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Friday, November 30, 2012

10 Businesses We Admire for Brilliant Global Marketing

global marketing informationintermediate
Just a few weeks ago, we looked at the ins-and-outs of Facebook's new Global Pages -- a platform for brands to easily share region-specific content with international markets. Dankeschön, Facebook. No longer is global reach reserved for deep-pocketed brands, nor is it an incredible hassle for already over-burdened social media and community managers.
In fact, a global presence is possible for any business with a creative strategy and an understanding of world markets. To give you an idea of what a great global marketing strategy looks like, we've compiled some brands that totally "get it." Take a look at ten companies which have traveled successfully across the globe with their marketing!

1) Airbnb

Airbnb is the Craigslist of apartment rentals. The company, launched in 2008 out of San Francisco, has taken its national service to 192 countries for users to rent short-term apartments from other users. How did this start-up grow up so quickly? Unlike Craigslist, Airbnb has a fun, more user-friendly website that showcases the brand's transparent, trusting personality. The website is now available in 21 languages with consistent information, style, and personality to appeal to like-minded users across cultures. Notice the carryover between this page, for example:

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And this page:

global airbnb

You're looking at Airbnb's mobile app page in both German and English. The brand tailored the headline to fit the language: in English, it reads '...at your fingertips' but in German it reads '...on your cellphone' using the less formal term for cellphone, 'Handy'. The brand tweaks its content to best suit the culture, but it's still obvious which brand you're interacting with regardless of language. And I think this global focus is working -- in 2011, Airbnb rentals in Italy saw a 946% increase and the UK at 748%. The company also opened 9 overseas offices in the past 4 years to accomodate its growing global presence. Having a strong, consistent voice across languages is a key factor when going global.

2) Rezdy

Some companies may not be trying to attract global markets directly, but if their clients are, they better know how. Rezdy is an Australian-based reservation software designed to make online booking smoother for tourists and agents alike, a valuable tool when over 60% of travellers make reservations online. Though Rezdy's clients are Australian-based, they need to cater to their clients' international visitors. Click on the screen shot to check out this fun video on Rezdy's homepage:

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The first feature the video spotlights is 'Internationalisation.' The video walks us through how easy the service is for users, but is sure to emphasize the language and currency customization tool upfront. Even if your company is marketing to other regional companies, consider their global customers as if they were your own.

3) World Wildlife Foundation

WWF took its Earth Hour initiative, a voluntary worldwide event where participants turn off their lights for an hour to show how easy it can be to battle climate change, and brought it to Norway's mobile audience (1 in 4 Norwegians have 3G mobile access).
Scandanavian countries like Norway experience extreme daylight hours throughout seasons, making the country ready for WWF's Blackout campaign. Using digital agency Mobiento, the nonprofit placed the Blackout Banner across Norway's top media sites to promote Earth Hour. With one tap of the banner, the screen went black. Finger swiping the black screen slowly revealed the Earth Hour countdown. The banner attracted roughly 1,000,000 impressions and the campaign received three 2012 MMA Global Mobile Marketing Awards.
Case: Black out rich media banner for WWF Earth Hour from Mobiento.
Have a cool idea? Don't be afraid to try it out on one international market -- just make sure it's the appropriate audience. Also, don't be afraid of the dark.

4) Durex

The UK-based condom manufacturer is number one in the industry with 34% market share across 130 countries. Sure, sex sells, but how does Durex sell such a taboo product in foreign countries? All jokes aside, Durex is sure to play it safe. The company developed an internal platform for its marketers from different countries to connect and discuss the brand's presence overseas.
Anna Valle, head of global marketing for Durex, said of the online community, "It will help us to share the global vision, to engage, and be more consistent." Discussion among marketers fuels localized campaigns with an overarching brand personality -- risque. For example, check out this recent image Durex shared on Sina Weibo after President Obama had been re-elected. (Fair warning: if you don't like raunchy and/or political humor, don't click.) 12 hours after being posted, the image was forwarded 43,000 times with over 12,000 comments.

5) Pearse Trust

With offices in Dublin, London, Vancouver, and Atlanta, Pearse Trust has grown to be a global authority on corporate and trust structures. But it takes more than offices all over the map to reach an international audience. That's why Pearse Trust keeps content flowing on its Facebook page that engages its various markets. In this screenshot below, you can see Pearse Trust posts daily content featuring international affairs relating to the company's practice.

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Within 3 days, Pearse Trust made daily Facebook posts, leveling out external articles with Pearse Trust content, featuring news from Germany, Ireland (where they have a Dublin office), and the UK (where they have a London office). This is a great example of focusing on common interests shared among your company's various markets while making the content relateable to customers by region.

6) McDonald's

We all know it's a successul global brand, so unlike their menu, I'll keep it light. While keeping its overarching branding consistent, Mcdonald's practices 'glocal' marketing efforts. No, that's not a typo. McDonald's brings a local flavor, literally, to different countries with region-specific menu items. In 2003, McDonald's introduced the McArabia, a flatbread sandwich, to its restaurants in the Middle East.


You can also find the McVeggie in India or the EBI-Fillet-O shrimp burger in Japan. This glocal approach has helped put McDonald's at #7 on Interbrand's Best Global Brands 2012.

7) Innocent Drinks

Innocent Drinks is the leading smoothie company in the UK with 75% of the market share in 2011 -- additionally, Innocent products are now available in 13 countries across Europe. The company is known to have "chatty branding"; for instance, the website is very bubbly with contact information that reads "call the bananaphone" or "visit the Fruit Towers."

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The brand won the #1 spot on Headstream's Social Brands 100 for its entertaining and playful online presence. Headstream attributes Innocent's online success to keeping the brand's personality in tact across 13 countries. "Key to Innocent's success," they said, "has been a consistent tone of voice -- one that's natural, honest, and engaging -- making social activity feel like a natural extension of the company's personality."
Global expansion and rapid growth can sometimes distract a company from consistent branding. As marketers, we need to be sure our brand's voice is interpreted the same way around the world.

