Though they lost ground this year, the student wing of the Samajwadi Party continues to be the leading force in the prestigious Allahabad University Students’ Union elections, results for which were declared in the early hours of Saturday.The Samajwadi Chatra Sabha grabbed two posts, president and joint secretary. However, the National Students’ Union of India of the Congress sprung a surprise as it also bagged two posts, vice-president and cultural secretary, in what is its best performance in over a decade.One seat fore ABVPThe student wing of the RSS-BJP, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, was restricted to a single seat, general secretary, which it had also won in 2017.The SCS had secured the post of president, vice-president, joint secretary and cultural secretary of the central varsity last year, winning four out of the five posts.The counting of the polls turned controversial as the hostel in which the winning candidate for the president’s post —Uday Prakash Yadav of the SCS — is living was set on fire by miscreants. Senior Superintendent of Police, Allahabad, Nitin Tiwari said that six to seven rooms in the Holland hostel were set on fire and that all items inside Mr. Uday Yadav’s room were gutted.The room of last year’s president Awanish Yadav, also of the SCS, was also gutted, while his car was set on fire. Several motorbikes were also gutted.The police are probing the case and an FIR will be registered.Mr. Uday Yadav alleged that police laxity had led to the incident, which he said tarnished the tradition of the Central varsity. The SCS alleged that the losing ABVP was behind the incident.“This is not an ordinary incident. But the police administration is silent because the BJP, known for its misuse of government machinery, has been dealt a cracking defeat,” said Mr. Uday Yadav, who is a first-year law student from Deoria.
Sanjay Patel alleged the move as a vendetta politics from Anshuman Gaekwad’s factionThe BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, was on Wednesday removed from the secretary’s post by his own state association Baroda CA after a city civil court in Vadodara rejected his plea to be reinstated in BCA’s managing committee.While BCCI secretary Patel alleged it as a “vendetta politics” from the other joint secretary Anshuman Gaekwad’s faction, the BCA sent a press release late evening to inform about their decision to remove Patel.The decision effectively means that Patel can’t represent BCA at the BCCI’s AGM right now as per state association’s rules. “The Managing Committee(MC) of Baroda Cricket Association(BCA) had removed Shri Sanjay Patel(MC member and Secretary of BCA) on the basis of Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations of BCA for qualifying a MC member status,” the press release stated.”Today (24.9.14) Honorable Chief judicial magistrate, Vadodara (in charge) Shri Sanjaybhai Thakkar has accepted the application of BCA and Plaint of both the suits of Shri Sanjay patel to reinstate him as MC member as well as secretary of BCA was rejected.”On the basis of the above Judgment of the Court, the decision taken by The Managing Committee of Baroda Cricket Association holds good and Mr. Sanjay Patel (current Hon Secretary of BCCI) is no more a Secretary as well as he is no more a Managing Committee member of Baroda Cricket Association,” the release stated.”If Anshuman Gaekwad is saying that my appointment in BCA’s managing committee is illegal, then I would like to ask as to what is the legality of his appointment in the same committee. Anshuman and his group are doing vendetta politics but they won’t be successful,” a fuming Patel, who is also BCA joint secretary, said today.advertisementHe said he plans to appeal to Gujarat High Court challenging BCA decision after city civil court in Vadodara dismissed his plea. “I will be appealing in Gujarat High Court. The situation is such that there can’t be any out of court settlement with Angshuman and his group,” said BCCI secretary.
Channel-Level Funnel So you ask the logical next question: How much is he going to get paid? At this point, your son starts squirming, his face turns red and he admits that he forgot to ask. — This is the percentage of website visitors that converts to leads and the percentage of leads that converts to customers. This is important to know because you need to understand where in the funnel you can improve. Are you better at converting leads to customers? Or visitors to leads? The answer to that question will help you determine where to focus you energy and how to drive more sales. What do you think? Are you tracking this funnel? If not, what’s stopping you? — How to Generate Leads for Small Business Marketing Analytics Photo: and Leads How could he possibly agree to a job without knowing how much he’s going to get paid? How could he not know this?! Where did you go wrong? Kids! — Website visitors are at the top of the funnel. These are the people you’ve attracted to your site via channels like your blog, social media and search engine optimization. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . Maybe they fill out a form in order to download a white paper. Maybe they requested an demo. Whatever it is, these people are potential customers, and you have more information about them than you have about your website visitors. Conversion Rates Website Visitors website Leads Originally published May 18, 2009 8:29:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 — This means tracking everything above (the funnel) for each channel. How many website visitors, leads and customers do you get from organic search traffic? How about from your blog? And what are the conversion rates for each? The answers to these questions will help you determine which channels to focus you marketing reasources on. Topics: blogging — then fail to find out how many of those website visitors actually convert to customers. Just like your teenage son, they work without knowing how much they’re getting paid. The worst part of the story? The information they’re missing isn’t hard to get. You just have to track the right things. Specifically, you should think of your business website as a funnel like the one in the image below. Spare the indignity. Adults — particularly adults in online marketing — do this all the time. They do endless hours of , SEO work, driving people to their are the website visitors who express interest in your product by submitting information on a landing page What!?!3#$% Download our Here’s what you should be measuring in this funnel: social media . Imagine this: Your teenage son comes home from school one day with a big smile on his face, and announces he’s accepted a summer job mowing lawns. Needless to say, you’re impressed. The summer hasn’t even started and he’s got something all lined up. What initiative! What great parenting! You’ve done well. — These are the folks who pay you. If you’re not already tracking them, you’re in trouble. Lead Generation for Small Business Webinar Customers Peoria Pundit Learn how small businesses can level the playing field and generate leads efficiently by leveraging inbound Internet marketing strategies and tools.
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
Social Media Strategy There’s been lots of talk lately about Millennials and their roles in helping nonprofits (including on this very blog). It seems people are a bit confused as to how to connect with them … and by them, I mean us. As a 24-year-old Millennial, I often get asked how others can bond with my age group. These organizations are desperate to understand exactly what makes a Millennial tick.Churches are no exception.Many twenty-somethings fall out of the habit of attending church on a regular basis. But, the newest group of Millennials is taking it to a whole new level. The Barna Group, a national research organization, found that 59% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 drop out of church after regularly attending as a teenager. While reconnecting with this demographic may seem impossible, it’s not!There are a few approaches every church — and frankly, any marketer, business owner, or organization — can take to connect (or reconnect) with Millennials.Embrace the way Millennials want to communicate.Lately, when reading about Millennials, I’ve commonly seen the phrase “understanding the communication preferences of Millennials.” In order to really understand how Millennials communicate, you have to start by understanding the way we communicate isn’t a preference.The iPhone came out in 2008 — I was 18 years old and a senior in high school. Even before then, though, cellphones were already widely popular, and I don’t even remember a time before computers.This technology, passed on by the generation before mine, is innate to how I communicate. By understanding that one concept, you have the opportunity to connect with Millennials in a whole new way.Instead of seeing the Millennials in your church as young people who choose to communicate differently from you as a way to be rebellious, you’ll see them as another group of potential members of your congregation that want to interact with your church, but in non-traditional ways.Offer programs specifically for Millennials.Let’s face it: Every generation is different from the next. Your parents’ generation had a tough time connecting with you when you were 20, too. This isn’t a new phenomenon.This feeling is extended to the churches I work with. Especially while at church, we all — Millennials included — want to feel needed, accepted, understood, and successful.So, consider asking Millennials to join in on focus groups, building projects, worship teams, or community outreach. Show the young people in your church how much you respect them by valuing their opinions and ideas.Stay current — adopt new technology.A great way to show Millennials that you value them is by investing in new technology, like iPads in your church or an interactive website or online community where this younger generation can share stories and learn from each other.This can be driven through social media channels, like Facebook or Twitter. It’s also optimal to use your blog often to connect and give the Millennials in your church a place to keep up with information. Remember that the church has been addressing new ways of communicating for centuries, and it’s okay if you communicate differently!One of my favorite things about going to church is seeing hundreds (or sometimes thousands) of people of different ages and life stages in one place. The last thing you want to do is neglect one of those groups of people.An ideal way to connect to Millennials in your congregation is to give them the option of receiving information in a different way. Instead of making all the important information only available in your Sunday bulletin, show Millennials, and other tech-savvy people in your church, that you value how they consume information by putting it on a responsive website or church app that can be accessed on mobile devices.It’s okay to start small!If you feel like you aren’t there yet, that’s okay! The first step is to just start getting content out there. Here are some easy steps you can take to start building those online relationships:If you have an event, pick a specific hashtag Millennials can use to engage online, like #sundaypray.To get your blog off the ground, start by finding a good story to tell from your next special event and share it on your blog.If your website isn’t as modern as it could be but you don’t feel ready for a website redesign, start by working on getting your information organized and up-to-date. This will help keep your audience engaged and keep your website relevant to new members.If you’re a church leader who is overwhelmed by the feeling that you are falling behind when it comes to connecting with Millennials, know this: It’s not too late. Churches are on the cusp of great opportunity.Technology is constantly changing, and it can feel difficult to keep up when your audience consists of such a wide variety of ages. But connecting with Millennials through new communication techniques today means that you are setting the stage for a connected congregation in your church’s future.After all, Millennials won’t be Millennials forever.What are some of the tactics you use to engage younger demographics and get them more involved with your religious or community institution? Topics: Originally published Jan 16, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
“We need more leads.” Pretty much every B2B marketer has heard this phrase from their sales team at some point in their career. And after hearing it, most marketers are left in a sticky situation: They suddenly have to do more with the same budget and the same number of hours in a week. The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to generate leads without breaking the bank or working every single weekend.Try out our free marketing tool that helps you test out various types of popup CTAs and gives you information about your site visitors. In the SlideShare presentation and post below, we’ll go over five quick and easy methods that can boost your lead flow with very little time investment. And if you want even more tried and tested tactics for lead gen, sign up to our free four-week email course Double Your Lead Flow in 30 Days.1) Use subscribe forms at the end of your blog posts.Test: To increase conversions, we tried embedding a subscribe form at the end of each blog post rather than a CTA button.Results: Conversions increased by 20%.How to do it:Don’t use a CTA button like this one:Instead, try embedding a one-field form like this one using a tool Lead Flows by HubSpot (which is free). 2) A/B test your content titles.Test: We changed the title of an ebook from “The Productivity Handbook for Busy Marketers” to “7 Apps That Will Change the Way You Do Marketing.” Result: We increased leads by 776%.How to do it: Every time you create a new piece of content, come up with 10 of the best titles you can think of.Once you have your 10 titles, get into a room with several of your peers and whittle them down to the two strongest.A/B test both titles on a smaller sample of people and then go with the winning title for your larger promotion. 3) Use Facebook dark posts.Test: Jon Loomer tested Facebook dark posts (News Feed-style ads that don’t actually get published to your Page’s News Feed) with a small budget to calculate potential ROI.Result: He saw a 35x ROI from investing the better part of his $279.96 Facebook ad investment in dark posts.How to do it: Facebook Dark Posts are a great way to get really targeted with your Facebook ads. Our partner, Duct Tape Marketing, has a really great blog here to help you get set up with your first one. You can also read Jon Loomer’s success story here. 4) Use progressive profiling on landing page forms.Test: ImageScape reduced the number of form fields to see if a client’s conversion rate would increase.Result: They improved a client’s conversion rate by 120% by reducing the number of form fields from 11 to 4.How to do it: To reduce the number of form fields on landing page while still collecting the information you need to rotate leads to Sales, you can use progressive profiling. Progressive profiling is a feature that detects whether the user has already filled out another form on your site and lets you replace previously captured fields with a new set of fields.The specific setup process will depend on the marketing software you have in place, but it will typically involve specifying which questions you want to show to your leads and in what order they should be shown. Read more on progressive profiling here.5) Test the color of your CTA buttons.Test: We tested a green CTA button against a red one to see what effect it would have on conversions. Result: The red button outperformed the green by 21%.How to do it: Use your marketing software to run the same A/B test. Test a strong, contrasting color against one that fits in the theme of your landing page — usually, the former will perform much better. 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 Feb 4, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 27 2018 Lead Generation Topics:
Each and every day design engineers and procurement managers across the world search for new suppliers. What have you done to position yourself to have a shot at all of this business? Most likely, your first opportunity will happen without you knowing about it.That’s right – the first place these folks are looking is your website.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignIf you just groaned because you have been putting off updating your website for years, don’t worry, you’re in good company. You run a very busy manufacturing business and you most likely aren’t sure where to start.The following are the five most important pieces of information that design engineers and procurement managers are searching for when considering new suppliers: 1) Capabilities InformationFirst and foremost, they need to know that you can perform the service they are seeking. This means you need to have very detailed information about the fabricating and manufacturing services that you offer.In depth content on your abilities around materials used, achievable tolerances, maximum dimensions, quality processes, production volumes, industries served, secondary services and drawing formats accepted. This will let the engineers and industrial buyers know they have found a viable vendor, but it is not enough.2) Machine ListFrequently your machine list will say a lot about who you are as a business and what you are capable of manufacturing. For example, listing a simple Bridgeport Lathe just lets engineers and buyers know you can do turning, but doesn’t speak to any real specialization.However, if you have a 5 Axis Haas CNC machine, this lets the world know that you deal in highly complex geometry and very specialized components. List as many as you feel comfortable with and organize them into the services that they provide.3) CertificationsPromote the fact that you have met the criteria for the various certifications you hold. Some potential customers will not consider working with you without the right certifications. Be sure to display these prominently on the website and provide the ability to download or request the documentation.4) VideoEveryone loves a shop tour. Admit it, you love giving them, too! The reason you do this in person is to show your capabilities as well as the scope, safety, and quality processes of your facility. Most custom manufacturers tell me “If I get them to the shop, they’ll want to work with us.”Why wait for the in person visit? Get some video of your plant in operation on your website to give prospective customers that early view of who you are and what you can do for them in the supply chain.5) Sample Project InformationEngineers and procurement managers want to see the types of projects you’ve worked on and parts that you have manufactured. You know that glass case full of parts you point to and explain when visitors come to the shop? Take that same information that you convey in person and get it onto your website.When you do this right, you can move from this to this. I know this is a huge challenge. What to focus on? How to get the content? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Download our Comprehensive Guide to Website Content Creation for Custom Manufacturers to get started. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Website Design Examples Originally published Jun 9, 2015 4:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics:
Topics: 411Save Of Facebook’s 1.25 billion monthly active users, 44% Like their friends’ posts at least once a day — and 29% do it multiple times a day. That’s hundreds of millions of people interacting with content on the social network on a daily basis.So what motivates people to Like Facebook posts — and share them, and comment on them? And why should businesses care?Research has found several psychological reasons behind why users enjoy using Facebook so much.Free Resource: How to Reach & Engage Your Audience on FacebookFor example, studies observing people browsing on Facebook found psychological indications of happiness, like pupil dilation. By uncovering this type of audience insight, marketers can apply this information to create more effective Facebook marketing campaigns. Intrigued?Check out the infographic below from QuickSprout to learn more about why people use Facebook and what businesses can learn from it.411Save Originally published Jun 30, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Facebook Marketing 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: Originally published Jul 4, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.As marketers, it’s our job to be convincing … but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, persuading someone to complete a certain action requires a lot of careful consideration. Click here for our free guide to improving your presentation skills.For example, I’m willing to bet at least one person that’s reading this has a child with a messy room. How do you get a kid to clean their room?You beg and plead. You offer rewards. You threaten punishments. You create checklists. You offer to pitch in. You might even just forget the whole thing, and make peace with the disaster behind the door.But all of these approaches come from a single perspective — why it’s important to you that your child cleans her room. Wouldn’t it be more effective to help the child to realize the benefits of a clean room?In the following video, Daniel Pink uses this very example to set the record straight on persuasion.”We tend to think persuasion or motivation is something that one person does to another,” Pink says. “But what the social science clearly tells us it’s really something people do for themselves.”Watch the clip to discover the power of counterintuitive questions in persuasion (and finally get a no-fail room cleaning remedy).By the way — Daniel Pink is set to grace the stage of INBOUND 2015. To see him speak in person, register here. Persuasion Daniel Pink: How to Persuade Others with the Right Questions from Big ThinkLiked this article? Click here to subscribe to Sales.
12K+SaveWhat other Excel tricks do you find handy? Share with us in the comments. Originally published Sep 28, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated December 10 2018 Topics: Excel Computer technology moves fast — which is why it’s so hard to believe that a computer program that’s been around for 30 years is still one of the most popular programs in the world. And yet, I’m willing to bet every single one of you has had to use Microsoft Excel at some point in your life.Nowadays, most office workers are simply expected to know basic Excel functions — so much so that many recruiters suggest you shouldn’t even bother listing it on your resume. “I swap ‘Proficient in Word, Excel and PowerPoint’ for ‘Proficient in Breathing Oxygen,'” quipped the founder of Mergers & Inquisitions.Beyond creating basic charts and graphs, there are a few other Excel tricks that everyone working in an office should know. For instance, it’s really helpful to at least have a basic understanding of how to create pivot tables and VLOOKUPs. (Don’t worry — it’s easier than it sounds.)Download 9 Free Excel Templates for MarketersFrom charting to conditional formatting to pivot tables, check out the infographic below from Microsoft Training to learn the top seven most useful Excel tricks everyone working in an office environment should be familiar with. (And read this blog post to learn these tricks and others in more detail.)12K+Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
2K+Save What makes a team truly great?Is it the mix of personalities? Is it how teams are measured and rewarded? Does the team leader ultimately determine their success?Click here to download our free guide to hiring and training a team of all-stars.There is a lot of research and opinion on what ingredients are necessary to build a high-performing team because it is one of the most difficult things to do — you are essentially forcing people together — but it’s one of the biggest drivers of success in an organization. A poor performing team can negatively impact an entire organization, not to mention be the cause for missing goals or revenue targets. Weekdone created the below infographic detailing some of the defining characteristics of great teams. Learn what you should look for in a high-performing team and how to recruit to create your own. 2K+Save Topics: Originally published Jan 10, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Collaboration/Teamwork
Originally published Apr 18, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Facebook is constantly making changes to the design of the profiles — for businesses and individuals alike. They’ve made a few cool changes in the past few years, including adding call-to-action buttons to business Pages and letting you record company milestones, like product launches and events.There are a lot of ways Facebook is helping brands build a follower base, increase visibility, improve branding, communicate with and engage fans, and even drive traffic and leads.To learn more about how to use Facebook for business, download our free guide here. So, what can you do to optimize your brand’s presence on Facebook? Check out the infographic below from Cafe Quill for helpful tips on getting the most from your Facebook business Page.20Save20Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Facebook Business Pages
Social Media Marketing At NASA, one of the world’s leading space associations, social media marketing and rocket science combine in a way that could shock even the most weathered social marketer. The organization manages more than 500 social accounts. Imagine what their analytics must look like!From broad agency accounts to specific accounts dedicated to certain NASA missions, their social media isn’t selling products or services, but rather inspiration.NASA has nailed down an elusive social media success around an incredibly complicated and naturally curious topic. Even with so many different accounts, NASA has managed to create meaningful connections with followers and spread a consistent message.Although not directly marketing for profit, NASA has developed a strong social media marketing strategy that B2B brands and all marketers can learn from and use in their own content and campaigns.How to Tell Your B2B Brand StoryIf there’s one thing NASA knows—besides the mysteries of space, it’s their own voice. They have cultivated a brand image and tone that is based on history, exciting developments, generating buzz, some professionalism and a nerdy sense of humor.In an environment where voice can vary from platform to platform, this is quite the accomplishment. From quick Twitter quips to informative Instagrams and straightforward Tumblr posts, NASA sprinkles their updates and science lessons with pop culture, striking images and conversational language. This tone complements their mission and still relates to the average follower.To follow NASA’s lead, B2B companies first need to find their voice. This means fully understanding your company, its intention with customers and its future goals.For example, if you want your brand to be community-oriented, write like a community leader who cares. If you want your brand to be strictly professional, keep your tone clinical and simple.The point of even giving your brand a voice is to humanize your company. A personal way of conversing as a brand allows you to participate in conversations naturally with followers.Find your voice by asking yourself the following questions:What do I want to accomplish with my social content? Maybe you want to educate or promote. This answer will guide the voice of your content.What tones complement the voice I want? A tone is an expression of language that supports your overall voice, so find a few that are good for your brand.What emotions are you trying to evoke in your customer? Identifying the emotional connection can help nail down the voice you are looking for.Once you’ve established your voice, you can begin to develop your story. NASA has the advantage of having a built-in story of exploration and discovery, but you can also find the story you want to tell by using themes and hierarchies within your content.Telling a multi-channel story, as NASA does across the many social platforms, all connects back to your central goal. A story, regardless of the form it takes or how it is presented, should be specific in nature and relate to the interests and needs of your customer.Sell the Value, Not the ProductSometimes marketers can get lost in the microscopic focus of selling a specific product or service. Boasting the features of something and harping on its shiny new elements is an easy trap to fall into. But in the long term, it’s not about the minutiae of a single aspect of what you offer.It’s important to take a step back and present the value of your company in a macro sense. For NASA, they have the ability to share information about an up close photo of the surface of Mars or an infinite photo of Saturn’s rings, which is literally a zooming in and out of their content. But from a deeper level, they are trying to inspire their followers and generate genuine interest in their missions and work.Their move to post a photo of dwarf planet Pluto before the official press release of the New Horizons’ results was an impressive show of giving followers excitement and capitalizing on anticipation.They knew the value of NASA is providing these fresh facts to a public with curiosity about the universe. Companies can also deliver social content of a similar vein by discussing the ways their product or service solves problems, avoids issues or brings certain emotions to customers’ lives.Think about how your customers’ lives will be improved by making a purchase with you. Pinpoint a before and after effect to really determine the value of your product or service.You can also use the tactic of value and authenticity in generating leads, improving sales and affecting the company as a whole.Involve Customers in Your ContentAnother strength of NASA’s social media marketing is to not just engage with followers, but to give them the opportunity to be a part of the social movement. B2B companies should also take user-generated content as a viable component of social strategy.The NASA program, called NASA Socials, gets followers involved in learning about and sharing information on the organization’s missions, people and programs. The program hosts events where social followers gather to get a behind-the-scenes look at labs and projects, hear from engineers and astronauts, and can meet fellow NASA enthusiasts.The content these fans create at the event also gives them the understanding they need to make shareable content in the future. When the fans tell the story, NASA’s story becomes more powerful.In a way, this is an even stronger tactic for companies because of the importance and reliability of brand advocacy and loyalty. Testimonials, first-person accounts and user-contributed content tell a more convincing and credible story.Here are a few specific ways you can involve your customers in telling your story:Free TrialOffering your product or service for no cost for a short period of time gets customers comfortable with your company. You can also build in the stipulation that they must share their story on social media to receive the free trial.Case StudyThe most traditional, but one of the most effective, forms of using your customers’ experiences to your benefit is to tell their story in your branding. A case study is proof positive your product or service has performed well in a real setting.Community ForumsFor hyper-specialized industries, it’s good to provide a forum for professionals to gather and discuss your product and new industry trends. You can use the ideas and opinions from the forum for social and blog content fodder.Guest PostsAsking a customer to write a guest post for your blog or to collaborate on content shows a dedication to a partnership and presents your company from a perspective with some weight.Getting your customers involved also shows you consider their input and are working to create an inclusive community. Customers who are part of a like-minded group will have more positive feelings about a company, increasing their word-of-mouth marketing and your sales.Infinity and BeyondNASA has infused their social content with originality, narrative and community. They take their mission in connecting with an interested public as seriously as an astronaut on a mission in space. They use their background in rocket science to good use in an unlikely place.B2B companies should take away important lessons from the visuals, language and content NASA generates. They don’t have to emulate the famous association, but can be inspired by both their images of planets and stars and their brilliant approach to inbound and social media marketing. 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 9, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Nov 25, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: I have money in my savings account because my bank has a built-in auto-deposit process. I’m not logging into my account every day and moving money around, but when I do log in, I can see the progress I’ve made toward my goals by setting my account to automate deductions.Think of marketing automation like auto-deducting money from your checking account and putting it into savings: The automatic process lets you invest in your future goals in an easier way than if you did it manually.Marketing automation can play a significant role in the success of your inbound marketing strategy, but there is a right way and a wrong way to use it.Learn more about HubSpot’s latest tools to power your growth here.We want to help you understand marketing automation, and how and when to use it to your organization’s benefit. In this post, we’ll discuss traps marketers can fall into when incorporating marketing automation and alternatives that solve for these challenges.What Is Marketing Automation?Quite simply, marketing automation refers to the software that exists to automate marketing actions — actions like email, social media, and more. All of these automated actions are designed with the concept of lead nurturing in mind. In other words, marketers are creating and automating various types of content with the goal of actively attracting, qualifying, and moving prospects through the sales funnel towards a purchase.And the marketing automation industry is huge — Emailmonday estimates that 49% of companies use marketing automation software, and Marketing Automation Insider estimates that the industry is worth $1.62 billion per year.The trouble is, because marketing automation software has grown so significantly as a part of the inbound marketing movement, some marketers aren’t adopting it correctly. Let’s dig into some of the most common marketing automation mistakes below.7 Common Marketing Automation Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)1) You’ve invested in marketing automation without an inbound lead generation strategy.The Problem:You’ve purchased and started using marketing automation software, but you don’t have a strong content strategy in place yet. As a result, you aren’t attracting enough qualified leads to your website, so the ROI of your marketing automation software is low.To solve this problem, you might be considering buying an email contact list to build the size of your database.The Solution:Before you buy an email list, don’t.You see, it’s not a sound lead generation strategy to purchase email contact lists for a few reasons. For one, people don’t generally like being contacted unsolicited, and you don’t want to irritate potential customers. Additionally, purchased email lists have generally high churn rates — because the leads are often unqualified — meaning your database won’t have the long-term growth that you’re looking for.Instead of going that route, focus on developing an inbound marketing strategy aimed at attracting folks that actually want to hear from you. Write blog posts, create content offers, calls-to-action, and landing pages, and optimize your website so it will rank well in organic search. These efforts will ensure that your content is being discovered by your audience. Then, once you start generating more leads, you’ll be able to nurture them effectively with automated emails and social media posts.2) You don’t have a goal for your marketing automation.The Problem:You’re sending out multiple automated email and social media messages without an end goal in mind. The Solution:Take advantage of the ease of use marketing automation software provides and invest time and efforts into determining your goals first. Once you have them, you’ll want to assign these goals to each automated effort — social media, email workflows, and so on — to ensure it’s easy to track progress.After all, marketers need a way to measure success when it comes to marketing automation, and one means of doing so is by evaluating goal attainment. For example, here at HubSpot, the Visual Workflows tool lets you set a specific goal for each automated workflow. A goal might be a new lead transitioning into a marketing-qualified lead based on certain behaviors, such as downloading a specific number of content offers.HubSpot Visual Workflows also allows you to track the percentage of contacts in each workflow that achieve the goal, which is another great way to measure the success and ROI of your marketing automation.3) You don’t segment your email list.The Problem:You have a database full of qualified leads, but you’re using marketing automation software to blast out tons of emails that aren’t customized at all. As a result, your leads are churning because your emails aren’t useful to them.The Solution:Develop a lead nurturing strategy that includes email list segmentation so you’re sending specific emails to specific people that they’re more likely to open.According to the Direct Marketing Association, 77% of email marketing ROI came from targeted, segmented campaigns in 2015, and segmented emails generate 58% of all revenue. Seems like a must-have strategy, right? Unfortunately, only 42% of email marketers are sending targeted messages.With the right marketing automation software, it’s easy to execute an email list segmentation strategy that delivers strong results. For example, HubSpot customers can use the Visual Workflows App to target their emails based on dozens of criteria, both demographic and behavioral.Need inspiration? We recently published a blog post with 30 ideas for email list segmentation from real brands.4) You send too many emails.The Problem:Perhaps your email list isn’t segmented, or maybe you’re a little overzealous with your marketing automation software. Whatever the reason, you’re annoying potential prospects by sending way too many emails.The Solution:Strategically send fewer emails.When it comes to your email database, focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to have a lower volume of leads with higher engagement rates than a massive database of people who don’t open your emails.Why? Because higher quality leads are more likely to become customers.A staggering 78% of customers recently surveyed by HubSpot Research have unsubscribed because the brand was sending too many emails. To avoid sending one of many such emails, make sure that every single email you send provides value to leads in a way that they won’t be able to help but click.5) You’re only automating your email marketing strategy.The Problem:You use your marketing automation software to send out emails, and not much else.The Solution:Take advantage of all of the features your software offers to maximize efficiency.There are probably a lot of little tasks over the course of your work day that don’t seem time consuming individually. However, if you add up all of the time you spend posting on social media, updating contact information, and other tasks, you end up with a large chunk of your day spent on things that can probably be automated.Poke around your marketing automation to see which processes you can make more efficient. For example, in the HubSpot software, users can bulk update lead contact information instead of clicking into each record and changing details there.The more processes you automate, the more time you’ll have each day to strategize with your team about content, lead generation, and lead nurturing tactics to keep attracting quality leads to your site.6) You’re only sharing your marketing automation efforts within your marketing department.The Problem:You have marketing automation set up only for email marketing, social media, and other lead activities that are only impacting your marketing team’s bottom line.The Solution:Use a “smarketing” approach, and make your marketing automation work for sales reps as well.Think bigger than just the marketing team: What processes would help your sales team if they were automated?For example, if there were a process in place that alerted reps to when their leads were checking out parts of your website, that would help inform their next call or email. When a lead fills out a form, it could trigger a specific email send from marketing and a follow-up call from their sales rep. Marketing automation software also helps users set follow-up tasks and to-do lists, which reps could use to keep track of the many leads they’re working at a given time.Take your sales and marketing alignment to the next level by making processes easier for team members across the board to achieve their goals with the help of marketing automation.7) You use too many different tools.The Problem:Roughly half of marketers use marketing automation software, and those who do often combine different strategies into a “Frankensystem” of tools to achieve their bottom line.For example, they might start on a whiteboard, move to a spreadsheet, then shift onto an online flowchart maker, and only then will they use marketing automation software. This system is problematic in a few ways — it’s time consuming, numbers can be incorrectly analyzed, and communication is complicated.The Solution:Invest in all-in-one marketing automation software.The point of marketing automation is to make things easier and more efficient, and your team won’t achieve that if you’re spending too much time updating different documents or manually targeting your leads database.All-in-one marketing automation software offers a variety of criteria options to target your audience, as well as visualization tools so you can see how your marketing automation efforts are working together. That means you’ll be spending less time writing out numbers and emailing spreadsheets to your team members, and more time implementing strategies designed to qualify leads. What’s the biggest challenge you encountered when you purchased marketing automation software? Share with us in the comments below. Marketing Automation
All bloggers have a number of websites that they visit every single day. Aside from the obvious ones (like email and Twitter), your favorites might be anything from your blog’s publishing calendar, to your online to-do list, to all your favorite social media button generators.Wouldn’t it be great if all of those helpful resources were just a click away?That’s exactly what bookmarks are for. In your web browser, bookmarks are links to specific websites that show up as buttons at the top of your web browser — making it easy to visit your favorite websites.How to bookmark websites will depend on the browser you’re using. But trust me, it’s easy. Here are links to instructions for how to add a bookmark for four popular web browsers:ChromeSafariFirefoxInternet ExplorerNow, let’s get bookmarking. What are some of the best websites that all bloggers should add to their bookmark bar? Check out 30 of the HubSpot blogging team’s favorites below. (And be sure to share your own favorites in the comment section.)Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates Now30 Websites Every Blogger Should BookmarkFor Keeping Organized1) Publishing CalendarFiguring out when you should publish which blog posts is time-consuming enough, right? Bookmark your publishing calendar so it’s only a click away at any given time. You can use it to keep your topics and authors organized, track keyword and call-to-action usage, and make sure all your blog posts are written on time.If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can bookmark your HubSpot Calendar App.If you’re not a HubSpot customer, then you can create a publishing calendar using Google Calendar and bookmark that.(Are you also responsible for running your company’s social media accounts? Then you might want to bookmark social media publishing calendar tools as well.)2) TrelloTrello is a really simple collaboration platform you can use to brainstorm and organize your blog post and project ideas. Bookmark it so you can easily add new blog post ideas as you think of them, manage your own post-writing to-do list, and see what the rest of your team is working on. You can also use it to build an editorial and social media publishing calendar, prioritize different tasks, and organize notes.3) EvernoteWhile you can install Evernote as an app on your computer and any device, you may also want to make the website a bookmark on your web browser. Even more specifically, you can make notes within your Evernote into separate bookmarks: one for your to-do list, one where you store useful snippets of HTML, one where you store inspiring articles or ebooks, and so on.4) Waterfall GraphsWe use waterfall graphs to keep track of daily progress on our traffic and leads goals on the blog. If you’re a HubSpot customer, your marketing software has a built-in waterfall chart template that will generate these graphs for you — so you might want to bookmark that page in HubSpot. If you’re not a HubSpot customer, you can create a waterfall graph yourself in Google Spreadsheets and bookmark that.For Data Analysis5) Percent Change CalculatorI can’t even begin to tell you how useful this little calculator is when looking for and analyzing data. Ever want to know the percentage change of two values without having to remember the formula? Simply enter the two values into this calculator, and it’ll spit out the percentage change.6) Atlas (by Quartz)Atlas is Quartz’s slickly-designed command center for all its charts. There are all kinds of cool, useful data in there — everything from Prada’s share price over time to the highest CEO-to-worker pay ratios in the U.S. You can download, embed, or grab the data. It’s open source so you can create your own versions, too. One of the best ways to build credibility on your blog is to back up your claims with data and evidence, so bookmark resources like Atlas so you can easily search for and grab the data and charts you’re looking for.7) Comprehensive List of Marketing StatisticsWhether you’re a blogger who writes about about marketing, or you just need statistics to back up your strategy in a team presentation, it’s tricky to find the original source of data within the rabbit hole of the internet. We’ve put together a massive list of marketing statistics that are up-to-date and categorized for easy reference.For Blog Ideation8) QuoraQuora’s question-and-answer platform features questions from real people in your audience — and what better way to appeal to your readers than by answering their questions? Quora also offers an upvoting feature that lets you see how many other users are interested in the answer to a question, which can help you prioritize your response blog posts.9) Portent’s Content Idea GeneratorWhen you drop a topic into this neat little tool’s search bar, it proposes eye-catching, humorous title and topic ideas for you to test out. It also provides reasoning for the proposed titles, and you can make it spit out a new title idea if you’re unsatisfied. It might not produce the perfect title for your blog post, but it will get your creative juices flowing if you’re wondering what format or style in which to write.10) HubSpot’s Blog Topic GeneratorOur handy free tool produces a week’s worth of blog post title ideas when you submit three nouns or keywords you’re trying to write about. The tool is particularly helpful because you can generate ideas about specific angles by entering several search terms at once. I submitted “blogging,” “tools,” and “marketing,” and I got back these five interesting title proposals:For Writing11) Style GuideWhen you’re blogging, posting on social media, and creating other types of marketing content regularly, it’s important to have a written style guide to ensure your writing style is consistent across different marketing channels. But it can take a long time to learn all the nuances of your brand’s style guide, so have it bookmarked for easy reference while you’re writing and editing. (And if you don’t have a style guide yet, learn how to create one here.)12) Keyword ToolsKeyword research comes in handy when you’re brainstorming, writing, editing, and creating headlines for your blog posts. That said, keep your favorite keyword tool bookmarked. Here are a few of our favorites:HubSpot’s Keyword Tool (30-day trial)Google AdWords’ Keyword PlannerGoogle TrendsWant to learn more about how to do keyword research for SEO? Check out this blog post.13) WordCounterAlthough there’s no “right answer” for how long a blog post should be, sometimes word count can come in handy. Bookmark WordCounter so you can quickly paste in your content to see how many words you’ve written.14) Dictation.ioLet’s face it — if you’re a full-time blogger, you might get exhausted by writing sometimes. Don’t worry though, it happens to us too. When you need to take a break, try Dictation.io, a dictation tool that translates talk to text. This is a great way to keep the tone of your blog post conversational and to switch things up if you’re getting writer’s block.For Editing15) Pre-Publish ChecklistIt can be pretty hard to remember every little thing you should check on a blog post before hitting “Publish.” That’s why we bookmarked this pre-publish checklist, which is a complete list of everything you should do when editing and proofreading your blog content. It covers everything from ensuring all your sources are properly attributed to double checking all your links work.16) Hemingway AppHave you ever been in the middle of writing a blog post and realized your writing felt a little … convoluted? Bookmark the free Hemingway App for moments like these. All you have to do is paste your content into it, and it’ll assess your writing and identify opportunities to make it simpler. For example, it’ll point out instances of passive voice and hard-to-read sentences.17) Tone AnalyzerIn the same vein as analyzing readability, what about analyzing tone? Sometimes, you might be reading over a blog post and feel like it comes off as a little too negative or a little too excited. Tone Analyzer is a free tool that uses linguistic analysis to detect the tone of a piece — and then offers helpful tips on how to improve and strengthen the tone.18) HTML ElementsIf you edit a lot of blog posts, chances are you’ll be working with HTML on a regular basis. I like to keep this list of HTML elements handy so I can easily make changes to HTML when needed. From there, I can use CTRL + F to jump right to the HTML element I’m looking for.19) HTML ScoreSpeaking of HTML, here’s another great HTML resource to bookmark. It’s a long list of special characters that HTML 4.0 processors should support, like the copyright symbol ©, currency symbols € ¥ ¢, and so on.Image Credit: HTML Score 20) HTML CleanerSource codes can sometimes seem to take on a personality of their own and pull in crazy HTML snippets — especially if you’re copying and pasting from an external file, like Google Docs. If you find yourself having that problem regularly, bookmark a tool like HTML Cleaner so you can quickly remove any superfluous code from your content.21) & 22) Grammarly & CorrecticaBefore you can officially say you’re done editing a blog post, you should run it through an editing tool like Grammarly or Correctica to triple-check there are no grammatical errors. (Bonus: Grammarly even checks for plagiarism.)23) Headline AnalyzerYou’ve written and edited your blog post. At this point, the only thing standing between your cursor and the “Publish” button is an eye-catching headline. Once you have a few ideas in mind, head to your bookmark bar and open up the Headline Analyzer, a free tool that scores your headline quality and rates its ability to drive social shares, traffic, and SEO value. It also shows you how it will appear in search results.24) StockSnap.ioOnce you’ve written your blog post, a great header image captures reader attention on social media. There are numerous stock photo websites featuring free photo downloads that you’re free to distribute, and we like StockSnap.io’s trending feature that shows you popular photo downloads — so you can steer clear of them to make your blog posts more unique than other web content.25) Compressor.ioA photo compressor can help speed up the time it takes to load your web page and make your photos smaller for easy social media sharing. Drop your stock photo of choice into Compressor.io, and it will generate a new, compressed image for you to download and use in your blog post.For Social Media26) ClickToTweetCreating a tweetable link is a lot easier than learning custom code. Bookmark ClickToTweet so you can create basic tweetable links to accompany cool quotes in your blog posts at a moment’s notice. (Learn how it works here.)27) Pinterest’s “Pin It” Button GeneratorEver seen those “Pin it” buttons that let you pin an image to your Pinterest board? We use Pinterest’s “Pin it” button widget builder all the time to create those buttons for images we post on our blog. Bookmark that page so you can create and place these buttons next to images, infographics, and other visual content on your blog. (And scroll to the bottom of this blog post for instructions on how to build your own.)28) Social Media Button Cheat SheetWhile we recommend bookmarking some of your favorite social media button widget builders (like the “Pin it” button builder above), you may want to go ahead and bookmark this cheat sheet as a handy reference. It has links to all the widget builders for share and follow buttons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. It also includes step-by-step instructions for how to create them and implement them on your website and blog.29) BuzzSumoBuzzSumo shares analytics about how many social media shares a URL has received, so when you’re getting ready to publish blog posts on social media, drop links into BuzzSumo to see which types of content perform the best. You can also glean insights about posts from your competitors or previous posts from your blog to see which are most shareable and clickable. Here’s an analysis of one of our blog posts about Facebook ads:30) Embed Code GeneratorDo you create original pieces of visual content (like infographics) and post them on your blog or website? Then you’ll want to provide embed codes alongside them so it’s easy for your readers to share them on their own blogs. (Plus, it’ll help you generate some inbound links because the embedded image will automatically link back to your website.) Bookmark the embed code generator so you can easily create these HTML snippets. (And read this post for instructions on how to use it.)Here’s an example of what an embed code looks like (taken from this blog post):Share This Image on Your Site
Topics: Originally published Dec 29, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Trends Don’t forget to share this post! Looking for a marketing strategy that’ll give you that extra leg up in 2017?While it’s always helpful and entertaining to spend hours absorbed in the blog posts, webinars, and podcasts from your favorite marketing influencers, there’s not always time for that. And with January 1 just a few short days away, you need to finalize your plans — fast.So in addition to all that content, why not look at what your favorite influencers are actually doing themselves?When I went to HubSpot’s INBOUND event last month, that was my goal. Before I even got to Boston, my coworkers and I started planning who we wanted to learn from. We made a list, we checked it twice, and we set out to learn from the best.Guess what? It paid off. While there, we spoke to some of the smartest people in inbound marketing and found out what marketing strategies they’re excited to use more in 2017. That’s not to mention what we learned in their talks and sessions.Check out the infographic below for some of the most helpful highlights from folks like Gary Vaynerchuk, Peg Fitzpatrick, Larry Kim, and more.128Save128Save
Originally published May 23, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated May 23 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Inbound Marketing Data The inbound movement has always been about one thing: being relevant and truly helpful to your audience.This approach shouldn’t change, but as technology and internal company relationships change, marketers and salespeople must learn how to adapt to better serve their customers.To better understand how our relationships with consumers and coworkers are changing, we collected data from more than 6,300 marketers and salespeople from around the globe, which we’ve compiled in the 2017 State of Inbound report. It examines the relationship between company leadership and employees, details on collaboration between marketing and sales teams, and a look at what the industry’s foremost marketers are adding to their strategy in the coming year.Check out the full report here, or view some of the most interesting highlights below.9 Stats You Need to Know From the 2017 State of Inbound Report1) 68% of inbound marketers believe their organization’s marketing strategy is effective. [Tweet this]Last year, we started to examine marketers’ thoughts on their organizations’ marketing strategy and found that inbound marketers are much more likely to be satisfied with their organization’s approach.We’re happy to report that this trend continued. 68% of inbound marketers believe their organization’s marketing strategy is effective. However, the majority of outbound marketers (52%) do not think their strategy is effective.2) 1/3 of marketers think outbound marketing tactics are overrated. [Tweet this]It’s not simply the effectiveness of the inbound philosophy that encourages us, but the success of inbound when compared to alternative methods. Each year, marketers tell us that outbound practices are overrated.While we admit we might be a bit biased, when we cut the data, marketers agreed. According to this year’s data, 32% of marketers rank outbound marketing practices such as paid advertising as the top waste of time and resources.3) C-level executives and individual contributors disagree about the effectiveness of their organizations’ marketing strategy. [Tweet this]Over the years, we’ve continued to examine the relationship between marketers and salespeople. This year, we discovered an interesting trend in the data: Company leadership and individual contributor employees are struggling under a growing corporate chasm.This means that leadership and employees often view their company, its performance, and its future very differently. For example, while 69% of C-level executives believe their organizations’ marketing strategies are effective, only 55% of individual contributors agree. Leaders who want their business to grow must learn how to effectively communicate the organization’s vision and goals with their employees.4) Marketers struggle most with metrics-driven challenges. [Tweet this]Marketers find tracking and making sense of their metrics a challenge. This year, 63% of marketers admit that their top challenge is generating enough traffic and leads. This is followed by 40% who struggle proving the ROI of marketing activities and 28% who are trying to secure enough budget.All three of these top challenges are metrics-driven. Without the proper tools to track concrete campaign results, these areas will continue to be a struggle.5) Organizations with an SLA are more than 3X as likely to be effective. [Tweet this]When we began publishing this report nine years ago, much of our data revolved around the adoption of inbound marketing. As the message spread, we began to see why it’s crucial for both marketing and sales teams to adopt the inbound methodology together. One of the main ways this is done is through a service-level agreement (SLA).Despite the fact that only 22% of organizations say they have a tightly-aligned SLA, the benefits of having one are clear: 81% of marketers with as SLA think their marketing strategy is effective. In fact, there is no combination of factors more strongly correlated with marketing success than being both inbound and having an SLA.6) 38% of salespeople say getting a response from prospects is getting harder. [Tweet this]While marketers struggle with tracking the metrics of their campaigns, salespeople admit that getting a response from prospects is a growing challenge. However, as you dive deeper into the data, you see the problem starts long before salespeople begin contacting prospects.38% of salespeople say that they struggle most with prospecting. While there is an abundance of new technology and platforms to help salespeople connect and develop relationships with prospects, many are finding it difficult to incorporate this technology into their daily routine. In fact, 19% of salespeople say they’re struggling to incorporate social media in their sales process, and 13% say using sales technologies is now harder than it used to be.7) Marketers think video and messaging apps have the potential to disrupt. [Tweet this]As marketers prepare for the future, many plan to use a variety of content publishing platforms. In the past, content marketers poured their efforts into their email, website, and blog strategies. But with the rising trend of content decentralization, marketers are now seeing the benefit of publishing on a variety of channels.In our study, marketers are paying more attention to video’s global appeal, with 48% planning on investing in YouTube and 39% looking to add Facebook video to their strategy. In addition, many marketers are experimenting with messaging apps, while others continue to focus on more visual platforms such as Instagram.But don’t think the age of the blog is over. 53% of respondents say blog content creation is one of their top inbound marketing priorities.8) 45% of salespeople say they spend over an hour performing manual data entry. [Tweet this]Getting a response from prospects is not the only challenge salespeople are facing. According to our 2017 data, 45% of salespeople say they spend over an hour performing manual data entry. Another 23% of salespeople say their biggest challenge using their CRM is manual data entry.The more time salespeople spend on data entry, the less time they have to do what they are skilled at: closing deals. Not only is manual data entry time consuming, it can also be detrimental to the business. Storing contacts in an unorganized way or not properly using a CRM can lead to a disjointed sales strategy. Businesses should look to sales tools that include automation, integrate with their other platforms, and provide insight into the full customer journey.9) Marketers and salespeople don’t see eye to eye on the quality of marketing-sourced leads. [Tweet this]We know there’s a disconnect between marketing and sales teams around the definition of a quality lead, but this year’s report shows a drastic gap.59% of marketers say they provide salespeople with very high-quality leads, but only 25% of salespeople agree. In fact, the majority of salespeople — from the C-suite to individual contributors — rank marketing leads last, behind referrals and sales-sourced leads. This data continues to highlight the importance of SLAs.Want more data-backed insights? This is just a preview of the State of Inbound report. Download the report for free to discover how inbound marketing and sales is evolving.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.