The 67 Best Instagram Captions for Every Type of Post

If you’re anything like me, you take about four minutes choosing a filter for your Instagram photo, and about four hours deciding on a caption.

Worst of all, after much creative effort and advice from friends, I’m usually barely able to write a caption that goes beyond, “Had a fun day with friends!”

And I’m a writer — go figure.

Next time you’re contemplating a caption to go with your Instagram photo, take a look at our complete list of captions for any mood you need to evoke or audience you want to connect with.

You can incorporate many of them into an Instagram business strategy (just make sure your audience would indeed find your caption funny, clever, or the right amount of savage.) 

Click one of the following links to jump to a section:

Funny Instagram Captions

  1. [Employee]’s favorite exercise is a cross between a lunge and a crunch … S/he calls it lunch.
  2. I need a six-month holiday, twice a year.
  3. We tried to be normal once. Worst two minutes of our lives!
  4. There are 16-year-olds competing at the Olympics and some of us still push on “pull” doors.
  5. Namast’ay in bed.
  6. That awkward moment when you’re wearing Nike’s and you can’t do it.
  7. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a salad, asking it to be a cupcake.
  8. What if we told you … you can eat without posting it on Instagram?
  9. We know the voices in our heads aren’t real, but sometimes their ideas are just too good to ignore.
  10. We don’t know what’s tighter: Our jeans or our company culture.
  11. Friday … Our second-favorite F word. 
  12. We don’t care what people think of us. Unless they’re our customers. We definitely care what customers think of us.
  13. All you need is love … and investors. All you need is love and investors.
  14. Hi, we’re [company name]. We build amazing apps and eat amazing apps.

Clever Instagram Captions

  1. Patience — what you have when there are too many witnesses.
  2. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s the Clarendon filter.
  3. “Life is short.” False — it’s the longest thing you do.
  4. Happy Sunday! There may be no excuse for laziness, but [I’m/we’re] still looking.
  5. Rejection is just redirection.
  6. Better an “oops” than a “what if.”
  7. You have stolen a pizza our hearts.
  8. The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.
  9. Seven billions smiles, and these are our favorite.
  10. Stop working hard and start working smart.
  11. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When [company name] gives you [type of product], you make money.
  12. Imposter complex is just a byproduct of success.
  13. Life is simple. It’s just not easy.
  14. The best times begin at the end of your comfort zone.
  15. When nothing goes right, go left.

Savage Instagram Captions

  1. What’s a queen without her king? Historically speaking, more powerful.
  2. Be a little more you, and a lot less them.
  3. We’re an acquired taste. If you don’t like us, acquire some taste.
  4. Well-behaved people don’t make it into history books.
  5. Be sunshine mixed with a little hurricane.
  6. We got 99 problems, but an awesome marketing team ain’t one.
  7. Sometimes you just need to do a thing called “what you want.”
  8. You can’t do epic stuff with lame people. And we got the best in the biz.
  9. It’s not called being bossy, it’s called having leadership skills.

Song Lyrics for Instagram Captions

  1. “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist.” — Sia, “Chandelier”
  2. “I live for the nights that I can’t remember, with the people that I won’t forget.” — Drake, “Show Me a Good Time”
  3. “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.” — Lee Ann Womack, “I Hope You Dance”
  4. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” — John Lennon, “Imagine”
  5. “If you give, you begin to live.” -Dave Matthews Band
  6. “Outlining my findings, using life as a stencil.” — Kero One, “In All the Wrong Places”
  7. “Feeling good living better.” — Drake, “Over My Dead Body”
  8. “Say oh, got this feeling that you can’t fight, like this city is on fire tonight” — OneRepublic, “Good Life”
  9. “Time makes you bolder” — Fleetwood Mac, “Landslide”
  10. “If I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe” — Whitney Houston, “The Greatest Love of All”
  11. “The rest of the world was in black and white, but we were in screaming color.” — Taylor Swift, “Out of the Woods”
  12. “Lightning strikes every time she moves” — Calvin Harris, “This Is What You Came For”
  13. “We aren’t ever getting older” — Chainsmokers, “Closer”
  14. “Sing with me, sing for the years, sing for the laughter, sing for the tears” — Aerosmith, “Dream On”

Business Instagram Captions

  1. Good evening, [city]! We’re in town for [event] at Booth [#]. Stop by and say hi!
  2. “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” -Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
  3. Our [#]-person squad completed the [road race name]! And we did it all for the post-run sneaker selfie. 👟
  4. We got product in the pipeline … check back for an exciting announcement on [date]!
  5. Diversity isn’t a recruitment metric — it’s an ingredient for success. At [company], we thrive on the unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of our people.
  6. Spot the CEO. 😉
  7. At [company name], our best asset is our people.
  8. We had a great time with our customers at [meeting/event]! @[client/partner], you guys rock.
  9. Thrilled to have [customer] at our office today! Come back any time. 😊
  10. [Company name] is off for [holiday]! We hope you all have a safe long weekend.
  11. Big things have small beginnings. [Company]’s HQ began right here.
  12. “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” -Herman Melville
  13. How many [company name] employees does it take to spell “TEAM”?
  14. Want to work with these awesome people, working on a lot of awesome things? We’re hiring! Click the link in our bio to see our current openings.
  15. Check, check, one, two … is this thing on? [Company name] is now on Instagram! Follow us to learn about our culture, product, and (awesome) people. 

instagram captions

 
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A Traffic Manager Will Keep Your Agency Out of a Jam

Within the last five years, an agency’s traffic manager has become the new production manager—building timetables for projects, tracking every single deliverable, and mapping out the company’s work. But the role isn’t valued as much as it should be.

Last year in the United Kingdom, senior traffic managers enjoyed a 28% increase in their annual salaries—bringing the average salary up to about $73,000. But in the United States? The Creative Group’s 2017 Salary Guide found that the median annual salary of an experienced traffic manager was approximately $66,000, and its 2019 guide reported a nearly identical number.

Some agencies have tried to turn the traffic manager into a hybrid role; others have hired junior-level employees into the position. Small agencies try to do without a traffic manager, leaving account managers and creative teams to track every single payment and due date. That’s fine if you have fewer than 15 employees, but the larger your agency grows, the more you’ll lose efficiency without a traffic manager on staff.

A Bird’s-Eye View

Plenty of agencies get caught up in telling their clients that something will get done “by Friday.” But as the week progresses, employees find themselves working late on Thursday or missing their deadlines entirely.

The traffic manager’s job is to make sure that never happens again. People in this role have a bird’s-eye view of an agency’s every move, and they can shift resources or evaluate project deliverables and deadlines. Traffic managers handle the freelance pool because they understand when outside resources are necessary, and they review and operate an agency’s project management software.

But when you undervalue the traffic manager’s role and responsibilities, you only serve to harm your agency in the long run. Here are three ways to better integrate the role into your agency:

1. Set up the role to report directly to the agency owner or president

The traffic manager is responsible for the agency as a whole. Thus, people in this role can’t play favorites. The reality? Sooner or later, the traffic manager will say “no” to everyone. And forcing him to measure the success of one department—instead of the entire company—will force him to protect one team to the detriment of another.

2. Don’t back off when the going gets tough

Bringing someone in to ensure no one is overworked sounds like a dream come true—until the traffic manager shows up. He’ll recommend using new tools, testing new processes, and changing the way your entire agency operates.

Change isn’t always welcome, and you might have some folks who’ve learned that you’ll abandon a plan if they complain loud enough. But you can’t back down this time. Explain to your team members how the outcome will give them more control over their work, leading to more efficiency and effectiveness. If your goal is to be bigger and take on better projects, your agency should be ready to tackle the changes a traffic manager spearheads.

3. Encourage your team to work through the tough stuff

Motivate employees to work together through the harder moments to reach a shared benefit—and thank them for hanging in there. The more you do this, the more you support the traffic manager.

As a result, by the end of your traffic manager’s first year, everyone will feel more appreciative of the person (and will see the ultimate advantage of the role). Your teammates will know what’s on their plates, when it’s due, and how much time they have to spend on it. And as a leader, you’ll better understand the profitability and efficiency of your agency.

Integrating traffic managers into your agency isn’t always a cakewalk, but when your entire agency’s operations rest on their shoulders, you must be prepared. Underappreciating the role, no matter how new it might be, will only help you lose business.

The post A Traffic Manager Will Keep Your Agency Out of a Jam appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

15 Best Free Squarespace Templates 2019

Squarespace is a leading all-in-one web host and site builder that uses templates and a drag-and-drop editor to help non-tech-savvy users create a professional-quality website. While building a Squarespace site is easy, we’ve made it even easier by ranking the best free Squarespace templates in three categories: best overall, best ecommerce, and best industry-specific templates….

The post 15 Best Free Squarespace Templates 2019 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

Why you need to send a promotional marketing message out for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is almost here, and consumers are rushing around trying to find the perfect gift. For retailers it has always been a popular day, however we tend to spend 3 times more on Mum’s than Dad’s on the retrospective days (Source: The Drum), but with UK consumers thought to have spent £799 million in 2018 on Father’s Day, it is still a day not to be missed for retailers across the UK.

A large majority of this spend has come in the form of online shopping, both from computers and mobile phones. In fact, in 2017 the 64% of the UK public said they were going to do most of their Christmas shopping online compared to just 36% in-store (Source: Abobatoo Life Ltd).

The reason behind the popularity of online shopping is largely down to our favourite little device, (or sometimes not so little) the mobile phone, with more people using a mobile phone now more than ever.

82% of UK consumers used a mobile phone in 2005 compared to a staggering 94% in 2017 (Source: Ofcom)

With access to the internet through our mobile phones and returning items bought online made easy, online shopping is now more widely used than ever before. If you want to get the most out of the huge Father’s Day spend, it is vital that send all your customers promotional messages.

If you aren’t convinced already, check out some more facts below.

If you want to make the most out of Father’s Day this year, send them an SMS message and watch the sales come rolling in. If you need any help or advice with your SMS campaigns, feel free to give us a call on 0117 205 0202 and one of our expert team can lend a hand.

15 Free Professionally-Designed Landing Page Templates

When it comes to turning web visitors into leads, 68% of B2B CEO’s use strategic landing pages as part of their strategy.

A strong landing page usually offers your website’s visitors a resource, such as a piece of content, in exchange for contact information. Sharing or hyperlinking to the URL of a landing page, rather than a homepage, also increases the likelihood of turning traffic into conversions.

While landing pages can play a vital role in lead generation, they don’t have to be complicated. In fact, you should aim for a page that’s concise and inviting, rather than complex and overwhelming. Rather than just placing a rigorous contact form on a page, it can be more productive to tease an interesting offer or a free resource in exchange for only a small amount of information.

Even when you know what you’re going to offer and what information you’d like to receive from a visitor, the idea of building a landing page can still feel daunting.

If you don’t have the bandwidth to build a page yourself, have little experience in design software, or have limited resources to hire a designer, using a pre-designed template could be the most efficient way to launch a professional looking page in a short amount of time.

We’ve put together a list of 15 free, easy-to-use templates that can guide you through the process of building your next landing page.

15 Free Professionally-Designed Landing Page Templates

1. Royce

Available on Squarespace

Royce is specialized for event reservations. There is no navigation bar, but the layout features a customizable background image, a headline, and a call-to-action button that says “RSVP.”

Royce Event Landing Page

To fill out the form and reserve a spot, visitors can click the RSVP button to see a form appear, or scroll down below the fold to see a static reservation form. This is an interesting template because it amplifies visuals and keeps the layout simple while still offering visitors two ways to convert.

Royce RSVP Submission Form on Royce Landing Page

2. Invest

Available on HubSpot

This design includes a photo, customizable text, no navigation (to keep visitors focused on your offer), and a short form. Users can also customize and add other elements such as the icons seen at the bottom of the image. Below the fold, users can also add more information about the offer or company.

