Dalit man beaten and forced to drink urine

first_imgFour persons have been arrested in Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh on the charges of beating a Dalit man and forcing him to drink urine after he refused to work on their fields, the police said on Tuesday.The station house officer of Hazratpur police station, Rajesh Kashyap, was also suspended for negligence in failing to lodge a case on the victim’s initial complaint.Sitaram Valmiki, in his complaint, said that some influential men in his village beat him with shoes and slippers and abused him after he refused to harvest their crops. Mr. Valmiki said he wanted to work on his own field first. He said the accused started hitting him when they found him gathering fodder in his field. He was then tied to a neem tree and beaten with slippers and shoes, he claimed.“They also pulled my moustache and forced me to drink urine,” Mr. Valmiki told reporters. Though the incident took place last week, it came to light only after the newly appointed U.P. SC/ST Commission Chairman Brij Lal wrote to the police to take action.last_img read more

BJP to offer tarpan for ‘slain’ Bengal cadre

first_imgThis Mahalaya, the last day of the Shraadh period of the Hindu calendar, BJP working president J.P. Nadda will, in Kolkata, participate in offering “tarpan” to nearly 78 BJP workers, who, the BJP says, lost their lives in political violence since 2013. It will mark, what party leaders say, a systematic block-level upward plan to combat the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.“On September 28, Naddaji will be in Balurghat in Kolkata along with family members of around 78 of our party workers who had been slain because of political violence, and will offer ‘tarpan’ for their souls,” Lok Sabha MP and State president of the BJP Dilip Ghosh told The Hindu.The event seeks to push the narrative of not just “widespread violence” against the BJP allegedly by the Trinamool but also that the party is the only one that has the ‘stomach’ to take on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on her turf.Party president Amit Shah held a meeting of office bearers involved in the State a few days ago, and as a starting point has asked that a four-member committee be set up for each Assembly constituency. “Each of these committees will include an MP, a legislator and two West Bengal leaders who will not be local to that constituency, in order that a correct report of the situation in the area be recorded, away from any local prejudices. The committees will be constituted by October 8 and the report handed over to the State core group. All reports will then be reviewed by Amitbhai [party president Amit Shah] in the first week of November,” said a senior source in the party.Political programmes on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill will also be undertaken across the State. “Protests over the ‘appeasement politics’ of the Trinamool in each block of the State, will be undertaken from October 15 onwards,” added the source.The BJP is hopeful that these programmes will not only strengthen the basic organisation of the party down to the block level, but will give a momentum to the campaign for the 2021 Assembly polls.last_img read more

Five Ways the YouTube Generation Is Replacing the MTV Generation

first_img When MTV went on air in 1981, .]  2. Stay Relevant Will It Blend Today there’s a new revolution happening: YouTube is killing the MTV star. MTV and cable television is steadily being replaced by online videos produced independently by high school kids in their bedrooms, software executives with senses of humor and millions of others. Youtube Marketing [This article was written by guest contributor Kate Morris of 5. Make it Known the first video it played PlumberSurplus Viral Campaign Making a wildly popular video that has nothing to do with your business or doesn’t talk to your customer will create traffic on your site, but no business. That is ultimately what you DON’T want (in most cases). (Example: As a consumer, you no longer need to wait on your couch to see what the vee-jay plays next. Videos like this one mocking the Backstreet Boys spread across the web like wildfire. All this creates a huge opportunity for you as an individual and as a marketer. With quality videos, you can reach a broad audience, and become part of the independent production movement replacing MTV. Just as if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, you can’t hide your video on your site and tell no one. Put it on YouTube, tell friends, send out an email, use other mediums to announce it. Buzz is king, and to get buzz about your video going, you have to start it yourself. Anybody with a video camera has a chance to get the world’s attention. The power is no longer in the hands of production companies and professional artists. People have a real say in what is shown, what is popular, and what’s just plain bad. So how do you produce quality videos that spread? Here are my top five tips:center_img 4. Don’t Be Pushy www.longhornkate.com ) — Video marketing is a powerful tool that can take your business to the next level, but also runs the risk of getting buried with everyone else’s videos. You need to make sure that you stand out in the crowd and reach who you need to talk to. (Example: Why make something if it’s not going to benefit your company in some way? Make sure people know that you are behind the awesome videos you create and give them a way to find you. ) 1. Be Memorable 3. Make Your Point was “Video Killed the Radio Star.” That marked the beginning of a revolution in television and music for an entire generation. If you have the right product or idea, the traffic and buzz will come to you. The key is to stay on top of trends and reach people where they are. Let them have the power and be rewarded in return. Originally published Sep 3, 2008 9:15:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: While you need to make your point, you can’t “sell” people too hard. Make your video something fun, something people will want to see and share. Let it sell your services for you. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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

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

The Power of Long Tail Keywords: an Interview with HubSpot’s Favorite 80’s Hair Metal Guitarist

first_img He had an interesting story to tell recently, and we thought our blog subscribers would like to learn more about a recent lead of his that turned into a sale. Andrew Quinn: mild mannered sales trainer by day, scary 80’s hair metal guitarist by night. , fine brewers of Jean Sam Adams Download our (full disclosure: we sit next to each other on the 5th floor of One Broadway, Cambridge) Andrew: Jeanne: SEO for Lead Generation Kit that made sense to my prospect, and in the geography that I was willing to travel and play in.  We are a niche band, and we want to stay in Eastern Massachusetts, getting the best gigs possible, here.  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack that helped to find my band, Wildside, was “80’s cover band in Boston area”.  And, because I optimized my I looked for a market segment that there wasn’t much competition in, and since 80s music is tough to play, I thought there was an opportunity for my band.  It’s really worked out for us.  And, we were able to have fun with the site.  convert site visitors into leads Andrew: Wild Side band website Jeanne: Well, the Originally published Jan 1, 2010 1:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 I have form and a Keyword Optimization I thought about the Almost everyone that works at HubSpot has an avocation that absorbs them off-hours.  Most are avid ping-pong enthusiasts, sci-fi addicts, or foodies.  Not many – if any – are into heavy metal, particularly 80s “hair bands”.  Of course, we have one such individual.  He is our main man in the training area responsible for graduating successful inbound marketing specialists, consultants, customer success managers, engineers, and marketers. long-tail keyword for paying gigs.  I keep my show schedule up-to-date and I post YouTube videos from recent performances.  Andrew: on every page, so that I can Andrew: : for that key search term and 421 others by using Keyword Grader, my band was found by the words and phrases , Andrew, I overheard you talking to someone yesterday about a gig for your band.  Can you tell me where the lead came from?   If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking of starting to work on their web presence, what would it be? ew: Topics: Learn moreabout how you can optimize your site to get found online in searchengines to generate more leads for your business. Jeanne: Any final thoughts? ne: . call to action Andr ale, lager, and beer.  They want us to play at their 25th anniversary party at Lansdowne Pub in Boston on January 20th. searchengine optimization for lead generation kit Doors open at 8 PM.  Tease your hair and bring a friend! Jeanne:  How do you come up with relevant content for your site? What did you do to make your site special? Boston Beer Companylast_img read more

Why Inbound Marketing Might Not Be Working for You

first_img Photo courtesy of .  Email marketing ROI? What email marketing ROI? wrong.  You can put in the time and energy but still sligthly miss one or two essential things that are the difference between ho-hum and amazing results.  Diagnosing the problem and correcting it can make a huge difference in your results.    You’ve been blogging carefully away. You’re using your long-tail keyword phrases strategically in your blog titles.  You’re linking to other pages on your website with keyword phrase anchor text.  You have relevant calls to action at the end of each article, and you blog twice a week without fail.  Why isn’t anyone subscribing to it?  Why don’t you have any followers and only your mom has left a comment? Your blog is stuffed with sales content.  You haven’t considered your prospects’ interests or needs, and you’re pretty much just tooting your own horn. just Your blog is a desolate, lonely place. These are only three examples of many.  Have you ever seen inbound marketing go from just okay to terrific?  How can we learn from your pain?  You spend hours on each email marketing campaign you send.  You are very carefully reusing old blog content to provide perfect value to your prospects (and you haven’t made the mistake in the last paragraph!).  You have engaging subject lines and people actually click on some of the links in the email.  But are you actually Do you have a stunning, shiny call to action button? Yes.  Do you have a naked landing page with a short form and a sexy picture?  Yes.  So why aren’t you getting conversions?  You don’t have a quick description of what people will get when they fill out the form, so instead of getting leads, you get bounces. gettingcenter_img something from your efforts?  How can you justify the time you’re spending?  By including calls to action.  Give your recipients something to do or to get for free (via a landing page, of course), and you’ll discover that you’re getting a lot of response from leads you thought were ice cold.  You’ll even discover that you can measure your ROI. You’re not getting leads.  For example… Topics: Unless you’ve been living in a hole for a while (or this is your first visit to our blog), you may have noticed that we’re a bit, uh, enthusiastic about inbound marketing.  And we give a ton of tips & advice to you about how to do it.  What I’ve noticed, however, is that it’s easier than I expected to get inbound marketing Originally published Jun 10, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier Blogging 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

Set Expectations with Email Subject Lines [Data]

first_img There is nothing worse than getting an email from a company that clearly has no idea who you are. The obvious example is women getting emails clearly addressed to men and visa versa. 54 New Data Slides for Your Marketing Decks –  13.7% (OR) – 26.0% (CTR) Topics: Marketing Slide Show In-a-Box [Ready to use/share] 65 New Charts for Your Presentations – 14.3%(OR) – 22.8%(CTR) In our latest eBook, “ Get Key Marketing Trends from the Marketing Data Box and you quickly find out which ones get the best results. Recently we sent out five test subject lines for the same email and found out right away which one got the best results.  See if you can guess. Originally published May 13, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 A lot of energy is often put into a clever subject line that gets a good open rate. However, if it has little to do with the content in the email itself, you not only get horrendous click through rates, but you also damage your brand. Email marketing doesn’t lie.  It tells you right away what your open and click through rates were. The open rates were fairly close, the range going from 14.3% to 13.7%, but the click through rates were dramatically different with the high being 26% and the low being 10.4%. People get hundreds of emails a week and when they read them they do so with an expectation that was set up by the subject line. When writing your subject lines start by making sure it has a strong connection to the email itself. If after you’ve tested a number of variations and you still get low open and click through rates it’s not the fault of the subject line – it’s probably your offer. Writing bait and switch subject lines won’t change the eventual results either; they will just make people leery about reading your next email. Then in the body of the email, a slightly different greeting can make even more of an impact. The purpose is to let clients/customers know you are aware that they are clients/customers, while letting prospects know you understand their needs. 65 New Marketing Charts for Your Presentations – 13.7%(OR) – 24.3%(CTR) And the Winner Is! Marketing Slide Show In-a-Box [Ready to use/share] – 14.1%(OR) – 14.8%(CTR) Personalizing the Expectations 54 New Data Slides for Your Marketing Decks 7 Steps to Jump-Start Your Email Marketing Strategy So which of the five subject lines did you choose as the winner?  Here are the resultscenter_img ” we talk about segmenting your lists and changing the messaging to appeal to different groups. For example, say you want to promote the same offer to prospects and existing customers or clients. 65 New Marketing Charts for Your Presentations People Don’t Like the Bait and Switch : (OR is open rate and CTR is click through rate) 65 New Charts for Your Presentations Test a number of subject lines test similar subject lines A general rule of thumb is that the more thoroughly you can segment your lists and personalize your message, the better your response rates will be. And if you can personalize those expectations in your subject line and greeting, you’ll get even better results. Get Key Marketing Trends from the Marketing Data Box – 12.7%(OR) – 10.4%(CTR) Download the free ebook to energize your lead generation efforts and build more buzz around your business. This points to the importance of subject lines, not so much as the way to improve your open rate, but more as a way to set the expectation. All of these subject lines introduced the identical email, so it wasn’t the layout or wording within the email that had an impact. It was the subject line that set the tone. Free Ebook: 7 Steps to Jump-Start Your Email Marketing Strategy A step-by-step guide to email marketing for lead generation. Which one did you pick? Why do you think the winning one got the best results? First you would for both groups. You could further test tweaks to the winning subject line – one that acknowledges the customer or client. Email Subject Lines 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

8 Tips for Leveraging Platforms for Marketing [@InboundNow #37]

first_imgPhil Simon joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s social media and inbound marketing podcast! Phil is the author of The Age of the Platform, The New Small, Why New Systems Fail, and The Next Wave of Technologies. He focuses on the intersection of people, management, and technology.In this episode, we chat about:The concept of building platforms and planksAdopting community and letting people develop on your platformLearning from the gang of four (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google)How to compete against an entrenched platformTips on building your own platformEmerging platforms to keep an eye onGetting people to build on top of your platformThe future of where the platform is headed Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Oct 20, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013center_img Check out other episodes of Inbound NowPlatforms and Planks”All platforms are not the same. The planks that I have in my platform, for example, are different than the planks that HubSpot has in its platform.”Your platform is your core business, and your planks are all the other elements and areas that lead back to your main platform. The more planks you have, the more powerful your platform becomes.It’s all about diversifying and not being afraid of failure.Adopting Community and Letting People Develop on Your Platform”You want people to take your product and services in different directions.”An example of this is Twitter and TweetDeck. Several months ago, Twitter bought TweetDeck — a company that took its API in an interesting direction.Learning From the Gang of Four”One of the bones of contention in a few of the interviews I’ve given is this notion that a small or medium sized company can’t learn something from Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. I say yes it can.”There are lessons for mid-size companies to learn from the gang of four (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google). Perhaps you can implement Google’s notion that engineers get to play around one day a week, or create your own app in the App Store.You can build your own platform, even if you’re just a company of one.Can You Compete Against an Entrenched Platform?”Look at Facebook. It was by no means the first social network. There was MySpace. There was Friendster. There was Classmates.com. But if you read an excellent book that I referenced in The Age of the Platform, in The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, he writes about how Mark Zuckerberg, back in 2000, 2001, was obsessed with speed.”Being first to market your product means nothing if you can’t support the volume and you can’t scale.On the flip side, there is something to be said for being first (you can build an online bookstore tomorrow, but it won’t overtake Amazon anytime soon). It’s just not always a given. It’s a competitive edge to be first, but it’s not a given that you’ll always be first (things go viral very quickly).Tips on Building a Platform”By building a platform and embracing this notion of ecosystems, you can increase the probability that when something happens, you can respond really quickly.”You can’t be afraid of experimentation or failure. Look at your platform, and see what planks make sense. For Phil, he runs a publishing company and he does speaking — so having a book and being active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn make sense.You can’t predict the future, but you can be prepared to act.You want to make your own platform as easy as possible to navigate. Don’t spend the time and money integrating video into your website — be on YouTube and Vimeo. You can take advantage of other platforms by using them as planks of your own.Emerging Platforms”There’s no reason that the Gang of Four has a monopoly on platforms.”Twitter, believe it or not, could be considered an emerging platform. They’re not quite at the level of Facebook, in Phil’s opinion, but they’re getting there through partners in different ecosystems.WordPress is an emerging platform. A fraction of the top thousand websites are running on WordPress, and they have a whole community of developers and companies that take WordPress in different directions.There’s also Salesforce.com and Force.com. They’re trying to let people build bridges to and from data, giving them apps, etc.Getting People to Build on Top of Your Platform”If you look at what the Gang of Four does with marketing, I think it’s very different than traditional marketing. I would argue it’s not marketing to people and not marketing at people. You’re almost letting the users and the consumers market for you.”Some of the companies we’ve mentioned do traditional advertising. But the real value is from people evangelizing their platforms on their behalf.The Future of Platforms”I think that platforms will become more and more important. Technology keeps changing faster and faster. People are looking for convenience and the one-stop shopping.”Phil sees platforms becoming more important. But if companies don’t continue to change and evolve and embrace uncertainty and risk, they won’t be around.Connect With Phil OnlineYou can follow Phil on Twitter @PhilSimon and on his main site. Also, make sure to pick up his new book, The Age of the Platform. Inbound Marketinglast_img read more