8) Unger and Kowitt

The phrase 'glocal' can be defined as "Think Globally, Act Locally." But what happens when you switch the two around? Woah, fasten your seatbelts -- literally. Unger and Kowitt is a traffic ticket law firm based in Fort Lauderdale defending drivers in the state of Florida. Not very global, right? Well, Unger and Kowitt understands that America is a melting pot and that Florida is bursting at the seams with different cultures and languages.

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Though a domestic service, the firm's website is available in English, Spanish, Portugese, and Creole. With these options, Unger and Kowitt can cater to Florida's nearly 3.5 million Floridians who speak Spanish, Portugese, or Creole. Don't miss out on expanding your client base -- sometimes you don't have to look far to attract international business.

9) Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is a great example of a brand using glocal marketing efforts. Though a large corporation, Coca-Cola focuses on small community programs and invests a lot of time and money in small-scale charity efforts. For example, in Egypt, Coca-Cola has built 650 clean water installations in the rural village of Beni Suef and sponsors Ramadan meals for children across the Middle East. In India, the brand sponsors the Support My School initiative to improve facilities at local schools. Not to mention, the brand sticks with selling an emotion that can't get lost in translation: happiness. Now, tell me this doesn't look like fun:

10) Results.com

Ten points at #10 for Results.com, a business execution firm with offices in New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. This global company knows the importance of delivering on your promise, no matter how far that delivery may take you. On the website, Results.com says "We have global influence" and can provide "face to face consulting to companies from around the world."

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Results.com does, in fact, bring face to face consulting to its customers. The company is bringing John Spence, marketing consultant and guru, from Florida to New Zealand in March 2013 to share his ideas with CEOs and business managers in the region. Since November 2010, the company's website traffic has increased by 180%. I wouldn't be surprised if events like this are generating buzz down under!
What other brands out there do a great job with their global marketing?

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33857/10-Businesses-We-Admire-for-Brilliant-Global-Marketing.aspx#ixzz2DkR2uwgE

How Even YOU Can Master PPC Campaign Management [TEMPLATE]

google ppc templateintermediate
There aren’t many guarantees in life, and even fewer in marketing. But in the world of search engine marketing (SEM), using paid search (PPC) to rank on a search engine results page (SERP) for a given term comes pretty close. That’s why PPC is such good business for Google, which still generates 96% of its revenue through advertising -- because marketers know when they invest in PPC properly, they can get pretty close to guaranteed placement in the SERPs and help you generate leads.
The problem is, many marketers suffer from poor PPC campaign management, which ends up costing them way more money than they need to spend and delivering underwhelming lead generation results. So, how do you do PPC "properly" so you actually get leads at a reasonable cost? It comes down to intelligent campaign structure. And how do you master intelligent campaign structure? You use a template.
That's why we created a free PPC campaign management template that will help you -- or if you're an agency, the clients you're running campaigns for -- set up a full-funnel campaign structure that follows PPC best practices. Once you do that, you'll be better positioned to maximize the return on your PPC investment. We're going to show you how to use that PPC template in this blog post -- so download the template now so you can follow along with the explanation!
Bonus: If you're running PPC campaigns for someone who doesn’t understand the importance of good campaign structure, this template will also act as a deliverable that will enlighten your boss or clients.
Alright, got your template handy? Cool ... let's get started!

Tips for Using This Template

Before we get started, let's go over a few tips that'll make using this template even easier:
  • You will want to clear out the example data I have in the template such as keywords, campaign and AdGroup names, ads, and destination URLs. Unless, of course, you're running a fruit stand named after me.
  • Be careful not to erase columns E, G, and I. They contain formulas that will help you in subsequent steps.
  • Any red markers you see in the top corners of the cells contain helpful tips and FAQs -- if you ever forget what a cell is used for, those are good reminders.

Step 1: Understand PPC Campaign Structure

Before we actually do anything with this template, it's important we're all on the same page about PPC campaign structure. Far too many marketers ("too many" being defined as any number greater than 0) will just set up an account, create an ad, direct the ad to their home page, pick some keywords and hit go. This is not the way to do things.
With AdWords, you have the opportunity to create multiple campaigns. Each campaign may contain several AdGroups, and each AdGroup may contain a few ads and multiple, similar keywords. It's wise to create multiple campaigns because you can set daily budget caps, day-parting, and select geo-targeted regions at the campaign level. If you're bidding on generic keywords and branded keywords, you'll want to put these in separate campaigns because the economics around these two types of keywords will likely be very different. As you can see, your template reflects these best practices, providing space for several different campaigns, AdGroups, and ad variations within those AdGroups.

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Step 2: Identify Your Landing Pages

The "Destination URL" is the place on your website where you want the PPC traffic to end up. Because there is a marginal cost associated with each PPC visitor you attract, I recommend you choose a landing page URL as your destination URL. Do not drive them to your home page or a blog article in the hopes that they will stumble upon a lead generation form somewhere; that’s the job of organic search. Drive them to what we here at HubSpot define as a landing page, a web page with a form on it -- and don't forget to put in a tracking token so you know where these leads are coming from.

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I know the big boys don’t always follow this rule, but the big boys also have millions of dollars in budget that needs to have evaporated at the end of the month. Make it easy on yourself and let your landing pages define your AdGroups and campaigns as you see in this template.
You will notice that, within an AdGroup, the Destination URL is the same regardless of the keyword or ad. If you really want to drive a keyword to a different landing page, then create another AdGroup -- or in the extreme, another campaign -- for that keyword.
You should also keep your sales funnel in mind when you identify these landing pages, and think about which part of the sales funnel each landing page and offer speaks to. For example, an educational PDF about an industry concept would be appropriate for a top-of-the-funnel offer, while a coupon or a demo would be at the bottom of the funnel. You will want to manage each part of the funnel separately, and therefore create separate campaigns. If you scroll down in your template, you'll see that there's dedicated space allotted for campaigns in all of these funnel stages.

