Month: November 2019

  • COA strikes down SGM decisions, Ajit Singh stays Anti corruption head

    first_imgThe BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA) has struck down decisions taken during an SGM held on June 22nd.A communication sent to BCCI office bearers as well as management team reads, “The Committee of Administrators has received a document from the Acting Secretary setting out the various resolutions that were purportedly passed during a meeting held at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi on 22nd June 2018.The said meeting was convened and held in violation of the directions dated 15th March 2018 issued by the Committee of Administrators.Accordingly, it is directed that no office bearer / committee member / employee / consultant/ retainer / service provider shall in any way implement, act further to or in aid of any resolutions that may have been passed during the aforesaid meeting.”State units unhappy with CoA, demand BCCI SGM on June 22In a COA meeting held in Mumbai on Wednesday, a lot of these decisions were struck down one after another.The SGM had resolved that former Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar be given an extension as BCCI’s anti corruption head as the new appointment of Ajit Singh was non transparent.Ajit Singh, a former Rajasthan DGP went on to attend the COA meeting on Wednesday and made a presentation too, to strengthen the anti corruption unit.The SGM had resolved for Ranji trophy to revert back to Elite and Plate format. In the COA meeting, a new formula involving four groups A, B, C and D that also ensures participation of North Eastern states as well as Uttrakhand was deviced.advertisementThere was a presentation made by General Manger Saba Karim, explaining the COA of how the now contentious ‘yo yo test’ had been introduced as a fitness parameter for Indian team selection at the behest of team management.But there was no decision to draft a reply to Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary who had delivered a long questionnaire to COA, inquiring if any scientific method was followed before introducing yo yo tests in Indian cricket which has seen three cricketers losing their national spots on failing such test.last_img read more

  • Alexander Zverev reaches Washington Open semi-final, Andy Murray withdraws

    first_imgTop seed and defending champion Alexander Zverev beat Kei Nishikori to win their rain-hit Washington Open quarter-final in three sets on Friday. Andy Murray on the other hand, withdrew from the tournament due to fatigue.Zverev came from behind to beat Nishikori 3-6 6-1 6-4 to eliminate him for the second consecutive time from the tournament.Zverev will next play Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals on Saturday after the Greek upset third seed David Goffin 6-3 6-4.The Zverev-Nishikori result was delayed for more than two hours by rain with Zverev leading 3-2 with a break in the third set.When play resumed, Zverev took a second break thanks to a series of errors by Nishikori and closed out the match.Nishikori had earlier controlled play as Zverev stayed largely behind the baseline but that changed in the second set, when the German became far more aggressive, especially on return.The teenaged Tsitsipas took advantage of an uncharacteristic slew of unforced errors by Goffin to topple the world number 11.He saved all three break points he faced and fired seven aces to Goffin’s four in the upset. He also won 86 per cent of his first serve points.Murray, who finished his previous match at 3AM in the morning before sobbing his way out of the court, couldn’t go on any further and announced his withdrawal. The withdrawal gave Australia’s Alex de Minaur a free pass to the semi-finals. De Minaur will play the winner of Andrey Rublev and American Denis Kudler.advertisementDe Minaur moved into his third ATP semi-final, after reaching his first two in January at Brisbane and Sydney. The 19-year-old is projected to soar past his previous career-best world ranking of 68 and could make the top 50.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

  • The Top 12 Marketing News Updates You Should Be Thankful For

    first_imgWhy We’re Thankful for TwitterTwitter Launches New Follow Button for WebsitesThe new button makes it easy for website visitors to start following the Twitter accounts that are most interesting to them. Twitter, thank you for giving marketers an easy way to generate new followers and, ultimately, increase social media reach.Twitter Introduces Free Twitter Web Analytics ToolTwitter finally introduced its own analytics tool, aimed at helping website owners understand how much traffic they generated from Twitter as well as the effectiveness of Twitter integrations on their websites. Twitter, I’ll echo my sentiments to Facebook. Thank you for giving marketers the ability to justify time spent on social media!Twitter Rolls Out Improved Search Functionality With Photos & VideosThis provides businesses with the unique opportunity to see how often their content is being shared by putting it on a public forum, and seeing if it ends up on the top results. If so, your reach is extended even further, as users may click on it just because it’s on their screen. Twitter, thank you for not forgetting that content takes many forms other than text. Photos and videos are an important part of many marketers’ inbound marketing strategies!What else should marketers should be thankful for this Thanksgiving? Share some of your favorite inbound marketing updates that make you thankful!Image credit: jelene Originally published Nov 24, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Why We’re Thankful for LinkedInLinkedIn Launches Company Status UpdatesThis update enables companies to broadcast messages to its company followers. Companies can share text and links to other content as well as multimedia content like videos and images. LinkedIn, thank you for giving us the sharing capabilities we have on Facebook on a site that is extremely targeted to B2B marketing. It allows us to speak to a more targeted audience, which means more qualified leads.LinkedIn Launches “LinkedIn Today”LinkedIn Today is a news aggregation and curation service. Based off the industry you have selected on your personal page, LinkedIn will provide top headlines for stories in that designated field. LinkedIn, thank you for making it easier for us to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in our industry!LinkedIn Releases Official Share ButtonThe release of this button allows LinkedIn users to easily share content they find interesting and relevant with their network. LinkedIn, thank you for making it easy for users to share content straight to their profile. It makes them much more prone to share and gets content in front of more eyes. As we gather around our Thanksgiving dinner tables and think about all we have to be thankful for in our personal lives, let’s take an extra moment to reflect on all we should be thankful for as inbound marketers. We’ve covered some major marketing news stories on this blog during 2011. Not surprisingly, they’ve included a lot of helpful new updates and features that make our jobs as marketers a lot easier. Here’s a list of some of the top news, launches, changes, and updates that tickled our fancy and serve as a reminder of what we all have to be thankful for as inbound marketers. Let’s take a look!Why We’re Thankful for FacebookFacebook Launches Revamped Insights Tool for Business PagesMarketers know they need to use social media, but have struggled to find a way to put ROI around social media effort. Finally, Facebook launched a revamped Insights tool that comes fully loaded with metrics that are truly insightful (hence the name) and can help you super-charge your Facebook marketing. Facebook Insights, thank you for helping us show our bosses pretty charts with lots of numbers indicating why we need to keep our social media presence going strong!Facebook Now Allows Profile Pages to Become Business PagesMarketers were told to be on Facebook, and they listened! Except some people set up profiles (that did pretty well!) instead of business pages. Oops. For all those who were too afraid to make the switch from profile to business page out of fear for losing their following, Facebook finally made it easy to make the transition. Facebook, thank you for giving people a chance to redeem themselves without suffering a giant social media setback!Facebook Enhances News Feed and Introduces TickerFacebook’s new ticker feature includes status updates from pages users are following, meaning your business page can generate even more reach by appearing as an update! As of recently, these tickers also come with sponsored stories. Facebook, even though many of us kicked and screamed (and may still be doing so), thank you for getting more eyes on our social media content, allowing us to extend our reach and generate more fans. Why We’re Thankful for GoogleGoogle+ Finally Launches Business PagesThere she is, the story so many marketers waited for. The appearance and functionality of business pages resembled a Google+ personal page but also allowed businesses to leverage the social network to connect with their audience, spread their messages, promote their content, and generate leads. (Don’t forget: this is the same year that Google launched Google+ as well). Google, thank you for listening to the thousands of businesses that requested business pages, and giving us another place to publish the content we work so hard to create!Everything Marketers Need to Know About Google’s Panda UpdatesSome businesses suffered big time from Google’s Panda updates, but we all learned that being helpful in our marketing is truly important and that we must be generating fresh and optimized content constantly. Google, thank you for leveling the playing field with these updates; it allows marketers with the best content to have a shot at the top, even if they don’t have the most money.Google Adds Google+ Posts and ‘Add to Circles’ Buttons to Search ResultsNow, even if searchers do not have a Google+ account, they will still see Google+ results for their searches. I guess that’s pretty beneficial if you want your Google+ business pages to be shared beyond Google users, huh? Google, thank you for rewarding people who are using your new social network and helping us build our reach even to those who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet.center_img Topics: Marketing Trends 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 Easily Master PPC Through Relevancy

    first_img Topics: PPC Let’s do some quick math. PPC + Inbound Marketing = Relevancy. Furthermore, Relevancy = Sales. Paid search can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be if you adhere to the basic principles of inbound marketing. Being relevant can also be difficult in terms of finding opportunities, but it is a key component to connecting with your target market. With paid search, if a user on Google or Bing types in a search query, you as a marketer have the ability to present an offering that is almost identical to what was specifically searched for by that user. Now isn’t that the perfect opportunity to be relevant?Users are telling search engines exactly what they want and when, and marketers have the opportunity to be visible to their audience at that exact moment. As a marketer, what more could you ask for? PPC allows you to execute inbound marketing best practices and address the exact wants and needs of potential customers. So are you effectively leveraging the power of relevancy in paid search campaigns to help achieve your marketing goals? Here’s how to do it.3 Easy Ways to Master PPC Through Relevancy1.) Buy Relevant Keywords: This is something that probably sounds so easy, yet is a struggle for a lot of marketers. When building your business’ keyword list for organic search, keep in mind that paid search is a component of your overall online strategy. PPC is additive, and should be done in collaboration with what you’re doing across SEO, social media, and your other inbound channels.Segment your keyword list, and start small. The worst thing you can do is run PPC campaigns using broad keywords that will eat up your ad spend. For instance, if you own a gym and are looking to increase memberships, run campaigns using the most relevant keywords first. Look at the four keywords below. All are somewhat relevant to a gym, but which are the most relevant?GymGym membershipsBuy gym membershipsBuy gym memberships in BostonBy running campaigns using more targeted queries first, you ensure that your budget is being spent targeting searchers who are truly looking to convert, giving you some time to obtain data and insights.2.) Write Relevant Ad Copy: If a user is searching for a “Cannondale Mountain Bike,” don’t show them an ad with the phrase “Cannondale Bicycle.” Consistency is crucial, as searchers will often respond to specificity. In other words, they want to see results that match what they type into the search box. Additionally, offer the searcher a proposition, value, and a call-to-action.You also need to give people a reason to click on your ad. What offer are they going to get in return for clicking? Educational content, a free trial, a consultation, 20% off? Give them a sense of urgency as well; a compelling call-to-action will produce higher click-through rates because people will be compelled to click your ad.3.) Link to Relevant Landing Pages: As a PPC marketer, I am not truly happy until every single keyword has its own landing page. There are completely different behavioral groups behind campaigns and ad groups, and the same is true across keywords. For instance, you may even see different performance for the term “Chicago lawyer” vs. “Chicago lawyers.” This seems like such a minute aspect of a query, but the behavior of the lawyer query vs. the lawyers query is going to be different.As a marketer pressed for time, it’s not plausible to think you will have a unique landing page for every keyword, but at least have landing pages by ad group so that your page is speaking to the theme of the search query and the ad that the user saw in the search engine. Keeping with the legal theme, if a search query is for “Chicago lawyer,” then you should have a page that talks about lawyers. If the query is for “Chicago attorney” then have a page that uses the term ‘attorneys’ instead.Remember, It’s Just MathInbound marketing is not free. You pay with your time, you pay with salaries, and you even pay for tools to help you do your job. In the end, it’s all about the math and your ROI. Paid search is a component of inbound marketing, and yes, it’s not free. But what if you could get a 5:1 return on your paid search spend? Would that be worth it to you? The answer is most likely yes. It’s just about the math.Paid search works, but it must start with the basics and small wins. As you learn more about your vertical and the channel, you can start to think about scaling, but do yourself a favor and start with a small, relevant test. As for these “basics,” none of the 3 preceding tips I reviewed in this post are groundbreaking in the world of PPC, but time and time again they are ignored, not set up properly, or not actively managed. PPC isn’t easy, but it also isn’t rocket science. Overlooking relevant keywords, ad copy, and landing pages is the reason many campaigns fail. So just because PPC is easy to set up and get live quickly, take your time, and make sure inbound marketing and relevancy is at the core of all of your PPC campaigns. If you do that, you’ll like the way the math looks at the end of the day.Are you effectively leveraging the power of relevancy in your PPC campaigns? Originally published Dec 7, 2011 7:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

  • 5 Essential Tactics to Jumpstart Your Google+ Business Page

    first_imgBy Brian Whalley Since Google officially launched Google+ Business Pages, many businesses and organizations have already taken the initiative to create their own page. Because of the weight of the Google brand, the impact activity on Google+ has on search engine optimization, and the large user base that’s joining at a record rate, it is important for marketers to claim their brand and represent themselves on this new social network. If you’ve created a page and do nothing else, here are the 5 things you should definitely be doing on Google+ to build a following and generate more leads.1. Start Discussions With Your Followers, Peers, and InfluencersAfter you’ve registered your page and populated it with your basic details, set up a schedule of discussions you’d like to have on industry related topics or problems that relate to your products/services. Think of this as an editorial calendar for your Google+ page. One of great advantages of Google+ over other social media platforms is that it’s easy to have actual conversations and encourage responses. As you get started, Circle some people in your field with relevant interests, and invite them to participate in these conversations. You can do this by adding their name either to the main post or a comment by typing a plus sign (+) followed by their name (e.g. “+Brian Whalley”), like you can see below on Tom Critchlow’s post. The user you tag will receive a notification that they were mentioned accompanied by an invitation to respond. Since there’s no real limit to how much text you can include in one entry, it’s a great place to start a discussion and then invite other people to the conversation. A few great marketing uses for this are generating feedback from your followers about your content, products, or services; building relationships with other industry thought leaders; and establishing your company as an industry expert. 2. Include Videos & Attractive ImagesWhen starting discussions or posting comments, include video and images in your Google+ posts. Unlike some other social networks that only display thumbnails or make you exit the site and access another site to view content, Google+ supports users posting rich content onto their stream such as photos and videos that are prominently displayed on the page. This offers marketers the opportunity to create and display sharp-looking calls-to-action for their business page’s followers as well as a great opportunity to share your message visually. Since Google+ allows you to add images of any size as well, don’t just stick to small icons or hard-to-see graphics: upload bright, attractive images that will help pull viewers in and engage them. It will also encourage your followers to click-through to your website. 3. Add Your Blog Posts to Your PageWhile there isn’t a method for auto-publishing your business blog posts to Google+ yet, another important reason to be active on this network is to make sure that your posts are entering the ecosystem and getting an opportunity to earn comments, shares, and +1s on the site. These factors can all impact the search engine optimization of your site. Google loves to see positive interaction and engagement with content and a website, so evidence that people are enjoying the site and its content is extremely valuable. It’s a great way to expand your network and reach while simultaneously enabling better organic search results for your website. People who find your blog posts in organic search results can now see how many +1 votes it has received as well as the names and faces of any friends/connections who have personally given it a vote, which is a tremendous vote of confidence for each article. You can see an example of what this looks like if you’re connected to the person below.4. Find Inspiration for Your Next Email Marketing MessageThe best advice for what you should be producing and sharing with your network often comes when you ask people what they’re looking for. You may never know what people need if you don’t ask. Use your Google+ page followers as a focus group to determine if there’s any content you’re missing or if they’d like to learn more about a specific topic. Build their requests into your next email send, and make sure you share the web version of your email on Google+ so your followers can see it right away on the network. It’s another opportunity for people to engage with you and your brand, and they’ll appreciate you even more if you incorporate their feedback and requests into your content production. 5. Promote Your Best Offers to Generate LeadsDon’t forget to share your content offers, landing pages, and other offers on your page. While you don’t want to overdo it with self-promotion (nobody likes someone who only talks about themselves, after all), you should still tell people about your offers and what value they have. Promoting a new ebook or whitepaper that users can download from your site on a landing page is a great way to turn Google+ followers into business leads. Include a picture of the cover or an image from the offer as well in your post to entice followers to obtain your offer. Visually showing them what they’ll get is a great way to increase conversion rates.Are you making the most out of your Google+ business page? In what other ways are you leveraging the new social network? 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 Mediacenter_img Originally published Dec 14, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 01 2013 Topics:last_img read more

