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The New Season is Coming: Newsjacking the Top TV Series with SEMrush

Newsjacking is believed to be an instant marketing tactic capable of taking a brand ahead of the trend by attracting significant traffic, increasing social engagement, boosting sales and…the campaign expiring as soon as the hype fades away.

We at SEMrush wanted to see if there was anything more to it and if newsjacking could be done below the very top of the customer journey funnel. Since 2017 we have been following the Game of Thrones topic, and we discovered that it can be fun and very productive when you manage to ride the wave and incorporate the elements of a TV series into a product. Keep reading to see how we managed to make the most of it, both in terms of promotion and added value, and the results we got.

Dragons Per Click: Westeros Map in CPC Map

Before we go through previous campaigns, here is an update we rolled out just a few hours ago — the new “country” in our CPC Map tool!

Most of the great houses act a lot like modern businesses, with numerous attempts to overrun competitors in their quest for power. So we decided that there would certainly be a place for advertising in George RR Martin’s world. Our PPC toolkit team found it interesting to imagine what it would be like to advertise in Westeros.

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Along with the actual map, we also came up with the keywords that would be relevant for each of the industries we analyzed:

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Explore it and tell us what you think, and which keywords we may have missed on the list!

Dothraki Database for Keyword Magic Tool

With more than 30 languages in the database, it wouldn’t be too difficult for SEMrush to bring in some more for you — even if the language is fictional. This is how Elena, our product marketing manager, and Dmitry, our education specialist, came up with the idea of adding the Dothraki language to our Keyword Magic tool in July 2017. Within a couple of weeks, this became the basis of quite a successful marketing campaign.

Idea: Add the Dothraki language to the Keyword Magic Tool and arrange an international marketing campaign to emphasize the volume and versatility of the SEMrush keyword database. The database was taken from the Dothraki Language Dictionary and contained over 1,500 terms. All the metrics (search volume, CPC, keyword difficulty, etc.) were calculated based on the English analogs.

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It took the developers about a week to implement the Dothraki language into the tool. Marketers spent a couple of weeks preparing and localizing creatives. The campaign was promoted on social networks and via a mailout.

Results:

  • 9.26% conversion to registration rate

  • 13% growth in the number of active users compared to the previous month (despite the low season)

  • 400% increase in positive product feedback

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Lessons learned: Content produced during newsjacking campaigns can be evergreen as we are still getting around 1,000 organic monthly visits to the pages related to this campaign. However, as well as praise, we also got some negative feedback from those who hadn’t seen Game of Thrones as the concept didn’t resonate with them at all. So, be prepared for people who don’t follow the trend, and you might want to have another card up your sleeve for them.

On the Throne of the Marketing Department

Since the series premiere in 2011, thousands of people have imagined themselves living in the world of the Seven Kingdoms. But what about a little role reversal? During a brainstorm, the SEMrush French team came up with the idea of depicting Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen and other characters of the movie as marketing department employees.

Idea: We wanted to draw parallels between the Game of Thrones personalities and different positions in the marketing team. We also highlighted SEMrush tools the characters (and the corresponding digital marketers) might be using in their work.

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The infographic was initially created in French and promoted on social networks and other media in July 2017 to celebrate the 10 million views of the first episode of the new season. Then, after getting massive social engagement, the infographic was also translated into English.

Results:

  • 1,200 social shares

  • Publication on one of the top French media webmarketing-com.com (over 200k traffic)

  • Over 10 re-publications in media

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Lessons learned: Experiments sometimes bring more than you bargained for. When deciding where to publish the infographic, we had thought that this format would not suit our blog. But after seeing the reaction, we realized that even not-so-serious content can also drive engagement and bring value. Publishing it on an external resource actually deprived our blog of a great deal of traffic. So we are not making the same mistake again; this time we are going to turn the infographic into a quiz, so soon you will be able to discover who you would be in the game of digital marketing! Keep an eye on the blog for the quiz coming soon.

PR Ice and PR Fire

PR is obviously the area in which newsjacking works best. Since 2017, we have published a dozen studies regarding all things Game of Thrones: the most searched season, house, hero of the series, the related searches and the most popular questions — all based on SEMrush data. We also analyzed the most popular hashtags and emojis that go together with the series in social media.

Results:

  • Over 40 re-publications in big media across different countries, including the US, UK, and Brazil (the latest quote we had was from Express.co.uk).

