Friday, 31 March 2017

What’s Ahead for Social Media: Live Video, Influencers, and Content

social media marketing lessons

Author: Lisa Marcyes

Every year I look forward to the opportunity to travel to San Diego and attend Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) where I get to attend thought-provoking sessions, learn from top leaders in social media, and meet tons of brilliant marketers.

This year was no exception, I found myself furiously jotting down key takeaways I could implement in my everyday strategy. While every session was chock-full of knowledge, here are three takeaways that were echoed across sessions and throughout the conference:

1. Go Live or Get Left Behind

With a quarter of the breakout sessions addressing video this year, it’s clear that marketers need to keep video top-of-mind.

Let’s take a step back and look at the power of live streaming. According to We Are Social Media, Facebook generates 8 billion daily video views, up from 700% just 3 years ago. And people are watching live video three times more than pre-recorded videos on Facebook. Three times! With the advent of easy-to-use apps on mobile, the ability to go live has never been easier, and all of the major social media platforms are betting on a future embedded in live video. In fact, to encourage more video viewership, Facebook adjusted their algorithm so that live videos are more likely to appear higher in news feeds than those that are not.

Still not convinced to go live? Consider the fact that video posts on Facebook have a 135% greater organic reach than photos. In a world where your organic content is seen less and less, that’s a huge advantage you don’t want to miss out on!

We are on the forefront of video becoming the norm. It’s imperative we start incorporating video into our strategies moving forward. But how can marketers ensure they’re doing it right? Create content that educates.

If you create good content, people will engage. I know this can seem oversimplified, but take a step back to think about how YOU can help YOUR CUSTOMERS. Develop an editorial calendar based on what your target audience is most interested in, or challenged by. One of the biggest benefits of live streaming is the ability for your followers to engage with you directly. They can ask questions during the stream and get real-time answers from you. This is an invaluable platform to encourage two-way conversations, opening the door for you to create brand advocates.

When you’re ready to jump all in with live video, here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Test your connection. I’ve had multiple live streaming broadcasts drop due to bandwidth issues (lesson learned). I recommend using a dedicated hot spot, but if you can’t manage that, use a 4G connection at the very least. Facebook’s “Go Live” button will be grayed out if the signal is not strong enough to support it.
  2. Use customer-centric titles. People will join your live stream based on your headline. Be sure to address the “Why should I watch this?” question when creating a live stream title.
  3. Promote your live stream. Let your audience know when you’re going live to encourage participation. Best-selling author Kim Garst says that in order to ensure success, “Have a set time, schedule your event, shout it from the mountain, and use teasers to give a sneak peek.”
  4. Sound matters. It seems like a small thing, but believe me, it can make a BIG difference. Background noise can really make or break a live video. There are now several inexpensive microphones you can get that will provide targeted sound amplification.
  5. Plan for audience participation. To increase engagement, set aside time during your broadcast to ask questions and encourage audience participation. Also, have a strategy in place to capture questions from audience members. Questions can come in quickly, and if you’re mid-thought, you may not catch them. Ask a team member to monitor your stream to catch any questions you may miss.
  6. Repurpose. Extract more value from your live videos by repurposing them. Create short clips, GIFs, image quotes, and Stories. The options are endless.

2. It’s Time to Think About Engaging Influencers

In his session, Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing, cited some pretty interesting statistics. According to his research, businesses that include influencers in their marketing campaigns have seen a 10x increase in conversion rates. Not only that but those customers who convert stick around–influencer campaigns tend to achieve a 37% increase in retention.

Follow these tips to define influencers in your space and start building relationships with them:

  1. Invest in an influencer marketing program. According to Lee, the best way to approach influencer marketing is to “develop relationships with internal and industry experts with active networks to co-create content that helps drive mutual value and measurable business goals.” That seems easy, right? Well, not really. Developing a relationship takes time. Too often marketers approach influencers with propositions for one-offs, failing to see the value in developing a long-term engagement strategy. Ensure you have the dedicated resources in place to develop and implement a program around influencer engagement, rather than looking at it as a project that gets funding here and there when there’s extra budget.
  2. Obtain the right tools. According to the TopRank Blog, nearly 55% of consumer brands have an integrated influencer marketing program that they invest in annually, while only 15% of B2B marketers do. I think this can be attributed to the fact that it can often be easier to identify influencers in the B2C realm (think YouTube sensations, celebrities, athletes, etc.). If you’re a B2B marketer, it may require a little more research to figure out who the movers and shakers are in your industry, but know that they exist. I guarantee there are experts in every field that have credibility and sway. Obtaining an influencer marketing tool will help you to not only identify who you should be interacting with but also help you engage and measure your return on those relationship investments.
  3. Think outside the box. Think about the different ways that you can create and build a sustained relationship with each influencer. Develop microcontent like quotes, tips, and tricks you can incorporate throughout several pieces of content. Interview them and resource the answers into blogs, ebooks, and guides. Ask them to join a Tweet Chat. The more creative you can be, the better! We created a 31 Influencers to Follow in 2017 holiday campaign that revealed a new influencer to follow each day with animated bitmojis.

3. Content and Social Are in This Together

Content and social media are intersecting more and more frequently. This is no surprise to those on the front lines because we’re increasingly seeing the need for closer collaboration.

Quality content is the key to any successful social media strategy. Users who find content interesting, unique, and informative will freely share it on their social channels, leading to higher engagement. In turn, analyzing that engagement can inform marketers how their content is resonating with their target audience. It’s a cyclical relationship—informing and depending on each other. This relationship is even more critical as we jump into the realm of live streaming and video.

