Online Marketing News: Facebook Optimizes Audiences, Bots Cost Billions, Gentrified Google Guidelines

10 Types of Visual Content Your Brand Should Be Creating Right Now


10 Types of Visual Content Your Brand Should Be Creating Right Now [Infographic] – Over the past few years, we’ve seen content become more visual. Marketers have experimented with infographics, videos, and more — and they’ve made plans to keep it up this year. To help narrow your focus, check on this infographic from Canva below. From quote cards to infographics, this helpful list is designed to inspire your next visual project. Canva


Facebook Now Tracks Call-to-Action Clicks via ‘Actions on Page’ Insights Tab – Facebook is giving page owners a deeper understanding into how active those call-to-action buttons are. SocialTimes


Parents Spend 1.3 Times More Time on Facebook Than Non-Parents (Study) – Mobile devices have become vital tools for parents, according to a new study by Facebook IQ. The social network’s research arm interviewed parents aged 25 through 65 of infants, toddlers, adolescents and teens in eight markets–Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Spain, U.K. and U.S.—analyzing Facebook and Instagram data with help from Ipsos MediaCT and Sound Research. Facebook


Study: Sophisticated Bots Outwitting Marketers, Will Cost $7.2 Billion In 2016 – Ad fraud is a major problem in digital advertising that results in billions of dollars in annual losses to marketers. While marketers are winning the battle against “basic bots,” they’re losing against more sophisticated bots, according to a new study and report from White Ops and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Marketing Land


Report: 60% of Users Unwilling to Vacation Without Mobile Device – Expedia and Egencia, Expedia’s business travel brand, have revealed the results of the Expedia / Egencia Mobile Index, which measured the behaviors and preferences of mobile users while traveling. The study was conducted by Northstar, and gathered data from 9,642 travelers from 19 countries. SocialTimes


Survey: Under 40 Percent Start A “Local Search” With A Search Engine – What we widely call “local search” is only partly about search engines. Finding local content and making offline purchase decisions is a multifaceted process that involves several categories of information and devices. That’s according a new survey and report from IDC and YP. Search Engine Land


The 2016 Facebook Awards is Now Accepting Entries – It’s award season and The Facebook Awards is now welcoming submissions. Formerly the Facebook Studio Awards, the newly-dubbed Facebook Awards launched in 2012 to honor the most creative work on Facebook and, starting in 2015, on Instagram too. Facebook


Report: 61% of Fortune 500 CEOs Have No Social Media Presence – Social media adoption is sluggish among Fortune 500 CEOs; 61 percent are not active on any of the major social networks. Domo found that 195 of the CEOs on the list are active on at least one of the six major networks — Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube — but none are active across all six. SocialTimes


Facebook Introduces Audience Optimization for Publishers – This week, we’re launching Audience Optimization, an organic targeting tool to help publishers reach and engage their audiences on Facebook and better understand the interests of people clicking on their posts. This tool 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. Facebook


Study: Quality Backlinks & Comprehensive Content Are Still Biggest Factors In Google Rankings – A new study broke down 1 million Google results. The results show that links & content had the highest correlation with a low Google position. Search Engine Land


Google Updates The General Guidelines Section Of Their Webmaster Guidelines – Google has quietly updated their Webmaster Guidelines document, which is one of the first places webmasters should go when learning about SEO best practices and dos and don’ts. Google


Facebook Audience Network Adds Support for Mobile Web – Facebook announced that its Facebook Audience Network mobile ad network added support for the mobile Web. The social network officially introduced Facebook Audience Network at F8 in April 2014, and it revealed earlier this month that the ad network reached a $1 billion annual run rate during the fourth quarter of 2015. SocialTimes


From our Online Marketing Community:


In response to 8 Digital Marketing Events Where You Can Learn, Connect and Grow in 2016Thomas Flannagan said, “Nice events! I’ll for sure visit stated webinars, thanx for the info!”


On How to Write for People: 5 Ways to Create Connections & Personality in Your Content Marketing Effortsannhandley shared, “LOL to being your “spirit animal.”


FBI shows video of Tuesday shooting of occupier

BURNS, Ore. (AP) — A video released Thursday by the FBI of the shooting death of a spokesman for the armed occupiers of a wildlife refuge shows the man reaching into his jacket before he fell into the snow. The FBI said the man had a gun in his pocket….

How to Add Bullet Points to Your LinkedIn Profile

About a year ago, I published a blog post on how to add bullet points to your LinkedIn profile. I couldn’t believe how popular that post was! So many people Liked, Shared and Commented. It was great fun! Unfortunately, the code to create a bullet point that I shared in that post became non-functioning several months later.


It seems like such a basic thing, but unfortunately overlooked by LinkedIn; they still do not offer a toolbar when you’re in Edit Mode in your Profile, so there still isn’t an easy option for inserting bullet points in your Profile.


However, there is a solution. I’m going to break it down for you as simply as possible below. Please feel free to Share or Comment if you know of other ways to do this!


How to Add Bullet Points to Your Profile


If you have a PC:


*Note – You will first want to be on a keyboard with a separate number keypad (to the right of the main keyboard) or Num Lock. Many newer computers and laptops do not have this feature, so you may have to do some hunting for a keyboard with this functionality.

    1. Start by clicking on the pencil icon within your LinkedIn profile, wherever you would like to add bullet points. This puts you in Edit Mode for that section.
    1. Put the cursor in exactly the space where you’d like the bullet to be. Then hold down the Alt key and type “0149” (without the quotation marks).
    1. Release the Alt key and the bullet will appear immediately!
    1. Hit your Space Bar once in order to put a space between the bullet point and the beginning of the text.
    1. Continue listing all items in this way until you’ve completed your list of bulleted text.
    1. Finally, click Save.

If you have a Mac:

    1. Start by clicking on the pencil icon within your LinkedIn profile, wherever you would like to add bullet points. This puts you in Edit Mode for that section.
    1. Put the cursor in exactly the space where you’d like the bullet to be. Then hold down the Alt key and type “8” (without the quotation marks).
    1. Release the Alt key and the bullet will appear immediately!
    1. Hit your Space Bar once in order to put a space between the bullet point and the beginning of the text.
    1. Continue listing all items in this way until you’ve completed your list of bulleted text.
    1. Finally, click Save.

Because LinkedIn is constantly changing, there is a chance that this code will eventually change again. I’ll try to keep you updated, should that be the case.


Thanks for reading and enjoy your newly organized LinkedIn profile!


How scared is Hollywood of Netflix and Amazon?

Kyle Chandler (left) and Casey Affleck star in

Kyle Chandler (left) and Casey Affleck star in “Manchester by the Sea,” which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was bought by Amazon Studios. (Claire Folger/Sundance Institute via AP)

When the critically adored drama “Manchester by the Sea” premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, the annual movie mecca where the best in indie films are screened and sold, some of the industry’s biggest names fought to win its distribution rights, including Universal, Sony and Fox Searchlight.

But the winner didn’t come from Hollywood. Instead, the movie’s North American rights were sold to Amazon Studios, the video division of the Web retail giant famous for superfast shipping and discount diapers, which won the bidding war with a $10 million offer that could give Amazon a shot at attending next year’s Oscars.

For years, streaming giants like Amazon and Netflix have fought unsuccessfully for a place at the table of one of the film world’s most lucrative events, aiming to compete with traditional distributors who buy and advertise the movies in hopes of pocketing box-office profits.

But now, surprisingly, the streaming giants are starting to win, the latest sign that the tech giants’ deep pockets and fast-growing ambitions are making them real players in the movie business — and raising fresh questions over how the industry hopes to compete with Big Stream.

( chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns the The Washington Post).

A few years ago, the streaming services were seen solely as bargain-bin buyers of other companies’ franchises, posing little threat to big studios and, often, offering up rewards through licensing deals in which the streamers paid to put the studios’ leftovers online.

But a lot has changed since Netflix first premiered original hits like “House of Cards.” Netflix said it plans to spend a jaw-dropping $6 billion this year on content, including more than 600 hours of original films and TV.

Still, indie filmmakers and distributors have balked at selling to the streamers because their movies won’t be guaranteed the traditional theater release, depriving them of big-screen audiences and the screenings they need to become eligible for awards.

Filmmakers often opted to sell to the studios they’d worked with for years, such as Fox Searchlight or The Weinstein Co., with long track records in marketing and monetizing indie films. They also feared they’d win less of an audience via streaming, or worried they’d lose out on the awards, cash and prestige of a hit brought to the big screen.

But that resistance has seemed to erode as the streamers have extended their shopping spree on high-quality productions and pushed to deflate the stigma attached to straight-to-TV releases. The millions of dollars in cash from Netflix and Amazon have certainly helped.

Besides “Manchester by the Sea,” a film produced by Matt Damon and starring Casey Affleck, Amazon also secured several other buzz-generating Sundance darlings: “Love and Friendship,” based on a Jane Austen novella; “Complete Unknown,” an arthouse drama; and the literary scandal “Author: The J.T. Leroy Story,” which will become Amazon’s first acquired documentary.

Its streaming rival, Netflix, joined it in the spending spree, buying three films before the festival began: “The Fundamentals of Caring,” a road-trip comedy starring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez; “Under the Shadow,” a tense horror flick set in ’80s Iran; and “Tallulah,” an Ellen Page dramedy by a writer for “Orange Is the New Black.”

The streaming giants’ presence was felt even when they didn’t win. Netflix fought in a bidding war for “The Birth of a Nation,” an unsparing drama of the Nat Turner slave rebellion, which takes its name, bitingly, from the 1915 silent film that lionized the Ku Klux Klan.

Heavy negotiating for the film — an early favorite of Sundance crowds, and in demand at a time when Hollywood’s diversity problem has taken center stage — helped spark the biggest deal in Sundance history, when Fox Searchlight agreed to buy the rights for $17.5 million.

The record-setting deal for the studio, whose “12 Years a Slave” won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2014, far outpaced the last record, the $10.5 million Fox spent on “Little Miss Sunshine” in 2006.

When the streaming giants tried for these kinds of deals at last year’s Sundance, they were often thoroughly rebuffed. Amazon lost a weighty bid for “Brooklyn,” the period drama won by Fox Searchlight and now Oscar-nominated for Best Picture.

But in the past year, Amazon has loosened its purse strings and offered filmmakers some of the trappings of traditional movie giants, like promising it would work with an established theater distributor for the film’s release and mount an aggressive award campaign.

After Netflix won the rights to “Beasts of No Nation” last year, it became the first streaming giant to push for a big-screen run and awards campaign for the gritty child-soldier drama. The movie made less than $100,000 in theaters, but it built major buzz for Netflix and led to award nominations — though not from the Academy Awards.

“The better they get at winning nominations, winning awards, the more (streaming) will show up as a prestige platform,” said Neil Macker, a film industry analyst at Morningstar. “There are going to have to be people who take that leap of faith and trust in it. But as more people do, you’ll see more people being comfortable with it.”

As they’ve grown, the streaming giants have shown big differences in how they hope to win over movie and TV’s creative corps. Where Netflix has preached a fast-to-Web model, Amazon has promised some films a traditional big-screen run before they’re viewable online. Amazon also makes its originals in-house, contrasting with Netflix, which buys most from traditional media firms.

The streamers’ fast growth has made similar waves in TV. Netflix’s billions in content has pushed competitors to open their pockets, and Morgan Stanley analysts estimate cable giant HBO will increase its spending this year by 20 percent, to about $2 billion.

TV executives who were already worried about “content overbuilding” — 21st Century Fox chief executive John Landgraf told The Hollywood Reporter “we make more shows than we can afford, collectively” – are now having to face down a new and insatiable rival.

Some TV heads have expressed confidence in the status quo — an NBC exec told a press tour earlier this month that people would leave the Netflix fad and go back to watching “TV like God intended” – while others have wondered just how long the streamers can continue spending all those gobs of cash.

Netflix is very much repeating the Bezos playbook, playing a game of chicken with the rest of the industry as to who will blink first.

“We don’t think there’s too much TV,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told the Television Critics Association earlier this month. “And if there is too much TV, someone else is going to have to slow down, because we have big plans for 2016 and beyond.”

Netflix won’t say how many people are watching its creations, leading rivals to offer up estimates that (unsurprisingly) underwhelm, and adding a cloud of doubt over just how well any of these investments are actually performing.

