Raheem Sterling in action for Liverpool 1 Arsene Wenger refused to be drawn on whether he will make a move for Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling but says he will be active in the transfer market during the summer.Sterling could be heading through the exit door at Anfield following the latest reports that the England striker is expected to tell Brendan Rodgers that he wants to leave at the end of the season.Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move for the 20-year-old who is emerging as one of the best young talents in Europe.But Wenger is adamant he will not enter any transfer negotiations until the end of May when the season has finished.Wenger said: “I do not bid for anybody at the moment. In the summer we will bid for people. At the moment we are not in transfer mode at all.“We want to finish our season well. We have put massive effort in since the start of the season to come back into a potentially good position in the Premier League, and now we need to focus on finishing well.“We have put so much effort in that it would be stupid not to finish the job well. The transfer period comes after the FA Cup final.“You absolutely want me to say something that I don’t want to say. I don’t like to lie. If I say that I will and I don’t do it, then I have lied.”
Popular group-buying daily deal site Groupon has gone back to its roots with the launch of an initiative called “G-Team,” which harnesses the collective consumer power that has made Groupon such a success, in order to connect users to local fundraisers, campaigns and other charitable causes. The causes will be tied to the deals posted to Groupon so as to attract like-minded shoppers with community organizations whose campaigns they may be interested in. For example, a deal on canoe rentals might be tied to a campaign to clean up a river, a deal on bike tuneups might be linked to a campaign to donate bicycles to disadvantaged youth and so on.G-Team: Campaigns for Charity or Just for FunBut G-Team campaigns don’t necessarily have to be focused on charity: they can be used for fun too, like organizing a flash mob or rounding up Groupon shoppers to use their coupon together on the same night at a particular venue. Although the G-Team initiative was announced over a month ago, there has been little media coverage so far, likely due to its staged rollout. Initially, G-Team is only available as a pilot program in Chicago, but Groupon says it plans on bringing the program to more cities in the future.The first campaign, just announced via Twitter and now available here, is raising money to support a local theater organization. sarah perez Groupon’s Roots are in Community Organization Many of Groupon’s users may not realize that initiatives like these actually served as the roots of what became the discount shopping experience that’s now practically a household name. According to the Groupon website, the organization grew out of a website called The Point, launched in 2007, which lets anyone start a campaign, but delays action until enough people have committed to the project. That same philosophy of collective power was later applied to what became Groupon, a site that offers a daily deal that’s only available once enough people join that day. With the G-Team campaigns, now hosted on The Point’s site, there will be a “tipping point” that will need to be reached before action is taken. And anyone can apply for one of these Groupon campaign sponsorships, either as an individual or a representative from a non-profit or other local grassroots organization. Explains Patty Huber, community manager for both The Point and Groupon, “First, we’ll help you create a campaign page on The Point. Next, we’ll develop a partnership with a Groupon merchant who will help support your campaign. Then, we’ll promote your campaign along with the merchant’s daily deal to our huge subscriber base.” G-Team campaigns, says Huber, are designed to benefit local communities, run for a limited period of time (usually a day), support causes that resonate with subscribers, aid specific projects and are organized around a “compelling story.” If you or your organization wants to be considered for sponsorship, the online application is available here. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#crowdsourcing#Non-Profits#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…
“We knew that the Yahoo-Twitter partnership would be comprehensive and more encompassing than Twitter’s search partnerships with Google and Bing, but now Yahoo tells us the integration will focus on three primary areas: Spam vs Mahalo: Matt Cutts Explains the Difference Comic response from SEO Black Hat: mvolpe HubSpot TV is LIVE every Friday at 4:00 p.m. ET. From HubSpotter Christopher Haddad – #HubSpotTV Citibank never called or warned Fabulis at all inbound marketing will pay off ), Karen Rubin (@ How to interact on Twitter: Include #HubSpotTV in your tweets! On the show today is Mike Volpe (@ Citibank Freezes Some Fabulis Assets Doin’ It Wrong Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Citibank apparently froze the assets of Fabulis because of “objectionable content” on the company blog. “Starting Monday, Bravo will begin offering Foursquare players badges and special prizes when viewers visit more than 500 Bravo locations. Locations will be picked by Bravo to correspond with select Bravo shows including “The Real Housewives,” “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Top Chef,” “Kell on Earth,” “Top Chef Masters” and “Shear Genius.” . karenrubin Matt Cutts (head of Google anti-spam team): “When trying to decide if a page is spam, it is helpful to ask yourself this question: if I remove the scraped (copied) content, the ads, and the links to other pages, is there anything of value left? If the answer is no, the page is probably spam.” Ability to update status from Yahoo Question from Inbound.org Marketing Takeaway Closing to learn how to use inbound marketing to generate leads and break your dependence on programs with recurring expenses. , and chat ) and Coleen Coyne (@ www.hubspot.tv Marketing Takeaway Intro Special Guest, Olympic Gold Medalist Colleen Coyne Download the free video Fabulis is an established company with investors ($625K) and an experienced entrepreneur as founder (Jason Goldberg – SocialMedian and Jobster), but they are “the social network that helps gay men connect with amazing experiences nearby and around the world” : Cheating does not work. Don’t spam Google, and don’t rely on PPC alone. Do the hard work and Video: How to Get Off the Google AdWords PPC Crack Marketing Takeaway Headlines Should Mahalo Say “Mahalo” to Google for Tolerating Spam SEO guru Aaron Wall gets upset that Mahalo is stealing his content, not adding value and still ranking in Google. : Aggressively communicate with customers and be available for comment quickly. This will help problems from spiraling out of control. Although this deal will help put Foursquare in front of millions of mainstream television viewers, it also offers the company a chance to try to blur the lines between traditional television media and mobile experiences. Although some television executives have been successful integrating TV and the Web, merging TV with mobile has proved to be more difficult. Episode #81 – February 26, 2010 Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s chief executive, said the company was excited to work with Bravo and push some of these boundaries further. “Bravo’s shows really overlap with our users and a new mainstream audience that we want to reach. I don’t think check-ins are a nerd-only experience. It’s about sharing content and experiences with others.” : If you are not Jason Calcanis, you need to create original and valuable content to rank in search . Twitter Goes Yahoo How many times should a keyword appear on a page for optimal density? , it’s going to work out in the end. There might be some bumps along the way, but the satisfaction of knowing you gave it a truly honest effort will be rewarding in and of itself. Additionally, you will definitely gain a following. There is no reward without risk, and there is definitely a market for authenticity.” March 19: HubSpot goes to Vegas! Access to your Twitter feed on Yahoo with us via Twitter using NEW hashtag, All old episodes are in iTunes: : Keep doing inbound marketing. Developments like this just make it more effective. Bravo to Foursquare as They Partner with Traditional TV Media Olympic athletes’ social media restrictions : Making trades is better than paying cash for advertising. Get creative! (Episode Length: 26 minutes, 41 seconds) “If you are honest in your approach to Forum Fodder Foursquare Teams With Bravo TV Watch the show in real-time at PPC is like liposuction Does Citibank Suffer From Homophobia Or Just A General Dislike For Startups? Learn how to break your Google AdWords addiction! . Ben Robbins – For several years now, good sources at Google (like Matt Cutts) have indicated that keyword density carries little or no importance in their algorithm. Keyword-related factors that are still considered include anchor text for editorial links, page title, page URL, and heading tags. They also seem to reward pages with lengthier content, maybe 500+ words, and long tail keyword variations. Marketing Tip of the Week http://itunes.hubspot.tv ColleenCoyne Marketing Takeaway creating content Details: The Yahoo-Twitter Partnership – ) Yahoo Search and media integration Originally published Mar 5, 2010 2:30:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Why I Would Hire Bode Miller as My Inbound Marketer
While search engine optimization is one of the core elements of inbound marketing, not enough businesses are incorporating an SEO strategy into their marketing efforts.It’s understandable — SEO can seem complicated if you’ve never focused on it. To help you get a handle on it, we’ve aggregated some helpful visual aids so you can start to understand how SEO can be helpful in your business’ marketing strategy.15 Educational SEO Diagrams1. Cycle of Social & SEO by TopRank Online Marketing2. Google’s Collateral Damage by SEOBook and Jess.net (click to enlarge)3. SEO Diagram by MentorMate4. SEO Success Pyramid by SmallBusinessSEM.com5. The SEO Process Chart by SEOBook6. Link Building 101 by ProspectMX (click to enlarge)7. The Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors by Search Engine Land (click to enlarge)8. The SEO Flow Chart by SEOBook9. On-Page Optimization and Link Acquisition by SEOmoz 10. SEO Tactics by Response Mine Interactive (click to enlarge)11. Link-Building Risk vs. Reward by Conversation Marketing (click to enlarge)12. SEO Process by Digital Clarity Media13. The SEO Hierarchy of Needs by Bruce Clay, Inc.14. SEO ROI From Link Building Tactics by SEOmoz15. Search Engine Marketing Process by Komarketing AssociatesWhich educational search engine optimization chart/diagram do you like the most? Have any others to share? SEO Originally published Aug 25, 2011 9:00:00 AM, 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
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 27, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 News related to Google+ has been slow in recent months. Hopefully, Google is working on business profiles for its social networking platform. However, today we got some exciting news. Not as exciting as business profiles, but close. According to Google, to date, 1 billion posts have been shared on Google+.Google+ has also launched three new features. The first is a new tool called Ripples that visualizes how messages are being shared on Google+. The second, What’s Hot, helps users discover interesting and popular posts. Finally, Google+ has added Creative Kit, which introduces basic photo-editing functionality into Google+. Additionally, Google today announced that customers of Google Apps can now use their Google Apps username and password to sign up for Google+.Sharing Analytics Gets VisualWith Ripples, Google has added a visual layer of explanation around social sharing analytics. Ripples enables inbound marketers to see how their content is shared and which influencers help drive the most sharing activity. Trying to explain it doesn’t do it justice. You need to watch the video below to really understand Ripples in action.Trending Posts Comes to Google+Parody is rampant in the social networking industry. Twitter and Facebook have long helped users discover popular or trending topics in addition to most recent posts. The new ‘What’s Hot’ section on Google+ will appear after your regular updates section and use a special Google algorithm to rank popular stories. For a full explanation, check out the following video:Google+ Gets More Like InstagramWith Creative Kit, Google for the first time provides the opportunity for users to edit images in Google+. This makes Google+ much more similar to popular photo sharing service, Instagram. To view Creative Kit in action, check out this video from Google:Google Apps Users RejoiceMany companies and individuals use Google’s Apps product for a hosted version of popular Google apps like Gmail and Google Documents. As of today, Apps users can now sign up for Google+ using their Apps account. According to TechCrunch, Apps users will be able to share posts directly to other users within their organizations. Google is also building a migration tool, allowing existing Google+ users to port their personal accounts over to their Apps accounts. It isn’t done just yet, but Google says it will be in a few weeks.Marketing TakeawayThese new features are cool, but they aren’t exactly original. Marketers still need business profiles more than any of the new features Google announced today. However, take advantage of what Google provides. Ripples are clearly the most interesting feature for marketers. Understanding how your content is shared and who the top influencers are that cause the spread of your content is valuable. Look at Ripples for some of your content and gather data to improve your content creation and promotion efforts.How do you feel about these updates to Google+? Google Updates Topics:
As the newest marketing weapon in your social media arsenal, Google+ Pages provide businesses with yet another powerful opportunity to connect with fans, prospects, and customers, as well as promote content to generate new leads. But let’s face it: starting a brand new social presence from scratch is kind of a pain. And without an ample following, all the time and effort you put into your presence is ultimately a waste.To help you start getting the most out of your new Google+ business presence, here are 10 guaranteed ways to attract new Google+ Page followers.10 Tips for Attracting New Google+ Page Followers1. Optimize and Populate Your Page With Content First: It’s never a good idea to start promoting something before it’s truly “ready,” whether it’s a new blog, a new campaign, or a new social presence. Spend some time optimizing your Google+ page and building it up with content and posts before you start promoting your presence. This way, when new visitors land on your page, they’ll have a rich, positive experience that engages them. The best way to convince new page visitors not to add you to their Circles is to welcome them with a blank slate. Where’s the value? You need to convince them that your page offers such remarkable value that they’d be missing out by not following you.2. Promote Your Presence in Other Social Networks: Once your page is ready for prime time, use the other weapons in your social media arsenal to promote your new Google+ presence. Leverage the reach you’ve already built up on these other channels to encourage fans and followers to check out your new Google+ Page and follow you there. Chances are, if people are following you on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, they already find value in the content you’re sharing and the discussions you’re generating. This makes them great potential Google+ Page followers, too!3. Write a Blog Post About Your New Google+ Page: Speaking of leveraging your current reach in other channels, why not use your blog to promote your presence, too? Write a blog post about your new Google+ Page, what you’ll be sharing there, and why your blog readers should want to follow you.4. Make Yourself Eligible for Direct Connect: Direct Connect is one of Google+ Pages’ unique features. It allows businesses to become eligible for various search capabilities, such as being easily findable using the +[Page Name] search operator in Google.com search, as well as the ability to get Google+ Page posts pulled into organic search results. These Google+ search results are also accompanied by an option for the searcher to add your page to their Circles directly from the search results, increasing your chances of generating new page followers. While Google is currently only granting certain businesses with Direct Connect status, make yourself eligible for it by installing the Direct Connect code on your website so you’re prepared for these new features when Google releases them to all. Installing the code verifies that your Google+ page is the “official” page for your business.5. Add the G+ Follow Button to Your Website/Blog: During the Direct Connect setup process, Google+ also offers you the option to generate Google+ follow buttons (AKA badges) for your page. Take advantage of them, and install the buttons on your website and blog to help you convert website visitors into new Google+ Page followers. You can create a button for your page here.6. Encourage Current Followers to Share Your G+ Page/Posts: Remember the research HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella conducted about adding “please retweet” to your tweets? Remember how it works? Adopt this methodology for your Google+ Page and posts as well, and ask your current followers to share your page and your content with their Circles if they think it’s valuable. This will increase the visibility of your page to new Google+ users who may be interested in your content and therefore potential followers of your page, thus expanding your reach!7. Use Topic Circles to Target Content: We recently wrote about businesses that are doing creative things with their Google+ Pages. One awesome example highlighted Time magazine’s page, which is testing out the concept of ‘topic Circles’ to share more targeted content with its followers. To experiment with this yourself, post a message that you’re testing it out and ask followers to comment if they’re interested in being a part of a particular topic Circle. Then create a Circle around this topic, add the users who expressed interest (Note: You’ll only be able to add users to a Circle if they’ve already added your page to their Circles), and start sharing targeted content around that topic just to that Circle. The outcome will be that you’ll create a more personalized experience on your page that provides even more value to your followers. And a page that’s valuable will organically attract new followers!8. Share Your Awesome Content: Another way to create a truly valuable Google+ Page that naturally attracts followers is to share remarkable content — blog articles, links to landing pages for ebooks, webinars, etc. Pay attention to what types of content your followers are responding to, and adapt your strategy to include more of that content. Engage your followers in discussions by asking questions and requesting feedback.9. Be Visual!10. Leverage Hangouts: One thing we’ve learned about Google+ is that it likes to dangle awesome new features in front of us but doesn’t let many of us leverage them … yet. One of these cool features is ‘Hangouts on Air.’ Think of it as livestreaming video via Google+ (10 people can participate in the video chat, and an unlimited number of people can view the video chat). Hangouts on Air is only available for use by certain business pages, but currently, pages can leverage Hangouts without this livestreaming component, allowing 10 people to participate in a group video chat. There are a lot of creative ways to use that in itself. Consider offering an opportunity to participate in an exclusive video chat with your business’ CEO about an important industry topic (first come, first serve). Or perhaps use Hangouts to conduct focus groups with some of your fans or customers. And cross your fingers for the day when Google+ enables Hangouts on Air to all!What other tactics can you use to generate more Google+ business page followers? Oh, and … have you followed HubSpot’s Google+ Page yet? ;o) Topics: Originally published Nov 16, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Social Media Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Customer Reviews and Testimonials Originally published Dec 20, 2018 5:09:00 PM, updated August 27 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 1. Create different spaces to leave reviews.Before potential customers even make it to your website to learn about your business, make sure they can learn about you no matter where they’re conducting online research about making a purchase.There are a few typical third-party sites people consult to learn more about a business or a product:1. YelpBrightLocal found that Yelp and Facebook were consumers’ most trusted source of customer reviews in the U.S., so make sure your business is registered and up-to-date. You can learn how to claim your business (or add it, if your business is brand-new) using Yelp for Business Owners.Make sure you’re regularly monitoring communications coming from this profile — responsive business owners are highlighted with an average response time and response rate that could encourage readers to move forward in the process towards becoming a new customer.2. FacebookYou should also claim your business’ Facebook Page so potential customers can find you to learn more about you without having to leave their social network. This is another site that rewards high levels of responsiveness, so make sure you assign someone to monitor incoming messages across the channels you’re trying to optimize for new customer acquisition.3. GoogleNext, use Google My Business to claim your business on the world’s biggest search engine, where potential customers might find you if they’re searching for information on Google, or searching for directions in Google Maps. (This is of particular importance to brick-and-mortar businesses trying to attract foot traffic — learn more about local SEO in this blog post.) People also leave reviews using Google, which appear in the search results for your business, as shown below if you Google “HubSpot.”4. AmazonIf you’re an Amazon seller, make sure to claim and customize your Amazon page. Amazon serves up a lot of different results for different searches, so make sure your Amazon page tells your business’ story the same way your website does. If a shopper finds your brand over the course of an Amazon search, make sure your Page highlights product details, testimonials, and reviews.Source: Amazon5. Better Business BureauFor businesses in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, you can register with the Better Business Bureau — another highly trusted source of customer reviews. By claiming your business on the BBB, you can access more candid customer reviews and become accredited on the site — which lends greater credibility and trustworthiness to you if customers are deciding between options using these reviews and ratings.There are also industry-specific review sites you should claim if they’re popular within your business’s vertical — such as TripAdvisor and Oyster in the travel and hospitality industries, G2Crowd and Finances Online in the software industries, and OpenTable and HappyCow in the restaurant industries. Make sure your contact information, website, hours, and key offerings are available on these more niche sites, too.2. Optimize your content.Your customer reviews might be coming in unsolicited from happy — or unhappy — customers on third-party sites.But once people are already on your site, make sure it’s easy for them to leave reviews there, too.Optimize your website, blog posts, social profiles, and emails to provide quick and easy avenues through which to write reviews by:Setting up website badges to quickly and easily direct visitors to your Yelp, Facebook, and Amazon pages to read and leave reviewsOptimize your website for mobile devices for people who come to your website when they’re browsing social or conducting searches on their phoneIf you’re asking for customer reviews via email, keep the asks short and sweet.Here’s a review request I received from a tour company in Charleston. It wisely included a link to various ways to review the company on the actual receipt of my purchase shortly after taking the tour. (For those curious, I highly recommend the haunted graveyard your if you’re ever in Charleston, SC.)3. Create incentives.Your time is valuable, and so is your customers’, so make sure you’re giving customers a reason to leave a review.Offer incentives to make your customers want to write a review — such as discount or coupon codes, entrance into a contest for an even bigger prize, or gift cards for coffee, online shopping, or cold hard cash.A review request (with a caffeinated incentive) from G2 Crowd4. Ask at the right moments.Make sure you’re soliciting customer reviews at the right moment in their journey with your business to get optimal results.Think about it: If you ask for a review at the wrong moment, it could result in a customer leaving a negative review that hundreds more people read when considering whether or not they want to buy from your business.Ask for customer reviews after positive moments along the customer journey, like:After they experience or demonstrate success with your product or serviceWhen they re-purchase or re-orderAfter they tag your brand in a post on social mediaIf they are spending time on your website browsing other products or servicesIf they refer another customer to youThese are just a few examples of signs that your customer is satisfied enough that they would leave a positive review of your business.For example, Etsy asked me to review a recent purchase approximately one month after I received it. I ordered a party favor for a friend’s bridal shower, so one month later was the right timeframe to make sure I had time to enjoy and use my product.On the other hand, some products and services will work within different time frames. For ride-hailing app Lyft, I usually receive a prompt to review my experience with my ride and driver immediately after the ride ends. For language-learning app Duolingo, I receive a prompt to review the app in the App Store after completing a lesson or achieving a milestone in the language I’m learning.5. Meet customers where they are.Don’t email your customers to ask them to leave you a positive review on Yelp.Instead, make sure your requests match up with the avenue where you want your customer to write a review. If you’re sending out an email asking for a customer review, make sure the email links to exactly where they can leave their feedback. If you want reviews on your Facebook Page, send the request via Messenger. And if you have to ask for a customer review cross-platform, make the request as integrated as possible — for example, by linking to your Yelp page in your email signature, or asking customers to review their purchase from your Amazon store in a follow-up email post-purchase.Here’s a review request I received from a third-party Amazon seller — along with some helpful tips for how best to use the product I had recently purchased:6. Ask open-ended questions first.Don’t start by coming out and asking directly for a customer review.Instead, start a conversation — and use an open-ended question to kick off the process.By asking customers “How are you liking the product?” or “Are you ready to renew/purchase again?” or “How was your recent interaction with customer support?” you can start a conversation and gauge their level of satisfaction before actually asking for the review.This is helpful in two ways:You can source helpful customer feedbackYou can avoid the awkward mistake of asking a customer for a review before learning they had a bad experienceUse the open-ended question to genuinely collect customer feedback — and to sneakily make sure the customer is happy before offering them a reason to submit a review. There’s nothing you can do about negative reviews coming onto various sites, but if there’s a customer who needs a resolution, focus on that before you ask them to rate your business.An open-ended question in an email subject line — as BioClarity did here — prompted me to get ready to give an answer as a reply or in the form of a review:7. Respond to every review — even negative ones. Nobody’s perfect, and mistakes sometimes happen that result in a customer leaving a scathing one-star review on your website, on Facebook, or on Yelp.When you get a one-star review, though, make sure to take the time to respond thoughtfully, without being defensive, to come to a resolution. It’s the right thing to do if you work in customer service, and it could actually help your business in the long run.Harvard Business Review found that businesses responding to negative reviews online actually resulted in better ratings overall. Your customers are human beings too, and the value of empathetic and compassionate customer service strikes a chord and actually leads to an uptick in total reviews, particularly positive ones.Here’s an example of how HubSpot responds to reviews on our Glassdoor page. Although not technically “customers,” showing prospective employees that HubSpot responds to feedback and takes it seriously helps our employment brand, too.8. Share positive customer reviews you’ve already received.When you start receiving positive reviews from your customers, keep the momentum going by highlighting and sharing them so other customers are inspired to do the same.On Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Glassdoor, and many other reviews sites, business owners (and site visitors) can mark certain reviews as helpful, which is like upvoting and moves reviews further up on the site so more people can read them. Make sure to periodically do this to positive reviews so your company’s page highlights the cream of the crop.You could also share positive reviews on your brand’s social media channels to open up the option to your audience there. You could reshare positive Facebook reviews in a post on your page, or you could format positive reviews as quotes for Instagram to post for your followers.Social proof is a powerful marketing tactic — it means that, if customers see other people like them sharing reviews, they’re more likely to do the same by following the crowd. So make sure that, in addition to asking for new customer reviews, you’re promoting the positive ones you receive across your brand’s channels for promotion.9. Give your customers a positive review first.If you want customers to leave you a review, you could leave them one first to get the ball rolling.This may not always be possible (depending on your industry or product), but in a lot of cases, you can get customers to reciprocate your positive words.If your product or service allows customer profiles to be reviewed — Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, VRBO, and TurnKey are examples — then leave them a positive review if you’d like them to review you in return. Of course, if they were bad customers, you don’t have to do that, but if you want to garner more reviews, taking the first step could prompt them to leave you one in return.Another good option is recommending your customer on LinkedIn. If you’re in an account management role and you work with individuals over a long period of time, you could leave them a recommendation or endorsement on LinkedIn. Those go a long way for their own personal branding, and might compel them to reciprocate on their own by leaving your business a positive review. And if they thank you for the endorsement, you could politely ask them for a specific review on a different platform during that exchange.Customer: Thanks for endorsing me on LinkedIn! I appreciate it.Business Representative: You’re welcome! I’ve enjoyed working with you over the last few months, and wanted to make sure other people know how skilled you are at web design. If you’ve enjoyed working with me as well, I’d appreciate a review of our product on G2 Crowd if you’re up for it.I only recommend this strategy if you’ve built a relationship with the individual over the course of working together. If an unknown person starts endorsing the customer for random skills on LinkedIn, that might seem creepy, and likely won’t result in them reciprocating.10. Ask the customer in person.If you work in a customer success manager or account executive role, and you have close relationships with the portfolio of customers you work with, don’t hesitate to add a personal touch, and ask your customers to review their experiences in person.If you’re taking your customers out to coffee or lunch, or if you invite them to one of your company events, keep things conversational, and ask them how they’re doing with your product or service. (Ideally, you’ll know if they’re achieving success or not based on your regular communications, so you’ll ask customers that you know are achieving goals already.)If your customers tell you they’re seeing success, let them know that you value their opinion and their loyalty, and that you’d appreciate them helping you get the word out to potential new customers. Remember the data from the beginning of this post? Most customers will leave you a review — all you have to do is ask.11. Host an event.To create opportunities to ask for reviews in-person as details in the previous strategy, and to create the conditions where customers are more likely to leave positive reviews, host a remarkable user conference or industry event to create more value for your customers beyond just the products or services you sell.By creating an engaging and useful experience for customers, where they can network with a community of people like them, get access to new product releases and discounts early, and meet their points of contact at your company, you’ll increase their positive sentiment toward your business and engender the likelihood that they’ll leave more reviews. You could even make customer reviews a part of your post-event feedback process — after customers complete a survey asking how they’d rate their experience, you could ask them to share highlights of their experience at the event on a public review site.To learn more, check out the best testimonial page examples we could find. There are a lot of factors that go into a customer’s decision to make a purchase from your company.When I’m deciding whether or not to buy something, for example, I typically ask my friends for recommendations, and then do a lot of online research of my options.And since it’s so fast and easy to make purchases online without ever connecting with a sales rep, the internet usually does the selling for you — and that can have a huge impact on if a customer purchases from you or not.Free Download: 45 Customer Referral TemplatesThe fact of the matter is, your company’s best marketers and sales reps aren’t your employees — they’re your existing customers. Customer trust in businesses is fading. HubSpot Research found that customers trust recommendations from friends and family over any type of online marketing and advertising your brand can create. And in the absence of trusted recommendations, according to BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews are much as personal recommendations — the single most trustworthy and credible source of “advertising” out there.HubSpot Research also found that 60% of consumers believed customer reviews were either trustworthy or very trustworthy — meaning that businesses that can accumulate positive reviews had a good chance of them helping a customer make a purchase decision.The same BrightLocal survey found that positive customer reviews make 73% of customers trust a business more, and 57% of customers visit a company’s website after reading positive reviews. That also means that, in order for businesses to grow in today’s competitive, online-first marketplace, they need happy customers sharing positive reviews of their experiences in order to even get visitors coming to their site for the first time.The good news is, your customers are usually more than happy to help you out with this: The same survey found that, of the 74% of customers who were asked to provide feedback, 68% were willing to do it. So don’t be intimidated by the prospect of asking your customers for a favor — because all you have to do is ask, and they’ll likely be happy to help you out.So, how do you get your customers to write the glowing reviews that help close deals? How do you ensure a customer is satisfied and happy enough to ask for the kind of positive reviews you need? Read on to adopt strategies that will make generating positive customer reviews a cinch.How to Get Good ReviewsCreate different spaces to leave reviews.Optimize your content.Create incentives.Ask at the right moments.Meet customers where they are.Ask open-ended questions first.Respond to every review — even negative ones.Share positive customer reviews you’ve already received.Give your customers a positive review first.Ask the customer in person.Host an event.
Today, 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 SlackSlack
Visual Content Tip: Include your logo in infographics and visualizations like the one above. This way if it gets shared far and wide but people don’t attribute you properly, the logo will always be there.)3) Create a blog content pinboard.Speaking of Pinterest, if you want to give your visual blog content a jumpstart, why not create a pinboard specifically dedicated to featuring your blog content? The great thing about this is, you don’t even have to feature content that is particularly visual. Just make sure you include a compelling and interesting image within the post, and use that as the image you pin. Here’s how we do it on HubSpot’s pinboard for this very blog:This leads me to number four … 4) Put extra care into choosing high-quality images for your blog content.The images you choose for your blog content matter, especially since most social networks automatically pull in images with the links people share. As a result, incorporating compelling, high-quality images into your blog content shouldn’t be an oversight. A great image can catch people’s attention and increase clickthroughs to your content, so spend some time on image selection and choose an image that’s both relevant to your content and appealing. We’re fond of Creative Commons. Just be careful about image attribution, and when in doubt, you can always purchase a stock photo here and there. In fact, we have 75 stock photos that are free to download — no attribution required — right here.5) Use Facebook’s photo sharing feature, not its status update option, to share links to your content.Here’s why …See how much more space the version on the right takes up? The version on the left was shared using the general status update option in the composer, whereas the version on the right was shared using the photo share option. Because Facebook features visual content much more prominently in Timelines and in the News Feed, upload an image and include a link to the content in the image’s description for more bang for your buck.6) Create custom images specifically to promote blog content in social.Another thing you can do to optimize blog content that isn’t particularly visual for better shareability is to create custom images that you can use specifically for social media promotion. The example below was created by our social media manager in PowerPoint to promote this post on HubSpot’s Facebook Page, proving you don’t need a ton of fancy, expensive software to leverage the power of visual content.7) Turn text-based content into SlideShares.SlideShare presentations can make for great visual blog content, and the SlideShare website also gets a lot of traffic. Try turning some of your successful text-based content into a visual SlideShare, and embed it as a post on your blog. At HubSpot, we’ve found that posts with embedded SlideShares generate an average of 34% more views and 29% more inbound links than the average non-SlideShare post on this very blog. For tips about how to create a SlideShare, check out this post. You can also see an example of one of our most successful SlideShare-focused posts here. (Tip: Accompany your SlideShare post with copy for SEO and for visitors who prefer text-based content over visual content.)8) Create embed codes for your infographics. Social networks aren’t the only vehicles for extending the reach of your visual blog content. Getting other bloggers and publishers to share your visual content on their websites is a great way to reach new audiences and drive traffic back to your blog. Because they’re easy for others to embed, SlideShares are one great type of visual content for this. Infographics are another great option. So to make it easy for others to publish your infographics on their own websites, you need to … make it easy. But unlike SlideShares, infographics don’t have embed codes built in. Luckily, with Siege Media’s Embed Code Generator, they’re painless to create. We’ve even whipped up a tutorial for you the next time you’re trying to figure out how to create an embed code.In what other ways can you increase the social shareability of your visual blog content? If you’re looking to get started, feel free to grab those free stock photos we mentioned earlier right here.Image Credit: Scinern As you may have picked up by now, visual content is a fantastic marketing weapon. People are naturally attracted to images more than text, it’s highly shareable, and social networks are increasingly jumping on the visual content bandwagon.In fact, social networks are cropping up solely to take advantage of this visual craze. (Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine, anyone?) Even social networks that didn’t start out very visual are featuring visual content more prominently. Facebook is a great example of this — we’ve already seen them make updates to make images much larger and more visible in the News Feed.So what’s a marketer to do? The first step is to invest in visual content creation (this crash course in do-it-yourself visual content design should help big time). But we’re going to take it one step further and assume you’re already doing that — specifically focusing on visual content for your blog. Once you start incorporating more visuals into your blog, how can you increase that visual content’s shareability? We’re going to break out eight ways to do this so you can start increasing the reach of your visual blog content ASAP.8 Ways to Make Your Visual Blog Content More Shareable1) Make content easy to share with social sharing buttons.The best way to increase the shareability of your visual blog content (or any text-based content, for that matter), is to make it easy for your blog visitors to share it. Social sharing buttons are like little calls-to-action that subtly say, “Hey, you liked this? Why not pass it along?” Add some social proof to these sharing buttons in the form of share counts, and you can add a little “See? Everybody’s doing it …” oomph. For instructions about how to create social sharing buttons for the top social networks, check out our ultimate cheat sheet for creating social media buttons.2) Add Pin It buttons next to visual content within blog posts.One of the buttons covered in that social media buttons cheat sheet is Pinterest’s Pin It button, but it’s also worth calling out separately. Pin It buttons make it easy for Pinterest users to share visual content to Pinterest. They’re particularly beneficial for giving visual content such as infographics and other visualizations extra reach, since you can place these buttons within your blog content right next to the visual content you want people to share. For example, if we had created a visual to explain a difficult-to-understand concept (like closed-loop marketing), it’d be smart to add a Pin It button to it, like you see below: 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 Aug 12, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Topics: Images Once you’ve had some practice removing and changing backgrounds, you can experiment with using shadows, glowing edges, and other effects for making your headshots stand out a bit more. Full disclosure: I created the images above in Photoshop and used a feathering effect to soften the edges around Tyer and Big Jim — but you could get similar results with PowerPoint. For a more advanced look at removing backgrounds, check out this Photoshop tutorial from Adobe.5) Visualize Some DataKnow what’s incredibly boring? Staring at a bunch of numbers on a screen.Know what’s NOT incredibly boring? Staring a picture of a cat — with a beautiful head of hair — in outer space!You can think of data visualization as the middle ground between numbers on a screen and cats in space. Whether you’re creating a full-blown infographic or a simple pie chart, the goal with data visualization is to present your data in a way that is both easy to understand and visually exciting.As co-founder & CCO of Visage, Ross Crooks, noted in a recent blog post, “By visualizing information, our brains can synthesize and retain content more effectively, increasing its impact. But if data isn’t properly visualized, it can do more damage than good.”Need help bringing your first data visualization to life? Download our free guide, Data Visualization 101: How to Design Charts & Graphs.6) Draw Some Groovy Designs on the Company Beer TapsDon’t have company beer taps? Not to worry. Just pick up a six-pack from the store and draw on the walls of your office!Nope, wait, don’t do that. But DO take a few seconds out of your day to leave a fun/funny/inspiring doodle on a whiteboard, chalkboard, or sticky note. The only real goal here is to spread some cheer (and culture) throughout the office.It might sound dumb, but trust me: It’s nice to walk around and see evidence that actual living, breathing, thinking humans inhabit the space you work in. For example, when I walk across the hall to grab a coffee, I’m greeted by THIS chalkboard doodle display, courtesy of some of HubSpot’s finest in-house artists.Looking for more marketing inspiration? Our INBOUND conference is right around the corner! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 5, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 I’ve heard it before. You’ve heard it before. Heck, I’ve even said it before:Marketing isn’t arts and crafts.In today’s data-driven, closed-loop world where we track, measure, and analyze every little detail, the phrase above seems to make a lot of sense. To be effective marketers, we need to put childish things aside. We can’t simply create super-cool content and other marketing materials for the sheer fun of it; we need to create with a purpose. And we need to be able to tie whatever we create to something quantifiable.Ultimately, the modern marketing department is focused on hitting specific, number-oriented goals: X many leads. X many sales-qualified leads. X% lead-to-customer conversion rate.There’s seemingly nothing aesthetic or artistic or “arts-n’-craftsy” about it.But, in fact, there is.The Art of MarketingWe can use the science-side of marketing to figure out who we should create content for, as well as to figure out what that content should be. Through A/B testing and optimizing, we can even figure out when the best times are to share our content with people via social media and email. And, of course, using analytics software, we can determine if the content we create ends up delivering on our underlying why, or goal (e.g. lead generation, lead conversion, etc.).There’s only one piece missing from this marketing puzzle, and I assure you, it’s a crucial one: the how.How do marketers actually create all that content? How do they organize the information? How do they decide on font sizes and color schemes? How do they figure out what to put in the cover image or other promotional images? How do they decide when (or when not to) use gradients or drop shadows or 3D bevel effects?This, my friends, is where art comes into play. While science can inform us at every step along the way, it can’t actually do the work for us. At some point, we need to roll up our sleeves and create something.At some point, we need to do some arts and crafts.So I implore you, for the sake of your mental health, to take off your data geek/growth hacker hat for just a little while so you can explore some of the “arts-n’-craftsy” marketing projects below. 1) Create an Animated GIFThere’s something very satisfying about seeing an original animated GIF come to life. Not gonna lie, I was pretty pumped when I got this bad boy (see below) cranking for the first time to help promote a new guide, How to Optimize Your Marketing Channels.Whether you’re looking to spice up an email, blog post, or site page, an animated GIF is a great way to create some visual excitement without having to bust out the video camera and editing software.Ready to start designing your very own animated GIF? There are a few different tools you can use, but I recommend going the Photoshop route. It gives you a ton of control (e.g. you can set how long each frame should be shown for) and — best of all — we have this blog post that walks you through the entire process.2) Redesign Your LinkedIn Banner ImageTrying to attract top talent to your marketing team? Having a super-spiffy banner image for your company’s LinkedIn page can only help.While there’s no silver bullet for ensuring your LinkedIn banner image will stand out from the crowd, there are plenty of companies doing a great job that you can draw inspiration from. Just check out the SlideShare presentation below: 10 Ideas for a Better LinkedIn Banner Image from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing SoftwareSide note: If you feel like your company’s entire LinkedIn profile could use a refresh, check out A Visual Guide to Creating the Perfect LinkedIn Company Page.3) Spruce Up Your Other Social Media Cover PhotosLinkedIn isn’t the only social network where you can let your creativity run wild. Your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube cover photos could all benefit from a design makeover.One of my favorite cover photo strategies is to align your cover photo with your profile picture so the two seem part of the same overall image. (My colleague Ginny refers to this as the “Profile Picture and Cover Photo Combo.”) Here’s an example:Need help figuring out the sizing for all of the different social media cover photos out there? We’ve got you covered. Click here to download these free, pre-sized social media image templates.4) Add Matching Backgrounds to Employee HeadshotsThe secret to this project is learning how to remove the background from a photo. Once you’ve mastered that process, the rest is a walk in the park.And while Photoshop is perhaps the best tool for the job, the simplest tool for the job is PowerPoint. Once you get comfortable removing existing backgrounds from employee headshots, start dragging and dropping those headshots onto some new, snazzy backgrounds. Here are some examples below that I created using photos of my colleague Tyler (left) and his cat, Big Jim (right).