Planning Your Online Video Strategy for 2009 – B2B Marketing

first_img Originally published Jan 22, 2009 9:20:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Webinar: Marketing in a Recession Don’t forget to share this post! I had a chance to join a MITX panel on “Planning Your Online Video Strategy for 2009”.  It was a pretty good panel wit folks from the media, agencies, analysts and companies.  Of course, I represented the B2B marketing point of view where using video is a component of a healthy inbound marketing program.  As you probably know, at HubSpot we use a lot of video: viral videos, a live video podcast, an iTunes channel, product demo videos, interviews on our blog, and some pretty popular marketing webinars.Here was the full panel lineup:Will Richmond, Editor/Publisher, VideoNuzeMatt Kaplan, Chief Strategy Officer, PermissionTVMichael Manning, Director of Product Development, Boston.comJames L. McQuivey, Ph.D., Vice President and Principal Analyst, ForresterAndrea Millett, Vice President and Account Director, Media Contacts… and me!  (Mike Volpe, VP of Inbound Marketing, HubSpot)The video is courtesy of Permission TV, who also sponsored the panel. Want to learn effective ways for generating leads and marketing in a economic downturn?Download the free webinar for tips and tricks to drive more visitors and leads to your website! Video Marketing Topics:last_img read more

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

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

3 Secrets to Addictive Digital Platforms

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

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week: Improve Your Pitches

first_img Improve Your Pitch’s Chance of Survival Author: Solis’ article discusses some very interesting data gleaned from recent research by ExactTarget and CoTweet. The goal of the 1,500 consumer-survey was to identify top motivations for following brands on Twitter. Of those surveyed, the research found that 72% publish blog posts at least monthly, 70% comment on blogs, and 61% write at least one product review monthly, proving that social consumers are both vocal and connected. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The Most Influential Consumers Online are on Twitter Steven Depolo on BrianSolis.com . While we all want to make our content credible by supporting it with data, this article discusses the reality that research can often be tainted and explores the ways in which it can get that way. marketing tool belt users are the most influential social consumers online today. Solis also cites similar research that supports this conclusion and reveals that a significant percentage of Twitter users share opinions about companies/products, make recommendations, and seek guidance. Sean D’Souza Author: . on Search Engine Journal As a popular influencer, Chris Brogan receives his fair share of pitches. In order to help you avoid contributing to bad PR, his article highlights some great ways to improve your pitches and their effectiveness. 2. As marketers, we’re all strapped for time. Unfortunately, when it comes to D’Souza says it best: “Research makes things interesting, but your own case studies are just as interesting.” While Sean is hardly saying you avoid using facts in your content, he does believe that your time is better off spent writing what you know and sharing your experiences, not spending hours upon hours researching data. His recommendation is to put your research on an egg timer. , Evergreen content can help drive traffic 5. Marketing Takeaway: improve the quality of your content optimize your older content to make it more functional today public relations Do you publish a blog post, promote it, and then forget it exists? It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, promoting and optimizing evergreen content can do wonders for your business months — even years — after it’s been published! Matthew Stibbe 3. have a presence on Twitter Photo Credit: It’s obvious — the use of technology makes marketing more effective and efficient. We all have a number of go-to tech tools in our Marketing Takeaway: building relationships , but Stibbe’s article highlights a few you may be missing out on or overlooking. , a rushed pitch is likely to end up in journalists’ and bloggers’ trash cans. , you’re missing out.center_img Why Being Too Diligent About Your Facts Can Hurt Your Content 10 Ways to Use Technology to Enhance Marketing Author: Your consumers are talking about you on Twitter. If you don’t polish your presentations Business Pitches on MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog In this week’s top inbound marketing article, Chris Brogan shares his best tips for improving your PR pitches and increasing their chances for survival. Scott Cowley Some of Brogan’s tips include targeting the right influencers, humanizing and personalizing your pitches, being concise, making it easy, and on Copyblogger D’Souza’s article provides some great food for thought when considering the use of “facts” in Twitter Chris Brogan Author: Author: your content Topics: Marketing Takeaway: on ChrisBrogan.com His article mentions a number of great ways to use technology to increase productivity, , increase concentration, and facilitate collaboration, to name a few. Originally published Sep 27, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 In summary, the research concludes that Marketing Takeaway: 4. . Some of his suggestions include optimizing for relevant keywords already driving traffic, freshening up content by removing aging signs, and making your old post titles more boring (and thus more functional).  to your site and convert visitors into leads. In this article, Scott shares some great ways to 1. Crafting a good pitch takes time and effort. If you don’t do the work, your pitch will end up in the trash. Brian Solis Technology is a great asset for marketers. Use the tools it offers to your (and your marketing’s) advantage. Marketing Takeaway: 3 Creative Ways to Drive More Traffic to Old Blog Posts When it comes to old blog content, don’t enlist the “set it and forget it” mindset. Optimize old content and continue to reap the benefits.last_img read more

Why is My Website Traffic Down?

first_img What are my top five referring sites, and are they same as the ones that I had last year? Why or why not? can help you understand this if you’re a HubSpot customer, by showing you your traffic over time by domain and which pages on that site referred that traffic. How much traffic do I get from search engines, and what does it look like over time? HubSpot’s Referrals chart For your referrers, take a look at who has stopped sending you traffic, and where your traffic used to come from on their site. What was the referring URL from them? Find out what happened to that page on their website. Is that page gone, or otherwise not really accessible? That means that it is time to build new links from that source, or from them and new sources so that you can reclaim your missing traffic and value from that relationship. Chances are, it was an innocent mistake or aging of a link or you’d already know about it, so keep up your efforts. At this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what traffic is arriving at your website via organic search and referring sites, and what words or locations specifically refer that traffic through to you. In my next post, I will examine ways to react and develop a coherent plan to recover and grow your traffic from organic search and referring sites. HubSpot’s Sources application Nicholas_T If a site that used to be a top referrer has dropped off, what happened? Look at the pages or links on their websites that used to be helping keep your site full of vital traffic, and see what they changed there. can make this very easy, and it’s still possible to do in Google Analytics or other tools with a bit of work. Digging Deeper Usually when traffic is dropping off like this, it’s because some keywords are rising and others are falling, and some sites are rising or falling, but the falling numbers outweigh the rising ones. It’s important to take note of which are which though – it will help you focus your efforts on your “trouble spots” more closely. Which particular keywords are rising or falling for me over the last year? Photo Credit: Topics: Measuring SEO For each of your keywords where traffic has dropped off, think about why this happened. Did you remove a page from your website that used to rank well in search? Did you change the optimization of the page? Think about which page of your website is or was optimized for that keyword, and what happened to that page.  You shouldn’t necessarily just revert that page back to the old version – But think about what other pages might be a good fit on your website, or if you need to add a brand new page to represent that missed keyword, and re-optimize around it. The first step to understanding why your traffic decreased is to examine the various sources that send traffic to your website. Tools like Originally published Jan 31, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Questions to Ask Yourself Now:   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

Confessions of a Closet Slug

first_imgThis is a guest post written by Jill Konrath, bestselling author of I like telling people I’m crazy-busy. It makes me sound important. Necessary. In demand. SNAP Selling What are trigger events? They’re happenings either in a company, industry or general business climate that create opportunities for someone to use your products or services. Selling to Big Companies Because efficiency is not my strength, I developed other strategies to be successful. You see, being productive isn’t just about being a disciplined taskmaster. It also is about being highly effective. But it all comes down to this. For maximum impact, we need to be both efficient and effective.And, most of all, to lead the kind of life you really want to live – meaning having time for all the things you want to do – it’s important to gain control of how you spend your time. That’s what I working on right now. Join me on Thursday at the th That’s what’s going through my mind right now. I’ve been at my desk since 7:30 this morning. I ate lunch in my office because there was no time to go out. I was on the computer or on conference calls for hours. Yet, at the end of the day, I’ve barely made a dent in my To Do list. Is it any wonder that I’m feeling overwhelmed? But here’s the truth. on March 24 amongst her many other responsibilities. And, even worse. I use my time poorly. I make bad choices all day long that contribute to this predicament I’m in. Just this morning, a hyperlink in newsletter article resulted in me squandering a half hour on interesting but low priority work.I let this happen too often. I know better. On days when I identify my key priorities upfront, barricade myself from interruptions and don’t check email all the time, I get a tremendous amount done. Plus, I have lots of time left over to do fun things. But in reality, I default far too often to this slothful behavior. I know I’m not alone in this area. That’s why I’m putting on the Using these “alert services” is the best way I know to get good business – quickly. Sales Productivity Summit . (If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t miss the March 24 How I Learned to Compensate for Being a Slug and popular speaker at annual sales meetings. Hardly considered a “slug”, she’s also hosting the  Free Online Sales Productivity Summit st 1. Precision Prospecting Working with companies that have urgent and compelling needs leads to shorter sales cycles and less competition. When I stumbled across the concept of “trigger events” over 20 years ago, I was ecstatic. When I first started using this strategy, I leveraged the local business press to identify those opportunities. It’s still a good resource. But today you can Google Alerts as well as services offered by technology companies. Here are two strategies I leveraged to achieve sales success. To me, every contact with a prospective customer is invaluable. I’m talking about every email, voicemail, phone call, online meeting or presentation. I know the key concerns of my primary decision makers. I invest time doing research on the company or industry.I spend time planning, to ensure that ruthless relevance in my messages. I try to quickly demonstrate my knowledge so they know I’m a credible resource. I write down the questions I want to ask. And, I know what the logical next step that I’ll suggest at the end of a conversation. What is the impact? Fewer phone calls or emails. Fewer prospects. But more sales and bigger sales. to get more ideas on how to do that! Slug Parts, Swirrl quarter earnings, a new strategic direction, new legislation, increased gas prices or multiple visits to your website. 2. Quality Connections How will I get it all done? There’s more here to do than is humanly possible. All this email is killing me. & session. It’s worth it.) Sales Productivity Summit Inbound Sales Image credit: Topics: Examples might be a new VP of Sales, stagnant 1 The Big Challenge Originally published Mar 23, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Sales Productivity Summit Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Become a Twitter Search Ninja

first_img apple -ipad -iphone Filter Tweets by Source This only works for tweets that include geolocation information, but it can be really cool if you’re trying to focus on a particular, localized event. Tweets with Links For a full list of Twitter search operators, Even More! click here Topics: It’s an amazingly powerful tool, and these tips can help you use it more effectively. You probably won’t use this filter too much, but I’ve found it helpful to sometimes include “-source:tweet_button” to remove all tweets generated when someone simply clicked a “Tweet” button. These are pre-populated tweets, and normally they aren’t really saying anything interesting. that lets you search through every public Tweet over the last few days, and you don’t even need a Twitter account to use it. But sifting through all of that information can be a bit overwhelming. If you want to focus your search on all tweets coming from a certain location, you can add “near:” and the name of the city. This is supported for most major cities in the world. You can also add a “within:” operator to specify the distance from the area, like “near:Boston within:15mi”. With more that ” to remove mentions of the technology company’s most popular devices. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 140 million Tweets A lot of times the keyword you’re searching for is used in multiple contexts, and not all of them are related to what you’re looking for. A search for ” Originally published Jul 21, 2011 3:10:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 exclude Retweets The negation operator can be used in conjunction with many of the other search filters, as you’ll see below. Twitter offers acenter_img Add “filter:links” to your query to only return tweets that contain links. You can tell Twitter to specially free, public search tool that the link contains this domain. So even if people are tweeting links to your site using different shortening services, you can still search for your domain and see all links that point to your site. A lot of people use Twitter to share links to stories, but sometimes you want to focus on what people are saying, and not what they’re sharing. If you’re looking for opinions or feedback on a topic you might want to exclude all tweets with links by using “-filter:links”. knows You can choose to include or exclude tweets based on where they were sent from by adding the “source:” operator. One of the really cool features of Twitter search is that it “peers” into shortened links. That means that if you tweet a bit.ly link that points to an article on this blog, Twitter sent per day, Twitter contains tons of information from the collective public conscious. apple If you want to exclude all retweets, simply include “-RT” and you can focus on original tweets. SEO and Social Media  tweets that contain a word by adding a single dash directly before the word. Make sure you don’t put a space between the dash and the term. You can look for retweets by adding “RT” to your query. Even when someone clicks the “retweet” button and doesn’t actually add an “RT” to the tweet, it will still show up with an “RT” in Twitter search. . You can leverage Twitter Search to conduct market research, collect feedback, or see what people are sharing on your website.  Here are some Twitter search tips that will help you find the information you need. The Negation Operator Focus on a Geographic Area ” might return results about the technology company, as well as the dark red fruit. This tells Twitter to exclude any result that contains that term, and helps you focus your search on the right context. So if you wanted to look for tweets that focused on the fruit, you might use “last_img read more

Using Social Sharing Buttons Leads to 7x More Mentions [Data]

first_img Social Media Engagement Originally published Sep 13, 2011 1:01:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media can be a great promotional vehicle for sharing your content and helping it reach an extended audience beyond your direct network of fans, followers, and subscribers. But are you missing out on some low-hanging fruit to make sure you give your content what’s necessary to help it spread?When it comes to spreading content in social media, some of the easiest-to-pick pieces of low-hanging fruit are social sharing buttons. Adding social sharing buttons for sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to your website, blog articles, and landing pages is a simple way to encourage visitors to spread your content and reach even more potential customers.So if it’s so easy, everyone must be doing it, right? Wrong.According to a recent study conducted by SEO platform BrightEdge Technologies, the homepages of almost half of the top 10,000 websites studied (46.4%) had no social links or plugins installed.But what’s even more interesting is the impact of the social sharing buttons that were used on the other 53.6% of websites. Looking at the effect of social plugins on a website’s traffic and how much content is shared, BrightEdge also conducted analysis on over 4 million tweets. When studying how often a website using a Twitter sharing button was mentioned on Twitter, on average, a website with no Twitter share button was mentioned just four times. However, websites that did include a Twitter sharing button were mentioned 27 times, on average. Therefore, including a Twitter share button increased Twitter mentions sevenfold.Marketing TakeawayDon’t miss out on easy opportunities to help your content and messages spread. Adding sharing buttons to your website is simple, yet half of the top websites don’t do it.BrightEdge Technologies’ study focused on social sharing buttons on websites’ homepages. While a website’s homepage isn’t the only place marketers should be adding social sharing links, the study’s findings indicate just how powerful they can be. When incorporating social sharing buttons into your website, be sure to add them to any page you have content — landing pages, blog articles, product pages, etc. It’s an easy, sure-fire way to extend your reach.Have you added social sharing buttons to your content yet?Photo Credit: joyosity Topics:last_img read more

7 Places You Need to Publish Content on Your Website (Beyond Your Blog)

first_img Originally published Mar 16, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Content Creation Topics: Inbound marketers know content creation is key to their success, so it makes sense that business blogs are one of their most precious marketing assets. Blogging is a natural way to get more indexed pages on your website, create content around keywords you want to rank for in search, and convert site visitors into customers.But once companies master blogging, isn’t there another way to expand content creation efforts on your website? Aren’t there other parts of your website to which you can publish the valuable content you’ve become so great at creating — and maybe drive even more traffic, leads, and customers for your business?In short, yes, there are plenty of other ways to house content on your website (and if you’re a HubSpot customer, making an addition to your navigation is simple)! While you may not update these parts of your website as frequently as a blog (we update our blog multiple times daily, for example) adding these content repositories to your website — or updating the ones that already exist — will help you drive even more traffic, and convert those visitors into leads and customers.Don’t let content creation begin and end with blogging. Consider building out or updating these areas of your website with fresh content to create a truly comprehensive content library that you and your site visitors can benefit from.News RoomYou’re likely familiar with the ‘News Room’ concept for websites — many companies have them, including yours truly. The news section of a website is often found under the ‘About Us’ portion of the main navigation, and contains content like press releases about company and product updates, event information, mentions of your company in the news, and awards received. That’s a lot of content!Perhaps that’s why it’s so common to stumble across the ‘News’ section of a website and find nothing has been updated in years. This can be due to lack of new content to publish — perhaps your company hasn’t received much news coverage — or just plain negligence. While we can’t help you with negligence, there are ways to make sure the content on the ‘News’ section of your website always remains fresh.First, don’t break out all of the components of a website news section into multiple sub-navigations if you don’t have the content to fill it. Combine your press releases, event information, company and product updates, awards received, and company news in a rolling feed. In fact, you can think of it kind of like a second blog! And to ensure there truly is content for that second blog, don’t just wait for others to write about you. It’s okay — in this context — to write about yourself. If you’re working on a new product release, write a few paragraphs about how features are progressing. If a partner of yours gets news coverage, share that in this section; your partners’ successes are your successes, too. Aim for just one update a month so this section of your site never looks dormant to visitors and leads researching more about your company.(Tip: Some companies are found in the news so often that they face the opposite problem — there’s so much content, their news section looks completely disorganized! Categorize content by month to make it easier for visitors to sort through.)Resource CenterResource centers are ideal locations to house your long-form educational content like whitepapers, guides, and ebooks. Many marketers are reticent to launch a resource center though, because the bulk of their long form content is reserved for lead generation and driving reconversions through lead nurturing. You don’t want to make that content totally public, right?Fair point, but there is a best-of-both-worlds solution! First, if there is any content you’ve created that you’re willing to share with the world form-free, publish it. The rest of your content, however, can still be behind a form. Simply draft an abstract or select a poignant excerpt from the content to publish as a sort of preview. Then, direct the visitor to the landing page where the content can be redeemed. We do this with our long-form content in our own resource center to help drive more leads and reconversions. What a great supplement to your calls-to-action in lead nurturing emails and blog content!Your resource center can also house third-party content like market research and analyst reports. If you work with third party content creators or researchers, offer to publish their long-form content in your resource center. It gets them more visibility in front of a new audience, and it can help you keep the content in your resource center fresh.Product & Service Data CenterMany B2B companies have technical documentation centered around their product or service — content like data sheets, integration information, FAQs, and release notes. Sometimes businesses choose to wrap these into their resource center, but if you have extensive documentation to publish, it’s best to separate this from your resource center content. Why? Because the traffic to your resource center is in a different stage of the buying cycle than the traffic interested in looking at technical documentation surrounding your product or service.Publish content here for leads and business partners in the ‘evaluation’ and ‘purchase’ stages of the buying cycle — they are more interested in your solution than those visiting your resource center. And to make the most of this content, don’t forget to include ‘purchase’-oriented calls-to-action on these web pages, and within the content itself!Product DetailsIf you’re in ecommerce marketing, you have a unique opportunity to leverage the non-blog portion of your website to create new content. For every product for sale on most ecommerce sites, there’s a product description section underneath that’s all too often left blank or filled with generic (or worse, duplicate) content from the manufacturer. Take advantage of this space to write unique, keyword-optimized content that describes the product, compels readers to take action, and helps you rank for important search terms. HubSpot customer OneIHI does this exceptionally well, drafting content that’s informative, engaging, optimized, and comprehensive below each product.To keep the page content fresh, you can also enable user comments and reviews under the product details. And we all know how crucial reviews are to establishing a prospect’s trust in your business.Learning CenterIf you set up a learning center, you can create use cases — pieces of content that show how your product or service can be used to solve your customers’ problems. This content can be long-form or short-form written content, videos, or even just images with brief explanatory captions. HubSpot, for example, features customer examples of landing pages, calls-to-action, blogs, and the like that has been made using HubSpot’s software.Encourage customers to submit instances of using your product or service successfully (you can set up a landing page to collect their responses), and incentivize your customer service and support teams to collect such stories to keep the content on these pages fresh. If you opt for visual content like images or videos to demonstrate your use cases, be sure to accompany it with explanatory copy, even if it’s brief. Aside from being a helpful complement to the visual content, keyword-optimized copy can help you rank for solution-seeking search terms like “how to create a landing page” or “examples of good calls-to-action.”HubSpot also includes information about what product functionality is being utilized; if you have different feature levels, customers reading these use cases may be inspired by a feature they don’t have, and purchase additional services from you. Talk about revenue-generating content!As with the news section of your website, be sure to categorize your use cases in the manner that makes the most sense for your business — like location, industry, or product or service type — to make browsing simple for visitors.Multimedia Content LibraryAlthough written content is often the focus of marketers’ content creation efforts, consumers certainly love to consume other content formats. Do you have an arsenal of multimedia content, like podcasts, webcasts, and videos? Consider creating an item in your sub-navigation to feature this content. Multimedia content requires more time and dedication to consume than written content — visitors have to pull out headphones, switch on their volume, possibly duck from their boss — so give them one central location from which to watch and listen to this content. And just like the content in your resource center, your multimedia content can still live behind a lead generation form. Just be sure to write a brief description of the video, podcast, or webinar with the call-to-action!(Tip: If you don’t have enough multimedia content to warrant its own section of your site, you can group this in with the content in your resource center.)Reviews, Testimonials, & Case StudiesSetting up a dedicated section of your website for reviews, testimonials, and case study content is crucial for leads in the ‘evaluation’ stage in the buying cycle. HubSpot breaks the content up into shorter customer reviews (pictured below) and longer, more in-depth content in the form of customer case studies.Case study content typically requires more time and investment to create than customer reviews, so if you’re just getting started with this section of your website, consider the tabbed approach you see above. You can begin with one page with only short customer reviews, sourced from all over the web. Notice the HubSpot reviews come from guest blog posts on our own site, external blog posts, LinkedIn reviews, and even Yahoo! Answers. Keeping this content fresh will be much more manageable than churning out new case studies every month.Once you’ve accumulated 3-5 case studies for your business — whether they are video recordings or written content — create a separate tab or another point of sub-navigation to publish them. As with all other content repositories on your site, categorize the case studies in a way that makes sense for your site visitors and sales team. We’ve found categorizing case studies by industry helps leads and our sales team find the most appropriate content quickly.Where else on your site do you house non-blog content? Share your suggestions in the comments!Image credit: khalid Albaih 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

28 Creative Pinboard Ideas From Real Brands on Pinterest

first_img18) Complementary Products BoardOkay, so maybe you have a board for your own products. But you’re super helpful, too … right? Create a board for complementary — not competing — products that your audience would find useful, like AMD does in its “Laptop Bags & Cases” board. What other boards are you using to power your Pinterest marketing?Image Credit: net_efekt 19) Inspirational Industry QuotesMotivate your audience with inspirational quotes from industry thought leaders and experts. The Wall Street Journal adopts this idea in its “Quotes” board, for example. 26) A Day at the Office BoardWhat’s office life like at your company? Give your followers an idea with a board that features the goings on at your office, like Petplan does in its “Just a Day at the Office…” board. 11) User-Generated BoardBecause you can allow other users to contribute their own pins to your hosted pinboards on a user by user basis, this opens up a great opportunity to involve fans and customers in your marketing. Let Pinterest users get in on the action with a user-generated pinboard. You can either gather images and compile them into a board yourself, as the Weather Channel has done through its “iWitness Photos” board, or give specific users permission to pin content to your boards themselves, as Drake University and ModCloth have done. 10) Mission BoardGive your Pinterest followers a sense of your company’s mission and values, like the U.S. Army does in its “Army Values” board and Heart Shaped World does in its “Supporters & Causes” board. 28) Boards Organized By LocationIs your company a franchise? Maybe you just have multiple office locations around the country — or the world! Create a series of boards focused on each of your locations, as Ronald McDonald House Charities has done with its Pinterest account. Topics: 20) Events/Conferences BoardFeature awesome conferences and events in your industry, or create a board to promote an event you’re hosting yourself, as we’ve done at HubSpot with our “Inbound Conference” board. You coming? 12) Blog BoardHighlight your awesome blog content via a blog board. Just be sure each post you pin has a compelling visual within. Grand Image and HGTV both offer stellar examples of blog boards. 27) Newsjacking BoardsThat’s right. You can use Pinterest as a platform for newsjacking, too! The U.S. Army does this nicely with its “U.S. Army Olympians” board, where it highlights U.S. army soldiers who have competed or coached in the Olympics — just in time for the 2012 London Olympics! Peapod did this, too, for the Super Bowl, using its “Super Bowl Party” board to feature snack food and recipe ideas for the big game. 15) Visual Industry Data/Statistics BoardDoes your audience love data? Highlight interesting data and statistics for your industry in a visual way — through charts and graphs! Econsultancy has a cool “Stats and Charts” board, for instance. 14) Testimonials BoardAre people saying nice things about you? Share it with Pinterest! Or take a spin on this idea, like the U.S. Army does through its “‘Thank a Soldier’ Notes” board, seen below. 17) Meme BoardCreating memes to help power your social media presence in general (here’s how!)? Feature them on their own board, as we’ve done in HubSpot’s “Meme-tastic Marketing!” board. 24) Customer Interest BoardCreate boards that play to the interests of your prospects and customers. Jewelry maker Gemvara knows that a lot of its customers come looking for engagement and wedding rings, so its “‘Fit The Dress’ Recipes” board is a great choice. Similarly, HubSpot customer AmeriFirst Mortgage has its “Lavish Landscapes” board for its future and current home-owning clients. With the rise in popularity of visual content, marketers are realizing that Pinterest is a great way to show off their brands’ personalities, engage their social media fans and followers, and even generate some leads along the way. But many marketers — particularly those who represent B2B companies, are still left wondering, what in the heck should I be pinning?Well let me tell you, fellow marketers: You sure do have some options!I scoured Pinterest looking for examples of truly engaging pinboards and realized there are quite a few companies out there doing some really creative things with their Pinterest accounts. So if you’re ready to get your feet wet with visual content, here are 28 creative pinboard ideas to power your Pinterest marketing. And what’s even better? Most — if not all — of these pinboard ideas can be transferable to your own Pinterest account, whether you’re company is B2B, B2C, or nonprofit. Time to get pinning!1) Idea/Inspiration/Example BoardInspire your fans and followers! Think about your target customers’ interests and hobbies, and create a board to give them examples and ideas to inspire them. For example, Grand Image, a source of fine art for the corporate, hospitality, and healthcare design markets, uses its “Color Inspirations” board to inspire its followers with colorful examples, and Drake University uses its “Study Inspiration” board to motivate its student audience. 2) Philanthropy BoardShow off your business’ philanthropic side with a philanthropy board! Pinning images of your employees giving back to the community will show followers that your company cares about the greater good, just as FedEx has done through its “FedEx Community Involvement” board pictured below. 9) Employee BoardGive Pinterest users the opportunity to get to know the awesome people behind your brand. Petplan Pet Insurance does this creatively in its “Meet the Team” board, in which it features most of its team members with a furry friend. Furthermore, Salesforce uses its board to highlight why its employees love working at Salesforce, and Peapod profiles its employees in its “Peapod Pros” board. 7) Behind the Scenes BoardWhat happens behind the scenes that makes your company run like clockwork? Give your Pinterest followers the inside scoop with a board that highlights just what happens behind the scenes at your business. Peapod does this well with its “Where in the world is that Peapod Truck” pinboard, and General Electric makes machinery fascinating in its “From the Factory Floor” board. 5) Customer Success BoardHighlight your customers’ successes in one of your boards as Salesforce does in its Customer Success Stories” board, populated mainly by video pins. 8) Contest BoardUse your Pinterest presence to hold a contest and motivate your followers to action, like GE does with its “Freshpedition Sweepstakes” board. You can also highlight submissions to past contests, as the manufacturing company does in its “#GEInspiredMe” board. Originally published Aug 6, 2012 7:34:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Pinterest Marketing 21) Brand Lifestyle BoardCreate boards that appeal to the lifestyle your brand promotes. Chronicle Books does this well with its “Library Love” board, for instance. 25) Industry Cartoons BoardUse a board to feature funny industry cartoons, as MarketingProfs does in its “SnarketingProfs” board. HubSpot has a board like this, too! 4) Video BoardPinterest isn’t only for pinning pretty images. Users can pin videos, too! So if videos are a part of your marketing mix, create a board just for them as Gemvara and Econsultancy have done below. 23) History BoardAppeal to the history buffs in your audience. Compile a board to highlight your history, whether its the history of your business — like in Intel’s “Our Heritage” board — or the history of your industry, as MarketingProfs features in its “History: Vintage Marketing” board. 16) Industry Infographics/Diagrams/Flowcharts BoardSimilarly, if your audience is crazy for industry-related infographics, diagrams, or flowcharts, create a board just for them, whether you’ve created them yourself or collect them from the web. Mashable has a board just like this, as does Intel! 6) Products/Services BoardWe don’t recommend you litter your Pinterest presence with product-specific pins, but we think one or two boards dedicated to your products and/or services is just fine. AMD, for example, has a board dedicated to its technology, and we have one at HubSpot, too, featuring a peek at our marketing software. 13) Content/Resources BoardPiggybacking on the blog board idea, create a board to showcase some other awesome content and resources, whether its content you’ve created or content you’ve aggregated from other sources. Petplan does this well with its “Healthy Reads” board, and HubSpot even has its own “Helpful Marketing Ebooks” board. 3) Marketing Campaign BoardUse one of your boards to feature one of your latest marketing campaigns. DoubleTree hotels, for instance, uses one of its own to highlight images depicting its “Little Things Project Tour” campaign, which travels the country to bring the guests of its hotels little things that make a big difference when traveling. DoubleTree also uses its board to link to its Facebook page about the campaign to encourage engagement there, as well. 22) Industry Tips BoardOffer some tips! You can either pin original tips you’ve visually optimized, or pin content like tip-focused blog posts you’ve written or aggregated from others. Take a look at how Petplan and CNET do it. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

11 Savvy Ways to Use Buyer Personas to Strengthen Your Marketing

first_img Buyer Personas Originally published Aug 30, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Do you know your best customer? Seriously — do you really, really understand your best customer? For example, do they live in the big city or the suburbs? Watch Jeopardy or Modern Family? Use their iPhone nonstop, or get nervous about new technology? If you don’t know the answer, it’s time to do some research. Asking these types of questions will help you paint a clearer picture of your target customer — what marketers like to call their “buyer persona” — which will help you make smarter marketing decisions that always cater to the needs of your target customer.The key to successful marketing is making marketing people love. And the first step to making marketing people love is understanding *what* your best customer loves. Once you understand your buyers’ loves, needs, and interests, you can use this information to guide all of your marketing moving forward. Not only will you be successful, you’ll make your buyers happy! So here are 11 ways for you to start using those buyer personas you created to make smarter marketing decisions that make your target audience love you a whole lot more.11 Ways to Use Personas to Be a Better Marketer1) Write blog content that reads like their favorite how-to magazine.Have you ever read an article that was so relevant to your life — right at that moment — that you thought it must have been written just for you? That should be the goal of ALL your content for your potential buyers, particularly your blog content. By knowing what your buyers want to read and then writing it in educational and how-to blog posts, you’ll generate avid, loyal readers and subscribers.2) Post social updates that speak their language.HEYYY! we bet u wouldnt follow @HubSpot 4long if we twtd like this ALL TH3 TIME!!!!! Alternatively, choosing superfluous and ostentatious terminology for your social interactions may alienate your network … ahem. Be relatable to your buyer persona by using the language your buyer persona uses. That way your network will be able to relate to your brand, and your marketing will flourish!3) Hang out where your buyer persona hangs out.Does your network live for LinkedIn, but hate Twitter? Is there a specific niche social website that your persona can’t live without? That’s where your business should be most active! Hint: Look for trends in your web traffic from social networks. The channel that has the highest visit-to-lead conversion rate will most likely be the network that works best for you. 4) Customize your SEO strategy to target the phrasing your persona uses.This can get interesting! Say you sell electronics and you’re optimizing your website for the term “tv remotes.” But wait … what if your target audience actually calls those gadgets clickers? That’s a major difference! Be sure to optimize your website content based on the way your buyer persona speaks, and by extension, the way they search.5) Use humor that your buyer persona finds funny.Injecting humor into your marketing content is a great way to humanize your brand, but you have to make sure it’s actually funny to your target audience. Even more important, you have to make sure it’s not insulting to your target audience. The tastes of a 21-year-old man might be a bit different than a gentleman in his 50s, after all. Truly know what your buyer persona finds entertaining. It’d be a shame to accidentally upset one of your prospects when you were just trying to make your brand a little more relatable, and your content a little more engaging.6) Create an offer that solves your persona’s problems.What does your buyer persona want help with? Is there often a problem that most of your best customers have? Or had when they were your leads, at least? If you can create a document that helps your target audience solve that problem — and put it behind a form to help with your lead generation, of course — you’ll have a true win-win on your hands. Your target audience gets the help they need, and you generate some seriously high-quality leads!7) Optimize your landing pages for your buyer persona.Don’t talk about why you think your offer is important. Describe your offer in terms of what it will do for your prospective customer. That type of content is appealing and compelling, and you should see a higher conversion rate after optimization. Not sure what words will resonate best? A/B test your landing page copy to see what resonates best with your target audience!8) Use technology that caters to their technical level.Don’t ask your customer base to use a technology type that they aren’t comfortable using to interact with your website or content. For example, forcing your customer to download a mobile app when they don’t have a smartphone might not be the best call. Make sure you understand what type of technology your buyer persona knows, has, and is comfortable using so your marketing content is easily accessibly.9) Collaborate with partners that excite your persona.Co-marketing is an amazing way to make your marketing soar — after all, two heads (and resource sets) are better than one! When choosing your co-marketing partners, try to think of companies that your buyer idolizes, whether they’re small or big, and consider if a partnership might be beneficial. You could do anything from launching co-marketing webinars to simply making a donation to a non-profit your persona cares a lot about. You’ll develop your brand’s authority and thought leadership position, and earn some major likability points with your target audience.10) Align your campaign timing with your persona’s lifestyle.Does your buyer persona go on vacation every August? Stop work at noon? Live in a different time zone? Read emails from her iPhone when waking up at five in the morning? Cater your campaign launches around these lifestyle nuances. So if your target audience is, say, a night owl, you’ll probably want to schedule the majority of your social content around 9:00 to 11:00pm in your target’s timezone. Right? Right.11) Mold your sales process to your persona’s decision making process.This might be the most important tip. Different people need different types of information to make key buying decisions … and at different stages in the buying cycle, to boot. Make sure you understand what type of details and information your buyer will require before they sign on the line that is dotted, and when the best time is to divulge that information.What else do you use your buyer persona for in your marketing? How has developing a buyer persona helped you?Image credit: viZZZual.com Topics:last_img read more

Help! My Sales Team Thinks Our Inbound Leads Suck

first_img Originally published Feb 12, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 I must have had the following conversation at least 50 times last year: “Mark, we love inbound marketing. We’ve completely overhauled our marketing so it aligns with the way prospects buy today, and we’re generating 10 times the leads we did in the past. It’s awesome. But my sales team does nothing but complain about these leads. They say the leads suck. What are we doing wrong?”Here’s what’s happening: Your typical salesperson has been honing his/her skills for years — sometimes decades — in the art and science of closing outbound leads. But inbound leads don’t act like outbound leads. So it’s not uncommon for inbound leads to look like they “suck” to your salespeople, when in fact, they’re just different. The “problems” your sales team has identified with your inbound leads are just signs pointing to the ways inbound leads act, think, and close differently than outbound leads do. Diagnose the “problem,” and your sales team can learn to work effectively with your new inbound leads. Here are my top five tips for transforming how your sales team approaches selling to inbound leads, and how Marketing can help.Tip #1: Don’t buy a list of companies in your target market.  Do generate lots of inbound leads and pass only the good fit companies to your sales team. Inbound marketing has turned the fit/pain funnel on its head. In an outbound model, companies start with a list of executives at a “perfect fit” company and bombard them with hundreds of calls and emails until 1% or 2% call back and admit they have pain. In an inbound model, all your leads have the pain your company solves. Otherwise, they would have never conducted that Google search, downloaded that whitepaper, or read that blog article that led them to you. The problem is that your company doesn’t sell to the entire world. Some percentage of these leads are just not a fit for your business. However, the inbound leads who are a fit are exceptional — and they close much faster and at a higher rate than your outbound opportunities.The problem here is that marketers get so excited to be generating hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of inbound leads each month, that they end up passing all these leads to sales. If Marketing passes the sales team 1,000 leads, only 100 of which are good, and Sales has to sift through 900 bad leads, they’re going to hate it, and they’re going to say things like, “These leads suck.” However, if Marketing can filter out the 900 less fit companies and pass along just the 100 good ones, their sales team will think they have the best marketing department in the world. As a result, Marketing and Sales must align to develop and implement a lead scoring system that makes sense and results in only good fit leads getting passed from Marketing to Sales.Tip #2: Don’t call high. Do call the inbound lead influencers, ask them what is going on, and then call high. Look … not every inbound lead is going to be a C-level executive. In fact, very few of them will be. You’re much more likely to get a mid-level manager, associate, or even an intern on the other end of the phone. So what does your typical salesperson think? “This isn’t a qualified buyer. This is an intern. These leads suck.”However, who do you think told the intern to do the Google search that led to your company? The C-suite. The inbound lead indicates that pain exists at that company — the pain you solve. So call the mid-level manager. Call the associate. Call the intern. But don’t try to sell them. You’re right — they’re not buyers. Instead, use that call to prepare yourself for the call with the executive. Ask them, “Why did you download that ebook? Why did you read that blog article? Who told you to conduct this research? Why? What is your boss’ key initiatives for 2013? What did your CEO talk about at the annual kick-off?” If you’re doing inbound marketing well, you’ll be surprised how much these leads trust you and how honest their answers will be.Now you’re in a position to call high. You don’t have to leave the typical voicemail …“Hi John, we help companies like you get more leads and customers from your website. Give me a call back so I can tell you more about ways we do this.” Instead, you can leave one that says …“Hi John, a number of people from your company have contacted me about effective lead generation strategies. I understand you’re hiring 10 new sales reps next quarter and need to increase lead generation by 35%. I’ve been working on a strategy with your team that I would like to run by you.” Now, which voicemail would make you more willing to call back?Tip #3:  Don’t lead with your company’s elevator pitch.  Do lead with your buyer’s interests.By the time they get passed on to your sales team, a typical inbound lead might have visited your website 15 times, read 11 blog articles, opened 3 emails from you, and downloaded 5 ebooks. They’re already several stages into the sales process before they’ve even spoken to someone from your company. So what do you think happens if a sales rep calls them up and leads with a stone-cold elevator pitch? It comes across as completely tone deaf to the prospect, right? It might even erode most of the trust your marketing team has worked so hard to build up. The lead hangs up on your salesperson, and again, your salesperson thinks, “These leads suck.”Instead, salespeople need to leverage all the data you’ve collected about your inbound leads in your contacts database. How they found your website, what pages they viewed most, what emails they opened and read, how often they shared your content on Twitter and Facebook: All of this tells you loads of information about what the prospect’s problems are and how you can help. Your salespeople should be using that information to open the conversation on the phone …Sales Rep: “Hi, Mary, this is Mark from HubSpot [pause because at this point Mary may start telling you how much they love your content and your company]. I noticed you downloaded our ebook on lead generation from LinkedIn. What specific questions did you have?”Mary: “Oh, I was just doing research. I didn’t know I’d actually get a call from a salesperson.”Sales Rep: “That’s okay. I’m actually looking at your company’s LinkedIn page right now and had two quick tips for you. Do you have a minute to go over them?”Mary wants to hear those tips. Mary will ask more questions. Mary will be impressed with how helpful and smart you are. Mary will wonder what she can buy from you. Congratulations! You no longer have a salesperson-prospect relationship, you have a doctor-patient relationship. Now you can diagnose whether you can help their company — and how.Tip #4: Don’t beg for an appointment.  Do qualify out non-buyers.  If you’ve never cold called before, you’re not missing out on much. Imagine a day where you dial the phone 100 times, leave 95 voicemail messages, and not one person calls you back. Of the five people who did pick up the phone, three hung up within the first five seconds. And when you do get somebody on the phone who’s willing to talk, it’s clear that he’s not really qualified to buy from you. But because you’re having such a lousy day of cold calling and feeling unloved — and because you don’t have enough leads to begin with, and beggars can’t be choosers — you book an appointment with them anyway. It happens more often than most salespeople are willing to admit.But with a steady stream of inbound leads flowing in, your salespeople can approach these initial conversations from a position of strength. Every minute you spend on the phone with an unqualified buyer is time you could be spending with a warm lead. Do build trust. Do understand the prospect’s needs. Do attempt to provoke pain if it doesn’t exist. But most importantly, do move on if they’re not a good fit. Thank your prospect for their time. Introduce them to someone else who can help if you know somebody. Encourage them to continue to enjoy your content. And quick … call that next inbound lead.Tip #5: Don’t “Always Be Closing.”Do “Always Be Helping.”Most salespeople, following the directive of the infamous movie Glengarry Glen Ross, adopt the rallying cry, “Always Be Closing.” But this is a disastrous approach to take with an inbound lead. The internet has shifted control from the salesperson to the buyer. People can research your company, research your competitors, understand your price, and sometimes even try your product — all without speaking to a salesperson. And by the time an inbound lead reaches your sales team, that’s exactly what that person has done.Sales should not start out by looking to close. They shouldn’t even be thinking about pitching your product. Instead, they should look to help the buyer. Strive to uncover the thing your buyer is worried about — the thing she’s stuck on — and if you find it, help her with it. Don’t try to tie it to your product. Just help them. Buyers don’t need to talk to Sales anymore. Make them want to talk to you because they trust you and you’ve been helpful in the past in solving their problems. If done correctly, your product and how it can help them will naturally come up at the right time.Just as the internet has changed life for the modern buyer (and the modern marketer), life has also changed for the modern salesperson. In all cases, it’s for the better. If your salespeople still complain that your inbound leads suck, try running an experiment. Choose a sales rep with an open mind, and tell them they need to make their goal this month from inbound leads alone, using the guidelines above. Then tell the rest of the team to watch as their colleague starts closing business faster and at a higher rate. Nothing succeeds like success. The rest of your team will soon follow suit.Don’t run a sales and marketing team that annoys people. Do run a sales and marketing team that people love. Topics: Passing Leads to Sales Don’t forget to share this post! 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What You Need to Know This Morning: June 12, 2013

first_img Inbound Marketing 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 Hump day! You’ve lived through the story of that horrible Dunkin’ Donuts woman, and in just several hours (depending on where you are in the world), you’ll have officially made it over the hump of your week. Unless of course you work Tuesdays through Sundays like my husband, in which case you’re not even close. Bummer.Also, it’s really difficult to find an appealing image of a camel (you know — to perpetuate the hump joke), so I went with a humpback whale instead. But just look at all the barnacles on that thing. I guess it’s better than this ugly mug.In any event, here’s to hoping these stories help you surmount the hump.1) High end water. FINALLY.Because paying $5 a pop for a bottle of water just isn’t high end enough, Nestlé has introduced Resource, “premium” water meant for trendy, high-income women. The product was launched along with a video of the following bizarre, over-the-top publicity stunt. It’s supposed to help women achieve “electrolytenment” — whatever that means.2) When will desktop ad spending peak?In 2014 apparently, eMarketer reports. Mobile ad spending is growing faster than expected. Of the projected U.S. digital ad spend of $41.9 billion this year, $7.7 billion — which represents the bulk of overall digital advertising growth — will be allocated to mobile ads. It’s only a matter of time until our desktops start looking like this:3) They may take our phone calls, but they’ll never take … OUR EMAILS!According to a survey from Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, 54% of Americans are cool with the National Security Agency (NSA) tracking their phone calls in terrorism investigations. But email? HELL NO. The majority of Americans are more protective of their email accounts. William Wallace agrees.4) Lessons for app design. From toothpaste.If you had a choice of the following three toothpaste options, which would you choose?”The one with the penguins” every time, right? Yeah — I don’t know what that 11-year old was thinking. Clearly, she wasn’t. But apparently toothpaste does a lot more than just clean your toofers. It can also teach you plenty about app design. Who knew?5) The FTC puts celebrities in the dog house.They’re just not following the rules. Again. This time, reports Business Insider, it’s about failing to disclose their product endorsements in social media. And the FTC is not happy about it. Come on, Biebz. Stop setting a bad example.6) It’s officially time to step up your game on mobile.Else you’ll suffer in the rankings, says Google. Yesterday, Search Engine Land reported that the search giant will start implementing search ranking changes that’ll hurt your site if you’re not optimized for mobile. Let’s get on that, people. Here’s how to make sure you’re in the clear.I just couldn’t help myself … Sometimes it’s puppies that catch our attention on the web. Other times, it’s a combination of cats and male models. Today, it’s sea lions. Or, one in particular … Now that your heart is a little warmer, go forth and get over that wretched hump.Image Credit: tjvphoto Originally published Jun 12, 2013 7:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

How Good Does Your Site REALLY Look on Mobile Devices? [Free Tool]

first_imgOur stat-hounds cannot keep up. Figures for website traffic from mobile devices have jumped again. This time from 13% in 2012 to nearly one-fourth (24%) in the first quarter of 2013 — a 78% increase in total.So if it’s all the same to you, whenever someone asks about mobile driven traffic from this point forward, we’re just going to say, “more than the last time you looked.”You already know that mobile is a force to be reckoned with, and odds are, you’ve put some thought into it. You may have pulled up your site on your mobile phone or checked it out on a tablet to see how the experience comes across. But as you add more content and consumer tech adds more and more devices, it can be difficult to scale that approach.Enter HubSpot’s Device Lab, a free tool we’ve just created to help you see how your site looks across all sorts of devices — from iPhones to Galaxys to Desktops. It’s a little like playing dress up with your website, except this game could save you from losing a hefty slice of your visitors to competitor sites.Here’s how the tool works. Check it out. It’s still in beta, which means we’re working on making it perfect, but please do give it a try.How to See What Your Site Looks Like on Different Mobile DevicesPut the URL you’d like to view into the Device Lab:  You can choose your own homepage, a new landing page you’ve created, or even a competitor’s site. What you want to look for in the results is how the overall experience changes from device to device. Are the images loading properly? Is your page getting cut off? Does the visitor from that device have to zoom or scroll excessively to find a call-to-action (CTA) or fill out a form?In just a couple of seconds you’ll get a custom report:  The first thing you’ll notice in the report is a meter for the percentage of overall internet traffic driven by each device. For now, this is just a guideline based on average internet usage, but there are a number of free tools that will help you get custom reporting for your own site, the easiest being the mobile report within Google Analytics, if you have that set up.  Next, you’ll see a visual of how your site looks when viewed on the six most commonly used mobile devices:iPhone4 and 4SIPhone5NexusSamsung GalaxyiPadPlus a desktop view for comparison A sample cut from HubSpot’s Device Lab ReportWhat to Do With This ReportThere are three possible outcomes from this report:You are happy with the way your site looks on every device. Congratulations! As my dad would say, “You done good, kid.” Since the visuals are good, you can now move on to thinking about how you can adapt your content strategy to drive more conversions from mobile devices. Think about how buyer behavior changes on mobile and try to identify the most common and essential actions a visitor takes on your site. Then prioritize your content to make that interaction frictionless. You are happy with parts of it, but see some problems. Maybe some devices look better than others, or the top of your page looks good, but when you scroll down there are some elements that look off — perhaps, a video or image that isn’t adapting well to the device. In this case, make yourself a checklist. If you have a designer on staff, HubSpot’s got a bunch of tips available for how to make page elements like iframes, videos, and images responsive for mobile devices. It’s a hot mess. Don’t panic. Take a look at your mobile traffic numbers to see where your audience is on the curve of mobile adoption. Again, you can get a sense of this in Google Analytics or by taking a look at benchmarks by industry. If your numbers are on par with or ahead of internet averages, you’ll want to look at moving to a mobile-optimized platform for your next website redesign. HubSpot’s Content Optimization System uses responsive design to automatically repackage your website to fit any device. And when it comes to creating a complete mobile strategy, you can take things piece by piece. So now you know how it works, and you’re prepared for any outcome — why not give it a try? Mobile Optimization Topics: Originally published Sep 19, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #26: Speak Visually

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

Conversion Copywriting: Words & Phrases That Make People Click [Infographic]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Think of the number of new posts entering our social feeds every hour, the number of search results that appear for each query we type, and the number of blog post headlines we skim through each day. How do people choose which ones to click on and which ones to ignore?In an overcrowded market where everyone has the power to create content, it’s really difficult for marketers to get an edge — we’re all competing for our message to be the one that catches our audience’s eye and makes them click (and hopefully eventually become customers).This data-backed infographic from Uberflip tells us why word choice is so important, and which words are most likely to convert today’s consumers. Take note of the words it suggests, and be sure to try them out in your next tweet or blog post headline!Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates Now1K+Save Topics: Social Media Campaignscenter_img Originally published Aug 7, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated August 29 2017  1K+Savelast_img read more

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

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

Live Desktop Broadcasts, Mid-Roll Video Ads & More: 7 Facebook Changes You May Have Missed

first_img Topics: Facebook Marketing Originally published Jan 16, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 In December 2016, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook has evolved from a traditional social media network into a new type of media company — one that offers a hybrid technology and news platform where content creators and readers publish, share, and talk about what’s happening in the world.The announcement marks a shift from Zuckerberg’s previous statements that Facebook would not become a media company, and the significance is meaningful. Facebook has started taking greater responsibility for content shared on the platform, and over the past several months, it has rolled out many new features that are highly relevant for content creators and social media managers to learn more about.We know it’s challenging to keep up with all of the breaking technology news out there, so we’ve compiled a list of recent changes and new features to Facebook for marketers to plan for.7 New Facebook Features You May Have MissedJanuary 2017Facebook Journalism ProjectFacebook cemented its role as a new kind of media company with the announcement of the Facebook Journalism Project, its initiative to collaborate more closely with journalists and content creators publishing on the platform.According to Facebook Director of Product Fidji Simo, here’s how the Facebook Journalism Project will work:1) Facebook will work with news outlets to develop new ways of creating and distributing content on the platform.Facebook wants to work with news organizations to help make new content formats, such as Facebook Live, 360 video, and Instant Articles, work better for publishers. Simo also mentions an interest in creating new products that better suit readers who are getting news from the platform — approximately 66% of Facebook users. One feature Facebook is launching under this initiative is the ability for publishers to share multiple Instant Articles in a single post, like a mini digital newspaper. Here’s what it will look like:Source: Facebook 2) Facebook will provide partner journalists more tools for analyzing content performance.Facebook Page administrators can now designate contributors so different journalists can post content on the platform, similar to a traditional newsroom. Additionally, the Facebook Journalism Project will provide more video analytics insights for publishers on the platform. Now, video content creators will be able to see more meaningful metrics for how live and regular videos perform on Facebook, such as total minutes viewed and total engagements.Source: Facebook3) Facebook will continue its initiative to fight fake news and promote greater news literacy.After news broke that fake news stories outperformed real news stories on the platform during the U.S. election, Facebook announced new initiatives to make it harder to publish and easier to identify hoax news. The initiative include working with third-party fact checkers, disrupting financial incentives for hoaxers to post these stories, and making it easy for Facebook users to dispute content that they believe is fake. This system will make the content appear lower in the News Feed, produce a warning to readers that the content is under review, and the content can’t be promoted or turned into an ad. Here’s how disputed stories and warnings will appear in the News Feed:Source: FacebookThe Facebook Journalism Project was just recently announced, and we’ll report back on any new publishing formats or changes as they evolve. For now, content creators should experiment with new capabilities and analytics as they become available in order to better measure their social media strategy’s efficacy. Video insights in particular will be highly useful as it becomes easier for marketers to create more video content. Facebook Live Broadcasts From ComputersFacebook Live, which lets users broadcast live video from their mobile phones directly onto the News Feed, launched in May 2016. It quickly experienced rapid growth, and Facebook recently announced that Pages will now be able to broadcast live video from computers in addition to mobile phones.This update will make it easier for users to go live, which has its pros and cons. Filming from a laptop or desktop computer keeps the camera steadier than holding a mobile phone, which improves video quality for broadcasters. On the other hand, part of Facebook Live’s appeal is in the ability to start recording a remarkable event at a moment’s notice while you’re on the go. If Facebook Live videos are staged and filmed statically from a computer, will they be as popular among viewers? I asked HubSpot Social Media Marketing Manager Marissa Emanuele what she thought of the latest changes to Facebook Live. “The ability to broadcast Facebook Live from your laptop will certainly change the content landscape. They’re moving away from the real time/in the moment feel, and shifting to a more professional, polished tone. This could drive more consumer adoption in the future, as it can feel more natural to be on your laptop’s webcam versus holding a camera,” she explained.Mid-Roll Video AdvertisementsRecode reported that Facebook will start giving video content creators the option to insert ads into videos at least 90 seconds in length after viewers have watched them for at least 20 seconds. Facebook sources said the platform would sell the ads and share 55% of the sales with publishers — the same share that YouTube offers.Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video per day, and most video content creators haven’t generated money because Facebook hasn’t permitted ads that run before the video content starts (as is on YouTube). When these mid-roll advertisements launch, publishers will have to create highly engaging content in order to a) get viewers to watch for at least 20 seconds, and b) continue watching the video after the ad plays.“Mid-roll video advertisements will incentivize marketers to create video content that doesn’t just chase vanity metrics (such as views) but also focuses on retention,” Emanuele notes. “This should push all of us to create stronger content that resonates with our audiences.”For now, marketers should beef up their video marketing skills if they want to monetize their content when this feature becomes available.August 2016More Independent Messenger PlatformFacebook’s messaging app, Messenger, has 1 billion monthly active users around the world, and Facebook has been evolving the app into a content sharing and communicating platform in its own right.In 2015, users could start signing up for Messenger without a Facebook account. In June 2016, Messenger for Android users could start sending and receiving SMS messages. Most recently, Messenger started testing a new “Add Contact” feature that allows users to connect with people on the app without becoming friends on Facebook.Here’s what that looks like:Source: BuzzFeedWith over 4 billion monthly active users around globe, messaging apps are growing rapidly and changing the way people communicate, even outside social networks. The new features Messenger is unrolling make it more independent from Facebook itself and make it easier for new users to start communicating on the platform. Businesses are starting to use messaging apps for customer service and communication, and Facebook is making it easier for Messenger to become a giant in that space, without even the need for a Facebook account. Social media managers should start thinking about the evolving way their audience prefers to communicate and if Messenger, or another messaging app like WeChat or WhatsApp, would be a good fit.June 2016More Content From Family and Friends in the News FeedFacebook changed its News Feed algorithm to prioritize organic content from users’ Facebook Friends over content from Pages and other publishers. This move represents an effort on Facebook’s part to maintain user interest and engagement by showing them more of the content they want from the people they know, but it represents a potentially big blow to content creators who rely on Facebook for referral traffic.For an idea of how influential Facebook is for publishers, consider this: Parse.ly found that Facebook makes up 41% of all referral traffic, which is more than Google properties. With this algorithm change in mind, content creators should ramp up their other traffic strategies, such as organic search engine optimization and email marketing to make up for traffic that may take a dip from Facebook. Marketers should also invest in quality Facebook content creation and post photos, videos, and links that followers will want to share with their circles to drive social media engagement that way.April 2016Save to Facebook From Around the WebSave to Facebook was introduced in 2014, and it’s essentially Facebook’s version of Pocket or Evernote Web Clipper: It lets users save Facebook posts for coming back to and consuming at a later time. Two years later, roughly 250 million people are using this feature, and Facebook announced a new button to make it even more popular. Developers can add a Save button to any web content so visitors can save articles for viewing the next time they’re on Facebook, even if they’re looking at the content on a different website.Here’s what it looks like in action:Source: The VergeMarketers could add these buttons to their articles to drive more article views and time spent on-page for busy scrollers looking to save content for reading on their commute or after work hours. “Save to Facebook is a dream come true for long form content marketers,” says Emanuele. “You no longer need to worry about closing the deal immediately. Instead, users will be able to save meaningful content that they want to read later, meaning your content doesn’t need to be created for quick, immediate consumption.”March 2016Live Video in the News FeedFacebook determined that users spent 3X more time watching Facebook Live videos that regular videos, so they announced that they would begin ranking them higher in the News Feed in response to users’ preferences.Brands who are recording live videos have the opportunity to drive even more engagement with this shift in priorities, which in turn helps their content be discovered and shared more widely. Users can also get notified when Pages they follow start recording live, so if live video isn’t part of marketers’ strategies already, it’s a great way to earn more meaningful engagement on the platform. If marketers are looking for inspiration, here’s a blog post rounding up examples of great Facebook Live videos.What’s AheadFacebook changes its platform and rolls out new products all the time, so we’ll keep marketers informed as the social network turned news company continues to evolve. In the meantime, content creators should experiment with new features to see if audiences like engaging with them. For more ideas how brands can use Facebook to meet their goals, check out this blog post.What’s your favorite new Facebook feature? Share with us in the comments below. 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

10 months agoNapoli coach Ancelotti delighted for matchwinner Milik

first_imgNapoli coach Ancelotti delighted for matchwinner Milikby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli coach Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with their 1-0 win over Cagliari.Arkadiusz Milik struck late to earn the points for Napoli.“He is a smart guy, who is able to deal with various situations in a balanced manner,” Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italia.“The Liverpool defeat was a heavy blow, but the reaction had already come a long time before this evening. I didn’t need to win at Cagliari to know this team had already shaken off the Anfield game.“This is a team with good prospects and we are doing very well, but in my view can do far better. We are very competitive. We were in the Champions League, we are in Serie A and will be in the Europa League.“I share the project with the club, so this is a structure that doesn’t let itself be influenced by one victory or defeat. We can really do well here.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more