  • 6 Tactics for Turning Trade Show Interactions Into On-Site Sales

    first_img Originally published Mar 5, 2012 6:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017 Topics: When you attend a trade show or another live event on behalf of your business, it’s important to be able to show the rest of your company that the investment in sending you was worth it. Because it can be challenging to determine the ROI of your presence at live events, leaving the event with a closed sale or two under your belt can really help to immediately demonstrate the worth of your presence. On-site selling can be extremely difficult, so before you attend your next trade show or event, here are six steps you can take to increase your chances of successfully executing on-site sales.Download Our Guide to Increasing Sales at Events1) Reserve a Room at the EventThis is an important logistical detail that will make it much easier for you to sell your product or service. Trade shows and other events are very noisy. You may be able to rattle off to a potential customer exactly why they should buy your product, but to be able to answer questions thoroughly, limit distractions, and draw up contracts, you’ll need a quiet space and some privacy. In addition to your booth area, you should reserve a room that is near the trade show floor/event to answer any remaining questions, talk about prices, and ultimately close deals. This will give you a chance to talk one-on-one with the people who are really interested in your product or service and give them the attention they need for you to close deals.2) Refine Your 30-Second PitchAt trade shows, you really only have about 30 seconds before you lose the attention of the person you’re trying to sell to. That’s why it’s critically important to nail down your 30-second elevator pitch before you arrive at the event. An effective elevator pitch will include a short description of what your product or service is and concisely detail how it can help that individual or their business. For example, HubSpot’s elevator pitch may go along the lines of:HubSpot is all-in-one marketing software that helps businesses of all sizes increase the number of visitors to their website and convert more of those visitors into leads and customers. Other marketing software platforms do not allow users to do all their marketing in one place, but HubSpot integrates website management, blogging, search engine optimization, lead management, marketing analytics, email marketing, landing pages, and social media monitoring tools.3) Attract Trade Show Attendees With ContentAt any given event, there is always plenty of commotion. Every company there wants the spotlight, and many will spend thousands of dollars to achieve that. But in reality, you only have about 10 seconds to capture the attention of people passing by before they become uninterested in what you’re selling. When planning for the event, keep that in mind, and try to figure out what you can do to grab the attention of passersby. After all, the goal is to sell on site.For example, at’s Dreamforce conference last year, HubSpot knew that we only had a few seconds to get people’s attention. There were hundreds of other companies at the trade show, so we needed to figure out a way to stand out from the rest. To do so, we displayed unicorns (which were connected to the theme of our campaign there) at our booths to interest passersby, and we also positioned large screens that displayed funny, high quality videos delivering our campaign’s message: marketing facts vs. fantasies. By initially pulling people in with these videos, we were able to get them to stop long enough to talk to one of our consultant about HubSpot’s software product.Making sure content leads to a sale is your next step. Once the content you used to initially draw people in — whether it be a video, unique signage, etc. — grabs the attention of your prospects, you need to be able to use that content as a segue into what your product or service does and how it can help them. This will also give you an excuse to provide other content that can pertain closely to the individual prospect’s industry/needs/problems. Bring with you content such as case studies, testimonials, product content, pricing information, etc. that will help show how your company and its resources will help the people you’re trying to sell to.4) Identify the Companies That Will Be in Attendance, and Leverage Your ResearchKnowing which companies are sending representatives to the event ahead of time can be very valuable. If the event has a public-facing RSVP page such as Eventbrite or Meetup, refer to that, or ask if the host of the event is willing to give you a list. If not, check the LinkedIn Events Directory to see if you can find out who has committed to attending the event. Then do something creative with that information. If you’re a B2B company that sells to various industries and you see that there is one industry dominating the attendee list, come up with something that will specifically capture the attention of people in that industry. If the event is more intimate, you can also conduct some competitive analysis on the attending companies’ competitors so you have the ability to, on a more personal level, show companies how they will be able to use your product to compete with their competitors.As an example, HubSpot used its free tool, Marketing Grader, to grade the marketing programs of companies we knew would be attending Dreamforce. At the conference, we created a leaderboard showing the top-ranked companies and displayed it on one of our television sets as people passed by. As a result, attendees got a glimpse into the power of our software and wanted to talk to someone about other ways they could improve their own marketing score, which our trade show representatives were well equipped to discuss.5) Use Calls-to-Action to Drive InteractionsIn your trade show marketing, you should always be prompting attendees to complete a certain action. So if you’re looking to increase on-site sales, you need to make sure you connect the call-to-action (CTA) in your marketing materials to something attendees can do at the event. Encouraging trade show attendees to sign up for a free product trial or to visit a dedicated, targeted landing page can be a great way to help you nurture trade show attendees after the event ends, but when it comes to generating on-site sales, these actions won’t really move the needle. Therefore, focus your calls-to-action on motivating interactions that can happen during the event.Using technology as part of your trade show/event marketing can make this easier to accomplish. Display QR codes (learn how to easily create a QR code here) accompanied by your CTA so people can easily take the next step. For example, you could include a CTA on your event signage/marketing collateral that explains the value of booking a one-on-one consultation with one of your trade show reps during the event and asks them to scan the QR code to schedule an appointment in the private meeting room you set up in step 1.6) Make Connections Before, During, and After EventsTo get the most out of your sales presence at an event, you’ll first need to promote that you’ll actually have a presence ahead of time. Leading up to the event, create content (e.g. blog posts, social media updates, emails) about the event and your presence there, and try to set up appointments with prospects who may be interested in your product or service and would benefit from meeting you in person at the event. If your goal is to generate as many on-site sales as possible, the people you connect with before and during the event are very important. The more you can educate yourself about prospects before the event, the more prepared you’ll be to make the sale, and the more effective your in-person sales pitch will be.During the event, you should also use social media and the event’s hashtag to let attendees know where to find you on either the trade show floor or at the event in general.While on-site sales may be your main goal, businesses with a longer sales cycle may find it challenging to close a deal with a prospect whose first interaction with their business/products is the event. But that doesn’t mean the sale has to be lost. Don’t be pushy with prospects who don’t seem ready to buy on site; after the event has come to an end, follow up with your leads, enter them into lead nurturing campaigns to make them readier to buy, and continue building the relationship with the contacts and leads you’ve interacted with on site.What other strategies do you use to close on-site sales at trade shows and live events?Photo Credit: AIGA Indy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Selling at Trade Showslast_img read more

  • Your Master List of Low-Hanging Marketing Fruit

    first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Lead Generation When it comes to optimizing and improving your marketing programs, many marketers tend to think they need to go through these radical undertakings that completely overhaul their entire marketing strategy. While major change can sometimes be good, a lot of times, marketers overlook the little things they can do to incrementally improve their marketing results. (And with the hour those of us in the United States are going to lose from daylight savings time this weekend, we can’t really afford to waste any more time! Unless of course, you’re Hawaiian or Arizonan.)To be honest, you might be surprised at how little things can go a really long way. So the next time you’re thinking about dramatically re-working your marketing strategies , take a step back first and see if you’ve picked these pieces of low-hanging marketing fruit first. 20 Pieces of Low-Hanging Marketing Fruit You Should Harvest 1) Include More Links to Landing Pages in Your Social Updates: Wondering why you’re not generating much traffic or leads from your social presence? Try sending more traffic to landing pages ! Every tweet or Facebook post shouldn’t be promoting your marketing offers, but if you’re not purposely including links to landing pages in your social media update mix, you’re losing out on an important way to use social media for lead generation. 2) Send Email From a Person, Not a Company: This is such an easy one, yet many don’t do it! Your email’s sender name can make a big difference in open and click-through rates. In a HubSpot email A/B test , we found that sending email from a real person’s name from our marketing team generated a click-through rate of .96% compared to email sent from “HubSpot,” which generated a click-through rate of .73%. That winning email also generated 292 more clicks and 131 more leads . Email should be sent from humans, not companies. 3) Embed Twitter Testimonials on Your Reviews Page: Reviews are even more impactful when it’s obvious that they’re real. Use Twitter’s new embeddable tweets feature to add positive testimonial tweets to your website’s reviews/testimonials page. Or, go another route and use the Twitter Faves Widget to display the tweets you’ve favorited on your corporate Twitter account. If you do, just be sure you use your Favorites solely as a Twitter testimonial bookmarking tool; you wouldn’t want your reviews page to be diluted with tweets that aren’t testimonials! 4) Put Calls-to-Action Everywhere: That’s right — everywhere. On every blog post you publish, on every web page you create (except for landing pages), in webinars, speaking presentations, within downloadable content like ebooks, on your social media pages … what have I missed? Don’t go through the work of designing attractive CTA buttons for your marketing offers if you’re only going to use them on one or two things. Get the most bang from your buck. 5) Include Attractive Images in Your Marketing: Make sure every piece of content you publish includes an attractive visual, whether it’s a photo, an image, a visualization, or a chart/graph. Visuals are becoming more and more important in internet marketing, particularly social media. Why else do you think the infographic and Pinterest crazes have blown up recently? Spend the extra few minutes to make that chart or graph more visually appealing or to select a truly compelling image for your blog post. That awesome quote you’re about to share or question you’re about to ask? Put it on a PPT slide and add some simple design to it to make it more sharable on Facebook or Google+. 6) Check Search Traffic When Choosing Blog Titles: Trying to decide which keywords to use in a particular blog title? Check the search traffic for the keyword variations you’re considering ( HubSpot’s Keywords tool or Google’s Keyword Tool make this easy to do). Unless you’re trying to rank for a particular keyword as part of an overall search strategy, that one post isn’t going to make much of a difference, so shoot for longer tail keywords that are easier to rank for. 7) Scrub Your Database: When was the last time you cleaned up your email database? An unkempt one can actually harm deliverability, so do a quick sweep of your list and remove the 7 types of email addresses we identify in this blog post . 8) Update and Re-Publish Outdated Content: Having evergreen content on your website is extremely valuable. It continues to generate traffic, leads, and inbound links for your website over time, and it doesn’t get old (at least not by much). But hey, sometimes even evergreen content could use a tune up. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with updating and re-publishing some of your evergreen content as new (just change the time-stamp for blog posts to avoid duplicate content). You’ll save the time you would’ve spent creating a brand new blog post/ebook/webinar from scratch, and your older content will be even more relevant to a new audience. 9) Repurpose Content: While we’re on the topic of recycling content and saving time/effort, don’t dismiss the content you already have as a baseline for new content. Rather than writing that ebook from scratch, use the few posts on that topic you already have as a starting point. Conversely, use excerpts from new long-form content like ebooks as blog articles, and use the ebook as the CTA to encourage blog visitors to obtain more information on the topic. 10) Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices: This piece of fruit might seem like it’s a little bit higher on the branches to reach, but it’s such an important piece of fruit to pick, that’s it’s definitely worth reaching for. At the very least, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Use mobile CSS (or a mobile redirect) and set up a a meta viewport tag so mobile visitors to your website have a user-friendly experience, too. Here’s how to get started . 11) Add Internal Links: Understanding how the individual pages of your website can contribute value toward other pages is important. Don’t overlook the power of internal linking, which should be a cognizant part of your overall SEO strategy. With great internal linking, ranking for very difficult keyword phrases is made much easier as you share the authority of your other best content with your new content. Spend a few minutes to read this post so you can start to improve your internal linking efforts on your website. 12) Conduct Simple A/B Tests: The major beauty of A/B testing is that it often requires little effort and yields major results. For example, in the A/B testing example below , only the color of the button was changed, and the result was 21% more clicks on the red button . When you stop and think how powerful those results are given the simplicity of the experiment, you’ll start to understand how powerful that test was. Without even needing to increase the traffic to this particular website, it was able to convert 21% more of its existing traffic into clicks. Pretty cool stuff. Simple A/B tests can be conducted to optimize no shortage of variables in your marketing tactics — headlines, images, color scheme, layout … the list goes on ! (Bonus: For HubSpot customers, the CTA Module and Advanced Landing Pages make A/B testing a snap!) 13) Include Brief Surveys on Thank-You Pages: Looking for a great way to get feedback from existing traffic? Embed short polls or surveys to the thank-you pages visitors land on after completing a conversion form. Use it as an opportunity to generate feedback from some of your most engaged site visitors. (HubSpot users can use HubSpot forms to do this.) 14) Modify Your Lead-Capture Forms: Which do you have a deficiency of: raw, net new leads, or high quality leads? Some minor adjustments to your lead-capture forms can help you solve your problems. If you’re struggling to generate net new leads in general and your forms are rather lengthy, try asking for less information. If the opposite is true and you want to generate higher quality leads, try asking for more information. The golden rule of form length is this: ask only for the information you need to contact and appropriately qualify the lead. 15) Put Your Lead-Capture Forms Above the Fold: While we’re chatting about forms, are yours above the fold? Making sure your forms are immediately visible to landing page visitors is important, since you want to draw their attention to the form. Requiring them to scroll down first can increase friction and hurt your chances of conversion. 16) Segment Your Communication:  Neglecting to segment your email sends can result in subpar results. According to the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report , 39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates, and 24% experienced greater revenue. Furthermore, according to a study by MarketingSherpa , 4 out of 10 subscribers reported that they’ve marked emails as spam simply because they were irrelevant . So rather then hitting “send to all” on your next email and shooting the same message to your whole entire list, send it to a segment of your audience and spend a few extra minutes tailoring that communication to suit the interests and needs of that particular segment. Here are 5 savvy ways to segment your marketing emails , and here are even more ways to be more segmented and personal in your marketing communications . 17) Use Simple Dynamic Tags in Email Sends: Speaking of personalization, are you taking advantage of even the simplest of dynamic tags in your email sends like [firstname], [lastname] or [companyname]? Addressing your email recipients by their first name might sound insignificant, but even the simplest elements of personalization are better than none. 18) Add Tracking Tokens to Your URLs: Tracking URLs are a great tool to help you glean more insights from your marketing efforts, because they take reporting to a more granular level. For example, if you create a landing page but only want to know how well a certain channel contributed to that landing page’s success — say, an email send — adding a tracking token to the URL you’re using in your email send will enable you to identify how many of the landing page’s conversions can be attributed to that particular email send. (Bonus: For HubSpot customers, our software automatically does this for you!) Creating tracking URLs is very simple , and they can afford you with a wealth of data to inform your marketing strategy. 19) Add Social Sharing and Follow Buttons: Give your content better chances of spreading and make it easier for your community to share it by adding social media sharing links and buttons to everything you create — blog posts, email sends, landing pages, case studies … you name it! When you make it dead simple for people to share your content, you increase its reach tremendously. Furthermore, promote your business’ presence in social networks and convert site visitors into social followers by adding social media follow buttons to your blog, homepage, ‘about us’ page, press room, and wherever else you deem appropriate. You can also add social plugins like Facebook’s to give an element of social proof to the content you publish. 20) Update Your Facebook Page to the New Design: Don’t get caught scrambling to make your Facebook page presentable at the very last minute (on March 30th, you’ll have no choice). Preview the new design and select an eye-catching cover photo; clean up your views and apps thumbnails to highlight calls-to-action; hide, star, and pin content you want to feature (or not feature); and create a few milestones. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself for not waiting until the last minute, and you’ll have a leg up on your competitors who are still using the old page design. Here’s everything you need to know . What other low-hanging marketing fruit are you neglecting to harvest? Image Credit: Wonderlane Originally published Mar 9, 2012 4:34:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

