The twin sister of missing Donegal girl Mary Boyle said she believes she knows who snatched her sister and where she is buried.Mary Boyle’s sister Ann claims she knew a sinister secret.And she revealed why she thinks Mary’s abduction was planned to prevent the six year old girl from revealing a sinister secret.Ann Doherty (nee Boyle) said she believes the little girl was killed and buried in swampy ground near to where she went missing in Cashelard outside Ballyshannon in 1977. Ann, who now lives in Co Offaly, said she does not believe that Mary was snatched by a stranger passing by on the afternoon of March 18th.“I find it impossible now to believe that that someone just landed in the middle of nowhere and took her. Mary had a great sense of her own personal safety.“One day, we were walking home from school when a car stopped and offered us a lift.“Mary refused to get in because she didn’t know the driver. She would never have put herself in danger,” she said. Ann, a mother of five, said she believes Mary was abducted and killed for a more sinister reason.The site at Cashelard which Gardai dug up in the search for missing Mary Boyle. Pic by Donegal Daily.“I believe Mary was killed because she was going to tell a secret on somebody about something that had happened to her.“I also believe her body is close to where she went missing and that the person who killed her knew every nook and cranny in the area,” she said.Ann claims that Gardai do not keep her informed of her sister’s case and that it was a journalist who recently broke the news that a man had ben questioned in connection with Mary’s disappearance.She added that Mary also deserves and inquest and then a decent burial and says she will continue to raise questions about her sister’s case. “She deserves a decent burial. She deserves some respect. And in years to come, I don’t want my children to have to keep up the search for their Aunty Mary. I want an end to it, so that they can have a normal life,” she added.MARY WAS SNATCHED AND KILLED BECAUSE SHE KNEW A SINISTER SECRET – TWIN SISTER was last modified: November 17th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ann BoyleBallyshannonCashelardGardaiMARY BOYLEmissingsnatched
Look at the mission statement at the website of the SETI Institute: “The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature, and prevalence of life in the universe.” What happened to the aliens? The word “intelligence” is not found in their mission statement. It sounds indistinguishable from the mission of Astrobiology (which does not care whether the life is intelligent). A look at the dozen activity boxes on the home page only reveals two or three that seem clearly relevant to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Further indications that the SETI Institute is morphing its mission into a bigger tent can be seen in the News links: a report on the Leonid meteor shower (this is about planetary science, not SETI); an interview about the ethics of space exploration (that’s human space exploration, not Star Wars); an interview with a young scientist studying extremophiles in salt ponds on earth (that’s regular biology); and an airship-based investigation of climate change (that’s political science – 11/26/2009). Only at the bottom of the column is there one clear article about SETI. For some reason, Space.com dropped its link to weekly news articles from the SETI Institute. These used to be clearly noted on the top title bar. “SETI Thursday” is gone. The last two articles did not deal with SETI: Sept. 2009 dealt with the institute’s “Adopt a Scientist” program, and Oct. 2009 was a review of the movie 2012.. The link Space.com/SETI only lists previous articles. The SETI project has long been lampooned in some quarters (notably the Senate; 04/17/2006 and 11/18/2005 commentaries) but supported with almost religious fervor in others (09/24/2005, 06/03/2006). Carl Sagan used to promote the search as the noblest ambition of the human species. It’s not clear why Space.com and the SETI Institute appear to be downplaying SETI at this time.Who knows; perhaps the economy has affected funding and, like a private company, they feel the need to diversify. Perhaps Paul Allen is re-evaluating his charitable contributions (10/12/2007). Perhaps the public is losing interest in SETI after 50 years of failure to find anybody out there. Or perhaps SETI advocates are smarting from accusations that they are using intelligent-design methods inconsistent with their Darwinian world view (see 12/03/2005 and this Brett Miller cartoon). Astrobiology is a bigger, warmer tent. The life can be microbes on planet Xircon Z589 and an astrobiologist will be happy. That was not, however, the mission of SETI. Jimmy Carter wrote on the Voyager record that “We hope, someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations.” SETI