Excitement was building all day in the corridors of Mulroy College in Milford as students and staff eagerly awaited the arrival of Professor William Campbell.Professor Campbell was awarded a quarter Nobel prize in Medicine in 2015 for his work with bacteria and a compound avermectin which can kill off the roundworms that cause river blindness. He is the second Irish person, after Ernest Walton (1951) to receive the prestigious award.A pin dropping could be heard as Professor Campbell told students about his life spent growing up in lovely Ramelton and his work in Trinity College which cemented his interest in worms. His collaboration with a Japanese scientist Satoshi Omura led to the amazing discovery of the microbe in soil samples collected in Japan.Students were regaled with tales of a fascinating professional life in science spanning five decades which led to the development and production of ivermectin, a chemically modified form of avermectin which has proven effective against a growing number of other parasitic diseases.The science teachers with Professor Campbell; perhaps one of their pupils will be the next Nobel Prize winner?Professor Campbell chatted with a number of students from Mulroy who themselves have been successful in the scientific field. He was very interested to hear about their endeavours in the Young Scientist competition. Conor Bradley and Dylan Mc Bride spoke to him about their current project which scooped the top prize in Scifest Donegal recently. He wished them continued success in the national final in November.A student commented that ‘this was a chance in a lifetime to meet a Nobel Prizewinner’, while Conor Bradley mentioned that ‘I couldn’t believe that after finding the antibiotic, it took a further 17 years to have the drug acknowledged. One thing that I learnt was never to give up trying.’Everyone was very sad when the bell went to signify the end of the school day.Students headed off buzzing with scientific enthusiasm. You never know, maybe the third Irish person who will win a Nobel prize was among that lucky group!Principal, Fiona Temple, on behalf of the Science Dept openly thanked Professor William Campbell for sharing his experience with the students.This was a historic day for the Science Deptartment in Mulroy College.Picture Special: Excitement as Nobel prize winner Professor Campbell visits Mulroy College was last modified: September 24th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Fab-Homes, a design firm based in Vancouver, recently rolled out a series of design options for single-family homes that incorporate Passivhaus concepts and performance to varying degrees, depending on the size of the construction budget.Contemporary styling prevails in each of Fab-Homes’ nine design packages and, even though clients can modify plans to add interior space and extra features, most of these homes are, by green standards, appropriately compact. The smallest, called the Olympia I, offers 1,400 sq. ft., while an expanded version of that design, the Olympia II, features a conditioned basement and a total of 2,400 sq. ft. The remaining designs deliver an average of 1,700 sq. ft.Pricing and contractorsCompany director Alex Maurer told GBA that a client may work with one of Fab-Homes’ builder partners in the U.S. or Canada, or with a contractor of the client’s choice. In the latter case, he says, “we would prefer working closely with the client’s contractor to ensure proper execution.”Although the firm offers custom-design services, pricing for the fixed-design packages ranges from $8,000 to $16,000. Construction costs start at about $150 per square foot, depending on the location, builder fees, and energy efficiency goals. In a recent press release, Maurer points out that “for us, to achieve the German Passive House standard for every home is a goal, but not a requirement.” Options include a heat recovery ventilation system, triple-glazed windows, a rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling system, solar power, and solar hot water. Each house is designed to accommodate PV and ground-source heat pump installations.Maurer said that while Fab-Homes already has a few builder partners in various locations throughout the U.S., the company is working on extending its network. Any builder interested, he said, should contact the company. Contact information and background on the design options are available on the Fab-Homes website: http://www.fab-homes.com/
Microsoft is betting the farm on its new Windows 8 operating system. Ironically, some of the biggest challenges it faces come from earlier versions of Windows – and Microsoft’s own mistakes. Case in point: Windows 8’s highly touted “Metro” interface may have to change its name just as the program is about to be released.What’s In a Name? Trouble!It seems there’s possibly a bit of trademark trouble with the “Metro” name from German retail holding group Metro AG, which, among other assets, owns two electronics store chains (Media Markt and Saturn).While an internal Microsoft memo appears to confirm that the Metro interface will be getting a new name, no one knows yet what the new moniker will be or officially why the change had to happen at this late date. The memo only cites “discussions with an important European partner” as the rationale. Microsoft has declined to comment. In the grand scheme of things, of course, this is not a big deal. After all, few consumers could actually name the interface now used by Windows Vista and Windows 7: Aero. The only people likely to notice a Metro name change will be technology professionals and ultra-fans. Developers may also be annoyed at having to rename things in the applicaitons the’re already working on.Still, it’s one more nagging headache that Microsoft didn’t need. Metro AG is not exactly unknown in tech circles. This should have been settled long before Microsoft invested any PR and marketing dollars on “Metro.”Windows vs. WindowsMicrosoft’s launch of Windows 8, already threatened by reports of declining Windows PC sales, has bigger issues than name changes.Sure, Windows 8 will go head-to-head with rival operating systems like Apple’s OS X and open-source Linux, but by some measures its biggest competitors will be Microsoft’s own earlier releases of Windows.You wouldn’t think that an 11-year-old operating system like Windows XP would be a big challenger for Windows 8, but it will be. According to the July 2012 survey from NetMarketShare, 42.86% of desktop machines STILL run Windows XP, just a smidge more than Windows 7, which is at 42.21%. (The epic fail of Windows Vista has fallen steadily from 9.09% in September 2011 to 6.60% in July 2012).Based on the trendlines, it looks like August will finally be the month that Windows 7 does what Vista never even came close to doing: overtaking Windows XP.This is the desktop market into which Windows 8 will be sold: 91.67% of machines already running Windows of some kind, and nearly half of those machines running an operating system that was released over a decade ago.Microsoft is well aware of the challenge: sources have already outlined potential upgrade paths for XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users.Upgrade or Switch?Of course, the vast majority of those machines will never upgrade their version of Windows. And that won’t be helped by incomplete upgrade schemes:. For instance, only personal data can be migrated from XP Service Pack 3 or Vista to Windows 8 (Vista SP1 users will be able to migrate user settings as well). Only Windows 7 users will have an “easy” upgrade path to Windows 8 that will carry apps, data, and settings along.Given that, the real opportunity clearly comes in selling new Windows 8 devices – from PCs to tablets. But getting users to abandon their existing Windows machines won’t be easy in the current economy – particularly for employers who have stubbornly refused to make the upgrade.Even more worrisome for Microsoft in the long run, every time someone gives up on an aging Windows machine is an oportunity for them to abandon the Windows platform, going with OS X or Linux (or even iOS and Android on tablets) instead of Windows8.In that kind of environment, with new Windows 8 machines competing with Windows 7, Vista and XP as well as OS X, Linux and various mobile operating systems, Microsoft can’t afford any stumbles. That’s what makes the Metro name change so worrisome. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#enterprise#Microsoft Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… brian proffitt Related Posts
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will cheer the Indian hockey team which clashes with world champion Australia in the Commonwealth Games final at the Dhyan Chand Stadium here on October 14.Singh will watch the match in the company of former Olympians, PMO sources said.UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul had cheered the Indian hockey team at the same venue where it had thrashed Pakistan 7-3 and entered semifinals. In the semis, India defeated England in a tie-breaker yesterday.Singh was present at the dazzling opening ceremony of the Games along with President Pratibha Patil and Prince Charles.
, business phone systems 7-Eleven teamed up with Farmville creator Zynga to, “allow millions of consumers the ability to redeem exclusive virtual items with Zynga games Topics: According to the Facebook page participants will, “date 60 different characters, including MTV CAST MEMBERS. Ask them questions, and then rate their answers. The I Woo You Meter lets you know if you’re a match. Go on a date and post your date photo on your wall.” As a marketer one of your duties is to get your company’s brand awareness out to the right audience—and that is sometimes easier said than done. Staying up to date on the latest tactics is a must for your niche market, and social media seems to be the golden child for some. Although this is true, I think most of us are getting tired of reading about how Twitter will make your company thousands of dollars a week. Nielsen found that One of the main reasons many companies do not participate in social media in general is they can’t tie it to any type of ROI. This is largely due to the fact that they don’t define any reason for participating other than other companies are doing it. , said, “the true strategic question is how does your brand engage with your audience in a relevant and valuable way? We feel that this is one of those ways for us to be able to do that in a fun and engaging manner.” Resource Nation Depending on your company’s target audience, social media games could be a great way to keep them engaged in your brand and help with word-of-mouth marketing (which is why social media can do so well). MTV is the latest company to roll out a to, “give 10 free Facebook Credits in exchange for trading their coins for a cash voucher at one of 10,000 Coinstar locations, which are usually in grocery stores. That’s about $1 in value. On the back of the voucher ticket, you get a web address that you can enter on your computer. Then you claim your Facebook Credits and can proceed to use them in games and other apps on Facebook.” Chances are if your major competitors are engaging in social media, you should be as well. Before you dive in, make sure you take the time to plan out any initiatives you will be doing. (tweeting, blogs, creating games etc.) Start out small and test the waters before dumping a large amount of money into social media campaigns. You might not be a heavy hitter like MTV and 7-Eleven, but that doesn’t mean social media games could be a waste of time for you. Take the time to research and plan and you could be seeing a great benefit from these games. MTV is not the first to implement these type of games. At the beginning of summer, based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for Originally published Sep 16, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Facebook game What’s the Point? (Farmville and Mafia wars) at their local 7-Eleven store.” Rixty has decided to team up with Coinstar Social Media What to Look ForBefore implementing a social game you need to have two main points defined—is your target audience participating in social games, and how will you measure its success. If you can define these two points, you will be able to decide how and if a social game can bring in revenue. Taking the lead from this promotion, Damon Burrell, VP of marketing at MTV , “online games overtook personal email to become the second most heavily used activity behind social networks – accounting for 10 percent of all U.S. Internet time. Email dropped from 11.5 percent of time to 8.3 percent.” entitled, “I Woo You.” an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions. The following is a guest post by Shannon Suetos is an expert writer on So why are these heavy hitters participating in social games? Well like Burell said above, it helps customers engage with your brand. It is also a great way to collect information such as email addresses and other contact information—better than purchased lists and outbound 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
Keyword analytics 4. Monitor Conversions Got 30 minutes? . Got 30 minutes? forms lead generation best practices will allow you to review which channels are the most effective at driving website engagement. Review a line graph of organic search, social media, email marketing, campaign-specific, direct, and total traffic over at least two weeks. Any surprising trends? Review referral traffic by individual URLs — any surprising referral pages? Are your blog posts generating traffic from quality inbound links? Take notes of the sticky content, and incorporate more of those topics into your content calendar. Got 30 minutes? Make sure to also consider seasonality if that is applicable for your business by examining year over year data. 2. Track Sources sources report Review a HUGS 2011 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack and join their Birds of a Feather roundtable discussion, “Using Analytics Tools for Business Growth.” 3. Analyze Keywords lead G Most business owners and marketing managers are too busy to dive into Got 30 minutes? keyword grader Marketing Analytics Write down goals for each traffic source and at least one step to reduce costs for each source. Also review your lead nurturing campaign(s) to jot down failed experiments or new content ideas to introduce. A The conversion rate metric allows you to gauge the efficiency of your website’s performance. All the traffic in the world won’t help your business grow if your website isn’t able to turn visitors into business leads. It is important to note that every page of your website should offer opportunities for users to convert. In your review, jot down two pages with the lowest conversion rate. Examine those pages for any missed conversion opportunities. There are many different ways to optimize your pages for lead generation. For tips, review these Take a look at the inbound links driving traffic to your website to see if there are any cross-linking opportunities to build authority for your site with search engines. Be sure to add long-tail variations of top converting keywords to further refine your niche keyword opportunities. 5. Measure ROI For a deeper investigation, review traffic on a line graph against your conversion rates and sales trends. Do you regularly review your marketing analytics to check the performance of your marketing? What other metrics do you track? is a top-line metric of website engagement that measures the amount of users visiting your site. Why is reviewing traffic important? Without sustained amounts of traffic to a website, regardless of industry, businesses will have incredibly low visibility online. Use your favorite analytics platform to review trends in website traffic over two weeks or more. Do the peaks in traffic from marketing campaigns or new blog posts match what you’ve done in the past? Were there holidays or other external factors influencing the traffic? Jot down a couple of notes about potential reasons for the trending up or down when compared to weeks past. Topics: . Be sure you have a compelling “hook” for users to fill out the form as well! . LyntonWeb helps companies grow with creative inbound marketing and technology solutions. Visit them at generation every day. However, it is important to keep a pulse on how your online marketing programs are performing so you can adjust them as needed. The following is a recommendation for a 10-minute, 5-point inspection to use weekly or bi-weekly in order to keep current on your latest metrics. website analytics principles ot 30 minutes? basic Break down your ROI by traffic source. Any surprises? can be digested in many different ways. The most beneficial to your business in a quick-hit analysis is analyzing lead conversions by keyword. While traffic by keyword will show you which keywords are popular, lead conversions by keyword will show you which topics are bringing in qualified visitors. Do the keywords accurately portray your business’ products and services to drive leads? Your top converting keywords are invaluable to guide your website content, advertising buys, and even how you sell your products/services. Also look for keywords with low conversions. Usually these are opportunities to drive more leads. Add more of these keyword-focused topics to your content calendar. Review your website’s two worst converting forms against these for Traffic LyntonWeb to access your site rank on the search engines compared to competitors for popular keywords. As a best practice, always leave your analyses with takeaways and action items. Having these will encourage you to continue to reviewing your analytics regularly. Prioritize analytics for 10-minute weekly or bi-weekly reviews. Capture all your notes and high level metrics in an easy spreadsheet to keep history and share with your team. Photo credit: LIBECK 1. Check Online Traffic Originally published Sep 12, 2011 5:01:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 This is a guest blog post by Samantha Schultz, an online marketing specialist and project manager at tool Finally, tie it all back to ROI. Take the sum of what you’re spending and divide by what you are generating in returns (sales) from the website. There may be other key performance indicators marketing managers can use for an online program, however. Perhaps you’re working against cost-per-lead. Has this changed over time as you’ve grown or taken on lower cost initiatives, like search engine optimization and email marketing? Jot down two ways to reduce overall cost to the program and/or get more leads to balance out the equation.
