A really amazing optical illusion has been making the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms lately. And, I must admit, I couldn’t help but participate in spreading it too. Here it is [Instructions: look at the red dot on the lady’s nose for 30 seconds, then turn your eyes on a plain surface (white ceiling or clean sheet of paper) and blink as fast as you can]:
If you do it right, you’ll see this picture of Deepika Padukone, a famous Bollywood actress. Regardless of that “HM” in the bottom right-hand corner, I couldn’t confirm that the spread of this viral optical illusion “campaign” was initiated by H&M. In fact, it appears that this particular illusion is based on a photo taken from Padukone’s endorsement photoshoot of Sony Cyber-shot cameras (which you can see her holding in her hand).
Whatever it was, this brings up a very interesting idea for creating viral marketing campaigns based on optical illusion. And it is also very easy to create these negatives! For example, as shown below, to do it in Photoshop you go to Image > Adjustments > Invert (or simply hit Ctrl+I). Just remember that the colors of the original “focus dots” will change too.
If you have Windows 7, the Magnifier tool will do this for you too [see “how to” instructions here].
Are you using optical illusions for viral marketing yet? I say, it is worth a try. Coupled with smart Social Media marketing, it can bear really good fruit. Just remember to also look beyond the fun, setting measurable goals (yes, “likes” and “ReTweets” but, ultimately, leads, subscriptions, and conversions), diligently tracking them.
Infographics are powerful data visualization tools, but have you ever thought of using them for personal branding?
I’ve got some great news for you today — not only the above is possible, but there are also a number of free online tools you can use to create them. Here are three of my personal favorites (by the way, as all of my posts, the below one is not sponsored in any way, but reflects my personal experience(s) and preference(s)):
1. Vizualize.me [website | Twitter]
They do exactly what they promise — “visualize your resume in one click.” You just sign in with your LinkedIn username and password, and they do the rest. Furthermore, you may customize your infographic choosing between 6 different “themes”, and also tweak your “styles”. Click on the below “thumbnail” of mine to see what to expect from the default (read: non-customized) output:
2. re.vu [website | Twitter]
Even thought I’m listing this one second, it is by far my most favorite tool out of the three. Their slogan — “Don’t send a resume. Share your story.” — deeply resonates with my own approach to things (from training and speaking to raising up my daughter). They also have a “LinkedIn Importer”, which pulls all your information from your LinkedIn profile, after which you can customize it by hand. Click the below image to see how my default infographic ended up looking like:
3. Brazen.me [website | Twitter]
This Facebook app by Brazen Careerist allows you to create an infographic-type resume by pulling data both from your Facebook profile, and from your LinkedIn account. 10 “color schemes” are available for convenient customization. Also, their “Career Portfolio” function is fun to check out. Here’s what my Brazen infographic looks like (click the image to view the dynamic version):
As always, I want this post to be a learning experience for all of us. So, if you’re particularly fond of other related tools, please do mention them below.
Yesterday, Brian Clark (aka Copyblogger) tweeted:
Brian was referring to Jon Thomas‘ post earlier this week where the latter has quoted ExactTarget‘s recent findings from a truly interesting 2012 Channel Preference Survey:
So, 91% check their email daily (and 77% name it as “their preferred channel for permission-based promotional messages”). Additionally,
besides what’s also reflected above other studies reveal that between 27% [see here] and 34% [source] of consumers use their mobile devices to check that email. Combine this with Michael Becker‘s recent statement that by 2015 more people will access the Internet via mobile than wire line broadband [video here], and the latter percentages will most likely only increase with time.
Mobile is an extremely powerful medium. Combined with email it can exemplify a nearly perfect marketing marriage.
Are you keeping the above data in mind? Are your emails optimized to deliver the best experience when viewed on mobile devices? Are the landing pages you’re calling them to visit optimized for mobile?
When I look at my Google Analytics reports, analyzing specifically the “mobile devices” that my visitors use to access the website I see that iPads top every other device (i) driving more traffic (55.5%) than any other device in the category, (ii) registering more “pages per visit” than any other device, and (iii) keeping people on my website for nearly twice as long as its closest “competitor”:
But is this iPad’s tremendous lead really that surprising? If you’ve ever tried browsing the Web using an iPad — having a chance to compare it to a similar experience on any mobile phone — the answer is obvious: the disparity is just as tremendous.
Earlier today MarketingCharts.com has published some interesting statistics on mobile shopping quoting RichRelevance’s recent study — where the latter have analyzed nearly 4.5 billion shopping sessions that have occurred at US retail websites between April 2011 and March 2012 and arrived at a number of interesting graphs including the below ones:
Again, the numbers in that fourth chart are hardly surprising! Whether this is because iPad users are more affluent than others, or simply because it is considerably more convenient to shop from an iPad than from a mobile phone; but it does seem like it’s high time to finally introduce a third category — one that would combine tablets (such as iPads, Eee Pads, Nooks, Kindles, etc) and netbooks, segregating them from computers (desktop and laptop ones) and definitely from mobile phones.
Happy to hear your thoughts on the subject. That’s what the “Comments” area is for, and should you have anything to add, I’m all ears.
It seems like only yesterday I was working on my “Sixteen Thousand Tweets Later” blog post (
well, in reality, it’s already been 8.5 months since that date), and today I’m celebrating another milestone — 20,000 Tweets.
Funny, but even though the number of Tweets since my above-quoted post has increased only by 25%, the number of my followers has nearly doubled (from 3,035 to 5,756); and while discussing the things that they have taught me I did allude to the importance of giving on social media, today I’d like to elaborate on it further. After all, it’s the biggest lesson I personally have learned about social media!
You see, I have built my personal brand almost entirely with the help of social media.
- In 2005 I started participating in an online forum. Between May 2005 and May 2009 I contributed well over 11,500 posts to it, learning a ton in the process, as well as making a name for myself.
- On July 16, 2008 I joined Twitter. I didn’t start actively tweeting until I figured out what worked best and what didn’t (Twitter is very different from other forums of social media), but, as you can see, I’m nearing 6,000 followers already.
- On January 1, 2009 something else happened — something that (together with my active participation in an online forum) has taught me a bunch about social media — I made daily blogging one of my New Year’s resolutions. Ever since then, between my blog posts at AMNavigator.com and my guest blogging efforts (for example, here), I have put together over 1,100 blog posts.
I’ve also participated in LinkedIn Groups (starting one myself on September 15, 2008 as well) and Answers, done some video-blogging and started a YouTube channel, put together polls, actively participated by commenting on other people’s blogs, and did a lot of other things on social media.
I did burn myself quite a number of times, but by trial and error, I’ve learned something that I’d like to share with you with today: the secret of successful social media marketing is actually quite simple — you cannot take more than you have contributed in the first place. All of the above-quoted social media channels can be extremely effective if you are happy to share (the knowledge, the experiences, and/or the feelings).
If your company is looking for another broadcasting channel, look elsewhere. Social gives us an amazing opportunity (to “communicate directly with buyers”, as David Meerman Scott would put it). You can use it smartly (to grow your business), or abuse it (to bury it). The key, in my opinion, is in mastering the skill of giving.
It’s Friday, and in the best #FollowFriday traditions I’d like to do something different
from my already-traditional Twitter lists by subject/topic today. I’d like to bring you 7 tweets that (in the course of the past 27 days) have either moved, or inspired me, or simply made me nod in strong agreement.
Here they are in reverse chronological order (with thanks to their authors; and my strong recommendation for you to follow them on Twitter, unless you already are):
If you have a tweet to share, please be my guest, using the “Comments” area below.
I am really thrilled to launch this new website of mine! I’ve been sitting on this domain name for nearly five years, but have never used used it for anything else but email.
However, as time has gone by, and I have evolved personally and professionally, the affiliate marketing blog I run at AMNavigator.com could no longer be fully suitable for all the things that I have to say. If you’ve followed my AM Navigator blog I’m sure you’ve noticed this too. Being positioned as an “affiliate marketing blog” it nonetheless ended up having multiple articles that are either not affiliate marketing-related, or are geared towards much larger audiences than affiliate marketers only.
In the course of the years I’ve written multiple posts on an array of other digital marketing topics (just a few of them are listed above), yet I’ve bundled them all into that AM Navigator’s blog, which, in the first place, was meant to be a blog specifically on affiliate marketing issues.
Today things are changing.
From now on all of my thoughts on areas of digital marketing that aren’t immediately related to affiliate marketing will be posted here at Prussakov.com. I will also commit to a better categorization of them — so that browsing through my previous posts and articles is an easier task for my reader.
So here we are… Brand new website. Brand new blog. Stay tuned for the future posts; and in the meantime, feel free to review the comprehensive compilation of my previous offline and online publications here.