OAKLAND – The Warriors wrapped up practice Tuesday afternoon.Here are the biggest takeaways from the session.Draymond Green (sore left knee) will not play in Wednesday’s preseason game against the Lakers in Las Vegas.While Green has returned to practice this week, Warriors coach Steve Kerr is taking a conservative approach with the three-time all-star’s return. “We’re going to be cautious,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s still improving but we feel more comfortable giving …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) is once again partnering with Ohio Ag Equipment to offer new OSA members the chance to win 50 hours on an MT600 Series Challenger tractor. Kevin Kruger of Allen County won the contest in 2014 and received 50 hours with a Challenger tractor.What do you have to do to win? Sign up at www.soyohio.org/membership as a first time member by December 10th, 2015.“The work that the Ohio Soybean Association does on behalf of Ohio soybean farmers is not possible without our members,” said Adam Graham, OSA president and Logan County soybean farmer. “It is vital that soybean farmers’ interests are represented at both the state and national level to promote effective policies. We ask that you help us continue that work by joining our organization as a new member and ensure your voice is heard.”In addition to OSA’s partnership with Ohio Ag Equipment for new members, OSA offers a variety of membership incentives. These incentives include the Seed Incentive Program, biodiesel rebates, discounts at participating companies and subscriptions to Ohio agriculture publications. All OSA members also become members of the American Soybean Association automatically and receive those additional benefits.“We are excited to extend our partnership with the Ohio Soybean Association for another year of membership promotion,” said Mike Mampieri, Sales Manager for Ohio Ag Equipment. “We are confident in OSA’s dedication to Ohio soybean farmers just as we are confident the Challenger tractor’s productivity and reliability will allow these farmers to focus on yield improvements and not equipment headaches.”To learn more about OSA membership and to sign up, visit www.soyohio.org/membership today.
Originally published Feb 4, 2016 5:23:00 PM, updated August 02 2017 Topics: Facebook Marketing Data
Google Ads 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 This past February, Google AdWords released new Enhanced Campaigns in a bid to dramatically simplify the work needed to build, manage, and measure the impact of mobile search advertising campaigns. And on July 22nd, all AdWords accounts will be upgraded to reflect these new formats. Are you ready?If you’re on the “no” end of the spectrum, I’m going explain everything you need to know to get started with Enhanced Campaigns, and how to actually create your own mobile ad campaigns. And if you want even more about how to make paid search work for you — or you’re interested in understanding more of the changes Google has planned — register for our free webinar with HubSpot on June 6th.Understanding User ContextFirst, I need to explain an important mobile search concept known as user context. If you do PPC or SEO, then you already know that search marketing is so powerful because it lets you connect with people who are searching for the keywords that are relevant to your business.What you might not know is that, depending on the time, location and device a keyword search was executed, two users might be looking for completely different things even though they’re searching using the exact same keyword.As an example, consider User A in the figure below. He’s at home, on his laptop, at lunchtime. So when he searches for “pizza,” he’s really looking for lunch specials from pizza places with delivery options.Contrast that with User B, who is on her phone, downtown, in the evening. She’s probably looking for directions to a nearby pizza restaurant that sells pizza by the slice.User context is defined as the time, location and device a search originates from. It matters because understanding user context will help you run more profitable AdWords campaigns. Here’s how:You Can Create Better Ads: By understanding a user’s context, you can better understand a searcher’s needs and then make your ad copy reflect that. Notice how the ad for User B features a click-to-call button and directions to the store since she’s on a mobile phone, whereas the ad for User A calls out lunch specials and delivery options since he’s at home at lunch time.You Can Bid Smarter for Clicks: User context can determine if a searcher is likely to be a good customer or not. For example, if you’re a restaurant, then you’re more likely to value mobile traffic on nights and weekends nearby your location. Whereas a B2B software company might instead value desktop search traffic originating from countries where they do business, during business hours, on weekdays. By being able to segment clicks by user context, you can be pickier and only pay for clicks that are more likely to convert into customers.Now that we know what user context is and why it matters, let’s