Instagram Adds Zoom Capability to Photos and Videos

Instagram Adds Zoom Capability to Photos and Videos

Instagram has finally added one of its most requested features – though there is a catch.

From today, Instagram users on iOS will be able to zoom in on both photo and video content.

Pretty cool right? Though you may have also noticed that as soon as the person took his/her fingers away from the screen, the image snapped back to its original state. That’s how Instagram’s designed it – you can’t zoom in on a specific element then get your digits out the way for a closer look, you have to keep your fingers on screen while you’re zoomed in.

VIDEO

Video via PetaPixel

Why, exactly, the function has been designed this way is unclear – it may simply be to avoid having people accidently double-tap and like posts when they seek to zoom out again – but Instagram does always seek to put their own spin on things. For example, while you can switch to full-screen mode for content on YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook, you can’t on Instagram – which is odd given the platform’s focus is all about image quality. In fairness, Instagram has added a range of content improvements over the past year or so, including support for landscape and portrait formats and upping their image quality to 1080p, but there are still some elements on which the platform has refused to budge – either by choice or technical limitation.

But as noted, zoom has long been one of the most requested features on Instagram so today’s announcement is big news, regardless of their alternate approach. There have always been zoom workarounds and processes available, but now the capability will be built in and easier to utilize. 

And with the platform now in a direct battle with Snapchat, you can expect Instagram to keep rolling out the updates at pace to build on their growing momentum.

Zoom is available today for Instagram on iOS and will be available on Android in the coming weeks. 

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Search Live Coverage Carousel Comes to Google With Real-Time Indexing by @SouthernSEJ

Search Live Coverage Carousel Comes to Google With Real-Time Indexing by @SouthernSEJ

Publishers can now opt-in to having their content featured in the new Search live coverage carousel, a pilot project from Google. Participating in the project will allow publishers to expedite the process of having their content surfaced by Google. The live coverage carousel will feature content such as live blogs, full length articles, videos, and more.

In addition to opting in to the pilot project via the form found here, there are several requirements that your content needs to meet before it’s eligible to be featured in the new live coverage carousel.

Requirements for Being Featured in Google’s Search Live Coverage Carousel

AMP Content Only
Only content published using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) will be considered for inclusion in the carousel. For more information about AMP, including how to use it for your WordPress content, please see this article.

Structured Data Markup
Content published using AMP must also include structured data markup, which helps Google understand the context around a piece of content. This will allow Google to display an accurate preview in the carousel. For more information about how to implement structured data markup, please see help guide.

Push Content With an Atom XML Feed
Sending content to Google’s live coverage carousel requires the use of an HTTP POST request in an Atom XML feed. This will allow Google to index the content as soon as it hits the web. Google has been recommending Atom XML feeds for optimal crawling since October 2014.

If your content meets the above requirements, you can express interest in having your content featured in the live carousel using this form.

H/T: Aaron Bradley

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Facebook Warns Advertisers: Speed Up Your Mobile Site! by @DannyNMIGoodwin

Facebook Warns Advertisers: Speed Up Your Mobile Site! by @DannyNMIGoodwin

How quickly your mobile site takes to load will soon impact whether people will see your Facebook ads, the social network announced.

As Facebook put it, they will consider “website performance and a person’s network connection in our ad auction and delivery system.”

Could that mean advertisers will pay more if they have slow-loading websites? That isn’t clear yet, but it will be worth watching over the coming months to see if advertisers with slow load times have to pay higher costs than advertisers with speedy sites.

To help advertisers provide faster experiences, Facebook is introducing prefetching.

How Does Prefetching Work on Facebook?

This means Facebook will download mobile content (both organic and advertising) in advance.

“Today, we’re introducing prefetching – pre-loading mobile content in the Facebook in-app browser before a link is tapped,” Facebook said. “This can shorten mobile site load time by 29 percent or 8.5 seconds, improving the experience and decreasing the risk of site abandonment.”

According to a Facebook help page, prefetching works like this:

“For each News Feed mobile ad, Facebook attempts to predict how likely a person is to click on an ad. If the prediction score meets the requirements, we prefetch the initial HTML page when the story first appears on a person’s screen. This content is cached locally on the person’s device for a short amount of time. If the person clicks on the ad, Facebook loads the initial page from the cache. The initial page then makes regular web requests to the publisher’s server to load the remainder of the page. We currently only cache the initial HTML page. Keep in mind that the CSS, Javascript or images on the website are not cached.”

The Benefits of Prefetching?

