Railways told to pay relief to woman who lost legs

first_imgThe Bombay High Court has asked the Railways to take a decision on granting compensation to a woman, who lost both her legs while trying to board a moving train at the Khandala station two years ago.A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Anil Memon, while hearing a petition filed by the victim, Sejal Ladola, recently directed the Railways to decide on the compensation in the light of the peculiar circumstances of this case and posted the matter for final disposal on Monday.The Railways raised a technical issue and argued that the woman had an alternative remedy to approach the Railways Claims Tribunal to seek compensation.Chased robbersThe victim claimed that thieves entered her compartment at 3 a.m. on February 9, 2015, and ran away with her purse when the Secunderabad-Rajkot Express train she was travelling in made a scheduled halt at the Khandala station. Ms. Ladola got down from the train and chased the robbers, but she aborted the attempt when the train started moving. However, she slipped while attempting to board the train, losing both her legs in the mishap.Following the accident, Ms. Ladola filed a petition, demanding compensation for her treatment on the grounds that the Railways had failed to provide security to train passengers during night hours. The court noted that the petition had raised a basic issue about the alleged failure of the Railways to provide security to the passengers travelling in night trains.last_img read more

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Seniors to blame for India debacle: Vettori

first_imgNew Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori on Monday said senior players, including himself, will have to take the blame for the ODI debacle in India.”It’s about players standing up and performing, Vettori told ‘ONE News’ on the team’s return to the country after a 0-5 drubbing in India.”If we look at the reasons for the losses being because of selection or management structure we are absolving the players and myself included – so the players need to stand up,” said the talismanic leg-spinner, who has been leading the side since 2007.Set to take a break to nurse a sore back, Vettori rejected suggestions that his multiple roles of being a captain, selector and key all-rounder were affecting the team’s power balance.Vettori said his teammates are “comfortable” with his multiple roles but conceded that the fans might be running out of patience considering that his side has now lost 11 one-day international matches on the trot.”Yeah, of course I don’t blame them. This team is hurting itself. It’s a miserable time for New Zealand cricket,” Vettori said.”We did so well in the first couple of Test matches and then to let it all slip in the last Test and the one-day series, it hurts. And the only reason you play the game is to win and the only reason a lot of New Zealanders watch us play is to see us win.”So we have to give that to them as soon as possible or otherwise it’s going to be really upsetting to a lot of people,” he added.advertisementKiwi coach Mark Greatbatch echoed Vettori’s views and said the team is “exceptionally disappointed and embarrassed.”- With PTI inputslast_img read more

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New Stats on Search and B2B Marketing

first_imgA recent whitepaper on B2B search revealed some interesting statistics about B2B purchasers and how they search, which reveals a lot of really useful insights for B2B marketing.  A couple days ago I found a blog article on this topic and posted it on DailyHub next to a bunch of other interesting marketing and business articles.Here are some of the stats I found particularly interesting in the whitepaper:• Over 70% of B2B buyers use a search engine at the start of their purchasing process• About 75% of B2B prospects click on the organic results• Less than 19% of B2B buyers click on search ads• 77% of B2B prospects prefer Google over any other search engine (see chart)Key takeaways for B2B Marketing:1) Your B2B company needs to be able to be found in search engines.  Over 70% of your prospects are looking for you there, right at the time when they are ready to buy, so this is probably more important than any other marketing activity for your company.2) Make sure your B2B company is listed in the Google organic results for the right search keywords.  You can probably ignore the other search engines for B2B marketing purposes since Google has 77% marketshare for B2B purchasing.3) Consider bidding on paid search terms in Google as well, but watch your ROI.  The organic results matter most, since the ads only get you access to 19% of B2B prospects.For a free analysis of your website’s marketing effectiveness and tips on how you can be better found by your B2B prospects in search engines, visit www.websitegrader.com. Originally published Jun 5, 2007 1:03:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Measuring SEO Topics: 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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The Art of the List: 5 Keys to Building Your Database (Video)

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

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5 Golden Rules for a Successful Location Based Marketing Campaign

first_img Originally published Sep 8, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Campaigns Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Enter to win a copy of Aaron’s Book!The Evolution of Location Based Marketing”At that point [in 2007], it was really just one of these cool things. It was fun. There were some legs to it, but you couldn’t quite see the business use.”Using location based tools started out as just a cool thing to do. But in 2009, Foursquare launched with an eye toward utilizing location based tools for marketing and business. People started to realize that you can check into businesses. Businesses started setting their locations and offering incentives for check-ins.Now more companies are getting into the location based marketing game. According to Aaron, there will be more development in this area, and then more consolidation and acquisitions, but we’re really just at the beginning. Businesses are still trying to figure out how to use these tools in a beneficial way.Adopting Location Based Marketing Services”I think with the location based things, it’s not to say that if you make a mistake it won’t get some notice, but I think both customers and the press and social media in general are willing to cut you more slack if you’re going in and playing around with them.”If you’re a business, now is the perfect time to be trying out location based services because they’re still relatively small communities. If you make an error, you won’t get as much backlash as if you were just starting out with Twitter or Facebook.Building a Successful Location Based Marketing Campaign”We like to have what we call the Five Golden Rules.” Here are Aaron’s Five Golden Rules for creating a successful location based marketing campaign: 1. Go out and explore the services. Get yourself set up on Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR, and Local Response. Claim your location in those places. 2. Start embracing the influencers that are checking in. Pick one or two services that are right for you (probably Foursquare, and maybe Yelp), and do that. 3. Create your offer. Make sure your offer syncs up with what your business goals are (loyalty, engagement, increase foot traffic, increase sales, etc). 4. Test, learn, optimize, and measure. Keep tabs on what’s working and what’s not working, and make changes.5. Operationalize. Train everyone involved (from the top to the bottom) on what the offer is, how it works, and what the purpose is.Using Location Based Services to Build a Loyalty Program”I think that goes into perpetuity. Every fifth time you go, you’re getting this extra benefit, and smart companies will start to think about how do I do that.”Here are a few examples of companies who are using location based services to build up loyalty programs:Tasti D-Lite has a loyalty program where, through the swipe of a card, you can check into Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook. Checking in earns you additional points towards free menu items.Starwood Hotels has a similar program where, when you attach your Starwood account with Foursquare, you get additional points for checking in.Hideout Theatre has it so you don’t just benefit the first time you check in or if you’re the mayor, but also during your 5th and 10th visits as well.Point-of-Purchase and Location Based Services”So I think the more you can tightly tie in some of these elements to the point of sale, the bigger retail stores will embrace this. But I don’t know if it’s going to be the end-all, be-all. It will definitely add scale. It will add comfort, I think, to a lot of these customers.”A new element that is emerging is a way for businesses to track when people have actually purchased and been inside their business. This builds on loyalty programs, but it can also be used to further relationship building and engagement.Offering Incentives for Sharing With Your Networks”The more reasons you give for someone sharing their check-in with their Facebook account or other social networks, the better.”It’s best to give the user the control on how/what they share with their networks, but the more reasons you give them to share, the better (e.g., “Get more points for sharing your check-in on Facebook.”).What Happens After Check-In”We need to think about the benefit that geo-awareness adds to any kind of transaction business data, etc.”Businesses need to figure out how they can use this information going forward. Can you build check-in information in your loyalty program? Can you add that into your communication with your customers?Digby (a mobile ecommerce company) is looking into this issue. If they can get you to check-in on an app that they’ve built, they can passively know whether you’ve been in a store or not. So then you have that data that you can work with.What Kinds of Businesses Should Use Location Based Services?”I think if you look at companies like Bravo TV, companies that are either publications or they’re consumer package goods, there are things that you can do — whether they’re educational, they can be partnerships with the actual retail locations.”Location based services aren’t just for brick-and-mortar businesses with lots of locations. Other types of businesses can partner with retail locations.For example, you can check in at the Statue of Liberty. When you do, you can pull up a particular show episode on the History Channel and historical facts. The History Channel has partnered with historical locations so that when someone checks in, they’re shown History Channel content.Measuring the Effectiveness of Location Based Marketing”This is a space that will continue to evolve. One of the things that we do have is we have a website. It’s LocationBasedMarketingForDummies.com, and that’s going to be the book site, and we’re going to keep a regular blog there. You’ll be able to find out about some of these services as they evolve, because Mike and I will keep wiki pages that will let users contribute as well — talk about all these different services that can help measure and monitor.”A lot of the platforms offer their own dashboards for tracking who’s checked in, demographics, etc.But there are also a lot of other tools that can help you measure and monitor these campaigns. Some of them are:MomentFeed: for tracking across multiple locations and multiple servicesGeotoko: for managing multiple offersValuevine: for all kinds of tracking of location based campaignsLocal Response: for mining Twitter and finding specific check-ins and making offers to themResources for Location Based Marketing Information”I have a list that I’ve actually built if someone checks out my Twitter handle, @AaronStrout. You can see my LBS Twitter stream that I’ve got.”Check out @Mr_LBS on Twitter, the Location Based Marketing Association, @JBruin on Twitter, and all of the individual services’ Twitter handles and blogs.Where to Start Your Location Based Marketing Efforts”Try it out as a consumer and check in to some places and get some ideas, and then get your company set up. Claim your location. Think about maybe a light offer that you could do.”If you’re just starting out, get set up on Foursquare. Try it as a consumer. Get some ideas. Then claim your location, and work on a light offer.Connect With Aaron OnlineYou can follow Aaron on Twitter @AaronStrout and his personal blog. Don’t forget to also check out his company blog, his book, and the Quick-n-Dirty podcast.Enter to Win a Copy of Aaron’s Book, Location Based Marketing for Dummiescenter_img Topics: Aaron Strout joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s social media and inbound marketing podcast! Aaron is the head of location based marketing at WCG in Austin. He is the author of an upcoming book, Location Based Marketing for Dummies, he runs his own podcast called The Quick-n-Dirty Social Media Podcast on BlogTalk Radio, and he blogs over at his own site.In this episode, we chat about:The evolution of location based marketingTips on adopting location based marketing in your businessBuilding a successful location based marketing campaignUsing location based services to build a loyalty programPoint-of-purchase and location based servicesOffering incentives for sharing with your networksWhat kinds of businesses should use location based servicesMeasuring the effectiveness of location based marketingResources for location based marketing informationWhere to start your location based marketing effortslast_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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The Complete Guide to Updating and Republishing Outdated Blog Content

first_img Originally published Sep 9, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Blog Optimization   Add any new best practices that have emerged (and remove “best practices” that are no longer so). Every once in a while, things need to be updated. Your mailing address, your wardrobe, your hairstyle, your media collection. Things get outdated, stale, and irrelevant — it’s just the way of our constantly changing world.Unfortunately, your marketing content is no exception. Over time, what once was an accurate, fresh piece of content becomes, well … not so much.Luckily, just like it’s easy enough to change your address, go shopping for stylish new clothes, get a brand new haircut, or buy new music, it’s also pretty easy to update your content. And doing so can help you extend the life of your popular, high-performing content as well as save you the time and resources from creating content from scratch. Not too shabby, huh?So sit back, read on, and learn all about how you should approach and execute the process of updating and republishing your outdated blog content. Your blog readers will thank you for it.Updating Old Content? Why Bother?If you’ve been blogging for a while, I’m willing to bet you’ve got some old, stale content lurking in the shadows of your blog. But why should you care? That stuff is buried deep in the depths of your blog, and no one is going to see it anyway. Right?Wrong.As you probably know, one of the main benefits of blogging is the search engine optimization (SEO) value it provides. In fact, earlier this month, I analyzed traffic to this very blog and found that in July 2013, 69% of the blog post visits we received in July were to blog posts published prior to July. That’s a lot of traffic. And it makes sense considering that 45% of the traffic to our blog in July came from organic search. This means that any given moment, someone could stumble upon a blog post you wrote months (even years) ago that ranks well in search. This is one of the biggest advantages of blogging — content that continues to drive results in terms of traffic and leads over time. But if that searcher doesn’t bother to check the date/time stamp on that blog post, they might have no idea they’re reading outdated and possibly inaccurate information. Yikes. Okay, that’s one good reason. The other reason is that not everyone who is reading your blog now, was reading your blog months and years ago. And even if they were, it also doesn’t mean they read every single article you published. By updating and resurfacing some of your older yet high-performing evergreen posts, you can extend the life of your best blog content as well as increase the results it continues to achieve over time.Finally, it’s often much easier and quicker to update and republish an old post than it is to write a new post from scratch. While I wouldn’t recommend you do this for every post you publish — you should still be publishing lots of new, original content — this is a great way to shave some valuable time off your content creation efforts while still maintaining a consistent publishing frequency. How to Choose Which Posts to UpdateOkay, hopefully now I’ve convinced you of the value of updating and republishing updated blog content. But what’s your plan of attack? How should you decide which posts are worth it to resurface? Here are some important variables to consider:1) Identify your top-performing posts.Let your analytics be your guide here. In general, focus on posts that are backed by some good-looking metrics, such as:Inbound Links: According to our resident SEO expert Rebecca Churt, this is the most important metric to look at, since it is most indicative of search authority. Which of your posts have a lot of inbound links?Traffic: My recommendation is to look at your blog analytics, and specify the last full month as your time frame. (HubSpot Customers: Look in Page Performance.) Which old posts are still generating a lot of traffic for you? Social Shares: The number of social shares a post has generated is also a good indicator of a high-performing post — particularly since social shares factor into search rankings, too. To determine how many social shares a post has, enter its URL into LinkTally.com, a free tool created by HubSpot Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella that tells you how many times a URL has been shares on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. Keywords: Use updating and republishing content as a way to support your keyword strategy. Are there certain keywords you’re trying to rank better in search for? Use a keyword (like HubSpot’s Keywords tool or Google Analytics) to identify keyword ranking opportunities. Do you have any posts that already rank for these keywords? Could you improve their ranking positions?2) Consider content relevancy and trending topics.In addition to a metrics-driven selection approach, you should also consider content relevancy and trending topics. In fact, depending on your content strategy and marketing goals, updating content for the sake of these two variables may actually trump a metrics-driven approach from time to time. For instance, we recently found that a lot of our prospects and customers were asking questions about local search. While we’d already published a post about this very topic, it had become a little outdated (and buried on our blog). Rather than create a new post from scratch (and risk rubbing Google the wrong way with duplicate content), we decided to update and republish that original post — even thought our metrics may not have indicated it was a good target for updating.Best Practices for Updating and Republishing PostsOkay, once you’ve identified the posts you want to update, it’s time to actually update them! Here are some best practices to consider.1) Use the same post, and keep URL the same.Rather than publishing an additional article on your blog — which could result in a ding from search engines for duplicate content — modify the original article. Because this article is live, I usually copy/paste the post into a new draft, make my changes there, and then copy/paste the HTML back into the original post when I’m ready to re-publish the original article (more on that in just a minute). While you may be tempted to update the post’s URL slug, it’s important to keep the URL the same, even if your software automatically creates a redirect. Redirects will remove some of the link value, so it’s best to just keep it as is.2) If you change the title, keep keywords.If you feel compelled to update the post’s title, try to avoid changing it drastically from the original. While the URL is more important to keep the same than the title, if you really need to change the title, do your best to keep your keywords in there.3) Add an editor’s note for transparency.It’s a great idea to add a little editor’s note at the bottom of your updated post — if for no other reason, then for transparency’s sake. This is particularly a good idea if your post has accumulated a lot of comments; your readers will be confused if the publish date is current, but there are comments from months or years ago. Here’s an example of what we typically include at the end of our republished posts:4) Update the content for accuracy.Yup. The name of the game here is accuracy. Over time, there are quite a few things about a piece of content that can get stale and out of date. Evaluate the post for accuracy and determine what needs to be modified, added, or removed. The first thing I usually do is delete any parts of a post that are no longer relevant, and add headers for new sections that need to be added or replaced. Then I go through the post in its entirety to fill in the blanks and make my changes. Here is a checklist of things you should keep in mind as you’re updating your content: Topics:   Update the post’s call-to-action (CTA). Evaluate whether your CTA’s offer is still the best option for this post. Do you have a better article? Is the CTA’s creative out-of-date?5) Optimize the post’s meta description.Review the post’s meta description. Is it still accurate? Can you update it to make it a little catchier? Remember, meta descriptions don’t affect the ranking of your content, but they can impact its clickthrough rate from search. Make sure your meta description is both an accurate reflection of what’s within the post, and enticing enough to get searchers to click through to your content from search results.6) Republish it! Yay! By now, you should have an awesomely updated piece of content that’s ready for publishing. While the process of actually publishing your content will vary depending on the blogging software you use, I’m going to share some tips for doing it using HubSpot’s Blogging tool.Replace the old content with new content. This will probably be the same no matter what software you use. Like I mentioned, I usually copy/paste the HTML from my new draft to replace the copy in my original article.Wait until you want to publish the “new” post to update its date/time. If you’re using HubSpot’s new Blog COS, you’ll want to wait until the specific date/time you want the post to appear on your blog homepage to click “update.” Changing it to a date/time in the future will result in a 404 error for those who stumble upon the article in search before the newly designated publish date/time (not a good thing if your article already ranks well in search results).Send a manual email to instant subscribers. If your blogging software is (or is like) HubSpot, it will only trigger the automatic email notification to subscribers for a post once. This means that if you’re just changing the publish date/time on an already-live article, the email will not get triggered again. However, if you’re using HubSpot’s new Blog COS, there’s no stopping you from creating a manual notification email in HubSpot’s Email tool and sending it to your instant subscriber list. If you use the same template you use for your automatic emails, your subscribers won’t even be able to tell the difference. Plus, you can use the opportunity to run an A/B test!7) Track the before/after performance.Okay — maybe I got a little bit ahead of myself. Before you publish your new post, it’s a good idea to create a record of the post’s “before” stats. That way, you can compare it to the post’s performance after you’ve republished it to understand how your update affected its overall performance. Over time, this might also give you a better idea about which posts are worth targeting for updates. The following are the data and stats I keep track of before and after I republish:Post’s Title (in case I tweak it for the republished version)Post’s URL (just so I have the information in one place)Before/After Publish DatesBefore/After Number of Comments Before/After Number of Inbound Links Before/After Number of Social Shares (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc.)Before/After Post Views (use the month before and the month after as a proxy)Before/After New Contacts/Leads Generated (use the month before and the month after as a proxy)Before/After Keyword Rankings Are you incorporating updated blog posts into your blogging strategy? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below.   Remove content that is no longer relevant.   Update outdated copy.   Check and replace internal links (particularly if there are now better resources or lead gen offers for you to link to).   Update screenshots if things have changed (this is particularly important for step-by-step guides, etc.).   Replace outdated data/stats with fresher, more timely ones. Add new, fresh examples or replace outdated ones. 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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8 Ways Home Builders Can Use Houzz for Lead Generation

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 If you have business partners like interior designers or landscapers that are also on Houzz, it’s helpful to request reviews from them, as well. Providing reviews for your partners will help motivate them to provide reviews for you. This will help both of you rank higher for your services and geographic locations.3) Link Projects to Blog PostsWhen you add a project to your Houzz profile, you can include an external link to provide more information on that project. Therefore, we recommend creating a blog post on your website that expands on each Houzz project. You can then include the link to that blog post in the actual Houzz project. This strategy will help increase traffic to your website, provide additional blog content, and encourage people to learn more information about your company beyond what’s in your Houzz profile. It could also lead to new blog subscribers. Plus, if you include calls-to-action in your blog posts, you will encourage lead generation. By including a call-to-action that links to a landing page with a form to download a piece of valuable content (such as a buyer’s guide), you may generate tangible leads that you can follow up with. 4) Engage Users Through “Questions” and “Advice” FeaturesHouzz provides a “Questions” feature that allows users to ask you questions about your projects. Be sure to monitor your Houzz profile closely so you can respond to questions in a very timely manner. Timeliness is key for turning someone who has posed a question into an actual lead. Responding quickly shows you are a tentative builder that cares. It also helps you ensure you connect with the user when they are still in the right mindset. If you respond several days after the question is asked, the user may have received his answer somewhere else, or he may have become preoccupied with something else. Responding in a detailed and thorough manner is also important because it shows you are an expert. This is why the questions feature is so valuable. It helps you show that you are a tentative, caring, expert home builder. And who wouldn’t want to hire a home builder like that?Houzz also offers an “Advice” feature. Engaging in discussions here helps you obtain additional exposure and establish your expertise. Spend time answering questions and contributing valuable insight to discussions. Both the “Questions” and “Advice” features allow you to engage one-on-one with users, and start building relationships. 5) Utilize Bookmarks for CRMThe “Bookmarks” feature allows you to keep track of your favorite discussions on Houzz. If you are communicating with potential leads in discussions, it may be helpful to note that in your CRM software. Bookmarking your discussions will allow you to easily return to those discussions and review your interactions so you can record information about the contact in your CRM system.6) Add a Houzz Badge or Widget to Your WebsiteAdding a Houzz badge or widget to your website’s home page will help boost your ranking in the Houzz directory. There are several badges to choose from, including a badge that simply indicates you have a Houzz profile to badges that indicate any special Houzz recognitions you may have received.Houzz also offers widgets that will allow you to display your Houzz reviews or add a slideshow of your Houzz projects to your website. Adding these features to your website will help demonstrate your company’s status and expertise to visitors who enjoy and trust Houzz as a resource.7) Submit a Project to be an Editorial FeatureSubmit one of your projects to Houzz’s editorial review team for a chance to be become the subject of a featured article on Houzz, such as their “Room of the Day” or “Kitchen of the Week” articles. If you are selected, you’ll receive free national exposure from one of the most important websites in the home building industry. These articles are based solely on merit; no one can pay to be selected. So, they act as a great indicator of your company’s expertise and creativity.  If you are selected, you can promote the article via your other marketing channels such as social networks, email marketing, and your blog. 8) Complete Your Profile in DetailThis may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth stating. The goal of completing and maintaining your profile isn’t to get it done so you can move on to something else. The goal is to ensure your target audience finds you on Houzz and then takes an additional action like visiting your website or contacting you. So, invest the time into filling out your profile in detail. Be sure you take advantage of the opportunity Houzz gives to link to all your social networks. If people begin to connect with you in other social networks, they will discover your blog posts and other valuable content. This will help drive them to your website and engage them in lead nurturing.  The Bottom LineIt’s not necessary to be active in all social networks; just the networks that are most effective for your industry. For builders, Houzz is arguably the most important social network for driving website traffic and leads. As we’ve described, it can also help increase your search engine and media exposure. These eight tips will help you get the most marketing leverage and lead generation potential out of Houzz. Topics: Lead Generationcenter_img Since its inception in 2009, Houzz.com has quickly become a valuable tool to help home builders increase online exposure. According to Houzz, the site is home to 25 million users looking for unique home design ideas and possessing an average household income of $125,000.For home builders, there’s no question the target audience is there. The challenge lies in maximizing Houzz exposure to convert Houzz users into leads you can actually follow up with.These eight tips will help you go from simply having a Houzz profile to managing a Houzz presence that produces tangible leads. 1) Include Strategic KeywordsBe sure your target audience discovers your profile when they search Houzz for terms that matter to them by including keywords in your business description and your projects. For example, a Dallas home buyer in the market for a custom builder may want to see examples of unique exteriors on Houzz created by Dallas-area home builders. To find these examples, they might search “Dallas exteriors.” If you’re a Dallas builder, you would want to appear in this search. Therefore, builders should include relevant geographic terms in addition to terms that describe the nature of the project or photo. For example, instead of titling your project “Kitchen Remodel”, consider calling it “Dallas Kitchen Remodel.”When you add a project, there is a specific section to include keywords. To add keywords to an existing project, simply click “edit” on any photo and you will see the keywords section appear. Houzz provides a quick and easy YouTube tutorial to help you add keywords correctly.Take time to add as many relevant keywords as possible in this section. Be sure to include the same type of relevant keywords in the “Description” field of your projects. Be as detailed as possible with these descriptions. It takes time but it’s worth it because it will help more people find you. Keywords are also important because Houzz profiles are indexed by Google. So, when someone searches a term like “Dallas builders” in Google, Houzz’s list of Dallas builders shows up in search results. When someone clicks on that search result, they see a list of local builders with reviews and examples of work.So, it’s extremely valuable to appear in these Houzz lists. It’s even more valuable to appear in a high position. One of the best ways to improve your ranking in these lists is by increasing your company’s reviews on Houzz. 2) Increase ReviewsThe best sales leads have always come from word-of-mouth referrals. Online reviews are often almost as valuable as a friend recommending your company to another friend. Today’s consumers conduct a lot of research before making purchases. Online reviews are one resource that people regard heavily when making a large purchase like a home.  Houzz reviews are no different, and the more you receive, the higher you are likely to rank in the Houzz directory for your geographic area. Therefore, you should encourage your clients to submit reviews. Houzz makes this really easy with their “Get Reviews” feature.  You can send an email straight from the Houzz platform to your clients requesting a review. The email contains a link that will take your client straight to the location where they can submit a review. Houzz provides a quick YouTube tutorial for this feature, as well.  Originally published Apr 13, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated March 31 2016last_img read more

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9 Reasons Why TrueView is a Brilliant Platform for Inbound Marketers

first_img Originally published Feb 24, 2016 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Social Media Marketers YouTube is a big business. There are over a billion people — that’s almost a third of all internet users — watching hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos every day.Clearly, YouTube’s TrueView ad platform presents a massive opportunity for marketers and brands. Campaigns in TrueView are set up and managed using AdWords, which makes it versatile in terms of targeting settings and ad formats. Not to mention, ads are less intrusive from a viewer’s perspective. The benefits of using TrueView as an ad platform are abundant. The two main options for running campaigns are in-stream ads (usually linking to your website and offering additional calls-to-action), which are shown before or during a video, and in-display ads (usually linking to a video) targeting keywords, which appear in the search results or in the side panel next to videos.There are multiple advantages of running TrueView ads as part of your inbound marketing strategy, including:1) YouTube advertising is young and low costThe relatively low cost of advertising on YouTube, in its infancy stage, means you can test out the flexible campaign settings and targeting options at your liberty. In contrast, when TrueView ads become more expensive in the future, advertisers will spend more money on experiments that fall flat. Get on board early, so you can learn the ropes before the market becomes saturated.2) It’s pretty nativeNative advertising is a growing trend right now, and TrueView ads have the potential to appear very naturally on the YouTube platform. After all, people came to the website to watch videos.In-display ads in particular, which can appear as suggested videos or search results, sit comfortably beside YouTube’s non-ad content.In-stream ads, on the other hand, can be more intrusive, so they should be well-targeted and engaging to encourage viewers to watch them rather than skip.3) For the most part, you’ll only pay for engaged viewersThe viewer has the option to skip your in-stream ads after five seconds, but you only pay when a whole clip or 30 seconds of the clip is viewed — whichever is shortest — or when a viewer engages with your video, if that interaction comes first.Likewise with in-display ads, you pay for clicks rather than impressions. As a result, you will usually only pay for those viewers who are interested in your message.4) Earned conversions are freeA viewer doesn’t need to watch the full video or click an ad in order to convert. In the days following an impression, they may decide to visit your website and later convert of their own accord.Make a strong first impression with your ad and your messaging will stick, whether they continue watching to the end or not.Ads shown to users which weren’t viewed or clicked on, but later convert, are earned views. These conversions aren’t charged for, so enjoy the free marketing!5) Targeting can be very granularUsing your AdWords account, it’s possible to target certain types of user (based on demographic categories like age group and gender), as well as categories of video and specific channels, so your ad gets shown only to the types of people likely to engage and convert.You can also target specific keywords to help you reach relevant audiences, and combine keywords with other targeting settings to zoom in on smaller subsets of YouTube users. For example, you might choose to target females aged between 18 and 24 who search for “bedroom makeover”.6) Ads can be highly contextualIt’s possible to advertise new and different content within your own videos which cover a specific topic. This could mean advertising short form content like a snippet of or an intro to a webinar and giving viewers the option to click a call-to-action to view the full video. This way, you’re benefiting from the opportunity to advertise a relevant video to viewers who are already engaged with the topic.7) There are multiple ad formatsTrueView is a very flexible platform when it comes to ad formats. For example, it’s possible to show banner ads as an overlay on videos, as well as showing banner ads next to videos as part of a Display Network campaign.For both in-stream ads and your longer videos, there are options to add cards (clickable overlays which point viewers to more video content, playlists or offers), CTAs and links to your website within the video display. This encourages viewers to continue engaging with your content and discover more about your brand and content.8) Push whatever content you wantA new webinar, your latest eBook, tutorials, some client testimonials or a product launch… the list is endless as to what you can promote via both in-stream and in-display ads. As long as you have the resources to make a video or presentation, you’re ready to go.9) Run remarketing campaignsTrueView ads offer the same targeting that’s available on Google’s Display Network or their remarketing platform; they allow you to push new content and messaging to new and relevant audiences via their internet history, as well as people already affiliated with your brand, to encourage them to revisit, reengage and convert.You can export your AdWords email list, so as long as your contacts are signed into YouTube, they will be shown specific ads depending on your settings. For improved relevance, segment your remarketing list into buyer persona and buyer’s journey stage, to make sure the right people are getting hit with the right messaging at the right time.By linking your YouTube account to your AdWords account, you can even create remarketing lists based on the videos people have watched. This can be used to create a funnel where each ad in a sequence helps to push your viewers through the buyer’s journey.TrueView Makes Sense for Inbound MarketersThere are so many reasons why inbound marketers should use TrueView to get their brand and messaging in front of YouTube’s viewer base. Whether it’s the cost efficiency, versatility, engagement levels or non-intrusiveness of TrueView ads that initially draws you in, you’re bound to find more benefits once you explore the platform in more detail.As with many things (and marketing tools are no exception), you’ve got to try it to love it. For a helping hand, download our best practices eBook. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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

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

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The Greatest Marketing Growth Hack of All Time (Hint: Cupcakes)

first_img Growth-Driven Design A few years ago my team at RJMetrics was launching a short survey over the holidays. It’s a tough time of the year to get attention, especially when you’re a B2B SaaS company. At some point, someone suggested a cupcake giveaway.So we did.Ten participants were randomly chosen to receive a dozen cupcakes, and people LOVED it.They sent email responses to the request saying they hoped they got the cupcakes.They tweeted delighted responses about the campaign.When we delivered them, they tweeted pictures of them and their co-workers enjoying the cupcakes.The response to the cupcake campaign was completely out of proportion to the $50 cost to us.So we decided to make cupcakes a bigger part of some other marketing initiatives. Prior to this first cupcake encounter, we would use iPads as an incentive to promote our webinars. You know, that post-registration page that says “Tell your friends you’re joining us for a chance to win!” We decided to scrap the iPad in lieu of cupcakes…and our conversion rate skyrocketed.No joke.People would rather receive a dozen cupcakes than an iPad.And inevitably we would ship the cupcakes and see a cupcake photo plus a tweet like: “RJMetrics has the best webinars, and you might win cupcakes!”So there it is, the greatest marketing growth hack of all time. The next time you’re trying to motivate people to do something for you, offer the chance to win some cupcakes.The Psychology of CupcakesNow, let’s talk a little bit about what’s happening here. There are a few good theories. I first shared a version of this post over on ThinkGrowth.org and the responses there aligned pretty closely to what I hear whenever I share this story. Cupcakes seem like a more achievable prize.In the case of the survey, the odds of winning cupcakes were actually better than the odds of winning an iPad — we were choosing 10 winners instead of 1. But for webinars, the odds were exactly the same — only 1 winner. Still, there’s something about a dozen cupcakes that just seems more possible.One commenter summed it up perfectly:The Lake Wobegon Effect As in Lake Wobegon of Prairie Home Companion. This theory was presented by HubSpot’s co-founder and CTO, Dharmesh Shah and is a variation on cupcakes seeming more achievable, but with a little more detail on the psychology of why they feel more achievable:Valuing Experiences Over ThingsAnother theory on why this is so effective is that people actually want the experience of winning cupcakes more than they want the experience of winning an iPad. Winning an iPad is kind of a lonely experience, tell your co-workers and they’ll probably feel bored or jealous.But winning cupcakes? That’s a community experience. You can gather your co-workers around to share in your success, eat cupcakes together, take a picture. And maybe on some sub-conscious level we all just want that feeling of community more than we want an iPad.My hunch is that if you ask someone outright, they will always tell you they would prefer to win an iPad, but actual behavior reveals we might want something a little more meaningful.The Element of SurpriseThis is a less popular theory, but personally, I think it carries a lot of weight. In marketing, all strategies erode over time. Andrew Chen calls this “The Law of Shitty Click-Throughs.” He uses the example of the internet’s first banner ad: But by 2011, Facebook ads were converting at .05%.And we see this play out again and again in marketing. As more businesses adopt a tactic, the better people become at tuning it out, and the effectiveness of that tactic wears off:The more companies start posting links on social, the harder it is to get people to click a link on social.The more emails salespeople send, the harder it is to get a response.The more content that gets produced, the harder it is to capture attention.We’re just not used to seeing cupcakes show up in marketing. It surprises us, forces us to pause and pay attention. And attention, after all, is what marketers are always chasing.If the surprise theory is true, this holds implications beyond cupcakes. It means there’s an enormous edge given to marketers who can navigate the balance of being familiar enough that people feel comfortable, but surprising enough that people actually pay attention.I’ve recently fallen in love with CBInsights newsletter. The author of the newsletter and founder of the company, Anand Sanwal, has an amazing sense of humor and I’ve found myself hooked on his storylines. Here’s one of this latest newsletters:How many business communications lead with “I love you”? Or talk about bromances in a way that makes you want to keep reading?And you actually want to read the copy because Anand is constantly dropping little remarks like “a not very useful graph” that are so refreshingly honest about the things marketers are often trying to hype. I mean this graph is interesting, but he’s right, it’s not very useful 😂And of course, this is all held together by a core of content that is top-notch commentary on the tech industry.Why do I love this newsletter so much? Yes, it’s providing incredibly useful information, but I’m constantly surprised and delighted by what Anand is writing. I read what he’s writing because it’s different from how everyone talks about similar things.He’s not giving away cupcakes, but there’s still power in the art of surprise.Now it’s your turn.After I published this post on ThinkGrowth.org I heard from two marketers who were already implementing the cupcake test. So, the time to try this strategy is now. It won’t be crazy effective for too long!But seriously, cupcakes or no cupcakes, keep your eye out for opportunities to share a little joy with your audience. We’re all busy and distracted and overloaded with information. Ask yourself how you can add just a little more humanity to your marketing, how you can create moments for your audience to connect with other humans, how you can make them pause and maybe … just maybe … how you can even make them smile.Editor’s Note: This post was adapted for the Marketing Blog from ThinkGrowth.org, HubSpot’s Medium publication. You can check out the original version here.  Topics: Originally published Jun 16, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated June 16 2017 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

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