Bruce believes loss of key duo will cost Aston Villa a play-off spot

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesAston Villa boss Steve Bruce believes the absence of Jonathan Kodjia and Mile Jedinak in January has cost his side a shot at the play-offs.Kodjia scored the only goal as Villa beat QPR on Tuesday night, his seventh in as many games, while midfielder Jedinak helped anchor his side to their fifth consecutive home clean sheet.But Ivorian Kodjia was away at the Africa Cup of Nations at the start of the year, while Jedinak then missed a clutch of matches through injury.In that six-week period where they did not play together, Villa picked up just one point in seven games and are currently nine off the play-off places.“We’ve probably given ourselves too much to do,” Bruce said.“It’s just a shame about that awful run we had when we were without Kodjia and Jedinak. There’s the common denominator.“There’s a huge emphasis on Jon, and that tremendous bit of quality has won us the match“And big boy Jedinak has been one of the big keys for us, in terms of the way he leads the team, the way he protects his centre-backs.“It’s just a shame that we’re not four or five points closer.”Bruce, labelled a “world-class manager” by opposite number Ian Holloway after the game, admitted his side had made hard work of beating QPR, who dominated the ball in the second half.He said: “They had good possession QPR and made it difficult for us. When you don’t get the second one you become edgy and every time you give the ball away, the crowd becomes edgy.“The whole thing then turns into one of them awkward evenings which for me should have been a bit more comfortable. We had enough chances to get the second.”   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Eichin, Carr lead Mack to wins over Fortuna

first_imgThe McKinleyville High baseball team, behind dominant pitching performances from starters Corbin Eichin and Kyler Carr, handed visiting Fortuna a pair of losses, 11-0 (5) in game one and 6-1 in game two, to sweep the season series between the two Big 5 Conference teams, Saturday afternoon at McKinleyville High.Eichin, the game one starter, tossed a 1-hitter en route to the shutout victory. The sophomore is 2-0 in his last two starts including an April 6 win against Arcata, and has allowed just …last_img read more

Van Jones Joins the Obama Administration

first_imgEnvironmental Activist Gets a White House JobWASHINGTON, D.C. — Author and activist Van Jones has a new job as President Barack Obama’s adviser on green jobs and energy initiatives. Jones, a strong advocate for environmental justice, is the founder of Green For All, an Oakland, California, organization that works to create green jobs in impoverished neighborhoods. Jones is also the author of the 2008 bestseller The Green Collar Economy.Jones will be joining the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Nancy Sutley, CEQ chair, said, “Van Jones has been a strong voice for green jobs, and we look forward to having him work with departments and agencies to advance the president’s agenda of creating 21st-century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources.”According to a statement issued by Green for All, Jones’ White House job will involve “helping to shape and implement job-generating climate policy; working to ensure equal protection and equal opportunity in the administration’s climate and energy proposals; and publicly advocating the administration’s environmental and energy agenda.”A handyman, not a czarIn an interview with Michael Burnham of Greenwire, Jones rejected the suggestion that he will become Obama’s “green jobs czar.” Jones said, “I’m the green-jobs handyman. I’m there to serve. I’m there to help as a leader in the field of green jobs, which is a new field. I’m happy to come and serve and be helpful, but there’s no such thing as a green-jobs ‘czar.’ ”In his conversation with Jones, Burnham noted, “A Rutgers University report . . . suggests that most green job openings will not be new occupations, but rather traditional occupations with a new layer of ‘green’ skills and credentials; for example, laborers and building contractors who need specialized training and certification to perform home-weatherization audits.” Jones responded, “That’s one of the exciting things about this. Sometimes people think we’re talking about some exotic occupation from Mars that nobody’s ever heard of; that we’re talking about George Jetson or Buck Rogers when we’re thinking about green jobs. We’re not talking about solar ray guns; we’re talking about caulking guns as one of the major tools we’re going to need to be smarter with energy. Those are jobs our existing workforce, with a little training, can start doing right away.”last_img read more

Debbie Qaqish Explains How Small Businesses Can Increase Lead Volume & Quality

first_img Digital Body Language – This phase is the “operationalization” of the solution and is broken down into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced company stages. Each sub-phase is characterized individually and highlights the “growth in the competency.” Engage – In this phase, the work of implementing the solution, integrating the solution with CRM, and setting up processes for how to use the system occurs. Training also takes place in this phase. SEO for Lead Generation Kit We also observed that marketers with a strong traditional brand or creative background, were struggling to make the change to demand-generation marketer. I caught up with Debbie via email after her talk, and she answered a few questions about demand generation, marketing automation and the ways in which small business can take advantage of both. – In this phase, the Use Cases are utilized to obtain approval from senior management and to help select the right lead management system. . help pull opportunities through the sales funnel quicker A: I think having a strong background in sales is part of why our firm is such a leader in this space. Demand generation is all about working with both sales and marketing to produce high quality leads and then to use some of these same technologies to make better pursuit decisions in the sales cycle. If I did not have a solid sales background, I think this would be a harder leap for me to make and harder for my clients to understand. A: The best are the marketing automation vendors themselves. I remember the first time I saw Eloqua – I wanted my sales people to be able to sell like my Eloqua rep. The same is true of marketers. Quite often I hear comments like, “I want to run campaigns or set up lead nurturing like you did to me!” If you enter into a sales cycle with one of these vendors, you will get a best practices example of how you can most effectively use this technology. , Align A: Great question and it’s one that we educate on quite consistently in all of our speaking engagements and certainly with all of our clients. A: These seem like practices that would only be practical for big companies with deep pockets. Is that true? (Besides the HubSpot Blog and the A: Great question! 2. Not having a common language of leads improve marketng efficiencies drive revenue through high quality lead generation Q: Where should small businesses start with marketing automation? What’s really cool about demand generation practiced with sophisticated marketing automation is that there are only about 2,000 companies who are practitioners. This is still a very early category that is growing at about a 2x rate. A: Great new book by Steve Woods – ” . Q: You have a very strong background in sales, but you’re now a principal at a firm that helps companies with demand generation and marketing automation. Can you explain the transition? Laura Ramos We did a study last year in which we interviewed leaders in demand generation and also did a large online survey with OMS. One of the more interesting findings from the study was that we are now seeing a variety of backgrounds including sales, finance and operations as becoming common for those marketers responsible for demand generation. Q: What are the two most common problems that you see when you begin an engagement with a company? Originally published May 13, 2009 5:43:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Online Marketing Summit Download our 1. Non-alignment of sales and marketing Sirius Decisions Q: What do you read — and what should marketers and small business owners read if they want to learn more about this world? Get Resultscenter_img – In this phase, marketing is gathering information and is beginning to educate themselves and senior management. This phase begins to build buy-in for implementing a demand generation solution. Demand generation is the revenue-focused set of activities of both sales and marketing that: our web site DemandGen Report Q: What companies do you look to as examples? Who has most effectively implemented marketing automation solutions? – In this phase, the important work of aligning sales and marketing begins and common ground is reached for establishing the critical criteria for success with demand generation. Sales and marketing work together to create a set of Use Cases, which will help them select the right lead management system. The Use Cases will define how they can best use a solution to generate leads and revenue. They’re also a tool used to cement buy-in from senior management. While both of these sound obvious and perhaps simple, it happens in every company we work with. Improving the alignment of sales and marketing for successful demand generation is wrapped into all of the core processes we employ while working with our clients (using Life of a Lead, Lead Scoring, Lead Management, SLAs and Guiding Principles). In addition, creating a common lead language (a natural output of Life of a Lead and Lead Scoring) is the first output of all of our engagements. For any company, working with any marketing automation system, having these two key elements in place, will go a long way towards ensuring demand generation success. , , a firm that helps companies improve their lead volume and quality. , “, anything from Pedowitz Group blog !) Every engagement we have with a client begins with a Business Process Review which involves BOTH sales and marketing. In this process, we document the Life of a Lead and create a lead scoring framework. This BPR helps the dialog and understanding between sales and marketing. So while we are facilitating, we are wearing both the sales and marketing hat. If I had a traditional marketing background, this would be much harder to facilitate. At last week’s Select These technologies work both in the marketing lead generation funnel and the sales funnel. Marketing automation is a poorly chosen term that describes an emerging category of Web 2.0 technoloy designed to: Learn more about how you can optimize your site to get found online in search engines to generate more leads for your business. Q: Let’s backtrack for a minute: What, exactly, do you mean by demand generation and marketing automation? A: We have a very clear process for how any company should start with marketing automation. We call it the LASER Apporach – Learn, Align, Select, Engage, Get Results. You can learn more about the best practices methodology for getting started with demand generation on get quality leads into the top of the sales funnel MarketingSherpa Q: Absolutely not! We work with many start-up and small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) who have embraced these technologies and practices to make a huge difference in their revenue picture. Just in the last year, the number of solutions that are available to this market has grown rapidly and with that growth has come many options and pricing ranges. Additionally, we are seeing VCs taking an interest in these technologies as they see them as a way to help ensure revenue growth. Pedowitz Group at Forrester Research. Learn The conclusion: having a sales background is excellent for this space. and if you don’t know about how sales works in your company today, find out! in Boston one session stood out for me: Debbie Qaqish’s fantastic talk on demand generation essentials. Debbie is chief revenue officer at the search engine optimization for lead generation kit 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Types of Posts to Create a Balanced Blog

first_img Originally published Jun 15, 2010 12:00:00 PM, updated October 18 2015 Content Types 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:center_img Learn how to build your business blog into an inbound marketing machine. Download the free webinar to learn how to create a thriving blog. Cooking and blogging — they have more in common than you might think. When you make dinner, you take a variety of ingredients and mix them together to create a balanced meal. You should look at blogging in the same way. Create a mix of posts using text, video and more. Here are five types of blog posts you should be writing:   1. Raisin Bran – Basic, Ever yday Posts . These posts are the foundation of your blog. They should be educational and you should get good at producing them quickly. Be sure to use keywords in the title and throughout the body of each post. 2. Spinach – Healthy, Thoughtful Posts. This type of post is designed to establish you as a thought leader. Unlike your basic, everyday posts, these posts will be more in-depth and may take extra time to write. You don’t need to write as many of these. 3. Roasts – Big Blog Projects. These are blog posts that involve extra research or analysis and take more time to create. This type of blog post can generate a lot of inbound links to your blog and discussion. Choose your topics wisely and this type of post will set your blog apart from the competition. 4. Chocolate Cake – Sweet Stuff. Mix some fun into your blog. Typically this type of blog post will grab the reader’s attention and can lead to lots of links and traffic. Video, images and cartoons are great examples of fun posts that help diversify your blog content. 5. Tabasco – Posts That Start Fires. Make a bold statement about your industry. Just be prepared to defend yourself; this type of blog content can be polarizing. Expect to gain a lof of links and comments (good and bad). Be careful not to write too many of these, as you could lose your audience’s trust. What other types of blog content do you create on your blog? This article was written by Shaun Pinney, a member of our consultant team at HubSpot. Check out Shaun’s Bio .Photo Credit: TiffanyWashko Webinar: Advanced Business Blogginglast_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 Get Your Executive Team Active in Social Media

first_img 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 2017last_img read more

What the Best Business Bloggers Do (And You Should Too)

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 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 2017last_img read more

10 Things That Take a Webinar From Good to Great

first_img Webinars For many marketers, webinars prove to be very fruitful, as the tactic can often be a boon for their lead generation efforts. While a number of marketing pros out there are undoubtedly … well … pros at holding informative webinars, the truth is there’s a hefty amount of work that needs to go into planning them in order to see great benefits.The lead-up to a webinar requires other facets of inbound to come into play — everything from getting a speaker to join the webinar, to planning blog and social posts to promote it, to developing the actual topics and focus for the event.I bet you’re asking yourself if there’s a checklist of sorts out there that can assist you in your webinar planning. Well, look no further, as below, I’ve outlined 10 areas you should focus on to ensure you and your team are fully prepared to put on a high-quality, successful webinar.Download Now: Free Webinar Planning Kit1) Interact with your audience before the webinar.I can’t stress enough how imperative it is to get your audience excited before the webinar! Tweet to a hashtag for the event, write blog posts promoting it, and ask for people to post their questions or comments beforehand.Also, if you have some type of giveaway or special feature during the webinar, start the buzz early!Last year, we gave away a free ticket to INBOUND, our inbound marketing conference, to one person on our webinar who tweeted to the hashtag before, during, and after the webinar. This helped give us something to get the buzz really going around the webinar.2) Create a kick-ass deck.To keep an audience engaged for 30 minutes to an hour, you’ll need to give them something nice to look at. So, make your slide deck is visually appealing.Create image-heavy slides that relate to the topic you are discussing. Using copy on slides is fine — if done correctly. Don’t simply write a paragraph on a slide in black and white. Instead, make sure the copy adds to the presentation. Stick to one color palette throughout the webinar deck, and try not to make it too busy. Take a look here to see what a blase, paragraph-only slide looks like (on the left) and what one with color and images (in other words, one that’s got some life to it) looks like (on the right):3) Use a hashtag dedicated to the webinar.As mentioned in the first section, you’ll want to use a hashtag through the webinar process that is unique to your webinar. Using a lesser-known hashtag will help ensure all tweets with the hashtag are about your webinar.For example, we used #TwitterQA for our webinar with Twitter in January that was mainly a Q&A with an executive from Twitter.We use a webinar hashtag well before the webinar to create a community of people with something in common. During the webinar, we use the hashtag to interact with the audience, answer technical questions, and gather questions for the Q&A portion. Finally, after the webinar, we use the hashtag to follow up on any unanswered questions and send additional information. 4) Have one or more awesome speakers.Nothing is worse on a webinar than a monotone speaker who puts the audience half asleep. Have someone on the webinar who is personable, energetic, and an expert in the topic you plan on discussing.Additionally, if you have more than one speaker, have them play off of each other, making the webinar a discussion instead of two different monologues.5) Use speaker and company Twitter handles.While the webinar is being run by you and your organization, you’ll still want to allow your audience to interact with the speaker(s) as well, so be sure to make their Twitter handle(s) known, both in your promotions, as well as throughout the webinar presentation.Not only does it give a personal touch to your webinars, but also think of all the new followers you could get!6) Have at least one host or moderator.Getting one or more speakers to join your webinar can really liven the conversation, but that convo can lose track pretty quickly if no one is assigned to moderate the discussion.Simply put, a webinar host can help with the flow of the presentation. This person introduces the speakers, asks any questions that come up during the webinar or Q&A, and concludes the event. If any problems arise, this person can address them easily, without causing the speakers to get off-topic. 7) Try out various types of media.You’ll also want to consider a variety of media types for your webinar.Do you have a short video or animation that will help your demonstrate your point? Does sharing your screen temporarily help get a point across? Would a downloadable checklist help your audience follow along with your discussion? Think about how you can complement your webinar with other forms of media, either during or after the webinar.Recently, we hosted a webinar with Guy Kawasaki that was 100% screen-sharing. Guy walked us through his daily social media activities, down to how he takes screenshots and posts them on Twitter! Talk about a highly interactive webinar. 8) Perform a thorough sound check.Even in today’s world, technical problems happen with software. Do your best to avoid them when on the air live by testing your webinar platform ahead of time.For instance, if you’re going to be sharing your screen or switching controls, have a pre-webinar dry run where speakers can practice before doing it live. It’s always best to find out where mistakes could occur before the actual webinar so you don’t waste your time or that of your guest speaker(s).9) Take other time zones into consideration.When choosing a time to host your live event, keep in mind that not everyone will be in your time zone. HubSpot is located in Eastern Standard Time, so we try to host webinars at a time that works for other areas around the country and across the globe.For example, though 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST often works for us, it may not suit our European audience well, so we’ll need to find a time that works for both of us.10) Find a quiet place to talk.Don’t underestimate the importance of the physical location of your webinar. I sit next to a sales team who are on the phone all day. If I tried to host a webinar from my desk, the audience would hardly be able to hear me! Thus, I make sure to find a quiet (sound proof is even better) room elsewhere in the office.If you have multiple people speaking in the same room, make sure to have a high-quality speakerphone. To avoid any technical problems, I avoid using the wireless internet when at all possible and test everything beforehand! Don’t forget to share this post! 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How to Hire a Content Strategist

first_imgThe demand for content strategists is outstripping supply, and with good reason: They produce the fuel that drives the inbound engine. Because it’s a relatively new role, however, universities aren’t yet churning out journalist-grade writers who double as experts on the machinery of search, demand creation, and social media. Instead, content strategists tend to emerge from various corners of the current marketing and media workforces.CMOs can feel like they’re playing a high-stakes game of Whack-a-Mole when recruiting for a content strategist position. There’s simply no telling where they’re hiding. Yet for companies running the inbound marketing playbook, it’s such a foundational hire that the CMO may feel like she has little choice but to stand by the game console, waiting to bag the first critter to pop up his head.Fortunately, I’ve hired for the role and helped others land quality content talent. Let’s put down the foam mallet and explore some reliable ways to land not just any content strategist, but the right one.1) Focus on Skills, Not TitleThere just aren’t that many legitimate content strategists out there, so don’t get too tangled up in looking for people with the ideal title. You are far better off searching for candidates with foundational skills like blogging, SEO, marketing automation, design, video production, even coding.Writing is a prerequisite. After that, I look for one additional core skill. If you are hiring only a single content strategist, I’d suggest the secondary skill be design. Analytics and SEO can be taught more easily than can writing or design.2) Follow the LeadersThanks to “ego trap” marketing, the internet is chock-full of lists cataloging prominent content professionals. Even if you aren’t in a position to hire one of the top names, creep their profiles to discover who they follow on Twitter. You are sure to find a long list of practitioners who, at the very least, have earned the hard-won attention of influencers in the space. (Hey, it’s a start.)3) Fish Off of the Longest PiersThere are a number of prominent blogs that are dedicated to inbound and content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute, Copyblogger, MarketingProfs, B2B Marketing Insider, and this blog, all come to mind as hotbeds for quality guest contributors. You may also want to scour dominant blogs in your own vertical market. Generally speaking, the better the blog, the higher the bar for guest writers to clear — a standard that’s likely to become even more stringent given recent Google comments.Simply put, if any of these blogs has published a post by an outside content strategist, odds are, the writer is a good one. The blog hasn’t only surfaced a candidate for you to contact, but it’s also helped with your due diligence. It’s a two-point victory.4) Trust the CrowdThere are a handful of sites, many premium, that search the social graph on a given topic to identify the people most influential on a given subject. For example, Little Bird, a company I advise, can quickly generate a list of hundreds of “insiders” on the subject of “content strategy.” Names are ranked by how many other insiders are connected to them. It also allows you to identify “emerging” influencers, or rising stars in a given industry. This particular list may be useful for smaller companies or those with tighter budgets. In any event, the crowd can be a reliable way to surface and vet candidates.5) Look for ClustersLinkedIn is, obviously, the go-to starting point for sourcing candidates, but avoid focusing only on scanning profiles. Instead, join content marketing groups and monitor activity level. Perhaps more relevant still is Inbound.org, an active community of inbound marketers — many of whom embody the ideal art-meets-science profile that makes for a successful content strategist. Inbound.org also includes a job listings board.6) Follow the Speaking CircuitYou don’t have to attend every marketing conference to know who is presenting. Simply check out the agendas for marketing-related events, like Content Marketing World, Authority and INBOUND, to see who has been invited to speak. Alternatively, you can run the same process for industry events in your particular market. Identify relevant topics on the agenda and … shazam! An instant list of highly trusted voices in the space. Most speakers also upload their presentations to SlideShare, which will give you visibility into their creative skills as well as their storytelling ability.7) Check Your Reading ListRemember that many of the best content strategists didn’t start out as marketers at all. They came from the ranks of journalism. So ask yourself: Who do I read regularly? What are my favorite blogs or news sites? Jot down a short list and reach out to the reporters. Sure you may have to teach them fundamental marketing skills, but the most important ability — the capacity build an audience with words — is likely there in spades.Several pillars — freemium pricing, engaging tools and apps, a rich web experience, relevant and welcome email, and, perhaps most importantly, smart content — form the foundation of an effective inbound marketing program. But for many CMOs, the content strategists have proven to be an elusive hire. Mix these seven tips with a little online sleuthing, and you might just find the perfect fit for your organization. Just make sure they aren’t currently on my team, okay? Content Marketing Strategy Topics: Originally published May 27, 2014 8:00:00 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