Invest Landing Page Template from Hubspot

3. Hubstrap

Available on HubSpot

The Hubstrap template has a simplistic look and feel but devotes a bit more room to text. This might be a good option if your content offer has less imagery to go with it. For example, you might use this page to describe an offer or a long whitepaper on a topic related to your industry. Users can similarly personalize the design and add drag-and-drop sections to the page.

Unlike the above landing pages, this example does include navigation. However, it’s simple enough that it doesn’t detract from the offer.

Hubstrap Landing Page

4. Landing Form

Available on HubSpot

This template includes a background image with a dark overlay, a headline, text, bright call-to-action buttons, and a form. It eliminates the navigation bar but includes a button at the top of the page. The image also has a dark overlay to keep it visible, but less distracting. As you scroll below the fold, this template also includes spots for more imagery and details that could relate to the product or offer.

Landing Form Landing Page Template from Hubspot

 

5. Gradient

Available on HubSpot

Gradient is sleekly designed for a content-based offer. It has a simple layout with a form, headline, description text, photo, and logo, but continues the theme of no navigation. Like the other HubSpot templates, users can add a photo or product shot, a background image that appears behind a gradient color, and descriptive text. They can also adjust or change the gradient background’s color.

Gradient Landing Page Template from Hubspot

6. University

Available on Wix

This layout may be useful for those seeking leads for an educational event, course, or a similar service. The form is more detailed, but the layout itself also allows room for more text and imagery. Above the fold, you can see a headline, supporting images, and a form. If you keep scrolling, there are additional sections where more text and imagery can be placed.

University Landing Page Template from Wix

7. Skyline

Available on Wix

This template may be helpful to a company or individual that hasn’t yet launched a website or product but still wants to gain early leads in the meantime. Above the fold, there’s a giant headline area, where the template has “Coming Soon” printed.

When you scroll down, you can see a quick description of the company and a box where visitors can add their email. Users can also add a photo or video to the background.

Skyline Landing Page Template from Wix
Under the fold of Skyline Landing Page from Wix

8. Online Store Coming Soon

Available on Wix

This template is very simple. Like the above “Coming Soon” template, the text could be edited to use this layout for a different purpose. There is no navigation and any information about the company is off to the corners. This layout allows space for a clear product shot, as seen with the shoes. Headline text, a small amount of descriptive text, an email box, and a button are pre-designed in the layout. Users can also link their social media accounts to the icons under the “Notify Me” button.

Wix's "Online Store Coming Soon" Template.

9. Lead-Gen Landing Page

Available on Wix

This template seems specialized for B2B products. It allows users to edit and customize the text and images through Wix. Users can also place background videos into the layout. The page is designed to be long, with the form and call-to-action above the fold followed by sections that detail different aspects of a company or firm, such as staff information.

Lead-Gen Landing Page from Wix

10. Fagri

Available on WordPress.org

Fagri was designed broadly for multiple purposes and industries. According to its description, the theme’s widgets, such as the contact form are customizable. Users can also change the text and images. Although there is a navigation bar, the layout’s design still draws attention to the text, call-to-action buttons, and the contact form.

Fagri landing page from WordPress

11. Real Estate Landing Page

Available on Wix

Although this template doesn’t offer a resource for information, it can be edited and customized to include an offer. As you scroll down the page, the background image can remain static. With the current page’s design, there is room to add company information below the fold. There is also a second form at the very bottom so visitors will have another chance to convert.

Real Estate Landing Page

12. Construction and Lawyer Landing Pages

Both Available on WordPress.org

WordPress also offers two similar Lawyer Landing Page and Construction Landing Page templates. Although the original designs are targeted at the two job fields, they can be customized to fit other brands and industries. Both have a header image, overlaid text, and an arrow pointing to a decently sized form above the fold. They also both offer the visitor a free quote.

13. Gardenhouse

Available on MailChimp

Gardenhouse Landing Page from MailChimp

This template does not include a navigation bar, which forces a visitor to focus on the given offer. Towards the bottom of the page, it can be customized to include logos or other company information. Like all MailChimp landing page themes, this layout is optimized for mobile and will automatically adjust to different screen sizes.

14. Bandmates

Available on MailChimp

This template is also pretty simple with room for customization. It similarly removes navigation and keeps the company logo, text description, and a subscribe form above the fold.

Users can also drag in more elements, like text or form boxes, into the design. Just below the form, users can include a product shot or another image. The blue background allows the form and call-to-action button to pop, but these colors can also be customized to fit your brand.

Bandmates Landing Page from Mailchimp

15. O-Book

Available on Unbounce

Unbounce layouts come with its subscription, but here’s one of the landing pages that you can test out with a free 14-day trial. This template is focused on book-specific lead generation. There is a clear spot for a product image, headlines, detailed description text, and a form box.

The top navigation is minimal, but it does include social media buttons. Since this layout is only free for a trial period, this might be a better option for a company that has already gained revenue from landing pages and is looking to test out a more detailed, but affordable design.

O-Book Landing Page from Unbounce

Landing Page Best Practices

The above templates already follow a number of landing page best practices. For example, many of them exclude a navigation bar, which may detract attention or clicks away from the offer on the page. Most of them also leave room for a photo or video. While photos offer a great product tease, videos have also been seen to increase conversions by 86%.

To learn about other landing-page best practices, check out this guide.

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The 15 Best WordPress Booking Plugins in 2019

The more you can automate, the more you can focus on delivering value for your customers. However, it can be difficult to create automated processes without diminishing the customer experience.

Fortunately, certain tools are able to provide both efficiency for you and satisfaction for your customers — and one of those tools is a WordPress booking and scheduling plugin.

In fact, a myriad of WordPress booking plugins exist to help you save time while actually providing a smoother and more convenient experience for your customers.

Take a look at this list of WordPress booking plugins, which can help you free yourself up to focus on the more important aspects of your business by increasing your efficiency, eliminating stress, and providing clarity.

The 6 Characteristics of the Best WordPress Booking Plugins

How do you know which plugin is best for your business? Good WordPress booking plugins do the following:

  1. Provide customers with your work hours and availability.
  2. Allow them to choose a time.
  3. Encourage customer input.
  4. Save the input in a customer database.
  5. Automatically save your event to the calendar.
  6. Send confirmation notification to you and your customer, and tells you both if there are changes to your event.

If the tool does all of the above, you’ve got a keeper. However, each tool varies in their pricing structure, so make sure to find the one that best fits your needs.

1. HubSpot Meetings

Price: Plans range from free to $3,200 per year, based on your needs

Hubspot Meetings is a simple yet powerful booking app that allows you to share your calendar and availability with anyone through a unique link.

It starts out for free, but on the paid tiers, you can also embed the calendar onto your site so clients can pick and choose bookings based on your availability, even if they don’t have access to your unique link.

The app integrates with the HubSpot WordPress plugin, and it also pipes all the data directly into the HubSpot free CRM, making this a winner on the data integration and organization front.

2. Bookly

Price: Free, or Pro for $89/month

Bookly is a WordPress plugin designed to smooth your scheduling system while simultaneously creating a customer database from the booked appointments.

The process is automated and is integrated with the WPML plugin to facilitate multilingual web pages. Optimized for mobile use, Bookly allows you to offer discounts and options for recurring payments and appointments.

Additionally, Bookly lets you do group bookings, so this service is perfect for companies offering appointment-based services such as tutoring, beauty appointments, massages, etc.

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3. Booked

Price: $49

Booked is a frontend shortcode calendar for booking appointments with strong backend features to help you manage your bookings or appointments. This widget translates your calendars if needed, and enables you to customize the colors to match your branding.

You can show your availability as well as when you’re on vacation — additionally, you can build in buffers before and after every meeting, or for a certain amount of time after the present date to incorporate time to prepare.

The customer creates an account and selects their time, but you can manage your appointments from the backend and send out individualized notifications if needed. There’s also an option for your users to “Add to Google Calendar.”

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4. Team Booking

Price: Pricing starts at $28/month

Team Booking is a customizable booking app that integrates specifically with Google Calendar. It allows you to divide your availability by room, employees, time, or service offered.

Team Booking is a collaborative tool and comes with shortcodes on the frontend, so it’s user-friendly and easy to maintain a group calendar, as well as an individual one.

Calendar events are available times customers can book. Once the event is booked, notifications are sent to each party involved. Customers can pay directly with PayPal or Stripe, and once they book or fill out a reservation form, their information is saved in a customer database that you can download.

Team Booking is integrated with WPML and converts time zones to eliminate confusion with international companies or teams.

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5. WooEvents

Price: Pricing starts at $39 per month

WooEvents is an event scheduler that lets customer sign up and schedule their own events based on availability, but also lets you sell tickets. It has a calendar function with email notifications for event changes, but also provides a mapping function for people to find the event location.

You can sell custom types of tickets, see your event status, and limit how many people can book. Once they’ve booked, their data is entered into a customer database.

WooEvents works with iCal and Google Calendar. You can manage all of your current events, delete past ones, and set up recurring events for the future.

Users can pay through the WooEvents widget as it boasts integrations with several companies like PayPal and Stripe, and it has short code for placing links on your site.

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6. Booking Calendar

Price: Custom pricing based on your needs

Booking Calendar operates directly out of your WordPress site and allows you to manage reservations and bookings without leaving WordPress. Plus, it develops a client database once the booking is made.

Bookings are kept in your WP database, so there’s no need to have a database management tool. It’s optimized for mobile and can process payments through third-party services like Stripe or PayPal. It’s one of the most-installed WP plugins out there.

Available functionalities for Booking Calendar depend on your needs, number of clients, and budget, but the premium version offers tons of features that are easily customizable to your business needs.

It’s not just good for services, either — huge hotel chains, equipment rental companies, and doctor offices can use this plugin for appointments or resource scheduling.

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7. WP Simple Booking Calendar

Price: Tiered pricing ranging from free to $139/month

WP Simple Booking Calendar is ideal for house or apartment rental companies. It’s aesthetically pleasing with a simple, user-friendly design. Additionally, shortcodes are provided for you to embed on your site.

Users can see the unbooked dates for properties they’re interested in, and managers can easily alter bookings from the backend as needed. WP Simple Booking Calendar allows for website translation, which is crucial if your website is booking international clients.

The free version should be more than enough for most people, but pricing goes up to $139 per month if you need more advanced services.

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8. Advanced Booking Calendar

Price: The plugin is free, Pro is $56.10 USD for six months, or $72.93 USD for one year

Advanced Booking Calendar is an excellent mobile-optimized WordPress booking plugin, and works particularly well for hotels or B&B rental companies. It offers a calendar that displays availabilities, which allows you to adjust prices seasonally, per room, or for certain services.

It’s a little different from others in this list because it works with your Google Analytics account to monitor a user’s trajectory through your booking form. This enables you to identify warm leads and friction points.

Once a guest creates an event, every person involved receives a notification confirmation (email templates are provided) and customer data can be stored in the form of cookies.

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9. WP Quick Booking Manager Pro

Price: Pricing starts at $26 per month

The WP Quick Booking Manager Pro plugin has a strong administrative backend feature that makes this tool appealing for those who want more power over their calendar. Here, administrators can edit, add, confirm, decline, or delete events, and change the CSS from the backend.

This is an excellent plugin if you run a hotel or are renting out apartments and B&Bs because it allows for photo galleries, and also boasts a PayPal integration.

Additionally, there’s no cap on the number of events or bookings created in the calendar, and you can book directly from the website, which shows your full calendar availability.

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10. WooCommerce Easy Booking

Price: Custom pricing

WooCommerce Easy Booking has many of the features of the other calendar plugins and widgets here, but its pricing structure is really what sets it apart. You can rent WooCommerce as needed, from daily to annually, an option which other products don’t offer.

Visit the website and answer a few simple questions to calculate your individual price. The eCommerce toolkit works well with this, and both are optimized for the mobile experience.

