Tag: 上海龙凤

Facebook Phone: Maybe, Just Maybe, Not A Completely Moronic Idea

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Facebook Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Rumors abound about the so-called “Facebook phone,” which the social network appears likely to  unveil later this week, apparently as a fork of Android that will favor Facebook heavily in the overall user interface and experience.The idea of a Facebook phone has long struck many people, myself included, as, well, idiotic. But there’s at least one way this device could be a success — assuming Facebook can get people to buy in to the whole notion of a Facebook-centric device.And that’s a big problem.Who’s The Customer?Let’s start with a basic question: Who in the world is going to buy this thing?(See also: Hey, Facebook! Even You Don’t Need A Facebook Phone)Business people? Hardly. As a business-to-business platform, Facebook is a non-starter, and its use as a business-to-customer tool is very one-to-many aligned. Companies that do use Facebook to communicate one on one with customers won’t be doing it from a phone. Since Facebook is often seen as a time-waster in the business world for anyone but marketing, it would probably be easier to get a businessperson to buy a Hello Kitty! phone than one of these.Young, hip teenagers? That’s a stretch, too, because there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that younger kids are shifting away from Facebook either because they’re bored with it or because all their parents and older relatives are there, and that’s kind of lame. Plus, this demographic is not exactly a prime target for advertising dollars, especially if we’re talking middle school and high school kids who don’t even have jobs yet.Older demographics are a better fit, and I suspect those are the users Facebook is going after.(See also: Zuckerberg: “We’re Not Going To Build A Phone”)So let’s say Facebook does find a solid user base that really wants these phones. The question then becomes, how does Facebook make money at this?Please Like This Revenue StreamRight now, Facebook pulls in around 85% of its revenue from advertising and the rest from in-app payments, like its cut when someone buys something in a game. The problem for Facebook is that it has only just recently figured out how to get ads on mobile platforms to actually pull in revenue. In fact, it was such a huge problem that when it revealed that it wasn’t making any significant revenue on mobile advertisements, it seriously hurt the company’s initial public offering last year.Now, though, Facebook has a plan, and it’s working. In the last quarter of 2012, Facebook raked in $305 million in mobile ad dollars — not bad, when you consider that figure stood at near zero in May 2011.(See also: Facebook To Unveil Its ‘New Home On Android,’ Whatever That Means)Advertising will no doubt be Facebook’s primary revenue source from these Facebook phones. If you can bring $305 million to the table by way of an app on someone else’e OS, imagine what you could do if you had the whole operating system to configure.Of course, that’s assuming Facebook users don’t grow weary of an ad-supported platform that does little more than insert ads in news feeds every few updates or so.But here, I think, Facebook’s going to get itself a little extra insurance.Apps Step UpAfter all, if you have the operating system, then you can manage the revenue from the apps. So why not set up a new source of revenue from sales of applications, on top of the in-app payments you get now?This is why I believe that Facebook will be shifting ever-so-slightly from the content-is-all-with-apps-on-the-side model they’re using now and putting a little bit more emphasis on the apps. They almost have to — according to the recent IDC study my colleague Brian Hall highlighted, only 16% of mobile Facebook users interact with apps now. If Facebook wants to up the revenue from that side of the house, then it’s going to have to make apps more prominent for users.An Android-based app interface, which is a far different presentation than Facebook uses for its in-network apps, might be just the thing.But, ultimately, will those apps be the right fit for users? Users want apps for news, weather or sports, not just game apps to play Farmville. Facebook can probably rule out productivity apps, but users won’t want to live on junk food alone.Google gets benefit from Android because it plugs users into into its services. Amazon gets benefit from its Android fork for Kindle Fire because it plugs users into its shopping network.A Facebook iteration of Android will have to do the same thing: plug users into something users want and that will make money for Facebook. Advertising alone won’t be enough. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement brian proffittlast_img read more

Radical Islamism: ‘Factors that allowed Taliban to overrun Afghanistan made it fall apart’

first_imgFALL AND FREEDOM: Retribution is bloody for this Taliban fighterIt was mid-morning and the valley of Maidan Shah was full of sound and fury. Kabul, 30 miles to the north, had been captured 10 days earlier and now it seemed the Northern Alliance was set for a big push south,FALL AND FREEDOM: Retribution is bloody for this Taliban fighterIt was mid-morning and the valley of Maidan Shah was full of sound and fury. Kabul, 30 miles to the north, had been captured 10 days earlier and now it seemed the Northern Alliance was set for a big push south along the road to Kandahar, the Taliban’s stronghold 300 miles away.In north Afghanistan the hardline Islamic militia had crumbled with surprising rapidity. Now the Northern Alliance was trying to fight in its heartland. Since early morning, rocket launchers, tanks and mortars had been pounding the ridge lines where the Taliban fighters were dug in.The rattle of automatic fire and a steady counterpoint from heavy machine guns filled the air. It looked like a full-scale set-piece battle, but in fact, as so often in Afghanistan, reality was far more complicated.As casualties mounted and trenches were captured and recaptured, negotiations continued between Ghulam Mohammed, the Taliban commander of Maidan Shah, and his Northern Alliance counterpart Sher Alam.After 48 hours, an uneasy peace descended, and a new political reality emerged; not just for this scrappy roadside town but for the country as a whole. For what happened at Maidan Shah was about to be repeated, with a few local variations, across much of central, eastern and southern Afghanistan.Ghulam Mohammed had done a deal with the Northern Alliance. After he surrendered a token tank or two,his fighters came down from their positions and embraced their counterparts. In a matter of minutes, Ghulam Mohammed’s nominal allegiance was suddenly to Kabul, not Kandahar. Another chunk of territory had been stripped from the Holy Warriors of Kandahar.advertisementFALL AND FREEDOM: An Afghan woman having a haircutFor observers, the battle of Maidan Shah was an object lesson in why the Taliban crumbled so fast. The first stage had been the rout in the north. There – in Mazar-e-Sharif, Shibergan, Taloqan, Kunduz, the Bamiyan Valley and the Shomali Plain – the Taliban was never going to be able to put up concerted resistance.The Pentagon may crow about the efficacy of the Daisycutter bomb and their Special Forces spotter teams but all those who know Afghanistan are aware that the Taliban presence in the north was a military, cultural, ethnic and political anomaly that was always fragile.When the Taliban (most of its militiamen are Pashtoons from the south-west) conquered the north in 1998, it met with little resistance. Judicious payments to the right commanders at the right time, combined with more than the usual infighting among the opposition, allowed the Taliban to take the key city of Mazar-e-Sharif without much of a fight. The Panjshir itself, despite a short-lived incursion in 1998, remained securely with the Northern Alliance.But the Taliban’s regime in the north was built on sand. When they arrived in Mazar-e-Sharif three years ago, the new governor of the city made his views clear: the Shia Muslims who predominate locally were unbelievers and worse than animals, he said.It did not endear him to the locals. “The Taliban in the north was an occupying power and seen as such,” said one western diplomat in Islamabad last week. “Any hold it had in the region was entirely dependent on the goodwill and financial greed of some local commanders.It had no hinterland.” It is now clear that the decision to try to defend the Taliban’s occupied territory beyond the Hindu Kush was the gravest strategic error made by Mullah Mohammed Omar, the reclusive one-eyed cleric who ran the movement from Kandahar.FORGOTTEN JOYS: Swinging freeFor months it was predicted that the Pashtoon heartlands of Afghanistan would rise up behind the Taliban. Ethnic, religious and nationalistic motives would combine, and the US-led coalition’s campaign would bog down in a morass of guerrilla warfare and religious extremism.”Had the Americans come up in force against Taliban ground troops, all things may have been different …” said one senior British army officer in London last week. “But that wasn’t the war they wanted – with good reason – and that wasn’t the war they fought. So the Taliban collapsed through its own internal weakness.”To understand why, you have to analyse the Taliban and what it is – or was. Though its origins are shrouded in myth, there is no doubting that the original impulse came from a semi-retired mujahideen fighter from Oruzgan province who was earning a poor living as a mullah in a small village near Kandahar in 1994. Mullah Omar and a small band of followers gathered their forces and set about cleaning up their neighbourhood. From those small ambitions and beginnings, the Taliban was born.advertisementTERROR LINE FORGOTTEN JOYS: At a bathhouseOrigin: The Taliban started in 1994 in Pashtoon-dominated south-east Afghanistan, when Mullah Omar, a veteran of the war against the Soviets, fought bandit warlords.1996 onward: Consolidates position in Afghanistan. Becomes home of radical Islamism, shelters people like Osama bin Laden.Sept 11: Incurs US wrath as two planes crash into and destroy the WTC. Another plane hits the Pentagon. US President George Bush blames bin Laden and promises to “hunt” him down.Oct 7: The US launches air strikes in Afghanistan.Nov 9: Northern Alliance troops capture the strategic Mazar-e-Sharif.Nov 12: The Taliban troops abandon Kabul.Dec 6: The Taliban troops surrender Kandahar, their last stronghold. Over the next seven years, a body of ideologically aligned fellow travellers coalesced around the core group in Kandahar. At first these were Afghans attracted by Mullah Omar’s message and his personal charisma.Soon they were joined by a strong Pakistani contingent – the madarsa nexus, which brought thousands to their fold. Lately, Al Qaida elements began to build a stronger presence.Osama bin Laden himself and his chief ideologue Ayman al-Zawahiri became more influential and their fighters more militarily significant.But most important of all were the hundreds of local Afghan warlords who decided that the clever choice was to join the Taliban, or at least not to resist it.And this is where the almost feudal nature of Afghan politics played into the Islamic milita’s hands. “A good leader (in Afghanistan) looks after his fighters.That means not getting them killed and keeping them sweet with handouts so they are loyal to him,” explained Sher Abdullah, a former Taliban commander in Jalalabad last month. “That means being on the winning side.”As the Taliban began its drive across Afghanistan, scores of local commanders made their calculations – and suddenly became Mullah Omar’s men.By last September, the Taliban had a fighting strength of around 50,000 (including foreign fighters numbering 5,000), large stocks of ammunition, fuel, weapons, and several hundred tanks and armoured personnel carriers. But it was all for nothing. For what allowed the Taliban to spread so quickly, allowed them to fall apart even faster.The collapse was in spite of the hard core, not because of it. Mullah Omar is now a fugitive and his close associates have not surrendered. The Pakistanis and other foreigners fought on after the Taliban pulled out from the north voluntarily.The men who held out for some time in the eastern cave complex of Tora Bora, where bin Laden is believed to be sheltering, were certainly in no mood to surrender, and of the 2,000 Pakistanis who entered Afghanistan from Malakand, 1,100 are unaccounted for-either in prison or dead.What basically caused the collapse of the Taliban was the failure of support in the Afghan countryside as a whole. President George W. Bush’s idea was to drain the swamp that aids terrorists. This swamp spat them out voluntarily.That happened even though the Taliban was welcome when it first took over many cities because it brought order. Basically the Taliban was defeated- like every other power that overreaches itself in Afghanistan-by the traditional structure of Afghan rural society.advertisementThe Taliban was never more than a superimposition on the social structure in rural areas, on the local ruling councils, shuras, on hierarchies established over centuries. The primacy of the mullah – the foundation of Taliban rule – was always an anomaly and a reversion to earlier hierarchies favouring the malik or the syed or the alim (religious scholar) an inevitability.Couple that with the traditional mendacity and venality of your average post-Soviet era Afghan warlord – the other pole of local power – and, once its back was to the wall, the Taliban never stood a chance.Some things might have staved off collapse. Much depended on money and the Taliban received a lot in its early days from Saudi Arabia, bin Laden and Pakistan. It also received substantial military support from Pakistan. But the changes in the regional geopolitical map in the past three months left the Taliban high and dry. The conjunction of regional factors that had facilitated its emergence had disappeared.For the moment, the Taliban is effectively gone. It is, however, far from forgotten. In Pakistan, former Taliban ministers and officials have formed a new party, a Taliban Mk 2. What exactly their intentions are is not clear yet.(The author is the chief reporter of The Observer, London, and was its South Asia correspondent from 1998 to 2000.)last_img read more

Ganguly-led BCCI technical committee calls for Ranji overhaul

first_imgThe Sourav Ganguly-led technical committee of BCCI on Tuesday outlined for major structural changes in the elite domestic tournament, the Ranji Trophy.The committee even recommended doing away with the Elite and Plate divisions.The technical committee, that met at the BCCI headquarters at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai discussed the issue for over two hours and opined that the Elite and Plate groups be replaced by three groups of nine teams each.”We have recommended two major changes in the Ranji Trophy format. There will be nine teams in three groups — A, B and C. Each team will play eight matches in the league stage and there will be promotion and relegation,” Ganguly told reporters after the meeting.”The changes will make the competition even and each team will play a few more matches. But all these are recommendations and the BCCI working committee will take the final decision,” he added.Each team will play eight matches at the league stage. Three teams each from groups A and B and two from group C will qualify for the knockout phase.The committee also proposed that quarterfinals, semifinals and the final should be five-day affairs. According to the current format only the final is a five-day affair.If in the knock-out phase, a result on first innings is not obtained at the end of the fifth day, then the match will be extended into a sixth day. If there is no outcome on first innings even at the end of the sixth day, then the winner will be decided on the spin of a coin.advertisementFor an outright win, teams will get six points. A bonus win – by an innings or by 10 wickets — will fetch teams one bonus point. If the teams are tied on both innings then they would get three points each.A first innings lead but no outright win will fetch a team three points while loss on first innings will get a team one point. Tie on first innings without outright result will give teams one point each.The committee also outlined the order in which the domestic season will proceed with Duleep Trophy being played first.The order – Duleep Trophy, Challenger Trophy, Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Deodhar Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. There will be two Irani Cup games from the 2012-13 season.The committee also made changes in the playing condition in domestic limited-over games. It felt that a bowler should be permitted a maximum of twelve overs per match and two bouncers per over. There will be no change in the prevalent rule pertaining to the number of fielders allowed outside the thirty-yard circle in non-Powerplay overs.Ranji Trophy – Points systemOutright win6 pointsInnings win / win by ten wickets1 bonus pointTie on both innings3 points each1st Innings lead but no outright win3 pointsLoss on 1st innings1 pointTie on 1st innings without outright result1 point eachOutright lossNil1st innings results not achieved, with or without weather interference1 point eachlast_img read more

5 Ways to Get Out of the Pay-Per-Click Weeds

first_imgWe see this happen time and time again: In the midst of managing a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, marketers get bogged down in the details of the campaign without paying attention to what actually matters.  What actually matters? PPC return on investment (ROI), of course.  If you’re managing a PPC campaign, you need to understand how all the little bits of data can play together and help you achieve a better ROI.  To do this, you should consider a few things: Overall, you have to keep your eye on the prize when it comes to PPC.  Make sure you’re not getting lost in the budget, impressions, and clicks weeds–what do these little things matter in the big picture of generating quality leads?  PPC involves so many little details and tweaks, that it’s incredibly ea.  Keep your goal in mind and keep working at it and you’ll be sure to improve your lead quality. Are you paying attention to your ads? to see how paid search fits into your inbound marketing strategy. sanderovski & linda Learn how to get the most out of your pay per click marketing campaigns. impressions One of the biggest PPC mistakes we see is when folks go after expensive, popular words rather than long-tail, more relevant ones.  Should you really go after “running shoes” when your product is only peripherally related to them? Probably not. What words are you going after? each, pause the one with fewer click-throughs and write a new one.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  You should also always remember that effective ads include offers–in essence, they’re calls to action. It’s easy to get caught up in the words you’re targeting and let your ads languish.  Are you aggressively A/B testing your ads?  If you’re not, you can do this easily in AdWords by running two ads per campaign in balanced views (don’t let Google manage Topics: What are your priorities? Download the free video We have seen people add random lingo in order to increase their relevance score without thinking about what phrases would generate quality traffic for them.  Perhaps you are obsessing about When you tweak, what are you tweaking for? One of the most common PPC errors is to dump all the traffic onto your main homepage.  A better idea is to send them straight to landing pages so that you can get that click (that you paid for) to convert to a lead much sooner! Originally published Jul 30, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 . Video: Get the Most out of Your PPC Campaigns Photo courtesy of , but never getting any click-throughs.  Make sure you aren’t optimizing for clicks without making sure the visitors would be quality leads.  It’s very easy to fall into the “I must do better at one metric” trap without keeping your high-level goals in mind. impressions impressions for you), and when you have a good number of PPC Where are you sending your traffic? Your priorities tend to reflect on what you’re being measured, and we hope you’re being measured primarily on generating high quality leads.  If you’re not, perhaps you need to examine why.  Do you have a long enough sales cycle that you can get a more immediate measure from number of leads generated or click-throughs?  Whatever your priority is, keep that in mind throughout measuring your campaign.  You should be asking yourself the question, “Am I getting closer to my goal?” Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Host Your First Webinar

first_img Originally published Mar 28, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated October 14 2019 Webinars Topics: In my last post, I reviewed how to setup and promote your webinar . Now the time has finally come – it’s the day of your scheduled webinar and you’re ready to get things rolling!Download Now: Free Webinar Planning KitHow to Host Your First Webinar – Part 2: Day of the Webinar Stage 3: Execute 1 hour before the webinar Remind Your Registrants – It’s that time again, time to remind your registrants that it’s almost time for your wonderful webinar! Again, this email can be scheduled ahead of time using a system like GotoWebinar. Setup Your Webinar Room – Use the Webinar Room Requirements List below to get everything – and everyone – in your reserved room. Log into the Webinar – Your presenter should be logged in and sharing his/her screen. Make sure your presenter closes any unnecessary and distracting applications like email and instant messenger. You also should turn off or remove any cell phones as they can cause interference. The moderator should be logged in and able to moderate the Q&A. And, finally, use your mock attendee computer to log in as a normal attendee would and use the headphones to hear the audio from the event. The mock attendee computer will help you catch any issues as soon as they happen.Webinar Room Requirements ListPresenter’s computer plugged into a/c power and Internet (wired is better than wireless).Moderator’s computer plugged into a/c power and Internet (wired is better than wireless).Mock attendee’s computer plugged into a/c power and Internet, with headphones.Phone (not a cell phone) to deliver speaker audio.Water or other drinks for speakers – you’ll get thirsty!”Webinar in Progress” sign for the door – not only will you feel official, but people will be less likely to interrupt your live event. 2 minutes after webinar start time Start the Webinar – You typically don’t want to start right on the dot of your start time. That’s because many people will try to arrive right at that time and you don’t want a majority of your audience to come in mid-introductions. Review Housekeeping Items – No, I don’t mean how to fold the corners of your bed sheets. Housekeeping items for a webinar include how the audience can interact with you (Are you doing Q&A? Will you answer questions live or via chat?) and if attendees will get the slides and/or video recording after the event is over. Record – If you’re planning on recording your presentation (most webinar systems let you do this), remember to hit that record button! Present – Present your wonderful content and cap off the presentation with some live Q&A and thanks to the audience. 1 minute after the webinar End the Webinar – Log out of the webinar and end the event for the attendees. Make sure you’ve hung up the phone before you start talking about how the presentation went! Pat Yourself on the Back – You just completed your first webinar! Congratulations! Up Next: What Now? Your Post-Webinar To-Do List Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Buyer Personas Gone Stale? Use Agile Techniques

first_img Buyer Personas Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack For most marketers, the buyer persona is one of the first things developed when beginning work on a new campaign. In an ideal world, you have time to carefully craft personas through a combination of internal stakeholder discovery and direct customer interviews.Unfortunately, timing can sometimes cut the schedule short. The number of customer interviews could be reduced, or maybe eliminated completely. You find yourself relying on internal institutional knowledge for your customer insights because your team already “knows” your customer.The personas are written up, printed out, and if you’re lucky, posted on the wall in the campaign “war room”. Once completed, the task is checked off the list and it’s onto the next job in the queue.However, understanding that buyer personas change over time could be an important realization for your marketing team. So, how do you determine the right time to evolve your buyer personas?I recommend using agile marketing to help solve the problem. You see, with the speed of change in marketplace today, taking an agile approach to your marketing (and in this case, buyer personas) is critical for your program’s ongoing success.A Brief Overview of AgileA few years ago, a group of marketers at the SprintZero event in San Francisco developed what they described as the Agile Marketing Manifesto. While every business and campaign is different, there are some central truths in their approach: Validated learning over opinions and conventionsCustomer focused collaboration over silos and hierarchyAdaptive and iterative campaigns over Big-Bang campaignsThe process of customer discovery over static predictionFlexible vs. rigid planningResponding to change over following a planMany small experiments over a few large betsSo for the question of when should you revisit your persona, your answer should be as often as you have the opportunity to gather new insights. So how do you go about acquiring this information? Here are some key areas to examine that will help you understand how to enhance your buyer personas.1) Use your customer interactionsJust because you didn’t have time to conduct interviews at the beginning of the process doesn’t mean it’s too late to get at the customer voice. Look for opportunities where you can interact with customers to get more insights to help adjust and improve your marketing.Attend a few client meetings with your sales team and look for the “wow” moment that gets the customer’s attentionSit with your customer service teams and listen to customer callsPay attention to the types of questions that researching buyers are askingGetting closer to the customer might seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Invest some time doing so and you’ll probably get a few great ideas on how to shape your personas even more.2) Look for digital cuesBy leveraging the data from marketing automation or other sources of analytics on your website, it’s possible to get insights into what does and does not interest a buyer.Which of your content pieces are your personas downloading?What can you draw from the blog articles are they reading?How are they answering the questions on your landing pages? Even if you don’t have a marketing automation platform, you can still use website analytics to gather how your visitors are interacting with your site. While it might now give you the robust information that an automation platform provides, it’ll be a start in better understanding your target audience.3) Leverage your attribution modelsBuilding marketing attribution models can seem like a mystery to non-analytical marketers. Luckily, marketing automation systems like HubSpot have recently added attribution-reporting right into their dashboards to make this easy.What’s different about how your buyer personas find you? Certain sources, visit days or times of day?Do some personas have different visit behavior versus others? Time first seen vs. first conversion dates?Are there any differences in which pages of your site are in the conversion path for one persona over another?The beauty of digital marketing is that the platform is perfect for adaptation, learning and continual improvements. Your buyer personas should be reviewed and modified in the same way. Topics: Originally published Jan 5, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

The Reason Companies Miss Their Revenue Goals, In One Chart

first_img Topics: We all want to crush our goals month in and month out. Right?But just because we want to crush our goals doesn’t mean it always happens. We’ve all had a time in our career when we didn’t achieve our company’s goals.It happens more often than you’d think. In a recent study, we found that only 23% of people were exceeding their revenue goals. Fifty-two percent were simply achieving their goals, and 20% weren’t meeting them at all. And there was one very clear pattern among those who weren’t exceeding their revenue goals: 74% didn’t know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunity numbers. (Tweet this stat). This becomes a vicious cycle. How can you grow your customer base and get more revenue if you don’t know how leads are coming into and moving down your funnel? You can’t — at least not in a predictable way. The good news is that there is an easy fix: Start tracking your funnel. Figure out the number of average monthly website visitors, leads, MQLs, and sales opportunities you’re generating and keep track of the conversion rates at each stage. (With the right software, this is actually very easy to do.)Of course, there are a number of things that impact revenue and we aren’t suggesting that knowing your funnel metrics is the only answer. But it’s a great place to start.  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 3, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Reportinglast_img read more

8 Mistakes Brands Make With Instagram

first_img Originally published Mar 19, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Mistake #4: They Misuse HashtagsIt is entirely possible to misuse hashtags on Instagram, whether you’re using too few, irrelevant ones, or none at all.Similar to other social networks, hashtags play an important role in the discovery process on Instagram. Lesser-known brands or brands with low follower counts can utilize popular but relevant hashtags to build momentum and increase their content’s exposure.In addition to discovery, hashtags can help build brand awareness. Consider creating and promoting branded hashtags as a part of a more in-depth strategy.When it comes to an optimal number of hashtags per post, a QuickSprout infographic points out that posts with 11 or more hashtags received nearly 80% interaction, compared to just 22% when using 10 and 41% when using two (Instagram limits the number of hashtags allowed per post to 30).Furthermore, AgoraPulse found a direct, positive relationship between hashtags and engagement, likes, and comments.In terms of relevancy, don’t misuse hashtags in an attempt to increase exposure. This is a surefire way to lose credibility and come off as lazy on a network that was built on authenticity and quality.Who’s doing it right? GoProGoPro is the creator of the “world’s most versatile camera,” a favorite amongst extreme athletes, amateur photographers, and pets around the world. According to TOTEM Analytics, GoPro grows in follower count on Instagram by roughly 221k / month and is one of the most popular brands on the network.With 4.3m followers, GoPro could probably eliminate hashtags completely without sacrificing engagement. The brand chooses to leverage the discovery mechanism and it’s just one of the reasons they’ve created such a memorable Instagram presence.Below is a GoPro post that gets a couple things right in the hashtag category. For starters, they’re utilizing more than one hashtag. More importantly, they’re utilizing hashtags that are relevant to the photo.Mistake #5: They Purchase Followers / EngagementLike it or not, buying and selling Instagram followers and engagement is a big business. If you don’t want to spend the time building your following organically, Instagram is likely a waste of your time to begin with. If you need another reason not to purchase followers and/or engagement, the network is cracking down on fake and spam accounts, and they’re taking them out in massive numbers.Overall, engagement rates on Instagram are on the rise. The easiest way to tap into this growth is (as I mentioned before) through quality content and a consistent posting schedule. According to Simply Measured’s study, the Interbrand 100 received over 130 million total engagements in Q4 of 2014 (photos accounted for 93% of those interactions).That’s a lot of real engagement.Who’s doing it right? NikeNike is a multinational corporation known for their footwear, apparel, sporting equipment, and services. The brand is often referenced for their innovative marketing strategies, and they’ve earned an impressive Instagram audience with close to 13m followers. On average, each of Nike’s Instagram posts garners 128k likes and close to 900 comments according to PicStats. In addition, TOTEM Analytics shows that Nike grows in follower count by roughly 1m / month.Although they only posts 0.45 times-per-day on average, Nike’s attention to quality, compelling and influential messages, and an ability to create genuine connections with their audience through photo and video is what’s earned them one of the most dominant presences on the social network.The high-quality photos, captivating captions, utilization of location tagging, and branded hashtags are working well for the brand as you’ll see below. Since coming into existence in 2010, Instagram has given brands the opportunity to engage with their audience and tell their story through the power of visuals. The Facebook-owned app was one of the fastest growing major social networks in 2014, and is now home to more than 300 million accounts.In addition to the network’s impressive growth, users are also highly engaged with the platform. Each day, half of all users use the app and spend an average of 21 minutes on the app. Top brands have quickly realized the potential Instagram presents.Download the complete guide to using Instagram for business and marketing here.Simply Measured’s Quarterly Instagram Network Study (Q4 2014) found that 86% of Interbrand’s 2014 Top 100 Brands had an Instagram account, which was up from 71% the year prior. Instagram is quickly turning into the go-to network for brands looking to drive engagement.Whether you’re considering joining, are brand new to the network, or need tips and best practices to get more out of the app, I’ve gathered 8 of the most common mistakes brands make on Instagram backed by the ones that are creating a memorable presence. Mistake #1: They Lack a Goal-Driven StrategyInstagram offers brands a means of telling their story through photographs and video clips. The network is ideal for showcasing products being used in real-life situations, showing the progress of something through photos over time (such as the construction of a vehicle, the making of a new record, showing a new office space from empty to furnished and functional, or a new or favorite recipe from ingredients to the plated final product), or even answering frequently asked questions through short video clips. Possibilities are near limitless on Instagram, but like any other form of digital marketing, you’ll want to define goals early on and create a strategy to help you reach them.Whether you’re on Instagram to increase brand awareness, showcase a new product line, or add a human element to your brand, each piece of content you publish on the platform should be adding value and help you attain goals.Who’s doing it right? Quest NutritionQuest Nutrition is a nutrition company popular amongst the low carb and fitness crowds. They create nutritional food and drink products to help people reach their own health and fitness goals. According to TOTEMS Analytics, Quest Nutrition grows in follower count by roughly 15k / month. There’s no questioning how well of a job they do connecting with their audience and their lifestyles.Furthermore, they’re making it work in a somewhat surprising fashion, through video. Instagram introduced a 15-second video component to their platform back in June of 2013, and the adoption and engagement rates have been lesser than photo content. However, Quest Nutrition has found a way to make it work, driving far more engagement with video content, according to PicStats.Here’s an example of Quest Nutrition creating a “how-to” video with one of their products, all while sticking to their #CheatClean (health and wellness) message and strategy. One more for good measure. Mistake #6: They Fail to Maximize on Their FollowingInstagram users are engaged and they’re consuming and enjoying branded content at impressive rates. The social network continues to give brands huge opportunities for growth. However, an engaged following today doesn’t guarantee an engaged following tomorrow. How you interact with and leverage your Instagram following can mean the difference between flourishing and flopping on the social network.One of the simplest and most effective ways to offset the additional resources needed to create a successful Instagram presence can be found within your audience. Instagram is the perfect platform for promoting user-generated content (UGC), probably more so than any other social network. Whether you’re running a photo contest or are encouraging the use of a branded hashtag, Instagram is the perfect platform for building real relationships with real people.Give your followers the opportunity to spread your message, share your content, use your hashtags, and serve as advocates to your brand.Who’s doing it right? BarkBoxBarkBox is a monthly surprise package for dogs that includes toys, treats, and goodies. The company donates 10% of their profits to dogs in need and has already rescued 800 puppies. According to TOTEMS Analytics, BarkBox grows in follower count by roughly 32k / month.The brand has one of the funniest, most entertaining accounts on Instagram. They feature some of the most popular dogs of Instagram on their account, which has helped them promote engagement, grow their following, and promote branded hashtags. They’ve also created a VIP program that helps them earn business return via Instagram.There’s a reason BarkBox is raking in 15k likes and 1k comments average on each post.Try not to laugh (volume recommended). Social Media Fails ConclusionOver the last 4+ years, Instagram has gone from a social network known for selfies and food pics to a platform brands are leveraging to deliver meaningful messages, tell stories, and engage with people on a human to human level. We’ll continue to hear about, read about, speak about, and experience firsthand the opportunity Instagram presents to brands and marketers as network continues to grow. Brands getting the most out of the network are the ones posting quality content on a consistent basis, and are doing so with a purpose. Even brands that aren’t thought of as visually friendly are leveraging the network and seeing it work. The Instagram community is genuinely interested in connecting with these brands; so much so that they’ve expressed interest in learning more about brands and products after they’ve been inspired by what they’re posting.Are you taking advantage of what Instagram has to offer?  