A new Ohio Department of Taxation rule addresses monthly aviation fuel dealer reports. Under the rule, such reports must contain:the seller’s name and address;the seller’s tax identification number and Ohio motor fuel/aviation fuel account number;the purchaser’s name;the purchaser’s tax identification number;the the the city and state of origin of the aviation fuel;the destination of the fuel by street address;the type of fuel;the total gallons sold to Ohio airports;the number of gallons of fuel sold by product type; andthe number of gallons on which sales tax was not charged.Rule 5703-11-05, Ohio Department of Taxation, effective January 18, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
During the darkest months of the West African Ebola epidemic in 2014, scientists were almost empty-handed. Hundreds of patients were dying every week; drugs and vaccines weren’t ready for testing. There was another strategy they could try, however: taking blood from people who had already survived Ebola and giving it to those who were sick. Blood from survivors is laden with antibodies against the virus that might just help new victims overcome Ebola as well. But a new study suggests the approach doesn’t work, and some scientists say it’s time to bury the idea and move on.Passive immunotherapy, as the strategy is called, has proven its merit with other diseases, including influenza and diphtheria, but whether it worked with Ebola was unknown. A study during the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit, in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, showed that seven out of eight patients who received blood from survivors survived, but a later analysis showed that most of them received the transfusions late in their disease, when they were unlikely to die anyway. A 2007 study in which monkeys received convalescent blood showed no benefit. “Given these discouraging results and the risks of transmitting infection, whole-blood transfusions, even under desperate epidemic conditions, seem unwarranted,” the authors of that paper warned.When Ebola exploded in West Africa in 2014, and patients were dying in large numbers, the World Health Organization said it was worth trying anyway—especially because candidate drugs were in short supply.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The new study, led by researchers at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and Guinea’s National Blood Transfusion Center, didn’t use blood but plasma—essentially blood minus the red blood cells. (The cells are given back to the donors.) The logistics were daunting: A huge blue bus chockful of equipment to obtain and process blood was shipped in from abroad. Survivors were mobilized and convinced to donate plasma—not an easy task in West Africa, where blood is a symbol of strength.The researchers hoped to recruit 130 patients; because the epidemic was already on the retreat when their study started, they managed to administer plasma to only 99 people, 15 of whom were excluded from the analysis for various reasons. (Guinea had its last Ebola case in October.) Because withholding a potential treatment was unacceptable to regulators and the local population, there was no placebo group, says lead author Johan van Griensven; instead, the control group was formed by 418 patients treated at the same center in the five previous months.Of the 84 patients eventually included in the plasma group, 31% died, compared with 38% in the control group—a difference of 7%. When the researchers adjusted the data to correct for patient age and virus levels in their blood, the difference shrunk to 3%, and it was no longer statistically significant, the team reports today in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).The researchers haven’t entirely given up on the idea that plasma might work, however. They didn’t determine the antibody levels in the plasma that they administered; those measurements are now being done at a high-level biosafety lab in France. It’s still possible that plasma from some donors with high levels of antibody—or particularly powerful antibodies—was effective, Van Griensven says. “This is not the end of the convalescent plasma story,” says Calum Semple, a clinical virologist at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom and a co-author on the study. (The fact that administering plasma was possible in the midst of an outbreak, and that the treatment was safe and acceptable to donors and patients, is an important feat in itself, he says.)The trial’s disappointing outcome is “not very surprising,” says virologist Thomas Geisbert of the University of Texas Medical Center in Galveston, one of the authors of the 2007 monkey study. He says doing the study didn’t make much sense in the first place, and now it’s time to let go of the idea altogether.Geisbert’s hopes are on treatments that did do well in animal studies, including a lab-made cocktail of antibodies called ZMapp that protected monkeys from Ebola. A field trial of ZMapp that has enrolled around 70 patients in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and the United States is ongoing; whether that cohort is large enough to produce definitive results is still unclear.A second study published in NEJM today provides hints, but no solid evidence, about another strategy that might work against Ebola. The paper is based on a natural experiment: In August 2014, an Ebola treatment center in the Foya, in northern Liberia, ran out of the first-line malaria therapy, a combination called arthemeter-lumefantrin, that was given to all Ebola patients admitted to the center. For 12 days, until new supplies arrived, the center relied on another drug combo named artesunate-amodiaquine.As it happens, a screening published in 2013 showed that amodiaquine has anti-Ebola activity in the test tube. So researchers set out to see whether patients on the new malaria drugs had a higher chance of survival. They did: In the NEJM paper, the team shows that 51% of the patients died during the 12-day interval, compared to 64% of those in the periods before and after the stock-out.It’s not clear that amodiaquine saved patients from Ebola, however, the researchers write. One possibility is that the drug doesn’t do anything, but that arthemeter-lumefrantrine increases the risk of death instead. It’s also possible that the patients in the 12-day interval somehow differed from those who came earlier or later. Still, if malaria treatment is a standard component of Ebola care, artesenate-amodiaquine may be the better choice, the team writes. “It’s definitely an interesting finding,” says Robert Garry of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana—but more work is needed on the anti-Ebola effects of amodiaquine, he says.
