Sunday, April 23, 2017

Why Mobile Ad Formats Will Dominate the Future of Content

When was the last time you left your house without your mobile device in hand? It might be difficult to even remember because we’re all accustomed to maintaining sharp mobile radars all day long; our smartphones are more than just communications devices, they are the basis of the majority of our daily actions. Mobile devices have essentially become fifth limbs. Because of this shift in global consumer behavior, the need for strong mobile advertisements from brands is heightened.

If brands fail to effectively communicate across mobile environments well, then they essentially fail to communicate, period. Consumers do everything on their mobile devices and brands need to resonate with consumers on these screens or else risk irrelevancy.

The State of Mobile

77% of U.S. adults now own smartphones, and many depend on their devices as their primary means of at-home internet access. With 60% of searches coming from mobile devices, the opportunity to connect with audiences on the mobile SERP is vast. Mobile devices have officially altered the customer path to purchase for good. Users are even reaching for their mobile devices over their desktops while they’re at home - mobile devices are just part of our nature now. No industry has felt this shift more than retail as 61% of all time spent on retail sites occurs from a mobile device.

The Rise of Immersive Ads

Mobile advertisers know that in today’s crowded digital landscape it is difficult to grab audience’s attentions. However, the rise of immersive ads can change that. Mobile users like to be immersed in experiences, and one of the most efficient ways of transporting audiences is through 360 degree view photography. 360 degree photography is already permeating the social landscape, and in 2016 ad tech companies began testing the limits of VR and 360 degree views within mobile ad formats. Early adopters of these formats include the New York Times and Vice, and more brands are clamoring to find solutions to offer a highly engaging, all-encompassing experience within their own mobile ad offerings. 2016 was the year in which these formats were first explored, and it looks like 2017 will be the year that they are perfected and adopted by the masses.

Precision Targeting

Today’s consumers want immediacy; whether it’s fast search results or quick-to-load websites, mobile users don’t want to waste time connecting with brands. Luckily, the rise of geo-targeted mobile ads is helping brands deliver to the level of consumers’ expectations. Geo-targeted PPC campaigns allows brands to target local users within a certain radius; and because these consumers are searching from close-by, the odds of them engaging with a highly relevant ad increase exponentially. In fact, according to a 2016 Google Study, 76% of people who conduct mobile searches for nearby businesses visit within a 24-hour window. Google’s recent location ad extension enhancements, including in-map ads and local finder results, make it easier than ever to, quite literally, put your business on the mobile map.

In-App Ads

As the number of Smartphone owners grows, so does the number of downloaded apps. Smartphone ads rely on apps to do everything from shop, game, communicate, and organize. Many brands now offer proprietary mobile apps in addition to responsive mobile sites. Many industry insiders consider in-app mobile offerings to be the future of advertising because 84% of all time spent on smartphones is spent within apps. It’s not just that more people are spending more time in apps, advertisers are also recognizing the inherent value of in-app ads due to location data. Many apps have access to location data which means that advertisers can deliver more relevant and personalized ads. Let’s say an app user is reading the latest news stories in- app and is within a four-block radius of an advertiser’s coffee shop location; that advertiser can serve them an ad encouraging them to enjoy their news with a cup of coffee.

Mobile devices aren't going anywhere. If recent trends can teach us anything, it's that global mobile dependence will likely only increase. For advertisers to remain relevant and top of mind, they have to figure out creative ways to common mobile users' attentions. Rich images, location-targeting, and in-app ad formats are among the best solutions for resonating with today’s mobile consumers.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

How To Protect Your Blog From Getting Hacked

Believe it or not, there's someone out there right now trying to hack into your blog. Yes, from the top bloggers with thousands of subscribers to that Cooking with Coconut project you started in college, someone is trying to break in.

You might be saying, "That's ridiculous, what are they going to do? Steal my Halloween recipe for Co-Co-Crunch chips?" Maybe. But most likely not.

No, these hackers have much bigger fish to fry. After all, your blog has access to not just your personal information, but also any collaborators you've worked with (making all parties susceptible to phishing schemes, amongst other risks). There's also the potential of stealing any information from your subscriber's lists as well. And finally, let's not forget that some hackers can steal power off your host.

While there's a fair amount of information to possibly take, there are also people working every day to prevent it from happening. But make no mistake…you have to do your part too. Below we've listed a few helpful tips on how to keep your blog from being hacked:

Change Your Passwords (but not too regularly)

We've all heard before that it's important to change your passwords regularly. In fact, some employers make their employees automatically change them in 30/60/90 day increments. However, this isn’t necessarily always the best practice.

As Steve Ranger notes in Changing Your Password Regularly is a Terrible Idea, and here's why

"If users are forced to change passwords they will mostly choose something that is a slight variation on the original one, or one that they have used elsewhere, or a weaker one. These behaviors can be exploited," CESG said: "attackers can often work out the new password, if they have the old one."

I can say with a safe bet that most of us are guilty of this. It's just too hard to come up with a new password that's entirely different from our initial one but is still memorable. More so, this practice could potentially leave your passwords more vulnerable than you initially thought by writing it down or saving it to a 3rd party app, both of which are susceptible to theft.

With all this being said, it's important to note that it's still critical to change your passwords and have them vary between personal, financial, communication, and business accounts. Even still, take a portion of time to hash out combinations you can genuinely remember.

Finally, seek out services that monitor login information. This can be one of the best practices to prevent hacking as these services send a notification with any unfamiliar login attempts.

If you're sharing content with a team, lock it up

As cyber security firm Carbon Black notes, hackers are getting more sophisticated with their attacks. By utilizing common file formats shared on collaborative clouds, phishing schemes are on the rise to get after entire teams of collaborators.

However, while major services like Google have tirelessly made their cloud collaboration efforts ironclad tight, teams that are using private/local servers are still considerably at a huge risk. To combat this trend, companies like Fire Eye are creating protection for shared content systems that you can check out here.

Beware of Extensions

Extensions from different services can help us when we need to check sources or our grammar, as well as serve other utilities for our blog. However, sometimes we overlook if these extensions are legit and if they are, how vulnerable they are cyber threats.

Attacks in this manner have in the past been able to use malicious software that's signed and distributed through a network by acting as the extension you initially intended on installing. While this doesn't necessarily mean we shouldn't be using extensions at all, be mindful to check and see if what the source is, as well as the terms of their user agreement. Some extensions have a pretty open-ended policy that allows over time for more malicious attempts when the user-base expands.

Final Thoughts

No matter the audience of your blog, it's important to remember that the size is irrelevant in comparison to the impact an attack on it could hold. Your blog is linked to an entire network of others, filled most likely the same personal information you have too. More, your readers trust you to keep their information safe, which is a big responsibility.

Your blog is home to your personal ideas, opinions, and thoughts…and that should be the only thing 'personal' that gets out.

Friday, March 31, 2017

How to Convert Image to Text on iOS and Android

Can you imagine your life without smartphones? Probably you can, but it would be a catastrophe. How would you connect with your family and friend from anywhere? How would you take a quick selfie whenever it is a good moment? How would you remember to do all the things from your list? In a nutshell, mobile phones have become indispensable gadgets today that make our life much easier.

Another occasion where smartphones give us a hand and make our life easier is note taking. Nowadays you don't have to lose time on trying to find paper and pen to write down notes, contacts or schedules. Just snap a photo of them and there you go. All important data is preserved quickly and effortlessly. Also, all notes are always at your fingertips given that your mobile phone is always by your side.

However, apart from these positive aspects, there is, unfortunately, a downside, too. For instance, those pieces of information are unusable since they are locked inside the image format. So, when you want to speed up the process and directly copy them to make a call or to forward them through email, you need to do it manually and to squander your time additionally.

Luckily, there is a quick fix for this issue. Image to Text app will accurately convert your images into editable text files. In that way, your data won't be sealed and you'll be able to use it further. Besides, this productivity app has many other helpful features:

  • First-rate recognition and conversion quality
  • No limitations on the file size or number of converted files
  • Screenshots can be converted as well
  • Easily share converted documents or open them in another app
  • Converted documents are editable so, if it's needed, you can quickly make small adjustments in any text editor on your phone or a computer
In addition, Image to Text has a very clear and user-friendly interface. Therefore, it's adapted for every user type. So, let's cut a long story short and let's see how to convert image to text on mobile devices.

  • Firstly, download Image to Text from App Store or Google Play
  • Select a photo you'd like to convert or take a new picture
  • Finally, you'll find your text among converted files
How to Convert Image to Text on iOS and Android

A positive side is that the file is being converted on the servers, so the entire conversion won’t drain your battery. Also, the file is deleted right after the conversion, therefore your data is safe and protected.

The only thing left to do is to download this helpful app and to get the most of your notes!

How To Maximize Your Content's Reach

Today, even the largest organizations and companies struggle with creating successful content marketing strategies. So of course, it’s no surprise that a business with a strict budget and minimal resources can find themselves facing an uphill battle when it comes to creating a solid content marketing strategy.

When it comes to content marketing, creating content can be a challenge in itself. The real challenge, however, comes with what you do with the content after it’s been published. A good publishing strategy is what determines the success of any content marketing effort. When factors like budget get in the way, the key is to tactfully maneuver available resources and create a smarter distribution strategy that will align with your needs. This will ensures that you're getting the most use out of your content efforts without burning a hole through your pocket.

If you're looking for the best way to utilize your resources and improve your content marketing strategy, here are 3 low-cost distribution tactics that can help:

Establish Syndication Ties

To reach a larger audience on a budget, get your content syndicated with popular publishers or social influencers within your industry. These channels will allow you to share content to their audiences. There’s no sure-fire way to promise a syndication partnership with a major publisher, but a few strategies can help you pitch your content.

Start by identifying publishers who publish content that aligns with your target market’s interests and then develop content that aligns with the desires of both audiences. A tech company could write a detailed article about their industry that would appeal to the interests of platforms such as The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.

Be sure to establish a rapport with editors before beginning your conversation with a request for a favor. Instead, work to show what value you can provide them to help reach their goals. This approach will help you to establish long-term relationships with these editors. As you move forward, share your content with an editor from the desired publisher and give them the rights to republish the content to their readers.

Go For Low-Cost Paid Promotions

Organic reach and engagement metrics on social media are increasingly becoming underwhelming. These days, simply promoting content on social channels is not enough to build an engaged audience, drive conversions, and/or meet key marketing benchmarks. So if you find yourself limited by a tight budget, you ought to consider using paid adverts to promote your content, especially when it comes to content that consistently drives revenue or create sales opportunities.

Start by experimenting with Facebook ads or Pinterest promoted pins to determine which tactics will help you to fulfill your business goals and align with your budget concerns. Both platforms have been proven to drive results for business of all sizes and industries. Be sure to use a limited budget across all of your advertising platforms to keep financial risk at a minimum. This will help you to focus on establishing methods to measure the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. This will help you to understand which channels will be the most effective for your business while preventing you from blowing through your budget all at once. As soon as you find a strategy that produces positive returns, scale your efforts.

Curate Content That Is Relevant

Crafting content can get pricey relatively quickly sometimes. Most businesses with limited budgets often struggle to push original content across all of their networks on a regular basis. This problem often results in gaps to editorial calendars and more often than not, leads to missed opportunities of engagement with their audience. To ensure you close any gaps in your content strategy, consider curating or republishing content from industry thought leaders, social influencers, your customers or even content from other businesses within your space. Always be sure that this content is in alignment with the interests of your customer base and done sparingly. Ensure that your site has has more original content than ones that are curated. Remember, your audience wants to be fed original content.

Adding a content curation strategy to your marketing efforts can help you create a consistent stream of relevant content to share with your audience without the financial effects that come with producing original content daily. It’s an effective technique for filling the gaps in your calendar and establishing relationships within your industry.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

8 Astonishing Facts About Technology

Technology and its constant progress throughout history is quite fascinating, and over the last few decades the progress has been incredibly fast-paced and mesmerizing. There are a lot of things in the world of technology that make it so filled with awe, let's take a look at a few facts related to technology and what to expect from it in the near future.

The Origins of Amazon


The whole world knows Amazon as THE online store to go to if you want to buy anything. However, when Amazon first started out in 1994 it began as a bookstore, from here it slowly evolved into the all in one online store that it is today.

The First Braille Printer


A young teenager known as Shubham Banarjee just invented the first ever low-cost braille printer out of Lego bricks. The printer is called the "Braigo" and holds a lot of potential as the foundation of affordable braille printers that might be available on a larger scale in the near future, providing blind people with access to more reading material.

3D Printing is Older Than You Think


We all think of 3D printing as a relatively recent invention that only came out a couple of years ago. However, the truth is that 3D printers are older than the first iPhone. The first 3D printer was invented in 1982 by Charles Hull and was called a Stereolithography device, the technology became popular only recently since it needed time to be refined and improved to make it more practical.

3D Printing Construction

Speaking of 3D printers, the technology is quickly advancing, and there's talk of implementing it in construction work in the near future. NASA is also looking into developing automated 3D printing robots that can be sent into space to construct entire space stations. However, this kind of implementation of 3D printing is still pretty far down the road.

Computing Power And The Climate


It's common knowledge that computers produce heat when they are running, an average laptop can easily get as hot as 70 to 80 degrees Celsius when in use, so imagine how much heat can larger setups produce. Extremely large setups can produce heat and carbon dioxide in large enough quantities to have an impact on the environment itself, Google's servers are reported to produce up to 200 tons of CO2 on a daily basis!

Microsoft's New Take on Large Scale Cooling

Producing CO2 isn't the only problem with large computing setups and data centers, the heat being produced effects performance, and therefore companies spend significant amounts of money on cooling solutions. Microsoft has recently come up with a proposal to build an underwater facility in the ocean to house their cloud data center. Named Project Natick, if it becomes a success, then the largest problem that every data center has to face might be eliminated in the future, turning large scale computing more eco-friendly and more efficient.

Storage Medium That Can Last Forever

Just last year scientists came up with a solution to help store data and have it withstand the test of time. Transparent 5D digital data disks made of glass are capable of holding 360TB of data for as long as 13.8 billion years, the Earth is only 4.5 billion years old. These discs are created with a process known as femto second laser writing and store data in five dimensions, each dimension consisting of nano structures, all of which combine to provide an extremely non-volatile storage medium.

The Storage Capacity of DNA


The oldest and most intricate piece of technology in the universe is perhaps the human body, our DNA has a staggering data storage capacity of 455 Exabyte; a single Exabyte contains one billion gigabytes. Just to put things into perspective; data from the entire world can be stored in just 4 grams of DNA.



Author Bio
Tom Carter is a passionate blogger, web developer, and a die-hard game lover. When he is neither writing his next blog post on his blog The Geekly News nor playing games, he often hangs out with his friends at the bowling alley.

Latest Posts: