Amid speculation that the rift between the two ruling alliance partners, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Janata Dal (United), is widening, JD(U) leaders on Sunday said Chief Minister and party president Nitish Kumar could attend the RJD’s proposed rally here on August 27. “Our leader Nitish Kumar will be attending the RJD’s anti-BJP rally in his personal capacity, if he is invited”, JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh told journalists after the party’s state executive committee meeting. Mr. Kumar, earlier, had addressed the meeting and appealed to leaders to strengthen the party organisation. Party sources told The Hindu that Mr. Kumar also asked party spokespersons to refrain from making contentious comments.He made it clear that he had no political plans outside the State. “I will remain in Bihar,” he told the executive. Mr. Kumar was emphatic that his party had been following the coalition dharma and would always follow it. “I will continue following my own ideology unmindful of its consequences”, he told the meeting.Earlier, some senior JD(U) leaders had said that the party would not be attending the RJD’s proposed mega rally BJP hatao, Desh bachao. “The rally is being called by the RJD and not by the JD(U)”, said JD(U) leader RCP Singh. Facing dubious land deal charges against his family members and reopening of fodder scam cases in which he is an accused, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav had called the anti-BJP rally saying all non-BJP party leaders like Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati and Left party leaders would participate in it. Party sources said Ms. Banerjee, Ms. Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav have already sent their consent to attend the rally.At the JD(U) meeting, while making oblique reference to the Congress party’s apparent displeasure over his support to NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, Mr. Kumar reportedly said “the Congress party has been changing its political principles but he would not change his principles whatever be the consequences.” “Hamare neta pichhlaggu nahin, dusare log pichhlaggu honge (Our leader would not be pillion of anybody, others could be)”, Mr. Sanjay Singh later told the media.
Takeaway: Find out where you customers are hanging out and what technology they are using and target them there. Your inbound markeitng strategy is not about being on MySpace or Facebook or mobile – its about being where you can attract the most customers most effectively. Voters Watching Online Video More Engaged in the Election, Cisco/Compete Survey Finds – NYTimes was tracking peoples feelings – http://blog.clickz.com/081105-165141.html Like HubSpot TV? http://daveibsen.typepad.com/5_blogs_before_lunch/2008/10/mcdonalds-brings-back-the-mcrib-and-is-taking-it-mobile.html Mobile Promotion for a Sandwich Headlines – Twitter #voteReport had what people were seeing – How do you effectively launch a viral video campaign? Julie at www.laserexpedition.com Visits to Obama Site Nearly Double Those to McCain Site in September – Nielsen Online shows that visitors to the web site of Democrat Barack Obama have outpaced those to the site of Republican John McCain by a nearly 2-1 margin. The firm said that unique visitors to BarackObama.com totaled 7.9 million in September, while those to JohnMcCain.com were 4.2 million. Total video streams on JohnMcCain.com were 3.2 million, nearly triple the figure from August. Video streams on BarackObama.com also increase 60% to 2.0 million. HubSpot TV Episode #14 – November 7, 2008 It’s time for change. Dive into inbound marketing. Now (new president, bad economy) is the perfect time. Subscribe in iTunes US Navy Issues Web 2.0 – Takeaway: This election changed how social media is used and people’s awareness of it. This will only increase it’s value and the number of people using it. Don’t be left behind. Takeaway: Does your company have a social media guideline? If not, coming up with one might not be a bad idea. Marketing Tip of the Week – Did all that Social Media work for Obama? (PDF) http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/11/04/us/politics/20081104_ELECTION_WORDTRAIN.html http://www.change.gov/newsroom/blog/ Email List Hygiene – http://blog.compete.com/2008/11/04/election-day-obama-mccain-palin/ 33.5 Million people watched the Obamamercial – http://blog.compete.com/2008/10/31/presidential-election-online-video-viewing/ Forum Fodder Keep your email marketing lists clean! Put a program in place to manage your bounced addresses. http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2008/11/04/obama-voters-text-support-to-locamoda-display-in-times-square/ http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23votereport Takeaway: People watching online video are more engaged. Start experimenting with online video to try and engage your customers. Mailbag Obama has a blog, will it continue? – Election Recap http://www.webinknow.com/2008/11/us-navy-issues-one-of-the-first-social-media-guidelines-in-the-government-sector.html http://www.nielsen-online.com/pr/pr_081031_2.pdf http://daveibsen.typepad.com/5_blogs_before_lunch/2008/10/obamamercial-pulls-in-335-million-viewers.html Obama text-to-Times-Sq Jumbotron Experiment – The parrot is back! – @gboyle2011 requested that the parrot come back to the show Obama’s site had a 60% rise in traffic the week before the election, McCain’s had just 9% – http://success.hubspot.com/Customer-Discussion-Forum/forumid/97/postid/5349/view/topic Originally published Nov 9, 2008 1:58:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
This is a guest blog post written by our friends Nikki and Tammy at MarketMeSuite, the free social media marketing dashboard.Twitter can be a great platform for many inbound marketers to connect with potential customers, maintain relationships with current customers, and generate new leads. But that’s not to say that all marketers are using it appropriately.To make sure you’re using it the right way, avoid these five deadly sins when utilizing Twitter as part of your inbound marketing program.1. Thou Shalt Not SPAMSpamming your followers with endless links to your own website is a sure path to a lack of interest and support and a distinct lack of appreciation. Do not rely upon automated direct messages. Yes, these types of messages are allowed by Twitter. But many — if not most — users find auto DMs both spammy and impersonal. More importantly, they are a dying feature. All sense of meaning and genuine feeling goes out the proverbial window when you send these robotic and generic thank you’s. Try to connect with as many of your followers as you can…personally. The bonus? An alternative message might be less of a hard sell, and as a result, more helpful. Consider saying, “Thanks for following! I can also be reached on @MarketMeHelp if you have any questions.”Don’t spam using hashtags. This is a big, nay HUGE, no-no. Some businesses see a trending hashtag on their Twitter feed and then add that hashtag to their own tweets in the often misguided hope that those following the trending hashtag will think will see their irrelevant tweet and think they are awesome. You are not awesome for using that hashtag in your tweet. Avoid doing this at all costs. Your rep will suffer, and it will appear painfully obvious to all that you are promoting where you should not. Reserve hashtag use only for instances when the hashtag is relevant to you and your tweets.2. Thou Shall Not DriftKeep your Twitter profile and bio up-to-date. Always. Complacency kills marketability. Any individual stumbling across an out-of-date page is not going to take you seriously, and it won’t do anything for your online business reputation, except deflate it. Not tweeting is also part of this sin. No one will be interested in following you if your last tweet was 17 days ago.Don’t be lazy about interacting with others. If someone takes the time to tweet to you, tweet back to them. It’s polite, and it builds up customer and prospect relationships. Too many businesses ignore tweets. Remember that @replies aren’t the only tweets you should look out for and reply to. There are several free, third-party Twitter apps that allow you to create search panes to monitor mentions of your business, brand, and industry topics to allow you to monitor conversations and participate when appropriate.3. Thou Shalt Not Blatantly Self-PromoteAlthough Twitter gives you the opportunity to spread your message, don’t use it purely for the purpose of promoting your business, products, and services. You need to keep your social profiles sounding organic and sounding real. Remember that social media implies that there is a human behind each tweet — a real person you can interact and engage with. Constantly pitching your followers with “Try our product. It’s the best!”-type messages will only annoy them. Instead, tweet relevant content to get that inbound marketing engine primed for success. If you’re desperate to get your product out there to this audience, consider retweeting others’ reviews. Because they are not written by you, this level of outside influence creates an interest and associated trust in your brand.4. Thou Shalt Not Use Only 140 CharactersTwitter’s message convention is inherently restrictive, and sometimes you need to compromise your communication to fit into the 140-character limitation. Consider spreading your longer messages over two or three tweets, instead of a single one. This is not the time to try haiku marketing if your tweet has value.5. Thou Shalt Not BashPeople tweet, post, comment, or blog about nasty things. This lack of civility happens to individuals and companies each and every day. The very worst thing you can do is react via Twitter in a defensive manner. It can do more damage to your reputation than ignoring the troll. Instead, consider sending a level-headed tweet that says something along the lines of “So sorry you feel that way. Is there anything I/we can do to change your mind?” or DM them with your email address where the conversation can take place privately. Tweeting uncomplimentary messages about your competition is also considered poor sportsmanship in the digital world. Unadulterated bashing of a competitor will actually create a loss in respect for you and your organization. No one likes overt arrogance and a self-righteous attitude. Keep your negative opinions to yourself, and act in a mature and reasonable manner. Marketing TakeawaySocial media can be a gold mine for lead generation, but it will be little more than a dud if abused. Be personal with your tweets, always interact, and never leave a customer without a response. Think to yourself: “How would I handle this if I were talking to the person face to face?” because your social media engagement needs to be just as real.What other deadly since should marketers avoid on Twitter?Image credit: Spec-ta-cles Twitter Marketing Topics: Originally published Oct 25, 2011 8:36:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! 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Make it short. This is advice you’ll often hear from experts about producing online video for marketing. Making your videos brief will ensure that your content captures and keeps the short attention span of viewers. But, wait — what if this short attention span is a myth?Understandably, most would say, “It’s not a myth.” Video abandonment rates have traditionally been very high. In fact, a 2010 study by Visible Measures showed that 33% of viewers click away from a video after the first 30 seconds, and 44% will leave after the first 60 seconds. So you’d better keep your videos under a minute, right? Not necessarily.Lately, we’ve started noticing some very high-quality online videos that seem to be successfully maintaining the attention of viewers for well over a minute. In fact, for more than three, five, and even ten minutes. This dynamic is primarily due to the content of the video, which isn’t promotional and boring, but informative and/or entertaining.The Video Content Shapes Its Power & ReachSome of the online marketing videos we’ve started seeing today are more like short movies than interruptive ads, and that’s a fundamental shift from traditional advertising. Up until now, the majority of the video ads out there (both on TV as well as on the web) revolve around a product or a service and are placed in between TV shows and movies. In this context, the TV shows and movies are the valuable content worth watching, and the ads are trying to steal minutes from your precious time to sell to you.Now, we are seeing video ads that are the actual content and revolve around something bigger than a product or a service — something a viewer would actually care about. This new generation of video marketing has swept us with its thought-provoking nature because it introduces content that, as AdWeek reporter Tim Nudd says, “makes you believe people don’t have short attention spans after all.”Let’s look at some examples of how some companies have leveraged video storytelling for marketing:Example #1: Nike’s “My Time Is Now”Nike’s recent cinematic video ad is designed to inspire youth to get deeply involved with soccer by learning about some key players and what it takes to be walking in their ‘sneakers.’ The video is like an interactive labyrinth of potential ‘tunnels’ the viewer can take to learn more about soccer. For instance, you can find out the name of a featured soccer player, along with their date of birth, an inspiring quote by them, and a chance to follow them on a social channel like Twitter. By clicking on some other elements in the video, like a player’s watch or plastic water bottle, you can also learn more about Nike’s products or get insights into soccer-specific activities like workouts and games.The ad aired on TV only after it debuted on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Nikefootball.com. “Instead of making a big ad for TV then putting together a bolt-on interactive version, what we have done is make an interactive film and experience, then created an edit for TV,” says Graeme Douglas, W+K London head of interactive and innovation for Fast Company. “That’s a fundamental shift.”This ad isn’t about making a Nike sales pitch. It’s about something much larger that Nike is simply proud to be part of.Example #2: HORNBACH’s “Infinite House”Another great example of a long-form video ad that engages with its content is “The Infinite House” by German home improvement company HORNBACH. The 9-minute ad is about a new neighbor who transforms his little hut and brings joy and warmth to his neighbors. With its soft images and magical music, the video evokes a distant memory of some (maybe German) fairytale. Although none of the characters express their feelings, the video conveys a range of emotions from darkness and despair to lightness and hope.The official video has more than 250K views on YouTube, but other users have republished it and contributed tens of thousands of other views. Aside from a subtle and brief product placement during the video, HORNBACH is mentioned only at the end of the ad. Yet, like the Nike ad discussed above, this is not a sales pitch but rather a story much larger and more infinite than the product.Example #3: TNT’s “Push the Red Button”For the launch of its channel in Belgium, TNT hired an agency to shoot a reality-TV type of ad. The agency got permission from a little town in Belgium to set up hidden cameras around a small red button with an arrow inviting people to press it. Once the button is pressed, a crew of actors rushes in and performs dramatic stunts.A call-to-action appears at the end of the shoot announcing TNT as “Your Daily Dose of Drama.” In this way, everything comes together nicely and entertains both the community in this small Belgium town and the online YouTube community. The video, which has now accumulated more than 33 million views, got coverage from a number of sites, including the Huffington Post, Time and WebProNews.The trend we’re noticing here is pretty obvious: creating compelling video content that captures the audience’s attention through storytelling rather than bombarding them with product-oriented messaging seems to make the attention span myth moot. People are willing to invest a few more minutes in watching your video content if it informs/entertains them and keeps their interest piqued.What are some other online videos you couldn’t stop watching? How have you incorporated more storytelling elements into your video marketing? Share your videos in the comments! Video 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: Originally published May 29, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016
And as the role of marketing grows, it also continues to evolve. Today’s marketing department, for example, looks very different than it did even just a few short years ago. In fact, a collection of new roles has emerged, and they’re growing in importance within many marketing teams. Let’s examine what each of these roles consist of, and why you might want to consider adding them to your growing marketing team.New Marketing Roles of Growing ImportanceMarketing Operations / Pipeline SpecialistMarketing operations professionals are charged with monitoring, measuring, and analyzing the effectiveness of marketing initiatives as they relate to the overall company’s goals. Marketing operations staff work closely with Sales, and sometimes also have a sales operations counterpart. Together, they manage the relationship between Marketing and Sales to ensure that both sides are optimized to deliver (Marketing’s role) and work (Sales’ role) the highest quality leads, something HubSpot has grown fond of calling “SMarketing.” Marketing operations staff make projections about the quality of the sales and marketing pipeline and find efficiencies that will make the company work better as a whole. Marketing operations would be a fit for anyone who has an analytical mind and is interested in marketing and sales strategy. Karen Rubin, a HubSpotter in a marketing operations role adds: “We focus on helping our marketers get the analytics they need, running monthly reports, and understanding why data and results are looking the way they do at any given point.” Customer Evangelist / Customer Experience ProfessionalsIn 2011, Forrester released a report called “The Rise of the Chief Customer Officer.” The report detailed a trend existing among B2B and B2C companies alike — hiring an individual to oversee customer communications and customer happiness. While the report focuses on a formal, executive-level role (“CCO”), we’ve seen this trend at all levels in companies. Roles under this subset include community managers, customer experience designers, and customer communications officers. Skills and focus areas range, but the customer evangelist is essentially the internal voice of the customer within a company. Sometimes measured by Net Promoter Score surveys or user testing, their role aims to keep customer happiness and loyalty high by making customers’ experiences with the company easy and rewarding. Beyond being “the right thing to do,” creating a positive customer experience actually drives results. In fact, according to Nielsen’s April 2012 Global Trust in Advertising report, 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising. In a socially driven market, the role of a customer evangelist becomes all the more critical.Inbound Marketing StrategistIt’s no news to us, but recent research from SiriusDecisions underscores the shift that B2B companies are making toward inbound marketing as a core strategy, and the need for more inbound marketing talent. “More than any other new approach, inbound marketing is rapidly becoming a standard part of the marketing mix,” writes Jay Gaines, who leads SiriusDecisions’ Demand Creation Strategies advisory service. Inbound marketing strategists must have a comprehensive mix of skills including search engine optimization, content strategy, and content mapping against a lead’s decision-making process. Gaines writes: “SiriusDecisions expects the inbound marketer to become a fixture in the majority of b-to-b marketing organizations in the next one to two years.”Lead Nurturing SpecialistAs most savvy marketers will tell you, attracting traffic and converting those visitors into leads is only half the battle. All too many potential customers get stuck in the middle of the marketing funnel, never continuing on to make an actual purchase. Professionals skilled in lead nurturing help marketing teams deliver highly tailored content to guide leads to a point of decision. And research shows that personalized marketing leads to more customer conversions than generalized communications.The lead nurturing role in an organization is steeped in customer and lead data. According to that same AMA/Duke University CMO Survey, “The ability to leverage information about customers in order to deliver and demonstrate value opens the door for marketers to fill the role as analysts and ‘data whisperers.'” Documentarian / VideographerTechnology has lowered the barriers to creating high-quality videos, making creation and distribution more affordable for companies of all sizes. As a result, video as a form of content is on the rise. It’s no surprise then, that 87% of online marketers use video content, according to Outbrain’s State of Content Marketing. Not to mention that Social Media Examiner reported earlier this year that 76% of marketers planned to increase their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers would invest in for 2012.As part of this investment in video as a content format, many companies are adding videographers to their marketing teams. We asked Chris Savage, co-founder and CEO of Wistia, a video hosting and analytics provider, what companies should look for when hiring video talent. “Adding the right videographer to your team can unlock an entire new channel of content for you,” said Savage. “The key is finding someone who has a mix of skills that complement your existing team. Besides just the basics of lighting, shooting, and editing, you really want someone who has a strong sense for what topics will be most successful on video.”Partnership / Co-Marketing ManagerCo-marketing is the practice of two, complementary companies collaborating on content or marketing initiatives. As a result, co-marketing brings fresh perspectives to your marketing initiatives and helps each company reach an audience that might not otherwise have found them. Dan Slagen, head of global marketing relations at HubSpot leads our co-marketing initiatives. Dan explains, “We partner with like-minded companies on projects that will help promote the marketing industry. For HubSpot, the value of working with partners such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Google has been an array of thought leadership, brand alignment, and new business opportunities for all parties involved.”Changes to Existing RolesIn addition to the growing prominence of some newer roles, a number of existing marketing roles have begun to change and adapt as well. Here are some top trends we’ve noticed.Social Media as a Core SkillFive years ago, a marketing department might have hired a young graduate to head up its social media strategy. But according to the 2011 Webmarketing123 State of Digital Marketing report, with an average of 68% of marketers generated leads from social media sites, social media is no longer a specialization but rather a core marketing skill. As such, new marketing hires at every level should be expected to understand and contribute to social media strategies. Analytics as a Core SkillAs you may have noticed above, analytics and data are playing a big role in emerging marketing positions. In fact, the AMA/Duke CMO survey cites that spending on marketing analytics is expected to increase 60% by 2015. As marketing departments grow in size and marketing budgets increase, the ability to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and channels will become more and more essential. Read more about how to cultivate a data-driven marketing team in this blog post.The Technology CMOIn a Gartner study, Vice President of Marketing Strategies Laura McLellan asserts, “By 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.” Her assertion is backed by survey data in which 90% of respondents said that the marketing department is either solely responsible or leads a cross-functional team that sets the strategy for technology purchasing decisions. Marketers have more and more say in the technology they use to do their jobs. Enough said.Media Relations: Less Pitch, More SupportAccording to the AMA/Duke University CMO survey, only 53% of companies are using marketing staff for traditional public relations activities, which is a significant step down from 65% in 2011. Talking with Laura Fitton, HubSpot’s inbound marketing evangelist, you’ll quickly learn that she prioritizes being helpful to journalists and bloggers over pitching to them. Even when it doesn’t result in a news story about HubSpot, Laura’s priority is to help journalists make connections and find data for their reports. In all of these developments and newly emerging roles, there are a few overarching trends: The importance of data, useful content, and relationships are on the rise. With these trends in mind, here are a few tips for interviewing today’s inbound marketer. And for those of you on the other side of the interview table, here’s how to get hired as an inbound marketer.What new roles have you added to your marketing team? What roles would you add if you had the capacity? Share with us in the comments.Image Credit: healthrx.com Marketing Jobs Originally published Nov 16, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.” Could David Bowie’s 70s hit be a marketer’s theme song, or what?On a related — but arguably more serious — note, according to the 2012 CMO Survey by the American Marketing Association and Duke University, Marketing appears to be one of the early rebounders in the initial economic recovery. In terms of both department size and budget, Marketing is on the rise.Just take a look at how the size of business’ marketing departments has more than doubled — in fact, almost tripled — since August 2011 …
Originally published Feb 12, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 I must have had the following conversation at least 50 times last year: “Mark, we love inbound marketing. We’ve completely overhauled our marketing so it aligns with the way prospects buy today, and we’re generating 10 times the leads we did in the past. It’s awesome. But my sales team does nothing but complain about these leads. They say the leads suck. What are we doing wrong?”Here’s what’s happening: Your typical salesperson has been honing his/her skills for years — sometimes decades — in the art and science of closing outbound leads. But inbound leads don’t act like outbound leads. So it’s not uncommon for inbound leads to look like they “suck” to your salespeople, when in fact, they’re just different. The “problems” your sales team has identified with your inbound leads are just signs pointing to the ways inbound leads act, think, and close differently than outbound leads do. Diagnose the “problem,” and your sales team can learn to work effectively with your new inbound leads. Here are my top five tips for transforming how your sales team approaches selling to inbound leads, and how Marketing can help.Tip #1: Don’t buy a list of companies in your target market. Do generate lots of inbound leads and pass only the good fit companies to your sales team. Inbound marketing has turned the fit/pain funnel on its head. In an outbound model, companies start with a list of executives at a “perfect fit” company and bombard them with hundreds of calls and emails until 1% or 2% call back and admit they have pain. In an inbound model, all your leads have the pain your company solves. Otherwise, they would have never conducted that Google search, downloaded that whitepaper, or read that blog article that led them to you. The problem is that your company doesn’t sell to the entire world. Some percentage of these leads are just not a fit for your business. However, the inbound leads who are a fit are exceptional — and they close much faster and at a higher rate than your outbound opportunities.The problem here is that marketers get so excited to be generating hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of inbound leads each month, that they end up passing all these leads to sales. If Marketing passes the sales team 1,000 leads, only 100 of which are good, and Sales has to sift through 900 bad leads, they’re going to hate it, and they’re going to say things like, “These leads suck.” However, if Marketing can filter out the 900 less fit companies and pass along just the 100 good ones, their sales team will think they have the best marketing department in the world. As a result, Marketing and Sales must align to develop and implement a lead scoring system that makes sense and results in only good fit leads getting passed from Marketing to Sales.Tip #2: Don’t call high. Do call the inbound lead influencers, ask them what is going on, and then call high. Look … not every inbound lead is going to be a C-level executive. In fact, very few of them will be. You’re much more likely to get a mid-level manager, associate, or even an intern on the other end of the phone. So what does your typical salesperson think? “This isn’t a qualified buyer. This is an intern. These leads suck.”However, who do you think told the intern to do the Google search that led to your company? The C-suite. The inbound lead indicates that pain exists at that company — the pain you solve. So call the mid-level manager. Call the associate. Call the intern. But don’t try to sell them. You’re right — they’re not buyers. Instead, use that call to prepare yourself for the call with the executive. Ask them, “Why did you download that ebook? Why did you read that blog article? Who told you to conduct this research? Why? What is your boss’ key initiatives for 2013? What did your CEO talk about at the annual kick-off?” If you’re doing inbound marketing well, you’ll be surprised how much these leads trust you and how honest their answers will be.Now you’re in a position to call high. You don’t have to leave the typical voicemail …“Hi John, we help companies like you get more leads and customers from your website. Give me a call back so I can tell you more about ways we do this.” Instead, you can leave one that says …“Hi John, a number of people from your company have contacted me about effective lead generation strategies. I understand you’re hiring 10 new sales reps next quarter and need to increase lead generation by 35%. I’ve been working on a strategy with your team that I would like to run by you.” Now, which voicemail would make you more willing to call back?Tip #3: Don’t lead with your company’s elevator pitch. Do lead with your buyer’s interests.By the time they get passed on to your sales team, a typical inbound lead might have visited your website 15 times, read 11 blog articles, opened 3 emails from you, and downloaded 5 ebooks. They’re already several stages into the sales process before they’ve even spoken to someone from your company. So what do you think happens if a sales rep calls them up and leads with a stone-cold elevator pitch? It comes across as completely tone deaf to the prospect, right? It might even erode most of the trust your marketing team has worked so hard to build up. The lead hangs up on your salesperson, and again, your salesperson thinks, “These leads suck.”Instead, salespeople need to leverage all the data you’ve collected about your inbound leads in your contacts database. How they found your website, what pages they viewed most, what emails they opened and read, how often they shared your content on Twitter and Facebook: All of this tells you loads of information about what the prospect’s problems are and how you can help. Your salespeople should be using that information to open the conversation on the phone …Sales Rep: “Hi, Mary, this is Mark from HubSpot [pause because at this point Mary may start telling you how much they love your content and your company]. I noticed you downloaded our ebook on lead generation from LinkedIn. What specific questions did you have?”Mary: “Oh, I was just doing research. I didn’t know I’d actually get a call from a salesperson.”Sales Rep: “That’s okay. I’m actually looking at your company’s LinkedIn page right now and had two quick tips for you. Do you have a minute to go over them?”Mary wants to hear those tips. Mary will ask more questions. Mary will be impressed with how helpful and smart you are. Mary will wonder what she can buy from you. Congratulations! You no longer have a salesperson-prospect relationship, you have a doctor-patient relationship. Now you can diagnose whether you can help their company — and how.Tip #4: Don’t beg for an appointment. Do qualify out non-buyers. If you’ve never cold called before, you’re not missing out on much. Imagine a day where you dial the phone 100 times, leave 95 voicemail messages, and not one person calls you back. Of the five people who did pick up the phone, three hung up within the first five seconds. And when you do get somebody on the phone who’s willing to talk, it’s clear that he’s not really qualified to buy from you. But because you’re having such a lousy day of cold calling and feeling unloved — and because you don’t have enough leads to begin with, and beggars can’t be choosers — you book an appointment with them anyway. It happens more often than most salespeople are willing to admit.But with a steady stream of inbound leads flowing in, your salespeople can approach these initial conversations from a position of strength. Every minute you spend on the phone with an unqualified buyer is time you could be spending with a warm lead. Do build trust. Do understand the prospect’s needs. Do attempt to provoke pain if it doesn’t exist. But most importantly, do move on if they’re not a good fit. Thank your prospect for their time. Introduce them to someone else who can help if you know somebody. Encourage them to continue to enjoy your content. And quick … call that next inbound lead.Tip #5: Don’t “Always Be Closing.”Do “Always Be Helping.”Most salespeople, following the directive of the infamous movie Glengarry Glen Ross, adopt the rallying cry, “Always Be Closing.” But this is a disastrous approach to take with an inbound lead. The internet has shifted control from the salesperson to the buyer. People can research your company, research your competitors, understand your price, and sometimes even try your product — all without speaking to a salesperson. And by the time an inbound lead reaches your sales team, that’s exactly what that person has done.Sales should not start out by looking to close. They shouldn’t even be thinking about pitching your product. Instead, they should look to help the buyer. Strive to uncover the thing your buyer is worried about — the thing she’s stuck on — and if you find it, help her with it. Don’t try to tie it to your product. Just help them. Buyers don’t need to talk to Sales anymore. Make them want to talk to you because they trust you and you’ve been helpful in the past in solving their problems. If done correctly, your product and how it can help them will naturally come up at the right time.Just as the internet has changed life for the modern buyer (and the modern marketer), life has also changed for the modern salesperson. In all cases, it’s for the better. If your salespeople still complain that your inbound leads suck, try running an experiment. Choose a sales rep with an open mind, and tell them they need to make their goal this month from inbound leads alone, using the guidelines above. Then tell the rest of the team to watch as their colleague starts closing business faster and at a higher rate. Nothing succeeds like success. The rest of your team will soon follow suit.Don’t run a sales and marketing team that annoys people. Do run a sales and marketing team that people love. Topics: Passing Leads to Sales 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: 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 SlackSlack
Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack As a savvy inbound marketer, you already know that social media is a must-have in your marketing strategy. You’ve spent time looking at what channels work best for your company, creating the best content you can for those outlets, and aligning the social media goals to the business’ bottom line. You live and breathe social media every day on the job.But that’s not true for everyone else in your organization. Not everyone is sold on the importance of social media — never mind manage their own presence. What about that VP down the hall with tons of killer industry knowledge or that executive you know who spends hours talking to customers? These executives may not be active in social media just yet, but they should be. This is where you come in. If you think there are executives in your company who could add credibility to what you’re already doing, it’s time to get them on board.Why Should Your C-Suite Be in Social Media?Often, executives may feel like there’s not much for them to do in social media. They hired a social media manager to watch over the company’s presence, so why would they need to be in social media as well? Though some executives at your company may have already made up their minds about their social media participation (or lack thereof), it’s incredibly important to have them in social media.Having a presence in social media gives executives the opportunity to stay relevant with industry trends, engage with your prospects and customers, and show that they stand by and believe in your brand. By not listening and participating in social media, executives are missing out on numerous opportunities to improve your business. And ultimately, growing your business is every executive’s objective. How to Get Your Executive Team in Social MediaGetting executives in social media isn’t as simple as signing up for a Twitter handle and asking them to tweet. Instead, you’ve got to be strategic if you want to get on board. By following these five steps, you can develop a socially savvy executive team.1) Pick the right executives for the job. Not every executive is ready to dive headfirst into social media — and that’s okay. Instead of proclaiming that all executives must start tweeting immediately, start off with a select few that you know would be successful in social media if you were to show them the ropes. Think about who would be a good advocate for your brand and have the potential to be a thought leader. Also, see how active they are in social media already. You may want to check out LinkedIn first to see who’s active already, since executives prefer LinkedIn to any other social site. This will give you a good indication of who to approach about helping build your brand in social media.After you understand who’s been up to what, it’s time to think about your approach. Asking an executive who isn’t that familiar with Twitter or Facebook to jump right in isn’t going to work. First, they need to get an understanding of what’s happening on social media for your brand. 2) Show them why they should care.While 90% of business executives say that social media tools are important for brand awareness and company reputation, that doesn’t mean they’re personally doing anything about it. This might be because they think they don’t have anything to add, they don’t know what to say, or they aren’t really in the loop with the happenings in social media at your company.Here’s your golden opportunity to show off what your company is doing and form a plan for what the executives could be doing, too. Invite the executives you identified in step one to a meeting to give them an overview of how your company uses social media and how it’s affecting the rest of the business.When you meet, bring numbers that those in the room care about. If your goal is to get a seasoned VP of Sales involved in social media, you’ll probably want to show them how many leads social media generates for your company a month. For a VP of Sales, leads = perked ears. Figure out what gets each executive excited about being in social media, and be sure to highlight it for them.3) Let the benefits get personal.This is probably where to expect some pushback. I can hear it now: “But why do I have to be involved? Didn’t we hire a social media manager to handle this?”You want these questions. You’re ready for these questions. Now that you’ve shown the executives what the company is doing, you can show them how their social presence fits into the overall social media team effort. You can prepare for these questions by giving them concrete reasons for participation: Based on a recent social media survey by BRANDfog, executive social media engagement creates brand transparency (score!). It makes a brand seem more honest and trustworthy (win!). And, it makes executives better communicators overall (bonus!). Make sure they understand exactly what they will get out of this new experience — you’ll be much more likely to get them on board.4) Set them up for success.So they’re up for the challenge — now it’s time for them to get down to business. If they’re hesitant to jump in headfirst, offer to get them all set up and give them a demo of what to do. At this point, you’ll know how much handholding is necessary for each executive — use your judgment. There’s a balance between relying solely on executives’ intuition and independence and losing them in the noisy crowd.If they need help getting started, give them a couple of ideas of what to do. Maybe you come to the table with some sample content they could share or people to follow. Suggest some goals for them to aim for each week (X tweets, X Facebook posts, etc.). If you’re a HubSpot customer, maybe set up a dedicated email alert in your Social Inbox. However you decide to start, make sure the task is fairly easy. The beginning is always the hardest and you don’t want your executive team to be discouraged right off the bat.5) Maintain momentum by checking in periodically.At this stage, you’ve done some serious work getting your executives up and running. You’ve explained your company’s social strategy, the benefits of executive involvement, and the steps to get involved on those channels. You’ve given them all the tools they need to become socially savvy.To keep up momentum, schedule regular check-ups with the executives. Show them some results from their social media efforts and identify what’s working and what’s not. Real-life examples and metrics are a must here, especially when you have data available to track conversions of current leads and customers through social media.It may be a slow start, but every step is a step forward. Make future plans to keep the conversation going. One possible idea is to schedule a monthly get-together to talk about social media news and how they could integrate that into what they’re doing. Managing a social media presence isn’t a one-and-done effort — it needs constant evaluation and planning to maintain and grow.Eventually, you’ll find the rhythm that works best for your company. Creating a socially savvy executive team doesn’t happen overnight. But with the right approach, you may start to change the way your executive team thinks about social media. And who knows — maybe one day, your CEO will want to take over Twitter for the day.Are executives at your company socially savvy? Are they looped in to how your company approaches social media? Let us know in the comments! Social Media Marketers Originally published May 30, 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 SlackSlack You know those business bloggers who never run out of innovative ideas, churn out a piece of content like it ain’t no thang, and are always one step ahead of industry trends?How annoying are they?Well, the good news is you can be like them! That’s right, you! All for the low, low price of reading this blog post!I’ve coached a lot of bloggers and businesses looking to get started with blogging, and I can say with full confidence there are concrete habits and characteristics the most successful bloggers adopt that separate them from the ones that end up flailing and trailing behind their competitors.Here’s what I’ve found the best business bloggers do. Where do you have room for improvement?What the Best Business Bloggers Do1) They read stuff that has nothing to do with their job.Variety is the spice of life! Want your blog posts to have a little more pizzazz? You need a variety of sources of inspiration for that to happen. The best writers read a lot — and so do the best bloggers, in both quantity and variety of content.Venture outside of your industry publications. Find a host of amazing content sources — a great podcast, a great magazine, a great YouTube channel, a great bunch of websites — and consume that content just because it’s high-quality, innovative, and interesting. It’ll help you improve skills like storytelling and story structuring, and give you ideas for new content formats to experiment with.2) They aren’t scared of writing.There’s no magic potion that makes blogging easier or faster. The only way to get to that point is to just write.Seriously, just go write.A lot of people are afraid of blogging — so if this rings true, you’re not alone. Maybe they’re scared of doing new things that are outside of their typical job function. Maybe they don’t fancy themselves good writers. And heck, maybe they’re not … yet, at least.But every blog post you write makes the next one just a little bit easier. The more you blog, the easier it’ll be. And before you know it, you’ll have no fear of blogging, and writing a blog post will be one of the easiest (dare I say enjoyable?) parts of your job.3) They write with empathy.Empathy is a powerful skill for content creators. The best business bloggers use empathy to guide all of their editorial decisions. It helps them choose topics that’ll address their audience’s pain points and solve their problems. It helps them structure content in a way that will resonate with readers. It helps them phrase things in a way that leaves their audience open to hearing more from them (nuance is a powerful thing, you know).Remember, in most cases, you are not your target audience. But if you blog with empathy, you’ll have a hard time creating stuff that falls flat.4) They take the right criticism.One of the best things about blogging is having something to show for your work. There are plenty of jobs that can require hours of serious effort — but all that you have to show for it is a calendar full of meetings. But when you blog? Look! You’ve created something!The downside to creating something? It’s there for someone — anyone — to critique. Now, some people will tear you apart no matter what. But you know what they say about those people:Then you’ll get some criticism that you should actually listen to. For instance, you’ll hear that you left out an important part of the story or that your advice doesn’t work for a significant segment of your target audience. Listen to these kinds of comments — and learn from them.Your criticism could take another form, too: total and utter silence. If your blogging is falling on deaf ears, it’s a good sign your topic choices or execution are a bit off. Don’t worry, though. Just revisit what you’ve written in the past that resonated and identify what people liked about it. Repeat more of that — and keep listening to what your productive readers have to say.5) They let themselves cut corners.Not every blog post is the be-all, end-all of your marketing. That means you can write some really short posts once in a while, because you just don’t have time for the lengthy, meaty thought leadership piece. Or maybe you don’t have time to locate the best image of all time for a piece — there’s other important stuff to do.That’s all totally fine! Sometimes, your time is, indeed, better spent on something else. It’s important to retain perspective on where business blogging fits into your overall inbound marketing strategy, and remember that perfecting every little detail isn’t always necessary. If you don’t give yourself a break once in a while, you’ll burn out on blogging.6) They don’t hide their personality.Somewhere along the way, people got to thinking anything associated with business meant the requisite hiding of all personal quirks. No smiling. No personality. All briefcases.Although you are doing business blogging, it doesn’t mean you can’t infuse personal elements in your content. In fact, the best business bloggers I see create posts that pack a hell of a lot of personality punch. My theory on why this works? People like people.It’s nice to feel like you’re reading something from a person — not a content farm or an encyclopedia entry. Have some fun, infuse your personality, and allow yourself to go “off-brand” for a bit. You might even find your blog becomes a good testing ground for new brand positioning.What else do the best business bloggers you know have in common? Share their habits and personality traits in the comments!Image credit: Gisela Giardino Blogging Advice Topics: Originally published Sep 25, 2013 11:00:00 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 SlackSlack Think of the number of new posts entering our social feeds every hour, the number of search results that appear for each query we type, and the number of blog post headlines we skim through each day. How do people choose which ones to click on and which ones to ignore?In an overcrowded market where everyone has the power to create content, it’s really difficult for marketers to get an edge — we’re all competing for our message to be the one that catches our audience’s eye and makes them click (and hopefully eventually become customers).This data-backed infographic from Uberflip tells us why word choice is so important, and which words are most likely to convert today’s consumers. Take note of the words it suggests, and be sure to try them out in your next tweet or blog post headline!Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates Now1K+Save Topics: Social Media Campaigns Originally published Aug 7, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated August 29 2017 1K+Save
Lead Generation 87SaveNote: You can download the full report (for free!) via the HubSpot Research website at research.hubspot.com.Have any website traffic insights you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments section below. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack We all know that sources of website traffic can vary greatly from business to business. While some businesses are social media powerhouses, driving thousands of visits through Facebook, Twitter, and more, other businesses are organic search specialists, and derive most of their traffic from scrupulously optimizing pages and posts.And while there’s no single right answer when it comes to driving traffic, the head of HubSpot Research, Mimi An, wanted to know: What does the average traffic breakdown look like for HubSpot’s 15,000 customers? Where is their traffic coming from?I took some key data points from the resulting report — Average Traffic Sources for Websites: Benchmarks From 15K HubSpot Customers — and turned it into the infographic below.87Save Originally published Mar 24, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Topics: The advertising industry has a major morale problem, and it’s not going to go away on its own.Campaign US recently conducted the Second Annual Morale Survey for 2016, and their findings reveal a staggering decline in overall morale among agency employees. Along with slipping morale, the study also uncovered a troubling host of symptomatic issues, such as talent retention and a decline in employee performance.So what are the root causes of this morale problem? What impact will it have on talent retention? What areas of employee experience do agencies need to make an effort to improve?Subscribe to HubSpot’s Agency newsletter today.To help agencies tackle these questions and visualize the challenges in front of them, we created the following five charts based on the Campaign US survey results. Check them out below to see the far-reaching effects morale has on the industry.1) Overall morale among agency employees has steeply declined.When Campaign US conducted their first Annual Morale Survey back in 2015, only 34% of employees said their morale was either low or dangerously low. Those numbers were alarming at the time, but they haven’t improved — in fact, morale among agency employees has experienced a distressing decline in 2016.This year’s survey results found that 47% of agency employees report either “low” morale (31%) or “dangerously low” morale (16%). That’s a 36% drop in overall agency employee morale between 2015 and 2016.Data Source: Campaign US Morale Survey2) Agency employees with low morale also reported dissatisfaction with leadership and advancement.So what factors are responsible for this drop in morale? Survey participants who reported having “low” or “dangerously low” morale were asked to explain the reasons behind their responses.The top factor contributing to low morale was a dissatisfaction with company leadership, followed closely by a lack in advancement opportunities, and a general dissatisfaction with work. Less impactful were overall company performance and diversity.Data Source: Campaign US Morale Survey3) Work/life balance is the biggest factor for agency employees with good morale.Of the 53% of employees who reported “satisfactory,” “good,” or “excellent” morale, “work/life balance” was the biggest influencing factor. The other two big contributors to positive morale were “satisfaction with work” and “creative freedom.”Data Source: Campaign US Morale Survey4) Agency employees affected by low morale are ready to walk away.If any agencies still needed a wakeup call, this is it: 63% of employees who reported low morale were also actively seeking a new job. That means a whopping 29% of agency employees are looking to leave their current positions — which puts agencies in a precarious position. Data Source: Campaign US Morale Survey5) Low morale has a massive impact on agency employee performance.Unsurprisingly, morale has a major impact on overall employee performance. Regardless of whether they reported high or low morale, 98% of respondents said that morale had an effect on their performance.If employees don’t feel their needs are fully supported, their performance takes a hit. With nearly half of all agency employees reporting low morale, this could spell disaster for the ad industry’s bottom line.Data Source: Campaign US Morale SurveyHow is your agency planning to boost morale this year? Share your advice in the comments. Agency Talent Originally published Nov 8, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post!