29 Office Costume Ideas for Marketing Nerds & Tech Geeks

Halloween is a fun holiday, and it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It doesn’t have recognizable songs or vacation days associated with it, and it falls on a busy time of year for most people in the workforce.

But that doesn’t mean you should skip the festivities at your office Halloween celebration.

Click here to download our free guide to hiring and training a team of  all-stars.How many days of the year are you encouraged to dress up and goof around at work? Probably just one — Halloween — and even then, it can be hard to know what’s office-appropriate.

 

We want you to have fun this Halloween, so we’re taking the work out if it for you. We’ve compiled a list of DIY Halloween costume ideas that are easy to put together, inexpensive, and perfect for the digital marketer or tech professional.

If your family and friends don’t get your costume, your colleagues definitely will.

25 Office Costume Ideas for Marketing Nerds & Tech Geeks

Computer Costumes

1. Alt Text

Alt text isn’t just the metadata of an image published on the web — you could also say it’s an “alternative” fashion statement with the text to describe the era. This was HubSpot Director of Content Corey Wainwright’s office Halloween costume a few years ago. It’s great because you don’t even look dressed up if you have a casual office dress code, so you can just blend in.

To dress as alt text this halloween, break out your best 90s alternative garb — our coworker Corey went with black jeans, combat boots, and a flannel. Then, tape hyphenated text that best describes what you’re wearing, much like an image of your outfit would do online to help search engines read the file.

We edited a sash of alt text on to the alternatively dressed girl below, just to help you picture your awesome costume.

Computer costume of girl in 90s alternative outfit with alt text written across her shirtSource: That’s Life

2. SEO Ninja

Speaking of dorking out on SEO, you could be everyone’s favorite LinkedIn title — the SEO ninja. Dress in all black, buy a black ski mask, and tape keywords all over yourself. Voila … you’re an actual ninja — just one much more concerned with search engine optimization than lurking in the darkness.

seo-ninja-costumeSource: Pinterest

3. Mobile App

Wander around holding an appetizer — candy, cheese and crackers, chips and dip … whatever you have on hand. Boom. You’re a mobile “app.”

This costume also doubles as a great way to introduce yourself and make friends at a party.

mobile-app-costume.pngSource: Opportunity Max

4. Instagrammer

Want another way to turn handing out food into a costume? Dress up like a hipster and hand out graham crackers. You’re an “instant” “gram” cracker server — or, for short, an Instagrammer. Pun absolutely intended.

5. Ghostwriter

Have you ever written something for somebody else’s byline? Such is the life of a “ghostwriter.” Turn your author-less accomplishment into this year’s office Halloween costume.

To dress up as a ghostwriter, grab a white sheet and cut a hole for your head and arms. Dob some black ink spots on the sheet, get a book and one of those feather quills (or just get a feather, I suppose), and boo — you’re a ghostwriter.

ghostwriter-costume

6. Whitespace

Whitespace on the internet might just denote all the blank space you use to help your design stand out, but on Halloween, “whitespace” isn’t just the absence of space.

Dress in all white — add white face paint and a white wig if you’re ultra-committed. Then add a hint of color somewhere on the outfit, like a colored tie or scarf, or even a paint splotch. That color splotch will make the white space more prominent, transforming you into “whitespace.”

7. Error 404 Code

You’ve most likely encountered a funny error 404 page before, and you can make it a funny costume, too. Grab a sheet of paper, write “Error 404: Costume Not Found,” and tape it to your outfit.

 

A photo posted by RachAel Klopfenstein (@theklopf) on Sep 5, 2015 at 12:33pm PDT

8. (Monty) Python

If you’re into programming code, British comedy, and low-effort costumes, being (Monty) Python is perfect. Dress up in anything remotely snakelike in your closet: olive green clothing, snakeskin accessories, and fake vampire teeth that can serve as your fangs.

Then, to amp up the dork factor on this costume, add two coconuts or a gold chalice to embody Monty Python on his quest for the Holy Grail.

9. Facebook

Grab face paint or eyeliner and write “book” across your cheeks. Just like that, you’re the world’s biggest social network for Halloween.

And for your sake, we hope your colleagues actually get it:

Halloween-Jim_Bookface-Jim.jpgSource: AndPop

10. Unicorn

Here’s another tech-friendly, double-entendre costume: Be your own version of a tech unicorn. Here at HubSpot, we love this tech icon, and you can easily make your own version of a unicorn horn with help from this article.

aid2617087-v4-900px-Make-a-Unicorn-Horn-Step-10-Version-3.jpgSource: WikiHow

11. Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are nothing to joke about — they can seriously threaten your technology and data security. But on Halloween, you can dress up as a play on phishing emails for an easy DIY costume. All you need are a stick, a piece of string, and an envelope. Bonus points if you own a bucket hat and vest to complete the ensemble. Check out an amusing version of this costume below.

Email phishing Halloween costume with fishing rod with Passwords label as baitSource: Car and Driver

12. Copycat

“CNTRL + C” is the popular keyboard macro allowing you to copy items from one place to another on your computer. Well, here’s a technology spin on a classic Halloween costume. All you’ll need are cat ears, eyeliner-drawn whiskers, and a sheet of paper. Write “CNTRL + C” on the paper, tape it to your outfit, and you’re a “copycat.”

Girl in copycat Halloween costume with black cat makeup and CNTRL + C labeled necklaceSource: BuzzFeed

13. The Blue Screen of Death

You know the screen, even if you don’t know the morbid nickname the tech world has given it. This classic error screen is known for signaling the end of a computer’s useful life, and you know it when you see it. It causes so much stress on site, in fact, that the color alone is scary enough for October 31.

Believe it or not, there are official T-shirts you can get with the blue screen of death copy printed on them. Want to make your own? All you need is a royal blue t-shirt and a printed version of this horrifying error message to pin to it.

T-shirt with Blue Screen of Death error message printed on itSource: Spreadshirt

Emoji Costumes

14. Information Desk Girl

This genius professional found a golden (or, rather, purple) opportunity to be the “information desk emoji, the many gestures of whom we’ve all come to know, love, and use at some point in a text conversation.

The best part about this awesome tech reference is that you don’t need to alter your regular attire to make it work. As Naomi shows us below, it’s all in the hand gestures.

15. Dancing Girls Emoji

If you’re the owner of one of the nearly more than 1 billion Apple iPhones sold worldwide, you’re probably familiar with the dancing girls emoji, shown below.

The easiest version of this costume is to find a buddy and dress all in black together. If you’re committed to emoji authenticity, buy black bunny ears to complete the look.

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 2.13.14 PM.pngSource: Brit + Co

16. Heart Eyes

Are you just in love with Halloween? Prove it with this passionate emoji face. You don’t have to paint your entire face, chin to hairline, to get the Heart Eyes Emoji just right, but it certainly helps. It’ll also disguise your stress when you’re at your most focused during the day.

“This employee just seems to love her job, I can’t put my finger on why,” your manager will think … See how to paint this emoji onto your face below (you’ll need some help for this one).

Topical Office Costumes

17. Fully Vested

At work, “fully vested” usually refers to one’s ability to earn all matching funds of a 401(k) retirement plan. But for some, you just can’t help but picture someone wearing lots of sleeveless jackets at the same time. Now’s the time to personify that image.

If you work in a company where people would get the joke, put on a bunch of vests (at least three, but even more is encouraged), and that’s about it. You’re fully vested.

18. Nerd

What I love about the nerd costume is that it’s effortless and always unique — there are many ways to be a nerd in this day and age. Are you a tech nerd, a video game nerd, or a book nerd? The sky is the limit with this costume. Show up wearing glasses with your favorite accessories, such as a magic wand, book, or lightsaber, to complete the effect.

19. A Solar Eclipse

Last year, the solar eclipse took over the internet — and the country. As millions of people flocked to the path of totality to (hopefully) catch a glimpse of this rare event without burning their corneas, millions more made jokes about it on social media.

To dress up as a solar eclipse for Halloween, you’ll need a work pal to dress up as the sun and the moon with you. One of you wears black, the other wears yellow, and you both wear dark sunglasses. Then, at the Halloween party, the one dressed in black spends the whole time standing in front of the one in yellow.

Two girls dressed in solar eclipse costume at an officeSource: Pinterest

20. The ‘Evil Kermit’ Meme

If you haven’t heard of this mega-popular meme this year, you’ve probably seen it somewhere: It features Kermit the Frog, face-to-face with his evil twin, Evil Kermit. Evil Kermit looks identical, except for the black cloak.

For this costume, you and a coworker can keep it simple: You both wear green shirts, and one of you wears a black hoodie or jacket on top. If you really want to commit to the costume, you’ll spring for some green face paint to complete the ensemble. Walk around the party together, facing one another, for maximum effect.

evil kermit halloween.png

21. Eleven from Stranger Things

Eleven from Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things is universally beloved, and it’s a bonus that her signature look is a comfortable and easy-to-assemble costume. Rock your best Eleven with a dress, a denim jacket, and a box of Eggo Waffles.

the-stranger-things-actress-behind-eleven-doesnt-love-eating-tons-of-eggo-waffles.pngSource: Business Insider

22. Pokémon GO Trainer

Pokémon GO had roughly 45 million people walking around in cities glued to their phones last summer (I, among them). To pay homage to the explosion of this tech trend, you’ll need a t-shirt that’s red, yellow, or blue. Using fabric paint or permanent marker, write Valor (for red), Instinct (for yellow), or Mystic (for blue) on your shirt.

Spend Halloween walking around pointing your phone at objects, and you’re the spitting image of a Pokémon GO trainer. Gotta catch ’em all, right?

 

A photo posted by Odinia (@marshmallowsie) on Aug 9, 2016 at 4:44pm PDT

Group Office Costumes

23. Google Algorithm Update

Find a couple of office buddies for this one — one panda, one penguin, and one pigeon. You might be thinking, “what the heck is the pigeon algorithm update?” 1) It’s a thing, and 2) we checked Amazon for hummingbird costumes and there aren’t any cheap ones available.

google-algorithm-update-halloween-costumes.jpgSource: Opportunity Max

24. Black Hat and White Hat SEO

This is another SEO-related costume, and I think you can figure this one out on your own. I recommend wearing a black hat for one, and a white hat for the other, and having “SEO” embroidered on each one — which you can easily custom order.

Black hat with SEO label on topSource: SEO-Hacker

25. Series A Round of Funding

Get a bunch of people together, write the letter “A” on your shirt, and line up. (You could do subsequent funding rounds using the same principle, too.)

26. Snapchat Filters

Here’s another group costume idea that pays tribute to Snapchat’s filters feature.

There are numerous options that you and your team can choose from to embody this costume. You could dress up as vomiting rainbows, cat and dog ears, a flower crown, or a face swap, and this could be as DIY or store-bought as you’re interested in pursuing. For example, here’s some inspiration for a couple of the dog filters:

snapchatfilter.jpgSource: PopSugar

27. Snapchat Ghosts

Put a marketing spin on a classic Halloween costume by arriving as a Snapchat ghost. You’ll all need a white sheet and to pick which ghost you like the most.

maxresdefault-24.jpgSource: YouTube

28. PAC-MAN and Company

Here’s yet another awesome ghostly costume idea your whole team at work can get in on. Have your team lead wear the yellow pie-shaped garb of PAC-MAN, with each team member dressed as the multi-colored ghosts that roam the screen in this vintage arcade game.

Just make sure the team lead doesn’t actually try to eat the ghosts — you’re in an office, and you’re all technically on the same team.

Group costume with PAC-MAN, four ghosts and fruit from the vintage arcade gameSource: Meningrey

29. Instagram Filters

For this group costume, you’ll need white t-shirts and fabric markers. Draw an Instagram photo frame on the front of your shirts, and each team member can write a different Instagram filter‘s name inside the photo frame. Or, create frame props with different filters on them like the group did below:

M-nahalloween-1.jpgSource: Nails Magazine

The clothes don’t make the marketer, but the costume can certainly make the culture at your company. Find out what it takes to hire and train the best fits for your open roles in the free ebook, available below.

learn how to hire an all-star marketing team

Advertisements

“The Robin Hood of Algorithms”: Why LinkedIn’s New Feed Could Be a Game Changer for Marketers

LinkedIn announced today that it plans to overhaul its feed ranking system to help more creators get better engagement on the content they share.

The changes were spurred when the professional networking site discovered that the top 1% of content creators — also known as “power users,” or perhaps influencers — were receiving the vast majority of engagement with their posts.

Meanwhile, the remaining 98%, the site says, was “receiving less [engagement] than ever.”

Here’s how that skew in engagement happened — and how LinkedIn has changed its algorithm to address the problem.

Why LinkedIn Changed Its Feed Ranking Algorithm

Year over year, LinkedIn has experienced noticeable growth in overal engagement with posts appearing in its feed — an average increase of over 50%, the company says. 

Much of the time, that engagement results in a post going viral — that is, LinkedIn members engage with certain posts to the point where the content earns “tens of millions” of likes, comments, and reshares.

On the surface, that seems like a positive development. But, LinkedIn says, there was a problem: The engagement was not evenly distributed, and the site was “in danger of creating an economy where all the gains in viral actions accrued to the top 1% power users.”

Typically, the most popular posts on any social network tend to gain more visibility, which is what was happening to content shared by top influencers.

Emerging brands and content creators, meanwhile, were actually receiving less and less engagement on their posts.

creatoroptimization2

Source: LinkedIn

Besides the obvious issue of this uneven distribution of causing the “richest” content creators on the site — the influencers who already have a large following — to become “richer,” the lack of engagement with the remaining 98% of followers was actually discouraging them from posting again in the future.

That only exacerbated the virality gap, as less content-sharing altogether from the bottom 98% would lead to more eyes on posts from top influencers.

So, LinkedIn formulated a solution.

Why Linkedin’s New Algorithm Could Be a Game-Changer for Marketers

The changes to LinkedIn’s new ranking criteria is multi-fold.

Prior to this overhaul, the feed would prioritize posts according to how likely a given viewer was to engage with it — to like, comment on, or reshare it. That model also took into account the given viewer’s network, and how likely it was to respond to this content in kind.

What was missing was how likely the creator or poster of that content was to “appreciate” the engagement. To put that discrepancy into context, LinkedIn’s Bonnie Barrilleaux and Dylan Wang — who authored the company’s announcement — explain that for major influencers within “the top 1% of creators, one more like or comment from an unknown follower may not mean much.”

