Game of Thrones Artist Bids Farewell to HBO’s ‘Beautiful Death’ Series

first_imgHBO’s hit series Game of Thrones may have aired its final episode, but there’s still so much to be said about the show’s expansive pop culture legacy. Following the series finale, we caught up with Robert Ball – an artist who has spent the past half-decade illustrating the most iconic Game of Thrones deaths for HBO’s “Beautiful Death” series – to highlight his unique contributions to that legacy. Robert takes viewers through eight long seasons of murder, executions, duels, assassinations, among other key scenes, while also providing an inside look at his artistic process and the genesis of the “Beautiful Death” series.We worked with HBO and illustrator Robert Ball on “Beautiful Death” over the course of eight seasons, during which Ball recreated the most iconic deaths from each episode of Game of Thrones right after it aired. It’s been the longest-running, most comprehensive illustration project of its kind in entertainment history. The illustrations have been turned into posters, puzzles, calendars, and commemorative box sets, and has generated millions of tweets and other social posts. In total, Robert estimates he’s spent over 2,000 hours illustrating various devasting as well as satisfying deaths.The ongoing dedication to this highly detailed project reflects HBO’s commitment to premium craft not only in the content they produce, but also in their promotional efforts. Enjoy some of our favorite “Beautiful Deaths” below.last_img read more

Student Loan Debt and Social Security Garnishing: A New Twist on the Great Recession

first_imgHas an organization or university offered you an opportunity with a stipend? Whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is a set amount of money that helps offset living expenses. This fixed amount is financial support provided while you’re… Full Story,Truth is, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to college: new friends, a new routine, (college parties!), and more independence. But along with all these perks, it’s also time to start thinking about your finances…. Full Story,A routing number is a unique number that identifies a specific banking institution. Each routing number is made up of nine digits. Routing numbers are sometimes referred to as an American Banker’s Association routing transit number or an ABA RTN…. Full Story,It’s stressful enough having a car loan over your head and staying on top of your monthly payments. But what if you have an upside-down car loan — in other words, the amount you owe on your set of wheels… Full Story,When you’re trying to get your financial house in order, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics. You might stress about how to adjust your budget, where to find some extra cash for the holidays or what funds to… Full Story,Shortly after graduating from New York University with a Master’s degree, Melanie Lockert turned to food stamps, as she worked her way out of $81,000 in student loans. “There were a lot of emotions around carrying that debt. It caused… Full Story,Traveling is one of the best things in life, and luckily, low funds don’t have to dash your dreams of enjoying an epic adventure. A wealth of destinations—both in the U.S. and abroad—are so affordable that even hardcore penny pinchers… Full Story,While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer… Full Story,Times have changed since Grams and Gramps were your age, looking to settle down and buy their first home. But today the house with the white picket fence—or that trendy loft in downtown—isn’t completely out of the question if you… Full Story,We recently hosted a Twitter chat as part of our #RealTalkSeries. And let’s just say, things definitely got real. Many of you joined us to discuss “taboo” and cringe-worthy money questions such as how to improve a bad credit score,… Full Storylast_img read more

The Shocking Truth About Debt: It’s Not a Financial Problem

first_imgAre you tired of having credit card bills? Do you wish you could get out of debt once and for all?If you want get out of debt permanently, first consider this: Debt is not a financial problem. Hard to believe, but true.Debt is actually a personal problem that masquerades in financial clothing. That is why so many people have persistent problems with debt. They look outward for financial solutions, when the true solution is found by looking inward.Planning a Permanent Debt SolutionDefining your debt problem correctly is critical to solving it.That is where most debtors run into trouble. They mistakenly define debt as a financial problem and develop financial solutions. That is why their debt returns shortly after paying it off. They fail to identify the root cause of debt, opening the door to repeating the vicious cycle.For a debt solution to be effective your plan of attack needs to be based on principles that actually work. Unfortunately, when you just pay off your balances you relieve the pain, but the underlying condition that put you in debt in the first place still lurks under the surface, ready to return.Let’s face it, the real causes of overspending are your personal habits and attitudes. In other words, the true solution is personal — not financial. That is a key, and understanding this principle is what will make or break your success in slaying the debt monster for good.Masking The ProblemWhen you get a headache what is the logical response? You reach to the medicine cabinet for immediate pain relief. Unfortunately, the various pills do nothing to cure the underlying disease: they merely treat the symptom. The cause could be excessive stress, brain cancer, dehydration, eye strain, or any number of other issues. By taking a pill you’ve treated the symptom — not the underlying cause.The same is true with debt. Everyone knows they need to make more and spend less to solve their debt problems. So they pursue financially driven solutions to relieve financial symptoms. It seems logical on the surface.Whether you choose to consolidate your credit card debt to lower interest rates or you choose any of the quick-payoff strategies (inheritance, gift, sell an asset, bankruptcy, home equity line of credit, or refinancing), the reality is you are treating the symptom and not creating a lasting cure. Your financial problems are merely the accumulated reflection of the many small financial mistakes you are making on a daily basis — often without knowing any better. That’s why teaching a debtor to spend less and earn more is like telling someone to lose weight by eating less and exercising more. Everyone already knows that is the answer. The difficult part is not knowing what to do, but actually getting it done. The solution lies in your daily habits and attitudes.[Related Article: 3 People Who Dug Out of Deep Debt]Money BreakthroughsI first discovered this approach to debt recovery in my work as a money coach. I started out making the same mistakes as everyone else. I thought debt problems were financial, so I coached my clients to financial solutions. The lackluster results proved it was the wrong approach.The breakthrough came when I noticed my wealthy clients had mirror opposite attitudes and behaviors compared to my get-out-of-debt clients. For example:My wealthy clients viewed their financial situation from a position of self-responsibility, whereas my debt clients were victims of their finances.My wealthy clients planned their finances, but my debt clients had no plan.My wealthy clients organized their plans around delayed gratification, whereas my debt clients pursued instant gratification.My wealthy clients associated their self-worth with intrinsic values, while my debt clients associated self-worth with extrinsic stuff.These are just 4 examples from a long list of opposing traits. They are guidelines or tendencies that generally hold true. While there may be personal variation, on the whole the patterns were unmistakable. These mirror opposite attitudes produced mirror opposite financial results in life.[Related Article: 7 Ways to Avoid a Debt Relapse]Amazingly,when I applied these principles, coaching habitudes instead of specific financial actions, the debt problems solved themselves over time.This is obvious when you think about it. Your daily financial decisions result from your habits and attitudes that drive those decisions. For example, consider the following choices and their obvious financial implications:Do you buy fancy coffees throughout the day or do you make a pot of your favorite coffee in the morning and bring it with you?Do you lease a new car every few years or maintain your reliable used car?Do you dine out frequently or cook healthy meals at home?Are you a minimalist or do you desire the latest designer fashions?Do you shop to get what you need or do you shop for pleasure and recreation?When you focus on financial solutions, you treat the symptom instead of the cause. When you focus on your attitudes and habits, you focus on the cause, and the symptom takes care of itself automatically without any self-discipline.Let me be clear — this isn’t a quick fix. The results you produce from this approach will occur gradually over time. Just as it took time to accumulate the debt, it takes time to unwind it when you work with root causes.However, the solutions are as permanent as the new attitudes and habits you adopt — and that makes all the difference.The truth is the financial results of your life aren’t dependent upon how much money you make. Instead, they depend on how well you manage the money you already have. This article series will show you the easiest way to adopt wealthy habits and attitudes and be smarter with your money so that you can get out of debt — permanently.[Related Article: 5 Ways to Get Out of Debt: Which Will Work for You?]Todd Tresidder is a financial coach and consumer advocate. His unconventional take on worn financial topics has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Smart Money magazine, Yahoo Finance, and more. He’s authored 5 financial education books including How Much Money Do I Need To Retire?, Variable Annuity Pros and Cons, and the 4% Rule and Safe Withdrawal Rates In Retirement. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigationlast_img read more