And while Netflix is profitable in the U.S., it could take years for the streamer to become profitable worldwide. That could increase the pressure from investors wanting to make sure all this Sundance and TV spending is worth the cost.

But for now, the streamers are winning big fans in one of their most important audiences: the faces and minds behind their newly bought films and TV shows.

“I love Netflix. I just sold a TV show to Netflix,” actress Selena Gomez, whose film was also sold to Netflix, told Variety. “It’s incredible the traffic that they get. It’s all that I watch when I’m at home.”







Is It Worth Getting a Qualification in Management?

If you are working in a management role or are aiming at doing so, it may be worth considering your options for qualifications in management. Having a qualification can dramatically increase your career prospects and may not take as much time away from your current work as you might think. It can also lead to further opportunities for higher education that could add even more weight to your CV.


What are the benefits of having a qualification in management?

Currently in the UK, only one in five managers have a recognised qualification, and employers are looking for candidates with these on their CVs, so having one could mean the difference between getting called back for an interview to your dream job and not. While getting qualified, you will also have the opportunity to improve your interpersonal skills, your self-awareness and your ability to think strategically and prioritise effectively.

Overall, the benefits of getting a qualification in management are many-fold. You’ll find you have increased general performance, an enhanced professional reputation among colleagues and when applying for new jobs as well as many career prospects as a result. Plus, many of the skills you learn from doing it, you’ll be able to transfer to your team, helping them to improve too.

What different levels are there?

There are five levels of management qualifications, from 2 to 7. Level 2 is aimed at individuals working as or aspiring to be team leaders, level 3 is for junior managers or supervisors, levels 4 and 5 for middle managers, level 6 for senior managers or directors of small businesses, and level 7 is for senior leaders or CEOs.

When considering which level is right for you, don’t think only about what position you’re currently working in, but also where you’d like to be in the future. For example, if you’re working as a junior manager but are aiming for a senior manager position within the next couple of years, consider going for a level 5 or 6 qualification.

Where can I get a qualification in management?

While many universities offer part time courses for management qualifications, both in person and as distance learning courses, you may find that taking a course directly with a dedicated management company to be more effective. These companies will generally offer flexible programs that you can fit around your schedule and skill set. They will also be able to tailor the qualifications to suit your needs and requirements, something that universities on the whole cannot do.

Typical modules for management qualification courses include how to manage ideas in a team, ethical organisation, risk management and carrying out management projects as well as issues relating to administration and recruitment.

If you choose to get qualified through a management company, assessment is carried out through practical assignments based on the work you’re already doing. This means that you’ll spend the minimum amount of time away from your work while getting qualified and that you are studying within the context of your current job to maximise the usefulness of what you’re learning.

What comes next?

Once you have your management qualification and have worked your way up to your desired position, you may wish to consider upgrading it in order to open even more avenues for your career advancement. One option is to become a chartered manager, the highest status achievable in the profession that is highly valued across multiple sectors. Doing this is relatively straightforward, requiring you to complete an online application followed by an assessment with an assigned assessor and a formal telephone interview. The longest this whole process could take is one year, though it’s possible to complete it in as little as two months.

Another possibility is to upgrade your qualification to the equivalent of a university degree. If you have a level 5 qualification, topping it up to a bachelor’s degree takes roughly one year, while if you have a level 7 qualification, it’ll typically take you six to nine months to upgrade it to an MBA.

Putting in the time and effort to getting a qualification in management could be the best career move you make. With multiple options out there, make sure you do your research in advance and carefully consider what you want to get out of the qualification in the end.

Are You Boring LinkedIn Contacts with this Dull Request?

LinkedIn connection request message

What are the 11 most boring words in the English language?

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

LinkedIn connection request message

Aside from using a ridiculously bad LinkedIn profile photo, using the default LinkedIn connection request message is one of the biggest mistakes you can make on LinkedIn. It severely limits the number of LinkedIn connections you’ll be able to make.

So what’s the key to getting people to connect with you and your brand on LinkedIn? I’ll walk you through the secret formula to writing an irresistible LinkedIn connection request message.

But first, let’s quickly look at the three different methods you can use to grow your LinkedIn network.

1. Connect With People You Know

Connecting with people you already know is a good way to start.

