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BIG TECH

There’s a meeting happening in Washington (again)

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Big tech companies have been making headlines left and right this summer, and it looks like that trend is continuing to kick off October.

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee voted to issue subpoenas for Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Sundar Pichai of Google. Surprisingly enough (or not, it’s 2020), this is the second time in just a few months that big tech will be testifying before the U.S. government.

What’s at stake this time? First, the collection of tech execs is a bit different, with Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook being replaced with Jack Dorsey.

The hearing is about the liability that tech companies can (or should, in the eyes of some) face from content that their users create.

We won’t know much more about this until the hearing happens, which will reportedly occur before the U.S. election. But, stay tuned; any changes that follow as a result could mean big changes for social media.


FACEBOOK

Facebook Groups just got some updates

Facebook just hosted their Annual Communities Summit. If you’ve seen the event in years past, you’ll know that it’s centered around Groups – and this year, Facebook announced some statistics and updates about Groups that could change the way that many are run.

Here’s a breakdown of what was announced:

  • More than 1.8B people are using Groups every single month. That’s quite the number, and it illustrates why creating a community on Facebook is important for so many businesses.
  • Admins get some extra tools. A new feature, called Admin Assist, will let group admins set rules and automated content moderation policies to make sure their groups stay friendly as they grow.
  • Group admins get more ways to earn. Groups are being integrated with Brand Collabs Manager, which will make it easier for admins to strike up deals with brands.

The new updates announced by Facebook are summarized well in this article from Social Media Today, if you want to read more.

While we’re on the subject, why don’t we check out some advice Dan Snow has on why you should be using Groups in your strategy:

  • Groups are excellent for customer retention and brand loyalty. You can keep people active, engaged, and keep your most loyal customers in the loop on the latest news from your brand!
  • Groups can be great for giveaways and promotion. Try some giveaways in your Group to boost engagement – and eventually, Dan says, your customers may start promoting your products for you!

Oh, did we mention we have a Stacked Marketer group? You can join here once you’ve referred the newsletter to five friends.


SPONSORED BY TPAS2020

Join 20 experts for 5 days of lectures and workshops next week. It’s all online and free!

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Our next week’s schedule is packed. And we bet you’ll want to join the fun. Hear us out…

Travelpayouts Affiliate Summit 2020 is coming up and, as you would expect in 2020, it’s all online so you can join from the comfort of your home or office (or anywhere else you are, for that matter).

TPAS 2020 is packed with in-depth workshops across all 5 days. Here are just some of the highlights:

  • Farzad Rashidi will dissect how Visme went from 0 to 1.5M organic visitors.
  • Alexa Williams Meisler’s workshop will dig into how to use FB Ads to promote your best content, for just $1 a day!
  • Alexey Yanchuk will lift the curtain on the travel niche in a post-COVID world.
  • Tristam Jarman will walk you through how to compete against big players in SEO even if you have a small budget!

OK, that’s not all. This online conference is not just free… If you register and attend, you will enter a draw to receive $100.

So, you have at last three reasons to check TPAS out:

  • You will find out which strategies and techniques have been working for affiliate marketers and SEO masters in 2020.
  • You will learn how to apply best practices and up-to-date tactics to boost your business.
  • You will discover how to take full advantage of the post-COVID era in the travel niche as a marketer.

Woops, we almost forgot. The event runs from Monday, 5th October to Friday, 9th October.

Save your free spot here.


BUSINESS

From 0 to “ramen money” to $1M

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In her blog post, Sarah Hum highlighted the different lessons they learned in different stages of their growth.

Canny is a SaaS business that helps software companies to improve their product through customers and internal feedback.

The unique thing about the growth of this startup is that they only used inbound channels.

Why? The idea was to put Canny in front of buyers that were already looking for the solution that Canny offers.

Some channels they used to acquire their first customers are: Product Hunt, Hacker News, Quora, Google Ads, organic search, and through “Powered by Canny”, their viral channel.

Having done this premise, let’s check out the lessons we can learn from Canny’s growth.

From 0 to $1k and up to $10k ARR: Once you feel good about your product idea, you have to validate it. Start by giving it away for free to get feedback from the community. This part will also allow you to find customers and advocates.

Then, before launching, test if people are willing to pay for it.

From “ramen money” to $100k ARR: At this stage, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit – and it’s all about the grind.

Your job is to identify the tasks that work and double down on them.

On the marketing side, what they did here was set up advertisements and landing pages focusing heavily on high-intent buyer keywords. But they also focused on organic growth by writing blog posts and being active on Reddit and Quora.

$100k to $500k ARR, two successful hires: They applied the lesson learned in the previous stage and hired someone for the client support tasks. This unlocked time for the two founders so they could focus back on product improvements and buyer-intent marketing.

At this point, Canny had 200 customers.

Their success up until the $500k ARR mark can be attributed to two things: Building a great product and putting it in front of the people who are already looking for it.

Up to 1M in ARR: Canny started out selling to small startups for cheap. But as the product matured, it started to work well for larger organizations at a higher price point.

And at this point, they felt like they needed a more strategic focus rather than just focus on making more money. The challenge now is to prioritize growth tasks while still focusing on what has worked so far.

Growing a startup is a hell of a ride. But, the way Sarah broke down the stages here makes it seem just a little bit more tolerable!


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

FACEBOOK: “We are playing against the house”. If you’re wondering who is driving up CPMs, it’s not Biden’s or Trump’s campaigns. It’s Facebook’s spend for their “register to vote” campaign.

TWITTER: As reported by Matt Navarra, the message requests inbox on Twitter might be getting a couple of handy updates that make it easier to sort through messages.

SEO: Wondering how long your titles should be for SEO? Check out this blog post and free tool to check your own titles.

TIKTOK: New Duet formats are now available on TikTok, which should open up more video and ad opportunities for marketers!

GOOGLE: A new product, called Google News Showcase, is starting to roll out in some places. It’s part of a $1B investment with news publishers.

YOUTUBE: Stories on YouTube for iOS just got an AI update that helps improve audio and reduce background noise.

FACEBOOK: The social network filed a lawsuit against two companies who scraped data from FB, YouTube and Amazon and sold it as “marketing intelligence”.


BRAIN TEASER

There was an electrician and a plumber waiting in line at a coffee shop. One of them was the father of the other’s son. How could this be possible?

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.

Who’s going to tell them…

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We spend a lot of time on Twitter – all in the name of collecting news for the newsletter, of course (well, and the occasional meme).

And, without a doubt, this tweet from Michael Arrington was the most interesting thing we saw yesterday. He claims,

“A friend of a friend at Google interviewed at Facebook right as the virus hit. Accepted new job in March. Didn’t quit old job. Apparently does both jobs at home in 55 hours/week. Neither company knows yet. Might have reversed the co’s, not sure. I have so many thoughts on this.”

If this is true, we know two things for sure: First, Michael’s friend is a legend for being able to pull this off.

Second, this tweet went semi-viral yesterday – if anyone at Google or Facebook saw this (which they definitely did), Michael’s friend is about to go from having two jobs to having no jobs.

Fun while it lasted though, right?

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