Prefetching will help advertisers in two ways, according to Facebook. It will

  • Reduce mobile site load time. More people are on mobile devices and they want fast sites.
  • Reduce the number of people who abandon your site before it fully loads. Facebook noted that 40 percent of people will abandon a site that doesn’t load in 3 seconds.

The big goal here is increasing ad performance and engagement. If you have an ad that takes users to a slow-loading site, that ad will most likely underperform in terms of engagement, which means you’ll pay more.

How Else Can Advertisers Optimize For Mobile?

Facebook also offered five bits of advice for businesses on how to optimize their sites:

  • Minimize landing page redirects, plugins and link shorteners
  • Compress files to decrease mobile rendering time
  • Improve server response time by utilizing multi-region hosting
  • Use a high-quality Content Delivery Network to reach audiences quickly
  • Remove render-blocking JavaScript

Much like Google, Facebook has been trying to make the overall mobile experience faster. On the organic side, Facebook introduced Instant Articles to provide users with articles that load super fast.

Image Credit: Depositphotos (modified by author)

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Search Within Apps on Your Android Phone With ‘In Apps’ Search by @SouthernSEJ

Search Within Apps on Your Android Phone With ‘In Apps’ Search by @SouthernSEJ

Google has now made it possible to search within apps on Android phones. In Apps search allows Android users to look for content within their installed apps using the Google app.

Currently, the new In Apps search mode is fairly limited in what it’s able to search for. You can search for contacts and messages in GMail, find a favorite song in Spotify, or look up a video in YouTube. In the coming months, integration with the following apps will be added: Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, Evernote, Glide, Todoist and Google Keep. You will also have the option in the Settings menu to choose which apps appear in In Apps search.

Since In Apps search is performed entirely on one’s phone, it is said to work even without a WiFi or cellular connection. The first handset to get the new In Apps search mode is LG V20, which is also the first phone to ship with Google’s latest mobile operating system, Android 7.0 Nougat. The LG V20 will sport a home screen shortcut to allow access to In Apps search with a single tap.

Not many more details are known about the LG V20 at this point; more information is scheduled to be announced on Tuesday, September 6th, at an event in San Francisco. In Apps search is a feature that’s exclusive to Nougat, so presumably other handsets that have been able to upgrade to the latest Android OS will be getting the new search mode as well.

We will be following the LG V20 event next week and will report back with more details about In Apps search if more become available.

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Pinterest Rolls Out 3 Big Retargeting Changes by @DannyNMIGoodwin

Pinterest Rolls Out 3 Big Retargeting Changes by @DannyNMIGoodwin

Pinterest is introducing engagement retargeting to let you target users who have engaged with your pins, and adding a new tag for better retargeting.

Here are the three big changes to Pinterest advertising the company has announced.

1. Engagement Retargeting

People who know and like your brand are more likely to buy from you. That’s why remarketing it so powerful on ad platforms like AdWords and Facebook – you’re biasing companies in your favor.

Taking that same idea, Pinterest has introduced Engagement Retargeting, which lets you target people who have engaged with your pins (e.g., saving or clicking on it).

“When someone engages with a Pin, they are demonstrating an intent to spend in the future, and they are 2.2x more likely to make a purchase in the next 30 days than those who don’t engage,” Pinterest noted. “For example, if someone saved your after school snack ideas, you can retarget them in the future with birthday party treats.”

2. New Pinterest Tag

Want to track how many people signed up for your newsletter or bought from you? Pinterest’s new tag will provide you with conversion reporting on nine types of activities users take.

For example, if someone adds an item to a cart, but leaves before purchasing, you can retarget them on Pinterest to try and convince them to buy that item from you. Or you could target someone who has bought from you with related items.

Here are all the events you can track with Pinterest’s new tag:

  • Page Visits: People who have visited one of your primary pages (e.g., a product page or article).
  • View Category: People who have visited your category pages.
  • Search: People who have searched on your website for products or store locations.
  • Add to Cart: People who have added items to your shopping cart.
  • Checkout: People who have completed a purchase.
  • Watch Video: People who have watched your videos.
  • Signup: People who have signed up for your product or service.
  • Lead: People who have shown interest in your product or service.
  • Custom: A special event you want to include in your conversion reporting.

In addition, Pinterest lets you create a Partner-defined Event, which is a special event you can design for the purpose of audience targeting. However, this won’t appear in your conversion reporting.

Although the new events for visitor retargeting aren’t available right now, you can implement the tag today so you’ll be ready when it does become available in the next few weeks.