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Step 3: Build Your Keyword Strategy

Next, you will select the keywords that are relevant to the landing page and offer. Make sure to keep them as relevant as possible to increase the chance that each visitor you pay for completes the form on the landing page. Yes, it would be nice to rank for certain keywords, but if the landing page doesn’t answer the keyword queried, think twice. Or better yet, create another offer and landing page that speaks more directly to the keyword.

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You can use free tools like the Google AdWords Keyword Tool or, if you're a HubSpot customer, our Keywords tool, to understand the actual search volumes and costs around each keyword you select. If you're running short on inspiration, these tools can help you think of other keywords to include in your campaign -- but always consider the costs of those suggested keywords and keep your economic interests in mind.
If this is your first time, it would be wise to read up on how to design a killer keyword strategy. And, in the case of AdWords, you could become a quick expert by becoming knowledgeable on the keyword quality score.

Step 4: Create Your Ads

This is the fun part! Both Google and Bing allow you to create more than one ad for each AdGroup (hence the "group" terminology) and the service will rotate them until it notices that one appears to drive a higher clickthrough rate (CTR). This is how A/B (and C and D) testing works. While it's optional, you should take advantage of the ability to create more than one ad.
Writing an ad is a bit like writing a haiku. There are character limits for each part, and it can be a little aggravating figuring out how to best complete the ad. You are allotted 25 characters for the title, 35 characters for the display URL -- the URL that's displayed in the ad, not to be confused with the destination URL -- and 35 characters for each line of copy. But if you're using this template, don’t worry about keeping track! The cell to the right of each ad component will count characters and turn red when you have gone over the limit. Handy, right?

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In my observation, the title has the greatest influence on an ad’s CTR. It's wise to include a keyword in the headline to draw a user’s attention to your ad. An even better practice would be to use dynamic keyword insertion. I find the copy to be less important, but you certainly can't just put gibberish in there. Search engines have editorial policies for what you can and cannot put in an ad, and they change it frequently, so it's your job to stay up to date on them. A good rule of thumb, however, is to simply try to provide a congruous experience for searchers -- from seeing your ad in the SERPs to completing the form on your landing page.

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Finally, there's the tricky matter of the display URL. You're only allowed 35 characters here, but it's unlikely that your destination URL, the actual URL for your landing page, will be that short. So the search engines allow you to create a display URL, which may not even be an actual URL on your website. It is critical, however, that the domain in your display URL be the same as the domain in your destination URL.

Step 5: Share the Completed Template With a Decision Maker

Whether you're doing PPC for your business or a client, your completed template will ensure you're aligning the decision-maker’s expectations with the realities of a productive PPC campaign. If you're the decision maker, this template will help you really think about what you're doing with the money you're spending on PPC.
The end result is that you'll have created the sort of congruous user experience that search engines like to see. That can benefit you in terms of your positioning in the SERPs and, ultimately, your costs. It will also grant you the agility you need to swiftly reallocate and modify budget as you respond to changes in the marketplace, and the drive to maximize the return on your PPC spend.

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33882/How-Even-YOU-Can-Master-PPC-Campaign-Management-TEMPLATE.aspx#ixzz2DkQR5RKT

Your 12-Point Checklist for Mobile-Optimized Landing Pages

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Who knew Disney (Walt, not the corporation) was such a prognosticator of things to come?
Visionary, yes. Impresario, of course. But who knew that “It’s a Small World,” that cloying little ditty you can’t get out of your head for hours after taking a 12-minute motorized gondola ride, would foretell the future of marketing?

13 Hilarious Examples of Truly Awful Stock Photography

happy business woman with tabletintroductory3 Most marketers are pretty convinced of the importance of using visuals in their marketing. Think about it. There's the rise of Pinterest. The more visual nature of Facebook after the release of Timeline. The popularity of infographics. The general population's short attention span coupled with an overall aversion to reading. After all, a picture says 1,000 words, right?
But are your pictures saying the 1,000 words you want them to?

10 Things Entrepreneurs Should Be Tweeting About

Apart from creating a vibrant branded Twitter account for your startup, business owners should consider creating their own personal account on Twitter. Fans and followers often want to connect with the person behind the brand.
Giving customers and prospects a glimpse into the entrepreneur's life and mindset can allow them to cultivate a deeper relationship with customers separately from the brand. The goal, of course, is to increase customers' loyalty to the brand.
Here are 10 things every entrepreneur can tweet about, which can allow your clients and prospects to see another side of you:
1. Personal news: Share the big events of your personal life -- vacations, weddings, births -- the type of info you'd share with close friends. It can help keep your followers feeling like they're "in the loop." You're also more likely to make a connection with followers who have experienced something similar.
2. Mistakes and lessons: Sharing mistakes and what you learned is a sign of growth, not weakness. Try doing a "What I learned this week" tweet and see how your followers respond.
3. Answers to questions: If someone asks a question on Twitter and you know the answer, share it. This can also be a way to develop a FAQ within your industry, which you can later point them to via a link.
Related: 5 Tips for Using Social Media as a Customer Service Tool
4. Links to articles: They key to sharing articles is to also include your unique opinion. Let others know why you liked or didn't like an article.
Just remember that your opinion paints a public image, which means you should be cautious about which opinions you choose to share -- ideally only those which are congruent with your market. Keep the rest to yourself.
5. Pictures of unusual things you see: If something catches your attention, it's probably going to catch the attention of others, too. So why not share it? This includes visually impressive products, food and architecture.
6. Wisdom from the book you're reading: When you hit a "golden nugget" of wisdom in a book, share it. It not only shows that you're well read, but that you value wisdom. Those are two things that can only help your reputation.
7. Interesting advertising: When a billboard or any other advertising catches your attention, take a picture and tweet it. Everyone can benefit from seeing smart marketing.
Related: Want Better Twitter Results? Try These Effective Types of Tweets
8. Fun purchases: Sharing your recent purchases, such as music, video games or sports equipment can stir up comments and conversations from others that have bought similar items and enjoy the same kind of entertainment.
9. Share wisdom from outside the world of business: Quotes from sports heroes, military leaders and artists can teach us about innovation and leadership, which are essential to business success.
10. Your work: The greatest links you can share are links to your personal work, but don't limit that to what you do professionally only. If you have a hobby or passion for something creative, share it.
What types of tweets would you add to this list? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Read more stories about: Twitter, Personal branding, Social-media marketing, Twitter marketing

How to Drive Sales Through Social Media

In this special feature of 'Ask Entrepreneur,' Facebook fan Amy Clark Braden from Austin, Texas, asks: Which social network is better for converting followers into customers? So far we haven't had much luck with Facebook. What about Twitter or Google+?
Converting customers through social channels is not as cut-and-dried as most business owners think it should be. Put yourself in your customer's shoes and ask, "Why would I engage with this brand on Facebook?" Often, the answer is not, "So I can buy stuff from them."
Perhaps a better question to ask is, "Where would I buy things from a brand?" Chances are, Facebook is not going to be the first answer for many.
Consumers see the social layer around a brand as one that supports their buying decision in providing engagement and information pre-purchase, then supports them after the purchase when they have questions.
There's a disconnect when brands say, "We want to use Facebook to engage our audience," but then expect the result to be purchases. It's also misleading to think that your Facebook fans are the same type of captive, opt-in audience that you might find in, say, your email marketing list. They clicked a like button. It's a virtual high-five. The barrier to entry there isn't much of an obstacle.
This doesn't mean you can't drive conversions or build a customer base using social media, but that you have to first understand that's not what customers are turning to many social networks for. Secondly, approach your social channel with a strategic plan and purpose to drive business.
My guess is, for a business that says its Facebook fans don't convert, it isn't providing content that attracts likely customers or asking them to convert. Sometimes you have to present a call-to-action and give them a compelling reason to click, download or buy.
One social network that seems to get the most nods when I ask, "Are you driving business there?" is LinkedIn. This makes sense because it's mostly used by business people for business purposes. Networking with sales in mind is more natural on LinkedIn. On Facebook? Not so much. But if you've approached your Facebook strategy with the conversion in mind, you'll see much greater traction than if you just "engage" and cross your fingers.
Still, it's not the channel that is often to blame, but the strategy at play. If you want to convert fans on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social channel, you have to drive likely prospects and customers there with promotions or compelling content. Then you have to give them the opportunity and reason to convert. If you've attracted the right audience with the right messages in the right place and the right time, they will.

Read more stories about: Social media, Selling online, Social-media marketing, Selling on Facebook, Ask Entrepreneur

10 Mistakes Your Business Might Be Making on LinkedIn
image credit: Business Insider
LinkedIn isn't just a good resource for professionals. When used the right way, it can be a powerful tool for businesses, too -- and not just for recruiting, the way most managers think of using the site. Businesses that navigate LinkedIn properly engage customers, generate sales leads, and swap internal information among employees.

We got in touch with Krista Canfield, LinkedIn's senior manager of corporate communications. True, it's her job to get people to use LinkedIn, but we think she has a perspective worth sharing, since she trains companies on nontraditional uses of LinkedIn. She knows the platform like the back of her hand, having joined LinkedIn when it only had 18 million members and 200 people on staff (now it has 187 million members and 3,177 employees). Her team has also trained more than 13,000 journalists to better navigate LinkedIn.

Canfield told us the most common mistakes she sees businesses make on LinkedIn, and how all companies can use the professional social network better.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

فايسبوك وإنستاغرام يتقاسمان معلومات المستخدمين
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 10:22 AM

نشرت فايسبوك وثيقة مفصلة حول تقاسم المعلومات مع انستاغرام مسيرة الى ان المعلومات الواردة من الخدمات والتطبيقات التابعة لموقع فايسبوك ومن المعلنين على فايسبوك يمكن ان تُستخدم الآن "لاطلاعنا على معلومات عنكم وتحسين نوعية الاعلانات". وتعتبر خدمة انستاغرام لتبادل الصور من أهم الخدمات التي تقدمها فايسبوك منذ استملاكها في تشرين الأول(اكتوبر) مقابل نحو 715 مليون دولار.

وسيتح تغيير القواعد الخاصة باستخدام المعلومات لشركة فايسبوك ان تجمع معلومات أكثر لتكوين بروفايل أدق عن مستخدمي الموقع وتوجيه الاعلانات الى ذوي الاهتمامات ذات العلاقة بموضوع الاعلان باعتماد معلومات شخصية من مستخدمي شبكة فايسبوك الاجتماعية ومن انستاغرام.

ولدى فايسبوك أكثر من مليار مستخدم مسجَّل وانستاغرام 100 مليون يستخدمون "مصفاتها" المتميزة لالتقاط صور من هواتفهم الذكية لتظهر لاحقا على منصة عامة توفرها خوادم الانترنت. وكانت غوغل ايضا أعلنت في مطلع العام الحالي انها ستجمع معلومات شخصية عن مستخدميها من عمليات البحث وشبكتها الاجتماعية غوغل + وبريدها الالكتروني لأغراض مماثلة.

