Patrick Marleau becomes latest Sharks overtime hero

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Patrick Marleau scored with 2:25 left in overtime to lift the Sharks to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at Staples Center.Marleau collected a loose puck in the Kings’ end and fired it past goalie Jonathan Quick, giving the Sharks their third straight overtime win and their ninth victory in 10 games.Logan Couture had scored in overtime for the Sharks in their wins over the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Islanders. But Monday’s game never should have gotten …last_img

Thousands of Dinosaur Tracks Found in Alaska

first_imgNearly inside the Arctic Circle along the Yukon River, thousands of dinosaur tracks have been found – one of several surprising discoveries about dinosaurs.The facts:  Live Science and Alaska Public published the story; see also NBC News.  The tracks are in the form of “casts” in which cemented mud formed within the hollowed-out footprints.  A great diversity of dinosaur types were found during a 500-mile expedition along the Yukon River. Some of them show claw marks at the tips of the toes.  In addition, the area yielded fossils of “a lot of plant fossils, leaves from broad-leaved trees and different types of conifers.”  In some places, the explorers were able to find 50 specimens in 10 minutes.  None of the local villagers were aware of the tracks.  “This and all of the other material that we found was just a complete surprise, because no one expected anything like this was out there,” Pat Druckenmiller, curator of earth sciences at the Museum of the North, said.The interpretations:  The discoverers believe the tracks are 25 to 30 million years older than other tracks found in Denali National Park and along the Colville River in Alaska, which are considered 65 to 80 million years old.  The tracks are believed to be from both carnivores and herbivores, some from ankylosaurs.  The discoverers say Alaska was farther north when the tracks were made, but was in a warming period at the time.  Druckenmiller commented that a find of this magnitude is rare in the 21st century.Other dinosaur newsVirtual reality:  Science Daily reported that a re-analysis of Psittocosaurus dinosaur skulls shows that three ‘species’ are actually one.  They looked different because of the way they had been buried and compressed in the strata; they were “apparent” species, not “biological” species.  A member of the Penn State team said, “how an animal’s body was crushed as it fossilized – from the top, from the side or twisted – could lead to inaccurate species determinations.”Evolving reality:  PhysOrg announced, “Research is challenging basic assumptions about dinosaurs—and greatly expanding the number of known species.”  Within the city of Edmonton, Alberta—a hotspot region for dinosaur remains—students from the University of Alberta are unearthing bones from a dozen species of dinosaurs in a fossil graveyard.Work by researchers based at the U of A has challenged many basic assumptions about dinosaurs—proving that some had feathers and that even the giant predators sometimes travelled in herds—while greatly expanding the number of known species and, occasionally, even pruning and grafting the dinosaur family tree.Nothing more was said about the feathers in the article, except an illustration of Anchiornis fully fledged out with colorful feathers and a caption that said U of Alberta paleontologist Phil Currie helped identify them.  What the article doesn’t say is that Anchiornis was discovered in China, not in Canada.It’s so, so, so very important to learn to distinguish the facts from the interpretations.  Evolutionists toss around millions of years like confetti, merely assuming that natural selection will use all those years to create amazing and wonderful creatures.  They’re basically stuffing their ignorance into vast dark spaces of unobservable assumptions.This last article was very misleading.  It said scientists “proved” dinosaurs had feathers, sneaking in a bird from China!  Even Wikipedia says the one pictured is a bird: “As in other early paravians such as Microraptor, Anchiornis had large wings, made up of pennaceous flight feathers attached to the arm and hand (as in modern birds) as well as flight feathers on the hind legs, forming an arrangement of fore and hind wings.”  This was no dinosaur!  We have skin impressions from many dinosaurs, and they were scaly, not feathery.  The fuzzy impressions around some dinosaur fossils could be flayed collagen, some researchers believe, disputing the notion they are “protofeathers.”  True flight feather impressions are only found on fossil birds.As usual, none of the articles discussed the most dramatic discovery about dinosaurs of the last century: soft tissue in dinosaur bones.  Have you seen dinosaur hunter Jack Horner’s response to Mary Schweitzer’s surprise discovery of stretchy blood vessels and red blood cells in a T. rex bone?  Watch it on a 60 Minutes episode on YouTube.  It says a lot about human nature when facts confront belief.  In CMI’s documentary, The Voyage that Shook the World. Phil Currie remarked that scientists tend to see what they expect to see,and can miss seeing unexpected facts right before their eyes.  It has happened to him, he said.Since Schweitzer’s spectacular, surprising, “impossible” announcement, other soft tissue remains have been found in dinosaur bones even older.  Mark Armitage just published a paper about osteocytes and other bone cells he found in a Triceratops horn using electron microscopes.  Nobody had found this material before, because scientists just “knew” dinosaur fossils were too old to leave any tissue remains.  Some of the Colville River dinosaur remains were found unfossilized.  Mummified dinosaur skin has been unearthed.  Some dinosaur remains contain carbon-14.  Any one of these finds should be impossible for millions of years.  The reasonable interpretation is that the dinosaurs perished catastrophically not that long ago.  In spite of multiple falsification-scale anomalies, the Darwinian story of dinosaur evolution over millions of years survives, a testimony to the power of academia’s chosen belief in secular naturalism, buttressed by a fawning, obedient press. (Visited 58 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

