#JaVotes2016: No cooking gas, no vote

first_img Various party affiliates have, however, been making the rounds in vehicles in an effort to mobilise voters. One resident, who was offered a lift to the polling station told The Gleaner that she refused, as she has no reason to vote. Seventy – five year – old Mercelin Bennett says she will be willing to vote if she was provided with cooking gas. Bennett says she has voted in past elections, but will not yield unless her immediate needs are met, which at this time is gas to prepare her next meal. Voting in the community of Danvers Pen in the St Thomas West constituency is off to a slow start. Most of the persons at the Prospect Primary School polling station in the district are in fact election day workers, with actual voters few and far between.last_img

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DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARDS REVIEW – WHAT A SCORCHER JULY WAS!

first_imgA number of sports enjoyed super successes in July and many of the winners will be expecting to be in the frame for recognition at the end of the Year when the Donegal Sports Star Awards Committee commences their deliberations on the various categories.And already a number of names have emerged as the possible winner of the overall award which is currently held by Donegal GAA player Karl Lacey.Some of the stand out performers of the month included the boxer Meave McCarron who won bronze at the European Championships while there was also Mark English’s sixth place finish and PB time at the prestigious Olympic anniversary meeting in London. The rising star of Finn Valley’s John Kelly continued through July as the St. Johnston lad won a national shot putt gold which secured him a place on the Irish team for the Celtic International Games in Wrexham along with another FV athlete Blathnaid Patton (Triple Jump) and Tirconaill AC’s Kelly McGrory.There was international basketball success for twins Tadhg and Cian Hickey (Letterkenny Blaze) who helped the Irish U-17s to defeat England while in martial arts Josie Murray won two gold medals at the Jiu Jitsu at the International Brazilian Championships and in rugby Letterkenny lad Justin Allen was a member of the USA Rugby Boys High School side which toured Argentina.On the first weekend of the month there were six gold medals for Donegal at the Irish Juvenile Track & Fields Championships in Tullamore with the winners including the Kelly brothers John and James (PB) Shot; Finn Valley’s Blathnaid Patton (Triple Jump) and Aaron McGlynn (800m); Katie Hoad, Tirconaill AC (U-17 Girls Pole Vault) and Kelly McGrory in the U-18 400m hurdles.It was a busy July for Mark English which didn’t start off so well but ended on a high as the Letterkenny AC lad recorded a personal best in Santry of 1:45:32 for the 800m just 0.02 seconds outside the qualifying time for the World Championships. However he had made the time for Moscow after finishing 6th in a time 1.44.84 at the London Olympic Stadium. He also won silver at the National Championships at the Morton Stadium in the 400m. Fellow LAC member Brendan Boyce won gold and set a new PB in the 10km Walk at the same competition and Finn Valley’s Tori Pena was the winner of the pole vault.Tirconaill AC’s Mary McLoone took two silvers in the Long Jump and Triple Jump at the Morton Stadium and t the same venue Lifford’s AC’s Anne Marie McGlynn medal was second in the 5,000 metres while there was a bronze for Darren McBrearty in the 800 metres.The Tirconaill AC Women’s qualified for the league final in Sligo and both Letterkenny AC’s Ruairi Finnegan and Finn Valley’s Sarah Collins had seventh place finished finishes in their respective finals at the European Junior Championships in Italy. However, there was disappointment for Tirconaill’s Karl Griffin who failed to qualify for his final.In the middle of the month Brendan O’Donnell (Lifford AC) took gold in the U-15 Hammer Throw at the National Juvenile Track & Field Championships in Tullamore while club colleague Alan McGinley also picked up a medal. Also in Tullamore John Kelly took gold in the Shot Putt as did his club colleague Aaron McGlynn in the 1,500m.John Kelly’s younger brother James won silver in the discus. Blathnaid Patton, Niamh McGranaghan and Simone Crawford were also medalists while Jordan Byrne took silver in the walk. Caoimhe Byrne (Sliabh Liag AC) took silver in the U-16 Pole Vault. Tara Carr (Letterkenny AC) won silver in the U-17 high jump. Twins Tadhg and Cian Hickey helped the Irish U-17s to defeat England at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght. The Kilmacrennan lads who are students at St. Eunan’s College play their club baskedtball with Blaze in Letterkenny.The big county boxing story came on the third day of July when Carrigart’s Meave McCarron won a bronze medal at the European Women’s Boxing Championships in Hungary and she only lost out narrowly on a place in the final and a silver medal. Three young Donegal boxers Bryan McNamee (Convoy), Brian Elliott (Letterkenny ABC) and Leon Gallagher (Finn Valley ABC) were selected to represent Ireland at the European Schoolboy Boxing Championships City West Hotel in Dublin.St. Johnston’s Ryan McBeth was picked for the Irish U-15 cricket side for the ICC European Championships while there was international cycling success for Letterkenny’s Conor McElwaine in Europe while Errigal CC’s Ciara Doogan was on the Irish Girls Team that competed in Holland.In the sport of equestrian Clodagh Barry (Newtown) and Lisa Moore (Ramelton) were selected for the young Irish horse riding team for European Championships in September in Belgium. At the TREC Ireland National Championships in Mullingar Christopher Pyper of Ramelton was the winner of the Grangeclare Cup for the highest scoring level 1 rider. Christopher and his partner Louise Edwards also finished second in the Level 1 pairs championship. In the level 3 individual category, Lisa Moore was placed 3rd and was the highest scoring young rider (U21) of the weekend.And at the National Show Jumping ChampionshipsPatricia Warren, based at Killult Stables in Falcarragh, produced the fastest clear round of the day to win the Advanced Intermediate title in Mullingar.In GAA Naomh Conaill were crowned Division 1 U14 county champions for the first time in their history after a fantastic 5-8 to 2-13 win over St.Eunans. On the same night Killybegs won the Division 2 U-14 county title defeating Naomh Columba. Aodh Ruadh took the county minor hurling title after defeating Buncrana. There was some consolation for Buncrana who won the U-14A hurling final overcoming Aodh Ruadh.Despite a remarkable 3-5 from Milford’s Amber Barrett the Donegal Ladies Minor side suffered a heavy 10-18 to 3-6 defeat at the hands of Dublin at Breffni Park. After a ten match unbeaten run over three years Donegal surrendered their Ulster Senior Football Championship crown to Monaghan in Clones but maintained their bid for back-to-back All-Ireland titles by defeating Laois in a fourth round qualifier game. The Donegal Ladies senior side made their championship exit going down to Westmeath in a qualifier at Breffni Park.The big news in motorsport in the month was Declan and Brian Boyle in a Subaru WRC winning the Sligo Park Hotel Rally to take a 36 points lead in the National Championship. In rowing Sinead and Catriona Jennings competed in the national championships.18-year-old Justin Allen toured Argentina with the USA Rugby Boys High School side. Justin who is 6’10” qualifies to play for the USA through his mother Kathleen who is a native of Nebraska. He now plays his club rugby with the Portadown U-19s having moved from Letterkenny RFC.There was disappointment on the soccer front for the Inishowen League who lost the Oscar Traynor Cup Final 3-1 against the AUL (Dublin) at Tolka Park.Five Donegal players represented Ireland at the World Universities Games in Kazan, Russia. The men’s team finished fifth overall while the women’s side were sixth at the end of the competition. Letterkenny’s Cillian Morrison and Raymond Foy from Castlefin were the county’s male representatives while Donegal’s female squad members were Ciara Grant (Letterkenny) and the two Termon women Geradline McLaughlin and Roisin McCafferty. McLaughlin and McCafferty were only home briefly in Ireland from Kazan before heading off with the Sligo IT side to the European Universities Futsal Championships in Spain.Finn Harps players Darragh Black (Milford) and Chris Flanaghan (Letterkenny) have been included in a Republic of Ireland 1996 age group squad to play two friendly games against Ipswich Town on the 12th and 14th of August.Donegal Town lad Liam Martin made his European Champions League debut as a sub for Sligo Rovers in their 1-0 defeat at the Showgrounds against Norwegian side Molde. And Ramelton’s Barry McNamee played in both legs of the Europa Cup for Derry City against Turkish side Trabzonspor but the Candystripes lost 7-2 on aggregate. At the end of the month McNamee was selected to travel with the Republic of Ireland’s U-21 squad to the Faroe Islands for the opening UEFA qualifier game for the 2015 Euro Finals.There was great news for Kilmacrennan Celtic as Trevor Gorman picked up the FAI ‘Best Publication’ award on behalf of the club at the annual presentation function in Arklow, Co. Wicklow.Three Inishowen girls Roma McLaughlin, Sarah Jane McDonald and Nicole Gordon were members of the Republic of Ireland women’s U17s squad who won the international Carrickfergus Cup in Carrickfergus after two games against Northern Ireland. In the first game the Republic had a comfortable 6-2 victory with McLaughlin and McDonald among the scorers while Gordon also started the game.The second game saw a 2-0 win for the girls making it 8-2 on aggregate with McDonald getting her second goal of the competition. McLaughlin started the second game while McDonald came on as a sub.In the last week of the month the Inishowen U-13 Schoolboys did superbly well to win a top title at the Foyle Cup while the Donegal U-14 Schoolboys were runners-up in their final. The Lagan and Greencastle ladies also lifted cups in their respective categories.In the sport of swimming Inishowen man Ian Gaynor moved to Philadelphia to begin an international scholarship at Widener University. The 20-year-old Inishowen native was a member of the City of Derry Club.Letterkenny 24/7s Aidan Callaghan excellent triathlon performances continued as he finished 5th (second in his age group) at the National Championships in Athlone at the beginning of July. He followed that up by winning the Letterkenny 24/7 annual spring triathlon around Gartan Lake.There was success for schools athletes Kate McGowan and Kelly McGrory from Abbey VS who won three medals that helped Team Ireland finish second at the School’s Track & Field International at the Morton Stadium in Dublin. McGowan won two silvers in the 800m and Long Jump respectively while it was bronze for McGrory in the 300m hurdles. For further details on the Donegal Sports Star Awards visit donegalsportsstarawards.ie or find us on Facebook at DonegalSports StarawardsDONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARDS REVIEW – WHAT A SCORCHER JULY WAS! was last modified: August 12th, 2013 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:DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARDJulylast_img read more

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ROBBING: Return On Business Blogging Is Not Guaranteed

first_imgIf you have been reading this blog for a while, you likely know that I’m generally a strong proponent of the value of business blogging (particularly for small businesses).  I’ve been advocating the need for small businesses to start blogs as an important part of their Internet Marketing strategy for a while now.  So, why the controversial title for this article?  Simple:  If we’re going to try and rationalize an investment of time, energy and money by attaching an ROI (return on investment) to blogging, we need to be a bit diligent and thoughtful about how we do so.  In any case, here are some of my thoughts on about how to improve your chances of getting a return on investment for your business blogging efforts. ROI Of Blogging So, my points here are not particularly complicated.  My message is simple:  To really get value out of your business blogging efforts, you need to make sure that you are investing sufficient time into the process, measuring what matters and doing something about it.   First (and foremost) you should be looking to find more buyers for whatever it is that you are offering.  This is the best return you can hope for.  Of course, you can’t expect every visitor to your blog to whip out their credit cards (or call one of your sales people), but you can 3. Buyers, Back-links and Brand-Building:  This one’s a bit obvious too.  It is near impossible to demonstrate a return on your blogging investment if do something about it 5. Analyze and Adjust:  have an ROI – but just that an ROI is not guaranteed.  Also, my apologies for the acronym ROBBING (I just couldn’t come up with anything better).  I’m not suggesting that business bloggers are robbing anyone of anything.  All in good jest (and for some percentage of you, the word probably got your attention, thereby increasing the ROI of this article). .  You have to watch what works, and what doesn’t.  Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.  For example, one thing I’ve learned from writing for two business blogs is that a majority of my readership seems to appreciate my casual, informal style. c) Brand:  a) Buyers:  Improving The Return On Investment For Your Business Blog ”.  As you might suspect, the article (and the associated paper), discusses how to measure the return on investment (ROI) for a blog – and more specifically, a business blog.  Though I have not purchased the paper (it talks too much about big businesses), the article itself has a useful framework for looking at this analytically. Topics: These are the three primary areas of “return” I think businesses should strive for when writing their blog.  I even put them in descending priority order even though the alliteration sounded better with a different order.  You’re welcome.  2. If A Blogger Types In The stuff.  For a more dynamic explanation of this, I encourage you to watch a video interview of  Brian Halligan (my co-founder at HubSpot).  The video is titled “ increase Defining ROI On Business Blogs The article was sparked in part by an article penned by Charlene Li of Forrester who wrote on the topic of “ nobody is reading your blog Lots of business bloggers are diligent about tracking things like their daily traffic, referral sources and other common metrics available through most web analytics tools.  Though all of this is good, it’s not enough – and not nearly as meaningful as the Forest…:  1.  Launching Is Not Enough:  the likelihood that this will occur.  This is done by focusing your content (and your promotional efforts for the content) on the types of visitors that are likely to become clients.   I think too many businesses think that they can simply sign up for a Blogger account, write an article, and call it a day.  This is what I would call the “Look Ma!, I’m Blogging!” phenomenon.  Nothing against Blogger.  It’s just that if you’re actually looking to create a measurable return, it takes more than that.  Stated differently, to get an “R” (i.e. Return) you have to “I” (that is Invest).   I have an uncanny knack for the stating the obvious. b) Back-Links:  real Astute readers will also notice that I am not stating in this article’s title that business blogging ”.  For further reading, I’d also recommend Seth Godin’s article “ If you can’t close a customer, you want back-links.  The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is driven by back-links.  The more people you can get to your blog articles, the more weighting you will have in the search engines, and the more relevant people will “find” you when doing a search.  In fact, you can help test this theory by linking to this article with the words “business blogging” in the anchor text.  (smile).  Originally published Jan 29, 2007 11:42:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 doesn’t ” Simply measuring how your blog is doing in ways that are meaningful is not going far enough.  You need to Business Blogging 4. Measure Something Meaningful:  .  In this case, the value you get from blogging is likely little more than the satisfaction of expressing yourself (and perhaps impressing your friends and family).  So clearly, to get an ROI, you have to find ways to draw visitors to your blog and have them read it.  If you got to this article through one of the popular social news sites (like reddit or digg), that is certainly one way to do it.  There are others ways too.  But all of it hinges on writing content that people are interested in. High Resolution Mistakes Finally, if you can’t get a buyer or a back-link, you can at least build your “brand”.  Although you will likely never have a powerful brand like Coke, Nike or Apple – you can certainly benefit from increased visibility of your business.  Readers of your blog will (hopefully) be left with a positive impression of you, and your company and this could help with future interactions with that individual (and perhaps then, they will become a buyer or give you a back-link). Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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New Stats on Search and B2B Marketing

first_imgA recent whitepaper on B2B search revealed some interesting statistics about B2B purchasers and how they search, which reveals a lot of really useful insights for B2B marketing.  A couple days ago I found a blog article on this topic and posted it on DailyHub next to a bunch of other interesting marketing and business articles.Here are some of the stats I found particularly interesting in the whitepaper:• Over 70% of B2B buyers use a search engine at the start of their purchasing process• About 75% of B2B prospects click on the organic results• Less than 19% of B2B buyers click on search ads• 77% of B2B prospects prefer Google over any other search engine (see chart)Key takeaways for B2B Marketing:1) Your B2B company needs to be able to be found in search engines.  Over 70% of your prospects are looking for you there, right at the time when they are ready to buy, so this is probably more important than any other marketing activity for your company.2) Make sure your B2B company is listed in the Google organic results for the right search keywords.  You can probably ignore the other search engines for B2B marketing purposes since Google has 77% marketshare for B2B purchasing.3) Consider bidding on paid search terms in Google as well, but watch your ROI.  The organic results matter most, since the ads only get you access to 19% of B2B prospects.For a free analysis of your website’s marketing effectiveness and tips on how you can be better found by your B2B prospects in search engines, visit www.websitegrader.com. Originally published Jun 5, 2007 1:03:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Measuring SEO Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Five Web Publishing Secrets to Learn From the Supermarket Checkout Line

first_img “Don’t Miss Out!” Redbook says bluntly below the happiness blurb, while the 7 Secrets and Superfood teasers intone a more subtle message: if you don’t pick up this magazine you’re going to miss something important. Gotcha! Flipping through the pages (people read from front to back, but they usually flip from back to front), you’ll notice that everything is compartmentalized into bite-sized nuggets. Women’s magazine editors worked in units of single pages and 100-words sound bites. Wherever possible, articles are deconstructed into chunks, which are given their own headlines or dressed up with images. Editors call these “points of entry,” and they’re a valuable tool to snag readers and keep them on the page. The longer a reader stays, the more likely it is she’ll buy the magazine. 2. Create Points of Entry. Originally published Dec 22, 2008 9:50:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 1. Hit readers in the gut. The Superfood You Shouldn’t Skip Download the free webinar Webinar: Blogging for Business Secrets of Social Media Marketing Ronald Reagan demonstrated, to the chagrin of his critics, that a single anecdote can overwhelm mountains of statistics. TV stations know that the video clip of the grieving parent or joyous lottery winner is better than all the economic analysis in the world. When seeking to make a point, find an anecdote that crystallizes the message. Let it set the scene for you. Live Well On Less With the possible exception of the recipe and home sections, nearly every spread in Redbook features at least one face. And these are happy people. The women, along with a few gorgeous men, are all smiling, gazing contentedly into the distance or glancing seductively at the reader. These are people you want to meet. It’s no surprise that humans respond strongly to the faces of other humans. We do this from birth. So when you take a photo for your website, forget about the background and zoom in on the person’s expression.  and the newly-published  Pick up any women’s magazine and you’ll find the words “I,” “me,” “you,” “our” and “us” spread all over it, particularly in headlines. Should I Ditch This Friend? asks one Redbook Q&A. Find your Power at Work advises another. Even Redbook’s sections — Your Pretty Life, Your Healthy Life, Your Love Life, Your Home Life, Just for You, etc. — reinforce the fact that these articles deliver the content to the reader’s front door. People don’t just want information; they want to know how information affects them. Headlines like these are the publishing equivalent of looking someone in the eye. Speaking to people in personal terms makes the content more conversational, personal and relevant. It works. 5. Tell stories.  to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. How Do Ditch Your Debt For Good , an author, speaker and writer who advises businesses on online marketing. He is the author of  This article is a guest post by  A Profile Of Cover Girl Tricia Yearwoodcenter_img Now let’s have a look inside. Paul Gillin What Happy Women Know These same tactics can work online. Callouts, sidebars, pull-quotes, Q&As and other visual tools break up rivers of text and give readers more starting points to engage with the content. Note: this isn’t about sprinkling random icons into your copy. It’s about segmenting content and signposting it with relevant words and images that attract attention. The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to Social Media This cover has another subtle incentive to draw in readers: fear. Fear is one of the most potent tools publishers use to sell content: fear of failing, fear of rejection and fear of not knowing. 4. Show faces, not scenes. Publishers of women’s magazines have wrestled for years with the same problems that Web publishers confront today: how to grab the attention of a distracted audience in just a few seconds and convince them to become regular readers. Fall’s Best Love-Your-Body Looks Cover stories are everything to women’s publishers. The choice of what to feature on the cover of each month’s issue is the product of years of reader research, and it’s intended to stop passersby in their tracks. Here are Redbook’s September choices: These selections span the issues that matter to Redbook’s audience: diet, money, relationships, personal happiness and fashion. Three of the cover blurbs are meant to tantalize (Seven Secrets, Superfood and What Happy Women Know) and three others to appeal to the get-my-life-in-order instinct (Live Well, Love Your Body and Ditch Your Debt). The cover practically shouts at you that the September Redbook will make you happier, thinner, richer and better in bed. Is it any surprise that variations of these same topics adorn the covers of nearly every women’s magazine? Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website? While the media may be different, a lot of the tactics that the women’s magazines use to entice people in checkout lines also work online. So I stole a recent copy of Redbook from my gym (you don’t think I pay for this material, do you?) and scanned it for ideas. Here are five lessons we can learn from the September, 2008 issue. There’s one other tactic magazine publishers use that you won’t ever have to worry about: those dumb subscription cards that fall out of the middle of the magazine and land on the floor. They’re called blow-in cards, and everybody hates them, even the publishers who use them. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most effective circulation tools ever invented. Sometimes annoyance sells, too. The Seven Secrets to Lasting Love 3. Speak directly to the reader. Have you ever noticed that nearly every feature article in the lifestyle magazines begins with an anecdote? Half the time, the tales are even fictitious. It doesn’t matter. People respond to stories about other people. Stories are the most powerful way to communicate a message, particularly when combined with the other four secrets I’ve mentioned. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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7 Things to Know When Hiring a PR Firm

first_img Agencies traditionally have used clippings, media impressions, advertising equivalency and PR value (which is basically an artificial multiple of ad equivalency) as a means of measuring success. 6) What is their billing structure? . Follow him on Twitter  In the social web, PR agencies are evolving into content publishers, connectors, educators and consultants. Website Grader It’s no secret social media and inbound marketing are  changing the role of PR firms . PR firms can be invaluable strategic partners as your organization moves beyond traditional marketing methods and navigates the social web, but make sure to do your homework and find an agency that has the knowledge, capabilities and staff to fit your needs and budgets. Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Questions to Ask Your PR Firm Twitter Grades 3) Do they maintain an insightful agency blog? 7) How strong and stable is the firm? The agency should have a strong Website Grade, which demonstrates their knowledge and capabilities in search engine optimization, social media and content marketing – all essential competencies of today’s PR firm. Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Simply check out their LinkedIn profiles and  For agencies that do have blogs, make sure it’s updated regularly (at least once per week) with content that is relevant to its readers, not just agency news and updates (which should be reserved for the media room). You must accept that your brand is now what Google and the social Web say it is, and your PR firm should be adept at protecting and strengthening your brand online. While generating media coverage offline and online is important, that coverage, at the end of the day, must deliver measureable results. 1) How active are the consultants/account managers and agency leaders in social networking, specifically LinkedIn and Twitter? PR should generate an ROI. If a firm can’t tell you how they measure and report their value to you, find a new one. Visit  It is extremely important the lead strategist on your account, as well as the agency’s leaders, be heavily engaged in social networking. If they’re not, how can they possibly provide the strategy, creativity and consultation your business needs to succeed online? Focus on value and results. Your firm should be transparent when it comes to billing rates (or set prices if they are offered), and you should know exactly what services are being provided. 4) How do they measure success?  and see for yourself. Paul Roetzer is founder and president of PR 20/20, a Cleveland-based inbound marketing agency and  Concern yourself less with clippings and impressions and more with search engine rankings, inbound links, Website traffic, leads and sales. These metrics are how PR campaigns should be judged. Don’t forget to share this post! Leading digital/online PR firms will most likely provide content marketing, social media consulting, blogging strategy, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising, as well as evolved forms of publicity, brand marketing and crisis communications. If the agency doesn’t have a blog, just move on. Any PR agency that has yet to integrate a blog into their site is simply too far behind the times and most likely will not bring the value and results your business needs. 5) What are their core services? While many traditional PR agencies were built upon the ability to generate editorial coverage (or publicity) through mainstream media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines), the leading digital/online PR firms are social-media and SEO savvy, with proven track records for generating website traffic, inbound links and leads. for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. Download the free webinar As with any outside provider, it is essential to evaluate the agency’s leadership, client base and financial viability. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions before entering into a relationship. 2) What’s their Website Grade? Do Your Homework . Originally published Jan 21, 2009 9:05:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Also, be sure the blog is hosted on their domain, and not someone else’s (e.g. Blogspot, Typepad, etc.). Hosting it on another domain may imply they don’t understand the search engine value of blogging and content marketing. PR firm @paulroetzer .last_img read more

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5 Golden Rules for a Successful Location Based Marketing Campaign

