Joburg eyes Lanseria ‘aerotropolis’

first_imgOther requirements include a large number of spaces for planes to park, a helipad, bulk utility services, and rescue and fire fighting facilities, which should be of international standards. Adequate facilities should be given for international and domestic passenger and cargo terminals, high-quality road accessibility, enough public transport services, and up to 20 000 car parking bays. “A number of processes still need be undertaken regarding this economic development initiative, with the existing airport land owners and investors being the primary ones, as well as intergovernmental engagement,” the article states. An article published on the city’s website this week states that a study conducted by the municipality, which looked into ways of accelerating local economic growth to 9% by 2014, also looked at Grand Central Airport in Midrand, but rejected it because of a shortage of land for development. Aerotropolis According to the city’s economic and industrial support programme manager, Lindokuhle Mkhumane, the municipality looked at various options on how to develop the airport, ranging from public-private partnerships to outright ownership. The mayoral committee, agreed in principle on an operations model for the airport city with the municipality playing a facilitation role. The airport will be a private business; the land around it is owned by the municipality, and that is where the developments facilitation will take place. “Lanseria, on the other hand, was already operating as an international airport and there was enough land for development and for it to serve as an anchor for an airport city development,” writes Romaana Naidoo. SAinfo reporter and the City of Johannesburg 29 May 2009 Expanding Lanseria to serve as an “aerotropolis” is a concept based on an economic strategy that includes non-noise sensitive manufacturing industries and others such as freight forwarding, aircraft maintenance, express couriers, warehousing, hotels and conference centres. Lanseria Airport to the north-west of Johannesburg has been selected by the city council as a prime candidate for expansion. “Major considerations for all these options include the ability to raise funds and the present owners’ willingness to expand,” the article states. “The feasibility reports indicate that the Lanseria expansion will require about R7-billion over the next 20 years.” The requirements, according to the aerotropolis concept, include at least 4.5km of runways, an adequate control tower with air navigation facilities, and enough land for aircraft hangers and maintenance operations. It also calls for diverse land use in the surrounding areas, reaching a radius of up to 30 kilometres. It integrates the aero zone and the surrounding area, which is residential with commercial space. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Read More

HC admits plea of Ram Rahim challenging conviction

first_imgThe Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday admitted the appeal filed by Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is serving 20-years jail sentence, challenging his conviction by the special Central Bureau of Investigation in two counts of rape of female followers.A division bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Sudhir Mittal while admitting the appeal issued issued notice to the CBI.Ram Rahim’s lawyer, S.K. Garg Narvana pleaded before the court that in the wake of all the Dera properties having been attached, his client was not in a position to pay ₹30 lakh – the amount which the CBI court has asked to pay as a fine to the rape survivors. “Also my client – Gurmeet Ram Rahim has renounced the world,” he said.The court, however, directed Ram Rahim to deposit the compensation amount, within two months at a nationalised bank in the CBI Panchkula court’s name. The court said that the amount will be kept in the bank till the case is pending and would be paid only after the court’s direction.last_img read more