scientists don’t want to join a community of slime (do they?); they want to talk with sentient beings like ourselves. Has SETI become impolitic again? For the time being, discretion seems to be calling the SETI Institute to de-emphasize its raison d’etre and pretend to be regular scientists – studying earth life, meteors, climate, extrasolar planets, and normal astronomy. If their mission has changed, so should their acronym: SETL, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life. Or SET: the Search for Extra-Terrestrial whatever. Or SE: the Search for Extra whatever. Or just S: Search. You don’t need radio telescopes for that. Google is free – and you’ll find lots of aliens.(Visited 81 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Yet Another New Discovery Shakes up the Human Family Treeby Jerry Bergman, PhDThe human family tree has been shaken up at least four times this year alone, a fact that indicates how fragile and problematic the evidence for human evolution is. Having just completed editing a 400-page book on human evolution, documented with several thousand endnotes, this topic is very much on my mind. The Oct. 14 report in New Scientist opinedHumanity’s ancient family tree is set to be shaken up by fossil skeletons found embedded in rock at a site near Johannesburg, South Africa. They could be from another long lost human cousin. “We have another major hominin discovery,” said Lee Berger at New Scientist Live on Saturday. In the past decade, Berger at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and his team has [have] discovered not one but two new species of human ancestor.Based on past trends, more discoveries have generally not added to anthropologists’ conceptions of human evolution. Instead, they have have muddied the waters and created new challenges to the original human evolution narrative. This has been true from the time when Darwin proposed details of his own theory of human evolution, twelve years after his 1859 book On the Origin of Species was published. He proposed his theory in his 1871 treatise titled The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. The word “descent” turned out to be accurate, but was not what Darwin intended to say.Darwin intended in this book to document man’s evolution upward from some unknown primate ancestor to modern humans. In other words, he attempted to support what he believed was The Ascent of Man – not man’s descent downwards. We know, however, that genetic degradation is happening due to the accumulation of mutations, as documented by Cornell geneticist, John C. Sanford. The accumulation of mutations causes the descent of humans – i.e., devolution. In his book, Genetic Entropy, Sanford documents the empirical evidence showing that the Darwinian concept of mutation and natural selection cannot create the enormous new amount of genetic information required for macroevolution to occur, much less keep the genome from gradually decaying to the point of species extinction. “Mutational load” is a problem for all species. Could this be part of reason many ‘hominid’ fossils appear to be deformed humans? Instead of being upwardly-progressing primitive human ancestors, could some be deformed humans suffering from an accumulation of mutations that was leading to genetic meltdown and the eventual extinction of that genetic line?Darwin’s views led to many racist depictions of evolutionary “progress” – an “ascent of man” from the apes. Such diagrams have long been known to be false.Australopithecus sediba, 2010Lee Berger had made previous sensational finds. One that occurred in 2010 made international headlines after his then 9-year-old son discovered the remains of what they called “a new species of human in the hills north of Johannesburg. This was Australopithecus sediba, which [the Darwinists asserted] lived around 2 million years ago and appears to be our closest ape-like ancestor.” To call it a “new species” is presumptuous. It must be admitted, though, that this find was remarkable. Instead of a few bone fragments as is typical, they found fossil skeletons from theMalapa cave are so complete that scientists can see what entire skeletons looked like near the time when Homo evolved. Details of the teeth, the length of the arms and legs, and the narrow upper chest resemble earlier Australopithecus, while other tooth traits and the broad lower chest resemble humans.The possibility that the individuals suffered from disease or devolution should at least be considered. That would make it a malformed Australopithecus instead of a new species as Berger claims. This “Missing link found in ascent of man,” which experts say “could rewrite the story of human evolution” has already been problematic, partly due to Berger’s rush to judgment. Negative opinions were voiced by some of his colleagues. For example, Tim White, the renowned paleontologist at the University of California at Berkeley, savaged Berger’s writing in his book, The Official Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind. White complained that the book was “in many ways worse than useless, given the astonishing density of errors and misleading statements [and its] …pattern of fabrication.” His criticism got personal when he said,Berger’s rise to prominence signals a new era: one of smoke and mirrors, in which style triumphs over substance. In his short career, Berger has not in fact found very much but shows a remarkable ability to inject himself, via funding and publicity, into discoveries made by others.Concerns about Berger’s work go beyond just ignoring the possibility of mutations causing some of the details in the fossils. Admittedly, mutational effects are not easy to determine, given the absence of ancient DNA in old fossils for genetic comparisons, but this difficulty hits both ways. Mutations cannot be easily proven, but they also cannot be easily disproven. What is observed is morphological variation that is influenced by reconstructions from bone fragments, which are often found in disarray. The source of the variations, though, could be due to multiple causes. This could be due to inter-species differences, or intra-species differences: i.e., individual variations, as shown by the fact that all modern humans vary – some greatly. Additionally, some of the variation could be due to mutation-caused abnormalities. One solution would be progress in techniques to find evidence of DNA. Ancient DNA has been found in some Neanderthals and Denisovans, but so far, attempts to extract DNA from Berger’s skeletons have not succeeded. Fortunately, research in this area is ongoing and may help reveal where the fossil finds fit into some known species family.To assume the differences are due to evolutionary “ascent” towards modern humans, as assumed in this case, is irresponsible and another example of seeing the world through evolution-tinted glasses. These “new species” could be either another normal variation of the ape-like Australopithecus or might be, indeed, truly entirely new species. When reading accounts of fossils found in caves, as I hear them relating that some parts look very human and others very ape-like (similar to Australopithecus), my reaction was that maybe some bones found in one general location were human and others were Australopithecus. This possibility, though, is deemed unacceptable, because the Darwinian presupposition blinds most researchers from even considering it. Similar concerns could be raised not only with Australopithecus sediba, but many if not most of the recent ‘mosaic’ fossils that, the finders say, will require rewriting the textbooks.Homo naledi (2013) The next discovery by Berger that he says will force the rewriting of textbooks was described as follows:in 2013, Berger hit the fossil jackpot again, with the remarkable discovery of thousands of bones deep inside the Rising Star cave system also near Johannesburg. These turned out to belong to a new species of tiny, small-brained hominin called Homo naledi. This fossil hominin is transforming our understanding of human evolution, not least because H. naledi lived very recently, around 250,000 [Darwin] years ago, and has a strange mix of modern and archaic features.… The new fossil hominin remains he has discovered … haven’t yet been excavated due to the challenging nature of their location. “It’s a difficult site” … [because] the fossils are embedded in very hard rock.Once again, the mix of modern and ancient characteristics indicates the possibility that the find was a mixture of modern man with some simian creatures. Although finding “thousands of bones” may reduce the likelihood of the concern that the find is a single abnormal individual, it also raises the possibility of a contamination of modern humans with some ape primate. Berger’s assessment that “The large size of the jaw and teeth means that the skeletons don’t belong to the diminutive H. naledi, and they are not A. sebida either,” ignores the possibility that some of the remains may include an abnormally large H. naledi, or A. sebida. Another possibility, as already stated, is that they are another species of the ape-like Australopithecus, or are an entirely new species, and not some ape-human link.Today’s paleoanthropologists know that the fossil record is not progressive, but scattered and confusing, subject to different interpretations. From People of the Past. The Epic Story of Human Origins. San Francisco, CA. Fog City Press. Edited by Göran Burenhult. 2003 pp. 50-51The Major Problem in Interpreting Old BonesDr. Solly Zuckerman, head of the Department of Anatomy at the University of Birmingham in England, and a scientific adviser to the highest level of the British government, studied Australopithecus fossils for 15 years with a team of scientists. He concluded, in blunt British style “They are just bloody apes.” As a result of his long-term research in this area, Zuckerman’s “scorn for the level of competence he sees displayed by paleoanthropologists is legendary.”Consider the problems of interpreting finds like this. A large number of shattered bone fragments, possibly from different animals or even different species, often distorted by the forces of their burial environment, must be removed from their internment, at times their stone encasement, and then reassembled into some meaningful order. Each step in the process is heavily influenced by the evolutionary presumptions of their assembler. That’s why Zuckerman wrote, “the evolutionary inferences we base on structural comparisons are in the end only speculations.” This wise observation—although made almost 50 years ago—is more true today than when it was originally made.References George, Alison. 2019. Lee Berger: We have made another major discovery about early humans. New Scientist, October 14. Sanford, John C. 2014. Genetic Entropy, New York, NY: Feed My Sheep Foundation, Incorporated. George, Alison. 2019. Australopithecus sediba. http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/australopithecus-sediba Berger, L.R., D.J. de Ruiter, S.E. Churchill, P. Schmid, K.J. Carlson, P.H.G.M. Dirks, J.M. Kibii. 2010. Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa. Science, 328(5975): 195-204, April. Thom, G. 2010. “Missing link found in ascent of man.” Herald Sun, p. 17, Friday, 9 April. Thomas, H. 2010. “Fossil warriors won’t call a truce for Sediba.” The Weekend Australian, p. 13, 10–11 April. George, Alison. 2019. George, Alison. 2019. Quoted in Lewin, Roger. 1987. Bones of Contention: Controversies in the Search for Human Origins. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, pp. 164-165. Zuckerman, Solly. 1970. Beyond the Ivory Tower. London, UK: Taplinger Publishing Company, p. 74.Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.(Visited 402 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
4 July 2011 Senwes, which operates within the agricultural sector with focus in the Free State, North West and Gauteng provinces, and has its head office in Klerksdorp, in the North West, will benefit from Bunge’s expertise and capabilities in international grain and oilseed sourcing, logistics and risk management. Contributing to regional food security Bunge, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, buys, sells, stores and transports oilseeds and grains to serve customers worldwide. “Senwes is excited to be able to share in this opportunity, as its growth strategy of product and market risk diversification is being executed, amidst volatile and uncertain global economic times, which will contribute to ensure the sustainability of our business whilst adding value to our customer base and contributing to the development of the African sub-region,” said Senwes MD Francois Strydom. The integration of local, regional and global grains and oilseeds value chains is expected to enhance efficiencies in the local and regional markets, bring value to producers and end users of agricultural commodities and contribute to food security in the region. It also processes oilseeds to make protein meal for animal feed and edible oil products for commercial customers and consumers; produces sugar and ethanol from sugarcane; mills wheat and corn to make ingredients used by food companies; and sells fertiliser in North and South America. “This joint venture represents a solid platform for Bunge’s growth in Southern Africa,” Bunge Europe CEO Jean-Louis Gourbin said in a statement earlier this year. “Bunge has found the right partner to expand its activities in the region and complement its expertise and competitive advantages in logistics, access to global markets and risk management.” Senwes will contribute its expertise and access to local and regional grain markets, as well as its high-quality infrastructure, while Bunge will provide its expertise in global commodity markets as well as its specialised international logistics capabilities. South African firm Senwes is entering into a joint venture with the European division of Bunge, a leading global agribusiness company, to develop grain and oilseed operations in South Africa both for the domestic market and for export to African countries. The agreement is expected to become effective during the course of this year, subject to receipt of regulatory clearances, including from the South African Competition Commission. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
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 .
Oh, hi there. Have you heard the news about video? It’s becoming really important for marketers to use. Imperative, even. Perhaps mandatory.”Sure,” you must be thinking. “And in other news, the sky is blue.”Okay, we get it. You know how important video is. That much is clear. In fact, 94% of marketers plan to add either YouTube or Facebook video to their content distribution efforts in the next 12 months. And that’s great — but we have a question. What makes a video viral?According to Dictionary.com, to go viral means to become “very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the internet.” And when executed well, that virality can last for a while — in fact, I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite ways to reminisce about my childhood is to ask my peers, “Remember that old jingle that went like … ?”Free Guide: How to Create Video to Increase Engagement So not only have we hand-picked our favorite viral marketing videos below — we’ve also explained what we believe makes them so effective. And given the aforementioned ability of viral videos to maintain evergreen popularity, you’ll notice that not all of them are terribly recent. So, let’s get right to it, shall we?6 Viral Video Marketing Examples1) Dallas Zoo & Bob Hagh: Breakdancing GorillaThe VideoWe start off with a bit of an unusual example. It all started when Dallas Zoo Primate Supervisor Ashley Orr captured this video of Zola, a footloose and fancy-free gorilla splashing around and dancing in a kiddie pool. Check it out: Why It WorksLet’s face it: Generally, what goes on in the bathroom stays in the bathroom. It’s a taboo topic — but it’s one that everyone experiences, and one that Poo~Pourri approaches and communicates with bravado.This brand’s products were created to solve a problem that people typically don’t like to discuss publicly, but still needs to be resolved. So Poo~Pourri created video content that says, “Hey, we’ll address and talk about it, so you don’t have to.”What are some of the discomforts/uncomfortable topics around the problem that your product seeks to resolve? Start a conversation about them — the one that your customer wants to have, but is too embarrassed to do so.And guess what? It doesn’t have to pertain to bodily functions. It can also be about bigger grievances, like wanting to quit your job. That’s the approach that HubSpot has taken with its Summer Startup Competition, for which we created the video below. The opening line? An unabashed declaration of, “Quit your job.”So, there you have it. From tear-jerking to hilarious, these viral videos illustrate the endless possibilities of how your brand can create similar content — the kind that could keep people talking about it far down the road.What are your favorite viral video marketing examples? Let us know in the comments.Want more tips for creating video content? Check out this data on the state of video marketing.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2010 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Originally published Jul 7, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Within less than a week, the video was picked up by the likes of CNN, Maxim, and ABC, to name a few — just have a look at the search results for “dancing gorilla maniac.”Why It WorksHow many times have you watched a video and thought, “This reminds me of … “? That’s precisely what Hagh did here — took a video that was already cute, and added something simple to make it even more shareable.After Hagh’s “enhanced” version of the gorilla video went viral, I resolved to start observing those fleeting moments when I think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if … ?” And while there’s no guarantee that acting on those thoughts would have viral results — and we wouldn’t recommend investing a ton of time in something that isn’t likely to pay off — Hagh’s experience makes us say, “You never know.”So start paying attention to what you normally think of as silly ideas, and if there’s a low-effort opportunity to act on them, do so — but don’t just do it once, and pay attention each time, analyzing any metrics that you’re able to pull around performance. See who responds to each experiment and how, and it could inform your video marketing strategy.2) Dollar Shave Club: “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”The VideoThe video below is over five years old, and yet, out of all of Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube videos — of which there are more than 50 — it remains the brand’s most popular, with over 24 million views. “Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun,” the video’s description reads, explaining that, to make the video, “IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules … all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times.” Today, it holds the Guinness World Records™ title for the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film.Why It WorksRe-read the first part of the video’s description. “Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun.” Replace that job title with any other, and depending on your industry, it could apply to your work, as well. All marketers deserve to have a little fun. The question is, “How?”It presents another opportunity to start paying closer attention to those “Wouldn’t it be cool if … ?” thoughts, and thinking about how you can actually act upon them to create remarkable content. That’s especially important in B2B marketing, where creatively communicating your product or service in an engaging way is a reported challenge.So, we’ll say it again: Write down your ideas for cool things to do, and present them at your next marketing conversation with a plan for implementing them.P.S. Want to see how this film was made? Check out that bonus footage here.4) TrueMoveH: “Giving”The VideoTrueMoveH, a mobile communication provider in Thailand, triggered leaky eyeballs everywhere when it published this video in 2013. To date, it has over 20 million views and continues to be the brand’s most popular YouTube video. Video Marketing Topics: Why It WorksThis example is an interesting case of co-marketing. Tripp and Tyler made the video in partnership with Zoom, a video conferencing provider — but Zoom isn’t mentioned until the end, when the story being told in the video is largely over. It’s as if the video says, “Ha ha, don’t you hate it when that happens? Here’s a company that can provide a solution,” and then quietly exits.What are some of the biggest annoyances your customers or personas have to deal with? Do they align with the problems that your product or service is designed to solve? If the answer is “no,” then, well … you have some work to do.But if the answer is “yes,” find the humor in those problems. They say that “art imitates life,” so don’t be afraid to act it out, and use these common frustrations to create engaging content.6) Poo~Pourri: “Imagine Where You Can GO”The VideoPoo~Pourri, the maker of a unique bathroom spray, is known for its vast array of viral videos. And while we’re a bit too bashful to share its most popular one on here, here’s another one — which has earned over 13 million views — that’ll give you a general idea of what the brand is all about. I added some music to this. pic.twitter.com/UwjhTKpaeu— Bob Hagh (@BobHagh) June 22, 2017 But as if that wasn’t already fun enough to watch, Star-Telegram Video Producer Bob Hagh noticed that the gorilla’s “choreography” bore a striking resemblance to a routine from the movie Flashdance, which was performed to the song “Maniac.” Seeing an opportunity for a quick laugh, Hagh dubbed the dancing gorilla video with the same track. We’re not crying. You’re crying.Why It WorksLet’s think about some of the ads that have given us “all the feels,” as the kids would say, like Budweiser’s 2014 “Puppy Love” Super Bowl ad which, in January 2016, Inc. called “the All-Time Most Popular Super Bowl Ad.” They’re popular, and people continue to talk about them long after they’ve aired. That’s because they invoke empathy — and that can highly influence buying decisions, especially when there’s a story involved.This video tells a story. It follows the tale of a man who was unequivocally generous throughout his life and, in the end, repaid when it mattered most. The best part: Not once throughout the story is the brand mentioned. In fact, it isn’t until the end that TrueMoveH’s general business category — communication — arises.Start with your industry. Then, think of a story you want to tell — any story at all, as long as it invokes empathy. Then, figure out how that story ties back to what your brand does, and use it to create video content.5) Tripp and Tyler & Zoom: “A Conference Call in Real Life”The VideoThen, there’s the flip side of empathy — the kind that takes some of life’s biggest annoyances and applies humor to them. That’s exactly what podcast hosts Tripp and Tyler did in the video below, to illustrate what a conference call would look like if it played out in real life. Why It WorksThere’s something to be said for putting a face to a brand — in this case, it’s Dollar Shave Club’s founder, Michael Dubin. Employees can have up to 10X as many followers on social media as the companies they work for, and content shared by them receives as much as 8X the engagement. In other words, viewers like it when the people behind a brand advocate for it.That’s exactly what this video does — and following its success, Dubin hasn’t disappeared into the shadows, and to this day, continues to personally appear in the vast majority of Dollar Shave Club’s videos.We get it. Founders and executives are busy. Where the heck are they supposed to find the time to appear in all of these marketing videos? To us, the answer is: They make the time. By publicly making that investment in their respective brands’ content, an executive sends the message that she still believes in her brand, and that she hasn’t let its success change her character. It’s a unique form of thought leadership, but if Dollar Shave Club’s growth and popularity is any indication — it works.3) IBM: “A Boy And His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie”The VideoHere’s another video that you can file under: “Oldie, but goodie.” Sure, this marketing video falls within the B2B sector to advertise IBM’s data storage services — but similar to the very B2C brand Dollar Shave Club, the example below remains its most popular video on YouTube, with over six million views. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
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 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.
Have you ever created — or worked with a designer to create — an infographic of your own? What were the results? How meta, right? Truth is, the infographic about infographics isn’t exactly a new concept. There’s a whole slew of them out there, and quite a few them actually poke fun at these highly shareable visuals. And it’s hard to blame ’em. With so many people jumping on the infographic bandwagon, there is certainly no shortage of downright awful infographics floating around the web, all pretty deserving of ridicule.But despite all the flack infographics have gotten, there’s still no question about it — people are drawn to those stimulating, informational visuals, and they can do wonders for your marketing. So while I came across my fair share of infographics making fun of infographics, we’ll share those for another day. The infographic below, from Infographic Labs, will actually help you understand the what, why, and how of infographics — what they are, why they can benefit your marketing, and the basics behind creating one of your own. So while infographics may be the subject of some criticism from time to time, that doesn’t mean you should write off their awesome marketing potential. After all, haters gonna hate, right? Originally published Aug 9, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack