Women in science are honoured

first_imgMaths and Science have been earmarked in South Africa’s National Development Plan as the subjects of the future and that will make a difference in the country. (Image: My Science Work)Maths and science have been singled out in South Africa’s National Development Plan, or Vision 2030, as subjects that will take the country forward.The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is playing its part in making sure that women excelling in these subjects and careers relating to them are highlighted and celebrated. Female scientist and researchers were honoured at the 2015 South African Women in Science Awards (WISA).Under the theme this year, “Science for a sustainable future”, the awards were handed out on 13 August, in the middle of Women’s Month, in Sandton, Johannesburg.“The Women in Science Awards, which take place every year in Women’s Month, recognise women who have excelled in research and profile them as role models for younger women,” explained Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.“Apart from rewarding outstanding research work in areas aligned to the attainment of Millennium Development Goals, the 2015 WISA also recognised excellence in early career research by awarding scholarships and fellowships to masters and doctoral students.”The women’s admirable achievements provided inspiration and encouragement to many more young women to pursue science-related careers, she added.“We are very excited as a nation to witness women performing so well and displaying a high degree of excellence in the fields of science and technology as well as research,” President Jacob Zuma said.“It is therefore my pleasure to congratulate, on behalf of government and all the people of South Africa, the winners of the 2015 Women in Science Awards which were held this past week to recognise women who have made a remarkable contribution in this very important industry for our country’s development.”The government, he added, would continue to support initiatives led by women to ensure total empowerment and emancipation of women.THE WINNERSThe winners of the 2015 Women in Science Awards are:Professor Maureen Coetzee – winner of the Distinguished Woman Researcher in Life Sciences Award was recognised for her outstanding work in the field of medical entomology. Her research interests include insecticide resistance in the major African malaria vector mosquitoes, biodiversity within the genus Anopheles, novel methods for controlling malaria vectors, and vector-parasite interactions.Professor Marla Trindade – winner of the Distinguished Young Woman Researcher in Life Sciences Award is the director of the Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics, an internationally recognised research centre in the department of biotechnology at the University of Western Cape. It comprises a team of over 45 researchers and staff and is leading the country in the area of mining microbial genomes for novel biotechnologically relevant enzymes and products. Trindade is also the vice-president of the South African Society for Microbiology.Professor Lindiwe Zungu – winner of the Distinguished Woman Researcher in Humanities and Sciences Award, Zungu is a full professor of health studies at the University of South Africa. Her research outputs have contributed to workers’ health and safety, for instance, guidelines for the redesign of safety clothing for women in mining. Her guidelines have been accepted as a national standard for the mining sector, and she continues to receive invitations to make presentations on the guidelines to stakeholders such as the Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee and the Chamber of Mines.Dr Gina Ziervogel – winner of the Distinguished Young Woman Researcher in Humanities and Sciences Award, Ziervogel has contributed to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7 that ensures environmental sustainability. She has situated environmental concerns within the broader development paradigm, helping to address MDG 1 that involves eradicating poverty and hunger as well. Her work has focused on adaptation to the impacts of climate change, from household level up to village and municipal level. Ziervogel is a senior lecturer in the department of environmental and geographical science and a research fellow in the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town (UCT).MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALSAccording to The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015, the 15-year effort to achieve the eight aspirational goals set out in the Millennium Declaration in 2000 was largely successful across the globe, while acknowledging shortfalls that remain. The data and analysis presented in the report show that with targeted interventions, sound strategies, adequate resources and political will, even the poorest can make progress.In 2000, eight millennium goals were highlighted to be reached by 2015, these were:Eradicating extreme hunger and povertyAchieving universal primary educationPromoting gender equality and empowering womenReducing child mortalityImproving maternal healthCombating HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseasesEnsuring environmental sustainabilityDeveloping a global partnership for developmentUnited Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said: “Following profound and consistent gains, we now know that extreme poverty can be eradicated within one more generation. The MDGs have greatly contributed to this progress and have taught us how governments, business and civil society can work together to achieve transformational breakthroughs.”last_img read more

John McCain & The Wall St. Journal Should Not Determine the Future of the Internet

