11 Quick Ways to Insert Ads into WordPress… and Increase Your Income This Year

11 Quick Ways to Insert Ads into WordPress… and Increase Your Income This Year
Seems like there are never enough hours in the day to keep your business running, doesn’t it? Between actively working to complete projects while trying to drum up new clients, it’s difficult to think that there’s more you should be doing to boost your revenue stream. One surefire way to keep your income in the […]

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Marketing Trends And Innovations WIth Piers Fawkes – This Week’s Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Marketing Trends And Innovations WIth Piers Fawkes - This Week's Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Episode #564 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Piers Fawkes spends – what seems like – an awesome amount of time searching out trends, building data, publishing reports and curating news from around the world. There is a focus and his work does split off into business related verticals like design, travel, retail, advertising and more. Still his daily e-newsletters provide a vast swath of perspective, ideas and demonstrates the true creativity in business of our world today. I have long been a fan of his company, PSFK. And, along with running an incredible conference (check out PSFK 2017), Piers also recently published a report on marketing titled, The Future Of Advertising. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast #564.

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Twitter Adds Emoji Search, Making it Easier to Understand Usage Patterns and Context

Twitter Adds Emoji Search, Making it Easier to Understand Usage Patterns and Context

Like them or not, emojis have become a legitimate communications option, particularly among the growing number of people communicating via mobile device. Emojis add an additional level of context, in fewer characters, and the data shows that those tiny cartoon-like characters have become popular on virtually every platform. Okay, maybe not so much on LinkedIn, but every other one.

As such, it makes sense for Twitter – where character limits are a core part of the experience – to better facilitate their use, which they have done with sponsored hashtag emoji options,  searchable, emoji-like stickers and even emoji targeting for ads.

And now, you can conduct Twitter searches entirely by emoji.

The functionality is available on both desktop on mobile – in the search field, you can enter any emoji, or combination of emojis, and it will return a listing displaying how people are using them in their tweets. On desktop it’s a little harder, of course, as you don’t have an emoji keyboard, but you can cut and paste emoji characters and enter them in.

So what use might this have? It could help in honing in on relevant audiences who are engaging with certain emojis related to your business.

For example, when Twitter announced the capacity to target ads via emojis, it sounded a little silly – surely that’s not an effective ad targeting option, right? But on closer inspection it actually makes some sense. Take a look at this example of usage of the pizza emoji on the platform (as tracked via Emoji Tracker)

That’s not an absolute pointer to your target audience, but these people clearly do like pizza, they’re not using the emoji in an ironic or off-topic sense. If you were to combine emoji targeting within a certain geographic radius, it might just prove to be an effective option in this regard.

Having the ability to search via emoji on Twitter could help provide more context, both from an outreach and usage standpoint. For instance, next time you’re thinking of adding an emoji to your branded tweets, you can now conduct a quick Twitter search to ensure you’re aware of common usage, helping to avoid potential mis-steps.

Also, searching for combinations of emoji could help you hone in on specific discussions and audience – for example:

A combination like this might, possibly, help you find people who are looking at shopping options and engaged in fashion-related discussion.

By trying out different combinations of popular emoji within your niche, you may be able to find some connection to relevant users, which you can then use for targeting.

Along a similar line, I was alerted to another functionality this week which may also come in handy. If you’re a Hootsuite user, type /gif into your composer window.

Now you can add GIFs from GIPHY direct within Hootsuite. No more having to save them to your PC then attach them as images. The functionality has actually been live for about six months, but not many are aware of it. GIPHY stickers are also available in the Hootsuite Enhance mobile app.

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Anonymous Social App Yik Yak Announces Closure

Anonymous Social App Yik Yak Announces Closure

In an announcement that seems to have been on the cards for some time, the once hugely popular anonymous social app Yik Yak has announced that it’s shutting down.

In a farewell letter on the official Yik Yak blog, co-founders Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington detailed the ups and downs of their journey, and bid farewell to their users, with the app “winding down over the coming week”.

The Yik Yak journey was something special. We were so lucky to have the most passionate users on the planet. It’s you who made this journey possible. The time has come, however, for our paths to part ways, as we’ve decided to make our next moves as a company.”

