SA to host 2013 MTB World Champs

first_imgWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material South African mountain biking fans are in for a treat. Pietermaritzburg has been awarded the opening round of the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. The announcement was made on Friday after a meeting of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Management Committee, and comes on the back of the successful hosting of the opening round of the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. The report, based on feedback from, among others, technical delegates and riders, was overwhelmingly positive and reflected favourably on the strides made since South Africa first hosted a UCI MTB World Cup event two years ago. There will also be another addition, starting with next year’s 2012 UCI MTB World Cup, which will comprise 10 events in nine countries on three continents, with seven rounds for each of the traditional disciplines: a cross-country eliminator, in which several rounds will go towards a final ranking, will be run over a 2 000 metre short course and add to the action. Those eight days are divided into two: 21 to 25 August and 29 Aug to 1 September. They include trials, which have not yet been held in Pietermaritzburg. The other events are cross country, downhill and four-cross. “The terrain of the region also lends itself to cycling activities,” he added. PerspectivePutting the 2013 event into perspective, Lenferna explained: “The World Champs are about three to four times bigger than the World Cup and take place over eight days.” A report by the UCI on South Africa’s 2011 World Cup event concluded: “In all aspects, the event improved a lot after a first experience in 2009.” Overwhelmingly positive 21 June 2011 “The 2012 World Cup is going to be bigger and will be important as a preparatory event for the 2013 World Championships,” Lenferna said. “Cyclists who haven’t been to Pietermaritzburg before will need to visit in 2012 because it will be their only chance to see the course before the 2013 World Champs.” Rising stars, like Andrew Neethling, who finished tenth in the downhill in the World Cup in Pietermaritzburg this year, bode well for the future of mountain biking in South Africa. Stander is also among the world’s elite, having won on the World Cup circuit, and is a former under-23 world champion as well as this year’s Absa Cape Epic winner alongside Swiss legend Christoph Sauser. HotspotWhy has Pietermaritzburg become such a hotspot for cycling in South Africa, hosting UCI-endorsed mountain biking, BMX and road cycling events in recent years? Lenferna says it’s simple – the KwaZulu-Natal government and the city have put themselves fully behind the events. “They went the events,” he said. Of course, the fact that Minnaar remains one of the world’s elite downhill riders is a huge positive, so too is the fact that the country’s leading cross-country rider, Burry Stander, hails from Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal coast. ‘Incredibly good advice’“Greg’s always been a strong supporter [of Pietermaritzburg],” he said, “but, more than that, he’s been a point of contact, offering incredibly good advice and ideas of what would work from his experiences at events overseas.” Event organiser Alec Lenferna is the man who was behind the first two World Cup events and will be the man behind the forthcoming competitions in 2012 and 2013. Improvement can be expected every time an event is hosted, he told SAinfo. The fact that Pietermaritzburg has a three-time World Cup overall winner and former World Championship winner in Greg Minnaar has also played a big role in drawing support from local MTB enthusiasts for the UCI MTB World Cup events but, Lenferna let on, Minnaar has done more than be a star for South African mountain bike fans to rally around.last_img read more

Your Website Is More Than Great Design

first_img 2. The CSSP heavy-duty blog is working to gain lots of authority (MOZ rank of 4 and 724 inbound links) but they need to consider renaming the articles with keywords and not numbers in order to maximize these posts.  Last Google visit was almost two weeks ago and with the content CSSP generates, spider visits should be much more frequent. with Prashant Kaw, we reviewed three websites: one relatively new; another one that was a consolidation of several geographically far-flung sister sites; and one that has been around for over a decade.  They were all “NOT PRETTY” in the standard, graphically-enhanced marketer view of the world.  But, each site worked for the marketer responsible for lead flow.   More importantly, each site had some opportunities for optimization and improvement despite decent Website Grader scores.  The marketer on the call for each of review walked away with ideas for increasing their Search Engine presence, their Social Media efforts, and Lead Generation. Join HubSpot experts for a live session of website review and optimization, providing tips for getting found online. Twitter handle Topics: 2. Move the blog from blogspot.com to the Sweet Grace website as soon as possible.  Right now, her pictures of wedding cake designs are giving Blogspot traffic and search rankings that should be the website’s.  Consider using video on the blog, in addition to the pictures for maximum visibility. A custom cake (wedding primarily) creator, Lisa did a great job with her 4-month-old site with geo-tagging in her meta descriptions and page titles.  (I’ve done seven during my marketing career) is a painful and much-lengthier process than any website development company will tell you.   This prospect wanted to wait for the budget, then the redesign, and  finally, the launch before turning to lead generation tactics for their business.  All because some internal folks didn’t like the “look” of their existing website. Is that a smart marketing move? One of HubSpot’s top Inbound Marketing Specialists asked me to join a sales call in an effort to show the prospect that waiting for a website redesign, instead of concentrating on building relevant content for their site with keyword-rich, consistent copy points, was putting the cart before the horse.  They did not have – and were unlikely to get in the relatively near-term – budget approval to proceed for a complete overhaul of their site.  Yet, they were persistent in their belief that the new site would solve all of their lead generation problems.  Baloney! During yesterday’s 1. With “blended” results occuring as search continues to evolve, this site would benefit from having a social media presence.  Using the help of community that is part of the Center for Strategic Planning’s world, their content is a perfect way to utilize Twitter and Facebook. 1. Use Google Local and Google Street Maps to get found geographically.  Even without a storefront, being found online is critical when looking for brides in a specific geographic area. URL: cssp.com | Grader Score: 98  3. Increase your authority on search engines by executing a 301 redirect on the sweetgrace.net to www.sweetgrace.net.  Right now, there are two sites in the eyes of Google and the diluted effect is hurting rankings. Suggestions for optimization: 4. Their domain is set to expire in less than a year.  Get it renewed for another 5 or 10 years and do it quickly. Date & Time: What do you think these sites could have done differently?  Do you agree that design is not the most important factor in website effectiveness? Website Optimization Webinar  for optimization by HubSpot experts! (3-5 will be selected) 2. Create single Twitter and Facebook accounts for Tiger Turf World.  She has not grabbed thecenter_img 1.Have a main Tiger Turf Blog on the home page navigation. Right now, the North American site (Grader Score: 43) has a blog (the main site does not) with just four posts, the last one in July 2009.  She has the content to make consistent blog posts easily and it needs to be done in order to feed her social media accounts. URL: tigerturfworld.com | Grader Score: 84 3. Update all meta descriptions to fill in the missing data and keywords. There were many pages completely missing the information to Get Found by search engines. I pointed out that a This 10-year-old website is a textbook example of Best Practices in website functionality.  With a free ebook download, easy-to-find and above-the-fold information, Charles works at constantly tweaking this site for maximum visibility.   But we had a few ideas for improvement. Website Design This site launched in December, 2007 and as the marketer responsible for the effort, Kim had her hands full. First of all, all of the different geographic points had “unique” and inconsistent fonts, graphics, etc.  Kim did a wonderful job of bringing everyone under the main Tiger Turf World site.   Her next issue was trying to figure out how to start moving towards Social Media.  Kim wanted to know if she should have different Twitter and Facebook accounts for each geography (as with the sub-domains on the main site). Every Tuesday at 1:00pm ET Live Website Optimization: Using Website Grader For Marketing Success  URL: sweetgrace.net | Grader Score: 77 Suggestions for next steps in optimization: 3. The use of testimonials on the Home Page is terrific.  Why not repurpose them on individual pages and tweet them frequently?  Or, use on their Facebook page as well? Lots of low-hanging fruit here. Submit your site now yet and it needs to be done immediately. (Looks like it was done, now the bio and image needs to be updated for their profile with relevant keywords). Originally published May 6, 2010 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Every marketer begins a new job with a significant look at the company website.  A website is visible to everyone: employees, customers, shareholders, prospects and can be tangible evidence that the marketing department/marketer is doing their job.  Unfortunately, the website review usually has more to do with how the site looks and not how it works.  Not functionally, in terms of navigation and page load, but in the context of “Being Found” on the Internet.  What is the point of creating a wonderful, graphics award-winning website if no one ever finds you, your company, or your products? website launch or website redesign Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

