Missing your potjiekos? Forgotten the recipe for bobotie? Want to know where you can buy real South African biltong – or make your own? We’ve put together a directory of links to help you recapture the taste of home. (Image: SA Goodies website)WORLDWIDEBiltongmakers.com – biltong, droe wors and other goodies from SA.Cybercellar – buy SA wine online.Expat Shop – buy a wide variety of South African goods online.I Love South Africa – I Love SA t-shirts, posters, badges, bumper stickers and more.NetFlorist – send flowers or gifts from SA to anywhere in the world.The Saffa Shop is the online shop for Limpopo Butchers in Acton, London.South African Food Shop is based in the UK, but also provides South African food and drink throughout the rest of the world.South African WineSeller – buy SA wine for delivery to your door worldwide.Southern Hemisphere Wine CentreWINEmag.co.za – buy SA wine online.USA800Biltong supplies biltong and boerewors throughout the USA.AA Biltong – biltong, boerewors, koeksusters, traditional SA food products, SA magazines.A Taste of Africa – Based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, A Taste of Africa is an online shop offering a choice of South African favourites for those who long for the taste of SA.African Hut has a large online selection of South African foods and groceries and ships to anywhere in the United States.The Biltong Box – biltong, boerewors, droe wors and spices.Biltong USA – importer of SA food.Cape Dutch Bakery – Maryland, metropolitan DC. Mosbolletjies, koeksisters and other SA pastries, plus biltong, boerewors and selected imported SA groceries.Mario’s Finest – spices for a true South African “braai”.The South African Food Shop is located in Matthews, North Carolina. South African foods can be ordered on their Internet website for delivery throughout the USA.The South African Shop Atlanta imports and supplies primarily South African products to the USA market. Online orders are also available.CANADAThe Biltong Boykie is based in Ontario and offers biltong for online purchase.Brenda’s Rooibos Store, based in Vancouver, is an online store that sells annique Rooibos teas and Annique skin care products.Can-Way International, located in Toronto, ships goods to anywhere in Canada. They stock a wide range of South African favourites, including, among others, biltong, chutneys, pickles and condiments. They also stock British products.Eat Sum More is a South African store located in Thornhill, just outside of Toronto. It caters to the needs and cravings of other ex-South Africans and offers online shopping too.Florence Meat Supplies includes South African specialties, such as biltong and boerewors, and other typically South African favourites, like koeksisters, melkterts and samoosas.Memories of Africa, located in Toronto, offers quality South African foods online and ships throughout Canada and the USA.Montego Organic Rooibos Tea, is based in Burlington, Ontario, and has an online shop, as well as a list of shops that sell the tea.Out of Africa Tradiing operates out of Richmond, British Colombia and supplies a wide variety of foot items, available through Internet order throughout Canada.SA Meat Shops provides a range of meat products, baked goods and grocery items that are uniquely South African.SA Sausages / Serengeti Trading – biltong, boerewors, droe wors, Rooibos tea and other SA products.Serengeti Trading imports Rooibos tea and other South African products and has outlets in Langley, Edmonton, Victoria, North Shore, Northern BC and Tri-Cities. Visit the main website for links to the individuals outlets. They also offer online purchasing.South African Connexion BBQ & Catering Co. is based in Quebec and presents catering that includes roasting meat on a spit along with other South African specialities.UK AND IRELANDAfrican Spot is an online store offering South African favourites throughout the UK.Biltong2U, an online shop boasts a wide array of authentic South African food products.Bizzi B’s is an online shop offering South African foods, as well as books, health & beauty products, household goods, and even spit braai equipment for rent!Blue Rock Biltong in Woking, offers prime beef biltong, Ostrich biltong, game biltong, Droewors, and pepper sticks through Internet order.Bob’s Biltong is located in Heywood, Greater Manchester. All sorts of South African foods are available in the shop and through their online shop.Bokke Foods is an online shop supplying South African food favourites.BuySAfrica is an online retailer of imported South African goods in Ireland. They deliver throughout the country and also put together beautiful hampers for all occasions.Hunter’s Biltong offers biltong, droewors, and boerwors through an online store.Kalahari Moon is in Bristol and stocks South African products, including a wide range of beverages, foods, and health and beauty products.Limpopo Butchers, an online store offers a wide variety of South African meat products, groceries and other South African-themed items, including clothing, braai goodies and more.No. 1 South African Shop is in Dorset and also offers online ordering of hard to resist South African foods.SANZA’s online shop delivers South African, Australian and New Zealand products throughout the UK.SA eSHOP – secure online orders, plus free delivery to all addresses in England, Wales and Southern Scotland for orders of more than £60.SA Wines Online supplies top quality wine throughout the UK from numerous South African wineries.Snoggy’s main store, The Butchery, is located in Putney, London. It features South African meat favourites, as well as SA beer, ciders, brandy and cane. There is also a Snoggy’s Kiosk at Wimbledon Station, while Max’s Foods in East Putney and Piccolo in Putney High Street also supply Snoggy’s products.St Marcus Fine South African Foods is an Internet-based store offering an amazing array of South African meat products, as well as meat for traditional recipes from many other countries.Susman’s Best Beef Biltong – SA meat, groceries, sweets, beverages, recipes, clothing, seeds & bulbs, African cards & more.Swig (Serious Wine Imbibers Group) – an independent mail order wine merchant, Swig is “the foremost specialist” for SA wines in the UK. “Tasting a great number of Cape wines over the last few months has been an arduous task, but somebody’s got to do it”, say the Swiggers, adding that the wines on their South Africa 2002 list “are wines that we personally recommend rather than wines we have merely read about”.Taste of South Africa is located Oxford and offers door to door delivery through their online order business of South African groceries.The African Corner, based in Wellington, Somerset, supplies South African food online, including snacks and food for kids.The Bok & Rose is in Dorset and has South African owners. They supply biltong and other South African favourites throughout the UK. The shop itself is in St Albans, London.The Savanna has six shops in London and plenty of South African fare available online.The South African Shop is the biggest importer of South African food in the UK. There are five shops in London and buying online is also available.Toft Shop caters to South African ex-pats in Cambridge with lots of recognisable home treats.ZAUK South African Shop is an online shop providing food, drink, and other South African favourites. It has no minimum order value and offers free delivery for goods over £100.AUSTRALIAAfrican Heritage – South African products in Perth: boerewors, biltong, koeksisters, milk tarts, and SA staples such as ProNutro, Five Roses tea, Tennis biscuits, and much more.Africashop.com.au supplies South African food and booze throughout Australia.Biltong Spice is based in Brisbane, but operates exclusively on the Internet. They supply quality biltong, boerewors and droewors spices, as well as a a range of accessories, including biltong machines, biltong cutters and biltong hooks.Cape to Cairo, in Perth, is an importer, wholesaler and retailer of South Africa’s favourite delicacies.Kumusha is based in Brisbane and is an online store that delivers a wide range of South African products throughout Australia.Mufasa Biltong Deli is located in the Currambine Business Centre in Perth. They produce South African meat and baked goods, which are also available through online ordering.Protea Foods is in Cheltenham, Melbourne, Victoria. Their primary products are biltong and boerewors, but they supply other South African favourites too.SATOOZ – online Australian-owned business specialising in South African food and other essentials.South African Essentials is a family-run business in Perth and provides biltong, boerewors and other familiar South African foods.South African Wines, an online business, features a selection of over 70 premium wines and brandies.Springbok Delights has a butchery and grocery shop in Lane Cove, Sydney. They also have a factory in the city and supply numerous shops. Their online shop features alcohol, food products and beverages, meat products and more.Springbok Foods Australia in Perth, Western Australia, also offers online shopping and delivers throughout Australia, including personal delivery in South East Queensland.Tassie African is an online store based in Tasmania and delivers South African and Zimbabwean foods throughout Australia.The South African Shop in Templestowe and Caulfield, Melbourne, has traditional and Kosher South African foods which are also available through online ordering. The Caulfield shop includes the Shebeen Coffee Shop.The South African Shop Hobart is located inside Go Dive Hobart and stocks a range of products including biltong, dried wors, boerewors and rusks.Tuart Hill Liquor supplies over 50 South African wines, as well as SA beers and ciders. They’re based in North Beach Drive in Tuart Hill, Perth.EUROPEBiltong.nu is the largest producer of South African meats in the Netherlands. All their products are manufactured to original South African recipes and can be ordered online.Boerewors.nl is an online provider of South African boerewors.Braai Supply Butchery and South African Food store in Vila do Conde supplies South African braai packs, meats, hampers and other groceries, including through online order elsewhere in Portugal.Die Spens, is situated next to the A1 in Amersfoort, easily reachable from all over The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. A wide variety of food and drink is available, also through the Internet.Jabula, is in Dublin, Ireland, and specialises in South African food and crafts. It also provides online purchasing.Robyn’s Corner, in Malta, is an online shop that offers a selection of South African foodstuffs and even has some favourite South African recipes to share.South African Goodies (Ger) – a wide range of South African products available at this online shop from Germany.South African Goodies (Ned), in The Netherlands, is an online supplier of South African foods and beverages.Abigails – South African food shop in Denmark.Slagteren ved Kultorvet – get your biltong or boerewors from this organic butcher in Denmark.Doringboom Vlakvark – SA Internet-winkel vir Duitsland en aangrensende Europese lande / SA online shop for Germany and neighbouring European countries.South African Rooibos Tea Supplies (Switzerland and surrounding countries)Zuid-Afrika Huis – (also in English) historiese gragtehuis in Amsterdam, huisves die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut (SAI), opgerig om die studie van taal, kultuur en geskiedenis van SA te bevorder. Onderhou waarskynlik die grootste Afrikaanstalige biblioteek buite Afrika. Huisves ook die Nederlands Zuidafrikaanse Vereniging (NZAV), gestig om die kulturele betrekkinge tussen Nederland en SA te bevorder. Uitgewer van die Nederlandstalige maandblad Zuid-Afrika.Reviewed: 23 May 2013Source: Proudly South Africa Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
When I asked Jessica how important it was for her to continue to serve- more than a decade after her heroic time in uniform she was quick to say how she was both “honored and humbled” to have the opportunity to inspire others, and fulfill her original goal of being a hero- as a teacher in the classroom to young boys and girls. As we honor our veterans this November 11, and as we support them throughout the year, we should reflect on what really makes them heroic. For Jessica Lynch, as heroic as her actions were in uniform, her commitment to service today is equally inspirational. Soldier, teacher and- as always- hero! For more on how you can hire today’s heroes please check out all of the resources that SHRM has compiled for you and your organization. Click here for more. The former- POW’s equally inspiring journey after combat In March 2003 our nation’s conscious was fixated on the start of military operations in Iraq. Tens of thousands of our troops marched to Baghdad and beyond, and one of those Soldiers was Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch. While many may recall the former POW’s harrowing and inspirational story of courage and commitment, her journey and dedication to service after the military is equally heroic. Jessica shared her very powerful and personal story as the opening keynote speaker during SHRM’s October Diversity and Inclusion Conference in Austin, TX. I had the opportunity to sit-down with Jessica before her opening keynote speech and asked her about life after the Army, and the challenges and opportunities she’s had over these last 13-years since she nearly lost her life in the service of her country.“It’s not easy,” Jessica candidly acknowledged as she discussed both her personal transition from service as well as the challenges thousands of other veterans face each year. The wounds of war – visible or invisible- make that transition all the more challenging. Jessica talked about those struggles, and how organizations need to be both “patient” and supportive as veterans find their place outside of uniform.
Top stories: Mite-proof bees, dark matter ‘bullets,’ and the tiny monkeys replanting the Amazon (left to right): KRISPN GIVEN/HARPUR LAB/PURDUE UNIVERSITY; KOVACEVICMIRO/ISTOCKPHOTO; ANDREA SCHELL By Eva FrederickJul. 26, 2019 , 2:15 PM Breeders toughen up bees to resist deadly mitesThe recent rise of Varroa destructor, a type of mite that lives in bee colonies, has spurred the demise of bee populations worldwide. Scientists and beekeepers are on a wild search for a better bee—or at least one that can survive the onslaught of these tiny pests.If this type of dark matter existed, people would be dying of unexplained ‘gunshot’ woundsSign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up most of the mass of the universe, has proved notoriously hard to detect. But scientists have now proposed a surprising new sensor: human flesh.These squirrel-size monkeys helped bring Peru’s Amazon back to lifeNortheastern Peru’s lush Amazon rainforest lost most of its trees when it was logged and converted to water buffalo pastures in 1990. But after humans abandoned the area about 10 years later, the forest slowly began to regrow. Now, scientists have an explanation for how it revived so quickly: the foraging activities of tamarins, squirrel-size monkeys native to the area.Mexico’s new president shocks scientists with budget cuts and disparaging remarksThe initially warm relations between Mexico’s academic community and the country’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, have decidedly cooled. Scientists say a package of harsh austerity measures, implemented on 3 May, threaten the future of Mexican research. Meanwhile, López Obrador, who promised to support science and technology during his 2018 campaign, alarmed scientists with a proposal—later withdrawn—to personally approve researchers’ travel abroad, which he called “tourism.”Debate intensifies over speed of expanding universeLast week, leading experts at clocking the Hubble constant, the rate at which the universe expands, gathered in hopes that new measurements could point the way out of a brewing storm in cosmology. No luck so far, but astronomers worry the debate is becoming a “crisis.”
Who knew that 140-character messages could do such wonders for your business? The fact is, when used effectively, Understand Twitter’s role in social search Track and analyze your campaigns How to Use Twitter for Business ” is a free introductory guide that covers everything from getting started with tweeting to generating leads on Twitter. It was specifically written for users who are getting started in 2011, and by reading it, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Twitter rockstar! Twitter can have a number of business benefits Start unlocking Twitter’s business potential today by learning how to leverage Twitter’s 200 million users to improve your marketing and business results. Specifically, the 40-page guide will teach you how to: Topics: Originally published Jul 5, 2011 11:42:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Luckily, we’ve just released a new ebook to guide the way! ” Download your copy here! Twitter Marketing Businesses of all sizes in various industries are discovering the power of tweeting as a way to achieve their business goals, but if you’re just starting out, it may be tough to know where exactly to begin. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , like helping you develop and promote your brand and content, interact and support your customer base, monitor social media, develop online relationships, and yes, even generate leads! Use Twitter for business, marketing, lead generation, PR, and customer service Optimize your Twitter profile for business Find the right people to follow and attract new followers
3. Your grammar should be impeccable 9. Keep it above the fold Conversion Rate Optimization We’ve put together a compelling list of ways you can improve your Test Case: Google AdWords determines cost-per-click in part based on the quality of your landing page. You can improve your score, and bring down your cost-per-click, by making sure your landing page’s content aligns with your ad messaging. Not only does this make acquiring leads less expensive, it also improves the effectiveness of your pages: customers who click on your ad will be get information relating directly to what they clicked on. from Google Labs is a great tool to find out what portion of your page most visitors can see without scrolling. redesigning their Firefox page Browsersize 5. Use a strong call-to-action Originally published Jul 26, 2011 1:15:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 , a Diabetes logbook application, redesigned its homepage, it tested two different headlines against each other. The headline “Maintain your optimal health by keeping tabs on your diabetes” converted more than 31% better than an identical page with the headline “Keeping tabs on your diabetes just got a whole lot easier.” A stronger headline that addressed a specific pain point (maintaining optimal health) , they tested two different calls-to-action: “Try Firefox 3” and “Download Now – Free.” The second call-to-action outperformed the first by 3.6% with at confidence level of over 99%, resulting in over 500 more downloads during their tests alone. 7. Go easy on the links 4. Take advantage of trust indicators The Internet isn’t exactly known for being free of typos and poor writing. Take the time to make sure your body copy is free of errors. If you are asking visitors to hand over their money but your website contains spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, why should a user trust you with their money? By forgetting to spell-check your body copy, you are risking your conversions. It’s as simple as that. . Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Images and videos can make a huge impact on your landing page’s effectiveness, but only if they directly relate to your body copy. An image or video that relates to your copy helps strengthen your message to your visitor. It’s great to have screenshots of your product in action, or a short video showing the tangible value-proposition your product offers, but it’s more effective if they relate directly to your text. Test Case: 1. Landing page headlines and ad copy should match Guarantee seals Once you’ve followed the general rules of thumb, get started testing – you might have two great headlines, but is one more effective than another? Using a simple A/B Test, you can segment your traffic and find out. AB testing is so great because you can test and optimize everything about your webpage until you receive the response-rate you are looking for. There’s no universal right answer for what webpage works best, but testing can ensure that your webpage is the best that it can be. and conversions. These tips are easy to implement and, more importantly, can start improving your results immediately. Building trust on your landing page is essential to improving your conversions. Here are several effective ways to build trust: The goal of your landing page is to convince visitors to perform a particular action. After they read your landing page, they need to know what to do next. That’s what your call-to-action is about: providing an actionable next step in the most effective way possible. 3rd party trust and security certification (Better Business Bureau, VeriSign, etc.) 2. Your headlines must be clear and concise Testimonials (personal and well written). Learn more about testimonials When Mozilla was Your landing page headline is one of the first things a visitor reads. Make it clear what you’re offering in a compelling way. A poorly written headline will bore or confuse your visitors into leaving, while a well-written headline can compel your visitors to take a closer look. When Carelogger 10. Always be testing The following is a guest post from Justin Rachwalski, Strategy Lead at Google. The implications of trust are huge: when ACLens began using Extended Validation SSL Certificates from Verisign, they saw a 41% increase in conversion and a 58% increases in revenue per transaction. These types of results from trust increases are not uncommon, and it’s no surprise why: when visitors are confident about the security of their online purchases, purchasing feels less risky. The “fold” refers to the space your visitors can see without scrolling. There is a lot to be said for keeping the most important parts of your webpage in that space. When deciding where to put your button, think about the flow of your page. Does it follow the path of your eye when you scan? Does your design take into consideration average browser size? It should. If people have to search for the button, or if you put it below the fold, it will negatively impact your conversions. 8. Use images and videos that relate to your copy Test case: A conversion button, usually placed right below your call-to-action, should stand out. If it’s difficult for your visitors to perform the desired conversion, your conversion numbers will suffer. Part of making that conversion easy is using a well-crafted button: place it next to your call-to-action (and above the fold) and make it large enough to see (a bright color doesn’t hurt, either). If you must have other buttons on your landing page, your primary button should be the biggest and most prominent. It’s worth noting that A/B testing a single site design has a glass ceiling – at some point you reach the maximum conversions possible for that design, and a completely different design may be capable of better conversion rates. You can, however, also test two completely different site designs against each other. Press mentions One of the biggest threats to conversion is going off-message. Distracting your visitor with too many outbound links or related pages can negatively impact conversions. Lots of links may make sense on a regular homepage, but on a landing page they can hinder both your experience and the user’s. If a user has trouble finding what they’re looking for, expect to see your conversions drop. 6. Make your buttons and calls-to-action stand out Topics: landing pages here
This article was written by Mike Goulet and Tyler Orfao and industry report that will help marketing agencies with their own challenges This problem is often the result of poor sales practices. Many marketing agencies rely on their portfolios, hoping that their past work will impress their prospect enough to sell them. A lack-luster sales process ignores specific client needs and fails to probe deeper into a client’s overall goals. Potential clients will leave the sales pitch disinterested and frustrated from hearing only about the agency’s capabilities. Similar to the previous challenge, these marketing agencies could be unable to close a deal due to the lack of adequate services required to accomplish the prospect’s marketing goals. Delves deeper into lead generation, retainers, and other components of the marketing services sales process. . Agencies need to develop a stronger sales process to determine their prospect’s goals and challenges, as well as devise plans together. Truly robust sales processes focus on client pain points and goal-oriented solutions. Agencies should also consider using a customer relationship management (CRM) system that tracks lead intelligence and activity. Finally, like the previous challenge, these agencies should also reconsider their service offerings, and keep in mind customers may want complete and integrated marketing solutions. This blog post provides a glimpse into the biggest challenges facing the marketing services industry today. It also serves to launch an initiative to gain greater insight into the marketing services industry through a Ironically, the challenge marketing agencies struggle with the most is marketing for themselves. This is understandable, however, since there are so many factors that go into generating leads. A lot of this could be contributed to choosing marketing channels that are interruptive and non-permission based in nature. Potential customers are increasingly less tolerant of outbound marketing practices and search for the products and services they seek to buy. Another contributing factor could be that these marketing agencies often prioritize working with their current clients over lead generation activities. 2. Cash Flow is Too Variable survey What Agencies Can Do Based on preliminary data HubSpot has been collecting from marketing agencies, some common trends have emerged that we feel are worth sharing. The most pressing and valuable trend to address is what agencies say is their biggest challenge. Two thirds of the marketing agencies polled listed the following 3 issues as their biggest marketing challenge: Determines what makes a successful marketing services package. Marketing agencies who considered this to be their biggest challenge are typically too tactical and tend to specialize in only a few services for their clients. By only performing niche services like website design or social media marketing, these agencies mostly acquire projects rather than retainers, leaving clients to rely on them for only a brief time. Left with only project work, cash flow becomes unpredictable and often leads to financial challenges. 1. Not Generating Enough Leads Originally published Jul 21, 2011 6:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 : State of the Marketing Services Industry Report Identifies industry best practices. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack : Marketing agencies with this problem should reconsider which marketing channels they use to reach their prospects, and use more inbound marketing techniques like blogging, SEO and social media to generate traffic. In order to turn traffic into leads, agencies should also start using some “top of the funnel” lead generation offers because potential leads are more inclined to download marketing material if it provides helpful advice. Agencies must also streamline client delivery processes in order to free resources that can then be spent on business development and lead generation activities. In turn, this will lower the reliance on referrals and repeat business, which is often hard to predict and grow. ” that: 3. Difficulty Signing Up New Clients What agencies can do What Agencies Can Do Interested in learning more about how to conquer these challenges? Well, we are too, and could use your help! We are conducting a survey for marketing agencies that will identify what makes a strong marketing agency impervious to these weaknesses. After collecting the surveys we will create a “ Topics: : Agencies should develop a process that encourages continuous, high-level collaboration with clients across a variety of specific online marketing activities. These activities and services should also enable the monitoring of a lead from its earliest conversion to the final sale. In doing so, agencies can determine how to repeat the marketing activities that produce sales and increase clients’ ROI. This complete marketing strategy also ensures that agencies become a critical component of a client’s success, which results in more retainer opportunities and more dependable cash flow. Agency Marketing Survey Image Credit: Patrick M. Len via Flicker
Topics: Originally published Aug 3, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 I have a feeling I’m gonna lose a lot of friends with this post.While trying to enjoy some Boy Meets World this morning, a jingle (pre-coffee, granted) hit my ears that rattled me to the deepest, darkest recesses of my soul.It’s the first commercial jingle featured on this list, and simply put, it annoys the bajeezus out of me. But it’s certainly not the only one. And I know it’s not just me that can’t get these frustratingly catchy songs out of my head, because when I asked around the office for the commercial jingles that drive people nuts, the tunes rattled off their tongues like lightning.So if you’d like to start your weekend with a song in your heart and a spring in your step, this is the post for you — the only catch is you won’t be able to forget said song ’til around midday Monday. Here are the top 10 commercial jingles we just can’t stop singing … but desperately wish we could. Also, I’m sorry.10 Commercial Jingles You Wish You Never Heard1) Dixie Ultra (Ya, Ya!)Here’s my beef with this jingle that put a damper on my typical 90s-adolescent-drama morning routine. The lyrics devolve into non-words in order to maintain a rhyme scheme for the phrase “Dixie Ultra handles your messiest.” Also, it sounds like she’s trying to sing the entire song in one breath … that she’s rapidly running out of by the end of the song. When the jingle wraps up, it’s at a pitch only a dog could hear, using words no human could understand. Dixie Ultra handles my “butteriest?” My “twirliest?” … My what? Listen if you dare.2) JG Wentworth 877-CASH-NOW!!!It can’t be a good sign when your jingle needs subtitles. First of all, it’s opera. I’m wicked classy and all, but come on … opera? In a commercial? I guess the problem is that it’s not good opera. It’s more akin to some kids putting on an opera at school, mocking in no unsubtle terms the melodrama they perceive as characteristic of the performances. If it’s not your own kids (when they’re your kids, it’s adorable) you’ll sit through and watch, wriggle uncomfortably at the painful performance, and wonder when it’ll finally be over.3) Hefty Hefty HeftyWhoever wrote this jingle has got to be laughing all the way to the bank. The lyrics are as follows:StinkyHeftyStinkyHeftyStinky? Stinky.Hefty Hefty HeftyStinky Stinky StinkyHefty Hefty HeftyThis is not a joke. Oh, and it’s all backed by creepy carnival music. Enjoy.4) Sea Bond Denture AdhesiveThe lyrics of this jingle combined with the tone of the singers’ voices is just plain bizarre. It seems like they’re trying to sound like children — which is made far stranger when you realize they’re selling a denture adhesive product. “Bye bye yuckiness. So long ooziness. I thought I was gonna cry.” You’re adults. That’s just plain weird. And if you listen to it, it’s weird-sounding, too.5) The FreeCreditReport.com BandThe FreeCreditReport.com band had a lot of fans. Way more than they have today, though. Those original commercials were actually pretty cool! Unfortunately, they’re kind of beating a dead horse with this thing, and the music is starting to be … well … a bit of a reach. In fact, this “rap” with the terrible techno/pop/electronica beat is just plain obnoxious.6) Nationwide … They’re On Your SideThis jingle is a riff on their usual “Nationwide is on your side” tune. That one isn’t half bad; it’s short, straightforward, and when they have a nice voice singing it, it doesn’t make your ears bleed. Thing is, this is a weird riff on it in their attempt to display their commitment to personalized service. It turns into “NationPam is on your … Sam,” which just plain doesn’t work (HubSpot’s blog manager, Pam particularly hates this one). We’re used to singing your jingle the other way. Now we have this annoying, unresolved ending in our heads. Can’t you just go back to the original?7) Arby’s. It’s Good Mood Food.If one were to type out the way this jingle sounds, I imagine it would look like this:Arby’s. IT’S GOOD MOOD FOOD!And then imagine an angsty pre-teen is singing it. Or maybe a wailing calf. Talk about ears bleeding.8) NAPA Know HowI can’t put my finger on why this country-esque tune is so cringe-inducing — maybe it’s because the actor seems like he’s trying so hard to make the song engaging. But frankly, every time this song comes on, it’s that last part of the jingle, the repetition of “NAPA Know How,” that consistently grinds my gears. Have a listen.9) Denny’s NanerpussIt took all the courage I could muster to even watch this commercial again to write this blog post. This jingle just plain gives me the willies. It’s a weird combination between infantile and creepy. First of all, the name is weird. Nanerpuss. Blech.Then you have to consider that Nanerpuss is a singing banana, which kind of makes it like a creepy puppet … I guess that’s where the childish angle comes in. It’s made worse by the fact that it’s singing a song that introduces who he is, and what he does, which makes it sound like one of those educational songs puppets sing on children’s shows. That’d be fine if it was the Snuggles bear or something, but it’s a banana named Nanerpuss singing an annoying song on top of a stack of pancakes promoting a diner. Just … watch. Or don’t. I wouldn’t blame you.10) Get Connected (For Free!) With Education ConnectionAfter Hefty, this has to be the most ridiculous set of lyrics used for a commercial jingle … except that this is the exact opposite of what Hefty has done, yet it’s somehow equally absurd. Basically, they’ve told the entire story of someone’s complex decision to pursue higher education based on where she is in life at that point in time.You see, she didn’t get awesome grades in high school. And so now she’s working an hourly job as a waitress … where she makes money and everything but it’s not really the kind she needs for the life she has in mind for herself. That’s when she thought to herself, “Self, maybe if I got a degree I could get the salary I’m looking for.”Wait wait, I’m not done. That was all just the backstory.So then, she went online, and started researching her education options — well, not just her education options — her “direction.” You know, in life. That’s when her life changed in the best way, because she was matched (For free!) with the right kind of college for her lifestyle. One that would let her take classes online at the times of day that work with her schedule. That kind of flexibility is key for her success.This is all told in the jingle. That’s uh … that’s quite the in-depth jingle.Alright, it’s time to reap what I’ve sown. Leave the jingles that drive you crazy in the comments. They’ll be stuck in my head all weekend, I promise.Image credit: Evil Erin Brand Slogans Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Step 4: Add a logo.Just as we want to add text to ensure that any shares of the photo include the meaning behind the offer, you also want to brand the image with your logo. Remember, this image doesn’t live on a landing page or a blog post where it is clearly associated with your brand. As a social media post, this image becomes free for all to use and share, and you want all the people the image eventually reaches to recognize the image came from your brand. So, stamp on a logo!Step 5: Add a call-to-action (CTA).If you want to generate leads from this image, add some CTA copy to prompt readers to, well, act.In this case, our CTA is to download an ebook. But instead of just having dead white text on the image, I’m going to click “Format,” then “Image Fill,” and select the nice blue color I’ve been using elsewhere in the image. Now the text box I inserted has a blue background, and the CTA is more visible on the page. Step 2: Use shapes to build an image.Now I want something that illustrates the concept of “engaging.” The first thing to comes to my mind is an engagement ring — so … let’s make one!Start by inserting a circle. Then, set the circle’s fill to “No Fill,” and make the outline a fill color of your choice. Just make sure you adjust the line weight to be thicker so you can really see the outline. Next, I’m going to insert the diamond shape just as I did the circle shape — except this one will be much smaller, and on top of the circle! This time, I’ll make the fill a calm shade of blue, but keep the outline of the diamond the same as the ring to show the two elements are connected. I used the little green Rotate tool (you remember our friend, the Rotate tool, right?) to curve and place it on the ring nicely.To truly emphasize that this is an engagement ring, and not just some random ring, I’m going to add another circle with a thicker weight, and overlay it over the previously made ring to emphasize engagement between at least two people (your business and your fans, perhaps?).Now, just in case I want to move this around, I’m going to select every element of both rings, and group them together by right clicking, grouping, and selecting “Group.” With all the elements grouped, I can now use the Rotate tool to rotate the whole object at once.Step 3: Add visual copy.While this step exists in the blog visual example, it could be removed there — you don’t need text on a blog visual. But you do usually need copy on a social media visual. A blog visual becomes an image permanently associated with content, so people can discern its meaning with context. But with a social media visual, people share, re-pin, and re-post images all the time, during which your original accompanying update might be lost. Additionally, not everyone will click through your visual to read the content it is linked to.For this reason, you want the visual you create to explain everything the reader needs to know. Here’s an example of how we incorporated text into one of our social media visuals:To make the visual just a tad more interesting, I want to bold the word “engage.” But instead of merely using the bold font option, I’m going to add some color behind the word. I’ll do this by inserting a rectangle with the same color blue as the diamond ring. To make the text appear in front of it, simply click the text box, right click, and select “Bring to Front.” Step 4: Add elements that fill the visual.To fill the white space in the circle and complete the visual, I’m going to copy and paste the orange page I created, and make it smaller by clicking on one of the circles, clicking “Shift,” — this will help you maintain the aspect ratio so your images don’t get stretched and skewed –and using my mouse to adjust until it’s the size I desire.To make it pop, I’ll change the color from orange to white, and rotate it slightly the opposite direction of the larger, orange paper. Want to hear a secret? Almost every image associated with my recent blog posts has been made in PowerPoint.Yep, whether starting from scratch or purchasing a photo to build off of, PowerPoint is my secret design weapon. I’ve even used it to create, and write tutorials on traditionally “designed” things like CTAs and infographics. Even now, when I launch a new marketing offer, I create an accompanying visual — whether it’s an infographic or just a picture to post on Facebook — in PowerPoint to pair the campaign with visual content.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. And while I can’t explain the creativity behind these visuals (though the end of this post will show you my thought process), we can certainly dive into some step-by-step explanations of how to produce two different types of visual content in PowerPoint. That should provide you with enough PowerPoint knowledge to start building your own images! Let’s get started.Visual 1: Creating a Landing Page VisualLet’s start with a simple visual. Typically at HubSpot, we use simpler visuals for promoting our marketing offers — ebooks, webinars, etc. We want the visual to capture a visitor’s attention, demonstrate the value of the offer, and influence them to download it. We don’t want it to overtake the corresponding landing page that it’s on. With that in mind, let’s build out an example for one of our recent offers on How to Determine Your 2013 Marketing Goals.Step 1: Pick a shape.First, pick a shape to be your base for the visual. There are a bunch of shapes you could choose, as you can see in the screenshot below.For this example, I’ll use a circle.Step 2: Use shapes to build other shapes.How meta, I know. But it’s true. Shapes are your secret weapon when it comes to visual content creation. Whether you’re using PowerPoint, Photoshop, or any other tool, you can create just about anything with the Shapes tool. In this example, I’m going to create a piece of paper (to illustrate a “template,” the hypothetical lead generation offer for which I’m creating our hypothetical landing page) using the square tool.To create the paper, I’m going to set the fill to “None,” and make a thick border.Now, I’m going to make a small triangle in the same color as the border of the rectangle, and place it in the upper left corner of the rectangle by using the green Rotate tool, which you’ll see when you click on the triangle.Next, I’m going to click on the triangle, hold the ‘Shift’ button, and then click on the rectangle, as well. With both objects clicked, I’m going to “group” the shapes together by right clicking, grouping, and selecting “Group.”Then, turn that grouped object juuuust slightly to give it a nicer look within the circle. I use the up and down arrows on my keyboard to ensure it’s placed appropriately inside the circle’s border. Originally published Jan 9, 2013 5:00:00 PM, updated November 22 2017 Presentations Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Step 3: Add explanatory copy.To explain the image, add some text by clicking “Insert,” then “Text Box.” Choose a font of your choice — keep it simple — that’s easy to read. Ease in readability is better than a super fancy font that isn’t clear, especially when viewed on a mobile device, and when you’re trying to solve for conversions. Then, I’m going to use the same green Rotate tool mentioned before to rotate the text to be centered in the page image I made earlier. Step 5: Save your image.Now that I have every component I desire for the image created, I’m going to select all the components of it. Or, you could just hit “Control” and the “A” keys on your keyboard at the same time to perform a “Select All.” Once all is selected, right click and choose “Save as Picture…”Voila! We now have a simple, but descriptive image for our landing page that represents our template offer — a marketing goals template offer to help marketers set (and hit!) their monthly, quarterly, and annual goals.The best part of this visual is that you can repurpose it for your entire campaign surrounding that offer. That means this one visual is not only going to help you convert more visitors on your landing page, but it can be used in the call-to-action that leads visitors to that landing page, in your email used to promote the offer, and on your social media networks with a link to the landing page. That’s a quadruple whammy — not too shabby for a little dabbling in PowerPoint, eh?Visual 2: Creating a Blog Post VisualWhen it comes to blog posts, you want a captivating image to draw in readers. Blog posts are shared at rapid rates across the interwebs. People share it on social media platforms, in email attachments, and — our favorite — as inbound links. You want an awesome image that keeps people clicking and reading! In fact, studies show 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. If you’re not using images, you’re losing out large amounts of potential traffic to your blog!With that, let’s recreate the image used in this blog post, “How to Create Professional-Looking CTAs in PowerPoint.” Step 1: Pick a free image to alter.First, think about the blog post at hand and what you want to communicate it. This is where shameless marketing tactics — such as babies and kittens — are allowed 😉 Search for the type of image you want on something like CreativeCommons (make sure you’re allowed to use it for commercial purposes, modify, and adapt it) or iStockphoto. For this offer, I’m going to search for “cat on computer” on CreativeCommons. I get the following image, which I insert into PowerPoint by clicking “Insert,” and then “Picture.” Step 5: Save your image.It’s that time again — time to save the image! Simply select all elements, right click, and click “Save as Picture.”Visual 3: Creating a Social Media VisualIn terms of creative angles and tools used, social media visuals include many of the components previously mentioned. So if you’ve made it this far, congratulations, this is the final flourish!But, there are particular aspects of a social media visual that need to be addressed. Let’s build an image that will help us promote one of our most recent ebooks, “How to Engage Fans on Facebook.”Step 1: Build a square or rectangle.Think about the way a place like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest presents images — they always have four corners! Your images should, too. So for your social media image, select a rectangle or a square — I’m going to use a square. Step 2: Overlay a shape.I want this blog post to show that creating a compelling visual in PowerPoint is so simple, that even a cute kitten could do it! I’m going to insert a shape over the laptop screen and make the fill and outline white. That way, it kind of looks like a PowerPoint slide in presentation mode. Topics: Step 3: Add visual copy.To continue with that idea of making the image look like it’s part of a PowerPoint presentation, I’m going to treat the white square shape as a title slide and simply, well, put the title of the blog post that I am attempting to promote through this image. Step 6: Save as picture.Here we are again! Time to select all the elements, and them together as a picture — but at this point in the blog post, you probably know that whole process 😉 Here’s the final image we put together for social media:That’s way more interesting than just typing the question out on Facebook, isn’t it?5 More Examples of Marketing Visuals Made in PowerPointWhile the above three examples of building visual content in PowerPoint can help equip you with the basic tools needed to fill your design toolset, it can’t magically think of what the image will actually be for you. From here on out, it’s just about getting comfortable with using PowerPoint as your “design software,” and being open to playing around to create interesting images.But just because we can’t be creative for you, that doesn’t mean we can’t try to inspire you! Here are a few other images created in PowerPoint that might help get your creative juices flowing.1) 11 Types of Email Marketing You Could Be SendingThis photo followed the steps shown in visual two of this post. This is a picture of our blog manager’s son. It was too cute to not use, so I put a white rectangle shape over her computer screen, took screenshots of some of the various email templates we have been offering users for free, and used the rotate tool to place them in a cool format across the screen. His popping eyes are suggesting the email templates really are for YOU.2) How to Painlessly Transition Your Company to Inbound MarketingThis post focuses on being a little sneaky. Often, top management isn’t willing to hear about a new and modern way of doing business. So to help people transition their marketing to inbound marketing, we wrote a post, the image for which started as a purchased stock photo. Then, I used the speech bubble shape in PowerPoint to show how this employee is thinking about his sneaky method of attack …3) How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple StepsWe have a tutorial on creating a business page with Facebook timeline. So, obviously, we decided to pretend it was a cat presenting on the subject matter. This image was built by taking this cat from a free meme on memegenerator.net (all memes are publicly uploaded visuals meant for altering). Next to the cat, the presentation board was made with the square and line shapes in PowerPoint.4) Twitter & LinkedIn Break Up, Disabling Automatic Posting of TweetsWhen Twitter and LinkedIn ended their social relationship, we found a free image of a broken heart, and simply added each social platform’s logo onto each side of the heart. They were placed more snuggly in the heart by using the Rotate tool.5) If You Were a Social Network, Which Would You Be?For this image, I grabbed a free stock photo from by searching “pick one.” Yes, that’s what I started with. From there, I started to see spinning wheels, so I changed my search to “wheel to choose from.” This is how a lot of creativity sparks — just search for terms that describe what you’re trying to communicate, and based on what you see, you’ll get inspiration for other search terms! I ended up finding this wheel-of-fortune-esque photo. I then found the icon for every social network used in my post, made them all teeny tiny, and used the rotate tool all day long until I got each one snug in a part of the wheel.And there you have it, folks. Some tips on how to use PowerPoint to make visuals, as well as some PowerPoint-made visuals to inspire you!Want more? Read 20 Tools for Creating and Delivering Amazing Presentations. Step 4: Apply soft edges.As you may have noticed, the white shape we made doesn’t seamlessly fit in the computer screen size of our photo. While fancy editing tools in Photoshop can fix, we can make it work in PowerPoint, too. By going to “Format,” and then, “Soft Edges,” I can play with the Soft Edges tool and increase and decrease the extent to which the edges will be softened. Zero represents no soft edges, while 100 represents completely soft edges. A safe spot is usually under 15.
Topics: In marketing, there’s still a huge misconception about Pinterest. Some marketers think that it’s useless — just another fad network that people are getting in a tizzy about. But that’s not quite accurate any longer.While Pinterest may not be perfect for every marketer in every industry, it does offer a huge opportunity for most. It has more than 70 million users and a growing international population. Plus, Pinterest users spend the most money of users on popular social networks — nearly double the amount of money spent from Facebook users and triple the amount from Twitter users. This means that there’s lots of potential leads and customers just waiting to be engaged and converted who will probably spend a decent amount with you. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me, but thinking about generating leads … and actually generating leads on Pinterest are two very different things.Free Resource: 12 Pinterest Templates for BusinessThe good news? Pinterest is actually a fairly simple social media network as far as lead generation goes, because there’s really only two ways to generate leads right now. So we’ll walk you through both types of lead generation and how you can optimize pins to make the most of those lead generation opportunities. Types of Leads You Can Generate on PinterestOn Pinterest, there are two types of leads you can generate: direct and indirect. It all boils down to where Pinterest is on the conversion path. Here’s the difference between the two:Direct Leads: Direct leads are generated through content on Pinterest that links directly back to a landing page on your website. On that landing page, visitors can share their personal information (a name, email address, phone number, etc) in exchange for an offer — whether that be an ebook, coupon, infographic, or any other piece of content.Indirect Leads: Indirect leads are generated by using Pinterest on the path to conversion — but it’s not the final destination before someone gets to a landing page. For example, if you shared a blog post that had a call-to-action to a landing page at the bottom of the post, your initial pin is helping direct visitors to that landing page.Make sense? Pretty simple stuff. Unlike other social media platforms, Pinterest really only has a one effective place where you can generate direct or indirect leads: through pins.Yes, you can technically include links to lead gen material in boards and even in your profile, but those are considerably less effective than through pins. There’s two reasons why: 1) Links in Board and Profile descriptions don’t automatically hyperlink (thus decreasing the possibility of someone clicking on them dramatically), and 2) Most people are spending time pinning (this includes repins) so they probably aren’t taking the time to check out your page or board description for extra, juicy, non-visual content. So if you have limited time (like most of the marketers I know), it’s best to spend your time where it will count.So, to help maximize the ROI of Pinterest, you should spend time creating and optimizing pins to get clicks, repins, and likes — all things that will help drive your lead generation growth. Let’s break down each part of the pinning process so you can squeeze the juice out of all of your Pinterest lead generation opportunities.How to Optimize Your Pins for Lead Generation1) Create a board that your Pinterest audience can — and will want to — discover.Pinterest is famous for having an audience obsessed with food, fashion, and DIY goodies — which makes marketers think that we all have to produce those three things to be successful. And while we all don’t have businesses built around those three things, there is a huge opportunity on Pinterest to tap into the last obsession.Show people how they can make something or give them the tools to do it — no matter what industry you’re in — and Pinterest users will love it. They like helpful, engaging content that just happens to be visual. So think about a board topic that can feature helpful content that will also generate leads. We’ve done this on our own Pinterest page by making a board purely for templates — but there are lots of other ways you can make that same idea work for your company and Pinterest board. Once you pick a board topic idea, be sure that it can be easily found through search (both Pinterest and otherwise). Leave the jargon out of your board names and go with something clever, yet tightly aligned with how your users speak and think. Besides that, if you want a more in-depth Pinterest SEO guide, check out this blog post.2) Create images that Pinterest users naturally notice. Now that you’ve got your board idea, you’ve got to fill it with pins. Whether you decide to create an image yourself or source one (legally) from the internet, there’s actually some science to choosing pins that people notice, and click on. Here are a few data-backed pin composition tips:Tall images get repinned more. Think about it — they get more space in the news feed when people are scrolling, so people have more opportunities to engage with you. In fact, the 2:3 aspect ratio works better than super skinny, yet tall images.Reddish-orange images get 2x the repins as blueish images. Think warm colors, and the leads could start pouring in a bit faster than usual.Brand images without faces get 23% repins than those with faces. So cut the faces out of your images, if possible. (Harsh, I know.)Photos with medium lightness are repinned 20x more than very dark images. So keep it bright, people.Use this data as a jumping off point, but definitely keep testing to discover what your audience likes to discover, like, repin, and click.3) Don’t use UTM parameters or shortened links in your pin URL.Editor’s note: Since publishing this post, Pinterest has allowed UTM tracking codes to be included on pins. If you need a refresher on UTM codes, click here.Adding a link to your landing page or other piece of content is crucial to generating leads, but unfortunately, Pinterest strips UTM parameters after the campaign source parameter. Also, Pinterest warns users that all shortened links could lead to spam, so your best bet is just putting in a simple URL in the URL box and trying to measure success in other ways. 4) Use your description wisely.Next up is your pin’s description. Keep the copy short and sweet — usually between 100 and 200 characters works best — while also making room for a shortened URL. This is the place where you want to include a shortened, trackable URL in your pin, as Pinterest doesn’t restrict these links like it does with the actual pin URL. Providing a link in the description gives your followers even more opportunities to click, and maybe even become a lead.5) Add a hashtag, if relevant. Let people discover your pins more easily by including a relevant hashtag or two. Don’t go overboard though — Salesforce has found that on Twitter, tweets with one or two hashtags receive 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags. Obviously, Twitter isn’t Pinterest, but it is a good practice to take cross-platform.6) Rinse, repeat. And you’re done with making pins — so keep following steps two through eight until you have a robust board. 7) Promote your pins elsewhere. To get the most out of your pins, you gotta get outside of Pinterest. Just like you would with any other content platform, you’ve got to promote your boards and pins to really make the most of them. There’s lots of things you can try here — from sharing links to individual pins on other social networks to embedding your lead generation boards on your website or blog, the world is your oyster. You might even So go on, get creative — the more eyeballs you can get on your pins, the more leads you can generate.8) Keep track of your success with a few different tools. Obviously, when you’re trying to generate leads on Pinterest, your main metric will be leads. But, there’s lots that happens before people become leads, so if you’re finding your lead generation number staying stagnant or decreasing, check for holes in the proverbial Pinterest bucket by looking deeper into referrals and clicks. Unfortunately, because of the way that Pinterest strips URLs, it’s not quite as easy to get a definitive number of success through referral traffic, but here are a few metrics you should keep an eye on to get a general understanding on how your Pinterest lead generation strategy is working:General Pinterest Referral Traffic: You can find this metric in your marketing analytics software. (HubSpot customers, you’ll find this under the Sources report.) While this also loops in traffic from pins outside of your board, it’s a good idea of how well the Pinterest audience enjoys your content. If you’re finding lots of referrals from Pinterest but few clicks on your board, you might want to switch up what you’re pinning.Pinterest Analytics Clicks: If you have a verified business account, you can access these metrics directly in Pinterest’s dashboard. It’s not clear whether clicks are just for the URL clicks or for the whole pin (which includes clicks on the description), so you will have to do some data slicing and dicing. Regarldess, this a great metric to have in your back pocket. Shorted URL Clicks: You can see this metric by putting the shortened URL in your browser followed immediately by a + sign (ex: http://hub.am/19zv6PY+). If you want to isolate clicks purely on the link in one description, this is a great metric. UTM Parameters: You can see this metric if you dive deeper into your marketing analytics software than the general referral traffic (usually placed under “campaigns”). This metric can help track how well your Pinterest descriptions are doing at sending you traffic. This way, you can figure out if including a shortened URL even makes a difference — or adds clutter to your description. Gotta test these things out for your self, even if they are general best practices! ;)And once you have all of this data, use it to help you iterate on your strategy. Pretty soon, you’ll have leads flowing in — the proof you need to keep up with this hot social network. So go on — get to it! Originally published Oct 10, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 27 2018 Pinterest Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Storytelling This post originally appeared on Inbound Insiders, a new section of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Blog.Opinions are like blogs: Everyone has one.In fact, most of the business world has finally caught on to the fact that in order to succeed in a post-outbound world, you need great content.But what happens once everyone has caught on and businesses are blogging simply to stay healthy, kinda like eating their green beans?What happens is you get a ton of boring, uninspired, mediocre content polluting your RSS feed.As Maximus famously proclaims in Gladiator, “Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you are here?”Well, no.We’re here to be inspired, right? I mean, I’m not talking the last twenty minutes of Rudy inspired, but rather inspired to read more, and maybe buy something. We have a challenge. A question. A need or even a want. And we’re looking for that moment of inspiration to help make our purchase decision easier.Somewhere along the way of this mass information age, many forgot this. They forgot that storytelling is the main ingredient for inspiration.It’s why we cry at the end of Forrest Gump. It’s why we cheer at the end of Rocky (all six of them). It’s also why some of us buy Dunkin’ Donuts over Starbucks (or vice versa).We’re here to be told a story. And in the process, be inspired to take action or behave in certain ways. And while storytelling goes far beyond just your blog posts, it’s often your most shared resource; therefore, it’s the best place to start.Story vs. ArticleLet’s consider the difference between marketers and journalists. Journalists remove themselves from articles to ensure objectivity — but marketers? Marketers should be inserting themselves into their stories. That’s what differentiates an article, from a story.Great brand stories are not objective. In fact, the most successful ones are highly subjective.Is Snapple really made from the best stuff on earth? Of course not. However, millions of people buy into this story every single day.Shift your focus from writing articles to telling more stories. Start by asking yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish for my customers?” Then consult your buyer personas and focus on key personality traits to identify the type of tone and language that will be most effective at appealing to them.Get creative. Insert yourself into each story. Detail your experiences.This makes you and your brand much more relatable. Hyperbole vs. JargonOften we get caught up in those industry buzz phrases we think are necessary in order to attract business.”Achieve Your Goals and Experience an ROI.”… As opposed to those other companies that vow to not achieve your goals and guarantee no ROI?No company is saying that. As a result, we all end up saying the same thing. How are you supposed to separate yourself from the competition with a strategy like that?No one understands this concept better than the household brands we all know and love. Part of the reason we do know and love them is because we identify with their story.Does America really run on Dunkin’?Is Folgers really the best part of waking up?Probably not. However, we buy into these stories because of the way they make us feel.A healthy dose of hyperbole never hurt anyone. In fact, it’s highly effective in telling a remarkable story and differentiating your brand.Experience vs. WordsStories don’t always have to be about words.In fact, great storytelling encompasses your entire brand experience, not simply what is written about or said.Take Starbucks, for instance — I know, I know, I’ve got caffeine on the mind — who goes after an entirely different audience than Dunkin’ Donuts. This effectively separates them from an already massively successful brand. Starbucks targets a more affluent audience and aims to create a more high-end, “our barista remembers the way you like your coffee,” type of atmosphere. Everything from the furnishings, to minimal drive-thrus, to a menu most people have a hard time pronouncing, stays consistent with the overall story.Starbucks customers are willing to wait a little longer. They’re even willing to pay a little more.Is the coffee that much different? Or is it the story and experience these particular customers are buying? It’s certainly debatable, however, these two massively successful coffee chains have managed to dominate completely separate markets and attract two different audiences all through the act of storytelling.So while many of us may not be able to match their marketing budgets and overall reach, we can certainly learn a lot from the manner in which household brands separate themselves from the noise with hyperbolic, unique brand stories.Developing Your StoryIn developing a unique story, consider your buyer personas and focus on both personality and behavioral traits in order to develop a story that resonates.Who are you trying to attract?How can you tell a story that inspires them to act?This story will be the core of your entire marketing strategy.Your story shouldn’t be about what you sell, but rather how you sell it.This is a guest post by John Bonini (@Bonini84), marketing director at IMPACT Branding & Design. Visit the IMPACT Blog for more content from John and the agency. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Oct 15, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017