Budgeting Basics: How to Save on Inconsistent Income

first_imgThe views and opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Intuit Inc, Mint or any affiliated organization. This blog post does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation. If you aren’t able to automate your savings based on percentage, commit to doing it manually. For instance, at the end of each month I’ll sock away a percentage of all the income that came in for estimated taxes. I’ll divvy up the remainder for my savings goals—retirement, a “fun” fund, an art fund (to buy art and for my own personal projects), emergency fund, and a fund for gifts (holiday spending stress is no joke).   Research says “set and forget” money management is the best way to achieve your financial goals. However, it’s tough when your income fluctuates wildly. One easy way to avoid this is to set up an automatic saving withdrawal for the times when you do have extra money. For instance, auto transfer when you get paid, suggests Kristen Berman, co-founder and principal of Common Cents Lab.“It’s even better to withdraw a percentage of your paycheck versus a fixed amount,” says Berman. “This means that that money will only be taken  if you have money, and leave the rest for you to spend.” For instance, instead of committing to $500 each paycheck, set up an auto transfer of 10 percent of each paycheck. Apps such as Qapital have the “Freelancers Rule,” where you can set up a percentage of each paycheck to go toward your savings.   If you work a bunch of side hustles and get paid every Friday or every other Friday, there are two months of the year where you get an “extra paycheck.” While tempting, avoid spending this money on today’s wants, suggests Berman. Instead, spend it on tomorrow’s needs.” Put the extra money toward paying off your credit card, going to the dentist or into your car repair rainy day fund,” says Berman.  You’ll want to make sure it’s going toward something intentional that will help you in the long run. One thing I’ve tried to do as a freelancer is to “get ahead by one month.” So by the end of November, I’ll have enough cash in the bank to cover my living expenses for the following month. So guess what you can do with those two extra paychecks each year? That’s right, it can go toward your “get ahead” fund.   Contribute Annually   Save for Estimated Taxes   Saved Based on Percentage  If you’re having a hard time making contributions regularly, try to do so every few months or once a year, recommends Pamela Capalad. “If you don’t make more than your minimum expenses are a given month, don’t feel pressure to save,” says Capalad. “If you try to save in a low earning month, you may end up putting expenses on a credit card or trying to catch up on expenses in a high-earning month instead of saving it.”  Contribute to savings, retirement and other long-term goals on your flush months. Or opt to contribute to a retirement account once a year instead of every month so you know exactly how much you can afford to contribute, says Capalad.  While budgeting on inconsistent income will forever remain a challenge, keeping these pointers in mind will help you live within your means, and have some money saved up for the future.   Post navigation Save When You Get Paid   Map out your projected income for the year and do a 12-month cash flow to see what your actual peaks and valleys in income are, suggests Pamela Capalad, a certified financial planner and founder of Brunch & Budget. “Often freelancers live month to month because income feels ‘unpredictable,’ but you’ve been freelancing for a while, you will have seasons of income, explains Capalad. “Being aware of when those are will give you an idea of how to plan for the low- and high-income months.”  To drum up a budget, try to calculate what earn yearly, suggests Berman. Research conducted by Common Cents reveals that looking at your income on an annual basis will help you make decisions for your future. “For example, instead of thinking about yourself as making $15 an hour, think about yourself as making $30,000 a year,” says Berman. “This annualized number makes saving a little bit for retirement feel more in reach.”  To figure this out, track how much you’ve made on average in the last three months, or the last six months. If you’ve been freelancing for more than a year, you can base your yearly income from last year’s. I know it’s not a perfect science, but it gives you something to work off of.  center_img Anchor Yourself on Your Lowest Paycheck  While an emergency fund is an essential part of any budget, how much should you save when you experience variable income? The general rule of thumb is three to six months of living expenses. When you have to deal with peaks and valleys in your cash flow, you’ll want to keep a robust rainy day fund as possible. I aim to have at least six months of living expenses, more if I can swing it.  Besides an emergency fund, having a buffer fund to get you through any gaps in income will help you pay your bills on time. I aim to keep about one month of living expenses in my savings account. That way I can transfer money directly to my checking and access money if possible. While the freelance life commonly touts flexibility and greater earning potential—cue the Instagram photos typing away on a laptop in an exotic locale—there are also financial downsides. A major one? Struggling with variable income. For freelancers, artists, and other members of the gig economy, it’s awesome sauce when you experience a spike in your income one month, but pretty terrible when your income drops the next. And as a lot of common budgeting advice is based on the assumption that one gets a steady paycheck, how can you come up with a spending plan? One that helps you not only stay afloat but where you can make steady progress on your savings goals?  Here are some tips on how you can budget when you deal with inconsistent income:  First things first. Here are parts of a budget that day-jobbers don’t normally worry about:   When your income fluctuates from paycheck to paycheck, depending on how many sources of income you have, try basing your budget on your lowest paycheck. For instance, if you are a rideshare driver and rake in about $800 a week, but also work part-time as a virtual assistant and make $250 a week, create a budget based on the $800 a week as a driver.  “It may be tempting to tell yourself you make $600 a week, but if you’re only making that every other week, you’ll end up overspending,” says Berman. “When you anchor yourself on your lowest paycheck, you’ll feel better. Plus, all the additional money that comes in on good weeks will feel like a bonus!”  Because I don’t have much of a regular income, I personally give myself a minimum income goal each month, and base my budget off of that. And if I surpass that goal, the rest technically can go toward my savings goals. Plus, I learn to keep my expenses low, so I don’t struggle with financial stress when I have a lull, which is inevitable.   Make the Most of “Extra Paychecks”   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Make a Budget Using the 50/20/30 Budgeting RuleJuly 20, 2016In “Saving”Freelancer Money Woes: How to Beat ThemApril 24, 2019In “Early Career”Budgeting 101: How to Create a BudgetAugust 19, 2019In “Budgeting” Total Up Your Income  Keep a Robust Rainy Day Fund   One of the many joys of freelancing (not) is to pay Uncle Sam every quarter for estimated taxes. If you’re not saving consistently, this could blindside you. In turn, you may be left owning a lump sum at the end of the tax year, or incur late penalties. Instead, you’ll want to sock away each paycheck toward estimated taxes. I know, it hurts to see a portion of your income get devoured each month by the government. But not doing so will just lead to panic down the line.  I get it. All these extra financial considerations is a tall order, especially when you’re just trying to get your rent and bills paid on time each month. Here are a few tips and tricks for budgeting on inconsistent income:  last_img read more

5 Technologies Help Thwart Illegal Logging by Tracing Wood’s Origin

first_imgThe illegal timber trade creates problems for everyone. Governments lose valuable revenue and natural resources. Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission reported that the country lost $9 billion in revenue to the illegal timber trade between 2003 and 2014. Meanwhile, businesses sourcing legal timber lose profits and competitiveness to illegal timber supplies sold at lower prices.  So governments and businesses are starting to do more to improve timber traceability, including adopting new and existing technologies that can help track timber, manage information, and eventually, help combat illegal logging.WRI, Instituto Nacional de Bosques (INAB) of Guatemala and IUCN Mesoamerica, with support from USAID, the European Commission, and FAO recently hosted a workshop in Antigua, Guatemala to explore technological applications for improving forest information management and traceability in timber supply chains. Participants discussed some of the most cutting-edge technologies available today or on the horizon.Technologies that Track Wood’s RootsSome technologies target the tracking of timber as it moves through the supply chain to guarantee authenticity of the timber’s origin, including:Stardust is a dust-like material that can be sprayed onto wood and detected only with a hand-held device. Stardust has the potential to be applied to timber and pulp and paper products as a cheaper alternative to barcodes, radio-frequency identification (RFID) and other tracking technologies. Greenwood, an organization that connects buyers with producers of high-quality wood products from sustainably harvested trees, is now pilot testing Stardust’s application to some of their wood supplies. TreeTAG is an emerging smartphone-based supply chain traceability system developed by Earth Observation Systems that tracks the location of logs transported from the forest to the mill. It requires all authorized personnel—from those cutting trees to those processing logs—to report activities and volumes, raising alerts when there is suspicious activity. Only trees previously authorized for logging can enter the system. Earth Observation Systems is currently working with Sociedad Civil Custodios de la Selva (CUSTOSEL), a sustainable mahogany producer, to pilot test the system on wood used by Bedell Guitars. Several government agencies are also developing systems for supply chain traceability. The Forestry Commission of Ghana is piloting Ghana Wood Tracking System (GWTS), developed by Ata Marie, a data platform that centralizes all formerly paper-based documentation, and allows users like auditors to upload information from their phones and computers. The Guatemalan Forest Service is developing SEINEF (Sistema Electrónico de Información de Empresas Forestales – Forest Enterprises Electronic Information System), a web platform that requires actors along the supply chain to enter volume and authorization information. The system allows government officials and law enforcement officers to follow the flow of timber products from the forest to buyers, and identify discrepancies in volumes, species and products reported. The Brazilian Forest Service also uses a traceability and information management system that not only tracks trees as they are logged and sawn into timber, but also uses remote sensing data to monitor forest managementOther technologies focus on aggregating, analyzing, visualizing and verifying supply chain information:Global Traceability Systems’ Radix Tree is a platform that enables buyers to collect information from suppliers to establish a chain-of-custody. Radix Tree also performs legality risk assessments based on information provided, a required step for compliance with the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR). Furthermore, it also helps users manage their inventory of products and shipments, provide secure encryption and private data storage and import data from multiple formats. Some of its users include Unilever and Bureau Veritas, a leading global certification body. BVRio’s Responsible Timber Exchange uses big data to assess whether potential sellers are complying with U.S. and European legal wood requirements. The database not only draws information from official documentation, such as logging permits and sawmill operating licenses, but also legal records of forest owners, loggers and even forest engineers involved in a shipment to assess the risk of illegality. With this information, the exchange allows buyers to evaluate sellers based on the traceability of their timber and compliance with specific legal, environmental, social and labor criteria. A similar system is under development in Brazil, led by the nonprofit Imaflora.These technologies and systems can significantly bolster the efforts of governments and businesses to better track timber supplies and prevent illegally sourced timber from entering supply chains.However, while timber traceability technologies and platforms can provide much needed information, it’s only worthwhile if governments and businesses translate this data into action. For governments, that means eradicating corruption, implementing systems that work for all stakeholders, and allocating more funding and resources to enforcement. For businesses, it means working with suppliers to gather information and communicate legal sourcing policies, as well as cutting ties with bad actors.EDITOR’S NOTE, 5/31/16: A previous version of this blog post referred to Ghana’s program as the Legality Assurance System (GhLAS). The program is actually called the Ghana Wood Tracking System (GWTS). We have corrected the post, and regret the error.last_img read more

