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Mowing “Script Ohio” in a *ichigan fan’s yard

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest My neighbor is a big *ichigan fan. He is out of town this week and ask me to watch over his place. I thought I’d spruce it up a bit! #GOBUCKS (It’s better with audio) -Tylast_img

Gagan to carry India”s flag in Asian Games

first_imgAce shooter Gagan Narang, who won four gold medals at last month’s Commonwealth Games, will be India’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China on November 12.It was announced by Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi in New Delhi on Tuesday.”We chose Gagan not only because he emerged India’s best athlete in the Commonwealth Games with four gold medals but also because he has been one of the most consistent performers for India in the past few years,” Kalmadi said of the 27-year-old rifle shooter, who first shot into limelight in the Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad.”Gagan won four gold medals in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. In 2008, he won the 10m air rifle gold in the World Cup finals and earlier this year, claimed bronze in the World championship. He is also ranked world No 4 in the 10m air rifle event,” Kalmadi added.The IOA chief said Gagan was handpicked for the honour from among a number of champions.”It is a pleasure to have such choice and strengthens our belief that Olympic sport in India is progressing in the right direction,” Kalmadi said.The Asian Games will be held in the Guangzhou from November 12-27.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

The Web is Not a Channel

first_imgThe following is guest post by  You need to give people reasons to stay at your party and invite others to join. Stay tuned into what is and is not working, and find ways to make the community more convenient, useful, friendly and rewarding. Digital Influence Group Get into social media and the blogosphere to understand the most influential places in the social web. Who is talking about what? What place (if any) does you company have in the conversation? – This is where content matters. You need to balance user-generated and enterprise-generated content to foster dialogue. wait… , two agencies in the next-generation marketing services ecosystem, W2 Group. Be sure to also check out Larry’s book,  HubSpot.tv Marketing to the Social Web Larry Weber wait…  I: Originally published Oct 23, 2008 10:42:00 AM, updated March 21 2013  PR: Broadcasting marketing messages to an increasingly indifferent, even resentful, audience jaded by the 2,000+ messages that bombard the average American daily is no longer going to be effective. Instead of continuing as broadcasters, marketers are becoming aggregators of customer communities. Marketers should participate in, organize and encourage social networks to which people want to belong. Rather than talking at people, marketers should talk with them. And the social web is the most effective way to do that on a large scale. 6. Promote your community to the world – 7. Improve the community’s benefits – 2. Recruit community members – Communications is at the beginning of a new world … a world called the “social web.”  SD: Once you have determined who and where your targets are, you enlist a core group of people who want to talk about your company and product. 3. Evaluate platforms –  I: , chairman of  So how exactly can you “make marketing disappear”? You build communities of interest and help members find what they want to make their lives more fulfilling. I break down the process for building a community into seven practical steps: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Racepoint Groupcenter_img While some sites do not need much promotion, most do. You can bring people to your “party” by going to theirs. Ultimately, marketing disappears if it does its job right, because marketers become purveyors of environment. Photo:  There are four main online conduit strategies: reputation aggregators, blogs, e-communities, social networks. Which one will help you achieve your marketing goals? wait… 4. Engage the community in conversation 1. Observe and create a customer map – Over time, you’ll see what your community members connect with and determine the most relevant metrics. A community will not run itself, but by giving members a stake in your community, they’ll stick around and help it thrive. wait… Autan  LD:  L: wait… wait…  and  We’re at the beginning of the social web, but marketers should dive in now. If you wait, your competitors will have figured out how to attract your customers to their environments – and you’ll have to work that much harder to get them back.  and tune into  wait…  C: wait…  tomorrow at 4 p.m. EDT for an interview with Larry. Marketing to the social web doesn’t require you to forget everything you know about marketing. It does, however, require you to open your mind to new possibilities, social change, and rethinking past practices. When I say “social web,” I mean any web site that allows comments and contributions from other people. As you can probably tell from your own experience, it’s a fast-paced, open environment that is changing the way people communicate with each other. In turn, it’s changing the role of marketers. 5. Measure the community’s involvement –last_img read more

7 Social Media Time-Sucks to Eliminate Today

first_img Topics: Originally published Sep 12, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media In inbound marketing, we talk a lot about optimization — optimizing your content for search engines, optimizing your website for lead generation, optimizing your social media presence. But another very important thing inbound marketers must optimize is time. Yes, compared to outbound marketing, inbound marketing saves money and is much more effective. But you also need to put the time in.However, marketers often spend too much time on strategies and tactics that don’t make any real impact, particularly in social media. Don’t waste your precious marketing time on things that aren’t worth your time. Avoid the following 7 social media time-sucks at all costs.7 Social Media Time-Sucks to Avoid1. Stop feeding the trolls. On the internet, trolls are people who make it their mission to disrupt online discussions (whether it’s on a forum, in a blog post’s comments section, in a social network, etc.) with the goal of provoking an emotional response. Often, their comments are off-topic, inflammatory, and disruptive to the conversation. In general, don’t waste your time on them; it’s often better to ignore their remarks than try to reason with them. Do your best to recognize trolls, take a deep breath, and move on. If you perceive someone as a troll, chances are your other readers will, too, so don’t worry about trolls negatively impacting your brand if you ignore them.2. Stop maintaining multiple accounts on one social network. You have one Twitter account for customer service, another for marketing, and yet another for Sales. Your Facebook presence is also spread out across multiple Pages. There are some cases when more than one account makes sense, but be reasonable. Consolidating your presence into one account will save you the time of maintaining multiple accounts, help you attract more followers, and centralize your web presence. You can always have multiple contributors/administrators for one account if you want representatives from multiple departments to be involved.3. Stop spending time on social networks your target customers don’t populate. It’s an unnecessary time-suck to maintain a presence on every single social network that crops up. Before you sign up for a social media account, conduct research to determine if your target customers even congregate there. Furthermore, adjust the amount of time you spend on each social network accordingly. It doesn’t matter if Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the most popular social networks overall. If your target audience spends more time on a niche social media platform specific to your industry than they do on a ‘popular’ one like Facebook, spend more of your time there, too.4. Stop tracking useless metrics. At the end of the day, it’s all about sales. While there are definitely metrics that can be good indicators of revenue and sales, there are some that just generally don’t matter. In social media, these metrics include your number of fans and followers. Rather than obsessing over these useless metrics, measure social media traffic, leads, and customers instead.5. Stop talking about your product. Don’t waste your time talking about yourself and your products or services, because, well, no one really wants to hear it. What your fans and followers do want to hear, on the other hand, is your thought leadership. Rather than spending time talking about yourself, spend time creating and sharing educational, remarkable content that people will care about and want to spread to their networks. This will extend your reach and actually generate results.6. Stop strategizing, and start doing. Too many businesses waste time preparing over-the-top, extensive social media strategy documents. They spend time creating them, and then they spend even more time waiting for their approval. By the time they actually start executing, they could’ve already been generating results. Sure, it’s important to have a clear vision for your social media strategy, but getting things done and being agile enough to adapt to new trends and developments is more important than having a definitive strategy document.7. Stop responding to EVERYTHING. As your business and social media presence grow (and, isn’t that the goal?), you’ll undoubtedly start generating more fans, followers, and as a result, more discussion around your brand. If you kill yourself over trying to respond to every single comment or @reply, you’ll never get anything meaningful done. While it’s absolutely critical to be an active member of your community and engage with your prospects and customers, always prioritize and spend your time responding to the conversations that are truly worthwhile.Start eliminating these social media time-sucks and focusing on tactics that really matter. You’ll love how much looser your schedule becomes. What other time-sucks would you add to this list?Image Credit: blue2likeyoulast_img read more

The Average Large Company Has 178 Social Media Accounts [Shocking Data]

first_img Originally published Jan 10, 2012 1:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Yesterday, Marketing Pilgrim reported data from Altimeter Group that the average large company has 178 corporate-owned social media accounts.Wait, what?Who is setting up all of these accounts? How are there even Twitter handles left to go around anymore? Large companies with all the social media accounts, can you please explain yourselves?Altimeter gave us some more insight into these numbers, breaking down the average number of corporate-owned accounts by social network. And yes, the most accounts were on Twitter. Take a minute to soak in this seriously mind-boggling data before we break down what on earth is possibly happening here.So what’s going on here? Do large corporations really have a need for that many social media accounts? Let’s break down the reasons (some legitimate, some not) large companies are bombarding the social media world with their brands.Why it Might Be Happening (And Actually Makes Sense)1.) People are claiming accounts in anticipation for future use. This makes sense if you’re planning for things like product launches or expansion to other cities and countries. In fact, that’s probably a common occurrence for larger companies, and is a social media best practice.2.) Different product and service lines may call for their own dedicated accounts. This is especially important if there is not a lot of customer overlap between products and services within the organization, or if they are all drastically different from one another. For example, product development company PTC maintains separate Twitter accounts for each of its four core products, along with separate accounts for product updates and news that is only relevant to a niche audience.3.) Several departments within an organization may have created separate accounts, whether for internal departmental communications or for external communications. For some companies, large or small, this is wise, so the purpose of each account remains targeted and followers aren’t inundated with information that doesn’t impact them. While Verizon Wireless, for example, maintains a shocking number of social media accounts because its stores span so many different territories, it wisely maintains a separate support account on which the company troubleshoots service disruptions and other common issues.Why it Might Be Happening (But Makes No Sense)1.) Like Marketing Pilgrim points out, maybe these businesses are creating accounts for specific campaigns. If you’re like Geico and have such long-running campaigns as the Geico Gecko and the Geico Caveman (they’ve been going strong since 1999 and 2004, respectively), the separate social media accounts are certainly warranted.But one of the primary purposes of using social media for marketing campaigns is that your brand already has a following that can help give the campaign more leverage. Unless your campaign will last over the course of years like Geico’s, why make more work for yourself by starting from scratch with a campaign-specific network? Or, if you’re planning a campaign that lasts years and you find it falls flat, you should delete it, streamlining the amount of social clutter out there surrounding your brand.2.) They may have started their accounts during the “you have to be on social media” upswing from the past couple of years, but rushed into it without much strategy. In fact, Marketing Pilgrim shares that only 43% said they had a social media strategy designed to meet their business objectives. Once they figured out what they actually wanted to do with the accounts, name changes were probably required, or they just had to wipe their slate clean and start with brand new accounts. That’s understandable, but why don’t you delete those accounts?At HubSpot, we decided to make this change ourselves just yesterday when we merged our @ContentCamp Twitter account with our main @HubSpot account. Now, Content Camp tweets will be tagged with #InboundLearning on the @HubSpot account so the tweets are still searchable but only one account needs to be followed, which thankfully makes the Twitterverse just a little less cluttered.3.) It’s possible large companies have such giant marketing departments that there’s no intra-departmental communication. Can it be that multiple marketers are tweeting, Facebooking, Flickring, and YouTubing on behalf of the company, and on a branded company account? It’s possible, sure. Smart? No, not at all. No matter the size of your company, make sure you have a handle on what your employees are doing on behalf of your brand on social media accounts. Take a look at these other companies’ social media policies that help them rein in (for better or worse) their employees’ social behavior when speaking for their brand in the social sphere.So, How Many Social Media Accounts Should My Business Have?Not as many as you need; as many as your followers need. And knowing how many separate accounts your followers need relies on pinning down not just a social media strategy, but also a very specific objective behind each account you set up. Why should people follow you and interact with you on a given account? Do you need a brand new account on the same social network to give followers and fans a reason to engage with you, or are the channels you have set up now sufficient to meet their needs? Are you leveraging all of the functionality the social networks allow to personalize a user’s experience, like hashtags on Twitter, Circles on Google+, and tabs on Facebook? Are you prepared for the additional time and effort associated with maintaining multiple accounts?Make your actions purposeful, and understand how every account plays into the larger social media strategy you’ve defined. If you sit back and realize maybe you’ve gone a little social media-crazy, no worries, it happens to everyone. Just do yourselves, your fans, and the internet at large a favor, and delete those dead accounts!How many social media accounts does your organization manage? If you have multiple accounts, why do you choose to maintain them separately?Image credit: xJason.Rogersx Social Media Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

12 Ways to Create a User-Friendly Website Registration Process

first_imgAs a user, registering for websites is no fun. Because it’s on a computer, it’s only slightly less annoying than filling out paper forms — falling somewhere between standing in line and watching water boil on the spectrum of most tedious activities in the world.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignBut it’s part of doing business in the online world, and because most website visitors are quite used to the process, they’ve also come to have pet peeves over UX and UI choices businesses make around their registration process.Why does this matter? Because if you rub your site visitors the wrong way when they’re trying to register for something on your site, you might just lose a lead or customer because of it. Turns out 11% of US adults have abandoned an online purchase because they didn’t want to register online or the site was asking for too much information, according to Forrester Research. “To put this in context,” they say, “a retailer with $200m of annual online revenue could be leaving a further $22m on the table simply due to the complexity of the registration step in their checkout process.”Even more startling, eMarketer reports that 88% of people have intentionally left website registration information blank or inserted false information. Whether it’s due to privacy concerns or frustration, online shoppers have higher standards than ever before for a sleek and simple registration process. If online registration is something your business can’t live without, let’s examine the ways to make it the least annoying process possible for your site visitors.12 Ways to Create a Seamless Website Registration Process for Your Visitors 1.) Build value around registration. Right off the bat, explain why a visitor should register with your site, like Mint.com does below. Notice how little copy they use to describe the benefits — a large, clear heading with a few bullet points laying out the value of registering with the website is all that’s needed to quickly explain to a visitor what registered users can do.2.) Eliminate as many fields as possible. Just as with landing pages, the fewer form fields you can get away with in your registration process, the less likely you’ll suffer mid-form abandonment. Consider what information you absolutely must gather. And if you’re asking  for information that isn’t required to help with your lead nurturing, make sure those fields are clearly marked as optional so users know they don’t need to divulge that information.3.) Group fields logically. Some sites require a whole lot of information to register — shipping address, billing address, contact information, credit card information, a list of your greatest fears (optional). If it’s all really necessary to complete the registration process, most users will comply, unless you lay it out in an illogical order.People have become used to delivering their personal information in a certain order, and it’s based on the most logical flow, generally something like: name, phone number, email address, billing/shipping address with a check box if they’re the same, and credit card information.But if the billing address comes first, then email address, then shipping information, then name, then credit card information, then phone number, your visitors will be disoriented at best, and unnerved at worst — perhaps enough to leave your site without completing their registration.4.) Break up long registration processes into steps. For many ecommerce sites, the registration process is combined with the checkout process, which means a bigger time investment and more opportunities for users to get frustrated. Break up the process into clearly labeled steps, like ModCloth, for example.5.) Make your security and privacy policies clear as day. Privacy and security is a hot button issue, so reassure your visitors that their information is safe with you. Include a clear link to your privacy policy and visual indications of your site’s security with verification badges from third parties like VeriSign, the BBB, and TRUSTe, like Zappos has done on its registration page.6.) Make password requirements secure, but not ridiculous. Security is important, but when a new registrant is selecting a password for your site, they probably have a few variations from which they’re used to drawing. Sure, a mix of characters and caps is a good idea, but keep your expectations reasonable. If your password requirements are too narrow — it must be less than 7 characters, use at least one number, one punctuation mark, one instance of caps, and none of the following terms — the options become quite narrow. Take a cue from Google and create strong requirements, and indicate their progress with a “password strength” visual.Also, if you’re asking a user to confirm their password by typing it in again, don’t wait until the entire form is filled out to ensure they’ve typed it in correctly both times; let them know right away before moving on to another form field that their passwords do not match.7.) Make password recovery easy. Ever go to what you thought was a brand new site, only to find out you’ve apparently not only been there before, but actually registered with them? If you’ve tried to register again with the same email address, you know it’s quite impossible to get to the next step unless you somehow remember the password you selected. A Janrain study reveals that 45% of consumers will leave a website after forgetting their password or log-in information. I’ve definitely been in that camp when a password reset option isn’t clear and simple. Unless your user can complete their end goal without registering for your website, make it easy as pie for them to reset their password so they don’t abandon your site.8.) Give the option to refresh Captcha. If your site requires that registrants authenticate that they are indeed living, breathing human beings with a Captcha form, give them the option to refresh the results that are delivered.If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an unintelligible Captcha, you know how welcoming it is to not have to struggle through an attempt to parse those wobbly, stretched, and warped letters when there’s likely a clearer option next in line.9.) Clearly identify and explain form field errors. Whether due to fumbling fingers or misinterpretation of what a field required, users will make mistakes when filling out registration forms on your site. If a field isn’t completed correctly, don’t just tell them they made a mistake. Show them in which field the error occurred, and explain the correct way to fill out the field. Do it in bright colors so it stands out and they don’t have to re-read every form field they entered, scanning for mistakes. Some sites even scroll automatically to the offending field, making corrections even easier!10.) Consider offering social sign-in. Social sign-in, also known as social authentication, lets visitors sign in to your site using a social network like Facebook or Twitter, or even an Apple ID or Google account. According to Marketing Pilgrim, 77% of online buyers said they think sites should offer social signup. Not only does this let visitors register for your site quicker, but it also helps you gather more valid data about your registrants.11.) Provide a guest checkout option. Not everyone should have to complete the full registration process; provide the option to complete a purchase without registering. Yes, I know, it’s more convenient to register now if they’re going to return at a later date to check order history, shipping information, or account information. But maybe they’re in a rush. Or maybe they intend to be a one time customer. Ultimately, wouldn’t you rather see a transaction completed than collect more robust lead information?12.) Let visitors determine how long to stay signed in. If your registrants tend to come back to your site frequently — daily or even multiple times a day — give them the option to stay signed in. It’s a little added benefit that makes your site more user-friendly for your most engaged users that choose to take advantage of the option.When selecting a registration or shopping cart system, ask if these types of functionality are available to ensure you can create the best user experience possible. And if you’re an ecommerce site, you can even utilize HubSpot’s Ecommerce Integration to help you get full closed-loop reporting and lead nurturing benefits. And as you make improvements to your registration process, be sure to approach it with a scientific methodology. See what changes are helping improve your conversion rate and prevent form abandonment, and throw out the changes that add no value to the registration process, or worse, harm it. Topics: Originally published Feb 23, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated April 04 2018 E-Commerce Websites Don’t forget to share this post! 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6 Basic Reports Every Marketer Should Know How to Run

first_img Originally published Jan 26, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Marketing Reporting Truthfully, there are tons of metrics that you can report on. You’ve got reports on the number of Twitter followers, the number of Facebook Likes, the number of visits to your website, the number of conversions, the number of leads from different campaigns or channels — just to name a few. The world is your oyster.But that’s exactly what makes it so hard to get started — there are so many reports you can run that it’s not easy to identify the ones that are actually helpful, run them, and then act on them.To help you wade through the haze of reports at your disposal, here are the key, basic reports that marketers should think about running. Report #1: Your typical reports, but segmented by persona type.You probably have a set of reports that you typically look at on a regular basis. That could be the number of pageviews your website is getting, the number of leads you are generating per month, or possibly how your various marketing channels are doing. Whatever you are looking at, you can probably dig in a bit deeper into the data.These reports don’t give you information about what your buyer persona likes and how they’re acting on your website — so you should create separate reports for just your persona segments. You may uncover insights that you originally glossed over because the original report was too broad.From that segmented report, you can then use the data from the report to decide how to market specifically to that part of your audience. After all, different personas are interested in different topics, different formats, and different communication channels. Let’s take a look at the example below. This report looks specifically at data for the persona Big Data Billy. It tells us that Billy is interested in predominantly ebooks and whitepapers — but not blog posts. Based on that information, I might want to devote more resources to ebooks and whitepapers. Report #2: Sources that drives MQLs.In addition to your persona-specific metrics, it’s important to understand which sources are driving traffic to your website. Tracking conversions by source is the first step towards true closed-loop reporting.  To dig even deeper, take a look at which sources are generating marketing qualified leads. This is a report that helps you understand the health of your funnel, giving you a better idea of how well you’re holding up your part of your company’s SLA. Let’s take a look at the report below, MQLs by Source. This report gives you insight into how many marketing qualified leads you are driving as a result of your different marketing channels. You can use the score column on the right to figure out the most valuable marketing channel. The higher the score, the more time you might want to invest in that channel to drive more MQLs. (HubSpot Customers: Take a look at this blog post to find out how to do this in HubSpot.)Report #3: Content that drives MQLs.In addition to looking at the most important sources for driving conversions, it is also important to look at the content that drives those conversions. This can help you figure out what content should actually be promoted through various channels to get more MQLs in the door. While understanding what pages are viewed the most is a good metric, the conversion rate on your different pages is a great metric. This metric helps you really understand what content moves website visitors throughout your funnel.Let’s take a look at the report below to show you what one of these reports looks like. This report displays the content that marketing qualified leads are viewing before and during a conversion. If you take this report and the previous report together, you have your full package. You can decide the best content to promote through your best channels to achieve the best outcome possible. (HubSpot Customers: Take a look at this blog post to find out how to do it in HubSpot.)Report #4: Content that generates leads. While understanding content that drives marketing qualified leads is important, it is also important to understand the content that drives conversions in other areas of your funnel. Before someone is qualified enough to be considered an MQL, they’re probably a regular ol’ lead. And to get more MQLs in the door, you need to get more leads in the door. And the content that your leads find important may be different than what your marketing qualified leads and customers find important. Understand what content is being consumed at each stage of the funnel can help you formulate a plan to move your visitors down it. You can also experiment with showing some of the content that converts leads to marketing qualified leads earlier to decrease the amount of time it takes to turn someone from a lead into a marketing qualified lead.Let’s take a look at the report below. This report shows the different URLs that contributed to lead conversions ranking in order of importance.Report #5: Content that converts customers.If you skipped ahead to the image instead of reading this text first, you may be thinking that this looks like the same report as well! You’re 90% right.While each of these reports are the same, the part of the funnel you’re investigating is different. The content that helps convert people in each stage of the funnel is different — so you’ve got to dive deep into each to do a full, quality analysis.Let’s take a closer look at the report below. This is showing the content viewed as your leads (or marketing qualified leads) become customers. Ultimately the goal of creating content is to drive customer conversions. This information will help you prioritize the content that drives customers to help your company close more deals.Report #6: Actions that your website visitors are taking.We have talked a lot about how to report on the content your website visitors are viewing in addition to the sources they are coming to your website from. But what about the different actions they take on your website? They may prefer certain CTAs over others. Or maybe they always view certain pages. Maybe a certain image gets their attention. Whatever it is, it is important to track how people are interacting with your website — and see how these interactions play into your funnel metrics.After you collect this information, there are a few things that you can do with it. First, you can build a report to better understand the people who took the action. You should find out of the people who took the action, how many became new leads? Did any become customers? This will help you understand the importance of the action. For example, let’s say that you’re tracking who is clicking on a CTA that says “contact us” while on your pricing page — and people that do tend to become customers faster than those who don’t click on that CTA. This could tell you that you might need to test out a more prominent design for that CTA, or experiment with putting that CTA on other parts of your website. If you are a HubSpot customer, here’s how to use the events app in HubSpot.What other marketing reports do you use to measure your team’s performance? 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

How to Say “No” Without Burning Bridges

first_img Originally published May 14, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Communication Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Scale.You hear the term often in marketing. It basically means increasing results disproportionately to the time or effort previously required to achieve them. Companies like Dropbox and Airbnb are often held up as shining examples of marketing scale, which they accomplish by hardwiring user referral incentives into their products. Both parties benefit equally. Dropbox’s users get more free storage and Airbnb’s receive rental credits, and the companies drive down customer acquisition costs. Greater reach for fixed effort.But you know what doesn’t scale? In fact, you know what will never scale? Your time.Rich or poor, executive or intern, we are all given the same number of hours in a day. And yet, for marketers who make their living online, social media makes us more accessible to others, paving the way for increased demands on our time. Each new follower brings an increased potential for guest article requests or “brain picking” coffee invitations.As flattering as these invitations are, accepting them comes at a cost — generally paid in time away from one’s job, family, or hobbies. So how does one say “no” without offending or burning a bridge?For that answer, I turned to a number of prominent marketers and executives to find out how they handle random requests. (One, Steve Woods, co-founder of Toronto-based sales software company Nudge, pointed out the irony of my request.) Overall, the methods of handling generally fell into one of two categories: filtering or redirecting.FilteringWoods filters on the amount of effort the person has invested in solving their own problem. For example, he will ask probing questions like, “Have you tried X?” or “Have you called Y?” If the answers reveal a lack of effort, Woods will be less apt to accept a meeting.As an entrepreneur, however, Woods can also be Machiavellian. If he feels the person can add value to his existing network or possesses a unique skill, then the person may skip to the front of the line.Interestingly, several of the folks with whom I spoke volunteered that they generally make exceptions for students. Like Woods, Content Marketing Institute’s Chief Strategy Officer Robert Rose is partial to those in the early stage of their careers. “I particularly love helping students sort stuff out,” said Rose. “If they’ve clearly put time and effort into a real request and have researched who I am, then I’m very happy to take the time to either email them or take a call. I consider it an honor to be asked.”Similarly, marketing author and speaker Jay Baer carves out time for those in his surrounding area. He told me that he fills local requests over lunch or a beer. “A man’s gotta eat and drink,” he quipped.Flybridge Capital partner Matt Witheiler trusts his personal network to serve as a filter. “I generally only do in-person meetings with people who are connected to others I know and respect. My likelihood of meeting for coffee increases dramatically if I was introduced by someone in my network,” he says. Others use money as a filter. Social media speaker Jason Falls will soon allow anyone to sign up for an hour of his time, for a fee, via his website. (Personally, unless it’s a HubSpot customer, partner, or a company I advise, I require a donation to a nonprofit for my time.)Lastly, Ann Handley turns to a clever “contact me” form as a filter. She said that the form originally resulted in too many inquiries, so over time she’s made it increasingly prescriptive. A skilled and prolific writer, Handley’s managed to constrain the volume of requests through the language she uses on the form.RedirectingIt would be difficult to find someone whose time is more in-demand than Crowd Companies founder and former analyst Jeremiah Owyang. Considered the foremost authority on the booming “collaborative economy,” Owyang needs to preserve his time for building his startup and advising. He refers inquirers to his archive of blog posts. Owyang will send the person a link to a relevant article and requests they read it before advancing the discussion. He said, “To date, I’ve completed over 2,800 blog posts, so I can usually lean on that body of answers and avoid calls. If there’s a question that I cannot answer through a reference then that tells me to write another post!”Another benefit to requiring the person to clearly state their goal upfront is that it can help the recipient redirect to a colleague. Baer and HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe both often refer inquiries to members of their teams who are better suited to answer the person’s question. HubSpot’s influencer relations lead, Laura Fitton, introduces a pre-meeting filter. After a call or coffee has been scheduled, she asks the person to send her information on what they want to discuss and, depending on the request, do a little reading themselves. “If they are not willing to prepare for a meeting they’ve requested, why should I take several hours of time to fulfill their request?” she asks.Other MethodsOthers proposed alternative solutions, like Fitton’s “batch process,” in which she urges multiple inquirers to meet her at networking events. Volpe can be prone to surrender — figuring those who reach out to him are potential customers, he’ll tries to find a way to meet as many as possible (usually up to two per week).Of everyone I interviewed, nobody had a more codified system than entrepreneur, author, speaker and high-energy motivator, Andrew Davis, who expresses his gratitude by answering every request with a clearly defined path to a conversation. He then dedicates one hour per week — half for for-profit companies and half for nonprofit organizations — to calls, which he books three months out using a scheduling tool called Mixmax.What Doesn’t Work?Indiscriminate “drive-by” requests are unlikely to be fulfilled. Rose gave two real-world examples: “Hey, can I show you my new app? Need your input” and “Thanks for the follow, can I pick your brain for 10 minutes what’s your schedule look like tomorrow?” He described these inquiries as “non-starters.” Not only are these requests presumptuous, but they also smack of spam. How many others are receiving the identical message? Presumably, many.Without exception, all influencers were grateful that others expressed interest in their perspective, and it seemed as if everyone would take all of the requests if time permitted. But given that time doesn’t scale, these experts recognized that self-preservation requires that they filter or redirect many of the requests for their time.Nevertheless, there’s universal sensitivity to saying, “no.” Altimeter Group co-founder Charlene Li, for example, maintains canned responses in Gmail. “Even if I say ‘no,’” she says, “I think it’s bad form to just ignore people. You get a reputation.”last_img read more

How to Create Facebook Video Ads

first_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 During the last year, Facebook has emerged as a real contender for the online video platform throne. In wake of several new video features being introduced and a heavy video focus from Mark Zuckerberg, the social media giant has quadrupled its video views over the last year.Facebook’s increased focus on video isn’t only because users like to watch it (although they clearly do) — it’s also because more marketers are shifting their budgets from TV to mobile video. The allure for advertisers lies in Facebook’s hyper-surgical targeting possibilities and the results Facebook videos can deliver.If you’re one of those marketers who wants to dive into advertising with Facebook videos — but isn’t sure where to start — keep on reading. Below are the steps you should follow to make sure your Facebook video ad campaigns rock.Free Lookbook: 50 Facebook Ad Examples That We Actually ClickedSet Your ObjectivesThe first step of any marketing effort is to decide what you want to accomplish. In your Facebook video ad campaign, are you trying to increase brand awareness or drive conversions? Choosing what you’re going to prioritize should affect what kind of video you should create and how you should distribute it.So choose your KPIs and plan accordingly. Below I’ve organized some common KPIs around three categories: engagement, audience reach, and brand lift.Conversion KPIsClicksCTRRevenue GeneratedEngagement KPIsEngagement (Share, likes, comments)Audience Retention (How much of your video the viewer watch)Relevance Score (How relevant your video is to your audience)Audience Reach KPIsImpressions (How many people viewed your video)Percent of In-Target Audience (What percent of your target audience you reached)Brand awarenessBy choosing which metrics you want to track and what goals you’re trying to reach before you actually start creating your video, you’re more likely to be successful.Choose Your Target AudienceWho are you targeting with your video ad campaign? Yankee fans between 30-40? Newlyweds who shop at Costco? Millennials who play Minecraft? Or the people who already like your Facebook page?The true power of video advertising on Facebook is the targeting capabilities. Forget spray and pray — you need a hyper-targeted group of people for your ad’s audience. Narrowing your target group will give you less overall views, but because you’re reaching only the people who are relevant, your CTR is likely to be higher.Which targeting options you should have is dependent on what target audience you have, but here are some key targeting options for an effective Facebook video ad campaign:GenderAgeLocationInterestsBehaviorRelationship statusWork (Job title, Office type)Financial incomeHome (Type, Value, Ownership)Market segment (Ethnicity, Generation, Household composition)Parents (Age of children)Life eventsDevice ownerIf you go to the “Audience Insights” page in the Facebook Ads Manager, you can play around with the different options to define your target audience. Hopefully you have a pretty good idea about who your target market is based on your buyer persona research, but finding the best audience for your video ads might require a few attempts. This is a prime opportunity to really confirm your optimal target audience. What target audience has the highest CTR? What target audience has the highest LTV? Use the data you get from your campaigns to evaluate both your Facebook campaigns and your larger marketing strategy.Plan the Video CreativeWith your KPIs and target audience decided, you know what you want to accomplish and the people you want to reach. Now it’s time to plan your video creation. A good, solid plan for your video will increase the chances of it coming out looking good. Here are the things you should decide before you even touch a camera.What is your topic? For example, if you’re in the boat paint business, you might choose a topic like “How to buy the right environmentally friendly boat paint.”What will your key takeaway be? What message do you want to convey to your audience? For example, “Our metal-free bottom paint lasts longer than normal paints and is more environmentally friendly.”What is your CTA? For example, “Use this code to buy our metal-free bottom paint for 20% before August 1st!”Then it’s time to write the script. Write up what you want to say, how you’re going to say it (if you’re doing a voice-over), and what graphics and text you need. Make sure that your message is on point and not too long. It should sound natural when read aloud. And try to keep what you say to a minimum — when it comes to online video ads, “less is more” is a better approach.Create the VideoThis is where things can get a little bit complicated. What kind of gear you need all depends on your experience level and how often you’re planning to do videos in the future. For most beginners, a good smartphone and a microphone could be enough to get some decent photos or videos. But if you are devoting more resources to video, you might consider trading up to some higher quality gear and thinking about lighting and studio set up.If you are looking to easily create videos from the product photos you’ve already got, check out this guide. And if you’re looking to up your video game, check out Wistia’s DIY office studio guide.Set Up Your Facebook CampaignOnce you’ve created your video, it’s time to set up your Facebook video ad campaign. Setting up a video ad on Facebook is relatively straight-forward process, especially if you’re used to setting up normal Facebook ads. Facebook does a good job of walking you through the process of setting up the campaign through either the Ad Manager or the Power Editor. Here are the basic steps you need to go through:Start creating an ad and choose “Video Views” as your objective. You could choose to “Boost Post” as well, but choosing “Video Views” will give you a lower cost per view.Choose your audience. Like I mentioned before, you have a wealth of targeting options at your disposal. You can also retarget previous website visitors or use any of the Custom Audiences you might already have, like your email list or app users. You can also target the fans of your Facebook page.Set budget and pricing. Choose how much you want to spend, over what time, and what you want to optimize your ad for.Upload your video. Be sure to choose your video thumbnail carefully — it could affect your views.Edit your ad copy. Add the text copy and your CTA. Choose where you want your ad to be served, on web or mobile or both.Track Your Campaign Here are a few ways to track the different metrics I mentioned earlier in the post.Conversion KPIsUse a URL with UTM codes to track the traffic from the ad to your website. Your marketing software should make it easy for you to track incoming traffic and subsequent conversions, and compare your video campaign to other campaigns you’ve run.You can also use Facebook Conversion Pixels to see the long-tail effect of your video campaign. For example, if someone visits your site after watching an ad, leaves, and then comes back, that information would be shown in the conversions column of your Facebook ad analytics.Engagement KPIsTracking your engagement KPIs is a relatively straightforward process. Just go into the Ads Manager, choose “Campaigns,” and click on your ad to see how it performed.Audience Reach KPIsSimilar to engagement, audience reach is simple to track on Facebook. On the “Campaign Report” page, see how many people viewed your ad and what your Relevance Score is. The Relevance Score will help you evaluate if your target audience actually liked your video. If your Relevance Score is poor compared to scores for other ads shown to your audience, Facebook will limit the reach of your video. The better the video and the better the targeting, the better your Relevance Score will be.Evaluate Your CampaignAfter your video campaign is over, it is time to take a step back and evaluate how successful your campaign was. Go back and check your KPIs and see if you hit your goals.Conversion KPIsHow many conversions did you get from your video campaign? Did people who clicked through to your website bounce quickly, or did they convert on your content? Did retargeted visitors convert at a later stage?Engagement KPIsDid people who saw your video engage with it? How many shares, likes, and comments did you get? How many of those were from organic sharing?Audience Reach KPIsDid you plan on reaching 10,000 people with your video/budget, but only reached 7,000 people because your Relevance Score was too low? You might want to think about how good your video is and how well it is aligned with your audience’s wants. A good idea is to keep track of your videos’ performance in a spreadsheet — Social Media Examiner has a great template you can use. That way, you can compare and evaluate your different campaigns, and figure out what kind of videos actually resonates with your audience.IterateAfter you’ve evaluated your video campaign’s performance, it is time to do it again! Think about what went well and what you could improve. Is the video content you’re putting out good enough? Is your targeting on point? When you have enough data from previous campaigns, you can easily compare them to see what works and what doesn’t — and then make changes on future ads.Have you experimented with Facebook video ads? What was your experience? Originally published Jul 13, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Facebook Advertisinglast_img read more

The 100 Most Expensive Keywords on Google [Infographic]

first_img865Save Originally published Aug 24, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Google has many different sources of revenue, but one of their most noticeable is the ads that appear next to search results for specific keywords. How much that keyword costs depends, in part, on how often people search for it — the more people search for a certain keyword, the more expensive it is.If you’ve ever wondered what the most expensive keywords on Google are, then look no further than the infographic below from WebpageFX. With the help of the folks at SEMrush, WebpageFX figured out which keywords have the highest cost-per-click in Google AdWords.They found, for example, that 58% of keywords are location-sensitive — like “Austin TX auto insurance” as opposed to just “auto insurance.” They also found that a whopping 78% of the most expensive keywords relate to law firms and legal counsel, while only 1% relate to business services.Check it out, and click here to read more about how to do keyword research for your own company’s SEO.Then organize your own keyword research with this free on-page SEO template. 865Save center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Keyword Optimizationlast_img read more