Digambar Kamat gets anticipatory bail in mining scam case

first_imgFormer Goa Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Digambar Kamat was on Monday granted ex-parte anticipatory bail by a trial court here in connection with the Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam case, which is being probed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Goa Police.Mr. Kamat, who had been summoned by the SIT to appear before the investigating officer on Monday morning, was granted bail on a bond amount of Rs. one lakh. He later presented himself before the SIT team investigating the case.“Mr. Kamat has been granted ex-parte bail. The next hearing has been fixed for May 2,” Advocate Parag Rao, his lawyer told presspersons outside the courtroom here on Monday.A Congress-led coalition government in Goa headed by Mr. Kamat from 2007-12, was indicted by a Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice (Retd) P.B. Shah in the Rs. 35,000 crore illegal mining scam, along with top bureaucrats and officials of mining companies allegedly involved in the scam. In 2013, the State government then headed by the BJP Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, appointed an SIT to probe the scam.Later, Mr. Kamat said that the illegal mining case was a “second battle” he was fighting. His reference was to the Louis Berger bribery scam charges he is facing in the State Crime Branch probe.last_img read more

Read More »

PDP presents populist budget

first_imgJammu & Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, who presented the fourth budget of the Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party government on Thursday, came up with a slew of populist measures, including welfare initiatives for local industry, employees, women and transgender community.In the ₹80,000-crore budget, Dr. Drabu announced a social security net for the poor, employees and journalists, in the form of medical insurance and education loans. The State’s transgender community was extended “all the benefits of Below Poverty Line citizens, and a pension. Pension benefits were also extended to unmarried daughters of government employees.last_img read more

Read More »

Steel Businessman Accused of Rs 2,112 Crore Fraud Traced in London

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate (ED) will attach more properties of Pramod Kumar Mittal, the former chairman of Global Steel Holdings Ltd, for allegedly swindling Rs 2,112 crore of government-owned State Trading Corporation (STC), IANS reported.The ED attached Mittal’s properties that were valued at Rs 245 crore in May 2017. “The ED will attach more properties of Mittal in the coming days,” the report said, citing a source. It added that the agency officials stumbled upon his whereabouts when they were looking for absconding jeweler Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi in the nearly $2 billion fraud case involving the Punjab National Bank. The source said, IANS reported, that Mittal is now in the United Kingdom and the agency has got hold of his address in London.Mittal, who is the younger brother of steel mogul and ArcelorMittal chairman-CEO Lakshmi Mittal, has not appeared before the agency since 2017 despite being summoned thrice. Mittal was booked in March 2017 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for alleged default on credit repayments to the State Trading Corporation, which caused a loss of Rs 2,112 crore to it, PTI reported last year.The CBI claimed that Mittal’s company sought the assistance of STC in getting financing facility through Letters of Credit for purchase of raw materials for their plants in Philippines and Bosnia, Firstpost reported. Global Steel Holdings Ltd is registered in Isle of Man.In its FIR, the CBI had also named Lalit Sehgal, the former chief executive officer of Global Steel Philippines Inc., former STC chairman and managing director Arvind Padalai and 18 former executives of the public sector undertaking.The Firstpost report quoted CBI as satating: “As a result of revised system of payment, the associate (GSPI and GSHL) got easy money for longer period to fund their operations with no pressure to repay STC dues. Since April 2005 a total 80 Letter of Credits (LC) were opened by STC in favour of suppliers. The first LC number 5174 valued at US $7383872 was opened on 09.06.2005 and the last LC was opened on May 2010. The STC officials in conspiracy with GSPI and GSHL representatives opened fresh LCs despite the fact that outstanding amount was increasing every year due to default in payment. Due to changes in market conditions/global meltdown the plant operations of GSPI were shutdown in 2008. There was an outstanding of Rs 729 Crores as on 31st March 2009. However, ignoring the fact that outstanding amount was not being paid by the GSPI and market was very volatile, STC officials in conspiracy with GSPI representatives proceeded to make further funding in May 2009 and continued till May 2010, thus exposing STC to further financial risk.”It added: “At the time of conciliation agreement on 15th November 2011, Pramod Mittal Chairman of GSPI and GSHL gave personal guarantee and also gave an undertaking that he would not transfer, sell and mortgage his investment in JSW Ispat Steel Limited as security totaling $38,96,27,333. However, BD Majumdar, then CGM STC in conspiracy with GSPI, GSHL did not take action to securitize the securities in favour of STC. Subsequently, Pramod Mittal cheated STC as he diluted the securities by transferring/selling them without STC knowledge for which the matter is pending before the court.”Mittal failed to make payment to STC as per terms of agreement signed by them, the agency alleged. “The cheques given by GSHL and GSPI against the outstanding dues were dishonored for which the matter is pending before the court,” it added, according to the report.The ED and the CBI will coordinate to get a red corner notice issued against Mittal, the report added. A lookout circular was issued against Mittal last year, according to an ED official, reported IANS. “After the prosecution case is filed, the ED will initiate the process of issuing the red corner notice against Mittal through the Interpol,” it added, quoting a source. Related ItemsEnforcement DirectorateNirav ModiPradeep Kumar Mittallast_img read more

Read More »

Navy, Army step up rescue in flood-hit areas of Maharashtra

first_imgIntensifying relief operations in the flood-hit parts of Maharashtra, the Navy on Saturday airlifted 15 teams from Visakhapatnam deploying them in the severely-affected areas of Shirol in Kolhapur and Sangli, while the Army is operating nine relief and 12 engineer teams.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said a team of 100 doctors had been despatched to the region even as thousands of stranded people were rescued from the submerged areas, including 1,016 persons from the Maharashtra-Karnataka border. Rescue work by the Goa Naval Area is under way in Kolhapur and Uttar Kannada (Karnataka) district and so far 602 women and 193 children had been rescued. In another operation by the special teams of the Bombay Sappers of the Army, 4,800 persons were evacuated from Kolhapur and Sangli. “We have asked for more rescue teams from Punjab, Odisha, Gujarat and Goa. Another 15 teams of the Navy are reaching today. As many as 95 boats have been deployed for rescue operations,” Mr. Fadnavis said after a tour of the regions. The toll from across the State this week stood at 30, officials said.Several National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams carried out a rescue mission in Hasur and Nrusinhwadi, in Kolhapur district to evacuate four pregnant women, who were later sent to the hospital.Mr. Fadnavis said the rainfall this season had been unprecedented resulting in the breaching of several dams and reservoirs. In 2005, Sangli received 217% rainfall in 31 days but this year it had already crossed 758% in just nine days. Similarly, Kolhapur received 159% rainfall in 31 days in 2005, but this year it was 480% in nine days. The Koyna dam has capacity of 100 TMC but 50 TMC got filled in just nine days, Mr. Fadnavis said. “My appeal to all political parties is to not politicise the situation. We are ready to hear and act on your suggestions. It is time to stand united to provide help and support to flood affected people,” he said at Sangli.The government said the toll since July 1 stood at 144. In all, 3,78,000 people had been rescued so far from Kolhapur and Sangli and were in 306 relief camps. In Sangli. 28,537 families had been affected from 101 villages and 35,000 livestock shifted in various shelters. “Earlier the next of kin of the deceased received ₹1.5 lakh which has been increased to ₹5 lakh. Our government has also increased compensation for divyang to ₹2 lakh instead of ₹43,000, and for house damage assistance from ₹60,000 to ₹1 lakh,” said Mr. Fadnavis.last_img read more

Read More »

LeBron’s numbers sliding while Cavaliers slip in standings

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ View comments James and his teammates practiced the past two days while searching for answers following a horrific performance on Saturday against Oklahoma City. With Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony combining for 88 points, the Thunder put up 148 against the Cavaliers, whose defensive ineptitude has raised questions about their title legitimacy.Coach Tyronn Lue didn’t show his team film from the game, but James watched it to try to decipher what went wrong.“A lot of bad things,” he said. “We had some good things offensively. We almost scored 130 ourselves. But defensively we had a lot of breakdowns and a lot of things we gotta clean up.”There’s a pile of alarming issues right now, but James isn’t overreacting.“I’m not a red-flag guy. I’m not a concerned guy,” he said. “I’m a guy that thinks it’s going to get better. That’s just who I am.” Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH As Cleveland has staggered to a 3-9 record since it lost at Golden State on Christmas and fallen behind Boston and Toronto in the Eastern Conference standings, its decline has run parallel to a statistical drop-off by James, who was considered the front-runner in the MVP race before the calendar changed to 2018.“My numbers are down, the team’s numbers are down and we’re not playing well, so obviously it’s a direct correlation of all of those things,” James said Monday before the team traveled to San Antonio. “I could care less about me individually, but when I’m not playing to my standard and we’re losing, then I have to do a better job as well, so I gotta figure that out, too.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutOver his last 12 games, James is averaging 22.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 4.4 turnovers. He is making 21 percent of his 3-pointers this month after knocking down 35 percent of his shots behind the arc in December. The 14-time All-Star, four-time MVP and three-time champion has failed to reach 20 points in four of Cleveland’s past nine games after scoring fewer than 20 in five of the club’s first 36 games.Everything with the Cavaliers starts and ends with the 33-year-old James. LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) drives against Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George (13) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)NDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James knows the Cavaliers have a proven vaccine that could cure them of this midseason malaise: a larger dose of him.“I gotta be much better,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Arsenal, United complete swap deal for Sanchez, Mkhitaryan 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “That hasn’t changed,” said James, who enters Tuesday’s game against the Spurs seven points shy of 30,000. “As a leader, the leader of this franchise, I have to do more, especially out on the floor. I have to pick it up for other guys and I haven’t been able to do that as of late. It’s not about them, it’s about me.”One of the reasons for James’ sinking stats is that he’s been trying to incorporate guard Isaiah Thomas into Cleveland’s offense. The All-Star has played seven games since returning from a hip injury that sidelined him since May, and he and James are still learning to work together.Thomas is most comfortable initiating offensive sets with the ball, and James has been sacrificing early touches in the 24-second shot clock to accommodate his teammate.James knows the Cavs need to get Thomas — and Derrick Rose, back from an ankle injury — up to speed. It’s taking time, and it’s going to require patience — and maybe some pain.“It’s a challenge that I’m willing to make and willing to do,” James said. “It’s definitely a fine line for me personally, but I’m willing to see if it works well for us or if it doesn’t work well for us.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Read More »

Japan downs Thailand to win AVC gold

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Tournament MVP Risa Shinnabe put up a game-high 19 points, going on 17-of-33 in spike attempts, to lead Japan while Mami Uchiseto added 18. Japan captain Nana Iwasaka and Yurie Nabeya also finished in double digits with 13 and 11 points, respectively. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThailand had three players lead the team in scoring with Pimpichaya Kokram, Ajcharaporn Kongyot, and Chatchu-on Moksri each tallying 17 points. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters LATEST STORIES NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Fiba Asia Cup loss of ‘Gilas kuyas’ spurs SEAG-bound PH team on Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side CONTRIBUTED PHOTOBIÑAN, Laguna—Japan overcame a two-set deficit and humbled Thailand, 26-28, 20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 15-7, to take the gold medal in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship Thursday at Alonte Sports Arena here. Koyomi Tominaga dealt the title-winning blow as it glanced off the block of Thailand and ended Japan’s 10-year championship drought. ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View commentslast_img read more

Read More »

Kawhi Leonard scores 33 as Raptors beat Luka Doncic, Mavericks

first_imgLeonard, voted last week to start the All-Star Game for the third time, scored 33 points to help the Toronto Raptors overcome a triple-double from the Dallas rookie in a 123-120 win over the Mavericks.Doncic, who will turn 20 on Feb. 28, finished with a career-high 35 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to become the first teenager in NBA history with two triple-doubles.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsHowever, he and his teammates faltered down the stretch, losing a seven-point, fourth-quarter lead after coming back from 12 down at halftime.“For me, what matters is the victory,” Doncic said. ”(The triple-double) was special for sure, but it would be even more if we got the win.” Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope lead shorthanded Lakers past Suns Trailing 70-58 at the half, Dallas turned the game around by outscoring Toronto 30-15 in the third quarter, one in which the Raptors missed their first 10 shots enroute to making only 4 of 19 field goals. Toronto was also assessed four technical fouls in the quarter — three for defensive 3-second violations.“The third quarter, we got stagnant.” Leonard said. “Our defense got stagnant.”MAKING HIS CASEDoncic came in second to LeBron James in the fan voting for All-Star starters in the Western Conference but was not selected as a starter once media and player votes were counted. He once again turned the fourth quarter into a case for his inclusion, scoring 13 points, including a coast-to-coast dunk that gave Dallas a 99-93 lead.When the Raptors pulled to 101-99, Doncic answered with a long 3 to reach 30 points for the sixth time this season. Doncic got his 10th assist to complete the triple-double by feeding DeAndre Jordan for an alley-oop dunk with 3:29 left in the fourth.“We couldn’t get him out of rhythm because he was low and strong and crossing over,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said. “Then, with a burst he was into the paint. And when we did get enough help there, he’d hang in the air until the last second and throw that incredible two-handed pass out to the right corner. He’s something else.”WINNING AT THE LINESThe Raptors made 17 of 34 3s to the Mavericks’ 11 for 36. And despite playing on the road, Toronto converted 32 of 38 free throws, while Dallas shot 23 of 34.Every Mavericks player who attempted at least one free throw missed one, and even Dirk Nowitzki, a career 88 percent shooter from the stripe, missed 2 of 3.“We certainly have guys that are capable of making free throws,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It’s a bit of an uncharacteristic thing.” Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Pascal Siakam’s three-point play snapped a 108-all tie with 3:56 remaining as the Raptors recovered from a poor third quarter and a 92-85 deficit early in the fourth.Danny Green’s floater in the lane extended Toronto’s lead to 116-112 with 1:34 remaining. Harrison Barnes missed two critical free throws for the Mavericks, and Leonard scored on a driving lay-up and then converted a free throw after a turnover by Doncic. The Raptors iced the game at the line.Leonard credited the team’s switch to a zone defense in the fourth quarter to help slow the Mavs down.“I think it just helps us communicate more,” Leonard said. “We’re not too consistent in communicating when we’re guarding man to man, but the zone it makes us talk and make us get into positions to be in the help spots.”Kyle Lowry scored 19 points for Toronto and Siakam had 14.ADVERTISEMENT Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. TIP-INSRaptors: Leonard has scored 20 or more points in 22 straight games but has been inactive eight times during his scoring streak.Mavericks: Barnes scored 14 for the Mavericks and Dennis Smith Jr. and Dorian Finney-Smith had 13 each. … Wesley Matthews became the first undrafted player in NBA history — and 31st overall — to make 1,500 3-pointers when he hit his second of the game with 5:36 left in the first quarter. … Smith received a technical foul in the first quarter when, after scoring a lay-up over a Serge Ibaka, flexed his muscles over the fallen Raptors player.UP NEXTRaptors: Host Milwaukee on Thursday night in a matchup of the East’s top two teams.Mavericks: At New York on Wednesday night to open a three-game trip.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) defends Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) as center DeAndre Jordan (6) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/LM Otero)DALLAS — Even as a 19-year-old rookie, Dallas’ Luka Doncic continues to make his case for an NBA All-Star spot.Kawhi Leonard is already one, and came through to spoil Doncic’s career-best game Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Read More »

Reforms will not pull you back: Supreme Court tells BCCI

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Tuesday told BCCI that reforms will not pull back the board rather structural reforms will help the cricket body in becoming more transparent.”We don’t want to reduce your (BCCI) popularity, we want you to do better. That is why we appointed a committee to suggest structural reforms. You should not apprehend that reforms will pull you back,” a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur said.The bench, also pointed out that the board have brought in few reforms suggested by Justice RM Lodha panel.The apex court’s observation came when senior advocate KK Venugopal, appearing for the BCCI, said there was time when playback singer Lata Mangeshkar had to do a concert to raise funds for cricket players.BCCI’s progress “BCCI has grown revenue-wise and is paying 70 per cent of revenue generated through World Cup matches played in India to International Cricket Council (ICC). Several International standard stadiums have been constructed across the country to promote cricketing activity,” Venugopal said.He said Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament has no competitor in the world and is a great success which has projected India worldwide.”It provides opportunity and exposure to the young cricketers of the country to play with foreign players,” Venuopal said while listing the progress of BCCI over the years.He said BCCI has addressed various issues which were recommended by Lodha panel like those related to conflict of interest, appointment of ombudsman and CEO, independent audit of accounts and establishment of an anti-corruption unit.advertisement”We will correct ourselves so that in future there are no allegations and no discrepancies take place,” he said.During the hearing, cricket associations of Puducherry, Chandigarh and former India cricketer Chandu Borde supported the recommendations of Lodha panel for bringing in reforms in the BCCI.The bench, after hearing the arguments, posted the matter for June 30.Advocate Manish Tiwari, appearing for former cricketers including ex-India captain Bishan Singh Bedi and former cricketer Kirti Azad, said there is a need for a CAG nominee in the BCCI as several allegations of misappropriation of funds have been made.He said ministers and government servants who have been holding posts in cricket associations should be removed.”Should the ministers do not discharge their primary public duty which they have voluntered? Should the administration of sports not be taken out of the people of eminence?” Tiwari asked.(with PTI inputs)last_img read more

Read More »

Govt to set up 5 dedicated centres for divyang athletes

first_imgVadodara, Oct 15 (PTI) The central government will set up five national-level sophisticated sports centres for differently-abled sportspersons, with an objective of catering to their special needs like training and diet, Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot announced today.”The government has started work on establishing five centres and land has been acquired for three such centres. They will come up in Madhya Bharat, Paschim Bharat, Uttar Bharat, South Bharat and East Bharat (central, west, north, south and east India),” the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister told reporters here.Gehlot was in town for overseeing the arrangements for distribution of tri-cycles, wheel chairs, hearing aids and other such implements to more than 14,000 divyang people at a function to be held on October 22 in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”Three out of five state-of-the-art centres will be set up in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, with an aim to provide special training and support to sportsmen who are differently-abled.”Setting up of two more such centres depends upon two concerned state governments (considering availability of land). (The aim is) to cater to the special needs of training, diet etc of differently-abled sportsmen. We have already been provided land by governments of Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh,” Gehlot said.He said the facilities will be set up at Zirakpur in Punjab, Ujjain in MP and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.”We want to adopt the best practices and parameters in force at recently concluded Rio 2016 Paralympics. A detailed project report is being prepared and we will initiate construction of buildings soon,” the minister said.advertisementHe said as part of Accessible India” campaign, 50 cities (A and B) have been shortlisted, where 100 “most important government buildings” will be converted into fully accessible buildings in future. (MORE) PTI CORR NSK KIS BASlast_img read more

Read More »

Asus ZenFone AR India launch set for July 13

first_imgAsus will launch its Tango-enabled — as well as Daydream-ready — ZenFone AR phone in India on July 13. The company is now sending out block your date invites to the media for a press conference scheduled for the said date with the #DareToDream hashtag, the same that it is also using on social media to tease the ZenFone AR. To recall, India Today Tech had also previously reported that the ZenFone AR will land in India sometime in July.The ZenFone AR is notably the world’s second smartphone – the first being Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro — to support Google’s Tango technology that enables augmented reality (AR) experiences on a relatively affordable phablet form factor: a smartphone that will be aware of it surroundings and allow users to interact with it virtually through AR. The ZenFone AR, is however, the world’s first (and only) smartphone to support Tango as well as Daydream, Google’s Daydream VR technology.The ZenFone AR sports a 23-megapixel camera on the rear with 4-axis Optical Image Stabilisation, alongside a host of depth and motion track sensors. On the front, the ZenFone AR sports an 8-megapixel camera.The phone comes with a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with a 1440×2560 pixel resolution. It is powered by a Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor clubbed with up to 8 gigs of RAM and up to 256GB if storage which is also expandable. The dual-SIM ZenFone AR supports 4G LTE and runs Android Nougat-based ZenUI. It is further backed by a 3,300mAh battery.advertisementThe company is also expected to launch the dual-camera toting ZenFone 3 Zoom in India soon. “We’re going to be shortly launching the ZenFone 3 Zoom and the ZenFone AR in India,” Dinesh Sharma who is the director, Mobile Product Centre for ASUS India had said while speaking exclusively with India Today Tech in May. “A fair time frame would be within two months,” he had added.The ZenFone 3 Zoom, which is successor to 2015’s ZenFone Zoom, comes with a dual camera system on the rear (12MP+12MP) consisting of one 25mm wide-angle lens and another 59mm lens with 2.3X optical zoom. The dual camera system is capable of achieving up to 12X digital zoom. Erstwhile, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and is backed by a massive 5,000mAh battery.Also Read: Exclusive: Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom, ZenFone AR coming to India within two monthslast_img read more

Read More »

