In the prior installment in this blog series, I proposed a rationale for the adoption of integrated project delivery (IPD) and promised to follow with suggestions regarding its implementation, along with some resources.Meanwhile, that last blog generated a great dialogue (and a few diatribes – always a plus!) about that classic IPD bugaboo, the design-bid-build model. Many of the commenters echoed my own very strong sentiments in favor of involving contractors during early design stages, and gave some great suggestions for how to do that. I won’t reiterate those here, but do encourage anyone who hasn’t read them to do so. Several other types of resources can support IPDContracts. In many discussions of IPD, the issues of responsibility and liability come up. Understandably, this is of paramount concern when project teams deviate from the standard approach to project delivery. A number of relatively new contract forms have evolved to address this need, including the following:AIA A195/B195/A295 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor/ Owner and Architect for Integrated Project DeliveryAIA C195 Standard Form Single Purpose Entity Agreement for Integrated Project DeliveryConsensus DOCS 300 Standard Form of Tri-Party Agreement for Collaborative Project DeliveryMeeting Resources. As prosaic as it sounds, meeting logistics can be one of the biggest challenges an IPD team faces. There are a number of free online scheduling utilities; I find Doodle to be particularly user-friendly. When an in-person meeting isn’t possible, a conference call (e.g., FreeConference) or web-based meeting is often a good compromise. Skype provides not just free and low-cost calling, but also has a remote desktop sharing feature which is very easy to use. There are numerous web-based meeting services; among the more popular are Webex, GoToMeeting, and Adobe Connect.Information Resources. While not explicitly targeted to IPD teams, these resources can help teams more quickly arrive at sound decisions on high-performance projects:Building America 50% savings packages (climate-specific packages of energy features that will yield 50% energy savings compared with code-built homes)Building Green product reviews, case studies, and in-depth articlesGreen Building Advisor case studies on net-zero and other highly energy-efficient residential projects (and much more, of course!)National Renewable Energy Laboratory information on solar thermal and solar electric systems, among many other resourcesFlorida Solar Energy Center research, case studies, and much moreCollaboration Utilities. There is a diverse and rapidly increasing variety of online utilities that can help support good teamwork. One type is mind-mapping software such as Mindjet, which allows users to create online bubble diagrams and attach myriad types of information to them, including documents of all types, images, emails, urls, etc. This is a very dynamic tool for visually organizing information and ideas, and all team members can contribute. Houzz and Pinterest are representatives of another emerging class of utilities that are designed to allow users to create and share collections of visual information. The Siamese twins of IPDBefore moving on to the discussion of IPD implementation, I’ll share a couple of fundamental principles I’ve derived from my own experience – realizations resulting from shortcomings in process (failures have a way of providing teachable moments, don’t they?!) that have strongly shaped my views about implementation.Principle #1: Sound Process. If your process is sound, good outcomes will follow. In other words, it’s kind of tough to produce a lousy project if you’re observing a well-crafted (integrated) process. RELATED ARTICLES High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 1High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 2High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 3High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 4 IPD means following some rulesMy principles, above, were the result of observations about things that were working well, and some things that weren’t. Further observation and reflection on those principles over many years has led me to a set of basic rules for implementing IPD:Rule #1: Committed Leadership. Committed leadership is absolutely crucial. If either the purse-strings are controlled by a party who is not committed to IPD or the project team leader is not committed to IPD, it simply can’t happen. A sound process won’t be observed, and you may be unable to engage the right players.Rule #2: Designate a Champion. It’s critical to have an IPD champion within the project team. IPD is not the normal way building projects are developed; hence, someone needs to be responsible for its care and feeding. This may be anyone on the team, but ideally a seasoned professional with prior IPD experience or someone who is enthusiastic about the prospect of fulfilling this role and who is very organized.Rule #3: Be Inclusive. As much as you can, include every team member in your IPD process from the earliest possible date (or, by definition, it’s not so integrated). There’s a very practical reason for this: the person left out is the one who will cause problems – not out of malice, stupidity, or laziness, but typically because of a lack of understanding of the project’s goals or of the reasoning that underlies particular decisions. (Hearken back to part 4 in this blog series.)Rule #4: Establish Communication Protocols Early. As a team, identify the range of systems, materials, and issues that will need to be addressed as the project progresses, and the team members who should be involved in communications about each of these areas. Often it’s a pretty comprehensive matrix; the sample shown below arguably is missing some dots.Rule #5: Use an Online Workspace. There are a number of online workspace options, ranging in sophistication from the fairly rudimentary (e.g., Buzzsaw, Google Docs) to the more fully-featured such as Central Desktop and Basecamp, which I use because it offers a reasonably good balance between functionality and price. The two principal values of these utilities are:• Version control – everyone should have access at all times to the most current version of all project documents;• Email conversation archive – dialogue among team members about particular issues should be easily accessible from one central point without having to mine individuals’ sent or received email boxes. Principle #2: Right Players. A sound process, carried out by the right people, all but guarantees a good project (or product). The “right people” are qualified, committed, and creative. By qualified, I mean having prior relevant experience – ideally on other high-performance projects, and projects that are comparable in nature (building type) and scope (size, complexity). Committed players are also crucial, and in fact, a team member who lacks an ideal background but who is hugely enthusiastic about the undertaking can be a great asset. And finally, a spirit of creativity and innovation are essential. Ultimately, attitude trumps experience, if you can’t have both.These two principles are Siamese twins; one can’t exist without the other. Closing thought: integrated â‰ linearIn Part 4 I described the conventional or predominantly linear handoff process by which buildings are designed and constructed. Integrated project delivery, by contrast, is iterative rather than linear. And while a certain amount of iteration is inevitable even in a normal process, it’s a defining feature of IPD. For those new to IPD, this may seem inefficient, evoking sensations of déjÃ vu – didn’t we already discuss this? Didn’t we already decide? However, the nature of IPD is such that deeper discussion and more intensive collaboration reveals more nuance and therefore a more thoughtful and carefully considered approach to design and construction. Hence revisiting some ideas and decisions is inescapable. I like the metaphor of the spiral staircase to represent this phenomenon – although the landscape may be strikingly familiar as you move from one stage of a project to the next, in fact you are progressing towards your goal. And paradoxical as it may seem, this spiraling process is the quickest route from the start of design to your destination – a highly efficient and resourceful building. Many of my colleagues who have been involved in designing high-performance projects attest to this, perhaps none so succinctly as Scott Shell of EHDD Architects in San Francisco:“Integrated design can reduce construction cost while providing significant sustainable design benefits. On the CSU [California State University] Monterey Bay Library, by comparing a number of integrated structural, mechanical, and architectural schemes, we found that tradeoffs from one discipline more than offset added costs in another, while achieving energy savings of almost 40 percent.”
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.
Earlier this week, you determined what organic search keywords and referring sites Finally, figure out which of your inbound links or sites that link to you frequently could ask to link to your new page. While on-page optimization and a good internal linking system are helpful to having a quality page that ranks, ultimately Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , let’s develop a plan for recovering your search traffic. You first need to select a page from your existing website to optimize for one of your fallen words, or create a new page on your site. It’s best to create a new page if you can – Adding pages to your site is crucial to increasing your search rankings, and it can make it easier to start fresh if your other pages are already ranking and getting traffic. Don’t forget that if you have a blog on your website, a blog entry could fulfill all of these items – Attractive, interesting content that is well optimized for search and inbound links. search engine strategy and guidelines Also think about your page content, because it will both help this page rank well, and give your viewers something interesting and useful to read once they’ve arrived on this page, including a call to action to one of your landing pages or offers that can bring in your lead. Photo Credit: to your page to make it rank well. Having some really great and novel content on the page that people will want to link to helps a lot here – It’s always easier to get people to link into your site if they like what you have to say. Tell us your story of your best-optimized page. How you got it to rank in the comments? For the last step that’s directly on your website, think about the other pages on your site that could link into this page. Depending on your phrase, they might be product pages, your homepage, or other particular pages on your site. Add links on those pages with the link text of your crucial keyword, otherwise this page will be like an isolated island that no one can get to. Originally published Feb 2, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: alwaysmnky First Recovering Search Traffic Plan For the keywords where your search traffic has declined, let’s create new a new page on your website optimized around each word. For tips on how to optimize a page well, there’s plenty of content available on to make sure that you hit on your website. The major things to think about are simple though: Your page title, page address, the H1 headline on the page, and the meta description for your page. Make sure that they are all around the one keyword that you’re optimizing this page for, or one or two close variations off of that word (like a plural form). Measuring SEO you’ll need inbound links
. He’s launched Project Awesome, a social media experiment to find a new job opportunity. *photo credit to EmailStatCenter.com Topics: In this episode, we chat about: Email marketing takeaways he has gained over the years A community manager needs to know how to communicate Tips on Growing your email list Community managers also have to be able to respond well to a crisis and be comfortable being on the front lines. his blog DJ is the former Director of Community at Blue Sky Factory. He’s also worked at Bronto, an email service provider. He’s a professional speaker in the social media and email marketing industry and an all around nice guy. Enjoy this episode? Check out the other 29 here. If you’re making the commitment to have an active Twitter account, Facebook page, LinkedIn company profile, etc, then it’s time to hire someone to manage those things because you need to be all-in when it comes to social media. People can tell when you’re not making the effort (e.g., haven’t tweeted in a month). Growing Your Email list and Community Management Tips with DJ Waldow For the full transcript of the show head here: Connect With DJ Online Project Awesome Also consider how relevant your emails are to subscribers, and the timeliness of those emails. Always keep in mind what is valuable