Guess what. We’re almost 2 weeks into the new year already. Can you believe it?
Now that we’re in the swing of things, it seems like companies everywhere are picking up some serious steam. You can tell they’re planning for a long 12 months ahead to start their fiscal year out right and please their devoted users, fans, prospects, and customers.
How can you tell? Updates! Updates everywhere!
That’s right. Facebook has a secret announcement coming up, hot new measurement tools are coming out for Instagram, Yahoo! is improving its search feature, and even Digg is playing along. The real question is, how can your company take advantage of these updates to improve its own marketing? We’ll give you some fun, actionable tips throughout this weekly round-up so you can also kick your year off strong. Ready to get started? Here are the top marketing stories of the week.
This sounds frighteningly similar to a story from this summer in which a certain website (which shall remain nameless) sent a lawyer at Guardlex to sue another website … over an inbound link. Well, as it turns out, StumbleUpon is getting regular requests every week from users asking StumbleUpon to remove links to their sites for fear that Google is punishing them for it. The reasoning behind this thought process? Google's algorithm changed by leaps and bounds in 2012, especially with its Penguin Update, which punishes websites that have accumulated bad, spammy inbound links over the years. Because of this, people are in an absolute panic.
But what they should understand is that Google is punishing sites that have bad inbound links, not all inbound links. In other words, StumbleUpon is an established, reputable social network, and links from this site will not hurt you in the SERPs. Furthermore, Google’s Disavow tool can also help safeguard you against bad inbound links. So don’t go blaming StumbleUpon for those inbound links -- they're the good kind. To learn more about what links you do and don’t want, read the full post here.
Have you heard? Facebook is revealing something on January 15th, but nobody seems to know exactly what that "something" is just yet. So let's speculate a little, shall we? Search Engine Journal reported that a new, single-column Timeline design has rolled out in New Zealand. Do you think this could be what the secret announcement is about? It’s possible, but we didn’t want to settle on just one idea. Facebook could be releasing a smartphone, launching a gaming platform, or even acquiring Google! It could be anything.
That’s why we thought it would be more fun to share our list of 10 creative predictions for this secret announcement on January 15th. Even more fun, we invited our readers to join the discussion by leaving their personal predictions in the comments, and we’d like to invite you to participate if you missed your chance the first time around. What do YOU think Facebook will reveal? Please feel free to read all 10 predictions and leave a prediction of your own in the comments there.
How are you measuring the success of your efforts on Instagram? Oh, you didn’t know you could actually measure anything on Instagram? (Besides any closed-loop marketing analytics you have set up to measure the impact of referral traffic from Instagram, of course.) Well that’s understandable, since the app itself still doesn’t have its own set of analytics like, say, Facebook Insights. Luckily, Search Engine Watch has highlighted a list of extremely useful third-party tools that will measure your efforts -- including things like hashtags, Likes, comments, keywords, users, and filters. No more guessing! Check out the list of 5 tools here:
If you’re interested in learning more about how brands are using Instagram, check out the full story here.
Looks like Digg is finding more opportunities for marketers to advertise on its platform! The new Digg platform launched about 6 months ago and is now starting to monetize. At the moment, it’s doing this through the “Apps We Like” section on its homepage, which includes only sponsored mobile applications at the moment. These apps change every week and are generally handpicked by the Digg staff, which is different from the process many other platforms are currently using for monetization and bringing in new advertisers.
However, mobile developers are also welcome to apply to be a part of the sponsored program. If your company has a mobile application, you might want to consider Digg’s new advertising option. If you not, you’ll still want to pay attention for when (and if) Digg broadens the advertising spectrum to include other types of products and services to display. If you’re interested in learning more about Digg’s growth and marketing opportunities with the platform, read the full story here.
Did you know that by changing the design of your calls-to-action, you can improve clickthrough rate by 1300% (or more!)? Did you also know that PowerPoint is actually an incredible design tool? Seriously. If you don’t have a designer or fancy design software on hand, you can still create compelling calls-to-action to convert your website visitors into new leads and customers. We've even created 27 pre-designed calls-to-action right here for you to easily modify and customize, all within PowerPoint!
And once you’ve designed your CTAs, it’s important to collect data about how well they’re performing immediately, so you can see exactly how many views and clicks your new designs are reeling in. That way, you can conduct A/B tests and select only the designs that are performing best -- and improve the design of those that are underperforming. And because we want to help you out not only with the design of your calls-to-action, but also the measurement of their success too, we’re sharing a free tool that allows you to upload your new CTAs to your website and see how well they’re performing on the spot. Want to try it out for yourself? Click here to start customizing your CTAs now.
Do you ever look to Creative Commons to find free Flickr images to pair with your marketing content? Well, it looks like Yahoo! is integrating this option into its latest image search update. This is great news for content creating marketers! If you’re interested in testing out the new Yahoo! feature, click the arrow for the left-hand search options and click “Labeled for Reuse,” and you’ll be able to find all sorts of images you can legally use for your blog and social media posts.
Just be careful to give credit where credit is due (cite your sources), and double check to see if the image truly is available for commercial use. If you’re more of an on-the-go type, this feature is also available across all mobile devices. Looks like Yahoo! has really stepped up its game! If you’d like to learn more about this new update from Yahoo!, you can read the full story here.
Did you come across any other interesting marketing stories this week? Share them in the comments below!
Image Credit: rondostar