SXSW: Learning Inbound Marketing the Hard Way, and Sharing So You Don’t Have To

first_img Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. Download our inbound marketing kit . Right before HubSpot’s co-founder Dharmesh Shah took the stage to share wisdom from the book Inbound Marketing , Brandon Eley , the author of Online Marketing Inside Out shared his personal experiences in starting an online business.  In different words than we use at HubSpot, he basically told us that the fundamentals of inbound marketing are the best solution to drive a thriving business today.  Brandon learn ed some inbound marketing lessons the hard way, but as an early adopter who was growing his business from about 1999 through 2003, it was sort of to be expected. 2BigFeet.com was started as an online business in LaGrange, Georgia in late 1999 by two regular guys who knew how hard it was to find large shoes.  In the early days of online retailing, the 2BigFeet team wanted to get found online and turn those eyeballs into dollars.  They stumbled along the way, costing the business money and in many cases revenue.  Brandon wants others to learn the easy way … by his example. Brandon’s key takeaways from his talk today: 1. Don’t Believe the “SEO Guys”Right after taking their site live, 2BigFeet hired an SEO consultant who ‘guaranteed’ them they’d be on the first page of Google.  Sure.  Right.  At the time, he didn’t know better, but today we all should.  There is no such thing as a guarantee to get on the first page!  There are a lot of tactics that you can employ to improve your rankings , but hiring someone else to do what it takes, which is creating high quality content with relevant keywords, is not the answer.  Brandon and the team were a few thousand dollars shorter and had lost about 3 months of time before they fired the SEO guy and worked on it themselves, improving results along the way.  SEO is hard work because it is all about fresh and relevant content, so don’t believe any hype.2. Don’t Succumb to the Lure of the “PR Lady”A few years later, 2BigFeet felt they’d hit a plateau, and someone put them in touch with a PR lady who promised to get them coverage in pubs, local news, magazines and more.  After a few more months, several thousand dollars and zero ‘free’ coverage, the team decided to cut the PR cord as well.  Inbound marketing espouses the belief that journalists are out there looking for great stories — by reading blogs and following tweets — rather than waiting around to be spammed by a PR pitch.  I believe there is a healthy balance that can be reached, but ultimately, great content that is findable delivers better ROI than a pure PR play .  I think Brandon might agree.3. Don’t Forget to Do Usability TestingFinally, in a turn that some might think isn’t really about marketing, Brandon talked about usability testing.  Turns out, there is a lot of testing in marketing, and in this case some usability feedback spurred the team to do what is effectively an A/B test on a call-to-action .  They originally had a promotion code for flat rate shipping, but very few people took advantage of it and were frustrated and confused about how to use it.  By moving from a promo code to a more automated flat rate shipping option, they found that conversion improved dramatically.  Now, testing is a core part of their culture, and I think it should be for any marketer.By the end of his talk, part of me wished that the concept of inbound marketing had been around in 1999 so Brandon wouldn’t have had to figure it all out himself. The other part of me was thrilled that he shared his story so that small businesses the world over can dive in and be successful with Internet and inbound marketing, the easy way. Looking for more content from SXSW? Check out our HubSpot at SXSW content feed at http://blog.hubspot.com/sxsw ! Today, on the Day Stage at SXSW, there were a slew of speakers on Internet and social media marketing — just check out the schedule.  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 Inbound Marketing Originally published Mar 13, 2010 4:47:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Public Relations Inbound Marketing Kit last_img read more

HubSpot TV – Fight Back with Special Guest @ErinWeed

first_img and use the hashtag Intro Marketing Takeaway: Marketing Takeaway: Pay attention to this trend. It could vastly affect your marketing measurement in the future. http://itunes.hubspot.tv Google Allows Users to Block Tracking Finally, Twitter Search to Rank Tweets by Popularity : Don’t get caught with your guard down – pay attention to online conversations so your company is not the victim of a surprise attack. Twitter Is a Popularity Contest karenrubin (Episode length: 27 minutes, 32 seconds) Surprise Guest! – David Meerman Scott Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Nestle / Facebook / Greenpeace timeline (in process) Watch HubSpot TV live at 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday at  Episode #85 – March 26, 2010 Headlines Special Guest – Erin Weed ) http://www.girlsfightback.com #HubSpotTV mvolpe Nestle’s Fan Page ), Karen Rubin (@ Marketing Takeaway 2: As always, all the old episodes are in iTunes: erinweed How to interact on Twitter: Include www.HubSpot.tv in your tweet! On the show today is Mike Volpe (@ ) and Erin Weed (@ www.hubspot.tv Marketing Tip of the Week Think about multi layered social media campaigns, like Greenpeace, to make a bigger splash. http://www.erinweed.com Proactively monitor trends to prevent potential social media attacks. If you like the show, please leave a review! Marketing Takeaway: Cookies under fire as regulators move in Forum Fodder Crisis Planning: Prepare Your Company For Social Media Attacks Nestle Faces Social Media Terrorism Originally published Apr 2, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 To become more visible in search engines, get on the social media train!last_img read more

The Top 5 Reasons for Mobile Marketing [Data]

first_img Mobile Marketing , there will be 73.3 million smartphone users in the U.S. in 2011. And that number is only rising. It’s estimated that there will be more than 84 million by 2012 and over 100 million by 2014. Reason # 5– Easy to do 67% of them research on their smartphone and then buy in a store. Marketing in the Moment But here’s the number that really gets me. According to Michael Tasner in his book “ Smartphone users look for a wide variety of information. That can be news, sports, games, restaurant information and location, or shopping. What the Google study pointed out is that 89% of them do their search with a degree of urgency. This sense of urgency should be of incredible interest to ecommerce sites as well as brick and mortar companies. For example, a smartphone user needs an appliance. They find it and have the option of going to a nearby store to purchase it or to have it shipped from an ecommerce site. They will do one or the other, depending on the proximity of the store and the time they need that appliance. The point is, if you offer that appliance and smartphone users can’t find you, you lose that sale. 9% visit the store first, then purchase on their smartphone Originally published Jun 24, 2011 4:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 If you are at all serious about a comprehensive and integrated marketing strategy for your company, mobile has to be a part of it. Topics: 16% research on their smartphone, visit the store, then purchase on their smartphone What are you waiting for? With the ever-expanding market of mobile (and smartphone) users combined with the paucity of companies marketing to them, now is the time to make the most out of mobile marketing. The competition is small at this point, and you can create a presence before it gets cluttered. If you are already advertising on the internet, you might be interested to know that ad spending across mobile devices is still low, which means you can get some great keyword phrases for bargain prices. Reason #2 – Consumers Marketing in the Moment Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack from Michael Tasner’s book According to Google’s latest : , packaging, branding, and public relations, you don’t want to lose your smartphone prospect when they are looking for your type of product on their smartphone. According to Google: chapter on mobile marketing 23% research on a smartphone, visit the store to check out the product, then purchase online on their computer. independent research Image credit: iStockPhoto social media marketing Reason # 3 – Urgency mobile marketing Smartphone users don’t do everything on their smartphones – and thank goodness for that. They are influenced by many other things, whether that be word of mouth, online or television ads, or products on a shelf. But for them, smartphones are now an integral part of their lives. If you are a company that puts time and effort into online marketing, For HubSpot users, their websites are automatically mobile-friendly. For everyone else, the process is relatively simple. There are many programs and agencies out there that can offer you a fairly quick way to make your site is mobile friendly. We’re making available for free a According to eMarketer Reason # 4 – Integration , 74% of smartphone users have made a purchase as a result of using a smartphone. When it comes to search, 53% of smartphone users purchase something as a result of their smartphone search. That’s 53% of 73 million. That’s a lot of purchasing power. What’s interesting is how this group actually buys. After searching, 40% use their smartphones to buy something in a store. In the world of ecommerce, 35% of them take their information, go online on a computer and buy, or 20% of them use their smartphones to complete their purchase. What this tells me is that these consumers are not picky about where they shop, and the smartphone gives them the options they need. It’s all about accessibility and urgency, which brings me to reason #3. As Tasner says, “Mobile is growing faster than any other online-marketing method, tactic, or technique.” What are you waiting for? , and in it there are sections on how to establish a mobile-only site and how to get started with mobile marketing. That includes tactics like SMS, MMS, special offers, advertsing, etc. I’m not alone in this admiration. Reason #1 –Timing ,” only 6% of businesses are doing any type of mobile marketing. And for companies with less than $10,000 in revenue per year (what we at HubSpot consider small businesses), only 0.5% of them mobile market. The book was published a year ago, so these numbers might be up a little, but not by much. This brings me to reason #1 forlast_img read more

82% of Businesses Are Unsatisfied With Daily Deal Sites [INFOGRAPHIC]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack With 44% of online consumers using or searching daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, it’s doubtful that the group buying craze will sizzle away any time soon. But while consumers are obviously finding daily deal sites valuable, businesses are divided on whether using them as a promotional tool is truly effective. In fact, 82% of businesses are unsatisfied with the amount of repeat business they generate after running a Groupon deal. That said, 45% of local businesses indicate they would advertise with Groupon again.Consider the facts, compiled into this helpful infographic from BuySellAds.Have you experimented with daily deal site promotions? Where do you stand in the daily deal debate? Originally published Dec 5, 2011 6:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013last_img read more

Understanding the New Roles in Marketing

first_imgAnd as the role of marketing grows, it also continues to evolve. Today’s marketing department, for example, looks very different than it did even just a few short years ago. In fact, a collection of new roles has emerged, and they’re growing in importance within many marketing teams. Let’s examine what each of these roles consist of, and why you might want to consider adding them to your growing marketing team.New Marketing Roles of Growing ImportanceMarketing Operations / Pipeline SpecialistMarketing operations professionals are charged with monitoring, measuring, and analyzing the effectiveness of marketing initiatives as they relate to the overall company’s goals. Marketing operations staff work closely with Sales, and sometimes also have a sales operations counterpart. Together, they manage the relationship between Marketing and Sales to ensure that both sides are optimized to deliver (Marketing’s role) and work (Sales’ role) the highest quality leads, something HubSpot has grown fond of calling “SMarketing.” Marketing operations staff make projections about the quality of the sales and marketing pipeline and find efficiencies that will make the company work better as a whole.  Marketing operations would be a fit for anyone who has an analytical mind and is interested in marketing and sales strategy. Karen Rubin, a HubSpotter in a marketing operations role adds: “We focus on helping our marketers get the analytics they need, running monthly reports, and understanding why data and results are looking the way they do at any given point.” Customer Evangelist / Customer Experience ProfessionalsIn 2011, Forrester released a report called “The Rise of the Chief Customer Officer.” The report detailed a trend existing among B2B and B2C companies alike — hiring an individual to oversee customer communications and customer happiness. While the report focuses on a formal, executive-level role (“CCO”), we’ve seen this trend at all levels in companies.  Roles under this subset include community managers, customer experience designers, and customer communications officers. Skills and focus areas range, but the customer evangelist is essentially the internal voice of the customer within a company. Sometimes measured by Net Promoter Score surveys or user testing, their role aims to keep customer happiness and loyalty high by making customers’ experiences with the company easy and rewarding. Beyond being “the right thing to do,” creating a positive customer experience actually drives results. In fact, according to Nielsen’s April 2012 Global Trust in Advertising report, 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising. In a socially driven market, the role of a customer evangelist becomes all the more critical.Inbound Marketing StrategistIt’s no news to us, but recent research from SiriusDecisions underscores the shift that B2B companies are making toward inbound marketing as a core strategy, and the need for more inbound marketing talent. “More than any other new approach, inbound marketing is rapidly becoming a standard part of the marketing mix,” writes Jay Gaines, who leads SiriusDecisions’ Demand Creation Strategies advisory service. Inbound marketing strategists must have a comprehensive mix of skills including search engine optimization, content strategy, and content mapping against a lead’s decision-making process. Gaines writes: “SiriusDecisions expects the inbound marketer to become a fixture in the majority of b-to-b marketing organizations in the next one to two years.”Lead Nurturing SpecialistAs most savvy marketers will tell you, attracting traffic and converting those visitors into leads is only half the battle. All too many potential customers get stuck in the middle of the marketing funnel, never continuing on to make an actual purchase. Professionals skilled in lead nurturing help marketing teams deliver highly tailored content to guide leads to a point of decision. And research shows that personalized marketing leads to more customer conversions than generalized communications.The lead nurturing role in an organization is steeped in customer and lead data. According to that same AMA/Duke University CMO Survey, “The ability to leverage information about customers in order to deliver and demonstrate value opens the door for marketers to fill the role as analysts and ‘data whisperers.'” Documentarian / VideographerTechnology has lowered the barriers to creating high-quality videos, making creation and distribution more affordable for companies of all sizes. As a result, video as a form of content is on the rise. It’s no surprise then, that 87% of online marketers use video content, according to Outbrain’s State of Content Marketing. Not to mention that Social Media Examiner reported earlier this year that 76% of marketers planned to increase their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers would invest in for 2012.As part of this investment in video as a content format, many companies are adding videographers to their marketing teams. We asked Chris Savage, co-founder and CEO of Wistia, a video hosting and analytics provider, what companies should look for when hiring video talent. “Adding the right videographer to your team can unlock an entire new channel of content for you,” said Savage. “The key is finding someone who has a mix of skills that complement your existing team. Besides just the basics of lighting, shooting, and editing, you really want someone who has a strong sense for what topics will be most successful on video.”Partnership / Co-Marketing ManagerCo-marketing is the practice of two, complementary companies collaborating on content or marketing initiatives. As a result, co-marketing brings fresh perspectives to your marketing initiatives and helps each company reach an audience that might not otherwise have found them. Dan Slagen, head of global marketing relations at HubSpot leads our co-marketing initiatives. Dan explains, “We partner with like-minded companies on projects that will help promote the marketing industry. For HubSpot, the value of working with partners such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Google has been an array of thought leadership, brand alignment, and new business opportunities for all parties involved.”Changes to Existing RolesIn addition to the growing prominence of some newer roles, a number of existing marketing roles have begun to change and adapt as well. Here are some top trends we’ve noticed.Social Media as a Core SkillFive years ago, a marketing department might have hired a young graduate to head up its social media strategy. But according to the 2011 Webmarketing123 State of Digital Marketing report, with an average of 68% of marketers generated leads from social media sites, social media is no longer a specialization but rather a core marketing skill. As such, new marketing hires at every level should be expected to understand and contribute to social media strategies. Analytics as a Core SkillAs you may have noticed above, analytics and data are playing a big role in emerging marketing positions. In fact, the AMA/Duke CMO survey cites that spending on marketing analytics is expected to increase 60% by 2015. As marketing departments grow in size and marketing budgets increase, the ability to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and channels will become more and more essential. Read more about how to cultivate a data-driven marketing team in this blog post.The Technology CMOIn a Gartner study, Vice President of Marketing Strategies Laura McLellan asserts, “By 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.” Her assertion is backed by survey data in which 90% of respondents said that the marketing department is either solely responsible or leads a cross-functional team that sets the strategy for technology purchasing decisions. Marketers have more and more say in the technology they use to do their jobs. Enough said.Media Relations: Less Pitch, More SupportAccording to the AMA/Duke University CMO survey, only 53% of companies are using marketing staff for traditional public relations activities, which is a significant step down from 65% in 2011. Talking with Laura Fitton, HubSpot’s inbound marketing evangelist, you’ll quickly learn that she prioritizes being helpful to journalists and bloggers over pitching to them. Even when it doesn’t result in a news story about HubSpot, Laura’s priority is to help journalists make connections and find data for their reports. In all of these developments and newly emerging roles, there are a few overarching trends: The importance of data, useful content, and relationships are on the rise. With these trends in mind, here are a few tips for interviewing today’s inbound marketer. And for those of you on the other side of the interview table, here’s how to get hired as an inbound marketer.What new roles have you added to your marketing team? What roles would you add if you had the capacity? Share with us in the comments.Image Credit: healthrx.com Marketing Jobs Originally published Nov 16, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics:center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.” Could David Bowie’s 70s hit be a marketer’s theme song, or what?On a related — but arguably more serious — note, according to the 2012 CMO Survey by the American Marketing Association and Duke University, Marketing appears to be one of the early rebounders in the initial economic recovery. In terms of both department size and budget, Marketing is on the rise.Just take a look at how the size of business’ marketing departments has more than doubled — in fact, almost tripled — since August 2011 …last_img read more

Facebook Rolls Out Twitter-Like ‘Trending’ Topics Feature

first_img Originally published Jan 17, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Facebook Marketing Facebook released one more feature today — one that’s remarkably Twitter-like, actually.According to Mashable, the new tool is called “Trending,” and it’ll be showing up in a Facebook account near you in the next few weeks — on both mobile and desktop. The feed will show a list of popular topics, personalized to the user.Sound familiar? Take a look below for a sample of what it’ll look like:You’ll notice that, in addition to the topic, there’s a nice little description of the topic below, too.It’s also important to note that Trending isn’t necessarily pulling in just one particular article for each trending topic. If you click into a trending topic, you’ll see a list of several posts related to the topic.How Facebook Trending WorksYou may be wondering, “Hey, how do I get my content trending? That seems like some pretty good real estate.”Good question. Well, Facebook’s placing content up there based on a couple criteria:Which content is getting the most attention across the entire Facebook platform — this is being measured based on whether the topic has seen a “sharp increase in popularity,” rather than the net volume of content about the topic.Which content is more relevant for that particular user based on his or her interestsAnd now that you know that, you might be thinking, “Great, this means I have to buy a bunch of Facebook ads to get my content spiking in mentions.”Actually, that’s not true … at least not yet. Facebook’s not including sponsored or promoted content in their Trending topics right now. But who knows what the future has in store, so try to get in your Trending face time now.So … whaddya think of this new feature from Facebook?last_img read more

Google Algorithm Now Rewards Mobile-Friendly Sites: Here’s What You Need to Know

first_img Mobile Optimization As of Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Google has made a massive change to the way it ranks websites. How massive? This change outranks both Panda and Penguin in terms of its scale of impact on search results, according to Google’s Webmaster Trends analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji.The change comes down to one very important criterion: whether your website, landing pages, and blog are fully optimized for mobile.Are you prepared? Let’s find out.Google announced the change on its Webmaster Central Blog back in February and has done a thorough job ever since explaining to marketers and website owners how the change will affect their site and search traffic. They explained:Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.If your site isn’t fully optimized for mobile devices, you will likely see a hit to your ranking on mobile searches. Which is why some people have called this “Mobilegeddon.” Since this change is all about solving for the searcher, I prefer the much less scary “Mobilefestivus,” but it’s not quite as catchy. Either way, you’ve got options.In this post, I’ll walk through the change using some of Google’s helpful tools to help you react to it.Note: If your landing pages and blog are on HubSpot’s Content Managment System (CMS) or if you utilize HubSpot’s Website Platform, then you’re all set. HubSpot’s uses responsive design to adapt to any mobile device and fully passes the sniff test on Google’s new algorithm. So customers on the CMS, rest easy. If your website is on another system or your landing pages are on another marketing automation tool, the answer isn’t as cut and dry. It all depends on how the site was designed.To determine your readiness, you’ll want to start with Google’s free assessment tool, which I’ll dig in to now.Test Your Website For ReadinessBeyond having the most imaginative and adorable seasonal doodles, Google does some other pretty lovable things. Namely, they’ve provided website owners with free tool well in advance to tell them exactly what is needed to prepare for the new mobile search algorithm.You can access the tool here.When you run your site on the tool, you’ll get a quick assessment of whether your mobile rank will suffer as a result of the April 21st change. If your website is fully optimized for mobile, you’ll get a success message like this one:Proceed with the proud nods and satisfied fist bumps with your desk-mates. You’ll also get a visual of how the Googlebot “sees” your website. (For example, in our the screenshot below, you’ll see that in HubSpot’s blog, there are four resources which Googlebot can’t “see” because we’ve blocked them with a robots.txt file. That’s no big deal, but it’s good to know nevertheless.)If your website, landing pages or blog are not ready for the mobile update, you’ll get a message that looks like this:Along with the failure message, you’ll get a few pointed bullets on the reasons your content failed the test. Above, you can see the mobile viewport is not set, the links are too close together, and the text is too small to read. While this may seem like you’ll need to do a whole detailed redesign to fix each error, moving to a mobile optimized content management system, blog, or landing page tool will likely fix most of them.  So, let’s stop here and run that test. I’ll wait.Ready to move on? Okay.Choose Your Mobile Optimization ApproachIf any of your content isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s really important that you make some changes in light of the new algorithm. Even the best landing page in the world can notice drastically diminishing returns if it’s not optimized for mobile.To remedy the situation you have options. Google recognizes three different configurations as “mobile friendly.” You can move your content to any of the following set-ups and be protected from the change.1. Responsive DesignResponsive design is Google’s  #1 recommended design pattern. The reason responsive design is so desireable is that it doesn’t create two copies of the same site. Viewers only have one URL to go to and the website will adapt as they move from phone to tablet to desktop and beyond.(HubSpot customers: If you host pages on HubSpot’s Content Management System, your site is built using responsive design from the start. There’s nothing more you need to do.)2. Dynamic ServingLike responsive design, a dynamic serving approach keeps the same URL — but this time, the HTML actually changes. Dynamic serving uses user-agents to “sniff” out what kind of device the viewer is using and then dynamically serves up the appropriate view.Google notes that this user-agent detection can be an error-prone technique, but it is an option that passes the Google mobile-optimization test.3. Mobile WebsiteCreating a separate mobile website was one of the earliest versions of mobile optimization, and it still works for Google’s requirements. Upon a new user arriving, this configuration tries to detect the users’ device, then redirects to the appropriate website using redirects.The reason this method isn’t as recommended as responsive design is it requires you to maintain — and Google to crawl — two versions of your content. In addition, it can be a a disruptive experience for someone who accidentally clicks on the mobile link, possibly shared through social or email, while on a desktop computer.Why Is Responsive Design the Best Choice?HubSpot uses responsive design, so our bias is clear, but there are lots of reasons responsive makes sense as the best way to optimize your site right now.  Website visitors like it.From a visitor’s standpoint, responsive is pretty seamless. It’s the same URL (address) and the same HTML (content) — it just adapts and gets re-proportioned based on the viewer. That means if you email yourself a link from your phone and then reopen it on your desktop, it’s going to be a consistent experience either way. Google likes it.From Google’s standpoint, there are a few things responsive does really well. For starters, it saves resources when Googlebot crawls your site.  Rather than crawling multiple sites, the Googlebot can go to one place which increases efficiency and helps Google index more content. It also helps Google’s algorithms more accurately assign indexing properties to a piece of content without needing to check two places. Marketers and website owners like it.A responsive site requires less time to maintain because you don’t have multiple pages for the same content. It also requires no redirection of users based to other URLs based on their device, which speeds up the load time of your website — and faster sites lead to more conversions. Google’s List of Common MistakesIn addition to the mobile-optimization tool, Google has also put together a list of common mistakes to avoid in optimizing your site for mobile devices and the algorithm change. These mistakes include using flash video and other unplayable content types on mobile as well as having a slow mobile site.Frequently Asked QuestionsHere are a few remaining questions you might have about the change.1. I’m not ready for a redesign. Do I have to do this now?You may not need to fully redesign it now to comply with Google’s requirements for mobile-friendly sites. What you do need to do is move your existing site, blog or landing pages to a mobile friendly platform.(HubSpot can migrate your existing site for you to make it responsive without altering the existing design very much. Whether you’re a HubSpot customer or not, you can request information about that here.)2. Is my site permanently penalized if I don’t optimize for mobile now?No — you can rebuild search credit after the fact. But you should try to move quickly on it because every day that your site isn’t optimized for mobile is a day that you’ll lose traffic. Estimates of mobile search volume vary by industry, but one thing researchers have seen is that companies with mobile-optimized sites triple their chances of increasing mobile conversation rate to 5% or above.3. What other elements should I consider in optimizing my website for mobile?In addition to ensuring that the site loads properly and the font is big enough for mobile, you’ll want to consider the length of your forms on mobile devices. If you have a landing page tool that allows you to swap out forms for people visiting on mobile devices, build shorter forms into your strategy.You also may want to think about how the behavior visitors exhibit on mobile devices differs from that of desktop viewers and begin to adapt your content strategy.Final ThoughtsDespite our shared tendency to turn any Google Algorithm change into an impending zombie apocalypse, this change is actually a very good one for Google users and marketers alike. Modernizing your website to be optimized for all the ways people shop and buy better meets the needs of perspective customers, reduces friction on your website, and will ultimately lead to more conversions and revenue for your company. There’s a lot to like about that.Featured Image Credit: Placeit Topics: Originally published Apr 16, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Creating a Survey? 7 Tips for Getting More Respondents

first_img 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?last_img read more

Do You Really Need a Mobile Ecommerce App?

first_imgNow that the shine is worn off of mobile commerce, we’re starting to see that some of the technology we got so excited about isn’t as useful as originally thought. If you’re considering a mobile app for your ecommerce business, you may want to take a look at some of the latest statistics. Better to know whether your new app will make you money before you invest everything, right?When Consumers Use AppsA study by RetailMeNot asked mobile shoppers how often they shop on their phones and tablets through apps. The results may surprise you. While many do use retail apps on their mobile devices, they do so very infrequently. Over half, at 57%, use their apps once per month or less. Only 10% say they use their apps once per day or more.Those who do use their apps on a daily basis might encourage you to continue developing your ecommerce app. We’re all for it, if you’re sure your app is one consumers would actually download and use.How Many Use AppsA very small amount of users keep more than two retail-based apps on their phones and tablets at any given time. In fact, only 39% have one or two, and 39% say they have more. A discouraging 21% of consumers say they don’t have any commerce apps on their phones at all.Before you develop and launch your app, you have to be sure that your customers will find your app important enough to download and use above all other ecommerce and commerce-based applications. After all, there is only so much memory on mobile devices, and many retail apps are deleted in favor of entertainment.Back to the WebThere are some encouraging numbers here, even with the distinctly discouraging statistics. Quite a few consumers do actually download and use retail apps, even if only sporadically. The rest of your customers still interact by mobile device; they just do so by visiting your mobile site.In fact, the study shows people are much more likely to visit your website for almost any online shopping activity, except for redeeming gift cards and loyalty program points. When checking store hours or locations, 66% will visit your website as compared to 45% using your app. To check reviews, 50% visit your website and 31% use your app. If they want to use their gift card or loyalty points, however, 19% will use their app, while only 12% visit your site. If you plan to use app-based loyalty programs and stored-value cards, then you could very well find that developing your app is worth the trouble and cost.What This MeansWe know apps once seemed like a must-have, but maybe you should focus attention and funds elsewhere. In fact, a great mobile site could do anything your app might do, and consumers are more likely to use that than to download your app. As long as you’ve put significant work into developing a mobile friendly website, your customers should be able to shop, redeem, visit, search, browse, and otherwise enjoy your ecommerce company without the need for an app. 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: Mobile Apps Originally published Sep 17, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

8 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Will Face This Year [New Data]

first_imgEvery marketer faces different challenges. Although we typically share similar goals, some teams are stuck on hiring top talent, while others are having trouble finding the right technology for their needs.Whatever the case may be, there’s always at least one area that you can stand to improve. In other words, there’s always room to optimize the various components of your strategy and turn your marketing into an even more effective revenue generator.Curious about what kinds of obstacles other marketers are up against?We polled thousands of marketers on the challenges they face, as well as the tactics they’ve used to meet those challenges head-on. Here are some of the most common challenges marketers reported struggling with … and their solutions. Don’t forget to share this post! The Most Common Marketing Problems We Face, According to the 2017 State of Inbound ReportAccording to our report, generating traffic and leads and proving ROI are the leading challenges marketers face. Here’s a look at this year’s data:Image Credit: The 2017 State of Inbound ReportLet’s go through each of these top challenges and how marketers can address them.1) Generating Traffic and LeadsWhy It’s a ChallengeGenerating enough traffic and leads was the top marketing challenge, according to the 2017 State of Inbound report. We started asking this question with this answer as a new option last year — and we’re glad we did.Clearly, marketers are struggling with producing enough demand for their content. And as the years progress and competition stiffens, this will only become truer. With so many options of platforms for marketers to publish their content and even more ways to promote it, it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts.What Can You Do?When it comes to creating content that produces enough traffic and leads, marketers should ask themselves two questions: Are you truly creating high-quality content — the type of content people would pay for? And, do you know the type of content your audience actually wants?For example, HubSpot Research has found that 53% of consumers want to see more video from marketers in the future, while only 14% want to see more blog posts. To learn more about how the way people are reading and interacting with content is changing, check out this HubSpot Research report.Once you know you’re creating the type of content your audience wants, the focus shifts to promoting it in a way that makes your audience take notice. More than ever before, people are being flooded with content. Consumers don’t have to use a search engine to find answers. Instead, articles fill their news feed or buzz in their pocket via mobile notification.Needless to say, the content promotion playbook is not the same as it was five years ago. To make sure your traffic and lead numbers continue to rise, check out this comprehensive guide to content promotion.2) Providing the ROI of Your Marketing ActivitiesWhy It’s a ChallengeMeasuring the ROI (return on investment) of your marketing activities has remained a top marketing challenge year-over-year. But, it also continues to be a vital way for marketers to understand the effectiveness of each particular marketing campaign, piece of content, etc.Plus, proving ROI often goes hand-in-hand with making an argument to increase budget: No ROI tracking, no demonstrable ROI. No ROI, no budget.But tracking the ROI of every single marketing activity isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have two-way communication between your marketing activities and sales reports.What Can You Do?When it comes to providing ROI, there’s a strong case to be made for dedicating time and resources to establishing links between marketing activities and sales results. This means using both marketing software (like HubSpot) and a CRM solution (like HubSpot’s free CRM), and then tying them together to close the loop between your marketing and sales efforts with a service-level agreement (SLA). That way, you can directly see how many leads and customers are generated through your marketing activities.We’ve found there’s no better combination than having an SLA and doing inbound marketing. According to this year’s report, inbound organizations with SLAs are 3X more likely to rate their marketing strategy as effective compared to outbound organizations with misaligned marketing and sales teams.(Use this ROI calculator to simulate the potential ROI you could realize by conducting inbound marketing.)3) Securing Enough BudgetWhy It’s a ChallengeSecuring more budget is a pressing challenge for marketing globally. And often, getting more budget is easier said than done — especially for smaller organizations that aren’t working with sizable nor flexible marketing spend.But the key to securing more money for your team might not be that complex. Here’s what you can do.What Can You Do?The key to unlocking budget lies in being able to prove the ROI of your marketing efforts. According to our report, organizations that can calculate ROI are more likely to receive higher budgets.Again, success with inbound marketing also plays a large role in driving higher budgets. Effective strategies obviously produce results, and our data shows those who feel confident in their marketing strategy are more than 2X as likely to get higher budgets for their marketing teams. But remember, inbound marketing is a long game. If you get off to a slow start, you shouldn’t back off — in fact, you might consider doubling down.4) Managing Your WebsiteWhy It’s a ChallengeManaging a website was the fourth biggest challenge for marketers in 2017. And chances are, your website’s performance is high on your list of priorities. It’s an asset that works around the clock to draw in visitors, convert them, and help you hit your goals, after all.Issues with website management include a variety of different factors, from writing and optimizing the content to designing beautiful webpages. Here are a few things marketers can do to deal with this challenge.What Can You Do?First, read this report to see how your website stacks up against over 1 million other websites. It also includes a deep analysis on the four most critical elements of website performance and design, from average load time and website securityww to mobile friendliness and SEO.If your primary challenge with managing a website has to do with the skills and resources you have available, you aren’t alone. This is especially true for small companies who don’t have all the talent in-house required to cover content, optimization, design, and back-end website management.One solution? Hire freelancers and agency partners. To find freelancers, we recommend:Tapping into your personal and professional network by posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networks with a description of what you’re looking for.Browsing freelance writers and designers based on their portfolios and areas of interest. For writers, check out Zerys and Contently. For designers, check out Behance & Elance.Browsing HubSpot’s Services Marketplace, which lists a wide variety of designers from partner companies and agencies we’ve deemed credible.Overall, you can make website management easier on your team by hosting your website on a platform that integrates all your marketing channels like HubSpot’s COS.Finally, for the projects you want to keep in-house, here is a list of ebooks and guides that might be helpful to your team:Run a Website Grader reportEbook: Website Redesign GuideEbook: 50 Brilliant Homepage Design ExamplesEbook: How to Design and Optimize Landing PagesEbook: How to Increase Your Website SEO Traffic in 30 DaysEbook: The Ultimate Workbook for Redesigning Your WebsiteEbook: The Marketer’s Guide to Mobile5) Identifying the Right Technologies for Your NeedsWhy It’s a ChallengeFinding the right technologies was the fifth biggest concern for marketers this year. Oftentimes, this is because feedback on technology is scattered. Marketers might turn to colleagues, friends in the industry, and/or analyst reports to figure out which technologies best fit their needs — only to find that feedback is spread across emails, social media, and so on from people of varied reputability.When you’re looking for a tool, software, or piece of technology to solve a specific marketing problem, where do you go to find it?What Can You Do?For those of you looking for a tool, software, or piece of technology to solve a specific marketing problem, we recommend taking a look at Growthverse: a free, interactive, online visualization of the marketing technology landscape that focuses on the business problems marketers are trying to solve, and leads them to specific pieces of marketing technology that aim to solve those problems. We’ve found it to be a really well-visualized map of carefully curated marketing technology resources.It’s worth noting that the main tool in top marketers’ arsenals is a platform for automating their team’s marketing efforts. We found that although our respondents indicated using an array of specific products, the larger trend was telling: The top marketers use marketing automation software in some form or another. Meanwhile, 40% of marketers cite marketing automation as a top priority for the next year.6) Targeting Content for an International AudienceWhy It’s a ChallengeTargeting is a key component of all aspects of marketing. To be more effective at targeting, one of the first things any marketer needs do is identify their buyer personas to determine who it is they should be marketing to. If you’re expanding internationally, it can be a big challenge not only to figure out the best ways to market to an international audience but also to organize and optimize your site for different countries. HubSpot Research recently analyzed the difference in content preferences across the world.What Can You Do?Download our free ebook, The Global Marketing Playbook. There are some really helpful tips in there that’ll help give you some direction on global marketing, including how to identify your top three growth markets, how to explore local trends, and tips on choosing the best localization providers.Remember, your website visitors might speak a plethora of different languages and live in totally different time zones. To make your content appealing to a wide audience, you’ll need to keep your global visitors top-of-mind when creating all your content. This means being aware of seasonal references, translating units of measure and monetary references, and giving translators the tools and permissions to customize and adapt content for a specific audience when they need to.Finally, be sure you’re optimizing your website for international visitors, too. For more tips and resources on global marketing expansion, browse our international inbound marketing hub.7) Training Your TeamWhy It’s a ChallengeAs companies scale and technologies continue to evolve, training your team will become a greater challenge for marketers. Whether it’s training them on the concepts and tools they’ll be using every day or making sure they’re achieving their full potential, the struggle is real across the board.To combat this, I’ll share some tips I’ve used during my trainings to make sure the concepts and tool tips stick and have a lasting effect on your team and your marketing.What Can You Do?To get an overall idea of where your team stands, take a few minutes to assess each of your team members’ marketing strengths and weaknesses, levels of expertise, and passion/commitment to your company. Then, objectively rate the priority (or level of importance) of their expertise and their contribution to bottom line objectives (ROI) to date. Here’s a simple assessment tool from Lean Labs to help you evaluate your team so you can figure out who needs recognition and who needs coaching.Next, check out this awesome resource from HubSpot Academy, The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Training. It’s a guide that’ll help you navigate all the marketing training options you have, from quick daily habits to more rigorous, career-launching investments.You also might consider requiring your team members to rack up some online marketing certification. HubSpot Academy, for example, offers certifications, documentation, and training programs to help people master the basics of inbound marketing. Google also offers training and certifications on analytics with their online Analytics Academy.What about new hire training, specifically? We recommend creating a training plan for new team members. Here at HubSpot, each new marketer is given a 100-day plan like this one to lay out specific goals and help new hires demonstrate their effectiveness.8) Hiring Top TalentWhy It’s a ChallengeHiring top talent was the eighth biggest challenge marketers reported experiencing this year. Why? Many companies are shifting more resources to inbound marketing, which means higher and higher demand for top marketing talent. But supply simply isn’t keeping up. From sourcing the right candidates to evaluating for the right skills, finding the perfect person could take months … or more.What’s more, the type of marketing talent companies are looking for is changing, too. In Moz and Fractl’s analysis of thousands of job postings on Indeed.com, they concluded that employers are seeking marketers with technical and creative skill sets. And the quick rate at which the demand for these jobs are rising has caused a marketing skills gap, “making it difficult to find candidates with the technical, creative, and business proficiencies needed to succeed in digital marketing.”What Can You Do?Employers are looking for marketers with a diverse skill set that includes digital marketing, content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. To find the best inbound marketer for your team, the first thing you should do is decide what that person needs to be able to achieve for your business.Ask yourself: What will the new marketer’s tasks and duties include? What skills do those tasks and duties require? What goals or challenges will the new marketer face? Use your answers to these questions to write a compelling job description. (Here are 37 pre-written marketing job descriptions to help you get started.)Next, post your jobs where talented inbound marketers will find them. While traditional job sites like Indeed.com, CareerBuilder.com, or LinkedIn will help you cast a wide net, we recommend checking out Inbound.org, which is the only job listing service in the world that’s exclusively focused on inbound marketing and sales jobs.Finally, focus your job description and new hire 100-day plan what people value most in their careers. This year, the data shows that 58% of people consider opportunities for growth when looking for a new job, while 50% are looking for a good work/life balance.Does Your Company Face Any of These Marketing Issues?A thorough analysis of your marketing strategy and its current performance will help you discover where your biggest marketing opportunity lies. This will allow you to focus on improving the areas that need the most attention, so you can start making your marketing far more effective.If you’re faced with a challenge and want ideas on how to best tackle it, you can always consider getting some help by any of the various types of marketing training that are available. Learn more about what other organizations are prioritizing and tackling in the 2017 State of Inbound report.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2012 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness. Originally published May 26, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated August 06 2019center_img Marketing Strategy Topics:last_img read more

2008 X BLADES NTL BEST OF ENEMIES ALL IN THE FAMILY

first_imgRelated Filesbest_of_enemies_feature___2-pdf The 2008 X Blades National Touch League to be contested in March 2008 at the BCU International Stadium in Coffs Harbour has been themed “The Best of Enemies”.The showcase event on the TFA calendar unites players, coaches, selectors, referees, officials, and supporters from across the Country in Coffs Harbour for the Annual Touchfest that will, for the first time in the 11 year history of the event, see the Open and Senior tournaments overlapping. “Catching up in Coffs” has become a tradition for Australia’s Touch Football community and some great on field rivalries have emerged over time that have transcended the boundaries of combat into firm friendships, epitomizing the best ideals of sport.Touch Football Australia National Media Coordinator Karley Banks continues the second installment in a three week series focusing on the “Best of Enemies” rivalry between the South Queensland Sharks and the Sydney Mets, two of the sport’s big gun franchises in the three premier Open divisions of Women’s, Men’s, and Mixed.This week the highly competitive Men’s Open “Best of Enemies” feature looks at the sibling rivalry between the Jones brothers Nathan (Sharks) and Aaron (Mets) and Australian Men’s open superstars Ben Robinson (Sharks) and Jason Stanton (Mets).Please click onto the below attachment for the full story.last_img read more

9 months agoAllardyce withdraws from Huddersfield manager vacancy

first_imgAllardyce withdraws from Huddersfield manager vacancyby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town will not appoint Sam Allardyce as their new manager.The Terriers parted ways with David Wagner on Monday by mutual consent.The German leaves with the club currently bottom of the table and eight points from safety. Reports had suggested that Allardyce was in the running for the role, given his history with saving clubs from relegation.But the former England boss has distanced himself from those links.He told talkSPORT: “As much as I like Huddersfield, it’s very difficult job indeed. For me, and I know the fans won’t want to hear this, it’s got to be about planning for relegation and then planning to get back into the Premier League.”For me, at this stage of my life if they made an approach I would chat with them, but I think it’s very unlikely, Alan.”They’ve only scored 12 goals in 22 matches, and while I’ve managed to pull teams out of the bottom end, at Sunderland I had Jermain Defoe and at Crystal Palace I had Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke.”Huddersfield’s trouble is not their performances, it’s a lack of goals and we all know what it means when you have a goalscorer.”It’s a very difficult task.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoArsenal players becoming frustrated with stale training sessions under Emery

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal players becoming frustrated with stale training sessions under Emeryby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSome Arsenal players are growing increasingly frustrated with Unai Emery’s training methods. The Gunners criminally blew a two-goal lead to draw with Watford last Sunday, with lacklustre defending at fault for both goals.Emery was criticised for his tactics and decision making during the match, which saw Watford accumulate 31 shots.It isn’t only the problem Emery is facing as his players have become increasingly frustrated with his refusal to practice pressing in his training sessions.The Athletic says Emery does not view pressing as an essential tactic to work on in training.This has annoyed some of his players who want to see Emery change up his training methods.The Spaniard is still liked by his playing group, but that could change if the situation continues this season. last_img read more

Antipipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

first_imgThose released on Sunday also included former B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert. In May, the federal government announced its intent to acquire Trans Mountain from Kinder Morgan Canada.According to recent documents filed with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, the sale could cost as much as $1.9 billion more than the initial quote of $4.5 billion.The documents also suggest the project could take another 12 months to finish.More than 200 activists have been arrested for demonstrations against the Trans Mountain project since March. In the statement, the five women – who include anti-poverty activist and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson – said they are not criminals, but “political prisoners.”Swanson said in a phone interview that her four days spent at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge had not deterred her in what she said is a fight against climate change.“I don’t know how anyone can look at the sky in Vancouver today and say global warming is not an issue,” said Swanson, in reference to the smoke and particulate matter from wildfires hazing the skies in southwestern B.C.“We need to do something, we need to stop the insanity.”From her perspective as an anti-poverty advocate, Swanson said the Trans Mountain pipeline ties the issues of homelessness, poverty and climate change together.“For all those billions and billions of dollars, governments could actually create jobs building renewable energy … Governments could end homelessness, they could put clean and safe water on Indigenous reserves.”center_img MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. – Several pipeline protesters were released from a B.C. jail on Sunday, a few days before their weeklong sentences were set to end.Seven protesters in all were sentenced to a week in jail on Aug. 15, after pleading guilty to contempt charges in B.C. Supreme Court.Five who were released on Sunday issued a joint statement, saying they were imprisoned because of their opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.last_img read more

ELC Students host music clinic at Margaret Ma Murray

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Two students from the Energetic Learning Campus (ELC) are going to host a mini music clinic at Margaret Ma Murray Community School.Aurora Fredericks and Jay-Cee Siemens as part of their school’s community project wanted to make a positive impact on the community.Fredericks and Siemens decided to host a mini music clinic at Ma Murray for grades 4-5 students from all schools in the Fort St. John school district on Saturday, June 8th.The student team will teach how to play the recorder, by playing games and playing fun songs will help teach the young students to learn notes. Participants will learn to play the recorder, learning notes and a few songs.The event runs from 1 pm -5 pm and you are required to RSVP to attend the event by emailing elcmusicday1@gmail.comlast_img read more

The Seattle Seahawks Youth Could Portend a Dynasty Yes Really

It wasn’t long after the Seattle Seahawks put the finishing touches on their 43-8 Super Bowl rout of the Denver Broncos that media people began throwing around the d-word, dynasty, as they peered into the franchise’s future.Of course, this happens with just about every Super Bowl winner; squint hard enough, and even the most obvious one-and-done champ looks like a perennial powerhouse. (In some ways, talk of that nature gets even more far-fetched with each passing season — we haven’t seen a repeat Super Bowl winner since the 2004 New England Patriots.) But in Seattle’s case, it might not be totally implausible to expect an elevated probability of a full-blown dynasty.Historically, teams that have won a title find themselves surprisingly well-positioned to win more of them. Since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, 55.9 percent of Super Bowl winners won at least one more championship within the following 10 seasons. Even within that club, though, Seattle is starting from a better spot than most. Its schedule-adjusted pythagorean winning percentage during the 2013 regular season ranked sixth among all Super Bowl champions since the merger, trailing only the 1985 Chicago Bears, 1991 Washington Redskins, 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996 Green Bay Packers and 1973 Miami Dolphins.More importantly, the Seattle’s core is incredibly young for an NFL champion. Weighted by the Approximate Value produced by each player on the roster, the Seahawks’ average age (26.0) was the second-youngest in the league a season ago and ranked third-youngest among Super Bowl winners since the merger. The two champs who had lower average ages? The 1974 Steelers and 1981 San Francisco 49ers, each of whom would go on to win three more Super Bowls apiece in their next decade of play. (Seattle also ranks as slightly younger than the 1992 Dallas Cowboys, who won two additional rings in a dynastic run.)Looking at all Super Bowl winners from 1970 to 2003 (for which we have a “next decade” worth of data), there’s a relationship between the team’s AV-weighted age in its championship season and its chances of winning additional titles.Among the aforementioned 55.9 percent of all Super Bowl champions who won another before a decade was up, a disproportionate number are clustered among the youngest teams on the list. Eleven of the 12 youngest champions in our 1970-2003 group went on to win at least one more Super Bowl in the following decade, while only four of the 12 oldest champs would go on to win another title.Usually, talk of dynasty potential among freshly christened champions isn’t very predictive. But because of their youth, these Seahawks are in a situation where the odds of winning another championship are particularly heightened. read more

Ohio State volleyball set to open Big Ten play against Michigan schools

Freshman right side hitter Taylor Sandbothe (10) blocks the ball during a match against Dabrowa Sept. 4 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-2.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe No. 13 Ohio State women’s volleyball team is set to open Big Ten play this weekend against closely-ranked opponents.The undefeated Buckeyes (12-0) are scheduled to play No. 10 Michigan (10-1) at 8 p.m. Friday and No. 15 Michigan State (11-1) Sunday at 2 p.m..The Buckeyes’ performances in those first 12 matches pleased coach Geoff Carlston, but he said he’s looking for more as the squad heads into the Big Ten season.“It’s been fun,” he said. “We knew coming into the season that we’re going to have to be pretty patient because there’s going to be a pretty big learning curve.”OSU has received major contributions from three freshmen — right side hitter Taylor Sandbothe, outside hitter Kylie Randall and defensive specialist Valeria León.Carlston said he likes what the younger players have done, but said the veterans have stepped up as well.“We have talented freshmen, but we have great leadership above them,” Carlston said.Carlston added that some younger players like sophomore middle blocker Andrea Kacsits will have to play an even bigger role since junior middle blocker Anna Faul tore her ACL over the weekend.The team has been successful early in the season because of how it has come together, even more so than in previous years, junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger said.“The chemistry on the floor is like no other,” Sekinger said. “Everybody just clicks with one another.”Carlston said this year’s group has had no problem focusing on each match, even though the roster is young.“It sounds cliché, but we really have put a huge emphasis on one opponent at a time, one match at a time,” he said.Finishing the non-conference schedule unscathed is an accomplishment for any team, senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary said. However, the weekend ahead of the Buckeyes marks the beginning of “the next chapter.”“(In) the Big Ten, obviously every single game we play is a challenge, so we’re just preparing this week and working hard,” Leary said.As far as the matchup against Michigan is concerned, Sekinger said some players are going to be extra motivated once the whistle blows.“I’m an Ohio kid, so I go more crazy for Michigan just because it’s a big rivalry,” Sekinger said.The Wolverines have just one loss on the season, coming against then-No. 16 ranked Florida State, who the Buckeyes played and beat at the Seminole Invitational.Freshman setter Maggie Heim, who has been limited this season by a hamstring injury, said her team will give Michigan a fight as long as the players keep up their effort.“If we come out with the energy we did against Florida State and just play really solid, I think we’ll have a really good shot,” Heim said. “We’ll just have to come out with more energy than (Michigan).”Following this weekend, the Buckeyes are scheduled to travel to Indiana for matchups against Purdue Oct. 4 in West Lafayette and Indiana in Bloomington Oct. 5. read more

Womens Volleyball The Buckeyes hit the road again to face No 6

Members of Ohio State women’s volleyball team celebrate a point scored against No. 2 Penn State on Oct. 6. The Buckeyes lost 3-2. Credit: Rebecca Farage | Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team (10-7, 3-3 Big Ten) will hope to find better success this weekend when it travels for a pair of games in Illinois against No. 6 Illinois Friday and Northwestern Saturday after dropping its last two matches to Penn State and Rutgers.Last season, the Buckeyes beat Northwestern both games in their home-and-home series. Ohio State defeated the Wildcats in a 3-0 sweep at St. John Arena and beat them again in a 3-1 match in Evanston, Illinois.The Buckeyes have won two of the last three contests between the two teams, but lost to the Illini 3-1 last season. Illinois leads the all-time series with a 41-38 record with games between both teams taking place since 1974.Ohio State has been more successful against Northwestern as it has defeated the Wildcats in the last fives matches.Ohio State associate head coach Susan Halverson-Maloney has been practicing with the Buckeyes, focusing on their serve-and-pass as they prepare to go up against two teams she knows play a strong defense and serving game.“Both teams are similar to us in that they’re battling in the Big Ten right now. [They have] a lot of matches going long, a lot of sets going long,” Halverson-Maloney said.  “For us it’s about staying in each point, refocusing after each point, winning the long rallies.”Halverson-Maloney believes that the key to having a successful weekend is to find consistency and maintain the same level of play with every game.“[We are] just looking to our leadership to keep us consistent on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively, trying to find our edge and our push in tight moments,” Halverson-Maloney said.Last weekend was one of sophomore outside hitter Bia Franklin’s most impressive performances as she hit 10 kills and nine digs in Friday night’s game against No. 2 Penn State. Both numbers were career-highs for Franklin.“I just did what the team needed and they helped me,” Franklin said. “It was really nice and natural, I didn’t really think about it.”With some of the players facing continuous injuries, Halverson-Maloney said the Buckeyes have collectively tried to step up their performance. “They’ve been flexible, they’ve been competitive, willing to do anything for the team,” Halverson-Maloney said. “We’ve had great response from every position. They’re enjoying the newness of the lineup and trying to work out and problem-solve together.” read more

Football No 10 Ohio State takes on No 4 Michigan with sixgame

Every year, both Ohio State and Michigan have this game marked on their calendars.Every year, the Ohio State-Michigan matchup brings together one of the all-time biggest rivalries in college football. Michigan leads the series overall with a record of 58-49-6, but in recent years, Ohio State has taken control, winning the past six installments since Urban Meyer took over as head coach.But this year, for the first time in the Meyer era, No. 4 Michigan (10-1, 8-0 Big Ten) comes into “The Game” as the favorite against No. 10 Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten), and it’s the first time since 2004 that the Wolverines are favorites in Ohio Stadium.“We don’t talk about those things,” Meyer said. “The most prepared team will win the game. It’s not who’s favored and who is not. I didn’t know that. And I don’t imagine our team really does.”Michigan enters as the favorite thanks to a 10-game winning streak after losing its opener on the road to now-No. 3 Notre Dame 24-17. Included in the streak are wins against then-No. 15 Wisconsin, then-No. 24 Michigan State and then-No. 14 Penn State. The victories against the Badgers and the Nittany Lions were by 25 points or more.“Whenever you face an elite team, elite defense, which they are, personnel stands out, front seven stands out,” Meyer said. “I think they’re No. 1 in the nation in pass defense. And just very good personnel, very well thought-out scheme and very good defense.”The Wolverines hold the No. 1 pass defense, as well as the No. 1 defense overall, allowing 234.8 yards per game, more than 15 yards fewer than any other team in the country.Michigan allows 13.5 points per game, tied for the fourth fewest in the NCAA.The country’s strongest defense is led by stars in the front seven. Junior linebackers Devin Bush and Josh Uche combine for 85 tackles, 17.5 of which are for a loss, including 12 sacks.Junior Rashan Gary and redshirt senior Chase Winovich have 7.5 sacks of their own on the defensive line on 94 combined tackles. But Winovich went down with an upper-body injury against Indiana on Saturday, and his status remains uncertain for the game, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said.But Michigan had one of the strongest defenses in the country in 2017 — ending the season with the third-fewest yards allowed per game — when it lost to Ohio State at home.The difference comes on the other side of the ball.After ending this past season with the 25th worst total offense in the NCAA, the Wolverines come into Ohio Stadium averaging 36.6 points per game, No. 24 in the country, scoring 40 or more points in six of their 11 games.Junior quarterback Shea Patterson is the difference maker, throwing for 2,177 yards, 18 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 65.9 percent of his passes. He also averages 4.2 yards per rush for 252 yards and two scores on the ground.Patterson has a trio of players who receive the majority of the targets: sophomore wide receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins, and senior tight end Zach Gentry.Peoples-Jones leads the team with 32 catches for 477 yards and seven touchdowns. Gentry, the 6-foot-8 tight end, is closely behind with 475 yards and a pair of scores. Collins has 29 catches for 461 yards and four touchdowns this season.Senior running back Karan Higdon leads the No. 14 rushing offense in the nation with 1,106 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 5.3 yards per carry.Higdon said Monday in a Michigan press conference he guarantees a Michigan victory against the Buckeyes.Instead of making promises, Meyer is going to let the Buckeyes’ play on Saturday do all the talking.  “How do you show respect for them and the game? You work, which we are. We’re working so damn hard for this,” Meyer said.Michigan comes in with the momentum, and hopes of ending its losing streak and finishing off the team’s “Revenge Tour” that has motivated the Wolverines all season.They have gone through three key stops on their tour: Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State.Now, No. 4 Michigan remains one win away from finishing it, facing off against No. 10 Ohio State in Ohio Stadium at noon on Saturday. It enters with the strongest team of the Harbaugh era, and one of the most vulnerable Ohio State teams since Meyer took over.Now, it comes down to one game to see if the Wolverines can finish what they started, or if the Buckeyes can go to the Big Ten Championship once more. Only this time, they will have to do it as the underdog.Wyatt Crosher: 34-24 MichiganColin Gay: 35-31 Ohio StateRachel Bules: 38-35 Ohio StateSydney Riddle: 24-21 Ohio StateAmanda Parrish: 35-30 Ohio StateZach Varda: 45-17 MichiganEdward Sutelan: 28-24 MichiganJake Rahe: 21-17 Ohio State read more