وتقترح وثيقة فايسبوك التي تقع في 16 صفحة الغاء عملية معتمدة منذ 4 سنوات تتيح لمستخدمي الشبكة الاجتماعية التصويت على ما تجريه من تغييرات في سياساتها وفي شروط الخدمة. وكان تسجيل 7000 تعليق على تغيير مقترح في خدمة الموقع يطلق في السابق عملية تصويت يستطيع المستخدمون من خلالها تعطيل سياسات مرفوضة تتعلق بالموقع. واقترحت فايسبوك في الوثيقة الاستعاضة عن التصويت بعملية سؤال وجواب نمطية تجري مع مسؤول شؤون الخصوصية في الشركة ارين ايغان بشأن الخصوصية والأمن. وقال نائب رئيس قسم الاتصالات في فايسبوك اليوت شراغي في تبرير الغاء التصويت ان هذه الآلية كانت تشجع الكم على حساب النوع.

How to Calculate the Value of Your Social Media Followers [CALCULATOR]

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If you’re using social media for marketing and you’re not measuring your dollars-and-cents ROI, you’re doing it wrong. As my favorite rap quote says, “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.”
Marketers wouldn’t dream of spending budget on banner or PPC ads without a measured and positive return on their investment; but for some reason, many of us still play dumb when it comes to the hard data about the performance of our social media marketing investments. And even if you’re not spending budget on Facebook or Twitter, remember: Time is money, and you’re probably spending a significant amount of time.
All too often, social media marketing advice comes from greasy, snake oil hucksters selling platitudes like “engage in the conversation,” or worse, “be awesome.” While advice like this is hard to disagree with, it’s not useful or concrete. Instead, we marketers should be measuring our social media marketing campaigns to determine what is making our businesses money -- and what isn’t. In other words, ignore the unicorns-and-rainbows superstitions.

How to Calculate the Value of Your Facebook & Twitter Followers

A while ago, in a HubSpot marketing team meeting, we were discussing how much we should be willing to invest to gain a new social media follower or Like, and I found myself at the whiteboard plotting out a formula. Over the course of the next few weeks -- with the help of several of my geeky colleagues -- I put together a formula to calculate a metric I call VOAL (Value Of A Like). Once you know your VOAL, you can plan your social media efforts with confidence they’ll generate a positive ROI.
Below is the formula and how it breaks down ...

L (Total Likes)

The total number of audience members connected to your social media account. On Facebook, these are Likes of your page, and on Twitter, these are followers.

UpM (Unlikes-per-Month)

The average number of fans who “unlike” your social network account each month. On Facebook, this is an “unlike,” and on Twitter, this is an “unfollow.”

LpD (Links-per-Day)

The average number of times you’re posting links, and potentially converting links driven from your social media account. On Facebook, this is the number of posts you’re making, per day, that lead to a page on your website. On Twitter, this is the number of times, per day, you’re tweeting these kinds of links.

C (Average Clicks)

The average number of clicks on the links to your site you’re posting on your social media accounts.

CR (Conversion Rate)

The average conversion rate of your website, from visit to sale or visit to lead. This can be an overall average, but for increased accuracy, use the conversion rate measured from traffic coming from the social network you’re calculating.

ACV (Average Conversion Value)

The average value of each “conversion.” In this context, a “conversion” is the action you’ve used to measure CR for. It could be average sale price or average lead value. For increased accuracy, use the average conversion value of traffic coming from the specific social network.

The ValueOfALike.com Calculator

In my efforts to make sure all social media marketers can apply this formula, I built a free, easy-to-use little calculator at ValueOfALike.com. Answer six simple questions about your business' use of Facebook or Twitter and it will tell you exactly -- in concrete dollars and cents -- what each Like or follower is worth to your company. To calculate your value of a Facebook Like, you can easily answer these questions using your Facebook Insights and your closed-loop marketing analytics (in the calculator, click the question mark next to each question for an explanation about how to acquire each data point). For Twitter, you can use tools like Twitter's advertising analytics platform, closed-loop marketing analytics, as well as educated estimates to determine your Twitter numbers. Furthermore, each question input in the calculator is shown on a slider, so you can easily adjust the values up or down to see how changing various metrics will impact your bottom line.
You can answer the questions for either your Twitter or Facebook marketing efforts, and you can enter information based on lead generation or actual sales data. The calculator is flexible, and it's designed to help you put the VOAL formula to work for your brand in the way that makes the most sense for you.

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VOAL Formula in Action: 3 Real-Life Examples

To demonstrate what the VOAL calculation would look like using realistic numbers, let’s start with an example from Facebook. HubSpot partner Kuno Creative's Facebook Page has 3,103 total Likes, 30 unlikes per month, posts 1.3 posts per day, with each post getting an average of 190 clicks. Their visit-to-lead conversion rate for Facebook traffic is around 2%, and they report an average conversion value of $350 per lead. Because of their very high clickthrough rate of 6.12% and their huge $350 lead value, they have a VOAL of $1,729.
On the other hand, if we look at some numbers from a different company -- Lynton Web, another HubSpot partner -- we see a different picture. They have a smaller Facebook presence with 174 total Likes, about 1 unlike per month, post 1.5 posts per day, get a single click on each link on average, and they told me their visit-to-lead conversion rate is around .8%. If we assume they have a $100 value per lead generated, they have a VOAL of $0.013.
To demonstrate how we can apply the same VOAL math to Twitter, let’s use HubSpot’s Twitter metrics as an example. Here, I’ll be estimating the numbers. We have 258,522 followers and about 2,000 unfollows per month (as reported by Twitter’s advertising analytics platform). We post around once per hour -- so 24 posts per day -- and each tweet generates around 120 clicks. We have a visit-to-lead conversion rate of 55%, and let’s assume a value per lead of $40. This gives us a VOAL for Twitter of $0.32.

