A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to journalist Upendra Rai, who was arrested by the CBI last month for allegedly using fake information to gain access to airports across India.Special CBI judge Santosh Snehi Mann granted bail to Mr. Rai on furnishing a bail bond of ₹5 lakh, with two sureties of a like amount. The judge had last month refused bail to the journalist.The counsel for Mr. Rai submitted that no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody as the court had on May 9 rejected the CBI’s plea seeking further custody of Mr. Rai.The other accused in the case are Air One Aviation Limited, its chief security officer Prasun Roy and unidentified Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) officials.
Dislocation usually occurs as a result of sudden direction changes while running and the knee is under stress or it may occur as a direct result of injury.Review Date:6/13/2010Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Originally published Jan 18, 2007 1:27:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Presentations I have recently come across some interesting Powerpoint best practices that I thought I would share with you. Steve JobsThe first best practice was from watching Steve Jobs’ presentation at MacWorld this year. What was fascinating about his slides is that they were either just a picture or just a picture with a couple of words in extremely large font. It turns out that Steve wants the audience to listen to him tell the story, rather than read the slides. Here’s a picture of one of Steve’s slides:In contrast to Steve’s slide show, here’s a picture of a slide from Michael Dell. Michael’s would work well if it were designed to be sent to someone who would not have the benefit of hearing the story live, but next to Steve’s slides, they just seem cluttered.Guy KawasakiI recently read Guy Kawasaki’s “Art of The Start.” In addition to being a good author/blogger, Guy was one of the very early Apple employees and more recently has been a venture/angel investor type where he has listened to countless Powerpoint presentations. Presumably because he is tired of seeing poor Powerpoint presentations, he spends many pages in his book talking about Powerpoint best practices. There were a few nuggets of Powerpoint wisdom among a lot of content about it that stuck with me a few days after finishing the book.His mantra is that Powerpoint should follow a 10/20/30 Rule. There should be no more than 10 slides in the presentation — very few people take away much more than one concept from a presentation, so all that other stuff is extra. The slide presentation should be designed to last 20 minutes, leaving room for ample questions/discussion between slides or after the presentation. Guy points out that the point of the presentation is typically to initiate a discussion. He says the font should be size should be no smaller than 30 (Arial font). Guy says that audiences read faster than you can talk, so that while you are up there talking, they are trying to read your slides and not listening to what you are saying.He says that there are something like 60 animation features within Powerpoint and he recommends the less use of it the better. His advice is to use your voice/body to emphasize when a point is important, not some fancy Powerpoint trick. The only place he recommends using any of this is in going through bullet points on a slide, presumably to avoid having people read ahead. Speaking of bullets, Guy suggests that bulleted slides should have one point with bullets and only one layer of bullets (lest you violate the 30 part of 10/20/30).If you have some great Powerpoint tips, please do share them with us…– Brian Halligan.
that want If you think you should be using Black Hat SEO or you are missing out, I have only three words of advice: DON’T DO IT! There’s a dearth of people out there that even get fundamental SEO, understand how the various search engine algorithms work and how to do more than just guess at the weight of various factors impacting search results. The number of people that actually know enough to employ really advanced black hat techniques is vanishingly small. The number of these people that On with the article. those elite few people that actually do know enough to apply these highly advanced techniques and you could connect to them. How would you know one if you met her? This is a bit like the public stock market. The chances that some fund manager has figured out a consistent way to “beat the system” are pretty low. Your problem is, even if they’re out there, you wouldn’t know how to separate those that make the claims from those that can actually do it. Originally published Dec 3, 2007 9:46:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 First off, for those that are not familiar with the term “Black Hat SEO” it usually refers to highly controversial tactics used to manipulate the search rankings of a given web page and are generally in violation of search engine guidelines. Second off, if the title of this article seems strange to you, you’re probably too young to have been exposed to the “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids” TV commercials. No worries. Your enjoyment of this article will not be affected. you For those that are feeling unsatisfied with the brevity of this advice, and need more words, let me expand a bit more: BLACKHAT SEO IS NOT WORTH IT FOR MOST WEBSITES. Instead of spending a lot of time and money on black hat SEO, you’re probably to find. When you do this, you’re working Let me say that one more time, for emphasis: The best way to optimize your website and get more/better traffic via search engines is to make the content on your site something people actually are probably associated with is close to zero. Even if certain techniques do actually work today (and I’m sure there are some smart folks out there that have figured some out), the search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. Chances are, if somebody has found a “back door” to unduly influence the search results, this door will eventually be closed. worth risking having your site banned completely? 1. Real Black Hat SEOs Might Not Exist In Your World: Reasons You Don’t Want To Use Blackhat SEO So, here’s the build-up of arguments: You probably don’t know someone that really has the talent to do black hat SEO well. Even if you did, you wouldn’t know it. Even if you knew it, you couldn’t hire them or afford them. Even if you could hire them, it probably wouldn’t work for you. Even if it did work for you, it’s probably temporary. Even if wasn’t temporary, it’s just too risky. Any questions? 3. Even if you can pick them, you can’t hire them: 5. Even if it does work, it’s probably temporary: There are many, many factors that go into search engine algorithms. Some are more important than others, but it’s really, really hard to know whether a specific black hat technique will actually work for you. The more advanced the technique, the more likely that there are specific situations within which the technique works. Lets say for a moment that there Assuming you could find some small edge and that will last long enough for it to be worthwhile, you have to balance this benefit against the risks that you’re taking. Is a potential increase in traffic via organic search with much Technical SEO really 2. Even if they exist, you can’t pick them: Topics: 6. Even If It Lasts, It’s Really, Really Risky: Assuming you had some uncanny ability to really pick out the true uber-experts, chances are, you couldn’t hire them because you couldn’t afford them. If they’re good, they’re either working on some super-big project for some mega-company that can spend some real money — or working on their own private projects. 4. Even if you could hire them, their ideas may not work for you: better off simply doing things that makes your site and it’s associated content more rank-worthy. are the search engines — not against them. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Advertising Back in 1999 a lot of startups burned through all of their cash on crazy advertising programs and marketing stunts. Even though HubSpot recently raised $12 million in venture capital financing, that’s not us. In fact, because we use mostly inbound marketing, we spend relatively little on marketing. So, I thought it might be fun to think about the ways we could (but won’t) spend the money.Send 17 Million Pieces of Direct Mail. There are a bunch of services where you can rent a list, they will print, address and mail a postcard for you for about $0.70 including postage. There are 25 million businesses in the US, we could get rid of the 8 million that are not a good fit for HubSpot, and send the rest of them a postcard.Place 50 Million Cold Calls. I found this service online that will make 1,000 cold calls for $250. Well, I’ve got $12 million dollars, and I figure I should get a little discount for buying in bulk. With 50 million cold calls, we could call every single business in the US…. twice. How awesome would that be! Talk about a great way to get the word out. After just a couple weeks every single business owner in the US would know HubSpot. Talk about buzz!!!Create a mascot and make it world famous. I am thinking that we need to do something with the orange widget in our logo. Give it a face and a name, and have it walk around and talk to people about marketing. Maybe it could also be really snarky and sarcastic and make funny jokes about how lame most advertising is. We’ll schedule some time with the creatives at our NYC advertising agency and then hire a director to film some short movies with our new mascot. (Inspiration: Do you remember the Pets.com sock puppet? It was a character that the startup created to market itself. When the company finally went bankrupt, many people speculated that the sock puppet character was worth more than the company.) Buy 1 Billion Pop-up Ads. If you assume a $12 CPM for pop-up ads we could get a billion of them. Imagine a billion pop-ups invading every computer online. We could do all of the “best practices” for pop-up ads. “Squash the monkey and win a prize.” “Pick who will win, Obama or Hillary.” “System message: Your computer is about to electrocute your mother unless you click this box and pay $9.95 to have the virus removed.” I think the response to this would be huge!Start a Fleet of 5 HubSpot Blimps. This would be cool. We just pick the 5 best markets in the US for HubSpot and park a blimp overhead 24×7. A blimp is about $2 million, so this plan still gives us $400K to pay for gas and pilots for each blimp (and you thought I wasn’t thinking ahead). Everyone in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco would be wondering “What the heck does HubSpot have to do with a blimp?” We’d be wondering the same thing. But it would still be cool. Put Marketing Devices Similar to Bombs in a City. You all heard about the backfired marketing stunt in Boston from Turner Broadcasting? Where they put electronic signs that got mistaken for bombs around the city? Sure, it shut down a lot of the major roads and got them sued and they had to pay a ton of fees in damages to the city. But talk about BUZZ, baby! The stunt got them coverage in the New York Times! All PR is good PR as they say. And with $12 million we can place a lot of devices and still pay off a bunch of lawsuits. Bring it on!The HubSpot NASCAR team. Sure, there is not a strong connection between NASCAR fans and HubSpot’s target market. But who can resist the lure of getting involved in one of the fastest growing sports in the US, especially when it is much more open to commercial involvement that other sports. A cool $12 million will net us a lead sponsorship of a lower level NASCAR team, including our logo on the car, uniforms, using the crew in marketing events, and more. Hire a Celebrity Spokesperson. Want a great way to get people to pay more attention to your company? Hire a celebrity as your spokesperson. GoDaddy has Danica Patrick. Accenture uses Tiger Woods. I had a hard time thinking about who would be best for HubSpot. But I think Oprah might be a good choice – she has proven she has staying power, and she is basically a self made marketing success having promoted herself for years. Another choice might be Martha Stewart. I’d just want to hear her say “HubSpot, its a good thing.” But I guess the whole insider trading and prision thing might not be a positive for our brand. If you have ideas about this, leave a comment. I’m all ears. 10,000 Hours of Infomercials. Have you ever bought a set of steak knives from a late-night TV ad? What about a juicer or car wax? And don’t forget any number of cleaning products from electric sweepers to miracle stain removers. Do you dread your nights of insomnia because you fear it will cost you more than just lost sleep because the infomercials are too convincing? Clearly we’re missing a big opportunity here. I mean at 2am when you can’t sleep, you are certainly looking for some inbound marketing software. HubSpot Infomercials, here we come! “Get started fast with just 12 monthly payments of $250! Buy today and get a Free Website Grader Report!” Send 250 Billion Spam Emails. Yes, 250 BILLION with a B, baby!!! This is an even better deal than those cold calls. I found this service online that will send 4,000,000 “opt-in emails” for just $200, and again, they discount at higher volumes so I should be able to get an even better rate. Think about the effect this would have. If we sent them all at once we could probably crash the entire Internet. Sure, probably a lot of them would be blocked by Spam filters. But some of them would have to get through. Plus the buzz factor would be tremendous!!! Pretty much everyone on the planet could get an email from HubSpot. Or every person in the US old enough to use email could get 1,000 HubSpot advertisement emails. That’s one a day for three years. Huge! The best part about this program… they take credit cards online so I get 12 million AMEX points once I fill out my expense report. Can you say 4 weeks all expenses paid in Tahiti? I can!What would you do if you wanted to waste $12 million on marketing? Leave a comment with your own funny idea.The Funniest Idea of How to Spend $12 Million to Market HubSpot will Win a $100 Amazon Gift CardPost your idea as a comment on this article. The comment must be made by 12 midnight on Tuesday, May 20, and I alone will be responsible for determining what the funniest idea is.Update: Contest is Now ClosedThe winner is Pete from www.elrhino.com. His reponse, and the accompanying Boston Globe article was the one that caused the most out loud laughter around the office. Click here to open the full size version in a new window. Pete should email me at mvolpe [at] hubspot [dot] com to claim your prize.There were lots of good ideas! All the other tattoo ideas were good, the in person pop-ups suggested by Lisa Warnock were cool (and actually could be do-able on a small scale), and the awesome idea of HubSpot toilet paper by Darren Angus with the slogan “When you least want to be interrupted, you’ll be happy we are there.” I wonder what Charmin would charge for that? Originally published May 19, 2008 10:36:00 AM, updated October 29 2019 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
There has been a lot of discussion this week in the A-List blogs about the role of a PR firm within the world of inbound marketing and social media. I have been thinking about this for a while, both as a blogger (who is now getting pitched by PR firms), an active social media person, and a client of a PR firm – and part of a company that has a strong presence on LinkedIn (group with 7,000+ members), Facebook (over 600 fans) and Twitter (still growing, but employees like me have 100’s of followers). In fact, I have been asked to speak on this very topic at the upcoming Worldcom conference in Montreal (a conference of hundreds of PR firms).Changes Challenging the Value of a PR FirmDirect Relationships – Does the media expect direct relationships with the company (through social media) rather than having the PR folks as a “go-between”? If so, can the PR Firm play a role at all?Speed of Publishing – The old world had quarterly or annual editorial calendars. Now A-list bloggers decide what to write that morning while having a latte in their robe in front of their laptop. HubSpot has gotten coverage within 50 minutes from ZDNet because I responded to a question on Twitter from a blogger. When the time between idea and article can be 30 minutes, can a PR firm really help a client get coverage?Approachability of Media – The media today are really pretty approachable, unlike the old days where it was hard to get a meeting with a writer for the Wall Street Journal, today you can follow the key media players on Twitter, be friends on Facebook, comment on their blog, etc. So, if the relationships are easier to formulate today, what’s the value of a PR firm?To review some of the discussion going on right now, Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion thinks that PR firms need to adapt, because bloggers and “new media” people want to “discover news for themselves” and not be pitched by PR folks. Michael Arrington at TechCrunch says that “PR as a profession is broken”. Ouch. Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins from Mashable says those who “position themselves in the mindset that they aren’t gatekeepers for information but connectors for entrepreneurs and resources for journalists” will be a productive resource for their clients. Robert Scoble from Scobleizer thinks that “there’s no reason to go crazy with a PR firm if you build something that people want.” And Todd Defren of PR-Squared posted a response (including a video of me). But probably the best summary and comment on the debate (besides this article of course! 🙂 comes from Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWrite Web who summarizes his article with “Is it worth the expense and loss of direct experience for many startups to hire PR people? It probably is.” How a PR Firm Can Provide Value TodayResearch – You could spend the time finding the best 100 bloggers who write about your specific niche, but having someone else do this for you can save time, especially if they do it for a living and have access to tools to make it easier and faster. Same things goes for researching conferences, events, speaking opportunities, awards, etc. HubSpot has won a ton of marketing awards, and for most of them our PR firm found them and did everything for us.Training – Few people are social media and blogging experts, and if you hire the right PR firm, they can help bring their expertise into your company. Don’t let them do everything for you, make them train and educate your marketing team (not just marcom, product people too!) and executives about social media, blogging, how to comment on blogs, how to use Twitter and Facebook, etc. Inbound Marketing relies on using your entire company for marketing, and teaching people how to do it can be a great way for your PR firm to provide value. Even though we think we know a lot at HubSpot, our PR firm has taught us a thing or two and we’ve tried some new stuff based on their suggestions.Create & Publish Content – PR folks are experts at writing, and increasingly audio and video too. Your PR firm can help you figure out how to take your boring company announcement and craft it into an interesting story, even if it is not for a news release, it can be just for your company blog. Your PR firm can also interview employees, customers and others and post videos on your blog or website, etc. They do this stuff all the time (if they’re good) and might be able to do it better and faster than you can. Our PR firm has written more than press releases for us – they don’t write for this blog – but other stuff has been helpful.Pitching / Relationships – There are some times when a PR firm does have relationships you don’t have, and times when that makes sense. A lot of these relationships might be “old media”, but old media is still important to a lot of companies. For instance, Business Week, Inc Magazine, and others will probably only cover you twice in the next 5 years (if you’re lucky), so does the writer really want a “relationship” with you. Probably not. But a PR firm brings lots of different clients to the table, and having a relationship with the PR pro might make sense for the writer. Our PR Firm is really completely responsible for our relationships with print media. We just don’t interact with those folks much ourselves.Monitoring – Good PR folks will do a great job of monitoring all the right blogs, social networks and other conversations for relevant information. They then should email you and tell you to respond, comment, or react on your blog as necessary. Even if you have a ton of RSS feeds, alerts and more set up, you might miss some things. Our PR Firm doesn’t send us too much in terms of monitoring because we use lots of tools (including HubSpot software) to monitor things ourselves, but about once a month they send something I missed, and it’s usually good. But, we have about 10 people actively monitoring 100’s of blogs and 100’s of search feeds daily (not kidding, the joke is that we consume 40% of the Internet on a daily basis). I bet that your company has way fewer people in your company doing this stuff, so your PR firm will provide tons more value here.Beyond these points, I also think there is something to be said for the ability for a PR firm to relatively quickly ramp up your capabilities, whereas if you were doing things internally it might take a lot longer to find and train a productive internal person. Don’t take this as a glowing recommendation that everyone should go out and hire a PR firm today. But, I also don’t think they should be swept under the rug as useless – there is a lot of value a PR firm can provide in the right circumstances for the right client. As always, understand what all your possible tools can do, then choose the right tools for the job. A PR firm might be one of those tools.Here is some more of my thoughts on video: Note: HubSpot is a client of Shift Communications, and we’re happy with what we have accomplished working with them over the past year. But we also talk frequently with them about how to make the relationship work best for both of us. I recommend all companies do that with your PR firm. Maybe this article can be a starting point for the conversation with your PR firm.What do you think? What is the role of a PR firm today? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss. Public Relations 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: Originally published Aug 13, 2008 6:44:00 PM, updated March 21 2013
, 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 complaint
Originally published Apr 20, 2010 11:05:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t include one of those silly calls to action. Granted, images won’t guarantee a trip interrupted by the SPAM filter, but they certainly help. At worst, your leads’ email programs don’t render them, and you end up with ugly images. At best, your leads open your email and roll their eyes at the “artwork”. Either way, you’re well on your way to the Delete key. Make it look exactly like a newsletter. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Write only about your product or service. Lead Nurturing “Cut your IT costs with virtualization!” “Free Seminar!” “Get your V!agra now!” All of these (and probably many others that you can think of) guarantee that your email will be ignored. As a free bonus, many of these might even help your email go straight to the SPAM folder! . Write a canned subject line. If your newsletters already don’t get people’s attention, use this opportunity to try them out again! And the more impersonal the better, so that your leads truly don’t feel like you’ve given any effort to nurturing them. Unsubscribe link, here we come! Lots and lots of images. But seriously, folks, the bottom line is that you need to provide good, useful content with a compelling subject line, a personal message, and a sound late-funnel call to action. It’s going to take more work, and you’ll have to actually provide value, but you’ll end up with better leads and more customers in the end. freezelight Image courtesy of You and your sales team have spent hours and hours developing sales-y content; this is the perfect place to use it! It doesn’t matter at all that your lead has already seen this on your website. It doesn’t matter that it provides zero true value to help your lead solve their problems, it helps you get your message across! Right? Right? Well, okay, so maybe they’ll tune it out immediately, but it’s a great way to pat yourselves on the back while turning off your leads. Topics: For fun, let’s look at the other side of the coin–how to guarantee you’ll be ignored. And certainly don’t link it to a landing page! If your leads make it through your subject line, many images, and sales-y content, you definitely don’t want to make it easy to follow up with you! For that matter, don’t include a real reply-to address either. Hey, if your leads can’t figure out how to connect with you, they don’t deserve to give you money.
4. Use Your Free Content to Build the Value of Your Business What are some other ways you can get the most out of the content you give away? One way to convince newcomers of your content’s quality is by using numbers. Advertising that “o or that John asks a question that your prospects might also ask themselves: “How good can something that’s free Originally published May 17, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 According to John, the five problems with free content are: intelligence is a great way to signal your content’s quality using As inbound marketers, it is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls of giving away free content and the strategies we can use to effectively leverage it. 1. Create Accountability Eroded Value 2. Build a Reputation for Quality If you provide lots of quality content over time and give it away for free, the value of your business’s really interesting article 5. Be Unique in Your Community ver 20,000 people have signed up for this webinar” Lowered Expectations John claims that free content is more likely to attract casual sign-ups from people who never end up actually attending your webinar or viewing your content. As a marketer, create incentives for your leads to stick around. You could advertise that you’ll be sharing a coupon code at the end of the webinar or offering a sneak preview of a new feature. Having a teaser – and advertising it – is a great way to ensure your leads view your piece of content and become more qualified. John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing wrote an . This is similar to the last point. Make sure your content is high-quality and not “slapped together” to meet a deadline. If your leads feel energized, enlightened, or enchanted by your content, they’ll be far more likely to become evangelists for your company – and we all know that nothing beats word-of-mouth recommendations. “817,000 marketers are receiving our content” be?” It is important to make sure that you’re not just making content for content’s sake – your prospects want to know,“What’s in it for me if I sign up for this?” last Friday, bemoaning the over-use of free content as the central tool of inbound marketing. In the article, he lists five reasons why “free is hurting us all” as both content makers and content consumers. The article caught my attention – not necessarily because it’s wrong – but because it raises some worthwhile critiques that all inbound marketers should be aware of to ensure we get the most from our content. Just because there are a growing number of marketers leveraging the power of free content, doesn’t mean your content will get drowned out in the noise. Create an edge that makes your content – and your business – seem unique and special. Blocked Revenue will grow. At HubSpot, we’ve had employees get offered paid speaking engagements because of the expertise they’ve exhibited and thought leadership they’ve established by giving away free content on our blog. 3. Raise Expectations Community Buster No accountability Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Fee Fighters Giving away free content sacrifices short-term profit for long-term brand awareness and thought leadership, and that can turn into cash down the line. is another great example of a company that is positioning themselves well in their industry by differentiating their content and their company. Find a good story that fits your business, and use that to create a unique position that keeps you relevant. social proof At HubSpot, we used the “Good vs. Evil” struggle between inbound and outbound marketing, and positioned ourselves as the good guys.
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 2016
Originally published Sep 6, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Once you select the interests you want to target, you can carry on with the rest of the campaign as you normally would, including tweet selection and budget. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Keep in mind you can also target people, not just companies. Thought leaders who are very influential in your space — like bloggers, authors, and social media personalities — are likely to have followers that are similar to your target audience!Do you plan on using Twitter’s latest promoted tweet update?Image credit: lucianvenutian Topics: Pretty easy, huh? Now, let’s learn how to target your promoted tweets by specific usernames.Target Twitter Users by UsernameLet’s start by clearing up one misconception about targeting promoted tweets by username: When targeting specific usernames, you’re not making your promoted tweets visible to people who follow that specific username. Instead, Twitter determines other usernames that are similar to the username you selected, and promotes your tweets to those people.Why is this the case? Well, let’s say you want to target people who like cooking shows, so you enter in the username @homecookingchannel. You want your reach to be as large as possible … but only as far as it includes people who are actually interested in cooking. Therefore, Twitter isn’t just going to promote your tweets to everyone who follows @homecookingchannel. They’re going to promote your tweets to everyone who follows @homecookingchannel that actually cares about cooking (not, you know, the account holder’s dad who just followed because he was told to). From there, Twitter will look at other users who may not follow @homecookingchannel, but exhibit the same care for cooking based on the content they share, and promote your tweets to those usernames, too.You may be wondering how Twitter finds the people to target your promoted tweets to. Well, because this targeting method is for timelines and not specific search terms, it’s a little unclear how a person on Twitter’s interests are determined. But we do know that Twitter’s algorithm uses the topics discussed on Twitter, keywords uses, and followers of each person to determine if they are a good fit for your timeline campaign. So if someone’s tweeting about their favorite quinoa recipes, Twitter knows they’re probably a good fit for @homecookingchannel promoted tweets.Let’s go through one more example to clarify this. Let’s say you’re interested in promoting your tweets to marketers. With this new feature, you could target your campaign at people who are similar to the followers of the username @HubSpot. Why? Because HubSpot is known as a thought leader in the marketing industry, so a large amount of our followers are likely to be marketers. Additionally, people who are similar to our followers are also likely to be marketers, and Twitter can tell based on whether they’re actually talking about marketing on Twitter. Here, you can look through general interests, and drill down into more detail to the right. Twitter Updates Last week, Twitter launched a new update to their promoted tweets that should get marketers pretty pumped. Now, you can target your promoted tweets to users based on their interests. Pretty groovy, eh?Before this launch, people were able to promote tweets in timelines, search results and profiles. Targeting a specific search term, however, was the only way an advertiser could control who saw their tweets. That left the rest of their promoted tweets to be targeted to “followers,” “people like my followers,” or everyone. No more! Now Twitter advertisers can show promoted posts to the people they are actually interested in targeting.There are two ways this new update can be used: You can target by interests, or you can target specific @usernames. Here’s how to do both.Target Twitter Users by InterestBefore we get into logistics, ask yourself … do you know what your target audience’s interests are? If not, you might need to do a little brushing up of your buyer personas.Great, glad that’s taken care of. So, you want to target Twitters users with promoted tweets based on their interests? Makes sense — greater relevancy should increase the effectiveness of your promoted tweets! Twitter determines interests based on what the user is talking about, following, and the keywords used. To utilize this feature, you must first click on “Browse Interests.”
Ziglar was the author of more than 29 sales and motivational books, including See You at the Top and Over the Top. Because he has motivated so many marketers and salespeople throughout his more than 50-year long career, we thought a great way to honor his life would be to compile a list of some of our favorite Zig Ziglar quotations — quotations that any marketer, salesperson, or business can learn from.Click here to download our full collection of inspirational quotes from industry thought leaders.17 Motivational Quotes to Honor Zig Ziglar1) “Every choice you make has an end result.” (Tweet This Quote)2) “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” (Tweet This Quote)3) “Your business is never really good or bad ‘out there.’ Your business is either good or bad right between your own two ears.” (Tweet This Quote)4) “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” (Tweet This Quote)5) “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” (Tweet This Quote)6) “If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” (Tweet This Quote)7) “Remember that failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.” (Tweet This Quote)8) “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” (Tweet This Quote)9) “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” (Tweet This Quote)10) “If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.” (Tweet This Quote)11) “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” (Tweet This Quote)12) “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.” (Tweet This Quote)13) “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” (Tweet This Quote)14) “Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.” (Tweet This Quote)15) “Timid salesmen have skinny kids.” (Tweet This Quote)16) “For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.” (Tweet This Quote)17) “Stop selling. Start helping.” (Tweet This Quote)Zig Ziglar will be greatly missed, but we can still all learn a lot from his motivational wisdom. Thank you, Zig.To leave your condolences for Zig, his website asks that you visit his official Facebook Page here. Marketing and Sales Alignment Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 28, 2012 4:49:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 17, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Blog Optimization Topics: We always hear that blogging is important for our search engine rankings. But like … why?It’s one of those things that we often just assume people know, but you know what they say about assuming.Since we haven’t explained the connection between blogging and SEO in-depth for a long time, we figured it’s high time we get to it. So, this post is going to explain how you can use business blogging to improve your SEO, and perhaps show you connections you didn’t realize existed between the two disciplines. If you nail all of the stuff on this list, your SEO will thank you!How to Improve Your SEO With Your Business Blog1) Blog.Wait, what?I know, it seems obvious, but just … blogging … is one of the easiest ways to improve your organic search performance. Why? Because every time you write a new blog post, you create a new URL for your site — and every new URL is a new opportunity for your website to be ranked in search.Now think about it. How many other parts of your website give you the opportunity to create a new page that discusses important terms for which you’d like your business to rank on an ongoing and perpetual basis? Not that many. (How many times can you really update your About page, you know? And how many different About pages could you conceivably make, anyway?)If this seems basic, forgive me — but it’s one of those things that’s so obvious it bears shouting from the rooftops. Blogging provides endless opportunities for your website to rank in search for content your persona cares about. Don’t underestimate how powerful that is.2) Create unique content.Now that you’ve bought into the connection between blogging and SEO, let’s talk about how not to screw it up. The first rule of thumb is to make sure the content you are creating cannot be found on other blogs — your own included. This is commonly referred to as “duplicate content,” and search engines don’t like it.Sure, you will probably end up writing about the same topic from time to time, but writing about the same topic from a different perspective is very different from duplicate content — and actually very important for a well-rounded blog. Why? Because examining important topics from multiple angles allows you to naturally target a variety long tail search terms. Most topics are pretty multi-faceted, and the questions people have will run the gamut. The more unique ways you can address a subject matter, the more likely it is you’ll bring in some highly targeted search traffic — and increase the overall value of your site in the process.3) Optimize your blog posts for topics … and keywords.That ellipsis will make sense in a minute.When writing blog posts, it’s important to use keywords that you want to rank for, especially in your page titles, headlines, and body content. I won’t deny that, and you absolutely should optimize your on-page content for important keywords.However, you’ll get way more SEO bang for your blogging buck if you focus more on choosing good topics. Why? Because topics are reader-oriented; keywords, on the other hand, are search engine-oriented. And you know what? Search engines are in the business of serving readers … so by extension, they’re in the business of promoting the websites that serve readers best. That means the websites that are writing topics that readers want to learn more about are the ones that win — not the ones trying to write around keywords. Google has even gone so far as to update their search algorithm to better align with topics, not keywords.In reality, if you think about reader-friendly topics, you’ll probably be naturally optimizing for keywords, anyway. So think of great blog posts that readers would want to … you know … read … and better search rankings will likely follow due to that natural keyword optimization.4) Include authorship information.Have you ever searched for a topic and seen blog posts appear with an image like this? This is what happens when you utilize Google+ Authorship. Essentially, it makes it easier for the search engines to find the author tag (rel=”author”) and attribute the content to an individual thought leader. Posts that include this authorship information often benefit from better clickthrough rates, too — probably because a pretty picture is impossible to resist. ;-)Oh, I guess that whole social proof thing — seeing how many people are in an author’s Google+ circles — might have something to do with it, too.5) Design a blog with a fantastic reader experience.Believe it or not, search engine algorithms can actually detect if a blog provides a good user experience — and they factor it into their decision to surface content in the SERPs. And it makes sense; search engines are in the business of surfacing the content that’ll make their customers the happiest. Why wouldn’t they want a top-notch reader experience for the blog content they choose to surface?Being able to navigate around a page, find the blog posts you’re looking for, and even utilize the tagging feature to search for other similar articles are all extremely important for a positive user experience on a blog. Let’s take a look at TemboStatus’ blog as an example:Their design is incredibly simple to digest: You can immediately identify the title, author, and publish date, and on the right you can search for posts by topic or month. You can even click the topic tag directly on the post to bring you to other similar topics. This blog is a prime example of phenomenal user experience because it’s easy to use and designed to be visually appealing.Note: Search engines also value quick load times — especially on slower connections like mobile. This should be considered an integral part of your blog’s user experience if you really want to knock your SEO out of the park.6) Make sure your blog is responsive.According to Google, 79% of users who don’t like what they find on a mobile site will actually go look for the information they need on another site. How do you prevent that kind of bounce? The kind of bounce that signals to Google that your content ain’t so hot? Well, responsive design is a huge part of it.Responsive design, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, means that your website is built so that it will conform to whichever device you’re viewing it from. So if you check out this blog post on your mobile phone, it’ll look different than it looks on this desktop — the content “responds” properly to the device on which it’s being viewed.People are using their mobile devices more than ever to browse the internet. But if your blog isn’t responsive to mobile and tablet devices, readers are more likely to find the same or similar information elsewhere. Check out our free Device Lab if you’re unsure whether your website is responsive.7) Build your site to be shared through social networks.We’ve been talking about search engines as businesses — their product is quality search engine results, and their customer is … all of us. What’s one way they can ensure the content they surface is community approved?By asking us all to vote on the best content.That’s exactly where social sharing of content comes into play. You’ve probably heard that your blog should have social sharing buttons on it, but you might not have known why. If a lot of people share your blog content on social media, it’s a pretty good sign to search engine bots that it’s a quality piece of content, and they won’t look stupid for surfacing it.And hey, remember what we said about responsive design? By putting social sharing buttons on your responsive site, it will be easy for your visitors to share your content on multiple devices. After all, you don’t want to lose potential shares of your content just because someone is looking at it on mobile, right? Right.What other opportunities are there to improve your SEO through blogging? Share your expertise in the comments.
Topics: Originally published Apr 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated November 29 2017 Calls to Action We’ve all heard the regular call-to-action best practices by now. Write compelling copy. Choose appealing images. Have a solid value prop.All important stuff, to be sure.But what about the people who have fixed all the common CTA errors? (You can find the errors in this SlideShare if you want to check yourself.)Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesThere are other, less-talked-about ways you may be hurting the success of your CTAs — and by extension, your lead gen. Let’s talk about those.You’re scared of using too many.CTA confusion is a real thing, which is why it’s common to preach only using one primary CTA per page. It’s the primary “thing” you want your visitor to do, after all.But sometimes there’s more than one right answer. And I’m not talking about just adding in a secondary CTA, either. (Which you should absolutely do — read this post if you want to learn more about secondary CTAs. Or read this one if you want to learn more but only have like 20 seconds.)Instead of worrying about the quantity of primary CTAs on your page, think about the quantity of primary CTAs on your page that help you meet the goal of that CTA. For instance, if the goal of your homepage is to drive more MQLs through RFP requests, go ahead and put more than one RFP CTA on there — even if they’re totally different RFP CTAs that lead to totally different RFP request landing pages. The problem with multiple primary CTAs isn’t that they exist — it’s when multiple CTAs exist that are encouraging actions that are totally counterintuitive to one another, and detract from the effectiveness of the page.You’re not writing custom copy.As your offer library grows, you’ll have less trouble finding CTAs to match your content. But if your offer library is growing, chances are your content strategy is more sophisticated, too — which means you’re writing about more specific, niche subject matters. That’s a good thing, but your CTAs can start to look pretty generic next to those extremely personalized content pieces.Let’s take this blog post we published a while ago as an example: “How to Satisfy Every Stakeholder In Your Next Website Redesign.” We had a CTA ready to go that we’d used for a while that promoted our offer Website Redesign Planning & Progress Kit. This is what the original CTA for the offer looked like:We emphasized the progress tracking a little more than the strategic aspect, because at the time, it’s what we talked about more.But this new blog post really focused more on the strategic parts of managing website redesigns — the part where you have to get a bunch of internal stakeholders on board. So, we customized the CTA copy to reflect the audience to whom the post was targeted. Here’s the customized version:We’ve since customized our offer CTAs when we’re emphasizing something the CTA copy doesn’t reflect, and consistently see improved conversion rates as a result.You’re not updating your design.If you’ve started to see a disappointing leveling off of your CTA clickthrough rates (not submission rates, mind you), it could be due to design overexposure. It doesn’t mean the content behind the CTAs is stale — just that you’ve oversaturate your audience with a design such that it’s fading into the background. It’s commonplace. It’s not “jumping off the page” anymore. Personally, I feel like this blog could use a CTA design refresh. I know it might be a good use of time because when I compare the clickthrough rates on these two CTAs, the latter is almost double the former.It’s probably because it’s a break from the visual norm for our readers. We’ve had this gray design for a bit. If you’ve also had the same design for a bit, consider a refresh to help improve your CTA clickthrough rates.Your CTAs are too smart.Sometimes, a CTA should be kind of stupid. (This is a joke we make here when opting not to create “smart” or “dynamic” CTAs). What I mean by this is that just because you have some cool segmenting functionality doesn’t mean you should always use it.For instance, let’s pretend you’re launching a new product. Or hosting an event. Or releasing a new offer you want everyone to see. These are all instances in which smart CTAs can be counterintuitive to your goals, because you’re segmenting for the sake of segmenting. Consider who you actually want to see your CTAs before you get segmentation-happy.You’re not trying new placements.I don’t know why we all decided CTAs belong at the bottom of blog posts and only the bottom of blog posts. Actually, I do know why. Because once upon a time, we had this idea that people read every word we wrote. If you’re still reading this part of the post — hey, thank you. I appreciate you sticking around.But I also know that statistically, most readers don’t even get 60% of the way through an article. So why not provide an earlier conversion opportunity?For instance, we performed a test to see if slide-in CTAs helped clickthrough and submission rates. It did. (You can read more about that test here, and learn how to create your own slide-in CTAs.) We also performed a test to see if in-post visual callout CTAs helped clickthrough and submission rates. They didn’t. At first. Then we tried adjusting other variables, and found they worked, but only when they were ridiculously contextual. So, if we wrote a section in a post about Evernote, and then served up a visual CTA related to Evernote, that would improve the post’s overall CTA clickthrough and submission rate.The moral of the story is this: We’ve always tested CTA placement on every other part of our site — why not test it on our blog, too?You’re not updating CTAs on old pages.But old pages are … old. Why should I update them?If they’re still up, they might still be getting traffic. Check. If they are still getting traffic, you have two choices: Take the pages down, or update the content. I highly, highly recommend latter.Most people won’t have time to do a serious overhaul of all the page contents, especially because many of the pages that will fall victim to the still-getting-traffic-but-content-is-old issue will be blog posts. And the nature of blog posts is that you write a lot of them and, unless they’re all evergreen, time will take its toll. So instead of rewriting dozens if not hundreds of blog posts that still get traffic, update the CTAs on those posts. This could mean making “stupid” CTAs smart, adding new creative, or replacing the CTAs with new offers entirely.I recommend going through this exercise once a quarter if you’re a frequent blogger (daily or more) and twice a year if you’re a semi-frequent blogger (anywhere from 1-5 times a week). You should also go through the exercise with your non-blog site pages about twice a year to see if the CTAs on pages that still receive a lot of traffic are as relevant as they could be.Audits are never fun, but it’ll help you get more bang from your buck with your CTAs. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Jan 25, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated January 25 2015 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 13 Pervasive (And Totally Wrong) Myths About Sales Reps from InsightSquaredEnjoy this post? To read more content like it, subscribe to Sales. Inbound Sales (Marketing) This post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.If you presented the average person with the prompt “Salespeople are …” and asked them to fill in the blank, what do you think they would say?Daniel Pink conducted this very experiment as part of his research for the book To Sell is Human. When asked to identify the first word that came to mind to describe “sales” or “selling,” the most prevalent answers included “pushy,” “sleazy,” “ugh,” “yuck,” “dishonest,” and “manipulative.”Okay, but how do you really feel?Salespeople are no strangers to the stigma associated with their profession, and most laugh it off. But the saddest part about these stinging stereotypes is that most simply aren’t true! For instance, if every salesperson was indeed a liar, there wouldn’t be any satisfied customers to be found. If every salesperson was intensely aggressive, they wouldn’t have any clients. Obviously, neither of these conditions are reality. In this SlideShare, InsightSquared tackles the damaging labels that often get affixed to those in sales. The next time you feel you’re being judged unfairly based on your job, forward along this post and provide some enlightenment.
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 2017 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 SlackSlack
Topics: Freelancing Originally published Aug 6, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated September 14 2017 189Save Writing blog posts and other content takes time — time you and your team might not feel like you have to spare.And yet, you keep reading that companies regularly publishing quality content to their blogs are reaping the biggest rewards in terms of traffic and leads. Better yet for those companies, those results continue to pay out over time thanks to search engines.How can you maintain a great company blog when you and your team are juggling so many other marketing responsibilities? For many marketers, the answer is hiring freelance writers.The demand for freelance writers is high, and a lot’s been written about how to hire them, how to screen for quality, and how to build and manage a team of remote writers.Use the free HubSpot Invoice Template Generator to create professional invoices in minutes. But very rarely can you find data to help you answer tough questions. How much should you pay freelancers? Should they receive the byline — or not? What affects the quality of their work?CopyPress recently ran a survey with nearly 250 freelancers to figure this all out. Check out the infographic below of their findings.(P.S. Any freelancers reading? We’ve got something you might find helpful: Check out our brand new Invoice Template Generator here to ensure you get paid on time, every time.)189Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
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 Topics: 330SaveHow do you follow up with a prospect gone quiet? Share your tips in the comments.
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 2017
Blog Headlines Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes the headline of your blog post can be even more important than the article itself.Think about how many headlines you read every day while searching online or checking social media. What makes you actually click on the article and read it? Usually, it’s the headline — which is why it’s so important to spend time coming up with a good one.It’s easy to let all of that overwhelm you and just settle for a “good enough” headline. But that’s not how you’re going to be able to grow your blog. Before you publish a new post, you need to come up with a compelling headline that catches the reader’s eye — otherwise your post may not get read at all.Download data-backed tips on writing catchy titles and headlines. There’s a certain science to writing a great headline. Some headline templates or formulas tend to work better than others. For example, research shows that informative headlines like lists (that start with a number), how-to titles, and guides tend to get more readers and shares.Want help in quickly writing an attractive headline? Create your own using the templates and ideas in the infographic below from IntNetworkPlus. First, pick one of the six headline templates; then, mix and match from the adjectives, verbs, phrases, and calls-to-action below to create unique, compelling titles that readers will want to click on.1K+Save1K+Save Originally published Aug 9, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017 Topics: