World’s largest nature area, in Africa

first_imgThe elephant population in the newconservation area is expected to numberaround 250 000 individuals.(Image: Luke Harwood) Water vapour rising into the air above themighty Victoria Falls has earned it thethe name of Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the smokethat thunders”.(Image: Ferdinand Reus, Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS • Arrie van WykProject manager, Peace Parks Foundation+27 21 880 5122RELATED ARTICLES• New deal to protect Mapungubwe site• A hefty boost for conservation• Ugandan eco project up for award• New Sanparks educational centre• Boundless Southern AfricaEmily van RijswijckA vast transfrontier park of almost 450 000 square kilometres, stretching over five Southern African countries and connecting 36 national parks and other managed areas, has been signed into being.The biggest conservation effort ever, it includes some of the most breathtaking protected areas on the planet, and will stretch over parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.Once fully operational it will be roughly the size of Sweden.The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area was legally established on the last day of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) conference held in Luanda, Angola, in August 2011. The signing followed a feasibility study initiated by the five participants in 2006.The implementation of the conservancy is overseen by the Peace Parks Foundation, with the help of integrated development plans (IDPs) to ensure that the process unfolds smoothly. Zimbabwe and Zambia have completed their IDPs, while Angola’s is nearing completion.IDPs for Namibia and Botswana will get underway before the end of 2011.“It’s the largest protected tourism zone in the world,” an official from the 15-nation SADC announced at the time of signing the deal.This conservation zone is located in the Okavango and Zambezi river basins and boasts an impressive array of natural attractions:the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s seven natural wonders;the largest inland delta on earth, Botswana’s Okavango Delta;the narrow and densely populated Itenge, commonly known as the Caprivi Strip, in Namibia;and the Chobe Nature Reserve in Zimbabwe, home to about 120 000 elephants.Once all development plans are integrated the conservancy will boast the largest contiguous population of African elephant on the continent, estimated to be about 250 000.Where the smoke thundersRated as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe on the mighty Zambezi River. It’s considered to be the largest falls in the world in terms of the size of the sheet of falling water, although it isn’t the highest or the widest.Victoria Falls was so named by Scottish explorer David Livingstone in honour of the reigning queen, but the local Kololo tribe refers to it as Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning “the smoke that thunders”.The surrounding area encompasses smaller nature reserves such as the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, the Victoria Falls National Park and the Zambezi National Park.The latter two parks already allow free movement of animals between them.Oasis in a dry landBotswana’s Okavango Delta – also known as the Okavango Swamp – is the largest Ramsar site in the world.It is seasonally formed by the Okavango River as it spreads out across a 15 000 square kilometre area, creating an oasis in an otherwise bone-dry region.The Ramsar Convention was signed in the town of Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. It is an intergovernmental treaty that commits member countries to maintain the ecological character of their wetlands.The preservation of these sensitive areas is viewed as a matter of international importance. Members are encouraged to plan wisely or in a sustainable manner for any activities that may affect the wetlands in their territories.The Okavango and Zambezi River basins contain some of the world’s richest areas of plant and animal biodiversity. If managed successfully and with vision, say authorities in the country, this natural wealth could give rise to a thriving ecotourism industry.The region is home to endangered species such as cheetah, African wild dog, black sable and black rhino.About the Southern African Development CommunitySADC came about as a result of member countries’ historical and cultural similaries, which gave rise to a desire to create greater economic prosperity, freedom and social justice for their citizens.Member countries include South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.The catalyst for SADC’s formation was the Southern African Development Coordination Conference held in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1980. Here the Lusaka Declaration (Southern Africa: Towards Economic Liberation) was formally adopted by the nine founding member countries.At a later summit held in August 1992, countries signed the SADC treaty and declaration that effectively transformed the Southern African Development Coordination Conference into the Southern African Development Community.SADC aims to promote sustainable and equal economic growth and socio-economic development for its members. Member nations in turn commit to the values of good political, economic and corporate governance, as they strive for democracy, transparency and the respect for the law, and full participation by civil society.Among its successes to date, the organisation created a document that details norms and standards for elections, and a model law on HIV. It has also laid down benchmarks for democratic parliaments in Southern Africa./index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2566:kavango-190911&catid=47:africanews&Itemid=116last_img read more

How Traditional PR Is Becoming More Social with @PeterShankman [@InboundNow #7]

first_img View the full transcript here:  Started as a Facebook Fan Page Help a Reporter Out (HARO) how traditional PR is dead “You’re getting in front of the problem and saying, ‘You know what? We did screw up. Here’s how we’re going to fix it and here’s how we’re going to learn from it.’” Connect with peter online That Work And Why Your Company Needs Them Give customers a reason to go out and tell people about the awesome experience they have had with your business. “Going up to a woman at a bar and going, “You don’t know me but I’m awesome. You should come home with me.” She’s going to throw a drink in your face. Common Mistakes to Avoid In episode #7 of Inbound Now, Peter Shankman is founder of How PR is changing   It’s important that he switched over to his name because it is in line with his personal brand. Stay in touch with your business contacts and personal contacts on a regular basis, this will help cultivate those relationships to the point where you if you do need something some them they are far more willing to help you out. Topics: Help a Reporter Out Fan questions like “Is traditional PR dead?” Past Episodes was founded by Peter to help some of his reporter friends find sources for stories.  Know Where Your Journalists Hang Out He currently runs his own agency The Geek factory, Inc. “Publicity can always really help your brand and help really build your business or build you yourself into a bigger powerhouse.” Does your business has a strong focus on customer service? Being Transparent Online Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack How PR Is Changing joins us to share some PR tips and insights. Reporters are always looking for sources for stories and if you can get to them first and provide them with useful information, it’s a great way to score free press. Trying to build a relationship quickly or asking for something before helping them out in some way is going to turn out badly for you. Where are the journalist you want to connect with hanging out? Approach them in their own habitat and be useful to them.  Turn the conversation around and highlight your fans and customers, give them the spotlight. In the show we chat about: Gauging Online Influence with Jason Keath of Social Fresh How Traditional PR is changing w/ Peter Shankman But if her best friend sees you and goes, “Oh my God, you should go home with him. He’s awesome. I know him,” you’re going to get laid. When you make happy customers they are going to get out there and spread the word of your company. In today’s world, everyone is a publisher and everyone has an opinion. News is becoming more and more real-time because of this it is more important than ever to be transparent with your customers and within the social web. By being transparent about how your company operates and getting in front of problems and admitting to them first you’re preventing anyone from finding out anything about you and saying, “Look how bad they are.” PR has moved more and more into the world of customer service.  Originally published Feb 10, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 @PeterShankmancenter_img Don’t start out the relationship with an ask of them! Maybe you should. Stay Top of Mind and @PeterShankman Peter Shankman says a simply happy birthday to all of his friends on Facebook and looks to see what they are into on their profile and sends them something they might be interested in. How to Market Smarter, Faster, and Cheaper with David Siteman Garland One of the biggest things you want to do is you really want to talk to people, again, not trying for anything. Peter is the author of two books: Podcasting for Business & Email Marketing Best Practices w/ Christopher S. Penn Don’t Brag About Yourself, Have Your Fans Do It For You You need to build a relationship with the person and give, give, give before you ask for anything in return. Becoming a Trust Agent w/ @ChrisBrogan [@InboundNow #6] . The service quickly evolved into an email list in which journalists shared requests for story sources. Inbound Marketing Don’t talk about yourself all the time. Too many companies and brands have a “me me me” mentality and this really turns people off especially in these new social channels. Is Your Brand Solidified Online? Peter went by the twitter handle @Skydiver for a long time, until he decided to switch over to What kind of company do you want to be perceived as? Brian Halligan wrote a post a while back talking about Stop Marketing and Start Engaging with Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) The story behind HARO . It needs to be much more about using good SEO and making sure that the information you have in it can be shared and replicated. It’s not just sending a release out to a journalist and hoping they write about it. That doesn’t work anymore. So press releases are still valuable, but they have to be valuable for the right reasons.” Peter sums this point up: Are you blogging about company news in an “news” section on your site to give people an inside look into your company? Peter think’s that “the press release is not necessarily dead, but you really need to be much more aware of what you’re saying in it. . and his blog at  . Make sure your companies social media handles are in line with the companies branding and not something that has the potential to confuse people. How to Rock Your Facebook Fan Page with John Haydon Sources get exposure, journalist get sources, it’s a win win situation. Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World Outrageous PR Stunts People respond positively to this sort of openness as opposed to companies who try and spin the story and claim no responsibility for something that they clearly could have done something about. HARO : What are some of your secrets to building relationships with media and influencers?last_img read more

5 Steps to a Successful Email Lead Nurturing Campaign

first_img Read more about how to set yourself up for smarketing success here. Deliver Results with Automated Email Lead Nurturing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When prospects first come to your site, they’re researching information and aren’t ready to have a sales conversation. You need to create content that attracts them to your website and provides educational thought leadership content. Then as they continue to do their research and are ready to learn about your product, you want to have content that connects their problems to the solutions you offer. You need this combination of content to match leads at every stage of the sales and marketing funnel. Flickr photo by If you’re generating great leads but your sales team isn’t following up, your effort is wasted. Make sure you’re set up for success by working with the sales team effectively. Step 3: Map Content to Every Stage of the Sales Funnel Do not skimp on this step. It will direct your entire campaign – audience, content, and success metrics. Are you trying to reawaken cold leads? Increase lead quality? Generate new leads? View the Full Presentation with Example Campaigns Well, not a PhD or special expertise. Here are Step 2: Select a Persona and Business Problem judepics Step 4: Set Yourself for Smarketing Success 5 steps to creating a successful email lead nurturing campaign. Who are you trying to reach? What problem are you helping them solve? This is key for helping you create the content for your lead nurturing campaign. Your persona should be a pretty vivid picture of who you’re ideally trying to reach. Go as far as giving them a name, a job, responsibilities, hobbies.center_img Topics: Marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it job. Things change quickly and regularly. Make sure you know what’s working and what’s not so you can continue to improve. Have metrics in place that tie to your goals set in step 1. Looking to drive branding and awareness? Measure branded search or direct traffic to your website. Looking to increase lead quality? Measure quality conversions or lead ratings over time. Interested in generating new leads or email opt-ins? Measure how you’re growing your database from your lead nurturing efforts. Step 1: Determine Your Goal . I encourage you to get your first campaign up and running immediately. You can spend months putting together a complicated campaign that may or may not deliver results. In the meantime you could be nurturing your leads and learning how different types of content or campaigns perform with your audience. I had the great pleasure of geeking out about lead nurturing at the American Marketing Association in Tampa Bay last week. It’s not often you can get a room full of marketers to get excited about lead nurturing, which is unfortunate because View more presentations from What does it take to put together a successful email lead nurturing campaign? lead nurturing is such a powerful marketing tool Originally published Mar 22, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 HubSpot Internet Marketing Lead Nurturing Step 5: Measure and Improvelast_img read more

Why Content & Curation is Critical to Business with @CC_Chapman [@InboundNow #14]

first_img For the full transcript of the show and the audio, head over here: Offer Something of Value on Your Site , joins us for another episode of of inbound marketing success and we cannot stress that enough. ! Far to many people wait strive for absolute perfection when creating content. C.C. is the founder of, a marketing consultant and frequently speaks at industry events on the topic of content marketing. This is a Content Creation C.C. Chapman, author of Thinking about what content you are going to produce doesn’t have to be rocket science. Start with a big idea and break it into smaller chunks Your brochure-ware website will not cut it anymore. You need a site that is the hub (no pun intended) of your industry that keeps prospects and customers coming back into your site. Content Rules Metrics For Content?Emily Evelina: Could you ask how to measure content value when clients are so hooked on SEO metrics? You talk about this in the book, what are some core metrics to keep an eye on? How to use content marketing and curation for your business The Shift Provide useful and valuable information that answers questions your would be buyers are searching for. Pulling together the top resources from your industry can be a great way to supplement the content you are producing. Originally published Mar 31, 2011 11:15:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Content Rules Remember, content curation is not a replacement for content creation Make sure you are linking back to the originals and by all means try and add in your 2 cents as to why you are sharing the content. This is both to avoid penalties from Google and to add value and context to whats being shared. How curating content can be a powerful way to help supplement your content creation efforts and share valuable information with your community. Why producing content for your market is more important than ever. Perfection Is The Enemy of Shipping For more about the book see: This drags out blog posts, puts off that video being produced 8 months into the horizon, and nothing gets shipped. Not every piece of content will be the Mona Lisa, especially when starting out. These imperfections and rough spots when first getting into producing a piece of content helps share your companies authenticity with the world and shows a more human side to your business.center_img How Do Your Customer Consume Content? Creating (Good) Content Is Hard “The hardest thing is you really need to figure out what you want to create. Because let’s face it, content is a beast. Once you start doing it, to do it right, this is not a one and done thing. This isn’t, oh, we’re going to set up the website and then forget about it. This is something that has to become part of your core DNA, that you keep doing on a regular basis” How to get started in the content marketing game. In the show we talk about: “One of the first rules we laid out was you need to embrace that you’re a publisher.” OR start with smaller ideas and piece them together into something bigger. Creating content has to become a major part of your company and it’s not a one off project. It’s a continual process that you can refine over time. Repurposing content is key. Ask yourself “What else can we do with this?” Do a content audit of the pieces of content you have right now and tackle the beast one way or another.  “The key part is figuring up front how you’re going to measure. Say, for the next three months, we want to increase . . . one of the things I say is don’t say we want more views. Say we want to increase our viewership by 10,000 or whatever the number is. Pick the number that’s right for you. But then you can look at it and do it short term, look at three months. We want to increase our readership by X. Then you can look and go, “Did we hit it or did we not? How can we ramp it up even more?” “Oh, look we did do this with like no budget. What if we add some budget, what could we do then?”Content takes a while to get going. Connect with CC Online The content that you are creating online is what is going to bring in more organic traffic and help build your companies position as thought leaders in your space. Topics: ! and you can tweet him Content Curation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “Content curation is a great way, especially for small businesses or companies who don’t think they have the time to create all their own content, to pull together relevant content and share it with your community” Inbound Now How does your target audience consume content? In what scenarios do they commonly find themselves in? Do they typically have a long commute? Does your content need to be snack sized or can it be consumed in a longer time frame? critical piece Companies need to start thinking about themselves as content publishers. Reimagine Don’t Recycle @cc_chapman Ask yourself this question before you being creating different pieces of content. CC blogs regularly over onlast_img read more

What’s Your Facebook Ecommerce Strategy?

first_img Topics: Facebook Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jul 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img Have something to say? Have a question about eCommerce? Chat with HubSpot’s Top Inbound eCommerce experts on our Twitter list . As was very nicely predicted in an Social Commerce Today article from January 2010 regarding Facebook’s integrated payment system, online retailers are definitely taking notice and looking for ways to take advantage of the massive social media giant Facebook and its expanding ecommerce capabilities. Facebook now has several integrated payment partners.  To name a few: –        Spare Change which facilitates payments using PayPal or major credit cards. –        DAO Pay which allows payments via your home phone bill. –        Ultimate Game Card for online gaming payments and credits. –        And even Amazon Payments , which was cleverly predicted in the article. There are other partners who have joined the Facebook frenzy.   What was once considered a small time scam player called Offerpal , the renamed and reinvented company Tapjoy has legitimized itself by helping Facebook power its ecommerce capabilities, particularly for online gaming and more. Inside Facebook notes that Tapjoy plans to not only evolve Facebook’s mobile and its gaming capabilities, but also to take mobile gaming to a new level.  Tapjoy partners with iOS , Android, and Facebook to offer mobile and online gaming options. How does this relate to ecommerce strategy?   In almost every sense this budding infrastructure will affect ecommerce to its core.  Anyone who conducts retail business online will need to develop a plan to interface to Facebook’s integrated payment systems.  Thankfully a good bit of this work will be performed by partners who already know how to integrate and are popular today with retailers.  Companies such as Amazon saw the writing on the wall, and took advantage of this opportunity early in the game. With the system provided on Facebook, online (and mobile) gamers can purchase “virtual credits” using real money from one of the partnering tools like Spare Change, DAO Pay, or Amazon Payments.  These virtual credits can then be used for online game play enhancements and perks.  What is to stop this very same process from occurring with actual products and services, not just games?   You could build up a Facebook virtual credit line, and then perhaps use it to buy streaming movies, MP3 ’s, or even products that would ship directly to the buyers.  Speculatively, entire promotions could be structured around earning these virtual credits, which would encourage consumers to buy as part of an ecommerce strategy. Could this have any impact in the B2B arena?   Most definitely.  As predicted “long ago” in the 1990’s by Bill Gates of Microsoft, there are online communities being built around “portal” sites like Facebook.  These portals bring like-minded people and businesses together to exchange information, opinions, and to conduct ecommerce strategy.  Businesses can work and trade with other businesses using the same infrastructure.  Just as friends tend to buy products that are recommended (or “liked” on Facebook) by friends, businesses also prefer to look to benchmark against other businesses for what tools and products to use.  Granted, there has been and will continue to be resistance to the Facebook phenomenon.   Some people are definitely alienated by the backend “social graph” that is created using the “Like” and “Share” features of Facebook.  The links created when the user selects “Like” or “Share” has behind the scenes implications, where companies now know and can solicit directly to those users.  How far the “social graph” will go remains to be seen, but users should be aware that those simple buttons can reveal a lot about their buying habits and interests – bordering on invasion of privacy for some.  But because these are voluntary selections, and just as you can voluntarily provide your name and address to any retailer for coupons and promotions, Facebook has emulated this online.  There are still legal challenges to address, but at this point there appears to be no stop to the “like”. As a business person, you should seriously evaluate your ecommerce strategy in regards to Facebook and other social media sites.   Whether you are B2C or B2B, there is an opportunity there where you should gain some real market advantage. last_img read more

4 Ways to Keep Facebook Fans From ‘Unliking’ Your Page

first_imgYour Facebook fan base is an incredibly powerful marketing asset. You should be aiming to grow the number of fans of your business page in order to continually expand your reach. At the very least, you should be looking to retain the fans you already have. But they already “Liked” your page, so you shouldn’t have to do much to keep them, right? Well, as it turns out, not only is this not true, but it’s actually a very dangerous assumption to make.Last fall, Facebook came out with the “Unlike” button, which allows fans to unsubscribe from business pages. According to a recent study by DDB and OpinionWay, this button could have serious implications for your Facebook page, considering the study found that 2 out of every 5 Facebook users “Unlike” business pages.A survey to find out why fans unsubscribe from brand pages revealed the following reasons:In another study conducted by ExactTarget and CoTweet earlier this year, research revealed that the top 4 reasons for fans hitting the “Unlike” button were companies posting too frequently (44%), fans’ desire to get rid of the clutter of marketing posts on their wall (43%), content becoming repetitive or boring over time (38%), and that fans only “Liked” the page to take advantage of a one-time offer (26%).With these daunting percentages, it may seem like the odds are stacked against you when it comes to retaining your Facebook fans. However, there are many things that you can do to avoid high “Unlike” rates.4 Ways to Keep Fans From “Unliking” Your Page1. Keep your posts interesting. The top two reasons fans unsubscribe from a page are because they’ve lost interest in the company or they’ve lost interest in the information the company is publishing. This means that your top strategy for retaining fans should be to publish interesting content. Don’t be repetitive or boring! No one likes to see the same messages in their news feeds over and over again. Facebook is social media, which means people are looking to have fun and read interesting things. Next time you write a status update or post a link to some content, ask yourself, “Does this sound exciting enough to make my fans want to read it?” If not, try to find a way to make it more interesting before you hit that “Post” button.2. Publish relevant, valuable content. Not only should the content you publish be interesting, it should also be relevant and valuable to your fans. Make your posts informative and helpful. Think education, not marketing pitch. The point of content marketing is to establish yourself as a thought leader and educate your reader base, thereby enticing them to want to learn more about your product and offers. So don’t use Facebook for direct sales. Use it for engagement that generates leads.3. Find a good balance for publishing frequency. Another top reason fans hit the “Unlike” button is because the company publishes too often, which gives fans of the page the feeling that they’re being flooded with updates. This can very easily become overwhelming and/or annoying, making it far more likely that fans will choose to unsubscribe from the page. On the other hand, though, 14% have “Unliked” a page because the company didn’t publish often enough. Publishing too infrequently leads the fans to either feel like there’s no point in remaining subscribed to the page, since they’re not getting any updates, or to lose interest in the company (and its page) and choose to unsubscribe. Find a posting frequency that maintains a good balance between these two extremes so you can keep your fans satisfied but still hungry for more. Which brings us to the final point…4. Keep them coming back for more. The ExactTarget and CoTweet study we mentioned earlier found that 26% of Facebook users only “Liked” a business page to take advantage of a one-time offer. Running a Facebook contest or promotional offer can be a great strategy for attracting more fans to your page, but don’t let it stop there. Once they have “Liked” your page, keep them engaged. Give them more reasons to be excited they are fans of your page, whether it’s new offers, unique content, exciting company and industry updates, or fun games, quizzes, and contests. In other words, make your fans glad they found your page through that one-time offer, not because of that one-time offer alone.There’s no shortage of ways to take advantage of a large fan base on Facebook to improve your marketing and extend your reach. So keep drawing in the fans, and once they’ve “Liked” you, use these tips to show them you’re too awesome to even consider “Unliking.”What do you do to keep your Facebook fans engaged? What makes you excited to join a fan page? Topics: Facebook Engagement Originally published Sep 21, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

4 Simple Newsjacking Formulas for Content Teams of Any Size

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 Originally published Jun 27, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Newsjacking — really great newsjacking — isn’t a piece of cake. It’s not as simple as taking a recent news story and randomly mashing it together with your industry — a la “X Marketing Lessons From the Stanley Cup Finals,” for instance. But what if you had a formula that made it a little easier? In the soon-to-be-released 4th edition of The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott (best-selling author and HubSpot Advisor) added a whole new section about newsjacking that got us thinking about our own blog’s newsjacks. On our blog, we often try to newsjack stories that could inform, and/or help marketers. And after regularly newsjacking for a while, we noticed that we often created stories that fall into four distinct patterns: the immediate bare-bones story, the delayed recap, the delayed surface analysis, and the fashionably late deep analysis.So while you may already know how to newsjack, you may not be aware of the story options available to you — and how they might affect your marketing. So here are the four main ways you can newsjack with your business blog. We’ll show you how choose the right post for your team structure and news scenario, and even give you some idea of what kind of metrics you can expect at the end. Let’s get to it. 1) The Immediate Bare-Bones StoryWhat the story looks like: You’ll recognize this type of story right off the bat — it has the facts and not much else. If you’re trying to break news or jump on a story as it’s breaking, this is probably the way to go. Truth be told, we don’t normally do this post on our blog … we always try to include some marketing takeaways in our newsjacks. But, it doesn’t mean this style doesn’t work for other bloggers. If you want to see this type of post, check out this Mashable story. This type of story has a singular angle: something happened, and let me tell you about it. No extra insights, no guides to help you get started, nada.When you might use it:Sometimes, when you’re newsjacking, it’s about being first — as long as you’re accurate, you just need to get a story out the door to make the most of it. If you’re first to break a story, you’re going to get the links and coverage down the road. And, once you publish, you might be able to go back and add details to the article to reap even more traffic.How to write this type of story:It’s also probably the trickiest way to newsjack. You need to be constantly monitoring the underbelly of the internet to find stories before they break … and then publish them before someone else can. To increase your publishing speed around planned events, you may want to pre-write or outline a story before the news even breaks — many media publications do this to increase publishing speed. To publish these types of stories, you probably will need to have a large, yet nimble team to make sure you aren’t missing out on breaking news, as well as someone to fact-check so you don’t break fake stories and hurt your credibility.What you can expect to happen:Results from this story can go two ways — if you have the right audience for this content and you publish before others can, you could be at the forefront of the news wave and break the news for other media outlets. If you miss the opportunity to publish earlier than other blogs and media companies, you could also get lost in the sauce. This is definitely a tricky solution if you’re not a full-time media company, but your readers may appreciate this type of story if they aren’t monitoring other media outlets. 2) The Delayed RecapWhat the story looks like: Appearing a few hours after the news breaks, the Delayed Recap gives a detailed overview of what happened in the news as well as a few takeaways for your readers. While you may not be breaking the story yourself, you differentiate your story from the rest by offering your perspective on the news as well. You aren’t just answering the 5 W’s — you’re also providing unique takeaways for your readers. This is the type of newsjack we do most often on the HubSpot blog. You can see we did this type of newsjack a few weeks ago when Facebook launched hashtags. We outlined what happened in the launch and then provided some hashtag tips for marketers — you wouldn’t find that angle on the other breaking news stories. When you might use it:This type of format is a great way to create content quickly, but still provide value for your audience. If you have a small team with limited resources — but you’re also quite nimble — this is a great option for you. You’re giving your readers the best of both worlds: the hard facts and a little perspective from you. After all, they follow your blog for a reason!How to write this type of story:Like with the first story format, you’re going to want to monitor the news fairly closely with email alerts or an RSS … but it’s probably okay if you’re a couple hours late to the ballgame. What we do is check the news in the morning, midday, and at night for any breaking stories, then immediately go into newsjacking mode if we find something applicable.What you can expect to happen:This type of coverage follows Scott’s newsjacking model — by framing the story with a new takeaway or opinion fairly close after it breaks, you can catch the news wave before it really takes off. I’d expect this type of post to get more attention through inbound links — not necessarily press coverage — unless your takeaways are life-changing. (And if your takeaways are really that insightful, you might be better off skipping the recap and just writing this next story format.)3)  The Delayed Surface AnalysisWhat the story looks like: Think of this newsjacking format as the blog version of a quick-hitting op-ed — you may not have had the time to research and present all angles and perspectives, but you provide a clear point of view on a newsworthy event. Just like newsjacking format #2, this type of post is quickly put together after the news breaks … but instead of recapping the details of the news, you dive right into the analysis.If you want to see this in action, check out the post my colleague Dan Lyons wrote about the Yahoo-Tumblr acquisition. In the post, he took a unique, definitive side on the issue … and we ended up getting a call from BBC to speak on an evening show. Not too shabby for a 800-word blog post, eh?When you might use it:If you’ve missed the first wave of reporting but want to get more press attention, and are not afraid of taking a definitive, perhaps controversial stance, this type of newsjacking works like a charm. Like with the previous type of newsjacking, this type works on both large and small teams if you have the resources to devote to the initial research and writing, and potential press coverage. How to write this type of story:Keep a look out for those two-sided stories and put forth an interesting stance. People love to hear a passionate argument for one side of the other, and you can stand out from the crowd in this newsjacking approach if you have a unique perspective. Be sure to check with your internal teams before publishing to make sure you’re still aligned with your company’s core values … but, remember, it’s okay to be a little controversial sometimes.What you can expect to happen: This type of coverage also would fit into David Meerman Scott’s newsjacking model — but probably attract more press coverage than newsjacking format #2 because it is a unique opinion. The press will have already written about what the update is. Now, reporters will want to feature stories about why people should care. So help them out with that story by writing it yourself! 4) The Fashionably Late Deep Analysis What the story looks like: So you’ve missed out on the news … now what? Though you may feel like there’s no reason to create content anymore, there’s actually one more option: the late, deep analysis.Instead of trying to hop on a story within a few hours, you sometimes can wait days, or even weeks to jump on the trend if you have the right angle. We’ve used this on the HubSpot blog quite a few times — most recently after the Penguin 2.0 aftermath.In this format, you’re not worried about being too timely — you’re more concerned with having an awesome angle on the story.When you might use it:This type of post works especially well for news stories that have long lifespans, which are usually ongoing changes or trends. The Penguin 2.0 example is perfect — since the SEO implications were long-term, it was still timely to have it on the blog. This type of newsjacking is great if you have a tiny content team that doesn’t have time to monitor every single breaking story. You can see how a story plays out, and then add your own perspective to it if the story is still worth talking about.How to write this type of story:First things first: acknowledge that the story happened and then move on quickly. No need to rehash the story as most people have caught up to it. The meat of your story — the newsworthy part — is your angle, so be sure that it hasn’t been covered already. If you end up waiting too long, then copying someone else’s post idea, your newsjacking attempt will flop.What you can expect to happen:If your angle is creative, you’ll most likely get a ton of inbound links, shares, and comments. The press may feel like it’s a little too late for its 24/7 news cycle, but you might get picked up by other niche publications — which could still send your site a ton of traffic. By not competing with all the other sites on the internet to publish first, you may win out by having a really thoughtful perspective on a news story.Do you newsjack regularly on your blog? What techniques do you use to make the most of timely events? Share your experiences with us in the comments. If you’re not newsjacking just yet, be sure to check out David Meerman Scott’s 4th Edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.Image credit: Carlos Madrigal (pruebas) Newsjacking Topics:last_img read more

Lead Gen 101: How to Create an Intuitive Website Conversion Path

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 If you’re getting your website visitors to sign up for anything on your website — an ebook, a whitepaper, a webinar, a newsletter, a blog subscription, etc. — you need to create a conversion path.Easily build and embed forms on your site. Try HubSpot Forms for free.A conversion path consists of five elements, four of which live on your website:A call-to-action – A button or text that lets website visitors (prospects) find your offerA landing page – The page that advertises your offer and includes a formA form – Website visitors fill out this form in order to receive your offerA thank-you page – Your new leads see this page after completing your formA confirmation email – Makes it easy for your leads to reference your offer any timeMany companies forget about one or more of these elements, which means that 1) they will lose out on leads, or 2) they will get lots of leads, but the user experience will be poor once the lead converts.First, let’s dive into the pre-conversion elements of your conversion path:1) Call-to-ActionA call-to-action (CTA) is a text or button anywhere on your website or blog that links to your landing page.Your call-to-action should:Make it clear what you’re offering.Include a verb (e.g. “Download” or “Claim” or “Sign Up”) to elicit action.Stand out on your page. Diverge from your company’s typical color scheme if necessary — you want people to notice your CTA.Be above the fold — don’t make people scroll down to see it. An exception might be your blog, where you can add slide-in CTAs or bottom-of-the-post CTAs.Match the offer on the landing page so the visitor doesn’t get confused.You should place CTAs throughout your website, especially on your homepage and blog, to make sure that people that enter your website via search engines or social media see the offers you have available. Always test your CTAs to see how to make the clickthrough rates as high as possible.2) Landing PageOnce people click on a CTA, they should land on … a landing page. (Intuitive, right?) Your landing page should:Make it extremely clear in the headline exactly what the offer is. Don’t try to be too witty or clever here — just get to the point.Include an image of your offer (even if it’s an abstract representation — text only is boring).Have clear and concise copy.Include bullet points outlining what’s included in the offer or benefits of receiving the offer.Have a form above the fold.3) FormYour landing page should almost always include a form — otherwise you’re giving away free content without learning anything about your website visitor, and you’re probably not going to generate many leads that way.The length of your form will depend on a couple things:The offer’s stage in your buying cycle – For example, if you’re giving away a free checklist or infographic, you might only want to collect first name, last name, and email. But if you’re giving away something more substantial like an ebook or whitepaper, indicating that people are further along the research process, you may want to ask for more detailed information.How many leads you generate – If your sales team has too many leads to sift through every one, add more fields to your forms so your reps can better qualify each lead, and know which ones are worth calling. And yes, this is an awesome problem to have.4) Thank-You PageCongratulations, you’ve generated some leads from your forms! After they fill out the form, you need to send them somewhere. Redirecting them to your homepage would be a jarring experience (“Wait, did the form submission work?”). But simply replacing the form with their offer (e.g. a download link) would be a missed opportunity for you, since they’ll get their offer and then leave your website right away.Instead, create a thank-you page.Your thank-you page should:Include the promised offer.Let your new leads share your offer with their friends via email or social media.Include a follow-up offer, ideally for whatever the next stage is in your buying cycle.Be personalized. On this thank-you page example above, the lead’s name and company name are both subtly included on the page to make it feel like the page was built just for them. You can easily do this with HubSpot’s Content Optimization System.5) Confirmation EmailMake it easy for your leads to reference your offer later by sending them a confirmation email. Your confirmation email should:Be personalized! Include the promised offer, or a link to the thank-you page where they can obtain the promised offer.Reveal the next step your leads should take. In the example above, we want leads to share the content with their friends. If this offer were later in the buying cycle, we might include a CTA to whatever’s next in the buying cycle. It depends on the offer.Provide an easy way for leads to share your offer on social media.That’s it! Your next step should be to create a lead nurturing campaign segmented based on things like your leads’ interests, demographics, location, etc. But that’s another story for another day. Want to share this post? Here are some ready-made tweets:Click to tweet: How to Create an Intuitive Website Conversion Path – by @DianaUrban at @HubSpot #marketingtip #leadgenerationClick to tweet: Great walkthrough of how to set up your website to generate leads – #marketingtip #leadgenerationClick to tweet: Website Conversion Path = CTA + Landing Page + Form + Thank-You Page + Confirmation Email. Learn more – #marketingtip Originally published Mar 5, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Conversion Rate Optimizationlast_img read more

The Perfect Pin, Best Brands on Facebook & More in Content This Week

first_img Facebook Marketing Examples We try to give all the big social sites their time in the limelight, but this week, Facebook and Pinterest have stayed top of mind for us.Maybe we’re just digging visual content lately. Who knows.Anyway, these sites can both play huge roles in your social media marketing strategy, so take a scroll to learn a little bit more about these hugely popular social networks.Facebook Says These Are the 15 Best Brands on FacebookIt’s always a good idea to learn from the best. This week, Facebook announced the winners of the Facebook Studio Awards, honoring the best brands on Facebook. Check out the 15 best brands on Facebook and learn how they use the platform to drive results in this blog post.The Best and Worst Times to Post, Pin & Tweet [Infographic]For marketers, timing is everything. A recent study showed how time of day predicts return visits to your website. In this blog post, learn the best time to post on social media for engaging your followers and driving traffic to your website. Your Anti-Social CEO Is Hurting Your Brand [New Data]It seems that most CEOs and business executives ignore social media entirely. Currently, only one in five CEOs have their own personal Twitter account. And 50% of CEOs who do have their own account don’t even have a bio. In this blog post, learn how your anti-social CEO is hurting your brand.Pinterest Guided Search Changes How We Discover Content, and It’s AwesomeSocial media sites are constantly changing. It seems that a week cannot pass without the social sites you rely on to attract and engage prospects adding new features or updating their existing platforms. Read this blog post to discover how the Pinterest Guided Search feature has evolved and how it will impact your searches on Pinterest.The Ultimate Guide to Facebook PrivacyIt’s scary to think about all of the personal information we share with Facebook. This blog post provides a step-by-step guide to ensuring your privacy on Facebook. The Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Pinterest Pin [Diagram]If you’re using Pinterest to grow your business, you can’t just pin a million things and expect people to click through. You simply don’t have the time or the resources to pin that much. Instead, you need to make each pin that you do post count. This blog post walks you through the keys to optimizing your Pinterest pins so you can attract viewers and engage your prospects on Pinterest.What was the most interesting thing you learned this week on Inbound Hub? What do you want to see more of? Leave your feedback in the comments! Originally published May 4, 2014 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Take a Sales Team From $0 to $100 Million [Podcast]

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: This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.The sales comp plan is one of the most underutilized tools in a CEO’s tool chest.”– Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer of HubSpot’s Inbound Sales Division [Click to Tweet]When Mark Roberge joined HubSpot in 2007, he had never run a sales team and wasn’t familiar with the conventional techniques sales leaders used to drive revenue. So he stuck with what he knew.Drawing on his MIT engineering background, he created a system of sales hiring and development that relied heavily on metrics and quantitative analysis instead of gut feel.Mark served as HubSpot’s SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services until 2013, during which he increased revenue over 6,000% and expanded the team from one to 450 employees. These results placed HubSpot at #33 on the 2011 INC 500 Fastest Growing Companies list. Mark was ranked #19 in Forbes’ Top 30 Social Sellers in the World. He was also awarded the 2010 Salesperson of the Year at the MIT Sales Conference.Mark is the author of the new book The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million. He joins HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe on this episode of “The Growth Show” podcast to share his sales secrets, including:Hiring and training strategies that result in success every single time.The importance of holding sales reps accountable for churn.Tips for making sure salespeople get the same quality and quantity of leads every month.How to use technology to improve the sales process.Lessons and behind the scenes stories from building HubSpot’s sales and marketing engine. Originally published Jun 7, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img Podcast Suggestions If you’d like to see more recaps of the latest episodes of “The Growth Show,” click here.last_img read more