MOST READ LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Manny Pacquiao’s knockout loss against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 did not bother him as much as the setback he suffered against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015.According to Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach, Pacquiao was never the same fighter in the aftermath of being stopped as a pro. But he explained that Pacquiao, who suffered stoppage defeats in the early days of his career, saw the knockout loss as just another part of the sport.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue “Manny Pacquiao knows that being knocked out is part of the sport and accepts it more than anyone else,” Roach told boxingscene.com. “It’s part of the sport, unfortunately, things happen and that night things did not go our way.”Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) is training under Roach, best friend Buboy Fernandez and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune for his defense of the World Boxing Association (WBA) “regular” welterweight title against Adrien Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionThe contest scheduled Jan. 19 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with Showtime Pay-Per-View carrying the bout.In the same Las Vegas venue in 2012, Pacquiao faced Marquez for the fourth time in their rivalry. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting New season—not ROY plum—on Perkins’ mind TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening In the sixth round, Pacquiao appeared to be on the verge of securing a stoppage win when Marquez, in the final seconds, clipped him with a perfect counter and the Filipino star was knocked unconscious.While there was always some talk of a fifth encounter, Marquez made a career decision to reject that option and eventually retired.“We were a a punch away from getting the same result on the other side. If Manny had not lost his balance, he would not have been beaten that way,” Roach recalled.“When they knocked me out the first time I was never the same, but Manny Pacquiao sees it as part of the sport and that’s why I think he’s so efficient.”In 2015 also in Las Vegas, undefeated five-division world champion Mayweather beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision in the bout billed as “The Fight of the Century.” —BOXINGSCENE.COMADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack SEO Topics: Originally published Jun 22, 2007 11:55:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 JULIET: ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, And for that name which is no part of thee Take all myself. I will leave to Juliet any thoughts about how appealing Romeo would be if he had a different name. But what I can tell you is that your domain name has a big effect on your ranking in Google and other search engines. Here are some of the reasons to look into buying a premium domain name.1) Look bigger than you are. Even a small business can look big on the Internet if you have the right domain name. If you are a local marketing firm, you look like you know what you are doing if your URL is www. LeadMarketing .com instead of www. MyCambridgeMarketing-Online .net And, usually a premium domain is far less expensive than many other marketing activities.2) Get more traffic. With the right domain name, you can get more traffic to your website in two ways. First, some people will just type in your domain into the browser address bar and see what happens. If you own the domain, your website will be what comes up! Second, if you have good keywords in your domain, it is much easier to get ranked on the first page of search results, driving more traffic to your website. Google and other search engines assume that if you have keywords for a search in your domain, then that website is a good search result that has relevant content, and that means you get ranked higher.3) Upstage your competition. What better way to stand out from your competition than to have a website with the best URL for your industry? How would you feel if your competitor all a sudden ended up with the perfect domain name?4) Acquire an asset. Most marketing expenses are impossible to recover any portion of the cost. The nice thing about premium domains is that they are an asset you can always sell later. And recently, most domains have been increasing in value, so you might even end up making money on your investment. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results.Now that we have covered some of the ways that a premium domain can benefit your business, let’s discuss how you can evaluate a domain to decide how valuable it will be. Here are some of the things to think about so you can choose the best name for your company.1) Generic keywords are good. Most businesses really can’t spend the money to build a brand around their company name, this is especially true for small businesses. So, if you can buy www. computers .com, you should do it, since it will be better for you than www. gateway .com.2) Avoid punctuation and extraneous words. Adding a dash into a URL makes it harder to type and look less professional, so avoid it if possible. Also, adding generic words like “my” or “best” or “the” or “online” to the start or end of your URL is not a good idea. They don’t add any value.3) Try to get a .com domain. Unless you are a nonprofit or outside the US, most people assume your business will have a .com domain extension and will usually have trouble remembering your URL if it ends in .net or something else. Domains ending in .com have always been in higher demand and command higher prices than any others.Now that you understand the value in having a premium domain and how to pick a good domain, maybe you should think about buying one? If you are interested in buying a premium domain, there are a number of services to do so. At HubSpot we have used BuyDomains.com before and we have found BuyDomains to be a great place to buy a premium domain.Have you bought a premium domain? Have you found it to be a useful tool for your business? Leave a comment below and let me know.
This guest post is written by Paul Gillin , writer, speaker, and online marketing consultant. Catch Paul speaking at the Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston, MA this October. Register with the code HUB200 and get $200 off the ticket price. If you follow social media marketing closely, you’ve probably heard the story of Fiskars , the Finnish maker of fine cutting tools that has used a private social network to dramatically boost specialty store sales. What’s less well-known is how customer communities have transformed the way this 300-year-old company does business.I wrote about Fiskars’ remarkable community of crafting enthusiasts called the Fiskateers in the introduction to my latest book, Secrets of Social Media Marketing. The company has leveraged this group to take its message to the under-utilized channel of small retailers. Reaching these merchants would have been prohibitively expensive if done by a core marketing team. So Fiskars let its customers do the talking. The result: a threefold increase in year-over-year sales.I recently caught up with Suzanne Fanning, Director of Communications at Fiskars Americas, to see how the program was going. In a word, very well. What I hadn’t understood from earlier interviews was the degree to which quality customer feedback comes to pervade everything the company does. The Fiskateers demonstrate why social media should be thought of as much more than just a marketing program.Some basics: Prospective Fiskateers must fill out an application form to gain entry. While the company rarely turns down applicants, this requirement gives members a feeling of belonging. Once you’re a Fiskateer, you’re special to Fiskars.And boy, are you special! When my wife, a hopeless crafting enthusiast, heard about this program, she immediately applied. A few months later, the company invited her to a local member meeting. Some 30 Fiskateers spent an entire day swapping techniques, trying out new tools and generally bonding with each other. Dana came home that day laden down with hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise. It’s safe to say she will be a Fiskars customer for life, and she’s not shy to share her enthusiasm.More Than a WebsiteThe company does plenty of live events at the local and national level to connect members with each other and with Fiskars. Its overarching goal isn’t to sell more scissors as much as to “have that emotional bond with consumers,” Fanning told me. “Customers didn’t have that bond with Fiskars the company, but scrapbooking and crafting is a very personal and intimate thing. We wanted to tap into that and say “We understand. We get you.”The meeting Dana attended was hosted by two Fiskars representatives, one from communications and the other from engineering. In fact, nearly every meeting of the Fiskateers now involves someone on the product development side. The value of the Fiskateers as a driver of product innovation was the great unexpected dividend of the whole program, Fanning said.At first, people on the business side resisted the idea of bringing customers into the product development process. There are competitive concerns, and frankly, engineers aren’t known for inclusiveness.Once the dialogue began, however, that resistance quickly melted. “We started with small projects to make Fiskateers feel like they were giving input and quickly they realized we were getting fabulous insight,” Fanning said. “They really wanted a voice in our company.”Speak, Customer!That voice of the customer now pervades nearly everything Fiskars does. Fiskateers are polled for advice early in the development process and the group has even taken responsibility for naming some new products. Engineers, who initially doubted the value of the community, renamed themselves the “Fiskaneers.”Fiskars now channels most of its first-line market research through the group, saving money and time. It no longer conducts expensive focus groups. Research has shown that the Fiskateers almost perfectly reflect the larger community of crafting enthusiasts.Fanning remembers one product manager who approached her looking for ideas for new shapes to head to the company’s line of cutting templates. Fanning posted the request to the Fiskateers and gathered 70 good ideas within 12 hours.Next LevelWith a hit on its hands, Fiskars is running with it. Some Fiskateers have been qualified as official product demonstrators. A new website now lets members submit and rate ideas for new products. Product managers hold live chat sessions to get feedback. Vendors of sewing machines and magnifying glasses devices have offered to buy advertising on the site.The lesson: social media is about much more than marketing. Anyone who touches or serves customers in any way can benefit from a closer relationship with those people. Recent McKinsey research revealed that a majority of companies that have bought into Web 2.0 marketing are finding benefits in other areas of their organization. Many say social media is changing the way they do business. Just like it has at Fiskars.Not every company can create a community like the Fiskateers, but then again, Fiskars never expected its program to be such a runaway success. Instead of looking for people who were passionate about cutting tools, it focused its energy on people who cared about what you could do with cutting tools. The results were more than a pleasant surprise. The company originally expected to recruit no more than about 200 Fiskateers. It will soon welcome its 6,000th member. Paul Gillin is a writer, speaker and online marketing consultant who specializes in social media. He’s a veteran technology journalist and the author of two books: The New Influencers (2007) and Secrets of Social Media Marketing (2008). Fiskars is an example of the kind of new media success stories the Inbound Marketing Summit will showcase. Discounted Inbound Marketing Summit Pass Marketing thought leaders will converge on Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, October 7-8. Reserve your place at the conference now . Use the code HUB200 to get $200 off the ticket price. Topics: Social Media Originally published Sep 9, 2009 8:15:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
TechCrunch 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 SlackSlack
