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Only four days left to buy early-bird passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019

November 12, 2019 No Comments

Last week, we extended the early-bird pricing on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019 until 15 November at 11:59 p.m. (CEST). Consider it distinctly non-divine intervention from Expeditus, the patron saint of procrastinators (and speedy causes). The countdown continues, and you have just four days left to save serious dough — we’re talking up to €500 depending on the type of pass you purchase.

No matter what role you play in the startup world, you’ll find tremendous value at Disrupt Berlin. Add even more value — buy an early-bird pass to Disrupt Berlin before the early bird flies away for good on 15 November at 11:59 p.m. (CEST).

Disrupt Berlin draws attendees from more than 50 countries across Europe and beyond, making it an international celebration of all things startup. This is the place to see the latest tech from innovative early-stage startups, and you’ll find hundreds of them exhibiting in Startup Alley. Don’t miss the Country Pavilions where you’ll find delegations from different countries showcasing the best of their up-and-coming startups.

You’ll also find TC Top Picks exhibiting in Startup Alley. Our editors selected up to five startups they feel represent the most interesting use of technology in the following categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, CRM/Enterprise and Education. Come to meet, greet and network with the founders who earned the coveted Top Pick designation.

With so many exhibiting startups to see, not to mention all the founders, investors and technologists roaming around the Berlin Arena, how can you cut through the noise to find the people who align with your business goals and interests? Use CrunchMatch, our free business-matchmaking tool that slays the old needle-in-a-haystack approach to networking.

We’ll email all registered attendees when we launch CrunchMatch, and we’ll explain how to access the platform. You then create a professional profile outlining your role and the specific types of people and connections you want to make.  CrunchMatch will find and suggest matches and — with your approval — suggest meetings, send out meeting requests and schedule appointments. Closing the deal? That’s up to you.

Beyond all the networking opportunities, you’ll have the chance to learn from and engage with tech and investing experts and icons. Hear from world-class speakers, attend smaller Q&A Sessions where you have the chance to get your pressing questions answered, watch the Startup Battlefield and don’t miss the Hackathon finalists pitch on the Extra Crunch Stage. Check out the Disrupt Berlin agenda.

Join us on 11-12 December for all the value and opportunity Disrupt Berlin 2019 offers. And remember, you have just four more days to grab all the value you can. Channel Saint Expeditus and beat the deadline. Buy your early-bird pass before 15 November at 11:59 p.m. (CEST). We’ll see you in Berlin!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.


Startups – TechCrunch


Facebook sues OnlineNIC for domain name fraud associated with malicious activity

November 2, 2019 No Comments

Facebook today announced it has filed suit in California against domain registrar OnlineNIC and its proxy service ID Shield for registering domain names that pretend to be associated with Facebook, like www-facebook-login.com or facebook-mails.com, for example. Facebook says these domains are intentionally designed to mislead and confuse end users, who believe they’re interacting with Facebook.

These fake domains are also often associated with malicious activity, like phishing.

While some who register such domains hope to eventually sell them back to Facebook at a marked-up price, earning a profit, others have worse intentions. And with the launch of Facebook’s own cryptocurrency, Libra, a number of new domain cybersquatters have emerged. Facebook was recently able to take down some of these, like facebooktoken.org and ico-facebook.org, one of which had already started collecting personal information from visitors by falsely touting a Facebook ICO.

Facebooks’ new lawsuit, however, focuses specifically on OnlineNIC, which Facebook says has a history of allowing cybersquatters to register domains with its privacy/proxy service, ID Shield. The suit alleges that the registered domains, like hackingfacebook.net, are being used for malicious activity, including “phishing and hosting websites that purported to sell hacking tools.”

The suit also references some 20 other domain names that are confusingly similar to Facebook and Instagram trademarks, it says.