You can find out how to implement the tag here.

3. Lookalike Audiences Are Now Actalike Audiences

Actalike Audiences are the new Lookalike Audiences. The change happened because, as Pinterest put it: “the audiences you target on Pinterest don’t just look similar, they act similar too.”

Because people are showing intent to buy, Actalike Audiences are a way for advertisers to reach specific types of audiences. When Pinterest launched Lookalike Audiences in June, the company reported that CTR increased by as much as 63 percent and boosted reach by as much as 30x.

Image Credit: Depositphotos; mashup via author

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Get Your Seattle Exploration on at MozCon 2016!

Get Your Seattle Exploration on at MozCon 2016!

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

MozCon is fast approaching us! On September 12-14—just two weeks away—1,400 online marketers will descend on Seattle, ready to learn about SEO, content, Google Tag Manager, conversion rate optimization, and so much more. We’ve got fewer than 60 tickets left, so grab yours now.

Buy your MozCon 2016 ticket!

If you haven’t done so, check out all the learning! This post is geared toward the things you can do when MozCon sessions aren’t happening.

Cindy Krum on the MozCon 2015 stage


Places you’ll want to go as recommended by Mozzers

While you’re in Seattle, we want to make sure you have a fabulous time. Seattle in September is beautiful. It’s still sunny outside, and it’s the time of year people come to Seattle and then want to move here. So we’ve complied a list of great activities and restaurants:

Sights


Brian Childs

Gasworks Park

"Incredible views of the city, float planes landing overhead, Space Needle in the background, Ivar’s Clam Chowder down the street, bikes all over the place."

Brian Childs


Megan SingleyVolunteer Park

"This is my favorite place in all of Seattle! Stroll around the park and stop in the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the conservatory, then climb to the top of the water tower for an incredible view. You can also walk through the graveyard and see Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee’s grave. After all that walking, hop over to the adorable and delicious Volunteer Park Cafe."

Megan Singley


James DaughertyElliott Bay Trail

"Amazing views, has a mini gravel beach, and lots of park space. Great for running and cycling. I ride my bike along EBT nearly everyday to Moz, and I fall in love with city over and over again."

James Daugherty


Maura HubbellAlki Beach

"Alki is a beautiful walk with a spectacular view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. It’s got some good restaurants, and even a little history as the site of the original settlement."

Maura Hubbell


Rachel MooreDiscovery Park

"If you’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest (or even if you have!), Discovery Park on a clear day is a great place to see the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, and to get some quality forest walking done all in one fell swoop. Plus, it’s 20 minutes from downtown! (Pro tip: For the easiest view access, park in the lot on W Emerson just before 43rd Ave W.)"

Rachel Moore


Felicia CrawfordGreen Lake

"People of every ilk converge to exercise, feed ducks, play with dogs, and covet the dogs of others."

Felicia Crawford


Activities, tours, and museums


Emily Smollen

The Underground Tour

"What a great way to hear about and experience early-Seattle’s history!"

Emily Smollen


Alyson MurphyFerry to Bainbridge Island

"Seattle is surrounded by water and mountains. The ferry is the easiest way to experience that scenery. The view of the city is amazing too!"

Alyson Murphy


Jo CameronThe Pinball Museum

"It is special to me because I’ve only been to Seattle once, as I work remotely in the UK. It was a joy the see how strong the love for pinball is in Seattle. The Pinball Museum houses the world’s biggest pinball machine, and it is really something to behold; it’s like hugging a dining room table."

Jo Cameron


Restaurants and bars


Nicelle Herron

Linda’s

"Laid back, good music, cheap food, and nice people."

Nicelle Herron


Chiaryn MirandaCyclops

"If you are a vegetarian (or love vegetarian food), the Happy Hippy Burger is a must. It is not only the best veggie burger in Seattle, but it’s the best I have ever had. Cyclops also has great drinks and food for the omnivores, too."

Chiaryn Miranda


Jess StipePie Bar

"This hole in the wall has it all! Pie Bar serves up warm, freshly baked slices of heaven with a pint of bliss. Savory pies, sweet pies, pietinis, craft spirits, and beer…all nestled in an elegant, cozy venue where you won’t have to shout over a crowd 3-hipsters-deep to order. And if you’re done with your pie and ready for some pinball and arcade games, John John’s Game Room is directly next door!"

