Harbhajan seeks legal opinion regarding Ombudsman observation

first_imgNew Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Senior India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh today said he is seeking legal advise on the way ahead after BCCI Ombudsman Justice (Retd) AP Shah observed that the bowler should dissociate himself from sports apparel company Bhajji Sports, which supplies kits to domestic teams. Shah had investigated the Conflict of Interest issues raised by activist Neeraj Gundey, who had filed a number of such complaints with the Office of Ombudsman. “I have received an e-mail communication from the Board. All I can say at this moment is that I am discussing the issue with my legal advisor. I will act according to his advice,” Harbhajan told PTI today. The company Bhajji Sports is owned by Mrs Avtar Kaur, who is the cricketers mother. When a senior BCCI official was asked, he said that if Harbhajan is not the owner, anyone else can run the company, he said: “As long as Harbhajans name does not feature among the owners of the company in any of the deeds, he will not be under the Conflict of Interest purview.” According to Justice (Retd) Shahs observation: “The Ombudsman recommends that all concerned individuals (cricketers, selectors, coaches, and administrators) should be required to make standard disclosures about their affiliations in the context of the conflict of interest rules (which may pertain, for example, to cricket coaching/training academies, sports management companies, sports apparel manufacturers, etc). “If the disclosures reveal that an individual does have such an association, they may be asked to either terminate their association with such companies/academies, or asked to resign from their position as cricketer/selector/coach/administrator, as covered by the conflict of interest rules.” However, there was a big sigh of relief for former India captain Sourav Ganguly after Shah declared that the former batsmans association as part-owner of Atletico de Kolkata doesnt fall into Conflict of interest purview after the owners bought the Pune IPL team. “The Ombudsman is of the view that no case of conflict of interest has been established or made out against Mr Ganguly, and therefore, the matter is accordingly disposed of,” Justice Shah says in his order yesterday. Ganguly, in his reply, had made it clear that he had no commercial links with the new IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants even though he had a negligible share in Atletico de Kolkata. PTI KHS PM PMadvertisementlast_img read more

Cambridge varsity plans sexual relationships register

first_imgBy Aditi KhannaLondon, Oct 21 (PTI) Cambridge University is planning to introduce an official register to record relationships between academics and students as part of its crackdown on harassment and misconduct cases.While there is no law forbidding university tutors from engaging in a relationship with students over the age of 18, it is generally frowned upon as part of the code of conduct of most British universities.Now Cambridge University, one of the worlds best-known universities, plans to go a step further.The prestigious university in England will unveil a new policy that will make it compulsory for professors to register any sexual liaison with a student that could be perceived as a conflict of interest.They could then be barred from teaching those students or marking their work.In a statement, the university said that “as part of a series of new initiatives to encourage behaviour change around sexual misconduct”, it will publish new guidance “on consensual staff-student relationships”, the Daily Telegraph reported.”The policy, designed to ensure the quality and clarity of every students academic experience in Cambridge, discourages such relationships, particularly where there is a real or perceived conflict of interest. For example, where the staff member might be involved in marking the students assessments.”The policy stipulates that any such relationships have to be disclosed by the staff member to the university and the staff member must withdraw from any professional duties that could lead to accusations of unfair or preferential treatment,” the statement said.The policy is officially titled “Breaking the Silence”, and also includes “Good Lad Initiative” workshops that aim to tackle chauvinist attitudes, particularly among sporting and social societies. It forms part of a so-called “zero tolerance” campaign, the first major initiative of Cambridge Universitys new vice-chancellor Professor Stephen Toope.advertisementPersonal relationships covered in the policy could also include “remote” contacts between staff and students such as text messaging and other social media.The university has indicated that the scheme has been a long time in the planning but was given a boost this year when it received a funding worth 87,000 pounds (USD 114,767).It hopes the decision to officially record “consensual” relationships between staff and students will help combat concern that academics can use positions of power to seduce students, male or female. PTI AK CPSlast_img read more

Old Yank Story: Rookie Beats ‘Em

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares HOUSTON — Rookie Carlos Correa doubled twice and scored the tiebreaking run on a triple by Evan Gattis in the seventh inning to help the Houston Astros to a 3-1 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday.Collin McHugh (9-3) allowed a season-low two hits — both singles — and one run and eight strikeouts in eight innings for his third straight win. Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save.The game was tied 1-1 when Correa doubled with no outs in the seventh and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jose Altuve. The triple by Gattis, which sailed just out of reach of center fielder Brett Gardner and bounced off the low wall in left-center, scored Correa and put Houston on top 2-1.The speedy 20-year-old Correa also scored Houston’s first run when he doubled and scored on an error by Gardner in the fourth inning.New York starter Michael Pineda (8-5) allowed seven hits and three runs — two earned— and struck out eight in eight innings for the first complete game of his career. The solid performance comes after he allowed 11 hits and eight runs — both career highs — in his previous start.The Astros added an insurance run when Preston Tucker scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Castro in the eighth to make it 3-1.Correa, the top overall pick in the 2012 draft, has nine doubles and five homers in just 20 games.Stephen Drew walked with one out in the third inning and reached second on a wild pitch. He scored on a single by Gardner to give New York a 1-0 lead.McHugh retired the next 10 in a row after Gardner’s hit. The Yankees didn’t have another baserunner until a single by Alex Rodriguez with two outs in the sixth inning. But he retired Mark Teixeira to end that inning before throwing perfect seventh and eighth innings.Correa doubled with one out in the fourth inning and scored on an error by Gardner when he and left fielder Garrett Jones allowed the ball to drop between them and roll away to make it 1-1.Altuve made a nifty catch for the last out of the second inning when he sprinted to grab a ball hit by Rodriguez in shallow right field, but bobbled it, causing it to pop out of his glove, before reeling it in.Teixeira grabbed a grounder hit by Gattis in the second inning, but lost his footing. He regained it by pushing his hand onto the barrel chest of first base umpire Joe West before stepping on first base for the out. Teixeira looked back at West after the play and the pair shared a laugh.New York’s Chris Young went 0 for 3 to snap a career-long 10-game hitting streak.TRAINER’S ROOMAstros: RHP Scott Feldman, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on May 29, will throw a simulated game early next week in Houston. If that goes well he could go on a rehabilitation assignment. … OF Colby Rasmus was out for a second straight game with a skin infection on his arm. But manager A.J. Hinch said he was doing better on Sunday and should return on Monday.Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury, out since May 19 with a sprained right knee, will be in Class A Tampa on Monday and the Yankees anticipate he will begin playing in rehab games later in the week.UP NEXTThe Yankees open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday when CC Sabathia (3-7) opposes C.J. Wilson (5-6). Sabathia looks to bounce back from his most recent start where he allowed eight hits and six runs in 4 2-3 innings. It was the second time this season that he’s pitched less than five innings.The Astros wrap up their homestand with a three-game series against Kansas City starting on Monday when rookie Lance McCullers opposes Joe Blanton. The 21-year-old McCullers will be making his ninth major league start after not factoring in the decision in his past start when he allowed four hits and a run in six innings in a loss in Anaheim.KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writerlast_img read more

4 Genius Ways to Use LinkedIn Group Statistics for Lead Gen

first_img Originally published Dec 9, 2011 1:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 LinkedIn 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 Topics: One of the coolest new features that LinkedIn recently launched is the ability to access statistics of any LinkedIn Group you want to join or are currently a part of. This information is great for figuring out if a LinkedIn Group you own is active or not, but it’s also a great way to gain insights for generating leads from LinkedIn.To access the Group Statistics for a specific LinkedIn group, browse to the group and click ‘More’ in the group’s top navigation. Then click ‘Group Statistics’ from the drop-down menu.LinkedIn Group Statistics doesn’t only tell you how many members are in a group or how active those members are; it also gives you other key insights about the group’s members such as locations, seniority, function, and industry.This information can be massively beneficial if it’s used right. Here are 4 ways you can use LinkedIn’s Group Statistics to optimize your business’ lead generation efforts.1. Spend Time in Appropriate Groups to Establish AuthorityParticipating in group discussions can help you grow your company’s reach, but if you join a group with employees mostly working in IT and you’re trying to sell a product to management consultants, you’ll be wasting precious time you could have spent elsewhere. Sometimes a group’s title can be deceiving, but by using the statistics tab, you can easily determine if a group is right for you. More importantly, you can see if a group is active and whether it is worth your time to join and participate.As you establish yourself as a thought leader in the right group, you’ll be able to gain authority. From there, you’ll have the ability to introduce fellow group members to interesting and helpful blog posts, ebooks, and webinars on your site, and convert appropriate group member prospects into leads!2. Better Target Your LinkedIn AdsAds on LinkedIn can be super effective, but if you really want to optimize your ad spend on LinkedIn, you should have awesome targeting set in place. The problem is, many people rely on hunches rather than data when figuring out how to target their ads. Using LinkedIn’s Group Statistics can be a great way to leverage valuable data and maximize your spend.3. Create Better Targeted LinkedIn Product PagesDid you know that you can segment and target your LinkedIn Company Products Page? It’s a really nifty feature, and it can be a great way to increase the likelihood that people visiting your page will convert into leads. The Group Statistics feature can guide you in how to best segment your Products Page on LinkedIn. For example, if you’re looking at a group with 50,000 members and 25% of members are the owner of their company and another 25% are managers at a company, it may make sense to spend some time changing the copy on your product page to tailor to each of these audiences. You may also want to place different offers that appeal to the different needs of these two audiences on each of these targeted pages. After all, an owner and a manager do have different needs.4. Collect Insights for Generating Leads Outside of LinkedInYou can almost think of appropriate LinkedIn Groups as a sample size of your prospects to figure out who they are and what they’re looking for. Perhaps you’re trying to sell banking and finance software and don’t know who your core audience is or where to find them. Looking at LinkedIn Groups, you’d notice that there’s a Banking and Finance Technology group that has over 30,000 members, most of which are international. You could then use those insights to inform your other marketing efforts. Maybe you could build a Google AdWords campaign that’s geo-targeted to the areas that matter, blog about international news, and make sure that your social media updates take international time zones into consideration.LinkedIn has always been a great social media platform for generating leads, but with Group Statistics at your fingertips, you now have the ability to leverage LinkedIn’s potential in other marketing channels as well. Think of LinkedIn Group Statistics as free marketing data that doesn’t have to live in solitary confinement on LinkedIn. Those insights can be applied anywhere, and as an inbound marketer, that’s a pretty lethal weapon to have.What other interesting ways can you leverage the insights from LinkedIn Group Statistics.last_img read more

5 Key Ways to Maximize Email Marketing Effectiveness [Data]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This is a guest blog post written by Hunter Boyle. He is the senior business development manager for AWeber and a seasoned optimization and content marketing strategist. Hunter also speaks and blogs about multichannel marketing with an emphasis on SMBs and nonprofits.We all know that today, high quality content that helps prospects and customers solve business problems is the most effective type of marketing.And no matter which channels deliver that help, from blogs and social sites to webinars and whitepapers, email is still playing an integral role in cultivating those business relationships.When asked about their top email marketing priorities for 2012 in a recent MarketingSherpa survey of more than 2,700 email marketers, “delivering highly relevant content” ranked first among large and mid-sized companies (70% and 62% respectively), and second among small businesses (71%), surpassed only by “growing and retaining subscribers” — which, of course, largely depends on content also. This is great news, because it suggests that email will continue to improve in 2012.The trick is, how do we keep making those content-driven email relationships better and more profitable for all involved, marketers and customers alike? We set out to answer that question, and the result was a new special report ebook and email series that explores five key ways to maximize your email marketing:1. Approach List Building StrategicallyThere’s no shortage of tactics for growing email lists, but it’s all too easy to get caught up in them at the expense of a fully developed plan. Does your email strategy account for how and when to apply various tactics, when to test others, and a consistent process for analysis and adjustments? With less than a third of email marketers saying they send relevant emails to segmented audiences with a clear conversion goal, this is an area ripe for improvement.2. Set Clear Expectations for SubscribersAs marketers, we often don’t see the disconnect between our perception of how our offers are presented and how prospects see and understand them. In particular, short email forms that simply ask for name and email and offer little context or information about send frequency, specific content options, or address validation, tend to generate larger lists but include lower quality contacts. We may know what’s behind our opt-in form, but how clear is it really to a first-time site visitor who got served a pop-up window before even reading the page? That’s why it’s critical to set expectations with your potential subscribers so they know exactly what they’re signing up for and exactly what the value is.3. Segment Lists to Match Your PrioritiesWhether you’re segmenting lists based on behaviors such as opens, clicks, and downloads (or lack thereof); on stage in the sales cycle; or on more specific demographic data, the bottom line is that segmentation is a huge factor in establishing relevance. Matching segments to your organization’s ideal customer personas makes your content more engaging and your offers and campaigns more likely to succeed. So why are only about half of email marketers using these techniques regularly?4. Automate Your CampaignsThank you, welcome, and transactional emails are widely used by organizations of all sizes, but research shows a significant drop-off in other types of automated messages. Lead nurturing, drip campaigns, re-engagement campaigns, and auto-responders make it easier for marketers to create email series with the intent of building relationships; however, these types account for roughly one-third or fewer of the emails sent by survey respondents. If your content mix includes “evergreen” information such as how-to articles or training videos that won’t lose their news value, marketing automation is definitely an option worth exploring.5. Optimize and Test RegularlyTo quote the MarketingSherpa report, “Continuous experimentation is the quickest path to peak performance.” Yet only 28% of small businesses regularly test and optimize email messages. Mid-sized and larger organizations fared better, but still only around half test regularly. Deadlines and full workloads are a common culprit, but let’s say you run a test that yields an 18% lift in response — you’d probably find time to test more consistently next time, right? Interestingly, subject lines are among the most popular tests, yet they often produce the smallest gains compared to other areas such as landing pages and target audiences. Don’t be afraid to test various elements of your email marketing efforts to optimize email performance.The tips above are a starting point, but for more detailed charts from the survey plus recommendations and links to case studies, how-to articles, and online tools related to these five steps, you’ll want to get the complete special report ebook and email series. MarketingSherpa and AWeber are providing the series for free through December 31. Originally published Dec 14, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Email Marketing Topics:last_img read more

25 TEDTalk Quotes to Inspire You

first_imgHave you ever attended live or viewed an online TEDTalk? You know, those inspiring, funny, or fascinating talks from industry leaders and amazing people that take place around the world? Today, the TED nonprofit, which began in 1984 as an annual conference that brought together people from the technology, entertainment, and design industries, has launched TED Quotes, a web page on the TED.com website dedicated to featuring some of the best quotes from its TEDTalks.It’s a brilliant move; who doesn’t love a good, insighful quote? We’ve been scouring the TED Quotes today and wanted to highlight some of our favorite ones from the technology, internet, management, and business categories. These quotes are easily tweetable and Facebook sharable via the TED website, and they can make great additions to your presentations and other marketing content. Enjoy!TED Technology Quotes1) Clay Shirky: Time Warner has called and they want us all back on the couch, just consuming — not producing, not sharing — and we should say, ‘No.’ Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)2) Ian Ritchie: [Tim Berners-Lee] told me about his proposed system called the ‘World Wide Web.’ And I thought, well, that’s got a pretentious name. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)3) Roger Ebert: Because of the rush of human knowledge, because of the digital revolution, I have a voice, and I do not need to scream. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)4) Evan Grant: Everything gives out some kind of data, whether it’s sound or smell or vibration. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)5) Aaron Koblin: An interface can be a powerful narrative device. And as we collect more and more personally and socially relevant data, we have an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to maintain [our] humanity and tell some amazing stories. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)6) Ze Frank: On street corners everywhere, people are looking at their cell phones, and it’s easy to dismiss this as some sort of bad trend in human culture. But the truth is life is being lived there. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)7) Nicholas Christakis: Social networks are these intricate things of beauty, and they’re so elaborate and so complex and so ubiquitous that one has to ask what purpose they serve. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)8) John Underkoffler: That’s the old way, that’s the old mantra: one machine, one human, one mouse, one screen. Well, that doesn’t really cut it anymore. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)9) David Agus Quoting Andy Grove: No technology will win. Technology itself will win. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)TED Internet Quotes10) Clay Shirky: We are in a world where most American citizens over the age of 12 share things with each other online. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)11) Joe Sabia: In 6,000 years of storytelling, [people have] gone from depicting hunting on cave walls to depicting Shakespeare on Facebook walls. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)12) Adam Ostrow: By the end of this year, there’ll be nearly a billion people on this planet that actively use social networking sites. The one thing that all of them have in common is that they’re going to die. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)13) Eli Pariser: Facebook was looking at which links I clicked on, and it was noticing that I was clicking more on my liberal friends’ links than on my conservative friends’ links. And without consulting me about it, it had edited them out. They disappeared. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)14) Eli Pariser: In a broadcast society, there were these gatekeepers, the editors, and they controlled the flows of information. Along came the Internet and it swept them out of the way, and it allowed all of us to connect together, and it was awesome. But that’s not actually what’s happening right now. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)15) Eli Pariser: Your filter bubble is your own personal, unique universe of information that you live in online. What’s in your filter bubble depends on who you are, and it depends on what you do. But you don’t decide what gets in — and more importantly, you don’t see what gets edited out. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)16) David McCandless: Data is the new soil, because for me, it feels like a fertile, creative medium. Over the years, online, we’ve laid down a huge amount of information and data, and we irrigate it with networks and connectivity, and it’s been worked and tilled by unpaid workers and governments. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)17) Stephen Lawler: We’re so constrained by browsing the Web, remembering URLs, saving favorites. As we move to search, we rely on the relevance rankings, the Web matching, the index crawling. But we want to use our brain! We want to navigate, explore, discover information. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)TED Management Quotes18) Stanley McChrystal: Leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)19) Elizabeth Lesser: Don’t persuade, defend or interrupt. Be curious, be conversational, be real. And listen. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)20) Jason Fried: [Facebook and Twitter] aren’t the real problems in the office. The real problems are what I like to call the M&Ms, the Managers and the Meetings. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)21) R.A. Mashelkar: An innovator is one who does not know it cannot be done. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)22) Simon Sinek: If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)TED Business Quotes23) Jacek Utko: There is no reason — no practical reason — for newspapers to survive Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)24) Tim Harford: Ten percent of American businesses disappear every year. … It’s far higher than the failure rate of, say, Americans. Ten percent of Americans don’t disappear every year. Which leads us to conclude American businesses fail faster than Americans, and therefore American businesses are evolving faster than Americans. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)25) Lisa Gansky: A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir. Tweet This! (Watch the TEDTalk)Which TEDTalk quote inspires you the most? Topics: Marketing Experts Originally published Feb 14, 2012 5:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Link-Building Best Practices for Targeting a UK Audience

