February 2016 News You Can Use

Here are three things you can learn from this edition of our monthly news wrap-up:

  • How NOT to land the job you want
  • How to influence your audience like a presidential hopeful
  • How you can salvage a PPC account someone else has trashed

We’re packing all of that (and more) into this month’s update on the breaking news and top stories related to digital marketing.

Interested?

Let’s get started!

1. SOCIAL MEDIA AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: First off, let’s talk politics! Adweek says the ante gets upped every four years on the value of the online community to electing a U.S. president. True to form, the 2016 election is seeing something spectacular: celebrity endorsements are pushing numbers in a big, big way. Citing Bernie Sanders’ recent social media slam dunk on YouTube (1.8+ million views) and the Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) video of Ted Cruz on a duck hunt (1.2+ million views in one week), Adwords pulls in the stats with an infographic on how social media is being leveraged by each of the front-running presidential hopefuls. Why should digital marketers care? Look at it this way: What would getting interviewed or recommended by an online celebrity do for YOUR business? Here’s that resource: Social Celebrities.


2. HOW NOT TO GET THAT PERFECT JOB

Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: Here’s a sobering thought: Everything you post publicly on social media can be construed as your personal advertisement. Those posts tell others what you stand for, how you behave, what your ambitions are… and a whole lot more. Here’s the logical outcome: Employers are increasingly using social media research in the hiring process. MediaPost says 43% of companies are now screening via social, and 36% of those companies say they’ve turned down a job applicant because of what they found there.  On the bright side, 84% of recruiters are using social media to help fill open positions. Bottom line: Think about what your “personal ads” are saying about your suitability for the work you seek. Presenting yourself in an undesirable light could mean you end up highly qualified, but under-employed. Here’s that article: Employers Going Fishing Online.


3. MILLENNIALS ARE LEADING THE CORDLESS CHARGE

Topic: Internet Marketing

Key Point: Just in case you’ve yet to hear the news: mobile devices are cutting the cord without mercy. A GfK MRI Survey says (for those who are employed fulltime) 95% of Millennials, 90% of Gen Xers, and 77% of Baby Boomers now own a smartphone. If that’s not enough to stir the pot, consider this: Half of U.S. households are now landline-free. They depend on mobile service to stay connected. Moreover, 18% of those households don’t subscribe to a traditional television service – they depend entirely on streaming for their video. What do these statistics mean to digital marketers? Adweek puts it like this: “Marketers and advertisers should assume that mobile is the new ‘first screen,’ and that smartphone and tablet compatibility are absolutely essential.” Here’s a link to the infographic: Goodbye to Cords.

 


4. HOW 301 REDIRECTS IMPACT SEO

Topic: Internet Marketing  SEO

Key Point: It was an “accidental test” that attached hard data to 301 redirects. Every SEO knows there’s a loss of organic “juice” when 301’s are implemented, but the general consensus is that the loss is so small it’s not worth worrying about. Wayfair says their test – looking at tens of thousands of product pages – revealed the degradation 301’s lend to organic search results averages about 15%. If Wayfair is correct, there’s even more reason for businesses to make sure their website URL strategy is set in stone right from the get-go. Deciding to change horses further down the stream will almost assuredly throw a wrench in the spokes of your SERP standings. Read more here: Accidental SEO.


5. IS GOOGLE JUDGING YOU VIA A TEMPLATE?

Topics: SEO

Key Point: Aaron Friedman says Google is an “emotionless machine” that throws search terms into a bucket where it could get stuck… for years… even if it’s inaccurate or unfair. That’s not to say Google is “evil,” though – only that the search engine is controlled by an “algorithm with imperfections and flaws.” Aaron’s article describes a way of looking at the SERP to determine industry-specific patterns. Given that insight, you’ll be able to understand the type of content Google WANTS to show for your business, then adjust your output accordingly. Check out the case studies provided in this SEO deep dive: Is Google Judging You?


6. A SEARCH AD OPTIMIZATION CHECKLIST

Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: Speaking of Google, one way the online giant steadily seeks to help you and your clients increase ROI is by providing AdWords education. If you’ve been working with (or want to work with) dynamic search ads and their ability to self-adjust according to the keywords on your site, then here’s a resource you’ll definitely want to review, print, and employ: Using Dynamic Search Ads. In a way, this continues the discussion above about templates. Smart marketers find out what others want, then give it to them.


7. HOW TO WRITE THE PERFECT EMAIL SIGNUP COPY

Topic: Email Marketing

Key Point: There’s one way (and one way only) to determine what really works for your situation: Experiment. That’s the advice Shaun Tinney leads with. He goes on, though, to describe the results of his own experiments on email list signup boxes. By varying the CTA (call to action) in the headline and the copy used for the “submit button,” Shaun observed the effect on signup conversions for three same-industry and similarly-sized  brands. Shaun’s conclusion may surprise you. Is it wise to adhere to industry best practices? Find out more right here: The Perfect Email Signup Box.


8. OCCAM’S RAZOR AND WEBSITE ANALYTICS

Topic: Analytics

Key Point: What do you get when you cross a 14th century maxim extolling the virtues of simplicity with a 21st century web analytics genius/nerd? You get a rant that raises the roof on Google’s past complexities, then praises the beast lavishly for listening to the voice of reason and implementing the Google Analytics Calculated Metrics Feature. Find out how to use the GACMF to obtain previously difficult analytics outcomes like “real conversion rate per user” and “product views per transaction.” Get your thinking cap on for this in-depth article by Avinash Kaushik. Here’s the link: Excellent Analytics Tip #27.


9. FACEBOOK INTRODUCES AUDIENCE OPTIMIZATION

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Facebook is already one of the best-performing platforms marketers have for targeting a specific audience, and Zuckerberg’s team consistently pushes the bar a little bit higher. The newest Facebook tool, Audience Optimization, “lets you improve the relevancy of your post by indicating who is most likely to engage with it, which can increase engagement at both the post and Page level.” If you’re ready to find out how focusing on audience identification can increase your conversions, check this tutorial on how to implement Audience Optimization: Facebook’s Newest Tool.


10. TWITTER STOPPED SHOWING ADS TO TOP-TIER USERS

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: WHAT’S HAPPENING AT TWITTER? Check Twitter’s (TWTR) position on the NYSE, and you’ll see why management has been scurrying this year to do something different. Right now, the 1-Year Return is showing at -55.63% (yes, that’s a minus sign in front). Current news shows a mass exodus of key employees and a new appointee for CMO. It almost seems Twitter is trying to self-destruct. Last fall, they decided to remove share count access to third-party apps. Now, Peter Kafka says they’ve stopped showing ads to their top tier users. Here’s a suggested topic for your next digital marketing discussion: What in the world is Twitter doing?


Congratulations! You’re all caught up on your digital marketing news and updates for the month! Tweet your excitement!

Do you ever feel like you’ll never “learn it all”?

Guess what: You’re right!

What we can do, though, is keep studying and growing.

Did we miss something you think should have made the list this month? Let us know in the comments section below.

Your recommendations are always appreciated.

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Co-author of the textbook Internet Marketing Essentials. Internet Marketing / Entrepreneur guy that founded GetFoundFirst.com back in 2008, & Stukent.com in 2013. I love a lot of things, but especially my family and wakeboarding.

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