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Welcome back to the 9 Clouds monthly roundup!
Every month, we compile all the cool stuff we found on the web within the last few weeks and present you with our nine favorite links. (Get it? Nine links from 9 Clouds? We’re super clever, we know.)
This month, we decided to give our roundup a bit of a facelift. Hey, the Internet is all about change, right?
And we’ve got the articles to prove it. Here are the nine most interesting things we found on the Internet in June 2016.
1. Create Your Own Snapchat Geofilters
Snapchat — it’s what all the cool kids are doing these days (including us).
And the messaging app is only getting cooler. Not only can you overlay your photos and videos with available Geofilters, now you can even create your own.
Learn how to leverage Snapchat Geofilters for your business in this article by Ash Read of Buffer Inc.
2. Microsoft Buys LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion
Yep, you heard that right.
On June 13, Microsoft announced it would buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion — by far its largest acquisition in history. When the news hit, LinkedIn’s share value rose almost 50% at $196 per share.
Read more about the big buyout in this article by Nick Wingfield of The New York Times.
3. Make Quick (and Cool) Charts with Beam
Ever needed to make a sweet-looking chart — fast?
Enter Beam. A new tool from Vennage (the site that lets you make your own infographics for free), Beam is the antidote to boring, confusing Excel.
With four chart options (pie, bar, column, and line), a few different formatting options, and buttons for embedding, downloading, and social sharing, Beam makes the process of turning data into visuals super easy and incredibly cool. Did we mention it’s free?
Make your first Beam chart here.
4. People Hate Car Dealerships
Are you an auto dealer? You can’t skip this article.
People really hate car dealerships. (Sorry!) In fact, 75% of people say they would take their entire car-buying process online if they could.
This finding only reaffirms what we’ve been preaching all along — that the old days of haggling on the lot are dead — but it’s scary nonetheless. Now, more than ever, inbound marketing for auto dealers is essential.
Learn more about why people hate car dealerships in this piece by Time’s Brad Tuttle.
5. Google Expands Ad Tracking (But Makes It Optional)
Google users (a.k.a. everyone in the world), beware — Google is expanding its ad tracking capabilities. Soon, the search giant will be able to use all the information associated with your account to influence the digital ads you see. (Google already does this with its own services, but now it will gather data from across the web and mobile devices.)
But here’s the good news: this feature, part of a new service called My Activity, is optional. As in, opt-in-able — you have to manually opt in to turn on these personalized ads. You may even want to, as My Activity stores all your history in one place and allows you to delete data and fine-tune your ad preferences at the touch of a button.
As a user, you might find Google’s new ad tracking service creepy — but as a marketer, you have to admire the advanced targeting possibilities.
Find out more about Google My Activity (and what it means for digital marketers) in this Wired post by Brian Barrett.
6. Save Time Typing with TextExpander
Do you seem to write the same things over and over again?
Avoid typing the same thing twice by downloading TextExpander, an app that allows you to create your own keyboard shortcuts for the text and images you use often. This easy typing tool is a huge productivity boost — especially if you’re like us, and you send the same emails to clients every week. (Just don’t forget to personalize them a little, so you don’t start to sound like a robot!)
Get a free trial of TextExpander here.
7. Rolls-Royce Makes a Ridiculous Concept Car
Image credit: The Verge
The future of cars?
Recently, Rolls-Royce rolled out its new Vision 100 concept car — a 20-foot-long vehicle with two seats, one couch, and no steering wheel. Called a “cruise ship on wheels,” the Vision 100 has to be seen to be believed.
See for yourself — check out this article by Vlad Savov of The Verge.
8. Avoid the Plague of Duplicate Web Content
When our own Scott Meyer noticed the SEO for one of our automotive clients was suffering after switching to a Dealer.com website, he took matters into his own hands. He found out that the site was using the exact same text as 3,300 other auto dealer websites.
Duplicate web content like this — also known as boilerplate text — is detrimental to any website. Not only does it look bad for your brand, it also hurts your SEO.
To learn more about why and how to fix duplicate content on your site, watch Scott’s video and read his post here.
9. New Facebook Algorithm Will Change Your Marketing
Last but not least — an update to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm has marketers everywhere reeling.
The new Facebook algorithm, announced June 29, will prioritize posts from users’ friends and family rather than the pages they like. Under the guise of “keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to,” this change is really just a hit to companies, which will now have to pay up if they want to show up on the world’s largest social network.
Discover more of the implications for marketers in this piece by Parul Guliani of Forbes.
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