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Google moves one step closer to ads that can deliver personalization and privacy

Individualized targeting is replaced by group targeting using an algorithm to assign people to interest-based cohorts.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 6 days ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

With an eye toward deal-seekers, Google releases promotions, pricing updates for both advertisers and users this holiday season

Pricing and promotions in Google Shopping could be more important than ever this year.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 6 days ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

Smashing Giveaway: Join Smashing Newsletter and Win Smashing Prizes

With so much happening in front-end and UX these days, it can be quite difficult to keep track of important things. Luckily, there are wonderful newsletters and blogs out there that shed light on the latest in the web industry. In fact, with our weekly Smashing Email Newsletter, we aim to achieve that as well.

Every week, we send out useful front-end & UX tips, techniques and tools to help you get better at your work. We couldn’t be more grateful for the trust of 190,000 designers and web developers who are already subscribed. And if you aren’t yet, now there is a good reason to join in!

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What’s needed to join in? Just subscribe to Smashing Email Newsletter, and if you are already signed up, you’re already a part of the raffle! Exciting!

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We kindly thank you for your trust and ongoing support. And perhaps tell your friends and colleagues about the newsletter as well, if you get a chance. It goes without saying that we’d sincerely appreciate it.

Thanks for being… smashing — now and ever, everyone!

Reblogged 6 days ago from smashingmagazine.com

Getting Started With Next.js

Lately, Next.js has termed itself The React Framework for Production, and with such bold claim comes a bevy of features that it offers to help you take your React websites from zero to production. These features would matter less if Next.js isn’t relatively easy to learn, and while the numerous features might mean more things and nuances to learn, its attempt at simplicity, power, and perhaps success at it is definitely something to have in your arsenal.

As you settle in to learn about Next.js, there are some things you might already be familiar with and you might even be surprised at how it gives you a lot to work with that it might seem almost overwhelming at face value. Next.js is lit for static sites and it has been well-engineered for that purpose. But it also takes it further with its Incremental Static Regeneration that combines well with existing features to make development a soothing experience. But wait, you might ask. Why Next.js?

This tutorial will be beneficial to developers who are looking to get started with Next.js or have already begun but need to fill some knowledge gaps. You do not need to be a pro in React, however, having a working experience with React will come in handy.

But Why Next.js?

  1. Relatively easy to learn.
    That’s it. If you’ve written any React at all, you’d find yourself at home with Next.js. It offers you advanced tools and a robust API support, but it doesn’t force you to use them.
  2. Built-in CSS support.
    Writing CSS in component-driven frameworks comes with a sacrosanct need for the “cascade”. It’s why you have CSS-in-JS tools, but Next.js comes out of the box with its own offering — styled-jsx, and also supports a bevy of styling methodologies.
  3. Automatic TypeScript support.
    If you like to code in TypeScript, with Next.js, you literally have automatic support for TypeScript configuration and compilation.
  4. Multiple data fetching technique.
    It supports SSG and/or SSR. You can choose to use one or the other, or both.
  5. File-system routing.
    To navigate between one page to another is supported through the file-system of your app. You do not need any special library to handle routing.

There are many more other features, e.g. using experimental ES features like optional-chaining, not importing react everywhere you use JSX, support for APIs like next/head that helps manage the head of your HTML document, and so on. Suffice to say the deeper you go, the more you enjoy, appreciate, and discover many other features.

Requirements For Creating A Next.js App

Creating a Next.js app requires Node.js, and npm (or npx) installed.

To check if you have Node.js installed, run the command in your terminal:

# It should respond with a version number
node -v

Ideally, npm (and npx) comes with your Node.js installation. To confirm that you have them installed, run the commands in your terminal:

# Run this. It should respond with a version number
npm -v

# Then run this. It should also respond with a version number
npx -v

In case any of the commands above fails to respond with a version number, you might want to look into installing Node.js and npm.

If you prefer the yarn package manager instead, you can run install it with the command:

# Installs yarn globally
npm i -g yarn

Then confirm the installation with:

# It should also respond with a version number
yarn -v

Creating A Next.js App

Getting the requirements above out of the way, creating a Next.js can be done in two ways, the first being the simplest:

  1. With create-next-app, or
  2. Manually

Creating A Next.js App With create-next-app

Using create-next-app is simple and straightforward, plus you can also get going with a starter like Next.js with Redux, Next.js with Tailwind CSS, or Next.js with Sanity CMS etc. You can view the full list of starters in the Next.js examples repo.

# Create a new Next.js app with npx
npx create-next-app <app-name>

# Create a new Next.js app with npm
npm create-next-app <app-name>

# With yarn
yarn create next-app <app-name>

If you’re wondering what the difference between npm and npx is, there’s an in-depth article on the npm blog, Introducing npx: an npm package runner.

Creating A Next.js Project Manually

This requires three packages: next, react, and react-dom.

# With npm
npm install next react react-dom

# With yarn
yarn add next react react-dom

Then add the following scripts to package.json.

"scripts": {
  "dev": "next dev",
  "start": "next start",
  "build": "next build"
}

Folder Structure

One salient thing you might notice after creating a Next.js app is the lean folder structure. You get the bare minimum to run a Next.js app. No more, no less. What you end up with as your app grows is up to you more than it is to the framework.

The only Next.js specific folders are the pages, public, and styles folder.

# other files and folders, .gitignore, package.json...
- pages
  - api
    - hello.js
  - _app.js
  - index.js
- public
  - favicon.ico
  - vercel.svg
- styles
  - globals.css
  - Home.module.css

Pages

In a Next.js app, pages is one of the Next-specific folders you get. Here are some things you need to know about pages:

  • Pages are React components
    Each file in it is a page and each page is a React component.

// Location: /pages/homepage.js
// <HomePage/> is just a basic React component
export default HomePage() {
  return <h1>Welcome to Next.js</h1>
}
  • Custom pages
    These are special pages prefixed with the underscore, like _app.js.

    • _app.js: This is a custom component that resides in the pages folder. Next.js uses this component to initialize pages.
    • _document.js: Like _app.js, _document.js is a custom component that Next.js uses to augment your applications <html> and <body> tags. This is necessary because Next.js pages skip the definition of the surrounding document’s markup.
  • File-based routing system based on pages
    Next.js has a file-based routing system where each page automatically becomes a route based on its file name. For example, a page at pages/profile will be located at /profile, and pages/index.js at /.

# Other folders
- pages
  - index.js # located at /
  - profile.js # located at /profile
  - dashboard
    - index.js # located at /dashboard
    - payments.js # located at /dashboard/payments

Routing

Next.js has a file-based routing system based on pages. Every page created automatically becomes a route. For example, pages/books.js will become route /book.js.

- pages
  - index.js # url: /
  - books.js # url: /books
  - profile.js # url: /profile

Routing has led to libraries like React Router and can be daunting and quite complex because of the sheer number of ways you might see fit to route section of your pages in your Next.js app. Speaking about routing in Next.js is fairly straightforward, for the most part of it, the file-based routing system can be used to define the most common routing patterns.

Index Routes

The pages folder automatically has a page index.js which is automatically routed to the starting point of your application as /. But you can have different index.jss across your pages, but one in each folder. You don’t have to do this but it helps to define the starting point of your routes, and avoid some redundancy in naming. Take this folder structure for example:

- pages
  - index.js
  - users
    - index.js
    - [user].js

There are two index routes at / and /users. It is possible to name the index route in the users folder users.js and have it routed to /users/users if that’s readable and convenient for you. Otherwise, you can use the index route to mitigate the redundancy.

Nested Routes

How do you structure your folder to have a route like /dashboard/user/:id.

You need nested folders:

- pages
  - index.js
  - dashboard
    - index.js
    - user
      - [id].js # dynamic id for each user

You can nest and go deeper as much as you like.

Dynamic Route Segments

The segments of a URL are not always indeterminate. Sometimes you just can’t tell what will be there at development. This is where dynamic route segments come in. In the last example, :id is the dynamic segment in the URL /dashboard/user/:id. The id determines the user that will be on the page currently. If you can think about it, most likely you can create it with the file-system.

The dynamic part can appear anywhere in the nested routes:

- pages
  - dashboard
    - user
      - [id].js
          - profile

will give the route /dashboard/user/:id/profile which leads to a profile page of a user with a particular id.

Imagine trying to access a route /news/:category/:category-type/:league/:team where category, category-type, league, and team are dynamic segments. Each segment will be a file, and files can’t be nested. This is where you’d need a catch-all routes where you spread the dynamic parts like:

- pages
  - news
    - [...id].js

Then you can access the route like /news/sport/football/epl/liverpool.

You might be wondering how to get the dynamic segments in your components. The useRouter hook, exported from next/router is reserved for that purpose and others. It exposes the router object.

import { useRouter } from 'next/router';

export default function Post() {
  // useRouter returns the router object
  const router = useRouter();

  console.log({ router });
  return <div> News </div>;
}

The dynamic segments are in the query property of the router object, accessed with router.query. If there are no queries, the query property returns an empty object.

Linking Between Pages

Navigating between pages in your apps can be done with the Link component exported by next/link. Say you have the pages:

- pages
  - index.js
  - profile.js
  - settings.js
  - users
    - index.js
    - [user].js

You can Link them like:

import Link from "next/link";

export default function Users({users) {
  return (
    <div>
      <Link href="/">Home</Link>
      <Link href="/profile">Profile</Link>
      <Link href="/settings">
        <a> Settings </a>
      </Link>
      <Link href="/users">
        <a> Settings </a>
      </Link>
      <Link href="/users/bob">
        <a> Settings </a>
      </Link>
    </div>
  )
}

The Link component has a number of acceptable props, href — the URL of the hyperlink — been the only required one. It’s equivalent to the href attribute of the HTML anchor (<a>) element.

Other props include:

Prop Default value Description
as Same as href Indicates what to show in the browser URL bar.
passHref false Forces the Link component to pass the href prop to its child./td>
prefetch true Allows Next.js to proactively fetch pages currently in the viewport even before they’re visited for faster page transitions.
replace false Replaces the current navigation history instead of pushing a new URL onto the history stack.
scroll true After navigation, the new page should be scrolled to the top.
shallow false Update the path of the current page without re-running getStaticProps, getServerSideProps, or getInitialProps, allows the page to have stale data if turned on.

Styling

Next.js comes with three styling methods out of the box, global CSS, CSS Modules, and styled-jsx.

There’s an extensive article about Styling in Next.js that has been covered in Comparing Styling Methods in Next.js

Linting And Formatting

Linting and formatting I suspect is a highly opinionated topic, but empirical metrics show that most people who need it in their JavaScript codebase seem to enjoy the company of ESLint and Prettier. Where the latter ideally formats, the former lints your codebase. I’ve become quite accustomed to Wes Bos’s ESLint and Prettier Setup because it extends eslint-config-airbnb, interpolate prettier formatting through ESLint, includes sensible-defaults that mostly works (for me), and can be overridden if the need arises.

Including it in your Next.js project is fairly straightforward. You can install it globally if you want but we’d be doing so locally.

  • Run the command below in your terminal.
# This will install all peer dependencies required for the package to work
npx install-peerdeps --dev eslint-config-wesbos
  • Create a .eslintrc file at the root of your Next.js app, alongside the pages, styles and public folder, with the content:
{
  "extends": [
    "wesbos"
  ]
}

At this point, you can either lint and format your code manually or you can let your editor take control.

  • To lint and format manually requires adding two npm scripts lint, and lint:fix.
"scripts": {
  "dev": "next dev",
  "build": "next build",
  "start": "next start"
  "lint": "eslint .", # Lints and show you errors and warnings alone
  "lint:fix": "eslint . --fix" # Lints and fixes
},
  • If you’re using VSCode and you’d prefer your editor to automatically lint and format you need to first install the ESLint VSCode plugin then add the following commands to your VSCode settings:
# Other setting
"editor.formatOnSave": true,
"[javascript]": {
  "editor.formatOnSave": false
},
"[javascriptreact]": {
  "editor.formatOnSave": false
},
"eslint.alwaysShowStatus": true,
"editor.codeActionsOnSave": {
  "source.fixAll": true
},
"prettier.disableLanguages": ["javascript", "javascriptreact"],

Note: You can learn more on how to make it work with VSCode over here.

As you work along you most likely will need to override some config, for example, I had to turn off the react/jsx-props-no-spreading rule which errors out when JSX props are been spread as in the case of pageProps in the Next.js custom page component, _app.js.

function MyApp({ Component, pageProps }) {
  return <Component {...pageProps} />;
}

Turning the rule off goes thus:

{
  "extends": [
    "wesbos"
  ],
  "rules": {
    "react/jsx-props-no-spreading": 0
  }
}

Static Assets

At some or several points in your Next.js app lifespan, you’re going to need an asset or another. It could be icons, self-hosted fonts, or images, and so on. To Next.js this is otherwise known as Static File Serving and there is a single source of truth, the public folder. The Next.js docs warns: Don’t name the public directory anything else. The name cannot be changed and is the only directory used to serve static assets.

Accessing static files is straightforward. Take the folder structure below for example,

- pages
  profile.js
- public
  - favicon.ico #url /favicon.ico
  - assets
    - fonts
      - font-x.woff2
      - font-x.woff # url: /assets/fonts/font-x.woff2
    - images
      - profile-img.png # url: /assets/images/profile-img.png
- styles
  - globals.css

You can access the the profile-img.png image from the <Profile/> component:

// <Profile/> is a React component
export default function Profile() {
  return {
      <div className="profile-img__wrap">
        <img src="/assets/images/profile-img.png" alt="a big goofy grin" />
      </div>
  }
}

or the fonts in the fonts folder in CSS:

/* styles/globals.css */
@font-face {
  font-family: 'font-x';
  src: url(/assets/fonts/font-x.woff2) format('woff2'),
       url(/assets/fonts/font-x.woff) format('woff');
}

Data Fetching

Data fetching in Next.js is a huge topic that requires some level of undertaken. Here, we’ll discuss the crux. Before we dive in, there’s a precursory need to have an idea of how Next.js renders its pages.

Pre-rendering is a huge part of how Next.js works as well as what makes it fast. By default, Next.js pre-renders every page by generating each page HTML in advance alongside the minimal JavaScript they need to run, through a process known as Hydration.

It is possible albeit impractical for you to turn off JavaScript and still have some parts of your Next.js app render. If you ever do this, consider doing it for mechanical purposes alone to show that Next.js truly Hydrates rendered pages.

That being said, there are two forms of pre-rendering:

  1. Static Generation (SG),
  2. Server-side Rendering (SSR).

The difference between the two lies in when data is been fetched. For SG, data is fetched at build time and reused on every request (which makes it faster because it can be cached), while in SSR, data is fetched on every request.

What they both have in common is that they can be mixed with Client-side Rendering
wit fetch, Axios, SWR, React Query etc.

The two forms of pre-rendering isn’t an absolute one-or-the-other case; you can choose to use Static Generation or Server-side Rendering, or you can use a hybrid of both. That is, while some parts of your Next.js app uses Static Generation, another can use SSR.

In both cases, Next.js offers special functions to fetch your data. You can use one of the Traditional Approach to Data Fetching in React or you can use the special functions. It’s advisable to use the special functions, not because they’re supposedly special, nor because they’re aptly named (as you’ll see) but because they give you a centralized and familiar data fetching technique that you can’t go wrong with.

The three special functions are:

  1. getStaticProps — used in SG when your page content depends on external data.
  2. getStaticPaths — used in SG when your page paths depends on external data.
  3. getServerSideProps — used in Server-side Rendering.

getStaticProps

getStaticProps is a sibling to getStaticPaths and is used in Static Generation. It’s an async function where you can fetch external data, and return it as a prop to the default component in a page. The data is returned as a props object and implicitly maps to the prop of the default export component on the page.

In the example below, we need to map over the accounts and display them, our page content is dependent on external data as we fetched and resolved in getStaticProps.

// accounts get passed as a prop to <AccountsPage/> from getStaticProps()
// Much more like <AccountsPage {...{accounts}} />
export default function AccountsPage({accounts}) {
  return (
    <div>
      <h1>Bank Accounts</h1>
      {accounts.map((account) => (
        <div key={account.id}>
          <p>{account.Description}</p>
        </div>
      ))}
    </div>
  )
}

export async function getStaticProps() {
  // This is a real endpoint
  const res = await fetch('https://sampleapis.com/fakebank/api/Accounts');
  const accounts = await res.json();

  return {
    props: {
      accounts: accounts.slice(0, 10),
    },
  };
}

As you can see, getStaticProps works with Static Generation, and returns a props object, hence the name.

getStaticPaths

Similar to getStaticProps, getStaticPaths is used in Static Generation but is different in that it is your page paths that is dynamic not your page content. This is often used with getStaticProps because it doesn’t return any data to your component itself, instead it returns the paths that should be pre-rendered at build time. With the knowledge of the paths, you can then go ahead to fetch their corresponding page content.

Think about Next.js pre-rendering your page in the aspect of a dynamic page with regards to Static Generation. For it to do this successfully at build time, it has to know what the page paths are. But it can’t because they’re dynamic and indeterminate, this is where getStaticPaths comes in.

Imagine you have a Next.js app with pages States and state that shows a list of countries in the United States and a single state respectively. You might have a folder structure that looks like:

- pages
  - index.js
  - states
    - index.js # url: /states
    - [id].js # url /states/[id].js
 

You create the [id].js to show a single state based on their id. So, it the page content (data returned from getStaticProps) will be dependent on the page paths (data returned from getStaticPaths).

Let’s create the <States/> components first.

// The states will be passed as a prop from getStaticProps
export default function States({states}) {
  // We'll render the states here
}

export async function getStaticProps() {
  // This is a real endpoint.
  const res = await fetch(https://sampleapis.com/the-states/api/the-states);
  const states = await res.json();

  // We return states as a prop to <States/>
  return {
    props: {
      states
    }
  };
}

Now let’s create the dynamic page for a single state. It’s the reason we have that [id].js so that we can match the path /states/1, or /states/2 where 1 and 2 are the id in [id].js.

// We start by expecting a state prop from getStaticProps
export default function State({ state }) {
    // We'll render the states here
}

// getStaticProps has a params prop that will expose the name given to the
// dynamic path, in this case, id that can be used to fetch each state by id.
export async function getStaticProps({ params }) {
  const res = await fetch(
    https://sampleapis.com/the-states/api/the-states?id=${params.id}
  );
  const state = await res.json();

  return {
    props: {
      state: state[0]
    }
  };
}

If you try to run the code as it is, you’d get the message: Error: getStaticPaths is required for dynamic SSG pages and is missing for /states/[id].

// The state component
// getStaticProps function
// getStaticPaths
export async function getStaticPaths() {
  // Fetch the list of states
  const res = await fetch("https://sampleapis.com/the-states/api/the-states");
  const states = await res.json();

  // Create a path from their ids: /states/1, /states/2 ...
  const paths = states.map((state) => /states/${state.id});

  // Return paths, fallback is necessary, false means unrecognize paths will
  // render a 404 page
  return { paths, fallback: false };
}

With the paths returned from getStaticPaths, getStaticProps will be made aware and its params props will be populated with necessary values, like the id in this case.

Extras

Absolute Imports

There’s support for absolute import starting from Next.js 9.4 which means you no longer have to import components relatively like:

import FormField from "../../../../../../components/general/forms/formfield"

instead you can do so absolutely like:

import FormField from "components/general/forms/formfield";

To get this to work, you will need a jsconfig.json or tsconfig.json file for JavaScript and TypeScript respectively, with the following content:

{
  "compilerOptions": {
      "baseUrl": "."
  }
}

This assumes that the components folder exists at the root of your app, alongside pages, styles, and public.

Experimental ES Features

It is possible to use some experimental features like Nullish coalescing operator (??) and Optional chaining (?.) in your Next.js app.

export default function User({user) {
  return <h1>{person?.name?.first ?? 'No name'}</h1>
}

Conclusion

According to the Next.js team, many of the goals they set out to accomplish were the ones listed in The 7 principles of Rich Web Applications, and as you work your way in and deep into the ecosystem, you’d realize you’re in safe hands like many other users who have chosen to use Next.js to power their websites/web applications. Give it a try, if you haven’t, and if you have, keep going.

Resources

Reblogged 6 days ago from smashingmagazine.com

Reimagining entertainment and the customer experience with social media

The events of 2020 disrupted the status quo for many industries, but few have been hit as hard as those that rely on face-to-face interactions and in-person experiences. Museum visits are mostly on-hold, live entertainment (e.g. concerts) are a no-go and sporting events are nearly shut out to anyone who isn’t a player. As a result, brands have accelerated their digital transformation and realized the impact of social media on customer experience. With social media, brands can bring entertaining experiences into their audience’s homes and keep fans engaged until things return to “normal.”

Keeping your audience engaged is just a matter of having the ingenuity and insights to pivot and provide a meaningful experience. Sprout Social’s Analytics and Publishing tools can fuel that ingenuity, surface those insights and help marketers bring new customer experiences to life.

Interactive entertainment from the comfort of your couch

Major music festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza have embraced social media entertainment and streamed their shows for years. Now, with everyone stuck at home, artists and organizations are finding ways to make livestreaming events more innovative, interactive and accessible.

Recently, Visible, a new phone service, partnered with Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado to host Unpaused, a three-day immersive virtual concert series with big names like Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion, Sam Hunt and more. Unlike other virtual concerts, fans were able to customize their concert experience and interact in ways that made it feel like they were really a part of the crowd.

Using technology from Visible, a new phone service, audience members could cast their vote for each artist’s encore song. And perhaps best of all, they could also send a message to the bands and artists as they played, which would then be projected on the rock faces in the stadium.

Fans also shared their excitement and experience using the hashtag #VisibleXRedRocks, which made it easy for Visible to later reach out to those fans and drive additional engagement and brand awareness.

A total of 8.5 million people tuned into the event, which was a major turnout for the artists and a massive audience that may have learned about Visible for the first time during the event. With an analytics tool like Sprout, brands can measure the short and long-term impact that these kinds of immersive events have on brand awareness. Tracking branded event hashtags like #VisibleXRedRocks can also help brands pinpoint what moments of the show resonated with attendees and apply those learnings to their next live event.

The innovative approach to the concert series, the chosen artists and the incorporation of their own technology says a lot about the Visible brand itself, and will leave a lasting impression among those in attendance.

Audience-inspired events and content

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is a local treasure and now, a brand with fans around the world. During the pandemic, Wellington and his crew of penguin pals at the aquarium became internet sensations. While it was closed to the public, the aquarium was open to penguins for exploration, which their social media made sure to capture. It was social media entertainment gold. Since reopening, the aquarium has made sure to keep the Wellington content coming, to the delight of all their new fans around the world.

The aquarium has a regular schedule of events, but this year, they’re organizing and promoting virtual events on social, so that non-local followers can participate. The fanfare spurred on by the aquarium’s behind-the-scenes social content inspired a new online experience, Virtual Animal Encounters. Fans can still catch a glimpse of the animals on social, but if they want a real-time virtual meet-and-greet with the animals they can do it from the comfort of their home.

Shedd Aquarium’s success is proof that social media is a great testing ground for brand content and new initiatives. To understand the results though, you need social analytics tools. With Sprout’s Premium Analytics, you can do post-level research to identify what’s working on what platforms and what’s resonating with your audience. For example, a destination like Shedd Aquarium could create animal-specific tags for each of their posts. In doing so, they could then look back at the Tag Report in Sprout to determine which animals their audience adores most and should therefore be included in their Virtual Animal Encounters series.

Livestreaming social media entertainment

Even after the pandemic is over, when businesses open up to the public again, expect virtual events to continue going strong. The convenience, cost-effectiveness and ability to broadcast to audiences around the world can’t be overlooked.

In the Sprout Social Index™, we found that 55% of social media marketers planned to incorporate more live video into their 2020 strategies. That may come as no surprise since nearly every social media platform has adopted its own version of livestreaming, and the lack of in-person experiences in 2020 has made us crave real-time human interaction.

Rather than canceling, New York Comic-Con decided the show must go on via livestream on YouTube. The event was free to fans around the world and even if they missed the stream while it was live, the videos and the accompanying chat remain available on the New York Comic-Con YouTube channel.

For marketers, an obvious benefit of going live is that you get immediate feedback from viewers that you can respond to nearly instantly, which mimics an in-person experience. That experience is equally important for viewers and fans, like those at Comic-Con, who are eagerly awaiting answers from their favorite panelists in the live chat.

If your brand hosts or sponsors a virtual convention, conference or event via livestream, the people in attendance will inevitably want to share takeaways and highlights with colleagues, friends, family and more. Planning your content and scheduling it ahead of the event will give you the freedom to engage with audiences in real-time.

Create a collection of content links, social handles, community questions and other resources that relate to the event’s topics and speakers. Then, use a publishing tool like Sprout to create social posts around those takeaways. You can either schedule each post to line up with the time of the speaker(s) they relate to, or save posts as a draft and publish when you feel the time is right. That way, viewers can put a pin in those resources or share on their own social platforms, which in turn contributes to your social and marketing goals. It’s also a great way to learn what points resonate with your audience most.

New normal? Try the next normal

Leveraging social media and virtual experiences to entertain, expand your brand value and sustain profitability is not just the new normal, it’s the next normal. If you’re not sure how your brand can or should enhance your social presence to better serve your customers, turn to your social data. Nearly everything you need to know about your audience can be found with analytics. Look back at content that had strong engagement, reach, link clicks or another KPI that speaks to your goals and let it inspire your future social strategy.

As people continue to search for entertainment close to home, having a localized social strategy will be critical for reaching the right audience, especially for businesses with multiple locations. Those businesses should also consider creating separate social media accounts for their various locations. To help you identify if there’s a need for your business to have location-specific accounts, complete this free worksheet.

This post Reimagining entertainment and the customer experience with social media originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Reblogged 6 days ago from feedproxy.google.com

The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Advertising

I’m willing to bet, whenever you have marketing strategy discussions with your team, you typically discuss the same three or four social platforms — Facebook? Check. Instagram? Check. Pinterest? Check.

But — what about Amazon?

In 2018, Amazon launched “Amazon Advertising”, (formerly Amazon Marketing Services, or AMS), as a search advertising solution for Amazon vendors. Similar to pay-per-click ads on Google, sellers only pay when shoppers click on ads.

AMS is rapidly growing. In fact, Amazon’s ad revenues are projected to amount to 12.75 billion in 2020, with an impressive 23% growth since 2019

If you’re already not using AMS, your team should consider it. Amazon Advertising could become a core advertising platform for many businesses, as well as a good alternative to Google and Facebook.

To help you get started advertising on Amazon, we’ve created this ultimate guide that fleshes out each type of ad you can run on Amazon and some of their best practices. Read on to learn how to advertise on the ecommerce platform in 2020.

Keep reading, or jump to a specific type of Amazon advertising:

1. Amazon Sponsored Ads

2. Amazon Headline Search Ads

3. Amazon Product Display Ads

4. Amazon Native Ads

5. Amazon Video Ads

6. Amazon Stores

Amazon Advertising Strategy

Even though we’ll be describing five unique types of Amazon advertisements that all have different best practices, here are seven general tips for shaping a successful Amazon advertising strategy:

1. Determine your goals.

Whether you want to drive more sales or boost brand awareness, Amazon allows you to align your targets with your goals. For instance, you can deem your Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) as your metric of success if you’re focusing on driving more sales.

Alternatively, you can deem impressions as your metric of success if you’re focusing on boosting brand awareness.

Fortunately, Amazon divides its product page up into “Objectives” if it’s easiest for you to figure out which Amazon ad product works best for you depending on your goals. For instance, video ads, display ads, audio ads, and custom advertising solutions are recommended if your goal is to grow brand awareness

By working backwards from your goals, you’ll ensure the strategy you implement on Amazon is best-suited for your business needs. 

2. Choose the right products to advertise.

Advertising your most popular products gives you the best chance to convert clicks into purchases. You should also make sure these products are in stock and priced competitively. 

Alternatively, perhaps you have a new product or service for which you’d like to increase awareness. When choosing the right products or services to advertise, you’ll want to keep your goals in-mind, and also ensure you’ve done your research to determine whether Amazon is the right platform to showcase your products in the first place. 

3. Craft clear, concise, and compelling product detail pages.

Amazon ads can entice shoppers to visit your product detail pages, but the product detail page is what will ultimately turn those shoppers into customers. To craft a persuasive product detail page, consider including accurate and descriptive titles, high-quality images, and relevant and useful product information.

4. Choose where you want to place your ads.

Amazon offers a variety of products within its full advertising suite — for instance, you can create voice ads to display across Alexa-enabled devices, video ads to stream across Fire TV or Amazon-exclusive sites like IMBD, or display ads to attract Amazon users to your brand. 

Once you’ve determined whether voice, video, or search is right for you, you’ll want to investigate various options, including sponsored brand ads versus sponsored product ads (which we’ll discuss in the next step). 

Keep in mind, there are tons of opportunities to place your ads on various devices or sites with Amazon, so consider getting creative. Perhaps an audio advertisement that plays on Alexa-enabed devices is best-suited for your business, or maybe you’ll find the highest ROI with Amazon DSP, which allows you to reach Amazon audiences on both Amazon-owned and third-party sites and apps.

5. Test out sponsored brands versus sponsored products.

To explore the differences between sponsored brands versus sponsored products, let’s consider the following example.

When I search “baby food” on Amazon, the first sponsored placement I see is Gerber’s sponsored brand post, which highlights a few different Gerber products to increase brand awareness and drive sales: 

However, consider what happens when I click on an individual Gerber baby food product. In the bottom right of the product screen right below the “Buy Now” button, I see a Happy Family Organics advertisement for an individual product — Stage 4 Fiber & Protein baby food pouches:

happy tot sponsored product on amazon

This is the difference between a sponsored brand versus a sponsored product post. Simply put, a sponsored brand post can display a few of your products or services, and is ultimately best-suited for companies aiming to increase brand awareness around an entire product line. 

Alternatively, a sponsored product post is a cost-per-click (CPC) ad that promotes individual product listings on Amazon. If you’re hoping to drive sales to a specific product or you’d like to target a niche audience (for instance, anyone who’s already clicked on a competitor’s product), this might be the better option for you.

6. Use category-specific targeting. 

Amazon offers advanced targeting functionality to help you display your products alongside top-rated products, or even alongside tangentially-related products — for instance, if you sell K-cups for a keurig, you might serve your ad to Amazon users who’ve searched for “keurig”. 

By using Product Attribute Targeting, you’re able to show ads to shoppers who’ve shown interest in other products within your industry. This advanced targeting capability helps you maximize effectiveness of your ads. Plus, it allows you to increase brand recognition with a high-intent audience. 

For instance, when I search for basketballs on Amazon and click on a Wilson product, I can scroll down and see a section labelled “Sponsored products related to this item”: 

sponsored products related to basketball on amazon

Avid basketball players are likely more inclined to take a look at knee braces or sports cones, making this an effective ad placement. Even if shoppers arent’ in the 

even if I’m not in the market right now, I’ll ideally keep these brands in-mind for the future. 

7. Take advantage of negative keywords to reduce wasted spend. 

It’s important you avoid wasting ad spend by including negative keywords — or which keywords you don’t want to appear for — to avoid serving your ad to people who won’t convert. 

Consider, for instance, the difference between a search for “granola bars” and a search for “KIND granola bars”. You don’t want to appear in a search for “KIND granola bars”, when the user is clearly determined to find a specific granola brand.

For this reason, you might want to include brands like “KIND” or “Chewy” in your negative keywords list, so your ad can be served to users with a more general interest in perusing various granola brand products. 

You’ll also want to include negative keywords if they don’t relate to your product to avoid wasting your ad spend towards people who aren’t interested in your product. For instance, if your product isn’t gluten-free, you’ll want “gluten free” on your negative keywords list. 

Additionally, you might consider getting more specific to target your ads at a smaller, more high-intent group of people. Rather than simply targeting “granola bar”, you might try targeting “low-sugar granola bar”, for instance.

Amazon Sponsored Ads

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads are pay-per-click, keyword-targeted display ads for individual products that appear on the search results and product detail pages. With Sponsored Product Ads, there are three types of keywords you can bid on if you decide to leverage manual targeting — broad, phrase, and exact.

sponsored sock product on amazon

Broad keywords can include words before and after the target keyword, like “white hand mixers”, if you sell hand mixers. Targeting these keywords will expose your ads to the greatest amount of traffic.

Phrase keywords focus on how the sequence of the words you use changes the context of a query. For example, “stainless steel hand mixer” indicates you sell hand mixers. But “hand stainless steel mixer” indicates you sell stainless steel mixers, but not necessarily stainless steel hand mixers.

Exact keywords are the most constraining type of targeted keyword — a shopper’s search query must contain the exact keyword for your ad to show up and no words can come before or after the keyword. For example, if you choose to target exact keywords, you can target an ad for “hand mixer”, but it won’t show up for the query “electric hand mixer”.

Using Sponsored Product Ads, you can also use automatic keyword targeting, which leverages an algorithm to target the most relevant keywords for your product ads.

To gauge the performance of your ads, Sponsored Product Ads offers a reporting tool that displays your ads’ clicks, spend, sales, and advertising cost of sales (ACoS).

Amazon Sponsored Ads Best Practices

Targeting

With Amazon Sponsored Product Ads, you can find keywords that have low conversion rates and flag them as negative. This way, Amazon will stop showing your ad to shoppers who search for those queries. Ensuring you flag certain keywords as negative is critical — even if these keywords have a high click-through-rate, their low conversion rate means they’re probably not reaching the right type of shoppers.

Bidding

Available in Manual Targeting ad campaigns, you can leverage Bid+ to boost the odds of your ad appearing at the top of search results. You can only use Bid+ on ads that are eligible to appear at the top of search results, but when you do, you can increase your default bid by up to 50%, keeping your top performing campaigns competitive, without having to constantly adjust your bids manually.

Amazon Headline Search Ads (a.k.a. Sponsored Brand Campaigns)

example of amazon headline search ad of crossbody bag

Image Source

Currently known as Sponsored Brand Campaigns, this type of Amazon advertising allows you to promote keyword-targeted ads of multiple products above, below, and alongside search results.

Using Sponsored Brand Campaigns, you can target three types of keywords — branded product keywords, complementary product keywords, and sponsored products automatic targeting keywords.

Branded product keywords are a combination of your brand name and a product you sell.

Complimentary product keywords are a bundle of two individual products that influence the demand for each other and can be sold together (like ketchup and mustard).

Sponsored products automatic targeting keywords are search queries that you’ve already experienced success with while running automatic targeted sponsored product campaigns.

Sponsored Brand Campaigns also lets you feature up to three unique products in your ads, customize your ads’ image, headline, and landing page, and even tests these elements.

Below is an image from Amazon that details the keywords that you can use for your sponsored brand campaigns:

Amazon details the various types of keywords.

Image Source

To determine how much you pay for Sponsored Brand Campaigns, Amazon uses a pay-per-click, auction-based pricing model, so you’ll never pay more than you bid per click. In addition to manual bidding, you can choose automated bidding, which will optimize your ads for conversion.

If you want to know how well your advertisements are performing, Sponsored Brand Campaigns offers a reporting feature that displays your ads’ clicks, spend, sales, estimated win rate for keywords, and ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales).

Below, Shirt Invaders promotes three of their T-shirts. Clicking on each of the shirts goes specifically to the product page. However, clicking on the “Shop Now” button below the copy takes you to its Amazon Store:

Shirt Invaders Amazon headline search ads above the search results.Image Source

Sponsored Brand Campaigns Best Practices

Ad Creative

It’s a good idea to feature three top-performing products in your Sponsored Brands Campaign to increase the amount of clicks and sales your ads generate.

Amazon also recommends including your product’s top benefit in your ad’s headline because mobile shoppers can only see the ad’s main image and headline.

Additionally, when describing your product, try not to claim your product is “#1” or a “Best Seller” — your ad won’t get approved.

Testing

To run the most accurate and fruitful tests, consider only changing one variable at a time, run them for at least two weeks, and anchor the success of your tests to business goals.

Landing Page Design

With Sponsored Brands, you can direct shoppers to your Amazon store or a customized product page. Consider testing how different product pages convert visitors into customers, as well as the order in which your products appear.

Amazon Product Display Ads

amazon-Product-Display-Ads

Product display ads are pay-per-click ads that appear on product detail pages, customer review pages, on top of the offer listing page, and below search results. 

You can also place these ads on abandoned cart emails, follow-up emails, and recommendations emails. Their main objective is to cross-sell or upsell your customers.

sponsored products related to razors on amazon

Using product display ads, you can use two types of campaign targeting: product and interest. Product targeting is a contextual form of targeting, so you can target specific products and related categories. Interest targeting is a behavioral form of targeting, so you can target shopper interest and reach a larger audience.

Product display ads also let you choose which in-category detail pages you want to advertise on, customize your creative, and offers a reporting tool that displays your campaigns’ clicks, spend, sales, advertising cost of sales (ACoS), detail page views, spend, units sold, total sales, and average cost-per-click (ACPC).

Amazon Product Display Ads Best Practices

Targeting

Use product targeting on competitor pages, complementary product detail pages, and your own product detail pages to cross-sell and upsell similar products. Using product targeting on related categories also extends your reach to sections of Amazon’s catalogue that are related to your products.

Ad Creative

When crafting your headlines, Amazon allows you to include phrases like “Exclusive”, “New”, “Buy Now”, and “Save Now”, but making claims like “#1” or “Beat Seller” will get your ad rejected.

Amazon Native Ads

Amazon Native Ads are ads that you can place on your brand’s own website. There are three types of native ads: recommendation ads, search ads, and custom ads.

Recommendation ads are ads you can place in product article pages on your website. These ads are dynamic, so Amazon will populate your most relevant product recommendation based on your web page’s content and visitors.

Screen Shot 2020-10-13 at 2.28.30 PMImage Source

Search ads are ads that populate on your website based off keywords that your customers search for on Amazon or on your website.

Search ads on Amazon.

Image Source

Custom ads allow you to select your own assortment of products you’d like to promote and place them on your product article posts.

Custom ads on Amazon feature men's running shoes.

Image Source

Amazon Native Ads Best Practice

Just like a call-to-action on a blog post, make sure your native shopping ads are extremely relevant to the pages you place them on. This way, when your website visitors finish reading your post, the ads are a natural next step and can lead to more conversions.

Amazon Video Ads

Amazon Video Ads are ads that you can place on Amazon-owned sites like Amazon.com and IMDb, Amazon devices like Fire TV, and various properties across the web. You can buy Amazon video ads regardless of whether you sell products on Amazon or not, and you can set your ad’s landing page as an Amazon product page, your own website, or any other web page on the internet.

example of peloton video ad on amazon

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If you want to work with Amazon’s video ad consultants, you can sign up for their managed-service option, but to be eligible, you usually need to spend a minimum of $35,000 on video ads.

Amazon Stores

Users can promote their brand or product on your own multi-page Amazon Store. Using Amazon’s templates or drag-and-drop tiles, you can showcase your brand’s products or portfolio of work.

With Amazon Stores, brands get an Amazon URL and can view traffic analytics, which enables them to keep track of sales, traffic sources, and ad campaigns.

Additionally, creating an Amazon Store is free.

Amazon Stores Best Practices

Once you create an Amazon Store, you can use the analytics tool to find the top performing keywords which have converted to sales. Additionally, the analytics tool will let you know which products sell.

This lets you know which products you might want to consider for a paid ad campaign. Plus, it also shows what potential buyers are interested in.

Below is an example of an Amazon Store:

Kitchen Smart Amazon Store featuring their best products.

Image Source

When you create an Amazon Store, the best practices are similar to best practices of any landing page — use clear photos, easy-to-read captions, and clear pricing. Additionally, make sure you showcase your highest performing products. Or you could opt to introduce new products on your Store as well.

Before you craft your Store, come up with the products you want to feature on your navigation. Then, list all your products that you will showcase on those pages. Lastly, gather the clear, professional photos of your product, write your captions, and list your prices.

Ultimately, selling on Amazon can be an impactful marketing strategy for ecommerce brands. As consumers continue to lean into online shopping, Amazon advertising can play a large role in your online sales.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Reblogged 6 days ago from blog.hubspot.com

35 Office Costume Ideas for Marketing Nerds & Tech Geeks

Halloween is a fun holiday, and it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It doesn’t have recognizable songs or vacation days associated with it, and it falls on a busy time of year for most people in the workforce.

But that doesn’t mean you should skip the festivities at your office Halloween celebration.

How many days of the year are you encouraged to dress up and goof around at work? Probably just one — Halloween — and even then, it can be hard to know what’s office-appropriate.

We want you to have fun this Halloween, so we’re taking the work out if it for you. We’ve compiled a list of DIY Halloween costume ideas that are easy to put together, inexpensive, and perfect for the digital marketer or tech professional.

If your family and friends don’t get your costume, your colleagues definitely will.

35 Office Costume Ideas for Marketing Nerds & Tech Geeks

Computer or App-Related Costumes

1. Alt Text

Alt text isn’t just the metadata of an image published on the web — you could also say it’s an “alternative” fashion statement with the text to describe the era. This was HubSpot Director of Content Corey Wainwright’s office Halloween costume a few years ago. It’s great because you don’t even look dressed up if you have a casual office dress code, so you can just blend in.

To dress as alt text this halloween, break out your best 90s alternative garb — our coworker Corey went with black jeans, combat boots, and a flannel. Then, tape hyphenated text that best describes what you’re wearing, much like an image of your outfit would do online to help search engines read the file.

We edited a sash of alt text on to the alternatively dressed girl below, just to help you picture your awesome costume.