Jess Stipe


Tawny CaseOddfellows Cafe

"This hip little eatery has some awesomely tasty foods, a sweet little private back patio, a laidback atmosphere, and awesome drinks. Plus, it’s right in the heart of Capitol Hill, one of my favorite ‘hoods in the city."

Tawny Case


Bonus! Lightning suggestions:


Brian Childs’ recommendation corner

"I put this Google map together for friends visiting the city. Includes lots of breweries, bars, restaurants, and things to do: Get the info!"


Official MozCon evening events

For all our evening events, make sure to bring your conference badge AND your US ID or your passport.


Monday Night MozCrawl

From 7:00pm – 10:00pm, you can head to all the stops at your own pace and in any order. Visit all the stops, fill out your punch card, and return it to the swag store on Tuesday morning to enter to win a golden Roger!

Making new friends at MozCon 2015


Tuesday MozCon Ignite

If you’re looking for networking, this is event for you! Join us at from 7:00-10:00pm at McCaw Hall for a night of networking and five-minute, Ignite-style passion talks from your fellow attendees. This year, our talks will range from information and unique to heartwarming and life changing. You don’t want to miss this MozCon night.

  • 7:00-8:00pm Networking
  • 8:00-8:05pm Introduction with Geraldine DeRuiter
  • 8:05-8:10pm Help! I Can’t Stop Sweating – Hyperhidrosis with Adam Melson at Seer Interactive
  • 8:10-8:15pm A Plane Hacker’s Guide to Cheap *Luxury* Travel with Ed Fry at Hull.io
  • 8:15-8:20pm Life Lessons Learned as a Special Needs Parent with Adrian Vender at Internet Marketing Inc
  • 8:20-8:25pm How to Start an Underground Restaurant in Your Home with Nadya Khoja at Venngage Inc.
  • 8:25-8:30pm Embracing Fear, Potential Failure, and Plain Ol’ Discomfort with Daisy Quaker at AMSOIL INC.
  • 8:30-8:35pm How Pieces of Paper Can Change Lives with Anneke Kurt Godlewski at Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC
  • 8:35-8:40pm Is Your Family Time for Sale? with Michael Cottam at Visual Itineraries
  • 8:40-9:20pm Networking with desserts and refreshments
  • 9:20-9:25pm Prison and a Girl that Loves Puppies with Caitlin Boroden at DragonSearch
  • 9:25-9:30pm Embracing Awkward: The Tale of a 5′ 10" 6th Grader with Hannah Cooley at Seer Interactive
  • 9:35-9:40pm Finding Myself in Fiction: LGBTQUIA Stories with Lisa Hunt at Moz
  • 9:40-9:45pm Wooly Bits: Exploring the Binary of Yarn with Lindsay Dayton LaShell at Diamond + Branch Marketing Group
  • 9:45-9:50pm How a Cartoon Saved My Life with Steve Hammer at RankHammer
  • 9:50-9:55pm Flood Survival: Lessons from the Streets of ATL with Sarah Lively at Nebo Agency
  • 9:55-10:00pm Hornets, Soba, & Friends: A Race in Japan with Kevin Smythe at Moz

MozCon Ignite


Wednesday Night Bash!

From 7:00-12:00 midnight: Bowling, pool, Jenga, a slow-motion booth, a photo booth, karaoke, cupcakes, food, drinks, and more! You don’t want to miss our annual bash.

Rent some bowling shoes and go for a turkey. Sing your heart out just like you recently joined Journey. Snap photos with your friends while wearing silly hats. Show off how much of a ringer you are at pool. Get into a chicken strip-eating contest. Hang out with your new MozCon friends one last time, and celebrate all the learning!

Ryan and Char at MozCon Bash 2015


Birds of a Feather lunch tables

If you want to spend your lunchtime getting great advice from your fellow attendees about online marketing or meet people in your specialty, check out our birds of a feather lunch tables:

Monday, September 12

Tuesday, September 13

  • Local Search hosted by George Freitag at Moz
  • Growth Hacking hosted by Brittanie MacLean at Realty Austin
  • Continuing Marketing Education hosted by Rachel Goodman Moore at Moz
  • Marketing Automation hosted by Ed Fry at Hull.io
  • How to Smartly Mix Search and Content to Aid Overall Business Strategy by Ronell Smith at Ronell Smith Consulting
  • E-Commerce SEO hosted by Everett Sizemore at Inflow
  • SERP Features hosted by Jon White at Moz
  • Technical SEO hosted by Bill Sebald at Greenlane Search Marketing

Wednesday, September 14

  • Google Penalties hosted by Michael Cottam at Visual Itineraries
  • Advanced SEO hosted by Britney Muller at Moz
  • Marketing for USA Manufacturing Companies hosted by Crystal Hunt at Grassroots Fabric Pots
  • Work-Life Balance hosted by Keri Morgret at Inbound.org
  • Local Search hosted by George Freitag at Moz
  • Marketing Automation hosted by Ed Fry at Hull.io
  • Content Marketing hosted by Trevor Klein at Moz

Birds of a feather MozCon table from 2015


Join the Fitbit Group

Track your steps while networking and cheer on your fellow attendees!


