Take virtual selfies inside Facebook Spaces

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We had a first look at Facebook's new VR Oculus app called Facebook Spaces. Take selfies with a virtual selfie stick, draw 3D pictures, make video calls and more. Read more...

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Haunting is the new ghosting is the new…you know what? We gotta stop this.

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Do you have lost loves lurking on your Instagram feed? Do you feel a spooky shiver whenever you use Snapchat? You’re probably being haunted.

Yes, haunted. Basically it's when someone you’ve ended things with decides to reassert themselves into your fragile mind by watching your Instagram or Snapchat stories or liking your social media posts.  

As with actual ghosts, they usually appear out of nowhere — often they don't even follow you officially. And seeing that notification pop up on your phone gives you a fright — or, worse, brings up all the bad feelings you've tried to leave behind.

More about Ghosting, Ghosts, Haunting, Haunted, and Facebook Stories

Google Home can now recognize up to six voices and give personalized responses

 Google Home is finally getting a feature that its users have been clamoring for since it launched last year: it can now distinguish between different voices and respond with personalized responses. Read More

Brain Typing & Skin Hearing: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook’s 2017 F8 Conference

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Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has been the leader of social media innovation and change. We've seen Facebook change the way we talk, text, share, and connect around the world.

Today, Facebook is no longer an option for marketers. Globally, almost 2 billion people use Facebook, and more than 1 billion people use Messenger. What's more, over 1 billion users log onto Facebook every day. People go to Facebook for news and content consumption more than ever, and they use Facebook to connect with brands and publishers, as well as their friends and family.

Simply put, if you're not using Facebook for advertising, video marketing, and content sharing, you're behind the curve.

Each year since 2007, Facebook has hosted Facebook F8, its annual Developers Conference. This event is when Facebook typically announces new products and innovations marketers and developers can use to connect in different ways. In this post, we've rounded up some of the biggest announcements from F8 2017 and major themes marketers should pay attention to as Facebook continues to evolve.

What is F8?

F8 is the Facebook Developers Conference. F8 2017 was held on Tuesday, April 18th and Wednesday, April 19th, and it included numerous announcements about new products, new features, and future initiatives Facebook would be working on. Although it's titled for developers, previous F8's have included product announcements and demos that are meaningful for social media marketers, too. Facebook also announces changes to other platforms and products it owns during F8, most notably on Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

In previous years, Facebook used F8 to announce products and features as ubiquitous as the launch of Facebook Live, Messenger bots, Instant Articles, and the mobile Like button, among others. It's hard to imagine Facebook without these things now, right?

Where is Facebook now?

For the purposes of this blog post, it's valuable to quickly recap some of the major changes that have taken place since F8 2016 -- because a lot has changed. If you're caught up to speed, skip ahead to the latest announcements from F8 2017.

Facebook Journalism Project

In January 2017, Facebook launched the Facebook Journalism Project to identify and prevent the proliferation of fraudulent content ("fake news") on the platform. Additionally, the Facebook Journalism Project entails Facebook creating more tools for media publishers to analyze content performance and continuing to improve Instant Articles.

News Feed

In June 2016, Facebook adjusted its algorithm to display content from users' family and friends first in the News Feed -- ahead of content from publishers and Pages. Publishers now have to think more creatively about how to generate engagement and reach on the platform.

Live Video

Facebook Live was announced at F8 2016, and since then, it's exploded in popularity. In fact, Facebook learned that users were spending 3X more time watching Facebook Live videos than traditional videos, so it adjusted the News Feed algorithm again to give Facebook Live videos more News Feed real estate. Additionally, Facebook Pages can now broadcast live from desktop computers in addition to mobile devices.

Facebook also launched Instagram Live in November 2016. It's different from Facebook Live in that live Instagram videos disappear once the broadcast ends. But like Facebook Live, Instagram pages that are broadcasting live get first priority at the top of the Instagram feed.