  • Cumulative traffic of these media is over 20 million monthly visits.

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Lesson learned: Media outlets love data. In particular, they love any kind of topical data, so if you deliver it at the right time, you have a big chance of riding the wave and gaining visibility.

Is the Game Worth It?

For us, newsjacking proved to be even more effective than we thought. Here are a few takeaways from our campaigns that you might find useful.

  • The content you create may gain traction long after the campaign ends, ranking organically for some relevant search terms.

  • You can benefit even more by repurposing content and changing promotional channels.

  • Newsjacking goes far beyond PR and helps add value to a product — seek a creative way to integrate the two worlds.

  • There is always a part of your audience that doesn’t follow the trend, so we wouldn’t recommend creating a campaign entirely based on newsjacking when it comes to important technical updates or new launches. Product always comes first, after all.

So keep all your users covered, manage your content wisely, check how you can make the most out of the news, and…Valar Dohaeris.

The Impossible Burger Is Coming to Burger King

For now, the company is staying quiet on whether there’ll be a nationwide roll-out.

1 min read

This story originally appeared on Engadget

White Castle was just the start: Impossible Foods is now partnering with Burger King, launching the Impossible Whopper for a test starting today at 59 Burger King outlets in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s an entirely different burger to the sliders served at White Castle, and that means there’s more Impossible Burger non-meat involved.

It’s equal parts silly April Fools’ teaser and actual product launch at the U.S.’s second-largest burger chain. For now, the company is staying quiet on whether there’ll be a nationwide roll-out. The Whopper launch comes after another regional debut: a Philly Cheesesteak that’s currently exclusive to, well, Philadelphia of course.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had a Whopper, or you’ve been vegetarian for a while, the Impossible Whopper includes a flame-grilled, (improved) plant-based burger patty, with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion toppings. Oh, and don’t forget the mayo and ketchup.

A Regulatory Tsunami Is Coming: Are You Prepared?

Compliance will be an increasingly challenging business issue in 2019. Consider the ‘Office of Compliance’ that Xerox already has to deal with the complexity.

7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Regardless of how any business leader personally feels about data-privacy regulations, they seem destined to grow stronger.

In December, a coalition of more than 200 banks, retailers and tech companies called on Congress to draft stricter privacy legislation. Coalition members said they believed that all companies should be subject to the same rules, regardless of their size or industry, and that there should be a national standard for data-breach notifications.

The fact that private industry was itself calling for legislation is significant. Companies are now acutely aware of the financial and public relations fallout from data breaches, so much so that they are actually asking lawmakers to hold them to higher standards. The public is equally anxious about data privacy.

Related: The Very Strong Business Case for Complying With the World’s Toughest Data Protection Regulation

And it’s that combination that makes it extremely likely that tougher data regulations are headed down the pipeline.

All this comes on the heels of the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) implementation in the European Union last spring, plus the passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act last summer. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are currently butting heads on the issue, with the GOP interested only in a federal law that would supersede any state regulations.

What does small business think of all this? Considering that California’s law goes into effect in January 2020 and that nearly every other state has proposed various data privacy legislation, small businesses are obviously eager to avoid a potential patchwork of state laws. The regulatory waters are already choppy enough.

Some industries, like finance, are accustomed to data regulations. Considering the scope of potential new regulations, that finance sector experience won’t count for much, however. For the simple fact is that every company in America needs to prepare for new compliance challenges throughout 2019.

Have you thought about what compliance means to you?

The costs 

Most companies expect pending regulations to be modeled on the GDPR that now applies to every business serving customers in the European Union. GDPR levies fines for every single record that is exposed in a breach, meaning fines can run into the millions (or even billions) of euros (do the math for $U.S.).

If the size of those numbers is troubling, consider the likelihood of a fine. Forthcoming regulations will obligate companies to take a whole new approach to data and customer engagement. Adjusting to complex, wide-ranging new regulations won’t be easy. Companies may be eager to comply but find themselves in trouble because they’re unable.

The ever-increasing threat of cybercrime is another worry. Today’s hackers are both tenacious and sophisticated, making cybersecurity incredibly difficult to ensure. Following whatever regulations are released won’t make companies immune to attack or exempt from fines — though it will make them better protected than they are today.

Making compliance simple and certain

We don’t yet know what form any new regulations might take or how they would affect individual companies. Luckily, the details are not necessary for businesses to begin building a better approach to compliance. The goal is to make managing compliance simultaneously easier and more consistent. Start with these steps:

1. Collect data from across channels. 

Don’t think of data as “regulated” versus “unregulated.” All data is potentially sensitive, so instead of protecting some data, companies should begin protecting all data equally. That starts with busineses being able to collect data from as many sources as possible for storage on one platform that’s been standardized for compliance.

Related: The Feds and the States Are Embracing Privacy Law; What That Means to Your Business

Xerox recognized the value of standardization when, in 2017, it established an Office of Compliance, which strives to create a positive corporate compliance culture by helping employees do diligent work, and ensuring that senior leaders and all members of management send consistent messages. This office also constantly reviews and updates corporate policies to align with evolving regulatory and legal requirements.

Such top-down coordination will be essential once fast-moving data in multiple formats becomes subject to privacy laws. Think of it as a dedicated compliance team that’s entrusted to stay abreast of each new development and respond accordingly.

Companies of all sizes should copy Xerox and make an effort to codify their compliance protocols — the sooner, the better. Just make sure to stay open to the possibility of procedural changes, as forthcoming regulations will surely require flexibility as they are introduced and enacted.

2. Facilitate internal and external audits.

Audits are crucial for compliance. Complying with auditors often means turning over massive amounts of information. Alternately, conducting internal audits allows companies to find and correct issues before the regulators even arrive. In either case, companies need to have on-demand access to all their data; otherwise, any kind of audit is a burden.

Having all data on a platform accessible with unified search makes retrieval basically effortless. Nikon understands that a fast response is important — so much so that it has developed independent systems. These systems enable the company’s internal audit department to review compliance with laws and regulations, as well as with internal rules, without interference from operational divisions.

An overview of each department’s annual activities — to determine primarily whether divisions’ operations are being conducted in accordance with laws and regulations, as well as to create proposals for improvement — is provided to the company’s executive committee and board of directors.

Picture how much easier external investigations will be to manage after your company performs numerous dry runs. Practice makes perfect. As regulations evolve over the course of 2019 and beyond, reacting and adapting fast will be key. Get a head start by instituting a system of internal audits as soon as you can.

3. Practice good governance.

Regulations dictate how a company must act both before and after a breach. Because of that increased scrutiny, companies must become hyperaware of data security. If, for instance, a breach went undetected, and therefore unreported, the resulting fine could be multiplied. Considering how unpredictable cybersecurity can be, companies need to have plans and policies detailing exactly how to act after a breach.

Related: Three Reasons Why Your Startup Needs A Corporate Governance Playbook

General Electric helps its global workforce keep compliance top of mind by employing about 800 compliance leaders and more than 600 part-time ombudsmen to serve as sounding boards.

Instead of trying to sweep compliance issues under the rug, GE confronts them head-on, ensuring that concerns are heard and addressed, and utilizing a hotline where employees can report any compliance concerns. Workers can also go to their managers with those concerns. The idea is that honest, open dialogue among all parties will stop many problems before they have a chance to start.

Every company should follow GE’s lead. Sure, you likely don’t have hundreds of employees to commit to the task, but having a layered network of oversight will help eliminate blind spots and stay on top of new legislation.

Avoiding hefty fines and negative publicity is important, but penalties are not the core reason to care about compliance in 2019. What is: Customers care about their private data and are tired of seeing companies misuse it.

In that way, regulators are paving a path for companies to thrive in a future economy driven entirely by data.

5 Best Electric Cars Coming Out This Year

With many automobile companies joining the eco-friendly car manufacturing space, the number of electric cars entering the market yearly has since maintained an increasing figure. And consumers are responding with all enthusiasm to patronize the disruptive technology with a far more promising future in a fight to reduce global carbon emission. In the US, over 360,000 units of electric cars were sold in 2018, that’s nearly double of its sales volume the previous year. The choice is now wide and consumers want to buy the best electric cars, based on their needs: budget-friendly, features, mileage, charging options, etc.

We have compiled a list of 5 best electric cars of 2019, considering most of these consumer requirements and exclusiveness.

First unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi launched the Q6 e-tron Quattro SUV production version in 2018 and announced it would begin deliveries later the same year in Europe and in July 2019 for US customers. That didn’t happen. Audi is delaying the supplies further until late 2019.

The all-wheel-drive electric car is mounted with two electric motors which produces a total output of 402 hp (300 kW) and 490 pound-feet (664 N.m) of torque, which enables to car to go from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in just 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h). The Audi Q6 e-tron Quattro SUV is powered by a battery pack of 95 kWh which can be charged up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes using 150 kW DC fast-chargers. Using the 11 kW chargers, Audi said it would take the vehicle around 8.5 hours to charge fully, while the 22 kW chargers will half this time.

Audi claims the Q6 will offer 310 miles (500 km) drive range on a single charge. It plans to produce around 3 million of the vehicle, which has a price tag of $75,000, by 2025.

Volvo is throwing its hat into the ring offering the world one of the best electric cars of 2019. Volvo modeled the XC40 electric from its subcompact luxury crossover SUV, XC40 first unveiled on 21 September 2017. A vehicle that won the Women’s World Car of the Year 2018 award and in the same year, earned itself the European car of the year at 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

Just like Audi’s Q6 e-tron Quattro SUV, the XC40 will have a range of around 310 miles (500 km) on a single charge. Volvo is playing coy with the vehicle details and hasn’t disclosed the battery capacity. We are suspecting a 95 kWh battery pack similar to Audi’s e-tron SUV. However, Volvo won’t be asking for a lot of money for the XC40 electric considering that the vehicle would compete with the likes of Tesla X and Jaguar I-pace expected to launch before the XC40. When the vehicle makes it into the market later this year, we expect the price tag to be around $50,000, based on gathered information.

Volvo’s upstart Polestar is offering one of the best electric cars of 2019, the Polestar 2, considered Tesla Model 3 rival. The vehicle has already been introduced ahead of a formal debut at the 2019 Geneva auto show. The Polestar 2 is an all-wheel-drive electric car powered by a 78 kWh battery pack that produces over 400 hp (300 kW) and 490 pound-feet (660 Nm) of torque. The vehicle has a total mile range of 275 miles on a single charge and can sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100km/h) in 4.7 seconds.

The Polestar 2, which is built in China, will make it into the US market early summer next year, according to the company’s CEO Gregor Hembrough in an interview with Automotive News. The vehicle will have a simple cockpit featuring an 11-inch screen that looks much like an iPad. The 5-door sedan is based on the company’s modular platform, which underpins parent company Volvo’s XC40 SUV.

Though buyers will have to be a little patient, the Polestar 2 price will start at $44,000, before tax incentives. A variant that’s well-equipped will be available in the first year of production at the price of $63,000 before incentives.

Honda introduced its Golf-looking Urban EV in 2017 with the promise it would meet the needs of mobility in the environs of modern urban. The cute electric car is expected to make an official debut for mass production version at the upcoming Geneva auto show. Orders for the popular Honda Urban EV will open this year, 2019, and the vehicle is expected to hit the roads in early 2020.

Honda has not released full details of the Urban EV but claims it has a range of 153 miles (251 km) on a single charge. We expect the vehicle to be installed with an electric motor of around 170 hp like the BMW i3.

Tesla Model Y will become the American electric car company’s next major product following Model 3 which now starts at $35,000. Model Y made its first debut in 2016, and have since been in the pipeline for a final review of the production model. In a tweet on Sunday, March 3rd, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the SUV’s production model would be unveiled on March 14, 2019, at the company’s L.A. design studio.

Tesla-Model-Y-image

Tesla-Model-Y-image

Tesla is expected to provide full details of the vehicle spec and features during the launch. But the Model 3-based SUV drive range on a single charge should fall between 200 miles and 300 miles, just like the Model 3 and the price could be around $40,000. Tesla Model Y would be available for order later this year, with production expected to begin in 2020.

Peugeot will officially introduce its e-208 electric car at the 2019 Geneva Motor show, having teased the vehicle features in February. According to statements by the French auto giant, the Peugeot e-208 electric car will be available for orders in late summer 2019, with deliveries slated early 2020.

Just like most of the vehicles on this list of best electric cars, the Peugeot e-208 will require only 30 minutes of DC charging for a whopping range of 211 miles (340 km), according to WLTP rating. The vehicle is powered by a 50 kWh battery pack. It has a total output of around 140 hp (100 kW) and 351 pound-feet (260 N.m) of torque that allows the car to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 8.1 seconds. The Peugeot e-208 price has not been announced yet, but the car is expected to be extremely budget-friendly among all the 5 best electric cars listed here.