Joe Thornton’s love for hockey leads him to remarkable milestone

first_imgSAN JOSE — Both Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow were still in awe.Here they were, two forwards who were basically still learning to skate 20 years ago, talking Tuesday about what it was like to be on the same line with a veteran of 1,499 NHL games in Joe Thornton.“He’s one of the best players to ever play the game,” said Goodrow, who had the game-winning goal in the Sharks’ 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild.“It’s an honor to play with him,” said Sorensen, who had his first career …last_img

Greg Papa in, Radnich out: ‘It’s like replacing Johnny Carson’

first_imgThe new KNBR lineup: Do you love it or hate it?Love it — Change is goodHate it — Bring back Radnich and/or FitzDon’t care — I listen to 95.7 The GameI’m in a wait-and-see modeVoteView Results Take Our PollBay Area sportscaster Greg Papa made his mid-morning debut on KNBR (680-AM) Tuesday and started off by acknowledging Gary Radnich, the longtime station fixture he’s replacing.“Gary is the godfather of Bay Area sports-talk radio,” Papa told listeners. “… This is a little daunting. It’s a little …last_img

10-year plan to save Africa’s chimps

first_imgA patchwork of forest and agriculturecharacterises chimpanzees’ habitat ineastern Africa.(Image: Andrew Plumptre, WCS) The eastern chimpanzee is currentlyclassified as “endangered” on theInternational Union for Conservation ofNature Red List.• Download high-resolution image(Image: International Union forConservation of Nature)MEDIA CONTACTS• Nicki ChadwickIUCN Media Relations Officer+41 22 999 0229+41 79 528 3486E-mail: nicki.chadwick@iucn.orgnicki.chadwick@iucn.orgMary DixonVice-President CommunicationsWildlife Conservation Society+1 718 220 3711+1 718 220 5555mdixon@wcs.orgRELATED ARTICLES• Gorillas in our midst• Baby gorillas named in Rwanda• Black rhinos return to Serengeti• Cheetah guru wins Tyler prizeSeven countries in East and Central Africa have developed a 10-year action plan to save the eastern chimpanzee, one of humankind’s closest relatives, from hunting, habitat loss, disease and other threats.The ambitious plan, announced on 21 June by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and titled Eastern Chimpanzee: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan 2010-2020,calls for the conservation of 16 core areas which, if protected, would conserve 96% of the known populations of eastern chimpanzees.Download the document Eastern Chimpanzee: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan 2010-2020 (PDF, 3.1 MB)The 16 areas are distributed over the countries of Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.“This effort to assess the status of eastern chimpanzees will help us to focus our conservation actions more effectively,” said Andrew Plumptre, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Albertine Rift Program and the plan’s lead author. “In the next decade, we hope to minimise the threats to these populations and the ecological and cultural diversity they support.”In one of the most wide-reaching efforts to assess the status and conservation threats to eastern chimpanzees, conservationists and researchers with experience from all seven range states contributed data on sightings, nests, feeding signs, and vocalizations from the past decade – more than 22 000 GPS-located data points across their range.During a workshop in August 2009, more than 30 experts from seven countries travelled to Kampala, Uganda, to identify priorities for the conservation of the subspecies, and to develop an action plan with specific projects for their conservation. To fill in the gaps in countries currently off limits to research due to conflict, the plan authors formulated predictive models to estimate the density of chimpanzee populations in un-surveyed areas.In the subsequent range-wide priority setting analysis, workshop participants identified 16 chimpanzee conservation units that, if successfully protected, would safeguard 96% of known chimpanzee populations, estimated to total some 50 000 individuals. The total number of eastern chimpanzees across their whole range is poorly known. The models estimate the total population to be as many as 200 000 animals, almost double that of previous estimates.“It is clear that we know about the distribution and abundance of only a quarter of the world population of the eastern chimpanzee”, said Liz Williamson of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. “There are large areas of the Congo basin where we know very little about this ape”.The plan also targets two of the greatest threats to the species – illegal hunting and trafficking – with a goal of reducing cutting both to half of current levels across most of the animal’s range. Other objectives include reducing the rate of forest loss in chimpanzee habitats, filling in knowledge gaps in chimpanzee distribution, status, and threats, improving the understanding of health risks to chimpanzee populations, including human-transmitted diseases, increasing community support for chimpanzee conservation, and securing sustainable financing for chimpanzee conservation units.“The plan will require considerable support from the global community – approximately US$315 000 per chimpanzee conservation unit, or $5-million each year – but will ensure the continued survival of eastern chimpanzees in their natural habitats,” said James Deutsch of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Africa Programme.“The conservation of wild populations is important not only for conservation, but also for the survival of chimpanzee cultures in the region that are invaluable to helping us define our own place within the natural realm.”The eastern chimpanzee is currently classified as “endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List and occurs in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia.Threats to the subspecies include hunting for bushmeat, the capture of infant chimpanzees for the pet trade, the loss and fragmentation of habitat due to agriculture, mining, and other forms of human development, and disease. Chimpanzees share an estimated 98% of their genes with humans. They occur in a variety of forested and forest-edge ecosystems and have been known to use tools to gather termites, crack open nuts, and other activities.Eastern chimpanzees are among the best studied of the great apes, due in large part to the work of researchers such as Jane Goodall, who started her fieldwork in Gombe Stream National Park in western Tanzania 50 years ago. The development of the Action Plan was funded by Wildlife Conservation Society with the support of the Arcus Foundation and the Daniel K Thorne Foundation.last_img read more