first_imgA bipartisan bill limiting what companies can do with online user activity and profile data may be introduced tomorrow by Senators John McCain and John Kerry, according to reporting first in the Wall St. Journal and then today on marketing news site Clickz. The Journal’s Julia Angwin, citing anonymous sources, reports that the bill will require that sharing of user data between companies be opted-into by users and that users be able to see what data about them is being shared.That might not sound so bad on the surface, but in a new world of fast-developing technology – it’s good to think hard before making laws based on what might seem like common sense. The internet is a young thing and legislation like this could cut deep. Leadership on the issue from John McCain, who less than 3 years ago thought it appropriate to run for the Presidency without ever having used the internet before, seems particularly inappropriate. This is an issue that needs to be looked at from a pro-technology perspective, at least in part.Data flying from point to point, out of your sight, only somewhat under your control, until magic happens – isn’t that the nature of the Internet? And isn’t using it at all opting-in to redistribution of data? That might be too philosophical. There’s a practical story here of old-fashioned invention, too.Websites “spying” on you? That’s so 2001. The European Union this week singed a privacy and data protection plan for offline objects now being tracked with RFID chips. That’s some good privacy talk!Requiring opt-in, instead of opt-out, for data sharing would likely greatly reduce the amount of user data available for sharing, analysis and use in creating new software and services. While unpoliced data sharing clearly frightens many people (where are the victims of these crimes?) – the consequences of stifling data sharing by industry are more tangible. [Note that data privacy violations can harm real people but there’s a difference between showing private info to other individual people and machines processing personal info in bulk. It’s not the mysterious machines to be afraid of, it’s the real-live creeps you actually know.]“These regulations,” says leading social network data hacker and ReadWriteWeb contributor Pete Warden, “will deter startups from building new tools like Mint.com or Rapportive, while the big corporations can devote whole departments to working around any new rules.”Handling a Tidal WaveThe consequences of such legal action are hard to foresee. “The tricky question is, what is Personally Identifiable Information?” says Warden. “Everyone wants to just regulate names, addresses, etc. but since you can deanonymize almost any user-generated data set, and derive that information…any regulations will end up affecting far more applications than you might expect.”Indeed, data is widely expected to become one of the key factors in the future of economic and social development. And so much data is personal. (There’s a whole lot of personal data about all of us collected and shared off-line too, at the grocery store for example, or in direct marketing databases – but that’s not the subject of so much ire.) This is a common theme here on this blog. The example I’ve offered most commonly in calling for data to flow as freely as possible is the history of what’s called real estate redlining. In the 1960s, when both U.S. Census information and real estate mortgage loan information were made available for bulk analysis, it was proven that banks around the U.S. were discriminating against home loan applicants in traditionally African American neighborhoods.That was a big deal and I suspect that there are patterns of comparable importance, both positive and negative, hiding in the huge flowing river of online user data.Dr. Dirk Helbing, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, chairs the team building a project called the Living Earth Simulator (LES), a massive data project aiming to simulate as much natural and social activity on earth as possible. Those simulations, to be carried out on a scale inspired by the Large Hadron Collider, would aim to discover all kinds of patterns hidden in the mass of human and ecological data, including social network data.Here’s how he explains the importance of data analysis for pattern recognition. “Many problems we have today – including social and economic instabilities, wars, disease spreading – are related to human behavior, but there is apparently a serious lack of understanding regarding how society and the economy work,” he says. “Revealing the hidden laws and processes underlying societies constitutes the most pressing scientific grand challenge of our century.“Data analysis uncovered systematic racial discrimination in housing loans in the 1960’s. In the future, analysis of the incredible living census that is our internet data could be used to discover patterns and opportunities relevant to global warming, overpopulation, the spread of disease and the fact that the world today is an awful, unfair mess.Setting the ToneThe US Federal Government, in discussing the issues around online data and privacy, always mentions the need when taking government action regarding privacy to safeguard the incredible potential for innovation in all this data.The Wall St. Journal’s extensive reports on these matters make no such effort. It’s remarkable that the paper of record for capitalism makes no serious gesture in its reporting on data privacy to recognize the incredible economic engine that is online data. Instead, the publication’s tone is fear-mongering and self-congratulatory. (A code on Ashley’s computer knows that she likes the movie The Princess Bride and that information is sold to other companies for 1/10 of 1 cent…’Well, I like to think I have some mystery left to me,” Ashley says, “but apparently not!” Poor woman! No mystery left!)I hope that McCain and Kerry don’t introduce a bill requiring online user data sharing to be opt-in only. If they do, I hope there’s a lot more conversation and learning than there is legislating.No one puts it better than the US Department of Commerce. That body said the following in its announcement of the new Federal Privacy Policy Office in December:Strong commercial data privacy protections are critical to ensuring that the Internet fulfills its social and economic potential. Our increasing use of the Internet generates voluminous and detailed flows of personal information from an expanding array of devices.Some uses of personal information are essential to delivering services and applications over the Internet. Others support the digital economy, as is the case with personalized advertising. Some commercial data practices, however, may fail to meet consumers’ expectations of privacy; and there is evidence that consumers may lack adequate information about these practices to make informed choices. This misalignment can undermine consumer trust and inhibit the adoption of new services. It can also create legal and practical uncertainty for companies. Strengthening the commercial data privacy framework is thus a widely shared interest.However, it is important that we examine whether the existing policy framework has resulted in rules that are clear and sufficient to protect personal data in the commercial context.The government can coordinate this process, not necessarily by acting as a regulator, but rather as a convener of the many stakeholders–industry, civil society, academia–that share our interest in strengthening commercial data privacy protections. The Department of Commerce has successfully convened multi-stakeholder groups to develop and implement other aspects of Internet policy. Domain Name System (DNS) governance provides a prominent example of the Department’s ability to implement policy using this model.Convening multi-stakeholder conversations between diverse industry and other experts. That sounds like a much better idea than passing laws that cut so deep, here so close to the dawn of the internet. marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Analysis#Data Services#web center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Paid Search vs. Organic Search

