machine learning system that ekes out another percent. That’s a big deal.

So one of the things is we’ve talked about this over the last day or so here at SMX Advanced is machine learning wasn’t that great when it started. And PPC marketers who’ve been in this for any number of years have been trained to be really in the weeds and control, control, control. There’s always this tension between automation and control.

So you’ve got people that have been trained to be really hands-on, and you have people that have been seeing poor results. They’ve been burned. They feel like there’s this guinea pig syndrome where they’re taking the brunt to help Google and Microsoft Advertising algorithms learn. At the same time, and your book makes it very clear and I completely buy into this, there’s no going back on this. There’s only going to be more automation. Resistance is futile. So how do you convince people that things are fundamentally changing and if they don’t change the way that they’re working every day that they’re going to get left behind? How do you make this argument?

Well I mean there are so many levels to that question, but I think kind of the core of it is thinking about the acceleration of machine learning. That’s one part of it. So every roughly 18 months, Moore’s Law says that computing power doubles, and artificial intelligence has been around for more than 50 years. So why is it a big deal today as opposed to when PPC started? And it’s because we’re actually now in that phase where the technology is doubled about 27 times and every time it doubles it’s like it’s just massively better than what it was in the last cycle.

So if it’s not good enough today, you bet that is going to be a hell of a lot better very soon. Is it always going to be better than humans? No, and that’s one of the arguments in the book is that there are certain things that humans can really help out with.

And so very specifically, if you’re at an agency and you work in a specific industry, you probably have insights about what factors you should look at — things that maybe the machine learning systems shouldn’t be experimenting with — and so responsive search ads are a really good example. It’s a machine learning system that figures out how to put together the ad components for each and every query. But it’s still up to us humans to say these are the headlines that you get to test. The machine is not writing those. And so you really have to make sure you’re giving a machine good information good opportunity to learn. And I think you made the example recently about flying with a toddler and it being a horrible experience in the beginning and never wanting to fly again. But then you realize, well hey, if I teach the toddler how to be a good flier, it’s going to be awesome, and maybe they’re actually going to carry my bags and be helpful. Machine learning is the same thing. Learning is part of the term. So it’s not going to be perfect on day one. But it’s certainly not going to get stupider.

Right. Although, talk about some of the mistakes that people make. This whole idea of training and learning — when you log in, you see the “learning” message, or you see something that’s not working. In the previous iteration of PPC world, you would think, I need to make an adjustment and go in, and you’d make two or three adjustments. Does that work anymore?

Yeah, I mean you just have to take a step back at that point. The point in the book is that automation researchers have found that humans, when they see the machine not doing what it’s expected to do, they are very quick to say, “OK it’s not working. We’re not going to use it anymore.” Whereas if you hired a new employee into your agency and that employee made a mistake, you’d probably sit them down and explained why that was a mistake and try to teach them better and give them more insight, more inputs, and trust that they would get better next time. And so I think we have to do the same thing with the machine. If we see that the machine is not learning fast enough, we have to step back and say, “Do we have enough conversions that we’re tracking? Are we measuring conversions correctly?” Garbage in garbage out basically. A machine learning system cannot do a good job if you’re not giving it the right data to make its decisions on.

Attribution models kind of play into this as well. If you’re doing last click attribution, in the old days, you’d look at your keyword list, and you’d see, Oh this keyword has very few conversions on last click. An automated system would say, Kill that keyword, bid it down, get rid of it. Whereas a human you would say, Oh that’s actually a pretty relevant keyword. Maybe it does matter high up in the funnel. You’d keep it, but the machine learning system doesn’t have that context. So if you’re not putting a better attribution model in place at the end, well then yeah, your automation that does the bids is going to be pretty horrible and actually kill your campaign. But it’s not because the machine learning is bad, it’s because you’ve given it bad information.

Well, thank you so much for this. Parting words for the PPC marketers out there who are anxious about what their roles, their careers, their businesses are going to look like?

I think this is an exciting time. And if you join PPC, I mean it’s never been a slow-moving field, there’s constant change here, and this is just another one of these. I think it’s actually nice because now nobody likes doing tedious, repetitive work, and that’s really what these automations are taking care of.

And we get to think more about strategy. We get to actually become marketers again. Think about audiences. Think about messaging. Think about the fun stuff of marketing. And the number crunching, which a lot of people think is actually fun as well, but more of that is going to be done by the machine.

And the analysis is what we can focus on.

Exactly, drawing the insights and how do you apply those insights to your next campaign.

But another point that I think sometimes Google misses in building machine learning is they tend to think that a thousand dollar experiment, that’s going to lead to a great result, but that’s a thousand dollars. To Google, that’s nothing. To a small business that’s like a thousand dollars during which they’re on the fence: Is this machine going to learn it or is it not going to work? That’s real money for them. And so if you are more of an expert in this arena and you know the strategies, you know the right place, the right starting point to give you the highest chance of success, that’s a leg up. And that’s something valuable that you can sell. So I think that this is full of opportunities for PPC, but it’s going to be different from what we’ve been doing for the past ten years.

I think that’s the thing. It’s a really fundamental shift and mindset shift with lots of upside and opportunity for first-movers.

I think so.

The post Frederick Vallaeys on why digital marketers will still have jobs and what they’ll look like in an AI world appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read more: searchengineland.com

The Leadership Book Every Executive Must Read: “Team of Teams”

NewsCred CEO and Co-founder Shafqat Islam on the management book every executive requires to check out.

I make every member of my executive group checked out ” Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World,” by retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal. I likewise motivate supervisors of all levels at NewsCred to check out the book as it had an extensive influence on me as a leader.

My good friend and fellow CEO, Tobi Lütke of Shopify, presented me to “Team of Teams.” Coincidentally, a couple of weeks later on, FirstMark Capital (among NewsCred’s financiers) generated the book’s author, General McChrystal, to its CEO Day. I was blown away by the General’s message on management and real-world examples from the Iraq War.

Of course, fighting at the helm of a service is really various from hand-to-hand fight on the streets of Fallujah. I believe there are 2 effective however basic ideas from the book that leaders in any business can take away and use:

.Pressing decision-making to the edges of the company.Practicing shared awareness. Team of Teams.jpgPushing Decision-making to the Edges of the Organization.

The United States armed force is a timeless example of a top-down, hierarchical organizational structure. It’s frequently referred to as a “command and control” structure. This suggests that choices are driven from the extremely leading, and circulation in one instructions: down. Many business are hierarchical by default. That, in itself, is not an issue. The problem with the design is that it typically results in late or bad choices.

Bad choices occur since individuals on the ground (metaphorically, at a business, actually, when it comes to the Iraq War) have one of the most understanding and in-depth info about the conditions, plus real-world context. An engineer understands about the intricacy of the code. A sales associate understands the most recent sales objections she speaks with the marketplace. Folks who are making the choices are at the extremely leading, frequently with the least quantity of in-depth info.

Similarly, a soldier on the ground understands how challenging it is to browse in a particular area at a particular time of day. When it comes to Iraq, McChrystal ultimately delivered all control to his soldiers on the ground to make choices about raids. He utilized to authorize every raid, and they did less than one raid a day. By the end of his period, with decision-making pressed to his soldiers on the ground, they were doing more than a lots a day.

At NewsCred, that practice indicates empowering our designers and salesmen to make crucial choices. It implies enabling all members of the company, no matter how junior, to make choices without requiring top-down approvals for every relocation.

In addition to making much better choices, this increases speed at business. For McChrystal, by the time a message or direction boiled down the hierarchy, 24 hours might have passed and the intelligence was obsolete. By the time business decision-making goes to committees (or even worse, up to the CEO), we lose valuable days, weeks, or months. At any business, speed is a competitive benefit, and we run the risk of tossing that away.

 Stanley McChrystal.jpg

Retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal

.Practicing Shared Consciousness.

My preliminary impulse when I found out about this idea of pressing decision-making to the edge was, “This sounds excellent in theory, however how does it operate in practice? How do I understand individuals will not make bad choices?”

These are typical concerns for any leader. The option to the “choice quality” issue is inextricably connected to a concept of shared awareness.

In order for everybody in the company to make excellent choices, they require fantastic info. This ends up being specifically crucial as the speed of decision-making boosts and a growing number of folks at the edges of the company are empowered. Since it needs extreme openness, this is an easy principle however tough to do.

In the case of General McChrystal, he did an everyday video conference where each and every single member of the Joint Special Operations Command was welcomed –– and thousands signed up with. All the info, formerly protected as top-secret, was now shared. The little danger of tricks dripping was significantly overcompensated by faster and much better decision-making.

In the case of NewsCred, this implies overcommunicating at every chance. I frequently state “we need to overcommunicate to the point that it makes individuals feel simply a bit uneasy.” At the end of the day, we are not sharing nationwide security info, so relative to the General, we are safe. At NewsCred, we share board decks and financials. We do Demo Days on Friday for groups to interact what they are dealing with. I likewise send out a weekly e-mail from me to the entire business with whatever is on my mind. The totality of the details shared assists us accomplish shared awareness.

.What Next?

It’s been a couple of years because I initially check out “Team of Teams,” and these concepts have actually never ever been more appropriate. Organizations stay siloed, leading to lower performance, duplicative efforts, squandered spending plan, and, eventually, lost earnings. In the marketing area, online marketers do not have the presence they require to collaborate, align their efforts, adjust rapidly, and produce ideal outcomes. A lot of business are no place near accomplishing shared awareness.

Yet, this need to alter if services wish to be successful in today’s worldwide, yet significantly fragmented digital world. At NewsCred, we’ve not just been putting in location the principles from General McChrystal, like pressing choices pull back to individuals on the ground. We’ve likewise been hard at work adjusting the NewsCred Content Marketing Platform so it assists marketing companies change themselves from siloed groups to incorporated groups of groups. The platform will be the source of reality for the most current, precise details that will permit online marketers to decide that will most affect their worlds. Stay tuned as we expose more information in the coming weeks.