Play Roger Patrol!

Ready for some friendly competition between your fellow attendees? We’ve built a special MozCon game just for you. You’ll play as starship, part of Roger Patrol! Try and beat the top score on Roger Patrol video game by zapping asteroids, destroying evil spaceships, and protecting Roger Mozbot’s universe. We’ll provide a download link for attendees, and you’ll also find three arcade-style boxes of the game throughout the MozCon venue.


Visit our Partner Hub, get your photo taken with Roger, and more arcade-style fun

As you head up to registration, entering MozCon, you won’t want to miss all the activities around you and happening when the conference isn’t in active session.


Say hello to our Partners

Every sulk through an exhibitor hall with your head down like you’re in middle school again? Us too. Which is why at MozCon, we wanted to do something different. Our invite-only partners are not only respectful, but we’ve vetted their activities and their products to make sure they are useful to you. So say hello, and we promise you might instead get a postcard to send home, a t-shirt, or a special MozCon coin.

STAT's partner hub from MozCon 2015

Our great partners:


Stop each day at the Swag Store!

After the first day, Registration will be transformed into a swag store. You don’t want to miss out on these goodies. On Tuesday, you’ll be able to pick up your official MozCon 2016 t-shirt. On Wednesday, you’ll get your own Lego Roger.

Lego Roger Mozbot


Meet Mozzers to give feedback or Ask an SEO

Make sure to stop by the Moz Hub. We’ll be there to answer your questions about Moz Pro and Moz Local. Learn about our latest offerings and updates. Get insights into how best to use the tools.

And by popular demand, we’ve added Ask an SEO. Mozzers and Associates with expertise in SEO will be there to answer your burning search questions and kickstart you with new ideas for your search campaigns.


Play the Roger claw machine

We’re bringing back the plushie claw machine! If you missed out getting one of our plushie Roger Mozbots, or you just need another as a small child or pet decided Roger was their best friend, now’s your chance. In order to play, you must visit one of our Partners or the Moz Hub for a special shiny coin. Then take that coin to the claw machine!

Don’t worry, we’ve put a TAGFEE spell on this machine, so you may find it a little easier than the ones in the malls of your childhood. 😉


Take a photo with Roger Mozbot

A MozCon tradition you won’t want to miss. Get your annual photo (or maybe it’s your first!) taken with the cuddliest robot in the galaxy, Roger Mozbot.

Erica and Jacob over the years with Roger Mozbot


Donate to charity, on us!

Open up your Monday swag kit and inside you’ll find $5 Roger bucks. You get to donate this to one of three charities (charities selected by Mozzers):

Roger Mozbot will then count the bucks and write a check to each charity.


Push pin world map

Ever play pin the tail on the donkey? Well, this is like that, but pin the spot where you are from, minus the blindfold.


In Seattle on Thursday post-MozCon? We have MozPlex tours.

Every wonder where Roger Mozbot lives? Or heard of the stories of cereal bars and rooms named after starships and robots? Is is true that Mozzers have sit/stand desks? Don’t miss out on our Office Tours on Thursday 9/15. Sign up for your time slot.

Glenn at the MozPlex


Even more fun in Seattle

Don’t miss our posts from years past, which are full of restaurant, activity, and more recommendations: 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012.


Activities happening around Seattle from Saturday, September 10 – Sunday, September 18


If you’re looking to connect with fellow attendees, please join our MozCon Facebook Group.

Buy your MozCon 2016 ticket!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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We Enforced NAP Consistency At Scale Then This Happened

We Enforced NAP Consistency At Scale Then This Happened

NAP consistency is something that is often researched, however generally it’s at a small scale and often the results are anecdotal. We wanted see what citation cleanup looked like at scale, and measure the results as best we could, so we partnered with Yext for one of a kind study on what happens when you enforce citation consistency on a 1.3k+ location national brand.

The tl;dr on the methodology is this:

  1. Took baseline rankings of GMB back presence for Brand X across their core terms
  2. Yext performed a round of duplicate suppression on Brand X across their publishing network
  3. Rank tracking continued to be able to measure the results

So, we dealt with some duplicates at scale.

I have talked about this case study at a couple of conferences, so here is how I previously presented the data:

To me there are two big takeaways from this case study:

  1. Citation Consistency is Foundational – It’s one of the critical relevancy factors for determining if your business is even eligible to show up in a local pack. Check out what we use in our citation stack in order to solve citation consistency issues.
  2. Citation Consistency Is Not A Competitive Difference Maker – Wait, what? You just said that they are key for getting in packs. Which is true, but they don’t seem to matter much when it comes to improving rankings for GMB profiles that are already showing up in pack results. Check out slide #6 below and you will see that improvement in pack results was a bell curve. Most profiles stayed in the same position, and about the same moved up as down. If your interested more in what these competitive difference makers are check out our Local Search Ranking Factors report.

The post We Enforced NAP Consistency At Scale Then This Happened appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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5 Tricks for Getting More Engagement on Facebook Live by @dantosz

5 Tricks for Getting More Engagement on Facebook Live by @dantosz

Facebook first announced their Live feature about a year ago, initially only making it available for big brands and celebrities. Since then, the feature has been rolled out to all accounts and has added several new features (which we have yet to see).

Does Facebook Live Really Matter? 

Worried this is just another thing you have to learn how to do and implement without seeing any results? In our fast-moving industry, it can feel like as soon as you tackle one new platform (Twitter), another one pops up (Snapchat). It can be seriously hard to keep up and stay relevant.

But this is a tool worth paying attention to.

The benefits start with video itself. According to a study by Insivia, one-third of all online activity involves watching videos. People are more likely to purchase an item after watching a video. People trust videos, and they are more likely to recall a video ad than an add in any other format.

5 Tricks for Getting More Engagement on Facebook Live | SEJ

In addition to the benefits of video, Live videos rank well on Facebook. Plus, stats show people will spend three times longer watching a video if it is live and users comment ten times more often on live videos.

Outside of the stats related to how we can market on Facebook Live, there are many ways it has changed the world we live in. We can now share current events and news without the help of media outlets. Regular citizens can share injustices and draw our attention to issues we may never have heard about otherwise.

It is an important feature—not just for marketers, but also for everyday citizens.

So, how can you make the most of this feature? At SEJ, we have been testing Facebook Live with our weekly SEJ News LIVE, hosted by Caitlin Rulien, our Social Producer. In doing so, we have done quite a bit of research and dug into what is working and what is not on Facebook Live.

Here are a few ways to get the most out of the platform.

1. Stretch Out Your Introduction

Longer is better when it comes to Facebook Live, but you can’t just sit there – you still need to be offering value. Stretching out your introduction gives people a chance to notice that little notification on their page and click over to your video. Here are a few ways to stretch your intro without irritating your viewers:

  • Tell them what you are going to tell them: A short teaser will let your viewers know what to expect during the video and entice them to stay. As more people sign in to watch, you can repeat your intro for the new people as well.
  • Ask a basic question: “Hey, how are you all doing? Comment with your name and where you are from!” Then, say hello to people, which will make them feel connected. “Hey Jane from Sarasota, thanks for joining us!”
  • Ask for likes and shares: This will help increase your video’s reach as well. “I really love seeing those hearts fly by, keep them coming!”

2. Ask Questions

The beauty of live video is that it allows you to interact in real-time, so take advantage of that. Then, respond and read them out load during your live video.

A few ideas to help you ask more questions:

  • Have an open Q&A session at the end of your video: (You can also mention this early on to entice people to stay for the entire video.)
  • Ask for personal stories or experiences: People love to talk about themselves, so this is an easy way to get more people commenting.
  • Ask for where they struggle the most: This might vary depending upon your industry. Let’s say you have an SEO tool and your video is about a new update to the Google Algo. You could, for example, ask who is considering using AMP, or what their biggest SEO struggle is.
  • Ask for ideas for your next video: From the example above, it might sound like this: “This week we talked about thGoogle Algo update, what do you all want to talk about next week? I was considering talking about AMP, but I want to know what you want to hear about.”

These questions will help you not only interact with you viewers more, but it will also make your video longer, giving more viewers a chance to tune in.

3. Be Repetitive

When you are first learning how to write essays in elementary school, you were probably told “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. This works well in live video for a few reasons – first, people are more likely to remember things when you repeat them, and second, because people tend to drop in and out of live video.

By repeating your main point, CTA, or the location of any resources you mention, you will make sure all the viewers know what your video is about and why they should keep watching.

4. Use Names

Did you ever call into a radio station to request a song? Do you remember that little thrill you felt when the DJ said your name on the air?

Calling viewers out by name offers your viewers that same little thrill. They are more likely to keep watching and like the video, which helps increase the number of people who see you are live.

5. Participate in the Comments Section

I already mentioned calling out the names of people who comment, but you should also respond in the comments section to keep the conversation going. You can do this yourself by sitting at your laptop or using your tablet while you stream from your phone. Or, you can ask another team member to chat with viewers. (This is how we do it for SEJ News LIVE.)

Want to learn more about how to use Facebook Live? Listen to this episode of Marketing Nerds with me and Shannon Hernandez or read this post about Facebook live best practices.

Have you tried using Facebook Live? What has helped you engage more? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Image Credit

Featured Image: Petrovich99/DepositPhotos.com
In-post Photo: AntonioGuillemF/DepositPhotos.com

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10 Surprisingly Simple Lessons That Will Make You A Better Digital Marketer

10 Surprisingly Simple Lessons That Will Make You A Better Digital Marketer

10 Surprisingly Simple Lessons That Will Make You A Better Digital Marketer

Years ago, I was working as an online marketing manager at a digital marketing agency in Salt Lake City.

One of my clients was a large university that offered online courses. The client had expressed concerns that while organic search traffic was up, our “request for more information” goal was down (one of the primary KPIs).

The client was questioning the value in our work and the partnership was in jeopardy.

From competitive analysis I knew we had multiple online competitors that offered similar programs, and also that signing up for college level online courses wasn’t an impulse buy – prospective students were doing their research.

Understanding the customer path to purchase

After the call I referenced the client’s Multi-Channel Funnels Report in Google Analytics. I confirmed that the top conversion path was visitors finding our online courses via Google Search, and then coming back directly at a later point to request more information. Once I shared this with the client, she immediately saw the value in the work we were doing.

From that day forward, I included data from this report to not only show the full value in our work, but also gain a deeper understanding of my client’s customer online journey to purchase.

This lesson is one of many that I’ve applied to assist me in running more effective campaigns, provide more actionable and insightful reporting, build stronger relationships with clients, and develop more efficient processes.

Here are the lessons I feel will provide real value and help you be a better digital marketer.

1. SEO is far from dead

It seems like every 6 months or so, a proclamation is made publicly decrying the benefits and the effectiveness of sustainable search engine optimization.

While Google is continuously refining and introducing new systems to help it better understand queries and return relevant results, both optimization and inbound links still work amazingly well to improve a page’s visibility in Google Search.

SEO is far from dead for better digital marketer

Caption: This screenshot is of YoY organic search traffic with a filter applied to remove spam/bot hits. The website is a local business that had existing authority and no previous on-page optimization.

While not a definitive rule, pages and posts with links from authoritative, trusted sources tend to perform better organically than those that don’t.

Ensure your website is sending clear, concise signals to search engines. Make on-page optimization and earning links a component of your digital marketing strategy by creating and promoting great content, getting the word out for company news and events and building online relationships with others in your industry.

Client education is key as it can often take months to see the benefits from optimization.

2. Community, Community, Community

community for better digital marketer

Image Source: ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING

Getting involved in your local community can be an effective way to earn links, increase brand awareness and strengthen your UVP as a national or local business.

A community event can include charity work or sponsorships, meetups, presentations, etc.

If you need ideas on how to acquire links from your clients’ community efforts or events, I’d recommend checking out this post.

Do something newsworthy that includes your local community and then get the word out!

3. Social media attribution

social media attribution fo better digital marketer

Many social media managers will agree that it can be difficult to show an ROI from building an engaged social community.

For many of my clients, I’ve found that social activity typically “assists” as opposed to acting as a last touch channel that directly leads to conversions. While traffic back to your website from your social channels is great, showing how these efforts are bringing in new leads and sales is even better.

By default, Google Analytics credits all conversions to the last channel a customer interacts with before converting. To help me show clients how both paid and organic social media marketing campaigns are contributing to either leads or sales, I use Google Analytics Multi-Channels Funnel reports.

Google lumps all social traffic into one channel, so you’ll need to create custom channel grouping that defines all your social channels e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. You can also create a channel for specific campaigns that you’ve tagged.

Prove your worth by showing the assisted and direct conversion value from your social media marketing campaigns. Also, if you use GA, take the time to get your individual qualification – it’s free!

4. Start with a great visitor experience

Spending time and valuable marketing dollars on campaigns won’t be nearly as effective if your landing pages are providing a poor visitor experience. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

For any online marketing campaign, start with optimizing the visitor experience on your website, then move on to marketing.

If you have suspicions that a design element/feature isn’t enhancing the visitor experience on a site, request a few free 5-minute evaluations from Peek User Testing for unbiased feedback. In my experience, clients love it and it can be used in conjunction with analytics data to confirm a hunch.

To assess areas that could be limiting conversions, set up funnels for your goals in Google Analytics.

Are most visitors abandoning their cart? Are they making it to the contact page but not filling out the form? Funnels can help you assess where you may need to make changes.

The below screenshot shows a basic funnel that was set up using Google Analytics Goals.

start with a great visitor experience for better digital marketer

You can also install and use heat map software to see exactly how your visitors are engaging with your landing pages. I like SumoMe’s Heat Maps.

5. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it

if you can't measure it you can't improve it for better digital marketer

I’m a firm believer in letting the data drive the decisions, but in order for data to be actionable, it needs to be as accurate as possible. Internal sessions, junk and spam traffic, accounts that aren’t set-up properly, can all make your data less insightful and actionable. This is especially true for small businesses and websites that don’t receive thousands of visitors a month.

Providing your clients with a thorough analytics audit can be worth its weight in gold. Having accurate tracking in place will not only help you know what’s working, but also show how your work is impacting your client’s bottom line.

6. Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

repurpose for better digital marketer

Time and budgets are limited so why not get the most exposure possible for your content and events?

Repurposing can be defined as taking new and existing content assets and sharing or recreating them across multiple channels and content formats.

For example, if your client is holding an informative event, you could repurpose this content in the following ways:

  • Live stream the event on Periscope, Facebook Live or via a podcast
  • Record the presentation on video then upload and share it to Facebook and YouTube
  • Transcribe the video or podcast and publish it as a blog post
  • Gather emails from event attendees and send them the video and a link to the transcription on your website
  • Take any presentation slides and add them to SlideShare
  • Syndicate the content across other websites with a link pointing to the original post on your website

Before starting a new campaign, do a thorough content audit, then ask the client for anything and everything that’s ever been used as marketing material. This can include PDFs, videos, PowerPoint slide decks, brochures, materials used for print advertising, etc.

7. Do a good job

Sounds pretty obvious right? Before starting my own digital marketing agency, I never considered word of mouth, reviews, and recommendations as marketing channels. The marketer in me would be amazed to learn that many successful SMB’s were able to grow solely off of client referrals.

Since starting my own business, I’ve also found this to be true. Doing a good job can mean a lot of things, but I’d sum it up as working hard, keeping communication frequent, and showing the value in your work.

Remember, it’s less expensive to retain a current client than it is to find a new one. Doing a good job means you’ll retain clients longer and increase the chances they’ll refer you to other businesses.

8. Be prepared to wear multiple hats

be prepared to wear multiple hats for better digital marketer

As a digital marketing consultant, it’s my job to be able to advise and drive successful marketing campaigns across all online channels. SEO, PPC, social media, email – it’s a lot to keep up with!

My advice: make a goal to read at least one blog post a day on a different marketing channel and keep good notes.  Take the best ideas and test them for inclusion in your internal processes.

9. Develop processes

develope processes for better digital marketer

Having processes in place ensures that your success is repeatable … and it also saves you time. While every business is unique and no digital marketing campaigns are identical, many strategies and tasks can be defined.

Having tools, templates, and repeatable tasks will provide consistency and help your business to grow sustainably.

10. Pay to promote

pay to promote for better digital marketer

Growing an audience and building awareness for your business takes a lot of time and effort. While not all industries are social, for those that are, utilizing social advertising on the social channels used by your target audience can be an effective way to get the word out.

Make sure to retarget those who were interested enough to visit your website. This can include advertising on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even StumbleUpon.

You can learn something from everyone

I’ve only scratched the surface, but these were a few of the most actionable lessons I could share.

Do you have something to add? If so, please drop it in the comments below!

Guest Author: Brian Jensen is the CEO at Congruent Digital, a full-service online marketing agency that provides clients with a data-driven approach to search engine optimization, social media, content marketing and pay-per-click advertising.  Connect with Brian on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

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