6 iPhone Apps for the Modern Marketer

first_img Topics:  PR: wait… I: wait… L: wait… LD: wait… I: wait…wait… C: wait… SD: wait… As mobile technology gets more sophisiticated, businesses operate increasingly in real time. As a result, marketing on-the-go becomes more commonplace. Here are 6 iPhone apps that every modern marketer should check out.1. FacebookFacebook users are likely to find its iPhone app counterpart familiar. The mobile app includes many of the same features under a similar interface.One critique of this app is it that where it makes a compromise, it does so at the expense of the businesses aspects of Facebook. Examples are editing pages and groups, as well as managing Facebook ads. Nevetheless, this app can be useful for managing the communications aspects of Facebook.Price: Free Get the Facebook iPhone app2. TwitterrificTwitterrific is a popular Twitter iPhone app. It is similar to the original Twitter.com interface, so if you never left that boat, you will be able to adjust easily. Its easy photo uploading interface might even be an improvement from web applications, due to the iPhone’s handy built-in camera.For those used to desktop Twitter applications like TweetDeck and HootSuite, Twitterrific is admittedly less sophisiticated. Features it lacks are viewing multiple columns, scheduling tweets, and autocomplete on Twitter usernames. Since Twitter has such a real-time nature, it is worth overlooking these minor shortcomings and getting a mobile Twitter app.Price: Free Get Twitterrific3. GraderGrader is the new iPhone app from HubSpot. The Grader.com website it is based on is a ‘suite of tools that helps you measure and analyze your marketing efforts’. The iPhone app grades and provides data about the online influence of your website or twitter account.Price: Free Get Grader4. Analytics ProAnalytics Pro is the online version of Google Analytics. True to the original, the app offers detailed information on your website’s visitors, referral sources, top content, and more. The app even supports multiple Google Analytics accounts. All these rich features are nicely packed into a mobile interface.Any good marketer doesn’t just ‘do’ marketing, but also measures the results of their marketing efforts. Analytics Pro will help get this job done, anytime and anywhere.Price: $6.99 Get Analytics Pro5. LinkedInThe LinkedIn iPhone app helps you manage your online professional network on-the-go. This can be quite useful if you post updates to LinkedIn, or actively use LinkedIn features such as Groups or Answers.Price: Free Get LinkedIn for iPhone6. GoDaddy.com MobileGoDaddy.com is a popular domain registrar. It helps you buy and manage your online domains. The iPhone app provides a neat interface for you to do these things whenever the inspiration or need strikes.Price: Free Get GoDaddy.com MobileAre there other iPhone applications you rely on for marketing? Share them in the comments.Photo Credit: Jorge Quinteros Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Mobile Apps Originally published Jul 8, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated July 03 2013last_img read more

Marketing Experts Say Google and Facebook Will Decline in Importance

first_img Social Media Strategy 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:  Source: http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/center_img Many businesses find social media overwhelming – there are so many networks available, and they’re always adding new features for you to learn and integrate into your plan. If you don’t have a full-time team of social media experts at your disposal, your success depends on creating a simple and sensible strategy that fits your resources and goals.Here are a few steps you can take to focus your energy:1. Define your target audience.If you haven’t already identified and documented your buyer personas, start by defining the key demographics of the audience you’re trying to reach – age, gender, occupation, income, hobbies and interests, etc. Think about the challenges they’re faced with, and what problems they’re trying to solve on daily basis. Try to focus on the 3-4 types of people that represent the majority of your buyers – don’t get hung up on all the exceptions, or you’ll never get started!2. Start blogging.Fresh content is the linchpin of a successful social strategy, so you’ll need to commit to creating fresh, quality content on a consistent basis. Brainstorm a list of the most common questions you hear from your prospects, and commit to writing at least one new blog post a week focused on addressing these questions. 3. Create educational content.Consider creating downloadable content like ebooks, checklists, videos, and infographics that address your buyer’s pains. If the content is truly helpful and educational, people will be more likely to share it on social media and extend your reach.4. Focus on a few key social channelsMost small businesses don’t have the bandwidth to establish and sustain a great social media presence on more than a handful of channels. It can also be overwhelming to learn the rules of engagement on a bunch of different networks at one time.Here’s a video by HubSpot Academy explaining all the possible social channels to which you might post content on behalf your business.So, start small. Research key networks to learn where your target audience is most likely to spend time, and focus your effort on building, nurturing, and sustaining a community there before moving on to another channel.5. Develop a recipe card to guide you.Social media isn’t an exact science, so you need to establish a consistent posting and engagement schedule to start seeing results. Start by developing a reasonable recipe card you feel comfortable sticking to. Set goals for how frequently you’ll post content and engage your followers, and hold yourself accountable to following your recipe. (Get a free social media content calendar here to organize your efforts.)6. Measure your results.There are a million things you can track related to social media, so start by looking at how much traffic is being driven to your website or blog from social media. Watch your posts to see what people are responding to, and look for trends related to particular topics or keywords that generate more interest than others. Once you have a sense of what’s possible, set goals for key metrics and start keeping a scorecard to measure your progress. Be sure to chose metrics that are easy to gather – if it’s too time-consuming to track, you’ll fall off the wagon!Net new fans and followers# of interactionsVisits to your site from social7. Adjust your tactics.Unless you’re a celebrity, social media doesn’t start working overnight. It takes time to build a following, establish yourself as an influencer, and start seeing results.  You’ll need to experiment a bit to find the right combination of channels, content, and messaging that works for your audience. Over time, you’ll be able to adjust your recipe card, content, and personas based on the information you’re gathering – which will help you fine tune your strategy and generate more consistent results!Still overwhelmed? Try using the Whole Brain Group’s handy Sensible Social Media Checklist for Businesses – newly updated for 2016 – to get yourself organized. Originally published Feb 18, 2016 2:00:00 PM, updated August 09 2017last_img read more

Data: Free Stuff and Contests Work for Lead Generation

first_img Click here to register now .  that will teach you scientifically proven ways to get more leads.  Topics: Science of Lead Generation webinar I found that landing pages that included the word “free” did much better than those that did not. This post is a sneak-peak of data from the upcoming  Lead Generationcenter_img Next I analyzed pages that said the words “contest” or “winner” to explore whether or not contests work the same way free stuff does. First, I analyzed the difference in conversion rates between pages that mentioned the word “free” and those that did not. Originally published Oct 12, 2010 7:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 I found that, in fact, landing pages that referred to contests or winning tended to have higher conversion rates than pages that did not. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Giving away free stuff is a time-honored marketing tradition, but I wanted to explore its effects in online lead generation.last_img read more

Everything a Marketer Should Know About QR Codes

first_img Originally published Jun 9, 2011 3:00:00 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 Barcodes, QR codes, readers, 2D barcodes (have you ever seen a 3D barcode?). There’s a lot of debate in the marketing world about just how useful these scan-able images can be for businesses. Opinions range from “who would waste their time using those?!” to “I just don’t think marketers have figured out how to use them yet.” What the Heck Is a QR Code? QR stands for quick response, and barcodes are nothing new. But to clear up any confusion, a QR code is simply a matrix barcode that is readable by QR barcode readers that can be installed on smart phones . The information that is encoded by QR codes can include text, a URL, or other data. Barcodes have been around for quite some time, but their use as a mobile utility for accessing information is new in the scheme of things. Just like any new piece of technology, the mass market will show signs of resistance before it starts to adopt it. And while there will always be naysayers out there, the fact of the matter is that if QR codes catch on with consumers (and there is nothing that suggests they won’t), businesses – especially local ones – can really stand to benefit from them.Even though the mass market has yet to fully embrace them, there are multiple reasons why local businesses should be embracing QR codes now as part of their mobile marketing strategy. QR Codes Can Help You Stand Out From the Crowd Differentiating your business from your competitors is definitely a marketing 101 lesson. The fact that QR codes have not yet been adopted by the masses means there are many people who see them and don’t know what they are. If used correctly, QR codes can spike the curiosity of your customers and prospects alike. Use this opportunity to link QR codes to exclusive offers or valuable content to carry that curiosity through to a sale. Boston Photobooth Rental is a local shop that rents photo booths for all sorts of occasions. They recently redesigned their business cards and used the back of the business card to host two QR codes. One leads to their website and other to their reviews page. Tell me using this otherwise wasted real estate is not a good idea! QR Codes Let You Target Consumers On the Go   Retailers, don’t you wish there was a way to interact with customers on the go? Integrate QR codes into your store signage and other print advertising. Whether you’re providing coupons for shopping in-store or an easy way to sign up for your newsletter, QR codes make it super easy for customer and prospects to access your information fast on their phone.REI, an outdoor sports apparel retailer, had this signage on the front door of one of their stores to pique interest about their frequent shopper program. Instead of calling out the program, they focused on the benefit (dividends) and provided a QR code linked to a list of products people were able to purchase with their dividend. QR Codes Make Real Life Interactive Like the Web   The incredible growth of the online marketing industry isn’t a fluke. Businesses are shifting their time and budgets to online channels because it’s much easier to track the success of their efforts and prove their strategy is working. QR codes essentially allow you place call-to-action buttons on any piece of physical content you have.center_img Brand Experience The best time to look at recipes (at least for me anway) is while I’m at the grocery store. My local Whole Foods store has a recipe board equipped with QR codes so shoppers can open the recipe right on their phones and make sure they buy all the ingredients they need. Genius! Setting Up QR Codes Is Free & Easy to Set Up There are multiple resources businesses can access that will allow them to insert a landing page URL and create a QR code that will direct users to that URL with the click of a button.Sites like Kaywa QR Code allow you to set up QR codes in a matter of minutes and provide you with proper image formats to use in your designs. The Market May Be Slow to Adopt, But the Telecommunications Industry is Ready for You An industry has sprung up around the use of QR codes and other mobile barcode technology. A great example is Neustar . They are veterans in the telecommunications space and recently launched a mobile barcode service that lets you take QR use to the extreme.Neustar users can utilize features like dynamic URLs for geographic or device targeted offers, day parting, and web analytics to make their campaigns incredibly efficient. All the Cool Kids Are Doing It This is not true at all. In fact, you could argue that only geeks are using these things. All kidding aside, the use of QR codes could open up new channels of traffic and customers to your business. At HubSpot, we talk all the time about testing new forms of media and marketing tactics. You won’t know if QR codes will work for business if you don’t at least experiment with them. Go ahead, test them out. If they work — awesome. If they don’t, then who cares? You’ve got nothing to lose. Either way, we’ll still think you’re cool, and actually, you’ll look like the cool kid in your industry if your use of them really pays off. Have you started to use QR codes or other mobile barcodes? Please share how you’re using them, how you are measuring results, and some tips to getting started. Photo Credit: pagetxlast_img read more

The Pros & Cons of Twitter Advertising for Small Business

first_img Topics: Mobile adversiting for promoted tweets can be an even more cost effective way to reach your audience, as mobile costs are typically less expensive than that of desktop/laptop campaigns. Some beneficial features (as pictured above) include the ability to target users regardless of the time they log in, and pay on a cost-per-engagement metric. Be mindful, though, that the same risks that exist for desktop/laptop ad campaigns are present when engaging with Twitter mobile ads. Happy testing!Do you think Twitter ads are well-suited to small businesses? Share your thoughts in the comments!Image credit: SashaW 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 Apr 16, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img Twitter Marketing You may have heard that Twitter has rolled out advertising, but what you might not know is that it’s being targeted to small businesses. For enterprise companies with large teams and budgets, exploring new advertising opportunities like Twitter’s is far less daunting than it is for an SMB marketer — especially those without a strong background in paid online advertising.With time, budget, and resources in such short supply, how do you decide whether or not investing ad dollars in Twitter is worthwhile? While every SMB is unique, we’ve looked at companies across numerous verticals and business sizes and seen Twitter advertising be successful in some instances, and a downright struggle for others. In this post we’ll consider the three main areas for advertising on Twitter — Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Timelines.Why Paid Ads on Twitter are Useful1) They drive users off of Twitter and onto your landing page. Twitter acts just like a search engine in the sense that your ads can show up only to the types of people you’d like to target. Take a look at Promoted Tweets, for example:You can target by keywords, target users who visit your page, target your followers, or target users that share similar interests to your existing followers (similar to look-a-like display targeting). By utilizing these targeting features, you can then tailor your ad messaging and landing page experience so that it is consistent and relevant to your target audience. A streamlined user experience of this nature results in higher conversion rates by putting the user first.2) It’s typically cheaper than alternate PPC options. Did you know certain keywords on Google paid search cost above $200 per click? While it’s not the norm, the major search engines are saturated with ads, and as such costs are at a premium. While Twitter won’t always be less expensive, it can serve as a cheaper alternative for certain verticals, and running a small test to compare its effectiveness is relatively easy.3) You can build and own your audience. When using a feature like Promoted Accounts, the goal is often to attract new followers, and targeting can be set up based on interests. Interest targeting could be as broad as, say, “marketing,” or as specific as you can think! This means that you can build the exact audience that you’d like to market to in the future. As you attract new followers, you also now “own” them and can organically tweet out to them as you see fit at no charge, making this approach a bit of a hybrid between PPC and SEO as you pay to get users that you will then be able to organically reach at any time in the future.The Dangers of Using Twitter Paid Ads1) Tracking & Reporting – If you’re used to using Adwords, beware! The tracking and reporting within the Twitter ads interface are not nearly as robust. The simple joys of Adwords like pulling a spend-by-day report or geo report are nowhere to be found within Twitter’s UI. If you are a data-hound and need all of the data points that Adwords features, you’ll be at a loss with Twitter ads. The best thing to do if you’re running Twitter ads on your own is to keep track of key metrics on a daily basis such as spend, followers, clicks, leads, cost per engagement, and or cost per lead. If you are sending traffic to a landing page, be sure it’s unique so you can properly track performance specific to Twitter.2) Account Service – As an SMB with a small budget, it’s very unlikely that you’ll have access to live Twitter reps to bounce questions off of, help troubleshoot, or brainstorm new marketing approaches. While this isn’t unique to Twitter, it’s something that puts SMBs at a distinct disadvantage if they don’t have specific teams looking at their account on a daily basis to offer insights and recommendations. You’re certainly capable of running a Twitter ad campaign on your own, just be mindful to keep the messaging fresh by updating if often, and to always be thinking about your goals, nuances and trends, and your long term strategy — because nobody on Twitter’s team will.3) Campaign Parameters – In addition to Twitter’s less-than-advanced UI impacting tracking and reporting, it puts SMB marketers at a disadvantage with their ad campaigns, too. For instance, ad campaigns can’t be set up to run on certain days or during certain hours of individual days with any relative ease. Bid increases during peak hours need to be adjusted manually. Things like this that have become the standard in Adwords are scarce to be found within Twitter. A few tips to help you out here include setting your daily budget low, manually adjusting the start and end dates of your campaigns, and keeping bids on the lower side of Twitter’s recommended bid suggestions — at least to start.Overall, Twitter advertising can be a great channel for SMB marketers to build a user base, connect with that base and ultimately drive leads and sales. Just keep in mind that the effort needs to be dedicated, consistent, and a bit creative at times when it comes to account management. Managing Twitter ads on your own is a hands-on job, but is also a job that has the ability to reap significant benefits.Bonus – Twitter Ads Has New Mobile Features!Advertising opportunities on Twitter continue to evolve, and Twitter recently announced new opportunities around promoted tweets for mobile. The move towards mobile makes sense — of the 100 million monthly active Twitter users, 55% utilize Twitter on a mobile device. The details are as follows:Pay only when a user engages.You’ll pay cost-per-engagement pricing, like all Promoted Tweets.It runs on second price, quality-based auction with a minimum bid.Promoted tweets in mobile timelines will amplify your reach.There’s frequency capping with constant monitoring.last_img read more

