how we do business Search marketing efforts must target multiple stakeholders in a business, each with different expectations and points of view. Author: While Michelle agrees that search marketing should be a top priority for any business, she notes that B2B companies must employ different tactics than those of consumer-based businesses, thinking mostly in terms of target keywords, online content and link building. . Content is key. viral video 1. Soren takes a step back and evaluates some broader ways social media has made an impact on how we do things. For one thing, as social media increasingly becomes a trusted source of information, it’s changed where people get their news. In addition, it’s affected Author: SEO for Lead Generation Kit “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” on , how we meet and stay in touch with people, what we reveal about ourselves and the things over which we have influence. ? Josh compiles a list of 10 noteworthy viral videos from 2009 and helps us understand why they were so successful. They key for marketers, he says, is to have a solid understanding of the brand, who the brand’s target is and what moves that particular audience. And while there is no surefire guarantee a video will go viral, we can all learn from some Getting found is just the beginning for B2B companies. right results and do more than just get found. There is no secret sauce for ensuring a video goes viral, but you can learn a lot from others’ successes. Lesson: Rohit Bhargava For search marketing, make sure you’re focusing on the right tactics considering your type of business. 5 Essential Blogging Tips from the Father of Chinese Philosophy Who doesn’t love a great “The essence of knowledge is having it, to apply Don’t try to satisfy your whole audience with every post. 4 Social Media Ideas for the Reluctantly Social Brand Mashable ? Well, considering blogging is fairly new and he died over 2,500 years ago, probably nothing. However, a lot of what he said can be applied to blogging philosophy. In Michael’s article, he highlights several quotes from Confucius that he encourages bloggers to keep in mind when trying to develop a successful blog: Target keywords must be robust. “What you do not want done to yourself, do not to others.” Download our We all know that social media has substantially changed the way we market products, services and ideas, but have you stopped to think lately how it’s also changing your everyday life? on Author: Use social media for internal training and experimentation by creating a password-protected blog or private wiki. Dedication and hard work are key. The Fun Theory of on “When anger rises, think of the consequences.” . It’s short, sweet, entertaining and gets the point across. What’s not to love? . Piano Stairs it.” , which has over 9 million views, created for Volkswagen’s campaign, is a great article full of tips for B2B companies on how to maximize their Soren Gordhamer To kick off qualities that many viral videos share The 10 Most Innovative Viral Video Ads of 2009 5 Ways Social Media is Changing Our Daily Lives Originally published Dec 11, 2009 7:02:00 AM, updated July 18 2013 Notice what people like/dislike about your blog, repeat the good things and discontinue the bad. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Be confident in your posts and show you’re an authority on the topic, but avoid smugness and arrogance. Lesson: Author: 4. Image from Shutterstock Josh Warner “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” Social media is affecting our lives in more ways than one. Mashable My favorite video on Josh’s list? business blogging Michelle Bowles Negative blog comments are inevitable. Respond rationally and carefully. Michael Aagaard Lesson: list of this week’s top stories on Copyblogger She expands upon the following five points: 2. As Rohit highlights, it’s easy for businesses to think twice — or even ten times — when it comes to the decision to start using social media. And with all the stories out there of companies who have done wrong and been scrutinized for it, it’s even easier to wonder what is the 5 Must-Read Tips for B2B Search Marketing There are plenty of ways to dip your toe in and test the social media waters. search engine optimization for lead generation kit Lesson: of search marketing Influential Marketing Blog . Top Rank Online Marketing Blog way to get started. If your company is one of these reluctant brands, Rohit has a few ideas to help get you to Learn more about how you can optimize your site to get found online in search engines to generate more leads for your business. tools: When it comes to link building, think outside the box. Experiment with content aggregation, which means gathering already-existing, valuable content rather than creating your own. Lesson: Post videos you might already have (e.g. training videos) on YouTube and disable the comments function. If you give away your knowledge for free, people will read your blog. Tune in to what keywords people are using to talk about your industry. InboundMarketing.com our 5. begin engaging with social media What did Confucius know about Author: Confucius probably would’ve made a great blogger. 3. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
New Media thought leader, Brian Solis, shares how to implement and manage a Social Media Optimization (SMO) program.Download the Webinar Now and learn how to increase your visibility in social media! Social Media Marketing With Google owning 72% of the US search market I often wonder who Google thinks of as its competitors. Whilst Bing’s relaunch provided an improved search engine over MSN Live, I wonder whether it’s actually proving better than Google. I still Google rather than Bing!So if not a rival search engine, who might Google think of as competition? I believe the answer to that question is YOU. If you have a social graph then you threaten Google’s dominance as the go-to source of information, as Nielsen research shows that consumers trust real friends and virtual strangers more than search engine algorithms. Despite efforts, Google has yet to crack social media as such, as evidenced by the recent announcement that Google is looking to hire a “Head of Social”. As customer research patterns evolve from simply “Googling” products or services to consulting their social graph for opinions on a product or service, prospective customers might themselves be the ones finding products rather than products finding them through traditional outbound marketing. “Being the brand” or “having the product” that a social graph is discussing virally will be paramount, as evidenced by Ford’s effort to go viral with its Fiesta model.What does this ultimately mean for marketers? Actively participating in social media is becoming increasingly important. Here are some helpful hints to help you positively situate your brand and product or service in social media:Put your ear to the ground. Track your brand and important business keywords in social media outlets to find out what people are saying about you and related services. Set up an RSS feed of your target terms to stay updated. Listen first, sell second.Invite dialog and customer feedback. This will afford you the great chance to interact with your customers and prospects.Think of social media as a cocktail party. Offer insightful information in your interactions and don’t just go on about yourself.Be worth paying attention to! Your social media followers/friends are paying attention to what you have to say. How do you get more (thereby extending your social media reach)? Easy! Say something worth paying attention toBe a human. Social media is really all about human interaction after all. Increasingly, studies show that prospects want to form personal connections with companies so let your personality come across.Be dedicated to social media. Give ownership of your social media accounts to someone (or several people) at your business. That person(s) can monitor and participate in these conversations and find useful information to share on your social media profiles.On a closing note, try to not to obsess about the ROI of social media. HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan, thinks that questioning the ROI of Social Media is akin to questioning the ROI of putting on your pants in the morning (you just have to do it) while the Social Media Revolution video makes the case that the ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years. Free Webinar-On-Demand: Social Media Optimization Is The New SEO With Brian Solis PR: wait… I: wait… L: wait… LD: wait… I: wait…wait… C: wait… SD: wait… Topics: Originally published May 14, 2010 11:00:00 AM, 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 SlackSlack
Social Media Isn’t a Strategy, It’s A Technology. There are looming SEO implications of social in search, where , I am joined by Focus more of your efforts on HubSpot TV How are people going to spread your content if they aren’t following you on different social media outlets? Make sure you are highly visible in these channels and providing value. , and make sure to tune in every Friday at 4pm est to The value of social media fans and followers Business to Business (B2B) Marketing Best Practices with Mike Volpe Initially, when companies are adopting these new tools, the marketing department is a great place to start. They can be the champions to really push the change through an organization and change (for the better) how their companies operate. very own Mike Volpe. Mike is the Vice President of Marketing and an expert when it comes to B2B Marketing. We take a look into the future of what is on the horizon for B2B marketing Why customer Personas are a must have for every B2B company Who Should Own Social Media In An Organization? “There are definitely spillover effects of social media. We see that. We see when things go hot and there’s a lot of conversation around a topic, other metrics of ours improve. But there are spillover effects of almost every type of marketing. When we send a big e-mail blast, we actually see people tweeting and sharing that e-mail, right? So there are spillover effects from e-mail into social media.” Mike sees value in every department taking advantages of social media tools and technologies. The social media activities of a company should not be siloed off to one department or person. . “Marketing should use social media. Customer support should use it. Sales should use it. Finance should, everyone within the company, there are uses for social media technologies in how they do their jobs” Tailor your content around your customer personas, tailor your sales process around these personas, customer support as well. The Evolution of the Database Inbound marketing is a strategy . Social media is a technology and a tool in the marketers overall holistic inbound marketing approach. Measuring The ROI of Social Media that links shared through social media are starting to a direct impact on rankings. blog.hubspot.com Channel or Content Strategy? Google and Bing have publicly stated HubSpot Launches New IFrame Facebook Welcome AppThanks to Ben Smith, HubSpot now offers users the ability to Convert Facebook Visitors Into LeadsWith HubSpot Welcome Facebook App How Small Companies are Evolving with New Technologies with Phil Simon “The biggest difference is just sort of the potentially the number of people involved in the process, the complexity of the process, and sort of the length of the process. All those things are sort of linked. Because typically for B2B, the sales cycle is longer. It’s a more complicated sales process because it might involve multiple purchasers, beyond even husband and wife or something like that. It could be four, five, six, ten people sometimes. Then, it’s typically a longer sales process and evaluation process.” Is Is Worth Investing to Grow Fan Bases? In episode #12 of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s Topics: and then work on spreading it through various channels. In a word, Yes. Most B2B marketers would agree that an additional name in a database is valuable to their company. How to Market Smarter, Faster, and Cheaper with David Siteman Garland Mike suggests that spend time building up your fan base because of the increasing value of these social channels. Inbound Marketing When measuring the ROI of social, closed looped marketing is key. Mike thinks what you have to say is far more important than where you have to say it. , Social Media and Inbound Marketing Podcast Mikevolpe.com Social CRM not quite there yet, but there are a number of players in the space poised at solving the issue. Major Differences Between B2B and B2C Are Customer Personas Necessary for a B2B Company? B2B marketing best practices Past Episodes: Connecting Digital & Traditional Marketing Channels w/ Mitch Joel When the phone was invented companies didn’t make a phone department. Mike thinks that dedicating an entire department to social media may be a little overkill. For the full transcript and audio from the show head here: HubSpot’s Spillover Effects of Social Media LinkedIn for Business with Best Practices & Tips via Lewis Howes Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “I would say that if you take the evolution of the marketing database and it started way back when there was the Sears & Roebuck catalog or the Montgomery Ward catalogs were some of the first mail order catalogs. You had a mail database. ” that then moved on to the phone database to the email database and now we are adding in social media profiles into the mix. How to Rock Your Facebook Fan Page with John Haydon Gauging Online Influence with Jason Keath of Social Fresh To get a better grasp of ROI from your efforts you need to understand what metrics to look for from each channels. “We get a ton of ROI out of our social media efforts… we can see and measure the number of visitors coming to our site, the number of leads we’re getting from social media, and the influence that that has on the amount of sales, the number of customers we’re getting.” Connect with Mike Online Originally published Mar 17, 2011 9:45:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 In this episode we discuss: There are spillover effects in every facet of marketing. This is where hard ROI numbers can get murky. creating useful, interesting, valuable content You can connect with Mike over on his personal blog Mike says absolutely! B2C has been using personas effectively for a while now.
@Shama If you have the time and resources and it fits into your strategy, you should be on multiple social media sites growing your network. , and build a good community there. But also be sure to get your profiles on the other sites to protect your brand. The Hangouts feature on Google+ is a good tool to use too. It’s a way to video chat with small groups of people informally. You can certainly do research and educational things using it. If you have a personal brand, or if you’re the social media spokesperson for your company, you should get involved and set up your profile. Use the right links to link to your website. The most important thing right now is just setting it up correctly, even if you’re not devoting a lot of time to it right now. Inbound Now is currently in booking mode for upcoming episodes! Is there a certain topic you would like covered or an expert you would like to see come on? The Google +1 Button . Shama.TV How much time you should spend on Google+ Check out other episodes of Inbound Now Why Google+ will matter to marketers the Google +1 Button “You can essentially create multiple mini-social networks within Google+ and then share things with them specifically. You can characterize what you want to share with each group and maintain those relationships differently. Facebook also allows you to do this with lists. I just think Google+ is a lot more intuitive to do this.” “You don’t have to spend a lot of time on Google+, is what I find.” . Also, grab a copy of her book, . People with profiles are coming up in Google searches. You should also maximize the description you can add beneath your name. You can follow Shama on Twitter Why Google+ Matters (Currently, you cannot create a business profile on Google+, but according to a Google spokesperson, Using Google+ for Market Research “Just in general, right now the engagement level is a lot higher on Google+.” . . on her page your Twitter account With any new social media tool, it’s important not to abandon ship too early. Consistency is important. You have to do it for a while. Put the time into Google+, but don’t get rid of your fan pages or leave The Reasoning Behind Circles in Google+ Also, people don’t know exactly which circle you add them to. They’re just notified that you added them to a circle in general. or drop me a line on our Using Google+ for market research The Zen of Social Media Marketing “From a cost benefit analysis, and a very rough cost benefit analysis, it will take you like 20 minutes or less to set up a profile. Do it.” Connect With Shama Online start with Facebook Shama Kabani , on Facebook The Marketing Zen Group this feature will be available in a few months If you don’t have the resources to constantly maintain everything, It won’t take you much time. It’s free to do. The difficult thing won’t be getting followers now. It will be maintaining followers as we move forward. SEO Google’s thought process behind this is that people live their lives in layers. We have a layer of professional friends. We have a layer of close friends. We have a bunch of different layers. Google+ lets you create different circles and share things with specific people based on your relationship and by dragging and dropping them into a circle. . social media and inbound marketing podcast “Google’s gotten a lot of flack over time in terms of the quality of its search results. They’re a smart company. They know this. So the only way to really fix this is to make search smarter. And you make it smarter by making it relevant, and you make it relevant by letting people ‘plus one’ it.” If you do nothing else with Google+ right now, go in and Contact me on Twitter Would you like to see a particular marketing mastermind on the show? @DavidWells . She was on the Top 25 Under 25 Entrepreneurs in America list by Businessweek, and she’s been named an Online Marketing Shaman by Fast Company. Shama runs her own web TV show over at “Because Google is the king of search engines and rules a lot of traffic online, Google+ is going to play a big part in that.” Shama is the author of . By putting it on your site, it allows visitors to “plus one” it, thereby recommending it as a good article, page, etc. This is going to make search more social and play a part in how Google ranks websites. Originally published Aug 4, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Google has added . Don’t forget to check out Should You Wait to Sign Up for Google+? The Zen of Social Media Marketing How Much Time Should I Spend on Google+? Topics: ! contact page set up your profile .) her web TV show , and on Google+ by searching for Don’t forget to share this post! Right now is a great time to ask questions on Google+ because the most active users are there. Over time, Google+ will get diluted with people (like Twitter and Facebook), and the engagement will be lower. Shama Kabani joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s Google+ is very different than other social networks because it was built by the king of search engines, Google. You want to be an early adopter of Google+ because it will play a roll in social interaction going forward. and The Google +1 Button and its future impact on SEO In this episode, we chat about:
Originally published Sep 27, 2011 3:37:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 In B2B marketing, creating and managing your own LinkedIn group for your brand is a great lead generation strategy. LinkedIn groups draw prospects to you in several ways:1. Establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. By engaging in the discussions your group members have and answering questions, you show how you’re a resource.2. Grow a community of advocates. Hosting valuable, industry-centric conversations is helpful to your current and potential customers. Because of the group, they will advocate for the content you share and develop a connection to your message and brand.3. Get ideas for content. This one isn’t as obvious, but it’s huge! Get a sense of the conversations people are post and questions they are asking. Use that as inspiration for your blog posts.Get the essential guide to using LinkedIn for marketing and professional networking.At HubSpot, we’ve learned a thing or two about building and moderating LinkedIn Groups through our LinkedIn groups, including:- Inbound Marketers- Inbound Marketing University Certified- Inbound Marketing University AlumniHere are some “tips from the trenches” that will help you kickstart, grow and maintain a LinkedIn group of your own.5 Tips for Managing LinkedIn Groups1. Pick Your Poison – Open Group or Closed GroupLinkedIn offers two group settings, open or closed. With an open group, discussions are publicly visible. Anyone can join, and depending on your moderation settings, anyone can submit discussions (or you can require moderator approval before the discussion is visible.) In closed groups, people must request to join and the discussions aren’t visible to everyone on LinkedIn. A “lock” icon appears next to your group name to indicate this.The pros and cons? An open group grows faster. You’ll get more discussions, more members and more opportunity for lead generation. Discussions and groups are indexed by search engines. While that won’t help your own site’s rankings, it will associate your brand with the keywords, phrases and conversations that are meaningful to your company. Open groups also mean more moderation of discussions, whereas closed groups tend to be smaller and naturally more focused.Choose which approach works for your goals.2. Set Some House RulesCommunity guidelines are an important part of any forum. Under the “manage” tab, you will find the section where you can set some Group Rules to set clear expectations for what you hope members get out of participating with your LinkedIn group. Spam and self-promotion are party-fouls. They ruin the fun for your group members who are actually trying to learn and connect. Give some tips on what members can do to make the most of the group, and in a direct but friendly way, make note of what won’t be tolerated.Need inspiration for your Group Rules? Check out Flickr’s community guidelines. They’re some of the best in the biz.3. Send Announcements to Your GroupGenerate leads from your LinkedIn group by sending announcements to your members. You’re allowed to send up to one announcement per week. Under the Manage tab, you’ll see an option to send an announcement on the left hand side. Make the most of it by sharing content that leads members to fill out a form on a landing page on your site. Whether this is for an eBook or white paper or an event registration, be sure you’re leading them to a landing page where they will convert.4. Grow Your Group: Invite Your NetworkYou can do this in two ways: Send invitations, or share the group.Invitations: Under the manage tab, you’ll find an option to send invitations. Invite colleagues and professional connections to participate. Be strategic, though. Don’t mass-email your entire professional network asking them to join. Use personalized messages and explain to people why you think they’d enjoy the discussions in your group.Share the group: If you want to go the mass-invite route, you can select the Share Group option in the top right hand corner. There, you’ll find an option to post the group not only to your LinkedIn profile (this will show up in LinkedIn’s main activity feed as well) but you can also share it on Facebook and Twitter. Even though it’s a mass “invite,” still personalize it by filling in the message box. Provide context and explain why you are sharing the group.5. Participate!LinkedIn shows some engagement metrics to help you measure your progress, including sharing who the top influencer is. The thing is: You don’t wanna be that guy. A community member should be the top influencer. A community forum is about connecting members to each other, not another broadcast channel. At its best, your forum will include mostly discussions related to your business but not about your business. The conversations will teach your customers use your product or service better.How are you using LinkedIn for lead generation? Have you considered creating a group for your business? Let us know in the comments! Topics: 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: Social Media Strategy Originally published Oct 20, 2011 3:00:00 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 Just as all audiences are not the same, neither are all social media sites . Every social network has its nuances, whether it be in the way users behave, connect, or share within that network’s particular environment. Think about it. Do you have the same criteria on LinkedIn for who you choose to connect with as you do on Facebook? If Twitter were like LinkedIn, would you still ‘follow’ as many people?So, if people act differently from social network to social network, shouldn’t your marketing act differently, too? Just as a caterer adjusts its approach — it’s style, menu, manners — to fit the needs of who its catering for, marketers must modify its approach to cater to the specific environment and behaviors of different social networks. Below, we’ll discuss some general tips to help you analyze the environments of the networks your target audiences populate as well as provide you with a quick cheat sheet for understanding the behaviors of the 4 most popular social networks — Twitter , Facebook , LinkedIn , and Google+. How to Analyze and Adjust Your Marketing Approach for Different Social Networks Step 1: Create a Personal Account The best way to understand the nuances of a specific social network is to become a user yourself. Sign up for a personal account on all the social networks where you do or would like to have a presence for your business . The key here is to create a personal account, not a business account, since the goal is see how the people you’re marketing to interact within the network — both with other users and with other businesses. Step 2: Analyze the Tone and Specific Behaviors of People in the Network As you’re observing and participating in the environment of the specific social network, try to pick up on behavioral cues. Here are some great questions to ask yourself when conducting this analysis:Do people tend to be more formal or informal in their interactions?Do people seem to use certain criteria when deciding to accept a connection? Does the network even support business accounts/pages?Do people readily interact with brands, or are brands represented through personal profiles instead?What kinds of content do people share?In what ways are users engaging with each other?How much activity exists? How often/frequently does content get shared, and at what pace?How many people belong to the network?Asking these types of questions will help you understand the pulse of how the social network functions, which will enable you to adapt and optimize your marketing communications to the way its users behave. Step 3: Modify Your Marketing Approach Use what you learned about the social network in step three to create an individual marketing approach for that specific site. If you notice that business accounts are unavailable, use your personal account to connect with other users and spread your messages and content. If you notice that people are only sharing very high-quality content on a limited basis vs. a ton of content, adopt that same approach and avoid spamming users with a lot of content on a frequent basis. To use popular social networks as an example, on Twitter, more content and frequent updates is much more acceptable than the same practice on Facebook. Are people more formal in their updates on one social network than another? Then change the language of your messaging to align with that tone. How Users Behave on the 4 Major Social Networks Want a quick snapshot of how users behave in the 4 most popular social networks? Here’s a little cheat sheet … Twitter: Users ‘follow’ other users (which may include businesses) to obtain information, share updates, and be social. Users are open to following brands, and updates are limited to short, 140-character messages. Twitter is great for sharing links to awesome content and reaching a wide variety of users. The tone is informal, and users commonly connect with brands for customer support, new content, contests, and offers. Who users choose to ‘follow back’ is fairly open, and users are generally comfortable connecting with more people even if they don’t “know” them. Facebook: Users either create personal accounts or interact as brands via business pages . Facebookers are commonly more strict about who they connect and become “friends” with on Facebook. Usually, Facebook “friendship” is limited to who a person already knows or is friends with in real life, but people’s personal criteria for this can vary. Posts and updates in the network can be longer-form, but the network appreciates less frequent and more valuable updates from businesses, particularly updates that offer exclusive offers and content . To obtain updates from businesses, users ‘like’ (AKA become fans of) that business’ page. The tone is personal and engaging. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a network that mainly attracts and suits the needs of business professionals, making it a great fit for B2B marketers . Brands can have company pages, and users can ‘follow’ the page for updates from those companies. The network has more of a business networking and career focus, and the way users connect is much more formal. Users often have fewer, more intimate connections than they would on Facebook or Twitter. Content shared and discussions that start are usually more industry and business-focused. Google+: The newest of the major networks, Google+ enables users to connect with each other by adding connections to different ‘Circles.’ It currently attracts more of a digital, tech-focused audience of users who are mainly male . The network is similar to Facebook in its functionality, and now that business pages are available, its being tapped by the business community for marketing, too. Pulling it All Together Use your time wisely in your social media marketing efforts. Remember: just because a social network is “popular,” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for your business or industry. Use analytics as your guide . Monitor the traffic and leads you’re generating from your presence on each individual social media site. Is the return on investment significant enough based on the time and effort you’re spending there? Is one social site performing better for you than another? Adjust your strategy accordingly to focus more of your time on the social networks that work for you, and less of your time on those that don’t. Do you cater your marketing strategy to the nuances of different social networks? What other tips do you recommend? Image Credit: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Actiebolaget
