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Customer Success Execs Outline Their Priorities. How Are They Aligned With Marketing?

Although marketers think they own the customer, is this really the case? In a recent study [download page] of customer success professionals from Totango, respondents said they collaborated with marketing less often than other departments such as sales, product management and service/support. While the study found that customer success is far less isolated than it… Read More »

The post Customer Success Execs Outline Their Priorities. How Are They Aligned With Marketing? appeared first on Marketing Charts.

Four Points About Direct Mail’s Usage and Effectiveness

Although many marketers are either decreasing their investment in direct mail or have never budgeted for it at all, others are still finding value in the channel. So, while email and social media are the most frequently used channels for marketing campaigns, more than half (56%) of marketers continue to use direct mail, per a… Read More »

The post Four Points About Direct Mail’s Usage and Effectiveness appeared first on Marketing Charts.

Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization: What Marketers Need to Know

Are you ready for the biggest fundamental change to Facebook advertising in years? Did you know Facebook is making campaign budget optimization (CBO) the default for Facebook ads? In this article, you’ll discover how to use the new CBO setting to create Facebook advertising campaigns and when CBO will become your only option. Facebook Campaign […]

The post Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Get Verified on Instagram in 3 Simple Steps

If you want to know how to get verified on Instagram, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide we’ll tell you how to apply for Instagram verification (that’s the easy part) and provide some tips to help you qualify (that’s the hard part).

First, the easy part…

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a lifestyle photographer used to grow from 0 to 600,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

What does Instagram verification mean?

Instagram verification means establishing your Instagram account as the “authentic presence of a notable public figure, celebrity, or global brand.” An Instagram verified account gets a verified badge. It’s a blue seal with a little checkmark that appears next to your username. You can apply for Instagram verification with either a personal account or a business account.

The blue check helps people avoid imposter accounts and easily find the brands or public figures they want to follow. It appears in search as well as on your profile and in embedded posts. This helps people make sure they find the real accounts for the people and brands they’re searching for.

For instance, it can help you tell at a glance the difference between a celebrity account and a fan account for that celebrity. For brands, it can help avoid knock-offs stealing your thunder, and your followers.

Beyond that, though, it’s a bit of a status symbol. After all, according to instagram itself, the verification badge is evidence that you’re “notable.”

Who is eligible to be Instagram verified?

The coveted blue check wouldn’t be coveted if it was easy to attain.

Instagram verification is reserved for accounts that Instagram deems “in the public interest.” More specifically, you must be a public figure, celebrity or global brand.

You must adhere to the network’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. And, as Instagram explains on its website, your account must also be:

Authentic. Obviously you have to be who you say you are. That is, a real person, registered business, or brand. Unique. Only one account per person or business can get Instagram verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts. Instagram says it does not verify general interest accounts like meme roundups. Fan accounts also don’t qualify. Public. If you’re looking to verify your Instagram account, surely your account is already viewable to everyone, yes? While some brands have experimented with private Instagram accounts, these accounts do not qualify for verification. Complete. You must have a complete bio, profile photo, and at least one post. Notable. Again, Instagram stresses that verified accounts must “represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand, or entity.”

Even if you already have a verified badge on Facebook, that doesn’t mean you will be eligible to get verified on Instagram. Getting verified on Facebook is easier.

Whereas Facebook grants verification small businesses and organizations, Instagram says it will only grant a verified badge to “notable” accounts that are “in the public interest” and “have a high

4 LinkedIn Advertising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Do you use LinkedIn ads? Wondering if you’re making costly mistakes? In this article, you’ll discover four LinkedIn advertising mistakes and learn how to avoid them. Why Use LinkedIn Ads? In the past, reaching people with your messaging on LinkedIn was almost easy. Compared to quickly growing platforms such as Facebook, the LinkedIn feed was […]

The post 4 LinkedIn Advertising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Create an Instagram Stories Content Plan: A Guide for Marketers

