first_imgThe digital habits of Millennials are infinitely different from those of the generations before them – meaning they call for an entirely unique marketing approach.We’ve been continuously exploring and identifying ways to best engage Millennials on behalf of our clients. Most recently, we issued a report last month that tapped into the digital habits of Millennials while in the act of in-store grocery shopping. Among a number of other significant findings, the report noted how 24% of Millennials’ conversations indicated their amusement while in-store – allowing for marketers to make shopping more fun and playful.Now our own Director of Social Marketing Strategy Orli LeWinter is nominated to speak at Internet Week New York’s Main Stage on how marketers can capture the attention of Millennials – when at home or on the go – and also offer up examples of brands doing it right.Vote for Orli’s Marketing to Millennials session.Please note: To vote for the session, you’ll need to register yourself on the Internet Week site. It will only take a moment of your time.Cover Photo via Flickrlast_img read more

first_imgIt’s not an uncommon experience: you didn’t close old accounts, avoided unnecessary hard inquiries to your credit report and even made sure you never exceeded 30% of your total credit limit. Your credit score was on fire – you did everything right. And yet, ready to apply for your first mortgage, the lender tells you: you don’t qualify. How could that be?A lesser-known truth: lenders are usually looking at more than just your credit score when making loan decisions. In fact, your tax-verified income and debt-to-income ratio are often equally important.Tax-verified income makes sense – a lender would need to know how much money you are bringing in, right? But what the heck is a debt-to-income (or DTI) ratio?DTI is your total monthly financial obligations – or debt – divided by your total take-home pay. This includes your rent and any outstanding loans – including student loans. Basically, are you living in your means. We know, yuck.But knowing how much of your total income is already obligated to something else is really important for lenders to decide whether or not you’ll be able to pay them back. And, if they’re going to use that information, don’t you want to know what it is before they do? (Hint: Yes, you do)That’s why we created Turbo. It’s a new, free financial health app bringing together your verified IRS-filed income, credit score and debt-to-income ratio: the three key numbers that matter to your financial health.We understand that some of this is new to you, so Turbo also gives you customized advice and insights so you can begin to better understand your financial picture. Whether you are looking to secure a loan, pay for college or buy a house, Turbo provides the tools you need to make the important financial decisions.Turbo is available today at and in the Apple App Store (coming soon to Android in Google Play). And if you are a TurboTax customer, when you finish your taxes this year you can choose to effortlessly transfer your tax return information into Turbo, bringing together your tax & credit report data to give you a more complete picture.[BTW, you don’t have to be a TurboTax customer to use Turbo]We are thrilled with our latest sister-app and see it as a perfect compliment to the tools Mint already offers. Mint is how you track your spending, set your budgets and pay your bills on a day-to-day basis, while Turbo gives you a holistic view of your financial health, how you compare to others your age and provides important financial insights.Give it a try and let us know what you think!Tell us your #RealMoneyTalk StoryThis year we’re knocking money off the list of taboo subjects! In order to improve the way you manage your finances and build financial confidence, we know how important it is to be able to share and discuss the money troubles we all experience.Get real about money and start talking about it! Follow @IntuitTurbo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and join the conversation. It’s the first step on your journey to financial health! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigationlast_img read more

first_imgDrought does not affect all companies and their power plants in the same way. Plants that use renewable sources to generate electricity, like solar PV and wind, are much less reliant on water than thermal power plants. Also, thermal plants that use seawater for cooling are not exposed to risks of freshwater shortages at all. The extent to which thermal plants that use freshwater are exposed to water shortages depends, in part, on their cooling technology. We find that thermal power plants outfitted with once-through cooling technologies, which withdraw large amounts of water, were affected by water shortages at a higher rate than thermal power plants that use recirculating or dry cooling technologies, which withdraw water at much lower rates. How Can Energy Investors Better Measure Drought Risk?Investors refer to climate risks which pose direct physical impacts to the economy and to their investments as physical risks. These include water shortages. But overall, physical risks are not well understood. Better data and guidance is needed to account for the potential costs caused by physical risks.A key insight from our research is about using the appropriate metrics to measure physical risks. Exposure to baseline water stress has emerged as a widely-accepted indicator for water risk. This measure is used or recommended by many investor-focused organizations, including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).Yet, though baseline water stress is a useful indicator to measure chronic water risk, it is not enough to provide a complete picture of a company’s water risk exposure. More information is often needed. We find that drought indexes are essential to supplement the TCFD’s recommended baseline water stress metrics if investors want to anticipate and manage drought risks at thermal power plants.  Drought indexes estimate relative dryness levels at specific locations using inputs such as precipitation, evapotranspiration, groundwater levels, and temperature.  How will future climate change influence drought? In our research, we use outputs from climate models to analyze potential future changes to water availability in India, which could increase the risk of water shortages. This exercise attempts to incorporate physical risks into forward-looking climate-related scenario analysis, as recommended by the TCFD.We find that the impacts of climate change are highly uncertain across time and geography. Projections from some climate models suggest that drought could increase in many parts of India, while others find that water availability could improve. But in scenarios in which drought gets worse, companies could experience water shortage-induced generation outages as high as 2.5 times more than historical levels. This could heighten the direct financial impacts to thermal power companies (and that does not include the wider impacts of power shortages to productive activity). Despite the uncertainty in the projections — or indeed, because of it — investors and companies need to start planning now.What Investors, Regulators, and Companies Can DoInvestors can incorporate drought indexes — which can be constructed for future time periods using climate model outputs — in forward-looking scenario analysis. Given uncertain projections, it is vital that investors stress-test their energy portfolios to ensure they are resilient to a wide range of future scenarios.  Investors should also engage directly with companies, including by asking thermal power companies about the water withdrawal intensities and cooling technologies of their power plants. They can also ask for records on water shortage-induced generation reductions and outages, water management policies and drought contingency plans.Thermal power companies should improve their disclosures of water risk information including historical drought impacts, power plant water withdrawal intensities and cooling technologies, and records on water shortage-induced generation outages and reductions.Power-industry and financial regulators should require the disclosure of climate-related risks. For example, electricity regulators could require power companies to report on outages and their causes. We found these types of data are not available in many countries outside India.The TCFD should provide more detailed disclosure guidance for the energy sector (and potentially other water-intensive sectors, as relevant) to help companies disclose more useful information as mentioned above.Data and ESG ratings providers should consider integrating drought indexes into their suite of research, ratings and data offerings. Integration could include historical drought index measurements, real-time drought monitoring, and future drought index measurements based on climate model projections. On July 5, 2015, the first of six thermal power generation units at the Parli Thermal Power Station in Maharashtra, India shut down. Unable to draw enough water from the nearby Majalgaon dam, which had nearly run dry, the coal-powered unit was unable to run its cooling system and was forced to halt electricity production. This was just the start, as each of the five additional units subsequently shut down as well. Between July 2015 and December 2016, Parli stopped generating electricity entirely for 226 days solely due to water shortages, and during the days it wasn’t entirely shut down, it was largely paralyzed.Imagine this picture replicated in other parts of India and around the world. Recent research is beginning to link climate change to drought, which suggests that risks to water availability will likely get worse.That water shortages can prove costly to energy companies is old news. What is less understood is how much water shortages can impact utilities’ bottom lines.In our new study, Financial Implications of Parched Power, we find that water shortage-induced outages to thermal power generation didn’t just turn off customers’ lights, they also caused occasional and sometimes major financial impacts to thermal power companies. This finding can have important implications for both thermal power companies and their investors.Our research is part of a larger effort by WRI and other organizations to better understand and measure how climate-related risks can impact the financial system — including the performance of companies and investments — both now and in the future. Understanding this relationship will be critical to help market participants, companies, regulators and governments mitigate their risks and better focus their efforts to build resilience against the impacts of climate change.    How Drought Reduces ProfitsWe analyzed the effects of water shortages on five publicly traded Indian thermal power companies and found that in some cases, drought caused significant financial impacts from FY 2014-2017. In one quarter, water shortages caused Adani Power to lose 17% of its earnings (approximately $50 million), and in another, 6% (approximately $17 million). Water shortages caused generation outages in half of the quarters we analyzed, highlighting that this is a recurrent issue.last_img read more

first_img Here’s what we at SB2.0 are doing   Do any of you have any other interesting methods at nailing the conversion of traffic to qualified leads? You are probably familiar with the Pareto principle which states that for many phenomena, 80% of the consequences stem from the 20% of the causes.  Other people call it the 80-20 rule and end up applying it to all sorts of things ranging from 20% of your company’s sales reps doing 80% of your revenue to 20% of your work time spent creating 80% of your value to your business. What percentage of the website visitors ended up filling out a form that would qualify them as a sales “lead.”  This helps determine the shape of the middle of your web channel funnel with the top being traffic. In addition to the first visit and the information the self-selector filled in, I also want to know which web pages she looked at (particularly which ones she looked at more than once); which blog article or discussion forum comments she made; what searches she did on my site or to get to my site; etc.  This information is a tremendous help to the company representative assigned to “solution sell” this individual.  Armed with this information, that first conversation is far less awkward because you go in really understanding what that potential customer is interested in whether they filled in that part of your form or not! GoogleTrends Those of you who are internet entrepreneurs or marketing folks with an internet presence, are you also looking for this type of information?  What else am I missing in my description of how I would turn marketing black art into marketing science? .  Basically this graph would be like Google Trends for your business with custom marketing events listed and with information not only on visitors, but on self-selectors.  Here’s the particularly impressive Google Trends report on YouTube: Originally published Jan 10, 2007 8:13:00 PM, updated March 21 2013center_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 For the people who filled out the lead form, in addition to the information you asked for, I want to automatically know where they came from the first time they visited the site (i.e. a link from a blog article, an adwords campaign, a link from a whitepaper, a search term on Google, etc.).  It is common that people will visit your site multiple times before “self-selecting” into a lead form, so it is absolutely critical that you figure out what triggered their first visit.  One of the things a lot of marketing executives like about the internet is their online marketing programs can be quantified in terms of traffic.  There are a myriad of analytics packages available that can tell marketing executives about unique visitors, return visitors, rss subscribers, geographies, etc.  Most marketing execs think of this as the very top of the web channel sales funnel, as they should.  Unfortunately, for most businesses, the very top of the funnel is where the science stops and the guessing starts.    As a marketing guy myself, here’s the information I need to turn marketing black art into marketing science. about it. Lastly, I want to see an uber graph that has 3 lines plotted:  one for first time visitors, one for repeat visitors, and one for self-selectors (leads).  Overlaid on top of that graph, I want to see marketing events displayed in a similar way as the events shown on With regard to that first visit information, I want to be able to look at it across all of my leads and quantify which programs, links, search terms, etc. are driving not only traffic, but traffic that eventually self-selects into leads.  Lots of marketing activities and blog articles produce boatloads of traffic which are easy to croon about, but at the end of the day, I really only care which activities produce traffic that converts to leads that end up buying something. I have worked in and with a lot of marketing organizations and they all have the Pareto principle on steroids going on.  First of all, most marketing leaders in an honest moment will tell you that they suspect 20% of the marketing programs they are doing are creating 80% of their qualified leads.  The reason I say they have this problem on steroids is that an honest marketing executive will tell you in the very next breathe that he doesn’t know which 20% is creating 80% of the qualified leads.  What can be frustrating for marketing executives is that much of marketing is a bit of a black art that is hard to quantify and nail.last_img read more

first_imgBy now I’m sure you got the memo: Barack Obama did an AWESOME job using social media, and that’s part of the reason he’s going to be the 44th president of the United States. track? track leads in other channels Your company, not to mention 99.9% of other businesses, don’t operate that way. The economy is squeezing your budget, your time is precious, and you’re not hiring anybody new anytime soon. If you’re getting involved in social media it needs to pay. So how do you do that? On the marketing team here at HubSpot we make social media pay by measuring it in three main ways: We keep track of the reach of each of our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare, LinkedIn,, etc. We can see the value of this reach simply by comparing it to the reach of paid media channels, which we use less frequently. our CEO, Brian Halligan (1) Social Media Leads — The event is sold out, but we’ll be posting a live stream. You can check back here for the link to the stream, or just : We track who arrives at our site via social media, which of those visitors convert to leads, and which of those leads convert to customers. (2) Channel Reach — With this approach, we can see which social media tools are having an impact on our business, and which aren’t. For example, over the past six months we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of visitors, leads and customers we’ve generated from Twitter. This is part of the reason HubSpotters are now engaging more on Twitter. YOU t-dot-s-dot (3) Brand Mentions — Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Photo:  Boston Social Media Breakfast tomorrow morning  follow me on Twittercenter_img Social Media . YOU , where I’ll post the link tomorrow morning. I don’t want to belittle the Obama Campaign. They did amazing work, and marketers have a lot to learn from them.  and  We track leads from social media channels the same way we  How do ,  In addition to leads and reach, we track social media mentions of HubSpot and other HubSpot brands. By following the change in the number of people talking about our brands from month to month, we can assess the effectiveness of our social media marketing campaigns. Andrew McAfee, of Harvard Business School Matt Culter of Visible Measures make social media pay? What sorts of metrics do But let’s put the Kool-Aid aside for a second. The Obama campaign is a lot different from your software startup. They raised tens of millions of dollars. They had thousands of unpaid workers. They could afford to throw tons of money at social media, without really knowing if it would work. Originally published Nov 11, 2008 9:38:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Topics: at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge. The discussion will be about “ROI in Social Media” and the speakers will include  There’s a lot more to discuss here. To keep the conversation going, we’re sponsoring the last_img read more

first_imgAnother key factor in retaining subscribers is simply giving them a reason to stay — whether that’s reminding them of the value of your content, or simply humanizing you as the sender and why you wanted to share that content. Keep this in mind as your customizing your email preference center.8 Tips for Retaining Subscribers:Let them control the frequency of the emails they receive.Let them control which topics they receive emails about.Create multiple, targeted email subscription types, and let subscribers pick and choose among their options.Describe each email subscription option, including the value of the content and the frequency to expect.Remind them why they’re getting your emails.Share why you thought they’d enjoy your content/remind them of the email’s value.Ask them to confirm they no longer want your emails in a light or humorous way.Give them an option to re-subscribe to other email lists.2) Grow Your ReachWhile someone may not want to receive your emails, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to receive your content altogether. Maybe they simply get so much email that yours gets lost in the shuffle. Or perhaps they spend more time in social media than in their inbox. Or maybe they just don’t like the format of the content sent by email. Or — at the other end of the spectrum — it’s possible they do want your emails, but they also want to get your content every which way. Why not give them that option?Your existing subscriber base is a great place to start growing your reach across other channels, and gaining a subscriber in social media is often longer-lasting because it’s not tied to that person’s current job. In other words, you don’t have to worry about the same 25% per year expiration that happens with your direct email list.5 Tips for Growing Your Reach:Encourage people to subscribe to your blog.Link to your social media accounts and encourage subscribers to follow you there.Explain what content to expect in other channels, including topic, frequency, and format.Provide a sample of recent blog articles to encourage people to click through and subscribe.Include one of your top videos to showcase a different type of content you offer.3) Build Brand LoyaltyIt’s not often that we talk about branding in our HubSpot content, because we’re very data-driven, and it’s hard to measure the direct impact of great branding. But we do often talk about being more lovable in your marketing, which is not only part of our inbound marketing philosophy, but also generates higher conversion rates and better subscriber and customer retention because it’s centered around customers’ needs.You might think it’s weird to talk about brand loyalty in regard to a page people visit to stop receiving communications from you, but this is actually a great opportunity to influence how people feel about your company, even if they do choose to unsubscribe. In this very moment where you’ve captured a subscriber’s attention, you have the opportunity to make them smile, highlight how great your company is, and leave them feeling good about your company so that in the future, if anything changes, perhaps they’ll come back to you!5 Tips for Building Brand Loyalty:Match the look and feel to your website and emails so people know they’re in the right place.Incorporate language that aligns with the primary language of your subscribers.Include a funny video to make them smile and to humanize your brand.Make it extremely EASY. There’s nothing I hate more than getting confused about how to unsubscribe when I already don’t want to deal with a company’s communications.Give a free goodbye gift such as a form-free offer or a discount code as a final thank you … and a pleasant surprise.As a bonus, doing fun things to be more lovable and build brand loyalty, like in the following example, can also get people talking about you in a positive way. Groupon’s unsubscribe page, which features its “Punish Derrick” video, is one of the most cited examples. Its page features a video of someone throwing hot coffee on Derrick, “the guy that thought you’d enjoy receiving the Daily Groupon email.” User-generated videos of Groupon’s unsubscribe page have been viewed thousands of times — I found at least two videos, one of which had 1,500+ views, and another of which had 7,200+ views — which don’t even account for the views of Groupon’s original video on its unsubscribe page! 4) Gather Valuable FeedbackOur final email preference center customization reason is a more inward-facing benefit for you, as the manager of your company’s email marketing: collecting feedback on why people are unsubscribing. This feedback helps you figure out how to improve your email program by understanding if you should change your content, frequency, targeting, or anything else.3 Tips for Gathering Valuable Feedback:Include an optional feedback survey to ask why people are unsubscribing.Allow people who unsubscribe to leave their own, open-ended feedback.Give people the option to contact you directly. You’d be amazed by the kind and useful feedback you can get through direct communication.And the #1 Principle of a Good Email Preference Center? Keep it Simple, StupidAbove all else, the most important thing you can do to your email preference center is make it SIMPLE. This is one of my personal pet peeves, but then again, who doesn’t hate receiving yet another unwanted email, finally deciding to seek out the unsubscribe link, finding it hidden in white text on a white background, clicking through to a confusing page with lots of boxes and buttons and distracting images, having to enter your email address again, and clicking the “update preferences” button only to get a weird error?Don’t beat around the bush. Making it difficult to unsubscribe may seem like a genius way to retain subscribers, but in reality, do you really want those people to stay subscribed to your email so they can keep hitting the spam button or constantly delete your emails? Furthermore, making it difficult will only serve to frustrate people even more, leaving them with a negative view of your brand that they might potentially spread to others via word of mouth. Don’t send your unsubscribes off on a sour note.7 Tips for Simplifying the Opt-Out Process:Make it easy for subscribers to find the unsubscribe link in the emails you send.Make it obvious what the subscriber needs to do in order unsubscribe.Include the option to unsubscribe from all email communications at once (or else violate the CAN-SPAM Act).Clearly show contacts what they’re already subscribed to.Provide a clear confirmation message that their preferences were updated.Remove any extra distractions such as navigation, images, competing text, etc.Allow people to unsubscribe without having to do anything else, like entering email address again, completing a feedback survey, etc.Example Email Preference CenterAnd if you’re curious about how all of this might tie together, check out an example email preference center below: Email Newsletters Sure, the email subscription preference center may seem like a boring, utilitarian part of your email marketing, but things aren’t always what they seem, are they? In reality, the email subscription preference center (phew … say that five times fast) is actually a fantastic piece of marketing real estate! It allows you to retain subscribers, grow your reach, build brand loyalty, and gather valuable feedback.As a result, customizing the look, feel, and options in your email preference center will allow you to not only meet those utilitarian needs (and CAN-SPAM laws) your subscribers have to manage the emails they receive from you, but also align with your company’s branding and style guidelines, and give you new opportunities to grow and nurture your subscriber base. So let’s dive into exactly why it’s important to customize your email preference center, and the tactics you can employ to achieve each of these various email preference center purposes. Truth be told, now that the HubSpot software supports customized email preference centers, we’re still working to better customize our own!4 Reasons to Customize Your Email Subscription Preference Center (And 28 Tips to Try)1) Retain SubscribersNo marketer likes losing subscribers. Personally, after checking out my clickthrough and landing page conversion rates, the unsubscribe rate is the next top metric I look at to measure the performance of my email marketing. And while I always want to make it simple and easy for people to unsubscribe from my emails if they no longer want them (I much prefer that over them hitting the “spam” button or ignoring my emails and hurting my deliverability), I would love a way to retain some of those subscribers.ExactTarget’s “The Social Break-Up” report found that the top reasons people unsubscribe from emails are frequency, interest, and volume. So why not let your subscribers control those factors? Having control over the emails they receive makes a big difference in retaining your subscribers over time, because they feel like they’re constantly choosing to receive those emails. In addition, giving subscribers this control makes it so that your subscribers are actually improving the relevancy of your emails for you. Relevancy is one of the top reasons people subscribe and stay subscribed to emails, and allowing subscribers to specify their personal email preferences is one of the top tactics for improving relevancy. Originally published Jan 9, 2013 1:20:00 PM, updated October 20 2016center_img Topics: What other great ideas have you seen implemented in email preference centers? 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

first_imgPicture this: You’re back at the office, sitting at your desk, ready to work. You’ve taken a look at how your marketing offers performed in 2013, and you’ve got fresh ideas on how to get more leads or drive more website traffic in 2014. You’ve been dreaming of marketing campaigns. You’re on fire! Well … not quite. You haven’t done anything just yet.But we know you will, and we’ve got just the thing for you: We’ve compiled the ultimate kit to running inbound marketing campaigns, complete with templates, checklists, worksheets, and even a step-by-step guide on how to run inbound marketing campaigns with HubSpot.What’s an inbound marketing campaign?As a marketer, you probably hear the word “campaign” a lot. Historically, running a marketing campaign usually meant using one marketing channel, like email or paid ads, to announce a product launch or establish expertise in your industry.But then the internet blew up, and now that’s not the only way your prospects learn about your company. They visit your website, follow you on social media, and probably even read your blog.Inbound campaigns are different than traditional campaigns. They take into consideration the way people learn about your company online and align every one of your marketing channels around your marketing goals, creating the best experience for your prospects.Now, when a potential prospect opens an email from you, they’ll see the same message on your website, on social media, in your blog posts — everywhere. Unifying your message across all your marketing channels helps convert your website visitors.Resources for Executing Inbound Marketing CampaignsWe promised you a one-stop shop, and we always like to deliver. So here it is! All of the resources listed below can be found in our aforementioned Campaign-in-a-Box kit.Resource #1: Free Template: Determine Your 2014 Marketing GoalsWhy You Need ThisBefore you start creating an inbound marketing campaign, you’ll need to decide why it’s necessary to run one. What are you trying to achieve? By when? And how? We call this “SMART” marketing because these kinds of goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound — just like your inbound campaign should be.How to Use ItThis template will help you stay on task when creating goals for your campaign. It’s easy to set a “goal” and forget about it (New Year’s resolutions, anyone?), but this template will help you create concrete (SMART!) goals for your campaign.Also, it’ll show you how the inbound marketing campaign you’re running helps achieve your overall marketing goals for the year — think of it as a giant piece to your marketing puzzle (and who doesn’t love puzzles?)Resource #2: Worksheet: A Marketer’s Template for Creating Buyer PersonasWhy You Need ThisNow that you have SMART goals in mind for your campaign, you’ll need to think about the right audience for what you’re offering. The best place to start choosing your audience is from your buyer personas. Your campaign audience might consist of multiple buyer personas or one specific persona that fits the criteria.How to Use ItThe template will help you understand buyer personas and give you a foundation to start building your own. Bring any research or survey data that you already have on your prospects and customers to help fully flesh out your personas. Once you’ve built them, choosing personas for your campaign will be easy.Resource #3: Worksheet: Blog Editorial CalendarWhy You Need ThisOnce you’ve built your offer, there are several ways to promote it to your campaign audience and even new visitors. One effective way to do this is through blogging. Because your offer should be based on a topic that your audience cares about, there are likely multiple angles to blog about.For example, if you’re offering an ebook, pull an excerpt from it and expand on it in a blog post. It’s a great way to get your audience interested in your offer before they’re even asked to download it.How to Use ItThis worksheet will help you create an editorial calendar for your blog specifically for topics around your campaign. It’s a great at-a-glance view of how your blog will help promote your offer based on the topics you’ll be writing about. You can even use it to bring in other details about your campaign, like any relevant keywords, links, and your campaign personas.Resource #4: Worksheet: Social Media Scheduling TemplateWhy You Need ThisUsing the social media channels where your campaign audience hangs out is another great way to promote your offer and keep your campaign messaging coordinated with all of your other marketing efforts.You’ll be able to determine which channels to use from your buyer personas. And because your campaign audience is likely to visit more than one of your social media channels, it’s important to organize your social media so you’re not spamming your followers with the same message over and over again.How to Use ItThe scheduling template is a worksheet that allows you to plan for social updates on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. It even includes a content repository, so previous links and offers are easy to find.Also, the template provides recommendations for publishing frequency. But don’t forget: Even after you publish your social messages, you’ll still need to monitor engagement and reply regularly to your fans and followers.Resource #5: Worksheet: Google AdWords TemplateWhy You Need ThisIn the spirit of transparency, you might not need this worksheet to run an effective inbound marketing campaign … but, you might. How do you know? If you have marketing budget to spend, and you’re familiar with and use Google AdWords, it doesn’t hurt to support your campaign with pay-per-click ads.How to Use ItOnce you download the worksheet, you’ll be able to manage all ads you’re running through Google AdWords in one template. It helps you organize ads through every stage of the marketing funnel, and you can easily record all ad variations, keywords, and destination URLs right in the worksheet.Resource #6: Worksheet: Nurturing and Automation PlanningWhy You Need ThisYour campaign is now up and running. You’ve set goals, you’ve got a target campaign audience, your offer is built, and it’s out in the world via your marketing channels. But the campaign’s not over, because you still need to nurture your prospects based on how they’re interacting with your campaign. For example: Someone saw your offer, clicked on it, and downloaded it. What’s next for them?How to Use ItFirst of all, it’s good to familiarize yourself with what marketing automation is — and what it isn’t. Once you’ve got a good grasp on it, this nurturing and automation planning worksheet will help you segment the leads you’ve been generating through your campaign and nurture them based on the goals for each segment.Resource #7: Worksheet & Presentation Deck: Monthly Reporting TemplateWhy You Need ThisJust like goals set the foundation for your campaign, reporting on your campaign will help you understand which marketing channels are helping you achieve your goal — and which ones could use a little love.Reporting on your campaign should happen throughout, but a wrap-up of takeaways and lessons when your campaign is over is just as important.How to Use ItFirst, the excel template will help guide you through the metrics that contribute to the success of your goal. If Excel isn’t your thing, don’t worry — it’s filled with formulas and helpful tips to make sure you’re reporting correctly. There’s also a pre-made PowerPoint deck template so you can take the reporting you’ve already done and turn it into a nice presentation for your boss or clients. See, we think of everything.Are you already running inbound marketing campaigns? What other resources are useful to you? Let us know in the comments! Originally published Jan 8, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Campaigns 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:last_img read more

first_img Viral Campaigns Through our study, we found there were 10 common emotions that drove most viral content: In a given day, we send 400 million tweets, upload 144,000 hours of YouTube video, and publish 4.75 billion pieces of content on Facebook. In a medium inundated with digital noise, creating a few blasé content marketing campaigns just isn’t going to cut it. In order to rise above, you need to understand what resonates with the most basic foundation of your audience: their brains. Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. There are dozens of techniques that can increase search traffic on a website, but only a few methods result in content reaching unseen levels of popularity. Sure, a merely informative or interesting piece can get a couple hundred social engagements, but viral isn’t just informative: It’s an emotional experience.At Fractl, we’ve established some factors that can help a campaign idea morph into an online phenomenon, but knowing how to create great content is the foundation of any viral campaign. By educating yourself in a few theories of psychology, you can make the most of nuances that most content marketers don’t know.Psychological Theories That Can Help Improve Your Marketing1) Synaptic Play Brain synapses are the basis of creativity, in which your brain connects seemingly unrelated data to form an idea. Neuroscientists explain that the more randomly connecting the data is, the more synapses occur, and in turn, the more creative joy you experience.When we analyze the most viral YouTube videos of 2013, we begin to see this theory in action:Prancercise WorkoutGas Pump KaraokeEminem-Inspired ToastBy mashing up two trending yet unrelated concepts, we create something that our audience is even more passionate about. But why? At a very formative level, these mashups allow our audience to take a creative leap of imagination, triggering some 200 billion neurons, which in turn allows them to experience their own creative joy, just from viewing our campaign.So, how do you leverage the reactive behavior of neurons to drive more engagement to your content?Use Google Trends to identify trending stories that your target audience is passionate about, and then think about what your brand could to get involved. Think outside of the box: What new content medium can you present your idea in? Is there an idea you can create that will allow you to leverage the viral loop? Just make sure your brand being involved in the story makes sense to your audience — you shouldn’t be doing something random to jump on a trending story.2) Novelty SearchResearchers at UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience discovered that a region in the midbrain, which is responsible for regulating our motivation and reward-processing, responds better to novelty than to the familiar. When the brain discovers a novel idea, it releases a reward (dopamine) that inspires us to go exploring for more.In content marketing, this exploration translates to the reader spending more time with our content, diving deeper into our websites, and ultimately learning more about our offerings. So, how do you create content marketing campaigns that tap into our brains’ desire for novelty?Dive into your analytics to understand the concepts that are already resonating with your target audience. What tangentially related or new ideas could you present?Conduct new research using CrowdFlower, SurveyMonkey, mTurk, or other online survey tools.Present your data using a medium that isn’t as common, such as motion graphics, parallax scrolling, or interactive experiences.3) Information Gap TheoryGeorge Loewenstein, professor at Carnegie Mellon University, explains the “information gap theory of curiosity” creates curiosity on demand. The theory is based on an innate human behavior that’s triggered when people feel there is a gap between what they currently know and what they want to know. When people feel this gap, they are compelled to fill it by taking action, such as clicking through to a story and engaging with the content.How can you generate curiosity on demand with your content marketing initiatives? Focus on creating curiosity-based headlines for your content. Test a variety of headline options internally to make sure you’ve chosen the one that will resonate best with your audience. Upworthy tests a total of 25 titles per piece before they choose the golden egg.When telling your story, strategically place knowledge gaps at each page-fold to ensure your audience continues reading through the entire piece. Why Emotions Should Be at the Forefront of Idea GenerationAfter understanding how neuroscience plays into what people decide to click, read, and share, we can further explore what exactly we can do to make content resonate as often as possible. There is one major aspect of ideation that fits in perfectly with every neurological process discussed above, and that’s the element of emotion.Here’s how and why emotions come into play when discussing virality and the human mind.The Most Viral EmotionsEveryone has been scrambling to figure out what makes content go viral, and it seems some companies are piecing the mystery together. More and more, companies are pointing to emotions as the leading factor behind viral content.To gain more in-depth insight, Fractl conducted an exclusive study on viral emotions, which revealed that certain emotions were more viral than others: 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: Originally published Jun 30, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 30 2017 Always consider this list when brainstorming ideas based on the neuroscience-related strategies named earlier. When you’re trying to think of a novel idea, you can take a subject people already share and talk about and explore new perspectives and angles that may reveal a new emotion related to the issue. An unexpected connection of emotions and ideas not only generates interest but also surprise, two of the top 10 viral emotions. Emotional Information GapsInformation Gap Theory is both an informative and actionable strategy, but it needs to be done correctly in order to see viral results. It’s not enough to get someone to want to know the answer to the headline — you have to structure everything around why they want to know the answer, too. This is where those top 10 viral emotions come in again. Not only will these emotions compel people to click on the link and read the story — they’ll also compel people to go the extra step to share the story. It’s why headlines like this from Upworthy are so successful:People who already know that puppy videos make them happy will be even more intrigued when this headline indicates that not only are puppy videos great to begin with, but this one in particular can actually benefit something. Someone clicking on this link can probably expect to feel happiness, pleasure, joy, etc., and that’s how you know this is a home-run setup. To create a similar effect, start with the headline and ask yourself, what emotion (not just information) would people expect to discover upon clicking through and reading this content? If your answer isn’t one of the 10 viral emotions, you might want to reconsider your approach.And hopefully you’ll see the results of the social smile concept, which says our own joy increases when we offer it to others because it forges a bond between us. If you’re creating content that incites positive emotions, the readers will want to share with their network to feel even better … and so on and so forth. Of course, there’s no secret, set formula — you’ll have to test out what works best for your audience. But if you use these theories to your advantage, you’ll be off to a great start.last_img read more

first_imgReady to use of these designs on your next project? Download our collection of more than 195 design templates for visual content creation below. Originally published Jul 16, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Design There’s a certain psychology to shapes.The square, for instance, evokes feelings of stability and formality — which makes sense, when we think about popular square-shaped items in our lives (houses, tables, computer screens). We often see this shape in logos when reliability is a critical component, like for Microsoft or American Express.The triangle, meanwhile, can suggest action (road signs, mountains), but might also appear balanced and solid (Egyptian pyramids). We see this shape in logos when mobility is a necessary factor, like for Delta or Adidas.A geometric pattern repeats or re-aligns shapes to create movement and freshness in a design. Knowing the importance of shapes to create meaning, it makes sense for businesses to consider using geometric patterns to inspire their audience.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. Here, we’ve compiled some of the sleekest and most innovative geometric patterns businesses are using today. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next redesign, look no further.1. Gallery and Co. Branding by Foreign Policy.2. Sorry Colour by Alex Lorenzo.3. NICFI by Tank Design, Daniel Brox Nordmo, and Ina Brantenberg.4. Arq by Stitch Design Co.5. BBC artwork by Liam Brazier.6. Flock Cafe by Kilo Studio.7. Ruiseñor by Yeye Design.8. CareerTrackers by Garbett.9. The Swap Show by Foreign Policy.10. Dance Ink by Pentagram.11. Gulf Air by Saffron Consultants.12. Business Cards by Lucie Mcilroy.13. Andrés Sandoval by A Practice for Everyday Life.14. Dan Pearson Studio by Spin.15. Beau Cacao by SocioDesign.16. Comedy Feast by Only.17. ICP by Aris Zenone.18. Utrecht by Total Identity Group.19. St. Erhard by Bedow.20. Les Vitrines by Des Signes.21. Moimio by Helen & Co.center_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

first_imgSample Marketing BudgetWith your chosen template downloaded, it’s time to consider which digital channels to allot a budget for. Hint: There’s no right answer — it’ll depend the market research you do to figure out where your specific audience spends most of its time. If you find your buyer prefers learning and consuming content in the form of video, for example, you might invest more of your money in YouTube advertising.Alright, enough explanation. Here’s a small, sample budget for a quarter’s worth of expenses by a hypothetical company that has decided to invest heavily in video marketing. This template was created using the Master Budget Template, the first template listed in the section above.Based on the figures above, video advertising’s total expenses for the quarter exceeded budget by $20, while full-time recruitment’s total expenses exceeded budget by $2,400. This means the company is trending over budget for the first three months of the year. Why might this happen? Perhaps a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign on YouTube received more clicks by viewers than expected, and a sharp video-savvy job candidate negotiated a higher salary.Based on the difference between this company’s planned spend and actual spend, their budget template produced the following graph:Go now, and plan wisely — your marketing staff is counting on you. Topics: Free Templates Marketing Strategy Marketing BudgetA marketing budget outlines all the money a business intends to spend on marketing-related projects over the quarter or year. Marketing budgets can include expenses such as paid advertising, sponsored web content, new marketing staff, a registered blog domain, and marketing automation software.Marketing budgets can be difficult to establish for both small and large businesses. If you’re a small business, you might wonder which marketing expenses you should start with. If you’re a large business, having multiple marketing teams or operations in play can make it harder to ensure everyone across the department gets what they need.So, what should you spend your marketing cash on? First, let’s identify a focal point: According to investment agency, Magna, money spent on digital media will increase by 11.8% in 2019, up from $106.6 million in the U.S. alone in 2018. This includes initiatives that cater to audiences on desktop computers, search engines, video streaming platforms, social media, and mobile devices.Digital media makes up more than half of the country’s total advertising spend. Given the success marketers have seen in it, you might consider spending at least half of your marketing budget on some of the digital channels mentioned above. Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Let’s say your company decided to invest in a website redesign so you can improve lead generation, and you’re responsible for managing the project. Naturally, one of the first questions you have is, “How much is this website redesign going to cost?”The answer, of course, is “it depends.” Are you simply switching to a new template and adding some new CTAs, or are you migrating your entire website to a new platform?If only there were a way to organize your answers to all of these questions — a place where you could enter in estimated costs for all of your line items, and then compare your projected marketing budget to what you actually end up spending.Click here to download 8 free marketing budget templates.Good news: Our free marketing budget templates have got you covered. Included in our eight budget templates bundle is a template to manage your website redesign … as well as templates for both Excel and Google Sheets to help you track your content budget, paid advertising budget, event budget, and more.In this blog post, you’ll find the following content (click a link below to jump to that section):How to Create a Marketing Budget8 Free Marketing Budget Templates You Need to Manage Your ExpensesSample Marketing Budgetcenter_img How to Create a Marketing BudgetSpreadsheet knowledge, alone, won’t help you understand how you’ll spend your marketing money this year. Creating a sound marketing budget starts with knowing what purpose this budget will serve and which marketing teams it will represent.1. Align your budget with your marketing goals.What you spend and where you spend it will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish. So, when starting to create your marketing budget, make sure you’re only spending money on the things required by your current marketing goals. This can include:Display ads to promote a new product you’re launching this year.Sponsored social media posts to generate followers of your new Facebook page.Paid search engine ads to drive traffic (and purchases) to a specific product page.Contract bloggers to get more organic search traffic to your company’s website.HubSpot’s former Demand Generation Marketer and Trello’s current Growth Marketing Lead, Jessica Webb, says this about how your costs can change when focusing on lead generation vs. lead conversion: “The majority of the money you spend on paid efforts is usually calculated based on volume of clicks or impressions. Because of this, you’ll often want to put more budget toward campaigns with higher-volume offers and audiences.””For example, a tweet or Facebook ad promoting a lead generation offer that leans more top of the funnel will likely receive more clicks than something that falls more toward the middle or bottom of the funnel,” she explains.Your paid advertising costs will also change depending on how wide of an audience you are attempting to reach. “You can look at Twitter advertising as an example,” Webb explains. “You have to option to target your campaigns based on users’ interests or keywords searched for. Interests are a much broader category, whereas smaller pockets of users are searching for any given keyword, therefore your interests-based audience is going to be much larger and require a larger budget.”To keep better track of your paid advertising efforts, download the Paid Advertising Budget Template (included in the8 Budget Templates to Manage Your Marketing Spend).2. Beware of hidden costs.One of the great advantages to having and maintaining a budget spreadsheet is that it helps you avoid those end-of-the-quarter or end-of-the-year freak outs when you realize, “Whoa … what did I spend all that money on?”In many cases, unanticipated costs can force marketers to fork over cash that they didn’t plan on spending. Product marketing offers a perfect example. According HubSpot’s VP of Marketing Meghan Keaney Anderson, it’s easy to forget that successfully marketing your products and services requires more than just promotion.”When people allocate budget for product marketing, they tend to think in terms of product launches and promotional activities,” Anderson explains. “That’s certainly an important part of it, but another area of focus to remember is setting aside resources to conduct research and message testing long before the product ever goes to market. Having conversations with customers about the pain points your product will ultimately address is critical to shaping the messaging and having a successful launch.”To better manage your product marketing efforts, download the Product Marketing Budget Template (included in the 8 Budget Templates to Manage Your Marketing Spend).3. Remember where your priorities lie.Marketing is overflowing with add-ons and extras, upsells, and “premium” versions. One of the best ways to assess what’s nice to have versus what’s absolutely necessary is to (you guessed it) organize all of your expenses. By keeping tabs on where your budget is being allocated, and cross-checking that spending with the results you’re getting, it will be much easier to figure out what should keep getting budget and what should get kicked to the curb. For example, let’s look to the world of public relations. In PR, there are countless tools to which you can allocate budget, which could leave you overspending where it doesn’t matter — and underspending where it does.”Tools abound to help PR practitioners not only create and distribute great content and find and target key stakeholders, but to ultimately measure reach and effectiveness,” says Nathaniel Eberle, HubSpot’s former Director of PR & Brand and LogMeIn’s current Director of Global Brand Management. “The key is making sure you’re laser-focused on who you’re setting out to reach and influence, then ensuring that your budget supports how they’ll most likely want to receive (and share) your key messages.”As the media and digital landscape evolves at breakneck speed, continually reassessing the tools, services, and programs you’re employing is a great way to determine real-time ROI of your overall spend. Today’s measurement tool may be worthless to you tomorrow.” To get better at prioritizing your PR line items, download the PR Budget Template (included in the 8 Budget Templates to Manage Your Marketing Spend).4. It’s not all about the Benjamins.When you open up these budget templates and check out all the various expenses detailed in them, don’t fret if you can’t tick every box. I’m not advocating for an “always spend more” approach to marketing. I’m advocating for an “always spend smart” approach. The expenses listed out aren’t mandatory — they’re just meant to guide your thinking and to help ensure that you haven’t overlooked any hidden costs. With that in mind, here’s the full list of budget templates included in the bundle.8 Marketing Budget Templates You Need to Manage Your Marketing SpendWith the 8 Free Budget Planner Templates to Manage Your Marketing Spend, you’ll be able to manage all of the moving pieces of your budget at a monthly and quarterly level. Use the Excel version of the templates to keep all of your budgets in one place. When you download the zip file, you’ll find a separate file for each marketing team, as well as a Master Budget Template to maintain a high-level view of your overall expenses.Interested in sharing your marketing budget across a larger team? Try the Google Sheets version of the same eight templates to share access with other Gmail users. For the Google Sheets templates, each team budget is found in a separate tab of the same Google Sheet. No matter which version you choose, each budget is optimized with the same line items, tips, and graphs. Read on to learn how to use each budget template.1. Master Marketing Budget TemplateDownload the Master Marketing Budget Template here.While it’s helpful to have individual budget templates for specific marketing departments and activities, it’s also nice to be able to take a step back and see the bigger picture. The Master Marketing Budget Template lets you do just that: It’s the place where you can collect the totals from the other seven templates in the bundle and see all of your expenses in one place.2. Product Marketing Budget TemplateDownload the Product Marketing Budget Template here.This template will guide you step-by-step through the process of budgeting for a product launch. From determining product/market fit, to running user testing sessions, to promoting your finished product, our Product Marketing Budget Template will help ensure you don’t overlook any important expenses.3. Content Budget TemplateDownload the Content Budget Template here.The budget required for creating and promoting content can vary greatly from organization to organization. For example, while some organizations keep most of their content operations in-house, others rely more heavily on freelancers and contractors. And while some use many different software products, publishing tools, and services, others take a much simpler approach.Our Content Budget Template is designed to cover as many content-related bases as possible. So, if you see any expenses listed that don’t apply to your organization, go ahead and delete them. (That’s the beauty of Excel spreadsheets: You can customize them to your specific needs.)4. Paid Advertising Budget TemplateDownload the Paid Advertising Budget Template here.Paid advertising: Does it really qualify as an inbound marketing tactic/channel? That is a loaded question, my friends, and one that I don’t have room to answer in-depth in this post. What I can tell you for sure is that you can do paid advertising in an “inboundy” way — i.e. by targeting specific buyer personas and using paid advertising as a supplement to your organic efforts to help drive awareness and conversion opportunities.Measuring the effectiveness of your paid advertising campaigns is also paramount to doing things the inbound way. Using our Paid Advertising Budget Template, you can keep tabs on your monthly (and quarterly) ad spending, and then cross-reference the amounts with your lead-generation metrics to determine your cost-per-lead.5. Public Relations Budget TemplateDownload the Public Relations Budget Template here.Public relations expenses amount to more than just paying for press releases. From reputation monitoring software, to traveling (e.g., to events and tradeshows), to applying for awards, there are many PR costs that can be all too easy to overlook.To ensure you’re accounting for all of your organization’s PR-related expenses, check out our Public Relations Budget Template.6. Branding & Creative Budget TemplateDownload the Creative Budget Template here.In order to produce high-quality, innovative graphics, videos, and other content, the branding and creative teams of today need more than just Photoshop … a lot more. One of the largest — and often most overlooked — expenses is storage.If your organization is producing a lot of video, storage is especially important. Because as it turns out, when budgeting for video storage, you shouldn’t be thinking on a megabyte (MB) or even a gigabyte (GB) scale, but on a terabyte (TB) scale. FYI: 1 terabyte = 1 trillion bytes. You can keep track of all your storage costs (and other branding and creative costs) using our free template.7. Website Redesign Budget TemplateDownload the Website Redesign Budget Template here.Budgeting for a website redesign can be seriously tricky. With so many moving pieces to consider, there is a lot of room for underestimating or miscalculating costs. We created our Website Redesign Budget Template so you can keep all of your redesign-related expenses in one convenient location.Unsure if your current website is right for a redesign? Check out this HubSpot research report: Does Your Website Make the Grade? Chances Are, It’s Barely Passing.8. Event Budget TemplateDownload the Event Budget Template here.When planning an event, the associated costs can seem obvious at first. There’s the venue to consider, of course. And the P.A. system and microphones. And then the costs associated with booking and bringing in presenters/performers. That’s pretty much it, right?Wrong.For example, does the venue come with tables/chairs, or will you have to rent those separately? Do you want your attendees to wear name tags, and if so, will you be printing out the name tags ahead of time or will attendees be writing their own names on blank tags? If the latter, have you factored in the pens or markers you’ll need to accommodate that? As you can see, planning for an event can lead you down many rabbit holes.Use our Event Budget Template to stay organized. Originally published Jan 13, 2019 10:14:00 PM, updated January 30 2019 8 Budget Templates To Manage Your 2019 Spend Don’t forget to share this post! Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today:last_img read more

first_imgAfghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi will bring curtains down to his Test career after the ongoing one-off match against Bangladesh being played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.”Yes, he (Nabi) will retire after the ongoing Test match,” Afghanistan team manager Nazim Jar Abdurrahimzai confirmed to Cricbuzz.It is understood that Nabi has taken this decision in a bid to prolong his white-ball career.Including the ongoing Test, the 34-year-old has featured in only three red-ball matches.Afghanistan are not a part of the ICC World Test Championship as only the top nine full member nations are competing in a total of 71 Tests across 27 bilateral series over two years. They will next face West Indies in the one-off Test scheduled to begin from November 27 in Dehradun.A right-handed batsman and a handy off-spinner, Nabi’s game in white-ball cricket, especially in T20s, remains in good stead and he will be a key component of the Afghanistan team in next year’s T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia.Also Read | Rahmat Shah becomes 1st Afghanistan cricketer to hit Test hundredAlso Read | Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan beats Tatenda Taibu to become youngest ever Test captainAlso Seelast_img read more

first_imgIndia captain Virat Kohli has said the team is in no hurry with Rohit Sharma and that the limited-overs specialist will be given enough space and time to settle in a as Test opener.Following the failures of KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan in the past, India have decided to try Rohit Sharma at the top in Tests. Chief selector MSK Prasad had made it clear while announcing the squads for the South Africa Tests. In fact, KL Rahul was dropped and Mayank Agarwal and Rohit were the only openers in the side along with young Shubman Gill who was handed his maiden call-up.Rohit Sharma is all set to open for India in Tests for the first time. Having had very little red-ball practice in the lead up to the 3-Test series, Rohit played for India Board President’s XI against South Africa in a 3-day warm-up in Vizianagaram last month.Rohit though failed to trouble the scorers as he got out for duck in Vernon Philander’s over on Day 2 of the practice.Even as Rohit Sharma is under considerable pressure to save his Test career, captain Virat Kohli has backed his limited-overs vice-captain.”We are in no hurry with Rohit Sharma as opener. He will be given time and space to find his rhythm and the way he wants to play at the top,” Virat Kohli said on the eve of the 1st Test in Visakhapatnam.Rohit Sharma will partner Mayank Agarwal in the firs Test, starting October 2. The India opener has played in the middle order in the past but Hanuma Vihari’s rise has put him out of the equation for a middle-order role.advertisementIndia playing XI for 1st Test: Virat Kohli (Capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Md ShamiMeanwhile, former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh had told AajTak that Rohit Sharma needs to be given a long rope at the opener’s slot. Yuvraj said Rohit at least needs 6 Tests and the backing of the team management to go out and express his game.”If you ask me, Rohit Sharma should have opened in Tests from the beginning of his career. You play him one match and then drop him and say Rohit Sharma is not scoring runs in Test cricket. How can you expect someone to perform without giving him 10 Tests?” Yuvraj had said.”Now if you are making Rohit Sharma open in Tests, you should give him 6 Tests and tell him Rohit, you have got 10-12 innings, go and play your game, nobody will say anything. You gave so many chances to KL Rahul, so whoever is your opener, give him those 6 Test matches so that he can go and express his game.”Also Read | Based on Virat Kohli’s workload, India can try a different captain for shorter formats: Yuvraj SinghAlso Read | South Africa have the depth to manage Steyn, Amla absence vs India: MaharajAlso See:last_img read more

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State came back from a seveteen point road deficit on Saturday night in Ames, and closed the game in true Cardiac Cowboy fashion.After trailing the entire game, Mason Rudolph pioneered a beautiful drive down the field, capped by a J.W. swing pass to Jeff Carr to take the lead.What a drive. #okstate has the lead in Ames. Just win, baby.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 14, 2015After the Cowboys took the lead, the defense stepped up big, including a big fourth down stop and what turned out to be a game-clinching INT by safety Jordan Sterns.AdChoices广告You can keep 2011. You don’t get 2015 too.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 14, 2015What a ball game!last_img read more

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Here at Pistols Firing, we use Slack to communicate back and forth. Sometimes this is constructive. Other times we riff for 20 minutes on Mike Gundy’s golf game. We’re going to try and do an informal roundtable every Wednesday about whatever is going on this week and post it here.It’s going to be pretty slangy and GIF-y and not meant to be anything serious. We’re just here to talk about OSU the way we all do in real life. If you need to brush up on any of the contributors, you can do so here.Porter (publisher): Where does OSU’s season go from here?Caleb (intern): This.Just kidding. I think it solidifies the team and *hopefully* causes them to realize how tough his season will be. I see them bouncing back well against Pitt and things settling down before Big 12 play starts.Sam (head of hoops): Depends on how involved Robert Allen gets.Max (baseball): I don’t anticipate Mason having two bad games in a row. Hopefully we’ll rebound this week, but I don’t see us taking down Baylor on the road at this point.Caleb: Is there a way we could get another round of OKC Dave’s survey about our chances to win each game? Or a Twitter poll for 7, 8, 9, or 10 wins? I think the fanbase is having a bigger reaction than the team itself.Carson (podcasts): It’s easy to forget amid the chaos that was Hail Chippy OSU led the game 14-0. The defense was solid except on third downs. Offense ran the ball well when they tried. Mason had a howler. All of which seems correctable vs. Pitt. #FreeJusticePorter: I agree. I still think we are going 9-3. I realize that sounds completely insane, but CMU might be good. This weekend is really big. For this season and the program as a whole. We are overvaluing last week’s outcome and undervaluing this week’s. #freejustice is awesome by the way.Boone (head of recruiting): If OSU had won on Saturday, it would have been all about the “cardiac cowboys” surviving a threat against a veteran MAC team. It doesn’t change expectations for me. I think the team responds by coming out with more purpose and intensity this week and will help build momentum and confidence as they prepare for conference play.Porter: Let’s say it goes poorly. Yurcich or Spencer more on the hot seat?Thomas (Xs and Os): Ideally YurcichCarson: How warm does the equipment trunk get with a Mulleted man sitting atop it with a clipboard?Boone: Because it’s OSU and they have unrealistic expectations on offense: Yurcich. But the guy who plays it ultra-conservative and makes the final call on the game plan on both sides of the ball is the one who should…Caleb: I think public opinion would say Yurcich. Gundy and Spencer are both so loved by the people it would take a lot for them to feel the heat. Yurcich never quite locked in like the others and seems to have had trouble winning over fans (See: Ford, Travis)Sam: Definitely Yurcich, it was egregious how quickly he abandoned the run last week. Also #FreeJusticeThomas: I feel that Gundy does have a hold on the offense but if he were to hire a true spread OC the offense would still improve play-calling wise.Caleb: All i can think of with that #FreeJustice hashtag is Arrested Development.blind_justicePorter: Haha, that’s awesome. I just can’t bring myself to believe that either coach is truly going to be on the hot seat this year barring OSU going like 2-10 (which isn’t happening). The silver lining in all of this is that if it does go south, it will go south because Rudolph plays more games like he did on Saturday which means at least we get another year of him.Sam: Yeah what was up with all the overthrows?Porter: I was more concerned with the deep underthrows. He looked, ahem, Walsh-y on some of those deep sideline balls.Sam: More ammo for Todd McShayBoone: At least he got his Texas game out of the way early this year.Carson: “One does not simply make sideline throws…”Porter: Last question: Would you rather have Walsh back on the team the rest of the year or Ateman back?Boone: This.Carson: Considering how bad third down & red zone offense looked? Give me the Brigadier General.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-3-33-22-pmSam: General Walsh please.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-3-33-30-pmlast_img read more

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Going into the Kansas State game on Saturday in Manhattan, two things had to happen for Oklahoma State to regain the passenger’s seat in the Big 12 title race.OSU had to win.Baylor had to lose.Check, check and now Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are on a crash course for a de facto Big 12 championship in Norman on December 3. At 6-0, OU’s destiny is obvious — win out and they win the Big 12. They play Baylor at home, at WVU and finish with the Cowboys in Norman.“Our first goal was to win a national championship, but we kind of fell short of that on the front end,” receiver Dede Westbrook told ESPN last week. “So, our next goal was to win a Big 12 championship. We’re pretty much on the right pace to achieve that.” It would be the Sooners’ 10th Big 12 title overall and ninth outright.But now with West Virginia as the only other one-loss team besides OSU, the Cowboys can do the same.Even if West Virginia beats OU and finishes 8-1, Oklahoma State can still topple theMountaineers by also beating OU and also finishing 8-1. In that scenario OSU and WVU would both have one loss and OSU would have beaten WVU. Big 12 champs. If OSU wins out it would have the head-to-head advantage over OU as well no matter what else OU does.Only two teams control their own destiny for the Big 12 title. Both reside in Oklahoma.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 6, 2016There is actually also a scenario in which WVU could still win the conference. Let’s say the Fightin’ Holgys win out and finish 8-1 (they play at UT and ISU and home for Baylor and OU). They would have beaten OU.Then let’s say OU beats Baylor and OSU, WVU would be the champs at 8-1 even with OU also at 8-1 because of their head-to-head matchup. But WVU can’t control what OSU does because it already lost in Stillwater. OSU has the head-to-head advantage there.OU can afford a loss and still win the conference as long as that loss is to the right team (Baylor or whichever team loses another game between OSU and WVU). The margins are getting thin though.It’s almost impossible for OSU or WVU to lose again and still be the champs.But we’re getting wayyyyyyy ahead of ourselves here. First, Oklahoma State has to take care of one of the best offenses in the nation at home on Saturday as a 12-point favorite. Then it has to go to TCU in a game in which I would be surprised if it was more than a three-point favorite (if a favorite at all).“The rest of the way these games are going to be this way because everybody in this league is so even,” Gundy told Go Pokes after barely sneaking by KSU on Saturday. “I do love watching these guys play. They never get down and never show defeat, they just keep playing. It is nerve wracking and can drive you crazy, but it is fun to watch these guys every Saturday.”It sure is. And now the Big 12 race is back in the hands of Mike Gundy and Co. They control it. They can shape it. They can bend it towards themselves and salvage (more than salvage) what felt like a lost year after the Baylor game at the end of September.Also something to keep in mind: Every Big 12 champ since the league went to 10 teams has finished 8-1. That is the goal. That will win it again this year.screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-9-05-55-amThere is much work to be done, but once again just 120 minutes stand between Oklahoma State playing Oklahoma for the Big 12 title in the final game of the season for the fourth (!) time in six years.Not bad for a head coach with a mullet and two coordinators who should be fired every weekend.last_img read more

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 7. Texas Tech (4-7, 2-6) Trend: DownMissing out on a bowl game will certainly stir up some chatter on Kliff Kingsbury’s job status. The only problem? Texas Tech still owes him $9 million until his contract expires in 2020. Last week’s no show effort (a 66-10 loss to Iowa State) will have many wondering if Kliff is the right man for the job. (Next up: vs. BAY)6. Iowa State (3-8, 2-6) Trend: UpThis is a football team that has been getting better almost each and every week. They will face another big test at home when the Mountaineers roll into Ames.  (Next up: vs. WVU)5. TCU (5-5, 3-4) Trend: Down If Head Coach Gary Patterson has a voice left, he might want to save all of it that he can for a chance to become bowl eligible this week. TCU has owned Texas since joining the Big 12 and will look to continue that trend on Friday. (Next up: @ TEX)4. Kansas State (6-4, 4-3) Trend: UpBill Snyder casted a spell down in Waco and came away victorious. After a huge win by their rivals, the Sunflower State matchup suddenly becomes a little more interesting. (Next up: vs. KU)3. West Virginia (8-2, 5-2) Trend: NeutralAfter a disappointing performance on national television, this team needs a bounce-back win. Dana Holgorsen will need to bring a little bit of crazy this weekend when his team travels to Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday. (Next up: @ ISU)Here’s the @ScoopHD ‘uncut’ video from midfield prior to Saturday nights OU/WVU game. Had my head on a swivel.— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) November 20, 20162. Oklahoma State (10-1 I mean 9-2, 7-1) Trend: UpMullet? Check. Beat TCU? Check. Mike Gundy’s mullet won’t lose any hair this week as the Cowboys have the week off to prepare for a huge showdown for Bedlam. (Next up: BYE)1. Oklahoma (9-2, 8-0) Trend: UpThere is no hotter team in the Big 12 than the Sooners right now. Oklahoma has won 15 straight conference games dating back to last season, which is the longest streak in a decade. (Next up: BYE) Another guest post from our friend Derek Duke of Heartland College Sports. Here are his Big 12 power rankings with two weeks left in the season.10. Baylor (6-4, 3-4) Trend: Down (In Flames)This team has lost 4 straight games, which is the longest losing streak in the Big 12 currently. It is time to starting looking for a new coaching staff because this season is over. (Next up: @ TTU)9. Texas (5-6, 3-5) Trend: Down (Finished)Charlie Strong lost again this week, so that means he is fired right? Yes, it actually does mean he is fired this time. Losing to a horrific Kansas team that hasn’t beaten your program since 1938 will cause people to pack your bags for you when you get home. (Next up: vs. TCU)8. Kansas (2-9, 1-7) Trend: UpCongrats to Head Coach David Beaty on his first Big 12 win. Kansas beat Texas, no not in basketball but football! I wonder where the Kansas fans actually took those goalposts to?  (Next up: @ KSU)Perry Ellis’ freshman year!— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 20, 2016last_img read more

first_imgCB2AJ GreenSophomore CB1Darius CurryRS Senior Depth ChartPlayerClass  —Malik KearseSenior Harper was an early enrollee in 2016 so he’s been in the program for a full year. Hopefully that will bode well for he and the Cowboys’ defense.Bryce BalousBalous will be a redshirt sophomore in 2017 and will have as good a chance as any of to compete for meaningful reps. He is apparently one of the fastest players on the roster, having recorded a sub-4.40 40-yard time but he only saw the field in two games last season. If Balous can realize his potential it would be a huge win for OSU.Darius CurryOne of only three upperclassman currently slated to play at corner in 2016. Curry has seen most of his reps on special teams but the lack of experience at corner should give him a chance for meaningful snaps on defense.Rodarius WilliamsAfter redshirting in 2016, Williams should get a chance to compete for reps in a cornerback group short experience.A.J. GreenAs a true freshman, Green saw time on special teams. He will be in the thick the of it, competing for reps.Malik KearseA 2016 JUCO-transfer who saw action in only one game. He will be a senior in 2017. Can he prove his worth to the catching staff this spring?Incoming FreshmenKris McCune — An under-the-radar DB from Dallas Christian in Mesquite, Texas. Will have to impress early to see playing time as a true freshman.LaMarcus Morton — I included Morton for the sake of being thorough since cornerback was his position in high school but if you check out our safety position preview, you’ll see that’s where we are projecting him contributing.2017 Projection CB1Ramon RichardsSenior Previous position previews: RB | CW | WR | OL | SFor the second-straight season the Cowboys will lose two key contributors at cornerback — Ashton Lampkin who seems like he’s been a starter for five years and transfer Lenzy Pipkins.There is some veteran leadership returning but the majority of Oklahoma State’s options at corner are untested. Let’s take a look.Ramon RichardsRichards saw serious time early, starting in place of an injured Ashton Lampkin as a true freshman. Now as a senior in 2017, he will not doubt be the leader of the group and one of the leaders oj the Cowboys’ defense.Ramon can be aggressive and sometimes Ramon can get beat, but he always seems to be in the right place at the right time when the Cowboys need a big play or a game-sealing interception. The coaching staff will be asking a lot of Richards because after him it gets pretty thin in the experience department.Madre HarperIn 2016, Harper started off his true freshman season with a bang. On the first play of his college career, Harper turned a whiffed punt by SE Louisiana into a scoop and score. That was the highlight of Harper’s year but he saw action in twelve games his first season and will look to build on that experience.center_img  —Bryce BalousRS Sophomore CB2Madre HarperSophomore  —Rodarius WilliamsRS Freshman There are definitely questions to be answered at the cornerback position, and really anybody could emerge opposite Richards as the starter. Behind Richards, there are exactly zero career starts and not much meaningful playing time. What happens this spring will go a long way in clearing some of these questions up.Don’t be surprised if the Cowboys try to bring in another grad-transfer with experience like they did with Pipkins and Michael Hunter before him. The prospect of going into Big 12 play with this little experience at corner has to be keeping Glenn Spencer up at night. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

first_imgFS1 Announcer: “Mason Rudolph can’t make that throw, another QB in Oklahoma can though”Me:— Quaker 2.0 (@Q_Mayfield) September 1, 2017 KEV NOOOOO ???— Chad Whitener (@MountChad) September 1, 2017 With all the WRs, you forget how good Justice Hill is.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 31, 2017This is ackrut.Totally irrelevant but still fun to say. Oklahoma St has the #1 rushing offense in the country.— Adam Lunt (@AdamLunt817) September 1, 2017Just a little ribbing between current (and former) teammates.Understated takeaway from last night.Oklahoma State:Defense:Need a pass rushGet Stops on 3rd down Tackle Better Offense:Umm… Never Kick Field Goals#GoPokes— Boone Pickens State (@BP_State) September 1, 2017 Oklahoma State already showing why they have the best WR unit in the country— CFB Talk ? (@FansOfCFB) August 31, 2017 There’s the Tyron Beckham-Rice-Johnson we’ve heard about all summer. Good luck covering that receiving corps. My goodness.— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) August 31, 2017 Johnson: *does anything* Me:— Cade Webb (@CWebb_CRFF) September 1, 2017But do’t forget about the Prez.*looks at last night’s stats*”James Washington – 6 rec, 145 yards, 2 touchdowns.”Yep. That’s a Washington statline if I’ve ever seen it.— Rudolph2Washington (@Rudy2Washington) September 1, 2017 James Washington is on my college football fantasy team. #OKstate— Andrew Carter (@Andrew__Carter) September 1, 2017FOX showing the value of having all that extra room for a multimedia budget.Mason Rudolph out here droppin dimes— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 1, 2017 For any #PittFB fans paying attention Mason Rudolph and James Washington of #okstate picked up right where they left off…— Q (@qH2P9) September 1, 2017 Lmaoo I’m a complete scrub for this????— ⚜ (@kevinhenryy_) September 1, 2017 This offense ?— Southwell (@JustinSouthwell) August 31, 2017AdChoices广告Give me all the Tyron love.One reason I have Oklahoma St the #1 receiving corps in the country was addition of Tyron Johnson (PS#4, LSU transfer) and TD on 1st series— Phil Steele (@philsteele042) August 31, 2017 The Oklahoma State Cowboys claimed their season opener on a national stage. The value of playing that Thursday night game on opening week? Everyone’s watching. And OSU capitalized.Here are some of the highlights:The Oklahoma State Offense and Indiana’s Simmie Cobbs have me like— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) September 1, 2017 LD Brown becomes the third #OKState RB with more than 90 rushing yards tonight — and gets his first career TD. #OKState 59, Tulsa 17.— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) September 1, 2017I have a feeling this one is going to come up in this week’s film session.This Oklahoma State player was so surprised he wasn’t blocked he forgot to block the punt.— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) August 31, 2017 Have an opener, Mason Rudolph.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 1, 2017This is great. it is, UT-Lite. By the way, you misspelled “lahoma”.Yeah okie states offense is actually terrifying— Jay Arnold (@JArnoldTAMU85) August 31, 2017 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

first_imgNEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s estranged former lawyer is acknowledging that he paid a technology company to rig Trump’s standing in two online polls.Michael Cohen tweeted Thursday that “what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Trump.Technology company owner John Gauger told The Wall Street Journal that Cohen promised him $50,000 for work including using computers to enter fake votes for Trump in a 2014 CNBC poll asking people to identify top business leaders and a 2015 poll of potential presidential candidates. Gauger says Cohen paid him about a quarter of the money in cash, then stiffed him on the rest.The Trump Organization later paid a $50,000 reimbursement to Cohen. It didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The Associated Presslast_img read more

More than nine kilograms of suspected cocaine has been seized from an airplane washroom at Toronto Pearson International Airport.Members of the Canada Border Service Agency searched a flight arriving from the Dominican Republic on Dec. 20.Officers found eight brick-shaped objects in the airplane lavatory. The objects tested positive for cocaine.The drugs were turned over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Police did not specify if anyone has been charged in connection with the incident.In 2017, CBSA officers in the Greater Toronto Area made 131 seizures of suspected cocaine weighing in at nearly 900 kilograms. read more