1,00,000 rural children mobilised to support ‘Swacchata Hi Seva 2018’, thanks to Bharti Foundation’s ‘Cleanliness Pledge’

first_imgMore than 1,00,000 students, 4500 teachers along with local community members, on October 1 took the “Cleanliness Pledge” in the ceremony organized by Bharti Foundation in 254 Satya Bharti Schools and more than 300 Government schools, supported by Satya Bharti Quality Support Program, across 550 villages in 11 states.Satya Bharti Schools in support of ‘Swachhata Hi Sewa 2018’The ceremony marked the start of the year-long initiatives by Satya Bharti Programs, to support “Swachhata Hi Sewa 2018” movement, initiated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.’School Swachhata and Hygiene Education’ programme launched by Bharti FoundationThe pledge ceremony was organized to energize students to pursue hygiene habits in their lifestyle and maintain the cleanliness in their surroundings. The ceremony was followed by “Awareness Rallies” conducted by Satya Bharti School students in their villages with message of cleanliness, sanitation and hygiene.Bharti Foundation also launched a manual on ‘School Swachhata and Hygiene Education’ and formed a 10 member student committee across 254 schools to raise awareness on the best practices of cleanliness and hygiene.Read: Aadhaar verdict 2018: Voter Id, Aadhaar details of students not mandatory for admission, says Delhi HCHere’s what Vijay Chadda, CEO, Bharti Foundation saidSpeaking on the occasion, Vijay Chadda, CEO, Bharti Foundation said “I congratulate all students, teachers and other staff members for being part of the Cleanliness drive and awareness campaign in their respective schools. We believe that education can empower children to become the real agents of change and therefore the Satya Bharti School students are not only encouraged to follow cleanliness and hygiene practices but also to spread awareness, change mindsets and proactively take up such cleanliness drives.”advertisementAn initiative to spread awareness on sanitation and hygieneThe yearlong initiatives by Satya Bharti Programs, will encourage the students and teachers to spread the awareness on sanitation and hygiene by using diverse channels of communication, ranging from interactive banners to energetic rallies.The initiative will be further strengthened and scaled up by celebrating all important days related to cleanliness and including “Swacchata” themes in school events like Rang Tarang, Sports Day, Independence Day and Republic Day this year till 2nd October 2019.Bharti Foundation working for rural sanitation since 2014Bharti Foundation has been working in the area of rural sanitation since 2014. The Foundation’s program ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’ achieved the distinction of having delivered more than 18,000 household toilets and continues to work with Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Amritsar to encourage the community to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of the toilets.In 2015, the concerted efforts of Satya Bharti School students resulted in building of 3100 toilets in a period of 6 months.Read: IIT Kharagpur to set up ‘Academy of Leadership’ to develop innovation programmes, says Directorlast_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

How to Cultivate a Content Culture at Your Company

first_img Just because other employees know they Reward your most prolific content creators. Originally published Jan 17, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 create guidelines they can follow contribute content, doesn’t mean they’ll feel comfortable doing so. This might stem from the misconception that they have to write like Shakespeare to get published on, say, your company blog. Let employees contribute to your blog in ways that best suit their talents. That could mean they create a video, an infographic, a SlideShare presentation, present data they’ve researched, or stick with the written blog post we all know and love. For instance, we work alongside a few extremely talented visual content creators, which is why fostered a content culture within their organizations. To create a company culture that celebrates content, it’s incumbent on leaders within your organization to communicate the benefits of being a published author. Explain to employees that having content published under their name will help establish themselves as thought leaders. That’s right, even hand I’ve found that the marketers who are most successful at sustaining a rapid pace of does Being a published thought leader helps them move upward within the company, and grow their careers. , this blog post is going to teach you how you can create a content culture within your company. If your employees can This blog post is written for those experiencing the latter. easily see for themselves how their content is directly contributing To make it easier for everyone to contribute, Creating content shouldn’t be reserved for just Marketing — or even just a couple people within Marketing. It’s natural to want Marketing to have a Encourage different content formats. to important company goals, like hitting Marketing’s leads goal, or Sales hitting their quota, you can bet people will be much more interested in creating content. I mean, how often does someone in, say, Support get to say they had a direct hand in generating new revenue? That’s a pretty good feeling. When I talk with inbound marketers about high quality content While fame is all well and good, sometimes a little friendly competition is all you need to get your company into the content creation spirit. For instance, let’s say you’re interested in getting more content about a particular subject matter on your blog to prepare for a product launch. Hold a contest to see who can write the blog post on that subject matter that gets, say, the most views, and reward the winner with a gift certificate. With a friendly competition like this, you’re winning on all fronts. You’ll get a higher volume of content, from a diverse set of people, on a subject matter that aligns with your goals; employees will get their name in flashing lights, some more thought leadership attached to their name, and maybe, a little moolah, too. In fact, we’ve seen this tactic work well in our favor to encourage contributions to this very blog! Poppycock. The content is a built-in online portfolio they can refer to years down the read. Reward these employees by highlighting their content and the specific results it achieved ( yesterday morning’s blog post was actually a SlideShare presentation Explain the benefit of being a published thought leader. ) in a public way. “Public” could mean your next marketing team meeting, your next company meeting, or even in an internal email or newsletter. Just be sure the content creator is present, and preferably some power players in your company, too 😉 you (Yes! You!) can be a thought leader! Here are a few benefits you can tell them to look forward to, the more they author and publish amazing content: Authoring content gets their name — and how wicked smart they are — visibility with important people, both inside and outside of your organization.center_img ! Because the writer, Ryan Brown, totally rocks at creating visually compelling SlideShare presentations, why force him to write out a 1,000-word blog post when we have beautiful visual content at our fingertips that allows him to contribute to content creation? If they’re in a Sales or customer-facing role, it helps establish credibility with leads and customers. Topics: Finally, remember that your company culture comes from the top down. If you want to foster a culture that encourages content creation, that needs to come from the top down, too. Employees Communicate (and celebrate!) the bottom-line results can While enabling and encouraging content creation will help get people started, it won’t keep people going in the long term. To keep your entire company enthusiastic about the importance of contributing to content creation efforts, use numbers to communicate the impact it has on your business. Think about how much more meaningful it is to share that a blog post generated 10,000 page views, 50 inbound links, 20 new leads — two of which are poised to close this week — than to say, “Rachel wrote a really cool blog post last month. Good job!” content creation content drives. model executives’ behavior. So if the CMO isn’t blogging, some people might still blog; but if the CMO Content Creation If you’re starting your own business, growing your marketing department, starting a job at a new company, or just trying to motivate a shift in your company’s attitudes toward How do you foster a culture of content creators in your company? numbers are your friends here, marketers The first way is an exchange of tactics we’ve both employed to make content creation possible in the long term. The second way is detailing how difficult, sometimes nearly impossible, it is to keep up with the content creation pace they want to live up to. Play into people’s competitive spirit. in the content that goes out, but that doesn’t mean the entire burden needs to fall on your team’s shoulders. Instead, enable anyone in your organization to contribute content, from Sales, to Services, to Development. This is great because you’re getting content that highlights different perspectives and different areas of expertise, both of which make your content arsenal more well-rounded. Lead by example. Their content might lead to future opportunities, like speaking engagements, or being quoted as an expert in other publications. will Image credit: Some content is going to stand out among the rest — maybe it generates an unprecedented number of leads, maybe it gets picked up by a major publication, maybe it even goes viral! Reward the content creator for their innovation and brilliant execution, so you encourage other employees to strive to create this type of content. Enable anyone to contribute. create content on a regular basis, can you imagine how deep any other employee would have to dig to come up with the excuse for not also contributing? Pretty darn deep, I imagine. creation are the ones who have — specifically, how companies can create a sustainable internal content creation model — our conversations usually go one of two ways. content creation Kazarelth to make it more likely their content fits your publishing standards. You can even have content specialists on your team who train those extremely interested in contributing content on the types of editorial guidelines the marketing team follows. These folks — your marketing team’s “editors,” if you will — can be the ones who brush up the content you receive so everything that’s published aligns with the tone, style, and other guidelines you’ve established for your brand. Don’t forget to share this post! 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30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #9: Start With an Outline

