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Exploring Social Media, the DarkNet and Open Sources: An interview with Social Links Cofounder and CEO Andrey Kulikov

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By Sarah Evans

Social Links Cofounder and CEO Andrey Kulikov, courtesy Social Links

While much of the work done in social media is done in a public venue, it’s important to be aware that there is a DarkNet (or dark web) where people engage. It is likely not an opportunity for a brand or marketer, but with any profession, it’s important to be educated.

This interview with Social Links co-founder and CEO Andrey Kulikov digs more in depth on the topic of the DarkNet and what companies need to know.

Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

What is the difference between information shared on social media, the DarkNet (or dark web) and “open sources”?

There is actually no difference in a broader sense. Any information available on the internet without special access rights is considered to be openly available data. The difference resides in the mechanisms applied for obtaining access to such information. Most openly available data does not require any special skills or rights to be accessed. As is the case of government registers. In order to obtain certain information about an account from social networks, it is sometimes necessary to simply know how to properly form a request to the source to get the desired information. When it comes to closed forums and DarkNet marketplaces, it is necessary to have accounts in these sources to gain access to relevant information in 99% of cases. It is also necessary to take into account the EULA (End-User_License_Agreement) for these sources. There is no EULA in case of the DarkNet, for obvious reasons. Social networks prohibit the automatic collection of data on their users for the most part, as does Facebook. But there may be different conditions on the use of information in case of open sources.

Should companies be monitoring all three areas for both opportunities and protection?

For certain. Social media is critical for monitoring brand protection and development. The DarkNet is a place where an attack on an enterprise can be planned or stolen corporate data leaks can be sold. In this case, it is extremely important to detect and respond to such an incident promptly. In most cases, social networks are the initial vector of attack on corporate infrastructures. Therefore, it is very important to monitor them and be able to investigate an incident that has already taken place, be it an attack on a brand or a regular cyber-attack. It is a matter of protection.

If we talk about the opportunities that OSINT provides to enterprises, then it is vital to remember that 90% of the information necessary for making a decision is available in the public domain and only 10% can be related to insights. It is extremely important to have both the people and the technology necessary to be able to extract and analyze information that companies and their employees post about themselves. Let me give you an …read more

Source:: Social Media Explorer


For Successful B2B Marketers The Engine of Influence is Always On #B2BIMReport

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By Lee Odden

B2B Engine of Influence Always On

B2B Engine of Influence Always On

As the need for B2B brands to reach and connect authentically with customers rises, B2B influencer marketers are evolving from transactional and intermittent campaigns to more relationship driven, Always-On Influencer engagement programs as our research from the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing report found:

  • 19% are piloting
  • 25% run periodic campaigns
  • 34% use an Always-On approach

Transactional campaign approaches are hard pressed to develop brand loyalty and advocacy. That’s why, with 84% of B2B marketers focused on building brand awareness with their influencer marketing efforts, that ongoing influencer engagement has become essential for creating vested relationships that inspire more qualitative activations and brand advocacy.

The Engine of Influence needs to run ongoing in order to win relationships with the most trusted voices. Our findings amongst B2B marketers have found several interesting insights when it comes to an Always-On approach to influencer relations compared to campaigns, the best practices followed and what Always-On influence in action really looks like.

Influencer Marketing is a Relationship Business

Distractions and competition for attention with B2B customers are at an all-time high. At the same time, B2B marketers are challenged to find the right strategies to maximize resources and marketing impact. Our research found that 76% of B2B marketers find the strategy of working with influencers through Always-On engagement or a combination of Always-On and campaigns, delivers results.

In the world of business, many decisions are made based on emotion, brand strength and the trust of expert voices. B2B marketers who build relationships with trusted experts understand the value of having brand advocates engage authentically with hard to reach audiences that increasingly discount brand communications. An Always-On approach to influencer marketing provides a framework for finding, engaging and elevating relationships with those very experts that customers trust and want to hear from.

The Always-On Imperative for B2B Brands

In today’s uncertain environment, brand reach and credibility are more important than ever. Some of the top B2B brands in the world have invested in developing communities of industry experts through Always-On influencer marketing that they can count on for social engagement, event activations, and brand advocacy.

Our research found that B2B marketers using an Always-On influencer marketing strategy are seeing important benefits including:

  • 75% Increased views of brand content
  • 60% Increased share of voice
  • 55% Increased media mentions of brand
  • 50% Increased brand advocacy

Buyers want to trust the brands they work with and with brand trust at a low, it’s important for B2B companies to invest in relationships with credible experts that buyers do trust.

Garnor Morantes Always-On Influence Quote

Being “always-on” has allowed our team to build meaningful relationships with influencers. This approach means that the relationship ceases to be “transactional” (what can you do for us) when we’re in a state of ongoing activity. Because of this foundation, we are in a situation where, when urgency strikes, we’ve been able to immediately activate influencers, whether it …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog


Using Proxies for Managing Instagram Accounts, Is It Safe?

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By Efrat Vulfsons

Using Instagram proxies can be both safe and dangerous. It comes down to which proxy you use and how you use it. If you are using a free proxy, it might be risky as most of them don’t implement high-end security technologies, making it vulnerable to hacking.

Since Instagram doesn’t allow you to have more than five accounts, you can’t avoid proxies altogether. Proxies allow you to manage multiple accounts while keeping you cyber-safe on social media.

Besides, without Instagram proxies, you risk getting all your client’s social handle blocked because it is against Instagram’s policies.

What Are Instagram Proxies?

Instagram proxies are like regular proxies that provide your accounts a dedicated IP address. This makes Instagram consider that these social handles are used by different persons, thereby mitigating the risk of getting blocked.

Also, if you have employees managing your Instagram handle remotely from different countries, getting it blocked is high. It is because security checks will consider the connection as suspicious and unsecured. Instagram proxies solve this problem by providing you a dedicated IP address, which can be used by anyone you give access to.

Instagram Automation Tools Require a Proxy. Why?

Most marketers use Instagram automation tools to increase engagement. However, if you use automation to look like a bot, Instagram is likely to ban your IP (and your account). With a proxy server, you won’t have to worry about the Instagram IP ban.

Here are two more reasons for using a proxy for Instagram automation:

  • Localization: Social media marketers know the importance of using geolocation tags to get more exposure and engagement. If you target Instagram accounts in other countries, you need a proxy (located in that location) to display localized posts.
  • Multiple account management: Instagram hates bots and automation tools because they replicate humans’ social behavior. It means if Instagram identifies you are using automation tools, your accounts are highly likely to be banned. With proxies, marketers can manage several Instagram accounts without raising suspicion.

What Are Residential Proxies?

Residential proxies are residential IP addresses of real devices provided by an internet service provider and not a data center. All the residential proxies point to a physical location, making it look legitimate.

There are three primary types of residential proxies:

  • Backconnect proxies: It allows you to use Instagram under someone else’s residential IP address.
  • Rotating residential proxies: In this, your IP address will change every five to ten minutes, thereby strengthening your security.
  • Dedicated residential proxies: It gives you access to several high-speed residential IP addresses.

Irrespective of which Instagram proxy server you choose, you can switch to a new IP address if your current one gets blocked.

Why Should You Use Residential Proxies?

Residential proxies give you a real identity online while hiding your original IP address. It also makes it easier for you to scale your Instagram marketing by enabling you to manage several accounts.

Here are some reasons to use residential proxies:

5 questions about Microsoft’s plans for TikTok

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By Tim Peterson

If ByteDance is forced to sell TikTok to another company, there are places worse than Microsoft where a media platform could wind up (like Verizon). That being said, the maker of Microsoft Office is not an obvious candidate to acquire a social video app popular with high schoolers.

Microsoft’s unexpected emergence as TikTok’s potential next parent company has raised eyebrows since news broke on July 31 that Microsoft was exploring an acquisition of TikTok from ByteDance, which is being compelled by the Trump administration to sell the app to an American company or give up TikTok’s ability to operate in the U.S. Microsoft has confirmed the acquisition talks and given itself until Sept. 15 to complete a deal. But the company has not explained why it is interested in buying TikTok or what it would do with the platform.

With more questions than answers at the moment, here is an attempt to answer some of the main questions surrounding Microsoft’s potential acquisition of TikTok, including how TikTok could help Microsoft become a bigger player in the future of TV.

Why would Microsoft want to acquire TikTok?

This is the biggest question at the moment. Microsoft still owns Bing’s search engine, Xbox’s gaming console and even MSN’s online portal, but it has become more of a business-facing tech company than a consumer proposition. That is why Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn made a lot of sense, and why its potential pick-up of TikTok is so confounding. Microsoft’s interest is made clearer if you assume it signals the company’s desire to reinvigorate its consumer-facing business.

“Microsoft has historically always wanted something to be able to compete against Google, recently against Facebook and YouTube too, which is part of Google obviously. So this is kind of their potential way of getting in on that competitive set in a more meaningful way,” said Collin Colburn, senior analyst at Forrester.

How much might TikTok be dinged by the acquisition?

Microsoft is only exploring the purchase of TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. While TikTok claims to have more than 100 million users in the U.S., the carving up of TikTok’s global service could seriously cap its growth and potential to attract ad dollars from advertisers looking to reach a global audience. “Every other social media app operates on a global audience. Young people today are so globally minded that it feels really strange to suddenly turn TikTok into an entity that’s only available in certain countries,” said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer.

There’s also the potential that TikTok could lose its standing among creators, such as Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae and Zach King, that have helped the app become so popular among teenagers and twentysomethings. The talk of banning TikTok has already led some creators to redirect their audiences to their accounts on other platforms, like Instagram and YouTube, and spurred some brands to create contingency plans for influencer marketing deals earmarked for TikTok. Meanwhile, Instagram is rolling out its …read more

Source:: Digiday


How The 19th relied on memberships and funding to launch during a pandemic

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By Kayleigh Barber

For most, launching a new publication at a time when the media industry not only has the operational challenges from the coronavirus crisis, but also the economic challenges of a recession would seem like a scary leap.

But for new non-profit publication, The 19th, its mission — providing women and people of color with the information and resources they need to be equal participants in the United States democracy — was too important to put on hold in the lead up to the presidential election in November.

A non-profit organization, The 19th — named after the 19th Amendment which gave some U.S. women the right to vote — is monetarily supported by a mix of membership, donations and corporate underwriting, meaning it’s free from the worry of chasing advertising dollars for survival.

It still isn’t exactly a cake walk. “Corporate underwriting is anticipated to be a cornerstone of our revenue model,” said Emily Ramshaw, The 19th’s CEO and co-founder. “Obviously, the COVID pandemic and resulting economic recession has led to a depression in the corporate market; we’re hoping it rebounds in short order,” she wrote in an email.

Membership and individual donations, therefore, have become a significant piece of the puzzle.

Publisher and co-founder Amanda Zamora said that she and Ramshaw spent the better part of 2019 developing the business model and product plan as well as how to grow and audience and sustain it and by the end of the year, they both felt they had enough validation, financial support and a strong enough business strategy to take the leap and leave their jobs at the Texas Tribune.

“We believed we needed $2 million in the bank to leave our jobs, and $4 million to make a serious go at launch,” said Ramshaw.

The 19th soft launched at the end of January, which made it easier for the founders to start hiring a staff — they brought on 22 people—and begin courting investments.

The plan was to fully launch The 19th at the start of August— it launched August 2—but once the coronavirus hit, there was uncertainty with that timeline if corporations couldn’t back the launch as much as they initially planned.

To keep on schedule, goals shifted and fundraising had to be kicked into high gear, Zamora said. The in-person summit it was planning to hold as part of its launch and in centennial celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment was turned into a five-day-long virtual event that will kick off next week and is sponsored by Goldman Sachs and Intuit.

Since the soft launch the publication received more than 1,000 founding member contributions, which ranged between $5 and $1,000. Within the first two days of the hard launch, Zamora said that number increased by 800. According to the site, as of June 30, it had 174 patrons, who had donated $1,000 or above.

