Pillar page content and 4 other things you need to read this week

Pillar page content and 4 other things you need to read this week

1. The important difference between personal content 👍 and personalized content.

Spoiler: one is more effective than the other. Personalized content is content unique to the user. Personal content is content that uses info about their user to address a need and create an experience. Your name on an email is personalized. A restaurant preparing your favorite cake for your birthday meal is personal. Can you guess which content keeps your donors coming back for more? 

Personal content experiences matter more than personalized content. [via Content Marketing Institute]

2. Choose the best pillar page content. 📈

Pillar pages are huge drivers of web traffic. Full of long-form content that uses links to guide users to more info about a topic, pillar pages help you up your impact by grouping topics to attract Google searches. Want to create pillar pages that bring the clicks? Become the master of your web topic and drive users to your page with this easy guide on pillar page strategy.

How to choose pillar page topics. [via MOZ]

3. Get noticed on Google Discover—the tool other sites are overlooking. 👀

Try Google searching something on your phone—do you see a list labeled “Interesting Finds” at the bottom? Those personalized articles you didn’t search for? Those are your Google Discover results, tailored to your online habits and search trends. Think of it like Google’s version of Facebook’s feed. Not a bad place for your website to be featured—and now you can learn how to get there.

Find out how to make your mark in Google Discover. [via MOZ]

4. The 11 principles of design 🎨 everyone can learn.

It doesn’t take a designer to look at a digital product and notice something’s a bit off. When the text is too large, the colors are too loud, or the page is too crowded, your user will notice—even if they’re not designers either. The good news is that you can use easy principles of design to guide you as you create something new. (Yes, even if you aren’t a designer.)

Get the 11 principles of design (and learn how to use them). [via dribble]

5. Instagram is retiring the 📱 swipe up. 

Listen up, nonprofits: Your Insta stories are about to get a makeover! Instagram announced recently that it will be launching a new feature to replace the swipe-up method of navigating to external sites. Get ready for link stickers—and keep using social media to drive traffic back to your website. 

Instagram is retiring the swipe up. [via The Verge]

Picking the right colors and 4 other things you need to read this week

Picking the right colors and 4 other things you need to read this week

1. To start working, embrace what isn’t working. 🤨

If you have a problem acknowledging you have a problem, you’re not alone. But facing your organization’s weak spots is the best way to prepare to solve them! Learn how to compassionately fix what isn’t working so you can focus more of your attention on what is.

Embrace your less-than-perfectness. [via Social Velocity] 

2. What can you learn from the story of the Coca-Cola 🥤 logo?

The success of Coca-Cola is not just the story of a bit of luck behind a good product (or a potentially stolen recipe, but we digress…). It’s one that involves a creative marketing push to merge both the timeless and the modern. We love when history makes our current work better, so dive into the details about how Coca-Cola became the iconic beverage it is today.

The story of the Coca-Cola logo. [via Logo Design Love]

3. How to pick the right 🎨 color.

There’s a reason we don’t usually wear neon to funerals, white after Labor Day, or that one blue tie with that clashing blue blazer. Colors tell stories—and when they’re used thoughtfully, colors can prompt emotions in others. So why not harness that power in your marketing? Dive into a rainbow of color tools to help with color scheme generation, data visualization, historical color palettes, contrast checking, and much more!

Color tools and resources. [via Smashing Magazine]

4. Is your Instagram marketing strategy getting stale? 🤔

We know, it still feels like Instagram is a “new” platform. (Eep, yes. We’re old.) But with Instagram Live, IGTV, and new options for sharing to your story, marketing on Insta is no longer just curated pictures and old filters. Luckily, Social Media Examiner pulled together a list of tips and inspiration to keep your content ✨fresh✨ for modern users. Learn the new strategies that are working in 2021 to keep people engaged with your feed, your stories, your highlights, and your brand!

What’s working on Instagram in 2021. [via Social Media Examiner]

5. How to optimize 💪 your on-page SEO. 

Good SEO helps search engines read content and good writing helps humans read content—so why not do both at the same time! Learn how to implement meta-tags, format your content, and optimize your keywords so that you catch the attention of all of your readers—humans and computers alike! 

3 Powerful on-page optimizations to power up your content. [via MOZ]

Email privacy protections and four other things you need to read

Email privacy protections and four other things you need to read

1. Navigate 🧭 email privacy protections. 

Last week, Apple announced its new Mail Privacy Protection feature, which will offer users more control over their personal data and is set to launch later this year. So what will this mean for email marketers? Simply put, senders won’t be able to track email open rates from Apple Mail, and content dependent on location won’t be accurately displayed when an email is opened on Apple Mail. Scary? Yes. But deliverability and data protection experts say this rollout shouldn’t have a big impact on the overall state of email marketing. 

Don’t get lost in the woods. [via mailjet]

2. Upgrade your image 🏞 backgrounds.

Not a photoshop expert? No problem! Designify is a photo-editing tool that uses premium AI technology to help you edit backgrounds out of photos for professional-quality images. It’s not only free to use, but images uploaded to the site are safe and secure. Drop in one of your images and try it out now!

Test our Designify. [via Designify]

3. Five quick and easy steps to optimizing website images. 📷

Do the images on your website come out…different…than you hoped? Smaller? Larger? Blurrier? Stretchier? We love funhouse mirrors at carnivals, but not here. You shouldn’t have to guess how your site’s images will upload, so it’s time to learn the basics of image optimization. Dive into image compression tools for PNGs and JPEGs, “Lazy Loading” plugins, and how image quality can help your pages load faster!

Learn how to optimize images for a website. [via the Daily Egg]

4. Now you can 📈 fundraise in groups on Instagram!

It’s happening!!! Instagram released an update that makes the world a little better (and no, we’re not talking about new filters, but you look fabulous). The app is rolling out a brand new feature that allows users to share fundraisers with friends in posts. And best of all, 100% of all money raised for nonprofits goes directly to those organizations! Learn how to create and share fundraising posts without leaving the app.

Get ready for group fundraisers on Instagram! [via ADWEEK]

5. Get more eyes on your 📧 emails​.

Your email marketing campaigns only work if people receive them. But the higher your bounce rate—the percentage of emails that subscribers from your email list don’t receive—the more likely you are to damage your domain reputation. Emails can bounce for various reasons, including full mailboxes or outdated addresses, but these nine expert-approved tips will help you reduce bounce rates and get more people to see your emails. 

Don’t bounce away. [via Databox]

What hiding ‘likes’ could mean for your nonprofit

What hiding ‘likes’ could mean for your nonprofit

What’s new on Instagram and Facebook

Last month, Instagram announced that they are rolling out a feature that gives users the option to hide their public ‘like’ counts on all posts in their feeds. Put simply, users can now prevent others from seeing likes on their posts—and also choose not to see how many likes other people’s posts are getting. 

Despite a lack of rigorous research on social media and mental health, the company decided to let users opt-in or out of hiding likes after testing the feature in small groups for the last couple of years. They also announced that the feature would be heading to Facebook in the coming weeks.

This change might come as a relief for users who feel the stress of comparison that ‘likes’ often produce and may now find more joy in their favorite platforms. In recent years, Instagram and Facebook have been the center of discourse about the relationship between the toxicity of social media, mental health, and body image

But for brands, influencers, and nonprofits who use their platforms to connect with their audience and promote their work, removing ‘likes’ may disrupt what it means to be successful on social media. 

But why?

In a recent blog post, the company wrote that the new option is part of an effort to offer users more control of their experience on Instagram and Facebook. “We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram,” the company wrote. “What we heard from people and experts was that not seeing like counts was beneficial for some and annoying to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense for what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice.”

In addition to the flexible ‘like’ options, Instagram also announced new inclusion and safety updates, including a new feature to filter abusive DMs and a Diversity team to address the needs of Black users. Facebook will also offer new ways for users to control what they see on their newsfeed, including Feed Filter Bar, Favorites Feed, and Choose Who Can Comment.  Additionally, Facebook will fund more external research about users’ experiences on Instagram and is requesting research proposals from academics and nonprofits. Both platforms have faced criticism for failing to crack down on hate speech in the past, and these features are an opportunity to both course-correct and set a new conduct standard. 

The jury is out on the social impact of these decisions and how they might help eliminate social media toxicity at a high level. But they’re likely to improve the in-app experience on an individual basis and perhaps win back users who were pulling away from socials to protect their mental health and well-being.

So what comes next?

So what might these changes mean for businesses and nonprofits? Undoubtedly, Facebook and Instagram geared these updates toward everyday users instead of brands and organizations. However, they still offer an exciting opportunity for professional accounts to experiment with their content. A more laid-back and less toxic user experience could mean that your followers feel more comfortable on Instagram and Facebook and spend more time there—which would mean more eyes on your content. By hiding likes from your audience, your organization can post what feels authentic to your mission without conforming to the pressure of the algorithm or the trending page. Plus, your audience can form an opinion on your post based on your content instead of how popular it appears to be. Finally, breaking away from traditional success metrics could mean opportunities for innovation, risk-taking, and connecting with people who are truly aligned with your mission, not just seeking prestige.

Although there’s good reason to be optimistic, nonprofit marketers should still be prepared to make some shifts in light of some users ditching likes. While you’ll still have insight into your own analytics, users may no longer see who else is engaging with your content—removing the element of peer pressure that has long been a driver on social media. 

It will take time for marketers—and their audiences—to adjust to a new experience on Instagram and Facebook. But by staying true to your audience and creating content that consistently speaks to your mission, nonprofit marketers can make the most of the changes as they continue to roll out.