Tag Archive | "Stop"

How to Stop Drowning in Data and Begin Using Your Metrics Wisely

Digital marketers have a problem: We’ve got too much data. It sounds like a ridiculous complaint coming from a data…

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I Wish Google Would Stop Saying They Do Hundreds Or Thousands Of Updates Per Year

I really wish Google would stop responding to algorithm update questions with “we do hundreds or thousands of changes per year.” Like I’ve been saying for years, I’d bet 95% of those updates have little to do with core ranking but more related to UX, UI and feature changes.


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5 Social Media Tactics You Need to STOP Using (And What You Should Do Instead)

These days, it seems like everybody is using social media. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a Facebook or Instagram account. Statistics have shown that there are now 2.2 billion social media users around the world, and the numbers are expected to reach 3 billion by 2020. With such a massive reach, it’s no wonder that every year more companies use social media as part of their marketing strategy.

However, it’s not enough to have a social media account; you also need to use effective strategies to make them work. Unfortunately, a lot of companies are still behind the times and are using outdated tactics that may actually be doing them more harm than good.

Are you guilty of any of these social media faux pas?

1. Engaging Only When You Need Something

Social media is a communication tool and the interaction goes two ways. Some brands look at social media strictly as a promotional tool and only post when they need something. But today’s consumers are pretty savvy and know when they’re being used so don’t expect this strategy to be well-received.

Better Tactic:

Engage your audience regularly. Ask questions. Join conversations and make sure you actually have something worthwhile to say. Don’t just show up, post a link, and then disappear. Personalizing your interactions with customers is time-consuming, but it’s a great way of engaging them and build a rapport.

2. Using Too Many Hashtags

Hashtags are great! They make your post easy to find on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Plus, it’s fun trying to come up with witty hashtags. What’s not fun is when hashtags are used excessively so stop if you’re guilty of this. An avalanche of hashtags makes you look desperate and spammy, especially if you’re hashtagging every adjective that comes to your mind even if they’re not relevant to your product (ex. #blue, #cool, #nice, #small).

Better Tactic:

Take the time to come up with an appropriate hashtag. Be deliberate in your description and ensure they’re relevant to your product. More importantly, make sure your post has more words than hashtags. This will ensure that your audience is focusing on your message and not on the #.

3. Jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon

Reacting to every trending topic is one social media trick that you need to let go. Some brands jump on a popular topic or meme simply to start a conversation or to appear relevant. If it doesn’t fit your demographic or brand then your audience doesn’t need to hear your thoughts about it. For instance, your post congratulating Prince Harry about becoming a father will fall flat when your main audience is in Southeast Asia.

Better Tactic:

If you are going to say something about a particular topic, make sure your post will bring something to the table. Ask yourself if what you’ll be sharing is relevant to the discussion, your brand and market. If not, then there’s no need to post that meme.

4. Inappropriate Tagging of People or Companies

Tagging is a great way of calling attention to your posts. But it doesn’t make sense to tag people or brands in promos or images when they’re not in it or have no clear connection to the post. This move is reminiscent to a mass email campaign. It’s obviously generic, sloppy, and just as irritating. It’s also quite rude to tag someone without making an effort to personalize the request or post.

Better Tactic:

You’ll have a higher chance of getting a brand to help you if you send a direct message or tag them in a separate post first. If the company or influencer is someone you have worked with in the past, then include their links in your post. For instance, you can thank the influencer for their article on your company and include the link. Then segue to your promo and call-to-action.

5. Limiting Posts to the “Best Time”

Studies have shown that there are best times to post on social media. However, these are calculated based on averages; on the times that the majority of users are active and engaged. But every demographic is different. What if your specific followers are not active during those reported “best times?”

Better Tactic:

Instead of relying on the aforementioned study, you should also conduct your own research. Utilize your social media tools and check when your audiences are really online. FB Insights will display this for your Page. There are also tools that will tell you when your Twitter followers are active. Experiment and post at different times and days. This will help you come up with your own unique pattern of engagement.

Social media is a great marketing tool. However, a strategy that works for one brand might not work for another. So make sure that the tactics you use are relevant to your company and your market.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

The post 5 Social Media Tactics You Need to STOP Using (And What You Should Do Instead) appeared first on WebProNews – Breaking News in Tech, Search, Social, & Business.


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5 Ways to Stop Ad Fatigue From Killing Your Facebook Campaign

The Internet and social media have made it easy for brands to get their message out to millions of people. In fact, the average American is reportedly exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements every single day. But this accessibility has also led to “Banner Blindness,” a psychological effect wherein people become blind or indifferent to the ads they see.

Banner blindness is essentially the consumer’s defense mechanism in the face of an abundance of information. This means that at some point, your ads will no longer be effective as your audience starts to suffer from ad fatigue.

Understanding Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue occurs when your target market becomes so used to your advertisements that they become bored and stop paying attention to them.

One platform where ad fatigue can be felt is Facebook, where account holders frequently see advertisements fighting for space amidst the numerous statuses and photos on their News Feeds. Marketers understand the impact ad fatigue can have on a company’s investment. When the Frequency rate of a Facebook ad goes up, its click-through-rate (CTR) tends to go down. Conversely, the cost-per-click for the company will increase.

Luckily, the platform’s robust rotation display and audience-targeting network mean there are strategies that can be utilized to prevent ad fatigue from setting in.

5 Ways to Prevent Facebook Ad Fatigue

1. Change Your Headline and Use Power Words

Image result for free

Mix up the wording in your ad. Consider changing your headline to include a question, your brand name or even a call-to-action (CTA). Another option would be to change the language to target a specific audience. For instance, men would prefer a more humorous content while women opt for something subtle. Power words like “Instantly,” “Sensational,” “Free” and “Now” can boost the odds of having a more positive response to your ads.

2. Tweak Ad Displays

Tweak the design of your ads to capture your audience’s interest once more. Something as simple as changing the background color can make a huge difference so try experimenting with different hues. You can also utilize a simpler image to catch people’s eyes. A photo of a happy woman apparently works best in Facebook ads. Avoid images with lots of details and keep the use of text in the picture to a minimum.

3. Rotate Demographics and Audience Network

When you keep utilizing the same group on the platform’s Audience Network, desktop, and mobile iterations, the ad frequency will increase, thereby raising the dangers of ad fatigue. Separate your ad groups for every placement. This will make tracking bidding and frequency rates more effective. You should also consider rotating your ads and the target audience every few days to reduce individual ad frequency and keep things fresh.

4. Try Out Different Call-to-ActionsRelated image

Your ad requires a strong call-to-action if you want to nab those conversions. Test five to six distinct CTAs as you rotate your ads and see which one gives the best result. For instance, you can start with a straight CTA this week (ex. Take that vacation now!). You can then try one that begins with a question (Need a break from work?) the following week.

5. Stop Underperforming Campaigns

If all else fails, you have the option to stop underperforming campaigns until you can develop something better. Evaluate every aspect of your marketing campaign, from the images you used to the target groups to the value proposition, to see what is causing the sluggish conversion rates. You can also freeze your ads once the frequency becomes too high and wait until people don’t recognize them anymore.

Fighting ad fatigue on Facebook is crucial to the success of your campaign. Utilize a variety of strategies like changing background colors or rotating the audience network to keep things interesting. Bear in mind that these ads are pay-per-click, so you have more than enough leeway to try something different.

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4 Reasons Why People Stop Reading Before the End of a Page

Every page you create has a purpose. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a sales page, a subscription page, an about page, a blog post, or any other kind of page. You publish it for a reason. You want something to happen. Maybe you want someone to share the page on social media. Or you want
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Authentic Blogging: Stop Trying To Make The Right Impression And Start Being Yourself

Have you ever written a blog post and read it back only to find it sounds nothing like your style or voice? A lot of new bloggers create a frame in their mind about how they think they need to present themselves to the world. This is especially true when starting…

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How to Stop Wishing You Had More Time to Write

“If only I had all the time in the world, my blog would be perfect.” That thought has probably crossed your mind more than once. I know it’s crossed mine. I find myself lost in daydreams about how amazing my motorcycle blog could be — if only I had more time. When writerly productivity is
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When Do Expired Redirects Stop Passing Signals With Google?

We cover redirects here a lot, I mean a lot, and Google has documented a lot of these things for us around redirects but often…


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Stop Making These 12 Word Choice Errors Once and for All

"Write the correct words the first time, and you’ll spend less time editing later." – Stefanie Flaxman

Bill is at a wine bar on Saturday night, enjoying a glass of Pinot Noir.

After striking up a playful conversation with Lisa (who prefers Syrah), he asks for her telephone number. Lisa agrees to Bill’s request, and he creates a new “contact” in his cell phone.

“No,” Lisa stops Bill. “You’ll have to memorize it. I don’t want you to write it down.”

Bill accepts the challenge and confidently repeats the 10-digit number a few times aloud. Lisa proceeds to talk about her cat Nibbles for an hour and then leaves the bar after she realizes how late in the evening it has become.

By the next day, Bill has forgotten Lisa’s phone number. He remembers how much Nibbles loves playing with yarn because he used to have a cat that loved yarn … and although he wants to send Lisa a text message, her digits weren’t meaningful to him.

The same thing happens when you memorize the definitions of two similar words instead of learning how to use them.

When you memorize without any meaningful context, you may quickly forget a definition and continually select a word that doesn’t mean what you think it means.

When you learn how to use the following 12 pairs of words, it will be easier to choose the proper one for your content.

Write the correct words the first time, and you’ll spend less time editing later.

1. Compliment vs. Complement

Compliment

A “compliment (noun)” is an “expression of praise.” When you “compliment (verb)” someone, you praise something about her.

“I like your neon-rainbow, unicorn t-shirt” is a compliment.

The word “compliment,” spelled with the letter “i,” should remind you of saying “I like” — how you begin a compliment.

Complement

A “complement (noun)” is “something that completes something else.” When something “complements (verb)” something else, it “makes it whole/adds value to it/completes it.”

Complete is part of the word “complement.”

2. Premiere vs. Premier

Premiere

“Premiere (noun)” is “the first showing of an event.” “Premiere” as other parts of speech conveys a similar meaning.

Premiere could describe a movie premiere. The words “premiere” and “movie” both end with the letter “e.”

Premier

Use the adjective “premier” to describe “the best ___.”

Premier means premium. Neither word ends with the letter “e.”

“Premier (noun)” is less common. The term describes a person who is first in rank.

For example, a “premier” may be a chief executive officer or president of a company.

3. Effect vs. Affect

Effect

The noun “effect” refers to an “outcome or result.”

If you associate “special effects” in movies with “effects,” you’ll remember that “effect” should be used as the noun to describe an outcome.

Affect

The verb “affect” describes something that “manipulates or causes a change.”

An emotional piece of news may affect how you feel after you hear it.

4. Accept vs. Except

Accept

The verb “accept” means “to take in or receive.”

When using the word “accept,” associate it with the word “acceptance” — you take something in; you receive it.

Except

The word “except” is not a verb. It can be used as a preposition, a conjunction, or an idiom. In each form, the word “except” means “with the exclusion of ___.”

When you use the word “except,” you want to exclude something.

5. Ensure vs. Insure

Ensure

Use the verb “ensure” to convey “make certain or guarantee.”

To remember when to use “ensure,” note that the last two letters of the word “guarantee” are “e” and the word “ensure” begins with the letter “e.”

Insure

The verb “insure” communicates “protecting assets against loss or harm.”

If you are discussing the protection of assets, think of car insurance and then use the word “insure.”

6. Regard vs. Regards

Regard

Use “regard” when you want to express consideration or reference something specific.

Writing “in regards to” is one of my content pet peeves.

“Regard” is typically the proper word choice, unless you are sending your feelings of empathy to someone else. Which brings us to …

Regards

“Regards” are your “best wishes or warm greetings.”

7. Beside vs. Besides

Beside

If you want to convey the meaning of “next to or alongside,” use “beside.”

Associate the word “beside” with the word “alongside.” Both words end with the letters “s-i-d-e.”

Beside can also mean “not connected to.” You would write “that is beside the point.”

Besides

The word “besides” means “in addition to.”

“Besides” ends with the letter “s,” which reminds us of a plural word — two or more of something, additional items.

“Besides can also mean “other than/except.”

Associate the “s” sound in the word “except” with the word “besides,” which ends with the letter “s.”

8. Stationery vs. Stationary

Stationery

“Stationery” is always a noun. It’s typically decorative paper and ornate pens. You might use it to jot down quotes from your favorite writing books.

Associate the noun “stationery” with “paper.” The last three letters of the noun “stationery” contain the letters “er.” The word “paper” also ends with the letters “er.”

Stationary

“Stationary” means “still, grounded, or motionless.” It can be used as a noun or adjective.

Since the word “stationary” can also be used as an adjective, associate the “a” in the word “adjective” with the letter “a” in the last three letters in the adjective “stationary.”

9. Precede vs. Proceed

Precede

“Precede” means “to go before.” It is a verb.

Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace (1999) was a “prequel” to the original Star Wars film (1977).

The events that took place during the prequel came before (or preceded) Star Wars.

Proceed

“Proceed” is also a verb, but it means “carry on, continue, move forward.”

Think of “proceed” as “proactive, taking the next step in a sequence.”

“Precede” is “before” and “proceed” is “after.”

10. Who’s vs. Whose

Who’s

“Who’s” is a contraction of two words — most commonly, “who is” (present tense), “who has,” or “who was” (past tense).

If you are combining a verb with the word “who,” it’s appropriate to use “who’s” (with an apostrophe).

Whose

“Whose” is a possessive pronoun, similar to “mine,” “yours,” “his,” or “hers.”

If you don’t intend to combine two words with an apostrophe, use the possessive pronoun “whose.”

11. Sometime vs. Some time

Sometime

When “sometime” is one word, it’s an adverb that refers to “one point in time.” For example, “I’d love to have coffee with you sometime.”

Some time

When “some” and “time” are separated as two words, think of the word “some” as an “amount.”

“Some time” is “an amount of time.” For example, “I just ate so much ice cream. It will take some time before I’m hungry again.”

12. Into vs. In to

Into

“Into” is a preposition that means “entering or transforming.” For example, “The fashion designer transformed the ugly fabric into a chic dress.”

A noun typically follows the word “into.”

In to

A verb that pairs with the word “in” typically goes before “in to.”

For example, “During the baseball game, the outfielder moved in to catch the ball.”

Your turn …

Do you have any word choice pet peeves? What are your favorite tips for learning how to use certain words correctly?

How could Lisa have helped Bill learn her phone number, rather than memorize it? ”</p

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Podcasters: Stop Looking for an Audience (and Let Them Find You)

"What if you could spend 10 minutes doing one simple task and get new listeners for years to come?" – Jon Nastor

“Three … two … one … Ready or not, here I come!”

My daughter Sadie hides anxiously behind the living room couch, while her best friend is searching, calling out her name, and trying to find her.

Hide-and-seek, a game played out millions of times.

If you don’t know, hide-and-seek is a popular children’s game in which any number of players conceal themselves in the environment, to be found by one or more seekers.

The hiding is not what makes it fun.

Kids will play for hours and hours when they continually find each other. When one of the children stays hidden for even five minutes too long, the others quickly lose interest.

It is a quest fueled by the moment of discovery.

Hey podcaster, stop hiding behind the couch

Now let’s think about why thousands upon thousands of content marketers, business owners, hobbyists, and fans start podcasts. More often than not, it’s to build an audience around a topic they love.

They start with enthusiasm and determination, only to quit after 10, 12, or 20 episodes (the number doesn’t matter, the quitting does).

Listeners couldn’t find their podcasts, so they quit. Like Sadie hiding behind the couch, when no one finds us, the game ceases to be fun and we quit.

Podcasts need to be actively optimized — not only to help you build an audience and authority, but also to help you stay motivated to not quit.

The search begins

The consensus amongst podcasters is that since Google can’t index audio, you can throw your standard SEO practices out the window.

It is true; Google can’t listen to or index your podcast episodes. It is also true, and more pertinent to this discussion, that Google is not where people go to find podcasts.

Where do people search when they want to find a new podcast?

  • iTunes
  • Google Play
  • Stitcher
  • iHeartRadio
  • YouTube
  • Spreaker
  • SoundCloud

These are “alternative” search engines — directories where people search for podcasts.

It’s not accidental when podcasts rise to the top of the directories. We need to understand our audiences and anticipate what they search for just like we do when we write, but with a slight twist.

Why you should submit your show to podcast directories

What if you could spend 10 minutes doing one simple task and get new listeners for years to come?

We need to find audience-building strategies we can leverage. Repeatable steps we can take upfront, yet will continue to provide us with new listeners for months and years to come.

The way to do this is simple: submit your show to podcast directories.

As with most things, how you use podcast directories will change and evolve with your show. A brand-new show will benefit from a different strategy than a podcast that has been around for 50+ episodes.

  • New podcasters: Focus on one or two directories to maximize early exposure. Use iTunes and Stitcher to start.
  • Veteran podcasters (50+ episodes): Submit to as many podcast directories as possible. Here’s a list to get you started.

Optimize for discoverability

As podcasters, we value audio over text. The reason is simple: we are more comfortable behind a microphone than we are behind a keyboard.

Our thoughts and ideas flow when we speak, and we stare impatiently at a blank page when it’s time to write.

Don’t fight it. It’s what makes us podcasters.

It also stops us from being found.

There are a few places where words matter in podcasting. Not a lot of words, but they are essential to help listeners find your show.

For our discussion today about optimizing for discoverability, we are not going to get into anything involving extra work. Yes, having transcripts for your show can be beneficial, but we are focusing on tasks you already must do for your podcast — but doing them with a purpose.

How to win the name game

Deciding on a name for your show can be a fun and creative process, but we need to stay focused on our goal of discoverability.

Here are three things to keep in mind when naming your show for discoverability:

  1. Know your audience. Who are they, where do they listen, and how can your show help them?
  2. Use their words, not yours. How would a listener describe your show to a friend? Use those words.
  3. Stand out. Be bold and clear.

Next time you’re on the subway or at a coffee shop, look at how fast people scroll up and down on their phones.

Your name needs to effectively communicate your show’s purpose, and it needs to do it in seconds.

A good name isn’t easy to find, but never sacrifice clarity for creativity.

Craft a better show description (your elevator pitch)

Where a show description is displayed varies from directory to directory. Currently, iTunes still generates the majority of all podcast downloads. So we will focus on iTunes when discussing show descriptions.

A show description is the block of text displayed on your podcast page within iTunes. More importantly, it is the main place where you get to tell iTunes and potential listeners what your show is about.

Here are three ways to optimize your show description:

  1. Choose the right keywords. Include the words and phrases your audience uses.
  2. Max it out. iTunes has a 4,000-character limit — use every last one.
  3. Call to action. Listeners will read your show description, so explain what they should do next.

Think of crafting your show description the same way you would think about writing your next blog post.

Keywords matter, but not more than other important elements that help you create a compelling case for a potential listener to download and subscribe to your show.

Write captivating episode titles

Content marketers and copywriters stress over their headlines more than any other part of their work. It makes sense when we understand how a headline can make or break an article.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy

The title of your episode is your headline. It is the single most powerful way to make people stop scrolling and listen to an episode. So don’t treat episode titles like afterthoughts.

Here’s how to write better episode titles:

  1. Don’t mislead. The goal is to attract listeners, not make them despise you for wasting their time.
  2. Be specific. What is the single most useful benefit your episode will provide? Yes, be that specific.
  3. Consistency is key. Number your episodes or don’t. Include your guests’ names in your titles or don’t. Either way, be consistent.

Writing great episode titles takes practice. When you get stuck, you can jump-start your process with these smart headline-writing tactics.

Make noise from behind the couch

When you listen to kids playing hide-and-seek, you will notice all of the noises they make — laughter, whispering, and yelling — all signals that will help them be found.

We need to make noise, get noticed, and be discovered.

Creating useful content on a consistent basis is essential if you want to create a remarkable podcast.

Your usefulness stems from your passion and knowledge.

Podcasting is hard, but having your show discovered by new listeners on a consistent basis will keep you motivated through the dips and struggles.

You started a podcast to build an audience. Don’t hide it from listeners.

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