Ephemeral Messaging

Facebook has borrowed a significant amount of "inspiration" from Snapchat since F8 2016. Facebook has replicated Snapchat's key feature -- ephemeral, or disappearing, photos and videos -- on Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and on Facebook itself. At the time of F8 2017, more people are using Instagram Stories than the entire Snapchat app, so it will be interesting to see the moves Facebook and Snapchat make to keep competing next.

Now that we're all caught up to speed, let's dive into some of the biggest announcements from F8 2017.

The Biggest Announcements from F8 2017

At the start of his keynote address, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared that the 10-year plan for Facebook was made up of three endeavors: augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and connectivity. Let's dive into product announcements and future projections from F8 2017.

Augmented & Virtual Reality

One of Facebook's biggest pushes at F8 was improvement upon reality with the help of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

For those of you who might be confused on the difference (don't worry, so were we):

Augmented reality is a real-world view superimposed with technologically-generated images, sounds, and other effects. Recent examples of augmented reality include Pokémon GO and Snapchat's world lenses:

Virtual reality consists of digitally-simulated three-dimensional images that people can interact with by means of headsets and wearable sensors. Recent VR use cases include video gaming and experiential marketing.

Here's how Facebook plans to invest in AR and VR in the coming year:

1) Camera Effects Platform

Facebook is taking its camera to the next level and creating the "first augmented reality platform." Within the camera on Facebook and Messenger, users can already add filters, frames, drawings, and emojis, but Facebook wants to take it even further.

Frames Studio

The Facebook Frames Studio lets anyone design custom frames to surround their profile pictures or other pictures taken with the Facebook camera. You can create custom frames for events and communities or make public frames for anyone on Facebook to use. Here's a draft of a frame I made featuring the HubSpot sprocket. It's very basic (I'm a writer, not an artist), but you get the idea -- you can add any art or effects to a frame that you'd like.

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AR Studio

The Facebook AR Studio helps create augmented reality elements Facebook users can incorporate into their photos and videos. Think 3-D images and responsive masks -- Zuckerberg's example was filling an office with 3-D Skittles. Developers can create different camera effects that respond to movement, geography, and surrounding objects. This feature is currently in beta, but developers can apply to start experimenting and creating now.

Check out a few examples:

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Source: Facebook AR Studio

2) Facebook Spaces

On the VR side of things, Facebook Spaces is a new virtual reality app where users can hang out with their friends -- in full VR -- with the help of the Oculus Rift VR headset. For now, it's only launching in beta, but the idea is that users can interact with their friends in Facebook Spaces the same way they would in person. It goes to show you how heavily Facebook is investing in VR.

Discover how detailed and advanced some of the movements are in its explainer video here:

3) AR Glasses

They haven't arrived yet, but during the second day of F8 2017, Facebook's Chief Scientist of Oculus Research Michael Abrash said fully AR glasses were on the Facebook horizon. He envisioned glasses that improve vision and hearing, bolster intelligence, and are socially acceptable enough to become ubiquitous. So far, Google and Snap Inc. have created wearable glasses cameras -- with varying degrees of success -- so we'll keep you posted on any Facebook glasses developments.

4) 360-Degree Camera

Facebook announced new Surround 360 technology that will allow users to film highly immersive 360-degree videos with "six degrees of freedom." The circular camera allows videographers to rotate the camera viewfinder like a person's head would to film in full 360-degree capabilities. Here's what the two cameras look like:

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Source: Facebook

Below is our video recap from the first day at F8, featuring most of these AR and VR announcements:

Connectivity

In his opening keynote, Zuckerberg also prioritized Facebook's commitment to helping the world connect online -- by means of Facebook, of course. Facebook plans to do this with Terragraph technology; here's the scoop.

6) Terragraph

Facebook is testing its Terragraph technology to increase data accessibility and transfer speeds around the world. It's set new records in data transfer speeds and is testing a citywide mesh millimeter-wave data transfer system in San Jose, California. Technology like Terragraph helps more people get online with the help of their smartphones, so while there isn't a direct takeaway for digital marketers here, it's neat to see Facebook helping get more people online.

Artificial Intelligence

Facebook's camera platform -- for Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram -- is now "AI-infused." This means it can understand facial expressions, surroundings, and movement, as well as understand and annotate videos.

Facebook's new Camera Effects Platform gives developers the tools to use AI for more creative photography and video recording. It's also partnering with companies like Amazon and Microsoft to run AI algorithms on mobile phones.

Building 8

Building 8, Facebook's research team dedicated to creating social-first consumer products, is working on silent speech communications projects that will let users type 100 words per minute -- with their brains. (That's 5X faster than the average smartphone user can type.) Building 8 is also creating hardware and software so users can hear information -- with their skin.

These projects are still works in progress, but the announcements remind all of us that AI isn't right around the corner -- it's now. Read more about how AI could change your job in a recent HubSpot Research report.

Messenger

Over 1.2 billion people use Facebook Messenger, but the platform isn't just for humans. There are over 100,000 monthly active Messenger bots, and they're changing the way businesses communicate with prospects and customers. Facebook reported at F8 that 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses each month. To that end, it's created new tools and features to make it easier for Messenger users and businesses to get in touch on the platform.

7) New Facebook Messenger Features

Below are some of the biggest Messenger announcements marketers should take note of. You'll notice that most of these changes are designed around getting users to spend more time in Messenger:

  • A Discover tab on the Messenger home screen so users can easily search for bots that will point them in the right direction
  • Messenger Codes, which users can scan with the Messenger Camera to easily connect with businesses
  • Messenger's AI assistant, M, can suggest ordering food from delivery.com when users are talking to friends and bring up getting dinner, for example. (Creepy, or delicious? Both?)
  • More bots for playing games
  • Smart Replies, which allow businesses to let bots automatically respond to frequently asked questions submitted via Messenger

Below is our video recap of the second day at F8, which centered heavily on these big announcements from Building 8:

Key Takeaways from F8 2017

Facebook vs. Snap Inc.

Facebook has been copying Snapchat features, and now it wants to take those features and do them bigger -- and better -- than its competitor. Coincidentally (or maybe not), Snapchat announced AR world lenses on the first day of F8. To me, the two cameras appear to be neck-in-neck in terms of capabilities. Facebook and its respective platforms claim significantly more users than Snapchat, so keep your eyes peeled for a race to innovate between these two social media titans.

All About AR, VR & AI

If you're daunted by the idea of buying more equipment, taking more photos, and making even more videos, don't rush to experiment with a bunch of new tools and technologies all at once. Start small -- maybe by creating a custom frame in the Frames Studio -- and add AR elements to photos you share on Facebook to see if your audience responds positively. If you can't determine good use cases for experimenting with AR or VR, don't waste your time and resources, but keep an eye out for events or settings in which these new technologies could be a good fit for your audience on Facebook.

No News for Publishers

Most conspicuous to me was the lack of mention of publishers on Facebook. It doesn't appear that much is changing when it comes to the News Feed algorithm or Facebook Instant Articles anytime soon, which could be meaningful for marketers. It could be that Facebook will start prioritizing AR and VR visual content in the News Feed over links and status updates -- much like how Facebook Live videos are now prioritized. As always, we'll keep you posted on any algorithmic changes that could impact your organic Facebook performance.

Until next year ...

We know this is a lot of information, and it isn't immediately clear how, if at all, these innovations will change the way marketers use Facebook. When it comes to new technology and social media innovation, our advice is usually this: Experiment with any and all new technology. If your audience engages with it, keep going. If they ignore it, don't try to force it.

In the meantime, we'll keep you posted on more news from Facebook and our suggestions for how to keep tailoring your approach to Facebook marketing. And since F8 didn't make much mention of Instagram, we wanted to launch a product of our own: We partnered with Shakr to create StoriesAds.com, where marketers can automatically create vertical videos tailored for the Instagram Stories platform. Try creating an engaging Instagram video -- in under two minutes -- today. No video skills required.

What were your impressions of F8 2017? Share with us in the comments below.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting Campaigns [Free Ebook]

If you've heard of retargeting and think it's a strategy you want to invest more in, you're in good company.

According to a study by AdRoll, almost 90% of marketers are planning to increase or maintain their retargeting spend in the next year. Although it's a popular tactic for marketers, if you're new to retargeting, it can be tough to know how to get started.

In this article, we'll cover the basics of retargeting and the ROI, lead generation, and lead conversion benefits it can bring to your marketing efforts. 

The following is an excerpt from The Beginner's Guide to Retargeting, a free guide we created with the experts at Perfect Audience. If you'd like to access the full guide, click here.

In the old days of advertising, the name of the game was reach and frequency. Brands preferred mass media vehicles like television and radio because they were the easiest means to reach large audiences and build brand awareness.

Obviously, this meant the most effective advertising campaigns were dominated by the biggest brands with the largest marketing budgets.

Now, the reach and frequency model has been turned on its head. Increased media fragmentation and new tools for reaching people -- like retargeting -- have evened the playing field.

Even the smallest mom-and-pop-shop has opportunities to get in front of their target audience and drive awareness at a faster clip than some of the largest brands.

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What Is Retargeting & Why Is It Beneficial?

If you were to look at your conversion funnel, how often would you find that a first-time visitor visited your website, viewed a product, and then made a purchase all on that first visit? Chances are you’d be lucky if you saw that behavior once.

Making a sale is a process. Studies have shown that up to 98% of your visitors  leave your website without converting. Another study on the conversion funnel by Google found that oftentimes, it takes several steps for a user to go from visit to conversion, and it’s actually not uncommon for a visitor to take more than 30 steps before making a purchase!

Retargeting helps you tackle this problem head on. It allows you to target and serve ads only to people who’ve previously visited your website, used your mobile app, or in some cases, visited and bought something from a physical retail location. This means you can be very strategic and efficient about who you’re reaching and where you’re spending your marketing budget.

Retargeting provides two primary benefits: It maximizes ROI and keeps you in front of prospects.

Marketers don’t often think of retargeting as a brand-building tool, but this represents a huge missed opportunity. One of the greatest benefits retargeting offers is that it keeps your brand front and center with a targeted audience.

Sometimes you might do this to try to drive a direct response, as we outlined in the section above. Other times, though, it also gives you an opportunity to build up your brand’s familiarity with your target audience and increase the likelihood of a future indirect action like a Google search or an organic site visit.

These indirect effects can be significant. In fact, comScore found that retargeting campaigns led to a 1046% increase in branded search and a 726% lift in site visitation after four weeks of retargeted ad exposure.

It’s a powerful direct response tactic that maximizes ROI.

In the environment of conversion funnel chaos mentioned above, no other advertising tactic offers the return that retargeting does. Retargeting offers the most direct and effective means to:

  • Reconnect with your highest value targets -- people who’ve previously expressed interest in your offerings
  • Recapture their attention with an effective, compelling message
  • Move them further down the sales funnel

Ready to learn how to implement your own retargeting? Download your free guide here.

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24 Growth Hacks to Try Today

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When I find a good growth marketing resource, I remember it and hold onto it for dear life. Whether it’s a how-to video on a specific growth topic or an expert’s blog, I treasure every piece of quality advice I can find.

But one thing that’s been a bit trickier to track down is a single, comprehensive list of the best growth hacks to put into practice, or at least experiment with. What’s something I can try today, for example, with content that I already have?

When I surveyed my colleagues, I learned that I’m not the only one asking that question. That’s why we compiled this list of 24 growth hacks that you can put into practice with your current content assets. Download our free marketing tool that helps you generate more leads and learn  about website visitors.

Whether it’s repurposing it to create something new, or adding something small but effective to it, these hacks require no massive undertaking.

24 Growth Hacks to Try Today

1) Repurpose blog content.

Blog posts can stand to benefit from more than just edits. They have the potential to be transformational.

You may have heard that multimedia content is quite popular these days -- in fact, marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. But how do you come up with ideas for what these videos should be about? That’s where your blogs come in. You can adapt them as short recap videos, or even podcasts to provide your audience with a new way to learn from you. Plus, it helps you build a presence on multiple channels. While blogs, when composed correctly, tend to perform better in organic search results, videos tend to show more promise on social media.

2) Build social sharing links directly into content.

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Speaking of social media -- are you making it easy for your audience to tell their friends about you? If not, consider building easy sharing tools like “tweet this” buttons directly into your website content, so that readers can share items they find particularly valuable without leaving the page.

This hack works particularly well with things like one-line quotes or statistics. Since Twitter has a 140-character limit, these short snippets are prime for shareability.

3) Test your conversion points.

Leads -- they’re great! But where do they come from?

If you’re not sure where your leads are most likely to convert -- on a product page, versus a pricing page, for example -- you can use a non-intrusive exit intent popup to test different conversion points. It’s one of the tools available in the HubSpot Marketing Free software, which helps to shed light on how leads behave on your website and how that can turn them into customers.

But again -- be sure that this popup is non-intrusive, especially on mobile. Google penalizes sites with intrusive mobile interstitials, so make sure you’re creating something that doesn’t interfere with a positive user experience.

4) Embed live videos.

Are you planning a live stream, like a webinar or YouTube Live? Embed it.

You can embed certain types of live video on your website, providing an easy point of reference for people who want to tune in, but maybe didn’t enroll in advance. Plus, many of these platforms can be shared on social media -- that’s what makes one like YouTube Live so valuable, since it’s also easy to share a “watch page” on a number of social networks:

5) Connect with industry experts.

Got writer’s block? No problem -- let other experts do the work for you.

Around here, we love a good roundup -- of website examples, of Instagram accounts to follow, or of valuable quotes. Try reaching out to industry experts on Twitter and asking a common question that you, your sales team, or your industry faces. Then, compile their responses into a blog post.

We’d recommend being completely transparent about what you’ll be using these quotes for. In addition to properly attributing the quote to the person it came from, make sure that individual knows her name will be appearing in your blog post.

6) Take advantage of your highest-converting offer.

Once you’re able to keep track of where your leads are coming from, identify your highest-converting offer and break it out into multiple sections. From there, you can expand upon those sections for longer blog posts -- and include a CTA for the offer at the bottom. Leads, upon leads, upon leads.

7) “Crowdsource” from your team.

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Sometimes, the best blog posts are the ones that address a question being asked by many, but answered by few. And as a growth marketer, it’s your job to figure out what those questions are.

To start, create a Google form to send to your colleagues -- in sales, or whichever department might have the same pain points as your audience -- and ask them to fill in the biggest questions they ask or come across each day. Use that to develop blog posts -- and, if your colleague feels comfortable, consider using an interview format to highlight her insights.

8) Find your most talkative customers.

We’re not talking about the folks who could spend an hour explaining breakfast -- we mean the customers who are the most active on social media. Curate a list of those accounts. When one of your social posts begins to perform well, fuel the fire by sending it to those contacts, and asking them to share it.

9) Embed social media posts.

Social posts were meant for sharing -- across various channels. That includes embedding them in your web content, like using tweets from happy customers as social proof.

But be careful not to embed these posts where they distract from your primary CTA -- this hack is best used on post-conversion pages.

10) Cross-pollinate.

You may have heard the phrase “brand evangelist” -- essentially, that’s someone who makes efforts to get others on board with your brand, much of the time through public promotion.

Finding these evangelists for your brand is similar to finding your most active customers on social media, but this time, you’re cross-pollinating your experienced customers with new ones, to inspire the latter. Give both parties special access to an exclusive, but social online space -- like Slack -- where they can interact.

11) Create a custom audience on Facebook.

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If you’ve ever created an ad or promoted post on Facebook, you know that one of the steps is to select certain criteria -- like location and interests -- to target a certain audience.

Identify who your best customers are, and see if there are any common denominators that are included in these criteria categories. That way, you can create a custom, lookalike audience that emulates your current “fan base,” helping you to grow where you’re already doing well.

When you create the ad, however, make sure your current customers are excluded from the audience. Facebook provides helpful instructions on how to do that here.

12) Use Twitter retargeting.

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In 2013, Twitter rolled out a new ad personalization feature, which allowed brands to create sponsored tweets that targeted users most likely to be interested in their products and services. “Users won’t see more ads on Twitter,” the official statement read, “but they may see better ones.”

This feature -- which allows you to retarget the people who are already familiar with your brand from a website visit or another previous interaction -- is a great one for moving prospects through the buyer’s journey. For instance, you might have one campaign that targets website visitors, and converts them into leads, or another that targets leads and converts them into marketing qualified leads (MQL). MQLs, for reference, are leads that are more likely to become customers based on the behavior that earned them that status, and the HubSpot Growth Stack can help you seamlessly manage this journey.

You can also create a campaign that targets your current customers to generate referrals -- another way of cross-pollinating your existing audience with a new one.

13) Make multiple versions of one ad.

When you launch a new Facebook promotion campaign, publish three or four different versions of the same ad. Not only does that help you target different audiences, but you may have one that outperforms the others.

That’s why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the metrics of every version of the ad. Once you can see if any of them are underperforming, you can deactivate them and re-allocate that portion of your budget more effectively.

14) Tag your YouTube videos.

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Keywords, keywords, keywords -- they might be more powerful than you think. For example, you might want your YouTube videos to show up in the search results for certain keywords.

That’s why we recommend tagging them with those words, and not necessarily for the video’s content. When you use this growth hack, it can help your YouTube videos appear as “suggested content” for audiences you want to reach.

15) Do your ranking research.

If you want to rank for certain search terms, you need to know what’s already in the top ten results for those queries. Do so by conducting a search in an incognito window -- that will help to produce unbiased results since they won’t be based on your existing browser history -- and see what’s on the first page.

Not only will that give you some ideas for content creation -- please, don’t just copy the results verbatim -- but look within these results for opportunities to leave sincere, value-added comments that link back to your site. There are some outlets where this type of discussion is encouraged, like Quora and Linkedin, so keep an eye out for those in the results.

16) Recycle old blog posts.

According to HubSpot’s Head of Growth and SEO, Matthew Barby, “In general, pages deeper in the architecture of a website will get a lower share of internal PageRank.”

That means that these posts would benefit from some reinvigoration. That presents an opportunity -- to update these posts with new data, examples, or insights, and republishing them for a ranking boost.

17) Experiment with email.

No two email sends are created equal. That’s why even the same email needs to be tested with different versions, especially with a particularly big send.

Let’s say that you want to send the email out on Wednesday or Thursday. Test a few versions of the email with a small percentage of your total list -- divided into even smaller sections for each version -- on Tuesday. That way, you can send the best-performing version on your desired date.

18) Make it easy to share.

Have you ever completed a transaction and then received a CTA to share the product or service with a friend? You can do the same thing for your content offerings, like webinars.

Tools like Share Link Generator can create mailto links, which webinar registrants can use to invite their teams to a webinar they signed up for. Try to BCC yourself to make sure it’s working.

Here’s an example of what that looks like. 

19) Get feedback from real people.

Sometimes, we’re so focused on growing by way of acquiring new users, that we forget about our existing ones. And often, they’re the best source of information, especially when it comes to ways you can grow your product.

Try inviting existing users to something like a “VIP Beta,” where you can gather their feedback on new products, features, or campaigns. That can help you test positioning, and delight your customers ahead of a big launch. You’ll gather great insights for your campaign, while also showing your existing users that you value their perspectives.

20) Look for external collaboration opportunities.

It’s easy to automatically think of brands that seem similar to yours as competition. But look again -- do your products and services compete, or do they complement each other? If it’s the latter, you may have just discovered a promising co-brand.