For smaller or emerging content creators, however, these likes and comments go a long away. According to Barrilleaux and Wang’s findings, creators who receive 10 or more likes on their content are 17% more likely to post again in the following week. 

That’s why the feed algorithm has been modified to include signals that indicate how much value the creator will place on viewer feedback received on a post. 

“The effect is that we are redistributing a little bit of the attention in the system from the power users to the other creators, so that no one is left behind,” write Barrilleaux and Wang. “This helps ensure that the ‘small’ creators who create high-quality posts can reach out to the community that cares about them.”

creatoroptimization3

Source: LinkedIn

Additionally, LinkedIn’s algorithm changes appear to be moving in a similar direction as that of Facebook, when the social media giant overhauled its News Feed to prioritize content from family and friends over that from Pages.

We’ve already covered the three pillars that LinkedIn’s new model takes into account when ranking creator content:

  1. How likely a viewer is to engage with a creator’s post
  2. How much that viewer’s network will want to see it
  3. How much the original creator will appreciate the first 10 likes of that post

But there could be a fourth, according to the figure below — which is whether or not the content creator is within the viewer’s network. 

creatoroptimization5

Source: LinkedIn

It’s also possible that these moves from LinkedIn could serve as a subtle nod to the drop in Business Page engagement and reach experienced by brands on Facebook — for some, a decline of 50%. 

LinkedIn’s algorithm change — especially within the context of boosting engagement for smaller, emerging content creators — does spark the question: Is this the company’s way of giving smaller brands and figures a chance to shine on another network, where it may have lost reach on another one?

Perhaps. But more than that, says HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar, LinkedIn is also responding to a growing user demand for a relevant, personalized experience.

“LinkedIn’s core job is to great a valuable experience for all users. Once a news feed becomes dominated by a small subset of users, then it starts to become less valuable to the broader community,” Bodnar explains. “The company is trying to deliver more value through more personalization.”

So, what kind of impact will this have on the bigger influencers — the top 1% of content creators on LinkedIn?

According to Barrilleaux and Wang, it won’t be much, pointing back to the overall growth in engagement received by all posts in LinkedIn’s feed.

“Taking 8% of the likes away from the top 0.1% still leaves them better off than they were a year ago,” they write. “These changes just help ensure that the rising tide is lifting all the boats in a fair and equitable fashion.”

But should this trend continue, LinkedIn could move further in the direction of Facebook, and re-allocate a growing amount of post engagement from top creators to emerging ones.

“This might not be a huge impact on top creators today but I think that over time they will continue to push in this direction,” says Bodnar. “The audience for posts from top creators could continue to decrease.”

LinkedIn says it will continue to observe and optimize its algorithm as these changes take effect.

6 Ways to Optimize Landing Pages

Inbound marketingThere’s a lot that goes into creating and running your digital marketing ads. Fully optimized ads include strong copy that leads directly to a page about that specific product or service. That page is called a landing page. Many businesses don’t realize the power of leading someone who clicks on an ad about a specific service to a landing page for that particular service, and instead, they just send them to their complete services page or their contact page.

Sure, those can work sometimes, but if you want to fully optimize your digital ads and increase conversions, you need a landing page.

More than that, you also need an optimized landing page.

What goes into a landing page?

A landing page is not an extremely complex thing to build. You can easily create one within your own website, or you can utilize tools like Leadpages and Clickfunnels, that have been created specifically to help create optimized landing pages.

Your landing page, whether it’s for a product, service, webinar, lead magnet, etc., should have copy that further explains what the page is for and an opt-in form, sign up form, or check-out option (specifically for lower-priced products included in shopping ads).

You want your landing page to be visually appealing with quality design and photos/graphics, but the main two elements are your copy and your form.

How do you optimize a landing page?

Let’s dive into how you create a landing page that’s both visually appealing and that works to generate leads and conversions. The most important part of your landing page is that it does its job after someone clicks to it from an advertisement. If your ad is showing great performance and a ton of people are clicking, but no one is converting, the problem is not with your ad; it’s with your landing page.

Here are six ways to optimize landing pages.

1. Align your landing page with your campaign goals.

If you’re running Google ads, their performance is also partially based on how relevant your landing page is to your advertisement. You need to have some of the same language or else Google will think the page you’re leading visitors to after they click is not relevant to the actual ad.

Furthermore, if you have several different ads promoting specific services, it’s a good idea to create a landing page specific to that service, rather than sending visitors to your overall services page. You want to give people exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to your landing page. If they clicked on an ad for HVAC replacement, you don’t want to send them to a page that also talks about plumbing if that’s another service your business offers.

Instead, you want to focus on what your goals are for your campaign: getting someone to request information on a specific service, growing your email list, selling a product, etc. Then, create a landing page that caters to those specific goals.

2. Create compelling headlines and copy.

You want your headlines to be simple and straight to the point. This is not the place to put fluffy, creative language. Instead, you want it to convey precisely what your visitors are going to find on that page.

You also want your copy to be straightforward. Copywriting is an art form in its own right. It’s different from blogging and creative writing because there is much less personality involved. Instead, it’s meant to sell. You’re letting visitors know exactly what your business does, how you do it well, and why they should hire you to do it for them.

3. Use visually appealing images.

Again, design is important. It’s the first impression that your visitors see. You want to make sure it’s a good one. Use graphics or photos that relate to your product/service but are still pleasing to the eye. Make sure they’re not too busy or overcrowding your landing page. Strategically place them near your form to capture eyes even more. 

Inbound marketing4. Craft a strong call to action (CTA).

This is one of the most important parts of your landing page: getting someone to take action. You’ve already gotten them to this landing page from an ad, so you’re almost all the way there. Now, you need to really entice your landing page visitor to fill out your form or buy now.

Use a large, brightly colored button with actionable text on it, like “Give me the top secrets to X now!” or “Yes, I need to learn more about X service.”

5. Place your form above the fold.

You want the opt-in form to be one of the first things that people see when they land on your page. If someone clicks through your ad, ready to go, you don’t want them to have to scroll around the page figuring out where they’re supposed to put their information to get a callback.

No, you want the form to be front and center (well, technically right-aligned performs best), and one of the first things that your audience is able to spot.

Above the fold means that landing page visitors can see it without having to scroll, so it should be in the first or second section within the page. If your page includes a lot of copy and necessary information, there’s absolutely no harm in having a second form at the bottom of your landing page to capture even more leads. But make sure you have one at the very top.

6. Optimize your form fields.

If your landing page is a top-of-the-funnel inbound marketing strategy, you don’t want to require a lot of information within your form. The further people get into the funnel, the more information you can request. However, at first, it’s best to stick with name and one essential method of communication, whether you prefer phone or email. (We recommend email so you can also add them to your email list.)

In a middle-of-the-funnel landing page, you can ask for two methods of communication, company name (for B2B), and other secondary information. In a landing page towards the bottom-of-the-funnel, you can include even more fields. 

The more likely someone is to work with your business, the more willing they are to give out more and more information, and spend more time filling out your forms.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to optimize your landing pages, contact us and we’d be happy to help!

 

Facebook Wants You to Think False News Efforts Are Working, But 52% of People Aren’t So Sure

Facebook today announced that three independent studies have found that the company’s efforts to fight the spread of false news on its site might be working.

The three studies — conducted respectively by New York University and Stanford University researchers, the University of Michigan, and French fact-checking organization Les Décodeurs — each found that the volume of false news on Facebook has decreased. Some found that, amongthe false news content present on the site, engagement with it had also gone down.

We recently ran a survey to see if users were noticing less spam on the social network, and despite today’s announcement, it seems like misinformation might not be totally eradicated just yet.

Here’s what each study found, and how it compares to what users report seeing on their News Feeds.

Three Studies of Facebook’s Fight Against False News

“Trends in the Diffusion of Misinformation on Social Media”

The first study — conducted by New York University’s Hunt Allcott, along with Stanford University’s Matthew Gentzkow, and Chuan Yu — observed the amount of engagement on Facebook and Twitter with content from 570 publishers that had been labeled as “false news,” according to earlier studies and reports. And while the study cites where it obtained this list of 570 sites, it doesn’t actually indicate what they are.

The team them used content sharing and tracking platform BuzzSumo to measure how much engagement — shares, comments, and such reactions as Likes — was received by all stories published by these sites between January 2015 and July 2018 on Facebook and Twitter.

The results: Following November 2016, interactions with this content fell by over 50% on Facebook. The study also indicated, however that shares of this content on Twitter increased.

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 9.53.00 AM

Source: Alcott, Gentzkow and Yu

It’s important to note that a U.S. presidential election took place in November 2016, for which Facebook was weaponized by foreign actors in a misinformation campaign with the intention of influencing the election’s outcome. 

Since then, Facebook has widely publicized its fight against the spread of such misinformation — which includes false news — and points to this study as evidence of that fight’s success.

“Iffy Quotient: A Platform Health Metric for Misinformation”

The second study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, relied a measure of false news engagement referred to as the “Iffy Quotient” — which takes into account how much content from sites known for publishing misinformation is “amplified” on social media.

Why such a non-committal word, like “iffy”? According to the study, the name is a tribute to the often mixed, subjective definitions of what constitutes “false news.” In this case, it includes “sites that have frequently published misinformation and hoaxes in the past,” as measured by such fact-checking bodies as Media Bias/Fact Check and Open Sources.

This study largely utilized NewsWhip: a site that measures the most popular links shared on social, as well as the engagement — again, shares, comments, and such reactions as Likes — received by each link. 

The researchers then isolated the links from NewsWhip that were classified as “iffy,” examining how much engagement they received over time, between January 2016 and September 2018. 

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 10.17.51 AM

Source: University of Michigan

The results, according to the study’s authors, aligned with those of the first study, showing “a long-term decline in Facebook’s Iffy Quotient since March 2017.”

“False Information Circulates Less and Less on Facebook”

Finally, a study conducted by Les Décodeurs — a fact-checking division of  French newspaper Le Monde — concluded that Facebook engagement with content from publishers classified as “unreliable or dubious sites” has decreased by half within France since 2015. 

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 10.37.23 AM

Source: Les DécodeursTranslation: “The weight of unreliable and doubtful sites has decreased in three years. Share of different categories of sites in the commitment (shares, comments, “likes”) on Facebook. “Sites peu fiables” = “unreliable websites.” “Sites douteux” = “doubtful websites.

What Do Users Report Seeing on Facebook?

While the above three studies point to the possible success of Facebook’s efforts to curb the spread of false news and misinformation, the group of users we surveyed might not yet be seeing the impact of Facebook’s anti-spam measures.

We asked 831 internet users across the U.S., UK, and Canada: In the past six months, have you noticed more or less spam on your Facebook News Feed?

In the past six months, have you noticed more or less spam on your Facebook News Feed_

Over half of respondents report seeing more spam in their News Feeds over the past six months: a figure up from the 47% who reported seeing more spam in their feeds in July 2018, when we ran a preliminary survey.

During that same time, we ran another survey in which over 78% of respondents indicated that they would include “fake news” in spam content.

These combined findings raise a question: If independent research, which Facebook says it did not fund, points to such success in its efforts to curb the spread of false news, why does a growing number of users report seeing more of it in the News Feed?

There could be a number of explanations, one being heightened awareness. Since first discovering that it was weaponized for a coordinated misinformation campaign leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook has been more forthcoming about further evidence it finds of bad actors misusing its site for similar purposes.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported today that — according to its sources — the bad actors behind a September data attack that scraped the personal information of 30 million Facebook users were “spammers that present[ed] themselves as a digital marketing company … looking to make money through deceptive advertising.”

With such stories continuing to make headlines, it could be that Facebook users are more attuned and sensitive to the possible misleading or spammy nature of the content they see in their News Feeds, causing them to report seeing more misinformation.

That sensitivity could be compounded by the looming days remaining before the 2018 midterm elections in the U.S., where the highest percentage of respondents in our survey reported seeing more spam in their news feeds.

Responses by Region (2)-1

The imminent timing of such a pivotal event could also heighten user awareness, as the topic of the midterm elections continues to dominate headlines, national dialogue, and televised ads. Consider, too, that our research also shows that about a third of internet users don’t believe that Facebook’s efforts to prevent election meddling will work at all. 

But as Facebook’s various efforts — or, at the very least, the attention the company strives to draw to them — continue, so will our measuring of user sentiment be ongoing. Stay tuned.

Email Sign Up Forms: How to Increase Email Sign Ups With Better Forms

In 2017, there were 3.7 billion email users across the globe. That number is expected to reach 4.3 billion by 2022. With half of the world’s population on email, and the ability to reach people at any time of day, email marketing remains a crucial technique to build a customer base.

So how do you attract people to your email list? There are a few important steps, but it all starts with an email sign up forms.

What Is An Email Sign Up Form?

An email sign up form is used to collect email addresses from leads and potential customers. These forms are are embedded on a webpage where a visitor can enter their email address in a form field to be added to your email newsletter. 

A lead might provide their email address for any number of reasons — to receive details about sales, blog post notifications, a discount code or information about your business. Either way, that makes your email sign up form one of the most important things on your site. And while they’re simple to create with the help of a form builder, you’ll still need to put some time and thought into how you build, format and embed your form. 

Let’s go over some ways to create a sign up form that will get more leads on your email list.

5 Email Sign Up Form Best Practices

Whether you’re looking to reach ten people or ten million, you’ll need to create a sign up form that gets people excited to sign up.. Here are some best practices that will help you create a high-converting email sign up form

1. Make the Value Exchange Clear

Your leads should be able to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” when they complete your form. An email address is a valuable commodity and it should be worth their while to sign up. Add a short description to the top of your email sign up form that describes what your lead will get in return for signing up and make it good. For example, instead of saying, ”Sign up for our weekly newsletter” you should say, “sign up for our newsletter and receive exclusive deals and offers.” A strong incentive means your website visitors are more likely to convert.

2. Use a Double Opt-In

You don’t necessarily need more sign-ups as you need quality sign-ups. You need people who actually want to receive your emails — more is not always better. Ensuring quality sign-ups means less fake leads wasting your time and less chances that you’ll end up in the SPAM folder or blacklisted

To ensure quality sign-ups on your form, consider using a double opt-in. This is the type of email subscription that confirms your lead wants to be added to your email list twice. The first time is when the lead enters and submits their information using your web form, and the second time requires the lead to click an additional CTA (usually in their inbox) that confirms their submission. A double confirmation means a high-quality relationship with your leads.

3. Keep It Simple

A lead should be able to look at the form, enter their information, hit “submit” and carry on with their lives within a matter of seconds. Successful email sign up forms are straightforward and clear. If your form is too complex, you risk losing the interest of your website visitors.

Don’t get greedy and ask for too much information right away — if you do, there is a large chance you will turn people off and drive them away from your website. Keep your email sign up form as a way for visitors to sign up for emails.

4. Consider Place and Time

The placement of your email sign up form on your website matters. You should think about how you want your website visitors to find your form. For example, do you want your form to pop-up on the page the second someone lands on your website? Do you want them to scroll down to the bottom of your homepage to find your form? Or do they need to land on a specific page on your site?

Form placement isn’t one-size-fits-all. Think about where most visitors land on your site, how your buyer personas want to interact with your brand and the overall user experience.

Consider questions like, “Will my target audience get frustrated with a pop-up the second they enter our site, or will they find it helpful?”

5. Send a Kickback Email After Submission

Once someone completes your form, thank and welcome them. 

A kickback email is an email that gives your new lead something in return for their information. In the case of an email sign up form kickback email, you’ll want to welcome your new lead and perhaps offer them links to useful content. Thank them for their interest and get them excited about their decision to give you their personal information. This is also where you can provide your new leads with their discount codes, details on future sales, why you value their interest in your business, and how you will support them in the future.

Five Great Email Newsletter Signup Form Examples

Now that we’ve reviewed email sign up form best practices, let’s dive into some examples to provide you with some inspiration while creating your own form.

HubSpot’s Marketing Blog

hubspot-marketing-blog
SourceHubSpot
 
HubSpot’s marketing blog has an email sign up
form with clear benefit statement. Any website visitor could look at this subscription landing page and understand what they will get from signing up in a matter of seconds.

By using a separate landing page for this form, HubSpot is able to eliminate any confusion about what leads are signing up for.

There is also a feature on the form that requires leads to determine whether or not they want to sign up for a daily or weekly subscription. This provides clarity for the lead signing up and ensures a quality subscription for HubSpot.

theSkimm 

the-skimm-sign-up-form

Source: theSkimm

When you head to theSkimm’s website, the first thing you see is their email sign up form. That’s because their entire business revolves around a subscription. theSkimm is a daily email about the top news stories around the globe, so it would only make sense for their homepage to contain their sign up form. 

Above their email sign up, there is a short, straightforward description about how theSkimm works. They provide leads with social proof by mentioning the “millions” of other people who have subscribed to their emails. And lastly, they show a bit of personality and humor with a line beneath the form that says “Still on the fence?” and allows potential leads to read their latest newsletter as well as check out a few celebrity Tweets about how great theSkimm is. 

the-skimm-sign-up-form

Source: theSkimm

Anthropologie

anthropologie-sign-up-form

Source: Anthropologie

Anthropologie places their email sign up form towards the bottom of their homepage after users have had a chance to look around and become familiar with the site. Their signup form has a short description about what leads can expect once they sign up . Anthropologie also respects their visitors’ time by simply asking for an email address to sign up.

Lulus

lulus-sign-up-form

Source: Lulus

Lulus form is located towards the bottom of their homepage. Their email sign up form gets website visitors excited about converting with an offer: a 10% discount code upon sign up. The form is simple and only requires an email address. After form submission, new leads receive a kickback email that welcomes them and also provides them with the code, as promised.

Quest Nutrition 

quest-nutrition-sign-up-form
SourceQuest Nutrition

Quest Nutrition’s form is in a pop-up window that dims the background, eliminating any distractions. The form offers incentives like recipes, discounts and surprises for visitors to sign up. Only an email address is required to sign up. Website visitors have the option to bypass the pop-up and look around the site instead.

Conclusion

Email sign up forms are a simple, efficient and effective way to obtain leads, create more conversions, and increase your overall sales. You’ll reach your audience with email sign up forms that are straightforward and embedded on a convenient location on your website. So, take a few minutes to create your own email sign up form and get started broadening your customer base, developing relationships with your potential customers and increasing your number of leads today. 

What is an Early Adopter? A 3-Minute Rundown

In 2011, there were 150 marketing technology companies scrambling to convince the business world that digital was the future of marketing. Today, that number has exploded to nearly 7,000 companies. And they’re all battling each other to win a spot in the technology stack of almost every business in the world.

By now, digital marketing doesn’t need to be categorized. It’s just marketing. But what happened in the last seven years that took digital from fun, little side projects to most companies’ main form of marketing?

Obviously, the rising popularity of the internet, social media, and smartphones played a huge role in taking digital marketing mainstream. But there was also a pivotal group of companies who drove its momentum: the early adopters of marketing technology.

Acquiring early adopters is a crucial step in the development and potential of an early-stage product or technology. Early adopters can provide a lot of helpful feedback about a product’s or technology’s pros and cons. They also inject these companies with revenue that funds the research and development needed to enhance the product or technology enough to gain widespread adoption.