This step is insanely easy. Tons of people you already know are using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn connection request message

Navigate your way to LinkedIn’s Add Connections page. It’s here that LinkedIn will ask you for an email address and start the process of importing contacts from your personal email account. (Even if you’ve used this feature once or twice before, you may discover a surprising number of new contacts you haven’t yet connected to.)

After you go through this process, LinkedIn will let you select from dozens or maybe even hundreds of people you know but haven’t yet connected to.

But hold on! Don’t hit the “Add X Selected connection(s)” button yet.


If you send invitations from this screen, LinkedIn will send that boring, impersonal default invitation message.

Wait until after you’ve read this entire post so you can use my successful formula for LinkedIn requests.

Will some people you know accept the basic LinkedIn message? Sure. But you want to write an irresistible LinkedIn connection for people you know, but maybe don’t know as well as others.

If you’ve only communicated with someone via email once or twice, they might not remember you or be convinced they should commit to something as serious as accepting a LinkedIn connection request (haha). They could ignore or delete your request — or even worse, report you as spam.

2. Connect With People You WANT to Know

Connecting with tons of random people is the worst thing you can do. Repeatedly clicking the connect button on an algorithmically generated list of people LinkedIn thinks you may know is a recipe for mediocrity.

LinkedIn connection request message

Also, there is a real danger of sending generic LinkedIn connection requests to random people. If enough people who receive your connection request mark you as spam, then you could be banned. Only LinkedIn knows the exact threshold, but there is a real risk of your account being suspended if you get too many spam reports.

Look, networking means reaching out to people you don’t yet know. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you would like to know.

Just make sure you have a strategy. My LinkedIn connection request message formula, which I’ll share in just a bit, will definitely help you connect with the people you want to know.

3. Get People To Send LinkedIn Connection Requests To You

If people send you LinkedIn connection requests, then it’s up to you whether to accept or decline, and you don’t have to worry about being marked as spam.

At the basic level, you need to make sure you have a visible, killer LinkedIn profile. Make sure your profile tells people who find your page through a search exactly who you are, what you do, and why you’d be a valuable addition to their network.

A more advanced trick for attracting lots of LinkedIn connection requests is to set up an autoresponder. Here’s a real example of an email you could send to people who share their email address with your company (e.g., in order to receive a newsletter, download a whitepaper, or attend a webinar):

LinkedIn connection request message

By doing this, you’ll be asking people to send you the LinkedIn connection request. Note that I even used the same font and colors used by LinkedIn, so it looks like it came from LinkedIn, even though it doesn’t.

While you will get tons of LinkedIn connection requests this way, you shouldn’t accept every connection. After all, LinkedIn limits you to 40,000 connections.

Prioritize LinkedIn connection requests from people who live in countries where you do business. Also, before accepting anyone’s request, make sure the accounts are real — you don’t want to waste time with recruiters or people trying to sell you stuff you have zero interest in.

LinkedIn connection request message

How To Write a LinkedIn Connection Request Message That Will Never Get Declined

OK, it’s time to reveal the formula for the type of LinkedIn connection request messages that get accepted – almost 100 percent of the time.

The blueprint for writing a thoughtful, undeniable LinkedIn connection request message comes down to five P’s. Your request must be:

  • Polite
  • Pertinent
  • Personalized
  • Professional
  • Praiseful

Let me show you what I mean:

LinkedIn connection request message

So why is this formula for a LinkedIn connection request message so successful?

Let’s translate it to the real world. You’re at a cocktail party or networking event. A guy you’ve never met comes up to you, politely introduces himself, knows exactly who you are, shares some nice words about how you or your business helped him, and asks for nothing else but to shake your hand.

Would you shake his hand?

Of course!

Think of your LinkedIn connection request as your way to get that virtual handshake.

Even if someone doesn’t accept your request, which is unlikely, by using this secret formula, they definitely won’t report your request as spam.

In Summary…

LinkedIn offers a huge opportunity to connect with a massive professional population. Don’t limit yourself. Spend a few thoughtful moments writing irresistible LinkedIn connection requests, and you’ll start quickly building up your network!

LinkedIn Photo via Shutterstock



This article, “Are You Boring LinkedIn Contacts with this Dull Request?” was first published on Small Business Trends