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Ways businesses can use social media to combat Coronavirus impact

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By Chris Turn

Social media has always been a powerful example of the remarkable reach of technological advancement and widespread digitalisation. When social media was first introduced to the world, it was done so as a modern iteration that was geared specifically towards revolutionising global communication from the ground up. It took little to no time at all for the positive impact of social media to be felt on a global scale. Soon enough, social media was branching out even further than originally intended, transforming communication and connection once again from the inside out.

In many ways, social media has essentially been the bridging foundation that has kept us all connected and informed as the world has gone through many different eras in its time. Now, as the Coronavirus pandemic impacts the globe in many different ways, we are seeing the powerful influence of social media impact not only our awareness and understanding of how the entire world is coping with the Coronavirus outbreak, but also every aspect of life as we know it. This includes, of course, businesses.

Raising awareness about the facts

Businesses today are utilising social media to combat Coronavirus in interesting ways. One of the biggest and best ways they are doing this is by actively and consistently sharing the facts surrounding the virus and real-time updates on the virus as it continues to unfold around the globe. This is a way for businesses to combat the virus because it essentially functions as a middleman that is giving their valued consumers live updates as they happen. It is an entirely transformative narrative and it is one of the biggest trends for businesses right now.

Advertising online products and services

Whether it is independently or through companies like Hesk Digital, businesses are utilising social media as a means of advertising their products and services – including new approaches to shipping, returns, and even delivery methods. Amid scary and uncertain times like this, businesses utilising social media to keep their consumers informed about their approaches and responses to the virus, is an entirely exciting way of making use of social media to survive and thrive as the Coronavirus continues to impact standard and exceptional operations for businesses across the board and around the globe.

Build up business/consumer relationships through consistent engagement

Businesses are also utilising all this time in lockdown mode to build up business/consumer relationships through active and consistent engagement. This assists those businesses in essentially and successfully allowing and encouraging the active and consistent growth of their brand in what has already proven to be more challenging times than usual. And really, with the whole world going into lockdown mode, what better use of time is there for businesses than to spend their time building on and strengthening their relationships with consumers? This is perhaps one of, if not the, most effective and important use of social media to combat …read more

Source:: Social Media Explorer


How HubSpot Built a World-Class Conversational Marketing Program

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By Connor Cirillo

Over the last few years, HubSpot’s audience has gotten chatty. Chatbots and live chat became some of the most popular ways to reach HubSpot and the humans here. For years, prospects have wanted to ask questions and get direction while navigating the website.

In the past, we met this need with live chat that handed off to “coaches”. These coaches answered questions about pricing and features; they also helped free users better use their tools. Demand on this channel grew faster than our ability to hire coaches, so we scaled our live chat programs with chatbots.

Those chatbots triaged, qualified, and routed prospects to the right team or content resource. Over time, we found that folks who engaged with chat used the product more often than those who didn’t. Here’s what we did about it.

Reducing Chatbot Friction

Above all else, our goal was to create a remarkable customer experience with conversational marketing. Enabling prospects to cut through the noise and ask for help in their own words removed friction in the flywheel.

We believed — and still do — that it’s always easier for users to see value in the free tools they’re using. This came from our deep belief that “how you sell is why you win”. Growing businesses often have to juggle dozens of tools, but don’t often have the opportunity to ask questions about how to use them together.

Ambitious businesses deserve great software and experiences to power it.

Aligning Marketing, Sales, and Chatbot Technology

The hardest part of conversational marketing isn’t the technology — it’s the empathy and alignment that takes lots of time and energy to get right. To solve this, our marketing and sales teams met to understand the start-to-finish chat experience.

It was interesting to see how two departments viewed the same situation through varying lenses. Marketing gained empathy for how Sales handled conversations, including repetitive processes.

Sales came to appreciate what chatbots could do to make their lives easier. From there, both departments came up with shared metrics that aligned us around a holistic customer experience.

Here are some that may apply to your business:

  • Deflection rate: the % of engagements with chatbots that don’t reach a human.
  • Handled chats: the # of conversations that coaches have with prospects.
  • Pass rate: the % of handled chats that are a good fit for sales.
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): the % of bot and human engagements that prospects marked as positive.

These shared metrics gave Marketing a better sense of which types of chats — and how many — should or shouldn’t reach the coaches. They could build tasteful conversational experiences that sifted incoming messages.

Standard questions could be self-served, and nuanced ones could escalate to coaches. This approach created a more delightful interaction for the humans on either side of the screen. Users didn’t have to wait for a human to answer documented questions, like “How do I add a user …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


The 5 Best Podcast Editing Software, According to HubSpot's Senior Podcast Producer

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By Matthew Brown

You’ve had the thought. You know — the one that kicks in on your way to the store, during the daily traffic jam, or underneath your subconscious before you fall asleep each night: I should make a podcast.

One of podcasting’s most endearing qualities is its accessibility. Not only can anyone make a podcast, but everyone should make a podcast. Yeah, I said it. Hot take around some circles.

Hitting the record button and talking into a microphone isn’t exactly going to land you on NPR. Your supportive aunt Janet might throw you a listen, but most audiences today expect a higher level of quality than an unedited, forty-five minute piece of audio. Even Janet deserves it. She’s such a loyal listener.

Editing a podcast means everything from cutting tape, to mixing tracks, to compressing audio. And the software you’ll do it all inside is a digital audio workstation (DAW).

Your choice in editing software should first take a close look at your budget and goals — not your dreams of becoming the next Ira Glass.

Every DAW is different, and the purpose each one serves varies, sometimes wildly. But there’s a right DAW out there for everyone. So let’s get you that meet-cute moment and take a look at the top podcast editing software.

Best Podcast Editing Software

1. Pro Tools

Pro Tools is the Tesla Coupe DeVille of podcast editing software. While it won’t make you sound like a public radio program, it’s more than likely the software they’re all using to package up audio stories.

Pro Tools is the industry standard for a reason. It has every possible tool imaginable for recording, editing, and mastering your audio. But with all those bells (and while we’re at it, all those whistles, too) comes a heavy price tag.

If you’re just starting out, resist the urge to dive head first into the proverbial podcast waters by using Pro Tools — unless you’re ready for a steep learning curve. But once you’ve mastered the craft, you can use any DAW out there.

2. Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition comes with everything you need. And if there’s something missing? You can tack on all the add-ons to your heart’s content.

But the real upside to Audition is the Adobe Suite — because, like Steve Jobs would say, it’s all about the ecosystem.

If you’re turning out podcasts, there’s a good chance you’re powering that personal unicycle and spinning your fair share of plates. Your role likely involves much more than just editing. Knowing that, Adobe can simplify your entire workflow.

Let’s talk through this — you master your final episode, and have some standout clips you want to feature in social promotion. With Adobe, you can quickly grab those clips, send them into After Effects to design an audiogram for your social, and get ready to send it out into the world with Adobe Media Encoder.

Given the cost of Audition, it’s likely the best option …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


5 Ways SEO Can Shine a Light on Your Unseen B2B Content

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By Joshua Nite

SAP Image

Lion King Sunset Hidden Content Image

“Look, marketers. Everywhere the light touches is content beloved by customers.”

“But what about that shadowy place over there?”

“That’s our unseen content. We worked hard to create it, but nobody ever visits it.”

“That’s really depressing.”

“That’s life.”

Okay, sorry to bring the room down. And I’m also sorry to say that it gets worse. A recent study found that 69% of all web content is not seen by consumers.

Hidden Content Image
The remaining 31% is our kingdom.

Fortunately, there are many ways to create content that beats the odds. For example, you can co-create with influencers, or experiment with interactive content that inspires social media sharing. But what about the content you have already created? The really good stuff that never caught on with an audience?

With the right search engine optimization, you can shine a light on that content and help it earn organic traffic. Here’s how we do it.

Ungate the Good Stuff

Five years ago, the best practice for marketers was to gate your most valuable content. It makes sense: You’re offering something great, so people should be willing to offer their contact info in return for it. It’s a simple value exchange.

The flip side, though, is that your most impressive and useful content is now being seen by a smaller audience. You’re intentionally introducing a barrier between your target audience and your most persuasive content. 

I’ll grant that the debate of “to gate or not to gate” is ongoing, and marketers are seeing results with either tactic. But especially for SEO purposes, we recommend trying an ungated approach. 

For example, this asset from client SAP has it all: influencer participation, stats, eye-popping interactive visuals. It’s ungated, and the container page is optimized for search. Keeping this substantial piece of content ungated makes it more crawlable, findable and sharable. As people discover and share it, it gets even more SEO juice. And as an added bonus, the included influencers are far more likely to share an ungated asset.

Ditch the PDFs

Everybody loves PDFs, but… okay, so nobody really loves PDFs. Their popularity is really a holdover from the old days of the web. You didn’t want to take a beautifully-designed piece of content and try to recreate it in clunky HTML. So the PDF made sure people would see the content exactly as it was designed.

Now, however, you don’t have to be a web designer to create something beautiful on a regular web page. And since plain text is crawlable and PDFs are not, turning that PDF into a web page is a solid SEO move.

Our client …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog


‘Math doesn’t add up’: Publishers still face tough choices

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By Brian Morrissey

Almost exactly a month ago, which seems like a decade ago, I ran into a CEO of a major digital publisher on the street in New York City. At this point, coronavirus was not spreading in New York, coffee shops were packed and we complained about packed subway commutes. I asked the CEO how much impact the virus was having on business. “Not much,” I was told.

Those were certainly more carefree days in retrospect. This week, the ramifications of the downturn began to manifest itself at publishers large and small. BuzzFeed, Vice Media, Group Nine, Gannett and others all took steps to rein in costs. BuzzFeed set the tone with a series of measures that avoided layoffs. Outside of Gannett, which was severely challenged with or without a pandemic, the biggest publishers did not lay off staff or furlough them. Instead, pay cuts were enacted along with other measures.

The question many I have spoken to have is how long this strategy can last. Last week, I wrote about how crises expose weaknesses in organizations. For the big venture-funded digital publishers — Vox has curiously been quiet about steps it is taking — they are stuck with a difficult set of choices. Pay cuts are more symbolic than anything else. The top executives taking cuts won’t make the numbers work, much less shaving off 10% of salary for people making $70,000 a year. Cutting back on paying platforms to boost content will save money, but is it enough? Most I’ve spoken to believe not, especially when the general consensus is the overall ad market will be down 25% or more this year.

“Just salary cuts will at most bring the costs down by 10%, at most, I can guarantee,” one exec messaged me. “Math doesn’t add up.”

Said another, more bluntly: “People were fucking around and not making money in 2018 and 2019, and that’s all coming home to roost right now. They never had any discipline. Some 10% salary reduction is not going to do it.”

Nobody is rooting for jobs to be cut, not in a time like this. The question for all media businesses is the same for others: How do you adapt to a set of very changed circumstances? As Complex CEO Rich Antoniello said in a live podcast we recorded last week, this crisis will put pressure squarely on balance sheets. Those with big backers can (possibly) afford to “ride it out.” Time has the Benioff billions backing it, which allows it to take a longer view (for now). Bloomberg Media, with The Terminal churning out cash, can see this as a time to be opportunistic. Even a publisher like MIT Tech Review, thanks to MIT’s $17.6 billion endowment, can look for ways to get stronger. CEO Elizabeth Branson-Boudreau told me this week that she’s encouraging her bosses to do just that.

But most companies are not yet at that phase. Instead, they’re focused on the here and now: how to …read more

Source:: Digiday


‘We’re not in advertising mode’: Anheuser-Busch CMO Marcel Marcondes on staying relevant

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By Kristina Monllos

Last month, Anheuser-Busch announced that it would use its production lines to produce hand sanitizer to help consumers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But that’s only one way the world’s largest beer company is changing the way it operates during this crisis.

As the situation has evolved, the company has developed initiatives aimed at helping consumers navigate the new norms of working from home and social distancing. The company is leaning on its owned and earned channels to communicate those initiative and pulling back on advertising, according to U.S. CMO Marcel Marcondes.

Digiday caught up with Marcondes to hear about how the company is changing its approach to marketing, avoiding coronavirus content for advertising and more.

This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

How has the coronavirus changed marketing for Anheuser-Busch?

This last couple of weeks have been very intense. We have been re-planning and re-organizing everything to adjust the entire business to the new reality. The world is going through a different situation. We have to adjust to the new norm. So that’s what we did. To help us as we recalibrate our focus we came up quickly with three principles: Let’s make sure we take care of our people, make sure we can drive normalcy for our consumers and let’s make sure we will come up with tangible initiatives that will add value to society. 

Can you give us an example of that?

The first decision we made was to use our production lines to produce hand sanitizers because of the lack of hand sanitizers. The second initiative we came up with was the “One Team” program that we developed and announced with Budweiser along with the Red Cross. So we shifted our sports investment fund from sports because there aren’t sports [going on] anymore to the Red Cross. We’re also bringing together teams and leagues to make more than 20 venues across the country available for the Red Cross to work. [We have many other initiatives across all of our brands.]

So far, what has been the overall impact been business?

It varies by region because the country is still going through different levels in terms of maturity of the virus. We’re still figuring it out. [We do know that] as people stay inside, take a moment to decompress, to relax, that sometimes they have a beer with their meals. So the in-home consumption for our category seems to accelerate.

What about marketing impact?

We’re not playing in the advertising mode. We really want to make sure that anything we do and everything we’ve talked about will be extremely relevant for people so that we can add value to their new routines. This comes with some consequences. TV is being heavily disrupted because there’s a lack of new content being produced. Everything’s shutting down. Still, people tend to watch more TV and now they’re spending more time at home. But what they’re watching is the news. The news is all about the coronavirus, how many people are dying. …read more

Source:: Digiday


HOW TO Practice Social Distancing Without Feeling Isolated

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By Sarah Evans

Called “The Loneliness Epidemic,” the days of social distancing have created gaps in physical human connection. With the rise of digital hashtag #AloneTogether, we have never been more alone, yet had more opportunities for digital connection than ever before.

Even before COVID-19, 52% of American adults said they felt alone at least some of the time and 58% think no one really knows them — based on research by the UCLA Loneliness Scale.

The good news is that we can acknowledge the brutal facts of loneliness right now, in fact, merely talking about this more gives people permission to talk about their feelings and share their experiences on social media, thus connecting them to other people.

Social distancing is essential to public health during this pandemic and we can also work to reduce the impact of isolation during this time.

A few tips for those of us who are computer warriors, constantly in front of our screens:

  1. Get outdoors – do some yard work, create an exercise routine in your back yard
  2. Set a routine – even when working from home a routine may reduce mental fatigue
  3. Stay in touch – make plans with people online to check in and hangout
  4. Watch a movie – have a Netflix party and watch movies together, but apart
  5. Call or chat – check in with those who may need it or just to show you’re thinking of someone
  6. Plan a game night – there are lots of internet-friendly games

We’re all in this together, so let’s be together even when we’re apart.

In the meantime, check out this great infographic from EduRef that compiled these great tips and more.

The post HOW TO Practice Social Distancing Without Feeling Isolated appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

…read more

Source:: Social Media Explorer


Highsnobiety closes commerce, cuts 25% of staff

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By Lucinda Southern

The next phase of the impacts of the coronavirus is having crippling effects on media businesses, their revenue streams and their staff. For streetwear publisher Highsnobiety, staff cuts also mean closing its commerce division.

This week Highsnobiety laid off 25% of its workforce. Out of the 51 people let go, 38 employees were based in Berlin, Germany, and 13 in the U.S. Roughly eight staffers were from the commerce division based in Berlin, according to sources.

“Covid-19 is now beginning to hit us at our very core. And, for a business like ours, our core is our people,” wrote founder David Fischer on LinkedIn, April 1. “Cutting costs, taking voluntary salary cuts, and making other tactical adjustments are not enough to get the company through this crisis.”  

In an all-hands commerce team Zoom meeting on Monday, Fischer explained he was proud of the accomplishments from the commerce team but, “after a lot of deliberation, they decided that the division couldn’t exist because brands and vendors refused to ship items or even do production,” wrote branded content freelancer, Chris Erik Thomas. The publisher has been contacted directly for comment.

Highsnobiety was one of a few publishers who invested in product creation for its commerce business, rather than just peppering its site with affiliate links. The problem is that, in times of economic downturn, restricted movement, rapid changes in consumer demand and a knock-on effect on all elements of the supply chain, the latter is much more flexible and risk-averse. While affiliate models present challenges like stock shortages for publishers during the spread of coronovirus, those relying on brands for their supply chain and co-creation will be left exposed.