Applying VOAL to Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

Once you understand the true, monetary value of each of your business' social media connections, you can start to understand exactly how much time and money is worth spending to grow your social media reach, and you'll know which metrics you need to improve to get the most out of your efforts.
Play around with the calculator's sliders for each question to understand how each variable impacts your overall VOAL. How much does your VOAL change if you were to increase your posting frequency? What about boosting overall Likes? Remember, when it comes to social media marketing, “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.”
Check out the free calculator at ValueOfALike.com. What's your business' VOAL? What can you do to increase this value?

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33871/How-to-Calculate-the-Value-of-Your-Social-Media-Followers-CALCULATOR.aspx#ixzz2DYi1Z7H2

Does Google Hate Small Businesses?

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Oooh ... provocative, right?
So I don't think Google really "hates" anyone, but I think over the years they've unintentionally made things a little bit more difficult for small business owners. Not because small business owners aren't good marketers, or don't have good marketers on staff -- but because they have fewer resources and less time than companies with large marketing departments.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3 Reasons Why You Should Complete Your LinkedIn Profile Now

By on November 27, 2012
LinkedIn ProfileBeen on LinkedIn for a while but haven’t done very much with your profile? You really should be leveraging the benefits of your profile now—whether you’re in a job search or not. You shouldn’t wait to complete your profile on LinkedIn until you’re in a job search because when you finally do need it—it may be too late.

3 Reasons To Complete Your LinkedIn Profile

1. It Will Cost You Valuable Job Search Time

Honestly, I don’t think it’s ever really too late to complete your LinkedIn profile, but if you wait until you want to utilize your profile for an active job search, then you’re already behind the curve. You could have had a maximized profile, made lasting connections, joined professional groups, and made contacts with individuals that you could be benefitting from now. But because you waited—and are just now getting started with enhancing your profile—you now have to start from scratch making those connections, joining the groups, and optimizing your profile.

2. You’re Missing Out And You Don’t Even Know It!

Employers are using LinkedIn to find the right talent and they don’t necessarily limit their search to people who are actively job searching. But, if your profile isn’t completed, keyword-rich, or optimized, they can’t find you. And that means they can’t offer you an interview for your next big career move! Don’t miss out on being discovered!

3. You’re Hurting Your Personal Brand

Leveraging your LinkedIn profile to communicate your personal brand online is a valuable tool for your job search. It’s a great platform with which to communicate to others your unique promise of value, what sets you apart as a professional, and exactly what you can offer connections and companies. Plus, completing your profile now develops your brand and its presence in the online world—so that one day… while you’re job searching (that is, if you’re not already) you’re already out there, easy to find, and clearly communicating your professional value to others.
If you need assistance developing your LinkedIn profile consider partnering with one of our LinkedIn profile writers. You’ll also want to check out my recent article: 5 Things Every Prospective Employer Wants to Hear.

The 16 Most Important Social Media Updates of 2012
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In the last 11 months, there have been tons of updates to our favorite social networks, several of which were extremely relevant for marketers and business owners.
Many of them were just little tweaks, but a lot -- 16 in our estimation -- had a huge impact on marketers' jobs.

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We use email as a form of communication. In fact, email is one of the most common forms of communication marketers rely on. And yet, a lot of the time when we're crafting our marketing emails, we neglect to consider exactly what it is we're communicating, whether it be in terms of the tone we're using, the email's design, or most importantly, the content itself.
One type of marketing email that deserves particular attention here is lead nurturing emails. The idea behind lead nurturing is to provide your leads with valuable content that targets their needs and goals in order to guide them through your buying cycle until they are sales-ready. These leads are people in your marketing database who you already have some information about, most likely collected from a lead-capture form that they filled out. And because you already have information about certain characteristics and behaviors of these leads, shouldn't your emails be designed to communicate with them differently than you would if you didn’t know anything about them? The answer is yes ;-)
Let’s take a look at how your lead nurturing emails should aim to communicate with your leads.

7 Things Every Lead Nurturing Email Should Communicate

1) You know something about them.

First things first: You need to make sure your emails convey that you actually know something about your recipients. Why? Well number one, people like to know they’re not just providing you with information about themselves for no reason. But more importantly, you capture people’s attention when you make things about them. Show them you’re paying attention to what they’re telling you about themselves. If your form asks where they live, or what size their business is, or their role at their company, use that information!
Segmentation is important when you nurture your leads because it allows you to target each individual lead more closely. Let's say you own a horseback riding school. Some of your leads may be potential students who have never ridden a horse in their lives before. And maybe you also have a bunch of more advanced riders in your database. You’ll probably want to send those very different leads something completely different, right? Just make sure your personalization goes beyond using the person’s first name in your email. You know more important things about them, and you should show them that.

2) You are aware of their needs and interests, or are looking to learn what they are.

The best marketing is focused around your leads and what they want and need, not what you and your company are looking to get from them. Therefore, your emails should show your readers you care about what they need and what their goals are. If you don’t already know this information, ask for it! A simple “How can I help?” email that doesn’t contain any links to download something actually makes for a great lead nurturing email, because it not only opens up a dialogue with your leads, but it also allows them to provide you with a better understanding of what it is they’re looking for and hoping to get from your company. Once you’re equipped with this information, you can begin your next email with “I understand that your biggest challenge is ______,” and that should have them hooked.

3) You have something valuable to offer them.

Okay, now your leads know you’re looking out for their needs. So what? So, you have a way to help them! Once you’ve identified these interests and needs, you can start sending them content that helps them learn more about these areas, or any other resources you think they might find useful. Make it clear in your emails that you not only understand what your leads need, but also that you have a way to help. Think back to our horseback riding school example in number 1. Those advanced horseback riders in your database probably wouldn't appreciate your introductory guide to horseback riding, but that's probably a great offer for the ones who've never ridden a horse before. See what we mean?

4) You know why this offer is valuable to them.

