LATEST STORIES Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 “La Salle is already a strong team and this happens.”Pumaren, who actually served as La Salle’s head coach from 1998 to 2009 and served as a Green Archer in the 1980s, added that even other La Salle alumni weren’t happy with the way the game was won.“My fellow friends from La Salle, they weren’t even proud of it,” said Pumaren. “Even some of the UAAP coaches are texting me now, saying that this is a sad day for the UAAP. I won’t mention who these guys are but two are from Final Four contenders and two more coaches said that this was a sad day.”ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Maverick Ahanmisi lashes out at refs after bro Jerrick, Adamson lose to La Salle Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort “You know, stepping out of the [Smart Araneta] Coliseum the La Sallians, even the coaches of Zobel, were embarrassed,” said Pumaren in Filipino Saturday. “When I shook hands with them, their hands were so cold it’s as if they were carrying ice.”Adamson was called with 33 fouls, with one technical foul going to Pumaren, while La Salle were reprimanded 12 times.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLa Salle also had 39 free throws, making 26, while the Soaring Falcons attempted just five and made two of those charities.“It’s so frustrating… we worked hard for this, we prepared for it,” said Pumaren. “I don’t think I was outcoached, I don’t think we got outplayed. It’s so disappointing.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFranz Pumaren wasn’t about to sugarcoat things when his Adamson University lost to De La Salle, 82-75, in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament.Pumaren said the officiating in the game “was the worst” he had experienced in all the 19 years he has coached basketball.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games
Originally published Mar 10, 2011 2:40:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 LinkedIn Today You should have LinkedIn share buttons on all your content. Recently, LinkedIn launched a new sharing button that tracks the number of shares much like the buttons from Twitter and Facebook. (There’s one on this article, give it a quick click!) Very soon after this new button launched, we added it as an option to the blogs of all 4,000 HubSpot customers – no software to install, it just shows up. ( Topics: What do you think about LinkedIn today? What other tips would you have for marketers? Leave a comment and let’s discuss. . Other ways include making regular status updates, and answering questions posted on LinkedIn Answers. (Check out the news article featured in the video, look familiar?) Now that your news and blog posts can spread more virally on LinkedIn, there is even more reason to be active in this business community. If you have more friends and build better relationships with them on LinkedIn, then it is more likely your content will get more shares and be featured on LinkedIn today. One way to be active is to join groups and post messages there, like our Today LinkedIn launched a new news aggregation and curation service called What does the launch of LinkedIn Today mean for marketers? Inbound Marketers LinkedIn Group You should be publishing not advertising. . Here is a short video from the company explaining what it is. You should be active on LinkedIn. Many other websites automatically curate news based on what your friends have liked, shared or voted such as Reddit, Digg, Facebook and tons more. So the story here is not the technology, but the fact that this type of service is now available on LinkedIn, making it extremely relevant for B2B marketers. LinkedIn Marketing LinkedIn today is yet another service that gives inbound marketers an advantage. Rather than buying ads people ignore, you want to be the content that is showing up on the homepage and being promoted by LinkedIn members. The best way to do this is to start a blog and be your own publisher. In fact, I’m hoping that this article gets featured on LinkedIn today because all of you share it on LinkedIn. ). If you are not using HubSpot for marketing, you’ll have to figure out how to add the new button to your blog, maybe contact a web developer, etc. Either way, you need to do it! Having these buttons on your content makes it much more likely your website visitors will share the content with their networks and your company will get more attention on LinkedIn. Note to customers: There is a checkbox in blog options to turn it on or off, very easy – if you have any trouble, just call support at 888-HubSpot LinkedIn is a huge social network, has a strong following and usage among b2b companies and is the largest business / career focused community in the world. If you sell to other businesses, or even to individual business people, you need to know what you should do to get the most out of LinkedIn Today. Here are some of the key tips for marketers: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Your fan community can be a valuable resource when conducting research. Use surveys to collect information about your fan base. Trying to determine what kind of content is most valuable to them? Want some Facebook Fan Page lack luster is not only good for building stronger evangalists, but more enagement actually means more traffic back to your website. Facebook uses an algorithm call Once you get your fans buzzing, don’t just sit back and watch. Get involved! Join their conversations, thank them for their contributions, and continue to nurture the discussions happening on your Page. You shouldn’t be a silent facilitator. You should be an active member of your Page, too! Use Facebook’s discussions feature to spark conversation or debate on a certain topic related to your business. Invite fans to share their opinions on a hot-button industry issue. You might end up learning something new about your fan base, or it might even spark an idea for a blog post or an ebook. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack EdgeRank ? You might be attracting new fans to your business Page, but if they’re not actually engaging with you, you’re missing out on an important opportunity. Facebook fans can serve as fans who will be more likely to share your content and spread positive messages about your company and its products/services. First thing’s first. Are you at least giving your fans the opportunity to engage? Whether you initially turned off this functionality intentionally or not, it’s important to enable comments on your Wall. Within your Page’s settings under “Manage Permissions,” make sure your Page’s posting ability is set to allow users to write or post content to your Page’s Wall. You might just find that the reason your fans weren’t engaging in the first place is because you simply weren’t letting them! , and by ‘liking’ your Page in the first place, they’ve already indicated a level of interest in what you have to offer. ? What things have you tried, and how have they worked? So how do you activate your fans to be more engaging? A great way to encourage engagement on your Page is by posing questions to your fan community. Ask them for advice on certain topics; ask them to share their favorite blog article on a given topic; ask them for their opinions on industry news and announcements. The possibilities are endless, and questions are sure to get your fans talking. 