Social Media Engagement Topics: Originally published Sep 20, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 This is an excerpt from our new ebook, 100 Inbound Marketing Content Ideas. For more tips like these for your blog and Facebook page, download the ebook here.Engaging your community of prospects on Twitter is an essential way to show a human face behind your brand and let your customers know you care about them. Answer their questions and provide them with content they find useful, and you’ll build the trust you need for a loyal following. But how can you keep the relationship with your Twitter followers fresh?Here are 34 ideas and tips for you to use for your own Twitter community to keep them engaged and coming back for more.Responding to Followers1. Check your @replies regularly with a Twitter client. Reply to your users’ questions.2. Assign tweets to an appropriate team member who can answer followers’ question if you cannot.3. Offer to email with community members if they have further questions.4. Have a blog post answering FAQ’s that you can refer to. Link to it regularly.5. If you work in a regulated industry, pre-write 140-character responses to common questions that are pre-approved by stakeholders. This will enable you to still engage in real time with those who are asking questions.6. Use “@Reply” in the very beginning of a tweet to someone if you only want your followers who follow them to see the tweet. Add words or a character in front of the @reply if you want all of your followers to see the tweet.7. If a conversation turns into a heated debate, know when to take it off of @reply and use direct messages (DMs).8. Thank people who comment on and share your blog posts.9. Thank people who share your webinars and ebooks.10. Write as you would write in regular conversation. Use emoticons and exclamation points. Write in first person. (Examples: “I’m sorry.” “We’re excited.”) It shows that an actual human is behind the Twitter account.Twitter Tools11. Find and follow your competitors’ followers using FollowerWonk. Learn from them, and tweet the types of content and hashtags they care about.12. Use a separate Twitter app on your phone for your personal account and for your business’ account to avoid posting content meant for your personal account on your business account.13. Add UTM codes to your tweets to track your referring traffic from Twitter in Google Analytics.14. If you’re tweeting as part of a webinar or Twitter chat, kindly alert your followers and recommend that, if they don’t want to see your tweets, to use Proxlet to mute you.15. Use SocialBro to identify demographic information about your Twitter followers. Learn factors like nationality and gender, and participate in relevant holidays. (Example: Happy Boxing Day to our Canadian followers!)16. Measure your click-throughs on the links you share with bitly. Replicate the kind of language you use in those tweets to increase engagement from your followers.17. Don’t wait for Google Alerts. Maintain and monitor a Twitter list (in a Twitter client) of the actual publications and companies that matter most to your industry and community. When news breaks about your industry, you’ll be the first to share it. This builds authority.Sharing Your Content18. Post tweets of your blog posts. Use a variety of headlines, and test what drives the most click-throughs.19. Schedule tweets of blog posts on the weekends, as people read on the weekends, too. Also, post tweets of blog posts at night, as this targets people in other time zones.20. If your blog post is a list of tips, offer one tip with a link to the post as a “teaser.”21. If you feature tools or other companies in your blog posts, Cc them on the tweets to let them know so they retweet your content.22. If you have evergreen content on your blog, don’t be afraid to schedule tweets of those older blog posts. A few months later, they will still be valuable to your audience, and your readers may have missed them the first time.Incorporate Other Platforms23. Let your Twitter followers know about a great contest or discussion happening on your Facebook page or LinkedIn group, and invite them to be a part of it. Don’t beg for Likes and members, though. (It’s annoying.)24. Share your email newsletter on Twitter. Invite people to sign up for your newsletter by sharing a link to the landing page where they can sign up.25. Do a Twtpoll. Ask your followers a question, and use the results for blog content.26. Participate in relevant Twitter chats related to your community.27. Don’t cross-post your content to Facebook and LinkedIn. They are different platforms; treat them individually.28. If you’re working on a blog post, ask your community members for help. Reach out to them, and ask for their tips. It shows there’s a person behind the Twitter account.Create Original Tweets29. Offer a daily tip just for your Twitter followers.30. Tell a joke or a riddle.31. Use pictures. Show what you’re working on. Offer a behind-the-scenes look. Take a picture at a conference or event.32. Ask your followers a question or for their opinion on a relevant topic. Collect the tweets with Storify, and use them for a blog post.Follow Friday33. Use #FollowFriday to shine the light on your most engaged community members.34. Do a “special edition” #FollowFriday and give it a theme. Group special community members together for a specific reason, trait, or contribution to the community.How do you engage your audience with Twitter? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
LinkedIn Company Pages 4. You Have No Products/Services Tab: If you’re a business that offers products/services (and what business doesn’t?), there’s no reason you shouldn’t feature them in your ‘Products’ tab. You can even get creative with this by featuring things other than just your products/services like webinar and ebook offers, as the HubSpot Company Page has done. There’s nothing wrong with thinking outside the box, and doing so can help you generate valuable leads from your LinkedIn company presence! 5. You’re Not Creating Targeted Product Tabs: Did you know that you can create targeted content within your Products tab that targets different audiences and features different products? Smart LinkedIn Company Pages are leveraging this feature to personalize messaging on their Products tab, and you should, too. Just click “Create New Audience” while in edit mode on your Products tab, and follow the wizard to specify and define your audience in terms of things like company size, job function, industry, seniority, and geography. 6. It Features No Recommendations: Displaying testimonials is a great way to show third-party validation and, as a result, credibility for your products/services. On LinkedIn, testimonials translate to ‘Recommendations.’ On your Products tab, page visitors have the opportunity to recommend individual products and services, and a tab rich with recommendations is definitely a good thing. Consider using LinkedIn’s “Request recommendations” option to ask friends, fans, and customers of your company to leave a recommendation of your products/services if they’ve had a positive experience with your brand. 7. You’re Not Leveraging Opportunities for Creativity: While a LinkedIn Company Page may not be as customizable as, say, a Facebook Page , there are a few things you can do to make your page more engaging for your followers. Leverage the opportunity to highlight specific promotions, incorporate videos (it’s as simple as adding a link to a YouTube video), and leverage an interactive ‘product and service spotlight’ such as the one from PepsiCo pictured below. To do so, add 3 banner images/links in step 3 while you’re editing your Products tab. 8. You Haven’t Enabled the Blog RSS Feed: Feature your business’ blog content automatically by adding your business blog’s RSS feed to your company page. This will pull in new posts and feature them on the overview tab of your LinkedIn Company Page. To enable this feature, simply go into edit mode of your page’s ‘Overview’ tab, scroll down, and enter the URL for your blog’s RSS feed. It will display a feed that looks like the following, as seen on Chevron’s LinkedIn Company Page . 9. You Haven’t Enabled the News Module: Easily showcase news mentions of your company from the web on your Company Page. While still in edit mode of your page’s Overview tab, check the bubble, “Share news about my company” under ‘News Module’ at the very bottom of the page. 10. Your Careers Tab is Worthless: One of most valuable uses of LinkedIn is for job search and recruiting. Leverage your ‘Careers’ tab to promote job opportunities at your company and direct them to your website to apply. 11. You’re Ignoring Your Analytics: Make use of your LinkedIn Company Page’s built-in analytics tools to measure and improve the effectiveness and performance of your page. LinkedIn’s analytics tools, visible to page administrators as the fourth tab on your page, allow you to track page views and unique visitors on your overall page as well as each individual tab (although keep in mind it doesn’t currently provide analytics on how individually targeted product tab content performs; it only offers analytics on that tab as a whole). LinkedIn also measures how many clicks your products or services have received as well as the number of members following your company. Additionally, LinkedIn provides percentages for member visits. This tool can be helpful in understanding who your LinkedIn target audience consists of, because the data is split into member visits by industry (marketing, finance, etc.), function (sales, research, etc.), and company (HubSpot, LinkedIn, etc.).Don’t limit the measurement of your page just to LinkedIn’s internal metrics. Be sure to also use your own marketing analytics tool to measure traffic, leads, and customers generated from your LinkedIn presence to understand your overall effectiveness there. How does your LinkedIn Company Page stack up? Where could you make improvements? Follow HubSpot’s own LinkedIn Company Page for inspiration! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Nov 18, 2011 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Up until recently, the value of a LinkedIn Company Page was minimal. But ever since LinkedIn enabled company updates for pages , they’ve become monumentally more valuable for marketers. Upon investigation of various LinkedIn Company Pages, though, it turns out that very few companies are actually leveraging this awesome new feature.To be honest, it’s very difficult to find many examples of companies using LinkedIn Company Pages to their fullest potential . This a huge missed opportunity for businesses, especially given that because many businesses aren’t leveraging features likes company updates, the clutter on LinkedIn is significantly less dense than on other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. This means that a business that takes advantage of company updates and other page features can leverage a great opportunity to stand out from its competitors. Below, we’ve identified 11 reasons why your LinkedIn Company Page is probably failling so you can get to work on building a much better and more effective LinkedIn company presence . 11 Reasons Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks 1. It Has No Followers: As with any social media presence , building up a solid base of followers is key. Before company updates became a LinkedIn feature, followers were practically useless. Now, without followers, your company updates will be useless. Spend some time generating new followers for your LinkedIn Company Page by promoting your presence there: add follow buttons to your website and blog, write a blog post about your presence, and tell followers on your other social networks to follow you on LinkedIn, too. 2. It’s Completely Bare: Good luck attracting new LinkedIn company followers with a blank, boring page. At the very least, your page should include basic information about your company. Be sure to edit your page overview, complete your profile, and fine-tune your company description. 3. You’re Not Using Company Updates to Share Content: As we mentioned earlier, it’s astounding how many company pages aren’t leveraging company updates yet, considering it’s arguably the most critical marketing component of a company page. Enable company updates for your page and start sharing useful information and content; interesting discussion topics; and any other company updates you want to share with your followers. Maintaining a regularly updated and engaging page is the best way to organically attract new followers for your page.
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: Calls to Action Originally published Jan 12, 2012 1:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Last week, we rounded up some of the most impressive landing pages out there and broke down why they rock from both a user’s perspective and a marketer’s perspective. But before visitors even get to your landing page, they’re usually beckoned by a call-to-action. And it better be pretty awesome to get them to click.We’ve discussed the elements of an effective call-to-action before, so now it’s time to find real life examples of awesome calls-to-action (CTA) that can inspire your own designs. Take a look at what some popular B2B, B2C, and ecommerce brands are doing to entice their visitors to click through to landing pages, shopping carts, or just to interact in a more meaningful way with their site.GoDaddyGoDaddy is a web and email hosting company that also sells domain names and other related services.Why it’s effective: The best calls-to-action are easy to find and have a focused objective. The objective of this particular page is to get a user to purchase a domain name they’ve selected, and this GoDaddy CTA uses one of the most fundamental best practices to achieving visibility: using a button color that starkly contrasts the rest of the site’s design scheme. Upon visiting this page, the bright green draws the visitor’s eye right to that registration button.But GoDaddy goes beyond the basics and implements one other trick to hammer home the point of the page to its visitors. The ‘Continue to Registration’ button follows visitors all the way down the page, acting as a constant reminder that your next step is to click that button and register the domain name you’ve selected. This is wise because, if you’ve ever purchased a domain from GoDaddy, the upsell opportunities present on this page exist later on in the checkout process.Because of the design of this call-to-action, visitors to this page experience no confusion: they are here to register their domain name, and they can do so by clicking that green button.JetsetterJetsetter made an appearance on our list of the best landing pages, but hey, when you’re good, you’re good. They continue to be an invitation-only travel community offering access to exclusive travel deals.Why it’s effective: Many calls-to-action suffer poor conversion rates because, despite following design best practices, the writing doesn’t clearly display the value of clicking through to the next page. This ‘Plan a trip like this’ CTA rocks because it so simply displays that oft-sought after value. After someone reads the very brief and artfully written description of enjoying wine and olive oil on the Italian coast, this CTA capitalizes on the positive feelings surrounding taking such a trip, and gives the visitor the opportunity to do just that — plan that trip.Another wonderful but easily overlooked detail in this CTA is the language on the button; the inclusion of the word ‘like’ implies that the trip doesn’t need to be exactly the same as the one described above, but can be customized to fit the visitor’s needs. This spirit of customization continues by offering a button that lets visitors see the bio of the person who planned that particular trip. And if you’re worried the bio would distract visitors from following through with the marketer’s intended action, no worries; the bio page provides another travel-planning CTA!IntuitIntuit is a software company that provides financial software and services for businesses and consumers.Why it’s effective: It looks like orange is a popular CTA button color, eh? Well, Intuit’s intuitions (har har) are good, because that button stands out from the rest of its site’s design and calls the attention of the viewer to the free trial. The effectiveness of this tactic is compounded, as the language on the button aligns with the language in the headline.The headline is also action oriented, making it clear what you can do on the page. The three bullet points then clearly explain the value of the free trial so visitors want to click, and there’s one image aligned with each point of value — another call-to-action best practice.One creative trick Intuit is also employing is the use of extra white space around the call-to-action. This tactic, along with the fact that it’s the biggest CTA on the page, helps draw attention to the free trial and simultaneously attract and instruct visitors on what they should do next.YaptaContinuing the travel theme, Yapta helps people track changes in flight and hotel prices and get refunds on airline tickets.Why it’s effective: When it’s not clear what actions can be performed on a page and there’s no perceived connection between the CTA copy and CTA buttons, site visitors quickly go rogue trying to find what they’re looking for. These calls-to-action solve for that common contextualization problem. Notice how the copy, images, and buttons all work together to guide the visitor:The parenthetical phrases provide a chronology – Am I in the pre-purchase or post-purchase stage?The images give a theme – Am I here for flights, hotels, or a refund?The copy explains – What can I do on this site to track flights, hotels, and refunds?The buttons instruct – Click through to find what you’re looking for.Every call-to-action aligns with the proper stage in the sales process, and makes it very clear what actions can and should be performed on this page. Yapta gets bonus points for keeping these calls-to-action above the fold and using the contrasting colors orange and grey to draw attention to the right places.ZyngaZynga is a developer of browser-based games intended for social networking sites.Why it’s effective: In the game of most prominently positioned call-to-action, Zynga wins by a landslide. And it also get an honorable mention for successfully shirking some call-to-action best practices, namely that this is not the traditionally de-cluttered CTA for which many marketers strive in order to decrease bounce rate. But, they know their audience, and I’d venture a guess that this type of imagery is not distracting to gamers. Either way, Zynga makes up for any distraction by making it crystal clear what action they want visitors to perform. Here’s how:The ‘Join The Fun’ button is the last thing to load on the page, so your eye naturally settles on that area of the page.The white backlight behind ‘Times Square’ is the brightest part of the page, drawing your attention to the CTA button.The Times Square text effect brings the text towards the visitor, again, right by the CTA button.If you’re worried the ‘I Love Play’ button in the top right would be a distraction, don’t worry; it’s not clickable!Like Intuit, Zynga is also making use of lots of white space around this image (not pictured) to emphasize this ‘Join The Fun’ CTA. And finally, notice how small the social media follow buttons are underneath this banner. While Zynga’s call-to-action isn’t what we traditionally encounter, it does effectively display an important CTA best practice: have a defined purpose for your visitor, build your page around that purpose, and make it easy for your visitor to execute that purpose.What call-to-action best practices do you find are most integral for awesome conversion rates?Image credit: torley
Originally published Apr 6, 2012 2:39:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Design How many ebooks does your marketing team have in its content arsenal? With the rise of tablet and e-reader popularity, ebooks are only growing in popularity. According to a newly released report by Pew Internet , in mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an ebook in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%. While we’ve always considered ebooks to be one of the best lead-gen content assets at a marketer’s disposal, the fact that on-the-go content is only carving out more of a place in today’s increasingly mobile world makes them an even smarter choice as a marketing offer .As a piece of long-form content, a lot of work must go into the creation of a well-crafted ebook . So today, let’s focus on design. How do you design an ebook that is reader-friendly, engaging, and at the same time supports your marketing goals? Let’s discuss the 11 essential elements that make up an effective marketing ebook design. Importance of a Brand Style Guide First, a note about the role design should play in your content strategy. If ebook creation is (or you plan it to be) a big part of your content strategy, it’s wise to first spend some time establishing a consistent brand style guide to which all your marketing content — not just your ebooks, but also your presentations and other marketing collateral — adheres. This will give your publications a more professional, branded look which translates to a sense of credibility. Of course, the content itself is a huge contributing factor to the credibility and value of a publication, but even if you have quality content down pat, that doesn’t mean people still won’t judge an ebook by its cover ;)If you take a look at the ebooks HubSpot has launched in the past 6 months, for example, you’ll notice that they all have very consistent branding and design elements throughout. When you sit down with your marketing team and designer to decide on your brand style guide, establish rules for such design elements as fonts/sizes, color schemes, charts/graphs, borders for screenshots and images, headers, etc. Creating easy-to-follow guides and templates for your various marketing assets like ebooks, presentations, etc. will make it easy for you and your team to implement a consistent branding style throughout your marketing collateral. HubSpot, for example, has an ebook template created in InDesign to ensure our ebooks have a consistent look no matter who created them.Now let’s dive into the 11 essential design elements you should consider in your next ebook design. 11 Essential Elements of Effective Ebook Design 1) An Interesting, Descriptive Title Okay, so your title choice may not exactly be a design element, but choosing a title for any piece of content is definitely an art , and it shouldn’t be overlooked. The title is often the first thing someone judges before deciding whether to click on or read your ebook, especially when the content gets shared in social media. Choose a title that is both interesting and descriptive — that is, it should be indicative of what the reader will learn from reading the ebook.Unlike blog posts, ebooks are high-commitment pieces of content because of their length, so you need to make sure you’re demonstrating the value up front in a compelling way. For instance, one HubSpot ebook is titled 15 Business Blogging Mistakes & Easy Fixes with the subtitle, “How to Fix the Most Common Blogging Bloopers.” The main title is both descriptive and demonstrates value in itself, but the subtitle also makes it sound like an even more interesting read. 2) A Visual Cover So if we know that people will most definitely be judging your ebooks by their cover, you’ll want to make sure you create ones that are both visually appealing and coincide with your brand style guide. Consider how the visual revolution is playing out with sites like Pinterest cropping up and other social networks like Facebook and Google+ putting more of an emphasis on visual content , and the importance of enticing covers becomes even more evident. Make the title easy to read, include branding elements you decided on in your brand style guide, and feature an image. You’ll notice that HubSpot’s ebook covers , for example, follow the same layout and structure while each featuring a different relevant an interesting image. 3) Skill/Topic/Persona Tags Depending on your business and industry, you likely have a different buyer personas , whether you segment your target audience by demographics, skill level, topic interest, or something else. So if part of your strategy is to create content that is personalized for or targeted to these different audience segments, one helpful way to organize and differentiate between your content assets is through a tagging system. Incorporate your schema in your ebook design so your readers know which particular ebooks will be of interest to them, and which ebooks won’t. You can do this in a number of ways — through iconography, color schemes, or tags.HubSpot’s ebooks, for instance, are categorized by skill level — introductory, intermediate, or advanced — depending on the skill level of our readers. To identify which is which, we use a combination of color scheme and a category key to denote which ebooks are targeted for which skill level. If an ebook is intermediate level like our example here, the cover and color scheme throughout the book uses blue as the dominant color, and a page in the beginning of the book explains which type of audience would benefit from each skill level. Introductory content uses a charcoal color scheme, and advanced content uses an orange color scheme. We’ve also extended this tagging system to our blog. You’ll notice this particular blog post, for example, has also been tagged as ‘intermediate.’ 4) An Author Page Another design element you might want to include in your ebooks is an author page, particularly if you have multiple members of your team creating ebooks. For example, if the author of the ebook is an expert on that topic, an author page that highlights the author’s bio and relevancy to the topic is a great way to add credibility to the content. On your author page, include a brief bio of the author, a headshot, and if you choose to, a way for readers to get in touch with the author if they have questions, such as an email address, Twitter username, or phone number.As an added internal benefit, you might find that members of your team are more willing to spend time creating ebook content if they know their efforts will be recognized publicly through an author page. 5) A Table of Contents A staple for any book, both print or digital, be sure to include a table of contents in every ebook you publish. This not only gives readers a sense of how the ebook is organized, but it also makes it easy for them to reference individual chapters if they decide only certain ones are relevant to them or if they want to refer back to specific sections later. To make this even more user-friendly for your readers, some programs like InDesign make it possible for you to hyperlink chapters/sections, creating a sort of interactive table of contents and allowing readers to jump to a certain section of the ebook when they click on the corresponding link in the table of contents. 6) Chapter Title Pages Clearly distinguish one chapter to the next with chapter title pages. This gives readers a clear indication of their progress through the book and helps set the stage for the section they are about to read. It can also serve as a landing page for that interactive table of contents you may have set up in number 5. In our business blogging mistakes ebooks example, for instance, we organized the chapters by the 15 mistakes we highlight, and our chapter pages highlight which mistake the reader is going to learn about next. 7) Social Sharing Buttons We’ve talked before about the importance of including social sharing buttons on your marketing content. Sure, the landing page behind which you gate your ebook is a great place for these buttons, but why not also stamp them onto the pages of your ebooks as well? It makes sense, right? A potential reader might not feel comfortable sharing your ebook before they’ve read it and know they like the content, but while they’re reading it? That’s a different story.Add these buttons to each page of your ebook — either in the header or the footer — so readers can easily share the book with their social networks no matter how far through it they’ve read. Just be sure you’re sharing links to the ebook’s landing page — not thank-you page — if it’s gated content. HubSpot’s ebooks, for example, include social sharing buttons for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter on each page. For help in creating these social media buttons for your ebooks, check out this handy guide . 8) Visual Elements Break up your “big chunks of copy” and “large blocks of text” with visual elements to emphasize or explain certain points more visually. We’re talking anything from headers, bolded text, and bullet points to screenshots, images, charts, and graphs. Furthermore, leverage content visualizations when appropriate to help you explain concepts that are difficult to explain through text and lend themselves to more visual explanations, as we did in this blog post , which is actually an ebook excerpt! Just be sure to keep your visuals in line with your brand style guide, translating images, graphs, and charts to conform to your guidelines in terms of style and color scheme. 9) Product/Service Call-Outs While ebooks can be catered to achieve certain goals, the way most marketers use ebooks is to generate new leads at the top of the funnel. To achieve this goal, your ebook content should be majorly educational — not product focused — in nature. But does that mean you can’t or shouldn’t sneak in a few mentions of your product or service into them when appropriate? Absolutely not! In fact, when people are just starting to learn about your business in the awareness stage of the sales cycle, they probably know very little about the products and services you offer.Use educational ebooks as an opportunity to connect your thought leadership with product awareness. One way to do this in your ebook content is with subtle product mentions and call-outs when you mention a problem or need in your ebook that your products or services address. How much of these should you include? The key here is balance. Make sure the educational value of the ebook makes up for your product awareness plugs. For example, in HubSpot’s educational ebook How to Attract Customers With Twitter, we add to the section of the ebook that discusses scheduling tweets and monitoring responses by calling to attention to the social media publishing tool available in HubSpot’s software, our paid offering. This lets readers with little or no knowledge of HubSpot’s software connect HubSpot’s thought leadership and expertise with its paid software. 10) Printer/Mobile-Friendliness While your ebook is a digital publication, you’ll likely be offering it as a downloadable file such as a PDF, and despite what you might think, many of the people who download will actually prefer to print it out and read it on paper rather than on a screen. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your ebooks are printer-friendly. For example, avoid designs that leverage double-page, horizontal layouts that don’t translate well to print. The best way to know if your design is printer-friendly? Print it yourself!Furthermore, you’ll also want to make sure your ebook file is mobile-friendly. Does your ebook PDF view well on a smartphone and various e-readers/tablets? Test it out!If you’re considering making your ebook available for sale through ebook marketplaces like the Kindle Store, things get a little bit more complicated . You’ll need to conform to the specific ebook format of that particular store, and you’ll likely need to make chan ges to the style, design, and file of your ebook. In general, you’ll need to modify your ebook to embody a very simple design with few visuals and limited formatting. Publishing services like Lulu.com can make this process more easily manageable. 11) A Final Call-to-Action The last critical element that should be a part of your ebook design is — you guessed it — a final call-to-action! After a reader has completed the ebook, what action do you want them to take next? Tell them!Perhaps you’d like to encourage them to move from the awareness stage of the sales cycle onto the evaluation stage of the sales cycle. In this case, feature a call-to-action for a middle-of-the-funnel stage offer on the last page of your ebook, introducing it to the reader in a way that is relevant and logical. In our 15 Business Blogging Mistakes ebook , for instance, we encourage readers to start a free 30-day trial of HubSpot’s software , relating it to the content of the ebook by emphasizing that readers will be able to try out HubSpot’s business blogging tools to help them fix the blogging mistakes they learned they are guilty of making. Do your ebooks have a consistent design that reflects your business’ branding? What other design elements would you add? Image Credit: Jonah Larsson Don’t forget to share this post! 