Category Archives: Make Money Online Business Opportunities

AppsFlyer: Average Global Paying User Spends $9.60 Per Month, Per App


Mobile attribution and marketing analytics platform AppsFlyer released its latest State of In-App Spending report, which measured the in-app purchase activity of over 100 million users across over 1,000 apps (that have in-app purchase activity) from April to May 2016.

For this report, in-app purchases were defined as any transactions performed within apps. As examples, this includes the purchase of virtual goods in a gaming app, as well as the purchase of a flight in a travel app.

The report showed the average global paying user spends $9.60 per month, per app, which is 20 times more than the average user (a combination of both paying and non-paying users).

Breaking in-app spending down between iOS and Android, AppsFlyer found iOS users spend almost 2.5 times more than Android users on in-app purchases. In addition, the report showed the average purchase value on iOS was $12.77, while the average purchase value on Android was $6.19. Finally, the percentage of users who make in-app purchases on iOS was found to be 50 percent higher than on Android.

Overall, AppsFlyer found the average global user spends $0.50 per month, per app with purchase activity. In terms of specific regions, the report showed Asian users account for the highest average spending, at $0.70 per month, per app. North American users came in second for average spending, at $0.61 per month, per app.

For games specifically, AppsFlyer found only about 3.5 percent of gamers spend money within gaming apps. These spending gamers reportedly spend 30 times more than the average gamer (paying and non-paying gamers combined), at $9.39 per month, per gaming app, versus $0.32 per month, per gaming app for the average gamer.

AppsFlyer’s full report is available here.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Disney LOL Offers Disney’s Social Content in 1 Place on Mobile


Disney launched Disney LOL, an app which allows users to access Disney’s “short-form social content” in a single place. This content includes Disney-themed GIFs, images, Vines and short videos.

Once users download the app, they’re presented with one piece of content at a time in a default feed. Users can also browse content based on themes, such as Fun, Food or Weird. Users can swipe to move from one post to the next, and they can also favorite content to view it again later on.

In addition, the app allows users to share posts on Facebook or through Facebook Messenger, as well as to save content to their devices to share on other platforms.

In a statement, Michael Hundgen, director of content strategy and editorial for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, commented:

Our audience engages when we interpret classic Disney stories in new ways, with bite-sized, shareable pieces of content relatable to all ages. By bringing Disney’s social content into the Disney LOL app experience, we’re making it possible for all audiences to access this engaging content. We’re creating content for digitally-native families every day, and these new experiences offer Disney stories and characters in formats that are familiar to our audience and on the devices they use most.

The Disney LOL app is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. Users can also access Disney LOL on the web. In addition to videos, memes and GIFs, the web version of Disney LOL offers games, trivia, polls and other content.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Mobile Game Roundup: Combo Quest 2, MOBA Legends and More


Are you looking for a new mobile game to play this weekend? There are lots of new games available for you to try, including Farm Heroes Super Saga, the latest match-three puzzle game from King. The sequel to the original Farm Heroes Saga features over 200 levels, which include new gameplay mechanics.

Next, Glu Mobile released Gordon Ramsay Dash. The time management cooking game takes players through multiple seasons of a reality cooking show as they’re mentored by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

Zynga also released a new game this week: CSR Racing 2. The drag racing game is the sequel to the original CSR Racing, and it allows users to race against the computer or other players in multiple race modes.

Elsewhere, Reliance Games and Amblin Partners released The BFG Game. The match-three puzzle game is based on the film The BFG, and it allows players to join Sophie and the BFG on a trip through London, the Dream Country and more.

In addition, Square Enix and gumi launched Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. The turn-based RPG follows two knights, Rain and Lasswell, on a quest to save the world.

Finally, Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe released Tap My Katamari this week. The clicker or idle game challenges players to help the Prince create large katamari to replace the stars destroyed by the King.

If you’re looking for something different to play, here’s a look at some of the additional games released this week.

Combo Quest 2 (Free on iOS) — From Tapinator, this sequel to the original Combo Quest is a reflex-based RPG, challenging players to tap at the right times to attack their opponents and defend against enemy attacks. As players complete levels, they may unlock new heroes and equipment for their characters. There are 20 different heroes to collect in all, each with different abilities and stats. Users can also collect 20 different companion characters, which can help them during levels. Combo Quest 2 features 90 levels to complete, including boss fights.

Groove Galaxy (Free on iOS) — From Animoca Brands, this sequel to Groove Planet is a rhythm-based clicker or idle game, which challenges players to tap in beat to the music to collect music notes, the game’s currency. The game asks players to travel between planets, colonizing each planet as they go. To colonize a planet, users must spend music notes to purchase and upgrade a series of buildings until they’ve reached 100 percent colonization. Buildings will automatically generate music notes over time, even when players aren’t tapping or playing the game. Upgrades and music notes do not carry across from one planet to the next, but users can continue to upgrade and earn music notes on any planet, even after it’s been successfully colonized.

Galaxy of Trian ($4.99 on iOS) — This digital board game from Grey Wizard Innovative is based on the sci-fi board game of the same name. The game sees users fight over territory and technology left behind by a race called the Trian. In each game, users can create a different game board by placing tiles in different orientations. Users can claim nebulas and planets along the way, and they can build stations and collect minerals as they claim land. As users upgrade their stations and complete other tasks, they’ll collect points which go toward winning the game. Galaxy of Trian features a single-player tutorial mode, as well as asynchronous online multiplayer. Users can also play games against the AI.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Free to start on iOS) — From Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm, LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens allows players to complete stages based on the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The first chapter of the game is free to play on iOS, and players can purchase chapters 2-9 in a bundle for $6.99. Users also have the option to purchase these chapters, as well as all future content that will come to the game, in an All Content Season Pass for $9.99.

Orbit Path (Free on iOS) — This puzzle game from Blue Label Labs challenges players to help their probes move through planetary orbits without crashing into moving and stationary obstacles. In each level, players pull back to aim their shots and let go to fire. Probes will be affected by forces such as gravity and asteroid belts, so players must take these forces into account when aiming their shots.

Shadeless (Free on iOS) — This endless game from Pine Entertainment challenges players to tap the “hidden” circle on the screen, which is a different shade than the game’s current background color. The hidden circle will become smaller over time, and games end when a circle is allowed to shrink to the size of a dot.

Don’t Be Squared (Free on iOS) — This side-scrolling runner from SuperHippo Studios challenges players to help their characters survive by drawing cloud lines to create paths in the environment. Characters will run automatically, so users must draw cloud lines to help them avoid obstacles and attack enemies. As users draw cloud lines, they deplete the cloud bar in the corner of the screen. This bar refills automatically over time. Users can collect coins while playing, which can be spent on new playable characters and companion fireflies. Each firefly has a different effect on future games. Finally, users can spend coins to upgrade the game’s power-ups (coin magnets, shields, etc.) and to increase the maximum capacity of their cloud bar.

Neo Turf Masters ($2.99 on iOS, Android) — This golfing game from DotEmu and SNK Playmore allows users to compete on a variety of courses as one of six different golfers, each with different stats. Players can choose their clubs and must take wind direction into account as they plan their shots. Neo Turf Masters includes achievements and leaderboards, as well as local turn-based multiplayer.

DungeonBalls ($2.99 on iOS, Free to start on Android) — This pinball-inspired game from Raysol Games features 100 dungeons to complete at launch, with more coming in the future. In each level, players are challenged to complete tasks by tapping to release orbs into the environment. Users can collect new heroes for their teams over time, each with different skills. Android users can play the first 25 levels of DungeonBalls for free, with the full game unlock being available for $2.99.

Space Warrior: The Origin (Free on iOS) — This shooter from Nekki and Caliburnus Limited challenges players to save the galaxy from alien invaders. In each game, players drag their fingers around the screen to move their ships, which automatically fire at oncoming enemies. Gamers can collect money as they play, which can be spent on upgrades for their ships. Players can unlock three ships and 11 upgrades as they play. In addition to nine story missions, the game also includes a separate survival mode. Space Warrior: The Origin is coming soon to Android, the Amazon Appstore and Steam.

Tiny Bouncer (Free on iOS, Android) — This endless bouncing game from Nekki and Wooden Sword challenges players to help ninjas bounce high into the air while avoiding obstacles. While games are technically endless, they contain randomly generated levels that become more complicated over time. While playing, ninjas bounce automatically, and users can tap on the left and right sides of the screen to move the ninjas through the air. Gamers can collect coins as they play, which can be spent on new playable characters.

Multi Level Car Parking 5 (Free on iOS) — This airport parking simulation game from Aidem Media challenges players to drive cars around airport environments without crashing into other vehicles or the environment. While driving, players are guided through each course by green checkpoints in the path. Players earn coins as they complete courses, which can be spent on new vehicles. The game includes 15 vehicles to unlock in all.

PaGamO (Free on Android) — This educational game from BoniO tests users’ knowledge in a variety of subjects as they compete in a game inspired by popular board games such as Risk and Settlers of Catan. In the game, users will build kingdoms by answering questions and solving quizzes. The game includes Common Core-related content to help players with their math and spelling skills. In addition, missions are available which focus on other topics, such as science, history, pop culture and the news. PaGamO is also available to play on the web.

Never Gone ($2.99 on iOS) — This beat ’em up from Hippie Game is set in a gothic world where humans, vampires and demons are in a constant war for control. Users can play as either Blood Knight or Dark Sister on a quest to restore balance to the world. Never Gone includes three chapters in a story mode, as well as three challenge modes. Users can discover, craft and upgrade over 200 weapons, equipment pieces, items and skills as they progress.

Pengomo Connect (Free on iOS) — This puzzle game from Naked Penguin Boy challenges players to connect matching animal symbols by drawing lines between them. There are multiple sets of matching animals in each level, and users must draw lines so none of the lines overlap. In some levels, it may be possible to successfully connect every pair of animals without filling the entire board with lines. However, users must fill the entire board on each level in order to move on. Levels become more complicated as players progress, and users can activate hints if they need help. Pengomo Connect will launch on Android on July 5.

Pengomo Switch (Free on iOS) — This endless survival game from Naked Penguin Boy challenges players to help their characters survive as long as possible by tapping to move them from one side of a line to the other to avoid obstacles. Characters will move along the line automatically, leaving players to tap at the right times to keep them safe. Users can collect coins as they play, which can be spent on new playable characters. Users can also spend coins on mystery boxes. Pengomo Switch will launch on Android on July 5.

Jungle Clash (Free on iOS, Android) — This head-to-head multiplayer strategy game from is similar to Supercell‘s Clash Royale, in that it challenges players to destroy the enemy’s towers while protecting their own. In each match, players spend a limited number of points to deploy units onto the battlefield. These points recharge automatically during matches. Gamers can upgrade their units in between battles. Users can also collect new units to add to their teams over time. Finally, players can collect new generals to lead their armies, with each general having a different special power.

Independence Day: Extinction (Free on iOS, Android) — This base-building combat game from Linekong US and Twentieth Century Fox is inspired by the film Independence Day: Resurgence. The game allows users to side with the aliens or the humans in a war for Earth. The game’s base-building gameplay sees users collect and spend key resources to construct and upgrade buildings on their bases. This includes defensive structures, which can protect the base from enemy attacks. Users can also recruit units for their armies, and they can attack enemy bases to collect extra resources. Gamers can attack computer-controlled bases, as well as bases owned by other players.

Fancy Cats (Free on iOS, Android, Amazon) — This cat collection game from All4Games, Channel 4‘s games division, allows players to collect more than 25 different cats and interact with them in their cat gardens. Users can collect clothing and accessories, as well as other items for their cats by playing match-three puzzle levels. Each level has a different goal to complete before running out of moves. However, unlike in other match-three puzzle games, in Fancy Cats, users can’t replay stages if they fail to complete them. Instead, users must wait for new levels to appear over time. Users can also collect coins as they play, which can be spent on new cats, clothing items and other prizes in the game’s store.

Super Simple Soccer (Free on iOS) — This local multiplayer soccer game from Motorious Entertainment allows groups of two or four players to compete in soccer games on the same device. During each game, players move their athletes around the field by tapping and holding on their sections of the screen to “aim” and determine their movement directions. Gamers can lift their fingers to set their characters into motion. All users compete in real time to move their players and take shots on the opponent’s goal. An advanced control option is also available, which allows users to tap to move their characters as the movement aiming lines automatically rotate around them.

Mahjong FRVR (Free on iOS, Android) — This mahjong game from FRVR includes “unlimited free levels,” which do not have time limits. In each level, players work to remove every mahjong tile from the board by creating pairs with matching mahjong tiles that have at least one free side. Users have access to an unlimited undo button if they’d like to undo past moves. Mahjong FRVR is also available to play for free on Facebook and in browsers.

Inner Circle (Free on iOS) — This level-based puzzle game from ZPlay asks players to match the colors on moving circles with the colors on the circle in the center of the screen. In each level, players tap to rotate the outer circles so their colored segments match the colored segments on the center circle. Gamers need to properly line up the segments before the outer circles reach the center of the screen. When players make mistakes, they must start the current level from the beginning.

MOBA Legends (Free on iOS, Android) — This multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game from Kick9 allows players to become one of 16 different Legends, or playable heroes, each with four unique skills. In each 10 minute match, players are challenged to destroy the enemy team’s defenses before their own defenses can be destroyed. Players can customize their Legends via a rune system. In addition to 1-on-1, 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 multiplayer matches, the game includes a single-player campaign mode and weekly multiplayer tournaments.

In addition to these new releases, T-Bull launched Road Racing: Extreme Traffic Driving for free on Android. The game was previously released for free on iOS.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

5 Things to Know About Today’s SaaS Customer


Today’s SaaS customers are savvy.

Old marketing tactics don’t excite them. And features disguised as benefits are easily recognized.

As technology evolves, consumer behavior changes as well. Buyers expect quality products backed by efficient service.

This is an opportunity for your business to experiment with new strategies and cater to customers differently.

“As marketers, it’s essential to pay attention to consumer behavior and to be creative within the constraints of each marketing channel we use,” states Ash Read, content crafter at Buffer.

Start selling like it’s 2016, not 1916. Here are five things you should know about today’s customer.

1. They Research First

Adweek reports that “81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying.” With access to more information than previous generations, consumers are taking the time to do their homework.

Customers want to know if your product is actually worth their money and time. And to gain that insight, they look for reviews.

Products reviews are vital in online shopping. They offer an honest perspective from a current customer’s experience.

Take advantage of this trend. Post reviews from customers on your product pages. Consider creating case studies to showcase how customers benefited from your services.

Unbounce offers their prospective buyers a collection of case studies. Below is a snapshot from the website:

“Businesses that want to generate leads online should focus on making their websites a top destination for information with custom content. People use search engines and social channels to learn about items before purchasing, whether they’re shopping for themselves or their businesses,” states Lauren Kaye, marketing editor at Brafton Inc.