Mistake #8: They Aren’t Sold on InstagramDo I have enough time to manage another social network? Is it even worth joining Instagram if my business / products / services aren’t visually friendly? Do I have the right resources to create quality photos and videos? If you’re questioning whether or not Instagram has a place in your social media marketing strategy, you’re not alone.According to Rival IQ’s 2015 Social Media Trends research, 38% of marketers stated that Instagram was unimportant, with another 20% stating it was only somewhat important. As the fastest growing major social network with one of the most engaged audiences, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to overlook Instagram’s value. In less than five years, the network has grown to a whopping 300 million users who in one day share an average of 70 million photos while liking 2.5 billion.Instagram is worth the investment.Who’s doing it right? General ElectricGeneral Electric is a power and water, oil and gas, energy management, aviation, healthcare, transportation, and capital corporation. According to TOTEMS Analytics, General Electric grows in follower count by roughly 2k / month. While they may not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think Instagram, General Electric has been known for leveraging social media to connect with their audience. GE gets Instagram.The brand does an incredible job bringing their core values to life through photo and video on Instagram. In addition, they’ve found a way to take an otherwise very serious subject matter and make it educational, interesting, and exciting. Working around the clock to build, power, move, and cure the world is the theme they showcase throughout photos and videos like the following. Here’s an example of their VIP program in action.Mistake #7: They’re Overly PromotionalIs there anything more unflattering than brands posting nothing but promotional content on their social networks? Buy this, sale on this, big savings, free shipping! Overly promotional posts come across as selfish, lazy, and depending on timing, potentially distasteful. While there’s certainly a time and a place to be promotional, brands succeeding on Instagram are the ones delivering powerful and meaningful messages, visually presenting their culture, sharing quality photos and videos, and engaging with their audience.In addition, it’s no secret Instagram is a Facebook-owned entity. If you remember, Facebook made a News Feed update back in November of 2014 announcing significant drops in organic reach for promotional posts.Don’t be tacky on Instagram.Who’s doing it right? Ben & Jerry’sBen & Jerry’s is a dairy company known for their delicious ice cream, and more recently, their mouth-watering Instagram feed. According to TOTEM Analytics, the Ben & Jerry’s Instagram account grows in follower count by roughly 14k / month.Instead of posting pictures of ice cream every day (which would most likely still work for them), Ben & Jerry’s regularly shares fans’ photos on their page. What better way to get people excited about taking pictures with your product than sharing them publicly for the world to see? It’s worked well for the brand that on average scoops 20k likes-per-post according to PicStats.Below is an example of user-generated content shared by Ben & Jerry’s, along with a video post delivering a very powerful message while utilizing their product. Topics: Mistake #3: They Don’t Post EnoughAccording to a study by Union Metrics, brands post on Instagram an average of 1.5 times-per-day. In the same study, certain brands posted once an hour throughout the day and saw above-average engagement rates on almost all of their content. In addition, Simply Measured found that brand posting frequency is becoming more normalized as illustrated below.As part of your Instagram strategy, post frequency should be addressed and followed closely. Look for a happy medium between quantity and quality, ensuring one isn’t sacrificed for the other. If you determine that you’re able to post quality content 15 times-per-day, it’s important you stick to a similar posting schedule thereafter. The reason being that in the Union Metrics study, some brands experienced a loss in followers due to a lack of consistent posting.Who’s doing it right? MAC CosmeticsMAC Cosmetics is a cosmetics manufacturer founded in 1984 in Toronto, Canada. According to TOTEMS Analytics, MAC Cosmetics grows in follower count on Instagram by roughly 231k / month. A post on Instagram earns the cosmetics manufacturer an impressive 34k likes and 300+ comments on average according to PicStats.MAC Cosmetics is close to hitting 3 million followers and that’s due in part to their frequent and consistent posting schedule. It’s uncommon to go a day without seeing several quality posts from the brand. On average, they post to Instagram 4.54 times-per-day and it’s worth noting that they’re not sacrificing quality or showing signs of laziness in keeping up with this frequency. On March 5th, 2015 alone they posted 8 photos and earned an average of 33k likes.Again, it’s worth noting that the brand isn’t sacrificing quality, as you’ll see in the examples below. [VIDEO] #Regram from @QuestCooking. Succulent and mouth-watering, these Quest Crab Cakes are deliciously packed with 15g of protein! This #CheatClean recipe gives ”feeling crabby” a whole new meaning. Give it a try! CLICK the link in our profile page to get the recipe or go here – http://po.st/questcrabcakes. Macros per cake (makes 4): Calories:  169. Protein:  15g. Fat: 10g. Net Carb:  4g. #QuestNutrition #OnaQuest #15SecondRecipeA video posted by questnutrition (@questnutrition) on Mar 2, 2015 at 6:05pm PSTMistake #2: They Aren’t Focused on QualityJust as important as having a goal-driven strategy, your content’s quality may very well mean the difference between a successful Instagram presence and one that’s easily forgotten.Take a second to think about how Instagram works. Users typically scroll through a single column of photos, quickly glancing at photos and skimming captions, only slowing down and stopping when something catches their eyes or piques their interest. Other times they’re exploring content via hashtags, scrolling through a 3-column search layout until a photo or video stands out. The more focus you put on the quality of the content you’re publishing on Instagram, the more likely users will be to slow down, stop at, and engage with your account and content.Compared to other social networks, posts on Instagram tend to have a higher shelf-life. This means continued engagement days, and sometimes weeks, after your original post. In their Instagram study, Simply Measured found that a number of posts by top brands take more than 19 hours to hit 50% of their total comments, and another 10% of comments coming after 19 days.Who’s doing it right? Taco BellTaco Bell is a fast-food chain based in Irvine, California and is no stranger to effectively utilizing social media. According to TOTEMS Analytics, Taco Bell grows in follower count on Instagram by roughly 6k / month. And while you might not typically group fast food and photography, Taco Bell makes it work and is taking full advantage of the highly-engaged user base Instagram has to offer.The fast-food chain does an extraordinary job leveraging vibrant colors in their photos and creates a laidback, entertaining feel through photo and video captions. Although they only post an average 0.68 times-per-day, when they do post, it’s eye-catching, relevant, and engaging. This approach has worked for Taco Bell as they’ve built a dominant presence on Instagram, boasting 488k followers, 19k likes-per-post, and 581 comments-per-post, according to PicStats.Below are a couple of examples of Taco Bell’s energetic Instagram posts that have turned them into a must-follow on the social network. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Newsletter Optimizations Your Publication Should Make