  • How to Start a Lead Management Program in 9 Easy Steps

    first_img Lead Nurturing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Mar 12, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated September 21 2018 No two ways about it, starting a lead management program from scratch can be daunting.Long gone are the days of simply sending out a direct mail piece or placing an ad and waiting for the leads to roll in.Instead, the channels for lead generation multiply almost daily, and sorting through them to determine which will be most effective, let alone how to manage the leads once they come in, give even the most experienced marketers many gray hairs.But with careful consideration, thoughtful planning, and the right tools, establishing and managing a solid lead generation program can be the best investment of time and resources any marketing organization can make. Here’s your game plan to get started.1. Define Your Goals. Be as Specific as PossibleWhile starting at the end might sound counterintuitive, it’s the most logical place to begin. What do you hope to accomplish with your lead management program? What are your goals for the program? The more specifically you can answer these questions, the more effective your lead management program will be.Typical goals for lead management programs include: generating more leads, increasing Facebook fans, encouraging more social sharing of content, increasing overall sales, increasing average shopping cart transaction size, increasing blog subscribers, or shortening sales cycles.2. Establish a Baseline. Take Stock of Your AssetsMaybe you’re starting from scratch, or maybe you’re a bit further along than you thought. Either way, you need to understand where your journey begins to know how far you’ve gone in the end. How many leads do you have now? Where are they in the sales funnel? How many new leads currently come in every month? How many result in sales, and how much revenue do they generate? What happens to cold leads? Answer these questions so you have a good starting point; you’ll need this as you progress.Then take stock of your assets: editorial, technical, and creative. Do you have any content you can use to get the ball rolling? Do you have content that can be repurposed or parsed into smaller pieces and used as blog posts? Do you have smaller pieces of content that can be aggregated into a single, larger piece of premium content, such as an ebook or whitepaper?See who on your staff that can effectively create and manage your content program. Creating and managing remarkable content takes time and talent. If you don’t have someone on your team with the resources and ability to keep the premium content flowing, find out where can you get it (Hint: The HubSpot Service Marketplace is a great place to start looking).Index cards and sticky notes aren’t going to cut it when it comes to managing a modern lead management system. Sophisticated, yet simple to use applications such as HubSpot’s inbound marketing platform, are critical to managing the many moving pieces involved in generating leads, capturing them, and responding to them effectively to maximize return on investment. What tools do you have, and what tools do you need to manage the leads you will generate?3. Understand Your Customers’ Needs and PreferencesIt’s clear from the beginning of your lead management planning how customers don’t want to be marketed to today, but the success of your lead management program hinges on understanding how your customers do want to be marketed to.Interrupting them at dinner time with a cold call is out, but having a conversation with them about what they like to have for dinner is in. Disrupting their favorite television show “with a word from our sponsors” is bad form (and ineffective in the age of DVRs), but starting a social media dialogue about the show — even while it’s still being aired! — is cool.With so many options to reach consumers — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, email, Pinterest, search engines, blogs, LinkedIn, mobile, and more — learning about your target audience’s marketing preferences, from channels to frequency to buying triggers, is a key part of building out a lead management program. And if you don’t already know, well, ask them.4. Implement a Lead Management SystemYou may be a novice now, but with each tweet you send, every update you post to your Facebook page, every email marketing campaign you send, you will get better, and you will get leads. Now what?How those leads are managed once they come in is as important as generating them in the first place. This will vary based on the sales cycle for your business. Some should be handed off to Sales immediately, while others will need a series of contacts from you based on their on- and off-site behaviors and what you learn about them from your marketing interactions.With lead nurturing, you can use this information to guide these leads through the sales funnel through additional outreach via content. You should also develop a means for scoring these leads based on the input you receive from the various channels you’ll develop so you know at what point leads are eligible to be handed off to Sales, and ensure Sales doesn’t reach out to leads before they’re ready.5. Develop the Criteria for Successful ContentYou know that content is the lifeblood of inbound marketing — and that extends to your lead nurturing efforts, too. If your blood is anemic — if your content, in a word, sucks — your marketing efforts will fail. When no one reads, no one buys. It’s not enough to get content in front of consumers. Your content has to:Get their attention (amid the vast ocean of content on the interwebs, no less.)Engage them. Once they’ve seen it, will they click to read more?Get them to act — to download, subscribe, maybe even “Buy Now.”To understand how you will accomplish that, you need to set the criteria for successful content. The fundamentals of good content are the same no matter what you sell. What makes the content succeed is how interesting, relevant, timely, and useful it is compared to your competition.6. Map Your Content to the Sales CycleThe contacts and content your customers and prospects receive should be based on behaviors they’ve exhibited, the passage of time, or both.Take some time to understand the different phases your customers pass through from initial contact to sale and even post-sale. Then, develop a series of outreach pieces — based on the guidelines for successful content you set out in Step 5 — to help them gain trust in your ability to meet their needs before, during, and after they buy from you. This could be a series of emails or an ebook that educates them, incentives to get them to try or buy, rewards for joining you on social media or social sharing of your content, or any number of things that address their needs at each step of engagement. This is also known as content mapping, and we’ve written a content mapping guide to help you successfully map your content assets to each stage in the buying cycle.7. Develop an Editorial Strategy and Editorial CalendarYou know what great content looks like, and you know what content you need to fill in your content map. So create an editorial strategy and the calendar that executes it to start developing those assets.Look at the totality of your content arsenal — emails, blogs, videos, LinkedIn group content, whitepapers, ebooks, even a funny cartoon panel that just lets people know you’re there with them in the uphill slog toward profits and revenues. Then, develop a calendar that includes a rough title of the piece (or subject line for emails), a two- or three-sentence outline of the piece, and the resource(s) you will draw on for materials that formulate the content.By planning your content in advance and setting milestones for when to publish it, you eliminate the last-minute panic that often causes content gridlock — no more, “I need a blog post today and I have no idea what to write about.” That steadily flowing content means leads will flow in at a steady rate, making the results of your lead management program more consistent and predictable.8. Refine Your Plan, Develop More-Targeted Communications, RepeatWith a plan in hand — any plan — you can get the ball rolling with lead management. Do a little A/B testing if you can when you roll out new content. Try different subject lines, experiment with different incentives, and study the effectiveness of different publish or send times for content.With each message you deliver, each piece of content you post, use your lead management tools to study the effectiveness of your efforts, then double down on what’s working and walk away from what’s not.9. Metrics Matter: Measure Your ResultsIntegral to all the planning that goes into a great lead management system is the tool that helps you execute and deliver on those plans. You may be steering the ship, but without an instrument panel that tells you where the leads in each of your chosen channels are and how your lead generation is performing, you cannot guide it safely toward your goals.Don’t just record metrics. Record the right metrics. What these metrics are is directly related to the goals you’ve set up for your lead management program, but they may include:Percentage of Sales Lead Follow-upSometimes there is a wide chasm between the reported follow-up by salespeople and the actual follow-up by salespeople. Is your sales team following up with 80% of your leads or 20% of your leads? Once you understand whether leads are being followed up with, and which leads are valued more highly than others, you can take steps to improve the numbers.Average Time to ConversionThis is a measurement of how fast leads, from various sources/campaigns, are moving into a qualified opportunity state. The goal is not to get the time to zero, but understand the range of time for various leads that are moving from lead capture to conversion. Cost per Lead, Opportunity, CustomerLook beyond the standard cost per lead metric (by unique sources such as PPC, email, blogging, etc.) and consider the cost per opportunity and cost per customer acquisition in the analysis. If customers vary greatly in size, don’t let one large deal skew the results; use an average sale instead.Before you know it, you’ll be managing leads like a pro — which is to say, always learning, never fully satisfied, and always looking to improve on your last go-round.Image credit: lindz grahamlast_img read more