And potential buyers aren’t just interested in learning about your product. They want to learn about your whole brand.

How are you treating your SaaS employees? Do you use locally sourced suppliers? Are you donating to charities on an annual basis?

Your brand’s overall image is important to buyers. So, make your company’s information readily available.

2. They Desire Quality

Quality, results-driven products will always outweigh more features. People want reassurance that your services will do more good than harm.

Customers possess explicit and implicit performance expectations. That includes anything from specific product features to service benefits.

For example, if your software experiences an outage, will the problem be solved in a few hours? And do your offer 24/7 customer service?

Quality is a win-win situation. Consumers receive what they desire. And your business has the opportunity to charge customers more.

“Customers desire the best product and service quality and are willing to pay a premium for it. High reliability is assumed,” says Ken Dooley, founder of Madison Productions.

For quality to exist, your entire team must be on the same page. Inform employees on how their actions impact the customer.

“Transparency on quality measures helps create buy-in on quality management and enables employees to understand what role quality plays in how they do work, how they can impact quality, and its effects on their customers’ satisfaction. Transparency breeds accountability at the most basic level…”, writes Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland, research program manager at APQC.

Quality is dependent on the customer’s perception. Figure out what they want. Then, work with your team to create a transparent strategy.

3. They Demand Speed

SaaS customers want solutions to their problems today, not tomorrow. With next day shipping and one-click subscriptions, buyers consider speed a minimum standard.

This benchmark holds true for customer service. And buyers are accustomed to using fast communication tools.

“Today’s customers are media agnostic, having grown up using the phone, email, Web chat, IM, and social media interchangeably. They are comfortable, and may even prefer, communicating online versus face to face or over the phone,” writes Laura Bassett, director of marketing at Avaya.

Some businesses consider speed a downfall. But your customers may think differently.

Zendesk found that “69% of participants associated their good customer service experience with the quick resolution of their issue.”

To encourage speedy response times, Facebook also offers brands an opportunity to earn a page responsiveness badge. Companies that respond to 90% of their received messages within five minutes get the designation.

But offering fast service isn’t a new strategy. Innovative businesses have always strived to perform better.

“Forward thinking companies realized how much customers hated being on hold while waiting for a service rep that they invested in technology that would automatically call a customer back when it was their turn,” states Shep Hyken, a customer service expert.

So, start responding to your customers’ questions in a timely fashion.

4. They Prefer Consistency

Trust is the foundation of all relationships. The same is true between your company and customers. Buyers want to know that your website won’t disappear after they swipe their credit cards.

Plus, consistency eliminates brand confusion. And builds upon your previous success.

“By maintaining the same branding across all your resources – both online and offline – your customers will be able to recognise you much faster and will, hopefully, start to show loyalty to your brand,” says Kelly Haggard Olson, creative content strategist at Blue Zoo Creative.

Research shows that “45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.” Consumers prefer a consistent brand experience, whether talking to a salesperson or shopping on your website.

Beth Pop Nikolov, content strategist for Venveo, offers a good analogy:

“When you’re getting to know a person, you start to develop opinions, ideas and assumptions about them based on your interactions. If they are dressed in a business suit one day, bermuda shorts and a ratty T-shirt the next and then a scuba diving suit another time, it may be hard to nail down exactly who they are and what they are all about.”

Align your marketing and sales team to ensure the same messaging is communicated to consumers. Talk with your customer service reps to streamline quality across all channels, including live chat and email.

Give your customers the trust they deserve. Be consistent.

5. They Seek Novelty

Boring isn’t cool anymore (and it never was). SaaS consumers want one-of-a-kind experiences to share with their colleagues.

Adding novelty to your marketing mix demonstrates creativity. It sparks customers’ interests and gets them to pay closer attention to your brand.

Sid Bharath, a entrepreneur and growth hacker, states, “We all want new experiences. We want to see new places, meet new people, and use new products. So don’t stop creating something new. Create new products, create new features, create new content, and give your customers new experiences.”

Build originality directly into your company. For instance, how can you enhance your loyalty program?

Coffee maker Nespresso entices their loyal customers with personalized orders, delivery, recycling and customer-service options.

“Put a smile on their face and in their heart. You can do something special for their child, their parent, their pet. Make them laugh, thank them in a showy way for a major purchase, have a contest or a drawing for something fun that they could share with family and friends,” says Sydney Biddle Barrows, New York-based business consultant.

Go the extra mile. Surprise your customers with your latest product or a free trip to your next conference. Give them an experience worth sharing with others.

Know Your Customer

Customers are smart. They aren’t fooled by false promotions or useless features.

Learn how to meet your customers’ needs. Make product information readily available. Offer quality that can’t be found elsewhere. And give them a unique experience.

Be in the now. Know your SaaS customer.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Twitter Preps Brands for 2016 Summer Olympics (Infographic)


The 2016 Summer Olympic Games begin Aug. 5 in Rio de Janiero, and Twitter shared some tips for advertisers looking to compete.

Marketing manager Jay Bavishi said in a blog post that Twitter retained market research firm Research Now to investigate what its U.S. users expect during the Olympics, and Research Now’s findings were:

  • Entertainment: This includes humorous takes on what’s happening in Rio, sharing video assets or creating exclusive branded content.
  • Inspiration: Research subjects indicated a preference for content that inspires people to think or act on issues of a global scale, in addition to celebrating individual athletes or a national team.
  • Information: Help your audience keep track of important stats and results. The Games last a total of 19 days with 207 nations, 306 events in 42 sports and more than 10,000 athletes participating. For fans, it can be difficult to keep track of the action, so help them out.

Bavishi wrote:

Our study also uncovered that fans who follow the Games on Twitter are interested in more than what’s happening on the field. Find ways to give fans behind-the-scenes access.

Our research revealed that two out of three surveyed agree that Twitter provides unique insider access to certain people that can’t be found on other platforms. In fact, more than 70 percent of those surveyed strongly associate Twitter as a platform that provides an expert point of view—compared with 46 percent to 56 percent on competing social platforms. Twitter also ranked higher as a platform that provides a unique perspective and is ranked the most timely of all platforms.

As you plan your brand’s Olympic campaign on Twitter, pair these insights with creative that speaks to the emotional connection that people have with the Olympics. Think about joining the conversation in real-time on Twitter starting Aug. 5 along with millions of people around the world.

Readers: Are you ready for the 2016 Summer Olympics?

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

The Weekly Measure: Guide to Content Formatting, PPC Lead Analysis Tips & Determining Link Value


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Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Bandai Namco Launches Tap My Katamari on Mobile


Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe launched Tap My Katamari on iOS and Android. The clicker or idle game challenges players to grow their katamari by rapidly tapping to help the Prince roll the katamari across the screen.

In Tap My Katamari, the faster players tap, the faster the Prince moves across the screen and collects objects. Each tap is worth a certain number of distance points, and users must collect the required number of points to complete each distance level. Users will collect coins as they play, which can be spent on upgrades for the Prince, causing them to earn more points with each tap.

Gamers can also spend coins to unlock the Prince’s cousins, who will generate distance points automatically, even when players aren’t tapping or playing the game. Gamers can upgrade cousins to increase their productivity and to unlock their stat boosts.

Elsewhere, players can spend Candy, the game’s premium currency, on special items for their accounts, including coin bundles and upgrades for the Prince or the cousins.