For example, in her session, Kim Garst revealed how she scales live videos into a plethora of content to post. Here are a few of her suggestions:

  • Turn a live video into a blog post on the same topic.
  • Create 1-minute video clips of your main talking points.
  • Highlight a few quotes from your live stream and in graphics.
  • Strip the audio from your video and convert it into a podcast.

Whether you’re new to the world of social media marketing or a seasoned professional, the one thing you can depend on is change. The good news is that you’re not alone in your endeavors. There are leaders in the field who are willing to share what they’re learning, providing us with fresh ideas and new ways to look at things. I’m so excited to see what’s next!

Do you have any social media marketing best practices you’d like to share? If so, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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What’s Ahead for Social Media: Live Video, Influencers, and Content was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

The post What’s Ahead for Social Media: Live Video, Influencers, and Content appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog

How Do Consumers Really Feel About 2017's Digital Trends? [Infographic]


As we approach the year's second quarter, Google is already returning over 46,600 results for “digital trends 2017.” And if you’re in the digital marketing space, there seems to be an unspoken rule that you must always have an opinion on what the key trends will be for the year ahead.

But could it be that we’re all stuck in an industry echo chamber? As it turns out, some new research from Code Computerlove might burst that bubble.

Code Computerlove surveyed 1,000 U.K. adults to find out what they really think about these trend predictions -- things like voice search, virtual reality, and chat-bots. That data was then compared to what’s actually making the most noise online. Some key findings included:

  • Mobile payments are the most sought-after technology in 2017.
  • 9 out of 10 consumers claim to have no interest in using augmented reality in the near future.
  • 1 in 5 people surveyed aim to spend less time in front of screens this year.

With that many people aiming to spend less time in front of screens this year, brands have to make their digital interactions count -- a poor initial digital experience can carry a long-term impact. Curious to know what else your brand needs to know about these trends? Check out the infographic below.


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from HubSpot Marketing Blog

March Social Media News: Facebook vs. Snapchat, WhatsApp for Business & More


March is known for a few major holidays and events. St. Patrick's Day, U.S. college basketball tournaments, and the start of spring, to name a few.

After this year, in the marketing world, March 2017 will also be known as the month when Facebook officially took on Snapchat.

The world's biggest social network launched ephemeral sharing apps on Messenger and Facebook itself to compete with Snapchat's key feature. Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram have also recently launched disappearing sharing features on Status and Stories, respectively.

But Facebook isn't the only story in social media this month. We'll discuss new features on Instagram, a new social video app by YouTube, and of course, Facebook. The list isn’t exhaustive, but you can expect to learn the major highlights in the social media space this month -- what was launched, what changed, and what these stories could mean for marketers.

Check out our discussion in the video below, and read on for more in-depth explanations of each story.

13 of the Biggest Social Media News Stories This Month 

1) Facebook launches Messenger Day


Source: Facebook

Facebook launched Messenger Day, its answer to the popularity of Snapchat Stories. Facebook previously launched ephemeral, or disappearing, messaging features on Instagram and WhatsApp, and this installment is the latest attempt to dominate Snapchat in the photo and video-sharing space.

Facebook is likely banking on Messenger's huge user base -- 1 billion people worldwide -- to propel Messenger Day to popularity. It's also positioning Messenger Day differently: Instead of sharing what they've been doing, Facebook wants users to share what they're going to do later so they can make plans with friends. 

2) Facebook starts experimenting with Stories


Source: Business Insider

Soon after the unveiling of Messenger Day, Facebook unveiled Facebook Stories -- located at the top of the News Feed. Facebook confirmed to Business Insider that Stories would function identically to Instagram Stories -- users could post them to Facebook, where they would disappear after being available for viewing for 24 hours. At this point, Facebook Stories are being rolled out to only a few countries, but we'll report more when we can.

TL;DR: Facebook is coming for Snapchat. Snap Inc., Snapchat's parent company, cited the rise of Instagram Stories as a major hindrance to its user growth in its S-1 filing for its massive initial public offering (IPO) earlier in March. We'll keep you posted if these innovations by Facebook are on the way to taking down Snapchat, or if Snapchat's popularity among millennials and user engagement will keep it afloat.

3) Research demonstrates native Facebook videos are shared 1000% more than other formats


Source: quintly 

Quintly analyzed over 6 million Facebook posts to gain insights on how many videos, and of which type, were shared on the platform. It found that 90% of Facebook profiles and Pages analyzed shared Facebook native videos, or videos created and uploaded on Facebook, and not hosted on another platform that the user links to on Facebook. On the other hand, only 30% of the analyzed profiles and Pages had shared a YouTube video on Facebook during the months the study was conducted. Furthermore, quintly found that native Facebook videos were shared 1055% more than other videos and achieved an 186% higher interaction rate overall.

The lesson here for marketers? Take the extra step to upload videos into Facebook to earn higher engagement rates. We recommend a distributed content strategy to earn new followers from different audiences, so you could even promote video content on Facebook and other hosting sites and analyze the results.

4) Facebook introduces a 360 app for Samsung Gear VR

Facebook 360 - Login Screen.png

Source: Facebook 

Another Facebook launch this month comes from its video team, which created a Facebook 360 app for Samsung's Oculus Gear VR (virtual reality) device. The app creates a more immersive 360-degree viewing experience for Facebook users, who can comment, interact with, and share posts they like within the app while wearing the device. In the announcement blog post, Facebook also notes that users have shared 26 million 360-degree photos and videos to date. These VR devices are fairly affordable at $79.99, so we're curious to see if this app makes 360 sharing, or Gear VR use, increase. 

5) Facebook allows more ads on Instant Articles


Source: Facebook

Facebook announced it would give advertisers more freedom to monetize Instant Articles -- by letting them place ads every 250 words instead of every 350 words, as were the previous rules. Facebook Instant Articles let publishers create and republish content within Facebook to get more readers without asking them to leave the social network. 

This news isn't the best for anyone who enjoys reading online content uninterrupted -- but it also reflects Facebook's growing interest in collaborating with journalists and news publications. Earlier this year, Facebook launched the Facebook Journalism Project to address fake news, but also to collaborate with the people making the news. A huge percentage of Americans get news primarily from social media -- especially Facebook -- and this move notes another attempt to make it more appealing for publishers to work directly within Facebook so Facebook can grow and strengthen its user base.

6) Instagram rolls out “Suggestions for You”


I noticed this change while scrolling through my Instagram notifications. Instagram now suggests users to follow based on your Instagram friends, Facebook friends, and other posts you've liked. Instagram is honing its algorithm and making it easier for users to discover other profiles they might be interested in. This is great news for marketers publishing content on the platform -- keep it up, because now, you might be found even more easily by new potential customers.

7) Geostickers now available in Instagram Stories


In another step toward total Facebook domination of disappearing messages, Instagram started offering Geostickers for Instagram Stories. One of the only remaining differentiators between Snapchat Stories and its imitator on Instagram, these Geostickers are more customizable than those on Snapchat, which might make them more appealing to Snapchat users considering a switch.

Stars are already starting to move from Snapchat to Instagram for sharing ephemeral content, where their content can be more easily searched for and discovered. Snapchat cited Instagram Stories as an obstacle in its quest for user growth, and it will be fascinating to see how new, seemingly copycat features, impact that trajectory.

8) WhatsApp to allow businesses to chat with users


Source: Reuters 

Reuters reported that WhatsApp has started testing letting some businesses communicate directly with WhatsApp users as a potential future revenue model. WhatsApp is testing this feature with businesses that are a part of Y Combinator, a competitive startup incubator that fostered Airbnb and Dropbox in previous years. WhatsApp is also surveying users to ask them about spam messages they've received on the platform.

We've started to see other businesses using messaging apps -- such as Facebook Messenger -- to communicate with customers. These experiments likely signal WhatsApp's first foray into that space, so if you're a user, keep an eye out. And if you're a marketer with a global audience, WhatsApp could be a path to communicate with customers -- WhatsApp has over 1 billion users worldwide.

9) Pinterest acquires search engine Jelly

pinterest acquires jelly.png

Source: Biz Stone is a human-powered search engine (think Quora or the now-defunct ChaCha) where users can submit questions and answer them for other users. Co-founded by Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of Twitter and Medium, Jelly was recently acquired by Pinterest.

Pinterest launched Lens last month, a new in-app camera that lets users shoot an object and get suggested pins based on what they photographed. This acquisition of a search engine could be Pinterest's effort to improve the app's search capabilities. Alternatively, The Verge suspects it was a talent acquisition to bring new developers, and Stone himself, on board.

10) Many Twitter accounts are actually bots


Source: Twitter 

A study released by the University of Southern California revealed that 9-15% of Twitter users are actually bots, capable of liking, retweeting, and replying like a human Twitter user. If the high end of this estimate is true, that means roughly 48 million of Twitter's 313 million active users aren't real people -- which spells trouble for the microblogging site. 

Twitter's user growth is on the decline, along with its share of global social media users overall. It's launched live video streaming within the app and forged partnerships with major news and sports networks to increase user engagement and attract new people to the site -- especially those millennials who aren't using cable TV packages.

11) YouTube launches social video app, Uptime


Source: The Verge 

Google's new startup incubator, Area 120, was created so employees could spend time creating their own business ideas. This month, Area 120 announced the launch of Uptime, a social video app wherein users can watch YouTube videos in group messages with their friends. Like other live-streaming apps and features, such as Periscope and Facebook Live, users can comment, like, and interact with videos they're watching in real-time with friends. At this point, it's only available for iOS devices with an invitation, but we'll keep you posted on new developments with Uptime.

12) YouTube will end unskippable 30-second ads next year


Source: YouTube

Do you ever find a YouTube video you really want to watch -- only to realize you have to sit through a 30-second ad that you can't skip after five seconds? 

The good news: Those are on the way out. The bad news: You still have to wait a while longer.

A Google spokesperson told BBC YouTube will no longer support 30-second unskippable ads in 2018 and will shift focus to ads that bring revenue for advertisers without creating a bad experience for the viewer.

YouTube will still offer some unskippable ads -- in 5 and 15-second increments -- as well as ads between 30 and 60 seconds that can be skipped, but this is great news for everyone. By focusing on shorter and more engaging formats, YouTube will create a better experience for viewers, and potentially better results for its advertisers.

13) Heinz Ketchup adopts social media and ad campaign from Mad Men 50 years later

Any Mad Men fans reading this post? Heinz Ketchup has decided on a new advertising campaign -- the one fictional creative director Don Draper pitched on Mad Men nearly 50 years ago.

If you remember the episode, Draper didn't win the account with Heinz, so it's neat to see his pitch coming to life in the modern era. Heinz is putting up bold billboards featuring the "Pass the Heinz" tagline in New York City, as well as running the campaign on social media channels. Keep an eye out for promoted tweets and Facebook ads featuring this neat union of popular culture, great copywriting, and creative advertising.

Did we miss any big social media stories? Share with us in the comments below.

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog

Introducing: HubSpot Guerrilla Marketing

At HubSpot, we’re big believers in the power of inbound. Time and again, the inbound approach proves its effectiveness in helping businesses grow while providing real value to customers.

We also believe in delighting our customers and giving them the tools they need to stand out in a crowd. Literally.

That’s why we’re thrilled to officially announce a program that’s been in development for some time, the HubSpot Guerrilla Marketing program.

Guerrilla marketing is a creative and cost-effective approach to reaching your audience. On-location activations help brands grow brand awareness through shareable moments and word of mouth -- by making a bold, clever statement.

Our new program will offer end-to-end guerrilla marketing services, including:

  • Market Research and Brand Analysis
  • Creative Services
  • Site Production
  • Street Team Management
  • Measurement and Reporting

Be sure to tune in to HubSpot’s Facebook Live at 11:30 am EST, where we’ll be showcasing some of our beta customer guerrilla marketing campaigns, discussing the program rollout and meeting the members of our new team.

The HubSpot Guerrilla Marketing program will be led by HubSpot newcomer, Lisa Rajako, a creative agency veteran often recognized for her previous Cannes Lions award-winning work on  for a global CPG brand across Europe.  And her work with industrial-grade, exploding ketchup packets for the release of horror film, Saw XXVI? The stuff of marketing legend. 

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog

Thursday, 30 March 2017

4 Big Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Marketing Personas

creating buyer personas

Author: Hally Pinaud

Creating and maintaining buyer personas has been an important task in every role I’ve held as a marketer. Why is that? Personas–when built and used correctly–are a very effective way to channel real empathy for your buyers. That empathy makes it easier to drive winning strategies across the customer lifecycle through campaigns, content, nurture paths, account plans, and sales collateral.

They also happen to be one of the things I speak with our customers about most frequently–hence this blog post! So, whether you’re looking to create your first persona or double-check your approach, here are four things that can limit the impact of your personas:

Mistake #1: Your Personas Were Made in a Vacuum

Have you spoken with your personas lately? No, I’m not talking about some kind of weird, talking-to-a-PDF kind of activity. I mean, have you interviewed the people who would correspond to each persona’s defining factors, specifically to validate that persona? From what I’ve observed, this is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to creating personas.

These “lab grown” personas stem from assuming you know your personas well enough without external validation. Maybe because your organization is pretty open and you have good proximity to prospects and customers. Or maybe you’ve lived in the persona’s shoes yourself (this is a big one–it’s something I struggle with here at Marketo). Lived experiences are valuable, but me, myself and I is a limited and biased sample. Customer and prospect pools are inherently exclusionary.

Luckily, it’s easier to fix than you think: send out some emails and set up some 30-minute interviews. Start with a handful of people–a mix of customers, prospects, and total strangers who look like your persona–and ask them about the details your persona documents. Pro tip: It can be tough to find willing strangers to interview, but a combo of colleagues’ networks, LinkedIn InMails, and $50 Amazon gift cards will get you anywhere.

Mistake #2: You Aren’t Sharing

Hey there, persona hoarder. I see you. You made that great persona and you’re using it to drive your messaging and marketing programs, aren’t you? But have you walked your demand generation team through the persona they’re creating nurture programs for? What about sales or customer success? Have you printed it out so they can tape it to the inside their decks like a Leonardo DiCaprio poster circa 1997? (Always an option.)


Your customer-facing colleagues need to exercise those empathy muscles to do their jobs well. If you aren’t sharing your fresh, validated persona knowledge, they’re going to make it up as they go. So, train and retrain on buyer personas often. Ensure they’re easy to find among your internal content resources and welcome questions, contributions, and ideas from folks who deal with these people each and every day. Personas should make us all better at what we do.

Mistake #3: You’re Fixating on Cute–Not Helpful–Details

A lot of marketers characterize their personas with photos or names. To be clear, those details can be a good thing. It helps humanize a generalized portrait of your buyer and makes it easier for folks on your team to use a persona as a reference point. For example, “Would Emily the Email Specialist want to read this blog post? What tone would she respond to?” The problem I have is when those details run amok.

Emily has a French Bulldog. She drives a Jeep Liberty. She only reads People Magazine when she gets her hair done.

Really? Do those details help your team make better decisions about how to reach Emily? Maybe, if you sell dog sweaters or hair products. Otherwise, elevate your persona details to focus on what will drive business outcomes and catch yourself before you get carried away on the nitty gritty when it doesn’t.

Mistake #4: Your Persona Is Frozen in Time

This is an easy one: update your personas! Revisit them every quarter or two, especially if they’re critical personas like a budget holder or key decision-maker. Yes, we’re busy as marketers, but if your personas haven’t been touched since they were researched during the last Winter Olympics, your hopelessly out-of-date Rip Van Persona might not be helpful anymore. In fact, it may be causing more harm than good–buyers’ challenges, goals, and trusted resources can evolve rapidly in the digital age.

Want to learn more about creating and maintaining personas? I share these tips and a few other persona perspectives in a recent Marketo Live interview with the delightful Ellen Gomes.

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4 Big Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Marketing Personas was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

The post 4 Big Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Marketing Personas appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet of Social Media Photo & Image Sizes [Infographic]


When you're selecting cover photos, shared images, and other social media assets, knowing the basic image dimensions might not cut it. What if you want to make sure a certain part of your cover photo isn't obstructed by your profile photo? And what's the difference between shared link thumbnails, or in-stream photos -- are the dimensions different for those?

As it turns out, sizing images correctly for social media is no simple task. Even just among your Facebook marketing, photo dimensions vary according to where and how it's shared -- from cover photos, to timeline images, to profile pictures.New Call-to-action

But if you're looking for a detailed guide on social media image sizes, you're in luck -- this infographic from Spredfast has you covered. It's a valuable resource to keep on-hand for the next time you're designing or selecting visual content for your social channels. And for quicker reference, scroll down to seea written list of essential social media image dimensions.

So, without further ado -- let's get visual.


Quick References

All dimensions below are in pixels, width x height.


  • Cover image: 828 x 315
  • Profile image: ≥180 x 180
  • Shared image: 1200 x 900
  • Shared link preview image: 1200 x 628


  • Header image: 1500 x 500
  • Profile image: 400 x 400
  • Timeline image: 506 x 253


  • Profile image: 250 x 250
  • Cover image: 1080 x 608
  • Shared image: 506 pixels wide
  • Shared video: ≥506 x 284
  • Shared link image thumbnail: 150 x 150


  • Profile image: 110 x 110
  • Image thumbnail: 161 x 161
  • Shared images: 1080 x 1080
  • Shared videos: 1080 pixels wide

Pinterest Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 180 x 180
  • Board cover image: 214 x 100
  • Pin preview: 238 pixels wide


  • Banner image: 1850 x 200
  • Profile image: 400 x 400
  • Cover image: 1536 x 768
  • Shared image: 350 pixels wide
  • Shared link preview: 180 x 110
  • Logo image: 400 x 400


  • Channel cover images: Varies by viewing platform
  • Channel icon: 800 x 800
  • Video thumbnail: 1280 x 720


  • Profile image: 128 x 128
  • Image post: 500 x 750 | 1280 x 1920 maximum


  • Geofilter: 1080 x 1920

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog

How Twitter Is Fighting Harassment & Cyberbullying


I’ll say it: I love Twitter.

I use Twitter to follow breaking news stories, to promote my work and the work of colleagues and peers I admire, and to consume and laugh at jokes and memes. I like spending time on the platform to stay informed and connect with people.

But it goes without saying that I would like Twitter a lot less if I were being bullied and harassed every day.

Harassment has been a growing problem on Twitter over the past few years. Incidents like Gamergate, actor Robin Williams’ death, and the backlash over actress Leslie Jones’ casting in an all-female remake of Ghostbusters shed light on the ugly side of Twitter -- the side where individuals hide behind egg profile photos and false names and use hateful, discriminatory language. In this post, we’ll dive into the history of the issue on Twitter and what the site recently announced it’s doing to fight it.

Twitter Fights Harassment: A Long Time Coming

There have been reports of Twitter harassment for almost as long as the site has existed. Blogger Ariel Waldman was one of the first users to chronicle just how difficult -- and sometimes, impossible -- it was to get Twitter to intervene in cases of repeated, pervasive harassment back in 2008. A stalker published her personal and contact information on the platform, which prompted a string of threats, stalking, and abusive tweets. Waldman started reaching out to Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey for help -- only to find out that its terms of service were "up to interpretation," and that the company wouldn't intervene on her behalf.

Since then, prominent Twitter users have demanded Twitter take a harder line and shut down accounts that only exist to spew hate. Celebrities and public figures on Twitter have been able to get Twitter to suspend bullies’ accounts, but users demanded a better system for reporting, censoring, and silencing abusive language on the platform.

To make sure we’re all on the same page, Twitter Rules specifically prohibit the kind of abuse we’re talking about here -- threats, hate speech, impersonation, and harassment on the basis of users’ race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability, disease, or nationality. However, until changes as recent as March 1, 2017, there haven’t been a lot of options for users who are being targeted to report and stop the abuse.

In December 2016, Dorsey asked for general user feedback -- where else, but on Twitter:

A lot of people asked for the ability to edit tweets (I want that capability myself), but a huge portion of responses centered around harassment: providing more and better capabilities for users to stop and report it, more transparency into how abuse is handled by Twitter, and more swift punishment and suspension of repeat offenders.

Twitter started rolling out its responses to user demands in early 2017. Most of these features are operational, but some haven't been fully implemented, so keep an eye out for these new measures if you ever have to report a tweet.

7 Ways Twitter Is Fighting Cyberbullying and Harassment

1) Expanded notification filtering

NotificationFilterAll_1.pngSource: Twitter

Twitter users can use this tool to filter which types of accounts they receive notifications from. For example, if you don't want to receive notifications from a user without a profile photo, you could specify that. This tool is meant to filter out abuse from unverified accounts or specific people users have identified as unwanted.

2) More ways to mute content


Source: Twitter

Twitter expanded on the mute button's capabilities so users can mute keywords or entire phrases from their notifications sections. Users can also decide how long they want to mute those words -- whether it be for a day, a month, or indefinitely. In this way, you can customize which content you see in your notifications and when you see it.

3) Greater transparency around reporting


Source: Twitter

Whereas previously, users had a hard time understanding when or if their reports of abuse were even being processed, Twitter is now providing transparency. Users will receive notifications when and if Twitter decides to take action so they can keep track of previous reporting.

4) Twitter "time-out"


Source: BuzzFeed

In a recent article, (warning: explicit/offensive language) BuzzFeed reported that some Twitter users were seeing another new feature, similar to the time-out we all experienced as children (unless you were better behaved than I was). If users' tweets are flagged as abusive or otherwise in violation of Twitter Rules, their tweets are temporarily limited from view by users who don't follow them. Hopefully neither you nor your brand's Twitter will see this notification, but the company is hoping it will send a message to abusers to stop what they're tweeting or risk further punishment. 

5) Safer search results

Machine-learning algorithms will filter search results so users aren't served content from accounts that have been reported, muted, or otherwise marked as abusive. The content will still be on Twitter if users are really looking for it, but if it could potentially be abusive, it won't be served up as a primary search result.

6) Collapsing abusive tweets


Source: Twitter

Twitter will start identifying and hiding tweets that are deemed "low quality" or from potentially abusive accounts so users see the most relevant conversations first. Like the safe search feature, those tweets will still be on Twitter -- but users have to search for them specifically.

7) Stopping creation of new abusive accounts

Using another algorithm, Twitter will prevent abusive and flagged users from creating multiple new accounts they can use to spam and harass other users. The algorithm will scan for multiple accounts from the same email addresses and phone numbers, for example, as a way to spot potential bullies.

Machine Learning to Prevent Cyberbullying

If your personal Twitter or your brand's Twitter are targeted by abuse and harassment on the platform, you have a host of new tools available at your disposal to make sure it stops and that your reputation isn't affected.

I'm curious to learn more about the new algorithms' efficacy to block one-off and repeated offenses, and it's gratifying to see how seriously Twitter is taking this problem. Similar to Facebook's prompt response after learning about the impact of pervasive fake news stories on the platform, it's heartening to see social media platforms listening to what users ask for -- and working to make social networks a safe place to be.

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog

6 Steps to Transform Your Agency Leaders Into Consistent Content Creators

If you’re fortunate enough to work at an agency full of brilliant individuals, you’ve probably experienced the following:

You’re in a leadership meeting debating different approaches to solving a problem, and a lot of ideas are on the table. Suddenly, someone’s voice cuts through the noise, and what she shares is so inspirational and well thought out that you find yourself scrambling for a pen and paper to write it all down.

She’s one of your agency’s subject matter experts.

She understands the industry, your clients, and your company so well that ideas and solutions come to her like in a dream. You know your audience would benefit from her knowledge, and you know she should be creating content.

But how does your team turn that realization into reality? Here’s what you need to do to transform your internal expert into a consistent content creator.

First things first: Put yourself in her shoes. If you’re active in your industry, involved in your company, and leading your team forward in such a way that you’re a great candidate for thought leadership, do you think you’ll have extra time to get into the weeds with any one area of your agency -- especially inbound marketing? It’s just not realistic.

You can’t go up to this leader and say, “Hey, all those amazing things you said in our meeting? I’d love for you to write 800 words about it, follow these publication guidelines, and fit the documented content strategy that Marketing put together. Thanks!”

She’s going to need a team to help her. Whether you budget for an in-house content marketing team or decide to outsource, you’ll need at least a project manager, a content strategist, a writer, an editor, and a distribution specialist.

Next, you need to think about tools. You’re probably already using a number of different tools to support your marketing and advertising efforts today -- about 12 of them, on average. Take stock of what you’re working with already, and compare their functions to what you need to make content creation easy for internal experts. Different teams may want different platforms to help with their specific functions, but there are three types of tools every team can benefit from:

  • A knowledge bank: This customizable tool stores and organizes all those amazing ideas your thought leader has.
  • An editorial calendar: Built with your agency’s goals and capacity in mind, this calendar keeps your team and your content on track.
  • Social distribution tools: Content isn’t finished once it’s live; it’s up to your team to distribute it to your audience.

Finally, consider the process. The process your team puts in place to work with your thought leader can make or break the experience -- and the success of your agency’s efforts. Some experts are natural writers and may want a larger role in the process; others enjoy the act of storytelling but prefer to leave the details to their teams.

Each agency’s process is unique. Based on my personal experiences and what I’ve learned from five years of leading a company that helps thought leaders create content, the best processes include these six steps:

1) Discover the thought leader’s passions and expertise. 

To keep your thought leader engaged, tackle topics and projects that truly interest her. In those first meetings, encourage your team to uncover what she’s passionate about and where her strongest expertise lies. What they learn in this step will guide their content strategy.

2) Determine the best strategy to communicate that passion and expertise. 

Next, your team will need to document the strategy that will help your thought leader communicate her passion and expertise. It can be as robust or as simple as your team likes -- as long as it includes a description of your agency’s goals for thought leadership, which publications you’re targeting, who your audience is, and how you’ll bring those elements together. Documenting this strategy will remind your expert of the rhyme and reason behind the content your team creates, and it will align your various marketing efforts.

3) Set up a process for knowledge extraction that plays to the thought leader’s strengths. 

Knowledge extraction is your team’s way of drawing expertise, examples, and personal stories from your thought leader to fuel the content. Rather than ask for a write-up from your expert, your team can ask her specific questions to gain the raw material needed to craft an article. That material can be stored in your knowledge bank and even used to write future pieces of content.

A Q&A process works well here, and depending on your expert’s strengths, your team can aim for a written Q&A or an interview in person or over the phone. Tailor the approach to how your thought leader best communicates and what saves everyone the most time.

4) Create awesome content she’ll love.

This is your thought leader’s chance for a break. With the answers collected in the knowledge extraction phase, your team’s writers and editors can get to work crafting the content. By removing the thought leader from the heavy lifting of actual writing, your team utilizes her time intelligently -- and all that extra time means she’ll have the chance to review the finished work and ensure it’s written in her voice.

5) Coordinate publishing.

Unless your thought leader’s expertise somehow happens to be in online publications (and she has the time to manage those editorial relationships), your content team should take the reins here, too. Enlist your distribution specialist to pitch content to your target publication, work with the editors there to make any necessary changes, and publish your thought leadership content.

6) Coach her on promoting the published content.

Take advantage of the time between content acceptance and publication to prepare materials to help your thought leader promote her published content. Encourage your team to write social media posts, and suggest online communities for your thought leader to participate in. Draft emails to share content with your partners and clients. Prep your sales team on ways to leverage this content in sales conversations. The better her content performs, the better your shot will be at contributing to that publication again.

Remember, your subject matter experts probably won’t have the time or know-how to run a full content team, become a published thought leader, and maintain consistency all on their own. Pair your internal experts with a fantastic content team, the right tools, and a solid process, and you can create engaging, authentic content that drives results for your agency.


from HubSpot Marketing Blog

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

How to Re-Manufacture Your Marketing: An Inbound Marketing Guide for Manufacturers


Manufacturers have the chance to reach a wide audience, improve their sales, and increase their revenue with the help of inbound marketing and automation. While older marketing techniques such as cold calling, print ads, and trade shows remain effective to a degree, supplementing these strategies with effective online marketing can help you get better results.

Why is Inbound Marketing Important for Manufacturers?

A majority of B2B customers perform research online before making a buying decision, and the types of people that manufacturers target aren't just any B2B customer. These companies market to serious individuals including scientists, plant managers, and engineers. These customers are also looking for complex and expensive services and products that need to give them exactly what they need.

By taking advantage of inbound marketing, manufacturers can effectively boost their ROI while further separating themselves from competitors that are performing poorly. There are many ways you can utilize inbound marketing to enhance your overall marketing strategy.

Generate More Traffic Through Inbound Marketing

While you may already have a website, you may not be getting the kind of traffic you have the potential to attract. Consider the main objectives of your marketing efforts, which are to attract, convert, and close. Without the ability to attract, the rest can't follow, making inbound marketing through your website crucial to success.

Unlike other marketing methods such as print ads and mailers that rely on outreach to customers' locations, inbound marketing can help bring in a steady stream of traffic from people actively looking for your services.

The key to getting plenty of high-quality traffic to your website is to write large amounts of relevant, valuable content that draws and engages readers. It's also important to maintain a blog with regular updates that keep people informed while consistently boosting traffic.

Many businesses underestimate the value of a blog with fresh content, but the kind of people manufacturers want to attract will be actively looking for more information for these products and services. An in-depth blog can educate visitors regarding common roadblocks in the industry, tell them how your products or services can help solve their problems, and which issues they might be facing that you can help ease.

It's important to refrain from being too promotional with a blog. However, educating prospects and showcasing your company as an industry authority can boost traffic and help you rank higher for certain long-tail keywords that people search.

Different types of content can also help carry people through the sales cycle, giving them more incentives to share the messages you convey.

Increase Brand Awareness

Another benefit of inbound marketing is a higher level of visibility, resulting in more brand awareness. Because of this visibility, you can gain a better reputation that helps convince potential customers to choose you over competitors.

Valuable content such as blog posts, guides, ebooks, white papers and videos can all work together to provide prospects with valuable information. Webinars can also be a great asset to your marketing strategy. You'll likely find that these types of content are more effective at brand awareness than other offline strategies, lending your business credibility that it might otherwise lack.

Experience Better Lead Generation

If your business isn't targeting people specific to your products or services, your marketing efforts will be too broad to be efficient. You need to make sure that you're only targeting a select group of people who will benefit from what you have to offer, separating "leads" from uninterested parties.

Manufacturers often sell expensive equipment or high value services, which makes lead generation more of a challenge because of highly selective buyers. At the same time, leads become more valuable when they're willing to spend more on a product or service.

Rather than relying only on cold calls or print ads, you can see a better reach and response when you use inbound marketing and marketing automation in conjunction with other marketing efforts. Utilizing valuable content offers as promotion in your traditional print ads or cold outreaches will help increase the demand for such content pieces. This will help you attract and convert more leads, making some of the traditional marketing methods more effective as well as warm up prospects for a sales conversation.

Because leads are at the start of the sales process, you should focus on creating "top of funnel" content such as blog posts and videos that helps attract visitors and build brand awareness. Then use content offers as lead magnets such as guides, white papers, free consultations to improve conversion and the volume of leads generated from inbound marketing.

Improve Lead Nurturing Abilities

Once you've attracted high-quality leads, your work has only just begun. It's time to nurture them and see them through the sales cycle to become long-term customers. This process can take months or even years in the manufacturing industry.

Keep in mind that each prospect is likely to be in a different stage of the sales process, with some further along than others, but most will need a long period of nurturing before they make a purchase.

Fortunately, inbound marketing can help automate this process and nurture those valuable leads, using content that guides them along. This gives your leads plenty of attention and information, while allowing you to spend more time focusing on running your business.

One effective way to nurture leads using inbound marketing is to deliver automatic targeted emails that guide prospects to convert them into customers. These emails can direct them to ebooks, guides, consultations, and case studies that convince them that you can meet their needs.

Take Full Control Over Your Marketing

Inbound marketing also gives marketers better insight into how well their campaigns are performing, while making it easier to adjust them accordingly.

Ultimately, inbound marketing is integral to a successful marketing campaign for manufacturers. You'll be able to attract, engage, nurture, and convert leads more effectively while wasting less resources and money in the process.

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog

How In-App Messaging Converts Trial Users Into Paying Customers


It’s the only way to demonstrate your product’s value to potential customers. Your goal is to convey information about new features, successful case studies, and industry trends.

Converting B2B free trial users into paying customers involves lots of communication about why your product trumps competitors. In-app messaging is a powerful tool to send on-time, contextual messages to connect with users.

“Customers are focused on your product at the moment of [in-app] communication, and can be delivered immediate, direct information that is targeted specifically to them and their patterns of behaviour,” states Alex Cohen, managing director at Xander Marketing.

Take full advantage of in-app messaging. Here are five ways to gain more paying customers:

1. Upgrade Your Onboarding

Trial users are ready to get started with your platform. Convinced by your promises to deliver, it’s your responsibility to exceed users’ expectations.

First, let’s debunk the notion that it’s easy to transform free trial users into customers. They still need guidance toward the sale.

That’s why onboarding is so important to the success of the user. You want these initial interactions with your product to showcase the best of your brand. To keep them hooked, your team must continue to offer solutions.

With in-app messaging, you can pinpoint targeted actions to activate the user sooner. Send tailored messaging to help the individual learn how to gain quick wins from your platform.

The CoSchedule team executes this strategy well. During the trial period, users receive tidbits on how to improve their experiences.


What’s also vital is celebrating small accomplishments with the user. A note of congratulations makes them feel part of your brand family. While the achievement is fresh on their minds, you also can ask users to complete another action.

Delivering ongoing value means setting expectations and understanding the user’s business goals. When tackling the onboarding process, strive to guide the user to a positive outcome.

2. Feature Product Updates

Alienating trial users is one mistake businesses make when interacting with this specific group. Giving them limited information won’t help them become customers faster.

While you may attempt to create exclusivity, trial users don’t like hearing the phrase: “Oh, you’re just a trial user. That’s unavailable to you.” Instead, look for ways to involve them in your brand community.

Work with your team—product, marketing, and sales—to include trial users in announcements about your application. It’s an effective way to show these potential customers that your product is constantly evolving, and you want them to be part of your growth.

Broadcast new product features within the application to encourage immediate use. Make sure to give specific instructions on how to use the feature and how it will benefit the individual. If not, you risk them ignoring every message you send.

Try giving simple examples to exhibit the ease of use. Depending on the complexity of the feature, you may want to add screenshots or a short video tutorial.

Check out the example below from Slack. When the company announced its video call feature, the message contained simple steps for users to follow.


Moreover, invite users to ask questions or report bugs regarding the new feature. It helps your team improve the product, and trial users know that their concerns are addressed.

3. Provide Educational Training

Education is the foundation of converting trial users into loyal customers. You need to properly train users how to gain value from your product. Without it, people will get frustrated and decide to churn.

SaaS companies must ensure that the learning curve isn’t too steep for their audiences. No one wants to feel like they are taking an advanced math class. Plus, people don’t want to waste hours (or even days) learning how to get your platform to work correctly.

So it’s not good enough to just say your product is easy to operate. It actually has to fulfill that promise, or you risk losing your trial user to a competitor.

In-app messaging works as another distribution channel for your marketing team to teach trial users. You can deliver helpful content to guide people throughout the journey.

And you don’t have to explicitly say that your message is for educational purposes. In the screenshot below, Hint Health frames the message in a “Did You Know…” format.


Image Source

With the power of data, your team also can decide who needs more training. Segmentation is an effective strategy to personalize the learning experience. That way, the advanced user isn’t getting bored with beginner content.

“One of the main benefits of in-app messages is the capability of hyper segmentation, so why wouldn’t SaaS companies take advantage of that? Sending the same message to every user without even knowing if they’re interested can be a huge shot in the foot,” says Gabriela Tanuri, Content Hacker at Pipz.

Be ready to train your trial users when they sign up, and customize the education to fit the user’s needs.

4. Gather User Feedback

In-app messaging is one of the best channels to collect user feedback. It’s a chance to speak directly with the user inside your platform.

You can learn about user challenges in real-time. So your team knows exactly when the individual used the specific feature and how the problem is affecting the user’s progress.

You’ll also gain insight on which benefits matter most to the user. Then, you can target more content resources around those particular benefits.

“From VIPs to free trial users and more, in-app messages have quickly become the best way for our team to get feedback from customers in the right place at the right time — and we’re noticing that the feedback is better when we can get really specific with both our targeting and messaging,” writes Dave Gerhardt, marketing at Drift.

You can employ the 1-10 rating scale to get feedback from your users. It’s quick and easy for the person to participate, and your team receives qualitative data to improve the product.


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Part of the sales process is listening to your users. Therefore, pay attention to user feedback to boost your revenue.

5. Leverage Sales Opportunities

Most companies want to create new channels to gain sales. In-app messaging helps facilitate the sales conversations with the trial user.

Like any sales call, there’s an appropriate time to ask users to explore your pricing plans. Avoid solely using in-app messaging to just convert users. Your audience will spot this tactic immediately and will start ignoring your messages.

If direct sales doesn’t work best for your company, try using it to take the conversation offline. Message users about setting up an appointment for a tutorial to demonstrate the product’s value. You also can offer special discounts or bonuses to this targeted group to clinch the sale.

Train your support team to spot opportunities to show trial users benefits only for paying customers. It’ll spark the user’s curiosity about upgrading his plan.

Another idea is to send customer success stories via the messaging platform. Users will become inspired to achieve similar results as their paying colleagues.

If the user doesn’t seem interested in buying at all, experiment with using in-app messaging to ask for referrals. Read this message from the Nickelled team:


Image Source

Messaging for More Conversions

Building quality relationships with your audience starts with communication. In-app messaging offers an opportunity to connect and support your trial users in the customer journey.

Strive to educate users about your product and respond to users’ concerns to improve the overall experience. In-app messaging is your pathway to more conversions.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog