BJP, Congress push for State holiday in J&K on last Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday

first_imgThe last Dogra monarch Maharaja Hari Singh is emerging as a new rallying point in Jammu, with both the Congress and the BJP pushing for declaration of a State holiday on his 125th birth anniversary on September 23.Congress Member Parliament (MP) Karan Singh, who is the son of the late Dogra king, on September 20 said there was a strong demand to declare the birthday of the Maharaja as a public holiday, and made an appeal to Governor Satya Pal Malik.“It is due to Maharaja Hari Singh that J&K became a part of India when he signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947. Apart from that, he was a progressive and far sighted ruler who instituted many social and economic reforms. For example, as far back as 1929 he had declared all temples in the State to be open for Dalits. I urge the Governor to declare this day as a pubic holiday,” said Mr. Singh.Mr. Singh’s two sons, in the past, had moved a resolution in the State’s Legislative Council on the issue. However, J&K’s main regional parties, the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been averse to the idea. Both the parties accuse the Maharaja of “anti-Muslims measures” and blame him for the killing of 22 civilians in Srinagar on July 13, 1931 outside the Srinagar Central Jail in an incident of firing. In fact, to commemorate the “sacrifices” of the 22 civilians, J&K observes a State holiday on July 13 every year.The BJP is equally supporting the initiative. The BJP’s new initiative, ‘Jan Jagran Abhiban’, will see the party hosting a number of rallies in the Jammu and Kashmir regions to highlight “the contribution of the Maharaja to the State”.“We expect senior BJP leaders to arrive in Jammu on September 22 during a Jan Jagran Abhiman rally on eve of the Maharaja’s birthday. The leaders will pay tributes to the Maharaja on the occasion. An exhibition will also be held,” said BJP leader Thakur Narayan Singh.The Jammu Bar Association has also thrown its weight behind the case for declaring a State holiday in J&K.last_img read more

HubSpot TV – This Brand is My Brand with Chris Brogan

first_img Paid Search Traffic Down Sharply Marketing Takeaway 2: http://itunes.hubspot.tv Marketing Takeaway karenrubin Marketing Takeaway mvolpe Rich Snippets: More control over how your content is organized and viewed by Google user chrisbrogan Inbound Marketing Summit Google Search Evolves – But Has Google Finally Lost its Core Focus? to learn how to create a thriving blog. If you are an aggressive outbound marketer, be careful about what tactics you use because you may get in trouble! New Marketing Labs FTC is taking legal action and has filed suit again the telemarketing company and the promoter of the warranties Originally published May 16, 2009 4:34:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Headlines How to interact on Twitter – @ Make sure to grab your brand on Twitter even if you aren’t ready to use it. Google beefs up Web services, search Intro Marketing cutbacks? Or are larger companies learning the value of organic search results? (Episode length: 31 minutes, 36 seconds) : Next event in Dallas on May 27-28th! : Industry trends are interesting, but whats most important is your trends and your data. Search Options: More options for how you look at search results Inbound Marketing Summit! “Shareof search traffic to websites generated from paid listings has droppedto about 7.25 percent over the last four weeks, down from 9.8 percentduring the same period a year ago.”Marketing cutbacks? Or are larger companies learning the value of organic search results? Tightereconomic times are increasing attacks on brands online through “graymarket knockoffs, phishing attacks, cyber squatting, e-mail scams,trademark abuse, and copyright and patent infringements” @ Readcenter_img CMO Council: Recession prompts more online brand attacks Chris Brogan The Evolution of Google Marketing Takeaway 1 : Maybe it’s more about quality then quantity and this is more a fad than anything else. In any case, see marketing takeaway 1. :Monitoring your brand online is a must. Use free tools such at Googlealerts, Twitter search, Backtype (for blog comments) and keep and eyeon them on a regular basis. HubSpot Software also automatically helpsyou monitor your brand and send you alerts. Chris Brogan’s blog Marketing Takeaway: and check out the @ :Search continues to evolve. Be conscious of the changes and how you canuse them to advance your website for the next generation of searchengines. Episode #40 – May 15th, 2009 (May 8, 2009)  HubSpot TV – Listen to Your Fans, Friends & Followers with Scott Kirsner Marketing Tip of the Week – Miss last week’s episode?: Computerized calls to cell phones and land lines (even those listed on the do not call registry) pitch extended auto warranties Paid Search Traffic Down 26% Twitter Surpasses New York Times and Wall Street Journal Webinar: Advanced Business Blogging Google Squared: Fetches and organized facts Closing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack HubSpot TV Guest: Learn how to build your business blog into an inbound marketing machine. Marketing Takeaway Download the free webinar Remember to subscribe in iTunes: FTC to announce lawsuits in car warranty robocallslast_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Stories of the Week: Social Media Strategy

