The fifth annual Letterkenny Busking Festival is taking place along Letterkenny’s Main Street on Saturday the 24th of August. Spots are filling up fast for this annual festival so if you would like to take part, we would encourage you to register now.This year’s event is set to be the most competitive yet with various types of performers from Donegal and beyond registered to participate in the competition. But it’s not just about competing. The whole street will be alive with music and performance. This year the Busking festival is taking place during the weekend of the 50th Anniversary of the Letterkenny International Folk Festival so Letterkenny will be full of people who are here for all the various activities and after the busking there will be more live acts on the street.Each act will be in with a chance of winning prizes from the €1000 prize fund but not everyone can win. The acts love the support and can maybe collect a few cents from appreciative audiences. So if you’re out on Saturday 24th August between 11am to 2pm come and see some brilliant acts showcase their talents.Spots are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so it is best to pre-register for the festival and all performers will be visited by the judges.This year a special guest will announce the winners at a prize-giving event at McGinley’s Bar at 2.30pm. The winning act will have the chance to perform on stage at the venue. So while you’re shopping in town, head up to the Main Street and feast your eyes and ears on some great performances. The Letterkenny Busking Festival draws a large crowd each year of both spectators and performers.“Bringing music on to the street on a Saturday afternoon always brings a feel-good atmosphere especially in the Summer”, explains Leonard Watson President of Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce that is organising the Busking Festival through its ShopLK Brand.“This year we have a great line up of entertainment building on previous years. With the prize fund on offer we know we’ll have a high standard of acts and we encourage everyone to come out and support the buskers on the day”.“ShopLK is all about enjoying the best shopping experience in Letterkenny and we want our regular customers and visitors to the town to really enjoy what Letterkenny has to offer. This type of event, that is funded through the Retail Promotion initiative from Donegal County Council, makes happy shoppers and creates a real buzz.”Come along on Saturday 24th August to Letterkenny Main Street and see magicians, dancers, street entertainers, trad groups and more celebrating local and national talent. Support our acts and help to bring the main street alive this Summer. To pre-register for the competition and get more information on the competition format, etc, check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/letterkennybuskingfestival or alternatively email email@example.comLess than two weeks to go until the highly anticipated Letterkenny Busking festival was last modified: August 9th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Originally published Jan 18, 2007 1:27:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Presentations I have recently come across some interesting Powerpoint best practices that I thought I would share with you. Steve JobsThe first best practice was from watching Steve Jobs’ presentation at MacWorld this year. What was fascinating about his slides is that they were either just a picture or just a picture with a couple of words in extremely large font. It turns out that Steve wants the audience to listen to him tell the story, rather than read the slides. Here’s a picture of one of Steve’s slides:In contrast to Steve’s slide show, here’s a picture of a slide from Michael Dell. Michael’s would work well if it were designed to be sent to someone who would not have the benefit of hearing the story live, but next to Steve’s slides, they just seem cluttered.Guy KawasakiI recently read Guy Kawasaki’s “Art of The Start.” In addition to being a good author/blogger, Guy was one of the very early Apple employees and more recently has been a venture/angel investor type where he has listened to countless Powerpoint presentations. Presumably because he is tired of seeing poor Powerpoint presentations, he spends many pages in his book talking about Powerpoint best practices. There were a few nuggets of Powerpoint wisdom among a lot of content about it that stuck with me a few days after finishing the book.His mantra is that Powerpoint should follow a 10/20/30 Rule. There should be no more than 10 slides in the presentation — very few people take away much more than one concept from a presentation, so all that other stuff is extra. The slide presentation should be designed to last 20 minutes, leaving room for ample questions/discussion between slides or after the presentation. Guy points out that the point of the presentation is typically to initiate a discussion. He says the font should be size should be no smaller than 30 (Arial font). Guy says that audiences read faster than you can talk, so that while you are up there talking, they are trying to read your slides and not listening to what you are saying.He says that there are something like 60 animation features within Powerpoint and he recommends the less use of it the better. His advice is to use your voice/body to emphasize when a point is important, not some fancy Powerpoint trick. The only place he recommends using any of this is in going through bullet points on a slide, presumably to avoid having people read ahead. Speaking of bullets, Guy suggests that bulleted slides should have one point with bullets and only one layer of bullets (lest you violate the 30 part of 10/20/30).If you have some great Powerpoint tips, please do share them with us…– Brian Halligan.
How many times have you met somebody full of energy who gets you excited about something new — only to discover later that it was just a lot of talk and no action. All hat, no cattle .There’s a similar problem in social media: Marketers who are all tweet and no meat.At HubSpot we run into a lot of professional marketers and small business owners who are very excited about social media. They want 5,000 followers on Twitter, they want 10,000 fans on Facebook, and they want it all yesterday.Such enthusiasm is new, and it’s awesome. Just last summer, most marketers and small business owners still looked at social media as a playground for Kool-Aid drinking tech groupies.Now the marketing ROI of inbound marketing and social media is clear, and there’s a new problem: Many of the marketers and small business owners leaping into social media are forgetting the importance of other online marketing channels. This is a problem because social media works best in conjunction with a site that’s full of fresh content like blog posts , white papers and videos.If your marketing strategy is just Twitter and Facebook — no longer-form content of your own — your company will end up a big-talking cowboy without cattle . You’ll be making comments about everything, but substantive contributions to nothing.In pure business terms, there are two huge reasons social media needs to be mixed with original content: (1) To Drive People to Your Site — As a business, your goal is to drive leads and sales, which both happen on YourSite.com. In order to get people to YourSite.com, you have to make an investment in blogging, content management and lead tracking on that site. If your only investment is in Twitter or Facebook, the people you engage with there — no matter how much they love you — will never make it to YourSite.com to convert into leads and customers. (2) To Create an Archive With Long-Term SEO Value — If you’re only investing your time and resources in Facebook and Twitter, you’re not building any archive of persistent content. That’s a problem because your persistent content is what shows up in Google’s search results. Blog posts, white papers and videos posted on YourSite.com will get indexed by Google and drive people to become leads and customers for years. Posts on Twitter and Facebook don’t have nearly the same long-term search value.A marketers and salespeople, we’re prone to optimistic talk. But as we talk, we need to ask ourselves a key question: Is the talk accompanied by consistent value creation for our company?If you’re just doing social media, I think the answer is no. If that social media work is accompanied by content, I think the answer is yes.What do you think? How do you strike this balance?Photo: Karyn Webinar: Blogging for Business Originally published Mar 17, 2009 8:11:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website? Download the free webinar to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. Marketing Strategy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Apr 28, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Photo: Robert Crum on Flickr Inbound Marketing Kit So you’re graduating from college in a month, you’re interested in marketing, but the economy’s stuck in a ditch, you don’t have a marketing job, and you’re worried. What do you do to standout from the thousands of others in exactly the same situation? I interview a lot of people here at HubSpot, and I think there are a few things you can do. Here are my top 10: Start a blog. This is critical. At HubSpot resumes that list a blog immediately move to the front of the line. Here’s why: Online marketing is a complicated ecosystem in which blog posts are the cells — the most basic forms of life. If you’ve started and maintained a blog, you understand that ecosystem. You understand how search engines suck up content and spit back visitors. You understand how web applications work. You understand the concept of linking. You understand widgets and basic html. You understand how important pictures and video can be. You get the point. Start a blog. Take your job search seriously. Sounds basic, but it’s really, really important. Don’t start off your interview joking about drinking with your roommates, as one unsuccessful HubSpot applicant did this year. Show up on time, respond promptly and be prepared. It’s easy, and it makes a huge difference. Be confident. The job market is tough and looking for a job sucks, but don’t let it show. Walk into your interviews with your head high and everything under control. This is critical for marketing roles because it’s how marketers have to present their product. Start a Twitter account. Twitter will teach you a lot about new marketing techniques, but even more importantly, it will connect you with professionals and companies looking for talent. It’s also very useful from the employer’s standpoint. Right now I’m following several people who have applied for jobs at HubSpot. Twitter is a way for me to get to know them better. Think analytically. Inbound marketing is comprised of two main activities: Creating content and measuring its use. Candidates who can do both well get hired. Period. Know the company. If you’re interviewing at HubSpot, you better know what inbound marketing is, and you better know how our approach to marketing is different from that of traditional marketers. Every company has similar “must understand” tests. Figure out what they are before you apply. Demonstrate a content mindset . Go to meetups or events and post to flickr, YouTube or Facebook. Show that you’re not afraid to dive into these tools. Online marketing is about building an online presence through content. The more you can do that, the more valuable you’ll be to a company. Show that you get stuff done. There are people who get stuff done and there are people who talk about getting stuff done. Show that you’re the former. Blogging and creating content is a great way to do that. Get passionate about something. People need to know what makes you tick. You’re going to be a much more productive employee if you’re excited about what you’re doing, so employers want to understand what gets you fired up. Learn to write well. Much of the day-to-day inbound marketing grind is writing — case studies, blog posts, emails, video scripts and lots more. If you can write clearly, your employer will be able to keep you very busy. What tips would you add to this list? Please add them in the comments. I’ll update the post with some of my favorites later in the day. One more thing: If you’re a job seeker in the Boston area, definitely check out today’s MITX Digital Combine being held at the Back Bay Events Center all afternoon. I’ll be speaking on a panel at 3 p.m., “Positions in the Digital Industry: The Opportunities, Skills, and Experience Needed.”UPDATE: HubSpot friend and Boston videoblogger Steve Garfield has an awesome post today that’s right on the money: ” How to Get a Job at HubSpot .”A couple more great ideas from the comments:From Kevin Richard : “Interact with people in the industry/area you want to work in.” From David Spinks : “NEVER pass up an opportunity to reach new people.” Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. Download our inbound marketing kit .
Episode #61 – October 9, 2009 (Episode Length: 28 minutes, 58 seconds) http://itunes.hubspot.tv/ Headlines Marketing Takeaway , @ mvolpe Marketing Takeaway Doing It Right with www.HubSpot.tv FTC Confirms Bloggers Need Not Fear the $11,000 Fines Registration Link: – Your offline events can stimulate online conversation. gameplanhayden If PR Dead? The Debate Continues… — Details: and @ Download HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University online training program Thepremise is simple: visitors “light” a candle and leave a message. 8599as of Thursday at 4PM – less than 48 hours after it went live Yahoo finally joins Google and stops using meta keywords for search Time 3:00-5:30pm Forum Fodder Location: Brogan Room at HubSpot HQ http://hubspotbook.eventbrite.com/ HuSpot TV Guest: Tim Hayden! Brian Halligan’s article: Is PR dead? Think about using in person events to enhance the online communications you are using for inbound marketing. in Austin, TX Announcement! First 50 people get a free book! FTC Regulates Endorsements and Reviews We Are Better Than This Closing Make great content, get more links, don’t sweat meta keywords. Date: October 16 Justin Goodman @electricmice: How to interact on Twitter: @ Originally published Oct 11, 2009 7:49:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 : Set your employees free! Encourage them to be content creators. Death to Meta Keywords! Doors open at 3:00pm. The show goes live at 4:00pm. Come meet Brian andDharmesh at the end of the show during the book signing. – Make sure your PR firm is doing more than SPAMing reporters with press releases. Yahoo Search No Longer Uses Meta Keywords Tag Technology, in which 54% of thesample of 1,400 CIOs of companies with 100 or more employees blockemployees from accessing any social media at work” Intro Inbound Marketing Book Launch Party at HubSpot TV : Be upfront and honest, and encourage your fans to do the same. “astudy released yesterday by Robert Half Perks: CEO of Marketing Takeaway: Subscribe in iTunes: Why the 54% of companies blocking access to social media should knock it off http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005endorsementguidesfnnotice.pdf IMU includes The Role of PR Firms in Social Media and Inbound Marketing in your tweet. Free Inbound Marketing University Online Training Program 54% of companies BLOCK social media If I have hundreds of landing pages, how should you incorporate them into your navigation? 11 free webinar classes and notesheets GamePlan Marketing Takeaway 2 Marketing Takewaway karenrubin “So,is pr dead? Well, the bad news is that as the game has beentraditionally played, it is probably dead or near dead. The good newsis that there is a major opportunity for new entrants and forwardthinking existing agencies to re-invent the industry and provide awhole new set of valuable businesses for their customers.” . The program drills into each component of inbound marketing and prepares you for the Inbound Marketing certification exam. Marketing Tip of the Week: FTC Cracks Down on Blogger Payola, Celebrity Tweets Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Dec 13, 2011 5:30:00 PM, updated August 25 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Twitter Marketing Whether you’ve been using Twitter for a while or you’re just dipping your toe into those whale infested waters, there are several common Twitter mistakes that tons of people are making. These mistakes are easy to fix, but if you keep doing them, it will keep you from getting the most out of this platform as part of your inbound marketing strategy. And you don’t want that, right? Here are five common Twitter mistakes, and how to fix them.Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.1. Sending Sketchy Auto-DMsSeriously, people are still doing this! No matter how amazing the message is in your auto-direct message, if it is an auto-DM, especially if it comes right after someone follows you, it’s a huge faux pas. Don’t waste your time setting these impersonal messages up. Not for you, not for your client, not for your brand. It’s not a good look.How to fix it: Go to your account on Twitter.com, click Settings and then Connections. This will show you all the apps to which you are connected. Find out which app through which you are set up to auto-DM, and cancel it.2. Protecting Your TweetsFacebook, Google+, and LinkedIn have privacy settings that allow you to choose which information to share with certain groups of people. On Twitter, you gotta put it all out there. Well, if you want inbound marketing effectiveness you do. Twitter is different than these other social networking experiences that are based on networking with existing connections–people you know from high school, college, work, and the gym. Twitter is based on networking with people you don’t know. Talk to strangers. Put yourself out there. Make the most of Twitter by making new connections with an open account.How to fix it: Go to your account on Twitter.com, click Settings and go to Account. Unclick where is says Protect My Tweets.3. An Unbalanced Follower:Following RatioSome people may not admit it, but most people care about their follower number. And there’s no shame in that! The more followers you have, the more opportunities you have to share your content and increase your web presence. But if you are looking at someone’s profile for the first time and you see an unbalanced follower:following ratio, two thoughts might go through your mind:If someone is following tons of people with very few follow-backs: “How come no one is following this person back? This person must not be very interesting, or this person is just looking for followers. I won’t follow back either.”If someone isn’t following back anyone: “Ugh, this person is a Twitter snob! Not interested.”How to fix it: If you haven’t followed a lot of people out of concern for a cluttered stream, consider bucketing people into Lists to clean it up. If you are following too many people compared to the number of followers you have, audit your following list and unfollow those who aren’t providing interesting tweets. Going forward, always scan users’ tweets to see if they would be a good addition to your following list before clicking ‘follow.’4. WTF Are You Talking About?Some people treat Twitter like Facebook or an away message. Tweeting things like “At Foggy Goggles for Brit’s 21st! So excited!” or vague ramblings like “I can’t even believe what’s going on right now…” are not helpful. Your followers will get more value out of your tweets if your tweets are clear. The nice thing about Twitter is that you have the opportunity to be interactive with the thoughts you are sharing; this opportunity is lost with these exclusive tweets.How to fix it: All of these tweets are salvageable. If you want to tweet about Brit’s birthday, use a location app to check in to the Foggy Goggle, and use Brit’s and Foggy Goggle’s Twitter handles in the tweet. This tweet is now a communication with the bar, the bar’s patrons, and Brit’s circle of friends.Instead of “I can’t even believe what’s going on right now…” share a picture or a link to an article and be specific about what is actually going on. Tweeting “I can’t believe what’s going on in Walmart’s parking lot for Black Friday” with an accompanying picture gives your tweet context and a reason to click through to the content you’ve shared.5. @ Versus .@Only people that also follow whoever you are @replying can see that @reply. Sometimes, people will start a tweet with @ when it’s not intended to be an @reply, though. For example, if you tweeted ”@CNN’s coverage of unicorns is great!” only your followers that follow @CNN will see that tweet in their timeline.How to fix it: If you want everyone to see your tweet, use the .@ trick. Stick a period in front of the @ sign, and it’ll send the tweet into the main Twitter stream for all to enjoy.What major Twitter mistakes have you come across? Have you made any of the Twitter mistakes above?Image credit: n74jrw
Topics: Originally published Apr 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated November 29 2017 Calls to Action We’ve all heard the regular call-to-action best practices by now. Write compelling copy. Choose appealing images. Have a solid value prop.All important stuff, to be sure.But what about the people who have fixed all the common CTA errors? (You can find the errors in this SlideShare if you want to check yourself.)Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesThere are other, less-talked-about ways you may be hurting the success of your CTAs — and by extension, your lead gen. Let’s talk about those.You’re scared of using too many.CTA confusion is a real thing, which is why it’s common to preach only using one primary CTA per page. It’s the primary “thing” you want your visitor to do, after all.But sometimes there’s more than one right answer. And I’m not talking about just adding in a secondary CTA, either. (Which you should absolutely do — read this post if you want to learn more about secondary CTAs. Or read this one if you want to learn more but only have like 20 seconds.)Instead of worrying about the quantity of primary CTAs on your page, think about the quantity of primary CTAs on your page that help you meet the goal of that CTA. For instance, if the goal of your homepage is to drive more MQLs through RFP requests, go ahead and put more than one RFP CTA on there — even if they’re totally different RFP CTAs that lead to totally different RFP request landing pages. The problem with multiple primary CTAs isn’t that they exist — it’s when multiple CTAs exist that are encouraging actions that are totally counterintuitive to one another, and detract from the effectiveness of the page.You’re not writing custom copy.As your offer library grows, you’ll have less trouble finding CTAs to match your content. But if your offer library is growing, chances are your content strategy is more sophisticated, too — which means you’re writing about more specific, niche subject matters. That’s a good thing, but your CTAs can start to look pretty generic next to those extremely personalized content pieces.Let’s take this blog post we published a while ago as an example: “How to Satisfy Every Stakeholder In Your Next Website Redesign.” We had a CTA ready to go that we’d used for a while that promoted our offer Website Redesign Planning & Progress Kit. This is what the original CTA for the offer looked like:We emphasized the progress tracking a little more than the strategic aspect, because at the time, it’s what we talked about more.But this new blog post really focused more on the strategic parts of managing website redesigns — the part where you have to get a bunch of internal stakeholders on board. So, we customized the CTA copy to reflect the audience to whom the post was targeted. Here’s the customized version:We’ve since customized our offer CTAs when we’re emphasizing something the CTA copy doesn’t reflect, and consistently see improved conversion rates as a result.You’re not updating your design.If you’ve started to see a disappointing leveling off of your CTA clickthrough rates (not submission rates, mind you), it could be due to design overexposure. It doesn’t mean the content behind the CTAs is stale — just that you’ve oversaturate your audience with a design such that it’s fading into the background. It’s commonplace. It’s not “jumping off the page” anymore. Personally, I feel like this blog could use a CTA design refresh. I know it might be a good use of time because when I compare the clickthrough rates on these two CTAs, the latter is almost double the former.It’s probably because it’s a break from the visual norm for our readers. We’ve had this gray design for a bit. If you’ve also had the same design for a bit, consider a refresh to help improve your CTA clickthrough rates.Your CTAs are too smart.Sometimes, a CTA should be kind of stupid. (This is a joke we make here when opting not to create “smart” or “dynamic” CTAs). What I mean by this is that just because you have some cool segmenting functionality doesn’t mean you should always use it.For instance, let’s pretend you’re launching a new product. Or hosting an event. Or releasing a new offer you want everyone to see. These are all instances in which smart CTAs can be counterintuitive to your goals, because you’re segmenting for the sake of segmenting. Consider who you actually want to see your CTAs before you get segmentation-happy.You’re not trying new placements.I don’t know why we all decided CTAs belong at the bottom of blog posts and only the bottom of blog posts. Actually, I do know why. Because once upon a time, we had this idea that people read every word we wrote. If you’re still reading this part of the post — hey, thank you. I appreciate you sticking around.But I also know that statistically, most readers don’t even get 60% of the way through an article. So why not provide an earlier conversion opportunity?For instance, we performed a test to see if slide-in CTAs helped clickthrough and submission rates. It did. (You can read more about that test here, and learn how to create your own slide-in CTAs.) We also performed a test to see if in-post visual callout CTAs helped clickthrough and submission rates. They didn’t. At first. Then we tried adjusting other variables, and found they worked, but only when they were ridiculously contextual. So, if we wrote a section in a post about Evernote, and then served up a visual CTA related to Evernote, that would improve the post’s overall CTA clickthrough and submission rate.The moral of the story is this: We’ve always tested CTA placement on every other part of our site — why not test it on our blog, too?You’re not updating CTAs on old pages.But old pages are … old. Why should I update them?If they’re still up, they might still be getting traffic. Check. If they are still getting traffic, you have two choices: Take the pages down, or update the content. I highly, highly recommend latter.Most people won’t have time to do a serious overhaul of all the page contents, especially because many of the pages that will fall victim to the still-getting-traffic-but-content-is-old issue will be blog posts. And the nature of blog posts is that you write a lot of them and, unless they’re all evergreen, time will take its toll. So instead of rewriting dozens if not hundreds of blog posts that still get traffic, update the CTAs on those posts. This could mean making “stupid” CTAs smart, adding new creative, or replacing the CTAs with new offers entirely.I recommend going through this exercise once a quarter if you’re a frequent blogger (daily or more) and twice a year if you’re a semi-frequent blogger (anywhere from 1-5 times a week). You should also go through the exercise with your non-blog site pages about twice a year to see if the CTAs on pages that still receive a lot of traffic are as relevant as they could be.Audits are never fun, but it’ll help you get more bang from your buck with your CTAs. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Jan 25, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated January 25 2015 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 13 Pervasive (And Totally Wrong) Myths About Sales Reps from InsightSquaredEnjoy this post? To read more content like it, subscribe to Sales. Inbound Sales (Marketing) This post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.If you presented the average person with the prompt “Salespeople are …” and asked them to fill in the blank, what do you think they would say?Daniel Pink conducted this very experiment as part of his research for the book To Sell is Human. When asked to identify the first word that came to mind to describe “sales” or “selling,” the most prevalent answers included “pushy,” “sleazy,” “ugh,” “yuck,” “dishonest,” and “manipulative.”Okay, but how do you really feel?Salespeople are no strangers to the stigma associated with their profession, and most laugh it off. But the saddest part about these stinging stereotypes is that most simply aren’t true! For instance, if every salesperson was indeed a liar, there wouldn’t be any satisfied customers to be found. If every salesperson was intensely aggressive, they wouldn’t have any clients. Obviously, neither of these conditions are reality. In this SlideShare, InsightSquared tackles the damaging labels that often get affixed to those in sales. The next time you feel you’re being judged unfairly based on your job, forward along this post and provide some enlightenment.
Whether you want to start an ecommerce endeavor or just expand the products you offer, keeping up with inventory is a definite concern. Whether you need the space or the manpower to keep all your products within reach and accounted for at all times, the fact remains that this particular concern could shut you down before you even get started. Unless you discover the beauty of dropshipping.What Is Dropshipping?When you outsource your shipping responsibilities to the manufacturer of your ecommerce goods, that’s drop shipping. In other words, you sell the products on your site, the manufacturer fulfills those orders and ships to the customer, and everyone wins.Seems like starting an ecommerce company with zero inventory would be easy, if that’s all there is to it, right? Well, not so fast. You do need to make sure you’re working with manufacturers and wholesalers that won’t take advantage of you or your customers. The last thing you need is a bad reputation before you even begin. These steps to choosing a dropshipper will help you avoid negative press.Interview the ManufacturerIf you want to cut out a middleman, then going straight to the manufacturer is your best bet. Just be sure to ask them all the right questions before putting your business into motion. Check prices, sure, but also make sure they’re willing to dropship for you. If not, ask them for recommendations for similar manufacturers who’ll take that additional step.If they do dropship, ask their process. Make sure your brand is protected by verifying their standards for quality. Will fragile products arrive safely? Will the manufacturer include packaging details and use mailing labels you provide? Most importantly, will they keep you in the loop and verify that all products have been shipped? You need to have information you can share with your customers, so don’t choose a dropshipper that can’t keep you up to date.Test the ProcessOnce you’ve chosen potential dropshippers, place some test orders with them. Note the time it takes to ship from each provider, the overall quality of the packaging, and the state of the products within. If your customers open a box to find items haphazardly tossed inside, they won’t think much of your brand. The manufacturer won’t even come to their minds.Also, make sure your brand is clearly displayed on the labels you provided. If the dropshipping company refuses to use your branding or doesn’t alert you when new materials are needed, then you’ll have to search somewhere else.Pressure the Customer Support StaffWe don’t necessarily think you should hassle anyone, but it is important to make sure the customer support staff will act in your best interests. If a customer calls to make a complaint and your dropshipping partner is less than impressive, that will reflect on your brand.Be sure you touch on all aspects of service, including the quality of the products, the time needed to ship your items, and what must happen for returns and refunds. If the customer service isn’t up to your standards, ask the manufacturer if you can share