Boxer accuses EPA official of blocking smog control

first_imgA decision will be made by year’s end, he said. Congress, however, might not wait for either the EPA process or the lawsuit to settle California’s fate. Legislation introduced by Boxer and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson would force the agency to decide on the state’s request by Sept. 30. Boxer said the measure faces a key committee vote next week. Johnson also maintained Thursday that he had nothing to do with an effort by the Department of Transportation to rally congressional opposition to California’s emissions law. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, exposed the lobbying attempt last month in a series of e-mails he obtained and released to the public. The e-mails showed detailed conversations among agency officials about the best ways to urge lawmakers to combat California’s waiver request. While lawmakers have condemned the calls as improper and possibly illegal, DOT attorneys have maintained that contact between the agency and Congress are routine. lisa.friedman@langnews.com (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – California Sen. Barbara Boxer accused a key Environmental Protection Agency official Thursday of trying to sabotage the Golden State’s efforts to implement a first-in-the-nation smog-control law. In a morning of political theater in the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Boxer also rebuked EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson for a Bush-administration lobbying effort against California. And she warned Johnson against using emerging national energy-efficiency standards as a pretext for blocking the state’s ability to set tailpipe-emission levels. “When history is written, I think they’ll look back on your tenure as a missed opportunity. And that’s the nicest way I could put it,” Boxer, who chairs the Senate panel, told Johnson. California applied in 2005 for the federal waiver it needs to carry out a state law cutting car emissions 25 percent by 2009. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed to sue the administration in October if no decision has been made. Meanwhile, 11 other states that adopted similar emissions laws also are waiting for a decision in the California case. “I believe the administration has already decided they don’t want to grant this waiver, and the only thing you can do to dispute that is grant it,” Boxer said Thursday. “We have states that are taking the lead and you are standing in their way. You are blocking them.” But throughout the hearing, Johnson maintained that the EPA is fairly and independently considering California’s request. He noted the agency received more than 60,000 written comments – what he called an “unprecedented number” – and said officials are meticulously reviewing them. last_img read more

Aussie investigators call for ICAO review of centerline runway lighting

first_imgThe tracks left by the Virgin aircraft during the runway excursion. Photo: ATSB The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has recommended an international review of runway lighting standards after a Virgin Australia plane drifted off a runway in Darwin.It has also renewed calls for the installation of centerline lighting at Darwin International Airport.The recommendations are included in an ATSB report into the Virgin runway excursion in December 2016.The ATSB found the Virgin Boeing 737-800 was landing on a wet runway at night in reduced visibility caused by heavy rain.It touched down more than 20m to the right of the centerline and continued to the side of the runway, where its right landing gear ran off the edge and destroyed six runway lights along a 400m path before returning to the runway.Investigators found there had been a relatively small increase in a crosswind in the critical few seconds before touchdown and the pilots were not aware of how far the plane had deviated.They said the lights alongside the 60m-wide runway 11/29 at Darwin were further apart than would be normally be seen by pilots and the lack of centerline lighting resulted in “very limited visual cues for maintaining runway alignment during night landings with limited visibility”.READ NTSB begins Alaska seaplane crash probeThis affected the crew’s ability to detect and correct the aircraft’s deviation.“A wide runway without centreline lighting, such as at Darwin, poses a particular challenge for aircraft making approaches in darkness and heavy rain,” said ATSB executive director transport safety Nat Nagy.“In these circumstances, centerline lighting greatly helps flight crews align the aircraft with the runway.”Investigators also found that a disproportionate number of runway side excursions in reduced visibility happened on wider runways but not on facilities with centerline lighting.They issued a safety recommendation that the International Civil Aviation Organization review lighting standards as a result of the finding.ICAO currently recommends, but does not mandate, centerline lighting on wider runways.Darwin — which is jointly run by the Department of Defence and the civilian airport operator — is the only one of two Australian runways wider than 50m without the center lighting.This is despite a previous ATSB recommendation that it be installed after a 2003 runway excursion and a renewal of its concerns — in this case without a recommendation — after a 2008 hard landing.Both operators have advised the ATSB that the installation of center lighting would be considered in future runway works.Meanwhile, Virgin and Darwin airport told investigators they had initiated safety action which included providing flight crews with information about the specific risks of approaches to the facility.last_img read more

Are you a “people developer” or just a “red pen”?

first_imgMichael was a Director at a medium-sized company. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, he had equally high expectations of his direct reports. He began with the company when they were first formed and had the luxury of hiring and training his own team. Like so many young leaders, he struggled with delegation. Michael was a work horse. He could crank out work like nobody’s business, and many times, found it easier to do things himself rather than engage the team he had hired. His team of professionals was relegated to less than fulfilling work for much of the time. When he did let go and assign a project to his capable team, they were thrilled. The team would fly into a flurry of activity and enthusiastically complete the assignment. Michael would review their work and the “red pen” would come out. He wasn’t pleased with their staff work, so he would grab a red pen and begin to edit and edit and edit and edit. He would share with me how shocked he was with the “quality of their work “and comment this was precisely the reason he preferred to do all of the project work himself. Once Michael finished with his editing, he’d hand the work back to the team. Completely demoralized, they would make the necessary “corrections” and return the product to Michael. Now, he was satisfied. So, what’s wrong with providing your team constructive feedback? Nothing, if it is done well. You see, Michael wouldn’t give much in the way of guidance when he’d give an assignment to his employees. Instead, he would communicate just enough to give the team the sense they understood what was being asked of them; however, never enough for them to be successful. What was always interesting was the fact Michael thought he was a very strong communicator. He’d make reference to his communication skills quite often, in fact.  To Michael, he provided more than sufficient guidance. In addition to a lack of communication, Michael had difficulty realizing that no one on his team was going to be a miniature version of him. I find it interesting, just how many leaders struggle in this area. He expected a work product that looked exactly what he would have put together, rather than stepping back to consider whether the end goal was accomplished.  Did it really matter how his team got there? To Michael, the answer to that question was “yes”. So, how do you ensure that you’re providing your team sufficient information to be successful and yet giving them creative license to learn and grow? Does the path the team chooses to take as they successfully complete a project have to be yours or one they are comfortable with? Are you offering a safe environment or one where it is only safe to take on projects in the manner in which they believe you would have done it? My advice to you is that you take your team’s training wheels off and watch how far they can go.last_img read more

Inbound Marketing: Doing is Believing!

first_img From my experience, most people only believe something will work for them once they’ve done it themselves and it worked for them. Chamber’s New England Business Expo a year ago inbound marketing stats from the event website . It took us about 5 weeks to sign up 30 people for the event. Based on the current sign up rate, we should have 50 attendees. We used no traditional marketing methods to market this. No direct mail. No cold calling. Just blogging, social media and email invitations to a very small portion of our opt-in email list.  We didn’t even implement all of the suggestions in Ellie’s leveraging the long tail for online marketing , I jumped at the opportunity. I spoke at the Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack event Do you want to start DOING your inbound marketing?  Free Online Crash Course on Inbound Marketing… We’re constantly sharing the Inbound Marketing ROI results from our own marketing efforts. (See the graphs in Prashant’s post about The attendees walked away from the seminar “believing”. However, only a few of them started “doing”. A bunch more said they needed more training. So, the Chamber called and asked if we could do a longer more hands-on format.  . excellent “inbound marketing for events” guide. .) Thus, the quandary… a Catch-22. is designed to have small business owners and marketers actually start doing their inbound marketing.  to a packed room.  But, my other answer will be to show the The most common question that I expect to hear during the event is, “How long will this take for me to achieve online lead generation success?” center_img . We also transparently share the free online crash course Topics: Learn how to attract more traffic, generate more leads and convert more leads into customers at this all day internet marketing workshop. May 13th, Worcester, MA.  the time and effort it takes to achieve their goals – using keyword, website and competitive data We’ll show them how to determine .  In the 1.5+ years I’ve been at Hubspot, I’ve seen 100s of companies embrace and excel at inbound marketing. But, that doesn’t make it much easier to get the next 1,000 to embrace it. report and all of our So, when the Worcester Chamber invited me to do an The case studies Inbound Marketing inbound lead generation Learn more by taking the roadblocks and “excuses” standing in the way of most small business’s inbound marketing success Originally published May 7, 2009 4:52:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 all day workshop on internet marketing .  No matter how much evidence and logic we present, though, there are so many small business owners that find a reason not to start inbound marketing. As explained so eloquently in Frank Reed’s guest post, there are lots oflast_img read more

5 Google Search Stats Every Marketer Should See

first_img More than 1/3 of Google Queries (Duplicates Excluded) Have Never Been Seen Before manfrys really dive in is of the utmost importance to any business.  Here are a – Average Time it Takes Google to Answer a Query is Less than ¼ Second That translates to about 1.5 changes per day! Are you staying on top of these changes? Are you studying and understanding the space in a way to best use it for business success? Originally published Jan 11, 2010 3:15:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Download our This proportion includes all searches. What do you suppose happens to this proportion when the searcher uses a local qualifier like including a town or region name in the search? Of note, one of the changes from last year that is becoming more pervasive in the results set is seeing a Google map in a search without even using the local qualifier. photo by So why is this important? It’s because it never ends. The reason that the online space continues to improve in its delivery of results to the SMB is that it is evolving and morphing to the needs of today’s business and consumer alike. It’s not going to end. to creating a robust search presense or are you just going to wait for the “right moment”? The right answer should be obvious. Search Engine Optimization Kit As we have seen from an earlier HubSpot post, Do you think they are all wondering about celebrities and nonsense? No. They are looking for products and services like yours. few more points search engine optimization kit organic search Is there any wonder why Google is so dominant in this “I need it now!” world? 7 out of 10 US Google users make more than one search query per day. Will 2010 be the year that you Learn moreabout how you can optimize your site to rank higher in search enginesso you get found by more qualified prospects. 1 in 13 Google Result Pages Show a Map in Search Results that come directly from the Official Google blog describing things of interest to those using the searchengine to fuel their own revenue engine. Did you know…. . Normally the year in review “stuff” from search engines has little to do with business. While these lists may seem interesting for about half a second it really doesn’t do much for the SMB who is looking to get more business from their web presence. Google likes to play the game of telling us in early December what the most searched terms were and more but they wait until the start of January to tell the business users some important stats that could influence how they look at the engine. There were 540 Search Quality Improvements Made by Google Last Year SEO Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Overcome the Most Debilitating Nonprofit Blogging Challenges

first_img United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley “Our most widely read posts share several key aspects; they are connected to relevant news topics, they provide a look “behind the curtain” with anecdotes and emotions not shared elsewhere, they are written by leading experts, and the content is fresh yet linked to additional information that provides context and additional factoids.” . Last week, United Way’s Adams writes: Reach out to them with a first-time blogging assignment and due date. Having a One organization in Boston, The Do you know of a nonprofit blog that has overcome blogging challenges particularly well? Share your experiences in the comments below! amidst their multitude of other tasks. Here’s what they said, along with a few tips from HubSpot’s own blogging experiences. Each challenge is also followed by its difficulty rating from : repurpose content By inviting your entire staff and your network of volunteers and donors to Crittenton Women’s Union successful blog Originally published Jan 10, 2012 3:45:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Lack of Time or Budget (31%) , who offered the following advice: which channels . But a number of other challenges emerged as well. I had the opportunity to talk to a few nonprofits about the survey and asked them how they handle managing a What to Do Right Now to Help Your Nonprofit Blog nonprofit Nonprofits have one of the most powerful sources for posts possible: the stories of their clients and participants. And though finding individual stories to highlight takes time, creating a channel for these voices gets to the heart of the mission and provides a direct line of sight to the impact donors and volunteers are trying to drive.   One way to save time and give your content a larger reach is to for you.” , the workload gets distributed in a more sustainable way, and the blog benefits from diverse voices and outreach opportunities. To keep things organized, we advise that one person act as a central blog editor. If you’re a nonprofit that deals with numerous causes, consider assigning different journalistic “beats” or topics to your bloggers and setting up a schedule that spreads out the posts evenly throughout the week and month. Christi Cahill of “Plan in advance. Set an editorial calendar and stick to it! If you’re running low on content ideas, find people willing to guest  Producing Content That Engages Supporters (27%) topic to write about “As the blog evolved, it became a broadcasting space for CWU program participants to use as a learning tool for their exposure to social media, especially as an advocacy outlet. This year, the blog will undergo yet another exciting expansion and will be transformed again to include the voices of our participants as well as keeping an active eye on anti-poverty reporting…” Create a recruitment list of staff, donors, volunteers, clients, and partners who would be good contributors to your blog. Examine your content challenges facing nonprofit marketers “Use your full network and staff to tell your stories. The informal nature of a blog means that there aren’t as many rules about what you post, provided it’s something that’s relevant to your audience.” blog center_img Nonprofit Marketing Cancer Foundation echoes this. She writes: on search engine optimization and community engagement are typically significant enough to validate finding the time. The question is, how? I talked with Brian Adams of  blogger Kivi Leroux Miller ran the results of a survey she conducted about the biggest to find your best channels for outreach. Topics: It’s no secret that nonprofit marketers often have to juggle an enormous workload. But the “We have had some success using the blog to preview content for an upcoming event. For example, our Women’s Initiative group held an educational panel about sexual exploitation, and we ‘previewed’ the content of the panel by featuring a guest blog post from each of the panelists in the week leading up to the event. It allowed those panelists some exposure on our blog (and hopefully gave us exposure through their networks) and also connected the on-the-ground marketing strategy with our online marketing strategy. During the event, we also shared quotes via Twitter and posted photos via Facebook.” LinkedIn Knowing Which Content to Use in Which Channels (7%) pasukaru76 Repurposing Content (7%) Create an editorial calendar and stick to it. Start with 1-2 posts a week if you can. It’s important to remember that the blog audience does not need to be restricted to just donors. It can be an important resource for the people your organization is trying to help, as well.  contribute posts benefits of blogging . Unsurprisingly,  for your blog from other channels, and vice versa. When doing so, nonprofits should keep in mind that repurposing is not a simple cut-and-paste operation. Think in terms of editorial campaigns, and leveraging the blog as one of many ways to get the word out about a particular topic of the week or upcoming event. Take this example from , you really need to dive into your marketing analytics to get a sense for the role each channel plays in your overall marketing and communications program. Channel behavior often varies by audience segment. What channels do your donors typically use? How does that differ from your volunteers or your constituents/clients? Do some research on your most active channels and their characteristics before creating your outreach strategy. For example, it might make sense to share content on ‘how to run a workplace fundraiser’ on time and money led the results with 31% of the responses MyLifeLine.org To know which content to use in always seems less daunting than a blank page. Kivi’s study has taken a unique approach to this. They not only invite their staff and network to contribute to the blog, but also the families they serve. CWU’s Kirsten Blocker elaborates: blog analytics Photo by: United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley Pick a date (several months out) to evaluate your progress and choose next steps. The success of your blog will always depend on the quality and frequency of your posts. And while time can feel like a long lost luxury to nonprofit marketers, getting organized helps. As a final thought, here are a few things you can do this week to get started: , while personal stories of impact may be better shared with your email subscribers.  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Now THAT’S How You Do Advertising: Nivea Reinvents the Print Ad

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 Sep 13, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 We often harp on print advertising here at HubSpot. Marketers can spend lots of time designing something visual … only to have it interrupt (and potentially piss off) its “target audience” and then not have any definitive metrics to prove that the ad even worked in the first place. But sometimes, print ads can surprise us and actually be part of an inbound framework.This week, I’ve been at Content Marketing World. On Tuesday morning at Jay Baer’s keynote, he mentioned this ad … and I got so excited that I had to share. Not only because I love Nivea (especially its chapstick), but also because it’s a digital spin on an old-fashioned type of ad.Basically, Nivea included a solar-powered charger in a magazine ad so that people could charge their cell phones and devices while on the beach. Before I give anything else away, here’s a quick video that describes the campaign in just 90 seconds:This ad rocks because of one really awesome reason: It bridges the digital and print divide to actually become a useful piece of content. How often have you been out and about and needed to charge your phone? It solves an actual need that Nivea’s buyer personas have in a visual, tangible, and digital manner. The ad also accomplishes something that is near-impossible to do with print media: relevancy through its integration with users’ physical location. The whole point of the ad is to be a tangible resource that affects your actions — it seamlessly integrates with your beach activities and makes it easier for you to stay out in the sun. How often can you say that an ad not only impacts your day-to-day living, but also makes your life easier? Not often — which is why this ad is so brilliant.We’ve talked over and over again on the blog about helping your audience — not shilling your product. This ad takes “helpful” to a whole new level through the technological integration with your physical world. Though we may not have the budget to buy solar panels for top-tier magazine ads, Nivea’s ad is a truly inspiring example of solving for the needs of your customers. So go on — get going helping them!last_img read more

My 15 Minutes of Social Media Shame

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 Dec 17, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Social Media Marketing You know how they say, “everyone loves a pregnant woman”? Well for my sake, I really hope that’s true. Sunday night, I became the unfortunate victim of every marketer’s worst(ish) nightmare: I accidentally posted to HubSpot’s company Twitter account … thinking it was my personal one. This is my story.My Social Media Slip-Up I’m five months pregnant with my second kid, and I happen to have a baby blog I started when I was pregnant with my first son. To document my second pregnancy, Sunday night I posted a picture of my growing bump to a page on my blog. I also shared it on my Facebook Timeline as well as my personal Twitter account. Or so I thought … Yup … definitely not my personal Twitter account. The kicker is that I didn’t notice what I’d done right away. I sent the tweet, and then sat down to watch the season finale of Homeland with my husband. And did I mention HubSpot’s Twitter account has over 340,000 followers?#FacePalmAbout 15 minutes into the show, I happened to check my work email on my phone … and boy am I glad I did. Sure enough, I had an email from a colleague. The subject line read “Oops,” and within the email was the screenshot you see above. How it Happened As much as I’d like to blame technology for this one, it all boils down to good old-fashioned human error. Although in my case, I’m probably going to try to pass it off as “baby brain,” since I’m now more convinced than ever that it’s a real, legitimate thing.Here’s what happened: Last week, a helpful tool we use all the time on the HubSpot blog called ClickToTweet decided to stop offering its services for free. As a result, we set up a paid account for HubSpot. Because ClickToTweet requires you to log in using your Twitter credentials, last Friday I logged in as @HubSpot in order to use it … it never crossing my mind that doing so would log me in to Twitter.com as @HubSpot as well. But lo and behold, come Sunday night when I composed my tweet, I was still logged in as @HubSpot, and I hadn’t been careful enough to double check that before I tweeted.The Recovery After reading the “Oops” email and spewing out several expletives in a row, I quickly fired up my laptop to view the evidence. Then I immediately sprang into PR mode. Luckily, PR and social media management used to be my job at HubSpot, so after the initial shock wore off, I started realizing this wasn’t the end of the world. Worse comes to worst, I figured we could always just make fun of ourselves for the slip-up, and it would all boil over. There were definitely worse things I could’ve accidentally tweeted … and everyone loves a pregnant woman?After checking to see if anyone had tweeted at HubSpot to recognize my accidental tweet, I deleted it from our account. Luckily, it was a Sunday evening, and many of you were probably also enjoying the season finale of Homeland (just hopefully not live-tweeting it). To cover my bases, I also alerted our social media manager and our PR manager, and they both reassured me that no action was necessary on our part. This wasn’t exactly a “crisis” that needed to be addressed. Phew. We’re Only Human … and Humans Drive TechnologyHere’s the thing. While it’s so easy these days to blame technology for social media slip-ups such as this one (and many people often do), in this particular instance, only I was to blame. No software malfunction, no bug. Just my own carelessness (err … baby brain). No matter what tools and technology you use to power your marketing, don’t forget that humans are behind it. We’re the ones telling those tools what to tweet, who to email, what to publish. And … well … sh*t happens, guys. Because we’re only human after all. What to Do if This Happens to YouEvery scenario will be different, and much will depend on the context of the slip-up itself. In my case, my accidental tweet was pretty harmless. In fact, I consider myself lucky, since the whole scenario made for a perfect teaching moment on this blog. Some faux pas might require more PR muscle if something a little bit more scandalous gets posted, but most slip-ups are easy to recover from with a little bit of humor and grace. And you may be surprised at how forgiving people will be if you handle it right.Take the American Red Cross for example, whose rogue tweet back in 2011 is pictured below:After remaining on Red Cross’ Twitter account for about an hour, the tweet was deleted but followed up with some fun, lighthearted commentary:As a result, the Red Cross received an outpouring of support and sympathy from its followers. In fact, even Dogfish Head brewery got in on the action:And the Red Cross replied back with:The Red Cross also posted an apology to its blog, using the opportunity to thank those who saw the faux pas as an opportunity to donate blood, but cautioning them “to space out giving a pint of blood and drinking a pint of beer for health reasons.” Nice touch. Well done, Red Cross. Has anything like this ever happened to you? How did you recover from it?last_img read more

Why Marketing Automation Fails: 3 Common Reasons

first_img Originally published Mar 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Automation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Human-to-human connections are the heart and soul of marketing. You don’t need statistics to prove the value of personalized messages, multi-channel marketing, and high quality content. It’s common sense — consumers are more responsive to brands that care.That’s why marketing automation is such an important topic in 2014. As David Moth writes on the Econsultancy blog — “It’s an important tool for bringing order to the warring worlds of marketing and sales by improving lead scoring and nurturing.”When it comes to leads, quality is everything. That’s why marketers need to make sure that they’re delivering the right messages to the right audiences at exactly the right time. We need to reach prospects on an individual level — which sounds easy enough, until your database grows from 5 to 5,000.Imagine communicating with 5,000 people on Facebook, Twitter, email, and via your blog. I can’t even wrap my mind around it. As somebody who has done marketing and business development, I know that human-to-human relationships are difficult to cultivate, track, and optimize at scale. Our brains have finite processing power. That’s why marketing automation software is so important.But marketing automation has a bad rap. We immediately think of email spammers, acquired lists, and untargeted ads. The term “marketing automation” also sounds quite clinical and technical.But it’s not. It’s one of the most human, people-focused strategies for growing your marketing. It has the potential to make your customers love your brand — but if you’re even slightly off base, it has the potential to make your customers really, really annoyed.Since success starts with knowing your blind spots, here are the three most common reasons why marketing automation fails, along with tips for what to do about it.Note: One of the most common reasons marketing automation fails is a company isn’t actually solving for their entire funnel — in other words, they’re not using top-of-the-funnel channels to drive traffic to their website they can convert into leads. If you’re struggling to fill the top of your funnel, stop reading this, and read this guide to corporate inbound marketing instead to help address your demand generation needs. If you have enough lead volume to make marketing automation worth your while, keep reading.1) Your Timing Is OffMarketers are influencers. Successful campaigns aren’t broadcasts — they’re techniques that help your brand reach audiences at key decision-making moments. Conversion funnels can help you wrap your mind around this concept. Typical customer journeys span the following five steps:Discovery – Prospects find out about your brand (or product) for the first timeRealization of Need – Prospects start to realize that your product will add value to their livesConsideration – Prospects decide to learn more about your product; at this moment, they become leadsConversion – The moment where the purchase (read: magic) happensRetention – First-time buyers repeat this process to become regular customersNow take off your marketing hat to think like a consumer. Imagine that you’re shopping for a new product or service. A sales rep from a new company reaches out to you by email (or follows up with a phone call) to tell you to buy, buy, buy. You’d probably feel annoyed.It’s not that a sales-focused marketing message is bad, per se. The reality is that the pitch is aligned with the wrong stage of the funnel. You’re just getting started and learning about a company for the first time — what you need to hear is a marketing message that speaks to “awareness.” A sales-focused message will yield stronger impact among audiences that are ready to convert. Now let me walk you through this concept in action from one of my favorite companies, Clarity.fm — a company that connects new entrepreneurs with subject matter experts. As somebody who recently launched a new company, I rely on Clarity to get in touch with entrepreneurs who have been there before.Recently, I wanted to get in touch with Poornima Vijayashanker, a leader whose work I’ve been following for a while. I have looked her up on Clarity many, many times — but I have never booked a call. I was a low-funnel prospect who — out of laziness — wasn’t converting.But then, I received an automated email from Clarity reminding me to book the call — and I did. It wasn’t annoying or aggressive. In fact, I am happy that Clarity sent me the memo.I became a customer and had a great experience. I have since scheduled multiple Clarity calls.2) There Are Too Many Bells and WhistlesHere’s some interesting data:A staggering 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email, but the average clickthrough rate for B2B marketing emails in Q2 2013 was only 1.7%.Why?The fact is simple. Marketers know that email marketing is powerful, so consumers — in turn– receive a lot of emails.It’s common for marketers to over-think their marketing automation strategies, investing in complicated newsletter designs and templates — mediums with a heck of a lot of information in text. What ends up happening, however, is that your message’s core value proposition is lost. There’s just so much to digest, so audiences will quickly move on to their next message (and forget about yours).Neil Patel, founder at KISSmetrics and CrazyEgg, has a great solution to this consumer pain point — he keeps his marketing messages short, simple, and to the point. Not to mention, they’re highly personalized and rich with information that is relevant across the conversion funnel.Instead of blasting his subscribers with mundane sales pitches, he sends short emails that remind audiences to check out his content.3) You’re Forgetting About MobileToday’s marketers are operating in cross-device, cross-platform environments. You can’t afford to ignore mobile.It’s estimated that 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices, but only 11% of emails are optimized for mobile.So what happens? Audiences stop listening — 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for small screens. Some tips:Keep your messaging simpleAvoid chunks of text, and make paragraphs easy to scanBullet key pieces of information Make links easy to clickAvoid jam-packing messages with photosDon’t make users scroll too muchAvoid design elements that require re-sizingHere’s a great example from PayPal that keeps the content simple:Final ThoughtsSweat the small stuff. Details are crucial to the success of your marketing automation strategy. Put yourself in the shoes of your target customer, and work backwards to reverse engineer your campaigns. Think “human” before you think “software.”Stop thinking like a marketer, and remember what it means to be a consumer first.last_img read more

The Rise of the Full-Time Instagrammer: Why Brands Pay for Photos From Everyday Celebrities

first_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 Instagram Marketing The brand/influencer partnership is an age-old concept, but forming partnerships with popular Instagrammers is still in its early stages. Perhaps soon, we’ll see brands experimenting with similar approaches on SnapChat, Meerkat, and other emerging platforms. After all, the best marketers go where their audience is — and maybe, the best way to reach them is by teaming up with a social media celebrity.Featured Image Credit: Patrick Janelle He styled that image carefully to give context to Bloomingdale’s products, which would otherwise be viewed by themselves in a store or on a web browser.Why was a partnership with an Instagram influencer like Patrick a great move for Bloomingdale’s here? Because Patrick’s Instagram photos showcase a lifestyle shared by Bloomingdale’s target audience — and Instagram is a perfect stage to showcase that lifestyle. In addition to reach, the Instagram platform allows for creative storytelling through photos.Influencers like Patrick can position different products and places inside their own worlds. Their audiences see value in these products and places because they’re seeing them in the context of a lifestyle they’re familiar with. They relate to it.In other cases, brands solicit Patrick to take pictures that he sends to the brand’s social media team, who then posts that picture to their Instagram account. For example, last summer, Capital One teamed up with Travel & Leisure Magazine to launch an Instagram campaign called #BucketList, where they encouraged their followers to make travel bucket lists, make them a reality, and document their travels on Instagram using the #BucketList hashtag.To jumpstart the campaign, they hired three Instagrammers in three U.S. cities — New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco — to take beautiful photos of their cities for Capital One’s Instagram account. Patrick represented New York City, and his job was to document some of his favorite places and use the caption to connect the bank’s brand to the idea of exploring a city and breaking new ground.Here’s an example of a picture Patrick took for Capital One’s Instagram account:center_img Originally published Mar 30, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Patrick Janelle has a dream job.That’s the first thing I thought to myself when I heard him tell the audience at Social Media Week NYC that he is a full-time Instagrammer.Yup, that’s right: Thanks to an extensive background in graphic design and a very high follower count, Patrick’s full-time job is to do cool things and go to cool places, take beautiful pictures of his experiences, and post them to his personal Instagram account, @aguynamedpatrick.Download our essential guide to Instagram for business for more helpful tips and tricks. The pictures he posts are a mix of the unbranded content that led to his Instagram popularity, and pictures he now posts to promote brands he’s partnered with, like Hyatt, Equinox, and Thom Browne.Patrick, who currently goes by the moniker “Man About Town,” is what’s called an “Instagram influencer.” Since joining Instagram in April 2012, he’s accumulated over 361,000 followers (and counting) and built a strong personal brand around showcasing a New York City lifestyle filled with food, fashion, and travel.His posts are editorialized, of course. “I’m not showing the dirty dishes in my kitchen sink,” he told us in New York. “But it’s authentic. I like to post in real time, in a chronological manner, to document what I’m doing at the moment.” To Patrick, Instagram is a kind of chronological journal of his activities and lifestyle — a lifestyle he calls “aspirational, but accessible.”Most importantly, though, he exerts influence over his hundreds of thousands of followers, making him an attractive partner for brands looking to experiment with paid sponsored campaigns on Instagram. For example, he started the hashtag #dailycortado (referring to a type of espresso drink cut with warm milk, often drizzled on top in an artistic design) that now has over 26,000 mentions on Instagram from people all over the world.Harnessing Influence on InstagramThe powerful voice Patrick has among his niche audience is exactly why brands seek him out to create content for them. You see, in marketing terms, companies want to partner with Patrick because his followers align with the businesses’ key buyer personas — they have similar demographics, habits, and interests.Patrick told us, for example, about the Instagram-only campaign called #Zoomingdales that he did with Bloomingdale’s, a store that sells designer brand name clothes, accessories, and gifts. It featured a series of “gift guide collages” meant to “show the breadth of the Bloomingdale’s assortment,” Bloomingdale’s VP of Social Jonathan Paul told WWD.The company solicited Patrick to create, capture, and post his own gift guide collages, where he would arrange Bloomingdale’s items with his own, personal items to tell a story. In the post below, Patrick’s picture tells the story of cozying up and watching a holiday movie at home. “It wasn’t just a one-off thing,” said Patrick. “I posted somewhere between five and seven photos over the course of a few months. It was powerful for Capital One and Travel & Leisure to be seen over and over on my feed. I had an ongoing, long-term relationship with the brands.”What Makes a Campaign Successful?After hearing about a few of the campaigns Patrick worked on — including those for Bloomingdale’s, Capital One, Boathouse Farms, Orbitz, PayPal, and most recently, Equinox — I wondered how these brands were measuring the success of Patrick’s campaigns. After all, a barrier of entry to working with him is that he must be able to do all his own creative direction. With that much autonomy, is Patrick responsible for any metrics or results from the campaigns?”No,” he said, frankly. “I often don’t hear back from the brands about the outcome other than they were happy with the posts.”Of course, every brand has different goals for each campaign, whether it’s building a following on their own brand’s Instagram account, driving traffic to a particular product, or promoting brand awareness in general. Patrick believes it’s brand awareness that motivates most of the brands he works with — which is where the caption becomes particularly important, he says.”[By writing captions,] I put context on everything I’m doing. It’s about creating more than just a beautiful image; it’s about creating a world that all these images are living in.”And he never hides when his posts are the result of a partnership; in fact, he’s quite candid about it. For example, one of his more recent partnerships is with Equinox for their “Truth or EMMDI” campaign. EMMDI stands for “Equinox Made Me Do It,” and the campaign plays off the popular game of “Truth or Dare” by encouraging people to push themselves outside their comfort zones and document it. In a recent Instagram post, Patrick’s caption reads: “This week, my @Equinox partnership challenged me to make a dramatic change. Here it is: Not usually one for diets, I’m going full-on paleo for a week to see just how much it rocks my world. #TruthOrEMMDI.”Pretty straightforward. Patrick admits he’s “kind of a purest.” He takes photos only on his iPhone, uses hashtags for categorization reasons only, and always geotags his location. “I use the tools the way they were meant to be used.”He’s Not AlonePatrick certainly isn’t the only Instagram influencer posting on behalf of brands. Nowadays, it’s fairly common practice for brands and publishers to work with Instagram users who’ve accumulated large followings.A Brooklyn-based man named Ike Edeani quit his graphic design job to pursue photography full-time, which includes the photos he takes and posts on Instagram for his 538,000 followers. According to the VentureBeat, Edeani is “regularly approached by ad agencies and brands willing to pay him hundreds of dollars to photograph their products on Instagram.”San Francisco-based Darren Lachtman runs accounts on behalf of his dog, a Brussels Griffon known to his 52,000 Instagram followers as Biggie Smalls the Notorious D.O.G. According to the New York Times, he’s famous for posting “punny posts with rap lyrics” and is paid by brands like BarkBox, a subscription service for dog owners, to post pictures promoting their brand.last_img read more