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Jack Dorsey Takes Obvious Opportunity to Backstab Facebook With Twitter Political Ad Ban

Twitter on Wednesday announced a blanket ban on all political and issue-based advertising across its site, with CEO Jack Dorsey stating in a series of tweets that the company had decided to do so because “paying for reach” forces “highly optimized and targeted political messages on people.”Dorsey added that political and issue ads present challenges…

Twitter on Wednesday announced a blanket ban on all political and issue-based advertising across its site, with CEO Jack Dorsey stating in a series of tweets that the company had decided to do so because “paying for reach” forces “highly optimized and targeted political messages on people.”

Dorsey added that political and issue ads present challenges including “machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes” that can be deployed rapidly and at scale. That “has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle,” Dorsey added.

The Twitter CEO also took a shot at Facebook, arguing that the competitor’s policy of allowing politicians to openly lie in paid advertisements was tantamount to a wink-wink, nudge-nudge approach towards monetized disinformation. Twitter’s updated policy will be shared on Nov. 15 and go into effect by Nov. 22, Dorsey added—just a few weeks shy of a year before Election Day 2020.

Dorsey concluded by arguing that targeted political and issue-based advertising has little impact on “free expression,” but is instead about artificially boosting specific messages and astroturfing the political process. (Hundreds of Facebook employers sent a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg that was published in the New York Times this week that similarly argued “Free speech and paid speech are not the same thing.”)

Facebook has insisted its own stance is not about money, and it’s true that eye-popping spending in the growing political ad market pales in comparison to its overall advertising revenue ($17.38 billion in Q3 2019, according to figures released on Wednesday.) But the platform has also become hypersensitive to unrelenting criticism from conservatives obsessed with claims of liberal bias at the company, driven in large part by the president, one of Facebook’s biggest political ad buyers. Banning political ads altogether would also force the company to resolve the question of what a political ad is, which as Recode noted, could generate just as much headache and have a potentially farther-reaching impact on revenue when it comes time to decide whether, say, NRA or union ads are political.

Twitter has also stumbled hard over questions related to politics, such as its rules exempting world leaders from all but a tiny subset of its terms of service. However, Twitter is far smaller than Facebook (it’s struggling to reach $1 billion in annual revenue) and stands to lose peanuts on political and issue-based ads (less than $3 million during the 2018 midterms), so it was probably an easy call for Dorsey to shove that knife in Zuckerberg’s back… even it’s a rather small knife.

This, of course, does not mean that Twitter’s numerous other issues such as its white supremacist problem and swarms of bots and sock accounts are any less frustrating. Critics, such as the Intercept’s Ryan Grim, have also argued that banning political ads is more likely to harm grassroots organizers who rely on cheap digital tools than it is large and powerful interests. But it’s also somewhat surprising to see Dorsey, who is known more for being given to faux-philosophical gobbledygook than taking action on critics’ concerns, take the initiative on this one.

Anyhow, Russian state-owned media company RT seems pretty mad about this, so god knows we at least we can all have a good chuckle at that in the

Mark Zuckerberg still won’t ban ‘political’ ads from Facebook

He added that, while it may be easier for Facebook to “choose a different path,” it is more important to stand up for free speech and free expression. “We need to be careful about adopting more rules that can restrict what people can say,” he said. “I don’t think it’s right for politicians to be…

He added that, while it may be easier for Facebook to “choose a different path,” it is more important to stand up for free speech and free expression. “We need to be careful about adopting more rules that can restrict what people can say,” he said. “I don’t think it’s right for politicians to be censored.” Zuckerberg’s statements come in light of moves from TikTok and Twitter to put a stop to all paid political ads on their services. “For instance, it’s not credible for us to say: ‘We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info,'” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday, “buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well…they can say whatever they want!”

dims?crop=5184%2C3240%2C0%2C215&quality=85&format=jpg&resize=1600%2C1000&image uri=https%3A%2F%2Fs.yimg - Mark Zuckerberg still won't ban 'political' ads from Facebook

Dorsey didn’t mention Zuckerberg or Facebook by name, but he didn’t have to. It was clear where Twitter’s new policy came from. Since the 2016 US presidential election, when Facebook was abused by Russia to sow discord amongst Americans, the company has been promising to double down on combating the spread of misinformation. And yet, at the same time, Facebook is allowing politicians to explicitly use ads to tell lies about their rivals. Zuckerberg said this isn’t a “political calculation” and that Facebook isn’t trying to appease conservative voices — it’s about protecting its values on free expression.

Despite what feels like an endless stream of controversies, though, Facebook has continued to rake in billions of dollars year after year. And today it announced a revenue of $17.7 billion during the third quarter of 2019, a 28 percent increase over the same period a year ago. In addition to that, Facebook’s user base is still growing: daily and monthly active users were at 1.6 and 2.4 billion in Q3 2019, respectively, each up 8 percent year-over-year. Altogether, Zuckerberg said, around 2.8 billion people are now using at least one app from the Facebook family, which includes Instagram and WhatsApp.

Images: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan (Mark Zuckerberg)

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Turning Google traffic into leads, and what’s new in SEO

Julian Shapiro Contributor Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, the growth marketing team that trains startups in advanced growth, helps you hire senior growth marketers, and finds you vetted growth agencies. He also writes at Julian.com. More posts by this contributor We’ve aggregated the world’s best growth marketers into one community. Twice a month,…

GettyImages 1134947129 - Turning Google traffic into leads, and what’s new in SEO

Julian Shapiro
Contributor

Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, the growth marketing team that trains startups in advanced growth, helps you hire senior growth marketers, and finds you vetted growth agencies. He also writes at Julian.com.

More posts by this contributor

We’ve aggregated the world’s best growth marketers into one community. Twice a month, we ask them to share their most effective growth tactics, and we compile them into this Growth Report.

This is how you’re going stay up-to-date on growth marketing tactics — with advice you can’t get elsewhere.

Our community consists of 600 startup founders paired with VP’s of growth from later-stage companies. We have 300 YC founders plus senior marketers from companies including Medium, Docker, Invision, Intuit, Pinterest, Discord, Webflow, Lambda School, Perfect Keto, Typeform, Modern Fertility, Segment, Udemy, Puma, Cameo and Ritual.

You can participate in our community by joining Demand Curve’s marketing webinars, Slack group, or marketing training program. See past growth reports here and here.

Without further ado, onto the advice.


What are some new, advanced SEO strategies?

Our community ran an SEO masterclass in which we discussed Google’s algorithm updates and shared advanced practices for writing blog content in a data-driven manner.

Tactics for turning blog visitors into leads

Based on insights from Nat Eliason from Growth Machine.

SEO traffic can sometimes be a vanity metric if you’re not converting it into lead flow. Here are three ways to convert blog visitors into leads:

  1. Prompt blog readers with quizzes to help them identify the product/plan that’s best suited for them. Then require their email address to see results. Follow up with drip emails.
  2. Create “Buyer’s Guides” — downloadable PDFs with nice visuals that help readers figure out how to accomplish their goals (e.g. “paleo cooking starter kit.”) Again, require an email for them to download the complete guide.
  3. Pixel your blog visitors and retarget them with Facebook ads. Have the ads send visitors to landing pages that match whichever blog content category initially drew them to the site.

How to (re-)target business customers with Facebook ads

Based on insights from Nima Gardideh of Pearmill and Julian Shapiro of Demand Curve.

Most people use their personal email address on their Facebook/Instagram account. So if you’re collecting business emails during your user onboarding process, Facebook can have a hard time matching those emails to the corresponding Facebook profiles when creating custom targeting lists. 

 Here are a few tricks around this:

YouTube partners with Merchbar to sell music artists’ swag underneath videos

YouTube is partnering with Merchbar on a new integration that will allow artists to sell their official merchandise to their worldwide fans from a shelf just below the video. The addition is the latest deal focused on helping video creators make more money from their videos, beyond the revenue brought in through advertisements and subscriptions.…

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YouTube is partnering with Merchbar on a new integration that will allow artists to sell their official merchandise to their worldwide fans from a shelf just below the video. The addition is the latest deal focused on helping video creators make more money from their videos, beyond the revenue brought in through advertisements and subscriptions.

Last year, YouTube announced a series of enhancements to the platform which focused on revenue generation, including channel memberships, premieres, merchandise and more.

The merchandise feature was one of the more notable additions, as it lets creators put a shelf beneath their video where they can sell directly to fans. For example, they could sell their branded apparel like shirts and hats and other items.

At launch, YouTube had partnered with custom t-shirt maker Teespring on the effort. Earlier this year, the Merch shelf gained several more partners, including CrowdmadeDFTBAFanjoyRepresent and Rooster Teeth.

The company claimed at the time that “thousands” of channels had more than doubled their revenue as a result of Merch shelf and other integrations, like Super Chat and Channel Memberships.

youtube merchbar - YouTube partners with Merchbar to sell music artists’ swag underneath videos

With this new Merchbar partnership, YouTube is now focused on serving its artist community.

Merchbar today carries more than 1 million items from 35,000 artists, making it one of the largest music merchandise aggregators worldwide. Now, YouTube artists who have an Official Artist Channel on the platform will be able to promote their merchandise right beneath their music videos. (Marshmello, never one to shy away from a marketing opportunity, made a soccer jersey exclusively for Merchbar and YouTube.)

As with prior merchandise integrations, the new Merchbar shelf will sit directly under videos on both desktop and web. Users can also click through from the shelf to the artist’s Merchbar website. In prior merchandise partnerships, YouTube took a small cut of transactions on items sold through its site. It didn’t say what sort of deal it has with Merchbar, however.

The launch comes at a time when Google is more heavily invested in its YouTube Music service, a Spotify and Apple Music rival designed to offer both music and videos, including content not found elsewhere, like live performances or remixes. The company recently made the YouTube Music app the default music app on Android, which should boost its adoption.

Eligible artists who have a Merchbar store offering U.S. fulfillment can sign up for the new merch shelf from YouTube Studio.

The feature is launching first in the U.S., and will later expand internationally.

Howard University and Amazon want to diversify the entertainment industry

The new program will send students to Los Angeles for two semesters, the second of which will include a fellowship in the industry. Students interested in all aspects of entertainment — project greenlighting, PR and marketing, entertainment law and finance — are encouraged to apply. The coursework will be taught by Howard University professors with…

The new program will send students to Los Angeles for two semesters, the second of which will include a fellowship in the industry. Students interested in all aspects of entertainment — project greenlighting, PR and marketing, entertainment law and finance — are encouraged to apply. The coursework will be taught by Howard University professors with support from Amazon Studios employees and other industry professionals invited by Amazon. Students will have to compete for spots, and credits will apply toward their graduation requirements.

The program will benefit students looking to get into the entertainment world, an industry in desperate need of diversity. But it will also benefit Amazon and its customers. “As we strive to delight our Prime Video customers, we’re ensuring there are diverse perspectives and experiences around the table to help us make the best decisions in all aspects of the business,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. The program is set to kick off in January 2020.

Disney Bans Netflix Ads As Streaming’s Marketing Wars Intensify

Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading! Disney Bans Netflix Ads As Streaming’s Marketing Wars Intensify (wsj.com) Posted by BeauHD on Friday October 04, 2019 @04:50PM from the only-the-beginning dept. Disney is banning advertising from Netflix across its entertainment TV networks, according the The Wall Street Journal,…

Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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Disney Bans Netflix Ads As Streaming’s Marketing Wars Intensify (wsj.com)






Posted
by

BeauHD

from the only-the-beginning dept.

Disney is banning advertising from Netflix across its entertainment TV networks, according the The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. It’s “a sign that the marketing wars over streaming-video are escalating as media giants battle each other for subscribers,” the report says. From the report: Disney, Comcast and AT&T are set to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising over the next year to attract consumers to their new streaming-video services as they look to compete with industry juggernaut Netflix. Netflix spent $1.8 billion on advertising last year and will be playing defense against Hollywood’s new entrants. Disney, whose properties include ABC and Freeform, earlier this year put out an edict to staffers that it wouldn’t accept ads from any rival streaming services, but later reversed course and found a compromise with nearly every company, the people familiar with the situation said. The exception was Netflix.

In making its decision, Disney evaluated whether it had a mutual business or advertising relationship with the companies, one of the people said. Netflix doesn’t show ads in its programs. In a statement, Disney said the subscription streaming-video business has evolved, “with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio of networks.” The company said it re-evaluated its initial blanket ban on streaming ads “to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies.”


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Learn How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile and Score Your Dream Job

It’s time to make career moves. October 4, 2019 2 min read Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. LinkedIn is far and away the…

It’s time to make career moves.


2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

LinkedIn is far and away the world’s most popular and important professional social network. However, many people still don’t fully understand how to leverage it to advance in their careers. Whether you’re looking to grow within your own company, rise up the ranks elsewhere, or build your own business, LinkedIn is loaded with resources to help you grow professionally. If you’re ready to start moving ahead in your career and discover your dream job, check out The Complete LinkedIn Marketing & Sales Bundle.

This eight-course bundle covers everything you need to know about how to market yourself on LinkedIn, how to write a resume, and even delves into some of today’s most important skills and trends. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • LinkedIn Marketing – Learn how to scale a business with a free LinkedIn account.
  • The Complete Digital Marketing Course – Dive into SEO, social media marketing, and more skills crucial to today’s job market.
  • LinkedIn Marketing: Build a Brand & Generate Leads – Create an impressive profile and use it to generate business leads.
  • Build the Best Resume & LinkedIn Profile by an Award-Winning Professor – Get career growth help from a professional venture capitalist.
  • The Complete Job, Interview, Resume, LinkedIn & Network Guide – Learn how to nail an interview and score your dream job.
  • Resume Writing E-Book Course + 45 Templates & LinkedIn Optimization Tips – Optimize your resume and LinkedIn to get more hits in the job market.
  • Linkedin Breakthrough the 80:20 Way – Maximize your productivity on LinkedIn to grow your network efficiently.
  • The #1 LinkedIn Marketing & Sales Lead Generation Blueprint – Turn LinkedIn into the ultimate sales funnel.

Sold separately, all eight courses would run you $1,600. But you can get them all today for just $34.

Apple and other tech giants to pay tax in each country they operate – OECD

Apple and other tech giants will in future be required to pay tax in each country in which they sell products and services. Apple, for example, will no longer be able to funnel profits from all European Apple Stores through Ireland as a means of avoiding tax in the countries where the products are actually…

Apple and others to pay tax in each country - Apple and other tech giants to pay tax in each country they operate – OECD

Apple and other tech giants will in future be required to pay tax in each country in which they sell products and services. Apple, for example, will no longer be able to funnel profits from all European Apple Stores through Ireland as a means of avoiding tax in the countries where the products are actually sold.

The plans were announced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), following more than 130 countries agreeing on the need for global tax reform…

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yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7 - Apple and other tech giants to pay tax in each country they operate – OECD

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Reuters reports that OECD countries consider the changes essential.

[Tech giants have] pushed current tax rules to the limit as such firms can legally book profit and park assets like trademarks and patents in low tax countries like Ireland regardless of where their customers are.

Earlier this year more than 130 countries and territories agreed that a rewriting of tax rules largely going back to the 1920s was overdue and tasked the Paris-based OECD public policy forum to come up with proposals.

The issue of taxing big cross-border multinational firms has become all the more urgent as a growing number of countries have adopted plans for their own tax on digital companies in the absence of a global deal.

“The current system is under stress and will not survive if we don’t remove the tensions,” OECD head of tax policy Pascal Saint-Amans told journalists on a conference call.

Ireland will be likely to lose tax revenue as a result of the changes, but most countries will benefit, as companies will pay tax in each country based on the profits they make from their local sales.

The aim is to give the government where the user or client of a company’s product is located the right to tax a bigger share of the profit earned by a foreign company there.

To ensure a level playing field, a standard tax formula will be applied by all signatories to the agreement, based on a percentage of profits from local sales.

One problem with this approach is that companies may use creative accounting to claim they have made no profit on sales made within particular countries. A common tactic used by many multinationals was to have local subsidiaries pay license fees to a global HQ for the use of intellectual property, with such fees wiping out their local profits. In some cases, these fees are paid to entities in offshore countries where no corporate tax is payable.

To prevent this, a separate reform process will come up with minimum corporate tax rates that companies above a certain size must pay, irrespective of the profits or losses they claim to have made within individual countries.

Apple is currently awaiting a decision on its appeal against a ruling that it owes €13 billion ($14.3 billion) in back taxes to Ireland after the country offered it an illegal “sweetheart deal” in which it paid very low rates of tax on profits from sales across Europe. A ruling on the case is expected to take several months, and the losing side will almost certainly appeal to the European Court of Justice, so the matter won’t be settled for quite some time yet.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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7 Steps to Building a Sales Team When You Know Nothing About Sales

Many startup founders and

How to Retarget Ads to Engaged Instagram and Facebook Fans

Want more sales from your Facebook and Instagram marketing? Have you considered retargeting people who already engage with you? In this article, you’ll learn how to create a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign to target people who have engaged with your Facebook and Instagram content. Why Engagement Remarketing Ad Campaigns Work Before diving into how…

Want more sales from your Facebook and Instagram marketing? Have you considered retargeting people who already engage with you?

In this article, you’ll learn how to create a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign to target people who have engaged with your Facebook and Instagram content.

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Why Engagement Remarketing Ad Campaigns Work

Before diving into how to create this type of campaign, you need to understand where this campaign type exists in your ad funnel.

There are three stages to a successful Facebook ad funnel: awareness (level 1), engagement remarketing (level 2), and website remarketing (level 3). This framework allows you to move someone from a stranger to a paying customer by showing the right ads to the right people at the right time.

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The campaign type you’ll be setting up is part of the engagement remarketing stage and sits alongside a video remarketing campaign that targets people who have watched the video content you position at the awareness stage of the ad funnel.

This engagement remarketing (level 2) campaign targets “warm” audiences of people who have engaged with your business on Facebook or Instagram and involves creating page and profile custom audiences.

By targeting warm engagement audiences, you’ll see higher engagement and conversion rates. You’re capitalizing on the fact that your audience already knows your business because they’ve interacted with your organic posts or other ads.

#1: Create Custom Audiences From Engagement With Your Facebook Page and Instagram Business Profile

Before creating your engagement remarketing campaign, start by creating your custom audiences. To do this, click on the main menu in Ads Manager and select Audiences from the pop-out menu.

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When the Audiences dashboard appears, click on Create Audience and then select Custom Audience from the drop-down menu.

This opens the Create a Custom Audience window where you’ll see options you can use to target ads to people who have engaged with your business either on Facebook-owned properties or on your website.

Under Use Facebook Sources, select the Facebook Page option.

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The Facebook page engagement creation window opens next.

In the Add People to Your Audience section, select your Facebook page. Then move to the engagement condition field where you’ll find six options:

  • Everyone Who Engaged With Your Page
  • People Who Visited Your Page
  • People Who Engaged With Any Post or Ad
  • People Who Clicked on Any Call-to-Action Button on Your Page
  • People Who Sent a Message to Your Page
  • People Who Saved Your Page or Any Post

Select People Who Engaged With Any Post or Ad. With this condition, the audience will include people who have engaged with a Facebook page post or ad. This includes reactions (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry), shares, comments, link clicks, and carousel swipes.

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Next, set your audience duration, which is the number of days that people will remain in your audience after they engage with your ad or post. People will be removed from this audience after the set time unless they engage with your ads or organic posts again. You can set a maximum duration of 365 days, but here you want to start with 180 days.

You’ll be creating multiple engagement custom audiences so using a set naming convention will make it easier to manage them. To visualize this, you might use a name like “PEA – Facebook Ad Engagement – Last 180 Days.” In this case, “PEA” stands for page engagement audience, “Facebook Ad Engagement” tells you the platform and engagement condition, and “Last 180 Days” shows the audience duration.

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Repeat this process and create four additional page engagement audiences using the same engagement condition but with these audience durations: 90, 60, 30, and 14 days.

By creating multiple audiences, you can test to determine which is most effective. Each audience will be a different size and level of responsiveness based on the time people first engaged with your ad or posts.

Once you’ve created these audiences, repeat this process for the Instagram profile engagement custom audience. This time, select Instagram Business Profile as the source.

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In the custom audience creation window, choose your Instagram business profile and select the ad/profile engagement condition. Then set your first audience duration to 180 days.

Name your audience using similar naming best practices (like “PEA – IG Ad Engagement – Last 180 Days”) and click Create.

Follow the same process to create the remaining Instagram profile engagement custom audiences with durations of 90, 60, 30, and 14 days.

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#2: Create Your Engagement Remarketing Campaign in Facebook Ads Manager

With your custom audiences created, you’re ready to move on to creating the campaign, starting with the objective.

With larger engagement custom audiences, use the Conversions objective. For smaller ones, use the Traffic objective first and then switch objectives once you start increasing the number of conversions.

Pro Tip: If you have more than 50K people in your engagement audience, start with the Conversions objective, optimizing for the lowest action in your funnel such as Purchase. If you have fewer than 50K, start by using the Traffic objective and optimizing for landing page views.

In this example, we’ll use the Conversions objective. Click on Create in your Ads Manager dashboard. Then in the Quick Creation workflow, name your campaign and select Conversions from the Campaign Objective drop-down list.

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Finally, name your ad set and ad, and click on Save to Draft.

#3: Edit Your Ad Set

Once the edit window opens, navigate to the Ad Set level of your campaign by using either the top navigation in the edit window or the side navigation on the left side, as shown in the image below.

facebook how to set up engagement remarketing campaign step 2 800 - How to Retarget Ads to Engaged Instagram and Facebook Fans

In the ad set, choose the conversion event you want to optimize for. You want to select the event that’s the lowest in your sales funnel (such as Purchase or Contact), depending on your business type.

Scroll past Dynamic Creative and Offer to the Budget & Schedule section. Now set your budget. The most important thing to understand about ad budgets is that your budget dictates your audience reach. If you set it too high for your audience size, you’ll quickly encounter ad fatigue issues. If you set it too low, it’ll take longer to see results.

There’s no set way to determine the optimal budget. You need to gather data once the campaign is running and then make adjustments. If you’re unsure of what budget you should set, start with $15–$20 per day if your audience size is fewer than 50K. If it’s more than 50K, start higher by going with $20–$40 per day.

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Move to the Audience section and in the Custom Audiences field, select the largest of your Facebook engagement custom audiences, the 180-day audience duration.

Unless you have very defined age or gender demographics of your customers, keep Age, Gender, Languages, and Detailed Targeting open. The reason for this is that these audiences have been narrowed already due to the engagement condition.

Next, set your placement. If you’re using the Conversions objective with the lowest event action in your funnel, like Purchases, start with Automatic Placements. The reason for this is Facebook will push your optimization to the most effective placement that has the highest-quality converters, typically feeds on Facebook and Instagram.

If, however, you’re starting with the Traffic objective with the landing page view optimization (because you have a smaller audience size), don’t use Automatic Placements. You’ll end up with low-cost, low-quality visitors as Facebook pushes your reach to the Audience Network.

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Continuing with the example, we’ll leave automatic placements selected. For a full breakdown of the placement options and the best time to use each one, click here.

Moving to the Optimization & Delivery section of your ad set, go with the default setting, optimizing for conversions with the 7-day click and 1-day view conversion window selected.

#4: Create an Ad for Your Product or Service Offer

The final step in setting up this campaign is to create your ad. To do this, navigate to the Ad level of your campaign by clicking on the Ad link at the top of the edit window or in the main navigation on the left side of the screen.

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Once at the Ad level, you’ll see four sections: Identity, Create Ad, Languages, and Tracking.

In the Identity section, select your Facebook page and Instagram profile from the drop-down lists.

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In the Create Ad section, start building your ad like you would with any other campaign. There’s no right or wrong ad format to use. The important thing is what you position in your ad.

At this stage of your ad funnel—where you’re targeting warm audiences that already know your business—you want to position a product or service offering.

For the ad copy of your offer-based ad, use what I refer to as the SBA copy method, which is made up of the Snap, Benefit, and Action.

The Snap is the attention-grabbing first line of copy. What this first line says will depend on what product or service offer you present in this campaign. Suppose you’re an eCommerce company offering a product discount. In this case, the Snap would be the discount and the specific code to use at checkout, such as “Get 10% OFF when you spend over $50 using the discount code FB10.”

The Snap is then followed by the Benefit. Here you want to list core features of your product or service and the benefit of each. When it comes to effective copy, simply listing features isn’t enough; people want to know how those features benefit them.

The third part of the SBA copy method is the Action. Here you explicitly state the action your target audience needs to perform to take advantage of the offer you’ve positioned in your ad.

Keeping with the eCommerce example, the action would be a sentence at the end of your ad copy such as “Click the link below to shop now” or “Tap the Shop Now button to get started.”

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Make sure you link to the specific product or service page, not your homepage. Also, use relevant creative, images, or videos of the product or service you’re offering.

Once you’ve created your ad, ensure that your Facebook pixel is enabled in the Tracking section and publish your campaign. Pay particular attention to tracking because often when you duplicate ads (which we’ll cover next), the Facebook pixel is turned off by default.

Let’s quickly recap. You’ve created your engagement custom audiences for Facebook and Instagram, chosen your campaign objective, set up ad set targeting for the largest Facebook engagement audience, built your offer ad, and then published the campaign.

#5: Create a New Ad Set in Your Campaign to Target Your Largest Instagram Engagement Audience

The next step to creating your campaign is to duplicate the ad set you just made live and change the custom audience to your largest Instagram engagement custom audience.

To do this, navigate to the Ad Set level of the campaign you just created. Select your ad set and click on the Duplicate button.

In the duplication window, leave Original Campaign selected and click on Duplicate. Facebook then creates an identical ad set and ad in draft form below your existing one.

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Edit your ad set and change the name to reflect that the audience will be for Instagram engagement.

In the Audiences section of your new draft ad set, delete the Facebook page engagement audience from the Custom Audience field and select your largest Instagram engagement audience, the 180-day duration audience (just as you did for the Facebook engagement ad set).

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#6: Use the Post ID Method to Select the Original Ad

Now navigate to the Ad level of your new ad set and use the Post ID method to select the original version of the ad you published in the first Facebook engagement ad set.

When you first look at the ad in your new ad set, it will be identical to your original one. However, if you were to publish this ad, Facebook would treat it as a separate, new ad and give it a unique ad ID. In this case, you wouldn’t keep any social proof that’s building on the original ad.

Instead of using that new ad, click on Use Existing Post. Then click on Select Post.

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This will open the post matrix. Filter by Ad Posts and then select the original ad you created for this campaign.

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Finally, with the original ad being used in this new draft ad set targeting your Instagram engagement custom audience, check that your Facebook pixel is turned on in the Tracking section and click on Review and Publish to set it live.

Conclusion

Start driving new leads or sales for your business with engagement remarketing campaigns that target people who have already interacted with your business on Facebook and Instagram.

When implemented correctly, these campaigns can be a great source of high-quality traffic that not only converts at the time of ad click but also populates your website custom audiences. These people then go on to buy when shown your website remarketing campaigns.

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What do you think? Will you create a campaign to target people who have engaged with your Facebook and Instagram content? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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6 Social Media Marketing Attribution Models and Tools to Help Marketers

Do you want a better way to track your social media marketing conversions? Looking for tools that can help you better measure attribution? In this article, you’ll discover six attribution models and tools that can help you. Why Attribution Matters to Marketers One common challenge for marketers is performing in-depth analytics. You’re most likely marketing…

Do you want a better way to track your social media marketing conversions? Looking for tools that can help you better measure attribution?

In this article, you’ll discover six attribution models and tools that can help you.

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Why Attribution Matters to Marketers

One common challenge for marketers is performing in-depth analytics. You’re most likely marketing your product or service through a variety of channels so how do you know which channels are performing well and which ones aren’t?

Is the huge influx of traffic to your site from a Facebook ad or a piece of content you just published? Which of your marketing channels caused a spike in conversions that led to increased revenue?

Without proper attribution, you’d only look at vanity metrics like the number of link shares or comments. To gauge the success of a marketing campaign, you need to delve more deeply and look at things like how a lead first came in contact with your content, what pushed them to make a purchase, and so on.

With marketing attribution, you can study the full journey of how a person went from lead to paying customer, which helps you see what’s working. Maybe your Facebook ads aren’t optimized or converting at all so you’re better off pausing your campaign and re-strategizing. Or perhaps you’re getting a lot of return on investment (ROI) from your email marketing, in which case you’d want to intensify your email outreach since it works.

Without marketing attribution to help you see which touchpoints contribute to your business growth, you’ll keep wasting your time on things that aren’t bringing any positive ROI.

Now let’s look at six common attribution models and the pros and cons of each one so you can decide which model is best for your business and marketing channels.

#1: First-Touch Attribution Model

With the first-touch attribution model, you can see which channel first directed a lead to your product or drove a visitor to your website.

To visualize this, suppose a lead was first introduced to your website through a Facebook ad. Then they clicked a link on your site that directed them to a webinar. At the end of the webinar, they subscribed to your email newsletter and later converted through your email outreach. The credit for that conversion would be attributed to the first touchpoint, which is the Facebook ad, and not the email outreach.

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The idea behind the first-touch attribution model is that any conversions that occur at the end of the funnel wouldn’t have been possible without the first touchpoint.

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Note that this kind of model isn’t the best option for B2Bs because usually a lot of touchpoints are involved before a lead converts.

Pros

First-touch attribution is the easiest model to set up and doesn’t involve a lot of analysis and calculation. It’s simple to track and focuses on demand distribution rather than weight distribution.

Cons

This model is prone to errors. It emphasizes just the beginning of the customer journey, which only tells part of the story of how that customer was converted.

First-touch attribution makes it difficult to optimize your marketing process because you can’t say for sure what led a customer to make a purchase. A prospect usually goes through multiple touchpoints before converting. The touchpoints that made an impact, like the email newsletter in the example above, should be further optimized to increase conversion rates.

When Should You Use This Model?

The first-touch attribution model helps you measure which top-of-funnel marketing campaigns are most effective. It doesn’t give you the complete picture but it can help you optimize your lead generation process.

#2: Last-Touch Attribution Model

The last-touch attribution model is similar to the first-touch model. But instead of measuring where the lead first came in contact with your business, it attributes the whole sales process to the last touch, the end of the marketing funnel.

Last touch is usually the default setting in most attribution models. Google Analytics also uses it as the default attribution model.

This model focuses on what drove a lead to convert and ignores everything that came before the conversion.

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Suppose someone did a Google search for the keyword “pink shoes,” came across your ad in the search results, and was redirected to your site. This person didn’t make a purchase at that time but later they came back directly to your site and made a purchase. In this case, the conversion would be attributed to direct traffic to your site and not the earlier Google Ads campaign.

Pros

Last-touch attribution shows what directly led a customer to convert. If you’re only interested in conversion-based metrics, this is the best model for you. It’s simple to use and doesn’t have a learning curve.

Cons

This model neglects everything that led up to a lead converting. This makes it difficult to analyze every aspect of your funnel such as whether your ads are working, your email marketing is converting, or your content marketing efforts are having any impact.

The last-touch model has the same problem as the first-touch model. It doesn’t give a full picture of what’s working and what isn’t.

When Should You Use This Model?

If you’re only concerned with conversion rates for your campaign, this is the best model for you. It helps you determine which part of your messaging works best. It could be that the copy in your landing pages is more effective than the copy in your email newsletters. This model will help you figure this out.

#3: Linear (Even-Weighted) Attribution Model

The linear model attributes credit equally to all of the touchpoints that led to a lead converting. Everything from first touch, lead creation, opportunity creation, and customer closing are all treated equally.

The main problem with marketing attribution is determining which touchpoints are most important in a customer conversion journey. Linear attribution has a simple answer to this: Give all of the touchpoints the same level of importance.

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Pros

The linear model is a huge improvement from the first-touch and last-touch models. It gives marketers a more complete overview of everything that occurred from the beginning of the funnel to the end stage where the lead converts. It doesn’t decide that the middle of the funnel is more important than the bottom of the funnel but instead gives them equal importance.

