How Do You Measure the ROI of Social Media? You Don’t.

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 Marketers considering ads always ask me the same thing: “How much should I spend?”It’s a good question — an important question — but it’s the wrong question. The right question is: “For every dollar I spend on ads, how much will I get back?”If you know the answer to that question, or at least have an educated guess, it matters less how much or little you can spend. To help you figure this out, we’re launching a free tool called the HubSpot Advertising ROI Calculator.This simple calculator allows you to explore how different metrics will impact the profit and ROI you can expect from ads. It will help you get the math right, so whether you have $100 to spend or $100,000, you won’t have to guess at the outcome.  Ready to give it a try? Click here to check out the HubSpot Advertising ROI Calculator.How to Plan for Ad Spend SuccessToo many marketers tell me about getting burnt by ads. They build an AdWords campaign to rank for important search terms, it drives clicks, traffic, and leads, but ultimately their ad spend outweighs the impact of the ads.These marketers end up learning a really expensive lesson — one that could be easily prevented by following these simple steps … 1) Do the math.Ads aren’t right for everyone. Some industries have extremely high competition with astronomical CPCs. Some products have too low of an average sales price for the economics to work.To determine if ads are worth your time, run the numbers specific to your business through our calculator. With the tool you can explore how a change in numbers, a lower CPC or higher close rate for example, will impact a campaign. This will give you a better idea of what it will take to create an ads campaign that makes you money.2) Never set it and forget it.Try not to look at ads as a shortcut. It’s possible to get to a place with ads where they become a recurring source of profit … but typically that’s not how things start.Don’t be surprised when a week after your campaign launches your ads aren’t generating tons of profit. Examine the data and make improvements to your ads targeting, creative, and landing pages.Incremental improvements in clickthrough rates and conversion rates can have a huge impact on profit. Use the ads calculator to explore the impact these changes could have. Watch your ads like a hawk for the first month and you’ll avoid big mistakes.3) Don’t place your ads in a vacuum.Ads act like a megaphone to amplify your marketing campaigns and content. The more complete and well developed your campaigns are, the better your ads will perform.Think about it: Which ads do you think perform better? Those promoting your homepage or those promoting a remarkable piece of content that helps someone?Bingo. Those promoting awesome content.Campaigns that use ads should be treated like other campaigns. Establish your goals first, build great content, focus your message and optimize your landing pages, then figure out how ads can help amplify your message. Taking this combined approach and only using ads as a strategic component of your marketing campaigns will pay off.So how much should you actually spend on ads?Assuming you’ve run the numbers and now know what you can expect in terms of profit and ROI, it’s time to launch a campaign. To do this you’ll have to make two budget decisions, regardless of where you are advertising:Total campaign budget or duration: How much do you plan to spend in total? How long will the ads run for? Be aware that if you don’t set a limit there will be no maximum or end date.Daily budget: How much do you want to spend a day?There are two ways I see most marketers use ads, short-term and long-term. Let’s take a look a both …Short-term ads. Budget = at least a few hundred dollars over a month.When marketers use ads for a short-term goal, it’s usually to jump start a campaign or boost content that needs a bump. These ad spends are generally smaller and shorter, but can be large.If you have a few hundred dollars to spend, spend it this way. Create a social post that promotes a piece of content and then use your ads to boost the post. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have good solutions for this. Make sure you use the social network that gives you the best targeting for your persona and returns the most valuable leads. Measure this by assessing the quality of the leads generated after the campaign.Long-term ads. Budget = at least a few thousand dollars over a quarter.Ads can be a great solution in a pinch but if you really want to use ads strategically build them into your overall marketing strategy. This means more consistent, quarterly ad spends.Consider how potential customers make purchase decisions and use ads to influence them. This may mean always relying on search ads or retargeting to make sure prospects find you when they are ready to buy. You’re more likely to accumulate better data taking this approach, which will allow you to get more sophisticated in how you optimize your ad spend.Whatever budget you choose and whichever approach you take, make sure to ask a lot of questions about your ad spend. Even with the right approach, it’s easy to burn through money fast. Safeguard yourself by knowing what to expect and having clear expectations. Originally published Jul 19, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017last_img read more

How to Get Ahead of the Marketing Learning Curve With Mobile PPC

first_img 3. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile Topics: websites using HubSpot are mobile-ready 4. Get ahead of the mobile learning curve. 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 May 27, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Testing various campaigns targeted toward mobile device usage will help you learn how different keywords, ad copy, and landing pages perform on different devices. If you start testing now, there is no doubt you will be way ahead of the curve when the rest of the business world starts getting in on the action. 2. You can target local consumers when they are ready to buy. 1. You can target techies where they’re playing It will be interesting to see how fast businesses adopt different forms of mobile media like PPC. What do you think are the biggest advantages or disadvantages? In AdWords, you can select which devices you want to show your PPC ads by accessing ‘Campaigns Settings’ and scrolling down to ‘Network and Devices.’ Then, you can opt to show your ads on all devices and carriers, or you can manually select which devices and carriers you want to display your ads. The availability of such a deep level of device and carrier segmentation is quite beneficial, because you can set up campaigns for each carrier and device and test the combinations that provide the best results for your business. Not to mention, you can quickly see which devices or carriers are not worth your time.center_img How to Set Up PPC Campaigns to Target Mobile Devices . Although smartphones are quickly becoming the norm, tablets are still only in techies’ hands for the most part. If you have products or services that appeal to the technically advanced, using PPC ads targeted to iPads, for example, will have some serious advantages. What does mobile PPC advertising mean for marketers? Photo Credit: meedanphotos . The ability to segment mobile devices for PPC is new. If you don’t have a website that is designed for mobile use, it’s easy enough to opt out of showing your PPC ads on mobile devices all together. However, this does not protect you from showing up in organic search results. Whether participating in PPC or not, any serious marketer should make sure its business has a website that is mobile ready. (Note: All ) It’s important to note that websites built with Flash are no good on iPhones, because Apple doesn’t recognize Flash at all. PPC The ability to target by geographic location (down to the zip code) has existed forever in AdWords. However, combining this capability with mobile device segmentation gives local businesses an opportunity to target people who are searching on their phones. Consumers who are searching on their phones are most likely on the go, so you can target them with specific offers to get their business!last_img read more

How to Grow Inbound Links With Guest Blogging Opportunities [@InboundNow #34]

first_img ! “Become a contributor” OR “Become guest writer” 4. Personalize Your Blog Outreach Messages Avoid reposting the exact same content you have on your site to another site. You can run into duplicate content issues, which is not a good thing in the eyes of search engines.  are two other directories to check out if you strike out with followerwonk. Keyword-Specific Anchor Text “Submit an article” is bad. Runtime: 12:46. Most blogs have contact information somewhere on the page or social media icons for you to contact them via Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Make sure you do your homework before starting off the conversation. There is nothing worse to a blogger than a blind pitch. “Suggest a guest post” Check out other episodes of Inbound Now Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “Contribute to our site” Reaching out to bloggers with a form email is going to annoy the blogger and yield few guest blogging opportunities. Twellow A great way to find guest blogging opportunities is by using advanced search queries in Google. By combining a keyword phrase with any of the variations below, you can pull back a targeted list of sites that accept guest posts and will more than likely allow you to link back to your own content. Twitter directories can be a great place to find relevant people in your industry. “Become an author” subscribe is good! “(Write for our) guest column”. Use Social Media  You’re probably already aware of other blogs in your particular industry. If you know the go-to blogs in your space, reach out to them, and see if they accept guest posts. Use Advanced Search Queries Did you enjoy this type of episode of Inbound Now? Do you like the shorter version? Followerwonk.com Common phrases used by sites looking for guest content: , we discuss how to find guest blogging opportunities to grow the number of inbound links pointing to your website. Inbound links are by far the leading factor in how well your website will Use Google Blog Search to Find Authoritative Blogs in Your Industry and Once you have exhausted the known blogs in your space and have searched high and low on Google using some advanced queries, it’s time to turn to social media. @DavidWells . Here are several tips for finding guest blogging opportunities that can help you increase inbound links to your website. drop me a line here. http://www.mysite.com Before diving into the guest blogging world, you should have already grabbed all of the low-hanging links you possibly could from existing relationships. Did you ask friends, family members, colleagues, business partners, or evangelical customers with a website for a link yet?  Doing a gut check of the site means making sure the site is credible and has “followed” links before you submit your hard work (content) to them. Having the link look like 1. Do a “Gut Check” of the Site If so, good job! If not, why not? Originally published Aug 11, 2011 11:01:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 jump-start a brand new blog Leverage Existing Relationships for Links rank organically in search engines bookmarklet Always, always, always 2. Don’t Reuse Your Existing Blog’s Content Do something to pass the “Is this a robot or a real person?” test. In some cases, the blog on which you posted guest content may actually outrank your own site! Instead, rewrite the post completely, or — better yet — start from scratch. Don’t make Google and other search engines angry. or If you are spending the time to find guest blogging opportunities, create new content, and publish it on someone else’s site, it would be foolish not to include a keyword-specific anchor text link somewhere in the body of the post or in your author’s bio. Having the link look like Inbound Now Feedback Wanted! “Send a guest post” You can easily check for nofollow links with the Guest Blogging Reference a recent blog post the blogger has written, and find a question they might have asked on Twitter, and try and answer it. As marketing and the internet evolve, so shall the show! for Chrome. personalize your outreach. Photo credit:  is a tool that allows you to scan Twitter based on keywords in a user’s Twitter bio. It then sorts the users by follower count (or “influence”). This can give you a pretty good list of people to see if they are blogging or are linking to other industry-specific blogs you haven’t already found. 3. Keyword Specific Anchor Text is Key or a Search for the keyword phrases you’re targeting on your own website and scan the search results. Blogs ranking higher for a particular keyword phrase are most likely more authoritative in the eyes of Google, so generating an inbound link from them will be a little more powerful than a link from blogs on subsequent search engine results pages. 4 Things to Keep in Mind After Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities What topics would you like to see covered? Are there any particular guests you would love to see? Let me know in the comments below or tweet “Write for us” or “Submit a guest post” / “Submit post” / “Submit blog post” “Add blog post” Guest blogging is one of the most credible ways of building keyword-rich, authoritative inbound links to your site. Guest blogging will also help build your authority/thought leadership in your industry and can help Topics: In this episode of PhotoDonuts A followed link means that the link will indeed pass SEO credit to your site. Links with a rel=”nofollow” attribute carry no SEO value in the eyes of Google. Wefollow . Quirk search status plugin If you need to do some digging, Google’s Blog Search can be a good place to start.last_img read more

34 Awesome Twitter Ideas for Engaging Your Prospects

first_img Social Media Engagement Topics: Originally published Sep 20, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 This is an excerpt from our new ebook, 100 Inbound Marketing Content Ideas. For more tips like these for your blog and Facebook page, download the ebook here.Engaging your community of prospects on Twitter is an essential way to show a human face behind your brand and let your customers know you care about them. Answer their questions and provide them with content they find useful, and you’ll build the trust you need for a loyal following. But how can you keep the relationship with your Twitter followers fresh?Here are 34 ideas and tips for you to use for your own Twitter community to keep them engaged and coming back for more.Responding to Followers1. Check your @replies regularly with a Twitter client. Reply to your users’ questions.2. Assign tweets to an appropriate team member who can answer followers’ question if you cannot.3. Offer to email with community members if they have further questions.4. Have a blog post answering FAQ’s that you can refer to. Link to it regularly.5. If you work in a regulated industry, pre-write 140-character responses to common questions that are pre-approved by stakeholders. This will enable you to still engage in real time with those who are asking questions.6. Use “@Reply” in the very beginning of a tweet to someone if you only want your followers who follow them to see the tweet. Add words or a character in front of the @reply if you want all of your followers to see the tweet.7. If a conversation turns into a heated debate, know when to take it off of @reply and use direct messages (DMs).8. Thank people who comment on and share your blog posts.9. Thank people who share your webinars and ebooks.10. Write as you would write in regular conversation. Use emoticons and exclamation points. Write in first person. (Examples: “I’m sorry.” “We’re excited.”) It shows that an actual human is behind the Twitter account.Twitter Tools11. Find and follow your competitors’ followers using FollowerWonk. Learn from them, and tweet the types of content and hashtags they care about.12. Use a separate Twitter app on your phone for your personal account and for your business’ account to avoid posting content meant for your personal account on your business account.13. Add UTM codes to your tweets to track your referring traffic from Twitter in Google Analytics.14. If you’re tweeting as part of a webinar or Twitter chat, kindly alert your followers and recommend that, if they don’t want to see your tweets, to use Proxlet to mute you.15. Use SocialBro to identify demographic information about your Twitter followers. Learn factors like nationality and gender, and participate in relevant holidays. (Example: Happy Boxing Day to our Canadian followers!)16. Measure your click-throughs on the links you share with bitly. Replicate the kind of language you use in those tweets to increase engagement from your followers.17. Don’t wait for Google Alerts. Maintain and monitor a Twitter list (in a Twitter client) of the actual publications and companies that matter most to your industry and community. When news breaks about your industry, you’ll be the first to share it. This builds authority.Sharing Your Content18. Post tweets of your blog posts. Use a variety of headlines, and test what drives the most click-throughs.19. Schedule tweets of blog posts on the weekends, as people read on the weekends, too. Also, post tweets of blog posts at night, as this targets people in other time zones.20. If your blog post is a list of tips, offer one tip with a link to the post as a “teaser.”21. If you feature tools or other companies in your blog posts, Cc them on the tweets to let them know so they retweet your content.22. If you have evergreen content on your blog, don’t be afraid to schedule tweets of those older blog posts. A few months later, they will still be valuable to your audience, and your readers may have missed them the first time.Incorporate Other Platforms23. Let your Twitter followers know about a great contest or discussion happening on your Facebook page or LinkedIn group, and invite them to be a part of it. Don’t beg for Likes and members, though. (It’s annoying.)24. Share your email newsletter on Twitter. Invite people to sign up for your newsletter by sharing a link to the landing page where they can sign up.25. Do a Twtpoll. Ask your followers a question, and use the results for blog content.26. Participate in relevant Twitter chats related to your community.27. Don’t cross-post your content to Facebook and LinkedIn. They are different platforms; treat them individually.28. If you’re working on a blog post, ask your community members for help. Reach out to them, and ask for their tips. It shows there’s a person behind the Twitter account.Create Original Tweets29. Offer a daily tip just for your Twitter followers.30. Tell a joke or a riddle.31. Use pictures. Show what you’re working on. Offer a behind-the-scenes look. Take a picture at a conference or event.32. Ask your followers a question or for their opinion on a relevant topic. Collect the tweets with Storify, and use them for a blog post.Follow Friday33. Use #FollowFriday to shine the light on your most engaged community members.34. Do a “special edition” #FollowFriday and give it a theme. Group special community members together for a specific reason, trait, or contribution to the community.How do you engage your audience with Twitter? Let us know 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

3 Things Marketers Should Keep in Mind This Columbus Day

first_img Originally published Oct 10, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Around this time 519 years ago, Christopher Columbus discovered America. Our elementary education (or, in my case, the Alvin and the Chipmunks episode where Theodore is failing his history class) taught us about how Columbus wanted to embark on a journey to search for this new world. Regardless of where you first heard the story, your educators had yet to discover the hidden lessons this tale would have in store for the modern marketing world.Here are three things inbound marketers should keep in mind this Columbus Day.1. Don’t be afraid to explore. Be a pioneer.At the time, no one ever thought to consider the possibility that there was additional land on Earth. Nobody questioned, and nobody wondered. Christopher Columbus would have never stumbled into these lands if he hadn’t taken the risk of exploring what could possibly be. And just as Columbus was willing to investigate and travel into the unknown, inbound marketers should be too. The point is, market research is immensely valuable to any business, and it can be a great basis for new, original, and successful content. Furthermore, becoming an early adopter of new marketing trends could help you set the state for your industry. Don’t wait for your competitors to pave the path. Your research and experimentation — and the insights you derive from them — could lead to the potential of something great. You may not discover a country, but there could be a whole new world of technology, coffee mugs, swimming pools, food, travel, anything. The industry is yours to shape through the information you discover.2. Own a category.Celebrations in remembrance of Columbus’ discovery were held in 1972 and 1892 to mark its 300th and 400th anniversary. In 1906, Colorado picked up on the true importance of Columbus’ pioneering and declared it a state holiday, and it took about 30 years for the holiday to be recognized nationally. Colorado was not home to where Columbus first landed. In fact, it’s rarely the first state to come to mind when one thinks of America. Just as Coloradans took the first step toward owning this category, your business can be the first to start a trend that has the potential of eventually being recognized on a greater scale. Realize that the results of your efforts may not roll out right away, and that long-term goals can be just as valuable as short-term ones. Have lofty goals. Even if it takes 30 years or nothing ever takes hold at all, there’s a certain pride and respect that is tied to the one brave enough to make a difference.3. Leverage Contra-seasonal MarketingWhile Columbus Day may be a federal holiday, not every American has today day off. Just as a global company has to re-strategize how to market its brand on a global level, a local business must consider the activities of its target audience on holidays. Just because your company takes the day off and you’re headed to Vegas for the weekend, doesn’t mean your target audience will be, too. If you decide to completely stop updating your blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, etc., you could be missing out on a valuable opportunity.We like to call this “contra-seasonal” marketing. When many businesses have abandoned marketing efforts under the assumption that no one will be listening to their marketing messages, smart companies continue their campaigns and reach potential customers without having to cut through other noise from marketers. And when a prospect’s inbox isn’t littered with emails from other vendors, they may be more likely to open your email. On the other hand, if you are at work on during holiday vacation, don’t forget that others aren’t. Adjust the frequency of your marketing messages so your prospects don’t return to work from a long weekend bombarded with multiple email marketing messages.Can you think of any other marketing takeaways from the history of Columbus Day?   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 Topics:last_img read more

Facebook Rolling Out Video Ads to News Feeds, and Other Marketing Stories of the Week

first_img Topics: Social Media Video You’ve heard the saying over and over again, but it still holds true: Content is king. Whether you’re creating a blog post, infographic, tweet, or even a PPC ad, creating content that people naturally want to consume will help you attract visitors, capture leads, and convert customers. This week, this saying held especially true in the world of inbound marketing. From Facebook’s new video advertising offering to Q&As with industry experts on Klout, this week’s roundup will fill you in on all things content-related on the web. Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day! ;-)Facebook Rolling Out Video Ads to News Feeds, From AdWeekOver the past few months, Facebook has been making some major moves with its social advertising platform. And the social network’s latest move doesn’t surprise us in the least: Facebook will be rolling out video ads in users’ News Feeds as soon as July. A few big brands including Ford, Coca-Cola, and American Express, are expected to participate in the first round of testing. For the time being, advertisers will only be allowed to choose among four different demographics to target.The 15-second ads will most likely appear to the side of the News Feed, on auto play, and muted by default with the option of unmuting. We’re still not sure yet if this new feature is good or bad news for marketers. While the new ad format opens up more opportunities to attract visitors and generate leads from Facebook, it could potentially alienate Facebook users. Many users complain that their News Feeds are already a bit cluttered with sponsored posts and pages — this new advertising format could add to the fray. That being said, it’s still too early to give the new ad format a yay or nay. Depending on how Facebook plans to moderate the number of ads per News Feed, these video ads could either turn the platform into an ad-filled mess or an effective ad-serving platform. Read more about Facebook’s video advertising options at Adweek.Google Launches YouTube Trends Map to Show the Most Popular Videos Across the U.S. in Real Time, From The Next WebAs you probably know by now, we love data — and the new Trends Map for YouTube melts our heart. Although it’s still in its infancy, the new Trends Map shows the most popular videos across the U.S., broken down by viewer age or gender. The map gives marketers a nice visual representation of how viral videos are shared and received across the country in real time. The videos that make it onto the map are chosen based on the number of shares by users, or total number of views. In addition to the map, marketers can also examine the popularity of particular videos based on certain demographics.For marketers, YouTube Trends Map is a great place to find relevant data on which videos go viral and why. Right now, the Trends Map only displays demographic information, but once there is more robust data available, it could be an incredibly powerful tool for marketers. Still, YouTube Trends Map can help marketers find engaging content to share with their followers, discover viral videos to newsjack, or even create a viral video of their own. Read more about YouTube Trends Map and what it means for marketers at The Next Web.YouTube Paid Subscription Channels Set to Launch Soon, From Marketing LandIt’s been a busy week for YouTube. Not only did the company recently release YouTube Trends Map, but it also started rolling out paid subscription channels offering premium video content. Besides providing a potential new revenue stream for YouTube, these paid subscription channels could attract a different type of audience who is concerned with the quality of the videos he or she watches rather than the quantity of videos available. The premium subscription is planned to compete with other premium video services such as Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. With as many as 50 subscription-based channels at the time of launch and fees as low as $1.99 a month, this could be a great alternative revenue stream for YouTube.What marketers should know is that this new move will open up a number of advertising opportunities for companies looking to place ads in higher quality content. Even though its user-generated videos have been an effective way of serving ads, some marketers are looking to pay for TV–like quality. The new premium subscription channels could open up a whole new demographic of users for marketers to target with higher quality ads on higher quality videos. Read more about YouTube’s paid subscription channels at Marketing Land.Traditional Turned Inbound: Reimagining 5 Iconic Ad Campaigns From the Past, Free Ebook From HubSpotSometimes, it boggles our minds how much things in marketing have changed in the last 60 years. Some of the most iconic advertising campaigns happened before we had social media, precise ad targeting, or even the internet. Thinking back got us thinking — what would an iconic advertising campaign from the “Mad Men” era look like today? Based on advice from current marketing experts, our new ebook explores how today’s marketers could execute those iconic ad campaigns to get the same impact they had in past. Get ready for a dive into the history of marketing and advertising, and download the ebook today!Klout Gets Into the Q&A Business by Launching Klout Experts (With Help From Bing), From TechCrunchThe popular influence-measurement startup is launching a new program built around industry “expert” Q&As that influencers can use to boost their street cred. Klout is asking users who are influential about certain topics to answer questions in 300 characters or less, allowing Klout to enter into the content creation space. Klout will also be working closely with Microsoft to ensure that relevant answers to questions will appear in searches on Bing.Marketers should see this as the perfect opportunity to boost their SEO on Bing. The program isn’t open to all users just yet, but if you’re one of those influential marketers on Klout that happens to be asked a few questions, answer them, and let Bing do the rest of the work. This might be a great way to establish yourself as an industry thought leader and promote your social media presence through quality content. You may even increase the ranking of your other content online. Read more about Klout and what it means for inbound marketers at TechCrunch.What were some of the top marketing stories you heard about this week? Originally published May 12, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 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

Why Is This in My Inbox? Deconstructing the Worst Spam Email of All Time

first_imgAlmost 10 months ago, I had my first day at HubSpot. I was excited about lots of things — the candy wall in the kitchen, the free coffee, and, you know, working with some great people — but one of the things I was most looking forward to was a fresh, clean email address. It was brand new. No one was selling it to unscrupulous marketers to spam me with irrelevant and annoying sales tactics.I was free … but not for long.Ten months later, my spam filter gets more and more email garbage each day, mostly filled with cold emails pitches. I’m sure your email address experiences the same thing. Last week, I got a particularly horrendous spam email that somehow got through my spam filter. It was impersonal, confusing, and broke some CAN-SPAM best practices. Yikes!Since the best way to learn how to do something is to sometimes hear how not to do it, we’re going to pick apart the horrible email below. All identifying information has been removed, but everything else has remained unchanged.So let’s take a look at this horrible email and see just what the fuss is all about. The Anatomy of a Truly Horrendous Spam Email *) Sending Spam EmailsIt’s kind of like the first rule of Fight Club: The first no-no of sending bad spam emails is (you guessed it!) sending spam emails in the first place. There’s not really a “great” way to send a spam email.Instead, you should be organically growing your email lists and only sending emails to people who’ve opted in to receive them. Your Sender Score will be better and your subscriber list will be happier. 1) Irrelevant Subject LinesFrom the first thing I see, I know that this email is going to be irrelevant and spammy. I work for an inbound marketing company — why would I be interested in buying lists? On top of that, telling me that people opted in to those lists doesn’t really change that fact. (Honestly, I don’t even know why I clicked through.)If you’re going to be emailing people, you’ve got to make sure the subject line of the email aligns with your subscriber list’s interests. 2) Standard, Thoughtless Greetings”Hi,” “hello,” “hey”: all “acceptable” greetings you can use in your emails. But this email is forgetting one crucial element of a greeting: my name. It sounds so simple, but it’s something that lots of people get wrong.Even though most people know that personalized emails are usually customized by a machine, adding that small touch to your email makes people feel like you’re talking to them Most marketing software, like HubSpot, will let you personalize your email greetings. The point here is simple: Make sure you’re taking advantage of this feature!3) Confusing Opening LinesI’ll admit it — the opening line of this email was the deciding factor in writing about it here. It’s just so crazy. If the sender has just a few seconds to hook me, why would they include the most confusing opening line ever? Is “Happy New Year” a saying that deserves quotations? Am I supposed to imagine the sender actually saying that out loud? Or does the sender not know how to use quotation marks like in this scene from Friends?Seriously folks, you’ve only got a second or two to hook your email subscribers in your opening sentences, so use your time wisely.4) Irrelevant OffersAt this point in the email, I wondered again whether the person knew who they were emailing. I’m guessing no … because with a few seconds of research, it’d be very evident I — or anyone else at this inbound marketing company — wouldn’t want to hear about purchasing email lists. In your own emails, since you’re not going to be spamming random lists you’ve bought, make sure your message is tailored to the audience receiving the email. The easiest way to make sure this happens is to segment your lists properly. 5) Filler Keywords (?)At the bottom of the email, I can’t help but be confused — yet again. What the heck are those keywords doing there? It wasn’t a company tagline or a link to its products. In fact, the company name wasn’t anywhere in the email at all. Was it a way to game your inbox search? I really have no idea.In your own emails, cut anything that might seem out-of-place and irrelevant to your audience — it could be the difference between someone clicking through on an email and deleting it. 6) CAN-SPAM ViolationsNote: I didn’t redact this information in the email footer — it was already like this. I don’t even know which company is sending me this spam email unless I look at the end of the sender email address … and after Googling the company name, I found out that the sender and the company were fake. Seriously … just … yucky.If you’re sending emails, make sure it’s very obvious who you are sending email on behalf of.  7) Difficult UnsubscribesIf I’m not able to unsubscribe from your email list with the click of a button, your email is going in the spam folder and your sender name will get blocked. Though technically, according to CAN-SPAM, you only have to not make it difficult for people to unsubscribe and honor the unsubscribe in 10 days, it’s a PITA to unsubscribe from spam emails like this.Do your subscribers a favor and allow them to unsubscribe with a few clicks of their mouse — most email marketing solutions will make this process incredibly easy for you and your subscribers. Even if you’re not sending spam emails specifically, you should avoid all of these email no-no’s. Your subscribers will be more excited to receive emails from you and see the count next to their spam folder get smaller and smaller — a win-win for everyone. What horrible tactics have you seen in your spam email folder? Share your stories with us in the comments.  Topics: Originally published Jan 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Email Deliverability Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #26: Speak Visually

first_img Free Templates: 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 How to Write a Blog Post Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templatescenter_img Free Blog Post Templates How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] Topics: 2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post 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

Google Kills Authorship, Photos and All

first_img Originally published Aug 29, 2014 9:17:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Google Updates 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: First it was Authorship photos. Now, it’s the whole shebang.Yep, that’s right — Google Authorship is over. According to a Google+ post yesterday by Google Webmaster Tools’ John Mueller, Google is removing authorship results from search and won’t be tracking the rel=author tag data anymore (it’ll be treated like any other type of markup on your website, and “won’t cause problems,” according to Mueller). And the changes seem to be immediate. This search used to return results that looked like this (pre-Authorship photo removal):Now results look like a throwback to 2011:But search results won’t be exactly like they were in 2011. Users will see Google+ posts in the main results and in the sidebar from their connections — and the results seem to look very similar to the Authorship design:On the “Death of Google Authorship”, note Google+ posts still get both ‘authorship’ and author photos (brands too): pic.twitter.com/p9yFLSA919— dan barker (@danbarker) August 29, 2014Many of us are wondering what gives, Google. Why would the search giant do away with Authorship? Why Is Authorship Going Away? In Mueller’s post, he says the reason Google Authorship is getting the boot is because of users. Apparently it wasn’t that helpful for users, and even ended up distracting them. And according to their tests, “removing Authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites. Nor does it increase clicks on ads.”Mueller got more specific about what went wrong with Authorship in a conversation with Search Engine Land. From three years of test data, Google found two main reasons to ax Authorship:1) It had low publisher and webmaster adoption. In the link above, Search Engine Land showcases some original data around Authorship adoption. They found that lots of people still weren’t using Authorship, or if they were using it, it wasn’t set up properly.But if you’ve ever set up Authorship, it makes sense. Though there were some easy-to-use tools to help you set up Authorship, if you didn’t have those tools, it was a hassle and a half to get it set up. As a result, lots of people didn’t set it up properly — or at all. 2) Users didn’t find value in it.Besides being hard to set up without the right tools, Authorship wasn’t getting the results Google hoped. When they announced the removal of Authorship photos, Google said that there was little effect on clickthrough rates with Authorship photos removed. The combination of low adoption and low impact on search made it clear to Google that Authorship as we know it should go … but that doesn’t mean you’re going to stop seeing photos in search anytime soon. Authorship for Google+ Instead?Frankly, the most interesting part of this whole story is that Google+ posts from your connections will now look like Authorship did — so this change might be an aggressive ploy to get more and more people on Google+. With people trying to get any edge in the rankings they can, some people may default to ramping up their Google+ presence in the absence of Authorship.So what should you do? Should you be doubling down on Google+ in the hopes of some more traffic to your site?The biggest thing I’d urge you to do is to not panic. This does not spell the end of SEO. This does not mean your site is suddenly going to tank in the rankings. It just means that you have to tweak your marketing activities.Maybe you’ll ramp up your Google+ promotions and presence, but the core of your marketing will stay the same — creating content people love on your website. Like with any other distribution platform, Google gets to make — and change — the rules of its platform. But if you’re focusing the majority of your time on building your marketing for your audience, and then making smaller changes as social networks, search engines, and distribution platforms change their algorithms, you’ll weather the storm just fine. last_img read more

6 Ways Your Coworkers Can Help Make Your Next Event a Success

first_imgSign in with your Twitter Account. Of course, you should also encourage coworkers to promote your event via other networks — like LinkedIn, Facebook (if applicable), and email.During your event, your coworkers are: 4) Social Media MastersHaving real-time social updates is a sure-fire way to engage both your attendees, and those who couldn’t make it to the event. Creating your event’s hashtag should be your first step, but always try to make it as short as possible so that you free up as many of Twitter’s 140 characters as you can. Make sure that all attendees are aware of your event hashtag by placing it on all event collateral — slides, email, and social communication in particular. Including the Twitter handles of your event speakers is also a nice addition.Having a coworker man the social media deck will free up some precious project management time for you, and allow attendees to feel like there is someone paying attention to their experience of the event, and answer any queries they may have. It also helps you make sure that any tweetable quotes or soundbites are captured and sent out into the twittersphere. Check out our blog post “Everything You Need To Know To Successfully Live-Tweet Your Event” to find out more on how to rock Twitter during your event — but having knowledgeable, responsible coworkers manning the social media station will be a huge stress relief for you.5) Networking NinjasNetworking is a key reason for attending events — in a recent HubSpot survey 76% of all respondents said that networking was their motivation for attending events. Obviously, this means it’s not a facet of event organization that you can ignore. In fact, it should be something that you embrace … and your coworkers can help you do that.To facilitate networking as best you can during your events, have your coworkers attend the event with the aim of getting conversations going. This is particularly helpful since each will have their own superpower or specialty in particular areas of your product or service, which means networking conversations can align with that attendees really want to talk about. Depending on the type of event and the audience present, different types of networking opportunities are more suitable than others. But, here are a few to consider — I’d recommend mixing up the staff at each event so it’s not always the same faces:Pre-Event Breakfast: This is a great networking opportunity for events that are on the smaller end of the scale and have VIP guests attending. It’s a more intimate environment that can be hugely productive and beneficial for all involved. Having managerial level coworkers attend adds further value and credibility to the session.Coffee Breaks: Coffee (or tea) breaks are inevitable during your event. They break up the day, allow your attendees to re-energize, and are also fantastic networking opportunities.Post-Event Drinks: An old-school favorite. The majority of event attendees will enjoy the idea of a few social beverages after an event to network with each other, and anyone present from your company. Make sure that you have enough representatives from your company doing the rounds, chatting to the attendees, and generally making sure that everyone is having a good time. Having a few extra hands on deck is a great way to ensure that all attendees feel like they matter.  Post-event, your coworkers can be: 6) Devoted DistributorsIt’s easy to think that once your last event attendee leaves the venue that your event is over, but of course that isn’t true. Sharing follow-up content based on what was included in the event is an integral part to event organization. SlideShare decks, videos, photos — any matter of content can be shared once the event is over via email with those who registered and attended. And with a quick click of a button, your colleagues become additional distribution channels and can amplify your reach online. Apps like GaggleAMP (which is a paid tool) are super useful here.How to GaggleAmpSet up an account and ask your coworkers to join your “Gaggle.” They will be able to log in to the app and see which messages you would like them to share through which social networks. They will be able to choose what they want to share and where. Once you start publishing content via GaggleAMP, your Gaggle members will be able to further share your messages (and thus your follow-up content) with an easy click of a button.If you’re a HubSpot customer, you already have access to this functionality within Social Inbox. All you have to do is connect your coworkers’ social accounts and you can schedule your post-event content to go out across all of their networks.Having your coworkers help make your events even more awesome is always a good call — they are smart people with smart ideas and great resources. However, the best way to make sure that they do help you out without being unresponsive is to make tasks and requests as easy and clear as possible. Give them all of the relevant information clearly and succinctly, and provide them with any assets that will help them complete what you have asked of them.If you are an event organizer and want to learn how inbound marketing can help you get more of the right people to your event, HubSpot and Eventbrite show you how in this webinar. Watch it here.What other tips do you have for leveraging your coworkers to help you with your events? Type the message you would like to be tweeted and click generate new link. Topics: Events are having a moment — especially with our very own INBOUND conference right around the corner! And for those of you who organize and execute on events, you know exactly what planning a successful one entails. Each aspect is an important element in what you hope will turn out to be a well-oiled machine.Various tips, tricks, hacks, and dare I say even shortcuts, are in constant demand from event planners, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook the secret weapons that you already have in your arsenal: your coworkers. Not only do they liven up your day with friendly chit-chat, they can also seriously up your event organizing game. So if you’re an event organizer, take a 10 minute break from trying to multitask and juggle the 50 million little parts involved in event planning, and read on to learn how you can make better use of the awesome resources you have all around you. (Or at least the ones hovering by the coffee machine.)When planning and organizing events, your coworkers are:1) Content Kings (& Queens)Your sales reps and managers are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to understanding your target market/audience. Use them. They’re in constant contact with the people for whom you’re designing your event, and thus can provide you with key insights upon which you can build your event. Ask them about the most common challenges your target market is facing, and what the trending topics of conversation are. This will help you put together the best content that will appeal to your attendees. In fact, a recent survey by HubSpot and Eventbrite found that 79% of event attendees go to events to learn. Running an event that aims to provide educational value can be more successful than a straightforward and traditional sales event.2) Speaker SpecialistsEvery event needs speakers, and whether these are externally or internally sourced, this is when your interpersonal skills are indispensable. However, rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel and build new relationships, remember that you have an extended network through your coworkers. Depending on the type of speakers desired, your colleagues can ease a little more of that event-organizing-induced pain. Here are some opportunities:Account Management/Sales: Referrals and reviews are all exceptionally effective marketing techniques, and that extends to organizing event speakers, too. Ask your Sales/Account Management teams to suggest potential speakers for your event based on their relationships with your customers.Services: Send out a “Call For Customer Speakers” email to your services team with a link to a Google Docs spreadsheet where they can drop in suggestions for suitable speakers, and the reason they feel they would be a good fit for the event. This will make it really easy for you to review and choose the best customer speakers.Marketing: The addition of an industry influencer or thought leader to any event increases its value to many attendees. Not only does it add to the “cool factor” of your event, it also continues to position it in the realm of education, as opposed to being purely product and sales focused. Chances are there are people in your organization who already have relationships with these industry mini-celebrities, and who won’t mind reaching out to them on your behalf. The good folks in the marketing department tend to be an endless reserve of contacts, and are therefore a great place to start.3) Attendance/Attendee AdvocatesEven as a kid, the prospect of hosting an event and having no one turn up was a genuine fear. Seven years old and alone with a birthday cake — isn’t that a sad image? Unfortunately, for event organizers that fear is still alive. You can be an organizational whiz kid and yet if no one turns up for your event, all that hard work is pointless. To help alleviate some of that fear, make use of your coworkers’ networks to promote event attendance. A super easy and quick way to do this (and minimize the amount of effort needed by your coworkers) is to send out a short and sweet email, which includes lazy tweets to announce your upcoming event.How to Lazy TweetClick to Tweet is a free tool that allows you to create a tweet, share the associated link, and “Whoever clicks on the link will have the message automatically added to their Twitter status box.” Just … Copy the link and share! Originally published Sep 3, 2014 4:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Event Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Google Algorithm Now Rewards Mobile-Friendly Sites: Here’s What You Need to Know

first_img Mobile Optimization As of Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Google has made a massive change to the way it ranks websites. How massive? This change outranks both Panda and Penguin in terms of its scale of impact on search results, according to Google’s Webmaster Trends analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji.The change comes down to one very important criterion: whether your website, landing pages, and blog are fully optimized for mobile.Are you prepared? Let’s find out.Google announced the change on its Webmaster Central Blog back in February and has done a thorough job ever since explaining to marketers and website owners how the change will affect their site and search traffic. They explained:Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.If your site isn’t fully optimized for mobile devices, you will likely see a hit to your ranking on mobile searches. Which is why some people have called this “Mobilegeddon.” Since this change is all about solving for the searcher, I prefer the much less scary “Mobilefestivus,” but it’s not quite as catchy. Either way, you’ve got options.In this post, I’ll walk through the change using some of Google’s helpful tools to help you react to it.Note: If your landing pages and blog are on HubSpot’s Content Managment System (CMS) or if you utilize HubSpot’s Website Platform, then you’re all set. HubSpot’s uses responsive design to adapt to any mobile device and fully passes the sniff test on Google’s new algorithm. So customers on the CMS, rest easy. If your website is on another system or your landing pages are on another marketing automation tool, the answer isn’t as cut and dry. It all depends on how the site was designed.To determine your readiness, you’ll want to start with Google’s free assessment tool, which I’ll dig in to now.Test Your Website For ReadinessBeyond having the most imaginative and adorable seasonal doodles, Google does some other pretty lovable things. Namely, they’ve provided website owners with free tool well in advance to tell them exactly what is needed to prepare for the new mobile search algorithm.You can access the tool here.When you run your site on the tool, you’ll get a quick assessment of whether your mobile rank will suffer as a result of the April 21st change. If your website is fully optimized for mobile, you’ll get a success message like this one:Proceed with the proud nods and satisfied fist bumps with your desk-mates. You’ll also get a visual of how the Googlebot “sees” your website. (For example, in our the screenshot below, you’ll see that in HubSpot’s blog, there are four resources which Googlebot can’t “see” because we’ve blocked them with a robots.txt file. That’s no big deal, but it’s good to know nevertheless.)If your website, landing pages or blog are not ready for the mobile update, you’ll get a message that looks like this:Along with the failure message, you’ll get a few pointed bullets on the reasons your content failed the test. Above, you can see the mobile viewport is not set, the links are too close together, and the text is too small to read. While this may seem like you’ll need to do a whole detailed redesign to fix each error, moving to a mobile optimized content management system, blog, or landing page tool will likely fix most of them.  So, let’s stop here and run that test. I’ll wait.Ready to move on? Okay.Choose Your Mobile Optimization ApproachIf any of your content isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s really important that you make some changes in light of the new algorithm. Even the best landing page in the world can notice drastically diminishing returns if it’s not optimized for mobile.To remedy the situation you have options. Google recognizes three different configurations as “mobile friendly.” You can move your content to any of the following set-ups and be protected from the change.1. Responsive DesignResponsive design is Google’s  #1 recommended design pattern. The reason responsive design is so desireable is that it doesn’t create two copies of the same site. Viewers only have one URL to go to and the website will adapt as they move from phone to tablet to desktop and beyond.(HubSpot customers: If you host pages on HubSpot’s Content Management System, your site is built using responsive design from the start. There’s nothing more you need to do.)2. Dynamic ServingLike responsive design, a dynamic serving approach keeps the same URL — but this time, the HTML actually changes. Dynamic serving uses user-agents to “sniff” out what kind of device the viewer is using and then dynamically serves up the appropriate view.Google notes that this user-agent detection can be an error-prone technique, but it is an option that passes the Google mobile-optimization test.3. Mobile WebsiteCreating a separate mobile website was one of the earliest versions of mobile optimization, and it still works for Google’s requirements. Upon a new user arriving, this configuration tries to detect the users’ device, then redirects to the appropriate website using redirects.The reason this method isn’t as recommended as responsive design is it requires you to maintain — and Google to crawl — two versions of your content. In addition, it can be a a disruptive experience for someone who accidentally clicks on the mobile link, possibly shared through social or email, while on a desktop computer.Why Is Responsive Design the Best Choice?HubSpot uses responsive design, so our bias is clear, but there are lots of reasons responsive makes sense as the best way to optimize your site right now.  Website visitors like it.From a visitor’s standpoint, responsive is pretty seamless. It’s the same URL (address) and the same HTML (content) — it just adapts and gets re-proportioned based on the viewer. That means if you email yourself a link from your phone and then reopen it on your desktop, it’s going to be a consistent experience either way. Google likes it.From Google’s standpoint, there are a few things responsive does really well. For starters, it saves resources when Googlebot crawls your site.  Rather than crawling multiple sites, the Googlebot can go to one place which increases efficiency and helps Google index more content. It also helps Google’s algorithms more accurately assign indexing properties to a piece of content without needing to check two places. Marketers and website owners like it.A responsive site requires less time to maintain because you don’t have multiple pages for the same content. It also requires no redirection of users based to other URLs based on their device, which speeds up the load time of your website — and faster sites lead to more conversions. Google’s List of Common MistakesIn addition to the mobile-optimization tool, Google has also put together a list of common mistakes to avoid in optimizing your site for mobile devices and the algorithm change. These mistakes include using flash video and other unplayable content types on mobile as well as having a slow mobile site.Frequently Asked QuestionsHere are a few remaining questions you might have about the change.1. I’m not ready for a redesign. Do I have to do this now?You may not need to fully redesign it now to comply with Google’s requirements for mobile-friendly sites. What you do need to do is move your existing site, blog or landing pages to a mobile friendly platform.(HubSpot can migrate your existing site for you to make it responsive without altering the existing design very much. Whether you’re a HubSpot customer or not, you can request information about that here.)2. Is my site permanently penalized if I don’t optimize for mobile now?No — you can rebuild search credit after the fact. But you should try to move quickly on it because every day that your site isn’t optimized for mobile is a day that you’ll lose traffic. Estimates of mobile search volume vary by industry, but one thing researchers have seen is that companies with mobile-optimized sites triple their chances of increasing mobile conversation rate to 5% or above.3. What other elements should I consider in optimizing my website for mobile?In addition to ensuring that the site loads properly and the font is big enough for mobile, you’ll want to consider the length of your forms on mobile devices. If you have a landing page tool that allows you to swap out forms for people visiting on mobile devices, build shorter forms into your strategy.You also may want to think about how the behavior visitors exhibit on mobile devices differs from that of desktop viewers and begin to adapt your content strategy.Final ThoughtsDespite our shared tendency to turn any Google Algorithm change into an impending zombie apocalypse, this change is actually a very good one for Google users and marketers alike. Modernizing your website to be optimized for all the ways people shop and buy better meets the needs of perspective customers, reduces friction on your website, and will ultimately lead to more conversions and revenue for your company. There’s a lot to like about that.Featured Image Credit: Placeit Topics: Originally published Apr 16, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 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

10 Fun Ways to Break the Ice With New Coworkers

first_img Originally published Mar 18, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 What does your team do to get to know one another? Share your ideas in the comments section below.  Topics: Office Politicscenter_img For many companies, there are few things as important as developing and maintaining a culture that attracts and retains their employees. When coworkers get to know each other as people, they’ll be able to communicate better, trust each other more, and work better together.Sometimes, though, some structured activities can help coax people out of their shells and help break the ice at work.That’s why the folks at OfficeVibe created the SlideShare below that’s chock full of get-to-know-you and group-building activities. Flip through it for ideas for 10 fun ways for coworkers to get to know one another — especially when welcoming a new employee or group. 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

From Punny to Just Plain Clever: 11 Hilarious Holiday Cards for Marketers

first_img10) #Presents, by NewtonAndTheAppleNo matter how you feel about a personal use of hashtags, there’s no denying their importance in marketing.The makers of this card leveraged that idea to capture a hightlight of the holidays: #presents.But if the marketers in your life are feeling a bit grinchy this season, fear not — there’s another version made just for them.There are also editions available for #lights, #Rudolph, and #tree. Might we submit a request for #cookies and #wine?11) Beyoncé Jingles, by NostalgiaCollectConsider this one our gift to you. I mean, Beyoncé and a pun? Nothing says “happy holidays” to our favorite marketers like a play on popular song lyrics.Happy Holidays From Our Marketers to YoursBetween all of the chaos and planning, it seems like there’s one big thing we forget to do during the holidays — laugh. That’s what the season’s greetings are for, after all. And if that festivity and joy happens to come with a good dose of marketing humor, we hope that makes you all the merrier.Have you come across some great holiday cards for marketers? Let us know in the comments. Originally published Dec 12, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketers work hard, amirite? But there are still some people in our lives — ahem, Mom — who seem to think that we just write stories and draw pictures on the internet all day.I mean, we don’t do that every day. We work hard, and we have a great appreciation for things that are creative and clever. It makes sense, then, that we also like our season’s greetings to share those traits. And when it comes to holiday cards, just make us laugh.But if you’ve been described as “impossible to please,” or having an “abnormal appreciation for puns,” have faith — you’re not alone. That’s why we put together this guide of great holiday cards for marketers.Download more holiday resources to help your business succeed this season from HubSpot’s #HolidayHubFrom punny to downright clever, these cards certainly have us in stitches — We hope you’ll enjoy them, too.11 Hilarious Holiday Cards for Marketers1) Thoughtful Tweets, by SomeecardsLeave it to Someecards to capture the holiday snark that lives in all of us, at least a little bit.Holidays are a busy time for marketers. We have to plan content for the season — which is remarkably easier with a social media content calendar — and make sure it continues to thrive, even if we’re elsewhere, donning ugly sweaters and drinking eggnog.Naturally, this fitting sentiment made us laugh.Someecards makes it super easy to send these greetings, too. Just visit the link, click on the picture, and choose when you want it to be delivered.2) CapterraGrams, by CapterraIn a past holiday season, Capterra compiled a list of 10 B2B holiday greetings that were so clever, we’re kind of jealous that we didn’t come up with them.It’s hard to pick just one, but here are a few of our favorites — like this one, which puts a marketing spin on the classic carol “Up on the Housetop.”Or this one, which turns social sharing buttons into dreidels.Of course, we couldn’t leave out a good CTA color pun, either.3) The Forgetful Marketer, by SadShopWe love all of SadShop’s holiday cards for their deadpan greetings, like “You are not bad” for Valentine’s Day, and “You are too old to say yolo” for birthdays.So when it came time to find the perfect holiday sentiment for the marketers in our lives, we knew that SadShop would have something fitting. And if you’re the type of marketer who works so hard before the holidays that perhaps you never quite make it to the “cards” line on your December to-do list, this one might be for you.4) Holiday Zen, by ThePaperArtShoppeThen, there are the marketers who do manage to get it all together — work, cards, and maybe even a box of homemade cookies — but you wish he or she would take a minute to breathe. (Or maybe, you know, that describes you. We can relate.)There’s nothing like some holiday yoga to keep calm and market on during this season. A little bit of laughter wouldn’t hurt, either — What better way to get a chuckle than with a tree-posing reindeer?5) Appy New Year, by nocturnalpaperAs marketers, we really love our apps, especially if they help us relax or become more productive. So when it comes to wishing us a happy holiday, it’s quite fitting to make it more of an “appy” holiday.This adorable card puts that pun to work by taking four app icons — weather, mail, messages, and music — and attaching tiny arms and legs to them. However, depending on who you ask, those arms might look like little reindeer antlers. Festivity is in the eye of the (appy) beholder. 6) For the Good-Humored Boss, by FINCHandHAREIf you’re as lucky as we are, your boss has a great sense of humor. In that case, he or she might appreciate this greeting — which is actually meant to be a birthday card, but still works as a holiday one — which simply reads, “You are terrifying.”Once the card is opened, the humor continues with, “You are a terrific boss. I am really enjoying the comfortable work environment you foster.” Be sure to add your own warm, hand-written greeting, though, to make sure it’s all in good fun. We suggest, “For one of the best marketers I know. Happy holidays,” or, “I mean it. Thanks for such a great year, and happy holidays.”7) Holiday Buzzwords, by SomeecardsSomeecards strikes again with this great greeting that calls out marketers on, well, the language we might throw around during the holidays.But hey, don’t fault us — we really do wish you hope, peace, joy, and successful marketing.8) #FFFFFF, by NerdyWordsGiftsWhere there’s marketing, there’s often branding. And where there’s branding, there’s a style guide. That usually comes equipped with official rules about which colors should be used in marketing collateral. Those colors usually have their own html codes that lead with the # symbol.As you probably guessed, #FFFFFF is the html color code for white. This card puts a branding and design spin on the famous carol lyrics, “May all your Christmases be white,” replacing the word “white” with the digital symbol. In that case, we hope your holidays are anything but #0468E0. 9) Holiday QR Code, by kissandpunchQR codes are hardly a new marketing concept, but when used correctly, they can still be effective. Case in point: this card with a QR code letterpress.But the greeting doesn’t end there. Once the code is scanned, the recipient is taken to this adorable video of a yorkie’s holiday adventures — and who doesn’t love marketing with a healthy dose of dogs?Warning: The video is a bit corny, but we can’t think of a better time than the holidays for some cheesy cheer.center_img Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Fact or Fiction: The SEO Edition [Quiz]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Just when you thought you were up-to-date on the latest SEO best practices, an algorithm change or a new expert post has you questioning yourself. Sound familiar?It’s true, the world of SEO is spinning faster than ever, and for every new strategy, an old one becomes obsolete. As inbound marketers, it’s our job to stay informed of these changes, while continuously questioning the status quo.With the help of Matthew Howells-Barby, HubSpot’s Director of Acquisition and in-house SEO expert, we took a look at our SEO strategy and decided to share it with all of you in our free SEO Tutorial.Click here to get everything you need to get your website ranking in search.Is your team still focusing on keywords rather than topic clusters? Do you have an active backlink strategy? See how you and your team fare in the new world of search engine optimization by taking this 10-question quiz.Fact or Fiction: The SEO Edition Originally published Jan 30, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated April 27 2018 Topics: SEOlast_img read more

9 New LinkedIn Features You May Have Missed Last Year

first_img Topics: The platform also suggests other articles I might share with my network for even more engagement.6. Native VideosThere was a time when you could only embed video content on your LinkedIn page from YouTube or a similar third party. But times have changed.In a decisive attempt to keep people on LinkedIn’s website, you can now upload native videos directly to LinkedIn through the LinkedIn mobile app. It’s a smart move that could set the company up for features you already see on social networks like Facebook (think Facebook Live).Native video also makes it easier for LinkedIn company pages to appear more authentic in their storytelling, helping individuals connect with and follow brands they know they can trust.7. New (and Missing) Search FeaturesLinkedIn refined its search capabilities so users can search all of LinkedIn with a single, unified search experience based on certain keywords. Now, users can easily toggle between different categories related to search terms without having to move between different categories of the site.Check out what the results look like when I search for “content marketing”:Whereas previously, LinkedIn users had to go into each of these sections (“People,” “Jobs,” “Companies”) in order to conduct searches, now users can search from one place to get all of the results they’re looking for.Notably, LinkedIn removed some of the Advanced Search filters that were previously available on LinkedIn Premium and are now only available for the more expensive Sales Navigator tier of LinkedIn Premium. These filters include “years of experience,” “function,” and “seniority level.”8. Chat-like MessagingLinkedIn recently rolled out messaging, which allows users to send InMail like a chat instead of an email. Users won’t have to navigate to another pane to send a private message — instead, they can send a direct chat without leaving the LinkedIn homepage feed, as shown in the image below:Image via TechCrunchIn another nod to Facebook’s Messenger layout, this change helps users easily spend more time clicking around the site. The difference is that this chat feature has also begun to include sponsored messages. This makes business professionals less likely to send the dreaded default InMail message if they know their outreach can appear like a chat instead of an email.9. New Blogging InterfaceLinkedIn also now features a slick new publishing platform. Before, publishers had to navigate to LinkedIn Pulse to write an original blog post. Now, users are one click away from a slick, easy-to-use blog publishing platform.Check it out:Blogging on LinkedIn could garner more attention to your brand’s site if LinkedIn grows in popularity. In fact, content consumption on LinkedIn has increased over the last few years, so marketers should consider LinkedIn as a platform for reproducing or creating original content.What’s Next for LinkedIn?Amidst these changes, marketers should keep an eye on where their audience is spending time. If LinkedIn’s number of monthly active users increases in its next quarterly report, it might be worthwhile to invest more resources in running campaigns and creating content for the site.We’ll keep you posted on more changes to the platform and its usage as that news unfolds. In the meantime, click around the new website and experiment with the new analytics capabilities to see if your audience wants to spend time on LinkedIn with you. And if you need guidance for running a strong LinkedIn ad campaign, download our guide here.Do you publish original content on LinkedIn? Share with us in the comments below. Originally published Jan 24, 2018 7:02:00 PM, updated October 14 2019 When you logged into LinkedIn around this time last year, you may have noticed something different. Actually, everything was different, because LinkedIn completely redesigned its desktop site.And with new features like native video and smart replies, this update continues to be important heading into 2018.Access Now: Free Advertising Checklist + Best Practices VideosLinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform, with 530 million members worldwide. The company rarely discloses their number of active monthly users, but we do know the network has grown by more than 60 million total members since the third quarter of 2016. Is this a testament to the redesign? Perhaps, but there’s a lot to unpack from this overhaul.For example, the LinkedIn desktop site used to look something like this:Image via LinkedInAnd this is what my LinkedIn homepage looked like when I wrote this article:There’s more to this slick interface than what you see here. LinkedIn sought to “create more value” for its members since being acquired by Microsoft in 2016, and, hopefully, make them want to spend more time on the site. Let’s dive into some of the biggest changes to the site since the redesign and how marketers and users should be taking advantage of them this year.9 Changes to LinkedIn You May Have Missed1. A New HomepageUsing a combination of human editors and new algorithms, LinkedIn has surfaced more content and fewer status updates. The homepage feed will increasingly suggest organic, sponsored, and native advertising content users might be interested in reading.In keeping with this business focus, one clear addition to this layout is the “Work” button to the right of your profile picture on the new navigation bar. This is the control center for a user’s company page management, making it easier to advertise, find and attract talent, and conveniently equip employees with learning solutions right from LinkedIn.These are deliberate moves to better connect professionals with the businesses they support and care about.2. Trending TopicsThe feed will now also help users follow trending stories … sound familiar? If LinkedIn is trying to make its user base engage more on the platform, further modeling a newsfeed in the style of Facebook is a safe bet.To the top-right of your newsfeed, you’ll now see the following news widget:This function was seeded with popular topics picked by more than 20 editors, most of them former business journalists, and now integrates with LinkedIn’s algorithm to show trends that are more specific to a user’s connections and the content they engage with.3. Calendar ChatbotNext, LinkedIn is introducing a chatbot. It will look at two connections’ calendars and find and set times for them to meet directly within LinkedIn’s messenger platform. It hasn’t been rolled out as of the time of this posting, but in another nod to Facebook Messenger and similar bots, this is an addition designed to keep users spending time on the site. Stay tuned for more news when the bot launches fully.4. Smart RepliesAlthough a working chatbot hasn’t yet gone live on LinkedIn, artificial intelligence (AI) is already making its way into the user experience — with smart replies.Inside LinkedIn Messaging, you’ll see three suggested responses below an open conversation, based on the messages that were most recently sent. Although it may not appear in every chat window, LinkedIn says it will further customize these smart replies based on the person to whom you’re writing. For example, “Thanks, Danielle!” as opposed to simply, “Thanks!”As LinkedIn users spend more time connecting with businesses and colleagues, especially via mobile, we can expect AI and machine learning to make LinkedIn even more convenient in the near future.5. More AnalyticsLinkedIn now provides more analytics about how other users interact with the content you share — not just who views your profile or who likes one of your posts. Now, users can see not only who likes their content, but which companies they come from, where they’re located, what roles they’re in, and even where they found your content.Here are analytics from an article I posted recently on LinkedIn:center_img LinkedIn Marketing Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Why the ‘Pivot to Video’ Is Dangerous for Publishers

first_img Video Marketing When I read that the average American spends five-and-a-half hours per day watching video content, I scoffed. Between video explainers on Facebook, Game of Thrones, and Netflix, that average is closer to my daily minimum time spent watching videos.After all, 2017 was “the year of video” — why shouldn’t people consume more videos, and why shouldn’t creators make more?As it turns out, there is such a thing as too much video. Publishers like MTV News, which laid off most of its editorial crew last year to focus on video; and Vox Media, which scaled back its video team this year, have seen how hazardous a “pivot to video” can be.Click here to learn how to create and utilize video in your marketing to increase engagement and conversion rates.No, not that kind of pivot. I’m talking about the “pivot to video.”What is pivoting to video? It’s not changing seats on the couch to get a better view — it’s the latest example of marketers and content creators being so eager to adopt a new platform or medium that they ruin it.What Is a Pivot to Video?Pivot to video (verb): To decrease or entirely shutter written editorial operations to focus on creating more video contentSynonyms: restructuring, reorganizing, refocusingIf this sounds like a joke … well, the dictionary definition is kind of a joke. But “pivoting to video” consists of publications deciding to focus so entirely on video that entire writing and editorial staff are laid off completely.It started with MTV News.You might not be surpised to hear this — after all, the word “television” makes up two of the three letters in MTV. But after an organizational restructuring at MTV in 2015, long-form editorial and video content about politics, culture, and social issues helped improve the network’s ratings and engagement on web properties. MTV News staffed its team with content creators who produced documentary-style videos and 4,000-6,000-word long-form written pieces — most of whom were let go in June of this year, when MTV News “pivoted” to create more short-form music and entertainment video over long-form editorial pieces.Twitter was flooded with tweets from former employees announcing their newfound employment status, friends calling for publishers to hire them, and content creators from all media decrying — and defending — the strategic pivot. .@MTVNews I’m a fan of video. I work in video. But behind strong video, you also need strong storytellers. https://t.co/LBgJZpi9mw— Traci Lee (@traciglee) June 28, 2017 How’s that video push working out for everyone? – Vox Media Lays Off 50 Staffers, or 5% of Workforce https://t.co/wha3GyOVjo via @variety— Merrill Barr (@MerrillBarr) February 21, 2018 Topics: Originally published Mar 6, 2018 7:15:00 PM, updated March 07 2018 I’ve been in digital media for 12 years. One thing I’ve learned is that nobody wants to read anything over 1,000 words. MTV is more proof.— Andy Gray (@AndyGray35) June 28, 2017 I’ve been laid off by @MTVNews. I’ll miss seeing my brilliant, talented colleagues, and I look forward to continuing my career elsewhere.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) June 28, 2017center_img Fast-forward to this year (no pun intended): Facebook announces it will reduce brand and publisher content on its users’ news feeds, and Vox Media lays off 50 video producers across Racked, Curbed, SB Nation, and other online properties in its portfolio.With respect to social media, snarky tweets from within the industry aren’t the only reason to take your foot off the video gas pedal. There are a few big reasons a complete pivot to video is ill-advised. Keep reading — I’ll explain.The Reason People Pivot to VideoLet’s call a spade a spade — publishers are pivoting to video to make money.In the age of pre-roll and mid-roll advertising, it’s harder to ignore a video ad when it’s the only thing standing between you and a video you want to watch. Ads are easier to ignore when they live in the side margins and on top of written long-form articles, so publishers might see a greater opportunity to make money from placing video ads over video content.And the biggest piece of the digital advertising pie now goes not to advertisers or publishers — but to Facebook and Google. So it’s understandable that media companies and publications are doing whatever they can to drive ROI on the content they produce.But the pivot to video isn’t happening at random — these strategic reorganizations are also a nod to the growing popularity of video content, which we can’t deny — nor would we want to.We’ve blogged at length about video being engaging, in-demand, and a smart way for brands to diversify content and connect with audiences in new ways. And making videos is smart — it just shouldn’t be the only content your brand produces.It’s true that videos are growing in popularity — your audience wants to see videos, videos drive results for your business, and videos are an extremely favorable medium across different social media platforms. It’s also true that the human attention span is waning. But this doesn’t mean you should send your editorial staff packing. You don’t need to “pivot to video” to develop a smart video strategy as part of your content production engine — and we’ll show you how.What to Keep in Mind When Pivoting to Video1. People Like to ReadSetting aside for a moment the fact that the written word has been in existence for several thousand years (thank you, Flinstone family), the popularity of video content and written content aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, audiences want more written content and more videos — so can’t we all just get along?In 2017, we learned that roughly half of consumers want to see more video content — but almost the same amount also wanted to see more news articles.But in a new HubSpot Research survey released in February 2018, we learned that the popularity of video content is increasing — especially among people 18 to 24 years old. What’s a marketer to do?Content consumption preferences are always changing, and they vary across different age groups, content formats, and subject matter. There are some cases when the written word is a better way to share information than video content — especially as people are still browsing a business’s website (and the written content included on it) more than purely video.In some cases, audiences don’t want videos at all. For example, in the United States, NiemanLab found that video isn’t growing as rapidly as one might think.In fact, roughly half of those surveyed didn’t watch any online news videos — and more than two-thirds said they consumed most news in text format. Most video being consumed was short and sweet and entertaining — leaving plenty of room at the table for written content consumption, too.So, people are watching videos, but they’re also consuming a lot of text content, too. How should publishers and content producers address the diversifying content preferences of audiences?The SolutionMake great videos and write great articles. In fact, ideally, you should be writing articles and reports, and then incorporating videos and other multimedia elements into them. Give the people what they want — which is written, visual, and audio content.Think about how your audience wants to learn. According to the survey above, people are more interested in consuming in-depth news information by reading it, whereas they might be more interested in watching shorter, more consumable video content. While a video might be a good fit for briefly explaining a complicated topic, it might not be the best fit for a detailed breakdown of SEO best practices — like in these examples.If you don’t know the answer to this question, ask your audience. If you’re not sure about your industry or audience’s preferences, ask them. Using an email newsletter or a Twitter poll, ask questions like, “What would you most like us to produce a video about?” or “Do you prefer written or visual explainers?” to figure out where to get started.The answer to the question of what types of content your audience prefers is an evolving one — and one that we constantly experiment with here at HubSpot. Read about how we’re changing up our social media video strategy in this blog post.2. Videos Are Hard to MakeVideos are hard to make — and it shows.The internet is populated with far too many slideshows and photos set to music that are masquerading as videos — like this one:Videos like these don’t offer the viewer much more value than reading a story would, but publishers keep making them — presumably because they get more clicks on social media than an article would.I don’t know about you, but I find these videos extremely annoying — they either autoplay when I open an article, or I click them to learn more and get no additional information out of them.Instead, publishers and brands should be striving to make great videos — which are driven by great stories. You need good storytelling to create a compelling video, and — guess what? That will require the writing of a script or outline beforehand, and writers and editors can be of tremendous value there.Additionally, if you remember our finding above, audiences don’t just want one thing — they want it all. Consumers want multimedia articles, in-depth research reports, blog posts, and entertaining videos. There’s plenty of room for cross-collaboration between writers, editors, and video producers to create excellent content that solves for constantly-changing consumer preferences.The SolutionBefore implementing a video strategy, invest in resources to do it well, and experiment with creating different videos for different segments of your audience.This means taking the time (and resources) to invest in video equipment, filming, and editing software, and freelancers or new employees who can make videos — more specifically, who can make videos well.By investing in video content up front, you’ll ensure that your entire content production team is firing on all cylinders and creating video content that can both eventually rank in search results, and generate millions of views organically — not just as an ad.3. Videos Are Tough to DistributeWith the exception of a few major publications — with content production budgets in the millions — it’s hard to crack the code of not only how to make great videos, but how to monetize them and use them to drive leads, customers, and revenue.That’s partly because digital video is such a new content medium, and content creators are figuring out how to make great videos (see above). It’s also because Google search ranking factors and social media algorithms change so frequently, it’s hard to nail getting videos surfaced and seen by people on different platforms. Facebook’s shift to a more friends- and family-oriented news feed this year is a testament to this, and outlets like Vox Media know it all too well.Plus, now that more people are jumping on the video content creation bandwagon, search engines and social networks are getting saturated with more videos to compete against.So you might think that video creation is the hard part, but that’s just the beginning. It takes concerted effort for videos to rank in YouTube and Google search results, or to rack up thousands and millions of views on Instagram and Facebook. And even if you do everything right, there could be a reason your audience doesn’t want to watch your videos: They might not want to turn up the volume, they might be running low on their monthly data plan, or hey — they could even be sitting on the toilet.People have their preferences, and our recent survey above, we know consumers want to see video content alongside in-depth news articles and research content — and that they want to watch videos on social media. People stream millions of hours of video content across social platforms every day, but these popular social videos might not generate leads at the speed a growing business needs.The SolutionWe suggest creating multimedia content that serves a variety of purposes on a variety of different platforms. For example, keyword-specific blog posts and YouTube videos might quickly rank in Google and YouTube searches, to help drive visitors to landing pages and lead forms that help brands start selling. On the other hand, entertaining, short-form videos on Facebook and Instagram will help spread a brand’s message and attract more people to a website down the line.If you’re just getting started with video marketing, consider the type of video you should make first. Use them to help guide visitors along your marketing funnel — alongside written content and offers to capture lead information.Make specific types of videos for specific platforms in the same way you would for different types of written content. That way, the videos you create will have specific goals in mind — for example, video views, video view rate, or website clicks — that you can measure and iterate on.Videos achieve outcomes on social media that written content might not, and written content can achieve search engine rankings that videos might not. The best scenario is to create both types of content — along with multimedia content — to meet audiences’ ever-changing preferences, and to attract visitors and leads throughout the marketing funnel. But the pivot didn’t stop there.Over the past year thus far, several major publishers have pivoted, structured, reorganized, and refocused on creating video content — at the cost of writers’ and editors’ jobs. Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Vice, and HuffPost have all focused efforts on creating short-form video content — and all have laid off writers and editors. One publication — Vocativ — laid off its entire editorial staff “to focus exclusively on video content.”In fact, “pivoting to video” has become such a ubiquitous term in the digital space that it’s become a joke in and of itself. Images: Tumblr, HubSpot Research, NiemanLab the WH communications department is pivoting to video— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) July 31, 2017 Quit doing this. No one wants video. We all read faster than people talk, it eats up data, and you can’t watch video on the toilet at work. https://t.co/cctmoHKiwz— Peter Lynn (@Peter_Lynn) July 21, 2017 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

25 days ago​Indian outfit Bengaluru FC partner with Rangers

first_imgTagsAustralia/Asia NewsScottish Football NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say ​Indian outfit Bengaluru FC partner with Rangersby Ian Ferris25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveGlasgow Rangers have signed a two-year partnership with India’s professional outfit Bengaluru FC as part of a commercial push into the Asian sub-continent, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.Established in 2013, the serial Indian Super League champions will present a staging point for Rangers to grow its presence and fan base in the region, where the Scottish Premier League (SPL) club will also seek to identify India’s best club talent.As part of the arrangement, the Rangers Academy will also travel to India to train at Bengaluru’s facilities, which will also host several school soccer training camps Rangers are planning, as well as various club ambassadors and former players.Rangers managing director, Stewart Robertson, said: “We’re excited and proud to announce our partnership with reigning Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC, especially at this time when football in India, a country of 1.3 billion people, is entering a period of unprecedented growth.”The club’s international strategy is a core-pillar to our growth plans and this partnership opens up Rangers to the vast football community in India and provides a great platform for us to engage with our wider fan base, and the South Asian communities at home here in Scotland”A Rangers ‘legends’ side will travel to India to feature in exhibition matches and to also strengthen the club’s fan engagement around training camps, while screen events will also be made available for fans in Bengaluru.Mandar Tamhane, Bengaluru FC’s chief executive, said: “It is a matter of pride for us to be partnering with Rangers FC – a club that is laden with history and is one of the top football brands globally.”The partnership is based on an exchange of knowledge and services, one that we are looking to make the most of. Bengaluru FC’s endeavour has been to help grow Indian football and our association with Rangers is a big step in that direction. last_img read more

Oklahoma Now No. 1 In Both College Basketball Polls

first_imgCollege basketball polls.oklahoma no 1 in both college basketball pollsThe Oklahoma Sooners, sporting a 15-1 record after knocking off both Oklahoma State and West Virginia last week, are your new No. 1-ranked college basketball team. OU made the jump Monday in both the AP Poll and the Coaches’ Poll, replacing Kansas, which lost to the aforementioned Mountaineers. The Jayhawks dropped to No. 3 in both polls – with North Carolina coming in at No. 2. There was a major shakeup in both polls this week, considering the fact that 16 of the top 25 teams in the land (per the AP Poll) lost games.In 1 week, 16 of the AP Top 25 teams have lost a game. Welcome to College Basketball. pic.twitter.com/l47tBWc02e— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) January 17, 2016Here are the AP Poll rankings. You can see more over at the Associated Press.1. Oklahoma2. North Carolina 3. Kansas4. Villanova5. Xavier6. West Virginia7. Maryland8. SMU9. Iowa10. Texas A&M11. Michigan State12. Arizona13. Virginia13. Baylor15. Miami (FL)16. Providence17. Louisville18. Butler19. Iowa State20. Duke21. USC22. Purdue23. Kentucky24. South Carolina25. Indiana …and here are the Coaches’ Poll rankings, released by USA Today.1. Oklahoma2. North Carolina 3. Kansas4. Villanova5. Maryland6. Xavier7. West Virginia8. Texas A&M9. Iowa10. Michigan State11. Arizona12. Duke13. Virginia14. Miami (FL)15. Baylor16. Louisville17. Providence18. South Carolina19. Kentucky20. Pittsburgh21. Iowa State22. Purdue23. Indiana24. Butler25. USCOklahoma begins its reign at No. 1 with a tough game on the road against No. 19 Iowa State tonight.last_img read more

It was fullon survival instincts Bear Clan Patrol members talk about encounter

first_imgAshley BrandsonAPTN NewsA member of the Winnipeg Bear Clan Patrol was treated in hospital after being stabbed  by a man on a bus who was threatening another passenger.Jonathan Meikle and his Bear Clan partner Matthew Shorting intervened in an incident on Sunday night.“It became a grappling match between me and the attacker,” said Meikle. “In my mind it was full on survivor instincts.”Both were on a bus at around midnight when a man began yelling racial slurs and threats toward another passenger.Shorting remembers the man saying, “No one on this bus will do anything.”That’s when Meikle and Shorting noticed he had a knife.When Meikle and Shorting noticed the attacker following the passenger off the bus, they jumped into action.The two off duty Bear Clan Patrol volunteers kicked and pulled the attacker off the bus.“To me this guy’s a threat.  He’s a threat to my life, he’s a threat to everyone’s life.  I needed to get that knife away from him.”Meikle says they were able to get the knife away from him, and detained him until police arrived.That’s when Meikle realized he had been stabbed in the leg, which resulted in a hospital visit and eight staples.Winnipeg Police Cst Jay M.urray said in situations like this, police advise people to put themselves in a position of safety and call the police.But he admits that’s not always possible.“In this situation they put themselves in front of this, they potentially stopped somebody from getting seriously hurt,” he said.Devon Evan Charles Henderson has been charged with robbery, uttering threats and assault with a weapon.Murray said police believe the suspect was involved in a robbery at the bus stop near Graham Avenue and Edmonton Street before boarding the bus.Despite the altercation, Meikle and Shorting empathize for the man.“This individual is not solely to blame,” said Shorting. “There’s environments that shaped him, he didn’t get there by himself.”Meikle said he understands what Henderson is going through, because he has his own dark past and just celebrated a year of sobriety.“He was not in a well place,” said Meikle. “There’s something that caused him to act out this way.  And I think we need to look and put under a microscope more of our systems and really get to the root causes of what’s causing all these events to take place.“I think we can do better as a society.”In hopes to avoid another situation like this, the pair want the Bear Clan to become more of a safety role for Winnipeg Transit.“We want better relationships between Indigenous people and the police, and most importantly we definitely want healing for the person harmed,” said Shorting.abrandson@aptn.ca@ashleybrandsonlast_img read more

School District 60 asking residents to submit name ideas for new elementary

first_imgIf schools are to be named after a person, the School District requires that they need to have been deceased for at least 5 years and also need to be distinct from other school names.The School Board said that when selecting new school names, it will be sensitive to cultural and social diversity, and that the names have good taste and are capable of standing the test of time.Two years ago, the School District chose to name what was then the city’s newest school for Alaska Highway News founder Margaret ‘Ma’ Murray after taking submissions from residents.Final naming decisions will be determined by the consensus of SD60’s Board of trustees.Residents can make their submissions via email to public@prn.bc.ca until November 30th at noon. School Board members can also be sent naming submissions directly. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – School District #60 is asking to residents to start submitting their ideas of what they think the new elementary school under construction near the Fort St. John Hospital should be called.In a post on its website, the School District says it has a number of criteria that it is asking residents to adhere when submitting their proposed names.School District #60’s Naming Protocol states that new schools can be named after either the geographic areas and/or communities they serve, or persons who have been recognized for their historic, cultural, or social significance to the North Peace.last_img read more