first_img2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: Topics: Free Templates: How to Write a Blog Postcenter_img 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. 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] You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 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. Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Free Blog Post Templateslast_img read more

How to Identify and Remedy Duplicate Content Issues on Your Website

first_img Topics: Technical SEO It’s easy to be fooled into thinking SEO is just about link building. There are so many posts covering the latest developments on what links are good or bad, that we sometimes forget about the huge gains we can make by simply fixing problems with our own site. One of the biggest culprits for lost traffic and rankings is duplicate content. Luckily, you have control over your own site, so you have the power to fix it.Access Now: 22 SEO Myths to Leave Behind This YearWhat Is Duplicate Content?Duplicate content exists when there is more than one version of a page indexed by the search engines. Where there are multiple versions of a page indexed, it’s difficult for search engines to decide what page to show for a relevant search query.Search engines aim to provide users with the best experience possible, which means they will rarely show duplicate pieces of content. Instead, they will be forced to choose what version they feel is the best fit for that query. Causes of Duplicate ContentThree of the biggest offenders for causing duplicate content are:1) URL ParametersURLs can often contain additional parameters because of how they are being tracked (marketing campaign IDs, analytics IDs), or the CMS a website is using adds its own custom parameters.For example, the following URLs could all lead to the same page:http://www.example.com/page1http://www.example.com/page1?source=organichttp://www.example.com/page1?campaignid=35322) Printer friendly pagesOften a web page will have an option to produce a printer friendly version of that page. This can often lead to duplicate content issues. For example, the following URLs would lead to the same page.http://www.example.com/page1http://www.example.com/printer/page13) Session IDsSites may often want to track a user’s session across their website. For example, sites can offer personalized features based upon who that user is and their past interactions with the site, or an ecommerce store may remember what that person added to their shopping cart on their last visit.Session ids get appended to the URL and this causes duplicate versions of a page to exist. For example, the following URLs would lead to the same page.http://www.example.com/page1http://www.example.com/page1?sessionid=12455Duplicate Content ProblemsThe biggest issues caused by duplicate content are:Search engines don’t know which version of the page they should indexSearch engines don’t know what page the link authority should be assigned to, or if it should be divided across multiple versions.Search engines don’t know what version of the page to rank for a relevant search query.This can result in web pages losing both rankings and organic traffic.Finding Duplicate ContentThere are two tools you can use to find duplicate content problems for your site: Google Webmaster Tools and Screaming Frog.1) Google Webmaster ToolsUsing Google Webmaster Tools you can easily find pages with both duplicate titles and meta descriptions. You simply click on “HTML Improvements” under “Search Appearance”.Clicking on one of these links will show you what pages have duplicate meta descriptions and page titles. 2) Screaming FrogYou can download the screaming frog web crawler and use it to crawl 500 pages for free. This application lets you do a lot of different things, including finding duplicate content problems.Page Titles/Meta Descriptions You can find duplicate page titles by simply clicking on the tab “Page Titles” or “Meta Description” and filtering for “Duplicate.”URLsYou can also find pages that have multiple URL versions by simply clicking on the “URL” tab and sorting by “Duplicate.”For a complete guide on all the different things you can do with Screaming Frog, check out this post from SeerInteractive.Fixing Duplicate ContentDuplicate content is a problem that can impact both your organic traffic and web rankings, but it’s something that you can easily fix. The three quickest ways to address duplicate content problems are:1) Canonical Tag Using the canonical tag you can tell search engines what version of a page you want to return for relevant search queries. The canonical tag is found in the header of a web page.The canonical tag is the best approach when you want to have multiple versions of a page available to users. If you’re using the HubSpot COS, this will be taken care of automatically, so no manual labor required.2) 301 RedirectA 301 redirect will redirect all legacy pages to a new URL. It tells Google to pass all the link authority from these pages to the new URL and to rank that URL for relevant search queries.The 301 redirect is the best option when you don’t have any need for multiple versions of a page to be available.3) Meta Tags You can use meta tags to tell search engines not to index a particular page.Meta tags work best when you want that page to be available to the user but not indexed, e.g. terms and conditions. Duplicate content is a real problem for sites, but one that can be easily solved using the advice above. If you want to learn more about duplicate content, watch this video series from the SEO experts at Dejan SEO on how you can fix it for your site. Originally published Mar 10, 2014 4:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 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

The Engagement Ring Story: How De Beers Created a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry From the Ground Up

first_img Topics: Originally published Jun 13, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated June 30 2017 One of the biggest assets in a married couple’s relationship, the diamond engagement ring, might be an emotional asset and a symbol of love and commitment — but in the financial sense of the word, it isn’t actually an asset at all.In fact, it’s worth at least 50% less than you paid for it the moment you left the jewelry store. Makes you wince a little, doesn’t it?And yet, we feel compelled to buy them for our loved ones anyway. Heck, I still want one even after writing this article. How did that become the norm? It’s hard to imagine that it’s only been three-quarters of a century since diamonds became the symbol of wealth, power, and romance they are in America today — and it was all because of a brilliant, multifaceted marketing strategy designed and executed by ad agency N.W. Ayer in the early 1900s for their client, De Beers.Over the course of a few decades, N.W. Ayer helped De Beers successfully turn a failing market into a psychological necessity, all during a period of war and economic turmoil.Click here to download our ultimate toolkit for social and PR branding.How exactly did N.W. Ayer convince Americans that diamonds are the ultimate symbols of love, romance, and marriage? What were the marketing campaigns that turned the diamond industry around — and were they morally sound?De Beers’ 80-year stronghold on the diamond industry was one of the most impressive and fascinating in history. Let’s take a critical look at how the company used marketing to create and manipulate demand for diamonds from nothing.How It All StartedDiamonds haven’t been rare stones since 1870, when huge diamond mines were discovered in South Africa. Soon after the discovery, the British financiers behind the South African mining efforts realized the diamond market would be saturated if they didn’t do something about it. So in 1888, they set two audacious goals:1) Monopolize diamond prices. They succeeded by creating De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd. and taking full ownership and control of the world diamond trade. While they stockpiled diamonds and sold them strategically to control price, De Beers Chairman Sir Ernest Oppenheimer cultivated a network of wholesalers all over the world.2) Stabilize the market. To succeed here, De Beers would have to figure out a way to control both supply and demand for diamonds worldwide. For this, they would need to find an ad agency.When De Beers began looking for an ad agency, the global economy was suffering and Europe was under threat of war. Their challenge was to figure out which country or countries had the most potential to support a growing diamond market, and then to hire an agency to implement a marketing campaign in those countries. Because of Europe’s preoccupation with the oncoming war, the U.S. was chosen — even though the total number of diamonds in the U.S. had declined by nearly 50% since the end of World War I.De Beers hired Philadelphia ad agency N.W. Ayer in 1938.The Birth of a VisionDe Beers chose N.W. Ayer because of their ideas on conducting extensive research on social attitudes about diamonds, and then strategically changing them to appeal to a wider audience.N.W. Ayer did exhaustive market research to figure out exactly what Americans thought about diamonds in the late 1930s. What they found was that diamonds were considered a luxury reserved only for the super wealthy, and that Americans were spending their money on other things like cars and appliances. To sell more and bigger diamonds, Ayer would have to market to consumers at varying income levels.So, how do they get more people to buy big diamonds in a bad economy? They needed to figure out a way to link diamonds with something emotional. And because diamonds weren’t worth much inherently, they also had to keep people from ever reselling them. What was emotional, socially valuable, and eternal? Love and marriage. Bingo.According to New York Times, N.W. Ayer’s game plan was to “create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring.”The concept of an engagement ring had existed since medieval times, but it had never been widely adopted. And before World War II, only 10% of engagement rings contained diamonds. With a carefully executed marketing strategy, N.W. Ayer could strengthen the tradition of engagement rings and transform public opinion about diamonds — from precious stones to essential parts of courtship and marriage. Eventually, Ayer would convince young men that diamonds are the ultimate gift of love, and young women that they’re an essential part of romantic relationships.Creating the NarrativeThe agency wanted to make it look like diamonds were everywhere, and they started by using celebrities in the media. “The big ones sell the little ones,” said Dorothy Dignam, a publicist for De Beers at N.W. Ayer. N.W. Ayer’s publicists wrote newspaper columns and magazine stories about celebrity proposals with diamond rings and the type, size, and worth of their diamonds. Fashion designers talked about the new diamond trend on radio shows.N.W. Ayer used traditional marketing tools like newspapers and radio in the first half of the twentieth century in a way that kind of reminds me of inbound marketing today: In addition to overt advertisements, they created entertaining and educational content — ideas, stories, fashion, and trends that supported their brand and product, but wasn’t explicitly about it. According to The Atlantic, N.W. Ayer wrote: “There was no direct sale to be made. There was no brand name to be impressed on the public mind. There was simply an idea — the eternal emotional value surrounding the diamond.” Their story was about the people who gave diamonds or were given diamonds, and how happy and loved those diamonds made them feel.Every one of De Beers’ advertisements featured an educational tip called, “How to Buy a Diamond.” The instructions said: “Ask about color, clarity and cutting — for these determine a diamond’s quality, contribute to its beauty and value. Choose a fine stone, and you’ll always be proud of it, no matter what its size.”The agency saw tremendous success from their early campaigns. In just four years between 1938 and 1941, they reported a 55% increase in U.S. diamond sales. Riding this success, N.W. Ayer began perfecting their marketing strategy in the 1940s. They wanted to convince Americans that marriages without diamonds were incomplete.”A Diamond Is Forever”These four iconic words have appeared in every single De Beers advertisement since 1948, and AdAge named it the #1 slogan of the century in 1999.According to a New York Times article, the woman behind the signature line (Frances Gerety, who wrote all of De Beers’ ads from 1943 to 1968) came up with it right before bed one night after forgetting to brainstorm it earlier for the next morning’s meeting. When she reviewed what she’d scribbled down the night before, she thought it was “just OK” — and, after presenting it at the morning meeting, no one was particularly enthusiastic. It’s unclear why the slogan was chosen anyway, but it was a choice that would contribute greatly to De Beers’ tremendous advertising success. Even now, the URL www.adiamondisforever.com redirects to De Beers’ main website.The slogan perfectly captured the sentiment De Beers was going for — that a diamond, like your relationship, is eternal — while also discouraging people from ever reselling their diamonds, as mass re-selling would disrupt the market and reveal the alarmingly low intrinsic value of the stones themselves.At the very beginning of N.W. Ayer’s campaigns for De Beers in the late 1930s, the suggested spend on an engagement ring was one month’s salary. In the 1980s, De Beers ran a campaign to reset the norm to two months’ salary. The ads said things like, “Isn’t two months’ salary a small price to pay for something that lasts forever?” The story from the campaign stuck, and De Beers’ “two months’ salary rule” is still widely accepted in the U.S. today.Scam or Genius?From the start, De Beers and their agency created and manipulated demand for diamonds by monopolizing the market, changing Americans’ social attitudes, and convincing people that a marriage isn’t complete without a diamond ring. So … are diamonds the biggest scam in history, or is this a prime example of ingenious marketing?De Beers knew their product wasn’t intrinsically valuable (like gold and silver is). So instead of marketing to their product, they mastered the art of marketing to values — in this case, the values and ethics surrounding love, romance, and marriage. No one was interested in buying diamonds when they conducted their first round of extensive market research, so they had to create that value themselves.I recently read a short Forbes article from 2011 called “There Is Only One Way To Make Money.” It’s about the difference between companies who find value, package it, and deliver it to customers, and companies who create value out of nothing.Most companies are the former, meaning they are reactive to existing value — like when Kraft Foods, Inc. changed its marketing strategy when market research showed a consumer attitude shift away from direct promotions of junk food to children. De Beers was part of the latter camp — their agency’s market research showed a major decrease in demand for diamonds, so they executed marketing campaigns that would shift, rather than accommodate, those existing social attitudes. While brilliant and successful, it also opens up a ton of ethical concerns. Regardless of which side you’re on, De Beers is a very interesting example to learn from. It’s fascinating how De Beers and N.W. Ayer created demand from nothing by coming up with a story and value proposition around their product — and it’s still successful today. Since the turn of the century, De Beers has effectively lost its monopoly of the world diamond trade, although they still bring in billions of dollars every year. But by marketing an idea rather than a product, they built a strong foundation for the $72 billion-per-year diamond industry and dominated it for a good 80 years — and that’s a story worth learning more about.So, what do you think of their marketing over the last century? I’m curious to hear your opinions in the comments below!Image Credit: De Beers, Advertising Archives Don’t forget to share this post! 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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

Setting Your Publishing App Up For Success

first_imgSo you’ve just invested time, money, and a lot of faith in a new publishing app. If all goes as planned, it’ll increase content consumption, give you a new channel for advertisers, and build loyalty among your readers. But what about getting people to use it in the first place? Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come.With 1.2 million apps in the iTunes Store, getting eyeballs and driving adoption rates to your own app can feel just as hard as building the app itself. Sending out one launch email to your database won’t be enough. So how can you drive adoption rates as well as increase engagement levels of the users who’ve already downloaded your app?Increasing Publishing App AdoptionThe first step is to convince people that your app is worth downloading in the first place. To help your app stand out from the rest, start by…Making the benefits clear: In order for anyone to want to download any app, they need to understand what’s in it for them. Why shouldn’t someone just visit your site for content? Make the benefits, relevance, and value-add abundantly clear to your readers by clearly listing the extra functionality or features that your app provides. Will they be getting exclusive content on the app? Will articles be served to them based on their preferences? Can they enjoy content offline? Or without ads? All of these should be talking points you incorporate in the app store, on your website, and in email communication. Using smart content: Fish where the fish are. Use smart content to your advantage to highlight app download calls-to-action to anyone visiting your website via a mobile device. This catches people in the very behavior—reading on their mobile—that warrants the use of your new app. The same techniques can be used for email. Consider smart content that allows you to add a special PS to any email read on a smartphone or tablet. Getting social: Analyze your company’s performance on each social channel you use to determine where users are most engaged. From there, ramp up on organic content promoting your app, or consider running app-install ads to extend your reach. Focus targeting on users who are on mobile, already follow or like your account, and have interests relevant to your publication. For more on what to consider before launching an app-install campaign, check out this post. Using segmentation: If a certain set of on-site actions indicate download intent, use those to your advantage and create audience segments and workflow lists based on those criteria. Then set up CTAs “retargeting” those groups.Increasing Engagement with Publishing AppsHow many times have you downloaded an app, only to stick in a folder and forget about it several days later? Don’t let your app be forgotten. Instead…Keep content fresh: For readers to use an app on a regular basis, they need to feel like they’re getting new, updated content each time they log in. Put an editorial calendar in place, and give your development team deadlines to ensure regular, consistent content gets shared. Use analytics to understand users’ average time between repeat visits, and use that to inform your calendar.Don’t stop promoting: Don’t stop promotion efforts right after you launch your app. Continue app promotion on your website, social accounts, and in email, highlighting any updates, upgrades, or new content. Fatigued users can be re-invigorated by the promise of something new.  Use workflows: Use app data and user behavior to create re-engagement workflows with email. For example, you could send users who have download your app an automatic feedback survey after one week, or have a set of social ads displayed to readers who haven’t logged in after a certain amount of time.Answer FAQs: Give readers a tool to help them navigate your app more easily, and ensure they have something to reference to use the app to their fullest advantage. This can come in a variety of formats, from FAQs to in-app tutorials. You’ve worked hard to get users. Don’t let a poor in-app experience or unrealized features to be the reason people don’t come back.Pay attention to analytics: Regularly measure how readers are using your app. Which features do they engage with most? Which articles lead to reading other articles? What keeps users engaged the longest? Take these findings into account when you are planning to release new content or develop upgrades for your app.Increasing adoption rates and engagement with your app shouldn’t be an afterthought, but it also doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process. By using what you have in place and putting together a sound release strategy, you’ll increase your ability to attract and keep app users.  Originally published Oct 29, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 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 Content Distributionlast_img read more

Why We Unsubscribed 250K People From HubSpot’s Marketing Blog & Started Sending Less Email

first_imgA few weeks ago, we deliberately unsubscribed 250,000 people from HubSpot’s Marketing Blog — people who had opted in to receive emails about new content we published on the blog. This subscriber purge brought our total subscriber count from 550,000 down to 300,000.We’re crazy, right? We must be crazy. We’re the same people who just recently blogged about how important growing subscribers is to increasing blog traffic. What gives?Graymail. Graymail is what gives …Graymail? What’s Graymail?Graymail is email you technically opted in to receive but don’t really want. Graymail is kind of like spam’s risk-taking but law-abiding cousin. It’s not against the law like spam is, but it’s also not as pure as spam’s straight-edged cousin “ham” (which is apparently what they call email that people actually want to receive). I guess that’s why some people call graymail “bacn” (bacon). Email deliverability experts can be so clever, huh? Here’s an example: Let’s say you signed up for an ecommerce website’s email list because doing so got you a 15% off coupon for a fishing pole you bought for your brother as a birthday gift. But you’re not into fishing yourself, and now you’re getting emails from them that don’t interest you. That’s one type of graymail. It’s not considered spam because you signed up for it, but you’re still not likely to engage with it. Why Graymail Hurts Marketers Although it’s not considered spam, sending graymail is problematic because it can hurt the deliverability of your email overall. Tipped off by low engagement rates, email clients may deliver email from known-graymail senders straight to recipients’ “junk” folders … even for brand new subscribers who haven’t even had the chance to engage with your email. In other words, the email technically gets sent (and delivered), but it’s not necessarily seen. Yuck, right?Well, as it turned out, the HubSpot Marketing Blog had a bit of a graymail problem on our hands. Our email deliverability team wasn’t mad, but they were disappointed. So we took action.Here’s What We DidWe did a couple of things, actually … 1) We Created Automated Workflows to Unsubscribe Subscribers Once They Became UnengagedThe first thing we did was set up a workflow using HubSpot’s Workflows App that automatically unsubscribes people once they hit a certain threshold of unengagement — specifically, the workflow unsubscribes someone from the Marketing Blog if they haven’t clicked on an email from us in the last six months. While it was a slightly more aggressive approach, we chose “clicks” over “opens” as our criteria for engagement since open rate is an unreliable email marketing metric.Our workflow also triggers an email to these unengaged recipients to let them know they’re getting unsubscribed, and attempts to re-engage them.As you already know, this workflow unsubscribed about 250,000 unengaged subscribers right off the bat. It also continues to unsubscribe people as they become unengaged, strengthening the quality of our email list and helping to prevent the ill-effects of graymail.Here’s What Happened …If you think we didn’t have anxiety about unsubscribing 45% of our list, you’re dead wrong. But once we got over the sticker shock, we realized there wasn’t really anything to be worried about. After all, 550,000 subscribers is nothing but a vanity metric if 250,000 of those people aren’t actually engaging with your content. And the people we were unsubscribing hadn’t clicked through to our blog from any of the emails we’d sent them over the course of the last 6 months, so we weren’t at risk of losing any email traffic.2) We Eliminated the Marketing Blog’s “Instant” SubscriptionShortly after we activated our unengaged subscriber workflow, Marketing Blog Manager Ginny Soskey also made the decision to completely eliminate the Marketing Blog’s instant subscription option, which had been sending instant subscribers a separate email for each new post we published. Instead, she moved those instant subscribers over to our daily subscription, which sends a once daily round-up of our best new posts.When we made the switch, we also sent an email to our former instant subscribers to let them know we were discontinuing our instant subscription in favor of our daily email, and that their inboxes would be a little lighter for it.We did this for several reasons, but I’ll highlight a couple of the major ones here. For one, the graymail problem. Because of the volume at which we publish to the Marketing Blog, we were sending over four emails per day to our instant subscribers, which at the time consisted of about 10,000 people. That’s a heckuva lot of email, which leads me to my second point.4+ emails per day isn’t a very lovable amount of email. In fact, it’s a very unlovable amount of email. What if we ever decided to increase our publishing frequency? That would mean we’d be sending even more email. Consolidating all that into one daily email that includes our best content was logical and lovable.Here’s What Happened … Compared to the unengaged workflows we set up, getting rid of our instant subscription was a riskier move because.We didn’t want to sabotage the traffic we were generating from our instant subscribers. Would fewer emails to our former instant subscribers lead to less blog traffic?We didn’t want to upset subscribers who actually liked receiving multiple emails per day about our latest blog content.On the traffic front, we basically broke even. Sending just one email per day instead of multiple emails didn’t translate into less traffic to the blog from email. This wasn’t that surprising to us, because in order to lose traffic, lots of subscribers would’ve needed to be clicking on more than one email per day, which was an unlikely scenario. We knew that was an unlikely scenario because we did our due diligence and analyzed the traffic to our blog from our instant emails before we made the decision to discontinue that subscription option … just to be safe. And as it turns out, what we did was actually a welcome change for most of our instant subscribers. The majority of the email replies we received were very positive and included sentiments like this:”Thanks for giving me some breathing room. I can use it.””Thanks for that. I was close to ending my subscription, to be honest 🙂 But now, never.””This is a much better solution for me. Thanks for practicing what you preach to make my experience better.”From the few people who spoke up and said they were actually disappointed about the discontinuation of our instant subscription, we noticed two common themes:People like being in control of their own inboxes. Of the blog emails we send them, they like being able to choose which ones to click on, and which ones to delete.Some people genuinely like to read every email/blog post we send them.Time to Reinvent Blog Content Distribution?While most people were in favor of our switch to fewer emails, the reasons some people were disappointed shed light on an opportunity for improvement on the blog content distribution front.In other words, there’s got to be a better way to give these subscribers what they want than by flooding their inboxes with email messages. For blogs, content distribution to subscribers has always boiled down to either email notifications or RSS, but is there a better way — particularly when it comes to instant notifications? For instance, what if there was a way to automatically send instant subscribers a tweet whenever a new post was published? Could someone invent a completely new platform or tool that helps to solve this problem?Perhaps better personalization is the solution here. If people want to have control over their own inboxes, maybe offering more robust subscription options is the answer, allowing subscribers to decide which types of blog content they were emailed about. If people were able to subscribe only to the content they’re interested in, instant email notifications would become much more tailored to the subscriber and a whole lot more valuable as a result.This is definitely something we’ll be noodling on, so let us know if you have any ideas 😉 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: Email Newsletters Originally published Dec 9, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019last_img read more

Midseason Position Grades: Running Back

first_imgIt would be hard to come up with a more maligned topic of conversation among Oklahoma State fans over the last couple of years than the Cowboys’ running game.3.51, 3.58, and 3.43.Those numbers represent the average yards per carry for the OSU offenses in 2014, 2015 and through the first half of 2016. Each one equally disappointing and each one ranking ninth ahead of only Kansas in the Big 12.The Cowboys haven’t enjoyed a 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Randle cruised to 1,417 in 2012. A school that used to be known as Tailback U hasn’t had a running game that could get out of its own way in three years.But it looks like there might be a mini-renaissance occurring in Stillwater and it starts with a true freshman named Justice Hill. With a crowded running back group that included three seniors and a sophomore who got meaningful time last year, Hill would have made good a redshirt candidate. But he had other plans.Those plans included playing himself into meaningful reps during fall camp and then playing himself into an early starting role, despite a couple mistimed fumbles. It’s clear Hill is the best option to get the bulk of the carries. He’s shown the ability to not only make defenders miss but to attack the hole and has the type of break-away speed that can turn decent runs into big plays.Let’s take a look at his numbers:Hill: 403 yards / three touchdowns / 4.63 yards per carryIf we assume Hill continues to get 15-20 carries per game (let’s make it 15) and keeps his current average per carry, that’s an additional 486.15 yards (assuming the Cowboys go Bowling) for a total of 889.15. So, let’s round up and call it 890 yards. Chris Carson, the Cowboys’ 2015 lead rusher ended with 517 yards and 2014’s lead rusher was Desmond Roland with 770 yards. In 2013, Roland had 811. So Hill is not quite on pace to hit the 1,000-yard mark but he does have a good change to be the leading rusher since Joseph Randle.Here’s how the rest of the group has fared so far: Childs: 178 yards / six touchdowns / 4.81 yards per carryCarr: 86 yards / one touchdown / 8.60 yards per carryCarson (in two games): 45 yards / one touchdown / 3.75 per carrySanders: 41 yards / two touchdowns / 1.95 yards per carryBehind the freshman is another seemingly unlikely No. 2 back. Rennie Childs has looked as good this season as we’ve probably seen him. Again, if you were to look at my projected depth chart for the running backs two months ago, it would have been way off.I saw Childs as the odd man out with Chris Carson the starter from last year and Barry J. Sanders the supposed difference-making transfer. Of course, Carson has been injured and Carr seems to be the one lost in the mix with just ten carries from the backfield in six games. Sanders has looked good sparingly from the backfield and on special teams.Based on OSU’s recent history with running back production, I think we can grade this group on a curve. A B+ was the grade our writers came up with and that’s what I picked as well. There are definitely improvements to be made but we’ve seen a trend in the right direction.2016gradesWhile it’s taken longer than most would like, the running game is improving. We can see it on the field. Blocking is getting better and so is running back play. Whether it’s in the second half of this season or next year,  I think we’ll see it on the stat sheet as well.RB Grade: B+ While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Watch: Cinematic Highlights From Oklahoma State-TCU Game

first_imgSaturday was a special day in Oklahoma State’s season (obviously), and the cinematic highlights perfectly capture the importance of the Cowboys moving to 10-1* on the season.The highlights here are as good as you would expect. All the Carson truck sticks. All the Lacy grabs. All the Kenny Hill sacks. Drink it in, Cowboy fans because we get two straight weeks of bliss.Also it gave us this elite GIF.Boing boing boing. pic.twitter.com/YY1SaXfNLR— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 21, 2016 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Where Oklahoma State’s 2017 recruiting class stands nationally

first_imgThe 2017 recruiting class is nearing an end, with signing day just around the corner in February. It’s time to check in on where OSU ranks nationally, and how they may finish out the class over the coming months.National rankOklahoma State’s class ranks 32nd nationally, but that mark is good for second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma. They are one spot behind Rutgers (!!), but notably ahead of Texas, UCLA, and Houston. Factor in the transfer addition of former five-star receiver Tyron Johnson, and the class ranking moves all the way up to No. 22.Here is the Big 12 standings.screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-10-31-45-pmHeadline recruitsThe 2017 recruiting class may be one of the best Gundy has put together in recent memory, with strength from top to bottom that should meet the Pokes needs right away. Tylan Wallace, a wide receiver from Fort Worth South Hills, is the highest rated recruit (a four-star, top 100 talent), and is the highest rated receiver since Dez Bryant to commit to OSU. The biggest need for this class is at running back, however. OSU loses Chris Carson, Barry J. Sanders, and Rennie Childs — but they’re bringing in two studs to supplement the losses. The first: Canadian speedster Chuba Hubbard. The second: Georgia tailback J.D. King, who has a powerful, downhill style of running. I think both will play as true freshmen.The Cowboys are also bringing in a 6-foot-7 quarterback from Ellenwood, Georgia, named Jelani Woods. He picked OSU over Michigan, South Carolina, and many others. He will be an early enrollee.Prospects to watchWith 19 commits in the class, Oklahoma State’s biggest needs are mostly addressed: namely at safety and running back. I think they could and maybe should look at adding a cornerback in this class, as well, but as it stands there are several prospects still being pursued.Evan Fields — safetyAnother running back — From what I understand, OSU won’t take another on top of Hubbard and King unless it’s an elite back a la Eno Benjamin or Travis Etienne Jr.Another offensive linemanDavid Anenih — defensive endOutside of those spots, the class is all but filled out, as far as I can tell.Where they will finishThis class only has one true “four-star” prospect with Tylan Wallace, so there’s only so high a class can rise with a bevvy of three-star recruits. If you’re taking into consideration the addition of Tyron Johnson, I think OSU will finish in the top 25. But not counting him, they should hover right around where they are now — anywhere from 30 to 35 nationally. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Here is What OSU Players Will Receive as Bowl Gifts

first_imgBowl season is fun. The players get to spend that much more time with their teammates and coaches. They get to travel with their team and some get to play in front of friends and family that may not be able to make it to Stillwater.But among the more underrated perks of a bowl trip for the players are the bowl gifts that each bowl’s officials give out. The SportsBusiness Journal has released a list for each of the 2016-17 bowl season’s games with what each player will receive.Oklahoma State and Colorado players will each received a gift set that includes: Apple Watch Nike+ (retails for around $399), $110 Best Buy gift card, myCharge HubPlus portable charger, team panoramic photo, and a mini-helmet.There is an NCAA limit of $550.00 value per person. *Of course there is.*Check out the full list to see what each bowl game’s officials give out. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Oklahoma State on Commitment Watch For Elite Offensive Lineman from Georgia

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Major announcement coming later on tonight!!— Caleb Chandler (@DatBoyCC) January 6, 2017 #FlippinFridayBaby ????@CowboyFB_Elite Confirmed Flip!!! #GAConnection5️⃣5️⃣ set OVisit date‼️#RareBreedOL17 #OkState #GABeast #LETSRIDE pic.twitter.com/h3OO4lVgsN— Coach Arroyo?OREGON® (@coacharroyoTheO) January 6, 2017 Some major news appears to be coming — and with Arroyo’s batcall, it could be in Oklahoma State’s favor. And for OSU looking for a big bully offensive lineman to come in and contribute quickly, Chandler fits that bill. After losing the commitments of two highly rated offensive line recruits in December, Oklahoma State is on the prowl to bolster it’s big men up front before signing day in a month.Enter Caleb Chandler, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive tackle recruit from Jefferson, Georgia, whom Oklahoma State extended an offer to earlier this week. 247sports ranks him as a four-star prospect, and he has 32 Division I scholarship offers that includes Louisville, Florida, Oregon, TCU and a whole bunch of others which you can check out here.Despite the crowded group of schools vying for his attention, Oklahoma State appears to be gaining some real steam in his recruitment. So much so that there may be some big news coming out of Georgia in favor of OSU on Friday night. Coach Marcus Arroyo sent this tweet alluding to some potential good news, and shortly after, Chandler himself signaled a “major announcement” was coming on Friday evening:last_img read more

Taylor, Sterns and Jarwin Headed to NFL Combine With Carson

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. It looks like Chris Carson will not be the only Cowboy with a chance to impress in Indianapolis later this month. Per Robert Allen of GoPokes, defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, tight end/”cowboy back” Blake Jarwin and safety Jordan Sterns have received invites to the NFL Scouting Combine.Per @RAllenGoPokes sources on Further Review just now, Vincent Taylor, Blake Jarwin & Jordan Sterns will join Chris Carson at NFL Combine.— John E. Hoover (@johnehoover) February 6, 2017Vincent Taylor announced his intention to forgo his senior season to declare for the draft following OSU’s win in the Alamo Bowl. The game-changing All-Big 12 tackle led the team in sacks (7) and tackles for loss (13). According to NFL.com, Taylor holds a 5.35 draft grade (the highest grade is Myles Garrett at 7.6) and is their 17th-ranked defensive tackle.Blake Jarwin is an intriguing tight end prospect who could find himself a spot on an NFL roster. The tight end has seen a resurgence in the NFL with the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce putting up gaudy numbers. Jarwin has a 5.36 draft grade according to NFL.com and is their 14th-ranked tight end.Jordan Sterns left OSU as the leading career tackler in the Mike Gundy era. He posted three 100-plus tackle seasons but will be missed as much for his leadership as his production. Sterns is a little undersized for an NFL safety which may lead into his 5.02 draft grade and No. 17 ranking among safety prospects. Like the others, he will have a chance to improve his stock with a good showing at the Combine.The Combine will be held February 28 – March 6, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.last_img read more

Brandon Weeden on OSU’s Spring: ‘I’m Impressed’

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Brandon Weeden recently made it back for an Oklahoma State spring practice, and he talked about the team and his time there in an interview with Allison Gappa.“I’m impressed,” said Weeden of the team at the beginning of April. “I told all the coaches — especially Coach Glass — that these guys look different than when I was a sophomore or a freshman.“We had some good looking athletes but especially D-line and some of these receivers. I’d be the shortest guy in the quarterback room. Guys look good. Playing fast, which I like to see.”Weeden was particularly enthralled with the Mason Rudolph-James Washington twosome because of how it reminded him of himself and No. 81.“I’m sure they’re going to break every record we ever set, and I hope they do,” said Weeden. “I hope they do. I’m excited for Mason more than any of them.”Yes, this is probably true. Rudolph probably will end up with all the career QB records. But Weeden will still have him from a per-season perspective.Either way, it’s pretty cool to hear the best QB1 in school history comment on the one who will probably go down as the second best.We caught up with @bweeden3 at practice last Friday. Check out his interview with @AllisonGappa after the scrimmage. #okstate pic.twitter.com/3ijUlNitaF— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) April 4, 2017Also, nice pullover.last_img read more

Champions League Team of the Round

first_imgUEFA Champions League Willian & Mane lead the way in the Champions League Team of the Round Goal 06:55 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(17) Willian Chelsea Barcelona Getty UEFA Champions League Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur Basel v Manchester City Porto v Liverpool Real Madrid v PSG Chelsea v Barcelona Bayern München v Beşiktaş Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma Sevilla v Manchester United Porto Sevilla Real Madrid Bayern München Beşiktaş PSG Manchester United Juventus Tottenham Hotspur Manchester City Basel Liverpool Barcelona Chelsea Shakhtar Donetsk Roma It was a positive fortnight for the competition’s Premier League contingent, with Liverpool and Manchester City in particular making a big impressionlast_img read more

Zidane: Kroos and Modric uncertain to face PSG

first_imgReal Madrid Zidane still unsure if Kroos and Modric will feature at PSG Ryan Benson 07:45 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) kroos-cropped Getty Images Real Madrid Zinédine Zidane Real Madrid v Getafe PSG v Real Madrid PSG UEFA Champions League Primera División Real Madrid face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday and there is still uncertainty about Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Zinedine Zidane is still unsure whether Toni Kroos or Luka Modric will be fit to feature in Real Madrid’s Champions League round-of-16 second leg at Paris Saint-Germain.Madrid cruised to a 3-1 win over Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday in preparation for their crunch European clash, but both Kroos and Modric were missing.Kroos, who impressed in Madrid’s 3-1 first-leg win over PSG, has been struggling due to a knee ligament sprain, while Modric has a hamstring problem. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Madrid have just two more training sessions before they face PSG in Paris on Tuesday and Zidane still does not know whether they will be able to play.”They still have not trained with us,” Zidane told reporters on Saturday. “We’ll have to see on Sunday if they do [train].”I can’t tell you anything. Today has not changed anything from yesterday. We’ll see if they train with the ball [on Sunday].”I will never regret injuries. If they can’t be with us, other players will play. The only thing we have is to look at Tuesday and see who we are going to go with.”We have two days to see how Luka and Toni are. I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do and what we have planned.”What I want is for all of us to travel. I hope everyone trains on Monday, but I don’t know.” goals. points. days to go until we face @PSG_English…#HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/8Z2mwjpLGF— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) March 3, 2018Tuesday’s trip to the Parc des Princes will be Zidane’s first return to France as a coach.But he does not see any significance in that and is warning his players they will need to do the ugly parts of the game to progress to the quarter-finals.”It’s true that it’s going to be the first time for me,” he said. “Even if I go to France for the first time as a coach, I will prepare the game as usual.”We’re just going to think about the game. We know it’s going to be very complicated. We’ll have to get our hands dirty to win it.”last_img read more

Aubameyang returns for Arsenal

first_imgArsenal Arsenal team news: Aubameyang returns to lead line v Watford Goal Last updated 1 year ago 20:38 11/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Arsenal vs. Everton Getty Images Arsenal Premier League Arsenal v Watford Watford The Gunners also hand starts to Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny following their midweek victory over AC Milan Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returns to the Arsenal line-up against Watford on Sunday.The Gabon international was cup-tied for the Europa League victory over AC Milan on Thursday, but returns to the fold against the Hornets, with the Gunners aiming to halt a run of three straight Premier League defeats.Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny both come in while Rob Holding starts at centre back in place of rested vice-captain Laurent Koscielny. Jack Wilshere and Calum Chambers are on the substitutes bench following their midweek exertions while Aaron Ramsey and the aforementioned Koscielny are not in the squad altogether.Meanwhile, Watford captain Troy Deeney starts upfront after his comments about Arsenal lacking cojones following the 2-1 win at Vicarage Road in October. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Watford benefitted from a penalty decision against the Gunners, and won the match with a last-minute Tom Cleverley goal, and Deeney revelled in the victory afterwards.”I’ve heard Wenger’s already blaming (the decision) as the reason why they lost,” he said at the time. “I’m not going to be the one to tell Mr Wenger about himself, but there’s a reason why they lost and it wasn’t because of one penalty.”I’ll have to watch what I say. It’s (having) a bit of cojones, a bit of nuts.”Gunners boss Arsene Wenger responded ahead of the game, saying: “They got a cheap penalty from a good dive.”We’ll respond to him on the pitch [on Sunday].”Arsenal XI: Cech; Maitland-Niles, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Xhaka; Ozil, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang. Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Willock, Nelson, Wilshere, Nketiah, Welbeck.Watford XI: Karnezis; Femenía, Prödl, Mariappa, Holebas; Doucouré, Capoue; Janmaat, Pereyra, Richarlison; Deeney.  Subs: Bachmann, Britos, Hughes, Carrillo, Sinclair, Gray, Okaka. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Atletico boss Simeone lauds Sevilla

first_imgSevilla ‘Sevilla win overshadowed by Man Utd exit’ – Simeone praises La Liga rivals’ magnificent achievement Jamie Smith 00:46 15/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Wissam Ben Yedder Ashley Young Sevilla Man Utd 13032018 Getty Sevilla Manchester United Manchester United v Sevilla UEFA Champions League Atlético Madrid v Lokomotiv Moskva Lokomotiv Moskva UEFA Europa League Atlético Madrid Sevilla have not been given enough credit for knocking Manchester United out of the Champions League at Old Trafford, says Diego Simeone. Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes Sevilla’s stunning Champions League win at Old Trafford has been overshadowed by Manchester United crashing out of the tournament.Vincenzo Montella’s decision to send on Wissam Ben Yedder proved a masterstroke as the striker scored twice in six minutes to set up a 2-1 aggregate win, Romelu Lukaku’s reply proving only a consolation.Much of the post-match reaction has been dominated by analysis of United’s limp performance, with the achievement of Sevilla – Europa League champions three years in a row between 2014 and 2016 – somewhat overlooked. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And Simeone does not think it is fair for Sevilla’s triumph to be judged in the context of Jose Mourinho’s United side suffering a surprise Champions League exit in the round of 16.”It is concerning that the general consensus is that this was anything other than a magnificent achievement with a great deal of weight and importance,” Simeone said ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie with Lokomotiv Moscow.”Sevilla played with huge levels of motivation, discipline and enthusiasm and their approach put them in good stead and made this look like a straightforward achievement.”Atletico hold a 3-0 lead from the first leg of their last-16 clash with Lokomotiv but Simeone is not taking a place in the quarter-finals for granted.”For me, everything I play is important,” he said. “We use these games as a way of continuing to grow, as we have been doing for six years.”Don’t forget what made us strong, because I remember the old days in the Europa League when we had no sponsor on the shirt. Now, we cannot forget that if we want to keep growing.”We aren’t thinking about what can happen later, only about overcoming the tie tomorrow. The objective is always our work day to day.”You will fill that periodically with opinions and debates, but what concerns us is to progress past each stage. The reality is tomorrow’s game and it is the only one that counts.”last_img read more