Friday Fright Night: V/H/S

As a fan of Netflix and horror movies, I understand finding a good one to watch for free is tough. I’ve watched a lot of good, bad, and funny horror flicks via streaming, despite trying to be relatively picky. I get terrified rather easily, so if you’re not someone who does, V/H/S might not be for you.

This collection of six found-footage shorts (equaling to just under two hours) offers a wide range of story-lines that will appeal to most horror fans. While the weak ones are short, the great ones are memorable. Skip the sequels if you can to avoid ruining the whole series.

4 Easy Publicity Hacks

Marketing is fraught with nuance and luck, but there are some things you can do that will always work. Here are four easy tricks to help you get started.

1. Affiliate Marketing

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I have no doubt you’ve heard, or at least seen, this one without realizing it. When you see two people, brands, or companies paired together doing joint promotion, this is called affiliate marketing. This guy is kind of the one that’s obvious after the fact, and it really is super awesome.

The point of affiliate marketing is to increase your audience. But there’s a trick: pair with someone in your industry with a slightly different market that overlaps yours, preferably with a bigger fan base. By doing so, not only will you reach a different audience than the one you have but you will also make great connections and learn a lot from someone higher than you.

Even before you start implementing your idea, it’s important to reach out to people in your industry, no matter how big or small. Maintaining those connections helps build friendships, learning opportunities, and marketing ideas.

2. Seeding

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A little thing no one really knows about is how, exactly, do random videos and images end up on big influencers’ pages? Seeding.

The point of seeding is to expand your outreach. Seeding is the art of giving your content to an opinion leader or influencer to have them essentially promote your work. While the format is a little labor intensive (research, summary, etc.), the effects can be well worth it. The trick: don’t aim too high. If you run a website with funny comedy sketches, by all means try seeding them to large influencers like BuzzFeed and Comedy Central. But don’t underestimate the little guy; slowly building your following is better than not building your following. The bigger your audience, the more likely bigger influencers will look at your content.

3. Backlinks

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These have very hidden importance. You may have wondered how on earth to get on the first page of Google. While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key, backlinks are the way to get closer.

The point of backlinks is to increase your SEO. By inputting the link of another site onto yours, the magical internet algorithms automatically link your two sites together. When people search for the site you backlinked to, they will have greater ease in seeing your site. The trick: do not often backlink to mega big sites. Because the internet algorithms are magical but still technical, they will read that as you trying to work the system. And because the algorithms really do look out for the little guy, if they feel you are cheating the system they will do way more harm than good and you will never show up in anyone’s feed.

Backlinking is easy: if you have an image, link the image to the site it came from. If you mention a product, link to other sites on how to use said product.

4. Reposts

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Reposts have more power than you realize, especially on Facebook. This habit can lead to overwhelming your fans, so choose wisely.

That being said, there’s a couple tricks to keep in mind: when you repost something, you’re taking someone else’s content and sharing it to your audience. But did you know Facebook algorithms work off a point system? When you repost something from a page with a larger audience, you gain more of these points. The higher points you earn, the more likely you’ll be put in other people’s feeds, which will increases your audience views.

Reposts are fantastic for organically reaching new people. But people have a habit of reposting things they enjoy without giving thought to what their audience likes. Try to think of your target audience and what they want to see, narrowing down from what you usually post. If you have an audience that loves Nicholas Sparks but you love cat videos, try to follow different pages that would appeal to Nicholas Sparks fans so you have more content for this publicity hack. It’s best to only post once a day for Facebook if you have under 10,000 fans.

5 Shows to Cure Boredom This Weekend

While some of these shows seem pretty obvious, there are still people who haven’t seen them. I refuse to put Game of Thrones on this list because you should already be watching it.

1. The Office

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The level of heart this show has paired with the utter ridiculousness makes it constantly re-watchable. Push through the first season and you’ll be golden.

2. Bates Motel and Black Mirror

i think people who are different don't know they're different cause they have nothing to compare it to

I put these together because Black Mirror doesn’t have many episodes, but the quality is through the roof and will make you think (push through the first episode). Bates Motel (a prequel show to Hitchcock’s classic, Psycho) only has three seasons, so you can move through it fairly fast. The twistedness is worth it, I promise.

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3. How to Get Away With MurderABC Network animated GIF

Viola Davis absolutely kills (no pun intended) in this. Her boss biznitchness is out of this world, plus the show is fun and fraught with turns.

4. Orange is the New BlackYosub Kim, Content Strategy Director animated GIF

I know a few people who don’t like this one, although I’m not sure why. It’s funny and smart and emotional. You’ll have characters you despise and ones you’ll adore. Just do it already.

5. Mr. Robot

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Honestly can’t say enough about this show other than how much it deserves the recognition it’s been receiving.