Great Links for Marketing Mavens

first_img Originally published Apr 11, 2008 4:10:00 PM, updated October 01 2019 Here are some links to great marketing articles that I found on Your Blog Writing from Good to Great – (Idiot’s Guide to Blogging)Social Media Starter Moves for Entrepreneurs – (Chris Brogan)What Every Entrepreneur Ought to Know About Traditional Advertising – (Baymard)How Often do you Calculate CPC ROI? – (Startup Hustle)Do you know of other useful articles for Marketing Mavens?Submit them to Links.HubSpot. Once you join, you can submit articles and vote other articles up or down. It is a great way to share information and see what other marketing professionals are reading.Have a great weekend! 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

Sense and Sociability – Your Guide to Social Media Etiquette

first_img , and you strive to maintain an image that fits you across both social spheres. Images of your 15-year-old self in a Duran Duran tour shirt and little else are best left in the shoebox. . A simple, sensible declaration in the sidebar that your reserve your right to moderate comments that are abusive, defamatory, or rude will alert readers to the behavior you expect from them. Some bloggers stipulate that commenters say nothing they wouldn’t say in front of their mothers, which seems sensible to this writer. and learn how to manage your company brand effectively using social media. is your guide to etiquette and manners on the social web. Let your good breeding shine through as you bravely enter the world of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Navigate the shoals of new technologies with confidence that your dignity and good sense will remain intact. Kindly send in your own delicate inquiries at Image by . . Topics: Download the free video But, once entered, this new world can often bewilder. We might find that the words we use and the deeds we accomplish online are misconstrued, our meanings twisted, and our best intentions for naught. KK, You should respond to the snarky commenter on your blog. The comment section of your blog is there to encourage discussion, and not all discussion will be to the author’s liking, alas.  Nor do all commenters fully understand how to modulate their tone when dissenting with a blog post’s point of view. You can set a better example by responding in a moderate, respectful tone to your reader. If they respond with increased bile and a continued lack of command of their “inside voice,” you should feel free to ignore them. If this is a regular occurrence, consider posting a blanket comment policy on Facebook privacy controls are a vast and ever-changing landscape. You can control who sees images that have been tagged with your name in your permissions control panel, limiting it to only friends, only certain lists of friends, or restrict access to only yourself.  However, recall that anyone who is friends of the person who tagged you might be able to see those pictures, and your associated name. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Video: How to Use Social Media to Manage Your Company Brand Online . at Submit your own questions to Sense and Sociability maintain a broad network of friends on Facebook, some personal, some professional is written by Social Media –MA, West Barnstable, MA Social media is now part of every area of life, like it or not. Once the domain of the young, the idle, and the insufficiently modest, it is now a world with which every seasoned professional is expected to be conversant. Sense and Sociability , a member of the your business blog at HubSpot. Beth also blogs at Dear Miss Jane, . A reader posted a snarky comment on my blog.  I want to respond pleasantly and non-combatively, maintaining my stance while acknowledging his/her point of view.  I don’t want it to escalate, but I also don’t want to ignore something that might add value to the conversation.  What should I do? Originally published Mar 3, 2010 4:35:00 PM, updated October 18 2015 Beth Dunn Dear Miss Jane, Inbound Marketing Consultant team Sense and Sociability Learn how to use social media to manage your company brand. And call me Miss Jane. 😉 –KK, Austin, TX An old friend from high school recently “discovered” Facebook and is now busily scanning in and posting old pictures of our gang on Facebook — and tagging them with our names! What should I do?  If the pictures are not ones that you enjoy having associated with your good name – for whatever reason – you are well within your rights to remove the tag. Simply view the image and click on the link in the caption that reads “remove tag.”  You might then send a message to the person who tagged you, explaining your action. Explain that you Gentle Reader; Jim Hilllast_img read more

9 Criteria for Establishing Your Business’ Brand Essence

first_img Topics: Originally published Oct 18, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Brand essence, however, is felt.” These are the words that begin the fourth section in chapter 14 of Brian Solis’ new book, The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution.Solis, a new media thought leader and author, describes brand essence as something that exists in our hearts—a thought or a feeling, versus a logo or trademark. Solis discusses the importance of defining your brand essence, something I believe is crucial in your inbound marketing efforts, and with good reason.An article in Science Business reported that American adults created 565,000 new businesses last year. This is the highest level of entrepreneurship seen in over the past 15 years, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. This exemplifies the need for startup companies to ensure their brand essence is defined and has the ability to be communicated across various mediums—otherwise, they’ll simply get lost in all the clutter!Similarly, companies that have been around for decades need to take the time to reexamine the definition of what their brand essence is. Chances are, your out-of-date brand message can succeed in communicating via outbound methods, but not inbound strategies. And to survive in the era of internet marketing, your brand essence needs to be able to survive communicating on all the new platforms of engagement that have emerged.Solis provides a “Brand Essence Exercise” to assist your company in establishing what your brand essence truly is. Below are the 9 criteria involved in the Brand Essence Exercise, as described by Solis in his book:Solis’ 9 Criteria for Establishing Brand Essence1. Focus: Find one or two words that define the brand. Deliver a unique experience, and document what it is you want to evoke.2. Feeling: Describe what it is you want a consumer to feel when he/she comes into contact with your brand.3. Individuality: In these communities, brands are people, too, and necessary to stand alone. The key here is uniqueness and charm.4. Experiential: When a consumer experiences a product or service, what is the encounter eliciting?5. Consistency: What a brand conveys now and every day. It is also a call to ensure that the brand team is structured in a way that allows it to deliver as promised.6. Credibility: Aligning the brand essence with experiences and righting the course of engagement and transformation when necessary. (This is discussed further in Chapter 15).7. Longevity: Is the essence designed to last, something that can stand the test of time, and patient regardless of medium?8. Personal: Something personal that people aspire to embrace and be a part of; something that speaks to them.9. Portable: A strong understanding of how emotion is transferable across networks.Marketing TakeawayThe Brand Essence Exercise can help a business of any size define what the true essence—the soul, spirit, and nature—of its brand is. Identifying what this crisp message is will pave the path for seamless customer engagement throughout the various communication stages that have manifested online. (Remember, for your brand to succeed, it must engage with its audiences online. Effectively.) Defined brand essence = positive online customer engagement = inbound marketing success.This is only a small exercise in the bigger picture of understanding the new consumer landscape. Solis’ 20-chapter book hit shelves and online bookstores today, focusing on the convoluted information revolution, how it is changing our industry’s future, and what you can do about it. Business As Usual was written for anyone who hopes to comprehend this changing field, or for anyone hoping to truly challenge themselves in helping construct the future of business as usual.What can you infer from the Brand Essence Exercise? What else can you learn about inbound marketing from Solis’ new book?  Brand Experience Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

30 Careless Mistakes That Will Totally Muck Up Your Marketing

first_imgWe’ve all had those moments. You know, the ones when you do something completely careless or idiotic, and then quickly follow up with a Ron Burgundy-esque thought like, “I immediately regret this decision” … or a more classic example, the Homer Simpson “D’OH!”But how much worse is it when that “D’OH!” moment comes right after you hit “send” on that really, really important marketing email, only to realize there’s a big, glaring typo in the subject line? And there’s nothing you can do about it. That email is already getting delivered, whether you like it or not. To all 5,000 people.Bummer, dude.Truth be told, just like little tweaks can make a big, positive impact on your marketing ROI, there are also a lot of simple, careless mistakes you can make that will do the complete opposite, ruining the effect of your marketing efforts, and oftentimes making you look like a fool along the way. So how do we prevent these silly mistakes from happening? I mean, we’re only human, right? There’s no secret sauce, but your best bet is to be aware of some common screw-ups, and well … be more careful.Here are 30 careless mistakes we’ve seen marketers make that have the potential to totally mess with the effectiveness of your marketing. In fact, many of these were crowdsourced from my marketing colleagues at HubSpot, many of whom I know were speaking from experience. Remember, marketers: Haste makes waste! 30 Careless Mistakes That Can Totally Mess Up Your Marketing1) Screwing Up Your Email Personalization TagsYou’re experimenting with some dynamic tags to personalize your next email send, eh? Now let’s say you want to personalize the email with a greeting that includes the recipient’s first name, and the personalization tag you need to use is . Want to know what happens if you send me an email with the tag misspelled — like ? Instead of getting an email that reads, “Hi Pamela,” I get an email that reads, “Hi .” Not ideal, right?Be very careful with your personalization tags. If you aren’t using software like HubSpot’s Email tool, which uses drop-down tag options to make it easy not to mess up your personalization tags, double check that your tags are constructed correctly, and be sure to set up default tags just in case you don’t have the information you’re personalizing with for any given contact. 23) Marketing to People Who Have Already BoughtThis one is usually a symptom of not defining your site visitors’ lifeycycle stages, and then neglecting to suppress them from certain marketing, including things like Smart CTAs and certain email lists to which you send marketing content. It also leads to careless mistakes like sending a customer who just signed up for your services an email offering them a discount coupon on the service they just signed up for. Make sure you have safeguards in place to avoid mishaps like this. Create dynamic lists of your customers, and suppress them from seeing certain parts of your marketing that weren’t meant for them using dynamic content.24) Not Cleaning Up Dead Web Pages and Broken LinksAs an inbound marketer who is constantly creating content, it’s all too easy to fall into this trap. But having pages that are providing no SEO (or other) benefits just ends up making your website look unprofessional to visitors, and messy to search engines. After all, that page you set up in 2009 with the entry rules for your temporary, short-lived Facebook contest probably isn’t providing people with much value any more, is it? Conduct regular audits of your website’s pages, and either clean up, update, or delete all those dead pages that are doing nothing for you. And if you end up deleting pages, make sure you clean up any broken internal links that may have been linking to those pages, too.25) Sending Email to a Rented/Bought ListAt HubSpot, we’re strong believers that renting or purchasing email lists is never a good idea. For one thing, a lot of reputable ESPs (like HubSpot), won’t even allow you to send email to a purchased or rented list. And for good reason. There’s no such thing as a good email list that’s for sale; the people on these lists don’t actually know who you are, and as a result, sending to these lists could actually harm your email deliverability and sender reputation. So just don’t do it, and grow your lists organically instead.26) Not Including Social Sharing and Follow Buttons in Your ContentThis includes on your blog, within your marketing offers, throughout your web pages, and in your emails. Including social media follow buttons helps you to grow your reach, and social media sharing buttons enable you to extend the reach of your content. And everyone is already convinced that social media followers are important even if they don’t ever buy from you, right? A lot of content management software makes it easy for you to add these buttons to your marketing content (HubSpot included!) with just a click of a button. But if yours doesn’t, here’s the guide for you! 8) Forgetting to Include Calls-to-Action (CTAs) in Blog Posts… or anywhere else, for that matter. CTAs are the gateways to lead generation, and relevant ones should hang out everywhere from on your homepage, to within your email, and on every individual web page and blog post you publish (with the exception of your landing pages). In fact, here’s how to pick the perfect CTA for every blog post you publish. And here’s how to select the right CTA for every page on your site.9) Not Citing Sources ProperlyDon’t care about stealing other people’s content on the web? Then go ahead — don’t cite the right source for the stat. In fact, don’t cite anything at all! Just claim it as your own! If you think you can pull a fast one on the vast audience that makes up internet users, you’re sorely mistaken. Give credit where credit is due, and properly cite your sources for things like data and statistics, visual content, and others’ original thoughts and ideas. Not sure how proper source citation is done? This blog post will teach you how.10) Not Checking to Make Sure You’re Even Allowed to Use That Image, Stat, Etc.Take that last mistake one step further, and you’ll achieve careless mistake number 10. That image you’re using in your content? Are you sure you’re even allowed to use that in the first place? Remember, the internet isn’t a free-for-all, and that means not everything is yours for the taking. And this doesn’t just go for images. Some research companies, for example, provide data and statistics for a fee. That means citing their data isn’t cool unless you’re a customer. Before you go around making assumptions about what you can use, do your due diligence and make sure you have the right permissions. Use Creative Commons to find free images to use (and then cite their source), pay for your images using a stock photography service like iStockphoto, and do your homework when you’re conducting research.11) Not Offering a Plain Text or Web Version of Your EmailsI know what you’re thinking: “But plain text emails look so … plain.” Yes, but that’s the beauty of ’em! Keep in mind that some browsers, email clients, and mobile devices just can’t handle HTML emails. Add on the fact that some people actually just prefer it, some email types naturally lend themselves to plain text, spam filters like to see it, and it’s safer for transactional messages, and you’ll start to understand why plain text can do your emails some good. And we’re not saying you have to offer a plain text version in place of your beautifully designed HTML email, either. Most email service providers (ESPs), like HubSpot’s Email tool, make it easy to offer a plain text alternative to your HTML email — and a web version in case they want to check out the HTML in their browser instead — with just the click of a button! 21) Not Checking to See if the Results of Your A/B Tests Are Statistically SignificantOr, just completely forgetting you have an A/B test running, and neglecting to apply the winner of your test. D’OH! Remember, marketers. Just because you ran an A/B test to determine which CTA button color resonates best with your audience, doesn’t mean the results are necessarily statistically significant. And if they’re not statistically significant, you’ll be choosing a winner and gathering insights based on bad data. Remember, data should help improve your marketing, not mislead it. To make sure your A/B tests are actually yielding legitimate results, here’s how to determine if your A/B tests are statistically significant.22) Neglecting to Write a Solid Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions have become an oft-overlook web page element ever since search engines indicated they were no longer using them as a ranking factor. But the fact of the matter is, a good, solid meta description does have its place in search engine optimization. It might not help your page rank, per se, but it can make or break whether a searcher decides to click on your results in the SERPs. So take the extra 30 seconds to write a clear, interesting, and brief (keep it fewer than 150 characters) meta description for your web pages, and you might just notice an increased clickthrough rate and more organic search traffic coming your way. Email Marketing Mistakes 2) Neglecting to Make Essential Form Fields RequiredWe all know what those little red asterisks next to form fields mean, right? As site visitors, it means we simply must provide that information if we want to submit the form successfully. No asterisks? Not required. And for a marketer who needs that information in order to properly qualify, score, segment, and then contact a lead, you can imagine how disheartening it’d be for them to realize they forgot to make those essential form fields required, and they now have incomplete lead intelligence for tons and tons of leads, making it nearly impossible for them to effectively segment and target their future lead nurturing campaigns … and beyond! Topics: Originally published Jan 9, 2013 9:44:00 AM, updated March 21 2013center_img 13) Adding Distractions to Your Landing PagesSpeaking of distractions, your landing places are the last places you want your visitors to get click-happy. Remove those friction-creating, distracting elements like your top or side navigation and competing calls-to-action so you can laser-focus your visitors on the desired task at hand: filling out that form and converting … or re-converting. 14) Placing Your Forms Below the FoldEliminating distractions on your landing pages is a great segue into mistake number 13. Always do your best to make at least the top of your forms display above the fold of your web page. In other words, make it so the visitor doesn’t have to scroll down on the page in order to see it. This makes it instantly clear what visitors have to do if they want to redeem whatever you’re offering, and eliminates any sort of “What do I do next?” confusion.15) Not Linking Back to Your Website in Social Media Profiles and UpdatesIf you’re building up your social media presence, isn’t one of your main goals to drive people back to your website so they can read your content, learn more about you, and you can effectively push them further down the sales and marketing funnel? So the fact that you’ve totally overlooked adding your website’s URL to your social profiles is quite silly, isn’t it? Don’t make this mistake. Most social networks actually include a designated field in your profile for this information, and if they don’t, sneak it into your page’s description or ‘About’ section. And while we’re at it, make sure you include links back to your website’s content — like blog articles, landing pages, case studies, etc. — in your individual tweets, company status updates, and other social posts, too!16) Overlooking Images and Formatting in Blog PostsSo you’ve spent hours and hours crafting and perfecting the copy for your latest blog post, and it finally reads like a piece of Shakespeare (actually, that might not be the best thing, but you get the point). It’s ready to ship, right? Just like prematurely publishing content without proofing is a careless mistake, so is overlooking visual content elements like eye-catching images and formatting techniques. Not only does this make your content easier on the eyes, but it also makes your content much more shareable and social-ready. Making content visually optimized is only increasing in importance. Consider how photos on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than the average post, and the rise in popularity of visual content social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, and you’ll start to get my point here. Make it a part of your final to-do-before-publishing checklist to visually optimize your content. In fact, here are six creative ways to make your content more visual. 17) Not Including the Download Link on Your Thank-You Pages/EmailsWant an easy way to anger your site visitors and prospects? Make them go through all that trouble and personal anxiety of filling out your form with all their personal information, and then neglect to give them what you offered. Seriously, guys … not cool. But I’ve seen it happen before. Your landing page and thank-you page are ready and waiting, but you’re finalizing the ebook that goes with it at the final hour, and you forget to hyperlink that big, bold “Click here for your ebook” copy on your thank-you page and in your confirmation email. Looking like a schmuck here will not only make you look unprofessional; you might also come off as a sleaze ball. 18) Messing Up the Timing/Scheduling of Your Automated WorkflowsLet’s say you’ve set up quite an elaborate series of targeted, automated emails for a given trigger like multiple ebook downloads or a visit to a critical page on your website. You know what’s a great way to muck up those emails’ effectiveness? Poor judgment in terms of timing and scheduling. This mistake could involve anything from forgetting when your target audience reads email; to time zone details (remember our European prospects we mentioned in number six?); to the length of your sales cycle, which should impact how long you spread out your email sends. 27) Not Warning/Prepping Your Sales Reps About a New Offer or CampaignOne of the keys to great sales and marketing alignment is communication, and failing to let your sales team know about new offers or campaigns your marketing team is promoting is a sure-fire way to stifle your “SMarketing” efforts. Try sending out a weekly email with all the offers, campaigns, events, etc. that your sales team should know about (at HubSpot, we send one called “This Week in Marketing”), including critical information such as links and talking points so your sales team is armed and ready when they talk to prospects who have engaged with one of these marketing initiatives. 28) Cloning an Email or Landing Page Without Changing Critical InfoBecause they’re trying to make marketers’ lives easier, a lot of marketing software today makes it super simple to clone marketing assets like landing pages and emails so marketers don’t have to re-invent the wheel and start from scratch every single time. Unfortunately, this can also end up setting those not-so-detail-oriented marketers up for failure, and careless mistakes like forgetting to change the date/time of a webinar on a landing page, or updating a call-to-action link in an email, can really screw you over. Be careful when you’re duplicating assets, and use some other safeguards like test sends and proofreading colleagues to help you check and test before you launch.29) Forgetting to Add Tracking TokensSometimes you’re doing certain types of marketing that, despite how integrated and analytical your marketing software is, just isn’t easy to track. Perhaps you’re doing some co-marketing, or you want to track the effectiveness of that guest blog post you wrote for someone else’s website. Or maybe you want to keep very specific tabs on how a certain campaign or asset performs. This is where tracking tokens come in — and can be extremely valuable in measuring the effectiveness of your marketing. But a tracking token doesn’t do any good if you forget to add it to your links, does it? 30) Not Giving People a Way to Contact You DirectlyHow frustrating is it to visit a website and spend FO 12) Not Configuring Your Links to Open in a New WindowWhen someone visits your website, do you want them to A) stick around for a while, clicking through to various pages of your website and consuming more and more of your content so they learn more about you, or B) click on a link to a source you cited in one of your blog posts and get so caught up in someone else’s website content they forgot how they even got there in the first place? Scenario A, right? Most web users are multi-tasking, with various tabs opened on their browser at once that can easily distract them. As a best practice, configure the links in your content to open up a brand new window/tab on the user’s browser — not replace the window your website is currently occupying. So if users get a little case of “What was I doing to get here?” they can easily remember that they were checking out the awesome content on your website, and get back to doing just that! 19) Linking Your CTA to the Wrong Landing Page (Or Having a Broken Link in Your CTA)This is especially impactful when you’re sending out a very important dedicated email send to promote one specific offer. Remember, that email is absolutely no good for lead generation if your recipients can’t click through on your email to the page on your website where they can register for that webinar you were promoting. This applies to every single text-based and button-based CTA you use in your marketing — on your web pages, in blog articles, in email marketing, and in social media — so double and triple check those CTA links, folks!20) Not Test Sending Your Emails FirstYou know what’s a great way to check to see if those links are in tip-top shape? Testing them from the recipient’s point of view! Use that helpful feature your ESP probably provides, and send a test email to you and a few colleagues first just to make sure your links are working, your formatting doesn’t look wonky, and you don’t miss that glaring subject line typo. Extend this best practice to some of your other content, too. HubSpot’s CMS, for example, allows you to preview a web page, landing page, and blog article as it would look published, before it’s published. Invite a coworker to help you sanity check these marketing assets before they go live, too. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 3) Emailing the Wrong ListThis one provides that you’re not already making the BIG mistake of not segmenting your list. (You’re segmenting your list, right?) Selecting your list of marketing students (which you labeled “List A”) when your email is highly targeted at marketing executives (which you labeled “List B”) probably isn’t going to make for the most effective email segmentation. Be sure your lists are clearly labeled and indicate exactly who is on that given list. So instead of labeling your list of marketing students, “List A,” label it as “Marketing Students,” silly.4) Prematurely Publishing Content In other words, you’re so excited to get that blog post/email/landing page out there, that you completely neglect to have one of your more detail-oriented, editorial-minded colleagues give it a look-see. As a result, you publish something riddled with typos and grammatical errors, undermining the professionalism and credibility of your marketing content. Make sure you have someone proof everything prior to publishing so you can avoid all (or most) of those embarrassing typos.5) Using Bad/Not Credible/Outdated/Misinterpreted DataWhile we’re on the topic of undermining your professionalism and credibility, how do you think the use of bad, outdated, or misinterpreted data — or data from less than credible sources — looks in your marketing content? This is another one that’s easy to avoid but packs a pretty powerful punch. Beware the danger of marketing metrics dependency, and be smart in how you use data your marketing content: pull from reputable sources, make sure your data is fresh, and be careful in how you (and others) interpret it.6) Not Double Checking the Date and Time of When You PublishThis one applies to any piece of content you can “schedule.” Think blog posts, email sends, and social media updates. Accidentally scheduling that tweet meant for your prospects in Europe for 6 p.m. ET, when you really meant to set it for 6 a.m. ET, just means it’s going to hit your European friends’ Twitter feeds in the middle of the night when they’re sound asleep. And considering the fact that your social media updates specifically have a very short shelf life, talk about a lost opportunity!7) Not Including Unsubscribe Options in Your EmailLet’s face it, email marketers: This one’s not just careless. It’s also illegal. According to the CAN-SPAM Act, every email you send must include a clear and obvious way for recipients to unsubscribe from email communication from you. And don’t beat around the bush here either. Include a clear, obvious unsubscribe link in your email, rather than doing something like this email marketer did below. Just make it easy, folks.last_img read more

6 Ways Social Media Marketing Is Changing (For the Better)

first_img How to Create Top-Notch Visual Content in PowerPoint According to Nielsen A Guide to Pinterest Business Accounts Social media grew up alongside other marketing channels, and with the exception of social sharing/follow buttons on websites and in emails, it has largely remained an isolated channel. But there’s one big problem inherent to that separation: a fragmented customer experience. A lead’s interactions with your company in social media have as much to do with their purchasing decision as their behavior on your website or their interactions with your emails. So whether it be by optimizing their content for mobile devices , I’m feeling pretty good about them. So let’s take a closer look at how social media is changing … for the better. , , your salespeople can go into their calls equipped with information about what leads have found interesting, and how often they’ve clicked on your social shares. Learn more about .   4) Social Search Is Getting Real tools that integrate social behavior with your contacts database were built to integrate all of your marketing channels into one seamless view, from email to website to social media — and beyond. Using a single software platform to manage each of your channels reduces communication gaps and enables you to see how each channel is contributing to your bottom line.   Originally published Jan 22, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 photos on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than the average post Responding to a question in social media recently not only led Kissmetrics founder Hiten Shah to land a deal for his company; it also landed him some who worked with Votility on the effort, recently walked us through  Here are a few helpful guides and blog posts to help you get started with visual content: . And today, nearly 1 out of every 10 visitors that comes from LinkedIn becomes a lead for Great Island. time spent on mobile apps and the mobile web account for 63% of the year-over-year growth , more and more companies are finding ways to pull data from social media into the rest of their marketing outlook and strategy. Part of this requires technology, and another part, a cultural shift inside your organization: Social Media noted that he dedicates time each day to content creation and social media. According to comScore The Cultural Shift Because social search inherently prioritizes content that has been shared by others, it’s important to understand who is currently sharing your content and find ways to encourage that behavior. Make sure you are thanking your social media evangelists and similarly sharing their content, too. As we mentioned earlier, check out our Google Authorship setup guide ” is an evolving term for the way search engines are factoring content from a user’s social network into the results they get for their search queries. Marketers started taking note of social search with the development of After refocusing their strategy on leads in addition to engagement metrics, So … who’s excited? The pace of change in social media can make your head spin sometimes, but that’s exactly what makes it such a forward-leaning marketing channel. Help us out — what changes are underway for your own social media strategies that I haven’t included here? , a search engine that uses social signals to elevate more relevant, personalized results. Just days after that announcement, we also learned about ” or through more advanced . Great Island increased their leads generated through social media by 650% 13 Free Design Tools for Visual Marketers on a Budget Marketing platforms like HubSpot Start Using Authorship Tags in Your Content Another example of social being used well for sales came to us via the Set up alerts and monitoring: Jeff Bullas Author tags will help your content to stand out in Google’s search results. To start using Google’s author tag, the devices a consumer uses, from phones, to tablets, to whatever the next big thing is. And … Bing’s initiative to add 5x more Facebook content to its search results Social media has always enjoyed firm footing as a marketing and communications tool. But more and more, sales teams are finding ways to incorporate it into their sales processes; and those that do are seeing some pretty impressive results. In a talk with HubSpot the other day, Kurlan and Associates’ Vice President and self-proclaimed “reformed salesman” , an online advocacy software Hiten Shah didn’t just happen upon Stella’s question; he likely has Treat social like an outbound promotion channel and you’ll end up alienating your audience. Instead, set time aside to thoughtfully respond to questions or share helpful content. tagging each social share with a tracking code can make this much easier. loss of LinkedIn Answers . “Sales should help with content and build a reputation for thought leadership,” Belzer advises. He explained that content creation and social media outreach should be incorporated into bonus structures and sales schedules, and followed up with a story about a lead who, after months of avoiding sales calls, finally converted after Belzer left a thoughtful and relevant comment on the lead’s blog post.  Technology has caught up with marketers’ need for a sharper way to gauge ROI, and many companies are beginning to evolve from measuring more superficial social media metrics like clicks, retweets, and Likes to tracking metrics that are tied more closely to a company’s bottom line. Made possible by integrating social tools with a contacts database or a CRM and sharing data across platforms, companies like HubSpot customer great praise on the customer’s blog. through social media. Sarah Papachristos, social media manager at You don’t need to have all the answers right away, but keep a look out for integrated software . to encouraging the use of mobile for things like live tweeting and geotagging, companies are starting to keep their eye out for ways mobile can enable better content consumption.   Social search How companies can use social media as a sales tool: . Optimizing for mobile will need to take into account Great Island Technologies Graph Search What will come next is up to the creativity of marketing departments, but what we do know is this: Timeline Keep it useful and ‘inbound’: showed that . Matchist, a service that matches companies with developers, was weighing a purchase decision … In the beginning, “engagement” was all the rage. Other channels couldn’t quite attain the level of engagement social media could, and in the absence of any other metrics, engagement became the primary way marketers evaluated their success on social. Today, things are much, much different.  . ” (Blog Article) The Technical Shift . It’s about more than just smartphones leads thinks we’ll be seeing more marketing strategies incorporating social search in the coming year. He writes that we should “expect to see more content marketing tools, tactics, and strategies that accept the fact that social, search, and content are increasingly integrated and intertwined.” There are a number of Before calling up leads, make sure you’re aware of the content your leads are sharing on sites like Twitter or LinkedIn. Using a tool like ” ” in overall time spent using social media generated  and added a slew of new services to help you drive traffic to your website. When it comes to optimizing your marketing strategy for visual discovery engines like Pinterest, it helps to start using clear, compelling images in your content. And this also extends to social sites like Facebook and Google+, which are also displaying images more prominently than ever before. In fact, a , and the launch of Bing’s social search engine last summer. But the social search trend has continued to get more and more attention from search engines. Last week, Facebook joined the ranks by announcing . While visual content got a head start in ecommerce and B2C companies, its effects are now spanning across industries.  Votility Google+ Social media blogger Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr … you’re hearing these names pretty often these days, right? For good reason. In such a rapidly changing space, it’s hard not to get pulled into an ongoing analysis of where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re headed next. In this most recent round of reassessment, a handful of trends have caught my attention. And, unlike the how they did it Pull social media intelligence into your sales calls: have been able to refocus their strategy on As a result, we’re starting to see companies regard mobile as a primary communication channel. From ways your company can create a better experience for mobile users , 6) Mobile Is Becoming the Primary Way to Access Social Media ” (Blog Article/Tutorial) . Mobile is rapidly becoming the primary way we consume and interact with social (and nearly all) content. social media monitoring , but here are a couple to help you get started: how Sales can use Twitter to connect with more prospects in this article Make sure your entire team is actively listening to prospects and customers in social media. Establish a standard practice for how inquiries via social are answered and what internal notification needs to take place as a result of each interaction.    Matchist blog  (Free Ebook Download) 5) Visual- and Discovery-Based Search Is Continuing to Grow  Pinterest buyers spend more money, more often, and on more items than any of the other top five social media sites It’s about the whole experience. ways you can prepare for social search What do you think will be the biggest opportunity or challenge in social media marketing this year? 2) Social Media Is Becoming Less of a Side Game and alerts set up to notify him of relevant conversations happening around his company’s and industry’s keywords in social media.  Topics: all HubSpot’s Social Contacts 3) Companies Are Looking Beyond Engagement at ROI Metrics  While your Facebook shares and tweets may be easily consumed on mobile, what happens when a mobile user clicks through to the content you shared? Is it easily readable? If there’s a form, is it plausible that a mobile user could complete it? . Image Credit: Pinterest in particular has started to encourage companies to leverage its platform. In November, it We’ve been at this social game for a while now, you and me. We saw it grow up from a minor phenomenon to a mainstream communication channel. And we were there for the emergence of “pinning” (no longer just a wrestling term), the broad use of Twitter in crisis reporting, and seemingly countless redesigns of the Facebook Wall, err … introduced business accounts Identify and Nurture Your Social Media Advocates GollyGforce 1) Social Media Is Gaining Weight as a Sales Tool recent HubSpot study Frank Belzer 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

160 MORE Free Stock Photos You Seriously Need to Download Now

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 Images Topics: Originally published Sep 17, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 We all understand the need for visual content in our marketing, but don’t necessarily have the budget or resources to make it happen amidst various image copyright rules floating around the internet.With all of these challenges ahead for marketers in an ever-increasingly visual web, it’s not hard to see why 55,000 people downloaded our set of 75 free stock photos last month.But while those free stock photos were popular — they weren’t exactly perfect. Admittedly, they lacked diversity and more business-style shots. That’s why we’re pleased to share 160 completely new, completely free, business-themed stock photos that you can download and use today — without any payment or any image credit required. Although, inbound links are always welcome. ;)Now, we don’t want you to download these stock photos and have them rot in a random place on your hard drive — we’d love for you to actually use them. So to help you get inspired to put these free stock photos to use, check out our six places you can feature these stock photos in your marketing campaigns below. 6 Places to Use Your 160 Free Stock PhotosThe 160 free stock photos come bucketed in six categories. Let’s walk through an example from each category by sharing six of the many places you could employ these free photos.1) Web Page ImageAccording to Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, 46.1% of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company. Rather than presenting a stale website or spending a large portion of your budget on an image purchase, try selecting one of our business-themed photos to show off your business. The photo below comes from our photo category of “Employees Working.”2) Pinterest Board ImageData from Marketing Land shows that Pinterest images with less than 10% background receive 2-4 times more pins than images with a heavy background. A variety of images in the group have light backgrounds in order to maximize the probability of your success when using them. The photo shown as the featured image on the pinboard below is an example photo from our collection of “Meeting” photos.3) Facebook Post ImageAccording to Dan Zarrella, photos on Facebook get more likes, comments, and shares than text, video, and links do. We constantly try to employ visuals over plain text or link updates on our own Facebook, but as our social media manager Brittany Leaning can attest to, it’s not easy! She spends hours creating visual content, so these 160 free photos help increase in her productivity. The photo below comes from the category of “Miscellaneous” photos. In other words, here are some more business-esque photos that could work in most scenarios. 4) Landing Page Promotional ImageOur data shows that companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15. But how do you create effective landing pages without engaging visuals? With a little bit of customization, you can take your landing page conversion rate up a notch. The example below uses a photo from the “Printers/Fax/Phone” collection of photos to provide a human touch to a software trial.5) Email Campaign ImageAccording to the “Science of Email Marketing,” 65% of readers prefer emails that contain mostly images. While we don’t recommend cluttering your email campaigns with photos, images can certainly help entice readers to click. In the example below, one of the photos from our “Mobile/Laptop” collection of photos is used to pimp out a blog post in an email to subscribers.6) SlideShare Background ImageAccording to the company, SlideShare receives 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews, and is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world. And it’s value in marketing and visual content creation continues to rise. But every SlideShare you create requires images. While you can have text-based slides, you need a variety of images to stand as backgrounds or convey your message. The image is selected from the “Office Supplies” collection of photos, and fits seamlessly in the SlideShare presentation below.While these examples illustrate six ways you can use these free stock photos, they are by no means the limit. We encourage you to check out these 160 free photos for yourself! And if you use these photos in your marketing, feel free to comment below on how you used them! 🙂last_img read more

6 Ways Social Data Can Inform Your Marketing Strategy

first_imgSocial media has historically been a great conversational tool for businesses. It has enabled engagement and interaction between the brand and the consumer — but as marketers, we crave more. We want to impact the bottom line, enable our sales team to be successful, and be an integral part of achieving the overall company goals.Thankfully, we’ve learned that there’s a layer of science behind social media marketing, and we can actually extract highly valuable data that can inform our overall inbound marketing strategy.The key to getting the science of social right is in realizing all of the data that is actually available to us, and utilizing it in a meaningful way. Digital marketing is, after all, about not having to guess anymore because the data informs the strategy.Social data takes that insight to a whole other level. Richer and more connected, here’s how we can use social data.1) Segment Based on Sales Cycle StageWith so much conversation online, it’s hard to know what we should be paying attention to, or at least, what to prioritize. Segmenting your social contacts based on where they’re at in the sales cycle is something that few companies are aware they can do. The data is available, all you need is a system in place to filter for it.HubSpot’s Social Inbox tool helps to sort through the clutter to bring you the important data — color-coded — to make it really easy to spot important social conversations from your prospects, leads, and customers, and use that data to inform your strategy.Once you have the information at your fingertips, you can start to use it in your inbound marketing strategy and send your sales team some really engaged and highly qualified leads.A really cool example of using this data in a meaningful way is in setting up social monitoring streams. You can create a stream for each of your sales reps with a list of their leads and quickly get notified if one of those leads mentions your company name, or any variety of keywords that would indicate interest or intent to hear more from you. 2) Find Out What’s Working for Your CompetitorsSocial Crawlytics is a free tool that allows you to see what platforms your competitors’ content is getting shared on most. You can export that data into an Excel spreadsheet and sort by the different networks to see what content resonated best on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can then take that information to:Identify your competitors’ most successful contentIdentify the influencers who promoted and amplified their contentIdentify their most successful authorsThis process really helps you build out your content strategy because most likely, what’s working for them will work for you, as well. Here’s an example of what it might look like:Another way to track what’s going on with your competitors is through HubSpot’s Social Inbox, which can help identify pain points from people who are using your products, but purchased from competitors. You can do this by setting up a stream to monitor Twitter for your product names as well as your competitor’s name, then set it up to receive a daily email notification that sums up what conversations people are having online about them. If there are some negative comments, you can always jump in and offer some help — maybe even a free trial — to cheer them up!3) Find Influencers and High-Performing ContentBuzzSumo is another free tool that helps you find influencers and content that’s performing really well under different keywords and phrases. You can find good people, brands, and companies to carry out co-marketing campaigns with, as well as content topics that are performing well at any given time.If you are a HubSpot customer, you can also use the Social Inbox monitoring functionality to find influencers by creating a stream for people mentioning a particular keyword or keywords. 4) Spot the TrendsBottlenose can inform your content strategy by allowing you to spot and visualize emerging trends and threats to your business across social media, and track what instigated them, how long they will last, as well as what drives them. Using Bottlenose, we can create some real-time marketing that’s relevant to what people are interested in consuming at any given time.5) Find Your Most Engaged AudienceMonitoring social enables us to see how people interact with our content and can tell us a lot about where we should be focusing our efforts — topics to write about, formats to deliver it in, and where to promote it.Look at your page analytics to see where your social traffic is coming from. If you get more Twitter traffic on a certain topic or format of content, for instance, it may be worthwhile looking at investing in some paid distribution on that network to get even more traction.Using HubSpot’s Analytics, you can clearly identify which platforms worked better for a particular piece of content — this is what it might look like:With this tool, you can clearly see the ROI of your social media efforts and see what efforts are generating interactions, visits, leads, and most importantly — customers. This is a big step forward in social media monitoring as, shockingly, 53% of social media marketers don’t even measure their success. (Source: Awareness, Inc.) 6) Integrate Social Data With Your CRM or Contacts Database  Now that you know you have access to all of this information, integrating it into your CRM or contact database will finally allow you to make it even more meaningful to your strategy. Having social data as well as a complete history of your leads’ and customers’ activity in one place is invaluable to your company, because it means you can finally stop wasting time on what doesn’t work, as well as equipping your sales team with the information to help them close more deals.With HubSpot’s lead management tool, you can clearly see all of the historic activity for any contact, including emails sent, conversations on social media, web pages visited, etc. so you can tailor every conversation to be a more personalized experience for the contact.For a deeper insight into what’s possible with social media marketing, join our webinar on March 27th with UK marketing agencies, Distilled, and Zazzle Media.  Originally published Mar 26, 2014 4:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Social Media Strategylast_img read more

How Google AdWords Works [Infographic]

first_imgOptimizing your content for organic search is the best way to strengthen your presence on search engines and generate high quality traffic to your website. But that doesn’t mean pay-per-click (PPC) doesn’t have a place in an inbound marketing strategy.PPC can be a great complement to your organic search optimization efforts to help you maximize reach. While your current customers might search for your business by name (i.e. “lindsay’s bakery”), your prospective customers are probably searching for things by topic or location (i.e. “bakery boston”). How do you get those prospective customers to find and visit your website?PPC is one way to help. And if you’re thinking about incorporating PPC into your marketing strategy, you’re probably thinking about using Google AdWords. Using AdWords, you can advertise your business next to relevant search results and target new audiences of potential customers.But Google AdWords is more complicated than just bidding high for the top spot, which can really burn a hole in your wallet. Check out this infographic from WordStream’s free PPC University course, which breaks down exactly how the Google AdWords auction works so you can choose the right strategy for your business.670Save Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 3, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017center_img 670SaveReady to get started with Google AdWords? Check out our 4-part series on Getting Started With Pay-Per-Click and Google AdWords. Google Adslast_img read more

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 38 Philip Redwine-Bryant

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. We’re almost there: Only 38 days to go before OSU kicks off 2017. To help us pass the time, let’s take a look at promising walk-on who made a position change this offseason.How he got to OSURedwine-Bryant came to Stillwater by way of 3A Academy High School in Little River, Texas. He walked on at OSU following an all-district senior season with 836 receiving yards and six touchdowns.What he’s done in StillwaterAfter a redshirt year in 2015, Redwine-Bryant turned heads in the 2016 spring game. He grabbed four catches for 62 yards including this play which left some OSU fans with hope that Gundy had found another diamond receiver in the rough from a small Texas school.AdChoices广告Here’s a look at a great grab by Philip Redwine-Bryant earlier in the #OKState Spring Game:— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) April 16, 2016Unfortunately, Redwine-Bryant only appeared in the season opener against Southern Louisiana and didn’t record a stat. Even with the loss of injured freshman Dillon Stoner, the wide receiver rotation was too deep for him to see the field after Week 1.Role in 2017The coaching staff saw the writing on the wall. With LSU transfer Tyron Johnson now eligible and Stoner back, and with a slew of incoming and upcoming talent in the receiver pool, they made the decision to move Redwine-Bryant to safety. His 83 is now a 38 and he’ll get a chance to show off his athleticism in centerfield behind the likes of Ramon Richards and Tre Flowers. Size at safety has been a priority in the recruiting game. So adding the 6-2, 215-pounder to was a no-brainer. Now, Redwine-Bryant adds depth at a position of need.Noteworthy stats and highlightsRecorded one tackle for the black team during the 2017 spring game. Was a decorated multi-sport athlete in high school (insert Gundyism) and earned all-district honors in football. Showed out in basketball, baseball and track and field in high school.last_img read more

Inside baseball: what is marketing?

first_imgLovely Marketing Diva Toby has a post that really gets me. Check this out:The American Marketing Association is writing a new definition of “what is marketing.”Draft new definition: “Marketing is the activity, conducted by organizations and individuals, that operates through a set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging market offerings that have value for customers, clients, marketers, and society at large.”Say whaaaat? Thanks Toby for flagging this. That sentence is pretty awful, quite obtuse and very academic. Can’t we as marketers explain what we do? In an understandable way? Can’t we walk our talk?I don’t want to be too hard on this draft definition, because I’ve been there. I’ve found myself in the past unable to write about things I’m too close to. I once had to hire a writer to create my firm’s brochure, because what I did was far too “inside baseball.” Meaning, too focused on the details only an insider could love and not enough on what the audience wanted to know. When I worked at Reuters and wrote a story that got too “inside baseball,” my editors would admonish me. It was always a sign I’d been in a country too long. Do you get too “inside baseball?” Do you end up speaking doglish? I empathize. And I encourage you to fight it as a marketer. I have to myself, everyday, in all that I do.And, for what it’s worth, I think marketing is simply getting someone to buy what you’re selling.last_img read more

Neymar makes first competitive start since injury

first_imgWorld Cup Neymar makes first competitive start since metatarsal injury as Brazil open World Cup 2018 campaign 01:54 6/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Neymar Brazil 2018 Getty World Cup Brazil v Switzerland Brazil Switzerland Neymar The PSG star lines up alongside Willian and Gabriel Jesus in attack as the Selecao start a quest for global glory against Switzerland Neymar will make his first competitive start since February after being named in Brazil’s starting XI for their World Cup Group E opener against Switzerland.The 26-year-old sustained a fractured metatarsal while playing for Paris Saint-Germain, putting his World Cup participation in some doubt.However, the world’s most expensive player made a scoring return to action in friendly wins over Croatia and Austria prior to Brazil’s arrival in Russia, and lines up alongside Chelsea’s Willian and Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus in a menacing front three. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Philippe Coutinho is joined in midfield by Barcelona team-mate Paulinho and Real Madrid’s Casemiro, while there is no place in the squad for Manchester United-bound Fred, who is recovering from an ankle injury.Switzerland, meanwhile, will be looking to Xherdan Shaqiri for inspiration – the Stoke City man was the last player to score a World Cup hat-trick before Cristiano Ronaldo’s treble against Spain on Friday.Brazil boss Tite admitted in the build up to the game that Neymar is not yet 100 per cent following an injury-enforced absence, but he has backed the PSG star to shine on the grandest of stages.He said: “Neymar is not 100 per cent yet.”But he is very privileged physically, his sprinting capacity and his speed is really impressive, he hasn’t lost that. He’s not 100 per cent yet. But he’s good enough to play very well.”last_img read more

Hummels still has ‘hope’ despite being ruled out of Germany-Sweden

first_imgWorld Cup Hummels keeping hopes up despite Low ruling him out of Germany clash with Sweden Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 23:42 6/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mats Hummels Getty Images World Cup Germany Germany v Sweden Sweden The Bayern Munich centre-back is suffering from a neck injury he picked up in training and will not feature in their second World Cup match Germany defender Mats Hummels insists he will not give up on his hopes of making his side’s World Cup clash with Sweden, despite coach Joachim Low ruling him out with a neck injury.Hummels was one of a number of players to criticise Germany’s tactics after a 1-0 loss to Mexico in their Group F opener.The Bayern Munich man later said talks in Germany’s training camp had cleared the air ahead of facing Sweden in Sochi. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar The centre-back is struggling with a neck complaint and is unavailable for the second game, according to Low.”Hummels won’t be able to play tomorrow. He hurt his neck [vertebrae] yesterday and he hasn’t improved today,” he told a news conference.”He cannot train but there’s still some time. When things like that happen, it doesn’t improve overnight.”We need players good in aerial play. I have an idea, a match plan for tomorrow. We will see what the final session yields.”Still having some hope for tomorrow, you simply don’t want to have to watch such an important game…— Mats Hummels (@matshummels) June 22, 2018But just as Hummels defied his coach in the wake of their defeat, he contradicted him again when he tweeted: “Still having some hope for tomorrow, you simply don’t want to have to watch such an important game.”Germany could be knocked out if they lose to Sweden depending on Mexico’s result in their second pool match against South Korea.last_img read more

‘Modric is Ballon d’Or worthy’

first_imgWorld Cup ‘Modric worthy of Ballon d’Or’ Dom Farrell 18:56 6/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Luka Modric - cropped Getty Images World Cup Croatia Iceland v Croatia Real Madrid Luka Modric has inspired Croatia’s excellent start at the 2018 World Cup and Dejan Lovren believes the Real Madrid man deserves more credit. Dejan Lovren believes his Croatia team-mate Luka Modric should be in Ballon d’Or contention.Real Madrid midfielder Modric has been at his sublime best so far at Russia 2018, steering Croatia to qualification for the knockout stages with a game to spare.His superb second goal during the 3-0 demolition of Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod provided the champagne moment within one of the tournament’s statement victories. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Modric also converted a penalty during the opening 2-0 Group D victory against Nigeria and Lovren feels the 32-year-old would be pushing for top individual honours if he was from a more traditionally glamorous footballing nation.”It is a real pleasure to play with Luka Modric, who is one of the best players in the world right now,” he said during a Sunday news conference at Croatia’s Roschino training base.”Modric would probably be getting more attention than he is right now if he was a German or Spanish player. He would maybe even be a Ballon d’Or winner.”Because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves.”All football lovers know Modric is an incredible player. He is one of the best in the world right now.”Who will prove the best in the world collectively when the World Cup concludes in Moscow next month remains a fiercely debated subject, with matters clouded by an opening 10 days that have often veered from the form guide.Holders Germany were staring at the prospect of an early exit until Toni Kroos sensationally snatched a 2-1 win over Sweden for Joachim Low’s 10 men deep into stoppage time on Saturday in Sochi.Luka Modric Croatia Nigeria World Cup 2018Brazil also required a late show for their first win of the tournament – Philippe Coutinho and Neymar downing Costa Rica in St Petersburg after the regulation 90 minutes.Lovren proudly claimed to have watched every game of Russia 2018 so far and he spies a wide-open field that may play into the hands of an accomplished and experienced Croatian generation.”It has been a surprising tournament and there are no favourites right now, or no teams that are likely to be easy winners,” he added.”We must respect teams like Germany, Brazil, Spain and Belgium, who are all incredible teams.”Right now, no one is showing on the pitch that they are far superior than any other team.”Croatia is a dark horse, a bit of an underdog, but we have to show we play well and we hope to continue to play well.”last_img read more

Who could England face in the World Cup last 16?

first_imgWorld Cup Who could England face in the World Cup last 16? Goal Last updated 1 year ago 00:20 6/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Harry Kane England Panama World Cup 2018 Getty World Cup England The Three Lions have already booked their place in the knockout stage and they will soon know who they will face England have booked their place in the last 16 of the World Cup, but the identity of their opponents in the next stage won’t be finalised until the final round of group games on Thursday June 28.The Three Lions are currently leading Group G ahead of Belgium by virtue of fair play points, but that could change depending on the outcome of their match against the Red Devils on Thursday.As laid out before the tournament kicked off, Group G’s representatives will be paired with the teams that emerge from Group H. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar However, while England and Belgium are both assured of their place in the next round, Group H was much more volatile and three teams remained in with a chance of going through in the last matchday.  With Group H decided, there are now two possible outcomes for England, depending on how they do against Belgium.If England draw with (provided they still have a better fair play points tally) or defeat Belgium in their final game of Group G they will finish top, meaning that they will face the runner-up from Group H.However, if they lose to Eden Hazard and Co. they will be paired with the Group H winners.Who could England face in the last 16 of the World Cup?England will end up facing one of Japan or Colombia in the last 16 in Russia.JapanIn the event that England top their group a last 16 match-up with Japan could happen after Japan lost to Poland and Colombia defeated Senegal.The Blue Samurai finished the group on the exact same points, goal difference and goals scored as Senegal, clinching second place by virtue of their superior discipline.ColombiaA worst case scenario for England in the last 16 would probably be a meeting with Colombia, who topped Group H after defeating Senegal in their final match.If England manage to finish top of Group G, they’ll avoid the South American side, but if they lose to Belgium or draw (while posting an inferior fair play tally), they will finish second and therefore take on Colombia.Live tablesGroup G Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts 1 England (Q) 2 2 0 0 +6 6 2 Belgium (Q) 2 2 0 0 +6 6 3 Tunisia (E) 2 0 0 2 -4 0 4 Panama (E) 2 0 0 2 -8 0 Group H Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts 1 Colombia (Q) 3 2 0 1 +3 6 2 Japan (Q) 3 1 1 1 0 4 3 Senegal (E) 3 1 1 1 0 4 4 Poland (E) 3 1 0 2 -3 3 Key: Q – team has qualified for last 16E – team has been eliminatedlast_img read more

10 Things to Never Do with Your Website

first_imgWe had a great Nonprofit 911 call yesterday at Network for Good on how to redesign your website. I’d like to share my favorite part of Michael Weiss of Imagistic’s presentation, which you can view in full here.Mike’s Top 10 “Never Do This” List of website redesign10. Never think this going to take 4 weeks9. Never think you can do this alone8. Never skip the information architecture phase7. Never do this without an RFP6. Never send the RFP to more than 5 firms5. Never choose a vendor based on price alone4. Never ask your IT Manager to manage this process this alone3. Never start without a budget in mind2. Never start this process without key stakeholders involved1. Never hire your boss’s nephewlast_img read more

5 Steps to Email Marketing

first_imgAuthor information:Winston Bowden, email himVisit the website: Nonprofits are confronted with many of the questions that any other enterprise, small or large, often ponders: How do I connect with my customers? Which communication vehicle will provide my organization with the highest return on investment? How can I determine what my target market wants?While many of our corporate friends have turned to email marketing to help answer these questions, the concept is comparatively new to nonprofits. Email marketing may not be the silver bullet for every problem, but it provides us with an efficient and affordable tool to communicate with our constituents.Whether you’re launching a membership drive, soliciting donations, or selling tickets to a fundraising event, email marketing can provide the biggest bang for your buck. This article provides information on how to develop successful email marketing tactics and strategies that can be applied both to nonprofits and to businesses. Step 3: Avoid too much of a good thing-email only as often as your list wantsSimply blanketing a general contact list with too many untargeted emails may be doing your organization a disservice. A recent survey by Convio found that 36% of significant donors said they are more likely to donate again if the organization permits them to say how often they’d like to be emailed.As the email marketer for your nonprofit, you should make it a top priority to identify the unique frequency-based groupings in your list and make sure you’re sending them exactly what they requested and when they requested the information.VAE has several email lists:Call for ArtistsCall for SponsorsCall for VolunteersEvent UpdatesBy making an effort to keep content in line with the list descriptions, VAE has maintained a consistent open rate of more than 50% and a click-through rate of 9%.In the past, VAE did not utilize an email marketing software package and had no means of measuring campaign effectiveness. Today, VAE consistently tracks each campaign’s results so that email marketing strategies can be adjusted as needed. Step 2: Building buzz with email marketingFrequent newsletter communications keep your interested members in the loop. Whether you are driving event attendance, seeking volunteers, or requesting online donations, a regular email newsletter keeps your membership engaged.VAE recently used email marketing tactics to increase online tickets sales from 8% to 20% for its gala, which serves as the organization’s major fundraiser. Regular email updates were a critical part of the ticket sales strategy. Each message provided something new and fresh about the gala. VAE didn’t bombard members with the same announcement, but provided them with new data on the event each email blast: Who are the new sponsors this month? How many tickets have been sold? How many artists will have work in the silent and live auctions? What can you tell your members to excite them, and ultimately allure them to follow through with the appropriate action? Step 4: Keep the feedback loop openIt is a good practice to request feedback from your email recipients regardless of what you are sending. Give your receivers a place to talk back. Make it short and simple and place it toward the bottom of your communication. Comments from your audience make for great content for future email newsletters and also allow you to gauge the pulse of your members.center_img Step 1: Building your contact listThere are dozens of articles on how to build an effective email list, and most will identify similar strategies:Face-to-face sign-up sheetPaid searchSearch engine optimizationA link to your subscription center on your signature lineA link on your online donation or event-registration checkoutThese tactics are tried and true. There are dozens of others, but as email marketers know, the biggest taboos are rented or purchased lists. Our goal when helping a nonprofit build its initial contact list is to create a strong group of members who have specifically requested information from the organization.The Visual Art Exchange (VAE) is a Raleigh, NC-based nonprofit that supports emerging artists in the local community. VAE receives the majority of email sign-ups not from the Web but from visitors to its art gallery in downtown Raleigh. Whether you have a retail face to your nonprofit or you simply have a pen and paper at your office’s front desk, do not underestimate the power of face-to-face sign-ups.However, Web site sign-up forms are also important. Most email marketing providers automatically generate a sign-up link that can easily be placed on your homepage. Summing UpWhether you are sending an email campaign or conducting a survey, listen to your list. Your email list represents an active portion of your membership. They have requested content, so they have an immediate interest in what you have to say. Providing them with value-added material will reinforce their dedication to your nonprofit.After implementing a basic email marketing strategy, the Visual Art Exchange was able to increase traffic to its Web site 200%, increase the size of its membership 40%, and double its annual revenue.By thinking like a marketer, you too can help your nonprofit grow its programs, services, and offerings, enabling you to serve your members better.Copyright 2000-2008 MarketingProfs.comAll Rights Reserved Step 5: Conduct regular surveysSurveys are structured requests for feedback and can be a great way for you to gather feedback on what your readers want to see. Send them out sparingly and with deliberation, as they take a greater time commitment from your list. If you would like to conduct surveys more than quarterly, consider creating an advisory segment and send more frequent surveys to that group.VAE recently surveyed its members to determine what new program offerings members wanted to see. Some 40% of email recipients responded. In addition, the email VAE sent to its member list received a 44% click-through rate and a 48% open rate.Members want to have the opportunity to provide feedback. A quarterly survey, performed online, is an efficient and inexpensive way to gauge members interests.last_img read more

How to Check Your Website on Different Browsers

first_imgCross-browser compatibility has long been a frustration for website designers. What looks fine in one browser may be more or less “broken” in another, with sidebars shifted and elements overlapping… But does it really matter, how your website looks in different browsers, in the big picture of what your organization is trying to accomplish with an online presence?Yes.Browser compatibility is about much more than a pretty presentation, although the importance of a professional-looking design should not be downplayed. Sometimes, the effects of how different browsers interpret the code for a web page are so pronounced that your website can be difficult to navigate for users of one browser or another. It can become less inviting, if not downright unusable, for a whole section of your potential audience.Ensuring that your website works for the maximum number of visitors is always a priority. That’s why Wild Apricot software was just updated to be compatible with the newly released Firefox version 3 – which recorded a stunning 8 million downloads in 24 hours – and why usability guru Jakob Neilsen keeps a sharp eye on browser adoption trends since 1999.To check how your website will perform on different operating systems, at different screen resolutions, and in various version of each available web browser – if that seems like a daunting task, it can be! Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from the days of asking friends with different browsers to check a website for is a free open-source online service for testing your website design in different browsers and on different operating systems. You enter the web address of your site, select the browsers for which you’d like to see screenshots, and join the job queue.Bookmark the page – there’s no option for getting the results by email – and you can reload it later to view your screenshots online and/or download the created screenshot images as a (compressed) zip file.Tip: It may be tempting to select All for testing at Browsershots, but I’d advise against it – it’s a considerable drain on the service’s resources, takes a lot of time, runs the risk of creating errors or timing out in mid-job… and more to the point, for most purposes it isn’t necessary to test your site in every permutation. Use a good free web stats tracker such as Google Analytics to look at which operating systems, screen resolutions, and browser versions are actually in use by your visitors, and start your testing there. You can always run more browser checks later, if you determine that SeaMonkey 1.1 is a hot browser with your particular audience.Browsershots is arguably the most comprehensive free tool of its kind – thanks to volunteers who run more than 100 computers to create the screenshots. If the time taken to create screenshots is more than you can spare, $15 can buy you a month of priority processing which bumps your job to the head of the job queue.Total Validator is a good free HTML validation service that has proved itself useful to catch coding errors, broken links, and so on – and now includes the option to check your page in any of 32 browsers across Windows, Linux and OS/X. When I tested Total Validator’s browser check feature this week, however, I received an error message on three of four tries. It is a relatively new feature, so perhaps there are still a few bugs to be worked out – or perhaps I simply hit a time of peak load on the service. And I have not yet tested the desktop version of the tool.There are also a number of excellent commercial services for testing your website’s cross-browser compatibility.LitmusApp, for one, comes highly recommended by several designers I know who use it for checking email newsletters as well as website designs. There is a free plan, but it only includes Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2. To test your site in all 23 browsers supported by the service, you’ll need to move up to a 24-hour pass ($24) or single-user subscription ($49 per month).Browsercam does an excellent job of checking the cross-browser functioning of any dynamic elements of your website – forms, javascript navigation, etc. – and the 24-hour free trial will give you up to a maximum of 200 screen captures. Basic “web capture” plans start at $20 for one day, or $60 per month; another $10 per month adds “device capture” for checking how your site appears on web-enabled mobiles and PDAs.And here’s a real bargain if you’re primarily interested in ensuring compatibility for Mac OS/X users who come to your website, $3 will buy 2 days of Browsrcamp service. “This is the easiest way to test every aspect of your website on Mac, including Javascript, DHTML, Ajax, Flash, etc.,” the service says, with 11 Mac browsers supported. Apple Safari screenshots of your website are free.When you know how your website looks and works for all of your visitors – not just those who use the same browser – you can better decide what steps to take to correct any discrepancies. Which cross-browser differences are mission-critical errors, and which are merely cosmetic? If Internet Explorer 6 doesn’t render your web page exactly as you see it in Opera 9.5, that may be okay. The question is whether your audience can use your website as intended, regardless of the technology they use to view it.Source: This is article is taken from the Wild Apricot nonprofit technology blog, and can also be viewed on their website.last_img read more

Free campaign planning tool!

first_imgThanks to my friends at Spitfire, if you need help planning your next big campaign, you’re in luck. Spitfire Strategies and the Communications Leadership Institute (the people who brought you the Smart Chart and Discovering the Activation Point) have just unveiled their newest tool: The Just Enough Planning Guide. It’s a free online resource that for the first time gives nonprofits and foundations a process for planning successful campaigns. Whether your organization is planning to pass a law, win popular support for an issue or organize a boycott, the guide gives groups a clear sense of where they are going, the best way to get there and what to expect along the way. Visit to download a free copy.Thanks Spitfire!Here are steps it covers:1. Confirm That a Campaign Is Possible. This is the time to step back and assess the viability of a campaign. Are the stars aligned for this effort to be successful? 2. Set a Clear, Measurable Goal That Is Achievable. Your plan needs to be focused on achieving a very specific goal. Your goal is your raison d’être. Are you trying to make something happen or stop something from happening? There is a difference. 3. Chart Your Course. Much like a road trip, there are likely many ways to get to your goal. You will use your knowledge of the field and the external environment to determine the best steps to your goal. 4. Anticipate Conditions. Visualize all possible scenarios – the good, the bad and the ugly – so your plan includes strategies for leveraging opportunities and mitigating challenges, including identifying your opposition.5. Know How to Make Headway. What will propel you down your path? What major campaign activities can help you get from point A to point B? 6. Prioritize Your Target Audiences. Now that you have a strategy, stay focused by prioritizing who you need to engage to win, and when. 7. Put a Public Face on Your Campaign. Give the effort a name and a personality that is memorable and easily understood. You want people to recognize what you are about and not have to guess. 8. Operationalize Your Campaign. Based on the activities you think will help you make headway, determine which campaign tactics you will need: from intellectual knowledge to government relations to public mobilization to communications to coalition building to fundraising. 9. Stay on Track. Build evaluation mechanisms into your plan that will tell you when you are making progress and when you need to stop and make a mid-course correction. Meet regularly with your team to discuss your progress.last_img read more

Online = snack; Mail = meal

first_imgDon’t forget:Things online should be short. People skim online. Things offline often work better long – like fundraising letters.If your home page is text heavy, you’re trying to serve a full meal to a snacker. Don’t do it. Save the purple prose for direct mail.last_img

Virgin and the big difference a messenger makes

first_imgThis week, I flew on Virgin America. It was UNBELIEVABLE. A cool, space age-looking interior. A power plug for your laptop under your seat, in economy. Internet access on board. Your own TV on the seat with live television and loads of movies. Hungry? You just tap on the seatback screen and order whatever you want, whenever you want. The flight attendant brings it right to your seat. All for less than $300 for a roundtrip flight from DC to San Francisco.So let me ask you something, are you going to think about flying Virgin America next time you fly?Let me ask you something else: have you seen any ad lately that got you as interested in the airline as I did?I’ve spent a lot of time in my speeches lately talking about how important the messenger is in marketing.Sometimes, the messenger IS the marketing.If a company or organization is the messenger promoting themselves, that’s one thing.If your friend or neighbor professes love for that company or organization, that’s quite another.Now is the best time in the world to get people other than your employees to talk about you. It works way better. For prompting action of any kind.And it’s free. I didn’t get a dime from Virgin America to say how much I like them, on this blog or when I was emailing friends on board (saying how great it was to be able to work and communicate at 35,000 feet.)Being extraordinary gets people to talk about you, so treat your audience like Virgin Airlines passengers. Those valentines (the people who love you) will do you the great favor of proclaiming their affection far and wide.last_img read more