NDP will determine SA’s direction: Zuma

first_img19 February 2013 The National Development Plan (NDP) is a crucial policy-making tool that will help South Africa develop and determine the direction the country takes, President Jacob Zuma said on SABC’s Sunday Live broadcast on the weekend. The NDP is a a blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in South Africa by 2030. It seeks to do this by drawing on the energies of the the country’s people, growing an inclusive economy, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society. In his 2013 State of the Nation Address last week, Zuma said the NDP had set the ambitious target of creating 11-million jobs by 2030, which will require teamwork to get the economy growing at a rate of more than 5% a year. “There are sectors that we have identified that will create these 11-million jobs by 2030,” Zuma said on Sunday. “These include infrastructure and the tourism sector, among others. These sectors have already created jobs and employed people.” On the issue of land, Zuma said the government was committed to resolving issues around this. This would be done within the ambit of the country’s Constitution. He added that while progress had been slow, compensation for land would be equitable. The matter needed to be looked at “differently”, he said. On the issue of education, Zuma said education had be treated as an essential service. However this definition should not be seen as denying teachers the right to embark on strike action. “We are talking about the importance of education,” he said, adding that education was a key element to the country moving forward and developing. For non-performing municipalities, the government was following up on the non-submission of financial reports. On the issue of councillors who received tenders, Zuma said that some had already been fired, and the government was looking at how it could review the tender system. On the matter of the abuse of women and children, Zuma said that a national response was necessary, adding that the government cannot fight this scourge alone. “We need to work together as a nation, government cannot do it alone. We need to have specialised courts that will be ready to deal with such situations and convict perpetrators speedily.” On talks of a possible Cabinet reshuffle, the President said: “I haven’t said anything on it, I haven’t said whether it will happen or if it will not happen. I have not spoken to anyone about this. I don’t know where people are getting this.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

‘Varsities reflect society’ – Nation Brand University Dialogue

first_imgBrand South Africa hosted a diverse group of international academics at the University of Pretoria on 5 October, for its first day-long University Dialogue on the Nation Brand.In welcoming delegates, vice chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey said that, given the ongoing protest and debate on campuses across South Africa, the event was a timely reminder of the crucial role universities play in defining and shaping a nations’ identity.The University of Pretoria, she said, was committed to its role in advancing South Africa as a nation. “This is the opportune time to host this event. It is a moment to think deeply of the value of public institutions to society and brand in South Africa.”Today’s event brings together a range of leading academics to deliberate on how South Africa is currently positioned, whether this positioning is positive or negative, what is working, and how the various elements of the brand impact on nation brand positioning.The discussion is intended to give Brand South Africa a solid basis from which to critique the work currently executed, with a range of stakeholders, in positioning South Africa competitively and positively.“Universities are the public spaces for discourse on the nature of our society,” De la Rey said. A strong and resilient nation brand, she said, was built on a common vision and a shared identity. Universities were the place where a nation of people should discover who they are.She added that she hoped today’s discussions would end with innovative and creative solutions to the fault-lines we face as a nation.Ambassador Kingsley Makhubela, Brand South Africa CEO, said that universities were the perfect venue for the nation brand conversation. “Academic communities allow for open discussion.”The issue to be discussed today, he said, was how we overcome the problem of blurred lines when we try to define a strong state versus nation brand. “A strong state will build a strong nation brand,” he said.The solutions generated today would be useful, so he encouraged delegates to be frank and open. “The ideas we generate today will have an impact. They will inform policy.”SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info material.last_img read more

UFC president calls Jon Jones ‘biggest waste of talent ever’

first_imgCone apologizes to Black for handshake snub Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:46Makabayan bloc: Duterte suspension order on rice importation only a ‘media stunt’00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP “Whatever happens [with his suspension], happens. Believe me, I’m not mentally or emotionally invested in that anymore.” Khristian Ibarrola /ra Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Less than a month later, his win was overturned and he got stripped of the title after testing positive for Turinabol, a banned anabolic steroid.READ: UFC champ Jon Jones flagged for another failed doping testFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSpeaking during an interview on The TSN MMA Show, UFC President Dana White couldn’t help but express his disappointment with the promotion’s former poster boy.[It would be the biggest waste of talent] ever. Ever, in all of sports,” the UFC boss described Jones, as relayed by MMA Fighting. View comments Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City “The guy is so talented and gifted, God knows what he’d be doing right now if he had never got in trouble. He could possibly be the heavyweight champion and have the defense record that couldn’t be broken. The list goes on and on of what could’ve been with Jon Jones.”Aside from being practically undefeated—with his lone loss coming from a disqualification—Jones holds the prestige as the youngest fighter to hold UFC gold.His reign included eight-title defenses, but he’s also been stripped of the title on three separate occasions—another UFC record.Jones is currently awaiting a hearing at the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) regarding his latest drug failure, which could earn him a possible four-year suspension.Regardless of Jones’ verdict, White made it clear that he won’t be losing sleep over it anytime soon.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Jon Jones reacts after knocking out Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 in Anaheim, California, Saturday July, 29, 2017.  (Hans Gutknecht /Los Angeles Daily News via AP)Disgraced mixed martial artist Jon Jones has been given plenty of chances by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), but his latest conundrum seems to be the final straw.After a string of run-ins with the law, the two-time UFC light heavyweight champion returned to glory last July, knocking out Daniel Cormier in UFC 214.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Which Format Is Right for Your Next Blog Post?

first_imgChoices are hard.And when it comes to choosing the right format for your next blog post, there’s quite the smorgasbord to choose from. Perhaps how-to posts are your forte. Or maybe you just can’t resist the list. But just because you have a signature format, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for the topic you’re blogging about.Aah … decisions, decisions. It’s okay though! We’re here to help you through it. So in this post, I’m going to break down some of the most popular blog post types and formats to help you determine which one is right for the blog idea you’ve got milling around in that head of yours.That said, keep in mind that some posts may even straddle two or more formats. I’ve written thought leadership posts that could also probably be classified as list posts. And if I’d added a SlideShare to them? They would’ve straddled three! The point is to recognize that there isn’t just one type of blog post you can create — and some formats are much more suitable for certain ideas than others. Another thing to consider is that a lot of times, it will all boil down to the angle you take on a topic. For example, if I wanted to write a post about social media, there is probably a different angle I could take that would work for each of the following formats. It will all depend on the angle I decide to take.Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post Templates13 Popular Blog Post Types & Formats to Choose From1) The How-To PostIn a Nutshell: Posts that tell your readers how to do something. This is one of the most common blog post formats for business bloggers. It makes perfect sense, considering how-to posts are inherently educational and great for generating traffic from organic search. Use how-to posts when your topic has to do with educating your audience about how to do something they might not know how to do.Oftentimes, how-to posts can also be strengthened by supporting visual components for concepts that lend themselves to visual explanations, like an instructional video (see third example below), or a visual aid (see second example below). For more information about how to write an awesome how-to post, check out the first example below (how meta, right?).Download a Free How-To Blog Post Template HereExamples:How to Write Stellar How-To Posts for Your Business BlogHow to Map Lead Nurturing Content to Each Stage in the Sales CycleHow to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps [With Video!]2) The ListicleIn a Nutshell: Posts featuring content presented in a list format. Another very popular blog post format, the list post (commonly referred to as a “listicle”), is characterized by content organized in a list. List posts are easily recognizable by their titles, since they usually include a number in headline, and they’re great formats for beginner bloggers since they’re very formulaic. Unfortunately, it’s for this reason that listicles have gotten a bad rap, and are often perceived as low quality pieces of content … probably because there are indeed a lot of crappy list posts out there.But when done right, lists posts are great for posts that seek to aggregate tips, tactics, or ideas under a certain topic, and they can result in high-quality content. Plus, people love ’em! To learn about how to create a high-quality list post, check out this post. (Bonus: It also happens to be a great example of a list post in and of itself, in addition to the few below.)Download a Free Listicle Blog Post Template HereExamples:30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore12 Automated Workflows You’ll Kick Yourself for Not Using12 Things You Should Be Using Your Blog For (Besides Blogging)3) The Curated Post In a Nutshell: Posts that highlight and curate other content around a certain theme.Another post that has historically (yet undeservingly) gotten a bad rap is the curated post. Although it’s sometimes perceived as lazy and unoriginal, curated content can actually be extremely helpful to readers, since the research component of them can be very time consuming, and the end result is a compilation of helpful resources all in one place.The curated post is ideal for aggregating content such as industry examples, statistics, quotations, and videos — among other things. It’s also great for building relationships with the other bloggers and businesses you highlight within your curated content.Examples:15 Phenomenal TED Talks You Need to Watch Today10 Brands That Jumped on Instagram Video (And Rocked It)15 Examples of Brilliant Homepage Design4) The Thought Leadership Post In a Nutshell: Posts that make you think.One of the more difficult types of posts to write, thought leadership-style posts usually take the form of pontification about things like where the industry is headed or industry trends that seem to be emerging and what they mean.For this reason, they’re not really the type of post you can just decide to write at the drop of a hat, like, “I’m going to write a thought leadership post today!” Rather, they’re usually the result of thoughtful examination of things you’ve noticed or have been thinking about over time, and they tend to be speculative and sometimes controversial in nature. They also tend to spark some great discussions!Examples:What the Future Holds for Business BloggingHow Social Media Capitalism Will Affect Your Future Marketing StrategyWhat the Death of Google Reader REALLY Means5) The Fun PostIn a Nutshell: Fun posts that are meant to entertain you.Because who doesn’t love to laugh, smile, or be amazed? Content whose main purpose is to entertain does have a place in your content mix, and it can be very refreshing to your audience — as long as it’s in moderation.These types of posts are great for publishing during holidays, the end of the day, the end of the week, and other times when your audience is burnt out, winding down, or could use a break from some of the more, um, intellectual content on the web. Just make sure you stay true to the focus of your blog overall by ensuring the concept of your fun post has a relevant tie-in. For more on the benefits of entertaining content, here’s why you should publish content for entertainment value alone every once in a while.Examples:Random Thoughts From Marketers Like You13 Hilarious Examples of Truly Awful Stock Photography16 Marketing Pick-Up Lines to Snag Your Next Hot Date6) The ‘What’ PostIn a Nutshell: Posts that explain a concept.The ‘what’ post is perfect for introductory-style content geared toward a beginner audience. In general, the ‘what’ post serves to introduce and explain a concept, whether it be an industry trend, tactic, or tool; and it typically highlights what it is and why you should care. Linking to or including a call-to-action for more in-depth, intermediate content (like an ebook or another blog post) about the topic at the end of the post is a great best practice for ‘what’ posts.Download a Free “What Is” Blog Post Template HereExamples:What in the Heck Is Co-Marketing?What’s the Deal With This Whole ‘Context Marketing’ Thing?What Is a Landing Page and Why Should You Care?7) The ‘Why’ Post In a Nutshell: Posts that explain why.These posts are great when you’re trying to call attention to and emphasize the importance or significance of a certain topic, whether it be a trend, a tool, or a concept in general. Given their nature, these types of posts tend to be pretty introductory as well. In these posts, it’s smart to back up your why argument with supporting examples, facts, and statistics that will help convince the reader the topic is something they should care about. Think about it as something of a persuasive article.Examples:Why Purchasing Email Lists Is Always a Bad IdeaWhy You (Yes, You) Need to Create More Landing PagesWhy You Should Consider Inbound BEFORE Your Next Site Redesign8) The Feature StoryIn a Nutshell: Posts mimicking the style of a human interest story, detailing concepts and ideas of specific market interest.This type of post is great for topics, people, or trends that are worth more in-depth, detailed research and commentary. One of the more journalistic types of blog posts, these articles tend to be hard to define in a blanket statement and more of a “you’ll know it when you see it” kind of post.Examples: The Best Marketer in Silicon Valley Is Doing Everything You’re Not Supposed to DoI’m Not You, You’re Not Me. So Why Do We Have the Same Internet?Billion Dollar Babies: Are All These Little Companies Really Worth $1 Billion?9) The FAQ Post In a Nutshell: Posts that adopt a question and answer (Q&A) format.The FAQ post is another format that’s great for beginner bloggers, considering the Q&A format is a built in template. These posts are great for addressing common questions your audience has, grouped under a specific topic.A great way to generate posts like these is to ask your sales and services departments — the people who are talking to prospective and current customers all the time — to write down any common questions they hear. You can also collect questions you get from blog and social media commentary, as well as attendee questions during webinars. These questions are great fodder for Q&A type posts, and as a result, they can become great resources for your sales and services teams as well.Examples: Answers to Your Top 7 Questions About Mastering LinkedInAnswers to Your Top 7 Questions From the Science of Inbound MarketingAnswers to Your Top 9 Questions About Using LinkedIn Ads10) The Interview Post In a Nutshell: Posts that feature quoted perspectives of a third party.Similar to Q&A formatted posts — since these posts may also be formatted as Q&As — is the interview post. Fantastic for introducing the perspective of a third party on a particular topic, interview posts are also great for developing relationships with the industry experts or influencers you interview. They also open up the opportunity for greater reach, especially if the interviewee shares the resulting post with their networks.Examples:The Future of Inbound: Shel Israel Looks Ahead to ‘The Age of Context’Being Full of Sh*t Doesn’t Work AnymoreA Chat With a Marketer Who Has to Fight for His Budget11) The SlideShare PostIn a Nutshell: Posts that feature an embedded SlideShare presentation.Posts that are built around a specific SlideShare presentation do require a little bit more time investment and design savvy than the average text-based post, but the results are usually worth it. Content that lends itself well (but isn’t limited) to SlideShare presentations include the curation of visual examples, quotes, charts, quick takeaways, and general storytelling. SlideShare-focused posts also make great social media fodder, since visual content is so shareable and social friendly (Hint: LinkedIn also owns SlideShare ;-)Examples:7 Lessons From the World’s Most Captivating Presenters [SlideShare]15 Pearls of Wisdom From the Legendary David Ogilvy [SlideShare]S%*t PR People Do That Journalists Hate [SlideShare]12) The Infographic Post In a Nutshell: Posts that feature an infographic.Similar to the SlideShare post, the infographic post is also one that is high commitment and high reward. Infographics, when done well, are very sharable and likely to generate inbound links, but you do need some design chops to pull them off — or the money to outsource their creation to a designer. Infographics are great for compiling data and statistics in a visual way. They’re also great for organizing information in a timeline format, or presenting visual tips.Download a Free Infographic Blog Post Template HereExamples:What a Real Relationship in Social Media Should Look Like [INFOGRAPHIC]20 of the Most Memorable Marketing Moments in 2012 [INFOGRAPHIC]The History of Marketing: An Exhaustive Timeline [INFOGRAPHIC]13) The NewsjackIn a Nutshell: Timely posts that capitalize on something in the news.If you’re unfamiliar with the term, newsjacking refers to the practice of leveraging the popularity of a news story to support your sales and marketing goals. It requires the careful monitoring of news, and when done correctly, a newsjack post will relevantly tie the news to your industry in a timely fashion.To identify and capitalize on newsjacking opportunities, load up your RSS reader with a combination of popular news publications and popular industry publications — anywhere you could potentially discover news relevant to what your audience cares about. Never jacked the news before? Check out these four simple newsjack formulas to follow.Download a Free Newsjacking Blog Post Template HereExamples: Facebook Finally Rolls Out Graph Search to U.S. UsersTwitter Starts Highlighting Websites That Embed TweetsFacebook Launches Video on Instagram, Giving Twitter a Run for Its Money Originally published Jul 19, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated April 09 2019 How to Write a Blog Post Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #5: Use Bulleted Lists

first_imgYou’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 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell 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. Free Templates: How to Write a Blog Post Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: 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] 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 Topics:center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 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 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. Free Blog Post Templates Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019last_img read more

The Business Case for Social Selling [Infographic]

first_imgThis post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.If you haven’t started incorporating social media into your sales process, you’re not alone. According to a survey from PeopleLinx, only 31% of sellers currently use social to sell.But a quick look at the data backing social selling indicates that the trend will only get stronger in the years to come. For instance, 79% of salespeople who actively engage on social media outperform their peers, and over half of buyers consult social channels as part of their research processes — up from 19% in 2012.While there’s no shame in not being a social seller today, salespeople who refuse to join the party will get left behind in the near future. Need some convincing? Check out the data in the following infographic from Sales For Life. Better to join the ranks of social sellers late than never.484Save 484Save 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 Apr 4, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img Social Selling Topics:last_img read more

What Hollywood and Cats Can Teach You About Creating Marketing Personas

first_imgScreenwriterMarketer Deliver a moral to the storyBenefit statements 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: Create an obstacle to overcome Suggest a problem to solve Offer a reflection characterOffer customer testimonials So, it turns out that Hollywood screenwriters have quite a lot in common with professional marketers.First of all, there are thousands (if not millions) of both of them, all trying to make a living through forging a connection with an audience. Both the screenwriter and marketers’ job is to connect with a particular audience in order to increase sales, whether it’s box office tickets or machine parts, their jobs are very similar.Most recognize the need to emotionally connect with their audience and most recognize the importance of key ingredients to their job including the need to: Be Human, Be Vulnerable and Be HonestThe temptation to showcase your products and services as the best thing since sliced bread can be overwhelming. Naturally, as a storyteller charged with adding value to your business, it’s natural to live in the world that talks about the benefits of what you’re selling and why it’s so amazing.Something that virtually nobody does is write about a situation that went wrong. Why would you ever reveal your flaws or failures? How would that help you sell more product?When we fail, we chalk it up to experience, we learn and we move on. If you can talk about those epic failures honestly, you can also demonstrate how you’ve become better and more valuable because of those experiences.When is the last time you saw a case study page on a website listing a long line of epic failures? You’ll certainly stand out from the crowd, endear yourself to your audience and probably become more credible to them than by talking about a string of victories.When you’re honest about your shortcomings it inspires two reactions in the people you’re talking to. You come across as caring (and you are, right?) because your end customers’ experience with your brand matters to you. Being honest about your flaws shows that you don’t want them to be disappointed.Secondly, people start to trust you. If you’ve nothing to hide then people have no reason to be suspicious of you. If you’re not wheeling out the smoke and mirrors to try and blindside your customer base then you instantly become more likable. The old adage that people buy from people they trust has never been truer when it comes to laying it all out in the open.Dove took the bull by the horns when it comes to making themselves vulnerable as a brand. Exposing the beauty industry’s obsession with using a very limited selection of women in their advertising and marketing, Dove redressed the balance by using a wider selection of female models to sell their products. This move took guts because they implicated themselves as colluding in a long-criticized advertising standard while also taking clear and transparent steps to move beyond it. And now? They have a digital community of millions of loyal and inspired customers all over the world. Sometimes vulnerability can be very worth it!The Bottom LineSo, ‘Save the Cat’ or ‘Save your Marketing’? You’ll have to decide that one but I know it gave me plenty of food for thought during the research phase of writing Getting Goosebumps. It turns out marketers have a lot more in common with other professional storytellers than you might initially presume.I’ve read the tricks and techniques of stand-up comedians, political leaders and even professional pick up artists during the writing of the book. It turns out that, as a profession, marketing has a lot to learn from all corners of the storytelling world. Yep, even pick up artists…If you have come across any other examples of professions that us marketers can learn from to make us better storytellers, I would love to hear about it.And finally, I’d also love to know what you think of our finished book, Getting Goosebumps. It includes more insights into how marketers can connect emotionally with an audience with tons of great examples from different industries about how to craft a compelling story.Start to really understand your audience and figure out exactly who they are by downloading our free guide to persona and empathy mapping. You’ll win their hearts and minds once you start crafting great content just for them!center_img Buyer Personas Originally published Jun 17, 2015 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Both are storytellers. Unfortunately most of them, despite being decent storytellers, are failing to make that emotional connection sufficiently to make a difference and this is of particular interest to me.The mechanics of a good story have been studied and well documented in both worlds, yet still there is a wealth of stories that just don’t cut the mustard.Now I love movies, I love writing about marketing and I’m sometimes also guilty of procrastinating over one to talk about the other. One particular afternoon I was having lunch with a friend during a break from researching my book, Getting Goosebumps. Whilst chatting about what I should have been doing at the time, my good friend, Glynn was listening to me draw parallels between movies and marketing and started to get quite excited. At first, I thought his excitement was due to such a profound parallel I was drawing, however it turned out to be something else. Randomly, Glynn had just read a brilliant book about Hollywood screenwriting. He read this book in less than 48 hours, couldn’t put it down, and the same was about to happen to me. Amazon Prime served me well and in less than a day I was part man, part book for 48 hours too.The mechanics of good marketing storytelling seem to be a little more basic than the twists and turns, sub-plots and character development you can find in Hollywood. However, I was convinced the two worlds had more to offer each other and this book was about to let me in on the secret that Hollywood had kept from marketers for far too long.Hollywood screenwriters have been ‘saving cats’ for years – this was the one thing I’d been looking for… Let me explain.The late Blake Snyder, author of ‘Save the Cat’, sums up the reason for some movies being a hit and others being a complete flop, regardless of budget, lead actors, special effects and every other whistle and bell that Hollywood has to offer.If you don’t like the hero, you don’t like the movie.Snyder explains that in the first 10% of all successful Hollywood movies, something happens, something is said or the hero does something to provide a very good reason for the audience to like them. He calls this, the ‘Save the Cat’ moment.Now, this doesn’t mean all heroes need to physically save a cat from a tree (although that would probably work). But they do need to do something that operates along the same principle.Even if the hero is the meanest, most evil genius on the planet, if they do something to endear themselves to the audience in the first 10% of the movie, the audience can settle down, content that they like the hero and the story can continue to unfold.A Modern ExampleDisney writers are old masters at this concept. When they first wrote Aladdin, they faced a problem. Aladdin was originally a thief; he stole things from people for his own benefit and he wasn’t such a likable guy. After several re-writes of the screenplay, the opening sequence now included Aladdin stealing some food, only to give it to a couple of street urchins that were in greater need than him.Just to make sure the likeability factor was as high as possible, the two street urchins immediately found themselves in danger, about to be whipped by a rich suitor for the princess. Who steps in to catch the whip and get the children out of harm’s way? Why it’s our hero, Aladdin, of course!Aladdin is now safe to continue with the main plot with the full backing of the audience. We like him, we want him to win and it’s all due to the addition of the ‘Save the Cat’ scene.I could write about these examples all day. Top Gun – Maverick flew back to guide Cougar home after he freaked out at nearly being killed by enemy Migs, despite being low on fuel. Heist – Gene Hackman leaves his mask off during a robbery in order to distract an innocent woman in the bank, despite being caught on the security cameras. You get the idea now, right? OK, so now you’re in on the secret mechanism used by great Hollywood screenwriters, what do you do with this information, apart from shout, ‘Save the Cat’ every time you see the scene in a film! (It’s a great game to play but only if everyone is in on it – don’t do this in movie theaters without being prepared to be thrown out!).How can us marketers use this technique within our story telling to encourage your audience to like your brand right from the start?Set the Scene and Provide ContextTake a sufficient amount of time to set up a scenario before jumping straight into the features and benefits of your product or service. Your audience needs to understand the relevance of your story and its apparent value to someone else before you can talk about yourself.It’s really important for brands to pay attention to context when storytelling. You could be creating amazing content every day but if you’re putting it in front of the wrong people it’s meaningless. In today’s saturated marketplace, personalized, relevant and contextually appropriate marketing is how you get your audience to love you from the off!Be FunnyConsider using humor in some way to explain a situation or to break the ice with your audience. humor is a great way to draw your audience in to a story before they’ve decided whether to buy into the whole shooting match just yet.Humor is such an important and fundamental aspect to the human personality. It’s a direct and authentic way into a potential customer’s emotional decision making. Most buying decisions are emotional ones, so if you can provoke some humor then you’re well on your way to engaging with your audience and they’re more likely to remember you that way.In Hollywood, writers sometimes use humor as the single redeeming feature of an otherwise unlikable character to make the audience laugh and find something to like about the character. We’ve all met grumpy angry characters before – the world is full of people that just aren’t very nice. But, if they have a sharp wit and they can make you laugh, their jokes save the day every time.Danny DeVito has played many a leading role whereby he’s a horrible, angry man. In ‘Twins’, we’re introduced to him sleeping with someone else’s wife, he double crosses Arnie and steals from him multiple times. But, he’s got this amazing angry wit that’s just so likable. The second the audience sees this side to him that, believe it or not, is his ‘Save the Cat’ moment!A brilliant example of a brand that wasn’t afraid to inject some humor into their marketing is television channel TNT. They set up a big red button on a podium in the middle of a quiet, unremarkable square in Belgium. Above it hung a sign, in the shape of a giant arrow, saying “Push to add drama.”People being people, it wasn’t long before a curious passer-by took the plunge and pressed the mysterious button. What follows is a sequence of increasingly weird events, a fight between a paramedic and a cyclist,  a football team carrying a man on a stretcher,  a woman in shocking red underwear riding a motorbike, all topped off with a banner that falls from a nearby building, proudly proclaiming “Your Daily Dose of Drama : TNT”Why does it work? Well, who could possibly forget something so out of the ordinary, ratcheting up the tension on an unsuspecting public? When the marketing message is revealed it is filled with knowingness and a natural sense of humor that you’ll struggle to forget the scenes you’ve just seen. As marketers, if you can be fun and memorable, that’s half of your battle won! Define a heroDefine a brand Provide a goal to strive for Provide a goal to strive for   Be Brilliant at SomethingWe all admire an outstanding talent or ability. It can be as simple as Marty demonstrating how good he is at skate boarding at the start of ‘Back to the Future’ or Mitch McDeere, clearly being the outstanding, superior A-grade law student that everyone wants to hire at the start of ‘The Firm’.You don’t have to be lovable to be liked if you’re a genius. However, this one comes with a health warning. If straight out of the blocks you lead with, ‘look at me I’m amazing’ it can be very difficult to recover and the audience can be turned off quickly.I recommend demonstrating your genius carefully by using your customer as the hero, or even portray the genius of your customer for using you as the solution to their problem. Nobody likes a smart-ass so be careful how you showcase your brilliance.Mitch was also waiting tables to pay for college. Marty was cool, but also a flake who was caught being late for school which gave us insight into the endearing character flaws and traits we could also identify with.One of my all-time favorite examples of a brilliant brand being…well, brilliant while simultaneously making their customers the hero of their story, is WestJet Airlines’ 2013 Christmas marketing campaign. This is an example we look really deeply into in Getting Goosebumps.WestJet asked their passengers what they wanted for Christmas before they boarded a busy, holiday time flight using an interactive Santa on a TV screen. A nice touch? Sure! But that’s not where it ended.In the time it took the flight to get from Toronto to Hamilton, WestJet had bought every passenger’s Christmas wish, which were left gift-wrapped and waiting for them on the luggage belt. You don’t really have to look any further to find a brand that knows exactly how to make their marketing all about their customers, while managing to make themselves look pretty brilliant in the process.As viewers we’re left in no doubt that this is a business that cares. last_img read more

The Step-by-Step Guide to SlideShare Marketing [Free Ebook]

first_img Topics: Originally published Jul 27, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 While many marketers are drawn to the visual nature of SlideShare (it is a popular platform for sharing visual content, after all), it’s important to remember that SlideShare marketing is both an art and a science.The art side of the equation, no doubt, is obvious: Creating a SlideShare presentation requires that you craft a compelling story, and then bring that story to life through the careful selection and arrangement of typefaces, colors, illustrations, photographs, and other elements.But then there’s the science side: Using SlideShare’s lead capture and analytics tools to enhance and analyze your presentations, so that you’re always learning and improving.In our new guide, The Step-by-Step Guide to SlideShare Marketing, you’ll find actionable instructions and advice, both for the “art stuff” (like using contrast to create visual separation between different elements) and the “science stuff” (like setting up lead capture forms and interpreting performance metrics).Not convinced that SlideShare is worth your time? Here’s the scoop: SlideShare in one of the top 100 most-visited sites in the world. And with more than 70 million users, it is a vast network that you can tap into and leverage for both lead generation and brand awareness.Whether you’re trying to get your first SlideShare marketing campaign off the ground, or you’re looking to redefine your existing SlideShare strategy, The Step-by-Step Guide to SlideShare Marketing can help.Have any SlideShare marketing tips or tricks you’d like to share? Leave a comment below! Presentations Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more