WEF Global Competitiveness Report: Analysing South Africa’s performance and implications for the future

first_imgBrand South Africa, in partnership with BUSA, invites you to participate in our roundtable as we discuss South Africa’s strengths, weaknesses, competitive risks and opportunities within the BRICS and Next11 international political economic environments.Date: Friday 28 September 2012Time: 08h00 – 11h00Venue: Wits Club, Wits University West Campus, Braamfontein (map)Please RSVP to ShereenH@brandsouthafrica.comThe panel discussion will include representatives from BUSA, National Planning Commission and The Department of Trade & Industry.Discussion Document.last_img

The Best of #PostChat: Post Production Q&A Archive

first_imgEver missed a #PostChat Twitter conversation and wished you could go back and read it in full?#PostChat meetup at NAB 2014 (from Avid)The weekly #postchat event hosted by Gordon Burkell (@AOTGNetwork), Tej Babra (@tejbabra) and Jesse Averna (@Dr0id), is a brilliant opportunity to ask post production professionals from around the world, any question you like on that week’s topic (there’s a new topic each week). PostChat is a twitter based chat for post-production professionals that occurs every Wednesday at 6 PM PST (9PM EST).Previous topics have included editing feature films (led by the editor of Sharknado 2),  cutting award winning documentaries, handling audio, motion graphics, women in post, visual effects and many, many more. #PostChat is also a fantastic way for the gathered post production community to share it’s collective wisdom, experience and advice with the rest of the world.But if you missed the live question and answer session, fear not! Thanks to editor Liam Johnson, (@editorliam) you can quickly catch up on that week’s #postchat and explore an extensive Storify archive of previous weeks. Check out Liam’s complete archive here.One of the most popular #postchat collections in Liam’s archive was the week spent discussing the best practices for starting a project which you can check out here. If you want to get involved in #postchat session then the best way is to make use of this Twitter ‘chat room’.last_img read more

7 Clever Email Campaigns That Get Customers Buying Again

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

40 Ways to Get Banned From the Top 5 Social Networks

first_img Social Media Fails Originally published Sep 17, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: It may feel like a fustercluck, but there are actually some rules and regulations that go along with participating in social media. Not the kind that ban people from uploading pictures of their meals (PB&J no crust today guys! #omgsohungry), but the ones that help alleviate things like spamming, bad content, and a poor community experience. You know, the things that help make social media a nice place to be.It’s not a perfect system the social networks have worked out, but it’s important for marketers to know — because believe it or not, lots of marketers are breaking these rules and don’t even know it. And it breaks our hearts to see marketers giving an honest go of social media get banned from the networks … and then not even know why the heck it happened.This post will review the policies the most popular social networks have set up — some more stringent than others — that we think you should be aware of. And we tried to put them in plain English, too, devoid of confusing and boring legal babble. If you’re accidentally breaking any of these rules, at least now you can put the kibosh on your illicit activities before it’s too late!How Marketers Can Get Banned From PinterestIf you’re curious how the newest social network on the block works, we encourage you to read its Terms & Privacy page in full. But for a quick reality check, here are the guidelines marketers should remember when pinning to ensure they stay in Pinterest’s good graces:1) Grabbing another company’s account name. When you open an account on Pinterest, you’re indicating that you are authorized to act on behalf of that company. So if you’re not an employee of that company, you’re not authorized. And if you get caught, you’re not allowed on Pinterest anymore, either.2) Pinning copyrighted content. Any content you post cannot infringe on the rights of the content creator. Make sure it’s either content you’ve created yourself, or content you have a license to share. That means if you’re posting an image from your blog post, that better be copyright-free!3) Automating your Pinterest content. Marketers can’t use an automated service to post content to their pinboards, repin or like other pinners’ content, or create links. All the rewards you reap from Pinterest, in other words, have to come from your own hard work! Note: If you pin a ton of content from one URL all in one sitting — let’s say you just published a blog post with a ton of great images, for example — you may be prompted by Pinterest to verify that you’re not a bot. Just fill it in and keep on keepin’ on.4) Scraping content from Pinterest. On a similar note, you can’t use automation to scrape content from Pinterest. Whether you wanted to use it in blog posts, on your Facebook page, to get a list of links — whatever — you can’t do it. Again, any information or content gathered has to be done manually.5) Scraping for contacts. Any contacts you get from Pinterest have to be opt-ins; as in, they have to come to your site and fill out a form saying they want to hear more from you. Scraping Pinterest for pinners’ personal information so you can market to them later is strictly prohibited.6) Spamming posts. Just like you shouldn’t be spamming the comments sections of blogs, you shouldn’t be spamming the comments sections of pins.7) Putting links in the wrong place. Pinterest wants you to include links in your pins so pinners can follow the links to get more information on a pin. But they only want it in the right place. When you pin an image, click ‘Edit,’ where you’ll find a field labeled ‘Link.’ Put your link anywhere else and you may get banned.8) Don’t get banned. If you’ve been banned once, you’re banned for life. Or as Pinterest puts it, “the Service is not available to any users previously removed from the service by Pinterest.” So, tread lightly.How Marketers Can Get Banned From LinkedInLinkedIn’s rules aren’t as stringent as the ones we’ve seen on other social networks — perhaps the B2B playground hasn’t gotten quite so out of hand. You can read LinkedIn’s User Agreement in full, or just browse these highlights that jump out for marketers:1) Connecting with people you don’t know. Seriously! You have to actually know the people you connect with on LinkedIn, or they can boot ya right off!2) Posting copyrighted content to forums. Whether it’s your LinkedIn Group, LinkedIn Company Page, or on LinkedIn Answers, you can’t publish information that violates others’ intellectual property rights. This one won’t get you banned, but LinkedIn can remove the content and close your group or page. Additionally, LinkedIn will terminate the accounts of users who have been “deemed to be repeat infringers under the United States Copyright Act.” You know who you are.3) Using LinkedIn messages as an ESP. LinkedIn messages are not to be used for mass emailing. This constitutes a misuse of service, and can get you kicked off the network.4) Putting links and email addresses where they don’t belong. You get to fill out your profile however you want, as long as it’s accurate. So if you put, say, a link to your blog in, oh I don’t know, the ‘Name’ field … you’re gonna get shut down pretty fast.5) Selling your LinkedIn presence. Built up a pretty big LinkedIn Group? It might be an asset, but you can’t sell it or monetize it in any way if you want to stay on the social network.6) Using bots to get connections, followers, or members. Just like Pinterest and some other social networks we’re about to cover in this blog post, LinkedIn wants you to grow your reach organically.7) Impersonating another company. Another familiar refrain, brands can’t create a fake profile for a competitor to mess around on. You’ll look stupider doing that than they will, anyway.How Marketers Can Get Banned From TwitterThe full list of Twitter “rules” can be found here: The Twitter Rules. Aptly named, eh? Here are the ones that are most likely to apply to marketers so you don’t get banned by that sweet little tweety bird:1) Impersonating others. If you’re impersonating others in an attempt to mislead other Twitter users, Twitter will not be happy. That means no pretending to be a competitor — that’s a low blow move, anyway.2) Snagging trademarked usernames. Another sketchy move is trying to grab your competitor’s username. If they’ve trademarked the name, Twitter will reclaim it from you on their behalf. Twitter will also suspend you if you’re using trademarked logos on your profile.3) Squatting on handles. Ow, that sounds uncomfortable. This means you can’t grab a Twitter username and not use it. Well, you can, but Twitter will just grab it right back if it remains inactive after 6 months. On a related note, you can’t grab a username for the purposes of selling it.4) Buying or selling Twitter usernames. There can be no transactions made around Twitter usernames at all. The penalty is possible permanent suspension from Twitter — for buyers and sellers.5) Giving yourself an unearned Twitter badge. Twitter has little badges for Promoted Products and Verified Accounts. If you use one of these badges anywhere on your profile — including your profile picture or background image — your profile will be suspended.6) Posting the same thing over and over. If you’re trying to get a tweet visibility, you can’t do it by tweeting it like a maniac, particularly if it’s duplicate content tweeted at specific users. Same goes for links — Twitter will penalize you if they see you tweeting the same link over, and over, and over … and over.7) Following people like a bot would. That means you shouldn’t use a bot to manage your following and unfollowing, nor should you act like a bot when manually following and unfollowing people. Aggressive follow and unfollow behavior — particularly seeing a large amount of people followed and/or unfollowed in a short period of time — will signal to Twitter that something’s amiss.8) Getting followers in sketchy ways. Specifically, those “get followers fast!” schemes. It may get you permanently banned from Twitter.9) Hijacking a hashtag or Trending Topic. If there’s a #hashtag or trending topic blowing up Twitter and you want in on the action, you can’t try to hijack it with unrelated content about your brand. If you do, you could feel the wrath of the mighty blue bird mighty soon.10) Posting links with no context. If your updates are just a slew of links with no personal content to give them context, you’ll not only annoy your followers, but Twitter will also want you off their network.11) Getting ratted out. Sometimes the Twitter community self-polices. If a large number of people are blocking you, or your account has received a lot of SPAM complaints, Twitter will boot you. So play nice out there.How Marketers Can Get Banned From Google+If you’re using Google+, there are a couple surprises in here that you might not have considered. You can read their Google+ Policies & Principles in full here, or catch the biggies below:1) Creating fake pages. Yes, it’s prohibited here, too. Big shock. Moving on.2) Running contests. Ooooh, that’s a new one! You cannot run contests, sweepstakes, offers, or coupons directly on your Google+ page, but you can display a link to those promotions that leads people offsite.3) Aggressive Circling. That’s a … weird phrase. But much like you can’t aggressively follow and unfollow people on Twitter without getting flagged, you can’t Circle a ton of people on Google+ without punishment.4) Altering or adding +1 buttons where they don’t belong. Similar to the Twitter badge rule, you can’t, say, superimpose the Google +1 button on an ad. It’s a misleading way to garner clicks.5) Keyword stuffing. Yes, it can happen here, too! Because Google+ is so closely tied with organic search, the penalties are just as stiff. If you’re trying to rank for a keyword, stuffing it into every Google+ update is not the way to do it.6) Marketing regulated products. If you’re marketing in a regulated industry, such as alcohol, tobacco, medical devices, fireworks, pharmeceuticals, etc., you cannot use Google+ to market those topics.7) Letting your page go dormant. If your Google+ account is dormant for more than 9 months, Google can snatch it right back from ya.How Marketers Can Get Banned From FacebookWe’ve all probably participated in our fair share of complaining about leaving Facebook. But could they force marketers to leave? Maybe, if they start doing any of these things that violate the Facebook Page Guidelines:1) Creating fake accounts. As Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”2) Using bots or scrapers. Well, almost. Facebook says you can’t use them “without our prior permission.” Which basically means no using bots or scrapers … if you had permission, you’d know it.3) Posting copyrighted content. You’ve heard this one a bunch of times in this blog post, and if you do it a bunch of times on Facebook, they have the right to disable your account.4) Naming your page in goofy ways. Facebook has some pretty stringent naming requirements! Your page name cannot consist of solely generic terms, like “pizza,” must use proper grammar and capitalization, may not be in all caps, and may not include character symbols.5) Collecting user data incorrectly. What does that mean, exactly? It means you have to clearly state that it’s your business, not Facebook, collecting their information, and you will obtain their consent before using their data in any way.6) Including calls-to-action in your cover photo. This includes promotions or discounts, requests to ‘Like’ or share your photo, contact information for your business, or generic CTAs like “Tell a Friend.”7) Running contest or promotions outside of a Facebook app. If you want to run a contest or promotion on Facebook, you can only do it through one of their apps — either a Canvas Page or a Facebook App. You also can’t base participation on a requirement that a user take any action with your brand page, such as uploading a photo to your Timeline, or “Liking” a wall post. The only actions that are allowed as a condition of participation are “Liking” a page, connecting to your app, or checking in to a Place. You can’t use any Facebook mechanism, like the ‘Like’ button, in order to vote or register for the promo, either. Finally, you can’t notify winners through Facebook. So basically … you have to jump through a whole lotta hoops if you want to run a promotion or contest on Facebook.Have you unwittingly broken any of these social media rules? Have we missed any that you think marketers should know about?Image credit: emilyrides Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_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

Should I Gate This Content? [Flowchart]

first_imgWe marketers seem to like rules. (And when none exist, we’ll settle for guidelines.) Those of us who write about the marketing space appear to recognize this tendency, which is why you’ll find so many benchmarking reports, how-to articles, and definitive lists for marketers.Some challenges, however, are too nuanced for a binary best practice.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. Take the “Should I gate my content?” question, for example. Bloggers have looked at the topic through various lenses — from SEO to lead generation to channel-specific implications — yet nobody appears to have written a simple “gate this, don’t gate that” prescription. This is likely because the decision always comes down to a single question — Is the viewer’s identity a fair price to pay for this content? — and that’s difficult to answer universally. Yet considering elements like content quality, objectivity, utility, and format can help marketers make a more informed decision and avoid awkward choices like asking someone to fill out a form to see their own name on a list (true story!).I suppose this is a long way of saying that we’re here to help. HubSpot created a flowchart to help guide marketers’ gating decisions. While it might not be a hard rule — there are plenty of content types, objectives, and considerations that the chart doesn’t take into account — it’s hopefully a useful guideline. And at the very least, the next time your boss asks why you didn’t gate that blog post, you can blame your decision on us.193Save (Click to enlarge the flowchart.)193Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 12, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 Content Types Topics:last_img read more

A Vivid Vision for HubSpot’s Content

first_imgThe program began as it always did — with a spritely, “Welcome to INBOUND Radio on SiriusXM channel 125.” Host Mike Volpe went on to introduce the day’s guests. First up was a prominent Stanford medical researcher, who’d made a breakthrough in Parkinson’s treatment thanks to the millions of iPhone and Apple Watch users who volunteered to have their health monitored through their mobile devices. “Giving away your health data is about as inbound as it gets,” observed Volpe when he wrapped up the interview from HubSpot’s brand new Cambridge recording studio.Although this scenario hasn’t yet occurred, don’t call it fiction. It’s more like pre-reality, or, in the words of executive-turned-executive-coach Cameron Herold, a “vivid vision.”Herold, the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, has become one of the world’s most sought-after speakers and advisors. Simply put, he helps top CEOs perform even better. One of Herold’s most popular techniques is what he calls a vivid vision. Think of it as a drug-free executive Peyote trip, in which the leader of an organization travels ahead three years and returns clutching a hyper-detailed narrative of the company’s future state. A well-crafted vivid vision is a little trippy in that it describes the sights, sounds, mood, energy, and dialogues surrounding events that have not yet occurred.After listening to Herold explain this concept on The Growth Show podcast, I decided to give it a try on behalf of the HubSpot content team. I booked some alone time in the company nap room, conjured up Doc Brown and hopped aboard my mind’s Delorean. Destination: 2018.Constructing a Vivid VisionThe exercise was, admittedly, awkward — perhaps even corny — at first. Self-awareness got the better of me, and I struggled to visualize reality beyond the end of the year, much less the mid-point of the next U.S. President’s term. I also defaulted to math — mentally calculating traffic and conversions by compounding today’s growth rates. I thought of the same people, in the same seats, doing the same jobs. Just better. In other words, I was doing it all wrong.Then I remembered the source of the vivid vision process: Olympic athletes. Herold explained that high-achieving athletes painstakingly visualize the outcome of their events in advance of competing. Suddenly, the exercise felt less new agey. I put the flux capacitor back to work.Questions raced at me. Would we have a blog? If so, what would it look like? Who would be reading it? What about ebooks? Did people still read them? And the podcast that triggered this post … what kind of guests would we host?Once I shut off (or at least suppressed) my self-monitor, the exercise became enjoyable. Indulgent even. I imagined teaching a Columbia J-school class on business blogs. I heard several students rebuke me for hobbling “real” journalism. I pre-lived a conversation with the managing editor of our blog, who insisted writers should get bonuses based on scoops, not leads. She mentioned a specific blogger who would get angry when she’d be scooped by a commercial blog. The editor wanted to permeate this competitive spirit throughout the team. I overheard HubSpot bloggers complain about the very same issues that have long irritated traditional journalists; I saw press badges for massive industry events hung in bloggers’ workspaces; I feared my analytics person might get poached by BuzzFeed, which was now seen as The New York Times for the post-Millennial generation. I found this observation so horrifying that it nearly shook me out of my vision.My content strategists had evolved into research analysts. They were routinely invited to deliver on-air commentary about sales and marketing trends for various cable networks. They snickered when Fox Business called, knowing how the network rankled me. HubSpot’s podcaster and I tried to figure out if we could get (still) Apple CEO Tim Cook to mention The Growth Show during the company’s next press event.It took me a while, but eventually I got the idea: A vivid vision isn’t just dragging a formula forward in Excel. It’s rethinking the application.Now it’s your turn. Check out Cameron Herald’s interview with Mike Volpe on The Growth Show. And then go back to envision your own company’s future. You’ll be excited to see what’s waiting there. Leadership Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 19, 2015 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more