Halloween is over but we have another holiday to look forward to: Thanksgiving. So for this week’s news column, I give you something to be thankful for (if you invest in tech stocks) and a little something to scare you in the crazy world of online advertising.
What’s New in the World of Tech and Online Marketing
1. Infographics and Headlines with Numbers
WSI discovered that headlines with numbers and guest posts with infographics get more shares after analyzing Hubspot’s 39 most-shared posts this year.
According to the article, 33% of the 39 posts reviewed included an infographic. What’s more interesting is many of these infographics aren’t made by Hubspot but by third-party providers. This means that infographic creators and websites that accept infographics from third-party can work together to boost the number of shares they get by combining their content.
As for the numbers, WSI found that almost 50% of the most shared articles had a number, while 17 out of 39 had nine words or less in the headline.
2. Working with Social Media Influencers Comes with a Risk
Sparkling water brand La Croix used influencer marketing to win over Millennials. Many more companies are paying social media influencers, especially Instagram Influencers, to promote their product.
Google Adwords and Facebook advertising allows you to measure the ROI of your advertising budget through cost per acquisition and cost per click. But with social media influencers, you are at the mercy of the social network’s algorithm, since they only rely on the size and engagement of their current followers. The article on Social Media Explorer warns that many of these influencers are reaching fewer followers than before, so paying thousands of dollars because an account has 100,000 followers can’t guarantee the ROI you expect.
There’s also a rise in fake Instagram Influencers who use bogus photos and purchased followers to increase the number of their followers, and thereby get sponsorships from different companies.
MediaKix proved just how easy it is to qualify as an Instagram Influencer after they created two fake accounts. They built the account’s profile using stock images, purchased followers ($3 to $8 per 1000 followers), fake likes ($4 to $9 per 1000) and about 12 cents a comment.
It’s scary how cheap these services are, but what’s even more alarming is what malicious people can get with so little effort and investment. After two months, the fake accounts applied for several campaigns through a platform that connects influencers with businesses that want to build their online authority. It didn’t take long for them to receive sponsorship deals.
I’m not saying all online influencers are fake, as there are many legitimate influencers out there. What I want to emphasize is the need to carefully scrutinize an influencer before you agree to work with them. Go beyond their media packet. Read the comments they get and visit a few of their follower’s profiles to see if they’re authentic, and if they’re the kind of people you’d want to see your product.
3. Stock Shares of Tech Giants on Record High
Tech giants Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon reached unexpected highs after exceeding their quarterly forecast earnings, according to a report on The Guardian. Some market analysts thought the price of stocks in tech companies are already overvalued and are on the brink of a market correction, but the performance of said companies proved them wrong.
4. Tool of the Month: Hotjar
User experience (UX) is fast becoming an important factor that affects SEO rankings. How soon a visitor leaves your site, your website’s loading time, and how users interact with certain elements in your website all affect SEO and more importantly, conversions.
While heat maps and beta-testing are popular tools for improving user experience, they’re not your only options. After all, even if heat maps tracks a reader’s activity on a webpage, it still requires a bit of speculation to interpret the results. While that can be augmented with the help of beta testers, such services are often expensive and sometimes the feedback you get is vague or hard to implement.
Hotjar offers a suite of tools to help you track and improve the UX of your website, which includes more than user-testing and heat maps. They also allow you to record the behavior of site visitors through video, which shows a user’s mouse movements and clicks.
Another interesting feature is the instant visual feedback, which allows users to send you feedback on specific elements of your website.
5. Google Showing Emojis Again
Google can’t seem to make up its mind when it comes to emojis. In 2014, Google reportedly allowed people to search using emojis. Then they stopped showing them in search results in 2015, noting that they won’t penalize sites for using it but they will filter the emojis out of the search results because some SERPS looked like a cartoon mess.
Well, it’s 2017 and the emojis are back… at least for now. They only show up in certain SERPs and if you specifically search for emoji. Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable says he couldn’t duplicate the results Dayne Richards got.
— Dayne Richards (@Kingasfn) October 29, 2017
I tried it and here’s what I got:
I can search for emojis using an emoji and if I include “emoji” in the search box.
I couldn’t duplicate the baseball emoji using the same search parameters though.
Not all Doom and Gloom
I heard somewhere that infographics are overrated, but the article from Hubspot shows evidence of an infographic’s continuing appeal to readers. So it’s good news for us content creators and marketers.
Google’s love and hate relationship with emojis is a good metaphor for the fickle world of online marketing. It just goes to show that you need to be a student forever, if you want to be successful in this arena.