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The truth behind Puskás Akadémia FC - How Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán stole a legend, built a stadium in his backyard and guided his team to Europe

The 2019/2020 season of the Hungary’s National Football League (NB1) – being one of the first leagues to restart play - came to an end on 27 June. If a casual observer (for whatever reason) decides to check out the final standings, he would be not surprised at the first two positions: record-champion Ferencváros defended their title, while regional powerhouse Fehérvár (Videoton) came in second. However, the third place team, Puskás Akadémia FC might seem unusual and one could think that there is a story behind that. Is there a team named after Ferenc Puskás? Did some academy youths make an incredible run for the Europa League qualification? Well, the observer is right, there is a story behind all this, but it’s absolutely not a fun story. It’s a story about how one powerful man’s obsession with football stole a legend, misused state funds and killed the spirit of Hungarian football. (Warning: this is a long story, feel free to scroll down for a tl;dr. Also, I strongly advise checking out the links, those images are worth seeing).
Naturally, political influence in football has been present ever since the dawn of the sport and we know of numerous state leaders who felt confident enough to use their influence to ensure the successful development of their favored clubs – Caucescu’s FC Olt Scornicesti and Erdogan’s Basaksehir are well-known examples of such attempts. However, I fear that very few of the readers are aware of the fact that Puskás Akadémia FC is nothing but Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s grandiose project for establishing his hometown’s club as one of the country’s top teams. Considering that Orbán managed to achieve this goal using state funds in an EU member democracy in the 2000s, one might even say that it might be one of the most impressive attempts of cheating your way through Football Manager in real life. Now that Puskás Akadémia FC escaped the desolate football scene of Hungary and is getting ready for the European takeover, I feel that it’s high time to tell its true story.

Part 1: Part time striker, part time PM

Our story begins in 1999 when the 36-year-old striker Viktor Orbán (recently elected as the country’s Prime Minister) was signed by the sixth-tier side of Felcsút FC residing in rural Fejér County. It might sound surprising that an active politician would consider such a side job, but given that Orbán has been playing competitive low-level football throughout his whole life and has always been known as a keen football enthusiast, people seemed to be okay with his choice for a hobby. Orbán spent most of his childhood in the village of Felcsút (population: 1,800), so it seemed only natural that he would join the team after one of his old-time acquaintances became team president there.
Orbán’s arrival to the club seemed to work like a charm as Felcsút FC immediately earned a promotion to the fifth league. The Prime Minister’s busy program did not allow him to attend every training session and game but Orbán did make an effort to contribute as much as possible on the field – there is a report of a government meeting being postponed as Orbán was unavailable due to attending Felcsút FC’s spring training camp. The 2001/2002 season brought another breakthrough for the side as Felcsút was promoted to the national level of the football pyramid after being crowned the champion of Fejér County. Sadly enough for Orbán, he suffered a defeat on another pitch – his party lost the 2002 election and Orbán was forced to move to an opposition role.
No matter what happened on the political playing field, Orbán would not abandon his club. Just before the 2002 elections, Felcsút was surprisingly appointed as one of the regional youth development centers by the Hungarian FA. Orbán continued contributing on the field as well (he had more spare time after all) but his off-the-field efforts provided much more value for the team as he used his political influence to convince right-wing businessmen that they should definitely get sponsorship deals done with the fourth-division village team.
Club management was able to transform the influx of funds into on-field success: Felcsút FC was promoted to the third division in 2004 and achieved promotion to the second division in 2005. Although these new horizons required a skill level that an aging ex-PM is not likely to possess, Orbán regularly played as a late game sub and even appeared in cup games against actual professional opponents. The now-42-year old Orbán did not want to face the challenge of the second division, so he retired in 2005 – but this did not stop him from temping as an assistant coach when the head coach was sacked in the middle of the 2005-2006 season.
Success on the playing field did not translate to political success: Orbán lost the elections once again in 2006. However, this was only a temporary loss: the ruling party committed blunder after blunder and by early 2007 it became absolutely obvious that Orbán would be able return to power in 2010. Now confident in his political future, Orbán opted for the acceleration of football development in Felcsút – by late 2007 he took over the presidency of the club to take matters in his own hands. Sponsors seeking to gain favor with the soon-to-be PM were swarming Felcsút FC, so the club was able to stand very strong in an era where financial stability was a very rare sight in the Hungarian football scene, accumulating three medals (but no promotion) between 2007 and 2009.
On the other hand, Orbán realized the value of youth development as well, and started a local foundation for this purpose back in 2004 that gathered funds for the establishment a boarding school-like football academy. The academy opened its doors in September 2006 (only the second of such institutions in the country) and Orbán immediately took upon the challenge of finding an appropriate name for the academy.
He went on to visit the now very sick Ferenc Puskás in the hospital to discuss using his name, but as Puskás’ medical situation was deteriorating rapidly, communication attempts were futile. Luckily enough Puskás’ wife (and soon to be widow) was able to act on his incapable husband’s behalf and approved the naming deal in a contract. According to the statement, naming rights were granted without compensation, as “Puskás would have certainly loved what’s happening down in Felcsút”. However, there was much more to the contract: Puskás’ trademark was handed to a sports journalist friend of Orbán (György Szöllősi, also acting communications director of the academy) who promised a hefty annual return for the family (and also a 45% share of the revenue for himself). Ferenc Puskás eventually died on 17 November 2006 and on 26 November 2006 the football academy was named after him: Puskás Academy was born.
Orbán shared his vision of the whole organization after the opening ceremony: “It’s unreasonable to think that Felcsút should have a team in the top division. We should not flatter ourselves, our players and our supporters with this dream. Our long term ambition is the creation of a stable second division team that excels in youth development and provides opportunity for the talents of the future.” Let’s leave that there.

Part 2: No stadium left behind

Orbán became PM once again in April 2010 after a landslide victory that pretty much granted him unlimited power. He chased lots of political agendas but one of his policies was rock solid: he would revive sports (and especially football) that was left to bleed out by the previous governments. The football situation in 2010 was quite dire: while the national team has actually made some progress in the recent years and has reached the 42nd position in the world rankings, football infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. Teams were playing in rusty stadiums built in the communist era, club finances were a mess, youth teams couldn’t find training grounds and the league was plagued by violent fan groups and lackluster attendance figures (3100 average spectators per game in the 2009/2010 season).
Orbán – aided by the FA backed by business actors very interested in making him happy – saw the future in the total rebuild of the football infrastructure. Vast amounts of state development funds were invested into the football construction industry that warmly welcomed corruption, cost escalation and shady procurement deals. In the end, money triumphed: over the last decade, new stadiums sprung out from nothing all over the country, dozens of new academies opened and pitches for youth development appeared on practically every corner. The final piece of the stadium renovation program was the completion of the new national stadium, Puskás Aréna in 2019 (estimated cost: 575 million EUR). Orbán commemorated this historic moment with a celebratory video on his social media that features a majestic shot of Orbán modestly kicking a CGI ball from his office to the new stadium.
Obviously, Orbán understood that infrastructure alone won’t suffice. He believed in the idea that successful clubs are the cornerstone of a strong national side as these clubs would compete in a high quality national league (and in international tournaments) that would require a constant influx of youth players developed by the clubs themselves. However, Orbán was not really keen on sharing the state’s infinite wealth with private club owners who failed to invest in their clubs between 2002 and 2010. The club ownership takeover was not that challenging as previous owners were usually happy to cut their losses, and soon enough most clubs came under Orbán’s influence. Some clubs were integrated deep into Orbán’s reach (Ferencváros and MTK Budapest club presidents are high ranking officials of Orbán’s party) while in other cases, indirect control was deemed sufficient (Diósgyőri VTK was purchased by a businessman as an attempt to display loyalty to Orbán).
Pouring taxpayer money into infrastructure (stadium) projects is relatively easy: after all, we are basically talking about overpriced government construction projects, there’s nothing new there. On the other hand, allocating funds to clubs that should be operating on a competitive market is certainly a tougher nut to crack. The obvious solutions were implemented: the state media massively overpaid for broadcasting rights and the national sports betting agency also pays a hefty sum to the FA, allowing for a redistribution of considerable amounts. However, given that the income side of Hungarian clubs was basically non-existent (match day income is negligible, the failed youth development system does not sell players), an even more radical solution was desperately needed. Also, there was definite interest in the development of a tool that would allow for differentiation between clubs (as in the few remaining non-government affiliated clubs should not receive extra money).
The solution came in 2011: the so-called TAO (“társasági adó” = corporate tax) system was introduced, granting significant tax deductions for companies if they offered a portion of their profits to sports clubs – however, in theory, funds acquired through TAO can be only used for youth development and infrastructure purposes. Soon enough, it became apparent that state authorities were not exactly interested in the enforcement of these restrictions, so some very basic creative accounting measures enabled clubs to use this income for anything they wanted to. Companies were naturally keen on cutting their tax burdens and scoring goodwill with the government, so TAO money immediately skyrocketed. Opportunistic party strongmen used their influence to convince local business groups to invest in the local clubs, enabling for the meteoric rise of multiple unknown provincial teams (Mezőkövesd [pop: 16,000], Kisvárda [pop: 16,000], Balmazújváros [pop: 17,000]) into the first division.
Although it’s not the main subject of this piece, I feel inclined to show you the actual results of Orbán’s grandiose football reform. While we do have our beautiful stadiums, we don’t exactly get them filled – league attendance has stagnated around 3000 spectators per game throughout the whole decade. We couldn’t really move forward with our national team either: Hungary lost 10 positions in the FIFA World Rankings throughout Orbán’s ten years. On the other hand, the level of league has somewhat improved – Videoton and Ferencváros reached the Europa League group stage in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Too bad that the Instat-based top team of 2019/2020 Hungarian league consists of 10 foreigners and only 1 Hungarian: the goalkeeper.

Part 3: Small place, big game!

As seen in the previous chapter, Orbán did have a strong interest in the improvement of the football situation Hungary, but we shouldn’t forget that his deepest interest and true loyalty laid in the wellbeing of Felcsút and its academy. Now that Orbán had limitless means to see to the advancement of his beloved club, he got to work immediately. Orbán handed over formal club management duties to his friend / protégé / middleman / businessman Lőrinc Mészáros in 2010, but no questions would ever arise of who is actually calling the shots.
First of all, no club can exist without a proper stadium. Although in 2011 Orbán explicitly stated that “Felcsút does not need a stadium as stadiums belong to cities”, no one was really surprised in 2012 when the construction of the Felcsút stadium was announced. Orbán was generous enough to donate the lands just in front of his summer home in the village for the project, locating the entrance a mere ten meters away from his residence. Construction works for the stunningly aesthetic 3,800-seater arena (in a village of 1,800 people) started in April 2012 and were completed in April 2014, making Felcsút’s arena the second new stadium of Orbán’s gigantic stadium revival program.
The estimated budget of the construction was 120 million EUR (31,500 EUR / seat) was financed by the Puskás Academy who explicitly stated that they did not use government funds for the project. Technically, this statement is absolutely true as the construction was financed through the TAO money offered by the numerous companies looking for tax deduction and Orbán’s goodwill. However, technically, this means that the country’s budget was decreased by 120 million EUR unrealized tax revenue. Naturally, the gargantuan football stadium looks ridiculously out of place in the small village, but there’s really no other way to ensure that your favorite team’s stadium is within 20 seconds of walking distance from your home.
Obviously, a proper club should also have some glorious history. Felcsút was seriously lagging behind on this matter as though Felcsút FC was founded in 1931, it spent its pre-Orbán history in the uninspiring world of the 5th-7th leagues of the country. Luckily enough, Orbán had already secured Puskás’ naming rights and they were not afraid to use it, so Felcsút FC was renamed to Puskás Academy FC in 2009. The stadium name was a little bit problematic as the Hungarian national stadium in Budapest had sadly had the dibs on Puskás’ name, so they had to settle with Puskás’ Spanish nickname, resulting in the inauguration of the Pancho Arena. But why stop here? Orbán’s sports media strongman György Szöllősi acted upon the contract with Puskás’ widow and transferred all Puskás’ personal memorabilia (medals, jerseys, correspondence) to the most suitable place of all: a remote village in which Puskás never even set foot in.
While the off-field issues were getting resolved, Orbán’s attention shifted to another important area: the actual game of football. Although academy players started to graduate from 2008 on, it very soon became painfully obvious that the academy program couldn’t really maintain even a second division side for now. In 2009, Orbán reached an agreement with nearby Videoton’s owner that effectively transformed Felcsút FC into Videoton’s second team under the name of Videoton – Puskás Akadémia FC. The mutually beneficent agreement would allow Videoton to give valuable playing time to squad players while it could also serve as a skipping step for Puskás Academy’s fresh graduates to a first league team. The collaboration resulted in two mid-table finishes and a bronze medal in the second division in the following three seasons that wasn’t really impressive compared to Felcsút FC’s standalone seasons.
It seemed that the mixture of reserve Videoton players and academy youth was simply not enough for promotion, and although Orbán had assured the public multiple times that his Felcsút project was not aiming for the top flight, very telling changes arose after the 2011/2012 season. Felcsút terminated the Videoton cooperation deal and used the rapidly accumulating TAO funds to recruit experienced players for the now independently operating Puskás Academy FC (PAFC). The new directive worked almost too well: PAFC won its division with a 10 point lead in its first standalone year which meant that they would have to appear in the first league prior to the completion of their brand-new Pancho Arena. Too bad that this glorious result had almost nothing to do with the academy - only two players were academy graduates of the side’s regular starting XI.
Orbán did not let himself bothered with the ridiculousness of an academy team with virtually no academy players being promoted to the first division as he stated that “a marathon runner shouldn’t need to explain why the other runners were much slower than him”. Orbán also displayed a rare burst of modesty as he added that “his team’s right place is not in the first league, and they will soon be overtaken by other, better sides”.
The promotion of PAFC to the first division made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Supporter groups were united in hatred all along the league and not surprisingly, away fans almost always outnumbered the home side at PAFC’s temporary home at Videoton’s Sóstói Stadium (demolished and rebuilt in its full glory since then). One of the teams, however, possessed an extraordinary degree of anger against PAFC: supporters of Budapest Honvéd – the only Hungarian team in which Ferenc Puskás played – felt especially awkward about the transfer of their club legend’s heritage to Felcsút. Tensions spiked at the PAFC – Honvéd game when home security forced Honvéd supporters to remove the “Puskás” part of their traditional “Puskás – Kispest – Hungary” banner – the team answered the insult with style as they secured a 4-0 victory supported by fans chanting “you can’t buy legends”.
Despite Orbán’s prognosis, other better sides did not rush to overtake his team, so PAFC, now residing in their brand new Pancho Arena, came through with a 14th and a 10th place in their first two seasons. Naturally, conspiracy theories began to formulate, speculating that government-friendly owners would certainly not be motivated to give their best against PAFC. However, as the league size was reduced to 12 for the 2015/2016 season, PAFC found themselves in a dire situation just before the final round: they needed a win and needed rival Vasas to lose against MTK in order to avoid relegation. PAFC’s draw seemed to be unlucky as they faced their arch-enemy Honvéd at home, but Honvéd displayed an absolute lackluster effort – fueling conspiracy theories – and lost the fixture 2 to 1 against a home side featuring four academy players. Vasas, however, did not disappoint, their 2-0 victory resulted in PAFC’s elimination and a very relaxed sigh all over the football community.
PAFC’s relegation seemed to be in accordance with Orbán’s 2013 statement, so public opinion supposed for a while that Orbán’s project came to a halting point and the Academy would go on to actually field academy players in the second division (especially as rostering foreign players was prohibited in the lower leagues). However, if you have read through this point, you know better than to expect Orbán to retreat – obviously, PAFC came back with a bang. With a ballsy move, PAFC didn’t even sell their foreign players, they just loaned them across the league, promising them that they would be able to return next year to the newly promoted team. The promise was kept as PAFC went into another shopping spree of experienced players (easily convincing lots of them to choose the second division instead of the first) and easily won the second league.
Orbán – now aware of his negligence – opted for the doubling the team’s budget, making PAFC the third most well-founded club in the whole country (only coming short to his friend’s Videoton and his party minion’s Ferencváros). With an actual yearly influx from TAO money in the ballpark of 30-40 million EUR, PAFC management had to really work wonders in creative accounting in order to make their money look somewhat legitimate. The books were now full of ridiculous items like:
Naturally, in the country of no consequences, absolutely nothing happened: PAFC went on with its spending and signed 35 foreigners between 2017 and 2020. They did so because they could not hope to field a winning team in the first league consisting of academy players, despite the fact that Puskás Academy has been literally drowning in money since 2007. This seems to somewhat contradict Orbán’s 2013 promise, stating that “Puskás Academy will graduate two or three players to major European leagues each year”. To be fair, there have been players who managed to emerge to Europe (well, exactly two of them: Roland Sallai plays at Freiburg, László Kleinheisler played at Werder Bremen) but most academy graduates don’t even have the slightest the chance to make their own academy’s pro team as it’s full of foreigners and more experienced players drawn for other teams’ programs.
Despite their unlimited funding, PAFC could not put up a top-tier performance in their first two years back in the first division, finishing 6th and 7th in the 12-team league. Many speculated that the lack of support, motivation and even a clear team mission did not allow for chemistry to develop within the multinational and multi-generational locker room. Consistency was also a rare sight on the coaching side: club management was absolutely impatient with coaches who were very easily released after a single bad spell and there were talks of on-field micromanagement request coming from as high as Orbán.
Even so, their breakthrough came dangerously close in 2018 as PAFC performed consistently well in the cup fixtures and managed to reach the final. Their opponent, Újpest played an incredibly fierce game and after a 2-2 draw, they managed to defeat PAFC in the shootout. Football fans sighed in relief throughout the country as ecstatic Újpest supporters verbally teased a visibly upset Orbán in his VIP lounge about his loss.
Obviously, we could only delay the inevitable. While this year’s PAFC side seemed to be more consistent than its predecessors, it seemed that they won’t be able to get close to the podium - they were far behind the obvious league winner duo of Ferencváros and Videoton and were trailing third-place Mezőkövesd 6 points just before the pandemic break. However, both Mezőkövesd and PAFC’s close rivals DVTK and Honvéd fall flat after the restart while PAFC was able to maintain its good form due to its quality roster depth. PAFC overtook Mezőkövesd after the second-to-last round as Mezőkövesd lost to the later relegated Debrecen side. (Mezőkövesd coach Attila Kuttor was fined harshly because of his post-game comments on how the FA wants PAFC to finish third.)
PAFC faced Honvéd in the last round once again, and as Honvéd came up with its usual lackluster effort, PAFC secured an effortless win, confidently claiming the third place. PAFC celebrated their success in a nearly empty stadium, however neither Orbán, nor Mészáros (club owner, Orbán’s protégé, now 4th richest man of Hungary) seemed to worry about that. While Orbán high-fived with his peers in the VIP lounge, Mészáros was given the opportunity to award the bronze medals (and for some reason, a trophy) to the players dressed up in the incredibly cringe worthy T-shirts that say “Small place, big game!”. Big game, indeed: in the 2019/2020 season, foreign players’ share of the teams playing time was 43.6% while academy graduates contributed only 17.9%.
On Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after PAFC’s glorious success, György Szöllősi, now editor-in-chief of Hungary’s only sports newspaper (purchased by Orbán’s affiliates a few years back) published an editorial on the site, stating that “the soccer rebuild in Felcsút became the motor and symbol of the revitalization of sport throughout the whole country”. Well, Szöllősi is exactly right: Felcsút did became a symbol, but a symbol of something entirely different. Felcsút became a symbol of corruption, inefficiency, lies and the colossal waste of money. But, hey, at least we know now: you only need to spend 200 million EUR (total budget of PAFC and its academy in the 2011-2020 period) if you want to have a Europa League team in your backyard. Good to know!

Epilogue: What's in the future?

As there is no foreseeable chance for political change to happen Hungary (Orbán effortlessly secured qualified majority in 2014 and 2018, and is projected to do so in 2022 as well), PAFC’s future seems to be as bright as it gets. Although consensus opinion now seems to assume that Orbán does not intend to interfere with the Ferencváros – Videoton hegemony, we can never be really sure about the exact limits of his greed. One could also argue that entering the European theater serves as a prime opportunity for making splashy transfers who could be the cornerstones of a side challenging the league title.
However, as all political systems are deemed to fall, eventually Orbán’s regime will come apart. Whoever will take upon the helm after Orbán, they will certainly begin with cutting back on the one item on Orbán’s agenda that never had popular support: limitless football spending. Puskás Academy, having next to zero market revenue, will not be able to survive without the state’s life support, so the club will fold very shortly. The abandoned, rotting stadium in Felcsút will serve as a memento of a powerful man who could not understand the true spirit of football.
But let’s get back to present day, as we have more pressing issues coming up soon: PAFC will play their first European match in the First qualifying round of the Europa League on 27 August. We don’t have a date for the draw yet, but soon enough, a team unaware of the whole situation will be selected to face the beast. I hope that maybe one of their players does some research and maybe reads this very article for inspiration. I hope that the supporters of this club get in touch with Honvéd fans who would be eager to provide them with some tips on appropriate chants. I hope that other teams gets drawn as the home team so Orbán wouldn’t get the pleasure of walking to his stadium for an international match. But most importantly, I very much hope that this team obliterates PAFC and wipes them off the face of the earth. 5-0 will suffice, thank you.
And if this team fails to do that, we don’t have to worry yet. Due to our shitty league coefficient, PAFC would need to win four fixtures in a row. And that – if there’s any justice in this world – is a thing that can’t, that won’t happen. Ball don’t lie – if I may say.
TL,DR
Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán redirected some 200 million EUR of taxpayer money over 10 years to fuel his ambition of raising a competitive football team in his hometown of 1,800 people. He built a 3,800-seater stadium in his backyard, expropriated football legend Ferenc Puskás’ trademarks and heritage and built up a football league where almost all clubs are owned by his trustees. His team, Puskás Akadémia FC was originally intended to be a development ground for youth players graduating from Orbán’s football academy, but eventually the team became more and more result-orianted. Finally, a roster full of foreign and non-academy players came through and finished third in the league, releasing this abomination of a team to the European football theatre. Please, knock them out asap!
submitted by pogacsa_is_life to soccer [link] [comments]

The history of the Neptunia Reddit community, it's moderators, it's drama, how it got where it is, and how the divide is worsening in the shadows, and why the oldest burned bridges have had enough!

Not many of you recognize my username and honestly even if you knew my old accounts name it hasn’t had much meaning in the Neptunia fanbase for years ever since tiger_wsquared turned the subreddit over to Soah1086 , an action many of us who were around the subreddit during its inception and had been active among anime and gaming subreddits in general refer to to this day as “Gamindusti’s Original Sin”.
Since that time me and a few others found our new place in the Neptunia Reddit community. We looked, we analyzed, we profiled, we investigated as much as we could from the shadows recording the history of the subreddit and it’s ever increasing decline and how it correlated to the ever growing toxicity of the Neptunia fanbase at large. We knew a day may come where this history would need to be made public, when actions worse than what Soah1086 did to Rajaxx came from his moderation team and people needed the truth. Unfiltered from personal relations with any current users or moderators and gathered from a truly unbiased aspect. That day appears to have finally come.
Like most niche subreddits the beginnings of Gamindustri were rather humble. tiger_wsquared simply wanted a place for Neptunia fans to go on Reddit and looked to provide one. tiger_wsquared started by posting links to articles and news about the series but he also went out of his way to announce the creation of this subreddit. He posted it on gaming , JRPG, I personally found the subreddit the day he posted a very chill friendly post about it on nipponichi.
Despite being the creator and sole moderator of the subreddit Tiger still spoke to people like equals. Casual, Friendly, but still fulfilling his role as a moderator when needed. To Tiger he was a fan and member of the community first, moderator second.
tiger_wsquared was then contacted by soah1086 offering to help him out and redo the CSS for the subreddit. While since his departure from active Reddit user newer users of the platform aren’t aware soah1086 was always a heavily controversial person among anime Reddit communities. Soah1086 was one of two Reddit users among anime communities known to be a serious subreddit hoarder, offering to moderate subreddits he didn’t care about and do their CSS in hopes of patting his own ego. Throughout his time on Reddit Soah1086 always showed a series of anger management issues, aggressive impulses, and the shady practice of allowing drama in his favor while censoring any drama that painted him ill. He would also go to other anime subreddits he didn’t moderate and purposely try and stir their drama further. Soah1086 was referred to by many as “The Drama Boner”.
Not long after another Moderator was added to the mix Rajaxx, A moderator that took up the persona of Purple Heart. I know to this day a lot of rumors circulate about Purple Heart and no two are the same, they all contradict each other and not even Soah1086 keeps his story straight. Allow me to go over what happened with Rajaxx in detail from someone who went through and witnessed all that first hand.
The time of Rajaxx’s mod term was the golden age of the subreddit. Believe it or not Fanart wasn’t super common then. We had people posting Discussions, what if scenarios, game mods, fanfictions, trying to organize gaming events with each other, reviews, analysis, theories, roleplay threads. The community was unusually active, more so than it is now despite a smaller size, involved, a true sense of comradery.
By this time tiger_wsquared had begun distancing himself from the subreddit due to his real life struggles leaving soah1086 the defacto head moderator. Rajaxx had a large number of ideas that the community at large not only supported but would have created a more active, involved, positive, friendly, and united community but soah1086 constantly refused because it wasn’t what he would do, it was too much work for volunteers, none of his other subreddits do that, etc. soah1086 wasn’t even willing to give rajaxx’s ideas the benefit of the doubt.
A moderators role is to unite, try and promote content variation, and to do whats best for people other than themselves but this never aligned with soah1086’s style of moderation. Round table, a system that prioritized the moderator teams happiness above all else. See outside of just Gamindustri any community Soah1086 has had any decision making power outside the CSS has become toxic, divided, and drama ridden. Even the two subreddits he devoted the most time to because he actually cared about that series for once, fatestaynight and grandorder have grown into the most painfully ironic anime communities in Reddit history. With fatestaynight having a community that hates their moderators for being toxic pricks, and grandorder having such strict posting guidelines people often choose to post n fatestaynight instead. Someone who moderated under soah1086 on fatestaynight once described soah1086’s management style as “doing as little as possible, finding a good eroge that all the moderators like, using it to cum on a biscuit and having the community be glad you gave them a snack that month”. He is also the kind of person who publicly stated the reason he never did a second season of PeanutButterGamers hardcore is because he didn’t want people laughing at him, above all else he cared about being on a higher caste than anyone else.
Around this time the Gamindustri steam group was a thing. Rajaxx wanted to partner with it and make it official, a sentiment that was shared by most of the active community. Soah1086’s stance was “If we aren’t at the helm, it can’t be official”. Rajaxx made a post about it hoping the words and wishes of the community would be enough to move soah1086’s heart. Soah1086 was livid, Rajaxx showed his loyalty lied more with the community than it did the moderator team and to soah1086 that was a big no no. To every community Soah1086 had helmed the modus operandi was “your loyalty should be your fellow moderators first, close friends second, with whatever is left over being thrown to the community I guess”.
soah1086 took down Rajaxx’s post, said he was going to have a “long talk” with tiger_wsquared about Rajaxxs “position” and it seemed like less than the time it took us all to blink Rajaxx was demodded with soah1086 trying to spread a bunch of lies about him.
The entire subreddit was in a state of utter shock. The large majority of the community loved Rajaxx, he was more than just a moderator, he was one of them. People were either silent, confused and asking questions (while Soah1086 promised full transparency he didn’t provide it), and a very small group of rather toxic childish users who were scared of rajaxx because his ideas for a more united community would put them at risk of getting banned or seeing him as a threat to their own manipulative shady ambitions. soah1086 gave the toxic element a rule exempt card allowing them to break subreddit rules and sitewide policy when bashing Rajaxx while removing and censoring everything in his favor or that brought question to the actions taken by soah1086 and their nature or disapproving of them.
Rajaxx collected all the evidence he could of soah1086’s shady asshole and manipulative behavior, much of which was publicly facing, but soah1086 removed it and allowed more bashing. More and more of us gathering to Rajaxx’s defense did the same but soah1086 would censor anything that wasn’t 100% in the moderators favor, something his mod teams had a long history of doing when they saw their actions were unjust.
The demodding of rajaxx was like a light switch. So many of us left because of it with no intent on returning until someone came into control of the community that’s loyalty was more to the community than the happiness circle jerk of their fellow moderators. Fanart quickly came on the rise because without a moderator that acted as an equal promoting content diversity people just wanted the quick karma grabs. NSFW was on the rise which created heated arguments about kinks. Users divided into sub groups that were always in a constant power struggle against one another, toxicity battling it out while unable to see the wrong in their own actions and trying to solely put the blame on others. Manipulative power games over status and resentment became the norm. If you can find posts from when Rajaxx was still around and compare it to the community after you will see what I mean.
This drama inspired me to enter a career in law enforcement.
This at least did make me decide to follow a career in law enforcement so I could fight corruption and protect the innocent.
The subreddit was mostly left in the hands Histoire (aka kitsunedon ) and White Heart (aka luminous083) who were not bad moderators in their own right but they were honest, fair, and unbiased even though a bit too passive to break down the walls soah1086 had built they would at least prevent things from getting terribly worse. Anytime something happened on the subreddit soah1086’s stance was “It’s just old Purple Heart trying to cause shit again” despite the fact Rajaxx had resigned the fandom entirely by that point, overtime the rumors that spread turned even people Rajaxx had worked with and spoke to daily who knew he only ever had good intentions against him. This was something we had seen on other subreddits happen to people who opposed Soahs way of doing things but I digress.
As the sub numbers grew mod applications went up again and the moderators that were chosen were great picks. Neptune (Aka SuspicousScout) and Uzume (aka Willtheyordle ) while they both had their issues with proper mentoring they could have reached the uniting style rajaxx had but when you look to Soah1086 like he knows how to manage a paper bag you are not going to realize potential.
As kistunedon disappeared one day without any word or explanation willtheyordle picked up the random discussion posts kitsunedon had begun, SuspicousScout showed a level of personality, flair, and style almost reaching the level of rajaxx with willtheyordle just a few steps behind. willtheyordle wasn’t very active at first I would like to note.
SuspicousScout hoping to help bring the community together again around the series created the Gamindustri Discord server. Now it is important to note, for profiling actions taken by the mod team both before and after this that SuspicousScout did not fully consult their mod team about doing so, but it wasn’t an issue because it fit Soah1086’s mantra of to be recognized we must be in control.
Overtime SuspicousScout became frustrated with the lack of content diversity feeling users didn’t care about the series and just saw the series as a billboard for sex dolls. After making a poll about what people felt and being dissatisfied with the results SuspicousScout did the respectful thing and stepped down.
With Luminous083 having finished his schooling and no longer able to commit the large amount of commitment needed to moderate a subreddit such as gamindustri he distanced himself from the community leaving just WillTheYordle as the sole moderator to keep the rapid toxic selfish fanbase the actions of Soah1086 had created in check.
It was around this time the gamindustri moderator team began getting complaints about the Discord server. Now let me preface with this, the people who came to run the Gamindustri Discord weren’t innocent but nor were they guilty, they did some things that were very out of line but those things were not as bad as what the current moderator team did both before and after becoming moderators and nowhere near the extent to what Soah1086 had done during his entire Reddit history.
However with SuspicousScout no longer being the one in charge it no longer falls under the mantra of we need to be in charge to be recognized. Soah1086 smeared them the same way he had Rajaxx and if you loo at his behavior all throughout you have to half wonder if he was getting off to the drama.
In the aftermath of this new moderator applications were brought up and the new moderators were picked by Soah1086 personally. The picks were nonsensical and makes you wonder if Soah1086 is properly medicated.
Atanigan (Million Arthur)’s application was written like a champ, amon the top three moderator applications in the subreddits history. However he didn’t seem to have much care for the subreddit, after being moderated it seemed he’d go months without really doing anything while pooring his heart into his Discord server, Gamindustri Standard. Randoomguy666 (Nepgear) was a controversial pick due to his history involving him denouncing the community’s toxicity and porn obsession prior, people demanded he be removed but he was not and willtheyordle and soah1086 pleaded ignorance and having never been aware of his history despite both of them having publicly acknowledged it prior. Ryzer28 (Vert) was a lurker whos application showed no self confidence, drive, or real passion, to this day Ryzer28 is one of only two moderators in the subreddits history not a single accomplishment can be attributed to. Out of these three the one that objectively was the best pick was the most controversial one, randoomguy666 . Despite issues during his term he had done a decent blend of balancing commitment to the mod team and commitment to the fanbase. He was ever present, smiling, trying to help users and encourage activity by seeding content and events. Not to say he didn’t have his issues, as a prominent member of the Nepgear subgroup he was subject to the typical arguments with the Neptune or Plutia fans (Why is it Planeptune has all the infighting?) but yet during his term he has more accomplishments and positive actions attributed to him than most, easily reaching the top 4 most accomplished moderators in the subreddits long history.
In the midst of his controversy another new moderator was brought on a few days later, wwlink55 . Wwlink55 seemed more committed to his role as a moderator of the subreddit than Atanigan or Ryzer28, but far less so than Rajaxx, Luminous083 , Kitsunedon , SuspicousScout, WillTheYordle , and now Randoomguy666 and his habit of being very cold, sterile, and business like was and to this day still is a very unpopular approach among users who always responded better to the flair, personality, and having fun with it.
When that seemed to have been dying down the account PM_ME_YOUR_DARKSINS was subject to a statement by dracesquire announcing they had taken their own life. To this day there are conflicting reports to if that actually happened or not but I don’t think we will ever know at this point.
It was at this point we had the NSFW ban attempt of summer 2018, objectively speaking the subreddit at that time did need NSFW restrictions but not to go so hard and fast. Despite the community's hard objection to it multiple different methods were tried before heavily reduced to just “extreme NSFW”. Some of these included a single thread for all NSFW content, or just cold turkey. This event period was so extreme that it spawned the spin-off subreddit Gamindustrir18island where users were given free reign to anti-circlejerk on the gamindustri mod team, and for a period of a couple of days caused Neptunia to be opened up from its ever closed status.
Amidst the variety of various subreddit events being hosted by Randoomguy666 came what all the moderators admitted was his brainchild, The Miss Gamindustri Pageant. The event was quite popular and successful but there was some Drama towards the end. Mostly related to accusations of rigging, the Neptune, Nepgear, and Noire sub groups seemed to be the most vocal members of this little spat and as a member of the Nepgear subgroup Randoomguy666 faced a lot of flack for it.
Towards the beginning of 2019 moderator applications went up once more. Overall most of the applications were extremely lackluster, with only a few really being of note. HCLegend, Legend1nfamous , and the_seraph1.
Among the two new moderators were the_seraph1 (Purple Sister), and sleepyviewing (Gehaburn). These picks did carry a bit of controversy of their own by people accusing of character bias since most moderators seemed either to not care about the subreddit or pooring all their energy into the discord server owned by Atanigan giving the image Randoomguy666 was the end all be all. A prime example of this was for quite awhile nopani made a constant string of memes mocking this fact.
Despite it this was promising, sleepyviewings hyperlurker status kept him a bit of an unknown, but the_seraph1 was promising. He had only been around the subreddit a couple of months preventing any sub group from properly taking root, he was capable of memeing and joking, while also serious and professional, seeded any type of content that was on the decline and hosted multiple events regularly, even was the first moderator to get something to make the waters of reddits loli rule less murky something that bigger subreddits failed and and thanked him for. While I can’t say for sure if the most accomplished he was certainly a running candidate for most accomplished Neptunia moderator on Reddits history.
Not long after the moderator team started an NSFW ban attempt again this time polling for opinions via mod mail. The ban went through but the community was more upset this time at the lack of an affiliation with Gamindustrir18island and the instead establishment nor NeptuniaNSFW . Now many people asked why are there two Neptunia porn subreddits? Well the official answer is valid, members of gamindustrir18island including its moderators were guilty of a lot of hate spreading and harassment towards the gamindustri moderation team, if we look at its current Discord its early days were a cesspit and before that on the old gamindustrir18island discord the likes of edwin-of-northumbria and darklhel225 would regularly take part and engage in the hate cult based against randoomguy666, while my sources on the following part are second hand I also hear that a private discord spawned off the old gamindustri off topic chat room owned by silenteagle3 that user bashing and hate circling is a common occurance to this day ever since Silenteagle3 kicked randoomguy666 to make his friends happier. Not surprising if the rumors about the infamous Xander being amongthat discords most active and respected users are actually true.
The new Subreddit elected two new moderators to cover it, dracesquire and legend1nfamous, who seem to be the definition of “doing nothing but appreciate the sidebar” If we look at the history of NeptuniaNSFW and their accomplishments on it, being mentioned in the post about the gamindustri pixel art contest. Outside that their accomplishments or things they have done have been non-existent, half the time they seemed to forget their own subreddit existed.
Not long after we had randoomguy666 resign. For a lot of members it was a bittersweet moment, because despite the initial objections to him a lot of people warmed up to randoomguy666 over time with all the contributions he had brought to the community. Randoomguy666 did imply he planned to return someday. While there were some toxic hate filled comments people made they were quickly taken down leaving only the most respectful. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
As time went on the_seraph1 had shown a remarkable job juggling bringing the community back together with his full time job in a tech career, capable of full access and response time almost any time of day. There was a minor scuffle however when nopani lashed out at the_seraph1 for trying to cheer up and provide emotional support to a sad comment in a random Discussion post left by Nopani. nopani admitted that what he posted addressed emotional insecurities the_seraph1 had that had been explained to him by sleepyviewing. nopani’s behavior seemed out of nowhere, have nothing to do with what the_seraph1 said, and being hypocritical since nopani has made those same comments. If we look at the behavior of nopani there as a standalone isolated case no logical sense or reasoning can be applied to it. Having briefly discussed this with the other long term observers of Gamindustri the only way Nopani’s actions can make sense there is field testing, it was after this harassment from alt accounts that had almost no rhy7me or reason began on the rise, and since I’m just talking about publicly facing stuff I can’t begin to imagine what the_seraph1 had endured behind closed doors. The thing is if we look at every public facing harassment or hostile action taken against the_seraph1 afterwards they all seemed to address those same insecurities, if we take it as field testing how out of nowhere the behavior of nopani was can make half a lick of sense.
The summer approached and a new moderator was added, Archadianite or as he used to be known Glarcidium, taking up the olds mantle of Neptune that SuspicousScout had left behind. Big shoes to fill to say the least.
Around this same time randoomguy666 returned just in time for the AMA thread with Artisan Studios and announced he was helping a relatively unknown name, chaotic-throwaway help revive the subreddit nepgear. He was joined by two others, nopani and edwin-of-northumbria. To any uninvolved observer this behavior was once again a bit nonsensical. These were two people who expressed great relief when randoomguy666 left so why were they now supporting and modding with him?
Allegations came forward of Randoomguy666 faking his own death and spreading rumors against the moderator team came forward. willtheyordle made a post and god was it a good post. Yes it was basically denouncing someone but it was respectful, informative, and passive. While you look at any time Soah1086 calls someone out and you wonder if he has taken his ritalin that morning there was no doubt willtheordle’s post was made in good faith and to inform, not to direct hate. There was one common thing among all comments though. Everyone agreed without question that out of all of randoomguy666’s “victims” the_seraph1 had suffered the most. THIS IS ONCE AGAIN IMPORTANT.
Things were relatively calm for a while. Eventually nopani did make a post about leaving the subreddit and unfollowing all the Neptunia subreddits, yet still showed up in the pinned threads of every one saying he “stumbled upon it”. How did he stumble upon them if he unfollowed the subreddit? His motives clearly were not what he said they were because ifn he had truly unfollowed them it would have been impossible to stumble upon them scrolling through your feed.
Glarcidium was demodded in a very respectful post showing no hard feelings. I can’t say I am entirely surprised but I was disappointed for Glarcidium was one of the first who’s loyalty to the community came before his loyalty as a moderator. But I understand why with how quick he can be to jump before trying to take in all information. There was something that was confusing about all this. nopani said he once again “stumbled upon it” and that he never saw Glarcidium as mod material, but before he heralded the modding of Glarcidium as the greatest thing in subreddit history. Why the shift? Looking at the way nopani talked about the moderation team after Randoomguy666’s departure and comparing it to the way he did before the departure sucking up to be in good favor isn’t an impossibility.
In this brief time much was done to help mend the torn ligaments of the community. There was a community introduction thread that was incredibly popular, the_seraph1 was making constant posts not even as a moderator but as a user of “would you be interested in seeing something like this?”. The community was slowly mind you, but turning towards the path back to the state soah1086 had robbed it of smearing someone's name because he wanted to feel superior and incapable of wrong.
This sadly came to Seraph making a thread about what the community wanted, “State of the Subreddit”. Anyone who actively followed the subreddits history would know his words are sincere because the mindset of doing as little as possible and just trying to copy what others have done had long since been the norm in soah1086 communities. What the_seraph1 described had been a problem with every community he had ever managed and part of why they all grew to be so toxic.
The next day we saw the_seraph1 step down citing toxic harassment from the other moderators. While things were going well kind respectable words of goodbye and fond memories from the regulars it fell apart when atanigan jumped in lashing out at the_seraph1 saying he was lying, no one lashed out, etc. the_seraph1 posted a screenshot proving the other moderators were outright toxic and atanigan banned him citing “leaking mod chat”. Ironic part is this wasn’t the first time an gamindustri moderator had shown something from the mod chat, infact atanigan had done it once prior herself in a Random Discussion post in a means to troll willtheyordle.
Legend1nfamous , dracesquire both jumped in after the ban bashing the_seraph1. Given how these people had all shown to be on really good terms just a couple weeks prior the_seraph1’s statement of “Lance said I lost the right to play nice because now he had to fear the community hating them” seemed like a very strong correlation to the sudden shift. None of us were surprised because soah1086 management practices, if you are less loyal to the moderator team than you are your own country or religion your a problem that needs to be silenced, and the_seraph1 had shown that day just like rajaxx had so long before his loyalty was first and foremost the community. nopani jumped in claiming wwlink55 and sleepyviewing both said it didn’t happen and “sleepy is his best friend”.
There was one saving grace in all this. willtheyordle was still head moderator and the only one that had the backbone to go against the mod team if it meant cleaning up a mess. If you look at willtheyordle’s history of the subreddit he was top 5 moderators the sub has had. He had his issues and short comings but when shit hit the fan he didn’t try and cover it up or lie he’d say “Look we messed up, I’m going to fix it”.
In the final conclusion to that while the final post showed signs of heavy editorial review not matching the_seraph1’s behavioral or speech quirks. However at the same time the final story of all that was still more in line with the_seraph1’s story and atanigan and dracesquire issued an apology towards him. So here is the question. Why did Atanigan , wwlink55 , sleepyviewing , legend1nfamous , and dracesquire lie saying nothing like that ever happened? More importantly why did sleepyviewing who according to nopani was his best friend lie? And when there were apparently 4 people who lashed out why was only 2 ever issue an apology? Simple they were the only two still on the moderator team that we knew for a fact were involved. Notice legend1nfamous who had left neptuniansfw by that point didn’t apologize and even tried to defend his toxic behavior? Nor did the currently unnamed 4th.
It is very clear that the apologies were an order by willtheyordle and that they were far from sincere and I’ll get back to that in a few minutes.
When all those moderators lied about their team being even capable of toxic behavior and only seemed to have to own up due to willtheyordle how do you expect us to believe anything any of them ever say?
A month or so later willtheyordle stepped down due to his real life needing priority and ryzer28 along with him. the_seraph1 came back and the community was ecstatic, I know several observers felt it was worth giving the subreddit a chance again and made new accounts in celebration he was spared the fate of Rajaxx.
However if we take a step back we can evaluate this unbiasedly, it’s why those of us from rajaxx’s day lurk and address things without really interacting, so we can see the truth and the odd behavior without getting absorbed into the various sub group power games that had grew from the day soah1086 became head mod, we can see there was a game going on far beneath the surface.
I would address Atanigan said on his Discord how the subreddit was horrible and he never dealt with so much emotional abuse, showing that his apology was mostly likely insincere but that to him saying you disapprove of his actions makes you a problem. This makes sense when you look at the fact the newest admin on his Discord server, Gamindustri Standard, sigmastudio is described by many behind closed doors as “Weeb Kim Jong Un”. Acting smug, elitest, morally superioholier than thou, and someone who doesn’t see himself being capable of anything wrong. On his Reddit history we can also see a long history of him trying to bait randoomguy666 and the_seraph1 into arguments, often digging up month old posts to do it. But he’s an admin because he contributes to Atanigans friendly ego stroking.
ryzer28 began spreading rumors about the_seraph1 that from what has been gathered so far weren’t entirely accurate, especially since later the_seraph1 showed screenshots of ryzer28 admitting they were inaccurate and he was doing it out of spite.
So why wasn’t ryzer28 denounced when he had just become guilty of the same behavior randoomguy666 ultimately faced it for? Simple answer would be ryzer28’s actions fit perfectly with what soah1086 and any mod team that ever thought he was capable of managing a sock drawer did to people who suggested the way they do things wasn’t the best, smearing.
We know he told these to nopani who then forwarded these over to the new moderators when they applied which were all very close friends of his. This here is the proof that something shady and underhanded was going on.
It wasn’t hard to see these new moderators hanging around or chilling with the_seraph1 in Gamindustri Standard in the days leading up to the mod applications and explanation. While things were rough for a bit we slowly started to see the_seraph1 was regaining his vigor and recovering for the emotional and mental gaslighting the mod team had engaged in.
On Christmas we saw that the_seraph1 was late to the celebratory post because he had stayed up late readying the community's secret santa event. I ask you have any of the other moderators ever sacrificed an entire Christmas Eve to prepare something fun for an internet board? This isn’t rhetorical by the way this is a question I actually don’t have an answer to.
After a bit an apology post by randoomguy666 went up and it was great closure for a lot of users, but then the unexpected happen. Soah1086 used the_seraph1 to reenact Gamindustri’s original sin.
The post and the days that follow were surreal. If we look at the comments what do we see? The people we know for certain lashed out at the_seraph1 before lashing out again, the suspected 4th ryzer28 doing it all the same, all close friends of legend1nfamous the only 100% confirmed moderator to have lashed out at the_seraph1 during the state of the subreddit incident joining in on the kicking someone while they were down. The only close friend of legend1nfamous that didn’t as far as we can tell was ChronicIdiocy
This thread was very reminiscent to everyone who had ever seen soah1086’s behavior running a subreddit knew this wasn’t in good nature, it wasn’t meant to be honest, it wasn’t meant to inform or be transparent. It was meant to direct hate.
Like normal in Soah1086’s smear campaigns comments against Soah1086’s “Mark” were given free reign but anything questioning the mod team was silenced in seconds. This post did however show us the biggest proof in the coming days that things weren’t what they seemed.
This is where nopani told us he forwarded the rumors spread in spite by ryzer28 to the new moderators who “knew all along”. Why is this important? We know in the coming days the_seraph1 tried to do what rajaxx did and peace out of the fanbase but wwlink55 didn’t let him. We also know from screenshots the_seraph1 posted that this pushed him into a quest to seek answers so he could make sense of the nonsensical. Through this time wwlink55 kept changing his story to cover the other moderators' backs. Look I’m a patrol officer and on my way to being made a case investigator, when someone has basically been attacked mentally like what soah1086 did the way wwlink55’s primary goal was covering the other moderators backs is among the most damaging thing you can do to someones state of mind and self image/worth.
But we know from screenshot’s the_seraph1 tried posting that wwlink55 wasn’t taking anything suggesting the mod team would be semi capable of wrong or fault. There is one question though the_seraph1 never asked in those screenshots, why didn’t these junior moderators he seemed on really good terms with come to hear his side of these rumors? See that’s the thing that shows the moderators were up to something, when someone spreads rumors against your friend is it not the norm to come and hear their side?
Once these screenshots were posted publicly on the subreddit thus started “Avenger” the long term harasser that had been driving the_seraph1 out of the community entirely wanting no one to ever hear from him again. Interesting part is just after that happened Soah1086 changed his Reddit banner image to Gorgon from Fate Stay/Night something that from what I can see not the_seraph1 nor anyone else ever commented on or made a connection to.
Outright hate and toxicity towards the_seraph1 was allowed free reign, things were allowed to stay up when far more mellow things had been taken down in regards to randoomguy666 both before and after his denouncement. Meanwhile posts supporting the_seraph1 were often locked or removed entirely. The funny part is this, if we look at the removals of toxicity against randoomguy666 the responding moderator was quite often wwlink55, so why now that he was supposed to be head moderator was he not showing the same courtesy? Simple for the mod teams happiness they had to smear him, its the soah1086 way.
As time went on the mod team tried to silence the topic entirely, likely realizing the case against them had reached a point it painted them more at fault than anyone else, something once again common among soah1086 communities of silencing things and letting the toxicity boil fracturing the community rather than trying to mend the fence.
Now I don’t know much about this supposed Val person but my sources tell me that they were in the gamindustrir18island discord briefly and their account was heavily aged? Makes the odds of it being an alt unlikely honestly but I won’t comment because that person is mostly an unknown to us.
From what we gather by the end of it mind shattered and being left with zero self worth the_seraph1 just wanted to keep chatting with his friends but once this Val person showed up they stopped responding, thus making this Val person cement the long term harassment goal of no one talking to him again.
This basically shattered the_seraph1’s mind to such a point he began turning to self mutilation as a cry for help and not only did the gamindustri mod team laugh it off but from what we understand edwin-of-northumbria told him to just “do it already”? Sorry that alone should be enough to ban edwin-of-northumbria from the community entirely and block any community hes part of from so much as being mentioned.
Eventually the_seraph1 was so mind fucked like many people had been before from the mod teams of soah1086 communities and their priority of mod team happiness above all else that he left, his girlfriend showed up and said he had tried to do an unthinkable action in response to all the emotional harassment and manipulation. When she joined the Discord just wanting to understand what the hell happened users taunted her before sigmastudio posted one of his custom Noire emotes and banned him before him, the other staff of that discord, and the users did a victory Dance. How is it that that is an acceptable response to someones loved one trying to do the unthinkable? In a respectable community sigmastudio would have lost his position on the Discord for such an action but remember these are people who above all else don’t want moderators that want the best for their communities, that want friends who will tell em no matter how toxic they are or how badly they mess up they are doing everything perfectly. The norm for soah1086 communities. We can see that his Girlfriend has been on Discord for quite awhile and from what I’m told she talks about in kuletxcore’s server if things had been different I bet you she could have been a well loved member of this community too.
Interestingly enough a large number of anime Discords have been subject to raids lately, including Neptunia. But not a single user in any of them seems to be getting messages. Heck some of these anime Discords still have about 200 bots just sitting there. But if we look at his twitter we can see the_seraph1 was getting mass bombarded to the point he left Discord servers, unrelated to Neptunia, that he had a decent enough level of activity his name was at least “recognized” to get away from the harassment and save those Discords the trouble. So why leave communities entirely unrelated to Neptunia he enjoyed? Why were these bots joining Neptunia Discords but not messaging a single person in them? Simple, harass the_seraph1 and use the alts hitting the Neptunia discords to try and smear his name more if I had to guess having seen these moderators behavior in the past.
Now the_seraph1 is gone and similar to Rajaxx it doesn’t sound like he doesn’t intend to ever come back, yet all this bullshit is still happening. We can see this in the recent tweet about a bad actor weresdrim is being harassed and extorted for Neptunia and here on this subreddit in that “Want to be a mod” post we can see that hobiiii is being targetted for gamindustrireform. Why is this important? Only Neptunia subreddits not currently ran by an gamindustri moderator or their closest closest friends. It fits the mantra going back years, to be recognized, we must be in control.

submitted by RJLPDash to GamindustriReform [link] [comments]

Digital Marketing overview

Digital marketing is the promotion of products and services with the help of electronic devices, mainly the internet. Let us discuss some of the digital marketing course content: Search engine optimization, Social media optimization, Search engine marketing, Social media marketing, Affiliate marketing, Youtube marketing, Content marketing, Influencer marketing, Email marketing.
  1. Search media optimization: it is the use of social media networks to grow an organization's message and online presence.
  2. Search engine marketing: it is a form of internet marketing by increasing the visibility of search engine results pages. But it is a paid advertisement.
  3. Affiliate marketing: it is a type of marketing in which business rewards one or more affiliates for each customer by affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
  4. Youtube marketing: It is generally for creating website promotion through marketing videos. It is helpful for generating quality backlinks with targeted traffic and promotion of websites by the method of making videos. We can or users can upload view rate share educational videos or promotion of a website can be done easily by subscribing to channel add to playlist. Report, comment subscribe to other users.
  5. Content marketing: creating publishing and distributing content to a targeted audience online. Attract attention and generate leads. Expand their customer base and website promotion by backlink creating to generate traffic to your website. It also increases brand awareness and credibility to engage an online community of users.
  6. Influencer marketing: it is a form of social media marketing endorsement and product placement for influencers.
  7. Email marketing: it is the act of sending a commercial message. Typically to a group of people using email. Every email sent to a potential customer should be considered as email marketing.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the founders of SEO is the process of marking our website at the top of the search engine result pages by free, organic, editorial, or natural search results on search engines. It helps in increasing traffic. It also helps in generating backlinks. It helps to get direct traffic to our website. promotion of a website depends on Search engine optimization. generally, Search engine optimization is of two types:1.On page seo2.Off-page seo.On page seo: It helps to get rank higher in search engine result pages and helps in generating quality traffic to your website. In this, we have to focus on the internal sector of a website such as content and HTML source code of a page. Let us discuss some of the major on-page seo techniques:
  1. The page title and H1 tags: the title is the main headline of the webpage. Both h1 tags and titles have the main purpose in search engine optimization. The title is the hyperlink where the searchers will click on. The title bar will display at the top of the web browser. H1 tags are the large size of the text and act as a title for the page. It will not appear in the search engine. Mainly titles are displayed on search engine result pages. It is a concise description of the page content.
The heading is described between H1 to H6. Where H1 is the largest size and H6 is the smallest size in on-page search engine optimization.
  1. Use descriptive and seo friendly Uniform resource locator: It specifies the location of a resource on the internet. It is also known as the protocol. A uniform resource locator is a human-readable text that was designed to replace the numbers.
  2. Subheadings and header tags: the text following the subheading should not be longer than 250-350 words.
  3. Keyword placements: keywords are words or phrases that users search in search engines. Let us take an example of keywords like digital marketing is a keyword. It helps the searchers to visit your page and stay on your page.
  4. Good user experience: search engine optimization is the process of making our website at the top of the search engine result page by free organic or natural search results on search engines.
  5. Internal links are the links that go from one page on a domain to the same page on the other domain. They allow users to navigate the website. They establish an information hierarchy for the same domain.
  6. External or outbound links: external links are those links whose pages are not going to be found on your website. It helps crawlers to understand your content. External links are those links which are on any domain rather than the source code of the page. It means you have to go to another website for linking.
  7. Latent semantic indexing keyword: they are the words or phrases on a high degree of correlation to your target topic. Google algorithm uses them for content quality and relevancy.
  8. Image optimization meaning: the correct file format is possible and it should be quality-oriented. Decorative quality-oriented stylish attractive eye-catchy. Their source code should be verified. Their alt attribute should be verified. Correct image dimensions and its size. check the image properly.
  9. Video optimization: the size of the video is much more speed rather than the text of words. Choose the right video hosting platform. The video should be related to the targeted keyword. It means the video should not be irrelevant. The uniform resource locator should be properly checked. Make the user impressed by applying a thumbnail to the video. Pay attention to the title and description of the video. Embed the video. The focus of the viewers should be the video.
  10. Schema markup: it is the code that you put on your website to help the users to give more informative results to the users.
  11. Meta descriptions: the description should be unique and relevant to the keyword. It is an HTML attribute that describes the brief description of the webpage. It will influence click-through rates.
  12. Make sure your website is indexable and drawable: an automated bot called spider means scanning sites and collecting details about meta titles and descriptions, images, and other linked pages.
Indexing: is the process of when the data is crawled and processed in a database.
  1. Canonical tag in search engine optimization: It specifies a source code of a given page. To secure from duplicate issues we use canonical tags.
  2. Speed of loading: for ranking and increasing viewers and increasing traffic you should check the speed of indexing.
.Off page seo: It is focused on the external sector of the website to raise the ranking of a website in search engine result pages. It is basically a link building process. it depends on sending standard links on other sites and generating quality backlinks.Take a look at the list of top best off-page SEO techniques now in trend.1.Brand Mentions: It is a digital marketing latest seo technique. It basically focuses on reviews, complaints, feedback, and posts that educate your audience. It covers a large segment of social media marketing and search engine optimization monitoring. Importance of brand mentions off page seo technique:1.Brand awareness: Generally consumers are familiar with the qualities and image of particular goods, products, or services .it is the process of recognizing and recalling a brand under different conditions. It basically depends on consumer behavior, advertising management, brand management.2. Brand personality: it basically depends on the brand name. It basically depends on products, services, or missions. Let us discuss the examples of brand personality excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence, sophistication.3. Brand reputation: It is a brand that is viewed by others.a A consumer can trust your company and purchase your products, goods, and services. no distrust and no hesitation in buying products and services or goods. It increases your goodwill. It basically depends on traditional advertising and public relations. It also depends on social media marketing.2. Blog Commenting: it basically depends on posting comments on a blog. It helps to generate backlinks. It depends on text spinning.it is one of the easiest ways to get backlinks. A blog commenting helps to show that a backlink graph remains constant or goes up with time. It is basically based on three factors creating connection: an increase in backlink and increase in traffic.High DA(Domain authority) blog commenting sites in 2020:📷3.Forum submission: in this, we can discuss online this technique. In this, we can share knowledge with each other or anyone. It helps to generate backlinks. It is a powerful off-page seo technique. It helps to increase traffic. Mainly for building inbound links. Deep linking is possible through forum submission or posting. It generates a large number of sales and targeted traffic with quality inbound and deep links.Below is some best do – follow and no follow forum submission sites.📷4.Guest posting: one of his names is guest blogging submission in search engine optimization. A post is contributed to another person's blog in order to build relationships, exposure, authority, and links. The primary factor of Google is backlinks. It helps to get a backlink from another website. It helps to increase additional exposure from the audience. It helps to establish authority among the audience. So here is the high domain authority guest blogging submission site list:📷 5. Influence outreach: It mainly depends on promoting products and creating brand awareness. It helps to boost your seo efforts. It helps to build a diverse and strong link profile. It provides strong and unique content. It increases content reach and engagement.6.Social bookmarking submission: It is a variation of forum spamming. It helps to create social media brands and generate quality backlinks for your sites. It helps to generate ranking on search engine result pages. It helps to generate a strong web page. Let us discuss some of the major High domain authority social bookmarking submission sites in 2020.📷7.Content marketing: it is based on relevant, valuable, and unique content. To drive a profitable customer and client action to your website.8.Questions and Answers: it helps to discuss new information on a variety of subjects. It is based on your link profile. It helps to generate traffic. It helps to establish credibility and trust in your website. It helps to improve search engine optimization.9.RSS Submission: It is generally the submission of RSS feed to RSS submission directory sites to boost your search engine ranking. It has two names: rich site summary or really simple syndication. It contains updates on your website. Updated content, videos, images, or links. Here is the list of high Domain authority RSS submission sites.📷 10.Video submission: It is the process of submitting videos on video submission sites. It helps to generate quality backlinks in search engine optimization. It helps to generate brand awareness and helps to create a brand. Let us discuss some of the high Domain authority video submission sites.📷11. Image submission: it generally involves images related to your website To share it in different high DA image submission sites. It depends on choosing the right images, correct file format, alt text, description. Here are some of the High Domain Authority image submission sites list.📷 12. Article submission: it is an off-page optimization technique. It is basically seo optimized super articles. It is a long term search engine optimization activity but will definitely generate a quality backlink. It will boost the PageRank of your website or blog. But your article cannot contain any plagiarism. It should be informative and unique. Don’t do keyword stuffing in it. The article length is a maximum of 500-700 words. It should be attractive and eye-catchy. Bullet paragraphs and numbering are its stylish, attractive, and decorative factors. Here are some of the high Domain authority article submission sites list.📷13. Infographic submission: it is a trending submission technique that is based on information plus graphic image with its explanation in a paragraph with prescribed meaning. Date information or raw information. We can make infographics on canvas, piktochart. It helps to generate high-quality backlinks with quality traffic. Combination of graphics plus interesting information. It helps to increase the popularity of your website. Videos and graphics have much higher speed rather than words or text. Let us discuss some of the high Domain authority infographic submission site lists.📷14. Document sharing: It is the best off page seo technique in the world. It includes pdf submission, ppt submission, video submission, event submission, guest blogging, podcast submission. It helps to generate traffic and generate high-quality backlinks. Faster speed of content indexing, add images can boost click-through rates, more viewers, more upvotes, and easily add backlinks to your article. So let us discuss some of the high DA document sharing sites list: 📷15. Press release submission: it is generally an off-page seo technique. It basically depends on news events, products, or services to improve the seo of your website. Let us discuss some of the high domain authority press release submission sites lists.📷16. Web 2.0 submission: It is a popular off-page seo activity or technique. It is also known as blog submissions. In this, we can post any content related to your niche and without payment. Do follow backlinks can be generated by this method of submission in search engine submission. It will definitely boost the quality traffic and ranking on search engine result pages. Here are some of the high DA backlink submission sites list.📷What are social media marketing and its importance?A human being is a social animal. Social media marketing is a form of internet marketing. It gives us reputations, goodwill, and increases brand awareness. Posting text images content videos and it is basically focused on generating website promotion and its quality traffic. Generally, it helps to generate quality backlinks. It helps to track competitors. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Linkedin, Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube, and all that bring people closer is known as social media marketing. 1.Brand awareness: anyhow a customer has to recall or recognize a brand. Social media builds visibility and social currency. Content will be shared easily and no cost will be required. Lead generation can be possible for social media marketing. Your product and services can be easily published and your website will get promoted easily. 2.social media marketing enhances your search engine optimization rankings: It will increase your quality backlinks. It will boost your search engine optimization. It provides visibility to your content. When you share your content automatically your rankings will increase. Traffic will increase when your content will be shared with a large number of people. Use Facebook for more website promotion. Information shared with others can provide your quality backlink with targeted traffic. It increases the visibility of profile and web site promotion with possible ease. 3. Easily engaging with customers: fast response matters to customers. Build relationships with customers. It will definitely help in email marketing. You have to send or share targeted messages or relevant keywords. Choose your ideal customers for our products and services. You can communicate with each other through the chat or messaging comments. Give the public audiences an opportunity to talk to you. You can contact customers through WhatsApp or contact directly according to your need requirement. Increase in reviews. It generally means interaction between consumer customers and organizations or companies. 4. Social media tends to be very cost-effective: your business can be promoted easily without investing a ton of money. This can be possible with the help of lead generations. Customer engagement can be helpful to you. So you can easily make a high amount of viewers. Customer relationships can be based on social media marketing. It will definitely increase the large number of sales. 5. Social media is a paid owned and earned channel: the social media channel that you want to create or control. Earned means they are given by others. Search engine optimization can be done through social media marketing. Influencer marketing is also paid marketing. By retweeting, you can earn a lot of popularity. What is PPC advertising?PPC AdvertisingPay per click is an online advertising method in which the most important role is we have to do payment. visitors search online or user search online in search engines like bing google yahoo or Pinterest to buy something crucial for their purpose they do online orders by giving payment to their serving client. There is a high demand for pay per click services in the digital world.banner advertising is one of the other forms of digital marketing pay per click services. Let us discuss some of its major advantages.
  1. Pay per click contributes to business goals: basically when we talk about pay per click services then it's for increasing traffic. When we talk about then we prefer that now we have to be focused on lead generation. Generating high and large amounts of sales and revenue in the form of bonuses. It builds brand awareness and also brand reputation. More and more customers are engaging in this to find their website traffic.
  2. Pay per click is measurable and trackable: when we talk about pay per click services then increases our conversions and click-through rates and customer impressions. Pay per click is a quick method. It is a controllable technique. It helps to generate traffic.
  3. Quick entry: Pay per click is generally for buying and selling of products. It is an internet advertising model in which the advisor pays the publishers when the ad is published it basically depends on search engine optimization. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, Pinterest has adopted pay per click services as one of their advertising models.
  4. You are in control: Pay per click can control the options to reach a wide range of potential customers. The targeted keywords are mainly in pay per click services.
  5. Pay per click works well with other marketing channels: it helps to generate traffic and customer impressions. It depends on cost per impression and conversion rates.
Let us discuss some of its major importance:
  1. Google AdWords: it is also an online advertising platform. Where advertisers pay to display their brief advertisements. Offering services product listings and content marketing.
  2. Keywords: Keywords are the words or phrases that users search on search engines to find some relevant information. It increases conversion rates. Keywords build the highest quality audience if implemented correctly.
  3. Cost-effective: the cost of the business pay when an ad is clicked is usually cheaper as compared to the amount made on the sale. This can be possible with the help of lead generations. Customer engagement can be helpful to you. So you can easily make a high amount of viewers. Customer relationships can be based on social media marketing. It will definitely increase the large number of sales.
  4. Negative keywords: a type of keyword that prevents our ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Your advertising will not be shown to anyone who is searching for that particular phrase.
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More than Cartels: Counting Mexico’s Crime Rings

The year 2019 was the most violent in Mexico’s recent history, due in large part to an escalation in fighting between factions of organised crime. But the media attention paid to the fortunes of drug kingpins like El Chapo glosses over the realities on the ground that seemingly are driving the murder rates ever upward. In general, Mexican criminal organisations have become smaller and smaller, their activities restricted to ever more specific locations. They battle over modest parcels of the economy, like the production and distribution of tobacco, avocados and porpoise livers, a delicacy in Chinese cuisine. Groups affiliated with larger criminal outfits also squabble over local turf. The evidence suggests that Mexico is stuck: the greater the government’s success in breaking up cartels, the more successor splinters emerge and the more difficult it is to forge some sort of peace. In May 2019, as part of the rollout for his national crime-fighting strategy, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recognised the existence of 37 “cartels”, many of them factions of larger organisations. This figure is a significant underestimate. But in trying to give a precise number, the government highlighted the sheer difficulty of mapping Mexico’s underworld, which has fragmented under the pressure of previous governments’ militarised “war on drugs”. Without a better understanding of the scale and character of this splintering, the government will have a hard time designing effective policies for curbing drug-related conflict. No one, for instance, knows the full answers to basic questions about exactly how the “war on drugs” has fractured organised crime; how in turn this phenomenon relates to the greater intensity of violence; or how the government might calibrate its policies to take on criminal groups of various sizes and structures. Until the government knows when and why new groups form, and how this process affects conflict, it will face major challenges in trying to end the cycle of fragmentation and violence. The Challenges of Counting
Understanding these criminal groups – how they operate, how they relate to one another, how they respond to government policies – is central to explaining the spike in homicides in Mexico. But attaining accurate information on them poses a huge practical challenge. Typically, researchers would rely on the press, but crime reporting is extremely difficult. Mexico is the most dangerous country for journalists in the Western Hemisphere, despite federal protection efforts, and self-censorship generated by the threat of reprisal makes the quality of reporting on the drug war suspect, particularly in the most conflict-affected regions. Complicating things further, in 2011 several large Mexican media outlets, agreed “to omit and dispose of information coming from criminal groups for propagandistic purposes”. The intention was to make it harder for these groups to intimidate and coerce the public via the press, but in practice it meant that some outlets stopped reporting all their statements. As a result, the public often does not know when new groups have arrived, because smaller or emerging organisations often use propaganda, such as banners hung in streets or statements posted on Facebook, to announce themselves. In addition, many criminal groups in Mexico operate at such a small scale that the media may deem them too insignificant to cover at all. As factions become increasingly local, or increasingly specialised in extortion or trafficking of particular commodities, they tend to fall off the radar. Yet these small-timers play a large role in Mexico’s rising rates of violence and hold sway over many people’s lives.
Findings
In total, we identified 463 criminal groups operating in Mexico between mid-2009 and
  1. Only about half of these appeared in El Universal, one of the country’s largest newspapers. Figure 1 shows the number of groups mentioned in Borderland Beat and El Universal since 2010, the first full year of the narcoblog’s posts. These figures could fall if it emerges that certain organisations operate under various names, or if some local outfits are excluded, but they nevertheless point to a steep rise in criminal activity. In 2019 alone, Borderland Beat mentioned 198 groups, up from 98 in 2010. We see a similar doubling in El Universal’s coverage, even though the existence of smaller groups tends to go unreported in mainstream media. We included an organisation based on whether it operated under a unique name, a signal that it was working at least semi-independently. Fifty-two groups were identified solely on the basis of a leader’s name.
Identifying these criminal groups, even those affiliated with or allied to large cartels, is important because their proliferation shows how multi-sided Mexico’s drug war has become. Two bands called Los M and Gente Nueva warred in Durango state, though at the time both were flying the flag of the Sinaloa Cartel. Los 28 were operating as independent hit men before Jalisco New Generation Cartel recruited them to kill El Chapo’s children. An organisation led by El Teo, known as Los Teos, was initially allied with the Arellano Felix Cartel before realigning with the Sinaloa Cartel.
Given the complexity of relationships among these groups, we additionally tracked whether a group is allied with, splintered from or belongs to another organisation. Of those identified, at least 135 were cells of large cartels. We are expanding this data using outside sources to better identify connections among criminal actors. Thirty-one of the groups identified were autodefensas, local crime-fighting vigilantes, indicating that some of these outfits have criminal ties themselves. This figure is likely an underestimate, since many autodefensas operate under generic names that our research would not capture.
Our next step is to link these groups to municipalities where they operate. The report on Guerrero state includes a map of the number of armed groups in each municipality in 2018 and 2019, drawing on El Blog del Narco, Mexico’s most popular narcoblog. To ensure these findings’ validity, we hand-coded each post related to Guerrero for whether a group operated in a given municipality or region. To replicate this method for the entire country would be time-consuming, however, and we are exploring ways to scale up our coding or improve the algorithm linking groups and municipalities.
Some preliminary maps for the whole of Mexico are below, though these should be interpreted with caution. Currently, we treat a group as operating in a municipality simply if the names of the group and locality are mentioned in the same post, likely yielding many “false positive” relationships. Our data do not yet take into account regions and cities mentioned instead of specific municipalities, which means that groups may be undercounted in certain areas. We also do not yet adjust for the fact that groups’ presence may not be reported in every year they operate in a municipality: if an organisation is linked to a region in 2016 and 2018, it may follow that they were also operating in 2017.
What the Data Shows
To our knowledge, this project is the first attempt to document all the non-state armed groups in Mexico, the vast majority of which are tied to violent crime. If anything, the 463 groups identified are an underestimate, and there are important limitations as to what is included. Criminal groups tend to be covered on narcoblogs when they engage in violence, suffer arrests, announce their activities or fall under government scrutiny. The data is more likely to include groups that seek some form of territorial control, and to miss some organisations that discreetly traffic in drugs. We hope to minimise the problem of missing groups by mining other narcoblogs, some of which are now defunct. For now, the estimate is best understood as tracking violent criminal groups that are fighting over territory.
This data can help explain the dynamics of criminal violence and group formation in Mexico, and the challenges facing conflict resolution strategies at the regional and national levels. For example, it can shed light on how government security policies have affected fragmentation, and how this process in turn relates to heightened levels of violent crime, particularly homicide. The data can also be used to understand how economic variables, such as shifts in commodity prices or the emergence of new trafficking routes, may affect the entry or exit of groups. In recent years, for example, increased consumer demand has led cartels to battle for control of the avocado trade. Above all, given the number of small and local outfits now involved in drug-related conflict, the data shows that focusing on dismantling major cartels is insufficient to reduce violence. It suggests that new policies – such as targeted recruitment prevention efforts, regional intervention plans, or reintegration and disarmament initiatives – may be better suited to the task. Narcoblogs also serve as a rich source for tracking other features of criminal violence, such as cartel propaganda and the growth of self-defence groups.
Our data shows a considerable rise in the number of criminal actors in Mexico over the last ten years. As more groups operate, violence among them becomes more likely and attempts at negotiation – like those in Guerrero – increasingly difficult to coordinate. Understanding the causes and consequences of this fragmentation will be essential for addressing the roots of Mexico’s crisis.
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A Complete Rundown of Google Ads Format Types

Google Ads is the most popular PPC and Internet advertising platform. Marketers flock to Google Ads because, let’s face it, Google is search. It’s why you say, “I’ll Google it,” instead of, “Let me search for it.”
While Bing and other search platforms may not want to admit it, Google is to search engines what Coca-Cola is to Cola or Xerox is to making copies.
But, it isn’t just the size and popularity of Google that makes Google Ads an appealing platform. It is also an incredibly robust advertising service that is bursting at the seams with options, features and other tools that you can’t get with other PPC platforms.
One of the ways that this robustness manifests itself is in the vast number of format types that Google Ads offers its users. Their already-expansive repertoire continues to grow all the time with new format types.
All of these different ad types can be a touch overwhelming for marketers. Like a kid in a toy store holding a crisp $20 bill, the options are both exciting and terrifying. How do you know where to start and what to choose?
This guide aims to help you answer that very question by breaking down each format type and exploring the advantages, disadvantages and when to use each option.

Google Search Network Ad Format Types

The Google Search Network is where most marketers start their Internet advertising journey. It’s largely considered to be the easier of the two networks to utilize. Thus, it’s best to start with ad format types on the Google Search Network.

Text Ads

This is the most straightforward format of PPC ads. A basic text ad consists of at least one ad title or headline, a display URL and up to two short descriptions and provide you up to three headings and two description at maximum. The first two headline fields are required, while the third is optional. The extra headline field allows you to include additional text in your ads.
Limitation for the text ad characters limits:
This example, provided by the Google Support Library, shows an ad with three headlines, a URL and two descriptions.

Advantages of Text Ads

Disadvantages of Text Ads

Who Should Use Text Ads?

Due to how easy and cost-efficient text ads are, it is a great choice for new Google Ads users that don’t have the time, budget or expertise for other ad format types.
That said, text ads aren’t just for beginners. Text ads promise high click through rates, which can help you improve your Google Ads Quality Score.
Text ads can be very efficient when you target keywords with high buying intent. “Buy a new mattress” is an example of a search with buying intent. “Mattress types,” on the other hand, signals that the shopper, while still interested in purchasing a mattress, is doing research and may not be ready to make a purchase right away.
Put simply, every Google Ads user can benefit from using text ads!

Cost of Text Ads

Text ads use the pay-per-click model. When a Google user clicks your text ad and follows the link to your landing page, it costs a small fee. How much you pay for each click depends on how much you have bid on the targeted keyword.

Text Ads With Ad Extensions

There are many different types of ad extensions:

Advantages of Text Ads With Ad Extensions

Disadvantages Of Text Ads With Ad Extensions

Who Should Use Text Ads With Ad Extensions?

There are several benefits to utilizing ad extensions and only a few minor drawbacks. Thus, anyone using text ads should take advantage of at least a handful of these extensions.
Adding more relevant information to your ads can significantly raise the quality of your ads and improve your click through and conversion rates for higher Quality Scores and more successful campaigns.
That said, it is important to choose ad extensions that are relevant to your business and its goals. For example, a store that only sells products online doesn’t need to include a location extension because they aren’t trying to draw in-store traffic.
A service company, on the other hand, can take great advantage of call extensions to make booking appointments easier.

Cost of Text Ads With Ad Extension

Since ad extensions don’t increase how much a marketer spends per click, then there is no difference between the cost of regular text ads and these expanded text ads.
If a Google user clicks on any part of your ad (address, phone number, sitelinks or otherwise), you are assessed the cost of a click.

Call-Only Ads

Call-only ads are mobile-specific ads that directly focus on encouraging search users to call your business. They only appear on mobile devices that are capable of making a ca
Users that click a call-only ad are not brought to your website. Instead, the phone app on their device opens and begins making a call to the number you have provided.
If you are using call-only ads, it is crucial that you turn on call reporting. This creates a Google Forwarding Number (GFN) that you can access to find details about your calls. Conversions are recorded when the call reaches the duration that you’ve set.
Call-only ads borrow some elements from text ads, like headlines, descriptions and display URLs. You can even enhance call-only ads with extensions.

Advantages of Call-Only Ads

Disadvantages of Call-Only Ads

Who Should Use Call-Only Ads?

Call-only ads are great for any business that finds value from customers calling directly. As mentioned, service companies are particularly impacted by call-only ads because these companies rely heavily on customer calls.
When customers call, they bypass the entire landing page and website experience. This helps businesses facilitate conversions more efficiently and improves the customer experience by providing a faster solution to consumer problems.
In other words, call-only ads cut out the website middle-man.
Call-only ads are also an excellent fit for companies that lack the time or resources to develop the unique landing pages and ad experiences that are required by text and other ad format types.

Cost Of Call-Only Ads

Call-only ads also use the PPC model. But, in this case, the “click” is a phone call. Marketers set their cost-per-click amounts in their Google Ads account. Call-only ads can experience higher CPCs than text ads.

Dynamic Search Ads

Many Google Search Network ad types rely on targeting the right keywords and tirelessly tracking how potential customers are searching and when. Dynamic search ads aim to lighten these pressures by automatically targeting keywords that relate to your business and generating ad components from the content that exists on your website.
This ad format type uses AI technology to change the design of your ad based on what the algorithm determines will work best. It harvests images, headlines, tags and other components from your web pages, leaving little effort asked of you.
If someone searches a term that Google deems is relevant to your site, the dynamic search ad format will generate an ad experience that relates to that search. This helps maintain a consistent ad experience from the headline to the landing page!

Advantages of Dynamic Search Ads

Disadvantages of Dynamic Search Ads

Who Should Use Dynamic Search Ads?

Based on the pros and cons of dynamic search ads, there are several different profiles that match well with this Google Ads format type. The most obvious is busy marketers that don’t have the time to create and optimize text or other types of ads.
Dynamic search ads can help generate extra search traffic through terms that you would have otherwise missed in your standard keyword planning. That said, this strategy should be avoided if you have a tight ad budget.
If your website lacks content or changes often, dynamic search ads may not be right for you either. This format type requires optimized web pages with plenty of material to be used in the automatic generation of ads.

Cost of Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic search ads use the PPC model where your costs are based on how many people click your ad and the CPC or bid amount that you’ve set. The main difference between the price of dynamic search ads and text ads is that you don’t apply bids to keywords, but rather different pages on your site that the dynamic ads will link to.

Product Shopping Ads

Product shopping ads appear when a Google user does a search that has clear shopping intent or directly relates to one of your products. This ad format type shows an image of the product, a title, the price of the item and your store/business name.
Shopping ads will display differently based on device type. The above screenshot is taken from a desktop computer. Similar to text ads, search users are brought to your website after they’ve clicked the shopping ad.
The information about your products is gathered through a data feed that you submit through your Merchant Center account. Your data feed is typically an excel sheet or XML file that organizes each product and its different qualities (name, price, color, size, etc.).
Using this data, Google will create shopping ads when product searches are made that relate to your items.
You can enhance shopping ads with product ratings, special offers and Google customer reviews.

Advantages Of Shopping Ads

Disadvantages Of Shopping Ads

Who Should Use Shopping Ads?

Shopping Ads are made for retail and ecommerce companies that want to advertise products directly on Google results pages.
This ad format is particularly impactful for businesses that offer very competitive prices on their products. When appearing alongside competing products, your low prices will stand out and attract more clicks.
Product ads are also used to acquire more real-estate on SERPs for relevant keywords because they can appear alongside your text ads. This means you can have two ad results on a page, instead of one.

Cost of Shopping Ads

Shopping ads use the same auction-style format as the other search ad types. There is a CPC charged each time someone clicks your ad and visits your landing page.
Bids for shopping ads need to be carefully weighed against the gross margins of each item. Otherwise, you could be producing a negative ROI.

Showcase Shopping Ads

Shopping Showcase Ads are an expanded version of normal product ads that create a scrolling lineup of your items. Instead of listing a single product, search users can browse a more extensive range of your offerings.
By grouping related products, you create the opportunity for consumers to explore your entire lineup. This ad style is ideal if you offer a lot of different products within a single category.
If you sell furniture, for example, and a user searches for “coffee tables,” they’ll be able to see every style of table you offer.
You can list dozens of products that relate to a more generic item category. When a user clicks your Showcase Shopping Ad, it will expand to show off all your products for that category.
Showcase Shopping Ads ask for a 1080 x 566 large image. This acts as a header for this expanded shopping ad. Choosing a photo that helps encapsulate your persona and company vibe will attract consumers that want to experience your brand, which adds additional appeal to your ads.
The other ad requirements are a text headline, an optional 120-character description, a URL and a display URL. It’s worth mentioning that these Showcase Shopping Ads are a relatively new option, which means these requirements may change.

Advantages of Showcase Shopping Ads

Disadvantages of Showcase Shopping Ads

Who Should Use Showcase Shopping Ads?

If you have a lot of products for certain categories, creating a showcase of those items can essentially allow Google users to browse your entire inventory. If you already see impactful results from regular shopping ads, it may be time to step your advertising game up!
Thanks to the header image feature for Showcase Shopping Ads, it’s a great ad format for retailers that have cultivated a powerful persona through their imagery and branding.

Cost of Showcase Shopping Ads

Showcase Shopping Ads have three different bidding options.
Minimum Cost Per Engagement (CPE) Bidding is similar to setting a max cost-per-click. The difference is that you will be charged your bid if a consumer clicks through from the ad to your website or spends more than 10 seconds scrolling through your product showcase.
Maximize Clicks Bidding is a smart bidding strategy that automatically sets your bids to give you the maximum number of engagements (clicks or long views) within your set budget.
Target ROAS Bidding is another AI-powered strategy that looks for the highest potential conversion value from Google users.

App Promotion Ads

As an app advertiser, you want to get your app into the hands of more paying users. So, how do you connect with those people? App promotion campaigns streamline the process for you, making it easy to promote your apps across Google’s largest properties including
Who should use this?
How this Ad performance is measured?
Advantages

Part 4: Google Display Network Ad Format Types

The Google Display Network is the second category of ads that users can create on the Google Ads platform. These ads display on websites owned by Google or affiliated through their AdSense program.

Text Ads

Don’t be surprised, Text ads can also appear on the display network. There are not many differences between a display text ad and a search text ad. You are still going to need to headlines, descriptions, a URL and a display URL.
The big change is that the character limits will differ depending on where and how the ad is being displayed. This means that there is a good chance that your headlines and descriptions will be shortened. You’ll want to put the best information first!

Advantages Of Display Text Ads

Disadvantages of Display Text Ads

Who Should Use Display Text Ads

Again, because of how time- and cost-efficient text ads are, even on the Display Network, it is an excellent ad type for busy marketers that want to gain website traffic.
That said, text ads lose some of their luster on the Display Network. They aren’t nearly as enticing as on a search results page and you lose the ability to target users based on high-intent keywords.

Cost of Display Text Ads

Display Text Ads are the cheapest form of display ads. Similar to Search Network text ads, you’ll pay for clicks.
Because some industries have costly CPC rates for search keywords, Display Network text ads may actually be cheaper than on the Search Network. It all depends on what type of business you operate.

Rich Media Ads

Rich media is a digital advertising term for an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content. The ad can expand, float, etc. You can access aggregated metrics on your audience’s behavior, including number of expansions, multiple exits, and video completions to get granular data on the success of your campaign.
Using HTML5 technology, the ads can include multiple levels of content in one placement: videos, games, tweets from an ad, etc. If you have a simple objective to generate clicks or a more ambitious goal to create brand awareness, rich media is the format to go with.

Difference between Standard and Rich Media Ad

Standard Display Ads
Rich Media Ads

How Rich Media Ads are beneficial for PPC

Rich Media advertising is a form of advertising that utilizes Digital media, including streaming, video and audio. It represents a powerful creative opportunity, allowing campaigns to deliver far greater impact. Rich Ads tend to be larger in file size and costs to create are generally higher, however rich media ads play beneficial role in Google Ads.
  1. Rich Media ads are measurable and scalable:
  1. Higher performance levels
  1. Higher interaction rate
  1. Brand awareness:
  1. User experience

Commonly used Rich Media Formats

There are many types of rich media advertising, but three of the most common rich media ads you will experience include:

Image Ad

The Display Network is largely founded on the power of visual ad formats, such as images and videos. Image ads allow you to upload your own branded visuals to make a stunning, aesthetic advertisement.
Ads can be either static or use HTML5, GIF or Flash formats to create animated, interactive marketing messages that pop up on websites all over the Internet.
These ads come in many different shapes and sizes. Here are a few of the most common selections and their sizes:
Each size has its advantages and disadvantages. Typically, the larger the ad, the higher the costs. Thus, the best performers are generally the banners and smaller squares/rectangles, as these don’t distract from the website experience.

Advantages of Image Ads

Disadvantages of Image Ads

Who Should Use Image Ads?

While text ads are the bread-and-butter to the Search Network, Image ads are the same for the Display Network, which means most businesses can find value in these campaigns. That said, if your company doesn’t have great visuals, image ads can be ineffective.
Image ads are best suited for brand awareness campaigns. While a lot of users don’t click image ads, they are inescapable to look at it. Potential customers will recall your brand more readily when they are in the market for your products or services.

Cost of Image Ads

While images typically lead to fewer conversions, the good news is that these ad campaigns will cost less than your average search campaign. The other tradeoff is it’s harder to target in-market audiences with Display Network image ads.

Video Ads

Video ads take the visual image format to the next level. They are the most attractive and compelling type available to marketers. A great video advertisement is not only a memorable experience, but it can be more engaging than the video it is interrupting!
These ads will primarily show up YouTube, Google’s video streaming platform. It’s also the best video sharing site on the Internet with almost 2 billion active users each month. Not a bad place to advertise!
There are 6 formats of video ads that you can choose from:
Each video ad format offers unique advantages and disadvantages. And, each has a different pay structure.

Advantages of Video Ads

Disadvantages of Video Ads

Who Should Use Video Ads?

Video ads have tons of appeal that makes them a valuable option for any business. But, there is one big hurdle. Creating, producing and editing effective video content is expensive.
You may be able to shoot a quick viral video with your smartphone, but video ads need to be next-level quality to encourage users to watch past the skip button. This means you need to invest in a production company, sophisticated equipment and more.
You’ll pay more to create the ad than to publish it.
That said, with all of the different video ad formats, it is easy to find one that offers benefits to align with your advertising goals.

Cost of Video Ads

Most video ad formats work on a per-thousand-impressions basis. Others, like discovery ads, work on a CPC basis. In either case, costs will fluctuate. On average, you can expect to spend around $20.00 for 1,000 impressions, or approximately $0.25 a click on discovery-style ads.

Responsive Ads

Responsive ads automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces. So a single responsive ad may appear as a small text ad in one place and a large image ad in another.

Where responsive ads appear

These ads can appear on Google results pages and across the Google Network, which includes the

Responsive Search Ads

Responsive Display Ads

Google will add video assets for responsive display ads campaigns, the company detailed in a blog post. Advertisers can create new responsive display ads or edit existing ones with up15 marketing images with help of
Based on the intelligent decision above combinations are made to show best Ad to user.
Combination report is available to check which best combination worked well.

When you should use Responsive Ads?

If you want your Ad should appear on large scale regardless which different devices of different resolution are being used, you should go for responsive Ad.

How it works?

Google will automatically test different combinations of headlines and descriptions and learn which combinations perform best. In real-time, this is how Google ‘Responsive Ads for Display’ work:

Advantages

Conclusion

Finding the right format type for your Google Ads strategies is like buying a new car. It’s an important choice that will weigh on your budget. You need to assess your needs, means and style and find the right vehicle, or ad format, that best matches these.
It all starts with thinking about your goals. These are your needs — your objectives. The advertising formats that you choose need to support these goals and help you achieve them.
Next, consider your means — your budget and resources. How much time do you have to commit to advertising? Can you invest in more expensive ad types? What about ad types that require a lot of attention and management?
You need to be both realistic and safe with your advertising choices.
Finally, consider your company and branding. What style of ad best compliments your brand? Do you have compelling brand imagery for display ad types?
By filtering the list of ad types by needs, means, and style, you can narrow down the vast selection to just a handful of formats that will suit your PPC marketing strategies.
submitted by PPCexpo-us to DigitalMarketing [link] [comments]

Are you unsure how to get your first 1000 customers? Here is a list of the 12 marketing channels. For each distribution channel, I included proven strategies to help you get your first 1,000 customers.

tl;dr - I'm often asked by startup cofounders three questions:
  1. "What are the different marketing channels?"
  2. "How do I get my first 10/100/1,000 customers?"
  3. "There are sooo many marketing channels. What channels should I focus on first?"
I wrote this guide to explain the 12 major marketing channels. You'll find three strategies/case studies per channel to help you get your first few customers. I then talk about the two types of marketing channels.
Finally, I end by helping you know how to prioritize the channels using the "ICE framework." ICE is the prioritization method used in startups like Facebook, Uber, and Pinterest. I've used it for small startups (under 10 employees) and even a non-profit, so it should work for your startup.
This article was originally written on my website (which you can view here), so my apologizes if the formatting isn't perfect. Got questions? Feel free to drop a comment and I'll do my best to answer it!
Enjoy the read :).
Right now, your startup has one mission.
It isn’t to become the next $1 billion startup. (Though that may come in time). It isn’t to make a difference in the world. (Though you may make a meaningful impact). Nor is it to raise your next round of venture capital. (Though your team may need to do so to complete your mission).
Your mission right now, if you choose to accept, is to find a scalable business model.
As a part of finding a scalable business model, you need to tap the right marketing channels. That’s it.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. What works today may not work tomorrow.
Not too long ago, marketers were all raving about:
  1. Use social media sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, and MySpace.
  2. Writing articles daily on your blog.
  3. Using QR codes to promote your business.
While specific trends and tactics come-and-go, marketing channels will always be around.
If you want to get more customers, it’s helpful to understand each marketing channel. And not only should you know how a marketing channel works, but why it works.
In this article, I’ll share with you the twelve major marketing channels. I’ll then provide a few case studies and strategies for you to test to grow your business.
Note: The book Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth shaped much of this article. If you want to become better at getting and retaining customers, I recommend reading both.

Here is a list of the 12 major marketing channels of mass distribution:

  1. Business Development and Partnerships
  2. Paid Advertisements
  3. Sales
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  5. Virality and Network Effects
  6. Community Marketing
  7. Content Marketing
  8. Email Marketing
  9. Engineering as Marketing
  10. Press
  11. Social Media
  12. Trade Shows and Offline Events
Warning: The following advice may lead to insane amounts of business growth. Please consult a lawyer, attorney, or doctor before attempting this at home. Each marketing channel has different pros and cons. Your mileage may vary.

1. Business Development and Partnerships

Business development is often a gray and ambiguous term. Some equate it to sales. Others simply say any partnership is business development.
Here’s how I define business development.
*Business development is creating long-term value for your startup by partnering with anyone in your market. *This includes other businesses, influencers, and media outlets.
The focus of this channel is on the exchange of value through the partnership. This channel also includes partnerships from influencer marketing and affiliate marketing.
The goal of each partnership is long-term value.
It should not be a one-and-done transaction. Sure, you might get some money from your first co-promotion. But the highest ROI comes from finding new opportunities from the same partnership.
As a result, partnerships often are a slower channel to scale.
The partnership may or may not include paid compensation.
Keep in mind the relationship will change if you pay the other person. Further, there may be certain expectations a person has about the partnership. This expectation may also change by industry.
For example, an influencer is more likely to promote a blog article for free. But I’ve had a few influencers request I pay them to promote my article. The same influencer who was willing to promote an article for free may expect payment for directly promoting your product.
Offering payment when the party does not expect it may be offensive. And in another scenario, it’s a delightful gift.
Here are some strategies and case studies you can use for partnerships:
  1. Find similar companies and offer one product as an add-on bonus. Chris Gimmer shares his story on Snappa’s partnership with LeadPages here.
  2. Find large companies that have app directories or marketplaces. First, integrate your tool with their tool. Then submit your application to directories. Examples include Shopify’s App Marketplace, Intercom’s App Store, and Zendesk’s App Directory. This was a core part of the early growth for CartHook and for BoldCommerce.
  3. Put together a product bundle for news sites and conferences. Learn how Noah Kagan did this with AppSumo by partnering with Imgur and Reddit here.

2. Paid Advertisements

At the dawn of the Internet, people rallied around old marketing channels with new names:
  1. Influencer marketing (celebrity endorsements began in the 1760s).
  2. Content marketing (Ben Franklin printed Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1732).
  3. Email Marketing (mail order catalogues began in 1498).
Then advertising began to move online. Old advertising channels like billboards, newspaper ads, and radio commercials are now a thing of the past.
Or are they outdated?
Believe it or not, according to the OAAA, out-of-home advertising reach a new record high of $8 billion in 2018:
Image
(Image Source)
I bet you didn't see that one coming.
Paid advertising has several mediums, which I’ll categorize by offline and online ads. Offline ads include TV ads, radio ads, billboards, magazine ads, newspaper ads, and bus ads.
Online ads are also called pay-per-click (PPC) ads. This includes:
  1. Search engine ads (ads on Google, Bing, and other search engines)
  2. Social media ads (ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, and other social media sites)
  3. Display ads (banner ads you see displayed on websites).
  4. Media ads (ads and product placements which are in video games, movies, and other media).
  5. Email ads (ads you see when using your email, such as Gmail).
  6. Newsletter ads (ads in email newsletters)
The benefit of paid advertising is if you have an unlimited budget, it’s easier to scale this channel. It’s an excellent channel to test your messaging, get feedback, and iterate quickly.
But as fast as advertising comes, so too it also disappears fast.
There’s a limited window of exposure because ads rent space. Marketing on other channels gives you an asset that stays up as long as you keep them up.
As your ad spend scales, it becomes more expensive and harder to track. In turn, paid ads can also cover up underlying problems.
Andrew Chen, an investor at Andreessen Horowitz, shared how a startup’s paid cost to acquire a customer can be off as much as 2-5 times what it should be. (Source)
Further, you often do not build a relationship with the customer.
As a result, advertising works best for impulse buys or products which offer fast value to the customer.
For SaaS startups, paid ads are often a secondary channel that supports content marketing.
But for eCommerce products, paid advertising is often the first scalable marketing channel. This is because eCommerce will likely sell products which bring delight faster.
Here are some strategies and case studies you can use for paid advertising:
  1. Media outside the home often will not sell every available ad spot. If it’s not sold, it’s a lost opportunity. This allows you to negotiate for remnant advertising. Tim Ferriss has an excellent article on this here. I used this approach to get $10,000 in billboard space for $2,000. If you run other ads, use your successful campaigns to inspire your billboards.
  2. Create a single keyword ad group (SKAG). [1] Run ads to a dedicated landing page on that topic, optimizing the landing page for SEO. This allows you to continue getting traffic after turning off ads and create a message match to improve conversions. I’ve seen click-through rates (CTR) between 1-9% on SKAGs. For one client, after removing the three worst campaigns, all SKAGs were over 3% CTR. Unbounce has an excellent resource on the importance of message match here.
  3. Create a normal social media post and work with relevant influencers to promote your post. Then promote using an ad so you leverage the social proof from the influencer’s promotion. Learn how to work with influencers on my old marketing site here. And learn how to edit Facebook ads and keep your social proof here.
_[1] Unfamiliar with SKAGs? Let’s say you wanted to sell Ultimate Frisbee discs. In one ad keyword group, you would use three keywords: _
  1. _+ultimate +frisbee _
  2. _“ultimate frisbee” _
  3. _[ultimate frisbee]. _
If an unrelated keyword pops up such as “ultimate frisbee rules,” you move it to your negative keyword list. And if a relevant but unrelated term pops up such as “best ultimate frisbee brands,” you can create a new SKAG and send traffic to a new landing page.

3. Sales

Effective marketing is nothing more than salesmanship in ink. While marketing sells on many-to-one, sales specialize in hand-holding customers one-on-one.
Sales is the process of generating leads, qualifying them, and turning them into paying customers.
Now perhaps you’re wondering, “If marketing is effective salesmanship at scale (many-to-one), why should I hire a salesman?”
Contrary to what most SaaS entrepreneurs believe, sales is a primary scalable channel.
First, sales can accelerate the process marketing starts. Without a proper nurture sequence in place, it can be slow moving a prospect down your funnel. A salesman or woman specializes in moving them faster through the funnel.
Second, big customers often need a sales process. When you’re selling a high-end or enterprise product, it’s common to have a salesman giving the customer the red carpet treatment.
*While sales will help speed up landing big customers, it’s not without a major cost. *
Most suggest hiring at least two sales reps. If they work on a team, one will generate and qualify leads while the other closes them. If you favor competition, you can put the two against each other. Two full-time salaries are more than what you’d pay for most marketing agencies.
How cheap can your product be and afford to have a sales team?
If you have a repeatable sales model, a sales rep has three limits:
  1. The number of calls or demos in a day.
  2. The demo-to-close ratio.
  3. How much you’ll pay to keep the salesman.
Jason Lemkin of SaaStr, a SaaS founder, enthusiast, & investor offers this advice:
(Source)
But that’s not all!
If you maximize your current leads and play your cards right, you can bring in a sales rep for a $99/month product.
Lemkin continues:
But, still, we dropped the price point (necessary) for inside sales to $99. And it worked. Why?
I’m not saying you can build a whole inside sales team around a $1,000 ACV or $99 price point. You can’t. The lowest you can probably go on average is $3,000, based on the math above, and that’s if you are hyper-efficient.
If you aren’t, bump that up to a $5k ACV to account for overhead, waste, turn-over, etc.
Here are some strategies and case studies you can use for sales:
  1. Find people who shared a how-to article related to your product on Twitter. You can use Buzzsumo or Ahrefs to do this. Find their email using a tool like VoilaNorbert. Send them an email and pitch your product. Bryan Harris and two of his students did this to pitch their services, which you can check out here.
  2. Find a list of your competitors. Use a tool such as NerdyData or BuiltWith to find customers who use your competitor. [Send them an email](growthramp.io/articles/email-outreach-program) asking if they’ve experienced common problems with the product. If possible, leverage the names of similar customers you have to the prospect. Nathan Barry did this to take ConvertKit from $1,300 to $725,000 in monthly recurring revenue. Learn how he did that here. More on how to use NeryData here.
  3. If you’ve pre-sold your product, create a customer persona for each person who bought your product. Then use LinkedIn search to find similar people and pitch your product. You can find their email on their profile when you click contact info. If you get real fancy, you can create a video pitch on how your product will benefit them. Learn how Devesh got over $13,000 in recurring revenue doing something similar here.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you have a question on how to do something, where do you turn for an answer?
More than likely, you will turn to a search engine.
This channel includes traditional search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Most SEO agencies and consultants focus on Google’s search engine because it provides the most traffic.
It also includes popular, but niche search engines like Amazon and YouTube search optimization.
*Scaling SEO can be slower than other marketing channels. *
The key to getting faster results for SEO comes from mastering three areas:
  1. Doing keyword research to find high volume, low difficulty keywords.
  2. Creating the content on that topic which benefits both the customer and Google.
  3. Getting enough links from authoritative websites to be an authoritative article on that topic.
Keyword research helps you learn how often people search for a phrase. It will also inform how competitive it is to get search traffic from that keyword phrase.
In my article, “No Keywords Easy to Rank For? I Call ‘Bullcrap,’” I outlined a simple process to find high volume, low difficulty keywords. Here’s a quick summary of the process:
  1. Do a Google search for your keyword or topic.
  2. Take the first 3-5 articles listed on Google.
  3. Put these into an SEO tool that finds the keywords the page ranks for, such as Ahrefs.
  4. Sort the keyword list by volume.
  5. Filter out keywords not in the top 20 spots. You should also remove keywords with too high of a difficulty score. For Ahrefs, my recommendation is 30 or less for new websites.
When doing keyword research, it’s also important to understand a person’s intent when searching for a phrase. Understanding search intent will inform how long it will take to make a sale.
If someone searches “What is copywriting?” in Google, they are likely looking for basic information. But if that person looks up “copywriting services in Spokane”, they probably want to buy copywriting services from an agency in Spokane.
*Next, you’ll want to create in-depth content to answer people's questions and objections on that topic. *
To do this, content strategists often source ideas from other content. For example, you could:
  1. Go to your customers and list out the questions they have.
  2. Go to Quora and search for questions on your topic.
  3. Go to Reddit and look for articles with a high number of upvotes and comments.
  4. Go to relevant Facebook groups and look for questions people have.
  5. Go to relevant Discord and Slack groups and look for questions people have.
Once done, share everything relevant to this topic. Articles on Growth Ramp often are between 1,500 and 3,000 words.
*After you’ve created your content, you may need some authoritative links. *
Why are links important to improve SEO?
I’ll answer this question with another question.
When you write a research paper, how do you know the information is accurate? You cite your sources. On the web, people cite sources by linking to different pages.
Google’s search engine puts pages with the most relevance to your search higher up. That’s why you want in-depth content. But Google also prioritizes relevant content with more links.
So if an authoritative site like Harvard University or Microsoft cites your article, Google will likely rank it high in their results.
Here are some strategies and case studies you can use for SEO:
  1. After doing competitive research, create landing pages that compare you to your competitors. Potential customers will want to know how you are different from other products out there. It’s one of 10 questions we’ve found customers ask before buying a product. These pages will allow you to educate the customer and add your voice to the conversation.
  2. Create a survey using a tool like Pollfish. Write an article on the original research and promote it. In a 2015 survey by BuzzSumo and Moz, the team found research-backed articles get a lot of traffic and links. This is how Orbit Media got over 430 links in six months.
  3. Similar to what I wrote in “No Keywords Easy to Rank For? I Call ‘Bullcrap,’” you can find easy-to-rank keywords by analyzing your competitor’s content. Plug a competitor into an SEO tool like Ahrefs. Then filter any keywords with a keyword score of 30 or less. You may also want to search for a broad keyword in the results too. Organize the list by traffic, and voila! Instant fast ranking results.

5. Virality and Network Effects

Virality isn’t just when your cat video hits the front page of Reddit or Youtube. It’s about optimizing the time it takes a customer to invite or refer more friends to your product. This is known as a viral loop.
A viral loop happens in three ways:
  1. A customer discovers your product and enjoys it.
  2. This customer then shares your product with other people. Ideally, they share it with your potential customers.
  3. A potential customer buys the product, enjoys it, and shares it with their friends and coworkers.
The more customers who share your product who become customers, the better the viral loop. To measure your viral loop’s effectiveness, you can use a viral coefficient.
David Skok, a venture capitalist at Matrix partners wrote an excellent article on understanding the key variables of viral marketing.
Viral loops are most common in referral systems and network effect products like Facebook and LinkedIn. Network effects occur when there is an increase in value with each new customer using your product.
Virality and network effects are not the same.
Many things can have viral effects without having network effects. Buzzfeed and Upworthy are relentless at improving virality. But that does not mean they have network effects.
And products with network effects don’t always have viral effects. Any of these marketing channels could bring people into the network effect. Facebook used community marketing to get an Ivy League college student to join in its early days. A B2B marketplace might use content marketing to attract their audience.
Unfortunately, while getting free users is valuable, it’s also hard to create viral loops and network effects.
It’s difficult to engineer a viral loop for any product. And virality is even more difficult for SaaS products.
Andrew Chen suggests a viral product should be:
  1. Social in nature.
  2. Has high retention with daily usage.
  3. Applies to many job titles within an organization, so that anyone can use it.
  4. Invites travel through a new channel with a compelling pitch.
  5. Targets extroverts.
Network effect products must have certain features built into the product to create a network effect. At that point, you need to seed the network.
A network has almost no use when no one uses it. How valuable was the fax machine to the first person who bought it? And even with 100 fax machines, if these users do not send messages to each other, the machines were glorified paperweights.
Viral loops and network effects are valuable. The VC firm NFX argues that 70% of the value in tech comes from network effects. Both viral loops and network effects can bring in free customers. The challenge is getting those customers in the first place.
Here are some strategies and case studies you can use for virality and network effects:
  1. Attract customers with a tool that works without a network effect, then keep them engaged with your network. Chris Dixon talks about the philosophy of this approach here.
  2. There are many ways to solve the chicken-or-egg problem in marketplace network effect startups. Here are 19 tactics to try.
  3. To improve your referral campaigns, provide a reward to both parties. Dropbox’s referral program is a famous example of two-sided rewards. Learn about their referral program here and here.

6. Community Marketing

Community building involves building direct relationships with your customers and potential customers. Developing deeper customer relationships can result in increased activation, retention, and referrals.
One challenge of community marketing is not having an existing audience to start your community.
If you don’t have an established audience, you can become a prominent member of another community. Then use relationships you build in other communities to start your community. Forums, Facebook groups, and Reddit communities (called subreddits) are some of the fastest ways to build relationships in your industry.
Building a community is difficult, but the rewards can be massive. Reddit, Wikipedia, and Stack Exchange are startups built on the community they created.
Here are some strategies and case studies you can use for community marketing:
  1. What’s successful in one community will often be successful in another community. Find what top influencers share on social media and adjust it to fit your context. With the right message, you can promote the same message in other communities.
  2. Use communities to promote your community. The Facebook group Client Science promotes its community by writing articles on Reddit. You can check out their articles posted by BenJackGill. This article received over 700 upvotes.
  3. Create a community on a different type of channel for people already in a community. Reddit has many Discord and Slack groups. /startups has a startup Discord server. At the time of this writing, they promote this community at the top of their subreddit. /bigseo has an SEO Slack group. At the time of this writing, they promote this community in the sidebar of their subreddit. You can do the same by creating a community for a subreddit.

7. Content Marketing

When was the last time you read an article online? How about the last time you heard a podcast? Or perhaps watched a video?
Content marketing spans a wide range of mediums. It includes articles like the one you’re reading to infographics, videos, and podcasts.
When done right, content can help you:
  1. Educate the market.
  2. Build an email list of excited customers.
  3. Land publicity.
  4. Build relationships.
  5. Build your brand.
And so much more. Popular venture capitalists like Mark Suster, Paul Graham, and James Currier are well-known because of their blogs.
Further, you always have the content. Once you spend on advertising, that’s it. But you can get customers from content for years to come.
Unfortunately, content marketing often requires knowledge of another channel to become successful. As such, it’s often slower than other acquisition channels. That is unless you have a solid content promotion system in place.
SEO and social media tend to be the two most common ways of getting traffic to your content. Email marketing is also common to get people to become repeat visitors to your content. But you can also create a paid content funnel using ads, an article, and premium content to get an email address.
Here are some strategies and case studies you can use for content marketing:
  1. Want to find content practically guaranteed to go viral? Go to Reddit and search for your topic. Find articles with a ton of upvotes and comments (aim for at least 100 upvotes, or 250 for bigger subreddits). Write a similar topic on your blog, putting your spin on the topic. Then promote it on Reddit and other sites.
  2. Search for “top X blogs” or “best X blogs,” where X is your industry. Offer to sponsor these bloggers money to review your product. Learn how Noah Kagan paid bloggers $500 to review Mint.com from 0 to 100,000 in six months here.
  3. According to BuzzSumo, two types of content that get a ton of traffic and links are research-backed articles and opinionated journalism. If you can’t get enough survey responses, you can use sites like Pollfish for this information. Learn how Orbit Media got 430 links in six months here.

8. Email Marketing

Email marketing is often declared to have the highest ROI for marketing channels.
Image
(Image Source)
Not only can you use it to find new customers, but you can also use it to engage (activation), retain, upsell (revenue), and generate referrals.
Because messages from your company are right beside updates from friends and family, email often feels very personal. When done wrong, the email will also make people feel angry, damage your brand, and decrease future email deliverability rates.
Keep in mind it’s also difficult to get a large enough email list to acquire customers. By itself, email marketing cannot grow unless you have some mechanism for others to share and join your newsletter.
But it is possible to start just by emailing a few interested friends. Newsletters like The Hustle, Startup Digest, and Product Hunt all began as emails sent to friends. Each of these newsletters has several thousands, if not millions, of people.
Typically marketers pair email marketing with SEO or content marketing to build a list.
Here are some strategies and case studies you can use for email marketing:
  1. Emails that tell your customers the value they get from your product often do well. Can you estimate the money earned or the time saved by using your product?
  2. Consider running a giveaway to build your list. All you need to do is give away a product, tell people about the giveaway, and collect everyone’s email address. Bryan Harris used a giveaway to get 2,239 email subscribers in 10 days. Learn more about that here.
  3. Advertise on newsletters that are complementary to your product. Chances are if someone subscribes to one newsletter, they would love to subscribe to another newsletter like it. Alternatively, you can do a shout-out for each other’s newsletter. This is ideal when the two newsletters are about the same size.

9. Engineering as Marketing

Do you have a team of engineers? You can leverage their skills by building free tools and products to reach your customers.
This a major competitive advantage because you’re giving something free that your competitors charge for.
Free tools are often easier to market than your paid products. As a result, you can get a ton of inexpensive leads. That said, this approach requires you to market the new tool too.
Some common tools include calculators, WordPress plugins, and educational microsites. You can then collect leads through these tools and get people to buy your product. Sometimes a side project becomes successful enough to be the main product.
Here are some strategies and case studies you can use for engineering as marketing:
  1. From 2006 to 2011, HubSpot's Website Grader was used to grade more than 4 million websites. Learn more about this project here.
  2. Look at your most popular articles. See if you can turn that article into a lead-gen product. Chris Gimmer did this with StockSnap, which he used to launch Snappa. Learn more about how he did that here.
  3. Once you have a tool, don’t overlook other ways you can use it to promote other marketing campaigns. WP Engine has a speed test tool. After you opt-in, it takes you to a thank you page with other valuable resources. You can check it out here.
(Continued in comments below).
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