Lessons from a legend.

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SNAPCHAT

The first Snapchat Mini app just launched

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The next big thing is actually small, according to Snapchat. Last month, the company announced Snapchat Minis – which, in a nutshell, are miniature versions of apps that run within Snapchat.

Here are the highlights from the launch of the first Mini yesterday:

  • Snapchat’s first Mini app is a meditation tool from HeadSpaceand it lets you team up with a couple of friends for some guided meditation. It takes just a couple of taps to jump into a guided meditation session with one of your friends, and it can be accessed from the home screen.
  • In the middle of a worldwide pandemic, a meditation app couldn’t have been more timely. What we’re focusing on, though, are the implications for Snapchat. If Snapchat Minis catch on, we’d expect to see the new feature drawing a lot of attention from marketers and developers.

Snapchat claims to reach more young people than Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger combined – if Minis start to catch on, expect to see them receive plenty of attention from brands looking to target younger audiences.

You can check out more information on the Mini app launch here.


GOOGLE

Google answers common robots.txt rumors

Creating a robots.txt file certainly isn’t one of the more glamorous aspects of SEO, but it’s crucial all the same. Your robots.txt file is how you communicate with Google’s web crawlers to let it know which areas of your site it can request.

And, like with pretty much everything else SEO-related, there are plenty of questions floating around about what you should disallow in your robots.txt. Our hero today is John Mueller from Google, who recently addressed a common question about robots.txt: should you disallow *.css$, php.ini, and .htaccess?

The takeaway? No, you shouldn’t. Google needs to access your CSS files to properly view your site, and your php.ini and .htaccess shouldn’t be accessible regardless.

Tweet carousels are back!

If Google’s search pages have looked a little empty lately, there’s a reason why. One of the noticeable changes in the aftermath of last week’s Twitter hack was the absence of Tweet carousels in SERPs.

Well, as of last night, they’re back! It isn’t a huge change, but it does mean you’ll be able to read tweets about a search topic without having to actually click through to Twitter (meaning if you’re like us and sometimes too lazy to click to Twitter, you don’t have to do that anymore).


SPONSORED BY ADCASH

The ins and outs of monetizing web traffic with Servando Silva, Craig Campbell and Emanuele Pezzulla

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Can we let you in on a little secret? Traffic fuels online businesses.

OK, that was not really a secret, but it’s a good reminder – traffic is what converts into leads, users, sales and customers.

Then the better you are at converting that traffic, the more your online business is worth. Quick maths!

Put those two together – generating traffic and converting it – and you have the topic of the next Adconf, the free virtual conference hosted by Adcash: How to effectively make money with your website!

Three experts, three presentations and a Q&A with everyone involved. All for free, on July 30th from 2pm UTC. Who are the speakers?

  • Servando Silva, a veteran affiliate marketer and blogger, will share his key takeaways on best ad formats and monetization insights for several verticals he’s seen success in.
  • Emanuele Pezzulla, head of key account management at Adcash, will reveal how to optimize user experience on your website while effectively monetizing at the same time.
  • Craig Campbell, an SEO expert with 18 years of experience, will share his approach to creating hard-hitting campaigns and ranking strategies.

Register here to save your spot for July 30th, 2pm UTC.


COPYWRITING

When writing copy, do as Hemingway did

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We mentioned it in the introduction of this newsletter. It’s Hemingway’s birthday today. Born in 1899, he changed the writing landscape with his short stories – and, later, award-winning books.

There’s a lot we can learn from Hemingway’s straightforward, inviting writing style that made even the most pompous writers of the time look on in admiration. In fact, there is so much to learn that there’s an entire app named after the guy that’s designed to help make your writing more effective.

Here are a few of our favorite lessons to take away from Hemingway when writing copy:

  • Use simple words – looking at you, James Joyce. Pick up any Hemingway book and you’ll be met with short words and few syllables. It’s part of what makes his writing style so distinctive, and it’s never been more relevant for ad copy today.
  • Let your writing reflect real life. In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway reflects on how Gertrude Stein found some of his writing too crude. But for copywriters today, the best copy often ends up being the boldest. Don’t pull any punches.
  • Forget adverbs. Hemingway almost always avoided adverbs, and as marketers, we should too. Removing adverbs in favor of stronger verbs allows you to connect better with your customers – in fewer words.
  • Write for a fourth grader, a rocket scientist, or both. The beauty of Hemingway’s writing is that it could be read by pretty much anyone. If your ad copy follows the same rule, odds are it’ll be received better and by a broader audience.

Writing ad copy isn’t easy – we’ve all sat in front of our computers for hours, trying to come up with a single sentence or phrase for a campaign.

But, with Hemingway’s advice, we just might be able to sell something.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

TIKTOK: A disagreement between the UK government and China over 5G installations has caused TikTok to put its plans for a global headquarters in London on hold.

TWITTER: Get ready, iOS users! Twitter is testing customizable app icons and a new splash screen upon opening the app, and the design options look great.

FACEBOOK: As part of a follow-up to their civil rights audit, Facebook has laid out steps to be more transparent and limit issues on their platform going forward.

GOOGLE: A new class action lawsuit from Android users alleges that Google is misleading users, giving them false impressions of the use of their data. Sound familiar? Google’s been in similar spots before, so we’ll see how the lawsuit turns out.


BRAIN TEASER

Fact or fiction? Instead of rain, diamonds come down from the sky on Saturn and Jupiter.

You can find the solution here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

A recipe for chocolate cake, courtesy of Peacock

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Well, this isn’t quite what we were expecting from Peacock’s terms and conditions. Zoe Scaman on Twitter recently discovered a chocolate cake recipe hidden in the third-party authentication section of NBC’s new streaming service, Peacock.

Not only does the cake recipe look delicious, but this is a brilliant way to make a terms and conditions document a little less boring. Not to mention, the discovery of the recipe in the terms and conditions went semi-viral on Twitter and garnered a couple of news articles – smart marketing by the Peacock team!

If you’re interested in trying the recipe out for yourself, you can find about it halfway through the original document. Good luck!

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