4 Unexpected Situations For Creating Content

first_img Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website? Download the free webinar to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack There are many opportunities you may be missing to create content in your day to day lives. I remember reading an article by Chris Brogan about how he “does it all”. Chris is a speaker, author, consultant, and father… And on top of that, he regularly blogs multiple times per day. How does he do it? He makes the most of every moment. He’s always thinking or doing something (even if that something is playing with his kids).So when do you find time to create content? Here are a few underused opportunities.Waiting for a Delayed FlightIn fact, this article was written while waiting for a delayed flight! With this unexpected free time, I pulled out my iPhone and started typing with my thumbs. I managed to finish 2 articles before boarding the plane.In the Car or Grocery StoreWhile this takes some setup time so as to stay safe, you can setup a video camera to film you while you drive to your next appointment. Or maybe you get an audio recording device, stick it in your shirt pocket while you go grocery shopping. Just start talking and answer a common customer question as if you were talking to your customer there in the grocery store. For many folks, this is a much faster way to create great content.Live Blogging While at an EventThis means taking out your computer and taking advantage of the ever pervasive wireless Internet at many conferences and sharing the learnings from the event itself . By the end of the event, you’re done! You would have spent that time there anyway, so why not create a blog post or two in during the process.Outsource Content by EmailOk this was a trick answer I suppose but still results in great content with limited time. Think about the top 3 questions in your industry and send them out to experts you know in the field. Send them by email, get their answers by email, and combine them into a blog post. This curated type of content actually works great becasue it draws the credibility of each person that contributes.Other ideas of great times to leverage for content creation? Please share in the comments below! Photo Credit: Dr Stephen Dann Free Download: Blogging for Business Originally published Nov 10, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017center_img Topics: Content Creationlast_img read more

30 Brilliant Social Media Marketing Tips From 2011

first_imgWith so many great social media marketing tips getting shared in the blogosphere, we wanted to pass along some of the best tips and ideas that came up in 2011. These are tips that, if you haven’t benefitted from them yet, are evergreen enough that you can continue to leverage them well into 2012 to make your social media marketing rock.1. Write blog content for your target audience, which is not necessarily yourself. This happens with startups a lot. They blog about being entrepreneurs, which is great – if your target audience is entrepreneurs. Blog about the things that your community wants to know about. (Source: Mark Suster)2. If you’re going to use social media for customer service, mirror your hours of operation on Twitter to the hours of operation you have for your support team. (Source: Jeff Esposito)3. Measure social media ROI by analyzing how it performs compared to more established channels or advertising methods. It’s not comparing apples-to-apples when it comes to cost, but you can compare the quality of traffic they drive to your website. (Source: The Next Web)4. Mobile check-in deals aren’t just for restaurants and bars. See how one medical practice creatively offered a special to his tech-savvy patients for checking in. It’s something any small business marketer can learn from. (Source: Mashable)5. How frequently you blog does count. Businesses that blog daily generate 5 times more traffic than those that post only weekly or daily. (Source: Social Media Examiner) Bonus tip: need ideas for all that content? Here’s 100 of them to get you started.6. Hashtag-stuffing tweets doesn’t work. A study from Argyle Social shows that (in their sample) tweets with hashtags got 5% fewer click-throughs than those without hashtags. (Source: Social Media B2B)7. If you follow more people than are following you, you could harm your Twitter account’s SEO potential. Search engines “trust” those with more Twitter influence, and following many more people than follow you isn’t always an indicator of that. (Source: Marketing Profs)8. Building an online community? Show your power users that you appreciate their contributions. Do this by asking them for feedback, offering prizes and giveaways, and actually saying “thank you” for their interactions, mentions, and good content. (Source: Social Media Today)9. Blog about the problems your product or service solves – not about the product or service. No one cares about you (yet.) Everyone cares about their own problems and if your product or service can help. (Source: Social Fresh)10. Think of marketing as storytelling, and think of your customers as the characters. Think about what motivates them. Measure what patterns they display. Let their actions, wants, and needs drive the story. (Source: Joey Strawn)11. Depressing tweets, vague tweets, tweets about your weight loss – and of course, our favorite, the humblebrag – these are all messages that are better kept to yourself. A little personality is fun. But for the most part, stay professional and positive. And always, always stay classy, of course. (Source: BostInnovation)12. What does your social media strategy really need? It needs to answer simple questions. Who am I speaking to? What do they want from me online? How will this strategy evolve? It’s not tools or tactics or having the perfect definition for either one. It comes down to these basic ideas that are all about tying social media to your businesses needs. (Source: Smart Blogs on Social Media)13. Publishing a blog post on your company blog? Post several tweets of that post and track the success of different times and keywords for your followers. (Source: Social Media B2B)14. Stop talking about yourself if you want more retweets. Want to get more RTs? Of course you do. They drive traffic to your blog posts, can boost SEO, and connect you with with more followers. According to Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella’s latest research, tweets with self-reference get fewer retweets than those with other information. So be relevant, share good information, and don’t make it about yourself. (Source: Dan Zarrella)15. The medium isn’t the message. Remember that Twitter, Facebook, or whatever platform you’re using isn’t the strategy; it’s a tool to distribute your message. (Source: Entrepreneur)16. Choose to measure social media metrics that tell you how you’re doing based on why you’re doing social media in the first place. This will require you to step back and think about why you are tweeting, or why you have a Facebook Page. Is it because you want sales? Then measure conversion rates. Is it for market research? Then monitor trending topics. (Source: Clickz)17. Use geo-location Twitter searches to identify local prospects to connect with. In Twitter’s advanced search, you can refine your search by keyword and location. (Source: Jeff Bullas)18. Use social media data to find your key influencers, outline your media plan, and develop your messaging. By listening to customer conversations on social media, companies can learn a lot of information about their competitors and industries that will help them better craft their marketing programs. (Source: Mashable)19. Create a Facebook group to stay connected with those you meet at conferences months after the last panel. The new Facebook groups aren’t the old “I lost my cell phone number” most people have been invited to at some point. New groups allow you to email content, use collaborative group docs similar to Google Docs (perfect for sharing Twitter usernames or other contact information), and message the whole group at the same time. (Source: Social Fresh)20. Consider the timing of your social media posts – time of day, time of week, and time of year. If you’re posting to your Facebook Page in the mornings but your audience isn’t looking until after office hours, your updates are lost in the mix. If you work for a seasonal brand (think snowboards), how do you need to better tailor your content during the summer vs. the “on-season?” (Source: Search Engine Optimization Journal)21. You don’t need the voice of influencers – you need your brand advocates. Engaging with influencers just for the sake of having someone with 100,000 Twitter followers talk or blog about your product isn’t useful because they aren’t invested in your product. Your brand’s existing advocates are. An influencer might get you quick buzz, but your brand advocates offer longevity. (Source: Danny Brown)22. Have a common name? Use checkusernames.com to test personal brand monikers that will work for your social media handles and domain. It’s likely that DanTaylor.com is already taken, but you can check to see what variations are available so you can create a cohesive personal brand across all social networks. (Source: The Next Web)23. Plan your editorial calendar for what ebooks can result from your blog posts.  Cranking out content for a company blog each day isn’t easy, but if you approach your content creation strategically, you can do it in a way that scales for your business. (Source: Social Media B2B)24. If you’re going to tell people to “like” your company on Facebook, have something of value waiting there for them. Give them a reason why they should “like” you. (Source: Outspoken Media)25. If your company makes a mistake on social media – think rogue tweets – step out and own up to the mistake. Don’t pull any tricks and pretend you were hacked. (Source: Smart Blogs on Social Media)26. Use social media contests as an opportunity to learn more about your customers. Ask them how they heard about your promotion to get a sense of what channels people use to learn more about your brand. (Source: Mashable)27. Here are three universal content blueprints to include in your company’s blogs: offer a new opinion, create a killer list, or teach your customers how to do something. (Source: Social Fresh)28. Leverage social search and boost your rankings for target keywords by offering content (ebooks, webinars, etc.) and having community members pay with a tweet. Use hashtags.org to find hashtags that matter to your audience and work them into your pay with a tweet offering to tap into prospective community members on the web. (Source: SEOmoz)29.) Include social sharing and follow buttons on your site, your blog, and in your emails. Use this how-to guide to learn how you can create them for all the major social media networks. (Source: HubSpot)30. It seems obvious, but an often disregarded quality of great community and social media managers is great social skills. Tact and discernment go a long way. (Source: SocialFresh)What social media marketing tips helped you out in 2011? Let us know in the comments!Image Credit: daniel_iversen Social Media 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 Originally published Dec 9, 2011 5:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

New Facebook Data Shows How Questions Impact Comments, Shares & Likes [INFOGRAPHIC]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketing TakeawayAs you can see in the infographic, I found that while posts with questions tend to generate more comments, they also tend to garner fewer Likes and shares than non-question posts. In other words, the data shows that periodically using questions to encourage commenting does work, but they are not an all-encompassing engagement panacea. Posing questions can be a great way to elicit feedback from your Facebook fans and page visitors, but it’s not the most effective way to drive overall Facebook engagement.In addition, we can also see that question words that yield “yes” or “no” responses such as “should” and “would” — as well as multiple choice questions like “which” — tend to generate more comments than nebulous, open-ended questions like “why” and “how.” The takeaway here is, if you’re using questions to generate more comments on your Facebook Page, post questions that are quick and easy to answer.How are you using questions on your Facebook Page timeline? Have you experienced similar results? Originally published Nov 26, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Social Media Engagementcenter_img Topics: Last week, we presented our readers with some interesting data about the impact of social CTAs on Facebook engagement. But we got to wondering — what about posing questions in your Facebook posts? How would that impact engagement metrics such as Likes, shares, and comments?If you’re an active Facebook marketer, you’ve probably seen countless brands using questions as a fan engagement tactic. By asking questions, the social media managers behind those pages are hoping to generate responses, thereby increasing engagement rates. In fact, the power of questions on Facebook has been accepted conventional wisdom for some time now.Digging into a large data set of more than 1.2 million posts from the 10,000 most Liked Facebook Pages, I was able to not only verify that anecdotal evidence, but also figure out specifically which types of questions work best. Let’s take a look at what I uncovered …last_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #12: Use Visuals

first_imgYou’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: Free Blog Post Templates Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 Free Templates: Topics:center_img 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] How to Write a Blog Postlast_img read more

Marketing Mad Libs: Expert Edition [SlideShare]

first_img Marketing Mad Libs: Expert Edition from HubSpotA few core themes emerged from our favorite fill-in-the-blanks:The Power of the CrowdRecently, LinkedIn announced that everyone can now publish with their Influencers program, following in the footsteps of Medium and other publishing tools that allow the masses to create and publish content. That trend in content, combined with the massive success of Uber and AirBnB, led both Jeremiah Owyang and Michael Lieberman of Square 2 Marketing to reference the power of the crowd in their Mad Libs. Jeremiah referenced Quirky and GE’s willingness to crowdsource product feedback, while Michael referenced resurfacing client content as one of the most underrated marketing tactics.As marketers, we take pride in being content machines, but we shouldn’t hesitate to lean on our customers, followers, and community from time to time for valuable content. Regardless of the publishing platform or the marketing focus, one thing is clear: Your audience wants to get out of the stands and into the game, and brands who ignore this trend do so at their peril.The Human Touch MattersDavid Meerman Scott isn’t one to mince words, so it’s no surprise that he shared this advice: “Stop trying to pimp your products and services. Nobody cares.”The team at LinkedIn agreed, noting that brands spend too much time trying to distinguish between B2B and B2C marketing. At the end of the day, Lana Khavinson from LinkedIn notes: “There is no such thing as B2B or B2C, it’s all H2H, human to human.”Far too often, marketers think about their emails, landing pages, websites, or campaigns without giving enough consideration to their audience. How do your customers consume content? What do they care most about? How can you help, educate, or entertain them? Earning attention is far more impactful than renting it — that’s one of the most important tenets of inbound marketing, and a consistent refrain from Marketing Mad Libs.Learn to Tell a Great StoryAllen Bonde of Actuate said “a passion for storytelling” was his number one criteria for hiring a new marketer, while Rand Fishkin noted the power that serendipity can have in your marketing efforts if you’re willing to look beyond just data. Anne Mercogliano of Twitter shared that the businesses that break through social media noise are the ones that “prioritize content that offers value” to their community.One thing is clear: Whether you’re at an event, eating dinner at a bar, or interacting with a brand for the first time on social media, everyone loves a good storyteller. So if you’re creating visual content, writing awesome blog posts, or giving incredible presentations, remember that a compelling story wins the day.How would you finish some of these mad libs? Comment and let us know! Topics: Content Creation As a group, we marketers can be a bit … verbose. Particularly when we add in experts and analysts who talk about marketing for a living.With attention spans dwindling and Polar Vortex induced cabin fever setting in, we tried to brainstorm a way that we could make use of the projections and thought leadership of pioneers in our field without an encyclopedia full of content.Hence, the birth of Marketing Mad Libs: Expert Edition, in which we gave some of our favorite analysts, authors, and all-around awesome marketers the task of finishing a sentence with a prediction or insight. (The shorter and pithier, the better.) Take a look:center_img Originally published Mar 7, 2014 2:13:00 PM, 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