6 Essential Components of Top Notch Nonprofit Blogs

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 Originally published Aug 29, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 If you don’t have the ability to use video to tell all of your stories, a touching and heartfelt post illustrated with photos works just as well. St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization with a mission to fund childhood cancer grants, lets parents of cancer patients share their stories on the organization’s blog. In one post, Lori Miller, mom to Justin Miller, writes poignantly about what it’s like to send her son into treatment where he “feels like a caged animal,” as well as her hope for his recovery and survival — even as he’s been diagnosed with cancer for the sixth time.3) Tie donor actions to numbers.Explaining how a donation directly impacts your organization’s mission is sometimes made easier with numbers. You can tie the donation amount to singular units the way Nothing But Nets does. When someone donates $10, for example, the organization is able to purchase a mosquito net for one child living in a country where malaria and other blood-borne diseases are rampant. Nothing But Nets  explained how it works in a recent blog post: Or, you can show the overall impact of your organization’s fundraisers. In another blog post, St. Baldrick’s posted a photo of the Quinnipiac University Ice Hockey Team in Hamden, Connecticut. Team members raised $25,000 for cancer research by shaving their heads.Showing the impact of constituents’ support is key to getting people to come back and give again. The more concrete you can make the impact, the easier it is for people to see their impact and give again — as well as share your organization’s mission or cause with their personal networks.4) Thank constituents for their volunteer efforts.If your organization has ways that people can volunteer their time, such as sitting on or chairing a committee, fundraising for your cause, or helping out at events, you can use blog posts to highlight their efforts. By spotlighting your constituents and what they’ve done to help your organization, you get a triple benefit. One, you’re thanking people for their time and effort — which always goes in delighting your volunteers; two, you inspire others to become involved; and three, when you spotlight people, they naturally tell their friends, family and co-workers through social media and email, which drives even more people back to your blog and spreads awareness instantly.A great example of this comes from charity: water again. The nonprofit shot a short “We Love Our Supporters” video for Valentine’s Day this year to say thank you and posted it on their blog:5) Repurpose evergreen content.You know the frequently asked questions you hear repeatedly — these are the questions to which you probably already have stock answers. In addition to (or instead of) creating an FAQ page for your website, create blog posts that answer some of these questions, such as, “How can I be a successful fundraiser?” or, “Who should I email my fundraising page to, and how often should I do so?” Or, create a post that explains terms used in your industry or develop a post that lists other resources, bloggers or experts. This type of evergreen content is relatively easy to create and lasts forever – and if it’s optimized, searchers will find it when looking for information over and over again.The Red Cross’s blog is a great example of this. The nonprofit categorizes all of its posts, including disaster services, health and safety, and services for the armed forces, which are all topics that a large audience will continuously be looking for online. Being the destination for basic facts and helpful information about what your organization is the expert in is a great way to attract a consistent audience.6) Recruit guest bloggers or hire someone to write for you.One way to alleviate the pressure of having to write a lot of blog content is to recruit people to help you. You can hire a freelancer or intern to write your blog for you. You can also divide up blog writing duties between your staff — perhaps assigning one article a month per person, or creating team or department quotas.In addition, you can recruit guest bloggers — your constituents, experts in the community, board members, or volunteers. Having guest bloggers is a win-win: You get your constituents’ personal stories and fresh blog content (without having to write it all yourself); your guest bloggers get to relate why they’re connected to your cause or how your organization is helping them battle cancer, save an animal’s life, retrain for a job, etc. As an added bonus, when a guest blogger writes a post, you can bet he or she will share it with his or her network, increasing your organization’s reach and building your credibility. As a great example of a guest blogger program, Heartwaves (an organization that brings together parents and patients of congenital heart disease) recruited 30 guest bloggers to contribute to their blog community to build credibility and alleviate the pressure of having to write all the content with its small staff.These are just a few examples of successful nonprofit blogging practices. How does your organization maximize its blog to engage new and current audiences?Image Credit: tillwe Nonprofit Marketing Topics: One of the most effective ways to tell the story of your nonprofit, its constituents, and staff members is through a blog. Storytelling about your nonprofit allows you to leveraging these human stories to connect individuals to your cause and inspire them support your organization — and connect you to a wider audience online.But there are a few key aspects of a nonprofit blog that make the great stand out from the average. If you’re looking to achieve a best-in-class blog that supports your nonprofit’s cause and inspires your readers, here’s what your organization should keep in mind when striving for a successful, engaging blog.1) Provide a two-way street of communication.Not only does your blog highlight your compelling stories, but it should be a place for communicating with your readers and supporters. Simply asking your audience for their input on a blog post or story creates that dialogue. It helps give a voice to your organization’s staff and reminds your readers that there are actual people on the other end, supporting your mission from the inside. A blog is a great place to discuss issues, share success stories, and garner feedback on your content. It’s also a place for your constituents to communicate with each other.The ASPCA’s blog is a great example of this communication between followers, supporters, and activists. Just this week, the nonprofit posted a breaking news story about 367 dogs that were rescued from a dog-fighting bust and had over 180 comments on the piece: 2) Tell and share personal stories.The most powerful blog posts connect the reader emotionally to the story being told — especially when they’re told via video. charity: water created a touching and inspiring video of 9-year-old Rachel Beckwith, a fundraiser who was tragically killed in a car accident before she reached her fundraising goal. Her story sparked thousands of individuals across the world to donate to her fundraising page in her honor, raising over $1.2 million. Here was how charity: water told Rachel’s story — and made donors feel connected with the nonprofit:last_img read more

Say Hello to #NewKlout: Klout Steps Into the Content Discovery Space

first_img Social Media Marketing Yesterday, Klout took a big step into the content discovery space with the launch of #NewKlout. Previously, the company was all about scoring your influence on social media and partnering you up with brands to reward those with high scores. Now, Klout wants to help you raise your influence score by surfacing interesting content for you to share.According to Klout’s announcement, this interesting content is tailored to what “will strike a chord with your unique set of friends, fans, and followers.” Then, Klout lets you share that interesting content through their platform, which you can measure by seeing your Klout score go up and down. On my first run-in with the new platform, I’ll admit: I wasn’t immediately blown away. Despite having topics that are mostly relevant to my interests (social media, blogging, marketing, Facebook, and public relations), my feed was littered with content from one PR-focused publication:Removing “public relations” from my topics, though, helped improve the relevancy of the results. Scrolling through, I found stories from sites I typically like reading. There were also visual indicators of trending stories, which could help me prioritize what to read and share. It’s been about a day since #NewKlout launched, and my suggested stories haven’t changed too much, so we’ll see if the algorithm updates more quickly in the future. That’s pretty much it on the actual product update side, folks. What’s interesting about #NewKlout isn’t necessarily the features themselves — it’s the overall trend of social networks getting into the content discovery space. #NewKlout, Paper, and LinkedIn Pulse: Social Networks Getting Into Content DiscoveryWith Facebook’s recent launch of Paper and LinkedIn’s acquisition of Pulse, there’s a really hot trend of social networks trying to solve the content discovery problem on the internet. Since there is now more content online than ever before, and more people are spending their time on social media, each network wants to make sure people are spending their time with them.The way to do that? Distill the signals from the noise and provide relevant content to their users. More relevant content means more time people will spend on their platform, which means they’ll have greater opportunities to surface ads to those people. It makes sense why Klout would want to start surfacing content to its users — everyone else is doing it.Basically, I think we can all agree that Klout wasn’t too sticky before — you found out your score and then left. Now, with more content to discover and share, Klout could have a fighting chance in the social network battle for content discovery dominance. Maybe Klout’s algorithm could help surface more relevant content than the other networks. Only time will tell.What do you think of the new Klout? Would you use it to discover new content? Leave your thoughts with us in the comments. 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 Feb 7, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

