first_imgWHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?“IS IT TRUE” will be posted on this coming MONDAY.Todays READERS POLL question is: Do you feel that Councilman Dan McGinn has done a creditable job as Finance Chairman of City Council?Please take time and read our newest feature articles entitled “HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS” posted in our sections.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] County Observer has been serving our community for 15 years.Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribute.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

Deulofeu hopes magic rubs off at Everton

first_imgEverton loan signing Gerard Deulofeu hopes his training sessions with the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta will help him become a hit at Goodison Park. “You train alongside players like Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, who are clearly some of the best players in the world. You obviously learn from them and it is a very nice experience. “I’m an attacking player and I can play wide. I’m quite quick, quite decent at one-on-one situations and I’m looking forward very much to helping the team. “I am very keen to get started and am delighted to be at such a big and historic club. I follow the Premier League quite a lot. It is one of the best, if not the best league, in the world.” Martinez’s capture of Deulofeu is considered something of an achievement as there were a number of other clubs interested in the youngster. During his time at Wigan the Spaniard gained a reputation for nurturing young talent – like Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley and his own player Callum McManaman last season – and Barcelona’s hope is that he will do the same with their prodigy. “I know him. He did a great job at Wigan and we have spoken on the phone and I look forward to meeting him soon,” Deulofeu told evertontv. “I’m really looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting started. Obviously I have got a few days’ holiday coming my way because I have just finished in the (Under-20 World Cup) tournament but I can’t wait to get started.” The highly-rated 19-year-old scored 18 goals for Barcelona B last season and made a number of substitute appearances for the first team. New Toffees boss Roberto Martinez described the player as a “diamond” of Spanish football and there is no wonder considering the calibre of player he works alongside every week. “Obviously training at Barcelona is a fantastic experience,” said the teenager, who will spend a full season at Goodison Park. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Clarke tells WI stars to focus on international cricket

first_imgSYDNEY, Australia (CMC):Former Australia captain Michael Clarke believes West Indies players should place more emphasis on playing international cricket rather than campaigning in the various domestic Twenty20 leagues around the world.He was speaking amid the raging debate surrounding the plethora of West Indies players currently signed with franchises in the ongoing Big Bash League, even as the Caribbean Test team faced off in a three-Test series against Australia here.”I think international cricket has to be the priority. T20 tournaments are important and fantastic to watch, but I think there’s nothing more special than representing your country,” said Clarke, who quit international cricket earlier this year.He added: “The players that are here playing in the BBL, I think it’s really disappointing they’re not part of the West Indies Test team. There’s a number of players in Australia who would be in their number one picked Test team.”I think it’s disappointing for the game and Test match cricket. I’d like to see that changed. That will come down to the ICC and West Indies Cricket Board trying to get together to make it work.”Fielding a largely inexperienced side, West Indies were annihilated inside three days by an innings and 212 runs in the opening Test in Hobart.They will play the second Test in Melbourne starting on Boxing Day while the likes marquee opener Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree and Lendl Simmons turn out in the Big Bash.last_img read more

Orange Line bus and car collide

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WOODLAND HILLS – A Metro Orange Line bus and a vehicle collided this evening, authorities said. The crash occurred about 6:30 p.m. near the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Mason Avenue, said Brian Ballton, Los Angeles City Fire Department spokesman. One woman complained of injuries and was taken to Kaiser Permanente-Woodland Hills Medical Center, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Keith Obenberger. Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash. No other information was available.last_img