This model is easy to set up and can be used to compare results from other data models. And you don’t have to worry about which touchpoints should receive credit for a conversion.

Cons

The linear attribution model doesn’t help you fully optimize, because in reality, not all touchpoints are equal.

Is your Facebook ad truly contributing more than your Instagram ad? Are social media comments more important than shares? How do you know what made a customer really decide to make a purchase when you give equal credit to all touchpoints?

Certainly, some touchpoints will make more of an impact than others. It’s important for you to optimize those touchpoints and improve the areas that aren’t contributing as much.

When Should You Use This Model?

The linear attribution model is best when you have a small team and your marketing process typically involves a long sales cycle. You can get the full picture of all of the touchpoints that lead to conversion without putting in a lot of work. This model also helps fill in the gaps that are left by the first- and last-touch attribution models.

#4: Time-Decay Attribution Model

The time-decay attribution model gives more significance to the touchpoints that are closer to where the conversion occurred than the top of the funnel. It’s a multi-touch model that’s similar to the linear attribution model.

It gives more credit to the middle and bottom of the funnel and represents them as being worth more because they’re the points that drove the lead to convert.

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This method isn’t foolproof, though. Perhaps a lead interacted with your ad and signed up for your demo, and then later purchased your product through a link in a blog post. Should the blog content receive more credit than the ad or the demo? Most likely not.

Pros

Often, the touchpoints closest to the point of conversion have the most weight. This model helps you optimize those points that lead to conversions directly.

Cons

Devaluing the first touch might not always be the right thing to do. Depending on the circumstance, the first touchpoint may have played an important role in the conversion.

When Should You Use This Model?

If your business has a long sales cycle, this model could work for you. It helps you neglect the early stages of the funnel and concentrate on the later stages that led to a conversion so you can optimize lead generation.

#5: U-Shaped (Position-Based) Attribution Model

The U-shaped attribution model gives credit to three main touchpoints. It credits 40% to the first and last touch, and attributes 20% to the middle point.

It emphasizes the first touchpoint (the point of first impact where the leads come in contact with your business) and the last touchpoint (the point at which the lead converts).

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In marketing, the first and last touchpoints are usually the most important but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the middle touchpoints. The middle touchpoints might be having an impact that is necessary for the lead to convert.

Pros

Unlike the first- and last-touch attribution models that place importance on just one aspect of the analysis, the U-shaped model gives equal importance to both values.

The first point of interaction of a lead with a business is just as important as when that lead converts and this model helps you optimize these channels.

Cons

There are times when the first or last touchpoint isn’t as important. When doing an analysis, you should always check if the first touch is as important as the last point.

When Should You Use This Model?

This model isn’t suitable for long sales cycles or campaigns that have to nurture leads. It’s more for when a lead engages with your content and decides almost immediately that they want to make use of your service or product.

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#6: Algorithmic Attribution Model

The algorithmic attribution model is the most accurate way to measure a user’s journey from prospect to conversion. The success rate in this model is higher than others because it’s uniquely created for each business. Depending on the tool you use, this process might be done easily with machine learning or by manually entering the parameters.

Pros

You can give credit to the touchpoints that matter most to your business rather than just giving equal credit to the first, middle, and last touchpoints. It provides the most accurate data from the consumer journey.

Cons

This process is complex and involves calculations so it may require the skills of a data analyst and more advanced or powerful tools. These tools might not be available to smaller businesses because of their price points.

When Should You Use This Model?

If your business has a short, simple sales cycle, the algorithmic attribution model isn’t the best option for you. If, on the other hand, you have a long, complicated sales process that involves marketing qualified lead (MQL) and sales qualified lead (SQL) reporting, this model is for you. It would allow you to do an in-depth study on each stage of the funnel.

Note: An MQL is a lead who’s more likely to become a customer when compared to other leads. An SQL is a lead whom the sales team has qualified as a potential customer.

How to Use Social Media Attribution In Your Marketing

The social media attribution process won’t be the same for every business. Your business might start a social media campaign because you want to drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, or drive sales of a particular product. To make effective use of attribution, you have to break down the “why” of your campaign.

Answering this question will help you determine which attribution model you should use and how much time and effort you’d have to put into it. You need to set the goals you want to measure before you get started with attribution.

Choose a Social Media Goal for Your Campaign

These are some of the most common goals you can set:

  • Email signups
  • Trials and demo registrations
  • Purchases
  • Downloads of lead generating content
  • Contact form inquiries

All of these goals are trackable, which is the whole point of attribution.

To get the most accurate picture, concentrate less on vanity metrics such as social media shares and comments, unless the whole point of the campaign is to increase engagement. Instead of just focusing on whether someone liked a post, dig deeper and see if they took any significant actions like signing up for your newsletter or buying your product.

Track Social Media Attribution for Your Campaign

After defining your goals, the next step is to develop a system for tracking them. The simplest tool for tracking your social media goals is Google Analytics.

To do an in-depth analysis of conversions, open your Google Analytics dashboard and go to Acquisition > Social > Conversions.

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If you haven’t previously set up any goals in Google Analytics, you need to do that now. Click Set Up Goals to get started.

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Depending on what your goals are, you need to enter the value. If your goal is to get people to take action on a landing page, for instance, set the goal type as the destination page.

This URL, when clicked, is what will be triggered in Google Analytics when a conversion is made. Remember that the link should have a no-index value so the only way this page can be accessed is by someone going through your page or email newsletter. If this page can be accessed via search engines, it would affect the data.

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Use Attribution Data to Analyze Campaign Performance

The only way to know, after attribution, whether you have a positive or negative ROI is by keeping track of both earnings and expenditures.

You can calculate your social media ROI for each campaign after you’ve calculated your expenses. Here’s a simple formula to do this:

[(Revenue – Costs) x 100] / Costs

Your costs include time spent, content, social media tools, and so forth.

Calculating your ROI helps you determine whether your social media campaign needs to be optimized or scrapped entirely.

Tools to Track Social Media Attribution

If you’re just getting started, tracking social media attribution with Google Analytics is a free, easy way to begin. If you’re looking for a more robust or paid tool, check out these four options.

Oktopost

Oktopost is a social media management platform that helps marketing teams manage and monitor activities on their social media channels.

Here are some notable features of this tool:

  • Supports social media sharing.
  • Easily integrates with Google Analytics. Oktopost can automatically create tracking codes for you that are visible within Google Analytics.
  • Supports integration with other marketing tools like Marketo, Salesforce, and Bit.ly.
  • Creates lead gen forms for social media using Oktopost code. This allows you to easily track links from leads to conversions.
  • Monitors content (and even a keyword) on different channels.

After you sign up for an Oktopost account, add the social media profiles you want to monitor and connect these profiles to your account. Then, depending on what license you paid for, add team members to your profile if you want.

To automatically add Oktopost tracking codes to the links you share on social media, add them to the campaign section in Google Analytics. This allows you to see the journey that the lead went through after clicking your link. To illustrate, did they click your link and then subscribe for a webinar, or did they sign up for your email newsletter?

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On the Oktopost configuration screen, you’ll see tracking codes called UTM codes.

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Parameters like ‘utm_source’ are added to the end of the links to provide Google Analytics with details about the link. For instance, ‘utm_source’ tells Google Analytics which channel this link is coming from.

You can also easily integrate Oktopost with your other marketing tools.

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Pricing: $10–$100/month for basic software; $500–$1,000/month for more advanced applications

Segment

Segment is a powerful attribution tool that helps marketers gather data from customer touchpoints and easily send the data to where you need it. This tool is perfect for businesses that use multiple social media channels.

After signing up, create a segment source that you’ll use to receive data from different social media channels. Then choose which channels you’ll collect this data from.

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In addition to the website and mobile app sources, there are also a ton of third-party sources you can use for receiving data. These sources include advertising channels (Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc.), CRM sources (HubSpot, Salesforce, etc.), email marketing (MailChimp and Mandrill), and more.

After connecting all of these sources, all you need to do is track the data with a tool like Oktopost. You’ll need to choose the destination (from 200+ options) where the results of this analysis will be sent.

Pricing: Free for developers; $120/month for teams; custom pricing for businesses

ClickMeter

ClickMeter is a link and conversion tracking tool that lets you monitor, compare, and analyze all of your links from different social media channels in one place. This helps you carry out more efficient marketing campaigns.

Choose any source that you want to track such as blogs, forums, pay-per-click campaigns, social networks, and so on. When someone clicks on your link, the tool analyzes the information and collects important data like the geographic location of the person, platform type, visitor type, source analysis, keywords, and more.

ClickMeter helps you create a detailed marketing report in real time that you can use to optimize your campaigns.

Pricing: Medium—$19–$69/month; Large—$99–$199/month; X-Large—$349–$3,990/month

Clkim

Clkim-shortened URLs provide a ton of data you can use to track your social media marketing efforts and build user personas.

Alongside standard metrics like location, platforms, and devices, Clkim lets you track your conversion rates, A/B test URLs to see which format works best, run targeted campaigns using QR codes, and perform a host of other complex marketing analyses. See how your links perform in real time and send the report to your email for easy access.

Clkim makes it easy to track and attribute the effectiveness of your social media content.

Pricing: Analyze—$12/month; Optimize—$84/month; Monetize—$120/month

Conclusion

With social media attribution, you can see which aspects of your social media marketing are working and which aren’t so you know what you need to optimize and where you can stay the course.

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The Betty Crocker Secret to Email Marketing that People Want

You’ve heard it a thousand times: The money’s in the list. If you’re serious about your digital business, you need to build a list of people who are paying attention to you, typically an email list. So, how do you get people to sign up for your email newsletter? You probably already know the answer…

You’ve heard it a thousand times: The money’s in the list.

If you’re serious about your digital business, you need to build a list of people who are paying attention to you, typically an email list.

So, how do you get people to sign up for your email newsletter?

You probably already know the answer to this one: Reward them. Give subscribers something great as a “thank you” for signing up.

This is usually some form of content — a useful video, a killer ebook, or an exclusive podcast episode.

Sure, everyone else does that. Because it works.

It works … if you do it the right way.

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Giving away something good will get people to sign up for your email list, no question.

The problem is, what email address will they sign up with?

It’s not like it’s hard to find an email address.

Gmail is just one of the many excellent services that will give you one (or a bunch) for free.

Double opt-in forces your reader to give you a real email address. But real addresses are cheap. Readers have dozens of ways to capture your valuable free reward, then ditch the rest of your email once they’ve got their prize.

  • They might unsubscribe (best-case scenario).
  • They might quit checking the email address.
  • They might set up a filter that automatically pours your messages right into their Delete folder.
  • If they’re jerks, they may just mark you as spam so they don’t have to see you again, rather than take the “trouble” of unsubscribing. It happens.

(That last one, incidentally, is why you must make it stupidly easy to unsubscribe from your stuff. If it’s more than a click or two, you’ll regret it.)

You can’t make anyone pay attention to you in the virtual world. You can’t trick them into it either, at least not for more than a few seconds.

Some of the smartest traditional advertising writers figured this out a long time ago. They created advertising that didn’t look like advertising … advertising that was inherently useful.

Make your advertising too valuable to throw away

It’s funny how many of our moms’ and grandmas’ most-treasured recipes came from the back of product boxes.

Food packagers know that recipes are irresistible. Human beings are naturally curious creatures. We enjoy novelty. We benefit from eating a variety of foods.

Put simply, we want something new for dinner.

Recipes teach readers how to use more of the product being sold. And recipes feel inherently valuable. They promise a fantastic collection of benefits: Exciting new tastes, happy family members, harmony at dinner time, and kids who will actually eat their green beans.

Recipes, including back-of-the-box recipes, get clipped, passed along, and carefully preserved. A good-sounding recipe is reason enough to try that pancake mix or new pasta shape.

The recipe on the back of the peanut butter jar is advertising, yes. But it’s advertising that actually gets your attention. It’s too valuable to throw away.

Your topic has a recipe

Some topics have literal recipes. (Weight loss being the most obvious one.) The act of nourishing ourselves has spawned hundreds of sub-niches, from slow food to raw food to grab-some-calories-on-the-run food.

For most topics, the “recipes” are metaphorical.

You might teach a recipe for financial independence. A recipe for a fulfilling retirement. A recipe for getting a better job. A recipe for a happy marriage.

Some recipes are complex, and some are simple. You’re the one who decides how easy you’ll make the recipes you offer.

You can use a recipe anywhere

Thriving digital businesses usually produce lots of good recipes.

An ebook can be a single, very strong recipe. And a great minimum viable product or membership site are often collections of recipes that work together.

But one of my very favorite versions of a recipe is the email newsletter. More specifically, it’s the email autoresponder, a tool that I now consider essential for every marketing project I work on.

Email newsletters (what’s new in your business, what’s the latest promotion, what fresh and exciting offers can you make to your customer) are an excellent tool. But they’re 1,000 times better when they kick off with a terrific autoresponder.

Maybe it’s “8 Tips for Being a Better Dad” or “7 Ways to Know if Stock Trading Is Right for You.”

There are always a number of steps. (In fact, they look a lot like our friend the numbered list post, don’t they?)

They always build on one another. And they’re always a recipe for some result the reader wants to have.

A sequence of steps trains your reader

Do you see why this works better than a single-shot video, ebook, or podcast episode as your sign-up incentive?

When you create an email sequence that forms a killer recipe, the reader develops the habit of opening each message. It’s got a critical step, after all, to the recipe he’s trying to cook up.

Sure, he can still ditch you when he’s finally captured the final sequence. But by that time, if you’ve given a recipe worth having, you’ve created some trust. Your reader has started to know and like you. You’ve built a little sense of reciprocity.

You’ve emailed him nine times in a row, and you haven’t sent him any crap. Just valuable, good stuff that gets him a result he wants.

Think he’s likely to open that 10th email?

The recipe for a great email autoresponder

  1. Create a “recipe” that delivers a solution your reader really wants.
  2. Structure your recipe into a sequence of seven to 10 steps. (You can do more if you’re ambitious.) It’s best if each step delivers a positive result and stands on its own.
  3. Deliver your recipe via the autoresponder function of your email marketing program. If your program doesn’t let you put together a robust autoresponder, find a new program.
  4. Write the best content you can for your autoresponder. The time you put in now can continue to work hard for your business for years to come.

Rather than sell your products or services, start to “sell” your terrific, free email autoresponder.

It will build trust and rapport so that down the line you can fully explain all the benefits of what you do.

Do you want to build a better email list?

We use ConvertKit for our email marketing and proudly recommend them as a marketing partner.
Find out more here
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Shroud joins Ninja in livestreaming exclusively on Mixer

Shroud is moving to Mixer. Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, a popular Twitch livestreamer, has made a deal to broadcast exclusively on Microsoft’s livestreaming platform. Shroud is a former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro who switched to content creation in 2017 alongside games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. His first Mixer broadcast kicks off today at 5 p.m. Pacific time…

Shroud is moving to Mixer. Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, a popular Twitch livestreamer, has made a deal to broadcast exclusively on Microsoft’s livestreaming platform. Shroud is a former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro who switched to content creation in 2017 alongside games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. His first Mixer broadcast kicks off today at 5 p.m. Pacific time on mixer.com/shroud.

Mixer now has two of the most popular livestreamers in Shroud and Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. Ninja shifted to Mixer in a similar exclusive arrangement in August. The Fortnite broadcaster didn’t miss a beat as his audience has seemingly followed him from Twitch. But, at the same time, the data suggests that Ninja’s presence hasn’t helped Mixer close the gap with Twitch.

But that may change now that Mixer has Shroud as well.

“Streaming is my passion, and I owe my success to my fans who have helped me get to where I am now,” said Shroud. “Mixer provides the flexibility to center my attention around them. I am excited to join the Mixer community, as well as continue to build relationships with both players and fans … The move to Mixer allows me to focus on what I love: gaming. I hope you all continue to be a part of my community in this transition, I can’t wait to show you all the things we have in store.”

Shroud and Ninja provide built-in marketing for Mixer and Xbox

Mixer is not catching up to Twitch on the back of Ninja, and Shroud may not actually help with that either. But Microsoft’s platform is still growing. Twitch is simply growing faster still. But by bringing in another top-tier name, Microsoft is indicating that it is serious about this strategy. And more high-profile livestreamers could begin to have a rub-off effect on the rest of Mixer.

At least, Microsoft is hoping that’s the case. But even if Mixer never ends up on par with Twitch or even YouTube Live, Ninja and Shroud serve another purpose. They can help promote major new Xbox releases.

Microsoft has already integrated Mixer into the Xbox One dashboard, and now consumers could potentially see Shroud hyping up Halo Infinite or Gears 5. That is a valuable use of these popular influencers, and it could help Microsoft get its money’s worth out of its exclusivity deals.

How to Make Your Writing Real

In this day and age, substance matters. What you say must be meaningful to the people you’re trying to attract. Your content must solve real problems and satisfy real desires. So why should it matter how you say it? The reality is, how you say it has always mattered, and it matters even more today.…

In this day and age, substance matters.

What you say must be meaningful to the people you’re trying to attract. Your content must solve real problems and satisfy real desires.

So why should it matter how you say it?

The reality is, how you say it has always mattered, and it matters even more today. For content marketing, it’s basically the difference between success and failure.

You’re in a battle for attention. A headline that doesn’t specifically convey a compelling promise results in content that is too often simply ignored.

Beyond that, your copy has to hold that precious attention, sentence by sentence, until the conclusion.

Even the appearance of your content on the page matters when trying to make a substantive point.

Finally, the way you convey information, no matter how independently valuable, affects everything from clarity to engagement to retention at a psychological level. Your ideas and advice must stick in people’s heads for you to succeed.

In short, how you say it is what you say.

Here’s an example

If someone asks you what’s for dinner, you can stick with the substance:

Tonight we’re having pasta for dinner.

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Or you can add a bit of craft and style to make it more tangible:

Tonight we’ll enjoy a dinner of tender linguini, topped with a homemade marinara sauce featuring vine-ripened tomatoes, fragrant basil, and fresh oregano straight from our garden, accented with just a hint of garlic and red wine flavoring.

pasta sauce 700x472 - How to Make Your Writing Real

Same basic information — we indeed will be having pasta for dinner.

Is one more enticing and memorable than the other?

Let’s look at another example.

Popcorn is bad for you

The book Made to Stick gives us the case of Art Silverman, a guy with a vendetta against popcorn.

Silverman wanted to educate the public about the fact that a typical bag of movie popcorn has 37 grams of saturated fat, while the USDA recommends you have no more than 20 grams in an entire day.

Instead of simply citing that surprising — if dry — statistic, Silverman made the message meaningful by making it real.

He said:

“A medium-sized ‘butter’ popcorn contains more artery-clogging fat than a bacon-and-eggs breakfast, a Big Mac and fries for lunch, and a steak dinner with all the trimmings — combined!”

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Ummm … I’ll go ahead and skip the popcorn, thanks.

Make the benefits tangible

Yes, substance matters. Your content must be more than just relevant — it’s got to be meaningful to the people you’re trying to attract.

But never forget that it’s the relevant and tangible expression of that substance that creates meaning.

People have to get connected with your content in the first place before they comment, share, buy, or recommend your products or services.

Make your messages as real to people as possible, and you’ll find that content marketing has a payoff way bigger than the investment. Really.

Reader Interactions

How to Use Your Instagram to Create a Lucrative Career

Influencer Luke Bakhuizen breaks down the ways he turned his photography profile into a thriving business. October 7, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. There are just short of 1.5 million accounts on Instagram that boast more than 15,000 followers. According to one study, 39 percent of these qualify as active “influencers.” For…

Influencer Luke Bakhuizen breaks down the ways he turned his photography profile into a thriving business.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There are just short of 1.5 million accounts on Instagram that boast more than 15,000 followers. According to one study, 39 percent of these qualify as active “influencers.” For brands looking to invest in influencer marketing, that’s a lot of choices. For influencers, that translates to competition. While there’s a wealth of information on how to grow an authentic following, there’s little on helping those who already have a following leverage it into a lucrative career. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favourite influencers, Luke Bakhuizen, a South African-born commercial pilot-turned-influencer, on how to turn your Instagram following into a steady living.

Early on, Bakhuizen posted photos and short travel films to his few followers. As a keen paraglider, scuba diver and pilot, he’d share his travels to exotic destinations, which were driven by his passion for adventure sport. He quickly set himself apart from the rest of peoples newsfeeds, though he admits it took a lot of effort to elevate his twin loves of photography and travel into something people paid for him to document. 

In our far-ranging conversation, he offered these three key tips to make Instagram more than just a social-networking tool.

Related: 4 Influencer Marketing Secrets

1. Put yourself in front of brands already working with influencers.

In Bakhuizen’s case, he would frequently tag Tourism Australia, with its 3.9 million followers, in his photos. They took note of the quality of his content and eventually reached out to him, offering him the opportunity to travel around Australia creating content to promote the Commonwealth Games. He accepted, beginning his career as an influencer, which would eventually lead to him working with companies like Sony, DJI, Subaru, Corona, Superdry and Sta Travel. 

For the hesitant influencer, Bakhuizen comments that it’s not about your equipment, experience or even total number of followers; it’s the way you present yourself as a content creator. “Shoot good content, build a good looking media kit, pitch your services to as many brands as possible and start to create a portfolio of clients,” he recommends. Brands are looking for valuable content that they can repurpose, which doesn’t always mean that you need hundreds of thousands of followers to produce for them.

2. Always over-deliver.

After signing your first contract with a brand, there’s a steep learning curve. “Clients provide you with a brief for every campaign,” explains Bakhuizen. “These can be strict and will outline some of their brand values, everything from what clothing is acceptable to what words to use. I have had to go back and re-edit photos or videos to ensure it fits within these guidelines before. Generally, clients are open to receiving your comments on how you would like the campaign can be adjusted to fit your audience and ensure it’s received well, and that’s when I try my best to make the campaign as natural as possible without it looking too much like an advertisement.” As with any client, in any business, Bakhuizen suggests you always over-deliver, since repeat business is a huge part of ensuring you can sustain your career and lifestyle. 

Related: ‘Influencer Fraud’ Costs Companies Millions of Dollars

3. Consider partnering with a talent agency.

The second major inflexion point for Bakhuizen was being signed to a talent agency representing influencers. Once you’ve built up a portfolio, pitching agencies to represent you will go a long way toward accelerating your career. As Bakhuizen puts it, “It’s one of the best things I ever did.” He was assigned some of his biggest contracts through his agency, as they’ll often have contacts with PR firms already searching for influencers. “They charge a small percentage of the rate I receive,” he concedes. “However, they are excellent in negotiating rates, so it pays off. I also remember reaching out to brands like DJI in the past and never received a response back, but after my agency approached them, they were very keen to work with me.”

For the aspiring influencer, competition is tough. Bakhuizen’s experiences remind us that, like many things in life, being overly proactive and relentless is key. Put yourself in front of as many brands as you can, showcasing your art and presenting yourself as an innovative and exciting content creator. When starting out, don’t worry too much about pricing as much as building a portfolio. And once you have one, leverage it. The world of influencer marketing is competitive and cutthroat, but for those who chase it and succeed, it can lead to incredible opportunities to travel the world, partner with leading brands and connect with thousands of people. 

Skyrocket Your Instagram Marketing with Business Tips

Here is a question for you: Are you getting enough results from your Instagram marketing? Instagram has unlimited opportunities for savvy and hardworking marketers. Unfortunately, only about 10% or less of marketers use Instagram the way it should be used for online business. Skyrocket your Instagram marketing with business tips that will raise you 100%. In…

Here is a question for you: Are you getting enough results from your Instagram marketing? Instagram has unlimited opportunities for savvy and hardworking marketers. Unfortunately, only about 10% or less of marketers use Instagram the way it should be used for online business. Skyrocket your Instagram marketing with business tips that will raise you 100%.

In June 2018, Instagram announced that it just reached an astonishing 1 billion active monthly users. During this period, Instagram also boasts 25 million business profiles. With this number, there is no reason that you should not be leveraging Instagram to skyrocket your online business income.

According to a new study, over 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile on Instagram per day. Similarly, over 60% of Instagram users reported they discover new products on Instagram.

Top Instagram Marketing Tips for Business 300x169 - Skyrocket Your Instagram Marketing with Business Tips

Instagram has everything you need to succeed in your online business. Most people used to say that “there is power in numbers.” When it comes to Instagram, not only do you have the numbers, you also have a significant amount of people who are willing to buy from you.

People are waiting for you to sell them the right way. Some big brands have already adopted Instagram as their primary marketing channel. Using Instagram, the right way can change your business entirely. Learn the best ways to use Instagram and skyrocket your online business income.

Use Instagram to Skyrocket the Income of Your Online Business

1. Make Your Business Profile Stand Out.

Everything on Instagram starts with your profile, so you must make it be the best. If your profile looks so ordinary like every other average Instagram user, then don’t expect to see big results from Instagram.

Use the right images, logo, and other media elements such as emoji to make your Instagram account. Look professional to stand out. If you can create the right Instagram business profile — it makes it much easier to attract new customers.

2. Talk with Your Audience, Not to Them.

Over 90% of businesses on Instagram does not care what their audience thinks. Most businesses make a post and disappear until the next post. If you do this, you will find it very hard to get the trust of your followers or their loyalty.

An excellent way to gain loyalty, as well as the trust of your followers, is to listen to them, reply to their comments. Pay attention and answer their questions fast. Additionally, go ahead and follow some of them, wish them happy birthdays. You can even make a post about some of your outstanding Instagram followers.

Give your audience some recognition. Making your followers feel special is a great way to show them that you care for them. In return, you will win their trust and loyalty, and they will open their wallets for you.

3. Use Relevant Hashtags.

As many as 60% of Instagram followers said they discover new products on Instagram. Additionally, over 200 Instagrammers experience a business profile per day. Interestingly, all these were made possible by the type of hashtags these businesses are using. You see, when Instagrammers search for something on Instagram, the result is shown according to hashtags used on each post.

If you want to reach your targeted audience, you must learn to make use of relevant hashtags on all your posts. In some cases, you can even search for a trending hashtag for the day to make your post go viral. The right “hashtag” can take your post to Instagram’s “Explore Page,” where you will have the opportunity to gain many new followers.

4. Create Beautiful Visuals.

How much are you investing in visuals? You cannot ignore the use of high-quality visuals in Instagram marketing. No doubt, Instagram is all about visuals. A new study showed that 93% of decisions in the buying process on Instagram are based on visual appearance. Making use of high-quality images and videos can skyrocket your income.

Invest in stock images or high a graphic designer or photographer to help you with a high-quality image that accurately represents your company.

5. Work With Instagram Influencers.

If you are looking for a faster result, then invest some money on working with Instagram influencers. These are people with a good number of followers. A post by an influencer that recommends your product can help you make thousands of new sales. However, make sure you choose the right influencer in your niche.

You don’t have to go for those influencers with millions of followers, anyone with up to 20,000 active followers on Instagram can work as an influencer. Ask your influencer to make a post about your product and recommend it to their followers.

6. Never Stop Growing Your Instagram Account.

There is no limit on the number of followers you can have or the number of customers you can have on Instagram. Thus, you must always work tirelessly to grow your account every day. When your Instagram account gains a good number of followers, it becomes easier for Instagrammers to discover your profile naturally.

We will recommend you purchase Instagram views to grow your followers and give your business profile account on Instagram a chance to go viral.

Rana Rajput avatar 125x125 - Skyrocket Your Instagram Marketing with Business Tips

Mark Tim

My Name is Mark Tim. I am an Australian Content Writer

How to Simply (and Effectively) Make Your E-Commerce Business Stand Out

There’s plenty of money to be had, but you need to distance yourself from your fiercest competitors. Image credit: Daniel Grizelj | Getty Images Tom Popomaronis Guest Writer Vice President, Innovation at Massive Alliance October 24, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. For e-commerce as a whole, business is…

There’s plenty of money to be had, but you need to distance yourself from your fiercest competitors.

20191024152751 GettyImages 1090812568 - How to Simply (and Effectively) Make Your E-Commerce Business Stand Out

Image credit:

Daniel Grizelj | Getty Images

Guest Writer

Vice President, Innovation at Massive Alliance


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For e-commerce as a whole, business is booming. According to estimates from Statista, the number of worldwide digital buyers is expected to reach 2.14 billion by 2021, with global e-commerce sales exceeding $4.5 trillion. While this paints a positive picture overall, many e-commerce sites struggle to see success for themselves. Though there are many factors that can hurt an e-commerce store’s profitability, one of the most common issues is entering a crowded and competitive niche.

Even if you have a great product to sell, the sheer number of competitors can make it difficult for your store to stand out. Because of this, finding ways to create separation from your competitors will prove essential for ensuring that you too can get a slice of the booming e-commerce marketplace. Here are four to help you get started.

Related: How to Choose Your First E-Commerce Product

1. Create a memorable unique selling proposition.

Ultimately, your products are the best way to differentiate your store. There may be thousands of e-commerce stores that sell baby clothes, for example, but ideally there’s something different that would help your own baby-clothing platform stand out. This is where a quality unique selling proposition (USP) makes all the difference. Research your competitors and consider how your product addresses meaningful pain points in a way that others in your niche do not. Even if your product is essentially an update to something else that already exists, this can still serve as a helpful USP if you highlight how it will better meet customer needs.

While special offers like free shipping or a generous return policy can grow out of your USP, they aren’t part of the USP itself. These are add-on features that can add value to your store and play a part in your marketing messages, but your primary focus should be what makes your product or service truly different from the rest.

2. Get involved in a meaningful cause.

Americans increasingly want to do business with brands that support a cause. In fact, the 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study revealed that 87 percent of consumers will be more likely to buy products from companies that advocate for issues they care about. Adopting a charitable cause can provide valuable separation for e-commerce stores.

To get a better understanding of this practice, I reached out via email to Ryan Smith, co-founder and CEO of Modern Tie, for comment. Smith’s e-commerce store sells ties, but is also invested in a charitable initiative known as #KnotAnotherLife, which donates a portion of all tie sales to opioid-addiction education efforts and treatment-center scholarships.

“Having experienced the pain of opioid addiction first-hand, it was a natural fit for us to try to find a way to give back through our store,” Smith explains. “For a charitable effort to have meaning for your customers, it has to have meaning for you, too. E-commerce stores should choose causes that they are passionate about, because their genuine commitment will shine through. This will help you make a real difference while also drawing like-minded customers to your store.”

Related: Want to Stand Out? Think Like an Editor

3. Invest in a visually appealing site.

For e-commerce brands, a website plays the same role as a brick-and-mortar storefront does for physical retail. It must be attractive and show off your products in the best light if you want to make a favorable first impression with your customers. In fact, according to data from Neil Patel, 52 percent of online shoppers will decide not to return to an e-commerce store if they are displeased with its overall aesthetics, and 42 percent use design alone to formulate their opinion of a site.

You could offer amazing content and products, but if your website is hard to navigate or just plain ugly, you could be losing a significant portion of your customers almost immediately. Web design may seem like a costly investment, but few things are more important for the sustainability of your e-commerce store.

4. Leverage social proof to drive sales.

Traditional marketing can certainly play a role in building your e-commerce brand, but social proof can ultimately be even more valuable for growing your customer base. Research from BrightLocal reveals that 91 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds in the United States give just as much weight to online reviews as a personal recommendation. The seemingly minor shift of allowing customers to leave reviews for products on your site could be enough to encourage others to buy.

Then there is influencer marketing. Survey data from CivicScience reveals that nearly one in five Americans have bought a product online because of an influencer or blogger recommendation. These rates were higher among younger demographics and those who spend more time online, with 34 percent of daily Instagram users having made a purchase because of influencer marketing. Partnering with a relevant influencer can go a long way in expanding your audience and driving sales.

Standing out in a crowded e-commerce niche will require investing in marketing, but all the marketing in the world won’t help if you don’t have a strong foundation to build on. By taking the time to fine-tune your USP, website and overall brand vision, you will be better equipped to make a lasting impact with your product.