first_img 1.  If you rank high for organic results, it is (typically) long lasting.  So, the time/money you spend helping yourself move up the ranks is relatively persistent while the PPC campaign is money spent over and over again. The benefits of optimizing your site for exposure in the organic results of the search engines relative to paying for PPC campaigns: We meet many small businesses who ask our advise about buying CPC ads versus optimizing their sites for optimal organic results.  try at accessing information.  4.  Often times searchers visit your site more than once before self-selecting into a form, whitepaper, etc.  We track this data carefully at HubSpot and notice that a decent portion of the leads we get are from people who have visited the site through multiple searches over multiple months.  Organic search campaigns have more latency. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 5.  Marketing Sherpa reports that in the b2b environment, less than one-fourth of b2b buyers to look to paid listings in their 3.  You can send the clicks to custom landing pages crafted for just the words you bought.  [In theory, this should dramatically increase the conversion rates relative to organic results that more often than not land on your home page, but the Marketing Sherpa numbers say otherwise.] 3.  Organic clicks convert at least as well as paid clicks.  Marketing Sherpa’s Search Marketing Benchmark study of 3,217 marketers showed that organic clicks converted at an average of 4.2% v. 3.6% for paid. Topics: The benefits of buying CPC ads versus organic seo:center_img 2.  You can experiment cheaply.  The good thing about advertising on Google is that you don’t have to create a huge budget for advertising, you can throw as little money as you want, experiment efficiently, get the ratios where you want, and then expand. first 1.  It is fast.  You can be up and running with paid ads the very same day you are inspired to move. — Brian Halligan. 2.  Organic results are clicked on a lot more than paid results, especially for well educated crowds.  I read a study that showed dramatic differences as you moved from high school eduction to associate degrees to bachelors to masters to phd’s.  The more educated your prospect, the less likely they are to click on an advertisement.  If you are selling to high school students, you should buy cpc ads.  If you are selling to engineers or professors, you need to think more about seo because that’s where the volume is. PPC Originally published May 29, 2007 3:18:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 There are big benefits to both, so I recommend doing both.  To get maximum benefit, I recommend optimizing around some keywords for organic results and buy other keywords.  6.  Many think of Google as a search company, but I think of them as a modern media conglomerate with an ultra-efficient mechanism for selling advertisements that work particularly well in the longtail.  Like other media companies, Google benefits from efficient pricing of advertising.  As more and more niche companies start to advertise on Google, their prices will become more efficient and their rates will become less and less attractive relative to other media outlets.last_img read more

Does Your Website Pass The .7 Second Test?

first_img websitegrader Technical SEO Originally published May 21, 2007 11:37:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 It is important you choose the words in your title carefully.  You really want the words in your page title to match what the searcher is looking for.  Choosing the keywords in the title is rather tricky.  You should look at four different variables to make the title phrase decision: 1.  Frequency of search — if no one is search is searching on the phrase, then you are wasting your time. 3.  Fit — the phrase should be as close a fit to your business as possible. The page title is the piece of meta data on the very top of your browser.  In the picture below, the page title is “HubSpot: Internet Marketing Software.”  The title is an interesting beast because when most humans read a web page (see first picture below), they do not ever look at the title; therefore, many marketing people do not pay any attention to it.  However, when you do a search (see second picture below), the organic results you are looking at and potentially clicking on is the page title you used on your site. websitegrader If you have any questions on page titles, feel free to leave them here.  If you want to see some additional data on how to set your website up, so that people searching in your niche can more readily find you, I suggest you run your site through our free When crafting titles, make sure you carefully pick a title for every page on your site.  The title of the home page is likely the most important one as that page likely has the most links into it, but every page title on your site is a potenial search result that will get the .7second test.  Do not just use the same title on every page as you are wasting a golden opportunity. 2.  Competition — if the phrase is very popular and you are competing for a spot on the first page of the results with major players like Wikipedia, CNN, etc., then you better have high page rank if you want to play that game. You need to write your titles with the search engines in mind.  The average human spends .7 seconds per page title on a Google search results page.  That means, someone scanning down the list of 10 results on the first page of Google makes up her mind very quickly as to which link she is going to click on.  Through our 4.  CPC cost — if the phrase that best matches your business has high competition, but a relatively low cost to buy an advertisement, it might be worth buying that one and optimizing around another similar phrase. . Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack property, we are now tracking over 30,000 websites and their page titles.  When those titles change, we are able to watch behind the scenes to see what kind of impact that has on the rankings for the keywords entered or removed from the titles.  In terms of “on page” analysis, our data suggests that Google values the page title more than most people (and seo consultants) think.  The easy way to think about it is that Google is looking for clues as to what your website is about, so it can deliver your site as a result on searches.  It turns out that the keywords in the page titles of your site are a major clue that Google takes, so make sure you get the right keywords in your titles if you want to “get found” by prospects. If your company is a well-known brand in your niche, it might make sense for you to put it in your title as it will increase the likelihood of someone clicking on it after their spending .7 seconds looking at it.  If your company is less well known, then I would advise leaving your company name out of the title completely. Topics: When crafting titles of your site, make sure you keep it short and sweet.  Our data suggests that the first words in the title matter more to Google than the last words in the title.  In addition, it seems like the more words in your title, the less “value” each word has.  Outside of Google, no one knows, but from our data it looks like Google discounts by the number of words in title. — Brian Halligan.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

