We are thrilled to share that Nestlé USA has named 360i its Digital AOR for brands Lean Cuisine, Skinny Cow, Coffee-Mate and part of the Nestlé Waters North America Business.In a statement to Advertising Age regarding Nestle USA’s agency selections, Chris Padgett, VP of digital marketing at Nestlé USA said: “Our decision to award the business to these agencies was based on a strong combination of factors including strategic planning, digital acumen and team strength.”We are excited to be working with our new client partners at Nestlé to help them take digitally-centric approaches to their marketing and communications.Learn more about the partnership in Ad Age.
From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,There’s a specific conversation I frequently have with people around my age. As they get closer to middle adulthood and look back on everything they’ve learned about money, they start to wonder – why didn’t they teach us this stuff… Full Story,Depending on what you look for in a card, one of these may be a perfect fit your do-it-yourself projects. Follow along to learn more about these top five credit cards for DIYers. Full Story,In many ways, our credit determines our power as consumers. The strength of our credit profile and score enable us to rent an apartment, take out a car loan, and sign up for a cell phone number. Can you imagine… Full Story,Travel credit cards are available with a wide array of rewards, redemption options, fees, and bonuses. Weeding through so many general and branded travel rewards cards can be tough, so we picked out some favorites for a wide range of travel styles – so you can find the best travel credit card for your wallet.Full Story,Traveling abroad carries with it all sorts of potential credit issues. Some are just mildly annoying, but some can leave you stranded in Amsterdam, relying on the help of a broke friend you haven’t seen since high school. To avoid those issues and everything in between, here are some tips for using credit abroad. Full Story,The top reward credit cards cater to an array of desires. Whether you want to get cash back or earn miles and points toward free travel, the cards below are all a great place to get started.Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated by some of the links that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint Partners were added after the creation… Full Story
Learn from Your Mistakes Assess the Damage For many growing up, summers used to mean camp, school vacation, part-time jobs, and internships. But for Millennials, specifically those in their mid-20s to early-30s who might have some more discretionary income, the word ‘summer’ can sometimes become synonymous with ‘splurge.’ Summertime is the season for concerts, new wardrobes, dinners out with friends, and you guessed it – travel, travel, travel.Which makes total sense! The weather is nicer, the days are longer, school is out, and work is typically slower. But don’t be fooled, airlines, hotels, concert venues and even those Airbnbs, know summer is prime time too. According to the 2018 Travelport U.S. Vacation Survey, Millennials (ages 18-34 years old) are most likely to spend more on their upcoming vacations than other age groups, with one out of three willing to spend $5000 or more!Typically with this type of experiential spending – whether it be a fancy dinner spot during your vacation in Italy, a museum tour in London, or a must-see artist on tour – it can’t be returned. An experience is not like an expensive pair of jeans you bought at Nordstrom on impulse because hey, you look good and why not #TreatYoSelf. Those can easily be returned if you revisit and find they aren’t worth the investment, but spending a day on a rented boat? Not so much.So if your spending this summer got (or is still getting!) a little out of hand, it’s time to get back on track. 2018 isn’t over, people! Use the next five months to regain lost ground on personal finance goals. Here’s how to get started. We’ve all seen the movie clip of a shopaholic freezing her credit card in a block of ice. This may be semi-effective, but is it realistic? Hell no. It may be a way to tackle spending right now, but it’s hardly a long-term strategy. The best way to really take hold of your finances and get back on track is to be real with yourself. Have the #RealMoneyTalk with yourself, set goals, and actually work on keeping them!Remaining aware of how much you are really spending with a credit card also helps to encourage cautious consumption. In addition, try leaving it behind every so often. Although we’ve been encouraged to “never leave home without it,” there are moments when this advice may actually make it seem easier to use it rather than being cautious of what that phrase really means. Most days, leaving the credit cards at home isn’t an inconvenience and carrying a debit card or paying with cash will help you feel more in charge of your finances while setting you up to improve your numbers.Splurging, especially in the summer, is fun, exciting and easy, but it IS detrimental to your financial health. The best way to get ahead of the urge to spend is to again, be real with yourself. Building money into your budget for little (and occasionally big) indulgences is a healthy way of allowing yourself the ability to afford something fun while keeping yourself on track with your goals. This also helps you battle “frugal fatigue” and prevent yourself from making impulsive purchases.What did you splurge on this summer? Shake it off and tell us in the comments! Ok, so you went a little bit overboard? As the expression goes, ‘there’s no use crying over spilled milk,’ and there’s no point in stressing over purchases that can’t be returned. Honestly, we’re all human and we all make mistakes – especially financial ones! The good news? Nothing can’t be undone. Yes it may take a while to rebuild a credit score or a savings fund, but there are plenty of ways to get things back on trackFirst thing’s first: rip of the bandaid, look at the damage done, and ask yourself a few questions. How high is my credit card bill? Can I afford to pay this off now? When is my next paycheck? Will that help cover some of the splurge? I don’t want to dip into my emergency fund, but do I need to? The best counteract to getting overwhelmed is getting organized. Spend time checking your bills and looking at your bank account balance and credit statement.The next step? Rewrite your budget to fit your current reality. “Budgeting” makes people think of limiting their fun and restricting their choices, but if you take the holistic view, budgeting actually helps relieve constraints and increase life choices down the line. Mint helps you build personalized budgets that make sense for you today and set you up for success tomorrow. If your wallet had an active, lively summer, maybe try to cool it down a little in the fall to rebalance. Think: home cooked meals, fewer workout classes, and no overpriced lattes. Set up autopay: Whether or not you make payments on-time is the single most important element in the calculation of your credit score. As long as you pay your bills on or before the deadline, your score will be in good standing.Increase your credit limit: One of the biggest factors in determining your credit score lies in how much of your current credit balance you’re using. Every credit card has a credit limit or a maximum amount you can spend. Your credit score will take a hit if your credit balance is more than 30% of the available limit. WARNING: do not use this increase as an excuse to up your spending!Keep old accounts open: Your credit age makes up 15% of your credit score, and the only way to increase the age is to keep old accounts open and avoid opening new ones. Every time you open a new credit card or take out a new loan, the average age of your score decreases. In other words, if you just sit tight with the accounts you have now, your score will likely increase on its own. Post navigation Take Action Whether your 2018 personal goals include reducing credit card debt, spending less, adhering to a budget, or paying off more loans, the best thing you can do to get back on the horse is to check your credit score. Our friends over at Turbo give you your score completely free and with personalized advice to help get you where you want to be financially.If you see your score has taken a ding – don’t freak out! Working to improve your credit and your credit score might seem like black magic, but I promise it isn’t. In reality, your credit score is based on very real, very measurable criteria – and you do have the power to change it. Here are three of the easiest ways to improve your credit score: Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow To Plan A Budget-Friendly Family VacationMay 9, 2019In “Travel Tips”20 Common Things to Include in a BudgetOctober 16, 2013In “Financial Planning”Hey, Big Spender! Can You Afford It?December 20, 2016In “Budgeting”
Pablo Picasso had his paint brush. Charles Dickens had his pen and paper. And Ava DuVernay has her scripts. The creatives who have graced our world and who continue to create and imagine have been able to bring so much creativity and beauty into our world. Can you imagine what life would be like if we could never look at the Eiffel Tower again? How would our lives differ if we could never listen to an intricately told story, or never hear another musical note played ever again? These things help to make our otherwise mundane lives more lively and interesting. And throughout the years, these forms of art have evolved as society has continued to advance and develop. In today’s world, some people are even able to produce breathtaking pieces with a makeup palette. The individuals on this list are truly artists of a new era. Their optical illusion creations are unbelievably astonishing.15ShatteredIf you’re a klutz then you definitely avoid being around glass. You know that it won’t take much for you to trip up and do something that would break that item into thousands of tiny little pieces. That’s also why you don’t own any of it. It would be like an accident waiting to happen. You may even watch yourself around other people, because you know that with your luck, you might even unintentionally end up physically hurting somebody you care about. If human beings were made of something like crystal then the illusion that this woman has so brilliantly illustrated would definitely occur around you. In fact, even though nothing like this could ever transpire, you’ve probably imagined it on more than one occasion.14A Sea Creature On LandThere are tons of different creatures out there in the fantasy world. Some of them are even combined with human beings. Mermaids, for example, have the top half of humans and the bottom half of a fish. And if you’re a fan of The Little Mermaid then you have also seen Ursula, who has octopus tentacles instead of legs. This person has apparently taken inspiration from beings like that to come up with an optical illusion of their own. We all thought that we would see things like bones, nerves, muscle, fat, and blood if we were ever to pull back the skin on our arm, but this artist shows us a unique perspective on what lies underneath. If you looked like this, you would definitely fit in under the sea with Ariel and her friends.13The Third EyeWhen you first look at this picture, you may think that this is just a close up photograph of someone’s eye. However, if you examine it a little bit closer, then you would realize that this isn’t an image of the part of your body that you see with it. It’s actually the part that you eat with. This person has just done a really good job at making her mouth look like one of her eyes. The detail here is absolutely exquisite. The iris isn’t just one color. Instead, it shows the different colored specs that come together to make it look like our eyes are just one solid shade. She’s even added eyelashes and some eyeliner to drive the illusion home. If her mouth was closed, I would have probably never realized that this was actually her lips.12Knot In Her StomachWhen someone says they have a knot in their stomach, you know that they’re not having a very pleasant experience. And even though they may say this common saying, we know that they don’t mean it literally. They’re probably really nervous about something that’s important to them, and these feelings have caused them to have that sensation. Even though the idiom isn’t literal, this woman has chosen to portray what it would look like if this phrase wasn’t just a figure of speech. It really does look like her torso has been tied up. And judging from this picture, it’s definitely a good thing that this expression is figurative because if it wasn’t then it would definitely be a pretty uncomfortable thing to go through.11Piece Of The PuzzleWhen you were a kid, your parents might have kept a variety of puzzles around the house for you to tackle. On a rainy day when you couldn’t go outside and were bored, you might have pulled out one and started tackling it. Depending on how big and difficult it was, would also depend on how long it would take you to do it. There may have even been times when you couldn’t finish it because it was so intricate. Well, this person may only have one piece to worry about, but it’s a pretty important one. This individual has made it look like their hand has been put together by a few of these pieces, but now they only have one left to finish the masterpiece.10Off With Her HeadEven if you’ve never seen Alice in Wonderland before, you’re still probably familiar with the Queen of Hearts’ infamous line, “Off with their heads.” She was notorious for saying this. Whenever she lost her temper, someone’s head would ultimately have to pay the price. In this case, it looks like this poor woman has had to. Through this optical illusion, she’s made it seem like her entire neck has been chopped off. Now, the only thing that remains is two separate parts of her body. The top part is her noggin, and the bottom half starts at the stump that was left after the separation took place. And apparently it was done so well that not a single drop of blood was shed during the process.9Say CheeseIf we didn’t have skin, we’d look pretty strange. Essentially, we would be all of those skeletons that you see during Halloween time. If you’ve ever seen an x-ray of yourself before then you would know exactly what you would appear as. This woman has probably seen her teeth when the dentist takes x-rays of it, so she thought it would be interesting to find out how that would come out looking if it was combined with her normal face, and the result is pretty spectacular. She even made it a million times more interesting by adding a couple of props to it. By bringing in the strings, it really appears as though she’s pulling her skin back so that we can all get a good look at what’s inside.8Four Faces In OneI could stare at this image for ages before getting bored. This guy used his face to add three more to it. Drawing this on a piece of paper would be amazing to see, but the fact that he was able to do this on himself is mind boggling. The first is a profile view where he is looking off to the left. The second is also a profile, but only he’s looking the opposite direction. And then the final image is of him looking forward. By combining the two profiles, he’s able to make it appear as though he’s looking forward. Having any one of these depictions would be very impressive, but the fact that he was able to do all of them makes it that much more remarkable.7Split In TwoIn cartoons, sometimes people would dress up as another character in order to trick someone that they had it out for. If it was a show like Looney Tunes then somebody might get a full body suit that they could just step into and zip up, and then when it was time for their trick to end, they would just unzip it and go on with the rest of their life. That’s what this picture reminds me of. It looks like she’s trying to play a practical joke on another individual and she’s doing that by disguising herself in a costume that she can just get zipped into. And now that she’s succeeded in carrying out her plan, it’s time to peel off her outer layer so that she can return to being her normal self once again.6No FaceWhen someone says that you have nothing going on up top, it’s definitely not a compliment. It essentially means that they think that you’re not very intelligent. If they were playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire and they needed to phone a friend, you wouldn’t even be on the list of people that they would want to call. In fact, they would rather take a random guess than use you as their lifeline. This optical illusion is a visual representation of that. It looks like the middle part of this girl’s face has been taken away from her. Someone got a really sharp knife and decided to cut a hole right through her with extreme precision. And after that, the only thing that remained were memories of what used to be.5Big MouthThis is another one of those visual representations of popular saying. When someone says that you have a big mouth it means that you can’t keep a secret. If somebody ever has some sensitive information that they don’t want to get out then the last person they would tell it to is an individual who’s incapable of keeping it to themselves. Well it looks like this guy has the biggest mouth known to mankind because it starts at his nose and then extends all the way down past his neck and clavicle, to his chest. And since his real lips are closed in this illusion it doesn’t even look like he has two sets of them. This painted on version is the only one that he possesses.4Help Me, I’m MeltingIn some places it gets insanely hot in the summer time. The heat combined with the humidity makes it nearly impossible for anyone to stay outside for too long without them becoming completely miserable. It actually leaves you longing for the days when you were bundled up and freezing your butt off. In these types of climates, you may even feel like you’re melting. But even though that’s not actually happening to you, you would swear that it was. But if you really were then this is what it would look like. It looks like this woman’s skin is paint, and someone has just thrown a bucket of water at her. And now because of that, each and every part of her is slowly coming off.3Beware Of The VortexI’m sure that you’ve watched a movie or a TV show where someone sees a swirling pool that clearly looks like it’s from out of our world, but despite its other worldly appearance, they still choose to go inside. You may resort to yelling at the screen and telling them that they’re an idiot for going in it, but because they can’t hear you, they make the same mistake that every character before them has made. That’s what it seems like is going on here to her face. It’s gotten caught in some sort of vortex and now it’s slowly being transported to another dimension. Her eyes and mouth have already been sucked in to it, but the rest of her body will soon follow.2You Are What You EatWhen someone says that you are what you eat, they don’t mean that you’re literally a piece of pizza or macaroni and cheese (even though that would be pretty cool). They just mean that if you eat healthy then you’re going to be healthy, and if you chow down on unhealthy food then you’re going to be unhealthy. However, if this artist had it her way, then maybe she might want that saying to be true. Many artists are inspired by what they know, and if she happens to consume a lot of kiwi then she may have used her love of it as inspiration for her this optical illusion. Mimi Choi has definitely had tons of pretty interesting illusions, but this one has to be one of the most mouthwatering of them.1He’s A Complicated ManWhen someone is a complicated person, people might say that they have many layers to them. They may be nice, but that’s not all that they are. This is what a visual representation of that would look like. Before this man’s face was painted he looked pretty normal, but then once Mimi Choi got started with him it seemed as though there was another layer that was underneath that top part. And then she kept going and another level was revealed. If she had continued to paint then who knows how many more layers we would have gotten to see. We can tell that she’s a talented artist, so I’m sure that she would be able to pull off a few more if she had wanted to.Source
As a follow-up to my last article on the decentralization of the economy from one of a relatively large number of very large businesses and a relatively few number of small businesses to a relatively few number of very large businesses and a very large number of small businesses. As you may recall, I talked about how the advent of networks (railroad->telephone->highway->airline->fax->email->internet) has overall lowered the “transaction costs” between businesses which increases the likelihood of a decision to outsource a task versus hire additional employees leading to an overall economic decentralization. One of the problems with this model is that it’s a bit hard to know where your industry is in it’s development. For example, Apple has been earning huge profits on its itunes/ipod business for several years now — are there many more years to come or are they facing near-term de-centralization as the buying criteria shifts from simplicity to something else (i.e. price, features, other)? It is likely doing its best to keep the interfaces between the pieces of the value chain locked up (trade secrets, patents, exclusivity with parts suppliers, etc.) and keep customers locked in, but how long can they hold on? At some point in time, there may be another disruption in the computer industry that will cause it to consolidate again. For example, the buying criterion moving to a new price point to serve underdeveloped countries might end up creating a new integrated player in the pc space who controls the boundaries of a new device that can be sold for $100 or less. I suspect that we will see a similar decentralization in the online music industry. Just as they did in the PC industry 20 years ago while the category was in the “not good enough” phase, Apple has seized control of the subsections/interfaces between the components within the mp3 player (ipod), the music delivery application (itunes), the music itself, and the distribution (Apple stores). As they did with the pc, they are optimizing around the buying criteria of ease of use because prior to ipod/itunes, “you’d have to be a high school student” [I borrowed that line from Christiansen] to figure out how to make this type of stuff work. By not having to worry about designing the boundaries (api’s), Apple lowers its “transaction costs” and can innovate quickly. We are still in the early phase of this industry and Apple is earning the lion’s share of the profits. It will be interesting to see who the winners are as the industry decentralizes. In particular, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft’s strategy plays out. From my perspective, Microsoft is making a mistake by trying to play the same game as Apple here and controlling the end-to-end experience, rather than sticking to it’s knitting and trying to control a strategic layer that enables this industry to split apart. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Today, I want to talk a bit about centralization/decentralization within industries. I think Clayton Christiansen does a pretty good job of explaining the centralization/decentralization of industries and where the profits flow in the value chain depending on where the cycle is. Basically, his thesis is that vertically integrated firms take the lion’s share of the profit in an industry when the products are not that good (i.e. pre-chasm). They generally have a big advantage because they do not have to worry about defining boundaries (i.e. api’s) between subsections of their products and can just focus on innovating. This is something that Apple has proven they are exceptionally good at. They first proved it with the PC back in the 1980’s where they controlled the subcomponents including the operating system and while the industry was in its infancy, it accrued major profits on Mac’s using that integrated approach. As the industry matured, the buying criteria started changing to price and the “boundaries” between the subsections were detailed sending the profits away from independent architecture providers like Apple to multiple tiers in the value chain, such as Microsoft, Intel, memory companies, disk drive companies, etc. It is probably helpful to think a bit about what’s happening in your industry? Are the profits centralized around integrators of functionality? Are the boundaries between the subsections of your industry starting to break down? Is there reason to believe that a disrupter could be coming along at the low end? The following is Christiansen’s specific take on the how the value chain in the computer industry has changed. It is most interesting to see how much the industry has decentralized over time and how the profits now accrue to the subsections in the value chain versus the integrated suppliers, such as Apple. Originally published Feb 13, 2007 11:50:00 AM, updated July 11 2013
According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 77% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing in 2011. This means that with 2 billion videos watched per day on YouTube and 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, marketers need to understand how to take a video on YouTube and add it to your site or blog. Here is a quick video that will explain exactly how you do this as you work to expand your YouTube marketing strategy. Topics: Youtube Marketing Originally published May 3, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated April 25 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
Content Creation Resources Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Content creation is one of the key pillars of inbound marketing — but that doesn’t always mean it’s the easiest pillar to master. As with any new project, you’re bound to run into an obstacle or two. To help you overcome those obstacles, here’s a quick round-up of recent blog posts by HubSpot Partners about solving the most common content creation challenges that inbound marketers face. Each post features killer tips and tricks you can start implementing today.1) Running out of ideas? Learn how to brainstorm 100 ideas in under an hour.Sometimes, the hardest part of any project is getting started. How many times have you stared at a blank white screen, just hoping your next brilliant idea would appear? This blog post walks you through five tactical steps for brainstorming content ideas. It explains everything from the best way to collect content ideas from sales teams and customer service associates to prioritizing content topics to drafting enticing titles.2) Want to create more engaging content? Get to know your audience.We can’t say enough about how critical it is to know your audience. The trouble is, sometimes actually doing that isn’t so clear. Creating buyer personas can solve for this. Fictional representations of your ideal customers can help you nail down key details about your company’s perfect customer. When you know your audience, content creation becomes that much easier. This quick read explains the essential questions to ask yourself about your audience so you can create content tailored specifically for their wants and needs.3) Don’t miss that deadline! Here’s how to avoid common content planning mistakes.As an inbound marketer, you know that content is king. It’s essential for attracting strangers to your website, converting those visitors into leads, closing customers, and continuing to delight these people to make them promoters of your brand. It’s oh-so-easy to get swept up in a hyper-creative idea and forget about the practical side of creating content that’s inherently helpful. You’ll learn how to avoid a few pesky pitfalls to make your content creation process as smooth as possible.4) Content isn’t converting? Try this.For many marketers, the ultimate goal of content creation is lead generation. This post explains four small tweaks you can make to your content to inspire potential customers visiting your website to take action, such as providing their email address for a download or chatting with your seals team.5) Congrats on the sale! Your content’s job isn’t over yet.Content creation shouldn’t stop once you’ve sealed the deal. After your company has closes a new customer, the next step is delighting them so they become promoters of your brand. It’s a fine line of providing helpful content but also pushing your customer to act as a cheerleader for your company. In this blog post, you’ll learn five quick tips for charming your customers so they tell everyone they know how awesome your really are.6) If all else fails, learn a thing or two from these pups.The writer of this blog post works from home and spends a lot of time with her five (count ‘em, five) dogs. This post tackles everything from goal setting, user experience, brainstorming ideas, and delighting customers with content. She explains how crushing the fundamentals of content marketing can lead to big results. And, to be honest, this one’s worth reading because the analogies are clutch. Topics: Originally published Sep 12, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017
The new world of marketing is increasingly visual. It’s no coincidence that the newest and fastest-growing social networks on the web — like Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat — are focused primarily on visual content.So, how can marketers adapt to and leverage an increasingly visual social atmosphere? By implementing a strong visual branding strategy on social media.Visual social branding refers to what your social media content looks like — your profile picture, your cover photo, and especially your social posts. Great visuals on social media are important because the human brain is wired to read and understand images better and faster than words. Plus, visual content increases social engagement: Did you know that, according to a study by Socialbakers, images on Facebook constitute 93% of the most engaging posts compared with status updates, links, and even video?The good news is that the four key ingredients of social media success — consistent colors, fonts, imagery, and layouts — are within your reach. In this article, I’ll talk about all four of these ingredients and how both new and established brands to implement them into their social media strategy.The 4 Ingredients of Social Media Success1) A consistent color palette.If you look at the colors of any well known brand, you’ll see that they use the same colors over and over again. In their logo, in their text, even their images. Take a page from their book: Choose two to four colors to use consistently throughout all of your social media posts and marketing. Using the same colors over and over again will help consumers become familiar with your brand.For example, notice how all of Cadbury’s social posts use its iconic purple color and white across its imagery, text, and logo.Understanding color psychology can also help you reflect the feelings you want to evoke from your customers. For example, many tech companies — like Facebook, Twitter, Dell, IBM, and HP — use blue to symbolize trust, intelligence and progress. Virgin’s vibrant red color scheme gives off bold and confident vibes, mirroring Richard Branson’s own, distinct business methods.The colors you choose should reflect your brand’s. If you have a youthful brand, you might like to use bright colors, like the ones located on the outside of the color wheel. On the other hand, pastel colors work great for brands who want to be seen as welcoming and gentle.Those of you who are designers mightbe familiar with the concept of color codes, or “hex codes.” Design newbies: It’s an important concept to learn. A hex code is a six-digit code that represents an exact color recognized universally by HTML and CSS. For example, Canva’s primary color is turquoise #00c4cc, shown on the color wheel below.By knowing and using the same hex codes on your marketing, you’ll be using the same colors over and over again.2) Font pairings that match your brand’s personality.Like your color palette, your font choices should reflect your brand’s personality. Do you want to choose a strong font or a simple one? Cute or elegant?You should consider choosing three fonts for your brand and using them consistently throughout all of your materials: a font for your title/heading, a font for your subtitles, and a font for your body text. Your title/heading font should be the largest font in your design and is where you can display the most personality. If you want to use a script font or a handwritten font, your heading is the place to do it. In contrast, your Subtitle font and your Body Font should be easy to read.Notice how the Nike advertisement above pairs a bold sans serif font with a more playful script font for the “Just do it” tagline. Compare this to Zara’s thinner sans serif fonts and subtle letter spacing, which add to the feminine feel of the advertisement. (If you’re confused about which is which, check out Typography 101.)(For ideas on which fonts to pair with which, here’s a handy infographic with a guide to pairing fonts.)3) Appropriate imagery and filters.Pick imagery that has a consistent theme. Canva’s free design platform caters for brands looking for great stock photography with a library of over a million images — a great option if you’re on a budget. If you’re taking your own photos, make sure you keep your theme consistent, too.Another important aspect of imagery is your brand filters. They add consistency to your graphics — a big plus on social media. Take Corona for example, which uses a sun-drenched filter to give a “summery’ feel to its marketing graphics. Like your other visual aspects, consistency is key. Iff you’re applying your filters in Canva, copy the unique filter code of your favorite option and add it to your style guide.(Looking for more tips for better visual marketing with Canva? Check out this blog post.)4) Social media templates to speed up the design process.Do you have a template for your social media posts? Is your logo positioned the same way each time it’s used? Coming up with a style guide will help make sure all the elements of your brand work in harmony.An efficient way to create easy social media layouts is to create templates. For example, you might want to add a weekly tip, like we do at Canva, that you can share with your community. Notice how each tip has the same basic format. Keep in mind that each social media platform has different ideal image dimensions, so make sure you cater your graphics to these dimensions. But keep your branding – the placement of your logo, colors and fonts – consistent across your designs.Notice how the branding of the album cover design on the left has been adapted for the Facebook post on the right. The same background image has been used and stretched out, along with complementary fonts and filter.Ready to put your skills to action?Images, colors, fonts and layouts are all elements of graphic design that will play a huge role in making your brand image stand out. Considering up to 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, it’s no surprise that people respond well to great design.In the time it took you to read this article, approximately 500,000 new posts would have appeared on Twitter, 3 million on Facebook, 15,000 on Instagram and many, many more.The social media advertising race is on, and your brand’s visual voice is what will get you ahead. So jump in and get started. Branding Originally published Nov 5, 2014 12:00:00 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 SlackSlack Topics:
Topics: E-Commerce Websites The holidays are coming quickly. Are you ready? Maybe you’ve already started your prep work so you won’t struggle when the orders start rolling in. If not, now’s the time to start decking the halls. Sometimes you need more than a brief overview to get everything organized. That’s why this checklist is everything you need. Ready to get started?1) Mobile ResponsivenessNot set up for mobile shopping? Your customers will go elsewhere. Projections say 30-35% of shoppers will complete their purchases on mobile devices.2) Site TrafficNot used to an influx of visitors to your site? You don’t want to lose valuable sales while your site is down. Be ready for anything. 3) Site SpeedIf your site takes more than three seconds to load, you could lose up to 40% of your buyers. Check your site speed and streamline whatever you can.4) Content CalendarIf you haven’t already started planning your blogs, videos, tweets, and Facebook posts, get on that pronto. Some are already advertising for the holidays, which puts you behind the times.5) Social InboxKnow what your buyers are saying about you on social media? Now’s the time to start listening. Be ready to meet their needs when they mention your company in social channels.6) Sales PlanningNothing is more embarrassing than launching a sale with the wrong prices and products. Even more embarrassing is losing so much money with your accidental sales that you have to recant. Plan early and pay attention to every single detail. Keep a spreadsheet with all information so you can come back to double-check.7) Sales EmailsYou need time to plan the right copy for your sales emails. If you wait too late, you’ll miss your chance to really move buyers with your words.8) Graphic DesignDon’t leave all the design work until the last minute, or you might not have a graphic designer on staff for much longer. Get all your graphics ready to go—and there will be a lot—well before you’re ready to use them. Emails, website banners, CTAs, gift guides, blog headers, PPC ads… The list goes on.9) Ad KeywordsDo you know which keywords you’ll use for your pay-per-click ads? If not, start planning now. You’ll be in competition with many companies for top search spots, so using the most popular choices isn’t an option. You need a strategy, and strategy takes time.10) Ad CopyWith your keywords chosen, it’s time to consider your ad copy. You need to make sure those terms fit naturally in your copy. If they don’t, you won’t get anywhere with potential buyers.11) Abandoned Cart EmailsStart planning early for those who’ll inevitably leave your site without making a purchase. Keep in mind that 75% of those deserters do plan to buy; they may just need a little nudge.12) Social Media AdsWith paid options extending to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Instagram, you need to determine the best outlet for your paid ads. Then make sure your message fits your outlet and audience.13) Plan ShippingIf you want to offer some shipping deals this season, start planning now. You’ll need to adjust your checkout page so that everyone gets the shipping plan they need. Remember that shipping prices are the number one reason for cart abandonment.14) Plan StaffingWill you need extra hands on deck during the holidays? Now’s the time to plan for it rather than the day of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.15) Plan ReturnsWith a higher purchase rate during the holidays, you also have to be prepared for a higher rate of returns. Sometimes people will make gift purchases that just don’t work out. Are you ready to accept those products back and process refunds or exchanges?16) Track TrafficTo plan for future holiday seasons, you’ll need to know your traffic for this year. Keep an eye on what drives people to your site so you can tweak the results and get even more buyers in the future.17) Customer ServiceAre you ready to field all questions and complaints? Someone should be alert at all hours to keep an eye on social channels, answer the phone, or respond to emails. Keeping buyers satisfied is one of the most important tasks you’ll tackle.And now you’re ready… theoretically. If you’ve never experienced a holiday sales season, nothing can prepare you for what’s about to come. At least you’ll have all your ducks in a row! Originally published Nov 3, 2015 10:30:00 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
While no content marketing tool can replace a solid strategy and talented humans, having the right tech stack can certainly help you get the job done better, easier, and more efficiently.There are hundreds of content marketing tools available, some free or cheap and some very expensive. They also serve tons of different purposes, from content ideation to production to promote, optimization, and more. The content marketing technology landscape is growing every year.This is exciting, since it means that if you have a problem, you can probably find a software solution to help you solve it. But it’s also overwhelming. How do you know which of the couple hundred tools are worth trying?This post will help clarify those decisions for you. We’ll outline the top 19 content marketing tools in 2019.Click here to download our full collection of free templates for designing stunning visual content including infographics and more.The 19 Best Content Marketing Tools in 2019HubSpotWordPressGoogle DocsAirstoryGrammarlyYoastBuzzsumoAhrefsVidyardLoomTrelloAirtableGoogle AnalyticsHotJarGoogle OptimizeMutinyThe Stocks.IMCanvaAdobe Photoshop 1. HubSpotHubSpot offers many content marketing tools, and many of them are free to try. These include:A powerful form builderPopup toolsLive chat and chatbotsAnd all-in-one WordPress plugin for marketingIn addition to free content marketing tools, if you really want to build a growth machine, HubSpot has a world-class CMS and the most powerful marketing automation platform in the industry and allows you to centralize everything to a free CRM. This means that, at each and every level of a company’s growth, HubSpot has some solution that can help you build your content marketing program.HubSpot also makes products for sales and service teams. As such, it can really be the ground control for your whole business.Meta, right?2. WordPressWordPress is the most widely used CMS in the world. As of August 2018, VentureBeat reported that WordPress powers about 30% of the internet in general.Social proof can sometimes lead us astray, but in this case, it turns out that WordPress is a pretty powerful tool, both at the beginning stages and as your grow your content marketing program (it’s used by sites like The New Yorker and The Next Web)At its core, WordPress is an open source CMS that allows you to host and build websites. You can self-host or host your site via WordPress.com. WordPress contains plugin architecture and a template system so you can customize any website to fit your business, blog, portfolio, or online store.It’s a highly customizable platform and is widely used by bloggers.3. Google DocsGoogle Docs is to content marketing what a kitchen is to chefs: it’s where all of the work gets done before the final presentation.Personally, I don’t know any content marketers who don’t use Google Docs to draft their articles. It’s the best platform for collaboration by a long shot, but it’s also easy to use and has a pleasant user experience.In addition, you can usually find a way to upload Google Docs directly to your CMS. In the case of HubSpot, you can do that by default. If you use WordPress, you can use a tool like Wordable to help you out.Google Docs is free, quite ubiquitous, and pleasant to use. Not many reasons not to use it.4. AirstoryIf you do want to step up your writing and collaboration game, Airstory is a more powerful platform for writers. If you find yourself moving too often between Evernote, Google Docs, Google Drive, and you always seem to have a hundred tabs open for research, it might be time to look into Airstory.It helps you save quotes, images, and multimedia and drag and drop it into any application where you do writing. As such, it’s an incredible tool for collaboration, but also for writers who are working on longer form content (such as books or ebooks).5. GrammarlyGrammarly has changed the game for me. I’m not naturally what you would call “detail-oriented,” so if it weren’t for talented editors, you’d be tearing me apart right now for the multitude of grammar mistakes littering my articles.Grammarly, however, reduces my error rate by probably 50-80%. I still have some mistakes slip through, but to a large extent, Grammarly saves me from embarrassment (not just when writing articles, by the way – it also works for social media and forum comments).Image Source6. YoastYoast is one of my favorite tools for writing SEO-focused content.It’s a sort of “all-in-one” WordPress plugin for SEO that helps do pretty much everything, including optimizing content for a keyword, previewing and editing meta-descriptions and URL slugs, abstracting away technical SEO tasks, and suggesting relevant internal links.Image SourceThey have over 9,000,000 downloads, 4.9 out of 5 stars in the WordPress marketplace, and just anecdotally, everyone I know who uses WordPress uses Yoast. It’s just a great plugin.7. BuzzsumoBuzzsumo is a great multi-purpose content marketing research tool.One of the main things it can do is help you analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. You can see metrics like social shares, backlinks, and which influencers are sharing as given piece of content.They also have great influencer reports so you can see who the thought leaders are for a given topic area. Don’t forget to share this post! 9. VidyardVidyard is a video marketing platform that helps you host, share, and promote video content on your website.They have a sales solution as well to help you close more accounts, but the marketing solution is what I’m most used to. Vidyard’s video analytics are robust, you can run A/B tests and personalize videos, and you can even gate videos at a certain time length to help capture leads.10. LoomLoom is a tool that I’ve more recently begun using, but at this point it’s a staple for me.It’s a simple tool, but one with powerful use cases, even beyond content marketing. What it does is allow you to create, edit, and share screen share videos. For content marketing, I love this, because I can create and embed tutorials for technical walkthroughs.Organizationally, I love it as well. It’s great for communicating quick questions or explaining concepts to other team members (without requiring a full, synchronous meeting).11. TrelloWhen you really start producing content, you’ll need some way to manage the process. This is particularly true if you’re working with many staff writers or guest writers.My favorite tool for this is Trello.Trello is a simple kanban and project management tool, which means it can be used for many purposes. In fact, I’ve used it for tons of things, like growth experiments, sales pipelines, and product feature roadmaps.But I really like it as an editorial calendar tool. Image Source12. AirtableAirtable is another project management tool, though it’s a little more complicated (though also customizable). It’s kind of like a mixture between spreadsheets and Trello. Again, with Airtable, the use cases are many, but I really like it for two content marketing purposes:Editorial calendarsInfluencer/writer managementI’ve also used Airtable for several other things in the past, including growth experiments and general team operating documents.Image Source13. Google AnalyticsWhen talking about content marketing tools, you can’t leave measurement out of the discussion.Sure, you can get some good insights from SEO tools like Google Search Console as well as previously listed tools like Ahrefs. But you’ll also want a digital analytics platform so you can track business metrics.Google Analytics is one of the most widely used platforms online. It’s easy-to-use (at least the basic configurations), and it’s free. Two big benefits.However, it’s also very powerful if you’re technical and know how to set up a proper configuration. Not only can you track goals, like form submissions or product purchases, but you can also set up behavioral events, like scroll-depth.14. HotJarHotJar is my favorite user experience analytics tool. It’s got some qualitative tools, such as on-site poll, surveys, and session replays. Where Google Analytics can help you uncover the “what” and “where” of user behavior, these tools can help you start to tiptoe into the “why.”In addition, they also provide some quantitative tools such as heat maps. These allow you to get a good visual picture of where you visitors are clicking and scrolling.One use case I love HotJar (outside of CRO) for is to source interesting content ideas:Image Source15. Google OptimizeWe’ve got a quantitative digital analytics tool (Google Analytics) and a qualitative insights platform (HotJar), so we presumably can know a lot about our readers and our website at this point. But what if we want to make a change to our blog or landing pages?My background is in optimization, so if there’s sufficient traffic, I like to set up A/B tests for site changes.There are many tools out there for this, but I wanted to list Google Optimize because it’s free. It’s also a good starter option to get used to. If you do want to explore other options, here’s a good article comparing the market solutions. But Google Optimize is a great start.16. MutinyA/B testing is one thing; personalization is also an interesting avenue to explore.Where A/B testing is a controlled experiment with a limited time-horizon, personalization allows you to deliver different unique experiences to subsets of your overall audience.For example, you could target mobile users with different popup forms. Or you could target visitors who have read three blog posts with an offer for a specific e-book. Or you could target people who scroll 75% of the way down a certain blog post with an in-text CTA.The options are endless, only limited by your time, resources, creativity, and prioritization.Anyway, Mutiny is my favorite platform in this space. It’s designed for B2B, so if you’re in ecommerce you may want to look at another tool like Evergage. But Mutiny is a good and promising newer player with lots of functionality.17. TheStocks.IMMost good content marketing includes imagery, so it only makes sense to include a stock photo site here in our list of content marketing tools.I like TheStocks.IM because it aggregates several free stock photo sites, including Unsplash (my favorite) and Pixabay. Content marketing tools won’t save a bad content strategy or a bad product… but they’ll certainly help you get the job done faster and more effectively.Obviously there are many more content marketing tools out there, but for this list, I tried to only list those that you really need as well as the tools that I like the most. Originally published Mar 4, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Content Marketing Topics: 8. AhrefsAhrefs is my personal favorite SEO tool, and I use it just about every day. It’s great for everything from tracking the rankings of your keywords to analyzing your competitors’ keywords and traffic and much more.Everytime I think I’ve mastered the full functionality of Ahrefs, I find a new feature that surprises and delights me. The basics, such as keyword research or site analyzer, are wonderful. But I also love reports like “top pages” (where you can analyze the most valuable pages on a website), or “content gap” (where you can see what competitors rank for that you don’t). 18. CanvaWhat about when a stock image doesn’t cut it, and you want to make your own imagery?Canva is a great option here.With Canva, you really don’t need to have excellent graphic design skills. I’m a horrible designer, and I can make decent looking graphics with Canva. It’s really designed for the layperson.This tool is great for all kinds of content marketing imagery, like social media images, blog cover photos, Twitter cover photos, etc. It’s pretty all-purpose.19. Adobe PhotoshopNow, what if you want to make your own imagery, but you actually are good at graphic design?Well, in this case, Photoshop is the gold standard. It’s great for editing photographs as well as creating images such as Facebook photos, blog cover photos, and even screenshot tutorials.I find that, just as with SQL, little bit of skill with Photoshop goes a long way.Not all of the content marketing tools on this list are free, though many of them are. As such, if you’re a content marketer on a budget, look into the following tools, which can all be used or at least tested out for free. 13 Free Content Marketing Tools in 2019HubSpotWordPressGoogle DocsGrammarlyYoastLoomTrelloAirtableGoogle AnalyticsHotJarGoogle OptimizeThe Stocks.IMCanva
Yuvraj Singh said he was surprised with the Indian team management’s decision to send MS Dhoni in at No.7 during the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Chasing 240 in a rain-affected match, India lost a thriller.Matt Henry and Trent Boult had rocked the Indian top-order. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik were dismissed inside the first 10 overs of the inning and India were reduced to 24 for 4.But in a move that stunned the cricket world, an inexperienced Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, who had played only 3 innings in the 2019 World Cup before the semi-final, were tasked with steering the chase at a critical point.MS Dhoni walked in at No.7 and with Ravindra Jadeja 116-run stand to almost pull off a sensational victory for India but in the end, they fell short by 18 runs.Yuvraj Singh, who did not play any more 50-over World Cups after his 2011 heroics, said he was taken aback by India’s decision to send MS Dhoni as late as No. 7.”I was very surprised that MS came in to bat at No. 7. I felt that he should have batted higher being the most experienced. I don’t know what the team management thought. Anyways it’s done now,” said Yuvraj.Yuvraj Singh also lashed out at the Indian think-tank for not sorting out the No.4 problem. He said the captain and the coach should have realized it was a critical position and questioned the rationale behind using the inexperienced Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar up at No.4.advertisement”You have to identify what is the best talent available and then you have to back that talent. For e.g. me and Mohammad Kaif during the 2003 World Cup. Everybody was failing badly in New Zealand but almost the same team played in the 2003 World Cup. Cut to the 2019 WC team: I was dropped, then Manish Pandey came in, then after 1-2 more players KL (Rahul) was also tried, (Suresh) Raina came back and then they went with Rayudu who played for 8-9 months and scored a 90 in NZ.”Before the WC, we lost to Australia and Rayudu had a bad tournament and suddenly Vijay Shankar came in. The selectors should have understood the importance of the No. 4 position, especially in England. Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant didn’t have that experience. Dinesh Karthik was an experienced guy but was sitting out and suddenly goes to bat in the semis. So I really didn’t understand the thinking. I think that was the main reason why India didn’t win the WC. I thought India and England were the best teams and there is no reason that India shouldn’t have played the final,” concluded Yuvraj.Also Read | Sudden U-turn in my selection despite passing yo-yo test: Yuvraj Singh
Nottingham Forest 4 Arsenal 2: Wenger suffers first third-round exit Jack Davies Last updated 1 year ago 01:57 1/8/18 Getty Images Eric Lichaj scored a stunning volley as Nottingham Forest eliminated holders Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup. Arsene Wenger lost an FA Cup third-round tie for the first time as holders Arsenal were stunned 4-2 by Nottingham Forest on Sunday.Wenger has lifted the famous trophy on seven occasions – including three of the last four years – but saw his much-changed side undone by two Eric Lichaj goals along with penalties from Ben Brereton and Kieran Dowell in a classic cup tie at the City Ground.The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette were all rested as Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck were afforded rare starts in an unfamiliar Arsenal XI. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But Wenger’s plan backfired against a Forest side who are still without a permanent manager following the sacking of Mark Warburton last month.Lichaj’s headed opener was swiftly cancelled out by Per Mertesacker but the American restored the hosts’ advantage with a stunning volley just before half-time.Forest had a cushion when 18-year-old Brereton showed composure beyond his years to beat David Ospina from the spot following a Rob Holding foul on Matty Cash, but a late Welbeck strike threatened to make it a tense last 10 minutes for the home side.However, Gary Brazil’s men were awarded a second penalty when Mathieu Debuchy brought down Armand Traore from behind, allowing Dowell to convert from the spot, and Joe Worrall’s red card mattered little as Forest held on for a famous win.The result represents Arsenal’s first third-round defeat since they lost in a replay to Sheffield United eight months prior to Wenger’s appointment in 1996.4 – Nottingham Forest are the first team from a lower division to score 4+ goals against Arsenal in an #FACup tie since Hull City in January 1908. Thrashed.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 7, 2018Wenger’s decision to make nine changes appeared ill-judged when Lichaj ghosted into the six-yard box beyond a napping visiting defence to power home a header from Dowell’s free-kick after 20 minutes.But Wenger – serving the first match of a touchline ban following his treatment of referee Mike Dean after last weekend’s 1-1 draw with West Brom – had something to celebrate in the stands three minutes later when his side levelled.Reiss Nelson was awarded a soft free-kick on the left side of the penalty area and, after Holding headed Walcott’s delivery onto the left-hand post, Mertesacker was on hand to prod home with the outside of his left boot.Ospina had touched wide a Cash chance prior to the opener and was forced into two one-handed diving saves by the excellent Brereton before Lichaj produced a moment of magic that left the Colombian helpless.Lichaj controlled Holding’s clearing header on his chest on the edge of the box a minute before half-time and lifted a sublime volley beyond Ospina into the top-right corner.Arsenal offered little by way of a response early in the second half and Holding made a vital interception to prevent Brereton getting on the end of a dangerous Tyler Walker cross.But the teenage frontman netted the goal his performance merited in the 64th minute, with Holding rightly penalised by referee Jon Moss.Cool as you like… @benbreo sends David Ospina the wrong way to put #NFFC 3-1 in front.https://t.co/X7RHFZhY8s pic.twitter.com/BnYKbQf5ij— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) January 7, 2018The previously ineffective Welbeck made the most of a Jordan Smith mistake to side-foot home as Arsenal set up a tense finish, but Debuchy’s foul on former Gunner Traore led to the Dowell penalty that wrapped up the win.Dowell slipped as he struck the ball, but suspicions of a double touch were eventually dismissed by the officials to ratify Forest’s two-goal advantage.And, while Worrall was sent off for a tackle on Chuba Akpom and Walcott came close to pulling another one back, a poor Arsenal were beaten by the better team on the day in a result that will be an unwelcome addition to Wenger’s record. read more
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State is ranked No. 8 in the new College Football Playoff rankings. Inexplicably. I do not understand. Here are the top 10.1. Clemson2. Alabama3. Ohio State4. Notre Dame5. Iowa (!)6. Baylor7. Stanford8. Oklahoma State9. LSU10. UtahAdChoices广告And I have questions. Everyone does. Like, why Stanford which lost to Northwestern 16-6 and which claims a best win over No. 23 UCLA is No. 7 ahead of undefeated Oklahoma State. That is absolutely inexplicable.“They’ve showed consistent improvement.”Also, how about this?Iowa labors to beat Indiana and goes from 9 to 5 to jump Baylor?— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 11, 2015And how about Baylor — WHICH HASN’T BEATEN A TEAM WITH A WINNING RECORD — being ahead of us?The upside of all of this (and I’m actually sort of glad this is what’s happening).I like the #8 ranking for the “nobody believes in us” angle, especially this week.— Dave Hudson (@okc_dave) November 11, 2015We will look more at this tomorrow. I’m going to have about 100 thoughts instead of the 10 I had last week. By the way, the dirty little secret of all of this (despite the slight) is that it’s really, really fun to debate and talk about.
Tom Brady is the GOAT— Phil Forte (@PhilForte13) February 6, 2017 One of the best Super Bowl Games in a long time— Lenzy Pipkins (@Pippy_LONGsock) February 6, 2017 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Was there a game tonight?— Dillon Stoner (@dillon_stoner) February 6, 2017 Football is a game of hope…. never lose it….EVER— Ramon Richards (@chief_vii) February 6, 2017 The Atlanta Falcons are your Super Bowl 50 champions.That is fake news. Or real, depending on how seriously you take Skip Bayless.In Tom Brady’s masterpiece, the New England Patriots came back from a 28-3 deficit to score 31 unanswered points to win the Super Bowl in overtime. But you probably know that by now.Here’s how OSU athletes (and Dez Bryant) responded to the insanity:Dat way pic.twitter.com/SSfeRmWGwy— Kirk Tucker (@YouWannaBe_KPT) February 6, 2017 Wow blew a 21-0 lead?— Emmanuel Ogbah (@EmanOgbah) February 6, 2017https://twitter.com/AjGofor6/status/828444032133189632? BRADY— Chad Whitener (@MountChad) February 6, 2017
Maybe it was silly for me to think this was going to be closer than it ended up being, but I would not have thought Mike Gundy would have run away with this poll question like he did. Gundy received 67 percent of the vote to 25 percent for Josh Holliday and 8 percent combined for Mike Boynton and John Smith in favorite coach on campus right now in Stillwater.This is a tough one — Gundy is clearly feeling himself right now with the mullet and the 2017 squad he’s put together. It feels weird to not vote for him even though it sometimes seems like Boynton or Holliday would be easier to get along with in real life. I guess I’d go Gundy as well, but I’m doing it under protest and without 100 percent conviction.Who is your favorite #okstate coach right now?— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) May 30, 2017Your comments and thoughts are below.Tyler: Here’s to hoping Gundy wins the national title and cries like Holiday and uses his mullet to wipe away the tearsB: Holiday by far. Loyal, passionate, not afraid to play anyone and transparent with media/fans. Oh, and he recruits well!Stepdaddy: Smith and Holiday are studs. Both are truly from the cowboy mold. They don’t make excuses about not having facilities, they don’t whine to the media about Mike Holder being a meanie, in the case of Holiday he manages the games extremely well. They both recruit well. They simply get it done!Forever 14: Where are the buttons for the women’s tennis and softball coaches? I think they have both done amazing jobs. As for the listed men’s coaches, I really like all of them for different reasons. Holliday did an amazing job with his team at the tournament. Gundy because I love watching his press conferences and for how far he’s brought the team. Boynton because how can you not love him at this point (long run TBD), and John Smith because he’s FREAKING JOHN SMITH!!Mark: Boynton is a wait-and-see, but gosh, other than that, you gotta be proud looking at a list like this.JG: The fact that the coach with multiple national championships is near the bottom in the poll is astounding. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
The Preseason All-Big 12 results are in, and four OSU players—three on offense, and one on defense—have been named to the list.Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington, running back Justice Hill, offensive lineman Zachary Crabtree and safety Tre Flowers were all included on the team, with Washington being one of only three unanimous Big 12 preseason selections.Only skill position player to be named All-Big 12 first team unanimously. pic.twitter.com/6zc6FwlJHz— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) July 12, 2017AdChoices广告The Pistols Firing team was granted a preseason vote this year, and as a show of transparency, we’re posting our ballot—along with our explanations—in the post below. Let’s get to it.Preseason All-Big 12 Team | POYs Offensive POYDefensive POYNewcomer of the Year Baker Mayfield (OKlahoma)Dorance Armstrong Jr. (Kansas)Tyron Johnson (Oklahoma State) Among our team, there was a consensus that Mayfield took the top spot at quarterback. Given his production and his 2017 projection, we felt he was the best choice, slightly edging out Rudolph for the top spot on our ballot.You might hate him, but setting the FBS single-season pass efficiency rating record and ranking first nationally in completion percentage (70.9) and yards-per-pass attempt is tough to argue with. Plus, he was a Heisman finalist. There was actually a faction in our camp arguing for Rudolph because the majority of us think he’s actually the better player and pro prospect, but we couldn’t in good conscience put him ahead of Mayfield (as much as we wanted to).Running back Justice Hill and Justin Crawford were also consensus among our team, with Baylor’s Terence Williams getting consideration as well. The wide receivers, too, were fairly easy choices for our team as well, with Washington and Lazard being the clearest candidates for first-team consideration.As far as the linemen go, OU’s Orlando Brown, West Virginia’s Kyle Bosch and Texas’ Connor Williams are locks to eventually play at the next level. We added Austin Schlottman and Dalton Risner based on last year’s production.The only place we differentiated with the media consensus on offense was, ironically having Bosch over Zach Crabtree as well as Dimitri Flowers instead of Winston Dimel. Baker Mayfield (OU)Justice Hill (OSU)James Washington (OSU) Mark Andrews (OU) Malcolm Roach (Texas)D.J. Reed (Kansas State) Our bias showed from the very beginning! We had Odell Beckham-Jerry Rice-Rob Gronkowski hybrid Tyron Johnson as our Newcomer of the Year. Will Grier of West Virginia ended up being the media consensus. Baker Mayfield and Dorance Armstrong were pretty easy choices for POY (more on them in a minute).Preseason All-Big 12 Team | Defense The defensive line and linebackers were pretty easy to pick. As far as production, there’s a clear-cut Tier 1 headlined by KU’s Dorance Armstrong, who notched 10 sacks last season, and OU’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, who had eight of his own and was a force off the edge.The defensive backs is where we argued—outside of Flowers and Thomas, defensive back production can be deceiving. Not all pass deflections and interceptions are created equal. But we went with Kamari Cotton-Moya, D.J. Reed, and Nick Orr—the latter of which had his production sliced because of a move to linebacker last season.For punter, the media consensus pointed to Texas’ Michael Dickson, but people are quick to forget how good Sinor is. He has his own Heisman campaign after all. Sinor was the only slot in which we differentiated with the media consensus.Preseason All-Big 12 Conference Team | Offense While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Dimitri Flowers (OU)Keke Coutee (Texas Tech) QuarterbackRB/FBWR/TE Connor Williams (Texas)Clayton Hatfield (Texas Tech)KaVonte Turpin (TCU) K.J. Smith (Baylor)Nick Orr (TCU) Reggie Walker (Kansas StateTravin Howard (TCU)Jordan Thomas (OU) Dorance Armstrong Jr. (Kansas)Malik Jefferson (Texas)Tre Flowers (OSU)Zach Sinor (OSU) DLineLinebackerDefensive BackPunter Poona Ford (Texas)Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (OU)Kamari Cotton-Moya (ISU) Austin Schlottman (TCU) Kyle Bosch (West Virginia) Dalton Risner (Kansas State) Justin Crawford (West Virginia)Allen Lazard (Iowa State) Orlando Brown (OU) OLineKickerPR/KR
Our next Cowboy went through a position change this spring. After two seasons of spotty reps at defensive tackle, Tyler Ferguson has made the switch to the offensive side of the ball.How he got to OSUFerguson came to Stillwater by way of McKinney Boyd High School (McKinney, Tex.) where he played defensive end and received all-district honors twice.What he’s done in StillwaterAfter a redshirt season in 2014, Ferguson got some reps at defensive tackle in two games in 2015 and two more in 2016. At 6-foot-2 and 260, Fergson is a bit slight for the DL. But he made use of his opportunities. Against Kansas in 2015, he recorded one tackle, a sack for 10 yards. In the season opener in 2016, Ferguson recorded another tackle for loss.AdChoices广告Role in 2017In OSU’s spring media guide, which is released prior to the start of spring practice, Ferguson is still listed as a defensive tackle with jersey No. 62. But if you were in the Sherman E. Smith training center in March and April, you may have noticed him wearing a different number and a different jersey.Gone is the white uni that signifies a defender. Ferguson is now donning a bright orange No. 47 offensive jersey. He’s with Jason McEndoo’s cowboy back group, a position more suited for his size. When he sees the field, it will probably be in more of a blocking fullback role. The Cowboys are trying to find a replacement for Zac Veatch, an underrated cog in 2016’s offense. Don’t be surprised to see Ferguson contribute on special teams, as well.Noteworthy stats and highlightsRecorded a sack and another tackle for loss in two of his four games. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
A new study from Changing Our World has some remarkable figures:Large American nonprofits spend at least $7.6 billion per year on marketing and public relations, and may in fact spend a great deal more, according to the Changing Our World analysis of 71 nonprofits with annual revenues of $10 million or more per year. Itemized examination of IRS Form 990 Line 43, where marketing and communications expenses reside, resulted in an extrapolated estimate of $7.6 billion for the sector.With more than 100 nonprofits forming everyday, it’s becoming a very competitive world for donor dollars. That’s driving a lot of marketing spending. And since most of us don’t have a huge marketing budget to sling around, we have to work smarter than ever. Not a relaxing thought on a Friday afternoon in the heat of fundraising season. One way to work smarter is to get your online fundraising up and running, because it’s cheap and competitive. Network for Good (my nonprofit) can really help you in this department. Get a Donate Now button, do email outreach, and use the long tail of the web to reach people where they cluster online. And at least this study gives you another talking point for defending your marketing budget — it’s a competitive world out there.
When I landed at BWI earlier this week, this ad greeted me at baggage claim. Mind you, it was 90 degrees that day. And sunny.I then asked my eight-year-old daughter what was wrong with the marketing message. She got it right away: “Who cares about your car not being snowy in the summer?”This is an extreme example of the right message in the wrong place at the… wrong time of year. This message belongs before the road leading to the parking garage, in the winter.Are you delivering your message when people are in a place, time, or state of mind when they will be likely to act upon it?Don’t waste paper, money or web pages on the right message in the wrong physical, temporal or mental moment. The environment surrounding the message (including the weather, in this rather literal case) is as important as the message itself.
Transfers Emre Can completes Juventus move after opting against Liverpool extension Romeo Agresti Last updated 1 year ago 21:38 6/21/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty/Goal Transfers Juventus Liverpool Serie A The Germany international midfielder has undergone a medical and agreed terms on a deal with the Serie A champions which sees him sign as a free agent Juventus have completed the signing of Emre Can, with the Germany international moving to Turin after opting against an extended stay at Liverpool .It is understood that Can’s four-year agreement with the Serie A champions will pay him €5 million (£4m/$6m) per season and will begin on July 1.Goal previously revealed how Can was close to securing a move to Juventus , who won their seventh straight league title in May. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar The 24-year-old had long been linked with a move to the Bianconeri as he ran down his terms at Anfield.While other clubs were reported to have shown an interest, the Italian giants were always leading the chase, with club CEO Beppe Marotta claiming back in May that a deal was imminent .Juve have now got their man, with a medical having been completed on Thursday before the penning of a long-term deal.Joining Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2014, Can would go on to feature at Anfield for the next four seasons.He would primarily play in central and holding midfield roles, though he did play some games at centre-back for the Reds.Can scored 14 goals in his Liverpool career, with three coming in this year’s Champions League.However, a back injury sustained on March 17 against Watford all but ended Can’s 2017-18 campaign.Originally not thought to be too serious, the ailment sidelined Can for both of Germany’s March friendlies as well as the remainder of the Premier League season.The injury also cost him a place in Germany’s squad for the 2018 World Cup .Can finally returned to action to make a late appearance as a substitute for Liverpool in their 3-1 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.Though Can has departed, Liverpool have already announced the signing of midfielder Fabinho , while Naby Keita will complete his previously agreed upon move to Anfield this summer .