The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear after Diwali pleas challenging Article 35 A, relating to special rights and privileges of permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.A bench headed by Justice J.S. Khehar accepted the plea of the Jammu and Kashmir state government that the pleas challenging Article 35 A be heard after Diwali.Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi and Advocate Shoeb Alam mentioned the matter before a bench also comprising Justices Dipak Misra and D.Y. Chandrachud that even the Centre has no objection if the pleas are taken up after Diwali.“All the pleas will be taken up for hearing after Diwali,” the bench said.Earlier the apex court had favoured hearing of the matter by a five-judge constitution bench in case the Article is ultra vires of the Constitution or if there is any procedural lapse.The court had said that a three-judge bench will hear the matter and refer it to a five-judge bench if necessary.The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Charu Wali Khanna challenging Article 35A of the Constitution and Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which deal with the “permanent residents” of the state.The plea has challenged certain provisions of the Constitution which deny property right to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision, which makes such women from the State lose rights over property, also applies to her son.Article 35A, which was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir.It also empowers the State’s legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.“Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution restricts the basic right of women to marry a man of their choice by not giving the heirs any right to property if the woman marries a man not holding the Permanent Resident Certificate.“Her children are denied a permanent resident certificate thereby considering them illegitimate — not given any right to such a woman’s property even if she is a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir,” the plea said.While Jammu and Kashmir’s Non-Permanent Resident Certificate holders can vote in Lok Sabha elections, the same individual is barred to vote in local elections in the State.
do Originally published Jul 2, 2008 9:13:00 AM, updated July 11 2013 on September 8 in Cambridge, MA. : Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs Seems I’m not the only one that liked the book. “Tuned In” climbed the charts to #1 last week and is New Rules of Marketing and PR . That’s impressive. David recently co-authored a new book: 16. Ask yourself: Is the problem you are solving urgent? Is it pervasive in the market? Are buyers willing to pay to have this problem solved? For those that follow this blog, you know we’re big fans of David Meerman Scott. We think his best-selling book ” David Meerman Scott useful 12. Nothing important happens in the office; the answer you’re looking for is outside your building. Go talk to potential buyers. you increase your chances of building a runaway success of a business? in the Amazon Top 100 bestsellers. Not in the business category, but 15. Data trumps opinion every time. 1. The tuned in company constantly listens, observes, and understands the problems that buyers are willing to pay money to solve. So, my advice is to go read ” 13. Don’t use your salespeople for conducting buyer interviews. Great sales people are great at sales — not necessarily figuring out what How In the meantime, I have captured some of the key points from the book that I found particularly useful. Apologies if some of them don’t make the most sense out of context (did the best I could while still being reasonably pithy). 6. Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant. 8. Communicate directly with your potential customers. It’s hard to get “tuned in” if there’s someone in the middle. . And, it addresses a question I have struggled with for years: will Tuned In 5. Existing customers frame their view of your future based on incremental improvements to their 2. From the makers of the market-leading “Victor” brand of mouse-trap on the failure of a new “better mouse-trap” they launched to beat the Victor: “We should have spent more time researching housewives, and less time researching mice.” Tuned In Building A “Tuned In” Business 18. Tuned in companies think like a publisher and create compelling online content. speak live at the Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Inbound Marketing Summit 11. Semantics can make a difference. Disney does not build rides, it “creates adventures”. It calls employees “cast members”. They wear “costumes”, not uniforms. They serve “guests”, not customers. 3. Focusing on your competitors is a tit-for-tat game that rarely produces a market leader. 4. Your existing customers represent a small percentage of your opportunity, they have different market problems than non-customers. “. sell. 14. Absent any real data, conference rooms are just full of opinions. experiences. You can see still 7. Don’t assume that because you’re an expert in a market or industry you know more than your buyers about how your product can solve their problems. overall 10. You don’t have to be the first to identify a market opportunity. The founders of Intuit (makers of Quicken) joke about having had the 47th mover advantage. 17. It is too easy to build marketing programs around what the organization wants to say rather than what the buyer wants to hear. If you’ve read the book or have comments on some of the above points, please leave a comment and extend the conversation. — ” is a must-read for all modern marketing mavens. past I had the opportunity to review an early draft of the book several months ago (I read it on my last trip to Mumbai, India). It was riveting. And, I’m not just saying that because David is an advisor to HubSpot (which he is) or because he mentioned HubSpot in the book (which he did — thanks David!) but because the book is insightful and 9. Most businesses try to buy their way in with expensive advertising or beg their way in by convincing media to write about them. Be different. Say something useful and interesting.
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: @
Originally published Jun 7, 2011 8:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017 HubSpot’s latest research, ” Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses ,” reveals that the more landing pages a business has on its website, the more leads it generates. Specifically, our research found that businesses with 31 to 40 landing pages generated 7 times more leads than businesses with only 1 to 5 landing pages. And the numbers get even more impressive: businesses with over 40 landing pages generated a whopping 12 times more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages. So how do you go about creating an arsenal of landing pages? By creating an arsenal of offers! First, think about all the different types of offers you can create: Ebooks/whitepapersIndustry research reportsLive/archived webinarsRecorded videosDownloadable kitsFree trialsProduct DemosPersonal Consultations Offers Relative to the Sales Cycle The beauty of providing a variety of different offers on your website is that you’ll tremendously increase your chances of generating leads, and here’s why…First of all, not everyone who visits your website is at the same point in your sales funnel. A first time site visitor, for example, might not be ready to jump into a full blown product trial or demo but might be quite content to download an instructional ebook. Similarly, a frequent visitor might be further along in the sales cycle and be totally ready for that personal consultation you’re offering but not very interested in downloading yet another ebook or webinar. Consider this when creating offers and offer a good balance of both top-of-the-funnel and middle-of-the-funnel offers. Similarly, consider also offering a healthy balance of content offers (like ebooks, webinars, kits) compared to offers that involve human interaction such as demos or consultations. Offers Relative to Customer Personas Sure, you could create a separate landing page with a form for each of these types of offers to increase your chances of converting site visitors into leads, but that’s only the beginning. What about getting even more targeted?Face it: your target customer isn’t exactly very one-size-fits-all. While you may have a pretty good sense of the types of customers your products and services attract, chances are there is still some variation among them. This is where marketing personas are helpful. To use HubSpot as an example, we have identified two main types of customers (marketing personas) that are a good fit for our marketing software : Owner Ollie (small business owners) and Marketing Mary (marketing managers in companies with dedicated marketing departments). Understandably, a Marketing Mary might not be particularly interested in the same topics an Owner Ollie is interested in, and vice versa.Now, think about all the different types of offers we just talked about. Can you create an ebook that targets one of your specific marketing personas? Or maybe an opportunity for a different marketing persona to request a specific type of demo relative to their interests? What about one of each? Or one of each for each type of offer? Holy cow — the possibilities are endless! The Benefit of Personalized Offers The good news is that, by offering a variety of different types of offers that appeal to different points in the sales process or different customer personas, you’ll maximize your lead generation efforts with the ability to capture even more site visitors as leads. And as an added bonus, with all the dedicated landing pages you’ll be creating to house your multitude of offers, you’ll also be giving Google and other search engines more website pages to index, giving your website a boost of SEO juice.The personalization of marketing is a hot topic lately, and more and more marketers are beginning to understand the value of more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns . So, are you getting personal enough in your business’ marketing? How else can you vary your offers? Have you noticed a causal relationship between the variety and wealth of offers you create and the number of leads you generate? Photo Credit: cliff1066 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: Lead Generation
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
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 Social Media Analytics Originally published Sep 14, 2011 5:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 This week, the media research firm Nielsen released its Q3 report on the state of social media. Unsurprisingly, social network usage is up, and the findings showed that nearly 80% of US internet users spend time on blogs and sites like Facebook and Twitter.Here were 6 of the most interesting facts from the report and what each means for marketers as they look ahead to Q4.1. 37% of consumers access their social media networks through their phone. (Tweet This Stat!)As a marketer, this means that any landing pages, blog posts, or ebooks you link to on Facebook or Twitter accounts should be optimized for mobile devices. It could mean the difference between a new lead and a lost opportunity.2. During May 2011, over 31 million people in the U.S. watched video content on social networks and blogs.(Tweet This Stat!)Providing a rich media experience for your company can increase engagement on your website. Video content is a great way to bolster your inbound marketing efforts.3. Tumblr nearly tripled its unique US audience over the last year.(Tweet This Stat!)As a marketer, it’s important to keep your eyes open to new online tools and forms of media and determine if you can use them to deliver your message. In May alone, Tumblr generated over 21,000 messages and links a day to the site. The amount of traffic you could leverage from a new medium like Tumblr should never be overlooked.4. 56% of mobile users most value the GPS capabilities of their smartphone.(Tweet This Stat!)In today’s world, geo-marketing is a powerful opportunity that both small and medium-sized businesses can leverage. Leveraging location-based applications and social media platforms can be a great way to engage with and capture a mobile audience of prospects.5. 53% of active social networkers follow a brand.(Tweet This Stat!)As a marketer, it’s important to engage with your users in social media, and make sure you’re providing them with valuable content. These active social networkers don’t just follow brands. According to the report, they’re also 60% more likely to write reviews about brands’ products or services as well.6. In May, internet users spent more time on Facebook than Yahoo, Google, AOL, and MSN combined.(Tweet This Stat!)With 53.5 billion minutes spent on Facebook, the site continues to prove the value of being “Liked.” While Google and other search engine rankings are extremely crucial for a company to get found, Facebook and other social media sites are also as important for companies to engage with their customers as well as prospects who can potentially be converted into sales.have you come across any other interesting facts from the report you think marketers should be aware of? Let us know!
Marketing shouldn’t make people cry. Do you get marketing email that makes you want to punch your fist through your computer in hopes of actually connecting with the person that sent it. Marketing shouldn’t suck this bad. Marketing should solve problems, not induce fits of rage.Raise your hand, and repeat after me. “I will stop sending marketing emails that makes people want to punch me.” Marketing automation shouldn’t be about doing more crappy marketing with less effort. Instead, it should be about giving people valuable information in a personalized and contextual manner. Let’s take a look at some TERRIBLE marketing emails and learn from them so that we can delight our prospects, leads, and customers.7 Unbelievably Bad Marketing Automation Emails1. Bragging About Clients: Really? You work with all of these companies? Wait…I don’t care! These companies are not related to my business, and it doesn’t matter what you did for them. It’s also great to see that you needed to send a super LONG email to brag about yourself; thanks for wasting even more of my time.Marketing Takeaway: Your prospects and leads don’t care who you work with. They care about what you can do for them. Send them marketing email that is customized to their business needs with specific recommendations for them. 2. Terrible Event Follow-Up: Could the email below be more obvious that it’s a mass email? This sender was so lazy, that he/she put everyone who attended two events on the same list and sent them all the same email. They also include three separate calls-to-action, and the first one for a free trial doesn’t even include a link. This couldn’t be less personal.Marketing Takeaway: Understand how each person gets added to your email list. Use this information combined with their interaction with your website and content to provide them with personalized content and calls-to-action (CTAs). And stick with one CTA per email, please!3. Failure to Test: Nothing (and I mean nothing) demonstrates a lack of personalization better than an error message that displays instead of the recipient’s name. By not sending a test email to check for technical issues, you can instantly lose credibility as a marketer.Marketing Takeaway: Great marketing automation is about more than just compelling content. It’s about making sure all the details are perfect. Your marketing is the first experience that a potential customer faces. Make this process perfect by testing your email marketing sends to ensure that the formatting and personalization features work correctly.4. Forgetting to Nurture: Really? We just met, and you already want to get married? That is often what bad marketing automation email can feel like. Too many emails like the one below go straight into the sales pitch without any prior nurturing.Marketing Takeaway: Plan your communication with prospects and leads to ensure that you have included several steps of sending educational information before transitioning into product-focused information.5. The Scariest Unsubscribe Link Ever: One way to make sure people never unsubscribe from your emails is to scare the heck out of them. Check out the email below: it has a three line long unsubscribe link. When I saw it, I thought about the terror that could be inflicted on me and my email address if I clicked on it. To top it off, this email is completely self-serving.Marketing Takeaway: Make it easy for people to opt in and out of your email marketing efforts. And again, don’t talk about why you are awesome. Instead, help make the person you’re emailing more awesome.6. Horrible Subject Line: An interesting subject line can make or break the success of an email. Nothing says compelling subject line like “Marketing List.” Seriously? That is just bad. To make it worse, this email goes on to prove itself irrelevant and REALLY long. It keeps going well past the screen shot below.Marketing Takeaway: Invest time in great subject line writing. Test different variations with A/B tests to determine which subject line copy works best for your business. 7. Complete Disregard for Targeting: What you see below is a seemingly well-designed and -written email. The problem lies in targeting. I am not a customer of this company. Their targeting is completely off. To make horrible targeting even worse, the email is about nothing. It has no clear action for me to take. It really has no purpose but to take up space in my inbox.Marketing Takeaway: Understand what your subscribers want from your email. Send them clear and actionable messages. Don’t waste paragraphs of text that basically say nothing. Keep your email copy brief with a prominent desired action.Email shouldn’t be evil. Email should be helpful! What other email marketing mistakes have you noticed in your inbox?Image Credit: Generation Bass Originally published Nov 15, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated August 29 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 Email Marketing Mistakes
Originally published May 24, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated April 04 2017 Facebook Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When Facebook rolled out the ability to reply to comments on Facebook, my immediate reaction was … indifferent. Actually, I thought it was more likely it would complicate conversations and give spammers additional ways to pollute comment sections.But then I changed my tune when I saw the potential for a fun marketing activity — Facebook Chats! Similar to a Twitter Chat, a Facebook Chat is a scheduled time to, well, “chat” with a group of people about a particular topic on Facebook. With the introduction of the new Facebook reply feature, users could actually have conversations in the comments of a post. Users could reply to comments, Like comments, and make it immensely clear who they were responding to and which point they were addressing.Shortly after this light bulb went off, we hosted four Facebook Chats — we wanted to get the kinks out before we shared it with you — and now we’re ready to explain how you can host your own. Settle in to learn how easy it is to host a Facebook Chat for your business.One More Time … What’s a Facebook Chat?A Facebook Chat is a virtual gathering of Facebook users to discuss a common topic. For example, during the first chat we posted a photo of our Social Media Manager and told folks they could ask her anything about social content, and for the rest of the hour, questions came flooding in. Our social media expert was then able to respond using the Facebook reply feature on comments. Here’s a wireframe of how this looked during our promotion of the Chat:Four Key Components Needed for an Effective Facebook ChatNow that we’re on the same page, let’s review what you would need to host an actual chat.Goal: Why is this chat taking place in the first place? Are you trying to increase engagement on your page? Are you looking to grow your Facebook reach? Do you want to help promote a particular campaign you’re running?Topic: What will people be discussing in the chat? Will it need a subject matter expert to moderate and answer questions, or will your social media manager suffice?Call-to-Action (CTA): Your chat should have a clear next step. Whether that’s following your page on Facebook, reading a blog post on more relevant content, downloading an ebook, or accessing a discount code to an event, make sure you’re giving those who engaged with you a destination to head to next.Tracking Token: If you include any links in your chat, they’ll help you gain insight into the success of your chat if you include a campaign-specific tracking token. This will tell you how many visitors, leads, and customers were driven over time with your chat as their first touch, or influencing conversion event. Our tracking code was as follows: /?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook &utm_campaign=facebookchat8 Simple Steps to Hosting a Facebook ChatWith that in mind, here’s how to host your own Facebook Chat.Pick a topic. You’ll obviously want to pick a hot topic that your audience cares about. At HubSpot, we’re asked about our content creation process often, which is why we held our first Facebook Chat on that subject.Pick an expert. Ask someone at your business, or in your network, who has deep knowledge on the selected topic, to be your chat expert. This person should be able to quickly respond to the questions that emerge. Facebook Chats are live, which means scripted responses won’t fly.Promote the date and time. Give your fan base at least a day’s heads up as to when the chat will be held. Unlike a workshop or webinar, there’s no form to fill out or ticket to purchase with a Facebook Chat, so folks can just jump right into the conversation.Create a dedicated web page. This page should host information relevant to the chat, whether that’s just relevant chat information, or a specific content offering you want to give attendees. If you want to provide a content offering to help generate leads, you’ll want to make this page a landing page with a form.Create a campaign tracking token. As mentioned earlier, use this tracking token every time you promote the dedicated landing page so you can track and measure chat impact on your overall marketing.Host the chat on a status update. Post about your chat topic on Facebook at the beginning of the chat, and make it clear that attendees can simply comment with their questions on the status update itself. Then have your expert reply to the comments with the Facebook reply feature.Monitor the conversation. Even if you have an expert responding to questions, ensure someone is available on that chat acting as a more neutral moderator. There will be questions that your expert may not have time to attend to, or may not be suited to respond to, so you can help out by linking to relevant resources (include that tracking token!) and responding where possible.Measure the impact. Use the campaign tracking token to look at how the chats performed. You can also dig into your Facebook Insights to see how that particular post performed compared to your other Facebook posts.What We Learned About Hosting Facebook ChatsAfter hosting four chats that first week of April, we found a few immediate things that might help you to know before you host your own chat.Responding in real-time ain’t easy. It’s hard to predict what kind of questions you’ll hear on the chat, or what people will say. Make sure your expert is able to handle quickly responding to diverse questions. He/she will need to not only be comfortable speaking on the fly, but able to respond eloquently when doing so.Facebook comments do not operate in real-time. Even though you’re responding in real-time … Facebook is not. After you respond to a question, you’ll have to refresh your browser to load the latest comments and replies on the chat.You may not get to every question. As helpful as you’d like to be, you may not be able to answer every question. Due to the time it takes to respond to a single question, you may miss questions that emerge while you respond. Try your best to interact with fans, but realize you may have to regretfully miss some — otherwise you’ll be on Facebook all day!Others will jump in to help. Fortunately, the world is full of brilliant minds. You may notice some users jump in simply to respond to the questions people are putting forward. Welcome these folks! Don’t be afraid to thank them for helping respond, and share your thoughts on their responses, too.If you’re ready to try a new content format on your Facebook Page, try a Facebook chat! Feel free to share your learnings after, too. This could be the beginning of something new! Topics:
Topics: It’s no secret: We produce and publish a lot of content here at HubSpot. 20+ blog posts a week. Nearly 10 free ebooks, downloads, and webinars a month. And don’t forget the couple SlideShares we put together every week or so. Yup, we have kind of a “content machine” thing going on.But producing all of this content means that it’s easy for some blog posts to get lost in the sauce. So we’re going to try something a little different for these Sunday roundups to help solve this problem — each week, we’ll resurface some HubSpot content from the past week that you may have missed. This is a little experiment we want to try, so definitely let us know if you’re digging the new format or not. So without any further ado, here are five pieces of content we put out this past week that you may not have read yet. 1) The #INBOUND13 Experience: Inspiring Insights From Exceptional Keynotes (Plus a Bonus SlideShare)Have you heard? INBOUND 2013 happened. It was an exciting four days packed to the brim with marketing takeaways.Whether you’re reeling from all the craziness after attending the conference or you’re bummed because you wish you could have attended, you’re in luck. My fellow HubSpotter Katie Burke put together a recap of our five keynote presentations, complete with an interactive SlideShare that I’ve embedded below. Check out Katie’s post to hear what Seth Godin, Arianna Huffington, Nate Silver, Scott Harrison, Brian Halligan, and Dharmesh Shah spoke about at INBOUND this year. Originally published Aug 25, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Inbound Marketing INBOUND 2013 Keynote Takeaways from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing Software2) Free Download: The 7 Elements of Context MarketingOn the heels of the announcement of our brand new Content Optimization System, we released an ebook all about delivering the right marketing messages to the right person at the right time … what we call context marketing. In the ebook, we’ll walk you through what context marketing actually means, give you examples of companies that are already using context marketing, and then explain how you can get started with it in your own marketing strategy. Download our ebook here to get the rundown on all things context marketing.3) Make Images for Social Media Images in Just a Few MinutesYou know visual content is hot on Facebook, but not all of us were born to be designers. Or have large budgets to hire one. So what’s a marketer to do?Lucky for us, there are some free templates that can help you design images for social media in just a few minutes. Earlier this week, we showed the step-by-step process for making social media images from free downloadable templates. Check out the post, download the templates, and you’ll be posting original images to social media in no time. 4) How to Increase Blog Email Subscribers by 128% in 3 MonthsDon’t you just love when you can make one little change to your marketing — but get huge results? That little change for us was the result of a “duh” moment — we added a new check box field to all our landing page forms so people could subscribe to our blog with just one click. Here’s what it looks like:We were pretty pumped about this small change (and the big results it generated), so we had to share how to implement this on your own site if you’re using the new HubSpot COS. Check out the step-by-step guide to setting it up, and then watch your subscriber base skyrocket.5) What Is CRM?Sometimes you need to take a step back from your day-to-day job and get back to the basics. With your head down in projects and the inbound marketing industry flying by at a crazy pace, you’ve got to make sure you have a solid inbound foundation set. On Tuesday, we did just that by explaining what a CRM is on the blog. (Spoiler alert: The acronym does not stand for Crazy Red Monkey). So head over to the blog post to make sure you’ve got one of your marketing basics covered. And that’s it for this week’s HubSpot content roundup. What did you think? Let us know in the comments.Image credit: tallkev 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 Nov 7, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Imagine a party where Bono, Drew Houston, Eva Longoria, and 20,000 of your lovably nerdy tech friends show up. Add colorful sheep, some intermittent Wi-Fi issues, and a whole lot of drinking, and you’ve got the Dublin Web Summit, one of the hottest tech and marketing events of its kind.The event is remarkable unto itself, but it’s even more remarkable when you consider that the event grew from 400 attendees just four years ago to 20,000 attendees this year. The conference is growing as fast as the Dublin tech scene — as Barry O’Dowd, Head of Emerging Business for IDA Ireland told us, “there is little doubt that the Web Summit has helped put Ireland’s tech scene on the international stage.”Not all the action happens on stage at the Summit, of course. Local legend states that Uber’s 2011 funding round was finalized in a pub at the Summit, and last year’s top 25 startup winners from the Summit raised over $400M over the past twelve months. We tried interviewing the sheep for comment (they politely declined), so instead we found the most tweetable, shareable insights we could find from many of the speakers and assembled them all into one doc for easy inspiration and motivation.Whether you attended the Summit for the first time this year, watched the live stream, or just heard about it from friends, here’s a SlideShare and a few tweetable takeaways of our favorite insights from our friends in the Emerald Isle, thanks to HubSpot’s Melissa Obleada: Topics: Conferences 1) “Amazing people need a purpose beyond profits.” -@dharmesh (Click to tweet!)2) “Deal with disruption by being the disruptor.” -@andymarkowitz (Click to tweet!)3) “Life is too short for bad software.” -@sweetlew (Click to tweet!) 4) “Great marketing is marketing for people, not at them.” -@robnewlan (Click to tweet!)5) “One of the key triggers, statistically, for shareability is emotional intensity.” -@sarahfwood (Click to tweet!) 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: 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
Originally published Sep 9, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Email Marketing Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You know that you’re a true email marketer if every single one of your emails includes a call-to-action. And I’m not talking about email marketing blasts here. What I have in mind are the individual, personal email messages you send on an everyday basis.Yes, your personal email signature can provide a serious marketing opportunity.You’re most likely already using your own email signature to provide information about who you are and where you work. But you can take this practice to the next level by updating your signature to reflect the marketing campaigns you are running today.Easily create your own professional email signature with our free Email Signature Generator here.Are you missing out on another opportunity to spread brand awareness or nurture prospective customers? Wondering what exactly you can promote through your email signature? Here are 12 awesome suggestions.12 Professional Email Signature Ideas to Support Your Marketing Campaigns1. Your HomepageThe least you should promote in your email signature is your company’s website. But in order for this tactic to be efficient, you have to make sure your homepage acts like a landing page.In other words, it directs the visitor’s attention to the activity you want them to take. For instance, HubSpot’s homepage suggests that you receive a free product demo. Including your website’s homepage in an email signature also helps to expand awareness of your brand. Here’s an example (with help from our friend, Harry Potter):2. Social MediaWhen it comes to the usage of social media in email signatures, you have two options. You can either include a link to your personal accounts on sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc., or you can include links to your company’s accounts. Both are good options. Check out how HubSpot’s Principal Marketing Manager Pam Vaughan promotes her social channels in the example below:3. Your BlogYour blog is one of the smartest things you can include in your email signature because it provides value to the community and gets updated on a regular basis. The fresh content on your blog is more engaging than a static homepage and will most likely retain the attention of the visitor for longer.If you do shine light on your blog, don’t forget to include calls-to-action throughout your posts to encourage readers to take the next step and become a lead. Using our email signature tool, you can hyperlink to your blog so recipients can click into your blog straight from the email. Check out the signature from my colleague, Carly Stec, made using HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator:4. BookHave you written a book? Has your manager or CEO written one? Don’t be shy about it. Share a link to your work in your email signature. This can help you build authority and credibility among the people you communicate with. Here’s our own Aja Frost promoting a book, made using HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator:5. Conferences & EventsIs there a company trade show coming up soon? Or maybe you are speaking at a conference? Change your email signature to reflect that. While your email signature might not necessarily help you generate more registrants, it will surely spread the word about the event and gain some awareness among your target audience. Here’s an event promotion signature from my colleague, Elijah Clark Ginsberg:(P.S. – Are you registered to see some of the most well-known marketing and sales professionals at INBOUND yet? Register here!) 6. New Marketing OfferHave an offer that’s doing a great job of converting traffic into leads? (You can tell by looking at their corresponding landing pages’ visitor-to-submission rates in your marketing analytics). Identify your best performing offers, and then expose them to more traffic. Use your email signature to share a link to a popular ebook or a webinar. Or if you’re currently featuring a new campaign that highlights a particular offer, use that in your signature instead. Here’s an example of my own signature promoting this guide:7. Industry ResearchSpeaking of data, don’t underestimate the impact that facts and figures can have in a marketing context. People on the web are overwhelmed with information, which encourages them to look for specifics. If you publish an industry report based on proprietary research, as Mimi An does over at HubSpot Research, consider including a link to it in your email signature:8. Case StudiesSalespeople love this one. If you’re talking to potential customers, what’s better than sharing stories of successful ones?For instance, you can mention how your product or service increased the ROI of customer XYZ, or quote a customer in your email signature to boost your company’s credibility.9. Free ToolIf your company happens to have a free tool, such as an ROI calculator, educational game, or blog topic generator, give it some marketing love. Free online tools have the power to engage readers and get them further interested in your product or service. Check out Eric Peters’ signature promoting HubSpot’s free email signature generator (meta, we know):10. Demonstration of Your Product / Free ConsultationWhen you are having a tough sales month, consider using an email signature that promotes a free consultation with your team or even a demonstration of your product. In that way, you’ll increase traffic to these middle-of-the-funnel marketing offers and show your sales organization that you’re taking advantage of every possible opportunity to help them out.11. News about Your CompanyIf your team or company has received recognition for exceptional work, highlight the news article or press release in your email signature. News that your company is doing exceptional work will drive traffic to your blog and promote greater brand awareness for your organization. Here’s an example from HubSpot’s Marketing Team Development Manager, Emily MacIntyre:Want an email signature like the one above? Make your own with HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator.12. Promotional VideosHas your company ever produced a promotional video? (Here’s an awesome video about HubSpot’s culture, for example.) Add a link to your company’s video so recipients can learn more about you without navigating away from the email message. You can promote a campaign, an event, or an offer in a more engaging way than a hyperlink alone. Here’s an example from our own Angela O’Dowd promoting HubSpot’s Agency Partner Program:Ready to rework your email signature? Simplify the process using HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator.
Most of us know that social media is an essential part of a brand’s marketing strategy. After all, 92% of marketers say that social media is important to their business. And yet, managing it continues to be a source of frustration for many.That’s understandable — there are many moving parts to a successful social media strategy. There’s knowing the right frequency with which to post. There’s the measurement of any ROI on these efforts. And, there’s determining what the heck to post to each channel.There’s technology available, for example, to post the same content to multiple social media channels. But should you be posting identical messages to each network? As it turns out — no. Different channels have different audiences, peak times, and character limits. And each one is built for a different style of writing, which means there’s one more thing to consider: What should the copy for each social network look like?Click here to sharpen your skills with the help of our social media workbook.That’s why we put together the guidelines below to compose copy for five different social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat. So read on — and start writing.How to Compose Text for 5 Social Media Channels1) FacebookLet’s start with a look at Facebook’s audience:Source: Pew Research CenterWith 79% of all online adults on Facebook, it continues to be the highest-utilized social network of those measured in Pew Research Center’s 2016 Social Media Update. But out of the channels we’ll cover here, it also has the highest rate of usage among the 65+ audience.When you’re composing text for Facebook, it’s important to keep these data in mind — especially if that’s who your brand is targeting. Let’s say you’re creating a marketing budget and want to decide how to allocate a portion for social media. While we encourage having a presence across all channels, if you’re aiming for the attention of the 65+ audience, this might be the best network for an ad spend or a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. Focus your energy here, and then repurpose that content for other channels.Less than half of marketers believe that their Facebook efforts are effective — and we have to wonder if that might have something to do with the content they’re sharing on that particular network. So let’s go over some basic ground rules:Make sure your formatting is correct. That’s a big reason why we discourage auto-posting duplicate content across multiple channels — you risk including an “@user” tag that’s only fitting for Twitter or Instagram.Facebook’s character limit on status updates is 63,206. However, that’s far from ideal. Generally, people don’t visit Facebook to consume long-form text or stories — that’s what your blog is for. In fact, Buffer has found that Facebook posts with 80 characters or less receive 66% higher engagement.Plus, less text allows greater focus to be placed on any visual content that accompanies it. Posts with images, for example, see 2.3X more engagement than those without.Facebook is a particularly good vehicle for promoting your external content — things like blog posts, reports, or videos. That’s what 76% of users seek when they visit Facebook: interesting content. But don’t just post a link without a description. Be sure to accompany it with brief, attention-grabbing text that signals what the content is about, or poses a question that it answers.2) TwitterSource: Pew Research CenterTweets have long come with a maximum of 140 characters, but that doesn’t include images, videos, polls, or tweets that you quote. Plus, according to social media scientist Dan Zarrella, the ideal length is actually around 120-130 characters — those tweets showed the highest click-through rate (CTR).Source: BufferWhen you’re composing copy for tweets, remember that hashtags are an effective way to indicate and summarize what your message is about. Plus, it’s a nice way to become discovered by users who might be using hashtags to search for tweets pertaining to a certain topic — Buddy Media found that all tweets with hashtags get double the engagement.But exercise some restraint with hashtags, and make sure the text that accompanies them comprises the majority of the tweet. Limit it to one or two — these tweets have a 21% higher engagement than those with three or more.Source: BufferNotice how music site Pitchfork uses Twitter to promote its Facebook content: Today at 1:15pm EST: We’ll be live streaming @SlowdiveBand’s private session at a recording studio in Brooklyn https://t.co/QoPu1cazZL— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) May 9, 2017 Originally published May 15, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated November 29 2017 Using your caption to provide context is especially important when sharing videos. These typically automatically play without sound, so use the description to let them know what they can’t hear — and maybe even motivate them to listen.And about those hashtags: Unlike Twitter, it’s okay to use more than two here, but it’s advised to use less than eight. According to research conducted by Piqora, the sweet spot seems to be around seven hashtags — those Instagram posts seem to get the most engagement.Source: Social FreshAs for Instagram Stories, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of detail on character limits there but because the text overlays the visual content — which is the focus — don’t obscure too much of the photo or video with a caption.5) SnapchatWhile we’re on the topic of not obscuring visual content, let’s discuss Snapchat. Again, because the focus here is on the visual, you’ll want to prevent distracting viewers from it with too much text.According to Teen Vogue, Snapchat’s character limit is 80 per post. The word “snap” implies brevity, so try not to ramble. The same goes for your Snapchat story: “a compilation of Snaps that a friend has posted to their Story over the last 24 hours.”Here’s a fun example of how the Food Network created an entire Snapchat story based on the idea of coffee. It began with a small promo on “3 Ways to Step Up Your Iced Coffee Game” under Featured Stories:Source: Social FreshThen, it shared a series of animated images and videos all pertaining to the topic, ranging from recipe tips to clips from the network’s show, “Cutthroat Kitchen.” It took a simple topic — coffee — and expanded it into engaging, consumable content to highlight what the brand does best. Social Media Campaigns Let’s say you have a bigger audience on Twitter than on Facebook, but you want to build your presence on the latter. Twitter can be a good vehicle for driving traffic there, by promoting things like live streams that will be taking place on your page.3) LinkedInSource: Pew Research CenterLinkedIn has become an interesting content distribution channel. Users can share simple post updates, usually business-related (think: job openings and professional conferences), and push them to Twitter at the same time, though we don’t recommend that — see our note on the problems with identical content across different channels.But in 2012, LinkedIn introduced its Influencers program, which recruited notable business figures to guest blog on LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Eventually, that platform became open to all LinkedIn members in 2014, positioning it as an outlet for people to share original content with an audience much larger than they may have received on their own domains.That’s part of decentralized content: A concept that allows users to share their work that has been published elsewhere on a content creation platform. Unlike most social media — where limited content is displayed — the full text and images of the work are shared, with the original author and source credited, on a site different from its origin.That makes LinkedIn a good place to re-post and link back to your blog content. But why make the duplicate effort? Well, consider this: 29% of all online adults use LinkedIn. Does your blog have that kind of reach? If it doesn’t, you can reach LinkedIn’s larger audience by syndicating your own content on their platform, drawing more attention to your work.According to Andy Foote, the character limits for these posts are 100 for the headline, and 40,000 for the body.4) InstagramSource: Pew Research CenterSince Instagram is, first and foremost, a platform for sharing photos and videos, the primary focus should typically be on your visual content. But it’s helpful to provide context that lets users know what they’re viewing — within reason.Like many of the other channels we’ve discussed, people don’t use Instagram to read long-form content. And while Instagram doesn’t appear to specify a maximum total number of caption characters, it’s cut off after the first three lines. That’s why we recommend limiting captions to that amount, and if you require more text, make sure the most important information — like calls-to-action — is included in the first three lines. Hashtags, @mentions, and extraneous details can go toward the end of the copy.Here’s a good example from New York Magazine. Without pressing “play,” the post appears to just be an image of a laundry basket — something that could mean any number of things without context. But the caption is used to indicate that the magazine recently did a roundup on the best socks for every occasion. Cute, right? Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Notice that for certain parts of the story, there’s a call-to-action at the bottom to “Watch” or “Read.” While Snapchat doesn’t make this entirely clear, it seems like that’s strictly a feature of ads, and not something that can be added organically. However, if your budget permits, adding these CTAs is another way to drive attention to you longer-form content.Get That Copy RightManaging your brand’s social media presence is no simple task, but it’s more than possible. And now, writing creative, compelling copy for your various channels can become a fun task.Draw some information about your audience composition for each social network. Then, see how that compares to the usership data from Pew Research Center. From there, you can see where you have the most active audience, and how you can repurpose content from one channel to draw attention to another one — and attract website traffic.How do you create and repurpose copy for social media? Let us know in the comments.
Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Nov 22, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated November 22 2017 You’ve probably heard some buzz about Facebook Messenger of late, but most brands still don’t understand how to leverage it effectively. With 2.4 billion messages exchanged between businesses and people each month, it’s time to make the most out of the channel.After all, 53% of people who message businesses say they are more likely to shop with a business they can message. And 67% of people say they plan to increase their messaging with businesses over the next 2 years. And, messages you send through Messenger will appear on a user’s locked phone screen — so your odds of reaching a user are greatly increased from sending a follow up email.Free Resource: How to Reach & Engage Your Audience on FacebookSo, how can you make the most of this network? We’re outlining five quick wins you can start using today.5 Ways to Get More Messages on Facebook1) Optimize your page for messages. Having a Facebook page that encourages users to message your page is the first — and easiest — way to encourage visitors on your business page to message your brand. It seems overly simple, but just optimizing your page to point users towards messaging you can have a huge impact on the number of messages you receive from interested or curious potential customers.Try:Setting your default Facebook Page CTA to Message Us.Prompting visitors to message your page with the copy in your business description.2) Setup response assistant.Response assistant is Facebook’s own version of a “baby-bot” and can help you field incoming messages — even when you aren’t around to catch them personally.Response assistant allows you to: 1) set instant replies 2) stay responsive when you can’t get to your computer or phone and 3) set a messenger greeting. In each of these you can use personalization tokens and greet those who message your page with a personalized message. You can also include a link to your contact us page, FAQ, or even your phone number in these messages.3) Comment on posts with your m.me link.Facebook has a new feature that allows you to comment on posts with your brand’s messenger link. If you run a Facebook ad that people are asking questions about, be sure to reply with this link to continue the conversation within Messenger.4) Run a “Send to Messenger” ad.Messenger Ads are Facebook’s newest ad type. They allow you to target audiences just like any other ad, but you can encourage them to message you directly from the Ad. Keep in mind, you’ll want to have your inbox modified to ensure it is money well-spent. But, as this is a new Facebook Ad type — the best time to experiment with these ads is now.5) Commit to actually using it daily. The best way to make the most out of Facebook Messenger is to monitor the channel just like you would monitor your own inbox, or your favorite Slack channel. The nature of the conversational channel encourages on-demand action, so the more responsive you can be, the better.Finally, keep it light on the channel, after all, it is conversational. Messenger is a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality using GIFs and emojis that appeal to your audience.
Originally published Jan 31, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 17 2018 As content strategists, we spend a lot of time talking to business people about the importance of storytelling to their business. When the subject comes up, a lot of folks get nervous. They say things like, “Well, I’m no Hemingway!” or some other nervous response.The pressure of storytelling can keep a lot of people from even trying.But here’s the thing: we don’t have to be Hemingway to be good at stories. Storytelling is part of what makes us human. If you have human DNA, you’re built to tell a story. Unfortunately, some of us give up on our storytelling ability too early.But even if you’re not a professional storyteller, there are a couple of storytelling frameworks that can help you bridge the gap. The two frameworks discussed below will help you regain some storytelling confidence, and start telling engaging stories in business and in life.Free Download: Marketing Editorial Calendar TemplateThe Hero’s JourneySee if you can guess what story this is.We have a hero who starts in humble beginnings and answers the call of adventure. She leaves home, gets out of her comfort zone, receives training from a wise old mentor, and then goes on a great journey. On this quest, she faces a bad guy, almost loses everything, but eventually succeeds and returns home having changed for the better.What story are we talking about?Is this Star Wars? Harry Potter? The Hunger Games? The Odyssey? The Matrix?It’s actually all of them.This is a template for storytelling called The Hero’s Journey. It comes from author Joseph Campbell, and it’s everywhere. It’s one of the most relatable storylines because it basically mirrors the journeys of our own lives. Understanding The Hero’s Journey can give you insight into how to frame your own stories, whether it’s the true story about your company or a fictional story that stirs your imagination.The following diagram breaks down this Hero’s Journey template, step by step.We start in an ordinary world. A humble character gets called to adventure and initially refuses, but meets a wise mentor who trains them and convinces them to go on said adventure. They’re then tested. They meet allies, and they make enemies. They approach a final battle and almost lose but, eventually, find it within themselves to succeed. They return home to an appropriate hero’s welcome, transformed by the journey.Let’s walk through this from the lens of the greatest story ever told.Yes, we’re talking about Star Wars. Let’s step through a crude synopsis to see how well it matches Campbell’s pattern:In the first Star Wars film, we begin with the rather ordinary Luke Skywalker. He lives on a farm on a desert planet. One day he meets some robots who need help. They need to find a local hermit named Obi-Wan Kenobi. So Luke takes the robots to Obi-Wan, who basically says, “Luke, you need to go out and help save the universe.” Luke initially says, “No, I have all this stuff going on,” but Kenobi, who becomes Luke’s mentor, convinces Luke that he should go. Kenobi trains him how to use a lightsaber, and Luke goes on an epic space adventure.On the journey, Luke meets the villain, Darth Vader. He battles evil stormtroopers. He makes friends: Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia. And then he has to help defeat the super-weapon, the Death Star. Nearly everything goes wrong, but in the end, Luke succeeds in blowing up the Death Star. The last scene of the movie is of Luke getting a metal put over his neck by the princess, who kisses him on the cheek. Now he is in his new home, a changed man, emboldened by the great power of the Force, which he can use on future adventures.This is the Hero’s Journey, which—modified in various ways—we see repeated in stories throughout history. The simple version of this is that pattern of tension that we learned from Aristotle. We have an ordinary person (what is), and we have adventure that lies ahead (what could be). The transference from one to the other is the journey.In business, the case study is a rather common way marketers use this kind of story to sell a product or service. (Most of them are a little less entertaining stories than Star Wars, unfortunately.) A case study is the story of where a customer was, where they wanted to be—the tension!—and how they overcame that gap.If you listen to podcasts, you’ll hear this story told in most every ad. One of the most common ads is for Harry’s razors, which tells the story of “Jeff and Andy, two ordinary guys who got fed up with paying way too much for razors at the pharmacy and decided to buy their own warehouse to sell affordable razors.”The problem with most brands’ stories is they either don’t fully utilize the four elements of great storytelling, or they don’t walk us through enough of the steps of the Hero’s Journey to capture our attention.That’s why these frameworks are so useful. They’re a really easy way to ensure that we’re more creative when we’re coming up with stories or trying to convey information.It’s sort of like a haiku: If we told you right now to come up with a poem on the spot, you would probably have a tough time. But if we told you to come up with a haiku about Star Wars, you’d likely be able to do it. This framework helps you focus your creativity.Another great story template comes from comedy writing. It starts similarly: A character is in a zone of comfort. But they want something, so they enter into an unfamiliar situation. They adapt, and eventually get what they’re looking for but end up paying a heavy price for it. In the end, they return to their old situation having changed.This is the plot of pretty much every episode of Seinfeld.For example: During the sixth season of the show, George gets a toupee. This new situation is unfamiliar, but he likes it and quickly adapts to it. Once he has what he wants, though, he starts getting cocky. He goes on a date with a woman and behaves like a haughty jerk.It turns out that his date, under her hat, is actually bald, too. When George is rude about this, she gets mad. His friends also get mad at him. “Do you see the irony here?” Elaine screams at him. “You’re rejecting somebody because they’re bald! You’re bald!” She then grabs George’s toupee and throws it out the window. A homeless man picks it up and puts it on.The next day, George feels like himself again. “I tell you, when she threw that toupee out the window, it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he tells Jerry. “I feel like my old self again. Totally inadequate, completely insecure, paranoid, neurotic, it’s a pleasure.”He also announces that he’s going to keep seeing the bald woman. He returns to apologize to the woman, only for her to tell him that she only dates skinny guys.So then George goes back home, having changed. He has his regular bald head now, but he’s learned a lesson. (But because it’s Seinfeld, he goes back to his old habits by the next episode.)Both of these types of journeys are the journeys that we all go through in our lives, our businesses, and our families. As a storyteller, you can rely on these journey templates to shape your plots so you can fully unleash your creativity within.The Ben Franklin MethodWhen Benjamin Franklin was a boy, he yearned for a life at sea. This worried his father, so the two toured Boston, evaluating various eighteenth-century trades that didn’t involve getting shipwrecked. Soon, young Ben found something he liked: books. Eagerly, Ben’s father set his son up as an apprentice at a print shop.Ben went on to become a revered statesman, a prolific inventor, and one of the most influential thinkers in American history. He owed most of that to his early years of voracious reading and meticulous writing—skills he honed while at the print shop.Franklin wasn’t born an academic savant. In fact, in his autobiography, he bemoans his subpar teenage writing skills and terrible math skills. To succeed at “letters,” Franklin devised a system for mastering the writer’s craft without the help of a tutor. To do so, he collected issues of the British culture and politics magazine, The Spectator, which contained some of the best writing of his day, and reverse engineered the prose.He writes:I took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, try’d to compleat [sic] the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand.Basically, he took notes at a sentence level, sat on them for a while, and tried to recreate the sentences from his own head, without looking at the originals.Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them.Upon comparison, he found that his vocabulary was lacking, and his prose was light on variety. So he tried the same exercise, only instead of taking straightforward notes on the articles he was imitating, he turned them into poems. I took some of the tales and turned them into verse; and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again.As his skill at imitating Spectator-style writing improved, he upped the challenge: I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat [sic] the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts.He did this over and over. Unlike the more passive method most writers use to improve their work (reading a lot), this exercise forced Franklin to pay attention to the tiny details that made the difference between decent writing and great writing:By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer.When he says a “tolerable English writer,” he’s being humble. In a trivial amount of time, teenage Franklin became one of the best writers in New England and, shortly after that, a prodigious publisher.But more importantly, being a better writer and a student of good writing helped Franklin become a better student of everything. Good reading and writing ability helps you to be more persuasive, learn other disciplines, and apply critical feedback more effectively to any kind of work. When we’re hiring for Contently, our first impression of a candidate is dramatically impacted by the clarity of their emails.After building his writing muscles through his Spectator exercises, Franklin reported that he was finally able to teach himself mathematics:And now it was that, being on some occasion made asham’d [sic] of my ignorance in figures, which I had twice failed in learning when at school, I took Cocker’s book of Arithmetick [sic], and went through the whole by myself with great ease.6Perhaps Ben’s little secret for learning to write isn’t so dissimilar from what MIT professor Seymour Papert’s research has famously revealed: that children learn more effectively by building with LEGO bricks than they do by listening to lectures about architecture. It’s not just the study of tiny details that accelerates learning; the act of assembling those details yourself makes a difference.This is an excerpt from the Amazon #1 New Release, The Storytelling Edge: How to Transform Your Business, Stop Screaming Into the Void, and Make People Love You by Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow. Order it today to take advantage of some awesome pre-order bonuses. Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Storytelling