What the Health?

I watched a documentary called "What the Health" on Netflix over the weekend. The film argues the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet and avoiding animal products altogether. 

It's one of the most comprehensive arguments I've observed. The facts are all there.

Long story short... 

My wife and I are now considering how we can focus our dietary habits more toward a plant-based diet. I'm certainly not saying we will become full-blown vegans for the rest of our lives, but we are investigating how to veer away from meat more often. 

I highly recommend streaming the film on Netflix. I've also embedded the entire film below in case you are not a Netflix subscriber. 

As a bonus, we may even be ordering the official cookbook. 

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LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

Maybe you've heard about LinkedIn's progress surrounding their advertising options for businesses. Ever since they were acquired by Microsoft, the network's capabilities have extended and the allure for companies everywhere has elevated greatly. 

One example of this is LinkedIn's new Lead Gen Forms. It's a fantastic way to create lead capture forms natively within LinkedIn, rather than forcing users off of LinkedIn to a third party site. 

We are seeing more of this pop up on websites with strong user bases but LinkedIn's targeting capabilities are what makes this such an appealing advertising option.

To help you with getting started with LinkedIn's Lead Gen Forms, I walk you through the steps that will set you up with your first ads. If you have any questions after reading, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask. 

#1 – Choose The Ad Type

Depending on your goals and KPI's, you will want to select the ad type that will help you meet your goals. Advertisers can select Sponsored Content, Text Ads, or Sponsored InMail as ad types within LinkedIn. 

#2 – Choose Your Settings and Language 

Enter a meaningful name for the campaign and then select the language of your content and what you’d like to happen after someone clicks your ad. Then click “Next >” to proceed with Lead Generation Forms.

#3 – Choose Content You’d Like to Sponsor

There are a couple options to get started. Option one is to select existing content that will appear as “Sponsored Content” and will be shown in newsfeeds.  or create a new post to promote. The second option is to choose “Direct Sponsored Content”, which will send customized messages to your audience segments (you’ll need Company Page Admin permission).

#4 – Create a New Form 

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create a form template that describes your offer. Simply enter your offer headline and offer a deal. Take the time to ensure that your headline and offer are compelling and speak to the needs of your target audience.

#5 – Identify Your Desired User Information

Depending on what information your team has determined is most beneficial for your campaign, select up to seven pieces of data you’d like to collect from each prospect.

#6 – Create A Custom Thank You Message

You can also determine what message your prospects see after submitting their form. This is a great opportunity to redirect the user to your company website for more information.

#7 – Define the Call-To-Action

Depending on your goal, you may want a prospect to sign up, download or request more information. Make sure that your CTA properly aligns with your ad message.

#8 – Specify Your Demographics

In order for an ad on LinkedIn to be effective, you must target your audience appropriately based on your message. You can select everything from locations and industries to specific job titles and even fields of study or skills.

#9 – Choose Your Budget and Time Period

You can choose to either pay when someone clicks on your ad, or pay based on the number of impressions. LinkedIn will also recommend a bidding strategy based on what other advertisers are doing. Typically, it will be best to start out by using LinkedIn’s recommended bid but you should optimize once you see which ads are performing best.

#10 – Review, Confirm, & Optimize (Continuously)

Keep a close eye on the performance of your ads and form completion to identify what is working best, and which ads to pause. That way you can optimize ad performance to increase results.

Test LinkedIn’s New Lead Generation Features

As you will notice, LinkedIn’s new Lead Generation Forms offer a way to make it easier for targeted audiences to convert based on your offer. By removing a barrier, these one-click conversions can help fill your customer database and encourage participation from targeted audiences.

Art Williams: "Just Do It!"

Here's some inspiration in case you're ever feeling lazy.

Here's some motivation for when you catch yourself complaining or making excuses. 

Here's the kick in the a$$ you need when you aren't pumped up to get your work done.

Art has an almost hysterical way of proving that everything we want out of life always comes down to two simple words...

"Do It!"

A Decentralized Internet

When the hit HBO show Silicon Valley's startup Pied Piper announced they would work on a "Brand new internet" at the end of last season, it sounded vague and utterly impossible. Little did we know, though, that there was a real company already building exactly that in stealth mode.

The company is Blockstack and they just announced their product - The Blockstack Browser.

In short, this browser is built using the Blockchain, which is the decentralized technological underpinning powering the growth of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. 

To ensure clarity, here's a snippet of their announcement and a description of what it actually is. 

Today we are proud to announce the Blockstack browser, which allows developers everywhere to access a whole new internet. This new internet changes the dynamic and brings the power back to the people. Developers can build apps on this new internet by downloading the Blockstack Mac or Linux app (Windows coming soon) and by using nothing more than existing browsers like Chrome or Safari or Firefox.

Blockchain technology powers this new internet. For the first time ever, you’ll be able to access people, communities, apps, and services built on the blockchain from your browser. This new internet reflects how people interact with each other naturally, as they have for thousands of years. In open marketplaces and societies, people transact directly with other people to offer advice, goods, and services. Human interaction has never needed a middleman. The internet should work how real life works.

 Finally, here's Muneeb Ali's TED talk about creating this "Brand new internet."

Basic Income

If you've never heard the arguments for allowing every human being to gain access to a basic level of income, this is a good place to start.

It's an interesting stance and one that is worth the debate.

What do you think about this concept? 

Shop Differently

With Black Friday today, and Small Business Saturday being tomorrow, and Cyber Monday being on Monday, we're all bound to spend a bunch of money on some great deals this weekend. 

Before you do, consider who you are buying from. Etsy, for example, is a great often overlooked site filled with amazing gift options that are handmade by a community of artists. 

This holiday season, shop smart. Shop differently. 

Before the Flood

I thought it would be interesting to watch Leonardo DiCaprio's new National Geographic film, Before the Flood. 

It's worth the watch. View the description and the full embed below:

Join Leonardo DiCaprio as he explores the topic of climate change, and discovers what must be done today to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.
➡ Subscribe: http://bit.ly/NatGeoSubscribe
➡ Get the soundtrack on iTunes: http://apple.co/2e6e9dq

The Secret Powers of Google Tag Manager

Tag Managers exist to manage all of the third party tags in one centralized place. They have made installing and activating tags much easier. It was a logical and necessary evolution for website management.

What I didn't expect to see, years later, is how Tag Managers would become a multi-purpose asset to a website - an asset that would manage far more than just analytics codes. 

Most notably, you can inject Javascript on page load that search engines will be able to read and render. This means you can now embed hreflang markup for multi-language websites, override titles and meta descriptions, and add Schema markup wherever needed.

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There are also dozens of third party integrations that allow for easy implementation of some of the apps you may already be using. This makes setup (and maintenance) that much easier to manage. 

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Below is the general Google Tag Manager video. If you have any questions about how it works, I'd be happy to help you get started with Google Tag Manager.