Fluency Blog

Keep up on digital trends, news, goings-on, and on-going discussions in digital media.

Here’s why ‘clickbait’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word

People use the word "clickbait" as if the practice they're referring to – writing catchy headlines to generate traffic – is a bad thing. I'm here to take exception to that, because it isn't. In fact, if done well, crafting "clickbait" headlines is an art unto itself. Here's a couple of things to keep in ...

How digital marketers may finally stop annoying customers in 2018

You're probably familiar with the quote, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." The only reason this famous line doesn't include pop-ups is that Benjamin Franklin, its coiner, did not live long enough to use the internet. But make no mistake: pop-ups are the bane of pretty much everyone's existence. And ...

Making sense of all those 2018 predictions

Now that 2018 is finally here, it's a good time to start keeping score on all those New Year "predictions" – many of which we shared on social media. Problem is, we're still a little early. Since each of those predictions has a whole year to come true, it would be premature to start declaring ...

Should marketers be afraid of Facebook’s new algorithm?

If you're in any corner of the digital marketing world, you've no doubt heard the grumbling – and seen the hand-wringing – about Facebook's new algorithm. The trepidation is understandable. After all, this change – which is described as the biggest-ever revamp of the News Feed algorithm – is aimed right us. "As we roll this out," ...

Why you need to learn about Blockchain technology – and soon

When you hear the term "Blockchain," you might think of Bitcoin, the digital currency (or cryptocurrency) that everyone is obsessed with lately. And at first, it might seem like this emerging technology is only a threat to the banking industry. But it turns out it's something digital marketers ought to pay attention to as well. ...

Considering the impossible: Will Facebook ever die?

Before you dismiss the notion of Facebook's demise, take a step back for a second. Actually, take a step back about 12 years. Now you're in 2006, and you've just logged into your MySpace for the umpteenth time since you woke up, gleefully engaging with everything your friends do. There's something magical – and addictive ...

Did Super Bowl ad ‘losers’ actually win the game?

Did you catch that 30 seconds of complete darkness during one of the ad breaks on Super Bowl Sunday? It was just a technical error, but as the Washington Post put it, "a blank screen may have been preferable" to some of the commercials that actually aired. Burn. But the Post may be right; as ...

There’s a staffing problem in digital marketing. How do we solve it?

Let's face it: When it comes to finding, hiring, and retaining talent, this industry is dealing with major growing pains. As if keeping up with evolving technology wasn't challenging enough, companies breaking into digital marketing are also having a hard time getting the right people for the job. According to Digiday, a recent survey of 400 ...

What happens when THEY google YOU? A guide to personal branding

Let's say a potential client types your name into Google. What would they see when they hit "Enter"? If you don't have a strong personal brand, then it's probably not a whole lot. This will be the case even if you're a leader in your field, someone who commands respect among his or her colleagues. ...

Is PPC really the best use of your advertising dollars?

There's something undeniably attractive about billboard advertising. After all, the image of a big highway sign towering over the landscape is almost as iconic as Coca-Cola. But how much does it cost? As you might guess, it can be quite expensive. So, with a limited budget, you might think that PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is the ...

The truth about podcasting as a marketing tool

If you're a business owner, you probably hear a lot about "content" these days – videos, blogs, articles, and so on. But there's one kind of content you might be overlooking: podcasts. Despite what you might think, it's not just a medium for true crime shows like "Serial." It can also be a powerful tool ...

To pivot, or not to pivot: The truth about video

In the last couple of years, video has become the new crude oil of digital marketing: advertisers have chased after it relentlessly, and often at any cost. And they're still doing it, with one report saying marketers are planning to increase their video spend for mobile in 2018.  But beware, intrepid prospector. If you're planning ...

Is Reddit secretly trying to become the next Facebook?

There is great unrest on Reddit. It's because the social news aggregation website, which bills itself as "the front page of the internet," is going through changes – and some users theorize there's a nefarious scheme at work. As user mrv3 put it, in a post that made the coveted front page recently, "Reddit is trying ...

The long and short of Content Marketing word count

It's hard to find a simple, straight answer when it comes to the subject of ideal content length. "The longer, the better!" one side of the word count argument might say; "No!" the other would shout, "the shorter the better!" So who has it right? And what if they're both wrong? Before we delve into this, let's just ...

Is it time to abandon Facebook once and for all?

It's been a rough couple of weeks for Facebook. First, there was fallout over the Cambridge Analytica data breach, and then, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's appearance before Congress. The latter did no favors for the CEO's public image; thanks to his rather stiff performance, social media users branded him with colorful nicknames like "Zuckerbot." While ...

Will Ad Blockers haunt digital marketers forever?

Ad blockers are to digital marketers what German U-boats were to Allied naval fleets – a hidden (and dangerous) nuisance that could derail otherwise perfect planning. Unlike U-boats, though, you can't really blame folks for using them. This makes our perpetual conflict with ad blockers that much more difficult, because we know that users have ...

Tread lightly through the social media minefield

For digital marketers, social media is a double-edged sword that can never be sheathed. Like it or not, all companies must contend with platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. There's simply no way one can forego social media strategy and be successful. In other words, we're all forced to wield a deadly weapon on a daily basis. ...

Do people actually click on native ads?

You never click on native ads, do you? If you're a digital marketer, the answer is probably no – unless you're curious about what the competition's up to. As a consumer, you likely steer clear of them. So why would you expect other people to click on your native ads? It's a fair question. But here's a ...

How to email your customers without spamming them

We admit email marketing doesn't seem all that glamorous. More than likely, you associate it with the junk that ends up in your spam folder, day in and day out. So if you're working with a limited budget and limited time, it's understandable that you might turn up your nose at email. After all, it's ...

Failed campaigns: When to admit defeat

That's the funny thing about digital marketing: there just aren't any guarantees in this business. You can have a shrewd strategy. You can read every conceivable data point. And you can kill it in content. And even then, your campaign could still fail. So what do you do? For one, as the headline suggests, you admit ...

What you – yes, you – can do to fight ad fraud

As we speak (or, uh, "read"?), someone is out there making you look bad. And by "you," we mean digital advertisers (and yes, that includes your pals at Fluency), and by "someone," we mean a global army of bots controlled by... ...you guessed it (or you just read the title): ad fraudsters. Wait, how can ...

Was 2018 a tough year for digital marketers?

To answer the question posed in the headline, yes – maybe a little.  But not in a way that should have you worrying that you’ve chosen the wrong profession or anything. Far from it.  In fact, the digital marketing scene and its practitioners are doing just fine in a financial sense. For proof, look to the ...