PBA: Alaska staves off elimination, shackles Globalport

first_imgLOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES San Sebastian repulses EAC to even slate at 5-5 View comments Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Murphey Holloway had 25 points to lead the Batang Pier with 25 points and nine rebounds.Globalport point guard Stanley Pringle was absent from the game as he went back to the United States to mourn the passing of his father. Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightcenter_img A strong fourth quarter push propelled Alaska over the Batang Pier with Calvin Abueva and Noy Baclao scoring all of their combined 20 points in the period as the Aces outscored Globalport, 34-21, in the final 12 minutes.“I’m happy to see these guys put together another win,” said Aces head coach Alex Compton in Filipino. “Because during our 14-game losing streak there were times when we were ahead then the other team will catch up and now instead of folding we bounced back and that’s the thing I’ve been waiting to see.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlaska was in the worst period of its storied history when it lost 14 straight games dating back to the Commissioner’s Cup before the Aces broke the curse in Pampanga beating San Miguel, 90-79.LeDontae Henton put up a massive double-double of 31 points and 21 rebounds to lead Alaska while Calvin Abueva finished with 12 points and five boards. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by tristan tamayo/INQUIRERAlaska remained in the hunt for a playoff spot in the PBA Governors’ Cup after taking down Globalport, 101-88, Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.The Aces, who lost the first six games of the conference, won its second straight to improve to 2-6 and climbed to the 10th spot while the Batang Pier slipped to 3-5.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients last_img read more

HubSpot TV – Make Content Creation Your Super Power

first_img , a financial services company SethGodin – “I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attractionfor some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though. First, I feelcompelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out everyflaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to eventhink about them, never mind curate them. And finally, and mostimportant for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead ofwriting for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of thecommenters…. So, given a choice between a blog with comments or noblog at all, I think I’d have to choose the latter.” Marketing Takeaway: Watch out for our new music video on Tuesday, brought to you by @ repcor abdinoor Manage your social media profiles and what content others are publishing about you. and @ Responses: “Closingoff comments is like shutting the door in someone’s face or walkinginto a room and only talking about yourself and then leaving.” in your tweet. Forum Fodder Dan Ronken Marketing Takeaway: From repcor Marketing Tip of the Week New Section: Let’s Ask Twitter Dave Carroll: ! (Starring HubSpotters @ !) vleckas Giant digital fishing net… Collects Twitter, News and Blogs! to learn how to use online video to grow your business with inbound marketing. Game created by Peak6 Marketing Takeaway: CP&B Put’s It All Out There Also, new section “Let’s Ask Twitter” — watch out for it later in the show! Don’t limit your PR outreach to traditional media, your best influencers in social media could be more effective! 1.5 Million Views Good PR pros need to develop huge networks of people on Twitter and major blogs to be effective. Episode #48 – July 10th, 2009 : Specifically targeted at Netbooks www.HubSpot.tv with Personal details of new UK spy chief on Facebook Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an advertising design factory Marketing Takeaway: Thegame is a fun, free, risk-free way for real people to learn about thestock market; gain knowledge, experience, and confidence; and empowerthemselves to take control of their financial lives. United Breaks Guitars WeSeed : Empower your audience to create content for good! Even better if your best influencers create content too! United Breaks Guitars (YouTube Video) DaveCarrollMusic.com karenrubin David Milliband, (incoming head of Britain’s international spy agency) wears a speedo…apparently. “No comment is like Communism.” How do you get started with YouTube, video podcasting, live streaming, or viral videos. Marketing Takeaway 1: Don’t worry about it with regards to your marketing. If it becomes a big enough deal, we’ll let you know. and VP Sales Mark Roberge! If you can offer free tools that people will use on an every day basis, it helps insert your brand into their everyday lives. Don’t be afraid to try new things or break new ground when generating buzz about your business. “To me, a blog w/o a commenting option is a newspaper, and we all know how those are doing” Public Relations is Social Relations cantwell Subscribe in iTunes: Closing http://itunes.hubspot.tv Spinning the Web: P.R. in Silicon Valley , @ Intro : ” Star Spangled Banner Ads and Blogging Download the free webinar Direct competition to Microsoft? Where do you go to find influencers online? Marketing Takeaway 2: Missed last week’s episode on July 2, 2009? View it here: (Episode Length: 19 minutes, 53 seconds) Initially closing off comments? Don’t undermine the power of your consumers. Listen to them because the internet makes it much easier for them to be heard! Introducing the Google Chrome OS Google Announces Their Own Operating System Happy Birthday HubSpot TV CoProducer, @ Originally published Jul 11, 2009 11:30:00 AM, updated July 04 2013 Webinar: How to Use Online Video for Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Doing It Right ” What is your opinion on closing off comments until a decent amount ofreadership is built? If I see a blog with large number of posts and nocomments on any of them, it feels less engaging to me. How to interact on Twitter: @ Bathing Suits On Facebook? Headlines Angry United Airlines customer gets attention with YouTube complaintlast_img read more

3 On-Page SEO Mistakes and Tips for Franchisees

first_img 1. Create an Optimized Page Title on-page search engine optimization (SEO) best practices . Failing to do so is a simple yet costly mistake that many websites make. Making this mistake, especially if most of your business comes from a local geographic radius, means you are instead competing for keywords that are much more difficult to rank for because of the increased competition around these more broad-based keywords. Originally published Aug 10, 2011 8:01:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 competing against other local businesses Each individual page of your website offers an opportunity for you to Many local franchisee websites fail to optimize their page titles around for your franchise. . Here are three on-page SEO tips for franchisees to help get found by more people looking for their products and services.  improving your on-page SEO What should franchisees do? As a franchisee, how does your website’s on-page SEO stack up? If you’re making any of these three mistakes, it might make sense to spend some more time 2. Optimize Your Page Titles Around Geographically Specific Keywords To see this in action, perform a Google search for “George Washington.” Notice that the first result that pops up is the Wikipedia page where the based on its authority from inbound links, which is another contributing factor that helps this page rank so well in search engines. If your page title reads “Home” or “X Company,” we suggest changing it to something that contains your top one or two keywords. For example, imagine that you own a leather furniture store in Jacksonville. The page title on the home page of your website should not be “Rick’s Furniture Store” unless that’s what you want to get found for. Rather, your page title should be something like “Leather Furniture Store Jacksonville | Leather Sofas Jacksonville” because those are likely keywords that searchers who have never heard of Rick’s Furniture Store will be typing into search engines. For example, a Google keyword search for “leather furniture” shows 18.8 million website pages in the Google index. A Google search for the keyword “leather furniture Jacksonville” instead has only has 299K website pages indexed in Google. This means there is a lot less competition, and therefore, it is a lot less difficult to rank organically for “leather furniture Jacksonville” compared to plain old “leather furniture.” In other words, instead of competing with everyone in the country who is vying for that general keyword, you are only Your page title or title tag is the most important piece of real estate on your website. Why? The page title is the first thing search engines read when crawling your site. Page titles are crucial because they tell search engines what you want to get found for. Many franchisee websites experience difficulty getting found by prospects in organic search because they haven’t optimized their page title with the What should franchisees do? On-page SEO . geographically-focused keywordscenter_img rank for a new keyword in search engines for specific keywords you want to target. Make sure you weave that keyword into as many on-page SEO ranking factors as you can without sacrificing readability for your site visitors. Take the time to Many franchisees either do not have a website or do not have access to their website to make geographically-focused SEO improvements. First, if you do not have a website for your locally owned and operated franchise, we recommend getting one set up ASAP! 3. Use Each Web Page as an Opportunity to Rank for a New Keyword most important on-page SEO elements Another common mistake is setting your company name as your page title. Making sure you are not making these two simple — yet powerful — mistakes will go a long way toward helping Second, it’s also important that your website has an easy-to-use CMS, or content management system. A CMS will allow you to easily update and edit your website when necessary instead of paying a webmaster $100 or more each time you need to make an update. Topics: appropriate keywords carefully search engine optimize each page on your website in your geographic area. . In fact, a common mistake many companies make is having a generic page title that reads “Home.” Having “Home” as your page title tells search engines that you want to get found each time a searcher types in “Home.” Not ideal. improve on-page SEO off-page SEO What should franchisees do? In the United States, the franchise industry accounts for almost 40% of all retail sales. Unfortunately, many franchise companies with large networks of franchisees spread throughout the country are not taking advantage of . Your search engine rankings will thank you. (page title, URL, H1 tag, alt text) are all optimized around the keyword “George Washington.” This is not an accident. One of the reasons Google has indexed this page as the most relevant and authoritative website on “George Washington” is because its on-page SEO structure is perfectly optimized. Wikipedia also has strong 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

13 Brands Using LinkedIn Company Page Features the Right Way

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 Back in November, I set out to write a post to highlight businesses that were using LinkedIn’s company page features effectively. Needless to say, I couldn’t find enough examples to create a compelling post, so in my dismay, what I actually ended up writing was, “11 Reasons Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks.”What can I say? I was a little bitter and, frankly, slightly disappointed in the social media marketers of the world. We recently reported that, in a study of the over 5,000 inbound marketers where we pitted LinkedIn against Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn proved to be the most effective social media channel for lead generation — 277% more effective, in fact. As a marketer, particularly if you’re in the B2B game, how could you not leverage that awesome lead generation potential?Well, it’s been several months now, and I wanted to give you LinkedIn marketers out there another chance. While it was still difficult to find examples of businesses effectively using all of the company page features at their disposal, it was a bit easier to find some great examples of individual feature use. Looks like some of you may have gotten the hint! Let’s take a look at some of the admirable use cases of the main LinkedIn company page features to inspire you to give your LinkedIn company page a little more love. You want to leverage LinkedIn’s lead gen potential for your business as much as possible, right?Blog RSS FeedLet’s get a few low-hanging fruit features out of the way first. There’s a very simple way to populate your LinkedIn company page with your business’ content, and it’s called your blog’s RSS feed. While simply including your blog’s feed won’t broadcast its content to your LinkedIn page followers via the updates feed on their homepage (unlike Company Status Updates, which we’ll cover later), it’s a really easy way to promote your blog content to the visitors on your page.See the example above, which is a screenshot from Kuno Creative’s company page. If you’re going to add your blog’s RSS feed to your page, just be sure you’re regularly updating your blog with content. A stale feed of outdated posts that shows you haven’t updated your blog in months will likely do you more harm than good. Kuno Creative, for example, maintains an active blog, so the blog RSS feature is a welcome addition to its LinkedIn company page. To add your blog’s RSS feed to your LinkedIn page, click the dropdown menu next to Admin Tools for your page’s ‘Overview’ tab, scroll to the bottom of the page, and enter your blog’s RSS feed.News ModuleThe next low-hanging fruit feature you should enable on your LinkedIn company page is the news module. This pulls in any news mentions of your company that LinkedIn finds on the web and features them in the right-hand column of the Overview tab on your LinkedIn company page, as seen on Red Shoes PR’s company page (pictured here). Adding this module is a great way to highlight the media coverage your company has earned, adding third-party credibility and validation to your page.The option to enable news mentions to be displayed on your page is right below the option to add your blog’s RSS feed while you’re in edit mode of the Overview tab.Company Status UpdatesLinkedIn’s rollout of company status updates in October was a big win for marketers everywhere, but not many have been leveraging it. Just as marketers can post updates to their Google+ page and Facebook page timeline, they can also do so on LinkedIn. This gives marketers the opportunity to expose more of their content directly to their LinkedIn followers, who see status update content in their LinkedIn updates feed on their LinkedIn homepage.PR 20/20’s Company Page is a great example of one that is effectively making use of company status updates, regularly sharing blog posts and reports they’ve created as well as third-party coverage of their brand. This drives traffic from LinkedIn back to PR 20/20’s website and positions them as a thought leader within the LinkedIn community.Overdrive Interactive is another great example of a company using company status updates well, sharing helpful content from themselves as well as others to ensure they keep their LinkedIn company page regularly updated with content for their followers.Keeping a frequently updated and engaging page is the best way to organically attract new followers and expand your LinkedIn reach. Don’t have company status updates enabled for your page yet? Check out our quick tutorial here to start getting more out of your LinkedIn company presence.Products/Services TabAs a LinkedIn company page admin, marketers can also highlight their product/service offerings on a separate ‘Products & Services’ tab. Building out this tab is a great way to highlight and promote … why yes, your products and services!Voices.com’s company page provides a great example of a robust Products & Services tab, highlighting 11 of its services and utilizing some of the other great features available for this tab, including a Products & Services Spotlight as well as a video (we’ll get to these features later).But are your products and services the only thing you should highlight on this tab? No way, Jose! You can also (and you should) leverage this valuable LinkedIn real estate to feature your marketing offers such as webinars, ebooks, free trials or other content to support lead generation, as we’ve done on HubSpot’s LinkedIn company page.The other awesome capability offered through the product tab is audience targeting. LinkedIn enables you to create up to 30 distinct landing pages for specific audience segments. This means you can show visitors to your products tab different variations depending on the targeting options you set up based on that user’s company size, job function, industry, seniority, and/or geography. So if you have various segments of products or offers suitable for different audiences, you can only surface the ones that are applicable to those users. To learn how to set up targeted product tabs for your LinkedIn company page, check out this handy guide.Videos on Products TabWhile you’re editing your Products & Services tab, don’t miss out on the opportunity to add a video! Use this space to explain your products, services, and value proposition in a video format, and if you’re leveraging product tab targeting, you can add a different video for each tab variation you create. The only caveat is that any video content you use must already be hosted on YouTube; the video feature requires you to include a YouTube link for your video in order to display it.Both OPTIO Solutions and ClearRisk are leveraging the video feature nicely on their LinkedIn pages’ products and services tab to capture the attention of any LinkedIn page visitors who’d prefer a more visual overview of what these businesses offer. Topics: LinkedIn Company Pages Just as Taproot has done, treat your Product and Service Spotlight as call-to-action buttons. Depending on your current goals and promotions in progress, you can use them to feature your lead gen marketing offers, promote registration for an upcoming event you’re hosting, increase subscribers to your blog, highlight your presence on other social networks, etc. The possibilities are endless!  RecommendationsSocial proof is a real thing. According to a CompUSA and iPerceptions study, 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. Lucky for you, LinkedIn provides users with the opportunity to recommend your business’ products and services. This is also one of the reasons why it’s important to add your products and services to your products tab. Without products and services, your LinkedIn page visitors would have nothing to recommend! And without recommendations, page visitors are left with some very underwhelming social proof. When a LinkedIn user recommends one of your products or services, it’s displayed on the individual detailed page for that product. The total number of recommendations across all of your products/services is also displayed on the main products tab on your page.Check out Salesforce’s Products Tab, for example, which boasts 821 recommendations across its 10 products and makes for a very compelling LinkedIn page.While it’s up to LinkedIn users to recommend your products, making sure your products tab is complete as well as boosting your LinkedIn following (here are some tips!) can help your page accumulate recommendations since A) users will have something to recommend, and B) your page followers are more likely to leave you recommendations than LinkedIn users who aren’t following you. For a deeper dive into how you can generate more online reviews for your business, read this helpful guide.Careers TabThe final LinkedIn company page feature at your disposal is the ‘Careers’ tab. And while LinkedIn can serve as a valuable marketing and lead generation tool, one of its most powerful benefits is in its professional networking potential. And what better tool to help you recruit top talent for your business than a social network populated by professionals? According to an internal LinkedIn survey, LinkedIn beats the major job boards 3 to 1 on applicant quality. Use the basic careers tab (albeit not free) to advertise your current job openings, as GE Energy does in the following example. Want to take it one step further? Get more robust capabilities by upgrading your account to a Silver or Gold Career Page, which gives you access to a “full suite of features for promoting careers at your company, including a clickable banner, customizable modules, analytics on who is viewing the page, direct links to recruiters, video content, and more.” If you choose the Gold Career Page, you can even customize up to five different versions of the page to display different content and job opportunities based on the viewer’s LinkedIn profile. Think of it like targeted product tab variations, but for careers! Deloitte’s ‘Careers’ tab is an example of an upgraded careers tab: Zipcar: Rocking All LinkedIn Page FeaturesLooking for a great example of a company that is leveraging many of LinkedIn’s company page features well? Check out Zipcar’s page.Zipcar leverages every feature we highlighted in this post, and while we do think they could be sharing more compelling content via their company status updates, Zipcar provides a solid example of a business that ‘gets’ the value of LinkedIn company pages.How well are you taking advantage of the features available to you on your LinkedIn company page? Product and Service SpotlightAnother products tab feature worth mentioning separately is the ‘Product and Service Spotlight,’ which enables you to feature three scrolling, clickable banner images (640×220 pixels) near the top of your products tab. Again, if you’re leveraging targeted product tab landing pages, you can choose different spotlight images for each variation.Check out how the Taproot Foundation, a nonprofit organization that makes business talent available to organizations working to improve society, leverages its Product and Service Spotlight using the three images below. Each image includes a call-to-action for visitors to perform a few different actions: ‘Apply Now,’ ‘Visit Our Facebook Page,’ and ‘Learn More.’ You can visit the products tab on Taproot Foundation’s company page for the full scrolling, interactive experience of how this works. Originally published Mar 20, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

Who Should ‘Own’ Social Media at Your Company?

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 Topics: It’s a common debate in many businesses. Just who should be responsible for managing my company’s social media presence? Sales? Marketing? Customer Service?Do you want our perspective? How about all of the above? For most companies, social media management is a function of the marketing department, but there is a slew of social applications for your customer service and sales teams, too. Wouldn’t your sales team like to know if their assigned leads were asking questions about your products on Twitter? And aren’t customers constantly flocking to social media to complain about or seek help with products and services? In fact, according to a study from Booz & Company, 75% of marketers using social media identify customer service as a primary use of their social media platform. That being said, only 26% of respondents in the same study describe customer service as a department responsible for contributing leadership to social media strategies.Let’s be honest. The old adage, “too many cooks …” needn’t apply to social media management. Marketing, Customer Service, and Sales can all have a hand in your business’ social presence, and it doesn’t have to be a headache. You just have to know how to organize it. So let’s discuss how you can create a social media management function that everyone can take part in — and profit from.Identify Your Contributors Let’s be clear: just because you shouldn’t limit social media management to only one department, doesn’t mean you should have a million hands in your accounts. As I emphasized a few sentences ago, you have to know how to organize it, and part of this organization involves designating a few key players. So before you move on, identify who these key players are from each department. Ideally, you’d have one or a few people (depending on the size of your organization) from each department who are responsible for helping to manage your company’s social presence.You should also assign one or two point people from one department to manage your company’s overall presence. Because the marketing function of social media requires a lot of content creation/sharing and frequent updating of social accounts, you’ll probably want your marketing department to ultimately drive your company’s social presence. These social media managers will oversee the day-to-day operation of your social media accounts, as well as implement and carry out any social media marketing promotions. Essentially, these people will field and ‘outsource’ any sales or customer service/support-related queries that pop up in social media to the designated sales and customer service contributors.Choose the Right ToolsFor social media collaboration to work smoothly, you’ll also need to implement the right tools. Otherwise, the “too many cooks …” adage will start to apply. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available that enable you to manage social media collaboration among multiple contributors. When you’re evaluating social media management tools, you’ll want to look for tools that give you the ability to do the following:Schedule updates for the futureSet up filters to monitor your business and keywordsMonitor multiple social networksSupport multiple collaborators Assign specific social media updates to your collaborators for follow-upBONUS: hooks up to your marketing software for closed-loop social integrationHootSuite, for example, is a third-party social media management tool that enables you to do all of the above. It even now integrates with HubSpot’s marketing software to give customers the ability to monitor their leads’ activities in social media, and better use social media for lead nurturing — a huge win for Marketing and Sales.Now let’s dive into each of your social media contributors and the roles they should play in social media management.Marketing’s InvolvementAs we mentioned, your marketing department is likely to have the most proactive social media involvement, as marketing’s main use-cases for social media are promoting marketing content and offers, and engaging fans and followers. Be sure your marketing point person is sufficiently balancing updates about offers, educational content, and content that engages (e.g. questions, visual content, etc.).It’s also Marketing’s job to work with other teams’ contributors to be sure everyone has the opportunity to share the messages and updates that are important to those teams. For example, the customer team might want to share news of an upcoming webinar specifically meant for customers or announce the launch of a new customer-only email newsletter that customers can opt into receiving. To make this more efficient, have your point people create a sort of social media editorial calendar for the social networks you’re participating in. Fill it with the marketing content and offers you plan to promote, leave some open spots for other team’s messages, and give them access to the calendar so they can add their desired updates. To make this seamless, set a deadline each week for when submissions need to be made, and then schedule the content on a week by week basis.  And as the point person/people for your company’s social media engagement, your social media manager(s) will also be responsible for monitoring mentions of your company, products/services, and industry terms. Make sure your point person routes questions to the appropriate social media collaborators in Customer Service and Sales as they arise. If you’re using HubSpot’s HootSuite integration, for example, and the point person notices that a lead in the HubSpot Contacts stream is asking a question about your product pricing, you might assign that update to your sales team collaborator who can either follow up directly or loop in that lead’s assigned rep.Customer Service’s InvolvementAccording to eMarketer, 46% of customers want to solve a problem when they’re engaging with a brand on social media, and 39% are looking to give feedback about a product or service. No wonder it makes total sense for customer service to have significant involvement in your business’ social media presence. That being said, using social media for customer service communication doesn’t go without its challenges. In fact, we’ve highlighted 7 of these such challenges and how businesses are tackling them in this past blog post. And while there are certainly challenges, that shouldn’t deter your customer service team from getting involved. After all, who is better trained and capable of handling a disgruntled customer or answering a nitty gritty product question — your marketing team, or a customer service rep? Do we even need to answer?Any customer service reps who are collaborating with your social presence should be at the ready to answer questions or respond to customers that your marketing point people can’t appropriately handle on their own. Whether your customer service team is using the same social media accounts, replying via a dedicated “Help” account, or contacting the customer through another method such as email (all are acceptable options, depending on your business), the customer service social collaborator should be following up in a timely manner and providing the most helpful assistance manageable. Furthermore, these contributors should be collaborating with the point person to communicate important customer-related updates that pop up unexpectedly, such as software outages or maintenance.Sales’ InvolvementLet’s not forget about Sales, folks. Your sales team is chatting it up with potential customers all the time, and knowing how to use social media to help them be more effective in the sales process can be a very valuable sales tool. And besides just responding to social media assignments from your marketing point people, your sales team should proactively be using social media to prospect as well as prepare for sales calls, follow ups, and nurture their assigned leads.If social media participation is new to your sales team, train them! Teach them how to locate their leads in social media to conduct some research in preparation for sales calls. Some marketing software, like HubSpot, may even show your sales team their lead’s social media account information, if available. Does the lead have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another social network or community popular for your industry? Once the sales rep has identified them, have them scan the lead’s information and updates on these social media sites. Encourage them to learn about the lead’s interests and pain points and strategize about how they can leverage these insights on their sales calls. After they’ve been in touch, Sales can even use social media as another way to keep in touch with and nurture their prospects by sending leads links to helpful content and looking for opportunities to answer their questions so they stay top of mind.What other social media collaboration tips would you share? Should other departments be involved in social media management? If so, who? Originally published Jun 19, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Social Media Marketerslast_img read more

How to Create Spam in 20 Simple Steps

first_img Topics: Someone once told me that “how-to” content is really great for business blogging. Since I want to be a good inbound marketer, I thought I’d take a stab at writing a “how-to” blog post, and teach everyone how they can become a spammer.I also heard that accessibility is important in your writing, so I narrowed it down to just 20 steps.If you haven’t made up your new year’s resolution yet — or you’ve already failed at three or four and need a new one to tackle — any and all of these 20 steps would be excellent considerations. So, here you go, 20 steps to becoming the best spammer the world’s ever seen! Enjoy. (And please regard all of this as totally straight-faced marketing advice.)How to Create Spam on Social MediaStep 1) Pin a bunch of stuff to Pinterest that has no visually redeeming qualities. Be sure to shorten the links in your pins’ descriptions, too, if you really want to get marked as spam. Marketers who are particularly on the top of their game will make their links go to unrelated web pages; the cream of the crop will just make them broken links.Step 2) Cram your tweets with dumb hashtags, especially if they’re unrelated to the tweet’s subject matter. You might even consider crafting a tweet made entirely of hashtags!Step 3) Hijack someone else’s hashtag. For example, when the next #twilight movie comes out, be sure to use that to promote your upcoming webinar, because of the natural tie-in between werewolves and your data appending service. (Twilight has werewolves, right?)Step 4) Automatically retweet everything an industry leader shares, indiscriminately, so you can be sure to bombard their @Mentions feed. That’s how they’ll notice you. Similarly, it’s a good idea to personally ‘Like’ everything you post on Facebook immediately after you publish it, so Facebook and page visitors know your content is engaging. This works best when you are the only one who Likes your updates, ever.Step 5) Don’t do any targeting in your social media PPC or advertising. Best to just blanket the social mediasphere so everyone sees your stuff.Step 6) Follow hundreds of thousands of people every day on Twitter, and scoop ’em right up into your Google+ Circles, too. Then (and this next step is critical) mass unfollow people in similarly large quantities. The best time to do this is right after they’ve just followed you back.How to Create Spam in BloggingStep 7) Original content can come off as braggy. Pay homage to bloggers you admire by copying and pasting their content into your own CMS, instead. Don’t forget not to link to them before you hit ‘Publish,’ too.Step 8) Tag each blog post with no fewer than 37 tags. That’s how readers and search engines will know what your post is about. It also makes for easy categorization and an intuitive user experience.Step 9) If you’re still worried readers and search engines won’t know what your blog’s about, help them by including several keywords that you want your blog post to rank for. While some experts have probably coached you to reach somewhere around 1%-3% keyword density, strive for more like 15%-20% keyword density to make sure readers really **get** what you’re saying.Step 10) Leave comments on people’s blogs with an inbound link back to your website to help improve your SEO. Try to think of relevant comments, though. For example, a blog post about how to conduct effective email follow up might benefit from a thoughtful comment like, “Make $5,000 from blogging at home like my cousin did!!! http://www.makemoneyfastnowblogathome.com.” Notice how the keyword phrase “blogging at home” is included in the comment, as well as a link back to the website, for maximum SEO impact.How to Create Email Marketing SpamStep 11) Remember that as a marketer, you know what’s best for people. As such, you should go purchase a list of people who you know need your business, and email them to let them know about the favor you’re doing by being in their lives and, most importantly, their inboxes.Step 12) Some people still won’t know what’s best for them, even when it’s staring them right in the face. No matter how much your email recipients ignore you, don’t relent if they never respond. Just increase your email frequency. Even better, send the same email a couple times in a row. They can’t ignore you forever.Step 13) Some people might email you back pretty angry after you do that. But remember, you know what’s best for them, so don’t offer them an unsubscribe option in your emails. Not even if the law says so.Step 14) If you’re really worried about the whole “not-providing-an-unsubscribe-option-being-illegal” thing, go ahead and add it — but don’t worry about honoring those unsubscribes right away. Many companies are courteous enough to send a kick-back email stating that it could take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to remove you from their email list, even if the law requires they remove unsubscribes within 10 days. People should understand that you have quite the backlog, and since you’re doing this all manually, they should really be understanding of that as you continue to bombard their inboxes.Step 15) Don’t segment your list by any, like, specific criteria. That takes a lot of time, and you’re a good enough writer that you can create one piece of content the resonates with your entire email list.How to Create Spam on your Website & SEOStep 16) Because your time is valuable, it’s best not to spend it organically acquiring inbound links. Instead, make a list of all of the websites your friends have and ask them to please link to yours. If any of them resist, offer to pay them. If they resist still, tell them you’re okay with them using white text on a white background so their readers don’t actually see the link. (Hint: Don’t get hung up on the authority or relevancy of your friends’ domain names, either — any inbound links, from cat accessory websites to organic dill weed farming sites, will be invaluable for your SEO.)Step 17) Distract readers from the purpose of each page on your website with things like disorienting animations, or videos that play at full blast upon page load. That’s the kind of entertainment readers need as they search your website, trying to discern what your company does.Step 18) Using a pop-up box, ask me to subscribe to your email list the exact second — and not a moment later — that I land on your site. I typically don’t like to evaluate the validity of an author’s content before I sign up to receive daily updates from them.Step 19) You can also really impress your CEO by adding an additional revenue stream to your business — ad revenue! Replace all the calls-to-action on your website with third-party ads that you’ll get paid for when visitors see them. Remember, the best ad models are the ones in which you have no control over the subject matter of the ads that will appear on your site. If you’re lucky, they’ll serve ones on your site with lots of boobs, or maybe the ones with those sparkling, multicolored starbursts. (Hopefully both!)Step 20) Finally, keep your website generally unkempt. You can achieve this look through things like broken links, dead ends, and fun “Website Not Found” errors. These are all signals to Google that your website is valuable, because it probably means you have so many pages on your website that it’s too untenable for upkeep — and the more pages you have, the better your rankings. That’s how SEO works.How else can marketers strive to be spammier and spammier each and every day? And just to be clear — because our lawyer told us to — please don’t actually do any of these things. Or at least check with your own attorney before you do.”Image credit: koi. Originally published Jan 4, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Email Deliverability 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

How to Create a Google+ Event [Quick Tip]

first_imgGoogle+ has a slew of amazing features and hidden gems that may or may not come in handy in your marketing, but Google+ Events are definitely one feature that every business should consider taking advantage of. Whether your company is hosting a webinar, industry conference or event, employee BBQ, happy hour, hackathon, or something else… Google+ Events can help you get the word out and amplify the reach of your event.One of the biggest benefits of Google+ Events is the fact that anyone using Gmail or Google Calendar will easily be able to add the event right onto their calendars. With just the click of a button, all the information and details about that event will populate in their calendars. What a time saver! Furthermore, the event will automatically be added to the Google Calendars of anyone who is already in the Circles you invite.What’s more — these events are fully customizable, and you can invite entire Communities at the same time.So, what do you say? Are you ready to get started? Great! Let’s run through the steps for setting up an event on Google+.How to Create a Google+ EventStep 1: Click on the ‘Events’ TabNo matter which section of Google+ you’re looking at, if you’re logged in to your company account, you will see a sidebar on the left-hand side of the page. This sidebar includes options to select Home, Profile, Pages, Hangouts, Communities, Events, Photos, and More. In this scenario, you’ll want to click on the ‘Events’ tab, which is listed as the sixth icon from the top.Once you’ve clicked on the ‘Events’ tab, you’ll be directed to a page that will guide you through creating your event. The images you see are various options for event cover images, and above these you’ll see a bold, red button that says ‘Create Event.’ Step 2: Click ‘Create Event’Once you’ve clicked on the ‘Events’ tab, you’ll be directed to a page that will guide you through creating your event. The images you see are various options for event cover images, and above these you’ll see a bold, red button that says ‘Create Event.’Step 3: Fill in Your Event InformationOnce you’ve clicked on the red, ‘Create Event’ button, an event template will pop up where you can add your event information. Is this event a Google+ Hangout? Is it a webinar? A live talk for employees at your company? Be as specific and explicit as possible, and make sure you fill out every form as best you can. Tip: It’s best to include both a start and end time for your event so folks using Google Calendar can add the event to their calendar without any question about the event’s end date. Once you have sizing down pat, upload your image, and test it out. Keep in mind that you should leave some white space open in the bottom left corner, because on the final event page, this space will be taken up by your event’s title, as you can see in the image below: Voilà! You’ve successfully created an event for your business on Google+. Once the event is over, you still have the option to communicate with folks who attended through the Event page. This is a great place to upload photos of the event, give any updates about next year’s event, etc. Have you ever created a Google+ Event? What types of events will you try this with? Step 4: Customize Your Event’s Cover PhotoTo customize your event, click the transparent grey, ‘Change Theme’ button in the bottom left corner of the current cover image you see (see image above). Once you’ve clicked this button, you’ll be brought to a page that shows you a variety of options for your Google+ Event’s cover photo — all provided by Google. Email Inbox Tips Step 5: Add More Details Via the ‘Advanced’ TabBut wait … there’s more! To add even more information to your event, under ‘Event Options,’ click ‘Advanced.’ Remember those “advanced” fields I mentioned earlier? See how the URL showed up in the bold, ‘Official Website’ section of the event description?The Final Product:Your final Google+ Event page will look something like this:And when the event is shared in a Google+ Community or on a Company Page, it will look something like this: Here, you can add a URL and other details for your event: Here’s how you event might look in edit mode up until this point: center_img Of course, if you’re a DIY design whiz, you’ll probably want to upload your own cover photo. Creating a cover image that’s unique to your company and your specific event is a great way to differentiate it from any other created by the people you’re following. Consistency is key here. Don’t believe me? Check out these 15 businesses we admire for consistent, stellar branding. They’ve got it down to a science, and it really makes an impact.To upload your own cover photo, choose ‘Upload’ from the list of theme options: Step 6: Invite GuestsOnce you’re satisfied with your event, you can start inviting guests. Depending on who the target audience for your event is, you can add specific Circles, Communities, email addresses, or simply make the event public on your company page. Once you’ve added the names of the people you think would be most appropriate for this event, click the green ‘Invite’ button. Remember, the beauty of Google+ Events are that they automatically get added to the Google Calendars of the people in the Circles you invite. Once you’ve published your event, the description will look something like this: Originally published Apr 6, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated October 01 2013 Some social networks will allow you to choose a photo of any size, and will resize it to fit the dimensions of the cover photo. But because the cover photo for Google+ is so long and narrow, you’re going to have a hard time using a pre-existing image without resizing it. Your best bet is to create a custom image that’s exactly 940 pixels wide by 280 pixels tall. By clicking ‘Advanced,’ you’ll be able to notify people that this is a Google Hangout, an on-air event, or provide a URL where people can learn more about the event. This is particularly important if your official event registration is located elsewhere, which will most likely be the case.To add a URL, click ‘Show Additional Fields.’ Don’t forget to share this post! 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The Highs (and Lows) of Letting Your CEO Manage Twitter for a Day

first_imgIf you were following @HubSpot on Twitter yesterday, you would’ve noticed that our CEO and Co-Founder Brian Halligan had commandeered the account. And while all you social media and community managers out there are probably cringing as I say this, I bet the CEOs and Twitter users of the world are cheering and applauding Brian’s noble endeavor.Like Brian quoted in a tweet through the @HubSpot account: “‘You need to upset the status quo … it will upset people — get over it’ — Sheryl Sandberg.” Upsetting the status quo isn’t always easy, but it can be extremely rewarding.Although there were certainly both some highs and lows that came out of the experience (more on those in just a second), overall, I’d highly recommend encouraging your CEO to be more involved in social media (and even your blog for that matter!). Here are a few gems from our own experience.The Lows of Letting Your CEO Manage TwitterSocial media/community managers, I challenge you to give the car keys over to your CEO for a day. Yes, it will be terrifying at first to give up control — it could go amazingly well, or there could be some bumps in the road. Just make sure you’re available for backup if needed, but let the events unfold as they will. You’d be surprised how lovable it is for your followers to have direct access to your execs. Of course, letting go also means letting things happen naturally. And those things could certainly be, well, not ideal. Here are some examples of the “lows” …1) Breaking news before your company even knows about it.2) Getting picked on by investors … and Dunkin Donuts.3) Using the company account to get Gwyneth Paltrow’s attention.4) Making some Freudian slips. (Hey, they happen.)Okay, so there were a few hiccups in there, but nothing too horrible. Our followers actually seemed to enjoy the little accidents because it was clear that there was a human behind the brand and not some unlovable Twitter bot. The Highs of Letting Your CEO Manage TwitterI’d say the highs of the day certainly outweighed the lows overall. Our CEO certainly took my advice when I suggested he should keep the entire company’s goals in mind when tweeting as himself. I noticed he was also very vigilant, thought of the bottom line, and kept calm throughout the entire day. Here are some highlights …1) Considering the company’s goals above his own.2) Knowing the product, and using it well.3) Being helpful.4) Asking for feedback to help us improve.Brian, I must admit: The social media team was very pleased with your work yesterday. Perhaps you should consider joining us full time. ;-)Have you ever let your CEO take over your social media accounts? If not, do you think you’ll give it a try after learning about Brian Halligan’s big day?  Topics: Originally published May 9, 2013 4:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Marketing 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

Facebook’s Graph Search Update Offers Marketers Juicier Data

first_imgHey, remember that groundbreaking, cool feature Facebook announced back in January? It was called Graph Search. It supposedly was going to change the way people used the platform … but it wasn’t really available to be used quite yet. Then in July, Facebook announced it was going to roll out to all U.S. users — again, it was exciting, but Graph Search didn’t have great data points that I as a marketer would love to use. All in all, pretty meh-worthy announcements. … That is, until today. Facebook will start including status updates, photos, check-ins, and comments in your graph search. Yep, you heard me right — pretty soon, you’ll have access to data that will actually be useful to your life as a marketer. Previously, you only had access to pages, apps, and groups that included search terms. Now, you can search for terms in posts, updates, check-ins, and comments from your friends and people who post publicly. Here’s what the different will look like:What Graph Search Currently Looks Like Featuring Dancing With the StarsWhat Graph Search Will Look Like Featuring Dancing With the StarsIsn’t the second much more useful?This new feature opens up a slew of opportunities for marketers, such as:Monitoring Facebook posts about events they’re running. Researching product usage. Identifying content opportunities based on the interest of their most enthusiastic Facebook Fans.Tracking brand mentions by influencers.And lots and lots of other things!We’re kinda bummed because this new feature won’t be available to everyone with Graph Search. First, it’ll be tested in a small group of people, and then roll out to everyone after that. But, once it’s rolled out, marketers have a huge opportunity to make their content even more relevant to their audience with this data — which is something we all can get pumped about.Once you have this Graph Search feature, how will you use it in your marketing? Share your ideas with us in the comments.Image credit: Ksayer1 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 Sep 30, 2013 5:39:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: SEO and Social Medialast_img read more

How Smart Marketers Are Sabotaging Their Calls-to-Action

first_img Topics: Originally published Apr 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated November 29 2017 Calls to Action We’ve all heard the regular call-to-action best practices by now. Write compelling copy. Choose appealing images. Have a solid value prop.All important stuff, to be sure.But what about the people who have fixed all the common CTA errors? (You can find the errors in this SlideShare if you want to check yourself.)Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesThere are other, less-talked-about ways you may be hurting the success of your CTAs — and by extension, your lead gen. Let’s talk about those.You’re scared of using too many.CTA confusion is a real thing, which is why it’s common to preach only using one primary CTA per page. It’s the primary “thing” you want your visitor to do, after all.But sometimes there’s more than one right answer. And I’m not talking about just adding in a secondary CTA, either. (Which you should absolutely do — read this post if you want to learn more about secondary CTAs. Or read this one if you want to learn more but only have like 20 seconds.)Instead of worrying about the quantity of primary CTAs on your page, think about the quantity of primary CTAs on your page that help you meet the goal of that CTA. For instance, if the goal of your homepage is to drive more MQLs through RFP requests, go ahead and put more than one RFP CTA on there — even if they’re totally different RFP CTAs that lead to totally different RFP request landing pages. The problem with multiple primary CTAs isn’t that they exist — it’s when multiple CTAs exist that are encouraging actions that are totally counterintuitive to one another, and detract from the effectiveness of the page.You’re not writing custom copy.As your offer library grows, you’ll have less trouble finding CTAs to match your content. But if your offer library is growing, chances are your content strategy is more sophisticated, too — which means you’re writing about more specific, niche subject matters. That’s a good thing, but your CTAs can start to look pretty generic next to those extremely personalized content pieces.Let’s take this blog post we published a while ago as an example: “How to Satisfy Every Stakeholder In Your Next Website Redesign.” We had a CTA ready to go that we’d used for a while that promoted our offer Website Redesign Planning & Progress Kit. This is what the original CTA for the offer looked like:We emphasized the progress tracking a little more than the strategic aspect, because at the time, it’s what we talked about more.But this new blog post really focused more on the strategic parts of managing website redesigns — the part where you have to get a bunch of internal stakeholders on board. So, we customized the CTA copy to reflect the audience to whom the post was targeted. Here’s the customized version:We’ve since customized our offer CTAs when we’re emphasizing something the CTA copy doesn’t reflect, and consistently see improved conversion rates as a result.You’re not updating your design.If you’ve started to see a disappointing leveling off of your CTA clickthrough rates (not submission rates, mind you), it could be due to design overexposure. It doesn’t mean the content behind the CTAs is stale — just that you’ve oversaturate your audience with a design such that it’s fading into the background. It’s commonplace. It’s not “jumping off the page” anymore. Personally, I feel like this blog could use a CTA design refresh. I know it might be a good use of time because when I compare the clickthrough rates on these two CTAs, the latter is almost double the former.It’s probably because it’s a break from the visual norm for our readers. We’ve had this gray design for a bit. If you’ve also had the same design for a bit, consider a refresh to help improve your CTA clickthrough rates.Your CTAs are too smart.Sometimes, a CTA should be kind of stupid. (This is a joke we make here when opting not to create “smart” or “dynamic” CTAs). What I mean by this is that just because you have some cool segmenting functionality doesn’t mean you should always use it.For instance, let’s pretend you’re launching a new product. Or hosting an event. Or releasing a new offer you want everyone to see. These are all instances in which smart CTAs can be counterintuitive to your goals, because you’re segmenting for the sake of segmenting. Consider who you actually want to see your CTAs before you get segmentation-happy.You’re not trying new placements.I don’t know why we all decided CTAs belong at the bottom of blog posts and only the bottom of blog posts. Actually, I do know why. Because once upon a time, we had this idea that people read every word we wrote. If you’re still reading this part of the post — hey, thank you. I appreciate you sticking around.But I also know that statistically, most readers don’t even get 60% of the way through an article. So why not provide an earlier conversion opportunity?For instance, we performed a test to see if slide-in CTAs helped clickthrough and submission rates. It did. (You can read more about that test here, and learn how to create your own slide-in CTAs.) We also performed a test to see if in-post visual callout CTAs helped clickthrough and submission rates. They didn’t. At first. Then we tried adjusting other variables, and found they worked, but only when they were ridiculously contextual. So, if we wrote a section in a post about Evernote, and then served up a visual CTA related to Evernote, that would improve the post’s overall CTA clickthrough and submission rate.The moral of the story is this: We’ve always tested CTA placement on every other part of our site — why not test it on our blog, too?You’re not updating CTAs on old pages.But old pages are … old. Why should I update them?If they’re still up, they might still be getting traffic. Check. If they are still getting traffic, you have two choices: Take the pages down, or update the content. I highly, highly recommend latter.Most people won’t have time to do a serious overhaul of all the page contents, especially because many of the pages that will fall victim to the still-getting-traffic-but-content-is-old issue will be blog posts. And the nature of blog posts is that you write a lot of them and, unless they’re all evergreen, time will take its toll. So instead of rewriting dozens if not hundreds of blog posts that still get traffic, update the CTAs on those posts. This could mean making “stupid” CTAs smart, adding new creative, or replacing the CTAs with new offers entirely.I recommend going through this exercise once a quarter if you’re a frequent blogger (daily or more) and twice a year if you’re a semi-frequent blogger (anywhere from 1-5 times a week). You should also go through the exercise with your non-blog site pages about twice a year to see if the CTAs on pages that still receive a lot of traffic are as relevant as they could be.Audits are never fun, but it’ll help you get more bang from your buck with your CTAs. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Data-Backed Reasons to Redesign an Ugly Website [Infographic]

first_img Topics: 1K+Save Website Design Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img For even the most seasoned marketer, website design can be both really exciting (so many possibilities!) and totally daunting (so many possibilities …).The final product is a combination of many, many little details: What should the color scheme be? Should we write in bulleted lists or paragraph form? Is stock photography okay, or should we take our own photos?Though these tweaks all seem like small, inconsequential changes, making the wrong choices can actually stunt your traffic and conversions.So, what are the right choices? Red Website Design gathered the data to answer that question in this easy-to-follow infographic. Learn which parts of your website design impact users the most so you can properly plan, prioritize, and optimize your site.1K+Save Originally published Aug 18, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

How a Blank, 4-Minute Video Got 100,000 Views

first_imgIn an advertising agency, having a good idea isn’t enough. You also have to demonstrate that your thinking caused your client’s cash register to ring. Proving your ads actually rang the register, however, has historically been a difficult exercise — one requiring deep expertise in research, statistics, and business analysis. Unfortunately, in lieu of doing the necessary measurement work, lots of marketers are taking the easy way out by relying on “vanity” metrics. This laziness is particularly evident in the digital space where over-simplified, easily digestible numbers (like YouTube view counts) have essentially become a metric of success. But the truth is those vanity metrics don’t really mean anything.Here’s why.An Experiment in Vanity MetricsTo illustrate the inherent flaw of vanity metrics, we at ad agency Solve created a four-minute blank white video and uploaded it to YouTube.No sound. No animation. No movement. Just four minutes of pure emptiness. We then got our blank video over 100,000 views simply by spending $1,400 on YouTube’s TrueView advertising platform. That’s it. We literally bought viewership for 1.4 cents a view.Crossing one million views, the unofficial line that signifies a major victory for most brands, would have required nothing more than the willingness to spend $14,000.And that’s not all. Our modest investment generated a slew of “engagement” metrics that added even more texture to our illusory impact: On average, viewers watched 61% of our video, with more than one in five completing it. In total, the video received nearly 265,000 minutes of attention. Even without a call-to-action, our video earned 1,957 clicks, achieving a better than average click-through rate of 0.86%.It’s true — nobody would argue that getting our blank white video 100,000 views accomplished a meaningful business objective. But that’s kind of the point.The Problem With Vanity MetricsYou could swap in any video, any brand, any objective, and we’d be able to spin a dazzling PowerPoint fable with elegant charts, eye-popping numbers, and poetic proclamations. Oh, the engagement! Oh, the dwell! Oh, the buzz we achieved!But despite the narrative, despite the numbers, we accomplished nothing. Absolutely nothing.This lack of accomplishment is not an indictment of YouTube or its TrueView advertising service. We at Solve, along with many others, have used these platforms as they were intended and achieved bona-fide business objectives.But the seductiveness of vanity metrics has been particularly insidious to marketers increasingly in search of a quick fix and a sound bite. Worse, it has given rise to a cottage industry designed to help brands “hit the numbers.” Want to buy Facebook Likes? Twitter retweets? Website traffic? Virtually any metric that serves as a proxy for campaign success can simply be purchased on the open market. The inherent vagueness of vanity metrics further dilutes their usefulness in measuring impact. For example, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter each have different standards for what constitutes a video “view” on their platform. The more loosely a view is defined, the more of them a service can promise when pitching for advertising budgets.All of that said, vanity metrics aren’t entirely bereft of value. In many instances, they’re all we have. But it’s critical to establish exactly how these metrics will correlate to the real business goals you’re trying to achieve. This means you need to be exceedingly careful with how you benchmark. You want to compare your efforts to competitors who have created truly great work — not those who were simply willing to spend $14,000. As marketers, legitimately measuring the results of what you do is hard work. But it’s worth it. After all, your job is to actually change the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of your audiences. If you are content merely with the appearance of impact, you have failed. Youtube Advertising 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 Aug 12, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more

Snapchat for Business: How It Works, Why You Need It & How to Build a Following [Infographic]

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 Back when Snapchat was first released in 2011, a lot of people dismissed it as a passing fad. But with over 100 million daily active users, it’s clear the app is here to stay — and yet, many people are still struggling with the concept of actually using Snapchat to market their business. (In fact, a lot of marketers are still struggling to take it seriously as a social media platform at all.)But a huge part of Snapchat’s appeal is the creativity it allows users to express, and the fact that the content disappears within ten seconds. That creativity and sense of urgency are things marketers can tap into on a low budget, and get a lot of reach.Download our free Snapchat guide to learn how to use it for your business. So what exactly is Snapchat, how does it work, and how are brands using it for business? How can you integrate the app into your social media strategy? And how can you build a solid Snapchat following from scratch? Check out the infographic below from SurePayroll and Ghergich & Co. for the answers to these questions and more. (And read this blog post to learn more about using Snapchat for marketing.)92Save92Save Snapchat Marketing Topics: Originally published Feb 18, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_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

A Simple Guide to Mastering the Basics of Effective Social Media Advertising

first_imgHave you ever had any formal or informal paid advertising training or education? If you have, you’re one of the lucky few.Most marketers are presented with a chunk of their company’s marketing budget one day and told to “run some ads.” Don’t let the costs scare you, paid social advertising is incredibly measurable, and can produce real ROI. From managing your budget to choosing channels and measuring success, learn how to get started with paid advertising.1) How Do I Manage My Budget?One of the most daunting things about social media advertising is the fact that you are dropping cold hard cash on your campaigns. There are also a huge amount of channels and ad formats you can use — don’t get stuck in the details. Before launching your ad campaigns, align your marketing objectives with your advertising strategy.If your goal is to drive traffic and leads, top of the funnel content such as blog posts, free tools, or meatier content gated behind a lead generation form should be used. This type of promotion is more light touch and cheaper.If your objective is to convert leads further down the funnel to marketing qualified leads for your sales team or customers, middle and bottom of the funnel content like free trials or purchase offers should be promoted via retargeting. This type of promotion is higher commitment than reading a blog post, so it will be more expensive.Use this paid advertising budget template to map out your costs before your launch and update it throughout avoid end of the month panic!2) What Channels Should I Advertise On?The landscape of paid social advertising is constantly changing; new technologies, channels and formats are released weekly.There is no one size fits all answer to the channels you should leverage. Ultimately, testing different channels is the best way to determine what works to meet your objectives.There are many social networks you can advertise on, but here are four of the most common:FacebookWith over 1.4 billion users and over 900 million visits a day — Facebook has the largest audience available, which makes it a fit for businesses large and small. But volume is not everything in social ads. The real advantage of Facebook lies in the amount of granular data available to target users.Demographic Targeting:You can target based on education, employment, household, and lifestyle details. Categories include location, gender, age, language, education, ethnic affinity, generation, household composition, life events, politics, relationship status, parental status, and work. Zero in on whoever your audience may be: friends of couples who recently got engaged, new fathers, postgraduate students, women who work in engineering — the possibilities are endless.Interest Targeting: Allows advertisers to target people based on their interests, activities, pages liked, and closely related topics. Top level categories include business, entertainment, family & relationships, fitness & wellness, food & drink, shopping, fashion, sports, hobbies, and technology. The level of detail available means you can target very specific interests like bodybuilding, tattoos, or heavy metal music.Behavior Targeting: Target based on purchase behavior or intent, device usage and more. Categories include digital activities, expats, travel, mobile device users, and events. Behaviors like Chrome users, Facebook Page administrators, and business travelers can be used to segment your audience.Custom Audiences: Custom audiences allow you to layer Facebook data on top of your business data. Advertisers can upload lists of customer (or potential customer) email addresses, phone numbers, or user ids and target these specific lists of people. Pixel based targeting of website or webpage visits is also possible. Advertisers can create “lookalike” audiences from your custom audiences to target similar Facebook users who have a higher propensity to convert.InstagramInstagram is growing in popularity with advertisers every day and presents a huge new opportunity for anyone running social advertising campaigns. Now boasting 400 million users, as of April 2016, Instagram is a more popular channel than Twitter or Snapchat.Advertisers must use their Facebook ad account to create Instagram ad campaigns. In fact, the option to promote your ad on Instagram only appears at the advert set level in Facebook:Despite the fact that you can easily select the same ads to be shown on Facebook and Instagram at this level, you should keep your ads separate. The two platforms are very different and you should think about how the audience and experience differs.Instagram is a visually driven platform, so make sure your ads look authentic and fit in with the user-generated content that exists in your audience’s feed.Instagram is often seen as better fit for lifestyle and creative industries like fashion, food and fitness. Don’t let that assumption deter you from trying Instagram, B2B brands have seen success, too.TwitterTwitter’s ad platform is not as advanced as Facebook. Demographic and interest based targeting options are available, but they are more limited than other platforms.Demographic Targeting: Basic options only available here — age, language and location.Behavioral Targeting: Behavioral targeting exists for the U.S. only at the moment. Options include retail, lifestyle, finance, technology, travel, and more.Interest Targeting:Categories include health, beauty, business, careers, hobbies, society, sport, and more. One thing to keep in mind — if you were promoting a piece of content on SEO, the closest you could get is the Marketing topic as a whole. The options are not as granular as other platforms.Follower Targeting: Targeting specific Twitter accounts and followers means that you can build lists of industry or regional influencers to create niche audiences.Keyword Targeting:One of Twitter’s major advantages is the ability to target specific keywords and hashtags. Advertisers can target people who have tweeted using a specific hashtag with their ads. This allows very specific, targeted content to be delivered to people who are actively engaging with a topic on Twitter.LinkedInLinkedIn is an obvious choice for B2B companies due to its professional user base. If you segment your audience based on their professional information, like role, company, industry, etc., you can be very confident in relying on LinkedIn data to be up-to-date and relevant. If professional information is not an important part of your buyer persona, LinkedIn probably isn’t the best fit for you.While the ad platform is not as advanced as others in some respects (due to the lack of behavioral and interest targeting), the professional data is hugely valuable for certain industries.Targeting: Criteria available includes language, location, industry, company, job title/function, and membership for specific LinkedIn groups.Costs tend to be higher on LinkedIn than other networks, but conversions and quality can be higher than other networks and can provide valuable leads for some industries.For example, here at HubSpot, we promoted an industry-specific piece of content — The Little Book of Inbound for Finance Marketers — on both LinkedIn and Facebook. The cost per click (CPC) of the LinkedIn campaign was 4x the Facebook CPC. Clicks cost a lot on LinkedIn, but what about actual conversions? LinkedIn traffic converted 52% better than Facebook traffic and LinkedIn conversions were half the cost of Facebook conversions. LinkedIn was the clear winner in terms of targeting and channel “fit” in this case.3) How to Create Ads that ConvertMake It Relevant:Social advertising is different to Adwords search advertising. Your Adwords campaigns are centered around demand fulfillment — targeting specific keywords that people are searching for right now. Social advertising is about demand generation, fulfilling a need your audience has even though they are not actively searching for it.Let’s take this example — this ad appeared on my Facebook newsfeed:I am training for a marathon at the moment, so this is totally relevant to me! I was not actively searching for marathon training tips, but the advertisers have clearly targeted interests and demographics (it’s also a female centric ad) to present me with content that will stand out to me when scrolling through my newsfeed.Make It VisualThe image is often to most important element of a social ad — it’s responsible for capturing your audience’s attention when they are browsing a social network.Take a look at the two below Instagram ads:The first is from DaPulse and the second from Squarespace. While the DaPulse ad has a beautiful design, it’s clearly an ad, and doesn’t quite fit in with the visually focused Instagram feed. The Squarespace ad captures my attention. It looks like it belongs in my feed and I’m interested in what it is about before reading any copy. The image suits the visual theme that exists on Instagram and elicits and emotive reaction from the user.Create Copy That ConvertsAd copy is limited and you have to make every character count, when you are writing your ad copy make sure to:Be compellingCommunicate your value propositionBe ActionableTake this example from Inbound.org:  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Be compelling : I’m going to enjoy life more? Sign me up!Communicate your value proposition: The community of intelligent marketers is what makes inbound.org an incredible resource.Be Actionable : Asking a direct question ”Will you?” challenges me to take action.Some days it’s tough to write compelling copy – when I get stuck, I follow this process for inspiration: Use Answerthepublic to map out questions people are asking about your topic.Use BuzzSumo to find content that people are sharing around your topic.Read Buzzfeed to draw inspiration from the amazingly clickable headlines. 4) How Do You Measure Success?Paid social advertising has a multitude of metrics you can (and should) monitor. Impressions, clickthrough rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), likes, shares, frequency, relevance, and much more. Since this can be overwhelming when you’re new to social media advertising, it’s vital to make sure you are focusing in on the metrics that matter most to your campaigns.The three most important metrics to monitor that tell you how your campaigns are really performing are clickthrough rate, cost per conversion and conversion rate.Clickthrough Rate (CTR)This is a measure of the number of clicks your ad has to the number of impressions it received (clicks/Impressions). Your CTR indicates the relevance of your content to your audience and the quality of the traffic. If you have a low CTR, try narrowing your targeting or creating new ad designs.Cost Per Conversion (CPC)Every campaign should have one core conversion goal (signups, app install, downloads, visits to blog post). To calculate, divide the amount of money you have spent divided by the number of conversions resulted. This gives you views to whether your campaigns are profitable and allows you to project future spend.Conversion RateLooking at the conversion rate of the visits to your landing page from your ads gives a good idea of the quality of the clicks you are receiving and the performance of your landing page. You can also benchmark your social ad traffic against the conversion rate of traffic from other sources.The paid social advertising landscape is always evolving, to be a superstar paid marketer you need to be reactive to new channels, tactics and formats on an ongoing basis. This field is mastered through research, experience and testing – not through formal learning environments. Ready to start creating your own social advertising campaigns? Topics:center_img Originally published May 25, 2016 10:30:00 AM, updated August 09 2017 Social Media Advertisinglast_img read more

The Top 10 Conversion Lessons One Agency Learned After Critiquing 100+ Websites

first_imgWhen it comes to website design, creating a page that is visually appealing, aligned with your brand, and optimized for lead generation is no easy task. After all, there are a lot of mistakes you can make in the process.That’s why — for almost two years now — my team here at IMPACT Branding & Design has been hosting a monthly live website critique called Website Throwdown. Our goal is to help people recognize and correct some of those mistakes, while educating other viewers in the process.The best part? We critics happen to learn a thing or two about marketing, UX design, and conversion rate optimization (CRO) in the process, too. It’s a win-win. So in the spirit of education for all, I’ve recapped the top 10 CRO lessons IMPACT has learned after critiquing over 100+ websites below.The Top 10 CRO Lessons One Agency Learned After Critiquing 100+ WebsitesLesson #1: Too many brands are hiding social proof.So you’ve worked with some highly respected brands and they couldn’t love you more — why aren’t you screaming about it from the rooftops?After critiquing over 100 websites, we found that a surprising majority of brands hide their social proof far down on their homepage or worse — isolate it to a never-seen page in their navigation. Whether it’s in your headlines, navigation, or button text, always strive to be clear and concise with your copy to avoid misunderstandings and lost opportunities.Any language you use on your website must resonate with and speak directly to your buyer persona in order to be effective and drive action. For instance, while labeling your product page “our masterpieces” may seem fun and quirky, if this is not a phrase that will be immediately understood by your persona and drive them to clickthrough, it shouldn’t be used.Need help saying more with less? Try these six creative exercises for writing more concisely.Lesson #10: Be human.At the end of the day, even in a cold, cyber world, people want to interact with other human beings. They want to do business with those they can relate to — individuals who understand their pain points and concerns and will advocate for them.In this effort, use your website to humanize your brand.I can’t tell you how many companies we’ve encountered that talk about team members and collaboration on their websites, but never show a single face or name. This doesn’t do much for their credibility.To avoid coming off cold, share real photos of your team members and show some personality. Include bios of your key team members, or even shoot a short video introducing them to your website visitors. Showing an authentic, personable side to your company can make visitors feel more comfortable doing business with you and yes, you guessed it, converting. Lesson #4: Imagery and messaging need to align.Your imagery and text should send the same message to — and elicit the same emotions from — your visitors. For example, if your value proposition positions your company as the ideal solution for metropolitan corporations, don’t use photos of small business owners or a local business plaza. Bring industry proof to the forefront. That helps build trust and credibility instantly. #WebsiteThrowdown— IMPACT (@Impactbnd) September 29, 2015Nothing speaks more highly of your work than word-of-mouth and by hiding this powerful information where visitors are unlikely to look, you can risk it going completely unnoticed.To get the most out of social proof, incorporate elements of it into your homepage design where your visitor’s attention is at its highest. (A heatmap from Hotjar can help you determine where this is exactly.) Doing this will help you make a strong impression and immediately establish credibility in the eye of the reader.Take a look at Contently, for example. On its homepage, the content company shows off who has used its platform before even asking you to watch a demo or learn more. Leading with this social proof builds trust and makes the visitor think, “if it worked for them, it’ll work for me.”Elements of social proof you can consider incorporating into your homepage include:Partner/Client logosTestimonialsAwardsCertificationsReviewsAffiliationsSocial FollowingsLesson #2: Real photography is underappreciated.”Stock photos of people should never be used to represent your customers or your employees. Lose them,” commented David Meerman Scott during one of our live critiques. Now, you’re probably saying, “but, but sometimes I need to use stock photos.” And I get that — especially when you don’t have the budget for a photographer, or you’re in a time crunch. But with so many organizations using generic stock photos prominently on their websites, investing in real photography or custom graphics is an easy way for your company to establish credibility and stand out.Using authentic, real photos of your team or office can help frame your business in a more genuine, relatable light. This can make visitors feel like they actually know you, and in turn, make them more comfortable doing business with you. HubSpot does a great job with this, capitalizing on their real employees, rather than stock models on every page of their site.↓Moral of the story? If you have to use stock photos, choose them wisely — avoid results on the first page, look for unique shots, and steer clear of anything overly cheesy. (If you need help, here’s a list of quality stock photo sites to get you started.)Lesson #3: Bring differentiation to the forefront.If people can’t identify your company’s unique value within a few seconds of being on your homepage, chances are you’ve already lost their business.Attention spans today are low. When visitors first arrive on your site, you need to tell them exactly what makes you different and why they should stick around to learn more.One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is with a well-thought out and prominently placed value proposition that explains:What you doWho you do it forHow you do it differently from your competitionIn this article, I discussed how Slack nailed its value prop on its homepage. Just look at this breakdown:What does it do? It’s a messaging app.Who is it for? Teams.How does it do it differently from the competition? It makes working lives “simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.” (Plus, the team behind the Mars Curiosity Rover uses it … and that’s just awesome.) Conversion Rate Optimization Topics: Originally published Nov 3, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019center_img “When it comes to your navigation, focus less on clever phrases and be clear.” – @taraerobertson #WebsiteThrowdown #UX #CRO— IMPACT (@Impactbnd) October 12, 2016 As Hotjar’s Tara Robertson said on last month’s Website Throwdown, “the last thing you want someone to do when they land on your homepage is think.” People don’t like to think unnecessarily and quite frankly, it can only lead to over-thinking.As a brand, you don’t want to burden people with the task of interpreting multiple messages or options to determine their next step. Rather, you want to focus on one action that you want taken and tell them exactly how to do it with clear copy and calls-to-action.Streamlining your messaging and telling visitors what they should be doing next reduces confusion and friction, making it more likely that people will convert. Lesson #9: Clear goes further than clever.Now, I love cheeky copy as much as the next girl, but when it comes to conversion rate optimization, clarity takes precedence. Don’t forget to share this post! Always connect your value proposition with your hero image. The message should be consistent. #WebsiteThrowdown #design #marketing— IMPACT (@Impactbnd) December 15, 2015 Using misaligned imagery like this can be confusing and send your visitors mixed messages — and nothing manages to cause conversion friction quite like confusion.Tortuga Backpacks does a commendable job with this, showing a customer wearing its product in a colorful market. The image evokes thoughts of travel, while the copy addresses a common travel pain point: checking a bag.Lesson #5: Conversion paths must be clear and direct.As obvious as it sounds, another lesson we learned on Website Throwdown is that one of the best ways to increase conversions is by making your path to conversion as clear and direct as possible.Visitors can make the decision to convert or purchase at any time, and when they do, brands like yours need to make sure that the ability to do so is easily accessible.One company that’s truly mastered this is Dropbox. With a “Try Dropbox Business” call-to-action in its sticky hello bar, the cloud storage company ensures that no matter how far you scroll down the homepage, you have a conversion point within reach when you need it.Lesson #6: Avoid carousels and sliders.If you’re considering a slide or website carousel, click here.No but seriously, whether it’s HubSpot’s Austin Knight, CMO Kipp Bodnar, or Copyhackers Joanna Wiebe, the sentiments have been the same on Website Throwdown: carousels aka “sliders” have got to go.Not only do these once-popular homepage features hide messages and take control away from the user, but they can also overwhelm the user, bombarding them with too many options at one time. When it comes to your website, each page should have one main message and one main goal for the visitor. And pulling them in different directions with multiple propositions and CTAs in a carousel will only lead to analysis paralysis — and ultimately even fewer conversions.Lesson #7: Video is a huge advantage.In Crayon’s 2015 State of Video report, the company found that video appears in 70% of the top 100 search results, while websites that incorporate it tend to see two more minutes of on-screen time than those that don’t.Simply put, this means that video is powerful.It grabs your visitor’s attention in a way that text alone cannot and adds more dimension to your brand. Video allows you to put a face and voice to your brand, making it more human. It also allows you to communicate more information about your product, brand, or culture in a shorter amount of time.The quicker you engage and explain your value to website visitors, the more likely they are to stick around and take action. Need inspiration? Check out this roundup of fabulous explainer videos.Lesson #8: Don’t force visitors to think.Like I mentioned in lesson #6, giving your visitors too much information can lead to inaction — that’s because you’re forcing them to think.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

Mike Yurcich on Chris Carson: ‘He’s the Man’

first_imgYurcich went on about his senior running back and the “two” in his newfound 1-2 punch in the ground game.“Physical, tough back who really overcame a lot of adversity this season, came back really strong from an injury, and has really produced in a big-time way, physical, punishing back that’s just really an all-around back that you never have to sub out in any situation.“He’s the man.”When Chris Carson came to Stillwater he brought lofty expectations, but ineffective play from he and the offensive line, along with some injuries hampered him in his first year-plus.But in the seven games since returning from an early-season hand injury Carson has been a man, amassing 453 yards and seven rushing touchdowns at a clip of 7.7 yards per carry.For his perseverance and huge rule in the Cowboys last six wins, Carson was voted a team captain by his teammates.“At first I was kind of shocked because there’s a lot of good players on the team that are deserving of that award,” said Carson. “I’m going to take advantage of it, and it’s a blessing, like I said.” 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. “Chris is exactly what we hoped he’d be.”Mike Yurcich was the front man for Oklahoma State’s offensive press conference on Tuesday in San Antonio. His charge? To open the media availability for OSU’s offense as they looked forward to Thursday’s Alamo Bowl against Colorado.His goal? To make a point of each of his players who graced the podium.He started with the two obvious choices, Mason Rudolph and James Washington, who mostly spoke about their decision(s) to return to Stillwater in lieu of the NFL Draft. He finished with the elder statesmen, red-shirt senior Austin Hays and red-shirt junior Zach Crabtree.But book-ended in the middle was the second-year player who will play his last game as a Cowboy on Thursday.last_img read more

Dez Bryant Crashes QB Meeting, Wants More Passing Plays

first_imgAfter throwing a touchdown pass in the Dallas Cowboys’ 42-21 win over Detroit, former Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant reportedly tried to attend the quarterback meeting the following day.Dez Bryant tried to attend the Cowboys’ QB meeting after throwing a TD vs. Detroit ? https://t.co/VTNuYO4V77 pic.twitter.com/0bgEluNeGo— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 28, 2016 Bryant became only the fifth player in NFL history to have one passing touchdown and two receiving touchdowns in a single game. Supposedly, Bryant had a cannon for an arm even in his days at OSU.??‍♂️He used to mess around before practice and throw passes. He has a hose. #okstate https://t.co/tR9Zsootu2— Gary Calcagno, M.A., MSCC, RSCC*E (@calcagnogary) December 27, 2016Still, with home-field advantage locked up through the NFC playoffs and not much to play for in the Cowboys’ regular season finale against Philadelphia on Jan. 1, the lefty’s passing career is probably over for now. In the playoffs, though, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will likely keep Bryant’s passing ability in mind — and it’s safe to say that Bryant will remind him until then. Cowboys VP Stephen Jones: “Dez tried to go to the quarterback meeting this morning. He’s lobbying Scott for more plays.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 28, 2016center_img 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

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 33 Kevin Henry

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. We’re on the eve of the start of fall camp and just over one month from the start of college football. Let’s continue our countdown with a linebacker that saw the field in all 13 games as a freshman in 2016.How he got to OSUA three-star safety out of Baton Rouge, Henry was originally committed to hometown favorite LSU. He was a versatile, three-sport athlete who earned Louisina 4A all-state honors in football . Henry also held offers from the likes of Miami and Ole Miss.What he’s done in StillwaterAfter a redshirt season in 2015, Henry played in every game last year. Since arrival two years ago, the 6-3, 205-pound safety has transformed himself into a 230-pound linebacker with the speed and versatility needed for Oklahoma State’s Star linebacker role. He got his feet wet in certain coverages and on special teams in 2016 and could be looking at an increased role in 2017.AdChoices广告Role in 2017Linebacker may be the most underrated position group in both talent and depth at OSU. But if you can play, you’ll see the field. Especially with the amount of plays Glenn Spencer’s crew will be put through over the course of a Big 12 season. Expect the increase of number (28 to 33) to coincide with an increase in reps.Noteworthy stats and highlightsHenry had a career-high five tackles against Texas Tech last year. He assisted on a tackle for loss against Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. And he showed off his playmaking ability, snagging his first career interception during last year’s homecoming game. The play would effectively ruin West Virginia’s perfect season and give Mike Gundy his 100th win. Here’s a look.last_img read more