Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media moves at the speed of light, so if you’re just getting started now, there are conceivably tons of nuances you may have missed. Many people seek out sketchy or outdated Google results instead of asking someone, because they feel these are things they should already know the answer to. Well we think that’s just not the best approach, so we compiled a list of those simple social media questions that people seem pretty timid to ask and are providing you the answers so you never again have to perform a panicked Google search or blindly nod your head in agreement during a marketing meeting.Answers to Your Google+ Questions1.) Where do I go to create a Google+ business page?Visit http://plus.google.com/pages/create to get started, and remember that you need a Google account to set up a page. Find more detailed instructions here.2.) What is the difference between a Google+ Page and a Google+ Profile?A Google+ Profile is for people, while a Google+ Page is for an entity (like your business!).3.) Can I add multiple page administrators?At this time, no. Until this functionality is added, a workaround is creating a team Gmail email address like firstname.lastname@example.org and using this to create your Google+ page. That way, multiple people on your team have access and management of your page is not limited to one person.4.) What is Direct Connect?Direct Connect allows searchers to immediately find a Google+ Page in Google search and add it to their Google+ Circles by searching +brandname. Right now, not all Google+ Pages that apply for Direct Connect functionality are given it, but everyone can and should make their page eligible so they are ready when functionality rolls out to everyone.5.) How do I become eligible for Direct Connect?The easiest way is to add your website link to your Google+ Page and add a snippet of code to your site, explained in more detail on Google’s support site.6.) Can my Google+ Page add people to Circles or +1 content?It depends. If someone mentions you or adds you to their Circles first, then your Google+ Page can Circle them. Otherwise, you cannot add people to your Google+ Page Circles. As for +1’ing content, no, you cannot +1 content as a Google+ Page.7.) Can I add someone to more than once Circle?You sure can!8.) What’s an Extended Circle?Extended Circles refer to your Circles’ Circles, so content a Google+ user shares with their extended circles will also appear in the incoming stream of people from whom they are one degree removed. Only Profiles can share via Extended Circles though — not Pages.9.) Can all business pages participate in a Google+ Hangout, and is there an attendee limit? Yes, all business pages can make use of the Google+ Hangout feature, but unfortunately the limit is 9 people for almost everyone. Google+ is experimenting with a feature called Hangouts on Air that will remedy this problem and allow people who aren’t participating to simply watch the Hangout, but it is not available yet.10.) Do Google+ Pages and posts appear in search results?Yes, both the pages and posts appear in search results, which is why integrating Google+ into your social media strategy can also help your SEO. Google continues to roll out more ways in which Google+ is integrated into search results, with four new developments in just the past few weeks.Answers to Your Twitter Questions11.) Can I change my Twitter username?Yes, you can! Simply go to the ‘Account’ tab on Twitter, and you’ll see a field to change your username. Doing this will not wipe out your tweets or followers.12.) Should I follow back everyone who follows me? There is not an established industry best practice on this, but let’s throw down a definitive answer on whether you should follow someone on Twitter. No, you should not follow back everyone who follows you. However, if that person provides useful or interesting tweets, you should absolutely follow them. Also, keep in mind that being stingy with your follow-backs makes you look…well…stingy. And that’s not a good look on anyone.13.) What is a #hashtag, and how do I use it?A #hashtag is a way to organize topics and make them easier to filter in Twitter search results. For example, HubSpot uses the hashtag #HoHoHubspot in holiday tweets to indicate the tweet is holiday related, to make it easier for people to find our holiday content on Twitter, and so they can also tag inbound marketing related holiday content in tweets of their own. Using #hashtags is also a great idea for online and offline events, so people at the event and those not in attendance can follow the conversations happening around the event.14.) How do I use an @reply?An @reply is a public message sent from one Twitter user to another. You can do this by putting another user’s Twitter username after @ somewhere within the body of the tweet. A user’s @mentions will appear in the tab @username on that user’s homepage. Again, this is not private, so don’t say anything you’re not comfortable saying to the world!15.) How do I use a direct message (DM)?If you need to message another Twitter user in a more private way than the @reply allows, opt for a direct message. These can be sent by clicking the Message link, or typing D Username into the “What’s Happening” field. Think of this as Twitter email.16.) What is a TweetChat?Also known as a Twitter Chat, a TweetChat is a conversation that happens on Twitter during a pre-designated date and time, usually centered around an industry topic and aggregated through use of a #hashtag. For example, HubSpot hosts tweet chats around marketing topics like search engine optimization with the hashtag #InboundChat.17.) How do I personalize a retweet?You can quickly retweet (RT) someone else’s tweet by clicking the arrows on the bottom of that tweet, but unfortunately, this doesn’t let you personalize the tweet. Instead, perform a manual retweet in four steps by copying the tweet and username, replacing the username with an @reply, typing RT at the front, and adding in your commentary.18.) What are Twitter Lists, and how do I use them?Twitter Lists let you group together the tweet streams of people you’re most interested in. Create a new list, name it according to those you’ll add, and simply input their Twitter usernames to create a more targeted stream of content. These can be private or public, so others can also follow your lists.19.) How do I find people to follow?Your follow list will grow organically over time, but the ‘Who to Follow’ feature on Twitter is a great place to start if you need suggestions. Type in industry keywords and keywords related to topics that interest you. You can also search for the names of people in your industry that you know to see who they are following.20.) What are Favorites and how do I use them?Think of Favorites like Twitter bookmarking. When you hover your mouse over a tweet you want to Favorite, click the star so it becomes yellow. That tweet will appear in your Favorites tab on Twitter, and can be referred back to for useful links, kind comments about you or your company, or important pieces of data.Answers to Your Facebook Questions21.) What’s the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page?As with Google+, a Facebook Profile is for a person, while a Facebook Page is for an entity, like your company.22.) Oops, I set up a profile instead! Can I transfer it to a page?Yes, Facebook released a Profile to Business Page Migration Tool this year that lets you do this without losing followers or alerting them of the change. However, your page content and photos are not migrated over. If you have fewer than 100 friends, you also have the option to rename your business page.23.) When I set up my Facebook Page, can it have more than one administrator?Yes, as long as each administrator has their own Facebook account. Go to ‘Applications,’ then select ‘Page Manager’ to add someone else as a page administrator.24.) How do I claim my page’s vanity URL?First, you need to have at least 25 Likes (fans) for your page. Once you reach this milestone, go to http://facebook.com/username, click ‘Select a Username,’ enter your desired username, press ‘Check Availability,’ and confirm your username once you find the one you like.25.) What exactly does the ‘Talking About This’ number on my page measure?’Talking About This’ can be found under the number of Likes on your Facebook Page, and it measures user-initiated activity related to that page. This includes things like: posting to your wall, liking your content, commenting on your content, sharing your posts, sharing content on your page, sharing or mentioning your page, or checking in with you.26.) What’s the pricing structure for paid Facebook Ads?Facebook Ads run slightly different than Google’s PPC ads. Facebook will let you choose a CPM model, in which you pay per thousand ad impressions, or a CPC model, in which you pay for clicks. Click-through rate on Facebook ads is usually low, so a CPC model will likely be the least expensive.Answers to Your LinkedIn Questions 27.) Can I customize the anchor text in the ‘Websites’ section of my profile? How?Yes, and you should, because inbound links to your website with good anchor text drive more traffic. To do so, click ‘Edit’ next to the ‘Website’ field on your profile, and select ‘Other’ in the dropdown menu to customize the anchor text.28.) Can I message people on LinkedIn if we’re not connected?You can only message people if you have a first degree connection with them or you hold a Premium (paid) account. If you do have a Premium Account, you can do it using OpenLink if the user you’re attempting to message allows it.29.) How can I see who is viewing my profile?You can only see who is viewing your profile if you let them see when you view theirs. To allow this, click ‘Settings’ and select “See what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”30.) How do I activate status updates for my Company Page?From your Company Page, click ‘Edit’ under ‘Admin Tools.’ If checked, uncheck the box that says “All employees with a valid email registered to the company domain.” Then select the ‘Designated Users Only’ button, and designate who you would like to be an admin under ‘Manage Admins.’ Only the people you designate as admins will be able to administrate the status updates on your Company Page.31.) How do I pull in my blog’s RSS feed to my LinkedIn Company Page?Blog feeds can be added to Company Pages via an app called Blog Link. More LinkedIn apps are available in the LinkedIn Apps section of the Learning Center, including a tweet app, a poll app, and a SlideShare app, all of which are excellent additions to turn your LinkedIn company page into an inbound marketing machine.What simple social media questions have you always wanted an answer to? Share questions and answers to your burning questions in a judgment free zone!Image credit: Andréias, Bruce Clay, Inc, topgold, dearanxiety, ekelly89 Topics: Originally published Dec 7, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Social Media
Are you doing anything this weekend to generate traffic to your website? If you’re a B2B marketer, chances are you’ve probably asked yourself at some point: How do I keep marketing effectively when nobody is in the office? You want to continue to drive traffic and leads, but you don’t know exactly how.The wrong thing to do is assume that nobody is listening on holidays or during weekends. Depending on your audience, this could actually be a good time for a new blog post, video release, or email. Data from a recent Xobni survey shows that people are still wired into work during time off: 68% of working adults say they check email while they aren’t working, and 27% of those people will check email more than once.Here are some tips on how you can use this knowledge to the advantage of your marketing program.Be Creative in Your CommunicationsTry something a little zany, and see what happens. Marketing on a day off can sometimes work in your favor because there’s less clutter in people’s inboxes and social media feeds. It could also make your job a lot harder because people don’t want to be bothered. This means you’ve gotta step it up!The email below is a great example of what we’re talking about. Aside from witty copy, the sender has an extra special offer:The result of a creative message like this is not only traffic and leads to your site, but it’s also an entertained email recipient. The readers of this email probably felt lucky even though they were working on holiday. And if your readers feel lucky to be getting an email from you on a day off, that’s a wonderful thing! Think of creative ways you can stand out in your audience’s social media feeds and inboxes during off-times or holidays by playing with witty language and special offers. Test and Measure Your Marketing TacticsIf you’re going to try out some out-of-the-box communication tactics, you’re going to want to walk away from the experience with some lessons learned. The best way to do this is to take a scientific approach through which you can use testing and data to drive future decisions.An excellent example of a company that tried this is Brewer’s Market. The test was featured on subscription site WhichTestWon.com as an example of how to test during the holidays. The goal was to determine which copy was most appealing to gift-buyers. The company did an A/B split test on its homepage and found that its control page performed 61% better than the treatment page from December 16th to the 23rd. The article concludes with an excellent insight: Although in hindsight, it makes sense to adjust your copy length and benefits for your seasonal visitors’ perspective, the idea was a huge point of contention between the site’s execs, some of whom “hated” the winning version… before they saw the results data. Now, their 2012 design plans include tweaked homepage versions for all major holidays from Valentine’s Day on.While this an example of how a business used A/B testing to optimize their homepage for the holiday season, holidays and off-hours are also a safe time to conduct tests in general, due to a reduction in traffic and attention. You’ll just want to make sure you’re still generating enough traffic to make your tests statistically significant.Don’t Quit on Content Just because it’s the weekend or a holiday doesn’t mean your audience will completely stay away from the internet (in fact, we’ve heard of some people even using work as an excuse to take a break from a lot of family time). Maybe your audience just prefers to use Twitter more on the weekends. The only way to find out is to try using a variety of channels and analyze what works best for your individual audience. QuickenLoans, for example, recently used its blog during the quietest week of the holiday season to drive traffic to their site. The company posted a series of timely articles, from what to do with unwanted gift cards, to how to handle post-holiday returns, to fireplace alternatives that will keep you cozy and New Year’s Eve safety tips. The takeaway here is that you shouldn’t stop publishing content when people are out of the office. Instead, you should adjust your content so that it’s timely and promoted using the channels your audience uses during their time off. Use Data to Make Informed DecisionsIf you know a certain segment of your audience is more likely to be working on Sundays (young and hungry entrepreneurs perhaps), you can use that knowledge to drive your decisions and create targeted, relevant content directed toward that segment. Likewise, if you know a certain demographic is going to be annoyed by certain messaging over the holidays, you can avoid a bad situation. The Xobni