Defence Ministry dismisses reports of Army jawan’s abduction by militants in Kashmir

first_imgThe Defence Ministry on Saturday denied reports of an Army jawan being abducted by militants from his home in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, saying he is “safe”.The family of Mohammad Yaseen, who is posted with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regiment, had on Friday informed the police that some people came to their house at Qazipora Chadoora in Budgam and took him away.Mr. Yaseen was on leave. However, a Defence spokesperson on Saturday said the reports of the abduction of the jawan were incorrect.“Clarification. Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided,” the spokesperson said in a tweet.An Army official said they are trying to ascertain where the jawan had been on Friday night which prompted his family to approach the police.last_img read more

4 militants killed in Shopian and Handwara

first_imgFour militants were killed in two separate encounters in Kashmir valley on Thursday.Three militants, identified as Sajad Khanday, Aqib Ahmad Dar and Basharat Ahmad Mir, all residents of Pulwama, were killed in an early morning operation at Yawran village of Keller in Shopian district.“We had credible inputs about their presence in the area. All the three bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. It was a combined group of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),” said the police. Three rifles were recovered from the site.Dar, according to the police, had a long history and was involved in conspiring and executing many “terror attacks” in the area. Three AK rifles were recovered and were taken in the case records for further investigation,” the police said.In a separate gunfight that erupted in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, one Jaish-e-Muhammad militant was killed. “Yaroo area of Langate in Handwara was cordoned off following a tip. The search party was fired upon. One militant was killed,” said the police.The slain militant was identified as Danish Ahmad Dar, a resident of Sopore.“Dar was affiliated to JeM. One rifle and grenades were recovered from the site of encounter,” the police said.last_img read more

NBA: Jimmy Butler’s trainer blasts Bulls GM after draft day trade

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Former Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)The off-season continues to be a busy one in the National Basketball Association, as the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler was recently shipped to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the No. 7 pick Lauri Markkanen.READ: Sources: Bulls trade Butler to TimberwolvesADVERTISEMENT Although the 27-year-old swingman has been at the center of trade talks in recent weeks, his personal trainer, Travelle Gaines, couldn’t help but lambast the Bulls organization, particularly General Manager Gar Forman.“0-82.worst culture in the league.I met drug dealers with better morals then their GM,”  he tweeted, shortly after the deal was announced.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“He is a liar and everyone knows,” he added.Turmoil inside the Bulls’ front office has been reported in multiple instances in the past, but  Gaines comparing Forman to drug dealers might just be the boldest one yet. LATEST STORIES World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Butler, meanwhile, will reunite with his former coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota and form a “Big 3” alongside promising studs Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.  Khristian Ibarrola /raSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken What ‘missteps’? View comments WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Reyes impressed by Fil-Nigerian Edu: ‘Unbelievable’ MOST READ 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more

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

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

5 Types of Posts to Feed Your Business Blog

first_img Because of their exceptional traction, roast will introduce your blog to new audiences — the State of the Twittershere introduced the Inbound Marketing Blog to newspaper readers and France and Canada for the first time. This, in turn, will help expand you blog’s reach. State of the Twittersphere cartoons On the Inbound Marketing Blog, we’ve been using  Spinach – Healthy, Thoughtful Posts Ian-S Clearly a great blog  Tabasco – Articles That Start Fires You should work hard to make sure you’re good at these posts — that you can whip them out, and that your readers engage with them and like them. runaway wind rmburnes Inbound Marketing & the Next Phase of the Web ” is a good example.  ,  Roasts – Big, Hearty Projects I hosted. For this blog, I focus on five categories of posts. Last week   report is a great example. It took a lot of time to pull the data together and do the analysis, but it got great traction. Download the free Advanced Business Blogging webinar Content Types Jurgen Appelo Like this article? massdistraction Raisin Bran – Useful, Everyday Posts The challenge with a roast is to make sure you pick the right project. It’s a lot of time to invest in a single article, so you need to make sure you’re producing interesting, unique information.  to add levity. However you accomplish it, the key to successful chocolate cake posts is simple: have fun. ,   got me thinking about food as metaphor to describe them, so I thought I’d share what I came up with. thrives on a mix of content  — but what type of mix? These are posts that take a lot of time, but that get a lot of attention and inbound links. Our   and  What do you think? ,  These are the posts that establish your business and your blog as a thought leader. They’re posts that probe new developments in technology and changes in your industry. They’re generally a little longer than typical posts, and they take longer to write. My Post ” Originally published Jan 23, 2009 8:22:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Chocolate Cake – The Sweet Stuff What kind of posts do you publish on your business blog?  Topics: A Message for the Post Office: Direct Mail Is Dying .” This upset a lot of our readers who rely on direct mail. They spoke up — sometimes in sharp tones — in the comments, and we had a lively discussion. Lots of people linked to the article with posts of their own, and the result was that a lot of the nuance about direct mail and its status was uncovered. You can’t do these posts everyday. But they’re an important part of your overall blog mix. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack ,  barron Make sure you do these from time to time (and take the time to do them well), but don’t do them too often. Too much spinach, and your readers will get tired of it. Flickr Photos:  Every so often you need to write an article that asks tough questions. These posts might upset a few of your readers, but they also launch important, valuable conversations. For example, last week I did a post called ” Every blog needs fun stuff that goes down easily and shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously. These types of posts come in all sizes, shapes and forms. If you publish a business blog, you probably know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut, writing the same articles over and over again. videoslast_img read more

How a Kitchen Window Builds Trust Through Transparency

first_imgTransparency is a powerful thing.  Especially in an industry where no one really trusts any of the vendors.You know all the jokes about Chinese restaurants serving dog and cat instead of chicken.What if you opened a Chinese restaurant, and had a big glass window giving a view into the kitchen from the main dining room?People would talk about it.  They would like it.  Even if your kitchen were no cleaner than other kitchens, the fact that you let them look says something.It also would change the way your staff worked.  They know customers are looking at them while they cook your food.  The wait staff and the manager could be watching too.  The kitchen staff would cut a lot fewer corners.Just by making your cooking process more transparent, you could really change your restaurant’s business.What can you make more transparent in your business?  How can you build more trust with your customers?  Here’s an example.Photo credit: avlxyzWebinar: Rethinking MarketingWant to learn more about how you can use inbound marketing to grow your business?Download the free webinar to learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine. Originally published Mar 6, 2009 8:19:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Topics: Branding Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

3 Secrets to Addictive Digital Platforms

first_imgTechCrunch Disrupt , CEO, DailyBooth , a conference that gathers web innovators in social media, mobile devices, and smart applications, hosted a compelling panel about the shift from traditional print to online media. and learn how to manage your company brand effectively using social media. Video: How to Use Social Media to Manage Your Company Brand Online Here are 3 key secrets revealed about addictive digital platforms: GE has always been known as one of the traditional marketing giants that garners the use of customary marketing techniques. However, Judy Hu, GE’s Global Executive Director for Advertising and Branding, explains that using social media can help “extend the brand and make it iconic. [GE] wants to build their brand and get their key message across to everyone.” Digital platforms can help small and large businesses alike expand their company to different demographics and distinguish their corporate image. Download the free video , CEO, Chatroulette , Global Executive Director, GE 3. Digital platforms cultivate brand building. GE’s crowd-sourcing effort 1. Users define content creation 2. Visual content is universal. The grounds of the discussion revolved around the transformation from conventional methods of reaching consumers to modern platforms that actually interact with users. Gone are the days where static media effectively delivered messages to consumers. Social media sites have dominated the playing field, where consumers choose what they want to view and who they want to engage with. Digital platforms such as YouTube and DailyBooth make it super-easy to upload videos and pictures and share them with friends. These can soon become addictive and viral as people consume content and pass it along further. Businesses can take advantage of this by opening up content creation to users, such as Brian Pokorny . , Founder, 4chan Brian Pokorny Christopher Poole content consumption. explains that “…you can talk in different ways through just visual imagery. Text is less of the focus now with both videos and photos, which can transcend languages, borders, and cultures.” Three of the panelists founded sites where visual imagery was dominant, and demonstrated the effectiveness of such sites in reducing boundaries in today’s global marketplace. Learn how to use social media to manage your company brand. Andrey Ternovskiy and Judy Hu Originally published May 25, 2010 7:33:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Crowdsource Videos for Your Business [Marketing Cast]

first_img Originally published Jan 10, 2011 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Video Marketing Create a Contest for Best VideoLaunching a contest is a great way to go about crowdsourcing videos. Make sure the contest prize you offer is a significant sum, but not as big as the marketing budget for a full-blown video. Then, invite local film school students to participate and encourage them to create the best video assignment.See How Other Businesses Did ItHP, for instance, used the D&AD Student Awards to launch a similar contest in 2009. Its assignment was: “Present an idea which promotes HP Workstations ability to bring to life anything the creative mind can conceive.” The end result of this contest was brilliant! It enjoyed thousand of views and hundreds of positive comments.Give People OpportunityWhy would anyone participate in such a contest apart from the possibility of winning a prize? “They want the exposure,” says David. People are eager and excited to express their creativity and receive a public acknowledgment for it. So don’t think contests are a way to get a video for cheap. It is more about giving an opportunity to people who wouldn’t otherwise had it. Don’t exploit them but celebrate their unique perspective and knowledge.What is your recipe for creating valuable videos? Topics:center_img Videos present a great way to create remarkable content and expose your business to more PR opportunities. But coming up with creative ideas and engaging in video production can be time-consuming or expensive. That is where crowdsourced videos come in to offer the perfect solution for a clever and well-budgeted clip.In this episode of the Marketing Cast David Meerman Scott shares tips about crowdsourcing videos for your business. Watch the video below to hear his insights! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How the Web Is Changing Video Marketing for the Better

first_imgMake it short. This is advice you’ll often hear from experts about producing online video for marketing. Making your videos brief will ensure that your content captures and keeps the short attention span of viewers. But, wait — what if this short attention span is a myth?Understandably, most would say, “It’s not a myth.” Video abandonment rates have traditionally been very high. In fact, a 2010 study by Visible Measures showed that 33% of viewers click away from a video after the first 30 seconds, and 44% will leave after the first 60 seconds. So you’d better keep your videos under a minute, right? Not necessarily.Lately, we’ve started noticing some very high-quality online videos that seem to be successfully maintaining the attention of viewers for well over a minute. In fact, for more than three, five, and even ten minutes. This dynamic is primarily due to the content of the video, which isn’t promotional and boring, but informative and/or entertaining.The Video Content Shapes Its Power & ReachSome of the online marketing videos we’ve started seeing today are more like short movies than interruptive ads, and that’s a fundamental shift from traditional advertising. Up until now, the majority of the video ads out there (both on TV as well as on the web) revolve around a product or a service and are placed in between TV shows and movies. In this context, the TV shows and movies are the valuable content worth watching, and the ads are trying to steal minutes from your precious time to sell to you.Now, we are seeing video ads that are the actual content and revolve around something bigger than a product or a service — something a viewer would actually care about. This new generation of video marketing has swept us with its thought-provoking nature because it introduces content that, as AdWeek reporter Tim Nudd says, “makes you believe people don’t have short attention spans after all.”Let’s look at some examples of how some companies have leveraged video storytelling for marketing:Example #1: Nike’s “My Time Is Now”Nike’s recent cinematic video ad is designed to inspire youth to get deeply involved with soccer by learning about some key players and what it takes to be walking in their ‘sneakers.’ The video is like an interactive labyrinth of potential ‘tunnels’ the viewer can take to learn more about soccer. For instance, you can find out the name of a featured soccer player, along with their date of birth, an inspiring quote by them, and a chance to follow them on a social channel like Twitter. By clicking on some other elements in the video, like a player’s watch or plastic water bottle, you can also learn more about Nike’s products or get insights into soccer-specific activities like workouts and games.The ad aired on TV only after it debuted on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Nikefootball.com. “Instead of making a big ad for TV then putting together a bolt-on interactive version, what we have done is make an interactive film and experience, then created an edit for TV,” says Graeme Douglas, W+K London head of interactive and innovation for Fast Company. “That’s a fundamental shift.”This ad isn’t about making a Nike sales pitch. It’s about something much larger that Nike is simply proud to be part of.Example #2: HORNBACH’s “Infinite House”Another great example of a long-form video ad that engages with its content is “The Infinite House” by German home improvement company HORNBACH. The 9-minute ad is about a new neighbor who transforms his little hut and brings joy and warmth to his neighbors. With its soft images and magical music, the video evokes a distant memory of some (maybe German) fairytale. Although none of the characters express their feelings, the video conveys a range of emotions from darkness and despair to lightness and hope.The official video has more than 250K views on YouTube, but other users have republished it and contributed tens of thousands of other views. Aside from a subtle and brief product placement during the video, HORNBACH is mentioned only at the end of the ad. Yet, like the Nike ad discussed above, this is not a sales pitch but rather a story much larger and more infinite than the product.Example #3: TNT’s “Push the Red Button”For the launch of its channel in Belgium, TNT hired an agency to shoot a reality-TV type of ad. The agency got permission from a little town in Belgium to set up hidden cameras around a small red button with an arrow inviting people to press it. Once the button is pressed, a crew of actors rushes in and performs dramatic stunts.A call-to-action appears at the end of the shoot announcing TNT as “Your Daily Dose of Drama.” In this way, everything comes together nicely and entertains both the community in this small Belgium town and the online YouTube community. The video, which has now accumulated more than 33 million views, got coverage from a number of sites, including the Huffington Post, Time and WebProNews.The trend we’re noticing here is pretty obvious: creating compelling video content that captures the audience’s attention through storytelling rather than bombarding them with product-oriented messaging seems to make the attention span myth moot. People are willing to invest a few more minutes in watching your video content if it informs/entertains them and keeps their interest piqued.What are some other online videos you couldn’t stop watching? How have you incorporated more storytelling elements into your video marketing? Share your videos in the comments! Video Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published May 29, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

When Press Releases Do (and Don’t) Help Your Marketing

first_img Topics: Not only will your press release performance improve, but you’re able to repurpose some of that visual content in other areas of your marketing — like emails, landing pages, social media, and blog posts.The Drawbacks of Using Press Releases1) Press releases alone don’t help your SEO.As mentioned earlier, press releases can help SEO if there is additional editorial content published as a result of your press release. However, despite popular belief that press releases help your SEO, they actually don’t help as much as you think. A recent article quotes Matt Cutts of Google verifying that your SEO ranking in Google will not increase after a press release is posted.Why is that? Because press releases are syndicated for a certain amount of time … but are actually taken down at some point. Even though they are full of keywords and your company’s name, their temporary status online does not lead to any progress in the SERPs.As mentioned before, press releases can help your SEO in an indirect way — by leading to other beneficial press. However, your PR strategy should not depend on them for SEO success. Use them as a means to an end that will get you higher rankings, instead.2) Press releases don’t improve your communication with consumers.Even though press releases may get the attention of a journalist, it is very unlikely that it will reach your target audience (or enough of them to make a difference in your marketing). Consumers like to read information in a way that is easy to digest, and feels more natural — like news stories and blog posts. The press release format takes longer to read, and is often harder to understand without reading a couple times through. In a world with thousands of stories being posted every hour, readers want to be able to quickly understand the story by reading it through a blog post or another form of writing.So marketers, that means in addition to posting your press release, you should make sure the content is somewhere else in a better format so that your audience gets access to it. Instead of promoting your press release through social channels or email, promote your blog post to achieve the same effect of the press release and get your audience the information in the announcement.3) Press releases are difficult to measure.Data is the prime way marketrs can prove success to the rest of their department and company. Unlike other parts of your marketing strategy, however, press releases are extremely difficult to measure, and therefore it’s hard to prove whether or not they are successful. I mean, it’s pretty hard to say “X amount of people viewed our release, and X amount of journalists decided to write about it/not write about it as a result.”Do not rely on press releases to be the way you prove to your boss that public relations is a necessary part of your marketing strategy. Press can be measured in some ways, like how many times your press release was reposted, or referral traffic from the release (if you used tracking tokens in your release’s links), but it’s hard to get an accurate number of just how many leads or customers are generated as a result of your work.4) Press releases are not cost effective.Posting one press release can cost hundreds of dollars, if not over a thousand dollars. Many times they are not picked up by journalists and are simply reposted on other websites. They have become a bit outdated as public relations relies more on building relationships with the media instead of sending out hundreds of emails with press releases to journalists you may not even know.Marketers, instead of spending your dollars on posting press releases to the wire, spend time meeting with journalists, figuring out what they look for before writing a story, and finding out what beat they write about. Building these relationships with the media will end up paying off much more than having a strategy where you simply post press releases onto the wire.What other things are press releases great for — and not so great for — in your marketing?Image credit: Ionics Originally published Jan 14, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated September 05 2017 Public Relationscenter_img Are Press Releases Effective?Press releases have become less meaningful to reporters that read them, as more low quality submissions have flooded the market. While still a viable marketing channel, over time press releases have become less favored to other digital tactics that are measurable, scalable, and cheaper.When a marketer sets out to create a public relations strategy, the first move is often to get started publishing press releases. That would have been the most effective way to get out your message and get some press … years ago. However, there are now other tactics that need to be coupled with press releases in order to make them effective.As a marketer, it’s important to know when press releases will benefit your public relations strategy, and when another tool or tactic should be used. There are many cases when press releases are still valuable to use, but there are even more misconceptions about them. We’re going to debunk all of those right now, and lay out exactly when press releases rock — and exactly when they don’t.Download Now: Free Press Release TemplateThe Benefits of Using a Press Release1) It will be picked up by other publications.The purpose of a press release is to get your news in front of as many people as possible. Many companies see success by posting a press release to the wire, where it will be sent out to thousands of publications and ultimately reposted other places online.But how do you really get some attention with this tactic? First, we’ve found that when companies include data in their press releases, it’s even more likely that it will be picked up by other publications. But even more important than presenting your story with interesting soundbites — yes, there’s more to success here than just quality content (gasp!) — you need to get your timing right.According to our own Dan Zarrella’s research, press releases are viewed on average about 275 times during the week:And the media views it about an average of 70 times during the week:The more people, especially journalists, who are viewing your press release, the more likely you are to have it picked up by other publications. So if your goal is to get a lot of views and reposts of your press release, it may be something valuable to include in your strategy, provided you’re timing it right ;-)2) You build links.One of the greatest benefits to including PR in your marketing strategy is link building. Even though an actual press releases does not necessarily help with SEO (stay tuned for more information about that later on), the editorial coverage you get from a press releases will bring great benefits to your SEO. Make sure to include keywords that you want to rank for in your press releases so that when journalists see the release, they may include some of those keywords, themselves — particularly if they pull quotable snippets from you to include in their own coverage.According to an article by Search Engine Watch, there is tremendous synergy between SEO and PR — and hey, we believe it, too. The press that stems from a press release is a boon for SEO managers everywhere, because remarkable actions spur people to create (read: activity that warrants press coverage) tends to spur content coverage. And coverage of your brand often also comes with inbound links back to your website. That means you shouldn’t depend on your press release to do all the work; it might simply be the means for communicating to the rest of the world that more coverage of a story is warranted. You can, however, use press release real estate to sprinkle in important keywords, and include helpful links for readers and media alike.3) They help journalists check information.When you create a press release, all of the information you want journalists to know about your company is in one place. Even external documents, including presentations and research documents, are available in a press release, making it really easy for journalists to find and accurately reference all of the information they need to write their story (about you!).Even when you’re connecting with a journalist by e-mail, and not just putting a press release on the wire in the hopes it will be picked up, include an attachment to a press release to help the journalists out. It makes writing about your company insanely easy, and establishes a good relationship that will help you get future press coverage.4) They refine your messaging.As you’re putting your press release together, you need to make sure you’ve nailed your messaging for the announcement to get maximum exposure. It’s the place everyone will go — both within your company, and externally — to get “the story” and cite important data points. When you’ve refined the messaging of your press release, you’re providing the right messaging for all other content creators to draw upon. From bloggers, to sales reps, to external content creators, everyone will be speaking about your brand with a unified message that’s set forth during the drafting of your press release.5) The best press releases provide content for other marketing channels.The content you should include in press releases is pretty standard from release to release: an opening paragraph giving more information on the story; background information on the company; quotes from employees; and, of course, your boiler plate at the end. But then there’s the extra stuff that takes a press release from typical to rock-star status. For instance, the previously cited research from Dan Zarrella shower that if you can provide links to videos and embed pictures in the press release, that increases engagement by about 18% for photos and 55% for videos. Don’t forget to share this post! 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30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #7: Don’t Do It Alone

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

Don’t Know What to Write About? Get Ideas From the Blog Ideas Generator [Free Tool]

first_imgOne of my least favorite things that happens to me at work is writer’s block. I stare at my screen — the cursor taunting me maniacally. Why can’t I just think of something to write? … Have I blogged about everything inbound marketing-related already?(The answer, of course, is I haven’t.) If only I could get someone to give me an idea — I could just run with it. Blog Post 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 Originally published Jan 16, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated September 03 2018 What to Write About in a Blog PostUnderstand your audience.Start with a topic and a working title.Write an introduction.Organize your content.Write. Topics: And I know I’m not the only one who wishes for this. Search Google and you’ll find nearly 10 million hits for writer’s block. It’s a true problem that we all battle as we try to grow our business with inbound marketing. So my team and I got thinking: What if we could solve this whole writer’s block issue so people could spend less time getting mocked by cursors and more time building their business? Click here to try our free Blog Ideas Generator tool.Thus, the Blog Ideas Generator was born. To kick-start your creative process, the Blog Ideas Generator will come up with a week’s worth of custom topics for you — all in a matter of seconds. Bonus: The tool won’t just come up with ideas willy-nilly. Blog topics will make or break the success of your blog posts — so your topics will be both search-friendly and interesting to your audience. Using keywords you provide, the tool will come up engaging titles tailored to those terms. That way, you’re always featuring relevant, but interesting posts on your blog.If you’re one of those types who likes to dive in and play around with it immediately, go on: try it out for yourself. If you’re the type who likes to be walked through using tools step by step, that’s cool too. Just keep reading. How to Use the Blog Ideas GeneratorUsing the Blog Ideas Generator is quick and easy. Here’s all you need to do:1. Put in terms you’d like to blog about, and click “Give Me Blog Ideas.” You use one, two, or three terms. If you need help coming up with them, ask yourself these questions:How do people describe your products or services?What problems do your products or services solve?What industry keywords do you want to rank for on Google?I’m filling out this tool as if I were blogging for HubSpot, so I chose the terms “social media,” “blogging,” and “calls-to-action.”2. We’ll give you a week’s worth of ideas based on those keywords.Keep in mind that the titles might not be 100% perfect for the terms you chose or grammatically correct. Feel free to change them up to make them work better for you. Here’s what I got for the terms above: You can use this tool as many times as you want — so hit “Try Again” if you want to use different terms.3. Your editorial calendar is set for the next week!Now, it’s time to schedule your blog ideas in a publishing order that your team agrees on. As a general rule, internet users tend to search and click through to easier, more lighthearted articles early in the week, and pursue the “meatier” topics later on, around Thursday. Plan wisely!4. Fill your editorial calendar for the next year.Satisfied with the week’s worth of ideas you received? With the Blog Ideas Generator, you can actually plan your editorial calendar for the entire year with 12 months of content ideas by filling out a simple form, accessible next to your first five ideas.5. You’re ready to get blogging!(And if you need help with that, we’ve got some blog post templates you might enjoy.)So next time you’re strapped for content ideas or just need to get out of a writer’s rut, check out the Blog Ideas Generator. In a matter of seconds, you’ll have five brand-new blog post ideas. And who knows? Maybe one of those ideas will spark one even our algorithm didn’t think of! 😉last_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #26: Speak Visually

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

This Week in Popular Content: Funny LinkedIn Endorsements, Website Launch To-Do’s & Perfect Facebook Posts

first_img Content Creation ShareLaunching a new website is a daunting dask, and the stress mainly comes from worrying something will go wrong. We’ve come up with the 57 things you should check before your website launch to make sure nothing goes wrong.20 Skills You Won’t Believe You Can Endorse People for on LinkedIn Topics: ShareWhen it comes to getting in Facebook’s News Feed, the competition is fierce. How can you make sure you’re squeezing the most views and engagements out of each post? TrackMaven did the research for us: They analyzed over 1.5 million Facebook posts from almost 6,000 brand pages, condensed their findings this infographic to show you the nuts and bolts of a perfect Facebook post.What were some of your favorite stories from this week?  ShareSales and marketing teams have historically butted heads when it comes to lead quality and converting leads into customers. In this post, we talk about the different ways Marketing can help Sales close more leads, how Sales can help Marketing generate better leads, and how to integrate technologies to measure and improve processes and communication.Data-Backed Tips for Crafting the Perfect Facebook Post [Infographic] Originally published Aug 17, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 This week’s most popular content covered a wide range of subjects. About to launch a new website? We’ve got your checklist covered. Looking to craft the perfect Facebook post? We have the secret formula. Want to foster a better relationship with your counterpart in Sales? We’ve got a post for that.While you breathe in the last few weekends of summer, take a few minutes to catch up on anything you may have missed from this week. And once you’ve read the LinkedIn post, think about which weird endorsements you can endorse your friends for on LinkedIn. (I’m thinking “dessert.”)57 Little Things to Double Check Before Your Website Launch ShareYou can endorse people for “snacks” on LinkedIn? Sign me up. This post lists 20 hilarious LinkedIn endorsements you probably didn’t know about, which really speaks to the ubiquity of LinkedIn. It’s gone beyond the realm of traditional job descriptions, and now even fire-eaters and smoothie-makers can include their unique expertise in their profiles.How Marketing and Sales Can Work Together to Close More Leads Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Google Kills Authorship, Photos and All

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

The Pros & Cons of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Other Social Networks [Infographic]

first_img Originally published Apr 30, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated June 30 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Nowadays, social media is one of the main channels used by companies to reach their target audiences. But with so many different social networks available, how do you choose which will work best for you?It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.For example, recent research has shown that teens and millennials are moving away from Facebook and into other social networks like Instagram and Snapchat. So if you’re primarily targeting teens, you may want to focus your resources on building a stronger presence on those networks.Click here to learn about using social media in every stage of the funnel.To learn more about each social network’s strengths and weaknesses, check out the infographic below from Visage. It’ll cover the key stats, pros, and cons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Acknowledging these can help you create and publish the most engaging content possible on the networks that work for you.184Save184Save Topics: Facebook Marketinglast_img read more

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

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

Why the ‘Pivot to Video’ Is Dangerous for Publishers

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

7 of the Coolest YouTube Banners We’ve Ever Seen

first_img Free Templates Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: When someone sends me a really great YouTube video, I always want to know who’s behind it. Was it an ad agency? A small or medium business? A B2B tech company? No matter who it was, if I’m impressed, I want to see more from the content creator.So once the video is done, I click the link to visit their profiles.Level up your YouTube channel with these free, customizable banner and thumbnail templates.And from there, if the brand is really on top of its game, I’ll see its channel art — the horizontal banner displayed across the top of the user’s YouTube channel that, hopefully, shows a combination of good design and brand presence.But how do they do it?We’ve all seen design work that inspires us, but can have a bad habit of not taking it any further than that. What makes something like strong YouTube banners so great? And how can you create your own gorgeous artwork? To answer those questions, we found three excellent resources for YouTube banner templates, as well as seven creative channel banners — both old and new — that inspire us as marketers. Originally published Apr 24, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 What Makes a Good YouTube Banner?Responsive DimensionsA YouTube channel banner will take on different dimensions depending on what platform is being used to view it. For example, a banner might have different dimensions when viewed on a TV, desktop, or mobile device.Google’s suggested YouTube banner dimensions are: Recommended: 2560 x 1440 pxMinimum for upload: 2048 x 1152 pxMinimum “safe area” where text and logos are ensured not to be cut off: 1546 x 423 pxMaximum width: 2560 x 423 pxFile size: 4MB or smallerThe recommended resolution seems like an exorbitantly large file size. But think about how YouTube banners would appear on a 30″ smart TV or higher. With a growing number of options to view YouTube videos in this way, you’ll want to make sure your channel art is large enough to display with quality on larger screens.Here’s a helpful visual representation of those dimensions:Source: GoogleBalanced DesignTake note of the “safe area” we alluded to in the first section. Your banner is essentially the biggest branding opportunity for when people land on your channel, so you’ll want to make sure your logo and supporting text is well-represented in the channel art. That’s why it might be best to place your company name and logo in that center space — this prevents viewer confusion if the name of the company behind the YouTube account is accidentally cut off.If you’re not sure how to take up the entirety of a 2560 x 1440 frame, video production company MiniMatters suggests “build[ing] the image from the middle out,” putting the most important assets in the center, and going from there.Finally, as to what to put in your banner, we like to follow a few basic rules:Use a high-resolution image. A pixelated or blurry banner doesn’t exactly signal that there’s high-quality video to follow.Keep it on-brand. While your channel art doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of your logo or tagline, it should incorporate visual elements that you want associated with your brand, like certain colors, fonts, or keywords.Your banner should represent what your company does in a timely fashion. For example, if you run a bakery and you’re gearing up for summer, an eye-catching banner might be a high-res photo of a brightly-colored work surface covered with flour and a rolling pin, along with accompanying text like, “April showers bring May flours.”How to Make a YouTube Banner”That’s just great, Amanda,” you might be thinking about these tips. “But where the heck am I supposed to get these beautiful design assets?”You’re in luck — there are dozens of free resources for creating a great YouTube banner. Here are a few of our favorites:Google: Why not start with the hosting platform itself? Google has its very own channel art templates to help you get started with your banner design. (Note: Clicking this link will prompt an automatic download of the zip file containing these templates.)Canva: One of our go-to destinations for DIY design, Canva offers several free YouTube channel art templates that allow you to use your own art, or its library of stock photography.Fotor: Similar to Canva, Fotor also offers a selection of free YouTube banner templates that allow you to use both your own visual assets or its own library of images.8 Cool YouTube Channel Art Examples1. Death Wish Coffee CompanyIn 2016, Death Wish Coffee was named the winner of a small business marketing competition held by software company Intuit. The reward? A free 30-second commercial during Super Bowl 50. Since then, the self-proclaimed maker of “the world’s strongest coffee” has capitalized on that momentum by making sure its branding stays just as robust.Its former YouTube banner banner is no exception. It’s straightforward, but also, bold. The company’s logo is displayed as the channel icon, as well as a tiled watermark that doesn’t interfere with the text display. And that message doesn’t leave any doubt about what the brand does. “World’s strongest coffee?” Okay, I’m watching.2. Adobe Creative CloudSeeing as turquoise is my all-time favorite color, there might be a touch of aesthetic bias in our selection of Adobe Creative Cloud’s YouTube banner. But color can have quite an impact in marketing — shades of blue, for example, have been found to invoke feelings of trust.This banner doesn’t just make great use of color, though. In a single photo, it connotes creativity and visual quality — two things that the Adobe Creative Cloud promises with its suite products. The person depicted seems to be creating something remarkable — an ocean inside of a balloon — with accompanying text to confirm it: “Make wow.” Plus, to learn more, social buttons are right there within the image.3. Bon AppétitIs anyone else hungry? It only seems right that the channel art for a food magazine like Bon Appétit should be, well, appetizing. And with a phrase that’s used as frequently as “bon appétit” — before a meal or as the title of a pop song — it’s important that folks who land on this YouTube channel know what they’re getting into.That’s one thing that makes this banner so great. The branding is clear, from the logo icon to the iconic title text in the center of the image. Plus, the photo itself sends a signal of the type of content visitors can expect to consume — no pun intended — when they start watching the channel’s videos: All things food.4. TauliaIncOne great thing about YouTube banners is that they can be swapped out or modified whenever you want, time permitting. That makes them especially conducive to temporary promotions or campaigns. That’s what tech company Taulia did for “P2P Superheroes”: a campaign that shows how its software can eliminate difficult, time-consuming tasks, helping everyday professionals focus more on the work that matters and turn them into superheroes.The banner communicates two things: 1. That Taulia is in the business of P2P (“procure to pay”), and 2. the brand really celebrates procurement specialists. And by using original, cartoon-like art, Taulia is turning what could be a dry topic into something fun and engaging.5. Refinery29We’re big fans of showcasing the people that make your brand great. That’s one thing that Refinery29 does well, by frequently featuring its writers, editors, and content producers in its videos. As it turns out, they’ve all become quite popular personalities — which is why the brand put them front-and-center in its channel art.Creating a banner of this nature is two-fold. First, you have to find a way to incorporate your company’s talent into video content in a way that’s engaging and appealing to your target audience. Here at HubSpot, we have our blog writers, for example, recount important information from blog posts in video and audio summaries. Then, once you’ve produced enough of that media consistently — and if it’s gaining the right kind of attention — you can use those personalities to promote your channels.6. TripAdvisor B2BTripAdvisor is a resource used by millions of travelers to discover and rate lodgings, restaurants, and much more information about endless destinations. But did you know it also offers B2B services for hotel and other property owners to make the most of their presence on the site?We like to think of it as a B2B hybrid of review site Yelp and vacation rental site Airbnb. On the one hand, TripAdvisor B2B helps business owners create a profile with photos, descriptions, and other information that’s going to be helpful to travelers. But, like Yelp, it also allows them to monitor and respond to the reviews their businesses receive.That’s represented in the YouTube banner by portraying what the site is all about — travel — but also depicts the act of visitors giving feedback on their experiences by way of rating symbols.7. Nuvolari LenardThe thing that stands out to us the most about this banner is its simplicity. It represents a Italian yacht design company Nuvolari Lenard, which is known for work that emulates a luxury and chic lifestyle. And while the channel art itself doesn’t portray anything specifically nautical, the use of capital letters and tiered monochrome does connote a brand that’s high-end.Those kinds of digital aesthetics create what’s often known as aspirational marketing — the kind that symbolizes something that’s unattainable by most, but still has a vast following of people “who covet the look and feel of the brand,” as Mediaboom puts it. Can I afford a yacht? Of course not. But seeing something like this makes me want one anyway, and makes me want to consume the video content pertaining to it.Channel Your CreativityIt’s important to note that really cool YouTube channel art is just one part of a comprehensive video content strategy. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your banner is, for example, if your channel lacks in quality video, or hasn’t added anything new in several weeks.So, along with great design must come consistency. And as you begin to create both, you can turn to these examples for inspiration.What are some of your favorite YouTube banners? Let us know in the comments.center_img Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Youtube Marketing Tell us a little about yourself below to unlock the offer: 10 Channel Art Templates for YouTubelast_img read more