Bengal issues lookout notices for Gurung, Giri

first_img However, Mr Gurung did have an idea of the meeting as he issued a statement prior to the meeting with the Chief Minister. “But what he did not know was the whereabouts of Tamang and Thapa after the meeting,” a GJM official said.After the meeting, on his return to the hills, Mr Tamang gave a call to withdraw the strike till September 12, which is revoked on Friday by Mr Gurung. The party officials clarified that the strike in Darjeeling– which will be completing three months in few days– will continue indicating that the talks between the Bengal government and a section of GJM leaders failed.Mr Gurung also slammed Tamang as a “traitor” who was playinginto the hands of the state government. Following his statement Tamang’s house, meanwhile, was ransacked by pro- Gorkhaland supporters. Posters were pasted in front of his house terming him a “traitor of Gorkhaland”. The party leadership claimed that a woman was killed during lathi charge by police to disperse a crowd that was protesting against the decision to suspend the shutdown. The police, however, denied the allegation. GJM stir escalates in Darjeeling, Tamang removed from post The West Bengal government issued look out notices against the president and secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha [GJM] on Friday. The notices are issued by the Criminal Investigation Department [CID] of the State government and a very senior officer of the CID confirmed it to The Hindu. The notices follow GJM action against party interlocutors Binoy Tamang and Anit Thapa who represented them at the talks with the government. “We have issued them against GJM president Bimal Gurung and general secretary Roshan Giri,” a senior CID official said.A similar notice was also issued against another activist, Prakash Gurung, the youth wing president of the GJM. The notices are issued in consultation with the officials of the Central government to nab criminals and also to stop them from crossing international borders.Meanwhile, following a meeting of GJM senior office-bearers, Mr. Gurung ostensibly expelled party’s assistant general secretary, Binoy Tamang, who led the team to Kolkata on August 29 to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Another leader of the party Anit Thapa was also apparently expelled. “I am hearing the news that they are expelled,” party’s secretary Roshan Giri told The Hindu. However, he has not confirmed the expulsion.Earlier, Mr Gurung claimed in a statement that a section of their party leaders “have shaken hands with Bengal government … to derail [the] movement” and thus he issued a long and strongly worded statement claiming the struggle for Gorkha homeland will continue.“They [rebel leaders] didn’t inform me about the recent meetings they undertook, they didn’t tell me where the meeting took place, how many times such meetings were held, and I wasn’t even made aware of who would be the Convener of the coordination committee, I only came to know about it after they had done the selections. So I was kept in the dark and they didn’t consult me….[section of the leaders led by Tamang] went to Nabanna [State Secretariat] and sat for a meeting with Mamata Banerjee without consulting me,” Mr Gurung alleged.Also Readlast_img read more

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ROBBING: Return On Business Blogging Is Not Guaranteed

first_imgIf you have been reading this blog for a while, you likely know that I’m generally a strong proponent of the value of business blogging (particularly for small businesses).  I’ve been advocating the need for small businesses to start blogs as an important part of their Internet Marketing strategy for a while now.  So, why the controversial title for this article?  Simple:  If we’re going to try and rationalize an investment of time, energy and money by attaching an ROI (return on investment) to blogging, we need to be a bit diligent and thoughtful about how we do so.  In any case, here are some of my thoughts on about how to improve your chances of getting a return on investment for your business blogging efforts. ROI Of Blogging So, my points here are not particularly complicated.  My message is simple:  To really get value out of your business blogging efforts, you need to make sure that you are investing sufficient time into the process, measuring what matters and doing something about it.   First (and foremost) you should be looking to find more buyers for whatever it is that you are offering.  This is the best return you can hope for.  Of course, you can’t expect every visitor to your blog to whip out their credit cards (or call one of your sales people), but you can 3. Buyers, Back-links and Brand-Building:  This one’s a bit obvious too.  It is near impossible to demonstrate a return on your blogging investment if do something about it 5. Analyze and Adjust:  have an ROI – but just that an ROI is not guaranteed.  Also, my apologies for the acronym ROBBING (I just couldn’t come up with anything better).  I’m not suggesting that business bloggers are robbing anyone of anything.  All in good jest (and for some percentage of you, the word probably got your attention, thereby increasing the ROI of this article). .  You have to watch what works, and what doesn’t.  Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.  For example, one thing I’ve learned from writing for two business blogs is that a majority of my readership seems to appreciate my casual, informal style. c) Brand:  a) Buyers:  Improving The Return On Investment For Your Business Blog ”.  As you might suspect, the article (and the associated paper), discusses how to measure the return on investment (ROI) for a blog – and more specifically, a business blog.  Though I have not purchased the paper (it talks too much about big businesses), the article itself has a useful framework for looking at this analytically. Topics: These are the three primary areas of “return” I think businesses should strive for when writing their blog.  I even put them in descending priority order even though the alliteration sounded better with a different order.  You’re welcome.  2. If A Blogger Types In The stuff.  For a more dynamic explanation of this, I encourage you to watch a video interview of  Brian Halligan (my co-founder at HubSpot).  The video is titled “ increase Defining ROI On Business Blogs The article was sparked in part by an article penned by Charlene Li of Forrester who wrote on the topic of “ nobody is reading your blog Lots of business bloggers are diligent about tracking things like their daily traffic, referral sources and other common metrics available through most web analytics tools.  Though all of this is good, it’s not enough – and not nearly as meaningful as the Forest…:  1.  Launching Is Not Enough:  the likelihood that this will occur.  This is done by focusing your content (and your promotional efforts for the content) on the types of visitors that are likely to become clients.   I think too many businesses think that they can simply sign up for a Blogger account, write an article, and call it a day.  This is what I would call the “Look Ma!, I’m Blogging!” phenomenon.  Nothing against Blogger.  It’s just that if you’re actually looking to create a measurable return, it takes more than that.  Stated differently, to get an “R” (i.e. Return) you have to “I” (that is Invest).   I have an uncanny knack for the stating the obvious. b) Back-Links:  real Astute readers will also notice that I am not stating in this article’s title that business blogging ”.  For further reading, I’d also recommend Seth Godin’s article “ If you can’t close a customer, you want back-links.  The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is driven by back-links.  The more people you can get to your blog articles, the more weighting you will have in the search engines, and the more relevant people will “find” you when doing a search.  In fact, you can help test this theory by linking to this article with the words “business blogging” in the anchor text.  (smile).  Originally published Jan 29, 2007 11:42:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 doesn’t ” Simply measuring how your blog is doing in ways that are meaningful is not going far enough.  You need to Business Blogging 4. Measure Something Meaningful:  .  In this case, the value you get from blogging is likely little more than the satisfaction of expressing yourself (and perhaps impressing your friends and family).  So clearly, to get an ROI, you have to find ways to draw visitors to your blog and have them read it.  If you got to this article through one of the popular social news sites (like reddit or digg), that is certainly one way to do it.  There are others ways too.  But all of it hinges on writing content that people are interested in. High Resolution Mistakes Finally, if you can’t get a buyer or a back-link, you can at least build your “brand”.  Although you will likely never have a powerful brand like Coke, Nike or Apple – you can certainly benefit from increased visibility of your business.  Readers of your blog will (hopefully) be left with a positive impression of you, and your company and this could help with future interactions with that individual (and perhaps then, they will become a buyer or give you a back-link). 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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No Google PageRank Update in 4 Months: Should You Care?

first_img Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the update cycle. The last known update to the public Google PageRank number (as shown via the toolbar and tools like WebsiteGrader.com), was around April 30th 2007. So, as I write this article, it has been over 4 months since the last update. In all the time that I’ve been watching the Google PageRank updates, this is the longest lapse I’ve seen. This likely means that we’re going to see an update “any day now”. Measuring SEO 2. Updates happen inconsistently (you never really know when the next one is coming) Most SEO experts are of the opinion that the Google PageRank number that is available to the public (often known as the “toolbar PageRank”) is not very important. The toolbar PR (TBPR) is the number shown via the Google Toolbar and other software applications (like WebsiteGrader.com’s Originally published Sep 10, 2007 11:22:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 If you’re interested in knowing when the next Google PageRank update happens, I have a simple solution for you. Just 3. It’s a coarse number (0-10 — no fractions) in comparison to the “internal” PageRank number Google uses for its ranking algorithm. SEO Report First off, if you don’t know what Google PageRank is, then here’s a quick So, although Google PageRank has its limitations, it continues to be monitored and cited (if you’re in the market for buying a website, one of the things you’ll likely look at is the Google PageRank of the site). All of these are legitimate reasons that do indeed severely limit the utility of the public Google PageRank. However, this number continues to be interesting to many folks primarily because it is the simplest abstraction that can easily be accessed to determine the general “authority” for a given web page. It factors in the two most important things from an SEO perspective: The number of inbound links to a given web page and the power/authority of those links.center_img Topics: What does this mean to you? If you have a relatively new site, or have just started getting meaningful inbound links recently, don’t fret if your Google PageRank is zero. Since there hasn’t been an update in a while, chances are your current PR (or lack thereof) is simply based on the old data. Once the update occurs, you should see yourself move up. WebsiteGrader.com is currently at a PR5 (which is not bad), but I expect the site to jump to a PR6 as it has more powerful links than some of our other sites which already have a PR6. introduction to Google PageRank register for this site and we’ll send you a quick email when the update happens. We monitor hundreds of websites on behalf of our users, so when the change happens, we’ll likely be one of the first ones to know — and so will you. . SEO experts think Google PageRank is not a particularly meaningful number for a variety of reasons: . 1. Updates happen infrequently (every few months) 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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5 Marketing Lessons From the First Inbound Marketing University

first_img Download HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University online training program IMU includes 11 free webinar classes and note sheets . The program drills into each component of inbound marketing and prepares you for the Inbound Marketing certification exam. Earlier this summer HubSpot, along with ten fantastic professors and eight stellar partner organizations , hosted the first Inbound Marketing University .This free series of 11 webinar classes helped folks make professional contacts, find new job opportunities, and learn skills to better themselves at their current marketing jobs.In total, we provided 13,000 hours of free class time, 1,000 people took an inbound marketing certification exam at the end of the classes, and there are now 500 Inbound Marketing Certified Professionals around the world. In the process of organizing IMU, I learned a series of new marketing lessons myself. Here are a few of the most important ones: 1) Partner with stellar organizations to increase promotional reach. When we started organizing the class topics for the program, we contacted the best-of-the-best for each subject. By inviting thought leaders on each topic, the program had the best possible content, increasing program value. Partners valued the opportunity to internact with a large audience passionate about marketing, and helped expand this audience with their own networks. 2) Do everything you can to enable interaction among participants. We did this by creating a hashtag ( #IMU ), setting up a ” Student Bulletin Board ,” and encouraging people to ask and answer questions in the InboundMarketing.com Forums . We also wanted to add value by helping them grow their own networks, while creating a resource where folks could ask questions and help each other out. 3) Have personal contact with your community. I feel like I personally got to know a lot of the folks who participated in IMU, and they got to know me. Adding a personal touch added to the community and enhanced the experience overall. In the event that people had feedback, questions or wonderful compliments, they felt comfortable enough to tell me directly. 4) Listen and integrate your participant’s ideas. A few days into the first program, a handful of folks mentioned on Twitter that they would love a LinkedIn group exclusive to IMU students and alumni , which was something I hadn’t even considered! Folks also chimed in with great feedback on how to improve the PDF certificate. Thanks to the great suggestions from the first class, IMU2 should be even better. 5) Offer an opportunity for participants to learn about your company, but don’t push it. At the end of the first IMU program, we invited students to another webinar that taught how folks could implement their new inbound marketing skills with the HubSpot software . Some attended the webinar; some sent the invitation along to a friend; and some appreciated the invitation but chose to pass. Very few found the invitation pushy. They already knew that we had organized and provided IMU, and they appreciated the value the program gave them. That’s true inbound marketing! And now I invite you to attend the new IMU2 program yourself! Visit http://www.inboundmarketing.com/university to register for the new live webinars and/or take the inbound marketing certification exam.IMU2 will include two fantastic new classes — one taught by Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications and one by Laura (@ Pistachio) Fitton, co-author of Twitter for Dummies . (You also can catch up on the webinars from IMU1 anytime you want .) So, what do you think? What marketing lessons have you learned–or would you like to learn–from Inbound Marketing University? Free Inbound Marketing University Online Training Program Originally published Aug 5, 2009 8:01:00 AM, updated October 20 2016center_img 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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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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Google Introduces Analytics App Store

first_img marketing analytics .  You may come across an app that lets you organize your analytics in a way that helps you get more out of measuring your marketing.  The gallery is chock full of tools to help Analytics users understand their web stats.  It is currently divided into 12 categories, including business intelligence, campaign management, content management, data collection, e-commerce, , mobile solutions, phone call tracking, reporting tools, Originally published May 5, 2010 12:57:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 they should be Google’s Analytics Application Gallery Learn how to measure the effectiveness of Your web site. If you’re a Google Analytics user, take some time to browse the new gallery and check out Google’s Topics: If you’re a marketer, web analytics (different from  Today’s launch of will hopefully make it a little easier. The new gallery offers applications that extend Google Analytics’ reach deeper into specific areas like eCommerce and content management.  search optimization ).  Analytics help you determine how each of your initiatives are performing and can indicate whether you need to change or improve upon your existing programs.  In a nutshell, web and marketing analytics ) are a significant part of your marketing programs (and if they aren’t, Google Analytics Have you taken a look around the gallery? Are any of the offered tools useful to you? Share some of your favorite Google Analytics apps in the comments below. help you determine the ROI of your marketing efforts. Why is this helpful for marketers? Editor’s Picks email marketing Download the free video Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Trying to get more out of your Google Analytics? , site audit, and widgets & gadgets.  Currently, there are 38 available apps, though this number will continue to rise as developers submit their new apps to the gallery. to learn how to measure the effectiveness of your web site. Video: Marketing Analytics 101: How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Websitelast_img read more

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10 Common Business Blogging Questions Answered

first_img as part of our software package, guaranteeing that your posts are well-optimized and social media-friendly. blogging platform . More than 3,000 people from all around the world attended the webinar, posting over 1,000 questions during the webinar. . That is why we wanted to tackle some of the most frequently asked questions during the webinar and continue the discussion here! Topics: in the sphere of marketing, 6. Is it good to have a Contact Form page on my blog? The Science of Blogging ( here 8. Is it better to include personal bylines for company bloggers? and HubSpot’s inbound marketing experts will be happy to help you out! Don’t divorce blogging from link-building strategies. Your blog provides the perfect opportunity for building inbound links—sharing insights about your industry prompts people to refer to your expertise from their sites and social media profiles. Also, covering certain people and organizations in your posts will help you develop relationships with them. In order to start driving traffic to your blog, you will need to carve out a niche—focus on your industry and optimize your blog posts around specific industry key phrases. Figure out which keywords you would like to rank high for and concentrate on creating content around them. Use your blog to demonstrate your thought leadership in that subject and reach out to fellow experts. Another effective way to attract traffic is by answering questions that your customers are frequently asking (e.g. in the way we are doing with this post!). . Duct Tape that is specific to the content of the post. You can implement the social media sharing buttons directly from Facebook and Twitter. You can customize your Facebook “Like” button and get the code When creating calls-to-action, use active voice and verbs that convey educational offers. For instance, strong calls-to-action often begin with words like “find out,” “learn” and “try out.” Also, as Dan mentioned in his research, the most linked-to words in blogs include “recent,” “insights” and “answers.” These phrases also emphasize the marketing power of learning opportunities. Twitter request a free website assessment 5. What are your thoughts about moderating comments? dominant one 10. What are some blogs that do it right? Contact forms are not the best performing elements you can add to your blog (or, for that matter, to any other web page). Today your community can reach you instantly using social media, a practice that made contact forms even clumsier and more obsolete. So make sure you add social media sharing buttons to your blog. 3. Are there trigger words that make your calls-to-action more effective? in the eCommerce industry. All three share similar characteristics–frequency of publishing blog posts and inclusion of social media sharing and RSS feeds. Most importantly, they feature valuable content, varying from interviews with industry experts and actionable tips to discount offers. in the construction industry and 7. How much time per week should we allocate to maintaining the blog?center_img business blogging Originally published Dec 10, 2010 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Allocating time to blogging depends entirely on your previous activities and existing resources. If you already have writers or if you have content that you can develop into blog posts, then it shouldn’t take you long. If, however, you are starting from scratch, allocate at least 2-3 hours per week for blogging. Consider accumulating blog posts and use Some terrific blogs to examine for best practices include #BlogSci Dan’s research to publish them on best days Our policy at HubSpot is to let everyone comment on our blog articles and create an open space for authentic conversations. Even negative comments provide great opportunities for businesses to share something of value in the public domain and show personality and humanness. By allowing unfiltered comments in blog posts, your company will convey that it welcomes different opinions and embraces transparency. Yesterday Dan Zarrella expanded his scientific webinar series with a presentation analyzing among these remains WordPress, with its various plug-ins and options for customization. HubSpot also offers a But if you want your blog readers to take a specific type of action, then make that clear with a targeted form (not a generic “Contact Us” button). For instance, at the end of each of our blog articles, we include a Some of the most recognized (and free) blogging platforms you can use include WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. The . 4. Where can we learn how to add the Like and the ReTweet buttons? 9. What do you consider the best blog platform to use? Lauren’s Hope River Pools and Spas ) quickly became a trending topic on Twitter, highlighting people’s strong interest in the science behind blogging for business call-to-action Starting and maintaining a business blog should not require any technical background—you only need to be immersed in your industry and willing come up with interesting content ideas around it. If you are interested in getting a personal blog review, feel free to 2. What has a greater effect on SEO: blog links or link building strategies? also allows you to pick from three different Twitter sharing buttons that count your ReTweets straight from each blog post, thus encouraging people to keep sharing. 1. How do you drive traffic to your blog? Including writer bylines in your company blog posts is definitely a good idea because it highlights the unique personalities of your writers and allows your readership to create comfortable habits. For instance, if the same blogger is posting an article every Monday morning, then your audience will start expecting to see her name and contribution at that specific day and time. This is a great way to build following and also motivate employees to contribute blog posts on a regular basis. Business Blogging 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 7 Worst Marketing Emails You’ve Ever Seen

first_imgMarketing shouldn’t make people cry. Do you get marketing email that makes you want to punch your fist through your computer in hopes of actually connecting with the person that sent it. Marketing shouldn’t suck this bad. Marketing should solve problems, not induce fits of rage.Raise your hand, and repeat after me. “I will stop sending marketing emails that makes people want to punch me.” Marketing automation shouldn’t be about doing more crappy marketing with less effort. Instead, it should be about giving people valuable information in a personalized and contextual manner. Let’s take a look at some TERRIBLE marketing emails and learn from them so that we can delight our prospects, leads, and customers.7 Unbelievably Bad Marketing Automation Emails1. Bragging About Clients: Really? You work with all of these companies? Wait…I don’t care! These companies are not related to my business, and it doesn’t matter what you did for them. It’s also great to see that you needed to send a super LONG email to brag about yourself; thanks for wasting even more of my time.Marketing Takeaway: Your prospects and leads don’t care who you work with. They care about what you can do for them. Send them marketing email that is customized to their business needs with specific recommendations for them. 2. Terrible Event Follow-Up: Could the email below be more obvious that it’s a mass email? This sender was so lazy, that he/she put everyone who attended two events on the same list and sent them all the same email. They also include three separate calls-to-action, and the first one for a free trial doesn’t even include a link. This couldn’t be less personal.Marketing Takeaway: Understand how each person gets added to your email list. Use this information combined with their interaction with your website and content to provide them with personalized content and calls-to-action (CTAs). And stick with one CTA per email, please!3. Failure to Test: Nothing (and I mean nothing) demonstrates a lack of personalization better than an error message that displays instead of the recipient’s name. By not sending a test email to check for technical issues, you can instantly lose credibility as a marketer.Marketing Takeaway: Great marketing automation is about more than just compelling content. It’s about making sure all the details are perfect. Your marketing is the first experience that a potential customer faces. Make this process perfect by testing your email marketing sends to ensure that the formatting and personalization features work correctly.4. Forgetting to Nurture: Really? We just met, and you already want to get married? That is often what bad marketing automation email can feel like. Too many emails like the one below go straight into the sales pitch without any prior nurturing.Marketing Takeaway: Plan your communication with prospects and leads to ensure that you have included several steps of sending educational information before transitioning into product-focused information.5. The Scariest Unsubscribe Link Ever: One way to make sure people never unsubscribe from your emails is to scare the heck out of them. Check out the email below: it has a three line long unsubscribe link. When I saw it, I thought about the terror that could be inflicted on me and my email address if I clicked on it. To top it off, this email is completely self-serving.Marketing Takeaway: Make it easy for people to opt in and out of your email marketing efforts. And again, don’t talk about why you are awesome. Instead, help make the person you’re emailing more awesome.6. Horrible Subject Line: An interesting subject line can make or break the success of an email. Nothing says compelling subject line like “Marketing List.” Seriously? That is just bad. To make it worse, this email goes on to prove itself irrelevant and REALLY long. It keeps going well past the screen shot below.Marketing Takeaway: Invest time in great subject line writing. Test different variations with A/B tests to determine which subject line copy works best for your business. 7. Complete Disregard for Targeting: What you see below is a seemingly well-designed and -written email. The problem lies in targeting. I am not a customer of this company. Their targeting is completely off. To make horrible targeting even worse, the email is about nothing. It has no clear action for me to take. It really has no purpose but to take up space in my inbox.Marketing Takeaway: Understand what your subscribers want from your email. Send them clear and actionable messages. Don’t waste paragraphs of text that basically say nothing. Keep your email copy brief with a prominent desired action.Email shouldn’t be evil. Email should be helpful! What other email marketing mistakes have you noticed in your inbox?Image Credit: Generation Bass Originally published Nov 15, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated August 29 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Email Marketing Mistakeslast_img read more

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How to Host a Facebook Chat

first_img Originally published May 24, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated April 04 2017 Facebook Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When Facebook rolled out the ability to reply to comments on Facebook, my immediate reaction was … indifferent. Actually, I thought it was more likely it would complicate conversations and give spammers additional ways to pollute comment sections.But then I changed my tune when I saw the potential for a fun marketing activity — Facebook Chats! Similar to a Twitter Chat, a Facebook Chat is a scheduled time to, well, “chat” with a group of people about a particular topic on Facebook. With the introduction of the new Facebook reply feature, users could actually have conversations in the comments of a post. Users could reply to comments, Like comments, and make it immensely clear who they were responding to and which point they were addressing.Shortly after this light bulb went off, we hosted four Facebook Chats — we wanted to get the kinks out  before we shared it with you — and now we’re ready to explain how you can host your own. Settle in to learn how easy it is to host a Facebook Chat for your business.One More Time … What’s a Facebook Chat?A Facebook Chat is a virtual gathering of Facebook users to discuss a common topic. For example, during the first chat we posted a photo of our Social Media Manager and told folks they could ask her anything about social content, and for the rest of the hour, questions came flooding in. Our social media expert was then able to respond using the Facebook reply feature on comments. Here’s a wireframe of how this looked during our promotion of the Chat:Four Key Components Needed for an Effective Facebook ChatNow that we’re on the same page, let’s review what you would need to host an actual chat.Goal: Why is this chat taking place in the first place? Are you trying to increase engagement on your page? Are you looking to grow your Facebook reach? Do you want to help promote a particular campaign you’re running?Topic: What will people be discussing in the chat? Will it need a subject matter expert to moderate and answer questions, or will your social media manager suffice?Call-to-Action (CTA): Your chat should have a clear next step. Whether that’s following your page on Facebook, reading a blog post on more relevant content, downloading an ebook, or accessing a discount code to an event, make sure you’re giving those who engaged with you a destination to head to next.Tracking Token: If you include any links in your chat, they’ll help you gain insight into the success of your chat if you include a campaign-specific tracking token. This will tell you how many visitors, leads, and customers were driven over time with your chat as their first touch, or influencing conversion event. Our tracking code was as follows: /?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook &utm_campaign=facebookchat8 Simple Steps to Hosting a Facebook ChatWith that in mind, here’s how to host your own Facebook Chat.Pick a topic. You’ll obviously want to pick a hot topic that your audience cares about. At HubSpot, we’re asked about our content creation process often, which is why we held our first Facebook Chat on that subject.Pick an expert. Ask someone at your business, or in your network, who has deep knowledge on the selected topic, to be your chat expert. This person should be able to quickly respond to the questions that emerge. Facebook Chats are live, which means scripted responses won’t fly.Promote the date and time. Give your fan base at least a day’s heads up as to when the chat will be held. Unlike a workshop or webinar, there’s no form to fill out or ticket to purchase with a Facebook Chat, so folks can just jump right into the conversation.Create a dedicated web page. This page should host information relevant to the chat, whether that’s just relevant chat information, or a specific content offering you want to give attendees. If you want to provide a content offering to help generate leads, you’ll want to make this page a landing page with a form.Create a campaign tracking token. As mentioned earlier, use this tracking token every time you promote the dedicated landing page so you can track and measure chat impact on your overall marketing.Host the chat on a status update. Post about your chat topic on Facebook at the beginning of the chat, and make it clear that attendees can simply comment with their questions on the status update itself. Then have your expert reply to the comments with the Facebook reply feature.Monitor the conversation. Even if you have an expert responding to questions, ensure someone is available on that chat acting as a more neutral moderator. There will be questions that your expert may not have time to attend to, or may not be suited to respond to, so you can help out by linking to relevant resources (include that tracking token!) and responding where possible.Measure the impact. Use the campaign tracking token to look at how the chats performed. You can also dig into your Facebook Insights to see how that particular post performed compared to your other Facebook posts.What We Learned About Hosting Facebook ChatsAfter hosting four chats that first week of April, we found a few immediate things that might help you to know before you host your own chat.Responding in real-time ain’t easy. It’s hard to predict what kind of questions you’ll hear on the chat, or what people will say. Make sure your expert is able to handle quickly responding to diverse questions. He/she will need to not only be comfortable speaking on the fly, but able to respond eloquently when doing so.Facebook comments do not operate in real-time. Even though you’re responding in real-time … Facebook is not. After you respond to a question, you’ll have to refresh your browser to load the latest comments and replies on the chat.You may not get to every question. As helpful as you’d like to be, you may not be able to answer every question. Due to the time it takes to respond to a single question, you may miss questions that emerge while you respond. Try your best to interact with fans, but realize you may have to regretfully miss some — otherwise you’ll be on Facebook all day!Others will jump in to help. Fortunately, the world is full of brilliant minds. You may notice some users jump in simply to respond to the questions people are putting forward. Welcome these folks! Don’t be afraid to thank them for helping respond, and share your thoughts on their responses, too.If you’re ready to try a new content format on your Facebook Page, try a Facebook chat! Feel free to share your learnings after, too. This could be the beginning of something new! Topics:last_img read more

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Facebook Hashtags Take a Page From Twitter’s Ad Business, and Other Marketing Stories of the Week

first_imgAlmost every day, it seems like some company or social network is redesigning itself or adding new features or something. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a lot to keep track of — especially while we’ve been busy prepping to celebrate Father’s Day today.This week, we’ve got some major redesigns, new features, and even a relaunch that will tickle your marketing fancy. It isn’t often that social networks make many changes to their business facing features, but this week is a whole different story for marketers and brands. Companies like Google and Twitter have made some big changes for its business-oriented users that will make your week all the sweeter. So check out this quick overview of what happened in marketing this week, and then go enjoy the rest of your Father’s Day!Facebook Hashtags Take a Page From Twitter’s Ad Business, From MashableFacebook announced this week that it will be rolling out a hashtag feature to all of its users. There were hints of this happening a few months back and should come as no surprise to many marketers. Facebook users will be able to click on hashtags and find hashtags that are trending, but we expect more functionalities to be announced soon. This new addition to Facebook’s social network is designed to “bring conversations more to the forefront.” For marketers, this means that many of you will be able to take the opportunity to unify your marketing efforts across almost all of the social networks — you can use one hashtag across all platforms, which will help strengthen your brand messages. Beyond more cohesive messaging, marketers might be able to use hashtags for paid opportunities — Facebook mentioned that there are plans to link hashtags to paid ads down the road. Learn more about Facebook hashtags at Mashable.Unified Google+ Dashboard Lets Businesses Manage Search, Social, Maps, and AdWords, From TechCrunchGoogle has been making some big changes to Google+ over the past few months and this week, it is launching a new dashboard for businesses. Google+ page owners will now have a single dashboard to manage a number of their daily activities. The dashboard will allow users to update information, such as website URL and phone numbers, across Google Maps and Google+ all at once. Other features include the ability to monitor Google+ notifications, post photos and videos, start hangouts, and manage AdWords Express.This new dashboard design will greatly increase the effectiveness of Google+ for brands and marketers. With access to all of the important aspects of Google+ in one place, marketers will be able to better manage their ad campaigns, content, and public information — making all of our lives much easier. Learn more about the Google+ Dashboard at TechCrunch.Marketing Box: Your All-in-One Package for Sending the Perfect Email, From HubSpotWith so much buzz and activity around social media, content, and SEO, we often forget about how important it is to nurture leads or prospects with effective email campaigns. We know its hard putting those emails together with all the distractions around the office and on the internet. To help combat all of these distractions, we’ve created a Marketing Box to help you send the perfect email. Our free Marketing Box includes everything from music to jam out to, to pre-designed templates and customizable social sharing buttons. What are you waiting for? Download our free Marketing Box now.Myspace Relaunches With $20 Million Ad Campaign, From AdweekMyspace has hinted at a relaunch the past several months, but it looks like it’s finally making the big ol’ comeback. This week, Myspace announced its official relaunch with a $20 million ad campaign that will run across cable, radio, broadcast, and digital. Myspace has historically seen itself as a social network for “creatives,” and that’s what the new ads are clearly suggesting. In a 90-second ad shared on Adweek, a gaggle of young hipsters are shown dancing, skateboarding, snapping photographs, and smashing instruments as many “creatives” do daily.Brands and marketers should see this relaunch as a way to dive into a “new” social network with a lot of potential. The new UX looks quite remarkable and could be a huge selling point for Myspace to attract an audience of “creatives” who aren’t currently being catered to by any particular social network. For businesses currently in the music industry, this relaunch is a huge opportunity to be one of the first properly branded and promoted Myspace pages on the internet. Learn more about Myspace’s relaunch at Adweek.Site Speed Penalty Coming to Mobile Web Sites, From Search Engine LandGoogle’s Matt Cutts announced this week that Google will be rolling out a mobile version of its site speed ranking factor, which essentially takes the load speed of a website into consideration when calculating search results rankings. This means that Google will begin monitoring the load speeds of mobile sites to determine how well a web page will rank. There is no official announcement on when this will actually come into effect, but Matt Cutts wants webmasters and marketers to be prepared for this new addition.Ranking is a huge factor in how well marketing campaigns perform, and this new addition to Google’s ranking criteria will greatly affect websites with poorly developed mobile sites. Brands and marketers should consider taking a close look at how well their mobile sites are optimized and invest some time into creating a faster mobile experience for users. Learn more about Google’s ranking update at Search Engine Land.Twitter Starts Rolling Out Tweet Performance Analytics to More Users, From HubSpotTwitter is now giving some users access to a free analytics dashboard that will allow them to view the performance of their tweets. Aside from seeing how many favorites, retweets, and replies their tweets get, users will be able to sort their tweets by “Best, Good, or All” when running through their analytics. Users will also be able to download all of their analytics as a CSV file for offline analysis.For marketers or brands that have yet to opt into Twitter Ads paid program or be selected for this free release, these new tools will help give insight into how well their Twitter efforts are doing. With these new insights, brands and marketers will be able to tailor their content based to increase user engagement. To see if you have access, just head to ads.twitter.com and sign in with your Twitter credentials. Learn more about Twitter Analytics at HubSpot.What other marketing stories did you hear about this week? Share your favorites with us in the comments.Image credit: zhouxuan12345678 Topics: Originally published Jun 16, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Hashtags 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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Everything You Need to Know to Get Started With Pinterest for Business

first_img Pinterest Marketing Originally published Sep 5, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Getting started on a new social network — regardless of what it is — can sometimes feel incredibly daunting. You’re dealing with a lot of new things: new platform rules, new platform technology, new audience using the platform, and most likely a new marketing strategy to make the most of the new thing. And while all the changes in social media require inbound marketers like us to just embrace all of these new things, sometimes we just want to have someone walk us through using a network from start to finish. We’ve got so much going on in all of our other marketing activities that we sometimes want someone else to gather all the info we need and hand it to us.We’ve been there before, and we want to help. One of the social networks that people consistently ask us about is Pinterest — from setting up an account, to actually pinning posts, to optimizing pins, to proving its ROI, we get a ton of questions about it every day. So if you’re wondering how to get your Pinterest presences up and running, sit back, relax, and check out the resources we’ve compiled in our embedded Pinterest board below. We’ll also walk you through the 10 most important pins in our board in the rest of the post.HubSpotGetting Started With PinterestFollow On 7 Things You Need to Get Started With Pinterest for Your Business1) Get oriented with a beginner’s guide to Pinterest.First things first — you need quick crash course in marketing on Pinterest. In our Introduction to Pinterest for Business, We’ll answer the most crucial questions about the visual social network: What lingo do you need to know? Why should you even bother with the platform in the first place? How do you even sign up for an account? And what can you actually do on the platform to move your marketing metrics? Seriously, do this step first — it will help you determine if Pinterest is right for your business and give you a bunch of ideas to start implementing on Pinterest ASAP.Download our Introduction to Pinterest for Business to get started.2) Set up Pinterest buttons on your website.Okay, so you’ve decided you’re on board with Pinterest (#pinterestpuns). You’ve set up an account and added a few boards and pins. Don’t forget this crucial step: add Pinterest buttons to your website to drive your website visitors to engage with your Pinterest boards and pins. There are two types of buttons: the ‘Pin It’ Button and the ‘Follow’ Button. Learn how to set them up so you can organically increase your Pinterest following.Check out our blog post on adding Pinterest buttons to your website.3) Find or create the visuals you want pinned. Now that you’ve got both your Pinterest presence set up on the social network and on your website, you’re ready to find or create the visual content to be pinned. Since visuals are the crux are the reason why the social network exists in the first place, you want to make sure your pin’s visuals are compelling enough for users to click, like, or comment on. The best part about this whole step is that you don’t have to be a professional designer to make engaging Pinterest visuals. Check out the following free resources to create top-notch visual content that will blow your Pinterest followers out of the water:The Marketer’s Crash Course in Visual Content Creation: Learn the basic principles of design and apply them to your next pin design — we’ll even suggest a few tools to help you create top-notch visuals. How to Create Five Fabulous Infographics in PowerPoint: One of the most successful visual formats on Pinterest is the infographic … but it can feel daunting to create one of your own. Have no fear: just download this template and follow the steps in this blog post for creating an infographic in under an hour.17 Customizable Templates for Shareable Graphics on Social Media: If your goal is to get your pins repinned, definitely check out these free templates. Whether you’re posting inspirational quotes, an image to promote your latest blog post, or just a photo of your product, check out this template to spruce up your images.75 Free Stock Photos to Use in Your Marketing: Don’t really want to spend the time creating graphics for Pinterest? Pick one of these 75 free stock photos as the image in your pin instead. There’s no strings attached. Seriously. 4) Make sure people can easily find your content on Pinterest.So after you’ve created all of this great content for Pinterest … you want to make sure people can actually discover it. Yes, people will find it if others engage with you, but one of the most common ways they’ll find your content is through search. So make sure you’re prepared for search with this comprehensive guide to Pinterest SEO.5) Optimize posts to get more engagement.Besides optimizing for Pinterest search, there are a few other ways you can change up your content to get more comments, repins, and likes. Check out this data by Dan Zarrella to see how image height, description length, or word choice can affect your success on Pinterest. While these aren’t hard-and-fast rules, the data can give you a general direction to take — and after a while, you’ll have concrete data about your audience to inform your future Pinterest posts. 6) Take your Pinterest content elsewhere by embedding pins and boards.There are two other ways you can add Pinterest content to your website besides adding the ‘Pin It’ or ‘Follow’ buttons. You can actually embed Pinterest boards (just like we did in this post)! It’s pretty easy to do — you’re mostly copy-pasting code into your website or blog — but there are a few crucial steps to follow that most forget to tell you about. Check out this blog post to learn more about embedding Pinterest widgets on your website.7) Measure and iterate on your Pinterest presence.So after all that creation and optimization, you’re going to want to prove to your boss that your time is well spent on Pinterest. Get a run-down of Pinterest’s latest analytics tool update, learn how to track specific campaigns on the platform, and see which metrics are most important to investigate on the social network.Bonus: if you’re committing to Pinterest over a longer period of time, we’ll give you some formulas to calculate the long-term growth and success of your efforts. So go on, download our guide to optimize and measure your Pinterest account!What else do you want to learn about Pinterest for business? Share your questions with us in the comments, and we’ll update the board throughout the day with resources that can help. 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:last_img read more

