The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Advertising

In 2018, the advertising duopoly of Google and Facebook seemed to dominate the market once again, owning 37% and 20% of the pie, respectively, while Amazon owned a measly 7%. However, if you dig a little deeper into the numbers, Amazon isn’t actually the third wheel in this equation.

While they own significantly less market share than Google and Facebook, Amazon’s advertising revenue skyrocketed by 250% in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter of 2017. And some industry experts predict that the long-standing advertising duopoly of Google and Facebook will turn into a triopoly as soon as next year, with Amazon charging right behind these established incumbents.

One of the biggest reasons brands are dedicating more advertising spend to Amazon is because it has become the central hub for online shopping. In fact, 44% of shoppers start their online shopping sessions on Amazon (which is 11% more than Google) and 40% of Americans buy products on the website at least once every month.

If you’re in the ecommerce industry, advertising on Amazon is your best bet for maximizing your revenue. So to help you start advertising on Amazon, we’ve created this simplified guide that fleshes out each type of ad you can run on Amazon and some of their best practices. Read on to learn how to advertise on the eCommerce platform in 2019.

Ecommerce businesses can retain more customers by following this free guide.

Amazon Advertising Strategy

Even though we’ll be describing five unique types of Amazon advertisements that all have different best practices, here are three general tips for shaping a successful Amazon advertising strategy.

1. Determine your goals.

Whether you want to drive more sales or boost brand awareness, Amazon allows you to align your targets with your goals. For instance, you can deem your Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) as your metric of success if you’re focusing on driving more sales. Alternatively, you can deem impressions as your metric of success if you’re focusing on boosting brand awareness.

2. Choose the right products to advertise.

Advertising your most popular products gives you the best chance to convert clicks into purchases. You should also make sure these products are in stock and priced competitively.

3. Craft clear, concise, and compelling product detail pages.

Amazon ads can entice shoppers to visit your product detail pages, but the product detail page is what will ultimately turn those shoppers into customers. To craft a persuasive product detail page, consider including accurate and descriptive titles, high-quality images, and relevant and useful product information.

Amazon Sponsored Ads

Image Credit: Shopify

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads are pay-per-click, keyword-targeted display ads for individual products that appear on search results and product detail pages. With Sponsored Product Ads, there are three types of keywords you can bid on if you decide to leverage manual targeting: broad, phrase, and exact.

Broad keywords can include words before and after the target keyword, like “white hand mixers”, if you sell hand mixers. Targeting these keywords will expose your ads to the greatest amount of traffic.

Phrase keywords focus on how the sequence of the words you use changes the context of a query. For example, “stainless steel hand mixer” indicates you sell hand mixers. But “hand stainless steel mixer” indicates you sell stainless steel mixers, but not necessarily stainless steel hand mixers.

Exact keywords are the most constraining type of targeted keyword -- a shopper’s search query must contain the exact keyword for your ad to show up and no words can come before or after the keyword. For example, if you choose to target exact keywords, you can target an ad for “hand mixer”, but it won’t show up for the query “electric hand mixer”.

Using Sponsored Product Ads, you can also use automatic keyword targeting, which leverages an algorithm to target the most relevant keywords for your product ads.

To gauge the performance of your ads, Sponsored Product Ads offers a reporting tool that displays your ads’ clicks, spend, sales, and advertising cost of sales (ACoS).

Amazon Sponsored Ads Best Practices

Targeting

With Amazon Sponsored Product Ads, you can find keywords that have low conversion rates and flag them as negative. This way, Amazon will stop showing your ad to shoppers who search for those queries. Ensuring you flag certain keywords as negative is critical -- even if these keywords have a high click-through-rate, their low conversion rate means they’re probably not reaching the right type of shoppers.

Bidding

Available in Manual Targeting ad campaigns, you can leverage Bid+ to boost the odds of your ad appearing at the top of search results. You can only use Bid+ on ads that are eligible to appear at the top of search results, but when you do, you can increase your default bid by up to 50%, keeping your top performing campaigns competitive, without having to constantly adjust your bids manually.

Amazon Headline Search Ads (Now Known as Sponsored Brand Campaigns)

Image Credit: Amazon Advertising

Currently known as Sponsored Brand Campaigns, this type of Amazon advertising allows you to promote keyword-targeted ads of multiple products above, below, and alongside search results. Using Sponsored Brand Campaigns, you can target three types of keywords: branded product keywords, complimentary product keywords, and sponsored products automatic targeting keywords.

Branded product keywords are a combination of your brand name and a product you sell.

Complimentary product keywords are a bundle of two individual products that influence the demand for each other and can be sold together (like ketchup and mustard).

Sponsored products automatic targeting keywords are search queries that you’ve already experienced success with while running automatic targeted sponsored product campaigns.

Sponsored Brand Campaigns also lets you feature up to three unique products in your ads, customize your ads’ image, headline, and landing page, and even tests these elements.

To determine how much you pay for Sponsored Brand Campaigns, Amazon uses a pay-per-click, auction-based pricing model, so you’ll never pay more than you bid per click. In addition to manual bidding, you can choose automated bidding, which will optimize your ads for conversion.

If you want to know how well your advertisements are performing, Sponsored Brand Campaigns offers a reporting feature that displays your ads’ clicks, spend, sales, estimated win rate for keywords, and ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales).

Sponsored Brand Campaigns Best Practices

Ad Creative

It's a good idea to feature three top-performing products in your Sponsored Brands Campaign to increase the amount of clicks and sales your ads generate.

Amazon also recommends including your product’s top benefit in your ad’s headline because mobile shoppers can only see the ad’s main image and headline.

Additionally, when describing your product, try not to claim your product is “#1” or a “Best Seller” -- your ad won’t get approved.

Testing

To run the most accurate and fruitful tests, consider only changing one variable at a time, run them for at least two weeks, and anchor the success of your tests to business goals.

Landing Page Design

With Sponsored Brands, you can direct shoppers to your Amazon store or a customized product page. Consider testing how different product pages convert visitors into customers, as well as the order in which your products appear.

Amazon Product Display Ads

amazon-Product-Display-AdsImage Credit: CrazyLister

Product display ads are pay-per-click ads that appear on product detail pages, customer review pages, on top of the offer listing page, and below search results. You can also place these ads on abandoned cart emails, follow-up emails, and recommendations emails. Their main objective is to cross-sell or upsell your customers.

Using product display ads, you can use two types of campaign targeting: product and interest. Product targeting is a contextual form of targeting, so you can target specific products and related categories. Interest targeting is a behavioral form of targeting, so you can target shopper interest and reach a larger audience.

Product display ads also let you choose which in-category detail pages you want to advertise on, customize your creative, and offers a reporting tool that displays your campaigns’ clicks, spend, sales, advertising cost of sales (ACoS), detail page views, spend, units sold, total sales, and average cost-per-click (ACPC).

Amazon Product Display Ads Best Practices

Targeting

Use product targeting on competitor pages, complimentary product detail pages, and your own product detail pages to cross-sell and upsell similar products. Using product targeting on related categories also extends your reach to sections of Amazon’s catalog that are related to your products.

Ad Creative

When crafting your headlines, Amazon allows you to include phrases like “Exclusive”, “New”, “Buy Now”, and “Save Now”, but making claims like “#1” or “Beat Seller” will get your ad rejected.

Amazon Native Ads

Amazon Native Ads are ads that you can place on your brand’s own website. There are three types of native ads: recommendation ads, search ads, and custom ads.

Recommendation ads are ads you can place in product article pages on your website. These ads are dynamic, so Amazon will populate your most relevant product recommendation based on your web page’s content and visitors.

Image Credit: Amazon Associates

Search ads are ads that populate on your website based off keywords that your customers search for on Amazon or on your website.

Image Credit: Amazon Associates

Custom ads allow you to select your own assortment of products you’d like to promote and place them on your product article posts.

Image Credit: Amazon Associates

Amazon Native Ads Best Practice

Just like a call-to-action on a blog post, make sure your native shopping ads are extremely relevant to the pages you place them on. This way, when your website visitors finish reading your post, the ads are a natural next step and can lead to more conversions.

Amazon Video Ads

Amazon Video Ads are ads that you can place on Amazon-owned sites like Amazon.com and IMDb, Amazon devices like Fire TV, and various properties across the web. You can buy Amazon video ads regardless of whether you sell products on Amazon or not, and you can set your ad’s landing page as an Amazon product page, your own website, or any other web page on the internet.

Image Credit: Amazon Advertising

If you want to work with Amazon’s video ad consultants, you can sign up for their managed-service option, but to be eligible, you usually need to spend a minimum of $35,000 on video ads.

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Oracle discovers another major fraud operation affecting Android users and mobile advertisers

The DrainerBot code appears to have been distributed via an infected SDK integrated into hundreds of popular Android apps and games. The post Oracle discovers another major fraud operation affecting Android users and mobile advertisers appeared first on Marketing Land.

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4 Ways to Build Transparency as a Leader

Trust and transparency are fundamental to business success. A recent survey by Ernst & Young found that less than half of global professionals trust their employer, boss, team or colleagues. A host of factors improve trust in the workplace -- from diversity and inclusion to individual leaders being more open and transparent with their teams.

To discuss trust in the workplace, I spoke with best-selling author Marcus Buckingham, who recently finished his latest book Nine Lies About Work (co-authored with Ashley Goodall).

Our conversation, coupled with my own experience, solidified 4 keys to help leaders build trust and transparency with their team, while also reinforcing why it matters in the workplace:

Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder, Dharmesh Shah.

1. Build connection through swift and focused frequency.

One of the biggest takeaways from my conversation with Marcus is the importance of holding quick and frequent check-ins or 1:1s with your team. Trust starts with honest, open dialogue, and the frequency of that dialogue matters just as much as the content itself.

“Building trust isn’t just about intent, but also frequency and detail,” shares Buckingham. “Employees need to know that you have their back and that only happens through regular check-ins or light touch, individualized communications. If you meet with employees once a week for 10-15 minutes and simply ask, ‘what are you working on and how can I help?’, it goes a long way toward building trust.”

Create a foundation of trust through regular communication and engagement. “People want to know where they stand with you as a manager, and every employee knows that’s a moveable feast,” notes Buckingham. “When you take time to hear from each team member on their near-term priorities, while also letting them know ‘we don’t need to solve everything this week’, you move the relationship forward, and see stronger engagement and performance as a result.”

2.  Build transparency into culture.

Employees want to work for leaders who are authentic and transparent -- who openly seek new solutions and ideas. However, many leaders struggle with consistency in this area. Trust takes commitment. Embracing transparency requires leaders to openly share both good and bad news. Effective communication, listening, and clear and quality feedback go a long way in creating a positive and open dialogue.

Many leaders hesitate to be transparent because they worry they’ll be viewed as less authoritative or directional as a leader. This is completely false. People want to connect with their leaders.

Leaders have to exhibit behavior they want their team to imitate, and openly share problems they’re facing and lessons they’ve learned. They should take stock of how the team is performing and what issues need to be addressed and what areas will require change. When leaders do this in an open and constructive way with their team, it builds trust.

When leaders aren’t open to discussing challenges facing their business, or the picture they paint doesn’t match the team’s day-to-day experience, the gap can create a loss of trust. Once trust is lost, it is extremely difficult to rebuild.

3.  Activate experimentation.

Building a foundation of trust with employees requires leaders to create a positive environment, where everyone on the team feels empowered to openly speak and problem-solve. Great leaders give team members the space, autonomy and feedback they need to be successful with specific projects they are owning.

Fear of failure prompts behaviors that can diminish the effectiveness of a team. In absence of trust, employees are guarded, less engaged and less likely to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zones. Empower employees to experiment. This flexibility demonstrates your trust in your team and in turn their trust in their leader.

Focus on creating an environment that empowers employees to succeed. This means providing a safe place for exploration, experimentation and risk-taking, which translates into success for the organization, increased profitability and talent attraction.

4. Encourage and empower.

Enthusiasm is contagious and it’s a force multiplier. Negativity impacts energy and optimism with decreases motivation and productivity by creating stress and pressure.

Maximize every opportunity you can find to provide positive encouragement. Doing so requires some effort, but the results are impactful. In my experience, employees will find ways to deliver results beyond expectation, when leaders express encouragement and sincere appreciation for their accomplishments.

By recognizing employees for their performance, you give them the opportunity to shine through projects, which increases motivation and confidence.

Empower your team and amplify their strengths. Organizations that put people first and allow team members to leverage their individual strengths will see stronger results, better employee engagement and lower turnover.  

Why This Matters

With transparency and trust, comes higher levels of performance. When leaders and teams focus on transparent and frequent communications, authentic relationships develop naturally. With a foundation of trust, people work better together and develop faster as a team – making it much easier to build momentum, retain high performing employees and attract new talent.

Ultimately leaders who focus on each of these areas position themselves to succeed in motivating their teams to do their best work, while building relationships that are vital to the success of their business in the future.

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Marketers, campaign success depends on actually identifying your goals

It is important to choose an attribution approach to measure success - and stick to it - because the most common mistake in campaigns is shifting mid-stream. The post Marketers, campaign success depends on actually identifying your goals appeared first on Marketing Land.

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B2B Brands Go Bold: 7 Great Examples of Interactive B2B Content

B2B Brands Go Bold: 7 Great Examples of Interactive B2B Content

B2B Interactive Content Examples If you’re not convinced that interactive content in the B2B space can work: Well, first check out these interactive content stats. If you’re still on the fence, here’s an object lesson from a master of audience engagement: Freddie plays that 100,000-person crowd like an instrument. You can feel the energy, even through a tiny YouTube window. When you invite your audience to be part of the show, the results can be magical. Now, odds are your brand can’t match the raw charisma of Freddie Mercury in tight jeans. But you can still get your audience cheering with interactive B2B content. Here are a few great examples to light your creative fires and open your B2B minds to the possibilities of interactive.

7 Great Examples of B2B Interactive Content

What do we mean by interactive content? Generally speaking, it’s any content that requires more input from the user than simply scrolling or clicking links. In practice, there are a few broad categories:
  • Interactive infographics use animation, navigational elements, and customizable data sets.
  • Interactive eBooks can incorporate audio, video, and animation.
  • Quizzes ask users a series of questions and display results.
  • Calculators allow users to input and manipulate data to view potential outcomes.
  • Interactive video lets users make choices that affect the plot of a short film.

#1: IBM Takes Storytelling to the Next Level

We often talk about storytelling in B2B content. But it’s usually in the context of helping customers see what life with our solution could be like, or highlighting success stories. IBM takes the concept more literally in this interactive video. IBM Interactive Content Example It’s a fully-realized work of fiction, presenting an original story of a power plant operator struggling to bring power back on during an outage. The user has to help the protagonist make decisions (and learn about IBM’s app suite along the way). The true mark of greatness for this piece is it’s compelling even if you know nothing about mobile apps for power plant management. It actually stands on its own while still being relevant to IBM’s target customer.

#2: NASDAQ Spices Up Case Studies

Customer success stories are some of the most valuable marketing material you have. When a buyer is doing research, though, they get repetitive fast: Customer had problem, tried our solution, got great results. NASDAQ livens up their case studies in this animated eBook. Client testimonials zoom in; pages are easy-to-browse with extra detail hidden behind tabs. The layout helps NASDAQ highlight the most important parts of the case study, while still offering depth for interested customers. Nasdaq Interactive eBook Example

#3: DivvyHQ Takes Us Back to the Future

TopRank Marketing helped create this interactive eBook for DivvyHQ. The challenge for this piece was to present a metric ton of content in an easy-to-browse and compelling format. We chose a lively pop-culture theme to unify the content. Then we focused on strong navigational elements that guide the reader while still allowing them to choose their own path. DivvyHQ Interactive Content Example The result? An instantly engaging piece that encourages readers to explore. As a bonus, we were able to use the theme for spin-off pieces like blog posts and promotions.

#4: HubSpot’s Website Assessment Makes the Grade

Automated tools are the next evolution of assessment-style interactivity. If your solution is web-based, you may be able to show customers specifically what you can do for them. HubSpot offers this web performance evaluation site that has proven to be a powerful lead-generation tool. There’s minimal interaction required — the user puts in a URL and an email address— but the in-depth results are more than compelling. It’s a great example of how to win customers by providing value up-front.

#5: VenturePact Elegantly Answers a Common Customer Question

Calculators are an often-overlooked type of interactive content. In this case, a calculator helped VenturePact fix a leak in their marketing funnel. VenturePact discovered that price was their potential customers’ number one source of hesitation. Many of VenturePact’s prospects balked at requesting an estimate before they had a general idea of how much the agency’s services might cost. VenturePact’s mobile app price calculator asks detailed questions about a potential product to generate a rough estimate of cost, then invites the user to fill in a form for a more detailed estimate. Venture Pact Interactive Calculator Example

#6: Prophix Showcases Actual Intelligence

Audio is an under-explored component for interactive content. It’s easy to assume our audience is going to have us on mute. But audio can make content more compelling, especially influencer content. It’s easier than ever to capture audio, with tools like Zencastr. It makes sense to add that component wherever you can. This interactive eBook for our client Prophix uses influencer audio and a computer-generated “virtual assistant” to make the material more compelling. We saw an unprecedented level of interaction with this piece; our analytics showed people were spending a great deal of time and clicking deep into the asset. Prophix Interactive Content Example Read the full case study to learn more about our approach to this interactive content campaign.

#6: SnapApp Gamifies Lead Collection

Lead capture is a balancing act: If we ask for too little data, we could be capturing underqualified leads. If we ask for too much data, people will run away screaming. This Candyland-themed piece from SnapApp—which happens to fall into the interactive content tool category—solves the problem in an elegant fashion. SnapApp Interactive Content Land Example On every stage of the game, you get two to three pieces of marketing advice and one question to answer. The questions are all stuff that’s useful to SnapApp: How big your team is, what your role is, etc. It’s a lot to ask, but the useful info and whimsical experience make it a fair trade for the customer.

Bonus Example: TopRank Marketing Breaks Free of Boring B2B

TopRank Marketing wants to make 2019 the year that boring B2B finally goes extinct. To help things along, we created Break Free of Boring B2B. It has advice from folks like Ardath Albee, David Meerman Scott, Brian Fanzo and more… and laser-powered grizzly bears, sharks, and pugs in sports cars.
Click Here to see the Break Free from Boring B2B Guide in Full Screen Mode

Ready, Freddie? Let Boring B2B Content Bite the Dust

These examples prove that interactivity boosts content effectiveness no matter what your goals might be. Whether it’s creating awareness, educating customers, driving leads, or attracting talent, content is more engaging when it invites the reader to play along. Speaking of interactive content for B2B brands, our own Lee Odden will be digging into this topic at the upcoming B2B Marketing Exchange conference in Scottsdale, AZ during his presentation: Break Free of Boring B2B with Interactive Influencer Content, which is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.

The post B2B Brands Go Bold: 7 Great Examples of Interactive B2B Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

The Ultimate Guide to Human Resources

Marketing
The Ultimate Guide to Human Resources
Thu, 31 Jan 2019 13:30:00 GMT

When I initially applied for my role at HubSpot, I was immediately blown away by the hiring manager I was working with. She was professional, incredibly informative, and experienced. She had the answer to every question I had about the company, the role I was being interviewed for, and HubSpot’s culture.

From the first point of contact with this HubSpot employee and throughout my onboarding process, she was the prime example of what I believed a person in human resources should be. Even now, she checks in with me to ask how I’m doing and how my job is going when I see her around the office.

Remarkable Human Resources (HR) employees are critical at every company. They handle all employee relations so you can focus on your side of the business. Before we discuss more reasons why your company needs an impactful HR department and how you can go about building one, let's talk more about what human resources actually means.

Click here to unlock a free guide and template designed to help you create a  company culture code. 

 

Based on this definition alone, you can see how it would be difficult to run your operation successfully without the assistance HR provides. That’s why even small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have HR departments with employees who oversee all management, engagement, and development between the company and its employees. HR departments exist to support you and your employees so you can continue doing your jobs successfully.

The work and responsibilities of a human resources employee will touch a large portion of your business every day. So what does that mean for you? Let's review some of the most common responsibilities these employees have so you can better understand the impact HR will have on your company.

 

Handle employee relations

HR handles the employee-to-employee relationships as well as the employee-to-company relationship. This means they work to develop positive interactions and treatment among all employees within your company so they feel good about coming to work, committed to their jobs, and invested in the growth of the business. Whether it’s a personal matter or a work-related issue, human resources will handle all issues with care and keep the best interest of the both your company and employee in mind.

Create an employment structure

Your HR department will handle your entire staffing plan — meaning they’ll identify the gaps in your current employee structure and fill them by acquiring new talent. They’re also in charge of firing any existing talent that isn’t meeting company standards. Your company’s HR team will ensure you have the right people to help you grow your business.

Manage employee job satisfaction

Once your employees have begun work, you’ll want to make sure they’re excited to come to the office every day and add value to your company — their excitement is directly related to their level of job satisfaction. If your employees are happy in their roles, feel as though they can grow at your company, and can change departments down the road if they choose to, they’re more likely to be productive members of the team. Your HR team ensures your employees really do feel satisfied in their roles, and will work with them if they feel unhappy or unsatisfied at any point in time.

Manage employee benefits

Your HR department will handle the amount and type of employee benefits your company offers. Providing good employee benefits is critical to the success of your business because they’re proven to attract and retain talent as well as increase employee productivity. Benefits keep employees satisfied by giving them a variety of perks and and making them feel secure in their roles.

Handle compensation

All payroll and compensation work is managed by HR — this includes employee salaries, payment schedules, W2s, and all other tax-related paperwork. If an employee is offered a promotion, or if employees are given bonuses, HR will handle all changes in their regular payment schedules.

Maintain the company business plan

Your HR department will help you create, distribute, and maintain your company’s business plan — this serves as an overview of your company’s organizational structure. It covers your company’s philosophy and culture code, the way in which you manage your employees, and how you’ll distribute your resources.

Handle new hire training

When an employee is hired, HR will often take them through the necessary training they need prior to diving into their everyday tasks. Whether it’s one day or six weeks, new hire training is critical to making that person feel comfortable in their new role. It’s also a great way to set expectations early on and get them prepared so they can begin making an impact as quickly as possible.

Create company culture standards

HR is in charge of helping you create and maintain your company culture — this includes your philosophy, mission statement, and work environment. It also includes your company’s ethical standards, values, goals, and expectations. HR may implement programming, activities, check-ins, or events at your office so your employees can learn and develop a better understanding of the culture.

Maintain a healthy work environment

Your HR team will assist you in creating a healthy and safe work environment for all employees. Their role in this includes setting health and safety standards in the office, communicating these standards to all employees, and upholding them as the business grows. These health and safety standards should be written so they can be easily referenced at any point in someone’s time at your company.

Handle necessary administrative work

A lot of your company’s administrative work is handled by HR. This includes paperwork related to federal and state tax laws, job applications, time-keeping and payroll information, and employee contracts.

 

We’ve put together a list of 10 steps — not listed in any specific order — you should take to build a successful HR department. Whether you begin working through this list with or without your company’s first (or first few) human resources employee(s), all 10 items on this list should be thoughtfully considered.

1. Create a company-wide staffing plan

Create a company-wide staffing plan so you can identify all positions you’ll need to fill with your new hires. This may also include moving current employees into new roles or even removing employees and/ or their roles entirely from the company.

2. Set an HR budget

You’ll need a budget for your human resources department — this will cover the costs of building the department and hiring your HR team. The budget will also go to company-wide programming, and culture and team building activities HR may organize. 

3. Make a payroll and compensation system

You’ll need to ensure you have payroll and compensation plans in place for all types and levels of employees. Your employees are going to want to know how, when, and the frequency in which they’re going to be paid the moment they receive their job offer. You’ll also need this information to determine salary ranges for all of your employees.

4. Write job descriptions

Job descriptions posted on your website and job sites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor are how you’ll attract applicants. You’ll want to create job descriptions for all of the HR roles you need to hire for. Then, as you fill some of these HR openings, those new hires should be able to assist you in creating all other job descriptions for your growing company.

5. Lay out a clear benefits plans

A clear and thorough benefits plan is crucial when trying to attract and retain talent. You’ll want to lay out all of the benefits you offer to your new hires so they can feel good about their decision to join your team as well as secure and supported in their roles.

6. Create an employee handbook

An employee handbook (whether it’s print or digital) is a great way to set clear expectations from day one about workplace behavior, safety, health, and culture. Your handbook should include answers to all the questions your employees may have about these topics — and any others you see fit — as they go through training and begin work at your company.

7. Set safety procedures

Your employees are most likely in the office for approximately eight hours per day — meaning it needs to be a healthy and safe place for them to spend large amounts of time. If one of your employees ever felt unsafe or at risk of mental or physical harm at the office, it’d be very difficult to expect them to be a productive worker.

To avoid this, you should set workplace health and safety standards, which you may choose to include in your employee handbook. State your safety procedures for different types of personal altercations as well as procedures for emergencies and other potential unexpected or dangerous situations so everyone can handle them appropriately.

8. Collect administrative records

Although you may have an executive assistant who collects and organizes a lot of your company’s administrative records, there’s also plenty of documentation that should be collected, organized, and managed separately by your HR department. Some of these items may include job applications, benefit plans, tax documents, and compensation and payroll details.

9. Display necessary employment posters

There are state and federal laws that require companies and their HR teams to hang specific employment posters around their offices so they’re visible to everyone who enters the space. Some of these required posters change over time, so be sure to keep up with the laws and requirements of your state and country.

10. Create performance and feedback processes

Employee success and satisfaction are major components of a prosperous company — without these two things, it’d be difficult to retain your best talent. You’ll want to create company-wide performance and feedback processes to ensure everyone is held to a specific standard that you and your HR team set and maintain.

Employee performance evaluations should be held to ensure all employees are working up to their full potential. This time should also be spent making sure your employees are satisfied with their jobs, feel as though they can grow with your company, and enjoy being a member of your team.

What to Look For in an HR Candidate

Now that you have a better understanding of HR’s responsibilities and how you can start building your own department, let’s review the some of the things you should try to identify in potential HR candidates, including education type and work experience.

Human Resources Candidate Education and Background

It’s no secret that a lot of people often “fall” into the human resources field. By this I mean a lot of people who end up in the field don’t necessarily go into their undergraduate education thinking they want a career in HR. If this is the case for some of your HR applicants, there are a few indicators that you’ve found a great candidate despite their educational background.

HR certifications, such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) certification or one of the various others offered by the HR Certification Institute.
Great work ethic, personality and ability to be strategic. It’s key to find a candidate that will represent your company well and has the adaptability to grow into their role. If you see promise, you might also provide this type of candidate with the opportunity to earn a certification and/or postgraduate education in the field as they begin work at your company.

If you’re considering slightly more experienced candidates for your HR department, here are some indicators to look for:

Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management, Business Administration, or a closely related field. Master’s degree in Human Resources or Human Resources and Employee Relations (HRER), or a closely related field such as Business Administration. Prior HR experience, whether it’s an internship or job(s) at another company. Roles in Your Human Resources Department

Now that we’ve covered general requirements and characteristics that you should consider looking for in your HR candidates, let’s dive into some of the actual roles you’ll need to fill within the department. 

We’ll start with your HR department structure. Depending on the size of your company, you may or may not need all of these positions and levels in your own HR department. Another important thing to note is that the titles of these roles and level in which they’re placed also vary based on company, but this diagram will provide you with a general idea of an HR department structure.

human-resources-department-structure

Source

So what do HR employees in these roles actually do? And what are the differences between each position? We’ll cover the answers to these questions below.

Entry-Level Human Resources Roles

Entry-level HR jobs are fit for people who are in school, have recently graduated, or are entering the field for the first time. Their roles may include assistants and HR interns, specialists, generalists, or recruiters.

HR Assistant/ Intern

HR assistants and HR interns are typically in charge of the administrative work — such as organizing paperwork, completing the employer portions of new hire information, and other work their higher-ups ask of them — that needs to be done so everyone else in the department can remain productive and focus on more complex tasks.

HR Specialist

HR specialists focus on one specific department or discipline within human resources. These specialties include HR development, HR management, and organizational development. Their goal is to become an expert in their chosen specialty. For example, a benefits specialist would be required to know and understand the intimate details about a company’s benefits plan and be able to explain that information to new hires and current employees.

HR Generalist

HR generalists have knowledge that covers multiple different areas of the department and its needs. People in this type of role will work on the more typical tasks you may think of when it comes to HR such as compensation, employee relations, and workplace environment.

Recruiter

The sole job of a recruiter is to bring in impressive talent for the company. They find new people to fill the gaps in the company’s staffing plan so the business can continue to grow and remain as productive as possible.

Mid-Level Human Resources Roles

As those in HR work their way up the ranks and acquire more experience, they’ll likely move into a mid-level HR role. Examples of these jobs include advanced specialists, HR managers, and senior recruiters.

Advanced Specialist

An advanced specialist is typically someone who was promoted from an HR specialist role. Their work might include developing job descriptions for specific, technical roles within their specialty, and training and overseeing entry-level specialists who are also in their chosen discipline. Advanced specialists serve as a company’s high-level experts regarding their specific topic within HR.

HR Manager

An HR manager might oversee a group of entry or even mid-level HR employees. They’ll typically handle more of the complex HR tasks such as the creation and management of company-wide policies, values, and culture.

Senior Recruiter

Senior recruiters function as your very own staffing service. They may oversee a team of entry-level recruiters who work to identify ideal candidates for open positions at your company. Senior recruiters may work for your company or you might hire them as a third-party service depending on your budget and resources.

High-Level Human Resources Roles

If someone ends up staying in the HR field for the majority of their career, they may find themselves moving into a high-level position at your company. These roles may include an HR consultant, HR director, recruiting manager, or vice president of HR chief of human resources officer (CHRO).

HR Consultant

An HR consultant is typically someone who oversees all HR administrative work and makes sure you’re meeting all company, state, and federal policies and laws. They can be subject matter experts on a particular HR-related policy. People in this role may be hired as third-party help depending on your budget and resources.

HR Director

If an HR manager is promoted, that person might move into an HR Director role. In most SMBs, the HR Director typically oversees all departmental activities and reports directly to the CEO.

Recruiting Manager

Recruiting managers oversee your company’s recruiting teams. They sign off on your staffing plan and ensure all of your role gaps are filled and talent needs are met.

Vice President of HR or Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

In a larger company, you may have a vice president of human resources or a chief human resources officer. This person reports directly to the CEO, oversees the entire HR operation, and creates overarching department goals.

Back To You

Having a fantastic human resources team is essential to the success of your business. Your HR department will manage your employee relations, hiring, training, career development, benefits, and company culture. Without HR, your employees simply wouldn’t be able to do their jobs. Start by thinking about the number and type of HR employees you’ll need and get started building your department so your company can continue to grow.

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Five Reasons Your Marketing Messages Aren't Hitting the Spot, and How to Make Sure They Do

MarketingProfs Daily
Five Reasons Your Marketing Messages Aren't Hitting the Spot, and How to Make Sure They Do
Thu, 31 Jan 2019 15:00:00 GMT
A lot of marketing directors are constantly tweaking their messaging--because it just isn't doing what they want it to do. And it's not easy to fix... with so many moving parts. But here are five of the most common issues that show up in marketing messaging of all kinds. Let's ... Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Setup Google Analytics in 3 Steps – The Beginner’s Guide

Quick Sprout
Setup Google Analytics in 3 Steps – The Beginner’s Guide
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 19:02:43 +0000

I remember the first site I ever worked on — a blog I built in college.

After getting the site live, I heard I needed Google Analytics so I set it up.

A few days went by. Nothing really happened.

Then… all of sudden… I received my first visitor! Holy cow, someone actually looked at something I built! A complete stranger!

Turns out, it was a false alarm. Google Analytics recorded one of the visits I made to my own site. I felt a little silly after I realized that.

But a few days later, I did start receiving real traffic. I’ll never forget the feeling that came from having built something other people cared about. I quickly started a daily ritual of checking Google Analytics every morning during breakfast.

Watching traffic come to your site is downright addicting.

Google Analytics tells you how many people are coming to your site, where they’re coming from, and what they look at while they’re on your site.

All for free.

That’s right, it’s completely free. Google built a ridiculously high-quality piece of software and makes it available to everyone. There aren’t any catches or downsides either.

Well, maybe there is one downside.

Google Analytics can get complicated. It has a ton of depth, countless reports, and a bunch of advanced features for expert marketers.

But we can skip all that.

Even if you never use the advanced stuff in Google Analytics, there’s a ton of value in a few basic reports. It’s also really easy to set up. Once you create your account and install Google Analytics on your site, you’ll get the majority of its value right out of the box without having to do any fancy customization.

There are three basic steps: getting your tracking code, installing that code on your site, and confirming that it’s all working. Let’s go through each.

Step 1: Get Your Google Analytics Tracking Code

Again, Google Analytics is completely free and anyone can set up an account.

I’m going to walk you through the process of creating your account, setting up a few basic things in Google Analytics, and show you where to find your Google Analytics tracking code (the Global Site Tag).

First, go to this URL.

Google will ask you to sign into a Google Account. If you have a Gmail or G Suite account, that’ll get you in. If not, you can create a Google Account easily.

Once you’ve started the Google Analytics sign up process, Google will ask for some basic info about your site.

Set up Google Analytics Step 1 Start Account

Right after you finish creating your account, you’ll be taken to your Google Analytics tracking code:

Google Analytics Tracking Code

The Global Site Tag is what you’re looking for. That’s the code that will run all the tracking stuff on your site as soon as it’s installed.

Also take note of the Tracking ID. Some website builders or WordPress plugins will send data to Google Analytics for you once they have your tracking ID. If you’re asked for the Tracking ID, you now know where to find it.

There’s nothing else you need to configure in your account at this point, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Install Your Google Analytics Tracking Code on Your Site

Now that you have your Google Analytics tracking code, it’s time to get it on your site.

At a high level, the install is simple. Your Google Analytics Global Site Tag needs to fire on every page of your website when the page loads. As the page loads, it records data from that visitor and then sends it to your Google Analytics account and appears in your reports.

There are a couple of ways to get installed on all your site pages. The way you’ll use depends on how your site is built.

WordPress Sites

For WordPress, there are a couple of ways to install Google Analytics.

The absolute easiest way is to install a Google Analytics plugin on your WordPress site. I’ve listed all of my favorite Google Analytics plugins here.

After you install the plugin, go to the plugin settings and look for the place to add your Tracking ID.

Another option is to check your WordPress theme settings. A lot of WordPress themes have the option to add header scripts. This is a place for you to copy and paste any code snippet into the header of your site. Those code snippet will load on every page. It’s in easy way to install marketing tools like Google Analytics on your site. If your WordPress theme has this option, copy and paste your Google Analytics Global Site Tag into that box. Then you’re done.

This is the way that I usually prefer to install Google Analytics. It’s super easy and it allows me to keep the total number of WordPress plugins down.

If you have trouble finding this setting or your theme doesn’t have it, the plugin option is still a great way to go.

Ecommerce Sites

If you are using an ecommerce tool to run your site, dig around in your site settings. Most of the ecommerce site tools have integrations with Google Analytics.

Usually, they just need to know your Tracking ID and you’ll start seeing data in your reports.

Shopify does ask that you copy and paste your tracking code into its settings. This article also breaks down a few more steps to verify that your Shopify theme is using Google Analytics. Shopify is our recommended ecommerce platform and you should switch to Shopify if you’re not on it already.

All Other Sites

Most site builders like Squarespace and Wix have Google Analytics integrations. Search your site settings for a way to add your Tracking ID or copy your Global Site Tag into your site.

If you’ve built your site by hand, you could install Google Analytics yourself. Your goal is to copy and paste your Global Site Tag into the <head> section on every page of your site. If you’re not sure how to do this, reach out to a developer to help you install it.

What about that Google Tag Manager thing? Should I use it?

Short answer: don’t worry about it. Install Google Analytics without it.

Tag managers became popular to help teams manage their websites. For a growing business, managing all the scripts on different website becomes a real headache. There are dozens of marketing and engineering scripts along with countless sites and subdomains to manage. It’s pretty easy for scripts to get out of hand.

Tag managers came around to manage… well… tags (scripts). Instead of installing scripts directly on your site, you install a single tag manager. Then you put all your scripts in your tag manager. Your tag manager loads the scripts every time someone comes to your site.

There are several major advantages to this:

You can control who has the ability to edit scripts at your company and who doesn’t. The user permissions are very advanced in these tools. It’s a lot easier to keep all your scripts updated and current. Once a year, someone on your team can go through them all, update old scripts, and remove unnecessary ones. It gives non-engineers the ability to make changes to your sites without having to bother the engineering team. Marketers don’t have to pester the engineering team to get a new marketing tool installed on the site. A bunch of advanced features add a lot of extra control over your scripts that you don’t normally have, like being able to pick which pages the script fires on.

Google released its own Google Tag Manager a while back and it quickly became the industry standard.

If you’re part of a larger company, you should install all your marketing tool scripts with Google Tag Manager, including Google Analytics. It’ll prevent a bunch of fires later.

However, most site owners aren’t working at a large company. They’re building their own site or running a small business. If that’s you, I recommend you skip Google Tag Manager for several reasons:

When it’s you or a small team, there’s no need to manage user permissions super strictly. You won’t be using that many marketing tools anyway. It’s a whole other tool that you’d have to learn. You have enough on your plate.

So skip it and install Google Analytics directly on your site.

Step 3: Confirm Google Analytics Is Set Up Correctly

The majority of data in Google Analytics only appears in your reports 24 hours after it happens. This means that if you’re looking at data for today, it’s not accurate. It takes time for Google to process all the data coming in and get it ready for your reports.

So if you install Google Analytics, visit a bunch of pages on your site, then check your Google Analytics reports right away, you might not see anything in your reports. Give it 24 hours for the data to come in.

Google Analytics does have some Real-Time reports that show you data as it’s coming in. These reports don’t have nearly as much depth as the normal reports but you don’t have to wait 24 hours to see what’s happening.

The Real-Time reports are perfect for confirming that you’ve set up Google Analytics properly.

They’re under “Real-Time” in the left sidebar. The Overview report looks like this:

Google Analytics Overview Report in Real-Time Reports

A great way to make sure your Google Analytics tracking code has been installed correctly is to open up the Real-Time Overview report in one browser tab and then click through a bunch of pages on your site in another tab. If the install was done correctly, you should be able to see the pages you’re visiting pop up in the report.

Once all the data is coming in, you’re good to go. You’ve finished setting up Google Analytics and can start checking it during breakfast every morning like I do.

How to Create a Twitter Moment: A Step-by-Step Guide

Marketing
How to Create a Twitter Moment: A Step-by-Step Guide
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 03:38:00 GMT

Sometimes an event is so big, it completely takes over social media -- often for days. Think back to the last awards show, sporting event, or viral meme: How many tweets about it popped onto your Twitter timeline?

When more than 6,000 tweets are published per second, it can be hard to find great content on the platform. So, in 2015, Twitter rolled out Twitter Moments -- curated tweets revolving around a single topic or story, all in one place.

In this blog post, we'll give you the 4-1-1 on Twitter Moments, how to create them, and how businesses can use them to grow their list of followers and capture more branded experiences when a few tweets just won't suffice.

Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.

Initially, Twitter and its editorial partners, such as BuzzFeed and The New York Times, were the only ones who could curate Twitter Moments. But in 2016, Twitter opened up Moments for all Twitter users. Now, all content creators on the platform can compile groups of tweets. Whether it's about an event, a campaign, or a pop culture moment, marketers can take advantage of this feature and potentially get discovered by new followers.

Moments are categorized under the following interest areas: News, Sports, Entertainment, and Fun. Additionally, there is a Today tab that shares the biggest moments of the day on Twitter. Here's how to access Twitter Moments:

Twitter Moments on Desktop

Twitter Moments are available via desktop and your mobile device. On desktop, you can find Twitter Moments by tapping the lightning bolt icon -- it's in the top-left corner of Twitter on your browser, as shown below.

Twitter Moments button shown on desktop from HubSpot's Twitter profile

The button highlighted in red above will bring you to your Twitter Moments feed, where you can shuffle between five Moments categories across the top: News, Sports, Entertainment, Fun, and Today. Here's what a single Twitter Moment looks like when you open it up to read on a desktop:

Twitter Moment about the 2019 NBA All Star Game shown on desktop

Twitter Moments on Mobile

On your mobile device, you can access Twitter Moments by tapping the magnifying glass icon. This will take you to the Explore tab, where you can shuffle between Twitter Moments sorted into News, Sports, Fun, or Entertainment across the top -- as shown below.

twitter-moments-mobile-feed

When you tap on a Moment to read more, scroll down to begin reading tweets about the topic. On mobile, the tweets belonging to a single Twitter Moment are sorted into two categories: Recap and Latest. You'll see these options in the screenshot below. These categories allow you to read the most recent tweets related to a Moment or all of the most popular tweets related to that Moment.

twitter-moment-mobile-recap

Ultimately, Twitter Moments help Twitter users find more quality content about topics they're interested in. Moments also help brands and content creators get discovered in a different way than relying on the Twitter timeline and retweets alone.

Now, let's dive into how to make Moments across all platforms and devices. We'll focus primarily on desktop in the steps below, as Twitter's desktop client is easiest and most customizable for creating a Twitter Moment for the first time. 

Then, we'll go over how to make a Twitter moment via mobile and how to add individual tweets to the Moments you've created.

1. Click "Create new Moment" on the top-righthand side of your Twitter Moments feed.

To start, click the "Moments" icon on the top-lefthand side of your Twitter dashboard. Then, click "Create new Moment" on the far-righthand side, as shown below.

Button to create a twitter moment

2. Choose a title, description, and cover photo for your Moment.

These will appear as a preview of your Moment on the Moments tab and on the Twitter timeline.

Fields to choose a title, description, and cover photo for a new Twitter Moment

3. Add tweets you want to include in your Moment.

Once you've described your Twitter Moment using the fields shown above, it's time to seed your Moment with the first few tweets related to your topic. You can choose from tweets you've liked, review different Twitter accounts to select tweets from a certain brand or individual, or search for tweets by specific keywords and hashtags. You can also enter the URL of a tweet you want to include.

You can add tweets to your Moment by tapping the grayed-out check mark next to the tweet, as shown below.

add-tweets-to-moment

4. Remove or reorder your Twitter Moment content using the icons to the right of each added tweet.

As you add more tweets to your Twitter Moment, you'll see them appear above the "Add Tweets to your Moment" section. Here, you can reorder your tweets by clicking the up and down arrows or remove those you no longer want to include in your Moment by clicking the "X" symbol. See these options in the screenshot, below.

remove-reorder-tweets

5. Click "Finish later" to save a draft of your Moment or "Publish" to push it live on Twitter.

Got everything you want, right where you want it? The only thing left to do is to publish your Twitter Moment. Do so using the "Publish" button on the top-righthand corner of your screen. You can also save your Moment as a draft by clicking the "Finish later" button to the left of "Publish."

Once your Moment is published, you can share it in a tweet, embed it on your website, or share a link to your Moment.

How to Add a Tweet to a Moment

You can also using individual tweets you find while browsing Twitter to create a new Moment, or add these newly discovered tweets to an existing Moment.

To create a new Twitter Moment from a tweet you find on Twitter, start by tapping the downward-facing arrow next to a tweet and selecting "Add to new Moment." This will direct you to the Moment creation dashboard described in step 2 in the section above. See how this looks below.

add-tweet-to-new-moment

To add a tweet to an existing Twitter moment, on the other hand, you'll follow the exact same steps as you would in the above paragraph, but click "Add the other moment," right before the highlighted option in the screenshot above. This will open a window where you can choose from every Twitter moment you've created, whether it's published or saved as a draft. See what this window looks like below.

add-tweet-to-other-moment

How to Create a Twitter Moment on a Mobile Device 1. Tap the gear icon next to your profile picture (or your actual profile photo on Android devices) and select "Moments."

Creating a twitter moment on a mobile device is a fairly easy process. Start by tapping the "Me" silhouette icon on the lower-righthand side of your screen. Then, tap the gear icon next to your profile picture and select "Moments."

moment_IOS_step1.png

create_moments_step2.png

To create a Twitter Moment on Android devices, the process is virtually the same -- except you access the Moments menu by tapping on your profile picture when you open up Twitter:

android-twitter-moments.png

Source: Addictive Tips

2. Tap "+" in your "My Moments" screen to customize your Moment.

To add a title, description, and cover photo for your Twitter Moment, tap the "+" symbol in the top-righthand corner of the "My Moments" screen. From there, you'll reach a dashboard where you can customize your Moment's title, description and cover photo.

ios_twitter_moment_step3.png

3. Add tweets to your Moment by tapping the "Add Tweets" button in the bottom center of your screen.

You can choose from your tweets, tweets you've liked, and by searching for tweets. Add them by tapping the tweets and then tapping the green "Add 1 Tweet" button.

ios_add_tweets_step4.png

4. Tap the "Reorder" button in the bottom-lefthand corner of your Moments dashboard to customize your Moment. reorder_ios_step5.png 5. When you're done, tap "Finish later" to save a draft, or "Publish" to share your Moment on Twitter.

ios_finishlater_step6.png

You can also create a new Moment by tapping the downward-facing arrow next to a tweet and selecting "Add to Moment." This will direct you to the Moment dashboard in step 2, above.

addtomoment_ios.png

How Brands Can Use Twitter Moments 1. Events

Create a Twitter Moment that showcases what's going on at an event your brand is hosting or participating in. You can share what others are saying about your brand and keep followers up-to-date about what's going on if they can't attend the event themselves.

Here's a Twitter moment published by INBOUND at the kickoff of INBOUND 2016, when Gary Vaynerchuk kicked off the weeklong marketing and sales event with a keynote speech. The Moment compiled various tweets about the speech from different attendees and influencers and provided an inside look at the event for those following along at home.

2. Tweetstorms

For those times when live-tweeting a series of related tweets is necessary, a Moment can serve to showcase a tweetstorm after it's happened to bring attention to what a brand or individual is tweeting about.

Here's an example from Persil UK & Ireland, a laundry detergent brand that created a Twitter Moment tweetstorm to promote its social media conversation, #DirtIsGood, about the importance of kids getting outside:

3. Breaking News

Another great use case for Twitter Moments is breaking news. Journalists and publications can produce Twitter Moments to group together tons of tweets about an emerging story. Whether the tweets are all originals from the brand's account or are a compilation of different voices, the Moment serves to provide Twitter users with as much information as possible.

Here's a breaking news Twitter Moment from Bloomberg about the World Economic Forum in Davos:

4. Behind-the-scenes

One of the great things about social media is it gives customers a window into brands they love that they wouldn't otherwise have. Brands can use Moments to create behind-the-scenes looks at products, employees, and events on Twitter.

Here's Allure's Moment featuring a behind-the-scenes look at ringing the New York Stock Exchange opening bell:

5. Content Promotion

A multi-channel strategy is key to successfully promoting content you publish on your blog and website, and social media channels are no exception. Try publishing insights and data from your latest blog post or research report in the form of a Twitter Moment.

Here's an example from the team here at HubSpot. We published a Moment about our annual State of Inbound survey results back in 2016:

(Want to see our 2018 State of Inbound report? Get it here.)

Now that you're a pro at creating Twitter Moments, try publishing one today to see how it impacts your Twitter engagement. Don't let your clever tweets and hashtags go to waste -- create a Moment and share content with your audience year-round.

How do you use Twitter Moments? Share with us in the comments below.

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