Saving Sustainably: Installing Drains and Vents

first_imgEditor’s note: This is one in a series of blogs detailing the construction of a net-zero energy house in Point Roberts, Washington, by an owner-builder with relatively little building experience. A list of Matt Bath’s GBA articles can be found at the bottom of this page. You’ll find Matt Bath’s full blog, Saving Sustainably, here. If you want to follow project costs, you can keep an eye on a budget worksheet here. Now that the frame of the house is complete and safe from the elements, I have some flexibility on what to do next. I could, for instance, decide to finish the exterior of the house, put the shingles on, run electrical wire, or install the ductwork. There really isn’t anything to hold me back from working on any of those things. I decided that the most intelligent thing to do would be to finish installing the roofing as soon as possible whenever I had some decent weather, and when it was too wet to be on the roof I will work on the plumbing. The drain, waste, and vent (DWV) system really needs to be done first because there are three vent pipes that will penetrate the roof, so I want to have those installed before putting the shingles on. The only other roof penetration will be the Soladeck for the solar array electrical connection.RELATED ARTICLESSensible PlumbingService Cavities for Wiring and PlumbingGreen Plumbing Systems Save Water and Energy The DWV is one of two systems that make up the plumbing of the house, the other one being the water supply system. The job of the DWV system is to remove water from any plumbing fixtures in the house (drain), transport it to the septic system (waste), and ensure that air pressure doesn’t interfere with the process (vent). Most people have a pretty good sense of how the first two parts work but are completely oblivious to the operation of the last one. An easy way to explain it is to think back to when you were a kid playing with a drinking straw. You could fill the straw with water, hold a finger over one end of the straw, and the water would magically defy gravity. The venting part of the DWV system is the equivalent of removing your finger from the end of the straw to allow the water to slide out. Without it, all of the pipes installed to drain and waste would be completely ineffective. In fact, best practices allow for each individual fixture to have a vent of its own. Some of these vents are eventually combined together until they exit out of the roof. Start with the building code There is quite a bit of planning that goes into installing a DWV system, but all of the rules are clearly spelled out in the building code. Washington State uses the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), whereas other areas may use the International Residential Code (IRC). Planning starts with deciding on the number and type of plumbing fixtures you will have in your house. Next, you will use the tables in the code to figure out what size pipes to use for the drains and vents. The code dictates minimum pipe sizes and applies a number to each fixture called a “drainage fixture unit value” or DFU. That becomes important when you decide to combine drains or vents. The system would be pretty inefficient if every single fixture had its own independent drain and vent, all running separately into the sewer or septic. The code allows you to use larger pipe sizes than the minimums and combine smaller pipes into bigger ones as long as the total DFU in the pipe is below the maximum allowed for that particular pipe size. Additionally, each fixture must have a trap, and the codes spell out what size trap must be used for each fixture. A trap is the U-shaped part of the pipe you may have seen under your sink, and it’s a monumentally important part of the DWV system. Without a trap, noxious fumes from the sewer or septic tank would be free to travel directly into your home.  Water in the trap prevents those fumes from entering the house. Armed with this knowledge, you are now prepared to grab a piece of paper and a pencil (or a computer with CAD) and plan your very own DWV system. There is no wrong way to do it as long as you stay within the rules. But if you are wise about things you may be able to dramatically reduce the amount of piping you need to buy and install.  The best practice is to design the system before the framing has been started so that you can plumb in any hard-to-reach areas, as I did before installing the subfloor. Remember to include a slope Installing the plumbing is a relatively simple process that involves drilling holes in studs and joists, cutting the pipe to fit, and cementing the fittings to the pipe. The key is to always remember the old plumbing sage’s advice: “Don’t be a dope, slope.” Every drainpipe must be angled so that it descends towards the septic (or sewer) at the rate of 1/4 inch  for every foot of pipe. Vent pipes, on the other hand, should be installed level, or with only a very slight slope toward the drain. Flexible metal straps must be used to attach the pipes to the framing at least every 4 feet on a horizontal run. This will ensure that the slope is maintained even if the pipes get jostled in any way. Drain lines should be secured firmly with flexible metal strapping. I had already installed the drains for the first floor way back, before I poured the concrete slab on which the house is built. Furthermore, I had installed all of the vents and drains that ran through the load-bearing wall when I laid down the subfloor. This left very little plumbing to complete on the first story – basically just the stub-outs and vents for the kitchen and bathroom sinks, and excavation of the tub and toilet drains. Sink stub-outs are typically placed 19 inches above the floor level. I attached a test cap to the end of each stub-out, and once the entire DWV system has been installed I’ll fill all of the pipes with water to make sure I don’t have any leaks. If the water test is successful, I will cut off the test caps and install the traps for the sinks. After the stub-outs, the pipe continues as a vent up to the second story. Uncovering drains for tub and toilet One of the last things I did before pouring the slab was to place a cardboard box around the trap for the bathtub and fill it with gravel.  