Run a co-marketing campaign with a partner company that has an audience that would be interested in your brand, but is difficult for you to reach. Make sure your partner would benefit from your audience, too -- you want the experience to be a win-win-win: for you, your co-brand, and the consumer.

When you run this campaign, both brands can promote it to their respective audiences, and agree to share the leads they generate. This way, you get twice as much exposure out of one offer.

21) Illustrate progress.

12-Progress-Bar-by-Bojan-Janjanin.jpg Source: Hongkiat

Let’s say you offer free resources to help new users become better at learning your product, or learning your industry in general. Keep them updated on that progress -- that might help to mitigate the risk of abandoning the learning process.

One way to do that is to include a progress bar in emails, to show the recipient how far along she is in completing a task. For example, show her that she’s already completed the first step -- like enrolling or signing up -- and then, explain what to do next.

22) Create free tools -- not just free content.

When composed correctly and with quality, blog posts can provide a good amount of (free) value to your audience. But it shouldn’t end there -- demonstrate the value that your product or service provides, to give prospects a taste of what they’ll get when they sign on as customers.

While other digital content, like videos, can teach your prospects and build trust with them, free tools like calculators, kits, and templates help them experience the benefits of your products in a more direct way, and illustrates what they stand to gain by becoming a customer.

23) Customize landing pages for different channels.

To help reach the right users, try creating landing pages that are unique to the distribution channel you’re using to capture leads. If you’re using a Facebook ad to capture a lead, for example, it should send the users to a short, mobile-friendly, easy-to-tap form. A landing page designed for organic search, meanwhile, might contain more text for search engines to index.

24) Clip it and share it.

Get more value out of every webinar you host. Take inventory of that footage, and find the short segments that are most informative, even when they stand alone. Those clips can be isolated and repurposed into five minute videos to share on social media or other content. Be sure to link back to the original, full webinar in the description of each video -- if it’s gated by a form, for example, that can help you generate leads.

Ready to get started?

So, are you feeling energized to start growing? We are. Decide which of these hacks would be the easiest for you to tackle first, and prioritize them in the order in which you want or can try them.

Which growth hacks will you try first? Let us know in the comments.

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What is Latent Semantic Indexing & Why Does it Matter for Your SEO Strategy?

I’ll admit that when I first heard a colleague mention “latent semantic indexing,” my immediate response was simply, “What?”

Luckily, although it sounds like something that requires a degree in computer science, it’s actually a concept you’re probably familiar with -- particularly if you have some basic knowledge of keywords and their close relationship with search engine optimization (SEO).

In this post, we’ll be using an infographic by HigherVisibility to discuss latent semantic indexing (LSI) in three parts. More specifically, we'll define LSI and how the process can potentially benefit your overall SEO strategy, take a closer look at ways to find LSI-driven keywords, and outline how to add these keywords into your content.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

What Is Latent Semantic Indexing, and How Will It Boost Your Overall SEO Strategy?

To understand LSI, you want to start by taking a closer look at search engines and how they operate. At the very basic level, sites like Google use complex algorithms to understand two things:

  • Your content and its context
  • A user’s search intent and its relationship to specific keywords

In other words, LSI helps search engines identify related keywords and process synonyms to deliver more accurate search results.

Consider the word “aviator.” Pages that include this word could be anything from an e-commerce site selling the popular Ray Ban sunglasses to a fan page dedicated to Leonardo DiCaprio’s turn as Howard Hughes in the 2004 biopic, “The Aviator.”

Search engines use LSI keywords to help add context to pages that contain the word “aviator” in order to provide better search results. If the site is dedicated to the latter, for instance, it would include LSI keywords like, “Leonardo DiCaprio,” “drama,” and “movie.”

Benefits of LSI-Driven Keyword Research

Search engines are always on the hunt for the most relevant and in-depth content for a given query. When you think about how big the internet is, it’s not easy for a site like Google to determine what a page’s content is all about. This is why it rewards sites that include relevant LSI keywords with higher rankings and more traffic.