first_imgAs you can see, on-page SEO is only part of the equation. It helps you get indexed by Google, but it’s not the only thing you need to do to get on page one of google.co.uk. So to make sure you’re also strengthening your website’s off-page SEO, in this post we’ll discuss a few link-building best practices for targeting a UK-based audience. Focus Your SEO Efforts on Google Before we get into some specific link-building recommendations, make sure you’re considering focusing on Google in your UK SEO targeting strategy. According to Hitwise , Google has a search engine market share of approximately 90% in the UK , with Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com trailing far behind. So it’s worth your time to focus on Google when measuring the results of your SEO efforts. Topics: Okay, now let’s get into some off-page SEO best practices for targeting a UK-based audience … Guest Blog for UK-Based Blogs Google determines your rank for different search terms based on the number and quality of the inbound links pointing to your website. So if you want your site to rank well on google.co.uk, generating inbound links from sites on a .co.uk domain will help you more than inbound links you might get from another domain extension, such as .ie or .de. Guest blogging can be a great strategy for generating inbound links , since the sites you blog for will often let you include a few inbound links back to your own website. Just make sure you’re optimizing these links with appropriate, keyword-rich anchor text for the maximum SEO benefit.While there’s nothing wrong with blogging on blogs outside the UK, if you’re targeting an audience in the UK and your goal is to rise in google.co.uk’s search rankings, then you should aim to guest blog for blogs that are also on the .co.uk domain. Identify the Right Blogs to Target First, m ake a list of all the top blogs in the UK that are relevant to your industry.  To find relevant blogs in your industry that have a .co.uk extension and are actively accepting guest blog submissions, do a Google site search for: site:.co.uk your keyword “guest post” site:.co.uk your keyword “guest blog”  Just replace your keyword with a keyword you’d like to blog about. This query will lead you either to a guest blog post submission page or a post written by a guest blogger on websites with the .co.uk domain so you know those websites accept guest blogging submissions. Participate in Comment Threads and Communities in Your Industry Before you pitch a guest blog post, it’s also a good idea to  comment on the blog you’re targeting and connect/establish a relationship with the blog’s manager on Twitter. This will help you become a familiar name/face, so that when you do pitch the blog manager about your guest post, he or she will already know who you are.Even if you don’t end up getting accepted as a guest blogger, establishing relationships with other UK bloggers will make them aware of your existence — and your blog. And any inbound links you naturally accrue from these influential bloggers, or any tweets in which they share links to your content, will help to boost your SEO efforts. Remember: Social media now directly impacts your website’s SEO , so it’s well worth your time to create a Twitter list that includes influential bloggers in your industry, and interact with them regularly. Pitch Your Guest Post Before pitching your guest post to a blog manager, familiarize yourself with the content on their blog. What kinds of posts do they typically accept? What topics do they blog about? Is their audience B2B or B2C? This will help you pitch the right type of blog post, which will increase your likelihood of getting accepted. For more information about following guest blogging best practices, including tips on crafting the perfect guest blogging pitch, check out our article, ” 17 Foolish Mistakes to Avoid as a Guest Blogger .” Tailor Your Content to Appeal to a UK-Based Audience Make sure you’re creating interesting and valuable content that’s particularly relevant to your audience in the UK. Just like any great marketing content, your UK-targeted content needs to address the interests of and provide solutions to the problems your UK audience has. Consider the buyer persona(s) of your target UK audience. How can you help them? What is the latest industry news in the UK, and how does it impact them specifically? There are several other things to consider to ensure that your content is relevant to a UK audience. These tips may require some additional effort if you don’t live in the UK, but they’re important considerations to make: Spelling Nuances: Favorite is spelled ‘favourite,’ optimize is spelled ‘optimise,’ and so forth. Know which words to pay attention to , and edit their spellings accordingly. Pop Culture References: If you’re making an analogy or providing an example that incorporates a pop culture reference, make sure your audience in the UK will ‘get’ it.  Industry News: If you’re writing an article about how your industry has been impacted by some recent news in a country outside the UK, make sure it applies to your UK audience as well. Events: Furthermore, think twice before covering an event that happens outside the UK. If it was inaccessible to your audience, will they even care about it? Aim to Create In-Depth, Valuable, and High-Quality Content No matter which audience you’re targeting, it’s now more important than ever to focus on creating high-quality content. So rather than pumping out tons of subpar content, spend the time to craft valuable, high-quality pieces of content every single time. Google’s Panda update has made content quality an extremely important factor for marketers , as search engines are starting to reward sites with high-quality content with better rankings, and penalize websites with low-quality content . Not only does high-quality, insightful content attract more views, but it is also more likely to naturally to attract inbound links as well as social media shares — both of which are factors that strongly influence Google’s search ranking algorithm.When creating content, keep the following attributes of high-quality content in mind — which we elaborate on in this blog post : It’s helpful or fulfills an interest/need for your target audience. Above all, make sure your content is helpful and valuable to your UK readers. Have you included all of the information they need to be successful at whatever it is you’re trying to teach them or inform them about? It’s interesting. Don’t underestimate the value of entertainment. Make sure your content is not only helpful but also interesting to read, rather than sounding like technical documentation. Keep readers engaged and entertained, too. It’s well-written. High-quality content doesn’t just hit on the right ideas and points, but it’s also well-written. Don’t overlook the importance of great copywriting . In addition, use data to support your points when appropriate, and attribute your sources with the proper citation . What other link-building tips do you have for getting found in search by a UK audience ? When measuring your results, you can use a tool like HubSpot’s Keyword tool  to show you two things: how much traffic you’re generating for your target keywords, and your rank in Google for those keywords. Is your company based in the United Kingdom? Does your business target an audience in the UK?  If so, there are several SEO strategies you should be adopting so you can rise in the rankings of google.co.uk, and thus, attract more traffic from your audience in the UK. To help you understand the best SEO tips for targeting a UK audience, we’ve developed a helpful, free tip sheet — 10 Quick SEO Tips to Target a UK Audience — that you can download, print, and keep handy. On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO Our cheat sheet includes tips specifically for targeting a UK-based audience in respect to two types of SEO strategies: On-Page SEO Strategies: This includes optimizing the pages on your website for search, such as adding keywords to your URL structures, your page titles, your header tags, and so on. Off-Page SEO Strategies: This primarily involves generating inbound links from other websites into yours — to signal to search engines that you have an authoritative website.Keep in mind that on-page elements are much easier to optimize for because you have direct control over your own website. And while these on-page SEO steps are definitely important, they’re usually not enough to get to the first page of Google. Here’s why … When you search engine optimize your on-page elements , it helps Google and other search engines understand what your web page is all about. Search engines then index your page by the keywords you used on that page. Originally published Jan 23, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 But on-page elements aren’t the only thing search engines take into consideration. When other websites link to you (AKA inbound links ), it helps Google and other search engines understand that your content is remarkable, and that your website is authoritative. And because search engines want to be as helpful as possible to its users, they only want remarkable content on page one of their search engine results. As a result, the more inbound links you have pointing to your site, the more authoritative search engines will think your website is, the better they’ll rank your pages, and the more prominently they will display you in their search engine results pages (SERPs). Link Building 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 Optimize Your Page Titles for Mobile Search [Quick Tip]

first_img On-page SEO Topics: Originally published Feb 19, 2014 4:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Mobile continues to change the way that we search, explore, and shop, and as consumer behavior comes further into focus, there are clear opportunities for marketers to take advantage. Mobile is always on for consumers, so marketers need to make sure their mobile search strategies are reaching people in these different search contexts.According to the Mobile Movement, a study by Google, 77% of smart phone users visit search engines. And page titles are the first thing that mobile searchers evaluate when browsing search results on their phone. The closer you can match your page titles to their search queries, then, the higher the likelihood that a user will click through to your content.Despite its apparent simplicity, the title of a page is an important marketing tool that allows you to create content that’s optimized for internet presence, and facilitates navigation for your audience. Try not to think of a title as a feature of a page (or website), but as a property that affects the entire page by setting the tone and context of that page itself — it’s your first impression.Here, take a look at an example of a well optimized title, and then we’ll break down the elements to replicate in your own page titles.Optimizing your page titles for mobile search is really simple. Here’s what you should look out for:Aim to limit your page title to only 45 characters, unlike for desktop which is 65 characters.Position your primary keywords toward the front of the title.Continue to apply SEO best practices. That means no keyword stuffing, and maintaining a title that reads naturally.As a bonus tip, take a look at your site’s analytics (Google Webmaster Tools offers great insight as well) to see what keywords consumers use when on mobile versus desktop. It’ll help you make good keyword decisions when titling your page.Not too hard, right? Let me know what other common SEO questions you have that I can try to answer in future blog posts.last_img read more

7 Reasons You’re Not Getting ROI From Your Content

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Content as a marketing strategy is reliable and cost-effective, but only if it generates high-quality leads. To succeed, you must not only create and promote content, but also analyze and optimize the content.If your content marketing results are falling flat, here are 7 reasons why it might be happening and what you can do about it.1) You Don’t Know Your Content’s ROIIf you do not understand how many people access your content, where your content is shared, or the new contacts it generates, chances are your marketing efforts are not nearly as effective as they could be.A piece of content that gets a lot of traffic but few leads likely has some value in brand awareness– it might hit the target when it comes to exploring an idea but isn’t as compelling as it could be. On the other hand, a piece of content that gets little engagement and few leads likely indicates a lack of relevancy or visibility.The Fix: Measure the BasicsMeasure indicators on a monthly or quarterly basis, and then use the results to focus your efforts accordingly. Ultimately, you want to know how many leads a piece of content is generating and how that content translates into customers.If you’re unsure about what to measure, check out our eBook, “Measuring Digital ROI”.2) You Have Low (or the Wrong Kind of) Search TrafficIf you do not use the language your ideal customers use to ask questions or describe problems, then chances are your content is not providing the right answers to your target audience. Content marketing goes hand-in-hand with SEO.You can create content all day long, but you cannot expect results until you target the keywords and phrases your preferred customers are most likely to use when looking for the solution you provide.The Fix: Research Keywords and Use Them in Your ContentTo get started with keyword research, use what you know about your business and industry to identify relevant topics. For each topic, brainstorm a list of potential keywords, and then optimize your content for a relevant keyword.How do you determine what is relevant? Use a keyword research tool to gain an understanding of search volume and traffic estimates. HubSpot customers can use the keyword tool built into the marketing software. Google also has a free keyword planner available.3) Your Blog Is Your (Only) ContentA blog alone is not enough to deliver ROI. Offers that engage users are needed to provide marketers the opportunity to capture contact information in exchange for valuable content. White papers, eBooks, templates, and the like go beyond the blog to engage users on a new level.Just as some people prefer to read the book while others prefer to watch the movie, people consume digital content via different mediums. Efforts to reach your target audience solely by the written word, no matter how eloquent, are less effective than offering content in different formats.Your content will be more effective when it caters to those who learn best through reading as well as to those who prefer audio or imagery. The Fix: Repackage Your ContentIt is not necessary to create a unique piece of content for every platform. Rather, simply adapt a quality piece of content to different distribution channels. Is there a way you can condense your best-performing blog posts into a slide deck or infographic?Perhaps you can turn a series of blogs on the same topic into an eBook. Can you show who you are through a video instead of the standard “About Us” page full of text? By repackaging your content, you will to appeal to a broader audience.4) You Only Offer Branded ContentTo use the tried-and-true cocktail party analogy, no one wants to engage in a conversation with a stranger when all that person does is talk about his self. We all have our story to tell; yet there is a time and place to tell it. When a potential customer learns of your business by searching for an answer to their question, they want the answer they came for before they entertain the solution you offer.Content that disrupts a user or looks more like a way to sell than a way to engage is less attractive to today’s plugged-in consumers. When content educates or is presented at a natural point in the conversation, people are more likely to see your company as a trusted advisor.The Fix: Develop Educational ContentCreate content around the overall values or pillars of your company. For example, an industrial equipment manufacturer might create content educating people how to extend the life of their equipment in addition to how to select the best equipment to purchase.Educational content can still support your brand through complementary color schemes and appropriately places logos.5) Your Content Takes a Back Seat to Other TasksWe often compare content marketing success to the flywheel effect. It’s much more difficult to get something started than it is to keep it rolling. When you publish blogs or post on social intermittently, you bore search engines and confuse your audience. Content marketing is not something you can set and forget. The Fix: Establish an Editorial CalendarAn editorial calendar will help you in two ways: it will help you think of topics to create content around, and it will keep you accountable to a publishing schedule.First, develop your calendar with themes your audience cares about. For instance, the budgeting season for many companies gets underway mid-summer with budgets set by early fall. Is it relevant for your company to address the challenges of budgeting, either in a blog or a sales email?Next, choose a publishing frequency and stick to it. Keep in mind that it is better to under promise and over deliver. If you know you can only publish content one time per week but want to post three times per week, go with the former.How much you post is important, but consistency trumps frequency every time, and you can always publish more content as time permits.6) You’re Ignoring the Call To ActionA piece of content without a call to action is like walking into a store where none of the merchandise is for sale. You invest time and effort into every piece of content you create, so once you have a reader, be sure to close the deal with a call-to-action that encourages your reader to take a next step.The Fix: Add Calls to ActionWhat is that next step? The answer is likely to vary with the piece of content. And remember, every piece of content you produce (hello, landing pages!) is a marketable asset.If you are interested in building a community around your brand, encourage dialogue by ending a blog post with a question and encouraging responses in the comments. Need more social reach? Make sure social sharing icons are included with the content you create. To generate leads, encourage visitors to exchange their contact information for a white paper or eBook. 7) Your Content Lacks ContextPublication, distribution, and promotion define the context of your content. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to email your award-winning case to existing customers.Likewise, it doesn’t make sense to run a print advertisement if your target audience spends its time in a digital forum. No matter how good your content, it will fall flat without context.The Fix: Consider the Audience to Give Context its DueSegment your email lists to send relevant content to contacts based on their lifecycle stage. Engage in conversations on social, but save the sales offers for calls-to-action.A few years ago, most of your visitors probably accessed your website or read your emails via their desktop or laptop computers. Now, it’s a good bet a good portion of that traffic comes from tablets and mobile phones. Is your website mobile-friendly?Have you replaced outdated “click here” language given mobile users tap with their fingers rather than click with a mouse?If you are uncertain what content creates the highest return-on-investment, you are most likely spending time and money creating content that does little – or at the very least could do more – to contribute towards reaching your online marketing goals.An immediate return-on-investment is rare and not without anxiety. However, when content does take hold, the benefits can be quite rewarding. But you’ll only know that when you measure.  Content Marketing Strategy Originally published Jun 4, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

Want Happier Employees? Focus on These 3 Things [Infographic]

first_img Originally published Sep 3, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The smartest leaders in today’s workforce want to develop and maintain company cultures that attract and retain employees who are happy at work.Being happy at work isn’t just good for the employees. It’s good for the company, too. After all, a study of 250,000 people found that happy employees tend to be healthier, more productive, have more energy, and maintain better relationships — with you, with their customers, and with each other.But cultivating a workplace of happy employees is easier said than done. You can’t just slip in a flexible vacation policy and expect that to suddenly make your employees happy.Actually, studies show that the three things that make people happiest at work are autonomy, purpose, and mastery. That means allowing employees to manage their own time and projects, ensuring they feel the positive impact they’re making on others with their work, and investing in their continuous professional development. Check out the infographic below from Lynda.com to learn more about what makes employees happy at work. Happiness at Worklast_img read more

11 Well-Made Print Advertisements From the Last Century (And How They Hold up Now)

first_imgIn the history of American advertising, print has played a vital and interesting role.Print advertising has been around as long as any medium, surviving the advent of radio, television, and internet, maintaining its steady influence all the while. There’s something truly iconic about a well-crafted print ad, and the agencies and brands that have done it well over the years have seen immense benefits as a result.Here’s a look at some well-designed print ads from the last 115 years (one from each decade) and an attempt to understand what we can learn from the progression. Changes in taste, disruptive new technologies, and the natural evolution of our cultural propriety have completely transformed the way brands use print mediums to advertise – but certain patterns and threads hold true.Using a modern interpretive lens to reexamine those strategic patterns (and the ads that made use of them) makes for an interesting case study of where we’ve been and where we’re headed – as advertisers and consumers.1) 1906 – Kodak StoryUsing content marketing to ‘tell the story’ of a brand is nothing new. While the platforms we use to display our content marketing change drastically, the same underlying concepts have been exploited by businesses as far back as the turn of the 20th century.In this ad from 1906, camera-maker Kodak (whose continued success, over a century later, serves as evidence that they were and continue to be ahead of the curve marketing-wise) created a series of print advertisements that targeted parents buying gifts for their adolescent children. The ads promised a technologically advanced way for young people to capture the essence of their experiences with Kodak cameras, requiring little-to-no expertise but delivering reliably breathtaking results.While the model’s hair and fashion choices betray the ad’s century-old status, the concept could apply to a magazine ad today. She is contentedly going over the stunningly mounted prints that she took with her Kodak. The background is accented by a beautifully somber twilight scene, which gives the viewer an idea of what her photographic subjects might have been. Another connection to today’s modern marketing is the call-to-action at the end of the ad: “The Kodak catalogue tells the details. Free at the dealers or by mail.”Free ebook download, anyone? 2) 1917 – Our Boys in France Tobacco Fund Throughout World War I, American advertisers used the contextual backdrop of the war to promote their products. This glorified propaganda was used by companies in many industries to put their brand in the good graces of the American people. If the buying public believed a company was in some way supporting the war effort in a meaningful way, they’d be much more inclined to spend their hard-earned dollars on it. This was based in factual reality for many industries: gramophones, for example, vital to Allied soldiers’ communication while in the trenches, sold extremely well during the war years.Other, less impactful industries took part in in the strategy as well. This ad in (and for) The Morning Telegraph, a daily newspaper that was devoted primarily to horse racing results and theatre news, shows how widespread the practice had become by 1917. Since the paper itself couldn’t rightly be positioned as benefitting American soldiers in any direct way, they positioned themselves as the “Official Organ in New York City for the ‘Our Boys in France Tobacco Fund.’”Today, this would likely be seen as exploitative (or at least lacking in subtlety). Brands like McDonald’s, for example, have been rightfully reprimanded by the public for being a bit too heavy-handed while linking their brand to American crises and national spirit. Patriotism still sells – it just requires a bit more subtlety from the brands using it, lest the buying public react negatively.3) 1929 – Dr. West’s Toothbrushes This ad presents an interesting case study in the cyclical nature of visual design trends. In many ways, this toothbrush company (or whomever it hired to do its advertising) shows itself to be well ahead of its time aesthetically.As far as color palette, the full rainbow is used for a strikingly immediate visual effect. The way the toothbrushes overlap in a grid-like fashion makes the ad feel symmetrical and comfortable. It’s interesting to think about how visual symmetry is now seen as an important design tool to evoke a brand’s strong organizational structure and trustworthiness. Being used in this context, almost 90 years ago, lends legitimacy to the theory itself. If it’s been working for that long, there really must be some innate truth to it.The only aspect of this ad that would make today’s design experts cringe is the decentralized positioning of the brand itself. If modern viewers were to give this ad a 2-3 second gander and then look away, a very small percentage of them would be able to recall the name of the company. Not only is “Dr. West’s” relegated to the bottom of the page, but it’s depicted at such an angle that it makes it less memorable. Aside from that, this is a particularly forward thinking example of ad design considering when it was created.4) 1938 – Carefree film posterHistorian Carlos Stevens offers the following about American filmmaking during the Great Depression: “The movies offered a chance to escape the cold, the heat, and loneliness; they brought strangers together, rubbing elbows in the dark of movie palaces and fleapits, sharing in the one social event available to everyone.”During the time this film was made, the average movie ticket was $.27, offering struggling families a relatively cheap way to escape the harsh realities of their daily lives. Along with the pricing and promotional efforts of the theatres, Hollywood filmmakers recognized that there was a demand for a cheap product: one light on dramatic intensity and heavy on comedic gags. The filmmakers of the era recognized this demand and adjusted: resulting in titles like Carefree.The ad for the film fits its tone extremely well, with a happy, dancing couple surrounded by swirling patches of bright pink, yellow, and orange. This colorful arrangement – especially in its use of adjacent pastels – would actually come back into fashion in the advertisements of the 1990s. The film’s stars – Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – were among the biggest draws of the era, starring in ten films together from 1933 to 1949. In an era when financial security was lacking for a majority of the movie-going audience, films like Carefree (and the accompanying advertisements) provided a welcome escape. 5) 1946  – Spam ‘n’ Limas Recipe In 1946, America was reaching the height of its World War II involvement. Much like during WWI, the advertising of the era was greatly affected by the nation’s wartime status. Consumers were confronted with government-enforced rationing practices that affected the way they purchased everything from gasoline to meats and cheeses.Enter: Spam. Spam is a canned, precooked ham product that was created by Hormel in the late 1930s and became popular throughout the country for its price and convenience. For a time, the tag of being a canned, precooked, processed meat meant modernity, not unhealthiness and questionable meat sources. This ad is representative of the product and the era in its arrangement – with all prominent real estate devoted to the end result of the recipe included below. Throw in a punny 1940s-friendly catchphrase and – voila – there’s your ad.In this case, though, I think the end result is far from “‘Ah’ inspiring” – no matter how much “sugar lard” you add.6) 1950 – Truval creative like the men who wear themMuch like visual elements of design can be cyclical, fashion trends can be as well. Popular fashions for today’s millennials borrow extensively from that of previous decades, and this 1950 ad from shirtmaker Truval is no exception.The men in the ad are all donning colored plaid shirts, seemingly both comfortable and durable. They appear to be architects and/or engineers, standing around blueprints discussing the best way to get some kind of building job done. The copy reinforces these themes of strength and resourcefulness: “Creative … like the men who wear them.”This ad holds up surprisingly well (other than the overtones suggested by its all-male, all-white cast of characters) against today’s fashion advertising standards. The shirts themselves are exactly the kind of hipster-chic flannel numbers you’d seen populating any number of New York City graphic design firms. The layout evokes the spreads seen in magazines like GQ, with most of the space devoted to highlighting the product itself and leaving the copy down below. Aside from the aforementioned demographic issue, the only element that really dates this example is the illustration style: heavily bordered and cartoon-like, these types of drawings were great for ads of the time because they were similar to what one would find in the popular fiction of the day – think Hardy Boys books and Superman comics. Now, brands are far more interested in allowing high-quality photography to highlight the product being sold.  7) 1968 – Sony personal televisionsThe effect of technology on modern relationships has been well documented. Smartphones and the apps contained therein have revolutionized the way we meet, date, and communicate with significant others, for better or worse. Movies, TV shows, and advertisements have all parodied the now ubiquitous extreme of this phenomenon: a couple out to eat at a restaurant, paying no attention to each other, instead staring at their phones. The reality, though, is that technology has always affected our collective approach to romance.In this Sony advertisement from 1968, a couple is shown lying down in bed, each facing the opposite direction and glaring into their own personal televisions. The humor isn’t missed on the makers of the ad, with the caption reading: “There comes a time in everyone’s life when they just want to be alone with the person they love.”The room surrounding the couple’s bed is completely dark, highlighting the alluring glow of the screens and the zombie-like entrancement of the man and woman. The screens themselves offer a glimpse into the nature of that entrancement as well, with the man’s screen showing a beautiful woman and the woman’s showing the reverse. Ultimately, the ad does a good job of addressing the negative viewpoints many would’ve had about personal televisions: not inclusive enough, too isolating, etc. Instead of shying away from those claims, Sony decided to embrace their comedic weight.Generally speaking, companies today are less willing to do this. The companies that make smartphones and the apps that power them tend to advertise in ways that showcase how we connect via the technology, as opposed to poking fun at the ways we isolate ourselves with them. 8) 1972 – Tareyton CigarettesIf you’ve seen the mega-popular AMC show Mad Men, you’re familiar with the interesting and controversial history of advertising in the cigarette industry. Precisely when tobacco companies became aware of how dangerous their products were is the subject of much contention and many legal battles throughout the last four decades. Ultimately, there was no contest. It became overwhelmingly clear to the companies, the Surgeon General, and the American public that, without exaggeration, cigarettes are killers.As that process unfolded, however, there were many different phases during which those companies had to constantly adjust how much they were willing to admit. After the 1964 Surgeon General’s report officially recognized the health risks of cigarettes, the fight for respectability took a turn for the worse for those brands. Despite this, it still wasn’t anywhere near the situation we have today, with less than 7.5% of 12th graders identifying themselves as daily smokers (versus about 30% in 1972.) So how did they pull this off? Well, the Surgeon General’s reports – while well researched and vital to maintain public health – don’t always have the immediate influence we would like them to. In the aftermath of that report, the companies were still able to jostle for position amongst the public opinion as the “healthy” cigarette brand. That’s precisely what you see in this ad, with Tareyton using the drinking water analogy as a way to prove how much of a cleansing effect its charcoal filters had.This, of course, was a hoax. And a morally repulsive one, at that.   9) 1983 – Yamaha pianoAs disco died on the dancefloor and the 70s turned into the 80s, design trends started to change dramatically as well. The color schemes that were in vogue in the 70s were immediately ditched for a sleeker, more simplistic approach. Stark contrasts were king, and glossy finishes helped brands deliver messages that popped right off the page.In this ad from Yamaha, we see the beginning of another advertising design trend that began around the same time and has continued to this day: product integration. As more and more homespun companies gave way to global corporations with tentacles reaching many different industries, it became more difficult for ad-men and women to capture the essence of a brand with a single concept. To accomplish this, they would use visual analogies that linked the different product and service types they offered.Here, we see Yamaha (a multinational conglomerate that deals in musical instruments, electronics, motorcycles, and power sports equipment) trying to demonstrate the engineering prowess of their most recent model keyboard synthesizer, as reflected by the shiny, modernistic glare of a motorcycle helmet. The ad works extremely well because of its crisp design and well-written copy. “Because this machine is so powerful, it can take you places just standing still.”10) 1990 – Absolut 19thMuch as we saw the cyclical nature of aesthetic fashion trends with the Truval ad from 1950, the aesthetics of advertising can be very cyclical as well. With this ad from Absolut Vodka from 1990, we see a return to the hand-sensibilities of the 1950s.This is a smart matching of form and content, as the concept behind the ad is based on the allure of sharing some Absolut-based cocktails with your golfing buddies after a long day out on the links (the relaxing drinks being the “19th,” following 18 holes of golf.) This comes in a series of ads on which Absolut places a bold image that takes up most of the print space, supplemented by “Absolut _______” at the bottom (always in that same bold white font). Recurring ad themes are great for the print medium because you can constantly tailor the concept to your audience. In this case, the “19th” wordplay is clever, but not overwhelmingly so – in other words, the perfect dad joke.What’s the audience being targeted here? You guessed it  – dads. Throw in the fact that the aesthetic framework – the hand-drawn golf course, the heavy-handed visual “bottle as island” pun – is also perfectly tailored for that demographic, and you’ve got yourself a perfect example of a tried-and-true theme that’s been smartly remolded for its intended audience.11) 2002 – T-Mac Got Milk While the vodka -> milk transition may seem a bit abrupt, in this case it’s fitting.The “got milk?” campaign – created by the advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board – ran throughout the 90s and early 00s and aimed to promote milk as a healthy source of calcium for kids and teens. The ads became iconic for their uniquely written copy and larger-than-life spokespersons.As compared to the Absolut ad, it provides a perfect counterexample in terms of audience. Here the advertisers are targeting adolescents; they want to strip milk of its old, lame connotations and repurpose it as a cool drinking option for kids who want to grow up to be like their heroes. Aesthetically, it couldn’t be more different from the classic illustration of the Absolut ad. NBA legend Tracy McGrady is seen mid-flight against a black and grey background (reminiscent of high school yearbook backgrounds), ready to finish one of his trademark slam dunks into an unseen net.The copy is smart and achieves the perfect tone for its audience – coming off like the popular kid in a sitcom without being too sappy. Also, it’s always a good idea to match an iconic catchphrase with a similarly memorable visual callback. It unifies the campaign and helps tie all of the different ads together, making them easier to engage with. In this case, the milk mustache couldn’t be more perfect for accomplishing this – it makes the ads playful without being childish; funny without being frivolous.Ultimately, despite all of the recent claims that its time has passed, print maintains its influence in the American cultural landscape. While the internet has changed the way we engage with all forms of content, there remains (at least for now) a market for the printed word.That doesn’t mean things aren’t changing, though. In all likelihood, we will continue to spend more and more time engaging with digital content as our lives become busier and our tools become more connected. The lessons of print advertising, though – be they aesthetic, conceptual, or even emotional – will continue to influence the way we engage with brands and each other. 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 Jan 14, 2016 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

Content Marketing A to Z: 40 Tips, Tricks & Tactics for Mastering Content Creation and Promotion [Infographic]

first_imgWhether you’re a seasoned content marketing connoisseur or you’re just getting your content marketing sea legs, it’s never a bad idea to review the basics.From doing keyword research, to guest blogging, to sharing content across different social platforms, there are a lot of different levers content marketers can pull. In their new infographic, “A to Z of Content Marketing: A 40 Point Content Marketing Checklist,” the team at PageTraffic helps us understand all of the different content marketing tactics and channels available.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. While your company may not need to use all of the options you see below, being familiar with them can definitely help inform your overall content strategy. Originally published Apr 15, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Content Marketingcenter_img 84Save84Save 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

You Can Now Set Goals in Google Calendar: Here’s How to Set It Up

first_img Originally published Apr 30, 2016 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 SlackSlack Email Inbox Tips Topics: While setting and working towards personal goals is often hailed as a way to stay motivated and productive, the science behind goal-setting paints a different picture.For starters, a study from the University of Liverpool revealed a connection between depression and setting generalized, abstract goals. It turns out that when we don’t have precise criteria for what it means to achieve a goal, it’s difficult to ever feel a sense of accomplishment. It’s like kicking a soccer ball toward a goal line, but the goal line keeps moving further and further backwards.Couple that with the fact that, as psychologist Robert Cialdini explained in his best-selling book Influence, sticking to any goal you set is incredibly difficult — unless you take the time to write your goals down and/or share them publicly.Fortunately for all of us who have been struggling with defining and sticking to our goals, Google has released a new feature for Google Calendar that can help. It’s called “Goals,” and it could be the solution to the goal setting problems I outlined above.What are “Goals” in Google Calendar?Google announced the addition of the “Goals” feature to its Google Calendar application on April 12, 2016. The feature lets you set clearly defined goals (e.g., “practice speaking French three times per week”) and then Google Calendar automatically schedules those goals based on when you have open slots in your calendar.When you’re setting a goal, you also have control over how much time you want to dedicate to each session. Just like with a meeting, you can have a goal session last 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, or however long you want. You can also specify what time of day — morning, afternoon, or evening — you’d prefer to work on your goals.What happens if a new meeting pops up on your calendar in the spot where a goal session has been scheduled? No, you don’t get to use that meeting as an excuse (any more) for skipping out on your goals. Instead, Google Calendar automatically reschedules that goal session for you.(Source: Google)The same thing happens if you decide to defer a session. Instead of disappearing from your calendar, that session gets automatically rescheduled. And as you keep using the Goals feature, Google Calendar gets better at understanding your scheduling preferences, so it can provide more personalized scheduling.One caveat here: You can only create goals using the Google Calendar application on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. That being said, you can still view, edit, and — if needed — defer goal sessions using Google Calendar on a desktop or laptop. Now that you have a basic understanding of what Google Calendar’s “Goals” feature is all about, let’s go through the steps of actually creating a goal.How To Set a Goal in Google Calendar1) Open the Google Calendar app and tap the red “create” icon.2) Tap the blue Goal (flag) icon. 3) Choose the type of goal you want to set.4) Get more specific.5) Get even more specific.6) Choose how often you want your goal to appear on your calendar.7) Choose how long you want each goal session to last.8) Choose the ideal time of day for when goal sessions should be scheduled.9) You’re done! Here’s what the confirmation screen looks like:Once your goal is set and you’ve landed on the confirmation screen (see above), you can fine-tune your goal settings by tapping that “More Options” link. From there you’ll be able to edit notifications, colors, and more.When you’re finished, goal sessions will start appearing on your calendar and you’ll be off to the races (or off to French lessons, depending on your goal).Have any tips or tricks for getting the most out of Google Calendar’s Goals feature? Tell us about them in the comments section below.last_img read more

How to Prep Your Agency for a Successful PR Launch

first_img Public Relations Topics: Originally published Feb 3, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Whether you’re a fledgling startup agency about to announce your grand opening, or a growing firm with some big news to share, one thing is certain: You need a way to get the word out — and fast.But there’s more to a big announcement than firing off a press release and hoping it somehow reaches the intended audience. Sure, it’s easy to look at other successful campaigns and feel that they somehow just came together with a few clicks of a mouse and the help of a social media whiz, but don’t be fooled.Successful PR campaigns require work — and lots of it. If you’re hoping to spread the word effectively, then you’ll need to put in the hours pre-launch to ensure everything runs smoothly.No matter what your budget, or how much time you have before your launch, there are a few things you’ll want to do before your big reveal to help make your PR launch a success.How to Prepare your Agency for a PR LaunchCreate Perfectly Seeded Contributed ContentMore than crafting a bunch of articles and firing them off in every direction, content seeding involves taking a more strategic approach to content distribution — one that always produces better results. With content seeding, your goal is to spread content to various websites and social media platforms where it will be read, and more importantly, shared.Your secret to success with this approach pivots on two main things: Creating top-notch content, and tapping relevant influencers who are willing to use their own networks and connections to share what you’ve created with a broader audience. While many companies share content from their own branded account, getting key influencers to share your content can add more authenticity to your message. Research has shown that recommendations carry far more weight than corporate ads or sponsored content.Even having just one influential person share your content can result in a significant jump in shares. Research from BuzzSumo found that having one influencer share a post resulted in an average of 31.8% more social shares. Having three influential people sharing their content doubled their number of social shares.Data from BuzzsumoOne of the best ways to find influencers who are willing to share your content is by looking for opportunities to submit contributed content. If you can land authorship accounts, or submit guest posts on well-known publications (such as well as industry-specific publications and blogs) you’ll be able to extend your reach even farther.Remember: content doesn’t have to be written. Supplement your articles with infographics, videos, and even photos of your agency to generate interest. And while you’re at it, start building relationships with other contributing writers and help promote their content. As you grow your network, your credibility grows, which leads to more opportunities to get exposure for your agency.Create Compelling and Unique Case StudiesCase studies are boring — we get it. But there’s no reason you have to stick with the overdone one-paragraph blurbs. Give the monologs a rest and go straight for the Emmy by creating an intriguing and must-share video based on a real-life success story, like this one from HubSpot.With your client’s permission, craft a fun and lighthearted take on how your product or service made life better for someone. Keep it short and sweet — five minutes or less is usually adequate. When done right, case studies can be valuable content you can use to generate interest in your agency’s services. They’ll also help to lend credibility to your brand, which is essential — especially if you’re a startup agency that’s still relatively unknown.Make Your Team FamousEncourage your people to become regular contributors to popular publications, podcasts, and even radio shows, and have them create content for your agency’s blog. Getting exposure for your team is a great way to add some personality to your company, and a give face to your brand.Rallying your team to participate in content creation is also an effective way to get your message across. Instead of one person talking to the camera, there’s a whole team backing your services — which can’t hurt your agency’s credibility.Need some inspiration? Check out this tongue-in-cheek video property management company Renters Warehouse created to introduce their team to the world.Form Powerful PartnershipsTo be truly impactful, strategic alliances need to go further than the typical approach of, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Instead, your goal should be to create meaningful and long-term relationships.Look for opportunities to create co-authored content, or hold co-hosted events. Your trusted ally could be your business partner, a team member, or even someone from your network that you can team up with for a united cause. This will also help you to expand the extent of your outreach, since they’ll be able to share their work with their followers as well.Your partnership could also be with another business or professionals in a different field. You could even get some willing customers or prospective customers involved. Get creative and find new ways to showcase your product, or create a promotional video that features people using your product in a fun and unique way. Who knows? The right partnership could even end up forming the cornerstone of your launch campaign.Launch Press Releases That Celebrate WinsAh, the good old fashioned press release. While often companies use press releases as a chance to announce mundane facts and events, don’t fall into this trap.The press release isn’t the place to talk about your move to a new building, or your newly renovated break room. Instead, reserve the traditional press release for the really exciting stuff. This means making a big deal about exciting new products, fascinating breakthroughs, ways that your agency has made a difference, or causes that your company’s involved with. This is the kind of news people actually care about and will take the time to read.Hold Regularly Scheduled Live Events OnlineYour Facebook page is your secret weapon. Take advantage of Facebook Live to host a live event to address issues that your prospects care about, or answer questions about things they’re interested in. Not sure what to cover? Get inspiration from the top ten queries that most prospects ask you about your agency’s services.At Onboardly, we recently ran a Facebook Live to answer the often-asked question, “What are some ways I can get our service offering out to the public that helps us to stay on brand with no PR budget?” Facebook Live is a great tool to address questions, while helping spread the word about what you do.Keep the Momentum Going Post-LaunchAs you can see, there’s more to a PR launch than hitting publish and hoping for the best. Instead, it’s up to you to generate publicity for your campaign, and you’ll want to put in the hours behind the scenes to help build interest for your big day. You can do this by creating plenty of great content, and sharing it far and wide.Finally, keep in mind that generating publicity isn’t a one and done event. It’s important to keep the momentum going after the launch as well. Post-launch, continue to create winning content and share amazing press releases and case studies. Look for opportunities to form partnerships, make yourself available for interviews, and spearhead co-hosted events. Keep looking for ways to drum up publicity for your agency — and word will continue to spread. Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

How Page Load Time Affects Conversion Rates: 12 Case Studies [Infographic]

first_imgIf your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you could be losing nearly half of your visitors, according to data from Akamai. It’s pretty simple: the faster the speed of your website, the happier your visitors will be. Optimizing page load time leads to noticable improvements in customer experience, conversion rates, and ultimately, your sales revenue.In fact, reducing your website’s page load time can have a surprisingly positive impact on your entire marketing and sales pipelines. Up to 79% of customers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance say they’re less likely to buy from the same site again. But can big business issues actually be solved simply by shaving off a few milliseconds on your website’s page load time?Access Now: 22 SEO Myths to Leave Behind This YearTo see the real power of page load time, we at Skilled compiled 12 case studies from real companies in the infographic below. These examples illustrate the impact reducing page load time Take a look at the 12 case studies presented in the infographic below to learn more about the benefits of optimizing page load time. Topics: Conversion Rate Optimization Originally published Mar 23, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

The Most Searched Agency Services, According to the Time of Year [New Data]

first_imgAccording to the latest Top Agency Trends Report from Agency Spotter, marketers and brands search for different services depending on the time of the year. Knowing which services to offer and emphasize at different times of the year could help your agency stand above your competition. These search trends, based on seasonality, come down to a couple of different factors based on what companies are looking to accomplish at different times of the year.The report covers marketing services trends based on data from more than 120,000 unique users and three years, data on service seasonality, the top 25 agency services being searched, and the rise of project-based engagements.Let’s dig in.Marketing Services Searched More in the First Half of the YearAs companies begin the new year, they are looking to establish initiatives that are relatively quick fixes and do not take as much time to implement. Business leaders often take a look at their marketing data from the past year and see which areas need more attention or may have fallen down the to-do list.Looking at the Trends Report, we can see that services like content marketing, PR, SEO, data analytics, shopper marketing, and events all perform better in the first half of the year. From the top 25 agency services for 2016, content marketing took the 7th spot as the most searched service from marketers all year. Interestingly, if you divide the list into H1 and H2, you can see that content marketing was 9th in H1 but did not even make the Top 25 in H2.Content marketing is becoming increasingly important for all companies to utilize because it helps attract and inform customers and potential customers. But if you think about it, companies don’t generally set a content calendar at the end of the year — they tend to do that at the beginning of the year. Same thing goes for SEO and PR.Check out the list below to see which keywords fall off or perform better at a certain time of year, and then optimize your site accordingly.Agency Services Perform Better in H2Taking a look at the data, services like ecommerce, branding, UX design, email marketing, and CRM automation all perform better in the second half of the year. These align with initiatives that take more planning and are services that many companies want to have ready before the start of a new year.Design-based services like ecommerce, branding, and UX all have to do with experiences that directly interact with customers. A website redesign or branding makeover are usually planned in the middle of the year so that companies are ready to debut their new look in the new year.As you can see in the report, ecommerce went from 18th most searched in H1 to 5th in H2, branding from 12th to 6th, and UX took the 9th spot despite not even appearing on the H1 list.Services Shopped Consistently Year RoundThere are also agency services whose demand remains stable throughout the year.The big services like advertising, web design, digital, social media, and marketing perform all year. Use this data to better understand the behavior of your customers and when they are searching.Finally, here are the biggest shifts from 2015 to 2016:Knowing what services perform better throughout the year can help your agency strategically position business development, staffing, and other factors to help your agency rise above the competition. For more information about the marketing service industry, download the free Agency Spotter Agency Trends Report. Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Originally published Apr 6, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Agency Marketinglast_img read more

Create an Online Fundraising Plan: Know Your Numbers

first_imgEmpathetic. Donor-centric. Sympathetic. Your marketing communications are “ticking” along as they should be. But, as we’re all painfully aware, the right-side of the  brain just loves piping in to talk about numbers, figures, trends and goals.Instead of telling that portion of the brain to buzz off (as I often do), use it to create the fourth and final piece of your online fundraising plan: The Numbers. Below, check out our tips for getting a jump on mapping what your numbers look like now and what you hope they look like later:Budget Tips:Planning to raise money online? Of course you are! Why else would you be developing an online fundraising plan? Be sure to build into your budget what you plan to spend for donation processing. For instance, you can check out our own DonateNow service–great value for a price that won’t eat up your budget.Fixing up your website? Be realistic about the features you need versus the features you want. Set up your budget ahead of time, and don’t be distracted by shiny objects: your website is a tool and a resource, not a fireworks show.Thinking about advertising? If you’re considering developing banner ads or other paid online outreach, remember to keep in mind the various items you’re paying for: design, development and placement costs.Hiring extra help? You may be planning to use the talents of a copywriter for your website or consultant to help you out. Those folks often like to get paid–go figure. And in planning this line item, do some brainstorming about how you might cut costs: Maybe a graphic designer (could be a student) will donate time or a communications intern can develop testimonials for your website.Tracking, Benchmarking, Reporting Tips:DonateNow. Are you a DonateNow customer? If so, don’t forget to log into your account to check out your donor reports. You can even track your campaigns by evaluating the tracking codes for different DonateNow buttons on your site and in your emails. Email messaging. Determine an evaluation schedule for monitoring your e-communications. Will you track the number of donors (past and new) directly tied to your email communications? Monitor giving levels of donors receiving your emails versus those who are not.Website traffic. Sign up for Google Analytics to evaluate site traffic. Work language into your online fundraising plan about how you will determine which content is most appealing and how you will increase visibility of that content while simultaneously finding a way to tie in giving opportunities.Testing. Not happy with your fundraising results? Test out new ideas! Vary your email messaging and mix around your website a bit. Testing is a vital piece of the puzzle when working to improve your numbers!last_img read more

Get Ready for Year-End Fundraising

first_imgFirst things first: Make sure your organization can accept online donations. Though you’re clearly getting on the ball by tackling end-of-the-year fundraising now, your donors may still put off “the big give” until the last minute. Make sure your donors have an easy-to- use, customized donation form that generates that vital tax receipt immediately – all without having to leave your website. (Don’t have a custom donation page? Contact us to try out our DonateNow service.) Make a plan.Tips 1-4 get right to the practical heart of your marketing strategy. Don’t forget to take a step back to plan ahead. Do you have year-end fundraising goals? Do you know who or what you’d like to highlight? What positive information and updates will you highlight for your audience(s)? And, maybe most importantly, what are your donors looking for – news, updates, stories, numbers/figures/results of a past campaign? Ask your audience what they need and want from you and deliver it! They’ll remember it when your well-crafted appeals start rolling in a few months.*Don’t believe that tax breaks are a major influencer? Network for Good processes 30% of its annual donations in the month of December, and the majority of that comes December 30 and 31. It’s not exactly a coincidence that this time is right before the tax-year ends! Nonprofit organizations can fulfill supporter’s desires for tax deductions just by being a 501(c)(3) (about.com has some info you can share with your potential donors about this). Get your story straight. Passion about your work is infectious, but too often fundraisers sap the emotion and color from our work when we seek to put it into words. We talk about our work in analytical ways when we should be speaking from the heart to compel people to action. Find out how to break out of this pattern and get the tools to help you write the right (brain) way every time. Determine the fixes/updates you can make prior to December to your organization’s website. Can you make your donate button bigger? Do you need to add a “why give” page? We’re not talking a website overhaul – just a few minor modifications you’ll be thankful for a few months from now. Check out these three steps you can take toward a better nonprofit website.  If your website is already up to par, and you’re ready to move on to social media, here are 11 Steps to Success (and 6 Things to Avoid) with Social Networking. Now is the time to focus on building stronger relationships with supporters to lay the groundwork for a big year-end giving season. By checking these items off your list now, you can strengthen the vital relationships that will set your organization up for a strong holiday giving season.Here are five tips to help you kick off your holiday fundraising now: Become friendly with an email marketing tool to communicate with your donors regularly – not just when you’re asking for money. And we’re not talking about Outlook. Giving your supporters content of value as it happens, rather than just at the end of the year will increase your donors’ feeling of investment in your organization, which leads to higher gifts.  An email marketing tool will also help you comply with CAN-SPAM laws, allow your supporters to easily share your information with a friend on social networks and generally keep them happy! (Want to send out great emails your can track and tailor? Get started with Constant Contact, an easy-to-use and affordable email marketing tool.) Supporters choose to donate to organizations for a variety of reasons. While most of the time you’re better off focusing on the emotional side of giving, at the end of the year data shows you  can get away with an appeal that’s focused on the financial side because people love tax deductions.* Photo source: Big Stock Photolast_img read more

7 Ways to Build Your Nonprofit Email List

first_imgMake sure that all your media mentions are driving people to your website (make it a call to action)!Create a strong email-address-collection device on your website. (NOT something lame like “sign up for our e-blast”) Give them an incentive or a reason to join. Give them a discount on an event. Give them an article you’ve written or tips for better living and then get their email address in return for your sending that gem to them.Optimize search. Make it easy for potential supporters to find you by optimizing your site for search. A lot of nonprofits are not taking advantage of Google Grants — find out how to get started with Google Grants.Collect emails from donors via direct mail. When they know it’s more convenient, eco-friendly and cheaper, most donors actually prefer to hear from you electronically. Whenever you send a paper mailing, include a way for supporters to opt in to your email list.Use your email signature. Your email is a great tool for doing marketing, whether it’s promoting an event or asking people to sign up to hear from you on your website. If people are forwarding your email, make it easy for them to opt in for your newsletter or updates on your mission.Ask people to sign a petition. Encourage people to get involved and share their email address, then get permission to contact them. If they’re moved enough to take action by signing a petition, these folks may be your most passionate supporters.Collect email addresses at events. I have been to 10 nonprofit events in the last 18 months, and I can’t think of a single one that collected my email address. Lost opportunity! Make sure you collect email addresses during your registration process and have a way at the event for people to sign up for regular updates. One of the most commonly-asked questions we get about online marketing is, “How do I build an email list?”  Building a quality email list over time is one of the most valuable assets a nonprofit can have. Email is still the primary starting point for people taking action online. Use these best practices to ensure that you are providing multiple opportunities for potential donors to join your nonprofit email list.last_img read more

10 Common Objections to Social Media Adoption and How You Can Respond

first_imgIt can be hard to convince leadership that working with social media doesn’t mean they’ve been paying you to catch up with friends on Facebook. You’ve probably heard some of the objections. But there are ways you can respond. Here’s a list of common objections, along with suggestions for countering them:1. I suffer from information overload already.Possible replies:Try just skimming messages in some fora. You may need to look closely at every email you get but you don’t have to look at every Facebook friend’s update.The right tools for you will feel helpful in time. Experiment for awhile with new tools and stick with the ones that deliver you the most high-quality information, whether those tools are high-quantity or not. (Thanks to Aaron Hockley and Ruby Sinreich for these thoughts.)Check out tools like AideRSS and FeedHub — just two examples of services aiming to improve the signal-to-noise ratio.Times change and so do information paradigms. Get used to it. The amount of information you had access to 3 years ago was infinitely more than people at any other point in history and we’re in the middle of another huge leap right now.2. So much of what’s discussed online is meaningless. These forms of communication are shallow and make us dumber. We have real work to do!Possible replies:Much of it is not meaningless, but if you feel overwhelmed with meaninglessness, try subscribing to a search for keywords in a particular service and using that as your starting point for engagement.Having a presence and starting a conversation is rarely a bad thing. Bring quality conversation to a space and you’ll find others ready to engage. (Thanks to Banana Lee Fishbones, obviously a fan of open, non-anonymous public communication for this articulation.)Personal information can be very useful in understanding the context of more explicitly useful information.If learning how the market feels about your organization, engaging with your customers and driving traffic to your web work — all very realistic goals for social media engagement — aren’t work, then I don’t know what is. Even in the short term, strategic engagement with online social media will have a clear work pay-off.3. I don’t have the time to contribute and moderate. It looks like it takes a lot of time and energy.Possible replies:If you aren’t going to eat that lunch of yours, I’d be happy to, thanks.With practice, familiarity, and technology fine-tuned with a little experience, you’ll find the time required will decrease.You might consider this time spent on marketing or communication with your existing customer base. Perhaps there’s something else in that department that isn’t working well and could be replaced with online work.4. Our customers don’t use this stuff. The learning curve limits its usefulness to geeks.Possible replies:You might be surprised to learn how many of your customers do use these new tools already. Even more will do so in the future.The best designed tools are designed like good games: you can get small rewards right away and then learn more advanced skills to win bigger rewards. Among online services that are intended for general audiences, only poorly designed ones are too geeky.Many of these tools provide value vastly disproportionate to the literal number of people they reach. These are like high-value focus groups where you’ll gather information and preparation to engage with the rest of the world.Try asking someone near you to give you an in-person demonstration of one of these tools. You’ll find it much easier to learn once you’ve seen the right paths taken to show what it can do.5. Communicators [bloggers, tweeters] are so fickle, it’s better to stay unengaged than risk random brand damage. We don’t want hostile comments left about us on any forum we’ve legitimized.Possible replies:If you need to, you can require that any comments left on your own site be approved before they appear. This slows down the conversation but if it makes conversation possible for you, then do it.There are far fewer people who will take the time to say hostile things, even on the internet, than you might imagine.Engage. You’ll be appreciated more for it. People are going to say what they are going to say. You can either let any criticism go unanswered or you can be the bigger person/brand for responding well.Conversations are going to happen online. It’s better to be engaged than to have it happening behind your back. (As articulated by Rick Turoczy.)It’s OK, no one believes that anyone is perfect anymore. Swing for the fences sometimes. You might strike out, but sometimes you’ll hit a home run.Even if you’re not responding publicly, you should watch closely so you know what people are saying. Maybe you don’t have a blog, but subscribe to a blogsearch feed or alert for your company’s name. Maybe none of your people are on Twitter, but you can subscribe to a feed for a search via Terraminds.6. Traditional media and audiences are still bigger. We’ll do new stuff when they do.Possible replies:They already are, from blogging to online video to social networks to mobile to microblogging. Big, established brands are already doing all of it. They may be experimenting, but they will bring all their market dominance into the most useful social media sectors as soon as it suits them. Will that be too late for you? It might be.Traditional media audiences are also more passive. Online audiences can engage with, rebroadcast, and otherwise amplify your communication efforts.7. Upper management won’t support it/dedicate resources for it.Possible replies:A lot of technology adoption has for some time had to happen despite this reality. People adopt new tools on their own at work, without permission. They discover powerful ways to solve their problems and then they share them horizontally.Compared to other expenses, meaningful engagement with new online technology does not have huge costs.8. These startups can’t offer meaningful security. They may not even be around in a year. I’ll wait until Google or our enterprise software vendor starts offering this kind of functionality.Possible replies:The skills you build and the connections you make will remain with you, though. This is a paradigm shift underway more than it is about any particular tool.Chose your tools carefully. Expect data export as an option so you can back up or switch services whenever you need to. This isn’t widespread yet but the best tools allow it.9. There are so many tools that are similar. I can’t tell where to invest my time so I don’t use any of it at all.Possible replies:A little experimentation goes a long way.Try asking people in your field who have some experience what tools they are using.Try searching for keywords related to your work in various sites. You’ll find out that way which sites are best suited for you.10. That stuff’s fine for sexy brands, but we sell [insert boring B2B brand] and are known for stability more than chasing the flavor-of-the-month. We’re doing just fine with the tools we’ve got, thanks.Possible replies:Some of these things — RSS and wikis, for example — aren’t passing social fads: they are emerging best practices and the state-of-the-art.ROI is very hard to measure, but try allocating a little energy over time to experiment and see what kind of results you get. From connections between people and projects, to search-friendly inbound links, to early access to important information, the benefits of engaging in new social media go on and on.ConclusionsThere are no conclusions. This is just a conversation. Please feel free to add your thoughts in comments and check out the comments to read what others suggest as talking points when faced with these objections.Source: ReadWriteWeb @ http://readwriteweb.com/last_img read more