6. Participate! Here are 6 tips to help you instantly improve fan engagement on your business Page: If a 5. Start Discussions In what other ways can you improve engagement on your Facebook fan page powerful brand evangelists for your business , they likely follow your business and already know a bit about you. This also means they probably have some opinions to share with you. Request their feedback! Ask them to share their thoughts on a new product, service, or feature you’ve launched. Motivate them to tell you how you can make their experience on your Page even better. Then listen to what they have to say, thank them for their feedback, and seriously consider implementing it. This will make them feel like a valued member of your community and emphasize that your company thinks their feedback is respected and appreciated (because it is!). ? Want to know which features of your product/service they value the most? Create a quick poll using Facebook’s question feature and post it to your Wall. bigger 1. Enable Comments Topics: ideas for your next blog article 2. Ask Questions 4. Conduct Surveys super to determine what stories show of in a users newsfeed. The more a person enages with your Page the higher the likelihood that those actions will appear to their friends driving more likes and website traffic. Nurturing these current fans into even Does your Facebook Page enagement 3. Request Feedback Originally published Jun 30, 2011 2:13:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 fans will ultimately reward you with a larger following of Social Media Engagement Facebook user is a fan of your Page
And voila! No more sucky charts. Topics: Originally published Sep 30, 2011 9:00:00 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 MAKE MEANING! SMALL TASTY BITES! Excel Raise your hand if you love data.Now raise your hand if data presented like this makes you want to stick a fork in your eye:It’s colorful. It’s brimming with data. But HOLY HORSESHOE is it confusing!Having data is awesome. Using it to persuade others is powerful. Presenting it in a way that inspires eye-forking is criminal.Here are three simple design tips to help you make sexier, simpler charts that are sure to elicit applause and approval, not violence.TIP #1: Make friends with white space.Tempting as it is to fill your chart with every possible data point, detail, and label, there’s an extremely good reason to fight this urge: The human brain uses contrast to distinguish objects from one another. White space is one of the easiest, most elegant design tools that creates this contrast and increases the likelihood that your audience will grasp the point you’re trying to make.Compare this version of a basic bar chart with the one below it.CHART #1:CHART #2:By removing the grid lines and tick marks along both axes, as well as the value labels along the vertical axis, and deleting superfluous content from the bottom left corner, we’ve made it much easier to glance at this chart and see that more blogging results in a lot more leads.Which is a perfect segue into the next tip…TIP #2: Don’t just share data. MAKE MEANING!It’s common practice for charts to be labeled with a sentence that simply describes what data is being presented. In the example above, the title clearly states that what we’re looking at: The Impact of Blog Size on Monthly Leads.Fine, right?Wrong. To maximize the impact of your charts and graphs, don’t just state the obvious, explain why it matters. What’s the core point you’re trying to make? Is it that 52 or more blog articles per month yields an average of 23 leads?So? What action do you want your audience to take as a result of seeing this data?Blog more?So tell them that! Better yet, use a touch of color to draw their eye to the specific data element(s) that drive your point home.Now isn’t that better?Last but certainly not least, design tip #3…TIP #3: Serve bite-size pieces.Nobody likes biting off more than they can chew. Well, except for maybe this guy.Most of us, however, prefer tasty bite size morsels that we can savor and enjoy without unhinging our jaws.So instead of something like this:…consider chunking up the data into smaller pieces that are more easily digestible (and more effective at conveying your core message)……like so:Better, right?To summarize:MORE WHITE SPACE!
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Well, here’s the thing: your customers probably are on social media. Can any B2B company make the case that its target audience isn’t on LinkedIn? Are there B2C companies without potential customers on Facebook? I guess it’s possible , but it certainly won’t stay that way for long. 79% of US adults use social media (if you were tuning into our webinar with Facebook today, you would have heard that very stat)! And eMarketer predicts there will be 1.43 billion worldwide social media users in 2012 . Wow.But this blog post isn’t an attempt to convince you that your future customers are using social media. It’s an attempt to convince you that there are many other reasons why social media is a crucial component of a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy — and they have nothing to do with “engaging” with your target audience.So let’s pretend that your customers aren’t on social media, or that you work for someone who thinks they aren’t and, as such, doesn’t see the point in investing in a social media marketing program . We all know how hard it is to convince non-believers of the importance of social media, so this post will serve as your guide for having that conversation. Here’s how you can make the case for social media marketing to your boss — even if he or she doesn’t believe your target audience is using social media! 1) Social Media Activity Impacts Your Organic Search Presence If you’re investing in content creation, it would be a shame not to get it any visibility in organic search. Social media plays a bigger role in the visibility of web pages in search engines every day. In fact, Google even started to incorporate Google+ status updates into its search engine results; we’ve even written an entire blog post about how to use Google+ to gain better visibility in search engines !Turns out, search engines take cues from social media activities — like when someone shares content from your website on Twitter, for example — to determine the relevancy and authority of your site. So the more people that “vote” for your content on social media, the better your search engine visibility becomes. Give them the chance to vote for it by publishing blog posts, ebooks, buying guides, case studies, testimonials, and other interesting content to your social media accounts, and reap the benefits of better search engine rankings as a result. 2) You’ll Have More Control Over Your Online Image Speaking of search engine rankings, maintaining an active social media presence for your brand lets you dominate the SERPs in another way, and to meet another end — a better reputation (or at least the appearance of one). Let’s say someone hears about your company and is curious about who you are; what you’re like; and whether you’re generally “good people.” If someone conducted a Google search on you right now, what would come up? Here’s what comes up for HubSpot , for example: Originally published Apr 26, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Notice all those orange call-outs? Those are some of HubSpot’s social media accounts, and they appear in the top 10 results for a HubSpot query. That’s because these sites have a lot of clout with search engines, and the results are typically relevant for someone trying to learn more about a company or brand name. That also means, however, that a big review site like Yelp! (have you ever performed a search for a restaurant, for example?) is very likely to come up as another relevant, high authority site. In fact, Socialnomics reports that 25% of big brands’ search results return content from things like review sites and blogs. Wouldn’t you rather leverage the power of big social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc. that you manage over third-party review sites over which you have little control? Plus, the appearance of your social media accounts will only give interested searchers access to more of your great content! 3) User-Generated Content is More Critical Than Ever Before Which brings us to user-generated content. According to eMarketer, 65% of users ages 18-24 consulted the information they found about brands on social networks when making a purchasing decision , and a whopping 2/3 of consumers use search engines when researching a purchasing decision according to eConsultancy. Sounds like there’s a good chance your audience is part of one of those groups. Social media is a great way to get that user-generated content you need out on social networks and in search engines to an audience who clearly cares about it. 4) You’ll Gain Industry Clout Okay, let’s say your customers really aren’t part of the 2/3 of consumers that care about what they read about you in search engines, and they’re not part of the 65% of millennials who care about your social media presence. There are still your colleagues, thought leaders, conference organizers, future employees, potential business partners, journalists, and marketing & PR professionals using social media on a daily basis. These power players expect to not only find you, but also learn from and communicate with you using social media. And frankly, you should expect the same from them!Use social media to make connections that could help your business, learn from people, get selected for speaking opportunities, find sponsors for your events, etc. Your activity in social media will give you the clout and visibility you need to get identified and selected for important opportunities — especially if your competitors haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon yet. 5) Other Companies’ Customers Are on Social Media Speaking of identifying new opportunities … other companies’ customers are on social media. Could any of those business’ product or service offerings overlap with yours? Or perhaps their audience opens up another part of the market you haven’t tapped yet. It would certainly behoove you to get visibility with these companies and their networks on social media. Share their content, build relationships by interacting with them, create great content that speaks to these companies and their audiences — this will get you exposure to a whole new audience that could yield new partnerships, gain you referral business, and open up a new audience to whom you could sell!For example, let’s pretend HubSpot’s audience isn’t on social media (hah). But there are a ton of marketing agencies who have clients who would benefit from some marketing software ! If we are active on social media and engaging with those marketing agencies — sharing their content, publishing content they would like to share with their audience, and having conversations with their fans and followers — we could build a mutually beneficial relationship with the agencies, get more referral business, and tap into a whole new audience at the same time. 6) Social Media Helps Expand Your Overall Reach The agency instance we just described above is also an example of using social media to expand your overall reach . Let’s break down the importance of reach for your business in more detail, though, and explain how social media helps you achieve it.Reach is the concept that all of your fans and followers have their own fans and followers. So if one of your Twitter followers has 100 followers, shares one of your tweets with a link to your blog post in it with her 100 followers, the reach of that tweet and blog post has expanded to those 100 people — many of who don’t know you yet. So even if that one Twitter follower of yours isn’t part of your target audience, there’s a chance one of the 100 people she shared your content with are.There’s another benefit to having wide social media reach. Remember in the beginning of this post when we talked about how important social media was for your organic search presence? That’s exactly why you need a ton of social reach; even if your social media followers never convert into customers , they can still share your content and amplify how many other people see that content — an indicator to search engines that you’re important enough to rank in the top of the SERPs.This is why we at HubSpot encourage employees to be active on social media — it helps us expand our reach! Because we celebrate employees using social media, more of them tweet out our content (like this blog post, for example!) and thousands of people that aren’t HubSpot’s fans and followers yet get access to our content. In this way, every single employee of yours has the potential to bring their own book of business — even if they’re not in sales or marketing. 7) It May Cost Less to Generate Customers on Social Media One way you should be measuring the effectiveness of your marketing is based on the cost to acquire leads and customers, and how much those leads and customer are worth to your business. While this may not be the case for every business, the following scenario is an important one to consider.Let’s say your social media investment only generates 1 new customer per month. Take some time to look at the cost associated with generating that one new customer compared to other marketing channels. Your cost of customer acquisition (COCA) for email marketing , for example, may be much higher than your COCA for social media — email marketing might require expensive software, more staff to manage it, and content creation man hours while your social media marketing program could be executable with no software investment and just a couple dedicated man hours per week.Email marketing may generate more customers than social media marketing; you need to solve for both volume and efficiency, so both would still be crucial components of your marketing strategy. But this is why social media often gets a bad rap. Marketers often focus on fluffy engagement metrics like comments and likes, and neglect to consider the end goal of all of their marketing efforts — customer acquisition. 8) Social Media Amplifies the Effectiveness of Your Other Marketing Efforts Even if you don’t rely on social media solely to generate leads and customers, using it will help your other marketing initiatives be more effective. In fact, social media helps just about everything: organic search, email marketing, blogging, even online and offline events. For example, you can add social sharing buttons to your emails and blog posts to encourage content sharing and expand your reach. Or you could use social media to generate buzz for an in-person event — it’s common for live events (and webinars, too!) to make use of a hashtag to encourage participation and get more people talking about your company and your content.We’ve written an entire post about how to integrate your marketing if you’re interested in learning more about the tactics, but it’s no coincidence that social media makes quite a few appearances on that list. 9) By the Time You’re Ready, It Might Be Too Late Okay, maybe you’re not ready to use social media today. But it would be short-sighted to think your audience will never be on social media (see Sarah Palin’s predicament to the right), or that you won’t want to use it more actively in the future. That’s why it’s a good idea to secure your social media account names now, and have enough activity on those accounts so that emerging businesses with the same name can’t petition the social networks to take over your name. Or worse — claim the name before you had the chance to grab it. 10) Your “Irrelevant” Social Media Audience Could Turn Into Your Target Audience People change, man. The audience you build on social media will go through several career changes, industry shifts, acquire new hobbies, make new friends, change religions or political leanings, have children, get divorced, retire … you get the point.Alternately, you could change. Your business may expand product and service offerings, identify an opportunity in an emerging industry, or maybe you’re just so good at your job that you nurture your social media leads into wanting your product or service.In any event, if even one of these changes takes place, wouldn’t it be great to already have your social media audience built instead of starting from scratch? If baking soda was invented in 2012, Arm & Hammer would be glad to have a social media following beyond just bakers, as people have discovered that it can be used for many other applications — from science experiments, to personal hygiene, to cleaning, and more. Why do you think it’s important to be on social media, regardless of how much of your target audience is? Image credit: Elsie esq. Social Media Marketing Topics:
It may have been a shorter work week than usual, but the inbound marketing news sure didn’t slow down. Between new feature releases on your favorite (or maybe not) social networks, websites still recovering from the recent Google Penguin updates, and the usual thought-provoking inbound marketing content that fills our tweet streams, we have a lot to catch up on. So here’s a distilled version of all that industry awesomeness in case you missed it while trying to squeeze a five-day work week into four ;-)Recovering From an Over Optimization Penalty From SEOmozFirst, let’s visit Nick Eubanks at SEOmoz to learn more about the recent Penguin algorithm update from Google — if you haven’t read it yet, you can get a quick recap here. This post is useful because it gives us a step-by-step walkthrough of how an actual company who was dinged in the SERPs by the Penguin update recovered its listing positions. So if you or one of your clients is struggling with this problem right now, this post will give you insight into how you can begin to repair your organic search presence.Why Enterprise SEO Shouldn’t Focus Solely on Keywords From Search Engine LandContinuing on the SEO train, this blog post by Ian Lurie gives us insight into an oft-overlooked topic — how enterprise organizations should approach SEO. Because it’s different than the approach many SMBs should take, and one critical difference is that there really shouldn’t be an incessant focus on keyword optimization. Plus, it opens with a joke — might as well have a chuckle while you read about site crawls.Facebook and Google+ Feature ChangesMan alive there was a lot of inbound marketing news this week. First, Facebook announced the launch of Promoted Posts that lets us extend the reach of our page content. Then, Google+ rocked our worlds with the death of Google Places, which was officially replaced with Google+ Local. That’s right, local businesses, now you have to use Google+! Muahaha. Finally, Facebook came back again to make our lives easier by allowing us to schedule our posts for the future, and letting us assign page admins to certain roles that limit (or increase) their ability to make changes to our brand’s social presence.Is Pinterest Really Leading to Product Purchases? From eMarketerThere’s been a ton of hoopla around Pinterest as of late, but does it actually lead to product purchases? eMarketer just released some data to let us know! Juicy data? You sure know how to make a marketer swoon, eMarketer.10 Reasons to Develop for Android First From Marketing PilgrimFinally, Craig Palli at Fisku helped add fuel to the Android vs. iOS fire with this post that asserts those developing (or thinking about developing) a mobile app should first develop for Android, not iOS. Sneak peak: the Android market’s bigger, and there are fewer privacy constraints. You’ll have to keep reading for the other 8 reasons!What other good inbound marketing content did you find circling the web this past week?Image credit: NS Newsflash Technical SEO Topics: Originally published Jun 3, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 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 11, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Buyer’s Journey 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: Just because we’re marketing things doesn’t mean we really know the science behind what makes people buy. But marketing without that information is like walking outside with a blindfold on — it’s going to be very hard to end up at your destination without a scratch. To catch up on the latest and greatest research about online buyer behavior, keep on reading. Below, we’ll cover eight data sets on buyer behavior, their key findings, and the lessons you should take away from each piece of research. Take the ones that apply most to your business and then use them make smarter marketer decisions, like building or tweaking data-driven buyer personas, designing a new experiment for your website, or maybe even making the case to your boss to hire someone new. So let’s dive right in.1) “The New Normal of Consumer Behavior and How to Respond”This study, carried out by Quirk’s Marketing Research Media, interviewed nearly 2,000 U.S. buyers in 2014 in an attempt to understand how consumer attitudes and behaviors have changed after the Great Recession.Key FindingsConsumer debt is at its lowest point since 2006, indicating that buyers are prioritizing thoughtful purchases over conspicuous consumption.79% of survey respondents report at least sometimes checking reviews before making an online purchase.Consumer rank “a person like yourself” as a highly credible source of information, indicating a shift of trust towards individuals and away from institutions.TakeawayEncouraging satisfied customers continues to be an important priority for businesses, but this data reveals more than that — sellers should look for other opportunities to empower their buyers. Allowing buyers to control the number of options available for consideration, provide feedback during all stages of the buying process, and see how other customers have used your product can all help mitigate their distrust of larger institutions.2) “It’s All About the Images”MDG Advertising developed this compelling infographic, which drew data from the National Retail Federation, BrightLocal, PR Newswire, Skyword, Web Liquid, Alexa, and The New York Times, in order to highlight how important images can be in the buying process.Key Findings67% of consumers say that the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product (compared to 54% who feel the same way about long product descriptions and 53% who give ratings and reviews the same credence).Content featuring compelling images averages 94% more total views than content without images.TakeawayThis one’s pretty straightforward. If you don’t have good images on your website and product pages, add them now. And if you have images on your site, but they aren’t high quality, upgrade them now to appeal to today’s internet buyers.3) “Why Customers Shop Online”In this study, Shopper Approved set out to understand why consumers purchase online, rather than through brick and mortar stores. Their survey included 25,660 individuals who were asked “What key factor influenced you to buy online instead of locally?” immediately after they purchased from 207 online retailers in a variety of industries. Key FindingsThe following factors came out tops in terms of encouraging online purchases:25.4% said larger selection25% said better pricing24.7% said more convenient 7.2% said time savings 3.6% said easy to compare 3.3% said no sales taxTakeawayIf you’re an online business, you have an advantage over traditional retailers in that you aren’t limited to the amount of shelf space available when considering which items to stock. Adding selection, therefore, may help you appeal to online buyers, as can keeping your prices below traditional competitors and streamlining your purchase process to create a convenient experience for shoppers.4) “The Psychology of Stuff and Things”“Fanboys” — those who will purchase any product offered by the companies they follow — are an interesting phenomenon that most businesses should strive to understand, given their implications for brand awareness and future sales. A 2010 study by Kyungmi Kim and Marcia Johnson shows that the strong associations underpinning this “cult-like’ following form at a neural level. Key FindingsBy scanning participants’ brains as they viewed boxes full of items labeled “mine” compared with containers labeled with others’ names, Kim and Johnson were able to identify extra activity in the media prefrontal cortex — the area associated with the way we think about ourselves — when the owned items were viewed.TakeawayMany consumers subconsciously view the brands they associate with as being signals of their membership in certain groups (see fanatical Apple buyers and the video game console wars as evidence of how owned items can be used to convey certain personality traits). If you want your customers to identify as strongly with your products as they do with these notable brands, look for ways to encourage buyers to claim ownership of their purchases.5) “Take Advantage of Positive Email Attitudes”Interesting research by Forrester Research demonstrates that consumer attitudes towards email marketing are becoming less negative — good news for marketers that rely on this powerful channel. This trend comes from a survey of 33,546 U.S. online adults and is based on the following data points.Key Findings42% of U.S. online adults delete most email advertising without reading it, down from 44% in 2012 and 59% in 2010.3 in 10 respondents agree that they often wonder how the companies sending them messages got their contact information.The percentage of respondents agreeing that most email ads don’t offer anything of interest fell from 41% in 2012 to 38% in 2014.TakeawayConsumers seem to be feeling better about email promotions, but there are still some weak spots. As a result, it is important for marketers to balance promotions with other more engaging messages.6) “How Consumers Form Their Impressions of Companies”A recent study by Vanessa DiMauro and Don Bulmer in conjunction with The Society For New Communications Research indicates that the quality of a