Topics: Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Originally published Feb 2, 2009 7:50:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 This post was written by Dan Zarella . 1. LinkedInProbably the most obvious way to identify influential individuals at specific organizations is by searching the trusty social network for business people, LinkedIn. A search for your target business or title on LinkedIn will show you people you may already be connected with, either directly or through your connections. This is a good place to start, since you might be able to leverage your exisiting contacts.The social media playing field is much bigger than LinkedIn, and as a recent HubSpot cartoon mentioned, LinkedIn can be a bit of a walled-garden , discouraging “weak” connections. The two other largest social arenas (Twitter and Facebook) are also ripe for this type of search.2. TwitterOne of my favorite features of Twitter Grader is the search function . You can put in a keyword and see the most influential Twitter users who’ve used that keyword, effectively a list of thought leaders in that niche. But if you’re looking to identify influencers in a business or organization don’t limit yourself to just searching for topical keywords, try brand or company names, or even titles. For instance, if you were looking for the most influential Twitterers inside of Ford, a search for Ford would quickly reveal that Scott Monty is the head of social media at the automobile giant. A similar search for HubSpot would show you those HubSpotters who are on Twitter (and there are a bunch of us).3. Facebook Facebook Grader , a newer HubSpot tool along the same lines as Twitter Grader, can be used in a similar way. Keep in mind that this tool is newer and will only return users who have used the tool to grade their Facebook accounts already, but this tool has the potential to be even more powerful, given the much larger audience on Facebook. One example that does return results already is a search for HubSpot.4. BloggersYou can also use a variety of blog search engines to search for bloggers in your target companies or roles. Good ones to start with are Technorati and Google Blog Search , but there are tons out there and they all return slightly different results, so give some of the others a try. You can also search on bookmarking sites like delicious to see which blogs have been bookmarked the most.5. Niche Social NetworksThere are a ton of smaller, niche networks where professionals in nearly every industry gather. Find the social networks for your vertical and search for your target businesses or roles there. A few examples of this type of site include Toolbox for IT , Lawyrs , Decorati , Reel-Exchange and MediaBistro .Then, Connect with Influencers Once you’ve identified your influencers, use the tools and mechanisms provided by the social site you found them on to connect with them. Send them an invitation to join your network if you found them on LinkedIn. If they’re on Twitter, follow them and start replying to their tweets and ReTweeting their good posts (ReTweeting especially will ingratiate yourself with your targets — people love that). If they write a blog, subscribe to their feed and start commenting on their posts and linking to them from your blog (again, bloggers love getting links, so this is an especially good tactic). Generally speaking, networking and connecting for business purposes in these three ways tends to be accepted.Facebook can be more tricky, so tread with caution here. If it looks like they’re friends with a lot of people, including professional contacts that they might not be actual, social friends with, its probably not going to bother them if you send them a friend request. On the other hand if they don’t have a ton of friends, they’re likely to be using Facebook only to connect with their real-world family and friends, so chances are good that its best to not try to friend them for business purposes. Influencer Marketing Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Download the free webinar for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
So you started a blog, you’ve been writing good posts for a few months, and you still don’t have the traction you want — subscriptions, comments and inbound links are all below your targets. What can you do to build your blog? Follow conventional wisdom, and focus harder on writing great posts? Bad idea. Instead, think of the process like a job search. If you were looking for a job, would you focus exclusively on improving your skills? Or would you be pounding the pavement, looking for new opportunities while you’re improving your skills? When you’re looking for a job, you need to be aggressive about getting in front of the right people — only you can’t be so aggressive that you annoy people. You need to find the same balance when you’re building your blog. You need to share posts on Learn how to build your business blog into an inbound marketing machine. (1) Network — Facebook Originally published Jun 5, 2009 7:40:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 (2) Spread the Word — Blogs are no different. Just as you wouldn’t sit back and wait for employers to offer you a job, you shouldn’t sit back and wait for readers to find your blog. Webinar: Advanced Business Blogging Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack and make sure all your friends and contacts know you’re blogging. But you can’t overwhelm or bore them. A good way to handle this balance is to use these channels for more than just broadcasting your blog. to learn how to create a thriving blog. If you’re looking for a job, a good way to get your foot in the door or get noticed is to do a high-profile project — maybe an event, a video or a software application — that gets attention. In the blog world high profile, potentially controversial posts are a good way to get attention. Try publishing something that’s a little spicy that people will react to. If it’s well-written and thoughtful, people will pass it around, more people will be exposed to your blog, and it will grow. Twitter Bloggers understand the value of a link, so they’re usually willing to do an interview in order to get some exposure and a link back to their site. Find prominent bloggers in your industry and ask them for an email interview. People are far more apt to do an email interview than a guest post because it’s an easier format. Instead of coming up with their own original article, they’re just responding to your questions. When you publish the interview, send them the link and encourage them to spread it via their own channels. To help you get started, here are five specific steps you can take to pound the pavement for your blog: Find high-quality, high-traffic blogs related to your industry that are willing to accept guest posts and write a post or two for them. Assuming they’re willing to include a prominent link back to your blog, this is a great way to introduce new people to your blog and build subscribers. Be careful not to commit to too many guest posts, because you’ll start to get fewer new subscribers after a few posts. What do you think? What am I missing on this list? (3) Guest Posts — (4) Email Interviews With Prominent Bloggers — Download the free webinar (5) Grab Attention — When you’re looking for a job, you talk to old friends, attend industry events, show up at community meetups, scan LinkedIn for potential connections and build relationships on Twitter. It’s not much different when you’re looking for readers for your blog. You go to Google Blog Search, Technorati, Twitter Grader and Twitter Search and type in the keywords for your industry. Figure out who in your industry you respect, who the influencers are, and make connections with them. Comment on their posts and, when it adds value, include links to your posts in the comments. Write posts on your blog that respond to their posts. Mention them in your posts. Above all, do you what you can to build relationships and get them to notice that you’re creating thoughtful, interesting content on your blog. and
Although none of us really like to admit it, let’s be honest: first impressions matter. So if you’re trying to build a remarkable social media presence, you can bet that the look and feel of your brand pages in social media will make an impression on new visitors who know nothing or little about you. It’s no secret that people will judge a book by its cover. And if that’s the case, wouldn’t you want to make sure the first impression of your brand page is one that captures visitors’ attention, making them inclined to stick around and learn more about you?Take Twitter brand pages for example. The background of the page literally provides businesses with a blank canvas to decorate, so to overlook the marketing potential of this valuable Twitter real estate would be a disadvantage to marketers. Smart marketers are using this space to visually and creatively capture visitors’ attention, emphasize their value proposition, promote offers and campaigns, and provide more information than the character limit in their bios allow. Are you?If you could use some inspiration, here are some great examples of how real brands are painting their Twitter landscapes. And to get started designing your own Twitter background, check out our handy guide (with a video tutorial) on how to create a custom Twitter background.1) Etica WinesThe Etica Wines Twitter page is a perfect blend of interesting design, branding, and links for visitors to learn more about the company, a wine guide and resource, as well as connect with them on Facebook or via email.2) SpotifyThe Twitter background design for Spotify, a music discovery and sharing application for all genres, effectively demonstrates Spotify’s value proposition, both in its imagery as well as its minimalistic copy.3) IdeaPaintIdeaPaint’s Twitter background cleverly features the brand’s signature product — paint that transforms walls into whiteboards — in action. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!4) DropboxThe Twitter background design for Dropbox, a file and folder sharing service, features a cute and clever cartoon that embodies its brand/product. Your first impression? Dropbox is such a likable brand!5) AdrantsAdrants, a quirky marketing and advertising publication, uses its Twitter background to mimic that of its website, simply and consistently extending brand recognition.6) The Sales LionSimilarly, The Sales Lion’s Twitter background perpetuates the branding elements of its website’s masthead while also providing visitors with a quick snippet of information about what The Sales Lion is and what it offers.7) SnappleSnapple uses its Twitter background as a call-to-action to promote its latest Twitter campaign, which encourages Twitter users to tweet at the brand using either the hashtag #lemonade or #tea (depending on Twitter users’ preference for which part of the popular Half & Half flavor is their favorite) for a chance to win ‘Snapply’ prizes.*8) SalesforceSalesforce uses its Twitter background real estate to emphasize its cloud branding and also show the faces behind the brand’s tweets. (Note: Using ^ followed by a person’s initials is a way for brands to show who authors individual tweets when Twitter is managed by multiple contributors).*9) TargetWhile we usually find patterned backgrounds to be a little bit on the distracting/annoying/headache-inducing side, Target strikes a healthy balance between pattern and white space on its Twitter background, while also providing ways for Twitter users to connect with the brand on other social networks.10) ZendeskThere’s nothing wrong with a simple, clean design, and Zendesk’s background definitely demonstrates that, along with an unobtrusive call-to-action to follow the brand — and what you’ll get if you do.11) LivestrongLivestrong’s fierce Twitter background also inspires, empowering visitors to connect with the foundation in a number of ways to appeal to each of the brand’s different personas.12) MLT CreativeMLT Creative, a B2B marketing agency, uses its page to feature its mission, to “make ideas work,” and emphasize its agency’s creativity. Clean, professional-looking, and intriguing!13) ZipcarZipcar’s background creatively showcases its happy users, putting customers at the forefront of its Twitter marketing strategy. The page also includes a call-to-action to learn more and sign up for Zipcar on its website.14) IMPACT BrandingInbound marketing agency IMPACT Branding’s Twitter page proves that looking professional and appealing doesn’t have to mean complicated designwork. With its sleek design, the page highlights IMPACT’s value prop and where Twitter users can find more information.15) McDonald’sLike Snapple, McDonald’s uses its Twitter background to reflect its current marketing promotion, Dollar Menu University, an interactive game that it also promotes using its banner image and the pinned tweet at the top of its page.*16) HubSpotWhile we didn’t find many examples of businesses using their Twitter backgrounds to feature calls-to-action for particular promotions, offers, or events, we’re currently using HubSpot’s very own Twitter background to promote our upcoming marketing conference, Inbound 2012. Don’t be afraid to use your Twitter background to highlight your campaigns and drive Twitter users to action. Remember: you can update your background as often as you’d like!(*Note: Use of features such as page banners/pinned tweets you see on pages like Snapple, Salesforce, McDonald’s, and HubSpot is available only to businesses with Enhanced Brand Pages, currently only available to select brands.)What other creative business uses of Twitter backgrounds have you come across? Feel free to share them in the comments below! 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 23, 2012 3:35:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Twitter Marketing Examples
Originally published Apr 3, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Marketing Strategy 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 Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed?Of course you have. We all have.Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and then have to be cheery? Like, interact in social media? Write an engaging blog post? Put together a lovable email marketing campaign?Ugh. Those are the times you wish you could shut out the world, or at least channel a little of your inner snark. Well, the good news is you can do that once in a while, and your marketing results may even thank you for it! Sometimes, it’s good to embrace the negative — whether it’s shutting out audiences, casting a villain, or even just a less than cheerful attitude. (Trust me — this will all make sense in a second.)So, here we go … if you ever wake up wanting to shut out the world, here’s how you can take it out (positively!) in your marketing.Free Download: Marketing Editorial Calendar Template8 Opportunities to Be More Negative in Your Marketing1) Create Negative, or Exclusionary PersonasLet’s start with something a little bit easier to swallow than just being a total grumpy pants — exclusionary personas. Exclusionary personas, sometimes also referred to as negative personas, are kind of like the opposite of buyer personas — they’re the personas of the people you do not want to target in your marketing.This is about more than just recognizing that not everyone in the world is a potential future customer — it’s about recognizing that your marketing attracts certain types of people who totally clog up your funnel, waste your sales team’s time, and will never become customers. Why won’t they ever become a customer? Could be a lot of things — they don’t have the budget, or they’re just fans of your content or social media presence. Or maybe they do become customers, but they cost you a ton of money; for instance, they could have a high acquisition cost, or a high propensity to churn.In this case, it behooves you to identify who these folks are so you can ensure you either 1) stop creating content that draws in the wrong people, or 2) let them keep reading and engaging with your content to help you spread your reach, but keep them from getting rotated to sales reps using methods like assigning them a low lead score.2) Leverage ExclusivityThis is the VIP, red-carpet tactic we all know and love (or love to hate). When you tell someone they can’t have something, or what they want is scarce, it often makes them want it more. You know, the whole “playing hard to get” thing we’ve all either been victim of or practiced ourselves at one point or another in our love lives. This just so happens to be a common sales tactic, but marketers can use it, too. Tell prospects they can have an offer … but only for a limited time. Or only for the first 10 that respond in social media. Heck, you don’t even always have to tell them what it is. The 11K Club, which I wrote about in more detail in this post about leveraging exclusivity in your marketing, launched a campaign where they asked people to sign up for something — but they couldn’t tell you what.I totally signed up.This tactic is particularly popular with savvy ecommerce shops, too — ModCloth, for instance, frequently sends me emails letting me know that an item I like is so popular, it’s almost out of stock. “Oh no! Everyone else is snagging it! I have to get it before I’m left out!”The moral of the story? Leave people out once in a while. If everyone gets something, it’s not as special. And when you go VIP, the ones who do get it feel uber-special. (There … we just turned a negative into a positive. See?)3) Craft Negative Titles and HeadlinesI don’t know what this says about human nature, but there’s an undeniable correlation between page views and negativity. Consider these titles that showed up while scanning CNN’s homepage today:What you get wrong about BBQWorst U.S. cities for allergiesIvy leagues accepting fewer studentsCould our favorite flavorings be damaging our DNA?Beware the parental overshareThese are about clicks. No question about it. We all know the news has gone the negative route for years, and they do it because it works.Now, you shouldn’t throw out some inflammatory headline just to get clicks — if you’re going to get negative with your titles, you have to back it up with some solid content that actually merits that bombastic title of yours. Here are a few examples that worked out extremely well for us:15 Things People Absolutely Hate About Your Website13 Hilarious Examples of Truly Awful Stock PhotographyYour Mom Hates This Blog PostDoes Google Hate Small Businesses?4) Create a Bond Over a Shared Negative ExperienceAlright, now we’re getting warmed up! So you’re throwing out some negative titles, but have you considered drawing that negativity into your content? When you draw on a negative situation in your content — particularly right in the beginning — it can actually help reader retention and engagement. Some marketers are afraid to stir up negative feelings in their reader, but it can actually create a shared experience and tap into a level of emotion that some may not expect to get while reading marketing content, particularly if you’re a B2B marketer.I mean, that’s why I started this post the way I did — getting up on the wrong side of the bed is an experience everyone I know can relate to. And sometimes, it’s easier to form a bond with someone over a shared negative experience than something warm and fuzzy.But be forewarned — once you have a bond with the reader based on a shared negative experience, it’s crucial to shift the mood to something more positive and solution-oriented. People like to know they’re not alone (misery loves company), but most don’t like to dwell on the negativity.5) Cast Some VillainsJust like we can all bond over a shared negative experience, so too can we bond over a common enemy. Casting a villain has been a common marketing tactic for years, and I’m not just talking about the Hamburglar. Villains can take more subtle forms, playing on common tropes — the dopey husband, the nagging girlfriend, the jerk boss. These take common experiences and personify them in order to elicit a feeling in the consumer, and help tell the story you’re trying to tell. For a great example of using multiple villains in your marketing, just check out Career Builder’s 2009 Super Bowl commercial, brought to my attention via Graeme Newell and 602 Communications.6) Stir Up Some ControversyThis one’s not for the faint of heart, but if you feel confident about your brand, your PR team, and your position on an issue, you can take a controversial stance on a popular topic. This does a few things for your marketing:Positions yourself as a thought leader (only if your thought was a good one — so try to make sure it is)Sends a ton of traffic your wayHelps you define your brandDrives natural PRElicits strong emotions, both positive and negativeThat last one is what I want you to pay the most attention to. When you take a staunch position on a polarizing issue, you will have people that despise you for it. You will also generate some seriously ardent supporters. If you’re going to play the controversy game, be prepared to deal with both, because while some results could be really exciting for your brand, some backlash will inevitably come with it.7) Use Data to Build a Case Around Why Something StinksLet’s start this off with an example, since we did this just this morning in our blog post, “Why the Blog Post Is the New Ad Unit.” The beginning of the post included this data point:While clickthrough rates (CTR) are not the only metric by which you can measure a banner ad’s performance, typical online banner ad units achieve a CTR of 0.10% according to MediaMind’s Global Benchmarks Report, and that figure is on a downward spiral due to banner blindness, among other things.You build a case around why one thing stinks (banner ads) … so you can show why something else is awesome (blog posts). This can be made even more compelling if you have two data points that demonstrate a stark contrast; the juxtaposition of positive and negative paints a pretty dramatic picture in readers’ minds, and the succinct data points make it easy to quickly demonstrate the bad versus the good.8) Make Fun of YourselfFinally, turn that negativity inward. A little self-deprecation can be fun for others, makes you seem more human, and actually might make you feel better about your slip-ups. After all, we all have them, and it’s important to learn how to make light of your mistakes. For example, this very feeling was the impetus for a blog post we wrote several months ago: our very own Marketing Hall of Shame. In it, we detailed some of our dumbest marketing mistakes. It was helpful not only in the “being-the-first-to-laugh-at-yourself” way, but because people can learn from these mistakes, and hopefully not have to repeat them.When Negativity BackfiresAll this being said, it’s important to always consider whether your negativity is going to backfire. Are you being an unadulterated jerkface? Is this negativity going to be lost on your audience? Does your buyer persona really hate this kind of stuff?For instance, something that almost always comes off as totally petty and unnecessarily negative is bickering with competitors. I mean, think about how annoying political ads are; you certainly don’t want to come off like that. I think one piece of advice from my childhood can sum up how you should approach bickering with competitors:”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”Yes, even if they started it.It’s also important to remember that any negativity you draw on needs to be tempered with some positivity. For instance, we learned this the hard way with a post we published a few months ago called, “101 Sure-Fire Ways to Make People Hate Your Marketing.” It was a snark fest, but it didn’t perform that well, and some readers thought it was just too much negativity. The lesson? If you’re going to get snarky, 101 doses of it may be too much. Furthermore, had the balance of the post been tipped more heavily toward positive things, like how to fix these 101 mistakes, the response may have been more positive.Finally, I think striving to be inspirational should always be an aspiration for marketers. There’s no question that marketers capable of inspiring people — take charity:water’s unbelievable case study videos, or even our own founder Dharmesh Shah’s deck on creating a company we love at HubSpot — see unbelievable success from their efforts. In fact, I think if you’re able to inspire people in your marketing, the effects last much longer, and are much stronger than any of these negative tactics.What do you think about getting a little negative in your marketing? Do you ever get a bit edgy, or do you keep it to more behind-the-scenes stuff, like exclusionary personas? Share your thought in the comments!
Interview Dress Code: A Style Guide from talenerWhat other tips do you have for dressing the part on an interview? Topics: Interviews Every time I find myself interviewing for a job, I feel lost at what to wear. I roughly know the difference between “business casual” and “professional dress,” but when push comes to shove and I’m rifling through my closet to find something appropriate for a company I’ve probably never visited before, I completely blank.But dressing for an interview shouldn’t feel like the hardest part of your interview process. You need to work hard to perfect your resume, nail your phone interview, and impress multiple people in an in-person interview.Where do you see yourself in five years? Take our free quiz here to figure out the next step in your career.Luckily, someone’s come to the rescue to save us all from the interview attire anxiety. Talener, a staffing agency, created the SlideShare presentation below. If you’re curious to find out what the heck “business casual” actually means and get some tips for acing the attire part of your in-person interview, flip through the slides. By the end, you’ll be able focus on what really matters in the interview: showing that you’re the best candidate for the job. 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 5, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017
Topics: Pretty cool, eh? Now — let’s learn how to make them.Meet the Share Link GeneratorThe Share Link Generator is an awesome free tool on the web that helps you create social sharing links for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest quickly and easily.How does it work? We’ll get to the long version in a second, but here’s the short version:Copy the URL of whatever you want to share.Paste that URL into the Share Link Generator (along with a few accompanying words or hashtags, depending which social network you’re posting to).Press a button, and it spits out a brand new URL and HTML link, which you can then put on your webpages to lead viewers to social networking sites that are pre-populated with whatever URL and accompanying words or hashtags you put in.Now that you get the general idea of how it works, let’s get into the step-by-step.How To Create Your Own Share Links1) Go to http://www.sharelinkgenerator.com/.2) Choose the social network you want people to share your content on.The Share Link Generator lets you post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.3) Fill in the blanks.For Facebook, all you need is a URL. Facebook disabled custom share fields in February 2014, so you can’t pre-populate viewers’ Facebook shares with your own words or hashtags. They’ll have to write that in themselves.For Twitter, you need to write the tweet you want people to share. Make sure to include a shortened link in there. (Check out this post for advice on constructing great tweets.)For Google+, all you need is a URL.For LinkedIn, you need a URL, a Title, and a Summary. The Summary is optional on the website, but don’t leave it out: It gives viewers context that could compel them to click on the link. Include a shortened link in the Summary copy to optimize your LinkedIn post.For Pinterest, you need the URL of the image you want to pin (which you can get by right-clicking on the image in your browser and choosing “Copy Image URL”), the source of the image (e.g. the website where you want the image to link to from Pinterest), and a description to give the image context.Once you’ve filled in those blanks, click “Create the Link!” and keep the resulting URL and HTML link handy. Here’s an example of a Twitter share link I made:What’s the difference between “URL only” and “HTML link”?You can put the HTML link directly into the HTML editor of your website. The result will be the words “Share on Twitter” hyperlinked with the share link. You can change that text by deleting “Share on Twitter,” which I’ve highlighted in the image above, and replacing it with the text you want.But sometimes, you may want social sharing links in the form of icons, not words, to catch the reader’s eye. To make images like icons clickable, you only need to worry about that URL only link.4) Download a social button icon.If you already have social media icons or images, you can skip this step. If not, check out our library of 135 free icons for marketers. You can download and use them for free — without any licensing or attribution — wherever you please on your website. And if you want to change the color of any of these icons, they come with a free guide for how to do that using PowerPoint.5) Make the icons clickable using your share link.Your goal is to make your social icon clickable so it sends viewers to the share link. The exact steps here vary depending on your CMS. First, upload the icon image into your CMS’ file manager and insert it into your website. Then, go back to the Share Link Generator and copy the content of the “URL only” box.Finally, link the icon image to that URL. (In HubSpot, that means highlighting the image, clicking the “Insert/edit link” button, and pasting the share link URL there.) Here’s what the final product looks like:That’s all, folks. Wasn’t that quick? Now you’re ready to add social share links anywhere on your website. Have fun with it! What is a social media share link?A social media share link is a URL that when clicked populates a set message and image that can be shared on social media. They are useful for amplifying your message and minimizing the time it takes someone to compose a social media message about your content.You know that feeling when you see or read something fantastic and you just have to share it with every human you know? (I get that feeling a lot when I read BuzzFeed and Upworthy.) When I get that urge to share stuff, the first thing I do is glance quickly around the website for social sharing links so I can pass on whatever I’m reading with just the click of a button.But when the social sharing buttons aren’t there, well … sometimes I just don’t feel like opening up a new tab, logging in to a social networking site, creating a new post, and manually pasting the URL I want to share into it.Yeah I know, it’s kinda lazy — but then again, 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Think about it: A lot of people get frustrated or just don’t do things on the internet if it takes even a few extra seconds. That could translate to a lot of people not sharing your webpage who normally would.When you spend all that time creating cool content, you want people to share it. You can make your content more share-friendly by adding social sharing links that are visible and lead to pre-populated posts.Improve your social media post engagement with the help of this free checklist.Before we get into how to create them, let’s quickly review what social sharing links are.What Are Social Sharing Links?Social sharing links are those small, clickable social media icons lurking on the pages of ebooks, blog posts, and other webpages. When a viewer clicks on one, she is sent straight to a social media site with an update pre-populated with your content.Here’s an example of social sharing buttons from a page of a HubSpot ebook. Notice the links are in the form of social media icons — I’ll show you how to make your own later on.You can create social sharing links just like these and put them right into your ebooks, blogs, and webpages — all in just a few minutes. Here are examples of what they’ll look like when you’re done. (Go ahead, try ’em out!) Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media Engagement Originally published Jun 6, 2014 4:04:00 PM, updated September 05 2017
If you’re an ecommerce business owner and the only conversion opportunities on your site are to purchase, “contact us,” or subscribe to an email list or blog, you’re leaving money on the table – plain and simple. It’s a good start to have a pop-up blog subscription or “5% off your first purchase” offer, but is this type of disruptive offer really compelling? The short answer is no.One way to maximize the revenue potential of your site is to create a framework of offers that appeal to visitors who are not ready to buy, but would like learn more. By placing these offers on highly trafficked pages on your site, you can cultivate a database of contacts to engage with via email marketing or enroll into automated email nurturing to continually drive revenue. But, what do offers like these look like? Getting started with a pre-transactional lead generation strategy can be challenging, so here are five examples of pre-transactional offers broken out by business type, followed by some best practices when creating your offer.1) Fashion/Home FurnishingA great way to grab the attention of website visitors for any fashion or design related business is a seasonal style or design guide. This type of offer can be highly visual and offer your unique slant on the season’s hottest trends. I suggest including the year to the title of the guide, for example “Fall 2014 Style Guide.” Then, when you create the following year’s guide your visitors will know it’s new and fresh. A wonderful example of this is Postcard from Paris’s Fall Design Guide. They included a CTA to download their Fall Design Guide on a blog post about how to prepare your home for fall. The guide itself is well laid out and reflects their interpretation of how to prepare you home for the fall season, including tips and advice. 2) Appliances/ElectronicsPeople who are considering buying larger ticket items such as electronics or appliances almost always do research online. Help them in their research process by offering a product specific buying guide, such as “How to Find an Oven That is Perfect for You.” This positions you and your business as a trusted advisor, instead of a being overly sales-y. A product buying guide can consist of:What buyers should consider when buying a certain productA comparison of brands (including reviews)Feature breakdown of different models and brandsFrequently asked questions For example, Yale Appliance has a great resource center that is geared towards educating its prospects and customers through guides. They have a variety of guides for their products, including multiple guides for different kinds of refridgerators. They even have a recipe center with the recipes from their live chef demos.3) Curated Subscription Box BusinessThere has been an explosion of curated subscription box businesses in recent years. For everything from snacks to clothes to pet treats – if you want it, you can get it delivered to you in a curated box.Since signing up for a monthly box service can be more of an impulse purchase than a research driven process, pre-transactional offer examples are hard to find. A prime opportunity to capture lead information is allowing visitors to preview a box based on their preferences.While this can require a bit of coding, the result is a quick and easy way to give “tire kickers” a taste of what they would be signing up for, while gathering their email address and some preference data. This preference data is valuable because you can use it to personalize your email marketing by sending nurturing emails and content based on preferences. You can deliver the customized box preview via email or redirect them to a page with a preview, but the end result is the same. You grow a lead database that you can nurture into purchasing. A fantastic example of a box preview offer is Citrus Lane’s “How it Works” page. This CTA encourages you to put in the month and date of your child’s birth to see what’s inside the box.Then, based on your child’s age you’re given examples of the kinds of products that the box includes. You also have the option to explore example products for other age groups. 4) Health and Wellness/Vitamin and SupplementsThere are a couple directions you can go for health and wellness ecommerce sites, so I’ve included two examples – one for a recipe book and one for an educational guide. Recipe books are a good way to engage your website visitors with fun (and tasty!) content. Think of 5-10 delicious recipes that incorporate your products, then add attractive images and easy to follow instructions.Radiant Life Company has created a series of recipe books called “A Radiant Life Guide to Real Food.” The series includes a “Guide to Making Coconut Flour Breads,” which is a fantastic example of a recipe book as a pre-transactional offer. As you can tell from the example below, it combines tantilizing photographs of coconut flour breads with simple, clear recipes instructions and tips.The second example is an educational guide. With this type of guide you can provide detailed information about your most popular products including their origin, why they benefit the consumer, scientific facts and data, and best practices on how and when to consume them. Greens Plus offers “The Beginner’s Guide to Superfoods” that does all that.Much like appliances, people will often do online research before starting a new diet, vitamin, or supplement. Providing helpful and informative content will make them more likely to purchase from you – especially if you follow up with email nurturing!5) B2B Ecommerce A B2B ecommerce sale is complex because you are looking to attract prospects that will repeatedly buy from you. However, they are still buying on your website with little to no human interaction. The way you can pique the interest of a B2B prospect is through analytical and research driven content. If you can provide your visitors with content that allows them to look like a genius in front on their boss, not only will they buy from you, they’ll be your best friend! You could create a cost analysis guide, an industry research report, or a strategy guide. MarketResearch.com has a thoughtful, comprehensive, and informative example – they provide an ebook on “How to Succeed Using Market Research.” It covers important topics to help you determine your market research needs and budget, as well as how to define success.Constructing Your OfferNow you’ve seen examples of pre-transactional offers for different types of ecommerce businesses, you need to strategically construct your pre-transactional offer. Pre-transactional offers have to capture the attention of the website visitor to the extent that they will take the next step by filling out a form, and trade their information for your content. Here are some general best practices when creating your offer.The call-to-action:Make sure the CTA button that leads to your offer is highly visible – you want the color to pop off the page. It should also clearly state what happens when a visitor clicks on it – for example, “Download Your Free Guide.” Place the CTA on highly trafficked pages and at the end of blog posts.The landing page:Use the same landing page best practices that you would on any other landing page! You need a clear and compelling title with a clarifying subtitle, a descriptive image, and a few bullet points on what is contained in the content offer.The form:This is the most important part. Since a pre-transactional offer is a “top of the funnel” offer, this needs to be as short as possible. But, you want to gather enough information to help understand your contacts. A form could be as simple as three fields – First Name, Email Address, and an option to “Tell Us More About Yourself.” It is crucial that you make the “Tell us More About Yourself” field a dropdown where you give three or four options with an “other” option as a catch-all. The options in the dropdown should represent your ideal buyer personas so that you can automatically segment these contacts once they submit the form.Now that you have an offer, you can go beyond placing your offer on highly trafficked pages of your website and at the end of blog posts. You can also promote your offer over social media, or even to your existing email database to encourage them to return to your site. And ideally, when your offer goes live, you’ll already have email automation in place to enroll new contacts into relevant drip nurturing campaigns. If you don’t have email automation in place, you can gather contacts via your offer and then intermittently send segmented emails. With pre-transactional offers, you’ll be able to get more visitors back to your site, into your store, and spending! Originally published Dec 18, 2014 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! 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