Early adopters’ experience with and pending endorsement of a new product or technology is vital for determining whether or not the majority of the population will accept the new product or technology. Their support and word-of-mouth marketing for a new product or technology can bolster its reputation and help the company acquire more customers.

But early adopters aren’t helping out ambitious start-ups for altruistic reasons — this partnership is mutually beneficial and produces synergy. For instance, by providing companies with the vital feedback and revenues that can refine their product or technology and take it mainstream, early adopters get unique access to a potentially advantageous new product or technology.

Early adopters also receive first-class customer support, like a dedicated employee to help implement and run the product or technology, or generous discounts and terms and conditions, in exchange for dealing with the bugs that most early-stage products and technology have.

This mutually beneficial relationship doesn’t offset the risk that early adopters face for adopting a new product or technology, though. Even though customers get generous discounts, the newly released product or technology is usually still expensive. It also might be incompatible with an early adopter’s products or the trend the technology is trying to leverage could die out.

For example, early adopters of content marketing software bet that content would be the future of marketing. Fortunately, they won that bet. But early adopters of artificial intelligence and virtual reality risk losing a lot of time and resources on a technology that could just be all hype.

Technology Adoption Curve

The term “early adopters” comes from the technology adoption curve, which was popularized by the 1962 book Diffusion of Innovations, written by Everett Rogers, a professor of communications at Ohio State University.

The technology adoption curve shows the acceptance process of a new product or technology, according to the demographics and psychographics of each group in a population. The curve has a normal distribution.

Image Credit: On Digital Marketing

As you can see from the graphic, early adopters are the second group to adopt a new technology or product. The first group is called innovators, and the ones who adopt the technology after the early adopters are the early majority, late majority, and laggards, respectively.

Each group has unique characteristics, which influences their decision to adopt new technologies before or after they became mainstream. Here’s a general description of each group:

Innovators

  • Youngest group of consumers or companies
  • Most prosperous
  • Most connected to outside sources and innovators
  • Most risk-taking
  • More educated
  • Respected in the community

Early Adopters

  • Younger groups of consumers or companies
  • More prosperous
  • Well connected with the community
  • More progressive
  • Most educated
  • Thought leaders of the community — opinions are held in high regard

Early Majority

  • Older group of consumers or companies
  • Above-average to average prosperity
  • Connected with early adopters
  • More conservative but open to new ideas
  • Above average to average education
  • Above average to average activity and influence in the community

Late Majority

  • Older group of consumers or companies
  • Average to below average prosperity
  • Connected with the early majority
  • Staunchly conservative — approach innovation with a lot of skepticism and will only adopt technologies if they’re proven and the majority of the community has adopted the technology
  • Average to below average education
  • Average to below average influence in the community

Laggards

  • Oldest group of consumers or companies
  • Least prosperous
  • Virtually no connection with the community
  • Extremely conservative and traditional — will adopt technology when its the only remaining option to complete a task
  • Least educated
  • Little to no influence in the community

From Hype to Reality

Early adopters played a key role in taking digital marketing technology from hype to reality. And if you’ve just developed a new product or technology, no matter what industry you’re trying to penetrate, recruiting a loyal group of early adopters could do the same for you too.

A Simple Explanation of Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees

There are two types of employees — “exempt” and “non-exempt”. You might’ve seen these terms on job postings, or heard them in conversation.

If you aren’t sure what they mean, don’t worry — here, we’re going to break them down.

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees

One of the biggest differences between exempt and non-exempt employees is overtime pay. An exempt employee is not entitled overtime pay by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Instead, exempt employees are given a salary, and they are expected to finish the tasks required of them, whether it takes 30 hours or 50. Exempt employees are also excluded from other FLSA protections afforded non-exempt employees.

To be exempt, an employee must earn a minimum of $455 per week, or $23,660 per year, in the form of a salary, instead of on an hourly basis.

The most common roles considered exempt include professional, executive, outside sales, and administrative.

On the flip side, non-exempt employees must be paid overtime — one-and-a-half times their hourly rate, for any hours worked beyond 40 each week. As the name implies, they are not exempt from FLSA regulations.

Most non-exempt employees must be paid federal minimum wage ($7.25 in 2018). Non-exempt employees can be paid either a salary or an hourly wage.

Let’s consider this example to demonstrate the difference between exempt and non-exempt:

Sarah, who is an exempt employee, is stressed because she hasn’t finished her proposal due Monday. She spends most of Friday night tweaking it and finishing it up, staying at the office until late. On Monday, she gets her paycheck — the same amount of money she would’ve gotten if she hadn’t stayed late.

Meanwhile, John, who is a non-exempt employee, chooses to take extra shifts and work overtime on Friday’s. He doesn’t have to — he could leave at 5 p.m. if he wanted to, but on Monday when he receives his paycheck, he knows he’ll receive extra money from the overtime hours worked.