9 SEO Insights You Must Follow

first_img 9.  Meta Keywords Topics: Use both the keywords that are in your page title at least three times in the page’s content. Try to bold or underline the keyword at least once.  This has an effect on how relevant the keyword is to the page. SEO Here are nine SEO techniques that you should always follow regardless of the changes the search engines are continuously making. The website page’s URL should include the first keyword you used in the pages page tile .  If can’t identify two or three keywords for a page you than need to separate out the pages content and create a new website page. The page title needs to be under 70 characters and no more than 3 long tail keywords in the page title. Your most important keyword should be first and each keyword should be separated by pipes (|). major changes Originally published Dec 13, 2010 7:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 3. URL The page should have one (1) or two (2) H1 heading tags that use the first two keywords in the page title in step 1. These keywords should be used in a conversational format in the pages content.  In addition to H1 tags, the page should include a couple of H2 heading tags that usually go underneath each H1 tag. The meta description should be under 150 characters and incorporate two of the keywords used in the page’s page title. The best meta descriptions provide a valuable, compelling reason why someone should visit the page.  Don’t add keywords into the meta description for the sake of having them in there, but include them in a conversational format. Create one (1) or two (2) internal links on the page linking to related pages. Use the keywords you’re targeting on the page that you’re linking to in the anchor text for each link. Pre-Step 1: 4. Heading Tags 8. Cross Linking Pages Make sure you have at least three internal links that link to the page you’re optimizing. The link’s anchor text should have keywords that are included in the page you’re linking too.center_img 1. Page Title 2. Meta Description 6. Internal Links 7. Images Any images used on the page should have their file name match one of the keywords in the page title. Each word in the file name should be separate with dashes (-).  The image alt text should match the image’s file name and the keyword in the page title. Don’t use dashes between the word in the alt text. SEO is actually a relatively simple technique that requires small changes based on If you are unable to change image file name or it’s a very time consuming process, then only change the image’s alt text using a keyword from the page title.  Read the page’s content and identify two or three keywords that are most frequently used in the page’s content and are relevant to the overall page topic.  You should only target from step  1 The primary goal of your search engine optimization (SEO) is to drive relevant people that are interested in your industry or company to your website.  If you follow SEO than you know how fast things change.  You also know how hard it can be to keep all with these changes.   . The keywords in the URL should be separated using dashes (-).   e.g. www.sample.com/best-vermont-ski-resorts 5.  Page Content the search engines announce. I bold major changes because the changes really need to be major to affect your overall website rankings and SEO strategy. They aren’t part of Google’s or Bing’s search algorithm, so they aren’t as important as steps 1-8.  However, still add three (3) to five (5) meta keywords to the page that are related to the page title and content.  Smaller search engines still might use them in their algorithm. two (2) or three (3) keywords per website page Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Marketing Lessons From the Cupcake

first_img Topics: Originally published Apr 19, 2011 3:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you have recently attended a wedding, birthday party or Bar Mitzvah, you likely have noticed how trendy the cupcake has become. Starting at $3 a cupcake, these confectionery delights are the craze of party goers and bakery shoppers. Search Quora and you will see reports that their fame gained traction after being offered at Magnolia Bakery and subsequently spotlighted on Sex and the City. Others feel their cuteness alone carried them to stardom.4 Inbound Marketing Lessons from the Cupcake1. Experiment with New Channels and OffersThe cupcake wouldn’t have gained its popularity if the first bakery hadn’t offered it to customers. They may have been selling dozens of regular cakes a day but little did they know they could be drawing in more customers by experimenting with the offering of cupcakes. Marketing Takeaway: You won’t know if it is going to work until you try it. If you are using HubSpot’s software , you can use tracking URL’s on any new calls-to-action you experiment with. What channels haven’t you experimented with yet – YouTube , Twitter , email marketing ? How are you going to grow your reach if you don’t try new channels?2. Diversify Your ContentOne of the great things about cupcakes is they allow you to offer a variety of flavors to your guests. If you can’t entice someone with chocolate, perhaps a luscious lemon cupcake will get them to table. Marketing Takeaway: As suggested by Prashant Kaw in “ Are All Your Referral Eggs in One Basket ”, depending on one traffic source is really risky. It is important that you draw traffic in from a variety of sources. Connect with your target audience through a variety of channels. Don’t just offer them vanilla, use social media to share your content, answer questions on LinkedIn , and listen to what is being said on Twitter and Facebook . Your target audience likely has different preferences on how they access information, so publish videos to YouTube in addition to blogging , and try some targeted email campaigns that pull people to your site.3. Be ConciseCupcakes are cute, small and easy to eat. You don’t need a plate or fork to eat them and you aren’t stuck with left over cake for days after. Marketing takeaway: Get to the point quickly. Keep your page titles under 70 characters and your meta descriptions under 150 characters. When asking your visitors to fill out forms , don’t ask them to spend more time than necessary. The goal is to get visitors to learn about your products and take action.4. Create a StrategyWhile the end product is a tasty little cupcake, hard work and preparation goes into the end results. You can’t bake a cupcake if you don’t have flour, eggs, and sugar, and nobody wants to pay $3 for a burnt cupcake. Marketing Takeaway: To be successful, you have to have a strategy for how you will create and optimize your remarkable content . Research keywords that you are going to optimize for. Publish optimized blog entries frequently. The more you produce, the more search engines will trust your site and the higher you will rank in SEO . What has the cupcake taught you about marketing? Marketing Advicelast_img read more

15 Sure-Fire Ways to Guarantee Your Next Event Is SOLD OUT

first_img Topics: Originally published Aug 13, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated June 25 2019 Ticket Sales Tip #1: Get Amy Schumer to perform at your event.Just kidding.But you may have heard that we just got done planning and hosting the biggest inbound marketing event ever (at which Amy Schumer did indeed perform) — INBOUND. And part of that planning meant, obviously, driving ticket sales.But how do you make your event stand out in the crowd? Not only that, how do you get people to actually spend the money to attend your event?We’re going to share some of our secrets with you that have helped drive our ticket sales for INBOUND past and present; hopefully these will help you promote your next event, too!Download free resources for executing your best event yet. [Free Kit]15 Ways to Drive Ticket Sales for Your Event1) Reward last year’s attendees.If you have an annual event, the first thing you should do is announce the event to last year’s attendees. The people who came the year before may be your biggest supporters and are more likely to immediately purchase the tickets, even if you don’t have all the details for the conference hammered out quite yet. Show that you appreciate them by offering them a special discount for signing up early and quickly.2) Offer early bird pricing.Have at least 2 different types of pricing: early bird and regular. You can even have more than one type of early bird pricing to encourage people to buy before the prices increase. This sense of urgency will encourage people to buy sooner.3) Ask early registrants to write blog posts.The people who register for your event first will be among your biggest supporters — that means they’re also good candidates to write blog posts for you to help promote the conference. To promote INBOUND 2012, we had the first person to register for this year’s conference write a blog post. We also had another customer who enjoyed last year’s conference write a blog post. Instead of hearing from the HubSpot team why we thought our conference was great, these posts let you hear when the event was a can’t-miss opportunity from actual attendees. Third-party endorsements will always carry more weight then tooting your own horn.4) Don’t just promote your conference; promote the location!People interested in your conference don’t just want to hear about your conference, they want to hear about the location of the conference. Frankly, the location of conferences can sometimes be one of the biggest draw for potential attendees — it’s kind of hard to say no to an event in a cool, beautiful city. Promote other attractions near where your conference is help that may interest attendees. If you can get discounted rates to some of those attractions, that’s even more of an incentive for people to attend your conference!5) Get in touch with industry organizations to help promote.In every industry, there are professional organizations who would be more than happy to help you promote your event. Get in touch with them, tell them about your event, provide email copy, and make it easy for them to promote on your behalf. This will help get your event in front of thousands of more qualified people that you wouldn’t normally have access to.6) Use LinkedIn for promotions targeted to your industry.LinkedIn Company Pages, LinkedIn Events, and LinkedIn Groups are a great way to contact people in your industry who may be interested in your event. Take advantage of the ability to promote your event to thousands of relevant people in your industry, on a social network built for networking — you know, the reason people go to events.7) Start contests within your company.Don’t forget about the giant network you have right within your office’s four walls — your employees. Encourage them to promote your event to the leads and customers they talk to through some friendly competition. Incentivize ticket sales by offering prizes to whoever sells the most tickets (give everyone a unique discount code so you can track it!), or you could even reward a full team for working together to sell tickets.8) Consistently update social media accounts.Social media accounts should have weekly updates with information about your conference, including links to the event’s registration page. Give your network a compelling reason to attend your conference in those updates, and a link to registration page to close the deal.9) Advertise on social media.Leveraging your paid advertising options on social media is another way to target people in your industry. Use targeted ads to promote to your industry with links directly to the registration page. If you need help getting started, here is a guide for executing a Facebook ad campaign, and a guide for executing a LinkedIn ad campaign.10) Leverage event sponsors for promotion.Your sponsors will want to help you with promotion, because more attendees means more facetime with more people. But they’re busy. Really busy. So the easier you make event promotion on them, the more likely it is they’ll actually do it. Provide sponsors with templated email copy and discount codes so it’s easy as pie to promote to their lists.11) Sprinkle calls-to-action throughout your website.Your homepage should have a promotion to your conference. Your login page (if you have one) should have a promotion to your conference. Your blog should have banners promoting your conference. If you’re planning a huge event, most pages on your website should have links to your conference site, making it easy for anyone to find information about your event and register.12) Issue different types of passes.Some people may not be able to attend your whole event, whether they’re unavailable for the full duration, can’t be away from the office for so long, or can’t swing the hotel costs. Issuing different types of passes helps accomodate those people and drive more ticket sales. Consider passes like a student pass, a keynote pass, or a party pass.13) Promote the “fun stuff.”Anyone hear of Cyndi Lauper? Anyone? Announcing a headliner performer will drive a lot of ticket sales as well as get people excited for more than just the content you’ll have during your conference sessions. The main reason people attend conferences is for the beneifical content, sure, but promoting the parties and some of the nighttime activities definitely helps. I mean, who doesn’t like to party?14) Gamify the act of event promotion and ticket sales.Host contests or games with your network to promote your conference and drive ticket sales. During your webinars, for example, you could take advantage of the large audience to promote the conference by giving away free tickets to whoever tweeted the most with your webinar hashtag. Everyone loves a little friendly competition, and you’ll certainly love the free promotion of your event!15) Ask your speakers to write blog posts promoting their sessions.The success of an event all comes down to its content. Reach out to speakers and ask them to write guest blog posts that promote their sessions, and give a sneak preview of what they’ll be discussing. It’s a win-win — they get more attendees excited about their session, and you get free content (that your guest blogger will likely promote to their network) to drive ticket sales.What other ways can you think of to drive ticket sales for events? Event Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Facebook Launches Global Pages to Simplify Brands’ International Facebook Presence

first_img Originally published Oct 18, 2012 12:21:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Facebook Business Pages Topics: Are you a global business that sells to customers on an international scale? Have you struggled with the agonizing question of whether to set up multiple social media accounts on each social network to better support your various marketing initiatives geared toward different international markets? Well as it turns out, Facebook feels your pain.Yesterday, Facebook announced the launch of Global Pages, a new structure to business pages for global brands aimed to provide a better, localized experience for international brands’ prospects and customers. The new structure consolidates a business’ global Facebook presence into one place while still providing a localized experience.How Facebook’s New Global Structure WorksThe idea is, rather than a global brand maintaining one general, broadly targeted Facebook page — or juggling multiple Facebook Pages set up for each different international market — that brand can instead maintain and promote one centralized Facebook Page URL. Visitors to that page will then get routed to the most appropriate version of a page based on their home country, where they will see a localized version of the page, which the administrator can customize to include different cover photos, profile photos, applications, milestones, ‘About’ information, and news feed stories.The global marketer can set up their Global Pages structure to create localized pages for the specific markets (i.e. single or multicountry regions) they’re targeting. They can also set up a default page that all other users outside of these specific markets get directed to. If you’re familiar with LinkedIn’s targeted Product and Services Page variations within their Company Pages, Facebook is implementing a similar idea: Users get redirected to the version of the page that’s best suited for them based on their geographic location.Okay — so what’s the difference between a global marketer just setting up and customizing different Facebook Pages? In one word: centralization.3 Key Benefits of Global PagesA Centralized Facebook Presence: No matter which version of the page a visitor gets routed to, all visitors will see the same page name (translated into their local language), fan count, and ‘People Talking About This’ counts.A Single URL: Rather than having to promote a different page URL for each localized page, global brands will be able to promote one single URL in all of their marketing efforts to promote their Facebook presence, since page visitors will be automatically be redirected to the appropriate version of the Page based on their goegraphic information.A Centralized Global Insights Dashboard: Rather than having to check the Facebook Insights for multiple pages, administrators of the main Global Page will be able to check Insights for all page variations in one centralized dashboard.But What if I Already Have Multiple Pages Set Up?It’s easy to see how this new feature can help global social media marketers who already manage one general page, eliminating the pain of geo-targeting every status update and page post — but what about the marketers who have already set up completely separate, country-specific Facebook Pages for each of their target international markets?According to Facebook, it is possible for admins of multiple pages to transition to the new Global Pages structure, citing examples such as the global Walt Disney Studios team working on Frankenweenie, who were easily able to migrate their country-specific pages for France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States to the Global Pages framework. Other brands, including the Holiday Inn and the Kit Kat team from Nestle have also successfully transitioned their various localized pages from regions around the globe to the new structure.And that’s not all …Facebook Also Promises Improved Global Benchmarking Data in the FutureWithin Facebook’s announcement, the social network also mentioned they’re working on ways to make it easier for global marketers to measure their specific, localized audiences in each country — which will include country-level fan counts for both Global Pages as well as pages not yet transitioned to the new framework (coming later this year in its public API).In addition, Facebook is working to provide a way for marketers to benchmark their brand against competitors, enabling global marketers to measure and analyze how each localized market is performing and compare that data on a country-specific level with other Facebook pages via Facebook’s API. Great News for International MarketersThis seems like a no-brainer for businesses who cater to a global audience. No more agonizing over whether to divide their Facebook presence in order to appropriately cater their content and updates to their inidividual, localized segments of their audience. No more time spent fiddling with geo-targeting every single status update. No more splitting up the overall reach and impact of their Facebook presence.To get started with Global Pages, Facebook indicates you’ll need to get in touch with your Facebook client partner or account manager to discuss. If you’re not already working with Facebook, you can contact Facebook marketing solutions here.To learn more about how to effectively implement a global social media marketing strategy, download our free ebook, The Complete Guide to Global Social Media Marketing.If you’re a global marketer, will you explore Facebook’s new Global Pages offering?Image Credit: Sudhamshu Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Key Characteristics Every Social Media Community Manager Should Have

first_imgSocial media is an effective tool to engage your target audience, drive website traffic and, ultimately, boost sales; so why do so few companies employ a social media community manager? You know, the person that manages the whole thing? . Some of our clients even have Tomorrow People presence, as well as many other companies we work with — and they’re all seeing great results from it. So how do social media not . 3) Grows the Network It seems crazy, in the midst of a global financial crisis, to suggest that companies should go to the expense of hiring a community manager to oversee their social media presences. But at our company, By employing a team of full-time and part-time community managers, we’ve cut down on the number of sales people we need to employ because the inbound leads we’re producing are highly qualified. We’re doing the same for our clients, such as LinuxIT and Workbooks; by engaging effectively with communities online, their sales teams are more efficient because they’re receiving far more These tasks detract from the central role, but are all too often lumbered on community managers. Email marketing A community manager isn’t responsible for: do? Twitter 2) Listens to the Buzz Lead nurturing make the leap? This post will tell you everything you need to know about integrating a community manager into your marketing department. Quantity is important to establish reach We have packaged the model into a 5-step methodology we call Zoober: listen, create, engage, transform, grow. This is a process of continuous improvement, where we constantly measure and amend our approach. Our community management team delivers the ‘Engage’ stage of this model — telling people what we’re doing and bringing them to our website. , we apply the lean manufacturing continuous improvement methodology Six Sigma to our internal processes, assuming the leads are the final output. We use HubSpot to measure our traffic and social media engagement. This should include blogger outreach, too — finding the right person to get to know and ask for guest blogging opportunities. You could also consider reaching out to the publications, forums, and Q&A sites your target audience uses. 5) Joins the Conversation and you What are a community manager’s roles and responsibilities? Google+ . Additionally, our average money hiring sales people or in other marketing hires. Develop a process or methodology to ensure you continually improve your social media results each month, and document & review those processes every month. Give your community management team great tools & remarkable content to get the best results. Managing social media communities is a highly skilled, challenging role — which is why we’re amazed how many companies think they can get their intern to do it in their spare time. , but just transfer this step to whatever tool you use — and ensuring profiles are standardized and present the company in a professional light. They should also increase your Facebook fans and What does the community manager Community managers should also investigate the various social media automation tools available, and stay up to date with technology, marketing, and industry news. 4) Distributes Content A good community manager should then grow your networks by engaging every day online (via forums and owned communities) and offline (via events, conferences, and meet ups). They should also, of course, craft status updates, posts, and tweets — because like most of your other marketing channels, social media also depends on sharing excellent content.center_img Originally published Oct 9, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 We’ve also noticed that Twitter and LinkedIn contacts. Your community manager should promote your blog and website content to your network. They should help your company foster meaningful business discussions that will allow you to reach your target audience and gain more clients. It’s about dialogues, not monologues. employing a community manager drives approximately 30% more traffic to our website every month It’s definitely worth the effort for us — and we’re sure it could be worth it for you, too! Too many companies don’t bother with social media engagement, or engage with it in an ad hoc fashion. Simply asking your copywriter to tweet every now and again, or getting the intern to update your company LinkedIn profile, won’t cut it; you need people who can focus on this role strategically and consistently to engage your online audience effectively. The benefits are clear — but the process requires a professional. generate more leads , we’ve been developing our community management team and processes to real effect over the past 16 months. I also know that HubSpot invests in employees dedicated solely to managing their no This involves replying to online questions and comments immediately, giving your brand a face, and creating a relationship with prospects. The community manager should represent the client’s voice, but should also be able to get their individual personality across. Especially in blogger outreach, conversation should come naturally to them — they shouldn’t be struggling to find a voice when contacting strangers. A good community manager should listen to the buzz already online — finding out what groups your target audience is joining on LinkedIn, for example, and who they’re following on Twitter. What are they talking about? Who are your rivals? What are they interested in? When are they most likely to read a tweet, or an update? Are they aware of your brand? Who are the key influencers within your industry who you should develop a long lasting relationship with? Marketing strategy quality First, what are the benefits of having a community manager? 1) Sets Up and Manages Profiles Content creation we use HubSpot . You should also remember that while hiring a community manager is certainly an expense, you could visitor-to-lead conversion rate for our B2B clients is 8% Topics: qualified leads sales people, as they sell online: so the community managers are driving their sales directly! Alistair Norman is the Marketing Director of HubSpot’s International Partner Agency of the Year 2012, the UK inbound marketing agency Tomorrow People. Alistair is also an auditor of the MA/MSc programme at Birmingham City University’s New Technology Institute. Follow Alistair on save For us, it has made sense to hire a community management team, but it may make sense for other companies to retain these skills — it’s all about finding people with the right skills and enabling them to develop a community for you in the long-term. Building efficiency into our process to Is it worth it? Where does the community manager role fit? Nothing makes your company look like it doesn’t care like half-filled in, out of date employee and company pages on LinkedIn or Facebook. Our community management team sets up and manages our company and employee social media profiles and groups. This involves setting up the content within our social media publishing tool — Community Management , but your community manager should also focus on creating a larger base of high quality social media fans and followers. A thousand Facebook friends from the wrong industry may not be as valuable as 20 very influential friends with the right connections. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Is Apple Designing Products to Appeal to Women?

first_img Design Trends 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: Has Apple become a brand that’s primarily targeting women?That’s what some people are wondering after seeing Apple’s radically redesigned new smartphone operating system.That system, iOS 7, becomes available today. If you’re planning to download it, get ready for a big change in the look and feel of the software on your phone.The new operating system interface introduces translucent elements, as well as a palette of lighter, softer pastel colors.As with any big change that Apple makes, this one has been controversial. One of the harshest critics, tech blogger Jim Lynch, called the software “an estrogen-addled mess designed for 13 year old girls” and complained that “the manly, solid colors and design found in iOS 6 have been chopped off.”He cites the following screenshots to make his point. The old iOS is on the left, the new one on the right.Lynch got shellacked and called a sexist. After all, who says only women like pastel colors? The “estrogen-addled mess” comment surely contributed to the backlash, as well.He has since updated his post, warning people that it contains “a few politically incorrect observations,” and pointing to a later article where he says he has come to appreciate iOS 7 and calls it “a major triumph for Apple.”But Lynch’s tirade prompted some pundits, including Jim Edwards at Business Insider, to wonder whether Apple is indeed making a concerted effort to target women. Edwards isn’t hating on the new operating system; he just points out that the new software contains colors some would consider feminine.Edwards also points out that the new low-end iPhone 5c comes in five bright colors, but “the new colors do not include ‘masculine’ shades like burgundy, navy blue, or Lincoln blue.”If this is what Apple is doing, Edwards points out, it probably makes good business sense. According to a study released in July, when it comes to Apple versus Android, moms in the U.S. are “over-indexed” toward Apple. (Hit the link and scroll down to “iOS Beats Android in the Mommy Market,” to see the actual numbers.)Kawasaki is a legendary Apple evangelist, but now he has become an Android fan and is working as a marketing consultant for Motorola, promoting its Android-based Moto X smartphone. His take on the subject? Kawasaki doesn’t think the new iPhone models or the new operating system are especially aimed at women. “Apple is targeting anyone with $99,” he says. “I don’t think it cares about gender — just disposable income.”Don’t Go ThereFor what it’s worth, I brought up this subject among my immediate colleagues at HubSpot, who are mostly women.They found the topic irritating, asking things like, “What exactly does that even mean to say that a design is feminine? And even if Apple is trying to sell to women, why is that a problem, since women control so much spending power?Anyway, one of our colleagues has been using the beta version of iOS 7 for a while. She says she loves it.Several others in the room — male and female — say they want to get the new iPhone 5s as soon as they can. They’re more excited about the new fingerprint scanner “Touch ID” system than they are about the software, but they all think the new software looks cool.Same goes for reviewers, who have all been raving about the new iPhone 5s.Bottom line: If you download the new OS, your iPhone is going to look really, really different. Whether you think the new software is better than the old software, or whether it’s “masculine” or “feminine,” will have to remain a matter of opinion.If you’re an Apple user, you have no choice. This is the future. But don’t worry. Male or female, you’ll probably love it.Image credit: Johan Larsson Originally published Sep 18, 2013 3:00:09 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

Don’t Know What to Wear to an Interview? Check Out This SlideShare

first_img 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.center_img 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 2017last_img read more

Dear HubSpot: I Have to Market My New Business. Where Do I Start?

first_img Business Blogging Dear HubSpot is a weekly column that we do to answer people’s most burning questions about inbound. If you want to submit a question to be answered, click here. This week, we hear from an entrepreneur who is just starting his own company and wondering where to focus his marketing efforts in the very beginning. Dear HubSpot,I’ve got an excellent business idea for a career consulting service. I’ve already set up a webpage and social media profiles, but how do I ACTUALLY start marketing it? With only one Like on Facebook and two followers on Twitter, do I need to buy advertisements? If so, which ones? It’s just me and my buddy running the company so far, and we’re not sure which steps to take first to gain some traction online. We need a little direction because we don’t know where to start. We’d appreciate your help!Sincerely,Starting From Scratch in San AntonioHey SSSA,First of all, great job taking initiative on your business idea by setting up your website and social media accounts. Execution is what differentiates a great thinker from an entrepreneur. We’re hoping your two Twitter followers aren’t your parents ;). I’m kidding, but even if they were, everyone starts somewhere — and you’re right in saying your top priority right now should be building and growing your online presence.To help you get your marketing efforts off the ground, I’ve written up a short to-do list for you. Each step is in order. You mentioned advertising, for example — you’ll soon notice that advertising is step three in your to-do list, so don’t be tempted to jump right in to that right now. Without further ado …Your to-do list, in order:Step 1: Make a list of relevant keywords.Before you build the house, you need to lay the foundation — and for your brand, that foundation is the keyword list that you’ll use to write the content of your website, blog, and social media posts. It’s important that you come up with these keywords first so you don’t find yourself stuffing your content with keywords later, which can look forced and unnatural, and even get you penalized by search engines.The best search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is to focus the copy of your website on key phrases or topics that are important to people who will end up buying from you and relevant to what you are selling. Start with a topic close to the core of your business that you really want to rank well for on search engines — for you, it might be “career development.” Then, put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. What would they search for on Google, Bing, or Yelp that would bring them to your website? What questions or challenges might they have that you can help address? Some ideas that come to mind are “resume examples,” “how to get a promotion,” or “how to get a job in new york city.” As you can see, keywords can be words, phrases, sentences, and partial sentences — it’s basically anything someone might type into a search engine. Brainstorm a list of 40-50 keywords and phrases to start.Once you have these keywords, it’s time to start creating content for your website based on those keywords to increase the likelihood of potential customers finding you on search. Which brings me to Step 2 …Step 2: Set up a blog and start writing blog posts.Once you’ve researched the keywords that are important to your audience, create a blog and write blog posts based on those keywords. This will help you increase the odds of getting found on search engines because each new post you create gives you another opportunity to be indexed. For your audience, blog post topics could be “8 Myths About Cover Letters Every College Graduate Should Know” or “How To Get Into Finance Without a Business Degree.” (Get blog post topic ideas from our Blog Topic Generator.)Over time, your blog will drive traffic to your website, help you convert traffic into leads (if you’ve placed calls-to-action on your blog posts — which you should do), help you establish authority, and drive long-term business results. (You can learn more about the benefits of business blogging here.)But slow and steady wins the race — and blogging does require patience. Don’t expect to see success overnight since you’re just starting out. Did you know that HubSpot started blogging before we even had a product? It took 12 to 18 months for us to see results from our blogging efforts, but it’s definitely paid off in the long term. As long as you blog consistently (at least twice per week, but the more the better), you will see that long-term payout. When you’re ready to set up your blog, this post on how to set up business blogs will be a great resource.Step 3: Use PPC advertising as a supplement.Notice that PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is #3 on the list, not #1. No matter how big your budget is, you should focus on content creation and SEO first, and then start using PPC to amplify those efforts. PPC will help you much get quicker returns on your blogging efforts, but those quick returns cost money and you have to keep paying for them to keep seeing the returns (unlike blogging itself, where your finished posts keep working for you over time).But a little PPC is good for getting some traffic to your website and blog right away when no one really knows who you are — it might even help you rank a little bit faster on search engines.To create your PPC advertising plan, follow the five steps in our introductory guide to PPC for startup marketers. When you’re ready to make PPC ads, check out this post on how to make PPC ads people will actually click on.Step 4: Use social media as a distribution channel.Working on your social media strategy is the next step, and it looks like you’ve already created those accounts. The first question you should ask yourself is, which social networking sites do your potential customers spend time? If you want to market to college students or recent college graduates, you might spend more time on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you want to market to older professionals with 10+ years experience, you should focus on LinkedIn and Twitter first.Once you’ve picked two or three channels to focus your social media marketing efforts, optimize those profiles. Include a short bio and a link in your profile, find influencers and follow and engage with them, reply to other users, and start sharing that awesome content you created in step two. Do not buy random followers or Likes! It won’t help your business and it’s a waste of time. Your social media accounts are only valuable if your followers are actually interested in you.Finally, don’t make the common startup mistake of promoting your consulting service too much. Remember, people don’t know about your product or service at this point — but they do have career problems they want to solve. Offer what people are interested in, and they’re more likely to click on and engage with your posts. The 80/20 rule is a great way start: 80% of the content you post to social media should be helpful and valuable to your audience, and 20% can be self-promotional.One last word of wisdom: Move and learn quickly. Experiment a lot — do more of what works, and eliminate what doesn’t. Remember that everything can change on a dime.Best of luck with your business!Sincerely,Got a specific question about inbound you’d like answered? Submit it here. You may be featured in a future blog post (complete with your special pen name, of course).  Originally published Jun 20, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more