Tag: Marketing

Did Samsung Just One-Up Apple on Its Cool Factor?

Let’s cut right to the chase: At this week’s Samsung Developer Conference, the event’s namesake announced a bunch of really cool new stuff.

And we’ll get to it — I promise.

But before we do, I want to point out what really resonated with me — perhaps even more than all of the neat new products and features: the emerging topics and trends.

These are things that many of we marketers, in our day-to-day work and responsibilities, don’t give much thought to. Things like, say, a virtual-assistant-equipped refrigerator, or the latest and greatest software development kits (SDK). 

But it’s time that we do. Think about some of the pieces of technology or up-and-coming topics that, maybe five years ago, we thought had nothing to do with us. Those of us who ignored them quickly fell behind the curve. And so, over the next few weeks, I’ll be dissecting the following topics and breaking down why they’re important for marketers to keep an eye on.”

So let’s stay ahead of it. In addition to the below summary of everything that was announced at the Samsung Developer Conference, over the next few weeks, I’ll be dissecting the related topics — breaking down why they’re important for marketers to keep an eye on.

Here Are the Samsung Announcements You Missed

1) Bixby

To put Bixby in context, some describe it as Samsung’s version of Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. It is, in fewer words, Samsung’s own virtual assistant, and it’s becoming increasingly built into a range of the brand’s products to create what it calls an “intelligent ecosystem.”

Bixby isn’t exactly new — but Bixby 2.0, which took center stage at the opening keynote and subsequent breakout sessions, is. One of the biggest differentiators for 2.0, said Vice President and Service Intelligence Team Leader Brad Park, is that it’s open, which essentially means that its code is available to developers to use, modify, and redistribute by way of something original that they use it to build. That availability will begin with a private beta program and become available to the general public in 2018.

The process, he said, was to “make everything voice-first … and then, see what the user wants.” That’s important — remember, this event is first and foremost designed for developers. Within the context of that remark from Park, that’s why w the open source nature of the Bixby SDK is so important. By making it open, developers will be able to personalize the technology in a way that helps determine how users actually want to, well, use it.

And as marketers, that’s where we potentially play a vital role. It’s our job, in large part, to understand and reach the end user — and now, we have a greater opportunity than ever to partner with developers to reach these users in an innovative way.

The other main emphasis, however, was on Bixby’s availability across a number of devices — like Samsung Smart TVs and the Family Hub refrigerator — which is where the ecosystem comes into play. That’s where another key differentiator of Bixby 2.0 — the aforementioned “voice search” approach, which gives it better natural language capabilities that can help it distinguish between users.

That was one of the biggest early issues that users took with Alexa, for example, illustrating the growing influence of a demand for personalization. But it goes beyond voice recognition — Bixby uses machine learning, too, to anticipate what individual end users will ask it to do. 

2) The Internet of Things

First, a brief vocabulary lesson. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the technology that uses internet connectivity to allow in-home devices and appliances — like your lights, security system, or refrigerator — to be controlled remotely by devices like our phones. In other words, it’s the thing that allows you to turn your lights on or off from your phone when you’re out of town.

Okay, back to that “intelligent ecosystem” and where Bixby plays a role within it. Previously, Samsung had a handful of fragmented IoT platforms: SmartThings (a suite of products that would help “smartify” the otherwise disconnected or “dumb” things in your home), Samsung Connect (the automation system that allowed users to actually execute the smart technology), and ARTIK (the platform that connects and adds security to all of the pieces of a user’s IoT experience). 

But during the opening keynote, Samsung announced the cohesive SmartThings Cloud, which brings all of the above under a single hub that allows all of these previously fragmented IoT pieces under one, central “touchpoint.” 

Here, again, is where the ability for Bixby to be broadly applied and personalized becomes crucial. Within the announcements pertaining to these new IoT initiatives came the unveiling of Project Ambience: a noticeably small dongle that can be plugged into home objects and devices — like an everyday speaker, for example — and turn them into “smart,” connected devices that are equipped with the Bixby experience.

So, why does that matter to you? Think about it: as the technology to turn anything into our homes into something that’s “smart” and connected, not only will it become increasingly easier for users to request and receive information, but the demand for quick solutions will also continue to grow. We’ll get into the specifics of how marketers can leverage these developments in future posts, but for now, it’s certainly an area to watch.

3) An AR Partnership With Google

If you read the previous section and thought, “Sounds like Samsung might be trying to play on Google’s playing field,” you’re not alone. I had the same thought — and then came the announcement of a partnership.

Surprisingly, there weren’t any explicit product announcements about virtual reality, which came as a personal surprise given the heavy presence of the Samsung Gear at last week’s Oculus Connect event. But to continue its progress within VR, Samsung implied, it has to also focus on building an augmented reality (AR) presence.

And that makes sense. Throughout last week’s Oculus Connect keynote, for example, numerous speakers spoke to the importance of making VR accessible, but failed to identify the tangible and incremental steps they would take to make it so. AR, which will be available on a significant number of recent phone models from a variety of manufacturers, is something of a gateway to VR, particularly when it comes to an untethered (not requiring connection to a larger piece of hardware) experience.

Now, Samsung has partnered with Google for yet another open source initiative. Developers will have access to Google’s ARCore SDK to create AR experiences that will be available on such Samsung devices as the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note8.

Pardon the pun, but this move seems, well, smart. It could be interpreted as a response to Apple’s ARKIT, which provides developers with open source code to create AR experiences for Apple devices — namely, the iPhone and iPad.

Here’s another opportunity for marketers to leverage this information availability to create immersive experiences for their audiences. Not ready to build a full-blown VR experience? Start with AR. It will likely be available to a larger pool of users (after all, they can access it right from their mobile devices), and allows them to integrate your product or service into their respective environments, just by downloading an app.

I mean … I’m excited. As both a marketer and a journalist, these developments are huge. And if you take advantage of them now, I might even consider you a trailblazer — and your peers likely will, too.

But there’s still about half a day left of the Samsung Developer Conference, so feel free to follow along with all of the cool stuff I’m learning about here on Twitter, or let me know if you have a question about it.

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/samsung-developer-conference


How to Understand Facebook Insights for Social Video

Hi. I’m Nick, and I’m new to the HubSpot Marketing Blog. But I’m not new to HubSpot.

I’ve been working at HubSpot for over a year now, and in that time, I’ve created more than 50 videos for HubSpot’s Facebook page.

And over the last year, we’ve grown our organic Facebook video views by nearly 250%. We used a lot of different content creation strategies to change our approach to Facebook videos, and knowing specifically what to track — and why — was a critical part of measuring our success and growth.

Enter Facebook Videos Insights: Facebook’s metrics panel that tells you anything and everything you’d want to know about how your videos are performing on the platform. In this post, I’ll take you through why you should be creating videos for Facebook (if you aren’t already), what the different metrics mean in Facebook Insights, and which five metrics are the most important to measure.

Why Use Facebook to Create Videos?

1) Bigger Audience

At more than two billion users, Facebook is used by almost one-third of the world’s population. That kind of audience isn’t anything to sneeze at, and you should take advantage by publishing video content on the platform.

What’s more, Facebook users spend more than 100 million hours per day watching videos on the platform — almost as much as Netflix. Facebook has a huge audience that’s engaged in video content consumption — so why wouldn’t you post videos on the platform?

2) The News Feed Algorithm

The algorithm that dictates what content is served up in users’ News Feed heavily favors video content — especially if it’s produced live, or if a lot of users are engaging with it (more on that later). Videos on Facebook are more likely to get surfaced to users unfamiliar with your content — thereby growing your audience and leading to more video views.

3) It’s Easy … ish

It’s easier than ever to create and publish video content on Facebook. You can start broadcasting using Facebook Live with the press of a button, and you can even record high-quality videos with a smartphone. With numerous free editing software options and a video camera in your pocket, there’s no reason to wait to start filming for Facebook.

11 Key Facebook Video Metrics to Understand

To access these metrics, navigate to the “Insights” tab on the Facebook Page you manage.


From this tab, scroll down to the “Videos” section on the left-hand side, and click on the video post you want to analyze.


1) Video Views

“Video views” represents the number of users who watched your video for three seconds (or more).


2) 10-Second Views

This metric is the number of users who watched your video for 10 seconds (or more). This number is typically smaller than the number of three-second video views, but ideally, the number is close — indicating that users started watching your video and stayed for at least seven more seconds to keep watching.


3) Minutes Viewed

“Minutes viewed” is the total amount of time users have spent watching your video (in aggregate).

minutes viewed.png

4) Video Average Watch Time

This metric is the average amount of time each user spent watching your video. It’s calculated by dividing the total minutes viewed of your video by the number of video views.

video avg watch time.png

5) Average Percent Watched

“Average percent watched” represents what percentage of your video the average user watched.

average precent watched.png

6) Audience Retention

“Audience retention” represents how well you’re able to maintain your video’s audience by visualizing where during your video viewers dropped off.

audience retention facebook.png

7) Reach

“Reach” represents how many users saw your video somewhere on Facebook — in other words, how many users your video reached.

facebook video reach.png

8) View Rate

Your video’s view rate isn’t a metric provided by Facebook, but it’s a good number to calculate on your own. Divide the number of video views your video earned by the total reach. That will indicate how many users actually decided to watch your video, out of the number of users who saw it.

9) Volume On

This metric indicates how many users viewed your video with the volume turned on or muted. This number is particularly valuable because, as recently as last year, 85% of Facebook users watched videos without sound.

sound on facebook.png

Last month, Facebook began auto-playing News Feed videos with sound, so we’ll be interested to see how this percentage evolves. Here at HubSpot, we’ve started creating videos that are volume-agnostic, or indicating with captions and graphics that the user should turn on the volume to get the full effect of the content.

10) Reactions, Comments & Shares

This engagement metric includes likes, reactions (like anger, sadness, and laughter), comments, and shares of your video. These are indicators that your video is resonating with — or at least provoking — your audience, and this engagement helps your video rank higher in the Facebook News Feed algorithm.

reactions facebook video.png

11) Clicks

clicks facebook video-1.png

Clicks to Play

The “clicks to play” metric indicates the number of users who clicked on your video to watch it.

Link Clicks

The “link clicks” metric indicates the number of users who clicked on the link in your Facebook video post.

The Best Facebook Insights to Measure

1) Reach

It doesn’t matter how many followers you have if they aren’t seeing your posts. And since Facebook switched to an algorithm-based News Feed, reach has become more important than ever.

Since Facebook started down-rating posts from brands and publishers in the News Feed, make sure you’re optimizing your organic reach by posting on Facebook no more than three times per day.

2) 10-Second Views

This metric is more meaningful than three-second views because a user could be scrolling, and not even really be watching. In fact, Facebook had a controversy with that earlier this year, when they were found to be inflating video view numbers using this metric.

3) View Rate

This metric represents how many people are watching your video relative to your total reach, and it tells you how relevant or catchy your topic is — or if it’s not resonating with your audience.

4) Shares

This is the ultimate engagement metric, and it’s another measure of relevancy. As a bonus, shares earn you more organic reach when you get free exposure to users’ friend circles.

5) Average Watch Time

This metric tells you how engaging your video is. What’s more, Facebook cares about this metric and provides greater organic reach for more engaging videos in the News Feed.

So, there you have it. Make sure you’re focused on the right metrics — and not just vanity metrics — when you publish your next video on Facebook so you can keep iterating on what works to better engage with your audience.

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from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-insights

18 Fun Corporate Team-Building Activities & Outing Ideas Everyone Will Enjoy

Starting to notice some droopy shoulders around the office? Sounds like it’s time to plan a team outing.

Team outings are a great way to facilitate bonding with your team members, reduce employee stress, and give them the chance to get to know one another outside of the office.

And, you know, they’re really fun.

But how do you find ideas for a great team outing? Maybe you start with a Google search for “team outing ideas” and stumble upon an article that suggests “field trips” and “professional development activities.” Sounds like a starting point, but where’s the real excitement?

Next time you plan an outing for your team, cut the trust falls and get one of these ideas on the calendar instead.

Corporate Team-Building Activities, Games, and Exercises for Work

1) Scavenger Hunt

Find a beautiful day, break everyone out into groups, and have a scavenger hunt around the city. You can organize one yourself, or use an app like Stray Boots. Your team will feel nice and rejuvenated after some fresh air and fun challenges. Be sure to take plenty of silly pictures — you can even have a slideshow when everyone regroups at the end.

Team Outing Ideas: Scavenger Hunt

2) Cook-Off

Here’s a culinary team-building activity that could end in dessert or disaster — in a fun way. Creating new dishes together requires creativity and will require everyone to put their team and leadership skills into action. Divide your team into smaller teams, pick a food category, and challenge each team to whip up something delicious. The category could be anything from ice cream, to salsa, to pizza.

One fun twist you could add? Pick a single ingredient that all teams must use, like maple syrup or Oreos. Or, have each team get creative with the shape of its food — you can make pizzas into almost any shape.


Source: Teambonding.com

3) Improv Workshop

Comedy and improv events are fun, interactive experiences that’ll have your employees roaring with laughter while teaching them useful communication and soft skills, like focus and trust. Depending on your budget, you could do anything from simply playing improv games with your employees to bringing in professionals to run competitive, fast-paced activities.


Source: Al-Jazeera

4) Board Game Tournament

Here’s one way to spark your team members’ competitive sides without having to leave the office. Organize a team-wide board game tournament. Especially if your team is pretty big, it might be easiest to pick a single game, then have people sign up for specific time slots when they’re free to leave their desks and spend some time playing the game. Some great games with reasonable play times include Boggle, Jenga, or even games using good ol’ playing cards. Don’t forget to incentivize with prizes for first, second, and third place.


Source: Glassdoor

5) Professional Development Workshop

Want to encourage your employees to bond while providing them with an opportunity to learn and further their career? Offer a shared learning experience either at your office, or at an off-site workshop or conference. The activity could be specifically related to your employees’ jobs, or it could be something broader, like a negotiation or leadership skills workshop.


Company Outing Ideas

6) Volunteer

Giving time to support a good cause isn’t just good for the soul; it’s also a great way for your team members to bond. Place-based volunteering ideas include things like volunteering at a local soup kitchen, helping build a Habitat for Humanity house, or delivering gifts to children’s hospitals during the holidays. Skill-based volunteering is a cool way to stretch your employees’ expertise: It’s when your team volunteers its time and uses its professional skills — anything from marketing to app development to writing — to help a nonprofit.

Try VolunteerMatch.org for either type of volunteering opportunities, and Catchafire.org for skill-based volunteering opportunities.

People Volunteering

Source: VolunteerSpot

7) Mystery Dinner

Mystery dinners are one of the most beloved traditions here at HubSpot. On a single night, you send a group of folks from different teams within your company to dinner somewhere in your city (or at someone’s house). The dinner is hosted by one of your company’s leaders and paid for by the company. These dinners allow random groups of people from the same company to spend an evening chock full of good food and conversation together.

What makes them a mystery dinner? The only thing participants should know about the dinner ahead of time is the date and time. Then, on the afternoon the dinner is supposed to take place, send each group an email with the name of the restaurant they’re going to and who they’ll be going with, so they can arrange transportation together.

Optional: Give every dinner host the name of a restaurant or bar to invite everyone to congregate at once the dinners are over.

Mystery Dinner

8) Room Escape Games

Here’s a great bonding activity that requires leadership skills, teamwork, logic, and patience. Room escape games — Escape the Room, Puzzle Break, AdventureRooms, etc. — have become a wildly popular team-building exercise for groups around the globe.

Here’s how it works: A group of people gets “locked” in a room for one hour. During that one hour, they have to find hidden objects, solve puzzles, and figure out clues to locate the key that will set them free. And it’s not easy: Only 20% of players actually make it out before the hour is up.

Escape the Room

Source: Escape the Room St. Louis

9) Kayaking/Canoeing

Nothing says “let’s work together” quite like trying not to end up in the water. Want to take advantage of the outdoors? Grab a paddle and head down to the closest river for a great spring or summer outing.

Many public rivers and ponds have boat houses where you can rent kayaks and canoes — and you can encourage folks to rent multi-person ones and pair up with people they don’t usually work with.


10) Trampoline Parks

Hey, who says trampolines are just for kids? Take your team to a trampoline park for some jumping fun and a chance to work off the day’s stress. Many cities have local places with trampoline activities — if you’re in the Boston area, check out Skyzone for trampoline dodgeball and basketball games.

Team Outing Ideas: Trampoline Jumping

Source: Mustbeart

11) Karaoke Night

What better way to get your employees to break out of their shells than to have them get up and sing some karaoke? You can even have a contest for best group karaoke performance. Bonus points if there are feather boas and cowboy hats involved. This works best for a more extroverted group, so if your team isn’t into strutting their stuff on stage, consider an idea on this list that caters more toward those personalities.

Team Outing Ideas: Karaoke

Source: derekgavey

12) Something Touristy

Embrace your city! Pick a hot tourist destination and go as a team. You can even do a Segway tour. (Fanny packs: optional.) It’ll be fun to laugh at how silly it feels to be a tourist in your own city, and you might even learn something new.

Team Outing Ideas: Something Touristy

Source: Wikimedia

13) Kart Racing

Nothing like a little competition to bond a group together. An adrenaline-pumping event like kart racing is a great way to get employees to interact with one another in a totally new and fun way. Just make sure everyone pays attention during the safety lecture.

Team Outing Ideas: F1 Racing

14) Laser Tag

Another great way to get your adrenaline pumping? A good old game of laser tag. Not only is it great fun, it’s also an opportunity for employees to exercise their strategy and logic skills, as well as teamwork skills. Bonus: Determine teams ahead of time and have people dress up.

Team Outing Ideas: Laser Tag

15) Painting Class

If you’re looking for a slightly more relaxing activity, take a group painting class. Paint Nite hosts painting classes by local artists at various bars throughout major cities for painting on canvases, wine glasses (like in the picture below), and so on. It’s a great way to let your team members unwind, catch up over some drinks, and express their creativity.


16) Cooking Class

In the mood for something a little more… culinary? Change up the usual outing to a bar or your local restaurant, and try a cooking class. Through a service such as Kitchensurfing, you can hire a professional chef to come cook a fancy meal for you in your home or office kitchen. Between the multiple courses prepared before your eyes, your team will have plenty of time to strike up a conversation and enjoy the delicious aromas.


17) Explore a New Place

Few things more fun than getting out of the city and exploring for a day. So, why not do it with your team?

For bigger events — maybe on a quarterly basis, when you have more budget to use for outings — charter a bus and take your team to a new place. You can all take a historical tour of the new place, grab lunch at a restaurant serving the town’s finest, or take in a local attraction together.


18) Sports Game

Round up the team and head out to a sports game. What a fantastic way to rev up team spirit while combining both competition and camaraderie.


Source: Wikimedia

Now you’re ready to show your team a great time while increasing their happiness and creating a great company culture. And hey, you might just be the “cool boss” now. How cool would that be?

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/creative-team-outing-ideas

A Beginner’s Guide to SSL: What It Is & Why It Makes Your Website More Secure

Have you ever noticed that some URLs start with “http://” while others start with “https://”? Perhaps you noticed that extra “s” when you were browsing websites that require giving over sensitive information, like when you were paying bills online.

But where’d that extra “s” come from, and what does it mean?

To put it simply, the extra “s” means your connection to that website is secure and encrypted any data you enter is safely shared with that website. The technology that powers that little “s” is called SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer.

Is your website secure? Enter a URL here to test. 

In this post, I’m going to break down what SSL is, an updated version of Google Chrome that will soon flag websites which are not secure, and how you can evaluate and get SSL.

What is SSL?

First, let’s start with a definition from SSL.com:

SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private.”

Let’s break that down.

When you land on a website page that has a form, after that form is filled-in and you hit ‘submit’, the information you just entered can be intercepted by a hacker on an unsecure website. 

This information could be anything from details on a bank transaction, to high-level information you enter to register for an offer. In hacker lingo, this “interception” is often referred to as a “man-in-the-middle attack.” The actual attack can happen in a number of ways, but one of the most common is this: A hacker places a small, undetected listening program on the server hosting a website. That program waits in the background until a visitor starts typing information on the website, and it will activate to start capturing the information and then send it back to the hacker. Scary stuff that is no longer just is sci-fi movies.

But when you visit a website that’s encrypted with SSL, your browser will form a connection with the webserver, look at the SSL certificate, and then bind together your browser and the server. This binding connection is secure so that no one besides you and the website you’re submitting the information to can see or access what you type into your browser.

This connection happens instantly, and in fact many suggest is now faster than connecting to an unsecure website. You simply have to visit a website with SSL, and voila: Your connection will automatically be secured.

Everything You Need to Know About Chrome 62 and SSL

Google is getting ready to release a new version of their popular Chrome browser, version 62, which will begin to indicate that a page is not secure if it contains a form, but does not have SSL-enabled. Chrome has approximately 47% browser market share, so when this update is rolled-out a significant number of websites will be affected almost immediately.

According to recent HubSpot Research, up to 85% of people will not continue browsing if a site is not secure. In January 2017, Google rolled out a similar update that only applied to sites collecting sensative information such as passwords or credit card numbers. With that in mind, users are now familiar with seeing this “not secure” warning, and per the research below will often leave a site because of it.

SSL-Research-Not-Secure (1).png

If you utilize incognito mode in your browser, Chrome will always indicate a page is not secure if it does not have a valid-SSL certificate installed. If you use Chrome outside of incognito mode then this “not secure” warning will only display when starting to enter information into a form.

Image credit: 9to5Google

This means that wherever you host content that contains a form, even if it’s just asking for an email address, you should enable SSL. Keep in mind that if you have content hosted in different platforms, it will be important to talk to each of them and ensure SSL is setup before this Google Chrome update is live. In reality, if it’s not cost prohibitive for you, it’s best to enable SSL across your entire website regardless if a form exists on the page because it can have SEO benefits that we’ll cover in the next section.

Is SSL good for SEO?

Yes. While the primary purpose of SSL is securing information between the visitor and your website, there are benefits for SEO as well. According to Google Webmaster Trends Analysts Zineb Ait Bahajji, SSL is now part of Google’s search ranking algorithm:

Over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.”

In addition, Google has publicly stated that two websites which are otherwise equal in search results, if one has SSL enabled it may receive a slightly rank boost to outweigh the other. As a result, there is a clear SEO benefit to enabling-SSL on your website, and across all your content.

How can I tell if my website has SSL?

When you visit a website with SSL, there are a few distinct differences that display within the browser.

Check your site for SSL with our free tool.

1) The URL says “https://” and not “http://”. 

It looks like this:

2) You’ll see a little padlock icon in the URL bar.

It’ll show up either on the left- or right-hand side of the URL bar, depending on your browser. You can click on the padlock to read more information about the website and the company that provided the certificate.

3) The certificate is valid.

Even if a website has the “https://” and a padlock, the certificate could still be expired — meaning your connection wouldn’t be secure. In most cases, a site that displays as https will be secure, but if you encounter a site that asks for a lot of personal information it may be worth double-checking to be sure the certificate is valid.

To find out whether the certificate is valid in Chrome, go to view > Developer Tools. From there you will need to navigate to the security tab and you can see if the SSL certificate is valid, or expired. If you click the “View certificate” button you will be able to see more information about the SSL certificate and the specific date it’s valid through.

How can I get an SSL certificate for my website?

The first step is to determine what type of certificate you need. For example, if host content in multiple platforms (on separate domains/subdomains) it may mean that you need different SSL certificates.

For most, a standard SSL certificate will cover your content, but for companies in a regulated industry — such as finance, and insurance — it may be worth talking with I.T. because there are specific requirements within your industry that specify the type of SSL certificate you need.

The cost of SSL certificates vary, but you can get a free certificate or pay a few hundred dollars per month to obtain a custom certificate. On the free side — Let’s Encrypt offers certificates at no cost but I would strongly recommend that you have someone knowledgable about the DNS and technical setup of your website to help with this. These certificates will also expire every 90-days, so you’ll need to make sure they stay up to date. 

Many other domain providers will sell SSL certificates that generally range from $50 to obtain a certificate for one domain, up to a few hundred dollars for multiple-domains. This process will be easier than using Let’s Encrypt, but does have a cost associated with the certificate.

(HubSpot customers: If you’re hosting content on HubSpot, SSL is available for free within this promotion. To find out more, contact your Customer Success Manager, or visit our SSL page.)

One of the other key considerations is the validity period of a certification. Most standard SSL certificates that you purchase are available for one to two years by default, but if you’re looking for longer-term options, then look into more advanced certificates that offer longer time periods.

WordPress Plugins To Help Install SSL

If you utilize WordPress to host your content and website, depending on your domain provider, you may need to obtain an SSL certificate and then install it. Here are a few plugins that can help you:

  1. Really Simple SSL. Purchasing your SSL certificate is just the first step. This plugin helps you install it across your all your WordPress content. There are premium versions available to help you install it across sites, and verify there are no warnings on your website. Premium versions run from $20 up to $145 for a full-service configuration and optimization of SSL.
  2. Insecure Content Fixer. Once you have an SSL certificate and it’s installed, your not quite done yet. If your website is built with any hard-coded references to “http”, such as an image file, then it will show a warning when trying to load that securely. This plugin can help you find and fix anything coded that way so your site displays properly, and securely for visitors.
  3. WP Force SSL. Ok, now that you’re done obtaining SSL, installing it, and fixing any errors, it’s time to make sure all your traffic sees the secure version of your site. This plugin will force all traffic to HTTPS so it only loads securely. I strongly recommend that you check for insecure content (also known as mixed content) before enabling this. Without checking for mixed content first your site may appear with warnings because of those insecure files. 

(HubSpot customers: All files hosted within HubSpot File Manager are automatically encrypted with SSL, and in one-checkbox you can force all visitors to utilize the secure version of your site, no plugins required. To find out more, contact your Customer Success Manager, or visit our SSL page.)


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from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-ssl

10 Easy Ways to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Content [Infographic]

The most effective marketers have their content strategies firing on four cylinders:

  1. Planning
  2. Content creation
  3. Content promotion
  4. Analytics

The list I just presented is the order in which effective content marketing gets done, but it’s NOT a priority list. Each tactic is vital. And they are dependent upon each other for success.

In other words, three out of four won’t do.

Put it down to fear, or laziness, or lack of knowledge, resources or tools, but number four — analytics — is the most neglected.

Need proof? Just take a look at this …



Last year, Orbit Media’s annual blogger research indicated that less than 32% of bloggers always check their analytics. If that number seems low to you, it’s actually a up a few notches from years prior.

Not good.

Content marketing metrics-phobia? Is that an actual thing?

It must be. But here’s another thing …

You can get over it. Easily. Right now. An advanced degree in statistics is not required. As the infographic below — which I developed with Orbit Media — explains: “Let’s stick the calculators in the desk drawer and look at 10 easy ways to detect if your content is cutting it.”

You’ll find no reasons to fear these simple approaches to analytics. And when you get in the habit of evaluating your content marketing efforts, you’ll also find yourself extracting the insights you need to get perpetually better.

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/easy-ways-to-measure-the-effectiveness-of-your-content

How to Edit Instagram Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Instagram Filters & More

Have you ever looked through your Instagram feed and wondered how some people make their photos look just so good with just a smartphone and a free app?

Whether I’m looking at mouth-watering photos posted by food brands or adorable photos of cuddly Instagram stars with four legs, I’ve had my share of photo envy.

When it comes to posting on Instagram, photo quality is everything. And if you take great photos and edit them exquisitely, I promise: you will be much closer to amassing the thousands of followers you’re hoping for.

But we have good news for you: Editing photos well on Instagram doesn’t take a whole lot of time, and it doesn’t require you using a fancy camera or software. It’s all about taking great photos and learning which filters work for which types of photos — all within the Instagram app.

In this post, we’ll help you turn unedited photos — like the one on top of a Peruvian desert — into ones that are much more compelling, like the one below:



How To Edit Instagram Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide

1) Start with a great photo.

No amount of editing will fix a photo that wasn’t shot well in the first place. When it comes to posting something awesome on Instagram, it’s all about photo quality — and that starts with a photo that’s great even before you adjust it in the app.

You don’t need to be a photographer to take great photos for Instagram. All you really need is a smartphone and the willingness to learn some key tips for how to use it. Start by reading through these 18 tips for taking great photos with your smartphone. This blog post will teach you how to line up your shots using the rule of thirds, find perspective, and take advantage of symmetry, patterns, and more.

2) Upload your photo to Instagram.

Now that we have a photo we’re ready to work with, it’s time to upload your photo to the Instagram app. To do this, open the Instagram app and click the plus sign at the bottom center of your screen.


From there, select the photo you’d like to edit from your photo album. By default, it’ll go into “All Photos,” but you can click the downward arrow next to “All Photos” at the top of your screen to open a particular album if your photo is located somewhere specific.


Pro Tip: Instagram will crop your photo as a square by default, but if you want to change it to its original width, simply press the “Expand” icon (two outward facing arrows) in the bottom left-hand corner of the photo once you’ve selected it.


Click “Next” to begin editing the photo.

4) Pick a filter.

Here’s where it gets fun. Now that you’re in editing mode in the Instagram app, the first thing you should do is pick a filter. Usually, I click through onto each and every filter, in order, and take note of which ones I like. Then, I’ll go back and forth between the ones I like until I settle on one of them. How’s that for scientific?

While slapping on a filter because it looks good is one way to do it, it is helpful to play around with each filter and get an idea of its specific purpose. From Lark to Crema to Valencia to Nashville, each filter has its own personality and hues that drastically changes the photo — not only how it looks, but how it feels. Take a look at these examples to see what I mean:




Here are a few of my favorite Instagram filters and how they change the look and feel of a photo:

  • Lark: A filter that desaturates reds while pulling out the blues and greens in your photos, thereby intensifying it. Great for landscapes.
  • Moon: A black-and-white filter with intense shadows that’ll give your photos a vivid, vintage look.
  • Crema: A desaturated filter that gives your photos a creamy, vintage look.
  • Valencia: A filter that warms the colors of your photo, giving it kind of an antique look without washing out color completely.
  • X Pro II: A high contrast filter that makes colors pop and adds vignette edges, giving photos sort of a dramatic effect.
  • Lo-Fi: This filter adds high saturation, rich colors, and strong shadows to your photo. Great for photos of food.
  • Hefe: This filter adds a vintage look to your photos with a darker border, and the yellow tone makes landscapes appear dramatic and other-worldly.

Everyone has their favorites, so as you use Instagram for marketing more and more, keep experimenting and learning about your own filter preferences for every type of photo you take, whether they’re landscapes, close-ups, portraits, or something else.

Pro Tip: As you begin learning your filter preferences, you can reorder your filters and even hide the ones you don’t use. To do either of these things, scroll to the very far right of your filters options and click “Manage.”


To reorder your filters, simply hold your finger down on the three grey lines on the far right of the filter you’d like to move, and drag it to reorder.


To hide filters you don’t use, deselect them by tapping on the white check mark to the right of the filter.


5) Adjust the lux.

The what? If you’ve ever edited a photo on Instagram, you’ve likely used the lux feature before, even if you weren’t sure what it’s called. It’s a feature that makes your photos more vibrant and brings out the smaller details.

Once you’ve selected a filter, turn lux on by tapping the sun icon above your photo:


Then, use the slider to adjust the lux, which will adjust the contrast and saturation of your photo. I usually slide it up and down until I settle on what looks best. Tap “Done” when you’re finished and it’ll take you back to the filters page.


6) Use the simple editing tools.

Next, open up Instagram’s simple editing tools by tapping the wrench icon below your photo on the right-hand side.


From here, you can adjust a number of settings, including alignment, brightness, contrast, structure, warmth, saturation, highlights, shadows, and sharpness. I usually go through each setting one by one until I’ve adjusted the photo to my liking.


To adjust each of these settings, click on the icon at the bottom of your screen, use the slider to find a “sweet spot,” and then tap “Done” when you’re done. If you adjust the slider and realize you don’t want to make any changes, simply tap “Cancel” and it’ll exit from that setting without saving any changes.


Once you’ve made all the changes in Instagram’s tools that you’d like, click “Next” in the top right-hand corner of your screen.


7) If you’re uploading an album on Instagram, edit each photo individually.

If you’re using Instagram’s handy new feature that allows you to upload up to 10 photos in a single album, make sure to be aware of a quirk that can come up when you start editing your photos.

Say I wanted to post not one, not two, but three photos of my adorable cat. I’d select one to upload to Instagram as usual, and then tap the album icon to select multiple photos at once:


Choose the photos you want to use, then tap “Next:”


You might be tempted to dive in and start picking a filter and editing from the list of filters at the bottom, but wait just a moment — because if you pick a filter from the menu below, you’ll apply it to all of your photos (shown below), and if you’ve learned anything in this blog post, it’s the importance of editing photos individually.

Tap the Venn-diagram icon in the corner of each photo to edit it individually.


From there, you can choose a filter and edit your individual photos using the tools detailed above.


When you’re done with one photo, tap “Done,” and you can choose another photo in your album to edit.


8) Either post your photo immediately, or save it to post later.

At this point, you have two options.

Option 1: Post your photo immediately.

If you’re ready to post your photo now, then go ahead and post it by adding a caption, a geotag, tagging any relevant Instagram users, and clicking “Share.”


Option 2: Save it to post later.

If you’re not ready to post it now, but you wanted to get a head start on editing it so you could post it in a pinch, then you can save the photo with the edits you made in Instagram without posting it — thanks to a little hack.

Ready? To use Instagram as a photo editor without posting anything, all you need to do is publish a picture while your phone is on airplane mode.

First, you’ll have to be sure you have “Save Original Photos” turned on in your settings.


Then, turn on airplane mode. Here’s how to do that:

  • To turn on airplane mode on an Android device: Swipe down from the top of the screen. Then, swipe from right to left until you see “Settings,” and then touch it. Touch “Airplane Mode” to turn it on.


  • To turn on airplane mode on an iPhone/iPad: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and click the airplane icon. Or, go to “Settings” and then “Wi-Fi,” and switch “Airplane Mode” on.


Then, go back to your editing screen and press the “Share” button at the bottom. An error message will appear saying the upload failed, but rest assured the photo will be saved automatically to your phone’s photo gallery.


Pro tip: If you want to edit a whole bunch of photos ahead of time so you can upload them later without much effort, one way to organize your edited photos so you can find them easily later is to add them to your “Favorites” folder on your iPhone.

To add photos to “Favorites,” you’ll need to “heart” the photo. Here’s how it works: When you’re scrolling through your photos, tap the heart icon at the bottom of your screen.


The photo will be added to a photo album called “Favorites” in your iPhone’s folders, which you can access easily and at any time. Since Instagram doesn’t let you schedule posts in advance, this is a great place to store edited photos so you can upload them when you need them.


And there you have it! By now, you should be able to edit your Instagram photos on a pretty basic level. For more tips and tricks to take your Instagram game to the next level, check out these 15 hidden hacks and features.

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/edit-instagram-photos

How to Write Well: 10 Timeless Rules From Legendary Ad Exec David Ogilvy

Writing is easy. Most people can do it. If you’re reading this, you can write.

But can you write well? Does your writing connect with people? Does it engage readers, compelling them down the page? Does your writing inspire action, selling things or services or ideas?

If so, you have a potent skill at your disposal: you can command attention, a valuable commodity. More importantly, you can influence free will.

David Ogilvy, the creative force behind Ogilvy & Mather, understood this. He respected the potential of good writing.

The Memo

“The better you write, the higher you will go,” Ogilvy wrote in a memo to his management team. “People who think well, write well.”

The note, drafted in 1982, later appeared in The Unpublished David Ogilvy, a collection of incisive letters and speeches by the man hailed as “The Father of Advertising.”

“Good writing is not a natural gift,” he writes. “You have to learn to write well.”

How to Write Well

He closed out the memo with “10 hints” that anyone could apply to make their writing better.

I’ve transcribed his suggestions below, along with some modern context:

1) “Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.”

Full disclosure: Kenneth Roman, Joel Raphaelson, and David Ogilvy were cronies. In fact, Roman served as the agency’s CEO, which explains the front-and-center mention of his book. That said, it’s still a great business-writing resource.

Aside from the knowledge you’ll glean from Writing That Works, reading it over and over and over will acquaint you with the voice, tone, and style of two excellent writers. The more good writing you read, the more good you’ll internalize. The more good you internalize from others, the easier it’ll be to spot and correct the bad in your own writing.

TAKEAWAY: Good writing is the product of prolific reading.

How to read more:

Ryan Holiday, an author and media strategist, offers some advice here: change your mindset.

“Stop thinking of it as some activity that you do,” writes Holiday. “Reading must become as natural as eating and breathing to you. It’s not something you do because you feel like it, but because it’s a reflex, a default.”

Holiday cites three main barriers that keep people from reading:

Time: “Carry a book with you at all times. Every time you get a second, crack it open.”

Money: “Reading is not a luxury … It’s a necessity … Books are an investment.”

Purpose: “The purpose of reading is not just raw knowledge. It’s that it is part of the human experience. It helps you find meaning, understand yourself, and makes your life better.”

If you want to read more, make it a priority.

2) “Write the way you talk. Naturally.”

Ogilvy, by all accounts, was down to earth, cool.

“His latest book is called Ogilvy on Advertising. Please welcome, David Ogilvy!” said David Letterman in a 1983 Late Night interview. He reached across the table to shake his guest’s hand. Ogilvy shook back without a word.

“The book is very informative,” said Letterman. “Anyone interested in a career in advertising should certainly do themselves a favor and take a look at that thing.”

Ogilvy broke his silence. “Damn right,” he said.

Ogilvy wrote like he spoke, naturally, which enabled his success as a copywriter.

TAKEAWAY: Good writing is informal.

How to write informally:

Unless you’re writing a legal document, feel free to relax your tone. Use:

  • Active voice: “We have noticed that …” vs. “It has been noticed that …”
  • Contractions: “can’t” vs. “can not”
  • Abbreviations: “t.v.” vs. “television”
  • Colloquialisms: “kids” vs. “children”

Informal writing is less cumbersome, easier to read.

3) “Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.”

Reading is hard, you know. It takes energy and concentration and time, all finite resources.

Dense, long-winded writing that meets the intrinsic needs of the author, rather than the extrinsic needs of the reader, won’t get read. Writing should deliver value, quickly, to the audience. The author’s personal satisfaction is irrelevant.

TAKEAWAY: Good writing gets to the point.

How to write concisely:

Concise writing boils down to:

  • Awareness: your ability to recognize wordiness
  • Discipline: your willingness to cut unnecessary words

These six exercises will help you do both.

4) “Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.”

It’s true, big words make writers sound snobbish and conceited. What’s worse, they run the risk of confusing the reader, making her feel foolish, detaching her from the message.

As a writer, you have only a small window to capture attention. Don’t narrow it even more by using obscure words.

TAKEAWAY: Good writing is immediately understood.

How to write coherently:

Cut your risk. Use words even a child can understand. For example, instead of:

  • Reconceptualize, write “rethink”
  • Demassification, write “breakup”
  • Attitudinally, write “with attitude”
  • Judgmentally, write “with judgement”

Need help with word choice? Use Hemingway Editor.

5) “Never write more than two pages on any subject.”

Take this one with a grain of salt. While “two pages” is subjective, Ogilvy’s point is clear: never write more than is necessary on any subject.

In other words, if you can abridge an explanation without diluting the concept behind it, do it.

TAKEAWAY: Good writing simplifies complicated information.

How to simplify a concept:

The Big Short, an Oscar-winning film about the 2008 housing collapse, was almost never made because the subject matter was too technical for a lay audience. Mortgage bonds; credit default swaps; collateralized debt obligations: all these concepts required explanation …

How did the producers make it work? Cameos and stories.

Anytime a complicated concept was introduced, a celebrity would appear, armed with a quick story. What made these stories so effective and efficient at educating audiences?

Shawn Callahan, founder of Anecdote, cites several key elements

  • Familiarity: The stories were told by famous people, like Selena Gomez, Anthony Bourdain, and Richard Thaler, a renown economist.
  • Plausibility: The stories were credible, thanks to Thaler’s presence.
  • Relatability: The stories took place in recognizable settings, like a casino or a kitchen.

Finally, the stories were metaphorical, drawing parallels between the housing crisis and losing a blackjack hand, for instance.

“If you need to explain something that is complex or highly technical to an audience that might not understand it,” writes Callahan, “then tell them a hypothetical story based on something they do understand, something that’s relatable. And pick someone to deliver the message who is familiar to the audience, someone who is like them and also has credibility.”

6) “Check your quotations.”

Take this one literally. As a writer, the information you distribute commands public perception over ideas and events and individuals. It’s a tremendous responsibility.

In the age of self-publishing and Fake News, an author’s integrity is paramount. Check your quotes, your facts. Readers are depending on you, trusting you.

TAKEAWAY: Good writing has integrity.

How to maintain your integrity:

Let your conscience be your guide.

7) “Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.”

Communication rarely comes out right on the first go, especially when it’s written.

You wouldn’t give a presentation without a dry run, so why send an email or publish an article without an edit? Sure, the writing makes sense to you, the author. But only because you’re so close to it: your perspective is shot.

Distancing yourself from the work is the only way to regain objectivity, ensuring your message makes sense.

TAKEAWAY: Good writing is clear.

How to write clearly:

Richard Lanham, an English professor at the University of California, developed a system called The Paramedic Method. It’s designed to help writers clarify their sentences with a simple, two-step process:

STEP ONE: Identify the problems in a sentence.

  • Underline prepositions (e.g., about, to, in, across)
  • Circle forms of the word “be” (e.g., is, am, are, were, was)
  • Box verbs (e.g., run, hide, jump; running, hiding, jumping)
  • Highlight the person or thing performing the action
  • Bracket wind-up explanations
  • Cross out redundancies

STEP TWO: Fix the problems you found.

  • Rewrite or delete unnecessary prepositional phrases
  • Replace forms of “be” with action verbs
  • Put the action in the verb
  • Put the person or thing performing the action into the subject
  • Delete unnecessary wind-up explanations
  • Eliminate redundancies

Lanham’s method streamlines the editing process. For more context and examples, click here.

8) “If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.”

As far as I’m concerned, if your name is on it, it’s important. After all, your writing speaks for you long after you part with it. In that sense, every word counts towards your reputation, your legacy.

With so much on the line, you should have an insurance policy.

TAKEAWAY: Good writing needs an editor.

How to find an editor:

You could ask a coworker to lend a fresh perspective, like Ogilvy suggests. But you have other options, too. It’s not 1982; leverage the internet. Try:

  • Reddit: Post your content in a relevant sub-reddit.
  • Twitter: Tweet your content at a writer you admire.
  • Inbound.org: “When you can’t just tap someone expert on the shoulder, turn to the inbound.org community to help and be helped.”

As long as you’re polite, tactful, and appreciative, someone will give you their time. But you have to ask.

9) “Before you send your letter or memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.”

Business writing, specifically, always needs a goal.

Whether it’s soft (e.g., influencing a general belief) or hard (e.g., driving a specific action), a goal will focus your message, making it more cohesive, not to mention easier to write. Moreover, nobody wants to invest their professional time reading a dead-end message, one that leaves them thinking, What now?

TAKEAWAY: Good (business) writing has purpose.

How to give your writing purpose:

What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to:

  • Inform, driving home the features?
  • Influence, driving home the benefits?
  • Entertain, driving home the brand?

To know for sure, write your call-to-action first. This will give your writing direction, funneling every subhead, paragraph, and sentence towards the same point.

10) “If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.”

In business, nothing is more intimate than a smile and a handshake, a pat on the back. Writing is void of these elements. Even the best writing can’t replicate human interaction, the sensation of being face-to-face.

People are irrational. We like to think we operate logically, but emotions are what ultimately move us. And while reading words can be a powerful experience, nothing replaces eye contact.

TAKEAWAY: Good writing, sometimes, doesn’t work.

How to avoid writing:

Ogilvy said it best: don’t write. Get in front of the person. Get on:

  • Skype
  • FaceTime
  • A plane

And if you’re down the hall from the person, walk to them. They’ll appreciate it. And you’ll be in a better position to get what you want.

“Good writing is not a natural gift,” wrote Ogilvy.

“You have to learn to write well.”

Now, you have his advice. The rest is up to you.

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from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-write-well-timeless-rules-david-ogilvy