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Oct

31

2016

How to Excel in Community Management: Advice from 12 Experts

Excel at Community Management.jpg

Community management has become an essential part of a successful long-term social media marketing strategy. In fact, it’s turned into more than just a social media strategy: Community management leads to customer retention, and studies have shown that profits increase 95% when retention grows over 5%.

In order to get to the point where community management turns into business growth, you need to first put in the effort to develop deep personal relationships with customers and people in your community that may or may not be interested in buying your services. They’re part of your community simply because their beliefs are similar to those of your brand and industry leadership. 

Vanilla Forums, along with 12 leading community management experts, has written about building a foundation for a great community, as well as the strategic steps along the way, to help grow that community and ultimately your business.

In this ebook, written by 12 leading community management experts, you’ll learn:

  • The best tactics in community management to build up to your first 100 members.
  • The key metrics executive teams use to measure community success and how you can start incorporating those metrics from the start.
  • How to find a great moderator.
  • Much more about building and fostering a healthy community to fuel your business’ growth.

Click here to check out How to Learn Community Management from the Experts.

free ebook: how to excel in community management

Sep

14

2016

The Future of Chatbots in Marketing [YouTube Live Event]

Chatbots_Marketing_and_Sales.jpg

In the world of tech, there has been a lot of news about the rise of chatbots and why people should care. Picture yourself asking a chatbot on Facebook or Slack, “Remind me to schedule a tweet about our product launch” or “Tell me what keywords our #1 competitor is raking for.”

What’s crazy is these already exist, and the potential for new bots to change the way we work and live is enormous.

So, what does this mean for your job? For marketing and sales? For the industry as a whole, and how we communicate with prospects and customers? How will this change the way we work — and live?

You’re in luck: We’ve organized a live event on YouTube with HubSpot’s CTO, Co-founder, and builder of GrowthBot Dharmesh Shah, as well as Looker’s Colin Zima, and Slack’s Buster Benson. They’re teaming up to tackling these burning questions about bots, and how they’ll change our world of marketing and sales.

Help build the agenda here by upvoting the questions you’d like to hear, and tweet any additional questions using the hashtag #BotHangout!

  • When: Tuesday September 20th 2 p.m. ET // 11 a.m. PT for one hour
  • Where: YouTube Live
  • Hashtag: #BotsHangout

Want to learn more about the current state (and future) of bots? Click here to save your seat for this live event.

Meet the Speakers

Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot

Dharmesh_Headshot.jpeg

Dharmesh is Co-founder & CTO of HubSpot. Dharmesh also founded and writes for OnStartups.com — a top-ranking startup blog with more than 500,000 members.

 

Colin Zima, Looker

Colin Zima

As Chief Analytics Officer and VP of Product, Colin employs data to drive better decision making across businesses of all sizes, including high-growth start-ups & large corporations.

 

Buster Benson, Slack

Buster Benson

Buster Benson has 18 years of experience building products at various startups, Amazon, Twitter, and now Slack. Prior to Slack, he helped build Twitter’s analytics products & quick promote tool for small businesses.

 

Moderated by: Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP of Marketing, HubSpot

Meghan Keaney Anderson

As Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot, Meghan leads the content, product marketing, and customer marketing teams. Together with her teams, she’s responsible for the company’s blogs, podcast, and overall content strategy, as well as the company’s product launch and customer demand campaigns.

free live event: the future of chatbots in marketing

May

9

2016

6 Conversion Experts Answer 20 of Your Most Important CRO Questions [Live Google Hangout]

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Whether you’re new to marketing or decades into your career, conversion rate optimization is an ever-changing topic and necessary asset in your marketing playbook.

Looking to learn more about your audience? Want to manipulate your existing resources to improve their performance? How about growing your business by improving lead flow? Wouldn’t that be nice?

An effective CRO strategy can help you achieve all that — without forcing you to crank out a bunch of new content. 

In this live Google Hangout, these six experts will teach you the most up-to-date CRO strategies and how to use different methods to get results. With your help building the agenda, we’re going to play “20 Questions” with today’s top CRO experts and learn how to start, where to start, and when to stop testing and optimizing your marketing efforts for lead conversion. 

  • When: Wednesday 6/1 @ 2 p.m. ET // 5 p.m. GMT // 9 a.m. PT for one hour
  • Where: Live Google Hangout
  • Hashtag: #CROhangout

Want to learn more about conversion rate optimization? Click here to save your seat for this live event.

Meet the Conversion Experts

Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin uses the ludicrous title, Wizard of Moz. He’s founder and former CEO of Moz, board member at presentation software startup Haiku Deck, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.orgRand’s an unsaveable addict of all things content, search, and social.

Larry Kim, Founder & CTO, Wordstream

Larry Kim

Larry Kim founded WordStream in 2007. He bootstrapped the company by providing internet consulting services while funding/managing a team of engineers and marketers to develop and sell software for search engine marketing automation. Today he serves as company CTO and is a contributor to both the product team and marketing teams.  

Oli Gardner, Co-founder, Unbounce

Oli Gardner, Unbounce

Unbounce Co-Founder Oli Gardner has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. His disdain for marketers who send campaign traffic to their homepage is legendary. He is a prolific webinar guest and writer, and speaks internationally about Conversion-Centered Design where he is consistently ranked as the top speaker. 

Peep Laja, Founder, ConversionXL

Peep_Laja.jpg

Peep is an entrepreneur and conversion optimization expert with 10+ years of global experience. He has extensive experience across verticals: In the past he’s run a software company in Europe, an SEO agency in Panama, a real estate portal in Dubai, and worked for an international non-profit. 

Pamela Vaughan, Principle Optimization Marketing Manager, HubSpot

Pamela Vaughan

As HubSpot’s principle optimization marketer, Pam currently manages large-scale projects relating to CRO and SEO (with an expertise in blog/content optimization) on the HubSpot marketing team’s new optimization team. Her team’s goal is to optimize and grow traffic and conversions from HubSpot’s various marketing assets. 

Michael Aagard, Senior Conversion Optimizer, Unbounce

Michel Aagard

For seven years, Michael has spent about 60 hours a week testing and optimizing websites to gain a deeper understanding of what really works in Online Marketing and CRO. He’s helped a multitude of clients from all over the world make more money online. In July 2015 he quit his career and joined Unbounce as Senior Conversion Optimizer. 

Moderated by: Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP of Marketing, HubSpot

Meghan Keaney Anderson

As Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot, Meghan leads the content, product marketing, and customer marketing teams. Together with her teams, she’s responsible for the company’s blogs, podcast, and overall content strategy, as well as the company’s product launch and customer demand campaigns.

join a Google Hangout With CRO experts

May

9

2016

6 Conversion Experts Answer 20 of Your Most Important CRO Questions [Live Google Hangout]

Blog_header_image_-_resized_1.jpg

Whether you’re new to marketing or decades into your career, conversion rate optimization is an ever-changing topic and necessary asset in your marketing playbook.

Looking to learn more about your audience? Want to manipulate your existing resources to improve their performance? How about growing your business by improving lead flow? Wouldn’t that be nice?

An effective CRO strategy can help you achieve all that — without forcing you to crank out a bunch of new content. 

In this live Google Hangout, these six experts will teach you the most up-to-date CRO strategies and how to use different methods to get results. With your help building the agenda, we’re going to play “20 Questions” with today’s top CRO experts and learn how to start, where to start, and when to stop testing and optimizing your marketing efforts for lead conversion. 

  • When: Wednesday 6/1 @ 2 p.m. ET // 5 p.m. GMT // 9 a.m. PT for one hour
  • Where: Live Google Hangout
  • Hashtag: #CROhangout

Want to learn more about conversion rate optimization? Click here to save your seat for this live event.

Meet the Conversion Experts

Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin uses the ludicrous title, Wizard of Moz. He’s founder and former CEO of Moz, board member at presentation software startup Haiku Deck, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.orgRand’s an unsaveable addict of all things content, search, and social.

Larry Kim, Founder & CTO, Wordstream

Larry Kim

Larry Kim founded WordStream in 2007. He bootstrapped the company by providing internet consulting services while funding/managing a team of engineers and marketers to develop and sell software for search engine marketing automation. Today he serves as company CTO and is a contributor to both the product team and marketing teams.  

Oli Gardner, Co-founder, Unbounce

Oli Gardner, Unbounce

Unbounce Co-Founder Oli Gardner has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. His disdain for marketers who send campaign traffic to their homepage is legendary. He is a prolific webinar guest and writer, and speaks internationally about Conversion-Centered Design where he is consistently ranked as the top speaker. 

Peep Laja, Founder, ConversionXL

Peep_Laja.jpg

Peep is an entrepreneur and conversion optimization expert with 10+ years of global experience. He has extensive experience across verticals: In the past he’s run a software company in Europe, an SEO agency in Panama, a real estate portal in Dubai, and worked for an international non-profit. 

Pamela Vaughan, Principle Optimization Marketing Manager, HubSpot

Pamela Vaughan

As HubSpot’s principle optimization marketer, Pam currently manages large-scale projects relating to CRO and SEO (with an expertise in blog/content optimization) on the HubSpot marketing team’s new optimization team. Her team’s goal is to optimize and grow traffic and conversions from HubSpot’s various marketing assets. 

Michael Aagard, Senior Conversion Optimizer, Unbounce

Michel Aagard

For seven years, Michael has spent about 60 hours a week testing and optimizing websites to gain a deeper understanding of what really works in Online Marketing and CRO. He’s helped a multitude of clients from all over the world make more money online. In July 2015 he quit his career and joined Unbounce as Senior Conversion Optimizer. 

Moderated by: Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP of Marketing, HubSpot

Meghan Keaney Anderson

As Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot, Meghan leads the content, product marketing, and customer marketing teams. Together with her teams, she’s responsible for the company’s blogs, podcast, and overall content strategy, as well as the company’s product launch and customer demand campaigns.

join a Google Hangout With CRO experts

Apr

26

2016

How to Optimize Your Existing Blog Content for Traffic & Conversions [Live Google Hangout]

Uberflip_Blog_Traffic_and_Conversions.jpg

Every marketer knows that a successful inbound marketing strategy includes a blog. But not just any blog — a blog that boasts relevant, consistent content that’s optimized for both the target audience and search engines. That’s the kind of blog that drives results.

Trouble is, finding time to balance quality and quantity is tricky. So what if I told you that your blog could generate leads and traffic without you having to create new post every single time? Intrigued?

In this live Google Hangout, Uberflip’s VP of Marketing Hana Abaza and HubSpot’s Principal Marketing Optimization expert Pamela Vaughan are joining forces to teach you how to optimize your blog to generate traffic and leads … without publishing another post.

When: Tuesday, May 3rd

Time: 2 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. PST (30 Minutes)

Where: Live Google Hangout

In this Hangout, you’ll learn:

  • How to step back and understand your goals before optimization (and how to track blog optimization to meet your goals)
  • How focusing on the user experience can increase conversions by up to 250%
  • The importance of strategic content organization to build an engagement path
  • Why you should be updating and republishing old content 
  • Why it’s important to conduct a blog traffic and conversion audit 
  • Examples of things HubSpot has learned from doing blog audits and how we’ve put those findings into action to boost conversion rates

Click here to save your seat and watch this event!

free Google Hangout

Dec

29

2015

How to Find the Right Co-Marketing Partner

Co-marketing Partner

Co-marketing is a fantastic way to gain new contacts without having to wait for organic search to kick in … but it’s not always an easy job.

The challenging part of co-marketing all boils down to one thing: your partner. Can you find partners who launch campaigns with the same strategy and thoughtfulness you do? Oftentimes, it’s a struggle.

If you’re having trouble finding and evaluating co-marketing partners, keep on reading. In this post, I’ll outline 10 tips for making sure you’re entering into a healthy and prosperous co-marketing partnership.

Let’s get to it.

10 Tips to Finding the Right Co-Marketing Partner

1) Start with a list of brands you admire.  

First, create a running list of brands and influencers in your industry that you admire from a marketing standpoint.

If you’re an online wine distributor, for example, a great potential partner to include on this list would be a popular wine accessory company. Chances are, your audience would want cool wine accessories and gifts for their family and friends, and the wine accessory company would want an audience of wine lovers to buy more accessories. It’s a win-win!

A few questions to ask yourself when you’re putting this list together:

  • Are there potential partners in your space who have enjoyable-to-read blogs that would provide value to your audience?
  • Do you follow any brands on social media that make lovable content that also speaks to your buyer persona’s needs?
  • What apps, tools, or products make your customers’ lives easier? 

Once you nail down a list of companies that are a fit for your buyer persona, it’s time to dig a lot deeper.

2) Consider competitive overlap.

It can be tough to assess the “coopetition” of a new partner. It’s common sense to not go after direct competitors, but there is a gray area where a partner’s products are differentiated enough to where you might want to engage in a co-marketing relationship.

My biggest pieces of advice when evaluating that gray area is to make sure you’re not fighting for the same keywords. If you’re an interior designer in Boston trying to grow outside of New England, for example, don’t co-market with another interior designer in Massachusetts as the keyword to find you would be “interior designer in Boston” or “interior designer in Massachusetts.” I’d opt to partner with somebody in the furniture or rug business that has a national footprint, as you can both drive traffic and leads to each other without cutting into each other’s business.

3) Dig into social media profiles.

The first thing I do to check out a new partner is visit their company’s profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

While I’m there, I don’t just look at the number of followers — I also look at engagement, replies, and the type of content their social team is posting. Why? Chances are, your co-marketing content will be promoted on social media. It’s important to know the potential reach and engagement of your partners’ social accounts so you can assess how much exposure your co-branded content will get on social.

When you’re looking at their social media accounts, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the partner use high-quality, relevant, and aesthetically pleasing visuals to promote their campaigns?
  • Is the copy engaging and easy to digest? 
  • Are people liking/favoriting and sharing posts?
  • Is the partner answering questions from customers and prospects? 
  • Is the partner joining conversations related to your industry? 

Try to answer all of these questions about your future partner to determine if they’re on the same page you are when it comes to social content.

Pro Tip: When you’re on Twitter, check out “Tweets & Replies” as well as “Photos & Videos” to better determine what your future new partner is up to.

HubSpot Twitter Account

4) Assess the company’s overall web and content reach.

In order to assess how much traffic your new partner could drive to a landing page, I look at their overall web presence on www.alexa.com and www.similarweb.com. These sites help me get a rough idea of traffic, bounce rates, keywords, and sources people are using to find that site, as well as the next action they take after visiting.

Alexa specifically is a great tool, as it can help you dig into where visitors click from a company’s main site. If you find most of the clicks are going to a company’s blog or resources pages, that’s a great sign for me as their audience likes that company’s content. If it’s going to a pricing page or something that’s not as top of the funnel, it signals that there is a hole in their marketing and conversion path — they may not be a great co-marketing partner right now. 

Another tool that works well for assessing a potential new partner’s reach is Buzzsumo. It allows you to find specific types of content that perform well in an industry, as well as uncovers thought leaders in that space. This handy tool ranks content by the number of social shares to provide you insight into what’s working on this company’s site. Here’s a great video on Buzzsumo’s capabilities and a look into how HubSpot’s own SEO guru Matthew Barby uses the tool.

Buzzsumo Capabilities

image Source: SEMrush

5) Google the company.

To make sure you don’t start working with a partner who is on the verge of bankruptcy, Google the company and check out the first few pages to see what comes up, as well as the “News” section. 

If the latest news doesn’t shed a positive light on this potential partner, perhaps you should wait until the dust settles after a few months. If it’s too damaging, you might consider crossing them off your list of partners to reach out to.

If the latest news is about their impending IPO or recent funding and growth, however, go get ‘em! 

6) Sign up for their newsletters and subscribe to their blog.  

Sometimes the best way to find out if this company markets their brand and content well is to subscribe to their updates. A few questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the content they’re promoting lovable?
  • How often are they sending emails?
  • Is there an unsubscribe link?
  • Are their calls-to-action to landing pages and useful content, or to assets that don’t make sense?

The importance of knowing how this future partner markets to their own database is similar to how they engage on social media. Eventually, if you co-market with them, they’re going to promote via email, social media, and their website. If you like the way they are marketing to their database in helpful newsletters, interesting blog posts, and relevant content, that’s a sign this company knows what their audiences likes and how to convert them into delighted customers and evangelists. If they’re not sending any emails or the emails themselves are irrelevant, that should be a red flag on moving forward with a co-marketing partnership.

7) If applicable, check out reviews for their product or service.

In the case of the wine distributor looking to pair up with a wine accessory company, I’d check out the Amazon reviews for those accessories or Google search “[insert company name] reviews.”

If there’s a way to dig into the customer service and support of this company’s products and services, you should absolutely find out if customers like what they are purchasing as it reflects on how the brand treats their buyers. Go the extra mile and dig into customer reviews and their experiences with any potential partner, if you can.

8) Google the person you’d be working with, if you know who they are.

Do a quick search to see if this person has experience in the industry, recommendations of their work, and a positive footprint online. I don’t judge people for not having a YouTube channel on inbound marketing that has over 1,000 subscribers and hundreds of thousands of view to their videos, but I do check out their LinkedIn to see what experience they bring to the table. 

Ultimately, the person you will be working with will make or break your co-marketing campaign. I don’t discredit people or choose not to work with those who haven’t had several years of experience, but it’s nice to know whether you’re working with somebody who is an industry veteran or somebody who is starting to learn the ropes.

9) Ask your network for references.

Have any connections in common on LinkedIn? Send your common contact a message and ask if this person you’re thinking of pairing up with is recommendable. If someone you trust can’t recommend this person, that’s a red flag.

The same goes for Twitter. If you’re a dog walker looking to pair up with a local dog treat company and see you have a few friends in common on Twitter, Direct Message your common friend and ask about the dog treat company owner you’re interested in working with. Can they vouch for that person? Are they hard workers, passionate about growing their business with inbound marketing, and in tune with their buyer persona and delighting customers?

Great recommendations from your network are invaluable ways to research a potential new partner you’re trusting your brand name with.

10) Have an introductory call to make sure you’re both aligned (and you get good vibes from the person).

I’m a personal believer in first impressions being lasting impressions. Having an introductory call with a future partner is a great way to get a temperature check on their energy and enthusiasm about the co-marketing partnership. A few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do they seem excited about the campaign?
  • Did they come with great questions?
  • Are you aligned on goals?
  • Does the conversation flow well?

As a best practice, always schedule a half hour call to get to know each other before agreeing to a campaign. This will give you enough time to ensure you align goals of the campaign, as well as deliverables and the timeline of those deliverables.

I try to be as natural as I can on first-time calls. This gives the potential partner a sense of my personality and lets them know I’m excited about the potential for working with them. It loosens the vibe and allows for a more relaxed conversation, which means you can really get to know each other and your goals.

At the end of this whole process, you should have a much better idea whether this person and company will be worth partnering up with — or just a waste of time. 

What other tips do you have for finding and vetting co-marketing partners?

download enviable marketing examples

Dec

4

2015

How to Design Graphics That’ll Boost Your Conversions [Free Ebook]

Gone are the days where “I’m not creative enough” or “I don’t have any design experience” serve as sound excuses for avoiding design entirely. Thanks to new technology, it’s possible for pretty much anyone to create optimized graphics to support their campaigns and lead generation efforts. 

With photos in tweets averaging a 35% boost in retweets and captions under graphics being viewed 300X more than body copy on average, compelling graphics have become an increasingly important part of the marketing plan.

Need help getting started? We teamed up with the folks at Canva to create an awesome, free design guide, How to Design Graphics That Convert. We cover how to design graphics to promote your content on social media, landing pages, email marketing, CTAs, and paid ads. Designed to increase conversion rates, these graphics will help your content perform better, generate more leads, and reach a bigger audience.

In this guide, you’ll discover:

  • How to create stunning graphics for promoting your content 
  • The science of CTA optimization
  • How to boost conversions by tweaking your landing pages
  • How to create high-performing paid graphics

Ready to start designing? Click here to download How to Design Graphics That Convert.

Want to spread the love? Share this resource with your network:

“How to increase leads from your graphics: design with conversion in mind http://hubs.ly/H01r2KD0 Awesome guide from @Canva @HubSpot.” [Click to Tweet]

“The experts @Canva & @HubSpot put together this visual guide on how to create graphics that convert! http://hubs.ly/H01r2M10” [Click to Tweet]

free guide to designing high-quality graphics

Oct

26

2015

The Tips & Tools You Need to Tweet Smarter This Holiday Season [Webinar]

Thinking of strategies to close out the year strong?

The holiday season serves as the perfect time to reach new audiences and showcase your “always-on” marketing strategy. Trouble is, the end of the year tends to be a little hectic, and finding the time to plan and launch new campaigns can be pretty overwhelming for most marketers. 

How does one figure out how to tap into a new audience? Is there a right and a wrong way to leverage the holidays? What about optimization? There’s got to be a way to optimize your efforts, right? 

You need answers and we’ve got them. That’s why we’re teaming up with Twitter for a live global webinar on Wednesday, November 4th to cover tips and tools for activating valuable audiences during this time of year. 

Ready to go out with a bang and start 2016 off right? Tune into the webinar to learn:

  • How to implement an “always-on” strategy that takes advantage of Twitter’s unique capabilities
  • How to reach new audiences and generate more leads and customers
  • Quick tips on optimizing your campaigns
  • How to harness the holidays to close out the year strong
  • And more on how to finish strong in 2015

twitter-logo Click to Tweet: 

How to go #beyondmarketing this holiday season

“Learn how to go #BeyondMarketing this holiday & reach your goals with this webinar from @TwitterSmallBiz & @HubSpot http://hubs.ly/H01h2qv0”

  free webinar with HubSpot and Twitter

Sep

29

2015

The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting Campaigns [Free Ebook]

The Beginner's Guide to Retargeting
For those of you who have heard of retargeting and think it’s something you want to try, you’re in good company. According to a study by Chango and Digiday, one in five marketers now have a dedicated budget for retargeting. 

Though it’s a popular tactic for marketers, retargeting can be tough to get started with.

To help, we’ve teamed up with Perfect Audience to bring you a free ebook called The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting. With retargeting, businesses of any size have the opportunity to get in front of their target audience, drive awareness, and increase conversions. 

In this ebook, you’ll learn:

  • How retargeting can help you generate more leads
  • Best practices for implementing retargeting campaigns
  • How to get started and run a successful campaign
  • Measuring and optimizing campaign performance

Ready to dive in? Download your free guide here.

free beginner's guide to retargeting

Sep

4

2015

How Strong Is Your Site? Learn From 9 Big Brands With High-Performing Websites

According to Internet Live Stats, there are over one billion websites in the entire world. And by the time you finish reading this post, there will be even more. With so many websites in existence, what makes the good ones stand out?

As inbound marketers, we often jump to SEO, social media, or the quality of content published. But there are actually quite a few other things to consider when judging the success of a website.

What are they, you ask? When we built Website Grader, a tool to assess the effectiveness of a website, we judged websites on the following key factors:

  1. Performance: How fast does your page load? How many redirects are in place? How large is your page size? The better your website actually functions, the better experience it is for your visitors. 

  2. Mobile: Does your website work on all devices? People aren’t just using desktop computers to access the internet anymore. 

  3. SEO: Do you make it easy for search engines to find and understand the content on your website? Organic traffic is a key part of growing your website’s traffic.
  4. Security: Do you have an SSL certificate in place? Especially if you’re collecting sensitive information, it’s important that your website is secure and trustworthy. 

Want to see what some of these best practices look like in real life? Check out the examples below of brands with nearly perfect Website Grader scores.

1) HBO (89/100)

HBO

Our beloved portal to Game of Thrones scored an 89 on Website Grader, largely due to its fast load time, mobile-optimization, and SSL certificate in place. What I’m especially impressed with is its ability to do all of that while hosting a ton of videos, photos, and community forums. HBO should insert heading tags on all pages so bots know what each site page is about, and improve performance timing by keeping page sizes below 3 MB. 

2) Marks & Spencer (87/100)

Marks & Spencer

British mega-retailer Marks & Spencer scored well on almost every aspect of a great website, however, with so many links of clothing and accessories on each page, the speed of each page has over 116 page requests, which slows everything down a bit. Besides reducing page requests, we think M&S should remove or defer JavaScript and CSS that interferes with loading above-the-fold content. 

3) PayPal (84/100)

As an electronic payment system, it’s no wonder PayPal also has a high performing, agile website. PayPal scored an 84/100, with a perfect score in mobile and security, however SEO and performance didn’t quite hit the mark. To improve, it should definitely add an XML sitemap.

4) Zalando (74/100)

Zalando

German-based retailer Zalando has a great site that caters to users who speak a wide variety of languages and use a variety of devices (it scored a 30/30 in the mobile category). So, why the 74/100 overall? There’s no sitemap, browser caching, or SSL certificate. By fixing any of those issues, Zalando’s score could be greatly improved.

5) Fidelity (86/100)

Fidelity

Fidelity’s online retirement, funds, and trading website has a nearly perfect website with a score of 86/100. Its comprehensive website scores 100% on security, but falls short in the SEO segment, so we’d suggest Fidelity reduce meta descriptions to under 155 characters in length and include relevant keywords. 

6) Spotify (91/100)

Spotify

As an avid Spotify user myself, I can see why this site scored highly on Website Grader. It performs well on image compression, mobile responsiveness, and SEO. The way to improve this website? Work on key performance enhancements like browser caching and render blocking. 

7) Apple (89/100)

Apple

Apple’s gorgeously clean website scores perfectly in every category but performance. Its biggest issue? A large number of page requests. The more HTTP requests Apple makes, the slower its site becomes. Fixing that would skyrocket their score and performance in general.

8) American Express (77/100)

American Express

Though AMEX’s website hits all marks on mobile optimization and security, there are a few weak spots on performance and SEO. More specifically, its page speed is a liiiiitle too high for comfort, and its sitemap is nowhere to be found. To improve their website’s score, they should work to reduce their page load speed and add an XML sitemap. 

9) Netflix (87/100)

Netflix

Netflix has also built a fantastic website. Its strengths? Netflix’s website is fast: Its page speed clocks in at 1.2 seconds. It’s also secure: An SSL certificate is in place, meaning your login info is in a much safer place.  Every checkbox on the road to a 100/100 on Website Grader is almost complete. Netflix’s one area of improvement to give its site a perfect score would be page requests. The biggest area of improvement, like many of the previous websites, would be to build and implement a sitemap. 

How effective is your website? Find out for free using Website Grader.

evaluate your website's SEO for free

Aug

3

2015

How to Repurpose Your Social Media Content [Live Webinar]

How to Repurpose Social Content

Remember the slogan “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?” It was originally coined in reference to paper and plastic products, but it also can be applied to your content marketing strategy. Not only can repurposing content save you time, but it also can help you generate way more results.

The strategy of repurposing existing content has been oiling the HubSpot content engine for years, and this Thursday, we’ll be hosting a webinar with Likeable Local to give away our secrets.

In this live webinar you’ll learn how to:

  • Repurpose a great blog post into a series of social posts, webinars, ebooks, and SlideShares
  • Turn a webinar into an ebook and a full social media campaign
  • Find and repurpose gems on social media into an ebook
  • Much, much more about saving time while generating leads

Want to tune in? Here are the details:

Who: HubSpot & Likeable Local

WhenAugust 6th at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT

Click here to register for this live webinar.

free webinar on repurposing social content

Jul

28

2015

How to Generate More Leads & Customers Using Social Media Videos [Free Ebook]

How to Use Video in Social Media

Did you know that the use of video content for B2B marketers jumped from 8% to 58% in 2014 alone? More than that, the number of videos brands publish on Facebook has increased by 3.6x year over year.

But does all this video really help marketers succeed?

The short answer: Yes.

Social media posts that contain videos boost views by 48%, and visual content on Facebook specifically increases engagement by 65%. This means that not only are more people seeing your content as a result of video, but they’re actually engaging with it, too. That’s value.

Not sure where to start with video for your social media account? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. HubSpot and Wistia have teamed together to bring you an interactive guide … with videos. This guide will show you how you can start making videos that are optimized for each social media platform today.

You’ll learn:

  • How to create & implement a video social media strategy
  • How to make awesome videos by turning your office into a DIY studio
  • The best lighting, microphones, and tools to help you shoot high quality iPhone videos

Download the free ebook to get started with video today.

free guide to using video in social media

Jul

21

2015

How to Plan, Create, and Promote Your Infographics [Infographic]

How to Create & Use Beautiful Infographics in Your Marketing

It’s no secret that infographics serve as an interesting way to serve up information in a visually appealing way. But for those of us that lack design skills, the creation process can seem a little intimidating. 

Where do you start? What data should be represented? Which colors work best? How should it be formatted?

The good news is, you’re not alone in this. The better news is, creating beautiful infographics and using them in your inbound marketing strategy is actually easier than you think.

To walk you through it, HubSpot and Venngagea free infographic maker, have paired up to bring you this free ebook on How to Create & Use Beautiful Infographics in Your Marketing. 

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to create an infographic
  • Data-backed strategies for infographic promotion

Ready to get started? Click here to download the free ebook.

And for a preview of what you can expect to learn, check out this awesome infographic … on creating awesome infographics:

HubSpot-How-to-Create-Infographics-Ebook

how to create beautiful infographics

Jul

7

2015

Do You Ever Work Remote? How to Work and Manage More Effectively From Outside the Office [Live Webinar]

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Working remotely is both a blessing and a curse.

The blessing? Eliminating the need to pour time, stress, and money into your commute.

The curse? Missing out on office culture, face-to-face-time with your co-workers, and productivity. And while telecommunication is now a mainstay in office culture, it’s not always easy to ensure that you or your team stays productive when working out of the office. 

So how do you make sure working remotely is actually working for you and your team? Join HubSpot’s Dan Tyre and Dropbox’s Rajan Kapoor on July 16th to learn more about their expert solutions for combating the challenges and disadvantages of working out of the office. In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • How NOT to manage remotely 
  • Strategies for building off the advantages of working remotely
  • Processes and tools to remain collaborative and efficient with your team
  • Much more from Dan and Rajan on their professional experience

Webinar Details:

Date: July 16th, 2 p.m. EDT / 11 a.m. PST

Hashtag: #WorkRemote

Click Here to Register 

free webinar: how to have a remote workforce

Jun

22

2015

Beyond the Basics: How to Increase Conversions on Twitter [Free Webinar]

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When you first get started with Twitter, there are plenty of resources to help. Lots of guides on setting up your profile, tips on responding to your followers, and tutorials on picking your very first cover photo. 

But what happens after you’ve mastered the basics? Where do you turn for helpful, actionable advice to help you optimize your Twitter strategy?

One of the best places to start would be the social network itself. This Thursday, we’ll be hosting a webinar with Twitter to talk about the best ways to drive website visits and app installs, tried-and-true tests we’ve run, and more on how to use Twitter for your business. 

Want to tune in? Here are the details you need to know. 

Webinar Details

Date: June 24th, 1 p.m. EDT / 10 a.m. PDT

Hashtag: #TweetSmarter

Click Here to Register

twitter-logo Click to Tweet

“Countdown begins! Live webinar w/ @TwitterSmallBiz & @HubSpot – How to increase conversions on Twitter #TweetSmarter http://hubs.ly/y0RgHS0

TweetSmarterWebinarHubSpot

free twitter conversions webinar

May

18

2015

How to Easily Design Images Like a Pro [Live Webinar]

diy-design-hacks.png

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

We’ve all heard this saying before, and to marketers, it’s becoming increasingly true. Images can help businesses suceed — tweets with images result in 18% more clicks, and 17% of marketers are planning to increase their use of visual assets in 2015.

For companies with the bandwidth to have a dedicated creative designer, this is no intimidating feat. However, for the marketers out there running social, blogging, email, lead generation, and a billion other things, creating images sounds like one more hat you just can’t fit on your head right now. 

Do not fear! Designing and creating stellar images for promotional assets doesn’t have to be another hat. It doesn’t even have to be a visor or a bandana. It can actually be a quick and enjoyable “to-do” item.

Don’t believe me? Spend an hour with Peg Fitzpatrick in our webinar on DIY Design Hacks this Thursday at 1 p.m. EST, and learn how to quickly crank out beautifully designed images. 

Peg will share the quick-and-dirty DIY hacks she uses to market her brand to over 1 million social followers — no Photoshop classes required. In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • How to create 5+ images in under 30 minutes
  • How to create templates for future designs
  • How to avoid looking too “stocky” in your designs
  • … And much, much more! 

Want to attend this webinar? Sign up here.

free live webinar: diy design hacks

Mar

30

2015

Should You Attend That Event? 9 Questions to Help You Find Out

value-of-conference

Figuring out whether you and your team should attend a conference can be tricky. Getting out of the office sounds like a no-brainer, but when you start thinking about taking time “off,” traveling, paying for the conference itself, and what you’ll actually do once you get there, the answer starts to feel a little less clear.

So how can you figure out whether a conference is “worth it” to attend? How can you make the decision to send your team … or not? While your decision will ultimately depend on what your team does, what your goals are, and how much budget you have available, below are some questions you can ask yourself to figure out whether you should be packing your suitcase for the event.

1) Will the conference help you develop better relationships?

Many people overlook the value of developing relationships with clients, partners, and customers at in-person events. Shaking somebody’s hand and delivering the phrase “So nice to finally meet you!” could make the difference between a good relationship with someone important to your business and a great one.

If the event location happens to be in your contact’s hometown or you know they’ll be attending the event, it might make sense for you to allocate budget to attending, too. These opportunities can be few and far between, so putting some of your budget towards conferences that allow you to have that face-to-face time can be worth it.

2) Will the conference help you generate quality leads?

If you’re sending your team to stand in a booth all day, think about the cost of the quality leads you may or may not obtain. Is spending $5K-$10K on a three-day tradeshow worth the handful of business cards you collected?

It’s very possible that it could be worth it, depending on the size of the conference, type of people who attend, where your booth is located, and what your average deal size is — but the important thing here is to think about what kind of results you’d need to justify sending people to the conference. The best conferences you can attend will not only bring in leads for your company, but also educate your team, strengthen external relationships, and help your team develop skills related to their jobs.

Which leads us to our next point …

3) Can you prove ROI to management?

Return on Investment: A term marketers are all too familiar with. Proving a conference’s value to your management can be a challenge, especially if your company is on a tight budget. And how do you prove ROI before you’ve even booked your ticket to the conference?

Though you can’t really calculate ROI until after you’ve spent the time and money attending, here are two things you could use to uncover the conference’s potential impact:

  • Opportunity Cost: If you don’t send your team, what would you be missing out on? What knowledge or skill set would you not be developing to grow at your job and ultimately help the company? What connections would you miss out on? The answer to these questions can be tricky to find, but Googling the event’s past reviews could come in handy.
  • Competitors: Are they going to the event? How is their marketing grade compared to yours? Did they attend this conference last year and get a ton of engagement from it? Knowing this information can help understand the potential ROI — if your competitors had success last time, it means that there’s a market of people at the event who could be a good fit for your company, too. 

4) Are there speaking opportunities available?

You don’t have to just be an attendee to get value from a conference. 

For example, there might be an opportunity to speak about something you’re an expert in. Maybe the conference website has a call for interested speakers, and you could sign yourself up. Or maybe you know someone who’s running the event, and you send ’em a quick note explaining your interest in speaking. Or maybe you see a panel already booked on the website that you know you could add value to, and you let the organizers know. By being a speaker, you not only can establish yourself as a credible expert, but you also have a handy “excuse” to tune into the rest of the sessions that day. 

5) Can you easily make connections with others on social media?

Sometimes, engaging on social media with other event attendees can be just as valuable as actually attending the conference. Many conferences will have a hashtag, a Twitter account dedicated to the event, a place to take pictures, live video streaming, and more, giving you lots of opportunities to meet and connect with other people at the conference. If a conference doesn’t make this easy for you, you might need to get creative to find new, interesting people to meet. (And those efforts could be time-consuming and/or expensive.)

6) Can you blog about it after? (And will that blog post perform well?)

As an inbound marketer, you’re always trying to figure out what piece of content to create next. When you’re evaluating an event, take a second to consider whether you could create any content from the conference that your readers would want to read about. Could you recap one of the panel discussions or find time to interview one of the best speakers for your next blog post?

If the answer to these questions is “yes,” this event could be of great value for you. Blogging about your experiences will give you a chance to better engage with your fellow attendees and get traffic to your site. If you do a really bang-up job on the post and the conference coordinators notice, you might even use that post as proof that you should be considered for the following year’s speaking roster. 

If you’re going to a technical, job-focused event that doesn’t pertain to your audience, you might not want to write about the event itself, but you might be able to use some of the skills you learned from the conference in your next post. 

7) When you’re out of the office, who (or what) is going to manage your marketing responsibilities? 

Do you have the right tools put in place to manage your work while your team is out for a few days? While the answer to this question may not make or break whether you actually attend the conference, it’s a crucial question to ask yourself before you commit. Here are a few processes you will need to set up while you’re gone:

  • Set an out-of-office automatic response for your work email. They don’t have to be dry — here are some funny and creative ways to write an out-of-office message.
  • Schedule external content (emails, blog posts, social posts) to send while you’re gone. This way, you’re not sacrificing traffic- or lead-generation while you’re not physically sitting at your desk. 
  • Ensure you’ve set clear instructions for those who won’t be attending in case anything goes wrong. If the intern is hanging back while you’re out, you will need to make sure you let her/him know what to do when X person calls or emails, or if the CEO asks for a status update on something. 

8) Will the event help you and your team grow professionally?

The right conferences not only allow you to meet smart, inspiring people, but also teach you a ton — especially in skills that make you a more well-rounded professional. So when you’re evaluating a conference, think about whether the people from your team can attend and actually develop new skills. This will happen even more naturally if you are attending the conference with other people from your organization that are on different teams — the conference can help you make better internal connections and better understand your team’s world.

9) Is this a good team-building opportunity? 

Something gets the team out of the office and into a setting where everyone can relax and relate to each other — like an industry conference — can work wonders for team bonding. Developing closer connections helps people work better together and makes them happier. When that next difficult, time-consuming project comes up, everyone might be much more willing to jump in and help their fellow coworker. 

What other questions do you ask yourself before committing to attending an event?

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