Assam PHC destroyed records: advocates

first_imgA primary health centre (PHC) in western Assam’s South Salmara-Mankachar district has come under the scanner for allegedly destroying birth-related records after a complaint that its officials took money to issue fake birth certificates.The complainants – advocates Anisur Rahman and Azaharul Islam – said the PHC issued many birth certificates against the same serial numbers. Such duplication has made it difficult for people to prove their citizenship as July 30, the date for publishing the complete draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC), draws near.Many people had enclosed birth certificates as proof of citizenship. The NRC, wary of fake documents, had on May 1 issued a notification that birth certificates issued by any entity other than the health department and more than a year after the birth of child would not be legally admissible.In their FIR on Tuesday, the advocates said a section of officials of the South Salmara PHC had destroyed the birth-related documents of 25 years to “erase their misconduct”.last_img read more

Life in motion

first_imgPavitra Chalam, 28At the age of 21, she was already an established name in art circles. A graduate from the New York Film Academy, she has 35 documentary films in her kitty including the award-winning Anamika: Her Glorious Past. Having done stints at various news organisations as a journalist, she,Pavitra Chalam, 28At the age of 21, she was already an established name in art circles. A graduate from the New York Film Academy, she has 35 documentary films in her kitty including the award-winning Anamika: Her Glorious Past. Having done stints at various news organisations as a journalist, she finally realised that her passion lay in filmmaking. Her narrations are compelling and undeniably affective and have forced the world to sit back and take notice.Time travel: The art of story-telling has fascinated me since I was three. In my stint at NDTV and BBC as a journalist, I realised that filmmaking was my calling. I wanted to share my experiences and narrate stories on issues that affected many in our country. My journey began with Bus at the Youth Initiative for Peace in 2003 in Pakistan and I haven’t looked back since then.Above the line: Filmmaking has been a transformational experience so far. For instance, I saw my friend being overpowered by drug addiction and it changed me to an extent that I wanted to share this experience with everyone. This art has given me a vent to bring about sensitivity in the masses. It has reaffirmed my faith in what I do and what I have been doing.Lights, camera, action: Filmmaking is an honest medium and its purpose is to convey issues that matter. My films always have a human interest angle and I plan to keep it that way. I am fascinated by the styles of different filmmakers but I want my films to be beautiful and show what I have seen. I am inspired by the lives and struggles of those I film and this makes it even more imperative for me to narrate their stories.Intermission: I feel blessed to have a supportive group of friends and family. And when I am not making movies, I try to be around them as much as I can. Being an athlete, I try to catch up on kickboxing and various other sports. I adore soft toys and chocolates and have not been able to give them up, which I think is my only vice. Apart from that, I am an avid tea drinker and cannot seem to get more of it.Stepping stone: Having studied filmmaking, I knew the basics and this helped me move forward with fresher topics and a new style of presentation. In the initial days, my audience was niche. But it soon graduated to a large number of people. This overwhelming response pushed me into doing things even better.Feat of life: I still have a long way to go in terms of achievement and am still in the learning curve. Yet, every piece of my work is special and something we are meant to do. I see change around me and this ability to inspire drives me to do something unparalleled.The path to glory: It is very important to focus and develop an ability to be able to tell stories honestly. Films should glorify life and motivate everyone to help those who are deprived. If young filmmakers realise this gift, a complete transformation in how we tell our stories can happen.advertisementlast_img read more

Hit India hard from ball one: South African coach Fletcher to his boys

first_imgWary of an Indian backlash after their humiliating loss in the series opener, South African batting coach Duncan Fletcher on Friday asked his players to hit visiting team “hard” from ball one in tomorrow’s second cricket one-dayer here.South Africa had crushed India by a huge margin of 135 runs in the first one-dayer at Durban on Wednesday.But going by India’s performance in the tour so far, South Africa cannot afford to relax as Mahendra Singh Dhoni and company have made a strong comeback in the three-match Test series, drawing it after losing the first Test by an innings.”Just got to be very wary that this happened in the Test series. But I don’t think it will. There seems to be a very good attitude amongst this one-day squad. They seem to have learnt their lesson. It’s just important that they go in there and hit India hard from ball one again,” Fletcher told media on the eve of the second ODI of the five-match series.”And make sure they don’t get complacent. India are quite an experienced side. Although they’ve got young players, if but they are pretty experienced. You got to be wary this fact.They know how to play out of these situations. South Africa have to be careful,” added the former England coach.Fletcher, however, is not happy with the home team’s handling of the Power-plays.”I’ve always believed they haven’t really believed when they have taken it. If sides or captains want, there are a lot of possibilities on how to take them.advertisement”It’s just been a misinterpretation as how you play within the Power Play. Sometimes you’ve got to look at it as there are other advantages of taking it at a certain time,” he said.Talking about the changing face of the game in the wake of Twenty20 cricket, Fletcher said: “It (T20) had an influence right through cricket. The players are going to be more attacking, but 50 overs is a lot of cricket.”If sides think they can go out there and adopt a Twenty20 attitude from ball one, sure on a given day they might be successful, but not over a period of time. They got to be very wary that in 50 overs there will be periods when you have to be more patient.” .Fletcher also said that international teams should have the ability to adjust to different conditions and playing surfaces and was satisfied with the Proteas team on this front.”I believe South Africa matches everyone as far as one-day cricket is concerned. They haven’t been fooled by the wicket they bowled on. They won’t bowl on that wicket very often, but when they get on it they play very very well.”When they go to India the wickets may be a bit slower and a bit flatter, but they just have to get used to it. They have to adapt a bit quicker. Bowlers at the international level have got to do that. They’ve got the skill and the ability to do that,” he said.Fletcher made no bones about the fact that South Africa was missing Jacques Kallis but said the upcoming all-rounders are really bright.”Obviously they’re going to have a problem with the all-rounder. South Africa always had plenty of all-rounders which has given them depth. They’ve got into the area that without Jacques Kallis they might need a bit of depth but the backup batters are good enough. All it needs a little bit more experience I guess,” he said without taking any names.last_img read more

Will Getting Dugg on Digg.com Improve Your Grades?

first_img Originally published Jun 7, 2007 5:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 So, back to the original question: Does getting a bunch of articles on the digg front page improve your grade? The answer is: Yes, but not directly. Since this is a new feature, it is not incorporated into the algorithm that calculates the final grade yet. We may change this later. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Digg.com is a social content site. Users submit articles that they like and find interesting and other users can then “digg” these articles. With enough diggs, an article can make it to the front page of digg.com (and as a result, a lot of server-crushing traffic ensues). Here’s the information we currently grab and show: Last night, a new feature was added to Website Grader 3. How many of these articles made it to the digg popular page?center_img 2. What’s the total number of “diggs” (votes) that these articles received? Check out the new feature and let me know what you think. Might also be interesting to run a report for some of your competitors and see if any of them have been able to get an article on the digg front page. Since Website Grader attempts the measure the marketing effectiveness of a website and social media sites like digg.com are becoming increasingly important as way to gauge audience interest, it seemed like a natural thing to check out the “digg-savviness” of a website. And, in case this article winds up digg.com, give it a digg. Would be cool for WebsiteGrader.com itself to have an article on the digg popular page. 1. How many articles from the website were submitted to digg? which will uses the newly available digg API (application programming interface) and shows a summary of digg submissions for a website.last_img read more

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

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

6 Social Media Measurement Questions You’ve Been Asking

first_img Topics: closed-loop marketing 1. Should you be measuring all of social media? Radian6 : is invaluable and is something you can do with HubSpot.   In yesterday’s One way to go about calculating this is to start backwards: instead of thinking how much a Twitter follower is worth, think about how much a lead is worth and take into account your average visitor-to-lead conversion rate.   ?   Some of the social media monitoring tools we mentioned during the webinar include “The goal is not to be good at social media,” Jay said. “The goal is to be good at business because of social media.” While the size of your reach on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is definitely important, it is more critical to see if the people on these channels are behaving in a way that brings you business. One way you can start evaluating the behavior of your prospects is by looking into all the touch points along the sales funnel. In most cases, people are in a research and information-gathering mode, which means they are willing to download reports, view videos and sign up for webinars; they are not going to make a purchase.   why 3. How do you evaluate , ,  Twitter Grader A singular data point, such as number of Facebook likes, is not contextual or demonstrative of success. You should know As a marketer, you want to identify the value of each conversion event—for instance, someone who came from Twitter, downloaded your ebook and ultimately became a customer. This type of Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Just because one social media channel works for someone doesn’t mean it is the right platform for you. If your customers are not really on Twitter, maybe you should focus your efforts elsewhere. As Amber said, you need a strategy that is “tool-agnostic.” Make sure your mechanisms are flexible enough to let you adapt to new tools. social.   , 2. What success metrics should you be worried about? “No,” said Jay Baer, “because it is not about how many things you are measuring. It is about measuring the right things: the things that make you money, save you money, or both.” Our panelists pointed out that businesses shouldn’t overembrace social media measurement because that might present more conflicting points and stir further questions in an nonconstructive way. So Social Media Measurement webinar and , we addressed the numbers as well as a range of questions submitted by our audience. In this blog post we highlighted the top six questions for those of you who won’t have time to watch the entire 4. Should I be present on all platforms? HubSpot pick the right metric , Originally published Apr 20, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 Authority Labs these people matter and what they are doing for your company. So stop obsessing over your number of fans and followers; start measuring behavior through referrals and conversions. , PostRank Did you have any other social media measurement questions we should discuss? Post them in the comments section below! Be social, don’t just 6. What are some of your favorite social media monitoring tools?   .   —which could be traffic, leads, engagement—and design your strategy based on that. Argyle on-demand webinar Social Mention 5. What about the value of a Facebook like or a Twitter follower?   do How do you determine the value of your connections on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn? This is a question many marketers are now posing. When you start experimenting with it, make sure your data is not just anecdotal and is based on long-term measurement. You will need to use a statistical significant data size to determine that number. “You have got to marinate these numbers for a little while,” said Amber. From a business decision perspective, you need to look at things deeper and measure overtime.   Social Media behaviorlast_img read more

5 Deadly Twitter Sins to Avoid

first_imgThis is a guest blog post written by our friends Nikki and Tammy at MarketMeSuite, the free social media marketing dashboard.Twitter can be a great platform for many inbound marketers to connect with potential customers, maintain relationships with current customers, and generate new leads. But that’s not to say that all marketers are using it appropriately.To make sure you’re using it the right way, avoid these five deadly sins when utilizing Twitter as part of your inbound marketing program.1. Thou Shalt Not SPAMSpamming your followers with endless links to your own website is a sure path to a lack of interest and support and a distinct lack of appreciation. Do not rely upon automated direct messages. Yes, these types of messages are allowed by Twitter. But many — if not most — users find auto DMs both spammy and impersonal. More importantly, they are a dying feature. All sense of meaning and genuine feeling goes out the proverbial window when you send these robotic and generic thank you’s. Try to connect with as many of your followers as you can…personally. The bonus? An alternative message might be less of a hard sell, and as a result, more helpful. Consider saying, “Thanks for following! I can also be reached on @MarketMeHelp if you have any questions.”Don’t spam using hashtags. This is a big, nay HUGE, no-no. Some businesses see a trending hashtag on their Twitter feed and then add that hashtag to their own tweets in the often misguided hope that those following the trending hashtag will think will see their irrelevant tweet and think they are awesome. You are not awesome for using that hashtag in your tweet. Avoid doing this at all costs. Your rep will suffer, and it will appear painfully obvious to all that you are promoting where you should not. Reserve hashtag use only for instances when the hashtag is relevant to you and your tweets.2. Thou Shall Not DriftKeep your Twitter profile and bio up-to-date. Always. Complacency kills marketability. Any individual stumbling across an out-of-date page is not going to take you seriously, and it won’t do anything for your online business reputation, except deflate it. Not tweeting is also part of this sin. No one will be interested in following you if your last tweet was 17 days ago.Don’t be lazy about interacting with others. If someone takes the time to tweet to you, tweet back to them. It’s polite, and it builds up customer and prospect relationships. Too many businesses ignore tweets. Remember that @replies aren’t the only tweets you should look out for and reply to. There are several free, third-party Twitter apps that allow you to create search panes to monitor mentions of your business, brand, and industry topics to allow you to monitor conversations and participate when appropriate.3. Thou Shalt Not Blatantly Self-PromoteAlthough Twitter gives you the opportunity to spread your message, don’t use it purely for the purpose of promoting your business, products, and services. You need to keep your social profiles sounding organic and sounding real. Remember that social media implies that there is a human behind each tweet — a real person you can interact and engage with. Constantly pitching your followers with “Try our product. It’s the best!”-type messages will only annoy them. Instead, tweet relevant content to get that inbound marketing engine primed for success. If you’re desperate to get your product out there to this audience, consider retweeting others’ reviews. Because they are not written by you, this level of outside influence creates an interest and associated trust in your brand.4. Thou Shalt Not Use Only 140 CharactersTwitter’s message convention is inherently restrictive, and sometimes you need to compromise your communication to fit into the 140-character limitation. Consider spreading your longer messages over two or three tweets, instead of a single one. This is not the time to try haiku marketing if your tweet has value.5. Thou Shalt Not BashPeople tweet, post, comment, or blog about nasty things. This lack of civility happens to individuals and companies each and every day. The very worst thing you can do is react via Twitter in a defensive manner. It can do more damage to your reputation than ignoring the troll. Instead, consider sending a level-headed tweet that says something along the lines of “So sorry you feel that way. Is there anything I/we can do to change your mind?” or DM them with your email address where the conversation can take place privately. Tweeting uncomplimentary messages about your competition is also considered poor sportsmanship in the digital world. Unadulterated bashing of a competitor will actually create a loss in respect for you and your organization. No one likes overt arrogance and a self-righteous attitude. Keep your negative opinions to yourself, and act in a mature and reasonable manner. Marketing TakeawaySocial media can be a gold mine for lead generation, but it will be little more than a dud if abused. Be personal with your tweets, always interact, and never leave a customer without a response. Think to yourself: “How would I handle this if I were talking to the person face to face?” because your social media engagement needs to be just as real.What other deadly since should marketers avoid on Twitter?Image credit: Spec-ta-cles Twitter Marketing Topics: Originally published Oct 25, 2011 8:36:00 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

England exposed India’s deficiencies in Southampton Test, says Sunil Gavaskar

first_imgFormer captain Sunil Gavaskar slammed India’s famed batting lineup after yet another poor performance in the fourth innings of the fourth Test at Southampton on Sunday.Chasing 245 for victory, India got bowled out for 184 in their second innings to lose the fourth Test by 60 runs. England thus, took an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series by virtue of this win.India’s run chase got off to the worst-possible start after Stuart Broad castled KL Rahul for a duck while Cheteshwar Pujara also failed to trouble the scorers and departed soon after on 0. Shikhar Dhawan fell for 17 to leave India reeling at 22 for 3.Virat Kohli gutted as India lose Test series: We were not good enoughCaptain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane then gave India a glimmer of hope as they added 101 runs for the fourth wicket but England bowlers came out all guns blazing in the evening session to bowl out the visitors. Once again in this series, Kohli top-scored for the team with 58 runs.Southampton Test: Kohli and Rahane heroics not enough, India lose series to EnglandKohli has so far scored 544 runs in the series and is the leading run-getter from either side while the next best Indian on the list is Cheteshwar Pujara, who has amassed 241 runs. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul have performed miserably till now with just 158 and 113 runs respectively.Gavaskar feels the over-reliance on Kohli to score big every time has led to India’s downfall in this series.”When you go in with five batsmen then you are bound to be in such a situation where you rely so much only on one player, Virat Kohli to get you the big hundreds. He can’t do it every time, he’s human.advertisementIndia vs England 4th Test Day 4: Highlights”To expect that the lower order (to save India after the top-order collapse) after that Kohli-Rahane partnership was broken, to get even another 60-70 runs was too much,” Gavaskar said after the game.Joe Root delighted with Moeen Ali’s best performance in England shirtFor more than two hours in the second session, Kohli and Rahane were in control. But Kohli perished after registering his 19th half-century in Tests. A delivery from Moeen got a sharp bounce to kiss Kohli’s gloves and Alaistair Cook took an easy catch at short leg in a big relief for the hosts.Virat Kohli first Indian to score 4000 runs as Test captainHardik Pandya was sent back to the pavilion by Ben Stokes soon after. Rishabh Pant then came out all guns blazing but his cameo didn’t last long as he departed for a 12-ball 18.India vs England 4th Test Day 4 at Rose Bowl: As it happenedRahane then fell in the final session which was really the final nail in the coffin for India.”Here (in Southampton) I think their deficiencies were shown. Earlier (at Edgbaston and Lord’s) I think the ball was moving around quite a bit so most opening batsmen would have struggled. But here in both these innings, I don’t think that was the case,” Gavaskar said.Rahane made 51 runs while Ravichandran Ashwin blazed away for a spirited 25 to keep England waiting before Sam Curran finished it off by trapping him lbw as India’s innings folded for 184.Off-spinner Moeen Ali as once again the pick of the bowlers for England on a slow and dry fourth-day pitch at the Rose Bowl. Moeen followed up his five-wicket haul in the first innings with four wickets for 71 runs in the second.Moeen got excellent support from Ben Stokes and James Anderson, who managed to bag 2 wickets each while Stuart Broad and Sam Curran got one wicket each.last_img read more

How to Get Your Executive Team Active in Social Media

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack As a savvy inbound marketer, you already know that social media is a must-have in your marketing strategy. You’ve spent time looking at what channels work best for your company, creating the best content you can for those outlets, and aligning the social media goals to the business’ bottom line. You live and breathe social media every day on the job.But that’s not true for everyone else in your organization. Not everyone is sold on the importance of social media — never mind manage their own presence. What about that VP down the hall with tons of killer industry knowledge or that executive you know who spends hours talking to customers? These executives may not be active in social media just yet, but they should be. This is where you come in. If you think there are executives in your company who could add credibility to what you’re already doing, it’s time to get them on board.Why Should Your C-Suite Be in Social Media?Often, executives may feel like there’s not much for them to do in social media. They hired a social media manager to watch over the company’s presence, so why would they need to be in social media as well? Though some executives at your company may have already made up their minds about their social media participation (or lack thereof), it’s incredibly important to have them in social media.Having a presence in social media gives executives the opportunity to stay relevant with industry trends, engage with your prospects and customers, and show that they stand by and believe in your brand. By not listening and participating in social media, executives are missing out on numerous opportunities to improve your business. And ultimately, growing your business is every executive’s objective. How to Get Your Executive Team in Social MediaGetting executives in social media isn’t as simple as signing up for a Twitter handle and asking them to tweet. Instead, you’ve got to be strategic if you want to get on board. By following these five steps, you can develop a socially savvy executive team.1) Pick the right executives for the job. Not every executive is ready to dive headfirst into social media — and that’s okay. Instead of proclaiming that all executives must start tweeting immediately, start off with a select few that you know would be successful in social media if you were to show them the ropes. Think about who would be a good advocate for your brand and have the potential to be a thought leader. Also, see how active they are in social media already. You may want to check out LinkedIn first to see who’s active already, since executives prefer LinkedIn to any other social site. This will give you a good indication of who to approach about helping build your brand in social media.After you understand who’s been up to what, it’s time to think about your approach. Asking an executive who isn’t that familiar with Twitter or Facebook to jump right in isn’t going to work. First, they need to get an understanding of what’s happening on social media for your brand. 2) Show them why they should care.While 90% of business executives say that social media tools are important for brand awareness and company reputation, that doesn’t mean they’re personally doing anything about it. This might be because they think they don’t have anything to add, they don’t know what to say, or they aren’t really in the loop with the happenings in social media at your company.Here’s your golden opportunity to show off what your company is doing and form a plan for what the executives could be doing, too. Invite the executives you identified in step one to a meeting to give them an overview of how your company uses social media and how it’s affecting the rest of the business.When you meet, bring numbers that those in the room care about. If your goal is to get a seasoned VP of Sales involved in social media, you’ll probably want to show them how many leads social media generates for your company a month. For a VP of Sales, leads = perked ears. Figure out what gets each executive excited about being in social media, and be sure to highlight it for them.3) Let the benefits get personal.This is probably where to expect some pushback. I can hear it now: “But why do I have to be involved? Didn’t we hire a social media manager to handle this?”You want these questions. You’re ready for these questions. Now that you’ve shown the executives what the company is doing, you can show them how their social presence fits into the overall social media team effort. You can prepare for these questions by giving them concrete reasons for participation: Based on a recent social media survey by BRANDfog, executive social media engagement creates brand transparency (score!). It makes a brand seem more honest and trustworthy (win!). And, it makes executives better communicators overall (bonus!). Make sure they understand exactly what they will get out of this new experience — you’ll be much more likely to get them on board.4) Set them up for success.So they’re up for the challenge — now it’s time for them to get down to business. If they’re hesitant to jump in headfirst, offer to get them all set up and give them a demo of what to do. At this point, you’ll know how much handholding is necessary for each executive — use your judgment. There’s a balance between relying solely on executives’ intuition and independence and losing them in the noisy crowd.If they need help getting started, give them a couple of ideas of what to do. Maybe you come to the table with some sample content they could share or people to follow. Suggest some goals for them to aim for each week (X tweets, X Facebook posts, etc.). If you’re a HubSpot customer, maybe set up a dedicated email alert in your Social Inbox. However you decide to start, make sure the task is fairly easy. The beginning is always the hardest and you don’t want your executive team to be discouraged right off the bat.5) Maintain momentum by checking in periodically.At this stage, you’ve done some serious work getting your executives up and running. You’ve explained your company’s social strategy, the benefits of executive involvement, and the steps to get involved on those channels. You’ve given them all the tools they need to become socially savvy.To keep up momentum, schedule regular check-ups with the executives. Show them some results from their social media efforts and identify what’s working and what’s not. Real-life examples and metrics are a must here, especially when you have data available to track conversions of current leads and customers through social media.It may be a slow start, but every step is a step forward. Make future plans to keep the conversation going. One possible idea is to schedule a monthly get-together to talk about social media news and how they could integrate that into what they’re doing. Managing a social media presence isn’t a one-and-done effort — it needs constant evaluation and planning to maintain and grow.Eventually, you’ll find the rhythm that works best for your company. Creating a socially savvy executive team doesn’t happen overnight. But with the right approach, you may start to change the way your executive team thinks about social media. And who knows — maybe one day, your CEO will want to take over Twitter for the day.Are executives at your company socially savvy? Are they looped in to how your company approaches social media? Let us know in the comments! Social Media Marketers Originally published May 30, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

How to Get Started with Pinterest, Write Captivating Intros, and More in HubSpot Content This Week

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Most of the time when I’m reading about marketing, I like to actually learn something I can take away and implement. While I certainly appreciate pontification about industry trends and inspirational thought leadership pieces at times, the content I truly find valuable is content that helps me do my job better. So this week, I put the HubSpot content roundup together with content that I know could help me — or any other marketer — do our jobs better. Hopefully, you’ll learn a thing or two that’ll make your job even easier this upcoming week! Let’s get a’learnin. How to Write an IntroductionOne of the things lots of writers struggle with — myself included — is writer’s block. You have a great blog post, ebook, or webinar idea and know exactly what you want to talk about in the body of your content … but you can’t seem to get the intro flowing. Well if that’s been you, you should definitely check out our Quick Tip to writing captivating introductions. With just three components, you’ll be banging out an intro and saying goodbye to writer’s block in no time.How to Use Pinterest for BusinessEven though Pinterest has been a hot social network for a while now, lots of marketers still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. To get a comprehensive overview of the social network check out our Introduction to Pinterest for Business. We’ll answer questions like: What jargon do you need to know? How do you even sign up for an account? Will the social network help your marketing at all? So go on, download the ebook and get ready to pin!9 Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Outstanding Facebook Cover Photos [+Free Templates]One of the first places people look when they visit your Company Page on Facebook is at your Cover Photo. They can’t help it — it takes up almost a quarter of the page. So you want to make sure you’re making the most of that incredibly valuable real estate. Check out these nine do’s and dont’s for creating effective Cover Photos, and then get started making your own with our free social media cover photo templates. How to Convert Casual Blog Visitors Into Dedicated SubscribersIf you’ve been blogging for your company for a while, you most likely have the business blogging basics down pat. You’re writing effective blog posts, designing gorgeous calls-to-action, and racking up the social shares and comments … but you want to take your blog to the next level. You want your business blog to make a serious impact in your marketing results, but aren’t sure how. Look no further than our latest blog post on converting casual blog visitors into dedicated subscribers. Brush Up on Your Marketing TriviaLast but certainly not least, we have some fun content to help you learn about inbound marketing. Whether you’re an old pro who wants to teach your team about inbound or a newbie writing your first blog post, you’ll have a blast playing the Marketing Trivia game. In the game, we’ll walk you through each element of inbound marketing — and once you’ve finished, you can brag all you like on Twitter at #MktgTrivia. Click here to download the game, and then read up on the rules in this blog post. And that’s it for this week! What HubSpot content did you like this week, and what content do you want to see in the future?Image credit: Gibson Claire McGuire Regester Pinterest Marketing Originally published Sep 8, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #20: Talk to Sales and Support

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

How BuzzFeed Makes Money: An Inside Look at Their Sales Process

first_img Inbound Sales (Marketing) Originally published Nov 11, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: This post originally appeared on the HubSpot Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to the Sales Blog.Chances are, you’re familiar with BuzzFeed as your go-to workday procrastination. The site has helped you figure out what city you should live in, normalized your struggles as a short/tall/blond/brunette/girl/boy, and alerted you to the latest and greatest viral video. But behind the playful content that thrives on shares is a serious business that thrives on what all businesses need — revenue. BuzzFeed’s sales team is made of approximately 50 reps nationwide who sell the value of the listicle to companies such as Target, Toyota, Starbucks, Disney, and Unilever day in and day out.How do they do it? I got on the phone with Blake Boznanski, sales director, to find out. In this Q&A, he talks about why content might be the future of advertising, keeping up with industry trends, and the social selling tactics he swears by.We’ve all read, shared, liked, or commented on a BuzzFeed article. But what exactly does BuzzFeed sell?We sell branded content that [acts as] ads. Our founder Jonah Peretti — the cofounder of Huffington Post — had BuzzFeed as kind of a side project initially. When he looked at the business side, he said we’re writing such great content that people are talking about and sharing that we want the advertising to be the same way. No one talks about, clicks on, or really engages with your typical ad, so how do we make it more engaging? It’s so easy to just run a banner, but we felt it would be more compelling to create content. So the content we create for a brand becomes the ad that’s run across BuzzFeed and the social web.What’s the sales process like?A lot of people are familiar with BuzzFeed from a consumer standpoint, but it’s a little different from an advertising standpoint. Because we’re not doing the standard banner, there’s more of an education aspect — here’s how we can get people to talk about your brand through word of mouth marketing and get engaged with it. Then we get into the art and science behind what BuzzFeed actually is and does. From the outside it looks simple — creating great content — but behind that we have a science about what works.So we walk through all that information with a client, and once they have sign off, then we start really collaborating with them. We don’t do a big sales push. It’s more of a conversation about content in general, and if they get content, then it’s a perfect play. If they don’t get it and they’re nowhere near starting or wanting to, we’ll take more of a back seat, and say ‘Here are things you should do whether it’s on BuzzFeed or not, and once you’re ready to work with us, let’s pick up that conversation again.’So how do you convey the value of branded content as opposed to more traditional advertising?I do it a couple of ways. When I talk to somebody who does the traditional online advertising, I ask them, ‘When was the last time you personally clicked on an ad banner?’ It’s usually crickets, so that’s kind of a telltale sign right there. Then I ask, ‘What’s the last advertisement you were so passionate about that you shared with a friend?’ And a lot of times people respond, ‘Well, I don’t really do that.’ That’s where I say, ‘That’s what we do — we want people to not just see an ad but engage with it and share it with their friends and colleagues.’We also have a very in-depth dashboard that shows the results of the branded content we work on, so we can show how many engagements a [piece] got, and how many times it was shared and from where. Once you see the data, then you can really tell the story because I think people are a little skeptical of content in general. We have a lot of case studies that show that if you create great content people are going to be more likely to want to work with your brand and buy your product. Does the structure of the sales process have an impact on the type of salespeople BuzzFeed hires?Absolutely. If someone has done all direct response advertising in the past, that’s a completely different skill set than what we’re looking for. That’s not to say that we wouldn’t hire somebody with that background, but it might be harder to transfer into what we’re selling.We’re more of that consultative, longer sales cycle. There are some brands that you have just one meeting and they’re on board but others are like ‘I kind of get it, but I need to sell this up the chain.’ So it’s a completely different type of sell and salesperson we’re looking at. We want to have somebody that is intellectually curious about what’s going on in the marketplace and how this type of marketing can help your brand. Primarily they’ve been in media sales, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be online media sales — we’ve hired people who have done print and television. But I think knowing the media industry is [important].Do you use social selling in your day to day? If so, how?If there’s a company I’m interested in, I do a ton of research. If it’s a cold email and I don’t have a relationship there, I want to be buttoned up and know about their business, so when they get something from me, they say, ‘Blake has really invested time and has some initial ideas on how BuzzFeed can help us.’ If I find people to reach out to, I’ll look at them on LinkedIn and see where they’ve worked before and if we have any common connections. I used to work at LinkedIn, so it’s a huge sales tool for me. Same thing on Twitter and Facebook if their profile is public, and I’ll also do a Google search to see if their name comes up in the news. I think the more information you go in with, the better conversation you’re going to have. Not knowing anything about the brand, the person, the product — that’s not going to help you drive business.And it takes a lot of time to do that. The amount of time I spend researching before I talk to somebody is immense and it’s tough because a lot of times you don’t get a response. [You might think] you wasted time, but, at the end of the day, you didn’t. You’re still very interested in the company, and if they come around eventually you have all this background information. Plus, I’m just curious about industries in general, so I like knowing what’s going on.What kind of information do you put into cold emails? Again, it depends on the company. If they’re doing something in the marketplace right now, or if I read they just launched a marketing program, or if I saw one of their execs was on a panel — it’s really different for each individual. But it’s really doing your homework to find out as much information about the company and the person as possible and then personalizing that message.Does BuzzFeed have a target customer persona? We don’t. We work with so many different types of customers — clients direct, PR agencies, creative agencies, social agencies — and then within the client there are all sorts of different groups. So we don’t have one standard set of people that we try to go after or typically see. Whatever group is looking to have a conversation with us, we’re happy to talk.So how do you tailor your message to those different audiences — PR, creative, social, direct?The thing is we don’t have a set presentation. When I go into meetings, I don’t even do a presentation anymore — I just talk to them about what BuzzFeed does in general, and show them some examples of what we’ve done with brands. I think that brings it more to life. So that doesn’t change, but obviously if I’m talking to someone from a PR agency, I may show some examples that we’ve worked directly with PR agencies on. Maybe if they’re in the automotive or food industry, we’ll show examples in regards to those. Also, a PR challenge is going to be different from a social challenge or a creative challenge, so we make sure we’re aligning with what they’re talking about and what we’re offering fits the needs of what they’re trying to do.A lot of sales today is keeping up with industry trends and helping clients spot problems they don’t even know they have. How do you stay up on the media industry?Any newsletters, any information that’s out there, I’m like a glutton for it. Because the more I know, the more it’s going to help me in the long run.I get a lot of emails [with updates] in the morning so I can digest what’s going on. If I don’t have time to read them, I have an articles folder that I’ll go back to. And I typically go through them every day at least just to see what’s going on across the brands — even if it’s someone I’ve never worked with. I just saw Honda Civic is doing a YouTube video that’s basically a splice of two videos — it’s unbelievable. I always want to be aware of what’s going on in the marketplace so when I have a conversation with somebody it’s not like I just know BuzzFeed and I just know their brand; I know everything that’s happening. 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

Safety First: The Basics of Website Security for Ecommerce Retailers

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 Topics: E-Commerce Websites For ecommerce retailers, website security is the cornerstone of a successful online business. Why? It’s simple: people only want to give their money and their business to companies and organizations that they can trust.If a retailer has an insecure website, then, all other marketing and inbound efforts simply won’t bring results. Here, we run through some basic security practices that all ecommerce retailers should employ to make sure that their website is a secure, successful online destination.PCI ComplianceThe PCI Security Standards Council is a global group — whose founding members include American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard and Visa Inc. — formed to develop, enhance and maintain security standards for payment account security.Together, the members of this group came up with a set of security requirements, known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) that all merchants or organizations that process, store, or transmit credit card information must adhere to. There is good reason for this: these guidelines ensure that all stored credit card data is protected and that sensitive information is secure throughout the transaction process.Many companies meet these guidelines through the use of tokenization:Tokenization is when sensitive information —such as digits in a credit card number —is replaced by non-sensitive information, or tokens, so that it cannot be read. This is an effective means of encrypting data because it’s extremely secure: the tokenized information can only be detokenized to redeem the sensitive data under strict security controls and the storage of tokens and payment card data must comply with PCI standards, including the use of strong cryptography.Staying PCI Compliant and ensuring that all stored credit card data is fully tokenized in this way greatly reduces the risk of this sensitive information being stolen and used. Keeping this data secure is extremely important for all online retailers: if cardholder data is stolen, their credit can be negatively affected and they could lose credibility, money, and even their business.SEE ALSO: Top 5 Considerations for Creating a Successful ecommerce Website SSL CertificateThe SSL Certificate — also mandatory per PCI — also works to ensure that the sensitive information that is sent over the internet is encrypted and secure. When retailers or site visitors send information or data over the internet, it gets passed through multiple computers before reaching its destination server. At any point during this chain, it could get stolen if it is not encrypted with an SSL Certificate.How does the certificate work? It essentially makes all sensitive information —which includes passwords, credit card information, and usernames — unreadable for everyone except the destination server, thereby protecting all communication from eavesdropping and theft.It is particularly valuable for ecommerce retailers not just for security reasons, but also to build trust with site visitors and prospective customers: attaining an SSL certificate essentially verifies an entity’s credentials, certifying that they are who they say they are and that their site is safe to visit.Make sure to watch for changes in requirements – such as the recent change from SHA1 encryption to SHA2 encryption – to make sure your company stays compliant.Use HTTPSHypertext Transfer Protocol with Secure Sockets Layer, or HTTPS, is a protocol to transfer data over the web that should be used instead of HTTP on all pages where data is created. Once again, the issue here is all about encryption. With HTTP, information is not encrypted — instead, it is sent as plain text, which means that anyone can intercept it and read what has been sent.Further, many customers know about this insecurity and tend to avoid ecommerce websites that use HTTP. This means that keeping HTTP could hurt a retailer’s security and their business over time.  It’s important to note, though, that HTTPS isn’t necessary on every page of a website. Why? If retailers try to include it everywhere, it will slow their page load speed and likely hurt their business. Instead, HTTPS should just be used on pages that collect and store data so that site visitors customers can feel secure sending their information. That means skip the homepage, about us page, etc. DoS and DDOS protectionDoS and DDOS protection work to guard against denial of service and distributed denial of service attacks.Denial of Service and Distributed denial of service: During both denial-of-service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, attackers attempt to block legitimate users from accessing information or services by flooding a network with requests, thereby overwhelming the bandwidth of the targeted system and preventing legitimate requests from coming through.While both attacks work in the same way, the key difference is that a DoS attacker usually uses a single computer and internet connection, while a DDoS attacker uses multiple connected devices, making the flood of information that much larger harder to deflect.There are many ways to protect from DoS and DDoS attacks. The easiest and most expensive way is to buy more bandwidth. Think about it: during these attacks, they’re trying to flood your space, so if you have a ton of space it will be more difficult for attackers to overwhelm you. However, this is a largely impractical solution -especially for DDoS attacks – since in today’s day and age the attacks are just too large to overcome.However, there are more inexpensive and effective other ways to mitigate attacks. Setting up effective, well-configured firewalls, for example, can prevent this attack traffic from reaching your computer.Use a Firewall As the name suggests, a firewall is a hardware or software system that essentially works as a wall or gateway between two or more networks, permitting authorized traffic and blocking unauthorized or potentially malicious traffic from accessing a network or system. Like an actual wall.It essentially protects what is inside a network from the outside — a.k.a from other networks or from threats on the internet like backdoor and DDoS attacks. Since ecommerce websites have a lot of inbound traffic, they need firewalls to protect themselves against malicious entry.There are many different kinds of firewalls, but two very effective firewalls for online retailers are application gateways and proxy firewalls. Both function as intermediary programs between two or more networks, meaning that incoming traffic has no direct connection or access to a retailer’s network.Application GatewaysWith an application gateway in place, there are two lines of communication: one between your computer and the proxy, then one between the proxy and the destination computer or network. It’s essentially a checkpoint that all network information has to stop at. By serving as this middle point, the application gateways help hide and protect your network from others’, only letting in traffic -or packets -that have been authorized.Proxy FirewallsProxy firewalls are among the most secure. Why? Like the application gateway, the proxy serves as an intermediary connection. However, they take it one step further -instead of your network connection going all the way through, a new network connection is started at the proxy firewall. This means that there is no direct connection between systems at all, which makes it even harder for attackers to discover your network and get in.It is important to note that, for a firewall to be effective, it has to be properly configured. What does this mean? Well, firewalls don’t automatically know which traffic is malicious — they need to be programmed with this information. Make sure, then, that whoever sets up the firewall is properly configuring it so that all of the right information gets through.By staying on top of all these security measures, online retailers can effectively build their customers’ trust and their own company’s reputability, taking the first steps to ensuring that they have a successful, long-lasting online presence. Originally published Apr 19, 2016 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

What Makes People Distrust Your Business? [Infographic]

first_imgHere’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!last_img read more

Why It’s Easy to Market Your Clients But Not Yourself

first_imgIf a client so much as sneezes an idea in my direction, I’ll have a fully fleshed out strategy in under an hour.You know how all the productivity gurus describe “being in flow”? That’s kind of what happens. My brain starts overflowing with answers.“Oh! You need to do X. You need to say Y on this specific page. You need to NOT do ABC. You need to hire Z. You need to be in XYZ channels, ignore ABC channels. You need … ”Boom. Stick that brain dump in a deck, get it to the creative department, and let’s get to work.Click here to download our comprehensive guide to effective and measurable branding.Some people are given the gift of a beautiful voice or an eye for design, but not me. I got a penchant for marketing strategy.Any strategy really. Brand, social, content, you name the buzzword and I can get you a strategic plan for it. A damn good one, too. One that works — if you implement it.However …Dun. Dun. Dun.[That’s dramatic mood music]The second I need to market for my business, all my ideas turn to sh*t.No idea what channel to spend my time in. No idea who my target market is. And I can’t write a headline to save my life.“Why You Don’t Want to Be a Wantrepr –” ugh no, that’s stupid. Oooo maybe, “How To Build a Business That Fits Your Life.”No. Bad. Try again.“10 Reasons To…” ASFDHISDLFASLDFJAHHHHHHHHHH I HATE EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!Blarg.All the skills that make me a great marketer are apparently reserved for clients. The part of my brain that generates brilliance for others turns to mush when it comes to me.I’m not alone either.Every week I have the privilege of talking to founders from all over the world and we all have the same problem.We suck at marketing for ourselves. And we know it.I have four hypotheses as to why this happens:We get obsessed with industry standards and trends instead of doing what we know works.We think a lot about our colleagues, since they’re the ones commenting on our posts and sharing our articles.We ignore our instincts. We focus on “what we want to do” instead of “what people will pay for.”In the original version of this article I went through each of these in detail but then I deleted it all when I realized they’re just different words for the same thing:We stop trusting ourselves.This week I sat down with a friend and started listing a ton of legitimate reasons why I couldn’t launch a new service. He looked at me, irritated, and said, “Margo. Just f*cking launch.”Hmph. He was right. I had legitimate excuses, but all excuses sound like legitimate ones. Look:I need more time!There’s not enough people on my list.We can do it, but after the podcast is released…in 3 months.That’s fine, but not till we get an editor.It can’t be done!This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be done!!Yeah, it isn’t.Spoiler alert: No marketing is done the way it’s supposed to be done. At least, I’ve never seen it. Not in a decade.[Note: If you’ve seen a marketing strategy that was created with plenty of time and executed without issue, please email me at margo@thatseemsimportant.com becuase I’d like to hear about it.]For the rest of us, we have to learn to ship with mistakes.We’ve spent so much of our careers teaching our clients what “perfect” and “best in class” looks like, we’ve forgotten that that’s not reality.Reality is messy. Last minute. Understaffed. (Dare I say) reactive.Most of us are flying by the seat of our pants. But our energy is going to convincing each other (and our prospects) that we’ve got this figured out. That we have “systems” and “process” and perfect benchmarks and …Whatever  — just between you and me: I know you don’t have any of that. Even if your website says you do.I know your launch emails haven’t been written yet even though your FB ads went live yesterday. I know that yellow on your website isn’t the style guide yellow. Hell, I know you don’t have a style guide. I know you list all those funnel optimization services on your website, but really make money from ghostwriting blogs.I know.We all know.It’s how this works.So let’s end this cycle of “the shoemaker has no shoes,” by going back to the basics you already know, but have been ignoring:What do your customers want?NOT: What do they need?NOT: What you think your they should care about?NOT: What your competitors are offering?NOT: What will your colleagues think if they land on your site?NOT: Will former clients be impressed with me now?NOT: What do I want people to think I’m up to?Just: What do your customers want?Your job has always only been one thing: Connecting your solutions to the real problems your customer’s have.Telling others how to do their marketing is a different skill. One we’ve gotten really good at. But it’s not the same as doing it.Lucky for us the schism between the two isn’t so big. It just requires some …discomfort. We gotta get comfortable with being wrong (in front of former colleagues). And playing around…thinking outside of the “trends” and risking being perceived as weird. Which can be embarrassing and awkward for our reputation as the “expert.”But (hear me out) it can also work out really well for the people we actually care about: our customers. Topics: Branding Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Feb 1, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2018last_img read more

7 of the Coolest YouTube Banners We’ve Ever Seen

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

Baltic Exchange Council Elects New Chairman

first_imgzoomIllustration. Source: Pixabay under the CC0 Creative Commons license Maritime industry information provider Baltic Exchange Council has elected Braemar Tankers-founding partner Denis Petropoulos as its new chairman.Petropoulos will officially take over the role from Duncan Dunn on June 1.Petropoulos most recently headed up Braemar’s Singapore office for seven years, before returning to the UK.He has been a Baltic Exchange member since 1999 and has held positions on the Baltic board 2002-2007 and joined the council in January 2019.“Denis Petropoulos is a highly respected and well-known shipbroker who played a critical role in the setting up of the Baltic tanker indices in the late 1990s,” Mark Jackson, Baltic Exchange chief executive, said.“During my term in office I intend to pay particular attention to raising awareness of the maritime industry to the younger generation,” Petropoulos said.“At the same time I want to ensure that Baltic members’ ideas and concerns are heard at Council level as well as support the Baltic’s drive to increase its profile in Asia.”The Baltic Exchange Council is the governing body which oversees the Baltic, including its membership committee, in relation to the Baltic Exchange’s strategy for membership services, social responsibility and relationship with its members, governments, regulatory bodies and the global shipping community.last_img read more

Lack of racial diversity in medical textbooks could mean inequity in care

first_imgVANCOUVER – Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room in Vancouver, Patricia Louie saw posters that only featured white and light skin-toned people depicted as patients. She wondered if medical textbooks would also reflect what she considered to be a biased portrayal of Canada’s diverse population.The experience in 2012 led the sociology student who was studying at the University of British Columbia at the time to analyze faces in four textbooks widely used in North American medical schools. She concluded in an honours thesis that racial diversity was being ignored.Most images in medical books are of legs, arms and chests, showing only skin tone, not race, so Louie broadened her research as a master’s student at the University of Toronto and focused on skin tone in over 4,000 images in later versions of the same textbooks.The study by Louie and co-author Rima Wilkes, a sociology professor at the University of British Columbia, found the proportion of dark skin tones represented was very small in images featured in “Atlas of Human Anatomy,” “Bates’ Guide to Physical Examinations and History Taking,” “Clinically Oriented Anatomy” and “Gray’s Anatomy for Students.”“Atlas” had fewer than one per cent of photos featuring dark skin, while the highest amount — five per cent — was included in “Gray’s,” the researchers say in the study, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine.Imagery of six common cancers for people of colour or dark skin tone hardly exist in the textbooks, says the study, which suggests unequal health care could result.“Although we can’t make any causal statements, I think it’s fair to say that the material in textbooks may influence how doctors think about who a patient is and that the under-representation of dark skin-toned people may contribute to inequities in treatment,” said Louis, who is of Caucasian and Asian heritage.She said mortality rates for some cancers, including breast, cervical, lung, colon and skin, are higher on average for black people, who are often diagnosed at later stages of the disease.The study draws on research that says 52 per cent of black people receive an initial diagnosis of an advanced stage of skin cancer compared with 16 per cent of white people.“The research shows that even though blacks are less likely to get skin cancer than whites, they’re more likely to die when diagnosed,” Louis said.Skin cancer would require doctors to look for melanomas on nails, hands and feet, but none of the textbooks included images of what that would look like in dark-skinned patients, raising questions about whether physicians are adequately trained to treat people of diverse races, she said.“I would like publishers of medical textbooks to include more images of darker-skinned people and also to pay attention to the way diseases are presented on darker skin tones because that is very necessary for equality of care for racial minorities and darker-skinned people in Canada and the U.S.,” said Louie, who is now doing a PhD in racial inequality in health care.The study cites data from two American studies that suggest race-based inequities pervade the health-care system in the United States, and black dialysis patients are less likely than their white counterparts to be referred to transplant waiting lists.Dr. Roger Wong, executive associate dean at the University of B.C.’s faculty of medicine, said valuing diversity should mean promoting it in textbooks.“So updating future editions is the way to go,” he said of the four books related to the study. “I do think it has flagged for these editors and for writers that all of us need to be very mindful, and I do agree there’s work to be done.”Beyond textbook learning, Wong said case studies presented at the university’s medical school are rigorously vetted to ensure they reflect Canada’s ethnic diversity and real patients who volunteer to interact with students are selected based on similar guidelines.“With Indigenous patients, traditional medicine is very important,” he said, citing an example of diversity. “We need to respect and understand where that’s coming from and also understand some of the nuances of when we talk about ‘western medicine.’”— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more