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Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You know those business bloggers who never run out of innovative ideas, churn out a piece of content like it ain’t no thang, and are always one step ahead of industry trends?How annoying are they?Well, the good news is you can be like them! That’s right, you! All for the low, low price of reading this blog post!I’ve coached a lot of bloggers and businesses looking to get started with blogging, and I can say with full confidence there are concrete habits and characteristics the most successful bloggers adopt that separate them from the ones that end up flailing and trailing behind their competitors.Here’s what I’ve found the best business bloggers do. Where do you have room for improvement?What the Best Business Bloggers Do1) They read stuff that has nothing to do with their job.Variety is the spice of life! Want your blog posts to have a little more pizzazz? You need a variety of sources of inspiration for that to happen. The best writers read a lot — and so do the best bloggers, in both quantity and variety of content.Venture outside of your industry publications. Find a host of amazing content sources — a great podcast, a great magazine, a great YouTube channel, a great bunch of websites — and consume that content just because it’s high-quality, innovative, and interesting. It’ll help you improve skills like storytelling and story structuring, and give you ideas for new content formats to experiment with.2) They aren’t scared of writing.There’s no magic potion that makes blogging easier or faster. The only way to get to that point is to just write.Seriously, just go write.A lot of people are afraid of blogging — so if this rings true, you’re not alone. Maybe they’re scared of doing new things that are outside of their typical job function. Maybe they don’t fancy themselves good writers. And heck, maybe they’re not … yet, at least.But every blog post you write makes the next one just a little bit easier. The more you blog, the easier it’ll be. And before you know it, you’ll have no fear of blogging, and writing a blog post will be one of the easiest (dare I say enjoyable?) parts of your job.3) They write with empathy.Empathy is a powerful skill for content creators. The best business bloggers use empathy to guide all of their editorial decisions. It helps them choose topics that’ll address their audience’s pain points and solve their problems. It helps them structure content in a way that will resonate with readers. It helps them phrase things in a way that leaves their audience open to hearing more from them (nuance is a powerful thing, you know).Remember, in most cases, you are not your target audience. But if you blog with empathy, you’ll have a hard time creating stuff that falls flat.4) They take the right criticism.One of the best things about blogging is having something to show for your work. There are plenty of jobs that can require hours of serious effort — but all that you have to show for it is a calendar full of meetings. But when you blog? Look! You’ve created something!The downside to creating something? It’s there for someone — anyone — to critique. Now, some people will tear you apart no matter what. But you know what they say about those people:Then you’ll get some criticism that you should actually listen to. For instance, you’ll hear that you left out an important part of the story or that your advice doesn’t work for a significant segment of your target audience. Listen to these kinds of comments — and learn from them.Your criticism could take another form, too: total and utter silence. If your blogging is falling on deaf ears, it’s a good sign your topic choices or execution are a bit off. Don’t worry, though. Just revisit what you’ve written in the past that resonated and identify what people liked about it. Repeat more of that — and keep listening to what your productive readers have to say.5) They let themselves cut corners.Not every blog post is the be-all, end-all of your marketing. That means you can write some really short posts once in a while, because you just don’t have time for the lengthy, meaty thought leadership piece. Or maybe you don’t have time to locate the best image of all time for a piece — there’s other important stuff to do.That’s all totally fine! Sometimes, your time is, indeed, better spent on something else. It’s important to retain perspective on where business blogging fits into your overall inbound marketing strategy, and remember that perfecting every little detail isn’t always necessary. If you don’t give yourself a break once in a while, you’ll burn out on blogging.6) They don’t hide their personality.Somewhere along the way, people got to thinking anything associated with business meant the requisite hiding of all personal quirks. No smiling. No personality. All briefcases.Although you are doing business blogging, it doesn’t mean you can’t infuse personal elements in your content. In fact, the best business bloggers I see create posts that pack a hell of a lot of personality punch. My theory on why this works? People like people.It’s nice to feel like you’re reading something from a person — not a content farm or an encyclopedia entry. Have some fun, infuse your personality, and allow yourself to go “off-brand” for a bit. You might even find your blog becomes a good testing ground for new brand positioning.What else do the best business bloggers you know have in common? Share their habits and personality traits in the comments!Image credit: Gisela Giardino Blogging Advice Topics: Originally published Sep 25, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
All of us are trying to get better at our jobs. Whether you’re in a brand new gig and trying to hit the ground running or you’re a longtime veteran looking to stay at the tippy-top of your marketing game, we’re all working to keep up with the latest and greatest trends in marketing. The problem is there’s a lot of misleading advice out there. Advice that’s well-meaning, but just … off. But, it’s one of the “you-don’t-know-until-you-know” conundrums.So, how the heck are you supposed to distill the good stuff from the deluge of crap? To give you a sense of some of the ill-advised guidance shared with marketing pros over the years, we compiled some of the worst advice we’ve heard and explained why it’s bad. Read on — have you heard any of these “words of wisdom” before? 1) Why aren’t you on [insert random social media network here]? You need to be on there!Don’t get me wrong. You should be on some social media platform to make your marketing succeed … but you don’t need to be on every single one. Figure out where your current and future customers are going to be, and stake your social media claim.Don’t waste your time chasing after shiny social media objects if it’s not going to be helpful for your business’ bottom line. 2) You only need to be on social media if your customers are on social media. Lots of people object to social media because they say their current customers aren’t using it … which seems like kind of a ridiculous claim when you realize how many people use social media. Chances are, your customers are — and if they’re definitely not, your future customers will be if you’re going to be rocking the inbound marketing machine.Remember, you don’t have to be on every social network, but you should be on ones that can help grow your business. 3) Want more exposure on Twitter? Add as many hashtags as you can fit. Okay, so let’s say you’re on social media already. Awesome! Now, there’s some advice floating around there that the best way to get more retweets, favorites, and follows is through hashtagging like caaaaaah-razy. You know those tweets that look like this:#I #love #marketing #seo #emailmarketing #socialmedia. #Hashtags #for #life! http://t.co/vPBRMGDT1e— Ginny Soskey (@gsosk) December 5, 2013Yeah … those. Those tweets are not engaging — and actually come off as spammy. Data agrees: A report by Salesforce found that tweets with one or two hashtags receive 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags. So use hashtags, but don’t overdo it. 4) You don’t need to be on Pinterest unless you’re a B2C brand that sells clothing or food. False! There’s lots that B2B brands can do on Pinterest that actually will benefit them. For instance, you can share company photos, favorite infographics, user generated pins, and even lead-generation content.Want to figure out how to make Pinterest work for your B2B company? Read our how-to guide for generating leads with Pinterest.5) The best way to quickly increase email performance is to buy lists. Yep, buying email lists will get you a lot of email addresses to blast, but I’d bet a pretty hefty amount of money that the lists you’re buying won’t care at all what you’re sending them.Sure, they’re “IT professionals” and you sell “IT software,” but that’s not enough to make them interested in what you’re selling if the first time they hear of you is through an email pitch. They’re not going to get the email and say, “Thank heavens this company emailed me! Now I have a solution to all of my IT software needs.” Instead, get your email lists organically — they’ll take a leeeetle bit longer to generate, but your list will be much more engaged.6) Marketing automation will solve all of your email problems. Marketing automation is a great tool to help you solve email nurturing problems — not all email problems. And even then, marketing automation can’t solve every email nurturing problem.Take this for example: If you’re not having any new leads come into your marketing automation workflow, you’re going to have a problem nurturing the workflow. A certain percentage of people will go on to become more interested in your company, and a certain percentage are just going to stay stuck — and then your funnel will get stuck. Without any fresh contacts coming into your database, your email nurturing will look inefficient — but the real problem is incoming volume of leads.So if you’re finding leads aren’t converting into customers, take a look at the whole funnel to see if there’s a larger issue.7) The more personalization, the better!There can be too much of a good thing when it comes to personalization. Including a few personalized details in an email can work wonders — specifically, doing so can make your subscribers trust you because they feel like you know them. But if you personalize too much, you come off like the creepiest company ever.So even if you have detailed contact records for a lead or customer, don’t creep them out too much by including every last bit of information in your marketing materials. 8) You don’t actually need to do SEO now that keywords are encrypted. Aye, this piece of advice is a doozy. SEO isn’t dead because keywords are encrypted — the SEO keyword scams that some people like to run are dead. (And have been for some time.) Now, marketers and those concerned about SEO should focus on topics that people are searching for, not those exact match keywords. Search has gotten smarter — more catered to how people actually search online — so our content needs to follow suit. 9) If you don’t use exact keywords at least X times in the body of your page, you won’t rank on search. Annnnnnd to hit this point home with another terrible piece of marketing advice, stop worrying about keyword density and how many times keywords appear in the copy of an article you’re writing. Obviously, you want to use tools like Google Trends to find topics that are highly searched, but you’re not going to need to satisfy crazy keyword conditions to rank. There’s lots more that goes into SEO than just keywords. 10) If you write it, they will come. This is one of my biggest pet peeves: being told that just writing something and publishing it on the internet will make gobs and gobs of people come to it. And obviously, they’ll love it. And then obviously, they’ll share it. All you need to do is hit “publish!”In short, this is just plain wrong, wrong, wrong! There’s tons of crap on the internet, and you have to fight with that crap to get noticed through content promotion.11) Only certain people should be blogging in your company. Everyone at your company can create content. While not all may be eloquent writers, I bet you money that there’s someone with an eye for design or someone with mad Excel skills or just someone who knows what kind of language your prospects, leads, and customers use when talking. Enlist these folks to help with content creation and you’ll be able to churn out much more content in much less time. 12) You don’t need a mobile-ready site. Don’t fall for this advice for a second. Just remember the last time you were on your phone and landed on a site that wasn’t mobile-friendly. I dunno about you, but I get enraged (so much so I wrote about it last time it happened to me). I just want to give a site some page views, some clicks, or even my money — is that too much to ask?Without a responsive site, your leads and customers may be feeling the same way. So do them a favor and let them give you their business by having a site that’s ready to be viewed on mobile.13) Automate all of your social media updates! We’re all for social media automation … until you become robotic about it. If the only updates that appear on your Twitter account are just broadcast posts about your content, you’re doing it wrong. There are so many other ways you can engage with your Twitter following.You should also be wary of automated tweets during times of crisis — be aware of the world around you, and hit pause on your automatic updates to avoid a social media crisis for your brand.14) If you’re a B2B company, you should only send emails on Tuesday at 3 p.m.(Or whatever random time people recommend.) I don’t know what you’re doing on the average day at 3 p.m., but I usually have hit my afternoon stride and am trying to hustle to get a project done before the day ends. The lesson here is to question any data that tells you the *absolute best time hands down no question about it* to send email is at a certain time … because chances are, your list will react differently.If you’re a B2B company, try sending emails on the weekend — I guarantee people are still going to be checking their phone and may just open your email because they don’t have a thousand other things going on. Test to see what works best for your audience; don’t just take those sending time suggestions at face value. 15) X is the best color button for your call-to-action. In the same vein of ignoring data that may not apply to your situation is the whole color-of-your-CTA-button debate. Lots of people are searching for a universal CTA color that’ll suddenly solve their conversion problems. Sorry folks — it’s not that simple.CTA conversion rates will increase for lots of reasons that may not work for others. Its success depends on a number of things: placement on the page, spacing compared to other elements, color, size, button copy, among other things. So test to see if color makes a difference for your website and your audience instead of taking someone else’s A/B test at face value. 16) Shorter forms are always better. There’s a trade-off on short forms vs. long forms. Short forms make it easier for people to convert to leads — they have less form field to fill out, so it’s not as stressful for the person filling them out. With shorter forms, however, you’ll tend to get lower quality leads even if you have more of them.Long forms, meanwhile, are the opposite — because they have more fields, less people fill them out, but those people are most likely more qualified for your sales process.So, try to tailor the length of the form to the offer you’re trying to get them to download — a more intensive offer that’s closely aligned with the products you sell probably could use a longer form. 17) Don’t ask for likes, retweets, or clicks. You look desperate. Want likes, retweets, and clicks? Ask for them! It’s not desperate — people may not realize what you would like for them to do once they get an email, see a tweet, or land on a blog post. So remind them to do it! Just like any other call-to-action, it helps to have some sort of directive. Your audience won’t mind and your bottom line will thank you for it. What other horrible marketing advice have you gotten? Share your stories with us in the comments. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 9, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Inbound Marketing
Survey Creation 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 Jul 1, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated August 29 2017 For marketers, tracking meaningful data is key to understanding how to generate leads. Of this data, pointed feedback from prospects and customers is especially valuable. The best way to collect it?Surveys.Done well, a single survey that follows best practices can yield eye-opening information — the kind that forever changes the direction of an organization for the better. On the other hand, a poorly written survey will return useless data while creating a frustrating experience for the respondent.So, why do these long, agonizing surveys persist?Too often, marketers and researchers fall into the trap of focusing exclusively on their own need for answers, and not enough on the experience they create for the respondents. When that occurs, respondents sometimes take shortcuts through the survey (if they finish it at all), and neither party wins.To right that wrong, we’ve laid out seven helpful tips to nudge your respondents through a whole survey in a way that creates a positive experience, without sacrificing the actionable information you’re seeking.Download Our Free Buyer Persona Guide + Templates 7 Tips for Creating Surveys People Want to Take1) Explain why someone should participate.When requesting input from someone, remember that you’re asking the person to take precious time and energy out of their day to help your organization. In cases when you’re not offering an incentive for participation, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re essentially appealing to the good nature of your contacts. (The hope is that after all those metaphorical back scratches you’ve given, they’ll be willing to scratch yours.)So whether you’re soliciting feedback via a website page, an email, or some other means, you’ll want to emphasize why it’s worthwhile for someone to weigh in. Specifically, what will your organization do with the information your respondents provide? Why should your respondents care about that? How will your respondents benefit from sharing their perspectives? Here’s a little secret: In nearly every case, survey responses help your organization serve your customers and potential customers more effectively, right? Include that in your introduction. If you make it easy for people to see how completing your survey may improve their lives, they often feel more inclined to participate.Here’s a great example of an enticing survey invitation from Contently:As you can see, this approach is actionable, explanative, and incentive-driven. Well done, Contently. 2) Set expectations properly.Have you ever taken a survey that felt like the Energizer bunny of surveys? You know, the kind that keeps going and going and going and … you get the point.By the end of it (assuming you even made it that far), you probably felt like you’d taken the Bar exam. (And any lawyer will tell you that’s definitely not the experience you want to create for your respondents.)Suffice it to say, much has been written about considerations for survey length. Whatever the final question count turns out to be, it’s in your best interest to help your respondents plan accordingly. For starters, tell them approximately how long they should set aside to complete your survey. This will help to ensure that they don’t have to rush or abandon the survey because of a time constraint. In some instances it can also be beneficial to use a survey tool that indicates the respondent’s progress throughout the survey using a progress bar. According to Survey Monkey, “Progress bars can basically act like a coach, encouraging people to keep on trucking and reach that finish line.”Survey Monkey gives you the option to specify what information the progress bar displays, where it’s located, and even — in a separate window — what colors it is.Whether or not that functionality is available in the survey tool you’re using, it doesn’t hurt to add written checkpoints into the survey like, “keep the helpful feedback coming — you’re more than halfway done” and “only two more questions to go.” These minor additions can mean the difference between your respondents quitting the survey or sticking it out for a couple more questions. One more note on setting expectations: Sometimes, your survey asks more of the respondent than simply answering a few simple questions. For example, you may ask your respondent to upload a photo or complete a task offline and rate their experience afterwards. In cases like this, it’s worth giving your respondents a heads-up in your introduction that the survey they’re about to take requires extra effort. (It also wouldn’t hurt to incentivize them for going above and beyond.)3) Speak your persona’s language.When writing a survey, there’s often a temptation among marketers to make the phrasing of questions as dry and bland as possible. For many, this is probably rooted in the fear that inserting superfluous language may influence the results of the survey. That’s a legitimate concern. After all, surveys aren’t supposed to entertain — they’re supposed to elicit meaningful feedback. But surveys don’t have to be boring. In fact, surveys can and should engage the participants enough to inspire creative and constructive input that can be used to empower you to enact real change. Though it sounds obvious, the best way to write a survey like this is to speak like a human being. As you would with your keyword research, use language that your respondents would use and will easily understand. That means minimizing your usage of acronyms, jargon, and phrasing that might confuse them.Here are a handful of writing tips to consider when creating a survey that is engaging and free from bias:When you know you’re asking a particularly tough or demanding question, acknowledge it.Thank respondents in advance for providing thorough, candid answers.Offer words of encouragement if you’re requesting a detailed, open-ended response.Provide help text so that a respondent fully understands how to answer a question (so long as it doesn’t influence how he/she responds).Including this kind of language demonstrates an appreciation for your respondents, and it will further propel them through the survey. 4) End on a high note.Once your respondents have answered all your questions, you should give them the chance to have the last word. Rather than doing the survey equivalent of a “dine and dash,” conclude instead with a question like this:”Thanks again for taking the time to complete this survey. Your input means a lot to us, and it will help us improve our ability to serve customers like you more effectively in the future. Before you go, do you have anything else you’d like to add?No, I’m all setYes, I’d like to add: [open text field]”Whether or not a respondent takes advantage of this opportunity to weigh in, it’s one that they’ll see and appreciate because it’s an invitation to share (even more of) their own ideas and opinions.However, if they do decide to chime in, their responses tend to be incredibly valuable. In fact, having written and reviewed hundreds of surveys, I’ve found that the real gems of insights almost always surface in this final question. Here are some examples of the feedback you could expect participants to touch on at this stage:Pointing out things you may have forgotten to ask.Circling back on topics that may have only occurred to them after the opportunity to share feedback on that given topic.Identifying questions or answer options that may have been unclear in the survey, and therefore are worthy of taking into account as you conduct your analysis.Sharing new product or service ideas.Providing helpful anecdotes that shed further light on who your respondents are, and context for why they responded as they did.Expressing their gratitude for the opportunity to contribute. (It’s helpful to keep those folks in mind, should you need another round of input.)Offering other top-of-mind thoughts about your organization because they simply may not know where else to share it.5) Take your own survey.When you’ve put the finishing touches on the survey you’re writing, take a step back, refill your coffee mug, and then take your own survey with a fresh set of eyes. Review your introduction and each question for clarity and empathy, and ask yourself:Have I built a compelling case for why someone should take this survey?Is this the kind of survey my respondents will realistically start and finish?Are all of the questions I’m asking absolutely critical to my learning objectives?Does the language in this survey take into consideration the language that my respondents use and understand?If your answer to these questions is “yes”, and you’ve adhered to survey-writing best practices, then give yourself a high five. You’re ready to field your survey. 6) Close the loop.What happens when a lead closes into a customer? Do you ignore them and move on to the next sale?Of course not. Once closed, you continue to delight your customers so they become promoters of your organization. And your survey respondants should be treated no differently. After they’ve completed your analysis, the goal is to close the loop by explaining what you did with their input. By following up in this way, you’re creating an opportunity to delight your respondents. Considering they’ve probably grown used to not hearing back from organizations in the past, this gesture will ensure that they feel as though their voices have genuinely been heard. And after such a delightful experience, they’ll often be more likely to participate when you request their assistance in the future. They might even be willing to spread the news of their positive experience: “HOLY SMOKES, I told XYZ Company what to do, and they actually listened!”In the instance that your organization conducts its analysis and determines not to make any decisions or take any action, that’s not an excuse to leave your respondents hanging. You should still politely explain to them why your organization has decided not to make any moves. Often, the justification for no action is as intriguing as immediate action. Not to mention, that refreshing honesty will help to keep your organization in your respondents’ good graces. 7) Share the wealth.Depending on the sensitivity and confidentiality of the information you’re requesting from respondents, consider making the raw, anonymous results from the survey visible to respondents. This way, each person who completes the survey can see how their own responses compare to those of their peers. Again, it’s a surprising and delightful form of instant gratification. More than that, it’s a way to learn from — and bond with — others with whom they have something in common. In Survey Monkey, the option is available under the Collect Responses tab when creating a survey. It looks like this:One very important note: If any of your questions ask for personal identification information, do not display the results to respondents.Before you start creating your next survey, bear these tips in mind, take a walk in your personas’ shoes, and make sure that you’re weighing your own learning objectives against the needs and agenda of those going out of their way to lend a hand.What other methods do you use in order to elicit high-quality and complete survey responses?
Originally published Mar 18, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 What does your team do to get to know one another? Share your ideas in the comments section below. Topics: Office Politics For many companies, there are few things as important as developing and maintaining a culture that attracts and retains their employees. When coworkers get to know each other as people, they’ll be able to communicate better, trust each other more, and work better together.Sometimes, though, some structured activities can help coax people out of their shells and help break the ice at work.That’s why the folks at OfficeVibe created the SlideShare below that’s chock full of get-to-know-you and group-building activities. Flip through it for ideas for 10 fun ways for coworkers to get to know one another — especially when welcoming a new employee or group. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Nonprofit Fundraising Originally published Mar 23, 2017 9:40:13 AM, updated October 02 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! Inbound marketing has flooded us with information and data. Some of us data geeks have never been happier. For others, the volume of metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) can be overwhelming.If you’re a non-profit focused on increasing donations and donors, here’s a list of the 10 KPIs, put together by Network for Good, of digital fundraising KPI’s you must have a handle on.Free Access: A Guide to Nonprofit Inbound MarketingNew donor acquisition rateThis KPI is a simple and as broad as it seems. You can look at by time frame: How many new donors come on by month, each year? You can also look at it by channel and by campaign. You can also look at new donor acquisition growth as percentage over similar timeframes or campaigns.Donor renewal rateThe most immediate donor renewal rate is year-over-year. Get the number of donors from last year (LYD) and determine how many of those same donors gave again this year (TYD). Then divide TYD/LYD to get your donor renewal rate. So if you had 100 donors last year and 80 of them donated again this year, your donor renewal rate is 80%. The challenge here is how far back do you go to consider a donor a “renewal” or “lapsed.”Net new donorsNet new donors looks at your new donors and renewed donors to reveal if you’re treading water, falling behind, or gathering force. Your donor acquisition rate is usually a raw number. If 100 people donated this year who’d never donated before, that’s 100 new donors. But what if your donor renewal rate is only 50% (50 people who donated last year didn’t donate again)? The low donor renewal rate undercuts the value of your newly acquired donors. Calculating your net new donors highlights this critical gap and adds context to your new donor acquisition rate. This KPI is also important for gauging the engagement level of your donor base.While new donor acquisition rates are important, relying on them too much to fund your organization puts a lot of pressure on your development team. You’ll see when we talk about metrics such as cost to acquire donor and average donation. Repeat donations are vital to a strong, consistent flow of donations.Time to first/second giftThis is a measure of time elapsed between a first and second gift. In essence, making sure your new donor is retained, and doesn’t become a net new donor casualty. According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s 2015 report, only 19% of first time donors donate are retained, whereas 63% of repeat donors are retained. This argues strongly in favor of keeping the time lapse between first and second gifts as short as possible. The earlier you get a donor into a habit of giving to your organization, the higher that donor’s lifetime value is likely to be.Donor reactivation rateLet’s say you consider any donor who hasn’t donated in the past five years to be lapsed. This is the pool you’ll use to calculate how many you’ve reactivated. If you’ve run any donor reactivation campaigns targeting them (and you should!), you can also look at reactivation rates for each one to determine which are most effective.Cost to acquire a donor (by channel)This formula will tell whether a fundraising campaign or channel is worth the cost of operation. Take the cost of a campaign, e.g. you spent $8,000 on a PPC ad campaign driving traffic to your donations’ landing page. Then divide that cost by the number of people who arrived at the landing page via the ads and donated. If that campaign brought in 100 new donors, the acquisition cost for each of those donors was $80.Average gift (by channel)Now, if the average gift from that PPC campaign was $50, that might not seem like such a great campaign. Slow down. We’ll get to those metrics touching on the life time value of a donor. But now you can also see why knowing your donor retention and reactivation rates are so important. The cost to acquire a new donor will almost inevitably be higher than that first gift.You can calculate average gift amounts by campaign and channel. The channel average is particularly important so you know where to focus your efforts, especially when you look at the average compared to the cost. For example, you may find that people donating through a dedicated donation landing page have a higher average gift than those who donate via the “donate” button on your organization’s website.Revenue per donor (by channel)The raw dollars donated via each channel over a fixed time or campaign divided by number of donors. These include your different digital donation avenues, such as email and social media solicitations, as well as traditional direct marketing or ad campaigns. So if $100,000 is donated by 500 people from email solicitations last year, the revenue per donor for this channel is $200.Gross/net revenuePut simply, this calculation shows your donation totals less the costs to generate those donations. You can look at this by channel, such as how much you raise via Facebook less how much you spend to maintain that channel. You can also calculate this by campaign and by donor type. When you calculate this by donor type, you’ll have better insight into the different costs of acquiring new donors versus retaining or reactivating donors.Lifetime value (by channel)Finally! I’ve been talking about it, but here we are. The lifetime value of a donor is critical to understanding if you’re attracting the right kinds of donors. That’s why you also want to look at lifetime value by channel. Some channels may attract higher value donors than others.To calculate LTV (lifetime value) you need some underlying metrics. To calculate a donor’s LTV, you need their total donation amount, less the cost to acquire and retain that donor. The cost number will be less precise than total amount donated. If you calculate how much you spend per year on retention donation campaigns, you can add that average to the acquisition cost for that donor.More valuable is the LTV by channel. To calculate LTV by channel, you need to know the average lifespan of that channel’s donors, its average donation amount, the total number of the channel’s donors and number of donations. Let’s work this out with an example, say donors acquired through Facebook.5 (average lifespan in years) x 100 (average donation amount) x [1000 (# of donations)/ 500 (# of donors)] = $1000 in LTV per donor for the channel.Now if you know that your cost to acquire a new donor via Facebook is $100, that’s $900 in mission money. Compare that to the $80 in cost to acquire a new donor via the PPC campaign, which has a LTV of $500. The PPC-acquired donors cost less to acquire, but have only half the LTV of your Facebook-acquired donors.ConclusionAs you can see, no single KPI is an island. Individually they offer interesting snapshots. To get a more holistic view of how your fundraising is going and whether you’re spending your development and marketing budgets to maximize ROI, you need look at the complete story these KPIs tell together. Use this as your starting point how to analyze these KPIs in context of each other. Topics:
Here’s the thing: Many, many businesses are perfectly trustworthy — including yours, we hope. But in a world of events like headline-making data breaches, how do you get customers to see you that way?Let’s have a look at microbusinesses as a starting point. While most of them don’t account for major, household names, according to Paychex, they comprise over 75% of private-sector employers in the U.S. — and more than one in every 10 U.S. jobs. In other words: These small-to-midsize businesses are, if you’ll excuse the schmaltz, at the very core of a major economy.Download Now: Free Brand Building GuideBut the term “bootstrapping” is used so frequently within their world for a reason. When microbusinesses are first starting out, and if they maintain smaller teams, resources can be limited. There might not be a major PR firm to construct professional messaging, for example — the messaging that screams, “We are a trustworthy brand!”In that case, how do these businesses build trust among their target audiences — and what gets in the way of it?These infographics from Paychex tell a very interesting story and incorporate easy-to-digest data from its survey of over 1,000 relevant customers to gain insight on the above questions. Have a look to discover that story, and see how you can apply it to your own business efforts.95Save95Save95Save95Save95Save95Save95Save95Save95Save95Save95Save95Save Email Marketing Mistakes Originally published Oct 31, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated October 31 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post!
The Government is committed to reversing negative perceptions of Jamaica as a business-friendly destination, by making a real and lasting impact on the national business environment.Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, made this declaration while addressing the official opening of the ATL Automotive Volkswagen Modular Showroom and Audi Terminal, on Oxford Road, St. Andrew on Friday, April 19.She disclosed that work to achieve the improvements is being done through the National Competitiveness Council, chaired by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, with active participation from the Private Sector.“Minister Hylton and his team are charged with plotting an upward path to advance Jamaica’s position in the rankings, by taking the required actions, in partnership with the wider public and the private sectors, to address the complex issues affecting national productivity and global competitiveness,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.She also called for a new culture of customer service at all levels in the public and private sector, premised on quality, speedy response and innovative practices, which empowers workers to exercise greater discretion and appropriate attitudes in delivering excellence every time.She noted that Government has tried many initiatives in the past to encourage greater levels of customer service and so it is time to consider a classic Public Private Partnership (PPP).The Prime Minister congratulated the ATL team, inclusive of Chairman, Hon. Gordon Butch Stewart, and son and Chief Executive Officer, ATL Automotive, Adam Stewart, for their level of service in delivering high customer satisfaction over the years. “I regard the ATL brand as a high quality Jamaican brand and an important local benchmark against which we can define and implement a new service culture in Jamaica. This is an urgent need when we consider that in excess of 70 per cent of the Jamaican economy comprises service industries like the dynamic automotive sector,”Mrs. Simpson Miller said.She challenged the ATL team, to consider how it could partner with Government “to find solutions to this thorny problem (of poor customer service), which if you think about it, is at the heart of our less than desirable position in the Global Competitiveness Rankings.”For his part, Adam Stewart, noted that the company, began 45 years old ago with a vision to give customers more than they expect.“We would never stand here and say that we get it right every time, but we certainly stand here and say that every time there is an issue, we take that phone call and make it right,” he said, in explaining the company’s philosophy of good customer service.He disclosed that the new-car sector is important to Jamaica, noting that in addition to the import duties that are being paid, the sector also employs and trains many Jamaicans in a specialised field.The new facility, which employs 120 persons on site, was constructed at a cost of US$13.5 million, representing the largest investment by any automotive company in Jamaica’s history.By Andrea Braham, JIS Reporter
Marines looking to recruit high school grads and upperclassmen Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Jason Austell, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsJason Austell sat down with Sergeant Anna Rodrigues and Major Jared Reddinger in studio to discuss their experience in the marines. They encouraged high school grads, juniors, and seniors, to join up, describing the many benefits of service.For more information about the marines: www.marines.com Jason Austell Posted: May 20, 2018 May 20, 2018
Share prices of IT stocks such as TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra and Mindtree were trading with little change from their previous close, on Tuesday, amid yet another buzz of layoffs, this time at Capgemini. Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) was in the news for laying off employees and earlier, it was Wipro that reportedly “sacked” many employees.On Tuesday, at around 10 am, TCS was up 0.60 percent at Rs 2,356, Wipro was flat at Rs 503, Infosys was up 0.33 percent at Rs 948, Tech Mahindra was up 0.49 percent at Rs 423 and Mindtree was flat at Rs 503.Read: TCS, Infosys, Wipro go slow on hiring laneThe BSE Information Technology Index was up 0.44 percent as against the Sensex’s 0.06 percent gain at around 10.06 am.Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) was reportedly looking at layoff about 6,000 employees in India in the context of increasing hiring in the US. Capgemini is also reportedly going the CTS way, though the company denied large-scale layoffs. “The figures reported in the article published today – including the reference to Igate – are unfounded. We have not announced any lay off plan,” the company said in a statement.”Each year our employees are evaluated based on strict performance criteria in an objective process, consistent with industry norms, to ensure we are aligned with our customer needs, business priorities, and the overall industry evolution. This leads naturally to a varying number of employees transitioning out of the organization in any given year,” Capgemini added.In the fourth quarter (Q4) ended March 2017, TCS — India’s largest IT services exporter — added 8,726 employees, followed by Wipro at 1,305 (IT services) while Infosys ended up adding just 601 employees, on a net basis.
A housewife was beaten to death allegedly by her in-laws for dowry in Sharhsa upazila in Jashore on Friday night, reports UNB.The deceased is Sima Khatun, 20, wife of Jahangir Alam of Ghiba village in the upzaila.Deceased’s father alleged that Jahangir had been torturing his wife demanding money since their marriage.The victim’s father said he gave Jahangir Tk 100,000 a year ago.Recently Jahangir demanded Tk 30,000 more and was putting pressure on her for it, the father added.Earlier on Friday night, Jahangir and his family members strangulated Sima when she denied giving the money and hanged the body from a bamboo ceiling of the house.The victim’s husband denied the allegation saying that his wife committed suicide.Second officer of Benapole port police station Habibur Rahman said the body was sent for autopsy.The reason behind her death will be known after the post-mortem, he added.