Benefits extend beyond those directly related to SEO, though. Additional and more accurate categorization helps users, publishers, and marketers alike. Publishers, for instance, can increase engagement because LSI-driven content is more targeted and ensures that it’s landing in front of the right audience. Users entering queries also benefit because they can easily (and more quickly) find the content that answers their questions.

5 Ways to Find LSI Keywords

Now that you’re an expert on LSI and why it’s important, let’s walk through the different ways you can find additional keywords you’ll want to include in future content and blog posts.

1) A Simple Google Search

One of the easiest ways to find LSI keywords is Google itself. When you enter a term in the search query field, it automatically shows the keywords related to the particular query.

Let’s use the earlier example of “aviator” again. An initial search of the word provides these results:

Again, there are a lot of pages this particular keyword could point to which is why we need to use LSI to add more context. If you continue to scroll down to the bottom, you’ll find a section titled, “Searches related to” and your given query:

Use the list of keywords as a starting point for potential LSI keywords because it reveals what Google already associates with your primary keywords.

The best part? This method is 100% free!

2) Use the Keyword Planner Tool via Google AdWords

If you have access to Google AdWords, you can also use their Keyword Planner tool.

Again, we’ll use the “aviator” example. Begin by adding the term into the initial query box. Click “Get ideas” and you’ll be redirected to a page that offers related keywords and an idea of how competitive search rankings are for said term.

3) Take Advantage of the SERPs Keyword Research Database Tool

Another free tool for you to use comes from SERPs. Their Keyword Research Database Tool is very similar to Google’s Keyword Planner.  Simply add your query into the search bar and you’ll receive results based on volume of searches and CPC.

4) Use the LSI Keyword Generator

The LSI Graph/LSI Keyword Generator is another free tool specifically created for identifying LSI keywords. And as you can probably guess, it simply requires users to add a term into the search bar to generate a list of related keywords.

5) Try Ubersuggest

Finally, another freebie you can use to identify potential LSI keywords is Ubersuggest. Simply enter your primary keyword, and the tool will produce a list of related search queries based on volume, difficulty, and CPC.

How to Select (and Use) the Best LSI Keywords

At this stage, you’ve likely got a big list of potential LSI keywords. The trick is to narrow down your best options that are both directly related to your content and carry a decent amount of search volume.

Understand the Three Different Types of Intent

It’s important that your LSI keywords help answer any questions someone might have about your primary keyword, so you'll want to figure out what kind of queries your target audience is putting into Google to find you content.

We’ll refer back to “aviator” again, this time in the context that it’s on a site dedicated to the film, “The Aviator.” Below are three different types of intent someone on Google might have using examples related to the movie:

  • Informational intent: This type of query is typically on a much broader scale. An example would be, “What is the movie ‘The Aviator’ about?”
  • Navigational intent: This is a more specific type of query. For instance, someone might want to know who directed the film or which company was a key producer.
  • Transactional intent: This type of query relates to purchasing something. In regards to our example, it could be related to purchasing the DVD.

Choose Words That Add Context, But Don’t Overstuff

LSI keywords need to be highly relevant to your content. In the case of our example with “The Aviator,” a post on “10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Aviator” should only include LSI keywords that relate to the film. “Aviator college,” for instance, was a related keyword that popped up when we used SERPs. However, this has nothing to do with the film and, in turn, adds no value to your content.

Something else you'll want to avoid is to not to overstuff your content with the LSI keywords you choose. A great way to judge this is by rereading your content once the keywords are added. If a given word doesn’t sound natural, leave it out.

Remember That LSI Is Only Part of an Effective SEO Strategy

Although it has quite the complex name, you don't need to know the ins-and-outs of website development to understand latent semantic indexing. Keep in mind, though, that it’s only one factor that determines how well your content ranks in search engines. An effective SEO strategy should also include relevant backlinks, relevant alt tags, etc.

That being said, it’s worth taking the time to identify and add LSI-driven keywords into your content -- particularly when everyone wants Google to be their number one fan.

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