How Context Strengthens Your Entire Marketing Funnel

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 Show Targeted Images: In some cases, it might even make sense to modify the imagery leads see on your landing pages and website pages. If you primarily sell to two different groups of people (architects and contractors, for example), and you know that a lead is a contractor from his or her past downloads or page views, why not show that lead relevant images of contractors using your product — images that they can better identify with. Context You Can Gain : Behavioral Data: As prospects move through your website (even on their first visit, before becoming a lead), you are probably collecting web analytics data on their interactions with your site. But is that data stored in aggregate, or is it tied to them as an individual? When they finally do turn into a lead, can their history of page views and important events be applied to their record in your CRM and marketing databases ? Can you use that data to determine their buyer persona and lifecycle stage ?  Lead Intelligence: The first time a lead comes to your website, it’s important to consider how they got there. Are you tracking the channel or campaign that first brought them to your website? If they came to you from a search engine, are you capturing the keyword that introduced them to your brand, as well as the first page they viewed? This can give you important context about their initial interest and what their intentions might be.  Forms & Landing Pages Context You Can Apply Targeted Images and Messaging: Landing pages present a huge opportunity for applying context about a lead, and many of the same rules for applying context to website or blog pages apply to landing pages, too. Targeting images is a great starting point — targeting all of the content on the landing page based on who is seeing it can be even more effective. (Note: This should be something your marketing platform can handle on the back end. In HubSpot, for example, Smart Calls-to-Action that are targeted based on the viewer can direct users to different, targeted variations of your landing pages.) Context You Can Gain Ask More Detailed Questions Over Time: Forms are all about gaining context about your leads. When a prospect or lead is willing to fill out a form, it’s a special moment — you have demonstrated enough value that the prospect is willing to give you some valuable information in return for what you’re offering. But when that special moment occurs, are you taking full advantage of it? Dynamic forms that use a feature called progressive profiling can ensure you never squander that special moment by asking the same question twice. Instead, progressive profiling analyzes what you already know about a lead, and pulls from a queue of questions to ask for details you haven’t already collected. Using progressive profiling is a fantastic way to accumulate more valuable, deep information about your leads over time. Originally published Feb 19, 2013 4:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Lead Generation Email & Marketing Automation  Context You Can Apply Granular Segmentation: This is perhaps the biggest opportunity to leverage what you know about a lead to market to them more effectively. When you have a large volume of data about each lead, you can segment your database more granularly and send closely targeted messages to each segment that better match their interests and where they are in your funnel. Your segmentation might leverage implicit details like lead score, page views, key actions, or responses to specific types of content; it might also leverage explicit details like company size, job title, geography, or other characteristics.  Personalized Message and Sender: You’ve all likely noticed this in the emails you receive — a personalized subject line, and content within that addresses you by your first name, for example. But why stop there? There are plenty of other ways you can personalize the content of an email . For example, you might mention a detail like the lead’s business vertical, geography, or something else that makes the email feel more personal and relevant. Or, if the lead is being worked by a specific sales rep, why not personalize the sender name to make the email appear to be coming directly from the rep the lead already has a relationship with? Context You Can Gain Engagement With Your Messages: This one is fairly obvious. Over the course of an email campaign, tracking which messages (and which parts of each message) resonate with your leads can give you important insight into their interests and where they fall in the buying cycle . For example, if a lead clicks on a link in an email that’s offering them a free consultation, you might infer that they’re further along in the buying process than someone who converts on an offer to download a purely educational ebook about an industry topic.  Your CRM System & Your Sales Process Context You Can Apply Lead Intelligence for Your Sales Team: Over the course of a lead’s journey — from their first encounter with your brand until the point at which they’re ready for sales intervention — you’ve likely collected a lot of data about them that could be valuable to your sales team. Your sales team can likely infer details about a lead’s interests, their level of urgency around a potential purchase, their level of fit for your product, and much more. Since most CRM systems aren’t natively designed to handle the volume and type of data that a marketing campaign is capable of generating, it’s also important for you to consider how you can help surface relevant, interesting details for your sales team. HubSpot, for example, gives your sales team access to a chronologically ordered timeline of lead interactions , along with a way for you to quickly surface the most important details for your sales team. center_img Topics: Context You Can Gain Details From Other Sources: Depending on your sales process and the origin of an individual lead, your CRM system may be full of details you can use to better target and personalize your marketing messages. Think about the context a sales rep could capture during a five-minute conversation with a lead who turns out to be a good fit for your business, but is not yet ready to make a purchase. If your sales team isn’t already capturing that data in a structured way, it may be worth considering if it’s possible to fit capturing these types of details into their workflow.  Social Media Social media is a channel that can’t be personalized in the same way email messages or your website can be personalized, but there are still ways in which you can apply context you have about your leads to the content you share in social media. Context You Can Apply Context From Past Leads as a Whole: Looking at your leads database overall, or leads from past social media conversions , are there things you can infer about your best leads that can help guide your future content strategy? Do certain content offers resonate with more people — or people who represent a best fit lead? Do certain types of offers seem to work best in social media as a channel? Context You Can Gain Behavioral Data: Similar to email, social media presents an opportunity for you collect implicit details about your leads. What offers resonate with your leads? In general, your social media posts should be heavier on content, and lighter on direct pitches or landing pages, but are you able to track when a contact interacts with your content through social media, even if it’s just a click on a link to a blog post and not a conversion on a landing page? With the tools available to marketers today, there are a lot of different ways to optimize your funnel and improve your marketing — from A/B testing button colors and experimenting with PPC bids, to website redesigns and testing different types of blog posts. All of these are important, but few can have the kind of impact across all of your channels in the same way as a concerted effort to share context between your marketing tools, and apply it to the content you create ( HubSpot’s software can do all of the above … wink wink). How big a role does context play in your marketing? In what ways can you improve? When you think about your marketing funnel, how do you think about the work you do to optimize it? You may have never considered it, but a lot of what you probably do is work to minimize the number of breaks in your marketing chain.Ideally, you should be working to carry information and context about your leads throughout the different stages of your funnel — minimizing as many breaks in your marketing chain as possible, and strengthening the impact of your marketing. And today, minimizing breaks in the chain means putting your data to use in as many ways as you can. In this post, we’ll walk you through exactly what this means in a modern-day marketing world — and how you can apply (and gain) context in your individual marketing channels to help you more effectively move leads further and further down the funnel. First, a Brief History of Data-Driven Online Marketing The Early Days of Online Marketing In the early days of online marketing, tools like Google Analytics helped us understand our audience in aggregate. Minimizing breaks in the chain meant figuring out what worked on a high level, and optimizing our marketing to make it more appealing to our audience as a whole. We saw which keywords drove traffic to our website, and we worked to rank higher for those keywords. We saw which pages our prospects were viewing, and we put calls-to-action on those pages. Web analytics fueled a revolution in marketing based on data, but it was marketing in aggregate. In other words, we didn’t have a way to connect the dots between the mass of traffic we were measuring and the real people it represented. The Middle Ages of Online Marketing In what I think of as the middle ages of online marketing, technology took us a step further. We used a lot of different marketing tools — an analytics tool, a CRM system to tap into our sales team’s data, an email marketing tool, a landing page tool, a blogging platform, a social media tool, etc. We could optimize each channel individually — landing pages based on their conversion rates, emails based on their open and clickthrough rates — but sharing data between these individual systems was difficult at best, and often impossible. Wanted to infuse your CRM system with data from your latest email marketing campaign? It was doable, but very manual. Wanted to give your sales team a digestible history of interactions with a lead across all of these tools? Let me know if you ever figured that one out. A Modern Marketing Era Luckily, we’ve entered a modern marketing era where these are solvable problems thanks to integration. With a modern marketing software platform (like HubSpot ), all of your marketing tools talk to one another, right out of the box. (And if you still use many different tools, today you might be able to glue them together with the help of a savvy developer.) Means aside, it’s possible to do things we never would have dreamed of doing just a few, short years ago. Rather than marketing to one audience with one message, we can now market to an audience of one, delivering a consistent, personalized message specific to each individual across every medium . The content you serve to each individual can be tailored based on the context you collect from every channel.There is an important paradigm to dig into here. Every time a lead or a potential lead comes into contact with your brand, you have two opportunities: 1) to learn more about them (acquire context), and 2) to leverage what you already know (apply context to your content). And as we mentioned up top, today, minimizing breaks in your marketing chain means putting your data to use in as many ways as possible. Collecting context, and applying it to your content. Modern Marketing: Context and Content The implications of applying context to your content are huge. Your marketing results improve when you deliver more relevant messages to your prospects based on what you already know about them; and your campaigns are supercharged when you can deliver the same consistent message across every medium your prospects see. You can even have a huge impact on your sales team’s performance. In the same way a snowball grows as it rolls down a hill, you accumulate more and more data about your leads with each and every marketing touch point as they move through your funnel. And when the time is right for your sales team to reach out, that data can be transformative to their processes.Lost on where to start delivering this kind of a personal marketing experience to your leads, prospects, and sales team? Let’s take a look at some real examples of opportunities to gain and apply context with every marketing tool in your arsenal, at every step in the funnel, and through every channel your leads touch.  Website/Blog Content & Calls-to-Action Context You Can Apply Show Targeted Calls-to-Action (CTAs): It goes without saying that your website should have prominent CTAs on every page to encourage visitors to convert into leads — and motivate leads to take the next step. But are those calls-to-action targeted to show your leads an offer they’ve never seen before? Showing your website visitors an offer to download an ebook or whitepaper that a lead has already converted on can be a missed opportunity. Use dynamic, Smart CTAs to show the right content to the right visitors. last_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

