Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee (right) and Meralco’s Cliff Hodge battle for possession in Sunday’s PBA main game at Smart Araneta Coliseum. —AUGUST DELA CRUZMeralco certainly didn’t like the way things ended a year ago after Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee finished their championship series with a game-winning three at the buzzer.Eager to get back at their tormentor, the Bolts downed the Gin Kings, 93-78, on sustained grit and hustle before an unfriendly crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo In a rematch of last year’s finals of the PBA Governors Cup, Allen Durham efficiently worked in the lane and neutralized the damage that Ginebra’s twin towers of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar could possibly inflict as the Bolts again won with authority for the second consecutive game this conference.Last year’s Best Import lit up the stat sheets with 30 points, 24 rebounds and eight assists and got contributions from the energetic crew of Chris Newsome, Jared Dillinger and Cliff Hodge.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe turning point came when the Bolts engineered a huge run in the third quarter, building as many as 19 before settling with a 15-point cushion that they protected until the final buzzer.Brownlee hardly contributed to turn the tide around and obviously wasn’t in his element in the opening match of the Kings, who are bidding for a back-to-back championship in the season-ending conference. Earlier, Star capitalized on Blackwater’s misery and opened their campaign with an emphatic 103-86 win.The Elite couldn’t nail their shots from afar and got roughed up in the lane. Worse, the team’s most consistent performer, import Trevis Simpson, was plagued by an injury at a time they needed him most.Simpson crumpled to the floor with almost a full quarter to go and the Hotshots wasted no time in dealing the lethal blows as center Ian Sangalang and PJ Simon conspired for the finishing kick.MERALCO 93—Durham 30, Dillinger 17, Newsome 16, Hodge 10, Amer 8, Hugnatan 5, Nabong 4, Lanete 3, Caram 0, Chua 0, Atkins 0, Faundo 0, Sedurifa 0.GINEBRA 78—Tenorio 16, Slaughter 14, Brownlee 13, Thompson 9, Mercado 8, Aguilar 6, Ellis 6, Marcelo 4, Taha 2, Mariano 0, Devance 0, Caguioa 0.Quarters: 21-32, 43-45, 72-57, 93-78ADVERTISEMENT Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ceres-Negros extends winning run at home turf View comments Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes
Drained after hitting another one of his typically resolute hundreds, veteran Indian batsman Rahul Dravid said it was tough adjusting to the conditions in the ongoing first cricket Test against the West Indies here.Dravid, for whom the 112-run knock on the third day of the match on Wednesday was his 32nd Test century, confessed he found the effort physically very demanding at the Sabina Park.”It was tough physically. I came here just three days ago. The jet lag, getting up early morning, having not played a Test for a long time and playing in these hot conditions has been very tiring,” remarked Dravid, who batted for over 400 minutes for his 112 runs and hit 10 fours and a six from the 274 balls he faced.”You could do as much physical workout; do the bike and gym and run laps of ground but the sheer effort of batting and fielding and staying on the field and then immediately come to bat, needs practice.”I sweat a lot so physically it’s always been a contest for me. That’s why I have to work harder on my fitness for I know the way I bat, I have to stay in for long periods.””But it was a big Test match and I was fired up…I felt as if I was in my space. Hopefully, we can win the Test and get a day’s rest.”Dravid’s example was lost on young batsmen, such as Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, who are seen as India’s next generation of Test batsmen.advertisement”I try telling them (the youngsters) to weather the storm; go through the intensity of a spell which might last 8-10-12 overs.” .You fight your way and then it becomes easy. It’s easy to get caught up when things around you are buzzing with noise; balls are flying and spinners are getting big help. You then start thinking it’s hard. But if you last it out, it becomes easier,” Dravid said.”Today in the morning, Ravi Rampaul kept it tight. I knew I had to go through that spell. You need to back yourself; need to enjoy the contest. It’s going to get easier and then you must be there to capitalise on it,” said Dravid, allowing a rare peek in his batting methodology.”I remember in Johannesburg (in 1997), Donald and Pollock were bowling a great spell and I thought it was really tough and I would never be able to play. You need to get through it, fight your way, grit your teeth. Suddenly, it gets easier.”Dravid managed to make 148 runs in that Test which happened to be his first century in his ninth match.Dravid claimed the intensity of the contest at Sabina Park, ironically, helped him get into his space.”I love the contest. When you are back to the wall, it improves your concentration, your focus. It helped me focus my mind, get it in the right place and I felt in control.”For long periods of time, I didn’t score many runs but considering the wicket it probably was the right thing. “Interestingly, Dravid didn’t find it a demand that he rarely received support from his teammates at the other end.”It doesn’t make a difference to me, what’s happening at the other end. My job is to focus. But when you lose wickets, it’s the opposition who picks up. When a new batsman comes in, you know the rivals have got their game together and there would be another 12-14 overs of intensity.” .Dravid also explained the reason of his refusal to take singles when Amit Mishra came in to bat.”I was refusing singles of the first two balls. Sometimes it relaxes bowlers and I was hoping it would give me a four-scoring opportunity.”The stand with Mishra turned out to be a critical one as 56 runs came for the ninth wicket and not only Dravid could get to his century but also the lead stretched beyond 300 runs.Dravid termed it a good cricketing pitch, though slightly in favour of bowlers.”It’s a good cricket wicket. It’s slightly in favour of bowlers and that’s how it should be. The spinners are getting turn; pacers are getting bounce. If you bowl in right areas, it’s difficult for batsmen. If you bowl badly, because of the bounce, the batters can capitalise.”The veteran middle-order batsman though felt his team held the advantage in this Test.”If we get early wickets, we can run through. But we know Shivnarine Chanderpaul is a dangerous player. They have got some good young players. From our perspective, if we bowl in the right areas, we will create opportunity.advertisement”We need to be patient and make batsmen play all the time.”Dravid singled out Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar for their bowling effort in this Test so far.”Ishant has been very impressive. Today his bowling was terrific. Praveen is a very skillful, crafty, clever bowler.”- With inputs from PTIFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
MANILA, Philippines—University of the East may have finished the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament on a sour note, but there were two players who made their mark for the season.ADVERTISEMENT Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Kath Arado and Lai Bendong distinguished themselves from the rest of the field as they took home the Best Libero and Setter trophies Wednesday.The Lady Warriors finished the season at the no.7 spot with a 3-11 record but the team’s overall performance did not diminish the duo’s worth, but it did create a little surprise for the both of them.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I was really surprised when I knew it at first but it’s amazing that I got this blessing,” said Arado in Filipino. “We expected that the winners would come from the Final Four teams and when we entered our final year all our focus was on the team and not on the individual awards.”Arado was the undisputed leader in her position, taking the top spots in both the Best Diggers and Best Receivers tables. UE’s defensive stalwart averaged 6.94 excellent digs per set and had an efficiency rating of 60.82 percent in reception.Arado’s closest competitor in terms of digging was Adamson University’s Tang Ponce who averaged 6.87 excellent digs per frame while National University’s Jennifer Nierva was the second in receptions with an efficiency rating of 50.62%.Bendong, on the other side of things, averaged 6.81 excellent sets per frame for the Lady Warriors with the Lady Eagles’ Deanna Wong coming in second with 6.29 excellent sets per frame.“Kath and I never thought of the individual awards because the team standings were more important for us but this is still a blessing for us,” said Bendong.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES The pair may not have lifted UE’s fortunes, which were dark throughout their whole five-year stay with accumulated 63 record, they were still happy to leave behind their reputation as two of best players this season.“We’re happy we’re going to leave UE that even though we weren’t able to improve our team standings we were able to give inspiration to the younger players that their big sisters worked hard for these awards,” said Bendong.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew MOST READ Bucks seeking 2-0 lead over Raptors in East finals Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess
Below are our actual show notes from Episode #1. They might not mean much to you, but maybe you can follow along, use the links, etc. It also helps search engines index the content more easily, since they can’t tell what we’re saying in the video. Introductions – Karen Rubin and Mike Volpe from HubSpot We’ve been experimenting with a new concept… “live TV” at http://HubSpot.tv. We all know that on the Internet, anyone can be a publisher with a blog, and it is easy to publish a video or audio podcast. Now, you can even stream live video from your computer or even cell phone. So we’re giving it a shot. Karen Rubin (HubSpot Inbound Marketing Consultant) will be joining me for a rundown of recent marketing news. And because this is web2.0, you can chat live with us and ask us questions, so you’re part of the show. If you want a sample, we recorded our first (alpha) show for your viewing pleasure. Check it out below, along with our show notes and links.Tune in today at 4:30pm EST at http://HubSpot.tv to our live broadcast and tell us what you think.Recorded HubSpot.TV – Episode #1 – August 8, 2008 Topics: Search Challenge Email as Most Popular Online Activity –http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/06/search-challenges-email-as-most-popular-daily-online-activity/ Olympic Marketing Tips from Colleen Coyne – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itFC-SkacFQ — http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/4261/8-Marketing-Tips-From-An-Olympic-Gold-Medalist.aspx Originally published Aug 14, 2008 2:30:00 PM, updated October 01 2019 Marketing News – McCain Campaign Ads go viral – “Obama Celebrity” ad gets 2m+ views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHXYsw_ZDXg – Newer “Obama = God” ad up to almost 1m views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mopkn0lPzM8 –Paris Hilton response to McCain ad… (as a promo for Funny or Die) –http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/64ad536a6d — BUT, is it having an effect? What is it saying, really? Is making fun of someone hurt them… or maybe help them? Sign off – What are you doing this weekend? Marketing Tip of the Week — Start a LinkedIn Group Forum Fodder — LinkedIn Groups – Are they great? Should you have one? How are we using them? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Twitter introduced Twitter Places yesterday Dedicated Place Pages: Google Places (formerly known as Google’s Local Business Center) , corporate Twitter account How Twitter Places Works: If you think Twitter’s new feature sounds a lot like Twitter Help Center Also seen in the above image, when users roll their mouse over a location associated with a person’s tweet, they’ll be shown a map. ) with your business’ place before you tweet about your promotions so it appears on your Place page. In an effort to bring more context to tweets and expand upon Along with the Twitter Places launch, Twitter is also releasing API functionality and Twitter Places functionality for more web browsers (Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox). Download the free webinar Twitter Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Twitter Updates Clicking “Tweets about this place –>” will bring the user to a dedicated page, or Twitter Place, for that location, showing recent tweets and check-ins (that’s right, it’s integrated with Foursquare and Gowalla!) associated with that particular place. Originally published Jun 15, 2010 4:40:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 account is associated with your office location before you tweet about your content, etc. You can also ask some of your employees who are on Twitter to associate their tweets with your business’ location while they’re at work, enabling visitors to your Twitter Place to connect with your employees. Topics: So what can you do to help make their first impression a good one? While you have no control over what visitors to your place of business will tweet, you do have an opportunity to own some the tweets listed on your Place page. Is there a special promotion or discount you’re publicizing? Make sure you associate your tweet (and your When users tag their tweets with a particular place (e.g. a local business, restaurant, stadium, museum, what have you), their subsequent tweets will be associated with that location (see image above). Users will know the new feature has been rolled out to them when the “Add Your Location” link appears below the Tweet box. (For help, visit the What other ways do you think Twitter Places will be beneficial to businesses? , which allows users to associate tweets with specific places, and gives each place a dedicated Twitter page. The new feature will be rolled out to users on twitter.com and mobile.twitter.com over the next week, so if you don’t have the new functionality yet, hang in there — it’s coming! Photo via Twitter Blog for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. .) Hey marketers and business owners: has the light bulb gone off in your head yet? Think about it, if people visit the Twitter Place page associated with your business, they’re going to check out the tweets and check-ins listed on that page. If that person has no prior relationship with your brand, that feed is going to have an impact on his/her first impression of your business. Mapping: Tagging Tweets With Places: Are you a B2B company without a storefront? Again, make sure your corporate The Meaning for Marketers , you’re right; there are definitely some similarities. Right now, Twitter Places only shows the tweets/check-ins associated with a specific place, but Twitter definitely has an opportunity to take it to the next level by giving every business a home on Twitter, just like Google Places does. By incorporating additional features such as the ability for businesses to build profiles on their Place page, Twitter could make their offering a preferred and much more functional alternative to Google Places for business owners. its location-based functionality API and Additional Browser Use: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
As with the headline, it’s important not to be too pushy. Avoid statements that command visitors to “download now”. Instead, focus on the value to the visitor, such as “gain immediate access” or a “free download”. 2. Clearly & Honestly State the Value Proposition Topics: 1. Headlines are Like Pickup Lines. Don’t be arrogant! The idea here is to start a conversation with your website visitors without sounding pretentious or arrogant. You don’t want to be “that guy”. You know the one – the guy who loves to tell girls the joke about the gun show. When a visitor arrives on your page, you have only a short period of time to convince them not to press the “Back” button on their browser. If your headlines have too much hype (e.g. “An Event You Can’t Afford To Miss!!”), it will turn people off. Headlines play a critical role in convincing a visitor that it is worthwhile for them to stick around and get to know you better. A good headline clearly and honestly states the value of your offer. cacophonyx download a free chapter I recently attended MECLAB’s Landing Page Optimization Summit where Dr. Flint McGlaughlin presented his research to a sold-out audience. Through colorful analogies and real-world examples, McGlaughlin explained a series of lessons around Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jun 7, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 of your offer will not only guide the reader’s eyes, it will also demonstrate the tangible value of your offer. This is even more effective if you can state them with numbers. Quantified proof gives you credibility. Many of your visitors are probably already jaded from seeing too many false promises and exaggerated claims online. If you can provide them with concrete numbers supporting your value proposition, it will be easier for them to trust you. features you’re offering, they won’t care enough to continue reading, much less convert on your landing page. Landing Page Copy and The more specific you can be about why your offer is valuable, the better. Bulleted lists of the 3. Be Specific what landing page optimization If the visitor doesn’t know For more advice on optimizating your landing pages, Photo Credit: from MarketingSherpa’s latest report on the key components to a successful landing page optimization strategy. and writing highly effective copy. Among the laundry list of insights I recorded in my notes, here are the most memorable: benefits Your web page should clearly state 1) where they are on your site so they know they are in the right place, 2) what they can do on that page, and 3) why should they should care about what is on that page. It sounds simple, but it’s surprising how many landing pages do not clearly communicate these points.
This is a guest post written by Ross Kramer, co-founder and CEO of Lititz, PA-based email marketing firm, Listrak.After working in the industry for more than 15 years, you learn countless tips and tricks to boost customer engagement and company revenue. But there’s one key lesson that all inbound marketers need to learn – how to multiply their email list. I know what you’re thinking. Could we get any more low level? But successful email list development and strategy can make the difference between campaign successes or failures.Even seasoned email marketers who follow best practices for email list development, relevancy, and deliverability still lose about one-third of their subscribers annually due to bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints, according to the Email Experience Council. And the attrition rates are even higher for less vigilant marketers.Luckily, there are strategies proven to quickly acquire qualified subscribers and keep them longer. Among these include sweepstakes, contests, or other viral campaigns. But before you decide to run a sweepstakes strategy of your own, consider these 7 tips to make sure you know how to run a successful one that will help you grow your email list with qualified subscribers.1. Keep it SimpleWhile it might be tempting to create a contest that runs for several weeks, sweepstakes that are strategic, targeted, and time-sensitive give the appearance of exclusivity and prompt people to respond quickly. In order to maximize list development during a short time period, you must have a plan in place prior to launch that includes automated emails, banner ads, social and mobile announcements, etc.2. Make it PersonalA cash prize may entice more entrants to your sweepstakes, but by awarding your own merchandise instead, you will get a more qualified group that is clearly interested in your company’s brand and what it has to offer.3. Encourage Social SharingEmail and social media can really complement each other. Offer your members some incentive such as a second entry or a free gift if they invite friends and other connections in their social networks to participate. This tactic will greatly expand the reach of your campaign. However, be sure to maintain control of the contest. Provide a form to capture the additional email addresses and immediately send those subscribers a message with the details of the contest and an easy way to enter.4. Promote in the Right ChannelsWhile email is the most effective communication channel to promote the sweepstakes to your subscribers and members, it shouldn’t be your only channel. Announce your contest on your blog and in your social media and mobile networks, and include banner ads on your website and other relevant sites.5. Send Entry ConfirmationsOne of the most important steps in this whole process is sending email confirmations to all entrants. The last thing you want to do is add invalid email addresses to your list because the increase in bounces will negatively affect your deliverability. An automated confirmation email will safeguard your reputation and ensure that only legitimate email addresses are added to your list and only real people are entered into your sweepstakes. Also, if you’re worried about bots inundating your sweepstakes with junk email addresses, a simple CAPTCHA on the registration form will prevent that.6. Welcome Your New SubscribersSubscribers are most engaged within the first few weeks of opting in, so you should use this time to start building the relationship right away. An email welcome series designed to engage and interact with subscribers should be part of your usual email development process, but it is especially important when running a sweepstakes. A welcome email will help you weed out the entrants who were only interested in the contest since it gives uninterested subscribers an opportunity to opt-out and provides valuable open and click-through data so you can measure engagement. That way, you’ll be able to focus your attention on the subscribers who are most likely to purchase from you.7. Monitor New SubscribersWe’ve seen a well planned sweepstakes grow lists by 30% or more in a matter of days. That said, even if you follow best practices for attracting the appropriate entrants for your brand, you’ll still get a number of invalid email addresses and people who are only interested in the prize. In order to protect your reputation, closely monitor the results of your confirmation email and welcome series (not only open and click-through rates, but also bounces, complaints, and unsubscribes), and watch the inactivity levels for the new subscribers. If they don’t show interest in your messages, try a re-engagement campaign or remove them from your list.Have you found success through sweepstakes? How many qualified email addresses did you gain?Photo Credit: Ian Lamont Originally published Aug 25, 2011 3:02:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Email Lists and Segmentation 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
Are you marketing to the right people? If you’ve created buyer personas and are now launching campaigns that appeal to those segments of people, you would know.In this episode of the Weekly Marketing Cast, David Meerman Scott discusses how to create buyer personas and what steps you should take next.What Is a Buyer Persona?“A buyer persona is when you slice your marketplace into individual groups of people,” explains David. In other words, the term describes your target audience.For instance, if you are a marketing manager at a hotel, you might have five buyer personas: an independent business traveler, a corporate travel manager, an event planner, a vacationing family, and a couple planning their wedding reception. When running marketing campaigns, you will need to adapt your messaging to fit the needs of these different buyer personas.1. Interview Your Buyer Personas“Once you identify who your buyer personas are, you need to interview those buyers,” advises David. Make sure the people you pick to talk to aren’t already your existing customers. Take 20-30 people who fit each persona and ask them open-ended questions that are not necessarily related to your product or services. “You want to end up with broad questions,” David says.2. Create Profile(s) for the Persona(s)Take the information you have gathered from your interviews and come up with a profile for each group. Give each of your personas a name and an image. If your business is a hotel, for instance, your buyer personas might include Wedding Wendy, for ladies planning their wedding receptions, and Business Traveler Ben, for corporate business professionals. Remembering about the needs of your different target audiences is so critical that some companies have placed images of their buyer personas throughout offices and on the walls of conference rooms.3. How to Market to Buyer PersonasIn order to effectively market to buyer personas, you will need to create content that targets these segments. For instance, for the newlyweds, you might have a blog that talks about wedding bands. The buyer personas are unique in what they need and how you market to them. Before you start a campaign, ask yourself, “What would Wedding Wendy say about this?” or “Would this piece of content appeal to Wedding Wendy?”Buyer personas help your marketing come alive, says David. It’s so much better than merely talking about your products or services.Do you use buyer personas in your marketing? Buyer Personas Originally published Sep 12, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
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:
Google+ is chock full of hidden gems. The problem is, most marketers regard Google+ as a social platform that isn’t delivering significant social media marketing results. Unfortunately, this perception usually inhibits their ability to see all the cool things Google+ has to offer: the little features, functionalities, and tools it provides to improve the way your business functions. Boy, are you in for a treat!So let’s stop viewing Google+ as just another social network and instead put it to good use as a business tool, particularly through the use of Google+ Hangouts. Hangouts is one of the most versatile Google+ tools available to you, especially when you find it difficult to assemble your entire team for in-person meetings. With Google+, you can give internal communication a boost and increase efficiency … all for free!Google+ Hangouts … With Extras!If you’re not in the know, Google+ Hangouts is a live group video chat feature that enables you to video chat with up to nine other people. But that’s not all! Google+ Hangouts are also available “with extras” — extra features that you can use within your Google+ Hangout sessions. By hosting a virtual meeting through Hangouts with Extras, you can get so much more out of your Hangout sessions. Here are three ways you can use Google+ Hangouts, including the key “extra” features that amplify their impact.Host Virtual MeetingsScreenshareWell-run marketing meetings include a presentation or slide deck of some sort with key metrics, goals, and progress toward those goals to share with the team. But for those members joining in remotely, your marketing manager running the meeting and projecting slides can open up a Google+ Hangout with the remote attendees and do a simple screenshare. This way, everyone in the meeting can easily pay attention while also keeping those teammates who are off-site well informed. Or, if your CEO or colleague is on a business trip, you can still have one-on-one meetings to show them presentations or other projects you’re working on by starting a Hangout and sharing your screen!Google DocsAs we mentioned in our recent post, “How to Run Marketing Team Meetings That Don’t Suck,” an effective marketing meeting needs an agenda. But you know the one flaw about those perfected agendas? People forget about them. Once you’re even 5 or 10 minutes into a meeting, everyone forgets there was a certain schedule to stick to. That’s why the Hangouts sync with Google Docs is so valuable. Google+ Hangouts are automatically connected to your Google Docs, allowing you to open documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc., and showcase them on the screen as you video chat. Having the agenda in sight reminds members that there is a certain schedule of topics to adhere to and review, keeping them on their toes. Users can also see the meeting notes as they are typed, and can also contribute to them if necessary.In addition to making your team more aware of your meeting’s agenda, Hangouts can help you present certain analytics you continuously track using a spreadsheet (such as your finances or month-to-date progress toward your leads goal), and enable you to review those numbers together. Or, if you’re simply working with someone else on a presentation for an upcoming meeting or event, you can build it collaboratively via Google Presentations and then transfer the documents to your preferred presentation software such as PowerPoint or Keynote later. That way, if either of you has an idea to add to or alter the presentation, you can make the change or add a note right then and there rather than taking the risk of forgetting about it later. This eliminates time-wasting back-and-forth and lets group members work together efficiently!Improve CommunicationGroup ChatDon’t you hate when you’re in a meeting, someone needs to leave, so she interrupts the speaker to excuse herself? Me too. Instead, keep your meeting’s Google+ Hangout open whether the meeting is virtual or in-person. That way, attendees can easily excuse themselves by leaving a note in the chat pane, and exiting without interruption. This tool can also come in handy if you want to direct meeting attendees to a specific link, or if the meeting you need them to send you any piece of information, such as a phone number or address.If you’re team is hosting a guest or speaker, either at an event or in-person, you can also use Google+ Hangouts so people not attending in person hear and see what’s going on, and communicate via chat.YouTubeWatching videos of cats running into walls is funny — but it’s even funnier when you do it with others! But on a more serious note, video marketing is still alive and well. If someone on your team has been working on your next case study, product video, or music video, but has the video unlisted to the public for the purpose of continued editing, he/she can share progress with other members of your team by easily connecting to YouTube. (Of course, if the video hasn’t reached this stage, you could always use screenshare to show what you have saved on your computer).Another benefit of the YouTube sync in Google+ Hangouts is, when you’re browsing YouTube, you sometimes stumble upon a video that either inspires you or illustrates a message in a compelling way. Instead of trying to describe this to your colleague later or trying to convince your videographer how awesome it was, you can use the Hangout button under “share” right from within YouTube to easily watch the video with another person virtually.Have FunGoogle EffectsSometimes a meeting can be enhanced by just a bit of FUN! At HubSpot, our marketeering team (marketing + engineering) has members who sit in all different parts of the office, work on different schedules, and some who even work off-site — in other countries! Thus, they host their daily team update using Google+ Hangouts and have a whole lot of fun with the seasonal effects. Sometimes mustaches make an appearance, and sometimes they sport reindeer antlers and noses! While these silly effects hardly serve any “business” value, who doesn’t benefit from a little fun at work now and again? While chatting using these effects, why not take screenshots and share them on your social media platforms? It shows off your brand’s personality, and hey — nothing bad can come from showcasing how happy your company’s employees are. Video Marketing Additional AppsThe “Extras” we mentioned above aren’t the only apps you can add to your Google+ Hangouts. There is also a doodle screen (for design brainstorms?), a SlideShare app (for showing final projects?), and many others. Google+ gives you quite a few options, so be sure to customize your Hangouts for your company’s optimal use.Are you using Google+ Hangouts for your business? If so, how? Image Credit: Womenofhr Originally published Aug 13, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! 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Originally published Oct 9, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Trends This is an excerpt from our new ebook, 100 Ideas That Changed Marketing. Download your free copy if you want to see the other 90 ideas that have changed our industry forever!At the beginning of this year, we set out to create an infographic that gave a rundown of the history of marketing. And as we looked back, we found that one idea from all the way back in the 1400s — the invention of the printing press that made mass media possible — totally and completely changed the entire trajectory of our industry. Heck, you could argue it made our industry possible!That made us think of all of the other advancements that have rocked the marketing world. Because we kind of have a thing for shaking things up 🙂 So, we compiled this ebook, 100 Ideas That Changed Marketing, and we wanted to share 10 of the highlights from it right here. Take a look, get inspired, and let us know if we should add a one-hundred and one’th (one’th? That’s not right, right?) idea!10 of the 100 Ideas That Changed Marketing Forever1) AgileIf you’re agile, you can easily and gracefully move at a rapid pace. In 2001, through the Agile Manifesto, the idea of agile was introduced to software development, and it defines aniterative approach that promotes flexibility and customer collaboration. “In many ways, marketing used to be a lot like software development,” wrote marketing technologist Scott Brinker. “Yearly plans of a few major initiatives would lumber forward with rigid hand-offs between the different stakeholders — researchers, strategists, creatives, media buyers, etc. The end-to-end process was time consuming and difficult to alter midstream.”By implementing an agile approach, marketers should be able to make iterations faster and respond to change rather than simply follow established processes. Today, with the proliferation of new technologies, the ability to adapt to the rapidly changing marketing landscape is becoming increasingly important and necessary for business success. As Michelle Accardi-Petersen wrote in her 2011 book Agile Marketing, “the old integrated marketing methods don’t work … that is, unless you have an agile process that allows you to move much faster and to adapt to these marketing pressures on the fly where necessary.”2) BloggingAs inbound marketers, I think we’re all familiar with this … but when’s the last time you took a step back and realized, “Wow, blogging is one of the strongest marketing tools in my kit.” The times they are a-changin’ eh?Short for web log, a blog is a term used to describe a series of online articles displayed in chronological order that generally encourage comments from digital readers. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual or group of people and will traditionally include regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material, such as photos and videos. A blog is a long-term marketing asset that brings traffic and leads to your business. It introduces you as a thought leader in your space and allows you to earn people’s trust.Nearly 40% of U.S. companies use blogs for marketing purposes. “This platform, if done properly, can generate tremendous traffic, leads and sales for your business that youotherwise would not have had,” wrote Marcus Sheridan, Partner at River Pools and Spas and Founder of The Sales Lion. First, business blogging helps you in respect to search engine optimization (SEO). The more blog posts you publish, the more indexed pages you create for search engines to display in their results. Second, your blog is an asset that introduces you as a thought leader — it will help you earn people’s trust and stay top of mind for many in yourcommunity. Finally, a blog gives you real estate to place calls-to-action in order to generate leads.The thing about blogging is that anybody can do it, but remarkably, not everybody does. This gap represents a huge opportunity for serious marketers to differentiate themselves — with their bosses, and their leads and customers.3) Citizen JournalismThe new media landscape has reshaped the ways in which audiences access information. A Pew Research Center report showed that some 46% of Americans visit from four to six media platforms on a typical day, and only 7% have a single favorite one. For their daily information, online readers consult various sources, including newspaper sites, email, and social media. Additionally, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have fostered recommendation systems that increasingly shift the power of information distribution in the hands of non-journalists. In these environments, one’s community can make editorial decisions by endorsing stories.Marketers need to recognize the participation of citizens in the process of newsgathering and always provide credible sources and references when sharing public information. Don’t underestimate the investigative spirit of today’s consumers and people’s ability to get to the truth through in-depth online research. Businesses need to be more alert than ever to theway they present information and facts because inaccuracies can easily be exposed.4) CopyrightCopyright is a legal concept that protects the work of an individual from being used withouttheir consent. It gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights, including the right to receive credit for their work and the right to choose who can use and remix their work.With the rapid development of technological advances, it has become easier for people to create digital mashups of existing works, which has led to copywright wars and lawsuits.American academic and political activist Lawrence Lessig argues that we now live in a Remix Culture which encourages people to engage in collaborative creation and stimulate their creativity in new ways. “It is time we stop wasting the resources of our federal courts, our police, and our universities to punish behavior that we need not punish,” he wrote in Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.Now that the role of a marketer is so intertwined with the role of a publisher, it’s not difficult to imagine the different ways in which copyright affects the marketing professional. Not only is pirating content just poor internet etiquette, but it also results in duplicate content that hurts both websites on which the content is featured in the search engine results pages. In fact, one of Google’s 2012 algorithm updates will be using the number of valid copyright removal notices as a signal for which websites should be displayed in the SERPs. To stay away from such punishments as a marketer, you need to ensure you are not stealing people’s content. Make sure you aregiving your sources credit in all of your content, including blog posts, webinars, ebooks, and even social media.5) GamificationGamification describes the adoption of game design elements and game thinking by nongamecontexts. It’s applied to make less interactive situations more engaging to users. Some forms of gamification in marketing include awarding badges or providing incentives for participation in specific activities.For instance, at HubSpot we often give away prizes to random attendees of our marketing webinars or people who share our content with their networks. “Games and research into human psychology have taught us that people are happier when they earn something, rather than when it is given to them,” wrote Darren Steele, the strategic director of Mindspace, and co-author of the gamification book, I’ll Eat this Cricket for a Cricket Badge.6) Inbound MarketingInbound marketing is marketing that’s useful. It means acquiring customers by attracting and nurturing prospects with exceptional content, data and customer service — not interrupting them with annoying, useless messages. It means pulling prospects in with a magnet, not beating them over the head with a sledgehammer.“Consumers have learned how to ignore TV commercials with Tivo, radio commercials with Satellite radio, email marketing with filters, etc.” wrote in our LinkedIn discussion web presence strategist Linda Lovero-Waterhouse. “Now our goal is to give consumers the information they want *when* they want it. What a concept!”Inbound marketing tactics tend to be cheaper than traditional marketing tactics, too. Companies that focus on inbound tactics have a 62% lower cost-per-lead than companies that focus on outbound tactics.There are three key stages to inbound marketing: get found, convert, and analyze. Eventually, inbound marketing boils down to, as web marketing professional Jonathan Mallia noted, “knowing your customers’ needs and feeding them with the right content that ultimately links to the product you wish to market and finally sell. If this is cleverly executed in a strategic manner, you will realize that you have only spent a small fraction of your advertising budget to convert a good number of good quality, sales-ready leads. Why? Because Marketing = Educating.”7) Social NetworksWith the invention of the World Wide Web in 1990, the internet opened up multi-directional communication channels and embraced collaboration. Its digital format removed the physical limitations and expensive cost of producing and distributing information. Forums and chat rooms started to populate the digital landscape, often used to share news. Internet Relay Chat (IRC), for instance, was introduced to the general public in 1991, when the platform offered real-time coverage of the First Gulf War.In the early 2000s, people joined the new participatory media culture by creating and disseminating content through their personal computers, smart phones and digital cameras. Online users started blogging, video broadcasting, and using social media. Social networking site Facebook, which was founded in 2002, now has more than 900 million active users. Then of course there are the other popular social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.“Social marketing changed marketing forever,” wrote Jose Antonio Sanchez, Communications Specialist at Uberflip, in our LinkedIn discussion. “Marketers have realized that they need to have valuable two-way conversations with their audience before getting it to ‘buy’ their product. Consumers can be convinced but not persuaded anymore.”8) Social ProofSocial proof, also referred to as “informational social influence,” is the concept that people willconform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of thecorrect behavior. In other words, it’s the mentality that, if other people are doing it, and I trustthose people, that’s validation that I should also be doing it. This third-party validation can be avery powerful motivator for your site visitors’ and prospects’ actions.One traditional example of social proof is when TV shows play canned laughter or recorded applause to elevate the perception of funny or applaudable situations. So while the concept of social proof may be nothing new, the rise of the internet and social media adoption have certainly made social proof a lot easier to leverage and exploit, especially in a marketing context. Building and providing better visibility for your business’ social proof can be a powerful addition to your marketing strategy.The forms of social proof in marketing can vary from social media praises and social advertising to case studies, testimonials and user reviews.9) ViralityViral marketing is word-of-mouth marketing that is carried out voluntarily by a company’s advocates. “Viral marketing,” wrote Seth Godin in 2008, “is an idea that spreads — and an idea that while it is spreading actually helps market your business or cause.”Godin goes on to describe two types of viral marketing: one in which the message that spreads is the product itself, and another in which the message isn’t related to the product. YouTube as a platform would be an example of the first one, and a video on YouTube would be an example of the second.Email has facilitated the spread of the second type of viral marketing. Tools such as “send this page, article or website to a friend” encourage people to refer or recommend your newsletter, company, product, service or specific offers to other people. In order to leverage viral marketing, you need to have a strong community that will start the process of spreading your message. You can build your community even before you have a product. Letting users into the process early helps provide a sense of ownership while it gives a company valuable feedback needed to make the product better.“Being viral isn’t the hard part,” observes Godin. “The hard part is making that viral elementactually produce something of value, not just entertainment for the client or your boss.”10) Web 2.0When the Web first became available to users, it was primarily about retrieving information. As it evolved in the 2000s, it became known as Web 2.0 — a platform associated not only with consumption of information, but also with collaboration and participation. It is characterized by applications like blogging, search engine optimization, and social media. The term is associated with Tim O’Reilly because of the O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004.O’Reilly explained that Web 2.0 is based on the principle that online databases improve as people use them. “It’s about how businesses work differently in the age of the network,” he said. Businesses have to figure out how to create more value for their customers than for themselves. Ultimately, customers and businesses are capable of building value together. Think about how you can build a platform online that enables the community to bring value to your business for you.What other brilliant ideas do you think changed the marketing landscape forever?Image credit: d4u.hu Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Nov 15, 2013 8:00:00 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 Blog Headlines Crafting headlines is the hardest part of the entire writing process. You’ve got to be descriptive, yet concise. Attention-grabbing, yet factual. Seach-engine friendly, yet catchy. Oh, and alliteration works well. And you’ve probably overused the word “awesome” or “amazing” — so find something better than that. To top it all off, it should also fit in under 140 characters so it’s easy to tweet. Yup, that’s hard. It’s so hard that my teammates and I on HubSpot’s blogging team never publish a post without brainstorming a headline with each other first. And even then, we might not get it right. So when I see a horrible, terrible, no-good headline published, I feel for the author or editor who labored over publishing it … but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from their mistakes to make our own headlines better.To make this a learning experience — not a finger-pointing-fest — I compiled seven pretty bad headlines into the post below. We’ll dissect them and figure out why they’re ill-advised, and then make mental notes to avoid them in our own writing. 1) “15 Fears Everyone Has and No One Talks About”That was the headline I clicked on when I landed on the BuzzFeed homepage. I’m a huge scaredy-cat, so I was excited to see what other common fears people secretly shared based on the headline. I landed in the post and immediately started scrolling — I want to have my fears validated! This is what I see:And then they kept getting weirder and weirder. The fear of being left handed. The fear of beards. The fear of chins. What the heck? I thought these were supposed to be “fears that everyone has” — that’s what the headline promised me would be here.Annoyed, I scroll up and confront the headline on the article page: “12 Things You Won’t Believe People Are Afraid Of.” That’s completely different than what I was promised.In your own titles, don’t pull the headline bait-and-switch — even if it’s unintentional. I like to ask myself one question before publishing: “Is that really what the article is about?” If yes, I hit publish. If not, I go back to the headline drawing board. 2) “Ryan Seacrest to Go Viral All Over Kids With New Nickelodeon Show”When I first saw this title, I laughed out loud — and that’s not because Ryan Seacrest will be hosting a new game show where kids will be competing to win prizes by watching viral videos. Nor is it the fact that the phrase “go viral” is in the headline.Take a look at what follows “go viral” … what the heck is “going viral all over kids”? I thought it must be a weird pun that would be addressed in the article, but it wasn’t. It’s just this random phrase tacked on to the end of “go viral” that no one says … ever. And now that it’s been added on to the end of “go viral”, the whole title sounds grotesque and inappropriate. When you’re writing titles, be 100% sure what you’re saying actually means what you’re saying. Certain words and phrases mean certain things in certain contexts. If you really need a gut check, IM or email a coworker with the title and zero context and ask them what their thoughts are. Better safe than sorry.3) “MagicMomentsProm.com Advises Teens to Look to Celebrities for the Perfect Prom Dress Styles and Where to Turn for a More Affordable Choice”One of the best grammar lessons I learned was about parallel structure. Basically, if you’re going to have two phrases in a sentence, they should follow the same structure. It’s mostly about having the same verb tense, but you can get fancier by aligning other elements of the phrase. When you break the parallel structure rule, compound sentences end up sounding awkward … like really awkward. Take the above title from a press release, for example. Read it one time and tell me what the article is going to be about. Teens should take celebrity advice for prom dress styles? Teens should find someone to help them find a cheap prom dress? It’s super confusing because the article is supposed to address both.Here’s how I’d rewrite the title to get that dual message across: “MagicMomentsProm.com Advises Teens To Look To Celebrities For The Perfect (and Affordable) Prom Dress Styles.” Much clearer, right?You’ve heard this lesson for your entire life, and you’ll hear it again in this blog post: Grammar is important. It’s not the be-all-end-all of content creation, but it should be used to help clarify your message, not muddle it.4) “Under Investigation”I’m going to let you try this one on your own. The header above was the headline I saw, and here’s the context in which I saw it in the sidebar of The Huffington Post: What the heck is that post about? Who is under investigation? And what for? Glenn Greenwald? Maybe it’s just me being ignorant of what’s happening in the world, but I don’t even recognize who the man in the picture is.Here’s what the title is once I click through: UK Pursuing Criminal Investigation Into Guardian Leaks. OH. Now that makes sense!Lesson for us: Never sacrifice the meaning of your headline for being concise. I had no clue what that post was about and I definitely wouldn’t have clicked through unless I was writing this blog post about confusing titles. Don’t assume that your readers will just get it — I’d bet that 9/10 times, they’re going to keep scrolling. 5) “Facebook Like Button, Viewed 22B Times a Day on 7.5M Websites, Gets a Redesign”This title from TechCrunch isn’t one of the worst I’ve ever seen — it’s pretty straightforward and clickable. But it does have one pretty giant weak spot.Check out that descriptive phrase right smack dab in the middle of the headline: “Viewed 22B Times a Day on 7.5M Websites.” Yep, those numbers are impressive … but they’re describing Facebook, the biggest social network of our age. We don’t really need a qualifier to understand how gargantuan Facebook is — so cut it from your headline. If you’re adding data, adjectives, or any clarifier to your titles that don’t really need to be there, cut it out. Since you have limited space in your title for it to appear in search and social networks, use it wisely. 6) “California Pinots to Beat Blockbusters: John Mariani”Is this a spam post randomly compiling words together like the “What would I say app?” that’s been taking the internet by storm? And who the heck is John Mariani? This article is on Bloomberg — shouldn’t it be good? I was just really confused when I saw this.The main problem with this headline is that it comes across as quite randomly put together, and name drops someone who isn’t recognizable to someone who’s a big wine fan (cough me cough). Instead, Bloomberg should remove Mariani’s name from the title, and try to position the California Pinots as the underdog so that “beating blockbusters” makes sense — and makes you want to click. It also confuses a reader by having two recognizable names — “pinots” and “blockbusters” — close to one another but with no discernible relation. Are Pinots and Blockbusters in a fight? Why is wine fighting with an old video rental chain? The problem is compounded because “beat” can be used as both a noun and a verb. Are the pinots beating up the video store? Or are “Beat Blockbusters” a thing I should know about that lie on a spectrum which runs the gamut from “California Pinots” to “Beat Blockbusters”?If i was going to redo this title, I’d probably nix the word “blockbusters” entirely, as it takes the mind to another place that the article doesn’t intend you to go. (And it’s not the right place.)7) “Stop Wasting Away Your Workday With These Productivity Tools and Techniques”And of course, we couldn’t end this post without adding one of our own titles into the mix. Like I said before, it happens to all of us. So here’s a title of a recent post that flopped.It’s confusing … right? It seems like we were telling you to NOT use these productivity tools and techniques because they make you waste time, but in fact, we really wanted you to use them to save time. The reason it’s confusing is the word choice, “with.” Once we realized our mistake, we switched up the phrasing to say, “Productivity Tools and Techniques to Stop Wasting Away Your Workday.” Clearer, right?The lesson: Really think about your word placement — something as simple as switching the phrases in a headline can add clarity, or mystery, to your headline. If you’re straightforward yet compelling, you’re going to be set for any headline you write. Think about what you’ve said in the post (yup, I’m recommending writing your title after you write your post) — and think about how you’d get your buyer persona to read the article in five seconds or less.What terrible headlines have you seen, and how would you fix them? Share them with us in the comments. Topics:
Marketing Automation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack For example, if this is a follow-up to downloading an ebook, include the name of the ebook and a link to the PDF. If it’s a follow-up to registering for a webinar, include the webinar information, including the time and date and how to log in.Once you’ve covered your bases on the transactional information, it’s time to think about what you want your prospect to do next. You have their attention — take advantage of it! Do you want them to convert on a middle-of-the-funnel offer like a demo request or complementary consultation? Or do you want to encourage them to share this offer with their network, to expand the reach of your content? Think about that ideal next step, and include a call-to-action for that in your follow up email.Trigger: Took One Action in a Series, but Not the NextSay your prospect gets close to taking the action you want — like starting a trial of your product — but they don’t quite get to the finish line. They visit the trial landing page, or view some content about your product, but don’t start that trial. This is an opportunity for you to follow up to get them to cross that finish line.What to Send: Related Content and an Alternative ActionPerhaps they didn’t complete that action because of some hesitation — they didn’t want to fill out a form, or they had some additional questions that stopped them from starting that trial. This is an opportunity to follow up with related content (like product videos or resources for the trial) and an alternative action (maybe they don’t want to use a trial, they simply want to get a demo or speak directly with a sales rep).You can even simply ask them in your email … what stopped you from signing up? Anything we can do to help? You’ll be surprised by how many responses you’ll get. After all, these are people who got close to taking an action but had some specific hesitation. You want to both discover and address that hesitation head-on.Trigger: Viewed Specific ContentWhether you have content on specific topics (product pain points, for example), or content aligned with specific parts of the funnel (product pages vs. blog articles), when your prospects view that content, you have more data to use in your follow-up emails.What to Send: Tailored Follow-Up ContentWhether you trigger an email immediately or save this intelligence for future communications, the data you collect about which content people view can be used to make your marketing that much more relevant on a one-to-one basis.For example, if you have content on your website (case studies, blog articles, etc.) that’s related to specific industries or target markets, you can infer that people who view that content are in that industry, and tailor your future marketing messages accordingly. Or, if you have content on your website that is related to specific topics of interest or pain points that you address, you can infer that people who view that content care about that pain point, and tailor your future marketing messages around that topic.Think about the various behavioral data points you have about your prospects, and what you can draw from that to determine what they care about.Trigger: Recently and Highly Engaged or Lacking in EngagementFigure out what your bar is for a highly engaged prospect (perhaps they downloaded at least three ebooks and viewed at least ten blog articles) as well as an unengaged prospect, and respond and market to them accordingly.What to Send: Timely Next Step Call-to-Action or Reengagement CampaignFor your highly engaged prospects, you once again have attention you can leverage. One great option is to encourage them to share the content they just downloaded. But also remember that triggered marketing automation does not need to be solely external (sent to prospects), it can also be internal (sent to your fellow employees)!When a prospect becomes highly engaged, this is a great opportunity to notify that prospect’s sales representative that this is a good time to follow up with the prospect. For your unengaged prospects, send a proactive reengagement email. You may even want to have multiple trigger points (e.g. haven’t clicked on an email in three months, six months, one year) where you send different campaigns to reengage these prospects.For example, after three months, send a reminder to update their email preferences. After six months, ask them if the content is irrelevant and offer them to unsubscribe. And finally, after one year, tell them you will not email them anymore unless they respond.Trigger: Interacted With Your Company, or Mentioned Your Competitors or Industry, in Social MediaAs you listen to what your prospects are saying in social media, you have the opportunity to follow up with those who interact with your company, or those who mention your competitors or specific pain points that you address.What to Send: Comparison Guides, Product Information, or Educational ContentPick a common and valuable interaction that occurs between you and your prospects in social media — it may be asking questions about your product, mentioning that they’re evaluating a competitor, or simply asking a question that relates to the pain points your product addresses.If responding by social media, you likely don’t actually want to automate your response — it will be very easy for your prospect to recognize the impersonal nature of that interaction. However, you can supplement your one-to-one social media engagement with a triggered email campaign with supporting content. For example, if your prospect asks questions about your product, you can send how-to and product feature information. If your prospect mentions they’re evaluating a competitor, you can send comparison guides, third party reviews, or case studies for them to use in their evaluation process. Or if your prospect simply asks a question related to your industry, you can follow up with educational content on the topic of interest.At the end of the day, any of these triggered emails are likely to get a higher response — and higher return on your effort — compared to the typical linear marketing automation campaign. Using some of the same technology, you can reorient your marketing to work around your prospect’s timeline instead of your own, while continuing to drive the actions you desire.For the sales reps out there, the same approach of leveraging triggers works incredibly well in eliciting a response from your prospects. Do the research and follow up based on trigger events to get more sales. Originally published Apr 16, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 When you hear the phrase “marketing automation,” what do you think of first? A detailed diagram of emails sent to different segments, broken out by email engagement, drawing a line from lead to customer? This has become the norm, yet it is among the least effective automation paths you can set up as a marketer.The inherent flaw in this strategy is that it starts with the marketer’s timeline rather than the prospect’s. The marketer sits down and defines what information the prospect will consume next, what actions the prospect will take next, and the path the prospect will take from becoming a lead to becoming a customer.But if we’re honest with ourselves, we would admit that the world is not as straightforward as that. You might define the funnel stages as Lead to Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) to Opportunity to Customer, where leads download an ebook, then become an MQL when they start a trial, an SQL when the sales person follows up with that prospect, an opportunity when they do a trial review call, and customer when they purchase…. But what if they start a trial and then download an ebook? Or what if they get into a sales conversation after just downloading an ebook, never become a customer, and then go cold until they start a trial months later? The reality is that you can’t control what your prospect does or in what order your prospect does it. What you can control, however, is how you react to your prospect’s behaviors. And this is where automation becomes powerful.Triggered emails — automated marketing messages based on a prospect’s behaviors — are powerful because they are inherently relevant and timely. The key to an effective email is relevance plus timeliness plus value, and the first two are baked into triggered emails. It’s up to the marketer to jump on that opportunity and align a valuable offer to those recipients.Not using triggered emails? Here are a few recipes of triggered marketing automation to get you started.Trigger: Downloaded an Educational OfferThis is a great place to start if you don’t have any triggered emails set up, as this is the broadest trigger — engaging the prospects at the earliest stage of the buyer’s journey. What to Send: Transactional Email With Next Step Call-to-ActionIn this situation, your triggered email can be a transactional email — confirming the download (or registration or request) and including any information related to that download. Topics:
2) University of California BerkeleyUC Berkeley has cross-promotion across all their social media accounts down pat. During move-in week at the beginning of the academic year, the university called for students to post their moving day pictures and thoughts to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #BerkeleyBound as a top-of-the-funnel traffic driver. Originally published Sep 14, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated November 13 2019 The first thing you see when you visit a college or university’s Facebook Page is their cover photo. So you might visit a college’s Facebook Page that features a beautiful, colorful, high-definition cover photo and say, “Wow, they did a great job with their Facebook Page.”But, while the cover photo is certainly important, the very best college Facebook Pages go above and beyond simply looking good. The best ones engage their visitors with fun photos, videos, and campaigns. They cross-promote with other social networks. They include clear calls-to-action, and they guide visitors to specific initiatives the school is running.What does a great college Facebook Page look like? We’ve searched far and wide for some of the best Facebook Pages from colleges and universities. Check out the following 13 examples to inspire the design and strategy you employ for your own Page. Download our complete guide to using Facebook for business and marketing for free here. 13 of the Best College Facebook Pages1) Boston CollegeWhat makes Boston College’s undergraduate Facebook Page so special is how well the folks running it engage with fans, followers, and other departments and schools within the college. They use tagging and hashtags to coordinate with, for example, the BC Police Department: 5) University of Texas AustinNot many colleges and universities have taken advantage of Facebook’s call-to-action button feature, which lets Page admins choose a CTA button from a group of seven pre-made options — “Sign Up,” “Shop Now,” “Contact Us,” “Book Now,” “Use App,” “Watch Video,” and “Play Game” — and link it to any other webpage that aligns with their goals. It’s too bad more brands haven’t adopted it, considering how prominent it is on the cover photo of a Facebook Page.UT Austin took advantage of the option, though, by placing a “Sign Up” CTA button that links to its newsletter subscription page. This is a great way to capture email addresses from not only prospective students, but also anyone interested in hearing from the university — from students to college counselors to prospective students’ parents.Plus, we love how UT Austin’s cover photo is edited with an orange hue, in keeping with their classic orange logo.6) Susquehanna UniversityHere’s an example of a Facebook Page that’s really focused on us, the visitors. Not only do the folks at Susquehanna post updates with cool photos and videos to their timeline, but they also have a message feature we haven’t seen featured front-and-center on many other Pages. Located on the top left-hand side of their Page right under the “Timeline” tab, you’ll find a link that reads “Very responsive to messages.”Click it, and you have the option to send a Facebook message directly to the university with the reassurance they’ll respond fairly quickly. That makes for an awesome user experience.7) University of New South WalesWhile most schools only have a few tabs on their Facebook Page to choose from, the University of New South Wales has 12 to choose from in addition to the four displayed at the top of its main Page. Among them is an events page that links to its full events calendar, a jobs page, and a preview of its awesome — and very active — Pinterest page. We also love its trivia page, where it asks students to answer four questions about things like when they start their day and how often they really attend lectures. These are fun, unique, and interactive ways to engage visitors and keep them on the Page for a long period of time.8) Boston UniversityFacebook has been pushing the use of video over the past year or so, most recently by extending autoplay video to its advertisers. The folks over at Boston University have taken full advantage of using video on their website by letting their “Videos” tab take a front seat on their Facebook Page. The videos on their Page are all beautifully and professionally shot and edited. The content is everything from seniors giving advice to new students to in-depth student stories — like this video about powerlifting, featuring senior Molly Kelly’s goal to break the American record for squats.9) Marquette UniversityMarquette doesn’t just cross promote on the classic social networks like Twitter and Instagram (which they do, a lot). They also use Facebook to promote the content from the university’s Medium page, “We Are Marquette,” which has stories by and about Marquette faculty, students, and alumni.Also, we love how refreshingly human some of their posts are. Exhibit A: Education Marketing 10) Princeton UniversityThe folks at Princeton know that it isn’t just current students who are checking out their Facebook Page. A lot of their visitors are prospective students. That’s why they’ve chosen to make a tab of their admission and financial aid information front-and-center on their Page.Click into the tab, and you’ll find a well-designed and well-curated collection of the most important information from their admissions website, including an embedded video on “the Princeton experience” and links to frequently asked questions for financial aid, applying, and international students.11) McGill UniversityMcGill is another example of a university taking advantage of Facebook’s call-to-action feature: Their “Contact Us” buttons links to a webpage listing the most frequently requested contacts at the school, which is quite relevant to people looking for contact information. But what we really love about their Facebook Page is that they cater to the Facebook audience by posting that fun, lighthearted content people actually like reading and sharing on Facebook.For example, they shared a news story about how their chef set a world record for largest smoothie. That’s definitely the type of post a college student would share with their friends on Facebook. Another great example? The post below sharing BuzzFeed article about Montreal. Topics: And their alum Page: The cross promotion culminated in a compilation album on their Facebook Page (pictured below) and a compilation on their website of social engagements across all the social platforms.3) Michigan State UniversityFacebook Pages are meant to engage your fans and followers. Running contests, asking questions, and crowdsourcing content are all great ways to get people Liking, commenting on, and sharing your Facebook posts. Michigan State University knows this: They’re all about engaging people on Facebook.For example, check out their recent “Spartan Virtual Choir” campaign they launched to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the school’s fight song. Not only do they do a great job of promoting the campaign with interesting Facebook posts (like the video below), but they also updated the cover photo to include a “Share your voice” call-to-action to draw our attention to the campaign from the get-go. No doubt the finished product will be really cool video that’ll get a ton of love across all their social channels. 4) George Washington UniversityGeorge Washington University also does some creative stuff to engage their fans and followers on all different social networks. Check out how they featured a student’s tweet in their Facebook cover photo, even finding the perfect photo to pair with the tweet’s content. This is a great way to promote their #OnlyAtGW hashtag campaign not only on Facebook, but on other social networks like Twitter and Instagram, too. (Plus, it encourages people to check out their Twitter account.)GW runs a lot of hashtag campaigns that encourage students to post photos showing off their school pride, like with their weekly #PictureGW contest. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 12) University of GeorgiaWhile most colleges and universities stick an address and a phone number in the “About” section of their Facebook Pages and call it a day, the folks at the University of Georgia take it a step further. They know prospective students are looking at that “About” section for information about the school, so they stuck a fantastic and well-made video in there about the upcoming admissions season. Very timely and relevant.13) Kenyon CollegeKenyon College also uses the tabs on their Facebook Page to direct students to specific initiatives. In their case, it’s their Instagram account and a series of quirky admissions videos produced by Kenyon with the help of student interns. They’ve also taken advantage of the “Milestones” feature of the “About” section, filling in critical events in the college’s history dating back to its founding in 1824.
Don’t forget to share this post! A dancer sweeps gracefully through a deserted London cityscape. An dinosaur bursts through the ceiling of a night club. A particularly unintelligent looking cat contemplates jumping to a nearby perch.What do all these different tableaus have in common? They’re all featured in creative ads from the past month.If you’ve been out of the loop, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Read on to see ten of the most creative, inspiring, and just plain weird ads from the last month.Subscribe to HubSpot’s Agency newsletter today.1) BoseThis mesmerizing spot for Bose’s new QuietComfort 35 headphones focuses on a lone dancer (Maëva Berthelot) entrancingly freestyling her way through completely empty London streets. The ad is set to “Alchemy” by London-based electro R&B artist TĀLĀ.So how exactly were they able to film in some of London’s busiest areas, completely devoid of people, cars, and other distractions? Grey London, the agency behind the ad, managed to block off pedestrians and traffic flow for a few minutes at a time — just enough for them to film the takes they needed. They used an aerial helicopter for the sweeping images of the city, which was understandably subject to strict airspace regulations.”This wasn’t easy to produce,” Grey London’s executive creative director Dominic Goldman told AdWeek. “Most of this was captured in camera with minimal clean-up in post.” The end result is a truly magnetic, gorgeous ad you’ll definitely want to watch more than once.2) ChatbooksThe agency behind the explosively viral Squatty Potty pooping unicorn ad has struck again. This time, the Harmon Brothers are lending their unique comedic perspective to Chatbooks, a subscription-based photo printing service that converts your smart phone snaps into photo albums.The extended spot is intended to introduce consumers to Chatbooks for the first time, but the Harmon Brother’s wanted to steer clear of a typical infomercial tone. Instead, the product is explained by a hilariously “real” mom (played by actress Lisa Valentine Clark), who juggles garbage disposal mishaps, potty training, and crossbow-wielding children with unflappable optimism.3) GustoBeing an HR manager at a small company is hard. Gusto, an HR software startup, wanted to give a shout out to all the HR managers who deftly manage 100+ responsibilities on a daily basis in their first ad campaign. They enlisted the help of Erich & Kallman, a new ad agency based in San Francisco, to make that vision come to life.In a spot-on casting choice, actress and comedian Kristen Schaal was hired to portray the typical HR manager. Her quirky charm and self-possessed nature perfectly encapsulate the profession, and she hilariously swaps into different outfits and personas to accommodate various employee requests.4) The Hospital for Sick ChildrenCanadian agency Cossette produced this captivating and emotionally powerful extended ad campaign for The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Set to a pounding anthem (“Undeniable” by Donnie Daydream), the spot imagines sick children as fighters — medieval warriors, comic book heroes, athletes — combatting their illnesses with an unparalleled ferocity and unshakable spirit.Part of a larger fundraising campaign for the Canadian hospital, the ad stars over 50 actual patients, along with their families, doctors, and nurses. It’s an inspiring departure from traditional ads concerning childhood illness, and is perhaps even more forceful for it.5) CanaryImagine you leave the kids with a babysitter to go see a movie — what could possibly go wrong? This ad for home security startup Canary imagines exactly that.In the spot, one messy disaster strikes after another. The babysitter invites her sketchy boyfriend over for a make-out session, the girls run an overflowing bubble bath for the family cat, and one of the kids decides it’s the perfect time to take the car out for an experimental spin — which, as you might imagine, doesn’t end too well for the garage door.Developed by CP+B Miami, the ad gets a boost from director Peter Atencio’s eye for perfect comedic timing (he directs Comedy Central’s sketch show Key & Peele). It’s a disastrously good time.6) Dollar Shave ClubThis spot for Dollar Shave Club presents more a palatable, normal-guy alternative to the hyper-masculine products that dominate the male grooming industry.In the ad, a man shopping with his girlfriend picks out a shower gel called “Massive Hero,” which promises “a fully jacked amino protein delivery system.” With perfect timing, a body builder enters the same aisle — the ideal consumer for the ultra-manly product. He picks up “Massive Hero” and inexplicably begins to flex and scream.The hilarious, 30-second spot was created in-house at Dollar Shave Club by Alex Karpovsky (a writer/director/actor you might have seen on HBO’s Girls) and designer/musician Teddy Blanks.7) The Wildlife Conservation Film FestivalIt’s rare that an ad makes us stop for a minute in silent contemplation, but its impossible to come away from this short film for The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival without a lump in your throat.Set to “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables, the film was created pro-bono by DDB New York as part of a larger campaign to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and global biodiversity protection. Zombie Studio produced the animation for the spot, which features a cast of uniquely expressive animals and sinister humans.Warning: This will make you cry.8) Pine SolIn this new series of spots for Pine Sol cleaning products by experience design agency Critical Mass, the cleaning product company sticks to what they know: how to clean things, and nothing else.Each of the campaign’s 16-second ads highlight a brief moment of uncertainty: Will the cat jump on the table? Will the big date go well? Will Jared meet his 401k goals? The narrator makes it clear that Pine Sol definitely doesn’t have the answers to these questions — but they do know how to clean your stuff (hint: with Pine Sol).9) Asus ZenFone 3What happens when you ask ordinary people on the street to direct a commercial for your product? Well, it starts on a beach, and then things get pretty weird.The folks at creative agency SuperHeroes enlisted the help of Matt Rubano and Betsy Kenney (members of Upright Citizens Brigade, the famous improv troupe) to ask random people on the street to come up with the plot of an ad for the new Asus ZenFone 3. The resulting spot includes dinosaurs, aliens, and an international car model named “Renaldo” saving the day at a night club.10) HornbachIf you’ve ever attempted a big do-it-yourself project, you know there are usually some big ups and downs. In this ad for German home improvement chain Hornbach, agency Heimat presents an unexpected metaphor for big DIY undertakings: rolling down a mountainside, naked.The ad starts with a man beginning to dig a pond in his backyard, and we simultaneously follow his progression sliding through varied mountain terrains. At times, the grass is soft and inviting, and his progress is smooth — but there are some definite bumps along the way.Have you seen any great ads lately? Let us know in the comments. Originally published Oct 31, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Remote Working Originally published Jun 26, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated September 05 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: There’s plenty of science to suggest flexible work schedules are critical for happier, more productive employees, and a more successful company overall.For instance, take a look at this graph from The Economist, which shows that working fewer hours correlates with higher levels of productivity in the form of increased GDP (gross domestic product). I guess there’s something to be said for the old “work hard, play hard” motto.Additionally, Jabra, a Denmark-based electronics company, found that, in 2018, four times more employees believe working from home to be the most productive option, compared to people’s perceptions in 2015. In recent years, more people prefer to work from home and believe it to be more productive than working in an office.Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your productivity at work.But let’s put the data aside for a second. I’m willing to bet we’ve all had those afternoons when we’ve felt entirely unproductive, but still sat at our desks until five p.m. anyway just to clock in the hours.Or, we’ve wished we could have the mornings free to run errands and spend time with family, but a traditional work schedule doesn’t leave us the option to meet those demands.Ultimately, we’ve all been in situations where our rigid work schedule has been a hinderance to our productivity in the office, and our priorities outside of it. A flexible work schedule could allow you to work when you’re most productive, and give you the autonomy you need to create an ideal work-life balance, however that looks to you.There are pros and cons to flexible schedules, just like there are pros and cons to a rigid nine-to-five job. But, as the Jabra study indicates, flexible schedules are becoming more typical nowadays, so we’ve compiled a list of everything good, bad, and surprising about implementing flexible work hours at your office.What is a flexible work schedule?A flexible work schedule allows employees a level of autonomy to create their own schedules and find a work-life balance that works for them. Rather than a traditional, 40 hour nine-to-five work week, a flexible schedule allows employees to vary the times they begin and end their work day. There is still structure to a flexible work schedule: employees must work a certain number of hours, or come up with an alternative agreement with their employer regarding office hours verus remote time.Flexible Schedules: The Good1. You can adapt your schedule to fit family needs. If you make your own hours, you can ensure those hours adapt to your family and social life demands. For instance, we have parents at HubSpot who make their hours fit around their children’s daycare schedules: they work early in the morning, take a break in the afternoon to pick up their kids, and then resume work later in the evening. Or perhaps your flex schedule is less rigid than that — maybe you just want time to see your son’s soccer games, or your sister’s graduation, and you need flexibility to manipulate your work schedule without taking time off.Emily MacIntyre, HubSpot’s Marketing Team Development Manager, agrees that there are pros and cons to flexible schedules in regards to parenting: “There are often in-office events after work that I have to miss out on, because I need to be home. But I get to see my daughter, and spend time with her each night, so it’s a trade-off.”Ultimately, a flexible schedule can go a long way towards maintaining a healthy work-life balance and protecting important relationships in your life.2. You can indulge in self-care. It might sound strange, but having the option to occasionally put your personal needs before work can help you find more joy throughout your day. Plus, in a University of Warwick study, happiness made people approximately 12% more productive. Self-care can be anything from a noon cycling class to finding time to meditate in the park — anything that makes you feel better able to tackle your responsibilities with a clear mind.3. Your employees can pursue passions outside of work.Unfortunately, your employee’s passions can’t always fit outside a nine-to-five work schedule. Sometimes that poetry class starts at four, and other times your hiking group leaves at noon on a Friday.There are a few reasons it’s important to give employees the freedom to pursue other passions. First, passion can encourage innovative ideas. The more well-rounded your employees are, the more likely they are to apply unconventional solutions to your company’s problems. Also, as previously mentioned, happier employees are more productive. And, third, if your employees can find outlets outside of work to pursue their passions, they’re less likely to feel unsatisfied in their current role.4. Your employees can work whenever they’re most productive. For me personally, this is the single most important benefit to flexible schedules: I work insanely well in the mornings. On some mornings, it feels like I can finish two-weeks worth of work before noon. But then, around three or four p.m., it becomes a struggle to even write a grocery list. My brain just doesn’t seem to function past that time. On the other hand, one of my coworkers does best when he can come into the office around 10 a.m., and then work, head-down, later into the night.Tony Schwartz, author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, writes about the importance of working like a sprinter. He says it’s important to work intensely and distraction-free for a period of time, but equally critical to take regular renewal breaks to recover from that intense work period.Ultimately, your employees aren’t all going to be productive at the exact same time. Flexibility allows them to become better workers — they will get everything accomplished during the hours they want, and they won’t feel burnt out from sitting at their desks during times they are unproductive.5. Your employees can avoid rush hour. This might seem trivial, but it’s not — in 2017 in Boston alone, a rush hour commuter wasted approximately two and a half full days out of a year sitting in a car. That’s almost a full 60 wasted hours where they could have been spending time mentally preparing for their day. A truly painful commute could even eventually drive employees to search for companies closer to home or with different hours. An easy way to improve employee satisfaction is to allow commuters the option to avoid traffic by leaving even just thirty minutes later.One study by McGill University’s Charis Loong and colleagues found that “satisfaction with travel mode is associated with higher odds of feeling energized and being punctual,” and “the strain of the daily commute can negatively impact performance at work.” Unfortunately, a terrible commute can interfere with your employee’s levels of energy and productivity, so it’s important to consider alternative options.6. You give employees a sense of autonomy. People like control over their schedules — it enables them to feel fully in charge of their work and personal lives, and makes them feel like their company trusts them. HubSpot’s Culture Code recognizes the importance of autonomy, saying, “Results matter more than the number of hours we work. Results matter more than where we produce them.” And, referring to the Economist graph we mentioned earlier, we can see it’s true — people are more productive even when they work fewer hours, so why not let people choose whichever time they need to commit to deliver the best results?Siobhán McGinty, a Campaign Marketing Manager in HubSpot’s Dublin office, says her flexible schedule gives her the opportunity to “live my best life. I enjoy getting up at 7 a.m., clearing my emails, enjoying my coffee and getting some work out of the way early on in the day. I also enjoy taking two hours off in the middle of the day to go to the gym, or do yoga, or — if it’s pay day — get a massage.”7. You can recruit and retain better talent. Flexible schedules have been shown to increase employee productivity and overall morale. Ultimately, you can use the benefits of a flexible schedule as a selling point for hiring better talent.The Creative Group surveyed marketing and advertising executives, and found 33% are offered flexible schedules and remote options. Offering flexible schedules is a good way for your company to attract talent and stand out from competitors in the industry, particularly as flex hours and remote work rise in popularity and employees begin to expect it from their next job.Flexible Schedules: The BadWe’ve covered seven different ways flexible schedules can benefit both employers and employees. But like any work arrangement, there are also some downsides to consider before committing to becoming a flexible workplace. Here are a few risks associated with flexible schedules.1. It’s more difficult for you to arrange meetings with your team. If everyone has different schedules, figuring out everyone’s availability can get tricky — for instance, perhaps you can’t have any nine a.m. meetings because three people on your team don’t arrive until 10 a.m. This gets even harder if your team works around the globe, or if you need to schedule meetings with clients who work the traditional nine-to-five.2. Lines between work and life blur more drastically. Maybe you’re working from home and your roommate asks you to go to a cycling class at noon, and suddenly it’s three p.m. and you’ve still got a ton of work to do. Or maybe your kids interrupt meetings and calls with pleas for trips to the pool. Whatever the case, life intervenes more drastically when you’re working flexible hours, particularly if you’re working remote. Plus, if all the people in your life work nine-to-five, they might try to pressure you into plans that are inconvenient for your schedule, since you “make your own schedule anyway.” Drawing boundaries between personal life and work can get difficult.Besides having a tough time getting into work mode when you’re tempted by your personal life, it’s also often challenging to shut off “work mode” when you can technically work whenever you want. Maybe it’s eight p.m. and you simply can’t relax when your desk, and all those piles of work, is within view. During those instances, it’s important you separate work from the rest of your life as much as possible, even creating a separate office space and closing the door when you leave.3. You won’t find much structure at home. If you’re working remote, there’s very little structure. With that freedom to take breaks, you might suddenly find you’re getting very little done. Working remotely often requires more focus and discipline than working in an office. You’ll need to set your own rigid structure and stick to it, or you might risk your performance sliding as you take more TV breaks or spend precious productivity hours folding laundry.4. It can be difficult to create a bonded team. If you’ve got a team that works from wherever, whenever, it can be hard to pencil in time to develop organic, authentic relationships between your team members. It just doesn’t happen as naturally as it would if everyone sat beside one another 9 to 5 and digressed into talks about the latest Bachelorette episode. One way to counteract this is to plan fun corporate team-building activities, but you might still need to work with everyone’s flex hours or remote time.Siobhán McGinty admits remote work in particular can get lonely, so, “to overcome that, I set up virtual “water cooler chats” with people on the team if I have 15-30 mins between meetings. It also helps to maintain rapport.” She also says she “practiced” going remote by initially working from home a few days a week, and eventually working her way up to full-time remote, and admits while rewarding, it’s also difficult.Flexible Schedules: The SurprisingWe’ve explored some pros and cons of a flexible schedule for employees and employers, but there are some additional surprising facts you should know when deciding if flexible schedules is right for you and your company.1. The more flexible your employees’ schedules are, the longer they’ll work. If you’re worried about employees taking advantage of flexible hours and working an hour a day before hitting the beach, don’t be — Heejung Chung, a senior lecturer at University of Kent in the UK, conducted research with her colleague Yvonne Lott, and found there’s a tendency for people with more autonomy over their schedules to work longer hours, regardless of level of influence or job type. In fact, “this increase in working hours was greatest when workers had full atonomy over their working hours.”One explanation for this is known as the gift exchange theory, which is the idea that you’re grateful when your employer gives you a flexible schedule and you see it as a gift, which you feel obligated to repay by working harder and longer. You want to prove you deserve the flexible schedule, so you push yourself to work over eight hours a day.2. Flex hours make your employees happier — and their children.A study conducted by the American Sociological Review found workers with flex hours slept better, felt healthier, and were less stressed than their nine-to-five counterparts. Overall, the group with flex hours felt happier than the group with a rigid schedule. But, most surprisingly, as noted by the New York Times, is “the effects even cascaded down to employees’ children, who reported less volatility around their own daily stresses; adolescents saw the quality of their sleep improve.” Happiness is contagious, and so is stress, so it makes sense parents with lower levels of stress and higher levels of happiness were able to spread those emotions to their children.3. It might be harder to get flexible hours if you’re a woman.A 2014 experiment by Furman University sociologist Christin Munsch showed 600 participants a transcript of a conversation between an employee asking for flexible hours and an HR representative. Shockingly, when participants assumed it was a man asking for flexible time, almost 70% said they’d be likely or very likely to approve the request, compared to 56% when they believed it was a woman making the request. There are other studies supporting the same hypothesis — that it’s harder for a woman to receive flex time than a man — here.Munsch speculated the study’s results come from inherent gender biases when it comes to childcare: the participants might’ve felt impressed by a man’s desire to spend more time at home with children, while they might’ve felt a woman should find a better way to balance her home and work obligations. Of course, this varies immensely company to company and even country to country, but it’s important for employers to keep it in mind if they’re in charge of approving flexible work schedules for employees.So what now? Ultimately, providing flexible schedules for employees won’t work for every company or every department. For instance, if your employees work in the services industry and often speak both on the phone and in-person with clients, perhaps you need them to maintain a nine-to-five schedule. Hopefully, weighing these pros and cons will help you make the best decision for your team, or even brainstorm alternative ways to combat some of the negative consequences of a traditional work schedule.