No. 1 Bucks: Milwaukee clinches top spot in the NBA

first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte The Bucks have not won a playoff series since 2001, the longest current drought in the NBA. They have lost nine consecutive series.QUOTE OF THE DAY“We’ve got to make sure we take full advantage of the opportunity, take care of business and do what we’re supposed to do.” — Houston’s James Harden, the reigning NBA MVP, on the Rockets’ next two games against lottery-bound New York and Phoenix.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View comments — Sacramento at Utah: The Jazz are 11-1 in their last 12 games, and still have a shot — albeit slim — of getting to the No. 4 spot out West.— Portland at Denver: This is the start of a home-and-home that will have a big impact on seeding. Nuggets’ recent schedule has been brutal.— Cleveland at Golden State: Technically, it’s a rematch of the last four NBA Finals. Cavs could harm Warriors’ plans for West No. 1 seed.— L.A. Lakers at L.A. Clippers: Doc Rivers with Clippers — six winning seasons in six years. Clippers pre-Doc — six winning seasons in 38 years.— Games with no playoff implications: Memphis at Dallas, New Orleans at Phoenix.CURRENT BRACKETFirst-round matchups if the season ended Thursday …East: 1-Milwaukee vs. 8-Orlando, 2-Toronto vs. 7-Brooklyn, 3-Philadelphia vs. 6-Detroit, 4-Boston vs. 5-Indiana.West: 1-Golden State vs. 8-San Antonio, 2-Denver vs. 7-Oklahoma City, 3-Houston vs. 6-L.A. Clippers, 4-Portland vs. 5-Utah.NOTE OF THE DAY No other seeds are clinched. Philadelphia will almost certainly be No. 3, but that’s not secure.It could play a role in which teams get the last three open spots. Milwaukee plays Brooklyn on Saturday, a big game for the Nets and meaningless for the Bucks. Toronto plays Miami on Sunday, big for the Heat, and perhaps meaningless for the Raptors. If Philadelphia has the No. 3 seed clinched by Tuesday, that could help the Heat out in Dwyane Wade’s last home game.WESTERN CONFERENCEGolden State’s easy win over the Los Angeles Lakers put the defending NBA champions two games ahead of Denver in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.Still, no seeds out West are clinched. Denver and Houston are vying for No. 2 — mathematically, there are other options, such as Portland getting past both of them for that spot, but in most scenarios the Nuggets and Rockets will be the ones fighting it out. San Antonio could get as high as sixth, but will likely be seventh or eighth.ADVERTISEMENT Milwaukee Bucks’ George Hill, left, and Sterling Brown celebrate during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Philadelphia. Milwaukee won 128-122. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with six days remaining in the regular season:EASTERN CONFERENCEADVERTISEMENT Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Tired of losing, Eric Kelly determined to stop 5-fight skid in ONE: Roots of Honor Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess LATEST STORIEScenter_img DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew MOST READ Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess The road to the NBA Finals goes through Milwaukee. And the Bucks are the first team in the league to know exactly where they will be seeded for the playoffs.Milwaukee’s win over Philadelphia on Thursday night clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and ensured that the Bucks will have home-court advantage for the entirety of the playoffs. It doesn’t guarantee anything, of course, but the No. 1 seed has made the East finals in 16 of the last 19 seasons.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“It’s not just about Game 7. It’s about having the first two games at home,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Our guys have worked hard this year to earn that, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot at the end of the day when the playoffs start.”Toronto is now locked in as the No. 2 seed in the East, and still could finish as the No. 2 seed in the entire NBA — which would give the Raptors the home-court edge in the NBA Finals if they got there. Plenty of games Friday will affect the West race, with the Portland-Denver matchup likely carrying the most weight on the night’s schedule.FRIDAY’S GAMESThere are 11 games on Friday’s schedule with playoff implications.— Toronto at Charlotte: It’s almost win-out-or-bust now for the Hornets. For the Raptors, it’s get ready to host the No. 7 seed in Game 1.— Atlanta at Orlando: The Magic play their final home regular-season game. A win would help the odds that this isn’t the season home finale.— San Antonio at Washington: Spurs know they’ll start the playoffs on the road. Getting out of eighth likely avoids seeing the Warriors right away.— Boston at Indiana: Winner will hold a one-game lead in the race for the No. 4 spot in the East with two games left. The loser goes to No. 5.— New York at Houston: The Rockets could become the first team since Phoenix (in February 2009) to score 130 in three consecutive games.— Miami at Minnesota: It’s not a must-win for the Heat, but close. When Dwyane Wade plays, Miami has won seven straight at Minnesota.— Detroit at Oklahoma City: Pistons are fighting to get in and waiting for Blake Griffin to return, while the Thunder have lost seven of 10. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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Baroda Cricket Association sacks BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel

first_imgSanjay 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.last_img read more

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Munro leads New Zealand to formidable 196 for 2

first_imgColin Munro plays a shot in the 2nd T20 cricket match between India and New Zealand at Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Rajkot on Saturday. – Photo: Vivek Bendre SHARE New Zealand: 196 for 2 in 20 overs. (C Monro 109 not out, M Guptill 45; Y Chahal 1/36). Published on November 04, 2017 Opener Colin Munro punished the listless Indian bowling with an unbeaten 109 and powered New Zealand to an imposing 196 for two in the second Twenty20 International, here today.Left-handed Munro used his bat like a sledge-hammer striking seven sixes and as many fours in his 58-balls knock.The South Africa-born Munro raised a 105-run stand for the first wicket with Martin Guptill who scored 45 off 41 balls, striking three sixes and five fours in the process.None of the Indian bowlers, barring Jasprit Bumrah in his first spell, could contain the rampaging Munro. The worst sufferer was debutant Mohammed Siraj, who was struck repeatedly for sixes by the southpaw and ended up giving away 53 runs for the lone wicket of rival skipper Kane Williamson.Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (1/36) and Axar Patel too failed to stem the run-flow.Guptill and Munro struck one four each off debutant Siraj in the Hyderabad pace bowler’s first over in international cricket to set the tone early in the innings.At the other end leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, brought in to bowl the fifth over in place of Kumar, was treated harshly by Guptill who carted him for a couple of sixes over long on. The Black Caps reached 41 without loss after five overs.Chahal, who had troubled the visitors in the preceding three-game ODI rubber as well as the first T20 game, conceded 17 runs in his first over.When Siraj was brought back for his second over, he was treated with disdain by Munro as he slammed the bowler for a couple sixes over long on and mid-wicket. The bowler was taken for 16 runs in the eighth over of the innings.Guptill later danced down the track to smack Chahal over mid-wicket and Munro was almost caught on the boundary line by Kumar in the same over at the end of which the visitors were 83 without loss.Munro struck Axar Patel for two sixes in successive balls to reach his 50 in 26 balls, besides raising the 100 of the innings in the 11th over before Chahal broke the first wicket stand by having Guptill caught at long off.Siraj then got his first wicket in international cricket, the prized one of rival skipper Williamson for 12, when the batsman flicked straight to Rohit Sharma at deep mid-wicket to leave the Black Caps at 140 for two in the 15th over.Munro was also let off on 79 by Chahal off Kumar to remain unconquered. × cricket Colin Munro plays a shot in the 2nd T20 cricket match between India and New Zealand at Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Rajkot on Saturday. – Photo: Vivek Bendre COMMENT COMMENTS Brief Scores: SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more

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Why Google Will Set The Record For The Greatest Monthly Market Cap Drop In Nov 2008

first_img If you were a search-only user of Google and you read a few reports saying that other search engines were better, why wouldn’t you switch to another vendor’s engine?  Basically, the question is, what is stopping someone from doing to Google what Google did to the original search leaders? The following are five reasons I think Google might be overvalued and why I think that when the stock price falls that it will not be a gradual decline, but rather a rapid loss of market capital.   I think the headline will look something like the one above. ranks on each of the major search engines when I query specific terms.  As you can see, Microsoft and Google’s results are not vastly different and I think both their algorithms are starting to “understand” this blog relatively well while I do not think Yahoo’s algorithm “gets” what we are up to at all. I use search engines a ton, so it is important to me that I use the best one.  I have been doing some informal testing between Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft to see if I could figure out whose algorithm produced the best results.  For example, here is a chart showing where Reverse Tipping Point Google has incredibly low switching costs.  As I sit here, I cannot come up with a single product with a lower switching cost than Google search (as a user).  Can you?  One of the few things Yahoo got right early was that it created some other applications with relatively high switching costs, like the My Yahoo portal, Yahoo mail and an address book.  I suspect much of Yahoo’s search traffic (= ad revenue) is a result of users of other applications searching because they were already there.  As you can see from this chart I borrowed from Yellow Pages or Search Engine? Switching Costs Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Quality Parity Google is a company I admire and I still use it constantly, but I am just wondering whether I should be buying the stock (at it’s hair-raising multiples) or shorting the stock…Are you seeing these same patterns in Google?  Do you agree/disagree?  Why? Topics: Google Updatescenter_img Some might argue that Google’s “brand” creates high switching costs.  Over time, I have noticed that Google’s results page has become more and more crowded with advertisements.  For example, I just did a search on “small business marketing” and I got 7 paid results (yellow page ads) and 3 organic results above the fold.  The same search on Yahoo produced 8 ads and 2 organics while Microsoft Live produced 3 ads and 3 organics.  I have seen varying numbers on it, but the vast majority of users prefer to click on an organic result when searching vs. a paid result, so I imagine that this approach would eventually start to wear a bit thin.  In addition, as the markets moves towards parity in the quality of results, I can imagine that there will be interesting pressures on Google (and its competitors) relative to the real estate they take up on advertising. If impartial, smart people were saying that Google’s results were no longer the best and there were very low switching costs, then the “more users” part of this reinforcing loop would break and the advertising revenue would start to go down.  This feels to me like the type of thing that happens quickly, not gradually. NOVEMBER 30, 2008:  GOOGLE Breaks A Nasdaq Record for Largest Market Cap Loss In 1 Month SmallBusiness 2.0 Disruptive threats Another potential issue Google has is that there are a number of new ways to search for things on the internet.  For example, I am a user of del.icio.us and when I search for information there, I often get very interesting results back.  What would constitute a real threat is if some of these new types of search engines avoided acquisition and started merging together in a couple of years:  Digg, del.icio.us, & Snap.com for example. I think it is widely assumed that Google’s algorithm is vastly superior to anything else on the market, but when I look at these search results, I am starting to think that Microsoft is catching up.  I can imagine a point in time where parity might be achieved and where several impartial and credible observers might comment to that effect publicly. Originally published Dec 4, 2006 11:50:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 , over 88% of Google’s traffic is generated from their vanilla search and image search. The thing that is so elegant about Google’s business model today is that they have a positive reinforcing system dynamics loop powering their growth.  The best search engine = More Users –> More Advertiser –> More users –> More advertisers –> etc. Don Dodge’s bloglast_img read more

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Don’t Work for Free. Track Conversions.

first_img 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:center_img 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.last_img read more

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Why Controlled Content Loses and Free Content Wins

first_img force DVD renters to watch movie trailers?  Is 2010 the year to start clamping down on the distribution and availability of your content?  In a world that gives movie enthusiasts a plethora of ways to view movies, some legal and some illegal, I would argue; “no”.  .  Thank you for helping to make the world just slightly worse. Content Marketing Warner Brothers decided they wouldn’t just settle for a degraded user experience, they also wanted to make inroads in decreasing the distribution of their product.  Back in January, Warner successfully executed an agreement with Netflix (a company that has experienced huge success by making it easier to rent DVDs) that prevents Netflix from renting Warner movies until four weeks after they have been released.  A similar deal was signed in February with another innovator in the movie distribution space, Redbox, also preventing them from renting movies until four weeks after the initial release. night when a Warner Brothers marketer decided to deliberately and abruptly interrupt me.  After hitting “play” to watch the movie seems to think that is a dumb trend and is headed in the opposite direction. I sat down with my wife to watch a rented movie on Friday The DVD business is struggling right now.  According to the I would also like to give a special shout-out to Philips for inventing the technology specifically designed to prevent you from skipping DVD ads, patented here: Fine, I figured I would just skip the trailers one-by-one by pressing the skip chapter button; “cannot operate”.  Some swearing ensued followed by a desperate attempt to outsmart the DVD by ejecting the disc and then restarting it while pushing the menu buttons really fast.  No dice.  The only thing I could do was play each trailer at 3x speed, one-by-one, as each new trailer would put an end to my fast forwarding.  There is nothing more emasculating than not being able to control your own DVD player. , instead of South African rugby I was greeted with a barrage of unskippable movie trailers. Then in March, Warner Brothers decided to embrace the least innovative movie distributor in the space, Blockbuster, by actually signing a new contract allowing them to continue to rent DVDs immediately after they are released.  It’s almost as if they noticed that Blockbuster lost $435 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 and thought: maybe we shouldn’t hurt the people who distribute our product. Is it really good for business to , first quarter of 2010 data show that “U.S. DVD rental revenue fell 14% from a year ago” and DVD sales were down 13% in 2009. The economy is being blamed, and of course piracy is always an easy excuse.  In any event, forcing customers to watch commercials they don’t want to see on DVD’s they could only rent from one store cannot be helping. k8marieuk http://bit.ly/9MFNe0 I tried in vain to push all the buttons on the remote that might enable me to get past the unwanted nuisances.  I pushed “Top Menu”; no luck.  How about “Pop-Up Menu”?  Nope.  A simple message would appear on the screen saying: “cannot operate”.  Did the DVD magically and suddenly forget what the menu button is supposed to do?center_img Marketing Takeaway Inbound Marketing Originally published Jul 7, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated July 11 2013 Topics: Inbound Marketing Today, huge quantities of content are available free of charge everywhere.  To compete, create high quality content and then give people a great user experience by making it easy to find and consume the content.  There are plenty of options out there and anything less will send potential customers elsewhere to get a more gratifying experience. Warner Brothers, go read Photo Credit: Warner Brothers In a world with ever increasing choice of quality content, Warner Brothers has made a decisive move to worsen the user experience of their product.  There is only one reason to disable the DVD functions during the previews; to try to force people to watch ads that they don’t want to see.  Where is my “unsubscribe” button?  Where is my do not call list?  Why can I not opt out of this unwanted advertising? Never in the history of the world has it been easier to get incredible content inexpensively and conveniently.  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack LA Times and I want my 5 minutes back. Invictuslast_img read more

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10 Examples of Amazing Viral Marketing Videos

first_imgOh, hi there. Have you heard the news about video? It’s becoming really important for marketers to use. Imperative, even. Perhaps mandatory.”Sure,” you must be thinking. “And in other news, the sky is blue.”Okay, we get it. You know how important video is. That much is clear. In fact, 94% of marketers plan to add either YouTube or Facebook video to their content distribution efforts in the next 12 months. And that’s great — but we have a question. What makes a video viral?According to Dictionary.com, to go viral means to become “very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the internet.” And when executed well, that virality can last for a while — in fact, I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite ways to reminisce about my childhood is to ask my peers, “Remember that old jingle that went like … ?”Free Guide: How to Create Video to Increase Engagement So not only have we hand-picked our favorite viral marketing videos below — we’ve also explained what we believe makes them so effective. And given the aforementioned ability of viral videos to maintain evergreen popularity, you’ll notice that not all of them are terribly recent. So, let’s get right to it, shall we?6 Viral Video Marketing Examples1) Dallas Zoo & Bob Hagh: Breakdancing GorillaThe VideoWe start off with a bit of an unusual example. It all started when Dallas Zoo Primate Supervisor Ashley Orr captured this video of Zola, a footloose and fancy-free gorilla splashing around and dancing in a kiddie pool. Check it out: Why It WorksLet’s face it: Generally, what goes on in the bathroom stays in the bathroom. It’s a taboo topic — but it’s one that everyone experiences, and one that Poo~Pourri approaches and communicates with bravado.This brand’s products were created to solve a problem that people typically don’t like to discuss publicly, but still needs to be resolved. So Poo~Pourri created video content that says, “Hey, we’ll address and talk about it, so you don’t have to.”What are some of the discomforts/uncomfortable topics around the problem that your product seeks to resolve? Start a conversation about them — the one that your customer wants to have, but is too embarrassed to do so.And guess what? It doesn’t have to pertain to bodily functions. It can also be about bigger grievances, like wanting to quit your job. That’s the approach that HubSpot has taken with its Summer Startup Competition, for which we created the video below. The opening line? An unabashed declaration of, “Quit your job.”So, there you have it. From tear-jerking to hilarious, these viral videos illustrate the endless possibilities of how your brand can create similar content — the kind that could keep people talking about it far down the road.What are your favorite viral video marketing examples? Let us know in the comments.Want more tips for creating video content? Check out this data on the state of video marketing.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2010 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Originally published Jul 7, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Within less than a week, the video was picked up by the likes of CNN, Maxim, and ABC, to name a few — just have a look at the search results for “dancing gorilla maniac.”Why It WorksHow many times have you watched a video and thought, “This reminds me of … “? That’s precisely what Hagh did here — took a video that was already cute, and added something simple to make it even more shareable.After Hagh’s “enhanced” version of the gorilla video went viral, I resolved to start observing those fleeting moments when I think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if … ?” And while there’s no guarantee that acting on those thoughts would have viral results — and we wouldn’t recommend investing a ton of time in something that isn’t likely to pay off — Hagh’s experience makes us say, “You never know.”So start paying attention to what you normally think of as silly ideas, and if there’s a low-effort opportunity to act on them, do so — but don’t just do it once, and pay attention each time, analyzing any metrics that you’re able to pull around performance. See who responds to each experiment and how, and it could inform your video marketing strategy.2) Dollar Shave Club: “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”The VideoThe video below is over five years old, and yet, out of all of Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube videos — of which there are more than 50 — it remains the brand’s most popular, with over 24 million views. “Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun,” the video’s description reads, explaining that, to make the video, “IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules … all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times.” Today, it holds the Guinness World Records™ title for the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film.Why It WorksRe-read the first part of the video’s description. “Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun.” Replace that job title with any other, and depending on your industry, it could apply to your work, as well. All marketers deserve to have a little fun. The question is, “How?”It presents another opportunity to start paying closer attention to those “Wouldn’t it be cool if … ?” thoughts, and thinking about how you can actually act upon them to create remarkable content. That’s especially important in B2B marketing, where creatively communicating your product or service in an engaging way is a reported challenge.So, we’ll say it again: Write down your ideas for cool things to do, and present them at your next marketing conversation with a plan for implementing them.P.S. Want to see how this film was made? Check out that bonus footage here.4) TrueMoveH: “Giving”The VideoTrueMoveH, a mobile communication provider in Thailand, triggered leaky eyeballs everywhere when it published this video in 2013. To date, it has over 20 million views and continues to be the brand’s most popular YouTube video. Video Marketing Topics: Why It WorksThis example is an interesting case of co-marketing. Tripp and Tyler made the video in partnership with Zoom, a video conferencing provider — but Zoom isn’t mentioned until the end, when the story being told in the video is largely over. It’s as if the video says, “Ha ha, don’t you hate it when that happens? Here’s a company that can provide a solution,” and then quietly exits.What are some of the biggest annoyances your customers or personas have to deal with? Do they align with the problems that your product or service is designed to solve? If the answer is “no,” then, well … you have some work to do.But if the answer is “yes,” find the humor in those problems. They say that “art imitates life,” so don’t be afraid to act it out, and use these common frustrations to create engaging content.6) Poo~Pourri: “Imagine Where You Can GO”The VideoPoo~Pourri, the maker of a unique bathroom spray, is known for its vast array of viral videos. And while we’re a bit too bashful to share its most popular one on here, here’s another one — which has earned over 13 million views — that’ll give you a general idea of what the brand is all about. I added some music to this. pic.twitter.com/UwjhTKpaeu— Bob Hagh (@BobHagh) June 22, 2017 But as if that wasn’t already fun enough to watch, Star-Telegram Video Producer Bob Hagh noticed that the gorilla’s “choreography” bore a striking resemblance to a routine from the movie Flashdance, which was performed to the song “Maniac.” Seeing an opportunity for a quick laugh, Hagh dubbed the dancing gorilla video with the same track. We’re not crying. You’re crying.Why It WorksLet’s think about some of the ads that have given us “all the feels,” as the kids would say, like Budweiser’s 2014 “Puppy Love” Super Bowl ad which, in January 2016, Inc. called “the All-Time Most Popular Super Bowl Ad.” They’re popular, and people continue to talk about them long after they’ve aired. That’s because they invoke empathy — and that can highly influence buying decisions, especially when there’s a story involved.This video tells a story. It follows the tale of a man who was unequivocally generous throughout his life and, in the end, repaid when it mattered most. The best part: Not once throughout the story is the brand mentioned. In fact, it isn’t until the end that TrueMoveH’s general business category — communication — arises.Start with your industry. Then, think of a story you want to tell — any story at all, as long as it invokes empathy. Then, figure out how that story ties back to what your brand does, and use it to create video content.5) Tripp and Tyler & Zoom: “A Conference Call in Real Life”The VideoThen, there’s the flip side of empathy — the kind that takes some of life’s biggest annoyances and applies humor to them. That’s exactly what podcast hosts Tripp and Tyler did in the video below, to illustrate what a conference call would look like if it played out in real life. Why It WorksThere’s something to be said for putting a face to a brand — in this case, it’s Dollar Shave Club’s founder, Michael Dubin. Employees can have up to 10X as many followers on social media as the companies they work for, and content shared by them receives as much as 8X the engagement. In other words, viewers like it when the people behind a brand advocate for it.That’s exactly what this video does — and following its success, Dubin hasn’t disappeared into the shadows, and to this day, continues to personally appear in the vast majority of Dollar Shave Club’s videos.We get it. Founders and executives are busy. Where the heck are they supposed to find the time to appear in all of these marketing videos? To us, the answer is: They make the time. By publicly making that investment in their respective brands’ content, an executive sends the message that she still believes in her brand, and that she hasn’t let its success change her character. It’s a unique form of thought leadership, but if Dollar Shave Club’s growth and popularity is any indication — it works.3) IBM: “A Boy And His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie”The VideoHere’s another video that you can file under: “Oldie, but goodie.” Sure, this marketing video falls within the B2B sector to advertise IBM’s data storage services — but similar to the very B2C brand Dollar Shave Club, the example below remains its most popular video on YouTube, with over six million views. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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A Marketer’s Guide to Accumulating Awesome Online Reviews

first_img Topics: Customer Reviews and Testimonials Originally published Dec 20, 2018 5:09:00 PM, updated August 27 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img 1. Create different spaces to leave reviews.Before potential customers even make it to your website to learn about your business, make sure they can learn about you no matter where they’re conducting online research about making a purchase.There are a few typical third-party sites people consult to learn more about a business or a product:1. YelpBrightLocal found that Yelp and Facebook were consumers’ most trusted source of customer reviews in the U.S., so make sure your business is registered and up-to-date. You can learn how to claim your business (or add it, if your business is brand-new) using Yelp for Business Owners.Make sure you’re regularly monitoring communications coming from this profile — responsive business owners are highlighted with an average response time and response rate that could encourage readers to move forward in the process towards becoming a new customer.2. FacebookYou should also claim your business’ Facebook Page so potential customers can find you to learn more about you without having to leave their social network. This is another site that rewards high levels of responsiveness, so make sure you assign someone to monitor incoming messages across the channels you’re trying to optimize for new customer acquisition.3. GoogleNext, use Google My Business to claim your business on the world’s biggest search engine, where potential customers might find you if they’re searching for information on Google, or searching for directions in Google Maps. (This is of particular importance to brick-and-mortar businesses trying to attract foot traffic — learn more about local SEO in this blog post.) People also leave reviews using Google, which appear in the search results for your business, as shown below if you Google “HubSpot.”4. AmazonIf you’re an Amazon seller, make sure to claim and customize your Amazon page. Amazon serves up a lot of different results for different searches, so make sure your Amazon page tells your business’ story the same way your website does. If a shopper finds your brand over the course of an Amazon search, make sure your Page highlights product details, testimonials, and reviews.Source: Amazon5. Better Business BureauFor businesses in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, you can register with the Better Business Bureau — another highly trusted source of customer reviews. By claiming your business on the BBB, you can access more candid customer reviews and become accredited on the site — which lends greater credibility and trustworthiness to you if customers are deciding between options using these reviews and ratings.There are also industry-specific review sites you should claim if they’re popular within your business’s vertical — such as TripAdvisor and Oyster in the travel and hospitality industries, G2Crowd and Finances Online in the software industries, and OpenTable and HappyCow in the restaurant industries. Make sure your contact information, website, hours, and key offerings are available on these more niche sites, too.2. Optimize your content.Your customer reviews might be coming in unsolicited from happy — or unhappy — customers on third-party sites.But once people are already on your site, make sure it’s easy for them to leave reviews there, too.Optimize your website, blog posts, social profiles, and emails to provide quick and easy avenues through which to write reviews by:Setting up website badges to quickly and easily direct visitors to your Yelp, Facebook, and Amazon pages to read and leave reviewsOptimize your website for mobile devices for people who come to your website when they’re browsing social or conducting searches on their phoneIf you’re asking for customer reviews via email, keep the asks short and sweet.Here’s a review request I received from a tour company in Charleston. It wisely included a link to various ways to review the company on the actual receipt of my purchase shortly after taking the tour. (For those curious, I highly recommend the haunted graveyard your if you’re ever in Charleston, SC.)3. Create incentives.Your time is valuable, and so is your customers’, so make sure you’re giving customers a reason to leave a review.Offer incentives to make your customers want to write a review — such as discount or coupon codes, entrance into a contest for an even bigger prize, or gift cards for coffee, online shopping, or cold hard cash.A review request (with a caffeinated incentive) from G2 Crowd4. Ask at the right moments.Make sure you’re soliciting customer reviews at the right moment in their journey with your business to get optimal results.Think about it: If you ask for a review at the wrong moment, it could result in a customer leaving a negative review that hundreds more people read when considering whether or not they want to buy from your business.Ask for customer reviews after positive moments along the customer journey, like:After they experience or demonstrate success with your product or serviceWhen they re-purchase or re-orderAfter they tag your brand in a post on social mediaIf they are spending time on your website browsing other products or servicesIf they refer another customer to youThese are just a few examples of signs that your customer is satisfied enough that they would leave a positive review of your business.For example, Etsy asked me to review a recent purchase approximately one month after I received it. I ordered a party favor for a friend’s bridal shower, so one month later was the right timeframe to make sure I had time to enjoy and use my product.On the other hand, some products and services will work within different time frames. For ride-hailing app Lyft, I usually receive a prompt to review my experience with my ride and driver immediately after the ride ends. For language-learning app Duolingo, I receive a prompt to review the app in the App Store after completing a lesson or achieving a milestone in the language I’m learning.5. Meet customers where they are.Don’t email your customers to ask them to leave you a positive review on Yelp.Instead, make sure your requests match up with the avenue where you want your customer to write a review. If you’re sending out an email asking for a customer review, make sure the email links to exactly where they can leave their feedback. If you want reviews on your Facebook Page, send the request via Messenger. And if you have to ask for a customer review cross-platform, make the request as integrated as possible — for example, by linking to your Yelp page in your email signature, or asking customers to review their purchase from your Amazon store in a follow-up email post-purchase.Here’s a review request I received from a third-party Amazon seller — along with some helpful tips for how best to use the product I had recently purchased:6. Ask open-ended questions first.Don’t start by coming out and asking directly for a customer review.Instead, start a conversation — and use an open-ended question to kick off the process.By asking customers “How are you liking the product?” or “Are you ready to renew/purchase again?” or “How was your recent interaction with customer support?” you can start a conversation and gauge their level of satisfaction before actually asking for the review.This is helpful in two ways:You can source helpful customer feedbackYou can avoid the awkward mistake of asking a customer for a review before learning they had a bad experienceUse the open-ended question to genuinely collect customer feedback — and to sneakily make sure the customer is happy before offering them a reason to submit a review. There’s nothing you can do about negative reviews coming onto various sites, but if there’s a customer who needs a resolution, focus on that before you ask them to rate your business.An open-ended question in an email subject line — as BioClarity did here — prompted me to get ready to give an answer as a reply or in the form of a review:7. Respond to every review — even negative ones. Nobody’s perfect, and mistakes sometimes happen that result in a customer leaving a scathing one-star review on your website, on Facebook, or on Yelp.When you get a one-star review, though, make sure to take the time to respond thoughtfully, without being defensive, to come to a resolution. It’s the right thing to do if you work in customer service, and it could actually help your business in the long run.Harvard Business Review found that businesses responding to negative reviews online actually resulted in better ratings overall. Your customers are human beings too, and the value of empathetic and compassionate customer service strikes a chord and actually leads to an uptick in total reviews, particularly positive ones.Here’s an example of how HubSpot responds to reviews on our Glassdoor page. Although not technically “customers,” showing prospective employees that HubSpot responds to feedback and takes it seriously helps our employment brand, too.8. Share positive customer reviews you’ve already received.When you start receiving positive reviews from your customers, keep the momentum going by highlighting and sharing them so other customers are inspired to do the same.On Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Glassdoor, and many other reviews sites, business owners (and site visitors) can mark certain reviews as helpful, which is like upvoting and moves reviews further up on the site so more people can read them. Make sure to periodically do this to positive reviews so your company’s page highlights the cream of the crop.You could also share positive reviews on your brand’s social media channels to open up the option to your audience there. You could reshare positive Facebook reviews in a post on your page, or you could format positive reviews as quotes for Instagram to post for your followers.Social proof is a powerful marketing tactic — it means that, if customers see other people like them sharing reviews, they’re more likely to do the same by following the crowd. So make sure that, in addition to asking for new customer reviews, you’re promoting the positive ones you receive across your brand’s channels for promotion.9. Give your customers a positive review first.If you want customers to leave you a review, you could leave them one first to get the ball rolling.This may not always be possible (depending on your industry or product), but in a lot of cases, you can get customers to reciprocate your positive words.If your product or service allows customer profiles to be reviewed — Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, VRBO, and TurnKey are examples — then leave them a positive review if you’d like them to review you in return. Of course, if they were bad customers, you don’t have to do that, but if you want to garner more reviews, taking the first step could prompt them to leave you one in return.Another good option is recommending your customer on LinkedIn. If you’re in an account management role and you work with individuals over a long period of time, you could leave them a recommendation or endorsement on LinkedIn. Those go a long way for their own personal branding, and might compel them to reciprocate on their own by leaving your business a positive review. And if they thank you for the endorsement, you could politely ask them for a specific review on a different platform during that exchange.Customer: Thanks for endorsing me on LinkedIn! I appreciate it.Business Representative: You’re welcome! I’ve enjoyed working with you over the last few months, and wanted to make sure other people know how skilled you are at web design. If you’ve enjoyed working with me as well, I’d appreciate a review of our product on G2 Crowd if you’re up for it.I only recommend this strategy if you’ve built a relationship with the individual over the course of working together. If an unknown person starts endorsing the customer for random skills on LinkedIn, that might seem creepy, and likely won’t result in them reciprocating.10. Ask the customer in person.If you work in a customer success manager or account executive role, and you have close relationships with the portfolio of customers you work with, don’t hesitate to add a personal touch, and ask your customers to review their experiences in person.If you’re taking your customers out to coffee or lunch, or if you invite them to one of your company events, keep things conversational, and ask them how they’re doing with your product or service. (Ideally, you’ll know if they’re achieving success or not based on your regular communications, so you’ll ask customers that you know are achieving goals already.)If your customers tell you they’re seeing success, let them know that you value their opinion and their loyalty, and that you’d appreciate them helping you get the word out to potential new customers. Remember the data from the beginning of this post? Most customers will leave you a review — all you have to do is ask.11. Host an event.To create opportunities to ask for reviews in-person as details in the previous strategy, and to create the conditions where customers are more likely to leave positive reviews, host a remarkable user conference or industry event to create more value for your customers beyond just the products or services you sell.By creating an engaging and useful experience for customers, where they can network with a community of people like them, get access to new product releases and discounts early, and meet their points of contact at your company, you’ll increase their positive sentiment toward your business and engender the likelihood that they’ll leave more reviews. You could even make customer reviews a part of your post-event feedback process — after customers complete a survey asking how they’d rate their experience, you could ask them to share highlights of their experience at the event on a public review site.To learn more, check out the best testimonial page examples we could find. There are a lot of factors that go into a customer’s decision to make a purchase from your company.When I’m deciding whether or not to buy something, for example, I typically ask my friends for recommendations, and then do a lot of online research of my options.And since it’s so fast and easy to make purchases online without ever connecting with a sales rep, the internet usually does the selling for you — and that can have a huge impact on if a customer purchases from you or not.Free Download: 45 Customer Referral TemplatesThe fact of the matter is, your company’s best marketers and sales reps aren’t your employees — they’re your existing customers. Customer trust in businesses is fading. HubSpot Research found that customers trust recommendations from friends and family over any type of online marketing and advertising your brand can create. And in the absence of trusted recommendations, according to BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews are much as personal recommendations — the single most trustworthy and credible source of “advertising” out there.HubSpot Research also found that 60% of consumers believed customer reviews were either trustworthy or very trustworthy — meaning that businesses that can accumulate positive reviews had a good chance of them helping a customer make a purchase decision.The same BrightLocal survey found that positive customer reviews make 73% of customers trust a business more, and 57% of customers visit a company’s website after reading positive reviews. That also means that, in order for businesses to grow in today’s competitive, online-first marketplace, they need happy customers sharing positive reviews of their experiences in order to even get visitors coming to their site for the first time.The good news is, your customers are usually more than happy to help you out with this: The same survey found that, of the 74% of customers who were asked to provide feedback, 68% were willing to do it. So don’t be intimidated by the prospect of asking your customers for a favor — because all you have to do is ask, and they’ll likely be happy to help you out.So, how do you get your customers to write the glowing reviews that help close deals? How do you ensure a customer is satisfied and happy enough to ask for the kind of positive reviews you need? Read on to adopt strategies that will make generating positive customer reviews a cinch.How to Get Good ReviewsCreate different spaces to leave reviews.Optimize your content.Create incentives.Ask at the right moments.Meet customers where they are.Ask open-ended questions first.Respond to every review — even negative ones.Share positive customer reviews you’ve already received.Give your customers a positive review first.Ask the customer in person.Host an event.last_img read more

