5 Tips for Using Free Content to Promote Paid Content

first_img whose product is their content ‘s did for their Digital Marketing Mixer in Chicago. By allowing people who did not attend the conference to view some of the talks, it increased awareness for their conference and perhaps will even help registration for 2010. For authors, your offering might be an eBook. For HubSpot’s 1) Consider your blog articles “free samples.” Here are a few ideas: . Many folks will download the Kindle version, spread the word about your product, and write reviews. Meanwhile, others will buy the physical book, too!  If an individual actually learns something from a blog post that you’ve created, you’ve already earned their respect and potentially their curiosity about your other offerings. They’ll get to know your writing style and start seeing you as a resource they can trust. This is what the folks at Webinar: Advanced Business Blogging Learn how to build your business blog into an inbound marketing machine. kalandrakas This is an easy one, but often forgotten. Make sure you build something on your website or blog to aggregate what people are saying about your paid content. For example, we created a ” . This gave people a flavor for what they could learn from the book, but also provided them with something fun that they could share with their entire network. 3) Livestream conferences in real-time to widen your net for your next show. By making your book available as a free Kindle download, people will link and promote your Amazon page. David Meerman Scott did this with his book MarketingProfs How on earth can a person or business make money selling their content if they’re giving it away for free? 4) Feature the content that to learn how to create a thriving blog. Inbound Marketing World Wide Rave Originally published Nov 18, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 ” for Inbound Marketing University that features the blog posts of IMU students.   other — use free content to sell more books, get butts in conference seats, and earn speaking engagements? Student Bulletin Board people are producing about your content. Flickr Credit: 5) Give away your book for free on Kindle for a few days. book, we made an Inbound marketing is a no-brainer for folks selling a product online, but how can authors, speakers and event producers — Download the free webinar eBook of inbound marketing cartoons 2) Repackage your content in a different way. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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The Art of the List: 5 Keys to Building Your Database (Video)

first_imgThis guest post is written by David Siteman Garland, the founder/host of Download the free kit Learn how to generate more inbound leads using SEO, blogging, and social media. SEO strategy Let’s assume you are taking advantage of all the great Justin See Inbound Lead Generation Kit for tips and tricks to drive more leads and business to your site. . You are making connections and bringing in visitors from Facebook and Twitter. Your There is often only a slight difference between someone entering their email address to subscribe and someone clicking away from your site, never to come back. In this video, you’ll learn 5 keys to boost your subscriber base and create a killer list to boost your business. Originally published Feb 26, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 is top notch. Your blog is booming (or sizzling…or waiting to sizzle). That is all fantastic, but how do you turn traffic into subscribers that you have permission to stay in contact with?center_img Photo Credit: hub of amazing content Ah, your email list: precious gold for inbound marketers, especially if you are looking to continually bring current clients (and hopefully future clients), customers and fans to your website. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack (If not, what are you waiting for?!). Your website is a The Rise To The Top inbound marketing tactics Topics: Keyword Optimization . The Rise To The Top is the #1 non-boring resource for building your business smarter, faster, cheaper, which features a daily Web show for entrepreneurs.last_img read more

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HubSpot TV – Olympic Champions and Social Media with Guest @ColleenCoyne

first_img “We knew that the Yahoo-Twitter partnership would be comprehensive and more encompassing than Twitter’s search partnerships with Google and Bing, but now Yahoo tells us the integration will focus on three primary areas: Spam vs Mahalo: Matt Cutts Explains the Difference Comic response from SEO Black Hat: mvolpe HubSpot TV is LIVE every Friday at 4:00 p.m. ET. From HubSpotter Christopher Haddad – #HubSpotTV Citibank never called or warned Fabulis at all inbound marketing will pay off ), Karen Rubin (@ How to interact on Twitter: Include #HubSpotTV in your tweets! On the show today is Mike Volpe (@ Citibank Freezes Some Fabulis Assets Doin’ It Wrong Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Citibank apparently froze the assets of Fabulis because of “objectionable content” on the company blog. “Starting Monday, Bravo will begin offering Foursquare players badges and special prizes when viewers visit more than 500 Bravo locations. Locations will be picked by Bravo to correspond with select Bravo shows including “The Real Housewives,” “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Top Chef,” “Kell on Earth,” “Top Chef Masters” and “Shear Genius.” . karenrubin Matt Cutts (head of Google anti-spam team): “When trying to decide if a page is spam, it is helpful to ask yourself this question: if I remove the scraped (copied) content, the ads, and the links to other pages, is there anything of value left? If the answer is no, the page is probably spam.” Ability to update status from Yahoo Question from Inbound.org Marketing Takeaway Closing to learn how to use inbound marketing to generate leads and break your dependence on programs with recurring expenses. , and chat ) and Coleen Coyne (@ www.hubspot.tv Marketing Takeaway Intro Special Guest, Olympic Gold Medalist Colleen Coyne Download the free video Fabulis is an established company with investors ($625K) and an experienced entrepreneur as founder (Jason Goldberg – SocialMedian and Jobster), but they are “the social network that helps gay men connect with amazing experiences nearby and around the world” : Cheating does not work.  Don’t spam Google, and don’t rely on PPC alone.  Do the hard work and Video: How to Get Off the Google AdWords PPC Crack Marketing Takeaway Headlines Should Mahalo Say “Mahalo” to Google for Tolerating Spam SEO guru Aaron Wall gets upset that Mahalo is stealing his content, not adding value and still ranking in Google. : Aggressively communicate with customers and be available for comment quickly. This will help problems from spiraling out of control. Although this deal will help put Foursquare in front of millions of mainstream television viewers, it also offers the company a chance to try to blur the lines between traditional television media and mobile experiences. Although some television executives have been successful integrating TV and the Web, merging TV with mobile has proved to be more difficult. Episode #81 – February 26, 2010 Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s chief executive, said the company was excited to work with Bravo and push some of these boundaries further. “Bravo’s shows really overlap with our users and a new mainstream audience that we want to reach. I don’t think check-ins are a nerd-only experience. It’s about sharing content and experiences with others.” : If you are not Jason Calcanis, you need to create original and valuable content to rank in search . Twitter Goes Yahoo How many times should a keyword appear on a page for optimal density? , it’s going to work out in the end. There might be some bumps along the way, but the satisfaction of knowing you gave it a truly honest effort will be rewarding in and of itself. Additionally, you will definitely gain a following. There is no reward without risk, and there is definitely a market for authenticity.” March 19: HubSpot goes to Vegas! Access to your Twitter feed on Yahoo with us via Twitter using NEW hashtag, All old episodes are in iTunes: : Keep doing inbound marketing. Developments like this just make it more effective. Bravo to Foursquare as They Partner with Traditional TV Media Olympic athletes’ social media restrictions : Making trades is better than paying cash for advertising.  Get creative! (Episode Length: 26 minutes, 41 seconds) “If you are honest in your approach to Forum Fodder Foursquare Teams With Bravo TV Watch the show in real-time at  PPC is like liposuction Does Citibank Suffer From Homophobia Or Just A General Dislike For Startups? Learn how to break your Google AdWords addiction! . Ben Robbins – For several years now, good sources at Google (like Matt Cutts) have indicated that keyword density carries little or no importance in their algorithm. Keyword-related factors that are still considered include anchor text for editorial links, page title, page URL, and heading tags. They also seem to reward pages with lengthier content, maybe 500+ words, and long tail keyword variations. Marketing Tip of the Week http://itunes.hubspot.tv ColleenCoyne Marketing Takeaway creating content Details: The Yahoo-Twitter Partnership – ) Yahoo Search and media integration Originally published Mar 5, 2010 2:30:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Why I Would Hire Bode Miller as My Inbound Marketerlast_img read more

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How to Create a Killer Email Offer in 10 Minutes or Less

first_img What other advice would you suggest when creating successful email offers?  Learn how to generate more inbound leads using SEO, blogging, and social media. The title has to be succinct, but also crystal clear. Inbound Lead Generation Kit How many spam emails do you open that say something like “Free Yacht Just Click Here”? Probably very few, but I bet the email saying “Getaway in the South of Spain” grabs your attention quite a bit more often ( Jetsetter does a great job of this). 2) A Solid Offer (3 minutes) We recently found out that A common saying at HubSpot is that a blog article takes an hour to write, 40 minutes of which is dedicated to the title because without that, you’ve got nothing. Spend the most time of your 10 minutes around your sexy, clear title. 1) Witty Title (4 minutes) 4) Send It and Forget It (1 minute) Here is a great example and proof that the title caused me to open it: Make it personal and make it count. The more customization in the email itself the better, greeting by first name if your program allows is excellent. If not, don’t sweat it, focus more on what they find within the email body itself. When you get to the body trim the fluff and give just enough information for someone to know what they are getting. An example is one HubSpot launched last week for one of our webinars around lead generation; simple, sweet and letting you know what you will be spending 45 minutes on: sex sells on Facebook If you have the right methodology, creating a killer email offer can become less painful. Try Following the steps below the next time you sit down to create an e-mail offer. center_img for tips and tricks to drive more leads and business to your site. If you want a prospect to open your email then it all comes down to the right title. Originally published May 20, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Photo Credit: This simple change can be incredibly effective, a recent customer of mine had previously never used landing pages or content on their site for simple email marketing. By taking an old white paper that was buried on the site and distributing it to a small portion of their database a lead goal of 3 was achieved in 2 minutes with nearly 30 leads coming in over 24 hours. Their lead goal was 50 a month and simplicity got them 30 in one day. sindesign 3) Make It Easy To Convert (2 minutes) , well we probably could have guessed that, but it is important to make your e-mail titles sexy and compelling. Download the free kit Topics: Opening the email to find an applicable offer inside should be said without being said, the key here is to make sure your e-mail links to a landing page that includes a few key elements. The most important element is a clear path for people to follow in regards to what the offer is, how it will benefit them, and what YOU want them to do, such as filling out a lead conversion form. Ron Popeil, the infamous infomercial rotisserie king, knew the way, you really do have to set it and forget it. It’s gone, so stop thinking about what you could have done differently or perhaps better. Instead, take a minute, step back and think about what you can do to improve future offers. Email Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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How to Add Email Lists in Facebook for Page Promotion

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 3, 2010 1:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Facebook Reach If your business is using Facebook as a part of its inbound marketing strategy, then it is likely that a goal of your marketing team is to expand your reach by attracting more people to like your Facebook page . For a long time marketers have faced a challenge in inviting new users through Facebook. While they have been encouraging people to visit their Facebook Fan Pages , it hasn’t been easy to do the reverse–get email addresses into Facebook and send invitations through Facebook’s messaging system.This process has now changed. This week, Facebook has enabled business page administrators to import email addresses into Facebook to invite people to like their page. Check out the rest of this post for a walkthrough of these process! Step 1: Go to your Facebook Business Page and click “Edit Page” Step 2: Click on “Marketing” and then select “Tell your Fans.” Step 3: Upload your email list and invite fans.Have you used this feature to tell more people about your Facebook page? Topics:last_img read more

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10 Epic Sports Pep Talks to Motivate Your Team [Videos]

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The first game my father ever played in professional baseball, the coach walked him to the mound, slapped him on the back, and said, “We have two men on base — you get them out, I won’t put you back on a plane tonight. Throw the ball. Throw hard, Chip.” He was 18 years old. His name is Skip. Possibly the least motivating speech EVER. I’ve personally never experienced that level of pressure, but as an athlete all my life, I’ve always been fascinated by how people pump themselves up for their next big challenge. Sitting next to my bed in the morning is the quote from Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”I believe in that. Really. In my little universe, that’s how I think about creating great content that stands the test of time. It’s something that you get up every day and just … do. But that kind of commitment isn’t always easy. While I love creating something for a living, just like everyone else, sometimes I get writer’s block. Sometimes my team falls behind our goals. Sometimes I work long hours. If anything like that happens to you (come on — don’t deny it), I’ve put together a compilation of the best sports pep talks ever — videos I turn to when I need a little pick-me-up to inspire different parts of my job.When it’s the middle of the month and we don’t have enough leads …Al Pacino’s epic speech in Any Given Sunday: “We can climb our way outta hell … one inch at a time.” (0:47) Note: This video contains strong language.When I’m trying to plan a new A/B test variation …From Friday Night Lights: “To me, being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself … It’s about being able to look your friends in the eye, and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth.” (0:27)When I’m trying to convince myself to copy edit my work …From Vince Lombardi: “You don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time … I’ve never known a man worth his salt who deep down in his heart didn’t appreciate the grind and the discipline.” (0:16)When I try to convince my team we should spend the time to create lovable content …From Hoosiers: “Focus on the fundamentals that we’ve gone over time and time again … If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game. In my book, we’re gonna be winners!” (0:49)When I’m getting ready to write a new, big-hit blog post …Knute Rockney: “Don’t forget, today is the day that we are going to win.” (1:58)When a new competitor enters our market — and they make me nervous …From the movie, Miracle:”Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here, tonight. One game. If we played ’em 10 times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with ’em. Tonight, we stay with ’em, and we shut them down because we can!” (0:22)When I’m working on a late night project with the rest of my team …From the great Mighty Ducks, the ultimate kiddie hockey movie, “Ducks fly together! … And when everyone says it can’t be done .. ducks fly together.” (Oh it’s only 58-seconds long. Just watch the whole thing. It’s totally worth it.)When I’m editing a partner’s blog post …After Assistant Coach Yoast from Remember the Titans decides to do the right thing, he announces to his team, “You want to act like a star, you better give me a star effort.” (1:41)When my new ebook just isn’t generating a good conversion rate …There are some days when no one seems to be downloading your work. Those days, don’t you just want to yell, “Are you not entertained?!” like Russell Crowe did in Gladiator? When I’m just having an overall bad month …And finally, my favorite sports video clip EVER about the unlikely hero, Jason McElway, who is the autistic team water boy who came off his high school basketball bench and changed his fate — and makes me realize that sometimes it’s okay to be a little different …Despite the lackluster speech, my aforementioned dad managed to get out of that inning, make the team, and manage a respectable career. But I always wonder what would’ve happened if his coach had been a bit more like the inspirational leaders above. Image Credit: D.Clow – Maryland Video Marketing Originally published Jun 6, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

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Feel Like You’re Fighting With Your Keywords? 7 Ways to Win

first_imgAs the content manager at Half a Bubble Out, part of my job the past couple quarters has been to focus on improving our performance around 11 different keywords.However, we’ve been doing this keyword rotation long enough now that we got to a point where it felt like we were fighting the keywords. We were having trouble coming up with original angles, and quickly becoming impatient with the content creation process. It just feels likes we’ve been there, done that, you know?Since I have the privilege of reading and editing each and every blog article that we post, I’ve recognized patterns during these last 9 months about how our staff members brainstorm ideas, create headlines, and use the keywords — and how sometimes our crazy ideas actually turn into great blog posts! So I thought I’d share some of the strategies we use when it feels like the well of ideas for important keywords is running dry. I hope one of these strategies will help you, too.1) Become the Super ResearcherThe Super Researcher just can’t get enough. They could sit all day and research (and if they aren’t careful, they will). The Super Researcher is very detail oriented and it’s important to them to provide some real meat in their blog posts, not just fluffy samples. They do this by researching, reading, and clicking on just about anything that looks interesting.The thing is, the Super Researcher actually does have a sort of superpower when it comes to research. They’re able to find some of the most random — yet interesting and relevant — articles and find original tie-ins to something seemingly unrelated. Like the article our staff member wrote on baby boomers and social media.If you like researching, try this approach to research, read, and relate it to your keyword.2) Become the New AnglerThe New Angler sees things differently. They can take a keyword phrase that has been done over and over again and totally rock it to appeal to a different business persona.For example, one of our keyword phrases has been “what makes a good website.” Instead of focusing on a different aspect of what DOES make a good website, the New Angler might do something like this: “What Makes an Otherwise Good Website Completely Useless.” Totally made a 180 with the keyword.I love this because I’m so not a New Angler — so I love it when I see it. If you’re stuck on how to use your keyword, try looking at it in a negative light “what not to do…” or “5 elements you’re missing.” It might spark an idea.3) Become the Case StudierThe Case Studier sees how things work together. If an individual or company has done something right — or wrong for that matter — recognize it and talk about how it relates to your keyword.The same is true for your own company, too. If you have a client or have performed a service that you think is exceptionally noteworthy — write about it in an educational manner (not a promotional one).Here’s an example of how to use a keyword phrase and relate it to a case study: We used the phrase “why is social media important” and wrote a blog post about WestJet and how its recent Christmas Miracle video went viral with the help of social media. Check it out to see an example of this technique in action.4) Become the NewsjackerFirst of all, if you’re unfamiliar with newsjacking, here’s an article that’ll get you caught up to speed.Now, this type of keyword strategy probably isn’t the best because it’s kind of dependent on what news is out there — but when it works. it works like a charm, and is one of the best ways to add a fresh perspective to a seemingly tired keyword phrase. So jump on that bandwagon!The Newsjacker is skilled at using their knack for always knowing what’s going on, and applying it to their keyword. If Facebook just announced a new feature called “Promoted Posts,” for instance, use that to talk about how it can help you with lead generation techniques for your business. (Did you guess that “lead generation techniques” was the keyword?)5) Become the Life LessonerThe Life Lessoner does just that — uses things they’ve learned or experiences they’ve had, and writes about it.Write what you know. It’s a good place to start. The Life Lessoner is honest, sometimes sentimental, and knows themselves well enough to be able to use a keyword phrase and relate it to a piece of their life. It can be as simple as talking about an experience with a client that taught you to view a situation differently, or as “out there” as relating the public transit in Boston at Inbound to what makes a good website. (And it worked. Take a look here.)6) Become the Out-of-the-Box ThinkerThe Out-of-the-Box Thinker isn’t afraid to try new ideas. They might just work! And … they might also suck. But you won’t know until you try.One way to think outside the box when writing content is rethinking the format that content appears in. For instance, if you’re used to writing how-to and list posts, perhaps you should try creating those posts in the form of a video, a piece of static visual content, or even a list of memes. Even if the idea seems a little too bizarre, remember that you can rebound quickly from a poorly performing piece of content … just write something else!7) Become the Whatever Comes to MinderI didn’t reveal the name of each lovely co-worker I identify with each keywording style above — I thought it would be fun for them to try and figure it out — but I will say that the “Whatever Comes to Minder” is me.I get my writing inspiration from the strangest places sometimes. For instance, I had a toenail fungus keyword looming over my head. It’s for a podiatrist client, and while reading The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss to my one year old daughter, I was inspired to write a blog offering foot care tips from a podiatrist and Dr. Seuss. The client enjoyed it, and maybe even more importantly, I enjoyed writing it.Another example … one day I was driving in my car and the song “More than Words” by Extreme came on, and it gave me the idea to write about how your blog is more than words; you know, all that other stuff Google cares about like conversion rates, social shares, etc. The Whatever Comes to Minder will have something totally random just pop into their mind and wonder if they could use a keyword and create a blog out of it. If this happens to you, don’t brush this off. Just write it down because I’m willing to bet you’ll think of some inspiring ways to create excellent, keyword-friendly content.Hopefully one or all of the strategies we use at Half a Bubble Out helped you. When you feel like you’re fighting your keyword, talk to those around you and relate your keyword to the world around you. Every good fighter has a team that surrounds them. Use yours to get your keyword fight on. 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 Jan 6, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Keyword Optimizationlast_img read more

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Is Your School’s Website Driving Inquiries or Stealth Consumers?

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Request information. Visit us. Apply now. Go to any education institution’s admissions page, and you’re likely to see these calls-to-action. Click one, and chances are you’ll be taken to a lengthy inquiry form where you’ll be asked to provide a litany of personal information.A Brief History of Secret Shoppers and Stealth ApplicantsAt some point in the history of online marketing in education, these conversion opportunities became industry standard. While there is nothing inherently wrong with them – if a prospective student or parent is willing to provide their information for any of these, let them! – they appeal only to the “lowest hanging fruit” in the marketing and admissions funnel. For many prospects, and especially ones who are just beginning their research process, these offers are mistimed, and not compelling enough to drive an inquiry submission. As a result, these prospects don’t click the call-to-action to fill out a form, and instead become “secret shoppers” or “stealth consumers.”When it comes to secret shoppers, the best case scenario is that they become stealth applicants – prospects who enter the funnel at the point of application. Unfortunately, these applicants have not been properly nurtured, may not have received what they need to make an informed decision about a program or institution, and often yield at lower rates than students who have had the opportunity to be properly engaged and educated. As any enrollment management professional can tell you, they also make projecting enrollment much more difficult.The worst case scenario, and often the most common one, is that these prospects will poke around for information on an institution’s website, not find what they are looking for, and leave without ever engaging with a member of an institution’s staff.Reach Prospects That Are Not Yet “Admissions Ready”Developing new content, or repurposing existing content, into appealing and appropriately timed conversion opportunities aimed at prospects who are not yet “admissions ready” can be a solution. To target students who are at the beginning of their search, this content should be informational and have broad appeal. The subjects should be aligned to an offering of the institution or program (it would not make sense for a culinary school to have content around the benefits of a career in nursing), but they should not be promotional materials either.Some examples of this type of content include:Readiness checklists“How-to” guidesSubject matter ebooksCareer guidesIndustry information…And Give Them Opportunities to ConvertWhile creating these compelling content offers is great, it is only the first step in the inquiry conversion process. Making this type of compelling content easily available to prospects, and properly gating it with informative landing pages and forms requiring an appropriate amount of personal information allows schools to grow their inquiry base by drawing would-be secret shoppers into the funnel.When delivering the content, it is important that it is not available only on lightly travelled pages, or hidden among a series of pages that can only be found through extensive site navigation. Content that appeals to prospects who are just “dipping their toe in the water” as it relates to their search should be easy to find on the pages of the site prospects frequent. This will make useful information front and center for them, and drive more inquiry conversions for admissions, allowing for appropriate nurturing activities to take place. Originally published Dec 4, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Education Marketinglast_img read more

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12 Different Types of Marketing Email You Could Be Sending

first_img 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 2018last_img read more

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The Rocket Science of Social Media Marketing

first_img Social Media Marketing At NASA, one of the world’s leading space associations, social media marketing and rocket science combine in a way that could shock even the most weathered social marketer. The organization manages more than 500 social accounts. Imagine what their analytics must look like!From broad agency accounts to specific accounts dedicated to certain NASA missions, their social media isn’t selling products or services, but rather inspiration.NASA has nailed down an elusive social media success around an incredibly complicated and naturally curious topic. Even with so many different accounts, NASA has managed to create meaningful connections with followers and spread a consistent message.Although not directly marketing for profit, NASA has developed a strong social media marketing strategy that B2B brands and all marketers can learn from and use in their own content and campaigns.How to Tell Your B2B Brand StoryIf there’s one thing NASA knows—besides the mysteries of space, it’s their own voice. They have cultivated a brand image and tone that is based on history, exciting developments, generating buzz, some professionalism and a nerdy sense of humor.In an environment where voice can vary from platform to platform, this is quite the accomplishment. From quick Twitter quips to informative Instagrams and straightforward Tumblr posts, NASA sprinkles their updates and science lessons with pop culture, striking images and conversational language. This tone complements their mission and still relates to the average follower.To follow NASA’s lead, B2B companies first need to find their voice. This means fully understanding your company, its intention with customers and its future goals.For example, if you want your brand to be community-oriented, write like a community leader who cares. If you want your brand to be strictly professional, keep your tone clinical and simple.The point of even giving your brand a voice is to humanize your company. A personal way of conversing as a brand allows you to participate in conversations naturally with followers.Find your voice by asking yourself the following questions:What do I want to accomplish with my social content? Maybe you want to educate or promote. This answer will guide the voice of your content.What tones complement the voice I want? A tone is an expression of language that supports your overall voice, so find a few that are good for your brand.What emotions are you trying to evoke in your customer? Identifying the emotional connection can help nail down the voice you are looking for.Once you’ve established your voice, you can begin to develop your story. NASA has the advantage of having a built-in story of exploration and discovery, but you can also find the story you want to tell by using themes and hierarchies within your content.Telling a multi-channel story, as NASA does across the many social platforms, all connects back to your central goal. A story, regardless of the form it takes or how it is presented, should be specific in nature and relate to the interests and needs of your customer.Sell the Value, Not the ProductSometimes marketers can get lost in the microscopic focus of selling a specific product or service. Boasting the features of something and harping on its shiny new elements is an easy trap to fall into. But in the long term, it’s not about the minutiae of a single aspect of what you offer.It’s important to take a step back and present the value of your company in a macro sense. For NASA, they have the ability to share information about an up close photo of the surface of Mars or an infinite photo of Saturn’s rings, which is literally a zooming in and out of their content. But from a deeper level, they are trying to inspire their followers and generate genuine interest in their missions and work.Their move to post a photo of dwarf planet Pluto before the official press release of the New Horizons’ results was an impressive show of giving followers excitement and capitalizing on anticipation.They knew the value of NASA is providing these fresh facts to a public with curiosity about the universe. Companies can also deliver social content of a similar vein by discussing the ways their product or service solves problems, avoids issues or brings certain emotions to customers’ lives.Think about how your customers’ lives will be improved by making a purchase with you. Pinpoint a before and after effect to really determine the value of your product or service.You can also use the tactic of value and authenticity in generating leads, improving sales and affecting the company as a whole.Involve Customers in Your ContentAnother strength of NASA’s social media marketing is to not just engage with followers, but to give them the opportunity to be a part of the social movement. B2B companies should also take user-generated content as a viable component of social strategy.The NASA program, called NASA Socials, gets followers involved in learning about and sharing information on the organization’s missions, people and programs. The program hosts events where social followers gather to get a behind-the-scenes look at labs and projects, hear from engineers and astronauts, and can meet fellow NASA enthusiasts.The content these fans create at the event also gives them the understanding they need to make shareable content in the future. When the fans tell the story, NASA’s story becomes more powerful.In a way, this is an even stronger tactic for companies because of the importance and reliability of brand advocacy and loyalty. Testimonials, first-person accounts and user-contributed content tell a more convincing and credible story.Here are a few specific ways you can involve your customers in telling your story:Free TrialOffering your product or service for no cost for a short period of time gets customers comfortable with your company. You can also build in the stipulation that they must share their story on social media to receive the free trial.Case StudyThe most traditional, but one of the most effective, forms of using your customers’ experiences to your benefit is to tell their story in your branding. A case study is proof positive your product or service has performed well in a real setting.Community ForumsFor hyper-specialized industries, it’s good to provide a forum for professionals to gather and discuss your product and new industry trends. You can use the ideas and opinions from the forum for social and blog content fodder.Guest PostsAsking a customer to write a guest post for your blog or to collaborate on content shows a dedication to a partnership and presents your company from a perspective with some weight.Getting your customers involved also shows you consider their input and are working to create an inclusive community. Customers who are part of a like-minded group will have more positive feelings about a company, increasing their word-of-mouth marketing and your sales.Infinity and BeyondNASA has infused their social content with originality, narrative and community. They take their mission in connecting with an interested public as seriously as an astronaut on a mission in space. They use their background in rocket science to good use in an unlikely place.B2B companies should take away important lessons from the visuals, language and content NASA generates. They don’t have to emulate the famous association, but can be inspired by both their images of planets and stars and their brilliant approach to inbound and social media 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 Originally published Aug 9, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

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The Ultimate List of Websites Every Blogger Should Bookmark

first_imgAll bloggers have a number of websites that they visit every single day. Aside from the obvious ones (like email and Twitter), your favorites might be anything from your blog’s publishing calendar, to your online to-do list, to all your favorite social media button generators.Wouldn’t it be great if all of those helpful resources were just a click away?That’s exactly what bookmarks are for. In your web browser, bookmarks are links to specific websites that show up as buttons at the top of your web browser — making it easy to visit your favorite websites.How to bookmark websites will depend on the browser you’re using. But trust me, it’s easy. Here are links to instructions for how to add a bookmark for four popular web browsers:ChromeSafariFirefoxInternet ExplorerNow, let’s get bookmarking. What are some of the best websites that all bloggers should add to their bookmark bar? Check out 30 of the HubSpot blogging team’s favorites below. (And be sure to share your own favorites in the comment section.)Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates Now30 Websites Every Blogger Should BookmarkFor Keeping Organized1) Publishing CalendarFiguring out when you should publish which blog posts is time-consuming enough, right? Bookmark your publishing calendar so it’s only a click away at any given time. You can use it to keep your topics and authors organized, track keyword and call-to-action usage, and make sure all your blog posts are written on time.If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can bookmark your HubSpot Calendar App.If you’re not a HubSpot customer, then you can create a publishing calendar using Google Calendar and bookmark that.(Are you also responsible for running your company’s social media accounts? Then you might want to bookmark social media publishing calendar tools as well.)2) TrelloTrello is a really simple collaboration platform you can use to brainstorm and organize your blog post and project ideas. Bookmark it so you can easily add new blog post ideas as you think of them, manage your own post-writing to-do list, and see what the rest of your team is working on. You can also use it to build an editorial and social media publishing calendar, prioritize different tasks, and organize notes.3) EvernoteWhile you can install Evernote as an app on your computer and any device, you may also want to make the website a bookmark on your web browser. Even more specifically, you can make notes within your Evernote into separate bookmarks: one for your to-do list, one where you store useful snippets of HTML, one where you store inspiring articles or ebooks, and so on.4) Waterfall GraphsWe use waterfall graphs to keep track of daily progress on our traffic and leads goals on the blog. If you’re a HubSpot customer, your marketing software has a built-in waterfall chart template that will generate these graphs for you — so you might want to bookmark that page in HubSpot. If you’re not a HubSpot customer, you can create a waterfall graph yourself in Google Spreadsheets and bookmark that.For Data Analysis5) Percent Change CalculatorI can’t even begin to tell you how useful this little calculator is when looking for and analyzing data. Ever want to know the percentage change of two values without having to remember the formula? Simply enter the two values into this calculator, and it’ll spit out the percentage change.6) Atlas (by Quartz)Atlas is Quartz’s slickly-designed command center for all its charts. There are all kinds of cool, useful data in there — everything from Prada’s share price over time to the highest CEO-to-worker pay ratios in the U.S. You can download, embed, or grab the data. It’s open source so you can create your own versions, too. One of the best ways to build credibility on your blog is to back up your claims with data and evidence, so bookmark resources like Atlas so you can easily search for and grab the data and charts you’re looking for.7) Comprehensive List of Marketing StatisticsWhether you’re a blogger who writes about about marketing, or you just need statistics to back up your strategy in a team presentation, it’s tricky to find the original source of data within the rabbit hole of the internet. We’ve put together a massive list of marketing statistics that are up-to-date and categorized for easy reference.For Blog Ideation8) QuoraQuora’s question-and-answer platform features questions from real people in your audience — and what better way to appeal to your readers than by answering their questions? Quora also offers an upvoting feature that lets you see how many other users are interested in the answer to a question, which can help you prioritize your response blog posts.9) Portent’s Content Idea GeneratorWhen you drop a topic into this neat little tool’s search bar, it proposes eye-catching, humorous title and topic ideas for you to test out. It also provides reasoning for the proposed titles, and you can make it spit out a new title idea if you’re unsatisfied. It might not produce the perfect title for your blog post, but it will get your creative juices flowing if you’re wondering what format or style in which to write.10) HubSpot’s Blog Topic GeneratorOur handy free tool produces a week’s worth of blog post title ideas when you submit three nouns or keywords you’re trying to write about. The tool is particularly helpful because you can generate ideas about specific angles by entering several search terms at once. I submitted “blogging,” “tools,” and “marketing,” and I got back these five interesting title proposals:For Writing11) Style GuideWhen you’re blogging, posting on social media, and creating other types of marketing content regularly, it’s important to have a written style guide to ensure your writing style is consistent across different marketing channels. But it can take a long time to learn all the nuances of your brand’s style guide, so have it bookmarked for easy reference while you’re writing and editing. (And if you don’t have a style guide yet, learn how to create one here.)12) Keyword ToolsKeyword research comes in handy when you’re brainstorming, writing, editing, and creating headlines for your blog posts. That said, keep your favorite keyword tool bookmarked. Here are a few of our favorites:HubSpot’s Keyword Tool (30-day trial)Google AdWords’ Keyword PlannerGoogle TrendsWant to learn more about how to do keyword research for SEO? Check out this blog post.13) WordCounterAlthough there’s no “right answer” for how long a blog post should be, sometimes word count can come in handy. Bookmark WordCounter so you can quickly paste in your content to see how many words you’ve written.14) Dictation.ioLet’s face it — if you’re a full-time blogger, you might get exhausted by writing sometimes. Don’t worry though, it happens to us too. When you need to take a break, try Dictation.io, a dictation tool that translates talk to text. This is a great way to keep the tone of your blog post conversational and to switch things up if you’re getting writer’s block.For Editing15) Pre-Publish ChecklistIt can be pretty hard to remember every little thing you should check on a blog post before hitting “Publish.” That’s why we bookmarked this pre-publish checklist, which is a complete list of everything you should do when editing and proofreading your blog content. It covers everything from ensuring all your sources are properly attributed to double checking all your links work.16) Hemingway AppHave you ever been in the middle of writing a blog post and realized your writing felt a little … convoluted? Bookmark the free Hemingway App for moments like these. All you have to do is paste your content into it, and it’ll assess your writing and identify opportunities to make it simpler. For example, it’ll point out instances of passive voice and hard-to-read sentences.17) Tone AnalyzerIn the same vein as analyzing readability, what about analyzing tone? Sometimes, you might be reading over a blog post and feel like it comes off as a little too negative or a little too excited. Tone Analyzer is a free tool that uses linguistic analysis to detect the tone of a piece — and then offers helpful tips on how to improve and strengthen the tone.18) HTML ElementsIf you edit a lot of blog posts, chances are you’ll be working with HTML on a regular basis. I like to keep this list of HTML elements handy so I can easily make changes to HTML when needed. From there, I can use CTRL + F to jump right to the HTML element I’m looking for.19) HTML ScoreSpeaking of HTML, here’s another great HTML resource to bookmark. It’s a long list of special characters that HTML 4.0 processors should support, like the copyright symbol ©, currency symbols € ¥ ¢, and so on.Image Credit: HTML Score 20) HTML CleanerSource codes can sometimes seem to take on a personality of their own and pull in crazy HTML snippets — especially if you’re copying and pasting from an external file, like Google Docs. If you find yourself having that problem regularly, bookmark a tool like HTML Cleaner so you can quickly remove any superfluous code from your content.21) & 22) Grammarly & CorrecticaBefore you can officially say you’re done editing a blog post, you should run it through an editing tool like Grammarly or Correctica to triple-check there are no grammatical errors. (Bonus: Grammarly even checks for plagiarism.)23) Headline AnalyzerYou’ve written and edited your blog post. At this point, the only thing standing between your cursor and the “Publish” button is an eye-catching headline. Once you have a few ideas in mind, head to your bookmark bar and open up the Headline Analyzer, a free tool that scores your headline quality and rates its ability to drive social shares, traffic, and SEO value. It also shows you how it will appear in search results.24) StockSnap.ioOnce you’ve written your blog post, a great header image captures reader attention on social media. There are numerous stock photo websites featuring free photo downloads that you’re free to distribute, and we like StockSnap.io’s trending feature that shows you popular photo downloads — so you can steer clear of them to make your blog posts more unique than other web content.25) Compressor.ioA photo compressor can help speed up the time it takes to load your web page and make your photos smaller for easy social media sharing. Drop your stock photo of choice into Compressor.io, and it will generate a new, compressed image for you to download and use in your blog post.For Social Media26) ClickToTweetCreating a tweetable link is a lot easier than learning custom code. Bookmark ClickToTweet so you can create basic tweetable links to accompany cool quotes in your blog posts at a moment’s notice. (Learn how it works here.)27) Pinterest’s “Pin It” Button GeneratorEver seen those “Pin it” buttons that let you pin an image to your Pinterest board? We use Pinterest’s “Pin it” button widget builder all the time to create those buttons for images we post on our blog. Bookmark that page so you can create and place these buttons next to images, infographics, and other visual content on your blog. (And scroll to the bottom of this blog post for instructions on how to build your own.)28) Social Media Button Cheat SheetWhile we recommend bookmarking some of your favorite social media button widget builders (like the “Pin it” button builder above), you may want to go ahead and bookmark this cheat sheet as a handy reference. It has links to all the widget builders for share and follow buttons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. It also includes step-by-step instructions for how to create them and implement them on your website and blog.29) BuzzSumoBuzzSumo shares analytics about how many social media shares a URL has received, so when you’re getting ready to publish blog posts on social media, drop links into BuzzSumo to see which types of content perform the best. You can also glean insights about posts from your competitors or previous posts from your blog to see which are most shareable and clickable. Here’s an analysis of one of our blog posts about Facebook ads:30) Embed Code GeneratorDo you create original pieces of visual content (like infographics) and post them on your blog or website? Then you’ll want to provide embed codes alongside them so it’s easy for your readers to share them on their own blogs. (Plus, it’ll help you generate some inbound links because the embedded image will automatically link back to your website.) Bookmark the embed code generator so you can easily create these HTML snippets. (And read this post for instructions on how to use it.)Here’s an example of what an embed code looks like (taken from this blog post):Share This Image on Your Site read more

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10 Marketing Insights for 2017 From Gary Vaynerchuk, Ann Handley & More [Infographic]

first_img 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.128Save128Savelast_img read more

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34 Stats to Help You Plan Your Social Media Strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & More

first_imgBack in October, I wrote a piece on Medium that covered the numbers behind some of today’s top social media networks. From usage numbers to engagement statistics, it was incredible to see just how impactful networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become. For example, not only is Facebook home to 1.23 billion daily active users on average, but those users come from all over the world — with 85.2% residing outside of the U.S. and Canada. That’s a crazy level of connectivity.As I put together the post, it became obvious just how fast these networks were growing — and I thought a lot about how hard is it to keep up with all of these changes, especially for marketers. To make things a little easier to wrap your head around, I put together a simplified list of some standout statistics for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instragram, and Pinterest. Check them out below if you’re looking for some guidance for your social media strategy this year. 34 Stats to Help You Plan Your Social Media Strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & MoreFacebookOrganic reach of Facebook Page post is 2%.The average post reach of total audience is 10.71%.Facebook Page videos generate 16% more engagement per post than images.Videos secured the most reach, at 12.17% of total audience, followed by photos (11.53%), links (9.32%) and status updates (5.09%).Ideal length of a status update: 40 characters.0.80% median viral reach per fan for post with hashtags, 1.30% for post without hashtags.Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. TwitterTweets with images receive 18% more clickthroughs, 89% more Likes, and 150% more retweets.60% of consumers expect brands to respond to their query within the hour, but the average is 1 hour 24 minutes.Ideal tweet length: 100 characters.Clickthrough rate is highest on Wednesdays.A tweet that doesn’t include a # or @ mention will generate 23% more clicks. When the tweet is focused on driving an app install, forgoing a # or @ mention increases clicks by 11%. But according to Quicksprout, tweets with hashtags get 2X more engagement — clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies.    LinkedInB2B buyers are turning to LinkedIn for content that will help them move forward in the buyer’s journey — and 57% are doing so on a mobile device.LinkedIn is home to 467 million members in more than 200 countries, meaning it’s a great place for global brands to distribute content. LinkedIn has studied its own platform and found that including images in posts increases the comment rate by 98%.Updates containing links can have up to 45% higher follower engagement than updates without links.16–25 words is the ideal message length for B2B, 21–25 for B2C.20 posts per month can help you reach 60% of your unique audience.InstagramOn average, people miss 70% of their feeds.1.1% average engagement rate of all posts (4.2% in 2014; 2.2% in 2015).Images with a single dominant color generate 17% more Likes than images with multiple dominant colors. Images with a high amount of negative space generate 29% more Likes than those with minimal negative space. Images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more Likes than images that are predominantly red.Photos showing faces get 38% more Likes than photos not showing faces.Photos see more engagement than videos on Instagram.The red heart is the most frequently shared emoji on Instagram, which is shared 79% more than the next most popular symbol, a smiling face with heart eyes.50% of captions and comments on Instagram contain at least one emoji.The most common posting frequency for brands on Instagram is 11–20 times per month.Instagram audiences are more engaged on Mondays and Thursdays at 2 a.m., 8–9 a.m., and 5 p.m.PinterestProduct Pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without.67% of Pinners consult Pins on their mobile devices while shopping in stores.Don’t be shy to ask : A call-to-action Pin description can increase engagement by 80%.83% of users would rather follow a brand than a celebrity.Active Pinners have a 9% higher average income than non-users.Users who Pin 15 to 30 times a day get the best results.2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. are the best time to post, and Saturday is the best day.What networks are you most interested in investing in this year? Share your thoughts in the comments. Originally published Feb 6, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated April 27 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! Social Media Strategy Topics:last_img read more

