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Most marketers aren’t ramping things up to close out 2020

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2020 has been a weird year, and that’s not remotely controversial at this point. With the weirdness that 2020 has brought us, budgets and campaigns have been up in the air for plenty of marketers.

Yesterday, we learned that even though many marketers are resuming their ad campaigns (a report two weeks ago claimed that 41% percent of marketers were resuming Facebook ad spend by the end of July), an overall reduction in marketing budgets might become a trend for the rest of 2020. Here’s what we learned from a new MarketingWeek report:

  • 43.9% of marketers surveyed planned to reduce their budget in the final 6 months of 2020 as compared to the first half of the year. In particular, marketing budget commitments and new hire budgets were down across the board, but campaign spend will take a hit as well.
  • More than 30% of brands claim that the relationship with agencies has been reduced or cut entirely. This applies to freelancers, too – if you’ve been working in marketing over the past 6 months, you’ve probably felt the impact. With reduced marketing budgets going into the second half of the year, this might only get worse.

The study was a surprising one for many, as marketing spend rebounds have been the general consensus among much of the community.

It’s important to note, though, that the survey was given to 500 UK-based marketers – depending where you’re at in the world, things might be different!


SEO

Are guest posts a waste of time?

Guest posting has long been one of the most popular link-building tactics in the SEO community, and for good reason. It’s usually difficult to convince sites in your niche to link back to you (especially those big, authoritative sites), and guest posting is one of the easiest ways to provide value in exchange for a link.

However, the practice has always been somewhat controversial. That pot of controversy got stirred up again yesterday, when Google’s John Mu made some bold statements about the value – or in this case, the opposite – of links from guest posts.

Here’s what went down:

  • When asked about links from guest posts, John stated that Google “doesn’t use those links at all,” and that they “have zero value.” This is pretty big, especially coming from one of the most respected and outspoken Google employees.
  • Not everybody is convinced. Let’s make this clear: guest posting is still one of the most common link-building tactics used today, and not everyone in the SEO community bought into what John was claiming. Notably, Rand Fishkin expressed some serious doubts about the notion that links from guest posts are useless.

The Crew’s take: The bottom line here? Google doesn’t like guest posting for links, and they’ve made that clear throughout the years. So, while guest posts still do work in a variety of situations, Google certainly isn’t going to tell you that.

But as algorithms get more advanced and Google continues to make updates, it’s smart to be careful with where and when you garner links by guest posting. Be careful out there, folks!


SPONSORED BY STREAMYARD

This is the easiest live streaming platform you’ll ever try – used by TV hosts and marketers alike

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Have you ever had trouble with live streaming platforms?

Your guest doesn’t show on the screen. You don’t know how to share the stream on Facebook or YouTube. Your guest doesn’t know when it’s their turn to talk.

Forget all these issues! And let us introduce the live streaming studio StreamYard.

Recently, Manu from The Crew was on a live online show that used StreamYard. It was so simple that you could have your five year-old kid live stream a show with the grandparents (don’t steal this show idea, pls).

It doesn’t require any downloads, it’s all in the browser. StreamYard has an entirely free plan, but you can also try the premium features for 30 days (no card required).

Marketers such as Gary Vee and Frank Kern or TV host Wil Strayhorn use StreamYard and there are a bunch of very good reasons why:

  • StreamYard works in your browser. No need to add an extra app or make things complicated.
  • You can invite guests with a simple link provided by StreamYard. And as the host, you have the production control for when the guests are on the stream or not.
  • You can simultaneously stream to different platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Periscope and Twitch.
  • Doing a panel with multiple guests? StramYard allows up to 10 people in a broadcast.
  • Connect your audience to the live stream. With StreamYard you can show comments on screen.
  • Get your viewers to take action. Just type out a call to action, and StreamYard will add it to your live stream in a single click.
  • Brand your broadcast by adding your logo, names, GIFs and even videos. Everything to customize your show!

Try all these features today!

PS: On their homepage, you can watch a little demonstration of StreamYard in action.


WRITING

15 experts reveal how to write introductions that are actually interesting

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Are you dedicating enough time to writing compelling intros to your content?

Whenever you write a blog post, an email, a sales page, or copy, you probably spend a lot of time coming up with a strong headline – maybe too much time. Maybe it’s an entire morning or afternoon or week coming up with a single title for an article (or subject line for a newsletter!), only to scrap it minutes later. We can’t be the only ones, right?

But, we digress.

Your headline can be as compelling and unique as possible, but if your intro is weak, the result doesn’t change: nobody will read what you wrote.

That’s why a captivating headline should also be followed by a captivating introduction.

And in this blog post, 15 experts shared their advice to come up with an intro that completes the job the headline started: Suck the reader in! (Yes, we know it’s the same advice your teacher gave you when you were 10, but it still applies).

Let’s take a look at some advice at different ways you can write an intro:

  • Be empathetic and express a genuine understanding of the reader’s pain from the beginning.
  • Picture the reader’s problem, and present a solution.
  • Who are you writing for? For a blog post, an intro that sets a common ground between the reader and the writer usually works. For sales-driven content, the key is to present a hook.
  • Bet on curiosity: It’s important to immediately grab the reader’s attention by creating a “curiosity gap”. You can do it with an out-of-context quote or an implied question which you answer several paragraphs later.
  • Read blog comments on articles on the same topic. And, go where your ideal reader hangs out and see what’s going on in their mind regarding the topic you’re writing about.
  • Write the introduction last.
  • Make it 10% of your whole piece. If the post is 2000 words, the intro could be around 200 words. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.

These are interesting points, but we’ll add some of The Crew’s seasoning… One of our favorite introduction formulas is the question + curiosity format. Let’s take it for a spin:

Did you know that looking at your Facebook Ads ROAS might actually hurt your margins?

Curiosity always works – our brains are wired to react to questions. This ad from the great copywriter Gary Bencivenga is a great example, if you’re looking for more.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

TOOLS: If you’re trying to figure out Cumulative Layout Shift issues with your website, this easy-to-use tool might be a dream come true.

FACEBOOK: As the company continues to ramp up for seamless payment integration on the platform, it announced yesterday that a new group is being created to oversee all things payment.

TIKTOK: In the midst of controversy, TikTok announced the first payments it would be making to creators, drawing from the $200M fund announced last month.

GOOGLE: Well, this is a first! Google announced that they will be holding a virtual conference for webmasters on August 26th – registrations are open now.

SEO: Google’s rich results test tool has been the subject of a lot of news lately. Yesterday, the company announced that support for article structured data is now available.

GOOGLE: A proposed feature to let users choose between their search engines might decrease Google market share on mobile by as much as 20% – this would open up a lot of opportunities for marketers and SEOs.

SEO: Did you see some massive drops (or increases) in your organic search rankings yesterday? You’re not alone – the SEO community has been abuzz as it seems a new algorithm update may be rolling out. As of right now, things seem to be shifting back to normal.


BRAIN TEASER

A sundial has the fewest moving parts of any timepiece. Which has the most?

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.

MasterClass but it’s a weird WikiHow knockoff site

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It’s only Tuesday, but we think this might be the greatest news of the week. There’s a new site called masterWiki, and the best way to describe it is a WikiHow knockoff site that features hilarious ripoffs of MasterClass tutorials from celebrities.

Yes, this is a weird combination – and you might not think you want to see a WikiHow version of Gordon Ramsay’s tutorial on making scrambled eggs – but trust us, you do.

But why? After a couple minutes browsing through the site, you’ll begin to wonder why this was created in the first place.

The site was built by creative group MSCHF, and they’re ridiculously good at launching apps, products, and websites that go viral (and making lots of moolah off of them).

In our eyes, masterWiki is a win-win. Not only can we now look at weird cartoon versions of Gordon Ramsay, but we can look at the site as a great example of creative marketing.

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Stacked Marketer was built to filter through the daily noise that exists in the marketing world. It’s a digital marketer’s 7-minute daily read, jam-packed with the latest news, trends, tech and actionable advice.

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