Video Review of DJ Rex, the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Droid Toy

first_imgShare This!When the Droid Factory was announced, the immediate question was would this be the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge answer to Pandoran banshees? After the price was announced, people were understandably skeptical. Here’s a first look at the DJ Rex Bluetooth Speaker toy so you can decide for yourself.What do you think? Is it worth the price or is it a hunk of space junk? Let us know what you think in the comments.last_img

Photo of the Week: Looking Forward, Reflecting on Past

first_imgWhen I first saw the two Tundra Swans swimming in Newburg Lake at Edward Hines Park on Christmas Day, they were swimming side-by-side along the shoreline. One swan stopped its movement and turned to swim out toward the middle of the lake, while the other kept swimming along the shore. The view reminded me of what the end-of-year holiday season means for me: reflections and celebrations of the past year as I look forward to the joys and unexpected wonder of the coming year. Hope you had, or are still having, a lovely, relaxing holiday break! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedPhoto of the Week: Common Loon at Newburg LakeWhat a treat! Seeing the Common Loon at Newburg Lake was a FOY (first of year) find for me. Check out the bright red eye and the white collar, distinguishing marks for the Common Loon. If I hadn’t read about the sighting in our Michigan birding email list, I would…In “Michigan”Photo of the Week: Newburg LakeLooking out over snow-covered Newburg Lake from Edward Hines Park in Livonia, Michigan you can barely see the ice fisherman’s trail on the lake.In “Nature”Photo of the Week: Detroit Institute of Arts Inside|Out ProgramI was thrilled to read last week’s announcement from the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) that their popular Inside|Art program was back for the sixth year. And even more excited when I learned one of the venues for the program was near me, in Edward Hines Park in southeastern Michigan.…In “Michigan”last_img read more

A big-hitting boost for SA, African cricket

first_img24 April 2014In a move that is set to boost cricket on the African continent and kick-start the South African domestic season in style, six teams from Africa and six South African franchises will contest the Global Softech Sixes at SuperSport Park in Centurion in September.South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya will feature in a six-a- side-format with the African Cup Challenge title up for grabs from 4 to 7 September.The Unlimited Titans, the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras, the Sunfoil Dolphins, the Chevrolet Knights, the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Chevrolet Warriors will also go toe to toe in a Franchise Challenge at SuperSport Park, also from 4 to 7 September. Both challenges will form part of the Global Softech Sixes.‘A fun element’The concept of the tournament was initiated and conceptualised by The Unlimited Titans. “This tournament is set to add a fun element that might appeal to a broader audience, which, in turn, might lure more fans and future players to the royal game,” Jacques Faul, the CEO of franchise, said in a statement.“The Global Softech Sixes also offers a unique marketing opportunity for the game of cricket to sport communities in the rest of Africa, while also strengthening relationships with our cricketing partners on the continent,” said Faul.Broadcast throughout AfricaCricket fans throughout Africa will be able to watch a live television broadcast of the event on SuperSport.The format will see batting teams limited to five overs each, with five of the fielding teams six players allowed to bowl one over each – a concept that will ensure frenetic action.‘A fun element’Although six-a-side cricket is not a new idea, the Global Softech Sixes event, with a distinct African and South African flavour, makes it both a local and international competition, which should get the South African domestic season off to an explosive start.Leela Ramesh Yemineni, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Softech Solutions, said the competition was an ideal opportunity for the company to become involved in cricket, especially because it reached into Africa, where the company is expanding its business.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Motrin Bows to Social Media Pressure From Moms – Removes Controversial Ad

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… One would think that few ads could be less controversial than ads for painkillers, but over the weekend, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the maker of Motrin, found itself in the middle of a major controversy on Twitter, FriendFeed, and other social networks. Motrin’s latest ad discusses the advantages of using the painkiller for mothers who ‘wear’ their babies close to their body with a sling or other baby carriers and who might suffer from back pain because of it. A lot of mothers (and fathers) were clearly not amused by these ads and Motrin has now decided to remove them and has issued an apology.The ad, like a lot of ads, is offensive because it is boring and talks down to its target audience (and also because it stole its use of typography from a popular YouTube video (note: language in the video might be offensive to some)). Motrin clearly didn’t understand its market, but it is hard not to consider the ‘outrage’ over this video to be a bit of an overreaction as well.This affair is also a good example of how much power a vocal minority can have thanks to social media. The controversy has already gone beyond Twitter, and mainstream news outlets will surely pick this story up within the next day or two. frederic lardinois Related Posts We Feel Your PainMotrin, as Seth Godin points out, had a chance here to reconnect with its customers by using social media to reach out to them with its apology, but the company issued a standard press release-style apology on its site instead. That might seem old-fashioned, but for most companies, that’s the only way they know how to operate.Learning from ComcastMore and more users expect companies to reach out to them directly through social media, so just having a social media presence is not enough anymore. When controversies like this one happen (whether deserved or not), smart companies will reach out to consumers directly to stop these fires right where they started. A pioneer of this is obviously Comcast, whose ‘Director of Digital Care’ Frank Eliason reaches out to any and all Twitter users who tweet about issues with the company’s service. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#news#social networks#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Improving Sales and Marketing Alignment: The Marketing and Sales SLA

first_img and lead quality b. What other interesting strategies have you implemented? d. Classify profitable lead segments as “workable leads”, which are ready for sales. Note: numbers are not actual HubSpot statistics Filter out and/or nurture “non-workable leads”. Sales becomes frustrated with all the time it takes to comb through dozens of unqualified leads to perhaps find one good one. Topics: Attempts per “workable lead” HubSpot has complied over 50 marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook To address this issue, many companies on the edge of inbound marketing and sales 2.0 have introduced a marketing and sales SLA (service level agreement). The Problem To maximize accountability and empowerment, it is best define the SLA in a joint meeting between sales and marketing. This metric becomes your marketing SLA. Automate the daily monitoring of the process. 1. Define the number and frequency of attempts that sales will make against each “workable lead”. 3. lead. Calculate the profitability of each segment. The Solution 5 Steps to Establishing A Sales and Marketing SLA Determine the number of “workable leads” per sales rep per month that marketing is accountable for. Lead quality is de-prioritized and suffers. Download the ebook now! Marketing complains that sales is ignoring the leads that marketing worked hard to generate. As companies continue to increase the percentage of leads that originate from inbound marketing, effective alignment of sales and marketing becomes a critical area of organizational design. Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphscenter_img 4. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Key metrics to monitor are: a. The sales SLA defines the expectations that marketing has for sales on how deeply and frequently sales will pursue each This metric becomes your sales SLA. 5. qualified They stop paying attention to these leads and revert back to expensive, and often times unprofitable, cold calling. . For companies to achieve growth and become leaders in their industries, it is critical that these two group be properly integrated  to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations What issues do you have with sales and marketing alignment? “Workable leads” produced per sales rep, month to date Examples of Sales and Marketing SLA Charts: Run a closed loop analysis on your historical inbound lead segments. Marketing is measured against aggressive lead quantity goals. We use this technique at HubSpot ourselves. If the two departments are managed as separate silos, the system fails. Conversion rate to forecasted pipeline per “workable lead” Marketing and Sales Alignment c. Connect rate per “workable lead” 2. Originally published Apr 26, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 They scramble to meet these goals, focusing on campaigns that produce the most lead conversions. The marketing SLA defines the expectations that sales has for marketing with regards to lead quantitylast_img read more

20 Variables Every Marketer Should Be Testing

first_img Originally published Oct 7, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated October 29 2019 Topics: We talk a lot about how marketing analytics is key to inbound marketing success. Another concept that goes hand-in-hand with analytics is testing. Contrary to popular practice, testing in marketing expands beyond email marketing and can be applied to practically every other inbound marketing tactic — social media, business blogging, landing pages, lead generation, and lead nurturing — there’s virtually nothing you can’t test in your marketing.Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.While we believe marketers should constantly be testing their marketing, the first step is identifying the different marketing variables you can test. And because so many of these variables are applicable across channels, you’ll likely never run out of tests to run or experiments to try. The following 20 testing variables can lead you to discover valuable opportunities to optimize and improve the performance of your marketing initiatives.20 Variables to Test in Inbound Marketing 1. Layout: Test the layout within individual content items like blog posts, email marketing messages, lead nurturing emails as well as website pages like landing pages, your main website homepage, your blog homepage, etc. Move elements of your pages around, and test the performance of one layout vs. another.2. Calls-to-Action (CTAs): CTAs offer a number of testing opportunities. Test the performance of different calls-to-action based on their placement on various pages of your website and within certain pieces of content like blog posts, ebooks, and webinars. 3. Content Offers: Calls-to-action are made up of different offers, such as an ebook, a webinar, a free trial, etc. Test calls-to-action in terms of different offer topics in your industry and various formats (video vs. webinar vs. ebook vs. free trial, etc.). Do certain offers focused on a particular topic or in a specific format tend to resonate better with your audience? These types of tests can help you indentify the wants and needs of your prospects and customers and help you create content your audience cares about.4. Color: Test the color of your call-to-action buttons. You can even just test the overall color scheme of your website or blog. Do certain colors elicit a better response than others?5. Size: Sometimes, just making a CTA button, an image, or a headline a few hairs bigger can make a huge difference. Maybe your headline isn’t prominent enough to catch the site visitor’s attention. Or maybe your call-to-action is too small to stand out. Test the sizing of different website and content elements.6. Email Subject Line: In your email marketing and lead nurturing emails, test different versions of subject lines to determine which results in the best click-through rate. Do you find that a more actionable or sensational subject line performs better than others?7. Blog Titles: Similarly, do some testing and analysis of blog titles. Do numbers in your titles produce better results? Over time, can you notice a pattern of specific words that have consistently attracted lots of views?8. Email Sender: Test various versions of how you present your email sender. Does a stand-alone name of one of your employees work better than your company name? What about a combination of the two?9. Email Templates: Create a few different email templates, and test their effectiveness over each other in your email marketing and lead nurturing messages.10. Length: Test the length of your landing page copy and forms (shorter forms may be better for your business than longer forms, or vice versa), your content (do your readers prefer shorter or longer blog posts with more copy?), your email messages, and social media updates like tweets, Facebook, and LinkedIn updates.11. Messaging: Have you varied the way you position your message? Try a different angle, and see what effect it has.12. Tone: Test different tones in your writing and positioning. Does a more serious approach work better than an edgier one? Be careful with this one though — once you’ve done some testing and defined your most effective tone, stick with it. Your company should have a recognizable, consistent voice across all your messages and content.13. Images: Test how people respond to different types of images — in your blog posts, your email messages, your landing pages, your CTAs, etc.14. Timing: Do your tweets get retweeted more in the morning or the afternoon? Do certain days of the week make for better Facebook engagement? Perhaps your email marketing is more effective on Saturdays and your blog posts generate more views during the middle of the week.15. Frequency: Is your particular audience receptive to more or fewer updates from you, whether it be via email, tweets, blog articles, Facebook posts, etc.? Test the frequency of your updates in various channels and take notice of what works best.16. Keywords: Test the performance of your keywords. Can you generate more traffic from a long tail keyword than you’re generating from a more general keyword?17. Paid Search: While not a variable in itself, there are a number of variables and combinations of variables you can test in your paid search efforts, too — keywords, messaging, imagery, offers, etc.18. Targeting and Personalization: Another variable you can test in paid search is targeting! Furthermore, you can test different targeting methods on your homepage, on your landing pages, in your email marketing and lead nurturing, etc.19. Privacy: Does adding a note about protecting visitors’ privacy to certain pages of your website impact your results? Test adding some language that indicates protection of privacy to your landing pages, and see if it results in higher conversion rates.20. Data Visualization: What’s the best way for you to present data? In a pie chart? A graph? An infographic? Try different ways to visualize your data, and see what works best!Regularly testing elements of your marketing can be a great way to identify ways to improve your existing marketing efforts. What other variables can you test in your inbound marketing?Image Credit: [F]oxymoron A/B Testing Don’t forget to share this post! 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How to Decide Between a Dedicated or Shared IP for Email Marketing

first_img Email Deliverability At last week’s eM+C event , All About eMail Live!, several questions arose at a roundtable discussion about the benefits of a shared IP versus a dedicated IP for your email marketing sending. If you’re weighing these two options, it can get a little confusing as one solution is not always better than the other for every business.Selecting the right solution for you depends on a variety of factors. And the first step to figuring out whether you should opt for a dedicated or shared IP is by understanding what exactly the difference between these two options is. Let’s get started with some definitions: Shared IP: A shared IP is one that is used by more than one sender, i.e. a pool of companies. Dedicated IP: A dedicated IP is one that is used by a single sender. The sender must purchase and set up the dedicated IP with their email marketing vendor.Now let’s dive into the factors that should go into selecting a dedicated or shared IP. Cost This aspect of the decision is fairly straightforward. Shared IPs are usually less expensive than dedicated IPs because your email marketing vendor can spread the cost of a shared IP across more customers. Companies opting for a dedicated IP also typically have to pay for the initial setup fees and/or recurring maintenance costs. But you’re probably not making a decision based on cost alone, so let’s move on to the next factor that will impact your decision. Maintenance With a dedicated IP, you need to need to make sure you’re sending out enough email to maintain a top notch reputation with ISPs. (We’ll talk more about reputation as a factor in your decision next.) If you opt for a dedicated IP and you either don’t send much email, or you don’t send email on a consistent basis, then it could be difficult to establish yourself as a trustworthy, spam-free sender. This negatively impacts your deliverability; ISPs and webmail services look for a decent amount of consistent volume before they allow you to reach their users’ inboxes.In the case of a shared IP, however, this is not a problem — your email service provider (ESP) can pool the emails of multiple senders, and thus maintain the IP’s reputation so you don’t have to worry about maintaining the proper sending volume. Reputation As you may already know, your sender reputation is everything when it comes to deliverability. If you are sending from an email server with a spic-and-span reputation, your emails will make it in front of the eyes of your subscribers. And as we noted previously, your email volume is one factor that goes into the decision to place your emails in a recipient’s inbox. The other contributing factors pertain to list cleanliness, which is determined by metrics like hard bounce rate , spamtrap hits, and SPAM complaint rate.Senders on a shared IP are lumped together from a reputation standpoint. The reputation of the IP you’re using is determined by the email practices of everyone who uses that IP. For that reason, ESPs are often proactive about list cleanliness by establishing import rules , and typically monitor their servers for senders employing poor or black-hat email marketing tactics that could hurt deliverability for everyone.Now you may be thinking, “If I go with my own dedicated IP, I’ll never have to worry about the consequences of other senders’ bad behavior.” That’s true — but this means you need to be completely honest with yourself about your own email practices. If you’re not completely confident in the cleanliness of your list, it’s possible that you can actually benefit from the good habits of your neighbors on a shared IP. I’m not advocating that you test your ESP’s threshold for bad practices, rather pointing out that you are more accountable for your actions when you use a dedicated IP. What to Do Once You Decide on Shared vs. Dedicated IP So let’s say you’ve made a decision. What are the next steps? If you’re going to go with a shared IP, make sure you ask your ESP these two questions: 1) What are your rules for importing subscribers? ( Here is a list of the questions HubSpot asks of our own customers. ) These rules are important for you to know — not only because your IP neighbors have to abide by them, but also because you have to, too! 2) What are the acceptance rates of your shared IPs? You can follow this up by asking for their Return Path Sender Score , the trusted standard for email deliverability. To give you a sense of what is normal, a recent study from Return Path reported that for servers with a Sender Score of 91+ (i.e. legitimate servers), only 88% of messages actually ended up in the inbox. If you go the alternate route and decide you’re ready for a dedicated IP, talk to your ESP about their offerings and be prepared to warm up any new IP addresses. Warming up an IP address is a critical step to earning a stellar reputation. The idea is that you want to gradually increase the volume of email sent, rather than blasting out a large volume too quickly. As a new IP address, ISPs won’t recognize you as a “good sender” right away, and therefore could mistake your new blasts as malicious, impacting your deliverability. Have you ever been through the process of deciding between a dedicated or shared IP? Share the process you used to evaluate the pros and cons in the comments! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 27, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: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

Hiring Experts Tell All: What They REALLY Want to See on Your Resume

first_imgWhen I set out to find expertise for this post on resumes, I was surprised to find that real humans were behind it all.Humans! With real feelings, pet peeves, hobbies, relationships, experiences, and backgrounds — they’re the ones reading our resumes and cover letters. They’re also the ones who get annoyed when we don’t put our employment record in chronological order; who just don’t feel like reading paragraph-long job descriptions; and who get excited when you went to the same college as them.I asked some hiring experts what they actually care about when they scan resumes, and here’s the inside scoop on the tips they shared with me. (And don’t miss out on what they said about cover letters at the end.)What Hiring Managers Definitely Care AboutLengthLimit your resumes to one page if possible. It takes hiring managers six seconds to decide whether they like your resume or not. If they do, they’ll keep reading. If they don’t … well, it’s on to the next. So, chances are, they won’t even get to page 2. But if you have to bleed onto another page, definitely don’t exceed two.FormattingFormatting speaks to the way candidates collect their thoughts and organize their ideas. As HubSpot Director of Training and Development Andrew Quinn explains it, “A candidate’s resume is their ad to me. How are they structuring this ad so I get a clear picture of what they’re capable of?”There’s a fine line, though, warns HubSpot Recruiter Emily Kueffner. “If you stray too far from normal formatting, it’s hard to read and understand your resume. Don’t get so creative that your resume becomes difficult to digest.” Specifically, we spoke about the infographic resumes some candidates have sent in. Every hiring manager I spoke with advised sticking to the classic resume form instead of infographics or other formats. “Infographic resumes are terrible,” says HubSpot Recruiting Manager Leslie Mitchell. “We appreciate creativity, except when it’s overkill and hard to follow. Keep it simple — everyone appreciates a simple resume. If you’re a designer, showcase your creativity with a cool portfolio website in addition to your simple resume.”Writing QualityHiring managers throw away resumes with spelling errors – but writing quality goes beyond spelling mistakes. Writing and presenting data in meaningful ways is a critical skill for any position, from blogging to engineering.Are the details you want hiring managers to know about you easy to consume? Do you use concise sentences to convey your performance and accomplishments? Are your verb tenses consistent (except for current positions)? Is your language overflowing with buzzwords, or does it sound natural?“Formatting, spelling, syntax, and structure are all evidence of attention to detail,” Andrew told me. “This is important for any job, but especially if you’re applying to a job where attention to detail matters.” If you’re applying for a writing position, this is even more important. Same with sales – salespeople have to write emails all day long, so have you mastered the crisp, business style of writing?LocationHiring managers want to know if you’ll need to relocate. If you already live near the company’s office, great! If you would need to relocate, then it gets a little more complicated. Technically, hiring managers can’t legally ask you directly where you live – but omitting location will raise eyebrows. Even PO boxes are a little iffy.If you do need to relocate, you should still include your current, out-of-town address on your resume, but be prepared to answer relocation status questions in an interview. If the company doesn’t offer relocation packages, will you be able to afford taking the job and moving anyway? If not, you may be wasting time.College/Graduate School and Major/ConcentrationWhich is more important: Where you went to school, or what you studied?It depends on the job you’re applying for. In most cases, your degree should make sense for the role. “Hiring managers are looking for the tie-in,” says Leslie. “They’re looking for what’s relevant about what a candidate’s done in school.” That doesn’t mean only marketing majors can apply to marketing jobs – marketing teams might hire someone who came out of creative studies like liberal arts, graphic design, or writing. An engineering team, on the other hand, probably won’t hire someone without a computer science degree. It also depends on how successful you were at the school you attended. While there are some hiring managers who only give interviews to graduates of top-tier schools, most say it helps to go to a top-tier school, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker if you went to a lower-tier school or community college. A community college graduate with a 4.0 GPA could be more attractive than an Ivy League graduate with a 2.0. Speaking of GPA – when to take it off your resume is subjective. “The benchmark is five to seven years after graduation, which is when candidates tend have a solid track record of employment,” says Andrew. “But if you did well in school but had lackluster job prospects following graduation because of, say, a bad economy, you could definitely leave it on longer.” It goes both ways, he explained: If you had great jobs and accomplishments following graduation but didn’t have a good GPA, consider removing your GPA earlier.Three to five years after college or graduate school graduation, you can move your “Education” section to the bottom of your resume — unless you connected with someone through an alumni network or if you know an executive there also went to your school.Companies and TitlesHiring managers will look at where you’ve worked before (do they recognize the company names or know anyone who works there?) and your titles at those companies. “If you’re applying for a sales position at a software company like HubSpot, we’re looking for experience selling software,” Leslie told me. “If you’re applying for a services position, we’re looking for customer-facing experience.”Yes, people tweak their titles at previous companies to more closely match the positions they’re applying for. If you do this, your “new” title should be close enough to what you really did that if someone were to call and check a reference, they wouldn’t be dumbfounded. Maybe “Clerk to the Surgical Waiting Room” becomes “Customer Service Clerk.” Also, make sure to change your titles on LinkedIn, too — hiring managers will check for consistency on LinkedIn, Leslie said.Top Few Bullet Points in Each SectionEach position you’ve had should be accompanied by no more than five to six bullet points. Remember, these hiring managers are scanning your resumes really quickly, so you want to make it easy for them to find and digest the relevant information by consolidating the most important points and putting them first. Paragraphs are a big no-no.Focus on accomplishments first before responsibilities and duties. If you had a senior management role, include the number of people you managed. Include goals and metrics that hiring managers can use to compare you against other candidates, and make sure those metrics make sense so you don’t confuse the hiring manager. Run the metrics by your mom. I’m serious. If they make sense to her, then they’re all set. If not, then you weren’t clear enough and you need to tweak the language.Dates of EmploymentHiring managers look for job hopping and large gaps in employment, which are both red flags. Job hopping is a sign of failure to commit, a quality no one wants at their company. A word of advice: You should try to stay at every job for at least a year, preferably two or more years; otherwise, it’s a red flag.And if you took longer than six months off of work, Leslie suggests you explain the gap on your resume, perhaps in italics or parenthesis. “Travelled abroad.” “Took time off for family.” “Took time off for personal reasons.” They just want to see a rational explanation — that you were doing something productive with your time, not just hanging out watching football, ya know?What Hiring Managers Might Care AboutInterests/HobbiesWhether you include interests and hobbies on your resume depends on the company and the job. If you’re applying for a creative role, hobbies like photography and painting could be interesting to an employer. If you’re hiring for an accounting role, then a hobby like skydiving wouldn’t be good to include — hiring managers might categorize you as a risk-taker, and do they really want a risk-taker managing their money?“Think about the conclusions someone could draw from your hobbies relative to the role you’re hiring for,” Andrew advises. “Do they enhance or detract from the image you’re trying to convey? If you know the culture embraces unique individuals that have a broad background and set of interests, then it could be useful information. But conservative organizations probably don’t care what you do in your free time — in fact, they could interpret outside hobbies as distractions.”Companies with cultures like HubSpot’s want their employees to have some personality and invest in outside interests. So if you’re applying to join that kind of culture, an “Interests” or “Hobbies” section could benefit you. “They’re great conversation starters,” says Leslie. “‘You’re a skier? Me too! Which mountain do you go to?’ It creates common ground for conversation and helps us assess culture fit.”Before including or omitting this section on your resume, gain some intelligence about the company’s environment and culture. (And check out HubSpot’s culture code if you haven’t already.)What Hiring Managers Don’t Want to SeePersonal Statements/ObjectivesFrankly, they’re irrelevant. And they’re too easy to screw up. Leslie recounted numerous times where candidates put the name of another local company on there — huge mistake.Instead, Leslie suggests replacing it with a “Key Skills” section at the top of your resume, in column format, that highlights the top six to nine skills applicable to the role you’re applying for. Be sure to change these skills for each job!Although you should leave this section off your resume, you should have something in the Summary section of your LinkedIn profile. Focus this section on specific skills and achievements. It’s a good place to put a link to your portfolio, blog, SlideShare presentations, or examples of work you’ve created like open-source code. Use that space to talk about specific achievements you’ve had in previous roles, awards you’ve won, or projects you’ve worked on. The information and skills on here should be applicable to where you’re headed in your career, not irrelevant past skills. (Right after Leslie told me this, I took “emergency medicine” off of mine!)As for cover letters?“I’ve never met a recruiter who reads cover letters,” Leslie told me. “We just don’t have time.” That’s right. With this in mind, include important details on your resume, like gaps in employment, rather than relying on your cover letter (which may never get read) to explain it. And reallocate those hours you plan to spend writing and perfecting your cover letter to writing and rewriting your resume. Your resume is the most important tool in the first stage of the application process, so spend a lot of time on it and ask multiple people to critique it. I hope you found this information helpful! If you’re looking for jobs in the inbound marketing space, check out HubSpot’s job page and the inbound.org job page. And don’t forget to download our free marketing resume templates, too!  Resume and Cover Letters Topics: Originally published Jul 22, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Promote Your Content Using Paid, Earned & Owned Media

first_imgThis post originally appeared on the Insiders section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Insiders.Some people think content promotion isn’t complicated. It’s just making sure content is optimized for the search engines, sent to an appropriate email list, and then broadcast it socially, right? If only it were that simple.Search algorithms aren’t as reliant on on-page factors for determining relevance anymore, organic social reach is declining, and not every brand has a huge opt-in email database at their disposal. As a result, brands that wish to rely on these tactics must have patience — or double down on promotional efforts.The amount of patience required is dependent on the level of inbound adoption within any given industry. For example, a bee keeper just getting started with inbound marketing might see results faster than a new marketing agency, since marketing as an industry is highly saturated with content. Unfortunately, most enterprises aren’t patient enough to wait 6, 8, or 12 months for the return they need to justify their budgets — they generally get one quarter to prove a program’s worth. So if you’re a late inbound adopter in a competitive industry and you want to grow fast, you need to get creative with how you promote your content. The graphic and explanations below detail some of the best paid and earned media tactics for promoting content. These tactics can empower newer inbound adopters to see results quicker, help agencies reduce churn by driving client results faster, and allow enterprise marketers to show a return within a quarter.The Tactics of Content PromotionContent CoverageThis is perhaps the most powerful of the three content promotion channels. Earning attention for a brand’s content can drive brand awareness, traffic, and conversions. Here are a few ways you can get more content coverage.Media RelationsThis is a tried-and-true stalwart of public relations (PR), but it doesn’t have to be all about pitching brand, product, and service stories to journalists and editors. Marketers and PR professionals alike can pitch a brand’s ebook, guide, study, etc. if it’s prudent to the audience of the publication. Below shows the growth in leads (in purple) from one link to an ebook featured in a story on Inc.com.In total, this one link drove over 800 incremental leads in 30 days. The day after it was published, 20% of the total website visitors downloaded the ebook.Influencer OutreachAlso known as influencer marketing or influencer advocacy, influencer outreach is quite similar to media relations, though, typically, the people targeted are influential in their industry and aren’t necessarily journalists or editors. Influencers can be bloggers or people that amass large social followings around their industry expertise.The result of outreach can lead to something as simple as a social share, a direct or indirect endorsement on a blog, or full-on collaboration with a project or campaign. The example below helped drive nearly 5,000 unique website visitors to the article and over 500 Google +1s in just two weeks.Bylined ArticlesThese result when media outlets invite company executives with a very specific expertise to write for them. Some are one-and-done, and others are a series of articles or even a weekly column. Bylines cost nothing, but it takes time to research the media and pitch them why a brand’s executive should write for them. Once a byline is earned, citing ebooks, guides, studies, and blog posts can drive copious amounts of traffic and conversions.SyndicationThis tactic was a cornerstone of the newspaper business for many years and turned some journalists into cult celebrities. While not a cornerstone of the internet, having content syndicated to other websites serves the same purpose — getting content in front of many more eyeballs. Any calls to action or citations leading back to landing pages in the original content can drive massive amounts of conversions over time. Just be sure that you’re covering all of your SEO-bases when having your content syndicated.Below is an example of one of several syndication relationships Relevance.com has. Each one credits the original source of the content, as seen below. If you’re ever getting your content syndicated, make sure that the syndicated post links back to the original.Content DistributionIn Ryan Skinner’s Forrester report, “Put Distribution at the Heart of Content Marketing,” he talks about traditional online ad networks and the quickly growing ecosystem of paid content distribution channels. Native distribution is more conducive to content marketers than banner ads and lacks the pervasiveness of banner blindness. Below are a few ways you can use this type of promotion for your content.Native Advertising (Content Discovery Networks)Networks like Taboola, AdBlade, and Outbrain are quickly growing. With more than 90% of companies admitting to content marketing adoption, it’s not surprising — with so much content out there, people are looking for any edge to get noticed. Outbrain reports a 6% clickthrough rate across its network of 100,000 publishers.These networks allow marketers to get their content in front of very large audiences while simultaneously helping traditional media outlets grow revenue — something many of them haven’t been able to do for more than a decade. You can see an example of what native advertising typically looks like below.Advertorials (Sponsored Content)This is another way for brands to tap into another website’s audience. Brands using this tactic pay to publish articles on other websites or media outlets. The pieces usually look and feel much like the unsponsored content on the media site, but is denoted with a “sponsored” tag or sticker. Popularized by Forbes, online advertorials are beginning to crop up all over the Internet. However, media buying for sponsored content is still in its infancy. Pricing varies widely across the media — from six figures to a couple hundred dollars.Here is an example of how one website features advertorial content.:Native SocialAdvertising helped both Facebook and LinkedIn experience stock price spikes when these programs were announced. Both networks have successfully given brands the option to move advertisements from the doldrums of banner ad space into users’ newsfeeds where these sponsored posts look very similar to typical updates.Marketers who choose to use social networks for native advertising should experiment. Some are more conducive to blog content and visuals while others are best suited for landing pages. Cost per click can vary between $0.25 to over $20 on networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.Native NewslettersThese have been around for quite some time. Most marketers can likely find several examples in their inboxes now. Some companies that have amassed large email databases will allow marketers to pay to include their branded content or offers in their newsletter.If you pay for native newsletter distribution, your rate can be a part of a broader sponsorship package, cost per click, cost per action, or cost per lead. Paying for placement in a newsletter is another way for marketers to distribute their content in a native manner.Content BroadcastingUnfortunately, broadcasting is exclusively what most marketers use for content promotion today. For some it can be highly effective, but for others it can feel like no one is listening. It’s exceptionally difficult to get needle-moving results for companies just getting started with inbound marketing in an industry that’s embraced it already. For content broadcasting to have a big impact, a brand needs an existing audience.Social MediaThis is a tried-and-true broadcasting channel for brands. Unfortunately, Facebook is slowly, but surely, limiting the organic reach of brands — and it’s possible that other social networks might follow suit. So if you’re going to beef up your social media distribution, know that you’re at the mercy of the social networks and that algorithm changes could affect your future successes. I’m not saying don’t be on social media, just be aware that you have to play by the social networks’ rules to be successful. EmailEmail is highly effective channel for content distribution, too. Valuable content can be delivered to subscribers, leads, customers, and partners. Whether it’s a one-off campaign, a regular subscription, triggered automation, or nurturing, email works. Unfortunately though, without a significant email database to tap into, brands don’t have anyone to broadcast to. Over time, though, you can build this large, opt-in database and then regularly distribute your content to them.As marketers, we’re used to telling our customers to be patient with inbound marketing — that it takes time. But it only takes time if broadcasting is the only content promotion channel used. By leveraging the content promotion landscape and the tools of the content promotion ecosystem, marketers can get faster and better results.This post was a sneak peek at Chad Pollitt’s INBOUND 2014 presentation entitled, “How Content Promotion Changed Our Inbound Marketing Forever.” Don’t forget to register and stop by his session on Wednesday, September 17th. Originally published Aug 13, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Content Marketing 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