A B2B Guide for Twitter Lead Generation

first_img Originally published Jun 8, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Download the free webinar for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. Twitter Marketing Topics:center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media and inbound marketing can drive powerful connections and awareness; however, to have part of their budget allocated for online marketing resources, B2B marketers need to be able to demonstrate a clear ROI. And for most B2B marketing departments, ROI comes down to one major metric: leads. While awareness and conversations are important, having clear and measurable leads acquired through social media is critical to the support of future efforts and resource acquisition. In the coming weeks, we will look at social media lead generation best practices across many social platforms. Today, we are going to focus on one platform that is at the top of most B2B marketers’ lists: Twitter. Test, Don’t Assume When thinking about social media lead generation, the only safe assumption to make is to “always assume your assumptions are wrong.” Instead of making assumptions and excuses for why your company “can’t” use social media for lead generation, develop clear tests that allow you to measure and collect data around a variety of social media lead generation programs. Tests should be agreed upon by all decision-makers and have clear benchmarks for lead quantity and quality goals. Before any test, it should be clear that if the test meets the goals, it will get the resources needed to continue; if it doesn’t, it won’t. How to Generate B2B Leads With Twitter Generating leads using Twitter is really about leveraging a community of people interested in your knowledge to share your information to new people unfamiliar with your business and expertise. It is your job as a marketer to convert new visitors and connections from Twitter into leads. This isn’t a blog post about how to get started on Twitter or get a ton of followers. We already have a ton of information to help you get started using Twitter for business .  This article is for people who understand Twitter and are looking to take the next step to drive leads for their business.  Generating B2B Leads With Twitter Profile Pages A Twitter profile page presents a couple of opportunities to optimize for lead generation. The first opportunity for optimization is the Twitter background. First, make sure you have a custom Twitter background for your company. What is also important is to include a call-to-action or URLs pointing visitors to potential lead generating web properties. Make sure that if someone arrives at your Twitter profile, they will instantly know how to get more information. In addition, make sure they can obtain that information in a way that could also convert them into a lead. As a bonus, you can use the browser extension ClickableNow to make your Twitter profile background links and calls-to-action clickable for users who have the plug-in installed. The second, and more important opportunity you have to use a Twitter profile page to drive B2B leads is with the profile URL. Most companies simply put a link to their corporate website homepage. This approach is fine, as along as you have lead generation opportunities on your homepage and have done some testing to optimize your homepage as a lead generation tool. The problem is that many businesses don’t use their homepage to drive leads. If this is true for your business, then you may want to consider using the URL for your blog if you are using it as a lead generation tool. The other option is to create a custom Twitter landing page that provides information and insight about your company and includes a clear call-to-action or form to support lead generation. Distributing Content via Twitter for Lead Generation Using Twitter as a way to distribute content and information can helps drive leads for other content properties such as blogs, contests, webinars, eBooks, etc . When distributing content via Twitter, use a URL shortening service such as bit.ly to track statistics for the clicks and shares of your content on Twitter. This will be an important set of data to better understand what subjects and types of content drive the best traffic and leads from Twitter. Twitter serves as a great platform to generate word-of-mouth buzz around your content and ideas. As a marketer, it is critical that you have clear calls-to-action and lead generation opportunities on your blog, in your eBooks and other content you are sharing on Twitter. This, combined with closed loop web analytics , can drive clear reporting for leads and customers acquired through Twitter. Using Twitter Search for Lead Generation One of the major keys to mining Twitter for information is being able to find the most relevant information and people to your business: customers, thought leaders, media analysts, etc. Using advanced Twitter Search allows businesses to dig deeper into conversations. If you find a key reporter or analyst that covers your business on Twitter, leverage the people search feature to see who they have been talking to about your industry. This can help identify what your competitors’ relationships are like with influencers and help you determine the type of information and trends they are covering. Knowing this can help your business to tell its story better and improve lead generation offers. When identifying sales prospects and influencers on Twitter, bio information is a key piece of data. Tweep Search is a third party tool that enables users to search Twitter bios for keywords. As seen in the image above, gathering listings of users by industry and expertise is free and simple. This information can be used to generate leads and build a relevant Twitter follower base.Twitter is simple and yet complicated at the same time. Conduct tests and leverage the advice from this post to develop effective Twitter lead generation strategies for your business. How has your business used Twitter for lead genernation? Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR last_img read more

Inbound Marketing Vs The Yellow Pages [Cartoon]

first_imgWhen I talk with most marketers about how they generate leads and fill the top of their sales funnel, most say outbound marketing.However, in 2019, a lot of innovative and successful businesses are actually embracing the art of inbound marketing. But, what’s the difference between inbound and outbound? This post will walk you through it. First, we’ll talk about the more traditional outbound marketing strategies.Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns. What is Outbound Marketing?Outbound marketing is a traditional method of marketing seeking to obstruct potential customers. Outbound marketing includes activities such as trade shows, seminar series and cold calling. It is costly and the ROI is much lower than inbound marketing.Outbound marketing included trade shows, seminar series, email blasts to purchased lists, internal cold calling, outsourced telemarketing, and advertising. I call these methods “outbound marketing” because marketers push his or her message out far and wide hoping that it resonates with that needle in the haystack. I think outbound marketing techniques are getting less and less effective over time for two reasons.  First, your average human today is inundated with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions per day and is figuring out more and more creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, Tivo, and Sirius satellite radio.  Second, the cost of coordination around learning about something new or shopping for something new using the internet (search engines, blogs, and social media) is now much lower than going to a seminar at the Marriott or flying to a trade show in Las Vegas. Transforming Your Marketing from Outbound to InboundRather than doing outbound marketing to the masses of people who are trying to block you out, I advocate doing inbound marketing where you help yourself “get found” by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.  In order to do this, you need to set your website up like a “hub” for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through search engines, blogging, and social media.  I believe most marketers today spend 90% of their efforts on outbound marketing and 10% on inbound marketing, and I advocate that those ratios flip.Outbound vs. Inbound MarketingOutbound marketing is when a marketer reaches out to people to see if they’re interested in a product. For example, this could include door-to-door sales or cold calling where a sales rep or marketer approaches someone without knowing if he or she is even a qualified lead. Inbound marketing is a strategy where you create content or social media tactics that spread brand awareness so people learn about you, might go to your website for information, and then purchase or show interest in your product.While some outbound strategies take lots of time and effort and may yield no leads, inbound strategies allow you to engage an audience of people that you can more easily qualify as a prospect of lead.The best analogy I can come up with is that traditional marketers looking to garner interest from new potential customers are like lions hunting in the jungle for elephants.  The elephants used to be in the jungle in the ’80s and ’90s when they learned their trade, but they don’t seem to be there anymore.  They have all migrated to the watering holes on the savannah (the internet).  So, rather than continuing to hunt in the jungle, I recommend setting up shop at the watering hole or turning your website into its own watering hole.Editor’s Note: A more detailed version of this article has been published here: “Inbound Marketing and the Next Phase of Marketing on the Web.”  This post specifically was originally published in 2010 but was updated in October 2019 for comprehensiveness.   Originally published Oct 30, 2019 3:05:00 PM, updated October 31 2019 Topics:center_img Switching to Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Places to Promote Your Business’ Social Media Presence

first_img Considering it’s such a hub for new activity and fresh content for many websites, your blog is often the first place people will look to see if you’re on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Add easy-to-find follow buttons to the sidebar of your blog. If you don’t have a business blog ? email The “About Us” page on your website is another logical place to promote your presence. Frequently visited by new site visitors and often a destination page for media professionals and bloggers looking for more information about your company, products, and services, your website’s “About Us” page is an obvious choice for the promotion of your social presence. 1. On Your Blog: internet marketing strategy 5 Places to Promote Your Social Media Presence but still maintain a social media presence, consider adding these follow buttons to your homepage instead. 2. On Your “About Us” Page: set up. It’s simply because they’re not promoting the presence they have! your business’ social media presence I can’t even begin to explain how frustrating it is to be searching for a specific person, business, or brand in social media only to find that … they’re impossible to find! If social media is supposed to make it easy for your fans, prospects, and customers to connect with you, shouldn’t it be easy for them to find you there in the first place? And a lot of times, it isn’t because the particular subject doesn’t have This might sound odd, but think about it. If someone is willing to Like your Facebook Page and they are also on Twitter and LinkedIn, they’ll likely be interested in your presence on those sites, too. Once you’ve created your social media accounts and optimized your profiles, the next step is to promote them and increase your reach. Don’t miss out on these 5 simple places to promote your presence. It’s as simple as adding social media follow links and buttons, but you’d be surprised how often this low-hanging fruit gets neglected…center_img social media accounts 4. On Your Other Social Media Accounts: Originally published Aug 11, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 , consider adding social media logos and corresponding URLs to your profile pages on these sites right onto your ads and promotional materials. This will encourage people who discover you offline to also connect with you online, making for a truly integrated campaign. Topics: 5. On Print Materials: Where else do you suggest promoting 3. In Your Emails: and social media should go hand in hand. Include small follow buttons or links in the footer of your email sends to encourage email recipients to connect with you in social media. If you are the owner of a brick and mortar business and are using print advertising or other materials to complement your These days, Social Media 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

