Earth-like planet may be not so hospitable after all, thanks to blasts of radiation

first_imgEarlier this year, astronomers reported discovering a handful of Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars. One of them, a presumably rocky orb dubbed Kepler-438b, orbits a red dwarf star and may be just a bit warmer than Earth, those researchers suggested. Now, another team finds that the planet may be hostile to life because it has no atmosphere, thanks to supersized solar flares that blast the planet every few hundred days, the researchers report online before print in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The flares are about 10 times as powerful as those ever recorded on our sun, the team estimates. And because Kepler-438b orbits just 25 million kilometers from its star (about half the distance of Mercury’s closest approach to our sun), that’s a recipe for disaster for life as we know it, the researchers say: With little or no atmosphere, the planet’s surface would be exposed to harsh x-ray and ultraviolet radiation, not to mention floods of charged particles like those in our solar wind.last_img read more

Norway plans to exterminate a large reindeer herd to stop a fatal infectious brain disease

first_img Hot zone Reindeer will be slaughtered in Nordfjella, Norway; no culling is recommended for the area near Trondheim where two moose with chronic wasting disease have been found. By Erik StokstadApr. 3, 2017 , 5:30 PM CWD, discovered in 1967, has been found in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, and it has been spread in part by shipments of infected animals. Many species of cervids are susceptible, including elk, moose, and several kinds of deer. Infected animals typically begin showing symptoms such as weight loss, lethargy, and drooling 2 to 3 years after infection and then die within months. In Wyoming, where CWD has been endemic for decades, up to 40% of some herds are infected, and white-tailed deer populations are declining by 10% a year.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(*)CWD is very contagious: Prions spread easily through saliva, urine, and feces, and can linger in the environment for years, which suggests that feeding stations and salt licks are hot spots of infection. Once the disease has become firmly established, environmental contamination makes eradication very hard, says Christina Sigurdson, a prion researcher at the University of California, San Diego. “It hasn’t been shown so far to be possible,” she says. There’s no evidence that humans can get sick from eating infected deer, but it is not recommended. (Mad cow disease, also caused by prions, can infect people who eat contaminated meat and has caused more than 200 deaths so far.)Norway’s first CWD case was detected by chance after wildlife biologists working in the rugged mountains of Nordfjella found a sick young reindeer on 15 March 2016. After its death, tests at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) in Oslo pointed to CWD. “I couldn’t believe it,” says NVI prion researcher Sylvie Benestad. But international reference labs confirmed her diagnosis. The prions resemble those found in North American deer, Benestad and her colleagues have found. How the disease got to Norway is a mystery. Prions may have arrived in deer urine, which is bottled in the United States and sold as a lure, or perhaps they hitched a ride on hiking boots or hunting gear. But prion diseases can also start spontaneously, after proteins begin to misfold in a single individual, and Benestad’s hunch is that this is a more likely scenario. After the initial discovery, Norwegian officials began looking for other cases. A local hunter found two moose with CWD near the town of Selbu, 40 kilometers southeast of Trondheim (see map), in May 2016. During last fall’s hunting season, thousands of hunters and other volunteers collected about 8000 brain samples from all over the country, turning up two more cases of infected reindeer near Nordfjella. The cases in Nordfjella and Selbu are likely not linked, says Benestad, as the reindeer and moose have different types of prions.  Norwegian Institute for Nature Research A year after a deadly and highly contagious wildlife disease surfaced in Norway, the country is taking action. Chronic wasting disease (CWD), caused by misfolded proteins called prions, has already ravaged deer and elk in North America, costing rural economies millions in lost revenue from hunting. Its presence in Norway’s reindeer and moose—the first cases in Europe—is “a very serious situation for the environment and for our culture and traditions,” says Bjørnar Ytrehus, a veterinary researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research in Trondheim.Last week, Norway’s minister of agriculture and food gave the green light for hunters to kill off the entire herd in which three infected individuals were found, about 2000 reindeer, or nearly 6% of the country’s wild population. “We have to take action now,” says Karen Johanne Baalsrud, director of plant and animal health at the Norwegian Food Safety Authority in Oslo. The deer’s habitat will be quarantined for at least 5 years to prevent reinfection. The odds of a successful eradication, experts say, will depend largely on how long CWD has been present in Norway. CREDITS: (GRAPHIC) G. GRULLÓN/SCIENCE; (DATA) NORWEGIAN VETERINARY INSTITUTE/NORWEGIAN ENVIRONMENT AGENCY Norway plans to exterminate a large reindeer herd to stop a fatal infectious brain disease This reindeer is one of three confirmed to have had chronic wasting disease, the first cases known in the wild outside North America. An advisory panel convened by the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety last week suggested different approaches for the two locations. Around Selbu, it recommended increased surveillance, but no culling of moose yet. The two infected moose were older animals, suggesting that these were cases of spontaneous disease, which are less likely to be infectious. (The reason why: In spontaneous cases of prion disease, such as in sheep, prions are only found in the brain.) And even even if the unusual prions in moose are contagious, the solitary nature of these animals lowers the chances of transmission.Reindeer, however, are the most gregarious of cervids, and the three sick individuals in Nordfjella could easily have spread prions. Culling the entire herd would be “drastic,” the panel acknowledged, but should be attempted as soon as possible. The slaughter, to start in August, will be carried out by amateur hunters, who can eat the meat if prion tests come back negative. Professional sharpshooters will be used to find any elusive survivors. “We will do whatever it takes,” says Erik Lund, a senior wildlife adviser at the Norwegian Environment Agency in Trondheim. Until the operation begins, wildlife rangers are patrolling to prevent animals from leaving or entering the herd’s 2000-square-kilometer habitat. The area is ringed by paved roads, which reindeer don’t like to cross, but if any do, the rangers have orders to track down and kill them. Repopulation won’t begin until at least 2022. Benestad says testing old feces may be a way to check whether prions lingering in the environment have degraded.Based on the prevalence in Nordfjella—estimated at 1%—Lund guesses that CWD may have been present for only 5 to 7 years, which could mean contamination is minimal. “There’s a good chance they can solve the problem,” says wildlife ecologist Michael Samuel of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Quick response has been shown to work before: In 2005, routine testing revealed CWD on two deer farms in central New York. Strict regulations prevented the disease from spreading. The state has seen no cases since.But it’s also possible that CWD is lurking elsewhere in Norway, the panel noted. The agencies will collect another 20,000 samples in the coming hunting season, and they plan to continue monitoring for years to come. The specter of CWD has also alarmed the European Food Safety Authority, which released a report in January recommending that seven nearby countries all begin 3-year sampling programs.Clarification, 4 April, 4.20 p.m.: The paragraph explaining why no culling is planned around Selbu has been edited to make it clearer.last_img read more

Help! No One’s Searching For My Products and Services

first_imgExcept… nobody’s actually searching for that phrase (except you, when you’re checking your keyword rank). You’re not getting any traffic or leads or customers – so who cares that you’re the #1 result? First, you’re optimizing your website for the wrong keywords. “But we sell [insert your esoteric term of choice here]”. Yes, but no one knows what that is and no one’s searching for it. At this point we say, you need to go through a full . They know they need to do this “Internet marketing stuff”. process to identify the best keywords for you business – those that have a high number of monthly searches, are relevant to your business, and are actually within your reach to rank for in the first 10 organic search results on Google. We still call ourselves an inbound marketing system. But we know it requires explanation. We recognize people are looking for an Internet marketing solution and so that’s where we meet our market in the middle. We go to them, understand their problems and needs, and explain how what we do solves their problems. The focus here is changing from yourself to your customers. Because otherwise you’re just standing alone on that soapbox of yours shouting to a nonexistent crowd. keyword research and start blogging generate leads online ” meant? Still, a lot of people say, “inbound market-wha?” It takes some education. But what we did is we took the perspective of our buyer. He knows he needs to and SEO get found in search engines inbound marketing Topics: The second problem is, well, these words we found – the high volume, less difficult, somewhat relevant phrases – aren’t exactly what you sell, that’s not how you would describe what you do. This is a tricky problem. Your customers don’t know they need your product, but you know it solves such-and-such problem that they have. Well, in this case you need to educate your customers on what you do. Six months ago do you think anyone knew what ” to grow his business. She knows she needs to Photo Credit Thomas Hawk Originally published Aug 28, 2008 9:10:00 AM, updated July 08 2013 monitor her company’s web presence There are two problems here. 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 Places Launches, Allows Businesses to “Check In”

first_img and other location-based social networks, but also to Google and Yelp. The social network has announced the launch of a major new feature: Facebook Places.  We have Facebook, similar to on this blog in the past. However, this trend just got a lot more interesting for marketers. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack talked many times about the adoption and marketing implications of location-based social networks HTML5 mobile site Foursquare Facebook Business Pages has delivered a major blow to not only to as well as their Originally published Aug 19, 2010 10:05:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 users to check in to offline locations similar to other location-bastion social networks. The Places feature is available in Facebook’s Facebook Places allowscenter_img Marketing Takeaway Facebook Places isn’t an attack on Foursquare, it is a direct attack on Google and Yelp. Facebook realizes that as retail business shift marketing dollars online, a huge opportunity exists. iPhone application Yelp and other location-focused sites, is also allowing businesses to claim their location in Facebook Places. Once Facebook Places is available to you, add the location to your business. Once that location page is created, you will then have the option to “claim” it as the page for your business. It is likely that Facebook will launch many other marketing opportunities for Businesses on Facebook places in the future, so it is important to go ahead and claim your location now. Topics: Do you plan to use Facebook Places? Although the feature is now available in the newest version of the Facebook iPhone app, the company says it is still rolling out the feature and is not yet available to all users.  Another interesting note is that Facebook, via an API, is going to provide developers access to some of the data from Facebook Places to integrate this new feature with outside applications. Additionally, it doesn’t seem like Facebook is out to “kill” other location-based networks. It will allow Foursquare and other major location-based social networks to push location information into Places so that a user can use Foursquare to check in on both Foursquare and Facebook Places. If you are a marketer, this announcement demonstrates that location-based social networks are transforming from a trend into a mainstream feature of social networking. Some of the initial developers using Facebook Places are social game developers like Booyah, who plan to create new social games based on location. Facebook .  One change in Facebook Places is that instead of showing people who have checked in nearby, the application will display people near you that Facebook has determined to have relevancy to you.last_img read more

3 Key Factors For Improving Ecommerce Conversion Rates

first_img Ecommerce Marketing Originally published Sep 14, 2010 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 While an ecommerce site will always be focused around driving transactions, capturing the huge non-transacting majority for emarketing presents a major revenue opportunity and marketing challenge. The very best converting ecommerce sites make extensive use of remarketing tools to improve their ultimate transaction rate and retain visitors who are not yet ready to buy. These sites capture visitor information early, use value-added marketing offers, and have unique product page content beyond the boring manufacturer’s same-old template. For ecommerce sites that don’t convert at 18% or better, implementing non-transactional leads can greatly improve their ultimate conversion rate. A poor implementation, however, can lead to an even poorer site conversion rate as traffic is siphoned off the primary ecommerce funnel. There are three critical pieces to a successful implementation of offer-driven lead paths. They are: Call-to-action button Landing page with a form Thank you page Keep reading for implementation and design specifics on these three key pieces.Call-to-Action Buttons That Don’t Cannibalize TransactionsA call-to-action button’s purpose is to capture interest and divert traffic that does not intend to transact immediately. The button itself needs to have specific design and language characteristics to accomplish this goal and not remove people from the primary transactional funnel. Two critical basics of non-transactional call-to-action buttons design on ecommerce sites: Clearly identify the buttons as paths to learning more , not continuing down the purchase path. Visitors will self-select to engage if they are interested but not ready to purchase.  Use messaging like “Looking for more? Download the buyer’s guide to…” or “Need more information before you buy?” to make this crystal clear.If the button is placed as a secondary conversion option in conjunction with “buy now” messaging, it should be less eye-catching than the “buy now” button or messaging .Landing Pages That Capitalize on an Indicator of InterestOnce a site visitor clicks a call-to-action button, they move to a landing page. A landing page is a page with one singular purpose: collect visitor information (a name and email) in return for an asset (a buyer’s guide, ebook, factsheet). As with the call-to-action button, below are 2 critical considerations particular to ecommerce sites: Visitors to your non-transactional landing pages have already indicated interest in downloading the asset and not converting. Take off the sales hat for just a moment ; time to allow visitors to get what they want as simply as possible. That means no “buy now” or product-level messaging and a relatively short form. Briefly express the value of your giveaway to capitalize on the previous indicator of interest from the call to action button click. Recall that visitors to the landing page have expressed that they are not ready to purchase right now and are looking for more information. It’s better to capture their information here than have them defect and buy from a competitor next week.Thank You Pages That Don’t Maroon ShoppersAfter a visitor indicates interest by clicking a call-to-action and completes the form on the landing page, the site needs to uphold its end of the bargain and deliver the asset. The most effective way to deliver the asset is on a dedicated thank you page. On this page, the asset is can be linked along with hooks back into the main site’s funnel. This page may even remain open as people peruse your content, so keeping links back to the main ecommerce funnel may yield some additional utility. Two important elements for thank you pages on ecommerce sites: Keep the first, clearest link on the page for the asset . People have come through the landing page and expect a simple method of receiving their asset. Give it to them.Other links on the page can fall into two categories, depending on your goals. The links can either continue visitors in the “learn more” mode, which they are already in, and link to a blog or other informational assets. Alternatively, if the asset given away on the thank you page helps visitors make a final buying decision, follow-up links can now direct traffic back into the main ecommerce site funnel. Now is the time to put on your sales hat back on and move people back into the product pages, if you like.Putting Non-Transactional Ecommerce Leads in Their PlaceWhen the time comes to make a purchase, would you rather have been in communication with a lead for 2 weeks? Or would you rather they make their own unaided decision to type your site into the address bar? By following the tips above, ecommerce marketers can begin to grow their up-funnel email list and increase customer retention in the critical consideration stage that precedes an online purchase. The best-converting ecommerce sites in the world are doing this already. Photo Credit: Яick Harris 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

What Topic Do You Want To Learn About in HubSpot’s Next Ebook?

first_img Loading… Originally published Jun 2, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated July 19 2013 Go ahead … don’t be shy!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 SlackSlacklast_img

Time to Drop Your Outdated Addiction to PPC [Cartoon]

first_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 What did you expect, pay-per-clue? PPC Originally published Jan 16, 2012 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics:last_img read more

How to Select the Right CTA for Every Page on Your Site

first_img Calls to Action Topics: The content assets listed in the ‘awareness’ stage are appropriate for that stage of the buying cycle because they help educate your lead — not on your solution , but on their need . The content assets in the ‘evaluation’ stage, however, speak directly to how your company can help solve their needs, bridging the gap between the educational assets and product/service information. The assets in the ‘purchase’ stage require more action from the lead — actions the lead is more likely to take because they’re now more educated about their problem and why your company is a good choice for solving it.You’ll notice some content asset types appear in more than one stage of the buying cycle — webinars, for example. This is due to the content in that content asset type. A webinar from the ‘awareness’ stage of the buying cycle would be educational about a general subject matter, while a webinar from the ‘evaluation’ stage would be centered around your specific solution.An added benefit to completing this exercise is that you’ll be able to identify any holes in your content strategy. Do you notice you have quite a few offers to cater to prospects in the top of the funnel (the awareness stage), but very few offers to satisfy prospects’ needs at the middle (evaluation stage) or bottom (purchase stage) of the funnel? Knowing which stages of the funnel for which you’re lacking offers will help to inform your future content creation strategy so you have a well-rounded arsenal of offers that can be used in other marketing efforts like lead nurturing .Now that you’ve successfully mapped your existing offers to the stages in the sales cycle, you’re ready for step 2! Step 2: Map Your Website Pages to Stages in the Sales Cycle The next thing you’ll need to do is determine how each page on your website aligns with the stages you identified in step 1. By knowing which pages more effectively appeal to visitors in particular stages of the sales cycle, you’ll know where to place the offer CTAs that coincide with those stages (which you’ve already done in step 1).So how do you know which pages of your website map to which stages of your sales cycle? You’ll need two pieces of intelligence: your analytics, and your common sense. The first one is something you need to rely on your marketing analytics software for; the latter one is entirely up to you ;-)Add a new sheet to your spreadsheet, and this time, list all of the pages on your website in column A. If you have a ton of pages on your site, you can make things a little easier for yourself by bucketing pages into different categories, such as ‘about’ pages, product pages, blog pages, thank-you pages, case study pages, marketing resources pages, and so on and so forth. The only pages you shouldn’t add CTAs to are the landing pages for your offers , as you never want to distract visitors from or add more friction to the pages where you house your lead-capture forms. Now add a new column to your spreadsheet and categorize each page/category of pages by which stage in the sales cycle visitors will most likely be in if they’re on those pages. Again, use a combination of common sense and your marketing analytics. Here’s how. Leveraging Your Common Sense Think logically about each page on your website. Are people who are hanging out on your products pages more likely to be in the awareness stage or the evaluation/purchase stages? The latter, right? What about pages like your press room or ‘About Us’ page? People checking out these pages are probably just getting to know your business, so they’re most likely in the awareness stage. And the pages housing your case study or testimonial content likely attract prospects who are in the evaluation stage, right? Other pages, like those on your blog for instance, might get a combination of traffic: people who find your articles organically through search and know nothing about your business yet, or repeat visitors/subscribers who keep coming back to your blog and, while they may have advanced to the evaluation or purchase stages, still find your blog content valuable and useful. Leveraging Your Marketing Analytics We all know that great marketers don’t solely rely on common sense. They also heavily depend on data to make the most informed marketing decisions. This is where your analytics come into play. Using tools like HubSpot’s Conversion Assists can help you identify which pages on your website contribute to leads and customers. Conversion assists are pages on your website that your visitors viewed before converting into leads or customers. In other words, if you notice that particular pages are commonly viewed before leads converted into customers, you know those pages are influential in the evaluation or purchase stages. Similarly, if you notice that particular pages are commonly visited before people convert from visitors to leads, you know those pages are influential in the awareness stage. Step 3: Use Analytics to Identify Your Best Offers for Each Stage So now you know which stage in your sales cycle each of your offers align with, and you’ve also determined which pages on your site CTAs for those offers belong. You’re nearly there!Depending on how many offers you have identified for each stage, you might want to do just a bit more analysis to pinpoint your best-performing offers. This is particularly important if you have a bunch of offers available and need to narrow down a list of those to use in CTAs on your web pages. If you don’t have very many available, you’ll probably be creating CTAs for all of them so you’re not using the same CTA on every page, and you can likely skip this step. (But you should probably invest more time into content creation to expand the number of offers you have at your disposal.) Use your landing page analytics to analyze your offers by each sales cycle stage, and pick out your top-performing offers by using metrics such as landing page conversion rate and submissions as proxies. For HubSpot customers, the Landing Page Analytics tool makes this a snap!  Finally, in the second sheet of your spreadsheet, create a new column, and add these offers to your rows of website pages, matching them with their appropriate stage in the sales cycle.Voila! Now you have a spreadsheet that indicates which offers you will use in CTAs on what website pages! Step 4: Design, Test, and Analyze Now that you know what to do, do it! Add the appropriate CTA buttons for your offers to their corresponding web pages. And if you don’t have CTAs for your offers, get to designing them! Hire a designer, create them yourself, or use a tool like HubSpot’s CTA Module to get going.And don’t forget to do some testing, particularly on pages whose sales cycle stages aren’t so cut and dry like your blog. Test CTAs for different offers on different pages to optimize performance and come up with your own best practices that are specific to your business, industry, and audience. Again, HubSpot’s CTA Module (pictured above) makes it very easy to A/B test calls-to-action to optimize click-through rates and conversions. How do you determine which CTAs to include on your website’s various pages? Originally published Apr 11, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img The call-to-action (CTA) is an important tool for promoting your marketing offers and making sure your lead gen engine stays humming. In fact, we believe that your CTAs should be on just about every page of your website. After all, if you’re putting all that hard work into creating stellar marketing offers and building the landing pages to house them, you need to let your website visitors know they exist. CTAs are a great way to do that.But surely there should be more of a science involved than just slapping a CTA button on any page on your site willy-nilly … especially if you’ve been building out your offer backlog and have several of them at your disposal. So how do you know which offer’s CTA button to put on what pages of your website? Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to make it easy to decide. Step 1: Map Your Offers to Stages in the Sales Cycle Before you do anything else, you need to conduct an audit of all the marketing offers you have at your disposal. Create a spreadsheet, and list all of your offers in column A. It’s also a good idea to list their corresponding landing pages in column B, if only to have a record of all your offers and their URLs in one place.Next, identify the various stages in your sales cycle. This may be different from business to business and industry to industry, but just so we’re all on the same page, we’ll go with the three most widely recognized stages: awareness , evaluation , and purchase . Awareness: Prospects have either become aware of your product or service, or they have become aware that they have a need that must be fulfilled. Evaluation: Prospects are aware that your product or service could fulfill their need, and they are trying to determine whether you are the best fit. Purchase: Prospects are ready to make a purchase.Identifying the stages in your sales cycle is important, because not every offer will be appropriate for prospects in every stage of the sales cycle. For example, if you sell personal tax software, a website visitor in the awareness stage might have found an article on your blog because they were looking for information about how to do their taxes by themselves. In this case, the best offer for them probably isn’t a free trial of your software, because they may not even know you sell software or that they need software to solve their problem. For this new visitor who knows nothing about you or what you offer, an educational ebook called something like “10 Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes” would probably be a much more suitable offer. That free trial, on the other hand, would likely be something you’d offer to a prospect in the purchase stage.Once you’ve identified the various stages in your sales cycle, add a third column to your spreadsheet, and categorize each of your existing offers by these stages. The diagram below will help you determine which types of offers typically map to the three main stages in the sales cycle . 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

The Best Cold Email Pitch I’ve Ever Gotten

first_imgHubSpot gets a lot of pitches in our inbox every month. Even though we have specific guidelines on pitching us, most of them are duds. Maybe once in a while, we’ll get a gem … maybe. But often, we’re passing on most of the pitches in our inbox.We pass on most because we want to make everything you read worth your time. Since you — yes you, the person reading this very post — have taken time out of your day to visit our site, we better make sure we’re giving you something that’s up your alley. So that’s why we’ll pass on most of what comes through our inboxes.Download our free email productivity guide here for even more time-saving email management tips. But this last month, we got one of the best pitches I’ve ever seen. It was so good, I couldn’t not share it with you all. Because if you’re trying to grow your business, chances are you’ll need to pitch someone at some point — so get out your notepad. Meet Bryan Harris, founder of Videofruit. You’ve probably already seen what came from this pitch. If you’re interested in an in-depth look into how he preps to pitch people, read his post here. Basically, his method is based on Gary Vaynerchuck’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right-Hook methodology. Instead of pitching people directly, he gives value without getting anything in return. His first attempt of this methodology, he gave an iPhone app to bestselling author Jon Acuff — for free.  “It’s just like interacting with your neighbor across the street,” Bryan told me. “If one day I asked her for an egg, she’d come running. It’s basic human behavior. If you give someone something, they’ll want to give you something back.”  Now, I’m the neighbor here to tell you the other side of the story. I’m here to tell you why his “pitch” was just so engaging and convincing. We can’t guarantee every pitch will work, but following Bryan’s lead will give you a much better chance of being noticed (in a good way). How Bryan Hooked MeThis is the email Bryan sent me:Just a few lines of text. Nothing too apparent from the get-go that would indicate this pitch was amazing and wonderful. But if you look closer, you’ll see why it hit the nail on the head. Here’s why Bryan’s pitch got my attention. He wasn’t a stranger.Sure, we had never met or talked before, but Bryan wasn’t a stranger. He had been reading and interacting with HubSpot content for almost two years. How do I know? I’m a creep, and I looked up his contact record in HubSpot. I could see he wasn’t some random stranger out to get backlinks. He knew us as well as anyone can without actually meeting — and that knowledge transferred into the rest of the following bullet points. He knew our tone.Because he wasn’t a stranger, he knew how we write on the blog. We’re conversational. We’re casual. We try to be fun (or at least punny). We’re definitely not a buttoned-up jargon factory.So Bryan mirrored our tone. There’s no fluff. No pitch red flags like “keyword rich” or “original content.” Nada. Just a normal, conversational tone that makes us know that there’s a real human behind the other end of the screen — not some SEO robot. He knew our peers.I’m a big fan of KISSmetrics. I think they have some of the best content on the web for marketers. So the fact that Bryan mentioned them — and had actually worked with them — definitely caught my eye.I don’t want you to think that this was the only reason we accepted Bryan. It’s not. We’ve been pitched before by lots of wonderful people who have worked with companies we admire and respect. This was the cherry on top of all of the other reasons we mention in this post — this reference (and link to his work there) solidified an already-strong feeling I had about him. He knew our weaknesses. If you poke around the blog, you’ll notice that we don’t do a ton of video. We have little bursts here and there, but it’s by no means something we do on a regular basis. We’re a small team here, so getting dedicated video resources on a consistent basis is difficult. That’s what made Bryan’s pitch that much more awesome: His content could fill a need we had. We hadn’t come out and said it directly, but by doing his research (which he did), he would know that we would be interested in video content. He kept it short and direct. Bryan hooked me in seven sentences. He didn’t beat around the bush — he introduced himself, showed us what he could offer, and asked us if we were interested. This was like a breath of fresh air among the other pitches we’ve gotten that could masquerade as novels.Being direct saves everyone time. You don’t have to spend hours and hours and hours writing a pitch and we don’t have to spend the same amount of time reading it. Win-win. He went the extra 5K … and it was awesome. From the screenshot above, it’s not evident how much work Bryan put into this pitch. Let me fill you in: He created a custom, minute-long sample for us of the type of video he’d create. You can check it out here. That’s not easy — it’s not like whipping up 500 words on a topic. You’ve got to write the script, shoot the video, edit it, and upload it. That’s a lot of effort for potentially zero payoff. But because the topic was spot on and video was very, very well put together, I was sold. He went more than an extra mile — maybe as far as an extra 5K — and it paid off. He asked at the right time. Being in the right place at the right time isn’t something that you can control — sometimes it’s just luck. Bryan had some luck in this equation, too. I had the bandwidth to work with a contributor and my boss was totally on board with the project. Sometimes when pitching others, you won’t be quite as lucky (and I’m sure this has happened to Bryan before). So if it’s not a great time at the exact moment you email, but you have the rest of these elements down-pat, chances are the person you’re pitching will ask you to follow up with them in the future. I would have done that with Bryan.So the reason we accepted Bryan’s pitch wasn’t just because of one detail. All of these little nuanced elements came together at once to be one of the best pitches I’ve seen, hands down. Think you can top Bryan’s pitch? Feel free to send us one.  Guest Blogging Originally published May 2, 2014 8:00:00 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

How to Conduct Market Research on a Tight Budget

first_img Conducting Marketing Research You can learn a lot from product failures. In 1982, Toothpaste Brand Colgate decided it would expand its brand by launching Colgate Kitchen Entrees, frozen dinners for the busy consumer. In 2000, Heinz debuted a brand new ketchup — it was purple. In 2005, Pen and Lighter maker Bic entered the market with a new line of disposable underwear for women. Finally, remember the infamous Gap Logo redesign of 2010? Each of these product marketing attempts failed for different reasons, but it’s pretty safe to say that all of them could have benefited from better market research before getting rolled out to the public. When companies develop an idea, whether it’s a new product or a redesigned website, marketing research is often the first thing cut due to time or resource restrictions. It’s understandable. Working with marketing research firms can be incredibly expensive and time consuming. If you haven’t done research before, it can be tempting to skip it and dive right into the development stage.But the truth is, there’s a lot of research you can do on your own and without much budget or training at all. Here are some low-budget ways to factor a research stage into your next project and give your product, idea, or designs much better footing. Click here to get started with our free market research kit.1) Interview Prospects and CustomersCost: $0 – $50Nothing is freer or more valuable than a conversation. We tried this ourselves a few weeks ago — HubSpot invited four customers into our offices to join us for lunch and tell us what they thought of our software.We were pleasantly surprised at how willing and forthcoming they were. Prompted by some questions, they gave us priceless insight into what’s working for them and what’s not in the HubSpot marketing platform. That one conversation spun off a handful of different projects that will make us better as a company.You can’t extrapolate public opinion from four individuals, but you can get a sense of which direction to pursue in future research or your product development. Building an ongoing message-testing program can take some time but it’s entirely achievable. How to Set It Up:How you set up your customer interviews will depend on the kind of company you are. If you are a software company with beta tests running, you can tap that beta group for interview subjects. If not, here are a few ways to find people to talk to:Take to social media: Ask for volunteers to join a conversation to help you shape the next iteration of your website, product or marketing. Tell them approximately how long the conversation will take and any qualifications you have (customer/non-customer, role or industry, etc). Offer a gift card or other reward as a thank you. You only need a handful of people to get worthwhile insights.Ask your customer-facing coworkers: If your company has account managers, support reps, or other staff who work closely with customers, ask them for recommendations of a few who might be willing to give feedback. Include a link in customer communications: Whether it’s a newsletter or an invoice, you can include a call-to-action to provide feedback through a short interview. Offer a small gift certificate or reward for participation. Questions to Ask:You can customize your customer interviews however you want, but here’s a list of common questions you can ask to help you nail your product positioning and understanding of the market, including ones like:What challenges stand in the way of getting your job done?What are your top three headaches right now?How would you describe this product to a boss or client? How would you describe it to your mother?What other types of [product category] have you tried? What were their strengths?In what situation would you recommend us over another company and visa versa?2) Run a Content Strategy SurveyCost: $0 -$50Which is better: ebooks or webinars? Is it worth writing a 20-page ebook when a 3-page tip-sheet will suffice? What makes someone download or read a piece of content? Analytics can help you get at answers to some of these questions, but it’s good to supplement that with direct feedback from your audience.Every few quarters, HubSpot will run a content strategy survey to get a sense of what topics and formats interest our audience. What we’ve found is that our audiences is a living and evolving thing. Your interests change over time and we want to be right there to meet them.How to Set It Up:We teamed up with SurveyMonkey to create a content strategy survey that anyone can use. If you want to run a content strategy survey you can use our template to start and add in questions or tailor it to suit your needs.In addition, if you use both SurveyMonkey and HubSpot you can actually create email segments based on the responses and serve up only the content that matters to each. Regardless of the survey tool you use, below are some of the questions we like to ask about our content strategy.Questions to Ask:How often would you want to receive information from our company?When reading content from companies, which tone do you appreciate? (Select all that apply)When you share information about companies and the products or services they offer, which of the following do you use? (Select all that apply)In what format do you prefer to read your content? 3) Run User Testing on Your WebsiteCost: $0-$50Whether you’re heading into a redesign or maintaining your website through small tweaks, ongoing research into what’s working and what’s not can help you raise the productivity of your site. You can get a lot of information about your site performance from basic analytics about which pages are converting the best or garnering the most consistent traffic.In addition to basic analytics though, there are some free and low-cost tools out there to help you run user testing on your website. These tests will get you feedback on more nuanced elements of your site — things like the design, copy positioning, and/or layout are all great elements to test.How to Set It Up:There are a number of tools out there that you can use to get feedback on your designs or positioning. In the past we’ve used both UsabilityHub and to help us test out assumptions on our site before a redesign or homepage refresh.Questions to Ask: What is the first thing you look at on this page?Where would you go first if you wanted to take the next step?Is this page trustworthy?How likely would you be to explore this site (rating scale)?Small investments in market research can go a long way in your marketing. In addition to these basic approaches, there are a few tools you can use to research major shifts in buyer demographics or trends, including: FedStats: This site publishes government statistics, like statistical profiles of states, cities, and counties.The Census Bureau: This site gives you access to census data.The Census Bureau’s Quick Facts: This site gives quick facts about people, businesses, and geography.The moral of the story here is that market research doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming — with the right tools, you can have get great insights in a short amount of time.What other research techniques have you tried on a shoestring budget? Do you have any recommendations for other tools or websites for conducting marketing research? 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: Originally published Jun 4, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated August 26 2017last_img read more

5 Ways to Squeeze the Most Use out of Your Content Offers

first_img Originally published Feb 17, 2015 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: You’ve heard the expression “don’t reinvent the wheel.” The same is true for content – don’t reinvent it, repurpose it.Start with a white paper, guide or ebook that you’ve written to support a product or service that you sell. With this one piece of content, you can easily repurpose content five times through different channels. Here’s how!1) Break it out Into Multiple Blog PostsTake sections of content from the white paper and set them up as individual blog posts. You’ll build a library of valuable content assets and work toward SEO ranking for your keywords. We know that blogging helps drive traffic to your website, converts traffic to leads and establishes authority.2) Share Facts via Social ChannelsTake a few key statistics from the piece and write social posts using that content. If you have the time, create graphics of the statistical information. Use visual content, which can generate up to 94% more views. Write compelling content to complement the visual and provide a link to a landing page with an offer to download the white paper.3) Distribute Content in an EmailBuild an email campaign using content from the white paper. Ensure that you keep the email short and simple and that you have a strong call-to-action. Make sure the content is repurposed to resonate with your target audience. If you are making an offer, know that relevant emails generate 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails.4) Integrate the Content Into Your WebsiteWhile the white paper likely delved into great detail surrounding your product or service, take just a few key points and add that content and visuals to the product page(s) on your website.5) Communicate via a VideoPull a few key points from each section of your white paper to develop your storyboard for a video. Whether you have a narrator talking through the key points or include the text within the video, share the features and benefits of your product or service. Provide a strong call-to-action to help build your lead funnel.Repurpose doesn’t mean that additional work isn’t involved. However, that work is streamlined as you start to define your key messaging and find creative ways to use what you have. It builds a cohesive message that is reiterated through your distribution channels, helping to make your name become synonymous with the key message.The Bottom LineIf you want this piece of content to extend even further into your marketing efforts, download Five Tips to Promote Your Content. You’ll be sure to find some additional ideas on how to get the most use out of your content! Content Types 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

Why Content Marketing Volume is Increasing but Engagement Isn’t (and What You Can Do About It)

first_imgWhen content marketing first arrived on the marketing scene, it was novel, innovative and pushed the norms of traditional marketing. The idea of inbound marketing seemed outrageous. Letting the customers come to us? Marketers with years of practice in cold calls and direct mail questioned if generating content and letting their audiences find it would even work.With refinement and thoughtful strategy, inbound marketing generated more leads, conversions and increased brand reach. This, of course, was aided by the advancement of technology and the increase in the number of platforms for communicating with customers. With the huge increase in content marketing volume, it was much easier for customers to find new companies on their own terms.This explosion of success drove all types of businesses to start creating content to inform customers, engage prospects and contribute to the overall industry conversation. The growth in popularity caused a huge surge in the amount of content flooding the Web. Brands started believing that the medium of delivering content was smart because now customers could consume it at such fast rates, allowing them to take in even more information than previously possible.Why More Channels Doesn’t Equal More EngagementHowever, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As content marketing volume continued to rise, engagement rates stagnated. More options did not mean people would consume more. A recent TrackMaven study found that the amount of content produced last year rose 34%, but engagement decreased 17%. In their words, this engagement crisis is similar to the television offering phenomenon.The number of channels the average viewer chooses from has dramatically increased over the years, but the amount they actually watch remains the same. This trend proves that people are only willing to consume as much content as they can handle and nothing more, even with more options available.The amount of content marketing is not going to decrease any time soon, so brands hoping to become one of their customers’ chosen outlets for information need to have a strong strategy for their content, messaging and customer journey.The better companies understand their customers’ needs, the better they can target content appropriately. There are a few ways to reach customers most effectively, but using the tactic of personalization is particularly successful.Using Personalization for Good Personalization is nearly ubiquitous within marketing, with 94% agreeing it is important and 85% of brands using at least the most basic form. The challenge is using it in a way that customers feel comfortable with and aggregating real-time results for instant application.A survey of marketers using personalization found that 40% can’t gain insight quickly enough, 39% don’t have enough data and 38% worry about inaccurate data. Despite these challenges, marketers overcome the obstacles to implement real acumen into their content. The ones who do find they have on average a 19% lift in sales.When customers feel the content they are consuming is both relevant and informative, they return for more. One sure-fire way to create relevant and informative content to your specific customers is to learn what else they consume, what they respond to and what they look for in their content.It also helps to identify each touchpoint of the buyer’s journey that can be tailored with specific information you’ve collected. For example, if your customers enjoy commenting on LinkedIn posts and sharing articles on Facebook, you can retarget them in these places based on what they are already interested in.Start with consistent trends among your audience to avoid the challenge of keeping up with changing preferences. Once you have a handle on foundational personalization, you can adapt to the most current reality of your customers’ habits.Control for Change Personalization is knowing more than where your customers spend time and what topics they are likely to click on. It’s also being aware of what is related to their interests, so you can recommend additional content and lead them down the funnel. The most important aspect at any point of the content journey and the use of personalization is giving customers some amount of control.While 60% of customers are aware personalization plays a role in the online content they consume, 29% prefer to have little control and 41% prefer to have a great deal of control over how brands use this tactic. The levels of control you can offer include privacy controls, voluntary information forms with options of what a customer can give you and choosing their own content journey. This requires you to tailor your content to different demographics if you are trying to reach a broad audience.Control doesn’t sacrifice personalization for your purposes, but simply puts the power in your customers’ hands, which can be beneficial to you. Trustworthiness and an established relationship emerge from giving customers control, leading you to have a transparent personalization process for more effective results.Content Types for Success Before gracing the industry with your content or producing more ineffective blogs and social, you should determine the types of content worth generating and what is likely to promote engagement.You want to avoid the dry, lifeless content that so many companies are guilty of throwing online. The following content formats should help stop the decreasing engagement rate right in its tracks:Short and sweet. Bounce rates are the kiss of death in online marketing. Most people only read about 50% of an online article before leaving the page. But if you limit your blog posts to half the length of a typical blog, you’ll see an increase in lingering visitors and potential conversions.Questions and answers. On social media, if you are asking questions that are probably going through your customers’ minds, make sure to give them an answer. Lead them to your site to discover an in-depth answer to any question, no matter how small.Community forums. People love to share their own opinions more than anything. It’s why companies with community forums see so much success in engagement. Cultivating and monitoring the community is also a great place for content inspiration.Anything with visuals or interactive elements is instantly going to grab your prospects. Use them thoughtfully and creatively to make a splash with your innovative content.Infusing these formats with the insights gained from personalization creates a real connection between your brand and customers.To escape the engagement crisis that is resulting from the surge in content marketing volume,  you can collect information from your customers with their control and apply it to content better suited for interaction. This tactic is no task larger than adjusting your sails in the winds of change.Then you will be prepared to navigate the marketing space with intelligence, wisdom and ingenuity. Originally published Jun 30, 2016 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 SlackSlack Content Marketinglast_img read more

How to Market Your Ebook: Don’t Let Content Offers Collect Dust

first_img Topics: Content Types Originally published Sep 13, 2016 1:30:00 PM, updated September 13 2016 Inbound marketing preaches content creation, but you shouldn’t create content without first figuring out who you’re marketing to and how you will market to them. If you don’t take these initial steps to ensure your content reaches the right people, your content will not be successful.So if your content is just sitting on your website not getting too many downloads or leads, your promotion might be the problem! That being said, here are eight ways to market your ebook, whitepaper, guide or any other content offer you already have:1) Create a PPC campaign to advertise your content offerWhile PPC is a great way to promote your company and services, you can also set up a campaign to promote your content offer. This benefits your content offer because it will boost visibility and downloads while providing useful information to searchers.For example, if I search for home remodeling, I see four ads of local companies trying to promote their services. But if I have never heard of these companies, how do I know which home remodeling company is right for me? That’s where a content offer based PPC ad comes into play! If you’re advertising an ebook titled “How to Find the Best Home Remodeling Company for Your Timeline & Budget”, it will stand out against the other ads and search results because it directly helps solve my problem. This means your PPC ad will probably get the click and the conversion.Using display ads is another great way to get your content offer on relevant websites instead of Google search. With display ads you can actually choose the websites that you want your ad to appear on. This way, visitors who are browsing a popular website can find your related content offer.2) Guest blog on popular websites with your ebook as CTAPopular websites try to provide solutions to overarching problems that their readership is experiencing. Think of your services and your buyer persona! Where do they go to get information? Once you nail down which websites your buyer persona is reading to get information, see if these websites offer the opportunity for industry leaders to guest blog. Some websites will require an application or an article proposal, but once you get accepted blogging for one website, it becomes much easier to get accepted on other websites. When you write your articles, keep them educational and don’t self-promote. Remember, you’re trying to help the reader solve a problem with your expertise and industry knowledge. Then at the conclusion of the article, use your ebook as a next step call to action so if a reader finishes the article and wants more information, your content offer is there!3) Use email marketing to promote the ebookIf you have prospects or clients who have already expressed interest in similar content offers, or who have identified certain problems they need help with, let them know about your new content offer! For example, on your contact form, you could have visitors identify what they need help with. For an inbound marketing agency, you might say “What Does Your Business Want to Improve?” with options to select:Generate more leadsGrow our web presenceRank higher on GoogleThen once you know a visitor wants to rank higher on Google, if you create an ebook around that topic, it’s highly probable that this visitor is interested! Unless you have a constantly updated blog that brings visitors back to your website often, chances are the majority of your interested contacts won’t revisit your website to discover a new offer. Therefore, your best bet is to promote it via email. It can be as simple as sending out one email or as complex as adding the new content offer to a marketing automation workflow.When sending emails, be educational and try to help a segmented list of your contacts. If you know that 20 contacts have chosen “generate more leads” on the form above, then those 20 contacts would probably benefit from an email about a lead generation ebook. You don’t want to email a specific ebook to your entire contact database because it probably doesn’t relate to all your contact lists. When you don’t segment emails, your engagement will be lower and your success will be diminished.4) Connect with niche readers on social mediaLook on Twitter and LinkedIn for users that have been sharing similar content to what you have created! Just by searching on Twitter for #inboundmarketing, I can see who is sharing inbound marketing blogs, guides & resources, plus I can see who is getting the biggest reach in terms of likes and retweets.Reach out to these individuals with a simple message that encapsulates “Hey! I saw you shared [this article] and I thought you might like [this related content offer]”. This way you know that the individual is probably interested in what you’re writing because they’ve been interested in similar content before.5) Utilize industry influencers for their thought leadership & reachIndustry influencers have two main goals; to find relevant articles to share with their fan base and to increase their reach. Therefore, you can utilize these influencers by giving them great content to share with their following and by increasing their reach through a quote or link in your content offer.When looking to utilize the reach of industry influencers, I always suggest giving them an incentive to share your content offer. For example, ask them for a quote that you can incorporate into your content offer or link to another article they wrote. Then, send a complimentary copy of your content offer to this industry influencer that includes a link or quote of theirs. I’d suggest telling them how much you’ve appreciated their expertise and that you included them in your content offer. You can either directly ask them to share your content offer or hope that because you’re expanding their reach, they’ll share your offer on their own!You could also try a similar tactic to Tip #4, but remember, these industry influencers are probably bombarded with messages asking them to share content. Make yours unique & worth their while!6) Submit to a Content Community or Online GroupGoing back to Tip #2, think about your buyer persona again! If they get their information from a content community (like or an online group (such as a Facebook group, Nextdoor Neighborhood, Reddit, etc.),  post your content offer in there.For example, if you’re a roofer in St. Louis, join your community group on and offer your content there! When your neighborhood gets hit by a hailstorm, your infographic on “How to Know When to Call a Roofer for Storm Damage” can come in handy to the community’s residents!Content communities are also a great resource for getting feedback, starting discussion & sharing your passion for your services with others.7) Find other linking opportunitiesUsing tools like AHREFs, you can see other websites who have linked to content like yours. Reach out to them with your content offer link and see if they want to include a link to your resource! I find that this is most helpful when you can find a broken link that your new link can replace. Webmasters generally appreciate when someone lets them know of a problem with their website links, and if you can provide a link to replace the broken one, it might get placed!Alternatively, use a tool like BuzzSumo and to find mentions of your company online! You’ll be able to see who has mentioned you or your content offer and determine whether they have linked back to you or not. If they haven’t included your link, reach out to that website and explain it might provide their readers a better experience if they could find the article that is being mentioned.If you’re looking for more backlink opportunities, I highly recommend Backlinko’s “17 Powerful (Yet Untapped) Backlink Sources” to find other places you could get a link from!8) Repurpose your content into different formats If you have a semi-popular ebook, try taking its main points and creating a slideshare, infographic or quiz on it! By having multiple formats of your content, you can reach a greater audience.An infographic is great to share on social networks, especially Pinterest, because of its visual nature. You can even cut out statistics or diagrams from the infographic to share on social media as well!Further, a slideshare is a great resource for an interested party to show to their decision maker. For example, if a facility manager wants to do an office redesign, but isn’t sure how to bring it up to the CEO, your slideshare “5 Reasons Your Office Is Desperately In Need of a Redesign” can help him out!Next StepsContent that just sits on your website can’t properly do its job and bring in leads. But worry not, by using these promotion tips you’ll see a little bit of extra effort can really take a content offer from zero to hero.If you’re interested in learning about more ways you can tweak your website & content offers to bring more leads to your business, check out the FREE ebook “Turn Your Website Into A Lead Generation Machine”: 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

A Brief History of Social Advertising [Infographic]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! History of Social Media Social advertising is a big business.Over the past two years, social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide, from $16 billion U.S. in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016.While Facebook currently claims nearly 70% of the social advertising market, it’s starting to get some serious competition from younger networks. Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat are all vying for their piece of the social ads pie, and advertisers today have more options than ever before to promote their brands on social.From mobile to live video and everything in between, we’ve documented some of the most significant milestones for both these top networks as well as social advertising in general.Check out the below infographic on the history of social advertising and consider: What opportunities and challenges will brands face in the next 10 years? Originally published Dec 6, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics:last_img read more

I Tried Five Morning Routines So You Don’t Have To. Here’s What Works.

first_imgBut I made a list of these links in my Notes app the night before, and at 6:01, I opened Techmeme and read the headlines. I then made my way through Business Insider, ESPN — which I barely skimmed, since I don’t understand sports at any time of day — Twitter, and Instagram.It felt like a ton of information to devour before getting out of bed.While reading these articles in their entirety wasn’t entirely feasible due to time restrictions, checking out “what’s going on” in one’s industry in the morning seems like a good idea. The article headlines inspired me to jot down some new ideas before I even reached the office.I don’t have a personal trainer, but I do have Shaun from the T25 “high-intensity” workout DVDs. I figured that was close enough. And I’ll admit: It felt really good to get the workout over with. I was energized and refreshed by 7 a.m. and didn’t have to worry about fitting in a workout after work.That said, it’s also really hard to do a high-intensity workout without any breakfast. So buyer beware: You might feel like passing out.After that, Gary calls a family member on his way to work. I called my brother and spoke to him for exactly 47 seconds, mostly about why I was calling him that early and thought it was okay to wake him up.3. Jack DorseyThe founder/CEO of both Twitter and Square wakes up at 5:30 a.m., followed by meditation and a six-mile run.After checking emails during my Elon Musk morning and devouring news outlets during my Gary Vee experience, I was enthusiastic to meditate during Jack Dorsey’s morning. Granted, I was less thrilled to run six miles — but we’ll get to that later.I’m a meditation rookie, so I downloaded a meditation app called Simple Habit. I didn’t think I could do real meditation if I tried to do it on my own — in fact, I’d probably just fall asleep.The Simple Habit app starts you off slowly. My first lesson was only seven minutes long, mainly focused on my breathing. Admittedly, at 5:30 a.m., staying awake was the biggest obstacle — which I actually managed to accomplish.Surprisingly, I enjoyed meditating that early. It was easier for me to focus first thing, before my thoughts had the chance to ramp up. Plus, the research behind meditation has indicated numerous benefits to the well-being of employees — things like creativity, focus, decision-making, stress-reduction, and more.Of course, then I had to get up off my meditation floor and run. Keep in mind that I’ve taken about five months off of running outdoors, because Boston winters are, in a word, brutal. Dorsey lives in San Francisco, so I believed it would be unrealistic to re-enact this part of his morning. Oh, shucks.But then, I did some research and found that Dorsey’s average morning weather in San Francisco is about 40 degrees — which, on this particular morning, was actually colder than Boston’s. So, I got out the running gear. It wasn’t easy, and about three miles in, I took a full-mile walking break upon the impression that my frozen lungs had collapsed.But I did it. It took me about an hour — so I’m not sure I can make it a standard part of my morning routine.Six miles seems like a lot, but I see the appeal. Meditation and running can encourage you to start your day in a healthy mindset. Meditation reminded me to stay present and focused throughout the day, and running got my endorphins and energy going. And, once again, I got my workout out of the way — which meant I could spend my evening relaxing.4. Sheryl SandbergThe author and Facebook COO wakes up early, in order to get to the office by 7 a.m. Before then, she manages to:Spend an hour responding to emailsWork out in home gymDrop her kids off at schoolOnce again, I ran into the same predicament I had with Musk’s morning. I have about four emails first thing in the morning, and Sandberg has an hour’s worth.So I took my time responding to those four emails, then scrolled Facebook for a bit, and — in a nod to my Gary-Vaynerchuk-day — read some headlines, and checked Instagram and Twitter.I missed my Dorsey-meditation-morning. That meant my “address critical emails” time was partially cut short — in my half-asleep state, I flung my cell phone behind my bed and needed to take some time to move the bed to retrieve it. How Musk runs two multi-billion dollar companies on six hours of sleep is beyond me.I soon realized I had another problem with the address critical email activity. As you might imagine, being a marketing blogger doesn’t require quite as many critical back-and-forth emails as being founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. So, I refreshed my email and replied to the six emails in my inbox, which took about seven minutes — leaving me with 23 minutes to spare.I’ll admit that I didn’t love starting my morning with emails. I wasn’t fully awake, so I can only hope my responses resembled something coherent. Plus, by the time I got to work, I had to re-read the emails because I forgot what they said.But I understand why Musk does it. Emailing can put you in a task-oriented mindset: “Okay, here are the things I need to tackle first when I get to the office.”Showering is something I also do every morning — and likely the only thing Musk and I have in common. I didn’t have any kids to say goodbye to. And while I respect that he only drinks coffee in the mornings (with only six hours of sleep, I needed it, too), by the time I got to work at 8:45, I was starving. So, although Musk skips breakfast, I allowed myself a banana. After all that hard work responding to critical emails — not to mention, moving my bed frame — I figured I deserved it.2. Gary VaynerchukThis entrepreneur, author, and speaker wakes up at 6 a.m., and begins his morning with these tasks:Reads Techmeme headlines, Business Insider, and ESPN, among othersChecks out Twitter and InstagramWorks out with his personal trainer, “Muscle Mike,” for 45 minutes to an hourCalls a family memberHow Vaynerchuk — better known to some as “Gary Vee” — devours this much information and actually retains it at 6 a.m. is nothing short of miraculous. Topics: 1. Elon MuskThe famous figure behind Tesla and SpaceX gets six hours of sleep, typically waking up at 7:00 a.m. From there, his routine looks roughly like this:Addresses critical emails for 30 minutesDrinks coffee — but is too busy for breakfastSends kids off to schoolShowers and goes to workTo prepare for my Elon Musk morning, I stayed awake until midnight to ensure accuracy. He doesn’t get more than 6 hours of sleep, so neither could I. I’m not a morning person.My morning consists of waking up as late as possible and feeling personally victimized by my alarm clock. And no matter how many times I wake up to my alarm, my first thought is always, “Why are you doing this to me?!”It has caused a love-hate relationship between my phone and myself.Disgruntled, I then scroll through my Instagram feed. Did I say, “As late as possible”? I should mention I give myself ten minutes to get out of bed.Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your productivity at work.Here are (a few) things I do NOT do in the morning:Work outMake a to-do listMeditateVisit my personal trainerHang out in my home gymAddress critical emailsRead all the tech industry headlinesCall family membersSay goodbye to my kidsMaybe that’s why I am not a widely famous life coach, rich entrepreneur, CEO or founder of any major corporations, creator of any mega-popular social media channels, or author of any best-sellers.And that’s also why, for five days, I decided to try the morning routines of five highly successful people: Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey, and Tony Robbins.At the end of it, did I actually become more productive? You’ll just have to read to find out. Morning Routines of Successful PeopleElon MuskGary VaynerchukJack DorseySheryl SandbergTony Robbins The breathing was nice, but without my meditation guru — a.k.a., my Simple Habit app — my mind kept wandering. What should I eat for breakfast? How many reps is this? What time is it?Next, Robbins spends three minutes thinking about what he’s grateful for — roughly three items per minute. Three minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, but when you only have three objects per minute, it kind of is.My first minute went something like this: Okay, I’m grateful for my family … and, my health … and, hmm, I am grateful for clean drinking water. I processed these thoughts for what seemed like an adequate amount of time, only to open my eyes and realize it had only been 20 seconds.It wasn’t the first time I’ve thought of things to be grateful for, but it was the first time I’ve tried visualizing the list. And even though some items are tricky to visualize, it did make the exercise more genuine. At first, for example, I imagined the word “family”. But when I realized I needed to spend more time on it, I started visualizing specific relatives, and what it is about each one that I’m truly grateful for.After finishing his gratitude exercise, Robbins moves onto an “experiencing connection” activity, in which he imagines a light flowing through his head, energizing him, and then imagines the light flowing back up through his head and outward to his loved ones and strangers.This step is supposed to last three whole minutes. My light entered and exited my body in about 20 seconds, so I had to close my eyes and do it again. And while I appreciated the gesture, I’m not sure if this particular exercise is going to become a enduring part of my morning routine.For the last three minutes, Robbins spends each minute on one goal and imagines how it will feel to accomplish that goal. For me, that one was easy.Visualizing success is similar to prioritizing your day, which I noticed seems to be a theme throughout the morning routines of many famous, successful figures. After visualizing three big goals, I was able to organize my day better, by choosing tasks that immediately supported that goal.In a way, it actually made my day less busy. I visualized high-level goals, then narrowed down my to-do list to ensure these goals were met first.Long-Term TakeawaysWhat I’ll Do NextAt the end of my five-day morning routine experiment, I considered going back to my ordinary routine. But there were some morning activities I actually enjoyed — and therefore, some that I’m going to adopt.First, I agree that working out, even a little bit, is a great way to start the day. But I also enjoy attending late-evening workout classes, so I’ve created a moderation schedule. On Monday and Friday mornings, I now do a T25 DVD or go for a run, inside on a treadmill, weather permitting. On the remaining weekdays, I plan lunchtime or after-work workouts, because let’s be real — I have more time to do Barre classes than Gary Vee does.I’ve fully adopted tiny increments of morning meditation. And although I haven’t gone full enlightenment, I found it’s easy to switch out my morning Spotify playlist for a seven-minute breathing exercise, which I can do on the train — so I have no excuses.I don’t like waking up and starting my day with emails or industry headlines, mostly because — as previously stated — I’m only half-conscious in the morning. I do think it’s a good idea to tackle these things early, but since I’m not Sheryl Sandberg, it can usually wait until I’m in the office.And finally, I’m not going to continue visualizing any lights going through my head and into my soul — sorry, Tony. But instead of a full ten minutes of Instagram in the morning, I’ve switched to seven minutes on Instagram and three minutes dedicated to gratitude.I’ve done that primarily for two reasons. Not only do I have more time to visualize things I’m grateful for in my own life, but it also leaves less time to feel envious of other people’s “Insta-perfect” lives.What Else I LearnedWhile they didn’t get their own full sections in this article, I came across two other interesting takeaways in the course of my research. First, I learned that Mark Zuckerberg once said he dresses the same way each day, as it gives him “one less decision to make.”Mark Zuckerberg has proven himself successful. No matter what he wears — or what else people might say about him — he can come into work and no one is going to think, “Wow, what a lazy slacker.”On the first day I planned on wearing my Mark-inspired uniform — a grey t-shirt and jeans — I looked into the mirror and realized I looked like someone who had either overslept, or didn’t really care about her appearance. And I’m not the founder of any companies. So I changed, because this early in my career, appearance is still an indicator of effort.But I like the premise behind Zuckerberg’s routine. Why am I wasting fifteen minutes deciding what to wear each morning? While I don’t want to wear the same thing every day, I can choose my outfits the night before. The second thing I discovered is there are both good and bad times to drink coffee in the morning.As it turns out, your body’s cortisol generally peaks between 8 and 9 a.m., which is when your body is naturally “caffeinating” itself. If you drink coffee during that window, you’re probably not getting the full effects of your cortisol — or your coffee. Plus, your body builds up a higher tolerance to coffee during this time, because it’s thinking, “We don’t need any more of this.”Now, I try not to drink coffee until 9:30 a.m., when my cortisol levels are dipping. So far, so good.Give It a TryAnd with that, it’s your turn. Try these morning routines for yourself, and see how successful you can become.If you need a “cheat sheet” to get started, here are seven commonalities of successful people’s morning routines:Wake up early.Decide and review what to do for the day, and set goals.Work out.Have a healthy breakfast, or at least a smoothie. Whatever you do, don’t start with coffee.Maintain a journal or visualize how you’re grateful.Meditate.Tackle the day — early on — with emails and/or industry headlines.center_img Don’t forget to share this post! Unfornately, I don’t own a home gym — but I do own a yoga mat, the aforementioned T25 DVDs, and my very own state-of-the-art staircase. My home-gym exercise consisted of me completing one of those DVD workouts, followed by 10 laps up and down my stairs, topped off with a dash of yoga. And when I think about it, Sandberg’s home workout might not be so different.Silicon Valley executives: They’re just like us.I don’t have any kids to drop off at school, but after the investment in creating my make-shift home gym, that might be a good thing  — I wouldn’t have had the time anyway.5. Tony RobbinsThis motivational speaker gets three-to-five hours of sleep, waking up between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. After that, he:Performs a breathing exerciseExpresses gratitudeExperiences connectionVisualizes successI left this morning routine for Friday because it sounded — well, the easiest, if you will. But admittedly, I didn’t follow the three-to-five hours of sleep part. If I had, I wouldn’t be writing this post right now, and would probably be sleeping in HubSpot’s nap room instead.Robbins curated his own personalized morning routine, which he calls “priming,” and is supposed to bring you into a positive and energetic mindset at the beginning of each day.First, there’s a breathing exercise, more accurately known as Kapalbhati Pranayama. Robbins sits up straight, closes his eyes, and inhales through his nose as he simultaneously lifts his arms — think of the way you’d do that during a shoulder press.Then, as he exhales through his nose, he brings his arms back to his body, palms up. He does three sets of thirty, with short breaks in-between.Truth time: I felt ridiculous doing this on my bedroom floor first thing in the morning. Productivity Originally published Feb 26, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated February 26 2018last_img read more

Ligue 1 Team of the Season so far

first_imgLigue 1 Ligue 1 Team of the Season so far Robin Bairner 20:00 12/29/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Neymar PSG Troyes Ligue 1 29112017 Getty Ligue 1 PSG Troyes Strasbourg Nice Bordeaux Metz Rennes Montpellier Guingamp Αμιάν Dijon Angers SCO Olympique Marseille Monaco Caen Lille Toulouse Saint-Étienne Olympique Lyonnais Nantes List PSG lead the table heading into the new year, but which players make our best XI for the 2017-18 season so far?last_img read more

Barca agree €160m deal with Liverpool for Coutinho

first_imgTransfers Barcelona agree record €160m deal with Liverpool for Coutinho Melissa Reddy Liverpool FC Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 01:03 1/7/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(67) Philippe Coutinho Liverpool Getty Images Transfers Philippe Coutinho Liverpool Barcelona Premier League The Brazil international ends five years on Merseyside as he is set to finalise his desired move to Camp Nou Philippe Coutinho will become Barcelona’s most expensive signing after a deal worth €160 million was agreed with Liverpool, which is the new British transfer record.La Liga’s leaders will part with €120m as a guaranteed base fee, with another €40m in performance and appearance-related add-ons that are expected to be triggered.Philippe Coutinho Liverpool Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The 25-year-old will move ahead of Ousmane Dembele as Barca’s highest-cost recruit, also surpassing Paul Pogba as the biggest player trade involving an English club.Liverpool failed in their exhaustive efforts to convince Coutinho, who did not travel with the squad to a warm-weather camp in Dubai , to remain on Merseyside until the end of the season at the very least.The Brazilian declined their proposed incentives and offer of a higher wage , repeating his intention to move to Camp Nou with immediate effect.gfx most expensive players in the worldHaving approached the Reds on July 20 with the first of three unsuccessful summer bids bloated by improbable clauses, Barca finally succeeded in their pursuit of the playmaker on Saturday.Liverpool were definitive in their stance that Coutinho was not for sale at any price in the summer, rejecting his transfer request in the process, but with their No.10 maintaining his desire to depart and Barca finally tabling an acceptable package for his services, Jurgen Klopp agreed to sanction his sale.The Brazilian made 201 appearances and scored 54 goals for Liverpool after signing in January 2013 from Inter for just £8.5m.He is now the third most expensive footballer in the world, behind Paris Saint-Germain pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.last_img read more