Sania Mirza and and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina shocked top seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta 6-0, 7-5 to reach the semi-finals of the French Open at Roland Garros on Monday.The seventh seeded Indo-Russian pair wrapped up the quarter-final in an hour and six minutes after blanking the Argentine-Italian duo in the first set. This is the first time that Sania has reached the women’s doubles semi-finals in a Grand Slam tournament.The quarter-final appearances in the 2007 US Open and 2008 Wimbledon were her best performances so far at the big stage. Sania and Vesnina take on the winners of the Liezel Huber & Lisa Raymond – Victoria Azarenka & Maria Kirilenko clash in the semi-finals.Bopanna-Qureshi winIn men’s doubles, India’s Rohan Bopanna and Aisam ul-haq Qureshi of Pakistan advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Andrey Golubev and Denis Istomin.The fifth-seeded Indo-Pak pair downed the Kazak-Uzbek combination in an hour and nine minutes in the third round. It will be the third quarter-final appearance in the last four Grand Slams for Bopanna and Qureshi.They will take on top seeded American twins Mike and Bob Bryan, who defeated Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 7-6 (6), 7-5 in their pre-quarterfinal.Bopanna and Qureshi had lost to the Bryan brothers in the US Open final last year. Bopanna is the only Indian surviving in the men’s doubles as the pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have made a shock second-round exit.It was more disappointment for Paes as his French Open campaign came to a halt when he and Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic bowed out of the mixed doubles. The seventh seeds went down 7-6 (3), 6-3 to top seeds Katarina Srebotnik Slovakia and Serb Nenad Zimonjic in an hour and 19 minutes.advertisementThe Srebotnik-Zimonjic combination will take on the winners of the quarter-final between Russian Nadia Petrova and Jamie Murray of Britain, and Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova and Bruno Soares Brazil.Second serve proved to the biggest weakness for Paes and Benesova they managed to win only per cent of points when they missed their first delivery. In contrast, Srebotnik and Zimonjic won 64 per cent points on their first serve, and 71 per cent with their second.The top seeds capitalised four of the six break point opportunities they got, while Paes and Benesova managed break serve three times from six chances.- With agency inputs
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 May 17, 2008 8:44:00 PM, updated October 01 2013 Social Media Here are some great articles from Links.HubSpot.com from the past week:How to Get More Twitter Followers: Some Methods That WorkBuilding Your Online Brand With Social Media Tools10 Steps for Digg Success When You’re the VillainAlso, here are some useful reads from the HubSpot Internet Marketing Blog archives, from about a year ago (when many of you were not reading this blog yet).3 Hot Marketing Tips from Heat Map Analysis (images)Now, Any Business Can Tap 53 Million Facebook Users (For Free) Have a great weekend!
Social Media Topics: We normally don’t write about our products on our marketing blog, but we thought we could share some helpful lessons from our newest customer vertical’s inbound marketing success. Today, HubSpot is launching Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack HugSpot How should you use HugSpot to find success in love? This new online matchmaking tool was in a private beta for almost three years before launching publicly today. Watch the customer testimonials below to see how HugSpot can help you find relationship success. Inbound Marketing . What does your ideal partner look for in a lover? Use HugSpot to optimize your website for the keywords that attract your best match. 5) Receive lead alerts to dismiss stage five clingers. 6) Use HugSpot “Love Analytics” to assess the development of your budding relationships. Grow your network and show off your stuff. Connect through Twitter and Facebook. Check in on Foursquare to introduce yourself to singles at a bar. Poking encouraged. to for tips on testing, measuring, and analyzing your marketing programs to improve conversion rate. . Asking for a phone number at a party can be hard. By having a form on your site with a compelling offer (“Let me take you to dinner”), people will give you their contact information and become your love lead. 2) Create intriguing content through blogging. Webinar: Always Be Testing: 10 Tips For Increasing Your Lead Conversion Rate How are you using inbound marketing to generate love leads? Are you looking for love online? 1) Optimize your website for what makes you attractive Is it your passionate blog articles that attract your best love leads? Perhaps thousands of people flock to your website after viewing your scandalous flickr photos, but only a few convert and give you their number. Why not write a blog article about what you’re looking for in a man or woman. Remarkable content attracts remarkable people. 4) Flaunt your forms and compelling offers (and love leads) Originally published Apr 1, 2010 2:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 , our first product to serve the growing singles market. 3) Meet and mingle with singles using the social media tool. Download the free webinar with calls to action and landing pages. Learn how to convert website visitors into leads After you go out on a date with your lead, use HugSpot to receive lead alerts every time he or she visits your website. That way you’ll know when your leads are thinking about you and how often. Tweet this news
Marketing in any organization serves many functions, but as a CEO, you should be concerned with a few key performance indicators (KPIs) from your marketing team including lead generation, lead quality and cost of customer acquisition. 5. Social Media Marketing Think about your key business assets. You likely think of people and equipment, but in the age of online marketing, the database is a critical business asset. The most important lesson you can take from this article is that online marketing is not only about marketing; it is about gathering, analyzing and leveraging data to improve all aspects of your business. Your customer, lead and prospect database are the lifeline of your business and should be protected and integrated into business functions outside of marketing, including customer service and product development. The internet provides businesses with more data and information than ever before, and it is the companies that understand how to best harness the power of this data that will out-perform their competition in the coming years. Major Components of Online Marketing Marketing is Making Business More Data Driven from Take a look at this short presentation and video for data that supports the success and growth of online marketing. Hiring Needs to Change HubSpot Internet Marketing HubSpot – Blogging is a multi-purpose tool for businesses. It is a simple way to post interesting information about your industry and your business and collect comments from customers and prospects. When thinking about a business blog, you should make sure it reads like a great trade magazine, not an advertisement. Business blogs help businesses develop thought leadership, drive leads, improve search engine rankings and generate inbound links. Online Marketing Data: . If you found this introduction helpful, I recommend checking out Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Additional Resources – When you search for keywords in a search engine, the links you see on the right hand side and at the top-most part of the page are paid, or sponsored results. Search engines charge businesses every time a person clicks a paid link to visit a business website. Because of this pricing, it is important to have a marketing team that is skilled at lead conversion from PPC. This will help reduce lead and customer acquisition costs. 1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) presentations – SEO refers to the process of improving your website to drive more and better quality traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. SEO has two main parts. One is on-page optimization, which is about making it easier for search engines to find and index your business website. The second part involves building authority online by working with other sites to increase the number of links that point back to your own business website, which influences how you are ranked by search engines. Marketing Strategy Over 50 Marketing Charts and Graphs , has many moving pieces. But as a CEO, you don’t need to get caught up in the details of your company’s online marketing efforts. Instead, it is your job to understand how the costs, results and data surrounding online marketing impact the overall health and performance of your business. As a busy CEO, you likely don’t have much time. Because of this, we have condensed the important elements of online marketing into a brief executive summary. If you are reading this and are not an executive, I encourage you to share it with the executive team in your organization. Online marketing helps to reduce these costs and improve efficiencies for these KPIs as well as others. To put it as clear and simply as possible, a CEO should care about online marketing because: 4. Business Blogging for more detailed information about building an online marketing-focused business. Leave the details of keyword selection, content creation and social media engagement to your marketing team. As a CEO, it is important that you understand the broader components of online marketing and how they work together to drive lead and customer growth. Topics: “Online marketing reduces marketing costs while improving lead quality and volume, and provides detailed metrics for measurement and further improvement.” As a CEO, you probably don’t find yourself amidst the tactical details