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11. EDD Bookings

Price: Prices range from $80 per year to $250 per year

EDD Bookings makes the dream of single-page admin design a reality. Each calendar can be customized by category, color, and time zone to reflect the needs of users, all of which is optimized for mobile.

Emails notify involved parties once the customer creates an event or appointment, and there’s no cap on how many events can be generated. Events can be sorted by multiple filters, including length of session, price of service, etc., and activities can be assigned to certain employees.

On the backend, EDD Bookings provides an analytics dashboard and customer database, as well as accounting tools and payment integrations including PayPal.

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12. Amelia

Price: $59

Amelia is a round-the-clock WordPress booking service with a minimal, intuitive design made to smooth your booking workflow. The plugin requires as little as 2-3 clicks per booking, and offers online payment options. It has a dashboard explaining crucial KPIs to monitor, and an analytics tool to provide that data.

Amelia is simplistic and can be customized to reflect your brand colors. It’s integrated with Google Calendar, WooCommerce, PayPal, and Stripe, and provides quick booking shortcodes for your web pages.

Your users can choose the time, date, place, service, employee, or other necessary filters to find the right time slot. Amelia sends SMS notifications to you and the customer, and you can manage appointments from the administrative dashboard if needed.

Amelia is unique in that it suggests demo sites with a WordPress theme for your site to emulate based off of your industry’s standards, so that you remain neck-and-neck with your competition is terms of mobile optimization, service, and user-friendliness.

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13. Event Booking Pro

Price: $33 for six months, $170 for extended license over six months

Event Booking Pro is an exceptional WordPress booking plugin if you’re looking for a solution that provides ticket-selling software. It’s made with single-page bookings in mind to keep everything as simple as possible.

Shortcodes are given so you can embed your calendar or events on your website, which will display your calendar availability as well as which days you’re unavailable.

PayPal works through the site so you can sell tickets and send coupons. You can sell tickets with Event Booking Pro, and you can customize notification emails that get sent to any user who books with you.

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14. WordPress Pro Event Booking Calendar

Price: $33 for the regular license, $125 for the extended license

WordPress Pro Event Calendar operates similarly to the other booking plugins on this list, but stands out in some critical ways — one of which is the ability for customers to enter their individual events.

The plugin has an advanced filtering system that allows you to sort your customer database swiftly and efficiently. The event calendar plugin is integrated with Google Maps and Facebook, as well as in ICS format.

The plugin also enables you to embed calendars to your web pages and set up events on a recurring schedule. It also offers the ability to curate the events and edit as needed.

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15. BirchPress

Price: Tiered pricing, ranging from free to $249 per year

BirchPress is a booking plugin that allows you or your customers to create events in a calendar by inputting their information into a customized form.

The plugin allows you to send customized emails to your customers without needing to use a separate email marketing system, and makes it easy for them to pay online with WooCommerce or PayPal.

Additionally, the admin capabilities make it easy to manage bookings — whether they’re changed, canceled, or rescheduled. It integrates with iCal and Google Calendar, and is very user-friendly for developers.

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These are just the most popular WordPress booking plugins in 2019. Whatever tool works best for you and your business workflow is the one you should go with, because when you’re running a business, time is money.

If you want a comprehensive booking tool that integrates with both WordPress and a free CRM, check out HubSpot Meetings.

Blog - Website Redesign Workbook Guide [List-Based]

Why Digital Marketing KPIs Keep Your Demand Generation Campaign Relevant

In our previous posts about demand generation, we explored some of the ways to drive an effective demand gen campaign. For our final blog in this series, let’s talk about KPIs—because the cold, hard truth is without metrics, no other aspects of your campaign matter.

Let us know when this scenario starts to sound uncomfortably familiar:

You tell your boss you think spending money in a new marketing channel will produce a strong return. She gives you the go-ahead, so you launch the campaign. But after it’s up and running, your boss asks, “So, what did that marketing program get us?”

How do you answer? Do you have the numbers to back up the investment, or are you left tongue-tied?

Sure, you can probably throw out some figures on impressions, clicks, and inquiries—but what about opportunities? Pipeline value? Revenue?

If you don’t have a solid understanding of how your campaign leads to real business impact, you don’t have anything at all. On top of that, you can’t make an educated decision about whether to continue investing in that channel or increasing the budget.

Marketing is rapidly transforming—from a cost center that supports sales and organizes activities to a revenue generator that sources and contributes to revenue. And what’s at the heart of this evolution? Digital marketing key performance indicators (KPIs).

Prioritizing the right digital marketing KPIs

Tracking KPIs for demand generation isn’t about obsessing over every piece of available data. Instead, marketers need to learn how to prioritize different KPIs—and critically, how to interpret the meaning behind them.

So, what should you track? Here are the metrics for marketing that likely matter most to your organization:

1. Status measures

How are we doing against our plan, and how is the performance of our current marketing programs? These metrics include marketing qualified leads (MQLs), clicks, impressions, opens, and downloads.

2. Impact measures

What has marketing sourced, and how is marketing influencing and accelerating pipeline? Look at things like sales qualified or accepted leads, opportunities, pipeline value, and revenue.

3. Predictability measures

How can marketing make growth more predictable? Predictability metrics include cost figures (cost per lead, cost per 1,000 impressions), and lead lifecycle time frame (i.e., how long does it take for someone to go from lead to qualified lead to pipeline?)

4. ROI measures

Which programs and channels perform best? ROI measures are derived by comparing your cost metrics to your performance and impact measures. Essentially, this means comparing your results from a given channel to what you paid to generate them.

By tracking the appropriate marketing metrics and connecting them to business measures, you’ll be able to report on both how your programs are performing and how they are impacting the business at large (which is what the C-suite really wants to know about).

Tips for strategic marketing measurement

Good marketing programs are measurable from the beginning—which means you need to have the right processes and technology in place to quantify them.

When you’re considering what data to track, ask yourself this: Will this measurement help me make my marketing program stronger and align it with company objectives?

Here’s how you can get your program off to a solid start:

1. Begin collecting data early

Pinpoint the attributes that will be important for your marketing programs (as outlined above) and start tracking them immediately.

Many companies make the mistake of waiting too long to start this process—and they regret it later. Start building your history as early as possible. It can take six months to a year or more to get an accurate picture of marketing performance.

2. Think (and look) ahead

Focus on data that helps you look forward and data you can act on in the future. Don’t get bogged down looking over your shoulder.

To deliver the best ROI, figure out what decisions need to be made up front to drive company profits, then use measurements to capture information that will facilitate those decisions.

3. Focus on effectiveness, not efficiency

Notice the difference between effectiveness metrics (doing the right things) and efficiency metrics (doing things well—but not necessarily the things that matter). Example: Having a packed event doesn’t do much good if the attendees aren’t the right fit.

Effectiveness shows how marketing delivers quantifiable value and helps position it as essential to the success of your organization.

4. Don’t get caught up in vanity metrics

It’s tempting to focus only on “feel-good” metrics, like social followers and impressions. But those numbers only tell a surface-level story.

The real power of digital marketing KPIs can only be harnessed when marketers measure things that actually matter to your organization: business outcomes, marketing performance, and profitability.

5. Use the right attribution models

Marketing attribution offers insight into the various touchpoints of your customers’ journeys from brand discovery to conversion, and each model gives credit for conversions in a different way.

The best models for B2B are multi-touch because they acknowledge that there isn’t one defining touchpoint that closes a sale. Unweighted multi-touch attribution measures nurturing touches as well as lead generation, and weighted multi-touch attribution models look at the performance of efforts no matter where they occur in the buyer journey. Both models work well in revenue cycles with many touches.

Marketing metrics help you claim a seat at the revenue table

Here’s the reality of running a successful demand generation campaign: tracking, analyzing, and reporting on all this data isn’t always easy. So, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves, put on a hard hat, and commit.

Trust us, though, when we tell you that it’s worth it. Proving that your campaigns are succeeding means that marketing gets to outgrow the kids’ table and snag that coveted seat at the revenue table with the adults (like the CEO and CFO), where it will finally command the respect it deserves.

After all, you already know marketing is the engine that drives so much of your organization’s growth. With the numbers to back that up, everyone else will know, too—and they’ll invest in your team’s success.

The post Why Digital Marketing KPIs Keep Your Demand Generation Campaign Relevant appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Yelp for Business Owners: The Ultimate Guide 2019

Yelp is a review site where users share opinions and ratings of local businesses across the U.S. Businesses manage their own profiles on Yelp; this includes adding business information, answering comments, and advertising. With more than 130 million monthly users, Yelp offers businesses a valuable means to increase brand awareness and generate new customers. Who…

The post Yelp for Business Owners: The Ultimate Guide 2019 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

How businesses can build their own mobile solution for less: Part 2

After finishing part 1 in this 2 part series, you should now have a list of different ways you can use SMS to communicate with customers, allow them to connect with you, collect feedback, and collect customer data. From this you should have something that looks like this.

With step 1 checked off, you are half way to building a mobile solution for less. The next step is to start thinking about how you are going to implement those areas.

Below is a kind of best practice walkthrough with details on when to send your customers a text message, where best to use a Keyword or Form2SMS to collect consumer information, some things to think about how quickly you need to get back to customers who message you, and more.

1. Communication with customers

First you need to work out how often you want to send your customers a text message. Sending marketing messages twice in the space of 3 days is too often, but 2 delivery notifications in this timeframe may not be enough. It is a balancing act between keeping customers engaged with your business without annoying them.

Marketing and sales messages
When to send – No more than once a week and no less than once every 2 months. The best time to send these kinds of messages is during a sale, over holidays, special occasions like Black Friday, and if you have the customers birthday, then a special offer on their birthday goes down a treat.

How to use – You can send a bulk marketing or sales message in your Message Box account, which can be personalised using custom fields. If you are sending to a large amount of people at once, you may want to think about spreading the send, this will ensure your phone lines aren’t jammed or your website doesn’t crash if everyone visits it at the same time.

Things to think about – When sending a text message to your customers about your sale, you need to be mindful that you don’t send them too many or too few. To help you with this, we have handy calculation that will give you the optimum number of messages you should send.

Number of text messages to send calculation

So, if your sale were to last 6 weeks, the calculation would be: (45 ÷ 10) ÷ 2 = 2.25 (2 sends)

Other examples:
14-day sale = 0.7 (1 send)*
60-day sale = 3 (3 sends)
120-day sale = 6 (6 sends)
*We advise that you send at least 2 SMS messages for a sale. One at the start and one a few days before it ends to remind customers.

Updates and info
When to send – Keeping customers up to date, whether you are providing them with information on an event or a confirmation message after they have made a purchase, but make sure you send these at the right time. Sending a purchase confirmation message the day after someone has made a purchase may confuse them into thinking the order has gone through twice. Below are our suggestions on when to send updates and information via SMS.

Types of SMS updates and information and when to send them

How to use – To send updates you can either do this manually in your Message Box account or by hooking into our API and send them out automatically.

Things to think about – If you plan on sending reminders and updates, make sure it is consistent. Sending a customer an update about their loan one week, then nothing ever again will frustrate the customer and leave them in the dark not knowing if the loan application is still in process.

Reminders
When to send – Depending on what the reminder is, these reminder messages are best sent out at different times. For example, sending customers an appointment reminder 2 weeks before their appointment would be pointless, but a payment reminder 2 weeks before gives the customer enough time to ensure they have the funds.

Types of SMS reminders and when to send

How to use – It is best to set up reminder messages to go out automatically, that way you aren’t relying on an employee to do this. You can do this by hooking into our API.

Things to think about – Reminder messages don’t have to be sent out prior to an event, you can remind customers to take an action, like when a customer adds an item to their online basket but doesn’t go through and buy it. You can send them various reminder messages telling them they still have an item in their basket and if they wish to view or buy it to click the link in the body of the text message.

2. Customers connecting with you

The two options to allow customers to get in contact with you are by using SMS chat or with a Keyword. You want to make it easy for customers, so these two options need to be in easy find and good locations otherwise there is no point using them if no one can find it.

SMS Chat
Where to use – You want to advertise the fact you have SMS chat in locations where you think it would be the most helpful, a website footer, contact page, or help/FAQ section.

How to use – By using a Virtual Mobile Number, all messages sent to this will be directed into your Message Box account or to a single email account if requested. You can then reply within your SMS account or using your email account. All messages sent via email will be converted to SMS and when the customer replies, these messages will be converted back to email.

Things to think about – SMS chat needs to have a quick response, we would suggest that you advertise it will take 5-10 minutes for an agent to get back to them.

Keyword
Where to use – You can place a Keyword in multiple locations, with the best being in the website footer, contact page, help/FAQ section, poster/flyer, in a text message, on the radio, or even in TV ads.

How to use – Ask customers to text your Keyword on its own, or with some information and these messages will go into your Message Box account. You can set up automatic replies for each Keyword or forward the message onto an email.

Things to think about – The reply time to a Keyword doesn’t have to be immediate, but this does depend on what the Keyword is designed to do. If it is used in a support area, then a quicker response will be needed to one used when requesting more information on a certain product or service.

3. Collect feedback

The two ways that you can use SMS in your mobile solution to collect valuable feedback is by sending them an SMS Survey or using a Keyword to allow consumers the option to leave feedback whenever they like.

SMS Survey
When to send – You want to send customers an SMS Survey after they have completed an action, whether that is making a purchase or attending an event. There are different times you want to send a survey depending on the customers action. Giving customers enough time to try a product may mean sending a survey a few weeks after the initial purchase, but if the customer has spoken to a support agent, an SMS Survey will work best if sent immediately after.

Types of customer interaction and when to send

How to use – You can create the survey with multiple questions and send to individual customers or in bulk within the ‘Surveys’ section of Message Box. Here you will also be able to view replies and download all answers.

Things to think about – Don’t make the survey too long, a few questions asking the important things you want to know about will be enough. Make sure you tell customers in the opening message how long it is, otherwise, they may not reply as they won’t know how long it will take.

Keyword
Where to use – It is best to use a Keyword to allow customers to leave feedback in areas where they have completed an action. This can be after submitting a form, in their accounts section, or even in a purchase confirmation email.

How to use – Ask customers to text your Keyword with their feedback immediately after this and all answers will go into your Message Box account. You can set up automatic replies to individual Keywords or forward it to an email.

Things to think about – Set up an auto response so customers know you have received their feedback. You may even want to send these people an SMS Survey as well, and ask some other questions around your business that they had not mentioned in their message.

4. Collect customer data

The more mobile numbers you can collect, the more sales you will get when you do send a mass SMS marketing message. Both the Form2SMS and Keyword should be used in as many locations as possible to maximise data collection.

Form2SMS
Where to use – Because it is a simple form, it can be used on any page where you want to collect mobile numbers. We would advise you to put it near the top of your most popular pages.

How to use – To create a Form2SMS form, log into your Message Box account and in the ‘Account Settings’ area you will find the tab labelled ‘Form2SMS’. Here you can create the form and add a message that will be sent once the user has submitted the form. Once created copy the pre-populated code onto your website.

Things to think about – You can make several forms and place them in different areas of your website, each with a unique automatic reply message.

Keyword
Where to use – Again a Keyword can be placed anywhere on your website, along with posters/flyers, or even in your app.

How to use – Purchase your desired Keyword then place it in various locations, each time explaining what information you want from customers and how you are going to use their information.

Things to think about – Don’t ask for too much information, the more you ask for, the fewer people will be fill in the form. Keep it simple, name and email address will be sufficient.

Whare to use Form2SMS and keyword

After reading part 1 and deciding which areas you are going to use mobile marketing in, and then reading this post and implementing SMS into your business, you should now have a fully functioning mobile solution that works for you and your customers.

If you want some advice on how your businesses could build your own mobile solution give us a call on 0117 205 0202 and one of our mobile solution team can guide you on how your businesses could use SMS so you can make your own mobile solution.

The Secret History of the Google Logo

Roughly 3.5 million Google searches happen each day. With stats like this, it’s not unlikely that the average person might see the Google logo anywhere from one to 30 times per day.

Throughout the past two decades, the Google logo has been iconic and easy to recognize. And across all of its evolutions, it has stayed misleadingly simple. 

What many don’t know is that there’s a fascinating backstory to the most well-known design on the internet. It all started in 1996.

Below is a full timeline of Google logos over the years.

Google Logo History

1996: The First Google Logo

The search engine’s very first logo actually predates the name “Google.” Larry Page and Sergey Brin originally called their web crawler “BackRub.” Brin and Page chose this name because the engine’s main function was to search through the internet’s back links.

Google's first logo with its old name, BackRub, and a hand in the background

Luckily, by 1997 they’d changed the company’s name to the much less creepy “Google” — a misspelling of “googol” — a Latin term that literally means 10 to the 100th power (written out, that’s one followed by 100 zeros). The idea behind the name was that Google’s search engine could quickly provide users with large quantities, or googols, of results.

1998: First (real) Google logo

Some sources credit Page with the creation of the first Google logo, while others say Brin designed it with a free image editor called GIMP. Whomever it was, their design wasn’t exactly the most polished. 

Earliest Google Logo from 1998 with colored letters and exclamation point
Want another little fun fact? An exclamation point was supposedly included in Google’s rebranded design because Yahoo!’s logo also had this punctuation. All tech companies followed each other’s leads back then, it would seem.
 

1999-2010: Ruth Kedar’s logo designs

A mutual friend introduced Brin and Page to Stanford assistant professor Ruth Kedar. Because they weren’t in love with their logo, they asked Kedar if she’d design a few prototypes.

She started with a mostly black logo using the Adobe Garamond typeface. She also removed the exclamation point that was in the original logo.

Page and Brin like this logo because the mark in the middle looked like a Chinese finger trap, Kedar says.

Early black serif font Google logo prototype where Os are connected by a colored square pattern

The graphic designer’s next attempt used the Catull typeface (which should look familiar). The logo was meant to evoke accuracy, like a target.

Black font Google logo where O is a compass and bullseye

Then Kedar got a bit more playful, experimenting with color and interlocking Os. Those Os ended up becoming the basis for the Os at the bottom of every search engine results page.

Early Google logo where letters are black except for Os which are designed to look like a compass

Between the crosshairs and the magnifying glass, Brin and Page thought this design was a little visually overwhelming.

Early capitalized Google logo iteration with solid colors where the first O is a compass and the second O is a magnifying glass.

The next few iterations appear more like the Google logo we know and love today. These designs feel younger and less serious than their precedents.

Early iteration of Google logo where the O is a magnifying glass with a smiley face

Kedar makes the letters pop off the page with shadowing and thicker lines.

Google logo iteration from Ruth Kedar using more intense coloring and thicker lines

The eighth design was the simplest yet. Ultimately, Kedar wanted to show Google’s potential to become more than just a search engine (hence the removal of the magnifying glass). She also changed the traditional order of the primary colors to reemphasize how untraditional Google was.

Early iteration of Google logo by Ruth Kedar which includes a risen O

This version’s colors and the slanted angling make it feel youthful and energetic.

2010 Google logo iteration by Ruth Kedar

The final design is one of the most minimal. It was Google’s official logo from 1999 to 2010.

On May 6, 2010, Google updated its logo, changing the “o” from yellow to orange and removing the drop shadowing.

Original 1998 Google logo compared to iterations from Ruth Kedar launched in 1999 through 2010

2015: A new logo for Google

In 2015, designers from across Google met in New York City for a week-long design sprint aimed at producing a new logo and branding.

Following the sprint, Google’s logo changed dramatically. The company preserved its distinctive blue-red-orange-blue-green-red pattern, but changed the typeface from Catull to the custom schoolbook-inspired Product Sans.

At the same time, Google also rolled out several variations on its logo, including the rainbow “G” that represents the smartphone app and the favicon for Google websites, and a microphone for voice search.

Google mobile app logo launched in 2015

The new logo might look simple, but the transformation was significant. Catull — the former typeface — has serifs, the small lines that embellish the main vertical and horizontal strokes of some letters. Serif typefaces are less versatile than their sans-serif typefaces, since letters vary in weight.

Google's full name desktop version of logo Product Sans is a sans-serif typeface. That means it’s easy for Google’s designers to manipulate and adapt the logo for different sizes — say, the face of an Android watch or the screen of your desktop computer. As Google’s product line becomes more and more diverse, an adaptable design becomes essential.

The logo is also meant to look young, fun, and unthreatening (read: “I’m not like other massive tech corporations, I’m a cool massive tech corporation.”) This was a prescient move — since Google unveiled this design in 2015, concerns about data privacy have reached a fever pitch.

A Dynamic Logo

Google’s logo is also now dynamic. When you begin a voice search on your phone or tablet, you’ll see the Google dots bouncing in anticipation of your query.

As you speak, those dots transform into an equalizer that responds to your voice. And once you’ve finished talking, the equalizer morphs back into dots that ripple as Google finds your results.

“A full range of expressions were developed including listening, thinking, replying, incomprehension, and confirmation,” explained a Google design team blog post. While their movements might seem spontaneous, their motion is rooted in consistent paths and timing, with the dots moving along geometric arcs and following a standard set of snappy easing curves.

Implementation and Growth of the Google Doodle

In 1998, Google started playing with the Google Doodle — a temporary modification of the traditional Google logo.

The first Google Doodle originated in 1998 — before the company was technically even a company. Page and Sergey were attending the Burning Man festival. As a kind of “out of office” message, they put a stick figure drawing behind the logo’s second O.

Image result for google doodles burning man

As the years progressed, so did the detail of the featured doodles.

In 2000, Brin and Sergey asked then-intern Dennis Hwang to come up with a doodle for Bastille Day. Users loved it so much that they appointed Dennis “chief doodler.”

Today, doodles are often used to commemorate holidays, special occasions, and birthdays of scientists, thinkers, artists, and other important people.

The first Doodles tended to mark well-known holidays, like Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Indian Holi (in India). But as time has gone on, they’ve become more and more global and creative. For example, on September 1, 2017, this Doodle celebrated the first day of school (or mourned it, depending on who you ask.)

To decide which events, figures, or topics get doodles, a team gets together periodically to brainstorm. Doodle ideas can also come from Google users. After an idea or doodle pitch gets the green light, the actual doodles are designed by illustrators and engineers.

Google reported in 2015 that they’d launched more than 2,000 doodles for various homepages around the world. While Google hasn’t shared more recent stats on its doodles, PRI noted that they’d climbed over 4,000 by 2016.

Google has continued to embrace doodles with a verified Twitter account devoted to updating its audience about newly-published doodles. The account has over 127,000 followers.

Google also invites people to submit ideas for doodles at proposals@google.com.

There’s more than meets the eye to Google’s logo. As people and technology evolve, the design has too. At the rate things are changing, we’ll probably see a new version in a few years.

How to Run a Marketing Campaign with GSuite

4 Signs Your Experiential Marketing Lacks Purpose

From interactive philanthropic experiences to augmented reality, experiential marketing is on the rise, with more brands looking to create memorable experiences for consumers in order to drive sales.

According to a 2018 Mosaic and Event Marketer EventTrack study, 84% of brands use events and experiences to promote their products and services to consumers. But simply following a trend, doesn’t guarantee success if your brand doesn’t have purpose. 

So what does it mean to be a purpose-driven brand? It means defining who you are—your mission and values—and then creating business and operational models that deliver on those goals. It’s about making a lasting and positive change in the world. And when that message resonates with consumers, there’s a lasting impact.
According to new Accenture research, two-thirds of consumers prefer to purchase from companies that stand for a purpose and reflect their own values and beliefs.

Create Purpose-Driven Campaigns

One of the quickest ways to learn what consumers think about your brand and the message it’s sending is to meet them where they’re already voicing their opinion: on social media. Strengthen your brand-consumer relationship by practicing social listening and responding to comments—both positive and negative—in a timely manner. This allows you to tap into consumer sentiment, get feedback on products and marketing campaigns, and even recruit brand ambassadors.

After learning what consumers want, you can use that knowledge to create an experiential marketing campaign that aligns with your brand’s purpose and determines where changes need to be made in your current marketing efforts.

Here are four signs your experiential marketing efforts are lacking purpose:

1. They don’t align with your brand values or could be perceived as offensive

For an experiential marketing campaign to be successful, it has to authentically tell your brand story in a way that’s relevant to consumers. Consumers are savvy and can detect inauthenticity and bravado a mile away.

Brands also need to ensure they are not sending the wrong message. One marketing push that caused offense was an Amazon promotion for its show “The Man in the High Castle.” The show looks at what life might have been like had Germany won World War II. The promotion included a New York subway car decked out with Nazi eagles, an image that looked similar to the Japanese rising sun, and more. Riders complained, and the ads were pulled.
Reach out to your public relations or communications team to share ideas and come up with a strategy to handle negative attention from the media should things go awry.

2. They’re not attracting the right consumer

Every campaign should start with an intimate understanding of consumers—who they are, what motivates and excites them, and why they buy. This helps brands identify their best source of business and target other consumers who think and act similarly. When brands create experiences that don’t resonate with consumers, they’re not utilizing their marketing dollars effectively.
However, this doesn’t mean you should be afraid to think outside the box. Ford Europe took a unique approach when it made the unprecedented decision to launch a vehicle at a gaming event. While Ford Europe’s executive director of communications and public affairs admitted that gaming tends to attract younger consumers who aren’t in the market to buy a car, he said that he views it as a way to make a lasting impression on future customers.

3. They’re boring

Consumer trends continue to accelerate at breakneck speed. If people have “been there, done that,” your event or experience isn’t going to gain the buzz you’re looking for. Brands need to constantly think of new ways to bring their brand story to life in innovative, groundbreaking ways.
One successful campaign that piqued the interest of passers-by was from Lean Cuisine. Women at New York’s Grand Central Station were encouraged to weigh in on custom-built scales. But the “scales” were actually boards that weighed women’s accomplishments rather than their pounds. They included things like “finishing med school” or “caring for others.” The overall campaign encouraging healthy lifestyles instead of only focusing on weight garnered more than 200 million social media impressions.

4. You haven’t gained consumer insights

Experiential marketing offers a chance for brands to gain deep insights into their consumers and provide real-time data tracking on sales, awareness, sentiment, and customer relationships. This data informs marketers’ future experiential retail ideas and campaigns by allowing them to pinpoint what drives sales and eliminate less successful elements from their marketing strategies.
In an EventTrack study, consumers were asked to describe an experience or event they attended that had a lasting impression on them. Based on those responses, here are a few tips for brands that are looking to create an insightful and meaningful experiential marketing campaign: Make the experience welcoming, immerse consumers in interactive games or competitions, provide samples, create a sense of discovery, offer an emotional tie, and make sure it’s entertaining.
When it comes down to it, advertisements and social media strategy simply aren’t enough in today’s evolving world of marketing. Take your brand to the next level by creating an experience that resonates with consumers and reflects their values. That is what creates brand loyalty for a lifetime.

The post 4 Signs Your Experiential Marketing Lacks Purpose appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Website Migration: What it Is & How to Do It

Website migration involves moving content from one website to another. Reasons for site migration vary, from creating a new site rather than overhauling an existing one, to changing to a totally different content management system (CMS). When done successfully, site migration can boost traffic and search rankings, ultimately growing sales and brand awareness. Before you…

The post Website Migration: What it Is & How to Do It appeared first on Fit Small Business.

The 4 Best Content Management Software Tools in 2019

These days, websites are so much more than words and pictures on a page — while design and content are still important, it’s becoming increasingly critical to put thought into the platform your site is built on, as well.

Oftentimes, we let our developers make this choice for us. And, while it’s true that they need to have input, marketers should have a seat at the table, as well.

After all, if development resources because a bottleneck to website content changes, that can prevent speed and agility in your marketing campaigns.

Your developers and engineers want a certain set of criteria — including control, security, access to underlying code, and customizability, all of which are important. Marketers, on the other hand, need easy access to make quick updates, the ability to integrate the software with other tools, and access to support.

Without a good integration between your content management software and your other systems, something as simple as trying to successfully send a follow-up email after a form submission can turn into a massive time suck.

Ultimately, the content management software that a website lives on can greatly affect a marketer’s ability to succeed.

Here, we’re going to explore the characteristics you need for any content management software tool, as well as our four favorite options for marketers.

Characteristics of the Best Content Management Software Tools

Here are some of the features marketers should feel good about in a content management software tool.

1. A powerful, flexible editor.

As marketers, we need to be able to do things like quickly produce a landing page for a Facebook campaign, make simple layout changes to a page (like adding a column, or testimonials module), and easily edit content on existing pages (like changing some of the text of your homepage to promote your upcoming annual conference).

A powerful WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) editor is critical, so if you can, make sure you’re comfortable with making changes within the content management software tool.

2. The ability to test.

It’s important you’re able to understand what’s working, so you can do more of the good stuff. You need to be able to easily run tests on outcomes for different headlines, layouts, and more. It’s especially critical when doing something like a paid campaign, where maximizing results is tied directly to spend.

3. The opportunity for increased collaboration.

Chances are, you have a team of people working on one website.

You may have a developer who works on complex design pieces and integrations, a marketer who runs the day-to-day and manages campaigns, and content creators who write blog posts.

The ability to collaborate within the content management software tool and set permissions makes life a lot easier — and ensures issues don’t arise, like your social manager accidentally overwriting the developers’ code.

4. Accessibility to support.

Oftentimes, your developer can fill this need — but that can get expensive if you’re paying by the hour. It’s maybe not mission critical, but it sure is nice to have a support team you can call for help when you really need it, especially when it’s halting your ability to launch a campaign.

5. Ability to integrate with the rest of your tools.

Last, but probably most importantly, you need your content management software to offer the ability to integrate with the rest of your tech stack. Generally, the best choices here are going to be open platforms or all-in-one solutions.

Ideally, it should at least have the ability to integrate forms with a mailing tool (for lead/ mailing list collection), as well as your CRM or some kind of database so you can personalize content. Additionally, you’ll want to integrate with your CRM so you can customize pages, and add pages quickly and easily.

Now that we’ve explored five critical components of any content management software tool, let’s explore our four favorites.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot is way more than just a content management software tool, since it lives on top of your CRM.

HubSpot’s content management software tool has nice features like A/B testing, but it’s particularly powerful when it comes to features like personalized content and smart content. If you’re using HubSpot’s marketing platform, it also works seamlessly with forms, your email list, and database management.

For instance, let’s say you want a list of everyone in your database who visited your pricing page in the last 30 days. With HubSpot’s content management software and CRM, this is incredibly easy to do.

It scores well on the design side, too — like any content management software tool, it offers predesigned templates, a developer platform, and a network of partners certified on the content management software.

There are also some great out-of-the-box features designed to help with content creation — like the ability to natively host video and add forms and calls-to-action in the video using the native editor, along with video analytics and a YouTube analytics integration.

Some of the features marketers will love on a platform level are the ability to partition content so it’s easier for teams to work together. Additionally, you can publish content behind passwords and easily personalize content. Best of all, there’s high-quality security and hosting, which takes the worry out of the technical side. And, of course, you get top-notch analytics since everything is working together.

2. Squarespace

Squarespace offers beautiful out-of-the-box designs with tons of customization options. You can download any theme and change colors, fonts, and other design elements with ease. It seems to be geared more towards the end user than the developer, so most edits are made in a WYSIWYG design editor.

Behind the scenes, they boast high-quality, secure hosting — something that isn’t always top of mind when selecting a content management software tool, but probably should be. It also allows for unlimited bandwidth and storage, which isn’t always the case if you’re buying hosting on its own.

It’s also nice to have a support team, and Squarespace has a team that answers support tickets, so you’re not totally on your own or stuck calling a developer for every single question. Additionally, they offer incredibly useful help documentation.

Squarespace offers tons of modules and integrations, although you might want to check their built-in integrations to make sure the rest of your tech stack will play well with Squarespace.

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3. Wix

Wix features tons of templates and has a free plan that gives you unlimited pages. If you need to get an online presence up and running right away, it’s a great choice.

They also have paid plans that give you some additional features, including increased storage, the ability to add forms, a calendar, and access to VIP Support.

It’s important to note, Wix is a bit tougher to customize — they don’t give access to CSS, although they do say you can “take full control of your website’s functionality with JavaScript and Wix Code API’s.”

Additionally, it can be challenging to insert third-party code (like tracking code), so eventually, as your business grows, you or your developer may want something with a bit more customization capability.

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4. WordPress

And finally, last but certainly not least, we come to WordPress. WordPress is everywhere — it’s a popular platform and has a large eco-system of developers, designers, and plenty of others who are familiar with it.

The content management software tool itself is free, although you’ll need to pay for hosting and probably a template at the very least, and more likely a developer or designer to help you get it up and running.

Your ease-of-use here will likely depend on how it’s set up and which theme you use — some have simple WYSIWYG editors, while others are more complex. This is a decision you’ll definitely want to chat through with your developer, since once it’s built, there isn’t much you can change.

It’s also incredibly customizable. There are a ton of plugins and add-ons you can use to help with anything from SEO, speed, automatic image resizing, and more.

WordPress doesn’t offer support, but you can mitigate this problem if you have a good developer and a good host. There’s also a massive network of web professionals that you can hire.

On the hosting side, I’d recommend a hosting platform that specializes in WordPress, like WP Engine, as I’ve found that their support teams are well-versed in WordPress — which means they can help with questions and offer additional resources. Using a popular theme with plenty of existing help documentation, or even a support team, can also make a huge difference.

It’s important to note, the openness of the platform results in a vulnerability to hacking (this is another reason to get a good host). Be aware that addressing security should be part of the initial plan and not come as an afterthought to design, since security breaches are hard to fix and require technical expertise.

While these are four popular choices for marketers, there are many more out there. The options are endless for content management software tools. Ultimately, it’s critical you consider your workflow, your team, and the workflows you have in place to help you make the best decision.

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How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Beginner's Guide

While Google keeps us on our toes with all the algorithm updates they keep rollin’ out, one thing has stayed pretty consistent for inbound marketers looking to optimize their websites for search: keyword research.

Well, the need to do keyword research has stayed the same. How you actually do it hasn’t.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing actual search terms that people enter into search engines. The insight you can get into these actual search terms can help inform content strategy, as well as your larger marketing strategy.

Why is keyword research important?

More and more, we hear how much SEO has evolved over just the last 10 years, and how unimportant keywords themselves have become to our ability to rank well for the searches people make every day.

And to some extent, this is true; using keywords that exactly match a person’s search is no longer the most important ranking factor in the eyes of an SEO professional. Rather, it’s the intent behind that keyword, and whether or not a piece of content solves for that intent (we’ll talk more about intent in just a minute).

But that doesn’t mean keyword research is an outdated process. Let me explain:

Keyword research tells you what topics people care about and, assuming you use the right SEO tool, how popular those topics actually are among your audience. The operative term here is topics — by researching keywords that are getting a high volume of searches per month, you can identify and sort your content into topics that you want to create content on. Then, you can use these topics to dictate which keywords you look for and target.

By researching keywords for their popularity, search volume, and general intent, you can tackle the questions that the most people in your audience want answers to.

How does intent affect keyword research?

Like I said in the previous section, user intent is now one of the most pivotal factors in your ability to rank well on search engines like Google. Today, it’s more important that your webpage addresses the problem a searcher intended to solve than simply carries the keyword the searcher used. So, how does this affect the keyword research you do?

It’s easy to take keywords for face value, and unfortunately, keywords can have many different meanings beneath the surface. Because the intent behind a search is so important to your ranking potential, you need to be extra-careful how you interpret the keywords you target.

Let’s say, for example, you’re researching the keyword “how to start a blog” for an article you want to create. “Blog” can mean a blog post or the blog website itself, and what a searcher’s intent is behind that keyword will influence the direction of your article. Does the searcher want to learn how to start an individual blog post? Or do they want to know how to actually launch a website domain for the purposes of blogging? If your content strategy is only targeting people interested in the latter, you’ll need to make sure of the keyword’s intent before committing to it.

To verify what a user’s intent is in a keyword, it’s a good idea to simply enter this keyword into a search engine yourself, and see what types of results come up.

I’m going to lay out a keyword research process you can follow to help you come up with and narrow down a list of terms you should be targeting. That way, you’ll be able to establish and execute a strong keyword strategy that helps you get found for the search terms you actually care about.

How to Research Keywords for Your SEO Strategy

Step 1: Make a list of important, relevant topics based on what you know about your business.

To kick off this process, think about the topics you want to rank for in terms of generic buckets. You’ll come up with about 5-10 topic buckets you think are important to your business, and then you’ll use those topic buckets to help come up with some specific keywords later in the process.

If you’re a regular blogger, these are probably the topics you blog about most frequently. Or perhaps they’re the topics that come up the most in sales conversations. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer personas — what types of topics would your target audience search that you’d want your business to get found for? If you were a company like HubSpot, for example — selling marketing software (which happens to have some awesome SEO tools … but I digress … you might have general topic buckets like:

  • inbound marketing” (21K)
  • “blogging” (19K)
  • “email marketing” (30K)
  • lead generation” (17K)
  • “SEO” (214K)
  • “social media marketing” (71K)
  • “marketing analytics” (6.2K)
  • “marketing automation” (8.5K)

See those numbers in parentheses to the right of each keyword? That’s their monthly search volume. This data allows you to gauge how important these topics are to your audience, and how many different sub-topics you might need to create content on to be successful with that keyword. To learn more about these sub-topics, we move onto step 2 …

Step 2: Fill in those topic buckets with keywords.

Now that you have a few topic buckets you want to focus on, it’s time to identify some keywords that fall into those buckets. These are keyword phrases you think are important to rank for in the SERPs (search engine results pages) because your target customer is probably conducting searches for those specific terms.

For instance, if I took that last topic bucket for an inbound marketing software company — “marketing automation” — I’d brainstorm some keyword phrases that I think people would type in related to that topic. Those might include:

  • marketing automation tools
  • how to use marketing automation software
  • what is marketing automation?
  • how to tell if I need marketing automation software
  • lead nurturing
  • email marketing automation
  • top automation tools

And so on and so on. The point of this step isn’t to come up with your final list of keyword phrases. You just want to end up with a brain dump of phrases you think potential customers might use to search for content related to that particular topic bucket. We’ll narrow the lists down later in the process so you don’t have something too unwieldy. Once you have your final list, there are several data-driven tools available to you for finding out which keywords you’re most likely to rank well for. 

(Note: If you’re a HubSpot customer, you’ll actually be able to spend a little less time cutting down your topics and keywords list with HubSpot Content Strategy. Content Strategy helps you identify and research topics to approach based on existing content.)

Content Strategy, and SEO keyword organizing tool by HubSpot

Although more and more keywords are getting encrypted by Google every day, another smart way to come up with keyword ideas is to figure out which keywords your website is already getting found for. To do this, you’ll need website analytics software like Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Sources report, available in the Traffic Analytics tool. Drill down into your website’s traffic sources, and sift through your organic search traffic bucket to identify the keywords people are using to arrive at your site.

Repeat this exercise for as many topic buckets as you have. And remember, if you’re having trouble coming up with relevant search terms, you can always head on over to your customer-facing colleagues — those who are in Sales or Service — and ask them what types of terms their prospects and customers use, or common questions they have. Those are often great starting points for keyword research.

Step 3: Research related search terms.

This is a creative step you may have already thought of when doing keyword research. If not, it’s a great way to fill out those lists.

If you’re struggling to think of more keywords people might be searching about a specific topic, go to Google.com and take a look at the related search terms that appear when you plug in a keyword. When you type in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of Google’s results, you’ll notice some suggestions for searches related to your original input. These keywords can spark ideas for other keywords you may want to take into consideration.

related-searches

Want a bonus? Type in some of those related search terms and look at their related search terms.

Want another bonus? HubSpot customers can get suggestions for keywords and topics to consider within the Content Strategy tool.

hubspot-keyword-suggestions-feature

Step 4: Check for a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords in each bucket.

If you don’t know the difference between head terms and long-tail keywords, let me explain. Head terms are keywords phrases that are generally shorter and more generic — they’re typically just one to three words in length, depending on who you talk to. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are longer keyword phrases usually containing three or more words.

It’s important to check that you have a mix of head terms and long-tail terms because it’ll give you a keyword strategy that’s well balanced with long-term goals and short-term wins. That’s because head terms are generally searched more frequently, making them often (not always, but often) much more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail terms. Think about it: Without even looking up search volume or difficulty, which of the following terms do you think would be harder to rank for?

  1. how to write a great blog post
  2. blogging

If you answered #2, you’re absolutely right. But don’t get discouraged. While head terms generally boast the most search volume (meaning greater potential to send you traffic), frankly, the traffic you’ll get from the term “how to write a great blog post” is usually more desirable.

Why?

Because someone who is looking for something that specific is probably a much more qualified searcher for your product or service (presuming you’re in the blogging space) than someone looking for something really generic. And because long-tail keywords tend to be more specific, it’s usually easier to tell what people who search for those keywords are really looking for. Someone searching for the head term “blogging,” on the other hand, could be searching it for a whole host of reasons unrelated to your business.

So check your keyword lists to make sure you have a healthy mix of head terms and long-tail keywords. You definitely want some quick wins that long-tail keywords will afford you, but you should also try to chip away at more difficult head terms over the long haul.

Step 5: See how competitors are ranking for these keywords.

Just because your competitor is doing something doesn’t mean you need to. The same goes for keywords. Just because a keyword is important to your competitor, doesn’t mean it’s important to you. However, understanding what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for is a great way to help you give your list of keywords another evaluation.

If your competitor is ranking for certain keywords that are on your list, too, it definitely makes sense to work on improving your ranking for those. However, don’t ignore the ones your competitors don’t seem to care about. This could be a great opportunity for you to own market share on important terms, too.

Understanding the balance of terms that might be a little more difficult due to competition, versus those terms that are a little more realistic, will help you maintain a similar balance that the mix of long-tail and head terms allows. Remember, the goal is to end up with a list of keywords that provide some quick wins but also helps you make progress toward bigger, more challenging SEO goals.

How do you figure out what keywords your competitors are ranking for, you ask? Aside from manually searching for keywords in an incognito browser and seeing what positions your competitors are in, SEMrush allows you to run a number of free reports that show you the top keywords for the domain you enter. This is a quick way to get a sense of the types of terms your competitors are ranking for.

Step 6: Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to cut down your keyword list.

Now that you’ve got the right mix of keywords, it’s time to narrow down your lists with some more quantitative data. You have a lot of tools at your disposal to do this, but let me share my favorite methodology.

I like to use a mix of the Google AdWords Keyword Planner (you’ll need to set up an AdWords account for this, but that doesn’t mean you have to create an ad), and Google Trends.

In Keyword Planner, formerly known as the Keyword Tool, you can get search volume and traffic estimates for keywords you’re considering. Unfortunately, when Google transitioned from Keyword Tool to Keyword Planner, they stripped out a lot of the more interesting functionality. But you can make up for it a bit if you take the information you learn from Keyword Planner and use Google Trends to fill in some blanks.

Use the Keyword Planner to flag any terms on your list that have way too little (or way too much) search volume, and don’t help you maintain a healthy mix like we talked about above. But before you delete anything, check out their trend history and projections in Google Trends. You can see whether, say, some low-volume terms might actually be something you should invest in now — and reap the benefits for later.

Or perhaps you’re just looking at a list of terms that is way too unwieldy, and you have to narrow it down somehow … Google Trends can help you determine which terms are trending upward, and are thus worth more of your focus.

And … You’re done!

Congratulations! You’ve now got a list of keywords that’ll help you focus on the right topics for your business, and get you some short-term and long-term gains. You can even download our free SEO template to help you organize your keywords and track which terms you’re focusing on for different pages of your website.

Be sure to re-evaluate these keywords every few months — once a quarter is a good benchmark, but some businesses like to do it even more often than that. As you gain even more authority in the SERPs, you’ll find that you can add more and more keywords to your lists to tackle as you work on maintaining your current presence, and then growing in new areas on top of that.

People Also Ask

seo myths 2019

Marketing and Web Security: How Marketers Can Mitigate Risk

Think site security and performance are mutually exclusive? Think again. Having proper protections behind your site not only keeps it secure but also improves its reliability. The more reliable your site, the more your visitors trust you can keep their information secure and the greater their trust in your brand—and your marketing.

Organizations across industries and regions are becoming increasingly digital. As your company undergoes its own digital transformation, not only are you generating more and more data across more devices, you’re progressively responsible for the information others share with you. And, the more data that’s produced, the more difficult it is to keep it safe.

But wait, there’s more!

Pretty straightforward so far, right? Let’s make it a little more complicated.

The growing digital landscape gives malicious actors greater motivation, whether they’re a computer-savvy hacker in their parents’ basement or a professional cybercriminal working for the cybercrime equivalent of a large department store. Cyber attacks on businesses are growing in number, with bad actors employing increasingly sophisticated and evolving methods to obtain access to all the data that’s up for grabs.

To make matters a little scarier, there’s a global shortage of skilled security operations professionals to thwart the bad guys and keep the data safe. The talent gap is so large that Gartner predicts by 2020, “60% of digital businesses will suffer major service failures due to the inability of IT security teams to manage digital risk.”

What does this have to do with marketing?

In 2018, Chrome and Firefox began marking any unsecured pages with clear ‘NOT SECURE’ warnings to encourage the use of SSL, essentially designating the certificate as a basic, foundational security feature.

While warnings are certainly worthwhile, in today’s digital world, basic security features are no longer enough.

Let’s try an analogy.

Think of the World Wide Web as your neighborhood, your landing pages as your house, and an SSL certificate as the standard lock on your front door. You work hard to make your house a home. You’re happy you can lock the front door to keep that home safe, and you’d never really consider not ­having a lock. Yet, you (and your guests) would feel much safer knowing your front door not only locked but that you’ve implemented a comprehensive security system to better protect your home and everything in it—especially if you live in a high crime area with very smart and opportunistic criminals.

Put simply, while it may slow them down, you can’t prevent bad people from entering your home with only a sole lock on the front door, just as you can’t protect your data from cyber threats with only an SSL certificate.

The current IT environment is ripe with threats perfectly poised to take down your landing pages. While we’re seeing Denial of Services (DoS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and malware attacks decreasing in number, the magnitude, and severity of these types of threats is growing tremendously, with attacks 37% larger on average.

With a whole heap of malicious traffic to defend against, there’s increased pressure to keep your users’ data safe no matter your role. As such, keeping your pages up and running while proactively guarding against potentially damaging cyber-attacks is now a top business priority. A secure, live, functioning website is not only crucial for brand trust but could potentially save your business from spending thousands-to-millions of dollars to repair the damage done to your security infrastructure—and your reputation—by a successful breach.

Extending domain security beyond SSL

SSL certificates both protect your end user data and improve your search rankings and conversion rates. They’re integral to site security and performance. But, there’s more to landing page security than certificates.

For most, managing SSL certificates is a manual, time-consuming endeavor. It’s also one with increasingly greater consequences. Expired or poorly maintained certificates can either cause downtime or your landing pages to crash, leaving your site vulnerable to attack—DoS, DDoS, malware, malicious code, etc. Crashes and downtime are costly, both from a revenue and a reputation standpoint, and result in a painful experience for those managing and visiting your pages.

Five things to look for in a marketing automation solution for web security

Marketing automation solutions with servers backed by advanced security technology do more to help you secure the pages they host for you, as well as all other hosted assets, including forms and images.

1. Automated certificate maintenance and renewal

Automation removes the need for manual SSL certificate management, lessening the burden of cybersecurity for the marketer and ensuring a more secure, reliable digital experience for your site visitors, protecting both their data and your reputation.

2. Landing pages served via Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS—emphasis on the ‘S’)

HTTPS means all communications between a browser and your website are encrypted. Encrypted communications not only better secure your pages and your visitors’ data, but also help you avoid the dreaded ‘Not Secure’ warning.

3. Managed Web Application Firewalls (WAF)

Managed WAF keeps your pages secure by monitoring, filtering, and blocking malicious HTTP traffic moving to and from your website. Bonus? The WAF is automatically updated when new vulnerabilities are released, ensuring your environment remains secure within an ever-evolving threat landscape.

4. DDoS protection

DDoS protection is designed to protect your environment from even the largest DDoS attack. By preventing the bad traffic that causes your pages (and your solution’s infrastructure) to crash, DDoS protection ensures your pages will remain live and highly performant.

5. Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDNs act as load balancers to distribute page views based on geolocation. By geographically distributing cache page content to end users based on their physical location to the closest server, CDNs allow your landing pages to load more quickly and improves your visitor’s experience with your website. Effective cybersecurity has gone far beyond the realm of IT teams—now each employee bears some of the burdens for properly securing their environment. Marketers especially need to answer the call for a more comprehensive approach to security as we’re responsible for our end users’ data throughout every stage of their buying journey, from lead to loyal customer.

As we steadily abandon print for electronic media and the amount of digital data proliferates, the bigger the amusement park we’re building for cybercriminals. And, without the proper protection in place to help police it, we’re giving them V.I.P. passes and unlimited rides on the tallest, fastest, most adrenaline-inducing roller coaster there is.

The post Marketing and Web Security: How Marketers Can Mitigate Risk appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Website Design Inspiration: 25 Top Sites 2019

Website design is critical to business success; it serves as a first impression for new customers and encourages user engagement, resulting in sales. However, it can be difficult to design a site well; to help, we scoured the internet for website examples to inspire you as you build your own professional, user-friendly business website. For…

The post Website Design Inspiration: 25 Top Sites 2019 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

The 8 Types of Social Media Community Managers (+ Job Descriptions)

In the last decade, the need for social media managers has boomed. According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, this trend is not slowing down any time soon. The role of a social media manager or specialist is categorized within the “Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager” sector of the labor force, which is projected to grow by 10% before 2026.

Although more companies are hiring social media community managers, the role hasn’t evolved much towards goal-oriented, metrics-driven marketing. This could be because many companies haven’t figured out the right way to measure the ROI of their efforts. Because of this, they don’t know how to hire someone who can help them drive real business results.

Download a ready-made job description for the social media manager role here.

With little focus on bottom-line social media efforts, companies relegate the social media role to people with little experience. Once hired, those social media specialists aren’t ready to lead successful goal-oriented efforts. 

While a social media job might center around posting strategies, companies should broaden their search and look for experts who are also creative or strategic. Here’s an example of what a strong job description for a social media role might look like:

A strong social media manager should have versatile skills that span from copywriting to design, but each type of social role usually requires a primary focus or expertise.

If you’re a manager trying to hire your next social media maven, it’s important to identify how your company needs to grow first. For example, if you want to expand your brand on visual platforms, you will want to hire a social media expert with knowledge and experience related to multimedia production.

If you’re an aspiring social media manager, it’s also important to know which skills you should hone in on to become in expert in your field.

To help businesses managers and young social media specialists, we’ve crafted a list of eight social media job roles that could help a company grow.

Social Community Manager Jobs

1. Copywriter

Content is a key component in any marketing strategy, especially when social media is involved. Even if you have dedicated bloggers or ebook writers, text-based content still needs to be adapted to each social network. For example, a strong social media manager might write Instagram captions with a relaxed and relatable voice, but might write in a more business-oriented voice for LinkedIn

This role is typically responsible for the creation and adaptation of written content for specific social media networks. This person should be comfortable writing social posts that are as short as 140 characters or blogs over 200 words.

Skills Necessary

  • Copywriting
  • Understanding of Brand Voice
  • Adaptability
  • Positioning
  • Creativity

How This Drives Results 

Writing generic posts for all platforms might make your brand seem out of touch, so it’s important to have a social media manager who can maintain a brand voice while still adapting it to different platforms. A great caption or piece of written content that speaks directly to your audience could lead to more engagement. 

2. Digital or Multimedia Producer

In 2018, 80% of marketers used visual assets as part of their social media strategy, and 63% were regularly using video

With the growth of visual platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, and the launch of Story and Live Video features on most major social media sites, there is now a greater need for social media managers with multimedia skills. 

Social media community manager works as a content creator by preparing a photo for a social media post

This type of social media manager might focus on creating images or graphics to accompany Facebook posts, taking and curating photos or videos for Instagram, producing mobile-optimized stories for Snapchat, and creating other content from scratch that helps to grow your following.

Skills Needed

  • Experience with Design Software
  • Basic Photography and Videography
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity

How This Drives Results

Adapting visual content specifically for each social network yields more clicks and leads. For example, in an A/B test, we found that tweets including both a link and an image optimized for the platform yielded 55% more leads than tweets with just a link. Adapting and creating content for each specific network is critical to driving results. 

3. Social Media Metrics Analyst

As all marketing roles become more and more data-driven, a social media community manager needs to be able to dig into the data, analyze that data, and draw actionable insights.

Social media community manager showing his team marketing analytics.That includes macro data, such as overall reach and leads generated, and micro data like individual experiments around content positioning. This person should also be able to set goals that are just out of reach — and find a way to hit them.

A successful social media community manager enjoys looking at data and knows how to use it to make informed decisions. At the same time, this person shouldn’t be so stuck in the data that it prevents experimentation and risk-taking.

It’s important for a social media community manager to constantly test new strategies, new content, and new campaigns. This person will be skilled at running experiments, such as post frequency tests, and refining their social strategy based on the results.

Skills Necessary

  • Data Analysis
  • Curiosity
  • Experience with Running Scientific Experiments
  • Strong Presentation Skills

How This Drives Results

Constantly testing and analyzing results helps social media community managers build more effective standards in their routines. For example, that Twitter image test discussed above was designed, implemented, and measured by one social media manager. That experiment’s results have had a serious impact on our social media efforts.

4. News Commentator and Curator

A successful social media community manager will be able to find new opportunities for the company by keeping track of their industry, news, and social media trends. They need to know where to look for the news and what people are saying about it. They also need to know what’s changing on social networks and in the industry. When shifts or new trends occur, they must be able to react and respond accordingly. 

A social media community manager reviews news and trends regularly.They should be skilled at “tactful newsjacking,” meaning the ability to (tactfully) capitalize on a news story, trend, or hashtag. And if something goes awry, they need to be able to mitigate the issue calmly and diplomatically.

Recently, Netflix capitalized on the news that IHOP was changing its name to IHOB. The Netflix US Twitter account simply tweeted, “brb changing my name to Netflib.” See this list for a few other great examples.

The social media community manager can act as an extension of the PR team, connecting your team directly with journalists and reporters, which can result in increased coverage for the company. For global brands, it will also be important for the social media community manager to be able to think outside their own region.

Skills Necessary

  • Content Curation
  • Hungry for Information
  • Effective Monitoring
  • Quick Decision-making
  • Good Judgment
  • Can Think Globally

How This Drives Results

Staying on top of trends as they rise allows your social media community manager to newsjack. Posts relating to news or trends can boost social media traffic, encourage more engagement from followers who might re-share or retweet your content, and could even gain attention from journalists looking for story fodder. 

5. Customer Service Representative

When someone runs social media, they are perceived as the voice of the company. They’ll constantly get questions and comments about their company’s products, services, and content which might not always be positive.

A social media community manager opens his platform's messenger app to answer follower messages.The social media community manager needs to be able to communicate with people in different buying stages and mood dispositions. They’re the “traffic director.” They must be able to understand where a follower’s question or comment is coming from, address it appropriately, and provide a course of action or solution.

To successfully communicate with followers, they should be intimately familiar with their company’s brand, products, and services.

Skills Necessary

  • Strong Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Calmness
  • Desire to Solve Others’ Problems
  • Ability to Troubleshoot
  • Knows @here to Pass Complex Questions,
  • Knowledge of the Company, Products, and Services

How This Drives Results

Having a link to customer service on social media allows you to respond to customer issues on your audience’s preferred platform. Responding to someone’s concerns on social media, rather than over a phone call, can also save your company time, money, and other resources.

Because social media is a public forum, your community manager can use these opportunities to showcase your company’s quality of customer service. For example, if a company is happy with your product or tweets about a positive experience, you can retweet or share the post. 

6. Community Manager and Facilitator

Part of building a following on social media is helping that following connect with each other and become a community.

True communities don’t simply engage with the company or moderator; they engage with each other — which actually scales the social media community much better, too. But community management takes work, including asking questions to seed discussions and kicking out people who spam or otherwise detract from the community.

A social media community manager responds to posts in an online discussion. A good facilitator asks relevant and thought-provoking questions in an engaging way. Another part is setting the tone for the community, being present, enforcing community guidelines, and sometimes even removing members or deleting posts when appropriate.

Skills Necessary

  • Resourcefulness,
  • Ability to Connect People
  • Can Stimulate Discussion
  • Firm but Empathetic

How This Drives Results

If your followers like your community, they’ll recommend it to others — either on purpose or inadvertently by commenting and having it show up on their timeline. This leads to more exposure, which leads to more reach.

To grow a social following, the social media community manager needs to help the company’s community get value from each other. 

7. Funnel Marketing Manager

Social media is a powerful tool that can help the whole funnel, not just the top. It expands the reach of your content, attracts visitors to your website, generates leads, and nurtures those prospects into becoming customers. That means a social media manager needs to be able to pick and share content in a way that will accomplish each of those goals.

A funnel marketing social community manager plans a strategy around the company's funnel.

At the top of the funnel, they need to share social content that generates leads. As they get further down the funnel, the social media expert needs to engage one-on-one with potential customers who are considering a product or service.

Social media is also particularly effective as a lead nurturing tool because prospects use multiple media to consume information. Because social channels are more fast-paced than traditional media, like email, you can engage with leads in a more timely manner.

Social media community managers need to have a strong understanding of the sales and marketing funnel. Then, they must understand which content is appropriate for each level of the funnel.

To be effective, this manager will need to keep in touch with multiple teams in their company. For example, they’ll need to pass appropriate leads to the sales team or product feedback to customer service.

Skills Necessary

  • Funnel Understanding
  • Knowledge of Content for Each Funnel Stage
  • Basic Sales Skills
  • Strong Communication

How This Drives Results

Sharing conversion-oriented content on social media can attract more visitors to your site and convert them into leads for your sales team. According to a 2018 GlobalWebIndex Study, 40% of digital consumers use social media as a tool when researching products. With the right person at the helm of your company’s social media accounts, your posts could catch the eye of these users.

8. Project Manager and Campaign Coordinator

Many people across a company may want certain things posted, responded to, favorited or “liked.” It’s up to the social media manager to decide which requests to honor and when to honor them. This means they need to be highly organized and able to manage multiple requests.

A project manager meets with colleagues to plan social projects or campaigns.They need to be able to quickly assess whether a request would resonate with the company’s followers, or whether it’s too niche or too narrow. For example, a location-specific post might be too narrow to send to a company’s entire Twitter following.

Social media community managers also need to effectively coordinate with different departments to organize campaign launches, while still pushing launches and growth initiatives of their own.

Skills Necessary

  • Strong Organization
  • Strong Communication
  • Ability to Negotiate
  • Data-Based Decision-Making

How This Drives Results

Social media plays a big role in promoting initiatives from different departments and teams across a company. When a social media community manager effectively balances these promotions with other engaging and relevant content, they’ll be able to win the hearts and minds of their followers and internal stakeholders. 

How to Think About Social Media Management

With this diverse and highly visible role, it’s hard to believe that the social media community manager position is often still considered entry-level.

These eight jobs should be in the back of any hiring manager’s mind as they interview potential social media managers. If we can change the perception of the role, we’ll have a good chance of mastering the ability to measure and value social media’s ROI. 

 
download social media manager job description

Can Facebook Ads Influence Integration Adoption? Here’s What We Found.

Platforms are embedded in our daily lives — whether we realize it or not.

Have you recently … Ordered food from a service like GrubHub or made a reservation using OpenTable? Booked a ride using Lyft? Used your phone to check your email? All of these seamless interactions require systems to talk to each other via open platforms.

What about at work? How many tools do you use to do your job? Do you spend a lot of time updating disparate systems, or do you use a connected stack of technologies to keep things up-to-date? If it’s the latter, you have a platform to thank for your saved time.

A platform makes it possible to connect tools, teams, data, and processes under one digital roof. It’s the nucleus of all systems and allows you to connect all your favorite tools seamlessly using integrations. An integration allows disparate systems to talk to each other. By joining tools via integrations, a change made in System A automatically carries through to System B.

Leveraging platforms and integrations hasn’t always been commonplace. A couple of years ago, HubSpot Research found that 82% of salespeople and marketers lost up to an hour per day managing siloed tools — a costly mistake.

Today, employees recognize that integrating technologies to do their jobs isn’t an option but a requirement. Individual employees are opting to connect their tools and, on average, leverage eight apps to do their job.

Employees and businesses alike run on connected applications. Okta found that it’s small-mid sized customers (defined as companies with less than 2,000 employees) average 73 apps — up 38% from last year. While larger customers (companies with over 2,000 employees) leverage closer to 130 apps — up 68% from the past year.

From personal life to work, platforms have become a staple in our day-to-day. These platforms are well-oiled machines that initiate seamless connections between technologies. Today, the consumer not only anticipates but also expects their systems to connect — raising the bar for companies to make it possible.

But more tools shouldn’t mean more friction. At HubSpot, we want to help our customers connect their tools on our platform to reduce friction and grow better. Customers should have tools and solutions to solve their needs, regardless of if HubSpot built them. Connecting tools allows for uniform data, processes, and experiences. This year, we’re experimenting with ways to expose integrations to our customers to increase adoption.

However, as a platform scales, it becomes increasingly tricky for customers to navigate exhaustive lists of integrations and identify what’s relevant to them. We recognized this at HubSpot and began experimenting with paid ads to see if this could be a valuable distribution channel to our customers.

Our Experiment on Paid Integration Ads

At the end of Q4, the Platform Marketing team decided to use some leftover budget to try a channel we hadn’t yet proven viable for integration adoption — paid ads.

We hypothesized that we could influence the adoption of an integration through paid ads. To test our hypothesis, we ran a retargeting campaign for three integrations on Facebook. The ads were surfaced to HubSpot’s retargetable audience.

These ads featured three HubSpot-built integrations: Slack, WordPress, and Eventbrite. We selected these integrations because they are natively built (built by HubSpot) and structured in a way that allowed us to measure multi-touch attribution.

By leveraging Google Tag Manager on the in-app integration directory, custom UTM parameters, and funnel reports, we were able to measure all steps from viewing the ad to installing the integration. Before launching the campaign, we tested our Google Analytics custom funnel reports by completing all actions — including installing the integrations to make sure they worked as designed.

Before running the campaign, we made the conscious decision to split our budget evenly across all three integration ads — regardless if one ad outperformed the others. We did this to minimize variables for the experiment.

Because we ran ads through November and December, we decreased spending from $130 dollars a day to $5 a day on and around holidays. We did this to “pause” the campaign on days where the ads would get lost in the noise, as this data could skew overall results.

Lastly, we determined our success metrics. Because we didn’t have apples-to-apples benchmark data for integration paid ads, we worked with our paid team to establish reasonably similar benchmark data. While it wasn’t a direct comparison, we were curious to see how ads could influence multi-step actions. We evaluated our performance based on click-through rates (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and cost per acquisition.

Experiment Results

The integration ads surpassed our benchmark data for click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and cost per acquisition at the 7-, 30-, and 44-day marks — supporting our initial hypothesis and prediction.

The 30-day CTR for our integration ads was higher than the 7-day and 30-day CTR for the benchmark data, which is surprising as we expected the audience to become more fatigued over time.

Fatigue can be measured by the frequency a user views the same ad. For example, at HubSpot, we look at if a viewer has seen the same ad over 2.5 times within 30 days, which we consider high. Additionally, we kept an eye out for an increasing cost per acquisition.

Paid ads for these integrations was attractive to our retargetable audience and a legitimate acquisition point for HubSpot. It helped us influence adoption of integrations — resulting in hundreds of installs in the featured technologies. It also provided us with a data point we’ve been curious to see — the cost of an install.

When considering the value and acquisition cost of an install, it’s helpful to understand the impact on the business. At HubSpot, our customers with integrated stacks of technologies tend to be more successful — and they stick around.

This makes sense — as the more apps installed, the higher the likelihood someone will stick around. This is a common finding among platform companies.

On a recent trip to San Francisco HubSpot’s VP of Platform Ecosystem Scott Brinker found that “a common pattern on platforms is that the more apps a customer integrates into their system, the higher their retention rate will be — for both the platform and the apps integrated into it.”

Connecting their tools allows customers to access all their data in one core system while staying flexible and adaptable to their needs as they grow.

Since HubSpot doesn’t currently charge integrators to be part of our ecosystem, spending money to drive a net new install may seem counterintuitive. When weighing the long-term benefits of an install for customer value and retention, we are able to determine what is a reasonable cost per install. The experiment cost was worth the insight, as it allowed us to gain a baseline understanding of the cost per acquisition of an integration install.

Ultimately you can determine if the long-term value outweighs the upfront cost. (While directional value is a good baseline, you’d ideally look to lifetime value [LTV] to establish actual value.)

What This Means for HubSpot — and For You

Our experiment with paid ads outperformed our expectations and helped us reach a larger audience than we anticipated. It became clear that this was and is a viable channel for us to increase adoption of integrations and better understand the cost per integration install.

Future looking, we could alter who we target to see how it impacts CTR. We could leverage enrichment software like Datanyze or Clearbit to see if users have tools and cross-reference install data to create a list of folks using tools we integrate with but have yet to connect to. Alternatively, we could leverage this data to target a group of users going through onboarding to encourage them to connect existing tools to HubSpot.

Additionally, we could look through the required steps to connect an integration and consider how we could reduce them to simplify the process for our users and potentially increase our CTR.

Not a platform company? No problem. This retargeting campaigns can be leveraged to evaluate other valuable actions for your users, such as sign-ups, free trials, or event registration.

FB Ad Examples

 
Facebook Ad Examples

Demand Generation’s Secret Sauce? Strategic Content.

When mastered, demand generation can help transform even an underdog brand into a market leader.

But getting there requires patience. The goal of demand generation isn’t overnight success, but a gradual, methodical shift in perception among your audience.

And content is key to this shift. In fact, you could argue the whole reason demand generation exists is due to the rise of content and inbound marketing.

Sure, people have always advertised their wares, but the traditional approach followed a model we’ve come to know as push, or interruption, marketing. Think telemarketing calls, radio ads, or postal campaigns.

But then we all went online, and everything changed.

Quality over quantity

The internet has leveled the playing field for consumers. They’re no longer dependent on marketers telling them how they should spend their money. Instead, social media allows just about anybody to share their thoughts on a good or service.

We live in an era where opinionated YouTubers and impassioned online influencers can make or break a product—in some cases, before it even launches. This means today’s marketers have their work cut out for them, which is why relevant, strategic content created with your prospects in mind is so vital.

By providing this, marketers can successfully drive brand affinity, capture mindshare, and generate the kind of leads that turn onlookers into lifelong, loyal customers.

There’s always a “but”

As many as 87% of enterprise B2B marketers are using content marketing today, yet only 3% say their application of content is “very effective.” Surprisingly, only 35% of organizations have even documented their content marketing strategy.

But why? First, content marketing is still in its infancy. Many organizations are finding their footing with it. And despite the inexorable link between content and demand generation, many companies manage them separately with little collaboration between their teams.

This misalignment can lead to many missed opportunities. Not only will demand generation teams lack visibility into content ideation, planning, and scheduling, but content teams will lack the insight into the buyer’s journey they need to create relevant, timely content.

One solution is to create a strategic content committee made up of key organizational stakeholders. By holding monthly or quarterly meetings, both teams can:

  • Determine a content road map
  • Support company-wide content requests
  • Ensure consistency of message and voice
  • Streamline content creation for scalability
  • Reduce duplicate efforts and resources

This way, both teams can identify which types of content work best and ensure the content they create always has a purpose.

What content works?

To understand what content resonates when, it’s important to first make the distinction between demand generation and demand capture.

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but that leads to confusion about the buyer journey stage as well as misaligned content.

With demand generation, you’re acquiring net new names for your database, nurturing leads, and accelerating their progression to “qualified”—when they can be handed off to sales.

Demand capture does just what its name implies: captures active demand. That means people who are ready to talk about your products and solutions.

And they require different approaches. As you’re drumming up interest among your target audience, demand generation content needs to be clever, creative, funny, unique, eye-catching, and maybe even a little controversial.

This content should rarely be gated, so stick to formats that are shared and consumed, like blog posts, videos, listicles, and infographics.

Demand capture content, on the other hand, can be gated because you’re catering to an audience with active interest. This content can also include lower-funnel pieces—whitepapers, webinars, and solution sheets—that explicitly discuss your products and services.

When people engage with this type of content, it indicates they’re ready to speak with sales.

Mobility comes first

By 2021, the number of global smartphone users is expected to pass 3.8 billion.

And while it’s easy to get caught up in the marketing narrative that only young people expect seamless mobile experiences, it’s safe to say that anyone with a smartphone is familiar with mobile content. In fact, 58% of site visits were made from mobile devices in 2018.

So, what does this mean for your content? At a demand generation level, all content must follow a mobile-first mindset. Think about how it’ll be viewed and shared, and on what devices, and how it’ll appear on various screen sizes. You want it to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, so craft it to fit the most common source of consumption.

Of course, once your prospects are further down the funnel, you can begin rolling out whitepapers and more long-form content best enjoyed at a desktop with a cup of coffee.

But for now, think snackable.

Back to basics

Content is the lifeblood of effective demand generation. So, think smart, think exciting, and think mobile. Master your content strategy and you’ll be in the ideal position to raise awareness, draw in prospects, and take them on a powerful, lifelong customer journey.

The post Demand Generation’s Secret Sauce? Strategic Content. appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

How to Get a Free Facebook Ad Coupon & Avoid Scams in 2019

Facebook ad coupons provide free credits that businesses can redeem for use on its social advertising platform. It’s a great way for those new to Facebook advertising to try the platform without a financial investment. Free Facebook ad coupons are not easy to find, but can be acquired through Facebook promotions, events, and partnerships. Before…

The post How to Get a Free Facebook Ad Coupon & Avoid Scams in 2019 appeared first on Fit Small Business.