22 Writing GIFs All Content Marketers Will Understand

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Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury once said, “I’ve never worked a day in my life. The joy of writing has propelled me from day to day and year to year.”

While content creation can be a true source of joy for marketers, there are unique challenges that crop up along the way that few others would understand. Whether it’s a creative block, a harsh critique, or an impending deadline, some days can feel like an uphill battle.

Download our free guide here for tips to become a better writer. 

Luckily, the highs of writing can more than make up for the lows.

Below are 22 GIFs that accurately sum up the trials and tribulations of content creation. I’ve also included helpful tips and tools for writing success if you do hit those tough moments.

22 Writing GIFs All Content Marketers Will Understand

1) When you realize you need to write an ebook in two days

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Source: Giphy

In the daily content writing grind, it can be hard to get out of the weeds long enough to look ahead at what’s coming up in your queue. You walk in one morning, open your task list, and there it is: a huge project due in less than 48 hours.

To prevent this from happening again, create tasks for yourself to brainstorm and outline content projects a few weeks ahead of the actual due date. You may be capable of writing an ebook in two days (cue applause), but when you build more time into the process, you allow for greater creativity.

2) When the perfect title dawns on you after you’ve already published the post

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Source: OhNoTheyDidnt

You’d think that after writing a 1,000-word blog post, you could come up with one perfect title to lead the way. But sometimes the title can feel like the hardest part of the process.

In order to produce a stellar, attention-grabbing title, make a list of multiple possibilities. They don’t even have to differ greatly — you could swap out the verbs, make it a question, or try different keywords. Then, get some help. Ask for an outside opinion or two to find the title option that resonates the most.

You can even gauge which headline would be most successful with a Simple poll on Slack or a tool like Title Tester. These tools allow you to test title options against your target demographic and quickly make a decision for your blog post.

3) When you’ve been staring at your computer screen for 30 minutes and you’ve only written 12 words

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Source: Giphy

Writing is hard work. And anyone who ever said it was like being struck by lightning wasn’t capturing the whole story.

The reality is, writing is not just hard work — it’s a lot of hard work. There are many moments when you’re going to feel stuck, and at those times, one of the best things you can do is keep your computer safely on its desk and continue to write. Write utter garbage if you have to. That’s still a start. As Nora Roberts puts it, “I can fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank one.”

A quick online search for content writing prompts yields a number of ideas if you’re unsure where to start. You can also look to your favorite publications for inspiration. Consider how you might use what these sites have written as fodder for your own content.

4) When you strike gold in a brainstorm session

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Source: Imgur

Is there anything quite like a productive brainstorm? Ideas fly left and right, and then you have it — the moment all writers remember forever — a breakthrough. The golden nugget that straightens out whatever you were working on.

To have more breakthroughs more often, consider what works well for you in a productive brainstorm session. Is it group dialogue? Is it talking through things out loud? Is it having a safe space to feel like anything goes? Whatever works well — identify it, rinse, and repeat.

5) When a misspelled keyword is more popular than the correct version

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Source: Giphy

The people want what the people want. But when a quirk like this interferes with your blog’s editorial style, it’s best to just take the high road. Keep to your standard, and you’ll appear more consistent and reap more rewards than you would have from following the crowd.

6) When you first open your editor’s feedback

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Source: YouTube

When you first receive them, edits can seem utterly terrifying. They’re everywhere. Your document is a different color altogether. Did anything survive?

Take a deep breath. If you’re lucky, your editor not only provides inline edits, but they also leave comments to explain their thinking. Rather than click through everything and blindly accept their suggestions, take a moment to absorb the reasoning behind the changes so you know what you can work on the next time around.

Luckily, there are several free editing tools available so writers can catch more mistakes. Try running your drafts through Grammarly or Hemingway App to make sure your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.

7) When all of the best data is several years old

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Source: Giphy

It’s an amazing, perfect, wonderful statistic that completely validates your blog post’s thesis. But, it’s four years old. In today’s day and age, four years can seem like a century ago. Things move so quickly that what was useful data a couple of years ago is now likely obsolete.

If there’s truly nothing else out there, use the statistic but call out the date in your writing, suggest further research be done to validate the claim today, and let readers know why you think it’s still useful to note.

8) When you have coffee for lunch

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Source: Giphy

If you’re like most writers, a solid portion of your belongings is coffee-stained. But that’s okay. It’s a simple testament to the obsession that fuels your creative genius.

While coffee can feel like the answer, it shouldn’t be the only answer to your lunch dilemma. Remember, you’ll perform best when you take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating healthy foods, drinking water, and getting plenty of sleep, too.

9) When structural edits force you to reorder your footnotes

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Source: TV Land

If you’re not careful, sorting through footnotes can get messy, and fast. Moving around entire paragraphs or chapters can quickly get overwhelming as you try to keep everything in order.

To keep it all straight, wait to write your footnotes until your final draft. Include hyperlinks in the text to indicate the information has to be cited, but don’t actually give it a number until the very end. This way, if you move things around, you won’t have to completely start over.

10) When someone in another department underestimates how long research takes

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Source: ABC Network

“Can you have that article on the history of payment processors to me by the end of the day, or will it take a bit longer?”

Not everyone will always understand what it takes to put together something that’s not only well-written, but well-researched, too. When you come up against this, insist on quality and give a realistic estimate. Let your colleague know that the extra time will ensure the piece is as good as it can be.

11) When Microsoft Word freezes and you lose 2 hours of work

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Source: Reddit

For those who need extra help avoiding lost work, try writing in Google Docs or Dropbox Paper. There, your piece is automatically saved when you’re working online. You can also update your settings and have your documents sync to your computer, giving you the option to edit when your computer is offline as well.

12) When your post blows up and gets all of the page views

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Source: Reddit

While some posts can feel like a swing and a miss, the home runs provide a big refuel for our writing energy.

To better understand why one post goes viral and another doesn’t, build time into your process for regular analysis. This way, you can learn from the ups and downs and apply it moving forward. Tools like BuzzSumo can help you figure out where you’re succeeding and how to replicate it.

13) When you spend half the day hunting for the right stock photo

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Source: Reddit

When you’re trying to find something that represents your topic well, is eye-catching, and is something you haven’t used before, it can feel like a pretty tall order.

If you have the resources and time, try enlisting the help of your design team whenever possible. Is your piece an opportunity for a custom image? Is there something specific they could help you look for to save time? If not, check out sites like Pexels or StockSnap.io for regularly updated, free image banks.

14) When you don’t want anyone to talk to you until your post is finished

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Source: Giphy

Between instant messaging, social media, email, your phone, and your deskmates, it can feel impossible to have a few hours of uninterrupted time to dedicate to a task.

When you really need to focus, zip your phone up into your bag and let your coworkers know you’ll be offline for a period of time. If anything mission critical happens, they can feel free to grab you. Otherwise, you’re not to be disturbed.

Worried you might still get sidetracked? Check out productivity tools like FocalFilter and StayFocusd to block certain distracting websites for set periods of time.

15) When something you loved writing doesn’t perform well

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Source: Reddit

“It’s fine.”

Actually, it’s probably not. Writing is personal. Whether you’re crafting a personal blog entry or a data-driven report, you put your personal energy and ideas into your work.

When you pour your heart and soul into something and it doesn’t perform well, consider what led to the results. Is there a more appropriate platform where you could publish the piece? Did your promotion methods fall flat? Does it need another round of edits? If you believe the piece adds value and has the potential for more, optimize it rather than scrapping it altogether.

16) When you write 1,000 words in an hour

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Source: Giphy

Whether you have a burst of creativity or are simply motivated by an approaching deadline, sometimes you just dial in and go. While fast writing can be a little sloppy, it can produce some of your best work, too.

For prime productivity, quiet your inner editor and give yourself the freedom to write less-than-perfect content. When you grant yourself this flexibility, you can write uninterrupted, knowing you’ll come back for clean-up later.

Some writing software, like Scrivener, have a “full screen” mode that allows you to block off everything else on your desktop. To make your writing sessions feel urgent, try setting a timer on your phone and writing in sprints. Challenge yourself to write 100 words in 10 minutes, and see where it takes you.

17) When your editor asks you to rewrite a post

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Source: Imgur

While many writers struggle to scrap their work, starting from scratch can be a healthy exercise if you’re struggling with a piece.

Consider the fact that everything you’ve already written lives in your head. Although you’re taking a step back and setting your first attempt aside, your second stab at it isn’t the same as “starting over.” You’ve already learned a great deal from your first draft that will power you through the second.

18) When your pitch gets accepted by another publication

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Source: Giphy

The pitch process can be lengthy and disheartening. As corny as it sounds, the key is not to give up. Set reminders for yourself to follow up on submissions. When you’re denied, ask for feedback. Not everyone will take the time to give it to you, but the few who reply may provide valuable insight.

19) When you receive an angry comment on your post

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Source: waywaw

Haters gonna hate, but don’t let it get you down. One of the beautiful things about writing is you’re often taking a stance. You identify a claim and support it with thoughtful points and evidence. When someone refutes your claim respectfully, it’s an opportunity for dialogue.

However, not all comments are respectful. Choose to take the high road and keep a level head when replying, if you acknowledge the comment at all.

20) When a major influencer tweets your blog post

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Source: Giphy

Through the power of Twitter, any one of your posts has the chance to get picked up and shared by a major influencer.

To improve your chances, take a few moments to develop a promotional strategy for each of your pieces. One tactic could include tweeting your content out to influencers and letting them know why you thought to send it to them. You could also use ClickToTweet to create tweetable links of memorable quotes readers can easily share.

21) When it takes forever to hear back about your guest blog pitch

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Source: Giphy

Sometimes it takes a while to hear back. A long while.

If you don’t hear back — even for months — it doesn’t mean it’s over.

Regularly check in to confirm your submission was received, and to inquire if there is any additional information you can provide.

22) When your family posts your work on social media

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Source: Reddit

At times, you may feel like your work is unappreciated. When you’re grinding away at your daily tasks and producing quality work, you may find yourself becoming a bit numb to the process and what you’re writing.

To keep a pep in your step about your work, take the time to share it with others outside of your field. It might sound self-involved, but sometimes a little pat on the back can be all it takes to re-inspire you.

Whenever you face a challenge in your writing process, be sure to take stock and figure out the root of it. An issue is often a sign that something needs to change in order for you to move forward. For example, if you’re not feeling creative, that might be a sign that you need to take more time to feel inspired. Take a walk, read for fun, or ask someone to share what they’re working on to re-ignite your creative flame.

Whatever your struggle, as a writer, you can rest assured you’re not alone. What are the easiest and hardest parts of your writing process? Share with us in the comments below.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing

The Real-Life Artificial Intelligence Movie: 5 Futuristic Film Examples That Have Become a Reality

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I’ll be honest. For someone who writes about artificial intelligence as much as I do, I’m a bit behind on my knowledge of science fiction. As much as my father implored, I could never quite build an enthusiasm for Star Trek. And to the lament of many ex-boyfriends, I was never exactly a Star Wars enthusiast, either. But lately, that’s been changing. My interest in movies about robots has piqued. My guess: It has something to do with many elements of these films permeating our real lives.

Science fiction, as a film genre, has technically been around since the era of silent movies — the 1902 short Voyage Dans La Lune (translation: A Trip to the Moon) is a prime example. But as real-life science progressed, so did that invented by authors, screenwriters, and filmmakers. We went from merely imagining travel to the moon in the previous example, to inventing a world in which someone can fall in love with an artificially intelligent voice with no face or body, like in the 2013 film HerNew Call-to-action

But when it comes to artificial intelligence, there are some movies that are starting to eerily come to life as the science realm is getting better and better at inventing consumable technology that’s, at times, remarkably similar to the kind seen in these films. We picked out the five that stand out most to us, and which of today’s AI technologies best match them.

5 Artificial Intelligence Movies That Have Become a Reality

1) Forbidden Planet

Fiction: Robby the Robot

I won’t lie — there are several moments throughout the week when I think to myself, “I could really go for a donut right now.” It conjures images of the 1956 film Forbidden Planet, in which the Robby the Robot character prepares a meal of donuts for a group of space travelers. How convenient.