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Everything You Need to Know to Get Started With Pinterest for Business

first_img Pinterest Marketing Originally published Sep 5, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Getting started on a new social network — regardless of what it is — can sometimes feel incredibly daunting. You’re dealing with a lot of new things: new platform rules, new platform technology, new audience using the platform, and most likely a new marketing strategy to make the most of the new thing. And while all the changes in social media require inbound marketers like us to just embrace all of these new things, sometimes we just want to have someone walk us through using a network from start to finish. We’ve got so much going on in all of our other marketing activities that we sometimes want someone else to gather all the info we need and hand it to us.We’ve been there before, and we want to help. One of the social networks that people consistently ask us about is Pinterest — from setting up an account, to actually pinning posts, to optimizing pins, to proving its ROI, we get a ton of questions about it every day. So if you’re wondering how to get your Pinterest presences up and running, sit back, relax, and check out the resources we’ve compiled in our embedded Pinterest board below. We’ll also walk you through the 10 most important pins in our board in the rest of the post.HubSpotGetting Started With PinterestFollow On 7 Things You Need to Get Started With Pinterest for Your Business1) Get oriented with a beginner’s guide to Pinterest.First things first — you need quick crash course in marketing on Pinterest. In our Introduction to Pinterest for Business, We’ll answer the most crucial questions about the visual social network: What lingo do you need to know? Why should you even bother with the platform in the first place? How do you even sign up for an account? And what can you actually do on the platform to move your marketing metrics? Seriously, do this step first — it will help you determine if Pinterest is right for your business and give you a bunch of ideas to start implementing on Pinterest ASAP.Download our Introduction to Pinterest for Business to get started.2) Set up Pinterest buttons on your website.Okay, so you’ve decided you’re on board with Pinterest (#pinterestpuns). You’ve set up an account and added a few boards and pins. Don’t forget this crucial step: add Pinterest buttons to your website to drive your website visitors to engage with your Pinterest boards and pins. There are two types of buttons: the ‘Pin It’ Button and the ‘Follow’ Button. Learn how to set them up so you can organically increase your Pinterest following.Check out our blog post on adding Pinterest buttons to your website.3) Find or create the visuals you want pinned. Now that you’ve got both your Pinterest presence set up on the social network and on your website, you’re ready to find or create the visual content to be pinned. Since visuals are the crux are the reason why the social network exists in the first place, you want to make sure your pin’s visuals are compelling enough for users to click, like, or comment on. The best part about this whole step is that you don’t have to be a professional designer to make engaging Pinterest visuals. Check out the following free resources to create top-notch visual content that will blow your Pinterest followers out of the water:The Marketer’s Crash Course in Visual Content Creation: Learn the basic principles of design and apply them to your next pin design — we’ll even suggest a few tools to help you create top-notch visuals. How to Create Five Fabulous Infographics in PowerPoint: One of the most successful visual formats on Pinterest is the infographic … but it can feel daunting to create one of your own. Have no fear: just download this template and follow the steps in this blog post for creating an infographic in under an hour.17 Customizable Templates for Shareable Graphics on Social Media: If your goal is to get your pins repinned, definitely check out these free templates. Whether you’re posting inspirational quotes, an image to promote your latest blog post, or just a photo of your product, check out this template to spruce up your images.75 Free Stock Photos to Use in Your Marketing: Don’t really want to spend the time creating graphics for Pinterest? Pick one of these 75 free stock photos as the image in your pin instead. There’s no strings attached. Seriously. 4) Make sure people can easily find your content on Pinterest.So after you’ve created all of this great content for Pinterest … you want to make sure people can actually discover it. Yes, people will find it if others engage with you, but one of the most common ways they’ll find your content is through search. So make sure you’re prepared for search with this comprehensive guide to Pinterest SEO.5) Optimize posts to get more engagement.Besides optimizing for Pinterest search, there are a few other ways you can change up your content to get more comments, repins, and likes. Check out this data by Dan Zarrella to see how image height, description length, or word choice can affect your success on Pinterest. While these aren’t hard-and-fast rules, the data can give you a general direction to take — and after a while, you’ll have concrete data about your audience to inform your future Pinterest posts. 6) Take your Pinterest content elsewhere by embedding pins and boards.There are two other ways you can add Pinterest content to your website besides adding the ‘Pin It’ or ‘Follow’ buttons. You can actually embed Pinterest boards (just like we did in this post)! It’s pretty easy to do — you’re mostly copy-pasting code into your website or blog — but there are a few crucial steps to follow that most forget to tell you about. Check out this blog post to learn more about embedding Pinterest widgets on your website.7) Measure and iterate on your Pinterest presence.So after all that creation and optimization, you’re going to want to prove to your boss that your time is well spent on Pinterest. Get a run-down of Pinterest’s latest analytics tool update, learn how to track specific campaigns on the platform, and see which metrics are most important to investigate on the social network.Bonus: if you’re committing to Pinterest over a longer period of time, we’ll give you some formulas to calculate the long-term growth and success of your efforts. So go on, download our guide to optimize and measure your Pinterest account!What else do you want to learn about Pinterest for business? Share your questions with us in the comments, and we’ll update the board throughout the day with resources that can help. 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:last_img read more

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5 Surprising Studies on What People Consider “Good” Customer Service

first_img1. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel CompanySource: The Ritz-CarltonThe Ritz-Carlton’s service policies are so legendary, stories of satisfied customers have even made it into books — like this one.In it, customer experience expert and author John DiJulius describes the story of his stay at a Ritz-Carlton hotel — when he unknowingly left something behind in his guest room.I left The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota in such a rush for the airport that I forgot my laptop charger in my room. I planned to call when I got back into my office, but before I could, I received a next-day air package from The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. In it was my charger, with a note saying, ‘Mr. DiJulius, I wanted to make sure we got this to you right away. I am sure you need it, and, just in case, I sent you an extra charger for your laptop.” The note was signed by Larry K. Kinney, in Loss Prevention.'”If this customer service story sounds over-the-top good, it’s not. Ritz-Carlton’s commitment to exceptional customer service is so strong that any employee is independently authorized to spend up to $2,000 per day to improve guest experience. That’s right — whether an employee works at the reception desk, in the restaurant, or cleaning hotel rooms, they can independently decide to make a guest’s experience exceptional — as was the case in the example above.In an interview with Forbes, The Ritz-Carlton Group President and COO, Herve Humler, describes the organization’s key to making customer service so stellar: employee engagement. Humler noted,I believe in the power of recognition and empowerment leading to great employee engagement. And employee engagement is critical to guest engagement.”Ritz-Carlton is committed to excellent service, and its mission — “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen” — serves to reinforce and promote employee engagement in their day-to-day work to look for moments when they can transform a customer’s experience.Customer Service Takeaway: Employee empowerment is critical to achieving good outcomes for your customers. The first step toward employee empowerment is engagement: Make customer service part of your mission, and make your mission a part of everything your organization does. Then, structure and incentivize your team so employees can work independently to solve customer problems and think creatively.And if you don’t have $2,000 per day in your budget, you can still empower customer service reps with strategies like:Measuring qualitative and quantitative feedback, and not just how many cases or tickets they resolve in a given dayFreeing up employee time off the phones or the queue to conduct research, analyze data, create processes, or work on other projects to have greater impactDevote creative or monetary resources to helping employees create moments to delight your customer with handwritten thank-you notes, small swag gifts, or discount codes2. WistiaVideo Hosting for Business | WistiaOur friends over at Wistia — a video hosting and analytics platform — believe in the power of video to help tell company stories. And that isn’t just restricted to marketing videos and social media content — Wistia uses videos to provide great customer service, too.Wistia team members create personalized how-to videos and individualized thank-you notes to help customers and demonstrate how to use different aspects of the software using a visual medium.It makes sense for a video hosting brand to use videos when helping customers, but it’s also helpful for the customers themselves, too. As Harper, a Customer Happiness team member at Wistia says,When it comes to communicating technical concepts or processes, videos are the best.””Even if I can explain something clearly with words,” he says, “it’s totally different to be able to show someone how few steps it takes to get from point A to point B. Realistically, eyes will gloss over a wall of text.”That’s how Wistia has seen such success in achieving good customer service — by showing, rather than telling, customers how to troubleshoot, they can learn more effectively and remember solutions better than reading an email or hopping on a phone call.Customer Service Takeaway: Don’t feel restricted to phone calls to provide exceptional customer service. Instead, use technology to deliver support in the medium that makes the most sense. Tools like screenshots, GIFs, and videos can go a long way toward explaining a tricky concept, and they don’t need to be fancy to work. Tools like Jing, Awesome Screenshot, LICEcap, QuickTime Player, and even your own smartphone or webcam can be used to create helpful resources customers can refer to again and again.And, of course, if you’re a HubSpot customer, you can integrate with Wistia to create and host video using its neat software.3. Warby ParkerSource: Warby ParkerDisclaimer: I wear Warby Parker glasses.But I’m not the only who favors the brand — Warby Parker has revolutionized the pricey glasses industry and made itself a beloved brand, thanks to its affordable frames and home try-on program.One of Warby Parker’s most famous customer service stories is a very unique case: A customer abandoned a pair of glasses on a train and got home to find his glasses and a replacement pair waiting for him — thanks to his seatmate on the train, former Warby Parker General Counsel, Anjail Kumar.Source: ForbesThis is fantastic customer service — but it’s obviously hard to replicate on an everyday basis. Some of the bigger customer service lessons can be drawn from Warby Parker’s mission and business model.Upon arriving at Warby Parker’s website, visitors can immediately take a quiz — which is a) fun, and b) get customers excited about the variety of glasses types they can choose from. From there, visitors can browse the selection of frames, and they can choose five options to try on, free of charge, at home. From there, customers can completely customize frames and lenses to suit their needs — all the while saving money compared to a traditional eyeglasses retailer.All of these options make customers loyal — and not only do they keep buying, but they recommend Warby Parker to friends: When Warby Parker sends customers glasses to try on, they recommend sharing selfies on Instagram using the hashtag #WarbyParkerHomeTryOn to get opinions (and, of course, to spread the word with friends).Customer Service Takeaway: Everyone likes options — especially when it comes to fashion. Give your customers options — from the first moment they interact with your brand. Whether this means creating interactive quizzes, offering free demos or trials, or sending backup products, give customers a chance to “try on” your products and learn more about you.If policy decisions are outside of your pay grade, give people options when you’re on the customer service front lines.Ask customers how they like to be contacted, and provide service in the mode that works best for them.Decide with customers if they want to be proactively contacted on a regular basis, or if they want to reach out to you when they need help.It’s nice to have options — so use technology and be flexibility to provide them to customers.4. BasecampSource: BasecampI recently heard from Kristin Aardsma, who works in customer support at Basecamp, at Support Driven’s SDX 2017. She spoke about Basecamp’s customer support team — more specifically, how the team readjusted how it measured success to reduce employee stress and turnover and achieve better outcomes for customers.Part of Basecamp’s solution to solving for the customer and making sure it could staff its customer support team to capacity was creating time in the workday for research, innovation, and creativity. To that end, customer support reps spend two hours per day off the phone lines and away from the queue — and they re-dedicate that time toward other projects. Employees have more opportunities for company-wide impact by collecting research, analyzing data, identifying patterns and trends, and working on projects and processes to achieve better results.Two hours per day, or 10 hours per week, might sound like a lot, but it paid off for Basecamp. Employees weren’t burning out due to overload and stress, and Basecamp wasn’t over capacity and unable to solve customer problems because team members were happier.Customer Service Takeaway: Time spent away from the queue isn’t time wasted — so make sure to dedicate time during your week to identifying patterns, analyzing data, and creating processes to work more efficiently. When you’re burning through tickets or on the phones non-stop all day, it can be hard to step away, but front-line customer service insights and feedback can help your organization, so make sure to collect and share them.Dedicate time each week to reviewing what went wrong, what went well, feedback you receive from customers, and common themes you can identify and surface to your team. You’ll be able to do your job better and help others improve, too.5. GlossierSource: GlossierSkincare and makeup brand Glossier is hailed as an industry disruptor for preaching “skincare first, makeup second,” but its customer-centric business model and customer service team are disruptive, too.CEO and co-founder Emily Weiss explains that she built Glossier around the crowdsourced opinions of real women about the beauty and skincare products they loved — and the ones they wanted, too. By reading and engaging with readers on her blog and on social media, she built a brand that was about affordable skincare and beauty products that made women feel good to use.And that social media savvy and crowdsourcing prowess hasn’t faded from view since Glossier has grown bigger and bigger — in fact, it’s still the guiding philosophy when Glossier brings new products to market, like when it launched its first sunscreen last year after calls from customers to create a product that wasn’t sticky and didn’t smell like sunblock. Weiss told Entrepreneur that she received “so many DMs from people on Instagram writing to say, ‘Thank you so much for listening; we’ve been waiting for this moment.'” Most of the products Glossier offers are made vegan and cruelty-free in another example of the brand listening to and immediately implementing customer feedback.Glossier’s customer service department, otherwise known as the gTEAM, are responsible for collecting and responding to customer comments and messages on social media, and creating individualized experiences with each engagement. Perhaps that’s why the team is a team within the marketing department, and why they’re called “editors” — because content creation is a big part of Glossier’s customer service strategy. With likes, retweets, emoji-decorated DMs, and blog posts, Glossier strives to make each piece of content engaging and authentic to the brand.For example, here’s an email I received from the gTEAM after making one of many recent purchases:The emails were clearly written by a real person, and they feature analytics and feedback tools to get quantitative numbers to support the qualitative feedback editors receive, too. This simple act of proactive outreach and help was helpful and memorable for me as a customer, and it ensured that Glossier would solve a problem I was having with the product before I got frustrated and complained.Customer Service Takeaway: It’s not enough to acknowledge and respond to every piece of incoming customer feedback if you’re not listening to what your customers are saying. Make sure you’re responding to customer feedback, but also make sure your team is identifying and communicating any recurring trends to your company’s leadership and product teams so you’re able to consistently meet customer expectations and fulfill their needs.6. LyftSource: LyftRide-hailing app Lyft succeeds in the customer service space by making its customers proud by putting its money where its mouth is toward values and causes customers truly care about.For example, Lyft recently announced its commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of the millions of car rides it provides every day by declaring all of its rides to be carbon neutral, thanks to its voluntary purchase of carbon offsets. According to Pew Research Center, majority populations in 40 countries rate climate change as a serious problem, and a median of 78% of people surveyed globally support the idea of limiting carbon emissions.And in 2017, Lyft donated $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in response to the introduction of an executive order that restricted immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries to the United States — and act a majority of Americans opposed. Lyft condemned the executive order, writing in an email to customers:”Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values. We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”Wherever you stand on these important issues, it’s undeniable that Lyft’s customers care about these topics all over the world. Lyft is doing work that’s important to its customers with initiatives like those described above, and Round Up & Donate, its program that lets customers round up the price of their rides and donate the extra change to the charitable organization of their choosing (the ACLU is one cause).Customer Service Takeaway: An important facet of customer service that can be difficult to measure is standing for the values that are important to your customers. Customers take pride in supporting businesses that represent them — and two-thirds of consumers thought it was important for brands to take a stance on social and political issues — so companies shouldn’t be afraid to serve customers in big-picture ways that make them proud to support them, which will encourage them to share and refer their friends and colleagues. Even if you don’t have the budget for a $1 million donation like Lyft, getting customers involved with and excited about fundraising and charity partnerships can go a long way towards fostering loyalty.7. Whirlaway SportsWhirlaway Sports is a running apparel and equipment store located in northern Massachusetts. It differentiates itself from competitors through its above-and-beyond customer service experience.  And, that’s not just my opinion. Facebook rated the company 4.8 out of five stars while Yelp gives it a five out of five-star rating. Here’s why Whirlaway Sports is different. They guide you through every step of the buyer’s journey. For example, I went there to purchase a pair of running shoes.Another disclaimer: I never purchase running shoes. I’m more of an athlete who begrudgingly chose running. So, when I needed a pair of shoes I went on Yelp and found Whirlaway Sports. The reviews didn’t let me down as I was greeted immediately as I walked into the store. I told them I needed shoes and they paired me with one of their running specialists. This rep knew his stuff. He asked me about my running style, where I ran, how often I would run. Then we talked about price range and brand preferences. They even had a high-tech foot scanner that analyzed my feet to match for potential inserts. It was clear that every step of the experienced was planned and detailed.And, to really go above-and-beyond, the rep knocked the price down because he knew the shoes I chose were going on sale the following week. He didn’t have to mention that, but it was clear he was focused on my goals, not getting me out of the store. Customer Service Takeaway: It doesn’t matter if you’re a multi-billion-dollar company or a local business, your service should be consistent throughout the entire customer experience. Even though Whirlaway is a small business, they’ve made their mark through committing to the customer’s goals. This, in turn, produces loyal customer advocates who willingly refer new leads to the business. 8. LegoThere are many reasons why Lego has been around since the early 1930s, and customer service is definitely one of them. From the friendly staff to the painless self-service experiences, Lego has stood out with its product and service offerings.Ever order a Lego set and found that a tiny, yet instrumental piece was missing? Lego offers a missing-pieces service which delivers bricks that are accidentally left out during packaging. Additionally, when the piece is delivered it’s accompanied by a personalized apology from the company. This proactive customer service feature helps users overcome a common roadblock and prevent potential churn. Even if the piece was lost after packaging, Lego may still replace your order. Like with Luka Apps, who lost his toy during a shopping trip. He wrote this letter below and sent it to Lego’s customer service department. Source: Help ScoutAnd, probably while wiping a tear from their eyes, Lego’s customer service agent played along and sent this message in return. Source: Help ScoutCustomer Service Takeaway: With one free giveaway, Lego obtained two lifetime customers. Luka will obviously be thrilled with his new toys and will recall this experience whenever he thinks of Lego. But, Luka’s father will also remember this positive interaction and will probably spend more money with Lego in the future. By giving away some free products now, the company is investing in a profitable, long-term relationship down the road. This is how historic companies like Lego have been able to stay in business for decades. 9. Santa Cruz BicyclesSanta Cruz Bicycles manufactures and sells high-quality off-road bicycles. Its bikes are known for their high-performance and its customers deeply care about the technology that they’re riding. But, the bike’s performance isn’t the only feature that Santa Cruz customers love. They’re loyal to the company because its service and support teams match the quality of its products. Customers can trust that any problem they have with a bike will be solved swiftly and with excellent service. Kyle Harder, Santa Cruz Rider Support Lead, noted in an interview with HubSpot that, “What sets us apart as a company is that we want to deal with anyone that owns our product, regardless of where you bought it. If you have an issue with a Santa Cruz Bike and come to us with your issue, we’ll help you resolve your issue.”And, Kyle wasn’t just talking about problems with the bike. The company is also focused on removing long-term roadblocks from the customer experience. For example, when the business was first starting out, it experienced a sudden growth. Customers loved the bicycles and the demand for the product rose beyond what Santa Cruz’s service team could support. Agents were working tirelessly and the team’s email inbox nearly reached capacity. Recognizing this flaw in its service experience, Santa Cruz adopted customer service tools to aid its support team. Reps started recording data on customer issues and highlighted problems that were most common with their customer base. They created a shared inbox with an email alias so customers could easily contact the support team. They also created a customer feedback loop so they could collect and share customer reviews to the entire organization. Customer Service Takeaway: When your company experiences growth, it can sometimes create unexpected problems that pop up down the road. If these issues are left unchecked, they can become a detriment to the customer experience and halt your business’s success. Santa Cruz recognized a potential flaw and acted immediately. They adopted customer service tools to ease the pressure on its support team while simultaneously improving the customer experience. That way, reps weren’t being overworked and had the time and energy to provide excellent customer service. Additionally, Santa Cruz used its new tools to conduct reporting as well. This allowed the company to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction while its customer base continued to grow. Even though more customers were interacting with the business, each interaction still felt genuine and personalized because of the customer data Santa Cruz had gathered.To learn more about good customer service, read these customer service quotes next. Good Customer Service Examples The Ritz-Carlton Hotel CompanyWistiaWarby ParkerBasecampGlossierLyftWhirlaway SportsLego One bad customer service experience can swear you off a product forever.But one exceptional experience, on the other hand, can turn you into a lifelong and loyal brand advocate.Download Now: New Research on the State of Customer Service in 2019More than half of U.S. consumers express loyalty by recommending brands to family and friends, and almost half of those consumers stay loyal to those recommended brands. And brand loyalty is important — because almost half of consumers spend more with brands they’re loyal to.So, how can brands actually earn the loyalty of customers? How can customer service professionals consistently delight and empower customers so they not only keep coming back, but they refer family and friends to become customers, too? Customer Code: Creating a Company Customers Love from HubSpotTo answer this question, we’ve curated a list of B2B and B2C brands that are established as industry leaders — and that deliver exceptional customer service. And because no two brands are created equal, we’ve distilled lessons and wisdom from each story that any customer service professional or brand can apply to their own strategies today.But, before we dive into those examples, we need to set a baseline for what “good” customer service is. What is good customer service?Good customer service is different from company to company, but the key characteristics of good customer service include: a rapid response time to service requests, responding to all customer feedback (positive or negative), self-service help documents, and a frictionless process for getting in touch with support. In addition to the ones listed above, let’s break down the six most common characteristics of good customer service teams. 1. Rapid Response TimesCustomers are always looking for fast solutions. In fact, 66% of adults say that the most important thing a company can do is value their time. This means your team needs to focus on efficiency and develop a workflow that streamlines different support functions. Consider adopting a help desk as this tool can manage and automate a variety of service tasks.2. Customer Feedback Collection and AnalysisSince customer needs vary from industry to industry, good customer service looks different depending on the type of business you’re running. The best customer service teams use feedback collection tools to identify the specific needs of their customer base and create personalized solutions for them.Rather than assuming you know what your customers want, reach out to them through surveys and interviews to get their perspective on your business. These tools will help your team uncover new opportunities to enhance your products and improve the customer experience. 3. Customer Self-ServiceWhen your customers want to find their own solutions to service problems, they should use self-service resources provided by your business. For example, one of the most common self-service resources is a knowledge base.Knowledge bases consist of categorized support articles and FAQ pages that supply customers with solutions to common user roadblocks. With over 50% of customers wanting to solve problems on their own, self-service tools like these are an asset to providing high-quality customer service.  4. Omni-Channel SupportIt should be easy for customers to contact your support team, regardless of the medium they’re using. Your team should be equipped to respond to incoming service requests via the phone, email, social media, live chat, and any other communication channel that your customers prefer. Providing this type of omni-channel experience makes your team more accessible and creates less stressful service interactions. 5. Emotional IntelligenceEmotional intelligence refers to your ability to read and react to other people’s emotions. This skill is highly valuable in customer service roles because it helps with diffusing difficult customer interactions. Every business experiences a frustrated or upset customer, but the best service teams are able to de-escalate the situation and prevent potential churn. In fact, 67% of customer churn is avoidable if the customer’s issue is resolved during the first service interaction. 6. Creative Problem SolvingAt the end of the day, the best customer service teams solve their customers’ problems. They’re tenacious and determined to help their customers achieve their goals. In many cases, this requires agents to be creative and come up with unique solutions to customer issues. As you’ll see in the examples below, sometimes excellent customer service means finding a solution that falls outside of normal company protocol. Originally published Aug 6, 2019 12:05:00 AM, updated August 06 2019center_img 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 Customer Servicelast_img read more

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What Social Selling Isn’t

first_img Originally published Feb 11, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Social Selling This post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.Just like anything shiny and new, social selling suffers from a fair amount of hype. And with hype comes misunderstanding.Sales reps and leaders eager to embrace the next generation of selling tactics often jump in with both feet. While this enthusiasm is great, sometimes they dive in before they understand what social selling really is, or what they’re trying to achieve. This is a recipe for disaster.So instead of another piece listing the benefits of social selling and the results that can be reaped through social selling tactics, I thought I’d combat some of the hype by writing on what social selling isn’t. Then business leaders can go in with a clear understanding of what they’re getting into — and what they’re not.Social selling isn’t outsourcing to Marketing.Social selling is about curating and sharing content. Since content is generally Marketing’s job, some companies think social selling falls under their jurisdiction. Wrong. How can salespeople connect with their buyers through social and become known as thought leaders when they’re not actually doing the work themselves?Social selling isn’t about automation.Setting up salespeople’s social accounts so the same piece of content is shared at the exact same time looks inauthentic and fake. Don’t do it.Social selling isn’t a one-time event.You can’t just share one article or favorite one buyer’s tweet and then be done with it. Social selling is a continuous journey. Salespeople must commit to infusing social media into their daily routines for social activity to have an impact on revenue.Social selling isn’t immediate.Don’t expect to see major results after one week. Social selling is a marathon, not a sprint.Social selling isn’t about selling.If you’re using the same hard sales tactics on social that you’ve always used, you’re doing it wrong. LinkedIn messages aren’t just another avenue to send your cold pitch to buyers. Social selling is about nurturing relationships over time. Connect with and socially surround your buyers.Social selling isn’t modern trickery.If done right, it’s about creating genuine relationships with people. Nothing tricky or underhanded about that.Social selling isn’t the new channel for spam.If you’re mass sending your cold email pitch through LinkedIn messages or Twitter DMs, you’re doing it wrong. Spam — regardless if it’s sent through email or social channels — is still spam. That’s just #SocialStupid.Social selling isn’t cold calling.It’s way more fun than that.Social selling isn’t about sharing as much content as you can.Nobody likes someone who won’t shut up, and it’s the same on social media. Social selling is just as much (if not more) about listening to buyers to discover their interests as it is about becoming an effective content curator and thought leader.Social selling isn’t replacing face-to-face interaction.In person meetings will never die in sales. But modern salespeople should strive to be in all the places their buyers are. And that includes social media as well as trade shows.Social selling isn’t magic.If your company has a lackluster product or service, social selling isn’t going to change that. Don’t expect it to.Social selling isn’t stalking.Don’t favorite, retweet, share, or comment on every single post someone puts out. That’s just creepy. Show a sustained interest without crossing the line into stalker territory.Social selling doesn’t replace phone and email outreach.It’s strictly additive.Social selling isn’t about media.Getting involved on a social platform for the sake of being seen on the platform doesn’t make sense. Don’t forget the “social” in social selling — networking and connecting with people should be the crux of your strategy.Social selling isn’t right for everyone.If your buyers aren’t on social, I’m not sure why you would need to be there. Be where your buyers are — whether that’s on social media platforms or groups, or somewhere else entirely. 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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The 7 Excel Tricks Every Office Worker Should Know [Infographic]

first_img12K+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: Excelcenter_img 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Design Disruptors: The Story Behind One Startup’s Decision to Produce a Feature-Length Documentary

first_imgMany a marketing team, big and small, has gathered around a conference table to brainstorm a list of crazy ideas. You know what I’m talking about — those “big, hairy, audacious goals” discussed so often that they’ve earned a place in the business lexicon.Much more rarely, though, do teams actually execute on these crazy ideas.David Malpass and the folks at InVision are the exception. Not only did the small marketing team from the growing startup take on the challenge of creating a feature-length documentary, but they managed to release a trailer in less than a year’s time. A trailer that has garnered international attention, might we add. Why take on something so ambitious? Quite simply, they have a story to tell that they want to get out to as many people as humanly possible. Their documentary, Design Disruptors, will be released for free in early 2016. And as for the story they’re so keen on telling? Well, spoiler alert: It’s about design. With no forced connection to the InVision brand, the documentary will explore how design has risen to become one of the most important roles in modern business. So much so that companies like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, AirBNB, Spotify have all prevailed in a world rife with pop-up competitors — all because they’ve placed an emphasis on a top-notch user experience and great aesthetics from the very beginning.To uncover more about idea’s inception, the company’s intentions, and how this project has taken shape over the past year, we took some time to chat about the upcoming documentary with Mallpass, InVision’s VP of Marketing. Planting the SeedWhen Malpass joined InVision as their VP of Marketing in July 2014, it became instantly apparent that, across the company, InVision innovates by doing the unexpected.For the InVision team, the film was a powerful, long-term project that could happen in the background. In other words, they’d outsource the filming, editing, and so on, while focusing their efforts on constructing the narrative and planning promotion for the release.”Our content is the backbone of our marketing,” Malpass told me.”We’re always ambitious and innovative with the content we’re putting out there — whether it’s blog content, ebooks, webinars, and so on. We never sacrifice quality for quantity, so this [documentary] is the ultimate example of the team going big, doing something very ambitious, and setting the tone for the content we put out in the future,” he went on to explain. InVision has always encouraged these big ideas. Companies may not do big things like this because there’s risk involved — but if you’re comfortable with introducing a bit of risk into the equation, you can often achieve exponentially greater results.Image Credit: Design DisruptorsIs This a Marketing Play?Going into the conversation with Malpass, I was fascinated with the concept of creating a documentary to market your company and your product. How was the film was connected with the InVision brand? How are they using it to sell their product? Where are all the calls-to-action going to be?I quickly found out that the film isn’t actually connected with InVision in any overt way. Nothing in the film or the trailer or the website directly promotes the InVision brand. It lives on its own URL, where the only clues that it’s linked to InVision are a subtle mention on the page and the shortened URL in the click-to-tweet buttons. The Design Disruptors URL isn’t linked to anywhere on the InVision website, either. In fact, the company isn’t even mentioned in the film itself.Why did the folks at InVision choose to spend so much time and so many resources on a documentary if they weren’t going to use it to market their company? Why wouldn’t they just write an ebook or something?”We’re not trying to sell our product. We’re trying to bring attention to the increased importance of design in a company’s success,” Malpass explained. “A lot of our work is based on doing things that’ll create a positive effect on the design community and that will elevate the role of the designer within their organization.”They are, after all, giving this documentary away for free. When it’s released in early 2016, it’ll be shown for free online at the Design Disruptors website, at movie theatres, and on Netflix.That’s not to say the documentary won’t benefit InVision in any way. Given that their community is comprised of smart, passionate designers, this documentary serves as a great opportunity for them to educate their audience by showcasing some of the industry’s most talented minds. He added it’s also positive for InVision because they’re the platform that most of the companies in the film go to for their design process, of course.As for why they didn’t write an ebook instead, Malpass says the goal is to get this story in front of an audience that expands beyond designers and businesspeople. While an ebook or a webinar would reach InVision’s target audience, they wanted to break out of those limits to reach people who wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to that content.”A designer came to me and said, ‘My mom saw the trailer and she called me and asked me if that’s what I do,'” Malpass told me.In other words, Design Disruptor’s target audience includes designers and their moms.Measuring SuccessThe great thing about ebooks and webinars is that people sign up to see the content, so marketers can collect email addresses and capture leads. When you’re giving away a film for free, how do you measure its success?Since releasing the trailer in early October, InVision’s growing marketing team — which has gone from three to twenty-five since Malpass joined — has already seen an overwhelmingly positive response.”Design Disruptors” was trending on Twitter for three days, and at one point, it was the fourth most tweeted thing in the world. However, other than social shares, site visits, and articles written about the film, most of the film’s success is intangible.”We want designers to feel empowered to share this film with their organization, and for non-designers to recognize their success and elevate them,” explained Malpass.”Oh, and it’s got to have a good score on IMDB,” he joked. “No one wants to look back in ten years and have made a bad film.”For a sneak peek at the documentary, you can watch the trailer here.  Entrepreneurship Topics: Design Trendscenter_img Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Oct 21, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

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34 Stats to Help You Plan Your Social Media Strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & More

first_imgBack in October, I wrote a piece on Medium that covered the numbers behind some of today’s top social media networks. From usage numbers to engagement statistics, it was incredible to see just how impactful networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become. For example, not only is Facebook home to 1.23 billion daily active users on average, but those users come from all over the world — with 85.2% residing outside of the U.S. and Canada. That’s a crazy level of connectivity.As I put together the post, it became obvious just how fast these networks were growing — and I thought a lot about how hard is it to keep up with all of these changes, especially for marketers. To make things a little easier to wrap your head around, I put together a simplified list of some standout statistics for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instragram, and Pinterest. Check them out below if you’re looking for some guidance for your social media strategy this year. 34 Stats to Help You Plan Your Social Media Strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & MoreFacebookOrganic reach of Facebook Page post is 2%.The average post reach of total audience is 10.71%.Facebook Page videos generate 16% more engagement per post than images.Videos secured the most reach, at 12.17% of total audience, followed by photos (11.53%), links (9.32%) and status updates (5.09%).Ideal length of a status update: 40 characters.0.80% median viral reach per fan for post with hashtags, 1.30% for post without hashtags.Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. TwitterTweets with images receive 18% more clickthroughs, 89% more Likes, and 150% more retweets.60% of consumers expect brands to respond to their query within the hour, but the average is 1 hour 24 minutes.Ideal tweet length: 100 characters.Clickthrough rate is highest on Wednesdays.A tweet that doesn’t include a # or @ mention will generate 23% more clicks. When the tweet is focused on driving an app install, forgoing a # or @ mention increases clicks by 11%. But according to Quicksprout, tweets with hashtags get 2X more engagement — clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies.    LinkedInB2B buyers are turning to LinkedIn for content that will help them move forward in the buyer’s journey — and 57% are doing so on a mobile device.LinkedIn is home to 467 million members in more than 200 countries, meaning it’s a great place for global brands to distribute content. LinkedIn has studied its own platform and found that including images in posts increases the comment rate by 98%.Updates containing links can have up to 45% higher follower engagement than updates without links.16–25 words is the ideal message length for B2B, 21–25 for B2C.20 posts per month can help you reach 60% of your unique audience.InstagramOn average, people miss 70% of their feeds.1.1% average engagement rate of all posts (4.2% in 2014; 2.2% in 2015).Images with a single dominant color generate 17% more Likes than images with multiple dominant colors. Images with a high amount of negative space generate 29% more Likes than those with minimal negative space. Images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more Likes than images that are predominantly red.Photos showing faces get 38% more Likes than photos not showing faces.Photos see more engagement than videos on Instagram.The red heart is the most frequently shared emoji on Instagram, which is shared 79% more than the next most popular symbol, a smiling face with heart eyes.50% of captions and comments on Instagram contain at least one emoji.The most common posting frequency for brands on Instagram is 11–20 times per month.Instagram audiences are more engaged on Mondays and Thursdays at 2 a.m., 8–9 a.m., and 5 p.m.PinterestProduct Pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without.67% of Pinners consult Pins on their mobile devices while shopping in stores.Don’t be shy to ask : A call-to-action Pin description can increase engagement by 80%.83% of users would rather follow a brand than a celebrity.Active Pinners have a 9% higher average income than non-users.Users who Pin 15 to 30 times a day get the best results.2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. are the best time to post, and Saturday is the best day.What networks are you most interested in investing in this year? Share your thoughts in the comments. Originally published Feb 6, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated April 27 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! Social Media Strategy Topics:last_img read more

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9 Email Marketing Habits It Pays to Break

first_img Topics: InVision uses witty copy and bright colors to catch the eye and entice their readers to click.Classy, an online fundraising platform for nonprofits, similarly uses the CTA as an opportunity to be more playful with their copy and create a memorable experience for their blog subscribers.6. You Keep It Short and Sweet How to Break It: Experiment With Length The Skimm’s 6 million email subscribers prove that emails don’t always have to be short and sweet, or highly visual to be successful. While some data points to ideally having relatively short email copy, the Skimm’s emails can get quite long (though they are broken into sections for digestibility). And while they don’t typically include very many visual components, they focus on making one thing very easy for the reader. Sharing.In this example alone, there are nine opportunities to share the email with a friend or colleague. Which leads us to our next habit:7. You’re Focused on Content How to Break It: Consider How Design Feeds GrowthIf content is King, design is Queen.Your content could be strong and interesting, but if your design doesn’t include the ability to easily share your message, you’re holding your content back. According to Bernadette Jiwa, author of Marketing: A Love Story, “Growth hacking is really the practice of creating and leveraging word-of-mouth with intention.”She continues, “Growth hackers optimize their business to acquire new customers by first delighting one customer and then making it easy for that customer to share the store with friends.”You work hard to ensure your content delights—don’t send it off to die in the bowels of your clientele’ inboxes. Incorporate tools that give your email the legs it needs to grow.8. You Use Personas to Make Assumptions How to Break It: Demonstrate Intimacy As marketers, we have to make assumptions. We can’t possibly know each of our audience members intimately. While segmentation and building personas is important to delivering relevant content, today’s consumers are expecting you to know more about them than ever.If you can’t demonstrate intimacy, you’re going to fall short. If marketers aren’t using segmentation by now, they’re at least aware of the tactic and how other organizations benefit from it. While developing personas and lists to send more personalized messages is a step in the right direction, we can take action to further personalize our content and show readers we’re paying attention—and that we’re listening.Consider what data you might share with your readers to develop a sense of intimacy or help them learn about their own behaviors.For example, Spotify uses data to demonstrate how well they know their users. These unique messages feel “one-of-a-kind” because they are. Each user receives a message with personalized data and insights around their own actions.9. You Talk Too Much About YourselfHow to Break It: Send an Email, Just Because It can be easy for messaging to get a little out of balance. After all, your marketing efforts are intended to make your audience aware of the value of your products and/or services. But to become a brand that people identify with in a meaningful way, you need to do more than just keep them updated on your latest deals and features.You need to add value to each person’s life. Develop a cadence for connecting over something unrelated to your sales efforts, but very related to your organization’s core values and culture.This will help you to grow a following of like-minded individuals passionate about who you are and how you make them feel, not just what you’re selling.For example, Spotify sends messages to let their users know about upcoming concerts in their area:Additionally, Chubbies sends a “Weekender” email every Friday that doesn’t include links to products. Instead, they round up fun and entertaining bits of information purely aimed at providing a laugh. This fits right into their culture and core values, as indicated by the statement on their website, “We believe in the weekend.”According to Kyle, one of their founders, “It’s all about all the wild stuff in the world and what you should be doing this coming weekend. And the purpose of it is to send you into the weekend. It doesn’t drive sales. It’s for nothing but creating a valuable experience with our customers. And we’ve done that every Friday for six years. That’s part of how we build a real relationship with our customers.”Ready to Switch Things Up?While best practices emerge for a reason, if you’re not regularly experimenting in this competitive communications landscape, your efforts will soon appear stale and your growth, stagnant. Build time into your team’s workflows to reassess your current best practices regularly to allow for ample creativity. Email Marketing Mistakes Don’t forget to share this post!center_img Before you break any email marketing habits or best practices, it’s important to first understand why they work.Once you’ve mastered basic email content creation, you’ll be in a better position to experiment and test certain components of your strategy. In today’s ultra-competitive email landscape, you need to perform tests in order to find out what drives your specific recipients to open, read, and click.Click here to download our free ebook featuring 104 email marketing myths, experiments, and inspiration.While the right content and design are necessary components for email success, running tests will help you understand how to stand out in your readers’ inboxes. And to understand what to test, it’s helpful to revisit your current strategies and consider which email habits might be appropriate to mix up, or break altogether.In this post, we’ll explore a number of commonly overlooked email habits you should start breaking and experimenting with to find the best strategy for your company.9 Email Marketing Habits It Pays to Break1. You Always Use the Same Sender Name How to Break It: Get Friendly With Your “From” NameWhile it’s helpful to set certain expectations with your email recipients, don’t limit yourself to only sending messages from your company name, or from one team member. Experimenting with “friendly froms” can increase open rates. For example, instead of simply sending an email from the name of your company, you might provide an employee’s name, such as “Tim at Awesome.com”But before you go crazy, always ensure your email activities do not violate the CAN-SPAM act. Your froms should not be false or misleading. However, there are ways your organization can make adjustments that delight your recipients.Chubbies, a men’s fashion company with over 1.5 million Facebook followers, is well-known for getting creative with their from names. While their approach is very specific to their organization’s tone, style, and audience, you can look to them for inspiration.One study found that while Chubbies’ messages had slightly lower inbox placement rates, their “fun and unusual friendly forms” saw higher read rates and lower “delete without reading” rates.Here’s an example of how Chubbies gets creative with the friendly from:Chubbies also makes sure their fun “friendly” from names go with their subject lines and preview text.This synchronization allows them to use every space available to them in your inbox to grab your attention and make a lasting impression. Again, before testing strategies like this yourself, consult with a law professional about the CAN-SPAM act to ensure you’re not in violation.2. You Treat Your Subject Line Too Literally How to Break It: Write Copy That Visually Stands Out Consumers are inundated with emails all day long, which means your subject line is the one factor that will get someone to open your message.Consider the following example:What stands out? Caps lock text? Numbers? The use of an emoji? Personalization? Humor? White space?To catch someone’s attention as they scroll through their unread messages, it’s important to consider how your subject line appears next to others visually.While your subject line text should reflect the contents of your message and match your organization’s tone and style, it’s important to use this space as creatively as possible. Test small tweaks with your audience to see if anything helps grab their attention.3. Your Preview Text Is Auto-Populated How to Break It: Use That Hot Preview Text Real Estate If your email client supports preview text, also known as pre-header text, you can optimize it for every email you send. Allowing this text to auto-populate is a lost opportunity to grab attention or delight your recipients.Though it takes some code, the use of this space will help you stand out from others who do not go to the same lengths to make theirs unique.Experiment with clever, related text, like how Chubbies does in the example above, or try using just a few words to create more white space.In the example below, Crate and Barrel writes preview text that is an extension of their subject line and creates eye-catching white space.And in the following example, the Skimm uses their preview text to address a previous technical error in a light-hearted manner.4. Your Copy Is So Professional It’s Boring How to Break It: Develop a Distinct Tone of Voice Your organization’s tone of voice can be one of your biggest differentiators. Whether you use a certain style of humor or strive to sound as academic as possible, a well-crafted voice allows readers to connect with your organization on a human-to-human level.In a time when technological advancement has us fondly looking to the past and remembering more intimate times, businesses can struggle to both scale and maintain the “humanness” of a mom-and pop-shop.Your tone can help you combat that struggle. The answer is having a personality.According to one of Chubbies’ four founders, Tom, they thought, “Everything’s a little too serious in men’s fashion.” To stand out and attract people to their brand, he says, “We wrote our emails like we were writing to our friends.”In a podcast interview by Smart Passive Income, he advised organizations to think about their own brand as a unique person.“Think about it like a person with a personality. More often than not, that personality is going to be yours—as the business owner, as the person who’s going to be writing or creating this content. Write about the things you care about, write about the things that have an emotional connection with you, and that’s where you’ll start to find kernels. We were not knocking it out of the park every time we wrote but because we were passionate about it, it enabled us to keep testing and keep driving.”When you approach your communication under this lens, you’re bound to create content that doesn’t just deliver a message, but also forms a connection.5. Your CTA Is Literal How to Break It: Get Creative With Button Copy Every inch of your email is an opportunity and each word should be intentional, especially the areas that ask your readers to take an action.Here a few favorite examples of ways to get clever and entice your reader to click. Today’s consumer is well aware of the fact that you’re trying to lead them to a desired action. With that in mind, you might experiment with your call to action copy and use each “click here” spot as a chance to delight. Originally published Mar 6, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated December 04 2018last_img read more

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Operating Costs Drop for Fifth Successive Year

first_imgzoom Total operating costs for the tanker, bulker and container ship sectors were all down in 2016, shipping adviser Moore Stephens said in its ship operating costs benchmarking tool OpCost 2017.On a year-on-year basis, the tanker index was down by 3 points, or 1.7%, while the bulker index also fell by 3 points, or 1.9%. The container ship index, meanwhile, was down by 1 point, or 0.6%. The corresponding figures in last year’s OpCost study showed falls of 6 points in both the bulker and container ship index, and of 4 points in the tanker index.There was a 0.4% overall average fall in 2016 crew costs, compared to the 2015 figure, which itself was 1.2% down on 2015. By way of comparison, the 2008 report revealed a 21% increase in this category.Tankers overall experienced a fall in crew costs of 1.8% on average, compared to the 1.3% fall recorded in 2015. For bulkers, the overall average fall in crew costs in 2016 was 0.6%, compared to 1.1% recorded 12 months ago.Expenditure on crew costs in the container ship sector, meanwhile, was up by 1.1% compared to the fall of 3.3% recorded for 2015.“This is the fifth successive year-on-year reduction in overall ship operating costs, although the reduction this time is less than half the figure recorded 12 months ago for 2015,” Richard Greiner, Shipping & Transport Partner, said.“The biggest cost reductions were those in the Insurance category,” Greiner said, adding that the fact that such costs continue to fall may be due in part to a reduction in the incidence of major casualties.“Most of the larger reductions in insurance costs tracked by OpCost, however, were recorded by bulk carriers, which are no strangers to the pages of the casualty reports. So cheaper insurance must also say much about the fierce competition for business which exists throughout marine underwriting markets worldwide.”Although 2016 was another difficult period for shipping, the year closed on a note of rising confidence, according to the Moore Stephens Shipping Confidence Survey. Owners and charterers were more confident, than for some time previously, of making new investments, and there were improved expectations of higher freight rates in all three main tonnage categories.That increased confidence, which has carried over into 2017, “should logically lead to greater activity, which will mean higher operating costs.”At present, however, owners and operators are not earning what they should be, or would like to be, from most of the markets in which they operate.“Shipping can certainly find encouragement in a fifth successive annual fall in operating costs. But nothing is for ever, and nothing is more certain than that the shipping industry will continue to be characterised by uncertainty, which can be both its strength and its weakness.”last_img read more

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City of Encinitas to hold forum on proposed gaspowered leaf blower ban

first_imgCity of Encinitas to hold forum on proposed gas-powered leaf blower ban KUSI Newsroom Tonight, @EncinitasGov will discuss a proposal to eliminate the use of gas-powered leaf blowers to help achieve the goals set in its climate action plan. City officials think the proposal will also decrease levels of noise, dust and allergies.Story: https://t.co/8yyMTWgC9U pic.twitter.com/Ansmh43Wbb— KUSI News (@KUSINews) May 13, 2019 Updated: 12:55 PM Posted: May 13, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, ENCINITAS (KUSI) – The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce and the city of Encinitas will host a community forum Monday evening to discuss a proposal to eliminate the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.The Encinitas City Council is scheduled to discuss the ordinance next month. Monday’s forum will include presentations by city staff members on how the ordinance will benefit the city and help it achieve the goals set in its climate action plan. City officials also believe the ordinance will decrease levels of noise, dust and allergens.A violation of the ordinance would result in a fine of at least $100 after a warning, increasing for each violation. Only electric or battery- powered leaf blowers would be allowed within the city going forward, should the ordinance be adopted.The forum will be held at the Encinitas Community Center’s Banquet Hall, located at 1140 Oakcrest Drive. The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Monday evening.What do you think of the proposal? Let us know by replying to our Twitter posts below. May 13, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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White House Close to Completing Plan for Shuttering Prison at Guantánamo

first_imgThe White House in the coming days is expected to send Congress a plan for closing the military prison at Guantánamo, even as President Obama’s options for carrying it out seem limited.On Wednesday, press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama could try to sidestep Congress if lawmakers reject the plan to close the facility and send some detainees to the United States, reported the Hill.“At this point, I would not take anything off the table in terms of the president doing everything that he can to achieve this critically important national security objective,” Earnest told reporters.In response, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts (R) threatened to block the administration’s nominees from advancing in the Senate if Obama resorted to executive action in an attempt to shut down the prison.“An act of Congress would be required to move detainees to the mainland,” Roberts said in a statement. “I will place holds on any nominee necessary to prevent this unilateral action.”One step the president is not expected to take is vetoing the reworked version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill now advancing through Congress. When he vetoed the original defense bill last month over its reliance on DOD’s overseas contingency operations account to evade the statutory spending caps, the president also cited the measure’s restrictions on closing the detention facility at Guantánamo as a factor in his decision.But now that congressional leaders and the White House have reached a two-year deal to exceed the Budget Control Act limits for defense and non-defense spending, it appears unlikely Obama would veto the defense authorization bill again, reported CQ.The policy bill would prohibit the transfer of detainees to the United States, or the construction or modification of facilities in the United States for housing the detainees. It also returns to stricter standards that would freeze the remaining population at Guantánamo for at least the next year. The legislation would require DOD to submit a plan within 90 days for the current and future detention of individuals, including a “specific facility or facilities that are intended to be used” for holding detainees.A plan from the Obama administration for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay has been expected since the summer. DOD already has surveyed several candidate sites to house the detainees, including Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C., and a federal supermax facility in Florence, Colo.The administration’s proposal is not expected to recommend a single U.S. site for transferring prisoners but, instead, will include a list of alternatives and the costs associated with each. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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The screen of excellence

first_imgA retrospective of award-winning films directed by Bengali filmmakers is being organised in the Capital that opens up on 6 September at Banga Bhavan. The two-day event is a collaborative initiative of Government of West Bengal and Doordarshan. The opening day of the event will screen the movie Kaalbela from 10.45 am to 1.45 pm. Directed by Goutam Ghose, this film is set against the background of the Naxalite movement, based on a 1980s novel by Samaresh Majumdar. Following the screening a panel discussion and interaction will be held between renowned directors and film critics. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Nisshabd, directed by Jahar Kanungo will be screened from 3.45 pm to 5.20 pm. The movie was screened at more than 20 international festivals and received six international awards. Critics found the film funny, thought-provoking, and poignant. For the first time an Indian film received accolades for its sound design.Following it another movie called MahulBanir Sereng will be screened from 5.45 pm to 8 pm. The movie is directed by Sekhar Das. The movie won Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards (BFJA) – Best Indian Film Awards in ten categories. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe next day of the festival will screen movies like – Elar Char Adhyay, Prohor and The Last Lear. Elar Char Adhyay, directed by Bappaditya Bandopadyay will be screened on 7 September at 12 noon. The movie is based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Char Adhyay. The next movie that will be screened at 3 pm is Prohor, directed by Subhadro Choudhaury, which is a narrative revolving around the relationship between a patient and a nurse. The festival will close with the screening of the movie The Last Lear at 5.30 pm. The film, directed by Rituparna Ghosh, won the National Award of India for Best FeatureFilm in English in 2007.last_img read more

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Panja inaugurates childfriendly corner at book fair

first_imgKolkata: Minister of state for Women & Child Development & Social Welfare Shashi Panja on Saturday inaugurated a child-friendly corner at the stall set up by West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBSCPCR) at the 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair.”This is the second time when such a stall has been put up at the book fair, with the aim to create awareness among children and their parents about the rights of children and how should such child rights be upheld. The state department of Women & Child Development has extended full support for setting up the facility,” said Ananya Chatterjee Chakrabarti, chairperson of WBSCPCR. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThere will be posters, books and various publicity materials for the purpose of awareness and various interactive activities, which will be held every day to attract children. Children will be encouraged to recite poems, draw, tell stories and other similar activities through which we will try to deliver the message of awareness. A paper cutting workshop involving children was conducted by Trina Lahiri at the WBSCPCR stall on Sunday. “Child rights and their security should be given utmost priority. So there should be such child-friendly corners at every fair. The book fair stall will have activities every day on the part of the WBSCPCR, to encourage participation from the children and their parents. People tend to think when they see activities linked to child rights and their security and this contributes to awareness generation,” said Panja.last_img read more

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