first_img Originally published Sep 8, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Campaigns Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Enter to win a copy of Aaron’s Book!The Evolution of Location Based Marketing”At that point [in 2007], it was really just one of these cool things. It was fun. There were some legs to it, but you couldn’t quite see the business use.”Using location based tools started out as just a cool thing to do. But in 2009, Foursquare launched with an eye toward utilizing location based tools for marketing and business. People started to realize that you can check into businesses. Businesses started setting their locations and offering incentives for check-ins.Now more companies are getting into the location based marketing game. According to Aaron, there will be more development in this area, and then more consolidation and acquisitions, but we’re really just at the beginning. Businesses are still trying to figure out how to use these tools in a beneficial way.Adopting Location Based Marketing Services”I think with the location based things, it’s not to say that if you make a mistake it won’t get some notice, but I think both customers and the press and social media in general are willing to cut you more slack if you’re going in and playing around with them.”If you’re a business, now is the perfect time to be trying out location based services because they’re still relatively small communities. If you make an error, you won’t get as much backlash as if you were just starting out with Twitter or Facebook.Building a Successful Location Based Marketing Campaign”We like to have what we call the Five Golden Rules.” Here are Aaron’s Five Golden Rules for creating a successful location based marketing campaign: 1. Go out and explore the services. Get yourself set up on Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR, and Local Response. Claim your location in those places. 2. Start embracing the influencers that are checking in. Pick one or two services that are right for you (probably Foursquare, and maybe Yelp), and do that. 3. Create your offer. Make sure your offer syncs up with what your business goals are (loyalty, engagement, increase foot traffic, increase sales, etc). 4. Test, learn, optimize, and measure. Keep tabs on what’s working and what’s not working, and make changes.5. Operationalize. Train everyone involved (from the top to the bottom) on what the offer is, how it works, and what the purpose is.Using Location Based Services to Build a Loyalty Program”I think that goes into perpetuity. Every fifth time you go, you’re getting this extra benefit, and smart companies will start to think about how do I do that.”Here are a few examples of companies who are using location based services to build up loyalty programs:Tasti D-Lite has a loyalty program where, through the swipe of a card, you can check into Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook. Checking in earns you additional points towards free menu items.Starwood Hotels has a similar program where, when you attach your Starwood account with Foursquare, you get additional points for checking in.Hideout Theatre has it so you don’t just benefit the first time you check in or if you’re the mayor, but also during your 5th and 10th visits as well.Point-of-Purchase and Location Based Services”So I think the more you can tightly tie in some of these elements to the point of sale, the bigger retail stores will embrace this. But I don’t know if it’s going to be the end-all, be-all. It will definitely add scale. It will add comfort, I think, to a lot of these customers.”A new element that is emerging is a way for businesses to track when people have actually purchased and been inside their business. This builds on loyalty programs, but it can also be used to further relationship building and engagement.Offering Incentives for Sharing With Your Networks”The more reasons you give for someone sharing their check-in with their Facebook account or other social networks, the better.”It’s best to give the user the control on how/what they share with their networks, but the more reasons you give them to share, the better (e.g., “Get more points for sharing your check-in on Facebook.”).What Happens After Check-In”We need to think about the benefit that geo-awareness adds to any kind of transaction business data, etc.”Businesses need to figure out how they can use this information going forward. Can you build check-in information in your loyalty program? Can you add that into your communication with your customers?Digby (a mobile ecommerce company) is looking into this issue. If they can get you to check-in on an app that they’ve built, they can passively know whether you’ve been in a store or not. So then you have that data that you can work with.What Kinds of Businesses Should Use Location Based Services?”I think if you look at companies like Bravo TV, companies that are either publications or they’re consumer package goods, there are things that you can do — whether they’re educational, they can be partnerships with the actual retail locations.”Location based services aren’t just for brick-and-mortar businesses with lots of locations. Other types of businesses can partner with retail locations.For example, you can check in at the Statue of Liberty. When you do, you can pull up a particular show episode on the History Channel and historical facts. The History Channel has partnered with historical locations so that when someone checks in, they’re shown History Channel content.Measuring the Effectiveness of Location Based Marketing”This is a space that will continue to evolve. One of the things that we do have is we have a website. It’s LocationBasedMarketingForDummies.com, and that’s going to be the book site, and we’re going to keep a regular blog there. You’ll be able to find out about some of these services as they evolve, because Mike and I will keep wiki pages that will let users contribute as well — talk about all these different services that can help measure and monitor.”A lot of the platforms offer their own dashboards for tracking who’s checked in, demographics, etc.But there are also a lot of other tools that can help you measure and monitor these campaigns. Some of them are:MomentFeed: for tracking across multiple locations and multiple servicesGeotoko: for managing multiple offersValuevine: for all kinds of tracking of location based campaignsLocal Response: for mining Twitter and finding specific check-ins and making offers to themResources for Location Based Marketing Information”I have a list that I’ve actually built if someone checks out my Twitter handle, @AaronStrout. You can see my LBS Twitter stream that I’ve got.”Check out @Mr_LBS on Twitter, the Location Based Marketing Association, @JBruin on Twitter, and all of the individual services’ Twitter handles and blogs.Where to Start Your Location Based Marketing Efforts”Try it out as a consumer and check in to some places and get some ideas, and then get your company set up. Claim your location. Think about maybe a light offer that you could do.”If you’re just starting out, get set up on Foursquare. Try it as a consumer. Get some ideas. Then claim your location, and work on a light offer.Connect With Aaron OnlineYou can follow Aaron on Twitter @AaronStrout and his personal blog. Don’t forget to also check out his company blog, his book, and the Quick-n-Dirty podcast.Enter to Win a Copy of Aaron’s Book, Location Based Marketing for Dummiescenter_img Topics: Aaron Strout joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s social media and inbound marketing podcast! Aaron is the head of location based marketing at WCG in Austin. He is the author of an upcoming book, Location Based Marketing for Dummies, he runs his own podcast called The Quick-n-Dirty Social Media Podcast on BlogTalk Radio, and he blogs over at his own site.In this episode, we chat about:The evolution of location based marketingTips on adopting location based marketing in your businessBuilding a successful location based marketing campaignUsing location based services to build a loyalty programPoint-of-purchase and location based servicesOffering incentives for sharing with your networksWhat kinds of businesses should use location based servicesMeasuring the effectiveness of location based marketingResources for location based marketing informationWhere to start your location based marketing effortslast_img read more

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How to Build Better Buyer Personas to Drive Killer Content

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

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Communications Strategies for Millennials: How We Developed One for Churches

first_img 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

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5 Need-to-Measure Ecommerce Metrics to Scale Like the Big Box Retailers

first_img Originally published Apr 16, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketing Metrics The internet has an infinite amount of benefits, but one in particular that has wholly disrupted business operations. See, the world wide web allows for equal and fair access to websites, which means that startups and small businesses are essentially on an equal playing field with their big box competitors when it comes to ecommerce.This makes for a monumental advantage when it comes to smaller ecommerce shops. Through an easy checkout process, excellent customer service and a smooth delivery experience, startups and small businesses can oust competitors who have long been household names.This is exactly what Warby Parker did, ousting Luxottica, or what Rent the Runway did, ousting David’s Bridal, among others.Of course, as legacy brands become more and more educated to the power of ecommerce, their large budgets follow. And, more often than not, those budgets are going toward analytics platforms that help these brands optimize for repeat customers and quickly notify them to what is working on their sites and what is just sitting in inventory.In other words, legacy brands do have a leg up on smaller retailers when it comes to ecommerce and it’s in the amount of intelligence they are using to drive conversions and increase revenue.That said, data and analytics should be democratized throughout the ecommerce space, and no, Google Analytics isn’t enough. Your big box competitors aren’t simply monitoring new and repeat visitors, or from where their web traffic comes. No, they are using enhanced ecommerce analytics to push visitors down a purchase funnel from the moment they land on the site.Below, the top metrics these retailers are using and how you should be using them, too.Cost of Acquiring a Customer (CAC)Before customers can begin purchasing on your site, you need to get them there first. Big box brands have an advantage here in that they have marketplace name recognition. In other words, people will simply type their name into Google and land on their page.For smaller retailers, you’ll likely need to spend some cash to get your target customers to your site. The cost of acquiring a customer metrics, or CAC, reveals how much money you spend throughout the acquisition funnel, from creating an ebook or promoting a post on Facebook, to having a visitor come to your site because of the ebook or promotion, all the way through to their finding a product they like and finally checking out.The cost of customer acquisition is the amount of money you have to spend to get one customer. The lower the cost of acquisition, the better: i.e., you always want your cost of acquisition to go down. As a quick example, your CAC is $40 if you need to spend $200 to get five visitors to buy on your store.You may employ different techniques to bring in those visitors — SEO, paid ad campaigns, high-quality content, social media — but all of them cost you either in terms of money or time.There are a lot of factors that affect your cost of customer acquisition, but it is important to get an accurate number here. As a best practice, you should always try to find marketing outlets that lower your CAC valuation.Conversion RateOnce your store gets traffic, you need to see how many visitors are buying. Conversion rate reveals just that.Conversion rate is defined as the percentage of visitors who end up buying from your store. The higher the conversion rate, the better. When it comes to conversion rate, you always want it to be going up. As a quick example, your conversion rate is 2% if 2 out of 100 visitors buy from your store. According to this recent Marketing Land article, one way to improve conversion rate is to add video to a majority of your product pages; retailers adding video reported conversion rates close to 9%.There are hundreds of articles out there on how to improve conversion rates –– because it is just that important. There’s so much emphasis on conversion rate because it directly affects your business’s bottom line. Regardless of how much effort you spend on driving traffic to your store, if most visitors don’t end up buying, it’s all wasted. That said, it’s really important to make sure you know what your conversion rate is at all times and keep tabs on whether it’s improving and if you should stay the course or not.Shopping Cart AbandonmentWhen your conversion rate is low, you need to understand how many visitors had an inclination to buy. To do this, you’ll want to examine your store’s cart abandonment. This metric indicates the percentage of visitors who added products to their shopping cart but did not complete the checkout process. The lower your cart abandonment rate, the better. As a quick example, your shopping cart abandonment is 75% if 75 out of 100 visitors with a cart leave without buying.Cart abandonment is the closest you come to earning real customers before they leave your site. Adding to the cart typically indicates an intent to purchase. The fact that they leave without buying means you lost potential customers. It gets especially bad if you paid a lot of money to get these visitors to your store. Making sure your cart abandonment is low is key to improving your conversion rate.Average Order ValueYou should monitor how much money each order brings in to see how much revenue you can generate. That’s what AOV tells you.This is the average size of an order on your store. The higher the average order value, the better. For example, your AOV is $35 per order if you made $140 from 4 orders.By monitoring AOV, you can figure out how much revenue you can generate from your current traffic and conversion rate. Being able to predict revenue is a big deal for any business. If most of your orders are really small, that means you have to get a lot more people to buy in order to achieve your target. It’s important to have at least a few high value orders so that your overall average is on the higher side.ChurnIf your LTV is low, it could be that many of your customers buy once and never return. This is measured by what is referred to as “churn.”Churn is the percentage of your customers who do not come back to your site. The lower the churn, the better. For example, a churn rate of 80% means 80 out of 100 customers do not come back to buy from your store.As we have seen, to ensure a high profit, it’s important to influence your customers to keep coming back to purchase. That means you want your churn to be low so that once you acquire a customer, they continue to come back and purchase again and again. Lower churn means higher LTV and a healthier business overall.Once you start measuring your ecommerce store performance and using data to drive your business decisions and strategies, you’ll be well on the way to enterprise-level success! No big box retailer takes action without measuring the impact and neither should you. Monitor your metrics, pivot when and where necessary and make the most of your both your time and money in order to build a successful brand.last_img read more

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