Screen Shot 2019 10 31 at 1.27.38 PM

OnlineNIC has been sued before for allowing this sort of activity, including by Verizon, Yahoo, Microsoft and others. In the case of Verizon (disclosure: TechCrunch parent), OnlineNIC was found liable for registering more than 600 domain names similar to Verizon’s trademark, and the courts awarded $ 33.15 million in damages as a result, Facebook’s filing states.

Facebook is asking for a permanent injunction against OnlineNIC’s activity, as well as damages.

The company says it took this issue to the courts because OnlineNIC has not been responsive to its concerns. Facebook today proactively reports instances of abuse with domain name registrars and their privacy/proxy services, and often works with them to take down malicious domains. But the issue is widespread — there are tens of millions of domain names registered through these services today. Some of these businesses are not reputable, however. Some, like OnlineNIC, will not investigate or even respond to Facebook’s abuse reports.

The news of the lawsuit was previously reported by Cnet and other domain name news sources, based on courthouse filings.

Attorney David J. Steele, who previously won the $ 33 million judgement for Verizon, is representing Facebook in the case.

“By mentioning our apps and services in the domain names, OnlineNIC and ID Shield intended to make them appear legitimate and confuse people. This activity is known as cybersquatting and OnlineNIC has a history of this behavior,” writes Facebook, in an announcement. “This lawsuit is one more step in our ongoing efforts to protect people’s safety and privacy,” it says.

OnlineNIC has been asked for comment and we’ll update if it responds.


Social – TechCrunch


ROI of improving online reviews: +0.1 stars can boost conversion 25%

October 30, 2019 No Comments

A review rating increase of just 0.1 stars can boost a location’s online conversion rates – such as phone calls, website clicks or requests for directions – by 25%, according to new report from location marketing firm Uberall released yesterday.

A 25% rise in conversion can “also mean a 25% increase in foot traffic every day,” said Uberall SVP of Marketing Norman Rohr in a statement. The “Reputation Management Revolution Report” [free, registration required] also finds that a jump from a 3.5-star rating to 3.7 can see a disproportionate jump in conversions of 120%, the highest growth jump available.

A business’ priority on this front, then, should be to acquire 3.7 stars or above at all of its locations, Uberall said. Reviews and ratings of businesses are frequently posted by consumers on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and Google, among others.

‘Near me’ searches

Additionally, 4.0 and 4.4 stars also represent key review benchmarks in terms of affecting user actions. At 4.4 stars, bigger businesses start to achieve higher conversion rates than SMBs, which outperform larger businesses below 4.4.

Based in Berlin, Uberall offers a platform that helps businesses optimize for “near me” customers, including review management and making it easier to find relevant info, like directions or opening times.

The report also found that:

  • Mobile searches for brands and products “near me” have exploded, with 82 percent of users having conducted a “near me” search. Among millennials, the “near me” search rate is 92%.
  • Nearly half of all consumers have left a review online, and 95% report that reviews influence their buying decisions.
  • Replies by brands to their reviews can have a substantial effect on acquiring new customers. The report said that a 30% reply rate is the benchmark threshold. For example, enterprise locations that reply to at least 32% of their reviews were rewarded with 80% higher conversions than direct competitors.
  • Small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that replied to only 10% of their reviews saw a similar impact. But SMBs have a higher average review reply rate (25%), compared to 12% for enterprises and 9% for global brands. Rohr noted that SMBs rely on customer reviews to drive brand awareness and visibility more than bigger brands, which can more readily buy visibility.

Asking for reviews

Rohr told SEW via email that businesses do better when they proactively ask for reviews. Without review solicitation, he said, “businesses will primarily face negative reviews,” because “customers aroused by an emotional experience tend to submit reviews on their own,” and that includes negative experiences.

Although this is Uberall’s first report on this kind of reputation management, it released a report last year about responding to customer reviews and a report last summer on reviews for SMBs.

This report analyzed sixty-four thousand large and small Google business profiles in the US, UK, France and Germany that utilized the Uberall platform.

The post ROI of improving online reviews: +0.1 stars can boost conversion 25% appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Google Fi gets an unlimited plan

September 17, 2019 No Comments

For the longest time, Google Fi didn’t play the unlimited calls, text and data game and instead focused on offering pretty affordable and flexible plans with a price cap of $ 80 (before taxes and government fees). Today, however, Google is introducing Fi Unlimited, which, as you’ve probably figured out from the name, is more akin to a traditional ‘unlimited’ plan from other carriers.

Fi Unlimited plans start at $ 70 for the first line. For families, you can also opt to pay $ 60 per line for 2 lines, $ 50 per line for 3 lines or $ 45 per line for 4 to 6 lines (excluding taxes and fees). That’s pretty much in line with the unlimited plans from other carriers, though they all come with their own limitations, special services and may feature different (and often more substantial) family discounts.

“Since Fi’s launch in 2015, we’ve had one plan, the Fi Flexible plan, that gives you the flexibility to pay for just the data you use,” writes Fi product manager Dhwani Shah. “As we’ve grown, we’ve heard that many of you want the simplicity and predictability that comes with paying the same price each month. So today, for the first time ever, Fi is adding a second plan: our Google Fi Unlimited plan.”

If you’re also a happy Fi user and like the old plan, don’t panic. A Google spokesperson has told us that Google will continue to offer the existing flexible plan, too.

blog unlimited pricing

Unlimited, of course, is never quite unlimited, so Google will cap your speed after you use 22GB of data in a given month (only 1% of Fi users currently do so, the company says) and it ‘may’ cap video quality at 480p. Like with the company’s other Fi plans, there are no contracts or activation fees.

There are some positives, too, though. You’ll get free international calls from the U.S. to 50 countries and territories and you’ll still get Fi’s unlimited data and text in 200 countries. Every unlimited plan also includes a Google One membership with 100 GB of cloud storage and live support for all Google products, as well as Google’s new phone backup service. There are also no limits on hotspot usage.

As always, you’ll need a compatible phone to make Fi work for you.

The maximum you’ll pay for Fi’s flexible price is $ 80 per month after you’ve used more than 6 GB of data. So there’s a tradeoff here. You’ll pay a fixed price for every unlimited line, even if you only use 1 GB of data, but you’ll pay a predictable price and you’ll get a discount for activating multiple lines, as well as a few other goodies.

Mobile – TechCrunch


HomePod Review: Only Apple Devotees Need Apply

September 5, 2019 No Comments

Does it sound good? Sure, but that’s the wrong question.
Feed: All Latest


How to pitch to top online publishers: 10 Exclusive survey insights

August 27, 2019 No Comments

How would you like to get your brand featured on major online websites like Buzzfeed, the Washington Post, or Bustle?

When you earn the attention of top-tier press, you reap the business benefits of large-scale brand exposure and the SEO benefits of high-authority backlinks. It’s a win-win.

But it’s increasingly difficult to win the attention of the online press. Any day of the week, you have tweets from Chrissy Teigen and the contentious presidential election dominating the media coverage and driving the online social discussion.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there is an ideal time to pitch a writer or the best way to write a press release or an email for optimal success. The problem with a lot of digital PR advice you read online is that it’s purely situational and can vary from person to person.

That’s why my team decided to end the back and forth once and for all. In a new publisher survey, we asked 500+ online writers and editors from sites like the New York Times, CNN, Cosmopolitan, and Mashable how they want to be pitched, what types of content they prefer to cover, and what PR professionals should include (and exclude) in their outreach emails in order to gain their trust and earn a coveted space on their website.

Here are 10 major data-backed insights that you can use to optimize your outreach strategy.

The top three reasons why journalists decline your pitch

The top three reasons journalists decline your pitch is because it’s irrelevant, boring, or too self-promotional.

A crucial reason why a writer rejected your email pitch is that it’s irrelevant. That’s right, 88% of writers have rejected a pitch for it being unrelated to their beat.

Note: Password: exclusive – a password will be taken down to facilitate the exclusive for SEW.

Almost 64% of writers have rejected a pitch because it was simply too boring. If you fail to explain why the content you’re pitching is exciting or newsworthy, how can you expect an online editor to envision the story?

Another 62% of online journalists have rejected a pitched because it’s too self-promotional. Online editors seek to inform and entertain their audiences. A tired pitch about some new thing that’s happening at your company or some funny thing your CEO tweeted is not going to capture the attention of the masses and drive traffic – and editors know that.

Over 42% of writers reported receiving 11 to 100 pitches a day

Over 42% of writers reported receiving 11 to 100 pitches a day and almost five percent receive 100+ email pitches per day.

To a certain extent, online writers and editors rely on PR pitches to provide them with content to fill their editorial calendar. But can you imagine receiving 100 pitches a day? It’s no wonder that journalists take to Twitter so often to vent about the latest #PRFail that recently arrived in their inbox. With all of that inbox clutter, who wouldn’t be frustrated with a lazily written, irrelevant pitch?

Time = money. You’re wasting both when you reach out to a writer about content that’s relevant to them or their beat.

Only 22% of digital writers open every single email addressed to them

Only one out of every five people you send emails to will open every pitch addressed to them. And most people, about three in four, open an email based on the subject line alone. This places a lot of pressure on your subject line writing, which is why it’s one of the most important elements of your outreach email strategy.

Read all about how to perfect your subject lines for PR outreach in a previous post for SEMrush.

Most writers (58%) prefer to receive a pitch between 100 and 200 words

Keep it short and sweet. Given the sheer volume of pitches they receive daily, writers are too busy to sift through a complicated pitch to decipher what it’s about. If they open your email, you have about half a minute to capture their attention before they move on to the next pitch.

Here are some tips to keep the word count of your email down.

  • Include only the most relevant, interesting, and newsworthy details of your content
  • Use bullet points to list disparate details
  • Link to the full content from your email (that is, don’t attach additional info to the email)

Some content topics are more competitive than others

Our survey found that writers who cover popular topics, such as women’s interest, home and lifestyle, and entertainment receive double the number of pitches than writers covering personal finance and business.

How can you change your content marketing strategy in light of these stats? Create content on the sphere of two verticals. For example, a piece of content that explores inter-office dating can be covered by writers who cover two different beats – dating and career/business.

By creating content that naturally appeals to more than one audience, you double your potential for exposure right out of the gate.

Staff editors are pitched more than staff writers or freelance contributors

According to our data, it’s safe to say staff editors have more inbox congestion than staff writers or freelancers. However, that doesn’t mean that you should remove them from your outreach list. When it comes to who to pitch, the best answer is still unclear. Despite the data suggesting you have a better chance with freelancers and staff writers, the bottom line is that they oftentimes still have to pitch the editor their story. By writing directly to the editor, they make the decision right then and there on whether to assign the story.

There are pros and cons to pitching all people in all three of these roles, but it’s good to keep their different roles and responsibilities in mind when actively pitching a content campaign.

The best time to send pitches are 5 am to 12 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

After years of practicing PR for clients across all topic verticals, it’s long been a suspicion of mine that pitches sent on a Friday tend to fall on deaf ears and require a follow up to really be seen. If you felt the same way, then you’re experience is about to be validated.

Our survey of 500+ journalists found that the best days to send email pitches are at the beginning of the workweek: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And the best time? Survey says early morning is better, between 5 am to 12 pm.

Journalists prefer zero or one follow up emails an average of three to seven days after you’ve sent your initial pitch

Speaking of follow up emails, should you even send them at all? While 20% of writers believe that you should never send a follow-up email, the majority of writers (60%) consider one follow-up email to be the most acceptable.

When should you follow up? Data shows that most writers prefer that you follow-up three to seven days after you send the first email pitch.

Heed Phil’s warning. It may be surprising to you that some people send follow-ups to journalists who’ve already declined their pitch.