Topics: Originally published Jul 5, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 We all love watching videos online. From an animal doing something adorable to a how-to segment on cooking a meal, people are constantly watching and sharing them with friends. In fact, over 4 billion videos are viewed daily on YouTube, and over 60 hours of video are watched per minute. Chances are, your potential customers are among those 4 billion watching videos today.Which is why your boss asks you to make a video. Oh, and can you make it go viral, too? First of all, what a frustrating question; virality can never, ever be guaranteed. But there are some common qualities to many of the viral videos out there that we’ve started to notice. And those qualities can be replicated to increase the chance that your video might join the ranks of the other viral successes out there. Read through the tips in this blog post to learn how to create a high quality video, as told through the stories of other online video successes out there — and who knows, it may just result in your own viral video!Keep it ShortAccording to the New York Times, 44% of people lost interest in a video after 60 seconds. So it looks like shorter videos are more likely to keep people’s attention, which means increased social sharing for your video. For an example of a short but effective video, take a look at this video of an owner teasing a dog about food, which received 25 million views in the first five days, and currently has over 110 million views to date.The video is under 90 seconds long, and has the entertainment factor of a talking dog. Come on, who doesn’t love dogs? It’s also perfect to share with friends, because the point of the video is obvious in the first few seconds, so it doesn’t require explanation or context. Keep your videos similarly short and to-the-point, and you’ll see those video views creep up.Demonstrate a Strong, Consistent Brand PersonaYour goal is to get people to immediately think of you when they see the person or object portrayed in the video, so your video needs to clearly demonstrate your brand to viewers. To do this, first create a clear picture of what you people think about your brand — and what you want them to think. If you sell men’s clothing, but people are actually buying your apparel because of the lifestyle it promotes, creating a video about high quality clothing will not do as well as a video about the awesome lifestyle that men who wear your brand have.Take a look at the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, for example. With Isaiah Mustafa, it made a very strong connection between Old Spice products and the manly persona men want to be like, and that women want in a man. And they did it in all of their videos. He always remained in character, and was such a strong parallel to the brand that it actually become humorous — never a bad thing for video virality! It resulted in over 290 million channel views to date, and over 35 million views within the first 7 days of launch.The Old Spice campaign was entertaining, but still portrayed the characteristics men want to be, and women want in men — what Old Spice wanted to be associated with. Create a persona that can be easily identified with your brand, then find a way to embody like Old Spice did — through mascots, tag lines, copy, everything!Is That Real?Creating a video that makes people ask, “Is that real?” is a great way to increase a video’s social shares — if people see something unbelievable, you can be they’ll be sharing it to get others’ two cents. The eHarmony “cat lady” is a perfect example of this, plus it brought brand awareness to eHarmony in a humorous way. This video, created by a comedian, was so outrageous and unbelievable that people wanted to show it to their friends; it received over 2 million views the first day, and now has more than 22 million views.Why did this gem go viral? The video was so crazy people had to share it with their friends and debate the validity behind it. The lesson here is that crazy content — that can still relate to your brand, of course — is a one way ticket to online video success. So think to yourself: Is there anything in my industry I could parody that millions can relate to?Hilarious ContentWe’ve mentioned it a couple times already, but if you make people laugh with your video, it’s far more likely it will get shared socially. Just remember to create content that’s not only funny to you, but entertaining for your customers as well. The talking babies video, for example, went viral in 2011 with 20 million views in the first ten days, and over 70 million views to date. The video depicts two babies talking in a language of their own, quite the unusual sight, indeed! This video was appealing to an extremely wide audience, thus making it easy to share with friends and rack up those high view counts.Another thing to keep in mind when creating funny videos is that you don’t actually have to directly promote anything — though you could if you’re able to make people laugh despite the blatant promotion, like Old Spice did. This video could have been used for a variety of baby products to increase brand awareness; just focus on finding material that’s universally entertaining and unique.Newsjack With ParodyMaking a parody of a popular event, person, or song to reflect your company or product will create an interesting video people may be more likely to share with friends — because it’s based off of something millions already recognize and love. The video “Barack Obama Singing Call Me Maybe” parody, for instance, has over 17 million views in under four weeks, making it one of the most viral videos in 2012.Not only does this video play on the nation’s president — bold move — but it also uses the most viral song to date, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me Maybe” which is #1 on YouTube with over 100 million views. Hey, sometimes using pop-culture can help your video go viral, and there’s no shame in utilizing it!Leverage User-Generated ContentLetting your customers or fans get in on the content creation is a great way to generate a successful video. Not only will you save time, but you’ll engage customers and encourage sharing — a great boost for your reach and reputation. Content contests are an easy way to get the content you need, and allow users to engage with the brand while using word-of-mouth to spread the message to others within their social networks. If it’s feasible for your product or service, a contest can increase your reach to people you originally would not have been able to reach with your own marketing. If you can, have other fans vote on the winning video, further increasing the reach of your campaign!Aflac did this in 2012, when they created the “10 Second Challenge” in which users were asked to create a short video explaining what Aflac meant to them. The prize was internet fame and $25,000. Over 180 video submissions were entered, which resulted in 250,000 video views on Facebook and thousands more to date on YouTube. Letting your users create content for you can save you time, and because of their pride in their work, the result may be more creative than you could have ever imagined!What other qualities of viral videos did we miss here? Have you ever created an extremely successful online video?Image credit: googlisti Don’t forget to share this post! 