Understanding the “Emissions Gap” in 5 Charts

first_imgClosing the GapThe Emissions Gap Report once again underscores the urgency of redoubling our efforts to reduce emissions.  It shows that solutions exist, and if they are adopted quickly we can turn our current situation around. But with each year we wait – and with each further installment of the UNEP Emissions Gap Report – we make our ability to limit dangerous climate change more difficult, risky and costly. 4. Existing solutions can close the gap, if they are embraced quickly.The report finds that proven technologies, even with conservative assumptions, could reduce emissions 33 Gt CO2e/year by 2030. And if you add in newer technologies, that potential grows to 38 Gt CO2e/year in 2030. That’s more than what’s needed to close the emissions gap and keep warming below 1.5 degrees C.More than half of this potential is from a handful of categories—solar and wind energy, efficient passenger cars, afforestation and halting deforestation—and requires quickly reducing reliance on, and soon phasing out, coal-fired power not equipped with carbon capture and storage. 2. The world’s largest emitters are collectively on track to achieve their promised emissions reductions for 2020, but several countries need to step up.In 2009 and 2010, 73 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) made GHG emissions pledges for 2020. For the G20 countries – responsible for roughly three quarters of global emissions – the Gap Report compares their projected 2020 emissions with their pledges. It found that seven G20 members (Australia, Brazil, China, the EU, India, Japan and Russia) are on track to meet their 2020 pledges; five (Canada, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, South Africa and the United States) are likely to require further action or will have to purchase offsets; and the remaining three (Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) did not make pledges for 2020. While not all members are on track to meet their pledges, collectively, 2020 emissions are expected to fall within the pledged range. Every year, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) brings together scientists from around the world to measure the size of the greenhouse gas (GHG) “emissions gap,” the difference between the emissions level countries have pledged to achieve under international agreements and the level consistent with limiting warming to well below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F). That benchmark exists because warming above 1.5-2 degrees C would bring increasingly catastrophic impacts. (Learn more in our post describing the world’s “carbon budget.”)So what does the Gap Report show for 2017? These five charts explain.1. Global GHG emissions are still increasing.In 2016, global GHG emissions were about 52 gigatonnes (Gt CO2e/year). Total global GHG emissions have roughly doubled since 1970, and have grown dramatically even since 2000. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion, cement and other processes contribute the most, around 70 percent of the total.Encouragingly, the growth in global emissions in 2015 and 2016 is the slowest since the early 1990s (except years of global economic recession), and global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production remained stable in both 2015 and 2016.  However, it remains to be seen whether these trends will be permanent.center_img 5. Limiting warming to 1.5-2 degrees C also relies on carbon dioxide removal and negative emissions approaches.The report notes that the rate at which we are depleting the carbon budget will force us to increasingly rely upon carbon dioxide removal technologies and approaches, which remove and sequester carbon dioxide. There are significant risks, however, associated with these technologies and approaches, including uncertainty in their carbon retention, the consequences of large-scale deployment, and costs and feasibility.Scenarios that meet the 1.5 degrees C target in 2100 assume large-scale availability of negative emissions technologies, such as bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage. These technologies would be scaled up quickly. By 2100, the average removal of carbon dioxide through negative emissions technologies would be 810 GtCO2e, which is equal to almost two decades’ worth of global emissions at current rates. Few scenarios can also meet the 2 degrees C target without using negative emissions technologies.If such technologies cannot be deployed at these rates and scale, which has yet to be proven, then our ability to meet these temperature targets is significantly compromised. 3. To keep warming between 1.5 and 2 degrees C, emissions in 2030 need to be far lower than they are expected to be.To measure the size of the emissions gap, experts review available scenarios from the scientific literature showing how emissions must be reduced in order to limit warming to 2 and 1.5 degrees C, the temperature goals laid out in the international Paris Agreement on climate change. The experts compare these ranges against those that would be achieved under  the pledges made by 166 Parties under the Paris Agreement, and against the emissions expected to occur if current policies continue (without being strengthened in order to meet the pledges). They find that a significant gap remains between Paris Agreement-compatible emissions in 2030 and both of those scenarios.Using a benchmark of a likely chance of 2 degrees C, the gap between the Paris goals and the pledges is 11-13.5GtCO2e. Using a benchmark of a median or likely chance of 1.5 degrees C, the gap is 16-19GtCO2e. The gap between the Paris temperature goals and the current policy scenario is higher still, given that many countries are not yet on track to achieve their emissions-reduction pledges, but this is to be expected given that pledges extending to 2030 are still fairly  new.last_img read more

Faulty hip implants: 15 patients approach central expert committee

first_imgNew Delhi, Sep 16 (PTI) Fifteen patients suffering due to “faulty” hip implants of Johnson and Johnson have approached the central expert committee, days after it was formed by the Union Health Ministry to determine the quantum of compensation to be provided to them. Sources in the Union Health Ministry said the panel has so far received representations from 15 affected patients from across the country and it will have its first meeting on September 18 to scrutinise each of them. The Centre constituted the five-member expert committee to determine the quantum of compensation to be given to patients who have “faulty” hip implants, manufactured by DePuy International, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. Apart from the central panel, the Union Health Ministry has also asked states and union territories to constitute separate committees so that they can receive such complaints from affected patients. “We have received 15 such representations via mail since the expert committee was formed. The central expert committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss each of the cases,” a Health Ministry source said. The source said that after preliminary scrutiny, it has been found that there are one or two cases that are not related to the matter involving Johnson and Johnson. An earlier expert panel, constituted by the Union Health Ministry to investigate complaints about faulty articular surface replacement (ASR) hip implant devices, said in its report that the pharma giant “suppressed” facts on the harm of surgeries afterwards which was conducted on patients in India using the “faulty” systems.advertisement It had also suggested that the company pay compensation of around Rs 20 lakh to the affected patients. The new five-member central committee is being chaired by R K Arya, director, Sports Injury Centre, Safdurjung Hospital. Others in the committee include C S Yadav, department of Orthopaedics, AIIMS in New Delhi; Vineet Sharma, Head of Department of Orthopaedics, King George’s Medical University in Lucknow; Bikas Medhi, professor pharmacology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh; and Bhushan Tilak Kaul, professor of law in Delhi University. The sources said the ministry is soon going to make amendments in the medical devices rules in which there will be a provision for paying compensation to such affected patients in case it is proven. Patients and family members of those affected by Johnson and Johnson’s faulty hip implants had gathered in Delhi recently, demanding they be directly involved in the process of ascertaining the compensation. They asserted the amount should not only be based on the physical, medical criteria but also take into account the mental, social and economic harm faced by them. PTI TDS SMNlast_img read more

Lead Nurturing Generates Nearly 3X More Clicks Than Email Blasts [Data]

first_img Originally published Dec 15, 2011 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Lead Nurturing Businesses haven’t adopted lead nurturing to the extent that they have embraced other tools such as email marketing or social media. However, all industry research shows that nurturing your leads, keeping them engaged with your content on an ongoing basis, and gradually introducing them to more advanced stages of the sales cycle can only benefit your bottom line.Consider the Facts…Only 25% of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales. Only 50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy. [Gleanster Research]Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts. [SilverPop/DemandGen Report]Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. []Recently, we did an analysis of the HubSpot customer database to compare the performance of key metrics in lead nurturing and email marketing. The sample we analyzed included 1,212 companies using general email marketing and 1,241 companies using lead nurturing. (Note: some companies may have been present in both groups.)We looked at both the median and average click-through rate (CTR) and unsubscribe rate, and found that in both cases, lead nurturing emails have a significantly higher CTR than more generic email blasts. In fact, lead nurturing emails generated an 8% CTR compared to general email sends, which generated just a 3% CTR.Interestingly enough, lead nurturing emails also had a slightly higher unsubscribe rate (1%) than individual email sends (0.5%). While this can be viewed as a seemingly negative performance, it’s actually an indicator that lead nurturing is doing its job of qualifying leads and eliminating people who are not interested in your company. Only the most engaged leads will move down the sales funnel and can potentially turn into great new customers.Marketing TakeawayEffective implementation of lead nurturing works, and it’s a far superior way to move your leads through the sales funnel than general email blasts. Why? Because it’s personalized, catered to a prospect or lead’s point in the sales cycle, and it keeps your business top of mind as they’re evaluating a purchase. Start experimenting for yourself. The proof is in the pudding.Want to get started with lead nurturing, but not sure where to start? Download our free ebook. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Feeling Awkward at a Networking Event? 3 Ways to Break the Ice

first_img Originally published Sep 27, 2013 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Networking Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Did you know that Garth Brooks sang a song about the importance of networking?Well, pretty much. Here’s the scoop: Brooks left a relationship that wasn’t fruitful anymore, but because he has contacts all over the place, he knows he’ll be able to bounce back. And while Garth might be going through a rough breakup, he hit on a principle that we as professionals abide by: It’s all about who you know.Our contacts help us get jobs, mentor us, and provide us with a sounding board for professional questions. But before that person ends up as a trusted connection, you have to cultivate a mutually-beneficial relationship, one that provides value to your professional life in some way or another. You know what I’m talking about, people: Networking.If you cringed a bit at that word, it’s okay. For a lot of people, especially introverts, the thought of networking with complete strangers is about as awkward as it gets. The entire platform of networking has largely moved out of our local coffee shops and onto online sites like LinkedIn, taking the need to be physically present to cultivate relationships out of the equation. Unfortunately, that’s left some of the professional world feeling more comfortable interacting with people online than in person. But it’s important to be able to network both ways, so that you can get the most out of being in the workplace, going to industry events, and generally being able to have real-life professional conversations. There’s just something about that face-to-face conversation that can’t be replaced by a keyboard and a mouse.So, that’s why we came up with these 3 brilliant icebreakers for in-person networking that you can use anywhere — at work, at a conference, out to lunch with colleagues — to really hone on in the core skills of networking. Keep these icebreakers in your back pocket for your future networking events.The Networking Trifecta of Icebreakers#1. “Oh, you’re from [X Company]? How did you end up there?”No matter how good or bad you think you are at networking, you really can’t mess up with this question. At the surface, it’s a pretty standard question when getting to know someone. It’s a question the other person has undoubtedly answered before, so it won’t catch them off-guard. But for you, it’s a chance to practice a skill that many want, few have, and even fewer do well: Listening. You know when you’re telling a story and the other person seems really into it? They’re nodding at the appropriate times, probably giving you a few “oh yeah!’s” and “really?’s”? That’s because this person is giving you their undivided attention, and it makes you feel good, maybe even really confident about whatever you’re talking about. This is what you should aim to do with every professional conversation you have. One tip from Ivan Misner, the founder and chairman of business networking organization BNI, suggests that focusing on maintaining eye contact with the person you’re interacting with will help you listen better and drown out other distractions around you. If you’re networking at a big event, you’ll need to really be able to focus to practice listening.#2. “You know, I recently read that [insert relevant industry news here]. Have you heard about that?”Think about your favorite blog. Maybe you read it every day, or once a week, or maybe only once a month. No matter how frequently you read it, the point is that you keep coming back to that same blog instead of choosing a similar one with the same topic. And why wouldn’t you? It’s your favorite. And whether you know it or not, one of the reasons it’s your go-to source on whatever the topic is because it provides value to you in some way.If you want people to think of you, remember you, really connect with you on a personal level — you have to provide them with some value. And there’s nothing more valuable these days than the exchange of information. If you want to be perceived as an expert in your field, you need to contribute something of value to the conversations going on in your field.You can practice doing this in a safe place — your workplace. Find those people you really want to make a connection with and strike up a conversation in the kitchen about the latest and greatest article you’ve read.(Tip for HubSpot customers: It’s really easy to stay on top of industry news if you’re using Social Inbox. You can create streams of any keyword that’s relevant to your industry, or monitor a Twitter list of thought leaders.)#3. “Hey, I’d love your opinion on [your latest project]. Do you have a minute?”“Oh, you would?” At least, that’s what I think when someone asks me for help with something that’s important to them. It makes me feel appreciated, respected, and knowledgeable. Clearly I’ve devoted some time to whatever topic they’re asking me about, so it feels good to put what I know to good use.Now that you know that, pretend you’re the person who’s looking to make a connection with me. Why would you hesitate to ask my opinion or for my help on something if you know it makes me feel this way? There’s no reason to. So, don’t.In the article “Networking Tips: Go From Awkward to Awesome,” author Patricia Fletcher explains that asking for someone’s advice about a topic they know well is a great way to get a conversation started and bonds formed. “It’s pretty cool,” she says, “to have your ask turn into a successful person’s thoughtful input on what they would do if they were in your shoes.” Take advantage of these successful people around you, either the ones you work with every day or thought leaders in your industry, by tapping into their knowledge and asking for help.Don’t Hesitate. Just Network.So the next time you’re faced with the opportunity to network in-person, don’t shy away. If you can remember the networking trifecta — listening, providing value, and asking for help — you’ll make those uber-important trusted connections that will serve you well in your professional years to come.And, once you’ve done it a few times, it’ll feel more and more natural until you find yourself doing this without thinking about it. You’ll be surprised how easy networking can be with a little strategy and the right tools. Because you know what? You never know when you’ll need to pull a Garth Brooks and call on some trusted connections for a little help.Image credit: langleyolast_img read more

What Is a Transactional Email? [FAQs]

first_imgMany marketing pros are very well-versed in emailing prospective and current customers and getting them to become a customer or brand loyalist. Those who are new to the wide world of marketing and even some long-time marketers, however, don’t fully understand how to develop effective transactional emails.If you’re scratching your head now — either because you’re not sure what transactional email are or you’re not sure how they differ from other emails — this is the post for you. While this email type has been discussed in-depth on this blog in the past, we haven’t really delved into the basics of them — until now. Let’s all get caught up to speed on exactly what transactional emails are and why they’re an important part of your email marketing.What Are Transactional Emails?First of all, they’re not just associated with ecommerce marketers (a common misconception). A transactional email is one a company sends to contacts, leads, or customers to help facilitate or follow-up on some kind of action the user has taken on their website.Just what kind of action are we talking about, though? Well, it could be one of many things. Here are the most common actions that might trigger a transactional email:An order confirmationA kickback email for downloading a content asset — like a whitepaper or an ebookA thank-you email for completing an actionSome transactional emails may prompt the recipient to take some sort of action, while others simply serve as a confirmation of some sort and require no action. These messages are simply a way of confirming something happened as a result of user action, or sometimes, even communicating additional information related to the action they took.For instance, one might combine a thank-you transactional email with an offer download email — and even include an upsell, a cross-sell, or other information that helps move the recipient further down the sales funnel.We do this sometimes here at HubSpot — a visitor downloads an ebook, they receive a thank-you email that also includes a link to the ebook, and we then insert another ebook or offer they might be interested in reading along with it.And it turns out, that’s a pretty smart thing to do, too.Transactional Emails Provide a Great Marketing OpportunityMany businesses assume they should only be sending transactional emails to customers when they purchase something from them. But remember, you don’t have to be an ecommerce marketer to send a transactional email — it can be sent for any meaningful transaction, whether money’s exchanged or not.And that’s where a huge opportunity presents itself to marketers. A transactional email is typically sent after a significant action is taken by a visitor to your website — an action that denotes they trust you, are interested in you, and want whatever it is they signed up for. That is why transactional emails have among the highest open rates of all email types — because the recipient it interested in the contents of that email.If your recipients are opening your transactional emails, then it’s an excellent opportunity to provide additional information that you want those readers to know about your company.Do you do anything creative to take your transactional emails to the next level and help them do more for your business? Share your ideas in the comments!Image credit: Jon Ashcroft Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Email Marketing Originally published Oct 9, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Topics:last_img read more

11 Helpful Tips for Becoming a Better Networker [Infographic]

first_imgThis post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.My freshman year of college, I had a roommate who participated in an internship program in Washington, D.C. At the end of the internship, the students in the program attended a networking event with alumni in the city. She told me that she and the other interns competed to collect business cards — the “winner” was the one who ended the night with the most.Hopefully, this isn’t the way you’re networking.Of course, it’s important to close a conversation by getting the person’s contact information, but treating networking with a “gotta catch ’em all” attitude is a mistake. Networking isn’t about franticly gathering business cards and phone numbers as fast as you can and then hitting up your new “contacts” for favors. It’s about establishing mutually beneficial relationships — and to do that, you have to do more than speed through a conversation.Being strategic about the people you meet is more important than attempting to strike up a rapport with anybody who comes across your path. But don’t limit yourself to only those people more senior than you — meeting professionals at every level and across industries is critical to truly diversify your network.If you’d like to hone your mingling skills, check out the infographic below from Business Insider for 11 handy tips on how to network like a pro.1K+Save Originally published May 31, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Networking 1K+SaveWhat are your best networking tips? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

7 Important PR Lessons Every Content Marketer Needs to Learn

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Jul 1, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Public Relations I tried to explain public relations to my grandmother once …This was many years ago, back when PR pros cut press coverage from publications we could actually hold in our hands, and few marketers talked about SEO in everyday conversation.“So, it’s advertising,” she’d say, and I’d try again to explain that, no, it’s not.“Advertising is about paying for attention; PR is about earning it.”I don’t think she ever got it, and she’s not alone. Most people still think PR is some kind of black magic flacks work on the press — you sprinkle a little witch’s potion, and TA-DA! You’re in The Wall Street Journal. But PR is a more strategic, sustained practice than that, and it’s a field content marketers need to understand as owned, earned and even paid media continue to intersect.Below are seven PR lessons for content marketers (and for my relatives who still don’t understand what I do).Download Now: Free Press Release Template7 PR Lessons Every Content Marketer Needs to Learn What is PR?If your impression of PR pros is influenced entirely by Publicist Samantha Jones from Sex and the City or Fixer Olivia Pope from Scandal, you probably think the whole industry is busy planning parties and solving national crises (while wearing really fabulous pantsuits). The reality is somewhat less exciting — but it’s also much more relevant to content marketers.PR is about getting a company in front of the right audiences at the right time, with messages that make its spokespeople sound like human beings, not marketing super bots.Today, that effort has a lot to do with content creation and distribution. The press, analysts, bloggers, prospects, venture capitalists, and other influencers want compelling content. In real life, Samantha and Olivia would be spending much of their days drafting articles for contribution or creating premium content with a team of writers and graphic designers.What do journalists want from external content creators?Every publication that accepts contributed content has some kind of guidelines for what they’ll take, and most follow the same best practices content marketers do. Editors will ask you to draft articles that keep their audiences in mind, offer helpful guidance to readers, are compelling and easy to read, leave out the promotional stuff, and deliver something fresh that won’t be published anywhere else.Sound familiar?These are many of the same parameters content marketers follow everyday.Are contributed articles the only content PR handles?The short answer? Not by a long shot.Strategic PR is about solving business problems, so if the business problem is, say, a lack of leads at the top of the funnel, content can be a big part of the response. Depending on the exact scenario and the resources, a full-service PR team might recommend publishing on various social media channels, launching a comprehensive blogging program, creating a push around premium content (such as an ebook or series of infographics), putting out an email newsletter, or even a combination of these tactics.Whatever the recommendation, a PR team can explain the supporting assets and workflows that need to be in place, as well as measure the results to determine what’s working and what needs to shift.Do PR and content marketing compete?Content and inbound marketing evolved at a time when PR was evolving, too. Just as marketers started to embrace strategies for drawing target audiences to them instead of pushing messages out to the masses, PR was experiencing a shift driven in large part by the shrinking media landscape.There are now fewer journalists typing away in newsrooms and reporting back from the field — 20,000 fewer than in 2008, according to a count Gigaom put out last year before closing its own doors. But that doesn’t mean there’s less need for copy.And while many web-based publications are eager to publish more material to attract readers (hello, inbound), editors are looking for expert content contributions. If an editor wants a 2,000 word article from your CEO on an industry issue, is that a PR request or a content marketing request? Or is that question completely dated in the integrated marketing era?Is PR measurable?Yes, and if anyone tells you differently, run in the opposite direction.Just like content marketing, goal-based PR should provide tangible business results — not just a list of press hits. The metrics marketers use to measure awareness, engagement, lead generation, investor interest, sales, and other goals are the same ones you can use to measure PR.”Of course, your PR efforts are even more measurable when your website is well-equipped with lead generation forms, tracking tools, and automated follow-up systems that allow you to capture visitors and convert them into real prospects and customers,” explains Rod Thomson, president of The Thomson Group, a Sarasota-based PR and messaging firm.And while it can be challenging to sort through all of the information at hand, it helps to use questions to focus your analysis.Are you getting mentioned in analyst reports? Are influencers talking about you on social media? Are readers clicking through to deeper content from your blog? Where are visitors going once they hit your landing pages? Are they converting? After a quarter, six months, or a year of PR efforts, how have you progressed toward your primary strategic business goal?These are the kinds of questions PR pros should be able to answer about any campaign.If PR and content marketing overlap so much, what’s the benefit to having both?If you’re lucky enough (or smart enough) to have PR and content marketing experts on your team, you’re in great shape to influence targets everywhere — from the media to analysts to website visitors to social media followers and beyond.Your PR pros and content marketers can support each others’ activities, inspire each others’ creativity and keep messages coordinated to better support your overall strategic goals.How can content marketing teams best align with PR? Content marketing and PR teams need to communicate.If you’re promoting a new ebook, for example, your PR counterpart might be able to repurpose that asset for contributed content, social media outreach, influencer engagement, media pitches, and more. On the flip side, a successful media campaign should spark ideas for you about which messages are resonating, what prospects want, and how to incorporate that into future content creation.These days, it’s my kids who are asking me to describe what I do for work. I have been much more successful in explaining it to them than I ever was back when I first entered PR and relatives asked me to define the industry.To my daughters, I say, “I help companies tell stories people want to hear.” I imagine content marketers tell their families something similar, and that is a good thing for practitioners in both fields.last_img read more

Coachella, Tomorrowland, Bonnaroo & More: How Top Music Festivals Use Social Media

first_img Social Media 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 English music producer Simon Cowell once told Rolling Stone Magazine, “You have this amazing thing now called fan power. The whole world is linked through a laptop. It’s absolutely brilliant.”He was talking about music artists here, but this can apply to any type of event host or marketer. Social media allows us to promote our events more strategically, listen to and engage with our fans, enhance attendee experience, help measure the event’s overall success, and find areas for improvement in the next time you put it on.Music festivals have a lot to teach social media marketers about using Twitter and YouTube to promote and enhance attendee experience for their own events. To help extract some of these lessons, we looked at a few major music festivals in the U.S. and Europe.How do they use Twitter to ensure their event runs smoothly? How do they use YouTube for advertising?And how can they leverage Twitter engagement to identify the emotions their fans expressed before, during, and after the event?Let’s tune in to some of this year’s biggest festivals — from Coachella to Tomorrowland — to see how smartly they leveraged social media, using insights and metrics provided by advanced social media analytics tool Talkwalker.(And click here to learn everything you need to know about live-tweeting an event.)Making a Splash on YouTubeWhat better way to tell prospective attendees what your event is going to be like than showing them videos from past iterations?The folks who market Belgium’s famous music festival, Tomorrowland, got 37.4 million views and over 250,000 likes on their promotional video, as of this posting. That’s 10X as many views as Sziget, Coachella, EDC, EXIT, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo combined.Making Twitter a Reliable Place for InformationLooking for a way to amplify your message? Twitter is one of the best avenues for broadcasting constant and timely information about practicalities, codes of conduct, recycling, health and safety, on-site activities, and much more.For inspiration, let’s take a look at some of the best examples of how music festival marketers use Twitter during their events.1) Sharing logistical information2) Advising visitors to be eco-friendly and to keep the place clean3) Reminding people to take care of their health & safety4) Promoting on-site activitiesWhat happens if you ignore your attendees on Twitter?”Is there an infirmary?” “Which is the best parking entrance?” “Where can I see the program?” Nowadays, when event attendees have questions, many of them will turn to Twitter for answers — and they’ll expect a response. Quickly.Twitter is a great way for organizers to provide assistance to a wide audience in a timely and cost-effective manner, provided you use a good social monitoring system. This way, event hosts can both keep visitors happy and detect early signs of crisis, which will likely improve sales on-site and encourage attendees to come back again next time.In our social media analysis, we noticed that Electric Daisy Carnival, a music festival based in Las Vegas, wasn’t properly monitoring their Twitter feeds. They announced the hashtag #EDCHELP ahead of time as an official hashtag channel for all customer inquiries — and yet, no representative seemed to have taken charge of answering any of the questions and complaints posted on Twitter.The result? Regular festival-goers like Christopher Chen suddenly found themselves becoming spontaneous customer service agents. He saw that no one was answering people’s questions on the #EDCHELP hashtag and took it upon himself to provide information and advice to random fans.Here are the first tweets from Chen to @EDC_LastVegas, which he tagged with #EDCHELP:And here are some tweets from Chen to EDC attendees when he began replying to their questions:Depending how many people attend your event, make sure that you have enough people on staff to answer attendee’s questions on Twitter. (HubSpot customers: Learn how to create streams in the social monitoring tool here.)Drumming Up Excitement With HashtagsHashtags now play an essential role in increasing the social media presence of brands because they encourage discussions online. Once you choose and announce an official event hashtag, be sure to use it in every single tweet about the event, even if you have to shorten the copy of the tweet itself to make room.While many events create official hashtags (like EDC did with #EDCHELP), it’s also interesting to analyze the unofficial hashtags. These are hashtags attendees tweet that make sense to them when they don’t bother to look up the official hashtag.For example, the Budapest music festival Sziget’s trending hashtags this year included #Budapest (which is great news for the city’s tourist office) and #szitizen, which is related to their Mission:Szitizen game, an international game the music festival’s marketing team put on with the goal of inspiring the most dedicated Sziget fans to show the whole world what they got.From the chart below, you can also see that that the #szitizen hashtag was not once used in a negative way. From this, marketers can derive that a lot of people felt mostly positive about that campaign:Here were the trending hashtags for California-based festival Coachella (left) and Tennessee-based festival Bonnaroo (right), along with figures on their use over 30 days, both overall and split by positive and negative sentiment.Feel the Social Media VibesHow are people feeling about your event? We thought it would be fun to see how people were feeling about Lollapalooza, a Chicago-based music festival that takes place in late July and early August each year using the keyword cloud from social media monitoring tool Talkwalker.Vibes were positive: The word “excited” came up first in terms of volume with 633 hits over the last month in combination with the word “Lollapalooza.”It’s interesting to compare the performance of top keywords related to one event over a series of iterations. How did people feel about Lollapalooza last year compared to this year? Which words came up at what volume over the last few years?Keyword trends as a whole will also help you come up with the right wording in your next social media and SEO campaigns, and can ultimately help you differentiate your event.These are just a few of the social media marketing tips that we recommend to event marketers. Have more tips? Share with us in the comments, or tweet us at @Talkwalker. Topics: Originally published Aug 3, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated August 26 2017last_img read more

Email Analytics: The 6 Email Marketing Metrics & KPIs You Should Be Tracking

first_img Topics: Email Marketing Metrics There’s a lot to say when it comes to how to do email marketing well. We could talk for days about the most critical components of an optimized email, common email marketing mistakes you might be making, and examples of brilliant email marketing that will inspire you. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how optimized your emails are if you can’t see the results of your efforts — not to mention measure whether email is helping you hit your goals.So before sending your next email, pause for a few minutes and ask yourself: What is the goal of my email marketing? Is it to grow my subscriber database? Generate more leads? To convert more existing leads into customers?Whatever you decide your goal is (and you can have more than one), the next thing you need to do is figure out which metrics you’ll need to track in order to determine how you’re progressing toward that goal.Download Now: Email Marketing Planning Template Let’s take a look at the metrics you should be paying attention to in your email marketing efforts. We’ll start with the metrics every email marketer should be tracking, and then we’ll take a look at how to tie certain metrics to your specific goals.6 Email Metrics Every Marketer Should Include in Their Email Report 1) Clickthrough RateWhat It Is: The percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links contained in a given email.How to Calculate It: (Total clicks OR unique clicks ÷ Number of delivered emails) * 100Example: 500 total clicks ÷ 10,000 delivered emails * 100 = 5% clickthrough rate(Using either total clicks or unique clicks in the calculation above works, as long as you use the same approach consistently.)Clickthrough rate (CTR) is likely the first answer you’ll get when you ask an email marketer what metrics they track. It’s what I like to call the “day-to-day” email marketing metric, because it lets you easily calculate performance for every individual email you send. From there, you can track how your CTR changes over time.CTR is also frequently used for determining the results of A/B tests, as these tests are often designed with the intention of finding new ways to get more clicks in your emails. Clickthrough rate is a very important metric for all email marketers to be tracking, as it gives you direct insight into how many people on your list are engaging with your content and interested in learning more about your brand or your offer. Read this blog post to learn what a “good” clickthrough rate is, according to industry benchmarks.(HubSpot customers: Click here to learn how to easily set up click tracking in your emails using HubSpot.)2) Conversion RateWhat It Is: The percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action, such as filling out a lead generation form or purchasing a product.How to Calculate It: (Number of people who completed the desired action ÷ Number of total emails delivered) * 100Example: 400 people who completed the desired action ÷ 10,000 total email delivered * 100 = 4% conversion rateAfter an email recipient has clicked through on your email, the next goal is typically to get them to convert on your offer — in other words, to take the action that your email has asked them to take. So if you’re sending an email to offer your audience the chance to download, say, a free ebook, you’d consider anyone who actually downloads that ebook to be a conversion.Because your definition of a conversion is directly tied to the call-to-action in your email, and your call-to-action should be directly tied to the overall goal of your email marketing, conversion rate is one of the most important metrics for determining the extent to which you’re achieving your goals. (We’ll discuss more specific goal-related metrics later.)In order to measure conversion rate on your emails, you’ll need to integrate your email platform and your web analytics. You can do this by creating unique tracking URLs for your email links that identify the source of the click as coming from a specific email campaign.3) Bounce RateWhat It Is: The percentage of your total emails sent that could not be successfully delivered to the recipient’s inbox.How to Calculate It: (Total number of bounced emails ÷ Number of emails sent) * 100Example: 75 bounced emails ÷ 10,000 total emails sent * 100 = 0.75% bounce rateThere are two kinds of bounces to track: “hard” bounces and “soft” bounces.Soft bounces are the result of a temporary problem with a valid email address, such as a full inbox or a problem with the recipient’s server. The recipient’s server may hold these emails for delivery once the problem clears up, or you may try re-sending your email message to soft bounces.Hard bounces are the result of an invalid, closed, or non-existent email address, and these emails will never be successfully delivered. You should immediately remove hard bounce addresses from your email list, because internet service providers (ISPs) use bounce rates as one of the key factors to determine an email sender’s reputation. Having too many hard bounces can make your company look like a spammer in the eyes of an ISP. (Read this blog post to learn more about the difference between hard and soft bounces.)4) List Growth RateWhat It Is: The rate at which your email list is growing.How to Calculate It: ([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email addresses on your list]) * 100Example: (500 new subscribers – 100 unsubscribes and email/spam complaints) ÷ 10,000 email addresses on the list * 100 = 4% list growth rateAside from the call-to-action metrics (CTR, conversion rates), you’ll also want to be keeping tabs on your list growth and loss. Of course, you should be aiming to grow your list in order to extend your reach, expand your audience, and position yourself as an industry thought leader. But believe it or not, there’s a natural decay of your email marketing list, and it expires by about 22.5% every year — which means that it’s more important than ever to pay attention to growing your subscriber list and keeping it at a healthy size.5) Email Sharing/Forwarding RateWhat It Is: The percentage of email recipients who clicked on a “share this” button to post email content to a social network, and/or who clicked on a “forward to a friend” button.How to Calculate It: (Number of clicks on a share and/or forward button ÷ Number of total delivered emails) * 100Example: 100 clicks on a share/forward button ÷ 10,000 total delivered emails * 100 = 1% email sharing/forwarding rateThe rate at which your email recipients forward or share your email with others may not seem all that significant, but it’s arguably one of the most important metrics you should be tracking.Why? Because this is how you generate new contacts. The folks on your email list are already in your database. So while conversion is still a primary focus, this doesn’t help you attract new leads. Encourage your readers to pass along your email to a friend or colleague if they found the content useful, and start tracking how many new people you can add to your database this way. (Read this blog post for tips on getting people to forward your emails.)Keep a careful eye on your sharing rates to discover which types of articles and offers tend to get shared the most, and use that insight when you plan email campaigns in the future.6) Overall ROIWhat It Is: The overall return on investment for your email campaigns. In other words, total revenue divided by total spend.How to Calculate It: [($ in additional sales made minus $ invested in the campaign) ÷ $ invested in the campaign] * 100Example: ($1,000 in additional sales – $100 invested in the campaign / $100 invested in the campaign) * 100 = a 900% return on investment for the campaign(Note: This is the most basic formula to calculate ROI — but there are several ways to approach calculating the ROI of your email campaigns. Depending on your type of business, you might prefer a different one.)As with every marketing channel, you should be able to determine the overall ROI of your email marketing. If you haven’t yet, set up an SLA system whereby you assign different values to various types of leads based on their likelihood to generate revenue for your company.How many of each of these types of leads did you generate via email marketing? How does this translate to potential revenue? Actual revenue? These are the types of metrics that will help you show your boss and your sales team how valuable email marketing is as a channel that drives real, tangible results.How to Know Which Email Metrics to Track, Based on Your GoalsThe goal of your email marketing may be very different from the goals of another company like yours, and may even vary within your own company over time. But again, it’s crucial that you determine exactly what it is you’re looking to achieve with your email marketing before you begin (or continue) to send and measure your emails.Here’s how you can align your specific goal with key metrics.Subscriber List Growth RateIf your focus is on growing the top of your funnel — attracting more visitors to your site, signing up more blog subscribers, getting more people to use your free tools, that kind of thing — your goal will probably be growing your subscriber list. Your emails will likely contain calls-to-action such as “Subscribe to Our Blog” or “Join Our Weekly Email List.” So of course, the most important metric you should be tracking for this goal is the growth rate of your subscriber list. (Read this blog post for more detailed tips on how to grow your subscriber list.)Unengaged SubscribersJust as you want to track and grow your subscribers, it’s also important to keep an eye on your unengaged subscribers — and consider removing them from your list altogether. Why? Because sending emails to people who aren’t engaged with your emails (called “graymail”) can hurt the deliverability of your email overall. Email clients might get tipped off by low engagement rates and deliver email from known-graymail senders straight to recipients’ “junk” folders, meaning your emails will technically get sent and delivered, but won’t necessarily be seen.Here at HubSpot, we deliberately unsubscribed 250,000 people from HubSpot’s Marketing Blog, which included people who had opted in to receive emails about new content we published on the blog. This subscriber purge brought our total subscriber count from 550,000 down to 300,000. Read this blog post to learn more about why and how we purged our subscriber list, and why you might consider doing the same.Number of New (or Total) Leads GeneratedMaybe instead of focusing on subscribers, you’d like to work on growing lead generation. If this is the case, you should be sending emails that offer lead generation content — in other words, content that requires the viewer to fill out a lead capture form in order to access it.If the goal of your email marketing is lead gen, you should be tracking how many leads you’re capturing every day, and every month. You can decide to focus on all leads generated, or only new ones added to your database, depending on your priorities. Lead-to-Customer Conversion RateFinally, let’s say you want to focus more toward the middle/bottom of your marketing funnel, and convert more of your existing leads into customers. If this is your goal, the emails you’re sending will likely provide content more closely related to your business and your product or service. Your calls-to-action may include “Get a demo,” “Watch a Video of Our Product in Action,” or “Start a Free Trial.” If this is your goal, you should be tracking changes in your lead-to-customer conversion rate.As obvious as this all seems, you’d be surprised how many email marketers determine their goals and then don’t bother to track their progress against them. Make sure that you’re able to track how closely you’re trending toward your goal at any point during the month, and that you’re looking carefully at any changes in these metrics month over month.Unreliable Email Marketing MetricsIt’s worth mentioning that there are also a couple of email marketing metrics that really aren’t