A thin layer of concrete had been skimmed over the top so the box was now completely invisible. I took a sledgehammer lightly to the spot where I knew the outer edges of the box were, and it cracked away pretty easily. Once the thin layer of concrete was removed, I was able to scoop out the rocks and uncover the trap. I was pleased to see that it was exactly 15 1/2 inches from the wall, which placed it right in the center of the tub. Later, I will use some leveling compound to ensure the area below the tub is perfectly level, and then connect the trap to a tailpiece that will link the drain and the overflow for the tub. Likewise, a thin film of concrete covered the drain for the toilet (also called a closet bend).  I had to chip it away so that I could align the metal ring correctly. In the photo below, you may be able to spot two mistakes I made during the concrete pour. The water supply for the toilet should come up inside the wall, but perhaps I didn’t secure it well enough and it got jostled during the pour. I will end up just plumbing it up out of the floor instead of out of the wall which is the standard practice. The supply line for the toilet should have been routed through the wall directly behind. In this case, that won’t be possible. The other mistake is that the toilet flange is supposed to sit up 1/4 inch or so above the concrete so that after the tile is set in place it is sitting on the tile. I will most likely have to cut it off, go out and buy a new one, and reattach it. If I leave it as is, the connection between the toilet and the flange will need to be filled with an extra wax ring or a spacer. Both methods are widely used but neither is as safe as just installing the flange at the correct height. When it comes to the possibility of dirty toilet water leaking, you can never be too safe! Drain lines installed between the joists For the second story, the drain lines run between the floor joists just under the subfloor. I drilled holes in the top plates of the first story walls and then installed the horizontal drains between the joists. There was just enough space to ensure they were adequately sloped. The photo below shows the stub-out for the washer and dryer.  You will notice there are two drains, one for the washer and one for the ventless dryer. Instead of venting the moist, hot air to the outside, as would be the case with a conventional dryer, this one will keep the heat in the house. The water drains out, just like the washer water. The rough-in for the washer and dryer drain has two outlets instead of one. The second drain will accommodate the ventless dryer. In addition, there were stubouts for the shower, two sinks, and another toilet. The closet bend for the second story is screwed down to the subfloor once it has been aligned in just the same fashion as the one on the first floor. After the stubouts, the vents continue up through the walls and connect above the bottom chord of the trusses.  To satisfy building code, at least three of the vents must continue through the roof. Through the roof The whole point of working on the plumbing first was to make it easier to install the shingles. I used interlocking aluminum shingles due to their proven record of longevity and their ability to stand up to the high winds and salty air of Point Roberts. As an added benefit, the shingles are made from 95% recycled material, and they reflect heat back into the building rather than absorb it like most roofs. One of the few downsides is that because the shingles interlock, the only way to adjust one of the shingles in the middle of the roof is to start removing them from the top corner and continue removing them until you get to the one you want to adjust. Obviously that wasn’t something I wanted to take a chance on having to do, and if I tried to just drill through the singles after they were installed they would get bent. The best approach was to complete the DWV system and install the vents through the roof before installing the shingles. According to building code, plumbing vents must extend a minimum of 6 inches above the roof.  Due to the slope of the roof, an oval shape must be cut out to accommodate the round pipe. Once the three vent pipes were brought through the roof, I glued test caps onto the two lower vents but left the highest one open. This completed the DWV system so that every single outlet was capped and sealed. Now it was time to test for leaks. I dragged a hose up to the uncapped vent and filled it up all the way to the top to ensure the entire system was filled. Then I turned a full water bottle upside down and placed it over the top. This gave me a reference to look at to check for leaks. If I could no longer see the water in the bottle, then there obviously would be a leak somewhere. Fortunately, I had done an adequate job of cementing all the ABS together and there were no leaks. The test caps will remain in place until the water supply system has been installed and tested, at which point I will be ready to have the building inspector come by to check everything. The only other roof penetration will be for the electrical connections to the rooftop solar array. I will be using a Soladeck to both protect the roof opening as a flashing and house the electrical connections all in one. The Soladeck can be positioned pretty much anywhere. I decided the best spot would be near the top of the solar array at the center of the roof ridge. The key was to position it so several of the screws would attach to one of the trusses, which will provide a much stronger connection than just attaching it to the roof sheathing. With all of the roof penetrations complete, I was ready to install the shingles. Other posts by Matt Bath: An Introduction Foundation Formwork Designing and Installing a Septic System Pouring the Slab Framing the First Floor Framing the Second Floor Framing the Roof Shingling the Roof Wall Sheathinglast_img read more

10 Amazing Blogs About Blogging to Start Reading NOW

first_imgWith all the changes in inbound marketing over the past few years, one tactic has bubbled up and stayed at the top as a crucial part of a successful marketing strategy: business blogging. You know you need to blog, and whether you find it easy and fun or a difficult fact of life as a marketer, any valuable information you can get to make that job easier is certainly welcome.You probably have a hefty mix of blogs and websites in your RSS, some of which might talk about blogging every once in a while. But there are a lot of killer blogs out there that dedicate themselves solely to the discussion of…well, blogging. And these bloggers do it really, really well.So what blogs should you be reading? There are certainly more than 10 rockin’ blogging blogs (that’s a mouthful) out there, but we thought it was important to curate a manageable mix of sites for you to reference; some that you might have heard of, and some that are hopefully new gems to incorporate into your daily reading regime and help you kick some blogging butt.10 Blogs About Blogging You Should Be Reading1.) Copyblogger – You’ve probably come across this superstar blog many times if you’re one of the many people interested in learning more about writing well. The site teaches you how to write compelling copy, the genesis of online marketing success. It has compiled its own best-of list, a good sample of blog posts to read if this site is new to you.2.) Blogging Basics 101 – As the name suggests, this site is perfect for you if you’re just starting out with blogging. On this site, you’ll learn everything from legal use of logos on your blog to repurposing your blog posts into new types of content. We hope this site begins updating more frequently in 2012!3.) Fuel Your Blogging – If you’re an avid blogger who wants to suck every last bit of ROI out of your blog, this site is the place for you. Here you’ll get tips and info beyond the basics, like details about comment spamming, how to integrate your blog with other social media networks, and how to use data and statistics in your blog posts.4.) ProBlogger – The content on ProBlogger focuses on monetizing your blogging efforts. The posts are thorough, thoughtful, and often feature either guest posts from other industry titans or discuss new thought leadership content being published. It’s a great blog for both beginners and seasoned pros.5.) For Bloggers By Bloggers – What better source for blogging advice than a blogging community? Get information from the front lines on this site to make every aspect of your blog better.6.) Blogging Tips – This site is just what it sounds like…tips on blogging! The site is helpful because it understands the day to day problems bloggers encounter, and presents tips and tools to solve those problems and make blogging easier.7.) Blogussion – With a tagline like “Blogging for the Mind” you better believe the folks at Blogussion are creating some cerebral content. This site is ideal for a more advanced audience looking to go beyond the basics of blogging.8.) Daily Blog Tips – If you’re wondering how to make money on your blog, this site will help you figure it out with tips on SEO, blog promotion, writing tips, and web design best practices.9.) Spice Up Your Blog – Although these folks focus on all types of blog tips, go to them for some exceptionally good tips on making your blog more visually appealing.10.) The Blog Herald – Where do bloggers go to stay up to date on news in the blogging world? The Blog Herald will ensure you’re in the know on all the latest news and releases that bloggers need to know about to stay current in their industry.Got another great blog or website about blogging that you think people should be reading? Share it in the comments so we can check it out!Image credit: Kristina B Blog Examples Topics: Originally published Jan 2, 2012 12:00:00 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

