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Targeting generational buzzwords like “Millennials” means targeting no-one

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

If I were to tell you that marketers were using astrological signs as a way to understand/target specific groups of people, you’d tell me that’s a ridiculous strategy.

“Astrology is fake,” you’d say, and given the precision of modern marketing tools, using the stars to analyze customers or understand population segments would not only be lazy, but the chances of it working would be random at best. Yet, this is happening daily.

How? For example, thinking that millennials, a 75.4 million cohort of people in the United States alone, share a universal set of attributes.

Speaking in absolutes about a demographic that makes up ~20% of the total population of the United States with nearly no shared characteristics completely ignores the nuance, depth and uniqueness of humanity, and our diverse wants, needs and desires. We are complex creatures!

Common sense would indicate that drawing conclusions about such a loosely defined group of folks is at best “pushing it,” and at worst completely ludicrous. There’s simply no way to make an accurate, universally applicable statement about that many people, defined solely by a 20+ year age range based on the year they were born.

There’s no rigorous methodology behind generational branding

Even if I wanted to take generational branding seriously, it’s in my opinion not good social science. “Baby Boomers” (18 year cohort) are defined as people born between 1946 – 1964, and an age range between 51 and 70.

Millennials” (a 23 year cohort) are people born between 1981-2004, giving an age range of 12-35. Gen Z (no defined cohort yet) have birth years that range from the mid-1990s to 2000s, and, so far there is little consensus about ending birth years.

The ranges are not only inconsistent, but the fact that not everyone can even agree on these unstandardized, randomly assigned dates says it all. It’s all highly questionable, even for a softer science like sociology.

A ~20 year ago cohort is too large to mean anything when our experiences of media, culture, etc. have fragmented

Social trends now move so quickly that single moments of significance are less defining, even if at the time they were seemingly important. The 3-TV-channel world where we all watched the same things has been dead for decades and yet we still apply concepts that were created then.

Everyone’s experience of the world from a media perspective alone is so unique we can’t underestimate the number of niche communities that now exist that have less to do with age and more to do with personality. The world and the people in it are becoming more, not less, complex and we need updated thinking if we hope to understand it and market to it.

Psychographics show far more in common than year born / demographic breakdown by year born. If you can target, not just arbitrary ranges as defined by buzzwords, but by people who live in a specific area, are married and are interested in weightlifting and organic food you would have to be willfully ignorant or lazy to think stepping back and targeting everyone is a good idea.

With the depth we have available for ad targeting in tools like Google AdWords and Facebook ads, it’s inexcusable to not take the time to target the right message to the right users. The sophistication of our marketing capabilities means we’re doing our shareholders and customers a disservice not to go deeper.

Sample AdWords ad targeting capabilities mean reaching specific and precise segments relevant to us:

Sample Facebook ad targeting capabilities reach specific social communities that care about our brand:

As for marketing to specific age ranges? Of course there are product categories with immutable segments for a certain demographic. But buzzwords like “Baby Boomer” aren’t required to market to these groups effectively.

Additionally, you want to be more specific than a 20 year cohort to accomplish this in a meaningful way. For example, a 34 year old millennial living in a city has little in common with a 20-something millennial just finishing college in a small town – yet generational buzzwords lump them together.

In Google Analytics, we break out age ranges in smaller, more manageable chunks, so you can analyze college-age students in a specific area which would be far more instructive.

To some, the word millennials has become just a blanket term for young people. This almost comical story of an iconic American brand grasping for relevancy shows what may be a typical situation in boardrooms, where a group of executives clearly feels behind the times.

So it seems like an easy solution to just use broad strokes like buzzwords. A brief quote from this story illustrates:

The other challenge is that many people who work at American Express aren’t all that millennially minded themselves. If you visit Amex’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan, you’ll find squared-jawed men in bespoke suits and fashion model-glamorous women, but not a lot of young people in the uppermost ranks … In one Amex brainstorming session, according to an executive I spoke with, participants spent 10 minutes trying to figure out what FOMO meant before turning to Google. They discovered it stands for “fear of missing out.” It is unclear if the group recognized the irony.

I don’t think this habit of over-generalization comes from a desire to marginalize millennials, but I do believe it’s a broader way people use to try and make sense of a technology-driven world.

In most analyses of millennials, the way technology shapes and controls their environment is key to understanding whatever point is being made about them. This categorization provides a way to add a human layer to the discussion around those who have been born into a world where technology and the internet automate our existence.