  • How to Recruit & Evaluate Rockstar Marketing Interns

    first_img Recruiting Tips Originally published May 3, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated August 26 2017 Topics: Interns are good for more than just coffee runs. They can offer a fresh new perspective — not to mention an extra pair of hands — on marketing projects that are increasingly catering to a younger demographic’s natural talents. Think about it: marketers are being asked to adopt new technologies at a rapid rate, experiment with mobile apps, be active users on current and emerging social platforms, blog like they’ve never blogged before. You know who does those things a lot? College students looking for internships.Click here to download our free guide to hiring and training a team of all-stars.But the internship experience should be a learning experience for both parties, something many companies fail to deliver. A successful internship program sees the intern coming away with real-world experience, and your company reaping the benefits of a completed project, new insights, and feedback on how to run an even better internship program for your next round of recruits.Or hey, maybe you even decide to hire your intern! According to a 2012 NACE survey, an all-time-high of 58% of interns are hired full-time after the internship has ended. That means employers are taking the time to find the best possible recruits and integrate that young talent into the company culture. The problem is, if you’ve hired the wrong intern, you’re going to suffer lost resources and productivity on training and managing a new employee who will only leave you in 6-12 months. So to ensure you don’t suffer such a fate with your own marketing internship program, we’ve put together this guide to help you hire your next intern. Take a look at the evaluation process you should go through to recruit the best and brightest for your company!First, Should You Hire a Marketing Intern?Taking on an intern can be an asset, but it’s also a big responsibility. Not every business is ready to implement an internship program — and yes, it should be a full-fledged program as opposed to a one-off hire to fill a quick need. Rebecca Corliss has been the point-person at HubSpot to harness the power of the intern since she started our internship program that now extends across all departments in our company. “I wanted all marketing interns to have consistent training and mentoring during their time at HubSpot. Interns are an investment in the long-term growth of your team,” she says. But it’s not for every company, either. There are some factors that a company must possess in order to run a successful program.You should hire an intern if you:1) Want a fresh perspective on your marketing strategy, the marketplace, and your industry2) Have time to dedicate to training and nurturing the intern3) Can offer monetary compensation, college credit, or bothYou should not hire an intern if you:1) Only need extra help with administrative filing and paperwork2) Don’t have a set agenda or goals for the internship program3) Haven’t discussed and gotten buy-in for the internship program with your whole teamWhere to Find InternsIf you’ve decided an intern would be a good fit for your company, you need to find someone who thinks you’re a good fit for them. Oddly, this is an area many of the businesses who have expressed interest in intern programs express the most confusion. Where on earth do you find interns? In their natural environment — colleges, universities, and the internet! If you’re ready to start your internship program, here are the places you should start your recruiting efforts:College and university job boards – Most schools in your area will have online job boards set up. Sometimes the listings for internships are integrated with the employment listings, and sometimes schools maintain a separate job board just for intern listings. Either way, get your listing onto these boards stat! Some schools will require you to pay a small fee to list your position, while others will list it for free. As you establish a good relationship with the school, though, you’ll likely develop a point of contact who takes care of listing your positions for free (because you provide such awesome experience for their students).College and university job fairs – Your future intern should be a go-getter, and go-getters visit job fairs to network. Set up some space at a job fair to have the benefit of screening candidates face to face, and performing a little mini-interview before inviting them to your office.External job and intern sites – Students are using sites like,, and to find internships in their area. Your company should be visible on at least one of these sites, if not all. Make sure you indicate clearly whether your internship is paid, for credit, or both, and provide a clear description of the duties the intern will be responsible for — and remember, it shouldn’t be fetching coffee!Keep in mind that though timelines vary by school, most student interns expect to work part-time for a semester or two. If your internship takes place during the summer and you are paying, however, it’s more likely you will be able to get a full-time intern. If you are not paying for the summer internship, though, some students will need to spend hours at a paying job.What to Look for in a Marketing InternLike any legitimate internship program, HubSpot interns undergo an in-depth interview process from online applications to in-person interviews. While the internship requirements for different businesses will vary, there are a few traits that every marketing intern should possess in order to succeed and make a positive impact on your inbound marketing strategy. If you’re reviewing intern resumes or interviewing candidates, keep these 6 traits in mind, and reference these questions you should ask and red flags to look out for so you end up with the best intern for your marketing department.1) Advanced Writing SkillsIf you’re an inbound marketer, writing is no doubt a crucial part of your success. If a new marketer is joining your team, he or she better be able to contribute written content. So when interviewing for any marketing openings, ask for plenty of writing samples — press releases, blog posts, newsletter articles, anything! Ideally, your intern would maintain his or her own blog, even if it isn’t about your industry or marketing in general. Consistent writing habits make for strong writers who will likely produce valuable content for your company. Questions to Ask:1) Please send me 3-5 writing samples before our interview.2) Do you maintain your own blog, or regularly contribute to others?3) Point me to some examples of great writing online, and explain why they are great. Red Flags:1) Submitting outdated writing samples – Anything older than two years is an indication they haven’t published anything they’re proud of recently, thus they aren’t an avid content creator.2) Rampant grammatical and syntactical errors in the writing samples – While students may not have an editor over their shoulder and the occasional mistake will slip through, writing samples they submit should be almost clean as a whistle.3) Inability to pin point the qualities of great writing – It’s easy to find great writing, but it’s not as easy to explain why it’s great. Those who can, though, are able to replicate those qualities in their own content.2) Strong Social Media PresenceSocial media is as much a professional platform as it is a friendly one. If your intern prospect has pictures of themselves doing less-than-admirable activities on Facebook or hasn’t built up a LinkedIn profile, that’s a red flag. As an intern myself, I can assure you that 18-23-year olds have been warned over and over again that employers will Google them and peek at their social media presence before an interview. Assume that your intern prospects have been sufficiently warned, and that any questionable findings is a deliberate choice to ignore those warnings. Questions to Ask:1) Have you ever managed a company Facebook page or Twitter account? 2) What type of things would you tweet about for our company, and why?3) Why do you think businesses should maintain an active social media presence? Red Flags:1) A look of panic when you mention the prospective intern’s Facebook page, or excessive profanity and inappropriate images online – Remember, they’ve been warned!2) Freezing up when asked to generate social media status update ideas for your business – This is an indication that they either don’t understand your company (or haven’t done the research to do so), or they don’t see the immediate application of social media to your business. Either way, it’s short-sighted and is not a good quality for a marketing intern.3) A non-existent or outdated LinkedIn page – If a marketing intern fails to see the value of LinkedIn as a professional social network for their own purposes, you shouldn’t expect them to see the potential in social networks for your own business. 3) Confident and Professional PresenceIn-person interviews are crucial to evaluate how an intern will operate under pressure. But even if the interview is relaxed and friendly, you can bet the interviewee is nervous — and that’s okay! But they should be able to operate successfully even when under pressure or a tad uncomfortable. So look for eye contact, professional attire, and clear communication skills.As the interviewer, you set the tone of the interview. Decide on whether your interviewing style is more casual or more intense, and stick with that theme through all of your interviews. Every prospective intern should be subjected to a comparable amount of pressure and intensity. An intern’s actions under the pressure of an interview can be indicative of their behavior in high-pressure situations at work. Questions to Ask:1) Why are you the best person for me to hire for this internship? 2) What are you especially good at?3) Describe a time you’ve really screwed up, and what you did to fix it.Red Flags: 1) Little to no eye contact or intimidated body language – This may be a result of initial discomfort, but these behaviors should fade after the first few minutes of conversation.2) “I’m a student! I’m not really good at anything yet.” – While this may seem like a humble response, it is also the response of someone who is likely timid. You need an intern who is ready and raring to go, and not afraid to fail!3) Spinning the question to be a typical interview answer – You know what I mean, “My weakness is actually my strength!” Again, your prospective intern shouldn’t be afraid of (or immune to) failure, but should be able to bounce back from it.4) High ExpectationsFinding someone that is excited to work can be difficult, but those people do exist, especially among a younger demographic that’s hungry to prove their worth. Look for an intern that is excited about starting work in a real-world setting, wants to gain professional experience, and maybe already has some ideas of a project he or she could start right away. Obviously, you as the employer want to set high expectations for the program, but the best situation is one in which the intern has set the bar even higher. Questions to Ask:1) What do you hope to get from this internship?2) Where do you see yourself in five years?3) Why do you want to work at (insert your company name here)? Red Flags:1) No areas the intern hopes to improve upon – If your interviewee doesn’t have goals for this internship top of mind, he or she hasn’t put much thought into the opportunity. This might just be a resume builder.2) Lack of focused goals – If your prospective intern has no idea what he or she wants to do in the future, or alternately, his or her goals are all over the board, you might have a flake on your hands that isn’t ready to dedicate time and thought to your company.3) Knowing nothing about the company – If you’re met with a generic answer like “I think it’s a great opportunity to learn a lot and help you guys improve, too,” your prospect either doesn’t care about the internship, or hasn’t researched your company. What you should hear is something like “I love your focus on helping local businesses, but I think there’s opportunity to expand your reach. I would love to bring my expertise in international business to the internship to help get that started, maybe with social media!”5) General Knowledge of Inbound MarketingWhile the intern may not have years of experience, it’s important that they have some context in order to communicate clearly about marketing with the rest of your team. Interns will have a lot to learn, especially in the first few weeks, but they should not weigh down the progress of the department. Quite the opposite, in fact. After getting their footing, your interns should have enough knowledge to take the position to new levels and generate their own ideas and contributions. Questions to Ask:1) What marketing classes have you taken?2) What would you say is the difference between a lead and a prospect?3) What marketing publications do you read? Red Flags:1) No marketing background or interest – This means they don’t take marketing classes in school, haven’t worked at another job or internship doing marketing, or don’t read marketing industry publications.2) No understanding of typical marketing terms or ideas – Be aware that terms can differ by region and discipline, but with very minimal coaching your prospect should be able to gain a clear understanding of what terms mean — if they don’t know already.3) Unable to identify several marketing publications they read – If your candidate flounders at this question and then spits our one or two extremely popular trade magazines as a last ditch effort, they aren’t truly invested in learning about marketing.6) Leadership ExperienceWhile your intern won’t likely be managing anyone on the marketing team (though they might have to deal with vendors and contractors), it’s important that they demonstrate experience in teamwork and time management. A prospective intern with leadership experience, whether they hold a position on the student council, are captain of a sports team, or founded a nonprofit organization, is likely to be self-motivated and hard working.One of the most important internship traits for Rebecca at HubSpot is the ability for an intern to think on their feet. “It’s important to give an intern some room to mess up and learn for themselves,” she says, “because that will be a bigger learning moment, and you might learn something new from the way they handled the situation.” While the first few weeks are a learning process, it’s important to find a young person with ambition and self-direction so you’re not holding their hand throughout the semester. Questions to Ask:1) How do you manage working on a team? 2) When was a time that you had to step up and manage a group of people to get a job done? Red Flags:1) Appears to play a backseat role in past group projects – Interns are at the bottom rung, which unfortunately means they sometimes have to be scrappy to get the information and resources they need. Someone who takes a backseat role isn’t going to have the drive to get those resources to be successful.2) Has no extracurricular experience outside of the classroom – Everyone’s been placed in a group in class, but your intern should be involved in clubs, other internships, and jobs. It’s in these experiences that “real life” skills develop that will make for a great addition to your marketing team. It’s important that your intern leaves with a positive experience from their internship with you, because their recommendation will impact the success of your internship program in the future and, ultimately, your hiring process. Whether the goal is to train new talent for your company, have an impact on the success of a young professional, or increase productivity, be sure to take time and care when hiring your next marketing intern!What qualities do you value in a marketing intern? Share your hiring experiences and recommendations in the comments!Image credit: Vivianna_love 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

  • 8 Ways to Solve Prospects’ Problems Through Your Marketing

    first_img Originally published May 14, 2012 12:48:00 PM, updated August 26 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 Content Creation You’re in business because you provide solutions. You’ve got answers. You’re the (wo)man with the plan. Let’s take a look at some of our customers, for example. AmeriFirst Home Mortgage helps home buyers find the right mortgage for them. In The News helps businesses memorialize their accomplishments with custom lamination and engraving. HubSpot helps marketers get an end-to-end view of their marketing activities to determine which channels provide the most ROI.Notice how none of those explanations of what each company provides focused on the specific product or service? That’s because the product or service isn’t what makes a lead want to be your customer — it’s a solution to their problem that people care about. Your business is successful because it provides some solution, but if your campaigns seem to be flailing a bit, it may be because you haven’t applied that problem-solving principle to your marketing.Plan your content for every persona and stage of the buying cycle. [Free Content Mapping Template]Not yet, anyway. This post will give you plenty of ideas to implement that will make your marketing more solution-oriented. That way, your prospects see you as a helpful problem solver they actually like and trust … not just a peddler of your product or service!How to Inject Problem Solving Into Your Marketing1) Create how-to blog content. As most inbound marketers know, success starts with content; so begin by writing blog posts that solve peoples’ problems! If you’ll allow me to get meta for a minute, this very blog post about how to be a problem solver is, well, solving a problem. People reading this presumably want to know how to inject more problem solving into their marketing, and this post is providing solutions to that problem. When writing your how-to blog content, focus on providing actionable advice. There’s already a ton of content out there that says a lot without really saying anything at all. But you want your content to give you credibility and authority; you can do that by making sure your reader walks away from the blog post with at least one thing he or she can do to be better.2) Create lead gen offers that make people’s lives easier. Helpful content doesn’t end with blog posts, nor does successful marketing. You need to convert that blog traffic into leads, and if you’ve written some amazing content, your readers will probably want to learn more from you. Create lead gen content that will help your readers be more successful — at work, at home, whatever it is your customers need. For example, HubSpot has released tons of ebooks that show marketers how to do something, like set up their Facebook page timeline, for instance. Or perhaps you’d like to create some templates for your audience, like we did with our downloadable leads waterfall graph that we encourage all marketers to use. If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve written an entire guide to creating lead gen offers quickly.3) Source problems to feed your content. I’m asking you to create all this content, but where will the topics come from? You should be speaking with the people on the front lines of your business on a daily basis — employees working in Services, Support, and Sales hear questions from prospects and customers during every conversation. Ask all employees to document these questions and problems and send them your way to feed your solution-oriented content. And if any of them fancy themselves a writer, they can document their answers, too, for a guest spot on your blog! (Tip: As you write this content, be sure to keep other departments in the know. Sales, Services, and Support should be equipped with an arsenal of content they can send to their prospects and customers that answers their questions. This will not only establish trust and authority between employees and your prospects and customers, but for Sales, it could shorten the buying cycle, too.)4) Leverage the brainpower of your community. Part of being a helpful, solution-oriented marketer is connecting people with content that solves their problems … regardless of the source. Look, nobody knows everything. You’re surrounded by people that have data, research, insights, and experiences from which your audience would benefit. Tap into that brainpower, and be the one to share it with the rest of your community! We’re doing this now, in fact, with our push for our social media community to contribute ideas for our next blog post.Want your Twitter username FT’d on the greatest list of marketing pet peeves? Respond with what annoys YOU! Follow us to hear the best ones.— HubSpot (@HubSpot) May 14, 2012Not only is this an excellent way to build strong relationships with others in your industry, but it also shows that you’re committed to providing answers for people regardless of the source.5) Monitor and respond to social media inquiries. Speaking of social media, your active presence on social sites can contribute to your reputation as a thought leader, problem solver, and all around awesome business. This means more than just monitoring your Twitter stream for questions you can answer, though. Think outside of the box a bit! Visit places like LinkedIn Answers, Quora, and industry forums to see what problems people are having. Take a look at how HubSpotter Meghan Keaney Anderson improved both HubSpot’s clout, and her own, by answering Scott’s question on Quora. Take special note of how she linked back to a blog post HubSpot wrote that answers his question, too!6) Optimize for long-tail search. Long-tail search is a critical component of any well-rounded SEO and content strategy, and it provides tremendous opportunity for marketers that are looking to be more solution-oriented with their content. That’s because many long-tail keywords are centered around interrogative queries, like “what makes a good blog post,” or “where should I host my blog,” or “how to start a blog.” Not only does centering content and SEO around long-tail keywords of this nature give you another avenue to assert yourself as a helpful marketer instead of a pushy salesperson, but it also helps you achieve higher search rankings quicker, and with a more niche market than short-tail and head terms allow. And if the keywords provide solutions to evergreen problems — in other words, problems that your audience will always face — your website will also enjoy ongoing organic traffic as a result of your high ranking for these long-tail queries!7) Nurture leads with emails based on their problems. Now that you have all of this fantastic, solution-oriented content, you should use it to nurture your leads! After all, you can’t have a successful lead nurturing program without a full arsenal of content. Consider segmenting your lists and creating lead nurturing tracks that address specific buyer problems. You can identify the problems right in your landing page forms. Take a look at the optional field we at HubSpot include on almost all of our landing pages to allow us to do this type of nurturing.By asking leads to identify their biggest marketing challenge, we get a better idea of what problems our audience face so we can create content to address it, and simultaneously target prospects in our email sends according to the problems they need an answer to.8) Create apps and tools that help solve a problem. Tools and apps — especially free ones — are mutually beneficial for businesses and their audience. Let’s take one of HubSpot’s free tools, Marketing Grader, as an example. Marketing Grader helps solve a problem many marketers face … they don’t know how good their marketing is. When you enter your website into the free tool, you get a comprehensive report that tells you not just an arbitrary grade, but also actionable advice on exactly what areas of your marketing need improvement, and how you can do it. It even provides links to content that helps solve your problems. So ask yourself: “Self, is there a tool or mobile app I could develop to help my leads and customers?” If there’s a problem people in your industry face, make your business the one that solves it!How do you inject problem solving into your marketing to gain the trust and loyalty of your prospects?Image credit: Tomasz Stasiuk Topics:last_img read more

  • Dueling Data: Is Twitter Dying? #MKTGdebate

    first_imgMore than half of active Twitter users follow companies, brands, or products on social networks. (Source: Edison Research)With many users following brands on social networks, and an even larger percentage of those users making purchases, it’s no wonder marketers are leveraging Twitter!U.S. Twitter users are more educated, and have a higher income than the general population. (Source: Edison Research)The more educated users there are on a social network, the greater the likelihood that these users are sharing valuable content. If these users also have higher incomes, they become better (read: higher revenue) prospects for businesses.More than one-third of marketers say Twitter is “critical” or “important” to their business. (Source: HubSpot)At the end of the day, your precious time should be allocated to the channels that benefit your business. But if other brands are finding Twitter to be critical and/or important for their business, there must be an incentive that is too irresistible to ignore. Companies that use Twitter average 2X more leads per month than those that do not. (Source: HubSpot)If you’re generating leads like that from Twitter,ool for your business, then there should be no doubt in your mind when it comes to using the network. Having more leads for your sales team only improves the quality of your sales team by giving them a larger pool to select key applicants from.The Stats That Argue Twitter Might be Dying Topics: 66% of Americans say they are using social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Of those 66%, only 15% use Twitter. (Source: Pew Center)Although Twitter has 100 million active users, the site’s usage is still relatively low in comparison to other social networks. This suggests that Twitter’s health is not as stable as a platform of its age should be.As of February 2012, 15% of adult internet users used Twitter. That’s only a slight increase from 13% last May. (Source: Pew Center)Although Twitter usage is increasing, it’s not increasing at as rapid a rate is it has in previous years; growth is inconsistent, and verging on stagnant.The average Twitter user has 27 followers, 25% of Twitter users have no followers, and 40% of Twitter accounts have never sent a single tweet. (Source: RJ Metrics)Clearly, there is an abundance of inactivity on Twitter, leaving plenty of room for spammers and bots to infiltrate. And isn’t that what users are tired of facing on a daily basis? Automated DMs and spammy tweets? It makes it even harder to see through the already cluttered network — in fact, on a busy day, Twitter sees 175 million tweets. If that’s not a needle in a haystack for the 21st century, I don’t know what is.So what’s your take — is Twitter on its way out, or alive and well? Do you have any additional stats that would help inform the debate? Tweet them via #MKTGdebate, and we might use them during the Live Marketing Debate this Friday, June 22 at 12PM EST!Image Credit: IWannaBeAJedi Originally published Jun 20, 2012 12:30:00 PM, 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 You may have heard we’re hosting a live marketing debate this Friday. You may have also heard it’s all about Twitter’s livelihood.As data-fanatics, what better way to approach this topic than with some eye-popping statistics? We put together two dueling presentations — one that shows data in favor of Twitter reaching its peak as a social network, and one that that proves that Twitter is alive and well. Either flip through the slideshare presentations, or read through the stats below!The Stats That Argue Twitter is Alive and Well Twitter Marketing Datalast_img read more

  • 21 Internet Marketing Stats That Will Blow Your Mind

    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 Originally published Jun 29, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated December 12 2018 Sick of hearing the same “the internet is changing marketing” speeches? Want hard data to reference so that you can properly forecast and adjust future marketing plans and budgets?Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.Just want to sound smart in board meetings? Look no further; this post will show you some current data about the state of the internet marketing world that are both helpful, and frankly kind of shocking . Take a gander!21 Internet Marketing Statistics That May Surprise You 1) The more posts per day, the less engagement — when a brand posts twice a day, those posts only receive 57% of the likes and 78% of the comments per post. (Source: Track Social ) Be mindful of your publishing frequency on Facebook, and start testing with your own page to see what frequency is right for your community. Tweet This Stat! 2) The click-through rate on triggered messages is 119% higher than “Business as Usual” messages. (Source: Epsilon and DMA ) Using personalized and timely lead nurturing with marketing automation is an important strategy for improving the overall performance of your email marketing and customer generation. Tweet This Stat! 3) On average, companies respond to only 30% of social media fans’ feedback. (Source: Factbrowser ) Engagement is rare. Stand out from your competition by caring and engaging with your social media community. Tweet This Stat! 4) The average tablet user spends 13.9 hours per week with the device. (Source: OPA ) The tablet is quickly becoming the new laptop. Survey your customers and leads to understand how they are using tablets, and let that data influence future marketing strategies targeted at tablet users. Tweet This Stat! 5) Text messaging users send or receive an average of 35 messages per day. (Source: Forrester Research ) Peer-to-peer communication through text messaging has become of core part of society’s communication infrastructure. Is there is any possible communication that your customers and prospects would like to receive via text message ? Tweet This Stat! 6) Email opens on smartphones and tablets have increased 80% over the last six months. (Source: Litmus ) Mobile devices have become a major source of email usage. Make sure that your email marketing message displays properly on mobile devices to maximize the results of your sends. Tweet This Stat! 7) 27% of TV sets shipped worldwide in Q1 of 2012 had internet connectivity. (Source: Display Search ) Internet connectivity is becoming standard for all devices. With the internet becoming a bigger part of the living room, plan for how this change might disrupt your current broadcast marketing tactics. Tweet This Stat! 8) By 2016, more than half of the dollars spent in US retail will be influenced by the web. (Source: Forrester Research ) Commerce is shifting more and more online. Make sure that you have a method to easily sell your product or service online. Tweet This Stat! 9) In any given week, less than 0.5% of Facebook fans engage with the brand they are fans of. (Source: Marketing Science ) Brands aren’t providing the right kind of content and experience to engage their fans. Ask your Facebook fans what type of content they want to see, and then give it to them! Tweet This Stat! 10) 45% of the world’s 2 billion internet users live in Asia. (Source: Ecommerce Europe ) If you actively sell and market to Asian markets, the internet is a channel that can’t be ignored. Understand how internet usage and habits differ in Asia compared to the United States. Tweet This Stat! 11) 61% of emails received at professional email accounts are non-essential. (Source: Mimecast ) Inboxes are overflowing with marketing email. Use personalization, proper timing, and offers valuable to the recipient to break through the clutter and be seen. Tweet This Stat! 12) 20% of Facebook users have purchased something because of ads or comments they saw there. (Source: Ipsos ) People are influenced by, well, other people. Use paid and organic marketing on Facebook to influence the conversion actions that drive your business. Tweet This Stat! 13) 17% of the top 1000 search terms on Twitter “churn over” on an hourly basis. (Source: Twitter ) Twitter is all about novelty and news. Publish more frequently and focus on timely content to appeal to Twitter’s hungry users. Tweet This Stat! 14) U.S. consumers send 2.304 trillion text messages per year, up from 2.052 trillion in 2010. (Source: CTIA ) Wow! That is a ton of text messages. If you are marketing to heavy texting demographics, consider incorporating a text message opt-in as part of your campaign. Tweet This Stat! 15) 40% of the accounts and 8% of the messages on social media sites are spam. (Source: Businessweek ) Email isn’t the online platform with a spam problem. Take the time to customize your social media account and content so you stand out from the spam bots. Tweet This Stat! 16) 88% of adults in the US have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-reader, and 19% have a tablet. (Source: Pew Internet ) The cell phone is the dominant communication tool in the United States, but information consumption is fragmented. Optimize your digital marketing for all of the screens and devices used by your target audience. Tweet This Stat! 17) 64% of smartphone owners are using their mobile devices to shop online . (Source: eDigitalResearch ) The smartphone is ripe with impulse shopping revenue. If you sell goods online, target specific campaigns to smartphone users. Tweet This Stat! 18) YouTube users watch more than 3B hours of video per month. (Source: YouTube ) Video is a major part of the online experience, but it’s different from traditional broadcast productions. When integrating online video into your inbound marketing strategy be sure to consider not only production value, but length. Most successful online videos are less than two minutes long. Tweet This Stat! 19) About 1 in 3 bloggers are moms. (Source: Nielsen ) When looking for blogging expertise, look no further than the mommy bloggers. Everyone has influence and expertise you can learn from and leverage. Tweet This Stat! 20) 73% of smartphone owners access social networks through apps at least once per day. (Source: Lightspeed Research ) Social is mobile. Make sure that content you’re sharing on social networks — like your blog articles and landing pages — are optimized for mobile devices. Tweet This Stat! 21) 91% of online adults use social media regularly. (Source: Experian ) Social media is fully integrated into communication culture. Make sure it is an integrated part of your marketing strategy, too. Tweet This Stat! Which of these internet marketing statistics was the most surprising to you? Photo Credit: stevendepolo Topics: Marketing Datalast_img read more

  • 34 Enlightening Statistics Marketers Should Know About Multi-Screen Usage [Google Data]

    first_img Topics: Individual Screen Usage1) 90% of all media interactions are screen-based. (Tweet This)2) On average, we spend 4.4 hours of our leisure time in front of screens each day. (Tweet This)3) Our time online is spread between 4 primary media devices: TV (43 min.), PC/laptop (39 min.), tablet (30 min.), smartphone (17 min.). (Tweet This)4) 24% of our daily media interactions occur on a PC/laptop. (Tweet This)5) 40% of PC/laptop use is motivated by finding info, and 29% by keeping up to date. (Tweet This)6) 69% of PC/laptop use occurs at home, while 31% occurs out of home. (Tweet This)7) 38% of our daily media interactions occur on a smartphone. (Tweet This)8) 54% of smartphone use is motivated by communication, and 33% by entertainment. (Tweet This)9) 60% of smartphone use occurs at home, while 40% occurs out of the home. (Tweet This)10) 9% of our daily media interactions occur on tablets. (Tweet This)11) 63% of tablet use is motivated by entertainment, and 32% by communication. (Tweet This)12) 79% of tablet use occurs at home, while 21% occurs out of the home. (Tweet This)13) 34% of us use the device that’s closest to us when looking for information. (Tweet This)14) 80% of searches conducted on a smartphone are spontaneous. (Tweet This)15) 48% of searches conducted on a PC/laptop are planned. (Tweet This)Multi-Screen UsageGoogle identifies two modes of multi-screening, sequential usage and simultaneous usage. Sequential usage refers to moving from one device to another at different times to accomplish a task. Simultaneous usage, on the other hand, means using more than one device at the same time for either a related or unrelated activity.16) 90% use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time. (Tweet This)17) 98% move between devices that same day. (Tweet This)18) Browsing the internet (81%), social networking (72%), and shopping online (67%) are the top activities performed when sequentially screening between devices. (Tweet This)19) Smartphones are the most common starting place for online activities. (Tweet This)20) PCs/laptops are most often a starting point for more complex activities. (Tweet This)21) Tablets are most often a starting point for shopping and trip planning. (Tweet This)22) Consumers rely on search to move between devices. (Tweet This)23) We use an average of 3 different screen combinations each day. (Tweet This)25) Smartphones are the most frequent companion devices during simultaneous usage. (Tweet This)26) Emailing (60%), internet browsing (44%), and social networking (42%) are the top 3 activities performed during simultaneous screen usage. (Tweet This)27) 78% of simultaneous usage is multi-tasking, while 22% of simultaneous usage is complementary. (Tweet This)28) 77% of TV viewers use another device at the same time in a typical day. (Tweet This)29) TV is a major catalyst for search. (Tweet This)Shopping Behavior by Screen30) 59% of smartphone shopping is done at home, while 41% is done out of the home. (Tweet This)31) 81% of smartphone shopping is done at the spur of the moment. (Tweet This)32) 42% of PC/laptop shopping is planned. (Tweet This)33) 30% of shopping-related content accessed on a smartphone is driven by search. (Tweet This)34) 67% of us start shopping on one device and continue on another. (Tweet This)Marketing Lessons From Multi-Screen UsageThat’s quite a bit of enlightening data, huh? Let’s pinpoint a few important marketing takeaways here …First and foremost, the most obvious one: optimize your content for multiple devices. Consumers are increasingly accessing multiple screens in their day-to-day lives. It’s no longer enough to optimize your content for PCs/laptops. Mobile optimization on tablets and smartphones should also be a priority. Furthermore, considering the popularity of sequential and simultaneous screen usage, it’s important for marketers to make their presence across multiple devices as cohesive and user-friendly as possible.Google also highlighted the important role context plays in a consumer’s decision to use one device over another. In other words, a user will choose a particular device based on contextual triggers such as location, timing, goals, and attitude. Thus, as marketers, it’s critical to understand how your audience accesses your content so you can cater your marketing strategy to accommodate those specific use cases and behaviors.Finally, with 43 minutes a day spent watching TV, this traditional medium is still alive and kicking. However, considering that 77% of viewers are simultaneously using another device while watching it, and that TV is a major catalyst for search, marketers should be sure to integrate and align any TV advertising with their online strategies.Which data points from Google’s research did you find most enlightening?Image Credit: adactio Originally published Sep 5, 2012 5:39:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 How many screens do you look at on a daily basis? A PC/laptop? A tablet? Your smartphone? A TV? For some time now, we marketers have speculated that a lot of you would probably answer, “All of the above!” But we haven’t really had any hard data to back up our speculation. Until now!Last week, Google published some interesting data based on research into how consumers are using different devices together, called “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior.” The results definitely piqued our interest, especially from a marketing perspective. The most fascinating nugget of data? 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal. In other words, people may start reading an email on their phone on the train home from work, but finish reading it at home on their tablet; or maybe they watch a commercial on TV and then turn to their laptop to research the product.Intrigued? Let’s take a look at some of the statistical highlights of Google’s research. You can also download the full report from Google here.(Click image to enlarge.)center_img Google Updates Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

  • The Key Components of a User-Friendly Website Navigation

    first_img Topics: Contextual Navigation: Contextual navigation provides navigation in line with content (e.g. hyperlinks). Gerry McGovern, the founder and CEO of Customer Carewords, explains, “The primary purpose of web navigation is to help people to move forward. It is not to tell them where they have been, or where they could have gone.”Navigation PatternsDepending on context, you might take several different approaches to organizing your website or application:Task-Based: Your navigation can be task-based. It’s sometimes useful to provide one or more task-based points of entry to your site. Navigation Method: For visitors, this is a way to find out where on a website you can go — and how to get there. It gives you access to the primary content sections and utilities, then places you can get to that aren’t part of the primary content hierarchy. For instance, when you visit the Apple website and click on the iPod tab, you will see that the information is organized in a hierarchical order: you can choose between iPod products or apps related to the iPod. Search: This is the search functionality visitors have access to. It’s a way to quickly find specific information they might be looking for, and is often illustrated by the magnifying glass icon.As you incorporate these components into your website navigation, ensure that you keep their look and feel consistent. Providing consistent navigation throughout your website allows users to feel confident that they know where they are and that they can find what they’re looking for.Types of Navigation SystemsNow that we’ve covered the role of the website navigation and its components, let’s explore what options for navigation systems you have. There are three main types of navigation systems.Global Navigation: Global navigation is a site-wide navigation that allows access to key areas or functions. It usually appears on every page and can contain multiple levels of hierarchy. The Apple screenshots above are good representations of a global navigation.Local Navigation: Local navigation enables the user to explore the immediate area or a subset of the site. If you visit, for instance, you will see a left-hand navigation that allows you to explore the specific section of the website you are currently in. Content-Based: Navigation options appear consistently across all pages. It may represent flat or hierarchical structure.Menu-Driven: A main menu provides access to isolated sub-modules. Navigation across screens is not permitted. This is used mostly for device interfaces.Transactional: Provides feedback about where you are in a sequential process, and provides the option to back up to a prior step. Your design should start with thinking about how the user will move between pages or screens. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack An Example of a Great Website NavigationWhat other great examples of website navigation have you noticed? Share them with us in the comments below.Photo Credit: olgaberrios The navigation of your website is a key component that directly impacts you from a business and marketing perspective. After all, a navigation is often what stands between the user and the user’s goal. And as a marketer, you should want to make that distance as short as possible.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignThat’s why you need to ensure your website navigation offers a positive experience from a usability perspective. In other words, designing your navigation in a way that makes sense to website users. Don’t make your visitors do a lot of work to reach their goal — if the user’s goal is to locate your pricing page, for instance, help them get to it fast.What Should a Website Navigation Do?Navigation of information, as discussed in Alan Cooper’s book, About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design, can be accomplished by three key methods: scrolling (panning), linking (jumping), and zooming. In order to develop a solid navigation system, designers need to enable the user to move smoothly from one place to another place, and promote flow.Specifically, the navigation should:Enable users to choose from a small selection of pages to visit.Provide clear labels for the pages where navigation tabs take you.Adapt your website to match user needs.Tell people where they currently are and how to get back.Provide a search function.Components of a Navigational SystemIn order to achieve the above-mentioned goals, a well-designed navigational system should include three main components:Current Locator: This is also known as a site ID and is a way for users to know where on the website they currently are. For instance, when you select a given tab in the website navigation, does the appearance of that tab change to reflect that it has been selected? Check out a screenshot from Apple’s website: when a user selects a tab (in this case, the iPod tab), it becomes darker than the rest of the navigation.  Trace Route: This is a way for you to find where on the website you’ve been. This is also known as a home link and answers the question, “How can I get back to where I started?” In the case of the Apple website, you can simply click on the Apple icon to go back to the home page. Website Design Originally published Aug 30, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated August 29 2017last_img read more

  • 17 Brilliant Sources of Content Hiding Right Under Your Nose

    first_img Blog Post Topics Just put a disclaimer of some sort in the post like you see above. It ensures everyone knows exactly where the content came from, and gives them another opportunity to download the offer if they liked what they read in the blog post.6) Bundle your blog content into lead generation offers.The love fest between your offer content and blog content works both ways. If you’re jonesin’ for a lead-gen offer, take a look at the blog content you’ve written. You’ll probably find you can bundle a lot of those posts that center around a similar topic into one lead generation offer. For example, if you’re a SEO consultant, you might have a bevy of content around long-tail keywords. Pull together the best of the best for a free long-tail keyword optimization kit!Boom. Lead-gen offer. I mean, why reinvent the wheel?7) Turn written content into visual content.Do you have design talent? Does someone in your company? Do you have the budget to outsource design work? All or some of the above? Cool. Keep reading this tip.Usually the hardest part of creating visual content is coming up with the concept. But if you already have the concept — say, in another blog post you’ve already written — you can turn that into a content visualization in a jiffy! Take our blog post, “7 Shameless Tactics Marketers Use to Lure an Audience,” as an example. That post performed really well, so we handed it over to a design-minded employee and had him turn it into a funny visualization — check it out here!8) Wax poetic on camera.Not interested in writing or design work? Well go get gussied up, because it’s time to step into the limelight. Great marketing content takes many forms, and one of them’s video. Think of a topic your audience would like some advice on, and conduct an interview with someone that has some good perspective on the issue. Alternately, you could hop on camera solo and give your two cents on the subject! Here, take a look at an example of this … it’s literally 30 seconds worth of content creation work.9) Screen capture how-to content as you’re teaching it.There’s more recourse for the writing and design averse. You — and lots of people within your organization — are teaching people things all the time. Whether it’s next time you’re training a new employee or you’re hopping on a screenshare with a customer to walk them through a process, those are fantastic opportunities to create how-to video content. Just grab some screen capture software (there are several options out there; Camtasia is one of my favorites that offers both a free and paid version) and record yourself in action!10) Write out the steps of your how-to videos.And now that you’ve created a how-to video, you can put that content in another format! Hey, some people like to learn by watching, some like to learn by reading. Write out what you taught your audience in the video, incorporating screenshots where appropriate to walk readers through a process without making them turn on their speakers.11) Solicit content from guest contributors.If you’re hurtin’ for content, consider leveraging guest contributors to help feed your content machine. This can come not only in the form of guest blog content — where bloggers write content for you and typically benefit by getting inbound links to their site within the content — but with co-written offer content, too. For instance, we’ll often host webinars with co-marketing partners that benefit both of us, because we each get exposure to one another’s audiences, as well as help in the content creation process.12) Turn presentation slides into SlideShares.Speaking of webinars, those things typically have slides, don’t they? They sure do! Turn the slides you use on webinars — or any other presentation, for that matter — into marketing content. You can publish those slides to your company SlideShare account, and then embed those slides into a blog post to amplify the impact. If you’re looking for a little guidance on how to make the most out of SlideShare, consult this blog post.13) Record presentations.Speaking of presentations, if someone in your organization is a stellar public speaker, see if their speeches can be recorded and uploaded to your YouTube account and, of course, your blog. For example, we launched HubSpot 3 at our marketing conference, INBOUND 2012, during a keynote address. So what did we do? We recorded it (obviously) and published the video to YouTube and in a dedicated blog post just for that video.14) Compile compelling data.People flipping love data. It makes them look smart, it’s easy to share, and it tells a big story in very few words. That’s why compilations of data — whether as a blog post, an offer, or both — are fantastic ways to come up with quick and successful content. Continually bookmark research studies and articles with interesting content so you don’t have to go data diving … you’ll just have an arsenal to work with all the time!Curious how to turn data into an offer? Check out our latest data-driven offer, 47 Revealing Marketing Stats About Facebook for Business. It will give you an idea of how to make boring data points visually appealing!15) Turn everyday tools into downloadable templates.Think about the work you do every day. Of those tasks, what are the things other people might want to know about? Figure it out, and make it a template. It might even be a template you already have!For instance, we’ve recently launched a series of templates to help marketers … do marketing. And these are all based on what we do every day, so it was easy as pie to create the templates! Take a look:Social Media Publishing Schedule TemplateMarketer’s Template for Creating Buyer PersonasMarketer’s Template for Creating Infographics in PowerPoint16) Update offers to align with personas.If you have multiple buyer personas, it may help your conversion rates as well as your content backlog to tweak your lead generation offers to align with your buyer personas. Think about it … if you have one persona who works in enterprise level organizations and another that works in small businesses, don’t you think your content should be edited to speak in their terms? This not only helps you create more personal marketing content, but it also doesn’t make you go back to square one to launch a new offer. You already have the framework; you just need to make a couple edits here and there!17) Set contribution requirements.Finally, you shouldn’t bear the burden of content creation all on your own; ask employees to pitch in and share a bit of that burden with you. Depending on the size of your marketing team, you could set contribution requirements for each person (this is ideal for a smaller marketing team) or for each sub-team (this is ideal for a larger marketing team). So you might require everyone in your team to write two blog posts a month, and one lead generation offer per quarter. Or, if you’re working on a very large team with many smaller teams with rapidly shifting priorities, set content contribution requirements that jive with the team’s size and monthly priorities. Remind them that creating content on a regular basis not only keeps their writing skills sharp (or design skills, if that’s their superpower), it helps them build up an online writing portfolio that will come in handy for the rest of their marketing careers.What other low-hanging content fruit is out there that marketers should leverage?Image credit: Soggydan Topics: Originally published Sep 21, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016center_img Creating content is a pain in the puppy. (I’m watching my potty mouth, you guys.)That’s coming from someone whose entire job is to create content. But if you’re a multi-tasking marketer — creating email campaigns, building landing pages, managing a staff, tweaking your PPC budget, designing calls-to-action — content creation has likely been elevated from a royal pain to a practical impossibility. I mean, maybe you’ll get a blog post written in a couple weeks. If you’re lucky, a new lead generation offer could get pumped out once a quarter. And an infographic? Ha, maybe next year.If you identify with that overburdened inbound marketer description and are constantly frustrated at your inability to create as much content as you’d like, this is the post for you. Because we’ve been there, man. And we’ve worked with thousands of customers that struggle with the exact same problem. Needless to say, we’ve gotten mighty creative at finding solutions to content creation shortages — solutions that are usually right under your nose! So here you go … here are 17 sources of quick content that can help you out in a pinch so you can keep feeding that hungry inbound marketing machine of yours.17 Sources of Quick Marketing Content That Are Right Under Your Nose1) Tap your sales and services teams.The best marketing content is the stuff that answers people’s common questions. And there’s this whole slew of people working at your company — the sales and services pros — that are fielding people’s questions all day long. Not only do they know the common questions; they also know the answers to them. Like the back of their hand, in fact. Ask them to write down the questions they get asked all the time, along with the answers they give. If the answer is meaty enough, it can stand alone as a blog post. Or, you can compile several questions and answers for a kind of FAQ-style blog post or downloadable offer!Tip: If you record your calls for training or quality assurance, you can also use the recordings to transcribe questions and answers if you don’t want to bug your sales and services teams.2) Pull from your company collaboration tool.Many organizations — especially as they grow and struggle to scale internal communication — adopt online collaboration tools. We have a couple here at HubSpot, one of which is an internal wiki on which we post, among many things, educational pages with content we think others might benefit from. Sometimes, these pages are also veritable gold mines of marketing content.For example, we recently released a brand new ebook, 7 Awesome Analogies to Help Explain Inbound Marketing. Guess where that content came from? A page on our wiki where an inbound marketing consultant posted an analogy he uses with customers to explain inbound marketing … and the comments on that post from other consultants with the analogies they use to explain it. Thrifty use of brainpower, eh?3) Interview an internal expert.A few things I’m not an expert on:Which of the twelve remotes on my coffee table turns on the TV, which turns on the DVD player, and which turns on the cable boxHow to French braidThe innermost workings of email spam filtersUnfortunately for me, my job requires me to write about that last one. Fortunately for me, we have an email deliverability expert on staff that knows … all about the innermost workings of email spam filters. That’s why we could publish this post — “How Marketers Can Avoid Those Dreaded Email Spam Traps” — without dropping everything for a day and researching the subject matter. We read an article on the subject, popped over to Email Expert Evan, and learned everything we needed to know in a fraction of the time. What I’m trying to say is, talk to people that know more than you. What they have to say is really handy, because you can quickly learn about a new subject matter, using their brainpower to power a brand new piece of content.4) Interview an external expert.This is just taking tip #3 on the road. If you have connections with experts or thought leaders in your industry, ask them if you can set up a short interview with them that you can turn into a blog post. If you conduct the interview over email, the writing is already done for you. If you do it over the phone, simply record it and transcribe your conversation — there are even transcription services you can pay for if you’re really strapped for time. You get some quick blog content, and your interviewee gets exposure to a new audience. Everybody wins!5) Pull excerpts from lead generation content.In April, we launched a new ebook, How to Unlock the ROI of Your Marketing Analytics. The thing’s like, almost 100 pages. So we didn’t think we’d be giving away too much to grab some of the content contained therein — maybe just a part of one of the chapters — and repurpose it as a blog post. In fact, teaser content like that helps promote the ebook, helping you get more downloads (read: more leads), as well as helping keep your blog afloat. 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

  • 8 Ways for Marketers to Prove Their Value Within Their Own Organization

    first_img6) Track marketing’s influence on revenue.Marketing isn’t just about driving new leads; it’s about enabling sales to improve conversions through the sales and marketing funnel. Track all the campaigns a given customer is impacted by before ultimately buying. Be VisibleAs the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” Being visible goes hand in hand with communicating regularly, as both show that you are present, working hard, and driving results. Focus especially on being visible among your sales team — the group that historically has the most “beef” with marketing — and work with them closely by sending updates on the marketing activities that impact them most.3) Send weekly updates on active marketing campaigns.Sending updates on active marketing campaigns not only helps you stay visible, but also helps prepare your sales team to follow up with the inbound leads you’re generating. At HubSpot, we send a weekly “This Week in Marketing” email to our sales team on all the marketing campaigns they’ll likely hear about from leads over the phone, or through notes in Salesforce. This email includes a short description of the campaign, links to the landing pages and content offers themselves, and suggested sound bytes for following up with leads engaged in the campaign. Originally published Oct 1, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 If you follow these steps to communicate regularly, be visible, and “show them the money,” you’ll be well on your way to showing the key role marketing plays in growing your business.Market YourselfAll of the above apply to the marketing of your personal contributions, as well. For example, measure the number of leads your efforts generated, the number of page views your blog articles attracted, the number of sales calls you assisted. In addition to that, build up your own credibility in the eyes of your boss — whether that’s the CEO or CMO — as well as the rest of the company.7) Build up your marketing presence.As a marketer using inbound marketing strategies, you should be able to show that you know a thing or two about those strategies. That means building up your own marketing presence by having a blog and active social media accounts. There are quite a few marketers we snapped up to work at HubSpot specifically because we noticed what they were doing online, either with their blogs or large social media followings. 8) Invest in your role as a thought leader in your industry.Not only do you need to build up your presence in the marketingsphere, but also in your specific industry. This means getting your name on blog posts and ebooks, and speaking on webinars and at events. This will help you personally get known for your expertise in the industry, and will increase the demand to have you at events, on sales calls, and generally associated with the company. When people start asking for you, you better believe your entire organization will see value in your presence as a marketer.How else do you recommend marketers sell their value to their organization?Image credit: apdk You should also have your sales team note which resources — like sales collateral, or having a marketer on a call — they utilized in closing each deal. 4) Co-run weekly SMarketing meetings with your sales counterparts.SMarketing is a term our VP of Sales coined to describe the alignment between sales and marketing. It’s also something all sales and marketing organizations should live and breathe every day. That means seating marketers right next to sales reps in your office, constant communication between marketing and sales directors, and co-presented meetings with sales and marketing managers. Start holding weekly SMarketing meetings run by the sales and marketing managers to help both departments stay visible with employees, and demonstrate the partnership and aligned messaging between the two teams.Show Them the MoneyParticularly when working with your sales and executive teams, it’s all about driving the bottom line: revenue. Speaking in terms of website visits or impressions is abstract and requires someone to trust that those visits and impressions will turn into something of real value … like, well, revenue. So instead of talking like a marketer, translate that marketing-speak into the language of bottom line results to demonstrate why your efforts contribute to revenue generated.5) Show marketing results in terms of concrete numbers.Where possible, communicate marketing’s impact in terms of real numbers — new leads, marketing qualified leads, customers, and revenue. This makes marketing’s impact much more tangible and relevant to your sales and executive teams. Remember, this is much easier to do if you have closed-loop marketing software that paints a picture of a lead’s lifecycle from moment of capture to close of sale. At INBOUND 2012 last month, HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan shared the results of a study on the lovability of different professions. Where do you think marketers landed on that lovability scale? If you weren’t there, the results revealed that people find marketers less lovable than stockbrokers and lawyers. Did we beat anybody out? Yeah. We’re more lovable than lobbyists and used car salesmen. That’s not exactly a victory worth bragging about.Why is this the case? Well, while there’s obviously the component of marketers creating salesey, pushy, generally cringe-inducing marketing, there’s something else at play. I think some of the reason marketing comes across as such an unlovable profession is because, ironically, we have a major PR problem in the marketing industry. We marketers focus our energy on marketing our businesses so that they can grow and succeed, but internally, we’re neglecting our careers and our team members by not marketing ourselves within our own organizations.So it’s high time someone talked about the problem, and how to address it. This post is going to discuss how marketers can become more lovable in the eyes of our own organizations by properly positioning our work and demonstrating the impact it has on our respective businesses. Here’s how you can market your marketing team — and by extension, yourself — within your own organization!Communicate RegularlyOne of our strengths as marketers is communication. Let’s leverage that to communicate our department’s results! You should be doing this on at least a monthly basis, though more frequent communication can help keep your organization agile. Share what your team has worked on, what the results were, and how you plan to improve with your upcoming projects. Here’s how.1) Create a monthly marketing report, and share it with everyone.Every month, the HubSpot marketing team puts together a 100+ slide deck on the previous month’s results. That deck includes high-level metrics on visits, leads, and customers, as well as an evaluation of each marketing channel (blog, email, social, etc.). Every marketer should get in the habit of evaluating and reporting on their own efforts, and sharing those findings with their company. You’ll want to cover a few areas when evaluating these metrics, too:Celebrate the wins – “We hit a new record of leads generated this month!”Admit the shortcomings – “Lead quality dropped this month due to the dramatic increase in volume.”Address how you’ll overcome the shortcomings in the future – “Next month, we’re scaling back the promotion of Campaign XYZ in favor of Campaign ABC, which should drive higher quality conversions.2) Send an internal email newsletter to share highlights from the monthly marketing report.Publishing a report that anyone can read is not the whole story — after all, can you imagine how many non-marketer HubSpotters will actually page through 100+ slides of marketing analytics? Yeah, not a lot. Those 100 slides are more for our CMO, a few interested executives, and some other go-getters.So, how do you share the takeaways with the whole company to show marketing’s impact on your organization? To do that, pull together just the highlights — decidedly not 100+ slides — and share those more aggressively. A great way to share this information is through a monthly internal email newsletter. This will ensure your message gets across to a larger portion of the company. Topics: Marketing and Sales Alignment 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 Calculate Whether That Trade Show Was Worth the Investment

    first_img Trade Shows Topics: We’ve always been pretty hesitant to jump in head first with event sponsorship and attendance. Sure, there are some industry events we think rock: Dreamforce, SMX, Dublin Web Summit, LeWeb, and of course Inbound. But what usually happens with events? They end up over-hyped and under-delivering, chalk full of poor networking opportunities, generic content, and few opportunities to make meaningful connections with new leads and customers. That means a whole lot of time and money gets wasted. What a bummer.Wouldn’t it be nice, then, to be able to determine whether an event yields enough new business to justify the cost to participate in it? Absolutely. That’s why we wanted to outline exactly how to track event ROI accurately so you can determine whether you should keep sending in that sponsorship and/or attendance check year after year. Let’s get started.How to Calculate the ROI of an Event or Trade ShowIf you’re going to sponsor an event, the two core components your boss will ask about will be (or at least should be) ROI and tracking. Of course there are additional benefits of events such as thought leadership, networking, learning, branding … but when there’s a hefty sponsorship check involved, there needs to be a measurable, positive ROI that can be tracked.How to Track Event ROIThe best way to track ROI is using this formula:(Gross Profit – Marketing Expenses) / Marketing ExpensesFor instance, let’s say we went to an event and our expenses were as follows:So, did we have a positive ROI? At the moment, we wouldn’t know, because our sales cycle isn’t instantaneous — it’s a few weeks long. As such, it would take a few weeks before we could look back to determine whether the investment was worth it. But when that time comes, this is how we’ll calculate it:ROI = (Gross Profit – $100,000) / $100,000Note that the gross profit number would consist only of deals that happened due to our attendance at the event, so they would not have happened if HubSpot had chosen not to show up. As long as your gross profit — which for HubSpot specifically will be measured based on our LTV:CAC performance model — is higher than your total investment, then you’ll post a positive ROI. It will then be up to you to determine if the ROI is enough to justify continued involvement in the future.How to Track Trade Show Lead Generation and SalesNow that we know how much we spent on the event, we then need to determine what leads and sales were generated as a result of our participation. The best way for us to track this is to set up a naming convention for all leads generated due to that event. Using a CRM — we use Salesforce because it integrates with HubSpot for a nice, closed-loop view of our sales and marketing activities — we would enter every single lead generated at the event (via badge scanning, business cards, or email addresses collected) with an event tag. Because we’ve tagged them properly — the tag can just be the name of the event you attended — we can then set up weekly reports to monitor performance. As the leads begin to turn into new HubSpot customers, we’ll then be able to perform our ROI calculations.Now, if the event just ended but you have a long sales cycle, it would take a little bit of time to calculate the exact ROI. But you could still run some predictive ROI calculations each month, and wait to perform the final analysis a few months down the road. After that, though, the team that attended the event should meet, review the numbers, and ultimately make a call on whether or not the participation was worth it based on the ROI calculations. Having this post-attendance meeting is essential for your company — just be sure that the meeting happens after all leads and sales can be accounted for, and have adequately matured.How do you determine whether your presence at a trade show or event was worth the cost?Image credit: Images_of_Money Originally published Sep 28, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated August 26 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

  • Internet Outage Crash Your Website? The Marketer’s Response Plan

    first_img Topics: Yawn. In most cases, you can customize this so that users see something branded. Put a little effort in and work with your design team to come up with something great that represents your brand, and gets the message across. Do you want to be witty? Entertaining? Sympathetic? Find something that sets the right tone for your business, and also lets them know that you’re aware there’s a problem. HubSpot’s site unavailable page, for instance, features one of our very own for a touch of whimsy. 2) Communicate!In any situation where people might be disappointed or let down, communication is key. Even if it isn’t your fault. Thing is, you know you have no control over a third party’s outage … but your customers either don’t know, or don’t care. Or both.If your website is down, you have to be both creative and effective in how you communicate with people. Posting a message on your homepage isn’t enough. Make sure you have multiple approaches to communication at your finger tips. This allows you to identify those that aren’t working, and focus your energy where it will make an impact. Consider:Twitter – Share updates on this more than once; one tweet will get lost in the fast-paced Twitter shuffle.Facebook – Consider highlighting the post so it takes up more real estate on your Timeline.LinkedIn – Simply post this as a status update, but include a link to another property for those that need more information on the outage.Smoke signals, or anything else you have at your disposal to get your voice heard. 3) Remember Your CustomersLeads are important, sure, but you shouldn’t forget your current customers. If customers are impacted by an outage, you are better off proactively letting them know than letting them find out on their own. Discuss the severity of the situation, and figure out what kind of response is necessary. Sometimes social media outreach is enough, but if the problem is more severe, you might want to consider emailing your customers to let them know. Also consider having a back up site that is hosted someplace completely different. For example, HubSpot has, which is hosted in an entirely different location and shouldn’t be affected by an outage at our main data center. Customers know this is where they should go to learn about issues, so if there is a large internet outage, we can hopefully always have a place to update those who will be impacted. Originally published Oct 29, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 4) Have a Sense of HumorS*#t happens. Lots of companies lost business the other day, and might lose it today, too. You can cry and moan about revenue lost, but it won’t change the outcome. Keep your head on straight, stay calm, and try to laugh about how much we all rely on the internet these days. Balance a sense of humor and sense of understanding for what your customers are doing through in your communications and messaging. Unless, of course, the internet is down because of something dangerous, like a hurricane — safety really isn’t a laughing matter. But in general, keeping a light-hearted tone will help those affected will respond better, and keep an internet outage in perspective.5) Prepare for the Next OutageWhile you should keep your sense of humor in the midst of the outage, when everything’s up and running like normal, ask the right questions and make sure you are prepared for the next time. Some questions to discuss with your IT team might be:What caused the outage, and could if have been prevented?Do we have the right kind of backup systems?Should we look into better redundancy?Can we improve our responses when something like this happens again? In the end, as a marketer, you probably aren’t working on bringing your website or the internet back online. But if you can keep your community, your leads, and you customers happy, it will reduce the impact of those outages on your business. Was your business affected by the Amazon outage? What else will you do to prepare for future instances of these outages?Image credit: 4nitsirk Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Design Internet down? Don’t get caught with your pants down, too.Earlier last week, Amazon experienced a significant outage at their North Virginia data center. The outage affected large portions of the internet, including popular sites like Pinterest, Reddit, Foursquare, Airbnb, and even HubSpot for several hours Monday afternoon. Furthermore, today much of the Eastern seaboard is expecting (or already experiencing) a hurricane. No doubt the internet — not to mention countless other things — may not be operating as usual.When an outage of this magnitude happens, all types of businesses (and marketers) are affected. Ecommerce sites can’t make sales; lead generation sites stop getting leads; and ad driven sites stop getting visitors. As a marketer, you can cry about all the revenue you’re missing out on … or you can do something about it. While you can’t really call up Amazon and give ’em an earful (it wouldn’t be productive if you could), you can try to prepare for the next time one of these outages happens. With a little more preparation, you might suffer just a little bit less pain and agony. Here are some things you can do to prepare for when the internet just … gives out on ya. Or if you prefer a different format, check out this short video of Mike Volpe (and me!) chatting about the subject.What to Do When Someone Unplugs the Internet1) Have a Killer “Site Down” PageWhen your site experiences problems, the standard site unavailable page looks something like this:last_img read more

  • 4 Advanced Targeting Techniques Every Facebook Advertiser Should Master

    first_imgNot everyone “Likes” the Facebook ads platform (pun intended). Its CTRs are lower than Google, it doesn’t convert as well, and it’s just, well … different. And if you’re not already using Facebook Ads (or you’ve tried in the past and failed), you may have noticed there’s not a whole ton of advice out there that helps to explain why Facebook ad campaigns flatline.Sure, there’s plenty of advice out there about well-designed ads with compelling images and finely crafted, well-written copy. But what if your campaign had all those things … and still tanked? What could’ve gone wrong?Most likely, it was your targeting.Free Lookbook: 50 Facebook Ad Examples That We Actually ClickedHow the Facebook Ad Platform DiffersMost PPC advertisers come from a Google AdWords background, which is very rooted in “intent based” keyword searches. If a person searches for “running shoes,” and I have the snappiest copy and the highest bid on “running shoes,” I win the click, and we go from there.But as a PPC ad platform, Facebook is fundamentally different.When we’re on Facebook, we’re not usually searching for anything specific, are we? Instead, we leave funny comments, tag photos of our friends, and share photos of cats and babies.But more importantly (at least for marketers), we’re Liking pages that reflect our personal interest in sports, music, movies, and celebrities. We’re also entering our zip codes, tagging people as family members, entering our workplaces, sharing our relationship statuses, and all sorts of other stuff that speaks to who we are as individuals.And on Facebook, the effectiveness of an ad isn’t determined by how well you target a one-off search, but rather how well you understand real human interests and how they relate to each other. Of course, images and copy still matter. But without proper targeting, even the best designed ad is doomed.In this article, we’ll explore four different advanced Facebook ad targeting techniques. This will focus solely on the targeting aspect of Facebook Ads and assumes that you already understand the basics of creating a Facebook ad campaign and can create compelling images at 100×72 pixels. With any luck, this article will help you wrap your mind around Facebook Ads in a whole new way, enabling you to send even more qualified prospects through your marketing funnel.A Few Quick Notes About Your Ad’s Landing PageWhen clicking through some of the ads on my Adboard while researching this article, I was surprised to see that companies like Universal Studios would run a well-designed ad like this:Only to send me straight to the Universal Studios Facebook Page:This is a huge missed opportunity, because I was psyched (pun intended here, too) about getting the DVD, but there was nowhere for me to convert.Lesson Number 1: If you’re going to run a Facebook ad campaign, you should at least set up and drive that traffic to a dedicated landing page where your visitors can convert. Check out this free introduction to landing pages ebook if you’re just getting started.Lesson Number 2: It’s also a wise move to use the same, or similar imagery when guiding clickers through the path to conversion. In other words, if you use one image in your ad, make sure that same image — or a variation of it — also appears on the landing page so visitors know they’re in the right place.In this second example, Verizon also does a reasonable job with its image and copy:But, again, they lose me as soon as I click through on the ad. Notice the lack of Droid RAZR information, which the entire advertisement was based on?This lack of consistent visual messaging along the click path is confusing and ends up costing more money than it’s worth. Not only are you missing out on sales, but you’re losing money every time someone clicks and doesn’t take an action.Lesson Number 3: Tell a consistent, visual story starting from the first ad click all the way through to the last point of conversion.Of all the ads I tested, True Value’s ad was the only one I think really nailed it. Go figure.This ad …Leads to this page …Even though the page itself is pretty simple, the entire process is crystal clear. The image that was used in the ad was modified for the landing page to include the call-to-action, “Click to print your coupon,” making the next step easy to grasp within a matter of seconds.And how did they know I’d print that coupon?Well … I’m 27, I’m married, I’m a male, I’m a father, and I’ve Liked the pages Saving Money, Super Coupon Lady, and DIYnetwork, among other things that would signal I’m a responsible adult living on a budget and Likes to take care of things around the house.Which leads me to first advanced targeting method …1) Facebook Ad Targeting by InterestsUsing the True Value ad above as an example, the “27, Married, Male …” targeting might work well enough. However, it’s still very broad in a lot of ways. Our first method — the “Interest Cloud Technique” — requires you to really get inside the head and shoes of the people you’re targeting.The goal is to create a cloud of all the potential interests of a person who might get excited by a trip to the hardware store, and then make sure there’s a convenient geographic location available to them. For example, while I was impressed with True Value’s marketing funnel, their closest location is roughly an hour away from where I live. Realistically, most people probably aren’t going to drive an hour away just to cash in on a $5.00 coupon.So if I were to create an interest cloud for someone who would get excited about a $5.00 coupon, it would look something like this. Actually, this is only about 1/4 the size of how I might target an ad like this. But reading through it will give you a sense of the thought process you should take — starting broad with DIY, then moving onto specific activities, and then getting even more granular with specific television shows. If I were to continue to drill into this, I’d be also looking up the names of the hosts for many of these shows, writers for the magazines, and other celebrities within the home improvement/home design/landscaping worlds.Having a broad range of specific keywords like this covers all your bases when marketing to a specific interest graph.Next, because in-store redemption is critical to the success of the overall campaign, I’m going to run several smaller campaigns using the interest graph above, but targeting the different regions in the country.The reason for doing this instead of just using “United States” is to find my most responsive markets throughout the different regions of the country.Ideally, I’d like to find my top-performing markets across the nation so I know how to allocate my budget for future ad spends. For example, If I find my northeast market (Region 1) outperforms the Pacific Northwest market (Region 10), I’d want to put more money into Region 1 for future campaigns.Because the overall goal of this campaign is to drive more foot traffic into each individual store means I have to drill down into each region and target all of the cities in which there is a store. To do this, I’d open up the store locator and find the addresses for every store in every state for any given region. In New Hampshire, for example, there are 10 stores …On Facebook, I’d then target the ad by city, and then enter every city where True Value has a location. Then, I’d repeat for every state until I’ve targeted every store in every city for the entire region. It would look something like this:I know what you’re thinking. “But this takes an incredible amount of time to put together!” You’re right — it does. But the benefit is, now you’ve targeted every single person on Facebook who is most likely to take action on your offer and is within driving distance of your locations. This results in higher CTRs, which is rewarded with lower cost-per-clicks, and more happy customers.But we’re not done yet. In addition to testing the effectiveness of each region, let’s say you wanted to see which demographic had the most buying power. You could then break the ad targeting down even further by age and gender. In its reporting, Facebook breaks age down in the following buckets: 13-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65+.Segmenting even further by age range and gender allows you to slightly modify your messaging (if necessary) while honing in on very specific segments of the same customer base. So a sample of the campaign might look like this:Region 1, $5.00 off coupon, 25-34, MaleRegion 1, $5.00 off coupon, 25-34, FemaleRegion 1, $5.00 off coupon, 35-44, MaleRegion 1, $5.00 off coupon, 35-44, FemaleWhile tedious, this level of depth is intended for you to find your most responsive demographic segments within any physical location. Knowing this will allows you to easily target those markets for future campaigns, and also helps you identify the precise demographics where you’re underperforming so you can strengthen your efforts within that market. That conversation might sound like, “We need a quick boost in sales to reach our Q4 goals. Why don’t we run a promo to females ages 25-34 (with interest graph attached) in Newport, RI; Kent, CT; Holliston, MA; and Highgate Center, VT — in addition to another promo to the 45-54 males in …?”And if you wanted to segment your messaging even further, you can add in targeting criteria by relationship status and partner interests. For example, it’s not hard to imagine that a 25-34 year-old single woman interested in men is at an entirely different stage in life than a 45-54 year-old married man.Getting this specific with your segmentation allows you to use creative that speaks directly to the person clicking on the ad. Not only does this improve your conversion rates, but in the long run, it also plays a huge role in brand affinity in different markets.2) Facebook Ad Targeting by Job Role & CompanyNow let’s say you sell a product that is targeted specifically for company presidents, vice presidents, CEOs, and other high-level executives, and you want to target very specific companies. In this case, we’re going to use what I like to call the “Michael Scott Office Infiltration Technique.”We’ll start by using the interest cloud method from earlier and insert all the different positions a C-level executive might use to describe their position within a company. (Check out this Wikipedia entry for reference.)(Again, if I were targeting, this would only be a partial list.)Next, add a minimum age filter. I like to start at 25, but this totally depends on who comprises your target audience. Now, without any age cap or location filters, we have a list of 1.2 million Facebook users who are potential targets in the entire U.S.Where this gets interesting is when we start targeting these high-level executives by the business they’re responsible for. To do this, you simply scroll down to “See Advanced Targeting Options.”For grins, let’s say you wanted to target the C-Level executives at Facebook. Or perhaps you’ve created a brand new online marketing software that would be perfect for traditional ad agencies … Topics: Facebook Advertising Or maybe — just maybe — you’re a really talented freelancer, and you want to shop your resume around to Fortune 50 companies.center_img Originally published Nov 16, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated August 26 2017 The power of the “Workplace Infiltration Method” can’t be emphasized enough, especially if you’re a marketers in a B2B industry. If your business regularly sells solutions to a specific market (like banks, for example), you only need a list of banks you’d like to market to, and the titles of the types of people you’d like to have that engagement from.Combine this with an effective, organic inbound marketing strategy, and you’ll always be in your target’s field of vision.3) Facebook Ad Targeting by Socioeconomic StatusBut what if you want to target your ads to other higher paying markets? This next one is what I call the “Fresh Prince Targeting Technique.” To start, we’ll use the profession cloud from before; but this time we’re going to geo-target using the 100 richest zip codes in the U.S.Marketing 101 says that the best sales come when a customer: 1) quickly identifies the need for a product or service, and 2) can easily afford it. And what do we know about people who live in wealthy neighborhoods? They’re probably willing to invest in things they know will improve their careers or make their personal lives more enjoyable.Let’s see how many 25-34 year-old men in the C-level profession cloud live in just the first 15 wealthy zip codes:Now the obvious thing to be excited about is, there is a decent potential market in the C-suite. But don’t always think in terms of sales being the success factor. This is just a hunch, but my gut tells me that some of these men may fall into the “celebrity executive” category. With the right promotion, you could potentially land endorsement deals (at best) and huge earned media wins. The key to creating a successful promotion is to find out exactly what executives live in these areas, then recon their social media profiles to discover what kinds of things they like. Oh … and the best part?Of course, it’s not just the C-suite you can target — there’s no shortage of other interests that you can target. The only word of warning is, if you’re going to sell in higher income markets, be prepared to offer something of seriously high value and quality. Don’t think you can peddle mid-level products with a higher price tag and get away with it. There’s a reason they live in these neighborhoods, and it’s not because they invest their money unwisely.4) Facebook Ad Targeting by Reverse TargetingThis fourth method has to be my new favorite: “The Reverse Targeting Technique.”Using the site, we’re able to find a breakdown of virtually every profession in every industry in the United States. Not only that, but as you’ll see in the screenshot below, you can also get a quick glimpse of the median pay in the field, number of jobs, and it’s projected percentage of growth.And when you click on any of the professions, you’ll be brought to a page that gives you an overview of the profession, the top-paying locations in the country to have that job, and the top-paying industries for that particular job. In other words, this is a treasure trove of data for someone using Facebook ads! To illustrate, let me share with you the top locations in the country for someone working as a “computer and information scientist.”By only plugging in these cities (normally segmented by region; I just got lazy) and the phrase “computer scientist” into the precise interests section, I was able to build a very respectable target profile.If I wanted to segment even further, I could also segment by age and gender. Then, also using the “Top Industries” tab in the report, I could start researching the companies within those industries in the cities I’m targeting.Doing this allows me to target entire departments within the companies I can enter in “Workplaces.” This is perfect if I offer a corporate training solution, or any service specific to that job. And it’s even better if my product is really niche — like specifically designed for “durable good wholesale computer scientists” — because now I can filter out all the computer scientists who my product is not made for, and make sure all of my marketing dollars are going to the exact right people.But perhaps my favorite thing about the Reverse Targeting Method is that it gives you the perfect starting point for finding JV partners and viable markets for affiliate products. Surely, within every industry there are leaders trying to push the field forward. Why not help them expand their reach? Wrapping UpWith the amount of personal information Facebook has on its users, it’s always surprising to me that more people don’t give the social network’s ad platform a shot. By taking the extra time to research all the different ways people might describe their interests, then researching how those interests are marketed, you can create targeting profiles, copy, and images that will not only stand out, but will also make your ad’s click path an enjoyable experience.If you’ve made it this far, I very much appreciate you taking the time to learn about these methods. If you know someone who might find this article useful, please share it with them, and if you have any questions or any other methods you know are effective, please add them in the comments below.This is a guest post written by Tommy Walker, the host of “Inside The Mind,” which is a show that fuses internet generation humor with high-quality online marketing advice. He is currently running an experiment in crowdfunding to make season 2 a reality.Image Credit: JD Hancock Don’t forget to share this post! 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  • How UK Data Collection Laws Affect Email Marketers

    first_img Topics: Originally published Nov 23, 2012 2:00:00 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 Email is a critical tool for lead generation and lead nurturing; not only does it allow you to continue a dialogue with those who have shown an interest in your company and keep them coming back for more, it also helps marketers reach new and untapped markets. With email, there are no geographical boundaries, and growing your business to leverage new locations is increasingly viable.If you are looking at using email marketing to help you explore the UK market specifically, however, you may find you have a bit of a pickle on your hands. That’s because when marketers are collecting data from the UK, specific laws apply that may not apply in other markets. Failure to comply with these data collection laws could not only end in disaster for your email marketing, but could also put you to the wrong side of the UK law. With these roadblocks, it’s no wonder the Direct Marketing Association values a single email address in the UK at £9.11.If you’re looking to grow and nurture your email database in the UK, this post will help acquaint you with the laws you need to be aware of, and explain how they’ll affect how you do your job as a marketer.UK Email Marketing Laws in a NutshellEmail marketers targeting a UK audience should acquaint themselves with the 2003 Electronic Communication Act. It governs email marketing, and states that you cannot email anyone unless they have previously opted in to receive your email. This means they must have stated they’d like to receive your communications through actively signing up.There is, however, a 3-point caveat to this. You can send to anyone:If a previous relationship exists;You are selling products/services of a similar nature to what they have shown an interest in;The addressee was given the opportunity to opt out (free of charge except for the cost of transmission) at the time of sign up. The opportunity to opt out must be given with every subsequent message, meaning there must be a valid unsubscribe link on every email you send.Further — and this is obvious to any legitimate email marketer — you must not conceal your identity. Be sure to use a recognizable and non-spammy ‘From’ name and address. What constitutes a previous relationship?Anything that indicates that person has shown an interest in your products or services; an inquiry on your website or via the phone where they’ve left their email address; or making a purchase on your website. A request for a quote is enough, they don’t have to complete a transaction.Having connected with someone on LinkedIn or having their business card, on the other hand, isn’t enough to be considered a previous relationship — unless they’ve already indicated that they would be happy to receive your promotional material in any of the previous ways we just discussed.Going Above and Beyond the Law When Collecting Email Opt-insThe law is pretty basic and makes being legally compliant easy, but if you’re looking to be an effective marketer, you should obviously go above the law and into best practice territory. Data collection is about the quality of the data you’re collecting, as well as respecting the personal nature of the information you hold. And of course, good and legally compliant data means getting expressed opt-in from all subscribers. Email sign up forms should follow these guidelines to help you not just stay legally compliant, but boost opt-ins while doing it:Calls-to-action should outline the benefits, i.e. “Receive the latest news straight to your inbox.”Landing pages, thank you pages, and the email that confirms their opt-in should set the expectations, inform new signups of email-sending frequency, and explain the type of content they can expect.Include at least one welcome email from your email signup that confirms their opt in.Inquiry forms should also have a tick box (not pre-ticked) and a minimum of a link to the privacy policy. And if you’re an ecommerce business, you should have a dedicated opt-in instead of simply automatically adding shoppers to a list.Another common way marketers acquire opt-ins is through incentives. When running an incentive, ensure the incentive is small and relevant to your business, as people who sign up for the incentive — whether it’s a prize draw, giveaway, gift, or whitepaper — may otherwise be interested in only the incentive, and not your business offering. That means all you’re doing is growing your database full of recipients who aren’t actually interested in your products or services.You may also decide to pursue co-marketing opportunities, collaborating with other businesses to grow both your databases. To remain legally compliant and not suffer quick list depreciation, it must be clearly states that the data will be shared between the two of you. Requiring opt-in for both is advisable.Finally, you should not email anyone you have not recently contacted, or has stopped engaging with your email content. It’s likely that they either don’t remember your company, they’ve stopped using that email address, or they’ve lost interest in your content. Continuing to email them will only serve to harm your online reputation.What About Buying Data?The law covers any consumer, sole trader, and partnership data — all except those from limited companies. You can still buy data about limited companies; but just because it is an option, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. We strongly recommend against such actions as it ruins engagement with subscribers, harms online reputation, and undermines any inbound marketing activities you may be engaged in. We spend so much time as marketers building up our online reputation and working on improving engagement rates, it would be damaging to contradict this.Remember, as someone who wants to be an effective marketer, it’s much better to have a smaller mailing list of people who are generally interested in your products/services and a higher likelihood of purchasing in the future, than a large list of people, most of whom are unengaged with your brand. You’ll see your brand engagement improve, and your ROI skyrocket.Anna Penrose is an email marketing specialist at Jarrang, a UK-based online marketing agency with ten years experience working with clients in multiple sectors from luxury travel to financial services.Image credit: @Doug88888 Email Marketinglast_img read more