9 Must-Read Filmmaking Articles (June 2015)

first_imgFind out what the industry is talking about with this collection of recent must-read filmmaking articles.June is traditionally a quiet time for filmmaking. Luckily for us, this year is quite the exception. With big announcements from Apple and YouTube this is an exciting time to be a filmmaker. If you haven’t seen the following articles, they are definitely a must-read for any filmmaker.1. 10 Reasons Why CGI is Getting Worse, Not BetterIt’s no secret that the world of VFX is highly competitive with each production house trying to top the next. But, has CGI gotten out of hand? In this insightful post from Michael James at RocketStock, we take a look at a few of the problems with the CGI industry. It’s interesting to see the narrative difference between CGI of the past and CGI of today.2. 9 Great YouTube Channels For FilmmakersYou don’t have to spend a lot of money to learn about filmmaking. In fact, you don’t have to spend a dime at all. With these nine YouTube channels, you can learn everything you could possibly want to know and more about filmmaking and editing.3. Cinematography Tips For Horror FilmmakersIf you want to distribute your horror film in time for Halloween, now is a great time to start shooting. These quick techniques can be used to create an eerie vibe on your next horror production. One of the more interesting techniques mentioned is underexposing your shots. Do you think this is a good idea or do you prefer to dial down the exposure in post?4. 10 Essential After Effects TricksIt’s no secret that After Effects is an incredibly deep program. A few seconds saved here and there can add up to hours and days over time. These ten After Effects tricks shared by RocketStock are all designed to help us save extra time.5. The New Version of OSX Will Greatly Improve Performance of Adobe CC Video Apps If you haven’t heard the news from WWDC 2015, Apple will be updating the operating systems for both their mobile and desktop devices in the fall. This update — labeled ‘El Capitan‘ — will bring increased speeds to Apple computers. In some cases, your computer will receive a 40x increase in processing speed. However, the most notable news for filmmakers is that After Effects  is expected to increase in speed by 8x when the update is released. This is also interesting news considering Apple and Adobe haven’t always been software partners in the past.6. Hello Future: YouTube Now Officially Hosts 8K VideosIt’s no secret that users have had the option to upload 8K videos to YouTube for some time. However, YouTube is now allowing users to stream 8K content to their devices. Now if only we had an 8K screen…7. Canon 35MM f/1.4L II Rumored to be Coming by End of 2015 Canon also recently announced a brand new 35mm F/1.4L II lens to serve as the sequel to their already popular 35mm professional lens. As DIY Photography points out in the article above, this move is likely a direct response to Sigma’s Art Lens which is taking the Photography world by storm. Will this new lens be worth buying?8. Top Ten Lessons on Filmmaking From David LynchDavid Lynch is revered for pushing the narrative boundaries of film, so what can we as filmmakers and artists learn from him? In this insightful article from Bhushan Mahadani, we take a look at a few inspiring quotes from David Lynch and breakdown their implications for us as filmmakers.9. 5 DIY Lighting Tips For Filmmakers on a BudgetWhile we definitely always encourage a well-rounded budget, it’s no secret that between cameras, lenses, stabilizers, audio, and crew, lighting is often one of the last big pieces of equipment purchased. While this is unfortunate, it’s not the end of the world. Using these 5 DIY lighting tips, you can easily get great film lighting on a micro budget.Want to learn even more about filmmaking? Check back here on the PremiumBeat blog daily where we share tips, tricks, and news all about filmmaking and video editing.Have any other awesome articles you’d like to share? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Retrograding Digital Footage with the Editors of Documentary Now!

first_imgWant to get your DSLR video to look like vintage 16mm black and white? Let’s explore how to retrograde digital footage with the editors of the mockumentary IFC show Documentary Now!There are plenty of reasons for retrograding footage to make it look like it was shot forty years ago and on film. One of those reasons might be because you’re an editor for IFC’s mockumentary television show Documentary Now! starring Bill Hader and Fred Armisen. Another reason might be because you think it looks cool.Regardless of your reason, background, or editing prowess, if you’re curious, it’s actually a pretty fun problem to solve (and surprisingly not that difficult). Here’s a sneak peek into how the Documentary Now! team works.If you’re interested in retrograding your footage, whether in Adobe’s Creative Cloud or organically, here are some techniques to consider.Old Movie Effects in Premiere ProLike the Documentary Now! team shows, you can do some basic retrograding in Adobe’s Creative Cloud, including in their flagship program Premiere Pro. Evan – Creative Tuts gives a breakdown on how to add background scratches and tone tints to manipulate your footage to look like it was filmed on an old-timey video camera. It’s a quick technique for punching up flashbacks or faking old footage.Vintage Effects in After EffectsIf you’re looking for a little more control to stylize your retrograde, working in After Effects will probably be your best bet. Luckily, one of our PremiumBeat contributors has created a tutorial that shows you how to build a couple of different vintage looks into your project. You can view the video above and follow the links in the bio to download the free assets and presets to help you along your way.Vintage Presents in Final Cut ProAlong with presets for After Effects and Premiere Pro, there are also resources available for creating similar retrograded looks in Apple’s Final Cut Pro. This Shutterstock tutorial shows how to install and use ten free presets to quickly upload and retrograde your footage for a variety of vintage and retro looks.Bonus Overlays and PresetsIf you’re still looking for some more assets and presets to overlay on your footage, here are a few more free PremiumBeat assets and tutorials (like the 1980s style logo reveal above). Hopefully, with a little creative inspiration and a good base of resources, you can retrograde your digital footage to mirror the same styles as those seen in the classic clips from Documentary Now!5 Free Camera Overlays20 Free After Effects Color Presets14 Free Lumetri Color Grading Presets Have any other tips or tricks for retrograding footage? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

‘You Are Important,’ Rahul Gandhi Tells NRIs in Bahrain

first_imgAs part of his efforts to reach out to the diaspora, Congress president Rahul Gandhi told Indians in Bahrain that they are “important” to the country, and that “there is a serious problem at home.” Gandhi was received by members of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) at the airport when he arrived in Bahrain on Jan. 8.Gandhi addressed a convention of NRIs organized by GOPIO, which includes delegates of 50 countries, and said, “I am here to tell you what you mean to our country, that you’re important, to tell you there is a serious problem at home, to tell you that you are part of the solution and that I am here to build a bridge between wherever you are in the world and home.”He criticized the Modi-led BJP government for the unemployment of youth in the country, that he said was causing hatred and anger among people. “The anger is visible in streets and is rising rapidly,” he said, the Indian Express reported. “The government, on the other hand, is busy converting the fear into hatred between communities.” Gandhi added that NRIs are needed to protect the idea of India that is deeply cherished.He also accused the government of dividing countrymen on the basis of religion and caste. Gandhi presented his vision, saying that his party will endeavor to change and give the people “a new shining Congress party.” He admitted that mistakes have been made by him as well as his party. “We will have to present a new Congress, a new vision that is something you trust. You will see a dramatic change in the Congress party, you would believe you can trust,” he said.Adding that the Congress had overpowered the British as India gained Independence, he claimed that the party knows how to fight. “This party has so much power that it will defeat the BJP in 2019,” he said.This is Gandhi’s first official foreign visit after taking over as the president of the Congress. Stating that NRIs are the true representatives of soft power and the brand ambassadors of India across the globe, Gandhi had earlier said on social media that he was looking forward to address them in Bahrain.NRIs are the true representatives of our soft power and the brand ambassadors of our nation across the globe. Looking forward to meeting and addressing fellow countrymen in Bahrain tomorrow.— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) January 7, 2018The Congress leader also met Prince Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain and posted updates about it on social media.Highlights from the meeting with HH Prince Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa @khalidbinhamad @hhskmedia #RahulGandhiInBahrain pic.twitter.com/rn3YbyJU15— Congress (@INCIndia) January 8, 2018Had a good meeting with Crown Prince of Bahrain, H.R.H. Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. We discussed a variety of issues of interest to India and Bahrain. @BahrainCPnews pic.twitter.com/BxHm9AttmG— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) January 8, 2018Gandhi had earlier tried to woo NRIs during his visit to the United States last year, when he delivered a speech in New York, urging the community to join forces with his party and thanking them for their contribution in various fields. Related ItemsBahrainCongressRahul Gandhilast_img read more

Former Malaysian PM Under Fire for Using Controversial Term for Indian Community

first_imgFormer Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has come under fire for using the word “keling” at an event on April 7, Asia One reported. Malaysian Indian party Makkal Sakti lodged a police report against Mahathir at the Butterworth police station on April 9 afternoon, New Strait Times reported.Calling for an apology, Makkal Sakti president Thanenthiran said, “As a former leader, (Dr Mahathir) should not have uttered such a word and insult Indians. His action (was racist and he) has hurt the Indian community.”Mohamad was also criticized by Malaysian Indian Congress treasurer Vell Paari, who said that the remarks showed that the former PM had no respect for the Indian community.Mahathir, however, has refused to apologize for using the word that is considered a derogatory term for Malaysians of Indian descent. The veteran political leader said that he has used the word since he was little and that it does not have a derogatory connotation in Kedah, where he grew up.“My ‘keling’ friends never scolded me, so why is Malaysian Indian Congress angry?,” he told reporters on April 8.The word “Keling,” considered an offensive way to refer to the Indian community, came from “Kalinga.” Traders from the Kalinga empire of east-central Asia were referred to as people from “Benua Keling”– the Keling continent. The word turned derogatory sometime in the 1920s, according to a report in Singapore Free Press, that said prisoners brought to Malaya from India and forced to work in chain gangs were called “kling”– from the sound of their chains.Mohamad used the term while speaking in Muar town about Pakatan Harapan, a coalition of left leaning and center parties, which needs approval from the Election Commission to use a common logo for all of its component parties. Mohamad is the chairman of Pakatan Harapan.This is not the first time he has been embroiled in a controversy for using the word. In August 2016, former People Justice Party’s Puchong division head Murali Subramaniun lodged a complaint against Mohamad for using the term at a “Save Malaysia” event held that May. A 25-second long video clip showing Mahathir skewering Prime Minister Najib Razak’s handling of Islamic State terrorist network surfaced, in which he was shown to have said: “On Najib fighting IS, we can see Najib holding a rifle to fight IS. What do the keling say, ‘podah’ (get lost). All lies.”Subramanium had urged the police then to take action against Mohamad under the Sedition Act. The Malaysiakini report had added that Mahathir, as the longest serving prime minister ruling the country for 20 years, “should have known better than to use such a word.”Mahathir Mohamad is also an Indian-origin Malay, whose grandfather came from Kerala. Related ItemskelingMahathir MohamadMalaysian Indianlast_img read more

Flying Shoe Flies High

first_imgAll five politicians pelted with shoes by disaffected voters during India’s recent parliamentary elections have triumphed at the ballot box.Home Minister Home Minister P Chidambaram, BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani and industrialist Naveen Jindal, all of whom had shoes hurled at them, won their seats. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not run for election as he is a member of the Rajya Sabha, but his coalition was victorious in the elections and Singh has been reappointed as prime minister. Likewise, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, who was targeted by a flying shoe at an election meeting in Hassan, did not run in the election, but his son B Y Raghavendra prevailed as well.The shoe became a novel form of political protest during this year’s election cycle, taking a cue from an Iraqi journalist who shot to international fame after he hurled a shoe at then U.S. Pres. George W. Bush.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Childhood Environment Helped Me Develop Mental Strength: Kalki Koechlin

first_imgNational award-winning actress Kalki Koechlin, who is known for voicing her opinions without mincing words, says her upbringing and cultural consciousness helped her become an opinionated person.Whether it is issues related to gender equality, sexual abuse of women or the LGBT community, Kalki has always expressed her thoughts firmly.Asked about her driving force on taking stands on social issues, Kalki said, “I think my upbringing helped me to find my voice and opinion on things, developed a certain kind of sensibility. I have grown up in a very open cultural environment. Since I was born into a French-South Indian family and grew up in Auroville ashram, the environment was very inclusive. I am not religious but quite spiritual.”“Then I went to a boarding school in Ooty from the age of six to 18, so again, mingling with others, living together, going out for trekking on weekends, learning surviving skills. Our childhood was different. I think that environment also helped me develop mental strength, empathy for others, a starting for what is right,” she added.Kalki shared that it was during her performance at the India Today Conclave that she realized that her opinion touched people on the right note.“Since the audience was filled with achievers from different walks of life, from across the country, and not regular theater audience, I was a little worried and nervous about how will they react to it. But the end of the performance when I got a standing ovation and from their overwhelming response, I just realized how they have understood the relevance of the act,” said Kalki.Kalki will soon be seen in Ribbon where she is playing a young mother of a newborn girl. (IANS) Related ItemsKalki KoechlinKalki Koechlin AurovilleKalki Koechlin French IndianKalki Koechlin OotyKalki Koechlin Ribbonlast_img read more

Stray Dogs Are Killing Children in India

first_imgA team of scientists in India is investigating why packs of stray dogs in villages near the north Indian town of Sitapur have mysteriously started killing children.In just a week, six children between 5 and 12-years-old were killed by snarling strays, while more than two dozen others have been injured in attacks.The attacks have terrorized the town and, according to local reports, school attendance has dropped and villagers in the town say they believe the killer beasts are hyenas, not dogs. Vigilante dog-catching squads have started shooting and strangling animals, while local authorities have recruited policemen, municipal workers and a team of expert monkey catchers to apprehend the strays.The World Wildlife Fund and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute have sent teams to figure out what has turned the dogs into child killers.“We’re here to find out how and why did the dogs turn violent and started attacking people,” Dr. Dinesh Chandra from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute told the ANI news agency.Feral dogs are a common sight in India, though attitudes towards them vary. Some communities feed strays and take them to the vet, while in many places dogs are beaten and chased away.Sabir Ali, whose 10-year-old nephew Kasim died in a dog attack, said that the killer dogs were not ordinary strays. “In shape and size, the dogs that attacked my nephew were different from normal street dogs,” he told the Indian Express.One of the recent deaths was of 7-year-old girl named Gita who had gone to the field to pick mangoes. “They were biting the girl on her neck, thighs and stomach,” said local resident Ram Kripal to the Indian Express. “They were even eating the meat while she was still alive. I am sure if we had reached 5-10 minutes later, we would not have even found the body,” he said.In Sitapur, nobody seems to know quite why the dogs have started attacking children, though there are rumors that it all started after an illegal slaughterhouse in the area was closed down, leaving the dogs with no food. A total of 12 children have died in dog attacks since November.Sitapur’s magistrate, Harshdeo Pandey, told the Associated Press that he had warned villagers not to let children outside to play until all the dogs were caught. Many primary and junior high schools have been closed temporarily.Some of the more docile local dogs have been collared by concerned residents to prevent the dog-catchers from killing them.© 2018, The Washington Post Related Itemslast_img read more

India Among 92 Countries With No Paid Paternity Leave Policy: UNICEF

first_imgIndia is among 92 countries which do not have national policies in place to ensure that new fathers get adequate paid time off with their newborn babies, according to a new UNICEF analysis released on June 14.India and Nigeria are among the nations that have high infant populations, yet don’t have national policies that ensure that new fathers get adequate paid leave, the report showed. Other major nations that do not have paid paternity leave include China, Egypt, United States, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Switzerland. “In comparison, other countries with high infant populations, including Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all have national paid paternity leave policies – albeit offering relatively short-term entitlements,” the report said.Almost two-thirds of the world’s children who are under a year old, numbering nearly 90 million, live in countries where their fathers are not entitled by law to a single day of paid paternity leave, according to UNICEF.The new analysis forms part of UNICEF’s Super Dads campaign, which is in its second year. It aims to break down barriers that prevent fathers from playing an active role in the development of their young children.UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore said in a statement that positive and meaningful interaction with mothers and fathers from the very beginning helps in shaping children’s brain growth and development for life, making them healthier and happier, and increasing their ability to learn.“We have to ask more of governments and more of employers if we’re going to give fathers and mothers the time and resources they need to nurture their children, particularly during the earliest years of a child’s life,” Fore added.Urging governments to implement national family-friendly policies that support early childhood development which includes paid paternity leave, UNICEF said that the governments should help provide parents with the time, resources and information they need to care for their children.“Around the world, momentum for family-friendly policies is growing. For example, in India, officials are proposing a Paternity Benefit Bill for consideration in the next session of Parliament, which would allow fathers up to three months of paid paternity leave,” UNICEF stated.In eight countries across the world, including the United States which is home to nearly four million infants, there is no paid maternity or paternity leave policy, according to the report.In March last year, the Indian parliament gave its nod to the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016. According to the new law, women working in the organized sector will now be entitled to paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks. The new law applies to all establishments that employ 10 or more people, and the entitlement is applicable only up to the first two children. The maternity leave entitlement for the third child will only be for 12 weeks, the Hindu reported. Related ItemsfamilySocietyUniceflast_img read more

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, HDFC Bank’s Aditya Puri Figure in Barron’s List of World’s Best CEOs

first_imgFour corporate executives of Indian origin made their way into the American financial magazine Barron’s list of “World’s 30 Best CEOs” for 2018.In the 14th annual list released on May 26, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella entered the top 30 for the first time, taking the fifth rank. The magazine described him as the one responsible for the transformation of Microsoft “from a potential cloud victim into a cloud landlord.” It added: “He has pushed Microsoft in entirely new directions, all while energizing the brands that sustained the software giant for decades.”Nadella’s turnaround strategy was earlier also praised by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. “It was no surprise to me that once Nadella became Microsoft’s CEO, he immediately put his mark on the company,” Gates wrote in the foreword of the book, titled Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone, written by the Hyderabad-born executive. “As the title of this book implies, he didn’t completely break with the past when you hit refresh on your browser, some of what’s on the page stays the same,” Gates added.Another Indian American CEO on Barron’s list is Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, who has been projected as a growth leader by the magazine. Narayen took the post in December 2007, after over a decade of working in the company.The list also recognizes the emergence of Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks. Ullal, after she turned in her resignation at Cisco, has turned the startup into a growing force in computer networking since 2008, with revenue rising 45 per cent to $1.6 billion in 2017, according to Forbes. The company’s largest customer is Microsoft, which accounted for 16 per cent of the company’s sales last year.Mary Barra of General Motors, the third highest paid CEO in the United States, was ranked first by the magazine this year.The other leading names from various sectors who figured on the list included Jeff Bezos of Amazon; Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway; Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase; Larry Page of Alphabet; Reed Hastings of Netflix; and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.Bezos is having a good year, with his e-commerce firm Amazon appearing in Fortune 500’s list of top 10 companies for the first time. Hastings, who is running the subscription-based video streaming company, joined the ranks of the World’s billionaires in June 2014 after Netflix’s share price rose above $400.HDFC Bank CEO Aditya Puri made it for the fourth time consecutively as the only Indian on the list, with the magazine saying that “he has transformed HDFC Bank from a startup into one of the world’s highest-quality banks, generating eye-popping returns by maintaining lending standards and expanding beyond corporate loans into a full-service retail bank.”The magazine also observed that Puri “swiftly transformed India’s second-largest private-sector bank into the digital spot for anything money-related.”Puri, 66, who is ranked 23rd on Barron’s list, receives “effusive praise” from investors, with them calling him “one of the most impressive CEOs we have come across,” the magazine said.The list takes into account the revenue and earnings growth and share-price performance of the companies over the past five years. The CEOs are selected based on the extent to which each chief’s actions led to his or her company’s success. Then, about a third of the previous year’s picks were taken off the list to give room for newcomers. Related ItemsBarron magazinelast_img read more

Renesas to acquire Integrated Device Technology

first_imgRenesas Electronics and Integrated Device Technology have signed a definitive agreement under which Renesas will acquire IDT. The acquisition combines two recognized leaders in embedded processors and analog mixed-signal semiconductors, each with unique strengths in delivering products to improve performance and efficiency in high-computing electronic systems.Since 2016, Renesas has been executing its growth strategy to thrive in the global marketplace and become a global leading embedded solution provider. As part of this initiative, Renesas is working to expand its analog solution lineup and to strengthen its kit solution offerings that combine its microcontrollers, system-on-chips and analog products. Renesas views accretive acquisitions as key enablers in achieving this growth strategy to deliver further incremental growth. The completion of the Intersil Corporation acquisition in February 2017 enabled Renesas to add industry-leading power management and precision analog capabilities to its product portfolio. Renesas is capitalizing on the exciting opportunities in its focus business segments by offering combined solutions. The transaction announced today further accelerates Renesas’ growth strategy, bringing substantial strategic and financial benefits.The acquisition will provide Renesas with access to a vast array of robust analog mixed-signal capabilities in embedded systems, including RF, advanced timing, memory interface & power management, optical interconnect, wireless power, and smart sensors. IDT’s analog mixed-signal products for data sensing, storage and interconnect are key devices that support the growth of data economy. Acquisition of these products enables Renesas to extend its reach to fast-growing data economy-related applications including data center and communication infrastructure, and to strengthen its presence in the industrial and automotive segments.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous ADI: ±0.5% accurate supervisors target very low voltage componentsNext Acromag: multi-function I/O XMC mezzanine modules to conserve I/O slotslast_img read more

7 Clever Email Campaigns That Get Customers Buying Again

first_img Ecommerce Sales If you have a great product, customers will probably want to buy from you again. But that doesn’t mean they’ll always remember to. People are busy; no matter how much they love you, sometimes it’s just hard to keep in touch, you know? Which is why email remarketing campaigns are great ideas for those who have purchased (or almost purchased) from you in the past!What’s an email remarketing campaign, you ask? Pretty much what it sounds like … you send an email marketing campaign to a lead or customer in your database that encourages them to purchase from you again.Click here to download our free beginner’s guide to email marketing.And ecommerce businesses that don’t leverage remarketing campaigns are missing a huge revenue opportunity — according to Practical eCommerce, only 5% of new customers that make a purchase with a company return to the site, and only 3% make a second purchase. Them’s not good odds.But they can get better when you leverage email remarketing campaigns. Practical eCommerce also found that customers who have recently made a purchase on your site are more than twice as likely to return to your site and complete a purchase when they receive remarketing emails. Now those are numbers I can get behind.So to get you started with email remarketing, we’ve gathered some creative ideas for you to consider for your own email remarketing campaigns, all from real brands that are excelling with their own programs. Take a look, and get some inspiration so you can generate more revenue out of a contact database that already loves you!1) Abandoned Shopping CartWe’ll start with the most common email campaign used to recall customers to your website — the abandoned shopping cart email. Take a look at how HubSpot customer Shar Music gets in touch with customers who have almost completed a purchase on their website, but abandon their shopping cart at the last minute.This is just one in a series of three emails that Shar Music sends to an abandoned shopping cart customer to encourage them to return to the site and complete their purchase. A key takeaway of this abandoned shopping cart email is how easy they’ve made it for the recipient to understand the purpose of the email, and to act on it. The design isn’t fancy; it doesn’t need to be. It simply asks, “Can we help you with anything?” in bold letters that stand out from the rest of the email, and provides a large call-to-action button at the end that makes it easy for the recipient to return to their shopping cart and complete their purchase.If abandoned shopping cart emails aren’t part of your email remarketing strategy yet, they’re some seriously low-hanging fruit; just make sure to follow up with an abandoned shopping cart customer quickly. An MIT study via SeeWhy showed that 90% of ecommerce leads go cold within one hour, but when remarketed to, spend 55% more!2) Wishlist SaleAlways a fantastic email remarketer (their campaigns will appear in this post a few times), ModCloth has leveraged its “Wishlist” feature to remarket to their customers. You know the wishlist — many ecommerce sites let you bookmark items that you really like, but perhaps aren’t ready to purchase. It’s common for customers to do this when they’re researching options from multiple businesses, or when they see something they would like to get, but certainly don’t need. Until they get this remarketing email, of course:When customers are comparison shopping or unwilling to complete the purchase of something they like, price is often a factor. This remarketing campaign is genius because it addresses that purchase blocker by alerting me that something I wish I could have is now on sale. If I wasn’t willing to buy it for its original price, maybe I’d be interested to “Grab It Now” for the sale price. Brilliant!3) Last Chance to PurchaseJust like ModCloth lets you know when something on your wishlist is on sale, they have a remarketing campaign that alerts you when something on your wishlist is almost out of stock. Sometimes a sale can be enough to incite a customer to purchase; but maybe the urgency of an item selling out is enough for those items that are so popular you don’t even need to put them on sale!Emails like these are not only great because they encourage a purchase, but they also do so in a way that actually comes off as customer service. You’re doing your customers a favor in this email — getting in touch with them to let them know something they like won’t be available soon. Personal service, meet 2012 ecommerce — we think you two might have a lot in common.4) Repetitive BehaviorTarget people’s past buying behaviors to get in touch with them right at (or ideally, a little bit before) the moment they’ll need to make a purchase. This is a great email remarketing technique for businesses that deal with monthly, quarterly, or yearly purchases — like an online contact lens retailer, for example. Since they know when you last bought contacts, in what amount, and how long that amount will last, they can perfectly time an email remarketing campaign to hit at your time of need.But there are a few other creative applications for this type of remarketing campaign, too. Just take a look at how 1-800-Flowers targets holidays for which their products are a great fit in their 2012 Mother’s Day campaign. Even though I didn’t buy flowers from them at Mother’s Day last year (calm down, I used another vendor — I’m not an animal!), I’ve purchased with them for other holidays. So it’s smart of them to recognize Mother’s Day as an opportunity for me to buy flowers from them instead of another competitor, since they know I’m likely to buy flowers from them for other holidays.You can also do a mash-up of the two concepts we just discussed, like Pottery Barn did below. They took a more subjective look at customer buying behavior, and matched it up with the time of year to come up with this remarketing campaign. Since I purchased items from their outdoor collection last spring, I might be interested in doing so again this year. Share your creative ideas for email remarketing campaigns in the comments!Image credit: gordontarpley (Tip: If you do have an algorithm running, you can use your purchase confirmation email — an email that typically has a very high open rate — as an opportunity to include these recommendations.)6) All Your Friends Love It!We’ve already talked about the importance of social proof and user-generated content in your marketing; why not include it in your next email remarketing campaign? Send an email like ModCloth’s below (I told you they’d make multiple appearances today) that shows what others are saying about products you might like based on your past purchase history. These testimonials come from the product review section of their website, but you could also pull from customers’ tweets and Facebook status updates that praise your product — I’ve received an email from these folks that does just that in the past, too!7) Back in StockFinally, consider sending an email alert for the products your customers wanted, but couldn’t quite get their hands on, like you see below. There are two ways to approach this particular email remarketing campaign, both of which hinge on the fact that you keep out-of-stock products on your website.The first is to add a module to your website for products that are out of stock that lets customers put in their email address, and ask to be alerted when a product’s inventory is restocked. The other method, which can be combined with the previous one, is to alert customers who had an item on their wishlist but didn’t complete the purchase before an item sold out. In this instance, you know a customer loved an item, but just didn’t get to checkout in time; a remarketing campaign that let them know their much-coveted item is available would be another great way to deliver some seriously personal service! 5) Add-On and Related Item SuggestionsYou know when you go to Amazon.com and they have a whole list of items they think you might like based on the product page you’re viewing? Some of them are add-on items (products that would make the one you’re looking at function better); and some are related items (products that other shoppers who purchased an item tend to like).You might not have an algorithm running like Amazon does to tell you these things (or maybe you do!) but you can still take your product knowledge and apply it to an email remarketing campaign that recommends buyers purchase add-on and related items. Take a look at how Buy.com did it below.center_img Topics: Originally published Apr 27, 2012 1:27:00 PM, updated November 30 2018 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

7 Important PR Lessons Every Content Marketer Needs to Learn

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

Funny Tweets & Social Media Examples From 17 Real Brands

first_img4) Old SpiceSee them on: Twitter | FacebookOld Spice is known for their funny — and often ridiculous — marketing content. And what better place to let their freak flag fly than on social media? Just take a look at their “About” descriptions on Twitter, as well as a few of the silly posts to Twitter and Facebook below. (My favorite might be their making fun of Twitter polls.) 14) IMPACT Branding & DesignSee them on: Twitter | FacebookAnother B2B company to grace our list, HubSpot partner IMPACT Branding & Design definitely gets the value of comedy, offering a great balance of educational content and a few laughs every now and then on its Facebook page. While not every post from IMPACT is exactly a knee-slapper, it’s a good reminder that a little humor can go a long way toward achieving likability.15) BissellSee them on: Twitter | FacebookBissell, the vacuum cleaner company (who would’ve thought?), knows how to crack a joke from time to time on their Facebook and Twitter pages. What’s great about Bissell’s humor is that it never sacrifices brand relevancy, as is evident by these smartly funny posts. #CharminAsks: What are you thoughts on streaming while streaming? pic.twitter.com/GgEjdbsm8h— Charmin (@Charmin) December 7, 2015 No shame in my #selfie game. These pics help my team see the state of hardware over time. http://t.co/kQmYm7dUJ9 pic.twitter.com/CtSQODPofA— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) October 13, 2015 11) ZendeskSee them on: Twitter | FacebookIt can be hard for B2B companies to find the balance between humor and professionalism on social media. But Zendesk is one of the B2B brands that’s really nailed it. The folks on their social team use humor to elevate their message, make their posts stand out from the crowd, and infuse some lighthearted fun into an otherwise (*furrows brow*) pretty serious B2B world. Money is green, spreadsheets are blue, if you love numbers our Dublin Accounts Payable Administer job is for you. https://t.co/q3kVXRR63N— Zendesk (@Zendesk) January 20, 2016 You should give inspirational speeches! Can you sign my Skittles? pic.twitter.com/Ssqo9SSbjM— Skittles (@Skittles) January 27, 2016 What other brands can’t you help from following in social media, even for just a good laugh? Share with us in the comments.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. We heard Boehner left you a smoky office, @PRyan. This ought to do the trick. (cc: @chucktodd) pic.twitter.com/8EYVBtFLqD— BISSELL (@BISSELLclean) November 3, 2015 Good morning texts are cute, but have you tried bringing her Taco Bell?— Taco Bell (@tacobell) January 3, 2016 Did you hear about our #TacoEmojiEngine? Tweet us a 🌮 + any emoji to see what happens. pic.twitter.com/siObNdcqnT— Taco Bell (@tacobell) November 10, 2015 3) Innocent DrinksSee them on: Twitter | FacebookInnocent Drinks is one of my favorite brands to follow on Twitter and Facebook. They may be a smoothie and juice brand, but most of their social media posts aren’t about smoothies or drinks at all. Check out the examples below to see what I mean. We’ve always admired them for their consistently lovable branding. They’re silly, fun, clever, creative, and always stay true to their brand personality. IT’S #NATIONALCHEESELOVERSDAYEVERYTHING ELSE SHUT UP— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) January 20, 2016 What’s in a name? Everything. See Terrell Owens’ outtakes from Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger: A Cheesy Underdog Story.https://t.co/I9GAABpLRL— Wendy’s (@Wendys) December 14, 2015 Every day is abs day when you’re a snake.— Old Spice (@OldSpice) November 14, 2015 10) Moosejaw MountaineeringSee them on: Twitter | FacebookThe folks at Moosejaw Mountaineering call themselves “the most fun outdoor retailer on the planet,” according to their Twitter description — and they aren’t lying. Their social media content is basically all funny stuff. Some is related to the outdoors, some isn’t. Like A24, some of their Facebook posts sound like your best friend telling you an unfiltered story, like the MC Hammer example below. “Victoria Beckham would call you Supporty Spice!” Get your own personal cheerleader here: https://t.co/u0dW1eNba6 #custserv— Zendesk (@Zendesk) January 24, 2016 Netflix and chill? No, really. pic.twitter.com/ezcZ7V0peN— Netflix US (@netflix) July 22, 2015 The stuff fries dream about. pic.twitter.com/8F3wNcpHV9— Wendy’s (@Wendys) December 7, 2015 “Beavers?” If you’re wondering what that’s about, then you aren’t alone. Here’s an explanation — which goes to show how clever their social strategy really is: I’m on a road trip to Mars’ Bagnold Dunes. What’s new with you? pic.twitter.com/Ruwj5jhM1V— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) November 21, 2015 Think your pet is messy? Wait till you see https://t.co/vWWpIhcnjw. Not pretty, but pretty darn cute. #PetHappens pic.twitter.com/eM79ypeupF— BISSELL (@BISSELLclean) February 1, 2016 12) Whole FoodsSee them on: Twitter | FacebookWould you “Holla for Challah bread”? Whole Foods wants you to, and that’s just one of its witty little Facebook updates. Mainly sharing recipe and food ideas through its Facebook page and Twitter feed, Whole Foods adds a dash of humor that makes it a lot more fun to follow than your average recipe source. We love their cheeky #HealthYeah hashtag, too. Scientists* say buying our smoothies for half price on @Ocado makes you 67% more attractive. https://t.co/x0jUPY4PAX pic.twitter.com/knXVZF1KKW— innocent drinks (@innocent) January 25, 2016 Satan works at @mashable pic.twitter.com/l87rCj7GbU— A24 (@A24) January 13, 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Bringing new meaning to the “QB sneak.” (w/ @MrLegenDarius & @robbyjayala) #MakeTheRightCall https://t.co/Ufe80wvrr8— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) January 14, 2016 They’re even known for being humorous in their replies to customers’ tweets, when appropriate. Here’s an example: It is now safe to bust a move about the cabin. #GronkIsMyCopilothttps://t.co/KeOXvAJ0NM— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) November 16, 2015 There are quite a few factors that go into what makes a brand “followable” in social media. Think about it from the follower’s perspective: Why do you choose to ‘Like’ or follow certain brands on social networks like Facebook and Twitter?It could be because they share valuable, educational content that appeals to your interests and needs. Or, it could be that they give you access to exclusive deals, coupons, or other promotions. Or, maybe they’re just ridiculously funny.Truthfully, the best brands to follow in social media should probably have a combination of all those characteristics. But I’d venture to say that many of you are following a brand simply for its entertainment value. (I know I am.) You know — the brands that really tickle your funny bone and sometimes even make your sides hurt from laughter. And while it may not seem like a funny update has any value, surely there’s value in showing off your personality and being a lovable brand, right?So to help bring out your inner comedian, we’ve compiled a list of brands whose social media presence gives us the giggles. Check ’em out. Click here to download even more examples of brands doing awesome social media marketing. The Funniest Tweets & Social Media Examples From Funny Brands1) CharminSee them on: Twitter | FacebookYou mean the toilet paper company? Darn tootin’! Serving as the original inspiration for this post, Charmin’s Twitter presence is definitely a must-follow. Just check out the following series of tweets to see what we mean. Charmin is a great example of a brand whose humor aligns with the products it sells. And don’t you just love that #tweetfromtheseat hashtag? Quick, eat these Skittles. There’s no time to explain. pic.twitter.com/AfAztSiOkV— Skittles (@Skittles) January 22, 2016 Originally published Feb 4, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 You really should make your own salad dressing… It’s really, really simple! https://t.co/X01h2dw38c #HealthYeah pic.twitter.com/A3AoB00y7z— Whole Foods Market (@WholeFoods) January 22, 2016 This just in: Lasagna is just spaghetti cake.— Moosejaw (@MoosejawMadness) January 17, 2016 Fill-in-the-blank Friday: two #customerservice agents walk into a bar _____.— Zendesk (@Zendesk) January 29, 2016center_img If you’ve got four bucks, you’ve got the 4 for $4 Meal. Take that, economy. pic.twitter.com/v8kmWW5E5l— Wendy’s (@Wendys) October 12, 2015 When you’re visiting your ❤ & can’t get through TSA bc you’re more than 3.4 oz. #SnowmanDatingProblems #LDR #baggage pic.twitter.com/6tXaU7bttk— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) December 1, 2015 Bigfoot is the Waldo of the backcountry.— Moosejaw (@MoosejawMadness) January 31, 2016 DOUGH a crust an unbaked crustRAY, a guy that likes pizzaME a pizza liked by a guy named rayFAH no idea what fah isSO soLA a cityT tee— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) December 6, 2013 6) Mars Curiosity (NASA)See them on: Twitter | FacebookAs in, the lunar rover. These NASA-run social media accounts feature sassy, first-person updates from the rover itself, who incorporates funny pop culture references and a bold attitude. And, oh yeah — its Twitter account has more than 2.2 million followers, and its Facebook page has over 1.1 million fans. Not too shabby, NASA.  So. Random. DiGiorno Pizza is one of the funniest (and downright strangest) brands to follow on Twitter. Their tweets are usually about completely random topics, which somehow tie back to pizza, cheese, delivery pizza, and so on. While their Facebook page is a whole lot tamer, there’s also some good stuff in there. Their posts will have you thinking “…what?!” but laughing your butt off nonetheless. 5) JetBlue AirwaysSee them on: Twitter | FacebookExceptional customer service isn’t the only thing JetBlue does well on social media. They’re also a great example of a brand that sprinkles in just a little humor throughout its social presence. Not everything JetBlue posts is necessarily laugh-out-loud funny, but the brand does a great job of infusing some of its humorous personality into its updates, balancing informational content with lighthearted updates like the Facebook post you see below. 17) KRAFT Mac & CheeseSee them on: Twitter | FacebookWho knew elbow macaroni could be so funny? KRAFT Mac & Cheese’s social media presence features noodle families, pokes fun at themselves for being such a casual and easy meal, and other mac ‘n cheese humor. Oh, and we’re really, really glad this packaging idea was a joke. = the original love triangle— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) December 7, 2015 7) DiGiorno PizzaSee them on: Twitter | FacebookRemember that time in 2013 when DiGiorno Pizza live-tweeted NBC’s The Sound of Music and broke the internet? Here, let me jog your memory: He will seduce you with his awkwardness. #Parenthood Season 6https://t.co/MWBEj4TXWm— Netflix US (@netflix) February 1, 2016 Everything is mobile these days, we believe your noodles should be too. #KDonthego pic.twitter.com/DxQWsKXZJu— KD (@kraftdinner) April 1, 2015 That awkward moment when you use the work bathroom and the seat is warm. #shudder #tweetfromtheseat— Charmin (@Charmin) October 7, 2015 Even Google doesn’t have the answer. pic.twitter.com/B7x5jMPYRo— Netflix US (@netflix) January 28, 2016 In this week’s newsletter – beavers https://t.co/XM9qSDqNVP pic.twitter.com/Rj9INY1caM— innocent drinks (@innocent) January 30, 2016 Did we just become best friends? https://t.co/orwkhbraH0— BISSELL (@BISSELLclean) October 5, 2015 Tonight we¹ll be cleaning, and by cleaning we mean having a glass of wine and watching the #SmartClean Robot roam. pic.twitter.com/AEMvkRMwhG— BISSELL (@BISSELLclean) January 8, 2016 Wow, even noodle families struggle to get the perfect holiday picture. Happy Holidays from Kraft Mac & Cheese.https://t.co/caulosJgQi— KRAFT Mac & Cheese (@kraftmacncheese) December 21, 2015 8) A24See them on: Twitter | FacebookA24, the film studio that brought you Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring, has a refreshingly witty, edgy voice on its Twitter and Facebook pages that kind of sounds like your funniest friend posting his or her unfiltered musings. In fact, Zoe Beyer, the woman behind the Twitter account admitted she sometimes tweets things “with no regard for whether it’s relevant to anyone besides myself.” She says, “This is probably bad practice, but I think the film industry in particular can be so opaque, it is nice to know there are actual human personalities behind these companies. That’s why, sometimes, I will tweet about exotic pets or the NBA. The idea is just to keep it authentic.”Their posts are a smattering of pop culture references and project promotions, which they manage to make really funny. Be warned, though: some of the language is NSFW. If you don’t like chocolate, don’t click here: https://t.co/l9vhNPvhSS pic.twitter.com/xQI32DK257— Whole Foods Market (@WholeFoods) January 30, 2016 #relationshipgoalsin3words Stay to gohttps://t.co/NJ8Wtegdtw— Charmin (@Charmin) August 25, 2015 Which bar is longer?— Old Spice (@OldSpice) October 23, 2015 16) SkittlesSee them on: Twitter | FacebookSkittles’ social sense of humor is apparently all about being silly and ridiculous. But it definitely brings a smile to your face, doesn’t it? Check out the examples below from Skittles’ Facebook page and Twitter feed. They do a great job of using custom graphics to stand out in your feed. 2) Taco BellSee them on: Twitter | FacebookTaco Bell is known for using humor throughout their marketing and advertising, and their social media accounts are no different. From witty one-liners to clever photo updates, Taco Bell’s Facebook and Twitter presence is sure to make you crack a smile — even when they just tweet a whole bunch of taco emojis and call it a day. There’s a programme called ‘Panda Babies’ on ITV right now. PANDA. BABIES.— innocent drinks (@innocent) January 31, 2016 You miss 100% of the tacos you don’t eat.— Moosejaw (@MoosejawMadness) November 25, 2015 — Taco Bell (@tacobell) October 21, 2015 I’m not saying eating Skittles Tropical will magically transport you to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. But you could try? pic.twitter.com/zsh3vGM3me— Skittles (@Skittles) January 30, 2016 13) NetflixSee them on: Twitter | FacebookWhether they’re poking fun at the characters in their TV shows or quoting one of their comedies, Netflix is always posting a myriad of funny social media posts to their Twitter and Facebook Pages. Most of them include short clips or GIFs of their shows, which serve as great visual reminders that we need to get watchin’. 9) Wendy’sSee them on: Twitter | FacebookThe key to social media success for the folks at Wendy’s? Simple, hilarious, and kind of … mindless content. Forbes describes their content best, I think: “Unbelievably dumb stuff that’s blow-milk-out-your-nose funny.” Whether they create a graphic depicting plain fries dreaming about loaded fries or they’re newsjacking #KissAGingerDay, Wendy’s has tweets and Facebook posts that’ll put a smile on your face. Topics: Social Media Trends The world is scary and surreal. Oscar Isaac with this little Poe figure is the only thing that makes sense right now pic.twitter.com/SLQpyy7hT4— A24 (@A24) December 17, 2015last_img read more

How HubSpot Academy Grew YouTube Subscribers by 450% in 17 Months

first_imgYouTube is the second largest search engine, with over 1.8 billion users per month. If you’re looking to revamp your marketing strategy in 2020, YouTube is a critical place to start.And yet, despite its massive audience, only nine percent of small businesses are taking the time to use YouTube for marketing purposes — and even fewer are creating a strategy for their video content.It’s not just small businesses, either. In fact, for a long while, it was us, too. But in April of 2018, we recognized the major losses our team would face down the line if we didn’t begin investing in a powerful YouTube marketing strategy. So in May of 2018, our optimizations began. And the results have been, well, staggering.Through various tactics, we managed to increase HubSpot Academy’s YouTube channel subscribers by 450% and video views by 800% in 17 months.To help you rank on YouTube, it’s critical to leverage YouTube as a search engine. Beyond that, great channels develop a standout brand identity and provide an outstanding user experience. By implementing the strategies in this article, you’ll be able to achieve sustainable growth on the platform.Download a Free 30-Day Planner for Your Business YouTube Channel.1. Develop an SEO strategy for YouTube specifically.When you hear the term “search engine”, what comes to mind? I’m willing to bet it’s Google.From there, you might think of Yahoo or Bing. But, as some of you savvy marketers might know, this is actually a trick question — you’re right to think of Google first, but if your brain flips to Yahoo or Bing next, that should change, today.The second largest search engine globally is YouTube. With more and more content being added each day — as much as 400 hours of video per minute — optimization is not only best practice, it’s critical, and must be the foundation for any effective YouTube strategy.When developing an SEO strategy for YouTube, start with keywords. Do some monthly keyword search volume research, so you can identify a keyword that speaks to your video, has substantial search volume, and isn’t too competitive.Once you’ve chosen a target keyword, make sure you incorporate it into your title. Additionally, you’ll want to add tags to your videos, and order them by importance — always leading with the target keyword. Plus, it’s important you repeat the target keyword in your video description.Finally, make sure your target keyword is said out loud in your video so that it gets transcribed in the SRT file. SRT files are critical, as they make video content “readable” by search engines, and they make videos accessible to a hearing-impaired viewership — a win, win.Bonus best practices include adding your target keyword to the raw video file name and custom thumbnail file name before you upload to YouTube. All of these tactics will give your video a better chance of driving organic traffic and ranking on YouTube.2. Engagement is the key to your video’s success, so focus efforts on increasing viewer interaction.Keyword strategy is not enough to rank on YouTube. Human behavior — particularly interaction with videos — greatly influences the YouTube algorithm.View duration, comments, likes, and shares, all increase a video’s authority.Why?YouTube sees engagement as a stickiness factor. If a viewer is engaged, they are more likely to spend increased time on YouTube, which means more revenue for YouTube. The best videos, then, deliver high-quality content and stimulate interaction.One way to encourage viewers to stay on YouTube is to organize your videos into playlists. Placing videos in relevant, topical playlists will entice viewers to spend more time watching videos in sequence, increasing their total time spent on YouTube.Another strategy is to ask for engagement. Pin a conversation-starting question in the comments section to encourage viewers to outline their thoughts, feedback, questions, and insights. In your video, ask viewers to leave comments, and don’t be afraid to pose questions — it works. For instance, in this HubSpot Academy YouTube video, we made sure our host asked the viewers questions within the video itself, with a “Leave a comment below” directive. We also pinned a question in the comments section directly:As you can see from the comments section, our viewers were eager to share their thoughts and engage with one another through the platform — we just gave them a starting point to do so.To delight video viewers, take time to respond to their questions, too! This will help create a relationship with viewers, and they’ll be more likely to subscribe to your channel.3. Build a unique brand identity on YouTube.If you look at major influencers and brands on YouTube, such as Brian Dean, Neil Patel, Vox, and Netflix, you’ll notice something similar about all of them — their theme, topics, and brand identity are clear, no matter which video you watch.Elements like custom thumbnails, a channel banner, a custom URL, a channel trailer, and logo usage on your channel page and video thumbnails all exist to establish a channel’s brand, and it’s a key way to develop brand recognition from your YouTube channel to your website, products, or services. Take advantage of these opportunities.In particular, video thumbnails are a key strategy for distinguishing a brand. Research from Netflix suggests that thumbnails can even drive clicks and influence engagement behavior on videos, which can help videos rank.In their findings, Netflix concluded: “Images that have expressive facial emotion […] do particularly well.”We decided to test this research for ourselves, by providing up-close, emotive human faces on each of our relevant thumbnails:When building your thumbnails, it’s critical you put the title text on the left side of the video thumbnail, as YouTube places a time card on the right bottom corner by default, which can cut off visuals. Remember to write short, impactful titles on the thumbnail, as thumbnails can be quite small, so too much text will render the words blurry and illegible.Finally, when creating your thumbnails, keep color top-of-mind. YouTube’s color palette is red, white, and black, so it’s important to choose bright colors that stand out against the platform’s interface, and against your competitor’s thumbnails.Ultimately, every personalized touch will add a level of professionalism to your channel, and set you up to succeed against competing channels.4. Create a stellar user experience.Would you watch this video? Does our channel look inviting and professional? Is our content consistently providing value to our viewers? If you didn’t answer “yes” to all three of those questions, you need to revise your YouTube channel to ensure you’re prioritizing the user experience.Although free, YouTube provides a subscription service, and subscription services survive and thrive by creating an amazing user experience.You wouldn’t pay money to subscribe to the service if you had no idea what type of products were going to arrive, or when. People invest in subscription services for convenience, quality, and reliability — all of which add up to a solid user experience.Similarly, if you are using your YouTube channel to drive leads or develop brand awareness, your free service should mirror the excellence all your business has to offer.If you’re unsure where to start, take the time to plan an upload schedule. YouTube subscribers seek dependable, fresh content. At HubSpot Academy, for instance, we put new content on the channel every Monday and Friday morning at 8:30 AM ET, so our subscribers are guaranteed to get new, educational, exciting content at the same time, twice a week.If you don’t have the bandwidth to put content up every week, that’s okay, too. High-quality content on a consistent schedule, even if that’s only once a month, is better than mediocre content published weekly.When creating content, prioritize videos that are educational and relevant. If you’re building out your YouTube channel to drive leads, your content should be a gateway to the products and services you’re trying to sell on your website. By creating insightful, free videos you’ll cultivate a subscriber base that is much more likely to convert into leads and ultimately customers of your business.5. Use multi-channel promotion.I’d be willing to wager that YouTube is not the first marketing channel you’ve built. Instead, I’d guess that you’re using social media, email marketing, and a blog as your primary modes of marketing. Leverage the strength of your existing marketing channels when building out your YouTube channel!When we began investing in a YouTube strategy, we included videos in our email newsletters, which always gave our channel a massive spike in subscribers. This isn’t about shoving YouTube in front of people — it’s about illuminating our channel to audiences who are hungry for educational video content, and who didn’t know we had a YouTube presence.Similarly, we began cross-linking our YouTube video content to related HubSpot blog posts. As the HubSpot blog is a powerful marketing machine for our business, it was a great way to build links, surface additional relevant content to both blog readers and video viewers, and drive increased traffic to both domains. If you have a blog, popular blog posts can also help reveal high-value topics for video content creation. Lastly, social media is a great way to keep consistent traffic to your videos. While videos typically get a spike when they’re first published to YouTube, it’s important to keep traffic continually flowing to videos. Re-posting videos on social media over time is a great method of ensuring videos have a long lifespan.6. Accelerate growth with paid ads.The aforementioned five strategies are an excellent way to propel organic growth on a YouTube channel. Once you’ve implement the organic strategies, you may see how truly impactful YouTube can be to drive brand awareness, leads, and revenue, and you may want to grow at an even faster rate.Paid ads are an excellent tactic to drive growth fast. That said, there is both a strategic and inbound way to do ads. Ads should be helpful, not intrusive! Similar to sending out our videos to our engaged email lists, we show YouTube ads to re-targeted audiences, as we know that these folks are interested in our products, value the educational content we create, and are seeking additional ways to interact with us. We run ads to tap into audiences who’ve proven interest but likely don’t know our YouTube channel, or a particular video, exists. When you run ads to these types of audiences, you’re far more likely to identify high value video viewers, with a far greater intent to become subscribers, leads, then customers.Our Results After Implementing These Six StrategiesIf you’re wondering whether a purposeful YouTube strategy really works, the answer is yes — a YouTube strategy has real pay-offs.For instance, prior to implementing these strategies, our HubSpot Academy channel existed for three years with minimal growth.Once we implemented the strategies I shared above, we drove subscribers from 6.7K to 38K. But it wasn’t just YouTube channel growth. In this time frame, we also increased monthly lead generation from YouTube by 1140%. These are leads that impact the bottom line of our business.Now, YouTube is one of our most effective lead generation channels, and by implementing these tactics, it can be one of yours, too. Topics: Originally published Dec 19, 2018 7:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019center_img Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Everything You Need to Know About Billboard Advertising

first_img Billboard Design Billboard Advertising Originally published Sep 16, 2019 7:30:00 AM, updated September 16 2019 Billboard Advertising Cost Billboard AdvertisingBillboard advertising is the process of using a large-scale print advertisement (a billboard, or a hoarding to those in the UK) to market a company, brand, product, service, or campaign. Billboards are typically placed in high traffic areas, such as along highways and in cities, so they’re seen by the highest number of drivers and pedestrians.Billboard advertising is effective for building brand awareness and broadcasting your business (or product or campaign) to as many people as possible. Because they’re in such busy areas, billboards tend to have the highest number of views and impressions when compared to other marketing methods.Billboard Advertising CostThe cost of billboard advertising depends on many factors including the location of your billboard, the total traffic in the area, and how many people are estimated to see your advertisement. Billboard advertising costs are typically charged monthly and range anywhere from $250 on a rural highway to upwards of $22,000 in Times Square.Billboard advertising is categorized as out-of-home (OOH) advertising, which is any advertising that reaches consumers when they’re outside their homes. Each OOH advertising opportunity (e.g. individual billboard) is given an OOH rating, which ultimately determines its value and the subsequent cost to advertisers.Geopath is a nonprofit organization that uses technology and media research to estimate the weekly impressions of every billboard in the country and give OOH ratings. (OOH advertising companies [e.g. the companies that own the billboard spaces] pay Geopath for this data to share with potential advertisers.)According to Geopath, there are up to 10 determining factors that make up an OOH rating and, therefore, the cost of each billboard advertising opportunity.Here are the three main factors:Circulation is the total number of people who pass by the billboard each week. This information is gathered by local transportation authorities.Demographics refer to the age, gender, income level, and other characteristics of the traffic that passes the billboard. This information is gathered from travel surveys and local transportation authorities.Impressions are the number of people who see the billboard. This information is calculated based on the billboard’s circulation, the size of the billboard, how close it is from the road, its visibility, the speed at which traffic is passing by, and more.The cost of billboard advertising doesn’t stop with “renting” ad space, however. You must also consider the cost of designing the billboard as well as printing and constructing it. Printing and construction can cost upwards of $500, depending on the size and location of your billboard.If you outsource your billboard design, expect the cost to range from $150 to $1000, depending on what agency or designer you choose, as well as the complexity of your desired design. If you’d like to design your own, however, check out the billboard design tips in the next section.Billboard DesignIf you’re going to invest in an advertisement potentially seen by millions, you want it to do its job. Here are a handful of billboard design tips that’ll ensure your billboard is effective and eye-catching.Tell a (short) story.Successful billboards take viewers on a journey … even if that journey is a four-second glimpse over the steering wheel. Most billboard designs tell this story with imagery and possibly some text. In fact, most drivers stop reading after a few words. Use your billboard to convey the essence of an idea or campaign rather than describing it with text.Take a look at this text-less billboard by Samsonite. It tells a story that Samsonite luggage lasts a long time, even longer than a billboard.SourceMake it bold and simple.Drivers or passersby only have a few seconds to get a glimpse at your billboard advertisement. To reach the highest number of viewers (and potential customers), keep your billboard design simple. After all, some people may be blowing by your billboard at 70 mph. Use big, bold fonts against contrasting background colors and avoid narrow, script fonts.Also, choose colors that stand out to viewers. If your billboard is in a rural area, avoid greens, blues, and browns. Check out this bright, bold (and funny) billboard by Lamar. SourceConsider its location.I’m not originally from Chicago, but I’ve been here long enough to foster a certain sense of pride. So, when I pass by billboards that play on the Cubs or Bears, or make jokes about the wind or traffic, I pay attention.Well-designed billboards are reflective of their location. They take advantage of sports teams, nicknames, nuances, or inside jokes related to the area. This can make the billboard (and brand) much more impressionable to those who see it. Check out this billboard by SmileDirectClub in downtown Chicago.SourceThis billboard, advertising the new Grinch movie, is in New York City.SourceMake it interactive.Depending on your billboard’s location, you may be able to design it so it interacts with its surrounding environment. This strategy make your advertisement stick out among the noise and grab the attention of passerby (which we’ll talk about more in the next section).Take a look at this Panasonic billboard that interacts with the wires around it.SourceEven if your billboard isn’t in the city, there are ways to leverage the environment around it. This billboard by Koleston Naturals used the sun to “color” the hair in the advertisement.SourceMake it memorable.OOH advertising has to be creative in order to stand out among the hustle and bustle of a regular commute (or the monotony of a long road trip). Your billboard shouldn’t be any different.Your billboard needs to tell a story and/or share a call-to-action in a way that’s interesting and memorable. Whether you call on humor, anger, empathy, or cleverness, use emotional marketing tactics in your billboard design to make it memorable. Take a look at these examples of eye-catching, creative billboards.This example, established by the Colorado State Patrol, warns drivers of the effects of tailgating.SourceThis one, advertising strong tape, is by Penline Stationery.SourceCoca-Cola designed this one to encourage people to drink Coke.SourceBillboard Advertising StatisticsWe’ve looked at some amazingly creative billboards and discussed how to design one of your own. At this point, though, you may be wondering: Do these billboards actually work? Do they reach the members of your target audience?Let’s talk about some billboard advertising statistics that prove the impact of billboard advertising and to inform your next campaign.Americans spend an annual average of 17,600 minutes in their cars. That’s almost 300 hours each year. (Source)There are currently 342,306 billboards in the United States. (Source)Almost 8,000 of these are digital billboards. (Source)6% of global ad spending is dedicated to OOH advertising. (Source)71% of people consciously look at billboards when driving. (Source)Over 50% of people say they’ve been highly engaged by a billboard they’ve seen in the last month. (Source)OOH advertising is 382% more effective at driving online activity than TV ads. (Source)OOH advertising, when paired with search engine optimization (SEO), boosts its effectiveness by 40%. (Source)Billboard Advertising: The Marketing You Never Knew You NeededBillboard advertising might not fall under the hood of inbound marketing methodology, but it can still be a highly effective way of promoting your products and boosting your brand. It can also work to strengthen other inbound marketing efforts you’ve invested in, such as blogging, online lead offers, or SEO.Follow our billboard design tips above to create an impactful, memorable billboard for your brand. And, who knows? Someone may look out the window during their next commute and see your billboard — and become a new customer.center_img I don’t own a car in Chicago, but I do take the train (referred to as the “L” here). On the L, most of my commuting companions pass the time by looking at their phones. But, my motion sickness prevents that, so I typically find myself watching the world — and many, many billboards — go by.And I must say: Some billboards can be very, very entertaining.Now, billboard advertising isn’t your typical inbound marketing methodology. So why are we writing about it? Billboard advertising can still be a powerful way to build brand awareness and attract customers.Download Now: Free Ad Campaign Planning KitPlus, if companies like MINI can incorporate inbound marketing elements in their billboard advertising, you can, too! Billboard Advertising Statistics Topics: Billboard Advertisinglast_img read more

Blog SEO: How to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content

first_img Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Guide Originally published Sep 24, 2019 10:08:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: Blog SEO Tips Although it’s clear blog content does contribute to your SEO, Google’s copious algorithm updates can make this tricky. And today’s SEO best practices are all about relevancy and intent.So, when it comes to your blog, how do you know what matters and what doesn’t? What are today’s blog ranking tactics, and what’s considered “old-school”? How can you keep it all straight?Keep reading — I’ll explain.Click here to download our free guide on how to double your blog traffic and leads.Simplifying SEOConfusion is a common issue facing digital content marketers — and we want to help. In this post, we’ll cover how to optimize your blog posts for the keywords you care about, along with a few other optimization tactics you should keep in mind.And since SEO can be confusing, listen to HubSpot’s Matt Barby and Victor Pan simplify a few things in this podcast episode:Additionally, there are some other ways you can simplify SEO in terms of your business’s blog. Along with the blog SEO tips we’re going to review momentarily, consider the following.If you’re a HubSpot customer, look at specific SEO optimization tips for your individual blog posts. You can do this by clicking the bar graph icon on the far left side of your blog editor when you’re working on the post to access the SEO Optimization screen. If you’re not a HubSpot customer, use these tips as a checklist as you blog:Sign up here to take our free Content Marketing Certification course and learn about content creation, strategy, and promotion. Blog Optimization Focus on 1–2 long-tail keywords that match the intent of your target readerInclude your 1–2 keywords in specific parts of your post.Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly and responsive.Optimize your meta description, and use all the space.Optimize your images with image alt text.Don’t use too many similar topic tags.Use URL structures that help your visitors.Link internally when possible.Use Google’s Search Console.Use topic clusters.Create evergreen content.Repurpose or update your current content and remove outdated content. Free Guide Topics: 11. Continually create and publish evergreen content.When planning and writing your blog articles, ensure it’s evergreen content. Meaning, the content is about topics that are sure to remain relevant and valuable over a long period of time (with only minor changes or updates). Let’s look at a few reasons why evergreen content is so important:It’ll help you rank over time, not just the near future.It contributes to steady amounts of traffic coming to your blog (and website) long after it’s date of publication.It’ll help you generate leads over time as a result of the traffic it continually generates.All blog content — whether it’s a long-form article, how-to guide, FAQ, tutorial, and so on — should be evergreen. Even the images you use in these posts should be evergreen. Check out this blog post for some examples of and ideas for evergreen content on your blog.12. Repurpose or update your current content and remove outdated content.To improve your SEO, you may assume you need to create new blog content. Although that’s partially true, you should also focus a great deal of your time and energy on your existing blog content. Specifically, repurposing and updating your current content, as well as removing your outdated content.This is because it takes a lot longer for a completely new piece of content to settle on the search engine results page (SERP) and gain authority, whereas you could update a piece of content and reap the benefits fairly immediately in comparison.Not only will your updated content rank on the SERP faster, improving your number of visitors and leads, it also takes a lot less time and fewer resources to update an existing piece of content rather than create a brand new article.Additionally, updating and repurposing some of your most successful pieces of content extends it’s lifespan so you can achieve the best results over a longer period of time (especially if it’s evergreen content).The final part to this entails removing your outdated content that’s no longer relevant to your audience. Although your goal is to ensure your content is evergreen, some of it is bound to become outdated over time. This includes statistics, product information (if you have any listed in your blogs — as your products and business evolve), or information that changes across your industry over time.Your rule of thumb should be if it no longer fits, and updating it doesn’t make sense or work for the situation, simply remove it.Optimize Your Blog ContentWe don’t expect you to incorporate each of these SEO best practices into your content strategy right away. But, as your website grows, so should your goals on search engines. Then you’ll be able to do some link building to get other websites to link back to your blog. Once you identify the goals and intent of your ideal readers, you’ll be on track to deliver content organically that is always relevant to them. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is incredibly important for marketers. When you optimize your web pages — including your blog posts — you’re making your website more visible to people who are entering keywords associated with your product or service via search engines like Google.But does your blog content really help your business organically rank on search engines? Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates Now Optimize the Past: The Secret to Doubling Blog Traffic & Leads Blogging helps boost SEO quality by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers’ questions. Blog posts that specifically use a variety of on-page SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site. Now, let’s take a look at the 12 blog SEO tips that you can take advantage of to enhance your content’s searchability. Does blogging help with SEO? Note: This list doesn’t cover every SEO rule under the sun. Rather, the following 12 SEO tips are the on-page factors to get you started with an SEO strategy for your blog.1. Focus on 1–2 long-tail keywords that match the intent of your target reader.Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this actually hurts your SEO because search engines consider this keyword stuffing (i.e., including keywords as much as possible with the sole purpose of ranking highly in organic search).It also doesn’t make for a good reader experience — a ranking factor that search engines now prioritize to ensure you’re answering the intent of your visitors. Therefore, you should use keywords in your content in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced.A good rule of thumb is to focus on one or two long-tail keywords per blog post. While you can use more than one keyword in a single post, keep the focus of the post narrow enough to allow you to spend time optimizing for just one or two keywords.You may be wondering: Why long-tail keywords?These longer, often question-based keywords keep your post focused on the specific goals of your audience. For example, the long-tail keyword “how to write a blog post” is much more impactful in terms of SEO than the short keyword “blog post”.Website visitors searching long-tail keywords are more likely to read the whole post and then seek more information from you. In other words, they’ll help you generate right type of traffic — visitors who convert.2. Include these 1–2 keywords in specific parts of your post.Now that you’ve got your one or two keywords, it’s time to incorporate them in your blog post. Where are the best parts of your posts to include these terms so you rank high in search results?There are four essential places where you should try to include your keywords: title tag, headers & body, URL, and meta description.Title TagThe title (i.e., headline) of your blog post will be a search engine’s and reader’s first step in determining the relevancy of your content. So, including a keyword here is vital. Google calls this the “title tag” in a search result.Be sure to include your keyword within the first 60 characters of your title, which is just about where Google cuts titles off on the SERP. Technically, Google measures by pixel width, not character count, and it recently increased the pixel width for organic search results from approximately 500 pixels to 600 pixels, which translates to around 60 characters.Long title tag? When you have a lengthy headline, it’s a good idea to get your keyword in the beginning since it might get cut off in SERPs toward the end, which can take a toll on your post’s perceived relevancy.In the example below, we had a long title that went over 65 characters, so we front-loaded it with the keyword for which we were trying to rank: “on-page SEO.”Headers & BodyMention your keyword at a normal cadence throughout the body of your post and in the headers. That means including your keywords in your copy, but only in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don’t go overboard at the risk of being penalized for keyword stuffing.Before you start writing a new blog post, you’ll probably think about how to incorporate your keywords into your post. That’s a smart idea, but it shouldn’t be your only focus, nor even your primary focus.Whenever you create content, your primary focus should be on what matters to your audience, not how many times you can include a keyword or keyword phrase in that content. Focus on being helpful and answering whatever question your customer might’ve asked to arrive on your post. Do that, and you’ll usually find you naturally optimize for important keywords, anyway.URLSearch engines also look to your URL to figure out what your post is about, and it’s one of the first things it’ll crawl on a page. You have a huge opportunity to optimize your URLs on every post you publish, as every post lives on its unique URL — so make sure you include your one to two keywords in it.In the example below, we created the URL using the long-tail keyword for which we were trying to rank: “email marketing examples.”Meta DescriptionYour meta description is meant to give search engines and readers information about your blog post’s content. Meaning, you must use your long-tail term so Google and your audience are clear on your post’s content.At the same time, keep in mind the copy matters a great deal for click-through rates because it satisfies certain readers’ intent — the more engaging, the better.3. Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly (or has a responsive design).Did you know more people use a search engine from their mobile phones than from a computer?And for all those valuable search queries being done on mobile, Google displays the mobile-friendly results first. This is yet another example of Google heavily favoring mobile-friendly websites — which has been true ever since the company updated its Penguin algorithm in April 2015.(HubSpot customers: Breathe easy. All content created on HubSpot’s platform is automatically responsive to mobile devices.)So, how do you make your blog mobile-friendly? By using responsive design. Websites that are responsive to mobile allow blog pages to have just one URL instead of two — one for desktop and one for mobile, respectively. This helps your post’s SEO because any inbound links that come back to your site won’t be divided between the separate URLs.As a result, you’ll centralize the SEO power you gain from these links, helping Google more easily recognize your post’s value and rank it accordingly.Pro tip: What search engines value is constantly changing. Be sure you’re keeping on top of these changes by subscribing to Google’s official blog.4. Optimize the meta description and use all the space.To review, a meta description is the additional text that appears in SERPs that lets readers know what the link is about. The meta description gives searchers information they need to determine whether or not your content is what they’re looking for and ultimately helps them decide if they’ll click or not.The maximum length of this meta description is greater than it once was — now around 300 characters — suggesting it wants to give readers more insight into what each result will give them.So, in addition to being reader-friendly (compelling and relevant), your meta description should include the long-tail keyword for which you are trying to rank.In the following example, I searched for “email newsletter examples.”The term is bolded in the meta description, helping readers make the connection between the intent of their search term and this result. You’ll also see the term “E-Newsletter” bolded, indicating that Google knows there’s a semantic connection between “email newsletter” and “E-Newsletter.”Note: Nowadays, it’s not guaranteed that your meta description is always pulled into SERPs as it once was. As you can see in the above image, Google pulls in other parts of your blog post that includes the keywords searched, presumably to give searchers optimal context around how the result matches their specific query.Let me show you another example. Below is an example of two different search queries delivering two different snippets of text on Google SERPs. The first is a result of the query “no index no follow,” and pulls in the original meta description:The second is a result of the query “noindex nofollow,” and pulls in the first instance of these specific keywords coming up in the body of the blog post:While there’s not much you can do to influence what text gets pulled in, you should continue to optimize this metadata, as well as your post, so search engines display the best content from the article. By creating reader-friendly content with natural keyword inclusion, you’ll make it easier for Google to prove your post’s relevancy in SERPs for you.5. Optimize your images with image alt text.Blog posts shouldn’t only contain text — they should also include images that help explain and support your content. However, search engines don’t simply look for images. Rather, they look for images with image alt text. Meaning, to ensure your images benefit your blog’s SEO, you’ll need to ensure you include image alt text.You may be wondering why this is. Since search engines can’t “see” images the same way humans can, an image’s alt text tells the search engine what an image is about. This ultimately helps those images rank in the search engine’s images results page.Image alt text also makes for better user experience (UX) — it displays inside the image container when an image can’t be found or displayed and can improve accessibility for people with poor vision who are using screen readers. Technically, alt text is an attribute that can be added to an image tag in HTML.Here’s what a complete image tag might look like (bolding added for emphasis):image-descriptionWhen you incorporate image alt text, an image’s name in your blog may go from something like, “IMG23940” to something accurate and descriptive such as “puppies playing in a basket.”Image alt text should be descriptive in a helpful way — meaning, it should provide the search engine with context to index the image if it’s in a blog article related to a similar topic.To provide more context, here’s a list of things to be sure you keep in mind when creating alt text for your blog’s images:Describe the imageLeave out “image of… “— begin the image description, insteadBe specific in your descriptionKeep it under 125 charactersUse your keywords (but avoid keyword stuffing)HubSpot customers: The SEO Panel will recognize whether or not you have optimized your images. Though these elements are not as important as some other optimizations, they’re still necessary (not to mention, easy to add).6. Don’t use too many similar topic tags.Topic tags can help organize your blog content, but if you overuse them, they can actually be harmful. If you have too many similar tags, you may get penalized by search engines for having duplicate content.Think of it this way, when you create a topic tag (which is simple if you’re a HubSpot user, as seen here), you also create a new site page where the content from those topic tags will appear. If you use too many similar tags for the same content, it appears to search engines as if you’re showing the content multiple times throughout your website. For example, topic tags like “blogging,” “blog,” and “blog posts” are too similar to one another to be used on the same post.If you’re worried that your current blog posts have too many similar tags, take some time to clean them up. Choose about 15–25 topic tags that you think are important to your blog and that aren’t too similar to one another. Then only tag your posts with those keywords. That way, you won’t have to worry about duplicate content.7. Use URL structures that help your visitors.The URL structure of your web pages (which are different from the specific URLs of your posts) should make it easy for your visitors to understand the structure of your website and the content they’re about to see. Search engines favor web page URLs that make it easier for them and website visitors to understand the content on the page.This differentiation is baked into the HubSpot blogs’ respective URL structures. If I decided to go to the Marketing section from this main page, I would be taken to the URL http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing.If we want to read the Sales section, all we have to do is change where it says “marketing” in the URL to “sales”: http://blog.hubspot.com/sales. This URL structure helps me understand that “/marketing” and “/sales” are smaller sections — called subdirectories — within the larger blog.What if there’s a specific article we want to read, such as “How to Do Keyword Research: A Beginner’s Guide”? Its URL structure — http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-do-keyword-research-ht — denotes that it’s an article from the Marketing section of the blog.In this way, URL structure acts as a categorization system for readers, letting them know where they are on the website and how to access new site pages. Search engines appreciate this, as it makes it easier for them to identify exactly what information searchers will access on different parts of your blog or website.8. Link internally when possible.Inbound links to your content help show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content. The same goes for linking internally to other pages on your website. If you’ve written about a topic that’s mentioned in your blog post on another blog post, ebook, or web page, it’s a best practice to link to that page.(You might’ve noticed that I’ve been doing that from time to time throughout this blog post when I think it’s helpful for our readers.) Not only will internal linking help keep visitors on your website, but it also surfaces your other relevant and authoritative pages to search engines.HubSpot customers: The SEO Panel automatically suggests linking to other internal resources on your website.You can think of this as solving for your SEO while also helping your visitors get more information from your content.9. Use Google’s Search Console.Google’s free Search Console contains a section called the Search Analytics Report. This report helps you analyze clicks from Google Search — it’s useful to determine which keywords people are using to find your blog content. You can also learn how to use Google Search Console by reading this blog post written by my colleague Matthew Barby, and by checking out Google’s official support page.If you’re interested in optimizing your best-performing older blog posts for traffic and leads like we’ve been doing since 2015, this tool can help identify low-hanging fruit.Remember, many content marketers struggle with optimizing their blog posts for search. The truth is, your blog posts won’t start ranking immediately. It takes time to build up search authority.But, when you publish blog posts frequently and consistently optimize them for search while maintaining an intent-based reader experience, you’ll reap the rewards in the form of traffic and leads long-term.10. Use topic clusters.The way most blogs are currently structured (including our own blogs, until very recently), bloggers and SEOs have worked to create individual blog posts that rank for specific keywords.This makes things unorganized and difficult for blog visitors to find the exact information they need. It also results in your URLs competing against one another in search engine rankings when you produce multiple blog posts about similar topics.Here’s what our blog architecture used to look like using this old playbook:Now, in order to rank in search and best answer the new types of queries searchers are submitting, the solution is the topic cluster model.For this model to work, choose the broad topics for which you want to rank. Then, create content based on specific keywords related to that topic that all link to each other to establish broader search engine authority.This is what our blog infrastructure looks like now, with the topic cluster model. Specific topics are surrounded by blog posts related to the greater topic, connected to other URLs in the cluster via hyperlinks:This model uses a more deliberate site architecture to organize and link URLs together to help more pages on your site rank in Google — and to help searchers find information on your site more easily. This architecture consists of three components — pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks:We know this is a fairly new concept, so for more details, check out our research on the topic, take our SEO training or the video below.last_img read more

ICC Test rankings: Steve Smith overtakes Kane Williamson, closes in on Virat Kohli

first_imgAustralia’s Steve Smith gained one place to reach the second position among batsmen while India skipper Virat Kohli retained his number one position in the latest ICC Test batsmen’s rankings.Steve Smith went on to score a valiant 92 in Lord’s Test after hitting successive centuries to steer Australia to a 251 run win over England in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.Despite being banned for a year, Smith replaced Kane Williamson and is only nine points behind table-topper Virat Kohli.Pat Cummins, meanwhile, has strengthened his hold on the ICC Test Rankings for Bowlers, reaching career-high ranking points.Several Australians have made noteworthy strides in the batting rankings owing to their performances in the ongoing Ashes series. Travis Head climbed two spots to No.18, while Marnus Labuschagne has jumped 16 spots on the table to be No.82.Their English rivals, notably Ben Stokes (six spots up to No.26), Jonny Bairstow (seven spots up to No.30) and Rory Burns (17 spots up to No.64) have made advances too.However, Australia’s top-order players David Warner (down four), Usman Khawaja and Cameron Bancroft (both down five) have lost out.Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne, whose brilliant 122 in the first Test helped his team claim a six-wicket win over New Zealand, has broken into the top 10, climbing four spots to No.8, the highest he has been in his seven-year Test career.Among bowlers, Archer, who returned match figures of 5/91 in his debut Test at Lord’s, has broken through in the rankings to 83rd. Jack Leach, who was playing only his sixth Test, climbed eight spots to be No.40. The left-arm spinner, who made his Test debut against New Zealand last year, has already picked up 24 wickets at an average of 24.16.advertisementAlso Read | I want to be 100 percent fit: Steve Smith on availability for 3rd Ashes TestAlso Read | Ashes 2019: Australia PM blasts English fans for booing injured Steve SmithAlso See:last_img read more

England add Ollie Pope to Ashes squad as cover for Jason Roy ahead of 3rd Test

first_imgEngland’s Ollie Pope has been added to their squad as cover for fellow batsman Jason Roy ahead of the third Ashes test against Australia starting at Headingley on Thursday, his county side Surrey said on Wednesday.Roy was struck on the neck during training on Tuesday and although the 29-year-old passed required concussion protocols on Wednesday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has decided to have an extra option at the top of the order.Surrey confirmed 21-year-old Pope’s inclusion in a tweet.Ollie Pope has been called up to Leeds to act as standby for Jason Roy for the third #Ashes Test and will play no further part in our @CountyChamp match with @hantscricket. pic.twitter.com/LCxQ5sbuHSSurrey Cricket (@surreycricket) August 21, 2019Pope has played only two tests in his career — both against India last year — scoring 54 runs in three innings before picking up a shoulder injury that required surgery.He scored an unbeaten 221 off 337 balls in the County Championship clash against Hampshire at The Oval on Wednesday before heading to Leeds.Australia batsman Steve Smith was ruled out of the third test due to the concussion he suffered at Lord’s in the drawn second test.The visitors lead the series 1-0 having won the first test by 251 runs.Also Read | Ashes 3rd Test: Getting batting order right key for England in Steve Smith absenceAlso see:last_img read more

Shreyas Iyer- the solution to India’s long-standing No.4 problem

first_img8 sixes, a strike-rate of 183.05 at an average of 54. Those are Shreyas Iyer’s stats from the just-concluded T20I series vs Bangladesh. While Iyer finished with the highest strike-rate amongst batsmen from both sides in the series, what was more important from India’s point of view was the fact that he did all this while batting at No. 4 in the batting order. Yes, the same position which has proved to be India’s Achilles heel of late.Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant are just a few of the numerous players India had tried in their never-ending search for a suitable No. 4 spot. But none of the above names could lay an outright claim to the crucial batting position in the limited number of chances that they got as India were eliminated in the World Cup 2019 semi-final. Meanwhile, Iyer had to bear the disappointment of being left out of the World Cup squadAfter the World Cup ouster, India persisted with Pant at No. 4 in white-ball cricket. In 7 outings since the semi-final, Pant managed to cross 20 just once – during his 65* vs West Indies at Providence. Fair to say, his performances with the bat failed to inspire confidence among the team management.During the same time, Iyer scored 2 match-winning half-centuries in the 4 chances he got while playing at No. 5. That’s probably when the team management decided to bump Iyer a spot above. And the refreshing effects were for all to see during the 1st T20I vs Bangladesh.Coming in at 36/2, Iyer showed positive intent early on in his innings as he launched the spinner Aminul Islam for 2 monstrous sixes in his first 8 balls. For viewers, it was a welcome shift in the Indian strategy of looking to consolidate early on before going for the big hits later in the innings. Even though Iyer was dismissed after scoring 22, his innings was a good glimpse of what lied in store for Indian fans in the future. In the 2nd match in Rajkot, Iyer (24* off 13) was at his prolific best again as he completed the winning formalities after Rohit Sharma’s whirlwind 85 had brought India close to victory.advertisementIt was, however, not till the series decider vs Bangladesh in Nagpur on Sunday that Iyer truly looked like he belonged to the No. 4 spot. The stage was set for the right-hander to guide the Indian innings after the side had lost both the openers inside the powerplay. On a slow VCA pitch, Iyer judged the conditions pretty early and eschewed the big shots while Rahul kept finding the boundaries. It wasn’t until the 11th over of the innings and off the 13th ball he faced that Iyer hit the ball in the air. But when he tried it against – yes you guessed it, Aminul – the ball sailed into the night sky for a 6. That moment onwards, Iyer didn’t take a step backward and was particularly severe on the spinners, hitting Afif Hossain for 3 successive 6s in the 15th over. By the time he was dismissed for 62 off just 33 balls, India had progressed to 144 in the 17th over and were looking at a 170+ total.Really happy with how tonight turned out.. It’s a special night for me, one I won’t forget.. thanks for all the wishes #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/9Z3m1Xr1ORShreyas Iyer (@ShreyasIyer15) November 10, 2019″For me personally, they (team management) have given me a heads up that ‘You’ll be there at No.4. So just back yourself and believe in yourself’. It has been a really important last few series for me to set the benchmark at the No. 4 position, which all of us are competing for, at the moment,” Iyer said at the post-match press conference.Iyer went on to highlight the importance of the No. 4 spot and how he had adapted to the game situation at different times.”Even if Kohli and Rohit get out, we need someone to finish the game and bat till the end.’ That is a No. 4’s role. That’s what I was trying to replicate today and it worked out really well for me. I am really open-minded and can bat at any number. So I just like to back myself in tough situations and today’s innings showed that I can bat under pressure as well, explained Iyer.Though it’s early days but Iyer’s approach does seem to inspire the confidence that he can shoulder the responsibility of the No. 4 position in the near future for India, especially with next year’s T20 World Cup already on the radar. What the team needs to continue doing is backing the batsman to do his job the way he feels right. On Iyer’s part, this might finally be the moment when he cements his permanent place in the Indian team.advertisementAlso Read | Deepak Chahar credits Rohit Sharma for giving him confidence to bowl crucial oversAlso Read | Rohit Sharma’s pep-talk got us motivated to win 3rd T20I: Shreyas Iyer after series win vs Bangladeshlast_img read more