Why waste time with generational buzzwords when we have so many better groups to analyze/target/study instead?

For example, with recommended actions: 

  • Users who responded to holiday ads last year that become recurring customers over the next year (run more of those specific ads next season, replicate for your other product categories and double the budget if the numbers were previously great!).
  • The specific location with the highest average purchase order or customer loyalty for a national restaurant chain (or better yet, the top 5%). What went right here? What are the common traits among customers here and how can we attract more of them to our other locations?
  • For a pharmaceutical company with a new arthritis drug, targeting people ages of between 30 and 60, the average onset of RA According to the Arthritis Foundation (this is a specific, actionable age segment, not the nebulous “baby boomer” and is immutable range, no buzzword required).
  • All your site visitors who added something to their shopping cart but don’t complete checkout. For sure these include people of all ages; likely optimizations don’t even require demographic data.
  • Users who follow your brand on social channels (aka your influencers) – what can you learn about this very specific group that is unique to your brand. Incredibly useful to understand these folk and their nuances so you can best nurture those relationships.
  • The top 20% of your customers by annual spending or product category. How can you grow these really valuable segments?

The above list is just to get you thinking, but to me it’s so exciting what’s now possible that to keep doing what was always done is doing our work and sector a huge disservice.

Or, you could just ignore all of this and just make stereotypical ads for millennials without actually getting to know them, so that you too can repeat Pepsi’s gaffe and become a global embarrassment.

Leaked Facebook Documents Reveal Content Removal Policies

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Leaked Facebook documents reveal the monumental task faced by a social network that is constantly bombarded with inappropriate and offensive content.

According to the leaked documents, which were obtained by The Guardian, Facebook reviews more than 6.5 million fake accounts per week. Add that to the hate speech, child exploitation, revenge porn and violent images and videos, Facebook moderators are overworked and often have “just 10 seconds” to make a call on individual posts.

Facebook currently has more than 1.94 billion users, making it hard for the firm to “keep control of its content,” a source told The Guardian. “It has grown too big, too quickly.”

Some of the instructions given to moderators seem strange, even contradictory, as Facebook walks the fine line between trying to please both free speech advocates and those who view the company as a publisher with a responsibility to protect its members from inappropriate content.

Some of the guidelines, as laid out by The Guardian, include:

  • The necessity to delete remarks that include a threat to Donald Trump, because as President  of the United States, he falls into a protected category. Non-specific threats such as “To snap a bitch’s neck, make sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of her throat” is allowed because it is not seen as credible.
  • Slapping all violent death videos with a ‘disturbing’ label. Such clips do not necessarily have to be deleted, however, if they raise awareness of important issues such as mental illness.
  • Permitting images of abuse and bullying of children as long as they are not sexual in nature and do not have  “a sadistic or celebratory element.”
  • Permitting abortion videos as long as there is no nudity.
  • Permitting users to livestream self-harm because Facebook does not “want to censor or punish people in distress.”

As one of the leaked documents explains: “Violent language is most often not credible until specificity of language gives us a reasonable ground to accept that there is no longer simply an expression of emotion but a transition to a plot or design. From this perspective language such as ‘I’m going to kill you’ or ‘Fuck off and die’ is not credible and is a violent expression of dislike and frustration.”

Facebook head of global policy management Monika Bickert, in a post published by The Guardian, explained the social network’s policies.

We aim to remove any credible threat of violence, and we respect local laws. We don’t always share the details of our policies, because we don’t want to encourage people to find workarounds – but we do publish our Community Standards, which set out what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook, and why.

Our standards change over time as our community grows and social issues around the world evolve. We are in constant dialogue with experts and local organizations, on everything from child safety to terrorism to human rights.

Sometimes this means our policies can seem counter-intuitive. As the Guardian reported, experts in self-harm advised us that it can be better to leave live videos of self-harm running so that people can be alerted to help, but to take them down afterwards to prevent copycats.

The Guardian’s report comes two weeks after Facebook announced its plans to hire 3,000 new people to police posted content. The new hires will be added to the social network’s community operations team across the globe, taking the size of the department from 4,500 to 7,500.

Whether the additional staff will help Facebook stay on top of the offensive content problem — at least for now — is anyone’s guess. But one thing is certain, the problem will continue to grow as Facebook’s membership expands.

 


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Leaked Facebook Documents Reveal Content Removal Policies appeared first on SiteProNews.

Google I/O: What’s going on with Progressive Web Apps?

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At Google’s developer jamboree, Google I/O, last week the search giant paraded a host of big name case studies and compelling stats to herald its success with two initiatives to make the mobile web better and faster: Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

Progressive Web Apps are a Google innovation designed to combine the best features of mobile apps and the mobile web: speed, app-like interaction, offline usage, and no need to download anything.

Google spotlighted this relatively new web product at last year’s Google I/O, where the Washington Post showed off a newly-built Progressive Web App to enhance its mobile experience.

Whether companies believe in or plan to adopt Progressive Web Apps, the initiative (along with AMP) has done a fantastic job of highlighting a) the importance of making websites and apps lean and mean so they perform better on mobile and b) how ridiculously bloated, slow and inefficient websites and apps have become.

PWA and AMP are not the only answers to mobile bloat, but being led and backed by Google, they bring the potential for 1) broad adoption, 2) lots of resources, and 3) favorable treatment from Android, Chrome and Google Search.

What’s so great about Progressive Web Apps?

PWAs bring native app-like functions and features to websites. They should (depending on the quality of the build) work on all smart devices, adapting the performance to the ability of the device, browser and connection.

The key features that get people excited about PWAs are:

  • The ability to send push notifications
  • Option to save to the device (home screen and – now – app launcher), so it loads even faster next time
  • Ability to work offline (when there is no internet connection)
  • Make payments. One of the most significant PWA announcements at Google I/O was that PWAs can now integrate with native/web payment apps, to allow one tap payment with the users preferred provider, including Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Alipay and PayPal
  • Closer integration with device functions and native apps.

The margin of what native apps can do compared with a web-based app (N.B. PWAs do not have a monopoly over mobile web apps) is disappearing rapidly.

The last year has seen a remarkable 215 new APIs, allowing web apps to access even more of the native phone features and apps, announced Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, VP, product management at Google, in his Mobile Web State of Union keynote.

He pointed out that you could even build a web-based virtual reality (VR) app (if you wanted to), citing Within and Sketchfab, which showcase creations from developers around the world.

Who ate all the pies?

But the most compelling thing about Progressive Web Apps is their download size, compared with iOS apps and Android apps. Check out the size comparisons in the image below for two case studies featured at Google I/O: Twitter Lite and Ola Cabs (the biggest cab service in India, delivering 1 million rides per day).

  • Size of Twitter’s Android app 23MB+; iOS app 100MB+; Twitter Lite PWA 0.6MB.
  • Size of OLA Cabs Android app 60MB; iOS app 100MB; PWA 0.2MB.

Why does size matter? Performance on the web is all about speed. The smaller the size the quicker the download. Think SUV versus Grand Prix motorbike in rush hour traffic.

Image: Who ate all the pies? Size of Twitter’s Android app 23MB+; iOS app 100MB+; PWA 0.6MB. Size of OLA Cabs Android app 60MB; iOS app 100MB; PWA 0.2MB.

Interestingly, Twitter markets the PWA as Twitter Lite particularly targeted at people in tier two markets where connections may be inferior, data more expensive and smartphones less advanced; while Ola Cabs markets the PWA at second or third tier cites where there are similar issues with connections and smartphones.

This (cleverly) helps to position the PWA as non-competitive to their native apps.

Which companies have launched Progressive Web Apps?

A growing number of big name brands (see image below) have launched PWAs. These include:

  • Travel companies: Expedia, Trivago, Tui, AirFrance, Wego
  • Publishers: Forbes, Infobae, Washington Post, FT, Guardian, Independent, Weather Company
  • E-commerce companies: Fandango, Rakuten, Alibaba, Lancôme, Flipkart
  • Formerly native app-only companies: Lyft, Ola Cabs.

Map shows companies that have launched progressive web apps, including Expedia, Trivago, Tui, AirFrance, Wego, Forbes, Infobae, Washington Post, FT, Guardian, Independent, Weather Company, Fandango, Rakuten, Alibaba, Lancôme, Flipkart, Lyft and Ola Cabs.

At I/O, Google trumpeted the achievements of a number of companies, inviting several to share their experiences with the audiences – only the good stuff, clearly.

1. Faster speeds; higher engagement

m.Forbes.com has seen user engagement double since launch of its PWA in March (according to Google).

For the inside track see this Forbes article. The publisher claims its pages load in 0.8 seconds on a mobile device. The publisher was aiming for a Snapchat or Instagram-like experience with streams of related content along with app-like features such as gesture-based navigation.

In this video case study, embedded below, created for I/O, Forbes claims to have achieved a 43% increase in sessions per user and 20% increase in ad viewability.

The Ola Cabs PWA takes 1-3 seconds to load on the first visit – depending on the network, “including low 3G” Dipika Kapadia, head of consumer web products at Ola, told I/O attendees. On subsequent visits it takes less than a second as it only needs to download the real-time information, including cab availability.

Ola achieves this partly due to its size: the app is just 0.5MB of which only 0.2MB is application data. As it downloads it prioritizes essential information, while other assets download in the background.

2. Consumers readily download PWAs to their home screens

When mobile visitors are using the mobile app, they receive a prompt to save it to the home screen, so it loads faster next time. It does this by caching all the static parts of the site, so next time it only needs to fetch what has changed.

Twitter Lite, as Patrick Traughber, product manager atTwitter, told the Google I/O crowd, sees 1 million daily visits from the homepage icon.

Since launch of the Progressive Web App, in April 2017, Twitter has seen a 65% increase in pages per session and 75% increase in tweets.

3. Notifications

The ability to send notifications to mobile users to encourage them back to the app, used to be one of the big advantages of native apps over mobile web. No longer.

Notifying users about recent activity is very important to Twitter, said Traughber. And Twitter is taking full advantage of this capability, sending 10 million push notifications each day.

For the inside track on Twitter’s PWA, see this article.

4. Winning back customers that have deleted your native app

App-only companies face the challenge that users only download and retain a limited number of apps on their smartphone and will uninstall those that aren’t used as regularly as others, thus once deleted, it’s over.

Thus it is an eye-opener that 20% of Ola PWA bookings come from users who have previously uninstalled the native app.

See Google’s case study on Ola’s PWA.

5. PWAs appeal to iOS users

Compared with other mobile browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Opera and Samsung, the default browser on Apple devices, Safari, can be slower when it comes to adopting advancements in mobile web. This means Safari users won’t experience some of the more advanced features of PWAs, yet.

Despite this, brands are seeing improved mobile engagement after launching a PWA. Lancôme Paris has seen session length improve by 53% among iOS users, according to this case study of the Lancôme PWA, cited at Google I/O.

6. Conversions

According to Wego’s video case study, embedded below, created for I/O, the Singapore-based travel service has combined both PWA and AMP to achieve a load time for new users is 1.6 seconds and 1 second for returning customers. This has helped to increase site visits by 26%, reduce bounce rates by 20% and increase conversions by 95%, since launch.

If you need more impressive stats to make the case for a web app, visit Cloud Four’s new PWA Stats.


For more articles on mobile web performance see:

How video impacts mobile web performance and UX, part 1: data and download speed
How video impacts mobile web performance and UX, part 2: autoplay and audio
How to fix your bloated mobile website: fewer, better, smaller images
Optimizing images for mobile: right format, right size, right place, right device
How JavaScript impacts how fast your page loads on a mobile device

Andy Favell is Search Engine Watch’s columnist on mobile. He is a London-based freelance mobile/digital consultant, journalist and web editor. Contact him via LinkedIn or Twitter at Andy_Favell.

10 Link Building Tactics to Avoid in 201

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Backlinks (links) from other websites are still good for your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) because it indicates to Google that your website is popular. Backlinks from other websites are also handy because they draw in a fair amount of direct traffic, especially if you gain links from other websites that work in your website’s niche.

Building links is a good idea, but it is easy to get it wrong. Here are 10 link-building tactics to avoid this year:

1. Creating Cheap, Flimsy Or Useless Content

If you are going to write content for your own website, do it right. Cheap or poor-quality content may be quick and easy, but it gives others less reason to link to your website. Create high-quality and very useful content, and you will attract links like a beautiful woman attracts praise.

2. Grabbing Links From Any Old Website

Getting links from other websites is always helpful because it increases the chances of getting more direct traffic. However, links from some websites may not help your case. Some newer and less-maintained websites are destined to become spam websites, and too many links from spam websites will hurt your website’s credibility.

3. Poorly Planned Content Marketing

A classic example of poorly planned content marketing is when people concentrate almost exclusively on social media. They get plenty of mentions and links from social media, but they end up with nothing to show for it after a month or so.

4. Buying Links For Your Website

Spending money to have somebody else link to your website is still a dumb idea. This also includes if you are paying another company or website to allow you to guest post. Google always becomes aware of which websites are buying links and typically lowers their standing on the search engine results because of it.

5. Relying Heavily on Press Release Websites

If you are one of these people who is still submitting press release after press release, then please stop it for your own sake. The value of press releases is so tiny that you could put your effort into almost any other link-building avenue and get better results. Google relies on authority websites to produce rank-worthy news.

6. Random Link Exchanges

The logic seems sound. After all, if it is a random link exchange, then how can Google ever be sure you swapped links with others? You get a link, another person gets a link, and no connection is made between you and the many other link exchange users. There are two reasons why random link exchanges are a bad idea in theory.

The first reason is because there is no guarantee that the website that links to you is in the same niche as yours, especially if you have a very limited or highly targeted niche. The second reason is because heavy link exchange users will create a pattern that Google can follow.

7. Over-Linking in the Hopes of Pulling More Traffic

Any form of over-linking is a bad idea. A big surge in your backlinks is going to look suspicious if it is not backed up with a similar surge in website, search engine and social media activity, and it is unlikely that you will be able to generate such a surge in popularity.

8. Setting Up a Bunch of Websites With the Aim of Linking Them

One trick is to set up a number of different websites and then keep linking from them. It is a great idea in theory, but it requires a lot of work and effort from you. Each website needs to be interesting, useful and frequently updated. Each needs to be able to attract users and maintain its own popularity. Having just one website is hard enough, and few people are able to manage several websites at one time. Instead of having one great website, such people end up with several mediocre websites.

9. The Use of Any Off-Page Automated Link Building

Nobody with any sense still uses blog comment programs, but there are still link acquisition programs out there that help people build off-page links without putting in the effort. Even if such automated means work well right now, it won’t be long before Google changes the rules to punish people who use them.

10. Over Optimizing Anchor Text

Some people still stuff too many keywords into their anchor text when they link from off-page websites. Don’t make the same mistake. Add your anchor text in a manner that makes the most sense. There is a lot of online chatter about the wrong type of anchor text and how using words such as “link” may be a bad idea, but even a backlink that says “Link” is more powerful and/or useful than no link at all, so don’t worry too much about it. Even over optimized anchor text isn’t the end of the world, it is just a little unnecessary.

Page Popularity Always Wins Over Link Building

If you are trying to increase your rank in Google’s search engine results, then the popularity of each page will have a bigger effect than any of your link building tactics. There is nothing wrong with a little link building if you want to gain a little extra traffic, but think more about each page’s popularity if you want to prosper in a big way.


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Robert Morris is a marketing manager and a freelance writer with 10 years of experience. He writes about branding, SEO, content marketing and social media optimization. Now he works for the essay writing blog Askpetersen.

The post 10 Link Building Tactics to Avoid in 201 appeared first on SiteProNews.

Find the Best Mobile for Your Business Needs

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Running a business is not a simple thing, but having the right mobile device can be a helpful tool. The right phone can keep costs down, ensure access across multiple devices and keep data secured.

Research how your Business uses Mobile Communication

As an employee, before buying a device, be informed on how your company uses mobile communication to connect with the clients, vendors, and other business, as well as with each other.

If you are the boss, then it is time to determine what features you and your employees need. The phones will play a significant role in determining the features and plans that suit your business.

Security Needs

When running a firm, it is paramount to make certain that sensitive data, phone conversations, personal and financial information are in safe hands. Mobile gadgets are known to present a challenge on this because of the vulnerabilities like Wi-Fi connections, hacking and theft. When getting a device, confirm the possibility of protecting it by using encrypting applications, secure passwords and remote erasing if the phone is stolen.

Research Apps

Accessing business software and other handy tools through mobile devices is easy. Note that Apple devices (iOS) have different apps than Windows or Android alternatives. For instance, selecting an Android Phone when the business only uses Apple means making some adjustments. Though this is possible, the use of compatible software helps work to flow smoothly. It is best to research which mobile apps will give the best options for the type of work at hand. Get a gadget that uses these apps, and you will be assured of an easy time while using it.

Consider Organization Tools

For those managing industries, it is vital for them to be organized at all times. Get a mobile device that has tools like calendars, password, reminders and other features, which will help you organize the day’s work and keep track of the employees. With the right device, it will be easy to run the business no matter where you are or the time of day.

Battery Life

Unlike the business phone system, mobile gadgets have batteries. Keeping the phone charged at all times is important. It will be rather frustrating to a client or employee to try to get in contact with you only to find that the device is not reachable. For those who travel a lot or are away from the power source for a long time, they will need a gadget that has a long battery life.

Coverage Maps

When selecting the network to use on a business phone, it is best to think about coverage. A missed call or poor connection can hurt your bottom line. Most of the phone service providers will offer maps of the areas covered. Select a mobile carrier that meets your coverage needs. Getting a low-cost plan or deal on the phones will not solve missed called from clients.

Cost

The communication cost is an essential factor to consider. However, the price tags need to be weighed against the benefits that the business gets. Get a phone that fits the business needs while considering the cost of the gadget, monthly service fees, and any extra cost.

Training and ease of using

Get an operating system that is easy to use. Remember the point of the gadget is to keep you connected and make work as easy as possible. Before paying for the device, ask the seller to train you so that you are able to use any operating system.

Environment demands

The device might be dunked, dropped or frozen and since both you and the employees rely on the communication gadget to carry out various tasks, you need to be assured that it will be able to survive the inevitable. Get a device that is durable and one that can withstand extreme temperatures, sunlight, dirt and dust. Note that a delicate phone is not ideal for any business environment.


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Sarah Thatcher is a content writer on the Blue Anchor team, covering topics relating to money, investing, business and finance. She specializes in online article copywriting and has produced work for countless blogs during her six years of writing for the online community. She has a particular interest in psychology and behavior when it comes to people and money and enjoys looking to the past for lessons that can be learned from history.

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The Definitive Start-Up Funding Guide

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The road from idea to IPO is full of pain, tears, joyful moments, and startup funding, if you are serious about building the next Facebook or Google.

But let’s take a step back before we talk about startup fundraising in detail.

So, you have a world-changing business idea. You also found your co-founder and started validating your educated guesses (often called hypothesis) by talking to potential customers and testing your MVPs with actual customers.

But then you realize that only 40 percent of small businesses are profitable (while 30 percent continuously lose money) and 82 percent of businesses that fail do so because they have problems generating enough cash.

Here’s the sad truth.

Most startups will – at some point – need external funding from investors such as business angels and venture capitalists, so they can improve their metrics (e.g. revenue, customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, profit margins) and turn their current loss-making business into a world-leading profit machine.

But how can you get investors (venture capital, corporate venture capital, angel investors, angel investment networks) to invest in your startup?

Let’s take a look at how startup funding really works by looking at insightful concepts and the real-life case study of Facebook.

Ready? Let’s get started.

To read the remainder of Martin’s guide, please click here.


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Martin Luenendonk started two online businesses, worked in venture capital, and helped entrepreneurs raise millions in venture capital. He shares actionable startup fundraising strategies on roadtofunding.com

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A visual guide to Pinterest advertising

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Pinterest has slowly been building itself up as an advertising alternative to Google and Facebook over the past 12 months.

The company’s focus has historically been on building an engaged user base through its intuitive, visual interface.

As a social network, it has always offered something a little different.

However, advertisers have been skeptical about whether Pinterest could ‘monetize’ this model, due to the nature of engagements users have and also the demographics that typically spend time on the site.

Those concerns have not been allayed altogether, but Pinterest has made some fascinating moves of late. They have launched a paid search partnership with Kenshoo, completely upgraded their visual search capabilities, and expanded their reach by adding a new Google Chrome extension.

By combining an engaged user base with advertising that doesn’t disrupt their experience, Pinterest may have a formula that works in an age of ad blockers and decreased consumer attention spans. Their stated aim has been to own the ‘discovery’ phase of the purchase journey, suggesting products to users before they know exactly what they are looking for.

Google has clearly taken notice, too. The search giant’s recent product launches, such as its ‘similar items’ feature and the recent announcement of Google Lens, demonstrate Google’s strategy to stymie Pinterest’s growth. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

That said, Pinterest remains a relative unknown in the advertising space. Many advertisers would no doubt welcome a third, genuine alternative for their digital ad dollars, a fact that will likely benefit Amazon as well as Pinterest. But before taking the plunge and launching a paid campaign, there are some things we need to know.

As such, it seems timely to take a step back and assess what really differentiates Pinterest from the competition, what options are open to marketers, and what you need to know before getting started with Pinterest advertising.

Since this is Pinterest we’re talking about, we thought a visual guide would be most fitting.

Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other recent visual guides and infographics:

Infographic created by Clark Boyd, VP Strategy at Croud, and graphic designer Chelsea Herbert.