Want to do more with Instagram Stories? Looking for a useful guide to help plan your Instagram stories? In this article, you’ll learn how to plan, create, optimize, and schedule Instagram Stories content for your business. #1: Establish a Theme and Style for Your Instagram Stories Content As with most of your online marketing efforts, […]

The post How to Create an Instagram Stories Content Plan: A Guide for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

New Facebook and Instagram Shopping Ads

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore new shopping ads for Facebook and Instagram and Facebook Dating with special guest, Amanda Robinson. Tune In […]

The post New Facebook and Instagram Shopping Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Personal Branding: How to Successfully Build Your Brand

Do you want to build a personal brand? Wondering how to create a viable business around your personal brand? To explore what marketers need to know about building a personal brand, I interview Rory Vaden on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Rory co-founded the Brand Builders Group and is the host of the Influential Personal Brand […]

The post Personal Branding: How to Successfully Build Your Brand appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Make the Best YouTube Channel Art (+5 Free Templates)

Your YouTube channel art is one of the most important parts of your YouTube channel—aside from your actual video content, of course.

It’s basically a giant billboard for your brand at the top of your YouTube profile.

It’s the first thing people see when they visit your channel, and it links potential followers to your other social channels.

But you don’t need to be a professional designer to make your YouTube channel art look professional. We’ve included five customizable templates in this article that anyone—designer or not—can use to create their own YouTube banner.

And we’ve broken down the process into eight easy steps. Read on to start creating your own designer YouTube channel art.

Bonus: Attract more views and subscribers in minutes with one of our 5 free customizable YouTube channel art templates. Download them now.

The 5 elements of engaging YouTube channel art 1. Your logo, in the right place

First things first. Who are you? Make sure that’s clear right off the bat. New visitors to your page will want to know.

Place your logo in an obvious, visible spot against a color that makes it pop. Also, make sure it’s within the “safe area” (more on that below).

Not sure where to put your logo? Our templates offer suggestions.

2. Simple image with a clear focal point

Like any billboard ad, the simpler the message, the easier it will be received. Don’t try to do too much with your YouTube channel art.

Instead, use this small space wisely to convey what you want viewers to focus on about your brand. Stick to one image and a logo against a simple background.

Or maybe it’s just your logo against a background that makes it clear what your brand is all about, as Epicurious does.

If you’re a really well known brand with top YouTube talent, you could even skip the logo, and simply feature the stars of your channel. It seems to work for Bon Appetit.

Whichever direction you choose to go in, remember: the rest of your YouTube page already has a lot going on. If you want people to take an action—subscribe, follow you on another social channel, or watch one of your videos—don’t let your banner overwhelm them.

3. Optimization for both desktop and mobile

Seventy percent of YouTube views come from mobile. That means although your YouTube banner is technically 2,560 x 1,440 px, most people will see an area much smaller than this.

Make sure to include the most important information (like your logo) in the “safe area” of your YouTube banner, i.e., within an area of 1,546 x 423 px. Our templates mark out this area very clearly, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything important.

4. Consistent brand colors

This almost goes without saying, but make sure your YouTube banner is consistent with the way you present your brand elsewhere online. Otherwise, viewers will get confused.

This rule stands even if your YouTube presence

How to Get Started With YouTube Ads

Want to market your products or services on YouTube? Wondering how to set up a YouTube video ad campaign? In this article, you’ll learn how to run ads on YouTube via the Google Ads dashboard. #1: Link Your YouTube Channel With Google Ads Before you start your YouTube video ad campaign, you must link your […]

The post How to Get Started With YouTube Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Struggling to Find That Stat? Research Tips for Social Media Marketers

Content may be king, but poorly researched content can make you look more like a joker.

Great social media research skills  can help boost your reputation as an expert in your field. But it’s a wild world of information out there. It can  be tricky to find the precise data you’re looking for from a credible source.