The 15-year-old publisher’s first major bet in commerce emerged in May 2019 when it launched an online shop with an exclusive Prada Linea Rossa capsule collection, although it had dabbled with ad hoc product co-creation with brands in the years prior. In 2018, the publisher received $8.5 million in funding led by Felix Capital to realize its content and commerce ambitions. At the time, Fischer envisioned contributing to 30% of the company’s total revenues. 

The goal was to work directly with brands to sell products on Highsnobiety’s site. These weren’t always exclusive but often sold within a limited time frame and ideally ahead of other retailers, as was the case with the Prada collection.

Dealing in hype-based luxury streetwear, Highsnobiety has always been able to sell out products. “Across the office, cheers would erupt from the commerce team as their latest drop on the …read more

Source:: Digiday


The Power of Social Media: How to Connect With Your Customers

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By Blake Cohen

If you haven’t noticed yet, social media is a force to be reckoned with in the business world, especially for entrepreneurs. There was once a point in time where if a business had a business page on social media, it was because that business simply wanted one, not because it needed one… Well, in today’s day and age, social media is a detrimental part of your business’ success.

There’s no denying the power of social media. In fact, Forbes states that social media can be the very thing that moves your business forward especially from a marketing standpoint. From that marketing standpoint, yes it can push your business forward but do you know how it also benefits your business? It allows you to connect with your audience on a personal level.

Social media is an extension of your brand and ultimately, it’s where you can grow your brand and to let your brand’s personality shine. In opposition to that, some might say that social media is necessarily the best platform to make a real and meaningful connection with your audience but that’s where so many people go wrong. If you use social media the right way, you can definitely make meaningful connections with your audience… here’s how.

Customer Appreciation: Show Them Your Gratitude

The fact that your audience, aka your customers, follow your brand on social media, means that they obviously support your products or services and because of that, it’s important that you show your appreciation to them. This will not only keep your customers happy but it will also give you an edge over your competitors.

Showing your appreciation to your customers can come in many forms. You can post flash sales and free giveaways but one of the best ways to show your appreciation to your audience is to communicate with them. For example, respond to them in comments if they share any of your content. Communicating with your audience is a marketing strategy that should be done on a regular basis.

Get Their Opinion: See How They Truly Feel About Your Brand

Getting your customers’ opinion is one thing that business owners tend to shy away from because they’re afraid a follower will post something they don’t want to see. Well, the reality is that your customers’ opinion is very important and getting their opinion, good or bad, is what’s going to help you improve your business in certain areas. Also, when they comment on things that need improvement, respond to them as best as you can, especially the comments that you can definitely make changes on. Apologize for any bad experiences they had with your brand and thank them for letting you know.

There are, of course, people out there that just simply have it out for your business or were very unsatisfied about your service or product and will do everything in their power to try and destroy your brand’s image, and a lot of the times, it’s your competitors doing it under fake names. If …read more

Source:: Social Media Explorer


25 Stats That Prove Why Workplaces Need to Embrace Diversity

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By (Pamela Bump)

job listings for diversity and inclusion

As a legally blind person who’s held roles that involve editing, design, and highly visual tasks, I thought I had it easier than a lot of other visually impaired people in my field.

I’d never been blatantly discriminated against or felt like I didn’t receive an offer due to my vision. In fact, I’ve been lucky enough to work on teams run by women or diverse leaders.

However, as I got older, I realized that I hadn’t completely evaded misjudgments related to my eyesight. While I’ve had a handful of great experiences, I’ve run into a few subtle job interview scenarios that seem more and more unacceptable each time I reflect on them.

In my first job search after college, I realized that disclosing my blindness would always result in a look of concern or an incredibly awkward series of questions from a hiring manager. Many of these questions didn’t even have to do with the job role I was interviewing for.

Sometimes, an interviewer would try to hide a look of concern. Then, they’d make things even more awkward by trying to relate to me with statements like, “My second cousin is blind too! I should ask her what she has.”

Ultimately, I followed my instincts and didn’t work for any of these people. However, even after I built a list of glowing recommendations from past employers, those uncomfortable interview memories stuck with me.

Because of how these experiences, I felt like I had to give certain prospective companies a “fluffier” description of my sight to protect myself against any possibility of job discrimination.

For example, if a hiring manager noticed my low vision, I’d say, “I’m just visually impaired” or “I’m super nearsighted.” If I didn’t think they could tell, I’d say nothing about it until I was handed an offer. Even when filling out anonymous self-identification forms on job applications, I’d always decline to check the “disabled” box.

It wasn’t until I learned more about self-advocacy and workplace inclusion that I realized that some of the interview experiences I had weren’t okay. And, by following my gut instinct of not working for employers that made me feel uncomfortable during the interview process, I ended up working for employers that accepted and empowered me.

Today, I work at HubSpot, a company that heavily invests heavily in diversity and inclusion. Because my organization is always taking steps to make everyone feel a sense of belonging, I find it much easier to open up about my own differences.

But, as I’ve learned, most companies aren’t as forward-thinking as HubSpot. And the sad reality is, people like me still do feel that they need to protect themselves from job discrimination.

Although my negative workplace experiences have been light, I personally know plenty of people who’ve dealt with something worse due to a disability, cultural background, or gender identity.

In fact, three in five people have experienced or witnessed workplace discrimination.

Scary right?

This is why businesses need to …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


5 Stars: 20+ Tips to Invigorate Your B2B Marketing Using Testimonials & Reviews

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By Lane Ellis

Hand holding one of five white stars image.

Hand holding one of five white stars image.

What’s in a review?

With the right client testimonials and customer reviews, B2B brands can increase trust and loyalty in uncertain times while strengthening existing connections and fostering new ones. Your brand may even be sitting on a goldmine of evergreen trust-building user-generated content.

Let’s take a look at 20+ tips to invigorate and expand your B2B marketing toolkit with a smart customer review and testimonial strategy.