Read More

7 Things to Know When Hiring a PR Firm

first_img Agencies traditionally have used clippings, media impressions, advertising equivalency and PR value (which is basically an artificial multiple of ad equivalency) as a means of measuring success. 6) What is their billing structure? . Follow him on Twitter  In the social web, PR agencies are evolving into content publishers, connectors, educators and consultants. Website Grader It’s no secret social media and inbound marketing are  changing the role of PR firms . PR firms can be invaluable strategic partners as your organization moves beyond traditional marketing methods and navigates the social web, but make sure to do your homework and find an agency that has the knowledge, capabilities and staff to fit your needs and budgets. Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Questions to Ask Your PR Firm Twitter Grades 3) Do they maintain an insightful agency blog? 7) How strong and stable is the firm? The agency should have a strong Website Grade, which demonstrates their knowledge and capabilities in search engine optimization, social media and content marketing – all essential competencies of today’s PR firm. Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Simply check out their LinkedIn profiles and  For agencies that do have blogs, make sure it’s updated regularly (at least once per week) with content that is relevant to its readers, not just agency news and updates (which should be reserved for the media room). You must accept that your brand is now what Google and the social Web say it is, and your PR firm should be adept at protecting and strengthening your brand online. While generating media coverage offline and online is important, that coverage, at the end of the day, must deliver measureable results. 1) How active are the consultants/account managers and agency leaders in social networking, specifically LinkedIn and Twitter? PR should generate an ROI. If a firm can’t tell you how they measure and report their value to you, find a new one. Visit  It is extremely important the lead strategist on your account, as well as the agency’s leaders, be heavily engaged in social networking. If they’re not, how can they possibly provide the strategy, creativity and consultation your business needs to succeed online? Focus on value and results. Your firm should be transparent when it comes to billing rates (or set prices if they are offered), and you should know exactly what services are being provided. 4) How do they measure success?  and see for yourself. Paul Roetzer is founder and president of PR 20/20, a Cleveland-based inbound marketing agency and  Concern yourself less with clippings and impressions and more with search engine rankings, inbound links, Website traffic, leads and sales. These metrics are how PR campaigns should be judged. Don’t forget to share this post! Leading digital/online PR firms will most likely provide content marketing, social media consulting, blogging strategy, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising, as well as evolved forms of publicity, brand marketing and crisis communications. If the agency doesn’t have a blog, just move on. Any PR agency that has yet to integrate a blog into their site is simply too far behind the times and most likely will not bring the value and results your business needs. 5) What are their core services? While many traditional PR agencies were built upon the ability to generate editorial coverage (or publicity) through mainstream media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines), the leading digital/online PR firms are social-media and SEO savvy, with proven track records for generating website traffic, inbound links and leads. for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. Download the free webinar As with any outside provider, it is essential to evaluate the agency’s leadership, client base and financial viability. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions before entering into a relationship. 2) What’s their Website Grade? Do Your Homework . Originally published Jan 21, 2009 9:05:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Also, be sure the blog is hosted on their domain, and not someone else’s (e.g. Blogspot, Typepad, etc.). Hosting it on another domain may imply they don’t understand the search engine value of blogging and content marketing. PR firm @paulroetzer .last_img read more

Read More

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

Read More

New Twitter Launches, Helps Multimedia Marketers

first_img Twitter interface is the integration Check out this video of the new Twitter.com: While many other subtle changes have been mentioned of images and videos in streams. Twitter is partnering with DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube to display content from these services directly on Twitter.com. Twitter just became a little more like Facebookand other social networks with the incorporation of multimedia into user streams. However, Twitter is still a different type of network and users interact with each in different ways. Twitter is about discovering new people and information. By adding multimedia into the new design, Twitter.com reinforces the need for marketers to become content creators. These changes demonstrate that text isn’t the only method for telling a story online. Originally published Sep 15, 2010 11:10:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Takeaway about the new Twitter.com, from watching the video Twitter produced, it is clear that the service is growing up and that these changes set the foundation for future plans to generate revenue and increase engagement for users and marketers.center_img What do you think of the new look of Twitter.com? As a marketer using Twitter and other social media sites to interact with customers, it will be important to create interesting multimedia content and distribute it via services, like those the Twitter media partners listed above, to ensure that content is easily consumed on Twitter and other social networks. Twitter.com Topics: users will soon be using a new interface. Yesterday, the company announced that a new design for Twitter.com will roll out to users over the next couple of weeks. As you can see from the screenshots and video below, besides design changes, the major improvement to the new Twitter Updates 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

Read More

The 9 Worst Ways to Use Twitter for Business

first_img and Twitter badge . If you think that monitoring your brand on Twitter is too time consuming, you’ll be glad to hear that monitoring all of your business’s social chatter takes only as a customer service channel. But there are several common mistakes that companies make on Twitter. by having a unique Twitter background. People on Twitter want to follow people who might actually interact with them. So if you’re only putting content out there, even if it’s does. These personal touches will attract more followers than hiding behind a corporate logo. If you tweet only once per week, it will be hard to get noticed in the Twitter streams of people who follow thousands of even hundreds of users. But if you follow some of the advice above, by taking a few minutes each day to retweet interesting tweets and share Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 1. Be Overly Self-Promotional Your company Twitter page shouldn’t just be a corporate Twitter page; this exudes a stuffy tone that nobody wants to follow. Some of the top brands on Twitter actually put a face to the person behind the tweets, such as retweeted more often 3. Follow Anyone and Everyone Keeping your Twitter profile hidden from your website visitors, the people most likely to actually follow you, is never a good idea. Add a or Twitter directories such as Would you want to have lunch with someone who only talked about themselves, and didn’t even ask you how your day was going? Of course not. So why should you act that way on your Twitter profile? Instead of having a Twitter profile full of self-promotional news or links to your own website, share other interesting, educational, or even funny industry news from websites other than your own. You’ll build a following more quickly, and you’ll likely be Twitter Search 6. Don’t Share Your Twitter Profile on Your Website Ever see a Twitter profile of someone with 10 followers who’s following 10,000 people and think “oh, they must be interesting!” Me neither. If you follow a ton of just anyone, not only will your Twitter stream be filled with irrelevant content you don’t care about, but you’ll look spammy to people who see your skewed follow numbers. Be picky about who you follow, especially in the beginning. You can use than accounts without pictures? And that having a Twitter bio gets you Twellow strategies to , you shouldn’t have a problem here. . You can even just link to the profiles of people behind the tweets in the bio section, which is what , you might turn away people who want to know you’ll reply. Twitter isn’t only about sharing one-sided content. It’s about sharing other Twitter people’s content and engaging in conversations about that content. Make sure to retweet and reply to at least a few people each day so that you’re making Twitter a two-way conversation. Twitter WeFollow 8. Don’t Customize Your Twitter Profile to garner valuable feedback, keep tabs on the competition, engage your customers in conversation, or even choose to use Ford Twitter and retweet their articles . Use free tools like Diana Urban 5. Don’t Interact With Other Twitter Users Not customizing your Twitter profile is like blending into an anonymous crowd. Did you know that Twitter accounts with a profile picture have Twitter is a fantastic network for businesses. You can Twitter for business Here are 9 relevant content , as well as how to remedy them. to your website, and even add a feed of your tweets to your blog. Make it easy for your visitors to find out how to connect with you in social media. 8 times as many followers to find people interested in your industry and what you’re talking about.  2. Only Include Links to Your Own Blog or Twitter Search monitor your brand Comcast @dianaurban or brand your business on Twitter 10 times more followers What would be your #10? Let me know in the comments below! ten minutes a day ? If not, there’s your reason for doing so. Also, TweetDeck Topics: 7. Don’t Monitor Your Own Brand Chatter is a User Experience Manager at HubSpot. You can follow her on Twitter 4. Don’t Establish a Personality engaging content avoid . And it’s not unprofessional to ask your followers how their day is going. 9. Only Tweet Once Per Week to monitor conversations taking place about your company on Twitter in real-time. After you complete a Twitter search, you can even click “Feed for this query” and add it to your RSS reader for monitoring. Twitter Marketing Originally published Sep 29, 2010 1:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Business blogging is a great marketing tactic, and so is sharing your blog posts on Twitter. However, these shouldn’t be the only blog posts you share. It only takes 10 minutes a day to contribute valuable content on Twitter. Check your RSS reader daily and share interesting articles you see there. Also, find other relevant bloggers in your industry on Zappos . Give to get; these bloggers may reciprocate and share your content as well.last_img read more

Read More

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

Read More

How to Write Stellar How-To Posts for Your Business Blog

first_img Originally published Jun 5, 2012 12:59:00 PM, updated October 02 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Include Examples Sometimes the most effective way to explain a concept or a point is to do it through examples. While real-life examples are ideal, don’t be afraid to make up hypothetical ones to help you get your point across. In fact, we’ve done it a couple times already in this very post (or did you think there were actual unicorn breeders out there?).Just be sure that you’re choosing or constructing an example that your particular audience can relate to. If you’re a B2B company selling to businesses in one particular industry, for example, offering up an example from an entirely different, unrelated industry wouldn’t exactly be as relatable as an example specific to your readers’ industry, now would it? Consider Visual Components While visual components are not a requirement, there are definitely many how-to topics that lend themselves to — and are made better by — visual explanations. I don’t know about you, but if I were reading an article about how to change a flat tire, I’d definitely appreciate some kind of visual aid. These visuals can be in the form of images like charts, graphs, or content/ concept visualizations , or they can even include video content. Use your judgment about whether your particular how-to post would be made more helpful with some kind of visual component, and if so, create it! For example, we created the visual below to help explain the concept of content mapping in our how-to post on selecting the right call-to-action for every page on your website .As a best practice, always accompany visuals with supportive text. When incorporating video content, include a text-based explanation or transcript of the video. Not everyone likes video, and even when they do enjoy video how-to’s, it’s often helpful to have the text to follow along with or refer back to. Check out our how-to post on how to analyze Facebook Insights to improve your content strategy for an example of how to effectively marry video how-to’s with text. Finesse the Title Remember that working title you generated in the first step? That won’t do. The working title of this very post was, “How to Write a How-To Post,” but that wouldn’t have been as catchy as the title I decided on. Don’t gloss over the title, as it’s usually a potential reader’s first impression of your content. If they’re not captivated by your title, why would they choose to read your post? A great title should be actionable, concise, keyword-conscious, clear, definitive, and intriguing — all characteristics we elaborate on in our post about how to master the art of exceptional blog titles . See what I did there? ;-)So, should all how-to posts start out with “How to…”? To be honest, it’s probably your best bet. It indicates to readers exactly the type of post they’re about to read (and like we already said, people love a good, solid how-to post), it’s actionable, and it clearly demonstrates the value. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Test it for yourself! Wrap it Up As with any blog post, you’ll want to include the other key components of a great business blog post. Wrap it up in some way. You don’t need to write a long, drawn-out conclusion; a sentence or two, or a question to spark discussion should do the trick. And don’t forget to add a relevant call-to-action so you can generate some leads from that awesome, likely evergreen how-to post you just wrote. As always, have a grammar-conscious colleague review and edit your post. Finally, get a second opinion, ideally from someone who doesn’t know how to do what your post is instructing. After reading your post, does this person feel like they have everything they need to know to complete the task? They should! Have you mastered the powerful how-to post for your business blog? What other helpful tips would you add to this guide? Image Credit: Lee Nachtigal There is no shortage of different types of content you can create to feed your business blog. Thought leadership-based content, commentary on industry news, data-driven analyses, list-style posts … the options are numerous. But one type stands out from the rest. It’s a business blogging classic. It’s … the how-to post.How-to posts are favorited by bloggers and readers alike. They’re valuable and helpful, they make great pieces of evergreen content that stand the test of time, and they’re an inbound marketing staple to reap the benefits of educating your prospects . As a matter of fact, analysis of content published on this very blog reveals that how-to style posts generate an average of 55% more views than all other types of posts on our blog . For all of these reasons, it behooves you to become really great at writing them. And what’s a more fitting way to learn how to write a stellar how-to post than a how-to post itself? Oh man, this post is about to get really meta …So put on your teacher hat , and read on to learn how to write a how-to post like a blogging pro.Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates Now Choose Your How-To Topic Actually, why don’t you spend some time brainstorming a list of how-to topics? Like I said, how-to posts are an inbound marketer’s business blogging staple, so why not take the opportunity to come up with a backlog of ideas? Step into the shoes of your marketing personas, and think about what they’d like to learn how to do. Talk to your customer team — you know, the people who talk to your customers day-in and day-out and understand their needs as they pertain to your business and industry. What do they want — or need — to learn? Chances are, the questions your customer team gets asked the most will make great how-to post fodder.At HubSpot, we sell marketing software , and our ideal customers are constantly trying to learn how to be better marketers; so here are a few examples of how-to posts we’ve written that teach them how to be just that: How to Set the Right Lead-Gen Goals for Your Marketing Team How to Use Hashtags on Twitter: A Simple Guide for Marketers How to Stalk Your Competitors in 10 Minutes [Marketing Hack] When you settle on your topic, choose a simple working title to keep you on track. Make it specific to exactly what you’re going to be instructing your readers to do. Don’t worry about the length — you’ll finesse it later, and it’s really just meant to help guide your writing. Brainstorm the Steps From Start to Finish Okay, so you’ve got your topic and a working title to get you started. Your next task to tackle is a bare-bones outline. In this, you’ll list the individual steps your readers will take to do what it is you’re teaching them how to do, from start to finish. You can even do this directly within your blogging tool , making each step a header so you just have to go back and fill in the blanks later when you start writing. You can even add sub-headings to certain steps if it’s helpful to break it out in that way, or just jot down some specific tips pertaining to that section.Make sure your steps are in the proper order and that they’re comprehensive. In other words, if the reader follows the steps you’ve outlined, will he or she be able to successfully accomplish what you’re instructing them to do — or are you missing some critical steps? Remember, you’re teaching someone how to do something they don’t know how to do (or how to do well ), so it’s important to include every critical step. Introduce It Once you have your how-to post skeleton, write an introduction that sets the stage for your how-to content. In your intro, provide some context about why it’s important or helpful for your audience to learn what you’re about to instruct them to do so they understand the value of reading on. Your introduction can also be made stronger by including data and statistics to that demonstrate and prove exactly why your how-to topic is so critical. While it might not always be possible to find, conducting some quick research and pinpointing a great supportive stat can make your introduction even more compelling. Check out the example below, which shows the beginning of a recent how-to post we published on using LinkedIn emails for lead generation. That’s a pretty compelling stat, right?center_img Furthermore, in your introduction, be very specific about what you’re going to teach your audience how to do to properly set reader expectations. If you’re a unicorn breeder and the point of your post is to teach unicorn owners how to train their unicorns to do one specific trick, yet your introduction promises to teach readers how to implement a full-fledged unicorn juggling act, then you wouldn’t be properly setting expectations, would you? Instruct by Filling in the Steps Once you’ve nailed down your intro, it’s time for the meat of the post — the actual how-to instructions. You’ve already got the headings for your steps down, so think of it as just filling in the blanks. When filling in this content, be sure to write in the second person (use pronouns “you,” “your,” and “yours”), as if you’re actually teaching your individual readers one on one. You should also use transitions between sections so each of your steps flow smoothly into the next. Here are a few other meatier tips to keep in mind as you’re writing the content for your how-to steps. Be Specific, Descriptive, and Detailed To write a truly valuable how-to post, don’t assume your readers already know how to do anything you discuss in the post. After all, you know what happens when you assume, don’t you? In other words, don’t just tell your readers to do something; tell them exactly how to do it. Be very specific in your instructions. Link to Other Resources To piggyback off my last point, sometimes you might mention something that needs a much more detailed explanation for some readers than that post has the space to explain; in fact, explaining the concept in detail might totally derail the post, which is common in more intermediate- or advanced-level how-to posts. In these instances, simply mention your point and link to another resource that explains it in more detail. Bonus points if it’s an article you’ve already written — and if you haven’t, then you might just have another blog post idea to add to your backlog! Here is an example from our how-to post on designing a persona-centric website experience , which links to our more in-depth ebook on creating effective calls-to-action . Mention Tools Depending on the topic of your how-to post, your readers may or may not need certain tools to carry out the instructions you provide in your article. Don’t gloss over that. If your audience is going to need to use tools, recommend and suggest some options for them. For example, if you’re a plumber writing, “How to Unclog a Sink Drain in 5 Simple Steps,” and one of those steps includes pouring a liquid plumber down the drain, recommend a few liquid plumbing products that work well. And hey, it’s okay if one of those product options is the proprietary liquid plumber your plumbing business sells. You’re ultimately blogging to make money, right? Product mentions when appropriate and tactful are fine as long as you don’t overdo it. See what we did in the example below, mentioning HubSpot’s marketing analytics tools in our how-to post about improving your email marketing with an integrated approach ?last_img read more

Read More

Twitter ‘Surveys’ Announced Alongside New Nielsen Partnership

first_imgToday, Twitter announced an exciting new partnership with media measurement and analysis company Nielsen.Aside from the fact that this partnership totally makes sense — social media marketers are constantly struggling with showing the ROI of their social media efforts, and social media platforms are struggling to show it to them (especially when it comes to advertising) — this partnership will also deliver a pretty groovy new Twitter feature: Twitter Surveys.This feature is still in beta, being tested with a select few advertisers before it rolls out to more brands in early 2013. But here’s what we can tell you about Twitter Surveys before it rolls out on a larger scale — that way you’re prepared, and know what the heck you’re looking at if one of those surveys pops up in your own Twitter feed.What You Need to Know About Twitter SurveysTwitter surveys may be popping up in a news feed near you, and they’ll look just like Promoted Tweets if you’ve jumped on that bandwagon. Here, take a look at an example from Twitter’s blog post announcing the surveys: Originally published Oct 3, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 What’s really cool about this is that “1 of 3” questions part; that means you don’t have to limit the length of your survey … although it’s not clear if there’s an upper limit, or what the suggested upper limit is. After all, Twitter users likely have a much shorter attention span than those completing a survey on, say, your website. But I guess these are the questions they’re trying to answer in this beta testing, eh?This new feature is meant to help companies measure their brand impact on Twitter, something Nielsen has been called on to do with Facebook in the past, as well. Twitter said, “Building on Twitter’s mobile heritage, we’re giving brands the ability to deliver and measure the impact of mobile and traditional desktop campaigns through these surveys. This is a native experience for the user, and we believe it will give brands better insights to determine purchase intent, overall awareness, and other advertising metrics and analytics that can lead to greater engagement on Twitter.” Hey, any tools out there to help marketers better measure some of the softer and fluffier metrics we deal with — brand impact being at the top of that list — is a welcome addition to our social media toolkit.What applications do you see for these Twitter surveys? Would you use them when they come out of beta?Image credit: BeauGiles Twitter Updates Topics: The tweet shows up within a user’s timeline, on both desktop and mobile devices. Notice that the tweet doesn’t come from the brand itself — it comes from the Twitter handle @TwitterSurveys. Twitter’s blog post seemed to imply they might allow these tweets to come from brand names depending on the results of the beta testing, because they were quoted as saying, “Users may see a Tweet by @TwitterSurveys.” Or maybe I’m just reading into that “may.” Anyway …What’s pretty cool about this is that, in the past, most brands would include a link within a tweet to have someone fill out a survey — one that lived on another web page hosted off of Twitter. One could still do that, of course … and it’d be free to boot. But with this survey feature, a user is invited to fill out the survey right in the Tweet itself. And less clicks means more people submitting their answers and opinions! The survey looks a little something like this: 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

Read More

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

Read More