survey found that younger adults between the ages of 18 to 44 were most likely to feel annoyed or frustrated about receiving work-related emails during the holidays.You can learn more about your audience’s preferences by observing which demographics convert on certain days. If your landing page forms ask the right demographic questions, you can export your lead data, along with the conversion dates, and do tons of great analysis like figuring out exactly who converts on Saturday mornings? Knowing that will help you identify the kinds of people you should hit with your Saturday morning email send, for example.Show Your Brand’s PersonalityHolidays and weekends are the perfect time to lighten things up, have a little fun, and show off the part of your brand’s personality that makes it relatable to your audience. Google is known for doing this and doing it well. Its most recent treat was an interactive Google logo that played “Jingle Bells.” This past Halloween, HubSpot released a video of our very own flash mob, complete with zombies and gore, to the soundtrack of Michael Jackson’s hit, “Thriller.” Not only did we have a blast making the video, but we also managed to give our audience a Halloween treat and show off our brand’s unique personality.Have you had any success with marketing during the holidays or off hours? What worked (or didn’t work) for you? Topics: Inbound Marketing Originally published Jan 27, 2012 6:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Social Media Fails Originally published Sep 17, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: It may feel like a fustercluck, but there are actually some rules and regulations that go along with participating in social media. Not the kind that ban people from uploading pictures of their meals (PB&J no crust today guys! #omgsohungry), but the ones that help alleviate things like spamming, bad content, and a poor community experience. You know, the things that help make social media a nice place to be.It’s not a perfect system the social networks have worked out, but it’s important for marketers to know — because believe it or not, lots of marketers are breaking these rules and don’t even know it. And it breaks our hearts to see marketers giving an honest go of social media get banned from the networks … and then not even know why the heck it happened.This post will review the policies the most popular social networks have set up — some more stringent than others — that we think you should be aware of. And we tried to put them in plain English, too, devoid of confusing and boring legal babble. If you’re accidentally breaking any of these rules, at least now you can put the kibosh on your illicit activities before it’s too late!How Marketers Can Get Banned From PinterestIf you’re curious how the newest social network on the block works, we encourage you to read its Terms & Privacy page in full. But for a quick reality check, here are the guidelines marketers should remember when pinning to ensure they stay in Pinterest’s good graces:1) Grabbing another company’s account name. When you open an account on Pinterest, you’re indicating that you are authorized to act on behalf of that company. So if you’re not an employee of that company, you’re not authorized. And if you get caught, you’re not allowed on Pinterest anymore, either.2) Pinning copyrighted content. Any content you post cannot infringe on the rights of the content creator. Make sure it’s either content you’ve created yourself, or content you have a license to share. That means if you’re posting an image from your blog post, that better be copyright-free!3) Automating your Pinterest content. Marketers can’t use an automated service to post content to their pinboards, repin or like other pinners’ content, or create links. All the rewards you reap from Pinterest, in other words, have to come from your own hard work! Note: If you pin a ton of content from one URL all in one sitting — let’s say you just published a blog post with a ton of great images, for example — you may be prompted by Pinterest to verify that you’re not a bot. Just fill it in and keep on keepin’ on.4) Scraping content from Pinterest. On a similar note, you can’t use automation to scrape content from Pinterest. Whether you wanted to use it in blog posts, on your Facebook page, to get a list of links — whatever — you can’t do it. Again, any information or content gathered has to be done manually.5) Scraping for contacts. Any contacts you get from Pinterest have to be opt-ins; as in, they have to come to your site and fill out a form saying they want to hear more from you. Scraping Pinterest for pinners’ personal information so you can market to them later is strictly prohibited.6) Spamming posts. Just like you shouldn’t be spamming the comments sections of blogs, you shouldn’t be spamming the comments sections of pins.7) Putting links in the wrong place. Pinterest wants you to include links in your pins so pinners can follow the links to get more information on a pin. But they only want it in the right place. When you pin an image, click ‘Edit,’ where you’ll find a field labeled ‘Link.’ Put your link anywhere else and you may get banned.8) Don’t get banned. If you’ve been banned once, you’re banned for life. Or as Pinterest puts it, “the Service is not available to any users previously removed from the service by Pinterest.” So, tread lightly.How Marketers Can Get Banned From LinkedInLinkedIn’s rules aren’t as stringent as the ones we’ve seen on other social networks — perhaps the B2B playground hasn’t gotten quite so out of hand. You can read LinkedIn’s User Agreement in full, or just browse these highlights that jump out for marketers:1) Connecting with people you don’t know. Seriously! You have to actually know the people you connect with on LinkedIn, or they can boot ya right off!2) Posting copyrighted content to forums. Whether it’s your LinkedIn Group, LinkedIn Company Page, or on LinkedIn Answers, you can’t publish information that violates others’ intellectual property rights. This one won’t get you banned, but LinkedIn can remove the content and close your group or page. Additionally, LinkedIn will terminate the accounts of users who have been “deemed to be repeat infringers under the United States Copyright Act.” You know who you are.3) Using LinkedIn messages as an ESP. LinkedIn messages are not to be used for mass emailing. This constitutes a misuse of service, and can get you kicked off the network.4) Putting links and email addresses where they don’t belong. You get to fill out your profile however you want, as long as it’s accurate. So if you put, say, a link to your blog in, oh I don’t know, the ‘Name’ field … you’re gonna get shut down pretty fast.5) Selling your LinkedIn presence. Built up a pretty big LinkedIn Group? It might be an asset, but you can’t sell it or monetize it in any way if you want to stay on the social network.6) Using bots to get connections, followers, or members. Just like Pinterest and some other social networks we’re about to cover in this blog post, LinkedIn wants you to grow your reach organically.7) Impersonating another company. Another familiar refrain, brands can’t create a fake profile for a competitor to mess around on. You’ll look stupider doing that than they will, anyway.How Marketers Can Get Banned From TwitterThe full list of Twitter “rules” can be found here: The Twitter Rules. Aptly named, eh? Here are the ones that are most likely to apply to marketers so you don’t get banned by that sweet little tweety bird:1) Impersonating others. If you’re impersonating others in an attempt to mislead other Twitter users, Twitter will not be happy. That means no pretending to be a competitor — that’s a low blow move, anyway.2) Snagging trademarked usernames. Another sketchy move is trying to grab your competitor’s username. If they’ve trademarked the name, Twitter will reclaim it from you on their behalf. Twitter will also suspend you if you’re using trademarked logos on your profile.3) Squatting on handles. Ow, that sounds uncomfortable. This means you can’t grab a Twitter username and not use it. Well, you can, but Twitter will just grab it right back if it remains inactive after 6 months. On a related note, you can’t grab a username for the purposes of selling it.4) Buying or selling Twitter usernames. There can be no transactions made around Twitter usernames at all. The penalty is possible permanent suspension from Twitter — for buyers and sellers.5) Giving yourself an unearned Twitter badge. Twitter has little badges for Promoted Products and Verified Accounts. If you use one of these badges anywhere on your profile — including your profile picture or background image — your profile will be suspended.6) Posting the same thing over and over. If you’re trying to get a tweet visibility, you can’t do it by tweeting it like a maniac, particularly if it’s duplicate content tweeted at specific users. Same goes for links — Twitter will penalize you if they see you tweeting the same link over, and over, and over … and over.7) Following people like a bot would. That means you shouldn’t use a bot to manage your following and unfollowing, nor should you act like a bot when manually following and unfollowing people. Aggressive follow and unfollow behavior — particularly seeing a large amount of people followed and/or unfollowed in a short period of time — will signal to Twitter that something’s amiss.8) Getting followers in sketchy ways. Specifically, those “get followers fast!” schemes. It may get you permanently banned from Twitter.9) Hijacking a hashtag or Trending Topic. If there’s a #hashtag or trending topic blowing up Twitter and you want in on the action, you can’t try to hijack it with unrelated content about your brand. If you do, you could feel the wrath of the mighty blue bird mighty soon.10) Posting links with no context. If your updates are just a slew of links with no personal content to give them context, you’ll not only annoy your followers, but Twitter will also want you off their network.11) Getting ratted out. Sometimes the Twitter community self-polices. If a large number of people are blocking you, or your account has received a lot of SPAM complaints, Twitter will boot you. So play nice out there.How Marketers Can Get Banned From Google+If you’re using Google+, there are a couple surprises in here that you might not have considered. You can read their Google+ Policies & Principles in full here, or catch the biggies below:1) Creating fake pages. Yes, it’s prohibited here, too. Big shock. Moving on.2) Running contests. Ooooh, that’s a new one! You cannot run contests, sweepstakes, offers, or coupons directly on your Google+ page, but you can display a link to those promotions that leads people offsite.3) Aggressive Circling. That’s a … weird phrase. But much like you can’t aggressively follow and unfollow people on Twitter without getting flagged, you can’t Circle a ton of people on Google+ without punishment.4) Altering or adding +1 buttons where they don’t belong. Similar to the Twitter badge rule, you can’t, say, superimpose the Google +1 button on an ad. It’s a misleading way to garner clicks.5) Keyword stuffing. Yes, it can happen here, too! Because Google+ is so closely tied with organic search, the penalties are just as stiff. If you’re trying to rank for a keyword, stuffing it into every Google+ update is not the way to do it.6) Marketing regulated products. If you’re marketing in a regulated industry, such as alcohol, tobacco, medical devices, fireworks, pharmeceuticals, etc., you cannot use Google+ to market those topics.7) Letting your page go dormant. If your Google+ account is dormant for more than 9 months, Google can snatch it right back from ya.How Marketers Can Get Banned From FacebookWe’ve all probably participated in our fair share of complaining about leaving Facebook. But could they force marketers to leave? Maybe, if they start doing any of these things that violate the Facebook Page Guidelines:1) Creating fake accounts. As Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”2) Using bots or scrapers. Well, almost. Facebook says you can’t use them “without our prior permission.” Which basically means no using bots or scrapers … if you had permission, you’d know it.3) Posting copyrighted content. You’ve heard this one a bunch of times in this blog post, and if you do it a bunch of times on Facebook, they have the right to disable your account.4) Naming your page in goofy ways. Facebook has some pretty stringent naming requirements! Your page name cannot consist of solely generic terms, like “pizza,” must use proper grammar and capitalization, may not be in all caps, and may not include character symbols.5) Collecting user data incorrectly. What does that mean, exactly? It means you have to clearly state that it’s your business, not Facebook, collecting their information, and you will obtain their consent before using their data in any way.6) Including calls-to-action in your cover photo. This includes promotions or discounts, requests to ‘Like’ or share your photo, contact information for your business, or generic CTAs like “Tell a Friend.”7) Running contest or promotions outside of a Facebook app. If you want to run a contest or promotion on Facebook, you can only do it through one of their apps — either a Canvas Page or a Facebook App. You also can’t base participation on a requirement that a user take any action with your brand page, such as uploading a photo to your Timeline, or “Liking” a wall post. The only actions that are allowed as a condition of participation are “Liking” a page, connecting to your app, or checking in to a Place. You can’t use any Facebook mechanism, like the ‘Like’ button, in order to vote or register for the promo, either. Finally, you can’t notify winners through Facebook. So basically … you have to jump through a whole lotta hoops if you want to run a promotion or contest on Facebook.Have you unwittingly broken any of these social media rules? Have we missed any that you think marketers should know about?Image credit: emilyrides Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Just because other employees know they Reward your most prolific content creators. Originally published Jan 17, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 create guidelines they can follow contribute content, doesn’t mean they’ll feel comfortable doing so. This might stem from the misconception that they have to write like Shakespeare to get published on, say, your company blog. Let employees contribute to your blog in ways that best suit their talents. That could mean they create a video, an infographic, a SlideShare presentation, present data they’ve researched, or stick with the written blog post we all know and love. For instance, we work alongside a few extremely talented visual content creators, which is why fostered a content culture within their organizations. To create a company culture that celebrates content, it’s incumbent on leaders within your organization to communicate the benefits of being a published author. Explain to employees that having content published under their name will help establish themselves as thought leaders. That’s right, even hand I’ve found that the marketers who are most successful at sustaining a rapid pace of does Being a published thought leader helps them move upward within the company, and grow their careers. , this blog post is going to teach you how you can create a content culture within your company. If your employees can This blog post is written for those experiencing the latter. easily see for themselves how their content is directly contributing To make it easier for everyone to contribute, Creating content shouldn’t be reserved for just Marketing — or even just a couple people within Marketing. It’s natural to want Marketing to have a Encourage different content formats. to important company goals, like hitting Marketing’s leads goal, or Sales hitting their quota, you can bet people will be much more interested in creating content. I mean, how often does someone in, say, Support get to say they had a direct hand in generating new revenue? That’s a pretty good feeling. When I talk with inbound marketers about high quality content While fame is all well and good, sometimes a little friendly competition is all you need to get your company into the content creation spirit. For instance, let’s say you’re interested in getting more content about a particular subject matter on your blog to prepare for a product launch. Hold a contest to see who can write the blog post on that subject matter that gets, say, the most views, and reward the winner with a gift certificate. With a friendly competition like this, you’re winning on all fronts. You’ll get a higher volume of content, from a diverse set of people, on a subject matter that aligns with your goals; employees will get their name in flashing lights, some more thought leadership attached to their name, and maybe, a little moolah, too. In fact, we’ve seen this tactic work well in our favor to encourage contributions to this very blog! Poppycock. The content is a built-in online portfolio they can refer to years down the read. Reward these employees by highlighting their content and the specific results it achieved ( yesterday morning’s blog post was actually a SlideShare presentation Explain the benefit of being a published thought leader. ) in a public way. “Public” could mean your next marketing team meeting, your next company meeting, or even in an internal email or newsletter. Just be sure the content creator is present, and preferably some power players in your company, too 😉 you (Yes! You!) can be a thought leader! Here are a few benefits you can tell them to look forward to, the more they author and publish amazing content: Authoring content gets their name — and how wicked smart they are — visibility with important people, both inside and outside of your organization. ! Because the writer, Ryan Brown, totally rocks at creating visually compelling SlideShare presentations, why force him to write out a 1,000-word blog post when we have beautiful visual content at our fingertips that allows him to contribute to content creation? If they’re in a Sales or customer-facing role, it helps establish credibility with leads and customers. Topics: Finally, remember that your company culture comes from the top down. If you want to foster a culture that encourages content creation, that needs to come from the top down, too. Employees Communicate (and celebrate!) the bottom-line results can While enabling and encouraging content creation will help get people started, it won’t keep people going in the long term. To keep your entire company enthusiastic about the importance of contributing to content creation efforts, use numbers to communicate the impact it has on your business. Think about how much more meaningful it is to share that a blog post generated 10,000 page views, 50 inbound links, 20 new leads — two of which are poised to close this week — than to say, “Rachel wrote a really cool blog post last month. Good job!” content creation content drives. model executives’ behavior. So if the CMO isn’t blogging, some people might still blog; but if the CMO Content Creation If you’re starting your own business, growing your marketing department, starting a job at a new company, or just trying to motivate a shift in your company’s attitudes toward How do you foster a culture of content creators in your company? numbers are your friends here, marketers The first way is an exchange of tactics we’ve both employed to make content creation possible in the long term. The second way is detailing how difficult, sometimes nearly impossible, it is to keep up with the content creation pace they want to live up to. Play into people’s competitive spirit. in the content that goes out, but that doesn’t mean the entire burden needs to fall on your team’s shoulders. Instead, enable anyone in your organization to contribute content, from Sales, to Services, to Development. This is great because you’re getting content that highlights different perspectives and different areas of expertise, both of which make your content arsenal more well-rounded. Lead by example. Their content might lead to future opportunities, like speaking engagements, or being quoted as an expert in other publications. will Image credit: Some content is going to stand out among the rest — maybe it generates an unprecedented number of leads, maybe it gets picked up by a major publication, maybe it even goes viral! Reward the content creator for their innovation and brilliant execution, so you encourage other employees to strive to create this type of content. Enable anyone to contribute. create content on a regular basis, can you imagine how deep any other employee would have to dig to come up with the excuse for not also contributing? Pretty darn deep, I imagine. creation are the ones who have — specifically, how companies can create a sustainable internal content creation model — our conversations usually go one of two ways. content creation Kazarelth to make it more likely their content fits your publishing standards. You can even have content specialists on your team who train those extremely interested in contributing content on the types of editorial guidelines the marketing team follows. These folks — your marketing team’s “editors,” if you will — can be the ones who brush up the content you receive so everything that’s published aligns with the tone, style, and other guidelines you’ve established for your brand. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Measuring SEO Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Search volume calculates the numbers of times a keyword is searched for in a particular search engine. Previously, it was the marketer’s go-to metric to figure out what keywords would be the best to optimize around.However, as we (and search engines) have become smarter about how we optimize for SEO, that has all started to change. Why? Because these days, the emphasis should be more on quality and conversions than volume alone.4 Things That Matter More Than Search VolumeIt’s not that search volume doesn’t matter at all. Search volume is a good sign that there are people out there looking for help on a particular subject matter. But here’s what matters a lot more than a ton of search volume for a particular keyword or phrase:1) Conversion RatesIf you have 1,000 people come to your site off a keyword for which your content ranks, but only 2 people convert, does it really matter that you had 1,000 people come to your site? The purpose of SEO is much more than just attracting people to your content. It’s about attracting people to your content who find it relevant to their interests and needs. Let’s say you’re a B2B business selling analytics software for marketers. There are two approaches that you can take. You can try to create content about analytics in general, or you can make your content a bit more specific to marketing analytics. In the first case, you may attract more people who are interested in all kinds of analytics: marketing analytics, sales analytics, etc. (That is, if you can rank for the head term.) In the second case, you would attract people who are more relevant to your buyer persona.Which situation is more likely to yield actual customers? If you said the latter, I agree with you.2) FeasibilityWhen you’re creating your SEO plan, one of the first things you need to do is keyword research. But instead of basing this process on search volume, think about how likely you are to actually rank for and convert on the keywords you’re selecting.How much content are you going to create around those topics? How much content do you already have on those topics? How are you ranking now for related terms? Create your plan not just around what keywords make the most sense for your business to rank for — but how you can invest in the time and resources it takes to have a strong SEO strategy in place.3) User ExperienceFun Fact: Did you know that if someone comes to your site through a search engine and bounces to another site soon after, it doesn’t actually help your SEO?If the 1,000 people I mentioned before come to your site — but then realize your content isn’t helpful, interesting, easy to read, etc. — you’re not really doing much to help your SEO. Search engines are smart enough now to recognize and reward the sites that produce good content. And it makes sense that they’d care about this — they want to deliver the best possible search experience for their users. Think about these questions the next time you’re creating content. What does your site visitor do once they’re on your site? Are they engaged with your content? Do they click around? Do they look at various content offers you’ve created? These are all important questions to ask about your visitors that matter far more than going after keywords of a certain search volume.4) Writing for Your Buyer PersonaAbove all, your number one rule when optimizing for SEO is creating content for your buyer personas. If you can create content that will get a lot of people to your website — but they aren’t necessarily part of your target audience — it doesn’t help you grow your business. Whether you’re working on a large marketing campaign or simply writing a blog post, you always need to have your buyer persona in mind. What problems do they face? What are they trying to accomplish? What could help them do their jobs effectively or more efficiently? Your buyer personas are the key to improving your conversion rates.Like I said earlier, it’s not that search volume is the new dark horse of SEO. It’s not. But you should use it more to guide your SEO strategy than define it. The most important things to focus on are choosing topics that you can write to at a sustainable volume, improving your site conversion rates, and writing quality content that addresses the needs and interests of your buyer personas. Originally published Apr 11, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Originally published Sep 12, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Conferences Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: I just got out of a meeting where our #INBOUND14 event leader told us to remember to bring a bunch of stuff to the BCEC next week (we’re having out big annual conference — if you still want tickets, they’re available ’til Sunday!)It prompted me to start a pretty lengthy personal pre-conference to-do list: stuff to prepare, stuff to bring, that sort of thing. After I got through it all, I felt like it could be useful for anyone attending pretty much any conference soon. So, for those attending INBOUND next week, gearing up for other conferences in the fall, or just really into organization, here’s a little checklist to keep with you so you don’t forget to do, or bring, critical stuff. What to Pack & Prepare Before Any Big Conference1) Get a map of the conference center.Conference centers are big. They have like 47,000 entrances and exits. Often, they all look exactly the same. And if you’re like me, someone saying “Go to the North Entrance” means nothing, because I’m not a human compass. Give yourself a leg-up by accessing a conference map and printing that bad boy out — or simply bookmarking it on your phone’s browser for reference as you move from session to session.For INBOUND attendees, you don’t even have to mess with that … just download the mobile app. It tells you where everything in the conference center is located. It will be your best friend next week.UPDATE: Download the INBOUND 2015 mobile app for your device2) Get a map of the area, too.If you’re venturing into unfamiliar territory, bring a map of the area — or use Google Maps to orient yourself.If you’re coming to INBOUND, here’s a link that’ll explain the area and where you’re going, and here’s some information about fun stuff in the area, divided up by “persona” — because we’re geeky like that. 3) Pack a sweater so you can layer.Weather in Boston is crazy, so if you’re coming to INBOUND, I have one word for you: layers. It could be 80. It could be 50. Welcome to Beantown.But this goes for any conference — conference centers typically blast the A/C to account for the body heat attendees generate, and it may be a little too cold for some conference goers.If you run cold like I do, you’ll be glad you have some layers to pile on. If you run hot, you strut those summer legs for a few more weeks, you firecracker, you.4) Grab your laptop and charger.You’ll need it to take notes in sessions, live-blog, and do a little work/emailing. I look forward to seeing folks gathered around the outlets and charging station next week — they’re like the water coolers of conferences ;-)5) Don’t forget your phone charger, too.At the very least, bring a USB to charge your mobile from your computer. If you want to be extra prepared, bring a wall charger so your laptop better doesn’t drain so fast. (And if you want to make some friends, bring a power strip, too.)6) Get a stack of business cards — more than you think you’ll need.I’m notorious for forgetting business cards. I’ve already put them in my purse for next week. (Cross that off the to-do list.)7) Figure out the must-see sessions, and must-do activities.There’s likely a ton of stuff going on at any big conference — you won’t be able to see and do it all. Check out the agenda, sessions, networking events, and parties, and prioritize the ones you absolutely cannot miss. List those out, along with times and locations, to make it easy for you to plan your time at the event.(Hint: If you’re coming to INBOUND, the mobile app will make this easy to do with functionality to plot this all out right within the app. Download it here for iOS, here for Android.)8) Figure out who you want to meet.Research attendees that are going to the conference you would love to meet. It gives you time to set up meetings, research, and prepare. Also … you probably guessed I was going to say this, but .. if you’re going to INBOUND you can download the app and find other attendees. There, I said it. Just download the app okay?9) Figure out how check-in/registration works.Whenever I show up at a big conference, I get all swept away with the enormity of the thing and just want to dive right into exploring, sessions, networking, etc. Only I can’t. Because I’m not checked in yet.Boooo.It’s a boring necessity, but if you know how it works in advance, you can get it done much more quickly — and get to the conference fun a lot sooner. Research the process beforehand so you know:Where registration is locatedWhat time it startsWhat you need to bring to get checked inIf there’s an early check-in so you can skip the linesThat last one is critical. If you come at peak times, like the first day of the conference, or an hour before opening keynote, you’re going to face longer lines. That’s just the way it is. Make your life easier and show up in off-hours — we’re encouraging people at INBOUND to show up on Sunday from 2-6, or early Monday (registration opens at 7:30 AM that day) to beat the lines.10) Set your out-of-office (OOO) autoreply message, and enjoy yourself!If you need some inspiration for an OOO message (or a delayed response message, if you’re still checking email while you’re away), check out this post of hilarious and creative OOO replies.
We marketers seem to like rules. (And when none exist, we’ll settle for guidelines.) Those of us who write about the marketing space appear to recognize this tendency, which is why you’ll find so many benchmarking reports, how-to articles, and definitive lists for marketers.Some challenges, however, are too nuanced for a binary best practice.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. Take the “Should I gate my content?” question, for example. Bloggers have looked at the topic through various lenses — from SEO to lead generation to channel-specific implications — yet nobody appears to have written a simple “gate this, don’t gate that” prescription. This is likely because the decision always comes down to a single question — Is the viewer’s identity a fair price to pay for this content? — and that’s difficult to answer universally. Yet considering elements like content quality, objectivity, utility, and format can help marketers make a more informed decision and avoid awkward choices like asking someone to fill out a form to see their own name on a list (true story!).I suppose this is a long way of saying that we’re here to help. HubSpot created a flowchart to help guide marketers’ gating decisions. While it might not be a hard rule — there are plenty of content types, objectives, and considerations that the chart doesn’t take into account — it’s hopefully a useful guideline. And at the very least, the next time your boss asks why you didn’t gate that blog post, you can blame your decision on us.193Save (Click to enlarge the flowchart.)193Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 12, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 Content Types Topics:
The program began as it always did — with a spritely, “Welcome to INBOUND Radio on SiriusXM channel 125.” Host Mike Volpe went on to introduce the day’s guests. First up was a prominent Stanford medical researcher, who’d made a breakthrough in Parkinson’s treatment thanks to the millions of iPhone and Apple Watch users who volunteered to have their health monitored through their mobile devices. “Giving away your health data is about as inbound as it gets,” observed Volpe when he wrapped up the interview from HubSpot’s brand new Cambridge recording studio.Although this scenario hasn’t yet occurred, don’t call it fiction. It’s more like pre-reality, or, in the words of executive-turned-executive-coach Cameron Herold, a “vivid vision.”Herold, the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, has become one of the world’s most sought-after speakers and advisors. Simply put, he helps top CEOs perform even better. One of Herold’s most popular techniques is what he calls a vivid vision. Think of it as a drug-free executive Peyote trip, in which the leader of an organization travels ahead three years and returns clutching a hyper-detailed narrative of the company’s future state. A well-crafted vivid vision is a little trippy in that it describes the sights, sounds, mood, energy, and dialogues surrounding events that have not yet occurred.After listening to Herold explain this concept on The Growth Show podcast, I decided to give it a try on behalf of the HubSpot content team. I booked some alone time in the company nap room, conjured up Doc Brown and hopped aboard my mind’s Delorean. Destination: 2018.Constructing a Vivid VisionThe exercise was, admittedly, awkward — perhaps even corny — at first. Self-awareness got the better of me, and I struggled to visualize reality beyond the end of the year, much less the mid-point of the next U.S. President’s term. I also defaulted to math — mentally calculating traffic and conversions by compounding today’s growth rates. I thought of the same people, in the same seats, doing the same jobs. Just better. In other words, I was doing it all wrong.Then I remembered the source of the vivid vision process: Olympic athletes. Herold explained that high-achieving athletes painstakingly visualize the outcome of their events in advance of competing. Suddenly, the exercise felt less new agey. I put the flux capacitor back to work.Questions raced at me. Would we have a blog? If so, what would it look like? Who would be reading it? What about ebooks? Did people still read them? And the podcast that triggered this post … what kind of guests would we host?Once I shut off (or at least suppressed) my self-monitor, the exercise became enjoyable. Indulgent even. I imagined teaching a Columbia J-school class on business blogs. I heard several students rebuke me for hobbling “real” journalism. I pre-lived a conversation with the managing editor of our blog, who insisted writers should get bonuses based on scoops, not leads. She mentioned a specific blogger who would get angry when she’d be scooped by a commercial blog. The editor wanted to permeate this competitive spirit throughout the team. I overheard HubSpot bloggers complain about the very same issues that have long irritated traditional journalists; I saw press badges for massive industry events hung in bloggers’ workspaces; I feared my analytics person might get poached by BuzzFeed, which was now seen as The New York Times for the post-Millennial generation. I found this observation so horrifying that it nearly shook me out of my vision.My content strategists had evolved into research analysts. They were routinely invited to deliver on-air commentary about sales and marketing trends for various cable networks. They snickered when Fox Business called, knowing how the network rankled me. HubSpot’s podcaster and I tried to figure out if we could get (still) Apple CEO Tim Cook to mention The Growth Show during the company’s next press event.It took me a while, but eventually I got the idea: A vivid vision isn’t just dragging a formula forward in Excel. It’s rethinking the application.Now it’s your turn. Check out Cameron Herald’s interview with Mike Volpe on The Growth Show. And then go back to envision your own company’s future. You’ll be excited to see what’s waiting there. Leadership Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 19, 2015 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.Every Friday, our team comes together for a weekly reflections meeting. It’s our “touchy-feely-kumbaya” moment where everyone has an opportunity to open up and share what’s on their mind.Primarily, we try to focus on three things: what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what we learned. We then document those lessons, and once-a-year, we review the key themes. It’s surprising– and a bit embarrassing — how often issues we discussed in March are repeated in August and again in November, but it’s all part of the learning process. This year, a few interesting themes emerged that I thought would be valuable for others to review. Here are some of the most important lessons we learned in 2015.1) Outline project unknowns as much as knowns.It’s very easy to find yourself putting together a beautiful project scope or proposal that painstakingly details every requirement the client has mentioned during your sales calls. The problem is, once the project kicks off, you’re going to find yourself dealing with many, many things the client did not explicitly state. Image purchasing, content implementation, hosting fees, etc., are all aspects of any web project not typically top-of-mind for the client. Be sure your contracts and documentation tackle as many of these project unknowns as possible. Include language that provides a means of factoring in cost/time when these little surprises sneak up, as they always do.2) Transition from managing a sales pipeline to a relationship pipeline.The idea of a sales pipeline is to track opportunities across various stages in your sales process, each with their own weighted likelihood of turning into an actual deal. Having a sales pipeline helps you determine where to invest time and energy in opportunities. The problem, however, is that most sales pipelines only look at a 30-to-90-day window. With this narrow of a view, it’s far too easy to cast “slower” opportunities to the side.We found that focusing on building relationships with companies that could be great clients, even if they’re a year away from that, is far more valuable than ignoring every prospect who doesn’t meet the perfect profile for your sales pipeline. You shouldn’t expel that much energy on these prospects, but you should set reminders to connect periodically, invite them to relevant events, and send them useful content. This can lead to huge returns beyond this month or even quarter. 3) Help define success for your customer.The reason most potential customers are speaking with you is because you’ve demonstrated a capacity for solving their problem. Embrace this truth, and control the vision for working with your customers. Focusing on identifying and addressing their needs is critical to a successful sale, but don’t let them dictate all the terms of engagement.You’ve done this “thing” far more times than they have, and it’s important that you explain what will make a project successful. If timelines are unrealistic or certain content or systems need to be finalized before you can start a project, be sure to communicate this to the client. It’s far better, and far more profitable, to set clear “rules for success” with a potential client and hold them to those boundaries. 4) Don’t overlook easy money.If your agency thrives on large project-based deals, it’s tempting to always go after the “whale” and ignore the “fish” along the way. If every new deal is six-figures, why wouldn’t you put your time and energy into those opportunities? However, when you focus 100% of your time on these big wins, you often sacrifice opportunities for “easy money.”Support retainers, appropriate technology recommendations that have a referral kickback, and one-day workshops are all value-added services you could offer existing clients. These relationships are already established so they don’t require the same effort as a new deal. Sure, the check isn’t as substantial, but if you build in a practice of upselling across all of your clients, you could see an impressive uptick in account size.5) Focus on solving problems, not just implementing solutions.It’s not uncommon to find that your team is obsessed with how to implement a specific solution within a project. Whether it stems from client interest or internal interest, once you’re fixated on making something work, it’s hard to take a step back. Taking a step back, however, is often the only way to avoid blowing the budget on a project. This step back should not be focused on re-evaluating the solution, rather re-evaluating the problem. Ask both yourself and the client what the exact problem is that you’re trying to solve and the impact of not solving it. Sometimes the solution is simply doing nothing.6) Don’t view account management and project management as the same role.Many larger agencies already have this baked into their operations, but this was a big lesson for us to learn this past year. Although they can sometimes be tackled by the same person, the responsibilities associated with account management are not the same as those associated with project management. Account managers need to focus on defending the client’s needs at all times while project managers need to focus on defending the agency’s needs at all times. This sort of conflict is healthy as it ensures both sides are properly represented in the creative process.In addition, the very metrics each role should be focused on are considerably different. Account managers are accountable for growing their book-of-business with clients while project managers are accountable for expanding the profitability of the relationship. These are two very different mindsets, and two very different roles.7) Always be selling.Once that initial contract is inked, it’s tempting to pop the champagne and call it a day. Closing a deal does not mean that the sales function is over. A client who accepts a contract simply means she believes in your plan for solving her problem; it does not guarantee that she believes in your execution of that plan. Every person involved in the project needs to realize the importance of continuing to sell ideas and solutions to identified problems. Every new deliverable is a new first impression.8) Realize the difference between makers and managers.There is a big difference between “makers” and “managers” within an agency. Makers are responsible for creating deliverables and executing the plan for a client. Managers are responsible for setting that plan and ensuring resources are appropriately allocated to enable execution. Many agencies depend on their team members to play both a maker and manager role. Effectiveness as a maker requires long, uninterrupted time where execution can take place. Effectiveness as a manager requires continued communication and performance analysis to ensure the plan is on track. Treat team members differently depending on the role they play and their responsibilities, and respect the differing work needs of each type within the structure of your agency.9) Work in time blocks.Most tasks will take as long as you allow them to. And complicating this problem is that in most agencies, we’re inundated with so many tasks from so many different accounts that things are constantly done right before they’re due. Working in a reactive pattern, where tasks are constantly being shuffled around based on the latest fire or ASAP request, only perpetuates inadvertent procrastination. Take control of your workload by carving out distinct blocks of time to tackle projects, and set the end of that block as your hard deadline.10) Repeat everything. Repeat everything.Repetition is a key ingredient for success as an agency. This includes repetition in communication, resources, and process. Repetition in communication ensures everyone is on the same page and that expectations are met. Repeat those expectations, and repeat the plan for meeting them. Repetition in resources ensures you have a game plan should someone go on vacation, get sick, or quit a project. Having redundant roles is an important safety net for any project. Finally, repetition in process ensures that you create repeatable results and start building efficiency into your delivery. The more your processes repeat, the more likely they can be automated, leading to tremendous gains in efficiency and profitability. 11) Manage against scope or timeline, not both.Bumps come up in a project. Unexpected requests or roadblocks are inevitable. Budget is often that hardest thing to revisit in a project, so consider whether scope or timeline needs to be re-evaluated as problems emerge. If timing is critical, scale back on what needs to be accomplished within a specific timeframe. If completeness is key, push out your launch date. If the client can’t choose between the two, bring up money again.12) Negotiate constantly, but wisely.Remember this: You’re negotiating throughout the entire lifespan of a project. You’re negotiating for extra resources, reduced scope, quicker turnarounds, etc. As in any negotiation, the key to success is knowing all of the terms of which you’re negotiating. It’s far easier to get what you need from a client and still make them happy if you give them something they want. When faced with a significant problem in the project, ensure you understand what’s really important to the client and what’s really important to your agency. Oftentimes, negotiating over different terms and bringing awareness to that is all it takes for everyone to walk away happy.13) Have a process, but know that the process will change.Technology, experience, resources, and many other factors will lead to evolutions in your processes over time. You’ll add new deliverables, cut out unnecessary steps, and automate some of your workload. But this sort of benefit only works when you have a process that you’re currently using. You can only measure improvement or evaluate efficiency if you have a benchmark. If you have a process for how your projects are delivered and how your agency is run, you can track and improve things going forward.14) Build in padding for inaccurate project estimates. It seems no matter how many times we’ve done a project, something always comes up that affects our original project estimate. Perhaps it’s a desire to continue improving our processes or “one-upping” our last project, but things inevitably take longer than expected. Understand this, embrace this, and add padding to be conservative. Extra time and extra money provides room to over-deliver for your clients and make them even happier with the project’s outcome.15) Remember that contractors are not employees.In a world of specialization and the need for ever-changing scale, it’s likely that your agency depends on some sort of contract-based labor force. They provide the natural capacity necessary to take on larger projects or unknown technologies. For this very reason, contractors can be one of your greatest assets.However, remember that they are not employees and should not be treated as such. Employment and tax regulation aside, professional freelancers and contractors have chosen that profession for many of the benefits that come with it: unlimited vacation, remote working, schedule independence, etc. It’s foolish to expect that contractors will make the same sacrifices or meet the same demands as an employee. As such, it’s critical that you establish clear expectations on the “softer side of your relationship in addition to the scope, time, and budget requirements you’re bound to discuss. Agree on communication schedules, deadline management, and anything else that might cause a problem for a project down-the-line.16) Show, don’t tell.As agency folk, we’re participants in the “idea economy.” We’re paid for coming up with and executing ideas that will solve our clients’ problems. Clients are our lifeblood, and they command respect in the creative process. However, we cannot assume that the ideas in our minds are the same as those perceived by our clients. Hypothetical pitches and explanations might get people excited, but it doesn’t lead to consensus around expectations.Don’t be afraid to introduce working deliverables into your process solely to serve as a means of crystallizing ideas into a form that has boundaries. Even a napkin sketch will give a client a better sense for your vision than flowery language over a bourbon-fueled dinner. If the client is excited about an idea, she should be excited to spend 5% of the total time/money to sketch out the parameters of that idea before committing to it fully.17) Promote others first.Imagine going to a party where the guy in the corner is constantly shouting about all of the awesome things he’s done. It won’t take long for you to excuse yourself from the table. The same goes for your marketing efforts. If all of your marketing is focused on promoting how “awesome” your agency is, how long will it take for your audience to leave? Focus your marketing on educating and sharing the success of others before your own. It builds trust and credibility. It also builds community as those you promote will promote your work in turn.18) Do less marketing to do better marketing.It’s easy to start the year with a huge list of marketing activities your agency will pursue to expand your footprint: blogging, events, emails, advertisements, podcast, sponsorships, etc. It all sounds great on paper, but such a diffused strategy is more likely to lead to a bunch of smaller failures than one or two major successes. Figure out what channels resonate with your target clients, align these with your voice/skillsets, and determine how you can maximize the impact with the limited resources you have at your disposal. Double-down on those few things, and ignore everything else.19) Find the source of the stress.Agency life is fueled by deadlines and tight budgets. No one has ever claimed it’s a stress-free business. But letting this stress affect us leads to poor performance, which leads to more stress. When you find yourself feeling as though every project is going wrong, the problem is unlikely that everything sucks.Take a step back, and identify what the real source of stress is. Then, create an action plan for dealing with it. Is it personal? Did you lose a deal? Is a client being pushy? Not resolving the major stressor in your life will impact other responsibilities on your plate. Tackle the real source of stress, and everything else might just be a bit easier.20) Celebrate your accomplishments.You’ve won awards, generated millions of dollars in value for your clients, and created jobs that give people the opportunity to pursue their creative passions. Running an agency can be overwhelming, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Do not let the challenges of running the business overshadow the successes along the way. Take time to step back and celebrate wins individually and as a team. Reflect on how much has been accomplished during just one year, and use that to fuel your work going forward. Topics: Agency Marketing Originally published Feb 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Agency Talent How do agency employees view the importance of work, play, and balancing the two?What expectations do they have from their agency employers, and how do they view their own responsibilities?How do they compare the pros and cons of working in an agency versus in a client-side organization?How did they first choose to work in an agency, and how likely would they be to recommend an agency career to others?Which features and benefits of an agency career are most important to them?Do millennial employees actually feel differently about work than other age groups?How can agency owners better understand their employees and offer them features and benefits they will value? Employees are the lifeblood of the agency business, and maintaining a productive and engaged workforce is one of the most challenging aspects of running an agency. But it can be hard for owners to understand the attitudes and goals of an increasingly diverse workforce, and employees may find it difficult to give honest feedback anonymously.To find out how the attitudes of agency employees shape their goals and opinions about agency work, HubSpot is partnering in a new Agency Employee Attitudes Survey.The survey is anonymous, and should take less than 15 minutes to complete. Respondents who participate by September 15th can enter to win a $250 Amazon.com gift card.TAKE THE AGENCY EMPLOYEE SURVEYThe results of this study will be presented at INBOUND 2016 in November.The Agency Employee Attitudes Survey explores topics such as: All participants can get free access to the results, which will be shared for the first time at HubSpot’s INBOUND Conference in November 2016. Topics: Originally published Aug 31, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Oct 27, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Education Marketing Topics: You know it’s bad when they start making parody videos about the horrors of alumni fundraising campaigns. Nothing can sap alumni energy for your school like getting donation calls again and again and again… But you need your alumni engaged to maintain your school’s relationship with them. You want them to be motivated to act on behalf of your institution and yes, donate, at the times and ways they’re able. Alumni involvement may have its most valuable payoff through alumni’s power to connect with potential students with an authenticity no one else can match. Alumni can give your prospects a view into life at your school and what life might look like for them once they have a degree from your institution. The best way to get alumni to engage with your school is when interactions with them have nothing to do with asking for money. Here are some proven tips how to inspire engagement from alumni: Alumni Respond to Personalized EmailsPeople won’t bother with emails that don’t hit on their personalized interests and concerns. Use everything you know about each alum to tailor email content based on their unique history with your school — both off and online. Customize content based on data points such as their graduation date, program, and their preferred social media platforms. An email with a subject line “Join us for an alumni lunch” isn’t terribly inviting. Try an email with the subject line “Nursing program alumni lunch – come network!” instead. Now that’s a subject line that makes it clear why this email is directed to the recipient and what she’ll gain by reading it.You need a rocking subject line to get alumni to open your emails, but don’t let the personalization stop there. Send happy birthday and graduation anniversary emails. If the career center is organizing a job fair for graphic arts students, invite recent graduates as well as current students. For more on email marketing for schools, check out this free resource >> Continue the Conversation via Social MediaSocial media is the most effective option for the “little” yet highly impactful conversations you can have with alumni. Keep track of how their social media preferences change over time. For nearly all alumni, regardless of graduation year, LinkedIn is one of the most important platforms for career networking. LinkedIn’s Alumni Tool is a valuable tool helping people find and connect with fellow alums, but by itself, it won’t spark conversation or motivate action. Having a LinkedIn group for alumni can do that. If your school hasn’t already set up an alumni group, chances are good one of your alumni has. You don’t want competing groups. You can always ask the group owner for someone on your team to be added as a group administrator. Either way, your social media specialist should be an active presence in the group connecting people, sharing school updates, and asking for alumni feedback on relevant issues. Personalization works well in the LinkedIn group too. You can have multiple sub-groups. Create sub-groups based on different programs or industries where alumni can target their job and business networking efforts.Use other social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, to promote more social activities and interactions. Having alumni-specific accounts on social media provide a space where alumni interests are front and center. Social media is also the ideal channel for encouraging and sharing alumni generated content (AGC). Alumni Generated Content, You SayAlumni are rich sources for your content machine. Whether they’re posting career or personal updates, sharing stories about their time at your school, or attending school events – alumni always have entertaining or informative content of interest to prospective students, current students, and other alumni.Use your social media accounts to solicit their stories and posts. Ask specific questions, such as “Tell us three things you wish you knew by the time you graduated?” Then curate the most interesting responses. You can drop these into emails, reports, and your website.Asking alumni to contribute an article for a school newsletter or a blog post. Or to be interviewed in a webinar, is another useful way to source content. In fact, don’t be surprised if alumni are just waiting to be asked to write something. Alumni want to give, but they can’t always give money. Especially recent grads still paying off school loans. Inviting them to engage with your school by providing content is valuable way they can donate rather than hitting the “donate” link.In-Person Engagement Still MattersAttending or speaking at in-person events is another opportunity for alumni to give back without opening their wallets. In-person events are spring-boards for interesting AGC, as well as ways to connect potential students with alumni. Invite alumni to speak at regional open house events for prospects or make themselves available for applicants to contact with questions. Active regional and national alumni groups can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to having a full calendar of alumni events. As with your social media alumni accounts, people on your team should be actively involved in giving them event ideas and being an extra pair of hands promoting the event. Using the information you have about alumni in your database, you may well be able to uncover alumni who’d be interested in specific events that the local association doesn’t know about.If you want lifelong engagement from your alumni, market to them based on their specific interests and concerns as intently as you do in your search for new students. Alumni are the core of your school. The number of active students can only grow by so much, but your alumni pool is an ever-growing resource. If you want alumni engagement, you need to engage with them first. Don’t forget to share this post!