Even if you do strike research gold, you can still go wrong by using statistics incorrectly. This is something even professional journalists can struggle with. So, what’s an aspiring content marketer to do?

In this guide, you’ll learn seven effective ways to conduct social media research for professional, accurate content.

Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to increase social media engagement with better audience research, sharper customer targeting, and Hootsuite’s easy-to-use social media software.

Online research tools

Google, of course, is an online researcher’s best friend. But it can also be your worst enemy, sucking you into time-wasting dead ends as you hunt for information. It can also lead you astray, since it returns information unfiltered for credibility. Remember: Just because you found a “fact” on the internet doesn’t make it true.

First, let’s talk about  some advanced search techniques to target your research efforts. These will help reduce the amount of time you spend searching through irrelevant information.

1. Use Google search operators and advanced search

Google search operators are simply text cues to help Google understand exactly what you’re looking for. They narrow down the potential matches to your search, reducing irrelevant information. Some of the most useful include:

Quotation marks (“”)

Placing a phrase in quotation marks tells Google that you’re searching for that  specific phrase. Without the quotes, Google will search for any combination of the words.

For example, try searching “online research strategies”. The search will return articles (like this one) that contain that specific phrase. If you search without the quotation marks, you’re more likely to get content about research in general, rather than specific online tips.

Asterisk (*)

An asterisk acts as a wildcard, allowing Google to fill in the blanks.

For example, maybe you’re looking for a quote from Shakespeare, but you can only remember some of the words. You could search “to * own self be true”.


This operator allows you to search only the results from a specific website. This is particularly helpful if a website does not have its own search field.

For example, you could use it to search the Hootsuite website straight from Google. To learn how to add a stream to your Hootsuite dashboard, you could type site:Hootsuite.com “add stream” in the Google search bar. Be sure not to insert a space after the colon, or this won’t work.

Number range (..)

Placing two periods between numbers instructs Google to search for any numbers within that range. This can be especially useful when searching for results that include specific dates.

For example, you could search Space Shuttle 1981..2011. You would get Space Shuttle results that mention any

How to Run a Smart Social Media Takeover

Ever consider running a social media takeover?

A social media takeover is when you grant posting privileges to a person of interest, like an influencer, expert, or professional. While takeovers are most popular on Instagram and Snapchat, they can be hosted on any social platform.

This guide will cover how your brand can benefit from a social media takeover. It’ll also show you how to run your own takeover, step-by-step. And give you inspiration from other successful social media takeovers.

Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

Why run a social media takeover?

There are many reasons to host social media takeover. They can help you increase awareness of your brand, open up new audiences, engage your current followers, and more.

Increase exposure

Social algorithms change often, but a general rule is the more engagement your post receives, the more likely it will be seen by others. Whether you tap a macro-influencer with a large audience or a micro-influencer with a dedicated base, increased exposure can bring your account more engagement, sales, and followers.

Ethical fashion brand Everlane teamed up with Teen Vogue beauty editor and stylist Michelle Li for her expert advice on how to style their threads.

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????-y pants for a ????-y summer. This is my kind of launch – @everlane just made three v good cheeky bootcut jeans that give my booty a ‘round the clock butt hug. ????Go watch my takeover in their IG stories. #ad

A post shared by Michelle Li (@himichelleli) on Aug 13, 2019 at 11:45am PDT

Gain new followers

One of the primary benefits of increased exposure is new followers.

If you can find a takeover host that speaks to your target demographic, chances are higher they’ll be interested in hearing more from your brand. But takeovers can also be an effective way to move into new markets.

Opening a shop in a new city? Launching a menswear line? Find a host that holds sway in your new target market and can introduce you to new prospective followers.

To announce its offering of free worldwide shipping on orders, Reformation tapped British influencer Lucy Williams takeover its Instagram Stories and model their pieces around London.

Build brand affinity

Takeover hosts can have a halo effect for your brand. If an influencer is trusted by their audience, their vote of confidence can go a long way for your brand’s credibility.

But don’t think of takeovers as strictly endorsements. Takeover hosts can show a more personal or ethical side to your brand.

If you’d like to promote your sustainable practices, for example, get a host who is a well-known advocate for the environment. Want to prove that your products can be worn by people of all ages and body types? Find takeover hosts with different ages and body types.

For its Twitter takeover, Mastercard asked its summer interns what they

How to Run the Best YouTube Contest in 10 Easy Steps

Want to gain subscribers, win leads, and drive sales? A YouTube giveaway can help with all of those goals (and more).

Marketing on YouTube is all about building community, and YouTube contests are a great way to do that. Not only do they help viewers interact and feel connected to your brand. They also encourage likes, comments, and shares—all of which influence your rankings in YouTube search.

In this post, we’ll share key tips for hosting a YouTube contest. We’ll also go through the YouTube giveaway rules and offer creative content ideas to get you started.

Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals the exact steps one creator took to gain more than 23,000,000 views on YouTube with no budget and no expensive gear.

How to run a YouTube contest in 10 steps 1. Set SMART Goals

Research shows that people who set their own goals get more done than those who don’t. Get clear on why you want to host a YouTube giveaway before you start planning it.

You can use the “SMART” goal framework to get started. That means, setting goals that are:

Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Timely 2. Choose a stellar prize

Your prize can be almost anything—as long as (the right people) want it.

Of course, products are an obvious choice. But your contest prize could also be a service or experience. (In fact, research shows millennials may actually prefer experiences to products.)

Whatever it is, make sure your prize is relevant to your channel. First, make sure you’re clear on who your audience is. (Check out YouTube analytics if you’re not.)

Then, choose something you know they’ll value and enjoy.

For example, ECO-BOOST’s audience is super environmentally conscious. Check out the green goodies she shared in this YouTube giveaway.

3. Partner up

YouTube partnerships offer exciting opportunities for brands and creators.

For brands, they help foster audience awareness. Collaborations with YouTube creators are 4x better at driving brand familiarity than those with celebrities.

In turn, partnerships help creators expand their reach—as well as their budgets. That makes them a win-win for everyone.

There are several ways to host a partnered YouTube giveaway:

Collaborate with a brand who will provide free prize(s) Combine prizes with a partner to increase your offerings Pay a YouTuber with a larger following to leverage their audience Promote a creator’s campaign in exchange for the same Find a collaborator who will share your contest with their contacts Whatever option you choose, make sure your partner’s target audience is similar to yours. Talk through your goals and values before signing off to confirm you’re on the same page. 4. Decide where to run your contest

Hosting your contest on YouTube is an obvious choice. But some brands prefer to embed their YouTube contest into their website.

Here are a few advantages of hosting a YouTube giveaway on your own site:

Boost traffic Create a branded landing page Gain detailed analytics on the campaign Increase brand trust and awareness Funnel visitors to

How to Get Clicks Without Resorting to Clickbait: 5 Easy Tactics

As a content marketer you want people to click on your headlines.

So they’ll read your posts.

And buy your stuff.

I get it. Wouldn’t want it any other way.

That’s what I, you, and your boss expect.

But resorting to clickbait to get those clicks? Not an option.

Why? I’ll explain shortly, but first…

Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to increase social media engagement with better audience research, sharper customer targeting, and Hootsuite’s easy-to-use social media software.

What are clickbait headlines?

Clickbait headlines consist of words and symbols to provoke curiosity. In whatever way it takes for those headlines to stand out in any feed. So that readers will click your headlines, versus the other guys’.

Exclamation marks to excite. Strong words to incite. Anything is (un)fair game when it comes to baiting the reader to click.

Here’s a few:


Here’s 33 more.

Scan some. Click on some. But don’t resort to using them.

Why avoid clickbait headlines?

Here’s the three main reasons I can think of.

Your bounce rates will increase

“Simply unbelievable”, “you’ll be blown away”, “the most amazing story ever.” Rarely do such sensational phrases deliver on those promises.

When you write to shock, you fall short of meeting the reader’s expectations. Then they’ll leave your page and bounce back to Google search results—increasing your bounce rate.

Your rankings will decrease

When people return to their search results, search engines count that first click as a mismatch between searching and finding. In other words, when your bounce rate increases, your search rankings decrease.

And then less people overall will visit your content.

Facebook posted phrases commonly used for clickbait headlines. If you use those phrases, you’ll rank lower in their news feed too.

You’ll lose trust

You’re working hard to build credibility for your brand. Don’t blow it now by trying to lure readers with the fantastical and sensational.

Clickbait might work in the short run, but certainly not for long.

For sure, derive a catchy title—so long as your content delivers on what the headline implies.

5 ways to write headlines without resorting to clickbait

There are dozens (and dozens) of approaches to writing captivating headlines. But I don’t want to crowd your brain. This piece focuses on a precious few, ones I often use myself.

1. State the benefits

Stating the benefits in a headline or caption is a) considerate and b) useful.

Considerate, because you are thinking and writing from the reader’s perspective. Too many brands write from their perspective. “We”, “we”, “we”, “we”.

As I’ve said before in several posts, people care more about themselves than about you.

Useful, because you’re setting an expectation for what’s to come in the post or article. This helps readers

17 of the Best Instagram Apps to Take Your Posts to the Next Level

While the Instagram app itself provides tons of useful functionality, sometimes you need a little extra help to take things to the next level.

Fortunately for marketers, there’s no shortage of tools designed to up your Instagram game. In fact, there are so many that it can be overwhelming to try to figure out what will work best for your needs.

In this guide, we’ve compiled the best Instagram apps in four important categories:

Photo editing: Edit and resize your photography. Layout and design: Create collages, creative layouts, and graphics. Video tools: Capture, design, and edit videos. Audience engagement, analytics, and data: Engage your prospects, grow your audience, and track your results.

There are plenty of great apps for Instagram Stories, too, of course, but we’ve tackled those in a separate blog post dedicated to the best apps for Instagram Stories.

Some of the tools in this post are free, some are freemium (the base product is free, but additional features cost money), and others cost money upfront or have an ongoing monthly fee.

If you’re just getting started, try the free tools first to get a sense of what you need, then move on to more robust paid tools when you’re ready to take your Instagram game to the next level.

Types of Instagram apps Instagram apps for photo editing Instagram apps for layout and design Instagram apps for video Instagram apps for engagement, analytics, and data

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a lifestyle photographer used to grow from 0 to 600,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

17 of the best Instagram apps for marketers Photo editing 1. VSCO

Price: Free for basic or $19.99 USD/year for VSCO membership with additional features
Download: iOS or Android

Why you should try it

VSCO is one of the original and most popular mobile photo-editing apps. It’s so popular, in fact that nearly 195 million Instagram posts feature the #VSCO hashtag. The free version comes with 10 presets that make your phone-shot photos look like they were captured on film, along with photo-editing tools like contrast and grain.

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excited for you guys to try their products! head over to their page and be one of the first to try it out! see ya there @irynaskin #irynaskin #ad

A post shared by ⋒ chas ⋒ fifteen ???? (@aescado) on Aug 21, 2019 at 4:06am PDT

2. Snapseed

Price: Free
Download: iOS or Android

Why you should try it

Developed by Google, this precision photo-editing Instagram app works on both JPG and RAW files, making it a powerful tool for professional photographers. Beyond filtering your photos, you can perform serious photo-editing tasks like removing elements (or even people) from the photo, adjusting the geometry of buildings, and using curves to control the brightness of your image.

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Trailer Part 1 #snapseed ・・・ Official Snapseed

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