Tag: Digital technology

Internet Marketing

The 9 Best Hashtag Tracking Tools Every Marketer Should Know

For most of us, social media has become a second home where we invest 3-4 hours of our leisure time a day. This is supported by the fact that there are 3.2 billion people logging in daily to social media. And marketers see an opportunity to attract this audience to their product or business.
Hashtag tracking is one method that helps this purpose for marketers.
Hashtags have been a highlight of social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. They are commonly used by businesses and users to support their content on digital platforms.
An intro to hashtags
A hashtag is generally a phrase or keyword prefixed with the # sign which is attached to a piece of content on social media. A hashtag helps enhance the discoverability of the content.

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How Talkwalker is aiming to take social listening to the next level

The marketing landscape today is one where data gathering and customer experience continues to increase at an exponential rate. Brands don’t want the fear of missing out on a good customer review, or a positive mention, or even genuine advice on how to improve their offerings.
In the social Wild West however, finding the golden four-leaf clover amid the field of ill-use and irrelevance is becoming increasingly difficult. Social media monitoring tools are able to collect and filter all the mentions, but the rise of social listening takes things a step further. Instead of collating audience response based on engagement rate and number of mentions, social listening tools promise analysis based on mood for greater insights.
Talkwalker, a provider of social listening and analytics software with offices in the US,

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Opinion: Have marketers learned anything since Cambridge Analytica?

When the Cambridge Analytica story broke last year, it represented a real turning point. All across the country, Facebook users downloaded their data files and expressed shock at the information collected – especially considering these details could have been used by the consultancy firm to influence their voting behaviour.
However, I – and many other marketers – were not surprised by the contents of our data files. After all, for years, we had been using audience data to shape our strategies and decision-making.
This wasn’t without user consent either – typically, everything we did was included in the ‘terms and conditions’. However, if we’re honest with ourselves, we also hoped our customers wouldn’t find out.
The real Cambridge Analytica story was not that a firm had used audience data to influence

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Salesforce dives into blockchain with low-code CRM offering

Salesforce has announced the launch of Salesforce Blockchain, a CRM product which aims to let users share verified, distributed data sets across a network of partners and third parties.
The low-code offering, aimed at developers working on the Lightning platform, has its theory in exploring how CRM can extend beyond direct customer relationships to creating business models around ecosystems. The blockchain technology is used to provide a secure distributed ledger to independently verify records and establish proper authentication channels.
The company argues that ‘by combining CRM workflows with blockchain data, companies can create new business processes and models that span sales, service, marketing and beyond to accelerate the speed of business.’
“We help companies build for the future by making breakthrough technology accessible and easy to use – today we are

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What Salesforce, Google and Microsoft’s acquisitions tell us about CRM – and why data is the new capital

This week’s acquisitions by Salesforce (Tableau), Google (Looker) and Microsoft (PowerAI) all point to one critical change in the business environment – that data is the new capital. We have financial capital and human capital – now we have data capital.
Using data properly allows large enterprises to better predict what their customers need. In the good old days, circa five years ago, you only used addresses to mail invoices. Sometimes it was used in demographic segmentation for marketing purposes.
Now using state-of-the-art AI models, it can have a seriously important impact on making predictions about the customer’s behavior. The press is full of comments on the negative side of large enterprises having too much data about us. But how about they stop spamming us with useless emails that we do

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Should You Move All Of Your Data to The Cloud? Here’s What You Need To Know

How do you manage, store, and secure your data?
For most businesses, data storage in 2019 takes place in the cloud – where content is both easily accessible and secure for a global workforce.
So, if you don’t have a cloud-based data storage strategy is it time you moved your data to the cloud?
The cloud is a blanket term for a data storage strategy that sends copies of your work to an online network, typically hosted by a third party. Cloud servers pride themselves on providing a product that makes data storage easier and more accessible for businesses.
But is it actually easier? Is cloud storage the best option available for you and your business?
To help you figure that out, I’ll run through a list of the pros and cons of cloud storage. As a

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Emerging martech implementation: From AI to blockchain – augment not alter the customer experience

Getting to grips with emerging technologies is the backbone of any digital marketer’s role. From artificial intelligence – whether it is process automation, chatbots or dealing with machine learning methods – to blockchain, the temptation to avoid ‘shiny new object’ syndrome and find a practical strategy for building and adopting technology is key.
A new report from independent consultancy R3 has explored a variety of new tech, including musings on the future Gen Z consumer and the future of retail, alongside the companies making it happen.
The 69-page Future40 report had a comprehensive methodology; hundreds of technology companies were analysed, of whom 40 – hence the name – made the cut because of their strategy, creativity and innovation. In other words, whether it was blockchain, VR, or another buzzword, the

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4 Smart Ways to Give Your Blog Content a Spring Clean

Another day, another content marketing piece that needs to be written, edited and published.
The constant churn of creating content for your business blog can be somewhat draining. 60% of marketers are creating at least one major piece of content on a daily basis, and many would agree that it is incredibly challenging to consistently make top quality content.
Chances are, you and your marketing team may feel a little bit overwhelmed and run-down from the pressures of content creation day-in and day-out. That’s why it’s the perfect time to take a step back and re-evaluate your current content library with a little spring cleaning.
Here’s how to do a blog content audit in just four easy steps.
1. Conduct a keyword audit
Auditing isn’t just something that comes around during tax season

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How Gen Z is changing the rules of social: Moving from demographics to true communities

Social media usage continues to evolve at a rapid rate – and as Generation Z continues to flood into the working world, its applications for both users and brands who wish to take advantage of it come into much sharper focus.
That is the idea behind the first in a new series of reports from ZAK, a London-based creative agency which purports to ‘create big brand ideas that engage under 30s’, in its own words. The first paper explores the disparity between mainstream social networks and gaming communities, and the lessons which can be learned for brands.
From interviews with 1,000 20-somethings – or indeed younger – the report found almost two in five (38%) use Facebook as a messenger service only. In other words, users are no longer spending

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Blink and you’ll miss it: How to get the most out of short-lived social content

It is no secret that social media marketing is an ever-moving target. Up until recently there was a firm belief that the longer content remained accessible the more impactful it would be. Now, as counterintuitive as it may sound, there is a swing towards short-lived content, which has to do with Instagram’s rise in popularity.
Instagram is increasingly being seen by brands as a dynamic platform from which to share their more informal side in an almost off-hand manner. Instagram is fully ingrained in our culture; celebrities make major announcements from it, people share their holiday photos on it, and even an egg has managed to find a way to cause a stir on it.
The figures speak for themselves. One third of the most viewed Instagram stories are currently

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Brian Solis: Digital addiction wounds run deep – but they are being treated like minor cuts

The concept of health when it comes to technology usage is an ever-increasing one – and one where users, brands and vendors need to be equally mindful.
Much of the conversation tends to focus around social or smartphone ‘addiction’, and in particular its effect on younger minds. Yet research on the topic argues that things are a little more complicated. The most recent study, from the University of Oxford, polled 12,000 adolescents and concluded the effects of social media usage on teenage life satisfaction was limited, arguing family, friends, and school life all had a larger effect on wellbeing.
Whether it is through social or otherwise, the smartphone remains a near-impossible temptation to resist whatever one’s age. According to Deloitte’s most recent Global Mobile Consumer Survey, US consumers check their smartphones 52

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Top 10 Social Media Analytics Tools For Business

Top 10 Social Media Analytics Tools For Business

Do you know which of your tweets perform the best?

What’s the best time for you to update Instagram with new posts?

Is your Facebook strategy working to convert traffic to leads ? Yes? No? Maybe?

You might be having a difficult time answering these questions without using a social media analytics tool. Today, most marketers are aware that they need some specific tools to measure their efforts.

There are a number of tools available that can analyze how your social channels are performing. The only catch is that a new tool is released every other day.

With so many options on the table, the question is what can be the best tool for your business?

Whether you need performance data of a particular campaign, Instagram or Facebook stories, or just an overview of your social media profiles, we have got your back. Let’s check the 10 top social media analytics tools to evolve your marketing strategy.

1. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is one of the best social media tools  to analyze and show how your website content is performing on different social media platforms. For example, Buzzsumo lets you know how many shares your blog have received on Twitter and Facebook.

You can easily grab attention from your targeted audience via social media channels. Hence, it is necessary to understand what most of your customers expect. Buzzsumo helps you get insights into the number of shares every piece of content gets and the type of content that performs best on each platform. This depends on the content type, length, and the publish date.

Buzzsumo for social media analytics tools

2. Google Analytics

Technically, Google Analytics is not a social media tool. But it’s still one of the best tools to measure social ROI and track social media campaigns . You might already have Google Analytics set up on your website for monitoring and analyzing traffic, you can also create and access reports that will be specifically related to social media tracking.

For example, you should be able to see how much traffic is coming to your website from social networks or can use UTM parameters for tracking particular social media campaigns.

Google Analytics for social media analytics tools

3. Quintly

Quintly uses social data for providing effective solutions to agencies, brands, and media. It allows businesses to validate their social media efforts with powerful analytics tools.

On average, Quintly offers 350 social media analytics metrics. As a business, you can leverage these statistics or even customize them to measure your goals effectively. Additionally, with Quintly, you can arrange all the relevant social media KPIs on a pre-existing or a customized dashboard.

Moreover, you have an option to observe all your channels and compare them with one another to have comparative insights.

Quintly for social media analytics tools

4. Viralwoot

Viralwoot helps you track all the underlying data of your boards. With the help of this tool, you can monitor the number of followers, likes, pins, and repins. It provides data in the form of a spreadsheet which makes sorting easy for you.

Viralwoot enables you to track the SEO level of your social media board in order to improve its search rankings . Moreover, it also provides you with trending keywords for Pinterest. With this tool, you can analyze your content as well, such as which is your most pinned piece of content.

Viral Woot for Social Media Scheduler and Analytics Platform for social media analytics tools

5. SproutSocial

SproutSocial offers social media management software  to help businesses implement effective social media strategies and accomplish desired goals. It includes a robust social media management tool that incorporates social analytics in detail.

With SproutSocial, you can access all the analytics related to various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter from a single platform.

SproutSocial shares multiple reports of your social media accounts. It includes an engagement report on your Facebook page to your task performance report.

6. Snaplytics

If there is one thing missing from most of these social media analytics tools it is recognition of Snapchat. Businesses may have to use a separate platform to check data from Snapchat as it doesn’t have a strong internal analytics tool.

Snaplytics helps you with data related to the snaps performance of your users. It also provides insight into Instagram Stories. With the help of this tool, you can track the completion as well as open rates over time to have a better understanding of much your audience is engaging with you. You can also track engagements, screenshots, and replies to determine where you lose your users.

With this tool, you can create a schedule of stories for both Instagram and Snapchat. It also helps you capture the incoming snaps and then repost them.

Snaplytics for social media analytics tools

7. Audiense

Audiense helps you leverage your users’ interests, get actionable insights, and create robust strategies for your business. It provides you with unique visual audience segmentation.

Audiense insights allow you to identify your targeted social audience. It offers numbers of filter options to create a report that can be used to ensure you that you’re targeting the right segment of your audience. You are able to integrate this tool with your own data in a convenient way.

Audiense for social media analytics tools

8. Iconosquare

Iconosquare is specifically used for Instagram. One thing that separates Iconosquare from other social media analytics tools is that along with analyzing your normal videos and images, you can have insights into Instagram stories . If you choose one of the higher plans, there is an option to get influencer analytics as well.

Iconsquare for social media analytics tools

9. Tailwind

When it comes to visual social media platforms, Instagram and Snapchat are the ones that most people talk about. In this competitive marketplace, Pinterest is active too. And to measure your Pinterest performance, Tailwind is one of the most popular tools to try.

With the help of this tool, you have an option to track your followers and engagement trends. You can analyze your audience. Tailwind also provides Instagram analytics with certain plans.

Tailwind for social media analytics tools

10. ShortStack

You must have heard of a social media contest , right?

Have you given it a go? Did you pick a winner? Did you analyze how your contest went? You can answer all these with yes when you check out and try ShortStack . This social media contest app provides performance analytics. Running a social media contest can be a great approach to attract the attention of your users. You can also give away some free gifts to encourage users to enroll for your contest.

Shortstack for social media analytics tools

Wrapping up

Undoubtedly, there can’t be a one-stop solution for analyzing all your social media platforms. All you can do is to check every option carefully and go with the one that will suit your needs.

With the above list, you now have knowledge of what each tool can do and how it can help you. I hope this will aid you to target your social audience in a more precise way.

Guest author: Ritesh Patil is the co-founder of Mobisoft Infotech that helps startups and enterprises in mobile technology. He loves technology, especially mobile technology. He’s an avid blogger and writes on mobile application. He works in a leading mobile app development company with skilled iOS & Android app developers that has developed innovative mobile applications across various fields such as Finance, Insurance, Health, Entertainment, Productivity, Social Causes, Education and many more and has bagged numerous awards for the same. Connect with him on  TwitterGoogle+ , and LinkedIn.

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The 7 Most Common Agile Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

The 7 Most Common Agile Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

Do you want to effectively pivot your marketing tactics based on incoming data?

What about getting visibility inside and outside the department into what marketing’s working on?

Or how about figuring out what’s messing up your process before it’s caused you to miss every single deadline this quarter?

If any or all of those are appealing, I have good news: the path to achieving all of those is paved with the exact same substance, namely Agile marketing. The second annual State of Agile Marketing Report from AgileSherpas and CoSchedule found that these are the top three benefits cited by Agile marketing teams.

The bad news? It’s a lot easier to get Agile wrong than it is to get it right.

I spend my days training marketing teams on how to translate Agile principles and practices to work in our unique world, so I’ve seen my share of missteps. In the hope of saving you some of this pain, here are the seven most common Agile marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Agile marketing mistake #1: Organizing around projects

You can hold daily standup meetings religiously, visualize your work meticulously, and otherwise follow Agile practices to the letter, but if marketers are sitting on a dozen different project teams none of it will make a whit of difference.

Rather than rearrange people to suit different types of project work, flow projects onto the teams best suited to handle them.

I recently coached a team who had heard me say this a dozen times, and they theoretically agreed with what I was saying.

But once we sat down and mapped out their current team obligations and compared that to how things would look in an Agile world, the light bulbs went off all over the place.

5 Reasons Not to Organize by Project for agile marketing mistakes

This marketing group supports multiple software products being sold around the world, plus they’re responsible for putting on global and regional events. Pre-Agile, every person on the team was flitting back and forth amongst 6-60 of these different obligations on a daily basis.

As you can imagine, it was taking FOREVER to get anything done.

Instead, we created four Agile teams who would focus on particular global regions. Whatever marketing work related to the products and events that matter to those parts of the world would be worked on by the team responsible for that region.

Agile team for agile marketing mistakes

In this modified version of the Spotify model you can see another way of looking at it. Here teams are organized by stage of the funnel.

However you choose to arrange your people, the important thing is to get out of multi-project purgatory and let groups focus on certain kinds of work.

Flow work to the right people; don’t force people to chase dozens of different projects.

Agile marketing mistake #2: Not aligning around strategic objectives

Agile is often closely associated with speed and efficiency, and that’s absolutely true. Our Agile Marketing Report shows that 36% of Agile marketing teams enjoy a faster time to get things released.

But without good alignment around strategic marketing outcomes, you’re just spinning the hamster wheel faster.

Ensure marketing leadership is creating (and communicating) marketing’s annual and quarterly objectives. Teams need to be confident that their daily work aligns to larger priorities.

And once those priorities have been established, don’t change them on a whim.

There’s nothing worse than coming up with a great project to support the new initiative and getting really pumped about it, only to discover that it’s been arbitrarily de-prioritized.

Support your Agile teams by clearly stating and sticking to big-picture goals .

Agile marketing mistake #3: Being rigid in your choice of framework

I often compare Agile marketing frameworks to flavors of ice cream:

Everybody has a preference, but in reality, one isn’t quantitatively better than the other.

The same goes for Agile frameworks in marketing. Most people have heard of Scrum; it’s nearly ubiquitous inside of software and IT. But being well known doesn’t make it perfect.

In fact, marketing teams get the most benefit from using a hybrid framework:

Hybrid framework for agile marketing mistakes

If Agile frameworks are like flavors of ice cream, marketers should be buying Neapolitan. We benefit from a broad spectrum of practices, so don’t limit yourself to a rigid implementation.

Agile marketing mistake #4: Assuming Agile marketing means all or nothing

If a department-wide reorganization is out of the question, and everyone works on a dozen projects simultaneously, does that mean Agile marketing is out of your reach? Definitely not.

You can begin by piloting Agile within a subset of the department, documenting their journey, and using it to inform a wider rollout.

Piloting Cross Functional Teams for agile marketing mistakes

If even that seems like a stretch, individuals can benefit enormously from using Agile practices in their own day to day work. In my content marketing days, I had a personal kanban board next to my desk, and I used it to navigate “urgent” incoming requests by showing everyone what I was already working on.

It’s amazing how visibility can turn “I need this yesterday! Drop everything you’re doing!” into “Oh, wow, ya…you’re really busy…and I need that other thing you’re working on. I can wait until you have time.”

Adopting Agile in an incremental, agile fashion is often just as effective as going all in.

Agile marketing mistake #5: Not insisting on limited work-in-progress (WIP)

One of the most paradoxical parts of Agile is its insistence that working on fewer things will let you get more done, but it’s a highly documented fact.

Limit the number of things you’re doing at the same time, and everything you work on will get done faster.

The big time suck here is what’s known as context switching, or the mental tax we pay every time we jump from one task to another.

Effects of Context Switching for agile marketing mistakes

Iterative frameworks like Scrum limit a team’s work in progress (WIP) by forcing them to confine their to-do list to a limited time box (known as the Sprint).

Flow-based frameworks like Kanban create ceilings on how many individual items can be in progress inside the team’s workflow, achieving a similar result.

However you choose to do it, don’t assume that you can dabble in Agile and get its benefits without somehow limiting your work in progress.

Agile marketing mistake #6: Dropping meetings without understanding them

I know just a few paragraphs ago I was telling you not to be overly rigid in your Agile adoption, but you also shouldn’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

If, for instance, your daily standup meetings feel overwhelming and unhelpful, don’t automatically assume it’s the meeting that’s the problem and stop having it.

Instead, consider WHY we have daily standup meetings in the first place, and if the way you’re managing this meeting is true to that core objective.

Are you spending all your time problem-solving? Do outside stakeholders butt in and make the meeting go long? Are you *gasp* only meeting once a week?

Interrogate your process and see if it’s setting you up for success before you abandon a core Agile meeting.

Agile marketing mistake #7: Leaving BAU work out of the backlog

Ok, this last one is pretty in the weeds, but my Agile coach soul just wouldn’t let me leave it off the list.

When you’re building your backlog (the prioritized to-do list that guides an Agile team’s work), don’t succumb to the temptation to only document strategic project work.

You must – and I mean MUST – include all the work that the team’s committed to.

If you don’t, “dark work” will creep in and derail your work without you knowing.

This applies to all kinds of teams, both those using Kanban and those using Scrum.

If you don’t put everything out there, Agile marketers will go off and put out fires, respond to “urgent” emails, and get pulled into meetings day in and day out, and your efforts to adopt Agile practices will all be for naught.

Visualize all the team’s work, even if you know it’s an absurd amount. Only by putting it all out in the open can you hope to eventually avoid mistake #5 and not limit your work in progress.

Avoid Agile marketing mistakes with education

Agile software development has been around for a couple of decades now, which means there’s no excuse for marketers to repeat their mistakes.

Sure, marketing and development are drastically different professions, but marketers at least have some frameworks to build on; we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Education remains the most commonly cited barrier to greater Agile marketing adoption, so get a running start and clear it by committing to ongoing learning. There are online courses, free webinars, tons of written content, and even a formal Agile marketing certification available to you.

No excuses – get out there and get educated so these mistakes won’t derail your Agile marketing adoption.

Guest author: An early convert to the ways of Agile marketing, Andrea loves nothing more than seeing a team evolve from a chaos to high performance. In addition to being trained as a Scrum Master and Product Owner, Andrea is a Certified Professional in Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC) and a Certified Agile Leader (CAL-1). She shares her findings (and failures) regularly from stages around the world as an international speaker on all things Agile marketing.

Andrea is a content marketer by trade and functions best when she’s writing regularly. Her most recent book, Death of a Marketer , chronicles marketing’s troubled past and charts a course to a more agile future for the profession. You can find more of her writing on the AgileSherpas blog .

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Data Storytelling: The Power of Data Visualization in Marketing

Data Storytelling - The Power of Data Visualization in Marketing

What is data visualization? It’s more than the sum of its parts, but the standard definition is that it provides a way to view data to either draw conclusions or tell a story to someone.

Data visualization can help reveal trends, patterns, and exceptions. It can empower businesses to make more informed, longer-term decisions as well as communicate with customers and prospects more effectively. You’re likely familiar with heatmaps, infographics, bar charts, pie graphs and scatter plots – but it’s more than these, too. Here’s why data visualization is so useful in the marketing world.

Make discoveries about users and customers

If you want to reach people, you have to learn about them first. There are lots of ways to research your likely customers:

  • Dive into website analytics like highest-visited pages, bounce rates, and conversion ratios .
  • Track marketing campaign results over time in terms of social media followers gained, impressions made and traffic increased .
  • Perform keyword research and build a word cloud that shows you which search terms are trending and worth targeting.

Data visualization makes it much easier to dive into statistics like these and pick out correlations and developments you might’ve missed otherwise. Distilling raw data into useful visualizations also makes it easier to communicate with colleagues and decision-makers within your company about your findings, and for multiple teams to collaborate on shared goals.

Show off complex data

Show off complex data for data visualization

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If data visualization helps tell stories, you need to figure out what kind of data your story needs to really “land” and make the most significant impact.

The human brain processes images, some say, 60,000 times faster than it processes text. Let that be all the motivation you need. But if you need more, know that infographics, how-to guides, and videos – all highly visual content – consistently rank high on lists of the most shareable online content types.

The obvious place to start is by building visually appealing graphics which “dress up” the raw numbers describing the capabilities of your product or service and how its effectiveness, design, sustainability or performance compares to the competition – or to last year’s model.

Visualizing data can help customers and clients connect with you in other ways, too. Think beyond your product and reflect on what your company does exceptionally: how many people you employ, how many lives you touch or improve or how much of your earnings you give back to the community. Do you have a plan to go carbon-neutral or fossil-fuel-free? Or, perhaps you have created a strategy to redress your recruitment targeting for greater inclusivity?

Maybe you’ve got an infographic on your hands here – or, you could build a microsite that illustrates, in real time, how much clean power your solar installation is generating. There are many ways your company stands out – and lots of ways to build a visual story around the numbers. Tell and show the public and your customers about your journey – and prove through data why you do things the way you do, and how it adds value to your product lineup.

Solicit and digest feedback more easily

There’s another class of data you can visualize, too: direct customer feedback. This can come to you in many forms:

  • Conduct social media polls
  • Send surveys by email
  • Visualize common phrases and trends from reviews and feedback

When any of us take an online poll or fill out a survey, there’s something immensely satisfying about getting to the end and being able to immediately see the results. How did our responses stack up against other people’s? Data visualization can give your customers an even more rewarding experience and more immediate feedback. It tells them they’re contributing to making your products or services better – and that they’re helping you prioritize your company’s possible next steps.

As a consumer, think about how powerful it could be to get a walkthrough of the product development process with visual aids, and to see in imagery rather than text what the trade-off might look like between two different product features or designs.

In addition to the customer-centric benefits, the decision-makers within your company will have a way to clearly understand what customers want, straight from the source. Poring over customer relationship dashboards and pulling in social media analytics information can be tedious – but infographics and other visualization tools can make it easier to plot a course.

How to find out what kind of data is useful

Your company has lots of data types that would translate well to visualization, but you have to find and organize it first. For a start, that means categorizing and prioritizing data according to the source.

First-party data comes from:

  • Direct actions and interactions that occur on your website or apps
  • Data your customers voluntarily supply, such as geographical areas, household details, etc.
  • Data from social media analytics
  • Purchase and subscription information

Second-party data is similar, but it comes from a source other than your audience:

  • Third-party website analytics
  • Customer surveys
  • Other industry sources

Third-party data includes:

  • Data captured by outside sources and other parties
  • Data purchased on exchanges

The benefits of organizing and categorizing data from these and other channels, using a data management platform, are clear. The better-organized and higher-quality your data is, the more precision you have while targeting your audience. A heatmap of geographical distribution can help plan expansions, for example. Plus, you’ll be able to triangulate and visualize your audience’s demographics, interests, hobbies and passions – and channel that data into videos, images, infographics, and advertisements that speak directly to them and result in more conversions.

How to find what data is useful for data visualization

Image Source

Filtering your branding and company message through compelling data can help you create a powerful narrative. One of the more exceptional examples of putting data to work in storytelling comes from Whirlpool. The company sat down with an abundance of organized data and connected the dots until they saw an opportunity:

  • The company learned that every day, 4,000 minors drop out of school.
  • Those who leave school early are 40% more likely to be unemployed later in life and eight times more likely to go to prison.
  • One of the most frequently named reasons students drop out is that they don’t have the means to wash their clothes at home and don’t feel confident in their appearance.

As a result of their research, Whirlpool decided to seize the moment and install clothes washers and dryers in schools around the country. The company helped kids do thousands of loads of laundry in the first year.

This anecdote is an example of where data becomes the story – and brings real-world visibility, literally, to one potential solution to a largely unnoticed but socially consequential problem. Whirlpool sold a lot of washers and dryers in the bargain, of course, but the community got something back, too, including greater awareness of trends that had so far gone underreported.


Data visualization lends context and specificity to your decisions, helps build a case for why the public should choose your brand over another and results in the design of world-class, eminently shareable content.

Guest authorFrom Pittsburgh, PA, Nathan Sykes is the founder of Finding an Outlet  and writes about business and technology on sites such as BestTechie, Simple Programmer, and TechTalks.

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Copyright, YouTube, and What You Need to Know to Stay Legal

Infringing on a copyright — whether it’s someone doing it to you or you doing it to someone else — brings consequences. YouTube takes the breach seriously and will take down the infringing video if it’s found to be guilty of violating copyright.

Worse yet, it also penalizes the offender with a strike. And just like in baseball, if you take three strikes, you’re out.

YouTube gives both you and your channel the boot if it gets to this point.

To ensure that it doesn’t happen to you, follow this advice:

Remember Who Owns the Copyright

It’s fairly simple: If you created the video, the copyright belongs to you; if you upload content created by someone else, the copyright belongs to that person and you need permission to use it.

As soon as the work is created, so is the copyright. And since 1992, there’s no longer a renewal process. Copyright lives with the creator — and even lives on for a period after the death of the creator.

Attribution Does Not Absolve A Copyright Violation

Let’s say you repost someone else’s video as your own. You already know that’s stealing and blatant infringement.

But let’s say you repost someone else’s video, or a good portion of that video, and you add a line saying, “Created by ___” and insert their name.

Is it still a breach? Yes. And it can earn you a strike and get the video blocked.

Basically, the law says that if you use someone else’s work in your video without that person’s permission, it doesn’t make it less of an offense just because you give the person credit.

You’re still in violation because attributing the creator doesn’t absolve you if don’t get permission.

Of course, there is “fair use,” something that only applies in certain countries. We’ll talk a bit about that in a moment.

Two Methods of Discovery

The first method is if someone notices that you’ve posted their content on your channel, they can notify YouTube and ask them to take action. This is a takedown notice, and it is a legal process, so don’t lodge one of these yourself unless you are absolutely certain you’re in the right.

The second method is Content ID Match, a system YouTube uses to automatically match content that violates copyright against the millions of videos uploaded every month to the site.

For Content ID to work properly, copyright owners have to upload so‐called reference files — original versions of their work that prove they own the rights.

Normally, record labels, movie studios, or TV stations go through this process for all the work they publish, so individual artists don’t have to worry about it.

Every new video uploaded to YouTube is checked against this huge library of reference files, and if there is a match, YouTube automatically files a copyright claim for the owner of the work.

It doesn’t matter if your aim is to make money from the videos you post or not. The rules are still applied the same way.

How to Get Permission to Use Copyrighted Material

While fair use is complicated (more on this in a moment) permission is not.

It’s often entirely possible to get permission to use someone else’s copyrighted material.


By asking.

A nicely written note explaining how you will use the content is often enough for a rights holder to grant permission.

Sometimes the permission comes with the restriction that you cannot monetize the material. If so, you’ll have to decide if you still want to use it or not.

And marketers, here’s a big bonus: If you ask a fellow marketer (regardless of your niche) if you can use his or her material in your own video because you love it, because it’s spot on, because it’s the greatest thing you’ve seen all month, etc…

…it’s entirely possible you might make a new ally / friend / partner in your niche.

It’s flattering to be told that something you created is so wonderful, someone else wants to incorporate it into their own project. Many a friendship and even business relationship has started this way.

Fair Use Is Complicated

Many misconceptions exist surrounding fair use. One of the most popular is that you can use anything you want as long as you don’t go beyond a certain time constraint or amount.

But it’s much more complicated than that.

In certain editorial situations, you can use copyrighted material without permission. And to avoid trouble, it’s best to fully understand these situations before proceeding.

Here a few generally acceptable uses to consider:

  • Criticism and reviews: Reviewing a movie or some form of music makes it perfectly acceptable to use copyrighted material without permission. For example, you might use a short clip of the work you critique.
  • Parody: If you’re poking fun at something, it can be acceptable to use content without first gaining permission.
  • Commentary: This one is broader and more general and depends on how you use the material. If it’s used just enough (and no more) to illustrate your point, it’s generally acceptable. For example, gamers on YouTube often record themselves playing a new video game and offer funny observations. This is, within limits, fair use.

These are general guidelines and most definitely NOT legal advice.

3 Strikes = A Lifetime YouTube Ban

You don’t want this on your record, nor do you want to lose your videos, all of your video views, comments and so forth.

Obviously, it’s best to avoid strikes altogether.

There are Two Types of YouTube Strikes:

  • Community Guideline Strikes: These can result from a variety of reasons, ranging from uploading objectionable content to having a misleading thumbnail or caption.
  • Copyright Strike: If someone lodges a complaint that you stole their material, or you get a Content ID claim lodged against you, either can be turned into a strike if you don’t appeal and win that appeal. Or another option is to remove the video, to prevent the strike from occurring.

Things You Should Know:

  • Every strike means you go back to school. With every strike, YouTube requires that you take an online course in ‘copyright school’ and then take a quiz to be sure you understand copyright regulations.
  • Strikes don’t last forever. As long as you don’t have three strikes, the strikes you do have will eventually disappear – usually after six months.
  • If found guilty, your fate rests with the lawful copyright holder. That person can decide if your video should be removed, flagged in certain regions or even monetized. Yes, that’s right: Even though your video may contain only a small portion of the person’s material, that person is entitled to all monetization proceeds. S/he can even put ads on your video if you haven’t already added monetization.

To Appeal, or Not to Appeal

If you get a copyright strike from YouTube, but you’re certain you’re in the right, then go ahead and appeal the strike.

But, if you’re not sure whether you can win (You know you did something you should not have done) then it might be better to wait it out until the strike expires.

Once you appeal a strike, your personal information goes to the person who claims to own the copyright. They can then possibly (highly unlikely, but possibly) sue you for copyright infringement.

If the situation gets to this level, try to work out an agreement directly with the copyright holder, and ask them to file an appeal with YouTube on your behalf. You’ve got nothing to lose by apologizing and asking for their help.

Last Thoughts:

Don’t use other people’s stuff on YouTube unless you’re certain it’s safe to do so. YouTube is amazing at detecting content that has already been posted to the site.

When in doubt, ask for permission.

If you are certain you are in the right, then appeal and get the matter properly cleared up.

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