11 Reasons Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks

first_img LinkedIn Company Pages 4. You Have No Products/Services Tab: If you’re a business that offers products/services (and what business doesn’t?), there’s no reason you shouldn’t feature them in your ‘Products’ tab. You can even get creative with this by featuring things other than just your products/services like webinar and ebook offers, as the HubSpot Company Page has done. There’s nothing wrong with thinking outside the box, and doing so can help you generate valuable leads from your LinkedIn company presence!  5. You’re Not Creating Targeted Product Tabs: Did you know that you can create targeted content within your Products tab that targets different audiences and features different products? Smart LinkedIn Company Pages are leveraging this feature to personalize messaging on their Products tab, and you should, too. Just click “Create New Audience” while in edit mode on your Products tab, and follow the wizard to specify and define your audience in terms of things like company size, job function, industry, seniority, and geography. 6. It Features No Recommendations: Displaying testimonials is a great way to show third-party validation and, as a result, credibility for your products/services. On LinkedIn, testimonials translate to ‘Recommendations.’ On your Products tab, page visitors have the opportunity to recommend individual products and services, and a tab rich with recommendations is definitely a good thing. Consider using LinkedIn’s “Request recommendations” option to ask friends, fans, and customers of your company to leave a recommendation of your products/services if they’ve had a positive experience with your brand. 7. You’re Not Leveraging Opportunities for Creativity: While a LinkedIn Company Page may not be as customizable as, say, a Facebook Page , there are a few things you can do to make your page more engaging for your followers. Leverage the opportunity to highlight specific promotions, incorporate videos (it’s as simple as adding a link to a YouTube video), and leverage an interactive ‘product and service spotlight’ such as the one from PepsiCo pictured below. To do so, add 3 banner images/links in step 3 while you’re editing your Products tab. 8. You Haven’t Enabled the Blog RSS Feed: Feature your business’ blog content automatically by adding your business blog’s RSS feed to your company page. This will pull in new posts and feature them on the overview tab of your LinkedIn Company Page. To enable this feature, simply go into edit mode of your page’s ‘Overview’ tab, scroll down, and enter the URL for your blog’s RSS feed. It will display a feed that looks like the following, as seen on Chevron’s LinkedIn Company Page . 9. You Haven’t Enabled the News Module: Easily showcase news mentions of your company from the web on your Company Page. While still in edit mode of your page’s Overview tab, check the bubble, “Share news about my company” under ‘News Module’ at the very bottom of the page. 10. Your Careers Tab is Worthless: One of most valuable uses of LinkedIn is for job search and recruiting. Leverage your ‘Careers’ tab to promote job opportunities at your company and direct them to your website to apply. 11. You’re Ignoring Your Analytics: Make use of your LinkedIn Company Page’s built-in analytics tools to measure and improve the effectiveness and performance of your page. LinkedIn’s analytics tools, visible to page administrators as the fourth tab on your page, allow you to track page views and unique visitors on your overall page as well as each individual tab (although keep in mind it doesn’t currently provide analytics on how individually targeted product tab content performs; it only offers analytics on that tab as a whole). LinkedIn also measures how many clicks your products or services have received as well as the number of members following your company. Additionally, LinkedIn provides percentages for member visits. This tool can be helpful in understanding who your LinkedIn target audience consists of, because the data is split into member visits by industry (marketing, finance, etc.), function (sales, research, etc.), and company (HubSpot, LinkedIn, etc.).Don’t limit the measurement of your page just to LinkedIn’s internal metrics. Be sure to also use your own marketing analytics tool to measure traffic, leads, and customers generated from your LinkedIn presence to understand your overall effectiveness there. How does your LinkedIn Company Page stack up? Where could you make improvements? Follow HubSpot’s own LinkedIn Company Page for inspiration! 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 Originally published Nov 18, 2011 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Up until recently, the value of a LinkedIn Company Page was minimal. But ever since LinkedIn enabled company updates for pages , they’ve become monumentally more valuable for marketers. Upon investigation of various LinkedIn Company Pages, though, it turns out that very few companies are actually leveraging this awesome new feature.To be honest, it’s very difficult to find many examples of companies using LinkedIn Company Pages to their fullest potential . This a huge missed opportunity for businesses, especially given that because many businesses aren’t leveraging features likes company updates, the clutter on LinkedIn is significantly less dense than on other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. This means that a business that takes advantage of company updates and other page features can leverage a great opportunity to stand out from its competitors. Below, we’ve identified 11 reasons why your LinkedIn Company Page is probably failling so you can get to work on building a much better and more effective LinkedIn company presence . 11 Reasons Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks 1. It Has No Followers: As with any social media presence , building up a solid base of followers is key. Before company updates became a LinkedIn feature, followers were practically useless. Now, without followers, your company updates will be useless. Spend some time generating new followers for your LinkedIn Company Page by promoting your presence there: add follow buttons to your website and blog, write a blog post about your presence, and tell followers on your other social networks to follow you on LinkedIn, too. 2. It’s Completely Bare: Good luck attracting new LinkedIn company followers with a blank, boring page. At the very least, your page should include basic information about your company. Be sure to edit your page overview, complete your profile, and fine-tune your company description. 3. You’re Not Using Company Updates to Share Content: As we mentioned earlier, it’s astounding how many company pages aren’t leveraging company updates yet, considering it’s arguably the most critical marketing component of a company page. Enable company updates for your page and start sharing useful information and content; interesting discussion topics; and any other company updates you want to share with your followers. Maintaining a regularly updated and engaging page is the best way to organically attract new followers for your page.last_img read more