What in the World Is a Thank-You Page? [Under 100 Words]

first_imgA thank-you page is the page contacts see immediately after filling out and submitting a form on a landing page.The thank-you page is the final stage in your conversion process. In addition to thanking the person who converted on your landing page, optimized thank-you pages:Make the requested item easily accessibleDirect people to other parts of your siteProvide additional calls-to-actionEncourage social sharingYou can also combine your thank-you pages with automated emails that’ll immediately follow up with your contacts and suggest an additional offer they might enjoy — it could increase conversion rates.What other terms or inbound marketing practices would you like to see explained in under 100 words? Leave your requests in the comments below! Landing Pages Originally published May 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

How to Create PowerPoint Presentations That Don’t Put People to Sleep [Free Templates]

first_img Topics: Originally published Dec 4, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Click to Tweet:Spruce up your PowerPoint presentations with @HubSpot’s free templates + tutorials!center_img If you want people to remember what you say during your next presentation, take it easy on the bullet points and cheesy stock photos. Boring slides can turn even the most intriguing pitch, data, or keynote into a snoozefest.Free Download: 4 PowerPoint Presentation TemplatesAs savvy marketers and salespeople, we know better than anyone how important it is for our content to be engaging. Whether we’re making a SlideShare presentation for lead generation or an overview deck of our team’s performance to share at the next all-hands meeting, a valuable visual experience is what keeps our audience interested.Luckily, giving your presentations a makeover doesn’t have to be a headache — in fact, you don’t even need a designer. To get started…Ditch the boring 90s templates. Your blank slate just got a whole lot sleeker with these three original, easy-to-edit PowerPoint templates.Create a gorgeous deck for every occasion. Each template in the kit has a completely different look and feel so that you can pick and choose a style depending on the topic and audience.Master key tools in PowerPoint. With these step-by-step video tutorials, you’ll discover how to edit and enhance your images without leaving the platform. No Photoshop necessary.Take your slides to the next level. Get familiar with finding and installing premium fonts to instantly make presentations look more polished.Ready to make your slides pop? Download this kit for all the resources you need to catch and keep your audience’s attention.Also, if you feel like sharing this new ebook with your Twitter followers, you can use the click-to-tweet link below. Presentationslast_img read more

Talking Happy: 10 Phrases That’ll Make Your Customers Smile [SlideShare]

first_img The Art of Talking Happy from KayakoEnjoy this post? To read more content like it, subscribe to Sales. Customer Success Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.Happy ears aren’t such a good thing in business. But happy voice? A very good thing. Even the slightest error in phrasing can put a prospect off — which means salespeople spend a lot of time thinking about the particular words they use to pitch their products and converse with buyers.But no matter how hard a rep tries to weed out all of the overtly negative or unnecessary terms in their vocabulary, there are always going to be a few that fly under the radar.Even though certain words don’t seem insidious on the surface, they can strike prospects the wrong way. Offputting words = frowning prospects. And frowning prospects don’t sign contracts. What are some of these deal-destroying words? Kayako has identified such 10 verbal culprits in this SlideShare, and provided happier suggestions that will make both salesperson and buyer smile. Turn those frowns (and perhaps any negative sales trends) upside down.center_img Topics: Originally published Feb 7, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 07 2015last_img read more

Demand Generation Benchmarks & Trends: Software Marketer Edition

first_imgWhile creating the survey for this report, we were interested in whether the different industries had radically different conversion funnels across visitors, leads, and sales opportunities. The charts below feature a comparison between software companies and respondents from all industries. What we see is a similar distribution pattern of responses — imagine plotting two curves against these bar charts, and you’ll see that they take the same shape.There are probably a number of reasons why this trend exists. For one, there may be a coincidence in how marketers were selected for the survey’s sample. There could also be a hidden trend in what the different industries are doing from a strategic perspective. And of course, if we were to compare all industries on a 1:1 basis, we’d probably see more anomalies.Despite potential nuances, one takeaway stands out: These patterns suggest that marketing is a predictable process. With more visitors come more leads and more sales opportunities — a trend confirmed by the Demand Gen Benchmarks Report, which found a correlation between companies exceeding their revenue goals and generating a higher number of monthly website visitors, leads, and sales opportunities. Companies that didn’t know their demand gen benchmarks (indicating a lack of structure in their marketing programs) were less likely to be achieving their revenue goals.2) The software industry is more likely than other industries to rank inbound marketing techniques like content creation and marketing automation/lead management among their top three marketing investments. They’re also investing less in traditional advertising. (Tweet This Stat) The marketing formula seems simple: Attract audiences, engage prospects, convert leads, and facilitate retention. One of the biggest “wins” you can achieve is the ability to connect your disparate initiatives into a scalable, predictable demand generation engine.But when you’re in the trenches, you know this process is easier said than done. Marketers, immersed within their organizations, frequently lack access to industry data. The question of what’s “normal” can be challenging to answer — which makes it tough to justify your budgetary needs to your boss. That’s why benchmarks are so helpful — they help you figure out where you stand in your industry. Below, we dove into several demand gen benchmarks from one industry in particular: software. Read on to learn more.(If you’d like to get a deeper look into this industry or check out some others, you can download the full 2015 Demand Generation Benchmark Report here. It features data from a survey of more than 900 marketers in management levels and above, in 11 industries ranging from media & publishing, finance, healthcare, travel & tourism, consumer products, and consulting.)1) In terms of monthly visitors, leads, and sales opportunities generated, software companies aren’t radically different from other industries. (Tweet This Stat) Originally published May 8, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Lead Generation The survey asked marketers to rank their top and bottom three marketing investments to explore the relationships between companies’ marketing strategies and the benchmarks assessed in this blog post.What we need to keep in mind is that the top and bottom lists from this report don’t differentiate between the levels of budget spent on one tactic over another. For instance, we cannot tell whether content creation received more investment than marketing automation/lead management. What we can say is that content creation and marketing automation/lead management had the highest likelihoods of being ranked among software companies’ top three marketing investments.We have to be careful to remember that a higher investment in budget doesn’t necessarily correspond to an investment in effort. A company, for instance, could spend millions per year on a billboard but actually put more effort into content assets — dozens of blog posts and ebooks — that cost only tens of thousands of dollars to produce in house. The content investment wouldn’t be as high as the traditional advertising investment; however, the effort devoted to content would be much higher.What we can see, however, is that software companies are investing more heavily than other industries in inbound techniques. This trend relates back to a key point from the previous section — that structured marketing programs bridge the gap between effort and success. Inbound marketing efforts like marketing automation/lead management help connect the dots between otherwise dissociated marketing efforts (like tradeshows and email marketing) so you better prove ROI. 3) Software companies are paying higher costs per lead than other industries. (Tweet This Stat)Across all industries, companies reported paying between $1 and $25 on average per lead, while 44% of software companies reported paying more, at $51-$100 on average per lead. One possible explanation for this trend is that acquisition costs are higher for software than other industries due to higher levels of competition in the market and higher customer lifetime values (LTV).Regardless of the explanation, there’s a very clear takeaway from this trend: Wasted leads yield wasted marketing investments. Software companies especially need to make sure that their customers aren’t falling through the cracks. Paths to conversion are complex, and brands need to be present in their audiences’ sales journeys. Inbound techniques like marketing automation, lead nurturing, and content creation are crucial for driving ROI on cost per lead investments.4) Software companies tend to see slightly higher email open and clickthrough rates compared to other industries. (Tweet This Stat)center_img 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 More than 70% of surveyed software companies reported email open rates of higher than 10%, and close to 80% of software companies reported click-through rates of higher than 1%. Across all industries, the survey found a notable trend: Companies exceeding or achieving their revenue goals reported high open and click-through rates.One possible explanation for the trend below is that software companies are more likely than other industries to invest in marketing automation and lead nurturing techniques, which rely on segmentation, interest-based personalization, and targeted content.Final ThoughtsThe bottom line for the software industry is clear: Marketing relationships trump one-off tactics. Facing higher than average costs per lead, the software industry can’t afford to let their website visitors and leads fall through the cracks. Inbound marketing investments are crucial to the future of demand generation in this industry. Marketing is about people, and inbound builds structure around this mission-critical perspective.last_img read more

How to Build Your Brand With Instagram: 4 Tried-and-True Tips

first_img Originally published Dec 28, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 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 Instagram Marketing Instagram is a platform that has demonstrated tremendous growth. In fact, the Instagram community grew to over 400 million users this past year. Despite its impressive reach, many business owners are still overlooking its marketing potential. As a result, they’re leaving high levels of engagement, brand awareness, and even profit on the table.Download our essential guide to Instagram for business for more helpful tips and tricks.But why?In just 12 months, we used Instagram to gain 400,000 followers for Foundr — which translated to over 70,000 email subscribers. At the end of that period, we were averaging 30,000 call-to-action clicks per month from Instagram, and converting 30% of the users who landed on our website from our Instagram page into email subscribers.We’ve seen it work … now it’s time for you to get in on the action. Here are four ways to use Instagram marketing to build your business and brand. (And if you’re looking for more marketing tools and resources for your new business, check out our comprehensive guide on how to start a business.)4 Surprising Ways You Can Use Instagram to Build Your Business & Brand1) Grow your Instagram following with strategic partnerships.One of the biggest frustrations for most marketers delving into Instagram is that they don’t know how to build a following. After all, without a large number of followers, how can it possibly be an effective marketing channel?But based on our experience since launching the Foundr Instagram account, growing your following is not as complicated as it might seem. There’s one tactic in particular that we used to quickly grow our Instagram following to 10,000 in just a couple of weeks: partnering with other Instagram accounts.To start, create a list of popular Instagram accounts that reach your target audience. When you’ve found them, you can then partner with them for what they call “shout-outs,” which can be either paid or unpaid. Here’s how the two differ …Unpaid Shout-outsUnpaid shout-outs are usually called “share for share.” You share one another’s content, and you both encourage your followers to follow the other account. You get access to their audience, and they get access to yours.To start with free shout-outs, focus on accounts that have similar reach as yours. The owners of those accounts will be more receptive to a share for share partnership, since both sides will benefit about the same.But if you want to broaden your reach to accounts with bigger pools of followers, you may want to try paying for shout-outs. Here is an example of an unpaid shout-out partnership we did with Rich20Something, an Instagram account with a similar reach to Foundr’s:We each shared an image from the other account and encouraged our followers to follow them, too.Paid Shout-outsIf you don’t have a budget for social media, you may want to skip over this portion, but paid shout-outs can be a great way to gain thousands of followers — and gain them fast.With paid shout-outs, you’re aiming for accounts that have much higher numbers and a strong level of engagement (accounts where 2-3% of their followers “like” their content).Foundr spent about $100 on shout-outs in the first two weeks of our Instagram account, and it was $100 well spent. This became instrumental in getting us to our first 10,000 followers.Make sure to ask for a call-to-action in the shout-out, in which the account owner is actually asking their followers to take action on something. We’ve found the best strategy is to ask for their followers to follow your Instagram account.As you begin to gain your first few thousand followers, you can begin to drive those followers to your website, engage with your brand, and subscribe to your email list.2) Build your email list by converting your followers into subscribers.As you know, email marketing is crucial to a thriving business. Your email list is made up of your customers. These are your fans — the people who will purchase your products and services.Instagram has been an important driver of email subscribers for Foundr, converting around 15,000–30,000 followers into subscribers each month, depending on our promotions.If you’re familiar with Instagram’s limitations, you may be wondering how this is possible. After all, Instagram doesn’t allow links in photo descriptions.That’s where a well-crafted bio comes into play.Many businesses find it difficult to get followers to click the links in their bios because the tendency is to overload bios with … well, junk. Break that pattern by writing your bio like you’d write a Tweet: short, useful, and packed with intention.Here’s what we’ve chosen as our bio:There’s a very simple secret: Within your bio, use a very specific call-to-action with a memorable URL that takes users to a unique page on your website.Then convert those visitors by ensuring the page they land on is packed with value. We go out of our way to ensure we deliver a ton of value to each visitor who clicks our bio link. The URL in our bio brings users to a page that both enrolls them in a free course and offers them two PDFs packed with actionable content.Once you’ve put the systems into place to not only entice your followers to click on the link in your bio, but also to lead them to insanely useful content, start driving followers to your bio by including calls-to-action in your image descriptions. Your photo caption leads to your bio, your bio leads to your link, your link leads to a huge offer of value.3) Create compelling content that’s worthy of being shared by others.An Instagram strategy that includes creating beautiful, easily digestible content that not only resonates with your audience but also drives them to share and interact with your brand is crucial, and can explode your growth.A great Instagram post can be boiled down to a formula, and requires two elements: beautiful imagery and engaging text.Beautiful ImageryChoose images that tell a story or elicit emotion. This image we shared is not only compelling and interesting, but it also elicits emotion and therefore drives engagement from our followers. What this will look like for your business will depend on your industry, but think outside of posting images of your own products and services. Posting about yourself repeatedly on social media is like being that person at a party who talks constantly about themselves. Also, beware of copyright issues. If the image is not your own, request permission to use it or source non-attribution-required photos. (Check out this awesome list of royalty-free stock photos here.)Engaging TextWhile you don’t have to add text to your Instagram posts, doing so packs a punch that a plain image won’t provide.Text can range anywhere from a compelling question to a powerful, motivational quote. We encourage you to experiment with the latter, as a study conducted by Jonah Berger, author of the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, shows that “high arousal” emotion causes us to want to share far more than things that do not elicit such emotion.To create a stunning visual using text, you don’t need to hire a designer. In fact, we use an app called WORDSWAG to quickly and easily create images like the one you see below. (If you’re an Android user, try Phonto.) One of our images was even shared by the rap artist LL Cool J:While you’ll notice that someone cropped out our logo and added their own attribution in the photo shared above, we always make sure to include our branding as part of all of our posts.For example, if we post an image with a popular quote, we’ll include our logo at the bottom of the image.This small step has not only built brand awareness to our Instagram followers, but it also spreads as our Instagram content is shared on other platforms.After you’ve nailed your Instagram content, and you have systems in place that will generate followers and email subscribers, it’s important to ensure that your followers are engaging with you to maximize your reach.4) Foster a community of highly engaged followers.Engagement comes in many forms, including followers sharing your content, interacting with it some way, tagging their friends, and clicking on your calls-to-action. In this section we’ll go over some of our tactics for fostering a community of highly engaged followers on Instagram.Post When Your Followers Will Actually See Your ContentHave you ever posted something to social media that you think will do really well, only to be met with crickets? Nobody liked post, nobody shared it with their friends, and the only comments you landed were from spambots.While it’s easy to assume you miscalculated the potential of the post, it could just be that you posted the update at the wrong time. After all, networks like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are simply feeds: the newer the content (with some exceptions), the higher up it will be in your followers’ feeds.To avoid this happening again, develop a pipeline of automated updates to be posted when your followers are actually going to see them. We use Iconosquare to find out when most of our followers are online. The service analyzes your followers’ activities and reports back with the best time to schedule your posts.Posting when the largest portion of your followers are online will ensure your content is working overtime for you.Ask for EngagementA lot of brands will start Instagram accounts and become frustrated when people aren’t engaging with their photos.It seems so obvious and simple, but sometimes actually asking for your audience to engage makes all the difference. You can either include the action you want your followers to take as part of the image itself, or include it in the description of your post.The best tactic? Both … as long as it’s specific and actionable. For example, ask them to “double tap” if they agree with your post, or tell them to tag a friend like we did in this post:Instagram is a social platform with tremendous potential for businesses in almost any industry. And if you use Instagram strategically, it can have a significant impact on your reach, brand awareness, and ultimately the revenue of your company.Have you tried any of the tips above? Let us know what’s working for your business in the comments section below.last_img read more

7 of the Best Mood-Boosting Websites We Could Find

first_img Topics: Live video by Animal Planet L!veSophia Bernazzani, Staff Writer, HubSpot Marketing Blog:I’m a huge animal lover, and during a hectic and stressful workday, watching a live feed of a bunch of kittens playing is a fun way to take a quick mental break without getting too distracted.”Visit this online destination if:You love watching adorable things happen in real time. There’s a reason why live videos get 3X more viewing time than pre-recorded ones — it’s fun to watch things unfold as they happen, even if it’s a cat discovering yarn for the first time.Author’s note: For my fellow dog people, there’s also an Animal Planet Puppy Cam.2) Huffington Post Good News SectionAja Frost, Staff Writer, HubSpot Sales Blog:When I need a quick reminder about all the cool, heart-warming, inspiring things people do for one another each and every day, I check Huffington Post’s Good News vertical. It’s a curated collection of happy news — often stories that are overshadowed by more dramatic (read: more depressing) events.”Visit this online destination if:You get overwhelmed by coverage of less-than-positive current events. This site provides great fodder for watercooler talk, but focuses on, well, the good stuff.3) Find the Invisible CowSource: StrauberryPlaysNick Carney, Social Media Marketer:Sometimes, there are days when you just need a win — something to pick you up and carry you through the rest of the day. For me, there’s nothing much more satisfying than finding an invisible cow. It makes me feel more accomplished and ready to take on the world, one elusive cow at a time.”Visit this online destination if:You like a tiny challenge with your midday break. While it’s not exactly a mind-bending game, Find the Invisible Cow provides just enough stimulation for your brain to feel like you’ve accomplished something. Plus, the more you win, the more animal options you have to choose from.4) Cute OverloadJanessa Lantz, ‎Principal Content Marketing Strategist:Cute Overload is my go-to rainy day pickup. Puppies wearing red galoshes and kittens snuggling with hamsters will always make me feel better about life. And even though it’s no longer publishing new content, the archive is still filled with joy.”Visit this online destination if:You’re the nostalgic type. In January 2016, Cute Overload decided to stop publishing new content — read more about that here — but its previous posts are still alive and well at the original URL. So if you’re the type of person who never gets sick of seeing videos about seals, bunnies, and polar bears that have been curated from a variety of sites, this destination is for you.5) SpotifyWhen I told Bernazzani that I would be writing this roundup, she quickly pointed me in the direction of Spotify. The digital music provider, she explained, “has curated playlists that are specifically about mood and attitude.” Some of our favorites? “Brain Food,” “Songs to Sing in the Shower,” and, of course, “Mood Booster,” which we’ve embedded below. Visit this online destination if:Working in silence makes you bonkers — or, if you really do need a quick and easy mood boost. Music is known for its multiple physiological benefits, which are reviewed quite thoroughly in this study of its neurochemistry. But not only can it help to regulate your mood, but also, it can be intellectually stimulating, making it a great way to take a break before resuming a challenging task.6) BarkPost HumorBarkPost is one of those delightful websites full of content that either leaves you in stitches, or clinging to your pets for dear life. If you prefer to avoid the latter — which is likely here, considering you’re seeking a mood-booster and not a downer — we recommend checking out BarkPost Humor, which is packed full of trending stories, photos, and videos of dogs being unintentionally hilarious. Is it hard news? Not really, unless you consider one woman’s tale of sending her dog and cat to a marriage counselor to be heavy-hitting journalism. But honestly, who wouldn’t want to read that story?Visit this online destination if:You never, ever, ever, get sick of seeing funny dog videos — whether you’re in a bad mood or not.7) Audiotree Emotion in Marketing Originally published May 12, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated May 12 2017center_img Don’t forget to share this post! You might be thinking, “Are all of these sites related to animals and music?” Well … almost. But hey, as per the studies cited previously, those are two of the biggest mood boosters out there.For the latter, there’s Audiotree, the aptly self-described “artist discovery platform.” Whether you’re into studio sessions, live-streamed concerts (and remember — that type of video gets over 3X the views as others), or documentaries, this site has something for you.But what makes this site particularly mood-boosting? For us, it’s the variety of content. It might seem like music is intuitively consumed one way — by listening to it — but Audiotree has made it a mission to diversify the way we do that. Plus, they share interesting stories about the people who write and perform it, adding a learning element to the way we enjoy a great song.Visit this online destination if:You love your favorite artists, but want to find something new. You may not have heard of the ones featured on this site before, but what better way to boost your mood than with a new favorite song?Get HappyI don’t know about you, but I feel better already. Many of these sites were unfamiliar to me when I first began working on this article, and just listening to my colleagues describe them with such enthusiasm was a treat. Experiencing them was even better — and I definitely found myself feeling slightly less stressed and preoccupied once I explored some of what they had to offer.And if you feel like you’re too busy to take a break, know this: The top 10% of most productive employees take 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of work they put in. So if you feel your earlobes starting to leave marks in your shoulders, please — watch a cat video, listen to an awesome new song, or read about some good news. Take notes right afterward on how you feel, and see how taking these mini mood-boosting breaks impacts your disposition over time.What are your favorite mood-boosting websites? Let us know in the comments. I will never forget the day I learned that watching cat videos is proven to enhance your mood.Even to a bonafide dog person, the news was good. In a study conducted at Indiana University Bloomington, participants reported “fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness, after watching cat-related online media than before.”And it’s not just cat videos — the same conclusions have been drawn about humor in general. Researchers at Loma Linda University found that, in aging adults, watching comedic videos correlated with improved short-term memory. In other words: Funny is good.We believe these findings particularly apply during the work day. When our days reach a stressful climax, or we’re feeling particularly frustrated, that’s when self-care becomes imperative. But there’s time and efficiency to consider. In the middle of a winter afternoon, for example, a long walk might not be the best option. That’s where the internet becomes especially useful — it’s full of those mood boosting videos that even academic researchers have found to be mentally beneficial. Download our complete workplace productivity guide here.But what are some of the best go-to websites for mood-boosting content? I surveyed the web and my colleagues for some favorite online sources of a quick pick-me-up, and selected the seven best ones to seek out in the middle of a hectic work day. So go ahead — click, and smile. You’ll be glad you did.7 of the Best Mood-Boosting Websites We Could Find1) Animal Planet Kitten Camlast_img read more

Jamaica to Host ECPA Energy Summit in 2019

first_img Extending appreciation to President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet and the Minister of Energy, Hon. Andres Rebelledo and his team, in partnership with the OAS, for guiding ECPA over the past two years, she noted that Chile has handed Jamaica the baton with a running start. She expressed confidence that Jamaica will also provide strong leadership. Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Her Excellency Audrey Marks, made the announcement as she addressed the opening plenary of the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of ECPA, at Viña del Mar, just outside Santiago, Chile, on September 7. Jamaica is to host the 5th Ministerial Meeting of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), scheduled to be held in 2019. Story Highlights Jamaica is to host the 5th Ministerial Meeting of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), scheduled to be held in 2019.Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Her Excellency Audrey Marks, made the announcement as she addressed the opening plenary of the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of ECPA, at Viña del Mar, just outside Santiago, Chile, on September 7.The Ambassador spoke of the continued commitment of the Government towards energy diversification and access, and reduced cost to the population.She said Jamaica looks forward to the next two years of leading the work of the ECPA in partnership with the team at the Development Secretariat of the OAS.“The region is rich in natural resources and we will seek to optimize this potential through various activities that will make the Americas a leader in the new energy paradigm,” the Ambassador said.Extending appreciation to President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet and the Minister of Energy, Hon. Andres Rebelledo and his team, in partnership with the OAS, for guiding ECPA over the past two years, she noted that Chile has handed Jamaica the baton with a running start. She expressed confidence that Jamaica will also provide strong leadership.“I am very heartened by the expressions of support from the partners of this initiative at the United States Department of Energy and Department of State as well as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and World Bank delegations,” the Ambassador said.Also addressing the meeting were President Bachelet and the Secretary General of the OAS, Ambassador Luis Almagro.President Bachelet highlighted the necessity of energy access and her country’s commitment towards more sustainable energy, and supporting the guiding principles and Action Plan of the ECPA.During the opening ceremony, representatives from several countries made presentations in support of the seven pillars of the ECPA.The seven pillars include: promoting renewable energy; improving energy efficiency; making more efficient use of fossil fuels; creating energy infrastructure; reducing energy poverty; promoting regional energy integration; and developing energy research and innovation.Its Mission is to promote regional energy cooperation through different strategies and actions to achieve a cleaner, safer, efficient, modern and fair energy deployment, while the Vision is one of shared leadership in the implementation of energy initiatives and the exchange of experiences within the countries of the Americas, in support of energy development objectives.The ECPA is supported by a Technical Coordination Unit led by the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS.last_img read more

DEBATE HIGHLIGHT All 5 Candidates Pledge To Carry On Micelis Legacy Of

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — All five Democratic candidates in the 19th Middlesex State Rep race pledged to continue Jim Miceli’s legacy of superior constituent services, during last week’s debate hosted by Wilmington Community Television and moderated by Katie Lannan of State House News.“The biggest part of Representative James Miceli’s legacy is his level of constituent services,” said former Wilmington Selectman & School Committee member Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington). “I will be a leader that listens and a voice for the people. I believe that I have the human qualities and the core qualities and attriubutes of an ideal state representative. I have the intellectual ability, the biggest heart, and invested myself for decades into this community through a myriad of philanthropic endeavors. I believe I have the ability to build consensus. I have a past demonstrated track record of helping people. I will be accessible, transparent, and actively engaged on behalf of all residents regardless of their issue or concern.”“When I think of James Miceli, I think of what he has done for so many people of so many ages for so many reasons,” continued O’Connell. “It would be my honor to follow in his footsteps, most specifically, in that regard, to take care of all people in the 19thMiddlesex district.”“I don’t think anyone sitting here will fill the shoes of my uncle, Jim Miceli. He’s going to go down as perhaps the best representative Wilmington and Tewksbury has ever seen,” said 28-year Wilmington Selectman Mike McCoy (D-Wilmington.) “That being said, I do bring something to the table. I’ve served my government for 31 solid years – 28 years as a member of the Board of Selectmen and 3 years on the Planning Board. I’ve demonstrated constituent services and accessibility. People know how to get in touch with me.“I really truly believe public service is in my DNA,” added McCoy. “I love helping people through the maze of local government. I believe I can take what I’ve done and learned at a local level and bring it and excel at the state level. I care about people. I’ve been in the people business all my life. I really enjoy helping folks. If I can help someone make a better life for themselves, I’m going to do that. There will be a learning curve, I will learn from my mistakes, and I will move forward. I know I can do this.”“Jim was a good friend. I would talk to him 3-4 times a week. He’d always have me on the phone about something going on in Tewksbury or Wilmington. The two of us shared the same thoughts,” said Tewksbury Selectman Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury). “I’m out every single night at some event – doing everything I can for the community. Everytime I was there, Jim was there. The two of us would be going around, talking with people.”“Since his passing, I’ve received over a hundred phone calls from folks who said they’d usually call Jim, but they’re calling me because they need help,” continued Kratman. “When people call and they’re at their worst, and need you the most, you’re supposed to be there to help them. That was the best thing Jim Miceli would always do. He took care of everybody. Everyone at this table has at least 100 stories of how Jim helped everybody. I want to be the same type of person that he was.”“I echo everyone else’s comments about constituent services,” agreed Wilmington Democratic Town Committee Chair Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington). “When I interned from Rep. Miceli, I was at the beginning of my political science career in college. I was really unsure of what path I wanted to take. Interning for him, he had me working on everything, from summarizing bills to going to committee meetings with him. The consistuent services aspect was the one that stuck with me. The power of that office and what you can do to make an impact in people’s lives really stuck with me.”“I’m the type of person that’s motivated by making a difference in someone else’s life and contributing to the greater good,” added Johnson. “Every single person I talked to on the campaign trail has had a story about how Representative Miceli helped themselves, a family member, a friend or a neighbor. That’s something that absolutely needs to be continued. I will be accessible, transparent, and there for anyone who needs my ear.”“It’s nice to hear all [these responses] because, in a sense, for four to five years, I was the man behind the man as my title was ‘Officer of Constituent Affairs’ for Representative Miceli,” said former Miceli Chief of Staff Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury). “Jim was accessible at all hours. I kid you not. If I could have charged him double for picking him up at 2am, I would have, but out of love and dedication, I didn’t.”“Because he had so many people looking to him for help, he had to split the load between my good co-worker and I. Over that time, I – personally – was able to assist the representative and quite often took the lead on issues… I found hundreds, if not thousands, of different solutions to people’s cases over the years,” continued Robertson. “I have worked with local, state and federal agencies to the point where I can pull out my cell phone, turn it on, call these people, and have a first-name conversation. That’s how well I know these constituent affairs folks. I am the most knowledgeable when it comes to helping [a constituent] one-on-one.”Watch the debate, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below. Jump to the 1:06:30 mark to watch much of what was written above.—Video Playerhttps://objects-us-west-1.dream.io/wilmington/e/f/b/2/2/6/efb2269b-0049-4395-88c5-1a6b7753f1841535028088.523%2B39810787.566%40castus4-wilmington%2B15350318121535028264454752.vod.720p.180823%20Democratic%20Primary%20Debate.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedDEBATE HIGHLIGHT: Most Democratic Candidates Not Ready To Pledge To Support Their Party’s Nominee In General ElectionIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Judy O’Connell Discusses State Rep Pay, Environmental IssuesIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Judy O’Connell Addresses Allegations Of Federal Tax Liens On Her HomeIn “Government”last_img read more

Indian Railway Budget 201213 at a Glance

first_imgRailway Minister Dinesh Trivedi presented a bold and ambitious Railway Budget 2012-13 in Parliament, giving importance to passengers’ safety, security and amenities. Here is the Railway Budget at a glance:Railway Budget presented by Dinesh Trivedi seeks to raise investment in modernization and upgradation of rail infrastructure. It gives very high priority to rail safety and security. Passenger fares have been increased marginally.  He proposed a Budget with highest ever plan outlay of Rs. 60,100 crore, out of which Rs. 6,872 crore would be spent for new railway lines and significant funds for passengers safety, security and amenities. In this Budget, the Railway Minister focused on five important fields – Safety; Consolidation; Decongestion & Capacity Augmentation; Modernization; and to bring down the Operating Ratio from 95% to 84.9% in 2012-13.   The Railway Minister proposes to increase passenger fare by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class; 3 paise per km for mail/express second class; 5 paise per km for sleeper class; 10 paise per km for AC Chair Car, AC 3 tier and First Class; 15 paise per km for AC 2 tier and 30 paise per km for AC I.  The fares will be rounded off to the next nearest five rupees and the minimum fares and platform tickets to be increased to Rs. 5 from Rs.3.  In the Railway Budget, the Minister proposed 75 new Express trains, 21 new passenger services, 9 DEMU services and 8 MEMU services. Shri Trivedi also announced the extension of the 39 trains; increase in the frequency of 23 trains; 75 additional services to run in Mumbai suburban; 44 new suburban services to be introduced in Kolkata area; 50 new services to be introduced in Kolkata Metro; and 18 additional services to be run in Chennai area.  The Railway Budget also provides for 50% concession in fare in AC-2, AC-3, Chair Car & Sleeper classes to patients suffering from ‘Aplastic Anaemia’ and ‘Sickle Cell Anaemia’. It also provides for extending the facility of travel by Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains to Arjuna Awardees. The travel distance under ‘Izzat Scheme’ has also been increased from 100 kms to 150 kms.  Proposing highest ever plan outlay for the Railway Budget, the Railway Minister said that it will be financed through Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) of Rs 24,000 crore; Railway Safety Fund of Rs 2,000 crore; internal resources  of Rs 18,050 crore; and Extra Budgetary Resources of Rs 16,050 crore, which includes market borrowing of Rs 15,000 crore through IRFC.  The Railway Budget provides for 725 km new lines; 700 km doubling; 800 km gauge conversion and 1,100 km electrification. Rs 6,872 crore have been provided for new lines; Rs 3,393 crore for doubling; Rs 1,950 crore for gauge conversation and Rs 828 crore have been provided for electrification.  The Railway Budget 2012-13 lays emphasis on safety and security of the passengers. Trivedi said that drawing from the recommendations of the Anil Kakodkar and Sam Pitroda Committees, he has chosen five focus areas namely: Track; Bridges; Signalling & Telecommunication; Rolling Stock; and Stations and Freight Terminals. Under this a Railway Safety Authority has been proposed as statutory regulatory body; Missions will be created to implement the modernization programme; and setting up of a Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority is to be considered. Two new Board Members (Safety/Research and PPP/Marketing) are to be inducted.  Trivedi also announced the setting up of a Rail-Road Grade Separation Corporation to eliminate level crossings. Three ‘Safety Villages’ proposed to set up at Bengaluru, Kharagpur and Lucknow for skill development for disaster management. The Railway Minister also announced that an Indian Railway Station Development Corporation would be set up to redevelop stations through PPP mode. He also announced that a Logistics Corporation will be set up for development & management of existing railway goods sheds and multi-modal logistics parks. A National High Speed Rail Authority is also to be set-up.  Highlighting the efforts being made to improve the amenities and to provide better experience to the passengers at stations, the Railway Minister said that 929 stations will be upgraded as Adarsh Stations including 84 stations proposed in 2012-13. Specially designed coaches for differently-abled persons will be provided in each Mail/Express trains. RPF helpline will be integrated with the All India Passenger Helpline. SMS on passenger mobile phone in case of e-ticket will be accepted as proof of valid reservation.Satellite based real time train information system (SIMRAN) will be introduced to provide train running information to passengers through SMS, internet, etc. On board passenger displays indicating next halt station and expected arrival time will be introduced. 321 escalators will be installed at important stations of which 50 will be commissioned in 2012-13. Regional cuisine will be introduced at affordable rates.The Railway Minister also announced launching of ‘Book-a-meal’ scheme to provide multiple choice of meals through SMS or email. Coin/currency operated ticket vending machines will be introduced during 2012-13. Rail Bandhu on-board magazines will be distributed on Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Duronto trains. The Railway Budget 2012-13 also proposes setting up of AC Executive lounges at important stations.  The Railway Minister announced that pre-feasibility studies on six high speed corridors have already been completed and study on Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Jodhpur will be taken up in 2012-13.  Announcing the measures for the welfare of railway employees, the Minister proposed a wellness programme for railway staff at their work places; ensuring proper rest for skilled and technical staff including the running crew; and institution of ‘Rail Khel Ratna’ Award for 10 rail sports-persons every year.  Caring for the environment, the Railway Minister announced the introduction of a ‘Green Train’ to run through the pristine forests of North Bengal; 200 remote railway stations will be set up as ‘green energy stations’ powered entirely by solar energy; solar lighting system will be provided at 1,000 manned level crossing gates;  2,500 coaches will be equipped with bio toilets. Trivedi also announced setting up of 72 MW capacity windmill plants in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.  The Minister said that during 2011-12 the railways recruited over 80,000 persons to fill up various vacancies; now he proposes to recruit over one lakh persons during 2012-13 so that backlog of SC/ST/OBC and other categories will be wiped off.  The Minister announced that freight loading during 2012-13 is expected to be 1,025 MT which will be 55 MT more than 2011-12. The passenger growth during the year is pegged at 5.4%.last_img read more

PM leaves New York for home

first_imgPrime minister Sheikh Hasina addresses the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA on 27 September. Photo: PIDPrime minister Sheikh Hasina left New York Saturday evening for London en route home wrapping up her weeklong official visit to the United States to attend the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).A British Airways flight carrying the premier and her entourage members departed from John F Kennedy International Airport for London at 7:30pm local time (BDST 6.20am on Sunday), reports BSS.Bangladesh ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin and Bangladesh ambassador and permanent representative to the UN Masud Bin Momen saw the premier off at the airport.The flight is scheduled to reach Heathrow International Airport in London at 7:45am local time.After making an over 10-hour stopover in the British capital, the prime minister will leave London for home at 6:20pm local time (BDST 11.20pm tonight) by a VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines.The flight is scheduled to reach Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 9:25am (BDST) on Monday.The prime minister addressed the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York on 27 September and had a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres the same day.On the sidelines of the UNGA, she held bilateral meetings with Dutch Queen Maxima and Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on her.The Bangladesh premier attended a Welcome Reception hosted by US president Donald Trump.On the sidelines of the UNGA, she joined a number of high-level events onRohingya crisis, cyber security, peacekeeping, women empowerment, girl education and world drug problem.Sheikh Hasina joined a luncheon and roundtable arranged by the US Chamber of Commerce.During the UNGA, the prime minister received two international awards. The awards are ‘International Achievement Award’ of Inter Press Service (IPS), a global news agency, and ‘Special Distinction Award for Outstanding Leadership’ of Global Hope Coalition, a network of three not-for-profit foundations based in New York, Zurich and Hong Kong.She also attended a civic reception accorded to her by expatriates Bangladeshis living in the USA and addressed a press conference about the outcome of her participation in the 73rd UNGA.last_img read more