How Book Clubs Can Transform Your Social Media Strategy

first_img Topics: Originally published Jan 23, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media Strategy Regardless, the activity has some fundamental aspects that can teach marketers how to effectively use social media for inbound marketing.1. Invite Interested ReadersIf you’re forming a book club, you’re likely to invite others who enjoy reading. Asking a friend who loathes opening any book (unless it has tons of pretty pictures in it) and would rather spend his/her day playing Mario Kart isn’t your best bet. Inviting members requires an understanding of who would want to participate.This is no different on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter. Your business can’t be all things to all people, but it can be one beneficial thing to a certain group of people. Search for users who will benefit and enjoy the content your social media account has to offer or that addresses their problems that your products/services can solve for them. Start targeting your social media updates toward these types of people to generate an active, engaged, and qualified following of potential customers.2. Pick the Right BookThere’s a big difference between picking a good book and picking the right book. A good book is subjective to the reader and won’t necessarily appeal to others. Book club organizers must understand their groups well enough to choose books that members will actually want to read.Similarly, businesses must have a grasp of what their audience wants to get out of following them in social channels. Just because a certain topic interests you, doesn’t mean it interests them. Put your feet in your ideal customers’ shoes by developing and understanding your business’ buyer personas, and share content and updates that truly speak to their needs and interests. If you want to delve into this further, just as a book club would allow its members to pick which book to read next, allow your fans to suggest which topics you should post about. Post a link to a brief survey or, for for instant feedback, tweet/post a quick question that asks folks what they’d be interested in learning about through your social presence.3. Prepare Discussion QuestionsWhen someone hosts a book club meeting, he/she doesn’t simply invite guests over and let them take charge of the event. The host must be prepared with questions and thoughts to commence and shape the conversation.This also holds true for the social sphere. Don’t just create a Facebook or Twitter account and assume that your fans will take hold–it won’t happen. Instead, prompt intriguing and thought-provoking questions that call on followers to respond and engage. This will help grow your reach and create a positive environment within your individual social media account. Fans will appreciate that you value their voice as much as your own.4. Participate in DialogueThe lamest book club members are those who join but sit silent during meetings. People want to hear each other’s opinions and ideas about the book; otherwise, members wouldn’t have been invited to join.When you start increasing your social media following, don’t let these users simply enjoy your company. Unless you share your voice with your followers, your company is worth squat. One great way to create awareness for your business is by participating in online exchanges. One place to do so, for example, is LinkedIn Groups. Find public groups that are discussing topics related to your business, and share your ideas there. Comment on discussions other members have started in the group (when relevant). This can help you become visible to a new audience while building yourself up as a thought leader and expert on a certain topic or industry.Miss participating in book clubs? Never been in one? Well how about trying an ‘ebook club!’ Join HubSpot for our fifth Twitter Chat tomorrow, January 24th, 3:30 PM ET. Our book club-inspired chat will discuss our ebook, An Introduction to Lead Generation. Read the ebook and come hear what fellow marketers have to say about it. Author Kipp Bodnar will attend to answer your burning questions on the topic. The hashtag to follow along is #InboundChat.Image Credit: Jukka Zittinglast_img read more