Yik Yak was founded in 2013, and was at one point valued at more than $400 million, reaching peak in 2014. But the app has since been plagued by problems – as with any anonymous platform, cyberbullies and trolls used it as a platform to spread negative speech, while the company was also forced to backtrack on their anonymous approach by providing information to authorities when issued with a warrant. At the same time, Snapchat saw a huge rise as the platform of choice for younger users – Yik Yak’s core market – which ate into their market share.

According to TechCrunch, by the end of 2016, user downloads had declined 76% versus the same period in 2015 – a slow down which is reflected in Yik Yak’s current activity map

Its declining popularity lead to the company announcing lay-offs, eventually leading to Square acquiring the app’s whole engineering team for (reportedly a lot) less than $3 million earlier this week.

In social marketing terms, the demise of Yik Yak might not mean a lot, as there were no direct ad options and not many businesses would have considered ways they could use it, particularly in recent years. But those who were marketing to student groups we no doubt aware of Yik Yak’s influence, and it serves as another sign of the shrinking social landscape – not in terms of overall usage, but in platforms, with the bigger players taking up more attention and pushing out the smaller challengers.

This is also a concern with Snapchat, which Facebook is aggressively trying to force out of the market. One on hand, limiting your options makes things easier from a marketing perspective, as there’ll be fewer platforms to learn. But on the other, it puts more power into the hands of the larger companies, which raises questions about how such influence is used.

Personally, I only used Yik Yak a few times, and found limited value in it – but of course, I’m not the target market. Many people did find value in it (up to 200 million MAU at peak), and it’s always a little sad to see another app disappear from the list of social tools.

So as we say farewell to the Yak, we’re left to wonder what the next social challenger might be – and how long it’ll last before a bigger company snaps it up to solidify their position. 

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10 Influencer Marketing Mistakes Brands Make (and How to Fix Them) [Podcast]

10 Influencer Marketing Mistakes Brands Make (and How to Fix Them) [Podcast]

10 Influencer Marketing Mistakes Brands Make (and How to Fix Them) [Podcast] | Social Media Today

Influence marketing is helping brands big and small ignite their online and offline communities, increase brand awareness and nurture powerful relationships, when done right. 

But as with anything in marketing, there are some who are doing it right and there are others who are burning more bridges than the ones they’re trying to build – and many are making such mistakes without really understanding how they’re damaging relationships.

There are also agencies who are claiming to help brands with influencer marketing who are also falling to spammy tactics which hurt brand reputation – often without the associated business even knowing. Every brand touchpoint is an impression of your brand. If an agency or a member of your team is spamming the inboxes of top industry or even micro-influencers with copy / paste spam messages begging for free tweets, I can guarantee they’re hurting your brand more than helping.

Influencer marketing isn’t about getting free tweets and coverage, it’s not the same as earned media. Earned media = media you actually do something to earn. Many brands trick themselves into believing that they can skip valuing the influencers time investment in community as they lump it into “earned media.”

You’ll get out of influencer marketing what you put into it. If you invest time in building relationships, the payoff can be big. However, many brands fall to the spammy tactics and then blame it on the fact that influencer marketing isn’t working. The truth is the person running the program never took the time to learn the strategies and tactics that really work. 

Brand and social marketing leaders wanting to test the waters with influencer marketing must always also think “what is in it for the influencer?” How can I bring them mass value in working with our brand. The most successful influencer programs are when there’s a partnership, when the brand and the influencer have common ground, beliefs, interests and a base to build a relationship. This is much of why micro-influencer marketing can be so successful for even brands with small budgets.

I developed episode 121 of the Social Zoom Factor podcast with a goal to help marketers – both brand new to influence marketing, as well as seasoned veterans – get the most out of their influence marketing programs.

The goal of this episode is to save you some heartache, wasted time and your reputation as you build, launch and execute your influencer marketing program.

I share tips from my experience in working with brands of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 100 brands, helping them develop and execute influence marketing programs, as well as from being an influencer myself. We get contacted by at minimum 10-20 brands per week wanting us to be an influencer for their brand.

Take a listen and learn the key elements of influencer strategy, and common missteps to avoid.

