An unidentified militant was killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Langet area of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir. An encounter broke out between militant and security forces on Sunday morning after the latter launched a search operation in Langet, 100 kms from here, an Army official said.He said one militant has been killed and the encounter is still underway.
Topics: Holiday Marketing Fa la la la la! La la la la! Fa la la la la! La la la la! Search Engine Optimization Kit ‘Tis the season for happy marketing. We hope this special carol will bring a smile to you and the marketers in your life. This is the first of a series of four HubSpot Holiday videos. Enjoy! Download our Keyword rich with inbound linking Tweet this marketing carol! . and @ Fa la la la la! La la la la! Learn moreabout how you can optimize your site to rank higher in search enginesso you get found by more qualified prospects. Common Sound HubSpot Singers: repcor search engine optimization kit shaxxon Search Engine Optimization! Fa la la la la la! La la la! Begins with content creation! Lyrics Video Credits Originally published Dec 17, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Gets you traffic. That’s smart thinking! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Producers: @
Facebook ad campaign How to Get LinkedIn Recommendations , here are 12 video tutorials to help you properly set up many important basic functions. This post focuses on Duct Tape Marketing LinkedIn tip . Even if you don’t yet have a twitter account, do a quick The Facebook interface has changed a bit since How to Send Twitter Updates Through LinkedIn Duct Tape Marketing Thanks Donny for the link to the newer version of this video! The good people at Common Craft Twitter Search in Plain English for an industry related topic or interest and you’ll be supprised at what you find. Learn how to automatically updated your LinkedIn status from Twitter in less than a minute. Thanks to profile to 100% complete. For those who have only used Twitter’s online interface, adding a Twitter client like Topics: explaining how to give and get recommendations on LinkedIn. posted this video about a year ago, but it’s still an accurate outline on how to create a , How to Import a Blog or RSS Feed into Facebook will help you get stared. LinkedIn . . TwinkedIn , and As the title suggests, this does fall somewhat into the “sneaky trick” category, but it works. Thanks to video does a great job at explaining the basics of getting started. David Kirk of vividinsight How to Setup a Facebook Fan Page The Marketing Twins Donny Vaughn at put together some awesome videos. In this example, they explain Twitter search in “plain english.” The key point of this video is that Twitter search is a Twitter search developers.facebook.com TweetDeck also known as a Facebook business page. John Jantsch at Howcast . LinkedIn Answers How to get your How to Use TweetDeck . If you haven’t tried using LinkedIn Answers, I highly recommended it. It’s a great place to make connections, find prospects and help brand yourself as a thought leader on a particular topic or industry. Facebook One Sneaky Trick to get more Twitter Followers to the mix will change your life. This video from John Jantsch at Tech-Recipes created this video outlining how to add a blog or RSS feed to into Facebook. How to Create a Facebook Ad LinkedIn How to Add a Facebook “Like” Button to Your Site Twitter Originally published Jun 3, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 social media marketing Facebook fan page MrInternetTips How to Use Twitter for Business does a great job of outlining the ins and outs of How to Use LinkedIn Answers does a great job at explaining how to create a basic Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , which are the three networks I reccommend everyone set up for themselves and/or their business. Leave a comment below and let me know if there are other social media outlets you would like to learn more about. SmartPassiveIncome . If you’re still wondering how to best use for Twitter for your businesses, this Another How to Create a 100% Complete LinkedIn Profile put together this awesome explaination of differt types of Facebook “like” buttons, and boxes that you can add to your website. For more information on the Facebook Like Button, visit These were some of the best videos I could find. Please let me know if you have other’s that you have found useful. Update 6/6/2010: powerful Social Media Marketing For those of you who are getting started with
While search engine optimization is one of the core elements of inbound marketing, not enough businesses are incorporating an SEO strategy into their marketing efforts.It’s understandable — SEO can seem complicated if you’ve never focused on it. To help you get a handle on it, we’ve aggregated some helpful visual aids so you can start to understand how SEO can be helpful in your business’ marketing strategy.15 Educational SEO Diagrams1. Cycle of Social & SEO by TopRank Online Marketing2. Google’s Collateral Damage by SEOBook and Jess.net (click to enlarge)3. SEO Diagram by MentorMate4. SEO Success Pyramid by SmallBusinessSEM.com5. The SEO Process Chart by SEOBook6. Link Building 101 by ProspectMX (click to enlarge)7. The Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors by Search Engine Land (click to enlarge)8. The SEO Flow Chart by SEOBook9. On-Page Optimization and Link Acquisition by SEOmoz 10. SEO Tactics by Response Mine Interactive (click to enlarge)11. Link-Building Risk vs. Reward by Conversation Marketing (click to enlarge)12. SEO Process by Digital Clarity Media13. The SEO Hierarchy of Needs by Bruce Clay, Inc.14. SEO ROI From Link Building Tactics by SEOmoz15. Search Engine Marketing Process by Komarketing AssociatesWhich educational search engine optimization chart/diagram do you like the most? Have any others to share? SEO Originally published Aug 25, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 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 8, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Campaigns Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Enter to win a copy of Aaron’s Book!The Evolution of Location Based Marketing”At that point [in 2007], it was really just one of these cool things. It was fun. There were some legs to it, but you couldn’t quite see the business use.”Using location based tools started out as just a cool thing to do. But in 2009, Foursquare launched with an eye toward utilizing location based tools for marketing and business. People started to realize that you can check into businesses. Businesses started setting their locations and offering incentives for check-ins.Now more companies are getting into the location based marketing game. According to Aaron, there will be more development in this area, and then more consolidation and acquisitions, but we’re really just at the beginning. Businesses are still trying to figure out how to use these tools in a beneficial way.Adopting Location Based Marketing Services”I think with the location based things, it’s not to say that if you make a mistake it won’t get some notice, but I think both customers and the press and social media in general are willing to cut you more slack if you’re going in and playing around with them.”If you’re a business, now is the perfect time to be trying out location based services because they’re still relatively small communities. If you make an error, you won’t get as much backlash as if you were just starting out with Twitter or Facebook.Building a Successful Location Based Marketing Campaign”We like to have what we call the Five Golden Rules.” Here are Aaron’s Five Golden Rules for creating a successful location based marketing campaign: 1. Go out and explore the services. Get yourself set up on Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR, and Local Response. Claim your location in those places. 2. Start embracing the influencers that are checking in. Pick one or two services that are right for you (probably Foursquare, and maybe Yelp), and do that. 3. Create your offer. Make sure your offer syncs up with what your business goals are (loyalty, engagement, increase foot traffic, increase sales, etc). 4. Test, learn, optimize, and measure. Keep tabs on what’s working and what’s not working, and make changes.5. Operationalize. Train everyone involved (from the top to the bottom) on what the offer is, how it works, and what the purpose is.Using Location Based Services to Build a Loyalty Program”I think that goes into perpetuity. Every fifth time you go, you’re getting this extra benefit, and smart companies will start to think about how do I do that.”Here are a few examples of companies who are using location based services to build up loyalty programs:Tasti D-Lite has a loyalty program where, through the swipe of a card, you can check into Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook. Checking in earns you additional points towards free menu items.Starwood Hotels has a similar program where, when you attach your Starwood account with Foursquare, you get additional points for checking in.Hideout Theatre has it so you don’t just benefit the first time you check in or if you’re the mayor, but also during your 5th and 10th visits as well.Point-of-Purchase and Location Based Services”So I think the more you can tightly tie in some of these elements to the point of sale, the bigger retail stores will embrace this. But I don’t know if it’s going to be the end-all, be-all. It will definitely add scale. It will add comfort, I think, to a lot of these customers.”A new element that is emerging is a way for businesses to track when people have actually purchased and been inside their business. This builds on loyalty programs, but it can also be used to further relationship building and engagement.Offering Incentives for Sharing With Your Networks”The more reasons you give for someone sharing their check-in with their Facebook account or other social networks, the better.”It’s best to give the user the control on how/what they share with their networks, but the more reasons you give them to share, the better (e.g., “Get more points for sharing your check-in on Facebook.”).What Happens After Check-In”We need to think about the benefit that geo-awareness adds to any kind of transaction business data, etc.”Businesses need to figure out how they can use this information going forward. Can you build check-in information in your loyalty program? Can you add that into your communication with your customers?Digby (a mobile ecommerce company) is looking into this issue. If they can get you to check-in on an app that they’ve built, they can passively know whether you’ve been in a store or not. So then you have that data that you can work with.What Kinds of Businesses Should Use Location Based Services?”I think if you look at companies like Bravo TV, companies that are either publications or they’re consumer package goods, there are things that you can do — whether they’re educational, they can be partnerships with the actual retail locations.”Location based services aren’t just for brick-and-mortar businesses with lots of locations. Other types of businesses can partner with retail locations.For example, you can check in at the Statue of Liberty. When you do, you can pull up a particular show episode on the History Channel and historical facts. The History Channel has partnered with historical locations so that when someone checks in, they’re shown History Channel content.Measuring the Effectiveness of Location Based Marketing”This is a space that will continue to evolve. One of the things that we do have is we have a website. It’s LocationBasedMarketingForDummies.com, and that’s going to be the book site, and we’re going to keep a regular blog there. You’ll be able to find out about some of these services as they evolve, because Mike and I will keep wiki pages that will let users contribute as well — talk about all these different services that can help measure and monitor.”A lot of the platforms offer their own dashboards for tracking who’s checked in, demographics, etc.But there are also a lot of other tools that can help you measure and monitor these campaigns. Some of them are:MomentFeed: for tracking across multiple locations and multiple servicesGeotoko: for managing multiple offersValuevine: for all kinds of tracking of location based campaignsLocal Response: for mining Twitter and finding specific check-ins and making offers to themResources for Location Based Marketing Information”I have a list that I’ve actually built if someone checks out my Twitter handle, @AaronStrout. You can see my LBS Twitter stream that I’ve got.”Check out @Mr_LBS on Twitter, the Location Based Marketing Association, @JBruin on Twitter, and all of the individual services’ Twitter handles and blogs.Where to Start Your Location Based Marketing Efforts”Try it out as a consumer and check in to some places and get some ideas, and then get your company set up. Claim your location. Think about maybe a light offer that you could do.”If you’re just starting out, get set up on Foursquare. Try it as a consumer. Get some ideas. Then claim your location, and work on a light offer.Connect With Aaron OnlineYou can follow Aaron on Twitter @AaronStrout and his personal blog. Don’t forget to also check out his company blog, his book, and the Quick-n-Dirty podcast.Enter to Win a Copy of Aaron’s Book, Location Based Marketing for Dummies Topics: Aaron Strout joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s social media and inbound marketing podcast! Aaron is the head of location based marketing at WCG in Austin. He is the author of an upcoming book, Location Based Marketing for Dummies, he runs his own podcast called The Quick-n-Dirty Social Media Podcast on BlogTalk Radio, and he blogs over at his own site.In this episode, we chat about:The evolution of location based marketingTips on adopting location based marketing in your businessBuilding a successful location based marketing campaignUsing location based services to build a loyalty programPoint-of-purchase and location based servicesOffering incentives for sharing with your networksWhat kinds of businesses should use location based servicesMeasuring the effectiveness of location based marketingResources for location based marketing informationWhere to start your location based marketing efforts
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 Oct 27, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 News related to Google+ has been slow in recent months. Hopefully, Google is working on business profiles for its social networking platform. However, today we got some exciting news. Not as exciting as business profiles, but close. According to Google, to date, 1 billion posts have been shared on Google+.Google+ has also launched three new features. The first is a new tool called Ripples that visualizes how messages are being shared on Google+. The second, What’s Hot, helps users discover interesting and popular posts. Finally, Google+ has added Creative Kit, which introduces basic photo-editing functionality into Google+. Additionally, Google today announced that customers of Google Apps can now use their Google Apps username and password to sign up for Google+.Sharing Analytics Gets VisualWith Ripples, Google has added a visual layer of explanation around social sharing analytics. Ripples enables inbound marketers to see how their content is shared and which influencers help drive the most sharing activity. Trying to explain it doesn’t do it justice. You need to watch the video below to really understand Ripples in action.Trending Posts Comes to Google+Parody is rampant in the social networking industry. Twitter and Facebook have long helped users discover popular or trending topics in addition to most recent posts. The new ‘What’s Hot’ section on Google+ will appear after your regular updates section and use a special Google algorithm to rank popular stories. For a full explanation, check out the following video:Google+ Gets More Like InstagramWith Creative Kit, Google for the first time provides the opportunity for users to edit images in Google+. This makes Google+ much more similar to popular photo sharing service, Instagram. To view Creative Kit in action, check out this video from Google:Google Apps Users RejoiceMany companies and individuals use Google’s Apps product for a hosted version of popular Google apps like Gmail and Google Documents. As of today, Apps users can now sign up for Google+ using their Apps account. According to TechCrunch, Apps users will be able to share posts directly to other users within their organizations. Google is also building a migration tool, allowing existing Google+ users to port their personal accounts over to their Apps accounts. It isn’t done just yet, but Google says it will be in a few weeks.Marketing TakeawayThese new features are cool, but they aren’t exactly original. Marketers still need business profiles more than any of the new features Google announced today. However, take advantage of what Google provides. Ripples are clearly the most interesting feature for marketers. Understanding how your content is shared and who the top influencers are that cause the spread of your content is valuable. Look at Ripples for some of your content and gather data to improve your content creation and promotion efforts.How do you feel about these updates to Google+? Google Updates Topics:
Buyer Personas Originally published Jan 25, 2012 11:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Pick any day of the week, and there’s one thing on every inbound marketer’s to-do list: creating new content . Marketers used to create content only when it suited their company’s internal needs – say, when they had a new product to promote. Well, inbound marketing forces you to give up that approach. But constantly coming up with new content can be overwhelming, and if you panic and start pushing out content that’s a bad fit for your audience, you risk attracting the wrong kind of visitor while driving away high-quality prospects.That’s why, like publishers, inbound marketers must have a detailed picture of their target audience in order to create optimal content for them. The best way to understand your audience is to build buyer personas with these 3 steps: segment by demographics, identify their needs, and develop behavior-based profiles. 1. Segment by Demographics Who are your ideal customers and prospects? What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interests? Where can you reach them – on search engines , social media , or blogs – and what kinds of content do they prefer? These types of questions will help you develop buyer personas. Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.Start developing personas by researching your existing customer base to identify the most common buyers for your products and services. You may have several different types of buyers, so give each one a detailed description, including name, job title or role, industry or company info, and demographic info.For example, a community bank’s biggest customers may include small business owners and mothers managing the bank accounts for a family of four. In this case, the bank’s marketers might name these personas “Business Owner Bob” and “Martha, the Busy Mom,” and extrapolate details about their responsibilities, the typical size of their business or household income, what geographic region they’re in, and so on. 2. Identify Their Needs Based on those profiles, you can outline the pains, needs, and challenges of each persona by asking yourself several important questions: What are the biggest problems they are trying to solve? What do they need most? What information are they typically searching for? What trends are influencing their business or personal success? Analyzing the path that prospects take on the journey to becoming a customer is a great way to get insights about the needs and challenges of your target audience. If you use a marketing platform like HubSpot , you can see which search terms brought prospects to your site, how long they stayed on your site, which pieces of content they viewed, and which forms they’ve filled out. Such lead intelligence will help you make better decisions when identifying the characteristics of your ideal customers and ways to nurture your new prospects. 3. Develop Behavior-Based Profiles Next, develop a profile of each persona’s typical online behavior. You know who they are and what their needs are, now think about all the ways they research a potential purchase on your site or on others. Here are suggestions of the questions you should ask:What do they do online? Do they read blogs? Are they active on Twitter , Facebook , or other social networks? What kind of search terms do they use? Are they email newsletter subscribers?What kind of information do they tend to consume online? Educational pieces? Trend articles? Interactive tools like calculators or worksheets? Do they watch videos or listen to podcasts?Which of your products do they spend the most time researching? How do they use those products?The result of this process should be a detailed description of your personas’ demographics, needs, and behavior. The more detail you pack into your persona development, the easier it will be to create content for each of your target customer segments and know where to promote it.Don’t look now, but you just put yourself on the path to a killer content strategy. This post is an adapted excerpt from our free ebook, A Practical Guide to Killer Marketing Content . To learn more about keeping those great content ideas flowing, download the free ebook here! 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 Oct 24, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 My boss was in Des Moines, Iowa a couple weeks ago, and sent me this message:Subj: Zombie BurgerBringing you the menu from that zombie burger place. Such a cool content story. The co-owner’s childhood dream was to one day open a zombie themed restaurant. Three years in they’ve sold 1 million burgers! There is always a wait. Always.Took photos of artwork. We should write about them.Between you and me, he had me at zombies, but the “one million” certainly piqued my interest. What is this place? (Zombie Burger + Drink Lab in Des Moines, IA.) How’d they make it to one million burgers on a zombie theme? (Their food, branding & content had a lot to do with it.) And the burgers … they’re actually good? (Yep.) Like … really good? (Yeah, they have like 8,000 Facebook reviews raving about them.)I wanted to learn more. So I did what I always do when I want to learn more — Googled them — to see if I could get in touch with the owners. Along with finding their Facebook account with almost 50,000 Likes and glowing reviews on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and UrbanSpoon, I found an email address on their crazy cool zombie-themed website and shot them a quick note to see if they’d be willing to talk. They responded in four minutes. I think I’m starting to get why these guys are killing it.I talked with the Paul Rottenberg, the co-founder of the restaurant, to learn more about their “zombie marketing strategy” and what’s made them so successful. Here’s what he had to say.Why zombies? Where’d the idea come from?The idea really started out by having the desire to do a chef-driven burger restaurant. My co-founder, Chef George Formaro, and I had done several upscale places, and we wanted to do a place that was more fun and casual. We talked a lot about what the theme would be, and my partner is a horror movie buff, so he wanted to do a horror theme originally. We looked at a number of places, and nothing turned up that we liked — but then when one did, George said he wanted to do a zombie place. This was 2009, so by the time we opened it looked like we were riding on The Walking Dead thing, but the idea started before it ever came out.So the zombie idea came from George. Were you equally enthusiastic about it?To tell you the truth, I had never even watched any movies about zombies. So when he told me about it, I started watching movies and documentaries and reading books. And I remained unconvinced we could carry the idea of great food and zombies — I was worried it might be a concept diners didn’t want to think about with their food. It took me about six months to sign on. In fact, on the original loan applications, I just called it a hamburger restaurant because I didn’t know how the bank would respond to a zombie-themed restaurant.But I eventually got sold on the idea. I was meeting with our third partner, Jeremy Reichart, telling him about the idea. He said he thought it was a great idea and we oughtta do it. I asked him, “Will you put up a third of the money?” And he said he would. When did you know your idea was a hit?Even before it opened. We got a ton of attention from the press and the public. Before we opened we had 5,000 Facebook Likes and won best hamburger restaurant in Des Moines.Before it opened?I know, it doesn’t seem fair does it? It just had so much top of mind awareness. On opening day, we were prepared to serve 800 burgers, and we sold out by 9:00 p.m. From the time the doors opened there was just a huge amount of interest.How does this restaurant differ from the other restaurants you’ve opened? Does it serve a different demographic for Des Moines?Well, it’s in a hip part of town. We thought it’d be a kitschy fun place for the cool, young demographic to hang out in. But it’s the broadest demographic of any business we’ve opened. From little kids to grandmas, white collar to blue collar, every walk of life. It’s universally appealing.Even something as polarizing as gore and horror?Yeah, it’s weird, isn’t it? I had my first inkling I was going down the right path when I went to file some paperwork and had to write down the name. The lawyer said, “Oh, that’ll be great. My son is reading about zombies, we love zombies.” And then my friends, who are quite a bit more conservative than me, said they watch zombie movies all the time — another friend of mine said, “My first date was a George Romero movie!”It looks like you took that interest and ran with it. The zombie theme pervades everything — from the menu to the decor to the artwork.Developing a zombie burger facility and space was a real exercise in marrying blood and gore content with food. It was a challenge to figure out how to tell that story without offending people. To help with that, the original concept was that zombies were outside — that you’re boarded up in this tavern — and then Ron Wagner, a comic book artist that did the murals, created a story about the apocalypse happening outside.Once we opened, though, it got edgier and edgier because customers said we could do more.So the customers played a role in the story’s development?Absolutely. After that we added Frank, the zombie mannequin, and a ton of other things because there was a demand to kick it up a notch. It got edgier and gorier because the customer said to do more.From a business standpoint, we say it’s good to start with a good idea — but to be successful you have to listen to what the customers want you to be. We call it “Food that doesn’t try to be smarter than the customer.” George could be a chef at a 5-star restaurant anywhere, but he likes putting out food that makes people feel good.You’ve got over 8,000 reviews on Facebook, nearly 50,000 Likes, over 8,000 Twitter followers. Tell me about how that social media presence grew — did the zombie theme just make it happen, or did you work at it?It was a combination of work and natural interest. I believe once you get up into the high numbers, it becomes exponential. People come to us now with things they want to do together — for example, a guy that draws zombie comics wants to get some eyes on that, and we’re a natural place for him to show his talents.Who runs the social media accounts?All our accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) are managed in-house with much of the content coming from the chef, Tom McKern, and Karen Davis. Tom runs the kitchen as our executive chef, and he’s just an incredibly funny guy. Karen is our general manager and has a long history in the entertainment industry — she was the manager of a chain that does a combination of beer, food, and movies. So they’ve both got a good sensibility about what will work on social.So they’re responsible for the #zbbasicbitch account on Twitter?[Laughs] That’s one of our burgers … I think they were doing a hashtag with that, but did they start an account?Yeah, a follower tweeted the account — @zbbasicbitch — and tagged @ZombieBurgerDM. Tom did a #basicbitch burger that was a spoof on the pumpkin spice thing. That was one of the #TweakedOutThursday burgers. I bet it was Tom that did it, I’ll have to ask him, but I guess it could have been anyone — these things just kind of build on themselves.It sounds like most of your customers would probably find that funny, but then again, you serve a really wide demographic. Do you care if stuff like that offends people? How do you decide what’s too edgy?Yeah, I do care. And I probably represent the most conservative of the sensibilities. We had a meeting about naming this burger. Tom talked about the idea and I can’t remember what the original name was, but it was even edgier, and we decided that might be too far. When we released it, most people got it and thought it was funny.Did anyone complain?We got one complaint. But even she said she loved the restaurant, just didn’t like the name. I think our restaurant has been able to develop a relationship with its customer base that’s kind of edgy, so I’m careful not to rein in those guys too much. Tom avidly studies social and is aware of the latest trends, so I’m careful not to stifle his creativity — we’ve had some big successes because of those ideas.What are some of those successes that came from being creative and current?We did an Undead Hasselhoff burger. It got picked up all over the world. Germany loved it.When Jim Gaffigan was in town, Tom started tweeting with him, and Jim answered him. Tom said he was going to create an Undead Gaffigan burger when he was in town, and asked him what he wanted on it. Jim said he wanted bacon, cheddar, white bread, five patties (he’s got five kids), and jalapenos. The burger ended up being featured in his latest book.You’ve clearly got some creative people on staff — is one of them responsible for writing the zombie newspaper stories on the back of the menu, too?George’s brother Tom Formaro — not the chef, a different Tom — is a locally-based writer and he writes those. He just wrote a book called The Broken Heart Diet. He’s hysterically funny. We try to change them a few times a year, and we’ll build on whatever is current in the season. For instance, in 2016 we’ll have the Iowa caucuses, so in that menu edition we’ll likely write stories that spoof on the candidates.Will you take any position, politically?We’ll steer clear of taking any political positions. We’ve got customers who are radically liberal and radically conservative who love the restaurant equally — and love zombie movies.Who knew zombies were the great equalizer?I think the reason zombies work is it just seems okay to hurt zombies. You know, cuz they’re dead already.But first and foremost, what we want to do is just build a better burger restaurant. Every item we send out is made by our team — so if we’ve got breaded jalapenos, we’ve made them there. We have the machinery to grind the burgers and cut the fries. Because people wouldn’t come back if the food wasn’t good. When you’ve got 50,000 people talking about your burgers on Facebook, it can go both ways — you’ve gotta win the conversation with a good product if you’re going to make those conversations work for you.So the brand and the product are inextricable?No question. The food needed to work, the environment needed to tell the story, and it needed to be a comfortable, functional restaurant. You could just have one or two of those things, but it blew up because it had all of those. All of those things had to happen.Artwork from Zombie Burger + Drink Lab restaurant. Marketing Case Studies Don’t forget to share this post! 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SEO and Social Media Topics: Originally published Feb 25, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Years ago, it was commonplace to find real-time tweets in Google Search results. Twitter and Google had inked a deal that gave the search giant access to the social network’s data stream. In turn, Google would display tweets in search results in real time. But that agreement expired, and in the middle of 2011, Google lost access to Twitter’s data stream. Now, nearly four years later, the gang’s back together. Recently, Google and Twitter announced that they are working together again to index tweets as soon as they are posted.How should a marketer to react to this news? In this post, I will focus on how you can benefit from the new deal between Google and Twitter. You will need to be active on Twitter to obtain these benefits, but I will include some tips for those of you who are just getting started — you can still benefit from this development if you’re doing the right things. The good news is that it will take some time for Google to implement changes based on the new data they will be getting from Twitter, so you have some time to get ready. But the sooner you get started, the better.So let’s dive into what the deal actually is and learn how you can take advantage of it.What’s the Deal With This New Deal?Basically, this deal gives Google real-time access to tweets via a data feed, commonly called the Twitter Firehose. While the agreement seems to be in effect already, the two companies are saying only that it will take effect in Google Search sometime in the first half of 2015. The reason it will take some time to implement is that Twitter needs to figure out how to prep the data for Google, and Google needs to look at this data stream and decide what they want to do with it. However, one thing we know they will do is increase the number of tweets that they are indexing. What that means is that your tweets could start showing up in the search results.Google actually does show some tweets in its search results today, but it’s only a very small portion of what’s on Twitter. My company, Stone Temple Consulting, recently did a study of 133,000 tweets to see how Google indexes tweets, and what we found is that Google indexes less than 8% of all the tweets we tested.That’s not a high level of indexation at all. To make matters worse, it also appears that Google is quite slow to index tweets, as you can see in the chart below:Currently, that means tweets have little chance of getting indexed. In fact, the people whose tweets were most likely to be indexed, according to our study, had much higher than average followings. For people who are just starting out on Twitter, chances are that the indexation rate is near zero.The new deal between Google and Twitter may well change all that. It’s hard to predict just how many more tweets Google will index, but you can count on it being a significant change — otherwise doing this deal makes no sense for Google.As a result, you may have an opportunity to use Twitter to increase your presence in Google’s SERPs. However, remember that Google will need a few months to implement changes to leverage the Twitter data feed, so don’t expect instant results.How Will Google Choose Which Tweets to Index?Google has made no statements about what their plans are, so we don’t know for sure. But, based on their history, we figure that Google is going to work hard to find the tweets that offer the most value to their audience. They will also most likely implement strong anti-spam measures.While the new Twitter data feed will be valuable to them, frankly, it’s an add-on. They will be conservative in what they allow into the results, and they will only include things that they have a very high degree of confidence are not spam.As a consequence of that, trying to game this new arrangement will likely be very difficult to do. Google is going to look for signals that certain tweets have greater value. Here are the types of signals that could be available to them:Links from third party web sites to the tweets. (This signal is already available to them today.)Links from third party web sites to a user’s profile. (This signal is already available to them today.)How many times a tweet is retweeted, and by whom. They may get this info directly from Twitter, or they may use their own means to determine it. (This will be new data for them.)How many times a tweet is favorited, and by whom. They may get this info directly from Twitter, or they may use their own means to determine it. (This will be new data for them.)I don’t see how this deal makes sense for Google unless they get the info on points 3 and 4 above, or at least number 3. This would mean that Google can use retweet data, and the knowledge of who is performing the RTs to determine which tweets have the most value. This is the source of where I see significant potential value for companies and publishers.Maximize your engagement on Twitter, and you are sending out signals that your tweeted content is valuable. So how do you get more engagement?How Should You Maximize Engagement on Twitter?This was the subject of another study my company did recently on Twitter engagement. This particular study focused on what factors within your Twitter content cause increases in retweets and favorites. By far the most significant factor was the use of images in your tweets:Here you can see that your chances of getting at least one retweet are more than doubled for most low and moderate social authority accounts. That’s quite a significant difference. Our data also showed that you can also get five to nine times as many total retweets by including images. That’s a big deal!Other factors that matter, though not quite as much as images, were the use of hashtags and implementing longer tweets. Factors that mattered less were time of day, including links to content off of Twitter, or mentions of others.While the above info can definitely help you optimize your own presence, you can’t forget the importance of developing relationships on Twitter. Focusing on key friendships and relationships with influencers is a big key to success, especially if your presence on the platform is not currently that strong. Imagine someone with a highly influential account retweeting your most important content. This could be gold for you, as it can make Google aware of the content very quickly. The influencer’s tweet with the link to your content may appear in search results and help expose it to much wider audiences. Of course, this may also result in more links to your content as well.Even if Google does not get information in the Twitter data feed that allows it to understand who is retweeting whom, Google could still use link data to better understand whose profiles are most important. Then, they can place more value on their tweets, and place them within their index, driving traffic and exposure to that tweet. If it contains a link to your content, your traffic and exposure could go up.SummaryWill this fundamentally alter the digital landscape? No, but it does mean that a strong presence on Twitter will have more value than it did before. To capitalize on this shift, do the following:Increase your time invested in Twitter.Create engaging content that people will want to retweet and favorite.Build relationships with others who will help amplify your content.Make sure to build relationships with influencers whose tweets are more likely to get indexed by Google.Watch the indexation of your tweets grow while you build your own influence on the platform.As the full partnership takes effect, we may discover other ways to optimize our Twitter strategies for search, but until then, preparing for the shift using the steps above is a wise move.Want to learn more about search? Check out our SEO course. 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 Apr 16, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 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 Marketing Metrics The internet has an infinite amount of benefits, but one in particular that has wholly disrupted business operations. See, the world wide web allows for equal and fair access to websites, which means that startups and small businesses are essentially on an equal playing field with their big box competitors when it comes to ecommerce.This makes for a monumental advantage when it comes to smaller ecommerce shops. Through an easy checkout process, excellent customer service and a smooth delivery experience, startups and small businesses can oust competitors who have long been household names.This is exactly what Warby Parker did, ousting Luxottica, or what Rent the Runway did, ousting David’s Bridal, among others.Of course, as legacy brands become more and more educated to the power of ecommerce, their large budgets follow. And, more often than not, those budgets are going toward analytics platforms that help these brands optimize for repeat customers and quickly notify them to what is working on their sites and what is just sitting in inventory.In other words, legacy brands do have a leg up on smaller retailers when it comes to ecommerce and it’s in the amount of intelligence they are using to drive conversions and increase revenue.That said, data and analytics should be democratized throughout the ecommerce space, and no, Google Analytics isn’t enough. Your big box competitors aren’t simply monitoring new and repeat visitors, or from where their web traffic comes. No, they are using enhanced ecommerce analytics to push visitors down a purchase funnel from the moment they land on the site.Below, the top metrics these retailers are using and how you should be using them, too.Cost of Acquiring a Customer (CAC)Before customers can begin purchasing on your site, you need to get them there first. Big box brands have an advantage here in that they have marketplace name recognition. In other words, people will simply type their name into Google and land on their page.For smaller retailers, you’ll likely need to spend some cash to get your target customers to your site. The cost of acquiring a customer metrics, or CAC, reveals how much money you spend throughout the acquisition funnel, from creating an ebook or promoting a post on Facebook, to having a visitor come to your site because of the ebook or promotion, all the way through to their finding a product they like and finally checking out.The cost of customer acquisition is the amount of money you have to spend to get one customer. The lower the cost of acquisition, the better: i.e., you always want your cost of acquisition to go down. As a quick example, your CAC is $40 if you need to spend $200 to get five visitors to buy on your store.You may employ different techniques to bring in those visitors — SEO, paid ad campaigns, high-quality content, social media — but all of them cost you either in terms of money or time.There are a lot of factors that affect your cost of customer acquisition, but it is important to get an accurate number here. As a best practice, you should always try to find marketing outlets that lower your CAC valuation.Conversion RateOnce your store gets traffic, you need to see how many visitors are buying. Conversion rate reveals just that.Conversion rate is defined as the percentage of visitors who end up buying from your store. The higher the conversion rate, the better. When it comes to conversion rate, you always want it to be going up. As a quick example, your conversion rate is 2% if 2 out of 100 visitors buy from your store. According to this recent Marketing Land article, one way to improve conversion rate is to add video to a majority of your product pages; retailers adding video reported conversion rates close to 9%.There are hundreds of articles out there on how to improve conversion rates –– because it is just that important. There’s so much emphasis on conversion rate because it directly affects your business’s bottom line. Regardless of how much effort you spend on driving traffic to your store, if most visitors don’t end up buying, it’s all wasted. That said, it’s really important to make sure you know what your conversion rate is at all times and keep tabs on whether it’s improving and if you should stay the course or not.Shopping Cart AbandonmentWhen your conversion rate is low, you need to understand how many visitors had an inclination to buy. To do this, you’ll want to examine your store’s cart abandonment. This metric indicates the percentage of visitors who added products to their shopping cart but did not complete the checkout process. The lower your cart abandonment rate, the better. As a quick example, your shopping cart abandonment is 75% if 75 out of 100 visitors with a cart leave without buying.Cart abandonment is the closest you come to earning real customers before they leave your site. Adding to the cart typically indicates an intent to purchase. The fact that they leave without buying means you lost potential customers. It gets especially bad if you paid a lot of money to get these visitors to your store. Making sure your cart abandonment is low is key to improving your conversion rate.Average Order ValueYou should monitor how much money each order brings in to see how much revenue you can generate. That’s what AOV tells you.This is the average size of an order on your store. The higher the average order value, the better. For example, your AOV is $35 per order if you made $140 from 4 orders.By monitoring AOV, you can figure out how much revenue you can generate from your current traffic and conversion rate. Being able to predict revenue is a big deal for any business. If most of your orders are really small, that means you have to get a lot more people to buy in order to achieve your target. It’s important to have at least a few high value orders so that your overall average is on the higher side.ChurnIf your LTV is low, it could be that many of your customers buy once and never return. This is measured by what is referred to as “churn.”Churn is the percentage of your customers who do not come back to your site. The lower the churn, the better. For example, a churn rate of 80% means 80 out of 100 customers do not come back to buy from your store.As we have seen, to ensure a high profit, it’s important to influence your customers to keep coming back to purchase. That means you want your churn to be low so that once you acquire a customer, they continue to come back and purchase again and again. Lower churn means higher LTV and a healthier business overall.Once you start measuring your ecommerce store performance and using data to drive your business decisions and strategies, you’ll be well on the way to enterprise-level success! No big box retailer takes action without measuring the impact and neither should you. Monitor your metrics, pivot when and where necessary and make the most of your both your time and money in order to build a successful brand.
Topics: The internet is swarming with tips, tricks, and suggestions about how to design beautiful emails. And while a lot of marketers seem to understand the basics — personalize the copy, make the call-to-action pop, segment your list, etc. — many still overlook an important component of effective email marketing: emails also need to have visual appeal.Oftentimes, marketers do give a lot of thought to email design when it comes time to launch a campaign. It makes perfect sense: You have an awesome new announcement or event, and you want to kick off the campaign right with a darn good looking email.Create a new, on-brand email signature in just a few clicks. Get started here. (It’s free.)But what about the follow-up email? Or any email that may be included in an automated email workflow? It’s time to stop focusing on the design of just your biggest sends, and spend some time spiffing up all those other emails you’re sending. Need some inspiration? Check out the email examples below.12 Types of Email That Marketers Can SendInformational EmailsInformational emails are one-to-many emails you can send to folks to bring them up to speed in regards to your latest content, product announcements, and more. Note: You should only send them to people who have opted in to receive emails from you.1) New Content Announcement EmailThis is one you probably already know and love. You know, the one where you announce your next sale, ebook, webinar, coupon, free trial … and the list goes on. This email is used to describe and promote a particular marketing offer — one single offer — with a call-to-action that links to a targeted landing page made for that specific offer.When it comes to designing an email for a specific offer, the main component to keep in mind is the offer itself. You want the copy to be brief but descriptive enough to convey the offer’s value. In addition, make sure your email’s call-to-action (CTA) link is large, clear, and uses actionable language. You can also include a large CTA image/button underneath to make the action you want email readers to take crystal clear.(Example: NextView Ventures )2) Product Update EmailProduct emails are tricky. People generally don’t want to receive these often, and they’re typically not as interesting or engaging as something like an offer email. That said, it’s important to keep these emails simple and straightforward.Many companies choose to send weekly or monthly product digests to keep their customers or fan base up-to-date with the latest features and functionalities. And no matter how much a customer loves your business, it’s still work for them to learn how to use new features or learn why a new product is worth their investment.Rather than inundating your contacts with a slew of emails about each individual product update, consider sending a sort of roundup of new updates or products periodically. For each update you list, include a large, clear headline, a brief description, and an image that showcases the product or feature. It’s also worth linking to a custom page for each feature to make it easy for recipients to learn more about it.(Example: Adobe)3) Digital Magazine or NewsletterDo you maintain a business blog for your company? Are you a magazine or media outlet? No matter which of these categories you fall into, many companies choose to send a roundup of stories or articles published weekly or monthly. And if you truly want people to read these email roundups, it’s critical that you share them in a visually appealing way.Within these roundup emails, it’s a good idea to use an image paired with a headline, a brief summary or introduction, and a CTA for recipients to read more. This simple format will allow you to use visuals to attract the reader to each article while still giving you the ability to feature multiple articles — without sending a super lengthy email.(Example: Skillshare)4) Event InvitationEmail can be a great vehicle for promoting an upcoming event you’re hosting. But if you want to invite your contacts to an event and motivate them to register, it’s extremely important to clearly showcase why that event is worth their attendance. A great way to do so is through visuals. A lot of events cost money to attend, and most cost a pretty penny. So if you want to attract registrants, cut down on the copy and show potential registrants why the event will be awesome.(Example: FutureM)5) Dedicated SendEvery now and then, you may want to send a dedicated email to a certain group of people. For example, if you’re hosting a conference or event, you might want to send a dedicated email just to event registrants to alert them of any new event updates they should be aware of (like in the screenshot above). Or if your business is community based, it might be a good idea to send a monthly email to welcome all your new members. (Example: INBOUND)6) Co-marketing EmailCo-marketing is when two or more complementary companies partner together for some mutually beneficial task, event, or other promotion. The main draw of co-marketing is to leverage the audience of another company to increase your reach.Sometimes the relationship results in a strategic announcement; other times it’s as simple as a joint webinar. Let’s use the latter for an example of how co-marketing emails work, and why they’re so beneficial: Let’s say you and another company decide to do a webinar together on a particular subject. As a result, that webinar will likely (pending your arrangements) be promoted to the email lists of both of your companies. This exposure to a list that is not your own is one of the key benefits of co-marketing partnerships.When it comes to the email your business sends, make it clear that this offer or event is the result of a partnership with company X — especially if your co-marketing partner is particularly popular or impressive. To do this, you can adjust the company logo in your email to also include the other business’ logo. Furthermore, make sure your copy mentions both businesses, and create a custom graphic or image to visualize the offer or event. (Example: HubSpot + Unbounce)7) Social Media SendWait … what does social media have to do with email? Well, if you’re making good use of LinkedIn Groups or Google+ Events, email has everything to do with social media.As the administrator of LinkedIn Group, when you send a LinkedIn Announcement, you’re directly reaching a LinkedIn user’s inbox. And when you create a Google+ event, sending the invite directly sends you into users’ email boxes as well. Without having to create lists or collect email addresses, you automatically have access to users’ email, but be sure to tap into these resources with care.When it comes to these social media emails, you don’t have the option of using email software that allows you to customize the layout or add images. You’re at the mercy of copy alone. This is where leveraging white space is very important. Keep your paragraphs short, your sentences brief, and your thoughts clear. Optimize these emails for the scanning reader, and use bullets or numbers to deliver your main points. (Example: CMI)8) Internal UpdatesDon’t neglect a very important audience for your company: your employees. Many companies, especially if they’re on the larger side, choose to send internal updates or newsletters to their employees to keep them in the know about the latest company information — whether it be new product updates, marketing offers, or events. With these emails, it’s less about the beauty, and more about the clarity. The most important formatting tip for these types of emails is to arrange the information in a simple and helpful way. Once you’ve nailed your formatting, it’s simply a matter of highlighting the most critical information associated with each offer or update so its messaging is crystal clear to everyone.(Example: HubSpot Academy)Transactional EmailsTransactional emails are one-to-one emails that are triggered by specific actions, such as completing a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Note: You’ll need specialized software in order to set up transactional emails.9) Confirmation EmailHow frustrating is it to book a flight or register for an event and not receive an automatic confirmation email? I know that personally, every time I make an online transaction, I wait impatiently to see that my transaction was complete. After all, nobody wants to worry that they’re first payment wasn’t processed, only to click the payment button again and get charged twice.What bothers me most about so many businesses’ confirmation emails are two things: when the subject lines are vague, and when the information I actually want to confirm isn’t immediately evident when I open the email. Confirmation emails should be just that — confirmation emails.To avoid any confusion, keep these emails simple, with just a brief summary of the information your recipients would want you to confirm. Try not to fuss with the design, as they simply want to know that the action they took was completed so they can save the information, have peace of mind, and move on. (Example: GrubHub)10) Form Submission Kickback (Thank-You) EmailWhenever a prospect, lead, or customer fills out a form on one of your landing pages, a kickback email should automatically get triggered after their submission. Depending on the form, these kickback emails are often referred to as thank-you emails. These emails are mainly for the sake of fulfilling your promise to the user, and storing the information you promised them safely in their inbox.How frustrating would it be if you downloaded an ebook, and then forgot where you stored the link to the PDF? Kickback emails solve that problem.These automatic emails should make the CTA big and clear. Keep in mind that the CTA should link to the direct offer — NOT to the form. In these emails, simply thank the reader for their form submission, and give them what you promised, whether it be a link to the PDF of an ebook, instructions on how to activate their free trial, or the coupon they requested. Furthermore, don’t overcomplicate the appearance of these emails. The reader isn’t looking for additional information, but rather the offer or content they already know they redeemed. (Example: IMPACT Branding & Design)11) Welcome EmailAnother type of transactional email, the welcome email is the perfect option for thanking and providing more information to people who have signed up for your newsletter, product trial, or other offer.The elements you include in a welcome email will depend on the specifics of what you’re offering. But in general, you can use the email to showcase your brand’s personality and to highlight the value that recipients can expect to receive. If you’re welcoming new users to a product or service, the welcome email is a great place to explain how everything works and what users need to do in order to get started.Remember: First impressions are important, even when they happen via email. For more inspiration, check out this list of stellar welcome email examples.(Example: Food52)12) Lead Nurturing EmailDepending on the specific action a persona takes, you may want to enroll them in a lead nurturing campaign. Lead nurturing emails consist of a tightly connected series of emails containing useful, targeted content.As their name suggests, these emails are used to nurture leads through the marketing funnel into a position of sales readiness. For example, let’s say you sent your list a marketing offer email. You might then set up a lead nurturing workflow that triggers another email about a complementary offer or piece of content to everyone who converted on that initial offer. The logic is simple: By identifying a particular group of contacts that you already know are interested in a specific topic, you and can follow up with more relevant and targeted content that makes them more likely to continue their relationship with you.In your lead nurturing emails, it’s important to call out why recipients are receiving the email. For example, you could say something like, “We noticed you’re into [topic x] since you downloaded our [Topic X] ebook, and we thought you might want to learn more about [topic x] …” Once you’ve addressed why recipients are getting email from you, you can format your lead nurturing emails similar to the way you’d set up your general marketing offer emails.Other very important considerations to make when crafting your lead nurturing campaigns are the planning, setup, segmentation, and timing of your nurturing emails. (Example: HubSpot)At the end of the day, your emails should not only be visually appealing, but they should also be valuable. Focus on sharing the key information in the most appropriate format depending on the type of email you’re sending — and the audience you’re sending it to.After all, what’s the use of a crazy-beautiful email if it doesn’t provide any true value to the reader? Know of any other types of email that should be on this list? Share them in the comments section below.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. 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 Templates Originally published May 5, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated November 30 2018
Did you ever play the telephone game as a kid?A group of kids take turns whispering a single message to the person to their right, and by the time the message reaches the end of the line, it has usually has taken on a completely different meaning then when they began.The telephone game is a perfect metaphor for how communication between agencies and clients can break down during a brand redesign project. Clients might have a clear picture of what they want out of a branding project in their heads, but when it comes to communicating each subtle nuance, many things get left up to interpretation.Free Download: Creative Brief TemplatesA brand redesign project can feel like a high-stakes guessing game for agencies and designers. You present the client with endless drafts and revisions, but there’s always something that isn’t quite right. To help agencies navigate the unique challenges of brand redesign projects, we’ve compiled a list of questions clients should answer before your agency agrees to take on the project. These first set of questions will help you uncover what your client really wants out of the brand redesign project, and the second set will help you deftly navigate the logistics. 16 Questions To Ask Before A Branding ProjectDiscovering Your Client’s Desired Identity for the Brand Redesign1) What do you like about your current brand identity?Before you start redesigning a brand, it’s important to know what specific qualities the client likes about their current brand. Just because they requested a brand redesign doesn’t mean they want to completely scrap what they’ve already built. It’s important to determine which areas of the current brand should be maintained or given just a light update, instead of getting rid of them entirely in the redesign.2) What don’t you like about your current brand identity?In the same vein, it’s also vital to recognize what the client doesn’t like about their current brand. Figuring out what your client is particularly unhappy with will set some initial boundaries for your team. It lets you know what areas of the brand should be given the most attention, and also gives you an early idea of your client’s tastes.3) What’s the story behind your current brand?Brands are driven by storytelling, so agencies need to make the effort to learn their client’s brand story early on. Think of yourself like a Hollywood director tasked with remaking a classic movie: You need to get familiar with the original before you can put your own spin on it — otherwise the remake is sure to fall flat.4) Can you name a few examples of brands you admire?There’s really no way around it: Branding is a fluffy, floaty topic, and it can be challenging for clients to clearly articulate exactly what they want. Asking your client for some examples of other brands they admire (either in their industry or outside it) can help your team start building a more informed vision, and also forces your client to seriously consider what kind of brand they want to be. Make sure you ask them to unpack what specific qualities they admire about the brands.5) Are there any particular adjectives you people to associate with your brand?Asking clients to find a few descriptive terms to characterize their desired brand presence can help them ground their thoughts and put words to abstract ideas. This deceptively simple question will help your agency define an aesthetic scope and understand which qualities to prioritize as you begin the project. 6) Where do you see your brand in 10 years?This question will help your team understand your client’s long-term aspirations, and get a feel for the direction they want to head towards with their branding. It also shows the client that you’re committed to helping them grow their brand, and not just treating this account as a one-off project.Getting acquainted with your client’s target audience7) Who exactly is your ideal client?At the end of the day, the brand you create isn’t just for the client, it’s for their target audience. To make informed design and storytelling choices, your agency needs to make a concerted effort early on to understand the client’s ideal persona. If you find that your client doesn’t have an ideal persona, this can be a great chance to offer additional value by helping them figure out who to target in their marketing efforts. You can download our free buyer persona template here.8) Who are your direct competitors?Agencies need to understand the context in which their clients’ businesses operate. What does the industry look like? How are other companies in the space approaching their marketing and branding? Much of this information can be found through research, but it’s still beneficial to ask your client to define the competition in their own words.9) What are you ideal customers’ biggest pain points?While customer pain points can’t all be completely solved by branding alone, it’s important for agencies launching into a brand redesign to know what exactly their client’s customers struggle with. Having this information can give you agency an idea about how your client needs to position their business through their branding.10) Why should your target audience choose your product or service above your competitors?This question is important because it pushes your client to think about what specific factors makes their business unique. Developing a brand that stands out (especially in a competitive industry) is all about differentiation. And nobody knows what makes your client’s business unique better than their own team. 11) Are there any audiences you aren’t currently reaching that you want to reach with your brand?Even if your client already has a good grasp on who their business best serves, it’s relevant to see if there are any untapped sources of new business they’ve previously had difficulty reaching. Your agency can consider this desirable audience during the branding project to potentially extend your client’s reach.Understanding the Logistics of the Brand Redesign Project12) Who is the key decision-maker on your team?From the outset, your agency should know who on your client’s team will have final approval of the branding project. It’s great to get buy-in from everyone on the client’s team, but if there’s a single person or group of people that have the final say, you’ll want to focus your efforts on keeping them in the loop as the project moves forward.13) What does the approval process look like?The end goal is to get the new brand approved by your client’s team, but how exactly does that work? Make sure you have a good understanding of how your client will review and approve the project so you can see where in the process particular elements are getting stuck or rejected.14) What are the expected deliverables for this project?Branding means a lot of different things to different people. Some clients won’t even have a full idea of what they need out of a branding project at the outset, so it’s important to discuss the tangible products early on and agree on what you’ll be providing. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a web of miscommunication and scope creep. If you want to learn how to avoid scope creep with clients, check out this free ebook.15) What is the budget for this project?Asking about the budget for a branding project up front is a great way to evaluate how important this project is to your client. If they offer an extremely low budget, they probably don’t fully understand the value of branding, and may not be a good fit for your agency.16) What is the expected timeline for this project?A branding project can be a massive undertaking, so it’s vital to set realistic timeline expectations with your clients from the beginning. If they have a tight timeline, you may need to reevaluate the scope of what your agency is able to offer. It’s better to know time limitations right away rather than upset the client later on when you can’t deliver in the window they expected. Originally published Oct 18, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated August 26 2017 Topics: Rebranding Don’t forget to share this post!
Topics: Originally published Dec 29, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Trends Don’t forget to share this post! Looking for a marketing strategy that’ll give you that extra leg up in 2017?While it’s always helpful and entertaining to spend hours absorbed in the blog posts, webinars, and podcasts from your favorite marketing influencers, there’s not always time for that. And with January 1 just a few short days away, you need to finalize your plans — fast.So in addition to all that content, why not look at what your favorite influencers are actually doing themselves?When I went to HubSpot’s INBOUND event last month, that was my goal. Before I even got to Boston, my coworkers and I started planning who we wanted to learn from. We made a list, we checked it twice, and we set out to learn from the best.Guess what? It paid off. While there, we spoke to some of the smartest people in inbound marketing and found out what marketing strategies they’re excited to use more in 2017. That’s not to mention what we learned in their talks and sessions.Check out the infographic below for some of the most helpful highlights from folks like Gary Vaynerchuk, Peg Fitzpatrick, Larry Kim, and more.128Save128Save
Growth-Driven Design A few years ago my team at RJMetrics was launching a short survey over the holidays. It’s a tough time of the year to get attention, especially when you’re a B2B SaaS company. At some point, someone suggested a cupcake giveaway.So we did.Ten participants were randomly chosen to receive a dozen cupcakes, and people LOVED it.They sent email responses to the request saying they hoped they got the cupcakes.They tweeted delighted responses about the campaign.When we delivered them, they tweeted pictures of them and their co-workers enjoying the cupcakes.The response to the cupcake campaign was completely out of proportion to the $50 cost to us.So we decided to make cupcakes a bigger part of some other marketing initiatives. Prior to this first cupcake encounter, we would use iPads as an incentive to promote our webinars. You know, that post-registration page that says “Tell your friends you’re joining us for a chance to win!” We decided to scrap the iPad in lieu of cupcakes…and our conversion rate skyrocketed.No joke.People would rather receive a dozen cupcakes than an iPad.And inevitably we would ship the cupcakes and see a cupcake photo plus a tweet like: “RJMetrics has the best webinars, and you might win cupcakes!”So there it is, the greatest marketing growth hack of all time. The next time you’re trying to motivate people to do something for you, offer the chance to win some cupcakes.The Psychology of CupcakesNow, let’s talk a little bit about what’s happening here. There are a few good theories. I first shared a version of this post over on ThinkGrowth.org and the responses there aligned pretty closely to what I hear whenever I share this story. Cupcakes seem like a more achievable prize.In the case of the survey, the odds of winning cupcakes were actually better than the odds of winning an iPad — we were choosing 10 winners instead of 1. But for webinars, the odds were exactly the same — only 1 winner. Still, there’s something about a dozen cupcakes that just seems more possible.One commenter summed it up perfectly:The Lake Wobegon Effect As in Lake Wobegon of Prairie Home Companion. This theory was presented by HubSpot’s co-founder and CTO, Dharmesh Shah and is a variation on cupcakes seeming more achievable, but with a little more detail on the psychology of why they feel more achievable:Valuing Experiences Over ThingsAnother theory on why this is so effective is that people actually want the experience of winning cupcakes more than they want the experience of winning an iPad. Winning an iPad is kind of a lonely experience, tell your co-workers and they’ll probably feel bored or jealous.But winning cupcakes? That’s a community experience. You can gather your co-workers around to share in your success, eat cupcakes together, take a picture. And maybe on some sub-conscious level we all just want that feeling of community more than we want an iPad.My hunch is that if you ask someone outright, they will always tell you they would prefer to win an iPad, but actual behavior reveals we might want something a little more meaningful.The Element of SurpriseThis is a less popular theory, but personally, I think it carries a lot of weight. In marketing, all strategies erode over time. Andrew Chen calls this “The Law of Shitty Click-Throughs.” He uses the example of the internet’s first banner ad: But by 2011, Facebook ads were converting at .05%.And we see this play out again and again in marketing. As more businesses adopt a tactic, the better people become at tuning it out, and the effectiveness of that tactic wears off:The more companies start posting links on social, the harder it is to get people to click a link on social.The more emails salespeople send, the harder it is to get a response.The more content that gets produced, the harder it is to capture attention.We’re just not used to seeing cupcakes show up in marketing. It surprises us, forces us to pause and pay attention. And attention, after all, is what marketers are always chasing.If the surprise theory is true, this holds implications beyond cupcakes. It means there’s an enormous edge given to marketers who can navigate the balance of being familiar enough that people feel comfortable, but surprising enough that people actually pay attention.I’ve recently fallen in love with CBInsights newsletter. The author of the newsletter and founder of the company, Anand Sanwal, has an amazing sense of humor and I’ve found myself hooked on his storylines. Here’s one of this latest newsletters:How many business communications lead with “I love you”? Or talk about bromances in a way that makes you want to keep reading?And you actually want to read the copy because Anand is constantly dropping little remarks like “a not very useful graph” that are so refreshingly honest about the things marketers are often trying to hype. I mean this graph is interesting, but he’s right, it’s not very useful 😂And of course, this is all held together by a core of content that is top-notch commentary on the tech industry.Why do I love this newsletter so much? Yes, it’s providing incredibly useful information, but I’m constantly surprised and delighted by what Anand is writing. I read what he’s writing because it’s different from how everyone talks about similar things.He’s not giving away cupcakes, but there’s still power in the art of surprise.Now it’s your turn.After I published this post on ThinkGrowth.org I heard from two marketers who were already implementing the cupcake test. So, the time to try this strategy is now. It won’t be crazy effective for too long!But seriously, cupcakes or no cupcakes, keep your eye out for opportunities to share a little joy with your audience. We’re all busy and distracted and overloaded with information. Ask yourself how you can add just a little more humanity to your marketing, how you can create moments for your audience to connect with other humans, how you can make them pause and maybe … just maybe … how you can even make them smile.Editor’s Note: This post was adapted for the Marketing Blog from ThinkGrowth.org, HubSpot’s Medium publication. You can check out the original version here. Topics: Originally published Jun 16, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated June 16 2017 Don’t forget to share this post!
KUSI Newsroom Posted: May 3, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – An intruder attempted to rape a woman Friday morning inside her Encanto home, police said.The victim showed up at her neighbor’s house and asked the neighbor to call police shortly before 6 a.m. to report that a man had broken into her house in the 6100 block of Wunderlin Avenue and tried to rape her, San Diego police Sgt. Michael Stirk said.Details regarding the break-in were scarce, but the burglar stole the woman’s cellphone. then fled the area, Stirk said.No suspect descriptions were immediately available. May 3, 2019 Police: Burglar breaks into Encanto woman’s home, attempts to rape her Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
The issue Silverman refers to is Architectural Record’s annual Houses issue. AR’s main focus is commercial buildings. She says AR (which won the 2012 Grand Neal Award from American Business Media) does not often shoot its own covers, and this particular image sparked internal debate whether to include it or not, due to the “rougher” composition of the submitted photo.Silverman says the positives of the shot eventually outweighed the weaker points, “This photo had a lot going for it in terms of the starkness of the building—the crisp black and white of it with the hit of that magenta furniture, in opposition to the rough un-manicured California hillside. The Hollywood sign peeking out at the edge didn’t hurt, either.”The cover font, which Silverman describes as “bland industrial,” is used in-book as well. “As for headline placement, I wanted to both intensify the awkward cut-off composition, and also push it out of the way of the content of the photo,” she says. DESIGNER’S COMMENTS“What the crop on the photo of this modern house has going for it is the dynamic interplay of those positive/negative, nature/building shapes and bringing the eye right inside the oversized patio door. What the crop has working against it is the orphaned bit of the Hollywood sign. This awkward crop seems sloppy and also a bit forced—let the architecture stand on its own and let a caption (small on the cover or to keep it clean on the table of contents) give us the location. I wonder about the styling choice of what looks like a closed shade on the upper floor window, seems a bit contrived and dulls the glass. Everything else is pitch perfect.” Dave McKenna, art director, 5280 Magazine “The hoary old joke at art school is that good art should not match the couch. So I suppose we can award irony points to this cover. Intentional, I hope. Please? In the long tradition of nearly unreadable AR cover headlines, this one is at least clear of clutter or buzzing moiré background texture, and nicely under control. So no complaints there. But a cover image for houses of the year might want to be a stunning, or crazily, boldly out there piece of architecture, no? I’m afraid that the only thing I’ll remember from this cover is pink and black—poodle skirts, Elvis, Grease. The good thing is, I will remember it.”John Kehe, design director, Christian Science Monitor Have a unique “cover” story? Contact associate editor Stefanie Botelho at firstname.lastname@example.org. MAGSTATSIssue: April 2012Frequency: MonthlyCirculation: about 90,000Launched: 1891Publisher: Mcgraw-HillGroup Design Director:Francesca Messina Art Director: Helene SilvermanEditor-in-Chief: Cathleen McGuigan While there may be a few exceptions, magenta is not a color typically seen on the cover of a b-to-b magazine. However, Architectural Record’s April issue takes full advantage of the unexpected hue. “Since we are not mainly a newsstand publication, we don’t need cover lines that sell the magazines,” says art director Helene Silverman. “The one cover line is all we need on this special issue, and right away I thought it would be a fun counter-intuitive move to echo the magenta, rather than let it remain the only bold color hit.”
The 14th Dubai Airshow opened on Sunday (8 November), attracting in excess of 1,100 exhibitors from more than 60 countries and regions worldwide. Seven fighter jets from the United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF) put on a flying display to kick off the biennial show held at the Dubai World Centrals airport.Major aircraft makers Airbus and Boeing are in attendance with about one third of the exhibitors coming from the Middle East region. More than 160 military and civil aeroplanes will be on display throughout the five-day event while the airshow will also feature a 3D print pavilion and an exhibition by the newly formed UAE Space Agency.One of the highlights of the show will be the latest and newest aircraft showcased by Arab Gulf carriers. Experts say the Dubai Airshow plays an increasingly important role for the region to show off its fast-growing aviation industry, with the citys prime global location paramount to its popularity.I think its the geographic advantage exactly the same as the airlines have. It sits here in the middle of the world. It is the bridge between Asia and Africa, between Europe and Australasia. And so its there [that] the market in Dubai has grown, said Alan Peaford, editor-in-chief of the Arabian Aerospace magazine.The Dubai Airshow, first held in 1989, is considered to be the fastest-growing air show in the world. At the 2013 show, deals reached more than $20.6bn (Â£13.66bn) in total. This years event runs until 12 November and is expected to draw some 65,000 visitors from around the world. Close
Heavy smoke engulfs the Waterfront Manila Pavilion building, after a fire broke out at the hotel and casino complex in Manila on 18 March, 2018. Photo: AFPFive people have perished in a raging inferno that tore through a hotel and casino complex in Manila, authorities said Monday, after firefighters battled more than 24 hours to douse the flames.Rescuers said billowing smoke, sometimes so dense it obscured the 22-floor Waterfront Manila Pavilion, had hampered their efforts to contain the blaze which started Sunday morning.The dead were all casino employees, and another of the workers was still in critical condition. About 20 people were injured.Some 300 guests and staff were evacuated safely, hotel and fire officials told a press conference.”We are hoping no one was left behind in the rooms. Our firefighters have not yet gone up all parts of the building,” Metro Manila Development Authority acting chief Jojo Garcia said.Some firefighters were treated after inhaling the dense smoke, which shrouded the chaotic scene on Sunday.”The smoke was so big, so you can just imagine, there was zero visibility and our firefighters had difficulty breathing. Even outside the building there was zero visibility and it was much harder to operate inside,” Manila district fire marshal Jonas Silvano told radio DZBB.Deadly blazes break out regularly in the Philippines, particularly in slum areas where there are virtually no safety standards.The deadliest in recent years was in suburban Manila where 72 people died in 2015 at a factory which makes rubber sandals.But more modern buildings have also gone up in huge, deadly blazes.In December, 38 people died in a fire at a four-storey shopping mall in the southern city of Davao.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O’Rourke/Robin Jerstad: CruzU.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso (left), and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s newest ad targeting his Democratic challenger is a country jingle that warns, “If you’re going to run in Texas, you can’t be liberal, man.”Cruz tweeted the 60-second radio ad Tuesday night, shortly after he and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke advanced to a closely watched November matchup.The ad says O’Rourke “wants to take our guns” and calls him “liberal Robert,” referring to his given first name, and says he “changed his name to Beto.”Cruz also uses a nickname for his given name, Rafael Edward Cruz.O’Rourke is raising more money than Cruz so far but remains very unlikely to win in November. Texas has not elected a Democrat statewide since 1994.FIRST LISTEN: our new 60-second statewide radio ad introducing our liberal opponent, Congressman Robert O’Rourke, to Texas voters.Help #KeepTexasRed: https://t.co/PVsiCtbbyL #CruzCrew #TXSen pic.twitter.com/OxK61gZ0ek— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 7, 2018 Share
PIERROT’S TROUPE is going to perform two of its unique and celebrated plays A Private Affair (Hinglish Comedy) and Maulana Azad on June 5 and 13 at Shri Ram Centre.A Private Affair is a comic chaos — revolving around a missing skirt; a bewildered Army Captain, a confused psychiatrist and her doubly confused secretary. Adding more drama to the disorder is a Mumbaiya Bhai — all in a five-star hotel suite. Maulana Azad is the first ever play on Maulana Azad encompassing his life, his times, his scholarship, his secular credentials a great deal. Performed brilliantly by Tom Alter, the play has been rightly billed as the biggest casting coup in the history of Indian theatre. 152 shows to its credit. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In his foreword to Maulana Azad’s book India Wins freedom, Humayun Kabir mentions the Maulana as a ‘wonderful conversationalist’. So is Maulana Azad of the play Maulana Azad. The play evolves in the backdrop of Maulana Azad dictating notes to Humayun Kabir for his book. While talking about the book, which is largely political, the Maulana often digresses from the subject. As a result, he discusses at length an entire gamut of issues, largely ‘apolitical’ — ranging from White Jasmine Tea to Tajmahal, music to Mecca and cigarettes to Cheeta Khan.