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6 Flaws Your Nonprofit’s Mobile Website Should Never Have

first_imgSolution: Even if your site is mobile responsive, which means it adjusts itself to fit the screen of any mobile device or tablet, communicating what you do to your visitors should be a top priority. Having a captivating image and a short text overlay of your mission statement is a great idea for space above the fold (what you see first without scrolling down) of your website. The text should be short and sweet (i.e. the length of a tweet).Just because your current consitutents and your staff know what your organization does, doesn’t mean you should ignore stating the obvious for your new visitors.Problem #2: I can’t easily find how my donation will impact the mission. Soluton: Make sure your content is easy to scan. Blocks of paragraphs turn visitors off and are usually never read in full, anyway. Make the content on your homepage short, sweet, digestible, and even visual (with images or videos). Try to break down the important points into bullets to engage vistiors faster.Has your organization taken the next step to optimize your website for mobile?Image credit: mikecogh Solution: Whether your website is mobile responsive or not, make sure your text is big enough to read. There are a number of products that allow you to adapt your current website to fit all mobile devices to minimize this problem. If visitors can’t read about your mission, how are they going to be able to understand what you do and how they can impact your mission?Problem #6: When you do give me information, you’re overloading me with text. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 14, 2013 3:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Solution: Below your mission statement on your homepage, or at least as one of the first tabs in your navigation, should be an explanation of what a donation would do for your mission. This could be as simple as equating a dollar amount to something tangible.Or, you can show highlights of your impact from previous years. If you have fundraisers or volunteers, share their stories, or record one for a video, and feature it on the homepage. Make sure to include how that individual’s contribution impacted something specific. If you have project sites across the country or the world, use Google Earth Outreach, which allows you to create a map of your project locations with Google Maps and embed it on your website. This is a great way to show physical proof of your organization’s work.Problem #3: You’re asking me to donate before you tell me what your organization does. Solution: You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, so why ask someone to donate before giving them more information about your organization? Priming your new audience with content about you and even your supporters is a great way to break the ice. Feature stories from your blog on your homepage to keep your content up to date. Keep your donate button in the top navigation or under a tab called “Ways to Give.” But don’t have it be the first thing people see when they view your site on a mobile device.Problem #4: I can’t find your About Us page easily. The smartphone revolution is here and your organization cannot ignore it. 83% of Generation Y respondents to a recent study said they have smartphones. And according to StatCounter Global Stats, global mobile traffic represents 13% of internet traffic, up from just 1% in 2009.You do not want to ignore this channel of increasing traffic.When thinking about your nonprofit’s website and how these Millennials are interacting with your organization, do not forget the mobile experience. Try to avoid these six problems when redesigning or updating your nonprofit’s website.Problem #1: I don’t understand what your organization does. Mobile Optimization Solution: Have your About Us page be the first tab in your navigation. Remember, not all of your visitors know about you. What if they’re coming from a link on, say, your friend’s social media profile? For any new traffic, it’s the first place your new visitors want to go to learn more about your organization, staff, and board members.Problem #5: The information you do provide about your organization isn’t legible.last_img read more

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Content Mapping 101: The Template You Need to Personalize Your Marketing

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 “When mapping out content for your site’s visitors, it’s important to remember that when it comes to purchasing decisions (BOFU conversions, especially for B2B and high-priced items), there are some personas out there who would rather speak to someone on their terms rather than fill out a form for a consultation. Understanding how they are most comfortable when it comes to making decisions can help you understand what points of conversion will be the most relevant and successful for that persona.Optimizing your site pages (landing and thank you pages, as well), TOFU & MOFU offers, and workflows with direct contact information (phone #, email, etc.) is a great way to ensure that visitors, prospects and leads who may shy away from form submissions still have readily available, alternate means of converting.” – Marc Herschberger (Inbound Coordinator, Revenue River Marketing)”Mapping out buyer personas and lifecycle stages is extremely important when creating content. In terms of buyer personas, it’s easy to see that a Marketing Director will have different questions, information needs, and interests compared to a CEO. Both of these personas may be searching for your product or service, but they’ll be looking for different topics. By creating content that appeals to each audience, you can be more effective in attracting that specific audience.By the same token, each persona of yours may be in a different stage of the buying process, so it’s important to think through and create content that appeals to someone looking for basic, high-level information such as an ebook, as well as specific information like a pricing guide or case study.One tip I’d suggest for anyone with pretty different personas would be to dedicate an entire section of your site to each audience. That way, when you pull in your audience, all the content is directed toward them. We actually took this concept and went a step further by creating unique brands for each one of our vertical markets. Each brand has its own section of the website, its own blog content, and its own premium content (downloadable offers). It’s really helped us attract and convert visitors at a higher rate because all the content is more relevant to that persona.”- Spencer Powell (Inbound Marketing Director, Inbound Educators)”By taking the buyer and buying stage into account when creating content, you can be sure that you’re designing content to help move them through the buying process. In addition to mapping content to the buyer profile and buying stage, we regularly pull topics from the sales process. Then we offer the content in later sales calls. This helps us not only evaluate the relevancy of the content but also the interest of the buyer. We encourage clients to do the same.”- Diona Kidd (Cofounder, Knowmad)  Buyer Personas What is a Content Map?A content map is a plan to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Content mapping takes into account the characteristics of the person who will be consuming the content and their lifecycle stage.Marketers hear it all the time: The content you create needs to be personalized. It needs to be aligned with the wants and needs of your customers (and prospective customers). It needs to resonate with them. It needs to feel like it was created just for them.Plan your content for every persona and stage of the buying cycle. [Free Content Mapping Template]On its surface, this sounds like great advice. Personalization, giving people content that they’re actually interested in … it makes perfect sense. But coming up with the actual topics that make for a highly targeted content strategy isn’t that easy. To help you brainstorm and map out content ideas for targeting specific segments of your audience, we’ve created a new free template resource: Content Mapping Template: Using Buyer Personas & Lifecycle Stages to Create Targeted Content.I’ll talk more about how you can use this template in a bit. But first, let’s take a look at how this whole “content mapping” business works. And when think you’ve got this concept down, you’ll want to check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page to learn how to map a content strategy for your business.What Is Content Mapping?When it comes to content, one size rarely fits all. To ensure that your company’s content is effective at generating and nurturing leads, you need to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Content mapping is the process of doing just that. With content mapping, the goal is to target content according to:The characteristics of the person who will be consuming it (that’s where buyer personas come in).How close that person is to making a purchase ( i.e. their lifecycle stage).Buyer PersonasBuyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups. The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.). Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or dozens. If you’re just getting started with personas, don’t go crazy! You can always develop more personas later if needed.Lifecycle StagesThe buyer persona you target with your content is just one half of the content mapping equation. In addition to knowing who someone is, you need to know where they are in the buying cycle ( i.e. how close they are to making a purchase). This location in the buying cycle is known as a lifecycle stage.For the purposes of our Content Mapping Template, we’re divvying up the buying cycle into three lifecycle stages: Awareness, Consideration, & Decision.Awareness: In the awareness stage, a person has realized and expressed symptoms of a potential problem or opportunity.Consideration: In the consideration stage, a person has clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity.Decision: In the decision stage, a person has defined their solution strategy, method, or approach.By combining buyer personas with lifecycle stages, you can really hone in on specific segments of your audience and tailor content to resonate with each of those segments. How to Use a Content Mapping TemplateFor our Content Mapping Template, we created a simple grid system, putting buyer persona (and a key problem or opportunity that persona is struggling with) along the y-axis and lifecycle stage along the x-axis. As you move from left to right, you’re effectively moving down the funnel. Your awareness stage content should target the top of the funnel (TOFU). People in this segment are just becoming aware that they have a problem. At this stage, don’t try to beat them over the head with product-focused content. Instead, think of how your content can help people become more informed about the problem in general, and you’ll (hopefully) find that they continue moving down your funnel as they search for solutions.Your consideration stage content, in comparison, can more explicitly mention how your product or service could potentially solve a problem. Keep in mind, however, that at this point in the buying cycle, people are still evaluating their options. So while case studies and demo videos are fine, save your more sales-focused content (estimates, free trials, etc.) for the next stage.At the decision stage of the game, you can really lean into marketing your products or services. If someone has reached this stage, they’ve already identified a problem and a solution, and are now getting ready to pull the proverbial trigger.Not quite convinced that content mapping is worth it? Let’s hear from some marketers who are actually doing this stuff …Content Mapping Tips From the Pros”The best part about inbound is that you can give your prospects the information they are asking for before they even ask for it. Buyer personas and lifecycle stages allow you to be one step ahead of the game by mapping out what your prospect’s next steps are and delivering them the content from numerous different avenues.We create buyer personas as part of our onboarding process and everything we do from content offer to daily tweets is centered around that document. We also always ask ourselves, ‘Would business owner Bob open this email, click this tweet, download this offer, etc.?'”- Laura Hogan (Marketing Manager, OverGo Studio) center_img Originally published May 13, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated April 06 2018 Topics:last_img read more

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How to Send Group Direct Messages on Twitter [Quick Tip]

first_imgHow to Create a New Group Message From ScratchSending a DM to multiple users on Twitter is very similar to sending a DM to a single user. Here’s what you need to do.Step 1: Click the envelope icon, labeled “Messages.”On desktop, this is at the top left of your screen. On mobile, this is at the bottom of your screen.Step 2: Click “New Message.”On mobile, this is the chat bubble icon at the top right of your screen.Step 3: In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of your followers to whom you want to send a message. When you’re done, click “Next.”Step 4: Type out your message and click “Send message.”Group DMs, like one-on-one DMs, have a 140-character limit. You can add photos to group DMs just as you can with one-on-one DMs.How to Add Members to a Pre-Existing Group MessageStep 1: Click the envelope icon, labeled “Messages.”Step 2: Click on a group message to open it.Step 3: Click the ellipsis in the top right-hand corner and choose “Add people” from the menu that appears.On mobile, you’ll have to click into the tweet to see the ellipsis. You can also view all users in the group and leave the group by way of this menu.Step 4: In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of your followers to whom you want to send a message. Click “Done” to add them to the group message.They will not be able to see previous messages exchanged before they were added.How to Share a Tweet in a Group MessageWhile public tweets are great places to have conversations, they’re also a great place to find conversation starters, writes Kamdar in his blog post. He urges users to “spark conversations and support your points of view by sharing tweets from your timeline, even if they’re from people who aren’t part of the direct message.”Here’s how to share tweets with a group.Step 1: Find the tweet you want to share, and click the ellipsis below the tweet. (On mobile, you’ll have to click into the tweet to see the ellipsis.)Step 2: Choose “Share via Direct Message” in the menu that appears. Twitter’s direct messaging feature (“DM” for short) has long been a way for users to communicate privately in one-on-one conversations with their followers. But recently, Twitter launched an update to the DM feature that allows for group messaging with multiple users — up to 20 in one message.In this post, we’ll talk about the details of the group message function. Then, we’ll go over how to create a group message from scratch, how to add members to a pre-existing group message, and how to share tweets in a group message. Let’s get to it.The DetailsIn a blog post on Twitter’s official blog, Product Director Jinen Kamdar reiterated the importance of direct messaging: “Private conversations on Twitter are a great complement to the largely public experience on the platform. You might prefer to read (or watch) tweets but converse about them privately.”Now, you can expand the conversation to an entire group of users at once. Here’s what you need to know:The group message function allows Twitter users to communicate privately with up to 20 users within one group.If a DM has fewer than 20 participants, additional users can be added to the conversation at any time and by any group member — not just the user who started the group.While you can only start group conversations with your own followers, not everyone in the group has to follow one another in order to chat.When a user gets invited to a DM, they’ll receive a notification that they’ve been included.Both group and individual DMs now support pictures, links, emoji, and tweets in addition to text. Twitter Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 10, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated August 26 2017 Topics: Step 3: In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of your followers to whom you want to send the tweet. Then click “Next.”Step 4: Add a personal message to send along with the tweet if you’d like. Click “Send message” when you’re done.Your accompanying message has a 116-character limit.That’s it! Want to learn more about direct messages on Twitter? Click here.last_img read more

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How Inbound Marketing Can Boost Enrollment for Daycares

first_imgIf you’re a child care owner, director, or start-up who’s tired of struggling to find new ways to fill the enrollment for your daycare, then inbound marketing might be the golden ticket you’ve been looking for. In this article, you will learn what stages a parent goes through when selecting a new child care facility and discover fresh marketing techniques proven to help you boost enrollment immediately with inbound marketing.The Parent’s JourneyLet’s face it, selecting a daycare can be a stressful process for parents. Families are seeking a community or facility to entrust their children’s future in and it’s your job to establish an authentic connection with them on why that future is with your daycare. The key for accomplishing this is through understanding the parent’s journey and providing a meaningful experience to help attract, convert, close, and delight more families to your child care center.We’ll be translating the traditional buyer’s journey into various stages and examples of what a parent goes through when selecting a daycare. If you’re looking to significantly boost your enrollment, you need to be capitalizing on all stages of the parent’s journey to ensure you’re building a solid pipeline of opportunities from the past, present, and future.Although this is not always a linear path, it is important to understand these stages in order to effectively market and nurture them down the funnel. Awareness StageThe awareness stage is the first step in the parent’s journey. This is where initial research and general education is gathered to help inform the parents of their options. An example of a buyer persona in this stage would be a pregnant mother who is researching the options between staying at home, taking her child to daycare, or hiring a nanny.  This is often referred to as the ‘emotional’ stage.  The buyer may not even realize that there is a problem to solve, but they are impacted in some way and looking for help.As a child care provider, it is important to establish an early connection and relationship with the parent-to-be as an informational resource that is there simply to help with common questions and to provide general information for topics that are fairly new to them. It’s key to position your brand as helpful and informative. Remember, these are future prospects that are simply looking to become more educated and are still gathering facts and information to help them establish a criteria of what they will be considering at a later phase.Recommended marketing tactics: Blogging topics such as “Benefits of a daycare vs staying at home.”FAQ items to provide general information and commonly asked questions for new parents.Infographics outlining the advantages of early child development from a daycare.Trend reports and statistics of the value of child care development through areas of education, socialization, stimulation, and general child development.Checklists and sample timelines of when they should be considering their options.Marketing techniques to nurture the parent to the next stage of the journeyNow that you’ve provided wonderful and informative resources for the parents, it’s time to start considering how you can know when they are ready for the next stage of their journey. There are numerous ways to accomplish this, but here are a few recommended approaches.Gather an email right away. This allows you to start generating a profile on the parent and monitoring their progress and activity with your brand. Examples: subscribe to our new parent newsletter, download our new parent guide, subscribe to our blog, download the child development trends report, etc. Survey the prospect. This doesn’t have to be a traditional form survey, but you can create follow up tactics that will help us designate the parent’s answers through various actions. Examples: Tactics/Topics to try: email focused on things to consider for child care when going back to work, blog articles related to consideration stage topics, ebook downloads for evaluating considering a daycare vs hiring a nanny.Organize your contacts in smart lists. Based on the actions these parents are taking with your follow up tactics, make sure you are creating workflows that will help accurately track what leg of the journey the prospect is currently in. You don’t want to be selling a parent who isn’t ready to make a decision, and you don’t want to be educating someone on topics that isn’t relative to them anymore.  Education Marketing Originally published Mar 18, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Delight StageNow that the parents are your customers, your job doesn’t end. Keeping your families loyal to your daycare is a key objective for retention. This is known as the Delight Stage, where your brand can recognize your customers through various marketing techniques to help keep them happy, engaged, and satisfied with their decision. Loyal customers are 10 times more likely to refer your daycare than those who aren’t continuously engaged with your brand. This stage is often neglected and it’s a key opportunity for continuing to grow your business through referrals and a stronger retention rate.This stage is typically referred to as the re-assurance stage.  Most businesses forget how important it is to continue to engage and delight their customers after they have purchased.  Without that extra reassurance that you are still a partner in their life decision, you may loose them to the next daycare that engages them newly. Recommended marketing tactics: Social Media by staying active and providing relevant and enjoyable news about your facility and community.Parent’s Newsletter to keep the parents abreast on what’s new.Referrals can be a great resource for growing your daycare enrollment with the help of your loyal customers.Requesting Testimonials from the top parents and ask if you can feature them on your website.Parent Reviews are important opportunities for displaying the ratings that other families have given your daycare. Consideration StageOnce the parents have made the decision that they are going back to work and/or are in need of care for their child, this is when the consideration stage begins. This would typically involve a parent who is now considering what the important criteria are for what they want for their child from either enrolling their child in a daycare or hiring a nanny. Your daycare should continue to help educate and guide the parents without “selling” them directly. This can be accomplished by enabling your website to provide relevant content and advice on what they should be considering.This stage is our problem solving stage.  The parent has realized that there is a problem associated with their emotional search and they begin to look for solutions available to them.Recommended marketing tactics: Blogging topics such as “Advantages of a daycare vs hiring a nanny.”Comparison white papers to assess the evaluation criteria for the parents options.E-Books outlining the top reasons to enroll your child in a daycare.Webinar to provide pre-recorded or live discussions on the advantages of enrolling your child in a daycare over alternative child care.Case Studies of real families who were on the fence when considering their options.Techniques to nurture the parent to the next stage of the journeyYou still needed to be committed to helping these parents research and understand their options during the consideration stage. Helping build an authentic connection with these parents will give you an incredible advantage for when they are ready to make a decision.Provide a follow up E-Book. A great way to know when someone is moving into the decision phase is to provide them with a follow up E-Book on “How to select the right daycare for my child” or “Free evaluation checklist for selecting a daycare.” Track to see if they click the call-to-action and download these resources.Email them additional blog articles. Provide resources in your email follow ups that are related to blog topics inside the decision phase. If the parent has moved on to gravitating to these articles they are getting much closer to the next stage.Additional surveying. Some great examples would be to survey the parent and ask them to select the most important criteria for their family such as: location, hours of operations, price, curriculum, activities, etc. Not only will this help identify if they are ready to be moved into the next phase, but you have flagged motivational drivers that can be important for qualifying the prospecting parent. Decision StageThe Decision Stage begins once the parents have made the commitment to enrolling their child in a daycare. They have finalized the criteria that are important to them (location(s), hours of operation, price, curriculum, activities, etc.). This is where most marketing and advertisers focus their initiatives, but if you have been successful with helping and educating the parents through the awareness and consideration stages, they will be much more likely to consider your daycare because of the brand loyalty that you’ve created. In this stage, you can position yourself through your unique value proposition (UVP) and why the consumer should consider your daycare now that they are “sales ready.”Logic and justification drive this stage for our parents.  They are ready to choose and since they view you as a trusted resource, your chances of winning their loyalty and your business is higher than your competitors.Recommended marketing tactics: Schedule a tour is the ultimate action a prospecting parent can take with your daycare. Provide a clear call-to-action which leads to a conversion form for scheduling a tour of your facility.E-Books to continue to help provide resources for these parents on key decision factors when selecting a daycare.Live Webinar can be a great alternative call-to-action if the parent is not ready to schedule a tour. This can create a strong connection with your staff and the parents.Take a Virtual Tour by providing a video walk-through of your facility, classrooms, and staff. Video Testimonials to showcase the values that are important to your daycare and community. These videos can be of other parents providing real-world testimonies of their experience with your daycare.Live Chat offers a great way of answering common questions with parents who may be on the fence. Live chat is an easy website implementation, but it does require operational maintenance and it’s own strategy.Social Media is an incredible outlet for connecting with parents and showcasing your brand’s values and culture. Topics: Hiring for ExperienceOur inbound marketing agency works with clients in early childhood education who are passionate at what they do. However, we’ve discovered that most child care centers have not been trained on how to effectively market their organization to maximize their ability to attract, enroll, and retain families. Working with a child care marketing firm provides you with the flexibility of running your business while allowing an experienced team of marketers maintain your brand’s online presence. 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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Don’t Use a CRM? Here Are 4 Reasons Why It Might Be The Solution You Need

first_img Using a CRM 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 This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.In the early days of starting a business, you’ll encounter a dizzying array of acronyms — ROI, ARPU, CAC, LTV, MoM, NPV, just to name a few. One acronym is particularly important: CRM.Simply put, CRM — or customer relationship management — refers to software that tracks interactions with prospects and customers.All CRMs store prospects’ contact information — their name, email, and phone number, as well as any other identifying information a company chooses to track. CRMs can also group multiple contacts at a company under one account, which is helpful for sellers.Beyond contact info, CRMs log reps’ touchpoints with their prospects, including emails, phone calls, voicemails, and in-person meetings. Some CRMs offer the ability to track deal stages and reasons for closed-lost and closed-won deals.As anyone who’s ever struggled with contact management knows, a CRM system is an invaluable tool for businesses that want to grow and scale (read: virtually every business). But on the other hand, it’s yet another solution that business owners must implement and train users on. Is it really worth it?Absolutely. Here are the top four reasons why your business — regardless of size, maturity, or industry — needs a CRM.4 Crucial Benefits of Using a CRM System1) It’s a centralized place for storing data.In sales, speed and ease are critical. Spending precious time searching through their inbox or call history to get a prospect’s number or recall when they last spoke is a huge waste of a salesperson’s time. It’s also unreliable — if they forget a touchpoint, they risk sending the same email multiple times and annoying a prospect.A CRM provides a full, accurate record of a rep’s entire interaction history with a prospect that’s accessible with one click. Reps will never have to manually reconstruct a timeline of touchpoints again.Reps can also use a CRM to view their sales pipeline and opportunity queue, which ensures they always know where they stand relative to quota. In addition, CRMs allow salespeople to filter opportunities by the ones they own so they only have to refer to one page to get a high-level summary of all their deals in progress. Some even provide a snapshot of a rep’s sales pipeline by sorting opportunities by deal stage, making forecasting painless.2) It improves communication across an organization.In addition to making life easier for individual reps, CRM systems also improve communication at the organizational level. What if a rep is working a lead that their colleague spoke to two years ago? What if they’re taking over someone’s territory and have only been given an indecipherable Excel spreadsheet of prospects?With a CRM, reps can immediately assess what’s already been done with a given prospect and what’s next. Your reps don’t need to reach out to their colleagues to get interaction history, because the information they need is already in the system.3) CRMs make managers’ lives easier.Another organization-wide boon: CRMs standardize how reps track their activities and prospect interactions, which streamlines reporting.Without a CRM, different salespeople can track activities in different ways, which makes it difficult for managers and leaders to piece data together to form a coherent picture. CRMs make data entry uniform, meaning managers can easily combine and analyze data to understand the overall health of the sales organization.Keeping activity recording consistent also reduces friction when passing a lead from one rep to another, switching territories, or reassigning a departed colleague’s opportunity queue. Not only will all relevant information be accounted for, it will also have been recorded in a manner that makes sense across the sales force.4) It’s a sustainable, scalable tool for growth.You might be asking yourself, “Can’t I just do this all in an Excel spreadsheet and call it a day?”With one or two or five customers, manually tracking every interaction is doable. But think ahead to one, two, or even five years from now. Presumably, you want to triple or quadruple revenue in the years ahead, and the time your salespeople will have to spend recording prospect and customer information is eventually going to take over their days.Furthermore, what if you want to analyze your salespeople’s activities to discover what outreach strategies or series of touchpoints work the best (or, frankly, anything else about your sales force’s effectiveness)? Pulling inconsistently tracked data from multiple sources can drag out or compromise your ability to get an accurate picture.Ultimately, there’s a very simple question you should ask yourself if you’re considering a CRM: Do you want to grow your business? Your ability to do so is dependent on contacting your prospects at the right intervals and providing them relevant information at the right time, and you simply can’t do this effectively without a CRM.Ready to flip the switch? Check out HubSpot’s free CRM. Originally published Sep 13, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017last_img read more

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How to Build a Website Style Guide: Lessons from Working on HubSpot.com

first_img Branding Originally published Oct 16, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: I’d been working on the HubSpot website for several months when the déjà vu struck.My team and I were going over the initial wireframes for a new page. As always, we’d started the project with the noble goals of better branding, an improved user experience, and sleeker designs. And, as always, we had ended up debating the most minute details.Do we use sentence case or title case for our headers? Did we decide to round the corners of our buttons? Which version of the logo did we want on landing pages? Hadn’t we had these conversations before?We all knew we needed to improve our process, but it seemed easier to put it off until after the next project. That is, until we reached a breaking point.It was time to make our process more manageable, scalable, and regulated. It was time to build our own website style guide. Here’s how it all played out. What’s a Style Guide?First off, we needed to define what was going into our style guide (or “pattern library”).Basically, a website style guide is a resource that defines all elements that go into the website: code snippets, design assets, guidelines for copywriting, etc. Some style guides focus more on design; others on development. Many style guides also formalize the best practices and processes for how the team should work together.The goal is to create a centralized hub of information that should allow anyone to understand and replicate the process of designing and building for your site. Building Our Designs From ScratchWith so many different designers and developers working on the website, we found ourselves with a hodgepodge collection of templates, style sheets, and modules on our hands. This was troubling, as there was no unified design that could be retrofitted into a cohesive style guide. Though this project was getting bigger by the second, we decided it would be better in the long run to start afresh and design brand-new styles for the site. We also wanted to incorporate some completely new elements, like adding a new font and reworking our form styles. And so we began the process of formalizing our designs. We decided to start with typography: choosing and updating font styles seemed relatively straightforward. Yet this seemingly simple update yielded some telling roadblocks.First, when I started testing out our approved font styles on existing pages, they didn’t always look as good as we’d imagined. It became clear that the font styles needed to be adjusted to be compatible with many different parts of the site; even then, some of our custom-designed pages needed to be reworked to fit the new styles.After typography, we backed up a little. We combed through our existing website, looking for patterns. Most pages were built with similar skeletons: some sort of photo header, various subheaders, blocks of copy or photos, and rows with one or two CTAs. We decided to make a list of the most important, repeated elements, and build those elements as reusable custom modules. We envisioned a set of full-width modules that could stack together to build any page.Making it ModularWhile the purpose of this style guide was to streamline our design and development process, it was also important that we created something non-designers and non-developers could leverage. The decision to make it modular was rooted in just that. By designing all the modules at the same time, we were ensuring that the style was cohesive, and we could mock up how pages would look with various combinations of modules. And even though we’d figured out an effective way to modularize our website, we still encountered some serious challenges.As we started to make final design decisions, I realized we’d all had slightly different ideas about how our site was going to look. Since the style guide touched so much of the website, we wanted to involve everyone who worked on design, development, or branding, however, it’s impossible to accommodate the insight and opinions of so many people. That said, we ended up making decisions that we deemed best for the website users, while building something flexible enough to allow easy updates.Preparing for the LaunchFinally, after months of designing, building, testing, and rebuilding, we had developed a set of modules for use across the HubSpot site. But how to display them?We wanted anyone using the modules to be able to understand the design principles that went into their creation. Furthermore, we wanted to create a reference for future designers on our team and anyone else who might need to iterate on our styles.After some discussion, we built out two pages to house our finished style guide: Foundations and Components. The Foundations page goes over our design and branding principles, including specific details regarding our typography, iconography, colors, logos, and imagery. The Components page shows those design elements in action: we use this page as a library of all our customizable modules used for website development. We then set up recurring trainings with the marketing team so that everyone could use the guide for their projects.And with that, the style guide had launched.Life After the Style GuideWhen we finished the style guide, I quickly realized that it wasn’t just a major revamp of our site styles; the style guide had totally changed how my team tackles new projects and interfaces with the rest of the marketing team.Now, all of our projects reference the style guide in some form or another. As soon as we receive a new project request, we check to see if it might be something that can be built solely through our style guide components. If not, we’re conscious of creating and building new elements that fit with our guide. When we receive a project that requires a more custom or novel approach, we’re cognizant of how we might be “breaking” our style guidelines; sometimes this opens the door to iterating on our current styles.The style guide has improved so many parts of our workflow, but I think these are some of the most important benefits:Design and development work together more efficiently. Before the style guide conversations, we didn’t have a shared vocabulary between design, development, and other stakeholders. Now, we all have a common reference point for our current and future designs.We get to work with cleaner, more scalable code. On the development side, our code base is now far cleaner and easier to maintain. Whenever I start a new project, I immediately reference the global styles and variables from the style guide. Furthermore, I can now make changes that will be reflected across all parts of the website. Our onboarding process has become more standardized. Getting new team members up to speed is so much easier when we can point to an interactive document to illustrate our design and development philosophies. The style guide also serves as an inventory of all our approved, polished design elements and their accompanying code, so there’s no need to track down old files or question whether or not something is out-of-date.Of course, it wasn’t just my team that benefited from the style guide: other members of the marketing team could now make their own pages without needing to wait for design or development resources. One of my coworkers was telling me how she was rebuilding a significant part of the website, a task which would have taken at least six weeks at her last company. The style guide allowed her to finish in about a day. How crazy is that?4 Tips for Building Your Own Style GuideA style guide can feel like it carries more weight than smaller projects, like one-off page builds or small-scale custom apps. And in many ways, it does: it’s a huge undertaking that will theoretically affect every page on your website. To build it properly, you need to make choices about countless creative details. To implement those changes, you’ll need to refactor or replace thousands of lines of existing code. It can be grueling. It helped me to remember that this is a one-time process that helps avoid those repetitive conversations in the future. Here are a few tips that I learned from the process: Before you start, designate the project leaders. I’d recommend starting with clear decision-makers on both the design and development sides so that you don’t get stuck waiting for your team to come to a consensus on any one detail.Look at other companies’ guides for inspiration. If you’re not sure where to start, go through other companies’ guides and pull out the parts that seem most important to your process. For starters, I’d recommend taking a look at Starbucks, GitHub, and MailChimp.Remember that your guide will change over time. It’s important to not get too caught up in nitpicky details. As long as you’re building your style guide to be easily maintained and updated, you can refine and iterate your styles over time. Make sure you DO change your guide. A style guide means that you don’t have to redesign your entire site to experiment with little changes, so try to make sure that your guide doesn’t sit stagnant post-launch. Start A/B testing, get user feedback, and observe how your team is working together.Ultimately, if your website is anything like ours — somewhat large, always changing, worked on by multiple designers and developers — a style guide becomes more than a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity. And it’s worth it, I promise. Want to check out the finished product? Our finished style guide consists of two pages, Foundations and Components. Both sections of the style guide were designed by Anna Faber-Hammond and built by me (Annabeth). We’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below. last_img read more

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12 Clever Ways to Use Your Email Signature to Support Your Marketing Campaigns

first_img Originally published Sep 9, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Email Marketing Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You know that you’re a true email marketer if every single one of your emails includes a call-to-action. And I’m not talking about email marketing blasts here. What I have in mind are the individual, personal email messages you send on an everyday basis.Yes, your personal email signature can provide a serious marketing opportunity.You’re most likely already using your own email signature to provide information about who you are and where you work. But you can take this practice to the next level by updating your signature to reflect the marketing campaigns you are running today.Easily create your own professional email signature with our free Email Signature Generator here.Are you missing out on another opportunity to spread brand awareness or nurture prospective customers? Wondering what exactly you can promote through your email signature? Here are 12 awesome suggestions.12 Professional Email Signature Ideas to Support Your Marketing Campaigns1. Your HomepageThe least you should promote in your email signature is your company’s website. But in order for this tactic to be efficient, you have to make sure your homepage acts like a landing page.In other words, it directs the visitor’s attention to the activity you want them to take. For instance, HubSpot’s homepage suggests that you receive a free product demo. Including your website’s homepage in an email signature also helps to expand awareness of your brand. Here’s an example (with help from our friend, Harry Potter):2. Social MediaWhen it comes to the usage of social media in email signatures, you have two options. You can either include a link to your personal accounts on sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc., or you can include links to your company’s accounts. Both are good options. Check out how HubSpot’s Principal Marketing Manager Pam Vaughan promotes her social channels in the example below:3. Your BlogYour blog is one of the smartest things you can include in your email signature because it provides value to the community and gets updated on a regular basis. The fresh content on your blog is more engaging than a static homepage and will most likely retain the attention of the visitor for longer.If you do shine light on your blog, don’t forget to include calls-to-action throughout your posts to encourage readers to take the next step and become a lead. Using our email signature tool, you can hyperlink to your blog so recipients can click into your blog straight from the email. Check out the signature from my colleague, Carly Stec, made using HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator:4. BookHave you written a book? Has your manager or CEO written one? Don’t be shy about it. Share a link to your work in your email signature. This can help you build authority and credibility among the people you communicate with. Here’s our own Aja Frost promoting a book, made using HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator:5. Conferences & EventsIs there a company trade show coming up soon? Or maybe you are speaking at a conference? Change your email signature to reflect that. While your email signature might not necessarily help you generate more registrants, it will surely spread the word about the event and gain some awareness among your target audience. Here’s an event promotion signature from my colleague, Elijah Clark Ginsberg:(P.S. – Are you registered to see some of the most well-known marketing and sales professionals at INBOUND yet? Register here!) 6. New Marketing OfferHave an offer that’s doing a great job of converting traffic into leads? (You can tell by looking at their corresponding landing pages’ visitor-to-submission rates in your marketing analytics). Identify your best performing offers, and then expose them to more traffic. Use your email signature to share a link to a popular ebook or a webinar. Or if you’re currently featuring a new campaign that highlights a particular offer, use that in your signature instead. Here’s an example of my own signature promoting this guide:7. Industry ResearchSpeaking of data, don’t underestimate the impact that facts and figures can have in a marketing context. People on the web are overwhelmed with information, which encourages them to look for specifics. If you publish an industry report based on proprietary research, as Mimi An does over at HubSpot Research, consider including a link to it in your email signature:8. Case StudiesSalespeople love this one. If you’re talking to potential customers, what’s better than sharing stories of successful ones?For instance, you can mention how your product or service increased the ROI of customer XYZ, or quote a customer in your email signature to boost your company’s credibility.9. Free ToolIf your company happens to have a free tool, such as an ROI calculator, educational game, or blog topic generator, give it some marketing love. Free online tools have the power to engage readers and get them further interested in your product or service. Check out Eric Peters’ signature promoting HubSpot’s free email signature generator (meta, we know):10. Demonstration of Your Product / Free ConsultationWhen you are having a tough sales month, consider using an email signature that promotes a free consultation with your team or even a demonstration of your product. In that way, you’ll increase traffic to these middle-of-the-funnel marketing offers and show your sales organization that you’re taking advantage of every possible opportunity to help them out.11. News about Your CompanyIf your team or company has received recognition for exceptional work, highlight the news article or press release in your email signature. News that your company is doing exceptional work will drive traffic to your blog and promote greater brand awareness for your organization. Here’s an example from HubSpot’s Marketing Team Development Manager, Emily MacIntyre:Want an email signature like the one above? Make your own with HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator.12. Promotional VideosHas your company ever produced a promotional video? (Here’s an awesome video about HubSpot’s culture, for example.) Add a link to your company’s video so recipients can learn more about you without navigating away from the email message. You can promote a campaign, an event, or an offer in a more engaging way than a hyperlink alone. Here’s an example from our own Angela O’Dowd promoting HubSpot’s Agency Partner Program:Ready to rework your email signature? Simplify the process using HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator.last_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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5 Super Quick Ways to Get More Messages on Your Facebook Business Page

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Nov 22, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated November 22 2017 You’ve probably heard some buzz about Facebook Messenger of late, but most brands still don’t understand how to leverage it effectively. With 2.4 billion messages exchanged between businesses and people each month, it’s time to make the most out of the channel.After all, 53% of people who message businesses say they are more likely to shop with a business they can message. And 67% of people say they plan to increase their messaging with businesses over the next 2 years. And, messages you send through Messenger will appear on a user’s locked phone screen — so your odds of reaching a user are greatly increased from sending a follow up email.Free Resource: How to Reach & Engage Your Audience on FacebookSo, how can you make the most of this network? We’re outlining five quick wins you can start using today.5 Ways to Get More Messages on Facebook1) Optimize your page for messages. Having a Facebook page that encourages users to message your page is the first — and easiest — way to encourage visitors on your business page to message your brand. It seems overly simple, but just optimizing your page to point users towards messaging you can have a huge impact on the number of messages you receive from interested or curious potential customers.Try:Setting your default Facebook Page CTA to Message Us.Prompting visitors to message your page with the copy in your business description.2) Setup response assistant.Response assistant is Facebook’s own version of a “baby-bot” and can help you field incoming messages — even when you aren’t around to catch them personally.Response assistant allows you to: 1) set instant replies 2) stay responsive when you can’t get to your computer or phone and 3) set a messenger greeting. In each of these you can use personalization tokens and greet those who message your page with a personalized message. You can also include a link to your contact us page, FAQ, or even your phone number in these messages.3) Comment on posts with your m.me link.Facebook has a new feature that allows you to comment on posts with your brand’s messenger link. If you run a Facebook ad that people are asking questions about, be sure to reply with this link to continue the conversation within Messenger.4) Run a “Send to Messenger” ad.Messenger Ads are Facebook’s newest ad type. They allow you to target audiences just like any other ad, but you can encourage them to message you directly from the Ad. Keep in mind, you’ll want to have your inbox modified to ensure it is money well-spent. But, as this is a new Facebook Ad type — the best time to experiment with these ads is now.5) Commit to actually using it daily. The best way to make the most out of Facebook Messenger is to monitor the channel just like you would monitor your own inbox, or your favorite Slack channel. The nature of the conversational channel encourages on-demand action, so the more responsive you can be, the better.Finally, keep it light on the channel, after all, it is conversational. Messenger is a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality using GIFs and emojis that appeal to your audience.last_img read more

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