It would be hard to come up with a more maligned topic of conversation among Oklahoma State fans over the last couple of years than the Cowboys’ running game.3.51, 3.58, and 3.43.Those numbers represent the average yards per carry for the OSU offenses in 2014, 2015 and through the first half of 2016. Each one equally disappointing and each one ranking ninth ahead of only Kansas in the Big 12.The Cowboys haven’t enjoyed a 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Randle cruised to 1,417 in 2012. A school that used to be known as Tailback U hasn’t had a running game that could get out of its own way in three years.But it looks like there might be a mini-renaissance occurring in Stillwater and it starts with a true freshman named Justice Hill. With a crowded running back group that included three seniors and a sophomore who got meaningful time last year, Hill would have made good a redshirt candidate. But he had other plans.Those plans included playing himself into meaningful reps during fall camp and then playing himself into an early starting role, despite a couple mistimed fumbles. It’s clear Hill is the best option to get the bulk of the carries. He’s shown the ability to not only make defenders miss but to attack the hole and has the type of break-away speed that can turn decent runs into big plays.Let’s take a look at his numbers:Hill: 403 yards / three touchdowns / 4.63 yards per carryIf we assume Hill continues to get 15-20 carries per game (let’s make it 15) and keeps his current average per carry, that’s an additional 486.15 yards (assuming the Cowboys go Bowling) for a total of 889.15. So, let’s round up and call it 890 yards. Chris Carson, the Cowboys’ 2015 lead rusher ended with 517 yards and 2014’s lead rusher was Desmond Roland with 770 yards. In 2013, Roland had 811. So Hill is not quite on pace to hit the 1,000-yard mark but he does have a good change to be the leading rusher since Joseph Randle.Here’s how the rest of the group has fared so far: Childs: 178 yards / six touchdowns / 4.81 yards per carryCarr: 86 yards / one touchdown / 8.60 yards per carryCarson (in two games): 45 yards / one touchdown / 3.75 per carrySanders: 41 yards / two touchdowns / 1.95 yards per carryBehind the freshman is another seemingly unlikely No. 2 back. Rennie Childs has looked as good this season as we’ve probably seen him. Again, if you were to look at my projected depth chart for the running backs two months ago, it would have been way off.I saw Childs as the odd man out with Chris Carson the starter from last year and Barry J. Sanders the supposed difference-making transfer. Of course, Carson has been injured and Carr seems to be the one lost in the mix with just ten carries from the backfield in six games. Sanders has looked good sparingly from the backfield and on special teams.Based on OSU’s recent history with running back production, I think we can grade this group on a curve. A B+ was the grade our writers came up with and that’s what I picked as well. There are definitely improvements to be made but we’ve seen a trend in the right direction.While it’s taken longer than most would like, the running game is improving. We can see it on the field. Blocking is getting better and so is running back play. Whether it’s in the second half of this season or next year, I think we’ll see it on the stat sheet as well.RB Grade: B+ While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
One of Oklahoma State’s best players is a guy you may not have heard much about — punter Zach Sinor. The sophomore punter from Castroville, Texas is ranked No. 31 in the NCAA in yards per punt at 43.0. More importantly he’s pinned the other team inside their own 20 yard line 26 times in 2016, tied for No. 3 in the nation. He’s also somehow only had one touchback.He’s also up as a finalist for the Ray Guy award, given to the nation’s best punter. The ‘Seisman’, if you will. Here’s the list of finalists for the 2016 Ray Guy Award.Austin Barnes (Jr.), Eastern Michigan UniversityNicholas Conte (Sr.), University of VirginiaSteven Coutts (So.), University of Louisiana at LafayetteJoseph Davidson (Jr.), Bowling Green State UniversityMichael Dickson (So.), University of TexasHayden Hunt (Sr.), Colorado State UniversityCameron Johnston (Sr.), Ohio State UniversityZach Sinor (So.), Oklahoma State UniversityJohnny Townsend (Jr.), University of FloridaMitch Wishnowsky (So.), University of UtahSinor didn’t seem too worried about winning the award when asked about it at the on Monday.“I don’t really look into that stuff,” said Sinor. “Yeah, the awards will come, but my job is to pin them back and help the defense out the best I can.”He actually attended several Ray Guy camps growing up which is pretty funny.“I watched his film,” said Sinor of the Ray Guy camps. He gives you a little disc to watch. A lot of drops, directional punting, he really broke it down which helped me a lot.“As a freshman [in high school] I was a QB and a defensive tackle, a little odd. But my sophomore year I was kicking the ball around one day, and they said you’re the punter. Then I was on JV as the punter, and I hit a 45- 50-yard punt, so then they said you’re on varsity.“So after that I averaged like 39 my sophomore year on varsity. So after that I went to a Ray Guy camp, and they said ‘you have a pretty big leg. You can probably kick in college.’ So I kept working at it and now I’m here.”“During spring ball, whenever that was, I saw him throwing it around one day and he throws it pretty good,” said head coach Mike Gundy of his former QB-turned-punter. “If we were smart, we’d probably have a fake punt with him throwing the ball. But, it’s kind of like with James Castleman – the season’s not over yet.”The punter is pretty much the least glamorous position on the field, but Sinor has been huge for Oklahoma State in several close games this year — in the Iowa State game, the Tech game this last weekend, Sinor flipped the field in some big spots.“I just know where we’re at in the field at all times, so if we’re inside the 45-yard line, I’ll go the net and do some pooch punts and if we’re outside of that I’ll just work on regular punts,” added Sinor.An extra 10-15 yards can be enormous for Glenn Spencer and his defense especially when Sinor never kicks it into the end zone. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
4. OU’s Offense Is the Opposite of Its DefenseThink Texas Tech with a beast mode running game. The numbers they’re putting up flirt with Sam Bradford’s 2008 Sooner offense… Just insane. For Pete’s sake two of ESPN’s top four finalists for the Heisman (as of November 29th) are offensive players for OU.Looking at stats in conference play, the Sooner O is putting up some pretty good numbers:Dede Westbrook is the next stud in line for the annual “only receiver with a pulse but it doesn’t even matter because the dude is filthy talented” award.Baker is the prototype OU quarterback, quoted about recently (in a tremendously insightful PFB podcast) by Sooner Scoop writer Eddie Radosevich as one of “the top five cockiest persons I’ve ever been around.” The ginormous tight end/slot Mark Andrews is a red zone target and those running backs … man.5. Bedlam will be a fun one.I would pay good money for a live feed of Mike Stoops this Saturday as he watches Carson plow over backers and McCleskey slide through the secondary like a hot knife through butter. He’ll need to take his heart medication when he wakes up that’s for sure. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. As we prepare for yet another Bedlam, here are five things you need to know about OSU and OU when they get together on Saturday to decide the Big 12 Conference championship.1. OU is the worstIn a likability sense, where does OU rank? I think somewhere between a speeding ticket and an ingrown toenail. Whether it’s the band’s only song they know how to play or the abundance of “gas station for a tank of gas and ball cap fans,” OU is not enjoyable.2. No “D” for Bedlam WeekIt is fantastic that Ohio State chooses to not use the letter “M” in honor of the game with hated rival Michigan. The Bedlam version of that could be if Gundy/OSU abstained from using the letter “D” in honor of what has been by far and away the Brothers’ Stoops worst defense in recent history.“Unacceptable at so many levels,” Bob Stoops said, “I can’t even begin to try and define it.”There was much lamenting post OU-Tech game this year and while there’s since been some improvement, some of that could be quality of opponent. The offensive juggernauts of KU and Iowa State struggled and Baylor sputtered without star quarterback Seth Russell/any sense of direction or morality as a program. West Virginia bludgeoned the OU front seven and Justin Crawford is still running.PS: If your co-worker tells you it’s just because middle linebacker Jordan Evans went down, Crawford had 178 yards at halftime (Evans went out in the 3rd).Justin Crawford has been named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week AND the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.STORY: https://t.co/2nWSjQ4c3e pic.twitter.com/q9Svx1CZOM— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) November 21, 2016PFB’s Kyle Cox did a fantastic job breaking down how the running game could fare against the Sooners, and a major highlight is how both teams fared over the last three games. The 240+ yards the Pokes are averaging over that time would put them within seven yards of leading the conference in running the football. OU is giving up 240+ on the ground, a number that would rank at the bottom of the barrel in what some refer to as the Conference Where No Defense is Played.Middle linebacker Jordan Evans is a player that holds down the middle of the field when he’s in and Bob is “fairly confident he’ll be ready to play by the end of the week.” Color me skeptical that Evans will be back to anything close to 100 percent for Bedlam — hamstrings don’t heal quickly. In addition to Evans, OU also lost a couple of stud defensive linemen up front, and now you’ve got a couple athletic guys running around without a nose for the ball.3. Porous Pass DefenseWhat do the football teams at New Mexico State University, UMass and Idaho have in common? They allow fewer passing yards per game than the no. 122 ranked Oklahoma Sooners.Houston’s Greg Ward, Jr. threw for 321, Tech’s Pat Mahomes went for an NCAA-record 734, UT-Frosh Shane Buechele went for 245 and my favorite, TCU’s Kenny Hill threw for 449 yards and five scores against the Sooners. Kenny is averaging 217.8 yards per game in B12 play and is benched every other week.One of the top rotation players in the OU secondary was booted for a violation of team rules recently What could he possibly have done to be kicked off the OU football team? Do you have to be video taped committing a felony not be a five star to be held accountable for your actions?A true freshman is starting at corner and the nickleback Will Johnson won’t be playing this week. Safeties Ahmad Thomas and Steven Parker are super talented, but one-on-one coverage isn’t what you’d call a strength.Much ado has been made for “all conference” corner Jordan Thomas who’s likely to draw The President assignment. Stat I can’t get over: DQ Osborne has the same amount of interceptions as this ballyhooed ball-hawk. Zach Sanchez left a year early and it’s left a hole on the back line.James Washington thinks it’s time to … Neither of the Bedlam opponents is untouchable, plenty of close wins on both sides of the fence. But there will be two offenses in this game worth the price of admission.When was the last time we felt really good about a team going into Norman? Chelf and Randle nearly stole one in 2012 but Luchador Landry and his mustache didn’t strike fear in the hearts of Cowboy fans.2016 features Mixon and Perine vs. Carson and Hill, Rudolph vs. Baker. Bob vs. The Mullet. Baker is pining for that trip to New York he missed out on in 2015 and will be ready to dance the night away.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Despite the game, there were still winners all over the field on Saturday. Let’s take a look at the Bedlam winners and losers as we mourn yet another Bedlam L.Kyle BooneWinner: The running game (again) — Justice Hill and Chris Carson got the work done in the first half and they were the reason Oklahoma State even had a chance. They each nearly got 200 yards on the ground but, unfortunately, were the only real bright spot on offense.Loser: Mike Gundy — Riding a 7-game win streak they seemed to have some serious momentum, even as an 11-point dog in Norman. Winning on the road is tough no matter where you go. But you have to take risks to reap rewards (see Kliff Kingsburys game plan in Stillwater).I don’t care if Masons fingers were frozen cold with sleet. OU’s secondary has been borderline Kansas bad all year. They didn’t take risks downfield and, like many, I thought the conservative coaching potentially cost them a chance at their second Big 12 title.Kyle PorterWinner: Jordan Sterns — He’s a dog. Tied the school record with 19 tackles. Took on every dude over the middle. Took on Perine on every run through the heart of OSU’s defense. I’m going to miss watching No. 13 lace ’em up.Coming home to get the jersey dirty one more time! #210 pic.twitter.com/Slq1vXXq10— Jordan Sterns (@31rzns) December 5, 2016Winner: Headline writers — I wept over how good this headline was on Sunday. The photo to go with it. The whole thing was one big ball of sadness for me but greatness for them..@TheOklahoman Bedlam sports cover – Baker Mayfield propels Oklahoma to its 10th conference title in the Stoops era. #Sooners #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/oRSSeJjlwi— James Poling (@James_Poling) December 4, 2016Winner: Alamo Bowl executives — They were getting two of OU, OSU, USC and Colorado so there is not really a loss here, but I’m sure they clinked a few glasses over getting two of the top 12-ranked teams in the CFB Playoff final rankings.Winner: Samaje Perine — Dude looks like he could be LeBron James’ father, and plays like he owns Bedlam. Probably because he does …Loser: OSU’s crootin odds — It really felt like Oklahoma State had a real chance to turn the tide on 100 years of recruiting futility (compared to OU) with a win in Bedlam. Alas, bring me more three-star guys. Bring me more Bedlam losses.Kyle CoxWinner: Baker — Who’s the best quarterback in the state of Oklahoma? No question. I don’t want to hear about rain or weather or wet balls.Winner: Mike Stoops — Yeah, the inept, stubborn, non-flexible, nepotism-aided window-assaulter held OSU to its lowest point total since last year’s Sugar Bowl and apparently didn’t have to try that hard.Loser: Mike Gundy — He lived up to the “little brother” moniker so many OSU fans loathe. I sincerely think OSU had a good shot at winning this game but the greatest head coach they may ever know simply laid down. Unacceptable.Loser: All OSU fans — A Big 12 title doesn’t come along all that often in Stillwater (once!) and neither do years when you have the talent OSU has this year. Got to take advantage.Steven MandevilleWinner: 2017 Cowboy Offense — We polled on Bedlam preferences related to Rudolph’s future and while the lesser preferred scenario occurred, it feels like a return for No. 2 is imminent. James Washington had quite a catch on Saturday but wasn’t himself on Saturday, coming back shouldn’t hurt him either (IMO).This is an insane catch by Washington. pic.twitter.com/gdtjH4e4qM— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 3, 2016Winner: Justice Hill — Gosh he was fun this year. He was solid on the ground in Bedlam, plenty of reason for continued optimism after he continued his climb over the “freshman wall.” Hopefully the studs coming in behind him will push him to keep getting better.Winner: Wal-Mart — Sooner fans are rolling hard towards some everyday low prices on Boomer Sooner Big 12 title tees.Losers: OSU Wide Receivers — Because of inclement conditions and a severe case of “road mason-itis”, one of college football’s strongest receiving cores missed out. Play back this game indoors and I think these guys really shine.Loser: Dede Westbrook — Best wishes on getting better but it’s safe to assume his Heisman numbers took a hit with him missing time.Loser: Zach Crabtree — Felt like Obo just did what he wanted to him today.. Tough day for what some felt was the Cowboys best road grader.
Borussia Dortmund 3 Eintracht Frankfurt 2: Substitute Batshuayi to the rescue in dramatic finale Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 03:02 12/3/2018 Bongarts Peter Stoger remains unbeaten as Borussia Dortmund coach in the Bundesliga after a stunning 3-2 win against Eintracht Frankfurt. Substitute Michy Batshuayi scored an injury-time winner as Borussia Dortmund edged fellow Champions League hopefuls Eintracht Frankfurt in a 3-2 thriller on Sunday.Eintracht twice came from behind to seemingly claim a point at Signal Iduna Park, but Batshuayi struck the second of a personal double in stoppage-time to break the visitors’ hearts.With Eintracht hoping for an offside flag that would not come, Batshuayi lashed home to end a four-game winless run in all competitions for Dortmund. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The visitors had deserved a draw, Niko Kovac’s men – who started the day level on points with Dortmund – levelling twice thanks to goals from Luka Jovic and Danny Blum.But it was not to be as substitute Batshuayi sent Dortmund back up to third in the Bundesliga, boosting their Champions League qualification hopes.Dortmund suffered a shock home loss to RB Salzburg in the Europa League on Thursday but bounced back in stunning fashion to extend Peter Stoger’s unbeaten league run to 11 league matches.AUS! AUS! AUS! WAS FÜR EIN FINALE! #BVBSGE 3-2 FT pic.twitter.com/SL6pIFKB0v— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) March 11, 2018Andre Schurrle somehow headed Christian Pulisic’s cross wide in the 10th minute as Dortmund dominated the opening exchanges.But they were soon in front regardless, Mahmoud Dahoud sending Pulisic clear down the right to get Dortmund round the back of Eintracht again.The teenage winger’s cross was low this time and defender Marco Russ was only able to turn the ball in for his fifth Bundesliga own goal, Marco Reus having been lurking for a back-post finish.Reus, who had scored Dortmund’s three previous Bundesliga goals and signed a long-term contract this week, was proving lively while Dahoud created an opening for himself with some clever play, only to fire at Lukas Hradecky.Kevin-Prince Boateng almost equalised with a superb piece of invention two minutes after the interval, flicking a backheel at goal after a corner from half-time substitute Jonathan de Guzman caused chaos, but Roman Burki got down sharply to save.Pulisic sent a curler wide in the 56th minute and Timothy Chandler and Boateng blazed over at the other end as both sides traded blows.Eintracht had lost on their last six visits to Dortmund but they continued to set the second-half pace, De Guzman sending an acrobatic strike sailing over the crossbar.And the visitors got the leveller their hard work deserved in the 75th minute, substitute Jovic heading home another dangerous De Guzman cross, with Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer culpable for losing his man.But Eintracht switched off, Pulisic and Batshuayi linking up to stunning effect and the on-loan striker smashing in to apparently settle the match.Dortmund had not counted on Eintracht’s resilience, though, and they levelled again in the first minute of added time, Blum tapping in at the back post from a Danny da Costa cross.The scoring was not over though, Batshuayi leaving his mark on a breathless contest by hammering in an unstoppable 94th-minute finish to claim all three points for his side.It’s not who i am underneath but what i do that defines me … #BATSMAN pic.twitter.com/HHtPqWwVho— Michy Batshuayi (@mbatshuayi) March 11, 2018Key Opta stats:- Marco Russ scored the fifth own goal in his Bundesliga career – in Bundesliga history, only two players scored more: Nikolce Noveski and Manfred Kaltz (6 each).- Four of the five goals in this match were scored by substitutes – the most since Robert Lewandowski’s five goals as a substitute against Wolfsburg in September 2015.- Only Heiko Herrlich, Stephane Chapuisat and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (five each) needed fewer Bundesliga matches for Dortmund to score five goals than Michy Batshuayi (six). read more
UEFA Champions League When are the Champions League and Europa League quarter-final draws? Goal Last updated 1 year ago 15:30 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(6) UEFA Champions League UEFA Europa League Lazio Porto Milan Lokomotiv Moskva Salzburg Real Madrid Borussia Dortmund Bayern München Athletic Club Beşiktaş PSG Dynamo Kyiv Manchester United RB Leipzig CSKA Moskva Liverpool Basel Manchester City Juventus Tottenham Hotspur Sevilla Roma Shakhtar Donetsk Chelsea Barcelona Arsenal Atlético Madrid Olympique Lyonnais Viktoria Plzeň Sporting CP Olympique Marseille Zenit As we head into the latter stages of the tournaments, Goal brings you everything you need to know ahead of the draws The full complement of teams to take their place in the Champions League and Europa League quarter-finals is now known.A total of 16 teams have secured safe passage to the last eight of each competition, with the Europa League last-16 clashes coming to an end just one day prior to the draw on Friday.Here, Goal takes a look at everything you need to know ahead of the Champions League and Europa League draws for the quarter-finals. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp When is the Champions League quarter-final draw? The Champions League quarter-final draw will take place Friday, March 16 at 11:00 GMT (06:00 ET) .It will happen at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, and fans will be able to follow it via live stream on UEFA’s official website as well as being able to follow the latest news on Goal.The first legs will be played on April 3 and 4, with the return legs taking place a week later on April 10 and 11. How does the Champions League quarter-final draw work?Unlike previous draws, there are no restrictions on which clubs can draw one another.So, should Barcelona reach the next round, for example, a Clasico matchup against Real Madrid could be on the cards.Which teams are in the Champions League quarter-finals? Real Madrid secured their spot by beating Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain in both legs of their tie; Zinedine Zidane’s side picked up a 3-1 home victory before beating PSG 2-1 in the return leg. Joining Real in the last eight of the competition will be Premier League duo Liverpool, whose 5-0 victory at Porto in the first leg of their double-header was enough to see them through, and Manchester City, who progressed past FC Basel with an aggregate score of 5-2.Tottenham, however, were beaten 2-1 by Juventus at Wembley in the second meeting between the two clubs, meaning the Italian champions squeezed into the next round with a 4-3 aggregate scoreline.Manchester United were knocked out following a 2-1 defeat at home to Sevilla, while Roma progressed at the expense of Shakhtar Donetsk thanks to away goals.On Wednesday, Barcelona were inspired by Lionel Messi’s double in seeing off the challenge of Chelsea, sealing a 4-1 aggregate victory at Camp Nou.There were no surprises, meanwhile, in Istanbul, as Bayern completed an 8-1 drubbing of Besiktas to advance once more. Confirmed Teams Real Madrid Liverpool Manchester City Juventus Sevilla Roma Barcelona Bayern Munich When is the Europa League quarter-final draw? The Europa League quarter-final draw will be made at 12:00 GMT (07:00 ET) on Friday, March 16.The first leg of the quarter-final ties will take place on Thursday, April 5, with the reverse fixtures to be played a week later on Thursday April 12.Which teams are in the Europa League quarter-finals? The likes of Atletico Madrid and Arsenal marched into the quarter finals with dominant wins on Thursday.Atletico saw off Lokomotiv Moscow in an 8-1 aggregate victory, while the Gunners’ class held out against AC Milan as they advanced thanks to a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium. Borussia Dortmund, however, were not so lucky, falling in a big upset at the hands of Austria’s RB Salzburg; their neighbours, and fellow Red Bull side, RB Leipzig kept the German flag flying by seeing off Zenit. Lazio are the only Italian team left, while France’s Marseille, Sporting of Portugal and CSKA Moscow represent their respective nations. Curiously, the eight quarter-finalists hail from eight different nations, while only four countries will be on display in the Champions League quarter-finals. Confirmed Teams Atletico Madrid CSKA Salzburg Arsenal Lazio RB Leipzig Marseille Sporting
Cristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo is still priceless for Real Madrid and Portugal, says Salgado Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 18:45 6/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Spain Portugal World Cup Portugal v Spain Lionel Messi The Santiago Bernabeu legend is backing a talismanic forward to continue his starring role for both club and country in the years to come Michel Salgado says Cristiano Ronaldo is unsellable for Real Madrid, while he worries about the threat that the Portuguese superstar will pose to Spain in a crunch World Cup clash on Friday.The 33-year-old won the Champions League for a fifth time as Madrid overcame Liverpool 3-1 in May, but it was Gareth Bale who proved to be the match winner on that occasion as he scored twice off the bench.Immediately after the match, Ronaldo shocked the world by casting his future into doubt as he referred to his time with the Blancos in the past tense. Salgado, though, who played for 10 years at the Santiago Bernabeu, believes that Ronaldo is still the best player on Real’s books and will be kept on this summer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “After what I have seen in the last season, why would they move Ronaldo out of Real Madrid? He is still there in the key moments,” Salgado told Goal during the Betfair Road to Russia preview. “We are talking about scoring always in quarter-finals, semi-finals, and knockout stages. When you need him he is there.”To be honest, he is performing fantastically, he knows to save his energy for the big moments. He knows his body, he knows his head. He is a real professional guy. He is working hard to be the best. “Cristiano is a guy who has to work hard every day to be in there and he is doing it. He is an example in terms of professionalism and, for me, obviously he has to stay in Real Madrid for as long as he wants. He is so much for us.”I wanted to see Real Madrid without him for one big game in the Champions League because we never miss him. Obviously it would be really, really different. When he is in there, the opposition defenders are shaking, they know he is in there. It is stupid to say he is too old or whatever.”Obviously he is getting mature, he is 33 years old. The physicality is dropping of course. The speed, the pace but he has got something that I don’t think right now that any other player has got. This is the smell to score goals. He has got something special when it comes to the goal.”He always puts the ball, at the right time, at the right moment into the goal. That’s something that is priceless right now in football.”Salgado won four league titles and two Champions League trophies during his time with Real Madrid and is considered to be a club legend. He also played 53 times for Spain, including in the 2006 World Cup, but missed out in 2002 due to injury.The 42-year-old says this World Cup represents Ronaldo’s last chance to win the highest honour in international football, though he thinks the Portugal star’s great rival may have a shot at playing in 2022. “It is going to be difficult for Cristiano Ronaldo to get there in the next World Cup,” Salgado said. “Maybe [Lionel] Messi has one more, probably yes. It is one of the last chances they have got to win the World Cup. That’s what the World Cup is all about.”Messi and Ronaldo, they know it. They know they have got their last chance to try to win it and that’s why it is going to be an amazing World Cup.”Spain’s opening game against Portugal will see six Spanish Real Madrid stars possibly facing their club team-mate. Salgado thinks both sides will be desperate not to lose in their opening match and that fear could therefore creep into each side’s play.”To be honest [Ronaldo] is unlucky that we have got our first game against Portugal,” Salgado added. “There is a rivalry because we are neighbours. There has always been a big rivalry in there and Cristiano Ronaldo is in there. He is our main player in Real Madrid. He is our soul so, for us, it is difficult to see us playing against Cristiano Ronaldo.“At the same time because it is a tricky group, whoever loses this game will have a lot of pressure for the second and third game. I see this game with more fear to lose it than action and belief and passion to win it. It is the first game, we know it is difficult and the first game is always important in the World Cup for the way you are going to progress.”Let’s see what happens but I am going to tell you, if you lose the first game in this group, it is not going to be easy because you have got Iran and Morocco in the second and third games. I know both teams and to be honest, they are going to make our lives complicated.”
World Cup ‘Neymar is ready to shine for Brazil’ – Tite sounds warning to World Cup rivals Iain Strachan 01:56 6/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Brazil Brazil v Switzerland Switzerland Neymar Brazil coach Tite has said Neymar is yet to return to peak condition, but expects the forward to make an early impact at the World Cup. Neymar is yet to reach 100 per cent in his recovery from a broken foot but is poised to star for Brazil at the World Cup, according to head coach Tite.The 26-year-old forward, the world’s most expensive player following his €222 million (£194m/$258m) switch from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last year, sustained a fractured metatarsal in February, placing his World Cup participation in some doubt.The former Santos attacker made a scoring return to action in friendly wins over Croatia and Austria prior to Brazil’s arrival in Russia, where they will take on Switzerland in their Group E opener in Rostov-on-Don on Sunday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar And while Neymar still has work to do to get back to his very best level, Tite believes he is still capable of exerting a decisive impact as Brazil go in search of a sixth World Cup triumph. “Neymar is not 100 per cent yet,” he told a news conference at Rostov Arena. “But he is very privileged physically, his sprinting capacity and his speed is really impressive, he hasn’t lost that. He’s not 100 per cent yet. But he’s good enough to play very well.”It remains to be seen who Tite chooses to play alongside Neymar in attack, with the coach refusing to confirm Chelsea’s Willian will be part of the expected three-man frontline. “Well, you’re going to see this on the pitch, it changes, it gets stronger, it shows itself,” he said of his preferred XI, as Gabriel Jesus, Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino also vie to feature from kick-off. “With 23 top athletes, today yes [Willian could start], but I can’t say about tomorrow, I don’t know what could happen, if you have a physical problem… I would like him to play a lot but he has to prove himself.” After suffering a crushing 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals of the previous World Cup on home soil, Brazil also underwhelmed in the Copa America, a group-stage exit in 2016 ending Dunga’s second spell in charge. The Selecao have flourished under Tite, though, and the focus of the 57-year-old, a Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores winner with Internacional and Corinthians respectively, wants Brazil to sustain their excellence in the lead-up to the finals in Russia. “It was a challenge, it still is, to keep the standards [up],” he said. “We were challenging them [the players]. We want to have this expectation for ourselves. We want every game to reproduce this standard or even top it.”At the emotional level, there’s all this pressure. I feel like the world is looking at us… The [score at the] final whistle you can’t always control. Football is like that.”
World Cup Uruguay vs Portugal: Live blog, text commentary, line-ups, stream & TV channel Goal Last updated 1 year ago 14:15 6/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Getty World Cup Uruguay v Portugal Uruguay Portugal Powerade La Celeste will be looking to extend their perfect winning streak in their last 16 tie against Portugal after topping their group FULL-TIME! URUGUAY 2-1 PORTUGAL95 mins: Uruguay get the ball away, we are deep into added time.94 mins: SAVE! Quaresma forces Muslera into a save at the near post and Portugal will have one final chance from the corner. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar 93 mins: Ronaldo is furious as Portugal are denied a free-kick after Quaresma fell to ground and, should his nation secure a remarkable turnaround, he will miss the quarter-final.92 mins: Huge chance for Uruguay to finish the game! Suarez superbly holds up the ball and then skips past two defenders to find room, then playing a low ball across the face of goal but Stuani is unable to get on the end of it.91 mins: Into four minutes of added time. We could be about to see Lionel Messi and Ronaldo bow out of the World Cup on the same day.89 mins: Suarez doing superbly on his own holding up the play to allow Uruguay the opportunity to reorganise themselves. They are starting to look tired but they remain very strong.87 mins: Uruguay only have defence on their mind as they shut up shop at the back. Portugal still continue to struggle to craft a sight at goal.85 mins: Portugal make their final change by introducing Fernandes for Mario.83 mins: Superb defending from Torreira inside the box as he clears the ball away after another threatening Portugal attack. It is one way traffic in Sochi as Portugal desperately try to find an equaliser.82 mins: Laxalt, playing on the left side of Uruguay’s defence, has also had a fantastic game. He has already announced he will be leaving Genoa and there will certainly be plenty of interest in his services.81 mins: Third and final change for Uruguay, as Nandez is replaced by Sanchez.78 mins: Uruguay have shut all the doors defensively and every single player is doing fine work to keep Portugal quiet. Torreira has been excellent once again, while Suarez has also trotted back to help those behind him.76 mins: Inside the final 15 minutes in Sochi and Portugal are on the verge of an exit from the World Cup. They need a hero, they need Ronaldo to see more of the ball.74 mins: Uruguay also make a change to their attack, introducing Stuani in place of Cavani.74 mins: An attacking change for Portugal, as Andre Silva replaces Guedes.73 mins: Portugal banging on the door as Uruguay are still temporarily down to ten men but Uruguay have everybody back behind the ball to defend.71 mins: Ronaldo helps Cavani off the field after he sustains a knock, with the two-goal man limping away and looking set to be replaced.70 mins: OVER! A golden opportunity as Muslera fumbles the ball and it finds it’s way to Bernardo Silva on the edge of the area, who slashes a shot over the bar. A real waste!69 mins: Portugal are still yet to get Ronaldo involved in the game sufficiently, as Uruguay continue to quell the threat of the Real Madrid star.67 mins: Portugal back on the front foot as the chase another equaliser but Quaresma’s corner is dealt with, as is the second delivery from Fonte.65 mins: Portugal follow suit with a change of their own, replacing Adrien Silva with Quaresma.63 mins: That was Bentancur’s last contribution to the game, as he is replaced by Rodriguez.62 mins: Both of Uruguay’s goals in this game have been superb. Bentancur’s pass to Cavani was inviting and the Paris Saint-Germain man is now on a hat-trick.62 mins: GOOOOOOOAL! 2-1! Uruguay restore their lead! A superb break sees Bentancur feed the ball across to Cavani, who curls superbly into the far corner of the net to give Patricio no chance. 61 mins: Portugal look much better since the break and Uruguay have not managed to create any meaningful attacks of their own since the interval.59 mins: Pepe’s goal is the first that Ururguay have conceded their first goal in 597 minutes of international football.57 mins: Just as we were saying that Uruguay could defend for hours. The curse of the commentator strikes and the outlook of the game is now extremely different.55 mins: Portugal have had plenty of opportunities to put the ball into the middle but Guerreiro is the only man so far who has actually delivered a decent cross.55 mins: GOOOOAL! 1-1! Portugal go short from a corner and Guerreiro whips a cross into the middle, where Pepe has skinned his marker and heads past Muslera. It is the first goal Uruguay have conceded at this World Cup.54 mins: Uruguay look like they could defend their goal for hours on end without conceding. Portugal are still yet to craft a clear-cut chance in front of goal.52 mins: OVER! The ball bounces up nicely for Guerreiro, who volleys a looping effort over the top of Muslera’s net.50 mins: Uruguay putting Portugal under a lot of pressure when they have the ball, trying to nick possession to force an opening. A second goal could kill the game.48 mins: Uruguay have won 13 of the 15 World Cup games where they have been leading at half-time, losing just one.47 mins: Portugal look to have changed things tactically, with Bernardo Silva now playing just off Ronaldo in a central position and Guedes taking a role on the right.46 mins: Back underway for the second half in Sochi!Portugal need to be more expansive in the final third during the second half as they simply have not done enough to test Uruguay defensively, although that is not easy due to the fact they are still yet to concede at the World Cup. Unless the European champions improve though, they will follow Argentina out of the World Cup.Uruguay are not a side you want to fall behind against due to their defensive strength and Portugal have learnt that the hard way. Suarez and Cavani’s superb partnership led to the opening goal from the latter and Ronaldo has struggled to get involved in threatening areas. At the break, Uruguay look comfortable.47 mins: HALF-TIME! URUGUAY 1-0 PORTUGAL46 mins: Into two minutes of added time.44 mins: Ronaldo wins Portugal a corner and Uruguay are furious as Suarez is down in pain at the other end of the field. There was not too much in that but they believe they should have put the ball out of play.42 mins: It may not be the most exciting style of football but Uruguay are showing that they are incredibly difficult to beat. It may take a moment of magic to crack through their defensive wall.40 mins: Cavani is tracking back to put pressure on the Portugal midfielders and wins a free-kick off Carvalho. Oscar Tabarez’s side are superbly well drilled.38 mins: Uruguay are forcing Portugal wide every time they get forward and it is simply not working for the European champions.36 mins: Portugal are still seeing a lot of the ball but the majority of it is in the centre of the field. Uruguay are finding things far too easy in defence.34 mins: Uruguay will be very happy if they can retain their advantage heading into the interval. Portugal may need to change their tactics to get Ronaldo in the game more.32 mins: Bentancur concedes a free-kick in Ronaldo territory, giving him the opportunity to strike at goal. However, his effort is slammed straight into the wall.30 mins: Uruguay seem to have taken their foot off the gas in attack, instead focusing on their defensive play, but Suarez and Cavani both look to be in the mood.28 mins: Portugal seeing the lion’s share of possession at the moment but they are struggling to craft opportunities. Ronaldo has barely seen the ball in dangerous areas.26 mins: Godin clips Bernardo Silva on the right side, conceding a free-kick, which Marios lofts into the box but it goes all the way through without causing any danger.24 mins: Portugal, and Ronaldo in particular, are yet to be given sufficient room to make their mark on the match. Uruguay’s defence is incredibly firm.22 mins: SAVE! Suarez shoots low from the free-kick, forcing Patrico into action to palm away at his left-hand post.21 mins: Uruguay break again as Suarez is barged to the ground by Fonte, conceding a free-kick in a dangerous position.19 mins: Bad omen for Portugal – they have lost each of their last nine World Cup games in which they have conceded the first goal.17 mins: Unsurprisingly, Godin and Gimenez have kept things very tight at the back for Uruguay. Portugal are yet to test Muslera.15 mins: Uruguay look to be in the mood and they continue to put Portugal’s defence under pressure.13 mins: Uruguay’s goal was the 12th time that Suarez has assisted for Cavani and the first since November 2016.11 mins: WIDE! Portugal go short from a corner and it is eventually curled towards Fonte at the far post, who is all over his defensive marker but heads wide of the mark.9 mins: Portugal now have a stern test ahead of them to break through a Uruguay defence that has not conceded in the last six international matches.7 mins: Strike partners for 12 years, born in the same city in Uruguay just three weeks apart. Suarez and Cavani get the game off to a flying start!7 mins: GOOOOOOAL! Uruguay get first blood! Suarez whips a superb cross to the far post where Cavani rises to head home. The dynamic duo link-up once again and Portugal are behind!6 mins: SAVE! Bernardo Silva tees the ball to Ronaldo on the edge of the box, who drills a low shot at goal that Muslera gathers comfortably.5 mins: Pepe and Godin earn the first attention from the referee after pushing and shoving inside the area ahead of Torreira’s corner, which is easily headed away by the Portugal defence.3 mins: Ronaldo, back at the venue where he scored a hat-trick against Spain, earns a rapturous applause as he makes his first touch. Both sides are looking to find early footing in the game.1 min: We’re underway in Sochi, where Portugal get us started.HERE WE GO…5 mins until KO: We were treated to a cracking match earlier today, hopefully this game is just as good. The teams are coming onto the field and the national anthems are about to begin.15 mins until KO: Uruguay are the only nation yet to concede at the World Cup 2018.18 mins until KO: Portugal make three changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Iran, dropping Quaresma, Cedric and Andre Silva. Their spots in the line-up are taken by Pereira, Bernardo Silva and Guedes. Ronaldo, on a yellow card, will miss the quarter-final if he is booked this evening and his nation advance.20 mins until KO: Uruguay make just one change from the side that defeated Russia in their final group match as Gimenez returns to the heart of defence alongside Atletico Madrid team-mate Godin. Coates is the man that drops to the bench, while Torreira will be in for a tough test protecting the back-line.22 mins until KO: Uruguay make just one change from the side that defeated Russia in their final group match as Gimenez returns to the heart of defence alongside Atletico Madrid team-mate Godin. Coates is the man that drops to the bench, while Torreira will be in for a tough test protecting the back-line.22 mins until KO: Portugal XI: Rui Patricio; Ricardo Pereira, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; Bernardo Silva, William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Joao Mario; Goncalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo.24 mins until KO: Uruguay subs: Martin Campana, Martin Silva, Maxi Pereira, Cristhian Stuani, Carlos Sanchez, Guillermo Varela, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Sebastian Coates, Gaston Silva, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Cristian Rodriguez, Maxi Gomez.24 mins until KO: Uruguay XI: Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Diego Laxalt; Nahitan Nandez, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino; Rodrigo Bentancur; Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez.26 mins until KO: With Lionel Messi’s Argentina knocked out by France in a cracking game earlier today, all eyes are on Cristiano Ronaldo to see if he can lead his nation to glory in what could be his last World Cup. The rest of Portugal’s squad need to step-up if they are to go all the way and will need to be strong against an organised Uruguay outfit.28 mins until KO: Semi-finalists in 2010, Uruguay’s golden generation may feel this is their last chance for glory. It’s been 68 years since La Celeste last lifted the World Cup and they will fancy their chances against a Portugal side who, despite entering the tournament as European champions, have looked flat in certain areas.30 mins until KO: Hello and welcome to this live text commentary of the World Cup last-16 match between Uruguay and Portugal in Russia. Game Uruguay vs Portugal Date Saturday, June 30 Time 7pm BST / 2pm ET Stream (US only) fubo TV (7-day free trial) Squads & Team News Defender Jose Maria Gimenez returns to the Uruguay starting XI after missing out last time through injury in their only change for their first knockout tie of the tournament.He takes the place of Sebastian Coates who drops to the bench for Oscar Tabarez’s side.Uruguay XI: Muslera; Caceres, Gimenez, Godin, Laxalt; Nandez, Vecino, Torreira, Bentancur; Suarez, Cavani.Portugal manager Fernando makes three changes to the side held by Iran in their final group game, with goalscorer Ricardo Quaresma dropped alongside Cedric Soares and Andre Silva.In their place, starts are handed to Ricardo, Bernardo Silva and Goncalo Guedes.Portugal XI: Patricio; Ricardo, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro; B. Silva, Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Mario; Ronaldo, Guedes.TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX / Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on ITV and it will be available to stream live online using the ITV Player. UK TV channel Online stream ITV ITV Player