Rice sector declined by 12.7%

first_img…Govt cannot maintain sugar industry − Agri MinisterThe financial challenges in the rice industry have continued as Agriculture Minister Noel Holder has announced a projected near 13 per cent decline in earnings for the sector in 2016. The collapse of the Petro-Caribe (rice-for-oil) Venezuela rice deal coupled with the dry weather patterns earlier this year were major challenges that gripped the industry last year. He further explained that prices on the world market are also seeing decreases.“In 2016 rice production is expected to decline by 12.7 per cent to 600,000 metric tonnes. This reduction is due to the El Niño weather condition and some farmers exiting the industry which was lost by the high priced Venezuela market,” the Agriculture Minister stated.These comments were disclosed at a press conference at the Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday. Holder explained that due to the El Niño condition, only 84 per cent of rice produced was sold, which translates to 76,717 hectares out of the 91,072 hectares target for the first crop. He said that 3311 hectares were lost.“In 2017, rice is expected to further decline by 1.6 per cent. On the other hand, we’ve managed to secure markets in 35 countries [which] has led to increases in exports by 1 per cent over 2015 at the end of October 2016. However, due to the reduction in world market prices, the value of exports will decline. Prices per tonne at the end of October were US$370 per tonne compared with US$394 in 2015,” Holder disclosed.He added that for 2017, exports are projected to be around 531,000 tonnes valued over US$180 million and that to increase production, the Guyana Rice Development Board will be offering farmers incentives who left the industry to return to rice cultivation.“This renewed focus will see the Board, advancing its efforts at introducing new high yielding varieties of rice as part of its efforts at decentralising seed production. Government has been diligently employing various technologies in an effort to reduce the impact of severe weather on farmers and in 2017, this will continue with the increased emphasis on specialty rice varieties, with increased emphasis on the development of value-added production such as rice/wheat flour blend, rice noodles, pasta and precooked rice products,” the Minister disclosed.He also noted that the world market price of Aromatic rice varieties ranged from US$700 to US$1200 per tonne. The lucrative PetroCaribe deal was cancelled months before its November 2015 expiration date by the Venezuelan Government and this has resulted in farmers receiving $1,500 to $2,200” per bag of paddy.Guyana Times carried a series of reports during this year highlighting the plight of rice farmers who were also owed millions by millers who processed their paddy. These millers had claimed that they were finding it difficult in finding markets to sell the rice after the Venezuela deal had ended.Meanwhile, at Thursday’s press conference, the Minister also put emphasis on the sugar sector where he stressed that Government cannot afford to continue awarding subsides to the sugar industry in its current state.“The Government is concerned with the future wellbeing of the sugar workers and their families. The Government is also deeply concerned about the other sectors of the economy and the critical need for investment in those sectors. It would be irresponsible of this Government to not sensibly address these challenges in a sustainable manner,” the Agriculture Minister posited.Agriculture MinisterNoel HolderWales Conversion PlansSpeaking on the conversion plans for the Wales Sugar Estate, Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Finance Director, Paul Bhim, explained that some 100 of 1000 workers, not 1700 as previously reported, were identified for the conversion plans, including husbandry practices.“The ploughing of the land has started. The 100 workers will be doing husbandry practices – weeding, cleaning the canals,” Bhim stated.He also refuted claims of weed overgrowth at lands prepared by the sugar corporation. This was in response to reports this publication received that even though land was prepared, in many instances, no rice was planted and that weeds had reportedly taken over some of the plots. At the ministry’s press conference, Bhim explained that “people are on ground” using chemicals to control the weed situation.It was last week Friday that the Agriculture Minister claimed that the first crop of rice at the Wales Estate was expected by March 2017 but on Thursday, he clarified that only seedlings were set and that rice will be planted until next year.Meanwhile, Holder further disclosed that he along with some Government ministers, including Minister of State Joseph Harmon, the main Opposition, People’s Progressive Party/ Civic, and agriculture and trade union bodies will meet, this Saturday, to discuss future plans for the sugar industry. The unions include the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union, the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees, and the Guyana Labour Union.The final date for closure of the Wales Sugar Estate factory is tomorrow (December 31). Shemuel Fanfailast_img read more