After creating content — whether it’s a blog post, an ebook, a webinar, or a video — it’s important to promote that content through social media channels. And when you do promote that content in social media, you cross your fingers that it generates a ton of shares, tweets, and interaction. For the sake of Twitter, if you follow a few simple best practices, more people are likely to retweet and spread the distribution of your content, giving it a much broader reach and a better opportunity to get found by a new audience of prospective customers beyond your direct followers. Marketers should know how to retweet the right way, but it’s also critical for them to learn how to get others to retweet their content, too.11 Tips for Getting People to Retweet Your Content1. Discuss Current Events: According to HubSpot’s “Science of Retweets” research, nearly 80% of retweeted content is about news, and more than 50% of retweeted content is entertainment-related. More than ever before, people look to Twitter to discover breaking news. News of some of the biggest stories of the last decade, including Osama bin Laden’s death, Michael Jackson’s death, and the unexpected earthquakes during the summer of 2011, have broken on Twitter. Instead of checking the news, it is common practice for people to first check Twitter. Being one of the first people to cover breaking news related to your industry is a great way to get others to retweets your content and expand your reach.2. Don’t Be Overly Self-Promotional: Inbound marketing teaches us marketers to become thought leaders in our industries instead of simply promoting our company’s products and services. Encouraging others to retweet your content should follow the same philosophy. Your content is less likely to be retweeted if it is centered around your products and services. When tweeting, keep in mind the information your target audience craves and the problems they need to solve, and tweet that type of content most. Track which types of tweets are getting retweeted more than others, and tweet the types of content that tends to be more popular with your target audience.3. Include Links to Your Website: After all, why else would you be tweeting? Granted, a lot of chatter on Twitter is engaging with other people, but spreading links back to your website and blog content should be your primary focus. According to our “Science of Retweets” data, more than 50% of retweets include links. Your goal should be to get as many people to retweet your content as possible so that more than just your immediate Twitter followers will see your blog posts, ebooks, and other content. Think about it: if you have 1,000 followers, and one person retweets your content to his or her 1,000 followers, you have immediately reached more people than your original tweet did. 4. Understand Your Audience: Twitter fosters a learning environment. People follow others who they feel are thought leaders in their industry. They want to learn more, have access to more content, and reach people they might not have otherwise been in contact with. “Science of Retweets” research indicates that tweets with readability levels greater than grade 6 are more likely to be retweeted. Your followers want content that is credible, intelligent, and valuable, so tweet using words that don’t dip below 6th grade reading levels.5. Retweet Others: Retweeting is similar to the concept, “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” If you retweet someone else’s content, your Twitter username may stand out to that person among all the clutter on Twitter. Retweets can result from the quality of your content, but they can also occur from the relationships you build with your followers.6. Ask Others to Retweet You: If you have something valuable to share, you probably want as many people as possible to spread that content or message, and simply asking others to retweet that content can be an effective way to generate more retweets from other Twitter users. In fact, according to HubSpot’s “Science of Social Media” research, using the words “Please ReTweet” in your tweets will generate 4x more retweets. So don’t be afraid to encourage others to share your content if they find it valuable, too.7. Consider the Timing of Your Tweets: When sending out tweets, timing does matter. If it’s too early in the day, there won’t be as many people on Twitter who will retweet your content. According to HubSpot’s “Science of Timing” data, late in the day and week are the most retweetable time periods. If you have an important tweet to share and you want to maximize retweets, be sure to take into account the timing of your tweet in order to reach as many people as possible.8. Direct Tweets at Influencers: If you’ve created content about Twitter, why not tweet it a Twitter expert like @Pistachio? If you’ve created content about social media marketing data, why not tweet it Social Media Scientist @DanZarrella? Direct your tweets at Twitter users who are already thought leaders and experts in your industry, as these people are likely to have lots of followers. If they think your content is valuable and retweet it, you will reach many more followers — their followers — and these followers might value the opinion of that thought leader and retweet it, too! Influencers have high following counts on Twitter because of their knowledge on particular subjects. Getting them involved in your conversation is bound to be beneficial.9. Make Your Tweets Brief: When people retweet the right way, they usually like to add a comment to or offer their opinion of the original tweet. Remember, the length of a tweet cannot exceed 140 characters. Not allowing room in your tweets for people to add “RT @HubSpot” plus their comment, will discourage people from retweeting your tweets. The easier you make it for other people to retweet your content, the more likely they will retweet it. Below is an example of the @HubSpot account retweeting Guy Kawasaki and adding our own commentary.10. Include Social Media Share Buttons on Content: Encourage others who consume your content — whether it’s a blog post, an ebook, or a webinar — to tweet about it. This will lead to more tweets and, thus, even more retweets. But just like you need to make it easy for others to retweet your content, you need to make it easy for them to tweet your content in the first place. Add social media share buttons and links to all of the content you produce to encourage people to tweet your content with just the click of a button.11. Use Hashtags: Include hashtags in your tweets. If someone isn’t following you but is searching the hashtag, they will still see your tweet and potentially retweet your content. This can be especially worthwhile if you’re hosting a live, in-person or online event, as people who are tweeting and following the event’s hashtag will constantly retweet others’ content. This will not only get you more retweets, but it will also help you make new connections.As marketers, we want to reach as many people as possible, and social media is a great tool for achieving this goal. Using Twitter strategically is a smart way to reach your customers and prospects, and retweeting can be the key to reaching new audiences and showing others that you are a thought leader in your industry. What do you do to get others to retweet your content?Photo Credit: Rosaura Ochoa 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 Dec 19, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Engagement
Originally published Jul 18, 2012 10:44:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Unqualified leads don’t mean any harm, but the truth is, they can be a drain on internal resources and can muck up your marketing data and campaigns. So by training your team or software platform to identify bad leads and remove them from your sales queue, you can save your company time and get a better sense of what truly classifies a lead as a promising one.It’s time to separate the good eggs from the bad. Here are three sure-fire tactics to help you do just that. Remove Unengaged Email Recipients In a more-is-always-better world of lead generation, it may seem counter-intuitive to try to weed out email subscribers. But if you have unengaged email recipients who have stayed on your email list for years, receiving your emails again and again without ever opening them, you may be causing more harm than good. What a lot of marketers don’t realize is that these barnacle email addresses can actually hurt deliverability rates and your Sender Score if they hang on for too long. According to Return Path’s most recent Email Deliverability Benchmark Report , only 76.5% of emails sent globally actually make it into recipients’ inboxes . That near 25% of undelivered emails can be attributed in part to ISPs raising the bar on reputation metrics, including engagement data . So if your engagement data is consistently low (e.g. a large percentage your recipients never open your emails), the deliverability of any email you send to your list can suffer.So how do you clean out your list ? Start by looking at your last few months’ worth of sends, and take the following actions. How to Clean Up Your Email List: Remove any email addresses from your list that have bounced (Note for HubSpot Customers: This happens automatically with the HubSpot Email tool). Remove any email addresses that have not opened a single email from you in the last few months.The marketers over at contactology had one more interesting suggestion . If your list contains a lot of general inbox addresses like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, you may want to examine the open rates of those addresses and scrub them if they are unengaged. Often, people leave general email inboxes when they don’t wish to hear from you.Create a dynamic list (in HubSpot’s software , this is called a Smart List) that automatically updates with contacts who are unengaged. You can then use this as a suppression list in your future email marketing efforts. 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: Lead Nurturing Surface Bad Leads Through Lead Scoring Lead scoring is another way you can start to separate your good leads from your bad leads. The simplest form of lead scoring is to have a high-scoring offer and a low-scoring offer on your site. The low-scoring offer should be a piece of content that could be widely popular for visitors with a general interest in your focus area. For HubSpot, for example, that might be an ebook on Facebook marketing . Conversely, the high-scoring offer should indicate that the individual converting on that offer has a true and specific interest in what your company sells. So for HubSpot, that might be something like a demo request or a free trial of our inbound marketing software . In this simple form of lead scoring, you would prioritize leads for your sales team that convert on the high-scoring offer. Keep in mind, however, that this simplified lead scoring system may still leave a lot of good leads on the table.A more advanced version of lead scoring can be achieved through lead scoring tool like the one found in HubSpot or another marketing software platform. Lead scoring tools help you assign points to other factors like the lead’s personal/demographic information, the number of interactions on your website, or a variety of other lead scoring criteria . Before you start a lead scoring program, there are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare. How to Prepare for Lead Scoring Implementation: Meet with your sales team to talk about what makes a good lead. Are there certain titles or company types that indicate a good lead for your business? What type of content does a good lead typically download or read before buying?Conversely, talk about what leads have traditionally been problematic. Are there any similarities among people who churn or don’t end up buying?Create a scale from one to 100 for positive indicators. Add some negative scores for negative indicators.Use a lead scoring tool like the one found in HubSpot to automate lead scoring and give each lead coming in a quality score. Then only supply your sales team with scores above a certain threshold.For more information about how to implement an effective lead scoring system, check out this comprehensive blog post about how to score your leads so Sales works the hottest prospects . Use Lead Nurturing to Warm Up Leads Who Are on the Fence When it comes to getting the most out of your leads, lead nurturing is often an even better choice than lead scoring. Instead of just shutting off contact with a less-than-ideal lead, lead nurturing enables you to keep leads engaged through a series of targeted emails without taxing your sales team or alienating your audience. Instead of scoring someone poorly who isn’t a good fit for a customer and cutting off all communication, why not use lead nurturing to help you pull engaged individuals out of your pool of “bad leads” and nurture them into advocates for your company?The key here is to look for people who are actively reading your content, even if they’re not a perfect fit for your company just yet. Even without buying from your company, consumers of your content can help you advance your bottom line by sharing your content and drawing others in. The following is a chart to help you discern how to approach different types of leads in a way that best suits their needs and maximizes your resources.For a more thorough introduction to creating an effective lead nurturing program, you can download our free, introductory lead nurturing ebook here .Whether you use lead scoring, lead nurturing, or a combination of both, figuring out how to identify your highest quality leads, remove your unengaged leads, and target communications to all leads in between will make your sales team more efficient and maximize the potential of your lead generation program. Using marketing analytics like a conversion assists report , you’ll also begin to understand what content is most frequently consumed by each subset and what key indicators can help you predict who will become a good lead and who is likely to remain unengaged. What tricks have you learned in separating the good leads from the bad? When do you know a lead won’t convert? Have any types of leads surprised you along the way? Image Credit: katerha
About a year ago, we asked marketers for the primary motivation behind their most recent website redesign. The top response was … well, it was boredom. A third of marketers said they redesigned because it was time for a change. Another third were undergoing a corporate rebranding. Some had seen a change in management, and new leadership led to new approaches. But ultimately what we found was that the decision to redesign is often driven by internal marketing needs.Here’s why this is interesting. In that same study, we asked regular consumers and website visitors what they most look for in the design of a website. Any guesses what that was? 79% of website visitors want a site that “makes it easy for me to find what I want.”So there’s a disconnect there, between what marketers offer and what people really need. And this is bigger than the website. The truth is, we do this across all marketing channels. We push when we should pull. We force when we should adapt. Even in the channels where we’ve started to make some progress — even in email which has developed more and more targeting capabilities over the years — we end up personalizing the message, but then directing recipients to a lifeless landing page.We’ve got to stop thinking like marketers. And start acting like humans.We founded HubSpot with a basic observation — that people navigate to content, products, and companies they find interesting. It’s really that simple. So why not make it easier for marketers to understand what it is that drives each person?We made a major stride last year when HubSpot introduced the first version of its Inbound Database, which included detailed contact profiles. The Inbound Database is the class historian of HubSpot. It maintains every interaction, every signal of readiness or indication of interest your leads and customers convey, so you can understand the full context of that individual and market to them like a human being, not visitor X. But having context isn’t enough. You have to use it for the good of the customer. And that’s why today, I’m happy to unveil the latest generation of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Platform, an integrated system that helps marketers put that context to good use, creating the most relevant marketing experience possible. This new release includes a new Content Optimization System, a new blogging application, and new adaptive site and landing pages. Also included in the release are new analytics at the enterprise tier and Social Inbox, a social monitoring tool that helps you scale personal attention.I could give you the specs of each of these apps, but that’s what the product page is for. Instead, let’s talk a bit more about humans. And if you missed the INBOUND 2013 keynote address in which we unveiled these new releases, please feel free to watch it now:Humans use multiple devices. The new COS optimizes your content for mobile. Every year the marketing pundits get together and proclaim that “This is the Year of Mobile.” The numbers would suggest they’re a bit late. Fifteen percent of all traffic on the internet today comes from a mobile device; five years ago, that was less than 1%.Not wanting to leave HubSpot customers alone in the masses, we recently analyzed hundreds of millions of visits to our customers’ websites over the same 5-year period. We saw something similar — a full 13% of our customers’ traffic is now coming from mobile devices. Stunningly, 12 months ago, that figure was 9%. That’s a 44% increase in just the space of a year.So we know mobile is important. But we also know there’s not just one cut of the mobile cloth. According to Google, 90% of mobile users who start a task using one device, later pick it up on another device — a problem for mobile sites built predominantly for one device. Which is why we’ve rebuilt the entire HubSpot Content Optimization System on responsive design. Instead of creating separate sites for phones, tablets, and whatever device comes next, responsive design automatically repackages your landing pages, blog, and site pages to best fit the device viewing it at any given moment. It recognizes that people are not smart phone users or tablet users. They are human. And humans use multiple devices.Humans use multiple channels. HubSpot’s Social Inbox helps you make the most of your social strategy. We’ve long known that as marketers, we cannot keep people confined to the website, or force them to read only the information we provide on our products. According to CEB, the average B2B buyer is through 57% of the purchase decision before engaging a supplier sales rep.But up until this point, our approach to marketing in social media has resembled trying to shove our existing marketing into the format of social. That’s why you get Twitter contests and Facebook click-gimmicks instead of authentic conversations. And why the majority of customer comments in social media go unanswered. It’s not that businesses aren’t interested in talking with customers. It’s that amid the fire-hose of social media activity, it can be hard to find those conversations.That’s why in Social Inbox, we’ve created a way to surface the mentions of the people who matter most to your business — your subscribers, leads, and customers. We’ve also infused each Twitter comment with insights about the person making it — their customer lifecycle stage, relationship manager, and history of interactions with your site and emails — so you have context when you go to respond. Because context changes everything.Humans evolve. The COS helps you personalize your content as your visitors change. I am not the same person I was a year ago. Undoubtedly, neither are you. And yet, in most marketing channels we treat people the same regardless of whether they are just finding you for the first time or have been talking with your sales team for weeks.Over the last year, HubSpot and our customers have been using Smart CTAs to customize calls-to-action depending on where someone is in their decision-making process. We just looked at the data for more than 93,000 of these calls-to-action and hundreds of millions of views and found that calls-to-action targeted to the viewer had a 42% higher submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all. So with this latest release, we decided to spread that relevancy through the entire website. Now on the new Content Optimization System, you can use Smart Content to swap out whole modules of content (text, images, and video) based on who the viewer is and where they are in their decision-making process. We’ve started using this customization on our own homepage and product pages — see if you can spot where.Additionally, we borrowed the personalization tokens HubSpot customers are accustomed to in email and spread them throughout COS site pages and landing pages.The goal here — and it will take strategy and practice to get right — is to give HubSpot customers the tools they need to create marketing that will be relevant to each of their website visitors at every stage of the customer lifecycle. This is more than a software release for us. We believe this is a route to a better kind of marketing. But even the best marketing software does nothing without a good strategy. That’s why we’re rolling out a brand new HubSpot Academy course and an in-depth collection of tutorials, guides, and ideas for the marketer who wants to get inbound marketing right. We’ve also launched free designer accounts for any designer who wants to design templates for our marketplace. And finally, we’re making a pledge to make our own marketing more relevant, adaptive, and personalized to each member of our broad audience. I could not be more excited about the direction of the coming year and the product launches that have yet to come. Thank you to all of our customers who work every day to create the sort of marketing we all aspire to: marketing that people can actually love. Originally published Aug 21, 2013 9:00:00 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 Conferences Topics:
Originally published Apr 21, 2014 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 As a marketer, you’re an extremely busy person. In fact, your hair has already settled in small clumps on the floor after a glance at your task list made you pull it all out.Hopefully you can take some comfort in this: you’re not alone. Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. These days, marketers need to be responsible for traffic generation, website upkeep, blogging, social media publishing and monitoring, lead generation, email blasts, product marketing, sales training … I could keep going, but you get the picture.So how is a marketer to juggle all this on top of meetings, monthly reporting, hiring (or lack thereof), and somehow manage to get home in time for dinner?Work/life balance is something that’s incredibly important to me, and there are some specific time-management tactics I use that help me be efficient at my job, and let me handle all the tasks involved with generated leads for HubSpot with time to spare to write blog posts, too.1) Use data to determine your next projects and priorities.Your time is limited, so you should choose projects that can make the biggest impact for your company. Reporting day might be your most dreaded day of the month, but it’s important to know how your marketing efforts have paid off — or could use additional improvements.Here are some examples of trends you might see in your data, and projects that can help you improve those numbers. You’re getting followers on Twitter, but website traffic has dipped. If your website visitors are more high-quality than Twitter followers, refocus your efforts on blogging and content creation. Then share each post on Twitter to drive followers to your site.Your blog traffic has skyrocketed, but lead generation remained flat. Add calls-to-action to each of your blog posts so you can drive some of that blog traffic to your landing pages.Your lead gen from paid search has increased, but costs are through the roof. Make sure each ad leads to a highly-optimized landing page with a high quality score to ensure a high ROI.2) Run big A/B tests, not just incremental A/B tests.Running an A/B test will help you determine which of two variations of a marketing asset will perform better, such as a landing page, call-to-action, or email. According to many “best practices” you’ll read online, your variant should only have one element that’s different from your control. For example, you should test your headline OR color scheme OR form length.I say, GO ALL IN. If you want to find variations that are going to make a huge impact on your clickthrough rate or conversion rate, you need to make some big changes. Don’t be afraid to run big tests.For example, here’s a test I ran a few months ago on our thank-you pages (a.k.a. confirmation pages) that yielded a 125% increase in trial sign-up conversion rates:Control Thank-You Page:Test Thank-You Page:The formatting, images, copy, and form are all different. Making these changes one-by-one and testing them individually would have taken months. Instead, we were able to move the needle on our goals much more quickly by testing drastic changes.3) Create lists of content ideas.The problem with brainstorming is that it often takes a while to get the juices flowing. If you get a couple-hour block of time to work on creating some content and you don’t have any ideas ready-to-go, you’ll waste a lot of that time staring at a blank screen and trying to think of what to write.Make the most of your brainstorms by writing down all the different ideas you come up with, instead of just using one idea, going with it, and forgetting the rest. You can use this handy blog editorial calendar template to plan out your next month of content. Or you can jot a few of your ideas on a whiteboard. Whatever works for you!4) Get a head start with free resources.Whether you’re creating a new ebook, coding a new website page, or designing a call-to-action button, you often don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are tons of free templates, graphics, and HTML/CSS code out there on the web that people generously give away. Use them. What matters is that the content you’re creating is unique to your business and helps your audience solve their specific problems. The design of your ebook or how long it took you to create a graphic doesn’t really matter to your prospects.Here are some free templates we’ve created, but also feel free to Google for other resources — there’s so much out there.Ebook templatesBlog post templatesInfographic templates (these make great blog posts!)Call-to-action templatesPress release template5) Use proven time-saving tricks.There are a few general productivity hacks that can save you lots of time — time that you can spend doing tasks that will make the biggest impact on your goals. Here are some of the best:Limit interruptions. Keep your email inbox closed when cranking on a big project. Only check it a few times a day instead of every ten seconds (you know you’re guilty of it).Cut meeting length. If you have 1-hour meetings on your calendar, cut them to 1/2 hour. Cut 1/2 hour meetings to fifteen minutes. Faster meetings are more productive meetings, and they’ll get you back to your desk more quickly.Wear headphones. Wear them even if you don’t listen to music. This way people will be more hesitant to interrupt you if they can visibly tell you’re in the zone.Schedule fake meetings. If you see a four-hour free block of time later in the week, literally block that time in your calendar so you can crank away on work. Better yet, instead of creating one solid four-hour block, create four one-hour blocks so people don’t see through your strategy and book time with you anyway.Sign off from your instant messaging client. Or make yourself invisible or mark yourself as “busy” to keep people from bothering you.6) Eliminate repetition.Everyone needs to deal with tedious tasks as part of their day-to-day jobs, whether it’s monthly reporting, responding to questions via email, or simply accessing a dashboard each day. Set up systems to ensure that these tasks take as little time as possible.Set up bookmarks. My browser bookmarks bar spans the entire length of my monitor, and it saves me so much time each day. I’ve bookmarked things like my HubSpot login screen, HubSpot tracking URL builder, important Salesforce reports, A/B test significance calculator, ebook cover templates site, and more. Do an occasional cleanup of your bookmarks bar and get rid of anything you don’t regularly click on.Set up Gmail canned responses. If you find that you’re getting a lot of the same questions over and over via email, save your response as a canned response. This way you can reply to the email in a single click instead of typing out the response every time.Save your passwords. Use a browser plugin like LastPass to save your passwords or use a single sign-on password, or keep an Evernote file with all the username/passwords you use (use good judgment here, of course — you might not want to save bank passwords using this method). This way you don’t have to jog your memory or use the “Forgot Password?” tool each time you need to log in somewhere.Want to share this post? Here are some ready-made tweets:Click to tweet: How to Be an Efficient Marketer Without Losing Your Sanity – http://hub.am/1itT85d by @DianaUrban at @HubSpot #efficiency #marketingtipClick to tweet: Check out these time-saving tips on how to be a more efficient marketer – http://hub.am/1itT85d #efficiency #marketingtipClick to tweet: Hey marketers! Feeling overwhelmed? Check out these tips on how to be more efficient – http://hub.am/1itT85d #efficiency #marketingtip 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: Business Skills
Originally published Mar 5, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: No matter what your ecommerce strategy involves, gaining consumer confidence is crucial to achieving success in 2015. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts: consumer confidence can only be earned through hard work, but it’s a whole heck of a lot easier when you use these three easy steps as your guide.HonestyThe first step to gaining consumer confidence is by accurately representing your products. Yes, part of your job is to make your brands’ products look good, but there’s a world of difference between a beautiful presentation and a misrepresentation. Providing shoppers with accurate and detailed product information is the best way to give consumers a representation of what will arrive on their doorstep when they click “buy” – and you want their expectations to be well met.The most successful brands don’t pursue one-time shoppers; they acquire loyal repeat-shoppers, otherwise known as the 8% of consumers who make 41% of online purchases. The best way to gauge your accuracy and honesty is through your customers’ reviews. If a product is receiving consistently poor reviews, there’s a disconnect between consumers’ expectations and the physical product. No product is going to please everyone, but consistently bad reviews (as opposed to a small percentage) indicate one of the following: either your product isn’t being presented accurately or the price per value isn’t a good fit for your target demographic. In either case, this feedback from consumers is crucial.Even if a product doesn’t live up to consumer expectations, there’s still an opportunity to establish trust through excellent customer service. Facilitate free returns for unsatisfied shoppers so they don’t feel duped. Publically responding to negative reviews is another good tactic: it requires only a small investment of time, but it will have a huge impact on unhappy shoppers and other potential consumers perusing product reviews. ConsistencyOnce you’ve set the precedence of honesty with your customer, it’s crucial that you provide consistency. One great shopping experience can be obliterated by a negative one. It’s important to make sure you’re consistent in the following areas.Product InformationThere’s nothing more frustrating than inconsistent product information. It doesn’t matter if you’re a huge omnichannel retailer with multiple brick and mortar locations or an independent brand that’s sold through different online retail channels: all of your product information needs to remain consistent. It doesn’t take much to trip up a sale – it could be something as seemingly inconsequential as one retailer calling a bag “powder blue” while another names the same bag “sky blue” – anything that could potentially confuse your customers is a big no-no.BrandingIt doesn’t matter how hilarious or clever product copy is, if it’s not consistent with your branding for your company, it’s not going to have a positive impact. That’s not to say you shouldn’t imbue your brand with personality, but it’s crucial that your brand connects with your target audience. In other words, a joke that’s hilarious to a 19 to 35-year-old demographic probably won’t resonate with the 40 to 65-year-old demographic, and vice versa. Make sure that once you’ve picked your brand voice, you stick with it – it doesn’t mean you can’t evolve and expand to a new audience, but it has to feel organic. Ultimately, it’s more important to stay true to your core customer base than risk alienating them to attract a new one.Customer ServiceRetail battles are won and lost in the customer service department, and a big part of that is providing shoppers with whatever they need to be happy. Go above and beyond to consistently surprise and delight customers with your ability to handle their problems by doing things like offering online shoppers free return shipping so they feel comfortable purchasing new products. TrustTrust is the glue on a successful long-term relationship, whether it’s between romantic partners or a retailer and their customers, and it also happens to be the natural result of honesty and consistency. Earning a consumer’s trust is the first step to creating a brand evangelist that will share their positive experiences with their friends and family. According to a recent study by Forbes, 81% of respondents indicated that their friends and family directly influence their purchase decisions. That’s an amazing asset to retailers who are able to win consumers’ trust.The TakeawaysConsumer confidence is crucial to long-term growth and shortcuts aren’t an option. However, those retailers and brands that pursue honesty, accuracy, and consistency will see extraordinary long term results. Ecommerce 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: Thankfully for all you recent college grads out there (and your parents), the job market’s looking up for folks who’ve recently gotten their diploma. More employers plan to hire recent college graduates in 2015 than in previous years, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).And for those of you about to graduate, things are looking good, too: Two-thirds of employers who responded to NACE’s “Job Outlook 2015 Spring Update” survey reported they expected to increase or maintain current hiring levels for the Class of 2016.Woohoo! But … where do you actually go about finding these jobs? Download free resume templates to create a killer resume.When college graduates decide where to move to begin their careers, they aren’t just packing up and heading in droves to the usual suspects, like New York and San Francisco. In recent years, a surprising number of cities both in the U.S. and around the world have shown they can offer more entry-level job opportunities, higher incomes, better quality of life, lower cost of living … and in some cases, all four.We’ve scoured the web for studies, reports, and news stories to find some of the best places in the world to start a career after college graduation. Whether you’re aiming to begin a career in technology or finance or healthcare, or at a huge company, a startup, or a nonprofit, check out our favorites below, which are listed in no particular order.12 of the Best Cities to Start Your Career1) Austin, TexasImage Credit: White Blaze MediaAustin is one of the top tech hubs — not just in Texas, but in the whole of the U.S. It’s home to offices of some of the country’s top employers, including Google, Apple, Facebook, Cisco Systems, eBay, Blizzard Entertainment, Samsung, and more.”Entrepreneurs say it’s easy to start a business there, networking is top-notch, taxes are low, regulations are light, and hiring is a breeze,” writes Jose Pagliery for CNN.But Austin isn’t just a twin of San Francisco: First of all, it has a low cost of living compared with other capital cities in the U.S. Notably, it was #1 on WalletHub’s list of cities to start a career based on quality of life, #3 for population growth percentage, and #11 for entry-level opportunities.If you’re intrigued by a lively music and cultural scene, Austin’s friendly, funky vibe might just be the cherry on top. It’s a liberal city in an otherwise conservative state, and ranks #1 for “small business friendliness” according to a survey from Thumbtack. Its annual South by Southwest event — an annual set of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences — is a great example of the interesting mix of tech and art the city’s population holds dear.2) Amsterdam, NetherlandsImage Credit: Theo WinterIf you’ve ever been to Amsterdam or know someone who has, then you’ve likely gotten a taste of how beautiful and unique it is. With its gorgeous, 17th-century canals, parks, and paths, it’s a big city with a small-town feel. It has very bike-friendly roads — WIRED ranked it the second most bike-friendly city in the world in 2015, after Copenhagen. Plus, it’s super easy to get from Amsterdam to pretty much anywhere in the world: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has repeatedly been voted one of the best airports in the world, and it has high-speed trains connected to cities all over Europe.Beauty aside, Amsterdam’s economy is also thriving, making it an attractive place for young career-seekers. It has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe, and the Netherlands’ excellent tax laws are attracting tech companies to move there — and with them, job opportunities. It’s one of the most competitive business locations in Europe and host to a variety of industries, including a flourishing start-up scene. The Expatcenter works with the Dutch government to help highly skilled migrants and their families with residence permits, work visas, and taxes.Another reason to love Amsterdam? The culture. In the Netherlands, the Dutch refer to their culture as “Gezelligheid,” an abstract noun that has no true English translation. “It can mean quaint, cozy, friendly, warm, and/or welcoming,” writes Lisa Miller for The Huffington Post. The friendly community, the vibrant culture and nightlife, the great job opportunities, and the healthy work-life balance all make Amsterdam a great choice for starting your career. 3) Santiago, ChileImage Credit: International Health StrategiesAlthough it might be far from home for most of you, hear me out. Not only does Santiago have relatively low corruption, low debt, and some of the lowest business and income taxes in the developed world, but it’s also quietly positioning itself as a new hub of entrepreneurship and innovation in South America.Because it’s a pretty small country, Chile only graduates about 1,400 engineers every year — and most of that talent ends up going into natural resource industries. After all, the copper industry accounts for almost half of the country’s income.Chile’s government has recognized the need to attract talent from abroad — and made changes to accomplish that. The innovation strategy it’s been building is meant to attract the best and brightest from all over the world. One way it’s doing it? With the Startup Chile program, which it implemented with the goal of transforming the Chilean entrepreneurial ecosystem.4) Washington, D.C.Image Credit: E. David LuriaFor college graduates interested in public policy, government, nonprofits, and a growing startup scene, Washington D.C. is a great place to start and grow a career. Mashable gives it the #1 spot for networking opportunities. College grads will also be in great company, as almost one-third of the city’s population is between the ages of 20 and 34.WalletHub ranked it #3 in both quality of life and professional opportunities. And according to Fortune Magazine, it has a “reasonable cost of living for a city of its size.” The well-functioning public transportation system also spans to close by Virginia and Maryland, which have even more affordable housing options.If that hasn’t convinced you, then here’s the kicker: D.C. was named the best U.S. city for single people, scoring highest in the U.S. in “mating opportunities,” according to WalletHub. After all, with 58% of the population being single, there are plenty of fish in the sea.5) Denver, ColoradoImage Credit: City-Data.comThe combination of plentiful entry-level opportunities for young professionals, quality of life, and a gorgeous setting makes Denver a great place for young people to live and grow their careers — especially those who love the great outdoors.According to WalletHub, Denver is #8 on a list of 150 cities for professional opportunities for entry-level workers, and #13 for quality of life. WalletHub also found the “extraordinarily varied local economy generates lots of jobs, relatively high starting salaries, and robust income growth.”The city’s also well known for its vibrant art scene and the virtually unlimited list of things to do outside, including skiing, snowboarding, and hiking at over a dozen nearby local mountain resorts. It has a whopping 300 days of sunshine most years, and 80 miles of trails within the city limits alone.6) Houston, TexasImage Credit: City-Data.comHouston was #1 of 150 cities on WalletHub’s list for the highest starting salaries adjusted for cost of living. In fact, the median annual income there is 3X higher than in Honolulu. And although Houston is the United States’ fourth most populous city, its real estate prices don’t reflect that, according to CNN.The city has a great entrepreneurial business climate with little government intervention. The Atlantic called it “America’s #1 job creator” in 2013 after it became the first major city to not only regain all the jobs lost in the downturned U.S. economy, but also the first city to add more than two jobs for everyone one it lost after the crash. That’s just impressive. Its most lucrative industry? Energy, as you may have guessed, given its proximity to oil.7) Raleigh, North CarolinaImage Credit: Anderson PaintingRaleigh is one of the smaller cities on our list, but it’s become a go-to spot for college graduates interested in financial services, software, energy, retail, and its famous “Research Triangle.” The triangle is formed by three cities: Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill — all three with major research universities. You’ll also find the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park here, too, which is one of the best tech research and development centers in the United States.Along with a solid economy, it’s been rated with a high quality of life (it’s accessible to both beautiful mountains and beautiful beaches) and low cost of living. Although the cost of living is beginning to creep up: One study found that a little under 72% of Raleigh-area homes are deemed affordable at the median income level.But many people who move to Raleigh after college end up settling there, which speaks to how attractive a place it is to live. Forbes named it the #1 place to raise a family in the U.S. 8) Montreal, CanadaImage Credit: The OdoraIf you want to live affordably in a big city and you’re willing to learn a little bit of French, then Montreal could be the perfect place to launch your career. The cost of living is lower than many North American cities, including other major Canadian cities like Vancouver and Toronto. Plus, the city’s employment growth rate is among the highest for major U.S. and Canadian cities. Its key industries are information and communications technologies, aerospace, and creative industries, according to Montreal International.Montreal is also one of the most culturally rich cities in North America, with a thriving live music and arts scene and a significant percentage of the population coming from cities and countries around the world. It has the second most diverse population in Canada after Ottawa-Gatineau. And let’s be honest … any city that dedicates an entire week to poutine (a delicious combination of fries, cheese curds, and gravy) and an entire month to igloos has their priorities straight.9) Boston, MassachusettsImage Credit: Dan HulubeiBoston is host to students from more than 100 colleges and universities including Harvard, MIT, Boston University, and Boston College — many who end up sticking around after graduation. In recent years, the city has “gone to great lengths to stop young alumni from fleeing to bigger cities,” according to Thrillist. And it’s worked: Now, the city has the highest concentration of people ages 20 to 34 of any major U.S. city.Despite a higher cost of living than most of the cities on this list, salaries in Boston are overall attractive, sitting at 34% above the U.S. average. It’s a great place for college graduates who want to live in a big city, but who are overwhelmed by huge, sprawling cities like New York and Los Angeles. It’s also a great place for sports fans.(Oh, and did I mention HubSpot’s hiring in our Boston-area office?)10) Dallas, TexasImage Credit: Huston-Tillotson UniversityThat’s right: Another city in Texas made the shortlist. Why? Because of its many opportunities for entry-level employment, along with a healthy balance of low cost of living, high salaries, and low unemployment, according to a study by Apartments.com and CareerBuilder.com.Dallas is home to the headquarters for a lot of major corporations, including J.C. Penney, GameStop, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Dave & Busters, Frito-Lay, and Rolex. Its most thriving industries? Telecommunications, technology, and manufacturing. But And CNN reports that startups have been flocking there because of its low taxes and minimal government interference.11) Minneapolis, MinnesotaImage Credit: John WeeksWith its stable economy, low cost of living, and relatively high salaries, Minneapolis has earned its place as one of the best places to start your career after college. It was named one of Fortune Magazine’s top cities for finding a job, and is host to many well known companies like Target, 3M, General Mills, Wells Fargo, and the Mayo Clinic. According to NerdWallet, “Minneapolis is young, affordable and thriving economically, making it a solid choice for recent graduates.” The most popular industries for job seekers are in marketing, banking, and retail. Not only is rental housing affordable, but it’s plentiful, too: More than half of homes in the city are rentals, and about 5% of them are unoccupied. NerdWallet found that Minneapolis residents with a bachelor’s degree who are 25 years old or older will spend 21.8% of their income on housing, and in many cases, rents are under $1,000 a month.If you’re into staying fit, then you’ll fit right in, as that’s something the city’s well known for. It ranked #2 in the American Fitness Index’s list of fitness cities, and more than 80% of the city’s residents say they engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day. It’s no wonder, seeing as the city’s full of parks and trails that encourage an active lifestyle. You’ll have to stay motivated through the freezing winters, though.12) Sydney, AustraliaImage Credit: WikiProject SydneyThe thriving startup community, cosmopolitan spirit, and high quality of life are the biggest allures of Australia’s largest city. According to Virgin Entrepreneur, “Sydney is now home to a raft of start-up accelerators and incubators, which have resulted in a rapid expansion in microbusinesses in the city. … Australia produces some great talent and creative and innovative people — and in the tech sector, these people gravitate to Sydney. The Australian lifestyle also attracts smart people from around the world.”Alongside a strong but friendly business culture, you’ll find an excellent lifestyle and a culturally diverse population. The downside? A pretty high cost of living in comparison to other cities in Australia. It’s a tradeoff for an arguably better quality of life, if you think about the proximity of beaches and national parks to the city center. (And good news: HubSpot’s hiring here, too.)Which cities do you recommend for recent college graduates, and why? Share with us in the comments. Job Search Originally published Oct 5, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated December 13 2018 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Data-Driven 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 Originally published Jan 28, 2016 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Look, no one has a crystal ball at the ready to tell you who’s going to buy what, and how much, and when. Does that mean you have to wait around to see what a customer’s going to do? Of course not. You can learn a lot about your customers by studying their habits—past visits to your site—to predict what they’ll do next. It’s just a matter of knowing what information you need and when to use it.From Search to Landing PageOne of your best friends when determining customer behavior predictions is your Google AdWords account. This program determines all the keywords your buyers searched, which of those searches resulted in clicks through to your site, and which of those clicks through resulted in a sale.Once the buyers have clicked through from AdWords to a landing page on your site, you can use that information to lay a path from start to purchase. After all, you already know what they’re looking for. They told you when they searched Google for it. Should you slow them down in their search by leading them to a generic landing page? By creating more clicks instead of directing them right to the shopping cart and checkout? Of course not. When a buyer tells you what they want to buy, you remove all obstacles.From Social Media to WebsiteIt’s harder to pin down a visitor’s reason to stopping by when they come through social channels. The hardest of all is a click to the address in your company profile. You can assume that social proof is important to that buyer and react accordingly, but you won’t get much more information than that.Clicks through from specific social posts, however, can tell you a lot more about the buyers’ thought process. Did they visit to read a particular blog? You might surmise they’re looking for more information. Did they click through an image of your hottest products? Maybe they’re in the market for one of those products, or maybe they just like to know what the trends are.Every action on social marketing channels will help you narrow down the information you need, so don’t give up. The more information you have about your visitors’ past behavior, the easier you can predict where they’ll go next. From First-Time Buyer to Loyal ShopperPast purchases give you the greatest insight into buyer behavior, don’t they? That’s why you can’t consider the transaction complete once you’ve received payment. Now you know more about that buyer than you ever had, so you can’t just let them walk away forever.The information you gather after this purchase will tell you what you need to know to move forward. Was the purchase a gift or something necessary to the buyer? Did he or she purchase accessories? Did the buyer spend a lot of time making a decision—evidenced by multiple visits to your site, comparisons between products, and perhaps even conversations with customer service?What you learn will help you determine if you should continue providing gift ideas to the buyer or if they need more information about similar products for their own use. If they often buy the accessories needed to make your products bigger and better, then they’re probably going to appreciate upselling and cross-selling information.You never want to make your use of past information creepy, so be careful when showing your hand. Buyers will appreciate a PPC click leading to a landing page, but they may not want to see ads for that exact product following them around for days after their initial search. They might enjoy their social media clicks leading to the right information on your website, but they may get a little freaked out if you strike up a Twitter conversation out of the blue. Your goal is to smooth the path between want and own, to provide the information buyers need as soon as they need it—not to be a stalker.
10) Slow FactorySlow Factory makes limited-edition silk scarves, but they also have a great background story:We create silk garments using scientific open data and creating meaningful partnerships with NGOs working in preserving our Planet or defending Human Rights. For our latest collection, Petit Atlas, we partnered with the World Wildlife Fund and created a limited edition collection that contributes and supports the preservation work they are doing in keeping our oceans clean.”You can find their most striking visual storytelling on their products page. The models shown sporting these scarves are cosmopolitan, chic, mysterious, worldly, and well-traveled. Their brand is as quirky and unusual as their advertising, which is exactly how it should be.11) Heinz KetchupOn the other end of the spectrum from “quirky and unusual” is Heinz Ketchup. But that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to tell a compelling story that makes people want to get off of their couches and rush to the nearest burger joint.I really love how this Instagram image works with its caption: “Pork. Topped with Pork. Topped with Jalapeno Ketchup. #enoughsaid.” The lesson: Not every story needs to be poetry.12) The Large Hadron Collider Pop-Up Book (by CERN)Visual storytelling’s power comes from the ability to convey a lot of information at a glance. I would argue that a tactile pop-up book is able to convey even more information. There’s a sense of scale and wonder you get with 3D representations that two dimensions can never quite cover. This pop-up book, for example, contains 16 pop-ups that tell the story of how the large Hadron Collider experiment works.13) INKODYEInkodye allows you to print fabric with sunlight-activated “Inkodye” to create fantastically original designs. The storytelling comes in with their “Recent #inkodye projects on Instagram” feed, where all Inkodye users are invited to post their latest creations.Not only are the images exceptionally artistic, but they also reveal a community of artists, designers, hipsters, parents, and kids, and bring them together through this creative process. When you look through their feed, you can’t help but think: “I want one of those!” Clearly, this is a community of people who dream outside of the box.14) PISTONPISTON is a San Diego-based marketing agency that combines striking, thoughtful creativity with the utmost professionalism. And the images they use to market themselves strike this balance perfectly. I love this particular image because it turns the typical stock photography “man in suit” image on its head by including that colorful candy ring.That’s not a stock image. That’s an image that says “I am the consummate professional — but I can also be fun and intriguing at the same time.”That ring doesn’t tell a story. It does something even more powerful. It hints that behind that suit and tie is a wild tale, just waiting to be told.15) First Round CapitalFirst Round is a venture capital firm that provides seed-stage funding to technology companies. Essentially, startups are their business, and helping the best rise to the top is their mission. At the end of 2015, First Round decided to tell the story of some of these startups. Using data gathered through SurveyMonkey, they used Visage — a very cool visual storytelling tool — to turn those numbers into a design that offers a snapshot of the current startup ecosystem. The result of over 500 responses is 10 insights into what it’s like to run a startup today, illustrated with several types of graphs and charts. Originally published May 11, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Video Marketing Pork. Topped with Pork. Topped with Jalapeño Ketchup. #enoughsaid #recipe http://t.co/nKRn3W8oio pic.twitter.com/tg0pGiIg6N— Heinz Ketchup (@HeinzKetchup_US) October 5, 2015 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Before the days of neon lights and marquee signs, business owners had to get creative when it came to advertising their establishments. In fact, wine bars in ancient Rome used to hang bunches of vine leaves outside their door as a nod to the God of Wine, Bacchus. And when weather conditions left them with a short supply of vine leaves, barkeeps turned to bushes — inns called Bush, or Bull & Bush, still exist today.But others didn’t even have that. They had to get artistic. And with a largely illiterate population, pictorial signs were the only logical advertising choice.Visual storytelling — or passing on a lot of information through a relatively simple visual aid — has been a cornerstone of marketing for thousands of years. I’d like to say we’ve come a long way, but really? What worked then works now: We see what we want and we’re driven to buy it.Perhaps, if anything has changed, it’s what we want from life. That’s where today’s visual storytellers have a chance to not only say “Hey, you can get this here!” but also lead the consumer into a whole new world of possibilities.Below you’ll find 15 of the very best examples of visual storytelling from B2C, B2B, crowdfunding, and SaaS. These companies know how to tell a brand story that seeds desire, starts relationships, and inspires nothing short of love. Check ’em out.15 Stunning Examples of Visual Storytelling1) ModclothSomething grabs hold of me every time I visit Modcloth … which I do with alarming regularity. Sure, part of the appeal is the clothes. But that’s not what has me back on an almost daily basis — just to check.When I click onto Modcloth’s homepage, I find myself in a world of friendly sisterhood. I see stories of women, like me, who are having the times of their lives. The online retailer presents their visual storytelling as a slider on the homepage. Instead of each slide having its own image, each corresponding to a different sales page or theme, they devote the entire slide series to expanding on one core idea. This spring, that idea was a girls’ road trip.This series showcases the clothes, but it also tells a deeper story about relationships, female bonding, and a distinctly feminine sense of adventure. These images make me feel part of a tribe of active, vibrant women. After just a few seconds, I’m ready to start planning my own road trip with my best friend — and when I do, I know exactly the clothes I want to pack (just have to order them first).These aren’t just aspirational advertisements, like those you’d seen in a magazine. These are no catwalk models. Nothing here is impossibly chic, or so stylized that it’s out of reach. That is part of what makes the magic of Modcloth’s particular brand of storytelling. These are stories we could write for ourselves.2) PatagoniaPatagonia has one of the strongest brands and most passionate followings. They’re just good people. Every piece of their marketing points to their commitment to quality and a deep integrity and care for the environment. I have no reason to buy Patagonia — you won’t even find a windbreaker in my closet — but I love them as a business. And if even your non-target audience sings your praises, you are clearly doing something right.Their visual storytelling supports this core story of integrity and environmental stewardship. Each image shows real people (they don’t look like models — it looks like users sending in their photos) enjoying the outdoors, clinging to cliff sides, trudging through snow-covered mountains, or flinging themselves off the sides of yachts in the Caribbean.These are images that speak to a very specific niche audience. After all, not all of us associate snow, cliffs, or open water with a good time (Jaws? Open Water?). But for their target audience, these are the images that stoke the fires, fill the sails, and send them off into planning their next adventures.And then there was the Worn Wear campaign. The tagline “Better than new” immediately tells you that this is no ordinary marketing effort. In fact, the “Worn Wear wagon” (pictured above) drives around the country with Patagonia to repair old garments and gear, sell used clothing, and hold DIY workshops. Along the way, they’re also reinforcing the brand’s values and bolstering their community of loyal fans. They spread the word on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter — all highly visual mediums — for brand followers to meet up and mend their garments.3) SlackSeems like everyone is on Slack these days … even NASA.This single piece of visual storytelling on their homepage speaks volumes. And the story it tells isn’t about team meetings or group chats: it’s about ROBOTS ON MARS! That’s got to be the most thrilling three words a nerd like me can hear. (Right next to “aliens on Mars,” which would be even more exciting. But robots? Still pretty cool.) And this image, with this perfect tagline, tells me that this product enables teams like mine to accomplish something spectacular.When I see this image, it’s almost as if I’m putting a robot on Mars myself. I must have dropped my NASA badge around here, somewhere …4) Internet Live StatsInternet Live Stats is part of the Real Time Statistics Project and was created by an international team of developers, researchers, and analysts with the goal to make statistics available in a dynamic, time-relevant way to everyone. Their data-visualization team isn’t too shabby either — it’s one thing to read that there were 7,162 Tweets in a single second. It’s quite another to see it.The visual of 7,162 birds is far more impactful than the header saying “7,162 Tweets sent in 1 second.” It’s a different kind of visual storytelling, but compelling nevertheless.5) Offerman WoodshopNick Offerman, best known for his role as Ron Swanson in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” is not only an actor and comedian — he’s also an accomplished carpenter. And he’s got attitude. This guy has personality, and it emanates from everything he does. No nonsense. Back to basics. Rugged. Bacon. These are the phrases that resonate for Offerman fans, who won’t bat an eye at paying $145 for a “Build Your Own Damn Stool” kit.Why? Because you’re buying so much more than a deconstructed stool. You’re filling out a membership card to an exclusive group of unapologetic carnivores, manly men, and people who figure that if an Abacus was good enough for their great-grandfathers, it’s good enough for them. It’s an ideology and a fantasy. And all of it comes through in every. Single. Image.No smiles. Smiles are superfluous. Give that man bacon and you might get a twitch of the lip.6) 1001 Knights (Kickstarter)1001 Knights is a three-volume anthology project, essentially creating a beautifully illustrated set of books that feature a diverse cast of noble characters with feminist overtones. Now, if you’ve ever attempted crowdfunding on Kickstarter or any other site, you’ll know this: Successfully finding an audience and talking them into paying requires a truly stirring plea. And that plea had better include powerful visuals.This is visual storytelling — literally.And, it’s done so successfully, that they exceeded their original goal of $70,000 by $229,192.The Kickstarter video’s voiceover is not what draws people in. It’s the images. The promise that these stories are like nothing you’ve ever read, or seen, before. Stories about knights — who are women. Who are complex characters of color. Who embrace the values of wisdom, courage, and fellowship.You don’t have to read a word of their Kickstarter page to understand these concepts, or to be driven to make your own donation. The images speak for themselves.7) TwoodieTwoodie’s images are easy to recognize — everything is gray except for the toys. Each image tells a story of play. Thought. Beauty. Simplicity. These games aren’t just for fun, they are objects of art.The brand itself is all about simplicity and beauty, which these product photos faithfully reflect. They’re stirring, vibrant, and fundamental.8) The Wild UnknownThe Wild Unknown is my favorite Tarot deck, and I confess, I bought it entirely because of a picture on Instagram.Their Instagram feed is a visual storytelling masterpiece. Artistry, magic, nature, elemental mystery – it’s all there. Social media is a huge resource for visual storytellers to share their work, and I love seeing businesses that take advantage of all it has to offer.9) Toca BocaToca Boca makes really cute and educational apps and games for children. They call their products “digital toys,” and one of their selling points is that digital toys have a number of benefits that physical toys lack: the ability to build bigger, build on the go, share and collaborate, the ability to take risks, and preserve “ever-expanding” creations.Fundamentally, Toca Boca combines high-tech with the ultra-simple. And their images, with simple shapes and color-blocked characters, are created completely in line with their brand. Topics: Photographs, maps, and data-visualizations — these are the tools of visual storytelling. But to use them effectively, remember the most important part of any kind of storytelling: The audience.Whereas ye olde customer was satisfied with a couple of fighting roosters and a pint, today’s customer wants much, much more. Relationships. Time. The promise of a better life. Insights that change their paradigms. And, they want all of these things at a glance.Are you ready to give it to them?Want more tips for creating visual content? Check out these viral video marketing examples.
Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Jan 12, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated November 04 2019 Business Calculators Have you ever sat in a meeting and been asked, “Well, how much is that [insert necessary marketing tool or program to grow business] going to cost?”Those who run the budget at companies must ensure return on investment from every activity that they put dollars behind — otherwise you wouldn’t have resources to do your job. Trouble is, solidifying those resources and proving they’ll be worth the investment can definitely be a challenge.Whether you’re tasked with managing advertising spend or budgeting for events, this handy list of free calculator tools will help you prove the return on investment (ROI) of the programs and budget you need to grow your business and scale over time.9 Handy Business Calculators That’ll Make Your Life Easier1) Attend.com’s Event ROI CalculatorEvent marketers know how challenging it can be to attribute leads, pipeline, and revenue from events. Luckily, Attend.com created an event ROI calculator to help your events team determine the cost of the event, the benefits — both quantitative and qualitative — from the event, and how those factors translate into revenue generated. In short: This calculator will arm you with the numbers your executives will be looking for after running any event for your business.2) HubSpot’s Advertising ROI CalculatorPaying for ads can be risky if budget is tight — who knows if it’ll pay off? But using the HubSpot Ad Spend ROI Calculator will help you break down your budget, set a price for how much you’re willing to spend per click, target your conversion rate, set a value for how much your customers are worth from ads, and turn around with a value for the return on your ad spend based on your starting budget.3) Kissmetrics’ A/B Test Significance CalculatorGrowth marketers know that conversion rate optimization is critical to an inbound marketing strategy — thus the need to prove all A/B tests pass with statistical significance. Kissmetrics created this A/B test significance calculator to help determine whether or not your conversion experiments are passing a significance test, ultimately to help you determine if changing that email subject line really did increase the open rate.4) HubSpot’s Leads Goal (SLA) CalculatorHas anyone at your company ever asked, “How many leads per month does our sales team ACTUALLY need to hit their pipeline goals?” If not, this Leads Calculator (also known as a Service Level Agreement, or SLA calculator) will be your handy monthly tool to answer that question. This calculator will help you measure current sales close rates, assign dollar values to each of your major lead sources, track monthly lead generation by channel, and commit to a monthly lead goal.5) WebStrategies’ Digital Marketing Budget CalculatorWebStrategies created a handy Excel template calculator to help marketers determine monthly or annual budgets based on revenue each year. This calculator will help your team and executives understand roughly how much budget to request for certain marketing initiatives such as PPC spend, SEO, email marketing, social media ads, and more.6) Entreprenuer.com’s Email Marketing ROI CalculatorEntrepreneur.com created this online calculator tool to determine the return on investment from email marketing, specifically the cost, revenue, and profit from one email send to the criteria you set (audience size, response rate, campaign costs, etc.). This calculator will help your team understand the value of sending an email campaign and the opportunity to generate revenue on each person that clicks through to close a deal from that email.7) HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing ROI CalculatorThis calculator helps determine the rough estimate of ROI when onboarding to HubSpot. After inputting average monthly visits, leads, and sales price per customer, this calculator outputs an estimated dollar amount increase after using HubSpot for one year. This one will specifically come in handy when proving to execs that inbound marketing and HubSpot is worth the investment.8) % Percent-Change CalculatorCalculating month over month, year over year, or any type of percentage change to report on requires zero math skills with this easy percent-change calculator. This free tool calculates percentage declines or increases based on the input of two values, so you can easily determine growth numbers in your next executive meeting.9) RenegadeWork’s Customer Acquisition Cost CalculatorCustomer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a well-known and critical metric to study in business. The cost to acquire a customer is essential to understanding the finances of scaling your business, but doesn’t always have to fall under finance’s wheelhouse every month. As marketers, use this calculator to determine how your budget paid off in reporting to execs. Did they give you that extra $10K for paid campaigns last month? Input how many extra customers you saw from that bump in the budget and allow your entire team to see what the cost of each customer is according to your marketing budget.What are your favorite business calculators? Share them in the comments below.
How about @BradF79 making an appearance on the blog for the second straight week. He’s back with a deep dive into the advanced metrics ahead of OSU-KSU this weekend. Excellent stuff.As always, before we get started, you can find the glossary for the advanced statistics here.Most of you I’m sure have heard the trends on Oklahoma State in Manhattan, 1-8 there since 1988, their lone win coming in 2010 with a 24-14 victory. Outside of that year, the home team has a history of winning this game. This will be a significant test for this team coming off the huge victory over West Virginia on Saturday…Five FactorsAs always, we are going to get started with the Five Factors.We’ll start this discussion with when Oklahoma State has the ball… There are clear advantages for OSU in 3 of the 5 items, perhaps the most glaring one in success rate. KSU is allowing teams to have success nearly 45 percent of the time, that’s 95th (out of 128) in FBS. Despite that number, they are doing a good job of limiting teams inside the 40 (giving up 4.22 points per trip), and we all know that there is a perception that OSU has struggled there, but that 5.08 value isn’t terrible either at 35th in the country. KSU has given up some big plays (IsoPPP) and will definitely have their work cut out for them again this week against the OSU offense. OSU’s +10 in turnover margin and haven’t turned the ball over recently, a trend that needs to continue.When Kansas State has the ball, they aren’t without their advantages. While not explosive at all (least explosive team in FBS), they are very successful, capable of driving the length of the field with good success rates. KSU will attempt to chew the clock and wear out the defense. They are very good at scoring once inside the 40 as well. OSU will hope to take advantage of their #1 in FBS opponent starting field position making KSU drive the length of the field hoping for a mistake or a stop. That along with the defensive rotations OSU is using may help them limit KSU’s scoring opportunities. One important thing to note is KSU does NOT turn the ball over which may limit the OSU’s defense ability to impact the game as they have the past few weeks.Unadjusted Success RatesMoving on to unadjusted (not modified based on the opponent difficulty) success rates and explosiveness values… Again, starting with the OSU offense… Immediately you should notice the passing success rate matchup. KSU is allowing over 50 percent success rates vs the pass, last in FBS.But while teams are having success, they aren’t getting much in the way of big plays. KSU’s defensive 1.36 IsoPPP value is in the top 30 (No. 29) in FBS. The offense this week may look a lot like last week, few big plays, but enough of the intermediate routes to work down the field. Rudolph must be accurate on these throws. OSU is struggling with giving up sacks on passing downs and KSU’s sack rates on passing downs are right around average. Keep on eye on KSU DL Jordan Willis however as he has eight of the 17 sacks for KSU this season (and 11.5 tackles for loss).OSU’s running game seems to be improving, but it’s still a major work in progress, still getting stopped at or behind the line on nearly 25 percent of all runs, and while the power success rate is good, the yards blocked and the opportunity rate of the RBs is not. KSU defense will be a huge test on the running game as their ability to stop the power game is 2nd in the country and their stuff rate is 15th. Their opponent-adjusted defensive line yards (not listed in the chart above) is 127.8 ypg which is 8th in the country. I think we all know what KSU does on offense and their 52 percent success rate at doing it is 6th in the country. Surprisingly, they have an even lower explosive rate than the OSU offense does in the run game, but paired vs the OSU defense that has given up big runs, that could change. Their opportunity rate and power success rates are both top 15 in the country as well. OSU has done a good job of stopping the run (except for the big plays) so this should be a good matchup. Their standard down success rate is great as well which was a big emphasis last week vs West Virginia as well. OSU definitely wants to put them in 2nd/3rd and long situations.KSU’s passing game isn’t as bad as you would think (41 percent success rate), pretty average and for a team that runs as well as they do, that’s generally enough. They do not hit you with the big play either, their IsoPPP numbers on offense for passing and passing downs are all extremely low. OSU has good numbers for passing down defense (limiting teams to 25 percent success rate), but they must get KSU into passing downs for that strength to be evident.Drive Success RatesBefore we get into opponent-adjusted play-by-play numbers, this week we are going to look at some drive-based metrics (which does include one opponent-adjusted number). These were not included last week, so I’ll give a brief run-down of the definitions.Opponent-adjusted efficiency is an efficiency number adjusted for opponents based on each possession (not each play). First down is the percentage of drives that achieve at least one first down. Available yards is total number of yards earned by the offense divided by the number of yards available to be earned based on starting field position. Value drive is the % of drives that begin at least 50 yards from the end zone and reach the opponent’s 30-yard line. Touchdown is the percentage of drives that result in a TD. Touchdown / First Down is the percentage of drives that result in a TD after a FD has been gained. Turnover is the % of drives that result in a turnover.The OSU offense certainly looks better when you look at it from a drive view instead of a play by play view. These numbers are all top 35 in FBS. The KSU defensive numbers are fairly average. The numbers that stick out the most are their turnover numbers (getting a turnover on 13 percent of opponent drives) and their available yards and value drive numbers, giving up nearly 51 percent of available yards and nearly 45 percent of opponent drives reaching their 30 yard line. Don’t be fooled however, since these are non-opponent adjusted rates, their opponent-adjusted efficiency of .24 is good (38th in FBS). They’ve played Stanford, WVU, OU, and TTU.KSU’s offense, like OSU, is not turning the ball over. Both teams are turning it over around 8.5 percent of the time. KSU is getting a first down on 76 percent of all drives, luckily their touchdown/first down number is only 37 percent. OSU defense is giving up a TD after a FD on 40 percent of drives. Pay attention to this matchup on Saturday, can OSU get off the field after giving up a first down. Something else to watch, on both sides is the turnover battle. OSU defense has been excellent at getting turnovers and KSU is not turning it over much. The opponent-adjusted offensive numbers for KSU are NOT good. That -0.11 number is 79th in FBS. We will take another look at a few other stats tomorrow. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. 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While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. One of the low-humming narratives constantly accompanying Mike Gundy and his football team no matter what year or how good they are is this: Oklahoma State is sort of low-key on the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to this sport.Now I don’t mean that they are wonky and wild in a “Mike Leach’s offense” kind of way. And I don’t mean they’re bent on catch phrases and t-shirts like P.J. Fleck squads. I mean that they have figured out that to compete with the alphas of this sport, you sometimes have to zig when everyone else is zagging.Think about all the ways Gundy has introduced innovation to Stillwater. From satellite camps to not hitting in preseason practices, Gundy has either invented or been an uber-early adopter in a variety of methodologies that would make other coaches squirm.“At first when I got this job, I guess I wasn’t smart enough to realize how hard it was,” said Gundy at Big 12 Media Days. “So we just never stopped. We moved forward. We tried to make the best decisions with the resources we had. We tried to be on the cutting edge, not only Xs and Os-wise, but from the science behind football, different ways to do things,cutting back on practices, not having full-scale tackle practices or scrimmages in the fall and spring.”Gundy talking about science, by the way, is bemusing and terrific.“We have some structure,” said Gundy. “We have certain ways that we expect our players to operate to be a part of our team and that we’re all lucky that we’re here,myself included, and that Oklahoma State football is by far bigger than any one person in our program, and we live by that.“We’re very disciplined. We’re very structured. Accountability is important. We’re unselfish. We respect our opponents, but we don’t fear anybody. I think that we’ve stayed with that, and we’ve created a culture where players understand success.”I’m not sure if it’s coincidence or something else, but not only has Oklahoma State paved the way for some of those Tier-2 or Tier-3 programs to a high level of success, it has also pushed the entire sport of college football forward. If only inadvertently.From the four-team playoff to a centralized rules command center in the Big 12, OSU has forced a lot of hands in the past few years.“Well, we’ve been trendsetters in a lot of different ways at Oklahoma State,” said Gundy. “We went to a four-team playoff, maybe based on what happened with our team years ago.“And unfortunately, we’re going to maybe a different replay system based on what happened to our team a year ago. I believe in the replay. I think it’s better. We want to get it right. I know it takes a little bit of time. I think any time we can go back and look and do the very best we can to make sure it’s correct and fair, I think it’s positive for football.”Good for society, too.I’m not totally convinced all of this is part of some master plan, but either way, it has happened. Gundy has taken risks off the field which has allowed him to not take them on it. And now Oklahoma State is a national title appearance away from having won 100 games in the last 10 years.So while ESPN and friends keep pumping the Jim Harbaughs of the world as those leading the charge in college football, don’t forget what Gundy has done in Stillwater. And don’t doubt what he might do next.
Chelsea Conte plays down talk of long-term issue for Kante after fainting incident Jon Fisher 23:11 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Chelsea Premier League Chelsea v Crystal Palace Crystal Palace The France international has trained this week after passing out following training in the build-up to the defeat at Manchester City. Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has allayed fears over the long-term health of N’Golo Kante and insisted the France midfielder is “fine”.Kante passed out after a training session in the build-up to Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City, prompting speculation the former Leicester City man could have a previously hidden issue.But Conte, speaking ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Crystal Palace, is adamant the 26-year-old is fit and in contention to face Roy Hodgson’s Premier League strugglers. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp He said: “N’Golo is fine, he trained the whole week. He’s in good form, yeah he’s fine.”Asked to explain what happened, the former Juventus boss added: “On Friday it was very cold and after the training session he passed out briefly in the dressing room.”After this situation, the doctor gave him many check-ups to understand his physical condition but it was all clear.”On Sunday he was well [and could have played] but it was right not to take risks. He’s okay and every check-up is okay, is perfect.”Kante’s availability will come as a huge relief to Conte, whose position continues to be questioned after four defeats in five league games have left his side fifth, five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.And the Italian is not expecting things to get easier against a Palace team he believes are better than their 18th place in the table suggests.”They have lost their last two games but they deserved more against Tottenham and Manchester United,” he added. “We must pay great attention. We need three points and we know very well that we are playing against a good team with talented players.Conte says N’Golo Kante is fine, in good form and has trained all week. #CHECRY — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 9, 2018 “Our confidence when you lose many games in a row is not simple. Our confidence is normal, we are working very well like always.”Chelsea lost the reverse fixture at Selhurst Park in October to a Palace side inspired by Wilfried Zaha, a player who may return from injury on Saturday, but Conte insisted the visitors are not just a one-man team.”We are talking about a really good player,” he said. “I remember in the first game, when we lost away, he scored and created a lot of problems.”But I think Crystal Palace are not just Zaha. [Andros] Townsend for me is a really good player, Benteke… there are many good players in their squad. To see them in this position in the table is a bit strange.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. TCU1-23-3 Baylor4-07-0 West Virginia1-33-4 Rushing Offense279.3160.4 Oklahoma StateIowa State Oklahoma4-07-0 TeamBig 12 RecordOverall Record STILLWATER — After a rough start, Iowa State is trending up lately, and after a solid start, the Cowboys are going in an opposite direction.Oklahoma State and Iowa State will meet at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Ames as the Cyclones look to continue their assent to the top of the Big 12, and as OSU looks to halt it’s free fall.Here is a look into that matchup, starting with standings and stats.Big 12 Standings Texas Tech1-33-4 Kansas State1-24-2 Oklahoma State1-34-3 Kansas0-42-5 Points Allowed Per Game3021.3 Offensive Stats Total Offense519.9481.1 Rushing Defense173.6111 Oklahoma StateIowa State Defensive Stats Passing Offense240.6320.7 Total Defense432.3333.9 Texas3-15-2 Passing Defense258.7222.9 Iowa State3-15-2 Purdy/Hall Make for Deadly CombinationFreshman running back Breece Hall has played in six of Iowa State’s seven games this season.In his first four outings, Hall had 18 combined carries for 84 rushing yards and no touchdowns. In the Cyclones’ two most recent games, Hall had 45 touches for 315 yards and five touchdowns.Hall is listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. At Mike Gundy’s weekly media luncheon, Iowa State’s freshman ball carrier drew comparisons to Chuba Hubbard, who is listed at 6-1, 207 pounds.“Yeah, that’s the bad news,” Gundy said.West Virginia was the unlucky foe that Hall was unleashed on, much like OSU was with Brock Purdy last year.Purdy hadn’t thrown a collegiate pass entering the Cyclones’ trip to Stillwater last season. Like Hall, Prudy also didn’t start in his breakout game. After a Zeb Noland-led three-and-out, Purdy came on and set torch to Stillwater, throwing for 318 yards and four touchdowns. The Cyclones haven’t looked back since.Purdy has completed 70 percent of his 233 pass attempts this season. He has thrown for a Big 12-best 2,185 yards to go with 14 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He also leads Iowa State in rushing touchdowns with six.“He’s a savvy quarterback,” Gundy said. “He’s very good. I think he’s gonna play in the NFL. He’s somewhat unusual mobile for his size, and he’s strong for his size. I think he’s 215, 220, something like that. Doesn’t look that big.“He’s a good football player and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. We drew the short straw last year, and they brought him out against us. He’s been in ever since, and he’s played well.”Helping HubbardIowa State brings the conference’s second-ranked rush defense into Saturday’s game, which could put OSU into a tough spot.The Cowboys likely don’t want to rely too heavily on their redshirt freshman quarterback in a hostile environment, especially considering that quarterback has turned the ball over eight times in the past two games.So the Cowboys, with the second-best rush offense in the conference, might have to meet Iowa State’s defense head on. It’ll be a solid, but brutal test for Chuba Hubbard, the nation’s leading rusher. But Hubbard might finally be getting some relief.Backup running back LD Brown ran for a season-high 79 yards against Baylor this past weekend, and 68 of those yards came on one play. Brown’s workload hasn’t picked up too much in terms of carries yet this season. His 28 carries are 166 fewer than that of Hubbard’s, but Brown’s 19.75 yards per carry performance against Baylor was one of few OSU bright spots.“He did what we brought him here to when he got in the open field, which is run away from people,” Gundy said. “We brought him here because he was fast, but we had never known if he was fast because he had never got in the open field. Well he’s in the open field now.”Gundy also mentioned Monday that junior college back Dezmon Jackson is “finally healthy.”Jackson had a 9-yard reception late in the Baylor game, but he has yet to have a carry in his first season in Stillwater. Jackson, a junior out of Hutchinson Community College, ran for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns on a 7.5 yard per carry clip at the junior college level last season.Hubbard will and should be the OSU’s featured ball carrier, but after seven games of questions behind him, OSU might finally be finding the answers. Points Per Game3837.1
World Cup World Cup 2018 Group A: Fixtures, standings, squads & full details on Russia & Egypt group Cady Siregar Last updated 1 year ago 00:17 6/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty World Cup Egypt Mohamed Salah Russia Saudi Arabia Uruguay Goal brings you all the details of the Group A fixtures including fixtures, standings and squads for Russia and Egypt This year’s World Cup finals kicked off with Russia vs Saudi Arabia playing the first fixture on June 14 in a Group A tie in Moscow.Russia got things under way as they are the home nation, and Group A is one of the more memorable of the competition – featuring Egypt, Uruguay, and Saudi Arabia.Salah found himself in a race against time to be fully fit for the opener after sustaining a shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final, and was absent for the Pharaohs opening match against Uruguay. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Goal will take a look at the rundown of the Group A fixtures ahead of the June start, as well as what to expect from each team and more.World Cup 2018 – Group A Fixtures Date Fixture Time Venue June 14 Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia 4pm UK / 11am US ET Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow June 15 Egypt 0-1 Uruguay 1pm UK / 8am US ET Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg June 19 Russia 3-1 Egypt 7pm UK / 2pm US ET Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg June 20 Uruguay 1-0 Saudi Arabia 4pm UK / 11am US ET Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don June 25 Saudi Arabia 2-1 vs Egypt 3pm UK / 10am US ET Volgograd Arena, Volgograd June 25 Uruguay 3-0 vs Russia 3pm UK / 10am US ET Samara Arena, Samara Russia got the tournament off to a thrilling start by putting five goals past Saudi Arabia before Uruguay followed that up with a narro – and late – victory over an Egypt side sans Salah. The hosts continued their excellent start to the competition by inflicting a 3-1 defeat on Egypt, who failed to secure a crucial result despite welcoming Salah back into the starting XI.Uruguay then secured their qualification to the last 16 by edging out Saudi Arabia 1-0, and then winning against the host nation by 3-0 thanks to strikes by Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani as well as a Denis Cheryshev own goal.Saudi Arabia managed to finish third in their group after they scored a stoppage time winner against Egypt in their final group game to register a 2-1 victory.World Cup 2018 – Group A Table Standings Pos. Team Pld W D L GD PT 1 Uruguay (Q) 3 3 0 0 5 9 2 Russia (Q) 3 2 0 1 4 6 3 Saudi Arabia (E) 3 1 0 2 -5 3 4 Egypt (E) 3 0 0 3 -4 0 World Cup 2018 – Group A SquadsRussia’s 23-man squad: Igor Akinfeev, Vladimir Gabulov, Andrey Lunev; Sergei Ignashevich, Mario Fernandes, Vladimir Granat, Fyodor Kudryashov, Andrei Semyonov, Igor Smolnikov, Ilya Kutepov, Aleksandr Yerokhin, Yuri Zhirkov, Daler Kuzyaev, Aleksandr Golovin, Alan Dzagoev, Roman Zobnin, Aleksandr Samedov, Yuri Gazinsky, Anton Miranchuk, Denis Cheryshev, Artyom Dzyuba, Aleksei Miranchuk, Fyodor SmolovSaudi Arabia’s 23-man squad: Mohammed Al-Owais, Yasser Al-Musailem, Abdullah Al-Mayuf; Mansoor Al-Harbi, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Motaz Hawsawi, Osama Hawsawi, Ali Al-Bulaihi, Omar Othman; Abdullah Alkhaibari, Abdulmalek Alkhaibri, Abdullah Otayf, Taiseer Al-Jassam, Hussain Al-Moqahwi, Salman Al-Faraj, Mohamed Kanno, Hatan Bahbir, Salem Al-Dawsari, Yahia Al-Shehri; Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammad Al-Sahlawi, Muhannad AssiriEgypt’s 23-man squad: Essam El Hadary, Mohamed El-Shennawy, Sherif Ekramy; Ahmed Fathi, Abdallah Said, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy, Ahmed Hegazi, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Elmohamady, Omar Gaber; Tarek Hamed, Mahmoud Shikabala, Sam Morsy, Mohamed Elneny, Mahmoud Kahraba, Ramadan Sobhi, Trezeguet, Amr Warda; Marwan Mohsen, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud ElwenshUruguay’s 23-man squad: Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Martin Campana, Diego Godin, Sebastian Coates, Jose Maria Gimenez, Maximiliano Pereira, Gaston Silva, Martin Caceres, Guillermo Varela, Nahitan Nandez, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Carlos Sanchez, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Diego Laxalt, Cristian Rodriguez, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Cristhian Stuani, Maximiliano Gomez, Edinson Cavani, Luis SuarezWorld Cup 2018 – Other GroupsWorld Cup 2018 Group B: Fixtures, standings, squads & full details on Spain & Portugal groupWorld Cup 2018 Group C: Fixtures, standings, squads & full details on France & Australia groupWorld Cup 2018 Group D: Fixtures, standings, squads & full details on Argentina & Nigeria groupWorld Cup 2018 Group E: Fixtures, standings, squads & full details on Brazil & Switzerland groupWorld Cup 2018 Group F: Fixtures, standings, squads & full details on Germany & Mexico groupWorld Cup 2018 Group G: Fixtures, standings, squads & full details on England & Belgium groupWorld Cup 2018 Group H: Fixtures, standings, squads & full details on Senegal & Colombia group