Arguably more important than simply having a valuable offer for your leads is conveying to them exactly why that offer is valuable to them. Why should they download your ebook? What are they going to learn? What are they going to be able to do differently or better after reading it? Maybe you're a B2B company, and your offer is to provide a free consultation for some aspect of their business. How exactly is this going to help them? Why should they sign up? Assume that the default reaction to your offer is always “Why should I bother?” and tell them exactly why. It’s not enough to position your offer in terms of its content. You have to position it in terms of its value, too.

5) Why they should trust you.

You know how much spam is out there these days. Seriously, how many junk emails are you getting? The fact of the matter is, whether or not they think your content is going to be useful is not the only thing your leads are considering when deciding whether or not to open your emails. They’re also deciding how much they trust you.
If your company has a strong reputation in your industry, great – you probably don’t have much to worry about. If you’re still building up your authority, your emails need to make it extremely clear that you are a trustworthy source of information. How? First of all, send quality content. Don’t be pushing out unreliable or low-quality content just so you have content to use in your emails. Second, use trust seals (e.g. BBB) and privacy policies on your site, or include them in your emails. Third, make sure the language of your emails comes off as friendly, not spammy. And most importantly, keep your emails relevant. Spam emails are never relevant, and almost never personalized.

6) Why they’d be missing out if they didn’t take advantage of this offer.

Here’s where the real convincing comes in. To really seal the deal, you have to go one step further than conveying the value of your offer. You have to create a sense of urgency. Don’t just tell them why they should take advantage of your offer, tell them why they’ll be missing out if they don’t. No one wants to fall behind in their industry. No business is comfortable knowing that their competitors are outpacing them, staying more relevant, using better tools, driving more revenue. Even in a B2C context, most consumers these days are concerned with staying ahead of the curve with the latest products and technologies. Use this information to incentivize your leads to take action. Create the need, address it, and then fill it.

7) You're looking to help them, not you.

We glossed over this point earlier, but it's definitely worth more emphasis. This is ultimately the most crucial idea you could communicate in your marketing emails. The second your recipients think you’re just looking to get what you want, you lose them. They’re not interested in being marketed to. They’re interested in solving their problems. Your job as a marketer is to figure out how to get what you want, but by making it about them. Start your emails with “you” instead of “I”. Use the information you have about them. Target your content to their needs. Show them that you’re looking to help.
Emails can be pretty complex. You have to find the right content, the best positioning, the clearest language, the most appealing design, and then some. But really, the effectiveness of your emails at engaging and nurturing your leads essentially boils down to one thing: the way you communicate. If you pay close attention to what and how you’re communicating, you’ll be able to optimize your emails to be far more effective, and start converting those leads into customers.

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33875/7-Critical-Things-Every-Lead-Nurturing-Email-Needs-to-Communicate.aspx#ixzz2DSo5JF3o

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How UK Data Collection Laws Affect Email Marketers

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Email is a critical tool for lead generation and lead nurturing; not only does it allow you to continue a dialogue with those who have shown an interest in your company and keep them coming back for more, it also helps marketers reach new and untapped markets. With email, there are no geographical boundaries, and growing your business to leverage new locations is increasingly viable.
If you are looking at using email marketing to help you explore the UK market specifically, however, you may find you have a bit of a pickle on your hands. That's because when marketers are collecting data from the UK, specific laws apply that may not apply in other markets. Failure to comply with these data collection laws could not only end in disaster for your email marketing, but could also put you to the wrong side of the UK law. With these roadblocks, it's no wonder the Direct Marketing Association values a single email address in the UK at £9.11.
If you're looking to grow and nurture your email database in the UK, this post will help acquaint you with the laws you need to be aware of, and explain how they'll affect how you do your job as a marketer.

UK Email Marketing Laws in a Nutshell

Email marketers targeting a UK audience should acquaint themselves with the 2003 Electronic Communication Act. It governs email marketing, and states that you cannot email anyone unless they have previously opted in to receive your email. This means they must have stated they’d like to receive your communications through actively signing up.
There is, however, a 3-point caveat to this. You can send to anyone:
  • If a previous relationship exists;
  • You are selling products/services of a similar nature to what they have shown an interest in;
  • The addressee was given the opportunity to opt out (free of charge except for the cost of transmission) at the time of sign up. The opportunity to opt out must be given with every subsequent message, meaning there must be a valid unsubscribe link on every email you send.
Further -- and this is obvious to any legitimate email marketer -- you must not conceal your identity. Be sure to use a recognizable and non-spammy 'From' name and address.

What constitutes a previous relationship?

Anything that indicates that person has shown an interest in your products or services; an inquiry on your website or via the phone where they’ve left their email address; or making a purchase on your website. A request for a quote is enough, they don't have to complete a transaction.
Having connected with someone on LinkedIn or having their business card, on the other hand, isn’t enough to be considered a previous relationship -- unless they've already indicated that they would be happy to receive your promotional material in any of the previous ways we just discussed.

Going Above and Beyond the Law When Collecting Email Opt-ins

The law is pretty basic and makes being legally compliant easy, but if you're looking to be an effective marketer, you should obviously go above the law and into best practice territory. Data collection is about the quality of the data you're collecting, as well as respecting the personal nature of the information you hold. And of course, good and legally compliant data means getting expressed opt-in from all subscribers. Email sign up forms should follow these guidelines to help you not just stay legally compliant, but boost opt-ins while doing it:
  • Calls-to-action should outline the benefits, i.e. "Receive the latest news straight to your inbox."
  • Landing pages, thank you pages, and the email that confirms their opt-in should set the expectations, inform new signups of email-sending frequency, and explain the type of content they can expect.
  • Include at least one welcome email from your email signup that confirms their opt in.
Inquiry forms should also have a tick box (not pre-ticked) and a minimum of a link to the privacy policy. And if you're an ecommerce business, you should have a dedicated opt-in instead of simply automatically adding shoppers to a list.
Another common way marketers acquire opt-ins is through incentives. When running an incentive, ensure the incentive is small and relevant to your business, as people who sign up for the incentive -- whether it's a prize draw, giveaway, gift, or whitepaper -- may otherwise be interested in only the incentive, and not your business offering. That means all you're doing is growing your database full of recipients who aren’t actually interested in your products or services.
You may also decide to pursue co-marketing opportunities, collaborating with other businesses to grow both your databases. To remain legally compliant and not suffer quick list depreciation, it must be clearly states that the data will be shared between the two of you. Requiring opt-in for both is advisable.
Finally, you should not email anyone you have not recently contacted, or has stopped engaging with your email content. It's likely that they either don’t remember your company, they've stopped using that email address, or they've lost interest in your content. Continuing to email them will only serve to harm your online reputation.

What About Buying Data?

The law covers any consumer, sole trader, and partnership data -- all except those from limited companies. You can still buy data about limited companies; but just because it is an option, doesn’t mean it's a good idea. We strongly recommend against such actions as it ruins engagement with subscribers, harms online reputation, and undermines any inbound marketing activities you may be engaged in. We spend so much time as marketers building up our online reputation and working on improving engagement rates, it would be damaging to contradict this.
Remember, as someone who wants to be an effective marketer, it's much better to have a smaller mailing list of people who are generally interested in your products/services and a higher likelihood of purchasing in the future, than a large list of people, most of whom are unengaged with your brand. You’ll see your brand engagement improve, and your ROI skyrocket.
Anna Penrose is an email marketing specialist at Jarrang, a UK-based online marketing agency with ten years experience working with clients in multiple sectors from luxury travel to financial services

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33864/How-UK-Data-Collection-Laws-Affect-Email-Marketers.aspx#ixzz2DBFL7l5L

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Simple Reason Facebook Pages Are Losing Reach: Negative Feedback

by Chad Wittman on Nov 20, 2012
Over the past month or so, everyone has been complaining about getting less reach on Facebook. That the algorithm has changed. And that Facebook is now a pay to play system.
Changes have definitely taken place. And as the dust settles we learn more and more about what has really happened, both from Facebook and from the data.
One of the more impactful changes all page admins need to be aware of is that the latest major change in edgerank is now valuing Facebook post negative feedback at a much heavier weight.
This means, as a Facebook page, negative feedback on your content can effectively destroy your post’s reach.
Facebook has said that they are doing this to try and combat spammy pages. But as more and more businesses get on Facebook and post more often, this effectively raises the Facebook content quality bar for all pages.
So you might be thinking, what is negative feedback and how can it be avoided?
Facebook defines negative feedback as any time a Fan performs one of these actions:
  • Hide (Hide this story)
  • Hide All (Hide all stories from a Page)
  • Report Spam
  • Unlike Page

How Are Facebook Fans Reporting Negative Feedback?

The most common thing a Facebook fan will do when they do not want to see your page’s post in their news feed is simply hide it.

Here is the full breakdown of negative feedback actions and how often Facebook users take each action:
  • Hide Post: 76%
  • Hide All Posts From Page: 16%
  • Report as Spam: 8%
  • Unlike Page: <1%
We are actually pretty lucky that the typical Facebook Fan simply “hides” a post that they do not want to see. While 16% take it to the next level by “hiding all” posts from the page. 8% report the content as spam, which could potentially hurt the Page’s “quality”.
Facebook recently stated “If a specific post has received complaints by other users who have seen it, or the page who posted it has received lots of complaints in the past, you’ll be less likely to see that post. This factor became a lot more prevalent with the edgerank update in September 2012.”

How Do I Monitor My Negative Feedback?

There are two main options:
1. Head to Facebook insights and export your data to take a look at each post’s negative feedback.
2. Go to EdgeRank Checker’s Real-Time Monitor (or a similar analytics vendor) to monitor negative feedback as it happens to your posts. If you’re post is receiving substantial negative feedback right away, take down the post to prevent any further damage.

3 Keys to Avoiding Negative Feedback:

We took a look at 25+ very large and successful page’s posts to see what types of posts were reported as negative feedback the most often. Here’s what we found:

1. Images are negative feedback magnets

Images drive the most engagement, but they also drive the most Negative Feedback
One of the most frequently suggested EdgeRank optimization tips is to post images regularly. While this is often true, it can be abused. Use images when applicable and don’t post too many of those viral cat photos just to pick up some cheap engagement. Use your judgement and creativity to bring true value to your images posts.
Images simply catch the attention of Facebook users more than any other content. Good or bad. So if your images are not good, they will attract negative feedback quickly.

2. Keep content in line with your fans’ expectations

If you’re a startup, and you’ve placed a like button on your newsletter suggesting people to become fans to stay up to date with your latest research: Be warned.
Your fans expect that type of content in the news feed and will not hesitate to hide your content when it strays off topic.
Certainly, your fans won’t revolt every time you do this, but over the long term it is most likely not worth it.

3. Expect a correlation between engagement and negative feedback

The more people that are seeing and interacting with your content, the greater reach it ultimately will have.
However, this might start to impact your negative feedback. As a post starts to gain popularity, it will also start to get into people’s news feeds that are not use to seeing your page content. And some of these fans simply will not be interested in your content.
We found that some of the most engaging posts, also had some of the most negative feedback. Be sure to benchmark your content to insure that you’re looking at negative feedback per person reached to help provide context to an increase in negative feedback.
Making sure your fan acquisition efforts are sound may help avoid some of this as well. If you target your page’s fans well, focusing on finding existing customer for instance, fans will be less likely to hide your page’s content.
Facebook says this new focus on Negative Feedback should increase engagement and keep reach relatively steady. As they are rewarding posts with low negative feedback just as they punish those with negative feedback.
Either way, as a brand manager you’ll need to keep this new strong variable in mind when creating content. Just remember, everything in moderation and understand your fans’ expectations.