Finally, as players progress, they’ll have the option to turn their katamari into stars and begin the game from the beginning, receiving star tokens in the process. Star tokens can be used to open special presents.

In a statement, Jon Chew, product owner at Bandai Namco Studios Vancouver, commented:

We really feel like idle games and snowball simulators are a perfect match. Both have the spirit of starting off really really small and, with a bit of care here and there, explode to ridiculousness. With Tap My Katamari, we embraced the relaxing nature of mobile, dove into the quirkiness of Katamari Damacy with a passion, and made sure we included high-quality music, both original songs and familiar remixes by composers in the community who grew up loving Katamari.

Tap My Katamari is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Driving In-Store Traffic this Holiday Season

Source by Megan Ouellet, Director of Content Marketing. Reach out and say hi to Megan on LinkedIn.

Prime Day is July 12. The annual “Black Friday in July” sale was one of the most lucrative online sales day for Amazon last year, coming within 3% of its actual Black Friday sales numbers. It saw other retailers, like Walmart, jump on board and offer their own Black Friday in July sales. And even more retailers are expected to offer Prime Day sales this year.

Rainmaker Rewind: From Infoproducts to Software Rockstar, with ConvertKit’s Nathan Barry


This week on Rainmaker Rewind, Chris Ducker welcomes Nathan Barry of ConvertKit to Youpreneur.

Nathan and Chris dive into the story behind ConvertKit and the fundamentals of email service providers.

And, as always, be sure to check out the other great episodes that recently aired on Rainmaker FM.

  1. Youpreneur. Chris Ducker and Nathan Barry talk about the fundamental and powerful features of email service providers: From Infoproducts to Software Rockstar, with ConvertKit’s Nathan Barry
  2. The Digital Entrepreneur. Brian Clark, Chris Garrett, and Jerod Morris revisit the perennial importance of email marketing and why what you’re doing probably isn’t enough: Is Your Email Marketing Leaving Money on the Table?
  3. Copyblogger FM. Sonia Simone explores the one, big reason why customers often turn away from offers at the last minute: How to Break Past the #1 Conversion Killer
  4. The Writer Files. Kelton Reid wraps up part two of his interview with publishing consultant and writer Jane Friedman: How Publishing Consultant, Educator, and Author Jane Friedman Writes: Part Two
  5. The Missing Link. Jabez LeBret welcomes John Nemo to the show to address LinkedIn privacy concerns: How to Stay Safe On LinkedIn (and Have Fun While You’re At It)
  6. The Showrunner. Jerod Morris and Jon Nastor discuss the reason why an email list is so important and how you can get your listeners to subscribe: [Rebroadcast] Next-Level Tips for Building Your Show’s Email List
  7. Confessions of a Pink-haired Marketer. Sonia Simone shares her opinions on the “abundance mindset” vs. wishing really hard: The Difference Between Mindset and Wishful Thinking

And, one more thing …

If you want to get Rainmaker Rewind sent straight to your favorite podcast player, subscribe right here on Rainmaker FM.

The post Rainmaker Rewind: From Infoproducts to Software Rockstar, with ConvertKit’s Nathan Barry appeared first on Copyblogger.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Putting Online Video Advertising In Context


By 2018, eMarketer projects that cord-cutters and “cord-nevers” will represent around 20 percent of the U.S. population, while more than 53 percent of all television viewers will also access programming online.

Digital video viewers, more broadly defined as those consuming any form of online video content, will be near 70 percent of the total U.S. population, and video ad spending will top $13 billion.

For companies looking to produce online video as part of a broader campaign, it’s important to understand that online video and video that is online are not the same, even if they’re intended to accomplish similar objectives.

Content and context are everything

Context is extremely important–where and how video ads are being viewed, whether the audience is captive and what the consumer is expected to do next are all points that need to be considered.

It is important to understand that the term “online video” encompasses more than the obvious. Take Home Depot, which has a strategy for meeting consumers in the micro-moment that relies heavily on the production of detailed, multipart “how-to” videos that cover everything from installing a ceiling fan to tiling a fireplace.

Home improvement lends itself particularly well to online video. Lowe’s much loved #fixinsix series leveraged Vine to distribute creative mini-tutorials on things like cleaning dirty grill grates and stripping wallpaper

And online Halloween giant strategically connected with Halloween DIYers to ask them to post tutorials for improving basic haunted house props.

Online video is content placed within a particular context to achieve a specific end. This goes for paid advertisements, owned media and earned coverage.

Any first step, then, should involve the identification of key goals and the definition of your target audience. Since we are focused on video advertising here, we should start with a brief overview of what we mean when we say “the view,” which is often misused because all views are not created equal.

The view and captive audiences

Broadly, a “view” means that someone has seen your video, or at least some part of your video. They are tallied similar to their living room counterparts, based on the assumption that your message and a particular audience have occupied the same space at the same time.

Views are not impressions. An impression simply means that your content has been delivered to an individual, and does not mean that he or she actually watched it.

And what counts as a view varies by platform.

Facebook, which auto-plays any video appearing before the user, defines “the view” as three seconds of completed video. On mobile devices, only 50 percent of this video screen has to be visible for the video to start and the view to count.

Snapchat, which is much less cluttered but no less prone to casual browsing, counts any loaded video content as a full “view.” As Kurt Wagner pointed out in Re/code, this means that even a half-second of exposure is tallied for the total view count.

YouTube’s in-stream ads are non-skippable pre-roll videos up to 15 seconds long. A view is counted if the user does not navigate away from the page before the video ends, or if they interact with the ad (e.g. clicks on calls to action or companion banners).

YouTube’s TrueView ad format, on the other hand, is skippable after five seconds, and advertisers are only charged for completed views or up to 30 seconds–whichever comes first.

It’s equally important to understand that the viewer will likely fall into one of two broad camps: captive (e.g., beholden to view five or more seconds of ad content prior to their video), or opted-in (e.g., having chosen to view an advertisement beyond the point where it can be skipped).

These are broad strokes, but useful ones. Our goal, ideally, would be to engage captive viewers and make ads worth opting into. On Facebook or Snapchat, we have to make fast work of this. We know that visitors are likely browsing and, therefore, we need arresting content. Online attention is likely to be divided and, unlike television, the screen is not dedicated to one thing.

How to view (and use) online video more efficiently

It’s best to think of online video advertising as an awareness tool. In other words, don’t expect immediate action. This doesn’t mean that you ignore it, but it does mean that you should not automatically assume that clicks equal success. Video’s natural habitat is the upper funnel and its core strengths are awareness and interest.

At R2C Group, we talk about the “assisted conversion,” referring to video’s ability to help build a foundation that may support a conversion further down the funnel.

While unlikely partners, video ads are not necessarily divorced from action. A strong, well-timed offer may be delivered via video and–with the right creative, CTA and landing page–leveraged to influence immediate behavior. It’s important, as it is with any effort, to clearly define success and set appropriate expectations.

There are three essential steps for optimizing video against behavior:

  1. Pick your target audience and put the ad in market: This seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many companies forget to start somewhere.
  2. Look for the behavior(s): This may be an action you’ve already defined (and you should define an action if your goal is to drive it) or something else–full video views, for example. Having a target audience allows you to work with these behaviors, whether or not they’re the behaviors you expected when you put your ad in market.
  3. Optimize for the desired behavior(s): This may include a specific audience, refining a message or creative or adjusting a CTA. If you’re in a meeting with an agency strategizing an online video campaign and the words “target,” “test,” or “optimize” don’t come up, you’re not getting your money’s worth.

Most of the time, as stated above, direct action may be hard to come by. That doesn’t mean you can’t evaluate success. Other key performance indicators might include:

  • Ad recall: How many people remember seeing your ad (usually tracked as a percentage increase).
  • Brand awareness: How many people report having heard of your brand before (usually tracked as a percentage increase).
  • Brand interest: How many people report interest in your brand (usually tracked as a percentage increase).
  • View rate: How many people view your entire spot (can be tracked as a raw number or percentage increase).
  • Further engagement: Clicking through to the site is certainly an action, but it may not be the desired conversion action. Do people who click through to your site view additional content, subscribe to a newsletter or become a fan of your Facebook page?

More than anything, be ready and willing to embrace test and learn as you go. While we know that online video is a valuable method of communications, and that there are good (and bad) examples of its usage, there is no one path to take. There are only good tools to take with you.

Mark Yesayian is the managing director of R2C Group.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Email Marketing: Test ideas for five types of email


Testing your email marketing can help power some pretty impressive results – like a 100% increase in clickthrough or a 114% boost in revenue.

But … let’s be real … it is harder to test your email than to just send a single version of the email idea you come up with.

One challenge with email marketing – to keep your customers clicking and coming back for more, you need to endlessly come up with new messages and ideas for every email you send or set in an automation platform.

However, when you test your email marketing, you don’t get to create just one email for each campaign, you now need an A and a B (and a C and a D … etc. … etc. … depending on how many treatments you have and your list size can support).

To give you some new hypothesis ideas for your next email test, I interviewed Mike Nelson, Co-founder and Head of Marketing,, in the MarketingSherpa Media Center (MarketingSherpa is the sister publishing brand to MarketingExperiments).

He brought examples of five key types of marketing email from his site, which is described as a “modern-day museum” full of emails.


You might also like

Email Preheaders Tested: The surprising sensitivity of a single line of text

Email Research: The 5 best email variables to test

Marketing Strategy: How you can use emails to test your value proposition

MECLABS Institute Email Messaging online course


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Facebook Takes Scissors to Paper App


Facebook’s stand-alone Paper application, which debuted amid much fanfare in February 2014, will be sent to the recycle bin after July 29.

Paper enabled users to see their Facebook content in themed, customizable sections, and the social network said in a Newsroom post introducing the app:

Your Paper is made of stories and themed sections, so you can follow your favorite interests. The first section in Paper is your Facebook News Feed, where you’ll enjoy inspiring new designs for photos, videos and longer written posts. You can customize Paper with a choice of more than one-dozen other sections about various themes and topics—from photography and sports to food, science, and design. Each section includes a rich mix of content from emerging voices and well-known publications.

Paper was one of the apps developed by Facebook Creative Labs, which was shuttered in December along with three of the other apps it created: Slingshot, Rooms and Riff.

Facebook Creative Labs apps that are still thriving include Facebook Mentions, Groups and Moments.

Paper users saw this message upon logging into the app Thursday:

Thank you for using Paper: In 2014, we launched Paper, a stand-alone app designed to give people a new way to explore and share stories from friends and the sources they care about. Today we’re announcing that we are ending support for the app, and users will no longer be able to log into the app after July 29.

We know that Paper really resonated with you—the people who used it—so we’ve tried to take the best aspects of it and incorporate them into the main Facebook app. For example, the same team that built Paper also built Instant Articles—a fast and interactive experience for reading articles in News Feed—using many of the same tools, design elements and fundamental ideas as Paper. Our goal with Paper was to explore new immersive, interactive design elements for reading and interacting with content on Facebook, and we learned how important these elements are in giving people an engaging experience.

We know not all the features you love will move over to Facebook, but we hope you’ll continue to notice elements from Paper improving the Facebook experience for everyone. We can’t thank you enough for using the app and exploring Paper with us over the past couple of years.

Readers: Did you ever use Paper? What did you think of it?

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Square Enix, gumi Launch Final Fantasy Brave Exvius on Mobile


Square Enix and gumi announced the release of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius on mobile. The turn-based RPG follows Rain and Lasswell, two knights from Grandshelt, on a quest to save the world.

In Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, players complete level-based missions, which cost energy to enter (new users can enter missions for free until they reach rank five). Energy recharges automatically over time, or players can purchase additional energy instantly using Lapis, the game’s premium currency.

During battles, players can tap their heroes’ names at the bottom of the screen to trigger their basic attacks. Users also have the option to cast spells, trigger their characters’ special abilities, guard against oncoming attacks or use items (like healing items) on each turn. Gamers can also toggle auto-battle.

As players complete battles, their heroes will earn experience points, and they will become stronger as they level up over time. Users will also collect crafting materials as they defeat enemies. Gamers can use these materials to create new equipment and abilities for their heroes.

Finally, users can summon new heroes for their teams over time, and they can customize their teams between missions. As players collect unwanted or excess heroes, they can fuse these extra units into those they’d like to keep to increase their stats.

Outside of main story missions, users can complete special dungeons, including event dungeons, to earn rewards.

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

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Want a Bigger Marketing Budget? Optimize Your LTV to CAC Ratio


Almost every head of marketing, whether they be a CMO, VP, or Director of Marketing is thirsty for a larger marketing budget. With more money to spend, marketing can (theoretically) drive more growth.

But all too often marketing budgets are set without much rhyme or reason — there tends to be a huge correlation to how many sales were made in the previous month or quarter, or worse yet they are set as a percentage of the company’s revenue. This is particularly common in product driven SaaS organizations. But for growth oriented companies, these means of setting marketing budgets are simply not serving your growth agenda appropriately.

How much do SaaS Companies invest sales and marketing?

Take the chart below as an example. Based on a sampling of 300+ SaaS companies with greater than $2.5mm in revenue, the median sales and marketing spending as a percentage of revenue is 32%.

Does this mean all SaaS companies should simply set their sales and marketing budgets at 32% of their revenue? Absolutely not. There are a number of companies spending as much as 43% of their revenues on sales and marketing, with these companies achieving growth rates of 80%+.

While some of these companies may be spending so aggressively because they are heavily funded and are looking to capture market share, the companies that are the true darlings of the SaaS space are those that have such a strong ratio between the Lifetime Value (LTV) of their customers and their Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) that they’ve built a compelling case to pour more dollars into their customer acquisition engines. They’ve built Ferraris and have a valid reason to believe that additional sales and marketing spending will keep their growth rates accelerating.

In your quest to obtain access to more financial resources, it’s the marketing leader’s job to educate the rest of the organization. And simply put, the idea of a “marketing budget” is outdated if growth is truly what you are after.

The Formulas Your SaaS Company Needs

Instead, you have two levers at your disposal — both of which can be optimized, and both of which are not typically considered areas of your business that marketing alone should own. The Lifetime Value (LTV) of your customer is impacted by many factors, including but not limited to:

  • Sales selling to buyer personas that have the best chance of being successful with your product
  • Product organizations delivering truly valuable features that make the product “sticky”
  • Customer success teams working with your clients to make them successful after purchase
  • Marketing developing pricing and packaging that pushes longer term contracts over month to month agreements.

The formulas:

Lifetime Value (LTV) = Average Customer Lifetime X Average Revenue Per Account

Average Customer Lifetime = 1/churn rate (expressed in months or years)
Ex: 1 / 5% monthly churn = 20 month average customer lifetime

Average Revenue Per Account (in a given period) = Total revenue /total customers added

So for example, if last month you made $200,000 in revenue from 25 customers, your calculation would be $200,000/25 = $8,000.

And if customers stay with you for an average of 20 months, you multiply 20 x $8,000 and reach the lifetime value of $160,000. So the cost to acquire a customer (CAC) should be no more than $53k. ARPA = $200,000/25 = $8,000

In this example 20 months X $8,000 = $160,000 LTV

Just as there are many ways to extend your customers’ LTV, there are also a number of different strategies that you can employ to lower your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). Marketing can focus on more cost effective lead generation strategies like organic search, conversion optimization, and developing customer advocates. Sales teams can learn to more efficiently move prospects through the customer acquisition funnel and can do away with expensive events and client dinners in lieu of more cost effective inside sales techniques.

To calculate the cost it takes to acquire a customer, you simply divide the total sales & marketing spend by the number of customers added in a given period. So if you spent $100,000 in a year and acquired 10 customers during that time frame, your CAC would be $10,000.

As a general rule of thumb, a SaaS business with a LTV:CAC ratio of 3:1 is considered healthy — meaning you get $3 in customer revenue for every $1 you spend to acquire them. If you have this ratio or better, you have a customer acquisition engine that is performing well. It is important to mention that this is simply a benchmark — not a magic bullet. This ratio had held up well and provided a valid target at a number of companies I’ve worked with, but every company’s unique situation in terms of funding, growth rate, burn rate, and business goals should be considered. Never put all of your eggs in one basket by looking at any SaaS metric in isolation.

3:1 Ratio is Your Benchmark for a Higher Marketing Budget

With a ratio of better than 3:1, you have a strong argument for investing more money in customer acquisition programs if maxing out your growth potential is your objective. You can make a simple argument to the CEO by saying, “we know that for every $1 we spend to acquire a customer, we get $3 back in revenue.”

So it’s the job of the marketing leader to relentlessly look for ways, across the organization, to lower customer acquisition costs and extended the lifetime value of the customer. If you’re able to do so, you’re making a compelling case for marketing to be given access to whatever financial resources are available, whether you’re a funded or bootstrapped company.

In fact, a strong LTV:CAC ratio is one of the most important metrics you can show if you are trying to raise funding. In my opinion, perhaps the most valid reason a SaaS company should raise funding is if they have a very healthy LTV:CAC ratio and their growth is only limited by access to capital.

Gone are the days of marketing leaders waiting until after a big sales month to nervously ask for an increase in marketing budget. And gone are the days of the marketing leader advocating for marketing spending to represent a larger percentage of the company’s revenues. Relentless focus on increasing customer lifetime value and decreasing customer acquisition costs will blow the top off or your marketing budget (as it should!) indefinitely.

About the Author: Geoff Roberts is the Vice President of Marketing at Bizness Apps. Bizness apps is an app building platform used by small marketing and design agencies to build mobile apps for small business clients.

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New Facebook Tool Will Allow Users to Fundraise for Nonprofits


Facebook is releasing a tool allowing users to fundraise on behalf of U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofits.

This follows the social network’s debut last August of “Donate Now” call-to-action buttons on page posts and link ads from nonprofit pages, as well as improvements to the donate button and a fundraisers tool, which were rolled out last November.

Facebook told Megan Rose Dickey of TechCrunch that the new feature is initially available to only about 1 percent of U.S. users, and it is set to go countrywide “in the next few weeks,” adding that while only U.S. users will be able to create donation pages, donations can be accepted from more than 20 countries.

Facebook said in a post on the Nonprofits on Facebook page:

We’re introducing a new tool to enable people to raise money for U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofits directly on Facebook.

Fundraisers allow nonprofit supporters to set up a dedicated page to share their story, tell others about a nonprofit’s mission and rally around a fundraising goal.

We can’t wait to see how people support the causes they care about most. Learn more at

And vice president of product management for social good Naomi Gleit spoke with Matt Petronzio of Mashable, saying:

Before we actually disburse funds to (nonprofits), depending on how much money it is, we’ll do some more quality control. We just want to make sure there’s no fraud, so there’s an additional layer of vetting.

We want to open this up to everyone in the U.S. to create a fundraiser and donate to any nonprofit in the U.S. So, (this is) in order for that to be sustainable and safe. This is all at cost. We’re not trying to make money.

People are already using Facebook to fund for causes—it was already happening even before we built this tool. I just see this as making it even easier. I think people will continue using those other products, and this will just be additive.

Readers: What are your thoughts on this new fundraising tool?

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Snapchat and Tumblr: Platforms for Innovation in Social Media Marketing (Report)


Startups are usually the home of the most innovative outlooks in social media. Any startup with a different approach or technology, like Instagram and Periscope, is often bought up by the larger networks. But others, like Snapchat, choose to go it alone. The 2016 State of Social Marketing report from Simply Measured gives us an insight into how these services are leading the industry in different ways.

The report notes that Snapchat’s innovative approach has led it to a unique position in the market, making it:

[A] hub for robust brand content and discovery, event-based interaction and visual communication, Snapchat is an extension of many brands’ identities, and it is emerging as a core component of the social strategy for brands … Its most recent evolution came in March with what the network deemed “Chat 2.0,” including features like auto-advancing stories, instant video and audio chatting and sticker enhancements.

Snapchat recently crested 150 million daily active users, and it has a 100 percent mobile audience. Despite being relatively young, it has managed to tap into the market by offering an experience that no other network was offering at the time, and we’ve since seen most of the other networks scramble to catch up. To do well on Snapchat, your business must be like the service: open to change, agile and ready to move quickly with the demands of your audience.

Social blogging site Tumblr has been around since 2007, but it was acquired by Yahoo In 2013, and it has also been a testing ground for new marketing tactics. The site has 550 million active users and is one of the most trafficked websites online. Despite the quick amplification power and high engagement on Tumblr, only 54 percent of the Interbrand 100 use the site and only 30 percent post monthly. However, brand adoption on the network grew 15 percent since last year, partly because brands are starting to understand the platform better.

Tumblr’s strengths lie in its focus on highly visual, sharable content. Marketers that create GIFs, capitalize on Tumblr trends or just behave strangely enough to be intriguing can rally a very loyal user base that’s itching to share their latest content. Posting the same content to Tumblr as you do to all your other networks is a wasted opportunity on Tumblr, and it likely won’t have enough originality to see vital shares.

Each time one of these more agile services makes a change, we see others pivot in order to follow them. While it may seem like a risk to invest in less proven services, marketers that get it right early can really capture audiences and write the playbook for an emerging network.

For more insight, read the full 2016 State of Social Marketing report, or view our previous coverage.

Image courtesy of Wachiwit/Shutterstock.

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Reliance Games Launches The BFG Game on iOS, Android


Reliance Games and Amblin Partners announced the launch of The BFG Game on iOS and Android. The match-three puzzle game is based on the upcoming film The BFG, which hits theaters July 1. In the game, players join Sophie and the BFG as they travel through London, the Dream Country and more.

Each level of The BFG Game asks players to complete a different objective before running out of moves. For instance, one stage may ask players to earn a required number of points, while another stage may ask users to clear wooden tiles from the board by creating matches on top of them.

As players create matches with four or more symbols, or matches in special T, L or square shapes, they’ll create power-up symbols that can be used in future matches to trigger special effects on the board. For instance, one power-up may clear an entire row or column of symbols when activated, while another may clear every symbol of a single color from the board, and so on.

If users need help finishing objectives, they can purchase and activate special booster items during stages. The net booster, for instance, can be used to clear one chosen symbol from the board.