first_img this week urges you to take a step back, do your homework and form an actual social media marketing do and its ability to filter and organize clutter.   InboundMarketing.com 2. Mashable Is Twitter hinting at a cure for information overload, Pete wonders?  He discusses the possible opportunity for a new job position based on content organization – the real-time Web curator.  Should journalists assume this new role and capitalize on this trend?  In any event, Pete’s sure a “curation” economy is starting to take shape. Optimize This Lesson: Author: Keep your message simple Developing a Social Media Marketing Strategy Lesson: Stop Building Microsites? let your content go on of Learn how to use social media for lead generation. ProBlogger of Todd Defren 3. Describe your idea in a concrete, tangible way  CNN.com Author: Think PR Squared Does your company have a Among Bernie’s recommendations are to listen first and define your objectives, whether they be geared toward competitive differentiation, market share growth or the expansion of your brand.  His final words of wisdom are to ” Appeal to and evoke readers’ emotions Look at how others are using social media, but evaluate what works best in your particular industry and for your own company before trying the same things. Lesson: Lesson:Attract readers to your business blogby creating content with “sticky” properties. for social media marketing.  What are your objectives?  What are the opportunities?  What are your competitors doing?  After all, there’s more to social media marketing than tweeting and Facebooking… Marelisa Fábrega Originally published Nov 6, 2009 7:11:00 AM, updated July 18 2013 Want to learn the best social media marketing advice from expert in-house marketers?  Read Lee’s post, which includes tips on social media strategy (oh how we’ve come full circle!), how to decide on tactics, and measuring success. . strategy?  If you’re inclined to answer “yes” because you have a Twitter handle and a Facebook page, you may want to re-think your answer. to leverage Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to generate leads and customers.center_img Lately, I’ve been noticing that content overload on the Web is becoming quite a popular topic.  To this point, Pete’s article discusses Photo by Anil Jadhav Tell a story  Author: of on Create Twitter lists using your company Twitter account to organize leaders/content in your industry. Our top article on Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die How to Write a Blog Post That’s Stickier than Velcro While he doubts the majority of microsites has an ROI worth your time/investment, he does however share his thoughts on when one might make sense – when your company is part of a highly regulated industry that needs to be cautious with content, disclosures and consumer engagement. 4. before you ,” sharing it with and promoting it to your community. .” Bernie’s main message is that, for a business, a social media strategy serves one simple purpose: “enabling your company to engage in authentic conversations with your community so you can improve your ability to attract, retain and serve your customers.”  Still, he encourages readers to stop to do some research first — inside the company and out — to gain valuable insight that will drive their strategies. Video: How to Use Social Media for Lead Generation Author: Illustrate that your message is credible by quoting statistics, studies, etc. Author: Lesson: Find inspiration to get started in the social media-sphere from experienced marketers. 5. “Sticky” ideas are those that are spread, remembered, and that people act upon.  Marisela’s guest post explains the six common traits of sticky ideas, a concept originated by the bestseller, ” Use an unexpected approach to capture readers’ attention Lee Odden Twitter’s new list function Twitter Lists: Journalism Becomes a Real-Time Job strategy One thing’s for sure – the benefit of social media involvement is hard to ignore. of Online Marketing Blog 1. Wondering if creating a microsite might be a good idea for that new campaign you’re promoting?  Exploring the topic of campaign microsites, Todd questions their worth and whether they generate any real traction. Bernie Borges Download the free video Pete Cashmore 25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips 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

ReTweet This to Win One of 3 Apple iPad Tablets from @HubSpot

first_img Yep, that’s right, 3 of the nicest Apple tablets that get announced today will be given out to 3 random people who ReTweet this post, using the ReTweet button below. Update: this contest is closed and we will be annoucing winners starting Monday. Originally published Jan 27, 2010 12:57:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 We also love you guys, our customers, and our fans, so to celebrate not only the release of what is sure to be an amazing computer, but also how awesome you all are, we’re going to give away 3. Who doesn’t love sexy gadgets? And perhaps the most anticipated new one since the iPhone is the Apple tablet, to be announced today. Sound good? Well, get Tweeting! 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 7 Slides You Need for an Epic Monthly Marketing Report

first_img Originally published Jan 27, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Marketing Reporting Here’s a challenge for all you marketers who are on top of your game: How do you make sure your marketing team is taken seriously within your own company? One important step you should take is publishing a thorough, thoughtful, quantitative monthly report on your marketing team’s impact.For as long as there’s been marketing, marketers have struggled to show their impact. But today, there’s no need to struggle. Today, it’s simple to collect the data you need to show how your marketing investments are generating revenue for your business. You just have to pull together the right reports.At HubSpot, our marketing team creates a deck of over 200 slides each month to cover every last marketing detail. That’s extreme, and it might not be necessary for all companies. But what is important for all marketers is a core set of slides that reports on  inbound marketing  results. (Note the word “results.” We’re not showing what we did . We’re showing what we achieved .)So here are some of the core slides we use to report on our results. What do you think we’re missing? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! 1. Visits by Source This is your measure of the top of your funnel. It tells you, month-over-month, how many people are coming to your site, and how they got there. You can look at this slide quickly to see which marketing channels are driving your changes in overall traffic. (HubSpot customers can find this report in Sources .) 2. Leads by Source This is your measure of your middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) activity. This slide answers the questions, “How many leads did we generate, and which channels did they come from?” You can use this report to track month-over-month changes in lead volume and to figure out ways to improve the results. For example, if you’re generating a lot of traffic to your blog articles , but you aren’t converting any leads there, you should experiment with different ways to improve blog page conversions. Maybe you need better calls-to-action (CTAs). Or maybe you need better blog offers. Whatever the root of the problem, this report can help identify its location and help you understand where to dive into the details and diagnose. (HubSpot customers can get this report in Sources .) 3. Funnel Summary This is an overall view of your marketing funnel that shows you the five most important metrics —visits over time, leads over time, customers over time, visit-to-customer conversion over time, and lead-to-customer conversion over time. This data gives you a great overall sense of your marketing team’s performance. (HubSpot customers can get this data from  Sources .) 4. Paid vs. Organic Leads This view helps you show how much of your lead flow is coming from paid campaigns and how much is coming from organic inbound marketing. If you’re trying to build an inbound marketing machine and keep your paid spend down, this slide can help you track your progress.   (HubSpot customers can get this data from  Sources  by exporting and aggregating all their organic campaigns, then comparing that to their paid campaigns.) 5. Top Blog Posts by Page View This slide helps you keep track of the content that’s engaging your community. This knowledge should help you refine your blog articles to generate even more traffic, and to refine your overall marketing strategy to better reach your target personas. ( HubSpot customers can find this data in their monthly report or Blog Analytics .) 6. Top Landing Pages by Leads This slide shows you which offers and landing pages are generating the most leads. You should know this information and constantly be testing new offers and landing pages in order to create new leaders generating even more leads. (HubSpot customers can see this in their Landing Page Dashboard .) 7. Lead Speed to Your Event This is a way to measure lead quality. In other words, how good are the leads that you’re sending to your sales team? If there isn’t much time before your leads convert into an event, the marketing team is doing a good job. If your leads take a while to convert, you need to do a better job nurturing your leads . (HubSpot customers can get this data from a CRM like Salesforce.com when it’s integrated with HubSpot.) Bonus for HubSpot customers! Most of these slides are already being created for you. Keep an eye out for a personalized monthly report that gets sent to you at the beginning of each month. The report contains a link to download a PowerPoint version of your own monthly report. Make sure you’re using it! What other marketing data do you report on for the rest of your company? Image Credit: SqueakyMarmot 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 B2B Marketers Need to Know About Customer Retention

first_img Customer Retention Rate by Industry Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Customer Retention Why is Customer Retention Important? Topics: What’s the most effective way to grow a business?You might think that the answer is to sell to more customers, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle — in fact, it might not be the most important piece of the puzzle. That’s where customer retention comes in.Once you’ve created a killer product and have identified your target market, company growth can start taking off — and it’s important to dedicate just as many resources to retaining existing customers as to selling to new customers.And that’s what your customer success team is for — to help customers see value and achieve goals using your product or service. But there’s more to it than just answering their phone calls and helping them onboard with your software — it’s about creating a process from the very beginning that fosters communication, trust, and mutual growth.Start solving for the customer today with these 17 templates. Read this guide to learn all about customer retention — how to measure it, why it’s important, and how to foster it with every new customer you attract. Average Customer Retention Rate by Industry Retention Rate Formula Customer retention refers to the ability of a company to — you guessed it — retain customers. Customer retention is impacted by how many new customers are acquired, and how many existing customers churn — by canceling their subscription, not returning to buy, or closing a contract.Over the course of a given time period, customer retention is measured by customer retention rate — more on that below. Retention Rate Formula Customer Retention Definition Before you begin to even consider a retention strategy, you need to understand what your current customer retention rate is.You’ll first need to define a period of time — whether that’s quarterly or yearly. Then, follow this formula:Customer Retention Rate = ( (# Customers at End of Period – # Customers Acquired During Period) / # Customers at Start of Period) ) X 100For example: Imagine you start the year with 20 customers, gain five new customers in the first quarter, and have one customer churn.( (24 – 5) / 20 ) ) x 100 = 95% retentionHere’s another example: You have 44 customers, you gain 12 new customers, and 13 customers churn:( ( 43 – 12 ) / 44 ) x 100 = 70% retentionOnce you know your rate, you should consider doing an audit of your churned customers to determine similarities in reasons for leaving or types of customers that leave. You might find that customers with a certain budget or at a certain company size are more likely to churn than others. Consider if you can add qualifying questions to your sales process or revise your ideal buyer persona to better reflect the attributes of your most loyal customers.Why is customer retention important?Customer retention is important to any growing company because it measures not only how successful they are at acquiring new customers, but how successful they are at satisfying existing customers.It’s also easier and more cost-effective to retain customers than to acquire new ones, returning customers spend more and buy more often, and refer friends and family. Only a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%.The numbers don’t lie: Retaining customers brings companies a ton of ROI.There are a few reasons why customer retention is critical to company growth and success:Affordability: It’s 5-25X more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. (HBR)ROI: A 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%. (HBR)Loyalty: Retained customers buy more often and spend more than newer customers. They’ve learned the value of a product or service and keep coming back, again and again. (American Express)Referrals: Satisfied, loyal customers are more likely to sing a company’s praises and refer their friends and family — bringing in new customers, free of charge. (American Express)It might seem obvious — of course, companies should want to retain customers — but when companies start growing quickly and struggle to implement a solid customer support program, proactive customer support for existing customers can slip through the cracks. Average customer retention rate varies across industries. According to Mixpanel’s 2017 Product Benchmarks report, for most industries, the average customer retention rate was below 20%. In the media or finance industries, retention over 25% is considered above average, and in the SaaS industry, retention above 35 is considered above average. Customer Retention Definition But when companies dedicate time, resources, and creativity to improve customer retention, not only does it make customers happy, it brings the companies more success, too. We’ll review  strategies that will help you improve your increase customer retention next.Customer Retention Management StrategiesBefore diving into these customer retention management strategies you may implement and experiment with, let’s answer an important question first:What is customer retention management? Customer retention management is the process of maintaining relationships with your current customers to delight them long after they purchase your product of service. It requires you to encourage these customers to remain loyal to your business, continue paying for your product or service, and become and remain your brand advocates. Who manages customer retention?Customer retention is typically managed by customer success. The role of this team is to work with and delight your customers throughout the duration of their relationship with your company (no matter how long or short this timeframe may be).Customer success teams should not only work directly with your customers to improve and maintain retention, but work with other teams within your organization to do so as well. For example, customer success should help teams like sales or customer service and support — roles that have the potential to directly impact retention — organize, manage, and improve all aspects of the customer experience. This way, you entire business works together towards consistently improving customer retention. Now, let’s look at those strategies to help you with customer retention management. 1. Highlight case studies during the sales process.A significant portion of the sales process should be focused on determining if your company and the prospect are the right fit — from both a relationship standpoint, and how you will work together.Share previous case studies that reveal your company’s style of communication and collaboration with customers and the results you achieved for customers. You could also share testimonials from current customers to really bring it home for them just how much you partner with them.It’s similar to researching any big buying decision. You want to know if and how it will work before you make a purchase. If the customer truly understands this, they will be more likely to properly set expectations and be happier with their experience once they sign on.2. Set expectations early and often.If you don’t set expectations and communicate these clearly, customers can easily become upset. They might believe you can deliver on certain results, while in reality, those results are only seen in month six or with additional initiatives and work input.In addition, your customers are coming from very different businesses. One customer might feel that your prices are high, and therefore, they expect an extremely high amount of expertise and “white glove” customer service, while for another customer, you might be one of many different company partners, and the customer cares more about your ability to collaborate than care for their brand.Understanding these points of view and communicating deadlines, progress toward goals, what’s included in a project, your process, your communication style, etc., is essential for making sure expectations are met. This, in turn, will keep customers happy with the relationship, longer.3. Communicate results on a regular basis.Customers are more likely to stay with your company if your product or service is delivering results and ROI for them. If a customer can point to the fact that your company has influenced or increased leads, MQLs, SQLs, lifetime value, their own customer retention, etc., then it will be much more difficult for the customer to say goodbye.That means you need a good system for tracking and reporting on the metrics that really matter to the customer, which should relate to the goals you established together. Be transparent about the activities you executed on last month, the results you saw, where you see opportunities for improvements, and what you will work on next month. In addition, use a project management tool so that the customer can easily see how far along the team is in a project.4. Create a roadmap for the future of the relationship.Many people compare the customer-company relationship to dating — and this isn’t that far off. And it’s especially true when you consider the lifecycle of dating. At some point, one person in the relationship wants to know that this is “going somewhere.” He or she wants to know what the “plan” for the future looks like.This desire to know that you are working toward a “next step” can also be applied to business relationships. It can be easy for the customer-company relationship to fall victim to routine — everything is going great, you know what type of work the customer wants (and will approve), and you understand what works to reach their goals. That gets boring quickly though, and it’s easy for the customer to wake up one day and realize how uninspired and unmotivated the company team is.Your customer success managers should create and revise on a regular basis a relationship roadmap. Build in steps for initiatives and projects that both parties can look to and be excited about the current and next stage of the relationship.5. Make memories around your shared successes.According to research, people remember negative events more vividly than positive ones. Even if there are more positive events overall, the bad occurrences may be the longest lasting memories — which makes customers more likely to share those negative events on social media, too.So customer success teams need to consider how they can create better, more memorable experiences around positives and successes. When something negative occurs — a goal or deadline is missed for example — the company team overly communicates, discusses plans for fixing the issue, and apologizes. But when something truly great happens, how much of an emphasis do you place on the event?6. Ask for feedback and act on this information.You can’t improve customer retention without first understanding why customers leave your company. Once you know the reasons and the correlating signs, you can work to prevent customer churn by proactively dealing with issues.Ask for regular feedback from the entire customer team, including the decision-maker. Use a customer feedback tool to track trends by either the customer or the individual. For example: By tracking by project, you can identify customer happiness trends and work to improve processes or ask for more qualitative feedback on what exactly is contributing to the fall in customer satisfaction.Being able to identify and address these issues as early as possible will help you to prevent customers from leaving you in the first place. The voice of the customer is a powerful customer retention tool — so use it.7. Map out a consistent customer experience.Consistency builds trust with customers. They know what to expect and can rely on your team to get the work done and deliver the results they need.Without this, most interactions are a surprise, and in reality, customers don’t like surprises — even if they say they want to partner with a more “innovative, fun, risk-taking company.”Build out processes for onboarding new customers and kickoff meetings to create a smooth customer experience. Examples include setting agendas for meetings and building workflows around projects and sharing these with customers.By having a process for each of these activities, your team will be more efficient and customers will gain insight into what needs to be done, and when.8. Create a customer relationship marketing strategy.Have you considered what the communication from your company looks like once a customer signs on? Yes, she emails and works with her customer success manager, but how often does she hear from the new business director who convinced her to buy from you?Think about creating a newsletter sent from the company CEO for monthly or quarterly check-ins. Consider any education or training needs of the customer you should address. Come up with interesting, light touch ways to continue to build up the credibility of your company’s brand with the customer.9. Keep a record of communication and any past problems.Your company’s culture, leadership, and business practices all contribute to retention, but another way to prevent disruption in changes in personnel is by adopting a CRM where you can store notes from meetings and phone calls, ongoing issues, personal preferences of the customers, etc.With detailed notes and a complete history of the relationship recorded, a new customer success manager will be ready to be a true authority for the customer much more quickly.10. Make sure that the customer has a relationship with the entire team.Typically, customers mainly communicate with their primary customer success manager. These individuals form a bond during hundreds of meetings, phone calls, and emails. They know each other’s favorite restaurants, what sports their kids’ play, and other seemingly inconsequential details.But change puts these relationships at risk — and, in turn, your company’s customer retention rate. If the customer success manager leaves or is promoted, the relationship is at risk. If the relationship is extremely friendly, the customer might not be happy with anyone else. The bottom line is, if the customer’s sole connection to the company is based on one relationship, there’s a risk of churn during periods of employee turnover — a natural part of professional development within an organization that customers just aren’t always privy to.This is a risky place to be in terms of retention, so your company needs to make it a goal that customers build relationships with multiple members of the team for cases like these. Send the customer pictures of the entire team working on the latest project, or whenever there is a customer lunch, make sure there is another member of the team present.11. Use reciprocity to increase loyalty.Reciprocity is a social construct that has been found to increase loyalty. Acts of kindness create a feeling of obligation in the person who instinctively wants to repay the kindness.There are two types of reciprocity: surprise and trumpeted. Both of these can be used in customer service to increase loyalty.Surprise reciprocity is obviously a surprise gift or gesture. An example of this would be when your company sends over tickets for a game the day of or when a goal is achieved earlier than anticipated.Trumpeted reciprocity is when the person giving or doing something beneficial does so in a way that reveals that they are going above and beyond. It doesn’t mean you document and put all the great things you do in a monthly report, but it is obvious to the customer that what you are doing is outside the normal scope of the relationship. This could be as simple as taking behind-the-scenes photos at a video shoot and packaging them in a memorable way as a gift for the customer’s team.12. Build a customer loyalty program.One of the wisest ways to foster customer loyalty and retention is by providing even more value to them — and this can take the form of a customer loyalty or rewards program.User-generated content, loyalty bonuses, gamification, and rewards for customer referrals are simple customer retention tools that can go a long way towards fostering loyalty — read about more examples of successful customer loyalty programs in this blog post.13. Empower customers with the tools they need to succeed. Nobody likes to wait around for support or assistance. Nobody likes to sit around searching how to accomplish specific tasks on their own either. So, instead of creating long customer support and service waits for your customers (and creating more work for your support team), empower them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.There’s a wide range of ways you can empower your customers to help themselves and find the support they need individually. To do this, you might send emails or newsletters with tutorials that cover details about your company or your product/ service’s newest features. You may also share a list of your blog articles to help them accomplish their specific business goals. Improve Your Customer RetentionReady to get started making your customers happy to improve your company’s outcomes? Follow the customer retention management strategies we covered and consistently keep track of your business’s retention rates to keep an eye on how you’re doing. You can also read more about how real brands are using these customer retention strategies here.Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November, 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. Originally published Oct 23, 2019 2:03:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 Customer retention is the ability of a company to retain its customers over a period of time. Customer retention a percentage that measures how many customers a company keeps at the end of a set time period, and the number impacted by the number of new customers acquired and the number of customers who churn. Customer retention rate is calculated using the following formula: Customer Retention Rate = ((# Customers at End of Period – # Customers Acquired During Period) / # Customers at Start of Period) X 100 Customer Retention Management Strategieslast_img read more

13 Brands Using LinkedIn Company Page Features the Right Way

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

12 Inspirational Writing Tips From History’s Greatest Authors [SlideShare]

first_img Writing Skills Originally published Apr 2, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: This post originally appeared on the Insiders section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Insiders.We’ve all been there — staring back and forth between an empty, glowing white screen and the clock as your deadline crawls ever closer. Would it help to know you’re not alone? Probably not.But even the world’s greatest authors have had trouble starting, finishing, and doing everything in between with their writing. So when it comes to writing tips, they certainly have their opinions. Here are twelve of them, written in a way that only they could.center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Great Quotes on Writing from History’s Greatest Authors from StratusInteractive1) William Allen White – Journalist/News Editor“Substitute damn every time you’re inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”Though often mistakenly referenced as a quote by Mark Twain, White knows that adverbs can be dangerous if used overbearingly (see what I did there?). Very and similar words can bog a sentence down, and are often used where they shouldn’t be.Most experienced writers do their best to avoid them. Was that memo you just read very important, or important — either way, the message remains the same. As Stephen King has said, “the road to hell is paved with adverbs,” and most of us would be hard-pressed to disagree.2) Ernest Hemingway – Author, Nobel Prize Winner“The first draft of everything is shit.”Nothing is perfect, and with writing it’s no different. Things rarely work out the way you want on the first go, whether it’s writing, art, music — anything. It takes practice, and constant checks and balances to produce a well-rounded piece, as first drafts are meant to be experimented with.If you’re sticking with the first draft, you’re effectively saying Eh, good enough, so remember to be honest with yourself. In the end, you know your audience will voice their opinions, so make it harder for them to voice the negative ones.3) Stephen King – Author The Shining, The Dark Tower Series“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that.”Reading and writing go hand in hand (I’m on fire right now). They belong together, and if you don’t actively read, you’re actively limiting your vocabulary and breadth of experience. As human beings, we never stop growing or learning, so if you’re a writer who doesn’t read … well that’s like being a cook who can’t taste. Do yourself a favor and pick up a book and read to learn new diction, or better yet, a new perspective on something. You can only experience so much in your life, but reading opens you to countless settings, experiences, and points of view.4) Maya Angelou – Author, Poet“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”Some of the greatest ideas come from accidents. I’m astonished by how many times I’ve accidentally hit gold as a result of throwing my thoughts on a blank piece of paper and free-writing to empty my mind. The trick is to spend 15-30 minutes a day just writing. It doesn’t matter who, what, when, where, or why — as Angelou says, just write. You’ll be surprised what you can get out of yourself.Worst-case scenario? You become a better writer.5) Harper Lee – Author To Kill A Mockingbird“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Any writer knows that thick skin comes with the territory, but not only with your audience. When you’re collaborating with coworkers or clients on a piece of writing, it’s best to take the ‘no pride of ownership’ route. The goal, after all, is to produce the best writing possible and being able to handle a healthy dose of criticism — or welcome it for that matter — is imperative. Not being able to handle this has ruined many would-be writers’ careers before they got a chance to show what they’re made of.6) J.K. Rowling – Author Harry Potter Series“Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works.”Good writing can’t always be forced. It’s like trying to remember something that you can’t — the more you try, the harder it is, and taking a break can give your mind the refresh it needs to get back on track. Like I said earlier, sometimes you accidentally happen down a path that you would never be at if you had tried to force it. Writer’s block happens to everyone, from sixth graders to best sellers, so stick with it.7) Mark Twain – Author The Adventures of Tom Sawyer“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”Sometimes there’s only one way of saying something, and when you can find the perfect way of articulating it, the impact on the reader will be that much more powerful. As any writer can attest, finding the perfect way of illustrating a picture with words can take hours — even days or months. It may seem insignificant at the time but you only get one chance before your work is published, so make sure it’s the way you want it then, not later.8) Thomas Jefferson – Author Declaration of Independence, President“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”This one hits home, doesn’t it? It’s also pretty self-explanatory. Over-explaining is exhausting for everyone, so if you’re able to narrow your difficult thoughts or sentences into a concise one-liner, why take time to fluff it up? Cut the fluff.9) George R.R. Martin – Author A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones)“Writing is like sausage making in my view. You’ll all be happier in the end if you just eat the final product without knowing what’s gone into it.”George R.R. Martin wrote this on his blog, letting his readers know he’s not one of those writers who has to tell everyone what he’s been writing, and how much he completes each day. It doesn’t matter how you get to the end, all that matters is who’s reading it and if they’re enjoying it.This is important, because too many writers today worry about the process, but sometimes, there isn’t a strict process to adhere to. The more you write, the more you’ll find you have to say. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve changed a line, or word — the only one your audience will remember is the one you chose to use last.10) F. Scott Fitzgerald – Author The Great Gatsby“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.”Writers need to be everyone. That’s the task they embody — the best writers know how to get inside the heads of their audience, and the voice they’re trying to portray. They’re able to cut away from the norm or common denominator to give their topic a well-rounded appeal. F. Scott Fitzgerald was able to do just that by getting in the head of Gatsby narrator Nick Caraway, without which, the novel would never work. Goes to show you that the little things matter, and connecting to your audience is paramount.11) Neil Gaiman – Author The Graveyard Book, Coraline“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”Writing is tricky. On the one hand, like Gaiman says, there are no rules. You can write anyway you want to. On the other hand, there are a lot of rules, so it generally helps to play it straight down the middle.The key word here is honestly. Writing honestly is one of the most powerful ways of affecting your audience, instilling trust in your words and more importantly, your ideas. All writers run into difficult comments or criticisms, but if you can look in the mirror after it all and be proud that you tackled the subject in an honest, confident way, you’ve done your job.12) William Faulkner – Author As I Lay Dying“Don’t be a writer; be writing.”This is one of the shortest, most powerful quotes there is on writing from the late, great, William Faulkner. Too often, writers focus on the person behind the story, but great writing doesn’t translate into how many published works you’ve created. As a writer, you need to be writing constantly in order to hone your craft.The simpler explanation: If you aren’t writing, you’re not a writer. It’s not about your title, but your actions.last_img read more

How Smart Marketers Are Sabotaging Their Calls-to-Action

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

How to Create Twitter Photo Collages on Desktop and Mobile

first_img Topics: Originally published May 27, 2014 10:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Twitter Images Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When Twitter first came out with photo collages, I was disappointed. The feature was really exciting and opened up a bunch of doors for marketers … but it was only available for iPhones. I don’t know many marketers that have the time to track down an iPhone, send the right images for the collage to that iPhone, and then put the collage together while hoping that it’ll look okay once tweeted. Twitter did say that the feature would soon be rolled out to desktop, but gave no official timeline. So I waited patiently, checking to see every so often if I could upload more than one photo in a tweet from my desktop. Every few weeks, I’d get the same result — nada.But testing this out a few days ago, I struck gold. Though Twitter hasn’t officially announced this yet, it seems like you can now create Twitter collages on desktop, iPhone, and Android.So, knowing that you’re an enterprising marketer wanting to take advantage of new features that could improve your Twitter presence, I figured you’d want to get the inside scoop on it all. Below you’ll learn how to make sure your images look great and how to post collages from both desktop and mobile.Bonus: All examples are using adorable french bulldogs (and one with Leonardo DiCaprio) because tutorials are much more fun that way.Before You Post: Optimizing Your Images for Twitter Photo CollagesI know what you’re thinking — if you’re going to use these Twitter photo collages, you want to make sure it looks great. When this feature was iPhone-only, it was reallllly hard to optimize your images — it was kind of a guess-and-check game that required you to upload a billion different sizes and hope they would look okay in the collage preview. How Big Your Images Should BeThe following sizes are for how big they’ll be in the preview — if you want each image to be bigger when opened individually, just keep the same height to width ratio.Basically, the larger image on the left (used in two- and three-picture collages) is a square (approximately 277 px x 277 px). The images on the right (used in three- and four-picture collages) is about half as tall as the square image (approximately 277 px wide x 137 px tall). Here’s what that looks like:In What Order You Should Select the ImagesTwitter uploads images in a certain order depending on the order you select them in (more on that later). If you care about the order of your images, check out the images below to see in which order you need to select them. For Two-Photo CollagesFor Three-Photo CollagesFor Four-Photo CollagesAnd that’s about it in terms of optimization. Next up, how to actually post them from your desktop or mobile device.How to Post a Collage From DesktopOnce you’ve got the images you want in your collage in tip-top optimized shape, here’s how you can post them from your desktop. 1) Click on the compose button in the top right-hand corner of your home screen.2) In the bottom left-hand corner of the compose box, click ‘Add Photo.’3) Select the first photo you want to include in the collage.4) The first photo you selected will appear in your tweet. To add more, click ‘Add more.’Yep, you’re gonna need to add each photo individually.5) Once you add each photo you want into the tweet, add your text and/or links, then click ‘Tweet. Voila, collage!How Post a Collage From MobileIf you are on the fly, here’s how you can post photos from mobile. Previously this was the only way you could post collages, but now you can also post from Twitter.com per the above instructions.Note: These screenshots were taken on an iPhone; your app may look slightly different.1) Select the compose icon in the top right-hand corner of your app.2) Then, choose the first image you want in your collage.Select the camera icon in the middle if you want to take the image at that moment or choose the photo icon if you want to use images from your album. I chose the latter — you might want to do the same if you have already optimized the images for the collage. 3) The image will get inserted into your tweet. To add to the collage, click the picture icon again (now it has the plus sign to signify it’ll be a collage). 4) Select the images you want in your collage in the order you’d like them to appear. The number on the image designates the order they’ll be in.5) Then, voila! You’re ready to post your fabulous (and potentially adorable) Twitter photo collage.And it’s as simple as that! How do you think you’ll use Twitter’s collage feature? If you want inspiration for how to use these collages in your marketing, check out this post.last_img read more

7 Ways to Improve Your Relationships With Tough Clients

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

5 Key Digital Marketing Hires Every Publisher Needs to Make

first_imgPublishers should be natural leaders in content marketing. Providing high quality, authoritative content is already your stock in trade. While quality content is a fundamental requirement of successful digital marketing, it’s not enough in and of itself.You also need to develop, promote, distribute, and monitor compelling digital content campaigns for you, and your advertisers. These needs have spawned new marketing roles. Ready to grow your team in the right direction?Here Are Five Hires Key to Your Publication’s Digital Marketing Success:Social Media SpecialistYou need a social media presence to distribute your content and grow your audience. Since social media is often the first line of interaction with your audience, it’s become too important (and potentially risky) to leave this role to the interns.Your content marketing team will provide the core fuel, your content. Yet there’s so much more to social media than just posting links to your publication’s content. Your social media specialist will often have to react in real time — whether it’s to report on fast-breaking industry news, respond to people who expect an immediate response, or share other authoritative content. Social media requires constant monitoring and interaction to be effective. Remember that accuracy, authenticity, and objectivity are the cornerstones upon which you’ll build your publication’s reputation for credibility and authority.Skills needed: Proficient writer, early adopter, quick learner, personable nature, good judgment, familiarity with each social media channel’s policies, conversant with intellectual property (copyrights, trademarks, etc.) and privacy laws as well as applicable FTC regulations, and a firm grasp on your company’s voice and communications policies.Marketing AnalystContent marketing is filled with metrics and data. Expert analysis of that data allows your marketing team to make good decisions. Having someone on-staff who can turn your data into knowledge with actionable insights is a huge advantage before, during, and after any campaign.Your marketing data specialist should help managers improve campaign performance with their analysis by identifying the strategies and tactics worth prioritizing, as well as those that need revision. Content marketing is a long haul process that requires continuous monitoring and testing of iterations to find the right formula for success. Data analysis informs those choices.Skills needed: Statistical analysis, comfortable with software tools, strong reporting and presentation skills. You may want a specialist already proficient in the marketing data platform you’re using. Communication skills are a must if you want to translate data into action. Managers can’t act on what they don’t understand.Marketing Automation SpecialistWith the right software in place, marketing automation, or workflows, enable you to mine the richness in your contact database and optimize it with your website and email. They help make your content creation and distribution repeatable, scalable, and cost efficient. With the proper automation specialist and software, you can:Deliver a customized experience to a visitor based on what they do on your website.Create dynamic static and smart lists used in various marketing automation campaigns that go beyond simple email blasts such as product alerts and newsletters, to tailored emails that reflect a lead’s behaviors and preferences, synced in time with where the lead is within their buying journey.Skills needed: Strong strategic background and ability to map out complex procceses, analysis, logic, superb attention to detail, project management, interpersonal skills, comprehensive understanding of audience segmentation and familiarity/light experience with web development. If your company uses marketing automation and content optimization systems, then your workflow specialist should be an expert in them as well.Content Marketing ManagerYour content marketing campaign strategist oversees content creation and the people developing it. His or her overarching responsibility is to recognize the content themes and channels that meet the needs of the campaign, uncover any content gaps, and fill them. This person should work closely with your Marketing Analyst to direct changes to the content made in the wake of reporting, and enforce the quality of the content produced. He or she should ensure that all published digital content is search-engine optimized.Skills needed: Project management, SEO, strong-writer/editor, strategic thinking, and interpersonal skills. You’ll recognize many of these skills as needed by any traditional campaign manager.But there is a new layer of skills needed in a digital content marketing campaign strategist:Detailed understanding of a complete persona, more than just an audience memberInstinct for identifying digital content mediums and topics compelling to that personaAbility to keep up with the evolving opportunities and challenges of the digital content marketing approachIntegrated Campaign Project ManagerA holistic content marketing campaign promotes and distributes content through multiple channels. Think of them as your human-API, communicating and tying the different pieces of your marketing together. These channels may cover both traditional and digital media. Your integrated campaign project manager coordinates all the aspects of a multi-channel approach, including:Customizing the content across the appropriate channels and the targeted personaOwning the campaign calendar setting out the where, when, and what of each campaign elementMonitoring the contact database to avoid list fatigueTracking the performance of specific channelsManaging the media budgetSkills needed: A Deep understanding of different media channels and their purpose, project and budget management, data analysis, and presentation skills. Your integrated campaign manager should also have expertise in any marketing automation tools being used. There’s no set formula for marketing success, but these roles are a great place to start when recruiting for your company. Even if you don’t have the budget to onboard five new hires, look for people with traits that mirror those mentioned in two-or three of the skill sets listed above. No matter where you net out when building your team, keeping these potential positions in mind will help you propel your digital publishing efforts forward. Marketing Jobs 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 13, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more

Barca extend lead with comfortable Levante win

first_imgBarcelona 3 Levante 0: Messi equals Muller record ahead of Coutinho’s arrival Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 01:14 1/8/18 Lionel Messi Getty Images Barcelona’s unbeaten league season continued with a comfortable win over Levante, which saw Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Paulinho strike. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Paulinho were on target as Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 home win against Levante on Sunday which saw LaLiga’s leaders stretch their advantage over Atletico Madrid back to nine points.Barcelona ended 2017 with a crushing Clasico win at Real Madrid – who are now 17 points off the pace, albeit with two games in hand – and they continued the club-record start to a season with ease, although there was no sign of Philippe Coutinho.A deal worth a reported £142million was announced by Barca on Saturday, but Ernesto Valverde’s men had more than enough to beat Levante prior to the Brazil international’s formal arrival at Camp Nou. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Coutinho’s predecessor as Barca’s record signing, Ousmane Dembele, made his first start since September after recovering from a torn hamstring in another positive development for Valverde.Messi drew level with Gerd Muller as the most prolific player for a single club in Europe’s top five leagues by scoring his 365th LaLiga goal on his 400th appearance in the Spanish top flight, neatly volleying in an early opener.And Suarez’s strike was also a milestone goal, a powerful volley before half-time his 132nd for the club, moving him above Samuel Eto’o to become Barca’s seventh-most prolific goalscorer.Barca had beaten Levante 4-1, 5-0 and 7-0 on their three previous league Camp Nou trips but the visitors battled hard to keep the score down as captain Andres Iniesta made his 650th appearance for the hosts, although Paulinho added late gross by finishing off Messi’s magical assist.Planet Messi400 games in #LaLiga… 365 GOALS! #BarçaLevante pic.twitter.com/YgCRl8J55K— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 7, 2018No Levante player has scored in LaLiga since November 19 and although the visitors made a bright start at a wet and half-empty Camp Nou, Barca opened their 2018 LaLiga account through talisman Messi after just 12 minutes.Jordi Alba headed Messi’s chipped pass back into the path of the Argentina international, who cushioned a bouncing volley across Oier Olazabal and in off the post.Jefferson Lerma miscued a shot wide and Ivi’s effort deflected off target as a lively Levante sought an immediate response.Dembele then stung the palms of Oier with a 20-yard shot after a driving run at the other end, Suarez turning the rebound over when he should have hit the target.Suarez made amends after 38 minutes, however, collecting a Sergi Roberto pass and lashing in an unstoppable volley to score for the fifth successive LaLiga game.With that strike @LuisSuarez9 moves past @setoo9 to go 7th on the all time scoring list at FC Barcelona with 132 goals  #ForçaBarça pic.twitter.com/wzB85K3hmz— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 7, 2018Levante started the second half as well as they did the first, Marc-Andre ter Stegen making a fine save high to his left to tip over Ivi’s strike.With Barca surprisingly sloppy in possession and open at the back, Jason set up Shaquell Moore for a fine chance but Ter Stegen saved again to maintain his fourth consecutive LaLiga clean sheet.Suarez wasted a couple of chances to make Barca’s victory more comfortable and forward Jose Arnaiz was handed a league debut in the last five minutes.But it was Paulinho who wrapped up the scoring in the third minute of stoppage time, Coutinho’s compatriot tapping in from six yards after Suarez dummied a cross from Messi, who beat three defenders in typically stunning fashion before delivering a superb low cross. Leo #Messi in @LaLiga  400 games 365 goals 144 assists#ForçaBarça pic.twitter.com/WoPV51UsxQ— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 7, 2018 Key Opta facts:- Only Xavi (505) and Andres Iniesta (427) have made more league appearances for Barcelona than Lionel Messi.- Jordi Alba has provided five assists to Messi, more than any other Barcelona player this season (all competitions).- Of the teams Messi has played 16 or more times in all competitions, Levante are the only team Messi has not lost against  (W14 D2).- Luis Suarez has scored in six of his last seven league games for Barcelona (eight goals) – he had only found the net in two of his previous seven (two goals).  read morelast_img read more