Should you advertise on Facebook’s Audience Network?

This week, Facebook’s Audience Network made headlines again through Facebook using the network to deliver television advertising on selected connected networks. Although the roll-out of this (if it ever happens) is a long way away, it might have prompted you to ask whether you should be advertising via Facebook’s Audience Network. This blog post is designed to help you decide whether advertising on Facebook’s audience network is right for you and your clients.

What is Facebook’s Audience Network?

Facebook describe the Audience Network as:

“Audience Network lets you extend your ad campaigns beyond Facebook to reach your audiences on mobile apps, mobile websites, Instant Articles, and videos.”

Essentially, the Audience Network is a display ad network run by Facebook, comprising of a variety of mobile placements from apps and websites.

You can see an example of an ad on the Audience Network below:

(Source)

The targeting used for Audience network is the same as that used on standard Facebook ads, and it can be used on the following ad formats / campaign types in the Facebook ads interface:

Clicks to Websites (user clicks ad through to your website)
Website Conversions (user clicks ad through to your website – ads are optimised to show to those most likely to convert)
Mobile App Installs (user clicks ad and is taken to install the app being advertised)
Mobile App Engagement (user clicks ad and existing app on their phone opens at specified page in app)
Dynamic Ads (user clicks ad through to your website)
Video Views (user views video ad)

You can learn more about the type of content your ads might appear in on the Audience Network here.

What are the benefits of Facebook’s Audience Network?

The audience network allows you to reach Facebook users when they aren’t on Facebook, and even allows you to reach people who are not Facebook members at all, because of the data Facebook have gathered from third party sites and apps. This means it can expand the reach of your campaigns significantly, which makes it ideal if you have high reach objectives or a small niche audience which you need to reach because it provides you with additional opportunities to reach them.

Facebook claim that the Audience Network is virtually fraud-free and doesn’t have bot traffic, which if true, makes it a reliable ad platform on which to be spending your advertising budget.

80% of Audience Network impressions are now native, which makes it a great platform to reach your audience in a way that isn’t as intrusive as traditional banner advertising.

The Cost Per Click on the Audience Network is often lower than other placements such as Newsfeed, which means that if it does convert well for your brand or client, the conversions will often be very cost effective.

Facebook are constantly trying to improve the content on the Audience Network, through something called ‘Advertiser Outcome Score’. This is feedback that publishers are given about how ads perform on their content, compared to the Newsfeed. This is designed to encourage publishers to then work to further improve their content to make the network better for advertisers.

What are the negative aspects of Facebook’s Audience Network?

Unlike the Google Display Network, there is no visibility of the exact content that your ads have been shown within. This means that you will never know exactly what content your ads have been shown next to. If your brand is particularly sensitive to the kind of content you would want your ads shown near, you might want to think twice before opting into the Audience Network as this is not something you’ll have much control over.

There is no frequency cap on the Facebook Audience Network, which means you are unable to limit the number of times per day or week a user sees your ads. This could result in your ads becoming annoying to users if they see them too often. In comparison to this, the Newsfeed placement has a built-in frequency cap with a maximum of four views per day for users who like your Facebook page, and two views per day for those who do not like your Facebook page.

Five tips for getting the most out of the Audience Network

  1. Keep an eye on the frequency of your ads (customise the columns in the reporting interface to include the frequency column) to ensure that your ads don’t become a nuisance by being shown at very high frequencies on the Audience Network.
  2. Split out the Audience Network into its own ad set if you have enough budget to do so. This is because the Audience Network is likely to convert at different rates compared to the other placements, and by having it in a separate ad set you can allocate it a separate budget based on its performance.
  3. Opt into the Audience network if you are targeting a very specific audience as this will help provide you with more opportunities to reach that small audience even when they are not on Facebook.
  4. If for any reason your website or landing page is not mobile optimised, avoid the Audience Network because it is fully mobile-only, and means the traffic arriving on your site will be from mobile devices
  5. Always review your campaign performance by network and analyse the performance of each network, including the Audience Network. You can then decide whether to opt out of a network or split it into its own ad set to provide specific budget allocation:

With many advertisers saying they have experienced huge improvements in the performance of the Audience Network, now might be the time to try it out if you haven’t already, or give it another change if you have tried it in the past.

Post from Tara West

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A Penguin 4.0 recovery case study

We’ve had time for the dust to settle after the real-time Penguin 4.0 update was released.  

It’s now been more than four weeks since the Penguin update was implemented, and close to a month since Google announced the end of the launch. The question in everyone’s mind now is – what can we learn from this update? How should we proceed now that Penguin is integrated into the algorithm?

In this article, we’ll delve into an analysis of results pages to determine what can be inferred from this latest update. Unfortunately, we are not at liberty to disclose the site, but we are free to discuss the details and process that we followed to achieve this recovery.

Out of Antarctica

Many have complained that there have been few recoveries from Penguin 4.0. I think it’s important to analyze those sites that recovered so we can identify what works and what will continue to work now that Penguin 4.0 is real time.

Let’s start by looking at the organic traffic patterns according to SEMrush:

As you can see, this is an obvious case of a Penguin recovery. Traffic doubled when Penguin 4.0 was released, and thousands of long tail terms increased in the rankings.

The penalty

What caused this site to receive a Penguin penalty to begin with? This client came to us after engaging in the typical Pre-Penguin linking schemes. They had engaged in article submissions, profile spam, comment spam, web 2.0 spam, and other such links.

At the time of the penalty, the site lost between 40-60% of organic traffic.

The strategy – cleaning out

We started with a link audit, where we mapped their backlinks by patterns. We looked at all of their anchor text backlinks, and disavowed them all.

Next, we looked at sites that fit the typical Pre-Penguin patterns, including article directories, forums, and web 2.0 sites. We disavowed every last one of them.

We didn’t stop there. We looked at every single backlink to look for low quality sites, scrapers, and any other site that wasn’t of value to Google. All of those were disavowed as well.

The strategy – building up

Knowing that many of the links that had previously supported the site’s rankings had been disavowed, we proceeded to earn high quality links.  

Our strategy was not to “build links” like many other companies were doing. Instead, we pursued campaign based digital PR with blogger, media, and press outreach. We focused on quarterly campaigns with high level content creation featuring unique stories and research.

One of the campaigns constituted a survey of over 50,000 participants to explore an industry specific question that hadn’t been previously explored. The findings were visualized with infographics, ebooks, and other digital assets.

The results included coverage in Huffington Post, the Telegraph, USA Today, and LA Times, amongst many others.

The campaigns were complemented by reaching out to bloggers and influencers, and sharing the findings of our study. Instead of offering compensation, bloggers and influencers were compelled by the fact that the study was unique and the data not found elsewhere.  

What should site owners do?

If you still have a Penguin 4.0 penalty, there is hope! Now that Penguin is real-time, you do not have to wait months or years for Google to run an update and to see the results of your work.  

You can now count on seeing recoveries sooner if you go through the effort of cleaning out your link profile and earning quality links.

If you do not have a Penguin penalty, then you can start building links a little more aggressively.

Google announced that the negative links will no longer result in penalties. Instead, the links will simply not count – positive or negative. So if the links are negative, they will not boost your rankings, but will not cause terrible traffic loses like they used to.  

BEWARE

Manual evaluation of links and manual penalties will likely increase. With all of the disavow data Google has sufficient data to apply AI spam filters, which will likely alert human spam raters who will review and apply manual penalties. DO NOT BUILD SPAM LINKS.  

Recovering from manual penalties is infinitely harder than recovering from Penguin – especially now.  

What real-time Penguin means is that you can be a bit more aggressive, without fear of accidentally tripping algorithmic penalties that cause a loss of site wide traffic. And if you DO build a few low quality links along the way, you do not need to fear as much as you would’ve in the past.  

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Preparing Your Website for the Winter – Your Winter Ready Guide

The winter season means myriad things to many industries, but whatever your circumstances, this valuable time of year can revitalise your web presence, increase your website health, and support growth in quarter one 2017.

In this winter ready website guide, we explore practical ways to make the most from your website before the end of the year, and into the next year. From website pruning to product positioning, this guide is all you need to know for maximising your website gains during this core season.

Effective website pruning

One of the greatest challenges for website owners is the ability to effectively manage the scope and scale of a website. The winter season is a great, and natural timeframe to consider who your website is for, what your website is offering, and where you intend your website to take your business in the following year.

There are a number of pertinent questions to answer when trimming down content, pages, or products on a website, and the following are particularly useful ones to factor in before deleting website copy.

  1. Is this content relevant? Who is it written for? Does the content have a purpose?
  2. Do these products or services still exist? Find out how to handle discontinued products or services.
  3. Is the content adding value? Are visits entering the website on this landing page? Does the content appear for important ranking terms or themes?
  4. Do people like this content? Do visitors share the content or engage with it?
  5. Can the content be re-purposed or work more effectively? Are there better content types to display this information?
  6. Is the content high quality? Is it fresh, up to date, and reflective of expertise, trust and authority on the topic?

A healthy start to a digital New Year

Waiting for New Years resolutions to start when it comes to website health and well-being is an oversight that many businesses fail to maximise for competitive advantage.

When users are keen to purchase and start new ventures, a healthy site can mean the difference between making a sale and capturing the user, or passing on new business to a competing website.

There are a number of operability, functionality and technological considerations for personal training a website for health and well-being however, the following are a great starting point.

Speed. Users demand an expedient online experience, even more so when purchasing and information seeking on the move. The faster the site delivers content to mobile, desktop and tablets the better.

Operability. Make sure everything works and factor in regular checks. Broken links, missing images and 301 hops are just a few examples of where sites can technically fail. Keep on top of these and provide a functioning offering online.

Content. Content needs to be fresh, accurate, relevant and reflective of your audience. Ensure service pages are updated frequently, that statistics used are current, and that content depth, variation, and types used (image, video, more) show value and expertise.

Understanding and ranking. Through the growth of CMS, and general website understanding, it’s never been easier to add content to websites. The next challenge is to make sure search engines can find content, understand it and rank it accordingly. Removing technical barriers to content discovery and enhancing code for content understanding need to factor i to every websites health check.

There are a few decent website checklists that can be useful for monthly reviews and benchmarks for site health and technical performance.

Repositioning for the festive season

During the lead into the festive season, there are a number of reasons to consider repositioning your website content (visuals, offers, pitch, tone, style and more) for maximising traffic and sales online.

With key retail dates (are you ready to make the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday?), a reduced consideration timeframe on buying products and services, plus peak levels of active online browsers, there is no better time to reposition for potential gains than the fourth quarter of the year.

Updating a website for seasonal change doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, and the more this becomes a key aspect of your annual marketing calendar, the more effective and efficient it becomes. Whilst there are a number of areas you can pay attention to, the following provides targeted items, and if you are completing this for the first time, or looking to make these updates more successful this time around, I hope these will help.

  1. Update visuals on top landing pages to tie into the seasonal period
  2. Provide seasonal incentives to drive conversions and sales
  3. Change headings and core on page elements to reflect seasonality
  4. Update your website meta data so your adverts show seasonal search behaviour
  5. Add some festive fun into your marketing communications – show the human aspect of the brand/site/products/services

What’s next?

Take a fresh look at your website and consider how you could improve it’s positioning for this Christmas and festive season.

If you have tried some seasonal driven updates that worked in the past please let me know, as I would love to hear your feedback.

Images:
Images included have been sourced from https://www.pexels.com/discover/ – “All photos on Pexels are free for any personal and commercial purpose.” See https://www.pexels.com/photo-license/.

Post from Lee Wilson

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10 useful tools for writing compelling content for SEO

Almost 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine and 70% of the links that people click are organic.*

Do you need more evidence that SEO is the way to go when it comes to boosting the popularity of your website and your brand? When it comes to inbound marketing, no other technique can deliver the same results.

Writing SEO content is the heart and soul of effective optimization but it’s far from an easy task. Various tools can be used to simplify the process and make it more effective.

If you’re just getting started with SEO content, you’ll find the following 10 tools to be quite useful.

1. Google Search Console

This one is an absolute essential for the execution of your SEO campaign. Google Search Console gives you access to tons of information about the performance of your website, as well as to various tools.

You can learn which pages are delivering the best performance, the keywords that people are using to reach your content and the number of pages that have been indexed already. Based on this information, it will be a whole lot easier to modify the content strategy and make it much more targeted.

2. Google Keyword Planner

Here’s another free option developed by the world’s most prominent search engine.

Google Keyword Planner lets you know which keywords in the respective niche are most popular. You’ll also find out how competitive a particular phrase of interest is. Choosing high volume keywords that aren’t too competitive will form the backbone of a solid SEO strategy.

3. SEMrush

Doing competition analysis is just as important as understanding what optimized texts should feature. Luckily, there are tools you can use for the purpose.

When it comes to competition research, SEMrush is one of your safest bets. You’ll get a detailed domain overview that features the keywords your competitor is ranking well for, whether they’re carrying out a paid search campaign, the number and types of backlinks that they have and the main organic competitors of the respective domain.

4. nTopic

You know what your main topic is and you know what you want to accomplish with your content. Have you managed to complete the task successfully, however? nTopic will let you know.

All that you have to do is enter your domain and a keyword of interest. The tool will run analysis and let you know whether your website’s content is relevant. You’ll get a relevancy score that can be used to do an even better job in terms of focusing your content in the future.

5. Scoop.it

Content curation is imperative for SEO copywriters. Through curation platforms, it becomes easier to go through relevant content, curate ideas and organize all of the data in an effective way.

Scoop.it is currently one of the most popular content curation platforms. You can upload your own curated links or organize the relevant content that others are sharing. Scoop.it has both a free version and a paid plan, depending on how serious you are and what features you need.

6. TopAussieWriters

Feeling a bit insecure about your SEO content writing skills? Professional assistance will come in handy. Topaussiewriters.com is a service that helps you get in touch with some of the best professionals in the field. You can provide information about the project’s specifics and choose the writer that will do the best job.

In this sense, this tool is the only one that doesn’t offer a completely free version. Still, paying for professional content will be a smart idea. You’ll get a high return on investment in the long run, especially if you choose the right person for the job.

7. SpyFu

SpyFu is a smart little tool that can be used to do both competition and keyword research. All that you have to do is enter a keyword or domain of preference.

If you’re doing competition research, SpyFu will let you know which organic keywords the website is ranking for, the estimated monthly SEO click value, the keywords for which the website has made it to the first page of the search engine results and its most prominent competition.

SpyFu can also be used to rank keywords in terms of popularity and competitiveness.

8. Word2Clean

This is a rather basic tool but many SEO writers find it beneficial.

Word2Clean has one very simple purpose – it converts a text file to clean HTML. Whether you’re writing ebooks or you’re uploading blog posts online, having clean HTML to work with is one of the prerequisites for success.

9. Infogr.am

Creating content for SEO purposes isn’t always about text. The best optimization experts know that multimedia and visual content are both incredibly important for the success of the campaign.

If you’ve never made an infographic or a chart in the past, you may worry that it’s too difficult. This is the main reason why you’ll like Infogr.am. The tool makes it easy for people who aren’t graphic designers to put together professional infographics and charts.

10. WooRank

Keeping track of how you’re doing is as important as starting out with a solid plan.

WooRank is one of the best SEO analysis tools out there. Keep in mind, however, that you’re entitled to just one free report per month. If you need to do additional analysis or if you’re writing content for multiple websites, you’ll have to pay for an upgraded plan.

WooRank identifies the strengths and the weaknesses of your SEO campaign. It lets you know whether you’ve managed to rank for keywords of interest, how effective your social media marketing is and if your website has the type of online reputation that you’re hoping for.

Alice Clarke is a content strategist and a passionate writer. She loves hitchhiking and exploring new places for writing catching pieces.

*Source: searchenginejournal.com/24-eye-popping-seo-statistics

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5 Key Elements of a High-Converting Facebook Ads’ Landing Page

Have you ever a created a landing page for your Facebook ads or promoted social media posts to capture leads, drive resource downloads, or get sign-ups for your service?

If so, would you like to improve the conversion rates of those landing pages?

Of course you would! The primary goal of any landing page is to collect valuable information that allows you to market to, and communicate with, potential leads. That said, after someone clicks on your Facebook ad (or promoted tweet or pin, for that matter), the copy and design of the landing page you direct them to are instrumental in the process of collecting leads.

In this article, you’ll learn five key copy and design elements of a high-converting landing page — for Facebook ads and promoted social media posts.

1) Goal-Driven Copy Length


From your Facebook ad to your landing page, you have less than 10 seconds to grab their attention.
Click To Tweet


The first element of your landing page you need to decide on is the length of your copy.

When a person is directed to your landing page from your Facebook ad, tweet or pin, you have less than 10 seconds to grab your visitor’s attention and get them to convert. “Convert” could mean to purchase your product/service, download your resource, register for your webinar, make an appointment, etc.

Depending on what your goals are for your ad or post, you will either design a landing page that has a little bit or a lot of copy.

Shorter copy is typically best used to meet an immediate goal. For example, you want to capture email addresses so you can email subscribers access to an exclusive, limited- time-only sale, or you want to get sign ups for a free webinar you’re having soon or downloads of an eBook you created. The idea is that when people arrive at your landing page the messaging is short and sweet and they know exactly the action you want them to take, now.

Landing pages with more detailed, scrollable copy are best reserved for times you have long-terms goals.  Let’s say you want to create awareness for a new product or to educate your audience about a problem and a solution your brand provides. In these cases, long-copy landing pages can help your brand establish trust and credibility with those who click on your ad.

Short-copy landing pages are best used when the purpose of your Facebook ads is to promote resources, newsletters and online events.

Long-copy landing pages are best used when the purpose of your Facebook ads is to educate your audience and/or create awareness for a solution your brand provides.

One warning: When it comes to longer landing pages, don’t expect to see too many hard conversions immediately. When you’re focusing on a long-term goal, your conversions often come in later. Instead, look at time on page as a success metric. If people are arriving at your Facebook ads’ landing page and not immediately leaving, this is a good sign your landing page is performing well.

2) Limited Form Fields


Keep your landing page’s form fields to a minimum for a higher conversion rate
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The amount of data you want to collect from your ads’ landing page visitors can affect your conversion rate. Ask for too much information and you could turn people away. Especially if your incentive, i.e., what you’re giving away in return, does not feel worthy of the information you’re asking your visitors to share.

Here’s a tip to keep in mind: Keep your landing page’s form fields to a minimum. Why? Your conversion rate goes down as your number of entry fields required increases, according to an infographic published by QuickSprout. When a form has only three fields, its conversion rate is 25 percent. Double the number of form fields and the conversion rate drops to 15 percent.

The number of form fields you have can affect the conversion rates of your Facebook ads.

3) Key Visuals


Visuals deliver emotional cues to your landing page visitors, without the additional copy.
Click To Tweet


The use of visuals on your ads and promoted posts’ landing pages can help quickly communicate messages more effectively than text-only landing pages. Here are three reasons this may be:

  1. Our brains process images and their meanings more quickly than they do plain text. This makes sense, as 50 percent of the brain is involved in visual processing and 65 percent of people are visual learners.
  2. Visual elements allow you to design a landing page that flows nicely. People have a limited time to spend on your landing page, and they — we! — are all easily distracted. Just look at how many tabs are open on your smartphone or desktop right now….all those pages competing for attention. To help get the point of your landing page across quickly, use graphics and images to break up the page to make its content easily digestible. The last thing you want is for your landing page’s visitors to be faced with unappealing, like dense blocks of texts — this will surely lead to high bounce rates and low conversions. Let me repeat: Don’t neglect flow!
  3. Visuals have the power to deliver emotional cues and messages to your landing page visitors, without the use of additional copy. For example, if you a have bold red call to action button, this sends a strong signal to visitors that they should take action quickly. Whereas, if your key visuals are primarily blue, the subconscious message is friendlier, more soothing.

People respond positively to well-designed landing pages. Use images and graphics wisely to make your landing page visually appealing and you’ll reduce your bounce rate, improve visitor retention and help increase conversions.

Are you curious about what a visually appealing landing page looks like? Here’s an example from the payment company Square. The background visual they chose is bold, clean, and most important, shows off their product’s functionality.

For your Facebook ads’ landing page, choose visuals that reflect your brand’s asthenic and help draw people in, rather than overwhelm the eye.

4) Responsive, i.e., “Mobile-ready,” Design


Consider Facebook’s mobile users (40%) when you design your Facebook ads’ landing page.
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Every quarter, Facebook’s mobile usage has increased. So where are we now? As of March of 2015, there were 798 million (!) mobile daily active users, according to Facebook’s 2015 Q1 report.

Consider Facebook’s mobile users when you design your Facebook ads’ landing page.

What’s more, of Facebook’s 1.44 billion monthly active users, a whopping 40 percent of them use the social network on mobile devices only. (As for Twitter, 80 percent of its users are on mobile!)

Simple mobile usage all around is higher, it’s important that you design your landing pages with mobile in mind.

There’s nothing worse than when a mobile user clicks on a promoted post or a Facebook ad in their news feed only to discover a landing page that’s either blank, doesn’t function well, or not easy to navigate on a small screen. Including a form that’s difficult to fill out via a mobile device is even worse.

To create mobile-ready landing pages for your ads and promoted posts, you can learn HTML and CSS to create your own responsive web pages. Or, you can use a landing page builder tool like ShortStack.com. This will allow you to design landing pages — from templates or scratch —  that are automatically optimized for all mobile devices. No fancy coding skills are required.

How your Facebook ads’ landing page looks and functions on desktop is equally as important as how it looks and functions on a mobile device. Be sure to test your landing page on multiple platforms.

Before you publish your Facebook ads’ landing page, don’t forget to check how it looks and functions on a mobile device.

5) A Single Call to Action


It’s easier to get a person to do one thing, versus asking them to do two or three things.
Click To Tweet


If you include more than one call to action on your promoted posts’ or Facebook ads’ landing page, you risk confusing your visitors. To stay clear of this potential danger zone, eliminate all clickable items on your landing page that might distract visitors from accomplishing the primary task you set forth for them.

How?

Don’t include multiple social icons, unnecessary links and tabs, drop-down menus, etc., because having too many “features” on a landing page will only confuse your visitors. The last thing you want to do is distract your visitors and give them reasons to bounce back to Facebook — without having done what you want them to do.

Keep in mind: You will have better luck getting a person to do one thing, versus asking them to do two or three things. Stick to one goal, or action item, per landing page you build.

Any information or clickable link or button that does not support the goal of your landing page should be removed.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other things to consider when creating high-converting Facebook ads’ landing pages. These five tips should, however, get you started off on the right foot.

Readers, what do you do to help maximize the conversions of your promoted posts’ and Facebook ads’ landing pages? Do you focus more on perfecting your landing page’s copy or design? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

The post 5 Key Elements of a High-Converting Facebook Ads’ Landing Page appeared first on socialmouths.

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The 20 Best New Social Media Tools to Try in 2017 (And How to Use Them)

The social media world is a fascinating one.

Every so often, a new social media platform emerges to capture our attention (Peach) or become part of our daily lives (Snapchat).

The social media tools landscape can be just as fascinating — and robust!

Every week, people build and launch new social media tools, empowering us marketers in our day-to-day work. To give you a sense of how amazing the landscape is, here’s a graphic of some of the social media tools available: social media management, listening, analyzing, content creation and more. And here’s the even crazier part: The graphic (from Buddy Media) is four years old. Imagine how jam-packed it’d be today!

With all these tools to choose from, how can you stay on top of the latest and greatest?

As part of our State of Social Media 2016 campaign, we’ve scoured Product Hunt for the latest trending social media tools and created a list of 21 products for marketers and teams to try in 2017.

Keep reading to see the full list, or click over to the Product Hunt collection with all of 2017’s best social media tools.

20 Best New Social Media Tools to Try in 2017

To make it easier to find the tools that are most helpful to you, here’s a look at all we’ll cover in this post. Feel free to jump to any that catch your eye!

  1. Quuu
  2. Panda 5
  3. Zest
  4. Yotpo
  5. Refind
  6. Adobe Spark
  7. Rocketium
  8. Pixabay 2.0
  9. gifs
  10. Calendar X
  11. Rebrandly
  12. Yala
  13. PostReach
  14. Reveal
  15. Ghost Browser
  16. Engage by Twitter
  17. Snaplytics
  18. Intellifluence
  19. Waaffle
  20. Falcon.io
  21. Bonus: Respond 2.0

We’ve also added these tools to a Product Hunt collection for easy browsing and bookmarking. Feel free to check it out there to see the conversation about each of these great tools.

1. Quuu

Hand-curated content suggestions for social media sharing

Price: Free or $10/month

Best used for: Content curation

Description: Quuu and its amazing community (of real people, not computers) hand-curate content for you and fill your Buffer queue, making content curation super easy.

How to use it:

All you have to do is connect Quuu to your Buffer account and select any interest categories that are relevant to you and your audience.

Quuu will send hand-curated content right into your Buffer queue, at whatever frequency you choose. You can then go into Buffer to manually edit the suggestions if you prefer.

At the moment, they curate content in more than 300 different topics. To give you a small taste, here are all the categories they curate that start with the letter “B”:

Ballet
Baseball
Basketball
Bass Fishing
Beach Lifestyle
Beer
Big Data
Bitcoin and the Blockchain
Blogging Tips
Board Games
Boating/Yachting
Brain Health
Branding
Business Analytics
Business Management
Business Networking
Business Strategy

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

2. Panda 5

A smart news reader, powered by integrations

Price: Free or $4.99/month

(If you subscribe now, there’s a 40% discount until their beta ends.)

Best used for: Content curation

Description: Panda 5 (the fifth iteration of the popular news-reading app) helps you speed up your content curation process by allowing you to browse multiple websites at once, integrate with other websites, and pull in RSS feeds of your favorite content.

How to use it:

Once you authorize Panda with your Twitter account, it will recommend you a list of feeds to follow based on who you follow on Twitter. You can also search for more feeds and add them to your reader.

To save you more time, you can even read articles in the app itself.

One cool feature of Panda is that it comes pre-built with integrated feeds for a number of popular sites, both blogs and media collections. Here’s a quick look at a few:

Product Hunt
Dribbble
Brain Pickings
Inbound.org
Medium
The Verge

Bonus: If you are using its Chrome extension, you can personalize your new tab with nine different options such as a to-do list or a notepad (with more coming soon).

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

3. Zest

Fresh marketing inspiration with every new tab

Price: Free

Best used for: Content curation

Description: Zest is a new tab extension that helps you discover great marketing articles. All the articles are curated by its community of marketers and manually approved.

How to use it:

Simply add the Chrome extension, and whenever you open a new tab, Zest will serve you the latest curated marketing articles.

You can customize your feed by selecting the tags that are most relevant to you. There are currently 29 different tags (or topics) you can choose from. Here are the top 10 tags with the most number of approved articles:

  1. Social
  2. Content
  3. Strategy
  4. SEO
  5. Inspiration
  6. Paid
  7. CRO
  8. Tools
  9. Metrics
  10. Email

Bonus: Apart from receiving this content suggestions, you can also suggest your content or great content you have found. The team at Zest is working on a Zest profile, which will allow people to follow your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Zest posts. Soon, you will be able to build up your online marketing identity with Zest, based on your social media posts and Zest contributions.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

4. Yotpo – Curation

Collect Instagram photos from customers and influencers

Price: $299 onwards (for the entire user-generated content marketing platform)

Best used for: Content curation for Instagram

Description: Yotpo makes collecting the best user-generated content and making full use of them for your business really easy. Curation is their latest feature to help you collect and use user-generated Instagram photos (with proper permissions).

How to use it: 

There are several ways you can use Yotpo’s curation feature.

  1. With their advanced search functions, you can create a feed of Instagram photos from your customers, influencers and yourself.
  2. Using their automated workflow, you can easily get the permission to use those photos and thank the creators. Getting permission is an important step for staying in compliance with Instagram’s terms and also doing right by the original creators.
  3. After collecting the user-generated photos, you can create a shoppable Instagram feed and photo galleries where your customers can go directly from Instagram or your homepage to the product page to complete the purchase.
  4. You can also promote your curated photos on your website, social media, or Yotpo Ads to show how real customers are using your product.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

5. Refind

The home for the best links on the web

Price: Free

Best used for: Content curation

Description: Refind helps you re-discover the links you have previously saved when you actually need them. Refind can also show you what your friends have saved if you prefer.

How to use it:

With Refind’s extension, you can save any links by simply clicking the extension button. Then, you can add a tag or choose from the recommendations. It also shows you how many people had saved the link to give you a sense of the popularity and quality of the link.

Apart from searching for the article in your Refind feed, Refind helps you rediscover them. For example, when you are searching on a particular topic on Google, Refind will highlight the relevant links you have previously saved in the search results.

With Refind, there are three ways to discover or re-discover content:

  1. Links you previously saved
  2. Links saved by your friends
  3. Recommendations based on your saved links

If you tend to find and read articles on the go, Refind also has iOS and Android apps too!

Bonus: For the articles that you intend to read soon but not right now, you can use Refind’s “Read Soon” feature. When you are saving a link with the browser extension, simply hit the “Read Soon” option as well. Refind’s recommendation is to save articles you would actually want to read within the next two weeks. The idea is that this adds intention and immediacy so we will actually read these articles.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

From our recent State of Social Media survey, we found that 83% of marketers would like to create more video content if there were no obstacles like time, resources, and budget. The following are a few video creation tools to help you with that — some of them are free!

6. Adobe Spark

Videos, images and stories made in minutes

Price: Free

Best used for: Content creation

Description: With Adobe Spark, you can create beautiful graphics, web stories, and animated videos in minutes.

How to use it:

Through Adobe Spark’s browser editor, you can create and edit social graphics, web stories, and videos.

For graphics, you can resize the graphic for different social media platform and change the theme, color palette, background, and text. (Quick tip: Share the graphic on Facebook or Twitter once and the watermark will be removed.)
A web story is essentially a web page with photos, videos, and text that tells a story. Here’s a really cool example. When creating a web story, you can include photos, text, button, videos and more.
For videos, you can pick from a story template or start from scratch. You can then insert icons, texts, and photos, add music and change the layout of each slide.

Templates are provided so that you don’t always have to start from scratch. For example, if you are making a video, here are the story templates you can choose from:

Promote an idea
Tell what happened
A hero’s journey
Show and tell
Personal growth
Teach a lesson
An invitation

Bonus: Adobe has created iOS apps (Adobe Spark Post, Page, and Video) so that you can create these content on the go!

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

7. Rocketium

Transform text & media into stunning videos

Price: Free, $10, and $25

Best used for: Short video creation

Description: Rocketium focuses on creating short videos with overlaid text (think Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos!).

How to use it:

Using Rocketium’s browser editor, you can create short videos in three simple steps.

  1. Add content and captions to the editor. You can upload images and videos or select copyright-free images and videos from their gallery.
  2. Choose a theme for your video. You can pick from their pre-made themes or build your own.
  3. Customize your video with filters, animations, fonts and more.

Here’s what makes Rocketium so wonderful: You can choose to publish in different aspect ratios (portrait, landscape, and square) and Rocketium will automatically resize your captions for you! There’s no need to go through the usual process of re-making the entire video into a square or a vertical version.

Check out a cool example from the Rocketium team here.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

8. Pixabay 2.0

Over 780,000 free high-quality photos and videos

Price: Free

Best used for: Finding photos and videos for your content

Description: Pixabay has more than 790,000 free photos, illustrations, vectors, and videos for your use. The Pixabay community contributes more than 1000 new original high-resolution images and videos every day!

How to use it:

With Pixabay, you can find images, graphics, videos and more for your social media or blog posts. All the resources are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0, which means you can freely use them for any purpose (with a few exceptions).

If you are like me — often not sure what term to search for, you can browse the resources by category. Here’s a list of the categories on Pixabay:

Animals
Architecture/Buildings
Backgrounds/Textures
Beauty/Fashion
Business/Finance
Computer/Communication
Education
Emotions
Food/Drink
Health/Medical
Industry/Craft
Music
Nature/Landscapes
People
Places/Monuments
Religion
Science/Technology
Sports
Transportation/Traffic
Travel/Vacation

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

9. gifs

Create personalized GIFs in your browser

Price: Free

Best used for: Creating custom GIFs or turning your videos into GIFS

Description: gifs allows you to take any video (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) and live video (Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope, Twitch, etc.) and quickly turn it into a GIF using its web application.

How to use it:

To start creating a GIF, you can copy and paste the URL, upload it as a file or even search for one on gifs.com. The browser editor gives you the options of cropping the video or GIF, adding caption and stickers, and applying effects. You can even do frame-by-frame edits to create more detailed GIFs!

With its one-click meme feature, you can turn a video or a gif into your favorite meme in a blink of an eye. Simply select the meme and gifs.com will add the captions and effects for you. At the moment, only the “Deal With It” meme is available.

Here’s one that I created:



(GIF Source: wifflegif.com)

Bonus: You can set where the GIF links back to. When your GIF takes off on the internet, you could gain traffic to your site or followers for your social media profiles.

Here’s what a Product Hunter (PH founder Ryan Hoover in fact) has to say:

10. CalendarX

Get a calendar your audience can follow

Price: $7/month, $29/month or $72/month (with a 30-day trial)

Best used for: Live events promotion

Description: CalendarX is a calendar your followers can follow – how meta! Once they follow your calendar, you can push important events to their personal calendar.

How to use it:

In terms of creating events, CalendarX works quite similarly to most calendars. Events you created can be pushed to your followers’ personal calendar so that they will always be up to date about your events. This can be handy for live events such as Twitter chats or Facebook Live events.

CalendarX provides statistics such as the number of followers, the number of calendar page views and more.

To help you gain followers, there are many ways you can share your CalendarX calendar:

Share a link to the calendar page or the follow page
Add a follow button on your website or emails
Embed it on your website

Furthermore, CalendarX allows you collect information from your followers when they subscribe to your calendar, just like a mailing list signup form.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

11. Rebrandly

Create and share links with your custom domain name

Price: Free or $99/month with advanced analytics

Best used for: Social media branding

Description: Rebrandly is a custom URL shortener for sharing branded links. You can turn long, complex URL into branded and memorable ones.

How to use it: After you create your account, you would want to set up a custom domain for your branding. You can either register for a new custom domain through Rebrandly or use a spare domain if you have one. For example, I could go with links.alfredlua.com.

Download the browser extension to quickly rebrand any links. When you are at a page you would like to share, hit the browser extension button and you will be able to rebrand the link. For instance, I could rebrand my LinkedIn profile as links.alfredlua.com/cv.

If you prefer to organize your Rebrandly shortened links in the existing apps you are using already, Rebrandly integrates with several other link-shortening apps such as:

Goo.gl
Clickmeter
Bitly

Bonus: Derric from Rebrandly was very kind to offer coupons for a free domain. If you use the coupon “buffer”, you can get your first domain with .link, .click, .xyz, .press, .site, .space, or .tech for free.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

12. Yala

A bot that knows the best time to share your content

Price: Free

Best used for: Social media scheduling

Description: Yala is a Slack bot that uses machine learning to determine the best time to post to Twitter and Facebook.

How to use it:

Start by adding Yala to your Slack team (or reach out to your team admin about adding her to your Slack team). Once Yala is added, she will reach out to you via a direct message in Slack or you could say hi to her (@yala) to begin scheduling.

After you authorize Yala to post on your Twitter and/or Facebook profile, there are several things you can do:

Change the publishing frequency (Yala will inform you your optimal posting times)
Schedule a text post or an image with text
Check your scheduled posts by sending “series” to Yala (Series is your queue of scheduled posts)

Yala uses machine learning to update your optimal posting times automatically so you don’t have to think about the posting times at all!

Bonus: The team is exploring the idea of bringing Yala to Facebook Messenger so you will be able to use it even if you are not using Slack.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

13. PostReach

The easiest way to measure content performance

Price: $10/month or $29/month (with 21-day free trial)

Best used for: Content marketing analysis

Description: PostReach automates content reporting for you. It tells you your key traffic stats, the number of shares and the influencers who shared your content. With 84% of social media marketers also working on content marketing, PostReach can help you with your social media and content marketing reports.

(PostReach is a project from Buffer’s Ash Read and friends.)

How to use it: With just one click, you can setup Postreach for your blog and it will automatically create reports for every post you publish.

With PostReach, you get the following information:

Traffic breakdown: Views and unique views
Reader engagement: Bounce rate and average time on page
Reader acquisition: Channels and sources which brought readers to your content
Shares breakdown: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
Twitter breakdown: Total shares, tweets, retweets, and total potential reach
Influencers: Influencers who shared your content and their social stats

Here’s an example report.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

14. Reveal

Manage your Facebook & Instagram ad campaigns from Slack

Price: Free (at the moment for its beta)

Best used for: Paid social media management

Description: Reveal is a Slack bot that brings you your Facebook and Instagram metrics and allows you to manage your ad campaigns from within Slack. It also alerts you when there are significant changes to your ads’ Click-Through Rate (CTR) and Cost-Per-Click (CPC) so that you can react to them immediately. With 91% of marketers in our recent survey saying that they are investing in Facebook ads, Reveal could be a great tool to stay on top of all the ad campaigns.

How to use it:

To use Reveal, add the slack bot to your Slack team (or reach out to your team admin about adding this to your Slack team). Once you have done that, the Reveal Slack bot will reach out to you in Slack to help you with the setup. You can see the results of your ad campaigns and manage them from Slack.

You can also set up alerts via the website to notify you of any significant changes to your ad campaigns’ metrics.

With Reveal, you get all these right within Slack:

Full overview of your Facebook ads account
Details of each campaign, ad set, and ad (including impressions, reach, amount spent, purchase value and CTR)
Daily, weekly, and monthly report of your ad performance
Money-saving alerts when your CPC or conversion rate changes significantly

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

15. Ghost Browser

The Productivity Browser for Technology Professionals

Price: Free

Best used for: Social media management of multiple accounts

Description: Ghost Browser allows you to log into any website with multiple accounts from one window. This can be very handy when you manage multiple social media profiles for each of the social media platforms.

How to use it:

After you request for a beta invite, the team at Ghost Browser will send you a link to download the browser. Download, log in and you are ready to roll!

It looks almost like Google Chrome so if you are familiar with Google Chrome, it will be easy to get the hang of it.

Here’s how you can use Ghost Browser to manage multiple profiles of the same social media platform (such as your personal and business profiles) using just one window:

Right click on a tab and select “New Group”. A new tab with a different color will be opened. Each group acts like a new window, which means you can log in to a different profile of the same social media platform for every group you open.
Clicking on the Ghost Browser icon beside the address bar allows you to quickly switch between different groups and tabs.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

16. Engage by Twitter

Grow and understand your Twitter audiences on-the-go

Price: Free

Best used for: Social media listening and engagement

Description: Engage is a standalone app by Twitter to help you manage your Twitter profiles. It allows you to connect with influencers by highlighting important mentions and provides you with more data about your profile and tweets.

How to use it:

In the app, there are three main tabs in the navigation – Engage, Understand, and Posts.

Under “Engage”, you can check out top notifications, mentions, and interactions with verified Twitter profiles.
Under “Understand”, you can see metrics for your profile such as the number of likes, retweets and follows.
Under “Posts”, you can dig into the performance of individual tweets.

Here’s what Engage looks like from the Product Hunt’s Twitter profile:

Learn how to use Engage from Twitter here.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

17. Snaplytics

Analytics platform for Snapchat

Price: $179 or $299 for the brand’s analytics and $10/day for each active influencer for the influencers’ analytics

Best use for: Influencer marketing

Description: Analytics for Snapchat is very much needed by marketers and influencers since Snapchat does not provide it natively. Snaplytics provides you with all the metrics so that you do not have to collect them manually again. Apart from that, if your brand works with influencers, the platform allows you to track how well the influencers’ snaps are performing.

How to use it:

After connecting your account with Snaplytics, it displays all your metrics in a neat dashboard. You can check out how well each snap is performing, your follower growth, and overall metrics.

Through Snaplytics, you can find out:

The number of opens, screenshots, completion rate, and open rate for each story
Estimated total followers and follower growth
Your average stats such as the average number of opens and the average number of screenshots per story

Here’s a demo if you wish to check out the platform.

Bonus: Snaplytics provides a TalentScout service to help you find the right Snapchat influencers for your brand.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

18. Intellifluence

Intelligent Influencer Marketing

Price: $9/month (with a 14-day free trial) or Entreprise plan

Best used for: Influencer marketing

Description: Intellifluence helps you discover and collaborate with the right influencers for your brand. What makes Intellifluence stand out from other influencer marketing platforms and agencies is that it focuses on key peer level influencers instead of the big names. This makes influencer marketing more viable for small-medium businesses.

How to use it:

With Intellifluence, you can search for influencers by country, social network, and keywords. Through the system, you can send a pitch for collaboration to your selected influencers and manage your communications with them.

The influencers signed up to be in the system themselves which meant that they are likely to be looking for collaborations. They are also verified by the Intellifluence team. Apart from social media, Intellifluence’s system also includes influencers on other platforms. Here’s the full list:

Amazon
Blog
Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Twitter
YouTube

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

19. Waaffle

Aggregate, analyze, and publish content from social media

Price: $9/month per campaign

Best used for: Social media monitoring, curation, and analysis

Description: Waaffle is the tool for making the most of your social media content. With Waaffle, you can aggregate and monitor social media posts from Twitter and Instagram, analyze them and publish the aggregated content.

How to use it:

After connecting your Twitter and/or Instagram account, you can create feeds for specific hashtags or accounts. From there, there are three different ways you can use the feeds:

  1. Monitor and respond to the relevant posts to engage with your audience
  2. Analyze the number of posts using the hashtags or from the accounts and view the top five posts in the past 30 days
  3. Display your selected social media posts on a public Waaffle board, a website widget, or a full customizable feed using its API

The curated public feed of social media posts is great for many purposes. Here are some recommendations from the team:

Aggregated social campaigns
Competitions
Live events
Website social feeds
Custom social presence
Shoppable social content

Feel free to check out my test Waaffle board here or a much better actual example here!

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

20. Falcon.io

The social media and customer experience management platform

Price: Pro and Premium plans (pricing not available)

Best used for: Full marketing and customer experience management

Description: Falcon.io is the one tool that helps you with almost all of your marketing efforts. The platform allows you to listen on social, engage with your customers, manage and publish your content, build responsive pages, measure your performance across channels and more! On top of all that, it is also a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.

How to use it:

Falcon.io simplifies customer experience management into six key areas, and you can manage all that with its platform:

  1. Listen: Monitor social media channels and online media to collect insights
  2. Publish: Plan and publish with a social media content calendar
  3. Measure: Make informed decisions with social media analytics
  4. Engage: Manage all your customer engagement needs with your social inbox
  5. Build: Create beautiful and responsive campaign pages
  6. Audience: Connect all your customer data in enriched profiles

Since it’s such a powerful tool with numerous great features, it might be great to request a demo from the team to better understand the product. You can request a demo here.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Bonus: Respond 2

Social customer service software for support teams

From our State of Social Media survey, we found that only 1 in 5 uses social media for customer support. With more customers turning to social media channels for support issues, there’s a great opportunity here to stand out from other businesses. We thought it might be helpful to share the tool which we use at Buffer for social media customer support. It’s none other than… Respond!

We launched Respond earlier this year and the team has been working hard to improve the product. I’m excited to share that Respond 2, a completely redesigned version of the tool, is slowly being rolled out to customers at the moment.

Price: Starting at $49/month for small teams and basic features (Custom pricing is available for larger teams and advanced features.)

Best used for: Social media customer support

Description: Respond 2 is a team inbox for your social customer conversations. It puts all your Twitter and Facebook mentions, direct messages and searches into one simple inbox so that you and your team can quickly respond to your customers and resolve their issues.

How to use it:

Once you connect your account and set up your searches, you are ready to support your customers on Twitter and Facebook.

While most social media tools are built for marketing and engagement, Respond 2 is built mainly for customer support. With your customers and your support team in mind, here are some of the cool benefits of Respond 2:

You can use filters to bypass the chatter of social media and surface support-related conversations to help your customers quickly.
You get the things you need to know about your customers to help them, including their profile and your past conversations with them.
You can work effectively as a team by assigning conversations to the right person and leaving internal notes.
You can make the best decision for your team through the powerful analytics and reporting.

Here’s a great blog post on some of the awesome stuff in Respond 2.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Your turn: What are your favorite new tools?

Thanks for making all the way to the end of the post! I hope you have found one or two (or twenty) new tools to add to your daily workflow.

Are there any new social media tools I might have missed out? (I probably have missed quite a few.) I’m curious to hear about your shiny new tools too! Feel free to comment below and I’ll be excited to check them out. Thank you!

Read More …

You’re looking for Reach, Engagement and Sales in all the Wrong Places

It’s understandable that you will first go to social media looking to reach and get your prospects engaged to turn them into customers, after all, social media is the thing to do.

But, are you sure that’s the most effective way to grow your business?

What if I tell you that email can help you reach more of your prospects, get more of them engaged, and convert more of them to actual customers?

I’ve been pushing email over social media for years now, that’s why I loved this infographic from Devesh Khanal and wanted to share it with you.

The reason I like it is because it covers all the stages from reaching your target market to engagement to conversion. Here are some of the most important points:

Email average Open Rate is 20.2%, while Facebook Reach is at around 2%
Email has 50 to 100 higher click rates than Facebook and Twitter
Average CPC (Cost per Click) on Facebook is $0.20 – $0.30, Google ranges from $0.90 – $5.8, while Email has a CPC of $0.02 when you have over 10k subscribers and free under 2k
Email converts 40 times higher than Facebook and Twitter combined

Source: Social Media Statistics: Email Still Has the Highest Engagement
From: Devesh Design

Image source: Unsplash

The post You’re looking for Reach, Engagement and Sales in all the Wrong Places appeared first on socialmouths.

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Apple Augmented Reality Improved with Acquisition of Project Tango Collaborator Flyby Media

What does this acquisition of Flyby Media mean for Apple’s Efforts in developing Augmented Reality Devices and Media?

I noticed this headline in the news this morning: Apple patent details visual-based AR navigation, confirms Flyby Media acquisition.

The article tells us that augmented reality can be accomplished by using information from a phone such as image data from a camera, and sensor data from devices such as a gyroscope and an accelerometer, and that information can be augmented by marrying images of reality with computer generated imagery.

I checked out the patent referred to in the article, and it had me wondering what role Flyby Media played in Google’s Project Tango, which we are told that they used in the Apple Insider article.

The patent linked to in that news story is in Apple’s name, but the inventors are originally from Flyby Media. The patent is:

Visual-based inertial navigation
Inventors: Alex Flint, Oleg Naroditsky, Christopher P. Broaddus, Andriy Grygorenko, Stergios Roumeliotis, and Oriel Bergig
Assigned to: Apple Inc.
Regents of the University of Minnesota
US Patent 9,424,647
Granted August 23, 2016
Filed: August 12, 2014

Abstract

A method includes: receiving sensor measurements from a pre-processing module, in which the sensor measurements include image data and inertial data for a device; transferring, using a processor, information derived from the sensor measurements, from a first set of variables associated with a first window of time to a second set of variables associated with a second window of time, in which the first and second windows consecutively overlap in time; and outputting, to a post-processing module, a state of the device based on the transferred information.

An image from the patent shows how indoor mapping might be improved by the collection of information using imagery from Flyby Media:

Improved Indoor Mapping

The Apple Insider article points to this earlier article from them that describes other acquisitions of companies working in Augmented Reality: Rumor: Apple has ‘hundreds of staff’ working on virtual & augmented reality projects

Two of the inventors listed on this patent supposedly now work at Apple, Naroditsky and Grygorenko,and one, Roumeliotis, is a professor at the University of Minnesota.

I was curious as to what other patents Flyby Media might have, and the last sentence in the abstract from the first one, about augmented reality games was interesting.

Systems and methods for efficient 3D tracking of weakly textured planar surfaces for augmented reality applications
Inventors: Christopher Broaddus, Andriy Grygorenko, Netanel Hagbi, and Oriel Y. Bergig;
Assignee: Flyby Media, Inc.
US Patent 9,147,251
Granted: September 29, 2015
Filed: August 3, 2012

Abstract

The present system provides an on the fly simple to complex 6DOF registration approach using the direct method. On the fly means it does not require training time, a user points a phone/camera to a planar surface and can start tracking it instantly. Simple to complex means the system performs registration in multiple levels of complexity from 2DOF to 6DOF. By increasing the complexity model the system enables more surfaces to be tracked and for surfaces that are tracked the system can avoid local minima solution providing a more robust and accurate 6DOF tracking. Even surfaces that are very weak in features can be tracked in 6DOF and virtual content can be registered to them. The system enables playing Augmented Reality games on low-end devices such as mobile phones on almost any surface in the real world.

Systems and methods for tracking natural planar shapes for augmented reality applications
Inventors: Netanel Hagbi, Oriel Y. Bergig, and Jihad A. Elsana
Assigned to: Flyby Media, Inc.
US Patent 8,644,551
Granted: February 4, 2014
Filed: October 15, 2010

Abstract

The present disclosure relates to systems and methods for tracking planar shapes for augmented-reality (AR) applications. Systems for real-time recognition and camera six degrees of freedom pose-estimation from planar shapes are disclosed. Recognizable shapes can be augmented with 3D content. Recognizable shapes can be in form of a predefined library being updated online using a network. Shapes can be added to the library when the user points to a shape and asks the system to start recognizing it. The systems perform shape recognition by analyzing contour structures and generating projective invariant signatures. Image features are further extracted for pose estimation and tracking. Sample points are matched by evolving an active contour in real time.

It’s interesting seeing how Apple is advancing in Augmented Reality Technology by acquisitions of technology and hiring employees from companies such as Flyby Media. Will Apple be focusing upon games such as Pokemon Go, or do they have other ideas in mind, like I alluded to in this post on a new Apple patent on Augmented Reality Displays from them: Might We Soon See Apple Augmented Reality?. We see Apple is working upon building devices that can display augmented reality, and they are acquiring expertise and technology that assists in using augmented reality in applications such as indoor mapping.


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How Many Subscribers Do You Really Need in Your Email List?

The internet is over flowing with “How to grow your email list” articles.

Nothing wrong with that, I strongly believe that if you’re trying to build an audience around your business, it should be on email, and you should try to grow it as much as you can.

But, focusing on growth and growing blindly are not the same thing.

This is why I like having an ideal number in mind when it comes to growing your email list.

In this post, I’ll show you how to figure out how many subscribers you need to have in your email list with a simple formula and why email marketing is not about hitting a number.


Email Marketing is not about hitting a number, so hold the high fives.
Click To Tweet


How Many Subscribers Do You Really Need in Your Email List?

Back in the day, when I owned a Directv authorized distributor (did I ever tell you I used to sell Directv?), my goal was to make the phone ring 600 times per day. I had a sales goal of 100/day and I knew that if I generated that number of calls, the goal was going to be achieved.

Of course, there was a mix of different types of calls coming in, like customer service, reschedules, tech support and other stuff, but 1 out of 6 calls was a sure sale.

Or, as the kids like to call it today, a 16.67% conversion rate.

My formula was simple: 600 Calls = 100 Sales = Francisco happy.

Today, I use the same formula to calculate how many subscribers I need on my list.

Here goes…

1) Establish a goal

Establish a clear goal of how many sales you want to achieve. Believe me, life will be better once you have that magic number in front of you.

Let’s say you want to make: 100 Sales.

Your goal can also be in revenue. If your product sells for $100 and you want to make 100 sales, your goal in revenue is: $10,000

2) Get your past data

Look at the performance of your past campaigns.

Let’s say that back in March you were able to make 50 sales in a campaign, what you need to look for is how many subscribers you had in your list at that point.

We’ll pretend you had 2,000 subscribers. That means that 2.5% of subscribers purchased your product.

Here is the formula: Sales / Subscribers x 100 (50 / 2,000 x 100 = 2.5)

Just to make sure we’re on the same page here, we’re not exactly measuring “conversion rate” here. Conversion rate is measure based on the clicks on a campaign, like this: Sales / Clicks on a campaign x 100

3) Subscribers needed

You know where I’m going with this, right? If your current data indicates that you convert 2.5% to sales, and your goal is to make 100 sales…

You need 4,000 subscribers in your list.

In this formula, we’re not considering opens and clicks, and of course the fact that you could improve your conversion rate, but here’s the thing…

Nothing in marketing is permanent or static, your audience moves, a campaign can get more opens, fewer clicks, a guest post can convert 40% to subscribers, a content upgrade can fail miserably. This number is only intended to provide a goal, that’s why we’re looking at previous data.

Okay, so what happens when I hit my goal, Francisco?

Should you stop trying to acquire new subscribers once you hit your magic number?

High fives?

Of course not. Email marketing doesn’t work like that, let me explain why…

Why you always need *NEW* email subscribers

When I say “new subscribers,” I’m not necessarily talking about growth, but the opportunity to have fresh subscribers in your list at all times.

Here’s why…

“The Honeymoon Period”

Many people have asked me when is the best time to make an offer, some jump the gun by making an offer right away and others build a list for a year without offering anything.

The perfect moment to make an offer is during the honeymoon period.

The honeymoon period usually happens when you have added just enough value, the subscriber is excited to open and click your email campaigns, but before engagement starts to slowly decrease.

Think of it as dating, you enter the romantic phase, interest peaks, you’ll have to make a move eventually, before you’re moved into the “friend zone.”

Now, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to make sale after. You’ll be able to keep some people engaged for longer periods of time and even get repeated business, if they’re happy and you have a good retention strategy.

But some will inevitably fade out as engagement decreases over time. It’s impossible to keep everybody engaged all the time.

If you stop getting new subscribers today, you’d probably start seeing a slow decline in open and click rates.

New subscribers = Higher Opens + Higher CTR = More Sales.

And that is why you should always maintain a flow of new subscribers coming into your list. So you can more chances to the honeymoon period.

Cleaning

At the other end of the spectrum, you probably have a number of subscribers that are no longer engaged. These folks should be removed from your list at some point.

I’m not talking about the people that unsubscribe from your list, but the ones that are no longer engaging with your campaigns even though they’re still on the list.

But dumping deadbeat subscribers is a whole different blog post.

Oh wait! I wrote that post, you can read it here.

As you can see, some people are coming in, others are going out. This, my friend, keeps your list fresh and with much higher chances to close sales over and over again.

Just make sure your acquisition is always higher than your churn.

Key Takeaways

So, let’s recap real quick…

Growth is good. Blind growth, not so much
You want an email list because you want to make sales
Establish a sales goal
Look at your past data to see what percentage of your subscribers purchased a product from you
Calculate how many subscribers you need in order to reach your sales goals
Your list should always be alive, with fresh subscribers always coming in and deadbeats going out

You good? Alright, looks like you have a little bit of homework. Grab a coffee and aim to end up with a magic number in front of you.

Questions? That’s why I’m here.

The post How Many Subscribers Do You Really Need in Your Email List? appeared first on socialmouths.

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#Inbound16 Highlights from Day 1 & 2

This year I have the privilege to attend the 5th edition of Inbound in Boston, as a HubSpotter, and I thought it would be great to share some of the insights I learned with our State of Digital community. What I didn’t realize was just how enormous and, sometimes, overwhelming Inbound is! All in all, it’s great to be here and I’ll do my best to cover as many talks as possible and share them here.

Just to give you an idea of what Inbound is like

19.000 marketers and entrepreneurs
from 92 countries
came over to Boston to see over 240 speakers share their insights and expertise

If you’re thinking about joining Inbound next year, here’s a piece of advice from a newcomer: expect an amazing experience, great content, but also come prepared to walk, walk, walk. There are 10, even 20 breakout sessions taking place at the same time. You have to chose the right ones for you and go from one place to another. Don’t worry. There is plenty of time between sessions. Just wear comfortable shoes

Tuesday / Day 1: Opening Keynote by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur and, dare to say, an internet sensation right now. He runs VaynerMedia, one of the world’s hottest digital agencies, he is a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist, investing in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, and Birchbox.

His speech was passionate and energetic – exactly what you’d expect from an opening keynote at such an event.

You can see the full recording here:

Wednesday / Day 2

Wednesday was a very busy day. Larry Kim from Wordstream was there. So was Oli Gardner from Unbounce, Brian Balfour (I definitely recommend following his blog on Growth Marketing!), Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah (of course!) and many, many others.

Here’s some useful links that will help you get a better idea of what some of the talks were about.

Oli Gardner, co-founder of Unbounce, talked about “The Conversion Equations”. You can find  all the notes, links, tools and references from his talk here [slides]

Brian Balfour, the former VP of Growth of HubSpot, is now running his own consultancy business on Growth. Check out his blog if you’re interested in this topic. His talk today focused on “The Principles Of High Performance Growth Teams” [slides]

Mikaela Tierney spoke about “How to Transform Freelance Chaos into a Kickass In-House Content Team” [slides]

I won’t spoil the surprise on what Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah talked about because the video recording will be available soon

That’s about all I could get my hands on. I know it’s just a tiny bit of how much content was shared here, but I hope it does give you some useful tips and tactics.

I’ll be back soon with the highlights from Days 3 and 4.

Post from Irina Nica

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