Ecommerce Sales If you have a great product, customers will probably want to buy from you again. But that doesn’t mean they’ll always remember to. People are busy; no matter how much they love you, sometimes it’s just hard to keep in touch, you know? Which is why email remarketing campaigns are great ideas for those who have purchased (or almost purchased) from you in the past!What’s an email remarketing campaign, you ask? Pretty much what it sounds like … you send an email marketing campaign to a lead or customer in your database that encourages them to purchase from you again.Click here to download our free beginner’s guide to email marketing.And ecommerce businesses that don’t leverage remarketing campaigns are missing a huge revenue opportunity — according to Practical eCommerce, only 5% of new customers that make a purchase with a company return to the site, and only 3% make a second purchase. Them’s not good odds.But they can get better when you leverage email remarketing campaigns. Practical eCommerce also found that customers who have recently made a purchase on your site are more than twice as likely to return to your site and complete a purchase when they receive remarketing emails. Now those are numbers I can get behind.So to get you started with email remarketing, we’ve gathered some creative ideas for you to consider for your own email remarketing campaigns, all from real brands that are excelling with their own programs. Take a look, and get some inspiration so you can generate more revenue out of a contact database that already loves you!1) Abandoned Shopping CartWe’ll start with the most common email campaign used to recall customers to your website — the abandoned shopping cart email. Take a look at how HubSpot customer Shar Music gets in touch with customers who have almost completed a purchase on their website, but abandon their shopping cart at the last minute.This is just one in a series of three emails that Shar Music sends to an abandoned shopping cart customer to encourage them to return to the site and complete their purchase. A key takeaway of this abandoned shopping cart email is how easy they’ve made it for the recipient to understand the purpose of the email, and to act on it. The design isn’t fancy; it doesn’t need to be. It simply asks, “Can we help you with anything?” in bold letters that stand out from the rest of the email, and provides a large call-to-action button at the end that makes it easy for the recipient to return to their shopping cart and complete their purchase.If abandoned shopping cart emails aren’t part of your email remarketing strategy yet, they’re some seriously low-hanging fruit; just make sure to follow up with an abandoned shopping cart customer quickly. An MIT study via SeeWhy showed that 90% of ecommerce leads go cold within one hour, but when remarketed to, spend 55% more!2) Wishlist SaleAlways a fantastic email remarketer (their campaigns will appear in this post a few times), ModCloth has leveraged its “Wishlist” feature to remarket to their customers. You know the wishlist — many ecommerce sites let you bookmark items that you really like, but perhaps aren’t ready to purchase. It’s common for customers to do this when they’re researching options from multiple businesses, or when they see something they would like to get, but certainly don’t need. Until they get this remarketing email, of course:When customers are comparison shopping or unwilling to complete the purchase of something they like, price is often a factor. This remarketing campaign is genius because it addresses that purchase blocker by alerting me that something I wish I could have is now on sale. If I wasn’t willing to buy it for its original price, maybe I’d be interested to “Grab It Now” for the sale price. Brilliant!3) Last Chance to PurchaseJust like ModCloth lets you know when something on your wishlist is on sale, they have a remarketing campaign that alerts you when something on your wishlist is almost out of stock. Sometimes a sale can be enough to incite a customer to purchase; but maybe the urgency of an item selling out is enough for those items that are so popular you don’t even need to put them on sale!Emails like these are not only great because they encourage a purchase, but they also do so in a way that actually comes off as customer service. You’re doing your customers a favor in this email — getting in touch with them to let them know something they like won’t be available soon. Personal service, meet 2012 ecommerce — we think you two might have a lot in common.4) Repetitive BehaviorTarget people’s past buying behaviors to get in touch with them right at (or ideally, a little bit before) the moment they’ll need to make a purchase. This is a great email remarketing technique for businesses that deal with monthly, quarterly, or yearly purchases — like an online contact lens retailer, for example. Since they know when you last bought contacts, in what amount, and how long that amount will last, they can perfectly time an email remarketing campaign to hit at your time of need.But there are a few other creative applications for this type of remarketing campaign, too. Just take a look at how 1-800-Flowers targets holidays for which their products are a great fit in their 2012 Mother’s Day campaign. Even though I didn’t buy flowers from them at Mother’s Day last year (calm down, I used another vendor — I’m not an animal!), I’ve purchased with them for other holidays. So it’s smart of them to recognize Mother’s Day as an opportunity for me to buy flowers from them instead of another competitor, since they know I’m likely to buy flowers from them for other holidays.You can also do a mash-up of the two concepts we just discussed, like Pottery Barn did below. They took a more subjective look at customer buying behavior, and matched it up with the time of year to come up with this remarketing campaign. Since I purchased items from their outdoor collection last spring, I might be interested in doing so again this year. Share your creative ideas for email remarketing campaigns in the comments!Image credit: gordontarpley (Tip: If you do have an algorithm running, you can use your purchase confirmation email — an email that typically has a very high open rate — as an opportunity to include these recommendations.)6) All Your Friends Love It!We’ve already talked about the importance of social proof and user-generated content in your marketing; why not include it in your next email remarketing campaign? Send an email like ModCloth’s below (I told you they’d make multiple appearances today) that shows what others are saying about products you might like based on your past purchase history. These testimonials come from the product review section of their website, but you could also pull from customers’ tweets and Facebook status updates that praise your product — I’ve received an email from these folks that does just that in the past, too!7) Back in StockFinally, consider sending an email alert for the products your customers wanted, but couldn’t quite get their hands on, like you see below. There are two ways to approach this particular email remarketing campaign, both of which hinge on the fact that you keep out-of-stock products on your website.The first is to add a module to your website for products that are out of stock that lets customers put in their email address, and ask to be alerted when a product’s inventory is restocked. The other method, which can be combined with the previous one, is to alert customers who had an item on their wishlist but didn’t complete the purchase before an item sold out. In this instance, you know a customer loved an item, but just didn’t get to checkout in time; a remarketing campaign that let them know their much-coveted item is available would be another great way to deliver some seriously personal service! 5) Add-On and Related Item SuggestionsYou know when you go to Amazon.com and they have a whole list of items they think you might like based on the product page you’re viewing? Some of them are add-on items (products that would make the one you’re looking at function better); and some are related items (products that other shoppers who purchased an item tend to like).You might not have an algorithm running like Amazon does to tell you these things (or maybe you do!) but you can still take your product knowledge and apply it to an email remarketing campaign that recommends buyers purchase add-on and related items. Take a look at how Buy.com did it below. Topics: Originally published Apr 27, 2012 1:27:00 PM, updated November 30 2018 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Originally published Jun 13, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated August 29 2017 In email marketing, the success of your messages is largely dependent on the quality of your list. And although we’ve talked a bunch about list segmentation and list health on this blog (have you taken our email list sniff test yet?), there’s still more you should understand about lists. (Who knew the topic of email lists could be so darn extensive?)What we’re referring to in this post is the concept of static lists vs. dynamic lists . Do you understand the distinction? It might sound simple, but we’re surprised by how many marketers really don’t know the difference — and when to use one or the other, for that matter. We’ll keep this lesson to the point so you can once and for all understand what distinguishes one list from the other, and start applying the right uses of each to your email marketing programs. What Are Static Lists? Quite simply, static lists are, well … static. These lists consist only of contacts you’ve accumulated up until the point when you create the list, and they remain unchanged unless you manually add or remove contacts. Static lists can either be created using contacts that already exist in your database, or through a manual upload to your email tool. Typically, they’re created through the latter method, as oftentimes they consist of contacts that were gathered through offline methods or other online campaigns not connected to interactions on your website. HubSpot’s email tool , for example, allows users to create static lists in both of these ways, as you can see from the screenshots below. When to Use Static Lists in Email Marketing Of all the types of email a marketer can send , static lists are generally good for one-off email sends, email campaigns that you run infrequently, and for lists of contacts that don’t change often. Here are a few examples of when you’d want to use a static list in your email marketing: Event Registrants, Attendees, or No-Show Lists: No one can travel back in time to register for or attend your event in the past, right? That’s why event lists tend to be ones that remain static. You might use these lists to send follow-up information or content post-event, whether it’s an in-person event or an online one like a webinar. Staff Lists: Do you send a quarterly newsletter to your company’s board of directors? How about an internal one to your business’ employees? These are lists of people that don’t typically change often, and you’ll probably also have to manually update them anyway. Trade Show Lists: Did you snag some prospects’ contact information from your presence at a trade show or another industry conference/event? This is a great use case for a static list upload. What Are Dynamic Lists? Dynamic email lists, on the other hand, are lists that constantly evolve as certain criteria are met. This criteria could include a specific property (e.g. contacts from a specific state or contacts from a specific industry), members of other lists (i.e. a list combining other lists!), or contacts who completed certain landing page forms . New contacts get added as they meet the criteria set for the list, and furthermore, dynamic lists will also remove people who no longer meet that criteria. Get it? Dynamic. These lists are powered by data and intelligence that can be collected by your marketing software or CRM as well as through interactions contacts have on your website, such as downloading content or visiting certain web pages. Dynamic lists are also critical for slicing and dicing your database into various segments for more effective and relevant email marketing .You’ll need to consult your email software provider to see if dynamic lists are part of its services available to you. To understand how they work, below is an example of a dynamic list in the making in HubSpot’s Contacts and Email tools . In our tool, we call these dynamic lists ‘Smart Lists.’ Here, we’re generating a segmented list of contacts who have Twitter follower counts of 1,000 or more. Once this list is established, as more of our contacts’ Twitter follower counts grow and meet that 1,000-follower threshold, the list will also grow. In addition, any contact whose follower count dips below 1,000 will automatically be removed from the list. So if we wanted to put some extra social media promotional muscle behind a particular piece of content or marketing offer, we might use this list to send an email to the contacts in our database with the greatest Twitter reach. Email Lists and Segmentation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When to Use Dynamic Lists in Email Marketing Dynamic lists are best used for email campaigns in which you plan on sending email more than once to a certain list of contacts that changes and gets updated frequently. As time goes on, your dynamic list would automatically adjust to your changing volume of contacts. This saves you the time from creating a new list every time you want to email that segment and keeps the list fresh and up to date in real time. Here are some examples of when you’d want to use a dynamic list in your email marketing: Customer List: Keeping your customers in the know with a monthly newsletter about your newest product tutorials, features, and other updates? New customers come, and (unfortunately), some go, so a dynamic customer list will enable you to automatically include new customers — and exclude ex-customers — on your next newsletter send. Free Trial Users: Use a dynamic list to send ongoing tips about how to get the most out of your company’s free product trial. This way, new contacts who start a free trial get automatically looped in the next time you send an email of tips to this list. Block Lists: Dynamic lists can also be used to suppress certain contacts and protect recipients from receiving too many emails. For instance, you could create a dynamic list of anyone who has already signed up for an event, and block that continually updating list from future sends designed to promote the very same event. Interest-Based Lists: Create an evolving list of everyone who downloaded content on a particular topic, then make sure your emails to that list match that interest category.When it comes to dynamic lists, the possibilities really are plentiful — and powerful. Just think of all the very targeted email you could send! In what ways are you using dynamic lists to improve email segmentation ? Image Credit: adamentmeat
2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 Free Blog Post Templates Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post TemplatesWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Free Templates: Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: How to Write a Blog Post Topics:
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 Jun 18, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated October 29 2019 Career Development Think of the people you’ve worked with over the years who have really, really kicked butt at their job but never seemed to rise up the ranks. They delivered on every task that was asked of them, demonstrated great work ethic, kept out of petty office politics, stayed late at the office — basically, they ticked off every box from those articles you’ve read on how to get promoted.So … why weren’t they? And if they weren’t promoted, then is there any hope in the world for you?Yes, yes there is. It turns out that, for the most part, being great at your job itself isn’t what gets you a promotion. It takes a lot more than that to climb that corporate ladder — including careful planning, strategy, good timing, thorough execution, and humility.In a competitive environment, how do you get that promotion you’ve been eyeing? Let’s take a deeper dive into how promotions actually work and the steps you can take to plan and negotiate for one.Download a Free Guide and Template to Help You Create a Company Culture Code. How Promotions WorkSeveral things have to be true for you to get promoted:1) There is a business need you can solve.There needs to be a position open, or the need for a position to be opened, that you would be the best person to fill. Maybe a position opened up because someone left, or perhaps your organization is growing and a new position was created or could be created — if you could fill that role, you might be up for promotion.Unfortunately, there won’t always be an open opportunity for someone who feels ready to move up. For example, if you are an accountant reporting directly to a tax director who plans to stay in his position for a few years, you’ll probably have to move to a different company or department within your current company.2) You’ve acquired a broad skill set.You need to be doing things above and beyond the scope of what you were hired to do, and you have to make your superiors aware (in a humble, non-aggressive way) that you’re able to operate at a higher level than your current job.This means that, in addition to being extremely good at your job, you must show your boss you can handle a broader range of responsibilities. Not only have you nailed all the tasks that have been assigned to you, but also you’ve also looked around, seen challenges faced by the organization, and found some solutions. Remember, you aren’t paid to identify the problems — you’re paid to find the solutions.A lot of people make the mistake of getting pigeonholed into one specific skill area. Instead, make your way onto projects that combine many different skills so you can eventually run teams or devise multi-channel strategies. For marketers, it’s a good idea to get experience both on the agency side and the client side, and if possible both in B2B and B2C marketing.Above all of those skills, you’ve got to stay current. There’s a tsunami of new marketing trends available — content marketing, targeting and retargeting, rewards and gamification, and cross-platform SEO are just a few that come to mind. You need to devote time to learning the most current marketing trends throughout your career. But that’s the fun part!3) People know you — in a good way.Visibility and reputation can have a huge impact on whether you’re promoted. You need to be “seen” — this means venturing outside of your normal, day-to-day responsibilities and building a network within your company. Exposure to the right people helps you set yourself up to show you’re the best person for the promotion when it opens up.Perception of ability matters too: You want people to believe you can operate at a higher level than you do in your current position. A great way to show your coworkers your broader skill set is to help them out with their work when you have extra time. By helping others get better, you’ll show leadership qualities and demonstrate that you’re capable of doing more than you’re currently doing.4) You are humble and graceful.There is an art to striving for promotion. It’s not just what you get done, it’s how you get it done. A leader can’t promote someone who solves problems but leaves a trail of bad blood behind — you need to be easy to work with, too. Also, if you’re too outwardly aggressive about getting the promotion, you’ll leave your coworkers with a bad taste.How Promotions Don’t WorkA lot of people think promotions happen at your annual review. This isn’t actually true for the vast majority of companies. Any promotions that do happen incrementally are often administrative formalities, like adding “senior” to or shredding “associate” from your current title — but the odds of a significant increase or change in responsibilities often don’t follow.And more often than not, you won’t be successful if you try to get a promotion at your current employer using a job offer from another company. You might get a raise or you might get shown the door, but an actual promotion is probably not in the cards. And if you do have the moxie to pull off this technique, remember this: You can only do it once. The odds of it working a second time at a given employer are microscopic.How & When To Bring Up a Promotion With Your BossWhen should you bring up your goal of a promotion with your boss? Pretty much every time you regularly meet to catch up. Your career path within the company should be an ongoing dialogue with your boss, including which position or positions you’d be interested in advancing to someday. Good managers expect conversations like this because they hired people who have broader potential and an interest in advancing.Some managers are proactive about having this conversation with their employees, while others need a bit of a nudge. If your manager is proactive, she’ll sit down with each of the people working for her to understand where they hope to go in their career, which areas they find most interesting, and where they add the most value.If you’re not having this conversation with your manager, then don’t be afraid to bring up your career goals and aspirations with her yourself. Let her know that you’re really enjoying your work and that you want to contribute more and perhaps get promoted at some point. (Don’t give a time frame.)And then — and this is key — ask what it will take to be considered. This does two things: 1) it notifies your boss that you’re interested in being promoted, and 2) it gives her an opportunity to tell you what your strengths are and, more importantly, where you need to improve. Be prepared for feedback and listen to it carefully. Take notes so you have a record of exactly what she told you you needed to do in order to get promoted — you’ll be able to use this later as a to-do list of sorts. Then, deliver on what is being asked of you.Once you’ve acquired the skills you need, built the relationships you need to build, and shown your coworkers you have the capacity to take on more responsibility, you’ll be in a position to say that you’d like to be considered for promotion. If you’ve met the above requirements, you’ll have a very good chance of getting a promotion.What is the best advice you’ve ever heard on how to get promoted? Share in the comments below!
Originally published Jun 19, 2014 6:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 SEO inception: Google punishes itself for using black hat tactics?There’s only one company out there that can bring Google, the almighty ruler of internet search, to its knees. And that company, of course, is Google.Back in 2012, the Google Chrome homepage received a two-month penalty after it was discovered the site was benefiting from paid links.Two years prior, the company got itself in hot water — with itself — for cloaking content on its AdWords help pages.For more instances of Google punishing Google for SEO infractions, check out this great post from Search Engine Land.And there you have it, some of the biggest SEO missteps in recent history. Remember: If you want to stay in the clear with your site, just avoid making these common SEO mistakes. Got any SEO horror stories you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments below! Topics: BMW feels the Google kiss of death for using doorway pages, receives a “0” PageRankThe year was 2006, and German car company BMW’s German website (BMW.de) was mopping it up in the search rankings with important keywords like “used car.”As it turns out, the company had been using doorway pages to artificially inflate their inbound links and rank higher for competitive keywords. A doorway page, also known as a bridge or portal page, is a webpage that’s created solely for the purpose of redirecting visitors to a parent page. In BMW’s case, this page was BMW.de.Even back in 2006, Google wasn’t messing around. BMW.de was promptly blacklisted, receiving a PageRank of 0 as a consequence of the infraction.Toys R Us pays $5.1 million for Toys.com domain name, forgets to set up 301 redirectsToys R Us really, really wanted to dominate the word “toys’ in search, so much so that they paid top dollar for the eponymous domain name, toys.com, back in 2010.While the plan was to score some serious SEO cred for having such a searched-for term — toys — right in their domain name, the crew handling the project made a big, big mistake: when they launched the new site, they failed to redirect their old URLs. As a result, Google re-indexed the site, so instead of seeing their search ranking for “toys” climb, the Toys R’ Us team watched it take a nose dive.In this case, there was no ill SEO-intent on the part of the company. They didn’t use any black hat tactics — they just messed up. Big time.Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to you? When making big changes to your site, keep track of everything in a workbook.Overstock.com trades discounts for links, loses $1.05 billion in revenue after Google takes noticeRap Genius was by no means the first company to construct a scheme for generating rank-boosting links. Back in 2011, it was discovered that online retailer Overstock.com was encouraging colleges and universities to embed links on their websites in exchange for faculty and student discounts on Overstock.com merchandise.As far as terrible, sleazy, no-good, rotten link-building schemes go, this one was actually pretty clever. The “.edu” designation that most academic websites carry gives those sites some extra authoritativeness in the eyes of Google. So if you can get a bunch of these sites to link to your site using the keywords you want to target, you’ll be more likely to rank for those keywords.The problem, of course, is that trading discounts for links doesn’t help make information on the web any more organized. In fact, it muddles it all up (why would all these academic institutions link to product pages for bunk beds and lawn furniture?).Google, of course, penalized Overstock.com big time. These penalties were part of the reason why Overstock.com’s revenue dropped by $1.05 billion in 2011.J. C. Penney sees ranking for “living room furniture” drop from #1 to #68 in a matter of hours after Google penaltyAnother retail company, another link-building scheme. In this case, it’s theorized that J. C. Penney, or the SEO firm that worked for them, bought the company into a paid link network.As a result of participating in the network, the retailer received such an astronomical amount of inbound links — which targeted very specific keyword phrases — that the J. C. Penney site was ranking first for, well, almost everything. This came across as suspicious to some, including journalist David Segal.For the full scoop, you’ll definitely want to check out his New York Times piece on the subject, “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search.” For the abridged version, I think one of the most fascinating aspects of this case was how fast Google was able to take action and drop J. C. Penney’s search rankings. Within hours, they were ranking in the high 60s and 70s for search terms that they used to rank first for (including “living room furniture” and “Samsonite carry on luggage”).So for those of you who’ve ever thought about dabbling in paid link-building networks, take heed. Google knows what’s up, and will bring the pain if it needs to.Rap Genius loses 80% of its traffic after Google uncovers link-building scheme We all know that getting backlinks (a.k.a. inbound links) from trusted websites is a great way to give your website’s search rankings a boost. However, as the lyrics website Rap Genius would discover, the method you use to generate those backlinks is of considerable importance. If your website is attracting links because you regularly create stellar content and people in your industry love you and they always share and link to your stuff, then guess what? You’re golden! Google will give you a pat on the back.However, if you’re attracting links by regularly sending out spammy emails that instruct people to link to specific pages of yours, Google’s going to bring the heat.Rap Genius went so far as to develop a network of bloggers who received publicity for their posts in exchange for including links to specific song lyrics on the Rap Genius site. This “affiliate program,” as Rap Genius called it, didn’t fly with Google, especially since the lyrics the blogs linked to rarely aligned with the actual content of the posts.As a result of this scheme, Google delivered a punishing blow to Rap Genius’s search rankings, and — for a short while — the company lost 80% of its daily organic traffic.Fortunately for Rap Genius, Google is willing to forgive. After publicly admitting that their SEO tactics were whack, and deconstructing their link-building network, Rap Genius was allowed back on Google’s search results pages. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketers … we’re always looking for ways to make our metrics skyrocket up and to the right. We love our tips, tricks, hacks, “insider” secrets, and yes, we even love our performance-enhancing drugs (sips coffee).Where were we?Right … it seems we’re all so obsessed with improving and optimizing and driving results, that we’re sometimes tempted to break the rules. In the world of SEO, we call that using black hat tactics. And of course, we all think these black hat tactics are unfair or unethical and we never, ever use them.But here’s the thing: If black hat SEO can give your numbers a big boost and get you the results you need, why not go for it? I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?Spoiler alert: The worst that could happen is Google lands a direct hit on your search rankings with a flying roundhouse kick, your PageRank drops to 0, and you eventually get featured in a blog post (like this one) that’s filled with examples of companies that broke the rules and paid the price.Remember, as that influential marketing guy wrote in that famous book of his, “The Dark Side of the Force is the pathway to many abilities some consider to be … unnatural.”Actually, that’s from Star Wars. But the message is still relevant: You might hit your numbers using black hat tactics but, inevitably, Google’s going to notice that you’re doing something “unnatural.” And Google ain’t afraid to lay down the law.(Pssst. Want to make sure your website is squeaky clean? Check out our new guide, 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid During Your Next Website Redesign.)The SEO Hall of Shame SEO Mistakes
This year, 73% of content creators plan to prioritize creating more engaging content, while 55% plan to prioritize creating visual content, according to a report from Content Marketing Institute. This means more infographics, more social media images, more video content, and more visually appealing advertisements. What constitutes as visually appealing advertisement?In short: A lot of things. It needs to be simple, on-brand, targeted, actionable, understandable … the list goes on. To help you and your team better understand the underlying mechanisms that go into the creation of a compelling visual ad, check out the infographic below from Bannersnack. They’ve provided everything you need to know about visual ad creation in one infographic — and they’ve alphabetized it. 81Save81Save 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 Visual Content Originally published May 6, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Instagram Stories, the ephemeral content feature of Instagram, is similar to Snapchat. But its reach and numerous design options can bring you more viewers and ultimately add followers to your Instagram account.Read on to find out what Instagram Stories is, how to use it, and how it can add value to your Instagram account — be it for business or pleasure. 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 Aug 4, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Topics: What is Instagram Stories?Instagram Stories provides users with a place to share temporary posts at a higher frequency. While Instagram photos are typically reserved for perfectly composed shots, Stories captures the little moments that may not be as picture-perfect. Users can add text, icons, and other designs onto a photo in their Story.Instagram positions its Stories feature as a solution to overposting. These Stories live in a separate space, and you can post as frequently as you want without worrying about over saturating your friends’ feeds or filling the grid on your profile page.Grow your business using Instagram Stories with help from this short video series.So how do you build a Story? And what does this mean for your Instagram marketing strategy? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.How to Use Instagram StoriesReady to get started? We’ll walk you through the basic steps for building your first Instagram Story, and fill you in on some cool features along the way. (Psst — Want to skip the grunt work and get a stunning Story auto-magically created for your brand? Check out StoriesAds.com, a free Instagram Story generator from HubSpot and Shakr. Click here to get started.)1. Tap the plus sign in the upper left corner of your screen to get started.Image Credit: Instagram2. Take your photo by tapping the round button, or take a video by pressing down for up to 10 seconds.The thunderbolt icon turns on the flash, and the two arrows allow you to switch between the front and forward facing cameras.Image Credit: InstagramWant to upload something from your camera roll? You can. Simply swipe down to chose your photo or video. This includes Boomerangs and Hyperlapses.3) Select one of the three pen type options to doodle on your photo, add an emoji using your keyboard, or swipe right to select a simple color filter.Image Credit: InstagramPro Tip: While it may seem like it at first glance, you’re not limited to the colors that appear at the bottom of the screen. To open up more advanced color options simply press and hold one of the colors to pull up this screen:4. When you’re done, tap the checkmark icon to share.Your Story will appear here, at the top of your friends’ feeds. It’ll also be visible on your profile page by tapping your profile picture.Image Credit: InstagramOnce your Story is live, you can save your masterpiece by opening it and tapping the three dots on the bottom right, then selecting “Save Photo.”6. Check out who saw your Story by swiping up when viewing the photo or video.Realized someone’s seeing those photos who shouldn’t be? Tap the “X” next to their name to block them from seeing anything you add to your Story.Image Credit: InstagramWant to keep your stuff private? You can adjust your privacy settings by going to your profile and selecting the “Settings” icon in the upper right. From there, you can chose to hide your Story from certain users, and restrict who can reply to your messages.Wait, Isn’t That the Same Thing as Snapchat?One only needs to look as far as the name to realize Stories is a Snapchat competitor. Similarities include photo/video functionality, a 24-hour window before the content disappears, basic filters, and the doodle tool.However, there are a few advantages Snapchat has right out of the gate. For one, Instagram Stories is lacking Snapchat’s new “memories” feature, and there’s no screenshot notification. Not to mention, there are no stickers in Stories, and the filters leave something to be desired. And facial recognition — one of the most addictive Snapchat features — is noticeably absent. (If you can’t turn yourself into a bee, why bother?)However, Instagram Stories does have one big advantage over Snapchat: As part of the larger Facebook/Instagram umbrella, they have less of a hurdle to jump in regards to adoption. Snapchat’s 150 million daily active users look like chump change compared to Instagram’s 300 million. Snapchat has much more ground to cover, while Instagram already has a captive audience.What Marketers Need to Know About Instagram StoriesIf you have an active audience base on Instagram, you should jump on Stories quickly. You have the opportunity to create ephemeral, lighthearted, Snapchat-like content without the challenge of building up a Snapchat audience or launching a new channel.In addition to the built-in audience, you also have the opportunity for increased discoverability. The content you produce on Snapchat needs to be promoted regularly across other channels or else no one will see it. On Instagram, there are hashtags, geotags, and the Discover section to increase your chances of being found. Snapchat content can disappear into the void unless someone knows exactly what to look for.If you’ve wanted to experiment with Snapchat-style content without making the leap, this is your chance.But will it stick?It’s worth noting that Stories is the complete opposite of Instagram’s current value proposition. Each social network has its differentiating factor, and Instagram has always been a place to showcase the most beautiful, curated version of your life. Stories is at the other end of that spectrum: ephemeral, unpolished, and silly.And the way we see it, Stories is part of a larger shift we’re seeing towards ephemeral content — a format that Snapchat has seen a ton of success with thus far. Now, rather than painstakingly adjusting the colors and shadow on each picture, Instagram users have the opportunity to embrace and create content that’s transient. As a result, the stakes aren’t as high — especially considering Stories can’t even be “Liked.”Between the lack of public feedback and the time limitations, Instagram Stories take the pressure out of sharing content on the platform. So regardless of which platform ends up leading the pack, the popularity of ephemeral content won’t be slowing down anytime soon.So can these two conflicting ideals live in harmony within one platform? And if so, will users adopt Stories and abandon Snapchat?Chances of Stories catching on is much higher because it’s housed within the Instagram platform, and not the Facebook platform. The demographic overlap between Snapchat and Instagram makes it much more likely users will simply migrate their goofy stories to the other platform. But only if Instagram gets on the facial recognition game, and quickly. Millennials love that puppy filter. Instagram Marketing
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. College football analyst Steve Palazzolo recently listed Oklahoma State qaurterback Mason Rudolph as one of the nation’s top returning players, putting him at No. 4 on his list for ProFootballFocus.Top returning players in the Big 12Oklahoma QB Baker MayfieldOKState QB Mason RudolphTexas OT Connor Williams? https://t.co/SVIMAndHcY pic.twitter.com/opJilEOCb4— PFF College (@PFF_College) February 8, 2017 Here’s what Palazzolo had to say about OSU’s rising senior signal-caller:A three-year starter at Oklahoma State, Rudolph returns after ranking eighth overall in 2015 at 86.1 and second in 2016 at 92.3. Rudolph has gotten the ball down the field as well as any quarterback in the nation the last three years, ranking fourth in deep yards in 2015 and second in 2016. He’ll battle Mayfield for the top spot at quarterback in the Big 12 and in the nation, while making Oklahoma State a contender for both a conference and national title.Rudolph is one of four Big 12 players on the list, with Texas lineman Connor Williams and Oklahoma Ogbonnia Okoronkwo pegged as No. 10 and No. 19, respectively. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is listed at No. 1.
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. Brandon Weeden recently made it back for an Oklahoma State spring practice, and he talked about the team and his time there in an interview with Allison Gappa.“I’m impressed,” said Weeden of the team at the beginning of April. “I told all the coaches — especially Coach Glass — that these guys look different than when I was a sophomore or a freshman.“We had some good looking athletes but especially D-line and some of these receivers. I’d be the shortest guy in the quarterback room. Guys look good. Playing fast, which I like to see.”Weeden was particularly enthralled with the Mason Rudolph-James Washington twosome because of how it reminded him of himself and No. 81.“I’m sure they’re going to break every record we ever set, and I hope they do,” said Weeden. “I hope they do. I’m excited for Mason more than any of them.”Yes, this is probably true. Rudolph probably will end up with all the career QB records. But Weeden will still have him from a per-season perspective.Either way, it’s pretty cool to hear the best QB1 in school history comment on the one who will probably go down as the second best.We caught up with @bweeden3 at practice last Friday. Check out his interview with @AllisonGappa after the scrimmage. #okstate pic.twitter.com/3ijUlNitaF— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) April 4, 2017Also, nice pullover.
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
Sevilla ‘Sevilla win overshadowed by Man Utd exit’ – Simeone praises La Liga rivals’ magnificent achievement Jamie Smith 00:46 15/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Sevilla Manchester United Manchester United v Sevilla UEFA Champions League Atlético Madrid v Lokomotiv Moskva Lokomotiv Moskva UEFA Europa League Atlético Madrid Sevilla have not been given enough credit for knocking Manchester United out of the Champions League at Old Trafford, says Diego Simeone. Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes Sevilla’s stunning Champions League win at Old Trafford has been overshadowed by Manchester United crashing out of the tournament.Vincenzo Montella’s decision to send on Wissam Ben Yedder proved a masterstroke as the striker scored twice in six minutes to set up a 2-1 aggregate win, Romelu Lukaku’s reply proving only a consolation.Much of the post-match reaction has been dominated by analysis of United’s limp performance, with the achievement of Sevilla – Europa League champions three years in a row between 2014 and 2016 – somewhat overlooked. 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 And Simeone does not think it is fair for Sevilla’s triumph to be judged in the context of Jose Mourinho’s United side suffering a surprise Champions League exit in the round of 16.”It is concerning that the general consensus is that this was anything other than a magnificent achievement with a great deal of weight and importance,” Simeone said ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie with Lokomotiv Moscow.”Sevilla played with huge levels of motivation, discipline and enthusiasm and their approach put them in good stead and made this look like a straightforward achievement.”Atletico hold a 3-0 lead from the first leg of their last-16 clash with Lokomotiv but Simeone is not taking a place in the quarter-finals for granted.”For me, everything I play is important,” he said. “We use these games as a way of continuing to grow, as we have been doing for six years.”Don’t forget what made us strong, because I remember the old days in the Europa League when we had no sponsor on the shirt. Now, we cannot forget that if we want to keep growing.”We aren’t thinking about what can happen later, only about overcoming the tie tomorrow. The objective is always our work day to day.”You will fill that periodically with opinions and debates, but what concerns us is to progress past each stage. The reality is tomorrow’s game and it is the only one that counts.”
Transfers Returning to Real Madrid would be incredible – Mariano Diaz Robin Bairner 19:45 15/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Transfers Real Madrid Olympique Lyonnais v CSKA Moskva Real Madrid v Girona CSKA Moskva Olympique Lyonnais Girona Primera División UEFA Europa League The attacker has been in prolific form in France and has targeted the possibility of playing for Spain in the coming months Lyon striker Mariano Diaz has admitted that he would one day love to return to Real Madrid.The forward has been a hit with the Ligue 1 club, having arrived from the Champions League winners in the summer for a fee of €8 million.He has scored 18 times in 38 outings, and his form has been such that Madrid have been linked with the possibility of re-signing him. 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 It is a prospect that excites the 24 -year-old forward.“I have a five-year contract with Lyon but going back to Madrid would be incredible, even if I decided it was best to leave the club in the summer,” he told Cadena SER. Indeed, he even tipped Zinedine Zidane’s men to regain their European crown ahead of Manchester City.“I prefer Madrid,” he said. “City, both in the Premier League and Champions League, have played at a good level but it will have to be seen how they react when faced with a big club.”Mariano has his own lofty ambitions, with the forward aiming to be called into the Spain international set up for the first time.“I went to France to be a big player and for me it would be the realisation of a great dream to be in the Spain squad,” he said. “Of course I hope for it.”The forward will hope to impress in the Europa League on Thursday. His Lyon side hold a 1-0 advantage over CSKA Moscow ahead of the second leg of their last-16 clash, which will be played in France.
Manchester United Mourinho tells struggling Manchester United stars to ‘grow up’ Peter Hanson 07:29 17/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Getty Images Manchester United UEFA Champions League José Mourinho Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion Brighton & Hove Albion FA Cup Manchester United v Sevilla Sevilla After seeing the Red Devils crash out of the Champions League to Sevilla, the manager believes his charges need to mature to reach the top Jose Mourinho has told his embattled players to “grow up” and start living up to the pressure of representing Manchester United.The Portuguese faced heavy criticism over his negative tactics in the Red Devils’ shock Champions League last-16 exit to Sevilla on Tuesday, but came out fighting during an epic 12-minute tirade at a news conference previewing United’s FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton and Hove Albion.During the embargoed section of his press briefing, though, Mourinho had some choice words for a squad that flopped in Europe and find themselves 16 points adrift of rivals Manchester City in the Premier League. 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 Mourinho did not go so far as to call out the players he perceives to be under-performing, opting instead to praise Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku, but warned his squad they must be stronger to survive at Old Trafford.”If you want to make a real top team, with a top mentality, you need to grow up and the best way is to have this kind of feeling,” he said.”Players have to learn how to cope with that level of expectation and that level of pressure. They have to survive, and when they survive, they become stronger.”I said we are not one of the top teams, not one of the favourites to win. I told you that with these words because I cannot tell you with different words while I am still in competition.”I cannot be in a competition, go there and say we have no chance. I couldn’t tell you.”You cannot expect me to say ‘this and that player, they have to do better’. I prefer to say that Matic and Lukaku are performing at a high level until the last match.”But I cannot tell you the ones that are not performing. I cannot tell you before a Champions League match.”The boss wraps up a passionate 12-minute message to #MUFC fans during his press conference… pic.twitter.com/JRaaBMpdcd— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 16, 2018Mourinho, though, rejected suggestions that United were favourites to progress against Sevilla, and claimed the team that is fifth in LaLiga are better equipped for success that his squad.”We went out to a side that’s more successful than Manchester United in the last seven years in Europe,” he added.”We went out to a side that has a huge tradition in knockout competitions, a side in the Spanish cup final. We’re out to a team that knocked out Atletico Madrid in two legs.”We were knocked out by a team that’s brilliant in their approach for many years, with their scouting system, the way they invest with every Euro.”Do you think they didn’t have any players who could play in my team? In Sevilla, there are many players who would play in my team.”
Oklahoma StateKansas State Rushing Defense175.8137.3 Total Defense415256 Defensive Stats Passing Defense239.3118.7 Oklahoma State’s game in Texas last weekend was weird, and history says this weekend has a good shot at getting a little funky, too.Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State at 6 p.m. Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium. There haven’t been many games between these two this millennium decided by more than a touchdown. We’ll look more into that later, but here are some stats entering Saturday.Offensive Stats Points Per Game44.544 Oklahoma StateKansas State Total Offense533.8454.3 Cowboy Killer Skylar ThompsonIn two games against Oklahoma State, Skylar Thompson has 507 total yards, four total touchdowns and, most importantly, two wins.Now a junior at K-State, Thompson is a better passer this season than he was in his first two seasons. In the Wildcats’ three games in 2019, Thompson has completed 68 percent of his passes for 486 yards and four touchdowns.Those aren’t earth-shattering numbers, but considering Thompson had only 689 passing yards and five passing touchdowns two years ago, it shows improvement. Oh, and 204 of those passing yards Thompson had as a freshman came against OSU.“It gives you confidence going in that you can have success at a place if you’ve been there before,” K-State coach Chris Klieman said of Thompson’s success against OSU. “You still have to execute. He still has to have a tremendous week of preparation because, obviously, it’s a different offense and it’s a different style of defense, so to speak. So we’ve got to continue to prepare on a daily basis.”A History of Tight GamesSince the turn of the century, OSU and K-State have played 13 times.Eight of those 13 games have been determined by seven points or fewer. Let’s look at those.2003: The Pokes ended a streak of nine straight losses against K-State in this 38-34 victory.A classic Les Miles fake field goal in the third quarter led to OSU taking a 28-21 lead. The Cowboys were up 38-21 with just over 10 minutes left before the Wildcats roared back. But Tatum Bell was able to run out the clock late.Bell finished the game with 143 yards and two touchdowns. Rashaun Woods had 118 receiving yards on six catches.2006: After two seasons away from each other OSU and K-State met again for a back-and-forth affair that the Wildcats won 31-27 in Manhattan.Josh Freeman scored a 21-yard touchdown run with under two minutes to go to give K-State the lead. But Perrish Cox returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to give OSU a chance.After a few completions to D’Juan Woods and Adarius Bowman, Bobby Reid threw an interception in the end zone as time expired.2007: As if these games couldn’t get closer, Oklahoma State upset the 25th-ranked Wildcats 41-39 the next year.Just like the year before, K-State scored with just over a minute to go. It looked as if K-State was going to tie the game at 38, but the Wildcats elected to go for two, got it and went up 39-38 with 1:10 to go.Just like the year before, the Wildcats gave up a late, big kick return, as Tommy Devereaux started the Pokes at their own 42-yard line.Despite time being scarce, the Cowboys ran the ball four times and threw it only once on the drive, as Zac Robinson and Dantrell Savage got OSU to K-State’s 9-yard line to set up a Jason Ricks game-winner.2011: The Cowboys won by a “healthy” 10 points in 2010 before this big scare late in the 2011 season.The No. 3 Cowboys topped No. 14 K-State 52-45 to advance the Cowboys to 9-0, but it wasn’t easy.Joesph Randle scored a 23-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes to go, but this time it was the Wildcats with a chance for last-second heroics.Collin Klein led K-State down the field. Klein hit Chris Harper on a 22-yard connection, as Harper went out of bounds at the OSU 5-yard line with 12 seconds left.From there, Klein threw three straight incompletions, and OSU survived.Brandon Weeden finished the game with 502 yards and four touchdowns. Justin Blackmon had 205 yards and two touchdowns.2013: This 33-29 OSU victory again came down to the trailing team’s final drive.After a Ben Grogan field goal gave the Cowboys a four-point lead with 2:24 to go, the Wildcats got into OSU territory before Daniel Sams threw a ball right to OSU defensive back Daytawion Lowe at the Cowboys’ 21. Lowe ran the ball back 72 yards and the Cowboys kneeled out the clock.2015: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but K-State scored with too much time left.In OSU’s 36-34 victory, Joe Hubener scored on a 5-yard run with 3:01 to go. However, the Wildcats failed a two-point conversion attempt, and down the field came OSU.Mason Rudolph moved the Cowboys’ offense down the field and set up a 37-yard Ben Grogan go-ahead field goal.K-State got the ball back with 36 seconds left, but Hubener threw an interception to Michael Hunter on the second play of the drive.Rudolph had 437 passing yards, and Marcell Ateman and James Washington each eclipsed 100 receiving yards.2016: The Pokes were down 37-28 in the fourth quarter before coming back and winning 43-37 on the road.With just under eight minutes to go, Rudolph threw an 84-yard bomb to Washington to put the Pokes a score away. Then Chris Carson drug two Wildcats’ defenders into the end zone with 1:46 left on the clock.K-State again got into OSU territory before Jordan Sterns picked off a Jesse Ertz pass in the end zone as time expired.Rudolph threw four 457 yards and five touchdowns in the game.2017: At one point in this 45-40 K-State victory, OSU was down 42-13.Byron Pringle showed up to Stillwater and dominated. He had three touchdown catches and returned a kick for another score.Despite getting drilled for much of the game, OSU somehow had a chance to win.The Cowboys scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and got the ball near mid-field with a chance to win. OSU started its final drive of the game on its 46 with 2:16 to go, but after four straight incompletions, K-State survived the comeback attempt. Points Allowed Per Game26.812.7 Passing Offense263.3174.3 Rushing Offense270.5280 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.
The Cowboys, as double-digit underdogs, are looking to avoid losing three straight conference games for the first time since 2014. And they’re doing that in a venue, in Jack Trice Stadium, that still send shivers up the spines of OSU fans.Looking at the last three weeks from both teams gives one little confidence that Oklahoma State can pull out the upset. But if the Cowboys want to increase their odds, here are five things we’ll need to see from them.1. Clean Up the TOsWe’ve covered this over and over again, but until something changes, this should be item numero uno on Mike Gundy’s to-do list.After not committing a turnover in Week 1 at Oregon State (a game that appears to define the word aberration), OSU gave it away twice in four straight games, and then eight times between losses at Texas Tech and Baylor.Fourteen of those 16 are credited to Spencer Sanders, further adding to the stress of taking the reins of an offense that has become synonymous with big numbers and success.Gundy has implied that the issue is a priority for his coaching staff and even guaranteed an improvement. Let’s hope we see it on Saturday.2. Play into the AtmosphereWith the sour taste of a homecoming loss still lingering, the Cowboys will play the part of homecoming guest on Saturday. The Cyclones always seem to play the Cowboys tough at home, but this home crowd may be as rowdy as any OSU has ever faced in Ames.The Cyclones are riding a school-record five straight Big 12 wins at home and have won nine of the last 10 in Ames. They enter on a current overall streak of three straight wins. At least as far back as the start of the Big 12, Iowa State has never hosted OSU on such a win streak.I’ve heard that some teams can feed off of a road crowd’s negative energy. I’m not sure how much that actually helps you, but if it offers a little extra motivation, I’m sure Mike Gundy will take it.3. Let ‘Er RipIf OSU drops its third straight, we are no longer in the This is a disappointing season category, we’ve moved up a notch or two on the panic meter.The rest of the schedule goes likes this: TCU, Kansas, at West Virginia, Oklahoma, Bowl Game (?). I expect a win over Kansas (I think) but I don’t know how confident I feel against TCU, especially if OSU is riding a three-game skid. West Virginia on the road doesn’t help me sleep at night and Bedlam calls for a double dose of Ambien.So this is a must-win for the Cowboys. Throw it all out there. Take risks when you need to. Open up the playbook. More fake punts, fewer handoffs up the gut on second-and-6.4. Confidence is KeyConfidence is crucial for anyone. It helps Mike Gundy weather an up-and-down season easier. It helps you do your job better. It even helps me write a better blog post. But it’s especially vital to a freshman QB who came in riding the hopes of a fan base only to draw its ire seven games in.We saw flashes on Saturday especially during the last drive of the second quarter. Sanders was checking down to Jelani Woods. He was hitting open receivers on both sides of the field. But an underthrow on a fade route to Jordan McCray turned what could have been a turning-point TD drive into potentially another ding to his confidence.But Gundy said Sanders handled himself well through that adversity, better than he had even two weeks before at Texas Tech.“Sanders is a very prideful young man,” said Gundy. “The only issue he needs to work on is thinking that he can play a perfect game. He will accept responsibility. He will tell you he is wrong. He will tell you it is his fault. He wants to play a perfect game and that is not going to happen.”As Gundy pointed out, Sanders doesn’t need to play a perfect game, but he does need more confidence and OSU’s coaching staff can help him with that by putting him situations where he can succeed.Whether it’s Mike Gundy or Sean Gleeson in charge of the headset, it’s up to the two of them to help their QB out. Roll him out on more RPOs, draw up some designed QB runs and for Pistol Pete’s sake, no more handoffs up the gut on second- and third-and-long.5. Finish the 4thIf the Cowboys want a chance at the upset this weekend, they’ll need to dig deep and come up with something that’s lacked for most of this year, an ability to finish strong.The Cowboys owned a fourth quarter lead against Baylor last Saturday before giving up 21-straight to the Bears. It won’t get any easier against ISU. The Cyclones have outscored teams in the final frame and overtime 89-33 this season, scoring on 18 of 24 possessions. That’s a +56 margin. OSU, on the other hand, has been outscored 70-45 (-25). Not great.OSU’s defense looked pretty good in the first half against Baylor, but looked pretty awful late. You have to think at least some of that is credited to fatigue as a lack of sustained drives plus some turnovers by its offense.If Oklahoma State does find itself in the thick of it late, it will take something that we’ve yet to see thus far, an ability to close the deal. 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.
Years ago, my dad once gave me some really good advice about relationships – stick with people who bring out the best in you. Better yet it should work both ways – that you bring out the best in the other person too. I wish I’d followed this wise counsel my whole life. Don’t worry, you haven’t stumbled upon Dr. Phil’s blog. I’m getting to my point, and the theme of my blog for the next week.When we’re thinking about how to market ourselves as organizations, we need to think about what’s best in us, and how it matches with what our audience wants. I put up the following nifty little diagram a long time ago, but it is worth running again. It shows that you want to focus all your efforts on the marketing front – and the organizational front – on the intersection between:-What your organization focuses upon (which is hopefully what you’re good at)-What you do better than anyone else (what is completely unique about you)-What your audience cares aboutI think we’re pretty good at identifying the first two but we tend to forget that third circle. PLEASE ADD THE THIRD CIRCLE TO ALL OF YOUR STRATEGIC THINKING. Ron of BrandCurve posted a comment this week about email that takes it a step further – not only should you add the circle, he says you should then start a conversation. I agree.I think the real issue behind email effectiveness [all marketing, I’d say — KA] is the consumer’s willingness to participate and receive that mail [message]. Intrusive, one-way, monologue-like messages where the consumer has no say – are sure to stay closed! We want a relationship with our target audiences, so to have that relationship, we need to not only think about ourselves but also how we intersect with them. We need to bring our audience back into the picture. The center of this diagram is our sweet spot, in our relationship with our audience but also for our organization in all we do. It’s what will bring out the best in us!I am focusing on this sweet spot, which is based on the work of some branding folks and which is related to Jim Collins’ hedgehog concept, because it’s also at the core of the best marketing book that I have read in a very, very long time: Made to Stick. I am so enamored with this book, I am going to be blogging about it all week. It’s Sticky Week here at my blog.One of the main points of Made to Stick is that simple, core concepts are what stick in people’s minds and guide whole organizations, and I think this is a useful way of viewing the idea of the sweet spot. The authors of Made to Stick call the process of identifying this essence, “finding your core.” So what is your core, aka your sweet spot? If you stuck to it – and only it – in deciding what to do and what to say, you might find yourself with a renewed sense of focus and heightened impact. The books says Southwest Airlines succeeds in large part as an organization because it knows its sweet spot is low fares. Every decision is weighed against this organizing principle — will this lower fares?Much more to come.
Transfers Capello: Juventus got a fantastic deal selling Paul Pogba at £89m Chris Burton 05:49 6/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Juventus Manchester United Serie A Premier League Paul Pogba The former Bianconeri boss has suggested that a man offloaded to Manchester United in 2016 has struggled to justify what was a record-breaking fee Former Juventus boss Fabio Capello claims the Serie A champions got “a fantastic deal” selling Paul Pogba to Manchester United for £89 million ($118m).After four years in Turin, the France international decided to return to Old Trafford for a second spell in the summer of 2016.The deal which took him back to England was the costliest in world football at the time, but the 25-year-old has struggled to justify that price tag amid constant criticism of his game and off-field activity. 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 Capello believes Juve have been the biggest benefactors of the lucrative transfer, with the trophies having continued to roll in for the Bianconeri while Pogba has been found out for United and France.A man who spent six years with Juve as a player and two as a manager told Mediaset Premium: “The truth is that Pogba makes the difference in Italy, but not in England or on international duty.“That’s because with his physical strength, to us he seems impossible to control, but when he plays elsewhere, he becomes normal.“I’d say Juventus got themselves a fantastic deal by selling him at that price.”Pogba is currently in the process of trying to rediscover his spark while on international duty at World Cup 2018.He has made a positive start in Russia, but one former team-mate has been denied the opportunity to grace such a stage.Paulo Dybala starred for Juve in 2017-18, netting 26 times, but was overlooked by Argentina and Capello believes the 24-year-old is paying the price for a lack of consistency.The Italian added: “Dybala is still a long way off [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.“He has to improve his consistency and the way he participates in the overall moves.“He always waits for the ball to come to him, but that’s because he plays in a strong team that lets him do anything he wants.“Dybala could’ve given Argentina something different, especially from distance, and I would’ve used him against Iceland.”
England Loftus-Cheek ready to replace injured England star Alli Stephen Creek Last updated 1 year ago 17:45 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images England World Cup England v Panama Panama The Chelsea midfielder said he is ready to be called upon for Sunday’s clash with Panama after the Spurs star suffered a thigh injury Ruben Loftus-Cheek said he is ready to start England’s second Group G match at the World Cup against Panama if Dele Alli is ruled out through injury.Alli picked up a thigh strain in England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday and his fitness is being monitored ahead of the trip to Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.Chelsea midfielder Loftus-Cheek played the last 10 minutes of England’s opening match, during which period Harry Kane scored a stoppage-time winner, and he said he is ready to be part of Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up if called upon. 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 “I am happy if I start or if I don’t,” Loftus-Cheek said in an interview on England’s official YouTube channel.”I will be ready to come on again if I get the opportunity.”Reflecting on his positive, attacking approach to his World Cup debut, the 22-year-old said he did what came naturally to him.”It was a natural instinct when the game is like that, with not long left, to go and be direct and try to make things happen,” he said.”It felt good. When you’re playing you don’t think about it but after you let it sink in and it’s like ‘I just played in a World Cup’ – it’s crazy.”The appearance was Loftus-Cheek’s fifth for the Three Lions, having made his debut last November in a friendly against Germany.Even before Alli’s injury news, there have been calls for Loftus-Cheek to be included in Southgate’s starting XI, with former England international Joey Barton believing he could be this year’s Paul Gascoigne.“I was really impressed by Loftus-Cheek when he came on,” Barton told talkSPORT. “He looked lively and had that ability to go past a player from midfield.“I just had a funny feeling, and I’m not comparing them by any stretch, but my first World Cup as a kid was Italia 90 and Gascoigne obviously started that tournament as a squad player – he had the number 19 on his back and by the end of the tournament he’d really been taken into the country’s hearts.”
World Cup Coutinho steps up for Brazil and out of Neymar’s shadow Sam Lee In Saint Petersburg Last updated 1 year ago 22:32 6/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(10) Getty Images World Cup Neymar Brazil v Costa Rica Costa Rica Brazil Philippe Coutinho The Barcelona man has struggled to perform consistently throughout his career but he is proving in Russia that he can be his country’s talisman Two games into the World Cup campaign that they entered as favourites, Brazil are starting to find their rhythm. And, while it took Neymar until the very last kick to get his own all-singing, all-dancing show on the road, Tite’s men had at least been able to rely on Philippe Coutinho.Neymar, after weeks/months/years of scrutiny, after two games of rough treatment from his markers, and after flattering to deceive in Russia so far, finally made a positive mark in the 97th minute, with a goal which, just moments later, provoked floods of tears as he sank to his knees on the Saint Petersburg pitch after the 2-0 win over Costa Rica.It had been a trying afternoon for the Paris Saint-Germain star up until that point, and had it not been for Coutinho the headlines would have been entirely different. 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 Coutinho, for the second time in two games, came up with the goal Brazil needed. He was their best player in the disappointing draw with Switzerland, the first time Brazil have not won their first game at a World Cup since 1978, and he was there again on Friday, with his side staring down the barrel of another frustrating stalemate.It was the Barcelona man who charged into the box in the 91st minute to meet Gabriel Jesus’ knock-down, poking the ball through the legs of Keylor Navas, who had hitherto produced yet another World Cup masterclass.It was a goal that could be described these days as ‘a bench emptier’. The Brazil substitutes and coaching staff leapt from their seats and charged up the touchline to celebrate with their hero, just like Iran did in this stadium one week ago, when they snatched a last-minute win over Morocco.Yet Brazil are not Iran, they are the favourites for this tournament, and their celebrations were born more out of relief than the sheer joy of the Iranians.Indeed, Tite, the highly-regarded coach who has got this team into shape, was so overcome by it all he ended up falling face-first into the ground as he attempted to keep pace with his younger, fitter countrymen.For Tite the goal provided vindication. The coach had made shrewd changes to spark Brazil into life after an underwhelming first half, but for so long it looked as though they would have had to make do with a goalless draw.The nature of the World Cup dictates that such a result would not have been seen favourably, but make no mistake: it was clear for much of the second half that Brazil deserved to win this match.Tite’s decision to replace the poor Willian with Douglas Costa at half-time was wise, and also showed that he knew he could not afford to wait.Costa immediately looked bright and his side came close to breaking the deadlock when Gabriel Jesus headed against the bar and then, somehow, Coutinho’s shot was narrowly deflected wide.The blue shirts sensed that a goal was a matter of time but as they struggled to put the ball in the net they turned to another quality back-up, Roberto Firmino. The Liverpool man, who has been battling with Jesus for a starting berth, was pushed on just behind his Premier League team-mate, with midfielder Paulinho making way. With Costa Rica digging in, this was another clever, and brave, substitution by Tite.Yet somehow, despite the increased energy in the side and a raft of chances created, it seemed it would not be enough.Neymar, first and foremost, would have been the villain of the piece. He was criticised for his nomadic, overly flash performance against Switzerland but here he was far more involved – and usually not for the better.He forced a fine save from Navas, though had he kept his shot down he would have given his side the lead. Later on he found himself with space to burst into but decided to take his shot early, from the edge of the box, and curled a powerful effort just wide. It would have looked spectacular had it gone in, but it didn’t, and that looked set to sum up his performance.In fact, what had looked to sum up his performance was the penalty he thought he had won. After receiving the ball inside the area, close to Navas’ goal, he checked back onto his right foot, losing the momentum of the attack. The referee initially awarded a penalty, judging that the forward had been pulled, but after consulting with his colleagues in the VAR team he reversed his decision. Rightly, too; after making a mess of another good chance Neymar had gone to ground too easily.A few minutes later he was booked for petulantly slamming the ball into the ground after committing a foul. Coutinho got a yellow too, for airing his displeasure at his mate’s booking.But 10 minutes later their fortunes changed. Coutinho, the man brought to Camp Nou with much of the money Barca received for Neymar, proved yet again that he is the ace up Tite’s sleeve.Tite has only used the former Liverpool man in the midfield three in the past couple of weeks, and on this evidence, and that of his first few months in Catalunya, it is a role that suits him.Coutinho regularly struggled to perform consistently at Anfield, his stunning goals often papering over the cracks of patchy performances against England’s bigger clubs – and some of the medium-sized ones, too.But since joining Barca, and particularly in Russia, he is showing that he is the man for the big moment.His goal forced Costa Rica forwards, finally, and liberated Brazil. Neymar certainly seemed unburdened – he produced a textbook rainbow flick over his marker’s head down in the corner, as if all of his troubles had disappeared.They certainly did moments later, when the impressive Douglas Costa got in behind the defence and provide the perfect cross. Neymar, at last, was there to make the difference.Or at least a difference. He will not have to worry about too many negative reviews tonight, as Brazil picked exactly the right moment to kick their World Cup into gear. But it will not be forgotten that it was Coutinho who did it.
Iran 1 Portugal 1: Santos’ men survive late Saransk scare after Ronaldo penalty miss Patric Ridge Last updated 1 year ago 04:17 6/26/18 Getty Images Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty miss ultimately did not cost Portugal a last-16 berth as they held out for a dramatic 1-1 draw with Iran. Mehdi Taremi wasted a gilt-edged chance after Karim Ansarifard’s penalty had thrown Iran a lifeline, but Portugal survived with a 1-1 draw to make the World Cup last 16 despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s missed spot-kick in a match dominated by VAR.The usually prolific Ronaldo was off target with a 53rd-minute penalty, awarded after a video-assisted review, as Portugal failed to build on Ricardo Quaresma’s first-half stunner in the crucial Group B contest.That miss from Ronaldo, who was perhaps fortunate not to see red for another VAR check after swinging an arm into the face of Morteza Pouraliganji, was punished when Cedric Soares was pinged for handball after referee Enrique Caceres again went to his video monitor. 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 Unlike Ronaldo, Ansarifard made no mistake with a powerful finish into the roof of the net to set up a grandstand finish in Saransk.But Taremi fluffed his lines in the dying embers, firing into the side-netting from close range as Portugal held out for a crucial point.It means the European champions are into the last 16 – where they face Uruguay – in second place, behind Spain – who themselves secured a dramatic 2-2 draw with Morocco – only on goals scored, while Iran settle for third with four points.19 – There have been 19 penalties taken at the 2018 World Cup , more than in any other edition in the history of the competition. VAR . #WorldCup #IRNPOR pic.twitter.com/8tmhJJi3nm — OptaJean (@OptaJean) June 25, 2018 Predictably it was Ronaldo who had the first chance, the superstar forward cutting in from the left before lashing a powerful strike goalwards that Alireza Beiranvand held onto at the second attempt.Iran responded well and Alireza Jahanbakhsh led a swift counter-attack before sliding a pass to Vahid Amiri, who dragged his first-time effort wide.Ronaldo appealed for a penalty soon after when his free-kick clipped Sardar Azmoun’s elbow, although replays suggest it would have been a harsh decision.Jahanbakhsh was proving Iran’s greatest threat and Rui Patricio had to be alert to deny the AZ winger an assist with a free-kick that Saeid Ezatolahi turned towards goal, but it would be Quaresma’s piece of magic that broke the deadlock.Having combined with Adrien Silva, Quaresma let rip with a wonderful outside-of-the-boot effort that looped over Beiranvand into the top-left corner.34y 272d – Ricardo Quaresma is the oldest player to score on his first World Cup start (34 years, 272 days) since Yahya Golmohammadi for Iran against Mexico in 2006 (35 years, 84 days). Trivela. #IRNPOR #POR #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/LxL8DI0M84— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 25, 2018Referee Caceres appeared to have missed Ezatolahi’s blatant foul on Ronaldo following the restart, but VAR again took centre stage when the official reviewed, and then overturned, his decision.Ronaldo did not make Iran pay, though, failing to direct his low effort far enough to the right, enabling Beiranvand to get down and make a fine stop.Azmoun tested the referee’s resolve again when he went down under pressure from Jose Fonte, but Caceres rightly dismissed the striker’s appeals for a penalty.There was more VAR drama late on, however. After using his visual aid to conclude that Ronaldo’s challenge on Pouraliganji was only worth a booking, Caceres used the system once more to determine that Cedric’s handball from Azmoun’s header had been intentional.Ansarifard duly converted high to his right to give Iran hope, but Taremi was unable to complete the miracle turnaround as Iran ultimately fell at the first hurdle. Key Opta stats:- Portugal have progressed from the group stage of the World Cup for the fourth time in their history (also 1966, 2006 and 2010).- Iran have been eliminated from the group stage at the World Cup in all five tournaments they have competed in (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014 and 2018).- Both of Iran’s goals at the 2018 World Cup were scored in injury time (94:06 against Morocco, 92:48 against Portugal).- Portugal’s Ricardo Quaresma (34y 272d) is the oldest player to score on his first World Cup start since Yahya Golmohammadi (35y 84d), who did so for Iran in 2006 against Mexico.- Two of Cristiano Ronaldo’s three penalties at the World Cup for Portugal have been against Iran – he scored in 2006 but saw his effort saved in this game.- Ronaldo has a 50 per cent penalty success rate in major tournaments for Portugal, scoring two (against Iran and Spain at the World Cups in 2006 and 2018 respectively) but also failing with two (against Austria at Euro 2016 and Iran today).- Iran remain winless in eight World Cup matches against European opposition (D2 L6). read more