Lets get real about this, to paraphrase Loren Feldman, “Twitter: people write stuff, people read stuff. That’s it”. There is no big social networking secret at work here. It’s simply a communication tool and not even a very good one. It breaks down more often than my first car, which I only paid $240 for. If you think using Twitter is free, you are insane. As a business person, you already realize that your time is money, so when you spend an hour on Twitter learning what people had for lunch, you are paying for that. When you think about it, you can apply that to everything. Even reading this post is going to cost you money, I just hope I can make it profitable for you. The above article was written in collaboration with Twitter is fantastic if you have a market which already uses the system. But ask yourself, do you need to reach out to that market? By the way, you can Building a following from scratch simply using Twitter is possibly not the best use of your time. A following on Twitter should be viewed as a by-product of success elsewhere. This only makes sense if your business is with the natural inhabitants of this system. You need to be able to connect with your customer base by giving them the least amount of hoops to jump through. Even RSS. How many normal people use an RSS reader? I live and die by RSS, but I am not normal. I live life on the cutting edging of Web 2.0. The truth is, twitter is for geeks. Actually, it’s not even for geeks, it’s for uber-geeks. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I use twitter myself and have at times been called a geek. But to someone who uses the Internet for business (gasp!) and to make money, Twitter is often just a distraction. company name on Twitter even if you don’t plan to use it, just in case. -Dharmesh Still not convinced? Still want to walk the soft sands and hoped you wont get sucked in? Then, by all means, Twitter away. Originally published Jun 12, 2008 12:47:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 , a social media marketing expert. Thanks, Lyndon! It’s something for the ADD crowd to cook up and inject into their veins. There is nothing wrong with using these systems. But what are you online for? Chat, make friends, make love? All good stuff, but are you online to make money? It’s important to get your priorities right. Is your market the uber geek? If so, dive in, Twitter is where your market is at. Twitter is addictive. Real people are using it to communicate, and that can be fun. If you are online to have fun, fine and dandy. But, if it’s profit you are after, you need to judge accordingly. Some have said it’s a great tool to use for list building. But when you absolutely need to build a list and be able to communicate with your market, a third party system is not it. Email is far more effective and people do not have to sign up to a third party system to use email. Unless your customers already have a Twitter account, forget it. If your customer base already uses Twitter, you may have already read numerous blog posts praising the system and are using it to your advantage. If so, that’s great. That is not what this post is about. Topics: But, if you own a small consulting firm or are the VP marketing for a medium-sized manufacturing firm, I doubt twitter is where your customer base will be hanging out. You need to identify and connect with your customers and potential customers, and Twitter is not usually the most efficient (or effective) way to do that. This post is not an anti-Twitter post, it’s not even a pro-Twitter post. It’s a “Do that which makes sense for your business” post, a reminder that there are black holes out there which will suck all your precious time from you and not give you much (if any) return. Lyndon Antcliff if you’d like, and I promise not to tell you what I had for lunch. And regardless, I still think you should reserve your brand name or To get real benefit from Twitter you need to build a following. Those who already have over a thousand followers can send a digg request or a “hey, check out this post”, and get a great response. But here’s the thing, that following has been built up over months or years, with hours worth of expended effort. People simply follow/fan/friend the same people whatever system they are in. The person being followed simply says, “check out this new system”, and they all go join and add the same people to their list. follow me on Twitter Twitter 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
Originally published Nov 15, 2008 5:29:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Finally! “72% of Fortune 500 companies have very low or non-existent visibility for their most advertised keywords” http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/4405/How-Do-You-Measure-the-ROI-of-Social-Media-You-Don-t.aspx Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack HubSpot TV Episode #15- November 14, 2008 Takeaway: Small and medium sized companies have an opportunity to outperform the big slow Fortune 500 with inbound marketing – in this case, SEO What The F**K is Social Media – http://www.slideshare.net/mzkagan/what-the-fk-social-media?type=powerpoint Shiba Puppy Cam – 9 hours, 2.5 million views – http://www.ustream.tv/channel/shiba-inu-puppy-cam Subscribe in iTunes They reached 2 billion photos a year ago. They’re well behind Facebook, with 10 billion. And they’re falling further behind – a year ago Facebook had just 4.1 billion photos. http://searchengineland.com/study-fortune-500-doesnt-get-seo-15377.php Flickr reaches 3 Billion photos – http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/03/three-billion-photos-at-flickr/ Headlines Takeaway: If you have great data, share it and use it to bring people to your business. Fortune 500 Doesn’t Get SEO – Forum Fodder ROI of Social Media Debate Twitter: JenHarris09 what’s the best way besides alltop & twellow to find influencers in a particular verticle? Advertising on Facebook, is it worth it? Google Flu Trends, released this week, is (a) very interesting: http://www.google.org/flutrends/, and (b) a classic piece of inbound marketing: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/technology/internet/12flu.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin http://success.hubspot.com/Customer-Discussion-Forum/forumid/97/postid/5554/view/topic Closing @mzkagan’s presentation on slideshare about what the f**k social media is http://www.adamfullerton.com/?p=190 Takeaway: Don’t let the train leave without you. Get involved now! Mailbag Like HubSpot TV? Takeaway: Post all your business events – webinars, seminars, receptions, etc. Takeaway: Figure out where you audience is and be there! LinkedIn Launches Events – http://blog.linkedin.com/2008/11/07/announcing-linkedin-events/ Takeaway: Think about using Twitter in interesting ways for your business and adding personality to your products. Intros – Post your events in LinkedIn Takeaway: Puppies are cute! And… streaming is sometimes about building viewership over a long time period, and it is less about what actually is happening, and more about what you think might happen. @MarsPheonix – Pizza Hut reached $1 Billion in sales online, in large part due to their Facebook app Order a Pizza on Facebook: http://daveibsen.typepad.com/5_blogs_before_lunch/2008/11/order-a-pizza-without-leaving-your-facebook-app.html Marketing Tip of the Week Twitter: cselland @mvolpe you should continue the [social media] ROI discussion – great discussion on your blog post this morning
Originally published Jul 17, 2018 9:01:00 PM, updated July 18 2018 it’s a big day for circular foods pic.twitter.com/qMWfLs0dsS— [halloween name] (@arb) August 21, 201713) It’s Important to Keep Things in Perspective ok im gonna do a thread of vines tht made me actually lol here we go— alex 😉 (@firedupbby) June 7, 2017 25) Because I Miss Vine and These Are Hysterical Me looking at my own snapchat stories, selfies and tweets after a long day, just reflecting on how great I am. pic.twitter.com/x6002kyihv— MaKayla MaShelle (@MakaylaMashelle) June 8, 2017 me: twitter is a cesspoolalso me: twitter has provided 98% of my entertainment for the day— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 2, 2017 Thanks for the clarification, Dad. pic.twitter.com/Y2ulMh7sJV— Ray (@rayy_baybay) July 21, 2017 10) Personal Branding Is Everything 5) You Had One Job twitter users: let us edit tweetstwitter: the stars are now heartstwitter users: an edit button pleasetwitter: we made everything round— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) June 15, 2017 8. I HAVE NEVER NOT LAUGHED AT THIS https://t.co/wDVoABKgUN— alex 😉 (@firedupbby) June 7, 2017 [detective inspecting my body at the bottom of the grand canyon] looks like the victim was tweeting “more like the bland canyon” and fell in— Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) July 7, 2017 Instagram: My life is a party.Snapchat: My life is a quirky tv showFacebook: My life turned out great!Twitter: We’re all going to die.— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) January 8, 20172) Just Keep Mowing … There are a lot of things to be negative about on the internet today.And between cyberbullying on Twitter, fake news on Facebook, and too many weight loss tea ads on Instagram, it’s easy to feel jaded about social media in particular.In fact, we surveyed more than 3,000 people around the world, and one-third responded that they feel “awful” after browsing social media — with Facebook taking the crown for most awful feelings induced.So, in an effort to combat these feelings of awfulness, we’ve compiled 30 of the funniest tweets about social media we could find. And with a healthy mix of snark, mockery, and memes, we think they sum up what it’s like to be a social media user — the good, the bad, and the ugly.26 of the Funniest Tweets About Social Media We’ve Ever Seen1) On Optimism 4) Social Media Gods Don’t Give with Both Hands how it feels to log off twitter in 2017 pic.twitter.com/PsGAAPI7GN— Ziwe (@ziwe) June 5, 20173) Take the Good with the Bad 139 characters pic.twitter.com/WkfdXL8oLh— Caitlin Kelly (@caitlin__kelly) September 26, 2017 What was I smoking… pic.twitter.com/xZareCENLM— Eric Peters (@EricPeters0) July 12, 2017 I’m a: ⚪️ man⚪️ woman🔘 brand Seeking: ⚪️ men⚪️ women🔘 retweets and attention— MoonPie (@MoonPie) August 23, 2017 how i’ll feel if my DMs ever leak pic.twitter.com/Re6UH60EtV— corey kindberg (@coreykindberg) August 28, 2017 26) See? I Told You 17) Hindsight Is 20/20 it’s super annoying to me when people are very good at twitter and also really good at instagram come on you can’t have both— Marissa Emanuele (@HiThisIsMarissa) April 25, 2017 20) In a World Where You Can Be Anything, Be Kind This account has been asked to test Twitter’s new 280 character limit, but as a 100-year-old brand, we believe our fans most enjoy traditional tweets with brevity, so we declined. We hope to continue to provide a fun, positive place to discuss MoonPies moving forward. Thank you.— MoonPie (@MoonPie) September 27, 2017 The 280-character limit is a terrible idea. The whole beauty of Twitter is that it forces you to express your ideas concisely (1/47)— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) September 26, 2017 19) Life Comes At You Fast 6) On Twitter Expanding its Character Limit Facebook: Essential oils.Snapchat: I’m a bunny! Instagram: I ate a hamburger.Twitter: THIS COUNTRY IS BURNING TO THE GROUND.— Jeanne Hulme (@jeannes_jargon) July 28, 2017 9) Change Your Passwords, People I want an app for each website I visit. And I want all of them to have loud videos that play automatically. This is my ideal user experience— Shuja Haider (@shujaxhaider) August 28, 2017 I would love to start an interview series with random people from Instagram called “How Do You Afford Your Life?”— Sam Lansky (@samlansky) September 25, 20178) Please, Don’t Auto-Play Videos with Sound It’s reassuring that even Mark Zuckerberg’s crew can’t overcome the awkward moments that linger while ending a Facebook Live pic.twitter.com/VVqRHKS9iv— Brian Ries (@moneyries) September 21, 2017 Me every morning v. me after five minutes on Twitter pic.twitter.com/KBEzzVZ9i6— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) June 21, 2017 22) I Wish I Knew How to Quit You 11) At Least They’re Honest 21) You’re Amazing. Yes, You. 15) Seriously, Twitter Users Are Salty About This One Being on Twitter pic.twitter.com/sQbDWShv4i— clicky but scary (@djclickbait) June 11, 2017 Me: I should do a three day social media detoxAlso me: I should ask Twitter what they think of that idea— M. Keaney Anderson (@meghkeaney) June 3, 2017 18) When You Gotta Tweet, You Gotta Tweet 12) Total Eclipse of the Tweet 24) On Technical Difficulties Social Media Trends 23) We All Have Guilty Pleasures 14) Short, Sweet, and To the Point (1/47) 16) Caution: Parents on Facebook 7) Seriously, Though Twitter: your jokes suckInstagram: your face sucksSnapchat: your life sucksFacebook: your family misses you and is also racist— Adrienne Airhart (@craydrienne) October 29, 2015 Topics: This is my Twitter brand. pic.twitter.com/I0D19IJ6EJ— liz (@eedollmeyer) August 27, 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! 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Topics: Figuring out the right email sending frequency certainly takes some experimentation — here’s a scientific approach to it if you’re interested — but there’s never a need to send the exact same email to a recipient twice in a row. That’s just bad marketing automation . 9) Sending Emails Once in a Blue Moon The flip side of the coin is that you get emailed so infrequently, you forgot who the company was. Or maybe you remember the company, but it’s been so long since you’ve heard from them … you just don’t care that much anymore. Leads need to be consistently nurtured to maintain interest in your company; remember that there is such a thing as communicating too infrequently. 10) Including Broken Dynamic Content You know what’s a bummer, [BLOG READER]? Getting an email that tries to implement personalization using dynamic tags, only to find filler text in its place. It’s embarrassing for you, and it looks unprofessional to the reader — not to mention it muddies the clarity of your email content. We understand that sometimes, the form field being mapped to that content is empty, but you should be working with an ESP that lets you set relevant default text that will appear in those instances (like HubSpot’s email software does, pictured below). Have you ever been forced to duke it out with a company just to get off of their email list? What about insist that you never opted in to someone’s email communications in the first place? Or maybe you did opt in once upon a time, but the messages are so poorly targeted and infrequently sent you’d have no way of remembering your relationship with that company in the first place.These days, we’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t melted down into an unproductive diatribe with sloppy email marketers who fill our inboxes with unsolicited, random, and irrelevant messages. And I know none of us want to be guilty of such behavior! So to keep us all in check, we’ve compiled a list of the most annoying things (actually, some are just plain illegal) email marketers do. This way, we can all just stop it already. 16 Things People Hate About Your Email Marketing 1) Emailing People Who Didn’t Opt In The first rule of email marketing is only email people who have opted in. (You thought I was going to make a Fight Club reference, didn’t you?) If CAN-SPAM laws aren’t enough to deter you from emailing people who haven’t explicitly asked to receive email from you, remember that emailing a cold list will also result in some pretty paltry metrics; since they haven’t indicated interest in you, your open and click-through rates will be much poorer than with an opt-in list. It also means you’ll suffer miserable unsubscribe rates, greatly impacting the deliverability of your future email marketing campaigns.And if none of that makes you bat an eye, consider your brand’s likability. You know how it feels to receive unsolicited email. Don’t be that guy. 2) Making Unsubscribing Difficult No matter how amazing your email marketing is, some people are going to want to unsubscribe. Maybe they don’t work in the same industry anymore. Maybe they moved and your email marketing caters to people in a specific area. Maybe they just have too many emails. Whatever the reason, there’s nothing more frustrating than scrolling to the bottom of an email and not seeing an option to unsubscribe (and again, having no unsubscribe option is actually illegal ). Or worse, struggling to find the unsubscribe option that’s hidden with teeny tiny font, and written in confusing language like, “Learn more about why your email address is receiving these messages.”Make the option to unsubscribe simple; if your recipient wants to do it, they will take the time to scan your email, find the link, and be removed from your mailing list. You get to decide whether they leave your unsubscribe center fuming in annoyance, or relatively level-headed. 3) Not Honoring Unsubscribes This seems to go without saying — if someone unsubscribes from your email communications, you should opt them out. So what’s the deal with those emails you get back (despite just unsubscribing) that say, “It may take up to 2 weeks to remove you from our email list.” Two weeks!? What’s the hold up? Is the unsubscribe guy on vacation? AGAIN … you’re legally obligated to remove opt-outs from your list within 10 days’ time , so waiting for two weeks could result in you answering to the law. This is where email marketing software that integrates seamlessly with your CRM comes in handy, as the opt-out is immediately processed and recorded in both the contact record and within the email software. But if you’re removing unsubscribed addresses from your list manually, make it a top priority to process that request. 4) Writing a Vague Subject Line After deliverability hurdles are crossed, the subject line is the gatekeeper of your email. Your content will never see the light of day if the subject line isn’t interesting enough to entice a click. In fact, we’ve written an entire blog post about how to craft catchy subject lines that get recipients clicking!But you know what? We don’t always need catchy. What we need is relevance . Clever or not, the subject line should tell readers what they’ll get when they open the email. As we stare at our bloated inboxes each morning, or click over to our email tab as we see the number of unread emails piling up, we expect to see something useful. It should be worth our time to stop what we’re doing and read the latest piece of content to hit our inbox. If the subject line gives no indication of the email’s relevance to our lives, it’s certainly not going to get opened — and as a result, it becomes just one more thing we’ve wasted time trashing. 5) Not Indicating How We Know Each Other We’re all on a lot of email lists, and there’s just no way to keep it all straight. So sending emails that don’t give the recipient a clue as to who you are and how you know each other is a guaranteed way to make your readers struggle. What company is this? When did I sign up for these emails? Don’t make them think! Send your email from a recognizable sender name, and use the beginning of your email to establish your relationship with the recipient to prevent deletions and unsubscribes. HubSpot customer Bonafide does a good job of this, reestablishing their connection with the lead in the beginning of their email copy. 6) Speaking With Forced Sincerity “Hello Mike! Hope things are going well!” This is a relic from the days when dynamic content was new, the concept of personalization in email marketing was the hottest ticket in town — and the two were tied together like peanut butter and jelly. The thing is, inserting someone’s first name and getting “personal” by asking how they’re doing isn’t really personalization. In fact, it’s incredibly generic, because it can apply to everyone on your email list. And your email recipients see right through it. Start your emails with a recipient’s name, sure; but you should really spend your time segmenting email lists so you can provide targeted content instead of trying to finesse copy that could apply to anyone under the sun. Which takes us to our next email marketing pet peeve … 7) Providing Irrelevant Content The content of your email — whether the copy itself or the offer you’re promoting — should be something the email recipient actually wants to receive. And you would know what they want to receive if you’ve spent time collecting lead intelligence, segmenting your email lists based on that intelligence, and mapping the appropriate content to each segment of your list.What some email marketers do, however, is email blast a 10% off coupon for dog food when half of their email list only owns a cat. If the content you’re sending out won’t be helpful to everyone on your current list, slowly back away from the ‘Send’ button, and refine the list to which you’re sending your email. 8) Bombarding Recipients With Email A surefire way to see an onslaught of unsubscribes is hammering your recipients’ inboxes with emails. Take a look at this instance from Dell, who sent the exact same email. Twice. In two days. You know, in case I wanted to re-evaluate my decision not to open it the first time. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jun 1, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 11) Not Including a Call-to-Action I know, not including a call-to-action (CTA) in your email content sounds like more of a sales person’s pet peeve — how else are they going to get more sales-ready leads in their funnel? But it’s actually a huge annoyance for email readers, too. Like I mentioned a little earlier in this post … you shouldn’t make your email recipients think! It’s not that they can’t think, it’s that they are likely multi-tasking as they read their email, and the more detective work required to glean “the point” of your email, the more likely they’ll just give up and hit ‘Delete.’ And without a clear CTA in each and every email, recipients will feel like they just wasted their time after trashing your message, because no meaningful action was taken as a result of reading your email. 12) Sending Emails That Aren’t Mobile Optimized According to ComScore and Markle , 70 million US consumers are checking their email on mobile devices. And 40% are doing it 4 or more times per day. So what does it feel like when one of your emails is opened in their inbox? Are they pinching to make the screen fit, and incessantly scrolling right to left to read your copy? Can they read your email in both plain text and HTML (more on this later)? Is descriptive alt text included for those who don’t want to wait for their phones to load your images? Is the experience pleasant across all mobile devices? It’s hard enough to get opens and click-throughs from desktop emails; your audience is even more unforgiving on those tiny mobile screens! 13) You’re Overdesigning Your Emails We’re all about beautifully designed emails , don’t get me wrong. But there’s such a thing as overdesigning an email, either to the point that the message barely functions, or the meaning is completely lost. When your email message has too many images, your message could suffer a slow load time — not good for those already suffering inbox overload. But even if your images do load quickly, it’s critical to consider whether the message actually makes sense without all those bells and whistles. If your recipients’ email clients don’t load images, will they still receive a message as powerful as the one that comes across with your highly designed email? And if they do load images, is the call-to-action lost upon them amid bright colors and flashing text? With email design, keep it simple, stup…err, sweetie 😉 14) Not Optimized for Plain Text and HTML Your email obviously looks stellar when HTML is enabled — thing is, some recipients have their emails defaulted to only show plain text. And if your email is only optimized to look great as HTML, your reader will have a pretty jumbled message on their hands. Not. Good.On the other hand, you might have an email that looks great in plain text and HTML — when HTML is enabled, that is. Again, not every email automatically displays all of the HTML in your messages, especially rich formatting elements like images. So how do you ensure that the meaning of your emails isn’t lost due to poor HTML optimization? Here’s a quick checklist:Always assign clear alt text to imagesMake your email message comprehensive even without imagesAvoid CSSUse plain text style bulletsUse light background colors so text doesn’t disappearDon’t copy and paste from other word processorsAlways include a link to the web version of the emailIf you’d like to learn even more about optimizing your emails for both plain text and HTML, check out this blog post on the subject . 15) You’re Not Proofing Your Email Before Sending We’re all human; spelling and grammatical errors slip into our copy from time to time. But the email inbox is a highly personal space, and not taking the time to proof your email before sending it shows disrespect for the precious space in your recipients’ inboxes. Luckily, there are precautions you can take to make sure this happens extremely infrequently — forward your emails to a grammatically inclined colleague before hitting send ! Ask them to check that all of the links in your email work, too, especially the link to your primary call-to-action. What a bummer for readers and marketers alike to realize your stellar email offer can’t be redeemed because of a broken link! 16) Not Providing a Real Address to Reply To Just because it happens on a computer doesn’t mean email isn’t a personal form of communication — which means it should go two ways. When you email your recipients, they should be able to reply to your message via email, too. When your return address is firstname.lastname@example.org, you’re kind of giving a giant middle finger to your recipient. Make the ‘Reply to:’ field an actual, working email address, or at the very least, provide a legitimate method of contact within the email message itself. What about email marketing grinds your gears? Share your pet peeves in the comments! Email Marketing Mistakes
How powerful is your sales and marketing machine? If you’re like most businesses, chances are, that machine could be a bit stronger. That’s why HubSpot and Salesforce.com have been teaming up to emphasize the power of social enterprises using inbound marketing to create powerful sales and marketing machines.Think about it — the core of inbound marketing is making marketing that people love, or marketing to people the way they want to be marketed to. Social enterprises, or companies leveraging social, mobile, and open cloud technologies to revolutionize their relationships with their customers, build customer profiles to better understand their customers’ interests and needs. When combined, the result is a powerful machine that thrives by getting to know your best leads and customers inside and out, and marketing and selling to them on their terms.What’s why we worked with Salesforce on the following infographic to explain how these pieces fit together to enhance a business’ sales and marketing machine. For a better look at this horizontally aligned infographic, click on the image to enlarge to learn more about why your business should build a sales and marketing machine of the future by practicing inbound marketing, creating customer profiles, building better employee collaboration, and driving social ROI. And to learn more about how to create a more closely aligned sales and marketing machine, check out our joint webinar with Salesforce, “5 Steps to Establishing an Effective Sales & Marketing Methodology,” now available on demand. (Download it Here!) You can also follow the conversation using the hashtag #salesmktg. Topics: Marketing and Sales Alignment (Click the infographic for a full-sized version.)How powerful is your sales and marketing machine? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 14, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016
Social Media Engagement Marketers who are worth their salt have known it for years. If you want your audience to take a specific action, you actually have to ask them to do it — in email, in display ads, on landing pages, blog articles — you name it. But for whatever reason, it seems like once we started using social media for marketing, we collectively forgot all about calls-to-action (CTAs).Let’s end that now. I’ve long been a proponent of using calls-to-action in social media. In fact, my research actually proves that tweets that include the call-to-action phrase “please retweet” get more retweets — 4X more, in fact. But what about the impact of CTAs within other social networks … like Facebook?To gauge the success of different types of CTA phrases on Facebook, I turned my attention to more than 1.2 million posts from the top 10,000 most Liked Facebook Pages. I specifically looked at Facebook posts that included the words “like,” “comment,” or “share,” and found that they tend to garner more of the specific action they referenced compared to posts that didn’t include those words. Check it out … Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 20, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Remember — Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm rewards “engagement” on your Facebook posts. In other words, posts that attract a lot of engagement in terms of actions such as Likes, shares, and comments will be rewarded with greater visibility in users’ News Feeds. And isn’t that what all marketers want?So if you’re trying to increase the reach of your content on Facebook, consider experimenting with social CTAs in your Facebook posts. Phrases like “leave a comment/Like this post/share this post if …” may do wonders to spark engagement among your Facebook Page fans and visitors.Have you experimented with social calls-to-action in your social media marketing? Have you noticed increased engagement and visibility?
Originally published Sep 2, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 16 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Email Deliverability What is CAN-SPAM?Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM) is a law that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law.What is CAN-SPAM?CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) is an act that was passed in 2003.That’s right, they looped us in with pornographers.That act is a law that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law.The Bureau of Consumer Protection notes that CAN-SPAM doesn’t just apply to bulk email. “It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as ‘any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,’ including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email.” It does, however, exempt transactional and relationship messages.What does this law mean, practically, for marketers and business owners? I’ll lay out the rules you need to follow as an email marketer, but in short, it means that your emails need to comply in three main areas: unsubscribe, content, and sending behavior.Download Now: Email Marketing Planning Template First, what are the penalties for non-compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act?For every single email that violates the CAN-SPAM Act, the FTC will fine you $16,000. So if you’re caught being non-compliant for a list of, say, 10,000 … well, you do the math. Yikes.So now that I’ve sufficiently scared you, here’s how to comply with CAN-SPAM rules.Rules to Follow for CAN-SPAM ComplianceIn order to be CAN-SPAM compliant, it’s important your email messages follow these rules, which can be found in full over at the FTC’s website.DODo include your valid physical postal address in every email you send out.Do provide a clear and obvious way to opt out of every email you send out, and honor the unsubscribe within 10 business days.Do use clear “From,” “To,” and “Reply to” language that accurately reflects who you are. This applies to the person or business sending the message, as well as the domain name and email address.DON’TDon’t sell or transfer any email addresses to another list.Don’t make it hard to unsubscribe from emails. You cannot 1) charge a fee 2) require a recipient to provide personally identifying information beyond an email address, or 3) make recipients take extensive steps other than simply replying to an email or visiting a single page on a website to unsubscribe themselves from your emails.Don’t use deceptive subject lines in your emails that misrepresent the contents of your message.Now, I can’t stress enough that I am not a lawyer, and that you should not construe the contents of this article as legal advice. The FTC website also has extensive advice on this subject to which you can refer. But, I hope this article has helped lend some clarity around CAN-SPAM if it’s caused you some confusion in the past!Image credit: barmala
A/B Testing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Whether you’re looking to increase revenue, sign-ups, social shares, or engagement, A/B testing and optimization can help you get there. But for many marketers out there, the tough part about A/B testing is often finding the right test to drive the biggest impact — especially when you’re just getting started.So, what’s the recipe for high-impact success?Truthfully, there is no one-size-fits-all recipe. What works for one business won’t work for another — and vice versa.Free Download: A/B Testing Guide and Kit But just because you can’t replicate the same test and expect the same result doesn’t mean you can’t get inspired by other companies’ tests. As a content marketer Optimizely, I’ve chatted with many testers about their successful (and not so successful) A/B tests. In this post, I’ll outline three of my favorite high-impact testing stories from Electronic Arts (EA), Upworthy, and comScore. While the same tests may not get you the same results, they can get you inspired to run creative tests of your own.Electronic ArtsTheir Goal: Increase RevenueSimCity 5, one of EA’s most popular video games, sold 1.1 million copies in the first two weeks of its launch last year. 50% of sales were digital downloads, thanks to a strong A/B testing strategy.The OriginalAs EA prepared to release the new version of SimCity, they released a promotional offer to drive more game pre-orders. The offer was displayed as a banner across the top of the pre-order page — front-and-center for shoppers. But according to the team, the promotion was not driving the increase in pre-orders they had expected.They decided to test some other options to see what design or layout would drive more revenue.The VariationOne variation removed the promotional offer from the page altogether. The test lead to some very surprising results: The variation with no offer messaging whatsoever drove 43.4% more purchases. Turns out people really just wanted to buy the game — no extra incentive necessary.Most people believe that direct promotions drive purchases, but for EA, this turned out to be totally false. Testing gave them the information needed to maximize revenue in a way that would not have been otherwise possible.UpworthyGoal: Boost Engagement or Social SharesViral video site Upworthy has built a thriving media business on optimization. From day one, the media company has tested everything — from headlines to content to site functionality — to ensure the site meets the unique (and changing) needs of its audience. The OriginalAs Upworthy’s audience grew, the team realized that the site’s design with its strong emphasis on social sharing was not keeping up with the needs of frequent visitors. Users wanted to dig deeper, but there was no obvious way to get to a second piece of content.Typically, sites with recommended and related content modules have higher visitor engagement. The Upworthy team knew this, but worried recommended content modules would detract from the site’s primary goal of social sharing. But being that data-driven folks they are, they decided to test it out before making a final decision.The VariationThey experimented with several different placements and designs of a recommended content module, measuring the impact on engagement and social shares across Upworthy’s site.After running the test for just a few days, the Upworthy team uncovered some surprising results. The top performing recommended content module actually increased social sharing by 28%! It also dramatically improved the entire site’s engagement.The decision was easy: Upworthy quickly built the new recommended content functionality into each content page on their site. By letting their users make the final call, the team was able to build a truly optimized experience that both expanded Upworthy’s offerings and increased conversions.comScoreGoal: Generate More LeadsMarketers generally agree that when you’re selling a product, social proof can have a positive impact on sales. In fact, most of us are doing it already. So how do you turn a commonly-used strategy and turn it into a competitive advantage? By optimizing it, of course.The OriginalComScore ran an experiment on their product pages to accomplish just that. Their original product pages displayed the minimum viable product for social proof: a customer quote. However, the quote was mixed among other content and displayed on a less-than-eye-catching grey background. The VariationsThe team experimented with different designs and orientations, plus the addition of a customer logo, to see if a different visual treatment would make their social proof convert more visitors into leads.They tested 2,500 visitors in the experiment and soon saw that Variation 1 was the winner, outperforming all other variations and beating the control by a wide margin. Using a vertical layout with the client logo displayed prominently on top of the testimonial increased the conversion rate of the product pages by 69% compared to the original.Now, It’s Your TurnThese companies all saw these amazing results because they started testing. If you want to get the same results, you’ve got to get started, too. For more information, be sure to check out the on-demand webinar “Optimize Your Online Marketing Channels,” hosted by Optimizely and HubSpot.If you have any questions, share them in the comments below! We’re here to help. Originally published Oct 1, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated October 29 2019 Topics:
We’ve all heard the rumors, but yesterday it was confirmed. Pinterest announced that Buyable Pins are coming in the next few weeks. For consumers, this simplifies the steps from pinning to purchase. For ecommerce, Buyable Pins could change the way that people shop. Here’s a quick rundown on Buyable Pins and how they affect you, both as a consumer and a business.How Does it Work for Consumers?Next to the red “Pin it” button, there will be a blue “Buy it” button on pins. Any product with the blue “Buy it” button will be available for purchase, directly from Pinterest. Consumers can filter by price and see different color and size options right on the pin. Then, when they’re ready to checkout, all they have to do is click the “Buy it” button and pay with Apple Pay or a credit card. Pinterest is working with payment processors and Apple Pay, so that the consumers’ credit card information is secure.This is initially being rolled out in the U.S. on iPhones and iPads. Desktop and Android users will have to wait for future releases to be able to “Buy it.”How Can Your Business Get Involved?For the launch, Pinterest anticipates having more than 2 million buyable pins available by partnering with retailers like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom, as well as companies on the Demandware and Shopify commerce platforms.If you’re a Shopify user, you just need to add the Pinterest channel. If you’re a Demandware user, you need to contact your customer success manager. Not on Shopify or Demandware but eager to get involved? Pinterest has started a waitlist for businesses to sign up to be notified when future integrations are launched. What Does This Mean as a Consumer?For consumers, Pinterest has long been a place to keep track of shopping lists. Buyable Pins make it easier to go immediately from pin to purchase, removing the intermediate steps of trying to find the item online.Additionally, the checkout process is natively built for mobile. Once a consumer has set up their personal information, Pinterest will store it. We’ve all struggled with typing in credit card information on our mobile device before, so this removes that pain point.What Does This Mean for Your Business and Ecommerce? Unlike Facebook’s and Twitter’s buy buttons, the Pinterest “Buy it” option is more likely to disrupt ecommerce. Simply, Pinterest is a platform where people go with the intention to consume, whether they’re interested in recipes or DIY. The “Buy it” button streamlines the process for shoppers already pinning things to buy on Pinterest. Additionally, the checkout process is built for mobile, which reduces friction and shopping cart abandonment on mobile devices.Notably for businesses, Pinterest isn’t taking a percentage of transactions like most other ecommerce platforms. If your business fulfills the criteria, you can get set up with the “Buy it” button at no charge. However, this means that placement on Pinterest will become more critical to convert pins to purchases. Promoted Pins have prime placement, so they’re likely to generate more revenue from the “Buy it” button. And, as brands vie for positions on the platform, they’re more likely to generate revenue for Pinterest. Finally, with Buyable Pins, businesses also handle shipping and customer service themselves. This ensures that the Pinterest channel fits seamlessly into existing ecommerce logistics.What do you think about Buyable Pins? What do you think this means for consumers and ecommerce? Share with us in the comments! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Pinterest Marketing Originally published Jun 3, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:
The Indian football team Thursday slipped out of the top 100 in the latest FIFA rankings following their back to back group league defeats during the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE.Skipper Sunil Chhetri and Co. slumped six places to be ranked 103 with 1219 points in the FIFA rankings released Thursday.India also dropped out of the top 16 in the AFC rankings, plummeting to 18th.India had crashed out of the Asian Cup after losing to UAE and Bahrain, despite thrashing Thailand 4-1 in their opening group to make a good start to their campaign.Following India’s exit, Stephen Constantine stepped down from his role as India chief coach.The country will now need to play friendlies in March against higher-ranked countries to improve its ranking ahead of the draw of the second round of 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, which is likely to be held in April.India had regained its place in the top-100 in March last year, after breaking the top 100 bracket for the first time in 21 years in 2017.India best ranking is the 94th place attained in February 1996.Meanwhile, Qatar have moved up to 55th in the FIFA world rankings, their best position in 26 years, after their breakthrough Asian Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates last week.The 2022 World Cup hosts’ remarkable run at the continental championship, where they won all seven games and conceded only one goal, allowed them to move up 38 places from 93rd in the world.Qatar beat regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia, Iraq and South Korea on their way to the final, where they stunned four-times champions Japan 3-1.advertisementBelgium continue to lead the world rankings ahead of last year’s World Cup winners France and Brazil, with no changes to the top 20 due to the lack of fixtures involving teams from the European and South American confederations.
Data is everywhere around us, and yet, it is generally difficult for us to comprehend and remember isolated numbers.When put into a story, however, data becomes much more relatable. (The human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than words.) For this reason, infographics have become increasingly popular among marketers around the world. But with this surge in usage, it’s important to make sure your infographic does the job it’s supposed to do: drive traffic, build awareness, and generate leads for your business.HubSpot recently teamed up with infographic creation platform, Infogram, to create the ultimate guide to infographics for marketers: How to Start Generating Leads With Infographics. Below we’ve compiled some of the ebooks best tips for creating effective infographics to help your brand devise a strategy that resonates with your audience.The Dos and Don’ts of Infographic Creation1) DO: Keep it simple and to the point.Try to break down your message into one, strong sentence. From here, you can use data to support what you’re trying to say. But remember: Less is more.This simple chart tells a big story. Thanks to the contrasting colours, it easy for the reader to immediately understand just how scarce fresh water is. This is an approach you’ll want to make note of if you want your readers to focus on a specific data point. 2) DON’T: Try to say too much with one chart. Poorly formatted, unorganised data won’t get you very far. To create more effective charts, stay focused on categories that help you make your point. Arrange the data from those categories in a way that is easy to grasp to avoid something that looks like this:3) DO: Surprise the reader with an unexpected twist.Have some unusual information on your hands? Use surprise as a means of increasing alertness and focus.If you can make the reader question their previous beliefs, open their minds to new ideas, and then fill the gap with your information, you’ll find that it’s much easier to hold their attention. Check out the chart below for an example of how to present uncommon knowledge that may surprise the reader.4) DON’T: Use boring titles that tell everything in the first sentence. In the image below, the headline leaves nothing to the imagination. The main argument of this chart is known to most people. That said, why would they want to read more?Instead, focus on creating an enticing headline that leads with the promise of new, valuable information.5) DO: Use concrete visual metaphors. Show data to support your point. Detailed, data-driven arguments convince the reader faster and are much more likely to be remembered, recognised, and shared.The chart below visualises the job hunting process in a very clear way: 200 people apply for a job, seven people advance to the first stage, three get the chance to interview, and one gets hired. Thanks to the use of the human icons and color coding, it’s easy to understand this sequence with just a quick glance. 6) DON’T: Use weird formatting to visualise data. Be careful with funky data visualization formats, as they’re not as easy to read as traditional formats.While the following chart is certainly creative, we’d argue that a simple bar chart would convey the information in a way that makes more sense to everyone. 7) DO: Make your message believable.Make your message believable by using customer quotes, testimonials, expert support, and of course, good data. The following quote from a happy customer serves as a great example of how social proof lends credibility to the infographic. 8) DON’T: Show dry numbers without context.As we’ve mentioned before, good stories are emotional. In fact, it almost doesn’t matter what emotion your message arouses, as long as it makes them feel something. Data can be used to start conversations and incite curiosity, when used correctly. However, the data in the following chart lacks both emotion and context. This leaves the reader wondering if the sales figures shown should be perceived in a positive or negative light. An effective use of charts and infographics can dramatically improve the performance of your marketing content, as well as the persuasive character of your business presentations.For more tips on how to leverage the power of infographics for your business, download How to Start Generating Leads With Infographics today. Infographics Originally published Oct 20, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Have you ever wondered how much other marketers out there are making?What about the marketers working right alongside you? How much are they making? More than you?While discussing salaries is kind of a taboo subject in the U.S., it’s perfectly normal to be curious about how your salary compares to that of other marketers. (Trust me, we think about it too.)And although we can’t answer those questions directly for you, we have come up with a way to get a general sense of how your salary stacks up. Introducing the Marketing Salary GraderHubSpot’s Marketing Salary Grader makes its calculations using self-reported data collected from marketers across the country.By cross-referencing your salary with criteria including years of experience, education level, and company size, we can show you what percentile your salary puts you in compared to marketers with similar characteristics.These salary “grades” are adjusted based on location to account for geographic salary variances. This puts everyone on a more even playing field, since the same salary can be considered more or less valuable depending on an area’s cost of living.That being said, salary grading is not an exact science. When you’re exploring the tool, keep in mind that it was created for your amusement and to pique your curiosity.What do you think about the new Marketing Salary Grader tool? Let us know in the comments section below. Originally published Oct 15, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Jobs Don’t forget to share this post!
Originally published Oct 25, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Infographics 627Save This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.Think back to your first memory: Can you still see the watermelon pink dress you wore? Do you remember the unique checkered pattern of your father’s jacket?Our memories are often linked to visual and sensory elements, while the words spoken or read can be more hazy. That’s because our brains have a high capacity for storing visuals in our long-term memory, while text enters our working memory, which is limited. This contributes to why infographics and the inclusion of visual content in online information has been so successful. Readers crave visual breaks from the overload of text-based information that floods our daily browsing and work-related activities. NeoMam Studios studied how people process visual information, how visuals affect the way we read, and why graphics are so appealing. Discover the science behind why our brains crave infographics:627Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 6, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 This post originally appeared on Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.We have an insatiable thirst for the new.In business, we want new products, new campaigns, and new ways of reaching consumers.The shiny object syndrome isn’t just about being easily distracted. It’s also the result of thinking that what is new — and seemingly unique — is better.So how can we meet the increasing demands to come up with new ideas under shorter deadlines?Mark Earls believes we need to get better at copying — badly.“Copying lies at the heart of creativity,” writes Earls in Copy, Copy, Copy: How to Do Smarter Marketing by Using Other People’s Ideas, which was released earlier this year.Why Copying Makes Us UncomfortableEarls’ background is in planning — previously at St Luke’s and as the executive planning director for the EMEA division at Ogilvy & Mather in London. He also has published three other books, including Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature and I’ll Have What She’s Having: Mapping Social Behavior. These previously published books deal more with insights on how people are social beings and how that relates to consumer behavior. Copy, Copy, Copy is the playbook for applying those insights to come up with new ideas, which is based on copying the success of others.But this idea of copying is uncomfortable for many people — especially those in agencies whose value to clients lies in the ideas it produces.He writes:Our culture has a very strong individualist strand: we prize the individual over the group and distrust those who don’t have a strong sense of authentic self, who don’t ‘know their own mind’, ‘self-actualize’, ‘sing their own song’ or whatever metaphor is popular down the dark self-help aisle in the bookstore.We pride ourselves on the uniqueness of our ideas, our thoughts, and our expressions. So the thought of saying that we copied someone else’s ideas would mean that we are not smart enough or creative enough or inventive enough to develop our own ideas.We worship originality, but actually, copying is an innate human skill — one we need for survival. We copy to learn, to understand, and to gain social status by mimicking others.And this focus on individualism is mostly a product of North American and European cultures.“We’re the unusual ones,” Earls said. “We’re the ones that think almost everything in human behavior is going to be explained by individuals and what goes on between and individual and peers. Everyone else seems to think human beings are, first and foremost, social creatures, and that much of what shapes human behavior is between them, not in between their ears.”In the book he points to the idea of Ubuntu, a South African philosophy, that is described as: “which sees man as a fundamentally social being, rather than a ‘host of individual entities that cannot help being in constant conflict.’”While many marketers think of consumers as concerned about “me,” much of the world thinks in terms of “we.” And this is often how people actually make decisions.“Without people copying each other, things don’t spread very fast or very far,” Earls said. “It’s human-see, human-do.”Why You Should Copy — BadlyThere are two types of copying. The first is replication or machine-like copying.Copying with the intention to “exploit the intellectual and financial effort involved in making something new and better” is how copying gets a bad rap, writes Earls.The second type is human copying, which Earls says naturally creates error — this is the kind of copying you need to master.The point is to copy badly (or loosely), to copy with the point of including variations or to fix known problems. You can also copy from “far away” — studying other industries and applying these to your own.Earls mentions an example of this “from a distance” copying: In the early 1800s, Joseph Marie Jacquard invented the Jacquard loom, which used laced together wooden punch cards to simplify the creation of complex textile designs. This system made it possible to created highly detailed, intricate weaving patterns quickly and accurately. This machine is inspired early computer technology that used punch cards to control data processing. How to Copy to Create Better Ideas FasterCopy, Copy, Copy isn’t about using someone else’s idea as the foundation of a new idea. And it certainly doesn’t condone copy cat advertising or blatant plagiarism.Instead, Earls provides a pattern book, a term originally used in architecture, for copying previously used and successful strategies.“We live in an agile age,” Earls said. “We’ve got to move faster than we’ve ever done before. Traditional strategy and creative strategy thinking isn’t yet equipped to do that. I found myself bemused by why it would take 6 months to come up with a fairly original and vague idea. That’s not good enough anymore. We have to work much harder.”Here are three examples from Copy, Copy, Copy to show how copying an approach to problem solving can lead to unique insights for a brand problem:“Dramatically Over-Engineer Better: This is one of the signature trends in modern marketing: 20 years ago, SUVs were a minority working vehicle, now few school runs are without vehicles capable of competing in and completing the Paris-Dakar Rally. The same is true of the wristwatch business – while the elegantly simple and the cheap and simple are still around, the explosion of diving or aviator watches worth thousands of dollars (often worth more than a car) is remarkable. Indeed, the over-engineering of leisure clothing is legion – from sportswear to expeditionary equipment. These ‘extreme’ outdoor clothing brands are popular at a local North London bus stop: North Face, Annapurna and Patagonia. Being good enough to climb mountains in or wade mighty rivers in makes them ideal for any challenges you might encounter on the 29 bus (or even the 253).”“Promote an Unusual and Irrelevant Feature: The mainstream beer market has been prone to this for some time. In the US, there was a phase when the nature Appalachian water used to brew with was a point of difference. In the UK, we had ‘widgets’ in cans to recreate the qualities of draught beer.””Make Packaging a Badge of Identity: Few packaging designs have real social identity. Coke’s classic bottle shape is an exception. As Martin Lindstrom points out, it is unmistakeable, even when broken and denotes both product qualities and authenticity but more importantly the shared identity of Coke drinkers Gateway computers used Friesian-patterned boxes to signal a different kind of computer was being delivered to a different kind of user – someone who clearly knows what’s what. Department stores like Selfridges and Bloomingdales have both created highly visible (and expensive) bags in order to use the fashion-set as walking endorsements of their brands.”He also suggests drawing as a way to come up with ideas or to reveal connections.People — especially those in our industry — tend to rely on jargon and what he calls “verbal fireworks.” Drawing forces us to be precise and to show the steps and connections in a real way. He writes:Time and again in our work we come back to the truth of this – to the importance of drawing as a mode of thinking, rather than a complement to it, or an afterthought. Drawing and thinking are closely related. Indeed, in many important ways, it’s worth assuming drawing IS thinking.In addition, these strategy frameworks and the mapping tool he provides make it possible for anyone on a team to be involved in ideation. You don’t need a psychology degree or an understanding of neuroscience.“I think that anything that excludes the talent we’ve got in the room from making contributions should be stopped,” Earls said. “This approach seems to bring into the strategy that player who’s not normally been allowed a voice.”Copy the Starting Problem for More Creative ResultsCopying has long been the go-to tool for the most innovative and creative people — from scientists to athletes to artists to musicians.Most problems are like other problems, which means most solutions requires similar approaches. It’s the errors, the small variations, made by the hands of a person newly approaching the issue, that makes anything truly unique.As Earls’ writes, “It’s what we learn from each other — what we copy — that allows us to create new things. Topics: Career Development
Attending an international conference isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. As any seasoned delegate will tell you, it’s not all rubbing shoulders with famous speakers, impressing online connections in real life and closing big business deals over gourmet dinners and fancy cocktails. In fact, a long day at a conference, spent rushing from talk to talk, gulping down fast food and desperately trying to remember which business card matches which new face, can leave you feeling a bit like a deflated balloon.Luckily for you, I’ve attended my fair share of international conferences and have picked up a few handy survival tips along the way. Here’s how to make it through your next conference intact.Check out a calendar of inbound marketing events happening in your area here.1) Practice Your Elevator PitchWhether you’re just chatting to someone in a coffee queue, introducing yourself at a make-or-break meeting, or shouting into a potential customer’s ear at a beer-soaked after party, it’s helpful to have your elevator pitch prepped and ready to go. Vague and generic elevator pitches aren’t memorable, so make sure you communicate your unique selling point right off the bat. What sets your business apart from your competitors? Make that the focus of your elevator pitch.2) Wear Comfortable ShoesPart of your game plan is dressing for success, I get it. But keep in mind that conferences typically involve long hours of standing and walking. Nothing throws you off your game quite like aching, blistered feet.3) Pick Your Top Talks and WorkshopsChances are, you can’t attend every single talk at the conference. Study the agenda beforehand and work out which speakers you absolutely can’t miss. Then, check the venues and make sure you know how you’re going to get from one to the other; conferences centres can be much bigger than you imagine and some events might take place off-site.4) Treat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner as Meeting SlotsSnagging one-on-one meetings with key prospects and customers should be one of your main conference goals. When you’re contending with a jam-packed agenda, however, finding a time to meet that suits you both can be tricky. Take advantage of the breaks scheduled for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee when booking meetings.5) Record Useful Details on Business CardsThere’s no point collecting business cards if you can’t remember the first thing about any of your new connections. Keep a pen handy and jot down key conversation points on each business card you receive. This could be something you have in common – maybe you’re both avid fishermen or you have children of a similar age – or a business-related point that will help you hone in on how you can work together in the future. Doing this will not only help jog your memory when you’re sorting through the pile back home, it’ll also help you personalise your follow ups. 6) Stay Well Hydrated and Well FedAt the risk of sounding like your mom, don’t skip meals and make sure you drink enough water. Keep your energy levels up by eating properly and keeping a bottle of water on hand. If you’re someone who needs to snack regularly or if you have any special allergies, it’s a good idea to stash some snacks in your briefcase or backpack – like a few nuts, a protein bar or an apple – to avoid plummeting sugar levels and a catastrophic loss of your sense of humour.7) Make Time for Play, as well as BusinessTequila isn’t just a social lubricator, it’s a useful business lubricator too. Conference parties are often where the best connections are made, so don’t spend the evenings hiding away in your hotel room. That said, beware of going too big: attending a business conference with a stinking hangover is a cruel and unusual punishment indeed.8) Pick your Conferences WiselyTo get real ROI from business conferences, you need to make valuable connections with new prospects, nurture relationships with leads and existing customers, and bring home practical learnings that you can actually use in your own business. This means you need to pick which conferences you’ll be attending based on not just the keynote speakers, but also on who else is going to be attending.Want to learn more about inbound marketing? Check out HubSpot partner events in your area here. Topics: Conferences Originally published Apr 25, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
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 Congratulations! You’ve recently been promoted to a new position as a manager.You now have a team, perhaps the opportunity to hire, and the chance to guide and grow your new direct reports. Are you ready for this?You may be feeling excited, afraid, nervous, or empowered. You may also be experiencing the very common imposture syndrome: the fear of getting caught as a “fraud” due to not being competent or fully prepared to deserve your new position. But here you are, and the best thing you can do is to lean in to this experience as an opportunity for your own development. To start, here are a few recommendations that I learned from my mentors when I began as a new manager. From finding your leadership style to learning how to navigate a working relationship, these tips are meant to help you get off on the right foot. (Not sure if management is right for you? Try HubSpot’s career growth assessment to discover your next career move.)Find Your Leadership StyleOne of the biggest challenges when going from individual contributor to people manager is having to change the way you value your own impact. Every day prior to this promotion you were evaluated on the impact you personally had on the business. From here on out, you’re evaluated on the impact driven by your collective team.This comes with some good news and some “bad” news:The good news – You and your team combined can most likely have a larger impact on the business than you previously were able to alone.The “bad” news – The impact your team has is not entirely in your direct control — it’s in the control of the individual team members and their efforts. Your new role is to inspire, guide, coach, and most importantly, lead.To help yourself enter this mindset, you have the opportunity to define how you will be as a leader. What your personal style will be? To start, visualize what your interactions with your teammates will be like, how you’ll carry yourself, and how you’ll communicate. For example, you can ask yourself:What will you, the new manager, want to look like to your team?What kind of manager style do you naturally have or want?What attributes have you seen your previous managers demonstrate, and which will you try to emulate?By answering these questions for yourself, you’ll be able to develop your leadership persona or the best portrait of yourself as a leader. Write it down, reread it from time to time, and do your best to encompass this new state.Get to Know Your New TeamThe next step is to decide how you’ll work with each of your employees, and I believe the best relationships are driven by clarity and curiosity. Let’s first dig into the latter.If you’ve inherited a team you used to work with laterally, or were promoted within your current team, you most likely already know your new direct reports pretty well. However, do you know them enough? What don’t you know? What else can you learn? I suggest one of the first things you do is to have a second interview with each of your direct reports. Grab coffee, go for a walk, and use that time to really get to know that person. If it helps, here are a few things you can ask:What do they like about their job today? What don’t they like?What do they do for fun?What other work experience do they have?What are some of their goals, personal and professional?Have they ever had a manager they really disliked, and if so why? What happened?The best favor you can do for yourself now, and onward, is to never assume anything about another person. Instead ask. For example, imagine you were giving an employee a brand new project. Perhaps your instinct is to walk them through how to do it step-by-step. Why wouldn’t you? You’ve never given her this type of project before.But how do you know if that’s really the amount of support they need? Before deciding how you can best help, ask them if they’ve done something like this before and gauge their true comfort level. That way you’ll know to be hands-on or hands-off with your direction.Set Up Your Working RelationshipNow let’s talk about clarity. Think back to a prior boss that never seemed happy with your work. Why do you think that was? Perhaps it’s because you never really knew what she was looking for, or you didn’t have a full understanding of her expectations. (Or worse, maybe she hadn’t decided what her expectations of you actually were.)One of the best things you can do as a new manager is set context and goals as clearly as possible. And that might begin with taking the time to make a bunch of decisions on your own first. For example:How will you know when your employee is successful?How will you communicate what that success looks like to him/her so you’re on the same page?What expectations will you set in regards to your style and how you can work together best?How will you use one-on-one time?How will you explain your expectation for one-on-one meetings so you’re on the same page?Communicating your expectations clearly will remove ambiguity and set up your employee for success.Create More LeadersMost likely when you get promoted, you’ll need to figure out how to move all the work you used to do off your plate. And you may do that by delegating those projects to your new team. That’s great! The question is if you can do this in a way that supports you and them.Delegating projects is a great opportunity to help someone grow into your old shoes. See if you can help someone reach the role you were previously in. If you do, it will free up your time to make higher-level decisions and support the team as a whole. It also means the person receiving the project can stretch and learn work they may not have done before.Sounds like a win-win? It absolutely can be, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. In order to solve for a person’s long-term growth, you need to delegate a project in a way that helps him become a decision maker versus a task do-er.How do you know which is happening? It depends on the way you teach. Are you helping someone memorize a series of actions (most likely to execute a project in the same way you used to do it), or are you taking the time to explain your judgment around the project? The latter requires you to share context for why you take different actions this way.Note: There’s nothing wrong with teaching someone how to do something step-by-step. Just make sure you’re explaining your decision-making behind it, so a teammate walks away with the same judgment you have. That very judgment hopefully can be applied to similar projects. Now they’re a decision maker. Plan for the Long Term Being a new manager is hard — and that’s to be expected. The best thing you can do for yourself is communicate clearly and frequently, make yourself open to feedback from your team and your boss, and use your resources.Perhaps you can get a group of other new managers together and grab lunch. It’s great to talk with folks who are in a similar scenario to reflect on your experiences — if only to know you’re not alone.You can also look into trainings in your area. Would your boss support you going to a one-day training here and there? You could also suggest setting up skip-level reviews, meaning your direct reports meet with your boss every so often to share their feedback on you. This can be extremely helpful. Perhaps there’s a small thing you could change or improve that would make all the difference. Wouldn’t you like to know that? Most importantly — and my favorite — find a mentor. It could be someone inside or outside of your company, as long as it’s someone you really trust. Nothing beats one-to-one guidance. Remember: Being a good manager doesn’t require knowing all the answers. Stay open minded and confident in yourself. You’ll be great.What tips do you have for new managers? Share them below. Management Advice Originally published May 4, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017
Social Media Fails Originally published Sep 14, 2016 1:43:00 PM, updated August 02 2017 Topics:
Hootsuite’s culture is something the company is proud of — and it uses this fun way of living and working to attract talented people to come with them. #HootsuiteLife is all about employees and community members showcasing how much fun it is to work at Hootsuite all over social media. It uses the hashtag to empower employees to share their days with the rest of the world on social media.A secondary UGC campaign — #LifeofOwly — lets employees show off the company’s lovable mascot in action, too. It’s cool to see real humans working at IBM and using its products and services to do things you and I do every day — like taking artfully posed photographs and conducting group brainstorms. Netflix is leaning into creating more original programming, so getting the word out about new releases is a key part of its social media strategy. UGC shows other people are getting excited about new shows too — and makes Instagrammers coming across Netflix’s Instagram intrigued to see what the fuss is all about. The #RedCupContest is a smart UGC campaign. It incentivizes fans to participate and engage online by offering a prize, it promotes a seasonal campaign, and it helps generate sales — because you have to buy a red cup to take a picture first. Takeaway for Marketers: Showcase the human side of your brand — especially if your product or service can’t be easily visualized, as in the case of IBM. Source content from customers, employees, and community members to show what your product looks like in action so other Instagrammers can picture themselves using it, too.6) NetflixPopular video streaming service Netflix uses UGC to promote fans’ posts about specific shows and movies — and hashtags the title to help spread the word about new premieres. Buffer’s tools are about making it easier to share and strategize on social media, and these photos implicitly share the message that Buffer’s community members can work from anywhere, on a variety of different projects, thanks (in part) to its ease of use. When it comes time to make a purchasing decision, who are you more likely to trust — a brand, or a fellow consumer who uses the product?We’re more likely to take recommendations from friends and family members than brands when it comes time to make buying decisions — and that’s the logic behind user-generated content on social media.Download 25 Free Business Instagram Templates.User-generated content, or UGC, consists of any form of content that’s created by users and consumers about a brand or product. UGC isn’t paid for, and its authenticity makes the user the brand advertiser as well.UGC is particularly prevalent on Instagram, where brands can easily repost and regram UGC from users’ accounts. And it’s worthwhile for brands to do this — 76% of individuals surveyed said they trusted content shared by “average” people more than by brands, and nearly 100% of consumers trust recommendations from others.In this post, we’ll discuss just how successful UGC on Instagram can be — as well as review 10 brands using it successfully.Why User-Generated Content?In this year’s Internet Trends Report, Mary Meeker presented some compelling data about the success of UGC for brands on Instagram. Check it out: Wayfair has another UGC campaign that’s not as popular, but it’s an adorable effective way to show its products in action with the help of the #WayfairPetSquad. Takeaway for Marketers: Use UGC to showcase an unexpected or unique aspect of your brand. Whether it’s content from your customers, your users, or members of your community, ask other Instagrammers to submit content that shows “the other side” of what your brand is all about.2) AerieWomen’s clothing company Aerie’s #AerieReal campaign is #UGCgoals. The campaign is simple, but powerful. Takeaway for Marketers: If you’re making an announcement or releasing a new product, use UGC to get the word out about your fans and customers trying it out for the first time. You’ll help create a feedback loop to help more and more people on Instagram learn about you — and what new product they can get involved with.7) HootsuiteSocial media management software company Hootsuite uses the hashtag #HootsuiteLife to promote UGC about what it’s like to work at Hootsuite around the world. This is a clever UGC campaign other B2B brands should take note of — especially if the products and services themselves aren’t especially sexy. Instagram posts featuring packing tape, shipping peanuts, and cardboard boxes might not be visually interesting, but behind-the-scenes stories of real people and brands The UPS Store is helping are. It can sometimes be hard to imagine what you can do with a software without seeing it in action, and this UGC campaign lets Adobe show off its capabilities while engaging with its community of users.#Adobe_InColor is Adobe’s Pride Month-themed UGC campaign that’s already generated nearly 300 posts in just the first few weeks of June. This UGC campaign lets Adobe showcase the talent of its customers and the values and culture of its community clearly and easily on social media. Takeaway for Marketers: Cultivate a brand personality so strong that your users want to share their life with you on social media. Create a great product, excel at helping customers succeed, and curate a presence on social media your users want to keep engaging with. Then, ask them to share with you so you can continue adding personality and diversity to your content to show what your community is all about — helping people be better at social media, in Buffer’s case.4) WayfairOnline furniture store Wayfair has a fun UGC campaign that lets customers showcase the results of their online shopping sprees. Using the hashtag #WayfairAtHome, users can post their home setups featuring Wayfair products: BMW sells luxury cars to owners who are undoubtedly proud of their achievement, and this campaign gives owners the opportunity to show off — and lets BMW show off its proud and loyal base of customers. If I were on the hunt for a car and saw this many happy BMW users, I might consider one of its cars for my purchase. (I don’t know how to drive, but you catch my drift.) Internet Trends 2017 Report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersNow that we understand the importance of UGC, let’s dive into how some of these brands are killing the UGC game on Instagram.10 Examples of the Best User-Generated Content on Instagram1) The UPS StoreNo, we don’t mean UPS, where you might go to send care packages or holiday gifts to your loved ones. We mean The UPS Store, which uses its Instagram to showcase the customers you might not think about as readily — small business owners. Small business owners on Instagram post content using the hashtag #TheUPSStoreCustomer, which The UPS Store then shares to its own account, like so: Takeaway for Marketers: Collaborate with your recruiting and HR teams to see if you can combine forces to drive social media engagement and help hire new people simultaneously. If your organization has a lot to offer and you want to showcase your culture, events, and perks, team up to create an employee UGC campaign that empowers employees to share and helps attract great new talent.8) StarbucksEvery December, Starbucks launches the latest #RedCupContest to promote its holiday-themed seasonal beverages and — you guessed it — red cups. It encourages coffee drinkers to submit shots of their coffees for the chance to win a pricey Starbucks gift card — and drinkers always deliver (there are more than 40,000 posts of red cups and counting). Topics: Then, Wayfair reposts UGC and provides a link so users can shop for the items featured in a real customer’s home — an ingenious strategy for combining customer testimonials and design inspiration all-in-one. Takeaway for Marketers: Leverage UGC to help Instagram users find and shop for your products. Remember, people trust customer testimonials, and if you show them being successfully used by real people, it’s easier to get them to your website to start shopping.5) IBMSoftware giant IBM uses UGC on Instagram primarily from its customers and community members using the hashtag #IBM. Its UGC strategy is simpler than some described previously, but it does a great job at providing an inside look at one of the biggest technology companies in the world. Takeaway for Marketers: Use a contest to promote and generate buzz around a UGC campaign. Offer a prize for participation (using a branded hashtag, of course) to get people excited about commenting, posting, and sharing on Instagram.9) AdobeCreative software company Adobe uses the hashtag #Adobe_Perspective to source and share content from artists and content creators using its software to do their jobs every day. User-Generated Content There’s been broad debate and outcry over the excessive use of photo editing in marketing advertising — centered around its impact on the young women consuming magazines and images on social media. There’s been particular concern around the impact edited photos can have on women’s self-esteem and sense of a healthy body image.So Aerie made a pledge to stop retouching photos of models in its bathing suits. And for every Instagram user that posted an unedited photo of themselves in a bathing suit (using the hashtag #AerieReal, of course), Aerie now donates $1 to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Internet Trends 2017 Report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersUGC can generate more engagement on Instagram — meaning more comments and likes on posts. And engagement is critically important to brands’ success on the platform — because the more users engage with your stuff, the higher your posts are prioritized in the Instagram feed, and the more likely it is that new users will find your content on the Explore tab.A lot of global brands are sharing Instagram content reposted, or “regrammed,” from fans and users. Take a look: Takeaway for Marketers: Give customers and users a platform from which they can brag about their purchase. You don’t need to sell luxury items — there are plenty of everyday brands with cult followings who love to get engaged on social media about why they love shopping and buying from certain brands. Create a hashtag that lets customers share why they love you, and they’ll love you back.What’s your favorite UGC campaign on Instagram? Share with us in the comments below. Originally published Jun 13, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Takeaway for Marketers: Give people a reason to get involved in your campaign that’s bigger than Instagram itself. Whether it’s an awareness campaign or a donation drive like Aerie, customers want to buy from companies that support important causes. If you can, partner with a cause or charitable organization your message resonates with to get Instagrammers excited about your UGC campaign. You’ll do good for the world, you’ll drive engagement on the platform, and more people will learn about your brand via word-of-mouth if it catches on.3) Buffer Social media scheduling tool Buffer uses the #BufferCommunity to showcase the photographs and personalities of its many different users around the world. These images aren’t promotional — or even remotely brand-centric — and that’s what makes them so effective (okay, the cute puppy probably helps too). Takeaway for Marketers: Encourage customers and users to share their results from successfully using your product. These images will help give prospective customers an idea of what they can expect, and great results will speak for themselves to promote your product. And if you’re doing a cultural campaign, open it up to your entire community, and not just employees, to generate awareness and buzz around a culture initiative you’re proud of.10) BMWCar company BMW uses #BMWRepost to share Instagram posts of proud BMW owners and their wheels: Don’t forget to share this post!
Version 2: An email from Villalobos with the message, “If you want to learn more about the Program, I invite you to book time with my colleague, Stefano, whenever you’re back in the office. Here is his meetings link.”Of course, the message had to have some additional context other than booking a meeting. So as an alternative to investing time in completing the IMA, we offered the recipient something “nice to read” at their leisure over the holiday — in this case, it was the Spanish version of our Partner Program Info Kit. This was included in both versions of the A/B test.The ResultsTruth time: The results surprised us a bit.To start, Gasbarrino’s email showed an 8% higher open rate than the one from Villalobos. That could be due to a number of reasons — perhaps recipients were a bit too accustomed to seeing emails from Villalobos, and were intrigued by the new name in their inboxes.But on the other hand, Villalobos’ email resulted in 10% more meetings booked. Those results suggest that, when people did open the email, they appreciated the more flexible language of this version.We also wanted to test how an email send of this nature performed against our traditional one, too. So to measure the success of the “book a meeting” CTA vs. the “complete an IMA form” CTA, we also compared the average open and clickthrough rate (CTR) of our typical IMA email sends, versus those of the emails sent as part of this experiment.Simply put, the email sends associated with this experiment performed noticeably better than our traditional IMA emails. In addition to a 15% higher open rate as well as a 7.2% higher CTR, the email sends containing links to book a meeting resulted in 40X the conversion rate of IMA form submissions from traditional emails. We booked 200 sales meetings from this one email!Where Do We Go From Here?Next StepsWhile the experiment was generally a success, moving forward, we recommend putting guardrails in place prior to conducting tests like these. While we were thrilled to have over 200 meetings booked as a result of a single email send, that was far too many for a single rep to handle. A good problem to have, but Stefano was overwhelmed nonetheless.In the future, we’ll use more finely-targeted segmentation when planning these email sends, and will assign a lead owner who can send “book a meeting” links on behalf of multiple representatives.Our #1 TakeawayOur biggest takeaway from this experiment, however, was its strong reminder to marketers not to lose sight of their audiences. It’s all too easy to forget that there is a human being on the other side of the screen — and overall, humans want quicker, more personalized solutions. Filling out a form requires them to wait to be contacted — booking a meeting, on the other hand, gets that person onto a rep’s calendar right away, at their convenience. Addressing that time sensitivity can make your audience feel valued and prioritized.Moreover, the ability to book a meeting with a person who has a name, a face, and availability can humanize a brand much more than a form is capable of doing.How have you used to email improve your conversion rates? Let us know about your best experiment in the comments — and hey, we might even feature it on our blog. Originally published Jul 31, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Topics: Here at HubSpot, when we decide we really like something, we go all-in. That includes things like email personalization, a global presence, and seasonality in our marketing.So when it came time for the Latin America Marketing team — or LatAm — to strategize an email marketing experiment, we wondered if there was a way to combine all three.It started out simply enough — we wanted to find out if an email sent directly from a sales rep that included a link to book a meeting could convert better than one of our popular offers. But then we thought, “We can do better. Let’s kick the personalization up a notch.”Click here to download our free beginner’s guide to email marketing.And so, we did — and here’s what happened.How a Single Email Send Led to 200+ Meetings BookedThe HypothesisWithin our LatAm partner marketing efforts, our inbound funnel often involves directing prospective agency partners to the Spanish version of our Inbound Marketing Assessment (IMA). But when Semana Santa, the celebrated week before Easter in Latin America and Spain, was approaching, we knew that many of our email recipients would be taking several days off prior to the holiday.That meant we’d have to alter the content and tone of our message. Since these recipients were likely days away from several consecutive days off, we didn’t want to ask them to complete an assessment. Sure, we needed to provide a call to action (CTA). Otherwise, what was the point of sending an email? But it had to be something that took this timing into account — something that still provided value, but acknowledged the upcoming holiday.That created a foundation for our hypothesis:By reaching out to people right before a major holiday in their region with messaging that is conversational and tailored, we will see a higher level of engagement in terms of meetings booked.”The ExperimentThe ObjectiveOur goal was to find out if an email from a sales representative that included a direct link to book a meeting with them would lead to more conversions than our traditional one — the email from a marketer with a CTA to complete the IMA form.What We DidTo test our hypothesis, instead of directing the reader to our traditional IMA form, we included a link to book a meeting with a sales rep directly. But with the holiday coming up, the way we framed that option to book a meeting would have to be modified.That allowed us to set some parameters for an A/B test, in which we created two different versions of the same email — one sent from Stefano Gasbarrino, who was a rep at the time, and one from Carlos Villalobos, the LatAm Partner Marketing Manager. Each version contained its own message accompanying a link to book a meeting with a rep:Version 1: An email from Gasbarrino with the message, “Here’s my calendar — book time with me.” Don’t forget to share this post! Email Newsletters