worth tracking closely.Open RateWhat It Is: The percentage of email recipients who open a given email.Most email marketers are still bent over backwards trying to optimize their subject lines for higher open rates. While this can have a positive impact — and more opens are a great thing — they really should be focused on optimizing their clickthrough rates, instead.The fact of the matter is that open rate is actually a very misleading metric for a few reasons. Most importantly, an email is only counted as “opened” if the recipient also receives the images embedded in that message. And a large percentage of your email users likely have image-blocking enabled on their email client. This means that even if they open the email, they won’t be included in your open rate, making it an inaccurate and unreliable metric for marketers, as it underreports on your true numbers.Note: You can get some value out of open rate as a metric if you use it as a comparative metric. For instance, if you compare the open rates of this week’s email send to last week’s email send (both to the same lists) it might give you some insight since the variables are somewhat controlled.Unsubscribe RateAs with open rate, the unsubscribe rate isn’t a reliable picture of the health of your email list. Many subscribers who are tired of receiving email messages from your brand won’t bother to go through the formal unsubscribe process. They’ll just stop opening, reading, and clicking on your email messages.That’s why it’s much more effective to measure subscriber engagement by clickthrough rates and conversion rates. From there, you can keep an eye out on unengaged subscribers so you can consider removing them at some point, like we went over earlier. Checking your monthly unsubscribe rate is helpful for calculating your overall list growth rate, though, so do keep an eye on it every once in a while.The bottom line? Be smart about which metrics you’re tracking, and make sure you’re able to effectively measure your individual email performance, the health of your email list, and your progress toward your overarching goals. As long as you’re able to determine each of those, you’re on the right track for more effective email marketing.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Originally published Feb 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 23 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

What Is Whitespace? 9 Websites to Inspire Your Web Design

first_imgEmpty space is not always wasted space.In fact, when it comes to web design, it’s a best practice to give your content a little breathing room.Today’s website visitors are content-scanners. They scroll quickly, skim posts, and get distracted by busy layouts trying to accomplish too much. The key to getting your visitors’ undivided attention is simplicity — and that starts with an effective use of whitespace.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignIn this article, we’ll take a brief look at why whitespace matters, what it means for conversion-driven web design, and how eight websites are using whitespace to lead their visitors towards the desired action.What Is Whitespace?Whitespace is the negative areas in any composition. It’s the unmarked distance between different elements that gives viewers some visual breaks when they process design, minimizing distractions and making it easier to focus.Intentionally blank areas aren’t just aesthetically pleasing — they actually have a big impact on how our brains take in and process new material. Too much information or visual data crammed into a small, busy space can cause cognitive fatigue, and our brains have difficulty absorbing anything at all. It’s information overload at its very worst.Why We Need WhitespaceTo understand the importance of whitespace, think about how difficult it is for your brain to process an entire page from the phone book or white pages. All those columns of teeny tiny text get squished together into one indigestible chunk of information, and it can be a real challenge to find what you’re looking for.While phone books are designed to display maximum information in minimum space, the majority of print layouts are created to be more easily understood — thanks to whitespace.To illustrate how effective whitespace is at helping our brains process information in print, check out the example below from Digital Ink:See the difference? The layout on the left uses the vast majority of available space, but it looks crowded and severe — not exactly something you’d feel comfortable staring at for a long time to read.In contrast, the layout on the right uses wider columns and more distance between paragraphs. It’s a simple design shift that has a major impact on making the article look more approachable and readable.In addition to making layouts easier to understand, whitespace can also place emphasis on specific elements, helping the viewer understand what they should focus on. Using whitespace to break up a layout and group particular things together helps create a sense of balance and sophistication.Take a look at this business card example from Printwand:The business card on the left does include negative space, but the elements are still crammed into one area, making the whole card look cluttered and unprofessional. The card on the right uses whitespace to a better effect, spacing the individual elements out so the composition is easier to make sense of.When it comes to designing websites, whitespace is crucial — not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but also from a conversion optimization perspective. Using whitespace effectively can make your website more easily navigable, comprehensible, and conversion-friendly, directing users more smoothly to call-to-actions and encouraging them to convert.In fact, classic research by Human Factors International found that using whitespace to highlight or emphasize important elements on a website increased visitor comprehension by almost 20%.Just take a look at these two website layouts:On the left, the call-to-action button has no room to breathe — it’s wedged between busy dividers and tightly packed text. There’s too much distraction around the button, making it difficult for visitors to focus on what matters.On the right, the call-to-action has been padded with some much-needed whitespace. The button now appears to be a focal point on the page, encouraging visitors to stop and take notice. You’ll notice that adding some whitespace around our call-to-action has caused some of the other content on the page to be pushed down — and that’s perfectly okay. Not everything has to be above the fold (the part of the website that appears before the user starts to scroll). In fact, designers shouldn’t try to stuff a ton of content before the fold of the page, since it will end up looking cluttered and overwhelming.9 Websites Using Whitespace Marketing to Their Advantage1) ShopifyThe homepage for ecommerce platform Shopify has a simple objective: Get visitors to sign up for a free trial.To direct users to this action, they’ve surrounded their one-field sign-up form with plenty of whitespace, minimizing distractions and ensuring visitors can’t miss it. The site’s main navigation is displayed much smaller than the form text, and placed out of the way at the top of the screen to avoid taking attention away from the central form.2) EverlaneWhitespace doesn’t have to mean the complete absence of color or pictures — it means making sure page elements are generously and strategically spaced to avoid overwhelming or confusing your visitors.To show off its latest clothing collection, fashion retailer Everlane opts for a minimal set up: The full page background shows off a photograph of its “GoWeave” blazer, and a small, expertly placed call-to-action appears in the center of the screen, encouraging users to click and “shop now.” It’s a perfect example of leading users towards an action without being pushy or aggressive. 3) WistiaUsing whitespace strategically can be as easy as making sure your forms and call-to-action buttons are noticeably separated from the rest of your content. This simple change makes a huge difference in how your content is perceived. Wistia, a video platform, anchors their homepage with a friendly question and a drop-down form. The two central CTA buttons serve as the central focal point(s) of the whole page, and it’s given plenty of space to set it apart from the site’s main navigation and image.4) WelikesmallDigital agency Welikesmall proves that whitespace doesn’t have to be boring, empty, or even static. Their homepage displays a fullscreen demo reel of their recent video projects, filtering through a variety of exciting vignettes to immediately capture the visitor’s attention. Full-screen video in any other context could seem busy and aggressive, but since the layout is designed with generous whitespace, it looks polished. With all the focus on the video background, the text is kept minimal. The agency’s logo appears in one corner, and a folded hamburger style menu appears in the other. Welikesmall’s slogan — “Belief in the Making” — is fixed in the center of the screen, along with a call-to-action button linking to the agency’s full 2016 demo reel.  5) SimplaThis homepage from Simpla demonstrates the power that a relatively empty above the fold section can have. This simple, decidedly minimal homepage uses whitespace to urge users to keep scrolling.Beneath the logo and navigation, a large portion of the site has been left unmarked. The top of a photo — along with a short paragraph of text and an arrow — invites visitors to keep reading to learn more about the company and their mission.This unique use of whitespace not only looks sophisticated, but it strategically draws visitors further into the site. 6) Harvard Art MuseumsThe Harvard Art Museums might be known for displaying antiquated paintings, but their homepage is decidedly modern. The whitespace here provides the perfect backdrop for the featured art, making sure that nothing distracts from the pieces themselves. It’s about as close to a digital art exhibition as you can get. The masonry-style layout gives the user a reason to keep scrolling, and also ensures that none of the images are crowded together. To maintain the minimal gallery aesthetic, the site’s navigation is completely hidden until the user hovers their mouse towards the top of the page.7) BurnkitWhen working with whitespace on your homepage, you’ll have to make some tough decisions about what’s important enough to display, since there’s less room for a pile of cluttered content. This design agency shows us that you can display a wide variety of content in a minimal layout, without squishing things together and muddying the composition. Burnkit’s homepage features blog content, key excerpts from the agency’s portfolio of client work, and behind-the-scenes looks at the agency’s culture. So how did they manage to fit so much onto one page without overwhelming the visitor? Whitespace. Lots and lots of whitespace. Each article is given generous padding, and the user can keep scrolling to reveal new material. 8) MediumMedium cleverly uses whitespace to get readers to keep scrolling further down the page by enticing them with notes showing how many people have “clapped” for a post, how many people have commented on it, and what related content is next on the docket for them to read.The whitespace pushes the reader to look at the center column of their screen, featuring a compelling title and cover photo — and uses social proof to show readers why they should keep scrolling.10) AhrefsAhrefs’ website is another example of whitespace that decidedly isn’t white, and its homepage uses both whitespace and text formatting to focus the visitor’s eyes on the glowing orange button — to start their free trial.In bold, large font, Ahrefs offers its software’s value proposition, and in smaller, center-justified text, it uses whitespace to guide the viewer to click the CTA button. Smart, right? Topics: Originally published Oct 16, 2017 9:52:00 PM, updated October 17 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! Website Designlast_img read more

The Best of B2B Marketing Content: 10 Examples

first_imgWhat It Does WellAt risk of sounding like a broken record, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of B2B brands maintaining a human element. That’s why we like it when companies use social media channels to give audiences a “look inside” at the people who make the great products and services they love.Wistia, a video hosting platform, does that particularly well by sharing visual content on Instagram that lifts the curtain on its people — and dogs. It not only aligns with its brand — after all, the company does provide technology to businesses that want hosting solutions for their visual content — but it’s also just smart. Among its other advantages, visual content can help boost a viewer’s retention of things like brand information.Takeaway for Marketers: Incorporate Visual ContentPlease, please, please don’t neglect to incorporate visuals into your content strategy. Of course, having a presence on visually-focused channels like Instagram and YouTube is vital — but when it comes to your written content, don’t afraid to use visuals there, as well. After all, articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images.But if you can also create content that aligns with the core of your product or service, that’s also great. As we mentioned before, Wistia creates visual content technology — so it makes sense that it would have unique visual content. Identify what your business does particularly well, and then make the most use of the channel that best aligns with your strengths.9. Zendesk EngineeringWhat It Does WellYes — more offsite content. This time, it’s from Zendesk, a maker of customer service software that’s done something unique with its Medium publication, Zendesk Engineering.Zendesk might be an expert in the solutions provided by its product, but behind that product is a chorus of highly skilled experts — the people who build and engineer the software. The company realized that there’s an audience to be tapped that’s seeking insights and expertise on the technical side of the product, so it used that to build an entirely independent content property.Takeaway for Marketers: Tell Your Brand StoryDig beneath the surface of the solutions your company provides. You offer solutions — but what is your process? What have you learned that makes you do what you do so well, and how did you get there?Sure, topics like engineering might be traditionally “unsexy.” But when leveraged and communicated in a storytelling manner, they can make for remarkable content.10. Hexagon: Annual ReportImage via App AnnieWhat It Does WellWho says written content needs to be two-dimensional?For Hexagon, an industrial IT solutions provider, “AR” doesn’t just stand for annual report. With that in mind, the company recently “augmented” a presentation to its investors in a creative way.Hexagon used augmented reality (AR) to spruce up their written company report, giving investors a more interactive experience when learning the latest updates on the company. How does it work? A mobile app, based on technology from Samsung and zSpace, displays a virtual demonstration of a product when readers hold their mobile device over a “trigger image” of that product within the report.Takeaway for Marketers: Challenge Your BuyersIt’s easy to feel limited by your medium as you create content — especially for a business audience who you’ve all agreed is comfortable with that medium.But in order for content to convert readers and incite growth, it needs to occasionally disrupt its audience’s point of view. A company doesn’t work for its content; content works for its company. If you need to say something that a blog alone can’t, the business demands that you make it work — whether that means starting a YouTube channel or seeing how you can integrate an AR tool into your next ebook.And the List Goes OnWe’re optimistic that the digital realm is full of strong B2B content marketing efforts — and, we want to hear about them. But even more than that, we want to hear how these examples inspire you. As they show, there’s a world of content opportunities out there, just waiting for creative B2B marketers to take on. Topics: Here at HubSpot, some of the most awe-inspiring moments take place when we get to take new products and features for a test drive. We transform, if it’s even imaginable, into even bigger geeks than we normally are, squealing with the excitement typically reserved for iPhone launches and new seasons of Netflix series.But alas — this glee is caused by software we use every day at work, and will eventually get to share with other marketers.Many B2B marketers have seen B2C content at least once and asked, “Why do they get to have all the fun?” But the moments like the one we described above are the ones that remind us: B2B companies are just as passionate about their products as B2C companies are. And for every B2B product, there are even more B2B users out there looking for information, inspiration, and knowledge to provide them with solutions.The point? No marketing, including content, is uninteresting if you look at it certain ways.Click here to take inspiration from the best marketing and ad campaigns we’ve ever seen.Done right, B2B content marketing can certainly match — and sometimes, maybe even rival — the creativity and appeal of the best B2C ones. And we want to recognize the brands that are breaking that mold and creating great content that grows fervent, dedicated audiences.Below, you’ll find a few of our favorites, all with their own B2B marketing strategies that you can take with you.10 Exceptional B2B Content Marketing Examples1. CB Insights: NewsletterWhat It Does WellThere are two things I love about the CB Insights newsletter. First, it’s surprisingly funny (the subject lines alone make it worth it). Second, you learn a lot just by reading the newsletter, no need to click through a bunch of links.”- Janessa Lantz, HubSpot Senior Marketing ManagerWe love how this newsletter illustrates the willingness of CB Insights to not take itself too seriously. Yes, it shares some of the finest insights on technology, venture capital (VC), and emerging businesses, but it does so with fun images that ultimately relate back to the subject — e.g., the above photo of Oprah that’s been adapted as a meme, since, well, that was the topic of the newsletter.But the messaging remains relevant, even among the hint of silliness. After all, CB Insights designs technology for people in the VC space, so it’s tasked with creating content that will appeal to a broad audience: customers, prospective customers, tech enthusiasts, and investors. And so, under such subject lines as “so sad: tough to have a VC dad,” it includes relevant data. Yes, gifs are hilarious — but in some contexts, they’re also worth $147 million.Takeaway for Marketers: Remember Your Buyer’s GoalsWhen you’re dying to create truly unique, cutting-edge content, it’s easy to stray from your organization’s mission and focus.So, while it’s great to think outside of the box, use clever subject lines, or even write every email with an overarching humorous tone — keep it relevant and include the information that the people reading it signed up to receive in the first place. Then, keep it human.2. Mattermark: Raise the BarWhat It Does WellRaise the Bar rounds up the best stories about a variety of different industries, giving me a great snapshot of trends to watch and news stories to follow without having to search for them myself.”- Sophia Bernazzani, Editor, HubSpot Customer Success BlogOne of the best things about well-curated content — especially the kind that pertains to your line of work — is that it eliminates a lot of work. Keeping up with news and trends is never easy when you’ve already got a full plate, so when someone else is able to hand-pick the things you need to know, it can feel like you’ve struck gold.That’s what Raise the Bar does, by compiling a “daily digest of timely, must-read posts on sales, marketing and growth engineering.” And, that was the intent all along. In a 2016 blog post announcing the launch of the newsletter, Mattermark’s Co-founder and CEO, Danielle Morrill, wrote, “We’re turning our focus toward sifting through the mountains of content out there around sales, marketing, and growth to help the community of DOERS who grow companies.”Takeaway for Marketers: Educate Your BuyersThink about the problems that your product or service already aims to solve for customers. Then, turn that into relevant content that’s going to both save time for and inform your audience — and make it easy for them to access it.3. MYOB: Tax TimeWhat It Does WellMYOB, a provider of business management solutions in Australia and New Zealand, helps companies manage their finances, in part by connecting them with bookkeepers and financial services professionals. It has two main buyer personas:Small businesses that are just learning the ropesMore established companies that need greater insight into all facets of their operations.Each audience has its own set of concerns and corresponding hub of information on — and MYOB has built a B2B content marketing strategy for each one that shows how much it understands its customers.MYOB recognizes that many businesses are figuring out accounting and financial decisions as they grow, so it’s created content that positions the brand as a go-to resource to help those businesses navigate each stage of their development. The Tax Time center, for example, is angled to fit the needs of both customer groups, providing tips for those just starting out, and guides for breaking through new stages of development.Takeaway for Marketers: Grow With Your BuyersWhen you begin to brainstorm and map out ideas for content, ask yourself, “Do I really understand my audience?” If you have any doubts as to how the idea will benefit or be useful to your audience, the answer might be “no” — and that’s okay. Like everything else, audiences (and people) evolve, so it’s okay to go back to the drawing board in instances like these for a refresh.4. Unbounce: Page Fights (R.I.P.) B2B Content Marketing What It Does WellIf you’ve ever seen a growth marketer on the heels of a successful optimization experiment, you know that her energy is electric. Unbounce, a landing page software company based in Vancouver, understands that excitement and decided to leverage it to create an engaging microsite, Page Fights, in collaboration with optimization company Conversion XL.The project came to a close after one year, but during its existence, Page Fights contained live streams of marketing optimization expert panels who critiqued landing pages in real time. It was content that expanded far beyond the written word — and that was one thing that made it so great.Sure, Unbounce has a successful blog, but it saw Page Fights as an opportunity to expand beyond that copy. It knew that the web — especially within marketing and web design — was becoming increasingly crowded with content. To address that, it diversified the format of its expertise, to keep its audience engaged and learning.Takeaway for Marketers: Diversify Your ChannelsThe internet is only going to become more crowded. And as the human attention span dwindles, that makes it even more important to create content that engages and maintains your audience’s attention.So while we don’t recommend abandoning blogs completely — after all, written content is still vital to SEO — we do emphasize the importance of diversifying content formats. Marketers who incorporate video into their content strategies, for example, have seen 49% faster revenue growth than those who don’t. And remember that tip to “keep it human” we mentioned earlier? That’s a great thing about live video in particular — it can help portray brands (and their people) as candid and genuine.5. Deloitte InsightsWhat It Does WellDeloitte is a professional services company specializing in consulting, tech, auditing, and more. It works with a massive cross-section of industries, from government agencies to life sciences — and that broad range of knowledge is a major selling point. That’s why creating informed, useful content for individual, specialized audiences is core to its marketing strategy.But Deloitte has also used that wealth of knowledge to position itself as a resource for those who want to know what it knows. So, among its specialized hubs are educational content centers, including Deloitte Insights (formerly branded Deloitte University Press).Much like some of the other remarkable B2B content we’ve come across, it curates not only different pieces of highly helpful content — but also a variety of content formats. From blog posts, to webcasts, to podcasts, Deloitte Insights has a bit of everything for those who want to learn about its specialties and the industries it works with.Takeaway for Marketers: Separate Your Buyer PersonasCreating a content strategy to please a wide-scale audience like Deloitte’s is challenging. It can quickly become unfocused. But if your company has a number of specialties, creating content microsites for each of them is one way to keep that information organized, discoverable, and easy to navigate.Plus, it can never hurt to establish your brand as a go-to resource. So, as you create these content hubs, consider adding a “knowledge center” among them that’s dedicated to teaching your audience the valuable things it wants to learn.6. First Round MagazinesWhat It Does WellHere’s another example of a brand that does a great job of leveraging different categories of knowledge. First Round, an early-stage VC company, recognized the knowledge among entrepreneurs and leaders that wasn’t being shared — knowledge that could be highly beneficial to their peers — and created the First Round Review as a place for it to be shared. It serves, reads the manifesto, to liberate the ideas and expertise that are “trapped in other people’s heads.”But liberating that much-untapped knowledge can lead to the same problem we alluded to above — an unfocused mass of content that makes it difficult to discover exactly what you’re looking for. That’s why First Round organized the Review into a collection of nine online magazines, each specializing in a different aspect of building a business.Takeaway for Marketers: Work With Thought LeadersIf you’ve ever wondered how to leverage the wealth of knowledge outside of your organization — and inside your professional network — here’s a great example.Don’t be afraid to reach out to the entrepreneurs and leaders you’ve met, or simply just admire, to figure out how they can work with you to create content with teachable experiences that your audience will value. Sharing useful, relatable first-hand accounts conveys empathy, which helps to invoke trust among readers.7. NextView Ventures: Better EverydayWhat It Does WellWe absolutely love stumbling across B2B companies with an active presence on Medium. A great example is VC firm NextView Ventures’ Better Everyday, a Medium publication that focuses on “stories, analyses & resources to help seed-stage founders redesign the everyday.”But why would NextView want to create an entirely separate blog that isn’t even on its website? Well, it’s an exercise in creating off-site content: the material you own but doesn’t live on your website. When executed correctly, it can give publishers a huge boost in discoverability, variety, and quality, especially when making use of a highly popular platform like Medium.Because Better Everyday isn’t attached to the company’s main URL, it provides an opportunity for NextView to experiment with different tones, voices, and stories — all from a variety of experts that might already be using Medium to discover and contribute unique content. Plus, with Medium’s built-in ability for people to recommend, highlight, and search internally for relevant content, it makes the work published there that much more shareable.Takeaway for Marketers: Publish Off-Domain ContentTake advantage of the availability of off-site content platforms. As my colleague, Sam Mallikarjunan, writes in “Why Medium Works,” it can take up to six months of consistent publishing on your company’s blog before it gains significant traction. (And we’re not discouraging that — stick with it, and find ways to supplement those efforts.) But off-site content diversifies your audience by engaging readers who might not have otherwise found your website.Medium, for example, connects your content with the people most likely to read it. Plus, you’re creating a publication on a platform that comes with a built-in audience of at least 6.3 million users.8. Wistia: Instagram Originally published Aug 31, 2018 8:12:00 PM, updated March 19 2018 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Watch: Fan yells ‘David Warner you f*****g cheat’. Australian opener’s reaction is hilarious

first_imgDavid Warner has gotten so used to the boos and abuses from the English crowd in this Ashes series that he has started to find the funny side of all the sledging that he is being subjected to. It happened Birmingham in the first match and it happened again on Friday at Old Trafford.During one of the breaks on Day 3 of the fourth Test, Warner was going down the steps of the Australian dressing room to the ground when a fan yelled “Warner you f*****g cheat”. But the former vice-captain just turned around and gave him a thumbs up and shouted “woooo” with a smile instead.The video of the whole incident was captured and shared online. Needless to say, it went viral within minutes of it being shared on social media.Fan: Warner you f*cking cheat!David Warner: …via @AdamGMillington Shouts (@crickshouts) September 6, 2019This is not the first time fans have tried to rattle Warner during a match. Last month during the first Test at Edgbaston, he was fielding in front of the Hollies Stand when the crowd started shouting: “He’s got sandpaper in his hands!”Warner acknowledged the crowd by opening both his palms to show that there was nothing in his hands before emptying his pockets too, following which the crowd gave him a loud and heartfelt round of applause.Warner has been woefully out of form with the bat but is still keeping his spirits up thanks to Australia’s dominant show in the series so far. He has managed just 79 runs in 7 innings so far at an average of 11.28 with 61 being his highest score.advertisementAustralia had won the at Edgbaston and on Friday, they took firm control of the ongoing fourth Test at Old Trafford reducing England to 200 for 5 in their first innings on Day 3 with the hosts still trailing the Ashes holders by 297 runs with 2 more days of the game remaining.Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood ripped through England with three crucial late wickets in the final session to leave Joe Root’s side reeling at the end of day’s play in Manchester.England still need 98 runs to avoid following on and that will be no formality after Hazlewood undid so much of the good work from Rory Burns (81) and Joe Root (71) earlier in the day.The five-match series is standing at 1-1 and victory for Australia, who declared their first innings on 497 for 8, would ensure they retain The Ashes ahead of the final Test at the Oval next week.Also Read | Ashes 2019 4th Test Day 3: Late Josh Hazlewood burst leaves England in troubleAlso Read | Complicated technique but an organised mindset: Sachin Tendulkar lauds Steve SmithAlso Read | 12-year-old boy picks garbage for 4 years to fulfill dream of watching Asheslast_img read more

NDMC schools to have compulsory yoga classes says deputy mayor Yogesh Verma

first_imgDeputy Mayor of North Delhi Yogesh Verma on Wednesday said all NDMC schools will have “compulsory” yoga classes to promote health consciousness among students.Creation of sports academyHe said officials have been directed to create a sports academy in all North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) schools.”In order to encourage health (awareness) and sports activities in all primary schools of North Delhi Municipal Corporation, they would have compulsory yoga classes,” an official statement quoted Verma, who is also the NDMC’s Sports Promotion Committee chairman, as saying.He also issued directions for organising a cricket match between members of the executive and the legislative wings of the NDMC.Such matches would lead to better coordination between the two wings, he said.Read: JU teachers to meet Dhankhar on disbursal of central fundsRead: New National Education Policy will be India-centric: HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyallast_img read more

Coutinho the latest of Liverpool’s lost stars

first_imgTransfers Torres, Suarez & now Coutinho: The stars Liverpool have lost to Europe’s elite Mark Doyle Last updated 1 year ago 02:15 1/7/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(25) Liverpool's lost stars Getty/Goal Transfers Liverpool Premier League Manchester City Chelsea Real Madrid Barcelona Primera División Raheem Sterling Luis Suárez Philippe Coutinho Opinion The Brazilian is set to join Barcelona, which will make him the latest in a long line of top players to have left Anfield during their title droughtlast_img