11 Essential Elements of a Well-Designed Marketing Ebook

first_img Originally published Apr 6, 2012 2:39:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Design How many ebooks does your marketing team have in its content arsenal? With the rise of tablet and e-reader popularity, ebooks are only growing in popularity. According to a newly released report by Pew Internet , in mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an ebook in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%. While we’ve always considered ebooks to be one of the best lead-gen content assets at a marketer’s disposal, the fact that on-the-go content is only carving out more of a place in today’s increasingly mobile world makes them an even smarter choice as a marketing offer .As a piece of long-form content, a lot of work must go into the creation of a well-crafted ebook . So today, let’s focus on design. How do you design an ebook that is reader-friendly, engaging, and at the same time supports your marketing goals? Let’s discuss the 11 essential elements that make up an effective marketing ebook design.  Importance of a Brand Style Guide First, a note about the role design should play in your content strategy. If ebook creation is (or you plan it to be) a big part of your content strategy, it’s wise to first spend some time establishing a consistent brand style guide to which all your marketing content — not just your ebooks, but also your presentations and other marketing collateral — adheres. This will give your publications a more professional, branded look which translates to a sense of credibility. Of course, the content itself is a huge contributing factor to the credibility and value of a publication, but even if you have quality content down pat, that doesn’t mean people still won’t judge an ebook by its cover ;)If you take a look at the ebooks HubSpot has launched in the past 6 months, for example, you’ll notice that they all have very consistent branding and design elements throughout. When you sit down with your marketing team and designer to decide on your brand style guide, establish rules for such design elements as fonts/sizes, color schemes, charts/graphs, borders for screenshots and images, headers, etc. Creating easy-to-follow guides and templates for your various marketing assets like ebooks, presentations, etc. will make it easy for you and your team to implement a consistent branding style throughout your marketing collateral. HubSpot, for example, has an ebook template created in InDesign to ensure our ebooks have a consistent look no matter who created them.Now let’s dive into the 11 essential design elements you should consider in your next ebook design. 11 Essential Elements of Effective Ebook Design 1) An Interesting, Descriptive Title Okay, so your title choice may not exactly be a design element, but choosing a title for any piece of content is definitely an art , and it shouldn’t be overlooked. The title is often the first thing someone judges before deciding whether to click on or read your ebook, especially when the content gets shared in social media. Choose a title that is both interesting and descriptive — that is, it should be indicative of what the reader will learn from reading the ebook.Unlike blog posts, ebooks are high-commitment pieces of content because of their length, so you need to make sure you’re demonstrating the value up front in a compelling way. For instance, one HubSpot ebook is titled 15 Business Blogging Mistakes & Easy Fixes with the subtitle, “How to Fix the Most Common Blogging Bloopers.” The main title is both descriptive and demonstrates value in itself, but the subtitle also makes it sound like an even more interesting read. 2) A Visual Cover So if we know that people will most definitely be judging your ebooks by their cover, you’ll want to make sure you create ones that are both visually appealing and coincide with your brand style guide. Consider how the visual revolution is playing out with sites like Pinterest cropping up and other social networks like Facebook and Google+ putting more of an emphasis on visual content , and the importance of enticing covers becomes even more evident. Make the title easy to read, include branding elements you decided on in your brand style guide, and feature an image. You’ll notice that HubSpot’s ebook covers , for example, follow the same layout and structure while each featuring a different relevant an interesting image. 3) Skill/Topic/Persona Tags Depending on your business and industry, you likely have a different buyer personas , whether you segment your target audience by demographics, skill level, topic interest, or something else. So if part of your strategy is to create content that is personalized for or targeted to these different audience segments, one helpful way to organize and differentiate between your content assets is through a tagging system. Incorporate your schema in your ebook design so your readers know which particular ebooks will be of interest to them, and which ebooks won’t. You can do this in a number of ways — through iconography, color schemes, or tags.HubSpot’s ebooks, for instance, are categorized by skill level — introductory, intermediate, or advanced — depending on the skill level of our readers. To identify which is which, we use a combination of color scheme and a category key to denote which ebooks are targeted for which skill level. If an ebook is intermediate level like our example here, the cover and color scheme throughout the book uses blue as the dominant color, and a page in the beginning of the book explains which type of audience would benefit from each skill level. Introductory content uses a charcoal color scheme, and advanced content uses an orange color scheme. We’ve also extended this tagging system to our blog. You’ll notice this particular blog post, for example, has also been tagged as ‘intermediate.’ 4) An Author Page Another design element you might want to include in your ebooks is an author page, particularly if you have multiple members of your team creating ebooks. For example, if the author of the ebook is an expert on that topic, an author page that highlights the author’s bio and relevancy to the topic is a great way to add credibility to the content. On your author page, include a brief bio of the author, a headshot, and if you choose to, a way for readers to get in touch with the author if they have questions, such as an email address, Twitter username, or phone number.As an added internal benefit, you might find that members of your team are more willing to spend time creating ebook content if they know their efforts will be recognized publicly through an author page. 5) A Table of Contents A staple for any book, both print or digital, be sure to include a table of contents in every ebook you publish. This not only gives readers a sense of how the ebook is organized, but it also makes it easy for them to reference individual chapters if they decide only certain ones are relevant to them or if they want to refer back to specific sections later. To make this even more user-friendly for your readers, some programs like InDesign make it possible for you to hyperlink chapters/sections, creating a sort of interactive table of contents and allowing readers to jump to a certain section of the ebook when they click on the corresponding link in the table of contents. 