‘Boring’ Companies Succeeding on Social Media, Google+ for Business, and More in HubSpot Content This Week

first_img Images 10 Deadly Reasons Most Websites Fail from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing SoftwareThe 4 Essentials of Every Great Website (And How to Design Yours)While you’re busy making sure your website redesign project doesn’t result in a mediocre website, you should also check out this recently released ebook, The 4 Essentials of Every Great Website, to ensure that it becomes the best website experience it can be. Learn how to make your website design gorgeous, optimized for the user, personalized, and mobile-ready — and get some great examples of websites making use of these elements already. The Marketer’s Guide to Getting Started With Content PersonalizationLike we previously mentioned, making sure your marketing is personalized and contextual to your visitors, leads, and customers is crucial your company’s success. And I think most marketers would agree that personalization is a good thing — though actually implementing it can be overwhelming and difficult. If you’re looking to easily add more personalized elements to your marketing strategy, check out this introduction to content personalization. What was the most interesting thing you learned this week on the HubSpot blog? What do you want to see more of? Leave your feedback in the comments!Image credit: Helico Originally published Sep 15, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 One of the hardest parts about inbound marketing is juggling to keep up with all of the changes every week among all of your other marketing duties. New tools launch, new best practices emerge in every part of marketing, but two of the fastest-moving fields are web design and social media. New social networks pop up every day. New slices of code take websites from static and drab to interactive and engaging. And it’s a lot to keep up with it all. So take a few minutes to catch up on the most important HubSpot content in social media and web design in the past week. Here’s what you need to know.25 ‘Boring’ Companies With Brilliant Social Media Cover PhotosIn our industry, there’s this huge misconception that companies in “boring” industries — I’m looking at you guys, financial services, insurance, facilities management, and *ahem* software, among others — can’t create engaging visual content. Why? There’s lots of excuses people give, but the most common is that their industry is so boring that they couldn’t possibly create visuals to tell their brand story. Well, after reading this post, you or your friends in “boring” industries won’t have any more excuses — here are 25 companies with gorgeous, inspiring, and engaging cover photos on the top social networks.An Introduction to Google+ for BusinessThis past week, Google+ released an update allowing posts to be embedded elsewhere on the internet — but that’s just one of the many releases the social network has rolled out over the past few months. If you want to catch up on the latest and greatest best practices for building a brand and generating leads with Google+, download our Introduction to Google+ for Business.10 Deadly Reasons Most Websites Fail [SlideShare]Marketers spend lots and lots and lots of resources on website redesigns every year. Chances are, you’re spending tons of time vetting design shops, mocking up wire frames, and of course, communicating all the changes to internal stakeholders. So after all of your time and effort, imagine having a subpar website … yeah, I’d be pretty frustrated. To help you avoid that resource-consuming and frustrating outcome, we’ve put together a SlideShare of the 10 Deadly Reasons Websites Fail. So go ahead, check it out – you will be grateful later on when you know exactly what pitfalls to avoid.center_img Topics: 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

Read More »

Need improvement in batting: Karunaratne after Sri Lanka’s narrow win vs Afghanistan

first_imgSri Lanka overcame a stiff challenge from the spirited Afghanistan team on Tuesday to register their first victory in the World Cup 2019 in a rain-curtailed match in Cardiff.The low-scoring match saw Sri Lanka getting bowled out for 201 in 36.5 overs with Kusal Perera top-scoring with 78 runs off 81 balls.The target for Afghanistan was then revised to 187 from 41 overs due to the lengthy rain interruption during the first innings.Afghanistan got off to a rapid start with Hazratullah Zazai scoring 30 off 25 balls but then Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga showed their class as they kept picking wickets at regular intervals. Afghanistan were finally bowled out for 152 in 32.4 overs and they lost the game by 34 runs via DLS method.Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne was relieved with the result but he called for improvement in his team’s batting in the middle overs at the post-match presentation.”We had a good start after a long time but suddenly, we lost a couple of wickets and were on the back foot. That’s the negative part but otherwise, the bowling and fielding was really good. After losing the first game, it’s not easy to keep your mind positive.”We have the experience in these conditions and that helped. Only thing we need to work on is to improve our batting in the middle overs. Wickets were the key, if the openers get going, then 187 isn’t easy to defend.”Their openers went hard but we knew that it was a matter of a couple of wickets and that pushed them on the back foot. (Whether they believe now after the win) Of course, we do. As I said, batting needs to improve a bit but the bowlers did really well. Need to work on our middle overs batting a bit,” Karunaratne said.advertisementSri Lanka collapsed to 201 all out as Afghanistan grabbed nine wickets for 57 runs in a dramatic first innings after they were put into bat.Sri Lanka made a promising start but fell apart in the middle order due to the wily spin of Mohammed Nabi and the seam bowling of Mohammad Shahzad.After some good work by their openers, Sri Lanka made it to 144-1 before Nabi turned the match on its head with a brilliant spell of spin bowling in the 22nd over by grabbing three wickets in the space of five deliveries. Sri Lanka slid steadily to 182-8 before play was paused due to rain.Some big hits by the tailenders carried Sri Lanka over the 200 run mark after play resumed in a reduced 41 overs per side match.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Pradeep, K Perera star as Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan in rain-hit matchAlso Read | Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Highlights, ICC World Cup 2019Also Read | World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka overcome stiff Afghanistan challenge to launch maiden winAlso Read | Mohammad Nabi records best bowling figures for Afghanistan in World Cupslast_img read more

Read More »

5 Small Tweaks to Help You Generate More Leads

first_img Lead Generation Originally published Aug 7, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: 97% of marketers see the opportunity that content marketing presents, according to a recent survey from HubSpot and Smart Insights. Considering this statistic, it’s likely that you already have your hands full with writing quality content to attract new traffic and leads. And if that’s the case, you’re also probably no stranger to the panicked feeling you get when achieving your monthly or quarterly goals starts to seem like an impossible feat. What can you do to keep your head above water?For starters, take comfort in knowing that it’s not easy trying to create engaging, inspiring, educational content at a high frequency while attempting to balance the rest of your day-to-day responsibilities. We’ve been there. We get it. With that said, we threw on our lab coats and started experimenting with small content tweaks that had the potential to make big improvements in terms of lead generation. In doing so, we learned a lot … and now we’re going to share our findings with you. For tips on how to get more leads out of your content assets, keep reading. 5 Small Tweaks to Help You Generate More Leads1) Update your existing CTAs to be more relevant.In our research, we discovered that 76% of monthly blog post views and 92% of monthly blog leads are from old posts.In order to increase the number of leads converting on your existing posts, you should optimise the CTAs in the posts that continue to drive a lot of traffic (mostly from search) month after month.Here’s what you need to do:Step 1: Create a list of your high-traffic but low-converting blog posts. If you’re a HubSpot customer you can do this using an Attribution Report (check out the step-by-step guide here). If you’re using another blogging platform, you should be able to export your data to an Excel spreadsheet and manipulate it in there.Step 2: Once you have chosen the posts you are going to start optimising, you should aim to answer the following questions for each:Was the primary CTA’s offer the most relevant offer you had for the post’s particular subject matter?Were there other CTA opportunities available that you hadn’t thought of at the time of writing? Or have more relevant offers been created since?Step 3: Swap out the CTA for the most relevant and up-to-date offer you have.2) Focus on the keyword alignment.Think about it: If you know which keyword(s) the majority of people are using to find a particular post, then by making sure the offers used in the CTAs on that post match the keywords as closely as possible, you’re more likely to get people converting on that post’s CTA.When HubSpot put this theory to the test, the results were incredible. We optimised 12 of our high-ranking, high-traffic posts based on their keyword searches, and this is what we found:We increased the number of leads we generated from these posts by 99%.We increased the average conversion rate of these posts by 87%.Here’s what you need to do:Step 1: Make a list of the search terms your blog is already getting found for. We did this by looking at the organic search traffic in HubSpot’s Sources App. If you’re not a HubSpot customer, you can also use Google Webmaster Tools to identify which keywords you’re getting found for.Step 2: Identify which of your blog posts are ranking for these keywords, and record their ranking in a spreadsheet. You’ll need an SEO tool to make this process easy. We used HubSpot’s Keywords App since it’s integrated with the Sources App. If you don’t have an SEO tool, you can also do this manually by searching the keyword in an incognito browser, finding your blog post that ranks for it, and recording the ranking.Step 3: Sort the posts by monthly views. This allows you to target and optimise the posts that generated the most traffic, and then work your way down.Step 4: Reposition your CTAs to be more relevant to the most common search term people used to find the post.In this example, the most commonly used search term to find the post was ‘Press Release Template’ so we simply changed the text on the CTA to match that. As a result, we increased the number of leads we generated from the post by 99%.3) Optimise existing offers to rank better in search.In HubSpot’s analysis of our own lead generation content, we discovered that only 15% of monthly organic leads came from offers created that month, and a whopping 57% came from older offers. It makes sense to leverage this data and optimise your existing offers so you can get even more leads finding and downloading them.Here’s what you need to do:Step 1: Identify offers that have potential to perform better in search. These are generally offers that are covering topics with strong keywords, but the offer itself is not ranking very well for those keywords.Step 2: Look for blog posts you have previously written on that topic and where appropriate link across to the offer. If you have a high number of blog posts on that topic, look for those that have acquired external links. Blog posts with external links carry more authority and you can pass some of that across to your offer with internal links.Step 3: Try guest posting on other high-traffic sites that share a similar audience with you and link back to your offer. Every guest post you write is another chance to link back to your website, thus increasing your ranking in search engine results pages for the content you link to.4) Play around with different formats.When we look at the type of content that generates the most new leads for HubSpot, webinars came out on top, raking in about 18% of our leads. This is followed by ebooks and kits at 12% each.It’s important to analyse your content formats to see what is working for your audience. Then you can take the content you already own and reformat it.Do you have a few blog posts on the same topic that you could turn into a webinar or an ebook? Do you have some cool data that you could turn into an infographic?Here’s what you need to do:Step 1: The key is to find out the type of content formats that your audience likes to consume by analysing which ones receive the most traffic and downloads. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can find this information in your landing page analytics. If not, you can use Google Analytics. You should also look at which ones generated the highest quality leads by looking at the average lead score from each of your offers.Step 2: Once you have a list of your top offers you can then analyse them by format until you start to see a trend. You can do this by exporting your offers into an Excel spreadsheet and adding a column for format — this is a manual process so you will need to input what format each offer is in yourself.Step 3: Spot the trends. If you see that 75% of your top performing offers are webinars, why not take the content from your other top performing content and turn it into a webinar? Go after what’s working. 5) A/B test your titles. There’s more science to selecting a title for your content than you might think.In one of our experiments, we changed the title of an ebook and ran an A/B test to see which one would perform better. We took the original title, “The Productivity Handbook for Busy Marketers,” and changed it to “7 Apps That Will Change the Way You Do Marketing.” This is what we found:As you can see, the revised version outperformed the original by 776% in terms of lead generation (first time submissions). Not only that, but it resulted in more customers as well.If you’re struggling to come up with the perfect headline, check out this infographic on data-backed strategies for writing better headlines. And once you come up with something you like, run it through the Headline Analyzer Tool by Advanced Marketing Institute to determine its strength.What you need to do:Step 1: Brainstorm 10+ titles for every offer you create. For tips, feel free to play around with HubSpot’s free Blog Topic Generator.Step 2: Get a group together internally to whittle them down to 2 of the best title. In doing so, try to focus on factors like clarity, attractiveness, and length. Step 3: A/B test both titles to a small sample group.Step 4: Once you declare a winner, use the updated title in all of your campaign promotions moving forward. While these small tweaks worked for us, be mindful that results may vary based on your industry, audience size, etc. For even more experiments and ideas to increase lead generation, check out our free email course: Double Your Lead Flow in 30 Days.What other experiments have you run that got you significant results? Share them with us in the comments below.last_img read more

