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

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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How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Persona Template]

first_img Buyer Personas When creating forms to use on your website, use form fields that capture important persona information. For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms. Take into consideration your sales team’s feedback on the leads they’re interacting with most. What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?Interview customers and prospects, either in person or over the phone, to discover what they like about your product or service. This is one of the most important steps, so let’s discuss it in greater detail …How to Find Interviewees for Researching Buyer PersonasOne of the most critical steps to establishing your buyer persona(s) is finding some people to speak with to suss out, well, who your buyer persona is. That means you’ll have to conduct some interviews to get to know what drives your target audience. But how do you find those interviewees? There are a few sources you should tap into:1) CustomersYour existing customer base is the perfect place to start with your interviews, because they’ve already purchased your product and engaged with your company. At least some of them are likely to exemplify your target persona(s).Reach out to both “good” and “bad” customers. You don’t just want to talk to people who love your product and want to spend an hour gushing about you (as good as that feels). Customers who are unhappy with your product will show other patterns that will help you form a solid understanding of your personas. For example, you might find that some of these “bad” customers have bigger teams and thus need a collaboration element to the product. Or you may find that “bad” customers find your product too technical and difficult to use. In both cases, you learn something about your product and what your customers’ challenges are.Another benefit to interviewing customers is that you may not need to offer them an incentive like a gift card (a typical incentive for participating in surveys or interviews). Customers usually like being heard, and interviewing them gives them a chance to tell you about their world, their challenges, and what they think of your product. Customers also like to have an impact on the products they use, so you may find that, as you involve them in interviews like this, they become even more loyal to your company. When you reach out to customers, be clear that your goal is to get their feedback and that it’s highly valued by your team.2) ProspectsBe sure to balance out your interviews with people who have not purchased your product or know much about your company. Your current prospects and leads are a great option here because you already have their contact information. Use the data you do have about them (i.e. anything you’ve collected through lead generation forms or website analytics) to figure out who might fit into your target personas.3) ReferralsYou’ll probably also need to rely on some referrals to talk to people who may fit into your target personas, particularly if you’re heading into new markets or don’t have any leads or customers yet. Reach out to your network — co-workers, existing customers, social media contacts — to find people you’d like to interview and get introduced to. It may be tough to get a large volume of people this way, but you’ll likely get some very high-quality interviews out of it. If you don’t know where to start, try searching on LinkedIn for people who may fit into your target personas and see which results have any connections in common with you. Then reach out to your common connections for introductions.4) Third-Party NetworksFor interviewees who are completely removed from your company, there are a few third-party networks you can recruit from. Craigslist allows you to post ads for people interested in any kind of job, and UserTesting.com allows you to run remote user testing (with some follow-up questions). You’ll have less control over sessions run through UserTesting.com, but it’s a great resource for quick user testing recruiting.Tips for Recruiting IntervieweesAs you reach out to potential interviewees, here are a few tips for getting a better response rate:1) Use incentives. While you may not need them in all scenarios (e.g. customers who already want to talk to you), incentives give people a reason to participate in an interview if they don’t have a relationship with you. A simple gift card (like an Amazon or Visa credit card) is an easy option.2) Be clear this isn’t a sales call. This is especially important when dealing with non-customers. Be clear that you’re doing research and that you just want to learn from them. You are not getting them to commit to a one-hour sales call; you’re getting them to commit to telling you about their lives, jobs, and challenges.3) Make it easy to say yes. Take care of everything for your potential interviewee. Suggest times, but be flexible; allow them to pick a time right off the bat; and send a calendar invitation with a reminder to block off their time.How Many People Do You Need to Interview?Unfortunately the answer is, it depends. Start with at least 3-5 interviews for each persona you’re creating. If you already know a lot about your persona, then that may be enough. You may need to do 3-5 interviews in each category of interviewees (customers, prospects, people who don’t know your company).The rule of thumb is, when you start accurately predicting what your interviewee is going to say, it’s probably time to stop. Through these interviews, you’ll naturally start to notice patterns. Once you start expecting and predicting what your interviewee is going to say, that means you’ve interviewed enough people to find and internalize these patterns.20 Questions to Ask in Persona InterviewsIt’s time to conduct the interview! After the normal small talk and thank-you’s, it’s time to jump into your questions. There are several different categories of questions you’ll want to ask in order to create a complete persona profile. The following questions are organized into those categories, but feel free to customize this list and remove or add more questions that may be appropriate for your target customers.Role1) What is your job role? Your title?2) How is your job measured?3) What does a typical day look like?4) What skills are required to do your job?5) What knowledge and tools do you use in your job?6) Who do you report to? Who reports to you?Company7) In which industry or industries does your company work?8) What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?Goals9) What are you responsible for?10) What does it mean to be successful in your role?Challenges11) What are your biggest challenges?Watering Holes12) How do you learn about new information for your job?13) What publications or blogs do you read?14) What associations and social networks do you participate in?Personal Background15) Describe your personal demographics (if appropriate, ask their age, whether they’re married, if they have children).16) Describe your educational background. What level of education did you complete, which schools did you attend, and what did you study?17) Describe your career path. How did you end up where you are today?Shopping Preferences18) How do you prefer to interact with vendors (e.g. email, phone, in person)?19) Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information?20) Describe a recent purchase. Why did you consider a purchase, what was the evaluation process, and how did you decide to purchase that product or service?The #1 Tip for a Successful Persona Interview: Ask “Why”The follow up question to pretty much every question in the above list should be “why?”Through these interviews, you’re trying to understand your customers’ or potential customers’ goals, behaviors, and what drives them. But keep in mind that people are not always great at reflecting on their own behaviors to