to subscribers (not just what you think is valuable). It should be a mix of marketing and educational content. . Project Awesome! There are two big things that drive the open of an email. The first is an appealing email subject (something to catch the eye of the person who’s scanning their inbox), and the second is knowing and trusting the sender. The response has been impressive, with over 6,000 views of his resume, over 600 views of the video, and over 60 people who have gotten in touch with DJ. ! A good email open rate depends on a lot of factors – if your list is segmented and targeted, if the email was just sent to the whole list, etc. The further out the person is on the purchase cycle (e.g., they haven’t bought from you in a year), the lower the email open rate. Improving Email Open Rates Only ask for essential information (email address, name, etc) from people. After people sign up, send them to a page that confirms their sign-up. Also, send them a confirmation email so they know they’re signed up. You can follow DJ on Twitter “I knew that I wanted to do write a blog post and say, ‘I’m available.’ I’ve seen people do that before. It’s interesting, but if you’re not hiring, who cares?” . Don’t hide your subscription form on your website. Make it plainly visible. his interactive resume social media and inbound marketing podcast currently on the job hunt “You want to know the number one way to grow your list? It’s to put it on your website.” – whether that’s via writing, speaking, tweeting, blog posts, webinars, etc. You need to be able to hold intelligent conversations on a variety of platforms. Email Marketing Takeaways A good place to get email marketing statistics is “If your title has social media or community in it, you have to know how to communicate.” Growing Your Email List DJ is You should only send emails to people who want to receive them. These are people who have opted in and volunteered to engage with you this way, and who are excited about it. What it takes to manage a community DJ Waldow joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s “The number that we bat around a lot is 20% as an average open rate. If you’re above 20%, you’re probably doing better than average. Below, you may want to think about it.” How to improve email open rates Email Open Rates “I think the key really is to send timely, targeted, valuable emails to people who want them. It’s easy to say. It’s not necessarily easy to do.” CSpenn “The first thing is a subject line. The second thing is trust and knowing the sender.” @djwaldow What to think about when hiring a community manager and on He put together a video montage of recommendations from heavy-hitters (like Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, and Peter Shankman). He created an interactive resume. He also created a voiceover of his resume and talked people through it. Being and Hiring a Community Manager Originally published Jul 21, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 . Also, check out Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post!
Once viewed as a niche player in the social space, Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing social networks ever, harnessing both an increased user base and its exponential growth as a referring site to become a considerable force in the marketing world.Free Resource: 12 Pinterest Templates for BusinessEqually important for businesses to consider is the buying power behind Pinterest: Pinterest users purchase items more often and in greater quantities, spend more money, and shop more frequently than any other social network. So if your initial trial of using Pinterest for business has yielded positive results and you think Pinterest is a viable social media marketing platform for your business, you know what the next step is, right? Optimization!To get you started, below we’ll outline 10 great tips to optimize your business’ Pinterest presence for search. 1) Choose an Optimized Company UsernameIn November 2012, Pinterest finally launched Pinterest business accounts, which make registering for a business account (or converting a personal account into a business account) easy and painless. Going the “business” route also makes it easier to verify your website, add links to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and add Pinterest buttons and widgets to your company site or blog. For more detailed information about how use Pinterest’s new business accounts, check out the free HubSpot ebook, A Guide to Pinterest’s New Business Accounts here.The first thing you should do to optimize your Pinterest business account for search is to make sure your company name is straightforward. The field to indicate your company name has no character limit; but the challenge often comes with your username, which is confined to 15 characters. If your full company name fits — fantastic! But if it doesn’t, choose something memorable, keyword-conscious, and easy to spell that is also clearly associated with your business. For example, The New York Times has amassed over 44,000 followers using the username “NYTimes,” while Martha Stewart Weddings in the Middle East chose “MSWeddingsME” to differentiate itself from other Martha Stewart properties, but still capitalizing on search traffic for weddings.Furthermore, be sure to verify your website. Log in to your Pinterest account, and go to ‘Settings.’ Check to ensure you’ve listed your website here before clicking the ‘Verify Website’ button.2) Optimize Your Page’s ‘About’ SectionThe Pinterest ‘About’ section provides you with 200 characters of prime keyword real estate, so use this space wisely. In addition to being descriptive and keyword-sensitive, your ‘About’ section should also be simple, succinct, and specific. Two hundred characters is plenty of space for a keyword-rich overview that covers the who, what, and where of what you do, so use it smartly — and don’t forget to add your website URL in the space provided!3) Include Links Back to Your Website Pinterest re-pin links used to be “dofollow” links, but last year, following standard practice with other social networks in the space, Pinterest adopted “nofollow” links. In other words, these links do not pass any SEO authority. But even those these links won’t give you any extra oomph in terms of SEO, we still recommend optimizing for user experience and brand awareness. After all, what good is search engine optimizing your Pinterest presence if you’re not ultimately driving users back to your website?Always include a reference link back to your website with your pins, and if you re-pin a post that features your content or products, edit the description to include a full link (just don’t use a URL shortener here, as Pinterest is known to mark pins containing shortended links as spam). Including a link back to your website will not only reinforce that the image is associated with your brand, but it will also open up a direct pathway to purchase (for ecommerce) or learn more (for services).Etsy is a great example of a Pinterest presence that excels at mixing great content from other sites with products featured on its own site. In doing so, Etsy always includes a direct link to purchase the item on their site along with the username of the specific Etsy shop owner. A great example is Etsy’s pin featuring a humorous burrito card, which includes a brief overview of the card under the image and a direct link to see the product on Etsy in the link’s description.Think of links in Pinterest as providing the next step for pinners — where they can find the image they loved enough to click, re-pin, Like, or comment on. Use links to make that distance between the pin and the content/product as short as possible so you can improve the experience of your users and eventually drive more traffic and awareness to your site — social signals that search engines may end up picking up on in their algorithms over time.4) Differentiate Your PinboardsBy default, Pinterest offers some general pinboard options to get users thinking about how to bucket and organize their pins into different boards. For businesses, however, getting more specific and unique in your board descriptions is critical to helping you get found on Pinterest. According to a study by RJ Metrics, more than 3% of pinboards are titled “For the Home,” followed by “My Style” and “Products I Love,” all three of which are default board names recommended by Pinterest.Break through the pinboard name clutter and be specific and keyword-conscious in the selection of your board names. If you’re an interior designer, replace “For the Home” with “Modern Kitchens” or “Children’s Bedrooms” so that potential search terms align more closely with what end users might be looking for and increase the likelihood of standing out from the massive clutter of default –or just plain unoriginal — board names.5) Speak Your Customers’ LanguagePinterest is not a place to play inside baseball and use expressions that are unique to your company. Your ‘About’ sections and board names should all be optimized using terms your target customers and buyer personas actually use in their everyday lives. Being relevant on Pinterest means understanding what your customer is looking for, what he or she is most interested in buying or pinning, and what related industries or topics the pinner might be seeking out. It should not feel like an advertising board for your products; instead, it should feel like a comfortable space that’s curated around the style, needs, and lifestyle of your potential clients.One great example of speaking your customers’ language is fashion brand 2 Penny Blue. 2 Penny Blue is a high-end fashion brand specializing in blazers, but instead of only pinning items they make and sell, the company’s Pinterest boards are centered around the types of style and advice that 2PB clients might want to emulate, including a board called “Style Muses” featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gwenyth Paltrow, accessory boards packed with current trends, and pins like a guide to navigating champagne cocktails.When you think about your Pinterest boards, consider your customers’ buying habits, average age, and lifestyle, and build your pinning strategy around their terminology, interests, and potential search terms. For example, if you’re a real estate broker, Pinterest is a great place to pin images or videos with helpful tips for buying a home, but it’s also a great place to showcase your knowledge of your community. Boards featuring local schools, attractions, restaurants, and parks will help potential customers understand the markets where you sell and build trust that you understand their needs. Create authentic boards that connect to your clients and how they live, and use terminology that is straightforward and relatable. The search engines, your audience, and Pinterest will thank you for it!6) Use Your Pins’ Descriptions WiselyThe biggest opportunity for text-based content on Pinterest is the description area for each individual pin. Here, the platform gives you 500 characters to work with, which users can fill with anything from recipe instructions, to notes and commentary, to credits for other vendors, to location and usage information … and more. When describing your pins, include terms that your users will relate to and use on their own, add links to the original product or content, and consider adding instructions on product usage or care. The great balancing act with descriptions is ensuring that you include relevant keywords, relatable context, and easy-to-follow links to the content featured in the post. For example, real wedding website Style Me Pretty has almost five million followers on Pinterest and some of the most liked and re-pinned content on Pinterest. In addition to choosing beautiful imagery that’s relevant to their audience, they also tailor their descriptions perfectly for SEO. Their pin showcasing do-it-yourself noisemakers includes a link to the Style Me Pretty website for instructions, links to the photographer and stylist, and a quick overview of what pinners can expect (DIY noisemakers and escort cards) when they click through on the pin to the website.One of the single biggest mistakes companies make on Pinterest is being lazy about their pins’ descriptions. Ignoring the descriptions altogether, using language that your customers don’t understand or relate to, linking to irrelevant content (or not linking out at all), or just repeating keywords over and over again is a great way to get lost in the SEO shuffle. Instead, focus on creating remarkable descriptions that help you stand out from the pack.7) Make Sure the Images You Pin Have Descriptive File Names & Alt TextGiven that Pinterest is a highly visual platform, using interesting imagery that is formatted and named correctly can have a significant impact on the success of your boards — and individual pins themselves. Many companies make the mistake of uploading photos using their default