Source: That’s Life

2. SEO Ninja

Speaking of dorking out on SEO, you could be everyone’s favorite LinkedIn title — the SEO ninja. Dress in all black, buy a black ski mask, and tape keywords all over yourself. Voila … you’re an actual ninja — just one much more concerned with search engine optimization than lurking in the darkness.

seo-ninja-costumeSource: Pinterest

3. Mobile App

Wander around holding an appetizer — candy, cheese and crackers, chips and dip … whatever you have on hand. Boom. You’re a mobile “app.”

This costume also doubles as a great way to introduce yourself and make friends at a party.

mobile-app-costume.pngSource: Opportunity Max

4. Instagrammer

Want another way to turn handing out food into a costume? Dress up like a hipster and hand out graham crackers. You’re an “instant” “gram” cracker server — or, for short, an Instagrammer. Pun absolutely intended.

5. Ghostwriter

Have you ever written something for somebody else’s byline? Such is the life of a “ghostwriter.” Turn your author-less accomplishment into this year’s office Halloween costume.

To dress up as a ghostwriter, grab a white sheet and cut a hole for your head and arms. Dob some black ink spots on the sheet, get a book and one of those feather quills (or just get a feather, I suppose), and boo — you’re a ghostwriter.

ghostwriter-costume

6. Whitespace

Whitespace on the internet might just denote all the blank space you use to help your design stand out, but on Halloween, “whitespace” isn’t just the absence of space.

Dress in all white — add white face paint and a white wig if you’re ultra-committed. Then add a hint of color somewhere on the outfit, like a colored tie or scarf, or even a paint splotch. That color splotch will make the white space more prominent, transforming you into “whitespace.”

7. Error 404 Code

You’ve most likely encountered a funny error 404 page before, and you can make it a funny costume, too. Grab a sheet of paper, write “Error 404: Costume Not Found,” and tape it to your outfit.

 

A photo posted by RachAel Klopfenstein (@theklopf) on Sep 5, 2015 at 12:33pm PDT

8. (Monty) Python

If you’re into programming code, British comedy, and low-effort costumes, being (Monty) Python is perfect. Dress up in anything remotely snakelike in your closet: olive green clothing, snakeskin accessories, and fake vampire teeth that can serve as your fangs.

Then, to amp up the dork factor on this costume, add two coconuts or a gold chalice to embody Monty Python on his quest for the Holy Grail.

9. Facebook

Grab face paint or eyeliner and write “book” across your cheeks. Just like that, you’re the world’s biggest social network for Halloween.

And for your sake, we hope your colleagues actually get it:

Halloween-Jim_Bookface-Jim.jpgSource: AndPop

10. Unicorn

Here’s another tech-friendly, double-entendre costume: Be your own version of a tech unicorn. Here at HubSpot, we love this tech icon, and you can easily make your own version of a unicorn horn with help from this article.

aid2617087-v4-900px-Make-a-Unicorn-Horn-Step-10-Version-3.jpgSource: WikiHow

11. Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are nothing to joke about — they can seriously threaten your technology and data security. But on Halloween, you can dress up as a play on phishing emails for an easy DIY costume. All you need are a stick, a piece of string, and an envelope. Bonus points if you own a bucket hat and vest to complete the ensemble. Check out an amusing version of this costume below.

Email phishing Halloween costume with fishing rod with Passwords label as baitSource: Car and Driver

12. Copycat

“CNTRL + C” is the popular keyboard macro allowing you to copy items from one place to another on your computer. Well, here’s a technology spin on a classic Halloween costume. All you’ll need are cat ears, eyeliner-drawn whiskers, and a sheet of paper. Write “CNTRL + C” on the paper, tape it to your outfit, and you’re a “copycat.”

Girl in copycat Halloween costume with black cat makeup and CNTRL + C labeled necklaceSource: BuzzFeed

13. The Blue Screen of Death

You know the screen, even if you don’t know the morbid nickname the tech world has given it. This classic error screen is known for signaling the end of a computer’s useful life, and you know it when you see it. It causes so much stress on site, in fact, that the color alone is scary enough for October 31.

Believe it or not, there are official T-shirts you can get with the blue screen of death copy printed on them. Want to make your own? All you need is a royal blue t-shirt and a printed version of this horrifying error message to pin to it.

T-shirt with Blue Screen of Death error message printed on itSource: Spreadshirt

14. GPS Costume

This will work best with two people. You can cut a Point A and Point B pin shape out of cardboard, paint both red, and simply write A and B on it. From there, you can personalize the costume whichever way you’d like. You can even get more intricate by finding a T-Shirt with a map on it. 

GPS office costume

Source: Pinterest

15. Dead Battery and Low Wi-Fi 

Nothing is more terrifying than a dead battery or no Wi-Fi. This costume brings all of techy’s fears to life. It’s also pretty simple to create. Just tape or glue images of dead Wi-Fi and low battery signals on to a black shirt. To emphasize the low-connectivity fears, put on some zombie or skeleton makeup. 

Although this can work as a couples costume, this could also be a fun option for office colleagues. Since both costumes within the set don’t rely on each other to be understandable, an individual could also wear either the Dead Battery outfir or the No-Wi-Fi suit and still be easily recognized.

Dead Battery and Low Wi-Fi Halloween Costume

Source: Pinterest

Emoji Costumes

16. Information Desk Girl

This genius professional found a golden (or, rather, purple) opportunity to be the “information desk emoji, the many gestures of whom we’ve all come to know, love, and use at some point in a text conversation.

The best part about this awesome tech reference is that you don’t need to alter your regular attire to make it work. As Naomi shows us below, it’s all in the hand gestures.

17. Dancing Girls Emoji

If you’re the owner of one of the nearly more than 1 billion Apple iPhones sold worldwide, you’re probably familiar with the dancing girls emoji, shown below.

The easiest version of this costume is to find a buddy and dress all in black together. If you’re committed to emoji authenticity, buy black bunny ears to complete the look.

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 2.13.14 PM.pngSource: Brit + Co

18. Heart Eyes

Are you just in love with Halloween? Prove it with this passionate emoji face. You don’t have to paint your entire face, chin to hairline, to get the Heart Eyes Emoji just right, but it certainly helps. It’ll also disguise your stress when you’re at your most focused during the day.

“This employee just seems to love her job, I can’t put my finger on why,” your manager will think … See how to paint this emoji onto your face below (you’ll need some help for this one).

 

 

Topical Office Costumes

19. Fully Vested

At work, “fully vested” usually refers to one’s ability to earn all matching funds of a 401(k) retirement plan. But for some, you just can’t help but picture someone wearing lots of sleeveless jackets at the same time. Now’s the time to personify that image.

If you work in a company where people would get the joke, put on a bunch of vests (at least three, but even more is encouraged), and that’s about it. You’re fully vested.

20. Nerd

What I love about the nerd costume is that it’s effortless and always unique — there are many ways to be a nerd in this day and age. Are you a tech nerd, a video game nerd, or a book nerd? The sky is the limit with this costume. Show up wearing glasses with your favorite accessories, such as a magic wand, book, or lightsaber, to complete the effect.