3 Big Problems Plaguing Enterprise Marketers (And How to Overcome Them)

first_img Lead Generation This blog post was inspired by and partially excerpted from our latest ebook, How to Execute Inbound: Three Lead Generation Success Stories. For deeper dives into the real-life applications of inbound marketing and how they can solve common problems faced by marketers — Enterprise marketers, in particular — download your free copy of the ebook.Remember the last marketing revolution? A clever tagline, a catchy song, or a funny commercial could make or break your brand. Sure, consumers still appreciate these light-hearted things, but they’re simply not compelling enough to have prospects reaching for their wallets.No one wants to be the dinosaur that gets left behind as industry standards change. But 2013 just might be the year of the mass dino exodus, as marketing executives everywhere are realizing the importance of delivering targeted, personalized content through inbound marketing.The climate for marketing in the Enterprise arena, specifically, is changing rapidly; and the slew of traditional tactics like television advertising and trade shows aren’t jiving with changing buyer behaviors. Today’s buyers crave trust, relationships, and an exceptional customer experience from their providers. So in this post, we’ll tackle three of the biggest problems Enterprise marketers face (but really, I think a lot of us feel these pains), and how marketing tools like list segmentation, marketing automation, and social media analytics can help solve them.Common Problem #1: Abandoned LeadsLet’s face it, we’ve all had one before: a graveyard of abandoned leads. We remember a better time when our leads were engaged, and it seemed like a relationship between our company and this lead could blossom into something magical … like an actual purchase. Unfortunately, something changed. They stopped opening our emails, and never converted on anything after the initial offer. Into the graveyard they go — a bunch of abandoned leads. What a shame.Even if inbound marketing didn’t bring them to your database in the first place, doesn’t mean it can’t help to revitalize their interest in your company. If your contacts database is integrated with your website and analytics, you’ll be able to segment these abandoned leads based on all the information you have about them, and reach out to them again with targeted communications that are appropriate based on the history of their interactions with your organization.Enterprise business Ektron, for instance, identifies leads who have visited a landing page and not converted on the offer. They follow up with an email containing an offer that’s relevant to the lead based on all the information they have about the lead.When all of your marketing tools are integrated, you can target those abandoned lead communications based on information from every marketing channel, including the types of pages they’ve looked at on your website. For example, if they’ve looked at your pricing page five times and have stopped reading blog posts about your product releases, they may be questioning the worth of your product against its price. You could use marketing automation to send this segment an email announcing all of the recent additions to your offerings, direct them to some of your latest blog posts that demonstrate value, and even include a call-to-action to talk to one of your sales reps about payment plans.What would be even more effective is taking a look at the behaviors of these people. Do you have lots of abandoned leads who have viewed your blog posts on how to choose, say, a healthcare provider in the past? If so, it would be worth creating a content offer specifically for that segment that educates your potential customers and justifies the cost of a healthcare provider like yours. Remember, inbound marketing isn’t just about acquiring leads; it’s about delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time. For this reason, it’s extremely valuable to provide these unique leads with the relevant information they need to justify their ongoing relationship with you.Common Problem #2: High Opportunity and Customer Acquisition CostsKeeping opportunity and customer acquisition costs low is extremely important for any business, but particularly so with Enterprise companies. With such a large customer base, it’s simply not sustainable to allow this metric to stay high — or worse — to grow over time. Inbound marketing, however, is an extremely cost-efficient way to acquire leads and customers. Here’s how inbound marketing, with a strong focus on content, could help alleviate the problem of high CAC and opportunity costs.Hire a Content CreatorBy producing educational content on your industry and offerings, you’re not only drawing people into your site, you’re helping to move customers along in their decision process to invest in your business. Instead of allocating your marketing budget toward tactics like ads and email list rentals (which stop being effective one you stop pumping money into them), you should be investing your money on a member of your team whose job description involves creating content (which continues to make money for you long after the initial investment to create it). Once you have a means of creating valuable content — blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, etc. — for your site visitors, marketing automation can help you drive them further down the funnel.Map Your Content to Personas and Lifecycle StagesYou can lower the cost of customer acquisition by making your content work harder for you — through segmentation, personalization, and targeting. Your content creation strategy should revolve around buyer personas and lifecycle stages.These personas are a sort of customer profile that outline exactly what a prospect’s pain points are, and developing them will help you create content that speaks to their needs. Lifecycle stages are just what they sound like — stages in the customer lifecycle that bring someone from a stranger, to your customer.By mapping content to these personas and stages, you can better guide your leads to the point of becoming a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and ultimately, a customer.Enterprise business Mimio, a Rubbermaid company, uses closed-loop marketing software to execute their marketing automation — without the spammy side effects many marketers worry about. To ensure that leads are only receiving relevant content, they’ve revolved their lead nurturing strategy around lifecycle stages, and followed up with a custom lead scoring setup. That means they classify leads based on where they are in the buying cycle as a subscriber, lead, MQL, SQL, opportunity, or customer. Depending on which of these stages leads fall into, they’ll only receive communications from Mimio that are relevant to that stage.Segmenting your lists based on their personas and lifecycle stages means that you’re able to target content to these leads in a way that guides them toward making a decision. Think of your content as the gas that powers your marketing vehicle, and segmentation as the map that will get them to their destination — the end of your marketing funnel.Align Marketing and SalesThe last step to lowered opportunity and customer acquisition costs is ensuring Marketing and Sales are well aligned — and the best way to do this is to simply open the line of communication between your Sales and Marketing teams. When you’re using closed-loop software to track all of your marketing efforts, your sales reps have all the information they need to intelligently qualify leads.The first step is to have a conversation between Sales and Marketing to agree on what a qualified lead looks like. From there, communications can be easily streamlined by integrating your marketing channels with your CRM. This makes scoring leads simple, because the process can be customized to specifications laid out and agreed upon by the sales and marketing teams. The sales team can then view every action a lead has taken with any of their various marketing channels, along with that lead score, to ensure they’re working the hottest leads at all times.Common Problem #3: Developing a Social Media “Strategy”Some Enterprise businesses, especially those with lengthy sales cycles, assume that their target customer just isn’t using social media to consume information. But if the past five or so years have taught us anything, it’s that buyer behavior is changing. Not only do consumers expect an exceptional customer experience, they’re changing the mediums through which they expect to engage in this experience. Consumers have also become more vocal about their experiences with businesses, even before they’ve become actual customers. People go to Twitter to voice their opinions on pretty much anything, for instance — and that includes aggressive sales reps, annoying marketing communications, and poor customer service and support.That means to simply “do” social media isn’t enough. It’s great if your company is present on various social networks, but presence alone does not mean you’ve got a solid social media strategy.Social media analytics are essential for determining whether or not your efforts are actually working. You should be looking at the sources through which people are navigating to your site — are they actually coming to you through social media? If so, which networks are they finding you through? Let’s say that 70% of your social media traffic is coming to you through Twitter, 20% through Facebook, and 10% through LinkedIn. This information gives you clear, data-backed evidence on what social media efforts are actually working for you, and where you should be focusing your efforts.For instance, the Chromatography Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific used to think that social media would be a waste of time for their business. There was a common belief in their industry that scientists weren’t participating in social media. But using social media analytics, they were able to find that after posting their blogs to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, there was a huge bump in traffic coming to their site from social media — and that most of it was coming from Twitter and LinkedIn. They decided to take a step back, reevaluate their strategy, and focus efforts on those networks. As a result, they were able to grow their Twitter following by 154%.As marketers, we also know that we shouldn’t take everything at face value. It’s valuable to dig a little deeper into these social media analytics and see exactly what kind of traffic is coming to your site through these networks. You should be able to see not only which networks drive traffic, but which drive actual conversions and customers. For instance, it’s great that Twitter is driving 70% of your social media traffic, but if you know that LinkedIn visitors are converting into leads at a higher rate than your Twitter traffic, those analytics give you insight as to where your most qualified traffic is coming from. You should adjust your strategy accordingly to optimize LinkedIn for lead generation, and Twitter for reach and content evangelism.Finally, if all of your marketing tools are integrated, you can use your analytics to help you determine which of your offers are performing better on social media versus other mediums — like email, for instance. You can check out your landing page analytics to do this, and compare the various types of offers to see which topics hit home with social media contacts versus other channels. This allows a company to adjust their social media strategy to promote the offers where they perform best, instead of bombarding social media audiences with communications they’re just not interested in.What other marketing problems are plaguing Enterprise businesses out there?Image credit: Rhys Asplundh 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: Originally published Mar 13, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013last_img read more

Guard Against Theft: How to Add Watermarks to Pinterest Images

first_img Pinterest Marketing Originally published Dec 13, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 This post originally appeared on Inbound Insiders, a new section on Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Inbound Insiders.A few months ago, my cousin found an image of mine that I’d taken of my dog, Pepe, on a Facebook page with over 100,000 likes. Hot dog!While I was gratified by the hundreds of likes and comments (yes, my dog is adorable), I did kick myself a little for not having watermarked the image. Had I done so, I could have included my company name and even my website address.Free Resource: 12 Pinterest Templates for BusinessAside from the fact that Pepe’s insisted on a raise and a better office, no harm and no foul. Even though I didn’t get credit for it, I really didn’t mind that my image was used to entertain and ultimately raise the Facebook Page’s “talking-about-this” score — it was for a good cause.But, what if you made your money off your art, and an uncredited share like that felt more like stealing than a commentary on your dog’s cuteness?Or, what if you bristle at the thought of people pinning and repinning your images on Pinterest, where the only way you get credit is if someone properly links to you as the original source and the pinners click through to your site?This is where watermarks come in!How to Create a Watermark for a Pinterest ImageUsing an image-editing program that allows you to adjust transparency, create your watermark. It may be your business name, logo, URL, or a combination. Generally, it should be one color (usually white), have a transparent (not solid) background, and not so busy that it makes looking at a watermarked image completely unbearable!No image-editing software? That’s okay. If you have an image with a transparent background (as in our logo, shown above), we can adjust the transparency and remove the color in the next step. Even if you don’t, you can still make a super-simple watermark — no software required.For instance, PicMonkey gives simple directions for adding a watermark, assuming you have one all ready to go. If you don’t have an image to use, you can create one right in PicMonkey!No need to log in — just upload the image you need to watermark by hovering over “Edit a photo.” You can then click to upload or just drag a photo there.Then, if you have your own watermark image, you can:1) Click the “Overlay” (butterfly) button.2) Select “Your Own” and upload your watermark.3) If you don’t have a watermark image, you can use text. To do so:Click on Text.Choose a font.Type your text over the image.Adjust the size of the font with the Text control box.Adjust the size and position of the text box by dragging the corners or the entire box, respectively. Still, you might have an image without enough transparency and maybe too much color. No worries!While you still have your overlaid image or your added text selected, grab the color selector and drag it all the way up to make it white (or stop somewhere along the way if you prefer). Then, give the watermark the customary transparency by dragging the “fade” slider up until you are satisfied with the results.If I’d done that with my image of Pepe, I could have had all sorts of dog-lovers coming to our site. Who knew it would be so popular?!Another Way to Get Some Credit on PinterestIf your readers are pinning using the Pinterest bookmarklet on Chrome, the Alternative Text you put on the image will become the default pin description. You can include your Pinterest username here to increase chances that people will see the original source of the image. Most people don’t bother editing the description of pins.center_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 SlackSlacklast_img read more