Farmers’ rally in Maharashtra: Maximum march

first_imgOn March 6, nearly 10,000 farmers embarked on a long march from near Nashik to the Maharashtra Assembly in Mumbai. By the time they reached Maximum City on March 12, walking about 25 km a day to cover the 180 kilometres, their numbers, by some estimates, touched 40,000.Men and women of all age groups walked in searing heat — the temperature peaked at 38 degrees Celsius on some days. Some were in their late seventies, and many walked barefoot as they tried to draw attention to their distress in a silent, dignified manner. En route, hey cooked simple meals for themsleves and refilled their bottles with water from tankers. By day, they kept up their spirits with slogans enunciating their rights and the strength of unity. At night, many relaxed with music and singing; some even had the energy to dance. Walking at the crack of dawn, they were off again by 6 a.m. every morning.As they neared Shahapur in Thane district, residents came out in support and provided water and refreshments. As they reached Mumbai’s border on March 10, the long strip of red evoked a poignant response from a city that is usually insular to reral distress. On March 11, , as they reached Vikhroli, residents showered flower petals on them and provided water. A nearby gurdwara cooked poha and served it to the marhcers. For the rest of the way, scores of people chipped in with refreshments at regular intervals.The original plan was to start from Sion on the morning of March 12, Monday, and gherao the Assembly. But that was dropped to avoid disrupting life in the city, particularly when schoolchildren are in the middle of exams. Displaying an empathy rarely seen among protesting groups, the farmers found secret reserves of energy to attain their goal and let the city go about its business. They marched through the night after just a few hours’ rest and assembled peacefully at Azad Maidan before daybreak. In the process, the farmers, with their tired limbs and steely resolves, not only won over Mumbai’s heart but also left the Chief Minister “humbled”. By evening, the government yielded to most of the demands of their long march, and special trains were arranged to take them back to their fields.last_img read more

Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for Black Hat SEOs

first_img that want If you think you should be using Black Hat SEO or you are missing out, I have only three words of advice: DON’T DO IT! There’s a dearth of people out there that even get fundamental SEO, understand how the various search engine algorithms work and how to do more than just guess at the weight of various factors impacting search results. The number of people that actually know enough to employ really advanced black hat techniques is vanishingly small. The number of these people that On with the article. those elite few people that actually do know enough to apply these highly advanced techniques and you could connect to them. How would you know one if you met her? This is a bit like the public stock market. The chances that some fund manager has figured out a consistent way to “beat the system” are pretty low. Your problem is, even if they’re out there, you wouldn’t know how to separate those that make the claims from those that can actually do it. Originally published Dec 3, 2007 9:46:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 First off, for those that are not familiar with the term “Black Hat SEO” it usually refers to highly controversial tactics used to manipulate the search rankings of a given web page and are generally in violation of search engine guidelines. Second off, if the title of this article seems strange to you, you’re probably too young to have been exposed to the “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids” TV commercials. No worries. Your enjoyment of this article will not be affected. you For those that are feeling unsatisfied with the brevity of this advice, and need more words, let me expand a bit more: BLACKHAT SEO IS NOT WORTH IT FOR MOST WEBSITES. Instead of spending a lot of time and money on black hat SEO, you’re probably to find. When you do this, you’re working Let me say that one more time, for emphasis: The best way to optimize your website and get more/better traffic via search engines is to make the content on your site something people actually are probably associated with is close to zero. Even if certain techniques do actually work today (and I’m sure there are some smart folks out there that have figured some out), the search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. Chances are, if somebody has found a “back door” to unduly influence the search results, this door will eventually be closed. worth risking having your site banned completely? 1. Real Black Hat SEOs Might Not Exist In Your World: Reasons You Don’t Want To Use Blackhat SEO So, here’s the build-up of arguments: You probably don’t know someone that really has the talent to do black hat SEO well. Even if you did, you wouldn’t know it. Even if you knew it, you couldn’t hire them or afford them. Even if you could hire them, it probably wouldn’t work for you. Even if it did work for you, it’s probably temporary. Even if wasn’t temporary, it’s just too risky. Any questions? 3. Even if you can pick them, you can’t hire them: 5. Even if it does work, it’s probably temporary: There are many, many factors that go into search engine algorithms. Some are more important than others, but it’s really, really hard to know whether a specific black hat technique will actually work for you. The more advanced the technique, the more likely that there are specific situations within which the technique works. Lets say for a moment that there Assuming you could find some small edge and that will last long enough for it to be worthwhile, you have to balance this benefit against the risks that you’re taking. Is a potential increase in traffic via organic search with much Technical SEO really 2. Even if they exist, you can’t pick them: Topics: 6. Even If It Lasts, It’s Really, Really Risky: Assuming you had some uncanny ability to really pick out the true uber-experts, chances are, you couldn’t hire them because you couldn’t afford them. If they’re good, they’re either working on some super-big project for some mega-company that can spend some real money — or working on their own private projects. 4. Even if you could hire them, their ideas may not work for you: better off simply doing things that makes your site and it’s associated content more rank-worthy. are the search engines — not against them. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Invitation to Beta Test New PR Tool – Press Release Grader

first_img Public Relations At HubSpot, we love to provide free tools to the marketing community.  This Internet Marketing Blog is free, and read by thousands of marketers like you (thanks!).  We also built Website Grader, a free SEO tool, and that has been used to evaluate well over 300,000 different websites.Now it’s time to try something else new, and we want your help.  We’re launching a new tool called Press Release Grader, which analyzes your press release and provides some ideas on how to improve it.We’d appreciate it if you went to www.PressReleaseGrader.com and evaluated a couple press releases.  We appreciate all feedback and look forward to improving the tool based on your input – so let us know what you love about it and also what you hate about it!  You can either use the feedback link on the report, or just leave a comment on this blog article.Here is a video overview of Press Release Grader: Topics: Originally published May 30, 2008 10:56:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Marketing Headlines of the Week: Know Yourself, Know Your Customer

first_img 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 Jul 3, 2009 11:30:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 My mom used to leave me notes and lists of chores right in my spot at the kitchen table, an easy drop for her on her way out in the morning. I couldn’t eat breakfast without moving it out of the way, making the lists hard to ignore.This should be the case with your company’s online presence — you need to be found in places where your target audience will naturally look for information. One of the keys to getting found online is to have a broad online presence, but targeted in the places that make sense for you and for your potential clients, which is a recurring lesson among this week’s top five news stories from InboundMarketing.com:1. How Broad is Your Footprint on the Web?Author: Bernie BorgesLesson: Spread and Diversify Your ContentWith millions of pages and more being created every day, it may seem impossible for your company to get found online. But according to Borges, broadening your online footprint is best accomplished by spreading and diversifying fresh content. As he says, “most marketers still think being found on the web means being found in a search engine either in an organic listing, or in a paid listing (PPC). This is a limited view of effective inbound marketing on the web.”Borges recently spoke to a prospective buyer who could not pinpoint where he had come across Borges, yet in the past week he had found his company’s website, blog and a podcast. Borges emphasizes that sellers who want to succeed in the coming decades need to have strong content across a variety of web platforms and engage with relevant communities.2. YouTube CTA Overlay Lets You Drive Users ElsewhereAuthor: Marketing VoxLesson: Use Multimedia Channels to Drive TrafficThis new feature on YouTube adds a call-to-action overlay to videos; advertisers can now redirect viewers to their site or product through links in this overlay. (Here’s an article that explains how to add the overlays.) Before, a viewer might have watched a video or commercial and then moved on to another clip, promptly forgetting any marketing messages. Now, an organization can bring the viewer to their site instantly.Non-profits such as charity:water have already benefited from this new feature. YouTube recently put a video supporting charity:water on its homepage, which resulted in $10,000 in donations for the organization in a single day.3. A Checklist to Choose Which Internet Marketing Channel is Right for Your BusinessAuthor: Rand FishkinLesson: Know Your Company & Your ResourcesIn his post, Fishkin addresses the following question: “If a client came to you with $1 million to invest in a single Internet marketing channel, which one would you choose?” Fishkin has put together a series of graphs and charts that show how a company could measure its budget, goals and available talent to determine which channel would have the highest ROI.So, before you can attempt to bring in more visitors to your site and convert more of these visitors to leads, it’s important to know your own capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. After taking these into account, you will have more insight to choose the internet marketing channel that will be the most effective for you.4. Strategic Blogging and Some Tactics to Nail ItAuthor: Chris BroganLesson: Go With What Works for YouThis post by Brogan discusses various strategies to take with blogging for business to get back that ROI. Brogan emphasizes that a strategy does not have to be set in stone, it should be malleable, aligning with your company’s current needs and goals. There are many different ways to use a blog to accomplish a goal — from how-to posts to posts that spotlight a customer or a case study. Figure out your goals first, and then choose the best strategy for you.5. 7 Tips on how B2B marketers can leverage social mediaAuthor: Brian CarrollLesson: You Have to Give to GetThe lesson here reflects a basic principle of good inbound marketing. Carroll’s tips reiterate the teaching that you cannot expect to get visitors, leads, comments, customers, retweets, or whatever it may be, unless you give valuable content by sharing blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, presentations, webinars with people who are interested in that information.Using social media is an easy way to share content, absorb others’ content, to be helpful and to receive help from others. Establishing yourself as a trusted source in your industry can be accomplished through the continued use of social networks, but only if you are willing to listen and share.Photo: SewPixie .: actually sewing :. Webinar: How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss Social media guru Chris Brogan explains how to demonstrate the value of social media marketing. Download the free webinar to learn how to get your company started with social media.last_img read more

Avoiding the 5 Pitfalls of Free Content

first_img 4. Use Your Free Content to Build the Value of Your Business What are some other ways you can get the most out of the content you give away? One way to convince newcomers of your content’s quality is by using numbers. Advertising that “o or that John asks a question that your prospects might also ask themselves: “How good can something that’s free Originally published May 17, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 According to John, the five problems with free content are: intelligence is a great way to signal your content’s quality using As inbound marketers, it is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls of giving away free content and the strategies we can use to effectively leverage it. 1. Create Accountability Eroded Value 2. Build a Reputation for Quality If you provide lots of quality content over time and give it away for free, the value of your business’s really interesting article 5. Be Unique in Your Community ver 20,000 people have signed up for this webinar” Lowered Expectations John claims that free content is more likely to attract casual sign-ups from people who never end up actually attending your webinar or viewing your content. As a marketer, create incentives for your leads to stick around. You could advertise that you’ll be sharing a coupon code at the end of the webinar or offering a sneak preview of a new feature. Having a teaser – and advertising it – is a great way to ensure your leads view your piece of content and become more qualified.center_img John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing wrote an . This is similar to the last point. Make sure your content is high-quality and not “slapped together” to meet a deadline. If your leads feel energized, enlightened, or enchanted by your content, they’ll be far more likely to become evangelists for your company – and we all know that nothing beats word-of-mouth recommendations. “817,000 marketers are receiving our content” be?” It is important to make sure that you’re not just making content for content’s sake – your prospects want to know,“What’s in it for me if I sign up for this?” last Friday, bemoaning the over-use of free content as the central tool of inbound marketing. In the article, he lists five reasons why “free is hurting us all” as both content makers and content consumers. The article caught my attention – not necessarily because it’s wrong – but because it raises some worthwhile critiques that all inbound marketers should be aware of to ensure we get the most from our content. Just because there are a growing number of marketers leveraging the power of free content, doesn’t mean your content will get drowned out in the noise. Create an edge that makes your content – and your business – seem unique and special. Blocked Revenue will grow. At HubSpot, we’ve had employees get offered paid speaking engagements because of the expertise they’ve exhibited and thought leadership they’ve established by giving away free content on our blog. 3. Raise Expectations Community Buster No accountability Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Fee Fighters Giving away free content sacrifices short-term profit for long-term brand awareness and thought leadership, and that can turn into cash down the line. is another great example of a company that is positioning themselves well in their industry by differentiating their content and their company. Find a good story that fits your business, and use that to create a unique position that keeps you relevant. social proof At HubSpot, we used the “Good vs. Evil” struggle between inbound and outbound marketing, and positioned ourselves as the good guys.last_img read more

Google+ Status Updates Now Appearing in Organic Search Results

first_img Originally published Dec 22, 2011 6:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Technical SEO Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Since the debut of Google+ business pages just over a month ago, the following discourse has repeated itself in the inbound marketing world:Question: “Why should my business have a Google+ account in addition to all the other social networks we’re currently present on?”Answer: “Well, it’s Google, so you can bet they’ll be integrating these brand pages into organic search results.”Now you can literally stop betting on it! Finally, Google is amalgamating Google+ updates into its search engine results in two ways:1. Brand Page Updates in Organic Search ResultsWhen searching for a certain keyword or phrase, status updates are now appearing from actual brand pages. For example, when searching ‘HubSpot brand,’ a photo upload on the HubSpot Google+ account from November resulted on the very first page. Marketing Takeaway: This is huge, and it makes a big case for why your brand should create a Google+ business page and start sharing content there ASAP. If you already do, be sure to optimize your status updates. While your updates should be unique, interesting, and have a clear voice reflective of your brand, they should also be search engine optimized. Just as you include certain keywords in your blog posts to help them rank well in Google without taking away from the overall quality of the post, you should do the same for status updates on Google+. This will help you leverage your Google+ presence to increase traffic to your site from Google search, and well, will help you get found online!2. Personal Page Updates in Organic Search ResultsWhile company page updates are appearing in results, so are posts from other users (via their personal accounts) as they mention a brand and/or search term. For example, upon searching ‘Marketing Grader,’ a status update from HubSpot CTO Dharmesh Shah’s personal Google+ page is displayed as a result.Marketing Takeaway: Create valuable content to share via your Google+ business page that other people will be inclined to share. When a user shares a piece of content straight from a brand page by clicking the ‘share’ button under the post, the original text of that post is transferred over, as well as the commentary the user provides. This means that by creating valuable and optimized content, people who share a status because of its value will unknowingly help your ranking because of the keywords weaved into the original update. Pretty nifty, huh? What do you think of this Google+ integration? Can you think of any additional ways to take advantage of this?Image Credit: sasagg.pixnet.net Topics:last_img read more

11 Clever CTA Tricks Real Brands Are Using to Grow Their Email List

first_imgWhen we discuss calls-to-action (CTAs) in marketing, we often look at them as a key driver of lead generation. After all, they are mostly used to send incoming traffic to your landing pages and lead-capture forms. While CTAs are great for generating lead conversions, they can also help contribute to a different goal: growing your email list.A lot of companies also find it beneficial to use calls-to-action to expand their email database and list of contacts (which they will later nurture and follow up with). And in some cases, this can be even more effective than using a CTA to promote a lead-gen offer.Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesIn fact, some businesses are doing this exceptionally well! So in this blog post, which is an excerpt from our new ebook 101 Examples of Effective Calls-to-Action, let’s review some awesome examples of how companies are effectively using calls-to-action for email list growth.1) The CombineThe best calls-to-actions don’t look like flashing ads, but instead are paths toward valuable information discovery. The Combine offers a great example of that. The text above the email opt-in box conveys the action readers need to take, and it’s clear and direct. The layout of the page is clean and simple, helping the reader focus on the most important action here — entering his or her email address and signing up for email updates.2) Crowd Track GentAnother great approach when collecting emails and contacts to grow your database is to use subtle text that shows readers what information they need to enter. In this case, Crowd Track Gent is not collecting email addresses, but it surely provides a good lesson on how to design your call-to-action effectively. In the screenshot below, you’ll see that the subtle text within the blank boxes instructs visitors to enter their “First Name” and “Surname.” The play button to the right of the “Surname” box sends users a signal that the element is interactive and makes the result of the action more tangible.3) GiltWhen you collect email addresses, make sure you’re setting clear expectations. What are your recipients going to get? How often? Gilt, for instance, features a call-to-action that includes a hyperlink to the company’s Terms of Membership. The sentence is right beneath the main call-to-action button.You can take a different approach of setting expectations and mentioning that your email updates will be about product discounts, new offers, events, etc. The takeaway here is, let your new contacts know what they will start receiving from you so they stay subscribed.4) GojeeEven if your site visitors are interested in downloading your resources, some people will still experience form anxiety. Therefore, you need to reassure them that their personal information and privacy will be safe with you.Reduce people’s anxiety by guaranteeing that you will keep their privacy and send them only content and information they care about. Check out how creatively Gojee achieves this: “We swear on our finest bottle of scotch that we won’t spam you.”5) GraphEffectExperiment with adding background images to your email opt-in calls-to-action to increase readers’ desire to sign up for your offers and convey positive emotions of efficiency, enjoyment, success, etc. GraphEffect provides a good example of a CTA using a background image and also incorporating a semi-transparent black box on top of the picture in order to increase the readability of the text.6) JetsetterYou can increase the visitor’s incentive to sign up for your communication if you mention that access/membership is free. Don’t be afraid to brag about your strengths—confident and hyperbolic language helps boost conversions. Jettsetter, for instance, tells people that by signing up for their email updates, they will “get access to the world’s greatest vacations.”7) LaunchRockAnother great call-to-action tactic is to address the speediness of the sign-up process. Your CTA message should convey that setting up an account offers a lot of benefits and is no hassle at all. Check out how LaunchRock accomplishes this by telling visitors they can launch a page “in minutes.” This no-hassle process increases the user’s motivation and facilitates the conversion.8) ShopifyConsider experimenting with the layout of your form fields. Are they laid out vertically or horizontally? Does that impact your conversion rates?By presenting all required fields in one spot, you are transparent with visitors, reinforcing the simplicity of the action you’re asking them to take. Here is how Shopify set up its account registration:9) SkillshareAs a general call-to-action best practice, you should try to remove distractions from your main CTA and help people focus on what’s truly important – conversion! Skillshare has done a great job of this by using a simple white background and creating a clean, spacious experience. 10) TaskRabbitYou might also consider using the Facebook login option to gain more insights about your users. In this way, you allow visitors to sign into your website by using their Facebook credentials. While this one-click process might save people time, it might also make visitors anxious about their privacy. That is why TaskRabbit makes it an option to sign up with Facebook login – not a necessity.11) Smashing MagazineSocial proof—or also known as social influence—is a great way to sway people in a specific direction. Smashing Magazine provides a good example of using social proof to collect email addresses and expand its contact database. The publication is showing its number of existing subscribers, thus encouraging you to become a part of this big community.Do you use calls-to-action to expand your email list? Share your tips and best practices in the comments below. Originally published Jul 16, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated February 28 2018 Topics:center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Smart Contentlast_img read more