look at how we can optimize our AdWords campaigns to run more compelling ads and improve ROI.Bidding Options in Enhanced CampaignsUsing AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, you can adjust your bids based on the time, location, and device a search originated from.Here’s what that looks like in AdWords. Just go to your campaign Settings tab and look for the Locations, Schedule, and Devices tabs:Location-Based Bidding OptionsSay your business is based in the U.S., but you sell to both Canada and the U.S. But for whatever reason, suppose that clicks from Canada convert at a lower rate compared to clicks from the U.S. To optimize your bids, you could just apply location-based bidding as shown below, in which I’ve bid less on clicks from Canada by 30%!Using geographic bid manipulation vectors, you can bid more or less on clicks from any location by whatever you want, within a range of +300% to -100%.Or, suppose your restaurant does great with searches executed within a one-mile radius of your restaurant, does okay with clicks within a two-mile radius of the restaurant, and does not-so-great for clicks within a five-mile radius. In this case, you could bid more aggressively for the closer searches (which are more valuable to your business) and less for the clicks from farther away (which are less valuable).Time-Based Bidding OptionsWith enhanced campaigns, it’s super easy to bid more or less based on time of day and day of the week. In the following illustration, look how I’ve bid more on weekday traffic during business hours by 30%, and bid less on weekend traffic by 50% (for example, if the office is closed).Again, you have complete flexibility to choose whatever time bid adjustment factors that makes the most sense for your business.Mobile Device-Based Bidding OptionsEnhanced campaigns make it easy to bid more or less for traffic originating from mobile devices. For example, if your business is one that takes orders over the phone, chances are that mobile searches are worth way more for your business. In the illustration below, you can see how I’ve adjusted mobile bids down by 10%.Smarter, User Context-Aware AdsEnhanced Campaigns offers smarter, user-context aware ads so you can display different ads depending on the context of where the search originated. For example, if you’d like to display a different ad for searches originating from mobile devices, just check the box that reads “Mobile Preferred Ad,” as illustrated here:At this point, it’s worth pointing out that although many of these advertising features were previously available, they were rarely used because they were too hard to implement — you had to create a separate ad campaign for every possible combination of time, location, and device. Also, note that in Enhanced Campaigns, tablet traffic is considered to be desktop traffic, since most tablet searches are replacements for searches that would have otherwise originated from a computer at home.With Enhanced Campaigns, you can be very precise with your ads and bids all within a single ad campaign. The new organization makes a lot of sense for most advertisers and is a much more scalable way to build and manage your PPC campaigns. For more information on user context and Enhanced Campaigns, check out my recent interview with the global head of mobile search ads at Google, and register for our free webinar with HubSpot on June 6. This is a guest post written by Larry Kim. Larry is the founder and CTO of WordStream, provider of the 20 Minute PPC Work Week and the AdWords Grader. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+. Originally published Jun 5, 2013 11:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
PPC Originally published Aug 19, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: In PPC, there are lots of metrics to track, so it can quickly get confusing and then overwhelming. Marketers often ask me, “What’s the one metric I should optimize for? I just want to know the top one or two levers I can pull to make a difference!”In my experience, looking at thousands of Google AdWords accounts and billions in combined spend, there are two metrics that correlate most strongly with success:Account Activity: You get out what you put in. This isn’t too shocking; advertisers who do more work on their accounts get better results.Quality Score: Higher Quality Scores generally lead to lower costs, so optimizing for Quality Score is essentially the same as optimizing for ROI.Why You Should Spend Time Optimizing for Quality Score Since Quality Score is really a measure of relevance, it’s a powerful predictor of your success. And it makes total sense — Google’s main goal is to keep users happy so they keep using Google, and keep clicking results. More relevant ads, campaigns, and landing pages get more clicks; that raises your Quality Scores and — since Quality Score determines both your ad ranking and what you pay per click — everybody wins.So once you’ve committed to spending more time in your account, what should you spend your time on? I recommend that you focus on optimizing your Quality Scores, which is the metric most likely to lead to higher rankings, more clicks and leads, and lower costs for those actions.How much lower? Let’s take a look.New Data Shows AdWords Quality Score Can Save You Up to 50% on PPCIn 2009, Craig Danuloff crunched some numbers to show that a Quality Score of 10 could save you 30% on cost per click, or CPC. (Sadly, I can’t link to the post because the Click Equations blog now redirects to Acquisio.) But that was over four years ago, and I was curious to see if the data had changed.To investigate, I did a manual analysis of several hundred new clients that WordStream signed up in the first two months of 2013. What I found is that average impression-weighted Quality Scores have fallen in the past four years. In 2009, a Quality Score of 7 (out of 10) was average. But today’s impression-weighted average Quality Score is just slightly over 5. The distribution looks like this: Therefore, accounts (or campaigns or ad groups) with average volume-weighted keyword Quality Scores better than 5 can be considered better than average, and are thereby benefiting relative to most advertisers. Accounts with average Quality Scores lower than 5 are below average, and those scores are detrimental to your account. I used this data to re-run the calculations and see how much a Quality Score higher than 5 saves you on CPC compared to the average advertiser. Here’s what I found: As you can see from the chart, the savings have increased. Some highlights: A Quality Score of 6 is 200% more valuable than it was four years ago! A Quality Score of 6 was previously below average, and increased your CPC by 16.7%. Now, a Quality Score of 6 decreases your CPC by 16.7%. A Quality Score of 9 is twice as valuable as it was in 2009, saving you 44.4% compared to 22.2%. A Quality Score of 10 now saves you a full 50% on CPC. That means if all your keywords had Quality Scores of 10, you’d only be paying half as much as the average advertiser. Pretty crazy, right? And if you’re thinking, “So what? I don’t care about cost per click, all I really care about is cost per acquisition” — fear not. Quality Score lowers your CPA, too. I did a similar analysis based on CPA and found that high Quality Scores also correlate with lower CPAs:With a Quality Score of 10, you’ll pay 80% less per conversion than an advertiser with an average Quality Score of 5. These savings are mostly driven by lower costs per click. This is why optimizing for Quality Score is such a good use of your time.Benchmarking AdWords Quality Score: What Should You Shoot For? As I mentioned above, average Quality Scores these days hover around a 5. So anything higher than 5 is going to benefit you, relative to the average AdWords advertiser. That means you should shoot for a bare minimum impression-weighted average Quality Score of 6. However, it’s important to note that higher scores save you more. If you want the full 50% savings, you need the gold standard Quality Score of 10.The fastest way to find out your impression-weighted average Quality Score in AdWords is to grade your account using the free AdWords Performance Grader. This tool will do an instant audit of your PPC account across 8 different key performance metrics, including impression-weighted Quality Score. Your report will calculate and display your average Quality Score and plot a distribution of the number of impressions happening at each visible Quality Score for the last 90 days, and compare that to a “Recommended Curve” for your business. Here’s an example of what the Quality Score section of the report looks like:If you don’t like what you see (the example account above is well below average), it’s time to start working on improving your scores. Here are three tactics to try: Use ad extensions. AdWords ad extensions, such as sitelinks, make your ads bigger with more places to click, so they increase CTR at no extra cost.Write better ad text. Test different messaging to find the ad text that speaks to your audience. And use your one allotted exclamation point! Bid on brand terms. Branded keywords tend to have really high clickthrough and conversion rates, so they bring up the average for your whole account. This is a guest post written by Larry Kim. Larry is the founder and CTO of WordStream, provider of the 20 Minute PPC Work Week and the AdWords Grader. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.Image credit: Philip Taylor PT
Originally published Nov 25, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: What’s the difference between a healthy tweet and a sick tweet? Simply put: Healthy tweets live longer. How long, you ask? Well, the jury’s still out on that. Some reports say 48 hours, while others say 18 minutes. Either way, we marketers are always striving for those healthy tweets — ones that reach out to our followers and get them engaged with our brand.But with 9,100 tweets scrolling by every second, we have to do everything we can to get our tweets noticed. There’s a lot of outside factors that influence the lifespan of a tweet — numbers of followers, time of day you’re tweeting, etc. — but to make sure your tweets are as impactful as possible, you have to have a game plan.So, here are five strategies you can employ on Twitter to give your tweets the best chance to be healthy and get noticed by your followers. 1) Optimize your tweets for retweets.One of the best things about marketing on Twitter is that it gives you a built-in mechanism for extending the lifespan of your tweet: the retweet.When someone retweets your tweet, it means they found the content valuable enough to share with their own followers, thus extending the lifetime of your tweet. It’s a great way to pass along content to your followers that you didn’t create yourself or to show support to a fellow business or colleague.Get started by: Checking out the free tool RetweetLab.com. Powered by HubSpot, the tool allows you to analyze any Twitter account to get the data you need to make sure your tweets are retweetable. The tool was created by Dan Zarrella, who wrote The Science of Retweets and has spent years analyzing data to bring us best practices for social media marketing. (One quick tip: Always cap your tweets at around 115 characters for optimal retweet-ability.)2) Schedule your tweets in advance.Twitter is a great platform for on-the-fly updates, but when you’re using Twitter as part of your overall social media strategy, you’ll want to schedule tweets in advance that complement other aspects of your marketing. This will help keep your tweets healthy because you’ll have time to optimize them.That’s not to say you can’t post Twitter updates while at a big conference or event. But what if you’re the sole social media marketer for your company and you’re at the event? It’s good to have a few tweets cued up for backup that still support your other marketing efforts.Get started by: Setting aside 10 minutes a week to schedule tweets in advance. Friday might even be the best day to do this, so you know when you get in to work on Monday, you have your social media content all planned out for the week. This leaves you room to practice newsjacking for anything that’s relevant to your industry or capitalize on a marketing campaign that’s doing really well by adding in a few extra tweets mid-week.(HubSpot customers: We just made a fantastic planning spreadsheet so you can bulk upload tweets with ease.)3) Include a link in all of your organic tweets.Unless you’ve got a Twitter update that shakes the entire world, adding a link to your tweets is great way to keep it healthy. It brings even more content to your tweet while staying within the confines of Twitter’s character limits. It also gives people something valuable to pass on to their followers beyond your commentary on the link. Providing valuable information to your followers is the best way to get noticed.Get started by: Taking a link and coming up with multiple ways to promote it. We recently posted this article and suggest promoting one link in five different ways by using the title of the page, a quote, one takeaway you discovered, one statistic, and a sentence of commentary. Not a bad exercise to do, especially when tweets with links are 86% more likely to be retweeted.4) Get more Twitter followers.There’s no magic number when it comes to Twitter followers. But the more followers you have, the more likely it is that someone will see your update and engage with you. For example, if Justin Bieber were to retweet you, it’s possible your tweets would be seen by millions (maybe even tens of millions). But unless you’re a megastar, you’ll have to settle for getting followers the old-fashioned way.Get started by: Engaging with others in your industry on Twitter. You can search Twitter for relevant hashtags, or industry terms, to help you find other people or companies that are like you. You can even create lists of these folks so you can easily monitor their Twitter updates and see who else they’re engaging with. Connect with them by retweeting them or asking them questions about content they’ve shared. But don’t resort to getting new followers by tricks or bots — that’s just not proper social media etiquette.5) Use a hashtag in your tweets.Hashtags are commonly used in tweets to give those scanning through some quick context about the subject of the update. You may not say the word “social media” in your update, but adding #socialmedia to your tweet will catch the eyes of those interested in the subject. Also, hashtags are a great way to search for tweets – so your tweets should be optimized for search as well.Get started by: Having a handy list of 7-10 hashtags that you can always use in your tweets. Setting up the list early takes the guesswork out when your tweeting on the go or scheduling tweets for the week. You should use these hashtags when sharing your own organic content and especially when you’re curating content to make it easy for your followers to understand the relevance of your retweet.Along with these five strategies to keep your tweet healthy, don’t forget to make sure you’ve put some thought into the copy, too. Crafting your update to include an attention-grabbing title, or colorful commentary, will go a long way in making sure your tweets get noticed by your followers. Be interesting, be authentic, and most importantly, keep the “social” in social media by being human.What other strategies do you have for making sure your tweets last as long as possible? Let us know in the comments!
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
The Internet is an extraordinarily personal medium. People own or use personal devices; rarely is it a shared experience. Occasionally, something unique will come along to revolutionize the way we do things. I first heard of the Serial Podcast from my wife. On our drive from Denver to Dallas to celebrate Christmas, she asked if I’d like to listen to it. We streamed it through our iPad and listened to it together. We discussed each episode, we were both engaged. It was a radio show that we were enjoying together, that we were participating in, that made us think. Every time I drive through west Texas now and see a landmark or town, I’ll think about where I was in each episode as I drove by listening to it.While Serial is both intriguing and popular, it is not a pioneer, in fact many preceded it long ago. Radio shows such as Amos ‘n’ Andy, Lone Ranger and the Nightly News were broadcast long before many of us were born. Those were the grandparents of podcasts and their popularity will likely never be replicated in the modern world.What podcasts lack in popularity, they make up for in variety. Whether you want to be entertained, enlightened or educated there are multiple options to choose from. Below are 11 can’t-miss podcasts, that cover the realm of marketing and beyond.Marketing isn’t just a job, it’s a passion. We don’t wake up in the morning and think about how we have to go to work; we wake up in the middle of the night and think about how we should be working. In a field with so many driven people it’s no wonder that the tools and trends are ever changing. Keep your competitive edge by listening to any of the following podcasts …1) Duct Tape MarketingThis is the perfect podcast for a small business marketer. Large corporations have budgets and teams and resources that a small business owner or marketer can only imagine. This podcast is geared toward giving advice and tips to the small business marketer. There are hundreds of marketing podcasts available, but if you are like most companies and don’t have the resources you’d like, don’t give up, listen to Duct Tape Marketing.2) Social Pros Podcast: Real People Doing Real Work in Social MediaIf you are a digital marketer who does not use social media you might be in the wrong business. Social media is a broad topic that requires strategy, education and training, don’t pretend you know everything. I did that once and learned the hard way that I barely know anything. Thanks to Social Pros Podcast: Real People Doing Real Work in Social Media I get insights into other companies’ strategies and learn about platforms that I never would have imagined could be beneficial to a marketer. 3) Marketing Over CoffeeMarketing is near and dear to most of our hearts. Rather than listening to the same songs you’ve heard over and over again on your way to or from work, why not keep up with the latest trends of marketing? This informative series comes out every Wednesday. The podcast covers both new and classic marketing. It’s geared toward every kind of marketer. The archives are extensive and well worth your time. Of course it’s healthy to have a few diversions. As fulfilling as marketing is, sometimes we all need to clear our head with something fun. The following three podcasts aren’t for everyone, but at least one of them are for most people. Whether you are looking to laugh, get an in depth and humorous view on sports or learn about music from the city synonymous with the word, the following three podcasts are great fun … 4) The Dan Patrick ShowDan Patrick has a dry sense of humor that’s not for everyone, but his sports knowledge is incredible and is second to none. He’s a big name and has the sway to invite big guests to his show. If want to take your sports listening to a deeper level than last night’s scores, Dan Patrick is the quintessential choice.5) A Prairie Home CompanionThe News from Lake Wobegon is the monologue portion of Garrison Keillor’s weekly show. His humor is as dry as they come and the wit is sensational. Follow along closely though or you’ll miss that what’s being said is a joke. Garrison Keillor is a legend in his genre and certainly a podcast worth keeping up with.6) Music That MattersLong before the Seahawks were attempting to win back to back Super Bowls, or even before they were attempting to win back to back games, Seattle was known for its musical talent. Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Alice and Chains and Pearl Jam all got their start in the Emerald City. KEXP from Seattle produces a podcast that features known and soon to be known artists from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Knowledge is power. There’s no more practical or efficient way of gaining power than sitting in traffic on the way home from work. Whether it’s keeping up with currrent trends for clients or keeping up with current events and new ideas the following three podcasts are must listens …7) The Week AheadThe Economist puts out a weekly podcast that projects the week ahead in the news. Rather than the traditional news programs that highlight what’s already happened, The Week Ahead discusses what might be in the news the next week. It broadcasts on Friday evenings. 8) This Week in GoogleA big part of marketing is keeping up with trends for your clients. Outside of being an expert on the internet and social platforms, as my generation intuitively seems to be, I am clueless when it comes to technology. I correlate engineering with college algebra and can’t imagine devoting my education to that, but I’m impressed with people who can. Since Google is a company that I rely on daily and a technology driven company, I depend on their podcast to give me some insights into the tech world. It also covers things that are relevant to me such as, Google Ads, SEO and other Google related insights and offerings.9) NPR: TED Radio HourNPR is perhaps the most respected radio organization in the United States. Any podcast that they produce, which there are many, is worth listening to. TED Radio Hour spotlights an inspiring TED speaker as he or she explains a new innovation or a new way of thinking.TED Talks have quickly become an industry standard that are watched the world over, now you can listen at your convenience.10) New York Times Book ReviewAs marketers our world is oftentimes reading and writing, and all too often about a day later than we should be. When you do have a little spare-time to actually read something for yourself don’t waste your time with bad literature. The New York Times Book Review Podcast will enlighten you about what’s out there. Authors and critics alike guest star on the program to inform and enlighten you.Last, sometimes you just need some good old fashioned fun. Say goodbye to the real world and find yourself enveloped in a plot so imaginative that Alice herself would find curious …11) The TruthFor nostalgia’s sake, let’s start with a blast from the past. The Truth is a retro version of radio dramas from the 1930s and 1940s but with superb production values and themes that align with today’s mature listener. Listen UpSerial is, for now, the king of podcasts. Thanks to its popularity many will try to displace it. As listeners we’re lucky to live in a time with so much variety. While the romantic days of radio broadcasts might be long gone, the grandchildren are moving the tradition forward.These eleven podcasts represent just a handful of the thousands of podcasts available. Find your niche, find some time and tune in for an experience from the past.Looking for more business-related podcasts to listen to? Check out HubSpot’s new podcast called The Growth Show. Originally published Feb 4, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Podcast Suggestions Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Aug 1, 2016 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 There are 15 people on our team at Drift.Like most businesses, we all have different roles and responsibilities — there are frontend engineers, backend engineers, designers, marketers, a product manager, a customer success manager, and a sales rep.And while each one of our roles is very clearly defined, there are two things that we all have in common regardless of what our job descriptions say on paper: we all do sales, and we all do customer support.The Power Of 1:1 Conversations With Prospects And CustomersThis might seem counterintuitive, right? An engineer probably isn’t going to be great at sales and a marketer won’t make the best support rep. But here’s why we do it anyway:In order to really understand what our customers want, we need to hear their pain, see their frustrations, and understand their challenges first-hand.An internal wiki post with notes from a product manager who just spent all week talking to customers is great. But reading that customer feedback can’t compare to having a real-time, 1:1 conversation with someone on our website who can’t figure out our pricing. Or talking to a new customer that’s lost inside of our app — while they’re lost inside of our app.Getting this 1:1 feedback outweighs any lack of sales or support experience that any one of us might have.And because this feedback is so powerful, we don’t want to relegate talking to customers to one person or one department. Talking to customers should be part of everyone’s job today.This is especially important in today’s world. There’s a fundamental shift happening in business right now: helping is the new selling, and customer experience is the new marketing. As a result, whoever understands the customer best will be the one that wins their business and earns their money. At Drift, we call it the customer driven revolution. All of the power in business has shifted into the hands of the buyer.Still not convinced that everyone on your team should have a sales role and a support shift? Here are three reasons why this can have a huge impact on your company’s growth.How All Hands Sales And Support Will Help You Grow FasterIt keeps everyone close to customers. Everyone says they are customer-driven. Everyone knows the importance of talking to customers. But here’s the standard line you hear from most companies when it comes to actually doing it: “I know. I know. I need to make the time to get out there and talk to more customers. I’ve just been so busy.” This will always be the case until you make it part of everyone’s job. When you give everyone on your team a dedicated shift, this guarantees that people are spending time that week talking to customers. We set up a shared Google Calendar and the whole team gets reminders in Slack about their support shift each day to help hold everyone accountable:Problems get solved faster. Problems. Bugs. Unclear copy. Whatever it is, it gets fixed faster when the people with the power to fix those problems are the ones talking to customers. A few months ago, we launched a new integration with Slack on Product Hunt. As a result of being on Product Hunt, hundreds of people signed up within the first few hours. But shortly after launch we kept getting the same question: “Hey, where do I connect Drift to Slack?” Even though we had a step in the onboarding flow to hook up Slack, it wasn’t obvious to most people. One of our UX designers was working her support shift during this launch, and instead of generating a support ticket, creating a new Trello card, or adding something to a future roadmap, she just grabbed one of our engineers and within two minutes, shipped a quick fix — a link to take people directly to Slack. Giving everyone on your team a support shift will help make UX, design, product, messaging, and pricing issues painfully obvious — and that’s a good thing.You create real relationships with people. Putting everyone on the front lines ensures that your team is always having one to one conversations and connecting with people — from people who are thinking about buying from you, to people who are already paying customers, to people who just wanted to write in and say that they enjoyed that blog post you wrote. How You Can Make 1:1 Work For Your CompanyNow that we’ve talked a little about the value of 1:1 conversations, here is the ultimate question: how can you make it work at your company?There’s one question that comes up anytime someone talks about the topic of 1:1 conversations with prospects and customers, and it goes something like this:“I like the idea. And I get the value and the power of having 1:1 conversations, but it doesn’t really scale.”And I totally hear you.Smaller companies or early stage startups like Drift can make 1:1 work because we need to talk to everyone at this stage. But traditionally, 1:1 conversations have been designated for support.Sales and marketing don’t want to waste time dealing with support questions and talking to leads who aren’t qualified. That’s why marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) were created in the first place.But here’s the truth about 1:1 conversations with prospects and customers: this approach doesn’t require as much change as you might think. You don’t have to completely overhaul the way you do sales and marketing today or give everyone a support shift like we do at Drift. Here are a few small changes you can make right now to start having more 1:1 conversations with your prospects and customers.Just ask. This one is the most obvious and the most effective. Sometimes, you just have to ask. One of my favorite examples of “just ask” comes from Groove CEO Alex Turnbull. In 2014, his team started to notice a spike in customer churn, and they weren’t really able to figure out why by just looking at the data. So Alex got right to the point — he sent a personal email to every single customer and asked for 10 minutes of their time to talk. And here’s what happened:As a result, he spent more than 100 hours talking to 500 Groove customers and ended up with feedback that helped him right the ship and fix their churn problem.100 hours to change the course of your business? Seems worth it to me.Now in Alex’s case, he decided to reach out to everyone at once — and that produced hundreds of responses. If you don’t think you’ll be able to block off the time to address that many responses, then it’s easy to approach this differently. You could simply create an on-going campaign that is designed to get customer feedback one by one so you don’t have to find the time to manage it in huge chunks. Sending an email blast to every customer is certainly one way to get feedback, but you can also use your customer data to create relevant segments.And often times, talking to just 15-20 customers will give you the majority of the feedback you need (venture capitalist Jason Lemkin has something called the 20 interview rule that is similar to this). You’ll notice that after you start talking to five, six, seven customers, the same issues keep popping up. Alex chose to talk to everyone because it had been a while since he went in-depth on customer feedback.Switch up your welcome email. While every business might not be having 1:1 conversations with prospects and customers right now, there is one thing I’m confident that everyone business does have: a welcome email. Whether it’s an email that gets triggered after someone signs up for your newsletter, requests a demo, or starts using your product, you’re probably already sending a welcome email. But there’s a huge mistake that most people make with those welcome emails — they don’t send them with a purpose.Too many people treat their welcome email as a throw away, or something that gets written at the last minute as a finishing touch to onboarding. And the reason that’s a huge mistake is because your welcome email is the single most important email that you will send to your customers and subscribers.These people are brand new. They just signed up. This is when they are the most engaged. It’s rare that you’re ever going to get this level of attention and engagement from someone again without putting in a ton of effort, so make sure to write your welcome email with a purpose.Yes, it should be smart, funny, and welcoming – but it should also be designed to get a response. Ask new users why they signed up, what they are looking to accomplish, what they’re struggling with, or what brought them to use your product or service. This is the best opportunity you will have to strike up a conversation with a new customer or subscriber. We recently switched up our welcome email at Drift to this:And the result has been nothing short of game changing: over the course of 12 days after making the change, we received 75 direct replies from real people telling us how they found Drift, why they signed up, and what they’re working on.But does it scale? The truth is, I can’t think of a better way to spend the first hour of every day than having conversations with real people who are interested in our business — and that’s now how I start my day off every single morning.Start showing your face. On our quest to automate everything we can in marketing and sales over the last five years, we’ve started to forget about the most important aspect of doing business in the first place: people. And because the majority of businesses operate this way, there’s a huge opportunity to stand out by showing your prospects and customers that you’re a real person. One of the easiest ways to do this is by giving everyone that comes in touch with your business a way to say hello (think of it like showing your customers that you’re always open for business) — and putting that person’s real face out in public.One of my favorite examples of this is what Jon Westenberg does with the articles he writes on Medium — he shows his face and gives his email address to every single reader:This can also be as simple as showing your face on your website’s live chat. Go to any business’ website, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to chat with them — but are you talking to a real person? Putting your face on live chat is one of the easiest ways to show you’re a real person — and as a result — start having better conversations:You’d be surprised at how many deals you can win and customers you can delight just by saying hello, making small talk, and proving you’re a real person. It works in real life right? So why wouldn’t you take advantage of that for your business on your website.At the end of the day, having more 1:1 conversations starts with a change in philosophy and a commitment to being more human. And from Slack to Trello to Buffer to Shopify, this is something that the best modern businesses all have in common today.And while this change might not happen for you overnight, there are a few small changes that you can make right now to start having more conversations with your customers and people who are interested in your business.If your company can make this work in one form or another — even if it’s only for a few hours a week manning live chat — the impact being this close to your customers can have is one of the best things you can do for your team, regardless of what stage your company is at.This is what we’re focused on at Drift — helping your business have 1:1 conversations with prospects and customers at scale.Learn more about leveraging sales and support tactics from Drift. Don’t forget to share this post! 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Tevin Coleman Hoosiers Trading CardTevin Coleman played three years of football at Indiana, and was one of the top running backs in the Big Ten his last two seasons. He was selected in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons after leaving school with one year of eligibility remaining.Three years was plenty of time for Coleman to establish himself as a star on the gridiron, but apparently not long enough for him to learn to spell IU’s nickname. Trading card company Panini America includes athlete artwork in its packs, and Coleman’s sketch featured a misspelling of the word Hoosiers.Tevin Coleman’s 1 of 1 art card for Panini pic.twitter.com/5bJA1ZrCXj— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 15, 2015Ouch. That’s a pretty bad mistake by Coleman, and kind of odd that Panini didn’t want him to correct it. The IU faithful probably won’t be happy to see this, though we’re sure they’ll still accept Coleman due to the yeoman’s effort he put forth on the field for a sub-par team.