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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 Switching to Inbound Marketing We talk to people all the time that are totally sold on the inbound marketing methodology, but there’s just one thing standing in their way from becoming a full-fledged inbound marketer … they can’t convince their boss they can switch to inbound marketing without experiencing a painful blow to their current marketing.It makes sense — change is hard, and honestly, nobody is going to let you waltz in and, with the snap of your fingers, totally change the way your business and marketing department functions. If someone came up to you and said that the proper way to cut paper is by grinding your teeth on it because it results in higher levels of efficiency than traditional scissors, would you make the swap? Of course not. Even if it was true. (Note: it’s not.)That means if you’re really interested in transitioning your company to inbound marketing, it’s time get a little sneaky. It’s time to integrate your inbound marketing campaigns with your company’s more traditional marketing campaigns. Over time, you can not only prove the value of inbound marketing as your campaigns start to generate staggering ROI — numbers tend to do the convincing for you — but you’ll already have that gradual transition towards more inbound-friendly methods underway! So let’s start that transition to inbound marketing together, right now, step-by-step … here’s what to do.Merge Inbound Tactics with Outbound CampaignsMany marketers have already started fusing online and offline marketing techniques. According to Marketing Charts, 90% of marketers believe using online data to optimize the offline experience is important. Furthermore, 73% of company marketers say they will be using a cross-channel marketing strategy over the next few years.Clearly a large population of marketers are comfortable with weaving online marketing tactics with their traditional campaigns. So let’s start there. Kindly request to make inbound tactics a part of the outbound promotion. Here’s a few examples.Connect Your Commercials with a Social Media CampaignIf you work for an organization that uses commercials to advertise their business, ask if you can get social media in on the action just a little bit. Perhaps something small, like a hashtag? Just look at this screenshot from an Audi commercial, for example.This inclusion enables you to unify your online messaging with your advertising campaign, and gives you the opportunity to go to town with social content revolving around the hashtag. Use it in quotes, to start Twitter chats, when citing stats … anything that can help unify the messaging from your commercial and the content you’re publishing to social media.Attach a Landing Page to Your Print Advertisements and Direct MailYour print advertisements may get you noticed, it’s the call-to-action part that’s difficult. In other words, is there any way to get someone to actually take action when they’re inspired by your print ads? Well, when your team sits down to put together their next print ad, ask them for a little space for some copy that points readers to an online destination. This could be through a QR code like Gucci did below, or by simply including a URL.This allows you to create a customized landing page just for this advertisement — you know, something a little more personalized to the reader and the ad you created than just your homepage.Simulataneously Run Inbound Campaigns Alongside More Traditional CampaignsNow that you’ve started to integrate digital and print campaigns, ask if you can run a few additional “inboundy” campaigns of your own. Make this easier by promising you’ll still complete your routine tasks — these additional campaigns will be tests you’re running in addition to those. While this will require more of your time for a bit, it won’t require more of your budget, making it easier to sell your boss and colleagues on the subject. Here are some quick campaigns you can run to include in your ultimate portfolio for convincing your team.Repurpose Existing Content to Create Some Lead Generation OffersIf you’ve been in business for a while — even just a year or two — you’ve likely accumulated a bunch of content and expertise without even knowing it. And if you want to do a test drive of an inbound marketing campaign, you’re going to need that content and expertise. Gather your current sales and marketing collateral — case studies, testimonials, brochures, whatever you got — and start reworking it to spin it into offer content that you can put behind a form, and/or share across social media channels.Set Up CTAs and Landing PagesSee if your boss would be alright with you making some website tweaks. You’re not going to redesign the skin or anything, but you could improve upon what’s already there … and make some key new additions.First, create a call-to-action that lives right on the homepage. It’s easy, you can even make them in PowerPoint! That CTA should lead to a new landing page that houses one of those awesome new lead generation offers you just created. Make sure you consider what type of offer visitors to your home page might be interested in — if the bulk of your traffic is coming in on branded keywords, for example, something a little further down your sales funnel, like a case study or product-focused whitepaper, might be most appropriate. When your sales team starts to see people “raising their hand” to talk about purchasing your product or service, you can bet they’ll want to try more of that inbound marketing stuff.Create Visual Social Media ContentPut on your creative hat and think of a cool new idea for increasing engagement on your social media channels. Can you create a series of memes around a common industry fad? Can you create a few visual representations of important stats and data in your field? You don’t need Photoshop to do this, either. Just head over to memegenerator.net or use PowerPoint to whip up some visuals that can be easily shared, helping you generate more fans and followers and increase your overall social reach.Create and Share Your Blog Content StrategicallyStart writing posts on your company blog — and if you don’t have one, set one up! But be strategic. You can’t just write a post and hope the world stumbles upon it. Instead, start sharing that post with advocates of your brand or others who would find it valuable. And yes, that includes your social media fans and followers. You also need to make sure search engines can find it by writing about topics germane to your company and industry. It would also help to start writing guest blog posts for other related sites so you can get some of those coveted inbound links that help your site rise in the search engine rankings!Collect and Compare MetricsNow that you’ve got some campaigns up and running, you can start collecting metrics that speak to their effectiveness. Collect every metric humanly possible. Generate reports that show you the number of times your hashtags were mentioned on Twitter. Look at your website analytics to see how many users were sent to your customized landing pages or landed on your website because of your blog posts. See which keywords drove the most traffic to your website. You know, see what didn’t work, what did work, and what really, really worked. These metrics will show impact you can tie directly to business goals like generating revenue and closing new business.Then it’s time to organize all your results into a clear, succinct, and educational presentation so you can prove the ROI of inbound marketing to your team. And when you use data based off of recent campaigns — data that you can tie directly to leads and customers generated — you don’t have that difficult of a case to make!What tactics have you used to convince your boss and colleagues to invest in inbound marketing?Image Credit: IT Tech News Originally published Oct 8, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017
Several years ago (in internet years, anyway) it became clear to some marketers that one of the best ways to capture market share was through creating amazing content. Whether through blog posts, ebooks, social media, cartoons, videos, whatever — helpful, educational, and interesting content was the name of the marketing game.Today, I think it’s fair to say that not just some, but most marketers are on board with this whole “content-is-important-for-marketing” thing. Our 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report, for example, showed that the average budget spent on company blogs and social media increased from 9% in 2009, to 21% in 2012. Furthermore, over 81% of marketers in the survey named their company blog as “useful” or better to their business. And LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter were considered “useful” or better by over 60%. Cool, so it seems like a good chunk of us are on board and rocking it with content. So …… What next? For a while now, the industry has been leading up to the next phase of marketing that is finally here in full swing — context marketing. Whether you know what that means or not (no worries, we’re about to tell you), I think you’ll find that it’s something you’ve either dabbled in, or wanted to dabble in, for some time. But now, there’s actually plenty of technology available to do more than just dabble in it! So this post is going to introduce you to the concept of context marketing, and show you just how powerful it can be if you incorporate it into your marketing strategy.What Is Context Marketing?Context marketing is using context in your marketing.:-)Okay, I’m being a little silly with that definition, but that is what it is. Actually, my favorite definition of context marketing is delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Let me explain what I mean by context a little more, though.Context marketing is like a spelling bee …When you have context around something, you have a larger, more telling picture — you know, those little details that help lend more clarity to things that would otherwise be pretty general, unspecific, and, well, uninteresting. Let’s use a spelling bee as an analogy here. If a judge asks a kid to spell the word “pour,” he might want to ask a host of questions to get more context before answering. What’s the part of speech? What’s the definition? Can you use it in a sentence, please? Answers to those questions all provide context that helps paint a clearer picture of the word he’s trying to spell.And it’s important context, too! Why? Because the word “pour” is different than the word “pore” — or “poor.” Without getting more context around what the judge is asking, how could that kid possibly provide an accurate answer? Getting more context around that word would be pretty useful to helping our kid become a spelling bee champ! And the same goes for your marketing. Do you want to be a marketing champ like our spelling bee friend? Or a marketing chump who sends emails about pore cleansing strips or poor lost puppies instead of new water faucets that pour ionized water?Context Marketing Champ, or Chump?The marketing champs in every industry are the ones who are leveraging context about their audience, leads, and customers in their marketing. For example, a marketer using context would know more about a lead than whether she’s B2B or B2C, and her first name. They might also know what industry she works in, what kind of content she likes best, through what channel she prefers to consume content, whether she’s currently using another solution to meet her needs, and whether her company has budget at this time of year.As a marketer, if you were asked to “market” to someone, and all you were given was a first name and that she works for a B2B company, wouldn’t your first question be … what else do we know about her? Probably, if you want to do your job way better. That’s the idea behind context marketing: Using what you know about your contacts to provide supremely relevant, targeted, and personalized marketing.Why Is Context Marketing Important?Context marketing is important for many reasons, but here are the two that I think trump them all:When you have context around your relationship with a contact, you’re able to provide more personalized and relevant marketing content that’s targeted at their needs. Personalized and relevant marketing is the foundation for creating marketing people love! What’s more, personalized and relevant marketing is typically not the kind of marketing that annoys the living daylights out of people. Win-win!When you’re creating marketing that’s targeted at people’s point of need, it stands to reason that marketing will perform much better for you, because you aren’t delivering marketing content that’s misaligned with their interests or stage in the sales cycle. Think about it: If you know that our B2B lead from the previous section is getting new budget in January, she’s downloaded a couple buying guides in the past two weeks, she’s visited your product pages, and it’s December, you’re able to send her insanely targeted content that addresses her needs — like, say, an offer for a custom end of year demo of your product with a rep that specializes in the finance industry — content that she’s pretty likely to convert on.Why not use the context around your relationships with your contacts to create marketing that they 1) love, and 2) convert on?How Would One “Do” Context Marketing?Alright, these ideas all sound lovely, but how does this “context marketing” theory manifest itself? What would it look like for you, as a marketer? With the help of integrated marketing software, here are some examples of where you’d actually use the principle of “context” in your marketing.1) Dynamic Calls-to-ActionYou have a bunch of offers that you want to use to convert traffic into leads, leads into qualified leads, and qualified leads into customers. So it’d be kind of a bummer if you went to, say, a case study web page — typically an action performed when you’re further down the marketing funnel — and you saw a top-of-the-funnel CTA, like an educational tip sheet.However, not everyone who visits a case study page on your website is necessarily ready to talk to a salesperson. You don’t want to turn them away, either, by offering a CTA that’s too bottom-of-the-funnel. This could be perceived as a conversion nightmare, but with dynamic CTAs that adjust depending on who is visiting the page, you can actually surface a CTA that automatically aligns with the visitor’s stage in the sales cycle … or any other host of criteria you want to set! Think industry, business type, location, past activity/behaviors, that type of thing. Dynamic CTAs … pretty cool, eh?2) Dynamic Email Content and WorkflowsYour forms aren’t the only things that need to be smart as a whip. Your email database — especially if you want to maintain your space in people’s coveted inboxes — needs to be segmented into highly targeted lists. But you already knew that. Beyond killer segmentation, your email lists need to be smart enough to know when to pull in a contact, and certain information you have in your database about that contact, into your email marketing. Remember, a great context marketer delivers the right content, to the right person, at the right time. So to send emails that are contextually relevant, you need the power of workflows — the tool that will put the right person into the right list …… And the power of dynamic email content, which will make your email content personalized and relevant for each recipient!3) Smart FormsSo you want to be a context marketer. You want to be lovable. You want to see higher conversion rates. Let me introduce you to your new best friend … smart forms! They’re just what they sound like, forms for your landing pages that are wicked smart. So smart, in fact, that they know if someone has already filled out the form fields you’re asking for in the past. Because they know that, they don’t make your site visitors fill out the same form over and over again, and can help you glean more new information about your leads, instead of just more of the same stuff. We’ve started implementing this functionality ourselves, because we agreed that filling out the same form over and over again was a huge bummer! Smart Forms: Using context to be more lovable, improve conversion rates, and get you even more context about your visitors, leads, and customers!How are you leveraging context, not just content, in your marketing?Image credit: Thomas Hawk Originally published Dec 4, 2012 1:08:00 PM, updated August 27 2017 Topics: Marketing Strategy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Over the past few years, mobile email opens have seen explosive growth. While they are now holding steady around 45% of all email opens, three years ago, they accounted for only 11% of opens — which is a 309% increase since April 2011. Not only are mobile opens growing, but they’re also cannibalizing desktop and webmail opens. Desktop opens have decreased 53% in the past three years and now represent 28% of opens. During the same period webmail opens decreased 10% and now account for 27% of opens. This rise in mobile has left many brands and businesses wondering if they need to hop on the mobile train — and if they decide to do it, what they actually need to do to be “mobile optimized.” Keep on reading to figure out how to tailor your email marketing strategy for mobile audiences. What Does Mobile Mean for Me?When it comes to creating successful email marketing in general, it’s all about your audience. What type of content are they interested in? How often do they want your emails? Which email programs and devices do they use to read your emails? When it comes to reacting to the increase in mobile email opens, the answer to this last question is key. However, MarketingSherpa found that only 31% of marketers know their mobile email open rate.Since every audience is different, look into your analytics to see on which devices people are opening your emails. While some companies may see mobile open rates as high as 70%, others may see just as high Outlook opens. You should focus your testing and optimization efforts on the devices the majority of your subscribers are using to read your emails — and if that happens to be on mobile, so be it. For example, Auto Trader discovered that an increasingly large percentage of their audience was opening on mobile. With that information in hand, they knew it was essential to make their emails mobile friendly. With the help of Chalk and Pixel, they completely revamped their emails to be responsive and have noticed a 391% increase in clickthrough rates since the redesign! By providing their subscribers with a better experience, Auto Trader has seen great results.Designing for Your Subscribers’ NeedsDiscovering where your audience is opening your emails enables you to design for your subscribers’ needs — it’s all about making their email experience as smooth as possible. Once you’ve determined which email clients are most popular with your subscribers, the next step is uncovering the quirks of those clients and what techniques they support. Then, it’s decision time. Which design approaches will resonate best with your audience and their devices?For example, at Litmus, we have a high percentage of Apple Mail opens so using techniques like HTML5 video background is an option — Apple Mail supports video. Of course, we use fallback techniques so that subscribers reading our email in programs that don’t support video still have a great experience.If you’re seeing a high percentage of Outlook opens, it’s best not to use background images or text shadows since these elements will not be supported. Are the majority of your subscribers opening on the iPhone? If so, perhaps you should think about using responsive design. Mobile Email Best PracticesWith over 80% of subscribers reporting that they will delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their mobile device, it’s essential to optimize your emails for mobile subscribers if they’re a big chunk of your audience. Using mobile email design best practices ensure that designs are legible and easy to interact with not only on mobile devices, but also on tablets and desktop environments. Here are some tips for making your emails look great on mobile:1) Enlarged FontsTiny text is hard to read on a desktop computer, never mind on the small mobile screen. To avoid illegible fonts, we recommend 14 px as a minimum size for body copy and 22 px for headlines. Also, note that iOS will automatically resize fonts under 13 px, making them larger on your behalf.You can see how much enlarging fonts can help in the two emails below. Due to Company A’s tiny font (image on left), the text is difficult to read on the small screen of a mobile device. However, Company B (image on right) uses much larger fonts, allowing subscribers to easily read the email without having to zoom in.2) Streamlined ContentEvaluate the content in your email and get rid of the less useful or relevant links, copy, and images. Also be concise, but still approachable. The shorter the copy, the easier it is for people to scroll on mobile.3) Single Column LayoutWhile many newsletters are multi-column, mobile-friendly emails should consider switching to a single-column layout. This approach accommodates smaller screens and can help increase legibility. In addition, ditch detailed navigation bars. When viewed on a mobile device, navigation bars can break, are too small to tap, or simply aren’t relevant to the content of the email.Take a look at the emails below to see what I mean. Company A’s newsletter (image on the left) is four columns wide — on the small screen of a mobile device it appears busy, and images and fonts are extremely small. However, Company B’s one-column design (image on right) allows for imagery to stand out, and accommodates for larger text size and tappable buttons.4) Touch-Friendly ButtonsWhen it comes to reading emails on mobile, your call-to-action (CTA) must be touch-friendly. We recommend putting the CTA front-and-center and, if you’re using a button, make it a minimum size of 44 px x 44 px.In the example below, Company A’s social sharing icons (image on left) are extremely close together (and small), which could cause subscribers to click on the wrong link. Conversely, Company B’s CTAs (image on right) are large and have appropriate space between them, allowing subscribers to easily “touch” the CTA that they are most interested in.5) Image-Blocking TechniquesLike webmail and desktop clients, there are numerous mobile email apps that block images by default. As a result, it’s important to optimize your emails to be viewed without images. Luckily, there are a number of strategies to help combat image blocking.ALT text, which is short for alternative text, is one of the best ways to get around clients that block images by default. When images are turned off, ALT text often renders in place of the images. It’s a fantastic way to provide some context for subscribers when images are disabled. As an added benefit, ALT text makes your emails more accessible to visually impaired subscribers that use screen readers! Luckily, adding ALT attributes is extremely easy — all it takes is adding an attribute to the image tag.You can take your ALT text to the next level by adding a bit of inline CSS to change the font, color, size, style, and weight. This technique, known as styled ALT text, is a great option for maintaining branding and adding some fun to your images-off view.In addition, your touch-friendly buttons should be visible even when images are disabled. While text links are an option, bulletproof buttons allow you to have a bit more fun. Bulletproof buttons consist of live text combined with a background color, styled to look like an image-based button. While there are numerous options for creating this type of button, we prefer to use simple HTML and inline styles, which holds up well across most email clients.We also recommend using a proper balance of live text and imagery. It ensures that your emails are accessible, eliminates the HTML-to-text ratio spam issue, and allows for the email to be legible and easy to interact with regardless of whether images are present or not.6) Optimized Content in the Upper-Left CornerMany mobile email apps, including some Android and BlackBerry apps, will only display the upper left-hand corner of your email. Lack of autoscaling cuts off the right side of emails and forces users to scroll left-and-right in addition to up-and-down to view your entire message. As a result, it’s important to place important information and CTAs in the upper-left corner of your email. What other best practices do you follow to optimize your emails for mobile? 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 Mobile Optimization Originally published Jun 23, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017