Users will lose lives if they fail to compete levels before running out of moves. These lives recharge automatically over time, or players can purchase lives instantly with premium currency. Users can also ask their Facebook friends to send them free lives.

The BFG Game is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

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What to Do if Someone Else Claimed Your Google My Business Listing


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High-Risk, High-Reward: Snapchat’s Advertising Revolution


Mobile advertising requires striking what can seem like an impossible balance: attracting users’ attention without interrupting whatever else they are doing. The trick is to be interruptive through engaging, well-placed advertising without interrupting.

Although mobile advertising has evolved over the past 10 years away from SMS messages and pop-ups to informative, relevant banners and native ads, media companies are still struggling to find the best balance of ads that resonate without disrupting the user experience.

Take The Next Web, which launched a new ad format that pushes articles out of the way and automatically starts playing a video ad that is nearly impossible to exit. One commenter called it “the most infuriating hide-the-content ad ploy I’ve ever seen.”

Or consider The Atlantic, which found itself embroiled in a controversy for publishing sponsored content in the form of an advertorial from the Church of Scientology.

Mistakes like these make consumers feel annoyed, deceived and unfavorable toward brands. This is especially true for millennials, and impactful advertisers and publishers are adapting their strategies in an effort to achieve more than simply the default “not annoying.”

Today, they are striving to deliver ads that are relevant, engaging and even interactive. In a world where advertisers hunger for millennial eyeballs and dollars, relevant and engaging means delivering ads that are “authentic.”

Snapchat realized that if ads are not authentic and sharable, they are unsuccessful, and it is ushering in a new era of advertising through a wealth of new ad formats that blur the lines between advertising and content.

In what some are calling a pre-initial public offering push, Snapchat has unveiled sponsored creation tools for brands to create ads with facial-recognition selfie lenses and geofilters. It is also offering the services of its creative partners to help brands build snap ads, including new formats like “expandable” snap ads.

The Snapchat advertising revolution underscores that advertising is becoming content and brands are creating content in the hope that it will get shared, maybe even go viral, which in turn makes the brand relevant by association.

Authenticity: Advertising’s secret sauce (and Achilles’ heel)

No segment of the population values authenticity more than millennials. This presents a challenge to brands because millennials perceive ads as unauthentic.

Forbes conducted a study with Elite Daily, which revealed that just 1 percent of millennials say a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more. They believe that advertising is all spin, so they ignore ads completely.

Some brands try to fabricate authenticity by paying “influencers” to feature their products in ways that seem natural.

Chiara Ferragni, the woman behind wildly popular fashion blog The Blonde Salad, formed partnerships with Burberry and Dior.

Famed food blogger Joy Wilson (a.k.a. Joy the Baker) published a post on how to make buttermilk biscuits in conjunction with Land O Lakes European Style Super Premium Butter, using the product in her recipe.

While this strategy may seem to work out well for brands and influencers, many consumers see through it. They are the latest incarnation of celebrity endorsements, and their luster is beginning to fade. In fact, according to a recent survey by Collective Bias, 70 percent of 18- through-34-year-olds prefer peer endorsements over celebrity endorsement, the former of which is perceived as true and valid versus fake and manufactured. It is clear that Joy the Baker is being paid to feature Land O Lakes, which makes the reader doubt whether the butter, is in fact, “fantastic.”

Fabricating authenticity?

Advertisers face a Catch-22: Authenticity is clearly driving millennials’ purchases and loyalty to brands, but it’s not exactly something that can be manufactured. When brands try, there’s a high chance that it will come off forced and inauthentic, which drives millennials away for good.

Take Mountain Dew’s “twerking” commercial. Twerking may have emerged as a viral internet phenomenon, but Mountain Dew didn’t win any points for its bizarre ads with inanimate objects twerking in a basement. Or Dunkin Donuts’ attempt to leverage the hashtag and Generation Z slang with #BreakfastWhenevs”–not only are consumers unlikely to share these ads, but they can have a negative impact on the brand.

The key to creating a successful ad campaign in today’s world lies in a brand’s ability to offer an experience that users genuinely want to engage with and share. This content is not heavy-handed or overtly promotional, and many of the best, most successful examples are emerging in mobile ad campaigns on Snapchat, which has pioneered what has been called “crowd-distributed advertising.”

Gatorade created an interactive Snapchat filter during the Super Bowl that let users take a “Gatorade shower” by pouring a virtual Gatorade cooler over other people’s snaps. The campaign generated an astounding 160 million impressions, more than the 115 million people who tuned into the game.

Why? Because users chose to share the brand instead of being paid to do it. The filter was, quite simply, fun and social. It reflected an understanding of who the users are and what they like, and in the process showcased Snapchat as a platform for brands to reach new audiences. It also enabled users to participate in an iconic Super Bowl moment using their mobile device.

The World Wildlife Fund is another example. The nonprofit waged the #LastSelife campaign in order to raise awareness about animal populations at risk of extinction. The idea was to leverage the ephemerality of Snapchats as a way to emphasize the fact that species are disappearing. Moreover, the animal images tugged at the heartstrings, an effect that was heightened when the image disappeared. The combination of emotion and millennials’ interest in social causes packed a powerful punch.

Brands are also using Snapchat in innovative ways to engage users with exclusive content. Heineken sponsored a stage at Coachella and used Snapchat to send people clues about surprise shows during the festival. Users who responded quickly with the right band or artist got an early confirmation of the act on their smartphones. Again, this campaign was not overtly promotional and imparted real value to users. Festival goers were motivated to engage with Heineken because they got something they cared about in return.

All of the examples of successes and failures outlined above demonstrate the importance of authenticity, as well as of providing value. If you are going to interrupt someone as they browse on social media or read a news article, then it better be for good reason.

Millennials are not going to engage with content for the sake of engaging with content. There has to be a point. They have to find the content funny or poignant, or gain something from interacting with it. They are less interested in being passive consumers than they are in being active participants, and Snapchat provides an invaluable opportunity for brands to begin building a two-way relationship

If you are able to create something people love, like Gatorade did, you’ll knock it out of the park. If not, your ad campaign may end up being unwelcome and invisible.

Ragnar Kruse is the founder and CEO of mobile ad platform Smaato.

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Zynga Launches CSR Racing 2 on iOS, Android


Zynga announced the launch of CSR Racing 2 (CSR2) on mobile. Developed by Zynga’s NaturalMotion studio, the drag-racing game is the sequel to the original CSR Racing. In CSR2, players can compete against the computer or other players in multiple race modes, including ladder and regulation races, crew battles, live multiplayer races and more.

Before each race, players can tap a gas pedal button to rev their engines. This causes the needle to move across the tachometer at the bottom of the screen. Players have the goal of keeping the needle in the green area on the tachometer to achieve “perfect starts” in races. Once races begin, users are challenged to tap the plus button to shift gears as the needle reaches the green area on the tachometer for each gear.

Users receive money as they complete races, which can be spent on car upgrades. Users can purchase upgrades in multiple categories (tires, transmission, engine, nitrous, etc.), with each upgrade affecting a car’s stats (power, grip, shift time and weight). Once users reach certain upgrade levels for specific categories in their cars, they’ll unlock tuning, which allows them to further modify their cars’ stats without spending additional money.

In addition to performance upgrades, users can spend free and premium currency on visual changes for their vehicles. NaturalMotion worked with every car manufacturer featured in CSR2, including Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren, to ensure that each car was accurately re-created in the game.