50 Tweetable Twitter Tips You Wish You Knew Years Ago

first_img Twitter Marketing Originally published Apr 21, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Want to get more followers and increase engagement on Twitter? Or … just want to make sure people don’t think you’re a space case on Twitter?Either way, here’s a massive list of 50 Twitter tips that will make you a more effective Twitter user, and that you wish you knew years ago. Plus, you can look like a Twitter pro, too! Each tip has a [click to tweet] link so you can quickly tweet out that tip. Better yet, schedule one a day for the next fifty days, and you’ll look like a marketing rockstar.Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.Optimizing Your Twitter Profile1) Make yourself easy to recognize by using a close-up headshot of yourself as your profile picture. [click to tweet]2) Make the most of your Twitter bio. Show off your skills and uniqueness without over-hashtagging. [click to tweet]3) Twitter’s new profile design dimensions: header photo = 1500 x 500 px | profile pic = 400 x 400 px. [click to tweet]4) Include your URL in your Twitter bio, not just the URL field, to optimize for mobile users. [click to tweet]What You Should Tweet5) Structure your tweets like this to increase clicks: KEY MESSAGE – LINK #HASHTAG AFTERTHOUGHT [click to tweet]6) Don’t be entirely self-promotional on Twitter. Mix up your content and interact with your followers. [click to tweet]7) Establish yourself as an industry thought leader by adding commentary to the links you tweet. [click to tweet]8) Try keeping tweets short — 100 characters instead of 140 — to let people add their own commentary. [click to tweet]9) Curate content you tweet from a wide variety of sources to keep your followers interested. [click to tweet]10) Let your personality shine on Twitter. Tweet funny/interesting content along with the business content. [click to tweet]11) Share images in your tweets to increase engagement, since images now appear inline on Twitter. [click to tweet]12) Be real. It’s okay to tweet mundane things like weather commentary or what you’re eating SPARINGLY. [click to tweet]Increasing Twitter Engagement13) Engage with others and show appreciation for their tweets by using the favorite button as a “like.” [click to tweet]14) Be responsive on Twitter, not a robot. If someone asks you a question on Twitter, answer it! [click to tweet]15) If you retweet every single tweet you’re mentioned in, followers will think you crave attention. [click to tweet]16) If someone regularly retweets or replies to you, add them to a list so you can return the favor. [click to tweet]17) Twitter is a two-way conversation. Tweet questions to encourage your followers to interact with you. [click to tweet]18) Nobody HAS to share your content on Twitter. So if someone authoritative retweets you, thank them. [click to tweet]19) Run Twitter contests using hashtags to increase engagement quickly. It’s gratifying to win! [click to tweet]Making Sense of the Chaos20) You don’t have to follow back everyone that follows you. Doing so would clutter your stream. [click to tweet]21) Use hashtags (#) to join relevant conversations and make your tweets easy to find. [click to tweet]22) Use lists grouped by industry or topic to follow people you want to pay attention to on Twitter. [click to tweet]23) Create public Twitter lists (vs. private) so members know when they’re added and likely reciprocate. [click to tweet]24) Save time by using tools like Tweetdeck or HubSpot’s Social Inbox to schedule tweets for the week. [click to tweet]25) Blocking people doesn’t “block” them from your tweets, but removes them from your Twitter stream. [click to tweet]Avoiding Silly Twitter Mistakes26) Don’t tweet at people with links to your blog hoping to get their attention. That’s called spam. [click to tweet]27) Don’t send auto-DMs. Ever. No exceptions. Just don’t do it. If you do, people will unfollow you. [click to tweet]28) Don’t #overuse #hashtags #in #your #tweets. Limit yourself to 1-3 hashtags per tweet. [click to tweet]29) If you favorite every tweet someone is mentioned in, even via automation, you’ll seem like a stalker. [click to tweet]30) Don’t gripe on Twitter. People like to surround themselves with positive people, not complainers. [click to tweet]31) Long personal chats should happen over DM. Otherwise whoever follows both of you will be inundated with your tweets in their Twitter stream! [click to tweet]32) Don’t repeatedly follow and unfollow Twitter users seeking attention. They will notice … in a bad way. [click to tweet]Optimizing Your Twitter Stream33) Use landscape-oriented images on Twitter, using approximately a 2:1 dimension, for the best appearance on the Twitter feed. [click to tweet]34) Try incorporating an image into every three to four tweets so they’re more prominent in a user’s feed. [click to tweet]35) Track which tweets get more replies, retweets, favorites, and clicks. Use this data to influence future tweets. [click to tweet]36) B2C brands report 17% more engagement on weekends. B2B see better engagement Monday – Friday. [click to tweet]37) Share important tweets four times throughout the day using different angles to cover all time zones. [click to tweet]38) If Twitter is your morning task, schedule tweets throughout the day instead of posting them all at once. [click to tweet]Getting More Twitter Followers39) Measure your Twitter success not by your number of followers, but by the quality and level of engagement. [click to tweet]40) Follow twenty people with similar interests per day. That’s not overwhelming, and reciprocal followers will add up quickly. [click to tweet]41) Tweet about Twitter itself to get more followers. @HubSpot’s most-shared content is about Twitter. [click to tweet]42) Don’t follow more than a couple hundred people per day. Twitter might mistake you for a spam bot and suspend your account! [click to tweet]Having Good Twitter Etiquette43) If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, don’t say it to them on Twitter. [click to tweet]44) Don’t try to start arguments with people on Twitter. A friendly debate is fine, but respect others’ opinions. [click to tweet]45) Don’t be a troll on Twitter, no matter how angry you are. For most, Twitter isn’t really anonymous, and your public anger could come back to haunt you later. [click to tweet]46) If you tweet spoilers while live-tweeting TV shows or sporting events, use the right hashtag so people can filter it out. [click to tweet]Optimizing Your Blog for Twitter47) Optimize your blog post titles so when people tweet them, they’re catchy enough for people to click on the links. [click to tweet]48) Add social sharing buttons like AddThis to your blog to make each post easy for readers to tweet. [click to tweet]49) Use Click to Tweet to provide bits of text in your blog posts readers can tweet in a single click. [click to tweet]50) Don’t overthink your tweets. If tweeting for a company, be agile without implementing a huge approval process. [click to tweet]Want to share this post? Here are some ready-made tweets:Click to Tweet: 50 Twitter Tips You Wish You Knew Years Ago – http://hub.am/1gWQGC9 by @DianaUrban at @HubSpot #TwitterTipsClick to Tweet: Check out this massive list of 50 #TwitterTips. Which is your favorite? http://hub.am/1gWQGC9Click to Tweet: Look like a Twitter pro! Tweet one of these tips each day for the next 50 days: http://hub.am/1gWQGC9 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

Embarrassing or Adorable? MySpace Emails Users About Their Decade-Old Photos

first_img Originally published Jun 20, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Social Media Fails This post originally appeared on the ecommerce section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to the ecommerce blog here.Personalization has proven to be an important part of developing consumer trust, but what happens if you take it too far?We’ve talked about which forms provide the best possibility for conversions, when to let buyers know you’re collecting their information, and just how much of that information to use. It may seem like overkill but the simple reason we talk about this is, when you cross that line — that invisible line that’s different for every single buyer — you damage your business. And a few weeks ago, Myspace ventured over near that over-personalization line — and some would say they crossed it.Funny Ploy or Blackmail?When Myspace decided to send out personalized emails featuring ten-year-old photos that past users had uploaded to the site, they probably thought it was funny. I probably would have laughed or maybe just shrugged it off. But not everyone found it amusing — in fact, many called the tactic blackmail.Blackmail may be going a bit too far, but the fact of the matter is that Myspace’s email came across like, “Hey, look. We have all these old and embarrassing pictures of you. What are you gonna do about it?” And, to be honest, even if everyone they sent these emails to logged back in just to delete the incriminating photos, Myspace would experience a huge jump in active users, even if only for a day.The Basis for ComplaintWhat was so bad about Myspace sending out these old photos to people? Sure, we see where the whole blackmail thing might be a problem, but why does this bother people so much?The big issue is that consumers are reminded yet again just how much information companies collect. Even after the profile is abandoned or deleted, Myspace still has access to the content uploaded after all these years. Since companies now perform thorough internet checks before making a hire, plenty of people have something to be worried about.It’s not just the abuse of data, though. It’s the simple feeling of violation, of feeling watched or controlled. This is why companies must consider their marketing campaigns carefully. Reminding consumers that you hold that much information about them probably won’t make them like you.Playing Devil’s AdvocateThere is a great chance the bad publicity surrounding Myspace’s choice to “blackmail” past users actually helped the social networking site. After all, I never received any old pictures in my email, and now I kind of feel left out. The hype surrounding the marketing ploy has me wondering just what I posted there ten years ago.Is that enough to send me running to log in? Not yet … but no guarantees I won’t cave later. ;)Have you been “blackmailed” by Myspace yet? Are you curious enough to go check out your photos before they have a chance to send you the horrifying highlights? Maybe you’re of the majority who feel Myspace overplayed their hand when reminding consumers just how much information they have about us. Whatever your thoughts, leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you. 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

PNG, JPEG, or GIF? How to Pick the Right File Extension [Infographic]

first_imgWhen you’re first starting to create visual content, one of the easiest things to overlook is the image file type. It’s easy to get caught up in picking the right fonts, colors, and graphics to support your final project, so when you get to that final stage to pick a file type … you just breeze on past it. But picking the wrong file type can be more disastrous than you’d think.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more.  Certain types could make your final design look distorted and unattractive, thereby undoing all the meticulous work you put into creating the image. Beyond the aesthetics, some file types take up more memory than others. If you put those file types on your website, you could end up unknowingly slowing down your site’s speed (and we all know that that could have an impact on your SEO).To make sure you’re avoiding those mistakes, this infographic from WhoIsHostingThis.com will walk you through the best practices of choosing the right file types for your visual content. Read up on the whole process below. 557Save Presentations 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 6, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017center_img 557Save Topics:last_img read more

What to Look at When Segmenting Your Audience for Sponsored Content

first_img Originally published Aug 6, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Email Lists and Segmentation Topics: When running a sponsored content campaign, you need to create great content. What’s more important however, is making sure that content gets into the hands of the people who will find it most relevant.Quite literally, targeting capabilities pay. In fact, calls-to-action targeted to the user perform 42% better than calls to action that were generic.Creating Segments of ReadersPeople take actions on your site all the time. Reading articles, clicking links, sharing on social media. The first step to tracking these valuable actions, is by getting a user to give you a piece of information that allows you to tie all of these actions together—for example, an email address. After a reader gives you his or her email address during an initial conversion on a form, all of the information on them can be associated with one unified contact record, which you can then use to target your content offers.From these individual contact records, you can begin creating buckets (or lists) of people who meet specific sets of criteria. These lists can then be used to power segmented marketing, serving readers with content that’s most appropriate for them on your website and in your emails.This is all great in theory, but without the right forms, tracking system, and know-how, segmentation becomes a lot more difficult. So what tools and information should a publisher focus on when segmenting their audiences? Below are several suggestions to help you get started. What Device are They Coming From?Showing the right message to the right screen type has powerful results on reader engagement rate. However, this type of segmentation cannot (and should not) be done manually. Have a content management system in place that can detect device type and adapt your content so mobile and desktop readers automatically get the best viewing experience possible. For instance, use dynamic content in your emails to display shortened copy, or on your landing pages to show an abbreviated form.When is Their Subscription Renewal Date?By integrating your contact database with your fulfillment software, you can create lists of people who have subscription dates that are within a certain number of days from each other. For people who’s end-date is approaching, send emails with CTAs to drive renewals, for those who have just signed up, send out satisfaction or feedback surveys.What’s Their Job Title, Company Information or Industry?By including questions on your landing page forms that dig into job function or industry information, you can target readers with content that’s focused on what they actually do every day at work. This type of information can inform what type of wording you use in your emails, or help you pinpoint audiences that are most likely to buy—making them prime targets for emails with sponsored content from your advertisers.Did They Attend Any Events or Purchase a Digital Product?Again, having all your user data in once place allows you to create lists based of off people who have made purchases through your site before, and cross promote your other products to them. Not to mention, you can also delight these customers with follow-up content such as event summaries fir event attendees or additional content based on similar topics as previous editorial purchases.>> Learn how to unify your publising database hereWhat are They Doing on Your Site?Being able to see what pathways readers are taking on your site, and what specific pieces of content they’re clicking on tells you what topics they’re interested in. Once you have this knowledge, you can segment your audience by topic area to match them with similar content offers or email newsletters and increase click-throughs or time on site.Any of these criteria can, and should, be used to create list based personalization rules within your emails and on your website. As you can imagine, scaling personalized content is a tricky task. However, the strategies discussed above are a great place to start. You’re audience may contain 50,000 readers, but you want each email to feel like it’s only being sent to one. 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

13 of the Most Creative Agency ‘Meet the Team’ Pages We’ve Ever Seen

first_img Topics: Originally published Dec 12, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Agency websites can be kind of intimidating.They’re meticulously styled. They make bold declarations. And they’re not always extremely straightforward.To a prospect seeking out a new agency partner, it can all be a little overwhelming. It’s easy to wonder: Who are the real people behind all the smoke and mirrors?Download our collection of awesome ‘About Us’ page examples here, and get tips for making yours great, too. Adding a “Meet the Team” page or section to your website is an easy, effective way to give your business a accessible face. It gives prospects an idea of who exactly they’ll be working with, and shows potential employees that you’re proud of the people on your team.For some inspiration, see how these agencies introduce visitors to their most important creative assets: their people.13 Creative Agency ‘Meet the Team’ Pages1) Sub RosaSub Rosa, a Manhattan-based strategy and design studio, decided to skip the typical employee headshots in favor of something a little more unconventional.They invited team members to bring in 10 to 12 objects that best represent their personalities, photographed them, and asked employees to briefly explain the value of each object. These original profiles were then shared on their website instead of traditional employee bios.”By seeing the objects we hold most dear and the stories attached to them, we give a deeper look inside ourselves,” said Michael Ventura, founder and CEO of Sub Rosa, to Digiday.2) Digital MarmeladeSince most employee bios read a lot like a list of stats (“10 years in the industry … 4 years at the company … Managed 80 website redesign projects … “) the folks at Digital Marmelade decided to have a little fun with the format.Each employee at the London-based marketing agency has a trading card-style profile detailing their actual marketing accomplishments and personal facts, as well as their fictional superhero abilities.It’s a quirky twist that gives visitors a colorful snapshot of the agency’s team, highlighting both their impressive experience and friendly culture.3) Studio AirportThis Dutch agency offers up a clever, slapstick take on the typical yearbook-style grid of employee photos.When you hover over a picture, the employee in the photo starts to interact with the employees around it — e.g., dumping a bucket of water on the person in the photo below them, shining a light on the person next to them, or aiming a leaf blower towards their neighbor.4) Sagmeister & WalshThe bios and headshots for Sagmeister & Walsh’s team seem perfectly conventional at first glance, but if you hang around the page for a second, their faces move ever so slightly — a subtle effect that’s so quick you’ll think you might have imagined it.Each team member has a different, nearly imperceptable movement — some tilt their heads, and others simply blink before reverting back to their resting places as stony-faced portraits. A scroll through the section feels like a trip to a mysterious museum where the paintings are coming to life.5) BoldenBolden’s team bios are more conventional than some of the others on this list, but what they lack in invention they more than make up for with style.Hovering over each team member’s picture produces a colorful stacked card effect, revealing brief employee bios in coordinated fonts. This is a great example of a minimal, accessible “Meet the Team” page that manages to look cool and introduce the faces behind the agency without going over the top.6) Rock Kitchen HarrisRock Kitchen Harris, a full-service agency, decided to skip the photos altogether and showcase the cartoon versions of their employees instead.Each employee at the English agency had a custom caricature drawn up, and every single one has a different personality. While some employees opted for representations reminiscent of LinkedIn profile pictures, others got a little creative with it, dressing their cartoon selves up as Ewoks and other characters.7) FCINQFCINQ, a creative studio, introduces us to their team with a collage of colorful bubbles.Hovering over an employee’s individual circle produces a zoomed-in effect, and clicking expands their headshot with their name and social profiles. The splashy set up is a stylish alternative to the expected rows of team photos and names.8) Zulu Alpha KiloThis Canadian agency presents their founding team with refreshing comedic flair. While many agency leaders choose to represent themselves with stoic business portraits, the three leaders of Zulu Alpha Kilo opted for playful photos and cheeky bios.Here’s an excerpt from the bio of Marcus Alpha — the agency’s “Ultra Chief Creative Director Officer”:Marcus has a reputation for pushing his creative teams further than any other creative director. He makes them work late nights, weekends and through holidays in pursuit of that one truly breakthrough creative idea. And when they’ve finally cracked it after weeks of gruelling and thankless work, Marcus will triumphantly stand in front of the client and present it as an idea he had in the shower that morning instead.9) Stink DigitalWe love this expertly color-coordinated slideshow of team members form Stink Digital.This creative agency has offices in five major cities around the world — including New York, Paris, and Berlin — but having a personable “Meet the Team” section helps give their business an accessible edge. They don’t call themselves “a global company with a local feel” for nothing.10) DrexlerThis “Meet the Team” section from Drexler is perfect proof that you don’t necessarily need a whole page devoted to introducing your employees — just a small section can do the trick.This simple but polished team member marquee appears at the bottom of the Baltimore, Maryland-based agency’s “About” page, and adds a welcome personal touch to their website.11) UnfoldInspired by the periodic table of elements, this “Meet the Team” section from Norwegian agency Unfold is minimal but far from boring.Employee headshots are arranged in a masonry style layout, each anchored by muted blocks of color. The effect is sophisticated and modern.12) Push.To take their employee introductions up a notch, Florida-based agency Push. introduced a dose of animation.When you hover over a picture of one of their leaders, they strike a power pose. It’s a seemingly small touch that adds some major visual interest to the otherwise conventional page.13) SoupTo illustrate how their small team collaborates on projects, Soup created this interactive diagram. The circle is divided into three sections — dev, design, and workflows — and when you hover over one of the segments, the team members associated with that particular branch pop up in the circles to the right.It’s a creative way to exhibit their process and demonstrate how each team member contributes to projects.Does your agency have a “meet the team” section on your website? Let us know in the comments. Website Design Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Why Generation Z Should Be Included in Your Content Strategy [Infographic]

first_imgI’ll admit it: I’ve always been a bit befuddled by the letters assigned to generations. In fact, I remember the day that I lamentably found out that I wasn’t a member of Generation X. I had missed the mark by just a hair, and growing up in the 90s, learning that it wasn’t me who the Spice Girls were singing about in soda commercials was very sad news.But now, pop musicians are singing to one of the newest populations, and as marketers, it’s time for us to turn our attention to it: Generation Z.If you’re asking, “what is Generation Z?”, here are a few fun facts, courtesy of Adweek:Generation Z is comprised of those born between about 1996 and 2010.Members didn’t witness the dawn of the online era like Millennials did — they were born into it.Half of them say they “can’t live without” YouTube.But why should marketers pay attention to this particular generation? Well, like every other one before it, Generation Z is steadily gaining some degree of purchasing power, especially those who were born in 1999 or earlier. Many of them are about to start or graduate from college and enter a new phase of independence and decision-making. And who’s there to help guide those decisions? Brands, of course.But what’s the best way to reach them? To find out, look no further — Adweek broke down the digital behavior of Generation Z into this helpful infographic, which we’ve shared below.298Save298Save Content Marketing Strategy Topics: Originally published Jun 2, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated June 02 2017 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

UX vs. UI: What’s the Difference?

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Jun 21, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Understanding the difference between UX and UI can get confusing — the roles work closely together, and sometimes the terms are used too ambiguously to firmly understand either one.To understand the difference between UX and UI, let’s start with an example: YouTube.Take a look at the YouTube home screen. Everything you’re seeing — the search bar at the top, the “Trending” and “Subscriptions” and “History” categories on the left, the “Recommended” videos below — is all the work of a UI designer.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. At its most basic level, UI is the presentation and interactivity of a product — where’s the sign-up button, is it easy to navigate, where’s the logo and if I click the logo where does it take me?Now, imagine every YouTube video you click loads slowly. Imagine you search “cats” and nothing comes up. Imagine you can’t search account user’s by their username, so it’s hard for you to find that girl who sang an acoustic rendition of that Ed Sheeran song.With those actions, you’re having a less-than-ideal user experience. You don’t enjoy engaging with the product, and it isn’t offering you what you want. Those problems are the responsibility of a UX designer.Cognitive scientist Don Norman, who first coined the term UX in the 1990s, and Jakob Nielsen, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, explain the difference of UX versus UI this way:“Consider a website with movie reviews. Even if the UI for finding a film is perfect, the UX will be poor for a user who wants information about a small independent release if the underlying database only contains movies from the major studios.”In this example, both UX and UI are critical components for the user to enjoy the product, but a user can’t appreciate the interface of a product if the product itself doesn’t deliver what the user wants.Let’s define UX and UI in more detail now, to further clarify the difference between the two.What’s UX?UX, which stands for user experience, is the process of researching, developing, and refining all aspects of a user’s interaction with a company to ensure the company is meeting the user’s needs. A UX designer must ensure people find value when they interact with a company’s products or services.A UX designer is responsible for all aspects of a user’s interaction — this means a UX designer is not solely responsible for the technology behind a product. They’re responsible for how a user interacts with a company both on and offline, including customer service and other facets.Essentially, a UX designer must answer the question: “How can my company’s product best meet our user’s needs?”Now, what’s left for a UI designer to do?What’s UI?A UI designer’s responsibilities are more cosmetic than a UX designer’s — a UI designer is responsible for the presentation of a product. But that doesn’t mean a UI designer just picks some pictures and a logo and calls it a day.A UI designer is responsible for how everything on a page aligns in relation to each other. The visual elements you see on a page, such as buttons and icons, and the interactivity of a product, falls on the UI designer.Have you ever visited a website and thought, “Wow, this company is really cool and has a great product, but what really sold me was their website’s intuitive and sleek layout?”That’s largely due to their UI designer.How do UX and UI work together?Now that we’ve explored UX and UI separately, let’s see how they function collaboratively.Let’s say your company wants to develop a running app, so your CEO hires a UX designer. The UX designer is first going to do some research into competitor’s apps and your user’s pain points.With this information, she will decide the core features of the app (“must monitor heart rate and mileage”), and explore user personas in-depth to create a site map and initial prototype.From there, a UX designer will create wireframes, test and refine them, and convert those wireframes into mockups. Then, the UX designer will conduct research and refine the product for the market. Throughout all stages, the UX designer is focused on the structure and value of the product and how that product is or isn’t meeting user’s needs.Towards the end of development, a UI designer will then take control over the app’s appearance, including on-screen forms, images, buttons, links, and icons.As you can see, the primary difference between UX and UI is goals: a UX designer is focused on the users’ experience, including anything that might motivate or frustrate them, why they would or wouldn’t enjoy the product, and what the product needs to include to delight the user.A UI designer is given those constraints — she’s told what the app must include and exclude, and how it’s going to work. Using those constraints as a guideline, she works on the design and interactivity to ensure the user understands the product and enjoys the presentation of it.You can’t create an exceptional product without both UX and UI. Without a UX designer, YouTube would appear beautiful and appealing but completely unusable. And, without a UI designer, YouTube would be a great idea in theory but would be difficult and confusing to navigate on the screen.  User Experience Topics:last_img read more

Gov’t Meets Six of 10 EGC Policy Recommendations

first_imgStory Highlights Additionally, he noted that the Ministry completed work to develop the framework for public debt reduction through a programme of State asset privatisation and sale. Mr. Lee-Chin also advised that the Ministry of National Security has commenced a feasibility study to create a Global Jamaican Immigration Card for issuance to members of the Diaspora. The Government has met six of the 10 Economic Growth Council (EGC) policy recommendations targeted for implementation during the April to June quarter.EGC Chairman, Michael Lee-Chin, made the disclosure at the presentation of the Council’s third quarterly report at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, July 27.The policy recommendations come under three areas of reform – business climate, specifically public procurement; asset utilisation, in particular debt reduction and State asset privatisation; and Diaspora involvement in relation to immigration.Mr. Lee-Chin said that among the targets met in the area of business climate reform was work by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to draft the Public Procurement (Techniques, Procedures and Offsets) Regulations and Public Procurement (Reconsideration and Review) Regulations, which were completed and tabled in Parliament in May.Additionally, he noted that the Ministry completed work to develop the framework for public debt reduction through a programme of State asset privatisation and sale.The Chairman noted, however, that the May timeline to finalise and table the Public Procurement (Registration and Classification of Suppliers) Regulations, and complete the Handbook of Public Sector Procurement Procedures were missed.“The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service has advised that they are actively working on the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission, which is a prerequisite for the tabling of the third (set of) regulations,” he said.“Public procurement is an important tool for stimulating economic growth and development. The central government and its public bodies, together, purchased approximately $100 billion of goods and services last year. We are, therefore, urging the Ministry of Finance to urgently finalise the regulations and enact the Public Procurement Act,” he emphasised.center_img The Government has met six of the 10 Economic Growth Council (EGC) policy recommendations targeted for implementation during the April to June quarter. Mr. Lee-Chin also advised that the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) met the April timeline for the creation of a protocol supporting the establishment of enterprise teams to handle transactions related to improving the scalability and efficiency of the privatisation and sale of State assets as well as the public/private partnership process through which these would be pursued.Additionally, he said the DBJ submitted a protocol and framework to Cabinet for the outsourcing of privatisation processes to for-profit firms.The Chairman pointed out, however, that Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and Factories Corporation of Jamaica, which fall under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, missed the May timeline for the submission of a plan to divest up to 20 per cent of their assets.“The Ministry is finalising the submissions with respect to the UDC’s assets, and the FCJ’s Board is working on a list of assets to be proposed for divestment,” he informed.Mr. Lee-Chin also advised that the Ministry of National Security has commenced a feasibility study to create a Global Jamaican Immigration Card for issuance to members of the Diaspora.This exercise, which got underway in May, is being undertaken by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus in St. Andrew.Chairman of the EGC’s Diaspora Engagement Subcommittee, Dr. David Panton, told delegates attending the just concluded Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference that SALISES was selected through a competitive tender process.Meanwhile, Mr. Lee-Chin advised that while regulatory amendments that will facilitate the investment of pension funds in a wide range of products have been drafted, the June timeline for their tabling in Parliament has been deferred to allow for further analysis and consultations.last_img read more