of marketing, but you are likely involved at some level in the staffing of the marketing department. Understand that the skill set for today’s marketer is changing. When hiring new marketing stars for your organization, you should look for people with a hybrid set of skills. New marketing team members need to be able to create and organize compelling content like a journalist. However, they also need to understand how to connect this content with business objectives and leverage data from web analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) software to iterate and make continued improvements. These are the marketers you need to help grow your business in a world of increasing online marketing domination. Think about these skills as you interview your next marketing hire. Online marketing, or inbound marketing as well call it at 3. Email Marketing online Marketing Hubs – Social media isn’t about teenagers playing on Facebook. It is about business prospects using networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to research new vendors, learn, connect with potential partners and much more. Social media finally gives a a way to map and influence word-of-mouth marketing in a way that has never existed before. – On the web, an email address is an incredible piece of information. Email connects people with social networks, friends and businesses in which they are interested. Email marketing, like most forms of online marketing, comes down to the issue of relevancy. Does your prospect want the information you are sending them? Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective lead generation methods online, so investing in the right email service provider and email marketer can facilitate big business gains. as well as our HubSpot’s 2010 Online Marketing Blueprint Why Online Marketing Is Important Originally published Jul 13, 2010 12:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Social Media Statistics: 2. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) View more
Executing a remarkable guerrilla marketing campaign takes a lot of things. Interruption. Surprise. Inception-like thought control abilities.No biggie!Really, if you’ve ever tried to pull one off, you know guerrilla marketing campaigns are risky business. Most of the time, they’re a total flop because you just didn’t get that right mix of cool, shocking, and creative. Other times, they’re a bust because you end up making a lot of people really, really angry. And then once in a blue moon, your insane idea actually pays off. Once in a while.This post is going to revisit guerrilla marketing campaigns that fall into all three of those camps. The flops, the total flops, and the rare successes. And whatever the outcome, if these campaigns have one thing in common, it’s that they’re all totally shocking.1) The Blair Witch Project Pre-Release CampaignWhenever someone asks me what guerrilla marketing is, this is the example I cite — because who could forget The Blair Witch Project? A few college film students created a super low budget horror flick and turned it into a national blockbuster by staying one step ahead of the public’s perception of the urban legend they had manufactured. That’s right, this guerrilla marketing campaign created an actual urban legend surrounding the Blair Witch, thanks to a website that thousands of gullible early adopters bought into along with some posters that expertly blurred the line between fantasy and reality.Even now, some people are still swearing by the existence of the Blair Witch even as moviegoers came in droves to catch the revolutionary flick.2) Halfway, Oregon renamed “half.com, Oregon” For One Year1999 was a big year for guerrilla stunts. In December of 1999, half.com propositioned the small Pacific town of Halfway, Oregon to change its name to half.com, Oregon, in exchange for $110,000, 20 new computers for its schools, and other undisclosed financial terms. While the name change was never legally solidified, the town accepted unofficially, and signs were posted at the town’s borders welcoming passers-by to “America’s First Dot-Com City.” The campaign certainly generated a lot of press, and while we can’t be sure, we imagine it must have generated some site traffic, too. Half.com ended up being purchased by eBay, and Halfway, Oregon ended up demanding over $530,000 in unpaid funds from eBay in 2004.3) The AC Milan vs. Real Madrid Heineken StuntIt’s no secret that Italian men love their football. In 2010, Heineken pulled off a risky stunt that nearly left over 1,000 Italians trapped at an opera and poetry event their significant others, friends, and even journalists talked them into attending — making them miss the big game. As the event began, clues started being dropped that something was amiss, until the big game, AC Milan vs. Real Madrid, was finally revealed on a huge screen, sponsored by Heineken. To the delight of the patrons, Heineken beers were immediately served, and the night was declared a success. Social media buzzed about the event for days, declaring Heineken the hero who rescued the people from the clutches of high art and returned them to football.4) The Belarus Free Speech Teddy Bear DropThis one made headlines at the beginning of August 2012. In what was initially described as a prank carried out by Studio Total, a Swedish PR agency, pilots in teddy bear masks airdropped parachute-clad teddy bears into Belarus. The bears carried with them messages of free speech and human rights, and as such, they were not taken lightly by Belarusian officials. They made a bold statement about a very specific idea, and got people’s attention in an unexpected and memorable way. This one stirred up the controversy, too, resulting in the firing of two generals and the arrests of two Belarusian citizens. 5) The Aqua Teen Hunger Force Lite Brite Bomb Scare of 2007While this certainly earned Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Interference, Inc. a whole bunch of publicity, it was likely not the kind they were looking for — especially not when one of the headlines reads “Two held after ad campaign triggers Boston bomb scare.” Yeah … somehow, I doubt “bomb scare” was the memory Interference, Inc. was going for with their guerrilla campaign. But in 2007, that’s exactly what happened to Interference, Inc., the marketing team who tried to execute a 10-city Lite Brite extravaganza to promote the new Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. Lite Brite works of art, shaped like characters from the movie, were attached to highly-traveled structures like bridges and overpasses. In Boston, the Lite Brite was placed in a busy transportation hub and was mistaken for a homemade bomb. A massive evacuation was conducted and Boston police got involved, suspecting terrorism.6) Vodafone Streaks Through Telstra StadiumMuch like Italians love their football, Australians love their rugby. Unlike the Heineken stunt, however, Vodafone’s foray into guerrilla marketing at sporting events didn’t end up with such positive buzz. During the 2002 Bledisoe Cup match, two streakers appeared on the field. As streakers do, they scurried across the field wearing nothing … except Vodafone logos painted across their backs. Their presence was largely disruptive, not exciting, and may have caused a game-winning kick to be missed, resulting in many angry fans. Vodafone took an additional risk with this stunt by performing it in Telstra Stadium. Telstra is one of their main competitors in the Australian phone market. While the stunt certaily got Vodaphone a lot of press, most of it was negative.7) IKEA’s Trip to Bondi BeachWhat are the three things you should bring with you to an Australian beach? Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a book to read as you relax in the sun. IKEA chose to celebrate the 30th birthday of one of its most popular bookshelving units, the Billy, by setting up a bright red one in the sand of Bondi for just one day. Fully stocked with literary classics and summer reads alike, beachcombers arrived to discover fresh new reading options that they could take in exchange for the ones they brought. There was also an option to donate to the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation. IKEA left its name written in the sand, and garnered quite a bit of positive press as a result of the one-day-only stunt.8) Pandas Invade ParisIn 2008, there were 1,600 wild pandas left in the world. In an attempt to raise awareness, the World Wildlife Foundation curated the creation of 1,600 hand-made papier mache pandas, which were placed in various locations across Paris — first in front of Hotel Ville, then across the city. It was a striking display that seemed, at first, quite vast, but hit home quickly as viewers realized that every panda in their sight represented the only pandas remaining in the wild. The campaign was political, emotional, and talked about for years afterwards.9) OBEYThis campaign was started by then-student at Rhode Island School of Design Shepard Fairey. He created a stealth guerrilla marketing campaign featuring stickers, posters, and stencils of a character called Andre the Giant. There were two main variations: one with a close-up of a sullen face with the tagline “OBEY” and one announcing to the world that “Andre the Giant Has A Posse.” His aim was not to sell a product or service, but to make people aware of stealth advertising campaigns — and, in disseminating his stickers across cities in high volume, aware of how frequently they are bombarded with marketing. Using a tagline like “obey” heightened the impact of the campaign: unwanted advertising is everywhere, and we are expected to obey its commands. At least … that’s what outbound marketers want you to think! But you know better than that ;-)Are there any other extreme guerrilla marketing campaigns we should have included on this list? Share them in the comments!Image credit: htakashi Topics: Marketing Campaigns Originally published Aug 24, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! 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2) Nike, Find Your GreatnessNike is one brand that’s totally nailed marketing to just about everyone. Pretty big feat, but they do it by finding things we can all relate to, and telling a story around it. This ad is the cream of the Nike crop, in my opinion, part of a campaign called “Find Your Greatness.” In these ads, Nike features regular people achieving amazing things. The point? Well, as they say in the ad, “Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing. We’re all capable of it.”This kid can run his heart out. What can you do?3) Apple, Think DifferentApple’s marketing and advertising is subject for much study among professionals, with Apple’s 1984 campaign topping the charts. But I want to focus on a different ad from them that I actually find more inspiring — the ad below that aired in 1997 as part of their “Think Different” campaign. “The idea was that the new Macintosh will give you power over your ideas, information, freedom of expression, and the ability to connect,” advertising aficionado and fellow HubSpotter Shannon Johnson shared with me. The ad challenges you to think differently, and through the lens of history, shows you how much you can accomplish by doing so.4) P&G, Thank You MomThe 2012 Olympics turned out some great commercials, but many people couldn’t stop talking about the “Thank You Mom” ad from P&G. It came with a simple warning from most … don’t watch without tissues. The ad shows the daily, often thankless work, moms do for their kids — getting their kid on the school bus, wrapping their kid’s feet when he’s injured, lugging ’em out of bed in the morning — and depicting how their support helped the featured Olympic athletes achieve their dreams. Take a look, and like I said, you might need a tissue Kleenex or two.5) Coca-Cola, Mean Joe GreeneThis one was shared by one of our partner agencies, Weidert Group, who reached a pretty wide consensus among its employees that Coke’s classic ad with Mean Joe Greene is one of the most inspiring ads they’ve ever seen. And when you look into the face of that kid — we all recognize that face — it’s hard not to agree. “It tells a story of hero worship, failure, and redemption that you can’t forget,” owner Greg Linnemanstons says. Take a look for yourself at the time-tested, inspiring 60-second spot. 8) Red Bull, Space JumpAs Steve Hall over at AdRants put it, sometimes, brands need to think bigger. (Yes, this is an exception to the VW rule.) When you watch this ad from Red Bull, you’ll see someone break a world record. That’s inspiring in and of itself. But the magnitude of the feat — jumping from outer space — and watching all the people involved celebrate upon his safe landing in the group’s shared success, is when the goose bumps really kick in. One of the greatest misconceptions about inbound marketers is that we hate advertisements. Quite the contrary. We hate bad advertisements (but who doesn’t?), and we dislike inefficient marketing & advertising budget expenditures. On the flip side of the same coin, we also love knowing where our money is being spent, and exactly how much ROI we’re going to get back from it.Now, I’m not sure exactly how the advertisements I’m about to show you justified their ROI — I don’t work there, I don’t know their goals, yadda yadda yadda. But I do know they are some amazing advertisements that these companies and their agencies put together. Why so amazing? Because in a short amount of time, they tell inspiring, transfixing, uplifting stories. These ads make you feel something, instead of just filling a 30- or 60-second time slot.So whether you’re in advertising yourself, or are interested in storytelling in any format and for any purpose, I think you’ll enjoy watching these ads. This is the stuff content creators of all sorts strive to reach with every piece they push out — and it’s not easy. Enjoy your morning dose of inspiration!The Most Inspiring Commercials of All Time1) The Discovery Channel, The World Is Just AwesomeI’m starting with this because it’s the ad that gave me the urge to write this post. The ad was so inspiring the first time I saw it, it actually made me stop watching the Discovery Channel and go on a little adventure of my own. (Whether that’s a benchmark of success or failure on the part of Discovery Channel is hard to discern.) Either way, it definitely made me feel that the world is just awesome, which is, conveniently, the tag line for this commercial.Take a look, and just try to sit at your desk for the rest of the day. Actually … maybe wait ’til the end of the day. (Coca-Cola seems to have realized its sports spots resonate quite well — they’ve hit the nail on the head more than once. One of my more recent favorites is this ad from the 2012 World Cup; check it out here.)6) Canon, Long Live ImaginationThis fantastic commercial from Canon shows not photographers, but adventurers, using their product. The first part of the commercial highlights amazing experiences — like running from giraffes — alongside more regular events — dad climbing on a snowy roof doing who knows what. But all of them are capturing something amazing on the other end, and the photos we see at the end of the ad display it. The music escalates at just the right time and pace, the tagline, “Long Live Imagination,” is spot on, and it wakes up viewers’ sense of adventure. My only bone to pick with this one is the overt product voiceover at the end; I think ending on their tagline would have been more powerful. But hey, it’s a great ad before that … so just cut off the last couple seconds as you watch 😉 Originally published Jun 25, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 The commercial was a hit, so they made a follow-up video that, unlike most sequels, totally lives up to the first one. Take a look if you want a little more proof that the world is just … awesome. So, anyone want to go skydiving? I’m in if you are …What other ads have really inspired you? What’s your favorite ad in this list? Share your opinions in the comments.Image credit: Nina Matthews Photography 7) MINI, Win SmallYou might remember a pretty groundbreaking ad from VW back in 1960 — a very minimalist ad that debuted their “Think Small” slogan. Taking a page out of VW’s book, this fantastic ad from MINI shows you how much the little guy (literally or figuratively) can do, even when they’re fighting some serious David-and-Goliathy-type odds. Wish I’d pulled this out in time for National Small Business Week last week. Topics: TV Ads Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Inbound marketing is centered around being helpful. Instead of interrupting, tricking, or bombarding like the majority of traditional marketing avenues, inbound marketing focuses on integrating seamlessly into customers lives, and offering practical solutions.For most businesses, nearly 25% of the traffic coming to their website is from someone looking at it on a mobile device, according to Smart Insights. This means, as inbound marketers, we need to be helpful there, too.There is a common misconception around optimizing for mobile readers, though. You actually don’t need a separate content strategy for mobile and desktop. You just need a great content strategy. And here’s how you can get it.Questions You Need to Ask to Develop Your Mobile- and Desktop-Friendly Content StrategyTo be helpful on a phone, desktop or anything in between, your website needs to answer your visitor’s basic questions:How does your product/service help me? Your company improves people’s lives in some way, otherwise you wouldn’t still be in business. You must articulate this in a way that your visitors identify with.What can I do here? Users can likely do a number of things on your website, from downloading an ebook, to reading your blog, to asking to have a salesperson call. Make sure these capabilities are clear and prioritized. When the user isn’t sure what to do next, you lose them.Why should I do it? You’re probably not the only available solution to your visitor’s problems. Your visitors need to know why you are going to make their life better.One additional question for mobile:How quickly will you give me the answer? People need these questions answered quick on desktop, but even quicker on mobile. This is due to:Slower Load Time. If your site is taking too long to load, they will abandon it.Multitasking. If they are looking at your site on their phone, the odds are they are also watching TV, talking on the phone, or maybe even driving. (Yikes!)Harder to Navigate. No matter how clever your navigation is, it will be harder on a 4×6 mobile screen than it is on 21’ desktop monitor.A Plan for Content With Mobile in Mind Great content strategy is the key to answering these tough questions for your visitors. It doesn’t matter how slick or hip your website is when your message doesn’t resonate with readers. Building content that your visitors love is necessary for your website to fulfill its potential.Doing this isn’t simple, of course. Knowing your persona and how they want to communicate with your brand is an area that we must continually iterate and improve on. But there are some common areas that every website needs on mobile that are very attainable, and that you can start executing on immediately without overhauling your entire mobile and desktop content strategies.The Four Virtues of Great Mobile Sites, That Also Apply to DesktopConcise. Never use 5 words when it takes 3. On a mobile screen those 2 extra words take up valuable inches. And wherever your reader’s coming from, nobody likes needless reading.Definite Hierarchy of Needs. The most valuable information goes to the top. Always. Don’t expect your user to dig to find what they need. Make it easy for them.Better Navigation. Don’t waste the most valuable part of your page with your navigation. Find a nice little UX trick like garyvanderchuck.com or contentsmagazine.com to solve it. Once you do this, the navigation also needs to be simple and easy to follow. (Hint: The navigation also needs to be good for fat thumbs).Clear Content. When you use industry jargon, you’re killing your website. When you beat around the bush, you’re killing your website. When you convolute things your visitor cares about with things your company cares about, you’re killing your website. On desktop, or mobile.Here’s the secret sauce — these are all great practices for your desktop website, and your mobile website. Really, it’s just good content strategy — designing, writing, and publishing with the reader in mind. A trick I like to keep in mind is this: if you plan for mobile first, your desktop website can follow the same plan and have tons of room to breathe, a much nicer reader experience that results in a smooth, clean design.And when you’re looking for guidance on your mobile and desktop content strategy, remember that inbound marketing teaches one thing: The one that is the most helpful wins. This is a guest post by Jason Kosarek, Digital Strategist at LyntonWeb, a gold level HubSpot agency partner. He is also the author of a new ebook How To Plan a Website That Works.Image credit: yoppy Mobile Optimization Originally published Jul 31, 2013 4:00:00 PM, 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
Education Marketing Segmentation has many benefits, especially when attracting prospective students to your school’s programs. The more personalized and tailored your email messaging is, the higher success your email campaigns will have.Let’s talk specifics, though. Segmentation helps you impact critical email metrics, seeing improvements like:Increased open ratesHigher email relevanceLower opt-out/unsubscribe ratesBetter deliverabilityIncrease applicants and enrollmentEven HubSpot’s own research of sending personalized email messaging has resulted in nearly 3X clickthrough rate improvement over general email sends.Get the Right DataSegmentation is only successful if you have accurate data from which to segment your lists. This requires you to find or ask for this information via your website’s landing page forms, or via a survey of your current contacts. When you offer a downloadable content asset and require a form to be filled out, make sure you consider including questions around data you want to segment on, such as:City or country of originIntended area of studyEstimated enrollment yearIf they are currently enrolled in a schoolIf they intend to play a sportThese are just examples of form fields you might consider to get your brain going — customize your form fields based on what you need — and what information your readers are willing to offer.Create Prospective Student SegmentsThen you need to figure out how you are going to segment your contacts. If you’re concentrating your marketing efforts on increasing your prospective students and enrollment, whether your school is serving K-12 or higher education, these are some suggested segments you should consider targeting.Local StudentsLocal students can be those in the surrounding towns of your school, or those in the same state. This segmentation is important because the concerns and questions for local students and parents will be much different than those that are out of state. If you’re a higher-ed institution, tuition will also be different for in-state students.If you’re a K-12 school, commuting and upcoming events will be useful information for those looking to enroll their children in your school. Tailoring this content to those that know the area or the state will make them feel special and connected to the school close to them. You can tailor both your email marketing and your blog content to attract locals, if that is one of your target personas.Saint Leo University offers a great example of this kind of customization, example of which I’ll weave throughout this post. Check out the campus tour call-to-action they offer on their homepage:Domestic, Non-Local StudentsThese are students that are in your same country, but not in the same state as your school. These students and parents will be less familiar with the area around your school, as well as the nearby cities. Providing content to familiarize them with the area, as well as information that those nearby can easily access with a campus trip — like a virtual tour or pictures of the campus — will be important. They will also be more likely to be looking at other schools around the country, so identifying comparable schools that they may look at as well as yours (and comparing the benefits of yours to those schools) is great content to share with that particular segment.InternationalIf your school enrolls international students often, tailor your content to the concerns and questions of those students and parents. If you have exchange programs or special tuition information, for instance, make sure to include that information in your communications. You could even create a guide to your school for students that speak different languages.Segmenting your site and your email communications in this way will make it easier for international students to find the information they need. For instance, Saint Leos offers a virtual tour of their campus, something anyone can take advantage of, but makes an international student’s decision-marketing process far easier:You can also invite current international students to tell their stories of attending your school. Connecting prospective students and parents and current students is a great way for them to get real insight into attending your school.Transfer StudentsIf your offer a transfer program for students currently enrolled in other schools, they will be looking for information on how the process works and what similar programs you offer to those that they are currently studying in. Asking for more information on contact request forms is appropriate since these students will be looking for specific information in return, including what programs they’re looking to enroll in, what courses they’ve already taken, and when they are looking to transfer.AthletesStudent athletes will want as much information about your athletic programs as they can get. Simply asking your contacts if they are looking to play sport and if so, which one, can give you the information you need to create and deliver appropriately targeted content. You can then tailor your email content to updates about your current team’s performances, your training programs, and schedules for upcoming tryouts.If they are also in studying in the area of sports and fitness, provide information around courses you offer around sports medicine, physical therapy, etc. Again, Saint Leo has a ton of information on all their atheltic teams on their website, targeting those prospective student athletes:Graduate StudentsIf your school offers graduate-level degrees, this is another area to focus on for segmentation. Including information on your website and writing articles for them on your blog is important. But when you beginning to share information via email, you want to make sure you are nurturing them with content tailored to the area of study they are considering, including business, law, nursing, medical, and so on. This content will most likely be tailored to just students looking to apply, so you don’t need to think of the concerns of parents.How has your school seen suggest with segmentation — via email, via smart content on your website, or elsewhere? 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 May 6, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017
Topics: Landing Pages are the spice of life. Or at the very least, the spice of a good online conversion. In addition to writing a great headline and having a great offer, you’ll need some great imagery to complete your landing page. After all, a picture says a thousand words.But what if you need to get a great image and you don’t have a graphic design on hand to bang one out? Follow these tips to get the best landing page images and increase your conversions!1) Finding Free ImagesOf course, the first thing you need are some images. You can purchase them from numerous online stock photo agencies, or—better yet—HubSpot offers tons of free stock photos for landing pages.Once you find the perfect photo for your landing page, it’s time to optimize it for the web.2) Image EffectsOnce you have an image, you’ll probably want to make a few changes to it. There are many sites that allow you to make changes to images, in addition to all of the obvious Adobe products.Depending on what you want to do, HubSpot may have enough for you in its image editor, which is possibly one of HubSpot’s most underutilized tools. Most HubSpot customers that I show this to have never seen it before.It handles many of the simple imaging tasks you need, like resizing and cropping.Above is one of HubSpot’s free stock photos being edited in HubSpot’s image editor.By changing Warmth and Focus, you can get some very nice effects if you’re looking to make a nice background image: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 21, 2015 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 When writing your alt tags, keep these points in mind:Make sure the description is related to the image. Do not stuff the alt text with irrelevant keywords.While there is no official limit to how many words you add to the alt text, it’s best to keep it brief. This post on Hobo Internet Marketing’s blog suggests that search engines stop reading alt text after 16 words. Realistically, many images will require well under 10 words for a description.ConclusionYou’re set! You should have a well designed and optimized landing page image that will help the conversions rush in. 3) Images and Page PerformanceOne of the biggest factors affecting landing page images is their size, which can greatly reduce the speed at which the landing page loads in the prospect’s browser. The slower it loads, the bigger the chance the prospect will bail and never see your offer, and therefore never convert.You can test all of your prexisting landing pages (and all images on the those pages) in Google’s Free PageSpeed Insights Tool.It’s easy to do, just put in the URL of your landing page and go:For your new images, you should always keep page performance in mind while creating the image.4) Determining Image DimensionsThe biggest issue with page performance will be the image’s dimensions. Many people will upload a very large image (like 2,000 pixels by 2,000 pixels) and use HTML to ‘size’ the image down to 200×200 pixels. The problem with this is that browser is still loading 2,000×2,000 pixel image, essentially loading 10 times more than it has to.You should make sure your image more closely matches the dimensions you’ll see on screen so you don’t need to resize in HTML. Remember: most websites are only 900-1200 pixels wide on a desktop, so you will rarely want to see image dimensions in the 1,000+ range. 5) Resizing Your Landing Page ImageThere are tons of tools to do this both on and offline. One of our favorites when we’re not using HubSpot’s editor is the free Online Photo Editor from Pixlr.comFirst, open an image file or URL using the “File” menu at the top of the screen. Next, click “Image” from the top menu and select “Image size”.A window will open that asks what dimensions you would like. Make sure you keep “Constrain proportions” checked so the image doesn’t end up looking squished.Once you have the image size you want, just click “Save” under the “File” menu and save your image to your computer.6) Size Your Image for Social NetworksWhile you’re resizing your images, you should make sure your image is optimized for social sharing.Each social networking site has its own standards for image dimensions.Facebook recommends images be at least 600 x 315pxTwitter only recommends the image be larger than 60 x 60pxLinkedIn images should be equal to or smaller than 180 x 110pxThese are the images the social networks will use when someone shares your landing page. You can see why they’re important. This might involve creating multiple copies of your image at different sizes, depending on which social platforms you want to optimize for. 7) Compress ImagesNow that your images are correctly sized and stylized, you should compress the file even more to speed up your page’s load time.I prefer tinypng.com for image compression. Its results are reliable and—despite the name—it compresses both .jpg and .png files.Simply drop your files onto the page and it will compress them right there for you.After you’ve dropped your files, you’ll see a list of all newly compressed files available for download. Download the files back onto your computer and now you have web optimized images!Now you can upload your images to your site!8) Set Your Image AltsOnce you have an image on your landing page, you must set the alt tag. The image alt tag offers descriptive text about your image for viewers who cannot see the image.Not only that, alt tags boost SEO. They allow search engines to better interpret the content of your images by reading keywords from your alt tags.Most content management systems allow you to set your alt tags when you edit or select an image. In HubSpot, for example, you can change the alt text in the image editing module: Landing Pages
Ever wanted to write out a word, but realized you weren’t quiiite sure how to spell it? We all face this challenge every once in a while, and the internet — or autocorrect — isn’t always there to save the day.This is when we need to put ourselves in the shoes of a spelling bee contestant. When they’re up on stage and encounter a word they don’t know how to spell, what do they do?To help you sharpen your skills, we teamed up with the folks at Market Domination Media to create an infographic that explores four helpful techniques for spelling words you don’t know. Check them out, practice them, and soon you’ll be spelling new words correctly the first time — every time.Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates Now288Save 288SaveShare this Image On Your Site
Topics: Step 3: Collect, Edit, and Promote Your Crowdsourced Content for Maximum ImpactOnce you’ve sent out your requests for content, it’s time to sit back—of course, while you’re hard at work on other aspects of your campaigns—and let the material come to you. As it comes in, make sure to do the following:Put the content in context. Whether you have two short essays from influential bloggers presenting dissenting opinions or 10 short sentences from your customers emphasizing what they loved about recent projects, it’s up to you to contextualize everything. You’ll want to weave the content pieces into a purposeful whole, with a beginning, middle, and end. The end result: a thoughtful, engaging piece that will stand out in your digital ecosystem. Edit without changing the essence. Honesty is paramount in crowdsourcing content. Keep all the material true-to-life, even as you place your own spin on it. Once the piece is finished, not only will you maintain your integrity by presenting content creators’ views as they were originally expressed, you’ll keep your crowd happy and willing to work with you again. Content Creation To engage customers, consider surveys and contests in exchange for content. Either method is a good way to show customers you care about their opinions and will reward their loyalty. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jan 12, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Finally, keep the content creators in the loop. Send out a friendly Tweet, email, or other type of message to let your crowd know that the blog is published. Encourage those who contributed to the blog post to respond to the eventual blog comments as well. The more engaged your crowd is with the finished product, the more exposure they’ll get—and your chances of repeat business with them increases.And there you have our roadmap for crowdsourcing a blog post, a method which will add greater efficiency, variety, and engagement to your content marketing campaigns. Take this method out for a spin and reap the benefits of involving multiple, highly-interested content creators in your marketing efforts.Interested in learning more from Penguin Strategies? Check out their whitepaper, The Quick and Dirty Guide to Curated Content. Determine the best ways to reach out. You might find that your influencers engage a lot with commenters on their LinkedIn blog posts, or that your customers are highly interactive on social media with brands similar to yours. Depending on your crowd’s preferred means of interaction, send a private social message, shoot off an email, or make a phone call offering the prospective content creator an opportunity to gain more exposure through contributed thoughts or ideas. (With the most popular influencers online, you’ll get the best results by building up a relationship first.) B2B marketing survives and thrives on the steam engine of content. But it can be hard to fuel that engine with constant inspiration day after day, and week after week.Nonetheless, you’ll still need to produce high-quality blog posts and articles on a regular basis to build credibility and visibility, with 91% of B2B marketers using content marketing and 84% using it to spread brand awareness.How do you keep up? One good answer is crowdsourcing.As a B2B marketer, you can leverage your online relationships to have content produced for you, whether it’s user-generated content (UGC) produced by customers, or commentary from industry thought leaders. In one study, 70% of U.S. consumers noted that they trust brand recommendations from friends, above and beyond a company’s own content marketing, which means, at least some of your content should come from people similar to your readers.By crowdsourcing, you’ll get content that’s relevant, targeted, and full of new insights. What’s more, you’ll gain fodder for your own creativity, as well as more free time to put inspiration to work in your marketing endeavors. Here, we’ll share some best practices for crowdsourcing your next blog post.Step 1: Determine Who Your “Crowd” Is, and Why You’re CrowdsourcingThe very first step in crowdsourcing is determining the makeup of the crowd itself. It might consist of your customers, employees, thought leaders, industry professionals you’re connected with on social media, or any number of other groups. The purpose of the eventual blog post will help guide the composition of the crowd.Is the goal to increase customer engagement? If so, you might look through your CRM to get a sense of customers’ expressed opinions, and ask the enthusiastic ones to expound on the benefits of your products and services.Are you looking to increase your company’s thought leadership gravitas? In that case, you might reach out to a few top bloggers and/or academics in your field to offer their informed opinions on a meaty topic.Step 2: Develop a Plan for Reaching Out to Your CrowdOnce you’ve defined your crowd and the goals you want to achieve through your content marketing, it’s time to make contact.Here’s three of the main things you need to do when creating an outreach plan: Think about the length of the eventual post, and number of content pieces you’ll need. Perhaps you’ll need one long customer testimonial about a certain aspect of your product, or maybe you can gather 3 quick quips from industry insiders to construct an informative and impactful blog post. Or, if you gather a series of 5 or 10 tips from respected bloggers, you can put together an article that will help you connect with big audiences online. Promote your crowdsourced content everywhere. Whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter, post on your social profiles with links to your crowdsourced blog post. If you have your customers on an email newsletter list—and you should be—invite them via the next issue to check out the post, especially if it’s relevant to their needs and interests.
You can’t “hack” motivation. There’s not a quick trick in existence that’s going to motivate you to do something if you just don’t want to do it.But you can make an effort to understand the psychology behind motivation, and use this to your advantage.The things that keep us on track towards our goals might surprise you. In this article, we’ll discuss four perspective changes that can help keep you motivated — even when you feel like giving up.4 Surprising Things That Keep Us Motivated1) Overcoming a setback.Despite being one of the seven deadly sins, pride is actually an important factor in staying motivated towards long-term goals. Pride comes in two different forms: There’s hubristic pride (the kind that inflates your ego and gets you into trouble) and authentic pride, which describes those warm, rewarding feelings you get from making progress on meaningful work or accomplishing a hard-won goal.Jessica Tracy, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, and author of Take Pride: Why The Deadliest Sin Holds The Secret To Human Success, has extensively studied the effects of authentic pride (i.e., feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment) on human motivation.In a recent study, Tracy and her colleagues examined the effects of authentic pride on students’ test taking abilities. When students reported feeling a low sense of authentic pride after receiving a poor test score, they were more likely to change their study approach and work to improve their results for next time. Students who did not report feeling a low sense of authentic pride after receiving a poor test score were much less motivated to improve.In other words, having your ego bruised a little bit will actually motivate you to work harder in the long run. So if you’ve recently suffered from a setback or disappointment at work, channel that energy into changing up your approach and improving your results, rather than pushing those feelings away and ignoring them.But be wary of taking it too far. Tracy warns that there’s an important distinction between using the absence of pride productively and suffering from a problematic lack of confidence — i.e., shame.Shame, Tracy explained, is characterized by feelings of uselessness, and thoughts of “I’m not going to try to work hard because it’s just going to end up in failure.” In contrast, feelings of low authentic pride push you to restore feelings of fulfillment and achievement by working harder and more efficiently.2) Being at peace with distractions.Embracing distractions instead of fighting through them certainly goes against conventional wisdom about motivation — a quick Google search for “motivation and distraction” reveals a list of articles about “killing” or “eliminating” distractions as a strategy to stay motivated. But resisting all distraction can actually make it more difficult for our brains to stay focused.Oliver Burkeman, the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, believes the typical way of approaching distractions as the enemy of productivity is misguided, and could counterintuitively be causing us to become even more distracted.Although it’s easy to blame external factors like your chatty coworker or the addictive allure of social media, Burkeman said the real cause of our chronic distraction is an internal urge to fight anything that compromises our autonomy.In other words, we like to feel in charge, and when we’re told we have to focus on something specific, the idea of fixating on anything but the task at hand becomes irresistibly magnetic.For example, I recently set aside a block of time on my calendar to get a project I’d been putting off completed once and for all. When the time finally rolled around, all I really wanted to do was mindlessly look at pictures of dogs on Instagram. This was my brain’s way of rebelling against the task at hand, and assuming autonomy by drifting towards a more appealing activity.”The good news is that when you see distraction for what it really is, you’re much better equipped to fight it,” Burkeman wrote in 99u. “Remember, too, that you don’t need to ‘feel motivated’ in order to do important work. Instead, let yourself feel like you’d rather be doing something else, and at the same time, do the work: Open the laptop, make the phone call, type another sentence.”3) Strengthening your tolerance for discomfort.We’ve all been here before: you’re just about to jump into a big project, and the thought of taking those first steps is almost physically painful. All you can focus on is the hardship to come: the effort you’ll have to expend, the hours you’ll have to put in, and how taxing the project will be from start to finish.Carson Tate, a productivity coach and business consultant, calls this phenomenon intellectual discomfort, and pretty much everyone has experienced it at one time or another. It’s a gut-level aversion to doing any work that requires us to come off autopilot and challenges us on a deeper level.And to get any meaningful work done, you have to learn to fight through it.It will be unpleasant at first, but it is possible to train yourself to become more comfortable with the discomfort of intellectually demanding work. Think of it like preparing for a marathon: If you make a training schedule and put in the effort to stick to it, eventually the running gets easier every day. That first day, running a mile might seem tortuous, but in six months, it’ll be a breeze.To start increasing your tolerance for work that requires your full attention, consider using a structured framework to manage your working hours. One of the most commonly used (and widely discussed) methods is the Pomodoro Technique, which relies on a intervals of work and rest to keep your mind on track without burning out. When used consistently, structured methods like this can help increase your endurance for intellectually taxing work — and make it easier to prevent those pangs of dread and premature fatigue before the project even kicks off.4) Stop obsessing about being unmotivated.The overarching theme in the previous three methods seems to be this: stop beating yourself up about not feeling motivated, and just start working. It sounds counterintuitive — how can you work when you don’t feel like it? — but constantly fixating on how motivated you wish you felt only amplifies your lack of motivation. Harvard psychologist Daniel Wegner famously demonstrated that attempts to forcibly coerce your own thoughts or emotions overwhelmingly backfires. If you force yourself to get super motivated to start your next big project — but in reality, you’re really not feeling it — you could actually end up feeling more unmotivated than before.All you accomplished was making yourself feel bad that you weren’t experiencing what you perceived to be the ideal emotional responses: excitement and motivation.The takeaway? Don’t judge yourself so harshly for feeling unmotivated. It’s perfectly okay, and you can still get things done without being extremely excited about them. So go ahead, give yourself that Twitter break. And then get down to business.How do you stay motivated when things get tough? Let us know in the comments. Topics: Collaboration/Teamwork Originally published Dec 13, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post!
Transfers Chelsea January transfer news: All the latest rumours ahead of winter window Goal Last updated 1 year ago 23:15 1/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Transfers Chelsea Premier League Goal summarises the biggest transfer talk involving Chelsea as Antonio Conte looks to build on his title success in his second season in charge MAN UTD IN TALKS FOR PSG STARManchester United have opened talks with Paris Saint-Germain regarding a potential deal for Lucas Moura, according to Le 10 Sport .The Brazilian winger has barely featured for PSG this season and agreed personal terms with Chinese side Beijing Guoan in early December . 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 However, that deal has yet to be completed amid reports Lucas is holding out for a move to a major European club.Chelsea had previously shown an interest in the 25-year-old, but now United have made an approach, although any offer for Lucas is expected to be below PSG’s valuation of the player.MADRID TO CALL OFF HAZARD PURSUITReal Madrid is set to call off their pursuit of Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard according to Marca.Instead, Zinedine Zidane is planning on giving a chance to 23-year-old Marco Asensio as the club believes adding the Belgian would further hinder the Spaniard’s development.In fact, the report states belief from the directors in Asensio is so high, they have stopped any further attempts to sign Hazard.MADRID TO SMASH TRANSFER RECORD FOR HAZARDReal Madrid are getting ready a £120 million offer to pry Eden Hazard from Chelsea according to the Sun.The offer, which would break the British transfer record, is part of an attempt to pressure Chelsea into selling the attacker with two and a half years left on his deal.If Chelsea wait until Hazard has a year left on his contract, his value would drastically drop.BARCELONA PLOT CHRISTENSEN BIDBarcelona are considering a bid for Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, according to the Daily Mirror.The centre-back has usurped David Luiz as one of Antonio Conte’s most trusted lieutenants, and Ernesto Valverde is in the market to sign a world-class central defender.Barca have been monitoring Christensen since his ascent into the first team, and are keen to lure him away, with the Blues set to offer him a new deal to ward off any potential interest.CHELSEA TO RETURN FOR BARKLEYChelsea are ready to make another move for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, report the Telegraph.The Blues missed out on the England international on the final day of the summer transfer window and instead signed Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater for £35 million.Antonio Conte has not been put off, however, and the Chelsea board are set to sanction the move for Barkley once the winter window opens.CHELSEA WATCH PORTO LEFT-BACKChelsea are watching Porto left-back Alex Telles with a view to an approach in the January transfer window, reports A Bola.Antonio Conte has been looking for extra options at left-back and has long been pursuing Juventus’ Brazil international Alex Sandro.However, Conte has now dispatched his scouts to check on Alex Sandro’s compatriot Telles, who has been impressing for Porto.PL RIVALS SCOUT ROCHDALE TEENAGERChelsea and Manchester United have made enquiries about Rochdale’s 14-year-old defender Luke Matheson, according to ESPN.Matheson has been watched by scouts from Chelsea and United recently as the Premier League giants look to make a move for the right-back.BUTLAND TO OPT FOR ANFIELDStoke goalkeeper Jack Butland favours a move to Liverpool over a switch to Chelsea, reports Football.London.The England international is a £30 million target for both clubs, and Jurgen Klopp is poised to pip Antonio Conte to his signature.CHELSEA EYE JANUARY BARKLEY DEALChelsea are looking to bring in Ross Barkley from Everton in the January transfer window, according to The Independent.The midfielder turned down a switch to Stamford Bridge in the summer but Antonio Conte is confident he will now get his man and will try again when the window reopens.Tottenham have also been tracking Barkley although are apparently more inclined to wait until the summer and attempt to sign him on a free transfer.HAZARD REJECTED CHELSEA DEAL FOR REAL MOVEEden Hazard rejected a contract extension at Chelsea, according to his father, who says his son is holding out for a Real Madrid transfer.”What I can reveal about Eden is that he refused a contract extension,” Thierry Hazard told Le Soir. “This was so that, if necessary, he could follow the interest of the Real, whom he could see himself playing for.Read the full story right here on Goal!COURTOIS TO COMMIT TO CHELSEAChelsea remain confident that they can agree a new long-term contract with Thibaut Courtois and fend off interest from Real Madrid, claims The Mirror .The Belgian goalkeeper has been heavily linked with a move to Spain, but he is to be offered a five-year extension at Stamford Bridge.COURTOIS TELLS MADRID HE WANTS MOVEThibaut Courtois’s camp have informed Real Madrid that the player is very keen to join them, according to AS .The Chelsea goalkeeper’s current deal at Stamford Bridge expires in 18 months’ time, with Madrid having given a favourable response to the interest from Courtois’s side.Sevilla’s Sergio Rico and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak are apparently top of Antonio Conte’s list should Courtois leave the Blues.PL CLUBS EYEING CARRASCOPremier League sides have been alerted after Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone gave the go-ahead for the club to sell winger Yannick Carrasco, according to AS .Both Manchester United and Chelsea have been heavily linked with the Belgium international in recent months, with Carrasco’s contract boasting an £86 million release clause.Both Nicolas Gaitan and Luciano Vietto are also understood to be on the transfer list.LUCAS MOURA LINKED WITH CHELSEALucas Moura has emerged as a potential transfer target for Chelsea this January, reports Buzz Sport .The Brazilian has been frozen out of Paris Saint-Germain’s plans, and is keen to seal a move away. And he would be an interesting choice for the Blues should Willian choose to move to China.MUSONDA WANTED ON LOAN BY BETIS AGAINReal Betis are considering a move to sign Chelsea attacker Charly Musonda on loan for a second time, according to AS .Musonda previously spent 12 months on loan at Betis before returning to Chelsea in January this year and he recently signed a new contract at Stamford Bridge until 2022 .He will make a late decision on whether to go out on loan again in the New Year, with Betis considering a move for Musonda as they look to improve their attacking options.ARSENAL & CHELSEA TRACK BURNLEY STARBurnley defender James Tarkowski is being closely monitored by top four rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, according to the Daily Star .The £30 million-rated centre-back has been a key figure in Burnley’s success this season, with Sean Dyche’s men having only conceded 15 goals – fewer than Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.COURTOIS TO BECOME WORLD’S BEST-PAID KEEPERThibaut Courtois will become the best-paid goalkeeper in world football, if he signs a new contract at Chelsea, claims the Daily Telegraph .Chelsea are determined to keep hold of Courtois, who is out of contract in the summer of 2019 and has regularly been linked with a move to Real Madrid.Courtois is set to be offered a new deal by Chelsea which will see his wages eclipse the £200,000 a week being earned by Manchester United keeper David de Gea.CONTE MAKES BONUCCI CONTACTChelsea manager Antonio Conte has been in touch with Leonardo Bonucci amid reports the defender is unhappy at AC Milan, according to Tuttosport .Bonucci only joined Milan in the summer in a shock €40 million deal from Juventus, but is already looking for a way out due to the club’s poor form this season.He has previously been a target for Manchester City, while Conte wanted to sign the centre-half when he took over as Chelsea boss in 2016.Conte has been back in touch with Bonucci and the Italy international is willing to link up with his old coach next season, wherever the current Blues boss is managing.PSG TO MAKE €170M MILINKOVIC-SAVIC BIDParis Saint-Germain are ready to pay €170 million to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports Corriere dello Sport .Milinkovic-Savic has enjoyed an impressive season for Lazio, and has already attracted interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, along with Barcelona.The 22-year-old has insisted he is happy at Lazio , but PSG could test both the player and Serie A club’s resolve with a mammoth bid.CHELSEA OWNER TO VETO HAZARD TO MAN UTD MOVEWhile Jose Mourinho hopes for a reunion with Eden Hazard, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich may prevent such a move from happening, according to Don Balon .United is preparing an offer of €100 million euros to trump Real Madrid, but the Blues owner has no desire to sell his star man to a direct rival.
Henson was a four-year letterman for Oklahoma State from 1994-1997. Since that time, he has been at numerous coaching destinations, most notably at Missouri where he served under Gary Pinkel as an offensive coordinator.“Josh is highly intelligent and he knows the things that need to happen for us to be successful at Oklahoma State,” Mike Gundy said in the statement announcing Henson’s hire. “We know him well and we’re excited about what he brings to our team.”The offensive line recruiting has been a cause for concern over the last few years, with zero high school players signing in the 2017 class. The goal for Gundy to hire a stud recruiter appears to have been met. Henson was twice selected as one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation, and not only has the upper hand having been in the program for the last year, but is more than qualified to lead the recruiting efforts and development of the big men up front. Just less than a week after offensive line coach Greg Adkins and OSU parted ways, Mike Gundy has his spot filled. The school announced on Friday that Josh Henson, an offensive analyst with the Cowboys last season, has agreed to rejoin the staff as the offensive line coach. Henson reportedly agreed to take a job at Arizona State as the Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach and Run Game Coordinator.Josh Henson tabbed as offensive line coach #okstate #GoPokes https://t.co/KZd8qKKkQZ pic.twitter.com/uh2eZKQrxt— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) February 10, 2017 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Barry Sanders is making a return to the NFL.According to team president Rod Wood, the club is rehiring its Hall of Fame running back to serve as a fan liaison in a formal agreement, putting the legendary tailback back on the payroll nearly 18 years to the date after his retirement from the NFL.“We’ve thankfully, the last couple years, had an unofficial relationship with him,” Wood told the Detroit News. “This year, we formalized it. You described it well, it’s kind of a brand ambassador. He’ll be going on road trips, showing up for suite visits, he’ll be at the Taste of the Lions event, and just interacting with our fans on behalf of the team.”AdChoices广告“It’s a formal agreement. I worked with Barry and his agent to put something together that works for both of us. It’s not a football role. It’s more of a marketing, business role.”Sanders, now 49-years-old, was a world-class talent who spent 10 seasons with the Lions. Despite ending his career early, he is still the No. 3 rusher in NFL history with 15,269 yards, recording 1,000 yards per season in each of his 10 seasons in the league.Before taking his talents to the NFL, Sanders set the college football world on fire at OSU by setting 34 NCAA records in 1988. He went on to win the Heisman Trophy as a Cowboy that season after rushing for 2,628 yards and 37 touchdowns in what many — even his old head coach — call the greatest season by a college football player ever.“It’s obviously the greatest season any individual has had,” Pat Jones said in 2014. “Hell, maybe in any sport.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