company’s products is the most important factor contributing to consumers’ perception of the company. To reach this conclusion, DiMauro and Bulmer presented survey participants with a list of several different factors and asked them to rate their importance in forming their impression of a company.Key FindingsThe following percentages represent the number of participants giving “very important” responses to the prompt above:Product quality – 80%Cost of products and services – 55%Company’s customer care program – 37%What trusted contacts say about the company – 34%Customer reviews – 30%Ratings on social media sites – 30%What the media says about the company – 13%What the company says in ads – 10%The company’s social media presence – 7%TakeawayProduct quality is king when it comes to boosting perceptions of your company — and fortunately, that’s one of the few factors in the list above that’s completely under your control. If you’re not sure how to improve your product, the easiest way to start is to ask your customers. Check your reviews for suggested improvements or use social media and other consumer-focused web tools to ask prospective customers directly what changes they’d like to see.7) “What Influences an Online Purchase Decision”Looking at research to determine what causes consumers to buy gives internet retailers the insight needed to improve their offerings and boost sales. Using a collection of studies, online store provider Bigcommerce identified the ten primary factors listed below that contribute to purchase decisions.Key FindingsProduct quality – 56%Free shipping – 49%Easy returns – 35%Customer reviews – 33%Visual search – 30%Great navigation – 26%Checkout ease – 24%Multiple options – 24%Special size – 12%New product – 10%TakeawayAs in the DiMauro and Bulmer study referenced above, product quality comes out on top in Bigcommerce’s infographic. They begin to differ after that, with free shipping and easy returns take an expected second and third (the success of Amazon Prime and Zappos highlight how important these factors are). If you aren’t already offering free shipping, see if a small price increase might cover the cost without affecting sales too significantly. And if there are any resistance points that complicate your returns process, minimize them as much as possible.8) “Consumer Psychology & The Ecommerce Checkout”Online savings code hub vouchercloud compiled the results of a number of studies to create its “Consumer Psychology & The E-Commerce Checkout” infographic. While the entire thing is worth a look, the key findings below should give you a starting point for making meaningful changes to your checkout or conversion process.Key Findings57% of online consumers will abandon a website if they experience more than three seconds of load time. 80% of these could-be customers will never return.Products are assessed and initial purchase judgments are made within 90 seconds.41% of shopping cart abandonments occur because consumers encounter hidden charges at checkout.53% of consumers say that low-cost shipping is a sufficient reason to change online retailers.Takeaway LessonsThe statistics showcased in vouchercloud’s infographic make one thing clear: Anything that adds resistance to your checkout process reduces your sales. When it comes to boosting online sales, consumers look for streamlined experiences that give them the best possible deals with the smallest amount of hassle. To see how your checkout process stacks up, go through each of your competitors’ shopping carts and try to make a purchase. Anything that makes your own system more complicated than theirs should be revised.Were you surprised by any of these findings? If so, share your reactions — as well as how you plan to apply these lessons to your business — in the comments below.
Originally published Apr 11, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 If I had a nickel for every hour I wasted trying to figure something out in Excel, I’d have quite the coin collection. Don’t get me wrong: Excel is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to collecting and analyzing data. But unless you’re a power user, it can be tricky to get the hang of it. If you’re not well versed in the tool’s functionality, even little things like resizing columns and inserting comments can cause you to have to stop and think. Download our free guide to Excel here to learn the essential skills you should know.Luckily, the folks at Best STL put together the following infographic on time-saving Excel shortcuts. While the shortcuts are pretty basic, they’re guaranteed to simplify the way you navigate the tool. Check ’em out below. 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 Excel
For a three-person digital marketing team like ours, the prospect of having a big ad budget seemed like a distant dream. So when we were suddenly given $100K to spend on Facebook ads, we were positively giddy.And unbelievably nervous.As a lean SaaS startup, we have to be very wise with our marketing investments. Couple that with our low cost-per-sale ($24/monthly for our starter plan), and you can see that being cost-effective while still spending on ads is a challenge.In May of 2016, we had the honor of working with Facebook Canada. We received a small grant to kickstart our advertising initiatives, and had the opportunity to spend two full days with one of their ad reps.Other than working with the Facebook team, we are completely in-house. On one hand this was an advantage — since we could make changes to the program in seconds rather than days — on the other hand, we were on our own for creative, landing pages, and analytics.We ran an early prototype campaign with some decent success. In fact, it performed in the same neighbourhood as our other digital advertising initiatives. Cool beans.But that was just the start. We’d tasted success, and knew that we were only scratching the surface. So, naturally, we made a pitch to our company’s executive team to increase our digital marketing budget so we could prove that Facebook was a viable avenue for growth. Our commitment to the business: generate trials at a cost-effective rate of $50/trial.Our pitch was a success, and we found ourselves with a considerable ad budget. Now it was real — it was time to build out an end-to-end Facebook Ads strategy.Admittedly, we were quite nervous. Our credibility was on the line.Here’s what we ended up learning from that process, wrinkles and all. Read on to the end to see our results.Lesson 1: Fully commit resources or your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) will rise swiftly.We received our first lesson early on. We had become complacent with the success of our ad creative in May 2016, and tried to replicate that again. Using the same ad creative from AdWords, we launched on Facebook Ads. Initially, it worked. We generated trials at an acceptable rate.But we mistakenly saw this initial success as a sign that we could set it and forget it. We went back to focusing on our other digital marketing strategies, like creating organic content, while our CPAs gradually rose.Facebook CPAs have a nasty habit of rising suddenly — I mean, literally blowing up overnight. One morning, we logged into our marketing dashboard and saw that we were generating trials at twice our target CPA of $50/trial. This was crazy business, and we needed to act fast.Fixing this problem took a lot of time and resources, and a few calls with our dedicated Facebook Ads guru (shout-out to the brilliant Mike Empey). The problem was Ad Frequency. What happened was that our Facebook ad frequency had risen so high that our addressable market was seeing ads 3-5 times a day. Ugh. So of course CPAs rose accordingly — we were irritating people to no end.We resolved to take two actions: first, we swapped in new creative. In fact, we created 5 new ads to push into market. This had an immediate impact, and gave us a deep understanding of how detrimental ad fatigue can be.Second, and more importantly, we committed to a new process for our creative. We call it “the conveyor belt.” Here’s how it works:Week 1: Design and launch new ad creative in 1-3 ad sets. Test and analyze results.Week 2: Push all variations to all ad sets. Turn off old ads. Analyze initial results.Week 3: Pick winning variations from ad sets. Analyze and deconstruct results.Week 4: Assess week 1-3 learnings. Apply those learning to new ad creative. The side benefit of this process is that we’ve tested so many ad variants that we now have a repository of “winning variants” that we can quickly call out of retirement if our CPAs rise.Lesson 2: Segment your audiences to effectively manage ad set CPAs.Initially, I think we underestimated the amount of ad sets we’d need to manage. Looking back, I cringe to think we only launched our prospecting campaign with three ad sets: USA, Canada, and Europe (today we manage between 50 and 70 ad sets, depending on ad performance).We weren’t even going beyond some basic audience targeting.No age specification. No regional targeting. No device targeting. Just a giant ad campaign.We were confident in our ad creative and landing page conversion rates, but forgot the importance of audience profiling. It’s no wonder that our results were really hard to interpret. I remember naively saying to Valerie Hamilton, our digital marketing specialist, “Europe is performing well today. What’s the story?”We didn’t know. Were women converting better than men? Was a certain age bracket doing better than another one? We had no clue.And at this point our CPAs were still floating about 25% higher than our target. It would have been a dramatic understatement to say we had some optimization work to do.We started to analyze our lead generation activities across demographic lines. We used a combination of Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Salesforce data. What we found out was that we did remarkably better with people aged between 24-45. This totally makes sense, too.Folks older than 45 are typically in a more senior role, and rarely the ones actually building or trialing our product. Instead, they are often the ones marshaling their team to demo our software.Our first action was to split out this age range and only focus on where we saw the most success. By cutting more expensive CPA audiences, we were able to reduce our CPA.Since then, we’ve adjusted our messaging to the >45 crowd by including more language about “their team” and “data transparency.” We’ve also focused a lot more of our ad buys on video assets instead of advertising our free trial.It’s worth mentioning that we had good reasons for avoiding audience segmentation. First, we didn’t have the capacity to manage dozens of ad sets. Second, we wanted to keep our addressable market as large as possible and let our learnings help us figure out where to whittle down.Lesson 3: Geographic bidding makes sense when you know regional lifetime values (LTVs).The other side of the demographic coin for us was splitting out geographies. Treating Europe as a homogeneous advertising market just didn’t make sense for our business at the time (see Lesson 8, where we experimented with world-wide delivery).While our European campaign was performing well enough, it was clear that we were missing an opportunity. For instance, we knew that leads from specific geographies often convert to customers at a much higher rate, and that their LTV was much higher on average.In broad outreach campaigns, for example, we saw that we were attracting a high number of leads at $15/trial from Greece and Hungary. But while we have great customers in that part of the world, we’ve run a number of internal reports that show paid leads from that region convert at a much lower rate.Despite paying such a low CPA, these leads were not converting and we were paying far too much for them. Internal reports (plus complaints from our sales team) had us digging deep into the data.This is when the lesson clicked for us; we realized it was okay to spend a lot more on leads from, say, the Netherlands, because their LTV and conversion rates were much, much higher.By splitting out different geographies, we enhanced our ability to match CPA targets to an appropriate LTV.Lesson 4: Matching ad creative and landing pages.This is textbook digital marketing, true. But it was a challenge for our scrappy digital marketing team to prioritize this while managing a $100K budget and driving all the day-to-day campaigns required for a fast-growing startup.Plus, we could rationalize pushing this aside because our landing page was performing reasonably well.But when you’re spending $100K and your CPAs continue to fluctuate, every conversion opportunity is magnified ten-fold.With our small team and only one dedicated designer, we needed to call in the big guns. We went with Unbounce, and it’s had a measureable impact on our landing page conversion rates, helping us grab an 18% conversion rate for Facebook Ads leads. As we design ad creative, we create its sister landing page. From there, we can make tweaks to the page to improve conversion rates. Little things like form position, who we featured in our testimonials, and even which button colours we chose amounted to some big improvements.Lesson 5: The one-two punch of video advertisement.We’ve always been huge users of video to demo the product and create awareness. We’ve created explainer videos that talk about our primary unique selling proposition and give a glimpse into the product, and these videos have been quite successful in garnering views, holding attention spans, and increasing conversions.As we launched on Facebook, we put ad dollars behind one particular video. Again, good success, but we felt like we could do better. This decision was more on gut feel (it still counts!) that video had a big role to play. I mean, just scroll through your Facebook feed right now. The challenge for us was that we’d committed to the business that we’d generate trials at or below our target CPA for that entire $100K. Video doesn’t have that wonderful direct line to trial that a prospecting campaign does. So, we took a chance, and our product marketing manager, Chris Wolski, called up an Ottawa video production company we now affectionately call “The Rascals.”We created a fun, 35-second explainer video that we thought would play well on Facebook and Instagram. The fact is that we generated a hundred thousand views before we could blink.How? People were actually sharing the video with friends and family, even tagging others in the comments section. We noticed lively conversations taking place directly on the posts themselves, as if the videos weren’t advertisements at all. Here’s that video:Facebook makes it easy to create remarketing programs by creating lists of users that engage with your video. We set up a list for anyone that watched more than 10 seconds of the video. This was a new cost-effective avenue for generating leads well within our target CPA. Video remarketing leads typically come in at about $30/trial, including the initial video buy.More importantly, it expanded our reach on Facebook and Instagram exponentially. And we’ve seen traffic to our site go up as a direct result of these ads.Lesson 6: Create video specifically for Facebook Ads.When we launched on video, we didn’t really know what to expect. Lots of views? Engagement? Shares?As a metrics-obsessed company, we knew we needed to establish a KPI. After doing some research and chatting with peers and the account team at Facebook, we decided on Cost-Per-10-second view.We chose this KPI to help us drive better video engagement and brand recognition. If someone was interested enough to pass over cat videos and baby pictures to watch 10 seconds of our B2B software video, then we were doing something right.This KPI has fed directly into our production process, too. We’ve worked with The Rascals to ensure that each video includes text to account for the fact that Facebook’s default setting is to mute video. We’ve also added captions to the mix because videos on Facebook autoplay with the sound off; a whopping 85% of Facebook videos are played with no sound. We would have had disastrous results if we’d relied entirely on the audio within the video to tell our story.The overall result has been slashing our Cost-Per-10-second view by 50%. This is huge because it means for the same dollar of spend, we’re effectively doubling our reach. And you can bet this metric is front and center on our internal social media dashboards.Lesson 7: Ask for advice and trade ideas.I could rant for days about how much we learned from Facebook— they were truly fantastic, and the attention we received ensured we’d be successful. That said, there are no special or secret tricks. You can find everything through a Google search for “Facebook Ads Tips.”Putting all those tips and best practices together into a single campaign, however, is where the real challenge lies.Throughout the process we sought advice from those who’ve been there before us, who have been learning from others years before we even thought of going this route. It probably comes as no surprise that our team now pays close attention to what other advertisers do on Facebook. In particular, I think Shopify is a leader in this respect. They do a great job of integrating video.We’ve also struck up a friendship with the team over at PageCloud , and have enjoyed freely sharing ideas. Many of those conversations have spawned new ad campaigns and experiments. Which leads me to …Lesson 8: Boldly experiment.We allocated a percentage of our budget towards experimentation. When we heard about a new product from Facebook called World-Wide Delivery (WWD) we sort of rolled our eyes and remembered what we had learned about geographic bidding from Lesson 3.But our friend Mike Empey at Facebook persuaded us to give it a try. So we did. What did we have to lose?The experiment was a huge success and with just a small percentage of our daily budget we were able to practically double lead volume. In fact, this contributed to us setting daily trial record numbers for 3 days in a row.When the dust had settled, we analyzed the lead quality, made adjustments to our copy and landing pages, and added WWD campaigns to our arsenal of ads.Lesson 9: Advertising is still top of the funnel.Asking someone to start a trial of your software is a lot like calling a friend and asking them to catch up with you over coffee in an hour. The message is out of the blue and entails a time commitment. No matter what their interest level is, they simply may not be able to do it right then.As we stressed about hitting our trial CPA numbers, we started to lose sight of what we were really trying to do, which was raise awareness and leave our audience with positive first impressions.In chasing those numbers, we ended up making a series of small decisions that led to us making a big mistake: we’d cut so much content from our landing page that it had basically become just an image with a signup form.Sure, that page converted well. But it also pissed people off. Some people were getting so upset that they were commenting on the ads themselves.At this point, we’d driven down CPAs to about $10 under our target CPA. Our hands were sore from the amount of high-fives we’d collected and shoulders we’d patted. But in that process we committed an egregious error: we forgot about the customer.We were so caught up in the metrics that we forgot that leads are people.So, we did the only reasonable thing. We added essential content back into our landing pages (including video content from Vidyard into every landing page), and worked on optimizing that content so the customer could wring as much value from it as possible.Of course, CPAs rose. But our ad relevance and positive scores rose along with it.That was the kind of customer-centric tradeoff we were willing to take.Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: a version of this post first appeared on Inbound.org, HubSpot’s community for inbound marketers. Topics: Social Media Originally published Jun 22, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated October 29 2019 Don’t forget to share this post!