Post navigation Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Tax season is no walk in the park for the self-employed who have to pay their own payroll tax, in addition to their own income tax.What’s more, in many cases, tax information can become quickly outdated, sometimes within a year.Fear not, my fellow independent contractors of the Internet. Here are some hot, fresh and relevant tax tips for filing your 1099-related tax returns for 2013.Keep Your Receipts — All of ThemIf you haven’t already been keeping your receipts, then you’re probably out of luck for 2012. But moving forward, your 2013 receipts will be useful when you file your taxes next year.Keep every receipt that you get over the course of a year. This is easy to do with a number of smartphone apps dedicated to helping you keep track of your receipts and expenses (including Mint).At the very minimum, just taking a picture of all your receipts and keeping them in a folder on your phone will make your deductions a lot easier come tax time next year.As an independent contractor, you should be keeping track of every deduction you’re legally entitled to. Every deduction you don’t take advantage of will cost you, so keep those receipts!Think BigWhen it comes to your deductions, think big. For example, a writer friend of mine has a food column and she deducts all her food costs. She considers them a business expense because every meal she has is research.If you are self-employed, you can deduct expenses related to your business. Did you pay for parking when you went to a business meeting? How many times did you have your home office cleaned this year?Don’t think too “creatively” when it comes to your deductions, but don’t think small, either.Consult a tax professional if you have any questions about business deductions and always keep this in mind: Only deduct expenses that can truly and logically be applied to running your particular business.IncorporateIf a significant portion of your income is from a 1099, you might want to consider incorporating. Filing as an “S Corp” offers many advantages, including being able to pocket a portion of your earnings as a dividend rather than income.The downside to incorporating?Once you’re a corporation, filing your own taxes becomes more elaborate. There is tax preparation software for corporations if you are comfortable filing on your own, but just know that the tax code becomes more complex once you incorporate.Commonly Overlooked DeductionsThere are a number of deductions that are big money savers, but are often overlooked by harried 1099 workers trying to put together their taxes on the fly.Some of the things you’re likely to overlook that can end up saving you money include:Medical Expenses: Your health insurance costs are dollar-for-dollar deductions. Medical expenses paid out-of-pocket add up quickly and can save you money on your taxes.Business Mileage: You can’t deduct the mileage for every single time you use a car. You can, however, deduct a standard mileage rate for every time you used your car for business. Keep a detailed log in your car in case of an audit.Homeowner’s Insurance: If you have a home office, you’re allowed to deduct a portion of your rent or mortgage. The amount is based on the percentage of your home that is a dedicated home office (size of space and other rules apply). The deduction doesn’t end with what you pay for the space, however. You can also deduct a percentage of the utilities and homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.Business Gifts: You’re allowed to deduct $25 per person per year. That $25 bouquet of flowers you got for a client’s secretary? Totally deductible. The $100 bottle of Scotch you bought a fellow contractor? One quarter of that is deductible.Business Travel: There is good news for you 1099ers that travel a lot. Most of the things you spend money on while you are traveling for work are considered business expenses. A few rules do apply, of course: You have to be gone for more than a day and the costs must be related to your business trip. For example, you can’t deduct the “I went to San Francisco and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” you got. This is just one example, and there are more exceptions, so do your homework before you start claiming business travel deductions. The Golden Rule of DeductionsBefore you get carried away claiming deductions, imagine yourself standing before an auditor with the receipt in hand. Would you feel comfortable arguing that it was a business expense? If so, deduct it. If you have a shadow of a doubt, skip it.“Tax Tips for 1099ers” was written by Nicholas Pell, a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles.
WRI’s fact sheet series, How States Can Meet Their Clean Power Plan Targets, examines the ways states can meet or even exceed their standards under the CPP while minimizing compliance costs, ensuring reliability, and harnessing economic opportunities. This post explores these opportunities in Michigan. As part of the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. EPA requires Michigan to reduce its power sector emissions by 33 percent below 2012 levels by 2030. New analysis shows the state can go even further while harnessing economic opportunities.By following through on its successful existing clean energy policies and improving the way it uses its existing power plants, Michigan can reduce existing power plant carbon dioxide emissions 36 percent below 2012 levels by 2030, surpassing its mass-based target under CPP. Michigan’s Power Sector is Already Getting CleanerMichigan’s power plant emissions have already fallen 17 percent between 2005 and 2012 due to declining electricity demand and increased use of natural gas and renewables. This trend is expected to continue with planned retirements of aging coal plants and increased deployment of renewable energy. The state’s renewable energy standard has helped double renewable capacity between 2010 and 2013 with the addition of nearly 1,000 megawatts of wind capacity. The cost of wind has rapidly declined in the state over the past several years; utilities have recently secured long-term contracts at prices around 20 percent lower than the average overall cost of providing Michigan’s electricity.How Michigan Can Exceed Its TargetMichigan can build on progress already made and achieve 98 percent of the reductions required under its mass-based emission target by following through on its existing clean energy policies. Michigan can make up the small remaining gap, and even exceed its target, by making better use of its existing power plants. By taking the four steps below, Michigan would exceed its CPP target for existing power plants by 9 percent:1. Meeting its energy efficiency resource standard: Requires annual electricity savings of 1 percent of the previous year’s sales from 2012 forward.2. Meeting its renewable energy standard: Requires 10 percent of sales to come from renewable sources by 2015, and the same amount of credits to be maintained going forward.3. Increasing the use of existing natural gas plants. Combined cycle plants generated less than one-fourth of the electricity they were capable of producing in 2012. Running existing plants at 75 percent could cut emissions further.4. Increasing coal plant efficiency. Low- and no-cost operational improvements and best practices at existing coal plants could cut emissions further.Michigan has the opportunity to go even further by expanding its clean energy policies, which both have targets that remain level after this year. Michigan could nearly double its required reductions by increasing the renewable standard from 10 percent of sales in 2015 to 20 percent of sales by 2022 and the efficiency standard from the current 1 percent of sales to 2 percent beginning in 2019, in addition to taking steps 3 and 4 above. Maximizing CPP’s Economic Benefits in MichiganStrategies to cut emissions cost-effectively and harness economic benefits through the CPP include market-based carbon pricing programs — like a cap-and-trade program or carbon tax — and increasing investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy.Michigan’s energy efficiency programs resulted in $1 billion in lifecycle savings in 2013. Efficiency is Michigan’s most cost-effective CPP compliance strategy, delivering $4-$5 in savings for every dollar invested. Michigan’s renewable energy standard resulted in $3 billion in in-state investments, which support thousands of jobs in construction, manufacturing, installation, maintenance and repair, and other sectors. Michigan could take in $160 million every year from 2022-2030 by expanding its clean energy polices and selling surplus carbon credits to other states (assuming a $10 per short ton price of interstate emission allowances). The CPP encourages states to trade credits without formally joining a trading program.Michigan Should Move Forward, Not Scale BackMichigan is in a strong position to comply with CPP while taking advantage of economic opportunities in clean energy. Michigan’s existing policies are cleaning the state’s power sector and reducing harmful air pollution while saving money for residents. By expanding these policies, Michigan can scale up their benefits and bring in new revenue to the state by exceeding its Clean Power Plan targets. Repealing or weakening these policies, as has recently been proposed, could make Clean Power Plan compliance more difficult and expensive.