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A monkey first in South Africa

first_imgThe unique colobus monkey is a big hitwith visitors at the wild life park. Parrots are just some of the 27 exotic birdspecies found at Mystic Monkey’s andFeathers Zoo. A mother and baby white rhino spottedduring a game drive at Genius Loci. Zuba, a cub born to one of the lions at theGame Ranch.(Images: Genius Loci)Khanyi MagubaneBoasting one of South Africa’s largest collections of primate species, the Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park is not a typical zoo in the city.Its animals live unconstrained and are able to move around freely in their natural habitat.Based at the Genius Loci Game Ranch in the Limpopo province, the wildlife park is home to 33 primate species and it has a large collection of chimpanzees, and it also has 27 different types of exotic birds and rarely seen animals such as lemurs and sloths.Some of the birds found in the wildlife park include variations of toucan, cockatoo, macaw and eclectus birds.History made at the parkThe unique wildlife park recently made headlines after it welcomed its second baby monkey on 13 July, born to an exotic Angolan colobus monkey Kiki.The first colobus monkey(Colobus guereza) to be born in South Africa was Essie, to her Angolan mother Zeta in April.Zani Olivier, the wild park’s marketing manager, says they are excited by the arrival of the two babies. “We are very excited, because these two baby monkeys born here, are the only ones of their type in South Africa.”As Olivier explains, when the colobus monkey is born, its fur is first white in colour, which then darkens to a grey and after three months, the young animal starts developing the black and white fur, this she says, makes them very unique.The name colobus is derived from the Greek word meaning, mutilated, as unlike other species of monkeys, the colobus monkey doesn’t have thumbs on its feet or hands.Other interesting features of the colobus monkey are its behavioural patterns.According to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), of all African monkeys, the colobus is the only monkey rarely seen on the ground, as it usually suspends itself on a tree.Its movement is usually swinging from tree to tree and it can swing up to 50 feet (15m).“They leap up and then drop downward, falling with outstretched arms and legs to grab the next branch. Their mantle hair and tails are believed to act as a parachute during these long leaps,” reads AWF’s website.Colobus monkeys prefer to live in groups of about five to 10 animals, usually consisting of a dominant male, several females, and their offspring.Essie and the yet to be named newborn monkey, are siblings from the same father Lacoste, a monkey of Angolan origin.Lacoste, Zeta and Kiki were bought from their previous owner in the Czech Republic, although all three were born in Angola.The wild life park was started six years ago when the owner of the Genius Loci, Christa Saayman, started collecting different exotic monkeys and birds as a hobby.However, as her collection grew, Saayman decided to apply for a Nature Conservation Board (NCB) permit to have the animal collection classified as a zoo.The NCB regulates permits for the capture, hosting or hunting of animals, fishing, as well as the growing, exporting or picking of plants and trade in endangered species in South Africa.Healing for animalsOne of the services that they offer at the wild life park is an animal therapy centre.Olivier, Genius Loci’s marketing manager and animal specialist, administers the therapy to those who’ve had traumatic experiences, who suffer from depression, anxiety, anger, neuroticism or even insomnia.During animal therapy, Olivier works on stimulating the endorphin levels, which stimulate the “feel good” hormone serotonin.Adults and kids are encouraged to engage with animals for the therapy to work.Animals used during therapy are horses, monkey, lion and cheetah cubs, birds, cats and dogs.The animal therapy sessions have attracted clients from around the world, and sessions are now offered on a weekend, weekly, or monthly packages.Included in the therapy package are spa treatments at the famous Mangwanani African Spa, which are thought to have a healing element.In addition to the spa treatments, patients who attend the animal therapy sessions are treated to healthy food for the duration of their stay, are encouraged to get plenty of rest and have scheduled contact time with the animals on a therapeutic level.According to Emthunzini (a Zulu word meaning “in the shade”), a non-profit organisation that helps abused children and traumatised animals; animal therapy can have far reaching on humans.“Children who haven’t spoken for years due to trauma have uttered their first words to horses and dolphins.“Those who have been so abused that they are scared to be touched by a human have shown their first sign of emotions and love to animals,” reads their website.According to the organisation, animal assisted therapy has been proven to work for both children and adults in South Africa and other parts of the world.Do you have any comments or queries about this article: Email Khanyi Magubane at: Khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comUseful linksGenius loci Game RanchEmthunzini African Wildlife Foundationlast_img read more

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R400m for digital TV subsidies

first_imgOnce the details had been finalised and the scheme was ready to be rolled out, Nyanda said consumers would be informed of the criteria for qualification and the application process. “[The] government has already made a decision to support poor TV-owning households, and we are in the process of finalising the details regarding the implementation of the support scheme,” he said. Source: BuaNews “These features enable the disconnection of stolen boxes and will reduce the possibility of an influx of boxes not manufactured or approved in South Africa flooding the market,” Pule said. Speaking in Johannesburg this week, Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda said the Cabinet had approved R400-million to subsidise around five-million households, with subsidised set-top boxes expected to cost around R300. 23 October 2009 The set-top boxes that many South Africans will need to watch television when broadcasting goes digital-only will be available at stores throughout the country in the first half of 2010. The government is expected to subsidise 70% of the R700 cost of the units for poorer households.center_img Deputy Communications Minister Dina Pule said that the set top boxes for free-to-air services would have standardised operating systems prioritising security features, interoperability, addressability and inter-connectability. South Africa is currently in a “dual-illumination” period, with both digital and analogue TV signals available. The digital signal was switched on in November 2008, and the analogue signal is due to be switched off on 1 November 2011. In order to receive the digital signal after that date, households with analogue TV sets will need to purchase set-top boxes that convert digital into analogue signals. Nyanda and Pule were speaking at a two-day summit aimed at discussing a set-top box manufacturing strategy that will pave the way for local companies to manufacture the devices. Standards, security featureslast_img read more

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Weekly Wrapup: Augmented Reality Apps, Top U.S. Websites, Tweeting Teens, And More…

first_imgIn this edition of the Weekly Wrapup – our newsletter summarizing the top stories of the week – we explain why augmented reality is ramping up (and look at three new iPhone examples), analyze the top websites in the U.S., check out new Twitter statistics suggesting that teens don’t tweet, review recent Wikipedia changes, and more. We also check in on our two new channels: ReadWriteEnterprise (devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ trends and products) and ReadWriteStart (dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs). Subscribe to Weekly WrapupYou can subscribe to the Weekly Wrapup by RSS or by email (form below).RWW Weekly Wrap-up Email Subscription form: Purchase The ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community ManagementOur First Premium Report for Businesses Recently we released our first premium report: The ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community Management. Businesses seeking to engage with online communities on their own websites or all around the social web will find the guide invaluable in getting up to speed on the state of the art and making sure their employees have the foundation they need to be effective. The report is a 75 page collection of case studies, advice and discussion concerning the most important issues in online community. You will also get a companion online aggregator that delivers the most-discussed articles each day written by experts on community management from around the web. All of this is available for purchase at a price of $299. You can download a free sample section of the report here. Web TrendsAugmented Reality: 5 Barriers to a Web That’s Everywhere Teens Don’t Tweet? They May Start Soon“Teens don’t tweet.” Over the past few weeks, this fact has been reported time and time again by analysts, bloggers, and mainstream media. But before all you adults get too comfortable with your Twitter dominance, take a look at the recent data from comScore. It appears that the youngest Twitter users – those in the 12-24 bracket – are now the fastest-growing segment of Twitter’s population.SEE MORE WEB TRENDS COVERAGE IN OUR TRENDS CATEGORYA Word from Our SponsorsWe’d like to thank ReadWriteWeb’s sponsors, without whom we couldn’t bring you all these stories every week!Mashery is the leading provider of API management services.WeeBiz, a business community where you can find and share new business opportunities.Domain.ME, the official registry for all .ME Domains.Codero, Dedicated Hosting with Backup & Managed Services.Mollom, stop comment spam and build your community.Crowd Science gives you detailed visitor demographics.hakia is a semantic search engine.Rackspace provides dedicated server hosting.Aplus provides web hosting services for small business hosting needs.IronScale, Managed Hosting. The Cloud Gets Physical.MediaTemple provides hosting for RWW.SixApart provides our publishing software MT4. ReadWriteEnterpriseOur channel devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ and using social software inside organizations. Why Zoho Wants You to Sign in With Google Apps Not long ago, Google revamped its sign-on system using the federated protocols of OpenID. Now Zoho, a major provider of SaaS productivity and enterprise tools, has decided to support Google Apps accounts for anyone logging into its services. Although the two companies have overlap in areas such as online document editing, the majority of Zoho’s suite is not in competition with Google.ReadWriteStartOur channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.When and How Founders Should Hire a Professional CEOThis is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.There are two schools of thought about founders as CEOs. One school says that founders rarely make good CEOs: the skill sets are simply different. The other school says that no one has as much passion, drive, and deep market and technological understanding as the founder, and so they are best off remaining as CEO.SEE MORE STARTUPS COVERAGE IN OUR READWRITESTART CHANNELWeb ProductsThe Wall Has Fallen: 3 Augmented Reality Apps Now Live in iPhone App StoreFirst Paris Metro, then Yelp, now London Buses. The newest is even selling database layers through in-app purchases.It has been widely reported that the API required to display Augmented Reality (AR) layers of data on top of the camera view of a non-jailbroken iPhone 3Gs would not be publicly exposed until the launch of the next version of the iPhone Operating System, expected this Fall. Many developers are patiently waiting, but some have now found a way around the restriction. This week we discovered 3 AR-enabled apps hitting the iTunes store.Confused About Wikipedia’s Flagged Revisions? What’s Really Happening Wikipedia’s new ‘flagged revision’ policy will radically change how entries about living persons will be maintained. There seems to be some confusion about the extent to which these new policies, once implemented, will change the nature of Wikipedia. According to some, Wikipedia will cease to be free and open. Instead, a group of editors with dictatorial powers will patrol the site. The reality, however, is far less dramatic.Opera Mini Is Most Downloaded Mobile App The Opera Mini application is now considered not only the world’s most popular mobile browser, but also the world’s most downloaded app. According to independent applications marketplace GetJar, the browser has been downloaded more than 25 million times from its store. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Tags:#web#Weekly Wrap-ups Bing Continues to Grow, But Yahoo Loses Market Share Since the launch of Bing, watching the developments in the search engine market is finally interesting again. According to the latest data from Compete for July, Bing continues to grow slowly but surely. At the same time, though, Compete notes that Bing has not been able to convert its growing search share into a rise in paid clicks on ads on the site. SEE MORE WEB PRODUCTS COVERAGE IN OUR PRODUCTS CATEGORYThat’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone. Fifty years after its invention by the British Royal Navy for use by fighter pilots, the technology of layering information on top of our naked view of the world may soon cross over the line between science fiction and mass consumer experience. “The internet smeared all over everything.” An “enchanted window” that turns contextual information hidden all around us inside out. A platform that will be bigger than the Web. Those are the kinds of phrases being used to describe the future of what’s called Augmented Reality (AR), by specialists developing the technology to enable it. Big questions remain unanswered, though, about the viability of what could be a radical next step in humanity’s use of computers.5 Ways Sentiment Analysis is Ramping Up in 2009 The New York Times had an article this week about sentiment analysis, a trend which has been accelerating on the back of the Real-time Web – and Twitter in particular. Sentiment analysis is no short-term hot trend. It will eventually become a key feature of search engines, which will integrate the aggregate sentiment of the crowd into search results. In our post we take a look at five examples of how sentiment analysis is starting to ramp up on the Web. Top 50 U.S. Web Properties: Facebook Enters Top 5 For The First TimeAnnual changes of note: Facebook #5 with a rocket; Twitter entered Top 50 in June; Demand Media, Answers.com and Break Media sites to watch. comScore has just released their latestMedia Metrix rankings for the Top 50 U.S. Web Properties. If we compare the top 50 to one year ago, we see that the top 4 is still the same: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL. But there’s one notable entrant to the top 5: Facebook. Last year the same list by comScore had Facebook ranked number 16. As of July 2009, it is number 5; Facebook’s highest ranking yet. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… richard macmanuslast_img read more

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Ceres beefs up champs league roster

first_img Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Didal, Fil-am reach Tokyo qualifiers semifinals ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Former Kaya Iloilo midfielder Miguel Tanton could turn out to be Ceres’ marquee signing as he’s set to fill the void to be left by Ott who, sources said, will be playing in the Thai League 1 next season.The League 1, commonly known as T1, is Thailand’s premier football competition contested by 16 clubs and operates on a system of promotion and relegation to League 2.A key cog for Kaya since 2015, Tanton, a midfielder, was part of the 23-man squad of the Azkals in the AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.A versatile player who can play at midfield or in central defense, Villanueva proved instrumental in the Azkals’ qualification for the Asian Cup, but was unable to crack the squad of coach Sven Goran Eriksson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsDe Bruycker played in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia while it will be Marasigan’s second stint with Ceres, which he played for in 2015.The Busmen begin their campaign on Feb. 5 when they take on Yangon United of Myanmar in the preliminary round of Champions League qualifying at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. The winner of the match will take on Thai club Chiang Rai United in the next round. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bracing for an uphill climb in the AFC Champions League starting next month, Philippines Football League (PFL) champion Ceres-Negros added depth and quality to its squad after signing four new players for the coming season.Anticipating the move of stars Patrick Reichelt and Manny Ott, who are reportedly set to sign for clubs overseas, the Busmen signed former Davao Aguilas players Dylan De Bruycker and Dennis Villanueva as well as Angelo Marasigan from Global FC.ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants View comments LATEST STORIES Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandemlast_img read more

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Lee Odden Explains How to Build a Top-Ranked Business Blog

first_img Q: What are your five favorite blogs? (Other than the HubSpot blog!) June 2006 keyword analysis A: I’ve written about 1,800 posts over the last 5 years so it’s a bit tricky to pick just one. Online Marketing Blog A few specific posts that are top of mind: Q: Blogging and social media may work for some technology-focused businesses, but what about businesses in more traditional industries? Do blogging and social media work for everybody? . The man who currently owns that spot is Lee Odden, a successful online marketer who, in addition to running a his popular blog, is CEO of   in the top spot. A: I started blogging for  .  in  The web has become very social and will continue to do so through technology that enables content sharing and connections. Search engine optimization is at the core of what we do in all our practice areas. Blogging and social media marketing efforts affect SEO and vice versa. Direct Marketing vs Social Media Marketing Make no mistake, measuring return on investment for marketing channels that are not direct response takes some creativity. But it is there and definitely measurable. to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. Q. What impact has your blog had on your business? Q: What’s your favorite blog post that you’ve ever written? Why? That’s valuable real estate — over 700 searches per month, according to our  . Lee was kind enough to spend some time earlier this week answering questions about his blog and online marketing.  Q: How long have you been blogging? A: Blogging, SEO and social media are all intimately intertwined. I don’t see them as completely different marketing channels, although there are distinct metrics for each. Dec 2003 What’s important is the mix that will best help the client reach their goals. Marketing on the social web is about helping customers reach their goals. Consumer information discovery increasingly involves more than just search, so involving blogs and social media to some extent is almost always a part of every client engagement. If we can see opportunities for our clients to reach and engage their customers in specific areas of the web AND it can be measured, then we’ll make recommendations accordingly. I like a lot of the  Top Rank Online Marketing  because the majority contain great information and many are entertaining. A: The first thing to do is “listen” and pay attention to what  others are blogging and doing within social communities. It’s simply not effective to publish and promote content via blogging and social media without being a participant. Get involved by subscribing to other blogs on and off topic to get an idea of voice, frequency and etiquette. Join social networks and connect with other like-minded people, share opinions, content and interact. Then you’ll have a foundation for going forward with your own blogging and social media marketing efforts. TopRankMarketing.comcenter_img I’d also recommend using an outside consultant that clearly practices what they preach. Getting advice from an experienced blogger/social media participant can save time, embarrassment and money. That’s a big part of what TopRank does in our blog and social media marketing practices: serve as a guide to help clients help themselves. If you search Google for “marketing blog” chances are you’ll find  A: Measuring the return on any marketing investment starts with setting goals. Knowing the audience, your objectives, a strategy and mix of tactics for reaching those objectives all lead up to the measurement piece. Internet marketing offers amazing metrics, far beyond what many offline marketing and advertising expenditures return. Webinar: Blogging for Business Digital PR and SEO: Social Media Monitoring A. Online Marketing Blog has been instrumental in growing our business. It generates daily new business inquiries, weekly inquiries from the media as well as candidates and marketing partners. Over 5 years we’ve posted over 2,000 articles on internet marketing topics and have been recognized in many ways for that besides growing revenue, which of course, is what pays the bills. A: We manage a list of over 500 blogs on our  Q. In addition to advising companies on business blogging, your company offers search engine and social media marketing services. That’s a lot of different things. Do you advise clients to get involved in all of them? Is there one channel that’s best? Or most important?  so I have a lot more than 5 favorite blogs. Originally published Jan 16, 2009 8:52:00 AM, updated October 18 2015 A: In terms of traffic, “25 Tips for Marketing Your Blog” posted in  We identify expectations, business needs and reconcile those with goals for a marketing program. SEO is easier to measure in terms of a direct association with revenue. Blogs can be measured in that way too. Getting ROI measurements out of social media and blogging efforts most often comes from an association with other known channels. For example, if a blog ranks well in search engines, then the cost per click can be identified for those keyword rankings and a valuation can be calculated. If social media or a blog post result in media coverage, then a value for what it would cost to hire a PR firm to earn that coverage can be associated as a return on the social media or blogging effort. Content Distribution Networks A: Great question. Running our business in terms of day-to-day operation has little to do with our blog. In terms of marketing and building thought leadership, it would certainly be possible to have a successful marketing program without a blog. It would involve other social media communication channels that allow two-way communications, frequent updates, engaging information sharing, etc – many features of a blog. However, with all that functionality contained right within blog software, I’d prefer to use blog software as a preferred way to create and promote content that inspires the kinds of conversations leading to new business, improved credibility and confidence in the TopRankMarketing.com brand. Q: Could you run your business without your blog? A: Within our organization my functional responsibilities involve our organization’s business strategy, business development, some training and marketing. Most operational duties are handled by my business partner, Susan Misukanis. The marketing portion of my job is to be the public face of our organization speaking at about 15 events a year and being social on the web via TopRankBlog.com, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social channels. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack BIGLIST Q: What do you tell your clients when they ask about the ROI of social media, blogging or SEO investments? Q: What’s the most popular blog post you’ve ever written? A: Sometimes blogging and social media do not make sense for reasons other than a specific industry mis-match. If a company doesn’t have the resources or appreciation/understanding of how blogging and social media work – tech biz or not – it shouldn’t bother. At least not until they make efforts to get up to speed with internal staff and/or via outside resources. Back to your question. Wherever there are people talking online about a topic, there is an opportunity for blogging and social media. Industry is irrelevant to predicting the viability of incorporating social media into an organization’s marketing and communication efforts. It’s the customers that matter and if customers or potential customers are involved with and influenced by blogs and social media, then companies that serve those customers should participate. If not, their competition will. Q: When you’re not blogging, you run an internet marketing business — can you describe what you do? Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website? Download the free webinar Q: What advice would you give to a small business owner or professional marketer who’s just starting out with blogging and social media?  has been the most popular. interviews we’ve done with SEO and social media peoplelast_img read more

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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

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5 Effective Calls to Action That Will Get Your Visitors Clicking

first_img Topics: Originally published Nov 19, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Salesforce.com Salesforce’s homepage includes three distinct calls to action above the fold: one that attracts people to their conference, another that gets people to a landing page, and yet another that places people in front of a demo of the software (a great example of secondary and tertiary offers.) One of the remarkable things about Salesforce’s calls to action is the simplicity of their design. Each one is a simple rectangular button with rounded corners, red outlines and simple text – and that’s it. This post contains older information, but has been left up for historical reasons. For more up-to-date information, please see our Lead Generation Hub . Calls to action are the gateways that your visitors must click through to become leads. If your calls to action aren’t optimized and attractive to your visitors, they are less likely to complete the actions you want them to on your website. Creating a great call to action isn’t simple of course, as it takes work to figure out exactly what to offer and how to portray that offer on your pages.As you begin to think about how to handle creating calls to action for your website, keep in mind that simple calls to action are often the most effective . By keeping it simple, you should be able to brainstorm and design some calls to action that really work.Whenever I start any creative project, I typically look at what other people have done for inspiration and ideas. If you’re stuck and don’t know how to portray your offer to your visitors, have a look at some of the examples below. These companies have nailed it down to a science; their calls to action convert their visitors into leads (or customers) and you should use their ideas to your advantage. Mozilla What I like about Mozilla’s call to action is that it gives a clear indicator of what a user can expect when they click on the button.The offer is laid out in front of the visitor; They get 1 Firefox download and it’s free. Clear. Easy. Attractive. The other remarkable thing about Mozilla’s call to action button is its size. It’s BIG! It sticks out on the page and draws your attention. Basecamp – 37 Signals The calls to action that 37 Signals feature are a little over the top. Check out the homepage of their Basecamp product and you’ll see what I mean. Basically the entire page, or at least everything above the fold, is a call to action. Their text is hierarchical, they employ lots of attractive images (of their products), and they top it all off with a big, fat button for the user to click on. Notice that on the button there is some text that indicates what the users can expect: a free, 30-day trial of the product and a super fast sign-up process. Remember, an effective call to action is always visible, attractive, and matched to a compelling offer. Regardless of how much time you decide to spend designing calls to action, always install the end product above the fold so that you can convert more of your visitors into leads and customers. Creating effective calls to action are a crucial piece to achieving inbound marketing success and often the most overlooked. What calls to action do you think are the most effective? What are your biggest questions about creating calls to action? Tell us in the comments!center_img Commercial IQ The nice thing about Commercial IQ’s call to action is that it’s action oriented and attracts the visitor’s eye. They also follow other call to action best practices by placing the button up high on a page on a background that contrasts with the color of the button. The user can see the button really easily and they know exactly what to do. Calls to Action Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack BarackObama.com Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to admire the marketing effort of the Barack Obama team during the 2008 campaign, most notably their inbound marketing efforts. Check out their calls to action. First of all, there are 3 above the fold (visible) on the front page. One of them rotates which incorporates 2 more into the mix. All the calls to action are well-optimized, too. They begin with a verb, are action-oriented, and each of them are simple and concise. You know what you’re getting and what to expect when you click on any button on BarakObama.comlast_img read more

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How to Build Better Buyer Personas to Drive Killer Content

first_img Buyer Personas Originally published Jan 25, 2012 11:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Pick any day of the week, and there’s one thing on every inbound marketer’s to-do list:  creating new content . Marketers used to create content only when it suited their company’s internal needs – say, when they had a new product to promote. Well, inbound marketing forces you to give up that approach. But constantly coming up with new content can be overwhelming, and if you panic and start pushing out content that’s a bad fit for your audience, you risk attracting the wrong kind of visitor while driving away high-quality prospects.That’s why, like publishers, inbound marketers must have a detailed picture of their target audience in order to create optimal content for them. The best way to understand your audience is to build buyer personas with these 3 steps: segment by demographics, identify their needs, and develop behavior-based profiles. 1. Segment by Demographics Who are your ideal customers and prospects? What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interests? Where can you reach them – on search engines , social media , or blogs – and what kinds of content do they prefer? These types of questions will help you develop buyer personas. Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.Start developing personas by researching your existing customer base to identify the most common buyers for your products and services. You may have several different types of buyers, so give each one a detailed description, including name, job title or role, industry or company info, and demographic info.For example, a community bank’s biggest customers may include small business owners and mothers managing the bank accounts for a family of four. In this case, the bank’s marketers might name these personas “Business Owner Bob” and “Martha, the Busy Mom,” and extrapolate details about their responsibilities, the typical size of their business or household income, what geographic region they’re in, and so on. 2. Identify Their Needs Based on those profiles, you can outline the pains, needs, and challenges of each persona by asking yourself several important questions: What are the biggest problems they are trying to solve? What do they need most? What information are they typically searching for? What trends are influencing their business or personal success? Analyzing the path that prospects take on the journey to becoming a customer is a great way to get insights about the needs and challenges of your target audience. If you use a marketing platform like HubSpot , you can see which search terms brought prospects to your site, how long they stayed on your site, which pieces of content they viewed, and which forms they’ve filled out. Such lead intelligence will help you make better decisions when identifying the characteristics of your ideal customers and ways to nurture your new prospects. 3. Develop Behavior-Based Profiles Next, develop a profile of each persona’s typical online behavior. You know who they are and what their needs are, now think about all the ways they research a potential purchase on your site or on others. Here are suggestions of the questions you should ask:What do they do online? Do they read blogs? Are they active on  Twitter , Facebook , or other social networks? What kind of search terms do they use? Are they email newsletter subscribers?What kind of information do they tend to consume online? Educational pieces? Trend articles? Interactive tools like calculators or worksheets? Do they watch videos or listen to podcasts?Which of your products do they spend the most time researching? How do they use those products?The result of this process should be a detailed description of your personas’ demographics, needs, and behavior. The more detail you pack into your persona development, the easier it will be to create content for each of your target customer segments and know where to promote it.Don’t look now, but you just put yourself on the path to a killer content strategy. This post is an adapted excerpt from our free ebook,  A Practical Guide to Killer Marketing Content .  To learn more about keeping those great content ideas flowing,  download the free ebook here! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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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

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