Users can interact with their vehicles in between races to view each car’s details. This includes the ability to open a vehicle’s hood or doors, as examples. Users can take pictures or videos of their vehicles and share them with others on social media. Gamers can purchase additional cars from the store using free or premium currency, or they can win them through the game’s story mode.

Finally, in addition to live multiplayer matches, the game includes a multiplayer crew feature, which allows users to join crews, or clubs, with other players. Gamers can chat with other users in their crews, and they can also unlock boosts and other content via crew perks. Crews can compete against one another to earn respect points.

In a statement, Torsten Reil, CEO of NaturalMotion, commented:

CSR Racing has a passionate fan base that lives and breathes the world of cars. With more than 190 million downloads by auto enthusiasts around the world, the original CSR Racing and CSR Classics brought never-before-seen levels of visual fidelity and vehicle authenticity to the racing genre on mobile. In CSR2, we’ve built on this legacy by amplifying the drag racing experience and introducing new social elements, higher-fidelity graphics and enhanced levels of customization to create the most immersive and realistic mobile racing experience for our players.

CSR2 is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

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SEO Defined in 60 Seconds [Animated Video]


How do people find what they’re looking for on the web?

Search engines.

And in order for business owners to ensure that their content appears as the most relevant resource for prospective customers, they must optimize web pages to show up in search engine results for specific keywords.

But let’s say you’re a beginner when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO).

What exactly is SEO?

Watch our short, fun video about SEO

With help from our friends at The Draw Shop, we whipped up 12 definitions from our new Content Marketing Glossary into short, fun whiteboard animated videos.

Check out our video for the definition of SEO:

Animation by The Draw Shop

And for those of you who would prefer to read, here’s the transcript:

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s a process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” or “natural” search results generated by search engines.

Google and Bing are the biggest search engines, and they use algorithms to examine the content on a given page in order to decide what that page is about. Then, based upon more than 200 factors, they decide how relevant that page is to certain keywords.

The job of a search engine, like Google, is to find content that matches your query — or, the basic question you’re asking, like:

  • How far is the earth from the sun?
  • Who is the lead singer of Led Zeppelin?
  • What is a freemason?

Those questions contain keywords. The more your content matches those questions, the better the experience for the user. When you make people happy, you make Google happy.

Share this video

Click here to check out this definition on YouTube and share it with your audience. You’ll also find 11 additional Content Marketing Glossary videos.

SEO resources

If you’d like additional information about SEO, visit these three resources:

Learn more from the Content Marketing Glossary

Ready to master content marketing essentials? Watch all of our animated whiteboard videos right now by going directly to the Content Marketing Glossary.

By the way, let us know if there are any definitions you’d like us to add to the glossary! Just drop your responses in the comments below.

The post SEO Defined in 60 Seconds [Animated Video] appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Video Is Becoming an Important Part of Social Engagement (Report)


Marketers still face significant challenges when it comes to measuring return on investment on social media. Still, each of the social networks analyzed in the Simply Measured State of Social 2016 report is experiencing some manner of growth and expansion. Let’s take a look at how the established players like Twitter and Facebook are changing, and how your marketing strategy should evolve.

It might seem that Facebook is the primary destination for marketers, but it doesn’t have complete saturation among the Interbrand 100. 97 percent of brands use the site and 93 percent post content monthly, down 1 percent compared with last year.

Brands seem to have missed the message from users that video is what they want. Facebook videos are generating more than 8 billion views per month, yet videos are the least-posted type of content among marketers. Facebook Live is one way to create rich video content that also lasts beyond its original broadcast while also jump-starting a video marketing campaign.

Twitter has managed to captivate marketers, with 100 percent of the Interbrand 100 represented and 99 percent posting monthly. Twitter’s current and future success largely relies on the short format and the one-to-one relationship between brand and user.

Given the relationships Twitter creates, influencers can become an important key for deep audience engagement. Twitter has stated that 47 percent of users make purchases because of influencer suggestions, and people trust influencers more than brands in general.

The real story of the last year in social marketing is the continued move to video as a core aspect of both networks and marketing campaigns. Twitter recently increased the time limit on Vines, and users have already proven that they’ll engage heavily with video content on the platform. Facebook has become the most preferred network for video sharing, and YouTube has increased watch time by 50 percent year-over-year for the past three years.

Established social platforms have shifted their attention to video because video is what users are engaging with most often, according to the report. However, newer, more agile, services like Snapchat are leading the way in innovation.

Stay tuned for more coverage on the current state of emerging networks like Snapchat and Instagram.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Kabam, Lightstorm Partner to Create Avatar Mobile Game


Mobile game developer Kabam partnered with Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox to create a mobile game set in the world of James Cameron‘s Avatar. The game will be designed to “re-immerse” fans into the Avatar universe before the release of Avatar 2 in theaters.

Few details were revealed about the game, although Kabam described it as a “AAA massively multiplayer mobile strategy game.” The experience will feature characters and environments from the Avatar films.

Once the game is launched, Kabam said it will update the title as each of the four planned Avatar film sequels are released. As of this writing, Avatar 2 is scheduled to be released in theaters in December 2018.

In a statement, Mike Verdu, president of studios and chief creative officer of Kabam, commented:

Much like the Avatar films, this mobile game will bring a brand new experience to players everywhere. Phones and tablets will become high-fidelity windows into a living, breathing, interactive world of stunning beauty. The company has put forward one of the largest development budgets in mobile gaming history and assigned some of its top talent. The final product is going to be amazing.

Readers: Are you excited to play Kabam’s Avatar mobile game?

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Is Snapchat Growing Faster Than Instagram? (Infographic)


Despite some rocky patches during its first few years, Snapchat has emerged as a fixture in social media, and it’s on the verge of going mainstream. While growth on more established network Instagram has slowed, Snapchat seems to be growing stronger every day. According to an infographic from analytics provider Jumpshot, the reduced use of the former might be connected to the growth of the latter.

Snapchat is already attracting 25 percent more new users worldwide than Instagram, and in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, France and Germany, Snapchat is growing between 63 percent and 76 percent. However, Instagram attracts more “tier two” countries–those that are a lower priority for advertisers–and outperforms Snapchat significantly in those countries.

Since a large update earlier this year, Snapchat seems to be on a level playing field with Instagram in the U.K., but the younger network now has a 3 percent growth advantage in the the U.S. Interestingly, this growth has been among non-millennial users, who seemed reluctant to join Snapchat until recently.

Both platforms are experiencing a demographic shift. In January, Instagram captured 59 percent and 68 percent of American and British women signups, respectively, and as of April, Snapchat had a 3 percent and 5 percent lead, respectively.

It seems like Snapchat’s strategies have paid off, and it looks like mainstream adoption has now been firmly cemented. If Snapchat can pass Twitter in daily active users and capture more growth than Instagram, then it may be unstoppable.

View the infographic below for more information.


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USO Creates Temporary Facebook Profile Picture Frame for July 4


Just in time for the Fourth of July, United Service Organizations created a temporary profile picture frame for Facebook users.

The USO created the frame in recognition of its 75 years of servicing active duty military with care packages, letters to military members and partnerships over the years with celebrities including Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno and Katy Perry.

Interested Facebook users can go to the USO Facebook page and click the “Try It” button on the post pinned to the top, or:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the drop-down box and select “Causes.”
  3. Click the “Happy 4th of July” frame with military service members.
  4. Adjust size and click button “Use as Profile Picture.”

The frame will remain on users’ profile pictures through July 5.

Readers: What do you think of the USO’s temporary profile picture frame?

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