“We think about membership not just as a revenue program but as an audience program,” said Zamora. “We want to hear their stories …read more

Source:: Digiday


How to Make a Scalable SMS Chatbot Using Twilio, Python, and Google Sheets (with Free Code)

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By R0bin_L0rd

Posted by R0bin_L0rd

Many of us are helping businesses that are facing hard times, or we’re facing hard times ourselves. If you’re working for a company (or client) that’s in trouble, the use of SMS chatbots could be a way for you to look outside your normal list of solutions and help them succeed in a completely different way. If you’re a marketer looking for work, adding this to your list of skills could mean you keep things ticking along while many of the usual doors are closed — or that you open new doors.

What you’ll get

In this post, I give you instructions and code to produce not just one, but a series of text-based chatbots that can be managed by Google Sheets.

The example here is set up to work with restaurants, but could be adapted to work with any business that needs to receive orders, check them against inventory/menus, and note them down to be fulfilled.

Once the system is set up, there will be no coding necessary to create a new SMS-based chatbot for a new business. Plus, that business will be able to manage key details (like incoming orders and a menu) by simply updating a Google Sheet, making all of this far more accessible than most other options.

But first, some context.

Some context

In September 2017, as one of my first big passion projects at Distilled, I wrote a Moz blog post telling people how to make a chatbot and giving away some example code.

This April, I got an email from a man named Alexandre Silvestre. Alex had launched “a non-profit effort to help the local small business owners navigate these challenging times, save as many jobs as possible, and continue to serve our community while helping to flatten the curve.”

This effort began by focusing on restaurants. Alex had found my 2017 post (holy moly, content marketing works!) and asked if I could help his team build a chatbot. We agreed on some basic requirements for the bot:

  • It had to work entirely within text message (and if the order was super complicated it had to be able to set up a call directly with the restaurant).
  • Running it had to be as close to free as possible.
  • Restaurants had to be able to check on orders, update menus, etc., without setting up special accounts.

The solution we agreed on had three parts:

  • Twilio (paid): supplies the phone number and handles most of the conversational back-and-forth.
  • Google Cloud Functions (semi-free): when a URL is called it runs code (including updating our database for the restaurant) and returns a response.
  • Google Sheets (free): our database platform. We have a sheet which lists all of the businesses using our chatbot, and linking off to the individual Google Sheets for each business.

I’ll take you through each of these components in turn and tell you how to work with them.

If you’re coming back to this post, or just need help with one area, feel free to jump to the specific part you’re interested …read more

Source:: Moz Blog


Welcome to Content Marketing Unlocked: Your Free Blogging Course

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By Neil Patel

Blogging is so effective that there are over a billion blogs on the web.

Just think about that… that’s roughly 1 blog for every 7 people.

Sure, we don’t really need any more blogs, but people still create them because they can be such effective marketing channels.

And best of all, unlike social sites, the moment you create a blog that has an audience, you can continually reach them without having to worry about algorithm changes.

So, to help you with your content marketing efforts, I’ve created a free 4-week training course called Content Marketing Unlocked.

Introducing Content Marketing Unlocked

As I mentioned, over the next 4 weeks I am going to teach you all about content marketing.

Everything from the basics of content marketing and how it works to the advanced parts such as generating traffic and sales from blogging.

To get you started, make sure you watch the welcome video:

The welcome video breaks down what you’ll learn over the next 4 weeks and, under the video, you’ll find a goal worksheet and a course outline.

Then you’ll learn about the history of content marketing:

In that lesson, you’ll find 2 worksheets:

  1. Content outline – this will show you how to outline and create content.
  2. Content steps – this breaks down the steps you need to follow in order to write amazing content.

After you get the hang of writing content, you’ll want to learn how to rank your older (existing) content on your site.

And in that lesson, you’ll also get a list of tools that you should use and a master resource guide that’ll help speed up the process.

From there I teach you about the different types of content you can leverage to get more traffic. Believe it or not, there are actually 18 types you should be using.

Over time I will continue to add more lessons, but I don’t want to drown you in information by embedding all the lessons in this post.

So, what else will you learn?

The four lessons above are a great start, but there is much more to the content marketing course. This is what you can expect from Content Marketing Unlocked:

Week #1

Lesson #1: Getting Started

  • Course Introduction
  • Strategies You’re Going to Learn
  • What Google Wants
  • Content Production Strategy Overview
  • Understanding the Algorithm & Updates
  • The Right Mindset

Lesson #2: History of Content Marketing

  • History of Content Marketing
  • Fact & Fiction About Content Marketing
  • Understanding Your Target Audience
  • How to Find Keywords That Will Make You Money
  • Refining Your Keyword Lists
  • Content Examples

Lesson #3: Optimizing Your Existing Content

  • How to Audit Your Existing Content
  • How to Optimize Your Content the Right Way
  • How to Re-Write Your Content So It Gets You Traffic
  • Step-by-Step On-Page Optimization Tactics
  • Content Templates to Rewrite Your Content

Week #2

Lesson #1: Major Content Types

  • Credibility & Trust Through Content
  • Types of Content
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Infographics
  • Videos / Visual Content
  • Podcasts / Radio Shows
  • Facebook Posts / Pages
  • Courses / Digital Classes / eBooks / Checklists
  • How-to Guides
  • SlideShare / PowerPoint / Webinars
  • Photographs / Graphics / Art
  • Instructional …read more

    Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog


6 New Rules for B2B Marketing in the COVID-19 Era

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By Joshua Nite

B2B Marketing Rules Covid-19

B2B Marketing Rules Covid-19
I was supposed to go to an Alanis Morissette concert this July. When the pandemic hit hard in March, I wasn’t ready to cancel my ticket yet. Surely,
surely we would have it sorted in time for an outdoor concert four months from now. I held out hope. Then, in June, she rescheduled for July, 2021. And now I’m wondering if that will be enough time.

Isn’t it ironic? 

Don’t you think?

All of which to say: This pandemic has been around for longer than we thought it would, and is looking to linger far longer than we would like. What seemed like a brief, surreal interlude to be gotten through has now become a reality to live with, at least for the time being.

As B2B marketers, we need to reassess how we are adapting our marketing to our buyers’ current situation. We’re no longer scrambling to cobble together short-term fixes — we need to be out of reaction mode and into strategic planning mode.

Our marketing agency has been helping clients revise their marketing plans for months now, from messaging and audience to tactics and measurement. Here are a few rules we’ve picked up that other marketers should follow:

6 New Rules for B2B Marketing in the COVID-19 Era

Rule #1: Always Be Relevant

Okay, this is less a NEW rule than a timely reminder. I’m sure most marketers who read our blog (as smart, skilled and beautiful as you are) don’t need to hear it. But just in case: You should never come to an audience without something of value.

Corollary: “Something of value” can not equal “Knowledge of how our product/solution can improve your life.”

People are distracted and stressed. They’re dealing with a new crisis every day. They’re spending way more time with their children than is psychologically healthy. And they have more content than ever before to occupy their free time. If you’re asking for their attention, you must reward it. Be entertaining, be useful, be both if you can. [bctt tweet=”‘Be entertaining, be useful, be both if you can’ in your #B2B content marketing, says @nitewrites.” username=”toprank”]

After you deliver, then you can ask for a next step. But make sure your content is intrinsically valuable.

Rule #2: Encourage Interaction

The pandemic lifestyle is, to put it lightly, isolating. Who would have thought you could miss hearing co-workers rock in their chairs, play music a little too loud, or bump into you in the hallway? Most of us are craving social interaction.

If you’re used to broadcasting with your content, it’s time to consider how you can start conversations. How can you interact with your audience on a human level? How can you encourage them to interact with each other, too? Think how …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog


Social Media is Kind of Hard; Here’s Some Tips

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By David Saef

Whether you are a fledgling business or up-and-coming influencer, gaining traction on your social media accounts can be an arduous task. No matter how hard you work to create great content, it doesn’t matter if no one sees it.

Unfortunately, the landscape is competitive for gaining engagement online. Everyone is using the same channels to attract new followers. But thinking outside the box and targeting people offline might be a way to get that boost your accounts need.

Business Cards

That flimsy business card may seem like an archaic method left for a previous generation, but it can still be useful today. Not only do these little cards provide a convenient place to showcase your accounts, but they’re cheap too. You can get 1000 business cards for under $20.

Handing them out is the easy part. A retail business can include one with each purchase, maybe with a coupon attached on the back. Leave cards out in high traffic areas or be quick to pull one out during conversations.


We all love getting something for free, which is why the right promotional product can make all the world’s difference. The key here is finding one that your target audience won’t just throw in the trash.

Tying the product into your business is critical here. For instance, many businesses can use a custom air freshener seamlessly with what they are offering. A branded microfiber towel works perfectly for an eyeglass store or optometrist. And a water bottle may be a way for gyms or personal trainers to connect with their intended audience of fitness junkies.

Direct Mail

This staple of many businesses can provide a boost by promoting social media. But it goes beyond just sharing your social media accounts. Try to incorporate them into a promotion. Perhaps give a discount if they contact you via Facebook to set up an appointment. Or mention special discount codes are frequently given out on Twitter and Instagram.

A simple way to get them where you want to is through a QR code (which will be discussed later). With a quick scan on their phone, they’ll be transported to your social media, and hopefully, something worth following.

Wear It

Time to turn your wardrobe into a walking billboard. Especially important if you’re trying to brand yourself as an influencer. Create a t-shirt, hat, or any other apparel that will draw attention. List your social media accounts. Sometimes just listing the handles will bring some followers who are curious about the person they just walked by.

Utilize QR Codes

QR codes never became the revolutionary marketing method we were promised, but they are still relevant today. Smartphone makers like Apple have made it easier to scan over the years in software updates. And consumers have responded.

As for where to place the QR codes, anywhere you can. Put them on receipts, business cards, menus, and promotional materials (like air fresheners or keyrings). Create a vinyl decal or sticker you can plaster in-store and car windows. Anywhere a potential follower is with a smartphone is an …read more

Source:: Social Media Explorer


How Brands Like Google, Twitch, and Sephora Built Brand Communities — and How You Can, Too

Home » Archive by Category "Digital Marketing"

By Charles Vogl and Carrie Melissa Jones

Over the past few decades, companies, marketing departments, and c-suites have used the term “community” to refer to a smorgasbord of ideas, from wide-ranging organizational investments — such as neighborhood events or charity partnerships — to online forums and even simple email lists.

These ideas aim to create some sense of the collective belonging people used to feel, long before our now-record isolation and loneliness. But most (and sometimes all) of these community-building measures are superficial, or even irrelevant, to what constitutes real community.

We call the resulting so-called communities mirage communities: groups that organizations may label as communities, but that a trained eye can recognize are not.

There are, however, a growing number of organizations that take the need for community far more seriously. These organizations invest in effective community principles, and they’re rewarded with breakthrough innovation, critical feedback, brand loyalty, and employee retention.

But these rewards don’t appear magically. They require a special investment.

So, how do some of today’s most successful companies do it? Let’s explore how Google, Twitch, and Sephora implement authentic community-building strategies, and how your own company can, too.

1. Google invests in Labs.

At Google, community success comes in the form of collaborative groups, or what Google calls “Labs.”

Each Google Lab brings together approximately 100 thought leaders, in specific industries, to tackle some of today’s most pressing issues. Google Labs foster mutual respect and concern among members, which spawn conversations, collaborations, and opportunities that were never possible before. It’s part of what keeps Google at the top of every “most innovative” company list today.

For example, Google’s Food Lab focuses on the production, purchase, and presentation of food. Its members take on top food challenges, from “How do we move our culture to a plant-forward diet?” to “How do we eliminate waste in our food system?”

In turn, Google is lauded as a brand that inspires the food industry, while it refines (and reduces) its own monstrous spending on healthy employee food perks — which, at one point, cost nearly $72 million a year at the main office “Googleplex” alone.

2. Twitch succeeds with local groups.

Twitch attracts over 2 million people per month to watch and livestream digital video broadcasts. Their approach is built on a two-sided marketplace: they need to attract broadcasters, as well as audience members. Local community groups help them succeed.

Twitch has built a worldwide team to support over 40 local, city-based groups, each of which hosts real-life and virtual events that foster genuine friendships and deep relationships between local Twitch members. However, local groups (and their leaders) must demonstrate how well they can bring members together, first.

These local groups allow Twitch to transform online interactions — which can often feel transactional — into connections that have real meaning. Members return again and again to the brand, and recruit others to participate, because Twitch is a space where authentic emotional investments happen.

3. Sephora says …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


Daily SEO Fix: Investigate Changes in Your Rankings with Moz Pro

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By Ola.King

Posted by Ola.King

As members of the Moz onboarding team — which gives one-on-one walkthroughs of Moz products to over 500 customers a month — we have our finger on the pulse of what people are asking for when it comes to SEO. We’re here to help you uncover the relevant Moz Pro features for your business.

We know that somewhere along the journey of improving your website and drumming up more traffic (and hopefully conversions), you’ll want to track rankings for your target keywords. Perhaps you started by noticing a traffic drop on your website. Or maybe you’re actively adapting your business in response to new challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll ultimately want to know how your page rankings were affected, and start to explore what you can do next.

In this series of Daily SEO Fix videos, the Moz onboarding team takes you through workflows using the Moz Pro tools. We help you coast through your rankings analysis to gain some actionable insights, from tracking your performance against your competitors to making impactful improvements to your pages.

Don’t have a community account or free trial yet? Sign up first, then book your walkthrough to chat with our onboarding team.

Start your free trial

Segment and sort keyword rankings

One constant in SEO is that ranking positions are always changing. Some keywords tend to move around more than others, and they can be tricky to spot. Luckily, Moz Pro has a simple way to focus on these keywords.

In this Daily Fix, Maddie shows you how you can sort out your keywords by ranking gains and losses, so that you can glean some insight into how to make the relevant improvements.

View rankings over time and vs. competitors

They say you can’t manage what you don’t measure. This is also true for SEO.

By tracking your keywords, you can measure the impact of your SEO efforts and identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to optimize your SEO.

Moz Pro allows you to track your ranking performance over time. You can quickly see exactly what page on your site is ranking in the highest position for a particular keyword, as well as other pages that may be ranking for the same keyword. This helps you easily flag potential keyword cannibalization on your site.

In this Daily Fix, Jo on the learning team will shows you exactly how this works.

On-page optimization

There aren’t many things more confusing than seeing pages rank for keywords that have absolutely nothing to do with your business. You’re always signalling something to the search engines — whether you intend to or not. Optimizing your on-page SEO ensures you control that signal.

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages for specific keyword(s) in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines.

In this Daily Fix, I …read more

Source:: Moz Blog


Lack of events revenue squeezes B2B media, forcing virtual volume — and innovation

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By Max Willens

Many of the revenue streams that power media companies have begun to come back to life in the past several weeks. But events is not one of them, a fact that has begun to really squeeze many B2B media companies.

Last week, Access Intelligence, which operates several B2B media brands including AdExchanger and AdMonsters, and generates close to 70% of its revenue from live events, announced in an internal memo obtained by CNN’s Kerry Flynn that it would be slimming its workforce by 16%, through a combination of layoffs and furloughs. Earlier this spring, Hanley Wood, a B2B media company that covers the real estate and construction industries, laid off at least 40 people, citing business challenges brought on by the spread of coronavirus, according to Folio.

In countries that have done a better job of controlling the spread of the coronavirus, in-person events are beginning to come back online — the Australian marketing industry trade publication Mumbrella, for example, is planning a hybrid in-person and digital event for November. But similar prospects are still a ways off in the United States.

“Once it’s legal and people want to come, we could very
easily flip that switch,” said Michael Rose, the CEO of Observer Media, which
owns Commercial Observer, a news publication covering real estate development. “Our
plan does not call for that to happen this year.”

Of all the business lines that B2B companies rely on, the outlook for events is murkiest. While much of the advertising market has rebounded from the nadir of late March and early April, and subscriptions remain resilient, events remain, at best, ill-conceived or, at worst, illegal in places where governments have barred large, in-person gatherings of people.

The prospects for B2B events are so uncertain that companies which were thinking about moving into them have backed off. As recently as six months ago, Industry Dive, a B2B publisher that covers 19 different verticals, was looking to buy an events company to help diversify into that business. It has abandoned those plans for the time being.

“It’s not something we’re doing in the near- to medium-term,” Industry Dive CEO Sean Griffey said, adding that he expects the events industry to change as a result of coronavirus, though he did not have an idea of what a new model might look like.

After it became clear that in-person events would not be possible for a while, many publishers, including Digiday Media, moved to virtual events, which can offer healthier margins than physical ones because they can attract greater numbers of people and typically incur lower costs.

But the margins are carved out of much lower top-line revenues. John Yedinak, the cofounder of Aging Media, which covers the senior care industries, said that for smaller events, the topline revenue for a virtual can be 30 to 50% lower than the revenue generated by an in-person one. For large, trade show-style events, the disparity is even greater, Yedinak said.

To make up …read more

Source:: Digiday


TikTok’s Blake Chandlee on working with U.S. brands despite conflict with the White House

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By Pierre Bienaimé

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify

TikTok is coming of age in a post-techlash world.

But unlike Facebook and Google, it has the added challenge of doubling as a political football in the Trump administration’s clashes with China.

Last Friday President Trump told reporters he was considering a ban on the video app, which is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company. Over the weekend Reuters reported the company may be looking to divest from its U.S. operations completely — perhaps in a sale to Microsoft — in order to avoid such a ban.

Like other tech giants, ByteDance has also hired lobbyists in Washington in an effort to keep its access to a massive U.S. market — and its 100 million existing American users, according to the company.

The Trump administration’s nominal concern is TikTok’s possible ties to Beijing — last fall leaked documents revealed how the app had censored topics that the Chinese Communist Party deems unacceptable, like Tiananmen Square or Tibetan independence. In some cases, TikTok has apologized.

Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s vp of global business solutions in Europe and the US, downplays any compromising ties between the company and its country of origin.

“TikTok is clearly an independent company and we’ve given people lots of reassurances,” Chandlee said in an interview recorded last Thursday, a day before Trump’s remarks.

“We built the whole company outside of China. Data sits outside of China, it sits in the U.S. and then it’s got redundancy in Singapore,” he added.

Chandlee argued that the company is more concerned with data privacy than its established rivals.

“We’ve watched what’s happened and we can kind of see where the world’s going,” Chandlee said. “People are becoming increasingly aware and educated. How to manage data and privacy is something that we’ve certainly learned from.”

Last summer Chandlee was hired away from Facebook, where data collection practices have drawn scrutiny from the press, Capitol Hill and even some users, after 12 years at the company.

With Chandlee, TikTok is hoping to prove indispensable for brands eager to market to the app’s massive and young set of users.

“Brands get it,” he said in reference to their willingness to work with the company despite the political scrutiny. “There aren’t many brands that have stepped back, stepped away from TikTok because of it,” he said, adding “most of these big brands have a presence inside of China. They understand, once we give them reassurances. We explain the corporate structure and how decision-making takes place.”

TikTok’s new “Creator Marketplace” connects advertisers with influencers, a transaction the app sometimes participates in.

Last week, before Trump ratcheted up tensions, the company announced it would spend $1 billion on a fund for creators in the U.S. over the next three years — and more than twice that around the world.

Beyond that, Chandlee was coy on the upcoming ways TikTok will help brands spend money (and creators make it) in a way that breaks with the precedent of its big tech competitors.

“Stay tuned on …read more

Source:: Digiday


How Business Services Are Evolving To B Part Of The Platform Concept

Home » Archive by Category "Digital Marketing"

By Christian Zilles

A technology platform is an environment for building and running applications, systems, and processes. These can be viewed as toolsets for developing and operating customized and tailored services. In the past decade technology platforms have exploded on the digital scene. Google Search, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Marketplace, Android, Uber, AirBnB, Waze, WeWork, Twilio and even Bitcoin are all platforms.

Flocksy is a platform for creating digital marketing components. They offer web development, graphic design, copywriting, and video production services. Flocksy is a professionally managed flat rate creative services and content platform focused on long-term relationships with clients, designers, and partners. They are always making it easier and more efficient to connect to a team of creatives who will get all your work done.

They are affordable, easy and efficient, and fast. Flocksy utilizes only U.S.-based project managers who understand the needs of both clients and on demand teams. Their team is fully vetted and tested, ensuring their clients get top notch results for the projects they desire. Flocksy was founded in 2016 by Sam, George, and Charles Ryan as the first platform of its kind to offer the breadth of services and consistency of teams.

Flocksy works for small to medium sized businesses that need marketing work done quickly and professionally for an affordable cost. They help their customers with all their marketing projects for a fraction of the price they would pay an inhouse team. Their service replaces the typical full-time designer, video editor, developer or writer and more.

They are always trying to reach more customers and expand their services to offer more, such as SEO and posting on Facebook and Instagram. By the end of the year they will have at least three more services available. A year from now, they will have more services, faster turnaround times and an even smoother process. Five years from now, they will be THE place to go to connect with a team of professionals for a flat rate.

Flocksy integrates chat functionality and a full dashboard, both of which are focused on consistent, best work practices for every project. Their platform vets and selects only the best creatives from around the world, ensuring work is done correctly and on time. Flocksy was designed so clients get a whole team they are working with and not one person that they may or may not connect with.

Businesses sign up and can create unlimited design, video, development and writing projects. Flocksy then forms a fully vetted team around the customer’s account based on the projects they run, their style, and more. The team then works on all their projects and makes sure to keep their brand and style consistent. Their professional-grade work is work we use ourselves.

Accounts are each assigned a dedicated Project Manager. The Project Manager is USA based and oversees the client’s team and account. If the client has any questions, issues with the team, concerns about a project or more, they can simply reach …read more

Source:: Social Media Explorer


How to Improve Your Blog

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By Christian Zilles

A blog on a business website can be incredibly powerful when done well. Blog posts give businesses the opportunity to showcase their expertise and useful information, but also to publish content which will appear in search engine results for relevant search terms.

However, far too many businesses find that they are publishing content but not seeing a return on their investment. This is often because there is a lack of a blogging strategy, almost no unique value to the content, and no calls-to-action. If you want to maximize your online visibility, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and boost sales, you need to try these five simple ways to improve your blog posts.

Step 1: Enhance Your Content

Back up your content with stats and sources

Data studies can produce fantastic blog posts, but we are living through times of uncertainty, and many people struggle to trust what they read on the internet without some form of evidence. If you are going to make statements or claims which could be disputed, try to include specific statistics, and cite your sources.

Use graphics and imagery to enhance the content

Thanks to social media, people are used to consuming information very quickly through short pieces of content, imagery, videos, and graphics. Rather than presenting readers with a wall of text, try to break it up into smaller sections that are easy to digest. Graphics can be used to pick out key pieces of information which even skim-readers can take in. The more engaging the blog is, the more likely it is that visitors will hang around your website and share it.

Remember to proof your work before publishing

Writing content is not always straightforward, and even the most experienced writers make mistakes, so it is vital to take the time to read your post a few times before publishing it. This gives you the chance to catch spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, repetitive content, and clumsy sentences. Writing tools like Grammarly can be a great help when trying to ensure your blog post is written accurately, which will give your blog a professional finish.

Step 2: Maximize Conversion Rates

Implement long-tail keywords

Most blog writers understand that they should include keywords that are relevant to their business, but they may not be focusing on long-tail keywords. These keywords are actually more like phrases of 3-4 words. They tend to be less competitive but convert at a higher rate as they are more specific in terms of user intent. By identifying and including keywords that convert at a higher rate, you can attract more valuable traffic. Click here to find out more about keyword research.

Use Google Analytics to inform your strategy

When you have a few blog posts under your belt, you can use Google Analytics to get some insight into their success. You will see which posts have attracted the most visitors and if those visitors have gone on to make a purchase, place …read more

Source:: Social Media Explorer


8 Ways Digital Rewards Can Help Marketers to Stand Out

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By Rida Khan

Many of us scroll past ads in our newsfeed, delete emails, or even run to the bathroom during commercial breaks.

As consumers, we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements and calls-to-action. This is the challenge of marketing: campaigns are everywhere.

And, if campaigns are everywhere, they can be easier to tune out and ignore.

In fact, social click-through rates on ads went from 2.6% in late 2018 to 2% in late 2019, a sure sign that social media users have advertising fatigue.

Ultimately, marketers need to try increasingly new and innovative approaches to grab consumers’ attention. Marketers work hard daily to create the exception: a message that can’t be ignored.

Here, we’re going to dive into one innovative strategy that could help marketers’ stand out in 2020: digital rewards.

Digital Rewards: The Secret Weapon for Standing Out

Digital rewards are e-gift cards, either from retailers or virtual Visa/Mastercards that can be delivered in an instant via a link or email. These virtual rewards can help you stand out against competitors.

More often than not, marketers ask for consumer’s attention without much upfront benefit. Every time consumers see marketing campaigns, they make a decision within seconds — and it often follows the logic of, “if I click this Facebook ad, am I really going to buy this product?” They risk spending valuable time evaluating a purchase, but then ultimately decide not to. Digital rewards minimize that risk by creating tangible upfront value.

In addition, digital rewards are a kind gesture that lets a prospective customer know you value their time. It’s a way of recognizing their engagement and saying “thank you” for their attention. Gift giving is a classic way that humans show warmth and appreciation for others.

Digital rewards enable you to tap into this age-old societal practice and modernize it for the virtual era. By sending personalized digital rewards, you create human connections despite physical distance.

Because digital rewards are a lesser-known tool, you may be wondering how to incorporate them into your current marketing strategy. Below are eight ways to boost marketing campaigns with digital rewards to accelerate engagement and maximize campaign ROI.

Digital Rewards Strategies and Examples

1. Host incentivized webinars for your target audience.

What this looks like: “Attend our live webinar for a $10 thank you gift!”

Why you should do it: Incentivized webinars make it easier for consumers to evaluate your product. Additionally, the upfront value excites consumers and makes these webinars much more effective at lead generation than typical webinars.

Plus, the reward delivery email can be prime real estate to feature follow-up content and calls-to-action. Consumers tend to be more willing to provide data in exchange for coupons, loyalty points, or rewards, making it a powerful tool in accelerating the buyer’s journey.

2. Compensate prospects and customers for taking surveys and sharing feedback.

What this looks like: “Tell us how you’re liking our latest update for a $15 reward.”

Why you should do it: Brand goodwill …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


20 B2B Influencer Marketing Pros to Follow from Top Brands

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By Lee Odden

B2B influencer marketing pros from top brands

B2B influencer marketing pros from top brands

Recently we published the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing report after surveying hundreds of B2B marketers about their experiences, best practices, tools, budgets and plans for the future.

In an environment where B2B marketing is decidedly digital and marketers are hard pressed to squeeze more productivity out of fewer resources, credible information about marketing best practices, operations and trends for the future are in high demand. Judging by the response we’ve had to The State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report so far, we’re definitely meeting a need.

There is both optimism and an unrealized opportunity with influencer marketing for B2B companies. For evidence, check out these stats from the report:

  • 78% of B2B marketers believe prospects rely on advice from influencers
  • 74% believe that Influencer Marketing improves customer and prospect experiences
  • 63% agree that marketing would have better results if it included an Influencer Marketing program
  • 60% of marketers who use always on Influencer Marketing programs are very successful vs. 5% who do periodic campaigns

And yet:

  • Only 19% of B2B marketers are running ongoing influencer marketing programs
  • Only half include a plan for influencer activation in their influencer marketing strategy
  • Only 35% of marketers use software to identify potential influencers
  • 60% say they don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in house to implement ongoing Influencer Marketing programs

Influencer Marketing is a significant opportunity for B2B Marketers to connect with trusted and credible experts that have the attention of audiences that are probably overwhelmed with information and ignoring most of the ads that do get to them. At the same time B2B brands that build relationships to co-create content with these industry voices can integrate influence with thought leadership to build the authority and influence of brand employees.

It is very satisfying to have spent the past 8 years focusing on such a niche aspect of B2B marketing to see it now start to grow in acceptance, adoption and maturity amongst some of the top B2B brands in the world.  Where there were previously no positions outside of PR with “influencer” in the title, now it is much more common to find marketers with titles like, Head of Global Influencer Marketing, VP Influencer Marketing and Communications, or B2B Influencer Engagement Strategist.

Many B2B marketing professionals with these titles have earned hard won insights into what makes influencer marketing truly work for B2B, especially during a time when brand marketers are highly motivated to focus on strategies and tactics that will help them survive and thrive during the pandemic.

To help you connect with the collective wisdom of the B2B influencer marketing crowd, here are 20 B2B Influencer Marketing Professionals to follow (in no particular order):

Ursula Ringham
Ursula Ringham
Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP

Rani Mani
Rani Mani
…read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog


B2B Marketing News: How B2B Events Are Changing, Consumers Switch Brands During Pandemic, & New B2B Micro-Segmentation Data

Home » Archive by Category "Digital Marketing"

By Lane Ellis

2020 July 24 CEIR Chart

2020 July 24 CEIR Chart

Study: Most Americans Permanently Changing Brands During Pandemic
45 percent of U.S. consumers have switched at least one brand preference during the global heath crisis, and some 62 percent believe that their brand change will become permanent — two of several items of interest to digital marketers in recently-released survey data. MediaPost

How microsegmenting boosts B2B conversion rates
Micro-segmentation helps both B2B sellers and customers, with better conversion rates and more relevant customer experiences, with some 68 percent of B2B buyers noting that it’s important for vendors to present relevant content throughout the buying cycle without having to rely on salespeople, according to recently-released Forrester report data. Digital Commerce 360

Gartner Identifies Five Technologies to Drive More Agile and Scalable Advertising Capabilities for Marketers
The digital advertising trends having the most impact on the industry have been outlined in Gartner’s latest annual Hype Cycle for Digital Advertising 2020 report, showing the rise of Advanced Supply-Side Bidding (ASSB), Identity Resolution (IDR) and other areas of interest to digital marketers. MarTech Series

Facebook Releases New Web Collage App via its Experimental NPE Team
Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) test-bed team has launched an experimental image display app called, offering a throwback look for modern photo collages that could eventually bring marketers new visual display opportunities, the social media giant recently announced. Social Media Today

What Types of Content Generate Leads That Convert?
Marketers generate the most lead conversions by utilizing online content that incorporates video, which was seen as the most effective format by 41 percent of marketers, followed by webinars at 36 percent, and original research at 36 percent, topping the list of newly-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. MarketingCharts

LinkedIn Provides More Tips for Virtual Events in New Guide Book
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn (client) has published new insight into using its LinkedIn Live and Events features, including marketing survey data showing that some 69 percent of marketers find it challenging to make the move to virtual events, the firm recently announced in conjunction with the launch of its second-ever events guide. Social Media Today

2020 July 31 Statistics Image

Infographic: Consumers Want to See More Brands in the Esports Realm
Today’s consumers would like to find more brands including e-sports in their campaign efforts, with 72 percent saying that would like to see brands that are savvy enough to use the medium’s fast-paced conversation. The gaming industry is the most dominant media channel for Gen Z and millennials, and is expected to top $1.5 billion in brand spending, according to recently-released infographic data. Adweek

Zenith: Global Ad Spend Projected To Drop 9.1% This Year
Overall global advertising spending for 2020 is expected to fall by 9.1 percent, while digital ad spend is forecast to see only a 2 percent decrease, with digital accounting for more than …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog


What Do Dolphins Eat? Lessons from How Kids Search — Best of Whiteboard Friday

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By willcritchlow

Posted by willcritchlow

We’re bringing back this slightly different-from-the-norm Whiteboard Friday, in which the fantastic Will Critchlow shares lessons from how kids search. Kids may search differently than adults, but there are some interesting insights from how they use Google that can help deepen our understanding of searchers in general. Comfort levels with particular search strategies, reading only the bold words, taking search suggestions and related searches as answers — there’s a lot to dig into.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hi, everyone. I’m Will Critchlow, founder and CEO of Distilled, and this week’s Whiteboard Friday is a little bit different. I want to talk about some surprising and interesting and a few funny facts that I learnt when I was reading some research that Google did about how kids search for information. So this isn’t super actionable. This is not about tactics of improving your website particularly. But I think we get some insights — they were studying kids aged 7 to 11 — by looking at how kids interact. We can see some reflections or some ideas about how there might be some misconceptions out there about how adults search as well. So let’s dive into it.

What do dolphins eat?

I’ve got this “What do dolphins eat?” because this was the first question that the researchers gave to the kids to say sit down in front of a search box, go. They tell this little anecdote, a little bit kind of soul-destroying, of this I think it was a seven-year-old child who starts typing dolphin, D-O-L-F, and then presses Enter, and it was like sadly there’s no dolphins, which hopefully they found him some dolphins. But a lot of the kids succeeded at this task.

Different kinds of searchers

The researchers divided the ways that the kids approached it up into a bunch of different categories. They found that some kids were power searchers. Some are what they called “developing.” They classified some as “distracted.” But one that I found fascinating was what they called visual searchers. I think they found this more commonly among the younger kids who were perhaps a little bit less confident reading and writing. It turns out that, for almost any question you asked them, these kids would turn first to image search.

So for this particular question, they would go to image search, typically just type “dolphin” and then scroll and go looking for pictures of a dolphin eating something. Then they’d find a dolphin eating a fish, and they’d turn to the researcher and say “Look, dolphins eat fish.” Which, when you think about it, I quite like in an era of fake news. This is the kids doing primary research. They’re going direct to the primary source. But it’s not something that I would have ever really considered, and I don’t know if you would. But hopefully this kind of sparks some thought …read more

Source:: Moz Blog


6 Connectors to Spice Up Your Reporting: Introducing Google Data Studio Connectors for STAT

Home » Archive by Category "Digital Marketing"

By brian.ho

Posted by brian.ho

Data visualization platforms have become a vital tool to help illustrate the success of a body of work. Painting a clear picture of your SEO efforts is as important as ever, whether you’re reporting out to clients or to internal stakeholders at your own company. More and more SEOs are turning to data visualization tools to do so — pulling in data from across multiple SEO tools, blending that data in unique ways, and helping to pull back the curtain on the mystery of SEO.

Platforms like Tableau and Google Data Studio are becoming more commonplace in the SEO community as we seek better ways to communicate with our teams. We’ve heard from a number of folks in the Moz community that having a central dashboard to present data has streamlined their own reporting processes. It’s also made information more digestible for colleagues and clients, as they can see everything they need in one place.

Thanks to the helpful feedback of many, many STAT customers, we’ve been hard at work building six Google Data Studio Community Connectors to help pull STAT data into Data Studio. Fortified by beta testing and your thoughtful input, we’re excited to launch the six connectors today: Historical Keyword Rankings (site and tag level), Share of Voice (site and tag level), and Ranking Distributions (site and tag level).

If you’re already using STAT, dive into our documentation in the Knowledge Base to get all the nitty-gritty details on the connectors. If you’re not yet a STAT customer, why not chat with a friendly Mozzer to learn more?

See STAT in Action

Want to hear a bit more about the connectors and how to implement them? Let’s go!

Historical Keyword Rankings

Tracking daily keyword positions over time is a central part of STAT and the long-term success of your site. The Historical Keyword Rankings connectors send historical highest rank data to Data Studio for every keyword you’re currently tracking in a site or a tag.

You can start out with a simple table: perhaps if you have a group of keywords in a dynamic tag, you might want to create a table of your top keywords ranking on page one, or your top keywords ranking in positions 1-3.

Turn that table into a line graph to understand average rank for the whole site or tag and spot trends:

Find the Site Level Historical Keyword Rankings connector here and the Tag Level Historical Keyword Rankings connector here.

Share of Voice

In STAT, share of voice measures the visibility of a group of keywords on Google. This keyword set can be keywords that are grouped together into a tag, a data view, or a site. Share of voice is calculated by assigning each ranking a click-through rate (CTR) and then multiplying that by the keyword’s search volume.

It’s important to remember that share of voice is based on the concept that higher ranks and higher search volume give you more share of voice.

The …read more

Source:: Moz Blog