7 Ways to Be Insanely Honest in Your Marketing

first_img Marketing Trends In Velocity’s latest SlideShare, “Insane Honesty in Content Marketing,” we argue for a little-used but hugely powerful strategy: taking the worst attributes of your company, product or service … and highlighting them for all to see.I really, really, REALLY believe in this approach and I’m amazed more brands don’t practice it. If you haven’t seen the SlideShare yet, check it out below. I’ll wait.  Topics: Originally published May 15, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img Insane Honesty in Content Marketing from Velocity PartnersOkay, so you’re on board with Insane Honesty. Here are seven ways to get some Insane Honesty into your content and your wider marketing, done as a listicle for maximum share-ability (hint, hint).1) Say Who You’re NOT ForLet’s face it, no product or service is right for everyone on the planet. Not even Coke.So why can’t marketers simply admit that? Why are we so allergic to excluding even the most unlikely-to-buy from our target audience?What if you said something like this:If you like your coffee on the acidic end of the spectrum, the Z-Machine is not for you. We love the soft, mild stuff. But we recognize that some people really like that after-bite in their java, so we don’t want to mislead you guys. There are lots of great machines out there that keep the acids in. Ours? Nope.”See how cool that feels?See how confident it is?Think about how you’d feel if you do actually prefer non-acidic coffee.Now think about how you’d feel if you LOVE acidic coffee. Are you more or less likely to trust this brand when they come out with ‘Z2: The High-Acid Cup-o-matic’?This is one of the most powerful — and least risky — techniques in the Insane Honesty arsenal. Use it!2) Admit to a Weak Product FeatureNo product team can innovate and develop equally effectively on all fronts. You choose your battles and prioritize the things on your roadmap, right?That means Competitor A may have a better user interface than you (while your data management capabilities kick their butt).And Competitor C may have a cheaper on-ramp product (while you have the gold-plated, bullet-proof, enterprise-class option).Traditional marketing says, “Talk about your weakest features in exactly the same way that you talk about your strongest. Tap dance.”What if you broke that phoney old convention and said something like:Okay, we haven’t perfected our data visualization yet. If pretty dashboards are your number one priority, you may find that frustrating. We decided to focus on the data quality through Q2 and Q3 (to us, that’s WAY more important) and to get to the dashboard eye-candy in Q4. Just so you know.”See how you can de-position the feature as less important without pretending you’re great at it?And how you can get the reader to consider that data quality is actually much more important than pretty pictures?And how you come off as an honest vendor who will tell you the truth even if it means losing a sale?Who the hell wouldn’t want to do that?3) Embrace the Elephant in the RoomMy mother is a genius at denial (she had to be good at it — she had an unimaginably tough start in life).We used to tease her about her ability to admire a hostess’ Oriental carpet while ignoring the massive blood stain right in the center.But marketers do this every day — it’s one of the things that make marketing shout, “MARKETING!”So what if you didn’t just admit you could see the elephant — what if you walked up and gave it a big, dusty hug? Like this:You may have heard: Our cloud app had some serious down time last year. We let our customers down and paid the price. It hurt. It hurt so much that we did the following nine things to make sure it never happens again …”All of a sudden, the story changes from “slick marketer trying to gloss over a major problem” to “well-meaning company trips up and learns from its mistakes.”The elephant is already the room, dude. It blocks your view of the mini-bar. It smells. It has ears the size of your torso. You really want to chat about the cool curtains?4) Praise Your CompetitorsThis one physically hurts a lot of marketers. But bear with me.Your competitors may be duplicitous and under-handed and down-right annoying, but you have a lot more in common with them than you’d like to admit.You serve the same people, helping them solve the same problems. You go to the same trade shows and speak at the same conferences about pretty much the same things.So, like it or not, you’re fellow travellers.We’ve all seen unseemly public spats between vendors. It’s embarrassing and both parties come out badly.Insane Honesty turns that dynamic on its head. How about:The smart folks over at BadGuys Inc. just put out a cool interview with Max McGillicuddy of Spinfast Propellers. Check it out. Max is the MAN when it comes to this stuff. Great interview. Wish we’d done it!”Yeah, I know, now you think I’m smoking something in a Colorado coffee shop.But read it again and monitor your feelings as you do so.A statesmanlike passage like this sends a loud, clear message to your prospects: This is a confident company that’s unafraid of a little competition. And these are the kind of people everybody likes: These are nice people.So be nice. Be gracious. Give credit where credit is due. You’ll live.5) Laugh at YourselfMarketers tend to have sense-of-humour failures over little things that don’t really matter. Little embarrassing things that we just know other people are laughing at behind our backs.So what if we take the joke out from behind our backs and join in the laughter? Kinda like this:We know, we know: the name ‘FourSkin’ is a pretty funny name for a drum head company. Our founder was an immigrant from Hungary, and English was his fourth language. But, hey, it’s too late now and it’s a great conversation starter. If you can’t handle it, you can call us FS. Our mothers do.”Teasing yourself completely defuses the situation and deflates the embarrassment. A bit of self-effacing humor goes a long way.6) Replace Lame Excuses With the TruthWhen things go bad, the “crisis management” team spins out all manner of nonsense to try to “contain the situation.”On Monday morning, we experienced a denial of service attack from an unknown server. Our security team responded within seven minutes to address the issue but, unfortunately everyone’s credit card numbers are now for sale on Silk Road.”Just once in a while, a company says something like:You’re not going to believe this. Last night, Jamie, over in accounts, left his laptop in a taxi. It had all our passwords on it. The good news? We got the laptop back an hour later and the passwords were still encrypted. The not-so-good news? We moved Jamie to shipping (passwords can NEVER leave the firewall under ANY circumstances and he knew that). Now here’s what we need you to do, right now if possible …”If you give them a chance, people tend to understand that people are people and — even in the best-run companies — mistakes happen.And people can smell PR spin from a mile away. They prefer the truth, even when it feels insane to speak it.7) Share Disappointments Instead of Hiding ThemDidn’t get into the top-right corner of the latest analyst report?Lose a major client or a key employee?Old-school marketers just straighten the tie, practice the grin, and face the music as if it was “Eye of the Tiger” instead of Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.”Instead, what if you say what normal people say?  What if you say, “Ouch!”?When Velocity lost Ryan Skinner, a beloved account director, to Forrester (where he’s now very happy), we could have done the normal thing and issued the standard press release to “wish him well in his future endeavours.”But we didn’t want to.We wanted to call him names.And call Forrester names.So we did.  This post, “Analyst Bastards Poach Stinkyhead Skinner from Top Agency” was fun to write, de-fused the bad news, and turned the stale convention upside down. Warning: It’s got lots of juvenile swear words.Conclusion: Not So “Insane” Anymore, Is It?So there you go. Seven ways to turn the theory of Insane Honesty into real practice in your own marketing.It may feel scary and un-natural and anti-marketing — but that’s true of all the best marketing, isn’t it?And here’s the thing: To start out on your insane journey, you don’t have to RUN the insanely honest copy you write. You just have to write it down and show it to a few people. Discuss the upside (earning trust, surprising the audience, coming off as human beings …) and the downside (alienating people who would never buy any way).Then, what the hell, just go for it. 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

What to Do When Leads Go Cold [Flowchart]

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 Passing Leads to Sales Originally published Sep 5, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.”Hi, how are you today?””I’m great, and you?””I’m doing well. Crazy weather we’re having, huh?”[Silence.]”Um … I mean, snow in September is really unusual, right? Have you ever seen snow in September before?”[Silence.]”Err … it’s funny, I had to clear my driveway and I couldn’t even find my shovel! Do you, um, know where yours is?”[Silence.]”Well, good talking to you … I think.”I’m guessing you’ve never had someone go silent on you in person. Clamming up completely while someone is desperately trying to make conversation goes against sacred social and societal norms. Turning a cold shoulder to someone you’re standing face-to-face with isn’t just uncouth — it’s downright strange.But behind the safety of a keyboard? The rules are totally different. On social or through email, non-response is a perfectly acceptable response.Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for a salesperson to have a fantastic initial interaction with a prospect … only for the buyer to drop from the face of the earth immediately afterwards. No matter what messaging the rep tries or which contact channel they use, the result is the same: radio silence.Ever been confused as to how much effort you should expend on a prospect who’s gone quiet? How about the number of times you should follow up with a silent buyer before throwing in the towel? Allow the following flowchart from HouseHunt.com to help.According to the graphic, salespeople should consider the prospect’s level of qualification and what prevented them from converting in the first place to determine a follow up strategy. With these two nuggets of information, a clear action plan will emerge. 330Save center_img Topics: 330SaveHow do you follow up with a prospect gone quiet? Share your tips in the comments.last_img read more

How to Be More Likeable: 7 Tips Anyone Can Try

first_img Originally published Oct 28, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Have you ever watched a movie where you find yourself really rooting for the main character? How about when young Forrest Gump breaks free of his leg braces and escapes the bullies on bikes?It’s hard not to let out a little, “Run, Forrest, run,” while you’re watching it, right?Likeable people tend to have that effect on us. From the way they respond to situations to the way in which they carry themselves, they make it easy for us to respect and appreciate them. They make us want to be on their team. In the workplace, likeability is incredibly important. Whether you’re managing a group of people or looking to work your way up through the ranks, your ability to form positive relationships will make it that much easier. Want to be more likeable? Try these seven things today.7 Little Ways to Be More Likeable1) Remember people’s names (and use them).”I’m horrible with names.”It’s a phrase we’ve all heard — or used ourselves — a million times. Trouble is, this often signals to people that you simply don’t care. Considering the value of introductions in the world of business — it’s a starting point for turning strangers into acquaintances, and acquaintances into customers — this is a habit worth shaking. So while there are a number of factors that could be preventing you from registering and remembering someone’s name upon meeting them, here are some of our favorite tricks for combatting them:Repeat it. Ever play the “name game” in school? The one where you say your name and then recall the names of those who went before you? Studies show that students can recall 75% of their classmates’ names after participating in the game for just 30 minutes. Point being, try repeating the name immediately after the person tells you to make it stick. Make a connection. When it comes to new information, research has shown that our ability to store information in our long-term memory is influenced by the connections we’re able — or unable — to make to that information. So whether the person you just met has the same name as your college roommate or sounds like the name of your favorite TV show character, making an effort to draw a parallel will help you in the long run.Offer an introduction. Networking your way around a room? It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re meeting a bunch of people at once. Before you let someone’s name slip away from you, make it a point to introduce them to one of your friends or other new acquaintances, advises Credit Donkey’s Cassy Parker. 2) Mind your mobile manners.Have you ever seen the video of the Chicago Bull’s mascot pouring a drink over a fan’s head who was too distracted by his phone to kiss his girlfriend on the kiss cam? What a jerk, right?Point being, likeability has a lot to do with the interactions people have — or don’t have — with you. If you’re one of those people who treats their phone like a third arm, it’s likely that you’re closing yourself off from engaging in a lot of those meaningful interactions. So while it may be tempting to Instagram your lunch when you’re out with friend of colleague, pulling out your phone isn’t always appropriate. In fact, 88% of people feel that whipping out your phone at the table is generally not a “cool” thing to do, according to a study from Pew Research. In an effort to strengthen the relationships in your life, try being more present.3) Be consistent.Think about your favorite restaurant for a minute. I’m willing to bet that you frequent it so often because you trust that you’re going to have a great meal. In other words, your loyalty is a direct reflection of the restaurant’s ability to deliver a consistent experience, right?As humans, we have a need for internal consistency. We want our attitudes, ideas, and beliefs to align and make sense. Therefore, when it comes time to make a judgment call about someone’s character, we aim to identify that sense of dependability. You see, consistency provides a sense of comfort. When we see someone deliver great work or a positive attitude day after day, it becomes easier for us to trust them. This is something that both management and potential customers look for when determining who they want to do business with. 4) Ask questions of others.Ever been trapped in a one-sided conversation at a networking event? You know the other persons’ life story — how many kids they have, where they vacationed on their honeymoon, what type of car they drive — and yet, they haven’t asked you a single question about yourself. How rude. Becoming more likeable relies heavily on your ability to make connections with people. However, in order to do so, the conversation needs to lend itself to a little give and take.Need help coming up with a few go-to ice breakers? Check out this awesome list of conversation starters to try out at your next networking event. 5) Smile more.”If you see a friend without a smile, give them one of yours.”This was my mom’s high school yearbook quote, and a valuable piece of advice for anyone looking to build positive relationships with others. This is because our emotional expressions, while often overlooked, are used by those around us to build perceptions.In fact, according to a study from Penn State University, people who smile appear more likeable, courteous, and competent. If that’s not reason enough to smile, two Swedish studies from 2002 and 2011 confirmed that other people’s smiles suppress the control we usually have over our facial muscles, causing us to smile. Talk about insta-likeability …6) Do good deeds. When’s the last time you did something nice for someone? Was it unsolicited? Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky asked students to carry out five weekly “random acts of kindness.” These acts could include anything from helping out a friend with a project to buying a meal for someone less fortunate. At the conclusion of the study, Lyubomirsky found that students reported higher levels of happiness than the control group. The lesson? Good deeds influence our well being. They make us happy. And happiness is contagious. “There are a lot of positive social consequences to being kind: other people appreciate you, they’re grateful, and they might reciprocate,” explains Lyubomirsky. Need some inspiration? Here are a few “random acts of kindness” you can carry out in your office:Buy the person that sits next to you a coffeeSend positive feedback to a team member Leave cookies in the kitchen Tape an inspirational quote to the mirror in the bathroomWrite an appreciative note for the receptionistGive someone a compliment in the elevator 7) Express empathy. Our ability to detect, understand, and feel another’s emotions plays a huge part in the way we form connections and build relationships. It also influences the way people perceive us — both personally and professionally. A workplace study conducted by the Center for Creatively Leadership took a look at the role of empathy in the professional lives of 6,731 leaders from 38 countries. The results revealed that not only was empathy positively related to job performance, but also that managers who expressed empathy towards their reports were viewed as better performers as well. If nothing else, this study proves that empathy is something we value, as it’s rooted in understanding. And the more we understand one another, the easier it is to relate and communicate.If empathy is something you struggle with, try to keep these tips in mind:Listen. Before you chime in, allow the other person to make their point entirely. Sometimes we only hear half the story, which causes us to act or respond in a way that doesn’t make sense.Keep an open mind. Rather than concerning yourself with always being right, do your best to remove any bias. This will help you see the situation for what it is, not what it isn’t.Ask questions. If you don’t fully understand where someone is coming from, ask them to clarify. Sometimes empathy can be achieved through asking questions that reveal more context. What are some other things that likeable people do? Let us know in the comments section below. Marketing Psychology 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

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Case Studies

first_img Marketing case studies analyze the ways that a customer uses a product or service. They describe a challenge the customer faced, the solutions they considered, and the results they experienced after their purchase. Strong case studies can compel others to buy a product. Choosing a Case Study Format Topics: Benefits of Case Studies Converting Leads with Case Studies Benefits of Marketing Case StudiesThe use of marketing case studies is beneficial to companies of all sizes and customers of all backgrounds. Well-crafted marketing case studies provide potential customers with engaging content that excites them to buy your product.They Tell a Relatable StoryCase studies often involve an interview with a customer that has had success using your product. Before choosing a customer for an interview, consider who you’re targeting. Your case studies should appeal to your buyer persona.When your target customer feels connected to your case studies, they will feel more confident in their purchase.Consider this: You’re buying a new software for your team. You have a few possible options in mind, so you head to their respective websites to do your own research. The first two options sound good on paper (or rather, on screen), but you want a solution you can really trust. Something that is preferably not written by the company itself.The third site you go to has a landing page that includes a few case studies. One of the case studies features an interview with an employee at a company similar to yours. You listen to that person describe challenges that they faced prior to getting the software — challenges that sound a lot like the ones you and your team currently face. The interviewee then talks about the ways that their software purchase resolved their pain points.Wouldn’t the case study you found on the third website make you feel confident that the software could help your team, too?  The key to creating relatable case studies is considering your buyer personas. That means considering demographics, company size, industry, etc. and selecting a person that the majority of your potential customers will feel a connection.They Demonstrate SuccessTake a look at HubSpot’s case study landing page. Check out the wide range of case studies listed. Notice how these case studies cover all types of industries, a wide variety of locations, different company sizes, and more.Source: HubSpotIf there are so many companies using HubSpot — to solve a vast array of challenges — then wouldn’t you assume HubSpot has a solid product that you could trust, too?Case studies demonstrate success by showing potential customers that current customers — who once had challenges similar to their own — solved their pain points by making a purchase.They Help Build CredibilityCredibility is what gives the people around you a reason to trust you.For example, let’s say you’re looking at a product on Amazon, and you scroll down to the customer review section. You find that almost everyone has given the product a five-star rating or has written a positive comment about their experience. These comments and ratings build credibility for that product and brand.Marketing case studies help your company build credibility. They also convince prospects to give your product a try when they see how many people already trust you, love your products, and believe in your mission.They Help You Convert LeadsCase studies are a bottom-of-funnel strategy that will help you convert more leads. If a prospect is on the fence about your product, case studies are the marketing technique that will push them closer to that purchase decision.For example, if a potential customer visits your website and they watch (or read) multiple case studies explaining the ways that customers have had success with your product, then they too may feel excited to become a customer.  If that same prospect just left your competitor’s website where there were no case studies, your solution then becomes an easy sell … and your competitor becomes obsolete.Marketing case studies retain value over long periods of time — meaning the same study has the potential to convert leads for years. Unless you have a revamp or a complete update of the product being referred to in your case study, it can remain on your website as long as you see fit.Marketing Case Study TemplateNow that we’ve reviewed the reasons why you should have case studies on your site, you might be wondering how to actually create a marketing case study.First, it’s no secret that video content is more effective than written content. So, if you can create a video case study, do it. If not, be sure to include images throughout your written case study to break up the text and provide visual stimulation for readers.Second, remember one size does not fit all when it comes to creating case studies. They vary in length, format, content, and style based on what experience you want to provide for your potential customers.Keep this in mind as we go through the following example … some of the content here might work perfectly in your case study, and some might need to be modified.If you need some guidance, check out HubSpot’s Case Study Creation Kit.1. Choose Your Case Study FormatTo determine which format you want to use for your case study, think about what type of content would be most beneficial for your buyer personas. You should consider what challenges your buyer personas might face, what types of industries they work in, their locations, and their business demographics.Two commonly used marketing case study formats to consider include an exposé and a transcription.ExposéAn exposé is an interview technique that covers specific details about a topic, event, or individual. If you look back at the case studies on the HubSpot landing page, you’ll see the exposé format in action. The director, or author, is conducting the interview, leading conversation, and asking the interview subject questions about their interactions with HubSpot.Tip: When you’re recording a video interview for your case study, make sure the interview subject repeats your question before providing an answer.For example, if you ask them, “What challenge did our product help you overcome?” you don’t want them to simply say “organizational challenges.” The editing process will cut your voice out of the interview, and their response won’t make sense. Instead, make sure they answer all questions as a complete statement such as, “This product helped us overcome several organizational challenges.”TranscriptionThis is a simpler case study format. It’s a transcription of an interview with your customer, meaning there is typically a significant amount of text for potential customers to read through.Be sure to include the interview questions throughout this type of case study so readers know exactly what the interview subject is referring to. Lastly, feel free to pair your transcription with a series of images or even video to break up the text.2. Conduct the InterviewThe interview is the most important part of the case study … and quality matters. Strong interviews and videos take time. It’s not unusual to conduct a one to two-hour interview just to get a solid two minutes of video to use in your case study.During the interview, you should ask your customers about their lives prior to purchasing your product, what it was like to acquire your product, and how their company’s future has changed because of their purchase.If possible, record the interview. If not, be sure to use a transcription or audio recording device to ensure accurate quotes and statements throughout your case study.Here are some sample questions for you to consider:Ask about the customer’s life prior to your product.Who are you? What is your title? What does your company do?What challenges were you experiencing that made you realize you needed a solution?Why was finding a solution to this challenge important?Ask what it was like finding and purchasing your product.Capture general commentary — information that anyone could understand — from your interview subject in this section so potential customers can relate no matter their background or experience.How did you find our product? What was your experience like while purchasing our product?Ask about your customer’s criteria during their search for a solution. What was crucial versus what was nice to have?What were the results that came from using our product? How did our product solve your challenge?Ask for numerical results and hard data. Get proof of these from your interview subject (or even your own company if you have records).What were you able to start doing as a result of our product working for you? What are the intangible results of our product?Ask about the impact that the product has had on your customer’s life.How did our product change your view of your company’s future?What are you excited about moving forward?What would your future be like without our product?After conducting your interview, it’s time to actually put your case study together.Edit your interview down to the most important, relevant information for potential customers to learn about your product. Cut that hour-long video interview down to a minute or two of the best clips.If your interview is going to become a written case study, include the very best quotes. Make it easy to read by separating your information with the help of headers, bulleted lists, images, and bold or italicized text.3. Incorporate Your Case Study in Your Marketing and Sales ProcessesDetermine how to best use the case study in your marketing and sales processes. Here are a few ideas:Create a case study library.By creating a case study library on a landing page — similar to the HubSpot landing page or this page by Fractl — you provide your potential customers with an easy way to learn about your products and company as a whole.Source: FractlA case study library or landing page will prevent potential customers and leads from having to dig around on your website for any product information they’re searching for. If this information is not easily accessible, they could lose interest, become frustrated, leave your website, or even find an alternative solution on a competitor’s site.Case study landing pages and libraries also help build credibility, look official, and typically bring in a lot of traffic — both through people searching for your company’s website and organic search.According to Fractl, their case study landing page is the second most-visited page on their entire website. Additionally, it is their fourth most-visited page through organic search. Lastly, they’ve seen a huge boost in converting visitors to leads since the creation of their case study landing page — half of Fractl’s leads view at least one of their case studies.  Surround your case studies with social proof.If so many people are saying it’s true, then it must be true — this is how companies use the theory of social proof to their advantage.Social proof theories say that people let the actions, behaviors, and beliefs of those around them impact their own. For example, some theories say most people would answer “yes” to the question: “If all of your friends jumped off of a bridge, would you?”Social proof — or in this case, your friends all jumping off of the bridge — influences people to make decisions based on the expectations and behaviors of the people around them, even if their decision would be different if they were alone.Companies use social proof in the form of customer reviews, logo walls (that is, the logos of companies that have purchased their products), or long-form videos. Social proof acts as a supplement to the information in a case study.By showing potential customers how your products have changed the lives of other individuals, teams, and companies, prospects are more likely to buy into your claims and believe your product could help them, too.Add product overviews to the case study section on your site.If you’re editing down your case study interview and realize your interviewee said something vague or made a comment that a potential customer may not necessarily understand, you can add a product overview or reference guide next to that case study.For example, imagine HubSpot is conducting a case study interview and an interview subject goes into detail about the specific functions of Workflows. A potential customer may not know much about HubSpot’s Workflows, so a detailed discussion about their features may not be relatable and could even raise some questions.By including an overview or description of Workflows next to the case study where the product was mentioned, HubSpot can provide clarity for the viewer. You will also avoid making potential customers feel confused or uninterested.Keep your sales team in the loop.Once your case study is complete, you should notify your sales team so they can use them when reaching out to potential customers. They will be able to incorporate this information into their sales enablement kits — which include the technologies, processes, and content that allows them to sell efficiently and effectively.By learning about the ways that real customers are using and benefiting from the products they are selling, sales teams can share relatable stories with potential customers and leads. These will help build trust and, most importantly, increase sales.To help your sales team narrow the vast amount of information that typically comes from an in-depth case study, provide them with key takeaways that they can share with potential customers and leads. These key takeaways should include information about the interviewee’s background, title, and experience level and details about their company’s size, industry, and potential annual revenue.This data will allow the sales team to tailor the information they share with potential customers and leads, organize it for future conversations, and make more efficient and impactful sales.4. Determine How Many More Case Studies You NeedAs I mentioned, every company is different and every product they sell is unique. Not every company will need the same number of case studies on their website to have an impact. To determine the right number of case studies for your company, think about the following tips.Cover all of your bases.A good rule of thumb is to have at least one to three case studies for each of your buyer personas.To do this, cover a range of industries and types of companies, and interview people of different backgrounds, titles, demographics, and experience levels. You should make sure there is something for everyone who visits your website.If your company targets customers all over the world and has offices located around the globe, this is especially important to consider. Think about what works for your buyer personas, your company’s location, and your goals when deciding how many case studies you need.Sometimes, less is more.Having an extensive list of case studies sounds like something everyone should have … right?Not always. Think about it this way — if your company is on the smaller side and is relatively new, there’s a chance you haven’t given your customers much time with your products yet. There is also a chance that you don’t yet have a wide range of customers.If your company then takes the time to create dozens of case studies, potential customers may feel you are being inauthentic and even unconvincing. It may also be a waste of resources that you can’t quite afford as a new business.To be effective, try to make every one of your case studies relatable and helpful for your personas. Cover multiple use cases in each of your case studies when possible. You’ll not only simplify your own life, but you also keep your case study library clean and impactful.ConclusionCase studies are powerful marketing tools. They tell your potential customers relatable stories, demonstrate your company’s success, and help you build credibility. Case studies will help you reach your audience in a way that no sales pitch, email, newsletter, or advertisement will.Plus, if your company made such a positive impact on a customer that they want to share their experience with others, why not broadcast that story?Now it’s time to start creating content that matters to your potential customers and converts more leads. Originally published Feb 16, 2016 12:36:00 PM, updated October 10 2018 What Is a Marketing Case Study? Conducting a Case Study Interview Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine you were considering purchasing a new product.Would you be more inclined to:A) Chat with a salesperson — while trying to block out the tiny voice in your head reminding you that they’re working on commission?B) Review a case study about a customer who used that product to solve a problem similar to yours?Probably option B, right? That’s because we put more trust in word-of-mouth marketing than we do salespeople.The way people consume information has changed, and buyers have all the resources they need to make decisions about what to purchase. Companies can either continue marketing the old, less effective way … or they can embrace these changes and let their customers do the work for them through testimonials, reviews, word-of-mouth marketing, and marketing case studies.Customers trust other customers — the companies that recognize this will benefit in the long run and grow better.Plenty of companies have already proven how beneficial marketing case studies can be. They are the most popular form of self-promotional marketing used by marketing agency executives in the U.S. Additionally, 88% of surveyed B2B marketers say that customer case studies are considered to be their most impactful content marketing tactic.  While chatting with a salesperson can be helpful, and even preferable for some, it’s clear that having marketing case studies on your website can be beneficial. Case studies answer potential customers’ questions, demonstrate success, build company-wide credibility, increase conversions, and most importantly, eliminate bias so your customer can make a confident decision to buy your product. Marketing Case Studieslast_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