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6 Seemingly Harmless Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Proposals

first_img60% of leading advertisers will review their agencies within the next 12 months, according to a study from Advertiser Perceptions. As if to prove the point, Procter & Gamble announced in January they will review all ad agency contracts in 2017.Whether it’s due to the demise of the agency-of-record, growing concerns over transparency issues, or the invasion of management consulting firms on ad agency turf, marketers are actively shopping for agencies like never before.So what does that mean for agencies? You just might start seeing an increase in the number of RFPs landing in your inbox. Good for the upper-end of the sales pipeline, but you’ll increase your chances of converting a prospect to a client if you treat your RFP responses like the strategic sales tools they’re meant to be — and that means avoiding these six hazardous pitfalls.Download Now: Free RFP Templates6 Seemingly Harmless Proposal Mistakes1) You don’t know enough to make informed choices.The Fix: Ask the right questions.Having an RFP from a new prospect show up unsolicited in your inbox can elicit a giddy response. It’s a shiny object that leads you to believe your pipeline problems are over.Hallelujah. You knew something would come along eventually. Instead of thoughtful consideration of the RFP’s requirements and the client fit with your agency, you rally your team and dive right in.This is a risky, time consuming approach to winning new business.Instead, gain control from the start by asking the right questions. Why is the client conducting this review? Why now? Why us? Who will decide the winner? What’s the budget and timing? Has this scope of work even been approved?And don’t just ask the questions — know the right answers in advance to qualify this prospect as a worthwhile opportunity for your agency.2) You take the RFP at face value.The Fix: Interpret the RFP.Clearly, you must read the RFP. In fact, you must read the RFP multiple times and throughout the proposal process to make sure your response stays focused on the client’s needs, and doesn’t go off on unnecessary tangents.The hazard is taking the RFP at face value without interpreting important information that’s hiding in plain sight.For instance, most RFPs provide a list of people who will be involved in the review process at some level. Look at this list critically for things like who the decision-makers are versus who’s in a supporting or supervising role.How involved is senior leadership? Are some disciplines represented more than others? Are there any surprises, such as roles and responsibilities that aren’t typically associated with a marketing function (e.g., a big regional franchise operator in the case of a quick-serve restaurant chain)? All these considerations reveal internal politics and agendas, as well as valuable insights into the client’s decision-making process. 3) You use your response to tell the prospect all about you.The Fix: You grasp the issues that are important to the client and tailor your response to address them.Sounds like such obvious advice, doesn’t it? Yet I’m surprised at how infrequently agencies follow it.Suppress your natural desire to tell the prospect all about you. It’s hard, because many RFPs will give the impression that they want to know everything there is to know about your work process, capabilities, team bios, etc.Instead, start the process by establishing key messages you need to communicate (probably no more than three) to win the business. If you’ve hedged your bets and avoided hazards one and two on this list, you’re in a strong position to make those decisions.Make sure everyone who is contributing to the response knows what those messages are. Be a ruthless editor and discard anything that distracts from presenting your best argument.4) You “save” your best material for the presentation.The Fix: You reinforce your messages through artful repetition.We give clients way too much credit for remembering what we tell them. Here’s a reality check: they may be reading (or, more accurately, skimming) a dozen or more responses, most of them badly written, few of them with any differentiating qualities.If the story is good, telling it once is not enough. Humans love to be told the same good story over and over again. That might be why West Side Story was such a hit despite the fact that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet preceded it by almost 400 years, and Ovid’s Pyramus and Thisbe by almost 2,000.5) You weave yourself into a cocoon of jargon and generalization.The Fix: You tell a good story.Ad agencies deliver value to their clients predominantly through intangible services like strategy, planning and creative development. It’s difficult for agencies to describe those things in tangible ways. In their struggle, many fall prey to jargon and generalizations that end up telling the prospect nothing. This is why so many proposals sound the same.Storytelling is a foolproof cure.It makes the intangible tangible. It gives your prospective client, who may know almost nothing about you, something to relate to. It makes it easier for them to remember you — and to repeat to others what they liked about you.It’s not difficult to incorporate some basic storytelling techniques into your RFP responses. When I do persuasive writing workshops with agencies, I often use the Pixar Pitch as an easy framework to gently but effectively encourage my clients to experiment with storytelling.6) You break the wrong rules.The Fix: Don’t play fast-and-loose with stupid stuff.Sometimes it’s to your advantage to take a risk and break some rules. Usually these are “go big or go home” kinds of risks.What are the wrong rules to break? The ones that will buy you nothing except the client’s annoyance. These include changing the sequence of questions because you feel it would “make your response so much better.” Or putting your response in an unusual format to make a creative statement.Think about how your prospective clients are going to interact with your response. The client probably has a reason for organizing the questions in the way they did — like being able to compare answers apples to apples. You may not agree with their approach, but why put yourself at a disadvantage but messing around with their system?Don’t make responding to RFPs harder or riskier than it needs to be. Topics: RFPs Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Feb 22, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated August 26 2017last_img read more

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How HubSpot, Moz, Buffer, and TrackMaven Staff Their Content Teams

first_imgIt’s always valuable to look at how other organizations within your industry get things done every day. And It’s particularly valuable to look at how an organization you admire, or aspire to emulate, has nailed what they do.When we read in 2016 that BuzzFeed was changing the entire way its content creation team was structured, it made us curious about how we were creating our own content. Were we dedicating enough resources to video content? Was our social media strategy as built out?HubSpot doesn’t operate at nearly the same scale as BuzzFeed, and we aren’t a strictly media company, but it made me wonder how our industry peers are getting the job done. So I asked some of my friends in the B2B marketing space, “How do you create content every day?” Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. In this post, we’ll discuss how different content teams are structured — and what wisdom you can take away for staffing your own team.How 4 Content Marketing Shops Staff Their Content Teams1) TrackMavenTrackMaven is a marketing attribution analytics software company, and I asked Senior Director of Marketing, Kara Burney, about her team’s unique approach to structuring the content marketing team of “mavens.”Over the past year and a half, we flipped our content creation hierarchy from an exclusively in-house model to a primarily freelance-based model. The impetus was to divide and define the responsibilities of content creation, content distribution, and content reporting.While we still oversee social media and advertising in-house, we now manage a consistent cadre of freelancers: four to five writers, one to two videographers, and two to three designers. As a result, our team is able to focus on the distribution and ROI of each content asset, while benefiting from the expertise of specialized freelancers.”Takeaway for Marketers: TrackMaven structured its team to best prioritize everyone’s time according to their strengths. TrackMaven consists of experts in content distribution and proving ROI, so its content team focuses on those parts of the content creation process — and leaves the actual creation to freelancers to free up time and energy.And according to our research, this is a smart move: The 2017 State of Inbound report revealed that some of marketers’ top priorities include proving marketing ROI and content distribution/amplification.2) BufferBuffer is a social media scheduling app that creates a ton of useful content and research on its different blogs, so I asked its Director of Marketing, Kevan Lee, how the content team is assembled to produce so much.We have nine people in total on our marketing team: one director, one content writer, one blog editor, one community builder, one loyalty marketer, one PR marketer, one bottom of the funnel marketer, one digital strategist and social media producer, and one product marketer.We all create content in some way, at some time. We’ve built the team based on the marketing channels that we’ve been able to validate. So, at first, when our team was one or two people, we went after a wide range of marketing channels to see what worked. Content marketing yielded some huge results, so we hired a content writer to go deep on that channel.As channels get validated, we try to move people into those roles so they can maximize the impact we can have on that channel. In our case, blogging has been highly validated as a strong referral source for us, so we have multiple people working on content marketing. Video is showing lots of potential, and we’re definitely doing more there — it just hasn’t quite reached the peak validation of content marketing for us yet.”Takeaway for Marketers: Buffer’s marketing team waits for channels to start to drive meaningful results before dedicating staff members to leading the charge, which makes a lot of sense. In this way, Buffer can use ROI to make intentional and impactful choices about where to dedicate resources to get results — and fast. Buffer has consistently seen blogging move the needle for its outcomes, so it built out the blogging team to constantly keep the content engines running.3) MozMoz sells SEO, link building, and content marketing software. I asked its Audience Development Manager, Trevor Klein, about how Moz creates the Moz Blog, Whiteboard Fridays, and other great content.Moz doesn’t actually have a single full-time content creator. We do have a content team of four members. One marketer is in charge of our content experience, ensuring we’re addressing the needs of our audiences and offering them the right paths (and the right stops on those paths) to get the value they need. We also have our blog manager, though her purview extends to strategy for all of our educational content. Our video wizard — with expertise in both video strategy and production — helps teams throughout Moz make the most of a complicated medium. And I manage the team and set overarching strategy.We also, though, have a handful of other Mozzers who devote some of their time to creating content, including several Moz Associates — industry experts with whom we have ongoing contractual relationships.Our team is structured in a way that encourages each individual to contribute in their most meaningful ways, working as much as possible with our wonderful community of contributors. We divide the creation and editing responsibilities among several people instead of retaining full-time writers, and that gives us two important benefits. For one thing, it affords us great flexibility. We don’t have to wait on a bottleneck or get stuck because someone is on vacation, and it allows us to play off each writer’s individual skills for different content needs. This works out well, as Moz’s priorities are in a near-constant state of flux. It also ensures that work never gets too monotonous for anyone on the team. Some people enjoy writing things all day every day, but those folks are few and far between. Splitting the creative work among several people encourages coordination and allows us all to spend some time on other things.”Takeaway for Marketers: Moz’s approach to content creation is smart — it maximizes and takes advantage of employees’ strengths and talents, and it makes the entire publication process a collective team effort. And by training the whole team to fulfill writing, editing, and publishing roles, the team is more nimble and adaptable to institutional or industry change that might drastically alter priorities and goals.4) HubSpotHere at HubSpot, our content creation is spread over many different teams — in fact, we like to say that everyone at HubSpot creates. Within our “strictly” content team, outside of the HubSpot blogs, where we have four full-time writers creating daily content, we have a team of three multimedia content creators, a researcher, two podcast producers, and two social media and video content producers. Additionally, we have a team that creates co-marketing content with our partner organizations, a team that creates ebooks and content offers designed to generate leads, and specific blogs and dedicated to recruiting prospective employees and providing valuable insights to our partner marketing agencies and our various clients’ verticals.In short, the official content engine is made up of nearly 20 employees, but everyone at our organization has the expertise and ability to create content — whether it’s a blog post, a Facebook Live broadcast, or a podcast recording.Takeaway for Marketers: We recommend creating opportunities for all employees to be a part of the content team — team members in other departments have valuable insights and data that can be adapted into relevant content for your audience, so don’t be afraid to grow its size to meet your traffic goals.How is your company’s content team structured? Share with us in the comments below. Originally published Jun 9, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Marketing Jobs Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

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How to Create the Best PowerPoint Presentations [+ Examples & Templates]

first_img Originally published Aug 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated September 30 2019 5. “Why Content Marketing Fails,” Rand FishkinSometimes, the most helpful pieces of content tell you what not to do. Rand Fishkin’s presentation does just that. He takes an in-depth look at the most common reasons people fail at content marketing — and offers practical, original advice on fixing it. Why Content Marketing Fails from Rand Fishkin6. “The What If Technique,” Motivate DesignMost marketers are looking to grow … but sometimes they can get stuck making incremental improvements. While these improvements are growth, larger, bigger growth jumps are what most people want. To help you get unstuck from incrementalism, Motivate Design outlined a process in the presentation below. The What If Technique presented by Motivate Design from Motivate Design7. “Digital Strategy 101,” Bud CaddellEven though this presentation is almost 100 slides long, its content is pure gold. Caddell answers some of the biggest FAQs about digital strategy in a very accessible way. The reason his slides are so straightforward is because of the way he’s laid them out. He’s really adept at making “animated” slides explain his story — something we all should learn how to do. Digital Strategy 101 from Bud Caddell8. “10 Ways to Win the Internets,” UpworthyEven though Upworthy’s got a bad rap for creating clickbait headlines, their lessons on going viral are incredibly interesting. Besides having great advice about going viral, Upworthy does a great job of making its presentation interactive using clickable links. Upworthy: 10 Ways To Win The Internets from Upworthy9. “Crap: The Content Marketing Deluge,” Velocity PartnersEven though this SlideShare is a few years old, it’s one every content marketer should flip through. The reason we love it so much is because the message — and delivery of that message — is pretty much flawless. Definitely take a second to flip through the presentation, as you’ll learn a great lesson while also soaking up a great piece of SlideShare content. Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge. from Velocity Partners10. “What Would Steve Do? 10 Lessons from the World’s Most Captivating Presenters,” HubSpotNot to toot our own horn, but this presentation has been one of our most successful ones, so we wanted to share it with you. I personally love how actionable tips are provided in a visual way. For example, in slides 47 through 49, the author explains the difference between “showing” and “telling” by putting the word “circle” next to a picture of a circle. Although showing, not telling, is a key storytelling technique in writing, it’s especially effective in presentations. What Would Steve Do? 10 Lessons from the World’s Most Captivating Presenters from HubSpot11. “How I Got 2.5 Million Views on SlideShare,” Nick DemeyFeeling inspired to create a SlideShare of your own? Make sure you flip through Nick Demey’s presentation first. He shares some tried-and-true tips for creating awesome presentations that rack up tons of views. How I got 2.5 Million views on Slideshare (by @nickdemey @boardofinno) from Board of Innovation .com12. “10 Powerful Body Language Tips for Your Next Presentation,” Soap PresentationsThis presentation is inspirational from a design perspective — we especially love the color scheme. Using complementary colors (colors opposite each other on the color wheel) can be overwhelming at times, but because Soap Presentations uses them with lots of white space in the background, the colors draw your attention to the content of the slides. 10 Powerful Body Language Tips for your next Presentation from soappresentations13. “What 33 Successful Entrepreneurs Learned From Failure,” ReferralCandyLearning from mistakes is a crucial part of growing in your professional and personal lives. But sometimes, it’s better to learn from others’ mistakes instead of making them yourself. This presentation outlines some core lessons successful entrepreneurs have learned by making mistakes. Read on so you don’t have to make the same ones. What 33 Successful Entrepreneurs Learned From Failure from ReferralCandy14. “Displaying Data,” Bipul Deb NathWe admire presentation for its exceptional display of data — now this post will explain how to do the same in your own presentations. I also love how this presentation is very concise and minimal, as it helps communicate a fairly advanced topic in an easy-to-understand way. Displaying Data from Bipul Deb Nath15. “Design Your Career 2017,” Slides That RockThis presentation’s advice is applicable and its design admirable. The whole black-and-white color scheme really makes the salmon accent color pop — and the SlideShare creatively combines these elements for different slide layouts. Definitely bookmark this presentation as an example of a great SlideShare design. Design Your Career 2015 from Slides That Rock16. “A-Z Culture Glossary 2017,” sparks & honeyThe first time I heard the phrase “on fleek,” I had no idea what it meant. (Apparently, it’s a term that means “on point,” in case you were wondering.)If you’re like me and feel like it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest cultural trends, spend time with the presentation below. It’ll outline the most popular trends you should know this year — most definitely worth a read. Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: Free Resource Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates How to Create Beautiful PowerPoints [+ Templates] Presentations 17. “The History of SEO,” HubSpotSEO’s changed a lot in the past two decades. Most of us are concerned with keeping up with the latest and greatest changes … but have you ever taken a minute to step back in time? The presentation below will walk you through SEO history from the very beginning — it’s been a fascinating ride. The History of SEO from HubSpot18. “5 Killer Ways to Design the Same Slide,” Crispy PresentationsOnce you start designing presentations, it’s easy to fall back on tried-and-true layouts, photos, fonts, and colors. While keeping everything consistent can be good for branding or for shipping a deck quickly, it can also prevent people from noticing the awesome new content you’ve put together. The quick presentation below shows you a few different ways you can design the same slide — all depending on what you want it to accomplish. Five Killer Ways to Design The Same Slide from Crispy Presentations19. “The Seven Deadly Social Media Sins,” XPLAINBesides having some great takeaways for any inbound marketer, I love how this presentation successfully uses Creative Commons images in almost every slide. It’s pretty inspirational — even if you don’t have budget for stock photos, you can have an engaging presentation. The Seven Deadly Social Media Sins from XPLAIN20. “The Minimum Lovable Product,” Spook StudioWhen they’re first getting started, many startups and agile teams talk about creating a minimal viable product — using the smallest amount of resources to produce something that’s good enough to begin testing. After all, why pour tons of resources into something that you don’t know will work?This presentation challenges the MVP concept in favor for creating something that people love. Check it out — it has lessons even for those of us who aren’t building technology every day. The Minimum Loveable Product from Spook Studio21. “How to Teach Yourself HTML and CSS This Month,” Ryan BonhardtLots of people have “learn to code” on their to-do list … but they never get to it. In marketing, knowing how to navigate code is becoming even more important to being successful. If you’ve been waiting to get started with coding, check out the presentation below. How To Teach Yourself HTML And CSS This Month from Ryan Bonhardt22. “How People Really Hold and Touch (Their Phones),” Steven HooberWhen you hear the phrase “design for mobile” what do you think? Probably that you need to create a responsive website, and that’s about it.But that’s not all you need to worry about. When you’re creating mobile-optimized content, you need to know how people actually use their phones — and the presentation below will you a great overview of consumer behavior. How People Really Hold and Touch (their Phones) from Steven Hoober23. “How to Really Get Into Marketing,” Inbound.orgIf you’re graduating from school or making a career change and looking to get into marketing, it can feel tough to actually get started. It’s one of those “you need experience to get the job, but you have no experience” conundrums.Well, that’s where this presentation comes in. Hull growth marketer Ed Fry — once employee #1 at Inbound.org — gives real, actionable tips to help you get your foot in the door at your next marketing gig. How To (Really) Get Into Marketing from Inbound.org24. “Search for Meaning in B2B Marketing,” Velocity PartnersSometimes, it’s easy to get bogged down and think you’re doing “just marketing.” You’re not operating on people and saving lives, right?From the creators of “Crap: The Content Marketing Deluge” comes the following presentation. If you’re ever feeling down-in-the-dumps about marketing, I’d highly recommend reading it. It’s thoughtful, funny, and a great presentation to keep in your back pocket for a rainy day. The Search for Meaning in B2B Marketing from Velocity Partnerscenter_img 1. Less is more.Here’s the thing — SlideShare exists for a reason. It allows users to view information in a presentation format without having to go somewhere else to see it presented. When you, a human being, deliver a presentation, chances are that that’s part of the reason why people are tuning in. They care about the topic, but they also are curious about the person speaking on it.That’s why it can be valuable to keep your slides simple when delivering a presentation to an audience in-person. You want the focus to be on the message, rather than just the slides themselves. Keep the slides on-topic, but simple enough that people can still pay attention to what you’re saying, using the visual presentation to support your message.2. Keep text to a minimum.One way to accomplish the aforementioned simplicity is to reduce the amount of text in your presentation. People recall information better when images are paired with it (as opposed to text), so to help your message resonate with the audience, focus on visual content when you create your slides — we’ll cover more on that in a bit.You certainly won’t be alone — even Google CEO Sundar Pichai practices the reduction of text in his presentations. “Since stories are best told with pictures,” he reportedly remarked at Google I/O 2017, “bullet points and text-heavy slides are increasingly avoided at Google.”3. Rethink visuals.When you reduce the amount of text in your slides, you’ll need compelling visuals to support the message you’re delivering to your audience. But that doesn’t mean you can just throw some nice-looking photos onto your deck and move on. Like any other content strategy, the visual elements of your presentation need to be strategic and relevant.TemplatesWhile PowerPoint templates have come a long way since the program was first unveiled to the world, chances are, they’re still commonly used. To help make your presentation unique, choose a theme that your audience hasn’t seen dozens of times before — one that matches your brand and complements the topic you’re speaking about.Sometimes, it pays to look beyond to other presentation platforms other than PowerPoint to find unique templates, like Prezi. There are also many visual content design sites that offer customizable templates that you can adapt for your own brand and topic, like Canva. In fact, in addition to templates, Canva also offers its very own platform for building presentations from scratch, which you can check out here. Additionally, you can also take a look at Venngage’s free presentation maker for more professionally designed templates, icons and high-quality stock photos that you can use right away. Charts and GraphsOne of the best ways to support the message you’re delivering in your presentation is by including data and statistics — and the good news is that they, too, can be represented visually, rather than bulleted out in text.That’s where charts and graphs come in: They provide a colorful and engaging way to present the details that support your point. That said, make sure they fit in with the rest of your presentation’s visual theme — otherwise, it’ll distract the audience from what you’re talking about, rather than enhancing it. Color ThemesThere’s been some research around the way color can influence our emotions, especially when used in marketing — in some cases, changing the color of a CTA button boosted conversions by 21%.And while the goal of your presentation may not necessarily be to make a sale, you might be trying to invoke certain feelings or impressions, which a strategic use of color can help you do. Check out Coschedule’s guide on the psychology of color in marketing, which highlights the ways different tones, shades, and combinations can influence purchasing decisions.FontsWhen you do include text, you want it to be readable enough for your audience to fully consume and interpret it easily enough to avoid becoming distracted from your message. If you include text that’s too small or dense to easily read, they’ll become too focused on trying to decipher it to pay attention to what you’re saying.That’s why the designers at Visage recommend choosing Sans Serif fonts that opt for “legibility over fun,” noting that text should not only be big enough for people in the back of the room to read it, but also, presented in the right color to maintain visibility over your background.Image qualityIncorporating this fabulous visual content into your presentation will go to waste if the images are low-quality. Make sure your photos and other visual assets are high-resolution enough to be crisp and clear when displayed on a huge presentation screen.4. Incorporate multimedia.There’s a reason why we love examples. You can give out the best advice available, but sometimes, in order to believe it, people need to see it in practice.Multimedia is one way to achieve that — in a manner that can also capture and maintain your audience’s attention. A simple Google search for “music in presentations” yields enough soundtrack results to suggests that it’s a unique way of engaging your audience, or at least create a welcoming atmosphere before and after you speak.Within the presentation itself, video — as it is in so many other applications — serves as valuable visual content to keep your audience engaged. After all, 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers, often because it helps to illustrate and explain theories in practice in a way that the spoken word or photographs can’t do alone.Best PowerPoint Presentations”How to Produce Better Content Ideas,” Mark Johnstone”How Google Works,” Eric Schmidt”Fix Your Really Bad PowerPoint,” Slide Comet”KPCB 2017 Internet Trends,” Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers”Why Content Marketing Fails,” Rand Fishkin”The What If Technique,” Motivate Design”Digital Strategy 101,” Bud Caddell”10 Ways to Win the Internets,” Upworthy”Crap: The Content Marketing Deluge,” Velocity Partners”What Would Steve Do? 10 Lessons from the World’s Most Captivating Presenters,” HubSpot”How I Got 2.5 Million Views on SlideShare,” Nick Demey”10 Powerful Body Language Tips for Your Next Presentation,” Soap Presentations”What 33 Successful Entrepreneurs Learned From Failure,” ReferralCandyDisplaying Data,” Bipul Deb Nath”Design Your Career 2017,” Slides That Rock”A-Z Culture Glossary 2017,” sparks & honey”The History of SEO,” HubSpot”5 Killer Ways to Design the Same Slide,” Crispy Presentations”The Seven Deadly Social Media Sins,” XPLAIN”The Minimum Lovable Product,” Spook Studio”How to Teach Yourself HTML and CSS This Month,” Ryan Bonhardt”How People Really Hold and Touch (Their Phones),” Steven Hoober”How to Really Get Into Marketing,” Inbound.org”Search for Meaning in B2B Marketing,” Velocity Partners 1. “How to Produce Better Content Ideas,” Mark JohnstoneWe all get writer’s block sometimes. You’ll stare at a screen, hoping for inspiration to strike — and for that idea to be amazing.But that’s not actually the best way to think of ideas. In the presentation below, Mark Johnstone outlines a better way to brainstorm ideas that will help build your business. How to Produce Better Content Ideas from Mark Johnstone2. “How Google Works,” Eric SchmidtEver wonder what it’s actually like to work at Google? The presentation below from Eric Schmidt (Alphabet, Inc.’s Executive Chairman and ex-CEO of Google) could clue you in — it outlines some of the top lessons he and his team have learned from running and hiring for one of the top companies in the world. Besides giving you a peek behind the scenes of a top company, it could inspire you to make changes to the way your business runs. How Google Works from Eric Schmidt3. “Fix Your Really Bad PowerPoint,” Slide CometOkay, maybe your PowerPoint isn’t that bad, but this presentation has some awesome takeaways we all could learn from. Even if you’re following all the tips in this presentation, you can sure be inspired by its expert copy and design. Fix Your Really Bad PowerPoint by @slidecomet : based on an ebook by @ThisIsSethsBlog from Slide Comet | Singapore Presentation Designer Agency4. “KPCB 2017 Internet Trends,” Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersMary Meeker’s report on the latest internet trends is one of the most hotly anticipated data reports of the year. Even if you gave this presentation a gander when it first came out, it’s worth revisiting — the data’s fascinating, current, and relevant to marketers in any industry. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Want more? Read 14 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Building More Creative Slideshows [+Templates]. Some presentations are better than others. Some have gorgeous designs. Some have insanely actionable takeaways. Some just give down-to-earth advice. But the best presentations represent all three.And if you’re looking to get started making your own presentation, why not learn from the best of the best?To help you kick your own presentations up a notch, we’ve curated 24 awesome PowerPoint and SlideShare decks below. Free Download: 4 PowerPoint Presentation TemplatesWhen you’re clicking through the presentations below, notice how they weave an interesting story through the format, design their slides, and make their presentations interactive with features exclusive to the platform on which they were created. These are all crucial elements to making an awesome presentation — ones that you can certainly adapt and apply them to your own, with the right approach.Even better … you may just learn a thing or two about marketing while you’re at it.How to Create a PresentationLess is more.Keep text to a minimum.Rethink visuals.Incorporate multimedia.last_img read more

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9 Email Marketing Habits It Pays to Break

first_img Topics: InVision uses witty copy and bright colors to catch the eye and entice their readers to click.Classy, an online fundraising platform for nonprofits, similarly uses the CTA as an opportunity to be more playful with their copy and create a memorable experience for their blog subscribers.6. You Keep It Short and Sweet How to Break It: Experiment With Length The Skimm’s 6 million email subscribers prove that emails don’t always have to be short and sweet, or highly visual to be successful. While some data points to ideally having relatively short email copy, the Skimm’s emails can get quite long (though they are broken into sections for digestibility). And while they don’t typically include very many visual components, they focus on making one thing very easy for the reader. Sharing.In this example alone, there are nine opportunities to share the email with a friend or colleague. Which leads us to our next habit:7. You’re Focused on Content How to Break It: Consider How Design Feeds GrowthIf content is King, design is Queen.Your content could be strong and interesting, but if your design doesn’t include the ability to easily share your message, you’re holding your content back. According to Bernadette Jiwa, author of Marketing: A Love Story, “Growth hacking is really the practice of creating and leveraging word-of-mouth with intention.”She continues, “Growth hackers optimize their business to acquire new customers by first delighting one customer and then making it easy for that customer to share the store with friends.”You work hard to ensure your content delights—don’t send it off to die in the bowels of your clientele’ inboxes. Incorporate tools that give your email the legs it needs to grow.8. You Use Personas to Make Assumptions How to Break It: Demonstrate Intimacy As marketers, we have to make assumptions. We can’t possibly know each of our audience members intimately. While segmentation and building personas is important to delivering relevant content, today’s consumers are expecting you to know more about them than ever.If you can’t demonstrate intimacy, you’re going to fall short. If marketers aren’t using segmentation by now, they’re at least aware of the tactic and how other organizations benefit from it. While developing personas and lists to send more personalized messages is a step in the right direction, we can take action to further personalize our content and show readers we’re paying attention—and that we’re listening.Consider what data you might share with your readers to develop a sense of intimacy or help them learn about their own behaviors.For example, Spotify uses data to demonstrate how well they know their users. These unique messages feel “one-of-a-kind” because they are. Each user receives a message with personalized data and insights around their own actions.9. You Talk Too Much About YourselfHow to Break It: Send an Email, Just Because It can be easy for messaging to get a little out of balance. After all, your marketing efforts are intended to make your audience aware of the value of your products and/or services. But to become a brand that people identify with in a meaningful way, you need to do more than just keep them updated on your latest deals and features.You need to add value to each person’s life. Develop a cadence for connecting over something unrelated to your sales efforts, but very related to your organization’s core values and culture.This will help you to grow a following of like-minded individuals passionate about who you are and how you make them feel, not just what you’re selling.For example, Spotify sends messages to let their users know about upcoming concerts in their area:Additionally, Chubbies sends a “Weekender” email every Friday that doesn’t include links to products. Instead, they round up fun and entertaining bits of information purely aimed at providing a laugh. This fits right into their culture and core values, as indicated by the statement on their website, “We believe in the weekend.”According to Kyle, one of their founders, “It’s all about all the wild stuff in the world and what you should be doing this coming weekend. And the purpose of it is to send you into the weekend. It doesn’t drive sales. It’s for nothing but creating a valuable experience with our customers. And we’ve done that every Friday for six years. That’s part of how we build a real relationship with our customers.”Ready to Switch Things Up?While best practices emerge for a reason, if you’re not regularly experimenting in this competitive communications landscape, your efforts will soon appear stale and your growth, stagnant. Build time into your team’s workflows to reassess your current best practices regularly to allow for ample creativity. Email Marketing Mistakes Don’t forget to share this post!center_img Before you break any email marketing habits or best practices, it’s important to first understand why they work.Once you’ve mastered basic email content creation, you’ll be in a better position to experiment and test certain components of your strategy. In today’s ultra-competitive email landscape, you need to perform tests in order to find out what drives your specific recipients to open, read, and click.Click here to download our free ebook featuring 104 email marketing myths, experiments, and inspiration.While the right content and design are necessary components for email success, running tests will help you understand how to stand out in your readers’ inboxes. And to understand what to test, it’s helpful to revisit your current strategies and consider which email habits might be appropriate to mix up, or break altogether.In this post, we’ll explore a number of commonly overlooked email habits you should start breaking and experimenting with to find the best strategy for your company.9 Email Marketing Habits It Pays to Break1. You Always Use the Same Sender Name How to Break It: Get Friendly With Your “From” NameWhile it’s helpful to set certain expectations with your email recipients, don’t limit yourself to only sending messages from your company name, or from one team member. Experimenting with “friendly froms” can increase open rates. For example, instead of simply sending an email from the name of your company, you might provide an employee’s name, such as “Tim at Awesome.com”But before you go crazy, always ensure your email activities do not violate the CAN-SPAM act. Your froms should not be false or misleading. However, there are ways your organization can make adjustments that delight your recipients.Chubbies, a men’s fashion company with over 1.5 million Facebook followers, is well-known for getting creative with their from names. While their approach is very specific to their organization’s tone, style, and audience, you can look to them for inspiration.One study found that while Chubbies’ messages had slightly lower inbox placement rates, their “fun and unusual friendly forms” saw higher read rates and lower “delete without reading” rates.Here’s an example of how Chubbies gets creative with the friendly from:Chubbies also makes sure their fun “friendly” from names go with their subject lines and preview text.This synchronization allows them to use every space available to them in your inbox to grab your attention and make a lasting impression. Again, before testing strategies like this yourself, consult with a law professional about the CAN-SPAM act to ensure you’re not in violation.2. You Treat Your Subject Line Too Literally How to Break It: Write Copy That Visually Stands Out Consumers are inundated with emails all day long, which means your subject line is the one factor that will get someone to open your message.Consider the following example:What stands out? Caps lock text? Numbers? The use of an emoji? Personalization? Humor? White space?To catch someone’s attention as they scroll through their unread messages, it’s important to consider how your subject line appears next to others visually.While your subject line text should reflect the contents of your message and match your organization’s tone and style, it’s important to use this space as creatively as possible. Test small tweaks with your audience to see if anything helps grab their attention.3. Your Preview Text Is Auto-Populated How to Break It: Use That Hot Preview Text Real Estate If your email client supports preview text, also known as pre-header text, you can optimize it for every email you send. Allowing this text to auto-populate is a lost opportunity to grab attention or delight your recipients.Though it takes some code, the use of this space will help you stand out from others who do not go to the same lengths to make theirs unique.Experiment with clever, related text, like how Chubbies does in the example above, or try using just a few words to create more white space.In the example below, Crate and Barrel writes preview text that is an extension of their subject line and creates eye-catching white space.And in the following example, the Skimm uses their preview text to address a previous technical error in a light-hearted manner.4. Your Copy Is So Professional It’s Boring How to Break It: Develop a Distinct Tone of Voice Your organization’s tone of voice can be one of your biggest differentiators. Whether you use a certain style of humor or strive to sound as academic as possible, a well-crafted voice allows readers to connect with your organization on a human-to-human level.In a time when technological advancement has us fondly looking to the past and remembering more intimate times, businesses can struggle to both scale and maintain the “humanness” of a mom-and pop-shop.Your tone can help you combat that struggle. The answer is having a personality.According to one of Chubbies’ four founders, Tom, they thought, “Everything’s a little too serious in men’s fashion.” To stand out and attract people to their brand, he says, “We wrote our emails like we were writing to our friends.”In a podcast interview by Smart Passive Income, he advised organizations to think about their own brand as a unique person.“Think about it like a person with a personality. More often than not, that personality is going to be yours—as the business owner, as the person who’s going to be writing or creating this content. Write about the things you care about, write about the things that have an emotional connection with you, and that’s where you’ll start to find kernels. We were not knocking it out of the park every time we wrote but because we were passionate about it, it enabled us to keep testing and keep driving.”When you approach your communication under this lens, you’re bound to create content that doesn’t just deliver a message, but also forms a connection.5. Your CTA Is Literal How to Break It: Get Creative With Button Copy Every inch of your email is an opportunity and each word should be intentional, especially the areas that ask your readers to take an action.Here a few favorite examples of ways to get clever and entice your reader to click. Today’s consumer is well aware of the fact that you’re trying to lead them to a desired action. With that in mind, you might experiment with your call to action copy and use each “click here” spot as a chance to delight. Originally published Mar 6, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated December 04 2018last_img read more

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What to do – and avoid – when people ignore your message

first_imgImagine this. You’ve had a bad day at work. For months, you’ve been trying to persuade everyone to recycle. No one is complying. In frustration, you send out a mass email. “Only 5% of staff is putting paper in the recycling bins. We need to do better,” you say.Bad move.Why? When we are deciding whether to do something, we typically look to see what others are doing (“social proof”). As Robert Cialdini has thoroughly documented, we’re compliant creatures. If we see everyone else is ignoring the recycling bins, we’ll ignore them too.If you lament that no one is listening, no one will listen. By emphasizing inaction, you discourage the very behaviors you’re seeking.If you want action, make people feel they are are part of something positive: “We’re aiming for 100% of paper recycled by Friday – and we’re on our way there.”If you’re at a nonprofit that’s attracted hundreds of donations when you wanted thousands, don’t say, “Fewer people have supported our cause this year. So many kids are going without lunch. We really need your help.”Say: “Your donation will provide a school lunch to Jason every day this year. Join the hundreds of donors supporting kids like him.”Here are three tips for turning your frustration over what isn’t working into a message that compels action – instead of more inaction.1. The number one thing you can do to overcome resistance is to celebrate and publicize the people who are taking action. It will help inspire the ones who aren’t.2. If you don’t have enough people to highlight, try getting just one – preferably a person who people respect (or who has authority). Ask that person to explain why he or she is taking action. Maybe you’re not the best messenger and that person would be better.3. Last, if you can’t succeed on those fronts, try to convert just regular one person. Then ask that person to explain why they changed their mind. Converted skeptics are the most motivating of any messenger for the people who have failed to act. The people who aren’t on your side are more likely to relate to someone who once felt like them.Bottom line? Accentuate the positive if you want a positive reaction.last_img read more

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Social Media Content Is Sitting Right in Front of You

first_imgContent for your social media channels is sitting right in front of you. Really! Your website, donor appeals, and newsletters are just waiting to be translated into a Facebook post, tweet, or YouTube video. Repurposing content can take some time, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll start thinking of ideas to feed your social channels in your sleep. To help get your creative juices flowing, here are some quick tips and content ideas for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: Try experimenting with videos and picture slideshows. Quick tips: Do share candid images. Don’t share stock photos. Ideas for posts: Quick tips: Don’t be afraid to retweet. Share content that is relevant to your audience. Repurpose a success story from an appeal letter. Do some research on hashtags. Does your issue area or local community have a hashtag? Post images of your team prepping for an event. Ideas for posts: Twitter Quick tips: Invite people to join your email list. Think visual. Studies show that posts with images perform much better than posts without. Post a photo from an past year’s event for #tbt (Throwback Thursday). Which posts have done well in the past? Try to repeat what works well but with a fresh twist. Facebook Share opinion pieces from your staff or experts from your issue area. Even more than on Twitter, hashtags can help you connect with new audiences. Share stats from your annual report. Instagram Don’t be afraid to be fun. Organizations are made up of people, and your Facebook fans know that. Step outside the box every once in a while and let your personality shine. Create an image of your mission statement. (We like Canva for projects like this.) Share a photo of your volunteers in action. Post pics of the thank you notes your organization sends (or receives). Live tweet an event, rally, or staff luncheon. Share a glimpse into the day-to-day life of staff, clients, and volunteers. Remind everyone what a $25 donation will accomplish. Ideas for posts: Follow back. You can’t have a conversation if you aren’t following your followers. Get more ideas (101, in fact!) for social media posts by downloading 101 Social Media Posts and watching our archived webinar The Art of Social Media, with social media expert and author Guy Kawasaki. And if you aren’t following us on our favorite social channels, what are you waiting for? TwitterFacebookInstagramlast_img read more

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Lack of Public Trust in Charities and What to Do About It

first_img Since 2002, donors increasingly believe that charitable organizations “waste” money—on staff salaries, fundraising expenses, or other core costs considered administrative or not directly benefiting programs. Furthermore, nearly half of those polled were mostly concerned about how organizations use their money. This was also the top concern in the Money for Good study released last year. Since 2002, donors increasingly believe that charitable organizations “waste” money—on staff salaries, fundraising expenses, or other core costs considered administrative or not directly benefiting programs. You know what comes next: Donors favor organizations with low administrative and fundraising costs. In fact, 54% of donors like charities that get good ratings by validators like Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau, which seem to reward the “lean and mean” organizations. And now we are squarely back in the thick of the Overhead Myth.Quite a bit has been written and discussed about the Overhead Myth and the charity “watchdogs” or validators, so I won’t add to that debate here. Without a doubt, the measure of nonprofit performance has gotten stuck on financials. This is only one part of the story of an organization’s effectiveness. Nonprofits that have the resources to invest in talent, systems, and infrastructure are more likely to be successful, which is directly seen in their programs’ impact and results.So, if we know donors are scrutinizing charities more than ever and questioning how nonprofits are using their money, how can we restore donor confidence? Change the conversation. Share your vision and plans for the future. Celebrate your successes, and be honest about your challenges and how you are addressing them. Quantify your results and impact, both in numbers and stories.If donors see that you are doing good work with visible results, then the “administrative” costs and how you spend money on staff and fundraising, for example, fit within a broader context of organizational effectiveness. It then makes sense that having the financial resources to pay competitive salaries to hire talented and experienced staff will lead to stronger programs and results. Fundraising expenses become part of your organization’s overall strategy for growth and reinvestment of revenue to create a stronger foundation for innovative and expanded breadth of services. You get the picture.Donor trust should never be assumed. It’s earned. While you may not be able to shift your donors from restricting their gifts to specific programs, you can inspire greater investment by positioning everything you need—from vision to staff to resources—to continue doing your work well. The 2015 Giving USA report announced that giving levels across the United States returned to record highs, finally restarting the philanthropic pause triggered by the 2008 recession.If donor confidence seems to have been restored and all is right in the charitable world again, why does a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy poll point to stalled levels of confidence in nonprofits? Of the 1,000 or so people surveyed, 64% said they had a great deal of confidence in charities. More than 50% is pretty good, right? So what’s the problem? Donor trust levels have stayed about the same since 2002, when Paul Light, a professor at New York University, started studying donor confidence.last_img read more

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