tell you what drives them at their core. You don’t care that they measure the number of visits to their website, for example. What you care about is that they measure that because they need a number they control to show their boss they’re doing a good job.Start with a simple question — one of our favorites is, “What is your biggest challenge?” Then spend a good amount of time diving deeper into that one question to learn more about that person. You learn more by asking “why?” than by asking more superficial questions.How to Use Your Research to Create Your PersonaOnce you’ve gone through the research process, you’ll have a lot of meaty, raw data about your potential and current customers. But what do you do with it? How do you distill all of that so it’s easy for everyone to understand all the information you’ve gathered?The next step is to use your research to identify patterns and commonalities from the answers to your interview questions, develop at least one primary persona, and share that persona with the rest of the company.Use our free, downloadable persona template to organize the information you’ve gathered about your persona(s). Then share these slides with the rest of your company so everyone can benefit from the research you’ve done and develop an in-depth understanding of the person (or people) they’re targeting every day at work.Here’s how to use the template to do it …Fill in Your Persona’s Basic Demographic InformationIf you didn’t feel comfortable asking some of these demographic-based questions on the phone or in person, you can also conduct online surveys to gather this information. Some people are more comfortable disclosing things like this through a survey rather than verbal communication.It’s also helpful to include some descriptive buzzwords and mannerisms of your persona that you may have picked up on during your conversations to make it easier for people in your sales department to identify certain personas when they’re talking to prospects.Here’s an example of how you might complete Section 1 in your template for one of your personas:Share What You’ve Learned About Your Persona’s MotivationsThis is where you’ll distill the information you learned from asking “Why” so much during those interviews. What keeps your persona up at night? Who do they want to be? Most importantly, tie that all together by telling people how your company can help them.Help Your Sales Team Prepare for Conversations With Your PersonaInclude some real quotes from your interviews that exemplify what your personas are concerned about, who they are, and what they want. Then create a list of the objections they might raise so your sales team is prepared to address those during their conversations with prospects.Help Craft Messaging for Your PersonaTell people how to talk about your products/services with your persona. This includes the nitty gritty vernacular you should use, as well as a more general elevator pitch that positions your solution in a way that resonates with your persona. This will help you ensure everyone in your company is speaking the same language when they’re having conversations with leads and customers.Finally, make sure you give your persona a name (like Finance Manager Margie, IT Ian, or Landscaper Larry), and include a real-life image of your persona so everyone can truly envision what he or she looks like. Purchase an image from a stock photograph site like Thinkstock, or download one of our royalty-free images. It may seem silly, but it really helps to put a name to a face, so to speak!And if you’re a HubSpot customer, you can add your persona right into your HubSpot Marketing Platform. Just follow this step-by-step setup guide. Now, find out the best questions to ask when creating your next buyer persona. Finance Manager Margie. IT Ian. Landscaper Larry. Do you know who your business’s buyer personas are? And exactly how much do you know about them?Buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Personas help us all — in marketing, sales, product, and services — internalize the ideal customer we’re trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans. Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.”Okay, so personas are really important to my business. But … how do I actually make one?”Download Our Free Buyer Persona Guide + Templates Ahh … the million dollar question. The good news is, they aren’t that difficult to create. You just need to ask the right questions to the right people, and present that information in a helpful way so the people in your business can get to know your persona(s) better than the backs of their hands.Now for the even better news: As you may have noticed above, we’ve put together an interview guide and a free template for creating buyer personas, so it’s easy as pie to do your persona research and compile it all into a beautiful, presentable, palatable format. So follow along with this interview guide, and download the persona template so you can start plugging in your research. Before you know it, you’ll have complete, well thought-out buyer personas to show off to your entire company!Before we dive into the buyer persona-creation process, let’s pause to understand the impact having well-developed buyer personas can have on your business — and specifically your marketing.Why Exactly Are Buyer Personas So Important to Your Business?Buyer personas help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups. In other words, you may know your target buyers are caregivers, but do you know what their specific needs and interests are? What is the typical background of your ideal buyer? In order to get a full understanding of what makes your best customers tick, it’s critical to develop detailed personas for your business.The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.). Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20. But if you’re new to personas, start small! You can always develop more personas later if needed.What About “Negative” Personas?Whereas a buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer, a negative — or “exclusionary” — persona is a representation of who you don’t want as a customer.For example, this could include professionals who are too advanced for your product or service, students who are only engaging with your content for research/knowledge, or potential customers who are just too expensive to acquire (because of a low average sale price, their propensity to churn, or their unlikeliness to purchase again from your company).How Can Personas Be Used in Marketing?At the most basic level, developing personas allows you to create content and messaging that appeals to your target audience. It also enables you to target or personalize your marketing for different segments of your audience. For example, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment by buyer persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different personas.Furthermore, when combined with lifecycle stage (i.e. how far along someone is in your sales cycle), buyer personas also allow you to map out and create highly targeted content. You can learn more about how to do that by downloading our Content Mapping Template. And if you take the time to also create negative personas, you’ll have the added advantage of being able to segment out the “bad apples” from the rest of your contacts, which can help you achieve a lower cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer — and see higher sales productivity.Now, are you ready to start creating your buyer personas?How to Create Buyer PersonasBuyer personas can be created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside your contacts database who might align with your target audience.Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need to develop personas: Topics:center_img Originally published May 28, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated May 17 2018 Look through your contacts database to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content. 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

5 Blogs With Comments You’ll Actually Want to Read

first_imgCopyblogger rocked the blogging world when they stopped facilitating comments on their blog and instead encouraged people to take the comments to social or to their own blogs. Thing is, this “we know what’s good for you” approach failed to take into account what their readers want – which is, to comment when they want, where they want.Lucky for us, there are still a multitude of great marketing blogs that welcome our comments. If you’re looking for a blog where the comments are as good as the articles, you’ve come to the right place.1) Grow – Mark SchaeferMany marketers (including me) love him for his forward thinking, his approachability, his no-nonsense advice, and his entertaining podcast with cohost and voiceover genius Tom Webster. Have you heard about the concept of “Content Shock”? You know that because of Mark’s post Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy published in the beginning of 2014.That one blog post has 392 comments on it. Not painful, “great post” comments either. Mark’s ideas ignite debate, foster creativity and provide a fantastic exchange of ideas that are as valuable as the posts themselves. And even on an article with nearly four hundred comments, he replies to nearly every one of them. Having written for his blog before, I also know he asks contributing writers to respond as well.Check it out if: you want to be on the leading edge of marketing trends and get the inside scoop on how industry experts are reacting to and implementing them.2) Web Search SocialRalph and Carol Lynn Rivera have created something of a cult following for their podcast. The show notes are the place to continue the conversation you’ve been having with them in your head as you listen.One of the draws for the comments section is that Melanie Kissell nearly always writes a poem for each episode. Clever and fun, these really add to the program.Not ones to shy away from controversy, Ralph and Carol Lynn have taken on some common marketing practices and even specific tools on their show. This episode with the founder of Snip.ly lead to some interesting back and forth, including one comment which likens anyone wishing to protect their intellectual property to a whiny two-year old. The intelligent responses from hosts and guests and continuing dialogue never fail to get the creative juices flowing.Check it out if: you enjoy marketing smarts with a hefty dose of witty banter.3) Neil PatelNeil loves data. He’s a tester, an analyst, and he shares generously, including printscreens from his Google analytics and tons of numbers to back up his findings. He often presents his “how-tos” in a step-by-step format, which is especially helpful on his typically very long posts.What is great about some of the commenters here (and you do have to wade through quite a few “you are the best!” comments) is that they ask really personal questions that some of us might not feel comfortable asking. “How did you create that opt-in?” “How do you find time to write so much?” And Neil answers all questions graciously. Seriously, this guy is on top of it and is a real gentleman. You’ll also notice that commenters add in their own A/B results, link to other related articles, etc. So, you’re really getting double the content!Check it out: if you want to get the inside scoop on Neil’s considerable marketing success and a well-rounded look at what’s working for many companies.4) Seriously Social Iag.me with Ian Anderson GrayIan’s blog is the go-to blog for real tech and marketing geeks – and I mean that lovingly! He enjoys writing about tools and programs for marketers in a way that I quite appreciate. He’ll share his findings, pros, cons, setup instructions, etc. Seriously useful.The comments section often attracts the founders or representatives of the companies creating the tools he reviews, meaning commenters can get their own questions answered from Ian AND from the companies themselves. In Ian’s more technical posts, you will notice he addresses each commenter, helping to debug where necessary, even years after the post goes live.Ian said about his “7 Reasons NOT to use Hootsuite” article “It’s turned into a mini community (which I always strive to make my articles into). It’s been a place for people to ask questions, ask advice, share frustrations and give feedback.” Indeed it has – with nearly 500 comments and counting.Check it out if: you enjoy an objective look at tools and programs and want to engage with company representatives.5) Adrienne SmithAdrienne claims her business is about “Showing Bloggers How to Grow a Blog One Relationship at a Time.” She delivers.As with all good comment sections, Adrienne’s loyal readers add in great tools and success stories that add to the already useful content Adrienne supplies. But what really stands out is the way the commenters all seem to know and support each other, with Adrienne facilitating. This is not done in a way that makes new readers feel they are late to the party (I just started commenting today), rather it leaves one feeling as if they’ve stumbled upon a very safe place to ask questions and express concerns.Check it out if: you are looking for a supportive community as you grow your business.Blog commenting is a great way to get to know people, to get your questions answered, and to express your opinions. Which blogs do you follow for the comments? 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 Sep 16, 2015 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Blogginglast_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

Should Marketers Use Pop-Up Forms? A Comprehensive Analysis

first_imgAs inbound marketers, we care about creating lovable experiences for our website visitors — but we also want to generate as many leads as we can for our sales teams. Most of the time we can do both without any problem. But when it comes to pop-up forms, conflict does emerge.Pop-ups are everywhere these days. Over the past few years, pop-up forms have re-emerged as a popular marketing tactic for promoting content, driving blog subscriptions, growing email lists, and fueling lead generation.Convert more visitors into leads. Get our free email capture tool here.Some pop-ups are fairly benign and you hardly notice them. Others are distracting, and quite frankly, downright poopy (see the example below). Pop-ups have become so prevalent that even Google has had to weigh in, announcing that they will begin to penalize websites that use what they call “intrusive interstitials” (we call them “crappy popups”).So the million dollar question for inbound marketers is this: Should we be using pop-up forms? Before we dive in and attempt to answer this question, let’s take a step back and re-acclimate ourselves with the world of pop-ups.What Is a Pop-Up Form?According to Wikipedia, the first ever pop-up ad appeared in the late 1990s on the web hosting website Tripod.com. In their early days, pop-ups were primarily used by third-party advertisers, and they were particularly cringe-worthy. Do you remember the first time a brightly colored pop-up jumped out on your screen, alerting you that you’d won some sort of content or prize? I know I do. And as far as I can remember, I never collected any of those fabulous prizes.Over time, consumers and web browsers alike got better at hiding or ignoring these types of pop-ups, and eventually, advertisers gave up. Nowadays you’ll rarely see a sketchy third-party pop-up — unless you find yourself on a particularly sketchy website. (Watch a webinar on how to advertise effectively in the world of ad blockers and social media here.)For a time, pop-up forms largely disappeared from the internet. But then they came back. Only this time it wasn’t third-party advertisers that were using them … it was marketers like you and me.Pop-ups come in many shapes and sizes, but the most prominent types are:Welcome mats: Full screen pop-ups that slide above page contentOverlay modals: Center screen pop-ups that appear on top of page contentTop banners: Small banners at the very top of the pageSlide-in boxes: Small boxes that slide in from the side/bottom of the pageHere’s a graphic depicting what each of these four pop-ups looks like on a web page:As more and more marketers have started using pop-up forms, a mini-industry of pop-up providers has emerged, offering bells and whistles that were never available before. Most notably, pop-up tools have proliferated the types of triggers that prompt a pop-up to appear.Among the most popular pop-up triggers are:Page entrance: Pop-up appears when the visitor first gets to the pagePage scroll: Pop-up appears when the visitor scrolls to a certain point on the pageElement interaction: Pop-up appears when the visitor clicks on or hovers over a specific elementTime on page: Pop-up appears when the visitor has been on the page for a specific amount of timeExit intent: Exit intent pop-ups appear when the visitor scrolls towards the top of the page to leaveNow that we know a little more about pop-up forms, let’s get back to the core question: Should marketers be using them?And in order to properly answer that question, we need to consider two slightly more specific but related questions:Do they work?Is it possible create inboundy pop-up forms that don’t, well, suck?Let’s dig in.Do Pop-Up Forms Work?I’ll answer this one right off the bat: The answer is yes. Pop-up forms do work, and this is the main reason so many marketers are using them.But how much better do they perform than traditional forms? In one experiment, AWeber found that a pop-up form converted 1375% better than traditional forms for driving blog subscriptions (see the images below). In addition, according to research conducted by Sumo, the top performing 10% of pop-up forms convert at a whopping 9.3%. Now I don’t know about you, but an additional 9.3% conversion rate across my website sounds pretty good to me.Source: AWeberThe numbers don’t lie: Pop-up forms work. However, is that worth sacrificing the experience that a visitor has on your site? The inbound answer is no. User experience trumps all else. But what if you didn’t have to sacrifice performance for experience? What if you could create user-friendly pop-ups that didn’t suck?Is There Such a Thing as an Inbound Pop-Up?If you ask someone how they feel about pop-ups, they’re likely to offer an emotional response that loosely resembles a child eating vegetables (I call this expression “blegh”).People hate the idea of pop-ups. Most pop-ups out there are annoying. What’s more, the pop-ups that annoy you the most are the ones you’ll remember the longest.But here’s the thing: not all pop-ups are bad. Pop-ups can be used for good, and they can be a healthy part of an inbound strategy.Just think about email marketing for a second. Email is another example of a channel that has been heavily abused. We’ve all gotten some crappy emails throughout the years. But as inbound marketers, we know to use email responsibly and to only send contextualized email that adds value to people’s lives.The same goes for pop-ups. When used correctly, they can actually enhance the experience a user has on your website, as well as boost your conversion rates.But how do we make sure that our pop-ups are helpful and not spammy? Here are some guidelines.4 Tips for Crafting High-Converting Pop-ups (That Don’t Suck)1) Offer something relevant and valuable.The problem with most pop-ups is they get in the way of the visitor’s experience on a website, rather than enhance it. Oftentimes this is because what’s being offered in the pop-up is either not valuable to the visitor, or it has nothing to do with the page they’re on.To boost engagement with your pop-up as well as enhance the experience that someone has on your site, be sure to offer something that is both valuable and relevant to them, given the page that they’re on. For example, if I were writing a blog post on social media, I would offer a free ebook on the same topic:2) Think about the way people engage with your pages.Another common mistake marketers make with pop-ups is having them appear at the wrong time, which adds to the annoyance factor. Be strategic about the timing and trigger of your pop-ups. Think about the way that visitors interact with certain types of pages on your site.For instance, when someone engages with a blog post, they do so by scrolling down the page as they read the content. If you want to catch your visitors while they’re most engaged, then you should customize your pop-up to appear when someone has scrolled halfway down the page.Similarly, you might find that people who stay on your product or pricing pages for more than 30 seconds are highly engaged because they’re taking the time to read through and consider their options. In this scenario, you could use a time-based pop-up that appears when a visitor has been on the page for a specific number of seconds.To better understand exactly how your visitors engage with different pages on your site, try looking into Google Analytics data, such as bounce rate and average time on page. Better yet, use a tool like HotJar or Crazy Egg to record users on your site to build heat maps of where they click and scroll. This will give you a better sense of how people engage with your content.3) Use language that’s specific, actionable, and human.Most pop-up forms have a fairly basic layout. You get a headline, some body copy, and maybe an image. In other words, you don’t have a lot of real estate to work with.This means it’s super important to nail the copy on your pop-up form. In order to do that make sure your copy is specific, actionable, and human:Specific: Specify exactly what a visitor is going to get if they click on your pop-up. Don’t tell them it’s a guide; tell them it’s a 10-page guide with actionable tips. Don’t encourage them to join your email list; ask if they’d be okay with getting two to three emails on a given topic per week.Actionable: Let visitors know exactly what you’d like them to do. Instead of “Click Here,” try “Download our Free Guide,” or better yet, “Get my Free Guide.” Craft a compelling call-to-action that will inspire your visitors to take action.Human: Remind visitors that there’s a real person behind the pop-up form. Use colloquial language to make your forms friendly. Instead of “Join our email list,” try “Mind if we email you twice a week?” Instead of “Subscribe to our blog,” try “We’d be happy to notify you whenever we publish new articles.” 4) Don’t ruin the mobile experience.In an effort to improve mobile user experience, Google recently announced that they were going to start penalizing websites that use what they call “obtrusive interstitials” — in other words, pop-ups that mess with the user experience. Now I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want my Google rankings to go down from using pop-up forms.To ensure a user-friendly mobile experience and avoid being penalized by Google, be sure exclude your pop-up forms for mobile, or use pop-ups that don’t take up the entire screen of the page on mobile devices. Most pop-up tools already offer this type of functionality, but if what you’re currently using doesn’t, you may need to find a new solution.Need a Free Pop-Up Tool?So there you have it. To sum up: Pop-up forms do work, they can be inboundy, and you should be using them.If you’re looking to get started with pop-up forms, we’d recommend that you try HubSpot’s free marketing tools. We built it ourselves to help marketers generate more leads across their entire website without sacrificing the user experience.What are your thoughts on pop-up forms? Do you think that inbound marketers should be using them? What pop-up tool would you recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments. Topics: Originally published Oct 11, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 28 2018center_img Forms Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

The 8 Best Startup Logos From Shark Tank, and Why They Work

first_img7) TranquiloThe pitch: The Tranquilo Mat is a portable vibrating mat that soothes baby in the crib, stroller, or on the go! The mat helps baby transition from a mother’s womb to the world during the “fourth trimester” after birth.The logotype is an expressive and playful script that embodies the feel-good of the soothing mat. The friendly curves of the hand-scripted font and the light green color create an approachable and optimistic vibe. Slogans & Taglines If you’re a young startup just beginning to find your footing in the business world, having a quality, professional-looking logo can help you look great in front of potential investors and clearly establish what your brand stands for.Designing a logo that is simple enough to be absorbed and understood quickly, but still conveys the many meanings a brand might depend on is not an easy task. Generating creative logo ideas can be very time-consuming.On ABC’s Shark Tank, companies only have a few minutes to pitch their business to the panel of investors, which means their logo needs to say a lot about what kind of business they are.Download Now: Free Brand Building GuideI’ve examined 96 companies from Shark Tank, Season 8 (check the full list here) and selected the best Shark Tank logos, explaining in-depth why each logo works and which design elements make it great.The process of designing a logo requires an enormous amount of patience and an obsession with getting it right. So whether you’re a designer looking for some inspiration or an entrepreneur looking for logo design ideas for your business — you’re in the right place! Check out my analysis of the logos below to inspire your own design.8 Best Shark Tank LogosToymailEdnVibesLaidBrandRinseKitChirpsTranquiloBiemHow do you judge a logo? 2) Edn The pitch: Edn is a seed pod to grow your tiny garden indoor. Now anyone can master growing herbs, vegetables and flowers within the comfort of their home. The Small Garden’s soil-free technology takes care of your plants, so you don’t need to. The seed pods are dirt-free, so there’s no mess to clean up.The wordmark feels very light and clean. The line over the “e” adds some character to it and marks the accent. The turquoise color adds a sense of nature and an organic feel to this slim and elegant typography. I have judged all the Shark Tank logos by the following five criteria:Simplicity: Is the design simple and clean enough to be flexible and easily recognizable? Is it not too busy, distracting, or confusing?Memorability: Is it quickly recognizable? Is it clever? Will people only have to spend a second or two thinking about it to get it?Timelessness: Will it still be a great logo in 10, 20, or even 50 years?Versatility: Does it scale to different sizes without losing quality or clarity? Will it work across various media and within different contexts?Appropriateness: Does it resonate with the desired audience and industry of the business? 4) LaidBrandThe pitch:  LaidBrand is a pheromone-enriched hair care. Pheromones are naturally occurring chemicals in humans, and to put it simply without getting too technical, pheromones trigger responses. Whether you are trying to attract a mate or just exude that extra boost of confidence, pheromones play a huge part in achieving those desires.The new wordmark is quite elegant and striking and the characteristic cuts on both sides add some sexy touch to it. There’s a great harmony between the cuts and the middle “A” letters. Overall, a great logo that sets a strong tone and makes it feel like something completely different. Don’t forget to share this post! 5) RinseKit The pitch: RinseKit is the only portable shower to have the pressure of a garden hose without pumping or batteries. With up to 4 minutes of spray time, RinseKit’s 2 gallon system holds pressure for over a month.Overall, this is a very bold and dynamic logo. I like the underline that symbolizes a stream of water. Very confident, flat design with a special treatment that makes it look unique. It’s a complete conceptual and graphic solution. A good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form, and conveys an intended message. The most successful companies continue to say:Simpler is better.And these companies definitely made the right hiring decision, whether they hired an independent design or a design agency, their logos came out well executed.I’m going to judge these Shark Tank logos only in terms of their pure visual aesthetics without discussing the whole identity system, and how these logos work on the applications like websites, stationery design etc.Simple ≠ EasyRemember that the simplest ideas often require many hours of tweaking design concepts. Simplicity is something that is achieved by eliminating unnecessary elements — going from a visual clutter to a visual essence.Principles of a Good Logo  The 8 Best Startup Logos from Shark Tank Season 81) Toymail The pitch: Toymail is a toy with hidden components inside that allow you to send a message to your kids. With just a push of a button, kids can connect to Mom, Dad, grandparents, or friends at any time, from anywhere. Parents use the Toymail app to send messages. Approve your child’s trusted circle through the Toymail app. The logo is attractive for its unique toy-contour and a modern geometric typeface. The icon and the wordmark use a one-weight line which sets a unified style. The bright pink color is appropriate for a toy-company. 6) Chirps The pitch: Chirps are chips made of bugs — crickets. When we first started Chirps, many people told us to hide the fact that our foods have bugs and just talk about the nutritional benefits. That’s not us. We started Chirps because we want people to know that bugs are delicious, nutritious, and sustainable.It is a crisp and bold icon that has a great presence. Very impressive logo. The subtle modifications to the “i” letter turn it into a bug which perfectly embodies the main ingredient: bugs. Originally published Nov 6, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated November 06 2017 8) BiemThe pitch:  Biem is the handheld device that transforms a stick of real butter to a spray in seconds, making cooking, home entertaining, and baking infinitely easier.I like the concept of the “i” being a spray bottle with the spray beam coming out of it, which captures perfectly what it is about in a simple way. The beam is neither too big nor too small to serve as a graphic trigger for something memorable.Feature image credit: ABC 3) Vibes The pitch: Vibes are designed to enhance your live music experience. They lower decibel levels of your environment without sacrificing sound clarity. You hear true natural sound the way it was intended: clear, clean, controlled.The minimalist execution is perfectly calibrated with a sturdy sans serif, just the right amount of airy letter-spacing. The icon adopts the silhouette of the earplugs and highlights the first letter in a distinctive & unique way. Topics:last_img read more

Allegri unsure over severity of Dybala injury

first_imgJuventus Allegri unsure over severity of Dybala injury Jack Davies 09:00 1/7/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Paulo Dybala Juventus Cagliari MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images Juventus Paulo Dybala Cagliari v Juventus Cagliari Serie A The Argentine will be sent for tests after sustaining an apparent hamstring injury in his side’s win on Saturday Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri concedes the severity of the injury picked up by Paulo Dybala in the 1-0 win at Cagliari remains unclear.Dybala left the field in tears and clutching his hamstring early in the second half, although the fact he was able to walk off will be encouraging for Allegri, who also lost Sami Khedira to a head knock.The Argentina international will now be sent for tests as Allegri waits to discover how long he will be without the striker. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “We don’t know how bad it is now, but he will have tests,” he told Mediaset Premium .”Fortunately we go into a two-week break now and he’ll evidently need to rest more than the others during that time, so hopefully he will be fresh for the final weeks of the season.”200 – Massimiliano #Allegri have won 200 Serie A games as manager, 100 of these as Juventus manager. Milestones. #CagliariJuve — OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 6, 2018 Juve had to rely on a 74th minute strike from Federico Bernardeschi to overcome a spirited Cagliari side, who felt the goal should have been disallowed for a Medhi Benatia elbow on Leonardo Pavoletti in the build-up.The hosts were further incensed when they were denied a penalty following allegations of handball against Bernardeschi, imploring referee Gianpaolo Calvarese to use VAR to no avail.”We didn’t react as well as we should’ve done, the second half was very physical,” added Allegri. “It was very important that we bring home the result, so I compliment the players, as we are still in Napoli’s slipstream and have broken away from Inter and Roma.”After going 1-0 up, we could’ve added another goal, or at least done better to control the ball rather than allow Cagliari opportunities to equalise.”I will say that Cagliari did not deserve to lose. VAR is an instrument that was meant to reduce controversy, but instead it has increased it because people don’t accept the referee’s decision.”The win, which closes Juventus within a point of leaders Napoli, was Allegri’s 200th in Serie A and 100th league win in charge of Juve.last_img read more

CBS Sports Names Mike Gundy as Oscar Winner for Best Hairstyle

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. The Oscar Awards are here! And for people who have zero cares about the real ceremony, but still enjoy a little sports fun surrounding it, CBS Sports named its Oscar Award winners from the 2016 football season.And Mike Gundy came away a winner … in makeup and hairstyling. Here’s what Chip Patterson of CBS said about Gundy’s wicked hairdo:The hairstyle — named perfectly by the coach himself as the “Arkansas Waterfall” —  added a fun wrinkle to a wild 2016 campaign. Gundy nearly had to cut it in November because of a bet with his son regarding an upcoming test. Thankfully for us, Gundy’s son scored an 88 and not a 91, allowing the Arkansas Waterfall to continue its dominance of the college football hairstyling scene.Oh, yeah. I’m sure that Oscar will look nice hanging in Gundy’s barn, right next to where he keeps his stash of butch wax.Also included in the Oscars was (look away, quick!) Central Michigan wide receiver Jesse Kroll, who won the award for best player in a supporting role. No, he wasn’t the one who scored the go-ahead heart-breaking touchdown over Oklahoma State. He was the one who caught the first pass then flipped it back for the W.[Warning: Now would be the time to toggle back to the home page.]last_img read more

Indefensible! Same old story for humiliated Wenger

first_imgLeague Cup No defence, no fight, no leaders – the same old story for Wenger in Wembley humiliation Chris Wheatley Arsenal correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 02:43 26/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Jack Wilshere Arsenal Julian Finney League Cup Arsenal Arsenal v Manchester City Manchester City Opinion Arsenal’s defence was dismantled once again in a dismal second half showing against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final It started so well and ended with young supporters in tears. Arsenal’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City presented an opportunity of winning silverware midway through the season, a trophy that Arsene Wenger has yet to get his hands on throughout his two decades at the club.Quite simply, Arsenal weren’t at the races for much of Sunday’s showpiece Wembley match and the second-half performance bordered on embarrassing. Despite the Gunners starting impressively and looking composed on the ball, it took Sergio Aguero just 18 minutes to score the opening goal, latching on to a goal kick from Claudio Bravo which Shkodran Mustafi couldn’t deal with.Mustafi’s decision to appeal what looked like a shove in the back from Aguero was one that cost him extra seconds in recovering from the mistake and drew criticism from his former Valencia coach Gary Neville, who labelled the German’s defending as “pathetic”.Aguero has scored in each of his past five games in all competitions against Arsenal and he terrorises the Gunners defenders every time he comes up against them. Mustafi wasn’t the only culprit for the goal, though, with captain Laurent Koscielny ball watching and slow to react to Aguero’s run.The aged old quip of ‘Arsenal lacking leaders’ could not have rung more true at Wembley. They looked lost for ideas as Vincent Kompany struck City’s second from the edge of the box, once again exposing Arsenal’s defensive deficiencies and inability to assert themselves in games against elite opposition.Koscielny may have been captain but there was certainly no visible leadership on the pitch from him. Only the fired up Jack Wilshere, who won four fouls in the match, looked like he wanted to take the game to City along with the returning Aaron Ramsey, who was impressive before City’s dismantling of the defence.Arsenal’s team imbalance can be tracked back to the summer of 2015 when Petr Cech was the only player signed by Wenger despite the team clearly needing reinforcements across the pitch. The January arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund was an excellent piece of business but clearly not a priority for a team who leak goals on a week by week basis.Per Mertesacker is set to retire at the end of the season, Koscielny is injury and error prone, Calum Chambers proved again that he is not good enough to play for a top Premier League side, and 20-year-old Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding undoubtedly need some time out on loan. 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 Arsene Wenger ArsenalA solid spine is the cornerstone of any successful football team and that is something Arsenal don’t have right now. City managed to overcome the Gunners through simple route one football on Sunday and that is damning on Wenger’s management nous more than anything.The Europa League remains Arsenal’s only realistic chance of winning a trophy this season and with a trip to the San Siro against AC Milan awaiting them, Wenger’s chances of salvaging a final year at the club are beginning to look slimmer with every match.last_img read more

When are the UCL and UEL quarter-final draws?

first_imgUEFA Champions League When are the Champions League and Europa League quarter-final draws? Goal Last updated 1 year ago 15:30 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(6) Arsenal Milan UEFA Champions League UEFA Europa League Lazio Porto Milan Lokomotiv Moskva Salzburg Real Madrid Borussia Dortmund Bayern München Athletic Club Beşiktaş PSG Dynamo Kyiv Manchester United RB Leipzig CSKA Moskva Liverpool Basel Manchester City Juventus Tottenham Hotspur Sevilla Roma Shakhtar Donetsk Chelsea Barcelona Arsenal Atlético Madrid Olympique Lyonnais Viktoria Plzeň Sporting CP Olympique Marseille Zenit As we head into the latter stages of the tournaments, Goal brings you everything you need to know ahead of the draws The full complement of teams to take their place in the Champions League and Europa League quarter-finals is now known.A total of 16 teams have secured safe passage to the last eight of each competition, with the Europa League last-16 clashes coming to an end just one day prior to the draw on Friday.Here, Goal takes a look at everything you need to know ahead of the Champions League and Europa League draws for the quarter-finals. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp When is the Champions League quarter-final draw? Champions League drawThe Champions League quarter-final draw will take place Friday, March 16 at 11:00 GMT (06:00 ET) .It will happen at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, and fans will be able to follow it via live stream on UEFA’s official website as well as being able to follow the latest news on Goal.The first legs will be played on April 3 and 4, with the return legs taking place a week later on April 10 and 11. How does the Champions League quarter-final draw work?Unlike previous draws, there are no restrictions on which clubs can draw one another.So, should Barcelona reach the next round, for example, a Clasico matchup against Real Madrid could be on the cards.Which teams are in the Champions League quarter-finals? Real Madrid secured their spot by beating Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain in both legs of their tie; Zinedine Zidane’s side picked up a 3-1 home victory before beating PSG 2-1 in the return leg. Joining Real in the last eight of the competition will be Premier League duo Liverpool, whose 5-0 victory at Porto in the first leg of their double-header was enough to see them through, and Manchester City, who progressed past FC Basel with an aggregate score of 5-2.Tottenham, however, were beaten 2-1 by Juventus at Wembley in the second meeting between the two clubs, meaning the Italian champions squeezed into the next round with a 4-3 aggregate scoreline.Manchester United were knocked out following a 2-1 defeat at home to Sevilla, while Roma progressed at the expense of Shakhtar Donetsk thanks to away goals.On Wednesday, Barcelona were inspired by Lionel Messi’s double in seeing off the challenge of Chelsea, sealing a 4-1 aggregate victory at Camp Nou.There were no surprises, meanwhile, in Istanbul, as Bayern completed an 8-1 drubbing of Besiktas to advance once more. Confirmed Teams Real Madrid Liverpool Manchester City Juventus Sevilla Roma Barcelona Bayern Munich When is the Europa League quarter-final draw? The Europa League quarter-final draw will be made at 12:00 GMT (07:00 ET) on Friday, March 16.The first leg of the quarter-final ties will take place on Thursday, April 5, with the reverse fixtures to be played a week later on Thursday April 12.Which teams are in the Europa League quarter-finals? Ramsey celeb Milan ArsenalThe likes of Atletico Madrid and Arsenal marched into the quarter finals with dominant wins on Thursday.Atletico saw off Lokomotiv Moscow in an 8-1 aggregate victory, while the Gunners’ class held out against AC Milan as they advanced thanks to a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium. Borussia Dortmund, however, were not so lucky, falling in a big upset at the hands of Austria’s RB Salzburg; their neighbours, and fellow Red Bull side, RB Leipzig kept the German flag flying by seeing off Zenit. Lazio are the only Italian team left, while France’s Marseille, Sporting of Portugal and CSKA Moscow represent their respective nations. Curiously, the eight quarter-finalists hail from eight different nations, while only four countries will be on display in the Champions League quarter-finals. Confirmed Teams Atletico Madrid CSKA Salzburg Arsenal Lazio RB Leipzig Marseille Sportinglast_img read more

Vincent Taylor Cut by the Miami Dolphins

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. The deadline for NFL teams to trim their rosters to 53 came and went on Saturday afternoon with no bad news coming to Vincent Taylor, the third-year defensive tackle from Oklahoma State. But, apparently, that did not mean he was safe.In a somewhat surprising move, Miami Dolphins’ brass waived Taylor, the team announced Monday.Taylor never became a featured linemen in Miami’s front and dealt with two major injuries in his first two seasons. But when he saw the field, he made an impact.The former All-Big 12 standout graded out as one of the best defensive linemen in the league, and he brought his knack for blocking kicks to the pros.Vincent Taylor earned strong grades over his first two seasons in the league:2017 – 84.1 overall (185 snaps)2018 – 76.3 overall (204 snaps) *In that time Taylor racked up 28 defensive stops and missed just 1 tackle #Dolphins #FinsUp https://t.co/O0zAbQaSTZ— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) September 2, 2019When he was placed on the injured reserve list midway through last season, he was the No. 2-rated D-lineman in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.Buzz coming from South Florida seemed to indicate that Taylor didn’t fit what new head coach Brian Flores and new DC Patrick Graham wanted to do scheme-wise. Still, releasing a developing, highly-graded prospect still on a rookie contract seems to be an odd move.last_img read more

OSU Unveils New Throwback Brand Helmet for Homecoming

first_imgAs pointed out by Justin Southwell, OSU is 9-1 when wearing an orange jersey since 2016 and this is the first time we’ve seen it since last year’s homecoming win over No. 6 Texas. Hopefully that trend continues against No. 18 Baylor. This is the first time OSU has gone O-O-W since all the back in 2012 in a win over Texas Tech.The helmet is the cherry on top. I love the “Orange Power” on the front bumper.For those of you keeping score, in this week’s uniform predix both Southwell and Kyle Porter nailed the O-O-W combo with Southwell predicting a throwback brand on an orange lid. (He predicted the 1977-79 helmet so was off by a year but I’ll allow it.) 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. I said it earlier this week but OSU’s equipment staff absolutely killing it with their Homecoming helmet goes hand-in-hand with death and taxes. This year is no different.The Cowboys are donning an orange-orange-white combination with a new version of the throwback brand helmet that is 👌👌👌.This year’s Homecoming throwback helmet honors the #OKState teams of the 70’s• 1974 Fiesta Bowl Champions• 1976 Big Eight Champions• 1976 Tangerine Bowl Champions• 2-Time All-America selection and Heisman runner-up Terry Miller🔶 #GoPokes | #OKStateHC ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/FTNZeCGl5F— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) October 19, 2019last_img read more

What I learned about bourbon in Kentucky

first_imgI’m in lovely Lexington, Kentucky today giving a workshop for nonprofits. It’s hard to miss the horses here, along with the bourbon. In fact, one of the participants here today, George Cherry from Red Bird Mission handed me two business cards. The first was for the mission. The second was from Maker’s Mark. George is a Maker’s Mark Ambassador.What great marketing. George has a real business card from Maker’s Mark which has his name as Ambassador, an ambassador number and a barrel number. George’s barrel number is 691267, which means because he’s been a faithful ambassador for a couple of years, he has a real whiskey barrel with his name on it. When they uncork it in six years, they are going to invite him to see it. George also told me that Maker’s Mark sponsored the Keeneland races here and holds other events around Lexington. But most important, they’ve got George out talking about their product in a very engaging way. He even has a pen that looks like the bottle:So here’s what Maker’s Mark shows us:Business cards can be marketing vehicles, not just name cards. Do you have cool stuff about your nonprofit on your card? Flickr lets you make great cards of unique sizes with photos. It’s worth asking people who like you to evangelize for your cause, but it’s important to give them an easy way to do it, like card bearing their name.Reward the people who evangelize for you over time.I’d love to see a Maker’s Mark of nonprofits with brand ambassadors like George.last_img read more

Giggs: Bale is a Man Utd player

first_imgTransfers ‘Bale is a Man Utd player’ – Giggs backs Mourinho move for Real Madrid star Chris Burton 01:24 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Gareth Bale Real Madrid Liverpool Champions League final 260518 Getty Transfers Manchester United Gareth Bale Real Madrid Primera División Premier League The Red Devils legend would like to a see a man he now manages with the Wales international side make his way to Old Trafford if interest is shown Gareth Bale is “a Manchester United player” and would excite supporters at Old Trafford if Jose Mourinho launches a summer raid for the Real Madrid forward, says Ryan Giggs.Having been linked with a return to England for some time, the former Tottenham star has seen transfer talk resurface of the back of comments made after a Champions League final victory over Liverpool.Having netted twice off the bench in a 3-1 win over Liverpool, Bale revealed that he will be weighing up his options this summer as he seeks to find competitive football “week in, week out”. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar United would be prepared to offer him those opportunities and Giggs – who is now the 28-year-old’s boss with Wales – believes a big-money move could be beneficial to all concerned.The Red Devils legend told the South China Morning Post: “I’d be a happy United fan, that’s for sure.“I think he’s a Man United player. I think the fans would love him. The fans would adore him but again, like I say, he’s at a club where he’s won three Champions Leagues so why would you leave?”This is not the first time that Bale has sparked exit talk in Madrid and he has opted to stay put in previous windows.He also has a change of manager to think about at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, with Julen Lopetegui having inherited the Blancos reins from Zinedine Zidane.Gareth Bale a Manchester United player Ryan GiggsThat could influence his decision, with it possible that he will once again delay a move elsewhere in favour of sticking to a contract in Spain due to run until 2022.“I think there’s been talk for the last three years of Gareth moving. I think he’s at the right club but of course he wants to play,” Giggs added.“Last season he was frustrated and I can understand that but with a new manager I’m sure that he’ll wait to see how he does and see if he’s part of the new manager’s plans.”last_img read more

Asensio will discuss Liverpool links after World Cup

first_imgTransfers Asensio not discussing Liverpool links until after World Cup Tom Webber Last updated 1 year ago 23:05 6/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) MarcoAsensio - cropped Getty Images Transfers Liverpool Spain v Russia Russia Spain Real Madrid World Cup Premier League Primera División David de Gea The 22-year-old has six years left on his Real Madrid contract, but would not dismiss the recent reports linking him to a summer switch to Anfield Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio plans to sort out his club future after Spain’s World Cup campaign, amid reported interest from Liverpool.Asensio started the 2017-18 season strongly, scoring in both legs of the Supercopa de Espana triumph over Barcelona, but struggled to retain a place in Zinedine Zidane’s star-studded side.The 22-year-old signed a six-year contract, which reportedly includes a €700 million (£616m/$816m) buyout clause, at the Santiago Bernabeu last September, but has been linked with a close-season switch to Anfield. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Asensio came off the bench in Spain’s World Cup win over Iran and the 2-2 draw against Morocco on Monday – a result that sent them through to the last 16 as Group B winners – and says the national team is his sole focus for the time being.Asked about Liverpool’s interest, Asensio said: “That’s something in the news but I’m very focused in the World Cup.”When it ends, we can talk about that kind of thing. I’m very focused here in Russia, on the national team and performing well here.”David de Gea has come under intense scrutiny after an error gave Cristiano Ronaldo his second goal in their opening draw, and has gone on to concede five goals from six shots on targets.However, Asensio is confident the Manchester United goalkeeper will prove why he is widely considered to be one of the best in his position.”I see him calm. He couldn’t do much more on the goals [against Morocco],” he said. “The national team keeper is a very demanding role, but he is more than prepared.”He is willing and he is calm and I’m sure we’ll see the sort of performances he has previously shown for the remainder of this World Cup.”Spain’s campaign was thrown into turmoil when they sacked Julen Lopetegui just two days before their opening match, the coach having agreed to join Madrid less than 24 hours beforehand.Fernando Hierro was installed as his replacement for the competition, and Asensio thinks the adversity has brought greater cohesion to the squad.”We went through a weird situation that nobody expected and that could have affected us a bit. But we talked it through, we had to remain united, a World Cup is only every four years and is very important for us,” added Asensio.”Every game is a new challenge, it is very difficult to beat any team and that is what we are seeing.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

10 months agoArsenal boss Emery confirms axing Ozil; pushed about selling German in January

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery confirms axing Ozil; pushed about selling German in Januaryby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery admits he dropped Mesut Ozil for their Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham.Ozil failed to make the matchday squad for last night’s 2-0 reverse.Emery explained: “It’s a tactical decision because I thought that the players that were with us today were the best choices for this match.”Asked if Ozil was at the Emirates for the game, Emery continued: “Yes.”We are thinking of every player. We have 24 or 25 players and when they are playing one game and not in another, it’s the decision. Today it was tactical.”Emery was then pushed about whether Ozil could be sold next month.”My focus now is analysing this match and also Saturday against Burnley is very important. We are going to assess every player, how they are tomorrow in training and for a difficult match against Burnley on Saturday.”I am thinking about the match on Saturday, and not thinking about another situation.” last_img read more

9 months agoJuventus coach Allegri: Ronaldo needs to win something here

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Juventus coach Allegri: Ronaldo needs to win something hereby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus coach Max Allegri says Cristiano Ronaldo will be determined to win the Supercoppa.Allegri was asked if CR7 brought a stronger winning mentality to Juve.“He’d have to win something first to prove that. Cristiano is accustomed to winning, he has won four of the last five Champions Leagues and many more trophies. Ronaldo is the best player in the world and an added bonus for us. The situation has certainly improved with his presence, although Juve already had great strikers.“However, let’s not forget that Juve have played two Champions League Finals in the last four years and they were against what at the time were the best teams in the world. When it comes to that tournament, you need good luck too.“The Scudetto is one of our objectives, as are the Coppa Italia, the Supercoppa and the Champions League. We want to reach the end of the season with as many trophies as possible.” last_img read more

9 months agoSevilla chief Caparros explains ending talks for Chelsea striker Morata

first_imgSevilla chief Caparros explains ending talks for Chelsea striker Morataby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla sports chief Joaquin Caparros admits their move for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata is off.Caparros has confirmed the terms involved for the former Real Madrid centre-forward are just too rich for them.After signing Munir El Haddadi from Barcelona, Caparros said: “We got in touch with Morata and Chelsea, but it all ended up there. “To speak of figures, it was enough to understand that the operation was impossible for us.”Morata is now the subject of talks with Atletico Madrid. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

13 days agoRangers boss Gerrard a shock target for Besiktas

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Rangers boss Gerrard a shock target for Besiktasby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRangers boss Steven Gerrard has emerged as a shock target for Besiktas.The Turkish giants are mulling over whether to sack under-fire boss Abdullah Avci.Gerrard has been impressing with his steady work in the Scottish Premiership at Rangers, who currently hold a two-point lead at the top of the table.The Ibrox side have only lost one game so far this season, and Besiktas are now considering the Liverpool legend as the man for the hotseat, says BeIN Sports.At present the Blacks Eagles sit in 12th place, with just eight points from seven matches played. last_img