‘Clean’ Letterkenny continues to improve in litter survey

first_imgLetterkenny has been ranked as ‘Clean to European Norms’, according to the final litter survey of 2018 by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL).The town, which is the only area of Donegal included in the study, earned 14th in a list of 40 Irish town and cities.The survey carried out by An Taisce found that over half of the sites visited in Letterkenny got the top litter grade and there were no seriously littered sites. The report found that top ranking sites included Ballymacool Park (which was praised as an “excellent park site with regard to presentation and litter”) and both the residential areas of West Hill and Ballymacool. “Any of the sites which were littered could be easily addressed as litter tended to be in very specific and identifiable locations within the survey site,” said the report.Over the past two years Letterkenny has established its position as a consistently Clean town. While almost all of Ireland’s main towns are clean, IBAL said that pockets of cities continue to be littered and are not improving. Fermoy won the title of the cleanest town among those ranked according to litter levels in 2018, with Waterford City again winning Ireland’s cleanest city.The IBAL awards will be presented today (Monday) by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton.‘Clean’ Letterkenny continues to improve in litter survey was last modified: January 7th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

What in the World? Lovebug Edition

first_imgShare This!For fans of Herbie (the actual Love Bug), I have to apologize in advance–this is about the other kind of lovebug at Walt Disney World, Plecia nearctica. Twice a year, in spring (April and May) and in late summer (August and September), lovebugs (part of the march fly family) descend on Florida, and Central Florida is not immune. Lovebug season has started to hit the Walt Disney World area in full force, and these little buggers will be with us for a few weeks.Contrary to at least one confused tourist that I ran into this weekend, these aren’t some mammoth mosquitoes here to drain the life out of you. (Don’t worry–those will show up in a few weeks when the rainy season gets into full swing.) Aside from being profoundly annoying, these bugs won’t do much of anything except be in your way–they don’t bite, but they they will land on your clothing, they’ll cover walls and benches, they’ll fall into your food if you’re eating outside. Their sole purpose is to look for love. Charming, right?One exception: If you are driving your car in and around Walt Disney World, you will likely gather quite a collection of these bugs on your car and the windshield. Due to their body’s composition, lovebug “juice” can eat into the paint on your car, so you’ll want to wash them off frequently to avoid paint damage. They also can create a waxy film on your windshield that regular windshield wipers can’t easily clean off. Windex and a lot of scrubbing can remove that film from your windshield. If you go through a large enough swarm, they can actually clog your car’s air intake, leading to reduced engine efficiency, another reason to frequently clean the front of your car this time of year.Have you seen lovebugs in and around Walt Disney World this time of year? Do you think they’re worse this year than in the past? Got another question you want us to answer about “what in the world is that?” Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