In this 30 Minute Episode You Will Learn: 

  • Why and how brands are confusing spam with influence marketing
  • How to choose the right influencers and avoid choosing the wrong influencers
  • The importance of doing your research on influencers before reaching out to them
  • The importance of the influencer being able to drive real action to help you achieve your business goals
  • Why trust matters with influencers
  • How to build your team to succeed with influence marketing
  • How to create value for the influencer as a top priority
  • The importance of connecting the influencer with other people at your in person events
  • The importance of respecting the influencer as a human being, not as a number to help you simply amplify your message
  • How to decide if you should compensate influencers for their time

This is the fourth podcast episode in a series of conversations that will cover influencer marketing in detail. Take a listen and be sure to subscribe to the entire series on iTunesStitcher or SoundCloud.

Supporting Resources:

How to Subscribe to Social Zoom Factor Podcast 

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6 Things You Must Do Before You Ever Accept Guest Posts by @seocompanymiami

6 Things You Must Do Before You Ever Accept Guest Posts by @seocompanymiami

Guest posting can be an incredibly valuable marketing tactic. For most, guest posting is all about publishing your content on other websites. However, there is also a big opportunity when you allow others to guest post on your website.

Accepting guest posts is a great way to grow your blog without having to do a ton of work. Guest posters will share their content when it’s published and will subsequently promote your blog. Free marketing! That free marketing can lead to more social media shares and, hopefully, links to your site.

But accepting guest posts isn’t easy in the beginning. You need to prepare.

Here are six things you must do before you ever accept guest posts.

1. Figure Out Your Goals

Publishing guest posts on your blog is almost guaranteed to bring in new visitors to your website. So what are your goals for these extra visitors?

  • Do you want them to subscribe to your email list?
  • Is your ultimate goal to increase your conversions or your click-through rate?
  • Do you want more social media followers?

Whatever your endgame might be, it’s important to put some thought into it before you allow people to start guest posting. You can then prepare your website to best utilize the extra traffic to meet your specific goals. A big mistake companies make is running toward this strategy hoping to reap all the benefits, and oftentimes their website is unprepared and they end up actually missing opportunities.

If you want people to sign up for your email list, include a contact form and maybe even a sign-up incentive on the first page of your site so no one will miss it. If you want to increase conversions, consider running a sale or promotion around the same time you publish your first guest post. Set a goal (or a few), prepare your site, then let your guests do the marketing for you.

2. Create Guest Posting Guidelines

Once you open your blog to guest posts you’re bound to get a lot of inquiries about your expectations for posts. You can save yourself some time and easily address these questions by posting a guidelines page (check out SEJ’s rules for guest contributors page as one example). This will also let visitors know that you’re open to guest posts and hopefully encourage them to contact you.

Consider including information about how long you want posts to be, some possible topics you’re interested in, your preferred style of writing, and any incentives you might be willing to offer.

SEJ writers program

For instance, SEJ’s Writer’s Program page lists a few nice perks to attract writers:

  • Share your expertise with a whopping 1 million+ monthly viewers, over half of whom are internet marketers.
  • Earn up to $75 in Amazon gift cards each month for top performing articles.
  • First dibs on free conference press passes in exchange for covering it on SEJ.
  • Access to exclusive SEJ programs and events including webinars, SEJ Summit, podcasts, and more.
  • Access to an exclusive SEJ Writer’s Facebook Group where you can network with other SEJ writers.
  • Monthly email from Jenise Henrikson, SEJ’s Executive Editor, with tons of article ideas. (These go fast!)
  • The undying, eternal love of the entire SEJ team. <3

You can also optimize your guidelines page by including keywords like “guest post guidelines” or “write for us.”

3. Highlight Your Stats

Again, no one is going to write for you for free, so make sure you can explain why it’s worth it for them to choose you. You should have statistics readily available like how many monthly visits your site attracts, audience demographics, or how many people are signed up for your newsletter or email list.

They might want to know how many Twitter followers you have, or what your following looks like on LinkedIn or Facebook. While they have access to some of this information without your help, it will look good if you can immediately answer their questions with some hard stats.

If not all of your numbers are great (because whose are?), try to just focus on the best statistics — something that’s easier to do if you have control of the conversation.

