We’re heading towards fall, and more than a few schools — both high schools and colleges — still aren’t sure what to do about holding classes in a way that won’t add fuel to the fire that is the COVID-19 pandemic. Stukent has provided online options for years, and we are grateful for the support of schools in the United States and abroad. It’s a joy to see digital marketing programs flourish; the industry is booming.
Here are a few of the topics you’ll find in this issue of NYCU:
- YouTube has the power to take down your channel any time it wants. What happens if a competitor makes false claims? Discover four YouTube self-protection best practices from a company that has experienced the pain of a YouTube ban.
- Could your company stand up to scrutiny under the Americans with Disabilities Act? Here are the tools you can use to find out.
- Two sources for free, full-featured email automation so digital marketers can practice email marketing.
There are plenty of tips, tricks, and heads-up news stories in this month’s issue. You won’t have to look far to find some excellent topics for conversation starters.
YOUTUBE BANS STARTUPBROS CHANNEL
Topic: Social media marketing
Key Point: StartupBros put out an urgent call for help after YouTube abruptly banned their Channel. The write-up on the StartupBro blog is reminiscent of what happened to many companies during the prime of Google algorithm updates — when terms like Panda and Penguin had digital marketers praying their sites would make the cut and not disappear from search results altogether (like so many did).
According to StartupBros, there was a complaint (unidentified source) followed by a YouTube staff review that found the StartupBros account in violation of YouTube terms of service by posting “content that encourages illegal activities or incites users to violate YouTube guidelines.”
Problem is, StartupBros isn’t a rogue company trying to lead people astray. They focus on helping entrepreneurs build a business of their own. After reviewing all their recent videos, the best they could figure out is that their most recent upload to YouTube points out that “IRA’s are protected even in bankruptcy.” That’s it. And here’s the really scary part for anyone depending on YouTube to help drive sales: StartupBros received “no warnings, no strikes, no video removals” … the action hit them out of the blue. Could it be that a competitor threw a wrench in the spokes in an attempt to drive down rankings? Stranger things have happened.
Not only does the narrative on the StartupBros blog give readers a way to jump in and help get YouTube’s attention on behalf of StartupBros, it lists four major take-aways EVERY digital marketer should read and consider.
This is a must-see article that can spark critical discussions about the ever-present reality of social media channels and internet marketing in general. If you don’t own the platform, you have no real control over it. Your business can sink overnight.
GOOGLE MOBILE-FIRST INDEXING ROLLOUT POSTPONED
Key Point: It was scheduled to take effect September of this year, but Google says the mobile-first indexing switch for all sites is now delayed until the end of March 2021. “These uncertain times” was the cited reason for the change.
An interesting angle to the conversation is this: Many webmasters thought mobile-first indexing was already a reality. Did you? Check this insightful conversation on Webmaster World to better educate yourself on the issue.
You can get Google’s most recent advice on how to prepare for mobile-first by referring to the announcement on the Google Webmaster Central Blog. Then take a poll of your peers to see how much they know about the potential impact of mobile-first. For small websites, becoming compliant with mobile hasn’t been too difficult. Larger sites, though, may need the extra time.
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT: IS YOUR BUSINESS COMPLIANT?
Key Point: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted on July 26, 1990. The law first affected accessibility to public and commercial buildings — accommodations (such as wheelchair ramps) became commonplace. As the internet took hold, though, ADA requirements became muddled. Must public and commercial websites provide ready access to those who are blind? Do online videos have to be accessible to deaf people? And how do you do that anyway?
Digital marketer Maxwell Ivey says he learned how to launch a website by following the instructions he found on a website that has been a longtime champion of internet accessibility for all — W3Schools. “Problem was,” says Ivey, who is now known widely as The Blind Blogger, “the colors I chose were so bright that my visually unimpaired friends told me Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could have argued about them.”
Despite the difficulties, Ivey went on to not only create websites, but to launch a podcast and a media publicist business.
What does ADA mean to digital marketers who aren’t disabled? First off, every business should use tools like the ones listed on W3 to find out whether their website is compatible with ADA (many aren’t) or needs work (most do). Not only does accessibility enlarge the potential audience for a website, but compliance with ADA can help protect businesses from the very real possibility of legal entanglement in a web accessibility lawsuit.
ZOOM FOR HOME BECOMES AVAILABLE THIS MONTH
Topic: Digital marketing | Education
Key Point: Tagging the new product a “dedicated personal collaboration device for video meetings, phone calls, and interactive whiteboard,” Zoom says the new Zoom for Home — DTEN ME is now ready for pre-order and will ship soon.
According to the Zoom blog, the DTEN-ME is an “all-in-one” unit, though it appears to be simply a wi-fi enabled 27-inch monitor with a built-in camera and speakers. The description doesn’t mention any specific computing capabilities outside of connecting to Zoom and making phone calls.
Distance workers and online students may love the idea. It could make the online conferencing experience a lot more palatable. Here’s where to take a look, view the description, and place your order: Zoom for Home. Extra credit if you figure out what DTEN and ME stand for.
SLACK CONNECT AIMS TO REPLACE EMAIL
Topic: Digital marketing | Email marketing
Key Point: Last month, we reported that Amazon’s USA employees will begin using Slack as part of their project management protocol, and that Slack will switch to Amazon Chime and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Now Slack says another bold move is underway: Slack Connect wants to replace email as your business communication tool of choice.
Slack CSO, Larkin Ryder, puts it like this: “Organizations have lost billions of dollars due to spam and phishing. Most security breaches start from an unwanted email.”
Slack Connect allows organizations to send messages and share files in real time. It also supports direct messaging. To find out more, or to give Slack Connect a test run, go to the Get Started page.
THE MARKETER AS PHILOSOPHER: NEW YOUTUBE SHOW
Topic: Digital marketing
Key Point: Flint McGlaughlin’s approach to marketing is to combine the deep insight of a philosopher with the conversion rate focus of a marketer, and his new YouTube show, “Become a Force for Good,” aims to teach his unique concepts.
McGlaughlin is one of those guys you’re either going to love or hate. Whichever camp you land in, though, it would be tough to dispute his love for marketing and desire to help others. “The whole point of this series,” McGlaughlin says in the first video of the series, “ is to take on projects like this, to bring marketers together and to solve impossible problems.’
For a crash course in advanced digital marketing techniques, subscribe to the Marketing Experiments YouTube channel, break out the popcorn, and start watching.
AWEBER NOW OFFERS A FREE VERSION
Topic: Email marketing
Key Point: Starting right now, you can get a full-powered Aweber account for zero cost. This isn’t at trial, it’s an ongoing membership. The only restriction is the size of your mailing list (maximum 500), the number of monthly emails you can send (3,000) and the number of lists you can maintain (just one). It’s an excellent way to test your email marketing skills, on one of the longest running email service providers around, without worrying about a trial expiration date.
A relatively new competitor, but offering a more generous option (1,000 subscribers and 12,000 sends per month) is the up and coming MailerLite. You can step up to a paid version at MailerLite for $10/month or $16.15/month for Aweber.
A free, full-featured email account allows you to practice your skills and become more effective at email marketing without locking into an annual or monthly payment. Every digital marketing student should sign up with one or both of the platforms and start learning the ropes, with a special focus on automation.
YOU CAN DO IT, YES YOU CAN
Change is difficult to navigate, but change also provides never-before-seen opportunity. Choose now which side of the fence you’re going to stand on: Will you join the team of gripers and nay-sayers? Or will you open your eyes to the possibilities and join those pitching in to help others grow with the change?
You already know the answer. You’re here. You’re moving forward deliberately and digging your heels in to make the best of what has been, and might continue to be, a very trying time in human history.
Stukent vows to see it through with you. We’ll keep doing what we do, so you can keep helping others do what they could do … and together, we’ll help students help the world.