Good Twitter Handles: Use this type of handle if you would like people to remember the industry in which you work. This way people will always associate you with your specialty, and it’s a good baseline to develop thought leadership. 2) A name followed by random numbers (Joanne123) What’s in a Name? Topics: Unless there is a reason for the specific numbers, this type of handle looks juvenile by conjuring the old AOL chat room days. Many people do it because the name they want to use is already taken. However, it gives the appearance that you aren’t putting enough thought into your username to think of something unique. —and you do not plan to make a company Twitter account—this is a great way to represent you and your company at the same time. “How to Use Twitter for Business” 3) A combination of your name and your industry (MarketingJane) , to learn more important tips for optimizing your company’s social media presence! Twitter 2) A combination of your name and your company (CompanyJane) your company on Twitter Twitter Profile Check out our ebook, We believe the first step in optimizing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 1) Something completely random (TigerMan) This is a lost branding opportunity for you and your company and could spark confusion. It’s also unprofessional and looks like you’re hiding your identity. Bad Twitter Handles: Your 3) A handle that uses an underscore (PR_Max) Twitter for business Making your Twitter handle as close to your name as possible will make it easier for people to recognize you at a conference or event. It also treats your name like a brand. every time you tweet, you promote brand awareness for your name. handle is incredibly important. It’s true; you can change it later if you need to. But why not start best-foot-forward and be truly thoughtful when selecting the Twitter handle that will represent you or your business? Originally published Jan 12, 2009 8:54:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 starts at the very beginning: setting up your account. Joining Twitter is fun and exciting, but take the time to fully complete your account before you start using it. By ensuring everything is well set up, you will ultimately get the best results. Using an underscore won’t hurt you, but be aware that it generally is never done. Use at risk of seeming unaware of the “social norms.” 1) Your full name or a variation of your full name (JamesDean or JDean) If you will be the only person representing
the Wikipedia entry go read it now Most blogs put comments right below their articles. That encourages participation because readers see them after they finish, and dive in. That’s not the case on The Journal’s site. After the article all you see are ads. If you want to comment on the piece, you have to go back to a comment tab at the top of the page. The authors encourage marketers to “Resist the temptation to sell, sell, sell,” yet by placing ads where most sites put the comments, The Journal is doing just that. (3) Ads Take Up Space Most Sites Devote to Comments — and Here’s what I mean: colleges after dozens of interviews with executives and managers. (whatever you say about Wikipedia, it is certainly a conversation). , written by professors from — “Don’t just talk at consumers — work with them throughout the marketing process.” That’s another one of the article’s excellent morsels of advice. Yet the authors fail to follow it. As of late Monday night, they weren’t participating in the comments, which means they’re talking at their readers. There is just one problem with the article: The authors and The Journal aren’t following their own advice. Bentley (1) Very Few Links What do you think? Does the WSJ practice what it preaches? Does HubSpot? Topics: , or, at the very least, Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . inbound marketing If you haven’t read today’s piece in The Wall Street Journal about marketing on the social web, you should Inbound Marketing — The authors urge marketers to “Listen to — and join — the conversation outside your site.” Yet their entire article includes only two links, and even then they’re not links to related conversations. For example, since they offer a definition of Web 2.0, they should link to Babson Originally published Dec 15, 2008 9:02:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Tim O’Reilly’s seminal post on the topic (2) The Authors Aren’t Participating in the Comments It’s a great summary of many of the principles of
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
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Why is this effective?7-Eleven likes to engage its customer and give them a unique experience. This campaign accomplishes just that, getting their customers involved as well as providing another way for them to show off their political support. 7-Eleven also does a great job of taking an integrated, multi-channel marketing approach, leveraging online channels such as its website, Twitter, and Facebook to promote the campaign in addition to customers’ real-life, in-store experience.8) Heaven Hill DistilleriesTo capitalize on the election season at the start of the primaries in January, Heaven Hill Distilleries introduced two types of bourbons: Red State Bourbon and Blue State Bourbon. Along with launch of its left wing and right wing bourbons, the distillery also launched two separate Facebook pages in support of each position. And for every Facebook like they receive, Heaven Hill Distilleries is also donating $1 to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Newsjacking Originally published Oct 16, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Wherever you turn, someone is talking about the upcoming presidential election. There are a ton of commercials on the air supporting the battle between the two main candidates, and every news outlet is reporting on the election — particularly the presidential debates (will you be tuning in tonight?). Furthermore, social media campaigns for both candidates are prevalent. So it only makes sense that other companies would take advantage of the country’s interest in the election by creating creative marketing campaigns to promote their own causes.We’ve talked before about the power of newsjacking as a great way to leverage the popularity of story/trend/meme to get some news coverage of your own. Breaking news is reported all of the time, but as a marketer, you have a unique opportunity to take advantage of these trending topics and create relevant campaigns that serve your own marketing agenda. So to give you some newsjacking inspiration, here are 8 companies who are using the popularity of the election season as an opportunity to capture the attention of the media and promote their own businesses.1) Pizza HutPizza Hut is certainly riding the political wave, running an election-themed marketing campaign called “The Pizza Party.” Pizza Hut is offering up a Big Dinner Box as its candidate, asking their customers to show support by signing up on their website.To add another element to the campaign, Pizza Hut is also offering unlimited pizza for a year or a $15,600 check to anyone who asks the presidential candidates if they prefer pepperoni or sausage during the next debate, which happens to be in town meeting-style format. While questions are screened ahead of time, there has been a history of participants asking other questions when prompted by other companies. Tune in tonight to see what happens!Why is this effective?By newsjacking the election, Pizza Hut has a great opportunity to market to families who might want to sit together and watch the debate on TV … maybe with a box of pizza. For parents who want to educate their children about the election, this campaign helps them do that in a fun (and yummy) way.2) JetBlueEvery election year you always hear Americans threatening to move to Canada or some other country if their preferred candidate isn’t elected. Well, JetBlue is taking those threats to heart, promising to fly 1,006 voters out of the country if their desired candidate doesn’t win.Participants simply have to visit the JetBlue Election Protection website, select their favorite candidate, and choose which destination they’d like to be shipped off to if their candidate doesn’t win. After November 6, the winners will be chosen. Don’t worry — the destination choices are a little bit on the warmer side than, say, Canada (no offense, Canadians).Why is this effective?JetBlue’s brand is known for its fun and creative social media campaigns to make customers happy. So it’s no surprise that the airline jumped on a unique opportunity that would engage and excite customers. As the entire country is talking about the importance of voting, JetBlue is also sharing that message, but at the same time encouraging U.S. citizens to vote with them as well. 3) PBS (Featuring Big Bird!)We found this election newsjacking example so noteworthy that we devoted a full article to it on our blog. Here’s the gist: After Mitt Romney proclaimed that, as much as he loves Big Bird, he is going to cut funding to PBS if elected, PBS took the perfect opportunity to ride the social media wave that exploded after this announcement. People mostly tweeted their disappointment in Mitt Romney’s statement, which led PBS to purchase a Promoted Tweet on Twitter that was displayed when users searched for “Big Bird.” The advertised tweet led readers straight to the PBS website, that spoke about its value in an attempt to educate the audience about everything PBS does and stands for. Why is this effective?When it comes to newsjacking, timing is everything. Heaven Hill Distilleries launched this campaign as soon as the primaries started, which was a smart, strategic move on their part. This allowed the campaign to last throughout the entire election season up until November, and as a result it’s gained good traction: The Red State Bourbon Facebook Page currently has 1,157 Likes, and the Blue State Burbon Facebook Page has 540 Likes. It’s definitely proven to be a successful way to not only engage customers in-store, but to also engage them online.What other companies are newsjacking the election season for their own marketing benefit?Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner Topics: Why is this effective?During the 2008 election, the Sarah Palin doll was successful in raising $19,000. The doll’s launch was not only a great way for voters to get excited about the upcoming election but also donate to a good cause that related to the election. After the success of the Sarah Palin doll, the marketers at Cabbage Patch were smart to create align their political dolls with the charity as well.7) 7-ElevenTo benefit from election season, 7-Eleven is hosting its own type of election called the 7-Election, through which customers choose coffee cups that are either blue for President Obama or red for Mitt Romney, with the votes tallied at the check-out counter. Every day, the results are calculated on the 7-Eleven website. Why is this effective?This opportunity may have fallen right into PBS’ lap, but the company had to act strategically and efficiently in order to newsjack Romney’s controversial announcement — and they did. PBS recognized that because the buzz was happening on Twitter, they should use that channel as the way to drive visitors back to their website. Considering the proper channels and immediately taking action while the story is fresh is vital for newsjacking success, and PBS executed on this brilliantly!4) Boston MarketTo capitalize on election season, Boston Market decided to launch “limited-time only” menu items alongside an election-themed campaign to promote them. The campaign, called the “Market Bowl Poll,” pits chicken (the left wing) against turkey (the right wing). As part of the campaign, Boston Market asks you to vote for the candidate you prefer, after which you’re rewarded with a coupon to redeem for money off the new dishes. Boston Market also created a video to go along with the campaign:Why is this effective?Restaurants introduce new dishes and menu items regularly. But what people will remember about Boston Market isn’t necessarily the fact that it introduced new menu fare, but rather that Boston Market participated in a popular event that its customers already care about. As a result, its promotional video has already accumulated over 25,000 views on YouTube. Boston Market is also finding other ways to leverage its campaign by engaging with Facebook fans and encouraging votes in the election in exchange for smaller prizes, including gift cards.5) FedEx FedEx took a very clever approach to newsjacking the election, using it as a great opportunity to promote the fact that all of your promotional materials can be printed using their services. And with all of the negative advertisements that get played during political races, FedEx decided to newsjack that negativity by asserting, “Competition may not always be professional, clean, or elegant, but at least your promotional materials can be.”Why is this effective?FedEx’s newsjack is funny and relatable whether you’re involved in election season promotion or not. While you may not need to print political marketing collateral yourself, people will always need to print something. So FedEx took a great opportunity to promote its products and services at a time when everyone is already thinking about the presidential race. And, of course, a little humor always goes a long way.6) Cabbage PatchThat’s right — even the toy industry is jumping aboard the election newsjacking bandwagon. Cabbage Patch has created dolls resembling Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan. The dolls are scheduled to be auctioned off on eBay from October 30 through November 6, and the proceeds will go to Rock the Vote.
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:
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: It’s hard to call Amazon a trendsetter in this field, since eBay has done something similar for over a decade. Still, because of Amazon’s influence over ecommerce trends, we may be able to consider it groundbreaking. What’s this “new” thing they’re doing?Haggling.Sure, eBay is and auction site, where buyers try to outbid each other for anything from socks to one-of-a-kind art pieces. Amazon’s “make an offer” option is, for now, available only for rare pieces like collectibles and fine art. The basic idea behind the two is the same, though. By allowing buyers to make their offers, whether in an auction setting or a haggling scenario, these two ecommerce giants give buyers even more power.How It WorksAs you’ll see in the screenshot below, Amazon provides the option for buyers to either purchase the item at a set price or to make an offer. The offer is delivered directly to the seller, who can either accept that offer or make a counteroffer. The deal is done when the seller either accepts or both parties walk away.Just like haggling in real life, right?Why This Is Big NewsIf eBay has done something along the same lines for years, why is Amazon’s new negotiation option such a big deal? In truth, Amazon is a leader in the ecommerce world. The company has made buying online easier and less expensive than ever. When they break new ground, the rest of the ecommerce world follows.Sure, other websites out there probably haggled with buyers if those buyers were savvy enough to seek out the contact information. As far as a structured, easy way for potential customers to make lower offers, Amazon is leading the pack. They may have already patented either the idea itself or the technology used, but that won’t matter.As we’ve seen, using patented technology for ecommerce isn’t new. Amazon may have the 1-Click buying option, the whole “photos on a white background” technique, and even online gift cards locked down, but that hasn’t stopped others from developing their own versions.The more technology-savvy ecommerce companies out there could very well develop their own version of Amazon’s haggling option. And before they go through that trouble, they have the ultimate example to learn from. If it works for Amazon, we’re sure to see it crop up everywhere.Where It WorksIf you’re thinking that haggling just won’t work for a lot of ecommerce outlets, you’re right. The structure isn’t ideal for everyone, but it is the perfect solution for many. Antique dealers who haven’t considered an online outlet for their goods may find this particular buying option perfect. Fine art sellers could experience a higher number of sales if online shoppers felt they could make an offer. Vintage apparel stores could see a huge surge in sales if buyers had the option of haggling over that Chanel purse.Someone looking for a pack of socks, though? This model isn’t going to work. For that, you could still go to eBay.What do you think about haggling? Is this the future of ecommerce, or will Amazon only be able to use the model for a small selection of items? We’d love your thoughts, so leave a comment! Ecommerce and Amazon Originally published Jan 30, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Originally published Jul 2, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “Everyone should learn how to code.”This has been the narrative in the technology industry over the last few years, and for good reason. Code is behind nearly everything we touch today. Even those who don’t have a desire to become a developer are learning to code in order to gain a fundamental understanding of how technology operates.At the forefront of this movement is Codeacademy. This online interactive platform offers free coding classes, and is quickly becoming a pillar in the New York City startup community. And it all started back in 2011, when co-founder Zach Sims dropped out of Columbia to start the company with Ryan Bubinski. Since then, they’ve helped nearly 25 million people learn how to code.Zach joins Mike on this episode of The Growth Show to talk about:How Codecademy was a viral phenomenonThe decision to drop out of an Ivy league school with only one year left until graduationThe choice to make Codecademy free for everyoneThe future of learning and how they’re re-thinking education from the bottom upClick the play button below to listen to this episode, or subscribe directly on iTunes and you’ll never miss a new episode: And if you’d like to see more recaps of the latest episodes of The Growth Show, click here.
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.
Website Design Examples 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 Mar 4, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: They say the best things often come in small packages. Think about it: jewelry, Snapchats, books, the keys to a brand new car … all of these things support this notion. And with our attention spans shrinking below that of a goldfish, it should come as no surprise that we’re beginning to crave more focused content at a smaller scale, too. Enter the rise of microsites. Unlike regular websites, microsites tend to be rather simplistic and easier to navigate. This isn’t to say they won’t make you want to poke around for a while, though. In fact, the really great ones do just that.Click here to download our curated collection of interactive content examples. Ready to see a few use cases? Check out the list below for some great examples of microsites in action. Note: There is profanity in example seven, so scroll on by if that’s not your cup of tea.What Is a Microsite?A microsite is an individual web page or small cluster of web pages that act as a separate entity for a brand. A microsite typically lives on its own domain, but some exist as a subdomain. Microsites can be used to help brands achieve a number of things. For example, some companies have used them to highlight a specific campaign or target specific buyer personas. Others have used them to tell a short story, or to inspire a specific call-to-action.11 Examples of Ingenious Microsites1) YearInMusic.Spotify.com | SpotifyAside from serving as a painful reminder of how many Justin Bieber song I listened to on repeat last year, Spotify’s Year in Music has proven to be one of the most well executed microsites we’ve ever seen.Commonly referred to a “celebration” of the music that carried us through the year prior, Spotify’s interactive site is personalized especially for you, based on your listening habits. What exactly does that mean? Well, the tool makes it easy for you to create a personalized recap that incorporates details such as your first played song, top artists by season, and how much time you spent listening. The experience is unique to the user, making it fun for them to share and compare their synopsis with their friends. And when it comes to sharing, the microsite makes it really easy. Every stat that the site pulls for you can be shared on social media thanks to a handy button at the bottom right of the screen.2) DangersOfFracking.com | Linda DongIn an effort to gain support for the FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act), Interaction and Industrial Designer Linda Dong designed a beautiful microsite that uses parallax design to tell the story about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing.The story starts with a water droplet falling from a cloud, and as you scroll down through the site, you follow the water droplet as it’s taken from truck to fracturing site, turned into tracking fluid, and sent down a gas well into the ground. Along the way, you encounter floating facts and statistics about the dangers of fracking until you encounter two simple calls-to-action at the very end: “Contact your local officials” and “Join or support your local organization.”Microsites like this one are heavily focused on using directional cues (in this case, the parallax movement) to drive users to complete a certain call-to-action — so any other distraction or navigation bar is removed entirely. If your microsite focuses on one or two calls-to-action, make sure they are concise and actionable like this one is, and that you set them apart visually from the rest of the site by making the font color pop or putting the copy in a button.3) UrWhatUPost.com | Bolthouse Farms”Why should junk food get all the glory?”You’re asked this question when you first arrive to BoltHouse Farms’ microsite, UrWhatUPost.com. BoltHouse Farms created the site to show people how many social media conversations were happening about healthy foods versus unhealthy foods. To do this, they collected #UrWhatUPost hashtags and tracked the kinds of foods we share on social media, then pit the healthy stuff, like #grapes, against the unhealthy stuff, like #icecream. The goal of the website is aligned with their overall company mission: To change the way people think (and post) about healthy food.Bolthouse Farms proves microsites don’t have to be minimalist. The pages on the site are colorful and animated, with words and moving numbers turning into dangling carrots and swinging pomegranates. Click on a food item and magic happens — every food item is different. Click on a pomegranate and you can “hit” it with your clicker like a piñata. Click on a melon and you’re taken to a “melon meditation” page, kind of akin to the iTunes Visualizer. 4) Dominosdxp.com | Domino’s PizzaLast year, Domino’s announced their new Chevy Spark pizza delivery cars, known as DXPs. The cars were purposefully re-engineered for pizza delivery, and as a result, they boast a ton of awesome features — like an oven where the left door should be, space for up to 80 pizzas, custom storage for sauces and drinks.To show off this awesomeness, they recently launched a dedicated microsite detailing all things DXP.The site is heavily interactive website enables visitors to zoom in each of the features to gain a better understanding of the purpose and level of thought that went into each addition. The entire site is also skillfully animated, making it really interesting to learn about each feature.If nothing else, this is a great example of how to take a fairly complex product or idea and promote and explain it in a way that’s both fun and easily digestible. But don’t just take our word for it … visit the website to explore for yourself. 5) EmojiTracker.com | Matthew RothenbergThere is no “point” to emojitracker.com — it was created by Matthew Rothenberg, former Head of Product at Flickr and Bitly, as an experiment in real-time tracking of all emojis used on Twitter.The only calls-to-action on the site are the tweet and follow buttons at the very bottom. Otherwise, it’s just for pure interest. With no navigation bar or way to get to another site, it might actually be confusing to some people.Technically, it breaks the rules of good user interface design, but it goes to show that microsites don’t need to have complicated designs. Keep it simple to keep people on the page without taking up too much of their time.6) Fu2016.com | House of CardsStep aside, Donald Trump. There’s a new presidential candidate taking the internet by storm with this impressive, interactive microsite. If you’re not familiar with the Netflix series “House of Cards,” the program follows a man named Francis Underwood, a ruthless politician with a hidden agenda. As the series enters season four, they’re promoted the premiere with a clever microsite that pokes fun at politics. Talk about perfect timing, amirite?The microsite invites visitors to join Underwood’s movement and rally support for “important” issues such as inequality, dishonesty, and entitlement. But jokes aside, what we love most about this microsite is the design. In fact, you could easily argue that the site functions better than those of actual presidential candidates. From Underwoods attention-grabbing, shifty eyes (visit the website to see for yourself) to the high-quality videos, the microsite draws you in and provides good reasons for you to stick around and engage with the content.7) WhatTheF*ckShouldIMakeForDinner.com | Zach GoldenDon’t have a big budget? Take a hint from Zach Golden, author of What The F*ck Should I Make For Dinner?, who created a microsite to promote the book. Earmuffs, kids.The site has a very simple layout: A rotating “purpose of the recipe” line, a rotating recipe from the book, and three links that let you kind of “choose your own journey.” It has a black-and-white, minimalist theme; uses all caps; and places a small call-to-action in the corner that promotes his book. That’s it. Media company Digiday took a cue from Golden and used his microsite template to conduct an experiment of their own. They created the microsite WhatTheF*ckIsMyTwitterBio.com — with zero media budget — to see if the content would go viral and help build their brand.”Thanks to the open-source WTFEngine by Justin Windle, some cheap Web hosting and a $12 domain registration, WhatTheF*ckIsMyTwitterBio.com was up and running in under two hours,” reads Digiday’s press release. “Step two was populating the site with content, which took [two hours].”Their biggest takeaway? That good copy works. “We didn’t spend a dime promoting the site, and it reached nearly 100,000 unique users ‘organically.'”8) ElfYourself.com | OfficeMaxYou didn’t think I could write a blog post about microsites and not include ElfYourself, did you? Of course not. The screenshot below shows what the website looks like right now, but come the holiday season, expect your inbox to be rife with ElfYourself animations again this year because ElfYourself isn’t going away.What made the site so popular? Other than being hilarious, it’s also easily shareable, has a single call-to-action, and makes the users the stars. “It brought the brand to life for consumers,” wrote Kenneth Hein in Forbes, “and for the business-to-business crowd it provided a human face for the big box retailer.”In other words, Office Max used the microsite to be creative and let their freak flag fly, and it worked like a charm. They focused the campaign on the consumers, not the brand — but the sales tie-in came at the end of the ElfYourself videos in the form of coupons and promos. 9) TasteTheFeeling.Coca-Cola.com | Coca-ColaLet’s face it: We all love GIFs. And the folks at Coca-Cola have tapped into this inevitable admiration by creating a immersive online experience in the shape of the “Taste the Feeling” microsite. Here’s how it works: When users land on the page, they’re met with a two-minute music video set to the sounds of a custom campaign anthem from Avicii and Conrad Sewell. The video is made up of looping, three-second GIFs that depict the many emotions felt by Coca-Cola drinkers. As you watch, you can select an emotion by clicking on one of the 32 emotion-based icons, or enter your own emotion to pull up a corresponding GIF. All of the GIFs are easily sharable on social media, which serves as a great way to draw people back to the site to engage with the content. This microsite also serves as a great example for those interested in globalizing their campaign assets, as it’s available in more than 20 different languages. 10) Inside.Chanel.com | ChanelInside Chanel is a microsite that “works to inform consumers about the house’s history and heritage through video and multimedia content,” according to Luxury Daily. The site houses a ton of short, social videos that chronicle the people, places, things, and events that have contributed to continued success of this iconic fashion brand.The purpose? “The strategy behind this microsite is to create some accessibility of Chanel’s history, but more importantly, their success throughout the years,” explains Dalia Strum, president of Dalia Inc.We love their video-centric approach to visual storytelling. Each of the videos aims to pull back the curtain and give visitors an exclusive look at behind the scenes photos and stories, as they pertain to different aspects of the brand — color, couture, and so on.It’s important to note that this site isn’t Chanel’s first stab at microsite creation. In fact, the brand has experimented with multiple microsite formats, including the editorial-style site Chanel News:11) BurgerBff.com | Mellow MushroomThis microsite from the folks at Mellow Mushroom — a pizzeria franchise established in Atlanta, Georgia — was created to support their recent “Burger BFF” campaign. The campaign was launched to create buzz for their new menu items: Herb (a vegetarian burger) and Carnie (a beef burger). The menu items have been adapted into cartoon BFFs for the sake of the campaign … and the result is pretty lovable.Mellow Mushroom uses the microsite as a way to promote a contest for a chance to win a round trip to Denver or Seattle with their bestie. And it does so in a number of really fun and interesting ways. For example, one section of the site invites visitors to use the hashtag #BurgerBFF to enter the contest and show off their best burger shots on Instagram:But that’s not all: The site also offers visitors several other engaging, interactive ways to enter the contest, including quizzes and a Mad Libs-style storytelling generator. Here are 11 pricing page examples you’ll want to check out.
Originally published Oct 7, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Blog Optimization As a marketer, you’re used to leveraging a variety of channels to promote your business, up to and including content marketing.According to HubSpot’s annual State of Inbound report, 60% of marketers reported “blog content creation” as one of their top priorities — with interactive content creation (41%), long-form content creation (33%), and visual content creation (33%) not far behind.Unfortunately, not every piece of content you create is going to be a winner. There are millions of blog posts being published every day, and many of those posts will never see a lick of traffic.Learn how to get 100% more traffic and leads with historical blog optimization. Sure, it’s discouraging to see content underperform, but the real issue arises when you leave that underperforming content on the table. To prevent that, I’m going to walk you through how to identify, reposition, and optimize that lackluster content to help your business start generating more views and leads.Is the Content Really Failing?Before we dive in, it’s important to first make the distinction between the content that is actually underperforming and the content that hasn’t ramped up or gained traction yet.HubSpot’s Principal Marketing Manager of Optimization, Pamela Vaughan, did some extensive research into HubSpot’s seemingly-underperforming content, and what she found was really interesting. (Download this ebook for an in-depth explanation of Vaughan’s research.)Vaughan’s analysis was intended to determine which of their posts were the most influential in generating leads, and which posts weren’t pulling their weight. In doing so, she discovered that 76% of HubSpot’s monthly blog views came from old posts (anything published prior to that month), and that 92% of their blog-generated leads came from old posts.The most important point you should take from her study is that it can take time — sometimes several months — for content to gain traction. Before you flag content as underperforming, you need to set realistic time scales as part of your strategy, KPIs, and measurement methodology for success.If you already have a fair amount of content, you can use metrics over the life of those content pieces to create performance benchmarks for other current pieces and any new additions.How to Identify Underperforming ContentBefore you can flag any performance issues, you need to understand the components of 10X content that contribute to better performance and higher engagement. This type of content is generally:High qualityEntertainingSolutions basedFreshNon-promotionalEducationalThought leading/innovativeHighly relevantIt might seem easy to hit a lot of those points — and you may feel like your content includes all of these components — but it’s actually not as easy as it might appear.Roughly 60% of marketers still struggle with creating engaging content, even when including many of the components above — and the problem goes well beyond just the traffic a piece of content is getting.Source: CMISo how do you identify underperforming content? Look for the following:Loss of organic traffic. Sometimes, a post will gain traction — even a substantial amount — and then suddenly lose its traffic. This can happen in the wake of social promotion, a loss of referral links on high traffic sites, or a shift in organic search rank.No direct engagement. Even a well-trafficked post could have poor direct engagement. This could point back to an issue with a call-to-action, or perhaps concerns that the content doesn’t match the user’s search intent.No organic traffic. It’s frustrating to publish a post and hear crickets. Organic search can be one of your greatest traffic sources, but not if your content is poorly optimized.Little to no social engagement. Limited shares on social media are a sign that there’s an issue with the content, especially if you’re getting steady traffic to your article or post.Poor post metrics. Another indicator of underperforming content is a low on-page time/session duration per page, with a high-exit or drop-off rate.Ideally you want people to linger, showing that they’re reading a long-form post in full. You also want the reader to visit other pages, as opposed to using that same landing page as an exit page or bouncing from the site without taking other actions.No follow through to content despite social promotion. If you’re seeing a fair number of shares, but you’re not seeing follow through from an extended audience, you may want to consider why the conversion on shares is so low.The Solution? Historical Optimization.Every piece of underperforming content can be made into a center-stage star with a few tweaks and adjustments. In the above mentioned study from Pamela Vaughan around HubSpot’s content, historical optimization of underperforming content helped to double the number of monthly leads generated by old posts. (Again, you can read more on that in this ebook.)Once you’ve identified a piece of underperforming content, here are some things you can do to give it a boost:1) Improve long-tail keyword use.If organic visibility is an issue, or if you’re seeing poor post engagement as a result of traffic, try improving the optimization. Find long-tail keywords that better match user intent against the context of the article. (New to keyword research? Start with this beginner’s guide.)2) Optimize headlines to boost CTR.Google uses over 200 ranking factors to rank results based on search query and its perception of user intent. Despite that, clickthrough behavior carries a significant weight in how Google ranks content.Improve your headlines to make them more compelling in order to garner more clickthroughs in organic search. This will contribute to a gradual increase in your position within the search results. (Download this ebook for data-driven tips on writing catchy headlines.)Need a second opinion on a headline? Check out Title Tester. This testing tool makes it easy to create headline polls that’ll help you decide on the most clickable option.3) Create compelling meta content.The SEO value of meta content has greatly diminished in recent years, but there’s still value to be had. As in the case of the headline or title of your content, it can have a profound impact on user engagement and clickthrough rate. Write it like your sales copy to boost engagement. (Or, steal tips from this article.)4) Adjust content to match user intent.You may have hit on a fantastic topic but perhaps the way you addressed it missed some key points, creating a mismatch in content vs. search intent.See if there’s something else the audience is looking for regarding your topic and find ways to adjust your existing content to include new or better targeted information. For example, a reader might not be interested in how to write Instagram captions, but they could be interested in how to earn more followers on Instagram. 5) Add internal links and cross link content.Sometimes, a piece of content doesn’t garner a lot of engagement because it’s all “me, me, me.”Without external links or reliable sources your audience might just feel like it is merely opinion and conjecture. External links can add credibility and authority to your content. (Check out this list of 33 white hat ways to build backlinks to get started.)6) Consolidate content.If you have multiple pieces of content seeing little traffic, try combining them into a more comprehensive piece that packs greater value. Then, redirect links from the most underperforming pieces to the new consolidated piece.7) Cluster content.HubSpot’s Matt Barby talks about cluster content in a piece for Search Engine Journal that I highly recommend checking out. The idea is that a topic cluster is a collection of semantically relevant content pieces that individually cover smaller themes within an overarching topic.“Any big piece of content that I’m targeting against hyper-competitive search terms will be marked as pillar content. Then a range of content will be created covering subtopics related to the main pillar that internally link to it,” according to Barby.Source: Search Engine Journal8) Add visual elements to content.When dealing with low engagement, make sure you’re leveraging visual assets within your content. According to research from Xerox, visuals can increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.Whether it’s images or video, use it in every post and use it often. According to Buzzsumo, articles with an image once every 100 words or so get double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images. (Download 195+ visual design templates to get you started here.)9) Include the almighty call-to-action.If you’re suffering from low engagement, look to your call-to-action. Make sure you’re telling your audience exactly what you want them to do (share, comment, opt in, etc.) once they finish reading your post. (You can start improving your conversions with these 50 customizable call-to-action templates.)Getting StartedUltimately, one of the best ways to deal with underperforming content is to have a strategy that prevents it in the first place. Make sure your content includes all the most important components and create a plan for promotion as part of your strategy.Remember to consider the time it takes for content to gain traction among your audience — it varies for everyone.Use your past analytics as a model to monitor future content, and be proactive about historical optimization in the future to consistently keep up the engagement and performance of all of your content.How do you correct underperforming content? Share your tips in the comments below.
Topics: Mara MentorIf you’re a budding entrepreneur struggling to find a mentor in your industry, check out this tool — it was designed to provide an “exchange of ideas, guidance, learning and connecting with like-minded people.”Not only does Mara Mentor (available for iOS and Android) offer a platform for connecting professionals and entrepreneurs with mentors, but also, it provides industry news and a digital networking platform that connects you with other entrepreneurs to share knowledge and experiences. Plus, it’s global — so no matter where you are, you can connect with others for professional support.7) Online CoursesWe’ll admit that many of the sources on this list largely pertain to management, communication, and finding a mentor. But that’s not that only way to advance or make changes in your career. Sometimes, it’s about becoming really, really good at a certain thing that your job requires — or something that the job you want requires. And for that to happen, you just need to hunker down and learn it.An online course can be a great way to do that. Finding the right class depends on the skill you want to develop, but here are a few places we recommend for getting started, especially when it comes to marketing-related skills.HubSpot AcademyIf you want a deep dive into some of the most important aspects of marketing today, check out the HubSpot Academy. One of the most popular resources available there is our free Inbound Certification.DesignlabWant to improve or sharpen your design skills? Check out Designlab. You’ll be given real assignments to build your knowledge — and a mentor to help you through each one.CodeacademyMore free stuff? You bet. In fact, you can learn to code for free with Codecademy, which is a particularly helpful resource if you learn best by doing — lessons are taught by way of both instruction and hands-on experience.LyndaOkay, so this one isn’t free — subscriptions start at $19.99/month — but if there’s a professional skill you want to advance, chances are, Lynda has a course for it. Created by LinkedIn, it offers classes in everything from Excel, to audio production, to software development.What’s Next?So, let’s say you’ve taken full advantage of the resources above. You’ve learned a lot and even gained some introspection. But if you’re still stuck, fear not — we’ve all been there.If you’re at a loss for what kinds of skills you want to develop, or if you’ve realized that you’re not sure you even want to be a leader in your particular field, then there’s a chance you just might not be sure what to do next. That’s why we created The Next Five: a free assessment that can help you identify the next step in your career.And because many of us dread the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” — or simply can’t answer it — this resource comes with even more processes to come up with a response on your own time. Because the only thing better than general, yet valuable leadership resources, are those tailored to your specific situation.What are some of the most helpful leadership resources you’ve found? Let us know in the comments. Learning some things in life is relatively straightforward. Take knitting, for example — that’s typically as simple as procuring some yarn and needles and searching for a how-to video on getting started. Sure, your work might look a little haphazard at first, but the steps are fairly intuitive.Learning to lead others, on the other hand, isn’t so linear.There’s always the option to pick up a leadership book or turn to articles on the topic to get started, but a start is all it will be. You’ve got to read, listen, ask questions, put things into practice, make mistakes, and course-correct — only then, you might be at a “good enough” level. Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder, Dharmesh Shah.But everyone has to start somewhere, and if you’re looking to embark on a leadership development path, you might also be looking for some of the best materials to help you along the journey. We’ve got you covered — below are some of our favorite podcasts, tools, tips, and resources to become a better leader.7 Leadership Resources for Marketers1) PodcastsSource: NPRDepending on the day, one method of consuming information might be better than another. If you take the train into work and the ride is quieter than usual one morning, for example, it might be a great day to catch up on a leadership book. But if you drive, and traffic is particularly bad, it’s probably better (not to mention, safer) to listen to a podcast episode about leadership than to read a book about it.That’s one of the reasons why we consistently keep a few leadership podcasts downloaded and ready to listen to. Here are three of our favorites:TED Radio HourAround here, we love a good TED talk. But trying to pick just one out of volumes of valuable presentations is as tricky as trying to pick one thing to watch on Netflix, am I right? That’s what makes the TED Radio Hour podcast so valuable. It takes some of the most intriguing TED talk topics — like big data, making our work more meaningful, or even forgiveness — and builds episodes based on them.The Growth ShowHosted by HubSpot’s VP of Marketing Meghan Keaney Anderson and CMO Kipp Bodnar, The Growth Show is an exploration of all things relating to business growth. Anderson and Bodnar take turns at the helm, welcoming guests to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of growth. From stories of epic failure to the even better recovery that followed it, Anderson and Bodnar interview guests who share some of the most intriguing organizational, cultural, conceptual, and team insights.StartUpAs the name suggests, this product is a self-described “podcast about what it’s really like to get a business off the ground.” And no matter where you are in your career, there are still leadership lessons to be learned from entrepreneurs or beginners, especially if you need a back-to-basics reminder of how to get started. Plus, the topics — like balancing business and family life, or stories about inventors — are just plain interesting and provide solid fodder to get your wheels turning in the morning.2) Public Speaking HelpPublic speaking isn’t exactly a requirement for being a strong leader, but as you progress in your career, it might become part of your job (think: presenting at large team meetings or to a board), and it’s a skill that can help set you apart from the pack.But if public speaking sounds like a worse experience than undergoing a root canal, then there’s a chance you’ve wished for a formula to make it as simple as possible. That’s why we love speaking.io — it’s a near one-stop-shop for public speaking tips. Upon arriving at the site, it appears to be an unconventional resource collection for the five major steps of presenting:Plan out your talk.Design and build your slides.Prep for the big day.Deliver and do your thing.React and reflect on what just happened.Plus, if you want newer, more detailed tips and information, the site also contains a blog with advice on things like using images, sharing presentations online, and dealing with nervousness.3) Books (On the Stuff They Don’t Teach You in Business School)Source: brenebrown.comSometimes, it feels like we have to master everything to be a leader. We have to learn how to manage projects, delegate tasks, and analyze outcomes. But then, there are the leadership lessons that don’t always get the biggest headlines, like learning to be empathetic, accountable, and how to embrace vulnerability.That last one, while a scary word, is something that we’ve found some of the most exceptional leaders do. That’s why we love Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown. “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability,” she writes, “we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”This book, in particular, dives into years of research on why vulnerability can be an asset to leaders. After all, taking risks requires some degree of becoming vulnerable, and strong leaders know when to take calculated risks. But that doesn’t just apply to work — Brown’s work also explores how that vulnerability can be an advantage in other areas of life.4) The Radical Candor FrameworkThink about the hardest piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten. Chances are, it was tough to hear, but you were ultimately better off because of it.That’s exactly what happened to Kim Scott. After an important presentation, Scott’s boss, Sheryl Sandberg — yes, the one who wrote Lean In — had some feedback. Harsh feedback. The kind of feedback that stings. But because Scott knew that Sandberg was coming from a compassionate place when giving the feedback, Scott accepted it, moved on, and became better.Scott took this pivotal interaction and used it to develop a framework for giving better feedback at work — the kind that embraces brutal honesty delivered with profound empathy. It’s worthy advice for leaders at any point in their respective careers.Fun fact: We once had the pleasure of hosting Kim Scott on The Growth Show. If you’re interested in hearing more about her perspective on leadership, check out her episode below. Originally published May 30, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated December 20 2017 Leadership Don’t forget to share this post! 5) Real-time FeedbackSpeaking of feedback, did that last resource make you crave receiving some yourself? After all, authentic, constructive criticism is an excellent supplement to the advice doled out by books, blogs, podcasts, and frameworks. Enter CareerLark: a Slack bot that helps you seek out on-the-fly “micro-feedback” on the skills you want to improve.Here’s how it works. In the example provided by CareerLark’s product explanation, an employee wants to get feedback on his weekly analytics updates. Using the Slack bot, he can ping his boss to get real-time feedback on how he’s doing. She’ll then receive a message like this one:From there, Monica can either answer using one of the emojis provided, or send a more detailed response, as per below:Micro-feedback in real-time? Great for your skill development — and, it can provide your boss with good practice in providing concise commentary.6) Advice From Real PeopleSometimes, using a Slack bot to get advice just doesn’t cut it. We all need feedback from a real human being, and on occasion, it can be the most enlightening to get it from someone outside your company or industry.So when you’re looking to step outside your “bubble” for input, here are a few apps that can help.Real TalkBy The Learning Partnership, a Canadian advocacy organization for public education, the Real Talk App (available on iOS and Android) provides “unfiltered” advice from a broad range of professionals at various career stages — everyone from sound designers to freelance creatives. These individuals answer questions that many of us have as we begin to explore different work options, like whether or not advanced education is worth the money, or how you can make a career change.OfficehoursSometimes, it can be tough to figure out who to turn to for advice. That’s what makes apps like Officehours so valuable — this one, in particular, helps you find an expert (or “advisor”) for 10 minutes of free one-on-one advice.The advisors appear to hold a broad range of expertise, from design to entrepreneurship, data science and more. Check out the video below to learn more:
I don’t know about you, but I barely print anything anymore.Seriously, think about it — when’s the last time you had to type Command + P and print out a document? Between e-tickets, virtual payment options, and online signature tools, I think the last thing I printed out was the lease for my apartment.So you can imagine my surprise when HubSpot’s audience started telling us they still like to print out our ebooks — which are often 20 or 30 pages in length — instead of viewing them on a web page.In 2017 — during the era of self-driving cars, augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence — our team here at HubSpot is constantly striving to test and implement the most modern techniques for content creation to provide cool, useful resources for our audience. But as it turns out, our perceptions of what our audience actually values when they download out content were a little … off.In this post, I’ll dive into our hypothesis, how we tested it, and what we’re learning about our audience — and how they actually like to consume our content.What We DoI work on HubSpot’s Marketing Acquisition team creating content offers — such as our downloadable ebooks, guides, and templates — that our audience exchanges their contact information for in order to download them.If you’re familiar with the inbound marketing methodology we’ve been teaching here at HubSpot for more than 10 years, I operate in the “Convert” stage of the process of helping new people discover and learn about HubSpot:When a person happens upon HubSpot for the first time online — via a blog post like this one, through social media, or by conducting a Google search — they might see a bold, brightly-colored call-to-action (CTA) encouraging them to learn more about a particular topic or product.And in order to get that information — from an ebook, a guide, a template, a webinar, or an event — the person has to hand over their contact information. This ensures they can receive an emailed version of the content offer or event registration, and it also converts them from a visitor into a lead.My job is to create content that visitors are so interested in learning more about that they exchange their phone number, email address, and professional background information. And to make sure we keep converting visitors into leads for the health of HubSpot’s business, I make sure that ebooks, guides, and events are helpful, fascinating, and ultimately educate our audience on how to do inbound marketing.What We WonderedFor the most part, my team’s job has entailed creating PDFs that visitors can download once they submit a form with their contact information.More specifically, this has meant creating a lot of PDFs.And although people were filling out forms and downloading our content offers, we started wondering if we should offer them something different — something more cutting-edge — than a file format created back in 1993. And we wondered if changing the format of our content offers would change conversion rates, too.We decided to run a survey — and a little test.We wanted to know if our core persona who we marketed these content offers to still liked PDFs and found them useful. So, how else would we find out than by creating an offer?I created two different version of the same content offer — one in PDF format, and one in web page format. Then, once someone downloaded the offer, we sent them a thank-you email, and we asked them which format they preferred, and why.What We LearnedMore than 3,000 individuals submitted their information to access the offer, and roughly 9% responded to our question, which gave us more than 300 responses to learn from.And much to our surprise, 90% of the respondents preferred downloading a PDF to reading our content on a web page.We gleaned a ton of valuable information about our core audience from this survey, and the qualitative feedback was incredibly helpful, too. Our key takeaways about format preferences were:Our core persona likes to print offers.People viewing our content want to be able to download it and come back to it later.People don’t think our web page offers look as good as PDFs.Some people are potentially defaulting to the format they know best.People liked having both print and online versions.It’s incredibly helpful to learn what’s going on behind the decisions and choices our audience makes to inform future strategy when it comes to content creation. But this information leaves us with a challenge, too: How do we get our audience excited about content living on interactive web pages, too?Content living on web pages can be crawled by Google to improve websites’ domain authority (and SEO superpowers) — and PDFs can’t be. So we’re making it our mission to keep offering our audience different options for consuming content the way they want to — while innovating and testing new ways to offer content our core persona is just as excited about in a web-based format.I’ll be back with more details about that next experiment, but in the meantime, download one of our latest content offers, and let us know if you like the format in the comments.What’s your opinion? PDF or web page? Share with us what you learned in the comments below. Originally published Jun 23, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated June 28 2019 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Content Marketing
In the ninth edition of In The Spotlight, Australian Men’s Open player, Nick Good, speaks about how it feels to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup, and the biggest influence on his Touch Football career. Name: Nicholas GoodNickname: GoodyAge: 19Affiliate: Penrith PanthersOccupation: Studying primary teaching, currently working as a special education aide.Position: MiddleDebut for Australia: 2009 Youth Trans Tasman and 2010 for Men’s Open.Career highlights so far: Penrith Vawdon Cup 2009, 2010 Men’s Trans Tasman, captaining both Youth Australian teams in 2009 and 2011, captaining my Penrith Men’s team in 2010. How you got involved in Touch Football: Through my parents.Favourite player: Jason Zabielo.What does it mean to you to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup: A great deal, words honestly cannot justify the privilege of wearing the Australian jersey.Biggest influence on your Touch Football career: Dave Collins– He has a tremendous Touch brain and gave me a chance at an early age. His belief in his players is unreal.Favourite sporting moment: Steven Bradbury’s gold medal at Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002.What do you know about Scotland: Cold and cold! Any superstitions: Nil.Funniest Australian teammate: Anthony Ziade and Steve Roberts.Favourite quote: Winners make a habit of doing those things which losers don’t like to do – Vince Lombardi.Any travel plans for after World Cup: A 10 day adventure with Ben Moylan and Scott Buckley. Visiting London, Barcelona and Amsterdam.Stay tuned to the website for the upcoming editions of In The Spotlight, which will feature every Open’s player travelling to the World Cup. With only 45 days to go until the 2011 Federation of International Touch World Cup, be sure to be regularly visiting the Touch Football Australia website to keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information. Don’t forget to become a fan of Touch Football Australia on Facebook and Twitter in the lead up to the 2011 World Cup to find out all you need to know about Australia’s World Cup campaign:http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus
Solskjaer reveals Rashford pep-talk month before taking Man Utd jobby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he had a chat with Marcus Rashford a month before taking the job.Solskjaer has won his opening three games with Rashford starting in all of them scoring twice.Speaking to Stadium Astro, Solskjaer revealed he spoke to Rashford after United’s 1-0 Champions League win against Young Boys.He said: “I went to see the Young Boys game just a month ago and I met him and Jesse [Lingard] in the corridor just as I was leaving the game.”He had a few chances in that game and [I said] ‘don’t worry son, just relax a little bit.'”Solskjaer continued: “Yes, of course you’re excited by working with all this talent but then going into detail is what I can do best.“That was my ‘X factor’, scoring goals. So if I can help and guide him a little bit then great.”It’s all in the head. You know what to do, that’s key in everything and then be able to do it.”So videos of good finishes, bad finishes, discuss things and then go out and practice and be as good as you can possibly get. There’s always time for another practice session.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Alcohol banned in Amsterdam before Chelsea clashby Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAmsterdam’s Red Light District will see an alcohol ban in effect before Chelsea face off against Ajax in the UEFA Champions League.The Dutch authorities in Amsterdam do not want to have any fan incidents on their hands.It is why they are ensuring that everyone is well behaved in the lead up to the 6:55pm kick off for the game.There will be no alcohol sales between 12pm and 6pm on that day, with any establishment that flaunts the law facing fines of up to 1,200 euros.The report of the alcohol ban comes from the AS newspaper in Spain.”Traditionally, foreign football fans go to the Red Light District before a game. This is accompanied by a lot of drinking. Previously, residents and businesses in the area have suffered huge inconvenience and the police have had to intervene,” said a statement in AS. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Tevin Coleman Hoosiers Trading CardTevin Coleman played three years of football at Indiana, and was one of the top running backs in the Big Ten his last two seasons. He was selected in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons after leaving school with one year of eligibility remaining.Three years was plenty of time for Coleman to establish himself as a star on the gridiron, but apparently not long enough for him to learn to spell IU’s nickname. Trading card company Panini America includes athlete artwork in its packs, and Coleman’s sketch featured a misspelling of the word Hoosiers.Tevin Coleman’s 1 of 1 art card for Panini pic.twitter.com/5bJA1ZrCXj— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 15, 2015Ouch. That’s a pretty bad mistake by Coleman, and kind of odd that Panini didn’t want him to correct it. The IU faithful probably won’t be happy to see this, though we’re sure they’ll still accept Coleman due to the yeoman’s effort he put forth on the field for a sub-par team.
Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press VICTORIA — The tiny remains of an extinct bug-like creature discovered at British Columbia’s 500-million-year-old Burgess Shale fossil deposit add a new branch to the evolutionary tree of life, says a PhD student who tracked down the organism’s development.The discovery of fossilized soft tissue, including the unique digestive tract, antennae and appendages of extinct agnostids help solve a long-standing evolutionary riddle about the agnostids’ family tree, says Joe Moysiuk, an ecology and evolutionary biology PhD student at the University of Toronto.The peer-reviewed study, published Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B in the United Kingdom, links the agnostids to trilobites as distant cousins. Evolutionary researchers have pondered if trilobites were related to agnostids and the new research proves the connection, Moysiuk said.“Agnostids appear to be what we call the sister group, sort of like a distant cousin of trilobites,” he said. “They are more closely related to other trilobites than other anthropods, like say, crustaceans or like arachnids, spiders and such.”Trilobites, which are also extinct, are similar to today’s horseshoe crabs, Moysiuk said. Moysiuk and Paleontologist Jean-Bernard Caron, an associate evolutionary biology professor at University of Toronto and a senior curator at the Royal Ontario Museum, conducted the research.Moysiuk said their research also helps answer questions about the origins of agnostids, which lived between 520 million and 450 million years ago.The work emphasizes the importance of continued exploration at Burgess Shale to trace the evolutionary process of other species, Moysiuk said in an interview.“This is an animal that’s been a big mystery in terms of where it fits into the tree of life for a very long time and so it’s always nice to fit in a little piece of the puzzle.”Agnostids are typically less than a centimetre long, with armour plates on their backs, a circular head shield and a similar looking tail shield, he said.Moysiuk said finding the agnostids in the Burgess Shale area is important because not only is the hard, shell-like part of the creature preserved, but so is the soft tissues such its nervous system and digestive tracts, sometimes even containing the last meal of the animal.“These fossils really give us this unparalleled insight into what life was like back in the Cambrian period.”He said the discovery of the crustacean-like soft tissue was “even weirder than what we would have imagined.”They found a pair of sensory antennae at the front of the animals body and two pairs of swimming appendages, that it would have used like oars to paddle its way through the water, he said.“They have lots of segments and these strange sort of club-like outgrowth coming off of them, which we hypothesize may have been used for respiration in these animals. So they were breathing through their legs, potentially.” Moysiuk said he’s been at the Marble Canyon site at Kootenay National Park where the fossils were found, but spends much of his time at the Royal Ontario Museum, where there’s a huge collection of fossils from the Burgess Shale.
APTN National NewsHuman remains discovered in northern Manitoba are believed to be those of a 14 year-old Aboriginal girl.While RCMP say they can’t confirm the identity of the body, sources say it is likely that of Heather Mallett.Mallet went missing from Wabowden, a Metis community about 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg.The body was discovered near the community.
CALGARY, A.B. – An industry-sponsored fund designed to help develop clean technology using Canadian natural gas is launching a $3-million call for project proposals.The Natural Gas Innovation Fund says the call for applications, with a February deadline, is being made possible by the addition of seven western Canadian natural gas producers to a membership previously made up of six natural gas utilities.The new members include the Canadian branches of two partners in the proposed $40-billion West Coast LNG Canada project: Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas; along with Canada’s largest natural gas producer, Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Fund managing director John Adams says the new program will target projects in the upstream or producing part of the industry, making up to $1 million available per project to cover as much as 25 per cent of its eligible expenses.Adams says the fund, created by the Canadian Gas Association, has over the past two years issued about $9 million to projects focused on energy efficiency.The fund is also announcing a partnership with federal, Alberta and British Columbia governments to collaborate and consider co-funding successful applicants with projects that deliver significant greenhouse gas emission reductions.The upstream fund members were introduced at an event at the Calgary Petroleum Club on Wednesday.“As a producer of natural gas, we’re big believers in the need for affordable, clean energy for all people worldwide,” said CEO Mark Fitzgerald of Petronas Energy Canada Ltd. in a statement.“In an age where technology has become the catalyst for exponential advancements in our industry, we’re excited to be involved in the Natural Gas Innovation Fund which pursues diversity of thought and provides a platform for sharing solutions.”
Tashkent: The Indian U-23 national team ended its AFC U-23 Championship qualifying campaign with a 2-0 loss to Tajikistan in its second match of the group stage here on Sunday. Daler Yodgorov’s 30th minute strike and Solehov’s 85th minute goal proved to be the difference between the two sides as India succumbed to their second defeat of the qualifying campaign, ending without a point out of a maximum six. The opponents had mounted a barrage of attacks in the early minutes of the match, trying to unsettle the Indian defence but some astute goalkeeping by Dheeraj Singh kept them at bay. In the 10th minute, the custodian made a fine save to deny the opponents an early breakthrough at the Pakhtakor Stadium. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhIndia could have surged ahead into lead in the 12th minute but Sarthak Golui’s header off a Komal Thatal free-kick failed to find the net, leaving the Tajik goalkeeper to scramble to clear his lines; courtesy of an onrushing Anwar Ali in pursuit of the rebound. After a nervy start, the Indian team found themselves some bright spots and in the 27th minute, Rahim Ali found Komal Thatal inside the box. With defenders closing in, Komal could only launch the ball over the woodwork in an attempt to give India the lead. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterIndia’s attacking momentum was short-lived as Tajikistan took the lead in the 30th minute with Daler finding the back of the India net from inside the box. Attempting to find the equalizer before half-time, Rahim Ali went on a run down the middle and found Anirudh Thapa, whose shot was blocked by the Tajik defence line. India’s quest for the equaliser kept them on their toes and soon after the second half restarted, India cajoled an opportunity in the 48th minute. Rahim Ali brought the ball down inside the box and passed it to an onrushing Abdul Sahal, who failed to hit the target from outside the box. Restricting the opponents in the half for much of the second half, India had a chance in the 60th minute and once again it fell to Sarthak Golui, who headed wide a Vinit Rai free-kick. India tried to keep Tajikistan on the defence and score the equaliser but could not find the decisive goal. Tajikistan held on to their slender lead and committed bodies in defence.