For years Oklahoma State was known as “Running Back U” after churning out players like Thurman Thomas, Barry Sanders, and Walt Garrison. More recently players like Tatum Bell, Kendall Hunter, and Joseph Randle have carried on the tradition.For a while there it looked like that moniker might need to change to “Wide Receiver U” thanks to players like Rashaun Woods, Dez Bryant, and Justin Blackmon.Now, despite players like James Washington and Justice Hill on the roster, Cowboy football has entered a new era: “Grad Transfer U.” Oklahoma State has become a place players who have graduated with remaining eligibility and looking for something new turn to each and every year.AdChoices广告It all started in 2013, before graduate transfers had become all the rage, with a cornerback from Kansas named Tyler Patmon.Tyler Patmon was OSU’s first graduate transfer.Patmon came to Oklahoma State after starting 28 games in three years for the Jayhawks. While OSU still had eventual first-round NFL pick Justin Gilbert on the roster, it was looking at replacing their other starter, with a list of options that consisted of inexperienced sophomores. Enter Patmon, who left Kansas because he and head coach Charlie Weis weren’t meshing well.In his one year with Oklahoma State, the Cowboys went 10-3 and was a loss in Bedlam away from winning the Big 12 and heading to a New Years Six Bowl game. Patmon saw action in 10 games contributing 30 total tackles, seven passes defended, one interception, and one forced fumble.Patmon’s decision to come to OSU did more than just help on the field, it help begin a trend at OSU. That includes influencing the decision of Josh Furman — a safety from Michigan looking for a new place to play — to choose the Cowboys.Josh Furman played a big role for OSU in 2014.“Well I feel like when I became a grad transfer, it was still relatively new,” says Furman. I didn’t know much about it. When I talked to Glenn Spencer, he mentioned that they had a graduate transfer the year before in Tyler Patmon. I looked him to see how he did. I just thought I’d give it a try.”It was Furman who filled a glaring hole at star linebacker in 2014, a position he hadn’t played before. It was mutually beneficial as Furman wasn’t seeing the field much for the Wolverines. He turned a 64-tackle, one interception season into being drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2015.“Being there, learning from Coach Spencer, he taught me how to play the true game at linebacker. You can see everything playing linebacker, and he showed me how to play it. I learned a tremendous amount from Glenn Spencer.”He was followed by Michael Hunter, who transferred from Indiana in 2015. At Oklahoma State, he played in 10 games including the only bowl game of his career, before being picked up as an undrafted free agent by the New York Giants.Last season it was cornerback Lenzy Pipkins who came from Louisiana Monroe, and running back Barry Sanders Jr. from Stanford.These graduates transfer for to a new program for a number of reasons. Some players are looking to for an opportunity to start, others want to play for a team that competes for conference and national titles. Others are looking for a way to increase their draft stock.Usually it’s a combination of multiple reasons. That was the case for cornerback Lenzy Pipkins who transferred to OSU from Louisiana Monroe for the 2016 season.Lenzy Pipkins joined the Cowboys for the 2016 season.“My head coach got fired with four games left in the year my junior year and I knew the staff wasn’t going to be returning and that played a part,” says Pipkins. “I was going into my senior year, I was coming off another good season, and I wanted that exposure so I could get to the next level and I knew Oklahoma State was known for having a good program, and I could come into right away and make a name for myself in the Big 12.”According to Furman, Pipkins’ story is the same as many other graduate transfers.“It’s 2017, now a days a lot of guys who haven’t played much or they want a new opportunity somewhere else, they can get to another school and get the most of out of being there,” says Furman. “There’s always a new line of experience for wherever they go. Whether they go from Houston to Wisconsin, or Cali to the East Coast.”How the players choose their school varies as well. For Furman, it was talks with Glenn Spencer and a visit to the spring game.“I wanted to go somewhere down south,” says Furman. “I don’t know, just from talking to him, and when I visited their spring game I just wanted to try something new. Definitely coming from the Big Ten I wanted to play in a different conference, and I think that’s what sold me.”For Pipkins, it was relationships with other players.“Michael Hunter and I are really close and he had just got done playing and I saw his success so I was talking with him about it, and he said I should do it,” says Pipkins. “My cousin is Ashton Lampkin, he was talking to me, he tried to persuade me. I went to high school with Zach Crabtree and Chad Whitener and they were trying to persuade me as well. Once I took my visit up there, it was a wrap it was all good from there, smooth sailing.”The two latest college graduates to bring their games to Stillwater are left tackle Aaron Cochran from Cal and cornerback Adrian Baker from Clemson. Both are likely to start for a Cowboy team not only expected to compete for a Big 12 title, but that some are calling a dark horse playoff contender.Adrian Baker is a Cowboy.Cochran is expected to fill the most glaring hole on the offensive line, left tackle. Baker meanwhile, will come in as the most experience cornerback on OSU’s roster, with Ramon Richards’ move to safety.Oklahoma State has become a landing destination for these kinds of players that makes sense. The Cowboys have been to a bowl game for 11-straight seasons, and as of late, are perennial Big 12 title contenders. For players like Pipkins, who had never played in a bowl game before, that can be huge.“I came out with a bowl ring,” says Pipkins. “Never had a winning season at ULM besides the year I redshirted they went 8-4. It was different. We went 10-3 last year and that’s a blessing, so I can’t… I got to keep thanking God. I got a bowl ring.”And according to Mike Gundy, the players have noticed.“It’s (the process) changed in the last couple of years,” said Gundy. “These young men are doing a lot of research on their own and contacting us. They’re savvy enough to contact a player on our team and have them get in contact with a coach.”Grad transfers are a new norm, especially at Oklahoma State, and one players are proud to be a part of.“I like what they got going on down there, you know sometimes in that specific areas and positions that they might be weak at, they always are looking to upgrade with a fifth-year transfer and I’m just glad to be one of them, an example they can tell recruits about,” says Furman.Don’t expect the graduate transfer movement to slow down anytime soon. Oklahoma State has become a destination for those players looking to compete for something worthwhile. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
It was bound to happen eventually.Oklahoma State has officially lost their first commit of the 2018 class. Earlier today, 3-star tight end Nic McTear announced he was de-committing from the Cowboys and opening up his recruitment.“Nothing negative against Coach Gundy and the Oklahoma State coaching staff, I just need a chance to see what all is out there as I find the best fit for me,” he said on Twitter. “I’m announcing my de-commitment from Oklahoma State and opening my recruiting back up.”McTear was the third pledge of the 2018 class when he picked the Cowboys back on February 6th. Since then, however, his recruitment has picked up significantly, adding seven more offers from TCU, LSU, Auburn, Miami, Colorado, Baylor, and Houston to bring his total to 13.AdChoices广告While he does not say OSU is out of the running, I don’t expect to see McTear sign with the Cowboys on signing day next year.The likelihood of OSU not losing a commit at somepoint was slim. That’s not a slight against OSU or McTear for that matter. It’s the way the game is played. That’s what happens with 17, 18 year old high school kids who are getting bombarded from every angle by teams, coaches, friends, and family with ideas about where they should attend college.With the loss of McTear, OSU now has 16 commits for 2018. Expect to see the coaching staff now focus on finding another tight end recruit to fill McTear’s spot before national signing day. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Please find enclosed the 17th issue of the Play By The Rules Magazine. Flip book and embedded media – http://playbytherules.biz/t/augflip/PDF – http://playbytherules.biz/t/pdfaug16/Word text only – http://playbytherules.biz/t/wordaug16/The Apple Newsstand App version you can subscribe free to – http://pbtr.com.au/r/iosmagâ€‹Google Play Android App – http://pbtr.com.au/r/androidmagIn this issue thereâ€™s an important article from Simone Pearce from ANZSLA addressing an issue that has come across the desk of Play by the Rules in recent times. It reflects the recent focus on domestic violence, and family law disputes surrounding child abduction. These topics raise issues for sporting clubs and associations. What, if any, obligations do they have in light of family law orders or orders regarding domestic and family violence.We also welcome guest contributor Mark Slater whose article â€˜Just be there to cheerâ€™ Iâ€™m sure will resonate with many of our readers! There are other updates and news items and information on a couple of important conferences coming up soon.You can spread the message of safe, fair and inclusive sport by sharing this magazine with your friends and colleagues in sport and encouraging them to subscribe to Play by the Rules, joining our 25,000+ subscribers. Thanks, as always, for your support.Peter DownsManager â€” Play by the RulesRelated LinksPlay By The Rules
APTN National NewsConvicted murderer John Graham is making one last bid for freedom.Graham, representing himself, filed what may be his final appeal in a South Dakota court June 12.Graham argues as a Canadian South Dakota had no jurisdiction to convict him.He was convictied in 2010 of the 1976 murder of American Indian Movement activist Anna Mae Aquash.
RICHMOND HILL, Ont. – DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says new light vehicle sales continue to defy expectations this year as February saw record sales for the month.The consulting firm says, combined with a record result in January, sales in the first two months 2018 were up 3.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2017.February sales on their own climbed two per cent with a total of 125,530 vehicles sold, up from the previous record of 123,033 in the same month last year.The overall increase came as the split between passenger cars and light trucks continued to grow.Car sales dropped six per cent compared with a year ago, while light truck sales rose 5.6 per cent compared with February 2017.FCA remained the volume leader for February with 18,831 vehicles sold with Ford 330 behind.