It’s hard to change the method we work. By providing workers the innovation, info, and empowerment they require to perform their finest, we’ll eventually develop more powerful, more effective business, too.

Shafqat Islam is CEO and Co-founder of NewsCred.

This post was initially released on December 15, 2016, and was upgraded on June 10, 2019.

The post The Leadership Book Every Executive Must Read: “Team of Teams” appeared initially on Insights .

Read more: insights.newscred.com

Social Media Icons: Free and Always Updated

The post Social Media Icons: Free and Always Updated appeared first on Dustin Stout by Dustin W. Stout.

The most meticulously updated and accurately crafted minimal social media icons on the internet. Now includes the newest Facebook icon!

The most recent update to the icon set includes six updated icons as well as four completely new additions. But first, some backstory…

I have a pet peeve.

Okay fine, I’ve got more than one of them.

One in particular has to do with social media icons. It may be silly, but I just can’t stand seeing outdated social media icons. It bothers me–and I’ll talk about why it should bother you as well further in this post.

So, in an attempt to save the world from outdated social media icons I’ve created my own social media icon set and you can download them for free!

Not only that, but I’ve not got a bonus set of icons thanks to my friends over at Vecteezy who have created an additional set of social media-related icons just for my audience. And they’re all one-hundred percent free!

How cool is that?

cool beans gif

So before I give you the goods, allow me to explain why this is actually such a big deal if you’re trying to make your mark online.

Why Updated Social Media Icons Matter

In a world where visual appeal is associated with authority and credibility, it never ceases to amaze me how many times I come upon outdated, ugly social media icons.

This is what I refer to as an “icontastrophe.”

I’ve stated before how important it is to make your social media presence prominent. Your readers, customers, fans, and followers need to know that you are active on the social networks they would follow you on.

What kind of impression do you think it makes when you’re using social icons that have been retired? Let me give you a few typical opinions:

You’re outdatedYou’re not paying attentionYou’re irrelevantYou’re not really active on the platform

While this may or may not be true, the impression that it gives is negative. No matter how awesome you are on those platforms, a savvy user (the people you want on your side) will recognize an outdated icon right away.

“Trust increases when we get the details right. Customers judge online credibility by evaluating the visual design, copywriting, and interactions. If trust matters to your business, then design details should matter too.” – Braden Kowitz

Here are a few examples from real life outdated social media icons:

is that Google+?you were so close iconsclose but no cigar iconsdouble foul iconsarchaic symboltonight show social icons

Now, the goal is not to make fun of these people, businesses or brands, but to raise awareness that it’s time for an update.

I know, I know– total first world problem, right? Well, honestly, some of these businesses or brands simply don’t know that the icons are outdated. What’s worse is that they don’t realize that most Twitter users don’t even know what that old lower-case “t” icon is.

Most often, it’s the Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram icons that are messing everything up. So be on the lookout for those usual suspects. I go more in-depth on the most commonly misused social media logos in another article. I won’t bore you with it again here.

Updated Social Media Icons FTW!

Whether it’s a blog, business site, or just a cool infographic, one outdated social icon can totally ruin it.

I can understand though that it’s not easy to stay on top with how often some of these sites change their icons. So I’ve made it my goal to not only keep myself updated but to help keep you updated as well.

For me, this is one of those small details that can communicate volumes about your digital presence. Staying on the cutting edge keeps you relevant, reinforces trust, and helps you achieve social media rockstar status.

If you’re going to build and design a blog worth following it is essential that your social media links are both visible and current. That’s why I created this free icon set for you to download and use at your leisure.

What is in the set?

social media icons

I’ve hand-picked the most popular social media networks and apps and created six different styles.

This icon set contains a square icon version and a minimalistic (isolated) version (without the square). Both versions come with 3 different color schemes (color, black, and white).

Additionally, they are in .png format at 32×32 pixels so they are easy to drop into your websites as social media links.

The social networks included are:

Facebook (updated)Twitter (updated)LinkedIn (updated)InstagramYouTube (updated)Reddit (updated)Snapchat

Pinterest (updated)WhatsAppPeriscopeSkype (new)VimeoVk (new)Flickr

ElloMix (new)WeChat (new)WordPressBloggerTumblrMedium

Six sets of twenty-one icons, that’s a total of 126 free social media icons that I’ve created for you!

Download the Icons

Want the vector versions of these icons (.psd and .ai files)? Skip ahead.

Needless to say, it took some time to craft all of these. Being a full-time husband and daddy, I just can’t maintain icons for every single site out there. However, I am open to requests if you have any specific icons you’d like for your set– just leave them in the comments below.

The goal is to stay as current and accurate to each social network as possible to ensure brand consistency but also have a uniform look and feel.

I will be keeping these social icons as current as possible. Every time one of these social networks changes its icon– you can bet I’ll be updating these sets as soon as possible.

Bonus Icons for Your Graphics Needs!

As I said previously, the good folks over at Vecteezy have agreed to create a special set of social media related icons for my audience! These are exclusive Dustn.tv graphics that you are free to use on any and all of your projects!

Here’s a preview of what’s in the bonus set:

social media icons from vecteezy

There are 35 icons in total, and they come in .ai and .png formats. Wah-hoo!

Download Vecteezy Icons

Download Vector Social Media Icons

Just add your email below, and you can download the vector (.psd and .ai files) of my free social icon set instantly!

social media icons

Download Vector Social Media Icons (.PNG, .PSD, and .AI)

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By adding your email you consent to getting emails related to the item you’re signing up for. Don’t worry, I only send things I think you’ll find useful.

By adding your email, you also get access to my growing library of downloadable resources for all your social media and online marketing needs.

You may also be interested in downloading my free official social media logos for larger scale use. That resource includes high-resolution versions of official social network logos for when a 32x32px icon isn’t enough.

Latest Updates to Social Media Icons

Included in this most current set were some updates, new additions, and several removals of social networks that are no longer with us. The updates I make to this set are always to keep the most accurate representation according to each brands guidelines.

See if you notice a pattern in some of these updates.

Facebook has recently started updating all it’s logos for a more unified brand across apps. The icon now matches the most current version of the Facebook icon found on it’s brand website. The primary blue color also got a brighter shade–my guess is to give it a younger appeal.

Twitter, in the past year, changed it’s primary blue color also. Just as Facebook, the blue is brighter, giving it a greater appeal to younger audiences.

LinkedIn hasn’t made any changes to it’s primary icon, however–surprise surprise–they’ve made their blue an ever-so-slightly brighter shade.

YouTube has begun showing its logo in a brighter shade of red, and therefore I’ve updated the set to match. Are you sensing a trend here among social media logos?

Pinterest’s shade of red has become–wait for it–a tad bit brighter.

Skype is a brand new addition to the set. While not seemingly a “social network” in the popular understanding of the term, it can actually be categorized as such. With the wide amount of usage, I felt is was a worthwhile addition to the set.

VK, the popular Russian social network has been added to the list by popular demand. With nearly 100M users worldwide, it was definitely time to add it to my free icon set.

Mix has been added to the mix–see what I did there. StumbleUpon, its predecessor, was shut down and absorbed into Mix back in 2018. It has yet to acquire mainstream adoption, but I believe it is one to watch.

WeChat is a messaging app very similar to WhatsApp, but was created by Chinese company Tencent. It has over 1 billion monthly active users and is mostly popular in China.

And last, but certainly not least, there have been a few social networks since the last update that have either gone the way of the dodo, or they’re slowly being shut down. The following social network icons have been removed from the set:

BlabStumbleUponVineMeerkatGoogle+

As always, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any network updates, changes, or shutdowns. As long as you stay subscribed to the email list, you will always be in the know!

Are there any sites that you think I should have included in the set? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The post Social Media Icons: Free and Always Updated appeared first on Dustin Stout by Dustin W. Stout. If you are reading this on a website that is NOT dustinstout.com, it is STOLEN.

Read more: dustinstout.com

Salesforce is buying data visualization company Tableau for $15.7B in all-stock deal

On the heels of Google purchasing analytics start-up Looker recently for $2.6 billion , Salesforce today revealed a big piece of news in a quote to step up its own operate in information visualization and (more typically) tools to assist business understand the sea of information that they collect and utilize: Salesforce is purchasing Tableau for $15.7 billion in an all-stock offer.

The latter is openly traded and this offer will include shares of Tableau Class A and Class B typical stock getting exchanged for 1.103 shares of Salesforce typical stock, the business stated, therefore the $15.7 billion figure is the business worth of the deal, based upon the typical rate of Salesforce’s shares since June 7, 2019.

This is a substantial get on Tableau’s last market cap: it was valued at $10.79 billion at close of trading Friday, according to figures on Google Finance. (Also: trading has actually stopped on its stock because of this news.)

The 2 boards have actually currently authorized the offer, Salesforce notes. The 2 business’ management groups will be hosting a teleconference at 8am Eastern and I’ll eavesdrop to that too to get more information.

This is a substantial offer for Salesforce as it continues to diversify beyond CRM software application and into much deeper layers of analytics.

The business supposedly strove to — — however eventually lost out on — — purchasing LinkedIn (which Microsoft got rather), and while there isn’t a lot in typical in between LinkedIn and Tableau, this offer will likewise assist Salesforce extend its engagement (and information intelligence) for the consumers that Salesforce currently has — — something that LinkedIn would have likewise assisted it to do.

This likewise appears like a relocation created to assist bulk up versus Google’s relocate to purchase Looker, revealed recently, although I ‘d argue that analytics is a huge sufficient location that all significant tech business that are courting business are getting their ducks in a row in regards to squaring up to more powerful methods (and items) in this location. It’s uncertain whether (and if) the 2 offers were made in action to each other, although it appears that Salesforce has actually been considering up Tableau for many years .

” We are combining the world’s # 1 CRM with the # 1 analytics platform. Tableau assists individuals see and comprehend information, and Salesforce assists individuals engage and comprehend consumers. It’s genuinely the very best of both worlds for our clients–– combining 2 crucial platforms that every consumer requires to comprehend their world,” stated Marc Benioff, chairman and co-CEO, Salesforce, in a declaration. “I’m enjoyed invite Adam and his group to Salesforce.”

Tableau has about 86,000 organisation clients, consisting of Charles Schwab, Verizon (which owns TC), Schneider Electric, Southwest and Netflix. Salesforce stated Tableau will run individually and under its own brand name post-acquisition. It will likewise stay headquartered in Seattle, Wash., headed by CEO Adam Selipsky together with others on the present management group.

Indeed, later on throughout the call, Benioff let it drop that Seattle would end up being Salesforce’s main 2nd head office with the closing of this offer.

That’s not to state, however, that the 2 will not be collaborating.

On the contrary, Salesforce is currently talking up the possibilities of broadening what the business is currently finishing with its Einstein platform ( released back in 2016 , Einstein is the house of all of Salesforce’s AI-based efforts); and with “Customer 360,” which is the business’s item and handle omnichannel sales and marketing. The latter is a complementary and apparent item house, considered that one substantial element of Tableau’s service is to offer “broad view” insights.

” Joining forces with Salesforce will improve our capability to assist individuals all over see and comprehend information,” stated Selipsky. “As part of the world’s # 1 CRM business, Tableau’s effective and instinctive analytics will make it possible for millions more individuals to find actionable insights throughout their whole companies. I’m happy that our business share really comparable cultures and an unrelenting concentrate on client success. I anticipate collaborating in assistance of our neighborhoods and clients.”

” Salesforce’s unbelievable success has actually constantly been based upon preparing for the requirements of our consumers and offering them the services they require to grow their organisations,” stated Keith Block, co-CEO, Salesforce. “Data is the structure of every digital change, and the addition of Tableau will accelerate our capability to provide consumer success by making it possible for a really merged and effective view throughout all of a client’s information.”

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Read more: techcrunch.com

How to Start a Business From Your Tiny House

While marketers would have you think that all of us desire larger, much better, and more, more, more, there is a growing section of the population that’’ s more thinking about scaling down. These individuals live by one approach: Less is more! There’’ s another pattern– one that ’ s been trending up a lot longer than tiny-house living: home-based organisations. Something wonderful starts to occur when you integrate the 2. You recognize that you can deal with less, consequently lowering costs and the quantity of cash you require to make in order to live. vente de coque iphone Nearly any home-based company can be begun with a small home, so long as there isn’’ t a requirement for more area. Even RVers can participate the action , as being mobile isn ’ t going to be a deterrent for the online organisations. Tiny houses themselves are likewise industry, however you ’ ll requirement to have some DIY abilities like woodworking at the least. This likewise won ’ t make our list as business of making and offering small homes isn ’ t mobile and will need more area. We do have much love for the tiny-home contractors out there, as we wouldn ’ t exist without them.

Welcome the Cloud

There ’ s a terrific exchange in the motion picture Creed when Donnie, played by Michael B. Jordan, asks Rocky, played by Sylvester Stallone, for training pointers. Rocky puts in the time to compose them down, however when he hands the paper to Donnie, he simply gets his phone, snaps a fast picture, and hands the paper back to Rocky, which results in this:

Rocky: Wait, put on ’ t you desire this?

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Donnie: Got it right’here. coque iphone x (Donnie holds up his phone.)

.

Rocky: What if you lose that there or it breaks?

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Donnie: It ’ s currently up in the cloud.

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Rocky: (Rocky appreciates the sky.) What cloud? WHAT CLOUD?

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Rocky aside, anybody wanting to begin a home-based service in 2019 requirements to accept cloud-based resources . For those who are technically challenged, like the popular southpaw from Philly, let ’ s rapidly specify the cloud. Cloud computing includes shared swimming pools of resources and services that can be accessed financially and quickly with very little effort. This consists of software and hardware. Cloud computing permits users to access the cloud with gadgets like laptop computers, tablets, and phones, and it enables the users to do things like shop info, obtain details from shared databases, and interact and team up with others. coque iphone 2019 Anyone who has actually published something on Facebook or Instagram is currently utilizing the cloud. coque iphone 2019 This cooperation suggests numerous individuals have the ability to operate in the exact same files, software application, social networks accounts, and more, concurrently or at various times of day. With this comes another level of duty, nevertheless, with numerous hands associated with something, so you may think about brushing up on your digital courtesy abilities .

. E-Commerce Tips for Tiny-House Owners.

Have you ever seen those lists? 99 concepts for companies you can begin with house? Then you scroll down and recognize that numerous have actually been reworded and duplicated, and numerous more are simply plain dumb. We ’ re not going to do that. Rather, we ’ re going to provide you some basic suggestions and perhaps a couple of concepts, due to the fact that for each individual that you check out who made it abundant offering things on Amazon, there are countless others who are puzzled by the logistics of e-commerce , and their organisations are stagnant. coque iphone 6 Entrepreneur.com has 5 tricks of success for running a home-based e-commerce service. Keep in mind that you put on ’ t requirement to keep a physical stock, however you do require to discover a great dropshipper .

. Treat it like an offline organisation. It ’ s not a pastime, so put on ’ t treat it like one. Make the exact same sort of choices you would for a brick-and-mortar company, consisting of setting objectives and goals prior to doing anything else. Utilize the best software application. Your software application is the structure of your organisation. Susan Delly of Zippy Cart advises software application that is “ scalable, safe, and easy to use. ” Not sure what ’ s best? Check out this resource . Area, area, place. With your organisation online, place doesn” ’ t matter, however you still require to discover your audience– and wear ’ t state everybody is your audience unless you offer toilet tissue. Figure out where your audience likes to hang out online. Let your clients cost you. Not actually. Make it simple for clients to leave evaluations and seek them out with gusto. Your clients are your biggest property, especially in the social networks age we reside in where social evidence will motivate more sales. KISS. In sales, this indicates Keep It Simple, Stupid. Have you ever been irritated by the checkout procedure when going shopping online? This is what you wish to prevent. Make it an easy, worry-free experience for your clients.

There are actually numerous countless products you can offer online, however if you avoid these fundamental actions when establishing your e-commerce service, you much better be offering geese that lay golden eggs, and they much better be on sale.

. Service-Based Businesses for Tiny-House Owners.

As long as your service-based organisation doesn ’ t use up much space, you can quickly run your service from your small home .Entrepreneur.com has a list of 105 service companies you can begin with house , and the majority of those can be done no matter area. The classifications that those fall under consist of:

. Individual services. Service services. Marketing and sales. House services. Computer system and innovation. Kid ’ s services. Occasion services.

The main point to bear in mind is that while experience isn ’ t constantly a requirement, abilities most likely will be. You require to ask yourself, what am I excellent at? When it comes to home-basedservice businesses, the location of marketing and sales is particularly appealingOrganisations This location consists of whatever from cold-callingto get leads and social networks marketing, to graphic style and freelance writing. These kinds of service companies can make excellent cash, and the overhead is low to nonexistent. Plus, platforms like Upwork make it really simple to get in the marketplace and start making right away. Keep in mind that no company is constructed overnight, so perseverance and grit will be needed. There are companies that aren ’ t rather from house, like yard upkeep, painting homes, vehicle detailing, and woodworking. The list is almost limitless. One essential thing to bear in mind is supply and need or, to put it simply, Economics 101. You ’ ll requirement demand, there ’ s no other way around it. Scope out your market, as in your basic location, and see what it requires. There are a’great deal of conventional brick-and-mortar service organisations that can quickly be moved offline, like working as an accounting professional, accountant, tax preparer, and others. If you have the abilities and experience in one of those functions, why not cut your overhead, or endeavor out on your own if used by somebody else, and provide it a go? This list of concepts is long to be sure, and making money in 2019 is as simple as establishing a PayPal account . You can send out billings through PayPal, too, making your little organisation appearance expert and huge. Simply keep in mind, everything starts with a service strategy. Strategy your work and work your strategy.

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Read more: tinyhouseblog.com

The Ecommerce Marketer’s Guide to PPC Advertising

If you’re a PPC veteran, it’s appealing to commit all your time to the larger image and discovering imaginative brand-new methods to drive inexpensive, conversion-friendly clicks.

This is specifically real for ecommerce services , which are playing in a competitive and extremely intricate area, especially when utilizing PPC.

Even small companies are getting on the pay-per-click bandwagon. According to a 2018 research study , 45% of organisations under 50 staff members purchase PPC. When it comes to little services with 50 workers or more, that number leaps to 74%.

Because of the intricacy and consistent competitors, it’s rather typical to neglect a few of your low-hanging fruit.

.Why is PPC so essential to ecommerce services?

Unsurprisingly, online item searches– particularly on Google– are expanding. A growing number of ecommerce services are taking notification and purchasing into PPC. In Q4 of 2018, invest in Google Shopping advertisements increased by 43% .

Although Amazon is still the very first stop for numerous clients’ item searches, Google isn’t far behind. According to Wordstream , the typical consumer purchases an item within 20 days of browsing it on Google and with 26 days of browsing it on Amazon. They likewise report that 35% of users buy an item within 5 days of the Google search.

Below is a list of 5 ideas that ecommerce online marketers can utilize to acquire an edge on competitors without spending beyond your means .

.Ecommerce PPC.1. Balance out ultra-specific and broad keywords.

Imagine you offer tires and rims for a living. You simply opened a place on the exact same street as a variety of various car dealers. (I understand, you’re an ecommerce online marketer, however stick with me here).

You see clients strolling in every day that are still in research study mode and have no concept what brand name they desire or which size tire they even require.

You discover that much of those strolling into your shop tend to talk with your workers for guidance and wind up entrusting to you in mind, however plainly look in other places for much better rates now that they’re more notified.

Now let’s state you stumbled upon a variety of consumers who understood precisely which tires they required down to the particular design number.

.If they stroll in your shop initially, #ppppp> These consumers who are much even more down the sales cycle are much more most likely to acquire from you.

There is a really comparable situation being played out in the ecommerce area for those bidding on competitive terms. In this market, for instance, those may be, “low-cost tires” or “tire offers online.”

Users might click 4 to 5 various advertisements, utilize your website to do some research study, and after that buy from whoever has the most affordable rate.

While you might never ever leave the vicious circle of spending for pricey click the more competitive and basic keywords, you can start to stabilize it out by targeting the particular end of the spectrum. To do this, you may attempt keywords like design numbers, part names, or UPC codes.

You’ll hardly ever see the exact same volume of users typing in questions with this level of granularity. There are plenty of prospective clients out there who understand precisely what they desire and simply require to figure out the simplest method to get it.

Not just are the clicks substantially less expensive due to the low competitors on design number keywords, however the conversion rates are much greater. This will assist bring your general CPA down.

Additionally, when somebody clicks your design number advertisement, you can send them straight to an item page which provides whatever they were searching for in one location.

.2. Expand and recognize on long-tail keywords.

There may likewise be clients who understand a lot about what they’re looking for, however aren’t rather typing in a UPC code simply. They likely be typing in long-tail keywords like, “red capri trousers in small,” or “Red Sox bleacher seats.”

In the Google Ads user interface, take a peek in your Search Query Report. (If you’re having difficulty discovering it, look within a project under “Keyword Details.”) This report will reveal the specific browsed keywords and expressions that activated your advertisements.

Sort by the keywords that have actually led to conversions and attempt to recognize long-tail keywords which might consist of a couple of particular item information.

For example, envision you’re bidding on the term “brand-new rims” however find out that somebody acquired an item on your website after browsing the brand name, size, and color of rims they desired. Here, you might include that long-tail keyword to the proper advertisement group and quote on it strongly considering that you understand it transforms well.

Think of your broad keywords as casting a broad internet. They will capture a good deal of fish. In order to discover gems, you’ll require to evaluate information to see which keywords really transformed, and determine long-tail keywords that you’re missing out on.

.3. Quote on keywords comparable to your rivals’.

Now that you’ve covered those users looking for particular items, why overlook those browsing to purchase particularly from your competitors? Plenty of searches come from those who’ve heard about a particular brand name to purchase from– however they’re not persuaded. These searchers may be available to other alternatives with much better deals.

In the physical shopping world, somebody may stroll into a rival’s shop next door to yours if they have indications boasting much better costs and larger choices. This is why it can be handy to develop projects targeted to rival keywords with easy advertisements making clients mindful that you’re likewise an option, budget-friendly choice.

.4. Do not utilize a rival’s top quality keywords.

While targeted a rival’s advertisement keywords, you need to prevent targeting top quality keywords. A couple of things may occur if you do this:

.You’ll be spending for less certified traffic.When your rival notifications, they might increase your expenses drastically by bidding simply a bit more themselves (since they have a greater quality rating).Your rivals might grumble to Google and you’ll get a slap on the wrist (or even worse).You’ll appear like a bad sport, and even a little a jerk.

None of those are too enticing. Rather of straight targeting top quality keywords, take hints from your rivals’ PPC advertisements to assist notify your own method.

For example, if a rival is bidding on keywords that are essential for your organisation, you may think about getting a paid existence for those terms, too.

Or, on the other hand, a couple rivals are winning naturally for keywords that are very important to you, however it’s going to take you months to edge them out. In the interim, utilizing PPC to win some traffic for those terms is a fantastic substitute.

.5. Consist of transparent rates in your advertisements.

With the restricted quantity of characters we can utilize in text advertisements and the increasing expense per click, it’s ended up being progressively crucial to certify your traffic prior to your advertisement is really clicked.

Even when you target specific keywords, there’s just a lot you can presume from an individual who key ins basic terms. You can’t inquire how major of a purchaser they are, whether they’re still in research study mode, or what their level of intent is.

However, you can evaluate out less competent individuals by basically rates details in your advertisements. If you let somebody who is just happy to invest $40 on an item understand in advance that all your items are $75 and above, possibilities are they will not click your advertisement.

This conserves your advertisement invest for those certified leads who saw your rates, understand what to anticipate, may not be frightened by cost, and are far more most likely to transform into a sale.

When it pertains to enhancing PPC, this guidance is simply the pointer of the iceberg. If you require even more assist planning your next project, utilize this directed design template to drill even further down on keywords, landing pages, and AdGroups.

 totally free Google AdWords design template

Read more: blog.hubspot.com

How to Get It Done: Project Management Tips for Content Marketing Managers

When I was in high school, we had a science class project in which we were grouped into teams, and tasked with building a catapult. Whichever contraption could launch a tennis ball the farthest would win the contest.

We quickly learned that the hardest part wasn’t constructing the actual catapult. It was wrangling all the team members, divvying up assignments, and keeping a collective group of energetic teenagers on track. In hindsight, maybe that was the point.
Managing Content Marketing Projects and People
Content marketing managers deal with these types of responsibilities on a daily basis. There are so many roles and functions typically involved with a time bound content initiative that we often must act as project managers, facilitating collaboration and ensuring that everyone is in a position to succeed.

That’s tricky, because in most cases content marketing managers are not trained in project management. Your team is (probably) not a bunch of rambunctious high schoolers, but creatives and specialists can be fickle, and we all know that keeping them happy and harmonious is essential to producing quality work.

It’s also something the business world at large could be doing a better job at. According to the 2019 In-House Creative Management Report from inMotionNow and InSource:

Only 45% of creative and marketing professionals report that morale on their team is high
72% say that “obtaining the necessary information to get started on a project” is the biggest administrative task that consumes their time
22% opine that collaboration between creative and marketing is ineffective

This study represents just one system in a much larger galaxy, but the results feel universally reflective. In the B2B content marketing realm specifically, the 2018 benchmarking report from CMI and MarketingProfs found about one-third of respondents rating their project management flows as Fair or Poor, with only 8% deeming theirs Excellent. (The 2019 report didn’t ask this question, but we’re guessing the percentages would’ve been similar.)

CMI Project Management Flow Data

(Source)

In the symbolic emoji measurement scale above, how can we shift the faces on our team from glum/shifty-eyed to smiling/delighted? Many organizations don’t have dedicated project managers on staff — or don’t have them available to assist with content programs directly — so this often falls on the content marketing managers themselves.
How to Improve Content Marketing Project Management
While orchestrating a variety of different individuals — all with their own personalities, preferences, and styles of working — can be highly challenging, there is a science to collaboration. So let’s map out some ways you can catapult your team to greater results.
Start with Creative Briefs
We’ve been harping on the importance of documenting content strategy, and creative briefs are important incremental steps in this process. This was a key theme in the aforementioned In-House Creative Management Report, which found teams that receive adequate information at project kickoff are:

26% more likely to say marketing leadership is effective
23% more likely to report high morale
14% more likely to get projects approved in three days or less

A good creative brief outlines expectations and deliverables for everyone involved, sets clear timelines, and firmly states the project’s objectives. It will take more time upfront to develop a comprehensive creative brief, but it pays off in the long run because team members can reduce  confusion and answer their own questions.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Even with the right groundwork in place, it’s inevitable that things will pop up over the course of a project requiring back-and-forths with multiple team members. There is a delicate balance in enabling snappy and responsive communications while ensuring creatives have the uninterrupted time they need to produce.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. One company’s ideal communication methods will look vastly different from another’s. In some cases, daily standup/huddle meetings (popularized by the agile framework) are just the ticket. For others, an office communication tool like Slack or Skype is preferred. And sometimes even plain old-fashioned email can suffice, although this seems increasingly rare.

The best approach is to continually consult with your people and absorb their feedback. Figure out what works best for them and tailor it to the needs of your project.
Find the Right Tools and Partners
We mentioned a couple of popular office collaboration platforms in the previous section. There are others built specifically for project management — such as Trello, Workfront, and Basecamp — and others still that are customized for content marketing initiatives. These platforms include Contently, CoSchedule, DivvyHQ, Kapost, Percolate, and more.

If you manage a large, distributed team that produces high volumes of content, it might be worth your while to invest in such a solution for centralized organization and coordination. Many of the options offer free trials.

Additionally, you might consider working with a partner to can lighten your load with time- and resource-consuming projects. For example, an experienced agency that specializes in content marketing (I can think of at least one!) reduces stress in numerous ways, freeing up your people to fully plug into their own work while offloading much of the management and execution.
Standardize Your Review and Approval Processes
This has been an internal focus for us at TopRank Marketing. Quality assurance is a vital component of the content production process, and one where things frequently get bogged down. Nailing down the various considerations above will help smooth out reviews and approvals that push content over the hump.

There are a lot of handoffs, prompts, and dependencies in play during QA, so it’s critical to have those communication lines locked down. Editorial calendar and content management software frequently has built-in workflows for multiple rounds of review. A detailed creative brief will also help provide structure for edits and feedback.
Putting the Pieces Together
Ideally, you’d have a dedicated project manager running point on your content initiatives. But in reality, these responsibilities often fall on the content marketing manager’s shoulders, meaning we need to put on our PM hats and guide the ship as best we can.

Pushing projects to completion, efficiently and exceptionally, isn’t all that different from building a catapult or any other class project. It’s all about understanding your people, establishing clarity with everyone involved, and giving them the tools, partners, and resources they need to succeed individually.

If you’re curious about how my team’s catapult turned out, we decided to put our own twist on the assignment. We jury-rigged a spring-loaded baseball bat that — once triggered — swung forth powerfully and drove the tennis ball like a hundred yards.

Unfortunately we were disqualified from the contest because we failed to adhere to the actual guidelines.

I suppose that if our group had a documented plan, superior communication, suitable tools, and a more stringent review process, we might’ve delivered something more in line with the actual objective.

I guess I did learn something that day. Certainly not how to build a catapult.

Efficiency is often top of mind for any content marketing manager. How can you enhance your ability to manage your work and save time. Check out these tips to overclock your B2B marketing efficiency.

The post How to Get It Done: Project Management Tips for Content Marketing Managers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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