6) Chapter Title Pages Clearly distinguish one chapter to the next with chapter title pages. This gives readers a clear indication of their progress through the book and helps set the stage for the section they are about to read. It can also serve as a landing page for that interactive table of contents you may have set up in number 5. In our business blogging mistakes ebooks example, for instance, we organized the chapters by the 15 mistakes we highlight, and our chapter pages highlight which mistake the reader is going to learn about next.  7) Social Sharing Buttons We’ve talked before about the importance of including social sharing buttons on your marketing content. Sure, the landing page behind which you gate your ebook is a great place for these buttons, but why not also stamp them onto the pages of your ebooks as well? It makes sense, right? A potential reader might not feel comfortable sharing your ebook before they’ve read it and know they like the content, but while they’re reading it? That’s a different story.Add these buttons to each page of your ebook — either in the header or the footer — so readers can easily share the book with their social networks no matter how far through it they’ve read. Just be sure you’re sharing links to the ebook’s landing page — not thank-you page — if it’s gated content. HubSpot’s ebooks, for example, include social sharing buttons for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter on each page. For help in creating these social media buttons for your ebooks, check out this handy guide . 8) Visual Elements Break up your “big chunks of copy” and “large blocks of text” with visual elements to emphasize or explain certain points more visually. We’re talking anything from headers, bolded text, and bullet points to screenshots, images, charts, and graphs. Furthermore, leverage content visualizations when appropriate to help you explain concepts that are difficult to explain through text and lend themselves to more visual explanations, as we did in this blog post , which is actually an ebook excerpt! Just be sure to keep your visuals in line with your brand style guide, translating images, graphs, and charts to conform to your guidelines in terms of style and color scheme. 9) Product/Service Call-Outs While ebooks can be catered to achieve certain goals, the way most marketers use ebooks is to generate new leads at the top of the funnel. To achieve this goal, your ebook content should be majorly educational — not product focused — in nature. But does that mean you can’t or shouldn’t sneak in a few mentions of your product or service into them when appropriate? Absolutely not! In fact, when people are just starting to learn about your business in the awareness stage of the sales cycle, they probably know very little about the products and services you offer.Use educational ebooks as an opportunity to connect your thought leadership with product awareness. One way to do this in your ebook content is with subtle product mentions and call-outs when you mention a problem or need in your ebook that your products or services address. How much of these should you include? The key here is balance. Make sure the educational value of the ebook makes up for your product awareness plugs. For example, in HubSpot’s educational ebook How to Attract Customers With Twitter, we add to the section of the ebook that discusses scheduling tweets and monitoring responses by calling to attention to the social media publishing tool available in HubSpot’s software, our paid offering. This lets readers with little or no knowledge of HubSpot’s software connect HubSpot’s thought leadership and expertise with its paid software. 10) Printer/Mobile-Friendliness While your ebook is a digital publication, you’ll likely be offering it as a downloadable file such as a PDF, and despite what you might think, many of the people who download will actually prefer to print it out and read it on paper rather than on a screen. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your ebooks are printer-friendly. For example, avoid designs that leverage double-page, horizontal layouts that don’t translate well to print. The best way to know if your design is printer-friendly? Print it yourself!Furthermore, you’ll also want to make sure your ebook file is mobile-friendly. Does your ebook PDF view well on a smartphone and various e-readers/tablets? Test it out!If you’re considering making your ebook available for sale through ebook marketplaces like the Kindle Store, things get a little bit more complicated . You’ll need to conform to the specific ebook format of that particular store, and you’ll likely need to make chan ges to the style, design, and file of your ebook. In general, you’ll need to modify your ebook to embody a very simple design with few visuals and limited formatting. Publishing services like Lulu.com can make this process more easily manageable. 11) A Final Call-to-Action The last critical element that should be a part of your ebook design is — you guessed it — a final call-to-action! After a reader has completed the ebook, what action do you want them to take next? Tell them!Perhaps you’d like to encourage them to move from the awareness stage of the sales cycle onto the evaluation stage of the sales cycle. In this case, feature a call-to-action for a middle-of-the-funnel stage offer on the last page of your ebook, introducing it to the reader in a way that is relevant and logical. In our 15 Business Blogging Mistakes ebook , for instance, we encourage readers to start a free 30-day trial of HubSpot’s software , relating it to the content of the ebook by emphasizing that readers will be able to try out HubSpot’s business blogging tools to help them fix the blogging mistakes they learned they are guilty of making. Do your ebooks have a consistent design that reflects your business’ branding? What other design elements would you add? Image Credit: Jonah Larsson 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