4. Create a Plan for Promoting Guest Posts

Another thing that guest posters might be wondering about is how you plan on advertising their post after they’re done writing it. It’s just as important for your success to have a plan in mind as it is for theirs.

If social media is a big part of your marketing plan, then emphasize that. Share how often you usually tweet new posts, or how many shares you get when you post content on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you generally share your posts through a newsletter or email list then explain that to your guests.

You should promote guest posts exactly the same way you promote your own content; this is definitely not a time to slack off in that area. Remember, the more you promote the post, the more others will be motivated to do the same, and this will result in increased traffic for your website.

Sergio Aicardi bio

In addition, have an idea of where you’ll put their author bio. Guest posters should submit a nice photo and specific (but not too detailed) author bio, and they’ll want this information displayed prominently somewhere on your website. Knowing where you’ll put it ahead of time will send the message that you value their work and are proud to promote it.

5. Make Sure the Content on Your Home Page Is the Best You Have to Offer

This has more to do with you than with your guests, but it’s important nonetheless. Think about what message you want to send to all these new visitors.

What’s the first thing visitors going to see when they arrive on your page? Is it representative of your brand and your company? If not, it’s time for a revision.

Think specifically in terms of content — if a visitor reads one post and ends up on your site, they might be motivated to read more. You want to make sure the articles they see first are some of your best work, and it doesn’t hurt to feature a few with engaging headlines (as long as the content inside the article is valuable, which it always should be).

6. Give Your Social Media Presence a Boost

There’s nothing wrong with using the increased traffic generated from guest posting to give your social media presence a little “pick-me-up.” In fact, it’s encouraged!

You can do this by making sure your Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media sites you use have buttons visible on your website so people can easily access these websites.

Consider including your Twitter handle or LinkedIn web address in your contact form, which should also be displayed somewhere prominently on your site.

Conclusion

There are many benefits to allowing guest posts on your website:

  • You have the chance to highlight a different voice or opinion on a topic.
  • It’s free content for your blog.
  • You’ll receive increased social media exposure.
  • You’ll have free time to complete other tasks that would normally be neglected when you’re writing.

Just make sure you’re prepared to accept guest posts. Remember, there are plenty of other great blogs looking to attract guest writers. Following these six tips will help make sure your blog looks professional and stands out as one of the best in your industry.

Image Credits

Feature Image Credit: DepositPhotos

All screenshots taken by author March, 2017

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A Quick Guide to Adding a Favicon to Your WordPress Site

A Quick Guide to Adding a Favicon to Your WordPress Site
Brand recognition is critical for a company’s website. That’s why you invest so much time coming up with a simple yet bold color palette, consistent imagery, and well-defined brand messaging. The more consistent you are in defining and establishing that identity across your site, the more ingrained it’ll become in your visitors’ minds. But you […]

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #357

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #357

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for InterestingTilt the WindmillHBS; chair of StrataStartupfestPandemonio, and ResolveTO; Author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another: 

  • I built a robot to apply to thousands of jobs at once – here’s what I learned – Fast Company. "It’s not just blue-collar jobs that have to worry about automation. In fact, much recent research suggests white-collar ones are more vulnerable, because code can be upgraded faster than machines, and simply put, code makes fewer mistakes. Or does it? In this piece, the author sends out hundreds of job applications automatically — and comes to some disheartening conclusions about how badly hirers have automated their side of the job-search bargain." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Leningrad – Kolshik – Vimeo. "Just amazing. It’s like a music video and detective story. Fantastic and you have to watch it a few times to figure out what the hell is going on. Talk about massive outcomes from tiny starting conditions." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Tire ski jump – YouTube. "They really put the most extraordinary things on TV in Japan." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • You can write hit songs like the Chainsmokers if you follow this snarky video’s instructions – Mashable. "Hilarious instructional video on how to make a hit song. Easy peasy!" (Hugh for Mitch).
  • What Makes a Genius? – National Geographic. "I love deep pieces like this. Is it nature? Is it nurture? A combination? Can you really ‘make’ a genius? How do we define it? This is a long and thoughtful and powerful read about certain individuals who really do make a dent in the universe. With that, is there a science behind how they pull it off? Is there something new that we need to know about how a genius comes to be?" (Mitch for Alistair).
  • How eBooks lost their shine: ‘Kindles now look clunky and unhip’ – The Guardian. "I thought that more and more people were just using the Kindle app (or other reading apps) on their smartphones, instead of carrying around another device. It seems like mobile screens are getting bigger and bigger while costing less and less. Is it just the device? Now we’re seeing the sales of eBooks take a little dive (so it’s not the device?). Is it phones or – gasp – is it that people are reacting to the idea of reading extra longform content on their smartphones? People love and want paper books now more than ever? Things are starting to get confusing… and interesting in the world of book publishing. Read on, and don’t think that this article is about the end of books. That is hardly the case." (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

Leningrad – Kolshik from FancyShot on Vimeo.

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Search Ad Revenue Up 19%, Now 48% of All Digital Ad Revenue [REPORT] by @MattGSouthern

Search Ad Revenue Up 19%, Now 48% of All Digital Ad Revenue [REPORT] by @MattGSouthern

According to a report from iab, total revenue from search ads has hit a new high which can be attributed in large part to the success of mobile ads. As a result of an unprecedented level of spending on mobile search ads, the search ad format accounted for $35.0 billion in revenue in 2016 — up from $29.5 billion in 2015.

Broken down into desktop and mobile:

  • Desktop Search accounted for $17.8 billion in 2016 revenues, down 13% from the $20.5 billion 2015.
  • Mobile revenues increased 77% from $20.7 billion in 2015 to $36.6 billion in 2016.

Mobile ad formats are doing so well this year they are selling a combined 51% of digital ads compared to desktop digital ads. This has led to an unsurpassed $72.5 billion in total digital ad spending.

The rising tide raises all ships, as the saying goes. More mobile ads being sold means more digital ad types are being sold in general. As advertisers shift their spend to mobile it’s clear they still see search as an integral component of their mobile marketing campaign.

As users change their searching habits, with more searches now being conducted on mobile than desktop, it makes sense for advertisers to shift their spending to mobile. They’re naturally going to want to invest their advertising dollars where their advertising will be seen.

For more information about digital ad spending in 2016 you can view the report in its entirety.

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The High Five: new discoveries in space and fashion

The High Five: new discoveries in space and fashion

What did Saturn say to NASA this week? “High Five.” Here’s a look at a few of the top trending Google searches orbiting the week of April 24.

What have you done this week?

For the first time ever, a spacecraft cruised through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings. Now NASA’s Cassini is beaming information back to the mothership, and telling NASA about all the cool stuff it saw. Science, FTW! After the feat, people searched on Google for more information: “How does Cassini communicate with Earth?” and “How long did it take for Cassini to reach Saturn?” Some were looking for a refresher astronomy course, asking “How far is Saturn from Earth?” and “How many rings does Saturn have?”

space2

Here comes the tour

Maybe we’re amazed that Paul McCartney is still touring—that guy is Here, There and Everywhere! It’ll be a Hard Day’s Night on the road, but fans twisted and shouted when he announced his 2017 tour dates this week. Though you can’t buy his love, you can buy a ticket to his show. And fans are itching to get those tickets, with questions like “How much are Paul McCartney tickets?” and “When do tickets for Paul McCartney go on sale?” Let it Be soon.

Centi-versary

This Saturday marks President Trump’s 100th day in office, and the first few months of his administration have prompted people to learn more about political concepts and processes. The five most-searched terms related to politics during Trump’s first 100 days are “recuse,” “filibuster,” “vetting,” “executive order” and “immigrant.” Another fun fact to bring to your political debates this weekend: the most-searched names alongside the phrase "Trump handshake”: Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel, Neil Gorsuch, Shinzo Abe and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Clear as mud

Remember when you were a kid and tracking mud in the house got you into trouble? Times have changed—go ahead and get mud all over yourself. Or pay $425 for jeans covered in fake mud. Perplexed (yet intrigued) shoppers have been searching, “What are mud jeans?” and “Where can I buy mud jeans?”

Shifting gears

NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr., is at the finish line—he announced he will retire after the 2017 season. Fans are curious about when and why he is retiring and “Who will replace Dale Earnhardt Jr.?” Though he’s known nationwide, southern regions in the U.S. searched most for Earnhardt this week. Top states included North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina.

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