All welcome to Lough Eske Castle’s Christmas food appeal and switch-on event

first_imgDecember 1st will see Lough Eske Castle launch its annual Christmas food appeal and Christmas light switch-on event. The Castle invites everyone to help support the local Society of St Vincent de Paul by bringing non-perishable food, such as tinned soups, pasta and sauces, to feed local Donegal families in need during the festive period.“The Society of St Vincent de Paul provides invaluable support for families across Donegal and we are pleased to be supporting this great work once again,” said Donal Cox, General Manager of Lough Eske Castle. “We’ve had fantastic success with previous appeals and would like to invite the Donegal community to once again join us in making Christmas special for everyone this year.”  December 1st will see Lough Eske Castle launch its annual Christmas food appeal and Christmas light switch-on eventThe Castle is working alongside Kavanagh’s Supervalu in Donegal and both locations will be collecting food items from Sunday 1st December until 24th December for this deserving cause. Sunday the 1st of December not only marks the launch of Lough Eske Castle’s charity drive, but will also see the annual light switch-on ceremony with performances by Tirconaill Youth Choir and a Children’s Disco. The Switch-On commences at 5pm. The winner of the Castle’s annual story writing competition this year is Isabella McHugh from St. Macarten’s National School in Bundoran  who will be crowned The Princess of the Castle – The Princess will be treated to a Chocolate Christmas Tea Party with her family and classmates on the day. Don’t forget the camera for some fantastic photo opportunities – visitors might even catch one of Santa Claus himself! All welcome to Lough Eske Castle’s Christmas food appeal and switch-on event was last modified: November 25th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:christmas lights switch-onDonegal TownKavanagh’s SuperValuLough Eske Castlelast_img read more

Chot Reyes gets back at old foe

first_imgKammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 MOST READ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Photo from Fiba.comSmart Gilas Pilipinas’ 77-71 victory over Japan on Friday wasn’t just any other win for coach Chot Reyes. It also allowed him to get back at one of his past tormentors.The outspoken mentor finally scored a victory at the expense of Japan coach Julio Lamas, the same bench tactician who handled Argentina back in the 2014 Fiba World Cup.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments LSGH completes improbable climb, upsets Mapua for first crown With Japan down 38-29 at halftime, Lamas made moves that paved way for Japan to fight back from 14 points down using with 12-0 blast that gave them 40-37 lead to set up the close finish.“I think coach Julio made great adjustments to start the third quarter and even took the lead in the third. We had to make our counter adjustments and I think that proved to be important in this ballgame,” he said.Reyes also noted that the coaching landscape in the continent has also improved through the years.“All over Asia, every team have great coaches. It demands you to be at the top of your game and your adjustments, your focus has to be at a very high level because one slip up could mean the ball game,” he said.Reyes will have his hands full again on Monday as he engages on another coaching chess match against Chinese Taipei head coach Chou Chun-san.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City The two coaches first met when Gilas Pilipinas and El Alma Argentina crossed paths in Seville, Spain as the Filipinos gave the Argentinians all they could handle and even threatened a massive upset against the fifth ranked team in the world which featured the likes of Luis Scola, Pablo Prigioni, and Andres Nocioni. Unfortunately for the Philippines, Argentina got its act together late and eked out the 85-81 win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThree years later they met again, with Reyes back in the fray for the Philippines and Lamas now calling the shots for the Akatsuki Five.Reyes welcomed Lamas’ entry to the Asian basketball circuit, saying, “The good thing about playing against good coaches is that it demands you to be at your best.”last_img read more

CWG scam: CBI may arrest Suresh Kalmadi

first_imgThe former Games OC chairman pins the blame on the authorities in the CWG scam case and demands the questioning of Sheila Dikshit and M.S. Gill.Sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi is likely to be arrested soon in the CWG scam case, sources said. This comes close on the heels of the arrest of his closest aides, former OC secretary-general Lalit Bhanot and director-general V.K. Verma. CBI on Wednesday arrested the two key aides of Kalmadi for allegedly tweaking technical qualifications to favour a Swiss time-keeping company.  Kalmadi on Thursday said Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, along with two other Union Ministers, should be summoned by the CBI which is probing the allegations of corruption relating to the mega event. “All those who were involved in organising the Games must be summoned. Why just go after the Organising Committee”? he said when asked if he wanted the Delhi CM as well as former sports minister M.S. Gill and former urban development minister S. Jaipal Reddy to be summoned by the investigating agencies. Attacking the Delhi CM for her statements against the Organising Committee, Kalmadi said, “She said even before the investigations started that all scams are in OC. Does that mean she predetermined all this?”last_img read more

Mercedes A-Class production begins in Germany

first_imgThe production of new Mercedes A-Class , which garnered more than 40,000 orders ever since bookings were announced in mid-June, has started at the Rastatt plant of Mercedes in Germany, said a report. The new B-Class and the upcoming compact SUV will also roll from the same line, as the B-Class has found more than 70,000 new homes since its launch in November 2011, said the report.”This start of production marks a further milestone in our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy. The A-Class represents our offensive in the compact segment,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. He further said, “And there is more to come: The compact SUV will be the third model we will build here in Rastatt.”A report on has described the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class as “a sporty and radical design based on an all-new front-wheel-drive architecture, one which the five-door hatchback will eventually share with other body styles such as a coupe and a crossover.” “The new A-Class has a lower centre of gravity, thanks to Merc’s decision to ditch the previous sandwich floor construction. The car is also bigger at 4,355 mm in overall length with a wheelbase of 2,699 mm but with a height of just 1,433 mm,” the report further adds in its review.This new generation of four-cylinder engines already meets the stricter Euro 6 emission standard before it comes into force. The A-Class can be ordered in a variety of trim levels, with the highest being AMG Sport. AMG is the tuning division of Mercedes-Benz and the A250 AMG Sport comes with several high-performance modifications.The report, meanwhile, concludes that with the A250 AMG Sport, Mercedes-Benz has managed to overhaul its image in one fell swoop. And as if that’s not enough, look out for the A45 AMG with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine driving all four wheels in the first quarter of 2013.advertisementlast_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week: Make Love to Direct Traffic

first_img on The Marketing Spot Marketing Takeaway: business’ page on Google Places , by helping you lessen the occurrence of tactical arguments, improve your operations, and help your chief financial officer do his or her job. Avinash Kaushik Matt Ridings Use third party comments and social media marketing Take advantage of web analytics to reduce the crappiness of your funnel. Author: local search Web Analytics, The Wonder Cure for Funnel Crappiness Download the free video and why you should take advantage of the valuable opportunity it offers. Your About page should be personal and make it easy for site visitors to learn more about you. on Convince & Convert on Search Engine Land Marketing Takeaway: to establish credibility. Implement how web analytics can alleviate FC How to Maximize Your Google Places Page tools appropriately so you can correctly identify and give your direct traffic visitors the love they deserve. benefits, and tips for getting the most from your page through a five-minute video tutorial and three written tips: getting customer reviews, creating current content, and adding photos and videos. direct traffic doing. on Occam’s Razor Matt concludes his article by saying that you should measure the ROI of your social media programs as best as you can, but the inability to precisely measure ROI shouldn’t be an obstacle to social participation. Be human. Author: The article goes on to describe Certified Su 2. Is Our Addiction to ROI Killing Social Media? Don’t use meaningless jargon. Photo Credit: Make it easy to contact you. on Seth Godin’s Blog Measuring your marketing is important, but don’t obsess over ROI when it comes to He expresses the importance of maximizing your page, particularly for While we’re on the topic of web analytics, this Search Engine Land article cites a blog post by Seth Godin, which emphasizes the terrible, contagious disease that is Funnel Crappiness (FC). The solution? Web analytics, of course! Marketing Takeaway: Author: Marketing Takeaway: Jay Ehret Originally published Oct 4, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated July 19 2013 1. Excellent Analytics Tip #18: Make Love to Your Direct Traffic web analytics Marketing Takeaway: measurements can be tied directly to financial transactions, but sometimes they can’t. Additionally, he recognizes the flaw in spending more time counting than actually Kaushik’s blog post focuses on the concept of article this week, isn’t kidding, and we agree. social media Inbound Marketing Topics: . In an industry where we’re obsessed with the ability to clearly demonstrate ROI, Matt dares to question whether measuring the ROI of social media campaigns is always necessary. His main point is that sometimes Direct traffic, in the words of Avinash, “contains all visits to your website wherein people arrived at your site directly (by typing the URL) or via a bookmark.” inbound marketing Rules for Your About Page Yup — you read the headline right. Avinash Kaushik, author of our top Author: Speaking of Seth Godin, we love the simple guidelines he offers in this article for an effective ‘About’ page. Because your About page is often the first page a person visits when accessing your website for the first time, he stresses the importance of making it humanized and welcoming. Godin’s five tips: Don’t use a stock photo of someone who isn’t you. Video: Marketing Analytics 101: How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Website Seth Godin 4. Claim and optimize your Googl Evan LaPointe e Places page for local search benefits. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack testimonials ? Google Places, says Ehret, is a modern-day version of the Yellow Pages, and it comes with a free ad for every business in the form of pages. Learn how to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Website. Kaushik discusses the value of visitors who have reached your site via direct traffic, in that they are the visitors who have proactively sought you out, not those you’ve “begged” to show up. He writes about how companies generally don’t give them the love they deserve and analyzes the reasons why. to learn how to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Website. 5. Have you claimed your 3. Author:last_img read more

How to Squeeze More Lead Gen Juice From Your Social Presence

first_imgAre you juicing your social media presence for all it’s worth? Sure, social media engagement can be a great way to connect and interact with fans, prospects, and customers alike. But are you aware of its potential as a lead generation tool?The next time you tweet a link, post a message on Facebook or LinkedIn, or upload a video to your YouTube channel, consider the following 10 tactics to make sure you’re squeezing out as much lead gen juice as possible from your social media strategy.10 Ways to Squeeze More Lead Gen Juice From Social Media1. Promote your social presence via email, your website, and your blog. In order to generate leads from social media, you first need followers and fans who actually care about your updates. Don’t forget about easy ways to promote your presence in social media and attract new followers. Add social media follow buttons to various pages of your website, your blog, your personal email signatures, and your email marketing messages so people know where else to find you.2. Make sure every blog post you share includes a CTA. In general, it’s a best practice to include a call-to-action on every blog post you publish in general. While blog articles don’t directly generate leads, they’re a great way to direct visitors to landing pages where they can convert into leads. Make sure every blog post you share in social media includes a CTA to support lead generation.3. Share more landing pages in social media. Blog posts shouldn’t be the only type of content you share in social media. Pump up your social media lead generation efforts by sharing more landing pages for downloadable content like ebooks and webinars. This will cut out the lead gen middle man (i.e. blog posts) and enable visitors to convert in fewer clicks, which will increase your chances of generating leads.4. Include social sharing buttons throughout all content and landing pages. Easily expand the potential reach of your content by adding social media sharing buttons for sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to every piece of content you produce as well as every landing page you create. Include these buttons on every blog post you publish and on every single page of the ebooks you launch. By making it virtually effortless for people to share your content with their connections, you will attract new eyes to your content, expand your reach beyond your direct network, and ultimately, generate more leads!5. Create custom landing pages on Facebook. Create a custom Facebook page tab, and use it to promote your best lead generating content. Or take it one step further with HubSpot’s Welcome Application for Facebook, which enables you to create a custom tab with a form to generate leads directly within Facebook!6. Participate in LinkedIn Answers. Regularly monitoring questions pertaining to your industry and expertise in LinkedIn Answers will enable you to identify opportunities to share your thought leadership. In your responses, be sure to include a link to a piece of content that provides more detailed information to support lead generation.7. Launch a contest that includes a lead gen element. Launching a contest in social media is a great way to attract new fans and followers, and, when done correctly, help you generate leads. Consider making lead generation the way someone must enter your contest. Something as simple as “Download our new ebook, and you’ll be entered to win a new [insert enticing prize here]!”8. Include CTAs in videos you upload to YouTube. Just as every blog post you publish should include a call-to-action, so should every video you produce. Including the URL of a landing page with a simple CTA at the end of the video will suffice. This way, if someone embedded your video on their website or blog and others viewed it outside the context of YouTube, your CTA would remain intact. Furthermore, you should also include links to landing pages in your video’s description when you upload it to your YouTube channel.9. Use your social media bios wisely. Use opportunities in your social media account bios to link to your content. Many social media sites enable users to include a link or two in their forward-facing bio or profile; use it wisely.10. Increase your social reach. It’s an easy concept to understand — the more fans and followers you have, the more chances you’ll have to generate leads. Spend some time working to increase your social media reach and increase your fans and followers, and those lovely leads will follow.How else can you squeeze more lead generation juice out of your social media presence?Image Credit: Keith Williamson Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media Topics: Originally published Oct 5, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013last_img read more

How Google+ Is Changing the Web, Even Though No One Wants It To

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 Social Media Originally published Jan 4, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 01 2013 Google gave the world something it didn’t want with the launch of its social network, Google+. The last thing the social media population at large wanted was yet ONE MORE social network to manage and visit. So explain how this social network that no one seemingly wanted saw a 55% percent increase in traffic in the month of December, and now has more than 62 million users.This is a classic example of how listening to your customers can actually be the worst business decision you can make. Any market research Google conducted likely told them that people didn’t want yet another social network. But that didn’t matter.Google, without a successful social network component to its platform, would quickly become irrelevant. It couldn’t reach a deal with Twitter to include the popular social network’s data in Google search results, and Facebook was already in a deep relationship with Google’s core search competitor, Microsoft. This left the search giant in between a rock and digital hard place. It had only one choice. Ignore the desires of the internet-using population, and invest millions into building its very own social network.By now, you’re reading this article and thinking, “Really? 62 million users? That’s NOTHING. Facebook is closing in on 1 BILLION. How can a social network with only 62 million users have any real impact on the way people use the internet or the way marketers try to connect with potential customers online?”The thing is, Google+ isn’t out to be the largest social network in the world. It’s looking to be the easiest and most integrated social network in the world.It’s About the Data, SillyGoogle+ doesn’t need to be the biggest and best social network in order to transform how consumers, businesses, and marketers use the web. Take a step back, and look at what Google has acquired and built over the past several years:1. It’s turned Android into an extremely popular mobile operating system.2. In the past year, it’s launched Google TV and Google Music.3. It’s taken a HUGE lead in market share for search.4. It’s built the dominant maps platform that even Apple uses for the iPhone. 5. It owns Gmail, which has gained more than 200 million users in less than a decade. 6. Its Google Docs tool is quickly becoming a leader for online document collaboration.And that isn’t even everything. But looking at all of these very impressive factors from a distance, it’s still easy to see one glaring hole. Before Google+, Google didn’t have any real way to easily integrate all of these services, AND it lacked a layer of social data to allow for better recommendations and discovery within each of these siloed tools.It’s all about the data.Google+ doesn’t need a billion users. It needs enough users — which many could argue it already has — to power the social and recommendation engine for an integrated suite of Google products.When looking into the crystal ball of the internet for answers, look no further than the companies that have the best data.Data is the currency of Web 3.0.Features Don’t MatterFeatures don’t matter. In fact, focusing on features does nothing more than overcomplicate a message and reduce the adoption speed of a software product. Features don’t matter between the different social networks, because the web moves too fast. It is far too easy for a competitor to copy a feature very quickly. Features are commodities.The social web is ripe with parody. Users care about a set of minimally viable features and a simple, user-focused design. Google is getting past focusing on features and working more on points of integration with other products as Google+ continues to mature.It’s About Owning the ENTIRE InternetLook back up at the title of this post. Google+ isn’t about changing social networking. Google+ is the linchpin of Google’s plan to own the entire internet. The company with the platform that can give internet users EVERYTHING they want will win. This is why you’ve seen Facebook partnering with music providers, launching its own email service, and allowing users to make images and updates public to improve Facebook Search. These two internet giants are locked into the early stages of the business equivalent of a death match. Ultimately, the platform wins. Users’ expectations have changed. They expect accurate search results, awesome entertainment recommendations, directions personalized to their location, and more. None of these wonders of technology are possible without data, and for Google, not possible without data from Google+.Marketing TakeawayGoogle+ and Facebook will remain an important part of the inbound marketing mix. However, the most important lessons for marketers reside within Google’s plan for internet dominance.  Google is an awesome inbound marketer. It creates awesome, free content and products that draw people into its platform. Your business strategy will evolve over time. Build a strong inbound marketing infrastructure to support adoption and demand for future products. If you need an example, check out HubSpot’s Google+ Page.Collect and analyze data. Through all of your inbound marketing channels, you have many methods available to gather data about your industry, leads, and customers — from website analytics to customer relationship management software. Repurpose this data to improve product development, increase sales efficiency, and create a more personalized marketing strategy.Easy and integrated wins.Image Credits: A Bremner, ralphbijker Topics:last_img read more

How to Search an Entire Website in Google [Example]

first_img Topics: How to Google Search Within a Website using Site:SearchStep 1: Go to Duh.Step 2: Enter search term into the search box.**Pay attention to the subdomain (the letters that precede a domain name, like www., blog., or info.) you enter. Which subdomain you enter, or even choosing not to enter one at all, will change your results.For example, when I try to conduct a site:search for all the mentions of marketing automation on, I get way more results (about 9,500) when I enter marketing automation than I do if I enter marketing automation (about 2,300). Why? Because the former is bringing up results for all the subdomains on That means it returns results for mentions of marketing automation on, say,, too.Entering marketing automation, however, returns results for only mentions of marketing automation on the www. subdomain. So the lesson here is, be specific about what domain and subdomain you want to search.Step 3: Refine your search.For instance, in Step 2 when I searched our blog for a Facebook stat, some results from a long time ago — like 2010 — came up. I could filter for only the most recent stats by refining my search to facebook stat 2012.How Site:Search Can Make Your Life Easier as a MarketerThere’s a bunch of use cases for this little search efficiency trick, but here are the ones I use all the time when I’m wearing my marketer hat.Search for data. I like to use data to strengthen my content, and it’s really easy to do a site:search on the HubSpot blog for a stat I remember using in the past — but can’t totally remember where. It also helps me find data on another blog or website that I know frequently publishes that type of content, like eMarketer, for instance.Search for topics. If you’re looking to create an original piece of content on your site or another site, it helps to pitch something original that hasn’t been covered a million times over already. So if I wanted to publish a guest post on, say, Connection Model, and I wanted to write about email marketing, I could do a site:search like email marketing to check out what they’ve already covered on the topic, so my post can be original yet still aligned with their content strategy.Surface content to link to. If you want to link to a piece of content about a specific subject matter within your own content, the site:search is a great way to resurface it … or even find some new pieces of content you didn’t know existed.Conduct competitive analysis. Part of a competitive content analysis — which is critical for defining your content strategy and positioning yourself appropriately in your space — is to determine what other people are writing about. Use the site:search function to get an idea of what subjects each of your competitors are writing about, and at what volume.Do you use site:search to help you find information faster? Want some more quick and dirty tips about search engines and SEO? Take our free SEO course. to share that might make your marketing friends a little more efficient?Image credit: shaymus22  Google’s pretty good at surfacing relevant content based on your search query. But sometimes you need something so insanely specific that a general keyword phrase doesn’t really do it for you, especially for marketers on the hunt for a specific piece of content. Enter the Google site:search. This allows you to search just one domain — not the entire internet — for a particular search term.So, for instance, if you wanted to see what kind of content HubSpot, and only HubSpot, had on marketing automation, doing a site:search would limit the results to only HubSpot’s marketing automation content.Learn how to run effective marketing campaigns using Google.I’ve used this for a ton of stuff in the past — actually, as a professional content creator, I can honestly say I use it every day. Here’s how to do it, as well as some use cases I’ve found to be super helpful that make me more efficient.How to Search Within a Site Using GoogleGo to search term into the search box.Refine your search. Originally published Mar 23, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated January 18 2018center_img SEO Resources 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

The Content Conundrum: Everyone Wants Quality, but Nobody Wants to Pay

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 13, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Content Creation This post originally appeared on Up and to the Right, a new section on Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to UATTR.If demand were the barometer for market value, you would think high-quality content and the talent to produce it would be worth its weight in gold. But until recently, content has been viewed as a bargain-basement business, with a lot of companies simply unwilling to pay much for the stuff they put on their websites.That’s changing, however, as companies have discovered that cheap content is often lousy content, and lousy content doesn’t accomplish anything. In other words, you get what you pay for, and companies increasingly are seeking out smart material with strong storytelling.Content prices also are going up as a function of greater demand. Corporations have developed a big appetite for material to stoke the content marketing machine and win the hearts and minds of customers. By loading up their websites with commentary, instructional how-to guides, and even entertaining blog chatter, businesses hawking everything from diapers to enterprise software are hoping to forge connections that will eventually lead to sales.There are simply more companies looking for material, and the market is becoming more competitive.Supply and DemandConsider these statistics regarding demand for content:27 million pieces of content are shared every day. (AOL and Nielsen)91% of B2B marketers leverage some form of content marketing, while 86% of B2C marketers partake in the practice. (Content Marketing Institute)78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships, and 90% of consumers find custom content useful. (TMG Custom Media)80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Content Marketing Institute)Interesting content is one of the top three reasons people connect with brands on social media. (ContentPlus)Budgets Growing for Many CompaniesPotential customers don’t want to read things that look and feel like traditional advertisements. Salesy bullet points on features and functions are out. What’s in is providing a narrative that speaks to a particular pain point or serves up some relevant how-to advice. Do that, and presto — you’ve convinced someone to take note of your particular product or service.Companies are so in love with the power of content that they claim to be opening up their pocketbooks to make it happen. According to the Custom Content Council, 68% of CMOs planned to increase their content marketing budgets in 2012.The B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, done in partnership with MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, found that businesses overall were devoting about 25% of their marketing budgets on developing and distributing good content.Most have no choice but to pony up since they admit they’re not really proficient at creating high-quality content. The Institute found that only 32% of B2C marketers considered themselves effective at content marketing, leading a significant number (62%) to outsource their content marketing needs, according to Mashable.Even with outsourcing, though, cultivating a steady stream of top-notch content is fraught with difficulties, companies say. They lament that it’s hard to find reliable and experienced freelance talent, and they worry that with such fast-growing demand, they won’t be able to keep pace with a consistent content flow.Setting the Bar LowBut here’s where things get sticky — even downright contradictory. While companies claim high-quality content and freelance writing talent is central to their content strategies, there’s an alarming disconnect between what they say and what they do.Despite all the rah-rah talk about the importance of quality content, a 2013 survey on content marketing by BusinessBolts revealed some pretty alarming trends around the effort smaller businesses are willing to make to ensure they get content that is up to snuff.An alarming 62% of respondents said they spent less than $100 a month on their content needs. The so-called high-earning companies spent more, with a third doling out between $100 and $500 a month and 14% spending $1,000 to $5,000 monthly.Equally concerning was the time devoted to pulling all this great content together. Some 43% spent between one and five hours weekly on content development, while 17% devoted between six to 10 hours weekly.Having made a reasonably good living creating content for more than 25 years, I can tell you that the time and dollar commitments these companies are talking about are way out of whack. Any seasoned professional will tell you that it takes time to look into a topic and interview a couple of actual human beings, let alone sit down and turn that research into anything that isn’t complete drivel.Long-time journalists wonder why the bar on high-quality content has dropped so far. “Content does not necessarily equate to good writing,” says Tam Harbert, a long-time technology journalist and chair of the Freelance Committee of the National Press Club, which has an upcoming panel to discuss this very topic. “Depending on how you think about it, content is really nothing more than filling up empty space.”And then there’s this, from another old journalist pal trying to adjust to the new realities of freelance writing, where it’s getting tougher and tougher to eke out a living: “It’s incredibly depressing to see the work we do become so devalued,” he laments. “Nobody cares. Content is content is content.”Changing Mindsets About ContentOf course, not everyone sees it that way, especially the companies that have carved out a business of being intermediaries and matching companies in need of content with what they tout is fairly priced, high-quality talent. Companies like Demand Media, SkyWord, and Contently differ in their approach, but they all deliver platforms that let businesses collaborate with content creators to tell stories, build a brand, and connect with customers.MaryAnne Flynn, vice president of content services at SkyWord, admits that content was pretty much considered a commodity when the company first started three years ago. At the time, she said most of SkyWord’s customers were looking for cheap search engine optimization (SEO) copy that would drive traffic to their site and they didn’t care much about quality or the pedigree of the writers.”They weren’t looking for established writers. They were looking for enthusiasts about a topic more than expertise, and they definitely weren’t looking for journalists,” Flynn says. They also weren’t willing to pay more than $10 or $20 for a post and everything was calibrated on web traffic.That started to change about a year ago when companies recognized that prospective customers do a whole lot of research before going to a website. Thus, the real requirement is for higher-quality content that educates. And content plays a role far earlier in the buying process.That has changed the quality of writers SkyWord courts, Flynn says, and more importantly, it has changed what their clients are willing to pay for content. “We work with a different caliber of writer than we did three years ago,” she says. “Many of our early writers didn’t have writing skills or any subject matter expertise.”Steve Harden, director of marketing for the Contentverse ECM brand at Computhink, says he’s learned the lesson of doing content on the cheap the hard way. “I’ve spent more man hours reading proposals, negotiating with people, reading their articles, editing their articles, and still not getting what I need,” he says. “Now, we’ve made the decision to spend more money on our content and that didn’t come lightly. But you get what you pay for.”Once upon a time, people used to say that “content is king.” Maybe the world is once again willing to assign a premium to high-quality work. As a longtime freelance writer with a specialty in business and technology, that would be music to my ears.Fill us in on how (or if) your company is focusing on creating high-quality content in the comments below.last_img read more

10 User Generated Content Campaigns That Actually Worked

first_img Originally published Mar 12, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated November 21 2017 Topics: Tired of struggling to crank out the endless streams of content needed to appease today’s consumers? You’re in luck! There is an option for burned out business owners, and that’s user generated content. This technique, in conjunction with the growth of popular social media websites, allows modern businesses to delegate some of these brand-building responsibilities to an unlikely voice — their customer.Having users contribute to your content creation efforts has another interesting advantage, as consumers are more interested in hearing the views of their peers than reading cleverly written sales messages. According to Bazaar Voice, 64% of millennials and 53% of baby boomers want more options to share their opinions about brands, while other studies show consumers trust user generated content more than all other forms of media.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. In light of these trends, there’s never been a better time to start using user generated content to engage your readers and build trust with them. Here are ten brands that have leveraged user generated content in the past to help inspire your own campaigns:10 Examples of Excellent User Generated Campaigns1) BurberryBurberry is a British clothing company that was founded in 1856. Angela Ahrendts took over as CEO in 2006 and decided to launch a user generated content strategy as part of her goal of changing the company’s aging brand. The company launched The Art of the Trench website in 2009, where users could upload and comment on pictures of people wearing Burberry products. Burberry’s ecommerce sales surged 50% year-over-year following the launch of the site.2) BelkinIn 2013, Belkin and Lego collectively developed a line of customizable iPhone cases. The company then created a social platform for customers, giving them a place to share pictures of their cool new cases and to show others the benefits of making their own.3) StarbucksAnother great example of user generated content, Starbucks’ White Cup Contest launched in April 2014. Customers across the country were asked to doodle on their Starbucks cups and submit pictures as entries. The winning entry would be the template for a new limited edition Starbucks cup. Nearly 4,000 customers submitted entries in a three week span. The contest was a great way for Starbucks to earn publicity and prove that it strongly valued customer feedback.4) Tourism QueenslandIn its quest to find new ways to draw tourists to the Queensland Islands, Tourism Queensland launched its “Best Job in the World” promotion in 2009, which proved to be a remarkably effective campaign. Over 34,000 people from over 200 countries submitted videos to win a six month caretaker job that paid $150,000 AUD in one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world, while countless others enhanced their understanding of Queensland as a vacation option.5) TargetIn 2010, Target pledged to donate $500 million to education and promised to double contributions down the road with a popular college acceptance letter competition. Throughout the campaign, customers were asked to submit videos of themselves opening their college letters. The best videos were used in a new commercial, which helped Target draw attention to its philanthropic campaign.6) Coca-ColaTo help boost top-of-mind awareness, Coca-Cola created the “Share a Coke” campaign, throughout which the company produced Coke bottles with customers’ names on the labels and handed them out throughout different cities, in order to increase its exposure on Twitter. Customers were then asked to share the pictures of their personalized coke bottle on Twitter and other social media platforms.Coca-Cola first launched the campaign in Australia in 2011, but expanded it to the United States, United Kingdom, and other regions across the world. The company attributes the campaign to a 2% increase in U.S. sales after over a decade of declining revenues.7) ChobaniChobani, a Greek yogurt company that was founded in 2005, is another brand that decided to use its customer base to improve its image and boost sales. The company asked its loyal customers to submit videos and images praising its yogurt. The content was shared on the company website, billboards, and across other mediums. Chobani attributes the campaign to a 225.9% increase in revenue between 2009 and 2010.8) Pepsi MAXPepsi MAX is another multinational soft drink manufacturer that leveraged user generated content to craft a new brand image. The company created a campaign urging customers to share reasons they prefer Pepsi MAX to Coke, asking customers to share pictures on Instagram and other social networks, as well as a mini-site that was specific to the promotion. The best entries were eligible for numerous prizes, including a year’s supply of free Pepsi MAX.Unsurprisingly, the campaign turned out to be very popular. Over 7,000 entries were submitted and the site received over 50,000 unique visits. The level of participation was even more impressive, as the average visitor spent about six minutes on the site, showing that customers were highly engaged with the brand.9) HeinekenHeineken recognized that many of its consumers were looking for a more original type of draught. Acting on this trend, the beer manufacturer enlisted input from its customers to redefine the beer it has produced for the past 150 years. The Heineken “Reinvent the Draught Beer Experience” challenge, which was rolled out in 2012, gave customers the opportunity to share videos, images, and ideas to help change the experience. Customers were very receptive to the challenge and submitted hundreds of ideas, helping Heineken improve its product while generating brand interest at the same time.10) Coffee for LessCoffee for Less recognized that organic search traffic is highly targeted and likely to convert. Additionally, the company determined that relying on user generated content was one of the best ways to improve its SEO, leading the company to provide new features on its website that made it easier for users to read and share comments.For its efforts, the company received about 6,000 comments between 2008 and 2011. Research from MarketingSherpa concludes that these reviews successfully boosted search engine traffic and conversions by 10% and 125% respectively.How to Run Your Own User Generated Content CampaignLaunching a user generated content campaign can be one of the most effective ways to build your brand, as demonstrated by the companies listed above. While each of their campaigns were slightly different, there were some commonalities between them:Each brand promoted its campaign over its own website and social profiles to gain traction.Each brand offered consumers a prize to encourage participation.Each brand rewarded customers for presenting its products or services in a positive light.So how can you take advantage of these powerful benefits by creating your own user generated content campaign? Consider any of the following tips as you plan your promotion:Match your promotion type to your audience.Several of the different promotions described above involve requests made to users to submit video clips sharing their experiences with a particular brand or product. But it’s worth keeping in mind that creating and submitting video clips requires a certain level of technical expertise that your average customer may or may not have. If, for example, your brand targets elderly customers, this type of user generated campaign may not be the right fit.Request entries that you can use in your marketing campaigns.Remember, you aren’t running your user generated content promotion out of a sense of altruism — you want to end up with something tangible that can be repackaged and used in your future marketing materials. So as you design your promotion, consider the types of “entries” that you’ll accept. Pictures, videos, or testimonials are all powerful content types that can be easily converted for advertising purposes.Make the effort required commensurate with the reward being offered.If you’re giving away thousands of dollars in value as part of your user generated content campaign, you’ll probably want users to demonstrate a more substantial level of buy-in than if you were offering simple coupons or discounts. If the prize you’re offering is big, making participants deliver something of value in return guarantees you’ll wind up with content you can use in your future marketing campaigns.Eliminate the red tape.No matter how much effort you decide to require from your participants, don’t make them jump through unnecessary hoops in order to participate. At a minimum, your entry instructions should be clear, your submission website should be easy to navigate, and your forms require only the fields needed to process an entry and comply with any legal restrictions your giveaway is subject to.Straighten out any legal issues.Before launching your user generated content campaign, you’d be wise to consult legal counsel on two important issues: the rights you’ll hold over any content submitted to your promotion, and any restrictions that govern giveaways. First, you need to inform participants about what will happen to the content they create following submission in clear, easy-to-understand language. But also, if your state or municipality (or the mediums through which you run the contest) control how, when, and under what circumstances giveaways can occur, you’ll want to be sure your promotion is in compliance before running afoul of the law.Given the breadth of the different industries highlighted above, it’s clear that any brand can follow a similar model to promote customer engagement and generate favorable publicity.Have you ever run a user generated content campaign before? Feel free to share your insights in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack User-Generated Contentlast_img read more