Zolani Mahola: the face of fresh

first_img15 May 2007Singer Zolani Mahola has been a busy woman of late. “Doo Be Doo”, the chart-busting track that charmed millions of South Africans, has also propelled her band Freshlyground into the international arena. Freshlyground was the opening act for UK pop star Robbie Williams’ South African tour in 2006. They followed that up by giving the world a foretaste of the 2010 South African vibe at the Fifa World Cup closing ceremony in Germany, before scooping the 2006 MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act.Earlier this year they were chosen by the South African government to perform at the unveiling of Parliament’s new logo.In between, they’ve been doing gigs for their loyal local fans and travelling the world from Joburg to Japan, getting their passports stamped in Belgium, France, Zimbabwe, Holland, Italy, Mozambique, Germany, Namibia and Mauritius along the way. Phew!As to why the band is such a hit with the global audience, Mahola remains modest.“I think that it is the same reason non-South Africans have fallen in love with Bongo Maffin, Johnny Clegg, Bayethe and Simphiwe Dana, to name only a few. There is life in our music! There is a depth of feeling in the expression, a certain joy that many other cultures have perhaps lost.”Freshlyground’s sound is distinctively southern African, yet defies classification, combining elements of kwela, folk, jazz, indie rock and Afro pop. Its eclectic nature gives their music broad appeal, enabling them to cross cultural boundaries.Rainbow bandThe way the band members, coming from contrasting musical and racial backgrounds, seem to blend so effortlessly has also caught the attention of the international media. Both Time magazine and The Washington Post have labelled Freshlyground the personification of South Africa’s “rainbow nation” ideal.While that may seem like a lot of pressure to put on the performers, Mahola takes it in her stride.“It is something to be proud of, for sure, although it also feels very normal,” she says. “It feels to me like people should be in harmony with each other. We don’t have to all be friends, but I think there is a basic humanity we all share that is unlearned as we grow up. The illusion of separatism is a human construct, I think … Of course we are different, but that difference is something to celebrate; not to use to keep us apart.”Each of the band members – who hail from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe – contributes something different to the sound. The Eastern Cape’s Mahola attributes her own musical style to the traditional Xhosa ceremonies she took part in.“There is a lot of theatre and music involved in many if not all of the rituals,” she explains. “I try to bring a celebratory quality to my style of singing and to the lyrics, of course.”Township girlBorn in Port Elizabeth on 19 July 1981, Zolani Mahola was raised in the townships of Kwazakhele and New Brighton. She believes it is the heart of the people that is the Eastern Cape’s most valuable asset.Some of her favourite memories are of childhood Christmases, “. family coming to PE [Port Elizabeth] from all over the country, all the kids in the family playing together. I remember being taken to the beach around those times, braais, Happy Valley … fun times.”Mahola first attended Kama Primary and later St Dominic’s Priory and Trinity High School. It was at Trinity that she first got involved with a drama group and realized that “being onstage was a very comfortable and energizing space”.Her road to success, Mahola says, “started with someone having faith in me, which gave me the courage to believe I stood a chance in this field. That first someone was my drama teacher Isobel van der Linde.”Given new confidence and a firm foundation in her performance art, she left Port Elizabeth to study drama at the University of Cape Town.It was as an actress that many South Africans first got to know Mahola. She starred in the series Tsha Tsha as Boniswa, a character from rural Peddie in the Amathole district.“I really enjoyed playing that character because she was so strong and self aware,” Mahola says. “She was a good example to girls and young women growing up in an environment that often does not give value to their emotional well-being or to their dreams. She was able to show girls around the country that actually it is possible and necessary to put themselves first, whether it be in terms of a sexual relationship, career-wise or even in a family setting.”The role of Boniswa also drew on her own experiences. “There is a certain strength or toughness in the personality of the character which I think that perhaps most township girls share.”Despite losing her mother at a very young age, Mahola had an excellent role model in her father.Personal, universal“My father did the best he could under very difficult circumstances. I love him. Nomvula (the title track from Freshlyground’s current album) is indeed a tribute … It is a ‘thank you’ to the people who brought me into this world. That said, I think it is a universal song, even though it contains very specific details about my life. There is something in the mood of the song that people really connect with, regardless of whether they speak isiXhosa or not.”Sung in isiXhosa and English, the lyrics of Mahola’s songs range from catchy, upbeat and fluffy to introspective and sad, but they are always relevant to people’s lives. Zithande, for example, tackles relationships and HIV/Aids. And it’s something that Mahola feels very strongly about.“It hurts that people are disappearing. It hurts that kids cant be kids any more in many situations … that they have to take on and see things that no child should be exposed to. It hurts that a woman can be faithful all her life and be infected by a husband who has multiple partners.“A lot of it is sore,” says Mahola, “but I believe that people are becoming more aware, and with the greater availability of anti-retroviral medication, we can only hope for the best. The Treatment Action Campaign is one organisation that has done a lot of work on destigmatising HIV/Aids, on gender relations and on challenging government to make treatment more available to our people.South African realities“It is important that all of us get involved, from government to businesses to the entertainment industry to mothers taking care of children orphaned because their parents were infected and died.”The reality of South Africa, its sorrows as well as its joys, infuses the music of Freshlyground – and that is what has earned the musicians their adoring fanbase.“I take a lot from people,” Mahola says. “As Brenda [Fassie] once sang, umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, we learn humanity from those around us, they help to make us real in a way.” The band is working hard on recording material for a new album, due out in September. In line with their plans to release internationally, Freshlyground has signed with Sony BMG Africa.This article was first published in Eastern Cape Madiba Action, winter 2007 edition. Republished here with kind permission of the author.last_img read more

Angel Di Maria signs 4-year deal with PSG

first_imgMoving on from his English Premier League flop, winger Angel Di Maria signed a four-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain to complete his transfer from Manchester United on Thursday.Di Maria, who struggled to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League during his one-year spell at Old Trafford, said he was wanted by clubs other than PSG, but was impressed by the depth of its ambition to win a first Champions League title.He won the Champions League with Real Madrid last year, and was man of the match in the final. Still recovering from a thigh injury, he is not available for the French league opener on Friday at Lille, and said in a Parisian palace conference room packed with journalists that he will need “two or three more weeks” of recovery before making his debut.He will be introduced to the home fans on Aug. 16 against Ajaccio. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press this week that Di Maria joined for a fee in the region of 63 million euros ($69 million).United paid 59.7 million pounds for him last summer, the most expensive signing in the history of British football. But after scoring just three goals in 27 Premier League appearances, United and Di Maria decided mutually to part.”Leaving United was not only my decision,” he said. “I’m here because they wanted to sell me, it was a collective decision.”PSG lost out to United last season because of Financial Fair Play restrictions that have since been eased.advertisementNow, PSG have made him the second most expensive player in French league history.He will team with Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, who joined PSG for a reported fee of 64 million euros when the club broke the French transfer record in 2013. He will also be reunited with Argentina teammates Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi.”Lavezzi has been telling me that PSG is a fantastic club,” he said. “One of the factors that brought me here is my friendship with Lavezzi.”Since Qatari investors took over in 2011, PSG has spent heavily to build one of the most expensive teams in world football. The investment has taken a while to pay dividends. Laurent Blanc’s team secured an unprecedented domestic treble last season, but has repeatedly failed to advance beyond the Champions League quarterfinals, losing 5-1 on aggregate to Barcelona this year.”We’ve got the team to win the Champions League,” PSG president Nasser Al Khelafi said. “With Angel Di Maria we will continue our European dream. We are close to achieving this dream, we will try this year. He is a big plus to our club.”last_img read more

5 Tips for Creating, Promoting and Managing a LinkedIn Group

first_imgIt’s no secret that LinkedIn is a great place to network professionally, post and find jobs, and answer questions and build thought leadership. But if you’re using LinkedIn solely as a place to maintain an online resume, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to reach and engage with potential customers with LinkedIn groups.5 Tips When Creating a LinkedIn GroupThere are still a lot of industries or groups of professionals not yet represented in LinkedIn groups. If no one has created a group for your industry, go create one. A few tips as you get started:Your name is important! Consider which keywords your target members will search for. Make sure your group name is clear and includes these keywords.Create a group for your industry, not your company. People are more likely to join a group when it’s not simply for fans of your company.Design the group logo to fit the small standard logo size. The group logos that are displayed will actually be quite small – keep this in mind, and don’t cram lots of hard-to-read-text into the small image.Create a custom webpage for the group on your website. When we created the ProMarketers group on LinkedIn, we bought the URL www.ProMarketers.com and redirected it to a page on our site with more information about the group (Note: The ProMarketers group has since been changed to the Inbound Marketers group). This type of page will provide more context, engagement, and visibility for your group. It can have as much or as little information as you like.Display the group in the Group Directory and on members’ profiles. Take advantage of the functionality already in place on LinkedIn to help your group get more visibility.5 Tips for Promoting a LinkedIn GroupInvite coworkers, past colleagues, and customers to join and start discussions. Leverage your existing network to get your group started. After all, who wants to join a group with no members?Promote the group on your website, blog, email newsletter, and social media networks. Make sure people know that you have a group and how to join.Invite key industry experts to join and engage. If there are some heavy-hitters in your industry, invite them to engage with the community.Cross-market to related groups that you manage on different networks. Create a similar group or Page on Facebook and invite members of each network to join the group on the other network.Integrate LinkedIn into all of your marketing efforts. Every time you do a webinar or go to a conference, notify your group and invite those you meet to join the group as well.5 Tips for Managing a LinkedIn GroupAdd discussions, news and jobs. The more opportunities for interaction you add to your group, the more valuable your group will be to the community. All of these features are standard for LinkedIn groups. Unfortunately, it’s an all-or-nothing deal — to add discussions, you must also add news.Use featured discussions to highlight particular content or offers. The group discussions can quickly get overrun and it can be hard to get your discussion thread noticed. But, as a manager of your group, you can mark a discussion as featured and this will pin your thread at the top of the discussion board. You can also unpin it at any time.Send announcements. Announcements are emails sent by you through LinkedIn to your group members. The benefit of sending these announcements through LinkedIn is that your recipients — and their ISPs — are more likely to recognize the email as trustworthy and your deliverability may be higher than if you had sent the email yourself. Announcements will also get added as a discussion thread for your group, and you also have the option to mark this thread as a featured discussion for extra visibility. Announcements are text-only, and have no analytics, so if you want to track clicks, use a URL shortener with analytics to measure the response to your announcement.Import your blog RSS feed. If you write a blog that’s relevant to the group, you can import your articles automatically to the News section. Go to News -> Manage news feeds and add the RSS feed for your blog.Make your own LinkedIn analytics. LinkedIn is still catching up to Facebook in terms of a lot of its advanced functionality. One major piece that’s still missing is analytics. So, if you want to track the success of your group, you’ll need to make your own LinkedIn analytics. To track the growth of your group, check the number of members every week and keep track of the group size in a spreadsheet. To track the click through rate of links in your announcements, use a URL shortener with analytics like bit.ly. And, of course, be sure to measure the traffic, leads, and customers you get from LinkedIn over time. Hopefully, your group will help drive people back to your business.If you want to check out a LinkedIn group in action, and want to connect with other marketers on LinkedIn, check out the Inbound Marketers group on LinkedIn (and the Inbound Marketers group on Facebook, too). Originally published May 4, 2009 8:01:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack LinkedIn Marketing Topics:last_img read more

Study: LinkedIn Is More Effective for B2B Companies

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jul 20, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated November 01 2019 There are a few different avenues for sharing information on LinkedIn, but which one is the best method? And what if you’re not ready to invest in paid advertising? There has to be another option, right?The good news is that there is another option. In fact, there are a couple of ways that marketers can leverage LinkedIn’s platform for content distribution without having to pay for it.Looking to send out short, digestible content? Engage with a status update.Have something long and poignant to say? Publish an article. To help you get a better handle on where and how to execute a content marketing strategy on LinkedIn, keep reading. I’ve covered everything you need to know from tips on content you should (and shouldn’t) share to how to determine the right frequency for posting. Get the essential guide to using LinkedIn for marketing and professional networking.Where to Distribute Your Content on LinkedIn1) Status UpdatesOne of LinkedIn’s most underutilized features is the “LinkedIn Status Update” (also called your “Network Update”) in your LinkedIn Profile. This is one of the best ways to stay in front of your target audience on a consistent basis. And when used correctly, these little messages pack a big punch.Your status update “block” is a white box located just below your picture on your homepage. Whenever you share an update, your message is then broadcast to all of your network connections. You can also control the visibility of your posts before sharing. This means that you can pick and choose which posts you want to share with everyone, share with just your connections, or share with both everyone and your Twitter network.If someone from your network “likes” one of your updates, it will then be shared with their network. The more likes your post earns, the more exposure you receive.And while updates serve as a great place to share your thoughts, linking in a blog post or interesting website will help you to provide an even richer source of insight. 4 Tips for Sharing Updates on LinkedIn Share links to interesting articles, websites or videos. Use words that grab the readers and encourage them to click the link.Attach a document to your status update. Your audience might appreciate receiving checklists, white papers, or case studies. Job seekers, this is a great place for your resume.Mention a person or situation that might be helpful to some of your connections. For instance, “I just met with @AlexPirouz from @Linkfluencer and found out they’ve just won the readers choice award from Anthill Magazine.” The “@” before an individual or company name allows the reader to click through to that person’s LinkedIn profile or company page.Talk about an event you are attending or have attended. This might encourage involvement and/or questions about what you learned there.5 Things You Should Avoid When Sharing Updates on LinkedIn Talking about what you had for breakfast (or your cat). LinkedIn is a professional network. Before you post, make sure that what you’re sharing is relevant to your audience and provides value. While your pancakes this morning may have been delicious, this isn’t the place for it. Being a spammer. While it may be acceptable to post 20 times a day on Twitter, the landscape of LinkedIn is a little different. To avoid coming off as spammy, try to limit your updates to no more than a couple times per day.Talking about sensitive topics. I am too embarrassed to even think about, let alone share, some of the items I see posted as status updates. If your mother wouldn’t want you talking about it, don’t include it in your status.Continually pitching products and services. This takes people back to the days of big newspaper ads and screaming radio messages. This is not the purpose of social media, especially LinkedIn.  Don’t bother posting when no one’s looking. The update you posted at 11:30 p.m. on Friday probably won’t get much traction. Try to align your posting schedule with the business hours in which people in your industry operate. Of course, this varies if you have a global audience.2) Long-Form PublishingAnother powerful way to distribute content on LinkedIn is through the publishing platform. With all 345 million members now having access to the platform, it serves as a great opportunity to expand your reach in a major way. I was first made aware of this feature when a friend of mine posted an update on Facebook mentioning how his recent article on LinkedIn managed to achieve over 6000 views and 550+ shares in little over 10 hours. I was intrigued, so I decided to conduct an investigation to see how it all worked.I decided to test it out by publishing one of my articles, “5 Things All Great Leaders Have In Common.” Given that it was my first time publishing on the platform, I had no idea what to expect. However, what happened next totally blew me away …Within a matter of minutes I started receiving invitation requests and messages on LinkedIn from members who had came across my article. Within a matter of hours the article had gone viral — achieving over 70K views, 11K+ shares, and close to 500 comments. Over the years, I have written hundreds of business articles but none of them had achieved the exposure and interaction that this one did. In addition to the exposure, I also managed to secure a few speaking engagements and an opportunity to coach clients for our business advisory firm. And while the article continued to gain traction as time went on, I couldn’t help but think that it was too good to be true. Unable to shake this thought, I decided to publish a few more articles over the coming weeks. Whilst none of them achieved the level of exposure my first article received, each article has now reached 10k+ views, 1000+ shares and 100+ comments on average.If my success story wasn’t enough to sell you on the value of this platform, maybe the following benefits will.3 Key Benefits of LinkedIn Publishing Targeted audience. Considering a majority of your connections are like-minded professionals, it’s easy select topics that will resonate. This type of shared interest provides an opportunity to create a two-way dialogue where everyone is sharing their expertise and strengthening their relationships.More exposure. Every post you write and publish prompts a notification for your connections. This is a great way for you to showcase your thought leadership on your chosen topic and add value to those within your network.Increased following. If your connections like your content enough to like it or share it, that can open doors to a whole new audience. And if your connection’s network sees your posts and finds value, there’s a chance they will follow you to keep up with your contributions.4 Steps for Publishing on LinkedIn Define your purpose. What is your outcome in publishing content on LinkedIn? Who is the main target market you’re writing the content for? What are the main challenges they face within their role or industry? Brainstorm topics. Once you have a clear understanding of why you’re writing the content (and who you’re writing it for), try to come up with a handful of working titles based on your audience’s challenges. Narrow your focus. Once you’ve created a backlog of ideas, it’s time to hone in on one. Select the one that you think is most relevant to your audience and get writing. If you need guidance, refer to this resource from LinkedIn for tips on how to write effective long-form content.Select an image. Pick out a compelling cover image to accompany your post. (If you’re stumped for an image, check out these free stock photos sites.)How to Execute a Content Marketing Strategy on LinkedInNow that we have discussed the two main strategies you can use to distribute your content on LinkedIn, let’s discuss best practices for executing that content. Although each industry is different, keep in mind that the right frequency can make a difference. Step 1: Plan Your Content in AdvanceIn order to achieve optimal results, you need to plan the content you are going to share. Here are some tips for how to plan more effectively:Start by taking some time to find articles you want to share, status updates you want to post, or infographics that are relevant to your industry.Organize the content on a calendar and decide when you want to share them. (Click here to access HubSpot’s free social media content calendar template.)Leverage software — like HubSpot’s Social Publishing App — to schedule your content in advance.When you have a plan, you not only save time, but you are able to focus your energy on finding the right content for your audience. Step 2: Determine Your Frequency StrategyWhen sharing content, the goal is to identify a frequency that allows you to stay top-of-mind without overwhelming your audience. To help you achieve this balance, here are the publishing guidelines I follow:Status Updates: 2-3 times a day.Long Form Publishing: 1-2 times a week.Keep in mind that every industry is different. While this works for me, you may need to modify this schedule as you see fit.Step 3: Follow Up With Generated ActivityIf your content marketing efforts are working, you’re going to notice a spike in your activity. This could be anything from increased views, connection requests, or even direct messages from viewers.With that said, now is the time to strike up a conversation. If people are viewing your LinkedIn profile or requesting to connect, consider striking up a dialogue with them. By uncovering what interested them about your profile, you can then begin to uncover potential opportunities for collaboration. How have you used content marketing in your LinkedIn lead generation efforts? Let me know in the comment section below.  LinkedIn Marketing Topics:last_img read more

How to Fail at Marketing Automation

first_img Topics: Originally published Nov 7, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Imagine this: You run the marketing team at a medium-sized company, you have a blog with some great content — and now you’re beginning to think about marketing automation.How do you make sure it’s successful?Simple. Just ask yourself this question: What is the goal?If your answer sounds like this, you will fail:”To send more email more efficiently””To improve my nurturing process””To scale my email”On the other hand, if your answer sounds like this, you will succeed:”We’re trying to get better, more targeted information to our customers.””We’re trying to provide more valuable information to our prospects, more efficiently.”What’s the difference? The first set of answers is about process, not people. Marketing automation that ignores people is toxic. Marketing automation with people at its core is successful.4 Characteristics of Marketing Automation That WorksWhat exactly does it mean to have people at the core of marketing automation? Here are a 4 specific characteristics of marketing automation focused on people:1. Fresh Content: You provide fresh, relevant content that’s useful to your prospects, not a single hackneyed email offer rephrased ten different ways.2. The Right Channel: You reach your prospects on the channel they choose — social, mobile, web, or email — not exclusively via email.3. Information/Data Analysis: You collect information about your prospects interests across multiple channels and use it to provide better, more relevant content.4. Listening Skills: You listen to your prospects (you’re active and available on social channels), you don’t just talk to them.At the end of the day, the success of your marketing automation campaign depends on the impression it makes on prospects. If, after the campaign, prospects feels like they have new, personalized relationships with your company, you win. If prospects feel like they’re stuck talking to a poorly engineered robot, you lose. Marketing Automationlast_img read more

Why Every Business Blog Needs Evergreen Content

first_img Blog Optimization Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When it comes to the different types of content you can publish on a business blog , there is a world of possibilities. But among all those variations of blog content is a very important one that often gets overlooked. That, my friend, is evergreen content , and every blog could use some. In this article, we’ll dive into what evergreen content is (and isn’t), why it’s so important to the success of a blog, and how you can effectively leverage it for your business. What Is Evergreen Blog Content? Just like the name indicates, evergreen blog content stays useful season to season, year to year with little or no need for upkeep. It can be referenced long after it was originally published, and even then, it’s still valuable to the reader. If you’re wondering what makes blog content ‘evergreen,’ it typically encompasses the following three characteristics: Timeless: As mentioned, content that is evergreen stands the test of time. With the exception of sometimes needing a few tweaks here and there, evergreen content won’t change much and is practically everlasting. Valuable and High Quality: In order to reap the true benefits of being evergreen (which we’ll cover in the next section of this post), blog content must be valuable and high quality enough to get noticed. If a piece of blog content that you intended to be evergreen isn’t valuable to your readers and doesn’t attract substantial views when it’s first published, it will never become evergreen. Canonical: Evergreen content is usually the canonical, or definitive, piece of content your business has on that given topic. It’s in-depth, detailed, and it likely took you a lot longer to create than some of your other, non-evergreen blog content.But we’re talking about the web here, right? Where things change lightning fast? Depending on the speed at which your industry changes, it may be more or less difficult to create evergreen content. The important thing to remember is that, on the web, content that lasts even a year or two could be considered fairly evergreen for your particular industry.  Why Evergreen Content Is Crucial Okay, so now you have a better sense of what makes certain blog content ‘evergreen,’ but you’re probably still wondering what all the fuss is about. Why is evergreen content so valuable to a business? There are three main benefits that evergreen content can provide for a blog: High Search Engine Rankings: Because of the quality and timelessness of evergreen blog content, it will typically rank very well in search engines over time. This makes it critical for bloggers to make sure evergreen content is well-optimized with the keywords for which they’re trying to rank in search engines. High Traffic: Because evergreen content typically achieves high ranking positions in search engines, it gets found more, which means it contributes a steady, continuous amount of traffic into your blog and website, even long after it was initially published. Continues to Generate Leads: As a result of the continuous traffic it generates, evergreen content that is optimized for lead generation also has a powerful capacity to continually generate leads over time. The HubSpot Inbound Marketing blog, for example, which has published nearly 3,000 articles to date, can credit a lot of the day-to-day leads it generates to articles that were published months and even years ago.In other words, the reason evergreen content is so valuable is because it continues to work for you long after you publish it. That’s why a blog that incorporates evergreen content into its strategy is at an advantage. If you took a news-centric approach to your content creation and only published content about breaking industry news, your blog content would become outdated and irrelevant quickly, and it wouldn’t generate long-lasting traffic. Evergreen content, on the other hand, guarantees SEO, traffic, and leads over time. And in today’s marketing world where regular and consistent content creation is a marketer’s job, who wouldn’t appreciate the timeless benefits of content that’s evergreen? Examples of Evergreen Blog Content Still confused about what types of blog content you can consider evergreen? Considering the three characteristics we discussed above, here are some examples of blog content with evergreen potential: Resource lists of curated content (e.g. 36 Awesome Social Media Blogs Everyone Should Read )Your business’ everlasting stance on an industry issue (e.g. 6 Reasons Every Small Business Should Be Blogging )Answers to frequently asked questions in your industry (e.g. When Lead Scoring is a Marketer’s Waste of Time )Historical accounts (e.g. The History of Marketing: An Exhaustive Timeline [INFOGRAPHIC] )How-to guides/tutorials on topics that don’t change (e.g. How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps [With Video!] ) With that in mind, here are some examples of content that wouldn’t be considered evergreen: Date/time/situational-specific content (e.g. Brian Halligan’s 2010 Marketing Wish List )Breaking news (e.g. BREAKING: Facebook Announces New Subscribe Button )Data and statistics (e.g. 25 Eye-Popping Internet Marketing Statistics for 2012 )Speculative content/Opinions about news (e.g. How Path is Making ‘Small’ the New ‘Big’ in Social Media )Content about specific events (e.g. The FIFA World Cup: The Biggest Event in Social Media Yet? )In general, topics that don’t change (or change very little) over time are a good indication they’ll have evergreen potential. The ultimate question to ask yourself when trying to decide: Will people still read this and think it’s interesting a year from now? 4 Steps for Evergreen Content Maintenance While content that is truly evergreen won’t need very much maintenance over time, it’s a good call to audit your evergreen content every once in a while (say, every 6 months) to look for opportunities for improvement. Because your evergreen content will continue to generate traffic and leads, you’ll want it to stay as fresh as possible. Step 1: Identify Your Evergreen Content The first thing to do is identify your existing evergreen content. For this, you’ll need to consult your blog analytics . First, sort your articles by top views. This will help to eliminate the content that isn’t evergreen. To narrow your list down even further, eliminate articles in that top views category whose topics aren’t evergreen (e.g. news, event-specific, etc.). Now take a look at which of your remaining posts are still generating leads for your business. You can also look at your keyword metrics to determine if any of these top posts rank highly for specific keywords you’re trying to rank for. From this exercise, you should be able to come up with a list of evergreen blog content that you should audit — and add to — over time. Step 2: Update Content Your next step should be to update the content you’ve identified as evergreen. Have there been any recent developments on the topic that would make a great addition to the post? Do any examples or statistics (maybe you have more compelling ones now) need updating since you last visited the post? Does anything that no longer applies need to be deleted from it? Make the appropriate adjustments. The important thing to remember is that you want to update the existing post rather than create a completely new one. This is because you want to keep leveraging the SEO benefits the post has already built up, not start from scratch. If it’s been a while since the post was originally published and you’d like to give it more attention than what it gets from search alone, consider republishing the post as new — just use this tactic sparingly. Step 3: Keep CTAs Fresh When conducting your evergreen content audit, pay attention to each post’s call-to-action (Each post does have one, right?). Is that CTA the best CTA for this particular post? If the post is already generating a lot of traffic, you want to serve people with the best possible CTA. Select your high-performing offers for the CTAs of these posts to get the most bang for that post’s lead generation.If it’s been months since you updated the post, it’s possible you’ve created a new ebook, webinar, or another relevant offer that is fresher that the CTA you used originally. Or perhaps you’ve just updated your CTA design since then, and you need to replace the stale one with your new design. For HubSpot customers, the CTA Module makes it very easy to update CTAs, allowing you to automatically replace an old CTA design with the new one for every blog post for which it was used. Step 4: Make Sure Posts are Search Engine Optimized If you’re a regular and consistent content creator, chances are you probably aren’t nitpicking every single blog post you publish for the best possible SEO. Search engine optimization takes time and careful consideration, so it’s understandable that you might get lazy here. But when it comes to evergreen content, making these posts search engine optimized as best as possible is very valuable. If a post is already generating a high level of traffic, you’ll benefit from spending the time to help it rank for some other keywords that you also want to rank for. Read through your post and identify opportunities to include these keywords and link that anchor text to the pages you want to rank for that particular keyword. Step 5: Create New Evergreen Content Always look for new opportunities to create evergreen content. Is there a niche topic in your industry that has been written about very little which offers an opportunity for you to create a canonical, evergreen piece of blog content? Jump on it! Evergreen content is a powerful asset for your business, and being able to create more will only add to the everlasting benefits of your blog. How to Leverage Evergreen Blog Content Okay, so you’ve identified your existing evergreen content and you know how to start creating even more if it. But there are still a couple of other things you can do to maximize the benefits of your evergreen content. Link to Evergreen Blog Content in Other Content: Because your evergreen content is virtually timeless and also likely some of your best content, it behooves you to link to it in the other content you create (e.g. other blog posts, ebooks, web pages, etc.). This will drive even more traffic to it and help you leverage the power of internal linking , which is an overlooked yet important part of search engine optimization. Promote Evergreen Blog Content in Social Media: Evergreen content can be a great pool of content to fuel your social media promotion. It’s some of your best content, and while search will naturally generate a lot of traffic for your evergreen content, social media can also help drive traffic. When HubSpot first started incorporating evergreen content into its social media strategy, our initial experiment more than doubled the amount of social media traffic we were sending to the blog. Today, the promotion of evergreen content is a regular part of HubSpot’s social media strategy, and since we conducted our first evergreen promo experiment, we’ve seen even more tremendous growth in social media referral traffic to the blog.Of course not all blog content you publish has to be evergreen. There are definitely benefits to having a healthy mix of both evergreen and newsworthy or timely content. Are you mixing evergreen content into your blogging strategy?Image Credit: jonkriz Originally published Feb 22, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

11 Common A/B Testing Myths BUSTED

first_img Originally published Mar 12, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 When you’re making marketing decisions every day, you probably don’t think about taking some time out to run an experiment. You’re busy writing email copy, designing your latest landing page, or crafting the perfect social media update — not creating tests, optimizing treatments, or shattering null hypotheses.But what if I told you that the latter three actions could completely transform the way you do the first three, help you make solid decisions based on data, and generate even more leads for your business?A/B testing, also known as split testing, allows you to do just that. To perform an A/B test, marketers take two different versions of one piece of content (often landing pages, emails, and calls-to-action) and test them with two similarly sized audiences. To find out which test won, marketers measure whether the winning test is statistically significant with a certain level of confidence (95% or more). Using split testing in your marketing helps you optimize your assets for increased leads and converted customers.  Unfortunately, this isn’t what everyone hears about A/B testing. There are a ton of myths out there that prevent smart marketers from making accurate, data-driven decisions. To keep you from landing in that camp, we’re going to debunk some of the most common A/B testing myths out there. Let’s get started!Myth #1: Marketers’ instincts work better than A/B testing.Even the most talented and experienced marketers can be wrong. After years of experience, many of us have a solid understanding of what generally works to convert visitors into leads, and leads into customers — but instincts shouldn’t be the only thing guiding our decisions.Split testing allows you to use data to drive more traffic to your website and increase conversion rates. In fact, A/B testing has been shown to generate up to 30-40% more leads for B2B sites, and 20-25% more leads for ecommerce sites.The moral of the story here: if you’re relying only on the HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) in the room, you’re missing out on the potential for increased revenue.Myth #2: You should use A/B testing before making every single decision.While split testing can help you with many of your marketing decisions, you don’t need to test every single decision you make. Some changes are not worth testing. For example, you don’t need to A/B test the clickthrough rates of these two headlines: “The Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest” and “A Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest.” Though split tests work well for small changes like the color of your CTA, switching out “the” for “a” won’t make a dent in your conversion rates. Now, if you wanted to test two headlines with different positioning — yes, that would indeed warrant an A/B test.Myth #3: A/B testing is not as effective as multivariate testing.A/B testing and multivariate testing (MVT) are both great ways to use data to drive your marketing decisions, but they are used for very different purposes. A/B testing is used for testing one element in two or more different treatments. MVT is used to test the effectiveness of multiple combinations of elements across multiple treatments.For example, an A/B test would be used to test the effect of the CTA color on the conversion rate while all other elements on the page are the same — the traffic sources, type of visitor, layout of the form, and even the accompanying copy and image. You’re trying to answer one direct question: How does the color of the CTA affect conversions? You aren’t trying to explore how combinations of elements affect conversions (e.g. how the combination of the color of the CTA, the number of fields in the form, and the type of image used affect conversions).So it’s not that one test is more effective than another — they’re just … different types of tests!Myth #4: If a treatment works for one marketer, it will work for any marketer.Though there are a ton of A/B testing case studies demonstrating the success of certain layouts, designs, and copy on conversion rates, you should never blindly follow other marketers’ success without testing it on your own first. Each testing situation is different. The original site has different traffic, audiences, products, marketing funnels, and promotions, so what works for that site may not work for yours.That being said, taking a page out of someone else’s marketing plan can be a great jumping off point for your own marketing activities. For example, if you’re looking to improve the clickthrough rate (CTR) on your emails, you might want to try using a personalized sender name. In 2011, we conducted a test to see if including a personal name from someone on the HubSpot marketing team in the email’s “From” field would increase the email CTR. In the test, we saw that the control (From “Hubspot”) had a 0.73% CTR while our treatment (from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot”) had a 0.96% CTR — the personalized “From” field was a clear winner with 99.9% confidence.This test worked for our audience, so it may work for yours … or it may not. Use A/B tests to try it for yourself and learn the best tactic for your audience, and your marketing.Myth #5: You need to be a tech-savvy marketer with a large budget to do A/B testing.A/B testing doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re operating on a near-zero-dollar budget, there are free split testing tools available like Google Analytics’ Content Experiments. Though Google’s tool is free, you will have to be a bit more tech-savvy to implement it.Most paid A/B testing tools, including the one in HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing software, have a higher upfront cost but are much less technologically challenging. Paid tools are obviously more expensive than free tools (duh), but you may be able to work more quickly to cut down on the overhead costs.Besides navigating technology and budget issues, you will need to be comfortable using some math to properly execute a split test. All winning tests must be statistically significant, so you’ll need to know what that means and how to use it to interpret the results. While you can determine if something is statistically significant with pen and paper, you can also use HubSpot’s free A/B testing calculator to figure it out.Ultimately, you’ll need to have different levels of technological and mathematical knowledge depending on what resources you have available, but budgets don’t need to be a barrier to A/B testing if you don’t mind diving into numbers and technology.Myth #6: A/B testing is only for sites with a ton of traffic.Since you only need to study two treatments in A/B testing, you don’t need a ton of visitors to test results — you just need enough to reach statistical significance (the point at which you have at least 95% confidence in the results). Though more visitors can give you more accurate representations of what works and what doesn’t, there isn’t a universal minimum number of visitors you need for an A/B test. All you need is enough people to make sure the test is statistically significant.There also are quite a few free tools out there to help you find how many visitors you need without getting an advanced degree in statistics.Myth #7: A/B testing negatively affects your SEO.One of the frequently asked questions about A/B testing is whether it can hurt your SEO. People think that if you’re testing multiple versions of the same content, your website could be categorized in Google’s algorithm as duplicate content and penalized in the SERPs as a result.This myth is completely false — in fact, Google encourages you to and gives guidelines around how to test your content to get more visitors and conversions on your website, without being penalized for duplicate content. This is one step that can get somewhat technical without A/B testing software that already takes all of this into account for you, but it’s worth the investment since being found by search engines is essential to your inbound marketing success.Myth #8: If one treatment stands out immediately, you don’t need to continue running the rest of the test.One of the most important things to remember when running an A/B test is to always wait until your results are statistically significant. Like waiting for the statistically significant number of visitors, determining the time length to run an A/B test should be based off your confidence interval. Even if one test seems to be winning by a landslide immediately, if the sample size and time frame are not statistically significant yet, you need to keep the test running.If you end up pulling the test before it has a chance to display accurate data, you could end up choosing the wrong test to implement in your marketing — a potentially costly mistake. If you’d like to figure out how long your test needs to run before it reaches statistical significance, try Wingify’s test duration calculator.Myth #9: Winning treatments will always look pretty.One of the reasons that you should A/B test in the first place is to help drive your marketing with data, not subjective opinion. Time after time, A/B tests have proven that landing pages, emails, or CTAs don’t always have to look beautiful … they just have to work better than the alternative. Even if a test isn’t pretty, it still can drive more conversions than one with a more “beautiful” layout. Don’t rely on your judgment of the design — use the A/B testing results to guide your marketing.Myth #10: You’re only measuring one conversion rate.A/B testing results shouldn’t just stop at one metric — you should be examining how your treatment moves multiple metrics. Otherwise, you risk missing larger, more important insights. For example, if you were using an A/B test to see how the color of a CTA affected conversions on your company’s blog, you wouldn’t want to just look at the number of blog subscribers your test drives. You’d want to see how many visitors converted into leads, and how many leads converted into customers, too. You might actually find that the color that converted the most subscribers was resulting in a decrease in leads! And hey, that might be okay, if your goal is subscribers even at the expense of leads. Or, it might cause you to scream in horror and immediately change the color back, knowing that more subscribers aren’t worth it if it’s at the expense of leads.Either way, it demonstrates the importance of looking at more than just one metric when analyzing the results of a test.Myth #11: After you finish your A/B test, you’re done.So you ran an A/B test, gathered a proper sample, reached your confidence interval, and one test won … but you aren’t done yet. Whether you’ve found dramatic results or not, you should keep testing and optimizing your content for conversions and leads. In other words, A/B testing shouldn’t be a one-time experiment — use it to continually adjust and improve your marketing.For example, let’s say that you’ve used an A/B test to determine that a red CTA button increased conversions over a green CTA button. Now that you know which CTA to use, you should try testing which button copy continues to increase your conversion rate. By continuing to use split testing, you can use data to drive your marketing decisions, a smart and cost-effective way to grow your business!What common A/B testing myths have you seen debunked?Image credit: Ken’s Oven Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Install Custom Fonts on Your Computer [Quick Tip]

first_imgSo you’ve hunted around on the internet to find a custom font you love and want to use in your marketing … now what? Good news: the hard part’s over — you’ve found a font you love. (If you are still looking, check out this post of free fonts to download.) Bad news: so many people get stuck trying to figure out how to start using that lovely font they’ve just discovered, that they give up and settle for Comic Sans (yikes).But take heart! You’re only a few quick steps away from outfitting your next SlideShare, infographic, or whatever it is you’re making with the fabulous new font.Here’s how to install a font on your computer in just a few minutes. Note, these screenshots were taken with specific operating software versions, but the process to install them on other versions should be very similar.  How to Install Fonts on a Mac1) Shut down any program you want to use the font in.Make sure you’re completely shutting down each program, not just hitting the exit button. 2) Download the font to your computer and extract files if necessary.Font files may have a .zip, .otf, or .ttf file extension. If it’s a .zip file, you’ll need to extract the compressed files by double clicking on the file — your Archive Utility will automatically unzip the file. 3) Right click on each font you’d like to add, then choose “Open.” 3) Open Font Book. 4) Select the fonts in your Downloads folder you want to install and drag them to Font Book.5) Open up the program you’d like to use and the font will be there. How to Install Fonts on a PC1) Shut down any program you want to use the font in.2) Download the font to your computer and open zip files if necessary.It may have a .zip, .otf, or .ttf file extension. If it’s a .zip file, you’ll need to extract the compressed files by double clicking on the file — your computer will automatically unzip the file and open the folder inside. Originally published Jun 5, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics:center_img 4) Once open, click “Install” to add the font to your computer. 5) Open up the program you’d like to use and the font will be there.And voila! You’re ready to use the font in any program on your computer.Easy as pie, right? What other little nagging how-tos would you like to read a quick tip post on? Leave your ideas with us in the comments — we’ll be sure to give you a shout out if we write about it!Image credit: kpwerker Font Selection Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more