Making The Statistical Case For Testimonials & Reviews

With some surveys showing that  90 percent of adult Internet users rely on reviews before making purchases, and others placing the figure even higher at nearly 99 percent, it’s important for B2B brands to make sure they feature the reviews and testimonials their customers have taken the time to write and share online.

Despite their unique power to build brand trust, just 43 percent of B2B businesses use reviews in their marketing toolkit.

Conversion rates can skyrocket by as much as 270 percent when online reviews are smartly incorporated, however, as shown in the Website Builder Expert data below.

Website Builder Expert Image

Some 30 percent of businesses said that customer reviews had a major impact on their overall success, and just over 26 percent said reviews also had a major impact on profitability, as shown in the following chart from a recent ZenBusiness survey.

ZenBusiness Chart

The same survey revealed that 52.2 percent of older businesses monitor online reviews weekly and 18.5 percent do so daily, while 47 percent of newer firms monitor weekly, and 39.3 percent monitor daily, suggesting that more established brands have settled into a weekly cadence, while younger firms tend to keep a more frequent watch over reviews.

Businesses tend to monitor a multitude of online review platforms for reviews, with 67.6 percent using Google, 55.1 percent Facebook, and 46.3 percent Yelp, followed by others as shown below.

ZenBusiness Chart

Only 11.9 percent of businesses said that they respond to every review left for them, while 60 percent said that they interact with either some or most reviews they receive, the same survey noted.

Younger B2B buyers are increasingly looking for reviews and testimonials to be delivered to them in methods that differ from those of older buyers, creating an opportunity for some brands looking to connect with younger audiences.

“Sixty-one percent of Millennial buyer decisions are influenced by user reviews that they trust,” Brian Fanzo recently noted in “Meet The Millennials: How Marketers Can Effectively Connect With The New B2B Buyer,” urging smart B2B marketers to not rely solely on traditional websites, and to instead “bring the testimonials — the trusted user reviews — to the buyer.”

Brian was one of the 13 B2B …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog


4 Predictions Marketing Experts Got Wrong About Social Media in 2020

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By Rebecca White

MarketingLand article on Google+.

As a marketer, reading trending predictions or industry forecasts is the norm.

But sometimes you just want to pull a Regina George and say, “Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s not going to happen.”

We’ve all been there, especially with social media predictions.

Although we’re always trying to forecast what the future holds so we can run successful campaigns and strategize for the future, things don’t always go as planned.

Sometimes we even get it wrong.

In this post, we’re going to look at the top social media predictions that marketing experts got wrong.

Bad Social Media Predictions

1. Google would have a successful social media platform.

Google has been trying to get into the social media game for years. In fact, the company started Google Wave in 2009, Google Buzz in 2010, and Google+ in 2011.

But one after the other, the projects were discontinued or defunct.

However, not everyone saw the writing on the wall. In fact, industry experts were optimistic about Google+.

Although I was never convinced as a user (call me a late adopter), when new social media platforms come around, especially by industry giants like Google, marketers pay attention.

Even when the Google+ founding father left Google, marketers at Marketing Land thought the social network still had a chance.

Image Source

In 2014, Mark Traphagen predicted that “Google+ the social network and user data infrastructure of Google is not going away” and “the Google+ project has been an incredible success because it drove the unification of Google products.”

As it turns out, Google+ happened to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps and is officially defunct.

2. Facebook use will decline after continued drama.

Is it me or is there always Facebook drama nowadays?

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the trending hashtag #DeleteFacebook, and the election scandal, Facebook’s reputation has continued to decline.

In fact, some marketers thought the social network would see a decline in users due to the drama.

Medium article on why Facebook is dying.

Image Source

But, if you were one of the people that thought Facebook would see its end, it turns out you were wrong … so far.

According to HubSpot research, 60% of survey respondents said they haven’t left Facebook despite the drama and don’t plan to leave.

Even after the Analytica scandal, Facebook still saw a 1.6% increase in active users.

It appears that Facebook users are too invested to cut the chord completely. Facebook has stored memories and connects people to old …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


Cheaper remote productions help media companies save money during the pandemic

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By Tim Peterson

This article is part of the Digiday Future of TV Briefing, which features in-depth analysis, confessionals and key market stats. To receive the Digiday Future of TV Briefing, please subscribe.

Producing shows remotely may be an adjustment for TV and video producers, but it could be a saving grace for their companies’ businesses. For all the pressure on producers to coordinate shoots across Slack channels and Zoom calls, filming from people’s homes relieves them of some budgetary concerns at a time when media companies are scrambling to rein in costs.

Shooting remotely costs roughly half to one-third of the amount of money for a traditional shoot, according to three producers. The savings range based on the various expenses that can be cut from the budget for a remote production. Expenses, such as travel, location fees, equipment rentals and associated insurance costs, no longer need to be accounted for under quarantine. And while companies take no pleasure in withholding work from freelancers, they do not need to hire makeup artists or lighting operators when they are forced to ask their shows’ hosts and other talent to handle those elements of production.

Any amount of money saved can be crucial for media companies trying to protect their employees and businesses as the coronavirus pandemic causes revenue sources such as advertising and events to dry up. BuzzFeed, Vice and Group Nine have already announced they will cut at least some employees’ salaries in hopes of avoiding layoffs. Similar to the pay cuts, the production savings may only offer temporary relief. But some companies are choosing to put the money back into content production so that they may generate more revenue.

Complex Networks is already using the money saved from its remote productions to hire freelancers to produce more articles for its editorial sites.

“Shooting shows at home is inherently less expensive to produce, so we’ve taken some dollars that are going to be perceived savings and reallocated them to editorial to beef up our editorial output. We’ve done the same thing with social,” said Justin Killion, gm and evp of operations and content services at Complex Networks.

Thanks to the savings, Food52 plans to add one or two more remotely produced videos to its YouTube channel each week, in addition to its existing shows like “Genius Recipes,” said executive producer Gabriella Mangino. The company has also begun producing a new series for Instagram’s IGTV called “At Home with Us” and is posting one to two episodes a day.

Producers are happy to help offset any revenue hits their companies may suffer, and they hope the savings will eventually return to them, carrying over to productions they had planned before the pandemic. However, some producers are concerned that the reduced production budgets may become permanent after the pandemic is over.

“I think that’s definitely something to think about because we’ve proven to be scrappy [in the past] and that’s actually affected the budgets we’ve gotten,” said one producer.

The post Cheaper remote productions help …read more

Source:: Digiday


With billionaire backers, Time is still in expansion mode

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By Kayleigh Barber

Several publishers, including BuzzFeed, Group Nine Media and Vice, recently announced pay cuts and benefit reductions to their staffs. Time CEO Edward Felsenthal, on the other hand, not only pledged to his staff of 275 that the company wouldn’t have any layoffs for 90 days — and the company would continue growing through new hires and investing in its consumer products and long-form video division.

“We’re fortunate,” Felsenthal said of the company’s owners Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Lynne Benioff, who also pledged to not have significant layoffs at Salesforce for 90 days. Being owned by billionaires without a doubt enables Time to continue expansion and thinking about the long term goals during an economic downturn, which is a resource that most publishers do not have have right now.

“If we were still at a public company, the pressures would be different,” said Felsenthal. Time officially left Meredith’s ownership exactly a year ago on April 1, 2019. “We were one of 24 to 40 brands that didn’t get much focus within the previous environment, but now we’re in expansion mode,” he said.

Using its resources, Time is adapting its existing franchises, such as digitizing its newly formed Time 100 Health Summit and moving its Time for Kids product online with open access. It is also creating new content packages around the coverage including a coronavirus newsletter with nearly 50,000 subscribers and an open rate of 60%. Though not unscathed, the publisher had to postpone several of its events to later in the year, moving some of the corresponding sponsorship revenue to later in the year as well.

Since joining the team, president Keith Grossman has focused on growing the company’s commercial and sales division — hiring over 50 people on the business side — and now, Time is actively hiring for more than 10 positions, most of which are anchored in the consumer revenue and technology divisions, according to Felsenthal. Several other large publishers, like Hearst and Business Insider, however, announced temporary hiring pauses, according to company spokespeople.

Time’s U.S. offices were given early warnings from its Hong Kong office, which had a correspondent in Wuhan covering the coronavirus since January 21, according to CEO Edward Felsenthal. It also served as a blueprint for how Time would function remotely.

“Marketing budgets are obviously going to contract, which is why we’re focusing on other areas,” Felsenthal said. “We recognize that investing in consumer, technology and studios are even more important today than they were three months ago.”

Time hasn’t experienced a decrease in advertising revenue yet, according to Felsenthal. Ad sales were up 17% year over year in the first quarter, he said, and the sales team closed three sponsorship deals in the past two weeks despite the turbulence in the economy.

Additionally, he said the company’s overall revenue was up 17% in the first quarter year over year, putting the company in a stronger position for dealing …read more

Source:: Digiday


How to Run a Social Media Contest That Gets Tons of Engagement (11 Contest Ideas)

Home » Archive by Category "Digital Marketing"

By (Brittany Leaning)

Pinterest Contest Example Country Living

There are so many rules and guidelines and so much planning and preparation involved. A contest could be the best tactic you’ve ever introduced to grow your reach, drive site traffic, and generate leads, but you want to ensure you’re doing it right.

Here’s how you can set yourself up for success with contests on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

How to Run a Contest on Facebook

Facebook is the most widely used social media platform, so running a contest on Facebook makes sense. After all, your prospects most likely hang out here. Here are some best practices:

Follow the Rules

Before you start your Facebook contest, make sure you can actually run it legally. Facebook has cracked down on contests due to liability issues, so read through their strict rules ahead of time. Some of those rules include:

  • The onus is on you to communicate the terms of the contest.
  • You must acknowledge that Facebook has not sponsored the contest and is not liable in its administration.
  • You cannot use personal timelines as an entry mechanism for the contest (e.g. sharing, tagging, etc.).

In general, you can assume you’re responsible for the legal and logistical portions of your contest; Facebook just provides the people.

To learn more about Facebook’s contest rules, visit their Page Guidelines.

Include a Form on a Landing Page to Generate Leads

If your goal is to generate leads from your contest, you might want to include a form directly on your landing page. This will make the process much easier for people trying to register for the contest. Avoid making your entrants dig through mountains of rules or a maze of links to get to where they want to go.

Create Your Own Terms & Conditions / Official Rules Page

Facebook makes it very clear that you must provide the official terms, rules, and eligibility requirements for your contest. You need to “include a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant and include acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.” In addition, it is important to provide disclosure information — that if the participant is filling out a form and giving you personal information, that information is going to you and not to Facebook.

Make Use of Third Party Apps

The most common and effective way of managing Facebook contests is by using third party apps — some good ones are ShortStack, Woobox, and Offerpop. All of these make it easier to track participation and measure engagement.

Give Away Something Awesome

If you’re asking people to fill out a form, …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


The New Way to Chat With Your Visitors

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By Neil Patel

Marketing has evolved into an omnichannel approach. This means you can no longer just go after one channel to succeed.

Back in the day, companies like Facebook grew into billion-dollar businesses through one channel.

Facebook used email to grow and they did it by having you invite all your contacts to join Facebook.

Yelp was also similar. They grew into a multi-million dollar business through one channel… SEO.

Dropbox grew through social media. If you tweeted about Dropbox, they would give you more space.

These marketing approaches worked well for all of these well-known
companies, but what’s wrong with them?

The law of shitty click-throughs

What worked for Facebook, Yelp, and Dropbox were all great strategies, but over time, all good marketing channels got saturated and stopped working like they used to.

As Andrew Chen puts it, first it works
and then it doesn’t

It really is that simple. Sure, those channels can still
drive traffic and always will, but as people get used to them, they won’t work
as well.

Just check out this image below.

Can you guess what that is?

That was the first banner ad. AT&T created that banner ad and placed it on in 1994. And here’s what’s really crazy… out of all the people who saw it, a whopping 44% clicked on it.

Just think about that… that banner ad had a 44% click-through rate.

We can all agree it’s not an amazing banner ad or design, it
just so happens that it was new and novel at the time, so it generated massive amounts
of clicks.

Just like how SEO was more effective earlier on, or paid ads were more affordable and produced a higher ROI, or referral marketing was much more effective. There are a lot of single-channel case studies that worked in the past.

Again, it doesn’t mean any of these channels don’t work, it
just means that they don’t work as well as they used to work.

So how do you survive in a competitive market?

You take an omnichannel approach. You don’t have a choice other than to use all of the marketing channels out there.

Yes, they will be competitive and saturated, but they still

It’s a game of papercuts… papercuts are small and don’t do much damage, but if you have tons of these small papercuts, they will add up and can do some damage.

The same goes with your marketing. If you add up all of these channels that produce a small amount of ROI, it will add up to a big number at the end. But when you look at each channel individually, the results aren’t that sexy. But when you combine them, it looks great.

Start with chat

What do you check more, your text messages or your email

I bet you are going to say text messages because you look at
your phone more often than logging into your email inbox.

But here is an interesting stat for you… did you know that
over 6
billion SMS messages are
…read more

Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog


6 Tips to Keep B2B Marketing Teams in Rhythm While Working Remotely

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By Nick Nelson

Remote Team Rhythm Image

In these unconventional times, many work teams are grappling with an unconventional dynamic: fully distributed personnel and remote collaboration. This setup presents a number of challenges, but thankfully we live in a time where technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected and tightly aligned on our work.

For B2B agencies like TopRank Marketing, this has always been a point of emphasis. In servicing clients from around the globe, we’re accustomed to communicating across distances, borders, and time zones. We occasionally have our own team members work from home, and in fact, we have a few who do so full-time.

While having everyone in the organization work remotely is uncharted territory for us, our built-in comfort with digital collaboration gives us a head-start, and has allowed us to hit the ground running with minimal disruption to our programs and workflows.

To help other remote teams that might be trying to find the right rhythm and maximize their collective productivity, I thought I’d share a few practices and discoveries that are helping us stay close virtually, even as the circumstances of life push us apart.

How Team TopRank Maintains Tight Collaboration Remotely

Tailor Your Toolset to Your Team

As mentioned, there is a wide range of different tools and software available to power remote collaboration. Some of the common mainstays, like Slack* and Zoom, need no introduction. There are plenty of others out there with specific capabilities that might be suited to your team’s needs. Here’s a list from ProofHub arranged into several different functional categories.

Above all, I encourage business leaders to solicit input and feedback in making these selections. The biggest key is identifying tools that people actually like using. Review the usage rates for your existing tech stack. If certain software isn’t being uniformly engaged with, or is surfacing a lot of frustration, there’s no better time to step back and reevaluate.

Unsolicited plugs for a couple of our clients, whose offerings can be very useful at a time like this:

  • Sococo provides a “virtual office” platform that recreates the dynamic of happenstance workplace encounters and productive chats at the water cooler.
  • is a highly visual and intuitive work operating system, which employees tend to really enjoy using. As mentioned, that’s critical.
[bctt tweet=”“Review the usage rates for your existing tech stack. If certain software isn’t being uniformly engaged with, or is surfacing a lot of frustration, there’s no better time to step back and reevaluate.” @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

Focus on Details and Documentation

Not only is it important that your tools get used, but right now it’s vital they get used to the fullest. At TopRank, our work runs through a project management system, and I’ve noticed teammates making concerted efforts to attach client docs, source materials, and comprehensive information into the tasks themselves. As a content writer, it makes a big difference when I can find everything I need in one place, …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog


The Plain-English Guide to Local PPC

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By Rebecca White

For the last few weeks, my husband and I have been ordering more takeout than ever.

As we were trying to find a restaurant to order from, we came across an online ad for one of our favorite local restaurants that just started offering delivery.

We were so excited and immediately placed an order.

That’s why local pay-per-click (PPC) can be a great option for local businesses.

Even when budgets are tight, a local PPC campaign can improve the efficiency of your local marketing as it allows you to get in front of the right audience.

Below, let’s review the benefits and top strategies for implementing a successful PPC campaign.

Benefits of Local PPC

When you own or run a local business, you know it can be hard to get in front of the right audience. When the budget is tight, it can be even harder.

However, with local PPC campaigns, you can run effective online advertising without breaking the bank.

Below, let’s discuss the top benefits of local PPC.

1. Running relevant ads.

With local PPC, your ads will only show up in front of the right audiences because you’re in control of who you’re targeting. Ideally, you’re only targeting people who can benefit from your business.

Additionally, you won’t be competing with national big names, so your budget will go a lot further. With more local campaigns, you’ll see less competition and more clicks and conversions.

2. Increasing brand awareness.

As a local business, it’s always important to get your name out there so your local community knows you exist.

With a local PPC campaign, you’ll increase brand awareness just by getting your name out there and in front of your audience. Even if those people don’t convert, brand awareness is very important in the success of a local business.

3. Improving conversions.

With people shifting to online shopping, it’s more important than ever to run a local PPC campaign.

When local audiences see your ad during their online shopping search, they’re more likely to convert because they’re actively searching for a solution to their problem.

4. Easily trackable.

Local PPC ads are easier to track than other local marketing tactics like banners or flyers. With these ads, you can see impressions, clicks, and conversions.

5. Low barrier to entry.

If you’re new to online advertising, local PPC is a great place to start. You don’t need to have a ton of SEO knowledge to run a local PPC campaign.

With local PPC, you can easily target people outside of your existing followers and cast a wide net to find new customers. Plus, most of the steps are intuitive when you’re in a PPC platform.

6. Flexible options.

With local PPC, there’s a lot of flexibility. For instance, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to see success. You can choose your budget and set a limit on what you’re willing to spend.

Then, if things go well, you …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


Does Your Blog Need Its Own Social Media Channels?

Home » Archive by Category "Digital Marketing"

By Kayla Carmicheal

Sweet Simple Vegan Instagam page.

If you were to take a quick scroll down my Instagram feed, you’d see the three types of accounts I follow: reality TV stars, musicians, and food bloggers.

Yes, you read that right: food bloggers. And, while it might sound a little out of the ordinary that blogs are popping up on social media channels, like Instagram, it’s not an out of the ordinary practice.

Blog owners can see great success on social media. They can engage with followers, use hashtags to find new ones and expand reach, and promote their posts. For instance, one of the bloggers I follow, Sweet Simple Vegan, has over 200,000 followers and posts new content daily.


But, how do blog owners, like Sweet Simple Vegan’s Jasmine Briones, know whether social media is the right choice for their blogs? And … does every blog need social media?

Every business is unique, and so are each business’ goals. If you’re trying to make that decision, read on to figure out whether or not your blog really needs social media.

How to Know if Your Company Blog Needs Social Media

You may be on the fence about whether or not your blog needs social media channels.

According to one of HubSpot’s social media marketing managers, Kelly Hendrickson, “If you’re asking yourself if your business’ blog should have its own social channels, the first question you should ask is, ‘What is the goal of having a social account for your blog’?”

When you identify your goal, you can begin inferring whether or not a social media account will be useful towards the success of your blog. For instance, if your goal is increasing awareness, Hendrickson says, “A social account could be a possible solution. Helpful content in people’s feeds, that they don’t need to click out to see, can bring awareness to your blog and let the blog be seen as a valuable resource.”

Next, let’s go over some more signs that might signify that your blog needs a social media channel.

If your blog is your brand.

If your blog is company-specific, you may not need a heavy social media focus for it to be successful. On the other hand, if your blog is your business or your brand, then you most likely need social media channels.

For instance, Who What Wear is a fashion blog that started in 2006. The corresponding social media channels, like the Twitter account, highlight new content from the site.

Who What Wear uses social media to update fans on new content, share fashion-related posts, and engage with their audience. …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


‘Right thing to do at the right time’: The definitive oral history of Hyundai’s assurance program

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By Kristina Monllos

Marketers are trying to figure out a marketing strategy to fit the current moment. A global pandemic leading to an accelerated recession may be an unprecedented challenge, but it can be helpful to look to the success stories of the past to see which approaches have worked amid a downturn.

In 2009, following the financial crash of 2008, one of those success stories was Hyundai. That year, the carmaker introduced a new program, Hyundai Assurance, that would allow anyone who had purchased a Hyundai who experienced a job loss to return the car without it impacting their credit. This month, Hyundai brought the program back to help its customers amid the coronavirus crisis. Here’s the story of how Hyundai Assurance came to be and how it was revived in recent weeks.

In January 2009, the carmaker revealed the new program, letting its customers know that the company was looking to help them out amid the economic downturn. The program later led Hyundai to be named Marketer of the Year by AdAge, which reported at the time that by mid-2009 Hyundai had its highest market share in the U.S. of 4.2%. (In 2019, Hyundai reportedly had an 8% market share in the U.S.)

Michael Stewart, senior group manager, corporate and marketing public relations, Innocean USA: John Ewanick, vp of marketing at Hyundai Motor America at the time, saw that automakers were offering some of the best financing deals [in 2009], and amid the growing concern over job safety, brought the program to life.

Sean Gilpin, svp, managing director at Innocean: Hyundai had a clear understanding that the fear of losing your job, was a universal one, felt not only by their customers, but by everyone, including themselves. They wanted their customers to feel comfortable and to recognize that they, too, were on the same boat.

Stewart: [Ewanick] pitched the idea to Hyundai’s board, and within 37 days, the program’s ads ran during the 2009 Super Bowl.

Gilpin: [At the time] focus groups were a huge element in understanding customers, particularly as it related to buying habits and purchase decisions.

Stewart: Hyundai paid close attention to what auto brands were doing, and saw the need to surpass them by acting quickly with the changing economy and competitive marketplace.

Gilpin: They recognized the value of having their customers’ backs, especially in a time of fear, in a way that was easily recognizable.

Stewart: The initial Hyundai Assurance plan was well received by our customers. By July of that year, Hyundai found that seven out of 10 respondents on an in-house survey conducted had a positive or neutral perception of the brand and that more and more, Americans were looking to Hyundai for future car purchases.

Angela Zepeda, CMO, Hyundai: There’s a lot that we’ve done as a company to respond to the marketplace as crises have come about [given that] our brand positioning is “Better drives us.”

The positive response to the program in 2009 helped inspire the company to continue to create similar initiatives.

Noah Mallin, …read more

Source:: Digiday