some helpful tips. As a last resort, ask for recommendations for companies that provide stellar customer service.Watch Your Reviews for FeedbackIf you choose a dropshipping company, set it, and forget it, then you could end up with some serious issues down the line. When you trust anyone to run any part of your business, you should follow up frequently to make sure the job is done to your exact specifications. Now, you can’t follow the manufacturer around and micro-manage, but you can keep an eye on those reviews.If you see any hint of mistakes or wrongdoing on the part of your dropshipping partner, take immediate action. Whether that action is to sever ties or just to calm an irate customer, the most important thing is simply that you’re on top of the problem. Remember that a majority of customers will stop doing business with you if they experience poor customer service. You get one chance to make a good first impression, and if you’re lucky, one second chance to fix a mistake. Don’t let your dropshipping partner blow it for you.If you can keep these tips in mind, you could run a whole ecommerce business without ever once packing a box or printing a label. You could offer a huge variety of products without ever having any within reach. It’s not easy, but when done correctly, dropshipping can be pretty lucrative. If you’re considering it, make sure to check out the pros and cons of dropshipping. Good luck! Topics: Ecommerce Marketing Originally published Sep 30, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Marketing case studies analyze the ways that a customer uses a product or service. They describe a challenge the customer faced, the solutions they considered, and the results they experienced after their purchase. Strong case studies can compel others to buy a product. Choosing a Case Study Format Topics: Benefits of Case Studies Converting Leads with Case Studies Benefits of Marketing Case StudiesThe use of marketing case studies is beneficial to companies of all sizes and customers of all backgrounds. Well-crafted marketing case studies provide potential customers with engaging content that excites them to buy your product.They Tell a Relatable StoryCase studies often involve an interview with a customer that has had success using your product. Before choosing a customer for an interview, consider who you’re targeting. Your case studies should appeal to your buyer persona.When your target customer feels connected to your case studies, they will feel more confident in their purchase.Consider this: You’re buying a new software for your team. You have a few possible options in mind, so you head to their respective websites to do your own research. The first two options sound good on paper (or rather, on screen), but you want a solution you can really trust. Something that is preferably not written by the company itself.The third site you go to has a landing page that includes a few case studies. One of the case studies features an interview with an employee at a company similar to yours. You listen to that person describe challenges that they faced prior to getting the software — challenges that sound a lot like the ones you and your team currently face. The interviewee then talks about the ways that their software purchase resolved their pain points.Wouldn’t the case study you found on the third website make you feel confident that the software could help your team, too? The key to creating relatable case studies is considering your buyer personas. That means considering demographics, company size, industry, etc. and selecting a person that the majority of your potential customers will feel a connection.They Demonstrate SuccessTake a look at HubSpot’s case study landing page. Check out the wide range of case studies listed. Notice how these case studies cover all types of industries, a wide variety of locations, different company sizes, and more.Source: HubSpotIf there are so many companies using HubSpot — to solve a vast array of challenges — then wouldn’t you assume HubSpot has a solid product that you could trust, too?Case studies demonstrate success by showing potential customers that current customers — who once had challenges similar to their own — solved their pain points by making a purchase.They Help Build CredibilityCredibility is what gives the people around you a reason to trust you.For example, let’s say you’re looking at a product on Amazon, and you scroll down to the customer review section. You find that almost everyone has given the product a five-star rating or has written a positive comment about their experience. These comments and ratings build credibility for that product and brand.Marketing case studies help your company build credibility. They also convince prospects to give your product a try when they see how many people already trust you, love your products, and believe in your mission.They Help You Convert LeadsCase studies are a bottom-of-funnel strategy that will help you convert more leads. If a prospect is on the fence about your product, case studies are the marketing technique that will push them closer to that purchase decision.For example, if a potential customer visits your website and they watch (or read) multiple case studies explaining the ways that customers have had success with your product, then they too may feel excited to become a customer. If that same prospect just left your competitor’s website where there were no case studies, your solution then becomes an easy sell … and your competitor becomes obsolete.Marketing case studies retain value over long periods of time — meaning the same study has the potential to convert leads for years. Unless you have a revamp or a complete update of the product being referred to in your case study, it can remain on your website as long as you see fit.Marketing Case Study TemplateNow that we’ve reviewed the reasons why you should have case studies on your site, you might be wondering how to actually create a marketing case study.First, it’s no secret that video content is more effective than written content. So, if you can create a video case study, do it. If not, be sure to include images throughout your written case study to break up the text and provide visual stimulation for readers.Second, remember one size does not fit all when it comes to creating case studies. They vary in length, format, content, and style based on what experience you want to provide for your potential customers.Keep this in mind as we go through the following example … some of the content here might work perfectly in your case study, and some might need to be modified.If you need some guidance, check out HubSpot’s Case Study Creation Kit.1. Choose Your Case Study FormatTo determine which format you want to use for your case study, think about what type of content would be most beneficial for your buyer personas. You should consider what challenges your buyer personas might face, what types of industries they work in, their locations, and their business demographics.Two commonly used marketing case study formats to consider include an exposé and a transcription.ExposéAn exposé is an interview technique that covers specific details about a topic, event, or individual. If you look back at the case studies on the HubSpot landing page, you’ll see the exposé format in action. The director, or author, is conducting the interview, leading conversation, and asking the interview subject questions about their interactions with HubSpot.Tip: When you’re recording a video interview for your case study, make sure the interview subject repeats your question before providing an answer.For example, if you ask them, “What challenge did our product help you overcome?” you don’t want them to simply say “organizational challenges.” The editing process will cut your voice out of the interview, and their response won’t make sense. Instead, make sure they answer all questions as a complete statement such as, “This product helped us overcome several organizational challenges.”TranscriptionThis is a simpler case study format. It’s a transcription of an interview with your customer, meaning there is typically a significant amount of text for potential customers to read through.Be sure to include the interview questions throughout this type of case study so readers know exactly what the interview subject is referring to. Lastly, feel free to pair your transcription with a series of images or even video to break up the text.2. Conduct the InterviewThe interview is the most important part of the case study … and quality matters. Strong interviews and videos take time. It’s not unusual to conduct a one to two-hour interview just to get a solid two minutes of video to use in your case study.During the interview, you should ask your customers about their lives prior to purchasing your product, what it was like to acquire your product, and how their company’s future has changed because of their purchase.If possible, record the interview. If not, be sure to use a transcription or audio recording device to ensure accurate quotes and statements throughout your case study.Here are some sample questions for you to consider:Ask about the customer’s life prior to your product.Who are you? What is your title? What does your company do?What challenges were you experiencing that made you realize you needed a solution?Why was finding a solution to this challenge important?Ask what it was like finding and purchasing your product.Capture general commentary — information that anyone could understand — from your interview subject in this section so potential customers can relate no matter their background or experience.How did you find our product? What was your experience like while purchasing our product?Ask about your customer’s criteria during their search for a solution. What was crucial versus what was nice to have?What were the results that came from using our product? How did our product solve your challenge?Ask for numerical results and hard data. Get proof of these from your interview subject (or even your own company if you have records).What were you able to start doing as a result of our product working for you? What are the intangible results of our product?Ask about the impact that the product has had on your customer’s life.How did our product change your view of your company’s future?What are you excited about moving forward?What would your future be like without our product?After conducting your interview, it’s time to actually put your case study together.Edit your interview down to the most important, relevant information for potential customers to learn about your product. Cut that hour-long video interview down to a minute or two of the best clips.If your interview is going to become a written case study, include the very best quotes. Make it easy to read by separating your information with the help of headers, bulleted lists, images, and bold or italicized text.3. Incorporate Your Case Study in Your Marketing and Sales ProcessesDetermine how to best use the case study in your marketing and sales processes. Here are a few ideas:Create a case study library.By creating a case study library on a landing page — similar to the HubSpot landing page or this page by Fractl — you provide your potential customers with an easy way to learn about your products and company as a whole.Source: FractlA case study library or landing page will prevent potential customers and leads from having to dig around on your website for any product information they’re searching for. If this information is not easily accessible, they could lose interest, become frustrated, leave your website, or even find an alternative solution on a competitor’s site.Case study landing pages and libraries also help build credibility, look official, and typically bring in a lot of traffic — both through people searching for your company’s website and organic search.According to Fractl, their case study landing page is the second most-visited page on their entire website. Additionally, it is their fourth most-visited page through organic search. Lastly, they’ve seen a huge boost in converting visitors to leads since the creation of their case study landing page — half of Fractl’s leads view at least one of their case studies. Surround your case studies with social proof.If so many people are saying it’s true, then it must be true — this is how companies use the theory of social proof to their advantage.Social proof theories say that people let the actions, behaviors, and beliefs of those around them impact their own. For example, some theories say most people would answer “yes” to the question: “If all of your friends jumped off of a bridge, would you?”Social proof — or in this case, your friends all jumping off of the bridge — influences people to make decisions based on the expectations and behaviors of the people around them, even if their decision would be different if they were alone.Companies use social proof in the form of customer reviews, logo walls (that is, the logos of companies that have purchased their products), or long-form videos. Social proof acts as a supplement to the information in a case study.By showing potential customers how your products have changed the lives of other individuals, teams, and companies, prospects are more likely to buy into your claims and believe your product could help them, too.Add product overviews to the case study section on your site.If you’re editing down your case study interview and realize your interviewee said something vague or made a comment that a potential customer may not necessarily understand, you can add a product overview or reference guide next to that case study.For example, imagine HubSpot is conducting a case study interview and an interview subject goes into detail about the specific functions of Workflows. A potential customer may not know much about HubSpot’s Workflows, so a detailed discussion about their features may not be relatable and could even raise some questions.By including an overview or description of Workflows next to the case study where the product was mentioned, HubSpot can provide clarity for the viewer. You will also avoid making potential customers feel confused or uninterested.Keep your sales team in the loop.Once your case study is complete, you should notify your sales team so they can use them when reaching out to potential customers. They will be able to incorporate this information into their sales enablement kits — which include the technologies, processes, and content that allows them to sell efficiently and effectively.By learning about the ways that real customers are using and benefiting from the products they are selling, sales teams can share relatable stories with potential customers and leads. These will help build trust and, most importantly, increase sales.To help your sales team narrow the vast amount of information that typically comes from an in-depth case study, provide them with key takeaways that they can share with potential customers and leads. These key takeaways should include information about the interviewee’s background, title, and experience level and details about their company’s size, industry, and potential annual revenue.This data will allow the sales team to tailor the information they share with potential customers and leads, organize it for future conversations, and make more efficient and impactful sales.4. Determine How Many More Case Studies You NeedAs I mentioned, every company is different and every product they sell is unique. Not every company will need the same number of case studies on their website to have an impact. To determine the right number of case studies for your company, think about the following tips.Cover all of your bases.A good rule of thumb is to have at least one to three case studies for each of your buyer personas.To do this, cover a range of industries and types of companies, and interview people of different backgrounds, titles, demographics, and experience levels. You should make sure there is something for everyone who visits your website.If your company targets customers all over the world and has offices located around the globe, this is especially important to consider. Think about what works for your buyer personas, your company’s location, and your goals when deciding how many case studies you need.Sometimes, less is more.Having an extensive list of case studies sounds like something everyone should have … right?Not always. Think about it this way — if your company is on the smaller side and is relatively new, there’s a chance you haven’t given your customers much time with your products yet. There is also a chance that you don’t yet have a wide range of customers.If your company then takes the time to create dozens of case studies, potential customers may feel you are being inauthentic and even unconvincing. It may also be a waste of resources that you can’t quite afford as a new business.To be effective, try to make every one of your case studies relatable and helpful for your personas. Cover multiple use cases in each of your case studies when possible. You’ll not only simplify your own life, but you also keep your case study library clean and impactful.ConclusionCase studies are powerful marketing tools. They tell your potential customers relatable stories, demonstrate your company’s success, and help you build credibility. Case studies will help you reach your audience in a way that no sales pitch, email, newsletter, or advertisement will.Plus, if your company made such a positive impact on a customer that they want to share their experience with others, why not broadcast that story?Now it’s time to start creating content that matters to your potential customers and converts more leads. Originally published Feb 16, 2016 12:36:00 PM, updated October 10 2018 What Is a Marketing Case Study? Conducting a Case Study Interview Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine you were considering purchasing a new product.Would you be more inclined to:A) Chat with a salesperson — while trying to block out the tiny voice in your head reminding you that they’re working on commission?B) Review a case study about a customer who used that product to solve a problem similar to yours?Probably option B, right? That’s because we put more trust in word-of-mouth marketing than we do salespeople.The way people consume information has changed, and buyers have all the resources they need to make decisions about what to purchase. Companies can either continue marketing the old, less effective way … or they can embrace these changes and let their customers do the work for them through testimonials, reviews, word-of-mouth marketing, and marketing case studies.Customers trust other customers — the companies that recognize this will benefit in the long run and grow better.Plenty of companies have already proven how beneficial marketing case studies can be. They are the most popular form of self-promotional marketing used by marketing agency executives in the U.S. Additionally, 88% of surveyed B2B marketers say that customer case studies are considered to be their most impactful content marketing tactic. While chatting with a salesperson can be helpful, and even preferable for some, it’s clear that having marketing case studies on your website can be beneficial. Case studies answer potential customers’ questions, demonstrate success, build company-wide credibility, increase conversions, and most importantly, eliminate bias so your customer can make a confident decision to buy your product. Marketing Case Studies