The thing is, many PR pros are still using unsophisticated mass outreach tools that are too automated. If you’re in doubt about your tool, it’s better to use a spreadsheet and focus on “one-on-one” email outreach. Automate effectively, responsibly, and at your own risk.

If you provide good content, journalists will want you to keep in touch

We asked 500+ journalists and online writers how they want to keep in touch with a PR pro after working with them on a story. They told us that the best way to stay in contact is via email (77%) and by continuing sending the journalist relevant content (57%).

Journalists were quick to note that they do not want phone calls or to meet in person but were more open to chatting on Twitter and LinkedIn occasionally.

Over 53% of writers say they don’t subscribe to press release sources

Is the press release “dead?” While it is still a strategy that marketers and brands employ, its usefulness is slowly declining in favor of direct, targeted “One-on-one” outreach.

Around 20% of writers admitted that they never write a story based on a press release, while about 29% of writers we surveyed say they use press releases for their stories more than 10 times a year.

Conclusion

Offering compelling, newsworthy, data-driven content is the key to earning top tier press mentions. 10x content paired with strategic one-on-one digital PR is the winning combination to earn attention and authority for your brand.

When it comes to earning press on top tier online websites like the NYTimes, CNN, Forbes, the Atlantic, and more, it’s not impossible, but it is increasingly harder with countless pieces of content being created every day. Capturing and keeping a journalist’s attention is a competitive game. Keep these stats in mind to give your content the upper hand in a crowded inbox.

Domenica is a Brand Relationship Manager at Fractl. She can be found on Twitter @atdomenica.

The post How to pitch to top online publishers: 10 Exclusive survey insights appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


How to Troubleshoot PPC Performance (Template Download)

August 12, 2019 No Comments

Download an easy to use ppc performance troubleshooting template that will organize your analysis and allow for easy collaboration among teams.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero



Why Storytelling is Essential in Online Marketing

July 1, 2019 No Comments

storytelling-marketingAs Marketers our job is to not only interpret analytics data, but to also provide a summary of the performance and apply recommendations for future strategies, forecasting and on-going testing. However, this standard metric of decoding is not enough and we need to find a better way to communicate successes and failures that the client can understand. That is why storytelling is just as important now than it was when we are in Kindergarten when the teacher read us a story in a circle.

In this post, I will highlight the importance of storytelling with the client which not only helps the client understand, but also reinforces the client-agency relationship.

Storytelling is also a Science

As marketers, early on we are classically trained to become proficient in Excel, Powerpoint and (my personal favorite) writing on whiteboards so that we can be perceived as smartest one in the room. These elements of communication comprise of bullet points, summarizations, goals and objectives, sales vs. cost projections, etc… On the contrary, we are most likely doing it all wrong. There have been many studies and published articles that debunk this MBA/classroom method and reinforce the one of oldest and most fundamental communication methods.

In an very “eye-opening” article by Lifehacker.com published back in 2012 entitled “The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains“, author Leo Widrich states “It’s in fact quite simple. If we listen to a powerpoint presentation with boring bullet points, a certain part in the brain gets activated. Scientists call this Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And that’s it, nothing else happens. When we are being told a story, things change dramatically. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too. So in essence, telling stories not only puts our entire brain to work it also allows the storyteller to put ideas and thoughts into the listeners brain as well.

Complexities of Storytelling

For most clients, they do not care too much about CTR%, AVG positions, bounce rates, etc… they want to know what is causing their cash register to ring below are some of the common questions they are mostly concerned about:

  • What’s working and why?
  • Whats not working and why?
  • Why are sales down this month as compared to last month?
  • How can we generate more sales without increasing the budget, etc…

Because of this difference in understanding  success metrics, marketers need to take all of the Analytics data (which are considered very complex by clients) and transform them into a story/language that they can understand. For example, lets suppose that the client saw a 50% increase in sales coming from their “Brand Terms” in Adwords as compared to the previous month. Instead of just providing them with increased performance metrics such as CTR%, Conversion rates, etc.., marketers need to do a little digging around and form a story that they can understand.

A story would be something like:

“Well, since we added more generalized “non-branded” terms as well as your interview on the local TV station, a larger audience of people who were not familiar with your brand before, typed your brand into Google and clicked on the PPC Text Ads. ” It is this type of success story that can create that “light bulb” in the heads of the client to ensure them that they are prospering their investment in you or your agency.”

Leveraging Web Analytics Data to Feed the Story

Just looking at common performance data is simply not enough to tell a story. Marketers need to look at various layers of data to comprise a story that can makes sense to the client. Identifying these interesting and important metrics such as hour of day, day of the week. GEO by state, metro area, city, direct/bookmark, conversion funnels, etc… These are examples of the metrics, combined with overall performance data is what makes up the holistic story that the client needs to hear. Moreover, these stories often lead to future optimization strategies and testing which is great for the client-agency relationship.

In Conclusion:

Trying to explain all of the intricate metrics and what they mean to a client is hard enough. But simplifying the data and creating a story around it, even as an “ice-breaker” at the beginning of the conversation, helps the client feel like they made the right choice in hiring you. The one thing we need to remember is that a story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect and that is what clients need to understand.


PPC Marketing Consultant | Google Ads Agency


Why Startups Need Diversification In Their Online Marketing Strategy

June 30, 2019 No Comments

Marketing Diversification for StartupsHave you ever heard this joke before? A Financial Planner and PPC Marketer walk into a bar… Probably not. However, the strategy that they would advise their clients on would be quite similar. If there was (1) one piece of advice I would give Startups (especially Early Stage), it would be diversification…  and a lot of it. Startups typically have very limited advertising budgets so they have to account for every penny they spend. In this article, I will explain the reasons for this diversification as well as how best to execute them on a limited budget.

Setting Realistic Expectations:

As one of the most “bastardized” words in agency world, it’s imperative to keep everyone’s hopes and dreams in check with regard to the online marketplace. Attending conferences, reading case studies and talking with other business owners is not only a great idea, it’s encouraged. however, it can also “set off” false expectations that could be devastating to the overall goals and objectives. I have advised clients (both past and present) to NEVER trust Google with their campaigns, keywords and budgets because they don’t care about growing your business, they just want your money. Bottom line: If it sounds too good to be true, your instincts are correct!

Separation of Brand vs. Non-Brand:

It’s simple math. It costs more money to reach consumers who DO NOT already know your brand. Over time, the brand takes “all of the credit” because that is how everyone searches for you. But, here’s the catch. Getting to that phase in consumer behavior can be difficult to achieve, especially on the wallet. Here are a couple strategies that can not only help the wallet, but also the align the expectations.

  • Leverage Google Display, Mobile and YouTube Video networks
    • Low cost ($ 0.10 – $ 1.00 CPC/CPV).
    • More continuous visibility.
    • Expectations are set to branding only.
  • Utilize micro-targeting of Social media for specific audience testing
    • Target specific audience segments within a short period of time.
    • High volume allows for multi-variate ad testing.
    • Conversion tracking pixels allow for full analytics reporting.

PPC Marketing Diversification

Monetize Everything Under the Sun

This may sound like a “no-brainer” to some of you, but startups tend to forget that measuring success is more than just placing an order or a form submission. Often, little things like email signups, chat sessions and phone calls eventually lead to “real” conversions later on in the buying cycle. It’s important for everyone involved to consider these little conversions in the overall big picture. In some instances, these interactions act as a barometer when something is wrong or unclear and can help improve usability within the website experience.

In Conclusion:

Startups are faced with tough decisions when it comes to advertising due to their limited Ad budgets. They also cannot afford to, “bet the farm” on something that they heard at a conference or read in a case study. In 2016, consumers are everywhere (Google Search, Facebook Ads. YouTube. Twitter Ads, etc…) and startups need to leverage all of the platforms to maximize their exposure. They also need to understand that certain ad platforms serve different purposes as well as perform better than others.


PPC Marketing Consultant | Google Ads Agency