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    Battle of the Brands: Which Famous Rival Company Has Better Marketing?

    By Erik Devaney


    Ba da ba ba ba, I’m lovin’ it.

    We can instantly identify their logos. We can hum along to their jingles. We’re on a first name basis with their mascots. We can repeat their slogans as mantra.

    How were big brands like McDonald’s able to attain such a ubiquitous status? How did they become so darn well-known?

    As a marketer, I’d like to think the answer is obvious: marketing! Inventing the Ronald McDonald mascot, designing those golden arches, creating all those catchy jingles, teaming up with all those celebrities, and running all those cross-promotions with other big brands ... Read More

    New European Social Media Benchmarks: How Does Your Company Stack Up?

    By Siobhán McGinty

    Do you spend hours reporting on your monthly marketing activities, but are not really sure how you’re performing among your industry peers? Do you find it difficult to find social media stats related to your industry? Are you currently developing or revisiting your social media strategy, and unsure of how many times you should post or what to include in your posts?

    If you share any of these uncertainties or challenges, you’re not alone -- many other marketers also worry about the performance of their social media accounts.

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

    By Rachel Sprung

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

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

    So I'm going to lay out a keyword research process you can follow to help you come up with and narrow down a list of terms you should be targeting.

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    5 Pointless Marketing Metrics You Can Stop Tracking Today

    By Rachel Sprung

    In life, many people believe that more = better. More traffic, visitors, and customers? Yep, that's better. More time in your day to do the things you love? That's better. More collaboration between Sales and Marketing? That's definitely better.

    But in many areas of marketing, more doesn't always mean better.

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    Creating A Thoughtful Content Strategy in Higher Education Marketing

    By Holly Stayton

    Previously we discussed important questions your team must ask when deciding if it’s the right time to start using inbound marketing without losing your more traditional audience. We looked at why you want to shake things up. We talked about who your audience is and specifically discussed how you are defining your “traditional” audience. Finally, we reviewed what inbound channels you are currently using and evaluated what makes sense for your higher education institution.

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    Facebook Cover Photo Do's and Don'ts [+Pre-Sized Templates]

    By Ginny Soskey

    When people arrive at your Facebook Page, where do you think they first look? I'll give you some hints. It's a visual piece of content that sits at the top of your page. Its dimensions are 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. It takes up almost a quarter of the screen on most desktop browsers.

    That's right -- it's your Facebook cover photo.

    Since it's one of the most noticeable parts of your page, it's crucial that you follow Facebook cover photo best practices. 

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    How to Avoid the Risks of Bundling

    By Pete Raymond

    Retailers, etailers, service providers, and pretty much anyone who sells anything ever use bundling techniques to improve sales and make customers happy. After all, who wouldn’t want to receive a discount on more? The problem is that bundling comes with a unique set of problems that could hurt your sales in the long run. Becoming aware of the risks is the first step to avoiding them!

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    Google Plans to Index Tweets in Real Time: How This Could Impact Your SEO

    By Eric Enge

    Years ago, it was commonplace to find real-time tweets in Google Search results. Twitter and Google had inked a deal that gave the search giant access to the social network's data stream. In turn, Google would display tweets in search results in real time. But that agreement expired, and in the middle of 2011, Google lost access to Twitter's data stream

    Now, nearly four years later, the gang's back together.

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    6 Essential Skills Every CMO Should Have in 2015

    By Casey Newman

    Let’s face it—Chief Marketing Officers have it rough. They’re tasked with proving their work has a real impact on driving business while managing staff, keeping up with technology advancements and dealing with more expectations than ever. And, until recently, the average CMO was destined for a much shorter than average tenure. 

    What was once a position reserved for creatives and strategists has evolved to include technical aspects and data science elements. CMOs now wield more power, and CEOs are increasingly looking to them to provide strategic input, according to recent research from IBM.

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    10 Tips When Hiring for a Job You Know Nothing About

    By Doug Davidoff

    It will only be a matter of time before you are put in a position where you have to hire someone in an area where you lack expertise, or know absolutely nothing about it. Hiring is always a difficult task, fraught with risk. When you add the fact that it’s in an area where you may lack expertise, the risk is even higher.

    In this case when I talk about hiring, I’m not limiting the action to bringing on employees.

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    8 Rookie Mistakes You Might Be Making With Buyer Personas

    By Siobhán McGinty

    Creating buyer personas is an essential part of building a successful inbound marketing strategy. Buyer personas help you better understand your current and potential customers, what their pain points are, what information they need, and how you can position your offering to meet their needs.

    Without documented buyer personas, essential inbound marketing tasks such as creating engaging content can be challenging.

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    How to Talk to Pretty Much Anyone About Pretty Much Anything

    By Katie Burke

    Edith Wharton once said, “Ah, good conversation -- there’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”

    Ms. Wharton had a way with words (written and otherwise), but she would likely be horrified to know that most of our daily conversations nowadays start with shorthand texts or three-line emails.

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    How to Easily Write Better Emails [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Email has become the primary way most of us communicate in the business world -- so much so that it often replaces face-to-face interactions. Just think about how many people you've emailed, but never actually met.

    This is especially common for marketers today. For example, as a blogger who manages contributors, sets up interviews, and coordinates across teams, I send a lot of emails to people who've never met me. 

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    5 Tips for Delivering Better Presentations

    By Jeannie Krill

    Giving presentations can be slightly nerve wracking or incredibly fun, depending on who you are. 

    If you’re part of the group that dreads a presentation or giving a speech, you’re not alone. According to the Washington Post, America’s biggest phobia is the fear of public speaking – 25.3% of people in the US are afraid of speaking in front of large groups of people.

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    Gluten-Free, Juicing & Veganism: Marketing Strategies Behind 3 Major Diets

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Vegan. Gluten-free. Paleo. Juicing. Mediterranean. Whether you abide by them or not, there's no arguing that many diets have grown immensely popular in ways that aren't so different from widely worn shoe brands or your favorite wearables.

    We have a long history of food faddism in the U.S. and Europe. In the 1920s and 1930s, an all-grape diet was popular among wealthy women in the U.S. and France.

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    How to Subscribe to a Podcast on Your Phone & Computer

    By Dave Gerhardt

    Podcasts: You know they're becoming more and more popular by the day, and you want to join in on the fun. Maybe you're finally catching up on NPR's smash hit, Serial. Maybe you want to find something to help make your commute a little more enjoyable. Maybe you need to do some podcast research to help your company get their own up and running.

    Regardless of why you want to jump on this new trend, the truth is that it can be tricky to figure out how to keep up with all of your favorite shows on all of your favorite devices.

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    Copywriting Lessons From Companies Doing It Right

    By Patrick Armitage

    The written word’s been getting written off lately. SnapChat, Instagram, Pinterest, infographics, emojis, and video have been stealing the limelight as words, copy, content, whatever you want to call it take a backseat. We’ve become enamored with the idea that showing, rather than telling, provides a better brand experience.

    But the backbone of successfully using these newfangled channels starts with a brand vision well-articulated through strong copy.

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    5 Customer Retention Tools for Long Term Ecommerce Success

    By Alex McEachern

    A study in the Harvard Business Review showed that increasing customer retention by 5% can lead to a 25% - 95% increase in profit. But what is customer retention, and how do you increase it by 5%?

    Customer retention is the act of getting more of your customers to stay loyal to your brand or business. A successful customer retention strategy turns one time shoppers into loyal, repeat purchasers that buy more, more often.

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    A Data-Driven Guide to Writing Better Headlines [Free Ebook]

    By Brittany Leaning

    A captivating title is your first (and maybe only) chance to grab your target audience’s attention and draw them toward your content. But titles shouldn’t be created based on what feels right or what sounds cool -- it's much more effective to let data guide your title creation decisions.

    That’s why HubSpot and Outbrain teamed up to bring you a data-driven guide to writing effective titles and headlines.

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    8 Design Trends to Watch in 2015 [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Each passing year tests the longevity of design trends. Which ones will stick it out another year, and which ones are already passé? Perhaps most importantly, what are the emerging trends marketers and designers alike need to stay on top of?

    There are a few trends from last year that are continuing to go strong in 2015, like semi-flat design and more sophisticated typography.

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    4 SEO Tactics to Embrace in 2015

    By Martin Link

    Remember when the meta keyword tag was popular? Or when a good SEO strategy was to put keywords in everything (URL, title, description, headings, images ALT text, side nav, main nav, footer nav, in the keywords and 231 times in the body content)?

    Welcome to 2015, where the world of search is a completely different game. In fact, in 2015 you need to check site pages to be certain keywords aren’t overused in key elements.

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    How to Quickly & Easily Create a Buyer Persona [Free Tool]

    By Lisa Toner

    Whenever people ask for a primer on inbound marketing, I always start by talking about buyer personas. Why? Because without knowing who your ideal customers are -- their backgrounds, goals, challenges, and so on -- it's very difficult to create an effective marketing strategy to attract more of those types of people. Without understanding your ideal customers inside and out -- and integrating that research across your entire marketing funnel -- you risk stifling the growth of your business.

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    How to Set Up Multi-Product Ads on Facebook [Quick Tip]

    By Siobhán McGinty

    In June of last year, Facebook announced a new ad format called "multi-product ads" that caught the attention of many Facebook advertisers. This new format was designed to do three things: generate more website visitors, drive better conversion rates, and improve remarketing results. 

    Quick movers were able to make the most of the new ad format using the Facebook Ads API, but others had to wait for Facebook to fully incorporate the format into its advertising product.

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    5 Ways to Squeeze the Most Use out of Your Content Offers

    By Jessica Plunkett

    You’ve heard the expression “don’t reinvent the wheel.” The same is true for content – don’t reinvent it, repurpose it.

    Start with a white paper, guide or ebook that you’ve written to support a product or service that you sell. With this one piece of content, you can easily repurpose content five times through different channels. Here's how!

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    17 Inspirational Quotes on Leadership & Management From Daniel Pink

    By Camilla Meager

    Most people have one approach when it comes to management and leadership. To motivate their team, managers will resort to punishments or rewards. They offer up fun prizes for the top performers and performance plans to those at the bottom -- and hope that those incentives will make their team produce top-notch results.

    But that approach doesn't always work. People need to feel meaning in their actions and jobs, not just consequences. 

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    How to Make the Most of Your Content: An Integrated Promotion Strategy for the Modern Marketer

    By Eric Murphy

    The content marketing struggle is real; every marketer knows the difficulty of serving up the right content to the right audience at the right time. Unfortunately, it won’t be getting easier any time soon. The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Reports show that 69% of B2C and 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content this year than last year.

    Consumers are already inundated with content everywhere they go, and in an age of increasing adoption and production, brands are reeling in the wake of wasted content investments.

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    10 Simple Tips for Looking Good on a Video Conference Call [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Video chatting, video conferencing, and even video interviewing have become increasingly popular ways to communicate "face-to-face" from a distance. But looking good on camera isn't as simple as combing your hair and putting on a decent shirt. Things like lighting, background, and background noise can make or break the impression you make on video. Plus, things like having other programs running simultaneously can really slow down your connection.

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    7 Ways to Speed Up Your Content Creation

    By Aaron Agius

    These days, you can’t throw a rock without hitting an industry blog talking about how content marketing is 2015’s “must-do” strategy. In fact, the practice is so widespread that as many as 93% of marketing professionals already include it in their promotional campaigns.

    But the trick with content marketing is that it's a long game. Successful content marketing teams don't just write a couple of blog posts and expect their traffic to skyrocket -- it can take months to build a backlog of great, search-friendly content.

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    Building a Marketing Team? Here Are 5 Essential Positions You Should Fill

    By J.D. Peterson

    We all know the age-old expression, “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” Though I’ve never tried, I’m going to guess they're right about that.

    Likewise, there are many different ways to build a high-performing, growth-focused marketing team. However, in my experience, I have found that there are five absolute must-have positions that the majority of best-in-class B2B companies employ.

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    4 TED Talks Every Marketer Should Watch

    By Mike Whitney

    TED talks are not-for-profit conferences where leading thinkers discuss big ideas, trends, and innovations in their respective fields. The project was originally conceived as a forum for technology, entertainment, and design (hence the TED), but now has expanded to include topics ranging all across the human experience.

    The talks have been lauded for their ability to take complex concepts and deliver them in ways that are digestible for everyday audiences. As marketers, TED talks are great examples of injecting compelling narratives into abstract sets of concepts. As someone with a product to market, this skill is definitely worth cultivating.

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    Segmentation Ideas for Nonprofits and Member-Based Organizations

    By Allison Gibbs

    What is one of the most valuable aspects of a member-based, nonprofit organization? Do you have a guess?

    It’s the member database.

    I’ve been part of the nonprofit world for many years, and even now in my position at a digital agency, I help nonprofits build website and marketing campaigns. So, I know that the member and donor database is immensely important to an organization.

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    18 of the Best Email Subject Lines You've Ever Read

    By Ginny Soskey

    I'd venture a guess you get tons of emails in your inbox every day. Coupons, daily deal sites, newsletters, password resets, lead nurturing emails, social media notifications, invitations to friends' parties, and maybe even a few emails from your mom. That's a lot to sift through, never mind actually open.

    So what makes you want to take that extra step to actually open an email? Often, it's the subject line. After all, it's your very first impression of the email -- and from it, you'll do your best to judge the content on the inside.

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    Why Digital Wallets Encourage Spending

    By Greg Wise

    There is a universal truth we must acknowledge. It’s easier to spend money if we never hold it in our hands. This is why people end up in serious trouble with credit cards even when they have wads of cash in their wallets. The “cashless effect” is a very real thing, and it benefits ecommerce sales in ways retail sales don’t experience. The question, of course, is why? Why do digital wallets, debit cards, and credit cards encourage spending?

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    A Handy Little Guide to International Business Etiquette

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Success in business comes down to building strong relationships with our associates. As our jobs become more and more globalized, many of us find ourselves traveling and building relationships with people across international borders, where manners and expectations might be different than we're used to.

    The ins and outs of international business etiquette can get confusing.

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    36 Tried-and-True Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    There are lots of things you need to do to have a successful blog. Not only do your posts need to be well-written, helpful, and relevant to your target audience, but you've also got to make sure you're promoting them correctly so they get in front of people who could become your fans -- and maybe even your customers.

    Luckily, you have many creative options when it comes to promoting your blog content.

    Read More

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