names. For example, an image named 1.13.13ShootImage722.jpg doesn’t help you at all in search, while a clearly named “Boston-townhouse.jpg” can help a search engine decipher what your image is about much more easily. Furthermore, if you pin an image from your website, make sure that image has clear alt text associated with it. The same rule we talked about with pin descriptions also applies here: Use naming conventions your customers will identify with. If a product you’re pinning has an obscure name that isn’t broadly known or intuitive, skip it in favor of a potential keyword search term.In addition, make an effort to size your images optimally for Pinterest. Pinterest does not place any restrictions on the height of an image, but it does constrict the width of images to 554 pixels. Dan Zarrella’s analysis shows that taller images are more re-pinnable — likely because they take up more space in users’ Pinterest feeds — so use that to your advantage. Make sure your images are properly sized for use on Pinterest, use high-quality, beautiful imagery, and keep in mind that in this case, height is a distinct advantage, so if you’re assembling a “recipe for technology implementation success” or an inspiration board of your company goals for 2013, create an image that is tall, visually interesting, and aptly named using appropriate keywords.8) Incorporate HashtagsThat’s right! Hashtags are no longer just for Twitter. In fact, hashtags on Pinterest not only allow you to organize pins by a specific theme or campaign, but they also make your pins a lot more searchable. For example, Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida knows that wedding planning is one of the most common uses of Pinterest. As a result, pins on their “Weddings @ Rollins” board, which includes photos of alumni getting married in various locations throughout campus, are organized using hashtags such as #RollinsCollege, #Knowles Chapel, and #Winter Park to ensure that brides searching by city, college, or a specific destination on campus can easily find images of their potential venue.This maximizes awareness of Rollins College’s wedding venue offerings while staying top of mind for brides searching for those terms. And these integrated efforts have definitely paid off: The Weddings @ Rollins board ranks on the first page of a Google search alongside its homepage for the search term “florida wedding rollins,” giving engaged couples great visual content to drive interest and purchase intent as they plan their weddings.9) Leverage the Long TailAs we know from the success of big brands like Amazon, Google, and Netflix, the long tail isn’t just a niche strategy for small businesses. Take a page out of their books when you put your pins’ descriptions together. For example, according to Repinly, food and drink still represent more than 11% of all pins, so if you’re trying to get found by pins about chocolate chip cookies or wine, just writing a short, literal description of your pin is not going to help you cut through the clutter and stand out from the pack. Instead, identify niche, long-tail terms that your customers might pin around, and get more granular with your descriptions.Stumped about how to get more specific? Consider adding your location, product use case details, or the audience you’d like to target to help you master the long tail. Here are some examples:Location: Mistral Boston includes its restaurant name and location right within its Pinterest username, then adds even more clarity by identifying its neighborhood (South End) and style of cuisine (French Mediterranean). Doing so helps them stand out in the space and assists pinners who are looking for great, high-end restaurants in the Boston area.Use Case: RELAX Wines fills its Pinterest account with food recipes that pair well with their wines, backyard entertaining ideas, and even ideas for how to put your finished wine bottles to good use (e.g. wine cork ornaments, garden torches, etc). Help people understand creative ways to use your product or services — it will improve your SEO while also providing followers with more context around usage.Audience: The Seattle Seahawks football team is one of the top sports brands on Pinterest. By outlining specific gift ideas for men, women, and kids, they leverage the fact that 44% of NFL fans are now female to market holiday products, gift ideas, and specific, targeted holiday promotions, all of which helps fans and non-fans alike identify wish list items for their favorite Seahawk supporters.When it comes to descriptions, think about long-tail keywords for your business and industry. Identify keywords that are slightly more specific than “chocolate chip cookies” or “insurance companies” to help people find you more readily, and to help you stand out from the crowd in search results. For more information about the long tail, check out our ultimate guide for mastering long-tail search.10) “Pinjack” Relevant Search Terms and ImagesAlthough the number and engagement of male users on Pinterest is growing, Pinterest’s core user base demographics skew toward female users, so “pinjacking” trends and events relevant to avid pinners can be a great way to increase your organic search. For example, one of the top organic Google search results for “DIY Halloween Costumes” comes not from Walmart, Target, or some costume shop, but from Goodwill Industries of Western Michigan.By combining highly shareable imagery from other highly trafficked sites, trendy costumes, and great board descriptions, Goodwill Industries has managed to improve its overall online presence and increase visibility outside of traditional terms like “Goodwill locations” or “shopping at Goodwill” by taking advantage of pinjack-able trends (think newjacking, but for Pinterest!) and timing around Halloween to maximize their online awareness and traffic.The role Pinterest plays for businesses is growing every day. With 11 million users and growing, the network provides a unique opportunity for companies to leverage visual content, quality descriptions, and insight into customers’ lifestyles and needs while growing their reach and improving their organic search results. Just as with any website, your focus as a business should be on creating remarkable content and a strong community around your product, services, and brand. Happy pinning!Image Credit: Peter Alfred Hess Originally published Jan 11, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Pinterest Marketing
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 SlackSlack
Originally published Oct 10, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated October 10 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: We all have different reasons for getting up every morning and doing what we do every day.So why is it that, on some days, it can feel harder than others to get up when your alarm goes off, do your workout, crush a work or school assignment, or make dinner for your family?Motivation (or a lack thereof) is usually behind why we do the things that we do.There are different types of motivation, and as it turns out, understanding why you are motivated to do the things that you do can help you keep yourself motivated — and can help you motivate others.Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your productivity at work.In this post, we’ll dive into the two types of motivation — intrinsic and extrinsic — to learn the differences between the types, the benefits of each, and how to use both types to inspire productivity.Definitions of Intrinsic and Extrinsic MotivationIntrinsic motivation involves doing something because it’s personally rewarding to you. Extrinsic motivation involves doing something because you want to earn a reward or avoid punishment.What Is Intrinsic Motivation?When you’re intrinsically motivated, your behavior is motivated by your internal desire to do something for its own sake — for example, your personal enjoyment of an activity, or your desire to learn a skill because you’re eager to learn.Examples of intrinsic motivation could include:Reading a book because you enjoy the storytellingExercising because you want to relieve stressCleaning your home because it helps you feel organizedWhat Is Extrinsic Motivation?When you’re extrinsically motivated, your behavior is motivated by an external factor pushing you to do something in hopes of earning a reward — or avoiding a less-than-positive outcome.Examples of extrinsic motivation could include:Reading a book to prepare for a testExercising to lose weightCleaning your home to prepare for visitors coming overIntrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: What’s the Difference?At first glance, it might seem like it’s better to be intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated. After all, doesn’t it sound like it would be ideal if you didn’t need anyone — or anything — motivating you to accomplish tasks?But, alas, we don’t live in such a motivation-Utopia, and being extrinsically motivated doesn’t mean anything bad — extrinsic motivation is just the nature of being a human being sometimes.If you have a job, and you have to complete a project, you’re probably extrinsically motivated — by your manager’s praise or a potential raise or commission — even if you enjoy the project while you’re doing it. If you’re in school, you’re extrinsically motivated to learn a foreign language because you’re being graded on it — even if you enjoy practicing and studying it.So, intrinsic motivation is good, and extrinsic motivation is good. The key is to figure out why you — and your team — are motivated to do things, and encouraging both types of motivation.When Intrinsic Motivation Is BestResearch has shown that praise can help increase intrinsic motivation. Positive feedback that is “sincere,” “promotes autonomy,” and “conveys attainable standards” was found to promote intrinsic motivation in children.But on the other side of that coin, external rewards can decrease intrinsic motivation if they’re given too willy-nilly. When children received too much praise for completing minimal work or single tasks, their intrinsic motivation decreased.The odds are, if you’re reading this blog post, you’re not a child — although children are welcome subscribers here on the HubSpot Marketing Blog. But the principles of this study are still sound for adults.If you’re a people manager, be intentional with your praise and positive feedback. Make sure that it’s specific, empowering, and helps your direct reports understand your expectations and standards. But make sure you aren’t giving too much praise for work that’s less meaningful for your team, or they might lose intrinsic motivation.If you’re an individual contributor, tell your manager when their feedback is motivating — give them positive feedback, too. By providing positive feedback to your manager when they give you praise that keeps you motivated, you, in turn, will extrinsically motivate them to keep managing you successfully. (Meta, huh?)When Extrinsic Motivation Is BestExtrinsic rewards don’t just involve bribery (although bribery can work). In some cases, people may never be internally motivated to complete a task, and extrinsic motivation can be used to get the job done.In fact, extrinsic rewards can promote interest in a task or skill a person didn’t previously have any interest in. Rewards like praise, commissions, bonuses, or prizes and awards can also motivate people to learn new skills or provide tangible feedback beyond just verbal praise or admonishment.But tread carefully with extrinsic rewards: Studies have shown that offering too many rewards for behaviors and activities that people are already intrinsically motivated to do can actually decrease that person’s intrinsic motivation — by way of the overjustification effect.In these cases, offering rewards for activities the person already finds rewarding can make a personally enjoyable activity seem like work — which could kill their motivation to keep doing it.If you’re a people manager, use extrinsic rewards sparingly to motivate your team to take on new responsibilities or achieve lofty goals. Bonuses, commissions, recognition prizes, and promotions can be an effective way to motivate or reward your team for learning new skills, taking on new challenges, or hitting a quarterly goal. But make sure you’re giving your team members the time and resources to explore skills and projects they’re already excited about independently — without making them a part of their regular responsibilities, which could demotivate them.If you’re an individual contributor, work for the rewards you want, but don’t over-exhaust yourself in the pursuit of extrinsic prizes. Make sure you’re taking time, in your job or in your personal life, to explore activities that you enjoy just for the sake of doing them, to keep yourself balanced. Productivity
Topics: InVision uses witty copy and bright colors to catch the eye and entice their readers to click.Classy, an online fundraising platform for nonprofits, similarly uses the CTA as an opportunity to be more playful with their copy and create a memorable experience for their blog subscribers.6. You Keep It Short and Sweet How to Break It: Experiment With Length The Skimm’s 6 million email subscribers prove that emails don’t always have to be short and sweet, or highly visual to be successful. While some data points to ideally having relatively short email copy, the Skimm’s emails can get quite long (though they are broken into sections for digestibility). And while they don’t typically include very many visual components, they focus on making one thing very easy for the reader. Sharing.In this example alone, there are nine opportunities to share the email with a friend or colleague. Which leads us to our next habit:7. You’re Focused on Content How to Break It: Consider How Design Feeds GrowthIf content is King, design is Queen.Your content could be strong and interesting, but if your design doesn’t include the ability to easily share your message, you’re holding your content back. According to Bernadette Jiwa, author of Marketing: A Love Story, “Growth hacking is really the practice of creating and leveraging word-of-mouth with intention.”She continues, “Growth hackers optimize their business to acquire new customers by first delighting one customer and then making it easy for that customer to share the store with friends.”You work hard to ensure your content delights—don’t send it off to die in the bowels of your clientele’ inboxes. Incorporate tools that give your email the legs it needs to grow.8. You Use Personas to Make Assumptions How to Break It: Demonstrate Intimacy As marketers, we have to make assumptions. We can’t possibly know each of our audience members intimately. While segmentation and building personas is important to delivering relevant content, today’s consumers are expecting you to know more about them than ever.If you can’t demonstrate intimacy, you’re going to fall short. If marketers aren’t using segmentation by now, they’re at least aware of the tactic and how other organizations benefit from it. While developing personas and lists to send more personalized messages is a step in the right direction, we can take action to further personalize our content and show readers we’re paying attention—and that we’re listening.Consider what data you might share with your readers to develop a sense of intimacy or help them learn about their own behaviors.For example, Spotify uses data to demonstrate how well they know their users. These unique messages feel “one-of-a-kind” because they are. Each user receives a message with personalized data and insights around their own actions.9. You Talk Too Much About YourselfHow to Break It: Send an Email, Just Because It can be easy for messaging to get a little out of balance. After all, your marketing efforts are intended to make your audience aware of the value of your products and/or services. But to become a brand that people identify with in a meaningful way, you need to do more than just keep them updated on your latest deals and features.You need to add value to each person’s life. Develop a cadence for connecting over something unrelated to your sales efforts, but very related to your organization’s core values and culture.This will help you to grow a following of like-minded individuals passionate about who you are and how you make them feel, not just what you’re selling.For example, Spotify sends messages to let their users know about upcoming concerts in their area:Additionally, Chubbies sends a “Weekender” email every Friday that doesn’t include links to products. Instead, they round up fun and entertaining bits of information purely aimed at providing a laugh. This fits right into their culture and core values, as indicated by the statement on their website, “We believe in the weekend.”According to Kyle, one of their founders, “It’s all about all the wild stuff in the world and what you should be doing this coming weekend. And the purpose of it is to send you into the weekend. It doesn’t drive sales. It’s for nothing but creating a valuable experience with our customers. And we’ve done that every Friday for six years. That’s part of how we build a real relationship with our customers.”Ready to Switch Things Up?While best practices emerge for a reason, if you’re not regularly experimenting in this competitive communications landscape, your efforts will soon appear stale and your growth, stagnant. Build time into your team’s workflows to reassess your current best practices regularly to allow for ample creativity. Email Marketing Mistakes Don’t forget to share this post! Before you break any email marketing habits or best practices, it’s important to first understand why they work.Once you’ve mastered basic email content creation, you’ll be in a better position to experiment and test certain components of your strategy. In today’s ultra-competitive email landscape, you need to perform tests in order to find out what drives your specific recipients to open, read, and click.Click here to download our free ebook featuring 104 email marketing myths, experiments, and inspiration.While the right content and design are necessary components for email success, running tests will help you understand how to stand out in your readers’ inboxes. And to understand what to test, it’s helpful to revisit your current strategies and consider which email habits might be appropriate to mix up, or break altogether.In this post, we’ll explore a number of commonly overlooked email habits you should start breaking and experimenting with to find the best strategy for your company.9 Email Marketing Habits It Pays to Break1. You Always Use the Same Sender Name How to Break It: Get Friendly With Your “From” NameWhile it’s helpful to set certain expectations with your email recipients, don’t limit yourself to only sending messages from your company name, or from one team member. Experimenting with “friendly froms” can increase open rates. For example, instead of simply sending an email from the name of your company, you might provide an employee’s name, such as “Tim at Awesome.com”But before you go crazy, always ensure your email activities do not violate the CAN-SPAM act. Your froms should not be false or misleading. However, there are ways your organization can make adjustments that delight your recipients.Chubbies, a men’s fashion company with over 1.5 million Facebook followers, is well-known for getting creative with their from names. While their approach is very specific to their organization’s tone, style, and audience, you can look to them for inspiration.One study found that while Chubbies’ messages had slightly lower inbox placement rates, their “fun and unusual friendly forms” saw higher read rates and lower “delete without reading” rates.Here’s an example of how Chubbies gets creative with the friendly from:Chubbies also makes sure their fun “friendly” from names go with their subject lines and preview text.This synchronization allows them to use every space available to them in your inbox to grab your attention and make a lasting impression. Again, before testing strategies like this yourself, consult with a law professional about the CAN-SPAM act to ensure you’re not in violation.2. You Treat Your Subject Line Too Literally How to Break It: Write Copy That Visually Stands Out Consumers are inundated with emails all day long, which means your subject line is the one factor that will get someone to open your message.Consider the following example:What stands out? Caps lock text? Numbers? The use of an emoji? Personalization? Humor? White space?To catch someone’s attention as they scroll through their unread messages, it’s important to consider how your subject line appears next to others visually.While your subject line text should reflect the contents of your message and match your organization’s tone and style, it’s important to use this space as creatively as possible. Test small tweaks with your audience to see if anything helps grab their attention.3. Your Preview Text Is Auto-Populated How to Break It: Use That Hot Preview Text Real Estate If your email client supports preview text, also known as pre-header text, you can optimize it for every email you send. Allowing this text to auto-populate is a lost opportunity to grab attention or delight your recipients.Though it takes some code, the use of this space will help you stand out from others who do not go to the same lengths to make theirs unique.Experiment with clever, related text, like how Chubbies does in the example above, or try using just a few words to create more white space.In the example below, Crate and Barrel writes preview text that is an extension of their subject line and creates eye-catching white space.And in the following example, the Skimm uses their preview text to address a previous technical error in a light-hearted manner.4. Your Copy Is So Professional It’s Boring How to Break It: Develop a Distinct Tone of Voice Your organization’s tone of voice can be one of your biggest differentiators. Whether you use a certain style of humor or strive to sound as academic as possible, a well-crafted voice allows readers to connect with your organization on a human-to-human level.In a time when technological advancement has us fondly looking to the past and remembering more intimate times, businesses can struggle to both scale and maintain the “humanness” of a mom-and pop-shop.Your tone can help you combat that struggle. The answer is having a personality.According to one of Chubbies’ four founders, Tom, they thought, “Everything’s a little too serious in men’s fashion.” To stand out and attract people to their brand, he says, “We wrote our emails like we were writing to our friends.”In a podcast interview by Smart Passive Income, he advised organizations to think about their own brand as a unique person.“Think about it like a person with a personality. More often than not, that personality is going to be yours—as the business owner, as the person who’s going to be writing or creating this content. Write about the things you care about, write about the things that have an emotional connection with you, and that’s where you’ll start to find kernels. We were not knocking it out of the park every time we wrote but because we were passionate about it, it enabled us to keep testing and keep driving.”When you approach your communication under this lens, you’re bound to create content that doesn’t just deliver a message, but also forms a connection.5. Your CTA Is Literal How to Break It: Get Creative With Button Copy Every inch of your email is an opportunity and each word should be intentional, especially the areas that ask your readers to take an action.Here a few favorite examples of ways to get clever and entice your reader to click. Today’s consumer is well aware of the fact that you’re trying to lead them to a desired action. With that in mind, you might experiment with your call to action copy and use each “click here” spot as a chance to delight. Originally published Mar 6, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated December 04 2018
UPDATE: Austin Ventures to Acquire Entrepreneur MediaFollowing the departure of longtime editor Rieva Lesonsky, executive editors Maria Valdez Haubrich and Karen Axelton also are leaving Entrepreneur magazine, FOLIO: has learned. Haubrich and Axelton resigned on June 9, Axelton confirmed in an e-mail to FOLIO:. The pair will remain in their roles until July 3. These departures come only days after parent company Entrepreneur Media named former WiesnerMedia business development vice president Amy Cosper as vice president and editor-in-chief, replacing Lesonsky. Entrepreneur Media named Charles Muselli as director of business development, replacing Chuck Fuller, who also left the company.Entrepreneur Media president Neil Perlman did not immediately return a request for comment.These exits come as Entrepreneur Media is said to have completed the final bidding stage of its acquisition and has moved to the due diligence phase with a Boston-based private equity firm, sources who are familiar with the process tell FOLIO:. Talks have slowed recently, according to the sources, due to the recent departures and challenges in the financing market. As long as the talks continue, sources say the deal could be finalized as early as mid- to late-July.Entrepreneur went to market in February with the first round of bids having come in April. The asking price reportedly is $200 million—translating to a multiple three times revenue, since Entrepreneur Media is about a $60 million company. Financial-services firm A.G. Edwards as well as Dow Jones, R.H. Donnelley and USA Today were said to have interest in acquiring the company..Entrepreneur’s first quarter ad revenues were $25.4 million, down about 6 percent from the same period in 2007, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Ad pages were down 7.2 percent.