Uploaded by randfish Have you ever took into consideration gating your web content to obtain leads? Whether you select to have open-access web content or gate it to collect information, there are benefits and also downsides you need to recognize. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand considers the pros and disadvantages of each strategy as well as shares some pointers for boosting your process, despite whichever course you go.

Click the white boards picture over to open a high-resolution variation in a brand-new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to one more edition of White boards Friday. This week we’re going to chat about material gating. This is something that a lot of material online marketers utilize, particularly those who are interested in generating leads, individuals that their salesmen or sales teams or outreach folks or company advancement people could reach out to specifically to offer a product or start a conversation. Lots of material online marketers and also SEOs utilize this kind of content as an appeal to basically draw in someone, who after that completes type fields to offer adequate details to ensure that the sales pipe gets loaded or the leads

pipe obtains filled, and afterwards the individual gets the content.As opposed to the timeless model that we’re made use of to in a more open material advertising and marketing and open Search Engine Optimization world of,”Let me give you something and afterwards ideally get something in return, “it’s,”You offer me something as well as I will give you this thing in return.” This is a very, popular strategy. You may be knowledgeable about Moz as well as know that my general bias as well as Moz’s basic prejudice is versus content gating. We kind of have a philosophical predisposition against it, with the exemption of, on the Moz Citizen side, some venture stuff, that advertising and marketing team might be doing, could in the future include some gating. But typically, at Moz, we’re type of versus it.However, I do not

want to be also biased. I recognize that it does have benefits, and I intend to describe some of those advantages and also drawbacks so that you can make your personal choices of the best ways to do it. Then we’re mosting likely to rock with some referrals, some tactical pointers that I have actually obtained for you around exactly how you could enhance exactly how you do it, despite whether you are doing open web content or complete content gating. Advantages of gating content< img src=" http://d1avok0lzls2w.cloudfront.net/uploads/blog/58094f9c603111.47186344.jpg

“rel =”box-shadow: 0 0 10px 0 # 999; border-radius: 20px;” design= “box-shadow: 0 0 10px 0 # 999; border-radius: 20px;”> Both. This is eviction idea. So you get this cost-free report on the state of expert system in 2016. However initially, before you obtain that report, you complete all these areas: name, email, function, business website, Twitter, LinkedIn, what is your budget for AI in 2017 and also you fill up in a number. I’m not joking below. A number of these records call for these and also several various other fields to be completed. I have actually filled out directly a number of that are intense in order to obtain a report back. So it’s even worked with me at times.The opposite of that, certainly, would be the report is totally offered. You get to the web page, as well as it’s just here’s the state of AI, the different sections, and also you get your graphs and also your charts, and also all your data is right in there. Fantastic, totally cost-free gain access to. You’ve had to offer nothing, simply see the web site.

The benefits of gating are you really get:

  • More information concerning who particularly accessed the report. Given, a few of this details can be forged. There are individuals who work around that by verifying and verifying at the very least the email address or those examples.
  • Those who use up the energy to buy the record might see the information or the record itself as much more useful, a lot more beneficial, more reliable, to bring usually higher worth. This is kind of a component of human psychology, where we value things that we’ve needed to work harder to get.
  • Sales outreach to the individuals that did gain access to it might be a lot easier as well as much more effective due to the fact that you clearly have a whole lot of info about those people, versus if you collected just an email or no details whatsoever, in which case would certainly be close to difficult.

Disadvantages of gating material

Let’s go through the downsides of gating, some things that you can not do:

  • Smaller sized target market possibility. It is much harder to get this before lots of individuals. Perhaps not this web page especially, however absolutely it’s difficult to get boosting of this, as well as it’s really difficult to get an audience, get numerous, many individuals to load out all those type areas.
  • Harder to earn web links and amplification. People generally do not connect to content like this. Incidentally, the people that do connect to and also socially intensify things similar to this typically do it with the actual file. So exactly what they’ll do is they’ll search for State of AI 2016, filetype: pdf, website: yourdomain.com, and after that they’ll discover the documents behind whatever you’ve obtained. I recognize there are some methods to entrance that even such that nobody could access it, but it’s a real pain.
  • It likewise is true that some individuals this leaves a really negative preference in their mouth. They have a unfavorable brand name assumption around it. Currently negative brand perception can be around needing to load this out. It might be around whether the material was worth it after they loaded this out. Maybe about the outreach that occurs to them after they filled this out and also their rate of interest in getting this data was not to start a sales conversation. You likewise shed a bunch of your SEO advantages, since you do not get the links, you do not obtain the engagement. If you do rate for this, it has the tendency to hold true that your bounce rate is really high, much greater than other individuals that may rate for points like the state of AI 2016. So you simply struggle.

Advantages of open accessibility

Exactly what are the benefitsas well as disadvantages of open accessibility? Well, advantages, quite apparent: Greater capacity to drive traffic from all channels, naturally– social, search, word of mouth, e-mail, whatever it is. You can own a lot more individuals right here. There’s a larger future audience forretargeting and also remarketing. So individuals that do reach the report itself in here, you certainly have a possibility. You might retarget as well as remarket to them. You could also connect to them straight. Possibly you can retarget and also remarket to people that’ve reached this web page but didn’t fill in any kind of details. However these individuals below are a a lot better audience potential for those retargeting and remarketing initiatives. Larry Kim from WordStream has shown some outstanding examples. Marty Weintraub from Aimclear additionally has shown some incredible examples of exactly how you can do that retargeting and also remarketing to people that’ve reached content. SEO benefits through links that direct to these pages, via engagement metrics, by means of their ranking capacity, etc. etc. You’re going to do better with this. We do a lot better with the Newbie’s Guide to SEO on Moz than we would certainly if it were gated as well as you had to give us your information first, obviously. In general, if just what you are aiming to accomplish is, instead of

leads, just to obtain your message to the biggest variety of individuals, this is a far, far much better effort. This is most likely to get to a much bigger audience, which message will consequently get to that much bigger target market. Drawbacks of open access There are some disadvantages for this open access version. It’s not without them. It could be difficult and even totally impossible to convert lots of or a lot of the sees that come to open up accessibility

  • web content right into leads or possible leads. It’s simply the case that those individuals are going to consume that material, yet they might never ever give you information that will certainly permityou to subsequent or connect to them. Info regarding one of the most important and crucial visitors, the ones that would certainly have loaded this point out and would have been terrific leads is shed permanently when
  • you open up the content. You simply cannot capture those people. You’re not going to get their info. So these 2 are what own lots of individuals up to this model and absolutely the advantages of the gated material design too. Suggestions So, my referrals. It’s a rather straightforward equation.

I urge you to think of this formula from as broad a tactical perspective and after that a tactical success point of view as you potentially can.

1. If target market size, reach, and future advertising benefits are greater compared to in-depth leads as a metric or as a worth, after that you must go open accessibility. If the reverse holds true, if outlined leads are better to you compared to the audience size, the potential reach, the amplification as well as web link advantages, and also all the future advertising and marketing advantages that originate from those points, the ranking benefits and also SEO benefits, if that holds true, then you need to choose a gated model. You obtain great deals of individuals at an open accessibility version. You obtain a single person, but you know all their info in a gated content design.

2. It is not the case that this needs to be completely either/or. There are modified methods to do both of these tactics in combination and also concert.

Actually, that can be potentially quite beneficial. So a semi-gated design is something we’ve seen a couple of web content marketing experts as well as firms begin to do, where they have a component of the report or a few of one of the most intriguing facets of the report or several of the graphics or an ingrained SlideShare or whatever it is, and also then you could get even more of the record by filling out more things. So they’re sharing some things, which can potentially bring in engagement and web links and also even more amplification, and utilize in all type of locations as well as press, as well as blog site messages as well as all that sort of stuff. But then they also get the advantage of some individuals submitting whatever develop info is essential to get more of that data if they’re extremely interested. I like this tease model a great deal. I assume that could function truly, actually well, especially if you are offering sufficient to confirm your value and worth, as well as to make those interaction and also web links, before you request a great deal much more.

You can go the various other means and go a completely open design but with add-ons. So, for example, in this, below’s the complete record on AI. If you would certainly like even more details, we conducted a survey with AI experts or companies using AI. If you ‘d such as the results of that survey, you can get that, and also that remains in the sidebar or as a little notification in the report, a telephone call to activity. To ensure that’s full record, however if you desire this various other thing that maybe works to several of the folks that best fit the thinking about this information as well as potentially interested in our service or product, or whatever we’re trying to obtain leads for, then you can optionally place your details in.

< p design="margin-left: 20px;"> I like both of these.

They type of straddle that line. 3. Regardless of which one or which customized variation you do, you must attempt and maximize the end results. That suggests in an open content version:

  • Do not ignore the fact that you can still do retargeting to all individuals that visited this open web content as well as get them back to your website, on to possibly a very pertinent deal that has a high conversion price and where you can do CRO testing and also those examples. That is entirely affordable and also something that several, several people do, Moz included. We do a great deal of remarketing around the internet.
  • You can drive low-cost, paid traffic to the content that obtains one of the most shares in order to bump it up and also gain even more boosting, gain even more web traffic to it, which after that gives you a more comprehensive audience to retarget to or a broader target market to put your CTA in front of.
  • If you are mosting likely to go entirely gated, a whole lot of these type fields, you can infer or make use of software program to get and as a result obtain a greater conversion rate. So as an example, I’m asking for name, e-mail, duty, firm, internet site, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Actually, I could ask specifically for LinkedIn and also email as well as obtain each and every single one of those from simply those two fields. I might also eliminate e-mail and also ask them to check in with LinkedIn and afterwards demand the email approval after or as component of that request. So there are alternatives right here. You can also ask for name and also email, then use a software program service like FullContact’s API as well as get all the data around the firm, website, function and title, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and so on, etc. that are linked with that name or in that e-mail address. So then you don’t have to request so much information.
  • You could try putting your teaser web content in numerous channels as well as platforms to maximize its direct exposure to ensure that you drive more individuals to this get more. If you’re worried that hello this intro will not reach adequate individuals to be able to obtain even more of those people below, you could enhance that through putting it on SlideShare or republishing on areas like Tool or sending the material in visitor contributions to various other sites in official manner ins which have actually overlapped audiences and share your details that you understand is going to reverberate and will certainly make them want extra. Currently you obtain even more traffic back to these pages, and also currently I could transform more of those folks to the obtain even more system.

So content gating, not completion of the world, not the worst point in the globe. I personally do not like a lot of features of it, however it does have its uses. I believe if you’re wise, if you play about with some of these tactical pointers, you can obtain some terrific worth from it.

I expect your ideas, ideas, as well as experiences with content gating, as well as we’ll see you next week for an additional version of White boards Friday. Take care.

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Successful content marketing is about creating a connection between your audience and your brand.

This doesn’t mean just throwing content at them. It means creating content that they truly value — content that serves their needs and addresses their biggest pain points. And this type of content is much easier to create when it’s informed and driven by empathy.

As Dr. Brené Brown notes, “Empathy is feeling with people.”

When you put yourself in your audience’s shoes, it becomes easier to acknowledge their struggles and think critically about the best solutions. That’s why empathetic content marketing is such a powerful strategy for businesses — both B2B and B2C.

Not sure what that looks like? Let’s walk through nine brands that nail empathetic content marketing in multiple mediums.

9 Genius Examples of Empathetic Content Marketing in Action

1) LUSH

Content Type: Video

With the tagline, “Fresh, handmade cosmetics,” LUSH is a beauty brand that is all about natural products. As such, we see their radical transparency showcased in their How It’s Made video series, wherein they go behind the scenes of some of their most popular products.

Each episode features actual Lush employees in the “kitchen,” narrating the step-by-step process of how the products are made. Lush (pun intended) visuals showcase just how natural the ingredients are. You see mounds of fresh lemons, tea infusions, and salt swirled together to become the product you know and love. It’s equal parts interesting and educational.

How it shows empathy:

Their customers want to buy beauty products that are truly natural. They care about using fresh, organic, and ethically sourced ingredients — hence why the videos feature colorful, close-up shots of those organic lemons and sea salt to drive that point home. Taking customers inside the factory and showing them every part of the process — with a human face — assures them that they can consume these products with peace of mind.

2) LinkedIn

Content Type: Ebook

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is all about mobilizing marketers to grow their audience, create more effective content, and, ultimately, achieve their goals. Naturally, they want their audience to leverage LinkedIn to help them achieve those goals. While they produce plenty of content related to the benefits of LinkedIn, the team has made a significant push into content that educates all levels of marketer on a variety of topics (as you can see on their blog).

This 27-page ebook, Native Advertising: What It Is. How to Do It, provides a ton of information on all aspects of native advertising, which is one of LinkedIn’s enterprise marketing services.

LinkedIn_Ebook-1.png

It’s packed with tips, stats, deep dives into the various types of native ads, strategy, as well as the benefits of LinkedIn’s various native ad services.

How it shows empathy:

One immensely effective empathy marketing tactic is education. LinkedIn wants to empower their audience to do their jobs better (and use their product to do so), and this ebook is the single tool they need to understand and confidently use native ads to their advantage.

Through offerings like this, customers learn that they can rely on LinkedIn as a trusted source to guide them in the right direction, and LinkedIn can continue to provide solutions through their product offerings. It’s a win-win all around.

3) Home Depot

Content Type: Infographic

Home Depot is a home and garden supply store that caters to all types of builders and DIY-ers — whether you’re a construction worker building a gazebo or a homemaker experimenting with gardening. In other words, their content must cater to various demographics.

As they are all about the DIY, their marketing focuses on what their supplies can help you do — not just what the supplies are. This “Grow a Living Salad Bowl” infographic teaches consumers to grow their own salad, offering information on how to do it, which vegetables grow best, and what supplies they need — all with minimal branding.

Home_Depot_Salad_Bowl.png[Click here to see the full infographic]

How it shows empathy:

Their customers dream of being skilled DIYers, but need a bit of help working through the unknown, as well as some encouragement. This infographic delivers on these, and inspires customers to take action.

 

4) Dove

Content Type: Instagram Images

Dove is a beauty brand all about positive self image, and they’ve done a great job of creating a supportive and loving environment for their fans on social media. Almost all of Dove’s posts on Instagram are about active self-love, and their messages and engagement are tailored to inspire this.


Through inspirational messages and captions that dictate little self-love “assignments,” they not only encourage but actually mobilize their followers to practice what they preach. Whether it’s tagging a friend or trying out a mini journaling exercise, Dove is using Instagram to inspire action.

 

Tell us: “I feel beautiful when __________.”

A photo posted by Dove (@dove) on Nov 30, 2015 at 8:55am PST


How it shows empathy:

Dove’s posts offer customers regular reminders of their worth, as well as ways to actively recognize themselves and other women. This is not only a good relationship-building tactic employed by Dove, but it also provides a real benefit to their audience: A 2013 Carnegie Mellon University study found that positive self-affirmations help you perform better under stress. It’s both a sincere and scientific approach to bring self-love into customers’ everyday lives.

5) Extra

Content Type: Interactive Site

We’ve seen just about every twist on gum marketing possible: sexy encounters, romantic trysts, and more. Extra is pushing past that narrative. They realize that gum is an everyday part of life, a seemingly mundane product, but its omnipresence means it’s there for many of life’s little moments. Hence the #givextragetextra campaign is all about celebrating those moments — the awesome fishing trip, the road trip with friends, the engagement — by turning them into art.

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The interactive site and social campaign encourages you to submit photos of those everyday moments to be turned into sketches, some of which appear on the inside flap of Extra packaging. At the site, you can see the images, watch video of the artist’s sketches, peruse the gallery, and search to see if your submission has been turned into art.

How it shows empathy:

In many ways, gum is a product meant to enhance intimacy, making your breath fresh for more closeness. In our techno-connected world, those everyday moments of intimacy are often overlooked. This campaign helps customers become more aware and celebratory of those moments. By encouraging them to capture and share those memories — and honoring them through the gum-wrapper art — Extra is helping customers live a more full and present life.

6) Microsoft

Content Type: Interactive infographic

Microsoft’s security solutions are all about keeping consumers’ data safe. Their goal, then, is to educate and explain why their products are important. That said, data security is not the sexiest topic — not to mention plenty has been said about it.

To give it a new twist, Microsoft created the Anatomy of a Data Breach interactive site, which explains the issue of data security through a new and exciting lens: the data heist.

Anatomy_of_a_Breach__Microsoft.png

The site puts consumers in a hacker’s shoes, guiding them through the stages of a data breach and showing, in detail, exactly how the data is stolen. Coupled with statistics about data security, the messaging is clear.

How it shows empathy:

Consumers know data breaches are a problem, but they don’t know exactly how they happen. By making an engaging story and using real consumer survey data, Microsoft brings the problem to life in a genuine and accessible way. Through the interactive, customers truly see their vulnerabilities and better understand how to protect themselves.

7) Michael’s

Content Type: Blog

In a world where Pinterest dominates, Michael’s craft stores is making a play to capture its own audience on its own properties. They have long provided the standard craft tutorials and product features on their site, but with The Glue String blog they are inserting themselves into their readers’ lifestyles with a variety of content.

Posts like “12 Ways to Store Washi Tape” may sound a little silly, but for the avid crafter, these are the exact types of posts that are relevant to their lives. The beautiful layout and high-impact visuals only help to bring these stories to life.

Washi_Tape_Blog.png

How it shows empathy:

Crafting is an exciting hobby, but not without its own frustrations. Providing useful tips and hacks on how to do things better via a free publication helps readers do more of what they love with fewer headaches. Additionally, fans get to share their enthusiasm through social, helping Michael’s extend its reach while helping their audience show their interests off.  

8) JetBlue

Content Type: Video

JetBlue is a brand known for superb customer service and humor. At this point, we know where they fly, we know their hook, so their marketing needs to extend beyond the services they provide. As such, their content is focusing more on the world of flying and the experiences we all have.

Their Flight Etiquette videos are funny PSAs that spotlight some of the most pervasive problems we encounter while traveling: overzealous flight boarding, chatty seat mates, etc. By giving it the sarcastic “How NOT to” twist, they showcase their humor and brand voice.

Flight_Etiquette_JetBlue.png

How it shows empathy:

There are specific instances that make the flying experience suck for all of us. These videos attempt to remedy these troubles by commiserating with and educating the public.

9) J.Crew

Content Type: Visual How-Tos

J.Crew is a sophisticated clothing brand that has always marketed toward lifestyle, framing their clothes within that context. While they have a devoted following, they are always searching for ways to deeper connect with their audience. 

Their blog is a fantastic outlet for that. Naturally, as design is a core part of their business, it is a major component of publishing. Its clean design superbly showcases their products, tips, and tricks. And they consistently use on-brand visuals to enhance their content. For example, The Bandana, 4-ways tutorial includes directions, illustrations, clever captions, and actual product visuals to tie it all together.

Jcrew_Tie_a_Scarf.png

How it shows empathy:

Their customers want their fashion to reflect their personalities. Giving them more options to express themselves through clothing, via different bandana styles, helps them achieve that.

Ready to Try It?

Approaching the content that you seek to create as a brand from a perspective that puts others and their wants, needs, and dreams before your own is the smartest way to grow an audience. This is because, in doing so, you’re showing people that you care about them as humans, first and foremost. And people want to work with (B2B) or support (B2C) people that they like, and companies that they believe, “get them”

You can always talk about your brand and what you’re peddling once there’s a connection, and then a relationship established, but, if you doing things right, people will be drawn to you and you won’t ever have to toot your own horn.

What’s the best example of empathetic marketing you’ve ever seen? Share it in the comments.

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HubSpot Marketing Blog

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The following is an excerpt from our free resource, How to Create Beautiful Infographics. If you’d like to download the full guide, click here.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re creating an infographic to use on social media or a marketing campaign. If you’re creating the infographic for marketing purposes, you’ve got one more step, and that’s promoting it.

After all, there is no point creating content if no one sees it, is there?

Here are some methods on how to promote your infographics:

  • Make it into a blog post and share on all your social channels.
  • Send out an email newsletter. (Check out how to make emails more engaging with infographics here.)
  • Ask your advocates to share explicitly.
  • Post it on social discovery sites like Stumbled Upon, Reddit, Imgur..etc.
  • Outreach – find bloggers who will benefit from sharing your infographic.

If you’re not a big brand with a large following, you’ll get limited mileage on most of these methods without determined effort on outreach. Outreach is an unavoidable necessity. It’s like cold calling and door to door selling. It works, but usually not how you would expect it to. You have to start at the bottom of the influencer pyramid and work your way up.

With so much content on Pinterest, how do you make your infographic stand out? What are the characteristics of highly-pinned and liked Pinterest infographics?

To answer these questions, Venngage looked at over 200 popular Pinterest infographics and evaluated them based on a series of qualitative and quantitative characteristics. The results? A comprehensive guide to what types of infographics get more “likes” than others. Based on their research, six factors were identified for a great Pinterest infographic.

1) Topic

Does the topic or subject matter of your infographic matter? Yes, it does. On Pinterest, the top topics were travel, food and marketing. This is not really surprising if you use Pinterest regularly. Travel and food images do extremely well on Pinterest given the demographic of their users. These three topics performed a lot better than all the other topics.

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2) Mood: Funny, Challenging, or Useful 

One of the most important aspects of any content is the reaction is garners from its audience. Did the content leave an impact on the person, whether it was a good laugh or something useful they could use in life? Venngage looked at our sample of Pinterest infographics and coded each one with what they thought would be the reaction the infographic produced.

The results are consistent with a lot of other literature and research on content. The winners are infographics that are funny, challenging or practical. These infographics have the highest pins.

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3) Simplicity of Information

One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that you need to have a lot of data and a complex infographic for it to be shared and liked a lot. Venngage’s research shows that simple infographics, such as informational and text based infographics, perform the best. Simple = Win.

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The other characteristic examined was the dominant style of the infographic. Venngage classified IG style into one of five styles — text based, image based, illustration based, or a combination. The results showed text based infographics performed the best.

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4) Serif Fonts

While the majority of infographic fonts were sans serif types (the more modern looking font), serif fonts perform better. Why?

Here is one plausible reason: people believe text written in serif fonts more than those written in sans serif. There was a popular study highlighted by the New York Times about how people tend to find statements written in serif fonts more credible.

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5) 2-3 Colors

Colors have an effect on people. Marketers know this and have been using it to increase sales and conversions for a long time. It turns out when we looked at the number of colors used in top infographics and which primary colors are dominant, we see a very distinct pattern.

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Less is more. Infographics with only two colors performed the most. Infographics that have more than five were the worst. [Click to Tweet]

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6) Longform vs. Shortform

If you group the infographics based on their length to width ratio — a ratio is used since infographics have varying dimensions — and chart the distribution, you’ll notice that while shorter infographics do well, the ones that performed really well had between 5-9 length to width ratio (the infographics’ length were 5-9 times longer that its width).

I guess that is consistent with other longform content such as blog articles. But too long is not necessarily a good thing — as you go beyond the 9X ratio, the performance drops. So don’t over do it.

Want to learn more? Download How to Create Beautiful Infographics here.

how to create beautiful infographics
HubSpot Marketing Blog

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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.

A 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. Download our free guide here to learn more about 301 redirects and common SEO  mistakes to avoid.

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.

  1. blog.hubspot.com
  2. http://blog.hubspot.com

Did 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:

  1. 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.)
  2. To rebrand or rename a website with a different URL
  3. To direct traffic to a website from other URLs owned by the same organization

In 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 Avoid

Now 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.

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  free guide: common SEO mistakes


HubSpot Marketing Blog

Uploaded by kerryjones Are you holding your web content advertising and marketing to unrealistic requirements?

Despite how informative your infographic concerning tax obligation legislation could be, it’s not going to bring in the exact same quantity of attention as a BuzzFeed Tasty video clip. You should not anticipate it to. In order to establish just what effective material resembles for your brand name, you initially have to have practical assumptions wherefore content could attain in your certain specific niche.

Our evaluation of thousands of Fractl material marketing projects considered the factors which have actually helped our web content across all topics. Currently we’ve dived a little further into this data to establish a better understanding of what to expect from web content in different verticals.

What adheres to is based upon data we’ve accumulated for many years while dealing with clients in these markets. Maintain in mind these typically aren’t clear-cut market benchmarks– your gas mileage could vary.

Content-by-Vertical-01 (1).jpg

First, we categorized our sample of over 340 Fractl client projects into among 15 various verticals:

  • Fitness and health
  • Travel
  • Education and learning
  • Home entertainment
  • Medications and also Alcohol
  • Politics, Safety, as well as Criminal offense
  • Sex and also Relationships
  • Company as well as Money
  • Science
  • Modern technology
  • Sports
  • Automotive
  • Residence and also Yard
  • Animals
  • Style

We after that checked out positionings and social networks shares for each task. We likewise analyzed content features like aesthetic property type as well as format. A “positioning” describes at any time an author discussed the project. Regarding links, a positioning can indicate a dofollow, cocitation, nofollow, or message acknowledgment.

Across the entire example, an ordinary campaign got 90 placements as well as simply over 11,800 social shares. As expected, the results departed significantly from the standard when we took a look at the average variety of positionings and also social shares per vertical.

Content-by-Vertical-19.jpg

Some verticals, such as Fitness and health, outperformed the ordinary benchmarks by greater than double, with 195 average placements as well as about 62,600 social shares. Not remarkably, verticals with more niche audiences had lower numbers. For example, Automotive projects made a standard of 43 positionings and 1,650 social shares.

Just what were the top-performing topics?The typical

campaigns in Health and also Fitness, Alcohol and drugs, and Travel outperformed the ordinary campaigns in other verticals. So exactly what does it require effective in each of these 3 verticals?

Wellness and also Health and fitness

Our Health and wellness projects were almost 9 times extra most likely to consist of side-by-side photos than the average upright.

Most of these side-by-side image projects were centered around body image concerns. For example, we Photoshopped females in video games to have body kinds closer to that of the ordinary American woman. We additionally utilized this method to highlight male body photo concerns and also distinctions in elegance standards around theworld.

Takeaway: Contrasting pictures promptly pass along a riches of information that can be tough to catch as effectively with conventional data visualizations like graphes or graphs. In addition, they bring emotional power.

For instance, we developed a morphing GIF of Miss America from 1922 to 2015. The difference between Miss The U.S.A. in 1922 and Beauty queen in 2015 is raw, as well as the GIF makes a powerful statement. Viewers as well as authors were also able to accessibility information regarding the images that would not have found in numbers alone (such as the modification in clothes styles and also the loved one absence of diverse contestants).

As component of the task, we also charted the decline in BMI for pageant victors. Relying on the task and readily available info, it might be practical to give some measurable information to support the narrative informed via pictures.

Remarkably, although Fitness projects were 36.4 percent most likely to utilize social media sites data than the average vertical, each of the social networks campaigns were in the bottom 68 percent of all Health and wellness campaigns by social shares.

Medications and Alcohol

Our Alcohol and drugs campaigns were 2.2 times more probable to make use of curated data (65 percent versus 30 percent) as well as 1.4 times more probable to have interactive aspects (26 percent versus 19 percent) than the average project.

Takeaway: When handling psychological and also questionable subjects like medicines as well as alcohol, you do not necessarily should collect new information to make an impact. Readers and also authors worth visualizations that could help explain intricate info in simple ways. A fringe benefit: developing interactive experiences that permit your target market to explore information by themselves and make their own verdicts.

One great example of these concepts is our “Pathways to Dependency” campaign, where we developed interactive platforms for checking out information from the National Study on Substance abuse and Health, consisting of details about the series where people have tried various materials.

This layout allowed readers to check out a questionable topic on their very own and also attract independent conclusions.

< p design="margin-left: 20px;”> Pro Pointer: Whether you prefer to utilize curated information or accumulate your personal information, it is imperative to be objective in your presentation as well as open in your approach when working with campaigns around sensitive or debatable topics. You don’t should steer clear of from controversial subjects, yet you do need to take preventative measures for your firm and your customer. Traveling

Our Traveling campaigns were 28.6 percent extra most likely to make use of social media data as well as 30.5 percent most likely to make use of rankings and comparisons compared to a campaign in the ordinary vertical.

Takeaway: Traveling is an inherently social actions. For several people, traveling isn’t really complete up until they have actually recorded the excellent picture– or five. Travel content that acknowledges this social element could be actually effective. Rankings, which additionally feature heavily in traveling web content, are strong geographical egobait for viewers and authors and also play up the social facet of the Traveling upright.

Stratos Jet Charters’ Chatting Visitors, which combined social media information with rankings, is an excellent example. For this campaign, we collected over 37,000 tweets to figure out which locations were one of the most as well as the very least friendly to vacationers.

Chatting Tourists was successful (96 positionings and over 56,000 social shares) since it utilized content kinds with proven success in the traveling vertical (social media sites information, positions, and maps) to check out a subject that isn’t really commonly discovered quantitatively.

Ways to accomplish content advertising and marketing success in every vertical

The 3 markets provided above are ripe for very effective content, yet does that mean less prominent verticals should go in with low assumptions?

Also with topics that are more challenging to bring in the interest of viewers as well as publishers, it is still feasible for your material to execute well beyond other content in the vertical. This is particularly true when campaigns straighten with trending tales or tell a completely special story.

Nevertheless, not every item of material can strike it from the park. Rand approximates that it will certainly take five to 10 attempts to produce an item of effective web content. Even after that, the ordinary high-performing Scientific research material will not get the very same amount of attention as the typical Fitness and health material.

So how can you maximize the chances for success? Here’s just what we have actually observed concerning our top-performing campaigns in the following verticals:

  • Automotive: If you intend to produce automobile web content that interest a larger target market, think about making use of information from social media. 4 of our leading seven campaigns (by positionings) in this vertical highlighted data from social media networks.
  • Organisation and Money: When it comes to loan, individuals would like to know exactly how they stack up. Our leading Business and also Money campaigns (by social shares) depended on comparisons or rankings. If you’re looking for social shares, this is the means to go.
  • Drugs and Alcohol: Searching for interesting relationships or tales in existing datasets could verify popular in this upright– most of top projects used curated information.
  • Education: Our top Education projects included social media information and also interactive functions.
  • Enjoyment: Timely web content that attaches with an enthusiastic follower base is a recipe for success.
  • Style: Successful fashion campaigns focused on fixing troubles for the target market.
  • Fitness: Side-by-side photos that show a strong comparison carry out exceptionally well in this upright.
  • Residence and also Yard: To draw in focus from readers and publishers in this niche, make your material prompt or pop culture-related.
  • Animals: The highest-performing project in this vertical attracted viewers as well as publishers since it focused on the social aspects of pet possession. We also included a geographic egobait component by highlighting distinctive regional differences in prominent pet dog types.
  • Politics, Security, and also Criminal offense: Our top-performing project (by social shares) in National politics, Security, and Criminal offense used social media sites information to discover a trending subject.
  • Science: In this vertical, associating complicated topics to pop society numbers, like superheroes, could increase your material’s social allure. Producing interactive platforms to check out complicated data can additionally aid your target market attach with your project.
  • Sex as well as Relationships: Speaking concerning sex and connections really feels a little scandalous, which ignites interest. 2 of our top 3 campaigns in this vertical, both by placements as well as by social shares, utilized social media information to gauge discussion around these topics.
  • Sports: This vertical normally offers itself well to regional egobait. Although only 2 of our Sports campaigns included maps, these were one of the most shared of all our sporting activities campaigns.

Browse through the flipbook below to see examples of top-performing campaigns in each vertical.

Try a mixed-vertical strategy For a lot of our clients at Fractl, we produce web content both within and also outside of the customer’s vertical to take full advantage of reach. Our work with Movoto, a genuine estate study site, shows just how one company’s material advertising and marketing could extend multiple verticals while still continuing to be highly relevant to the company’s core company.

When establishing a content advertising method, it is practical to consider the typical placement as well as social share rate for numerous verticals. Allow’s state a brand that sells decoration for log cabins wishes to focus 60 percent of its power on developing extremely targeted, niche-specific jobs as well as 40 percent on material created to increase basic recognition regarding its brand name.

Three from every five campaigns produced for this client must be tailored toward publishers who discuss log cabins as well as readers who are on the verge of acquiring log cabin style. This kind of material might consist of targeted post, industry-specific research, as well as product contrasts that would certainly appeal to individuals below the sales funnel.

For the other 2 projects, it is essential to look at nearby verticals before identifying ways to move ahead. For this specific customer, primarily producing Traveling web content (which yields high standard social shares as well as placements) might be the very best course of action.

Along with the data I have actually shared right here, I motivate you to examine your personal content efficiency data by vertical to set realistic assumptions. Vertical-specific metrics could likewise help determine opportunities to create cross-vertical content for better grip.

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budget_business_branding.png

In marketing, it seems like the word “brand” is used a lot — the leading brand, off-brand, personal brand … you get the picture. 

But there’s often confusion around its meaning in business. What does it entail? Do I need to hire an expert? Branding is expensive, right?

To that very last point, it doesn’t have to be. As it turns out, there are some pretty creative ways to brand your business without a ton of cash. And while it can require an investment of time, the ROI won’t go unnoticed — in some cases, it can actually help you save money. Download our essential guide to branding here for even more tips on branding  your company. 

So read on, and see how you can start building a brand today.

How to Brand Your Business on a Budget: A 6-Step Guide

1) Know your personas.

It’s no coincidence that 82% of companies with better value propositions also use buyer personas — the semi-fictional “characters” that encompass the qualities of who you’re trying to reach.

The needs, goals, and behavior of your potential customers dictate how you convey your product or service. Understanding those things helps you determine what kind of media your personas are consuming, what motivates them, and where they “live” online. You can see why having that information helps develop a compelling, effective brand — it helps you reach the right people.

Figuring that out doesn’t have to come at a price. A great way to get started is with our free MakeMyPersona tool, which guides you through a series of questions about the ideal person you want to reach. Take your time with it. The questions are meant to get you thinking about how you want to be perceived and by whom — and that shouldn’t be a quick process.

2) Develop an identity and a voice.

Once you’ve identified your buyer personas, your brand can start to take shape. That involves creating a brand identity — the things that make people aware of what your brand is — and its voice, which is the tone you use in any copy or public communication.

As a writer, I’m particularly interested in the voice aspect — but what does that like for you? Figuring that out follows a process not unlike the one that’s used to determine your personas. But instead of answering questions about your target audience, you’re answering questions that are a bit more introspective to your brand. What are its values? What does it represent? How do you want people to talk about you? (Check out our guide to answering these questions and more on brand voice here.)

Even if you’re not starting from scratch, establishing a strong(er) brand voice can be valuable. Just take the instance of the Zoological Wildlife Foundation — during its recent rebrand, finding its voice was a top priority. The results? Its overall online presence increased by 343%, with website traffic alone seeing a 63% boost.

3) Have a consistent social media presence.

So, we know who your personas are. And now, we know what to say to them — and how to say it. But where are they?

Since you might have a clear picture of the different pieces of your audience, it’s important to figure out where they’re spending the most time, especially on social media. We’ve talked before how effective it is to reach people where they’re already present — that includes their online behavior, too.

We recommend checking out Pew Research Center’s Demographics of Social Media Users, which profiles the users of five major social media platforms — Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Pay attention close attention to the data. Maybe the majority of your personas spend most of their time on one network. While that doesn’t mean you should ignore the others, it does give you an idea of where to dedicate the most resources.

And once you do establish that presence, maintain it. How many times have you gone to a brand’s Facebook Page only to find that nothing has been posted in the past three months? Chances are, it didn’t have a positive impact on your perception.

That can be avoided by diligently planning and scheduling social media posts like you would with any other marketing calendar. Something like our free Social Media Content Calendar can help, and get you thinking about things like the seasonality of what you post. That’s a huge part of staying relevant to your audience — by sharing content that pertains to what they’re likely thinking about at a given time of year.

4) Blog. 

We’ve covered the importance of blogging before, and we really can’t emphasize it enough. It’s a core part of our Inbound Methodology, especially the “attract” stage — the one that turns strangers into visitors to your website.

In fact, blogging might be the most fundamental step of inbound marketing. It helps you reach qualified customers, like your personas, by creating the informative content that matches the information they’re searching for. That’s why it’s so important to make it relevant to this audience — when you’re writing, make sure the content is optimized for those searches. (Here’s a handy list of places where you can learn search engine optimization).

Believe us — your personas are definitely looking for the information that you’re able to provide — if you write about it. After friends and family, blogs are the third most trusted source of information. Plus, that content will also serve as material to populate your social media networks, and we’ve already covered what a crucial part that plays in branding on a budget.

While blogging is fiscally inexpensive, one of the biggest struggles we hear about is the cost of spending time on it. For that, we reference the joke about a doctor asking his patient, “Would you rather work out one hour per day, or be dead 24 hours per day?” The inbound marketing version of that question would ask, “Would you rather blog for one hour each day, or always have insufficient content to draw in visitors?”

Like planning your social media presence, having an editorial calendar for your blog can be helpful in maintaining consistent timing and fresh content. That’s why we put together a free blog editorial calendar template, complete with instructions and content management tips.

5) Make customer service a priority.

When we hear the name “Zappos,” most of us immediately think, “unparalleled customer service.” The online apparel retailer built this level of service into its core approach to doing business — and into its core values.

Why is that so important? For Zappos, making excellent customer service the cornerstone of its brand actually saved money on marketing and advertising. That’s because it created word-of-mouth among existing and potential customers, which is what we call earned media — the recognition that your brand has earned, not paid for, from people talking about something remarkable you did. (Psst — U.S. businesses, as a whole, lose about $ 41 billion dollars each year because of bad customer service.)

Whether you’re serving customers or clients, the goal is to create a delightful, sharable experience. And when the client or customer experience is a priority, it shouldn’t cost you much for them to talk about it — remember, your work earned it.

But that revisits the importance of your identity and voice. As you go through these brand-building steps, think about the values that you want to be resonated in those things. Is excellent service one of them? Those values are what shape the brand’s culture, and that influences the voice you project to an audience.

6) Take advantage of co-branding.

I’ll never forget what my colleague Lisa Toner told me when I asked her about negotiating co-branding agreements.

“Larger companies may have a large reach,” she said, “but what do they not have?”

When you’re just starting to build a brand, you might not have the reach that Toner’s talking about. You can take the steps to build it, like we’ve described so far, but that takes time. Until then, one way to get your name in front of a broader audience is to partner with a brand that has one.

But don’t just pick any old brand to work with. Make sure it’s one that’s aligned with yours — the partnership has to make sense in the minds of your audience. Here’s what we recommend in seeking a co-brand:

  • Consider your partner’s audience. Would it be interested in your brand? Is it that difficult for you to reach without this partnership? How well does it trust your co-brand? That’s crucial to getting them to listen to you, too — people don’t trust traditional advertisements anymore. So make sure your partner reaches the audience in a way that instills confidence, not doubt.
  • Have something to offer your co-brand. Just like Toner asked, “what do they not have?” The experience should be a win-win-win: for you, your co-brand, and the consumer.
  • Consider selecting a well-known and respected nonprofit as a co-brand. More and more people’s purchasing decisions are based on a brand’s social responsibility — in fact, 85% of millennials say that makes them more willing to recommend a brand.

Get Branding

Building a brand might seem like a huge undertaking, especially when resources are limited. But as we’ve seen, there are plenty of economical ways to not only get started, but to continue the momentum you start with these efforts.

And please, have fun with the process. Of course, there has to be a degree of strategy and logic involved — that’s why we’ve built the tools to help you determine what the different pieces of your brand will be. But it’s a creative exercise, so keep that in mind if you get bogged down in technicalities.

What were some of the first ways you started branding your business on a budget? Let us know in the comments.

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  free guide to company branding


HubSpot Marketing Blog

SORO< img class ="alignright size-full wp-image-59168" src ="http://smyrnathemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/SORO.jpg"alt= "SORO"size="242"height="235"/ > Exactly what would you claim is the most effective advertising techniques for acquiring new consumers? 85 %of sellers in the brand-new 2014 Shop.org/ Forrester Research Inc. State of Retailing Online study, claimed paid search.

Just 81 merchants joined the survey, which was carried out through May and June of 2014, but even if the number was 810 the result likely would have been the same.

Search still functions. It’s acquainted to both online marketers and customers and also as lengthy as Google keeps transforming out exceptional outcomes, paid search will certainly continuously be a smash hit. Think of all things you looked for on the web this week. Exactly how lots of times did that search start with Google or Bing? I look for a great deal of things on eBay and also I locate that I improve outcomes from Google compared to on eBay itself. Same for Twitter. It’s just an extra efficient means of discovering details and also most of us know it.

Due to the fact that it’s so effective, stores said they spend a lot more on paid search compared to other kind of advertising and 4 from 5 are investing also more than they spent last year.

62% of stores surveyed likewise intend to invest much more on Facebook interactive advertising and also various other social media initiatives.

Here’s exactly what I wonder. If organisations had to pay just to keep a visibility on social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) – – do you think budgets would certainly change even additionally because direction? Marketing experts typically moan regarding the absence of substantial results on social media sites, but they remain since it’s primarily cost-free. Would they go if it wasn’t totally free? Picture just how that would certainly impact the whole social networks photo … Something to chew on.

Back to the survey.

I was shocked to see that 40% of retailers make use of affiliate programs to obtain brand-new consumers. I made use of to be extremely associated with associate advertising but because social media sites removed, it is among those methods that’s dropped away for me. I presume that’s not so for the majority.

Store states display advertisements are coming on more powerful thanks to breakthroughs in behavioral targeting and also remarketing. But Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali advises online marketers not to obtain too caught up in all the new and also shiny things such as complex attribution tools that help you adhere to consumers from tool to tool.

One of the most unusual findings from the research study was that even when a retailer does make use of one of the more “sophisticated” forms of attribution dimension, their real allowance of advertising and marketing invest does not differ that a lot from those that simply utilize last click.

One point you could measure is just how lots of people open email advertising messages on a mobile device. 42% of opens up happen on a smartphone. In 2014, it was just 28%. Tablet opens up climbed from 16% to 17%. Not as remarkable yet you could see where this is going.

Claims Mulpuru-Kodali;

I believe the essential takeaways from this record are that you have to keep optimizing your Google efforts, you shouldn’t overlook email as it’s still quite alive, you shouldn’t be also rapt of shiny things like beacons, as well as last click attribution– though flawed– still works for now.


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If you’re anything like most people, you can probably rattle off 100 different things you’d rather do than dig through your inbox.

It starts to feel like a chore, because what’s in there isn’t very interesting. In fact, only 21% of consumers reported that they’ve received a memorable promotional email in the past two months, according to a study by Litmus

To overcome that, many brands are using email personalization as a strategy for creating more engaging email experiences — ones that feel less like a robot, and more like a friend. Download our free guide here to learn how to personalize your own emails to  generate more opens and clicks.

The best part? Email personalization doesn’t need to be insanely complicated to resonate with recipients. To see what I mean, check out these 12 great email examples that cleverly use personalization.

12 Examples of Email Personalization in Action

1) JetBlue

Oh, JetBlue. You shouldn’t have. 

This anniversary email highlights a creative example of a brand using something as simple as a date to provide a standout experience. Much like a birthday shout out, JetBlue used my colleague’s account creation date to trigger a personalized email to celebrate the fact that they’ve been “emailing for 365 days now.”

If you’re a HubSpot customer, this is an easy email to replicate for your contacts through fixed date or property-based workflows. It allows you to base your workflow on a calendar or contact property date, so you can send anniversary emails, digital birthday cards, renewal reminders, and more. And if your business is sending a high volume of these emails, we also offer the Transactional Email Add-On.

2) Spotify 

Here’s another great personalized email example that leverages a user’s interests to provide a relevant, value-packed message.

The copy in this email is particularly effective because it frames the personalization in a way that makes the recipient feel like they’re being rewarded for their usage. Phrases like “top listener” and “be the first to get access” lend themselves to a sense of exclusivity — making the user feel important. 

The email also closes with a written call-to-action that encourages the recipient to listen to Charles Kelley’s new song  — specifically on Spotify. Again, this push helps to ensure that the user is actively using the streaming service, and therefore continuously reminded of the value. 

3) Amazon 

Last Halloween, HubSpot’s blogging team dressed as the dancing pumpkin man from this viral video. (And, in case you’re wondering, we’ll probably be dressing as a bunch of bananas this year.) But before opting to DIY our own orange masks, my colleague, Lindsay Kolowich, set out on an Amazon search to find us the real deal.

Within just a couple of days, she received this personalized email from Amazon featuring “products similar to ‘full face plastic pumpkin masks’.” (Some of them are quite scary, aren’t they?)

This email serves as a great example of how to use a contact’s search behavior to re-engage them with your company, and hopefully move them closer to a sale. 

4) LinkedIn

Once upon a time, before I worked for HubSpot — practically another lifetime, it feels like — I was about to graduate from business school and actively applying for jobs.

I often used LinkedIn for my search — a business-focused social network that was paying attention the type of listings I responded to. Each day, LinkedIn sent me a roundup jobs it thought would pique my interest.

LinkedIn

What’s interesting about this email is that LinkedIn wasn’t using it to earn my paid business. Rather, LinkedIn seemed to be keeping a close eye, algorithmically, to the locations and type of work I was seeking. While some of the listings were more applicable than others, all of them were clickable.

Did you catch that? Clickable. And even if none of these jobs piqued my interest, I had about 250 classmates who might have considered them, driving even more traffic to LinkedIn’s website.

So think about what’s going to make your content clickable, and how you can use personalized emails to drive traffic to your site. Then, set up workflows that remind subscribers how to continue taking advantage of these specially-tailored messages.

5) The Bowery Presents

I received this email back when I was living in New York address, but it still serves as a great example of how to use location information to provide a customized email experience.

In the email, The Bowery Presents pulled shows from New York venues — where I purchased tickets for many events when I lived there — for artists similar to the ones I saw live.  

The Bowery Presents

And when I finally purchased tickets to see one of these artists in Boston? It re-personalized my emails to let me know about shows here.

Bowery Boston

By making it easy for me to quickly visualize what’s headed to the area and when, The Bowery Presents is able to lower the barrier between me and the point of purchase.

This type of personalization could be extremely beneficial for a company looking to deliver more relevant messages to international leads or existing customers. (For more tips on reaching international audiences, check out this article from our VP of International Operations and Strategy, Nataly Kelly.)

6) Twitter

After following one of her favorite brunch spots on Twitter, my colleague Corey received this email from the social network with suggestions for similar accounts to follow. 

What’s more is that the suggestions were actually super relevant — turns out, a couple of them were just right around the corner from her. (Hello, new grub options.)

twitter email mkt resized 600

When companies have as much data as Twitter does, they usually go one of two ways with personalization: They totally hit the nail on the head, or they have too much data to sift out what’s important. This is an example of accurately identifying what Corey would actually care about, and delivering it to her.

7) Hawaiian Airlines

There are few places on the planet that I love more than Hawaii. I’m constantly thinking about my next trip there, but for a while, could never quite commit to booking it.

That is, until I received this special birthday email from Hawaiian Airlines. In keeping with the Hawaiian tradition of presenting someone with a lei on his or her birthday, the airline instead chose to present me with 500 bonus miles, just for booking a trip within the next year. Aloha, indeed.

Hawaiian Airlines

There’s more than one noteworthy thing about this email. First, the only reason I received it is because I’m enrolled in the Hawaiian Airlines mileage program, and getting emails like these is just one of the “rewards” of membership. Plus, the airline understands that I joined for a reason — because at some point, I planned to visit Hawaii again.

With that in mind, Hawaiian Airlines used this personalized email to give me an incentive to finally book that trip, with a birthday greeting to boot. That’s a great way for brands to achieve customer reactivation — by using a fixed date, like a birthday or anniversary, to remind people what it was that they loved about your business in the first place. By offering something special from your brand to commemorate the occasion, you’re giving your audience the motivation to take action and making a purchase.

8) HubSpot Academy

There’s a thing about licenses and certifications. They’re valuable. They help you master knowledge and become an expert. Having them makes you look good. But they also have to be kept up-to-date, and unless you’re reminded, letting them expire can be all too easy.

If you have any HubSpot certifications, you know that doesn’t have to be the case. Our Academy team creates personalized emails to let certification-holders know which ones they currently possess, which ones need to be renewed, and which ones might be helpful to add to their credentials.

HubSpot Academy

Eric Peters, the senior growth marketing manager with HubSpot Academy, explained the technology that makes emails like these work. Each certification box in the above email is made “smart,” to show users which certifications are available to them.

“All nine certifications are available to partners. Eight are available to customers, and four to non-customers,” Peters says. “Each one of those certifications has a Smart CTA that appears as a different color, depending on whether the user is actively certified — which means they passed within the last 395 days — expired, or incomplete.” 

“In other words,” he explains, “it’s a bunch of Smart CTAs embedded in a smart rich text box. The CTAs point to the splash page describing the certification.”

(HubSpot Professional and Enterprise customers: You can create Smart CTAs like these in your own emails with your HubSpot CTA tool.)

9) Netflix

Am I the only one that spends more time looking for a movie on Netflix than I do actually watching it?

Aware that its database can be overwhelming, Netflix regularly sends out these personalized emails that suggest movies for its users. (If you want to learn more about the science behind the Netflix algorithms, you can brush up on it here.)

By providing a custom recommendation, Netflix helps ensure that users are actively seeing the value of their subscription. In other words, it keeps them watching, which ultimately keeps them paying. 

This approach could be applied to a number of marketing materials — ebooks, webinars, and blog articles, to name a few. For example, if you find that someone downloaded an ebook on social media tips, you may want to set up a workflow to trigger a follow-up email that suggests they check out your social media guide on SlideShare. 

10) Pinterest

In an effort to keep my colleague Ginny pinning, Pinterest sent her this personalized email. Based off her past activity on the site, the social network provided some suggestions for other topics she may want to explore. (Butter, Lauren Conrad, and cheese — I like your style, Ginny.)

And given that, at the time, she was planning a yellow-themed wedding, I’d say the results were pretty accurate. 

What we love most about the email is its simplicity. It offers up just six topics, which is enough to interest the recipient without overwhelming her. Plus, the copy is quick, friendly, and clear. 

11) WeddingWire

In other wedding-related news, my colleague Ginny also received this email example from WeddingWire, an online marketplace for venues, cakes, dresses, and other wedding-planning items.

While the copy was clever in and of itself, what really struck us was the personalization used in the subject line. After all, your recipients aren’t going to see the content unless you persuade them to click first, right?

By using a witty, custom hashtag —  #GinnysLastHurrah — in the subject line, WeddingWire inspired her to click on the email, check out their tool for creating hashtags, and forward the email to the rest of us. 

If you want to boost the word-of-mouth influence behind your product or service, you should consider how personalization can help propel your message. 

12) Birchbox

Birchbox is a company that’s fixated on personalization in all the right ways — and all it takes is one glance at the header of this email to see why it’s effective.

Birchbox transparently admitted that they took a peek at my colleague Carly’s sample and purchase history before crafting this email. That gave her the sense that what came next would likely be relevant to her — and it was. 

These little, personalized messages always reinforce why Carly continues to subscribe to the Birchbox service — they strengthen her loyalty. 

Let’s Get Personal

With 62% of millennials feeling that online content drives their loyalty to a brand, and 46% of U.S. consumers admitting that they’re more likely to switch providers than they were 10 years ago — it’s clear that fostering loyalty through personalization should be a priority.

It may seem like a big undertaking, but by observing, understanding, and investing in the behavior of your customers, you can help to ensure that they’ll stay customers. So start getting personal — and building loyalty.

Is your company leveraging email personalization? Share your favorite tips below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Please go to Online search engine Land for the complete post.


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social_media_calendar-1.jpg

What do cross-country road trips, wedding speeches, and social media marketing have in common?

You could wing all three, but it’s probably better to have a plan for what direction you’re heading — especially when it comes to your social media content strategy.

By now, most marketers recognize that social media plays an integral role in an effective inbound marketing strategy. And with so many social networks to manage and publish on, it’s important to stay organized and have a plan for when and what you’re going to share on these platforms. Download the free social media content calendar template here to plan and  organize the timing of all your social media posts. 

In this post, we’ve rounded up some of the most helpful tools and templates for building out an effective social media content plan. Check them out below. 

The Benefits of Using a Social Media Content Calendar

Let’s face it: We’re all busy. And when we’re busy and don’t have a plan in place for the tasks we have to get done, things inevitably slip through the cracks.

Just like with blogging, a successful social media strategy requires regular publishing and engaging with followers to see positive results — whether that be in terms of SEO, brand recognition, lead generation, or all three. 

So if you’re not already using a social media content calendar, hear me out:

  1. Calendars help you get organized to avoid the dreaded scramble when things come up. With a social media calendar, marketers can plan out posts for entire weeks or months in advance, which frees up working hours to strategize for the future — and to dash off any posts about breaking news in your industry. Otherwise, you’ll spend valuable time each day searching the internet for that day’s content to share, which is a known productivity killer.
  2. A calendar helps you plan for each social network to customize posts instead of spamming all platforms with the same message. Social media marketers should take the time to craft custom messages for each network, and doing this in advance will save time throughout the week and ensure that you’re being thoughtful and intentional when you do post.
  3. Calendars can help you track performance and plan for future posts. Without a calendar, social media marketers are publishing content into the void and are unable to track big-picture and past performance. With a calendar, marketers can look back and analyze which content performed best so they can adjust their strategy accordingly.
  4. With the help of a calendar, marketers can plan for holidays and observance days, such as National Cat Day, when they can tailor their content and engage with a wider audience. 
  5. Social media calendars improve efficiency. According to Content Marketing Institute, 60% of social media marketers with a documented strategy rated themselves as highly effective, versus 32% of marketers with only a verbal strategy.

Now that you understand the merits of having a social media content calendar in place, check out our list of top tools to stay organized and on top of your game.

4 Helpful Tools for Organizing Your Social Media Calendar

1) Trello

Trello is another organizational tool that’s highly effective for team collaboration. More specifically, social media managers can use Trello’s flexible assignment “cards” and customizable “boards” and “lists” to map out to-do lists, manage a content calendar, plan a campaign, and house ideas from a brainstorm.

Here’s an example of a Trello board a social media marketing team might use to plan posts for the upcoming week:

Trello_social_media_example.png

But you’re not limited to just one structure: Users can customize boards according to their needs. For example, a team could create a board to organize social media posts for a given week, on a specific platform, or post ideas around a topic, such as a campaign or awareness day.

Trello cards allow for a ton of customization as well. Here’s a fictitious social media editorial calendar card with Twitter copy options around a piece of blog content. Note that you can track progress toward completing a checklist, which could be useful for social media marketers looking to track campaign progress. 

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Additionally, Trello cards can be assigned to different team members, marked with due dates, and commented on. Users can even customize the labels (as in the image below) with different publication statuses so the entire team can see the progress of their social media posts and when they’re due on the calendar. The labels could also indicate different social networks that content is being published on. 

trello-calendar-status.jpg

Source: BlueGlass

Trello also offers a full calendar view (shown below) which makes it easy to visualize what content is going out, and when.

trello-calendar-monthly-1.jpg

Source: BlueGlass

2) Microsoft Excel

Marketers might already use Excel for different types of reports and data analysis in their roles, but it’s a highly useful tool for social media content calendar organization, too. Excel can be customized according to whatever priorities or metrics a team is focused on, so it’s a great tool for planning ahead.

The good news? We’ve already done the heavy lifting for you by creating a free, downloadable social media content calendar template using Microsoft Excel. Marketers can use this template to easily plan out individual social media posts — monthly or annually — while keeping an eye on bigger picture events, holidays, publications, and partnerships. 

For more on how to use the templates, check out this in-depth guide from my colleague Lindsay Kolowich.

content_calendar_example.png

Use the Monthly Planning Calendar Tab above to get a bird’s-eye view of what’s coming down their content pipeline in a given month. 

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In the Content Repository tab, users can record the content they’re publishing on this tab to keep track of which pieces have been promoted and to easily recall older content that can be re-promoted on social media.

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On the Social Network Update tabs, users can draft and plan out social media posts in advance. These tabs are for organizational purposes, and the content of the posts themselves must be uploaded into a social media publisher.

This free resource can be used to draft social media posts, or it can be bulk-uploaded into a publishing app to maximize efficiency. (HubSpot customers: You can use this spreadsheet to organize content and upload it directly into Social Inbox. For instructions on how to do so, check out the template’s cover sheet here.)

3) Evernote

Evernote is a note-taking app that marketers can use to keep track of all the moving parts that comprise a social media campaign.

The tool also features yearly, monthly, weekly, and hourly logs, which make it easy to keep track of when you’re publishing content on social media, when you’re producing blog content, and other team-wide priorities. (Evernote offers customizable templates for each of these that can be downloaded into the app.)

Daily_Calendar_Evernote_Web.png

Another useful feature? Evernote’s Web Clipper extension for Chrome. Marketers can use this tool to easily save links to their Evernote Notebook for sharing later on.  

Evernote-webclipper.png

The Evernote mobile app also boasts some interesting features to help marketers keep their social content ideas straight. For example, you can easily snap a photo and save it to your Evernote files for review later.

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Source: Evernote

This feature is of particular valuable for social content creators looking to maintain a backlog of photos to publish on Instagram. 

4) Google Drive

Google Drive has several helpful features that make it easy for social media marketers to build out an effective content calendar. 

Here’s an example of how a team might use Google Calendar to track both their editorial and social media calendars to make sure they’re aligning posts with new blog content. These calendars can be easily shared with multiple teams to avoid scheduling conflicts and ensure that campaigns are aligned. 

gcal_example.png

Marketers can also use shared Google Sheets to schedule posts on social media, track the status of different pieces of content, and assign tasks to team members — all on the same platform as their calendar.

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With the help of Google Docs, users can keep comments all in one place and can collaborate on different projects without emailing back-and-forth or having to schedule a meeting. This is a particularly useful feature when editing content for social media, which may need to be drafted and approved quickly.

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(HubSpot customers: You can link your Google Drive account to your HubSpot portal to easily upload files from Drive into your HubSpot software.)

Ready to Plan?

Now that we’ve reviewed a few helpful tools to kick your social media strategy into high gear, experiment with them. Every social media team is different, and it could be a combination of these tools that helps you execute your strategy efficiently to drive ROI. For getting all of your ideas down and developing a big-picture plan for your social assets, we recommend starting with our template and going from there.

What tools do you use to build your social media content calendar? Share with us in the comments below.

free social media content calendar template


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