Mahela Jayawardene joins Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara on 34 Test tons

first_imgMahela Jayawardene smashed his 34th Test century against South Africa to match the record of Gavaskar and LaraMahela Jayawardene smashed his 34th test century as Sri Lanka overcame an early hiccup and scored a healthy 305-5 on day one of the second test against South Africa on Thursday.Jayawardene made a splendid unbeaten 140 off 225 balls with 16 fours and a six on a flat pitch at Sinhalese Sports Club and raised his 11th test century at the venue – the most by any batsman at one venue.Dale Steyn (2-55) had Sri Lanka reeling at 16-2 when he snared wickets off successive deliveries before Jayawardene put on 99 for the third wicket with Kaushal Silva (44), and another 131 with captain Angelo Mathews, who scored 63.Jayawardene, who will retire from Test cricket next month, showed brilliant form at his favorite venue as Sri Lanka bid to level the two-match series after losing the first test at Galle.Earlier, Mathews won the toss but a charged-up Steyn had early success when Upul Tharanga couldn’t get his glove out of the way while attempting to leave a short ball and very next ball Kumar Sangakkara top edged an easy catch off another short delivery.But Jayawardene and Silva combined for an attractive stand at a healthy run-rate before J.P. Duminy (2-58) had Silva caught by A.B. de Villiers in the slips in the last over before lunch.South Africa could have removed Silva while he was on 10, soon after Steyn’s double strike, but Alviro Petersen missed a catch at third slip off fast bowler Vernon Philander.advertisementJayawardene completed his 49th test half century off 58 balls and continued to dominate the bowlers after lunch – especially legspinner Imran Tahir. He completed his century by sweeping a full toss of Dean Elgar in the last over before tea and ran for two.Mathews completed his half century off 100 balls soon after the break before Duminy broke the stand when Mathews tried to cut the spinner but got a faint edge to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.Morne Morkel finally had his lone success of the day when nervy looking Kithuruwan Vithanage (13) fended at a short pitched delivery and got the shoulder of the bat to de Villiers in the slips.Sri Lanka made three changes to its lineup and brought in Dickwella, replacing Dinesh Chandimal, while another youngster Vithanage came in place of Lahiru Thirimanne.Ajantha Mendis replaced injured fast bowler Shaminda Eranga as Sri Lanka expected the pitch would aid three spinners.South Africa kept faith in its three fast bowlers – Steyn, Philander and Morkel – with Tahir its specialist legspinner.last_img read more

A Marketer’s Guide to the 6 Phases of a Website Redesign

first_imgKeith Moehring is business development manager and consultant at PR 20/20, an inbound marketing agency and HubSpot Partner. You can follow him on Twitter at @keithmoehring . He also actively contributes to http://www.PR2020.com/blog . A website is the cornerstone of any marketing campaign. It is the place where customers, prospects, media, competitors, investors, peers and job candidates turn to first when learning more about your organization and its products or services. Because of this, it’s essential that marketers take a leadership role in any company website redesign project .Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignTo help you avoid any common missteps, we’ve developed a free ebook — “ A Marketer’s Guide to Website Redesign .” The ebook details the six main steps involved in the website redesign process , from the perspective of a marketer who doesn’t have a technology background. 1. The Prep To avoid delays, take the time to gather all necessary information upfront, before it is needed. Items to gather include:Analytics tracking codes.Logo file in a vector format (i.e. .EPS, .AI, or .CDR).Main contact information for current website host.Google Webmaster Central, Bing Webmaster Center and Yahoo SiteExplorer verification codes.Branding guidelines and all relevant collateral documents. 2. Discovery Collaborate with all website stakeholders (i.e. C-level executives, marketing department, sales department, and IT) to define the most important aspects of your new site, including:Buyer personas.Site objectives. Calls to action .Color scheme.Page layout and design preferences.Site features and functionality. 3. Design & Structure To help communicate your vision of the new website, develop a comprehensive creative brief, detailing everything you defined in phase two. Your web team will use this as a guide when designing and building out your new site.At minimum your creative brief should include:Graphic sitemap outlining all pages on your site, including main navigation options.Page layout and design preferences, with screen shots or URLs of examples.Color scheme, including primary, secondary and accent colors.Navigation options you want available on the site. 4. Content & Optimization Visitors don’t come to your site for the cool design or fancy navigation; they come for the content. Develop content that is concise, scannable and engaging. It needs to deliver key messaging quickly and clearly, and then drive visitors to take a desired call to action. To help this content get found, it also needs to be optimized avoid priority keywords.When developing content, consider the following suggestions:Create a keyword map that assigns each page on your site a priority keyword (or two) for which it will be optimized.Define the tone and style of your content.Assign the development of website copywriting to your team’s strongest writer (avoid using multiple authors). Optimize each page after the content has been created. 5. Build Out & Quality Assurance This is the phase where all your hard work comes to fruition. It includes populating the site with all content, setting up 301 redirects, and completing a thorough review of the site to ensure that everything displays and works properly. To streamline the upload process:Create an upload cheatsheet that will serve as a how-to guide for adding content into your content management system (CMS).Before loading content, create all the pages first, and organize them according to your sitemap.Upload all images and graphics into a designated folder in the CMS so they are easy to locate when it comes time to add them to a page.Put together a team internally to upload all content and formatting into the web pages.Perform a quality assurance by checking to make sure all formatting is correct, all links and features work, and that everything displays properly across all browsers. 6. The Launch Finally, launch the new website and ensure it is being indexed accurately by Google and other search engines. To do this, take the time to:Check that all 301 redirects are working.Log into each search engine’s webmaster center to confirm all verfication code is installed properly, and then submit your XML sitemap.Verify that all analytics tracking code is installed.Review Google Webmaster Tools every few days to ensure there are no pages Google had indexed on your old site that it can no longer find. Website Redesign Kit Website Redesign Originally published Jul 14, 2010 6:00:00 PM, updated July 28 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

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week: Humanizing Social Media

first_img on SEOmoz . An editorial calendar, or a publishing schedule, serves as the foundation of article, Social Media Explorer discusses the need for more humanization when it comes to online marketing and engagement. 3. inbound marketing 1. Help build trust in your brand by being transparent about the people who make up your business and who communicate with customers and prospects. editorial calendar Topics: Marketing Takeaway: In the world of on Social Media Explorer 2. Social Media Humanization on Search Engine Journal Learn strategies to monitor your company’s brand and engagement in social media in just 10 minutes per day! Smiciklas’ article discusses the problematic disconnect between businesses and people online. He highlights the need to first understand your audience then suggests various tactics that can be used to humanize your brand in social media such as featuring employees in photos, avatars, ‘about us’ pages and other content. Marketing Takeaway: Zack Grossbart and Justin Evans now plays an important role in how many businesses are engaging with prospects and customers, but despite the implications of the term, it’s easy to question just how ‘human’ social media interactions really are. , it’s becoming easier and easier for businesses to lose sight of the fact that, while their organization may be represented online by a logo or an icon, it’s the person-to-person connections that build trust in a brand. Marketing Takeaway: Author: The Easy-to-Use Tool That Helps You Build a Breakthrough Blog Content marketing tactics Before diving into the meat of his article, the Blog Tyrant emphasizes the point, “one loyal reader is worth thousands of one-time visitors.” He continues to highlight three problems that will make readers leave your blog and will kill your chances of gaining loyal readers. He also provides detailed suggestions for how to fix each problem. on Problogger Marketing Takeaway: mentioned include positive user-generated content (UGC), local interest, and local expertise, and Dr. Pete emphasizes the fact that despite your perception that you might be in a ‘boring’ industry, you shouldn’t be afraid to get creative. Video: How To Monitor Your Social Media Presence In 10 Minutes A Day Authors: Oztalay therefore offers several suggestions to help businesses take advantage of listing sites and increase interactivity on their pages, such as updating listings with marketing materials (e.g. coupons, offers, events, discounts, promotions, etc.), removing or claiming duplicate listings, responding to existing customer reviews (particularly negative ones, and securing positive reviews from satisfied customers. on Copyblogger Dr. Pete Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The three killer blog problems he identifies are a lack of comments, a butchered theme, and no original ideas. Originally published Oct 11, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated July 19 2013 and goes to show that a bit of planning can go a long way in getting maximum reach from your blog. based on quality inbound links is key. This SEOmoz article stresses the powerful role remarkable content can play in link-building, offering several tips and examples of content marketing ideas in various industries to get you thinking in the right direction. Marketing Takeaway: In this week’s top 4. If your your local business listing on Google Author: For businesses facing heavy competition in online marketing, Melih Oztalay SEO Three Problems That Make Me Leave Your Blog in Three Seconds (Remarkable) content is king. Use creativity in content marketing and reap the rewards of quality inbound links. Maintain an editorial calendar for more strategic control over your blog’s content. Claiming your local business listing is only the first step. Make an effort to monitor engagement, update content, and interact with customers on your business’ listing pages. . While this is a good start, Search Engine Journal identifies a couple of areas businesses are missing out on regarding the topic of online business listings: claiming their listing only on Google and not other sites, and doing nothing else with their listing besides claiming it. 5. Author: By now, especially if you’re a regular reader of this blog, there’s a good chance you’ve already claimed Content Marketing That Stands Out The Blog Tyrant The easy-to-use tool mentioned by Copyblogger is none other than the to set up a solid routine to monitor your online presence! Zack and Justin’s article provide various ways an editorial calendar can be helpful: it allows you to plan ahead, it adds structure to your creativity, it enables you to take a great concept further, and it helps you be proactive and capitalize on search trends. They close their article by highlighting a free plugin that can help WordPress users start managing their own editorial calendar. blog strategic blogging Author: Mark Smiciklas is falling victim to one or more of these three problems, fix them right away to start attracting a loyal following of readers. internet marketing Claiming Local Business Listing Is Only the Beginning Social media Inbound Marketing View the video nowlast_img read more

Understanding Online Community and Influencers with @Tamar Weinberg [@InboundNow #8]

first_imgIn this episode of Inbound Now, Tamar Weinberg, of “For social media to really be effective, it’s about understanding who the types of people are that would actually be interested in your product and then building relationships around these communities.” Why understanding and finding your industries influencers is key to your blogging success Again, find where your target audience is consuming and sharing content and reach out to them! Mutually beneficial pitches are always more like to get read and written about on their blog. “So, for example, if you’re interested in a number of, like if you’re doing finance, for example, there are a number of niche financial websites out there. For example, like, Tipd.com, which is a social bookmarking site, but there’s also and it seems that, the Inc. 500 are actually finding that the best targets out there of their social media efforts are actually niche forums.” Connecting with your community and infleuncers online 7 truths about social media  where she states unless you figure out who would be interested in your project and then figure out how to interact with them in a meaningful way, you are destined for failure. , joins us to talk about the ins and outs of social media marketing on the web. Niche Communities Matter In the show we chat about: Stop Marketing and Start Engaging with Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) Blogging Is Not an Overnight Process Brass Tack thinking Where Should a Business New to Social Media Start? It really depends on the communities that your service or product targets. Gauging Online Influence with Jason Keath of Social Fresh Originally published Feb 17, 2011 9:15:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 There are a ton of highly targeted micro communities online that you can interact with super fans. or on her blog How Tamar Got Started With Social Sedia Public Relations Faux Paus Seth Goden Without An Understanding of Your Community and Infleuncers You Are Destined to Fail Look for negative mentions of competitors and interact with that person, try and solve the issue, and let them know you exist. Rapportive for gmail – This extension for gmail pulls in the contacts social media profiles and helps give you a deeper context of what they have been up too. Think mini social CRM. Set yourself up with an editorial calendar filled with engaging content (with some long tail keywords weaved into the mix) and stick to that schedule. We dive into some of Tamar’s Favorite social media resources. Hootsuite How social media is not just a one off campaign but a constant in your marketing mix. ) “Hi nice to meet you, buy my stuff!” doesn’t work and will ultimately get you branded as a spammer. @Tamar ,  & Becoming a Trust Agent w/ @ChrisBrogan [@InboundNow #6] Don’t send blind pitches to bloggers. Do you homework and make sure your motivations align with the interests of the blogger before reaching out to them. Most blogs that except guest bloggers allow them to link back to relevant articles on their own site, thus giving them the ability to grab some of that readership, not to mention the SEO benefit from the inbound links! HubSpot User Group Conference This can be a great way to grab some business from people who are unhappy with their current solution. Must See Social Media Resources “It is really important not to just go out there and just broadcast” in social media, Tamar states. We do this at HubSpot with our annual HUG ( Past Episodes Techipedia Marketing you blog is something that must happen. Building relationships with the right networks with people who would be interested in sharing your content, is key. The importance of understanding your online communitycenter_img Social Media Is a Continuous Effort : Connect with Tamar online: Meeting your fans, customers, etc. in person and really help solidify the relationship you started with them online. Fan question: . Online Meets IRL Topics: Tamar wrote a great post about the on twitter Leverage Guest Blogging Opportunities “Social media” and online engagement really started right when the internet was invented. It was kind of the point. Mashable Mark Mathson asks It’s Not Over After You Hit Publish Come bearing gifts and helpful advice. Give back to the network long before you make any ask. – great way to have a columned layout of social media searchs and will help you manage multiple accounts. In other words there is more to social media than Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. PR squared   , Some of Tamar’s favorite resources to keep up with the changing trends of social media include: Mashable . Brian Solis , Brand awareness is something that must be built over time by being active and engaging within social media. Remember, don’t get discouraged, It took Chris Brogan 8 years to get his first 100 subscribers! , How to Market Smarter, Faster, and Cheaper with David Siteman Garland Social media is not a one off campaign. “What social media marketing tool is necessity for every marketer?” , Don’t Spam Social Media After crafting an awesome SEO friendly blog post and hitting the publish button, your job is not done! Podcasting for Business & Email Marketing Best Practices w/ Christopher S. Penn Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Chris Brogan When first launching a blog, one of the best ways to pull in new readers is by guest blogging for an already established blog in the space. For audio and the complete transcript head click here: Writing for the established blog instantly helps build the credibility of your own blog. How to Rock Your Facebook Fan Page with John Haydon Don’t underestimate the power of holding live meetups and user groups. This is a great way to foster and build brand evangelists. Techipedia She knew when she was 12 years old that she wanted to do something in the social media realm. “There is something very interesting about the way that the internet and social media break down geographic boundaries.” Social media explorer Seize The Day Influencer Marketing ,last_img read more

25% of Twitter Users Say Promoted Tweets Are Relevant [Data]

first_img Twitter Marketing Data Things look promising for Promoted Tweets, Twitter’s advertising platform. New data from market research firm Lab42, as reported by eMarketer, shows that 24.8% of Twitter users say they have seen Promoted Tweets from brands that are relevant to them. More than 1/5 of users said they have gotten a discount or have found out about a new brand through a Promoted Tweet, and 14% of respondents said they have retweeted a Promoted Tweet.Interestingly, only about 11% of those surveyed said following brands was a reason they joined the site, with about half saying they followed just 10 brands on Twitter.Marketing Takeaway If you’re sharing something relevant, people will be receptive to your marketing.This applies not only to your Promoted Tweets, but also to things like your Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and even your blog content and email campaigns. While those surveyed weren’t necessarily interested in following a ton of brands on Twitter, when they found content that was interesting and relevant in a promoted Tweet, they were receptive to it. If what you are offering is targeted and relevant to your audience, it may be well-received, even if it’s a promoted campaign or not something they were initially seeking.Are you considering a Promoted Tweets campaign? Let us know in the comments! Originally published Sep 6, 2011 1:01:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 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 Inbound Marketing Can Fuel Native Advertising

first_img Native advertising, done right, is not an advertorial. Native advertising, done right, is not product placement. Native advertising, done right, offers marketing software Additionally, the use of content extends to many other marketing methods like of the term, it can best be described as a form of advertising that consists of relevant, valuable content that’s part of a media outlet’s editorial offering. In plain English, that means paid editorial. Is your inbound marketing content strategy up to snuff? Is Native Advertising? Inbound marketing sidesteps buyers’ advertising blinders, because it isn’t car dealer-style advertising that not one wants to see. Instead, inbound marketing offers information that was sought after and found to be valuable to the consumer. If you’re a marketer touting the latest and greatest in, say, inbound marketing, you had best dominate the first few organic search results for it. ). But you’ll be far more effective in doing so when you offer valuable, usable, actionable information on will provide you the process, procedures, and proper workflow you need to create great content worth sharing. valuable, educational, useful information So why would an inbound to your customers and prospects. search engine optimization The role of content creation is integral to inbound marketing success. Developing informative and Topics: Inbound Marketing A recent  product And within inbound marketing, you’re using that content to cultivate and generate leads through (e.g. ebooks, webinars, whitepapers, etc.). Content in marketing also includes the use of email marketing to offer additional information to leads with the aim of moving them down the purchase funnel (which marketing automation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack educational content , or they can be news stories on media sites. That covers owned and earned media … but what about paid media? content , and proper why How Inbound Marketing Can Fuel Native Advertising  study by Econsultancy and Responsys found that Put simply, native advertising and sponsored stories cast a wider net to amplify your inbound marketing efforts. Sure, straight inbound marketing will go a long way to getting your message in front of your potential customer base in a very cost-efficient manner, and everyone should start with purely organic inbound marketing to get the best possible ROI. But if you have a few extra bucks to help that content proliferate further and are willing to spend more for higher growth even at a lower ROI, then native advertising is worth considering. . For the most part, it all starts with content. Content that is informative, educational, and relevant, but also — and this is most important — content that is ultimately designed to sell something. , Inbound marketing became possible with the advent of the internet, which offers potential buyers the ability to access any kind of information they want, about any topic of interest, at any time of their choosing. Google made the process even easier. SEO and SEM tactics easier still. But it wasn’t until the marriage of buyers’ increasingly anti-advertising mindset and growth of ad blocking technologies (e.g. DVRs, ad blockers, etc.) that inbound marketing really took a foothold. Whatcenter_img Native advertising can, in its most popular format, take the form of a sponsored blog post or article. Or it could be a sponsored story on Facebook, a promoted video on YouTube, or a promoted account on Twitter, among other things. , an integral component of inbound marketing, in 2013. The category ranked the highest of all digital marketing channels — which just makes it all the more important that you ensure your content strategy is in place before your competitors’. The Role of Content in Inbound Marketing a person should consider your products/services rather than just screaming at them that they should just trust you and buy because you told them to. Originally published Feb 18, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Remember though, you must have worthwhile content in the first place. And a robust Basically, it consists of natural content that appears in a medium’s organic content stream — with the caveat that its placement was purchased rather than appearing organically. inbound marketing solution Wait … any longer), as well as the creation of landing pages on which products can be promoted, and the use of social media, which can further disseminate content. , not your Yes, ultimately you want to sell a product or service — and you will (likely with the help of with segmented , Now, many of you may be shaking your head at this point exclaiming, “What’s up with all these people who feel the need to slap a new label on something that’s been around since consumer packaged goods companies created the soap opera?” And to some degree you’d be right in your assumption that native advertising is just an advertorial in shiny new clothing. But you’d also be wrong. . You don’t want to point people to a man standing in a parking lot with a bunch of balloons in one hand and a flag in the other; you want to point people to a thoughtful piece of content that discusses why buying a car at your dealership will save you money in the long run and provide you with years of hassle-free service. dynamic content enables you to advance the cause of your product or service in a way that doesn’t sound like a car dealer screaming at you while holding a bunch of balloons in one hand … and a waving flag in the other. marketing automation Now, those top organic SERP positions can be links to content on your own site (gleaned through effective SEO and social media efforts), they can be links to Certain types of advertising can help boost and supplement inbound content efforts. We do it right here at HubSpot when we use PPC, Promoted Posts, Promoted Tweets, and other forms of paid marketing to attract more people to our content. And that’s the key: to promote your marketing offers 70% of brand marketers will allocate budget to content creation , and It’s also worth noting that there may still be many people who find sponsored stories annoying and disruptive. Keep in mind that the people who see these types of ads did not give you permission to talk to them and were not expecting them in their organic content streams. This makes it even more critical that you fuel your native advertising with inbound marketing. Keeping track of sentiment can also help you determine whether your efforts are worth it. lead management Marketing Budgets 2013 isn’t really a funnel content on other sites to which you have contributed company like HubSpot be telling you about the benefits of native advertising, which, by most accounts, is just advertising? Because without inbound marketing strategies in place, there can be no effective use of native advertising. That’s a fairly strong statement, but follow along as we make our case. many varied definitions lead nurturing If you’re a CMO, you may have heard the term “native advertising” bandied about recently. While there arelast_img read more

Now It’s Your Turn: Who Should Own Your Content? #GreatDebate

first_imgThe results are in, folks! After a day-long debate, we’ve finally come to a conclusion about this “who owns your content” debacle. The conclusion? This probably can’t be sorted out in four blog posts. 😉 By wading through our contributors’ arguments and our community’s comments, we’ve made significant steps in a) getting this on people’s minds and b) inching closer to possible solutions.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. Want to see how the debate shook out? Keep on reading. We compiled the top HubSpot blog comments, some favorite tweets, and even a few blog posts from experts who decided to join in on the fun so you can get caught up on the discussion and make your own decisions. Pick a Side: A Recap of the ArgumentsWatching the debate happen in the blog posts and on social media, people pretty much fell into four camps:Camp #1: Whoever buys the content owns the content because that’s how transactions work.Taking the straightforward perspective, Tom Walkett posed this in a blog post comment:”I can’t possibly image that anyone would expect to own something if someone else or a company paid them to create it. If you want to own something create it on your dime. With that said, if your personal brand is so powerful that the paying entity puts significant value on your authorship, then you can and should negotiate the copyright ownership up front in your contract. Of course, if you’re an employee, why would you expect ownership rights to anything you create using company resources? Do you think software engineers should demand ownership from Microsoft for writing the Windows operating system? As the old saying goes, “You only deserve what you negotiate.” If you didn’t negotiate for the copyright upfront, there is no debate, unless you think it is appropriate to take something that doesn’t belong to you.” Camp #2: Companies own the content — and that’s a good thing.In a more passionate camp than those in Camp #1, Camp #2 chose to defend companies because writing for a company can help build your personal brand. On Up and to the Right, a section on HubSpot’s Inbound Hub, Beth Stackpole tackles this argument from the perspective of a freelance journalist working with the media. Her take? This debate is nothing new — it’s something we’ve been dealing with for decades. Check out her post to see what she suggests instead.Another post supporting this perspective came from our friends at Overgo Studio. It also offers this money quote to further hit home her point:”Think of it this way. I see nothing wrong with my employer having ownership of my content because I have ownership of all the knowledge I learned from working at that company. Am I going to use that knowledge even after I leave that company? Yes. But I’m not going to claim I learned it all on my own. I’m going to give credit to my past employer and the experiences I had while I was there.” Check out this post from The Weidert Group, which also argued the merits of freelancers allowing companies to own their content so they can bolster their personal brand by offering this perspective. While most of the folks in this camp are coming from the viewpoint of their company, we had one person agree loud and proud on Twitter:Honestly I don’t have an issue with an organization I used to work for retaining the rights to my content #greatdebate— Ben Wachtel (@benwachtel24) December 3, 2013Camp #3: Creators should own any content they create. On the other end of the spectrum, folks were getting heated for the content creator’s side. John McTigue took a pretty firm stance using an interesting parallel industry:Content ownership is obsolete, just like music ownership. Sharing is what you’re after as an author. #greatdebate— John McTigue (@jmctigue) December 3, 2013Sharing isn’t just great for the author — it’s also great for companies wanting to build their own brands. To argue this point, Chris Handy from Think Handy recorded this video to defend this position:We also had some people, including my colleague Corey Eridon, weigh in on the ramifications of company ownership, especially when it comes to creating genuine company brands:The more ownership companies take, the less genuine the creator will be. The content/company suffer most from it. #greatdebate @hubspot— Corey Eridon (@Corey_bos) December 3, 2013Venkatesh Iyer also chimed in, providing an interesting middle ground:Your employer’s owns benefits from your content, not the content itself. You own content you created. Forever. #greatdebate— Venkatesh Iyer (@venkyiyer58) December 3, 2013Camp #4: No one has a clue.Last but certainly not least were the folks who, well, have no freaking clue. Commenter Eric Wittlake seemed to have said it best:”The real issue today is no one even knows! Most companies don’t have formalized and well-understood agreements with employee content creators about who owns the rights to the content that is created and what licenses are granted to the other party.”Real Problems, Possible SolutionsOkay, so that’s how the arguments all fell out, but most of us would agree that we’re missing one huge question: What should you do about it? There were two suggestions:1) Only ghostwriters should give up content. Zack Bridges offered this solution on Twitter:Payer gets full ownership when content is produced by a ghost writer, but a premium should be paid to remove the writer. #GreatDebate— Zack Bridges (@z_bridges) December 3, 20132) Negotiate a contract to work these issues out before you start creating.The other solution most often suggested was to make the contract work for you. Jeremiah Owyang urged creators to do their homework:”Read your employment contracts carefully. Prior, I worked at a company, and all IP created during my employment was owned by them. That also meant my Facebook content. I’m not giving judgement either way on who should own, but I certainly will be mindful when working at a future company on who owns which IP.”And depending on who you are and who you plan to work with, this negotiation process could be easier than you think. Doug Kessler added:”A pre-nuptial agreement on these issues does feel like the way to go. The nature of the pre-nup will depend on the balance of power. A star blogger may be able to hold out for greater copyright and usage terms than an unknown could negotiate.”Thanks for tuning into the #GreatDebate! These are purely the findings we’ve found by debating this today, but let’s continue the conversation. Where do you stand? Share your thoughts in the Twitter stream or comments below:Tweets about “#greatdebate” Originally published Dec 3, 2013 4:02:03 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Content Marketinglast_img read more

Nostalgia Ahead! What Your 20 Favorite Websites Used to Look Like #TBT

first_imgI just picked up a new hobby. I call it “Waybacking.”It’s kinda like Googling, but even better. Using the Wayback Machine, I can see what my favorite websites looked like two years ago, four years ago, or even 16 years ago. (My, they have come a long way!)Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignIt’s nice to see the humble beginnings of very successful websites today — especially when you’re in the middle of planning a website redesign and need a little confidence. Every company starts somewhere, and you don’t always need to nail your logo, colors, or tagline on the first try.So without further ado, I’d like to present you with 20 of my favorite websites, but way back in their early days:1) GoogleRemember when Google was in Beta? Just picture Larry Page back in 1998 saying, “Our goal is to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.” Do you think they’ve reached their goal in 2014? I do.  Tweet about Google.2) AppleRemember the iBook? Colorful, customizable — I’m talking back when Elle Woods was rocking a cotton candy pink one in Legally Blonde. As Steve Jobs once said, “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” Which version of Apple.com would you rather lick? If Steve had it right, you’ll want to lick both.  Tweet about Apple.3) MicrosoftIn 2000, Microsoft’s website looked an awful lot like the Windows 2000 you know from your friendly desktop computer. You’ll see the same fonts, same colors, and same iconic imagery. Today, Microsoft’s website looks more like Windows 8.1 with a heavy focus on the tablet. Forget “the year of mobile,” we’re now in the era of mobile … and that’s not changing anytime soon.  Tweet about Microsoft.4) MashableThis is not a joke. Yes, Mashable was once covered in a gradient background and had one author: Pete Cashmore. Now, the site is highly visual and has multiple authors pumping out content daily. It’s also interesting to see how the general theme of “Web 2.0” evolved into social media, tech, business, entertainment, and even politics.  Tweet about Mashable.5) HubSpotIn 2006, the tech and marketing world was focused heavily on surviving and succeeding in a web 2.0 world. (In fact, here’s HubSpot’s very first blog post, which elaborates on that exact topic.) Small businesses were popping up all over the world, focusing more on brain size, not wallet size. Today, HubSpot still caters to small businesses, but also medium and enterprise businesses, as well.  Tweet about HubSpot.6) BuzzFeedLiterally starting out as your ‘feed’ for popular ‘buzz,’ BuzzFeed was created to help users find their favorite things including movies, music, fashion, ideas, and technology. The site still achieves this today, but with a more visual and interactive approach. This seems to be the trend for websites in 2014. Would you agree?  Tweet about BuzzFeed.7) The White HouseIn 2000, Bill Clinton was the President of the United States, Al Gore was Vice President, and whitehouse.gov had a very different look and feel. I personally love the sandy, textured background with the scripty font on top. Were they going for that nostalgic “Declaration of Independence” look? Oh, and we can’t forget about those patriotic flags on either side of the White House. These were actually animated (like a MySpace profile GIF) so the flags would wave. Today, the White House brand remains classy, but modern, with a focus on educating U.S. citizens on pressing issues.  Tweet about the White House.8) TEDI’m really impressed with 2003’s TED.com. Why? Because they really nailed visual content way ahead of their time. The website in 2014 looks more modern, but still focuses heavily on images.  Tweet about TED.9) SkypeOkay, I understand the gradient thing was popular in the early 2000’s … but Skype’s logo was once red?! Who knew? Another fun fact: Skype was created by the people who brought you music downloading service, KaZaA. I didn’t know that, either, until I read it on their website from 2004. I guess you learn something new every day.  Tweet about Skype.10) AOLOh, AOL, you nostalgic beauty. I miss hearing your “You’ve got mail!” greeting (but only after I’ve listened to that dial up internet sound for 20 minutes). In 2014, AOL is taking the news aggregator approach to accompany your morning coffee and daily email routine.  Tweet about AOL.11) Ask JeevesAsk Jeeves — another oldie, but goodie. Did you ever ask your questions on askjeeves.com instead of google.com back in 2000? I know I did. I just couldn’t resist the cartoon butler! Still taking the Q&A approach in 2014, Ask Jeeves is now called Ask. Why did they change the name? I don’t know. Why don’t you go to ask.com to find out?  Tweet about Ask Jeeves.12) BlockbusterSticking with the theme of “oldie, but goodie,” I give you Blockbuster. Remember back in 1996 when Blockbuster was a thriving business? You could rent movies, music, books, and even video games for your Sega Genesis system. Today, Blockbuster takes the simplified approach, offering videos on demand to compete with companies like Netflix and Hulu.  Tweet about Blockbuster.13) Coca-ColaTalk about timeless branding! Coca-Cola’s website from 2000 doesn’t look too shabby compared to many of the outdated websites listed here. Coke really understood the importance of visual content and simplicity in 2000, and they still do today.  Tweet about Coca-Cola.14) PepsiIt’s not easy to achieve a timeless look like Coca-Cola has. Since 2000, Pepsi has changed a lot, including its logo, fonts, and colors. Although Pepsi has always recognized and emphasized music as a strong persona interest, the 2014 approach is much more modern and visually appealing.  Tweet about Pepsi.15) Macy’sNice graphics, Macy’s. Are those clip art images from Microsoft Word’s 1999 collection? They’re super snazzy and go along so niceley with your green logo and color scheme. I find this very interesting because according to Wikipedia, Macy’s present day logo was designed in 1988, long before the website was created.  Tweet about Macy’s.16) AmazonBefore looking up Amazon’s website in 1999, I assumed the colors, logo, and layout of the website remained unchanged. It looks like I was wrong. In 2000, Amazon’s logo changed to feature an arrow from A to Z, which is the logo you know and love today. Additionally, Amazon’s site features a lot more Amazon-specific products in addition to products from third-party sellers.  Tweet about Amazon.17) Yahoo!Yahoo! has had many ups and downs since 1999, including a drastic redesign … multiple times over. The 2014 website looks like a completely different brand, but still aims to be your go-to place for checking email and reading news with your morning cup o’ Joe.  Tweet about Yahoo!18) TumblrSpeaking of Yahoo!, let’s see how Tumblr has changed from the early days to 2014, after Yahoo! acquired it. I have to admit, I think “tumblelog” is the most adorable name for a blog post. This word was used to help differentiate Tumblr from other blogging platforms. Tumblr has always been much more visual, and more social, with shorter-form content.  Tweet about Tumblr.19) PinterestRemember when Pinterest was invite-only? Although Pinterest hasn’t changed all that much since 2010, the logo sure looks different. You’ll notice the images are also much bigger now that the white border has been eliminated. Do you still use Pinterest the same way you did in 2010?  Tweet about Pinterest.20) RedditThe final website I want to showcase on our tour down memory lane is Reddit. Is it just me, or is Reddit pretty much the same as it was nine years ago? Yes, the site is slightly more visual and it now features ads, but the structure is the same. Redditors seem to love the simplicity of the site, so I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Tweet about Reddit.Which of these websites shocked you the most? Are there other websites you wish we included here? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Website Redesign Originally published Apr 10, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

The Psychology of Ecommerce Sales: Taking Advantage of Sunk Cost Effect

first_img Originally published Jul 15, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: If you’ve ever signed up for a gym membership, then you’re already well aware of the power of sunk cost effect. Basically, every time you sigh and grumble your way to the gym to power up the elliptical, you’re falling prey to this phenomenon that says we’re reluctant to pull out of something that we’ve already put a lot of time, money, or effort into. The sunk cost effect is obviously a very real thing, as you’ve experienced for yourself. There are also studies surrounding other items that prove the phenomenon exists outside of the physical improvement realm. One study centered on an imagined scenario with ski tickets. Participants were asked to imagine they’d accidentally double booked for two excursions. One was more expensive and decidedly less fun. The other was cheaper and guaranteed a good time. Most went with the snoozefest so as not to waste all that money.Why would people do that? The sunk cost effect. And you can harness that power for your own ecommerce efforts.Subscription ServicesThe sunk cost effect is why subscription services are so very popular right now. Most offer the opportunity to save money by signing up for multiple months and paying up front. The buyers who take advantage of the savings realize very quickly that they have to find some way to enjoy the products that are delivered.Because they’ve already put so much money into their subscription deliveries, they’ll often sing the praises of the products they receive. Whether by sharing on social media, starting their own review blog, or just telling everyone they know, buyers will always attempt to justify the cost.Branding BenefitsBecause people are willing to pay more money for brands they perceive as higher quality, you can also get a big benefit out of the sunk cost effect. When consumers pay the higher price for your goods, they will become convinced they’re better than others of a lower price.Again, once they’ve paid the higher price, buyers are determined to believe they haven’t wasted money. They’ll share their experience with your products as a way of convincing themselves and others that the cost was worth it. And they’ll likely return for future purposes once they’ve determined your brand is better.Upselling AssistanceOnce buyers have paid a hefty sum for your products, they can often be persuaded to kick in a little more for a truly stellar experience. For instance, if they purchase a laptop, they’re primed for upselling the virus protection software to protect their investment. If they purchase a seat on a plane, they might be convinced to add a little more for greater legroom or a seat in business class.The reason they’re primed for the upsell at this point is that they must consider how much they’ve already paid before they approach the possibility of paying more. As they contemplate the price of the laptop, they realize they’ve already put a lot of money into the purchase. Something as irritating as a virus could ruin that investment in no time. With the economy plane seat, buyers realize they’ve already paid a big chunk. A little extra to ensure a comfy flight doesn’t seem like such a big deal.How has the sunk cost affected you in the past? Can you convert that into a powerful tool on your ecommerce site?  Ecommerce Saleslast_img read more

How to Effectively Crowdsource Content From Your Entire Organization

first_img Topics: Content Creation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You’ve just written your fifth blog article of the week, you have twenty-something slots to fill with engaging Twitter content, and you’re coming to the realization that those emails you’ve been putting off aren’t going to write themselves.The struggle is real.While my team and I have found that crowdsourcing content is a great way to combat writer’s burnout, often times it’s easier said than done. In an effort to make actually doing it a bit easier, I’m going to dive in and share the details of my secrets to crowdsourcing content from your team in a way that’s actually enjoyable for everyone. 4 Tips for Crowdsourcing Your Team for Content Creation1) Explain why it’s important to the business. For crowdsourcing to work, you’ll need buy-in from the members of your team. You want to get them excited about their contributions, and you also want to ensure that they don’t feel as though you’re just trying to get them to pick up your slack. When it comes time to talk with them, carefully explain that while you’re heading up the content strategy, you’re not an expert at everything. Their expertise is exactly what your content needs to differentiate your company and stand out to potential customers.Essentially, your goal should be to deliver the “why” behind your ask for help. Here are a few ways to approach key team members:To your HR director:”If we’re going to write about what makes our company culture unique and why we’re such a great place to work, we’re going to need your voice. You have valuable insight into what candidates think makes us different and why they’re interviewing here in the first place. We need that information to write awesome content that speaks to prospective employees and interns, attracts the best of the best, and ultimately makes your job easier.”To your sales team:”I can write marketing content all day, but because I’m not actually on the sales calls with clients, I can’t connect and engage them the way you do. I’d love to better understand what makes them excited about working with us and what their objections and pain points are. Getting your input on content ideas would help me create higher quality content you can send to prospects at different stages in the sales cycle and help you close more sales.”To your developers:”Our product has fantastic features, and the UX is second to none, but I can’t explain that to other developers who use our product in the same way you can. I’m not as familiar with the technical aspects of what makes our tech so great or why others love using our software. I need your help with communicating that information so we can really speak to our audience in a language they understand.”2) Get your team members over their fear of writing.After you’ve explained to your team why their help is crucial to your content creation efforts, you’ll most likely have to help them overcome their fears of actually writing content. For anyone who doesn’t write content day in and day out, just the thought of sitting down to write a 1,000-word article about anything — even about what they do every day — can be incredibly intimidating.Make it crystal clear that you don’t need them to be great writers. Explain that you need their expertise on the particular topic, not their perfect spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. You can craft and polish their thoughts into compelling, relevant content after they’ve communicated their expertise to you.In fact, there are ways to crowdsource from your team members without them ever having to write a piece of content. Speaking up in meetings and conversations or sending you links to articles that inspire them can give you insight into their voices and expertise.3) Make the process as easy as possible.While relieving your team members of the responsibility of actually writing content is wonderful, it’s still important to make the process as simple and easy as possible. Here are a few tips and tools that our team at Influence & Co. uses to improve communication across departments:Use 15Five to poll your team for content ideas.Using our weekly 15Five reports to crowdsource content ideas has proven especially beneficial for our marketing team. We’ve gone as transparent as including questions that directly ask, “What should we write about on our blog?” to as inconspicuous as, “What are you struggling wit this week?”Use Slack to collect content ideas.We have a Slack channel called #article-topics. This space serves as a great way to encourage our team to share articles they find interesting or topics they think we (or our clients) should be writing about. Because it’s a public channel, anyone on our team can add to it, and the marketing team can skim through it every week for article ideas.Collect information from team members in interviews. The members of your team who are actually working with your customers every day are usually the ones who will have stronger content ideas because they know exactly what your customers are asking, what problems they’re facing, and how your company is alleviating pain points.Our marketing team started conducting interviews with our client service pods, which are teams of account strategists, content strategists, and editors who work on content for our clients. The marketing team asks questions about what the pods’ clients are struggling with and what content could be helpful to them. Then, they develop article topics based on answers from the interviews.Use a knowledge bank to store and organize collective information.Once you have a lot of great content ideas and full answers to specific questions from the different members of your team, you need a place to store, tag, organize, and reference this content for the future.Our team at Influence & Co. built a knowledge bank, and we’ve created a free knowledge management template you can use, too. Next time you’re crafting a piece of content and need input from a team member or a quote on a specific topic, you can reference the knowledge bank first and save yourself and your team members plenty of time.Use project management software (or even Google Docs) to collaborate on articles.Our team has created proprietary project management software that enables us to collaborate on content production, editing, and publication opportunities. The software also sends email notifications on content progress to keep involved team members updated.However, if you don’t have access to software that’s specifically tailored for you organization’s process, something general like Google Docs is a great start. This allows multiple people to add, edit, and make comments on articles so you end up with the best content possible. 4) Give credit to your team members for their help.You’ve finally finished an article that has utilized the collective knowledge and skill sets of dozens of your team members. Rather than take all the credit for yourself, consider these strategies for spreading the love: Co-author the article. Rather than giving the byline to only one of the article’s contributors, list co-authors. It’s perfectly fine to publish a piece of content with more than one author.Credit the byline to the biggest contributor. While it took several people to make this piece of content a reality, it’s not practical to list nine authors. Instead, determine who contributed the most to the article and give that person the byline.Give credit within the article.When you include a piece of information in your content that a member of your team shared with you, quote them. Give credit via social media.When you share your content online, give a special shout-out to each member of the team who contributed skills or expertise to make the piece a success.Getting StartedIf you can explain why their help is important, get them over their fear of writing, make it easy, and give them credit, crowdsourcing content from your team members will be simple. Next time you’re sitting at your computer with writer’s block, remember: you don’t need to have all of the answers because, lucky for you, your team likely does. Originally published Oct 7, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more