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Dec 15, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Email Newsletters Even though the digital publishing industry is in flux, there’s one truth that remains steady: email is and will continue to be an important part of any future monetization plan. Here’s why.Study after study says that email is one of the most valuable marketing channels out there.  It’s also versatile. You can use email at all stages of the sales conversion funnel and target a wide range of buyer personas and purchase needs.Click here to download our free lookbook that’s packed with our favorite email newsletters.Not to mention, email has a close tie to monetization: in addition to selling sponsored placements, publishers can leverage the channel to nurture audiences and drive engagement at all stages of the conversion funnel. For reference, take a look at HubSpot’s recent Digital Publishing Benchmarks Report.Cliff notes:34.3% of B2B and 14% of B2C publishers use email or subscriber lists to drive revenue64.6% of B2B and 48% of B2C publishers rely on website banner ads or newsletter sponsorships for monetizationA high proportion of media companies see alternative monetization streams like sponsored content (54.8%), events (34.5%), and paid subscriptions (15.8%).The bottom line? Even when facing ambiguity about their long-term plans, publishers will need to invest in email. And sending better email is one of the only sure-fire ways to protect deliverability and guarantee you his the inbox, not the spam folder.Optimization Opportunities That Your Publication Can’t Afford to IgnoreHere are some optimizations worth making–even before a company is ready to have a solidified, long-term revenue strategy in place:1) Always A/B Test Headlines Send multiple versions of the same email to see what performs best. A/B testing will allow you to iterate upon your messaging consistently and help you drive the most awareness and interest. Remember that audience attention spans are spread thin, and headlines represent the first point of connection for rapport-building. Make the most out of that touchpoint to ensure that you’re always delivering your best message.For a comprehensive guide on how to utilize A/B testing in email, check out this guide from HubSpot Academy. Here are some additional ideas to help guide you:Use top headlines from your website as your headlineTest consistently formatted subject lines, or pull some wild cards to surprise your audience (like The Skimm)Personalize your subject linesTest different value propositionsChances are, if you’re dealing with a business question or having trouble making a judgment call, you should A/B test your idea. 2) Use Heatmaps to Study Scrolling and Reading PatternsWhen you send an email, you’re dealing with a lot of wild cards: ultimately, you don’t know how the person on the other side of the computer screen will react and respond–or whether he or she is even paying attention. For instance, you may have a call-to-action (CTA) as a downloadable guide, text link, or button. Are your audiences noticing? When it comes to an email list, it can be very easy for your audience to lose attention, fast.Heatmap technology can help you make more educated decisions about the placements of your CTAs. In a nutshell, this software allows you to track how audiences are browsing and scrolling. You can then aggregate subscriber browsing data to better understand where they’re likely to be clicking. Looking at data over time, you can improve the UX and design of your email newsletters.3) Groom Your List Names in your email database are perishable inventory. Over time, a bulk of your subscribers will stop engaging with your content–that’s just the way it goes.The best step to take here is to stop dwelling over your list’s size. Instead, focus on quality by performing consistent quality upgrades. Here are some steps that you can take to keep your lists fresh and optimize your engagement rates as a result: Remove old subscribers who aren’t engaging with your emailsDelete old subscribers who are no longer relevant to your core businessDiscontinue automated messagesStop relying on purchased lists: they’re a definite way to reduce the shelf-life of a campaign and get instantly blocked, as these audiences didn’t opt into your list in the first place.A groomed list will result in fewer spam complaints and higher engagement rates. Even if your subscriber count goes down, you’ll preserve the integrity of your subscriber base and IP. It pays to prioritize quality and relationships.Don’t send unsolicited email. Make sure that your messages are well-received.4) Refine Your Value PropositionPublishers will often use their email newsletters to build top-of-funnel awareness. This tactic is especially strong for reaching new audiences and driving brand visibility. But far too often, publishers overlook a crucial missing ingredient: conversions.Even when you’re driving top-of-funnel awareness, you can still share details about your company and brand. Make sure that you’re positioning your brand-building newsletter campaigns as a tool for driving valuable engagement on your website. Challenge yourself to ensure every email newsletter has one mention of your media company, with a call-to-action (CTA) to your website. Rely on email to kick start your audience relationships.The Toughest Step?Be prepared for a little trial and error. Over time, as your revenue strategy matures, your newsletter strategy will change dramatically. Let your email marketing strategy evolve along the way, to maintain close alignment with your business and revenue goals.last_img read more

10 Things Every B2B Tech Marketer Needs to Know

first_imgFor B2B tech marketers, it’s crucial to understand the real value of the technology you’re promoting – whether it’s a simple consumer product or a complicated enterprise service.The real trick of technology marketing is learning a subject (one which may be completely foreign to you) quickly and efficiently. When that subject is a complex technology tool or service, you might feel lost trying to comprehend everything there is to know.While I can’t give you a crash course in your client’s work—only they can do that successfully—I can offer 10 tips for every B2B tech marketer to help them optimize their approach.Receive a 12-month marketing plan in less than 10 minutes with the help of our free generator. 1. Timing is Everything As quickly as the technology industry evolves and grows, timing is everything. When researching any topic related to technology, or when sourcing a statistic or fact, it’s crucial to ensure you’re looking at the most current information available.Always check the dates of studies and surveys. Even something published a year ago might not reflect the current reality of the industry. If a stat is pertinent to your whitepaper, blog, etc., and you can’t find the same stat for the most recent year, a good rule of thumb is to not go back more than two years or to qualify the data with a disclaimer.2. Curate ContentKeeping tabs on the industry will help you curate the best content from thought leaders, customers and other important figures. Taking in a great deal of information from all of these sources can inspire your marketing efforts in other areas. Curating content will also provide a fuller picture of the technology industry and how it’s talked about in different channels.First, you need to learn how to listen on social channels (primarily Twitter and LinkedIn), which content to pay attention to (influencers, competitors), and how to use it.For example, once you’ve been promoting curated content for several months on social media, you can see which posts received the most clicks, and then develop blog posts on similar topics.3. Create Buyer PersonasPersonalization is seen as the key to unlocking prospects and creating conversions. Creating a buyer persona is the first step in targeting inbound marketing content for personalization purposes. Creating a persona involves getting to the root of who your customers are, how they behave, where they look for information and how they make purchasing decisions.Technology might be a challenging area to create specific buyer personas for, but if you look at the types of customers who need your product or service, you’ll discover the little things that separate one persona from another.4. Follow Big-Name SourcesAs with any industry, it’s crucial to follow the news about what’s happening in technology. This provides fodder for content ideas, raises awareness of trends and informs you on competitor activity.Just like journalists and news junkies follow The New York Times and the Associated Press for the beat of what’s happening in the world, technology marketers should follow certain publications for similar business reasons.Beyond the online experts, such as TechCrunch, PC Magazine and CNET, you can also keep up with technology-focused sections of major publications like The Wall Street Journal, Wired and CIO. These outlets, among others, cover all aspects of technology from cloud solutions to cybersecurity to consumer goods.5. Know the Influencers As you invest time and energy promoting your clients across social channels, you’ll find thought leaders and influencers. Listen to what they have to say, participate in conversations they start and develop a mutual awareness. This builds trust and credibility with your customers. If all goes well, you can even invite these influencers to write a guest post, co-host a webinar, or become an advocate for your client.6. Learn the TermsThere is nothing worse in technology marketing than not using the appropriate terminology. No one expects you to know these terms when you’re starting, but they will expect you to learn them, and how to use them as you become aware of the space and target audience.The more exposure you have to the industry, the more naturally this terminology should come. It also helps to do your research and study the terms and so you can wrap your head around their meaning.There might terminology specific to your client’s company, or just general terms used widely in the industry. Also, look out for acronyms or terms that may mean different things – and can be differentiated based on the industry context.For example, a CMO in the business world (as you well know) is a Chief Marketing Officer, but in the healthcare industry it stands for Chief Medical Officer. Those involve very different qualifications and responsibilities; let’s face it – it would be embarrassing to get them mixed up. The same goes for tech terminology. Be vigilant of what you and your client are talking about.7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask QuestionsThe best way to catch up to speed on any topic is to ask questions. Ask as many as come to mind – and more. As topics get more complicated, the questions you ask your client may help them realize how a “layman” is viewing and comprehending their products and services.Even if a question seems obvious, simple or stupid – you should still ask it. No one should fault you for trying to grasp concepts in your own way. No matter how confused you are or how well you think you get something, keep asking questions. It only leads to more insightful content down the line.8. Understand the CompetitionThis is key to any marketing strategy, but in the tech sector, understanding the competition helps differentiate your client in your mind and to your customers. Seeing what other companies offer can make your client’s features and benefits more obvious. Creating and monitoring a Twitter List that includes your competitors, or even signing up for their newsletters, are two easy ways to start. 9. Take Advantage of Existing ContentUnless a company is starting from scratch, repurposing existing content is an excellent tactic to first understanding the topics and voice of your technology client, and then replicating that with success.Technology companies love webinars and presentations. Request access to these, get inspired and use them as a springboard to create more content. Moreover, these can often provide a more human side to the technology your client is selling, which only helps you when translating technical information to the average customer.10. Know the Difference Value vs. SpecificationsTechnology depends on technical specifications in a customer’s purchasing decision. The smallest detail can be the deciding factor, so it’s vital to never underestimate the importance of this information. However, a great marketer practices the balance between using these specs and a company’s value proposition. Knowing your audience helps tailor your message with these approaches.——-Now that you have some tips and tricks for marketing technology, you can enter the game.As a B2B tech marketer, promoting products and services isn’t much different than marketing other industries, but it’s essential to be vigilant of what technology customers, whether consumers or big enterprises, look for in their content and messaging. Originally published Apr 4, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated June 25 2019 Topics: Marketing Advice Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more