Read More »

How the HubSpot Marketing Blog Actually Generates Leads (Hint: It’s Not How You Think)

first_img Calls to Action Topics: Business blogging “best practices” instruct bloggers to include a relevant call-to-action at the bottom of every blog post. This is nothing groundbreaking — it’s how you convert visitors to your blog into valuable inbound leads for your business.But are those end-of-post calls-to-action (CTAs) really the best option? After all, any conversion rate optimization expert worth their salt knows to take industry “best practices” with, well, a grain of salt.Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing HubSpot’s Marketing Blog. While I’ve been able to identify which individual blog posts generate the most leads, I’d never dug any deeper to understand which specific calls-to-action within those blog posts people were actually converting on.Until now.When we introduced a new type of CTA to our blog posts as part of the historical optimization project last year, we ultimately doubled the conversion rates of the posts we added it to. So it got me wondering: Are end-of-post CTAs really the best way to generate leads from our blog? How do different types of CTAs within a post compare?To get a better understanding of where our blog leads are coming from on the post level, I analyzed a cohort of 11 posts on the blog that generate an above average number of leads every month. To do so, I created unique tracking URLs (using HubSpot) for the CTAs used within each blog post. Essentially, any individual link within a blog post that led to a landing page got its own tracking URL. So for a post with 10 different CTAs, I created 10 unique tracking URLs. Then I replaced the links within those posts using my unique tracking URLs, and waited four weeks to collect data. Here’s what I found …End-of-post banner CTAs contributed an average of just 6% of posts’ total leads.Crazy, huh? Actually, when you think about it, it’s really not that surprising that these CTAs get very little play. We’ll talk about the reasons why in just a minute.Here’s how an end-of-post banner CTA might look on our blog. It’s essentially a full-width banner CTA at the very bottom of the post, and it typically includes some copy, an image, and a “download” button.So, if our leads aren’t coming from the CTAs at the bottom of our blog posts, where are they coming from … and why?Anchor text CTAs are responsible for the majority of our blog leads.I know what you’re thinking: “What the heck is an ‘anchor text CTA’?”An anchor text CTA is the term I’ve given to a specific kind of text-based call-to-action. It’s a standalone line of text linked to a landing page, and it’s styled as an H3 or an H4 to make it stand out from the rest of the post’s body copy. On HubSpot’s Marketing Blog, we mainly use these between the post’s first few introductory paragraphs, but we may also add them throughout the post in cases like this.Here’s an example of an anchor text CTA within one of our blog posts:In every single post we tracked, the anchor text CTA was responsible for the largest percentage of that post’s leads (by far).In fact, between 47% and 93% of a post’s leads came from the anchor text CTA alone.And the data gets even more compelling when you factor in the anchor text CTA’s cousin — the internal link CTA. An ‘internal link CTA’ is my term for what is essentially an anchor text CTA, but rather than being styled as an H3 or an H3 in a separate line of text, it’s positioned within a paragraph block, making it blend in more with the content around it. It could be something as discrete as hyperlinking a keyword to a landing page like you see in image A below, or something more direct like you see in image B (which we found to be the most successful type of internal link CTA).Image A:Image B:Now here’s what’s interesting about this …Between 83% and 93% of each post’s leads came from anchor text CTAs and internal link CTAs. Why Anchor Text CTAs Outperform End-of-Post CTAsHere are some theories we have about why anchor text CTAs are our silver bullet for blog lead gen … 1) People tend to develop “banner blindness,” and these text-based CTAs don’t look like ads.The fact that these anchor text CTAs blend in more with the rest of the post may be one of the reasons they perform well. Like I mentioned earlier, because people are so accustomed to seeing and ignoring ads, they’re more likely to ignore CTAs that resemble them. I’d say this is especially true for marketers — and marketers are the target audience for this blog. And aside from the fact that anchor text CTAs are slightly larger than the rest of the blog’s body copy, there are really no bells and whistles or gimmicks associated with this type of CTA. Because they’re so straightforward, people may also perceive them as being more genuine than the typical image-based, banner CTA. 2) Readers rarely make it to the end of a blog post, so showing relevant CTAs sooner is more effective.There are quite a few studies out there that show that most people don’t read articles in their entirety. In fact, scroll map tracking we’ve done on this very blog supports this data, too. We recently tracked a bunch of blog posts in Crazy Egg, and the scroll maps all show that our readers rarely see the CTA at the bottom of posts because few of them even make it to the bottom.And those who do make it to the end seem to bounce as soon as they read the last line of text, completely avoiding the image-based CTA at the bottom — which supports our first theory about banner blindness. 3) Relevant anchor text CTAs give visitors exactly what they were searching for right off the bat.Many of our top lead generating posts have highly relevant anchor text CTAs that include the exact keywords visitors were searching for when they found the post. This is one of the main goals of our historical optimization project: Knowing that the majority of the blog’s new traffic and leads comes from organic search, we’ve optimized our highest traffic posts using the keywords they rank for.To explain using an example, let’s say you search for “press release template” in Google, and you click on the first organic result, which is currently our blog post about how to write a press release. As a searcher, the next thing you’d probably do is quickly scan the post to see if it satisfies your search. Now, if one of the first things that catches your eye is an anchor text CTA that reads, “Download our free press release template here” — which happens to be exactly what you were looking for when you searched “press release template” — then there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to click on it.In other words, the anchor text CTA works really well in this case because it satisfies the visitor’s need right away — within the first few paragraphs of the blog post. What’s important to emphasize here is relevancy. The more relevant the anchor text CTA is to what the visitor is looking for, the better it performs. This means that simply adding an anchor text CTA near the top of every blog post won’t necessarily mean it will generate a ton more leads; the relevancy of the CTA to the content of the blog post is a critical factor in its success.In analyzing the varying lead gen effectiveness of different posts that include anchor text CTAs, it’s easy to identify why some perform better than others, and it all boils down to how relevant the anchor text CTA (and thus the offer it promotes) is to the content of the blog post.What About Slide-In CTAs?A slide-in CTA is a CTA that slides into the page as the reader scrolls down. Ours typically include copy, an image, and a “download” button, like you see here … Based on my analysis, slide-in CTAs do seem to perform better than end-of-post CTAs. This makes sense since visitors see them sooner (they slide in at about 25%-50% of the way down the post), and they’re more interactive (they slide out at the visitor and catch their eye). That said, they still don’t come close to matching the effectiveness of text-based CTAs. Putting Anchor Text CTAs to the Test Once we knew how valuable anchor text CTAs were for generating leads from our blog, we doubled down and added them to about 80 other old, high-traffic blog posts that didn’t already have them.The increase in conversion rates we witnessed is only proof that these CTA are the silver bullet for our blog …The view-to-lead conversion rate of posts that didn’t previously have an anchor text CTA increased by an average of 121% when anchor text CTAs were added.Jackpot. But With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility … While we now know how valuable anchor text CTAs are, our team is still very selective about which posts we add them to. We mainly target old posts that rank in search because it allows us to identify which keywords searchers are using to find those posts and match that intent with a highly relevant offer/anchor text CTA. We also know that the majority (68%) of traffic we get to our blog comes from organic search, and the majority of that organic search traffic (74%) is made up of brand new site visitors who can’t possibly be leads in our database. This means our older posts, which pull in all that organic search traffic, have the highest potential to generate new leads. On the flip side, we know that the majority (60%-70%) of initial traffic we generate to a brand new post we publish comes from our email subscribers. We also know that 80% of the email traffic to the blog is made up of returning visitors, and 79% of our email subscribers are already leads in our database. In other words, our brand new content doesn’t have as much potential to generate leads because of the type of traffic it attracts.As a result, we purposely limit our use of anchor text CTAs on brand new posts, because most of the traffic we get to those posts are A) already leads, and B) some of the biggest fans of our content, whom we want to have the best possible user experience.One Final Note About “Best Practices”Remember, while we’ve found that end-of-post banner CTAs don’t perform very well for our particular blog, that doesn’t mean they won’t for yours. Each blog is unique, attracting different types of audiences and publishing different types of content — among a slew of other variables. In a perfect world, every blog manager would run this CTA study and conduct a lot of testing themselves to determine the best conversion strategy for their individual blog. But it’s also important to understand that not every blog has access to the resources necessary — like a dedicated optimization team and a high volume of traffic — to do a lot of in-depth testing.  So while conversion rate optimization experts warn against relying on “best practices,” taking direction from them isn’t a bad approach when you’re just getting started with a new tactic or you don’t have a lot of resources, time, or traffic to test things out for yourself.  At the very least, maybe we’ve opened your eyes to a promising type of call-to-action (which just so happens to be very easy to create) you can try on your own blog 🙂 center_img Originally published Mar 16, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 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

Read More »

How to Become a More Productive Writer: 7 Helpful Tips

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 27, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Productivity The simple dream of most writers is being able to write more. And it’s not only writing more, it’s writing effortlessly.But it’s not just authors or professional writers who dream of this. These days, a lot of marketing roles will require you to dust off your writing skills at one point or another. And there’s nothing worse than simply not being able to write — especially when the pressure of a deadline is looming over your head.Yes, we’ve all been there.That’s why this past January I decided that I was done with crawling over the finish line with my work in hand. I was done with the pressure. I knew there was a better way to write.So I set out to find some answers. Here’s what I learned in the process …How to Become a More Productive Writer: 7 Helpful Tips1) Find the right tools.My immediate goal was to help shape my productivity and measure my writing. To do so, I started to treat my computer like a toolbox. Every application that I called on had the ability to influence my performance — both for better and for worse.To measure my productivity, I started using a time management tool called RescueTime.I do all of my writing in Google Docs and RescueTime gives me a weekly report of the amount of hours I’ve spent using Google Docs. Simply put, the more time spent in Google Docs, the more words I am likely to write.The tool also makes it easy to set goals, track your progress, and understand your productivity patterns — which proved helpful during this process.Similar to RescueTime, Grammarly– a writing-enhancement platform — will give you a report detailing the number of words you’ve written in a given week. For this reason, I started using the tool to measure my progress.Here’s a sample of the data I collected on my journey to improve my writing:When I was feeling like I couldn’t write another word, I pulled up this data to remind myself of how far I’d come. I could write another word. In fact, I could probably write a couple thousand more words if I pushed myself.2) Find your biological prime time.Brainpicking’s “writer’s timetable” clearly illustrates the correlation between writers’ wake-up times and their level of productivity. After checking this out, I decided that I wanted to capture something similar: a set time of the day to focus on writing.To do this, I knew that I needed to first figure out when my optimum output would be — in terms of both quality and quantity. For instance, it’s no good waking up early to write something if your best work comes out a night — or vice versa.So how do you figure out where you stand? Quite simply, you just run some productivity tests on yourself. To do so, I picked up some tips from productivity expert Chris Bailey. In this blog post, Bailey outlines a process for finding your “biological prime time” — a term coined by Sam Carpenter in his book Work the System.He explains how he kept track of his energy, focus, and motivation levels for 21 days straight. Here’s a look at what he saw:Image Credit: A Life of ProductivityAfter about a month of duplicating this type of testing on myself, I found that my productivity arch would run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and my best work would normally come out between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00. p.m.Now that I had this information, I could use this daily window to focus on my writing when it mattered most. Additionally, knowing this helped me stop feeling so guilty when I found myself unable to produce anything meaningful after 3 p.m. because I knew it just wasn’t the right time for me to get work done.3) Experiment with journaling.Tim Ferriss has an insightful post on his morning journal that got me thinking. Almost every morning Ferriss sits down with a cup of tea and takes time to write in The Artist’s Way: Morning Pages Journal, a book by Julia Cameron. He uses this as a daily practice of production.Here’s an excerpt from one of his entries:Image Credit: Tim FerrissThis was the exact remedy I was looking for. I realized that writing perfectly wasn’t the goal … it was to just get writing.So I began my way to a better morning routine.This was an easy prescription: I bought a cheap notebook and I kept it in my bag. I’d write in it every weekday while on the train heading into the office.When I was writing, I’d focus on two areas:What’s worrying me in my personal life.What’s worrying me in my working life.To round off the journaling and get myself in a positive frame of mind, I’d write three things that I was grateful for that day — a trick stolen from The Five-Minute Journal.(Check out this post for more on the power of morning freewriting.)4) Work offline to avoid problems.We’re in a world dominated by notifications, and that little red dot can be seductive to us at our weakest moments.Avoiding the temptation to browse around online — whether it’s Slack channels, social media sites, or your inbox — can be really tough. For me, it was especially hard to avoid Slack, as the company I work for, Kayako, is spread across the globe with remote workers and two main offices in England and India.So while I had to use Slack for internal communication purposes, it was serving as a big distraction. With people pulling me in numerous directions all day long, there was a lot of task switching going on. And all that task switching has a dramatic impact on the quality and quantity of work you produce.In fact, research shows that multitaskers:Experience a 40% drop in productivityTake 50% longer to accomplish a single taskMake up to 50% more errorsNot to mention, task switching reduces our chances of finding our flow. And as writers, finding your flow is necessary: Did you know it takes around 23 minutes to return to a task after you’re interrupted?So while you don’t have to go as far as Samuel Huelick — who wrote this “break up letter” to Slack — clearly stating to your team you’re going offline for a couple of hours can help you regain control and focus. Give it a try.5) Set deadlines.Almost everyone procrastinates — especially when it comes to things that have no deadline. You know, things you’ve always wanted to do, but never had to do — like traveling, or starting a business, or getting in shape, or writing a book.Don’t believe in the power of deadlines? I’d encourage you to allow Tim Urban’s comical (yet drilling) TED Talk about procrastination sink in before you make that call …During my journey to become a better writer, the importance of deadlines became even clearer to me. And while there is research out there that suggests self-imposed deadlines don’t cut it, this practice has helped me push through work and hit goals time and time again. After all, Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion.”I put my deadline rule to the rest when I found out my company was hiring a content marketing manager — a role I knew I was interested in. To declare my interest in the job, I set up a couple of meetings and worked directly with our director of marketing to come up with a goal-oriented checklist of things to achieve to secure the role.One task on that list? Producing an ebook on customer service team hiring … which I gave myself one week to draft.And guess what? I got it done.Would I have been able to write the ebook if I hadn’t publicly held myself accountable? Probably not — in fact, it could have easily taken me a month.Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational, explains that publicly committing to a time frame for completion can be an incredibly powerful motivator. When you tell others that you’re going to do X by Y time, your reputation is on the line. “It’s a good way to keep score,” he told The New York Times.6) Structure your work accordingly.One habit I’ve managed to overcome when writing blog posts is omitting structure. Before I used to wait for inspiration to kick in on a subject and charge full speed ahead into my writing until I’d hit the inevitable roadblock and couldn’t write any more.Now I commit to creating a blog post structure before I even write my first word. I designate 20-30 minutes to plan, and focus my structure on capturing three essential parts:The audience and their view/perspective.Best practices powered by research and supporting material.The actionable takeaway.Of course, there are different ways to approach this type of structural outline — for example, Copyblogger recommends the MAP technique or the S.P.E.E.D. approach — but I’ll leave that up to you. The important thing is that you’re putting a plan in place before you get started, as this extra step can do wonders for your productivity.7) Get feedback throughout the process.As a writer, having someone else look over your blog can be one of the most helpful things when you’re starting to feel stuck. A fresh set of eyes can help you identify gaps in your post that you’d likely overlook, and getting this type of feedback early on could mean the difference between putting out something impressive and having to trash your post entirely.At Kayako, we use a three-step editing process that works particularly well for putting out high quality content:First round of edits: Structural.Second round of edits: Core content and insight.Third round of edits: Spelling and grammar.But before we dive into that process, we review articles as a team in a weekly editor’s meeting to screen for quality, identify opportunities for improvement, and so on.If it sounds like a lot … that’s because it is. But it’s that level of detail that makes it easier for our writer’s to complete a piece that they’re proud of — without spending a lifetime on it.Remember: It’s easy to get lost in a post that you’ve been working on for a while. Rather than wasting time trying to determine what’s missing on your own, ask for that feedback upfront. Trust me, it’s worth it.Ready to Get More Writing Done?Getting better at writing doesn’t have to happen right at once. I’ve been optimizing my writing by experimenting with an array of different techniques over the past six months — it’s only now that I feel like I am near my best.You can start with any of these techniques listed above and incorporate them into your day to make you more efficient as a writer. There is no set methodology. Just try a few strategies out until you find what works best for you.last_img read more

Read More »

10 Nonprofit Twitter Accounts Doing it Right

first_img2) National Forests FoundationWell, it’s the National Forests Foundation – so they’re primed to have a steady stream of gorgeous pics and videos. A rough guestimate says about 90% of their posts include an image. The foundation also retweets images tweeted out by other forest associations, which is always a good way to share the Twitter love.They use their pinned post to keep a donation CTA front and center. The foundation includes other CTAs in the stream, like a CTA to sign up for its newsletter. Yet they keep the number of CTA tweets low relative to the volume of their travel and educational tweets. Ten Things That Might Surprise You About Elk https://t.co/HA7oMfTul2 pic.twitter.com/QRxXmiJ4Q9— National Forest Fdn. (@NationalForests) October 25, 20163) American Heart AssociationThe AHA does user generated content (UGC) really well. It’s created a branded hashtag (#LifeIsWhy), that it promotes right in its Twitter bio along with a CTA for people to share their stories. It also runs more focused UGC campaigns, such as partnering with the American Stroke Association to post a variety of different “fill in the blank” tweets. It also actively participates with related organizations on Twitter to encourage and share UGC, like retweeting questions and answers for a heart healthy foodie Twitter chat. Fill in the blank below and then develop your own stroke hero story at https://t.co/3YBx2Pctyp #WSD16 pic.twitter.com/hMIyjaeRXK— American Heart Assoc (@American_Heart) October 24, 20164) National Education AssociationThe NEA stream includes a wide variety of CTAs promoting webinars on one of its signature issues. Each CTA tweet is different with its own unique visual and copy, which is a great way to heavily promote an action or campaign without the organization’s stream lacking visual interest or coming off as singularly promotional. Teacher Evaluation 101: Tips for a Successful Classroom Observation Webinar TONIGHT 7 PM ET https://t.co/NriJ50wSNY #ntchat— NEA (@NEAToday) October 27, 20165) Nonprofit QuarterlyAs a native publisher of content, virtually every tweet on NPQ’s stream is a link back to its own website. Yet it does an effective job of sharing its own content without coming off as self-promotional. It helps that the content in the magazine is squarely focused on the issues that interest its target market.How can a nonprofit make a bad media situation worse? By not following a crisis #communications plan https://t.co/6Nm84vGjYp— Nonprofit Quarterly (@npquarterly) October 28, 20166) Charity:WaterWith 1.51 million followers, this organization has to be doing a lot right. Its Twitter stream is filled with strong, perfectly sized images of the people they help with Tweets sharing a bit about each one’s story. The organization also makes good use of relevant hashtags created by others to share its message and support its cause, like with the #GlobalHandwashingDay hashtag.Charity:Water also uses Twitter’s Alert system to send out emergency or other time-sensitive information to people who sign up to receive them. Twitter has a number of tools groups can use to extend their Twitter account’s purpose and influence. This organization doesn’t overlook them.7) NOAA’s Ocean ServiceThis organization is also making good use of Twitter’s range of tools. It got creative with Twitter surveys and uses them to post ocean-related trivia questions instead. It also uses hashtags well, like tweeting out gorgeous ocean images each #TravelTuesday and promoting its own #OceanFactFriday.Actually, this is just one of the NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Twitter accounts. NOAA set up different Twitter accounts for different sub-departments and areas of focus, such as Clean Coasts, Fisheries, and using sharing technology and best practices to protect coastlines. This is an effective way to gain followers with a specific interest who may not want to follow a more general interest account. The Ocean Service Twitter account does a great job of retweeting its sibling accounts and provide the more generalized experience for those who do want it.Naturally occurring oil seeps are the largest source of oil entering the world ocean! Details: https://t.co/IY5rigtrfX #OceanFactFriday pic.twitter.com/AzHebpAmFw— NOAA’s Ocean Service (@noaaocean) October 21, 20168) Code.orgThis organization, dedicated to encouraging the study of computer sciences for everyone, is also one of the few we saw taking advantage of a using pinned tweet. Instead of a donation CTA, its pinned tweet shares a short video that introduces the group, its mission, and its team.Its stream offers many people and organizations thanks for their contributions to Code’s mission. It also shares a lot of content from others showing how coding and technology continue to advance and improve our world. Sharing other people’s content is a requisite for being a good Twitizen, and Code does it well by staying on point.We started with the Hour of Code, but a lot has changed. Meet our team and see the impact of our first 3 years! https://t.co/dYPKrEBmNY— Code.org (@codeorg) September 8, 20169) Pencils of PromiseMost Twitter users have gotten the “use images” memo. Some still do it better than others, and we’ve shared some create accounts here that use quality, optimized images exceptionally well. Pencils of Promise has a good, image-rich stream, including using auto-run video (without automatic audio, thank you very much!) and GIFs.To stand out in a world of Twitter visuals, the organization makes generous use of uncommon emojis. While the pencil emoji is its favorite, for obvious reasons, it also gets creative with emoji streams that bring attention to and reinforce its tweets. We’re promoting gender equality by providing education for all. Because let’s face it. Who runs the world? 🙋 #DayoftheGirl pic.twitter.com/DR8OebZgf6— Pencils of Promise (@PencilsOfPromis) October 11, 201610) Dallas Museum of ArtThe DMA has a good mix of Twitter stream content, from promoting events, sharing photos of kids having fun at museum workshops, and sharing fun content about artists. All great stuff for a museum.Where this Twitter account really shines is how well it’s integrating its other digital properties into its Twitter account. It’s Twitter profile photo is actually a branded Snapchat logo, and it includes its Snapchat handle in its Twitter bio. The DMA’s Twitter hero image is dedicated to promoting the museum’s mobile app.It’s Your TurnHope these accounts offered some inspiration for creative ways you can boost your own organization’s Twitter profile. You’ll find some more ideas and checklists on how to get more followers and market insight from Twitter in this 3-piece kit we developed with Twitter. Twitter remains a keystone of any social media strategy. Used well, it can help your organization understand how potential members are finding content that interests them and attract the right kind of followers to your account.To whet your appetite a bit, here’s some examples we love.Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.Nonprofits Who Rock at Twitter1) The Stroke AssociationThe first thing you’ll notice on the Stroke Association’s Twitter page is that it’s making great use of its hero image space. It includes a moving image there, as most nonprofits do. But it also includes a clear mission statement and call-to-action (CTA). This group isn’t letting a bit of Twitter real estate go to waste.The stream itself has a great mix of educational resources about stroke treatments, personal stories, and compelling CTAs to participate in their action campaigns.  Originally published Nov 10, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017center_img Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Read More »

Snapchat Spectacles: A Simple Guide for Marketers

first_img Originally published Dec 19, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated March 31 2017 The camera utilizes circular video, which plays full screen on any device, in any orientation. And the lens is designed to capture the human perspective, offering a 115 degree field of view. This opens Snapchat to a variety of new video content: Previously, users had to record Snaps in vertical format, and the display wouldn’t auto-adjust if videos were recorded horizontally.Here’s a (very meta) video of me watching my Snapchat Story and experimenting with the circular video format — recorded using Spectacles, of course: Topics: Users wear Spectacles like sunglasses and record video from their perspective in a new circular, interactive video format that lets viewers rotate their phones while viewing. As shown above, a white LED light will rotate to indicate that video is being recorded live. Check out the videos recorded using Spectacles below (and keep reading to see original footage I recorded using my Spectacles):Source: SpectaclesSpectacles battery life allows for an average of 100 10-second video recordings per day, and the device can charge inside of its case several times to allow for wireless charging on-the-go. Spectacles come in black, teal, or coral and can be adjusted for fit or prescription lenses.Wait, Isn’t This the Same Thing as Google Glass?Spectacles might take you back to 2012, when Google announced Google Glass — a wearable, hands-free computer system. That project was halted in 2015, after Google faced barriers to widespread adoption, including privacy concerns and pop culture mockery.Luckily, Snapchat Inc. seems to be following a different playbook when it comes to the positioning of Spectacles. Most notably, the product is dedicated solely to video capturing instead of functioning as a wearable computer system like Google Glass. As a result, the cost is significantly less: Spectacles can be purchased for just $129.99.Sure, the specs are certainly a bit silly looking — the large lenses, bold frames, etc. — but, at the very least, they align with the brand’s colorful image.At the end of the day, they’re far more wearable than Glass, which received plenty of less than positive feedback in terms of the design.How to Get SpectaclesIf you’re chomping at the bit to get your hands on a pair, we’ve got some bad news: Spectacles aren’t sold at a traditional storefront. Instead, they’re available in limited quantity for $129.99 at Snapbot vending machines that spontaneously pop up around the country. Yes, that’s right, a Snapbot. Source: SpectaclesPretty interesting concept, right?Now there’s a lot to be said about this unorthodox strategy, as Snap Inc. is disrupting both how video is recorded and how new technology brought to market.Instead of shopping online or heading to a store, these Snapbots are being dropped without announcement or fanfare. Instead, buyers find out about Snapbot sightings via Twitter, Instagram, and word-of-mouth, then rush to queue in line in hopes that the Spectacles aren’t sold out by the time it’s their turn. Additionally, if you’re near a Snapbot, a Geofilter will appear in Snapchat letting you know:Source: SpectaclesIf you visit the “Find a Bot” page now, you’ll either see a map to the current location of the vending machine, or this image:Source: SpectaclesThe strategy behind this interesting distribution method? Aside from the obvious appeal to exclusivity, “It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it,” Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel told the Wall Street Journal.Spectacles are currently being resold for hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars on sites like eBay (admittedly, that’s where we snagged ours) and Amazon, leaving the rest of us to wonder whether or not this approach errs more on the side of frustrating or brilliant. But if there’s one thing we know, it’s that the buzz — both positive and negative — around this launch has inevitably created an interesting sounding board for ideas and iterations.Why Are Spectacles Such a Big Deal?Between the unusual launch and the unique video perspective, it’s easy to understand why Spectacles have the tech industry talking. But what does the introduction of a product like this mean for marketers? How might this launch shape the way brands approach their go-to-market strategies in the future? What impact will this have on the Snapchat app?Let’s walk through some of the biggest takeaways here.A New Way to Watch and Record VideoHave you ever had a moment that you wished you had captured on video, but you didn’t have the time to grab your phone, open your camera up, and delete enough photos to make room for storage?Spectacles allow for (almost) hands-free video recording, granting wearers the freedom to record from their point of view. This adds a new level of ease for the “videographer” to live stream an event, go behind-the-scenes, record a how-to video, or even interview someone. It also creates a new, interesting experience for the viewer: Imagine watching a video from the eyes of your favorite brand or personality.Here are a couple of Snaps I recorded hands-free using Spectacles: Don’t forget to share this post!center_img A great storyteller once said, “brevity is the soul of wit.” And although William Shakespeare wasn’t alive for the invention of video, we think he would agree with our marketing spin: “Brevity is the soul of video content.”Video content has exploded on social media: Videos are watched by 82% of Twitter users, and 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day.But those platforms aren’t the only ones engaging users through video: Snapchat video views jumped to 10 billion per day, more than doubling in less than a year. And Snapchat users now watch nearly 800 hours of video content per second. Download our free Snapchat guide to learn how to use it for your business. In an effort to keep that growth moving forward, Snap Inc. (Snapchat’s parent company) unveiled Spectacles — sunglasses with a built-in video camera to easily record Snaps and transfer them seamlessly to the mobile app — in September 2016.Looking for the inside scoop on this launch? You’re in luck, because I just got my hands on a pair of Spectacles to experiment with for this blog post. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Spectacles and their potential for impact on social media and content marketing — featuring a few videos I recorded while taking them on a test run.What Are Spectacles?Spectacles are sunglasses with an integrated camera that records videos and syncs with the wearer’s Snapchat account via Bluetooth for easy capturing and sharing. Check out the video below of yours truly trying on the Spectacles for the first time (I was a little excited): Video Marketing I had fun experimenting with the Spectacles for this article, and I’m excited to keep using them to record unique video content. I especially love the battery-charging case that keeps the Spectacles safe and ready to record at a moment’s notice. A Unique Distribution StrategyIf you’re a social media marketer, take note: Snap Inc. does a great job of turning its product into a viral social media moment. The secrecy and exclusivity involved in the rollout make Snapchat users excited and curious — FOMO is real, people.The larger lesson for marketers here? Use secrecy and exclusivity to generate buzz and make your audience more interested than ever in what you’re up to. For Snapchat Inc., that meant introducing wearable technology vending machines. For your company, that might mean serving up limited-time offers or creating an exclusive ambassador program.A Platform-Specific Video FormatIt’s still too early to analyze how Spectacles will perform, but broadly, Spectacles could impact social media and video marketing in few big ways.Consumers want more video content, especially on social media. Spectacles answered that call by creating a new video recording format that can only be viewed on Snapchat. Spectacles are effectively helping create more video content on Snapchat while increasing their user base’s engagement with their mobile app. (In 2016, four-year-old Snapchat overtook ten-year-old Twitter’s user base with 150 million daily active users.)From a brand perspective, this could make Snapchat a more desirable channel for advertising, as shoppers are nearly twice as likely to purchase a product if they’ve seen a video first. (Think: Showcasing your product through the lens of an authentic, human perspective.)Additionally, if you’re an event marketer, this new video format offers an interesting avenue for showcasing what it’s like to actually be in attendance — something that regular video content or photos can’t capture.What’s Next?We can’t tell you much more about data on the Spectacles … yet. But we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop with more circular videos on our Snapchat Story.And while you wait in line to get your pair, be sure to check out our other Snapchat content, like this hidden features piece, this guide to Snapchat Stories, and this roundup of brands nailing their Snapchat strategies.What’s your favorite feature of Snapchat? How will you use Spectacles in your Snapchat marketing strategy? Share with us in the comments below.last_img read more

Read More »

10 of the Best Ads from May: Hot Dogs, Rhinos, and an Accidental Viral Hit

first_img5) Merck Consumer HealthIn an effort to change the perception that you can’t learn new skills after a certain age, German pharmaceuticals company Merck Consumer Health teamed up with Ogilvy Italy to film this “social experiment” with parents of the Turin diving team. As the parents watch their children practice in the pool, they’re asked if they would ever take up diving themselves. Their responses are pretty unanimously: “I’m too old to start.”Perfectly on cue, 79 year-old Pino Auber executes a perfect dive from the highest-platform, spurring applause from the parents. We learn that Auber didn’t start diving until age 57, setting the ad up for its main message: “Today we’re living longer. There’s always time for a first time.” Originally published May 29, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated May 29 2017 4) ThalysParticular smells can conjure vivid memories and stir up old emotions, but can they spur us to travel somewhere new? In this inspired campaign for French rail company Thalys, Paris-based agency Rosapark set out to bottle scents that captured the essence and energy of different European cities.Thalys then set up a pop-up travel agency in a Brussels art gallery, inviting people to select trips on the spot based on their favorite bottled scents. The stunt is captured in the artful spot below. 7) Oscar MayerIn an effort to bring hotdogs to every remote corner of America, Oscar Mayer’s team of professional “Hotdoggers” (yes, this is their official title) hopped into the iconic Wienermobile and trundled off towards Whittier, Alaska.The branded adventure, orchestrated by Mcgarrybowen, Olson Engage, and Starcom, was documented in the below film. Watch as the two Hotdoggers — Kayla and Franscico — heroically navigate precarious roads on their quest to bring nitrate-free joy to Whittier’s 220 citizens. The whole thing is like a fever-dream version of Ice Road Truckers — in a good way.  In May, agencies got creative with alternative advertising mediums.While there were still plenty of traditional video and print ads on our radar, some crafty designers and copywriters turned to apps, bottled scents, modeling clay, and even an icy road trip to get their messages across. Among other things, this month’s roundup features an accidentally viral print ad, an unusual Tinder profile, and a pop-up travel agency that uses custom scents to encourage spur-of-the-moment excursions. Check them all out below.10 of the Best Ads from May1) Visit SwedenIn a clever stunt to generate some tourism buzz, the entire country of Sweden recently listed itself on Airbnb.Gothenburg-based agency Forsman & Bodenfors (you might know them as the agency behind Volvo’s “Epic Split” ad) developed a stunning video to advertise the listing, showcasing Sweden’s natural beauty and explaining Allemansrätt — The Right of Public Access that enables Swedes and visitors to explore the countryside freely.  3) Kenya’s Ol Pejeta ConservancySudan is the last male Northern White Rhino on Earth, and he needs some help finding a mate. So naturally, he joined Tinder.Since Sudan can’t mate under normal conditions, scientists at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy need to raise money for research into Artificial Reproductive Techniques to help him breed through one of the 7,000 Southern White Rhinos currently in existence.Ogilvy Africa launched a campaign around the effort, starting with signing Sudan up for a Tinder account. When users on the dating app swipe right to “match” with Sudan, they’ll be sent a link to donate money via the app’s messaging system. Chris Wall, Ogilvy’s late vice chairman who passed away earlier this month, was notably one of the writers on the viral campaign.  What were your favorite ads from May? Let us know in the comments. 2) SyossWhile most hair care ads depend on formulaic, slow-mo shots of unnaturally swishy, sparkly, CGI-enhanced hair, this new work for Syoss by walker Zurich highlights a hair dilemma most of us can actually relate to: where do you find the time to properly style your hair before your morning commute?Laced with existential dread (and fabulous copywriting), the ad portrays harried commuters as helpless victims of lost time and bad hair. “With this film, we wanted to create something that was different to the usual mould that hair ads stick to,” Pius Walker, Creative Director at walker Zurich, said to Adweek. “We’re lucky enough to have a client who allows us to do this and push away from the conventional.” 9) AppleIn this charming, energetic spot from Apple, the iPhone 7 plus’ new Portrait Mode setting helps transform a quiet neighborhood barber shop into a popular destination.When one of the barbers starts snapping professional-looking pictures of satisfied patrons and displaying them in the window, word quickly spreads — and pretty soon there’s a line around the block. The ad excels at showing how easy it is to use Portrait Mode, without boring us with the specific details.  10) Alzheimer’s Research U.K. (in collaboration with Shazam)To raise awareness for the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease, Alzheimer’s Research U.K. worked with agency Innocean Worldwide U.K. to create “The Day Shazam Forgot.”The popular app, which can identify song names on the spot, started to temporarily “forget” the names of songs and artists. Once the app “remembered”, users would be directed to a page on Alzheimer’s awareness and encouraged to donate. 6) The FriarsThanks to some seemingly lazy but actually ingenious copywriting, this simple ad for an English pub went viral in May after someone uploaded an image of it to photo-sharing website Imgur.The ad features a text conversation between the owner of The Friars, a Bridgnorth-based pub, and designer Dave Blackhurst. At first glance, it looks like Blackhurts simply used a real conversation as the ad, but it turns out he cleverly fictionalized the whole thing. “The irony is I don’t have a smartphone, I have a Nokia C2, so it took me about three minutes to come up with the idea but a few hours to put it together with an online message generator and Photoshop,” Blackhurst said to a local paper, The Shropshire Star.Image Credit: Tom Wysocki on Twitter 8) Play-DohIn honor of the company’s 60th birthday, Play-Doh teamed up with DBB Paris to create a series of epic, imaginative sculptures for use in a print and poster campaign. “I had written a series of headlines that each described one aspect of this world that is governed by the imagination and positive values,” Jean-François Bouchet, senior copywriter at DBB Paris, said to Adweek. “And with [senior art director Emmanuel Corteau], we thought it would be wonderful to actually hand-make the ads and be 100 percent in the DNA of the brand. We also wanted to speak both to parents and adults, who could each discover a multitude of details in each print and experience the excitement of a child in front of a Christmas shop window.”Image via Adland Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Read More »

How to Launch a Successful Online Community: A Step-by-Step Guide

first_img Choose a platform for your community.Develop a launch framework.Identify key internal stakeholders for the community.Set up your community.Begin a soft launch.Promote your community. How to Build an Online Community Topics: Originally published Apr 17, 2019 11:22:00 PM, updated December 12 2018 Community Managementcenter_img 1. Choose a platform for your community.There are two types of forums: one revolving around shared interest and the other that is more informational in nature.With a shared-interest forum, you’re bringing together people who happen to be interested in a common topic where they can explore and connect with each other on a larger range of topics. Collaboration between members is key here.Informational forums are largely used when you want to create a space for the community to search for and share content related to your product, service, or designated topic in one location.Once you’ve identified the use case and the type of engagement you’re after (i.e., customer support operations or brand loyalty), you’ll want to start looking at detailed features that would support your community goals. These can range from:Deeper analyticsEase of use and good user interfaceCustomer supportPlatform flexibilityIntegrationsMobile2. Develop a launch framework.When determining what business problem you want to resolve with your community, consider the following.Are you looking to:Increase your customer satisfaction ratings?Decrease costs related to customer support?Increase demand of your product/service?Identify and mobilize influencers and advocates?Increase collaboration?What is your use case? Will you use the information gained internally, externally, or a combination of both?Knowing these answers will make it easier for you to identify why you are launching your online community and help you align its purpose to your intended goals.3. Identify key internal stakeholders for the community.After determining the need for forming your community, your next step is to identify your company’s stakeholders. You can consider three categories of stakeholders:Those who will be managing the community. For external facing communities, this group of stakeholders may include the community manager, marketing department, and/or customer support. The stakeholders may vary greatly for internal communities.Those who will be impacted by the community. If your community is external facing, marketing is generally involved because the answers you are seeking will have the most impact on them. If there is feedback from the community regarding product improvements, product management may also be involved.Upper management. This stakeholder is the person who is responsible for the community and all that are affected by it. Usually, an executive could be an operations manager or a CMO who oversee all digital experiences.Another way to go about identifying stakeholders is to lump the role of the community manager along with the social media management role. Your marketing team, operations department, customer service, or perhaps a specially created department may be put in charge of the community launch. In this instance, each department is likely to put focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) that are meaningful to them.Marketing KPIsMarket shareCustomer sentimentMobilizing influencers and advocatesNPS – Net Promoter ScoreOperationsOperational efficiencyReducing support costsCustomer ServiceCSAT – Customer Satisfaction ScoreNPSProduct ManagementProduct testingMarket researchBeta testingCustomer feedbackTypically, only one person will be tasked with the community launch. However, by leveraging resources and other talent within your company, your launch can be less stressful and more successful.4. Set up your community.Making a decision on what platform to use for your community is the first step. If you are launching the community on your own or taking a team approach, you will want to make sure that you or your team are familiar with the software you will be using. This is a good opportunity to play with a demo or go through some hands-on training.After you and your team have a good understanding of the software you’ll be using, you can move on to making some setup decisions. These include:Keeping your community pre-launch private. You do not want outsiders having access to your community until you are ready, so make sure to enable your privacy settings.Displaying a list of recent discussions for the forum on the “homepage view.” New members or first time visitors may be more apt to join in the discussion if they see what is trending in your community.Creating your initial categories. Remember, your initial category list is not carved in stone and you should avoid creating too many categories at the start. Keep it simple and let your categories evolve. This will help keep a handle on discussion noise.Reviewing the sign-up process for members. The easier the process is, the more likely people will want to sign up for your community. You should consider a setting up a single sign-on (SSO). It is also important to thoroughly test your sign-up process before the pre-launch.Defining the roles your staff and members. Decide what roles will be included within your community, such as moderators or super members. Consider who on your staff will be the community’s admin, moderators, or community manager.Assigning permissions for roles. You will need to assign and test permissions to the roles you create. For example, you may restrict new accounts from posting pictures or links.Deciding which features will be enabled. This includes plug-ins, add-ons, and other features that are integrated into your online forum. Some features may not be needed right away, but others may be crucial to getting your team the data they need.Setting up gamification. Start thinking about the perks you want to reward your members with. This could be badges or other types of recognition for different achievements, such as being a beta-tester.Implementing your theme. You will want to tie your forum into your brand. Do not settle for impersonal default settings. For example, utilize your company’s color scheme and add other personal touches.Configuring spam controls. Take advantage of your software’s spam controls. Test the controls against a baseline of your trusted users. Adjust the settings as needed if you find that valid content is being labeled as spam.Setting up outgoing email. Decide what email address will be used for forum notifications. Review your welcome and registration emails to make sure they say what you want.Testing. You need to test everything before over and over until you are happy with all the parts of your forum. As you get closer to launch-time, your testing should become more stringent. Consider all types of probably scenarios and prepare yourself beforehand that not everything will be perfect. Get ready to decide on a launch date.5. Begin a soft launch.Once you are satisfied with the workings on your community, it is time to get ready for a soft launch. The purpose of a soft launch is to get your community ready for your full and public launch.A great example of a soft launch is from BigFish Games with the introduction of their new game: Dungeon Boss. While preparing for the launch, they placed their app in the Apple Canada store and drove users to their community forum in a closed and private environment. They got a lot of customer feedback, some of which was incorporated into the Dungeon Boss game title. Consequently, when they launched worldwide, it became one of their most downloaded games.Your soft launch should occur in three stages:1. Preparing for the Soft-LaunchAt this point, your community should be ready to be launched. All test content has been removed and any known issues have been fixed or have been scheduled to be fixed. It is time to pre-populate your community with quality content that will spark discussion and make good use of your existing content. Start off with at least 10 discussions using your existing material. Recruit your colleagues to get the ball rolling with these discussions. Tone is important, so you will want to set the right tone before moving on to the internal soft-launch.2. Internal Soft-LaunchThe purpose of the internal soft-launch is to identify problems using trusted people from your organization, colleagues, and friends before your forum goes public. While they are trying out your community, they can provide you with valuable feedback and report errors they find before moving to the full launch. This phase will allow your moderators an opportunity to learn how to use the tools that will be used in your forum. Any training deficiencies should be addressed and additional training provided if needed. Request feedback from your internal users. Then, set a deadline to move to the next phase: your public soft-launch.3. Public Soft-LaunchThis launch should be limited to a select audience that you will encourage to give you feedback on your new community forum. To form this group, try requesting volunteers from trusted customers, creating a banner on your website, or including a mention of it in your company newsletter. During your public soft-launch, address the following questions:Who should you include in this group?What problems do you want to solve while in this beta stage?What is needed to transition the community to live statusWhat is your hard deadline to take your community to fully live?Your goals should include:Getting the public involvedRefining your communityReceiving feedbackEnsuring that your moderators and team are comfortable with the platform6. Promote your community.Once you have your date set, it’s time to get the word out to your target audience. The best way to do this is to take advantage of your existing presence online. Promote your launch all over your website, through email communications, and by having your sales team and customer service reps tell your existing and potential customers about the launch.Here are some more tips that will help you drive the first 100 members to your community:Invite your contacts. No, it’s not always fun to bombard your family members, friends, or professional contacts about something you’re working on … but it works.Discuss with everyone and anyone. Get in the habit of talking to people everywhere you go, especially if your community is centered around a broad product or service that has value for many people.Enlist the help of new members through gamification. Ask your growing, early group to help you broaden the network by inviting their friends, colleagues, and digital connections. You can encourage this through contests or reward systems integrated into your platform.Partner with influencers. Collaborating with a related and complementary company can be an effective way to promote your new community and welcome new members who like both products and services.Make sure you have configured all your Google and Webmaster tools accordingly. Provide a sitemap and make your community visible. If you have completed all these steps, the odds are that your online community launch will be successful. It’s no secret that the way people buy has fundamentally changed over the years.These days, people are conducting their own research, reading product reviews, and seeking out recommendations before making a decision, and online communities are beginning to play a role in this process.As of 2018, according to the B2B Buyers Survey Report, 45% of business buyers spent more time and resources researching purchases than they did the previous year. So, the more platforms you can launch your brand on, the more you can strengthen your buyers’ research.B2B communities like G2Crowd or GetApp can be used to educate prospective customers and help them make better buying decisions, but how do you start?Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.These forums provide people with an opportunity to learn from existing customers experiences and offer space for community feedback that can be used to bring trust and authenticity into an otherwise stale procedure.If you’re launching a new community or refreshing an existing one, taking time to prepare a plan is crucial for ensuring success. The best way to start is to determine why you are building the community to begin with. Reasons may range from you are trying to support your existing business or marketing efforts to wanting to counteract negative reviews and identify passionate fans.Either way, there are two questions you should consider when creating an online community:Why should I engage with my customers online?What’s the best platform to do it with?To walk you through the process of setting up an online community in more detail, keep reading.Free vs. Owned Community Forums: What’s the Right Move?Although social networks and community platforms seem interchangeable, there actually is a clear distinction.Social media, in general, is composed of users who have nothing in common (only using the platform because their friends are on it). Communities, however, revolve around a specific issue, and it’s up to you to take the social network and engage certain users on that platform to form a community that’s focused on your industry.With this in mind, there are two types of communities you can launch: free or owned. Here’s the difference:Free Community PlatformsThere are “free” platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which offer community-like features, but using them has its pros and cons.One key pro is that it’s free for users and comes with a built-in audience. In other words, you can stand up an account, create content, and publish it to your followers for free, as long as you do the leg work to find out who on this platform you want to reachThe con, on the other hand, is that you don’t truly “own” your community and are therefore beholden to the decisions these companies make for how the platform serves your content to others. Right when you’ve mastered the platform your community lives on, the content algorithm changes, and you’re forced to pivot your content strategy to retain your users’ attention. It’s been known to happen.Here’s a brief list of free platforms to consider, if you decide to launch a community in this way:FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTubeG2 CrowdGetAppQuoraDiscourseGlassdoorSlackOwned Community PlatformsThen there’s the owned platform like a community forum. This is a place that is owned by the brand and offers all the benefits of a social media platform, but with much more control and flexibility on how you communicate with your members. For example, if you launch a blog or website with a forum or comment section for your visitors, this is an owned community that you can manage yourself.As with free communities, there are pros and cons to an owned community. We’ll start with the con this time: From an audience perspective, you’re starting from scratch. Owned communities give you more freedom over your brand’s messaging, but until your customers find out about your community, you have way more promoting to do to grow that community than you might have on a free platform.One major pro to owned community platforms is that they give you tighter controls over your branding and messaging — without having to compete with the noise of other communities on the same platform. A toy store on Twitter, for example, might have a built-in audience to engage, but this business has to compete with all the other toy stores on Twitter that are interacting with the same people.Community platforms also allow you to go beyond the limitations of social networks. Features such as deeper analytics, single sign on (SSO), gamification, more access to your members and custom design allow you to create a better experience for your fans. If you require a secure, private area for your fans to interact with one another, this might be your best option. Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Read More »

Multicultural Marketing: What It Is, Why You Should Do It, and How to Do It The Right Way

first_img Topics: How to Do Multicultural Marketing The Right WayHire a diverse multicultural marketing team.If your brand truly wants to practice empathy, then your employees need to actually know what it’s like to be in your customers’ shoes. Otherwise, if you don’t have someone on your team who can contextualize your marketing campaign to a specific ethnicity or culture, your content might seem it was created with an ulterior motive.So whichever minority group you target during your multicultural marketing campaign, just make sure someone on your team has the practical knowledge and life experience to vet it for accuracy.Interview people from minority groups that aren’t represented on your multicultural marketing team.If you’re not able to hire a person who can represent the minority group your multicultural marketing campaign targets, your next best option is to interview people who can. To do so, reach out to people in your network, social circle, or family and ask them some questions about the challenges they face as a minority.Triple-check your multicultural marketing campaign’s accuracy and authenticity.There’s nothing worse than a self-serving marketing campaign masquerading as social justice (I’m looking at you Kendall Jenner). Even if you have the right intentions, poor execution can turn your campaign into an SNL Cheetos’ commercial.So before you green light your multicultural marketing campaign, run the creative and distribution strategy by some colleagues or friends who represent the minority group your campaign is targeting and see if they can poke holes through it.Acknowledging Diversity Matters More Than Ever TodayAs an Asian American, Mulan, Jeremy Lin, and Jon Cho are my heroes because even though Asians are grossly underrepresented and misrepresented in pop culture, these three overcame that adversity and put themselves in a positive light, which greatly benefited the Asian American community.With this in mind, if your multicultural marketing campaign can shed light on the challenges a minority group faces and highlight their benefit to society, you’ll not only grow the group’s loyalty for your brand, but you’ll also make them feel like they have a genuine, empathetic ally.Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash Multicultural marketing is devising and executing a marketing campaign that targets people of different ethnicities and cultures within a brand’s overarching audience. Not only does it help you relate to and resonate with minority groups, but it also recognizes their ethnicities and cultures and helps majority groups realize that most countries are melting pots and not dominated by one main ethnicity or culture. Marketing Strategy Originally published Apr 25, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated April 25 2019center_img Growing up as a first-generation Asian American, I lived between two cultures. One was the East-Asian culture my parents brought from Taiwan, which prioritizes the needs and desires of the family and emphasizes academic excellence. The other was the Western culture that surrounded me outside the house, which prioritizes the needs and desires of the individual and emphasizes extracurricular activities.Needless to say, these two cultures clashed, and I spent the early part of my childhood confused about my identity. My parents taught me certain values and principles to help guide me through life, just like their parents did, but whenever I hung out with my friends, they would show me a completely different way of living. At the end of the day, I didn’t really know which group to side with. But once puberty hit, I did what every other hormone-filled tween would do — I rebelled against my parents and followed my friends.From the beginning of middle school to the end of high school, I mostly identified as an American not just because the vast majority of my friends were American, but because I realized I was different. And I didn’t like that.Desperate to fit in, I tried my hardest to blend in with my peers. I immersed myself in football and baseball, deriving all my value in being a jock — the opposite of your typical Asian American. Sadly, I also looked down on other Asian kids who weren’t as American as me, sparingly ate Chinese food, and didn’t like inviting my friends over because I was scared they’d think my house smelled weird. In a nutshell, I was embarrassed to be Asian.Click here to take inspiration from the best marketing and ad campaigns we’ve ever seen.This mentality bled over to college, where I studied economics and business, played baseball, and joined a fraternity — all of which a typical Asian American wouldn’t do. As a senior, I decided to study abroad in Scotland, and my goal was to befriend as many lads and lasses from across the pond. But by the end of the semester, barely any of my friends were European. And none of them were American. Most of them were actually asian.One of the biggest reasons why I loved studying abroad, in addition to traveling the world and never going to class, was that I befriended a group of Asian guys who were extremely proud of our ethnicity and culture. And it taught me how important it is to be proud of my own identity. Before I studied abroad, I’d never met an Asian person who claimed they were proud of who they were, and I didn’t really take pride in it either. But after meeting my asian friends in Scotland, who were from Asian countries, like Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines, Bhutan, and India, I was inspired to flip my mentality.When I returned home from Scotland, my parents were both shocked and thrilled at how Asian cuisine had become my favorite type of food and how much pride I took in being Asian. In my mom and dad’s eyes, I could see the joy in their hearts. I’d finally done something they’d always wanted me to do — be proud of who I truly am.Even though the world is a melting pot today, most brands market in a way that only appeals to a country’s majority ethnicity or culture. That means there’s a huge pool of people that brands aren’t resonating with.However, generating more sales shouldn’t be the only reason you market to minority groups. Acknowledging their ethnicities and cultures should be another huge driving factor.Because, ultimately, letting minority groups know that it’s not only okay to be different, but it’s also amazing that they bring such different perspectives to the places they immigrate to, will move society forward and help immigrant children like me be proud of who they truly are. Multicultural Marketing Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Read More »