Worlds cutest nerd costumes. Erin Harrison and Chandler Abney everyone!! ;) Follow me for my next Halloween costume!

Source: Pinterest

21. A Solar Eclipse

Last year, the solar eclipse took over the internet — and the country. As millions of people flocked to the path of totality to (hopefully) catch a glimpse of this rare event without burning their corneas, millions more made jokes about it on social media.

To dress up as a solar eclipse for Halloween, you’ll need a work pal to dress up as the sun and the moon with you. One of you wears black, the other wears yellow, and you both wear dark sunglasses. Then, at the Halloween party, the one dressed in black spends the whole time standing in front of the one in yellow.

Two girls dressed in solar eclipse costume at an officeSource: Pinterest

22. The ‘Evil Kermit’ Meme

If you haven’t heard of this mega-popular meme this year, you’ve probably seen it somewhere: It features Kermit the Frog, face-to-face with his evil twin, Evil Kermit. Evil Kermit looks identical, except for the black cloak.

For this costume, you and a coworker can keep it simple: You both wear green shirts, and one of you wears a black hoodie or jacket on top. If you really want to commit to the costume, you’ll spring for some green face paint to complete the ensemble. Walk around the party together, facing one another, for maximum effect.

evil kermit halloween.png

23. Fifty Shades of Grey: PG Paint Swatch Costume

Want to do something cheeky, but still office friendly? This is PG pun costume shares the name of a popular romantic novel and film, “50 Shades of Grey.”

Go to your local paint or hardware store and buy 50 grey paint swatches. Then, tape them to a black shirt and tell your colleagues you’re, “50 Shades of Grey.” 

50 Shades of Grey Pun Halloween Costume

Source: Fox 24 of Kansas City

24. The “But That’s None of My Business” Meme

If you love Kermit the Frog, but don’t have a colleague to team up with for the “Evil Kermit” costume, consider going solo with a costume based off of the “But That’s None of My Business” meme, where Kermit is seen judgmentally drinking coffee.

All you have to do is stick a pair of eyes on a green hoodie and start sipping your tea or coffee. For an added effect, you can cut a white photo frame to hold in front of you so you can look like an image posted on social media. 

But That's None of My Business Meme Halloween CostumeSource: Pinterest

25. Eleven from Stranger Things

Eleven from Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things is universally beloved, and it’s a bonus that her signature look is a comfortable and easy-to-assemble costume. Rock your best Eleven with a dress, a denim jacket, and a box of Eggo Waffles.

the-stranger-things-actress-behind-eleven-doesnt-love-eating-tons-of-eggo-waffles.pngSource: Business Insider

26. Scoops Ahoy Employee from Stranger Things

While Eleven, noted above, is an absolute classic Stranger Things character, 2019’s season inspired another great costume opportunity. During the newest installment of episodes, Stave, a main character played by Joe Keery, worked at an icecream shop called Scoops Ahoy. As a server, he had to wear a goofy sailor uniform alongside his coworker Robin

Since the season aired, the uniform has been regularly worn by cosplayers and at Comic Con as people mimic Steve and Robin.

Since it’s a pretty generic sailor uniform, you might be able to easily find one that’s similar in a variety of Halloween shops. This costume could work for both individuals or two colleagues. 

27. Pokémon GO Trainer

Pokémon GO had roughly 45 million people walking around in cities glued to their phones last summer (I, among them). To pay homage to the explosion of this tech trend, you’ll need a t-shirt that’s red, yellow, or blue. Using fabric paint or permanent marker, write Valor (for red), Instinct (for yellow), or Mystic (for blue) on your shirt.

Spend Halloween walking around pointing your phone at objects, and you’re the spitting image of a Pokémon GO trainer. Gotta catch ’em all, right?

 

A photo posted by Odinia (@marshmallowsie) on Aug 9, 2016 at 4:44pm PDT

 

 

Group Office Costumes

28. The Sales Lifecycle

At HubSpot, we love embracing team costumes. In 2018, a handful of HubSpot employees grabbed some T-Shirts and wrote the stages of the sales lifecycle on them. Then they lined up accordingly and passed a fake prospect listing around to symbolize the process of making a sale. This was such an easy costume to coordinate that the team could even include an out-of-office employee over a video call. 

HubSpot Employee sales cycle halloween costumeSource: Maggie Bomze, Principal Customer Success Manager of Strategic Accounts at HubSpot

29. Social Media Channels

While this Pinterest image shows classmates posting as the major social media networks, this could easily be modified to fit the office setting. 

Simply pick out a solid list of the hottest social networks, then by blank T-Shirts that match the colors of each platform. From there, you can either draw, tape or glue the logos on to each shirt. If you’re not interested in the tutus worn below, you could also find matching pants, or just wear jeans and keep things simple.

Social Media Network team costumes

Source: Pinterest

30. Google Algorithm Update

Find a couple of office buddies for this one — one panda, one penguin, and one pigeon. You might be thinking, “what the heck is the pigeon algorithm update?” 1) It’s a thing, and 2) we checked Amazon for hummingbird costumes and there aren’t any cheap ones available.

google-algorithm-update-halloween-costumes.jpgSource: Opportunity Max

31. Black Hat and White Hat SEO

This is another SEO-related costume, and I think you can figure this one out on your own. I recommend wearing a black hat for one, and a white hat for the other, and having “SEO” embroidered on each one — which you can easily custom order.

Black hat with SEO label on topSource: SEO-Hacker

32. Snapchat Filters

Here’s another group costume idea that pays tribute to Snapchat’s filters feature.

There are numerous options that you and your team can choose from to embody this costume. You could dress up as vomiting rainbows, cat and dog ears, a flower crown, or a face swap, and this could be as DIY or store-bought as you’re interested in pursuing. For example, here’s some inspiration for a couple of the dog filters:

snapchat filter team costumeSource: PopSugar

33. Snapchat Ghosts

Put a marketing spin on a classic Halloween costume by arriving as a Snapchat ghost. You’ll all need a white sheet and to pick which ghost you like the most.

Snapchat Ghost team halloween costumeSource: YouTube

34. PAC-MAN and Company

Here’s yet another awesome ghostly costume idea your whole team at work can get in on. Have your team lead wear the yellow pie-shaped garb of PAC-MAN, with each team member dressed as the multi-colored ghosts that roam the screen in this vintage arcade game.

Just make sure the team lead doesn’t actually try to eat the ghosts — you’re in an office, and you’re all technically on the same team.

Group costume with PAC-MAN, four ghosts and fruit from the vintage arcade gameSource: Meningrey

35. Instagram Filters

For this group costume, you’ll need white t-shirts and fabric markers. Draw an Instagram photo frame on the front of your shirts, and each team member can write a different Instagram filter‘s name inside the photo frame. Or, create frame props with different filters on them like the group did below:

Instagram Filter Halloween costumesSource: Nails Magazine

The clothes don’t make the marketer, but the costume can certainly make the culture at your company. Find out what it takes to hire and train the best fits for your open roles in the free ebook, available below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published October 21, 2018 but was updated in October of 2019 for comprehensiveness.

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