Black Friday for Marketers and Search Quality Guidelines

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Categories: Findings Friday

The end of a busy week has arrived and although we imagine everyone will be trying to relax this weekend, perhaps you can kick back and catch up on some reading. We hope you enjoy this week’s instalment of Friday Findings.

#BlackFriday We’ve managed to track down a great article that outlines a number of really useful Black Friday specials for marketers. There are some good ones on this list so do take the time to have a read. Here’s a bonus list if there wasn’t anything on that first list for you.

#UserExperience In this article we look at 49 reasons why people aren’t clicking your call to action. This article is surprisingly short so it’s easy to consume a great deal of knowledge quickly.

#Social What happens when a competitor pays money to have someone leave 200 x 1 star reviews on your Facebook page? This is a good read because it could happen to anyone!

#SEO For those of you who have missed the publication of Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines, you better get to this and read – there is absolutely no excuse not to!

#SEO For the more technical readers or those wanting to get into technical SEO we’d recommend this post on .htaccess rules and what you need to know.

#Social We ran into a situation this week where Twitter count buttons weren’t appearing and after doing a quick search we realised that Twitter announced that they were removing the count from their social sharing buttons and from what we have read, users are upset.

#eCommerce If you’re an eCommerce retailer then you may find this article on Product, Price and Market interesting. It’s a nice short article so have a good read.

#Social “Dark Social”, have you ever heard of that? If not, then it’s time to catch up with what’s going on and be aware of whether this is something you should be caring about.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Ford Encourages People Not To Use Phone Whilst Driving

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Categories: Thunder Thursday

Over the last month Ford have created two separate and unique campaigns that aim to encourage drivers not to us their cell phones. The two clever adverts play on the classic ‘don’t text and drive’ campaign.

This isn’t the first time Ford have played on the classic ‘Don’t text and Drive’ because during June of this year they launched their ‘Lifein1Second’ campaign which focused on how one second could change your life for ever, especially if it were a second of distraction whilst driving. The campaign was published on Instagram, it was a video with a scroll of a second that showed the latest 24 photos published on Instagram. Check out the case study for this below.

Ford took to Instagram again in one of their more recent campaign’s called ‘Don’t like and drive’. The campaign was made up of a series of photos with images of children, pedestrians and pets crossing the road. Placed on top of the subject of the photo was a heart icon just like the one you get when you like an Instagram photo. The message was clear, if you liked someone’s photo whilst you were driving you were affecting your visibility and thus potentially compromising a person’s life. All of the photographs were taken from the driver’s point of view and perfectly deliver the message across.

Don't like and drive instagram campaign. Pedestrain crossing road

Ford also went on to create the first ever advert made entirely out of emoji’s as part of their ‘Don’t emoji and drive’ campaign. Each ad was made up of thousands of emoji’s that were pieced together to form a collage. Each collage is of the different people that are endangered when you use your phone whilst driving. Check out the advert below.

The next phase of the ‘Don’t emoji and drive’ campaign took place at Games Week in Milan, where attendants had the chance to get their own picture transformed into a picture made entirely out of emoji’s. These pictures were then displayed on big screens at the event and shared across various social media plans.

Emoji’s really are taking the Marketing world by storm with campaigns such as the Turkish airline’s emoji only URL and Domino’s pizza ordering emoji having been done over the last year. We can’t wait to see what is next in store for emoji’s.

Preparing for Google’s next Penguin Update

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Categories: Teaching Tuesday

It’s almost a month since, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, Gary Illyes confirmed that we should expect a Penguin update before the end of 2015. Just to refresh your memory, Google’s Penguin updates deal with links, so if your website was penalised last year December and you’ve done a good job at cleaning up spammy links then you might be in for a pleasant surprise in the next month or so.

Google Penguin Update

If over the past year you’ve bought links, traded links or done anything unethical to acquire links to your website you might want to think about doing a quick clean up before you stand the chance of getting penalised and experiencing a year of problems!

Here are the things you should look out for when analysing your links:

  1. Vary the anchor text you’re receiving from external websites.
  2. Ensure that there aren’t any sudden spikes in your referral links from strange sources.
  3. Do not just disavow links, a manual removal is the best policy.
  4. Create a strong internal link flow on your website with preference to important pages.

Here are some tools to assist you with the task of analysing your links:

  1. Link Research Tools
  2. Check My Links
  3. Screaming Frog
  4. SERP Volatility Index

You do not want to start 2016 with a website that has been penalised because you were lazy or sneaky about getting links to your website. Analyse your link profile carefully and get on top of things before it’s too late.

Xbox Launch New Tomb Raider Game By Creating A Survival Billboard

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Categories: Thunder Thursday

In order to launch the new Tomb Raider game Microsoft’s Xbox challenged 8 Tomb Raider fans to stand on a billboard in London. Contestants were then forced to face extreme weather conditions until there was only one man left standing. The final contestants were chosen from thousands of applicants who were willing to stand on a billboard for up to 24 hours.

Survival Billboard - Xbox Tomb Raider Launch promotion

The entire stunt was then live streamed on a micro-site. Viewers of the live stream, were tasked with choosing the weather conditions that the participants had to endure by voting through the micro-site. Contestants were then subject to freezing snowstorms, heavy rain, strong wind conditions and even intense heat. The challenge took place on the 12th of November and although no one lasted as long as the full 24 hours, the winner managed to remain on the  billboard for 20 hours and 45 minutes.

Adam Carr has been named the winner of the challenge. It is a little unclear as to what he has actually won but Microsoft have promised him a “A trip inspired by Tomb Raider, with the opportunity to explore deep jungles, traverse vast deserts and relax in some of the world’s most exotic places.” Adam has stated that he prepared for the challenge by running and squatting.

Adam Carr's winning moment on the survival billboard

The 28 year old winner exhaustedly managed to repeatedly shout out “Are you not entertained?” with a smile on his face.

Check out the full stream here to witness some of the intense moments the contestants had to endure. Don’t forget that this was done in winter in London so it was probably pretty cold before they even started throwing the rain and snow at the contestants. Fast forward to 2 hours and 19 to see the hardcore rain start and  4 hours 20 minutes to watch the snow storm hit the contestants.

The social media tools that professionals use

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Categories: Teaching Tuesday

Every now and then it’s really useful to see what tools professionals are using, it widens our toolkit and introduces us to tools that can perform on the large scale. In this weeks Teaching Tuesday we’re going to look at a few great tools.

Rival IQ is a piece of software that allows you to track your competitors and compare your statistics against theirs. There are quite a few great features that come with Rival IQ so it’s worth spending some time investigating. One such feature that is really useful is that you may receive an alert if a competitor changes their profile information on one of their social accounts. As you can imagine, this software really does put you in control of what’s happening around you. The software is expensive though, but really powerful.

If you’re someone who writes ever green content on your blog then the Revive Old Post plugin for WordPress will be right up your alley. In short, you install the plugin and the plugin will randomly fetch old blog posts on your site and send them out to your Twitter account. It’s important that you’re writing evergreen content though because you need the content to be timeless or you will annoy your follows.

Pablo 2.0 is an application that allows you to quickly and easily create social media images in just a few seconds. Whilst you create an image, choose your social media platform to ensure that the image size is optimal for the social network in question. What’s really cool is that it’s a free application and the images you create are not branded at all.

We hope that these three tools will be useful and that you’ll include them in your toolkit.

Friday Findings: Lots of SEO News

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Categories: Findings Friday

Over the past week there has been a great deal of SEO floating around the internet and it’s our job to go through all of this and try to isolate some of the more interesting and important articles. There are 4 great SEO articles below that we encourage you to read.

[SEO] There’s been a lot of speculation around a Google update coming before the end of 2015 and it looks like the real time update is upon us. The update, which has been confirmed by Google is Penguin 4.0. Penguin updates are all about links, so if you think you’ve got bad links or you’ve been acquiring bad links, now is a good time to get rid of them!

[Startup] If you don’t know Paul Graham, let us just tell you that he’s a renowned programmer and incredibly successful venture capitalist. Paul recently published an article entitled, “Startup Advice for the Lazy” which is definitely worth the read.

[SEO] Have you ever noticed that your website’s page titles are different in the search results to what you set them as? This is because Google updates them automatically. If you want to learn how and why Google does this, click here.

[SEO] Local SEO is something that everyone interested in succeeding online should be doing. But despite the importance, we find that most people are missing great opportunity. Now is the time to act before it’s too late. This guide will assist you with getting started.

[eCommerce] eCommerce stores may appear easy to set up and run, but that’s not the case – just ask anyone who has successfully run one. When it comes to time saving tips and tricks for eCommerce stores, you should perk up in your seat and get ready to read.

[SEO] Once again, SEO is changing and it’s time for us to lock into the these changes. Between machine learning algorithms and predictive search, everything is evolving. Here’s an article from SMX & Pubcon that addresses these two topics.

We wish you all an awesome weekend!

Clever YouTube Pre-roll Ads That Were Hard To Skip

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Categories: Digital Marketing and Thunder Thursday

We all know how disrupting and annoying the pre-roll adverts on YouTube videos are and although they tend to be fairly short we often find ourselves hitting the skip button. Research has shown that 94% of people skip pre-roll adverts, that is why it is so important for companies to get their point across in the compulsory first 5 seconds of a video.  Furthermore a recent study by PewDiePie (YouTube star) has stated that at least 40% of viewers use ad block when watching a video on YouTube.

In order to combat the above marketers and advertisers are having to make the first 5 seconds of an advert so clever that you almost don’t want to hit the skip button. These types of adverts really are rare as they have to be relevant to the user, compelling to watch and creative. Therefore we thought it would be worth sharing with you our favourite pre-roll adverts that have aired over the years.

  • Burger Kings User Targeted Pre-roll Advert

Burger King have made it clear that they are well aware that people hate pre-roll adverts and in order to show you this they launched the “Burger King Anti Pre-Roll” campaign. The campaign included over 64 unique adverts that were based on whatever the viewer was about to watch. The videos were placed before things like the Anchorman 2 trailer or a Jimmy Fallon clip. Check out the case study below to see the campaign in action.

  • Australia’s Missing Persons Pre-roll

The Australian Police teamed up with VML Australia to create a pre-roll advert that helps locate missing people. The campaign which was titled “5 Seconds To Change a Life” and encouraged users watching the pre-roll advert to either hit yes, which indicates that they had seen a missing person, or no, which skips the advert and indicates they haven’t seen a missing person. The advert used geo-location targeting to show you the missing person nearest to your location.

Over 1.2 million people saw the advert in over 5 days and 238 people clicked yes indicating they had spotted a missing person.

  • John Cooper Works Pre-Roll race

This is the most recent of all the pre-roll adverts. The advert challenges viewers to try and it the skip button before the new MINI reaches it. The race starts with a countdown and before you know it the car blasts off across the screen as you frantically attempt to hit the skip button. Watch the video below to see the campaign in action.

  • Geico’s Unskippable series

Geico recently launched their “Unskippable” series which cleverly delivers their message in 5 seconds but what happens after those 5 seconds is what makes these campaigns truly funny and unique. The ads will run for 15sec, 30sec and sometimes for even longer. Watch one of the commercials below to see for yourself.

  • Opel Mokka Plays with the skip button

The campaign use’s people’s attention on the skip button to their advantage by making the Opel SUV interact with the skip button as if it were an object. Viewers watch as the SUV crashes into the skip button, avoids the skip button in the dark and even drives over it.

  • Nail Communications Dares Viewers To Push the skip button

Nail Communications attempts to play on viewers soft sides in this campaign. They hooked up a sweet looking puppy to the skip button and then they dare viewers to push the button. At the end of the advert viewers were told that a portion of the money that was made from the campaign went to the ASPCA. The advert had a 26%view rate which isn’t too bad.

All this being said we look forward to seeing how YouTube Red changes the YouTube space in the future and whether or not people see the value in paying for a service that has always been free.

#HelloChallenge Takes Twitter By Storm

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Categories: Social Media

The internet – the place where a joke can catch on like wildfire and spread across not only a city or country, but the world literally overnight.

The latest craze called the #HelloChallenge stems from Adele’s latest hit single called “Hello”.

Dam that is a catchy song. Not only has it racked in over 320 million views in the two weeks since its release on October 22 2015, but it has now spawned the #HelloChallenge where you message your ex one line of the lyrics at a time in probably one of the greatest trolls of 2015. This exploded on Tuesday night with only roughly 100 tweets appearing during the course of Monday & Tuesday, but a further 450 over Tuesday night, and already a further 300 already on Wednesday morning by 11am.

This appears to be the first prankster to try the #HelloChallenge in its current form.


While it didn’t start in English, or South Africa, this has definitely caught on in South Africa and seems to be a local trend, well for now at least. Surprisingly, it isn’t trending on Twitter yet, but Trendsmap South Africa picked it up within two hours.

Here are some of my favourites:

Then Roger Goode got involved…

But my absolute favouite:

Is this the first South African tweet that uses the #HelloChallenge hashtag?

But it seems only really took off after @_Queen_Fifi started to spread it like wildfire.

Apparently not everyone is falling for it…

4 Thank you page optimisation

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Categories: Digital Marketing and E-Commerce

We’ve been discussing options with a client on what to place on their “Thank You” page. Too many websites miss out on a great opportunity when it comes to success pages. Think of it this way, for a visitor on the website to reach a success page they’ve clearly bought into what you’re selling or giving away, you’ve got their attention, chances are they’ll happily do something else for you. This, along with the 404 page, are two of the most under utilised pages on most websites. Through discussions with our client we’ve come up with a few ideas.

Thank You Page Ideas

#1 Newsletter Subscription

Once a visitor has made a purchase, why not give them the opportunity to join a mailing list. We’re not talking about a generic mailing list, but a mailing list that will deliver them emails related to what they purchased. So if they purchased a specific type of product, let’s say an iPhone 6, add them to a list and when the iPhone 7 is released or perhaps a specific accessory for the iPhone 6 becomes available, send them a short email about this. The most important thing in our opinion is to keep everything related, don’t send generic emails to someone, send them something related to their past experience with your website.

#2 Purchase Share

This strategy is a bit more common, once a person has bought something, offer them the opportunity to share it on Facebook or Twitter for all their friends to see. After making a purchase, a person is usually happy and wants to tell his/her friends about the purchase. Make it easy for them to share the product they purchased, and perhaps throw in a competition saying that one person will receive 10% back on their purchase for sharing. Alternatively, tie in an affiliate program of sorts to sweeten the deal for the purchaser.

#3 Up Sell Something

We’re not the biggest fans of trying to up sell something to someone who has just made a purchase, but there are more delicate and less obtrusive ways to do this. Offer a person a coupon code for their next purchase, or point them to products they might like but don’t make it all about selling something further – we’ve found that this puts people off the brand. After all, we don’t all want to be sold to the whole time.

#4 Give Something Away

You’ve just made money off someone, why not turn the table and now give something away for free. Perhaps there’s a free application or eBook that you could give a person for purchasing something. Perhaps you run webinars and could offer a free ticket as a thank you. We’ve found that these gestures work really well and people appreciate a little something in return, and at the end of the day you’re building a loyal relationship so you’re getting something out of it as well.

There are hundreds of ideas and countless articles that have been written on this topic so if one of these 4 ideas isn’t ideal or doesn’t inspire you, spend some time reading up on them because it’s an opportunity missed if you aren’t making use of your Thank You page.

Meme Monday: World Leaders & Their Man Buns

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Categories: Meme Monday and Office Life

Crazies across the internet have far too much time on their hands, and even more imagination. Don’t get confused though – I am not complaining! I think that hairstyle would have quite suited JFK.

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