17 Inspirational Sales & Marketing Quotes to Honor Zig Ziglar

first_imgZiglar was the author of more than 29 sales and motivational books, including See You at the Top and Over the Top. Because he has motivated so many marketers and salespeople throughout his more than 50-year long career, we thought a great way to honor his life would be to compile a list of some of our favorite Zig Ziglar quotations — quotations that any marketer, salesperson, or business can learn from.Click here to download our full collection of inspirational quotes from industry thought leaders.17 Motivational Quotes to Honor Zig Ziglar1) “Every choice you make has an end result.” (Tweet This Quote)2) “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” (Tweet This Quote)3) “Your business is never really good or bad ‘out there.’ Your business is either good or bad right between your own two ears.” (Tweet This Quote)4) “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” (Tweet This Quote)5) “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” (Tweet This Quote)6) “If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” (Tweet This Quote)7) “Remember that failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.” (Tweet This Quote)8) “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” (Tweet This Quote)9) “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” (Tweet This Quote)10) “If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.” (Tweet This Quote)11) “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” (Tweet This Quote)12) “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.” (Tweet This Quote)13) “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” (Tweet This Quote)14) “Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.” (Tweet This Quote)15) “Timid salesmen have skinny kids.” (Tweet This Quote)16) “For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.” (Tweet This Quote)17) “Stop selling. Start helping.” (Tweet This Quote)Zig Ziglar will be greatly missed, but we can still all learn a lot from his motivational wisdom. Thank you, Zig.To leave your condolences for Zig, his website asks that you visit his official Facebook Page here. Marketing and Sales Alignment 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 Nov 28, 2012 4:49:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more

Discover YOUR Marketing Super Power [Decision Tree]

first_imgIt’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh wait, no, it’s just a marketer.Despite all my hard work, I probably won’t be able to fly without spending a couple hundred bucks and 2 hours waiting for airport security. (Also, I hear laser vision doesn’t work as well when you’re wearing glasses.) But just because my super hero dreams have been shattered, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate your super hero abilities … your super hero marketing abilities.That’s right. Even if we can’t fly faster than a speeding bullet, we all still have certain marketing super powers that we should be proud to celebrate. Some of us know our strengths already, and some of us may still be trying to find them. Either way, if you’ve ever wondered what makes you and your colleagues such effective marketers — the Bruce Wayne of blogging, the Incredible Hulk of Analytics — this fun little decision tree is for you.So, are you ready to find your marketing super power? Figure it out now so you can keep flexing those marketing muscles of yours. Alright, have you found your marketing super power? Great! Now, like true marketers, let’s analyze it so we can learn what it means ;-)What Your Marketing Super Power MeansThe Blogger: You are the master of written content! As a super hero blogger, you are truly in tune with and knowledgeable about your particular industry. Not only are you driven by your passion for marketing, your industry, and the written word, but you’re also mind-blowingly organized. Most likely trained by blog writing ninjas in the mountains of Tibet (kind of like Bruce Wayne), you’re pretty much Batman (or Batwoman), but better because, well, you blog.With this great power, comes tons of research! It’s no secret that a blogger’s best friend is timely and accurate information. So, be sure to stay on top of industry news, statistics, and new studies to provide your readers with the highest quality, most relevant content possible.The Social Butterfly:As a social media mastermind, you’ve got to stay focused on how to maintain meaningful relationships between your brand and its many fans, tweeps, and connections. Remember, your greatest tool is your ability to relate, connect, and use thoughtful content to keep people engaged. Make them love your brand as much as they love you! Each social network has its own nuances, and it’s up to you to discover them to best reach your audience.The Analyst:We’ll call you the Professor X of your marketing team, always keeping a cool head and logically finding solutions and better practices for improving your company’s marketing strategies. Remember to keep your eyes on market conditions and changes in your industry that may affect your company’s performance, and make suggestions to help battle these changes.The Optimizer: As the optimization expert, you must understand how your work affects both Sales and Marketing. You should make recommendations to your team on how to best optimize their landings pages and content by changing URLs, replacing graphics, adding keywords, changing layout, and editing forms. And don’t forget to try new, innovative ideas when optimizing anything for your company!This decision tree didn’t cover all areas of marketing — was your marketing super power left out? Share your super power, and what qualities make for excellent marketers in the comments. Originally published Jan 16, 2013 4:15:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Advicecenter_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

7 Ways to Improve Your Relationships With Tough Clients

first_img Topics: This post originally appeared on The Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to The Agency Post.I recently wrote a piece on bad clients and the bad attitudes of agencies. In writing it, I was reminding myself as much as anyone else that clients who are willing to pay for expertise to solve important business challenges are often in pain.They may be difficult to deal with on any number of levels, but our job is to face such clients with compassion and understanding, and in the end, to help them.Yet, even as we strive to keep a stiff upper lip and let difficult interactions roll off our backs, tension-filled client relationships can take a toll on our well-being and the health of our business. Here are a few things you can do to help manage those not-so-smooth relationships:1) Take care of yourself.In general, we pay little attention to our own well-being, particularly in times of stress. But people who regularly focus on their physical, mental, and emotional health can better handle difficult situations.My top two suggestions for managing yourself are daily exercise and meditation. Even ten minutes of each can make a huge difference in how you experience your day. You’ll recover that 20-minute investment many times over through better focus, the ability to make more balanced choices at tough moments, and over time, better sleep. Don’t be one of those people who put good practices on the back burner in times of stress — that’s when you need them most.2) Invest in the relationship.Create a regular schedule of check-ins, and always be the first to show up. If you can, do these in person (see #4). But if not, invest the 30 to 60 minutes every week to make sure you and your client are addressing key issues and that your priorities are aligned.Don’t worry about doing this long-term — we humans tend to think “I don’t want to do this forever” to avoid doing something for a short while. Consider it a “reset,” and understand that eventually, if the relationship improves, you will naturally begin to schedule meetings further apart. If the client resists such a schedule, use “I” statements (see #3) to make the case: “I want to make sure we stay on track and take responsibility for informing you of our progress and learning about what might have changed on your end. This is critical for us to do our best work for you.”3) Use “I” statements.I once told a friend about a client that regularly yelled at me on the phone and how I had trouble focusing and responding appropriately when she used a tone that brought me right back to being an eight-year-old child being scolded by my mother. His brilliant suggestion: “Why don’t you say, ‘I have trouble focusing and responding when I hear that tone because I end up feeling like an eight-year-old being scolded by my mother.’”If you talk about how you’re experiencing a situation, you’re less likely to put the other person on the defensive. You’re saying that someone else might not react the same way, but because you’re having a certain reaction, it’s difficult to do the work effectively. This may not work every time, but it’s much more effective than saying, “The way you’re talking to me is inappropriate.”4) Meet in person.Difficult situations can quickly get worse when played out over email or the phone. Yet, too many of us avoid travel because it requires time and money. Even leaving the office to visit a client who is only 15 minutes away can seem impossible to fit into our busy schedules. However, we also recognize that travel often offers us uninterrupted time to think and work.So start thinking of travel in a different light — a welcome gift of “me” time where you can do some of your best creative thinking. At a minimum, you can use it to plan that tough in-person meeting, preparing a better interaction than if you just picked up the phone or sent an email. The additional time and thought will help you set the stage for getting through any impasses, and it will improve your likelihood of working better together in the future.5) If necessary, schedule a “fierce conversation.”If you haven’t read Susan Scott’s bestseller Fierce Conversations, you should. Scott’s seven principles of fierce conversations will help you transform your most difficult relationships. Her method helps people overcome barriers to meaningful communication and will put you in a position to better handle strong emotions on both sides of the table.6) Call in senior management.Many early- and mid-career professionals have fantastic skills, but they lack experience. This is not a shortcoming, but rather, an opportunity to learn. If you’re dealing with a tough interaction, a senior member of your team might have great suggestions. Unfortunately, many senior-level professionals think that less experienced team members should just “buck up and handle it.”If you’ve been in the trenches for a while, don’t take your ability to handle tough client interactions for granted. Try to remember what it was like the first time a client unloaded a bad day onto your shoulders and have some compassion for your less experienced teammates. Welcome the opportunity to teach. I find that when I mentor others, I often learn as much as I teach. If you want to keep growing as a professional, you must be willing to ask for help and be willing to give it.7) If all else fails, break up.Ending a professional relationship can be difficult, but we all know that sometimes the cost of a relationship outweighs the benefits. Such costs include the emotional toll on those who handle a difficult situation, the financial costs when clients refuse to pay you appropriately for your time, and the numerous opportunity costs. How much business development are you NOT doing because a client continues to ask you to do more free consulting? How likely are you to lose a star employee who could handle future accounts because a client is constantly berating him? How slowly do people execute other work because they need recovery time after each interaction with a particular client?Breakups are a necessary part of your professional trajectory, though my advice is to take the first words of this paragraph seriously — if all else fails. Because as difficult as breakups can be, winning new business and starting over brings a whole other set of challenges.Want more content like this? Subscribe to The Agency Post. Agency and Client Relationship Originally published Oct 26, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated November 12 2014 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

28 Graphic Design Terms Every Marketer Should Know [Infographic]

first_img Topics: Originally published Aug 25, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated August 27 2017 4K+Save Graphic Designcenter_img “Could you take a look at the wireframe and let me know if I need to adjust the leading and the kerning so there’s enough white space? Thanks!”… Come again?Sometimes, designer-speak can seem like gibberish.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more.  But marketers work so closely with designers on things like website design, infographics, and other visual content, it’s important that we speak and understand one another’s language.To help bridge the translation gap, the folks at Pagemodo sat down with professional graphic designers to come up with a list of the most important design terms marketers should know. Check out their list in the infographic below — and if you have terms to add, let us know in the comments section.4K+Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Social Commerce: What It Is & How to Use It in 2019

first_imgRecently, I set an iPhone time limit on my social media use to “45 minutes”.I figured 45 minutes would be more than enough. Almost an hour? In between working at HubSpot, catching up with friends, and attending exercise classes, I had no doubt 45 minutes would be plenty of social media consumption.Unfortunately, I learned pretty quickly that I actually spend 45 minutes on social media before I even get to work in the morning.I know I’m not alone. In fact, the average daily social media use of internet users worldwide amounts to 136 minutes per day.With all that social media consumption, it makes sense that more businesses are turning to social media to market to their audiences. But marketing is just one aspect of the buyer’s journey — what about sales? Can that be done within social media platforms, as well?While still in the early stages, it’s now entirely possible for businesses to sell products and services natively within social media sites.Here, we’re going to explore that very concept — known as social commerce — and take a look at some impressive examples of social commerce, so you can consider trying it for your own company. Additionally, we’ll list some of the most popular social commerce platforms available today, so you can decide which one could give you the highest ROI.Download Now: Ecommerce Marketing Plan Template Social media checkout capabilities Social commerce plugins and apps Shoppable ads Chatbot checkout What is social commerce? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 1. InstagramBetween its checkout capabilities and shoppable posts tool, Instagram is undeniably one of the most popular platforms for social commerce. Many Instagram users are already using Instagram as an opportunity to discover and purchase new products — for instance, 80% of users use Instagram to decide whether to purchase a product or service, and 83% use it to discover new products. Since these users are already prepared to find and purchase new products, it’s critical that they’re given the option to buy them in-app.Image Source2. PinterestPeople often turn to Pinterest for fashion, home decor, or beauty inspiration, so it makes sense that Pinterest would be a viable platform for social commerce. In fact, 93% of active Pinterest users said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases, and 87% said they’ve purchased something because of Pinterest.Pinterest’s Shop the Look Pins allows users to click on small white dots on various products within a post, and either purchase that product within the app or browse similar products. They can make purchases on both desktop and mobile.Image Source3. FacebookWith over two billion active users, Facebook is one of the most popular social platforms in the world, making it a good place for social commerce.If you have a Facebook Business Page, you can set up a Facebook shop to sell your products and services directly within the social platform.Facebook notes — “While any business can have a shop, this feature best serves merchants, retail and e-commerce advertisers. We recommend it for businesses selling apparel, accessories (including bags and luggage), home furnishings and baby or kids’ products.”To upload your inventory to Facebook and create a shop section, you can either use a third-party ecommerce platform like BigCommerce or Shopify, or you can upload and manage your products yourself.For further inspiration, try searching for major retailers and checking out how they’ve set up their Facebook shop. For instance, take a look at New Balance’s Facebook shop:Facebook shop is a fantastic opportunity for your business to reach a larger audience — and, even if your customers don’t end up purchasing your products on Facebook, having these products listed on your Facebook Business Page is a good idea for making Facebook users aware of the products you sell in-store.4. PoshmarkPoshmark is a social commerce marketplace that allows people in the U.S. to buy or sell clothing, shoes, and accessories, either new or used. Poshmark makes the experience even more social with features like “Posh Parties”, which are virtual buying and selling events that you can attend with friends.Popular brands on Poshmark currently include Nike, Lululemon, and Chanel — to sell on Poshmark, simply download the app and follow seller instructions from there.5. ShopeeShopee, reportedly the largest online shopping platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, is a social commerce marketplace that enables users to buy and sell products ranging from home & living to mobile & gadgets.Major brands on Shopee include Kleenex, L’Oréal, and Oreos. Selling on the app is easy enough — simply verify your phone number, ensure your products aren’t prohibited, and click “Add New Product” on your Shopee page. With over 95,000 users on the app worldwide and a unique focus on the Asian market, Shopee is a good option for brands looking to expand their global presence. 1. Social media checkout capabilities.One of the best examples of social commerce is the ability to click a product and checkout right from within a social media site, like Instagram or Facebook.For instance, in 2018, Instagram released a “checkout” feature on their app, which allows you to click on a product within a post, choose a size and color, and proceed to payment within the platform.The first time you use Instagram’s checkout feature, you simply need to enter your name, email, billing information, and shipping address. Once your order is complete, Instagram saves your information so you don’t need to enter it next time you shop.Additionally, you’ll receive notifications about shipping and delivery right from within Instagram, so you can also track your purchase without leaving the app.For instance, let’s take a look at what happens when I click the “View Products” button (bottom right) on one of @NikeWomen’s Instagram posts:Instagram immediately pulls up a page with all the details of every product included in the image.Let’s say I’m particularly interested in the sneakers. From within Instagram I can choose a color and size and then click the blue “Checkout on Instagram” button. If I’ve shopped on Instagram before, I don’t even need to re-enter my information. Pretty simple, right?Plenty of other social networks have these checkout features, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.2. Social commerce plugins and apps.As social commerce continues to rise in popularity, we’ll continue to see more plugins and third-party apps emerge to make the process even more seamless for businesses and users alike.For instance, one third-party app called Soldsie allows your followers to make a purchase on one of your products by simply typing “Sold” into the comments section of a post. Once they’ve commented “Sold”, the app takes care of the rest, emailing the user an invoice to complete.Image SourceSoldsie notes — “As fans comment, your sales trend on Facebook as each photo is shared with your fan’s Facebook friends.” For instance, if my friend comments “Sold” on a Facebook post of a cute sundress, I’ll see the picture in my News Feed and might consider purchasing one for myself.Ultimately, social commerce is a good opportunity to increase brand awareness while also increasing sales — a win, win.3. Shoppable ads.Shoppable ads is another example of social commerce, and is currently available on both Instagram and Snapchat.Simply put, shoppable ads allows businesses to tag products in an Instagram or Snapchat sponsored post, ideally creating a more efficient ad-to-purchase experience. Best of all, this type of social commerce helps businesses collect valuable data on which ads convert prospects into customers immediately. The features you’ll find on shoppable ads within both Snapchat and Instagram continue to improve — for instance, in 2018 Snapchat launched advanced features on their shoppable ads, including collection ads, product catalogs, advanced pixel targeting, and 30+ new Snapchat partners.Wish, an e-commerce app, successfully uses Snapchat’s product catalog feature to create different Snap Ads and Story ads to showcase a large variety of their products, as shown below.Image SourceShoppable ads are undeniably profitable if done well — on Snapchat alone, FabFitFun lowered cost-per-purchase by 36%, while American Eagle increased return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) by more than 3X.With shoppable ads, you’re able to market and sell directly to your intended audience without causing friction in a user’s social media experience. For instance, 73% of Snapchat users are between 18-24 years old. If this is your ideal demographic, why not try including your products or services directly within the ads you’re creating on Snapchat? This allows users to find products of interest to them without needing to leave the app at all.4. Chatbot checkouts.One final example of social commerce that’s critical to point out is chatbot checkouts — the ability for a user to find and purchase a product by chatting with a chatbot within a social platform.For instance, consider SnapTravel’s Facebook Messenger bot, which helps people find hotel deals and book rooms right from within Messenger:As you continue chatting with the bot, you’ll receive better, more customized deals based on your requirements. Additionally, you can click “Open Filter” to further modify your search based on your criteria, and a new screen will open up right from within Messenger:SnapTravel offers deals only available in Messenger, incentivizing users to book with the chatbot rather than on their website.Using a chatbot to streamline your buyer’s journey is particularly helpful for mobile-users who want to find and purchase products on an app they already have on their phones — like Messenger. Social commerce examples Topics:center_img Social commerce is the ability to purchase a product or service natively from within a social media platform like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter. Since many businesses are marketing on these social media sites already, it makes sense to allow users to purchase from within these platforms without leaving the site at all. Ecommerce Marketing Originally published Feb 25, 2016 5:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Instagram Pinterest Facebook Poshmark Shopee Top social commerce websites/platforms Ultimately, social commerce has the ability to eliminate friction in a user’s online shopping experience, and catch users’ at moments when their excitement over your products is highest.However, it’s critical you do market research to ensure you’re using the right social commerce platforms or apps to reach your audience in the social spaces they frequent the most.Additionally, remember social commerce is fundamentally social in nature — if your business doesn’t also engage and communicate with its followers, then your company won’t get much out of social commerce as a long-term strategy.last_img read more

From Steve Jobs to Jay Z: 6 Successful People Who Dropped Out of School (And Why)

first_img“Never let schooling interfere with the tech startup you’re running out of your dorm room.” – Mark TwainAdmittedly I may have taken a few artistic liberties with the Mark Twain quote above, but the underlying sentiment remains: When it comes to learning — to amassing the knowledge you need to be successful in life — formal education isn’t always the best option.In a study of over 39 companies with $1 billion valuations or higher, eight of them boasted co-founders who had dropped out of college. Not to mention, three of the top five companies were run by college dropouts.Of course, there’s no ignoring the evidence to the contrary: The overwhelming majority of billion-dollar companies were founded by people who not only earned college degrees, but who earned them from selective schools. So the point of this post, to be clear, isn’t to convince folks to drop out of school. It’s simply to highlight some of the exceptional cases where taking a less traditional route ended up paying off big.6 Famous Business People Who Dropped Out of School1) Bill Gates(Source: ITPro)Bill Gates applied to just three colleges after graduating from high school: Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. He was accepted to all three.In the end, it was Harvard’s campus that Gates chose to stroll onto in the fall of 1973. But within a couple years, earning a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world would take a back seat to another opportunity: Creating a programming language (Altair BASIC) for one of the world’s first personal computers, the Altair 8800.Originally working out of his Harvard dorm room, Gates would formalize his partnership with long-time friend Paul Allen in 1975 under the banner “Micro-soft.” The two then set up shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was where their first customer — Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), maker of the Altair 8800 — was located. And while Gates did initially try to balance academics with business, and would travel back to Harvard to take classes, the business inevitably started taking up more and more of his time. (He was a CEO, after all.) So Gates made the decision to drop out of school for good.Today, Gates has an estimated net worth of $77.6 billion. And you might be surprised to learn that he also has a Harvard degree: Gates received an honorary doctorate from the school in 2007.Are you a startup? See if you qualify for up to 90% off HubSpot software.2) Steve Jobs(Source: 9to5Mac)Unlike Bill Gates, who dropped out of college so he could run a company, Steve Jobs dropped out of college so he could … well … go to college. Allow me to explain.Having found the required classes on his schedule too boring to bear, Jobs dropped out of Reed College just six months into his freshman year so he could drop in on the classes that he was actually interested in — like Shakespeare, dance, and calligraphy. That calligraphy course, as Jobs would later call in a 2005 Stanford commencement speech, helped inspire him to incorporate multiple typefaces into the Macintosh.I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great … None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac.”In that same speech, Jobs mentioned another reason why he dropped out of college: He felt bad for spending his parents’ money on an education that he didn’t really see the value in.I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK.And when you consider that Jobs went on to create what is now (at the time of this writing) the most valuable brand in the world, I think it’s safe to say it all worked out OK.To start scaling your startup, download this free Startup Marketing Blueprint today.3) Oprah Winfrey(Source: K92.7)Three years after Steve Jobs gave Stanford’s commencement speech, another college-dropout-turned-billionaire would take the stage: Oprah Winfrey.In her speech to the graduating class of 2008, the Queen of Talk recalled how she started working in TV at the age of 19 while she was a sophomore at Tennessee State University. “I was the only television anchor person that had an 11 o’clock curfew doing the 10 o’clock news,” she commented, before continuing, “Seriously, my dad was like, ‘Well, that news is over at 10:30. Be home by 11.'”By the time her senior year rolled around, Winfrey’s TV career was looking promising. So promising, in fact, that instead of sticking around to complete the one credit she needed to graduate, Oprah dropped out of college. A year later, at the age of 22, Winfrey was co-anchoring the 6 o’clock news in Baltimore.Needless to stay, Winfrey’s decision to drop out paid off big. Today, her net worth is estimated at $3.1 billion. But there was one person in Winfrey’s life who could never come to terms with her not finishing college: Her father. As Winfrey recalled in the Stanford speech …He’d say, ‘Oprah Gail’ — that’s my middle name — ‘I don’t know what you’re gonna do without that degree.’ And I’d say, ‘But, Dad, I have my own television show.’ And he’d say, ‘Well, I still don’t know what you’re going to do without that degree.’ And I’d say, ‘But, Dad, now I’m a talk show host.’ He’d say, ‘I don’t know how you’re going to get another job without that degree.'”In then end, Winfrey’s dad would prove to be the winner of that argument. In 1987, Winfrey went back to Tennessee State University and completed her degree.4) Mark Zuckerberg(Source: PR News)Mark Zuckerberg holds an interesting spot on this list, as he’s one of the few college dropout success stories who actually planned on going back to school. In a talk he gave back in 2012, the Facebook co-founder and CEO recalled how he had been upfront with investor Peter Thiel about not wanting to drop out of Harvard.Thiel didn’t believe him. In fact, Zuckerberg’s own family didn’t believe him — they all thought he would drop out. As Zuckerberg commented during that same talk back in 2012:My life is a long history of people thinking I would drop out of school long before I did.”For Zuckerberg, at least in the early days, Facebook was just a hobby. Whereas Gates knew he was onto something big (e.g., consumer software) when he started running Microsoft out of his Harvard dorm room, Zuckerberg was a bit more skeptical when he launched the first iteration of Facebook. He even had a back up plan if this “hobby” didn’t work out: He’d go work for Microsoft.Of course, as Facebook began growing like wildfire, becoming one of the top 10 most-trafficked site on the internet within a year and a half of its launch, Zuckerberg inevitably realized that this side project of his had some serious potential. So in the fall of 2005, Zuckerberg left Harvard to focus on Facebook full-time.He’d return to Harvard a year later … to recruit engineers.5) Jay Z(Source: EW)While Jay Z is perhaps best known as a rapper, he’s also an accomplished entrepreneur. From founding his own record label (Roc-A-Fella) and talent agency (Roc Nation), to launching a clothing line (Rocawear), to re-launching a music streaming service (Tidal), Jay Z a.k.a. Shawn Carter has a diverse business portfolio.Something else you might not have known about Jay Z: He never finished high school. The Brooklyn native dropped out to focus on his job at the time … dealing drugs. As Jay Z recalled in a 2013 interview, drug dealing ended up teaching him some valuable business skills, like budgeting. But at the same time, he always knew it wasn’t a viable path forward:At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small. You’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”Fortunately for Jay Z, he had an exit strategy: Music. As of 2015, his estimated net worth is $550 million.6) Lady Gaga(Source: The Mirror)I know, know … another music example. But trust me, Lady Gaga is more than just a performer: she’s a business unto herself. (I mean, there’s a Harvard Business School case study on her, for paparazzi’s sake.)Born Stefani Germanotta, Lady Gaga attended New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts after graduating from high school. But during her sophomore year, she decided to drop out to focus more on her fledgling music career — a decision that would end up paying off in a big way.In addition to earning millions through selling and performing her music, Lady Gaga has been able to cash in through numerous brand partnerships and tie-ins. For example, she’s teamed up with Versace, Virgin Mobile, and even Starbucks for promotional campaigns.Today, Lady Gaga’s net worth is estimated at $225 million.Know of any other successful dropouts who should be on this list? Tell us in the comments section below.  Topics: Originally published Apr 5, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Entrepreneurship Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Virtual Reality vs Traditional Video: 7 Differences You Need to Know

first_img Virtual Reality (VR) Originally published Nov 29, 2016 1:30:00 PM, updated September 28 2018 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Virtual reality is the hot new video marketing tool disrupting business plans and budgets across the planet. Audiences are loving it and want more: a 2015 study found that 81% of consumers would tell their friends about their VR experience, and that 79% would seek out additional experiences. The demand is so huge Deloitte predicts that by 2020 the global market may be worth around $30 billion.Because of this growing demand everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and offering VR production as part of their services.Unlock tips, systems & recommended resources to stay ahead of the tech curve.I get it – as an integrated marketing agency with an in-house video production department, becoming a virtual reality agency was a natural next step for us, so we sent the team on training, hired in specialists and acquired the kit we needed.  We’ve learned loads on our long VR journey; it truly is a different beast to 2D and takes some serious skills to tame. We’ve outlined 7 important differences to help you prepare for your own VR adventure – consider them carefully, they could save you buckets in tears and pennies.1. You need specialist equipmentVR production requires some specialist equipment that can seem incredibly intimidating, not to mention expensive. At the very least you will need a 360 camera rig and editing station (with an i5 processor or above), as well as a PC and headset to review the footage. In terms of camera gear, there is a range of options to suit different levels of budget and ambition. The Samsung Gear 360 is one great option at entry level that consists of two cameras with a 180-degree view. It’s priced at around US $460.If only the best will do, consider the 8K, waterproof, six-camera GoPro Omni. It captures everything – and its resolution is almost faultless with minimal stretching. The price for this fancy rig is around US $4600.If you want movement in your video, you need to budget for extra gear like drones and dollies. Now that you’ve got your camera gear sorted you need to think about your editing equipment. At TopLine Comms, we recently bought a beast of an editing machine to deal with the sheer amount of high-res footage that each camera rig produces. This machine can process footage with resolutions ranging from 720p to 8K and is completely customized for VR production.2. Avoid the danger zoneVR film sets have their very own ‘danger zone’ – usually a radius of 1.5 meters from the camera rig. Anything filmed in this zone will come out weird and blurry so your production team will need to keep it clear of any people or objects that could distort the shot.Stitch lines can have a monstrous effect on your VR content so make sure you’re working with a crew who pays attention to where they are and keeps focal points as far away from them as possible.But remember, even if the danger zone is kept clear, the different angles of footage will still have to be stitched together using specific software like Kolor Autopano Video Pro and Kolor Giga.While some VR equipment – like the Samsung Gear 360 on the Galaxy s7 smartphone – have an automatic onboard stitching function, there are some drawbacks you have to bear in mind: the footage you get will have a lower resolution and the processing time will take longer.If you want higher quality footage – Samsung Gear 360 can still do it, but then you have to use a computer and specialist stitching software. Ultimately, you need to decide what will work best for you and your budget.3. Think about people on setWe know that when you commission your first VR project, you will probably want to be on-location. With normal video production, this is fine. With VR video production, it’s not fine. Remember, these cameras are filming 360-degree content which means everything will be in the shot. Even if you stand behind a tree and don’t breathe, you’ll get picked up.This means that if you insist on being on set, the director will likely ask you to get in character, put on a costume and blend in. No joke. Crew on the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One, had to do it.So if dressing up is your thing, by all means attend the shoot. If not, you can’t be on set. Sorry.4. Give the voice over directionScripting voiceover for content that can literally go in any direction is tricky. Unlike 2D, your audience can look anywhere at any moment. So, if the VO is talking about something happening on the right, best the script directs them to look right. Rather than record the VO before filming, work with your production agency to do it afterwards.You also have to keep in mind that most cameras focus on visuals at the expense of audio quality. To fix this you can hire special recorders for 360-degree sound, like Core Sound’s TetraMic and Brahma Tetrahedron, for example. This will, of course, be an additional expense.5. Be patient with the editPost-production is where the true magic happens but be prepared for it to take time – much more time than editing 2D footage. Merging stitch lines will take at least a week, more if your production has used multiple cameras.The edit begins by uploading the footage into specialist software, like Kolor Autopano Video Pro and Kolor Giga. The content is sync’d and then the angles are stitched together.Once the videos have been stitched together, your editing team will often have to fix the horizon. During the stitching process the software will automatically merge the different angles to reduce the appearance of seams. However, sometimes this results in an image that is off centre or off axis. This can only be corrected by manipulating the video.What’s more, all objects directly above or below the camera (like tripods) will have to be ‘disappeared’ using skilful editing techniques such as superimposing a reference photo over it. Or, the editor can opt for the cruder method and stick a relevant graphic over it.We once attached one of our 360 camera rigs to the front of a skateboard, but the clamp holding the camera up was visible in the footage. To edit this out we had to manually lay another image of a skateboard over the actual skateboard in the shot.All of this makes VR editing a much lengthier process than traditional video editing.6. Prepare to pay moreVR is relatively expensive to produce. It costs more than 2D but not as much as a Spielberg blockbuster (unless you’re referencing one of his epic films from the last century). Truth is, it doesn’t pay to cut corners – ultra-low-cost equipment and crews often result in ultra-low quality.To put the costs in perspective it helps to look at the requirements in terms of time, people involved and post-production process. For a 2D filmed video you will usually need a producer or director, a camera operator and a sound recordist. Then the post-production process will involve and offline edit, motion graphics and colour grading. All of this will take about 5 weeks could cost between US$6 500 and US$10 000.With a 360-degree video, however, you’ll need more crew members, including a producer or director, a camera operator, a digital imaging technician a sound recordist and a runner. As mentioned above the post-production process is also more extensive with VR. It will typically include stitching, offline editing, plating, motion graphics and colour grade. This pushes the project timescale to around 7 weeks with costs ranging from US$ 9 000 to US$13 000. But remember, VR projects don’t all cost the same – productions with bigger kit, multiple days of filming and some basic graphics could be around US$13 000 to US$20 000. A high end VR experience with lots of animation could be upward of US$130 000.With VR it’s worth investing in an agency that won’t mess up the postproduction process, and that will be able to advise you on the best shots for your video. You might think that it’s a good idea to have a camera on the floor while people zip past on bikes. While this sounds dynamic in theory, the shot’s perspective will place your viewer on the floor too – which might not be the most comfortable experience. A good VR video agency will point these things out to you, so you can make better, more informed decisions.That said, your VR project also should not eat your entire marketing budget – what good is cool new content if you can’t afford to take it to market?7. Make it audience friendlyAlmost everyone wants to watch VR content but not everyone has the required headsets. If you’re producing an experience to showcase at an event or in the office then no problem, you’ll have the relevant equipment on-hand.If you’re assuming that your viewer has an Oculus Rift at home, your amazing VR experience will fall flat. The best you can do is make sure that your audiences can immerse themselves in your VR content through as many platforms as possible: from Google Cardboard to YouTube to Sulon Q.When producing content that has to be viewed with a headset, give some thought to motion sickness and make sure your viewers won’t feel too nauseous (remember Nintendo’s first attempt at VR that had people literally throwing up?). Relatively static shots are best as they allow viewers to move their heads freely and enjoy their immersive experience without unpleasant side-effects.If you’re still not sure if VR is right for you, consider what you want to use the video for. Will an engaging, immersive video experience get the job done better than a traditional video? If the answer is yes, then you should consider VR. However, you also have to keep your budget and project timeline into account. While VR videos create a great experience they do take longer and are more expensive to make.If you analyze your prospective project according to the 7 characteristics of VR videos listed above, you should get a good idea of whether what you want to achieve can be done through VR and whether you have the budget to make it work. The great thing is, should you decide to attempt VR you don’t have to go at it alone. You don’t have to be a VR expert if you work with an agency that is able to advise you on everything from shooting location to sound effects.If virtual insanity is getting you down and you need some expert guidance, download our Marketer’s Guide to Virtual Reality.last_img read more

How to Change Your YouTube Name

first_imgPerhaps the personal YouTube name you made when you were 14 isn’t cutting it anymore (I’m looking at you, SoccerLuvr4444). Or maybe you’re striving to create a new brand identity, and you’d like a new YouTube name to reflect that.Whatever the reason, changing your name on YouTube is an easy three-step process. Before we jump in, it’s important to note that this guide will show you how to change the name displayed on your YouTube channel, and the one seen when you comment on people’s videos — these steps won’t change your YouTube account’s actual URL.Also important to mention, changing your YouTube name will change your Google account name, as well. If you’re hoping to create a harmonious brand identity across your YouTube account, email, and website, this might be a good thing.Download a Free 30-Day Planner for Your Business YouTube Channel.However, if you only want to change your YouTube name, but don’t want to affect your entire Google account, you’ll need to link your YouTube account to a separate Brand Account — here’s a tutorial for how to do that.Now, let’s dive into the three easy steps you need to take to change your YouTube name.How to Change Your YouTube Name1. When you’re signed into YouTube, click on your user icon in the top right (I put a red rectangle around mine in the screenshot below). Then, click “Settings”. 2. In your Account Settings, click the “Edit on Google” link.3. Here, you can change your First and Last name — for instance, I deleted my last name and replaced it with “Consulting”. It’s important to note this will change your name on all Google accounts. When you’re done, click “OK”. 4. Now, my official YouTube name is “Caroline Consulting”. When I comment on a post, that’s the name that’ll show up, and when someone searches for my channel, they’ll need to search Caroline Consulting. Originally published Jun 15, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Youtube Marketing Topics:center_img And that’s it — you’ve changed your name. Remember, “first” and “last” refers to your first and last name, but you can certainly take creative liberties with those categories, as I did.The only real challenge with the easiness of changing your YouTube name is the subsequent temptation to change it all the time (at least, that’s how it felt to me). Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Bedlam 2016: ‘I Don’t Think We Can Ask For Anything Else’

first_imgIt’s Tuesday of Bedlam week, and I am already spent. I don’t know how we’re supposed to do this for four more days! There are so many different ways to think about, look at and write about this game, but I thought what Mike Gundy (and others) said on Monday was apropos.“I think what’s encouraging for the state of Oklahoma is that for a considerable number of times over the last six years, these two schools have gotten together to decide a conference championship,” said Gundy.“I don’t think we can ask for anything else.”Yes. The CFB Playoff dream has flown away and the college football world is focused on pretty much every other conference title game. So we get this largely to ourselves. And like Gundy said, what more could we want?Two teams having won a combined 15 straight games. Mason Rudolph (21-5 as a starter) and Baker Mayfield (20-4 as a starter). Mixon and Perine. Hill and Carson. Dede and The President. An array of pros all over the field. This is a big time game, no matter how much attention it is paid nationally.“We have four million people and we don’t have professional football in the state; although, of course everybody loves Dallas right now,” added Gundy. “As you watch over the last week and a half when they put up the College Football Playoff standings and you have Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in that top 10, that’s a tremendous financial and marketing advantage for those universities and the state of Oklahoma.”OU defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is from Texas, and even he is starting to realize the massive importance Bedlam holds for both OU and the Big 12.“It’s for who’s the best team in the state …” said Okoronkwo. “I feel like this is just as big of a rivalry as it is going to Dallas and the Cotton Bowl playing Texas. This is big, it’s for bragging rights.”Okoronkwo has been talking trash with former HS teammates on #OKState’s team. Says this game is just as big as OU/Texas to him. #Sooners— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) November 28, 2016“Just like Texas man, I don’t like em because my teammates don’t like em’,” added OU tackle Orlando Brown. “The guys from Oklahoma, they don’t like Oklahoma State normally and that’s just how it goes. And I go to OU so whoever y’all hate I hate.”Sports hate, of course (I think). Zac Veatch summed it up well, too.“It’s exciting,” said Cowboy Back Zac Veatch. “We wouldn’t want it any other way. We have prepared well. We are going to go down and play for the Big 12”Oklahoma State safety Jordan Sterns acknowledged the importance of Saturday, but he also said it hasn’t affected the way he is going about his week.“The game itself is huge,” said Sterns. “It’s for the state of Oklahoma, but for me it’s just a game. I prepare for OU the same way I prepare for everyone else. I don’t like to look at them any different than any other team so I’m going to go out there and play hard for my teammates regardless.“There’s going to be a lot of people there and it’s going to be loud. For us though, we’ve just got to go out there and keep doing what we’ve been doing all year and hopefully that will help lead us to a victory.”A victory.I don’t think we can ask for anything else. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Playoff of Four Great for CFB but Probably Bad for Big 12

first_imgCards on the table, I want the College Football Playoff to move to eight teams. I think that’s the number that allows for maximum drama but minimum (legitimate) complaining. It would allow for a bit of wriggle room for the Oklahoma States and TCUs of the world while giving some much-needed latitude to the CFB Playoff Committee in its choices.It would expand the preposterous revenue that is already being generated.However, I do understand why people are hesitant to go to eight. The CFB Playoff has been a rip-roaring success to this point. Why gamble with what you know works, the thinking goes. And there is some truth to that sentiment. The Playoff has been awesome. It has (mostly) made the regular season more intense and fun, and it has delivered some absolute classics for the true national championship.AdChoices广告But what is best for college football as a whole isn’t always great for the much-maligned Big 12 Conference. I want the Big 12 to rock. Heck, if the conference was given the option to add Texas A&M, Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska back in, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I don’t want OSU to move on to the Pac-22 or SEC or whatever.But I also want college football to keep growing and to become more popular than the NFL. As a fan and as someone with a financial interest.And so I’m torn.“It’s a high-stakes game of musical chairs,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said recently. “There are at least five suitors and only four seats. We’re three years into this, and we’ve only been in this once and we know we need to be in more.”The reality here is that the Big 12 is going to be at a disadvantage for the short-term future as long as there are other humans picking the teams for the playoff. It just is. It doesn’t have enough big names or great teams for me to think otherwise.Jake Trotter wrote a terrific piece last week about the future of the conference — for once not in peril during the summer! — and in it he talked about the Big 12 Championship game that will debut this year (and 100 percent without a doubt feature a 12-0 Oklahoma State team getting trounced by OU).The league added a championship game that will make its debut this December, and provide each member with an additional $2 million-$3 million in annual revenue. The title game will also give the Big 12 a bigger presence on championship weekend, as well as a 13th game, which the league believes will finally put it on equal footing with the other conferences in the eyes of College Football Playoff selection committee. [ESPN]Maybe, but it seems like the Big 12’s issues run deeper than just play another game.I know we talk a lot about the Big 12 Championship game and the CFB Playoff here at PFB, but the reality here is that the future of the Big 12 (and thus where Oklahoma State plays sports) is at least partially tied to those things. In other words, this stuff is a big deal financially and politically.So I guess in the end I land on accepting and enjoying the CFB Playoff because I think generally what is best for the industry is best for the Big 12. And what is the alternative? The Big 12 wasn’t exactly lighting up the national landscape with title winners in the olden days of the BCS, either. The four-team playoff is here to stay which might be bad for the Big 12 in the short term and could even contribute to it splitting up eventually. It’s been awesome for the sport, though, and with less than 60 days to go until the regular season, I’m more excited about it than ever.… but I still want it to be eight teams. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

How Ramon Richards Makes OSU’s Offense Better

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington agreed on one thing at Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday: Ramon Richards is the one player on the Oklahoma State defense that makes the future NFL Draft picks better, most often.Richards was signed to OSU as an athlete in the 2014 recruiting class. He came out of Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, Texas, having played four years as a defensive back and dual-threat quarterback. He played cornerback, safety and came in for nickel packages, which he has mentioned helped him in the pocket.Now as a senior OSU safety, he is clearly reapplying those lessons he learned about four years ago.“He does a lot pre-snap,” Rudolph said. “I remember in a meeting, him coming to me and saying, ‘Hey, what do you see out there when I’m moving around and I’m giving you keys pre-snap?’”AdChoices广告Richards has eight interceptions in three seasons, which is impressive enough until you hear about the yardage he gained after those eight snags. Richards averages 19.8 yards per interception return for a total of 158 yards, more than one and a half football fields. And he brought 25 percent of those picks back for touchdowns.He was thrown into a starting role as a freshman after Kevin Peterson was injured his senior season in 2014. Washington was also getting serious play time as a freshman starting five games, so he has been around the block and back with Richards.“When he was playing corner, we would go at it all the time,” Washington said.Washington listed off two other players — Peterson and Ashton Lampkin — who have played the same role Richards fills now, which places some implied emphasis on the tenacity of the OSU cornerbacks during practice.“All three of those guys have made me who I am,” Washington said.When he said that at Big 12 Media Days, I was surprised. A Biletnikoff Award finalist with 30 starts, almost 3,000 yards, more than 150 catches and 26 touchdowns in three seasons, gave “who I am” type of credit to three players who haven’t recorded a single stat in the NFL.“KP was always on me, just throwing me out of bounds, wouldn’t let me off the line,” Washington said. “It’d just make you mad. ‘I gotta get him. I gotta get him. I want one more. I want one more.’“I would say he’s really a big factor to my success.”Rudolph’s praise was almost equally as surprising but genuinely placed.“An unbelievable change-of-direction guy,” he said. “He’s doing some different things as far as moving and trying to deceive me. Lately, I don’t know what he’s doing. He tries to cheat because he knows our schemes and how I like to throw the deep ball. He tries to rob some things.”That might sound like Richards is getting little out of practice and Rudolph is just getting frustrated, but it forces Rudolph to learn and adjust. It’s like playing against an extra defender when they know what’s coming, so when it’s 11-on-11, it might seem like 11-on-10.In watching OSU football every year Richards has been a part of the program, one word resurfaces: Scrappy. He might be annoying to play against on the field, willing to do anything to get an edge, but if two potential first-round picks have that level of respect for him, he must have a more significant impact on the team overall than cheating on a play after Rudolph takes a snap in practice.last_img read more

Comparing James Washington to Justin Blackmon by the Numbers

first_imgNot too far off. Will 2017’s team take the same type of step forward that 2011’s did? If so, Washington will be a huge part of it.Here’s a look at the two receivers during their sophomore and junior seasons — when they were the primary target in each offense. Mason Rudolph and James Washington got the Cowboys’ offseason rolling before it had even started. Prior to their dismantling of Colorado’s defense in the Alamo Bowl, the duo made a quick 20-second video announcing their summer plans, which did not include the NFL Draft but did include offseason workouts in Stillwater. Oklahoma State was automatically a Big 12 contender for 2017.While OSU has launched a not-so-cryptic Heisman campaign for their record-setting quarterback, James Washington may be the most underrated player in college football. He’s also among the most underrated Cowboy receivers of all time.At Big 12 Media Days, Mike Gundy was asked about his returning senior and where he ranks among the greats.AdChoices广告“James Washington is up there with the Dez Bryants and the [Justin] Blackmons and the Rashaun Woods,” said Gundy. “The guys that have been terrific football players.“I think James is just scratching the surface.”So how does Washington compare to those great OSU receivers? Let’s take a look.James Washington leads all active Power 5 receivers with 26 career touchdowns and 2,923 receiving yards. His career average of 19.2 yards per reception is the best in OSU history and highest in the Big 12 since Quincy Morgan was lighting it up at Kansas State nearly 20 years ago.We all want the 2017 team to follow the course of 2011. Whispered “what if’s” have become press conference comparisons made by “Big Daddy” himself.If you’re looking to compare OSU’s current go-to deep threat to one of his predecessors, Blackmon is the best option. A better sample size than Dez — Blackmon played 38 games at OSU and Washington has played 39 — and the offenses are more comparable than those Rashuan Woods or Hart Lee Dykes played in. (How impressive does that make Rashaun’s numbers?!)So how does the No. 1 target of the 2017 offense compare to 2011’s?Both statistically and with the eye test, Blackmon is as dominant a receiver as we’ve seen. His 2010 and 2011 Biletnikoff seasons are tide marks for pass catchers in orange. He boasts the No. 1 and No. 3 highest receiving-yard seasons at Oklahoma State. Nos. 1 and 2 in receptions in a season. Nos. 1 and 3 in receiving touchdowns.Blackmon racked up 3,564 yards during his career, sitting behind only Rashaun Woods, the Cowboys’ all-time leader (4,414 yards). If No. 81 would have stuck around for his senior season, there is little doubt he would have claimed that crown too.So far, James Washington sits at 2,923 career receiving yards which is fourth all-time behind Hart Lee Dykes, Blackmon and Woods. In his fourth year, he has a chance to claim the all-time crown from Woods. Anything less than second place would be a disappointment. He could have 600 yards before October.When comparing the two, efficiency is key. Each was/is historically efficient. They just went about it in a different way.Let’s remember that while the two played in “more comparable” offenses, the current incarnation has not reached Weeden-to-Blackmon heights. If 2017 is to be the new 2011, how do 2010 and 2016 stack up? James WashingtonTargetsCatchesCatch RateYardsYDs Per CatchYDs Per TargetTDs 20102.961344.24496155.17 YearPoints Per DriveRankPoints AvgPassing YardsPasser Rating In 2010, Blackmon accounted for 31 percent of Oklahoma State’s total receptions. In 2011, he caught 28.3 percent of the teams completed passes.On the other end, Washington has never (!) led his team in receptions for a season. David Glidden led the team in 2015 and Jalen McCleskey had more last year. As a freshman, Washington caught 12.6 percent. His sophomore and junior seasons he caught 16.3 percent and 24 percent, respectively.Even more surprising, Washington has never recorded double-digit catches in a single game. He had nine twice and eight once — all in 2016. Justin Blackmon had seven double-digit games as a sophomore and six as a junior. Blackmon is the Cowboy leader in career catches per game (6.7 averaged). Washington is currently outside the top ten with his career average of 3.9.But that’s just part of the story. Blackmon had a much better catch rate (75%-plus) — which is just plain silly. Remember, this is raw data. We’re not even differentiating between “catchable” and “non-catchable” passes here. If the ball got flung in his direction, 81 came down with it.Washington’s catch rate numbers were lower than I expected but his aforementioned 19.2 yards per catch is equally unheard of. Blackmon’s career yards-per-catch average of 14.0 doesn’t even crack the top ten. Washington may already be the best “deep threat” to put on an OSU uniform.So Justin caught everything and if James catches it, he’s going to pay it off with extra yards. Check out Adam Lunt’s film study on Washington for a breakdown.The end result is that both players were pretty close in “yards per target”. Blackmon wins the scoring battle by a landslide but again that has a lot to do with receiver depth and, in turn, amount of targets/catches.The question of whether Washington can end his career as the all-time receiver at OSU comes down to touches. In 2016, his 71 receptions were a career high. At his career average of 19.2 yards per reception, Washington would need 78 catches to surpass Rashaun. And that’s not even allowing for any improvement in catch rate.Most will point to the talent-rich receiving corps the Cowboys are blessed with and predict decreased catches for Washington. I wouldn’t be so sure. He’s option No. 1 for Mason Rudolph and if the Cowboys “go four-wide” as Gundy sort of predicted, there could be more catches to go around.Whether Washington ends at No. 1 or No. 2 on the all-time receiving yards list, he’s already cemented himself as an all-time great at OSU. Looking at the numbers and his importance to the offense, you still have to give the nod to Blackmon but Washington’s got another year to build his case.Credit Bill Connelly and Football Study Hall for the advanced receiver stats. 201116012175.6%178216.09.520 201014811175.0%152212.612.018 20151035351.5%108720.59.510 Justin BlackmonTargetsCatchesCatch RateYardsYDs Per CatchYDs Per TargetTDs 20161317154.2%138019.410.410 20162.891738.64211158.37 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

The Reload: Darrell Simpson Sets Commitment Date, Top DL Offered on Visit

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. OSU is hopping in the game late with Brown, which leads me to ask two questions: Do they know their fate with Israel Antwine, the newly decommitted OKC area prospect? And are they still in it with Tayland Humphrey, the top JUCO d-tackle? My guess is that both questions don’t have answers. But if I were betting, I’d say OSU has a better shot at landing the latter than the former.Brown is a pipe-dreamer, in my opinion. But his evaluation from Scout suggests he’s a cant-miss player worth taking a shot on.With outstanding frame potential for the interior defensive line in multiple schemes, Bobby Brown has emerged as one of the top D-line prospects in the state of Texas for the 2018 class. Brown possesses good height and rare length, even for a defensive end, though he projects best to the interior as a tackle, most likely in a four-man front. That said, Brown has the athleticism to fit multiple roles in varying schemes, giving him coveted scheme- and position-versatility. Brown is a high-motor prospect who comes from a good program (Arlington Lamar) that competes in Texas high school football’s largest classification. He shows the ability to maintain his balance and leverage mid-contact, which is not often the case with young prospects who possess his height and length. Once he gets more consistent with his get-off at the snap, Brown will be a dangerous pass-rusher, especially considering his wingspan. Brown is raw right now, but possesses uncommon physical characteristics that suggest he’s primed to emerge as one of the top defensive line prospects in the state – and potentially the nation – for the 2018 recruiting cycle. — Gabe BrooksPrediction: Alabama2020 cornerback Korie Black offeredWaco area prospect Korie Black reported his second Division-I offer after mini-camp Saturday from OSU. Being from Waco, Black was first discovered by the Baylor Bears early in Matt Rhule’s regime.Blessed and honored to have received my second offer from Oklahoma State University #gopokes ??? pic.twitter.com/JPMlgKcDM1— 2 (@Mightyy_K2) July 30, 2017Black is a 6-foot standout from Connally High School, and while his recruitment is way too early to call, I’ll predict he stays home and plays for Baylor. The Reload is PFB’s recruiting recap catching you up to speed with the latest Oklahoma State recruiting news, with an ear to the ground for what to expect.Four-star 2018 tackle sets commitment dateTop-ranked offensive tackle prospect Darrell Simpson has set his commitment date for August 12, he announced this week on Twitter.Simpson is a four-star, top-200 talent from Northwest High School in Justin, Texas, widely viewed as a top-10 prospect at his position in the region. He has been on OSU’s radar for years now and recently included OSU in his group of final 8 schools.I predicted this spring (a bold prediction, admittedly) that OSU would be his landing spot. But I don’t see the Cowboys winning this battle. The 6-7 talent is a heavy OU lean by most prognosticators, and I think that’s where he ultimately winds up. But keep an eye on any late developments that could swing his recruitment in the final days before he pledges.Oklahoma State has commitments at offensive line from Bryce Bray, Hunter Anthony, Hunter Woodard, Tyrese Williams and Jacob Farrell, but Simpson would be a must-take under any circumstance. Despite Josh Henson’s accomplishments in filling out a star-studded class to this point, landing Simpson would be the crown jewel of not only his group, but also of the 2018 class.Prediction: OklahomaFour-star 2018 d-lineman offeredFour-star defensive lineman Bobby Brown was one of two prospects to pick up an offer over the weekend at OSU’s final mini-camp of the summer.Brown is an Arlington Lamar prospect with 20 scholarship opportunities and counting, rated as the No. 14 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by 247Sports.last_img read more