— The fact that Mike Huckabee is still in the race is pretty interesting. The guy has been all but shunned by the Republican establishment and has a very small fraction of the funds of the other leading candidates, yet he won in Iowa and is still a “player” to be dealt with. We have done some analysis of the candidates and we were surprised to see how closely correlated the number of inbound links into the candidates’ sites were to predicting results. The interesting thing about Huckabee is that he was a relative unknown until a month ago, but his “remark”able (def: worthy of remarks, unique) message has attracted more inbound links to his website than Romney or McCain. If your company has a unique/remarkable message, others will comment on it (link to it) which drives you qualified visitors and which informs the search engines that you are interesting. Fill Your Brand With Meaning Make rules, don’t follow them Authenticity counts — At first, Obama was just acandidate trying to get heard in a noisy marketplace, but now he has become an idea and a brand that is full of meaning to potential voters. This is a difficult thing to do, but companies must fill their own brand with meaning the way Obama has done so. Here at HubSpot, we have gone through some exercises that talk about what type of brand we want to be and what adjectives we want people to think of when they think of us. I suspect we will write about this in detail at some point. This blog does not endorse either party or any candidates. The presidential election is a fascinating petri dish for those of us interested in marketing and strategy, so I cannot resist the temptation to comment on some of what’s happening. Here are some of the marketing ah-ha’s that have hit me in watching the election over the last few weeks and months: — I was watching some of the advertisements from Obama and Hillary. Early on, Obama defined the “rules of the game” and the decision criteria to be “change.” Hillary’s — I’m a big fan of Tim Russert and his show “Meet The Press.” This morning after his usual grilling one of the candidates, he had on two political consultants — one from each party. The consultants might be proven wrong, but they both predicted that Obama and McCain would win their respective party’s nomination and one of them credited that each of them were going to win because voters felt that they spoke from the heart, with conviction, and not based solely on polling data. I could not help but think how this correlated with businesses and their presence on the internet/blogosphere and how when companies have a singular vision and are able to lead their market, they are often richly rewarded. new Internet Flattens The Marketplace creating opportunity for new, “remark”able entrants advertisements now talk about how she is the real “change” candidate. She sounds particularly defensive in these ads and is now playing right into Obama’s hand. Hillary may end up pulling this election off, but I think she’s making a huge miscalculation from a marketing strategy perspective. If the rules you tried to set (i.e. that you are the “inevitable” candidate) are not working, you are better off trying to create a new set of rules than playing by your opponent’s rules. Originally published Jan 7, 2008 12:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 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 12, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Personalization in Marketing When Larry Drebes, CEO of Janrain, set out to study online consumer experiences earlier this summer, he knew that relevant content would be at the forefront of consumer minds. We’ve seen for years that emails which are personalized to the recipient do better than their generic counterparts.But perhaps what he could not have anticipated was just how much consumers have come to expect personalization at every stage in their buying process. In truth, nearly three-fourths of respondents in the national poll expressed frustration at content that does not recognize them and adapt to their interests.“These results [indicate] that consumers have reached the tipping point when it comes to being shown content that isn’t relevant to them,” Drebes explained. “Consumers have been pretty consistent and clear in their feedback, the way to avoid alienating them is to give them what they want — personalized, relevant content using their data in a responsible and transparent way.”Below are 22 current marketing statistics from a growing collection of research around personalization across marketing channels. It includes consumer and marketer attitudes toward personalization, results achieved, current limits to full-funnel adoption of personalization, and other considerations marketers should take.Attitudes Toward PersonalizationAttitudes toward personalization have come a long way. In the B2C space, companies like Amazon and Netflix have trained consumers to expect a personalized browsing experience. That expectation has begun to spread into B2B and other industries as well. Companies are beginning to see personalization as a key strategy to their future marketing.1) Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests. (Source: Janrain & Harris Interactive) Tweet This Stat2) According to a recent survey performed by Econsultancy and Adobe, half of surveyed marketers see content personalization as critical to their digital strategies. (Source: Econsultancy and Adobe) Tweet This Stat3) Econsultancy found that 52% of digital marketers agree that “the ability to personalize content is fundamental to their online strategy.” (Source: Econsultancy) Tweet This Stat4) Among best-in-class B2B content marketers, 71% tailor content to the profile of the decision maker. (Source: The Content Marketing Institute) Tweet This Stat5) 84% of marketing executives say they plan on developing a process to map rich media content assets to buyer journey stage. (Source: Aberdeen) Tweet This StatResults From PersonalizationEmail continues to lead the wave of personalization in marketing and have the deepest troughs of results. The last two years, however, have introduced some new technology, including HubSpot’s Smart Content, which has enabled marketers to see early results of personalization employed across marketing channels.6) Personalized emails improve clickthrough rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. (Source: Aberdeen) Tweet This Stat7) The top reasons for U.S. email users to unsubscribe from a business or nonprofit email subscription are too many emails (69%) and content that is no longer relevant (56%). (Source: ChadwickMartinBailey) Tweet This Stat8) In a study of more than 93,000 calls-to-action created using HubSpot, and hundreds of millions of views over a 12-month period, HubSpot found that calls-to-action targeted to the user had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors. (Source: HubSpot) Tweet This Stat9) In-house marketers who are personalizing their web experiences and who are able to quantify the improvement see, on average, a 19% uplift in sales. (Source: Monetate/eConsultancy) Tweet This Stat10) 40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels. (Source: MyBuys) Tweet This Stat11) Leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities. (Source: DemandGen) Tweet This Stat12) A high-impact recommendation from a trusted friend conveying a relevant message is up to 50 times more likely to trigger a purchase than a low-impact recommendation. (Source: McKinsey) Tweet This Stat13) In a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, personalized campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating a high response rate from recipients. (Source: MindFire) Tweet This StatLimitations of PersonalizationBecause personalization relies on a number of factors, many marketers are still in the early stages of planning their strategies. As with any shift this large in marketing and experience, this transition will take time and resources to scale. The limitations preventing marketers from diving quickly into personalization are both technological and strategic in nature. In addition to moving to software platforms that enable smart, adaptive content, marketers have some work to do to earn consumer trust and define the ways in which personalization will be most helpful.14) Only 32% of marketers say their CMS accelerates content personalization. (Source: eConsultancy/Adobe) Tweet This Stat15) 60% note they struggle to personalize content in real-time, yet 77% believe real-time personalization is crucial. (Source: Neolane & DMA) Tweet This Stat16) 75% say “dynamic, personalized content” across channels is very important, but most are still in planning stages. (Source: Neolane & DMA) Tweet This Stat17) The top three reasons for not having implemented “dynamic personalized content” across channels were as follows:Complexity of systems (50%)Access to real-time data (46%)Data privacy issues (45%)(Source: Neolane & DMA) Tweet This Stat18) Only 32% of respondents view their current content management systems as useful enablers of personalization. (Source: eConsultancy/Adobe) Tweet This StatAnonymous vs. Permission-Based PersonalizationThere are varying opinions in marketing about the appropriate time in the customer lifecycle to use personalization. While some argue that personalization should only take place after the end-viewer has consciously provided information to the company, other companies use anonymous data, like the location attached to a viewer’s IP address, in order to target viewers by location. In developing your personalization strategy, you’ll need to decide what the right approach is for your company and customers. Regardless of what technology enables, it’s essential that your strategy start and end with the needs and preferences of the customer. For many, that will mean waiting until the customer has engaged with you before personalizing content.19) 42% of surveyed marketers claim they personalize using anonymous data. (Source: eConsultancy/Adobe) Tweet This Stat20) 57% are okay with providing personal information on a website as long as it’s for their benefit and being used in responsible ways. (Source: Janrain) Tweet This Stat21) 77% would trust businesses more if they explained how they’re using personal information to improve their online experience. (Source: Janrain) Tweet This Stat22) 62% of adults under 34 are willing to share their location for more relevant content. (Source: jiwire) Tweet This StatWe have entered into an exciting time for marketers and buyers alike. The ability to create unique experiences for each prospective customer will undoubtedly lead to buying experiences that are more relevant, useful, and enjoyable. As we navigate this new space and develop strategies, it will be important to keep an open discussion going about what’s working and what’s not in the world of personalization. This data is helping to frame the early stages of that conversation. Hopefully the coming year will result in more results and good case studies of companies using personalization to create a more “human” marketing experience. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Twitter Marketing Originally published Nov 20, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Do you remember the day Old Spice and Taco Bell started trash-talking to each other on Twitter? It was soooo funny. How about the time a follower joked that bird poop could easily destroy a Smart Car and Smart Car responded with this? The best moments on Twitter are always the unscripted ones and embody what the social platform is all about.From eye-witness accounts of breaking news to genuine company-customer interactions, Twitter tears down the editorial filter and gives air to bursts of authenticity.But you can’t scale serendipity any more than you can manufacture it. So companies — many of which are short on time but long on respect for the medium, which has brought them closer to their customers — have taken to bulk scheduling social media content.For busy marketers, the ability to schedule some social content at the beginning of the week has been a godsend. Scheduling tweets not only enables you to build a consistent presence on Twitter, but it also allows you to test timing and publish your messages when they are most likely to attract clicks and retweets.The risk with bulk scheduling, however, is that your Twitter stream becomes robotic, predictable, and uninteresting — a fate no inbound marketer wants. Here are a few ways to avoid Tweet monotony while still keeping some sanity in your schedule. Use monitoring to catch opportunities for interaction.The best approach is to pair scheduled tweets with a good monitoring strategy so you can catch opportunities for human interaction with your followers. You want to make sure you have a good balance of scheduled posts to interactions.We use HubSpot to elevate tweets from your customers above the masses so you can respond to them in a more personal way. (Here’s a guide for customers on how color-coding works in Social Inbox.) In the example below, I’ve set up email alerts for a tailored list of HubSpot customers who ask a question.If you’re not a HubSpot user, you can set up general keyword alerts in most monitoring tools to help you catch conversations that might be worth entering. Look for your company name and a question mark, as in the example above, to catch questions. Also, set up a monitoring stream by topic or geography, and figure out what mix of key terms works best for you. Mix up your approach to crafting tweets.Just because you’re using software doesn’t mean you have to act robotic. When compiling your tweets for the week, vary your writing approach. Even with the most interesting content “Statement: link … Statement: link … Statement: link” gets a little stale after awhile.To help add some diversity to your scheduled content, schedule in questions, pictures, shout-outs, videos, and even jokes to mix things up. For example, ecommerce site Etsy does a nice job of this, as it frequently interweaves quotes, images, and other approaches into its stream.Scheduling worksheets like this one will help you get a birds eye view of all of your upcoming tweets and a sense of how similar they are in nature. If you’re seeing too many common structures, try reframing a few. Remember that any blogs you auto-tweet are going to be in headline-link format, so use your other tweets to stretch your creativity.Repurpose your content, but avoid reusing tweets.In one second on the internet there are more than 6,000 tweets. In practical terms, that means no matter how brilliantly your 140 characters shine, at least part of your audience is going to blink and miss them entirely.On Twitter, and in inbound marketing as a whole, resurfacing content is fundamental. However, you don’t want your Twitter stream to turn into a stock exchange ticker repeating the same tweet again and again. Instead, plan to repost the link you want to share several times, but make sure you’re sharing it with a different message each time. In the example below, I’ve taken one post from our blog and planned to share it twice in the next few days using HubSpot’s Social Media Publishing tool. For the second post, I’ve tweaked the message slightly, choosing to highlight a detail from the post instead of the title itself.If you were going to share this out multiple times, you could shift the corresponding message in the following ways:Title: How to Bulk Schedule tweets without Sacrificing AuthenticityValue Add: It’s a good post on scaling authenticity on Twitter (we especially like tip 2).Quote: “Just because you’re using software doesn’t mean you have to act robotic.”Takeaway: It’s a useful worksheet for scheduling your tweets on this post. Stat: In one second on the internet, there are more than 6000 tweets. Here’s how to craft tweets that don’t get lost in the mix. Be ready to push pause.Every company is part of a larger community. On Twitter, that global community intersects. We collectively celebrate moments of joy. We share the impact of tragedy. When a crisis strikes your larger community, pushing pause on your scheduled tweets should be among your most immediate steps.Before weighing a response, changing your website, and doing anything else, pause your scheduled posts. In crisis, Twitter transforms into a channel of mass organization and communication. It demands all of our attention, and disrupting it with marketing tweets is not only detrimental, but it can also lead to backlash.Marketing magazine The Drum captured examples of poorly handled scheduled tweets in an April post. Among the ugly ones were a pre-scheduled post from American Rifleman (an NRA publication) that said, “Good morning shooters! Happy Friday. Weekend plans?” which went out in the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo., movie-theater shootings and this tweet from Live Nation that failed to recognize that the Radiohead concert it was tweeting had been canceled due to a stage collapse.Pushing pause on your scheduled and promoted tweets also gives you the opportunity to clear your cache for a more meaningful response. For instance, during the citywide shutdown and corresponding manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in April, the Boston Celtics cleared its regular tweet schedule and instead used its reach to help the Boston Police Department spread pertinent information through retweets. This was a fitting response for the local sports team, which had a far larger local reach than the Boston Police (1.2 million vs. 200,000). Other companies appropriately tweeted a single heartfelt response and respectfully stepped away from the mic for the day so the Twitter feeds could be clear. Small but deliberate principles like these can help move your Twitter strategy from a conventional marketing stream to a feed that attracts and holds a highly engaged following.Take a look at some of the top brands on Twitter: Oreo, Dunkin Donuts, Innocent Drinks (wow, I must be hungry), Intel. Each of these companies is large enough that scheduling in advance is probably necessary, yet they manage to keep their feeds fresh and creative. Let me leave you with a challenge: Take this planning spreadsheet and map out your Twitter shares for next week using some of the principles above. Repost links with different messages and make sure your approach is varied for each one. In addition, make a plan for how to respond personally to mentions of your company name on Twitter. And if you’re currently scheduling your tweets, make sure you have a crisis response plan to cease any automated posts in an emergency.You’ll never be able to automate the unscripted moments that make Twitter such an enthralling channel, but you can certainly make a few standard changes to make your Twitter approach feel a bit more human.Do you schedule your tweets days and weeks in advance using these or other best practices? 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
Like Simon, I don’t think getting that initial investment is the most difficult challenge content marketers have today; it’s sustaining that investment when results take time.A lot of this is down to setting the right expectations when pitching for your initial investment. Your management team is probably used to the timeframes of success they get from paid campaigns — or even the quick wins they had from SEO before the various Google updates of the past year. But results from content take time. HubSpot, for instance, started blogging before we even had a product. Traffic didn’t just appear overnight; it took between 12 to 18 months before it started to gain real traction:Another great example of a brand using content to grow their user base is Bufferapp. They acquired 100,000 users from 9 months of guest blogging. That’s 150 posts. But again — it took time and effort for them to see those results.Examples like these highlight the importance for marketers to be persistent with their content marketing efforts and to make sure their management team is bought in to the long-term vision. Getting the initial pitch right and setting the correct expectations are fundamental to making your content plans successful.Scaling ContentI think a lot of companies are going to put focus on scaling their content efforts in 2014. The problem is companies often think scale is equivalent to just producing more content, regardless of quality. That sentiment is captured in one of the stand-out SlideShares from last year: CRAP – The Content Marketing Deluge. The massive growth in content is its own biggest threat. It’s going to make getting visibility for your content a lot more difficult.The Custom Content Council and Content Wise recently released its 14th annual survey on the content marketing industry. One of the more interesting stats was that outsourcing of content dropped from 56% to 40% with more and more companies taking content in-house. This speaks volumes to scale. Companies are making a big bet on content and they are willing to invest in order to make it scale. The conversation in 2014 won’t be around the value of content; it will be how do we get more out of it. Hopefully, it will be about not just getting more content for the sake of it, but more content where the standard of quality remains high. Content PromotionFrom speaking at a lot of conferences this year, I still hear some marketers struggling with getting support for their content plans, even if many have moved on to how they scale those plans. For me, one of the most important questions in 2014 is: How do we distribute content to the right people? (If you’re interested in hearing more, this is something I discussed in a recent presentation.)Not enough marketers think about the available audience they have for the content they are putting out. For example, if I create an ebook that I want people to download, I could roughly calculate the possible audience for that ebook as:1) Distribution Channels: These are the channels I own, across which I can promote the ebook. I have a blog, an email list, plus a Facebook and Twitter page.2) Available Audience: This is the audience I have available across each of those distribution channels. Each blog post averages 10,000 views; I have an email list of 10,000 readers, plus a Facebook page with 8,000 fans and 1,000 followers on Twitter.3) Engagement (CTR): This is the clickthrough rate on each of those channels. It’s the people clicking on the call-to-action to my ebook from my blog, email, and social channels (learn how to create your own compelling calls-to-action here).4) Engaged Audience: From that, I get a possible engaged audience for that ebook. This is the number of people who will click through to the landing page to download that ebook.When it comes to distribution, marketers need to focus on increasing the size of their available audience (by increasing their blog readership, email lists, and number of social followers), but also increasing the number of distribution channels they have.We know increasing the size of your available audience takes time. You have to constantly overdeliver on the value you create to grow a following across each of those channels. It’s also becoming clear that to reach more people across some of those channels, you might need to pay. Facebook recently admitted their organic reach was falling short and that brands essentially had to buy ads to reach their own audience. Getting good at paid promotion on platforms like Facebook can really help a marketer get visibility for the content they’re promoting (which is why we created an advanced guide to Facebook advertising with some of the top experts on the subject).These are the sort of challenges I feel marketers are going to be turning their attention to in 2014. To get a better understanding of how marketers in Europe, specifically, are approaching content in 2014, we have put together the following survey in association with SmartInsights. If you’re a European marketer, we would love for you to complete this and we will email you a free copy of the report. Content Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 12, 2013 4:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 The growth in content marketing this year has continued to gather pace. There is no doubt this has been influenced by the changes Google has made to their algorithm; Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird have all helped to shine the spotlight firmly on the importance of content.If you take a look at the increase in interest in content marketing versus link building, for instance, you’ll see a dramatic decrease in the interest of link building in favor of content marketing as a search term. A lot of SEO agencies have wisely pivoted their business model in 2013 away from link building and towards content, as well.Of course the reasons for doing content marketing stretch a lot further than just acquiring links, but this is just one chart that highlights how popular content marketing is becoming. And if you’re still stuck arguing with management about the value of content for your company, there’s a chance that you’re already too late to the party, depending on how advanced your particular industry is in the inbound marketing space.That’s why I think the decisions for a lot of marketers next year won’t be focused on how they get started with content marketing; it will be around how they make content scale or how can they distribute it to the right audience. That’s a scary prospect if it’s your competitors asking those questions and you’re still trying to get the buy in to even get started.The stats released this year only go to highlight these trends: 73% of B2B content marketers are producing more content than they did one year ago, with 58% of B2B marketers planning to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. This figure increases to 64% when looking at the UK.Proving the Value of ContentWith so many companies now giving their marketers license to invest in content marketing, part of what a marketer needs to excel at is showing the ROI from that initial investment. How is it helping your business achieve their goals? If you’re going to aim for scale in 2014, you need to show that what you’re doing now is working, and will continue to work and warrant equal or more investment. Just look at this response from Simon Penson on Twitter when I asked whether executive buy-in was the biggest challenge for content marketers: @searchbrat the problem now is keeping them tied down long enough to prove inevitable value…judge by old timeframes…— simon penson (@simonpenson) November 27, 2013 Topics:
Content Distribution Topics: With marketing minds now turning their attention to 2014, these professionals are beginning to look at budget and strategic focus for the coming 12 months. That planning process, however, has never been harder, due largely to a raft of changes in consumer behavior and online platforms from which the majority of digital revenues will be derived. But with changes to Google’s algorithms and the continual rise of social comes massive opportunity for those businesses that realign spend to where it matters most. In many respects, 2014 really is a year of new opportunity and a time when more nimble organizations can steal a march on the slower-moving market leaders. The question is: How do you best focus spend to capture the right audience and improve sales and conversions in such a fast-changing environment? The answer is a strange one, as to get it right will require a heady mix of diversification and integration.I’m a big fan of the T-Shaped Marketer concept, as it truly reflects the breadth of specialist skills required to reach your target audience and maximize returns. To effectively capture every opportunity, you need to cover everything from content creation (in multiple formats), distribution (across search, social, and through influencer channels) and paid media, SEO (yes, it’s still critical!), social media marketing (organic and paid), email, and every other inbound channel. Most of these channels will, of course, already be on your radar and have been part of your plans for some time, but there is one specific area that may not be and should absolutely be on the agenda for 2014.Paid Content DistributionUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock these past 12 months, you’ll be very aware of the growing importance of content as the central anchor of any digital marketing strategy. The growing social audience and Google’s new carrot-and-stick approach to rewarding good content and punishing bad practice has made investment in it an absolute necessity. The challenge is that content — even amazing, “blow-my-mind” content — does not find its own audience. You have to connect the two together. Generally speaking, there are three ways of doing that in a pure digital context: through search, social, and influencer channels. A lot has been written about how you can use search visibility and organic social activity to raise awareness and attract sharing — but for me, that is now only half the story. The main opportunities now live in paid and influencer channels.The Growing Paid OpportunityFacebook and Twitter’s IPOs (and subsequent focus on monetization) are a massive opportunity for marketers going into next year.Not only do they open up these platforms and the massive audiences interacting with them, but they also set a standard across the social space. As a result, Pinterest, Instagram, and numerous other platforms have announced plans to eventually launch paid solutions. Combine that with the growing audience available through content discovery offerings such as Outbrain and Taboola and the space begins to become very interesting.The big question then is: How do you leverage this in the most effective way possible? Let’s look at the process we’ve used for the past few months to great effect.Defining Your AudienceBefore spending any money, it’s imperative that you clearly define your target audience. And in a social sense, this means really understanding them as people, not simply understanding one-dimensional data about what they’re searching for at the time.Social gives you the ability to obtain richer insights into your audience as multifaceted people — individuals who may like your brand but then may also be hugely into cycling, wine tasting, or any other interest you can possibly think of. An ability to tap into this will help you broaden your paid strategy and lower cost-per-click, as you will be able to target your same audience but in less competitive niches.Confused? Let me give you an example.Let’s say you’re a major fashion brand looking to promote an interactive 2014 key trends configurator to an audience of fashion lovers. The obvious move would be to target that niche and perhaps even get really smart and include email lists from existing internal databases and those who follow your brand on the channel you’re eaching out to.The fact is, though, that these people will also have other interests outside of the clothes they wear, and the ultimate way of finding them in a more granular way is to understand exactly what else they are into.So, how do you do that? In reality, it’s easier than you may think.It means diving into Facebook’s treasure trove of data, and while API access certainly helps, it can be done manually via the Power Editor. The little-used tool is designed for those of us that create more complex ad campaigns and it allows you a lot more freedom around segmenting audience.The real value is found within the actual ad creator section as it gives you audience size and reach based on whatever segments or inputs you add. I write about it in more detail in a recent ebook we’ve just completed, if you want to really dive into the subject.For instance, let’s say we want to work out how many people that like Coke also like Pepsi. To do this, we can simply add Coke as a custom audience and make a note of the number of people who like the brand either globally or by whatever country or region you wish to target.Next, do the same with Pepsi and make a note of the number. Then, do the search for both Coke and Pepsi together, and this gives you the number of people that like both. Finally, simply follow this simple formula to work out how many people who like Coke also like Pepsi: Analyzing Audience DataIt’s not just about Facebook data, however. There are other ways to paint a better picture of your audience with more data. For instance, Google has two new tools to help leverage rich, interesting data from its treasure troves.First, Analytics has two new segments called Interests and Demographics, which — when enabled — can give you a huge amount of data on everything from the ages of those who interact with your content, services, and products to the interest sets they “belong” to:This data is always added to our initial audience insight report, as it also gives you propensity detail as you can see which ages or interest sets buy more of your “stuff,” for instance. It makes sense to target significant budget at those guys first.You can then also add in info on your customers from existing email or CRM data or even software like Hitwise or Comcast, if you have it.What you are trying to do here is get an understanding of the people you want to target with the content you’ve created for the campaign.One of the best ways to do that is to create between one and three distribution personas based on the data you have extracted above, as this will help you define the messaging and platforms you wish to use.For instance, for a recent project to build an interactive piece for a new domain launch, we knew there were three different groups of people we wanted to target with during the distribution phase:The point is to really focus efforts and ensure no stone is left unturned — in other words, to keep all those involved on message. This helps define which platforms are used to find them and what the message might be to ensure they engage.Finding Your AudienceWith a clear picture of whom you are targeting, it becomes much easier to target more succinctly and effectively, which means lower CPCs and, ultimately, CPAs.To reach them, you have a number of options available, and those I’ve had experience with (or are on our radar for testing in early 2014) are listed below.The one caveat I would absolutely add, though, before you dive in is that none of them offer a “switch-it-on-and-let-success-come-to-you” option. All require real effort in terms of optimizing campaigns to eek out positive ROI. These options include:TwitterPros: Great for amplifying content relatively cheaply now (thanks to self-serve ads), especially via the Promoted Tweets option. Twitter ads allow you to target specific audiences relatively tightly. It isn’t as advanced as Facebook (yet), but the system allows you to push great content to relatively large numbers easily.Cons: As it’s (relatively) new, the time for testing has been relatively short. The challenge is drilling down into your audience well enough, as in practice, we haven’t seen the most targeted new followers or interactions from it.FacebookPros: Facebook’s audience is massive, and its ad serve system is iterating and improving all the time. For fan/like growth, we find that sidebar ads produce the best ROI, while for great content sponsored newsfeed posts, it offers the best for impact and engagement.Cons: If you don’t work at the audience segmentation, you can soon waste a lot of money here and decide the campaign is a failure before it has started. The key is working hard on targeting. The constant changing nature of the self-serve platform can also make it confusing.Instagram and PinterestPros: The two platforms offer huge potential for those with strong imagery. In late November, a study of buying behavior proved the undoubted quality of traffic from the latter, with claims that it made retailer more money than Facebook during Cyber Monday.While self-serve is a little way off, account-managed options are coming soon, and both of these options will be very important for those in the majority of niches during 2014.Cons: We don’t know how targeted you’ll be able to be yet and what CPCs will look at, but given that Facebook and Twitter and looking quite similar, expect more of the same.Content Discovery Platforms (Outbrain, Taboola, etc.)Pros: The content discovery platforms are not cheap, but Outbrain has tended to send the best quality/targeted traffic of those we have tested to date (we’ve used Taboola, nRelate, and Outbrain). The key, again, is to stay on top of cost vs. conversion, as targeting is pretty much non-existent here. If it doesn’t work, turning it off is your only real option, outside of an account manager getting involved.Cons: The extreme lack of targeting options means that, sadly, spend on these kinds of platforms is a smaller percentage of overall. Hopefully, this changes during 2014!Facebook ExchangePros: The Facebook FBX system can prove useful when looking to target content at users with purchase intent. Because of the way it works, it allows you to point content that may sit more mid-lower funnel (such as awesome buying guides) at Facebook users who have previously shown interest in purchasing that specific thing.Cons: The jury is still out as to how effective the channel will be, given it’s so new.Google Display and RetargetingPros: Like the Facebook FBX option, retargeting can be powerful when looking for people with a high propensity to buy. That is not always relevant in a content context, but when it is, this is a great option.Cons: If you are not well versed in the display and remarketing campaign “back end,” you can soon waste good money chasing the wrong audiences, but by keeping it targeted, it can be valuable, especially for content such as ebooks that can also collect data.Paid Search (Bing and Google)Pros: While paid search is usually reserved for transactional opportunity there is no reason at all that the longtail should not be targeted for content advertising. It works very well also. The audience is there and showing targeted intent!Cons: Again, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can waste money with ads showing up in unintended places but still getting clicks.Paid (StumbleUpon and Reddit)Pros: These may be different platforms, but they are both great for reaching early adopters and social influencers, so they can be an optimal place to get some initial viral traction.Cons: There is a lot of traffic here, but often, it can be lower quality, in terms of targeting and intent.Creating Distribution StrategySo as you can clearly see, there are lots of options. But what does this look like on an average campaign? When a major piece of content is planned, it’s imperative to ensure that enough budget is assigned to distribution.Exact percentage splits are argued, but we will always suggest a minimum of as much time/spend on sharing as building. In reality, even this is probably too low.If you take the hit John Lewis Christmas advertisement in the UK this year, the £7 million (roughly US $11.4 million) budget was split £1 million (US $1.6 million) build and £6 million (US $9.8 million) on distribution.That’s an incredible 6:1 ratio that really does push home the importance of amplification as the mainstay of a campaign. But how do you break that time up?Let’s look at an example campaign to show what ‘average’ looks like.The ‘Average’ FormulaBelow, we take a look at how we might allocate a £10,000 distribution budget for an interactive piece of content we want to distribute.The piece — an interactive infographic — can be embedded, so influencer PR is important and will swallow the majority of budget. But, you can see how it’s also supported by content marketing efforts:Time to Run the Campaign!By now, you’re fully planned out, so there’s nothing left to do but press the “go live” button and begin executing! The key, of course, is to record and measure each component part so you can iterate throughout and take the lessons from this campaign into your next one.Have you worked with a paid content distribution campaign before? What advice can you pass down to other marketers interested in this type of campaign? Share your thoughts below! Originally published Dec 17, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Understanding psychology is a crucial part of being a successful marketer. What I’ve discovered is that the most powerful advances in content marketing don’t come from “hacks,” “tricks,” or “techniques,” but from science-backed psychology.One of the most powerful and interesting areas of psychology deals with excitement. How can content marketers get people more excited? How can we raise their level of emotional engagement to bring about content engagement? Is there any way that we can get more comments, more shares, more likes, and more of the content marketing KPIs that we crave?The answer is yes, and the psychology of excitement shows us how.How Does Excitement Work?To understand how excitement affects marketing, we need first to understand how excitement works. Here are some of the key features of excitement.Excitement is mental, but it affects the whole body.Excitement begins in the brain just like any other emotion. Emotions, however, have strong physiological responses.Many people are familiar with the experience of stomach sensations (“butterflies in the stomach”), trembling, weakness, and sweaty palms in response to a state of fear or excitement. These are the body’s complex responses to a mental condition.Excitement is a condition of physiological arousal. ChangingMinds.org explains what happens when we are aroused in this way:Arousal typically happens when the body releases chemicals into the brain that act to stimulate emotions, reduce cortical functioning and hence conscious control, and create physical agitation and ‘readiness for action.’ The endocrine system stimulates various glands, in particular adrenaline, which increases oxygen and glucose flow, dilates the pupils (so you can see better), and suppresses non-urgent systems such as digestion and the immune system. Arousal is spread through the Sympathetic Nervous System, with effects such as increasing the heart rate and breathing to enable physical action and perspiration to cool the body.Excitement is temporary.The human body is always seeking a state of homeostasis, a condition of stability. The mind and body are constantly undergoing changing conditions — fluctuations in temperature, pressure, etc. Despite all the changes, the body can dynamically adapt to maintain homeostasis.Excitement disrupts the body’s homeostasis — but only temporarily. Since the body is constantly returning to homeostasis, a condition of true excitement (in the biological sense) can go on for only so long.How long? It all depends on the level of excitement. An article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that it takes 20 minutes for the power of excitement to pass.Excitement makes people more likely to act.When the body is excited, it provides the perfect conditions for marketing to have its effect. Excitement of any kind is a state of arousal. Arousal means that the heart rate increases, the sympathetic nervous system increases activity, and the brain begins to signal the increased production of hormones.When a person is excited, their emotions become more powerful and can affect their decision-making abilities. Excited people are more likely to make a decision — any decision (even a bad one). Excitement leads to impulsivity.In “The Psychology of Social Shopping,” Paloma Vasquez makes this point: In a state of excitement or arousal, people think and behave very differently. Emotional states trump rational thinking; it’s easier to sell to consumers when they are excited. This can be a good thing. As marketers, we usually want people to act, not overthink. We realize that quick decision-making can be important to moving someone through the buyer’s journey.What Can Help Create Excitement?With a basic understand of how emotion works, we can begin to discover how content can create excitement. Here are the broad categories of excitement-inducing content.Strong EmotionThere is wide consensus on this point: Users are excited by with emotional content. They engage with it passionately, intensely, and automatically.Here’s how Relevance puts it:People are emotional creatures. We decide and take action (including buying decisions) based largely on emotions. So, if your marketing content tries to reach your audience only through a rational approach, there’s a good chance it will fall flat.Users will respond to content that affects them on an emotional level. Emotion is part of decision-making and action. What kind of action? Social sharing is the most obvious action.Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study to answer the question “What Makes Online Content Viral?” Their study quickly brought them to this conclusion:Virality is partially driven by physiological arousal. Content that evokes high-arousal positive (awe) or negative (anger or anxiety) emotions is more viral. Content that evokes low-arousal, or deactivating, emotions (e.g., sadness) is less viral.Simply put, if you want to create shareable, viral content, then make it appeal to people’s emotions.ProgressPsychologists have long understood that making progress is one of the most important features in an individual’s satisfaction and wellbeing. The Harvard Business Review explains:Through exhaustive analysis of diaries kept by knowledge workers, we discovered the progress principle: Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress … Whether they are trying to solve a major scientific mystery or simply produce a high-quality product or service, everyday progress — even a small win — can make all the difference in how they feel and perform.The progress principle applies to the microcosm of content, too. JeremySaid.com explains, “One of the best ways to motivate behavior is to create a sense of progress. If a user can win new levels of rewards, they are much more likely to make an attempt to do so.” This is the principle that creates excitement over the Starbucks loyalty program:Image SourceWhen it comes down to content, the user wants to both understand and feel a sense of progress. On Slate’s sidebar, they tell users how long it will take to read an article, thus suggesting progress, presumably to encourage engagement.Strong Design FeaturesConsumer psychologists understand the powerful role of environmental cues in the way that people act and shop. The same things hold true for website design — elements like color can have a huge impact on how people engage with your website. In fact, color is one of the easiest ways to enhance the sense of excitement.To see what I mean, look at Coca-Cola’s blog below. Their strong use of red in their Tumblr design helps spark excitement and drive more engagement and interaction with the content.PriceImpulse shoppers act on the basis of excitement. One of the driving forces of impulse is the product’s price, according to the Wall Street Journal. You can keep your prices low, or use the price anchoring effect to make it seem low. Either way, you can generate excitement because of the low price.When a customer gets a great price, they are more likely to share it with others. The reason, explains Robert Schindler in Advances in Consumer Research, is because they’re proud of it. A good deal sparks the “ego-expressive” response, making the customer “feel responsible for the discount.”To capitalize on this excitement response, you can use sharing icons at appropriate points throughout a conversion process. For example, Amazon prompts customers to share their purchases on social media. The reason people are likely to do so is because of the state of excitement that they experienced after making a purchase.Image SourceLimited ProductsTo a lesser extent, the product itself can create excitement. Mark Macdonald’s article on Shopify explains that products themselves can generate excitement and eagerness to buy, especially when they are “seasonal or limited products.”For example, every March when my friend gets her green Shamrock Shake from McDonalds, she crows with happiness all over the social media.A similar product, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte creates a frenzy of excitement on social media. This is from the Starbucks PSL information page:Truthfully, this can be the hardest thing to implement at your company — it involved company-wide changes. But the Shamrock Shake and PSL induce the kind of response that you want. If you can focus your marketing on a unique or excitement-worthy aspect of your product, it’s easier to help customers read about it and share it.ConclusionTo improve engagement with your content, it’s not enough to simply produce information and hope it gets action. You have to create a strategy that activates users emotionally. Once you lay the intellectual foundation with content, then you can go on to activate their emotions through empathy.As you interact with content on the web, identify what features make you excited. These are the same features that will prompt excitement in your users. Exciting content is the path to engagement.What do you do to create exciting content? 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 Emotion in Marketing Originally published Mar 17, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017
Inbound Marketing Education Originally published Apr 15, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 When you’re first starting to learn something new, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated.Why? Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve deviated from the things you’re good at and know well. Or maybe you had to make a pretty significant monetary or time investment, and you’re feeling the pressure. Perhaps you have all the drive in the world to learn … but you’re having trouble finding the right resources and references to learn from.A lot of people learning inbound marketing for the first time run into concerns like these — and we want to help them out. Whether you’re totally new to inbound marketing or just want to sharpen your existing inbound chops, here are 10 totally free ways to teach yourself inbound marketing skills.10 Free Ways to Teach Yourself Inbound1) Subscribe to top inbound marketing blogs.This is usually the first tip marketers will recommend for learning inbound: Subscribe to a bunch of awesome blogs, and then spend time every day reading them.The problem? There are so many to awesome ones choose from. With only so much time in the day to devote to reading, you need to subscribe strategically. We’d recommend checking out Inbound50 to help you make your choices. This resource will give you a great list of quality blogs to follow. And if you already know you’d like to subscribe to HubSpot’s blogs (thanks!), you can click this link.2) Subscribe to emails from other companies.Reading about how to do inbound is a crucial part of learning inbound, but it’s not the only thing you should do. You should also be on the lookout for examples of awesome (and not so awesome) inbound marketing. This’ll give you real-world references for the theories and tips you’re reading on inbound marketing blogs.The best way to do that? Hand over your email address to other companies to see firsthand how they market to customers and prospects. Subscribe to their blog. Give over your email in exchange for an ebook. Click on the emails they send you so you keep getting more.All the while, take note of what you like and what you don’t like — and save the most memorable examples to reference later. Having real, tangible examples of marketing will help you better apply inbound concepts in the future.3) Get your Inbound Certification.Like to have a little more direction when learning inbound? HubSpot’s Inbound Certification could be right up your alley. Block off a few hours to take this 11-course series. You’ll watch a series of videos about the whole methodology and at the end, take an exam. If you pass, you’ll receive a badge and certificate you can add to your website, resume, LinkedIn profile, and Inbound.org profile. That way, current and future employers will know that you’ve got inbound skills down pat. 4) Run Marketing Grader reports for your favorite websites — and then create a plan to improve their score.To get a peek under the hood of how your favorite companies do marketing, run a Marketing Grader report on them. The report will take a look at a company’s website, social media accounts, blog, and mobile strategy, and it’ll give ’em a grade along with recommendations on how to improve their score. Running this report will help you better dissect what the company is doing that is working … and isn’t working.Then, pretend you work for the company and have to fix their Marketing Grader score. What would you do? Create mock-ups, new copy, and anything else you think would improve the score. This will help you get more inbound marketing practice. (And if you’re looking for a new gig at the company you’re grading, it could help you get your foot in the door.)5) Replicate the work of people and companies you admire (for practice only).My coworker Sapphire suggested this in a post on learning design, but the tip can apply to inbound as a whole.Once you have some examples of marketing from companies you admire, sit down and see if you can replicate their work. Can you design an email with a similar layout? Write a blog post on a similar topic? Create similar images and copy for Twitter? Forcing yourself to recreate a specific piece of successful marketing makes it much easier for you to pick up new skills. You’re focused on learning something specific, not all the things in marketing.Be super careful not to publish anything that’s an exact copy of someone’s work, though. You should be using other companies to guide your learning process, not rip off their marketing for your company’s benefit. 6) Let Inbound.org critique your work.Ever poked around Inbound.org? It’s an awesome community of inbound marketers and a place where you can find lots of helpful content and connect with others in the industry.One of the coolest features of the website is the ability to ask for feedback. Submit a link and an image of a piece of marketing you’d like critiqued (landing pages, emails, blog posts, social posts, and so on), and the community will give you tips on what you can improve. They can even mark up the image you submit to give you smaller, very specific points of feedback. We used this feature recently to get feedback on one of our landing pages, and got some incredibly insightful pointers.As you’re developing your inbound skills, think about asking for feedback on your work. No matter whether you’re just starting out or been doing inbound for years, it’s important to solicit feedback from smart, helpful folks — and then use it to work on improving your skills.7) Enroll in self-learning courses. If you prefer to have others actually walk you through new concepts, you could try taking a free online class. Some of our favorites include:Codecademy: This site is great if you’re looking to develop some coding or techincal skills.Lynda: Recently acquired by LinkedIn, Lynda offers tons of free courses on design, web development, photography, business, etc.Coursera: This platform will help you find Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) — free online courses from top universities on tons of different topics.8) Work off templates.Especially when you’re first starting out in a new part of marketing, having a template to work off of is incredibly helpful. Why? They make your world just a little smaller, making it easier for you to produce something.Let’s say you’re writing a blog post, for example. Normally, you need to worry about the structure, writing, formatting, images, and optimization before you hit publish. With a template, the structure is taken care of already, allowing you to focus on nailing the rest of the things you need to do.There are tons of free templates you can find online — and we’ve got a bunch you can check out, too. Click here to see what templates we have.9) Bookmark glossaries and helpful resources.As you’re reading and learning about inbound, you’re going to come across some amazing resources you don’t want to live without. Don’t let them fall by the wayside! Make sure to bookmark them in your browser so you can easily refer to them later.One thing I especially love to bookmark are glossaries, like our smarketing glossary. There are so many terms you’ll come across in marketing, so having easy-to-access definitions comes in handy more often than you’d think. 10) Read case studies.Want to know how companies have fixed their marketing problems? Check out case studies. They typically document the problems companies have run into, specific changes they made to fix those problems, and the study’s results, making them great learning resources for newbie and experienced marketers alike.Many case studies can be found on marketing agency or software websites. Even though they’re ultimately supposed to help sell readers on the value of the company, they’re often quite informative and helpful learning resources.But if you want some that aren’t tied to something someone’s selling, I’d recommend checking out MarketingSherpa — they’ve got some great free marketing case studies. The moral of the story here? Learning inbound isn’t necessarily quick, but there are tons of free, helpful resources out there that’ll suit any learning style.What other tips do you have for learning inbound? Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Apr 27, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 When many people start diving into their marketing analytics, they’re nervous. Maybe they’re new to the technology, so they’re worried about it being too complex and confusing to use. Maybe they haven’t analyzed their marketing before. Maybe math was never their strong suit. Or maybe they’re just worried about messing something up.It doesn’t have to be this way. If you have the data that needs to be analyzed, some helpful analytics resources, and a little confidence in yourself, you can report on your analytics.This post should help you with the latter two. We’ll dive into some of the common misconceptions about analytics and give you some resources to reference so you can get past that nervous phase and on to the good stuff: actually measuring your marketing. Let’s get to it!Myth #1: You must have a mathematical background to do analytics.This may have been true at one point, but now there are more opportunities than ever for people who don’t have a math background to learn about analytics.First, there are now more tools that ever that make it easy to find your data — it’s just your job to do the analysis. (Many platforms, like HubSpot, can even help you with that.) Second, there are also a ton of resources out there to teach yourself analytics. You can subscribe to blogs or even take free online classes that will teach you about the important trends to look for in your data and how to improve your metrics. None of these require understanding calculus or having the ability to code.Myth #2: Analytics always take a lot of time to measure.Many marketers worry that analytics will take up too much time — they won’t have any left to do actual work!But that’s not always the case. Once you figure out which metrics you should be routinely measuring and how to track them in your software, it’s usually pretty quick to measure. You will know exactly where to pull them and how to make changes in your marketing based off of them. These analytics won’t necessarily take that long to work with.Sure, when you’re trying to answer a new question or solve a different problem, you will find that analyzing your data can take longer. However, you may be surprised that it doesn’t take as long as you thought it would. If you want some help with measuring your analytics more efficiently, here are some blog posts you should check out:How to Use Excel: 14 Simple Excel Shortcuts, Tips & TricksHow to Analyze Your Blog Posts: A Beginner’s GuideWhen to Check on Your Marketing Metrics: A Simple GuideMyth #3: Analytics won’t tell you anything you don’t already know.Just because you think you know how a campaign is going to turn out doesn’t mean it’s actually going to turn out that way. Every time you run a campaign, you should analyze the type of content and channels that are performing well. The results you get may never be the same. Your conversion rates on email marketing will be different than social media which will be different than organic search. And these metrics may vary from campaign to campaign. The only way for you to be certain about your campaign’s results is to actually sit down and measure them. Myth #4: Your company isn’t big enough to need any analyses.From the time your first piece of content is written, you should be thinking about how you’re going to analyze it. Why? If you don’t think about analysis from the start, you may miss opportunities to add tracking in your content.For example, if you want to track the number of times someone clicks on a text link in your blog post, you need to think about adding tracking in there from the beginning. Or if you want to track what channel attracts the most traffic to your blog post, you need to add tracking information into the link that you share on different networks (Note for HubSpot customers: HubSpot will automatically track all links that you post through Social Inbox or the Email App.)Also, if you are part of a company just starting out, you will need to rely on metrics to understand how to grow — and find out if you are actually growing. Make sure your company is tracking visitor-to-lead conversion rates, and lead-to-customer conversion rates. This will help your understand if there’s an area of the funnel that is not working and help you decide what to focus on. Also track these metrics based on channel (social media, email, organic, etc.). This will help you figure out what promotional channels are really working for you.If you are not using a marketing platform to keep track of how your metrics increase or decrease over time, use a Google Spreadsheet or Excel to keep track of your progress. Here is a template that can help you get started.Myth #5: You must report on every single metric.If you wanted to, you could spend 100% of your time reporting on every single metric available. There is an endless amount of data that you can pull and analyses you can conduct. However, not all of it is important to your company.So before you run a data analysis, set goals and write down the questions that you want answered by your analysis. Don’t get carried about by reporting on everything; try to stay focused. This blog post can help you figure out when to track certain metrics.Myth #6: You only need to report on visits and leads.To better understand how many visits and leads you are getting on your website, there are other metrics that are necessary to track using a tool like the HubSpot Sources App or Google Analytics.First, you need to report on the traffic and leads that you’re getting from different marketing channels. That means understanding how many visits and leads you have on your site as a result of organic search, social media, email marketing, paid, and more. This will help you figure out where to spend your time promoting your content.You also need to understand the conversion rates of these different channels. For example, if you just look at your website’s overall traffic and leads, you may miss an opportunity to see that your visitor-to-lead conversion rate for email marketing is actually much higher than social media. This will be a good indication that you should promote your content through email marketing more than social media.Also, don’t forget about the middle and the bottom of the funnel. When you report on visits and leads, you are doing a great job of reporting on how your marketing is performing at the top of the funnel — but to truly prove out your marketing is working, you should investigate the whole funnel. For example, one channel or piece of content may be great at converting leads but terrible at converting those leads into customers, so you might not want to dump more resources into it. By analyzing the full funnel, you’ll be able to make smarter decision.These are just examples of some of the important metrics you should report on. Depending on your company goals, there may be other metrics that you need to prioritize.Myth #7: Data from different software platforms should always look the same.Different software platforms have different definitions for their metrics. A great example of this is Google Analytics and HubSpot. In Google Analytics, a visit is anytime someone comes to your site from a referring source. All interactions on your website are counted as the same visit for the next 30 minutes. In HubSpot, a visit is anytime someone comes to your site from a referring source regardless of the time frame. As a result, the number of visits in Google Analytics and the number of visits in HubSpot will be slightly different.So don’t try to compare the data from different software platforms — instead, compare trends. You should see the same general increases and decreases in your data pulled from different platforms. Don’t worry about the fact that one piece of software says you have 50 more visits than the other.If for some reason the trends in your data is not matching up, double check that your tracking is set up correctly. For example, if your tracking code for each platform is not on all of your pages, you may see some bigger differences. Check with your software provider to make sure you are set up correctly.Myth #8: Having data matters more than taking action from your data.Pulling data for the sake of having data is pointless. It takes time out of your schedule that could be used to create content, run campaigns, or develop a strategy for your next project. So don’t let your data go to waste. When you conduct a data analysis, plan on taking action based on what the data says. If you run an analysis on a campaign you are running, and the analysis shows that your approach is not working, don’t be afraid to make changes halfway through your campaign. The most important part of any data analysis is the ability to pull out insightful information and take action based on your findings. As you analyze your data, think about how you can incorporate your findings into your current or future campaigns.What other myths have you heard about data and analytics? Let us know in the comments. 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Originally published Oct 21, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated April 13 2018 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Technical SEO What is a 301 Redirect?A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. 301 redirects send site visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally typed into their browser or selected from a search engine results page.I moved five times in the last year. And every single time I moved, I forgot to sign up to have my mail forwarded to my new address.Mail forwarding is an important step in any moving process, as it ensures you don’t lose any valuable information that’s sent to you. And the same can be said for your website: If you’re moving a website from one URL to another, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure your visitors get sent to the right place. In the world of tech, this is called a 301 redirect.Access Now: 22 SEO Myths to Leave Behind This YearA 301 redirect is key to maintaining a website’s domain authority and search rankings when the site’s URL is changed for any reason. It easily sends visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally requested — without having to actually type in a different URL.Here, we’ll cover the details of a 301 redirect, why websites use them, and how they differ from other redirects. What Is a 301 Redirect?A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. 301 redirects send site visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally typed into their browser or selected from a search engine results page. These redirects also link various URLs under one umbrella so search engines rank all of the addresses based on the domain authority from inbound links. Let’s put it into practice. Below are two different URLs that take you to the same site. That’s thanks to a 301 redirect. That way, when people link to HubSpot Blogs using either URL, the URL we direct blog traffic to (blog.hubspot.com) retains the search engine authority associated with inbound links to either URL.blog.hubspot.comhttp://blog.hubspot.comDid you notice that even though the second link has “http://” at the beginning of the URL, by the time you arrived at the blog, the URL in your browser read “blog.hubspot.com”? That’s because of a 301 redirect. It’s essential to set this up so the domain authority from inbound links to the http:// address are linked to blog.hubspot.com to improve its search rankings.Why Set Up a 301 Redirect?The big reasons marketers might set up a 301 redirect are:To associate common web conventions (http://, www., etc.) with one URL to maximize domain authority (hint: this is the same situation as the scenario we outlined above.)To rebrand or rename a website with a different URLTo direct traffic to a website from other URLs owned by the same organizationIn the second scenario, when a brand is changing its company or website name, a 301 redirect is integral to maintaining the power of inbound links to the original URL on the migrated new domain. Additionally, the 301 redirect is necessary in this case to do exactly what redirect means — to send website visitors to the right web address to get what they’re looking for.In the third scenario, brands sometimes purchase domains that are similar in name or subject matter to their brand to generate more search traffic to their website. A 301 redirect is necessary to make certain that the brand’s original domain maintains its search authority in the process. What’s the Difference Between Permanent HTML Redirects and other Redirects?Generally speaking, a 301 permanent redirect is better for search engine optimization than a temporary redirect because it transfers the inbound links from the redirected domain to the new one, which helps the website maintain its search rankings and prevent any dip in search traffic.There are few situations where a 302 temporary redirect would be preferable over a 301 permanent redirect — except for when website content needs to be moved temporarily, such as when a site is undergoing maintenance and visitors need to be directed to a different domain to consume their content.301 Redirect Mistakes to AvoidNow that you understand the importance of the 301 redirect, we’ll review common steps in the process to review to make sure you don’t make a mistake that could adversely impact your site’s SEO.1) Set up a 301 redirect between the http:// and http://www versions of your domains.301 redirects point the power of inbound links from one URL to another, and although it might not look like it, http://blog.hubspot.com and blog.hubspot.com are two different URLs. Make sure you set up a 301 redirect from all of the different iterations of your brand’s domain to boost your search engine results.2) Don’t move to a new domain without first setting up a 301 redirect.Back in 2010, Toys ‘R Us purchased the toys.com domain without setting up a 301 redirect first, and their new site’s SEO results plummeted because it was re-crawled by Google as a brand-new domain without inbound links from the original Toys ‘R Us domain pointing to it. Be sure to set up the 301 redirect before migrating your website content so your site doesn’t lose traffic in the process.3) In almost all cases, set up a 301 permanent redirect instead of a 302 temporary redirect, which may be the default setting of your website management software.Unless you’re temporarily migrating your website’s content while updating or repairing your website, use a 301 redirect to maintain the inbound links and your search rankings while making changes to your domain.4) Set up redirects to older internal links on your website.If you don’t set up redirects from the older internal links on your website (such as a link to your company blog on your homepage), you’ll create a bad user experience for site visitors who click on these older, not-directed links. The old internal link will eventually kick over to the new domain, but it might take several seconds or show a white screen in the meantime.The good news is that it’s easy to set up a 301 redirect correctly following the steps above and if you’re using HubSpot software to optimize your website. We wish you the best of luck with your next website redirect and moving process. (P.S. – We can help with one of those.)Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Originally published Aug 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM, updated August 06 2019 You may be starting in your first entry-level position, or perhaps you’re an executive VP at an established company. Wherever you are in your career, if you’re ambitious and goal-driven, you may have one question in your mind — Will I be the CEO someday?Becoming a CEO often requires a certain amount of being in the right place at the right time, but having specific qualities can significantly boost the chance that you’ll be considered for the spot of CEO — or any leadership position, for that matter.To find out more about what those essential qualities are, we reached out to Tiffany Franklin, executive career consultant and founder of TJF Career Coaching, who broke down what it takes to be considered CEO material.Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah.1. You’re not afraid to take calculated risks.CEOs are responsible for significant decisions about the strategy and future of the organizations they lead. While a CEO must maintain stability within an organization, they also must sometimes take risks that can result in both short- and long-term pay-offs for an organization. Enter the importance of being a strategic risk taker.Franklin describes this as “having that ability to consider a confluence of multiple internal and external factors, both for the organization and the global market as a whole.” She adds that strategic risk takers “see lessons from the past, but you are looking to the future, in terms of marketing, timing, and people. You’re learning from mistakes, but yet you will take a calculated risk.”2. You know how to communicate well.Communication is one of the foundation stones for being a leader. For CEOs, Franklin says, “you want to motivate and empower the people around you … To be able to sell your vision, and also outline a path to make it a reality.” She adds that a big part of that is relationship-building skills.Communication and relationship-building skills are also an integral part of generating employee satisfaction as a leader. As a CEO, a critical component of approval is employee satisfaction. In a 2016 Glassdoor study on the factors that predict high CEO approval, it was found that a one-star increase in employee satisfaction (measured by the overall Glassdoor rating of a company) predicts a 36.9 percent improvement in CEO approval.3. You’re always challenging yourself.Being a CEO generally doesn’t happen in the first year of career, and often doesn’t even happen in the first decade of your career. It is a place of leadership that, more often than not, is earned through repeatedly facing professional challenges and retaining a diligent focus on self-improvement.There are multiple challenges that are good to take on throughout your career in order to boost your leadership skills and gain recognition among professional peers. On top of volunteering for leadership positions within your company and pursuing leadership credentials like an MBA, Franklin also recommends getting involved with affinity groups at your workplace, as well as getting involved in professional associations, volunteering for boards of directors, and even looking for community service projects that have leadership opportunities.4. You’re emotionally intelligent.It’s not enough for somebody to be ambitious, says Franklin — they also need emotional intelligence. “So much of being a CEO is being decisive and purposeful, yet thoughtful when you’re making decisions,” she adds. For thoughtful decision-making, as well as building strong, trust-filled relationships, not to mention being a good communicator, emotional intelligence is key.5. You know how to surround yourself with the right people.While a CEO is often the face of an organization, they are supported by a team of people who are helping them maximally perform. According to Franklin, having CEO potential means being self-aware enough to know what you’re good at, but also what you may lack, and building a team that complements the areas you have deficiencies. In turn, she says, this makes a team that can challenge each other, and also brings different things to the table.6. You find yourself leading projects.CEOs are people who trust can be put in to get a job done. CEOs are also good managers and delegators. You may find that you’re naturally asked by people in your organization to take on big projects and to lead teams. But putting yourself in situations like that whenever the opportunity arises can also help hone your leadership skills. “I think when you volunteer to go above and beyond, not immediately expecting anything, people will start to take notice,” says Franklin.7. You’re thinking ahead.The best CEOs are visionaries for the organizations they lead. “It’s not just trying to figure out what the trends are and jumping on those, it’s being a thought leader,” says Franklin. Another critical component of being a thought leader is the ability to translate your visions into concrete actions that employees within your organization can take.Building CEO Leadership SkillsEven if you’re not strong in some of the leadership capabilities that CEOs require, there are many routes to take to bulk up your management prowess. For one, MBA programs are always a good way to learn leadership skills and show your commitment to be a good manager.Franklin also says that if you don’t have the time or availability, there are smaller courses and certificate programs that you can take in leadership. Reading books in MBA curricula can also both help you build your leadership skills and make for a great conversation starter at professional events, she points out. Then, she says, “keep networking, building skills, and stretching yourself to get to the visionary piece.”This article was originally published on Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites. Glassdoor combines all the jobs with valuable data to make it easy for people to find a job that fits their life, while also helping employers hire quality talent at scale. Are you hiring? Post jobs for free with a 7-day trial. Leadership Don’t forget to share this post! Topics:
The Laver Cup tennis tournament brings together two of the greatest athletes of all time – Roger Federer and Rafael – and it also gives a chance for the fans to witness them not just playing together and but even coaching one another, as it happened on Saturday.Federer and Nadal, who have 39 Grand Slam singles titles between themselves, were seen advising each other during their respective singles matches against Team World with Team Europe captain Bjon Borg by their side.A video of Federer advising Nadal on how to play against Milos Raonic has gone viral on social media. Federer and Nadal both won their singles matches against Nick Kyrgios and Raonic respectively.”Spin, slice… you know, like in the old days!” @rogerfederer pays a visit to @RafaelNadal after he’s broken, and his #TeamEurope teammate breaks right back. On serve in set two, 3-4 with Raonic serving.#LaverCup pic.twitter.com/pUSRCMcgmSLaver Cup (@LaverCup) September 21, 2019″All the players help each other. Roger and I have a good relationship and we know each other very well after playing so many times against each other,” explained Nadal.”So it’s great to have him telling me things, as well as Bjorn, Thomas or any player really because sometimes things from outside are more clear than from inside. I am happy and lucky to be in such a great team.”Federer got his great rival’s input at his shoulder before rallying late and raising his game in the decisive super-tiebreaker to beat Kyrgios 6-7 (5), 7-5, 10-7 in the afternoon session.advertisementNadal then got the favor back from Federer during a 6-3, 7-6 (1) win over Raonic that opened the evening session. He was quickly back on court partnering Stefanos Tsitsipas in the day’s doubles rubber.”What I really enjoy with Rafa is just that we very often align, our ideas align,” said Federer, praising Nadal for “clarity in his advice.”Always forward, never back.@rogerfederer | #TeamEurope pic.twitter.com/sDpnlx8bmmLaver Cup (@LaverCup) September 21, 2019Federer, who co-owns the Laver Cup competition, also praised the crowd support during the tournament which is being held in Geneva.”Today was extremely loud. I don’t recall that on the tour ever being almost this loud. You know, if I would have retired a long time ago, I wouldn’t have this moment right now,” the 38-year-old Federer said of the Palexpo indoor arena.”I had goosebumps.”@rogerfederer discusses his win over Nick Kyrgios, the crowd’s impact on the match and how Rafa’s coaching helped him on court.#LaverCup pic.twitter.com/VxkqaN7R2ULaver Cup (@LaverCup) September 21, 2019Nadal and his doubles partner Tsitsipas were beaten 6-4 3-6 10-6 by Kyrgios and Jack Sock in the final match of the day as Team World narrowed Europe’s lead to 7-5.The first team to reach 13 points will be crowned champions, with each win worth three points on Sunday.Also Read | Laver Cup: Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer help Team Europe maintain lead over Team WorldAlso Read | Roger Federer beats Nick Kyrgios to keep Europe ahead in Laver CupAlso Read | Laver Cup 2019: Roger Federer and Alexandar Zverev win to give Europe 3-1 lead
Former champions ATK got off to a flying start at home, banging in five goals past debutants Hyderabad FC in their Indian Super League clash at the Saltlake Stadium here on Friday.ATK probably sealed the deal in the first 45 minutes itself taking a 3-0 lead with David Williams scoring a brace in the 25th and 44th minutes.ATK’s star Fijian recruit Roy Krishna also got his name on the scoresheet with a goal in the 27th minute before Edu Garcia completed the humiliation, striking twice in the 88th and 90th minutes.The Antonio Lopez Habas-coached side thus returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion after suffering a 1-2 reversal in their opening game in Kerala on October 20.The home side pressed hard from the start and it was Michael Soosairaj who returned unlucky in the 19th minute when his shot ricochetted off the far post from 15-yards out.Finally they got a well-deserved lead when Javier Hernandez slided an excellent through ball towards Williams, who took one touch and then beat the goalkeeper to give ATK the lead in the 25th minute.Putting them in total control, Roy Krishna got the second when Williams came down the left flank to set up the goal.Inducted in place of the disbanded Pune FC, Hyderabad were punished for playing too open and conceded a third goal before the break.It was Jayesh Rane who played a through ball to Williams straight down the middle and the latter made a clean move to bring up his second goal, beating the goalkeeper.advertisementIt was left for Edu Garcia to come into the act as he struck a double with two minutes left on the clock to give ATK a stupendous start at home.Also Read | Manchester City’s Phil Foden enters Guinness World Records for being youngest Premier League winnerAlso See:
India captain Virat Kohli is known to get behind the crowd and is often seen asking the fans to turn up the volume while cheering for his team. It was again on show on Thursday but this time it was a bit different than before.Kohli was seen asking the crowd to cheer for Mohammed Shami and get behind the fast bowler as he got ready to bowl the final over before the tea break on Day 1 of the first Test against Bangladesh in Indore.Fans were seen cheering for Kohli but the skipper instead asked them to get behind the Bengal pacer, who responded with two wickets off successive deliveries just before the interval.Shami removed Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehidy Hasan with his final two deliveries of the 54th over but couldn’t take a hat-trick as he came back to bowl the second over of the final session.India though completed a team hat-trick as Ishant Sharma removed Liton Das with his very first delivery after the tea break.In a video posted by the BCCI on social media, Kohli could be seen asking the crowd to get behind Shami instead of cheering for him. “All heart – Captain @imVkohli asks the crowd to cheer for an on fire @MdShami11 #TeamIndia #INDvBAN,” the Indian cricket board captioned the post.All heart – Captain @imVkohli asks the crowd to cheer for an on fire @MdShami11 #TeamIndia #INDvBAN pic.twitter.com/IEk2GY537YBCCI (@BCCI) November 14, 2019Shami was the pick of the Indian bowlers and finished with 3 for 27 from 13 overs as the hosts bowled out Bangladesh for 150 after being asked to field first at the Holkar stadium. Ishant Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Umesh Yadav picked up two wickets each.advertisementAfter the day’s play Shami revealed that he was thinking about the hat-trick during the tea break.”I came to bowl one change, so I had to think of the conditions and situation. Thought process is to bowl lines that are as tight as possible. I’ve been using the width of the crease for the last two years.”When you take a wicket for India, you feel so well. Our unit, either bowlers or batsmen, when they do well, we all enjoy. I was thinking about the hat-trick during the tea break,” Shami told Sanjay Manjrekar after the day’s play.India finished the day at 86 for 1, trailing Bangladesh by just 64 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara (43 not out) and Mayank Agarwal (37 not out) at the crease.Also Read | Mohammed Shami reveals secrets behind his success after day 1 of Indore TestAlso Read | Indore Test: Shami, Ishant derail Bangladesh as India take controlAlso Read | Vaughan gets into argument with India fans over comment on Indore pitch
And to make defenders miss. Imagine Porter is the field umpire and the two are in a phone booth.Role in 2017Trying to limit any one of four or five of OSU’s receivers to a specific role would prove futile at this point — and probably at any point this season. This a collective — full of star power and athleticism and whose biggest strength is its ability to keep defenses guessing and in turn defensive coordinators up at night.James Washington may go off for five catches and 105 yards and Jalen McCleskey will grab eight for 78. One game Tyron Johnson will go four for 100, the next he may go two for 15. You may have four or five receivers lead the team in receiving yards on a Saturday-to-Saturday basis.And Johnson sees the crowded wideout group as a blessing, not a curse.“That’s something any receiver looks for,” Johnson said. “One-on-one coverage, I mean, you gotta make a play. We’ve got a lot of great receivers. I don’t if you’ll be able to double any. We got Chris Lacy, Marcell Ateman, Stoner. We got Jalen McCleskey. We’ve got James Washington. I mean, so many guys, pick your poison.“You wanna double him or you wanna double him? Somebody’s going to be one-on-one.”Noteworthy stats and highlightsYou want more film of Tyron, don’t you? Okay, here you go.In rare back-to-back passing plays by LSU, Johnson got to show off his speed. Note: SEC people apparently don’t love offense or celebrations. Down 18 in the first half? That’s how OSU has won most of its games over the past three years. And here’s a look at his ball skills. 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. With just 13 days until the season opener against Tulsa, it’s time to look at maybe the most hyped OSU receiver since Dez. Will he live up to it?How he got to OSUTyron Johnson was the No. 2-rated wide receiver in the class of 2015 according to Rivals and a consensus five-star recruit. Oklahoma State was one of his top schools but he ultimately decided to stay close to home and enrolled at LSU.After appearing in nine games as a true freshman — but making just nine total catches — Johnson decided to look for a new home where his talents could be better utilized. He talked to Kyle Porter recently about what made Oklahoma State his obvious choice.AdChoices广告“I can’t catch enough balls in this offense,” said Johnson. “We throw the ball around all day in practice. Routes on air. Routes against defense. All day we’re catching the ball.“It’s a great transition for me and a great switch for me. More balls get thrown around and more opportunities.”To his point, Johnson left an LSU offense that threw the ball 277 times for 2,158 yards and 13 TDs his freshman year for an Oklahoma State offense that threw it 517 times for 4,591 yards and 35 scores that same year. LSU ranked 101st in passing offense at 190.1 yards per game while Oklahoma State ranked 9th at 323.9 yards per game.What he’s done in StillwaterMostly? Wait. Well, wait and absolutely destroy people as part of OSU’s scout team. Johnson transferred to OSU during the 2016 preseason but due NCAA rules was forced to sit out last year. Since he played as a true freshman in Baton Rouge, 2016 was essentially a redshirt year, leaving Mike Gundy possibly set for No. 1 receiver for the next three years.But throw out all the hyperbole. Toss the Odell-Beckham-Jerry-Rice reincarnation theories. The Dez Bryant comparisons, the recruiting stars. What has Johnson actually done? What makes us so sure he’s not just the third-best or fourth-best receiver on OSU’s roster? That still probably makes him No. 1 on half the teams in the Big 12.In a limited sample size — and in an offense that didn’t exactly fit his strengths — Johnson showed glimpses of his playmaking ability in 2015. Of his nine catches, six of which went for at least 10 yards. He also showed the ability to win the one-on-one battles.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Ex-ref Clattenburg: Man City defender Kompany lucky not to see redby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg says Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany was lucky not to be sent off in victory over Liverpool.Writing for the Daily Mail, Clattenburg opined: “Vincent Kompany was lucky not to be sent off for his challenge on Liverpool’s Mo Salah.”In defence of referee Anthony Taylor, he does not have the luxury of slowing the action down and reviewing the incident — and in moments such as this, that is sometimes what you need to be 100 per cent sure, because everything happens so quickly.”On watching the replay, it is easy to make a case for a red card, because it is clear Kompany lunges with a straight leg and his studs showing.”The Belgian knew he had to make that type of tackle because Salah would have been away and one-on-one with the goalkeeper. A referee should consider all such factors.”Salah, meanwhile, is very lucky his foot was not planted in the turf, because that challenge could have caused him serious injury.”
LINCOLN, NE – SEPTEMBER 23: Student fans of the Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrate a stop against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Memorial Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)The Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers are renewing their rivalry today, as they battle at Kinnick Stadium.While the Hawkeyes were supposed to have home-field advantage in this matchup, an insane amount of Nebraska fans made the trip to support the team. It might be an away game for the Cornhuskers, but it certainly doesn’t look that way.All around Kinnick Stadium there are Nebraska supporters. Regardless of the program’s shortcomings this season, the fans wouldn’t miss another edition of this rivalry game.A lot of great times spent here in Kinnick Stadium. First time rooting for the visiting team. Go Huskers. pic.twitter.com/W4NOfzHfjR— Mike Mossbrucker (@mikemossbrucker) November 23, 2018Iowa most likely has more fans in attendance than Nebraska, yet that doesn’t diminish how impressive this showing is for the Cornhuskers.GAME DAY! Kinnick Stadium. Nebraska at Iowa. Kickoff: 11:00a.m. TV: FOX. pic.twitter.com/icXOz3GKBx— Ross Jernstrom WOWT (@RossJernstrom) November 23, 2018There are a LOT of Nebraska fans at Kinnick this morning.— LukeMeredith (@LukeMeredithAP) November 23, 2018Lots of Nebraska fans in the house today. Their Huskers are on the move.— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) November 23, 2018Unfortunately for the Cornhuskers, the Hawkeyes have taken an early 14-10 lead. However, Nebraska is showing tons of resiliency on the road behind its freshman quarterback.With Nathan Stanley and Adrian Martinez off to great starts, this Big Ten finale could come down to the wire.The game is available on FOX.
zoom Japan’s Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES) has secured a contract to supply eight container handling cranes from Myanmar Port Authority.The company will provide two ship to shore (STS) cranes and six rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes for Myanmar’s new port in Thilawa, Yangon.The order was made on the back of a rapid economic growth in Myanmar, which in turn contributed to an increase in cargo volume. The rise in volumed caused a capacity overflow at the existing ports in Yangon.MES informed that the order was placed under a loan agreement between Myanmar and Japanese government, signed in 2013, for the development of the infrastructure in Thilawa area, including the construction of the new port.STS cranes for this project will be equipped with Soft Landing System, which reduces the lowering speed or stops lowering motion as the spreader approaches to a container, according to MES.The company said that the RTG cranes will be lithium-ion hybrid, and would be able to achieve 50 to 60% fuel saving comparing to the conventional RTGs, reducing port operation costs as well as CO2 emissions.