Reality: Robochef

In the movie, the robot is able to do that after being “fed” a sample of the food, which is analyzed in an internal lab and can then reproduce. And while today’s real-life cooking chef doesn’t exactly emulate that science, it comes close. The robochef depicted in the video below memorizes human actions by recording the movements of an actual chef via three-dimensional camera, and translates them “into highly precise movements,” according to IFLScience.

2) 2001: A Space Odyssey

Fiction: HAL 9000

The HAL 9000 — or as its peers refer to it, simply “Hal” — is a portrayal of a nightmare artificial intelligence scenario. Basically, a space crew that was merely supposed to be assisted by Hal ends up being outsmarted by it, as per the clip below.

Reality: Siri

It’s hard to imagine that an army of Siris alone could overtake the human race — in fact, she might even be considered a more primitive version of Hal. But like her fictional counterpart, she can engage with humans on a conversational level. And, her snark often matches Hal’s — just look at her response when you ask her an innocent math question.

3) WALL-E

Fiction: WALL-E

This film is named for its hero and main character: A tiny robot named WALL-E. Left all alone on Earth after all humans have abandoned the planet, this artificially intelligent being spends his days essentially cleaning up after what was left behind on the planet, which explains why his name stands for “Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class.” He can see, he can sigh, and he can even befriend a cockroach, which — quite fittingly — he names Hal.

Reality: Cozmo

In the summer of 2016, it was announced that the Anki company would release Cozmo: “A real-life robot like you’ve only seen in movies,” the product description reads, “with a one-of-a-kind personality that evolves the more you hang out.” Like WALL-E, Cozmo goes through the process of waking up and starting its day, and even shows signs of emotion — like when it gets knocked on its side and begins to emulate frustrated behavior. But don’t feel bad. It also exhibits signs of happiness while playing games.

4) Back to the Future Part II

Fiction: Video Chat, News Drones, and More

It seems that there were so many (at least somewhat) accurate predictions made in Back to the Future Part II, it’s hard to fit them all into a short description. But some of the more notable ones include a video call that the protagonist, Marty, receives from his boss during a flash-forward — something that, at the time of the movie’s release, wasn’t a commodity like it is today with platforms like Skype and FaceTime.

But our favorite scene might be the one with a futuristic, hovering USA Today camera that captured images and footage for the news — without human operation.

Source: Flite Test

Reality: USA Today Drone

USA Today decided that a legacy like this one was too good to not take advantage of it, so the news outlet commissioned the engineers at FliteTest to create a real-life, branded news drone. The result, while still in a somewhat primitive form, was a fully-built news drone complete with flight and 360° video recording capabilities.

5) Ex Machina

Fiction: Ava

There’s quite an extensive history of efforts to build artificially intelligent devices or creatures that can can engage with humans on an emotional level. It began with a computerized chatbot — the 1951 Turing Test, a.k.a., the Imitation Game — which was designed to respond to human inquiries with equally human language. And since then, there have been many fictional representations of eerily life-like (and intelligent) robots that stir deep attachments in their human counterparts. That’s been central to the plotline of movies like the aforementioned Her and, as seen below, Ex Machina.

Reality: Pepper

World, meet Pepper: One of the latest artificial intelligence products from SoftBank Robotics. It almost feels wrong to refer to Pepper as a product, since it’s programmed to interact with humans like, well, another human — so much so that it’s been “adopted” by several families in Japan.

What really sets Pepper apart is its ability to interpret human emotions, and conversationally respond in kind. Some might argue, though, that this robot hardly interacts exactly like a human, since there’s a lag between the human’s question and Pepper’s response during which the input has to be analyzed. Still, unlike many of today’s similar devices, Pepper can shake the hands of new people it meets, answer questions, and offer hugs. As the saying goes — we’re getting there.

Get Real

Of course, some of these examples are coming to life more identically to their fictional counterparts than others — the USA Today instance, for example, is pretty similar.

But when you consider that some of these films were released as recently as 2015, and we’ve come even closer to emulating its featured technologies in the short period of time that’s passed since then, we have little doubt that even the most spectacular of AI inventions will come to fruition. And as reality becomes more remarkable — we can’t wait to see what the SciFi world invents next.

Which AI movies would you like to see come true? Let us know in the comments.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing

7 Creative Stunts People Used to Land Their Marketing Dream Jobs

If you want a creative job in a competitive industry, sometimes the traditional resume and cover letter combo just doesn’t cut it.

To get the attention of a hiring manager at a top agency, you’ll need something that highlights your assets, proves your intense interest in the agency, and differentiates you from a crowd of people trying to do the exact same thing — all without seeming too over-the-top, gimmicky, or creepy.

No sweat, right? 

For your inspiration and amusement, we’ve put together a list of seven creative approaches used by real job seekers in the marketing and advertising industries. While flashy stunts alone aren’t likely to land you the job, they just might help you get your foot in the door. Check out the marketing stunts below.

7 Creative Stunts People Used to Land Their Marketing Dream Jobs

1) Pretending to be a Prospective Client

August Laustsen, a young art director from Denmark seeking an agency gig in Sweden, was having difficulty landing an interview. Despite sending his resume to all the big agencies in Stockholm, he couldn’t seem to even get a call back. Instead of throwing in the towel, Lausten devised a sneaky and brilliant way to get some agency attention.

The thing is, when you’re looking for a job in another country, it’s impossible to get through if you don’t have any connections,” Lausten said to Adweek. “None of the CDs [creative directors] knew me, or any of the work that I had done, so I knew I had to take it a step further to get their attention.”

Lausten contacted a number of Swedish agencies pretending to be the marketing director of a firm looking to hire a new agency. He called his fictional firm EMERIH (Yep, that’s “Hire Me” spelled backwards), and set up a website revealing his true intentions as a job seeker.

So did the fake prospect stunt work out? Agencies received Lausten’s bold move “very positively,” and according to his website, he’s now employed as an art director at Round&Round in Stockholm. 



Image Credit: August Lausten

2) Brewing a Custom Beer Resume

If there was ever a foolproof formula for ensuring your resume doesn’t end up at the bottom of the pile, it’s probably this:

Resume + Beer = “Resum-ale” 

Looking to start his job search off with something memorable (and tasty), graphic designer Brennan Gleason decided to brew up a custom beer and design the packaging himself. Each bottle in the four-pack was printed with a portion of his resume, as well as a QR-code to view his full resume online.

“As I was nearing the end of University, the time approached where I needed to start getting my name out there,” Gleason wrote on Behance. “I wanted a resume that would both show off my work, but more importantly who I was and what I loved. I brewed up a nice Blonde Ale, and while that was fermenting I set out to create a packaging design that would reflect my personal identity.”

According to his Dribble account, Gleason currently works for Vancouver-based agency Domain7



Image Credit: Brennan Gleason

3) Personally Delivering Donuts

When 25-year-old Lithuanian marketer Lukas Yla moved to San Francisco, he knew he’d have to do something unconventional to break into the extremely competitive marketing and tech scene.

His solution? Dress up as a Postmates delivery courier to personally deliver donuts to the companies he admired — with his resume attached, of course. In October 2016, Yla made over 40 donut deliveries across the Bay Area, dropping off treat-filled boxes emblazoned with some catchy copy: “Most resumes end up in the trash. Mine — in your belly.”

Yla admits the sugary stunt was “a bit odd,” but it ended up earning Yla some much-deserved viral attention . More importantly, the move scored Yla multiple interviews (although according to his LinkedIn he’s still on the search for the perfect marketing gig). 



Image via Adweek

4) Buying a Billboard

After Pasha Stocking was laid off from her job as a marketing and sales director in Connecticut back in 2009, she took all the usual steps to find a new job: sending resumes to prospective employers, going to job fairs, and even registering with temp agencies. After toughing it out in a harsh job market for eight months without any big leads, she knew it was time for something big.

Stocking took $2000 out of her savings and purchased a massive billboard overlooking a busy highway in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She kept everything straightforward and uncomplicated: just a picture of herself, a link to her website, and copy that plainly spelled out her ultimate objective — “HIRE ME!”

While the billboard didn’t end up getting Stocking any offers she seriously considered, it did lead her to start her own print advertising company, specializing in — you guessed it — billboards.



Image Credit: The New York Times

5) Hacking the Agency’s File-Sharing System to Deliver a Resume

As the Chief Creative Officer at 72andSunny, Glenn Cole has witnessed his fair share of stunts from eager agency job seekers. But what has really stood out to him over the years?

“I’ve had a couple of people hack personal accounts to get my attention, which I find really clever,” Cold told Fast Company. In one instance, a prospective candidate hacked the agency’s internal file-sharing service and sent an email containing their resume to every creative director at 72andSunny. The email appeared to be sent from Cole himself.

While the bid for attention impressed Cole, the candidate ultimately wasn’t offered a job (although Cole says they’re still on the agency’s radar for future positions). 

Disclaimer: We don’t recommend hacking a prospective employer to get attention.



6) Writing a “Hire Me” Song

With a Marketing degree from Bentley University and several unpaid internships under his belt, Alec Biedrzycki still wasn’t getting job offers in his field. So he picked up his guitar and wrote a song about it.

“Hire Me” is a three-minute music video Biedrzycki created back in 2009 to use in place of a traditional resume and cover letter. While alternative video resumes are more common today, they were still relatively unheard of when he started sending his song out to employers.

Did the video really help Biedrzycki break into the industry? “I … was jobless and discouraged post-graduation due to the 2008 market crash,” Biedrzycki said. “My career didn’t really start until I launched this in 2009. Connections were made, interviews were set up and I eventually landed a job at an agency later that year. Launching this made me feel like I could pursue a career in marketing, even if the odds were against me.”

Today, Biedrzycki is a Principal Tech Partner Marketing Manager at HubSpot. 

7) Buying Google Ads for Advertising Executives’ Names

When Alec Brownstein was searching for a new job in 2010, he stumbled upon an unlikely opportunity for self-promotion. 

“I was doing a little bit of research on who I wanted to work for, and of course I was using Google, and I noticed when I Googled their names, that there were no sponsored links at the top, no ads there,” Brownstein said to CBS News. “And as someone who Googles myself sort of embarrassingly frequently, I realized if someone were to put someone at the top of my result, I would notice it.”

So Brownstein went ahead and purchased the top result for “Ian Reichenthal,” a creative director at Young and Rubicam. It cost him 15 cents. 

Sure enough, Reichenthal saw the ad after Googling himself, called Brownstein, and ended up hiring him



Image Credit: Alec Brownstein via YouTube
 

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing

How Do Consumers Really Feel About Digital Trends? [Infographic]

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As we approach the year’s second quarter, Google is already returning over 46,600 results for “digital trends 2017.” And if you’re in the digital marketing space, there seems to be an unspoken rule that you must always have an opinion on what the key trends will be for the year ahead.

But could it be that we’re all stuck in an industry echo chamber? As it turns out, some new research from Code Computerlove might burst that bubble.

Code Computerlove surveyed 1,000 U.K. adults to find out what they really think about these trend predictions — things like voice search, virtual reality, and chat-bots. That data was then compared to what’s actually making the most noise online. Some key findings included:

  • Mobile payments are the most sought-after technology in 2017.
  • 9 out of 10 consumers claim to have no interest in using augmented reality in the near future.
  • 1 in 5 people surveyed aim to spend less time in front of screens this year.

With that many people aiming to spend less time in front of screens this year, brands have to make their digital interactions count — a poor initial digital experience can carry a long-term impact. Curious to know what else your brand needs to know about these trends? Check out the infographic below.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing

March Social Media News: Facebook vs. Snapchat, WhatsApp for Business & More

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March is known for a few major holidays and events. St. Patrick’s Day, U.S. college basketball tournaments, and the start of spring, to name a few.

After this year, in the marketing world, March 2017 will also be known as the month when Facebook officially took on Snapchat.

The world’s biggest social network launched ephemeral sharing apps on Messenger and Facebook itself to compete with Snapchat’s key feature. Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram have also recently launched disappearing sharing features on Status and Stories, respectively.

But Facebook isn’t the only story in social media this month. We’ll discuss new features on Instagram, a new social video app by YouTube, and of course, Facebook. The list isn’t exhaustive, but you can expect to learn the major highlights in the social media space this month — what was launched, what changed, and what these stories could mean for marketers.

Check out our quick roundup of what’s new in social media below, and read on for more in-depth explanations and insights:

13 of the Biggest Social Media News Stories This Month 

1) Facebook launches Messenger Day

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Source: Facebook

Facebook launched Messenger Day, its answer to the popularity of Snapchat Stories. Facebook previously launched ephemeral, or disappearing, messaging features on Instagram and WhatsApp, and this installment is the latest attempt to dominate Snapchat in the photo and video-sharing space.

Facebook is likely banking on Messenger’s huge user base — 1 billion people worldwide — to propel Messenger Day to popularity. It’s also positioning Messenger Day differently: Instead of sharing what they’ve been doing, Facebook wants users to share what they’re going to do later so they can make plans with friends. 

2) Facebook starts experimenting with Stories

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Source: Business Insider

Soon after the unveiling of Messenger Day, Facebook unveiled Facebook Stories — located at the top of the News Feed. Facebook confirmed to Business Insider that Stories would function identically to Instagram Stories — users could post them to Facebook, where they would disappear after being available for viewing for 24 hours. At this point, Facebook Stories are being rolled out to only a few countries, but we’ll report more when we can.

TL;DR: Facebook is coming for Snapchat. Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, cited the rise of Instagram Stories as a major hindrance to its user growth in its S-1 filing for its massive initial public offering (IPO) earlier in March. We’ll keep you posted if these innovations by Facebook are on the way to taking down Snapchat, or if Snapchat’s popularity among millennials and user engagement will keep it afloat.

3) Research demonstrates native Facebook videos are shared 1000% more than other formats

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Source: quintly 

Quintly analyzed over 6 million Facebook posts to gain insights on how many videos, and of which type, were shared on the platform. It found that 90% of Facebook profiles and Pages analyzed shared Facebook native videos, or videos created and uploaded on Facebook, and not hosted on another platform that the user links to on Facebook. On the other hand, only 30% of the analyzed profiles and Pages had shared a YouTube video on Facebook during the months the study was conducted. Furthermore, quintly found that native Facebook videos were shared 1055% more than other videos and achieved an 186% higher interaction rate overall.

The lesson here for marketers? Take the extra step to upload videos into Facebook to earn higher engagement rates. We recommend a distributed content strategy to earn new followers from different audiences, so you could even promote video content on Facebook and other hosting sites and analyze the results.

4) Facebook introduces a 360 app for Samsung Gear VR

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Source: Facebook 

Another Facebook launch this month comes from its video team, which created a Facebook 360 app for Samsung’s Oculus Gear VR (virtual reality) device. The app creates a more immersive 360-degree viewing experience for Facebook users, who can comment, interact with, and share posts they like within the app while wearing the device. In the announcement blog post, Facebook also notes that users have shared 26 million 360-degree photos and videos to date. These VR devices are fairly affordable at $79.99, so we’re curious to see if this app makes 360 sharing, or Gear VR use, increase. 

5) Facebook allows more ads on Instant Articles

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Source: Facebook

Facebook announced it would give advertisers more freedom to monetize Instant Articles — by letting them place ads every 250 words instead of every 350 words, as were the previous rules. Facebook Instant Articles let publishers create and republish content within Facebook to get more readers without asking them to leave the social network. 

This news isn’t the best for anyone who enjoys reading online content uninterrupted — but it also reflects Facebook’s growing interest in collaborating with journalists and news publications. Earlier this year, Facebook launched the Facebook Journalism Project to address fake news, but also to collaborate with the people making the news. A huge percentage of Americans get news primarily from social media — especially Facebook — and this move notes another attempt to make it more appealing for publishers to work directly within Facebook so Facebook can grow and strengthen its user base.

6) Instagram rolls out “Suggestions for You”

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I noticed this change while scrolling through my Instagram notifications. Instagram now suggests users to follow based on your Instagram friends, Facebook friends, and other posts you’ve liked. Instagram is honing its algorithm and making it easier for users to discover other profiles they might be interested in. This is great news for marketers publishing content on the platform — keep it up, because now, you might be found even more easily by new potential customers.

7) Geostickers now available in Instagram Stories

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In another step toward total Facebook domination of disappearing messages, Instagram started offering Geostickers for Instagram Stories. One of the only remaining differentiators between Snapchat Stories and its imitator on Instagram, these Geostickers are more customizable than those on Snapchat, which might make them more appealing to Snapchat users considering a switch.

Stars are already starting to move from Snapchat to Instagram for sharing ephemeral content, where their content can be more easily searched for and discovered. Snapchat cited Instagram Stories as an obstacle in its quest for user growth, and it will be fascinating to see how new, seemingly copycat features, impact that trajectory.

8) WhatsApp to allow businesses to chat with users

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Source: Reuters 

Reuters reported that WhatsApp has started testing letting some businesses communicate directly with WhatsApp users as a potential future revenue model. WhatsApp is testing this feature with businesses that are a part of Y Combinator, a competitive startup incubator that fostered Airbnb and Dropbox in previous years. WhatsApp is also surveying users to ask them about spam messages they’ve received on the platform.

We’ve started to see other businesses using messaging apps — such as Facebook Messenger — to communicate with customers. These experiments likely signal WhatsApp’s first foray into that space, so if you’re a user, keep an eye out. And if you’re a marketer with a global audience, WhatsApp could be a path to communicate with customers — WhatsApp has over 1 billion users worldwide.

9) Pinterest acquires search engine Jelly

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Source: Biz Stone 

AskJelly.com is a human-powered search engine (think Quora or the now-defunct ChaCha) where users can submit questions and answer them for other users. Co-founded by Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of Twitter and Medium, Jelly was recently acquired by Pinterest.

Pinterest launched Lens last month, a new in-app camera that lets users shoot an object and get suggested pins based on what they photographed. This acquisition of a search engine could be Pinterest’s effort to improve the app’s search capabilities. Alternatively, The Verge suspects it was a talent acquisition to bring new developers, and Stone himself, on board.

10) Many Twitter accounts are actually bots

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Source: Twitter 

A study released by the University of Southern California revealed that 9-15% of Twitter users are actually bots, capable of liking, retweeting, and replying like a human Twitter user. If the high end of this estimate is true, that means roughly 48 million of Twitter’s 313 million active users aren’t real people — which spells trouble for the microblogging site. 

Twitter’s user growth is on the decline, along with its share of global social media users overall. It’s launched live video streaming within the app and forged partnerships with major news and sports networks to increase user engagement and attract new people to the site — especially those millennials who aren’t using cable TV packages.

11) YouTube launches social video app, Uptime

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Source: The Verge 

Google’s new startup incubator, Area 120, was created so employees could spend time creating their own business ideas. This month, Area 120 announced the launch of Uptime, a social video app wherein users can watch YouTube videos in group messages with their friends. Like other live-streaming apps and features, such as Periscope and Facebook Live, users can comment, like, and interact with videos they’re watching in real-time with friends. At this point, it’s only available for iOS devices with an invitation, but we’ll keep you posted on new developments with Uptime.

12) YouTube will end unskippable 30-second ads next year

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Source: YouTube

Do you ever find a YouTube video you really want to watch — only to realize you have to sit through a 30-second ad that you can’t skip after five seconds? 

The good news: Those are on the way out. The bad news: You still have to wait a while longer.

A Google spokesperson told BBC YouTube will no longer support 30-second unskippable ads in 2018 and will shift focus to ads that bring revenue for advertisers without creating a bad experience for the viewer.

YouTube will still offer some unskippable ads — in 5 and 15-second increments — as well as ads between 30 and 60 seconds that can be skipped, but this is great news for everyone. By focusing on shorter and more engaging formats, YouTube will create a better experience for viewers, and potentially better results for its advertisers.

13) Heinz Ketchup adopts social media and ad campaign from Mad Men 50 years later

Any Mad Men fans reading this post? Heinz Ketchup has decided on a new advertising campaign — the one fictional creative director Don Draper pitched on Mad Men nearly 50 years ago.

If you remember the episode, Draper didn’t win the account with Heinz, so it’s neat to see his pitch coming to life in the modern era. Heinz is putting up bold billboards featuring the “Pass the Heinz” tagline in New York City, as well as running the campaign on social media channels. Keep an eye out for promoted tweets and Facebook ads featuring this neat union of popular culture, great copywriting, and creative advertising.

Did we miss any big social media stories? Share with us in the comments below.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing