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How to Make a QR Code in 5 Easy Steps

Floors. Ceilings. Bathroom stall doors. These are just a few of the places you’ll find QR codes. In fact, they’ve become so ever-present that 45% of shoppers used marketing-related QR codes in 2021.

There’s no denying the popularity and convenience of the QR code. But, what exactly is it? Why is it so popular? How can you create one for your next marketing campaign?

Keep reading to learn the magic behind QR codes and how to create your own.

QR codes typically look like this:

Not every QR code is shaped like a perfect square. Sometimes they have unique patterns, colors, and logos displayed inside. You’ll find them in non-digital spaces like direct mail, signage, billboards, and even TV shows where you can scan the code on the screen using your phone.

Both barcodes and QR codes can be scanned using a laser or a smartphone as long as the tool being used has the correct capabilities of reading vertical and horizontal data. Although most smartphones scan QR codes automatically, many won’t scan barcodes so easily — you’ll need a special app for that.

Does the rise of QR codes mean traditional barcodes are a thing of the past? Of course not. Traditional barcodes are still a common way for businesses to identify consumer packaged goods (CPGs) and manage their product inventory.

Image Source

Image Source

However, there are several differences between barcodes and QR codes — both in their uses and their characteristics. Below are three important differences.

QR Codes Are Shaped Differently

Barcodes are typically rectangular, which requires scanning devices to read the barcode’s data horizontally. QR codes are often square-shaped, displaying their data vertically and horizontally.

QR Codes Hold Different Data

QR codes are often used differently than barcodes. Barcodes hold key product information at the point of sale, such as the price and name of the manufacturer. QR codes offer more passive and intangible information, such as location data and URLs to promotions and product landing pages.

QR Codes Hold More Data

Due to a QR code’s square shape, it can hold much more data compared to a barcode. QR codes can hold hundreds of times more encrypted characters than a barcode can.

We learned a little bit about how barcodes and QR codes differ, but how exactly do QR codes work?

Let’s say a consumer sees a QR code. They can take out their mobile device, download a free QR code scanning app, or simply use their phone’s camera, and scan the QR code to gain more information about what they saw.

If you wanted to create, say, a bus stop advertisement promoting your podcast, you could display a QR code on that printed ad that brings people right to your iTunes page when they scan it with their phones. Pretty simple, right?

The QR code creation process is pretty straightforward, regardless of the device you’re using. Here’s how to get started.

How to Create a QR Code on Any Device

Step 1: Head to qr-code-generator.com.

Using any browser on any operating system, head to qr-code-generator.com. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to use this tool; you can choose any web-based QR code generator. If you need some ideas, check out our list.

Step 2: Enter your URL.

For most QR codes, you’ll want to redirect users to a URL. In that case, enter the URL in the tool. You can also choose from other content types, including contact cards, PDFs, and MP3s. At the bottom, you also have the option of creating QR codes for Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files. The exact content options will vary by tool.

After you select the content type, a field or form will appear where you can enter the information that corresponds with your campaign. For instance, if you want your QR code to save contact information, you’ll see a set of fields where you can enter your email address, subject line, and associated message.

Once you enter your URL or upload your file, it will immediately create a QR code that’s ready for download. However, we recommend customizing it to strengthen your brand identity.

Step 3: Customize your QR code’s frame, shape, and color.

The fun part of creating QR codes is customizing the design of the codes to fit your brand. Want your code to contain your logo? Go for it. Want it to reflect your website’s design scheme? No problem.

The front-end generator on qr-code-generator.com offers limited frame, shape, and color options that allow you to customize your QR code. If you want more options, we highly encourage you to sign up on the website and edit your QR code through the tool’s creator portal.

Here’s one example of how you can customize your QR code once you sign up for a QR Code Generator account:

Keep in mind that not every QR code maker offers these design options either before or after signing up. Depending on the QR code you’re looking to generate, you might find some tools limited in their functionality.

Step 4: Click “Download” and save the file to your computer.

If you’re just trying to quickly create a QR code, don’t worry about signing up. Instead, click the Download button.

Your download will start immediately, but the website will try to trick you into signing up. Ignore this message unless you truly want to sign up. At the top, you’ll see a message that says your QR code is getting created and that you shouldn’t refresh the window. A pop-up download window will come up within 2 minutes.

Step 5: Add the QR code to print collateral.

A QR code won’t be able to do its job unless people see it. So make sure you add the code to any materials that will help you market your business. This could include displaying it in print ads, on clothing, or in physical locations where people can take out their phones to scan it. Scroll down for more tips on properly displaying a QR code.

As for how you’ll add the JPG or vector file to print collateral, you can do so with a variety of tools, including:

Canva: Canva is an online design tool that lets you import JPG files and add them to your design. It offers flyer and brochure templates for easy creation.
BeFunky: BeFunky is a similar tool to Canva and also allows you to add JPG files to a design. It also offers templates for you to choose from.
Adobe Illustrator and InDesign: If you’re a more advanced user, you can use a dedicated graphic design tool to add your QR code to pamphlets and brochures. Illustrator is a good fit for one-page designs; InDesign is a better fit for multi-page brochures.

If you’re on a mobile device, good news: You can easily create a QR code that you can share with colleagues and prospects on-the-go. You’ll need the Google Chrome app to do so.

How to Create a QR Code on Android

Creating a QR code on an Android device is simple with the Chrome app. You can only make QR codes for URLs, but this is a handy tool for when you need to quickly share product pages or blog posts with someone.

Here are the steps:

Download the Google Chrome app from the Google Play Store.
Navigate to the URL you want to share.
Click the three vertical dots (⋮) on the top toolbar.
Tap Share.
On the pop-up, select QR Code.
Either click Download at the bottom or hold your phone up for someone to scan the code.

How to Create a QR Code on iOS

Just like in Android, you can easily make QR Codes on any iPhone or iPad. Here’s how:

Download the Google Chrome app from the App Store. Note: You can’t create QR Codes from the Google search app, only the Chrome app.
Navigate to the URL you want to share.
Tap the Share button on the upper right-hand corner.

Select Create QR Code.

Either hold it up for someone to scan or tap Share. This option will allow you to print your QR code, save the image to your camera roll, or save it to your files.

How to Use QR Codes (And How Not to)

Now that you see how simple the QR code creation process can be, let’s talk about some best practices that’ll increase the likelihood that your QR code actually gets used.

Display your QR code where it’s convenient for people to scan.

Put QR codes in places where scanning them is easy and there’s enough time for the consumer to scan the code. While you may often see QR codes on billboards and TV commercials, they’re not exactly the most user-friendly locations. It’s a safety hazard to entice people to pull out their phones while driving to scan a code, and a 30-second commercial might not be enough time for someone to find their phone and scan the TV.

Instead, think of places where consumers have the time and ability to scan the code. Places with a strong Wi-Fi connection will help, too.

Optimize the QR’s destination page for mobile devices.

Mobile-optimize the page to which you’re sending people. Consumers will be using their phones when scanning the QR code, so they should arrive at a page with a positive mobile experience.

Include a CTA that prompts people to scan your QR code.

Offer a call-to-action (CTA) with the code — that is to say, tell people what they’re supposed to do when they see the code, and what they’ll receive if they scan it. Not everyone knows exactly what a QR code is, and those that do won’t be motivated to scan it unless they’re sure there’s something worthwhile on the other side.

Don’t limit your QR code to one mobile scanner.

Don’t require a special QR code scanner. Your QR code should be app-agnostic so anyone can scan your code with any reader. A lower barrier to entry makes success more likely for you and the user.

Use your QR code to make someone’s life easier.

Don’t use a QR code just for the sake of using one. For instance, it’s common for marketers to think, “How can I bridge the offline experience with the online experience? Uhhh … QR code!” That’s not wrong, but it’s not always right, either.

If you have content that makes sense to deliver to a mobile user, and you have an appropriate channel to do it (see use #1 at the beginning of this section), it’s more likely your QR code will drive results.

Earlier, we showed you an example of how to create your own QR code, but you don’t have to create it from scratch. A QR code generator can speed up the process (and take a lot of math out of it, too.)

There are tons of QR code generators out there. The best ones give you many customizable options for using your QR code, and compatibility with just about all mobile QR code reader apps.

Other things to look for when choosing a QR code generator are whether you can track and analyze performance in real-time and design a code that’s unique to your brand.

Below are some of our favorite QR code generators that make custom QR codes quick and easy to create.

1. Kaywa

Kaywa is a simple, no-fuss QR code generator that creates basic codes for coupons, URLs, and contact information. Simply enter your information, choose whether you want a dynamic or static code, and generate it.

Why we like it:

If you’re using your QR code as part of a marketing campaign, you can track analytics through Kaywa when you create an account. That way, you’ll have the latest data on who engaged with your code, where they engaged, and when.

2. GOQR.me

GOQR.me is a simple QR code generator that works best with short URLs, but it can be used to store text, geolocation, and event data. Simply click on the icon that corresponds to your data and fill in the fields.

Why we like it:

You’ll get a live preview of your QR code in real-time which speeds things up if you’re adding finishing touches to your marketing campaign. For an additional fee, you can also have your logo added to your QR code by a GOQR.me-affiliated designer for a custom look.

3. Free QR Code Generator by Shopify

QR codes work best when you have something to offer the people who scan them. And chances are, you’re probably selling to people who buy products online with their phones every day.

Why we like it:

Shopify makes it easy to create a QR code in just one click. The best part is that you don’t have to own a Shopify store to use this free tool.

4. Visualead

Looking for a one-of-a-kind QR code that suits your brand to a “T”? Visualead is the tool we recommend for the job.

Why we like it:

Visual QR codes are popular and can generate more interest in your users than a typical black and white code can. That means you could see more scans and engagement on this type of QR code.

5. The-qrcode-generator.com

The-qrcode-generator.com features a simple UI that lets you create a unique QR code in minutes. Simply add your URL or the information you want to share and your QR code appears instantly.

Why we like it:

If you’re creating several QR codes at once, you might find it worthwhile to download the Google Chrome extension for a faster workflow.

6. QR Stuff

As one of the more robust QR code generators, QR Stuff can create codes for just about any type of data you want to share with the world. YouTube videos, Zoom meeting invitations, and even bitcoin information are supported through this tool.

Why we like it:

In just three steps, you’ll have a free, customizable QR code that will function properly and look great. Plus, there’s no limit to the number of codes you can create.

7. Qr-code-generator.com

We used this QR code generator in our how-to guide above, and for good reason. Qr-code-generator.com is a simple tool that’s user-friendly for even the least tech-savvy of us. Simply drop your link into the box, and let the generator do all the work.

Why we like it:

QR-code-generator.com is intuitive. It’ll automatically detect the type of URL you’ve added and produce a QR code in seconds.

8. QR Code Monkey

If the way your QR code looks is important to you, but you don’t want to pay extra for a custom design, try QR Code Monkey. Once you add your URL, you can change the color, add a logo, and further customize the pixels in your code at no cost.

Why we like it:

With QR Code Monkey, the design possibilities are virtually limitless. All you need to create a branded QR code is a creative eye and a little patience.

QR Code Best Practices

1. Sign up for an account on a QR code generator website.

One significant pitfall to making a QR code is that you can’t edit the data it contains once you print it. But by signing up for an account, you can edit this data. This is especially important if you expect to use a lot of QR codes in your marketing strategy.

With a free membership to QR code generators like qr-code-generator.com, you can print a dynamic QR code, scan it, and pull up an editable form where you can modify the data your visitors will receive when they scan the QR code themselves. You can also track performance analytics, which we’ll cover below, and create a new customized version of your code.

2. Customize your QR code.

QR codes can be boring to look at, but not if you customize them as much as possible. If you sign up for an account on a QR code generator website, you can customize your QR code further — adjusting the colors, adding a logo, creating social options, and more.

Keep in mind, however, that some customizations can make it more difficult for QR code scanning apps and smartphone cameras to properly read the code. To cover your bases, it’s a good idea to generate two versions of your QR code — one plain version and another with your preferred design.

Speaking of this…

3. Test the QR code to make sure it scans.

Don’t forget to check to see if the QR code reads correctly, and be sure to try more than one QR code reader. A good place to start is the free tool Google Lens, which takes a picture and then tells you what link or item it “reads to.”

Another great free tool is the app QR Code Reader, which automatically takes you to whatever it “reads.” Most smartphones these days include a built-in QR code reader, so you should test to make sure your code is readable there, as well.

4. Track and analyze performance.

Just like any marketing campaign, you should follow up on any collateral or campaigns using QR codes to see whether they’re actually working. How much traffic comes from each specific code? Are people scanning your code but not redeeming their offer once they get to the landing page? Or are they not even compelled enough to scan your QR code in the first place?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you troubleshoot and adjust poorly performing QR codes to more closely mirror those that work well.

I recommend you include a UTM tracking code on your URL so you can better measure performance. This is particularly important if you use closed-loop marketing analytics or if you perform more in-depth reporting on your campaigns.

Create Your QR Code Today

Now it’s your turn! You’ve spent enough time scanning QR codes, why not make your own? Follow the steps in this article and use one of the free QR code generators we’ve recommended to put your business, project, or event out there in the real world.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

 
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How to Find your Dream Job in 2022

Finding a new job is a job in itself. It takes time and effort to apply, interview, and eventually land a position — even when you’re completely qualified.

It took me close to nine months from the moment I decided it was time to start searching for a new role to my first day at HubSpot.

Long story short, searching for a new job or finding your dream career isn’t always an easy process. It can be stressful, time-consuming, and difficult. But, no fear — that’s why we’ve created this guide. Follow along, and the process will feel significantly less intimidating no matter your industry, job experience, or career goals.

Depending on your specific situation, you may not need to walk through each of the following steps. This list is here to simply guide you through the beginning stages of your job hunt, so feel free to modify it as needed.

1. Consider your personality.

Your personality reveals a lot about yourself, such as what you enjoy doing, what makes you happy, and how you like to communicate — even the types of jobs you’d likely succeed in. There are a number of ways to incorporate your personality traits and characteristics in your job search.

Take one of the many online personality tests to learn more about your specific traits and discover the types of roles those traits would make you an ideal fit for. This is also helpful when thinking about the type of work environment you’d be most productive in.

Your personality helps you narrow your search in other ways, too — for example, if your results come back with details about you being shy, introspective, and reserved, research ideal jobs for introverts.

2. Think about your skills.

Your skill set is a list of your abilities — such as problem-solving, decision-making, and the ability to work under pressure. In addition to using your skillset to help you determine the type of job you’d be good at, it’s often something listed on a resume — so, listing your skills is a useful exercise for that reason as well.

Also, consider your transferable skills. These are skills that can be transferred from one role to the next, even if they aren’t in the same field. If you are switching industries or roles figuring out how your transferable skills would apply to a new position is key. Some transferable skills include:

Project management
Public speaking
Relationship building
Analytics and reporting

If you need more guidance, you can learn more about your specific skill set and how it plays a part in the type of career you’d be an ideal fit for by taking a career aptitude test.

3. Reflect on your background.

Your previous work experience and education — or your background — can also help you determine a career path you’d be suited for.

For example, I studied journalism in college and worked at a local news station after graduation. However, after a year, I decided I wanted to leave the industry. My background — which was writing and content-focused — made me an ideal candidate for a position on the HubSpot Blog.

If your background doesn’t align with your newfound career interests, that’s OK, too! However, this may require a little more research on your end about how you can transition to a new career. You may need to go back to school for a master’s degree, get a certification of some kind, or work in an entry-level position in your new field of interest.

4. Brainstorm your career goals.

Brainstorm your personal and career goals to help you determine the ideal next step for you. Think about things like work-life balance, salary, and your goals for the next 5-10 years. This will help you narrow down your search — different industries and positions have a range of standards when it comes to factors like flexibility, culture, and career growth.

5. Create a list of your dream companies.

Whether or not you’re sure about a specific opportunity, create a list of your dream companies you think you’d enjoy working for. This is a great way to keep track of opportunities at the companies you’re most interested in and remain goal-oriented.

You can then tailor your cover letter as well as career highlights and skillset on your resume to fit the requirements and expectations of specific opportunities at your top-choice companies.

6. Consider companies similar to your dream companies.

Consider companies comparable to those on your list of top picks, too. For example, if your goal is to work in marketing at Nike, consider applying for a similar position at a newer, growing company in the same industry like NOBULL.

By being open-minded and realistic about how you’re going to reach your end goal (such as working at Nike), you’ll avoid locking yourself into one, narrow career path option all while gaining valuable experience along the way.

7. Network professionally.

Whether you’re looking to stay in your current industry or pave a completely new path in another, professional networking is critical. These days, many of the offers job seekers receive are a result of networking.

Networking can help you get your foot in the door at a company of interest, gain a new and valuable reference in the industry, and determine whether or not you really want to move into a specific role.

8. Clean up your social media accounts.

Today, recruiters, hiring teams, and department leaders at virtually every company will take the time to research candidates online, including on social media platforms, prior to determining whether or not they want to request an interview.

This means you’ll want to ensure your social media accounts are private or remove pictures, videos, and/or comments that may lead a hiring manager to believe you aren’t a good fit for outreach. After all, the last thing you’d want is for the hiring manager at your dream company to disregard your experience due to something they find on your Instagram or Facebook profile.

9. Update your LinkedIn profile.

Did you know there are over 800 million LinkedIn users? Included in that impressive number are job seekers, businesses, and recruiters looking to fill positions, as well as people who are content with their current roles.

With all of this exposure, it’s important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and accurately represents your current and past experiences. Be sure to describe — in detail — information about your current and past roles, promotions, notable mentions, education, awards, and anything else you feel is worth sharing. Initiate and accept connections to expand your network to receive endorsements for your skills, experiences, and traits.

No matter if you’re in need of a new role, members of your professional network as well as recruiters, hiring managers, and employers will be able to view your LinkedIn profile and reach out to you if they choose. Who knows — maybe you didn’t even realize you were missing out on applying to your dream job.

Learn how to use LinkedIn for professional networking, business, and marketing.

10. Prepare your resume.

Once you’ve narrowed down the type of role you want, be sure that the skills on your resume mirror what companies are asking for and tailor each resume you submit to their specific needs. Focus not only on listing your job duties but the results achieved thanks to your actions. Let’s say you were a call center representative in a previous role. You could say:

“Answered 50+ calls per shift.”

A more effective statement would be:

“Answered 50+ calls per shift, decreasing customer hold times by 30% and improving overall customer satisfaction.”

The second statement has more impact because it details exactly how your actions improved company operations and provided benefits to customers.

Prepare your resume at the beginning of your job search to ensure your latest and most relevant work experience is available to recruiters and hiring managers for review.

Without a strong and recently updated resume, the companies you apply to won’t have reason to take you seriously. Additionally, pay attention to the details when it comes to your resume including font and which skills of yours you choose to share with specific companies — this is how you’re going to make an impactful first impression that sticks with hiring managers as they review the resumes of other applicants.

Note: When in doubt, try updating your resume with a template to achieve a professional look and feel sure to blow hiring managers away.

How to Find a Job You Love

Now that we’ve reviewed which steps to take in the first stages of your job search, you might be wondering how to find a job you’re truly passionate about — one you love. That’s why we’ve compiled this collection of tips and tricks to help you find your dream career.

1. Get specific about what you want.

In order to find your dream career, you’ll need to get very specific about what that looks like. Ask yourself:

What is my ideal role? Name it if you already have that nailed down.
Do I prefer a company that is environmentally or socially responsible?
Is there a particular company, or company size I prefer?
What are my work/life balance requirements?
What is my ideal salary?
What is my ideal career progression?
Do I already possess the skills I need for this role or do I need to skill up?

Aim high. You are trying to find your dream career, after all. Once you’ve made a list of all the attributes you’re looking for in your next role, you’ll be able to filter out anything that doesn’t fall within those requirements.

2. Use job search sites.

Today, job search sites, or job search engines, are one of the most common ways to find a new position. These sites provide you with valuable information about companies and positions including location, industry, salary, necessary qualifications, culture, and more.

Other benefits to using a job search site include the ability to upload your resume and cover letter for quick and easy application submission. They also provide you with the option to receive an alert when a new opportunity, that fits the criteria you share, becomes available.

There are a number of popular job search sites, used by millions of people around the world, with these capabilities (and more). Here are six of the most common to get you started:

LinkedIn isn’t just a professional networking site — it’s also a job search site. The platform will take you through a series of steps to help you begin and narrow your job hunt. You can view position openings while employers can read your resume, view your LinkedIn profile, and Connect.
Tech Ladies is a free job board and supportive online community dedicated to helping women learn, grow, and extend opportunities in the tech industry. Simply upload your resume to their job board and apply directly through the site.
Glassdoor gives you access to job listings, employee reviews, interview tips, salary information, and more. You can post your resume so hiring managers can contact you directly and the site includes a feature in which you can view interview questions specific companies tend to ask — which is a great interview prep technique.
Indeed provides you with access to new job listings, company reviews, and accurate salary information. The site also allows you to post your resume so recruiters and employers can easily reach out.
CareerBuilder gives you the opportunity to search for a new job based on specific criteria including your experience, location, or skill set. Upload your resume so employers can recruit you. The site will also review your profile and recommend jobs to help you find the right match.
Monster allows you to upload your resume for a free assessment to ensure everything looks perfect. The site has a variety of other resources such as opportunities to receive professional interview advice as well as access to the latest — and most popular — job listings, salary information, and company reviews.
Craigslist is a straightforward and simplistic job search site. Employers post their latest job listings and you can sift through them by location and/or one of the site’s 20+ industry types.

3. Check company websites for openings of interest.

Maybe you heard about an opening at your dream company or an opportunity at a specific business of interest that you want to learn more about. If this is the case, go directly to the website of the given company you’re interested in to review their career opportunities and job descriptions. If they provide a career newsletter that sends new job openings, subscribe to that, too.

Rather than looking for positions that meet more general criteria, this is a great option for those who know they want a specific company’s name on their resume or culture to be a part of.

4. Craft unique cover letters.

Your cover letter accompanies your resume to persuade employers into believing you’re worth their time and consideration so they bring you in for an interview. Your cover letters should describe why you’re a great fit for the position you apply for. And when paired with your resume, a recruiter should understand why you’re qualified for the opportunity.

Save time and use templates to craft your perfect cover letter.

Now, you may be thinking: Not all companies require cover letters.

And that’s true — some companies openly say cover letters are your choice. If this is the case, it’s up to your discretion as to whether or not you want to send one in. (Personally, I always choose to take the time to tell potential employers about the reasons why I am taking their hiring process and a specific opportunity seriously, but that’s just my prerogative.) If you send in a cover letter, ensure it’s concise, well-written, and helps you stand out among other applicants.

5. Prepare for every interview.

Needless to say, nailing your interview is a critical component to receiving a job offer. Although interviews are often high-pressure experiences for job-seekers, thoroughly preparing for them is a great way to relieve some of the stress.

Practice answering interview questions using the STAR method. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Results. The method works by having candidates craft their answers to describe a situation, the required task, their chosen action, and the result of that action, putting their past work experience into context.

To help you prepare, review the following commonly-asked interview questions and consider your responses.

Tell me about yourself.
What are the reasons for leaving your last job?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What motivates you?
What makes you unique?
What is your greatest weakness?

You can also use other resources for interview prep like the Search Interview Questions feature on Glassdoor or blogs about the job search process in a specific industry.

6. Determine the most important parts of a position to you and look for them in your search.

What’s important to you in a company and position?

Is it flexibility in terms of work hours?

Do you require the ability to work remotely full or part-time, or do you want to go into an office every day? Refer back to your dream career must-haves list.

Do you care about the size of the team you’ll be on?

Think about these types of questions when determining which opportunities to apply for so you can ensure the company and position are right for you — and vice versa — before spending time on the application.

For example, if a top-rated workplace culture is important to your application process, review the websites of the companies you’re considering to learn about their culture-related initiatives. Take a look at HubSpot to understand what I mean — HubSpot’s unique Culture Code is explained on their career page as well as in many other locations throughout the company website and Blog. This allows applicants to learn about the importance of workplace culture to the company and its employees as well as how it plays a part in the interview and hiring processes.

7. Think about how you’ll manage an offer.

The final part of your hunt for the perfect position is also the most exciting — accepting an offer!

Once you receive a job offer, be sure to get all of the details about the position, including salary, benefits, and expected start date (along with any other important details).

Remember, it’s normal — and often expected — to ask for some time to consider an offer upon receipt so you have the opportunity to think about and review it in detail before officially accepting it. If you ask, a hiring manager may give you a day, two days, or even a full work week to make a decision.

Don’t be afraid to decline an offer if the specific opportunity isn’t the right fit for you. Other offers will come around — be patient and wait for the one that makes you excited.

Also, you may choose to negotiate your starting salary upon receiving your offer. There are professional and realistic ways to negotiate your salary that you can follow to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Lastly, give your current employer two weeks’ notice — this will allow them to begin searching for your replacement if necessary or at least provide them with a cushion in terms of time to make any necessary adjustments.

How to Find a Remote Job

Today, remote work has become increasingly popular. With technology that allows you to collaborate with team members in real-time from anywhere in the world, instant message, and meet via video chat, remote work has become a more common perk offered by businesses across all industries.

Whether you’d like to become a digital nomad, or you’re looking for a position that’s part-time or full-time remote, there’s an option for you. So, let’s take a look at how you can find your dream remote position.

Note: When searching for a remote job, you can follow most of the same steps that you would if you were looking for a non-remote job — as we reviewed above. However, instead of using the job sites we mentioned earlier, you’ll want to use job sites specifically created for posting and identifying remote opportunities.

But before you review those sites, take some time to think about the pros and cons of a remote position.

Pros and Cons of Remote Work

Now, it’s important to remember that depending on your point of view, work style, career goals, and preferences, you may find some of the following points to be under the incorrect column in your eyes — that’s totally fine … it’s all a matter of perspective.

Pros of Remote Work

Cons of Remote Work

Flexible hours

Lack of office space or work-related events to attend with colleagues

Ability to work from anywhere

More distractions

No commute

Possibility of feeling lonely or unmotivated

Increases employee retention and loyalty (by providing this option for employees upon being hired or later in one’s career)

Little work-day structure

Increases size of talent pool which is a positive for businesses looking for the best possible candidates

Can make team communication difficult

Remote Job Search Sites

Now, back to those job search sites specific for remote opportunities we mentioned — here are a few of the most popular options for you to pull from.

Note: If you’re looking for a part-time remote position, you might want to focus on applying for freelance opportunities.

AngelList is a startup community. The site includes a job finder in which users can search specifically for remote work in the world of startups. There are also a number of articles published on AngelList’s Blog which provide insight into remote work, remote culture, and related opportunities for users to learn from and use for inspiration.
FlexJobs lists a wide range of flexible (hence their name) opportunities on their site including part and full-time positions that are either partially or completely remote. As a job seeker, you have the support of the company’s trained researchers who work to identify and screen these positions to ensure they’re legitimate and worthwhile (no matter if you are entry-level or an executive).
WeWorkRemotely offers a wide range of categories and industries for job seekers to browse and learn about remote opportunities. They have a number of resources on their site for users to educate themselves with as well as determine which specific type of remote positions would be ideal for their career goals.

Begin Your Job Search

Starting the job search process can be overwhelming at times. So, remember to use job search sites to narrow your search and take advantage of the wide array of resources available to job seekers today to help identify the right opportunities for you. Then, prepare for your interviews and remember to be patient — that dream job of yours might just be around the corner.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to Use Pinterest Advertising to Promote Products and Attract Customers

Pinterest is often undervalued by social media marketers and considered an unnecessary component of a marketing strategy — unfortunately, if this isn’t the case for your team, you could be missing out on a major source of traffic and income.

Pinterest offers plenty of unique opportunities for marketers to reach leads and influence consumer purchasing behavior. In fact, Pinners are 7x more influential than any other platform along their purchasing journey.

If you’re interested in exploring how Pinterest advertising can help you attract customers, keep reading.

Pinterest Advertising

With over 442 million monthly active users, Pinterest is a great place for businesses to advertise products. Ads show up on users’ feeds and searches in the same format as a regular Pin, making the experience unobtrusive for users while putting your content right in front of them.

There is a large potential reach when you create ads for Pinterest audiences — and, best of all, users are also actively searching the site for products like yours to buy.

Why Advertise on Pinterest

The reach can be incredible. If your content is engaging and valuable, it can be re-pinned again and again to different users’ boards and continue to drive consumers back to your website.

Pins have a much longer lifespan than Tweets or Instagram posts. This longevity makes them a particularly powerful asset. Pins can show up in a user’s feed months after initially posted.

Pinterest drives purchases. According to Pinterest’s Feed Optimization Playbook, 83% of weekly “Pinners” have made a purchase based on content they saw from brands on Pinterest.

All of which is to say — a paid advertising strategy for Pinterest isn’t such a bad idea, and could help bolster your organic presence by gaining traction with potential buyers, and improving brand recognition.

Pinterest Ad Types

There are a few ways to promote your content on Pinterest. To determine which ad format is best for your business, it’s important to know the goals of your campaign and the attributes of each Pinterest promotion format.

1. Try On Product Pins

Accessory and beauty businesses have a new way to interact with users through Ads. Pinterest’s Try on feature uses augmented reality to enable users on the app to virtually try on products using Pinterest Lens. This feature will combine your content with their technology to create a virtual fitting room for users.

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Businesses will need to go through their Pinterest account manager to get set up and must already have a product catalog uploaded.

2. Idea Pins

Idea Pins are Pinterest’s multi-page video format that allows creators to make their video content shoppable. Creators can partner with brands to utilize affiliate links and sponsored content.

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These are similar to Instagram Stories, but with a bevy of publishing tools. Ideal Pins come with:

Video recording and editing for up to 20 pages of content

Voice over recording so creators can add their own personal voice

Ghost mode transition tools (for before & after videos)

Detail pages for instructions or ingredients

Multi-draft save feature

Topic and user tagging

The new feature has already proven to be a standout for Pinners garnering 9x more comments than traditional pins. Pinners are 89% more likely to exhibit shopping intent on products tagged in Idea Pins than on standalone Product Pins.

3. Promoted Pins

At first glance, Promoted Pins look and act just like a regular static Pin, but they have a small “Promoted” label to set them apart. Promoted Pins are boosted and targeted to reach more people. Users can even pin your Promoted Pins to their boards, share them, and comment on them.

Once a user shares a Promoted Pin, the “Promoted” label disappears, and subsequent re-pins are considered earned media — meaning, after the first pin, organic exposure to the content is free.

Here are some guidelines to follow when creating a Promoted Pin advertisement:

The file has to be PNG or JPEG.
Your content cannot go over 10 MB.
There is a description copy limit of 500 characters.
Your aspect ratio must be 2:3 and should be vertically oriented.

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4. Video Pins

Promoted Video Pins are exactly like Promoted Pins — except the static image is replaced with a video.

Seven out of 10 Pinners say Pinterest is where they go to find new products, making video a great medium to reach and engage potential customers. Therefore, just as with Idea Pins, Pinterest and video advertising go hand-in-hand.

Pinterest offers two options for video sizing: max-width, or standard. Standard videos are the same size as regular Pins and cost less than a max-width Pin, which spreads across a user’s entire feed.

No matter what size you choose, Pinterest videos auto-play once they’re 50 percent in view. Plus, the Promoted Video Pins have a conversion optimization option to better serve advertisers with traffic or conversion goals. This new option brings the user to a landing page on the advertiser’s website, as well as a close-up of the video.

Here are some guidelines to follow when creating a Promoted Video Pin advertisement:

The file has to be either an MP4 or MOV.
Your video cannot exceed 2 GB.
The video must meet a minimum of four seconds, and cannot go over 15 minutes.
Your aspect ratio must fall between 1:91:1 and 1:2.
There is a description copy limit of 500 characters.
Make sure to create a video that’s not dependent on audio for greater accessibility and for those who scroll with sound off.

5. Carousels

Promoted Carousels contain up to five images that users can swipe through. Carousels are used to give a deeper brand story within one Pin.

This feature behaves the same as other Pins, except it will have dots beneath the images that signal additional content. Each carousel image can be different and have a different title, description, and link to another landing page.

Here are some guidelines to follow when creating a Promoted Carousel advertisement:

File type: PNG or JPEG
Ideal aspect ratio: 1:1 or 2:3
File size: Max 10 MB
Title copy: Max 100 characters
Description copy: Max 500 characters

6. Collections

Collection ads appear as a combination of one larger, hero image (or video) followed by three smaller, secondary photos. When a user taps on a collection ad, they’re taken to a full-screen experience where they can view the hero image and up to 24 secondary images.

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They’re a great way to showcase a variety of products in one ad. Plus, they are easy to create using the catalog feature. Just select the product groups you’d like to feature from your catalog and Pinterest create an ad that displays the most relevant products for the user from your product feed.

Currently, collections ads can only be created on desktop and are targeted to users on the mobile app.

7. Shopping

Pinterest shopping ads let you target customers early while they’re just browsing. Like Collections, these ads are created by pulling from your product catalog. When a user clicks on your image or video, it takes them directly to a link where they can purchase the product.

Simply set up your product groups in catalog and Pinterest will use your product data to show relevant products to users. With this feature, there’s no need to set up any additional targeting.

Curious about how to advertise on Pinterest? We’ll walk through all the steps next.

1. Create a business account.

First you’ll need to create a Pinterest business account. This will give you access to all of their ad tools and features. You also have the option to convert your personal account to a business one once you’ve logged in.

2. Choose your campaign objective.

Each of your Pinterest campaigns starts with an objective. Choosing your campaign goal is what determines what ad formats are available to you. There are several categories to choose from — Build Awareness, Consideration, Conversions, and more.

If you’re not sure what you need, you can select one of the goals listed in the short questionnaire pictured below to get started.

Conversion optimization is a campaign objective that optimizes your advertisements for specific actions outside of clicks. Now, advertisers have a way to directly inspire people to take action — like leading a user to an online checkout or newsletter sign-up with no extra steps.

If you want people to discover your business, choose Brand awareness for standard Pins or Video views for Promoted Video Pins as your campaign objective. For these two objectives, you can set a maximum cost for every 1,000 impressions your ad receives.

If your Pinterest goals are to drive qualified leads to your website or improve traffic, choose Traffic or App install for your campaign objective.

For these campaigns, you set a maximum cost-per-click — which means you are only charged when people click through your Promoted Pin to visit your website.

3. Set your campaign budget.

If you want to spend your campaign money evenly over a specific time period, select lifetime. Select daily to choose the amount spent each day. You’ll have to automatically adjust the budgets based on how long you want your ad to deliver.

Next, you’ll set a maximum bid. A bid determines the highest amount of money you’d like to pay for an action, like an engagement or click, on Pinterest. Pinterest will recommend an amount for you depending on your target audience, and what competitors are spending.

Make sure your budget for Pinterest ads reflect your overall marketing goals and the importance of the platform for your business.

4. Create an Ad group.

With Ad groups you can lump together related ads within the same campaign and track them.

For example you could create a beauty campaign with one ad group for “women 35 to 45” and another for “women under 30” and see which performs better.

5. Choose your target audience.

Targeting allows you to reach people who are searching for your content and who are ready to actively engage. Targeting is an important part of promoted ads because, without it, you’ll have less interest.

Pinterest has several targeting options that you can use singularly or combine together for a unique targeting approach.

Audiences combine your customer knowledge with behavioral insights from Pinterest. If someone has recently bought something from your site or engaged with your Pinterest content, this allows you to target that person for an ad.
Keywords show your ad to someone who is searching for that kind of content. If you set specific keywords like “tropical vacation” or “apple pie recipes”, your ads will target people searching for those things.
Interests target people based on the types of content they regularly engage with. Your apple pie recipe ads would most likely be served to people who have an interest in baking or preparing for Thanksgiving.
Expanded will provide you with additional interest and keywords based on your ad’s content and who you’re trying to reach.
Demographics allows you to select a specific location, language, device, or gender.
Placements gives you the option to choose where your ad is delivered. If you don’t want your promoted Pins to show up when someone is browsing, and only appear in search results, you can specify that here.

6. Design your ad.

Now it’s time to create an ad. For this you can use an image that you have already pinned or start with the template below.

7. Maximize your SEO efforts.

By adding an interest and keywords to your descriptions, they become more relevant to people who are actively searching for that content. Keep in mind that hashtags don’t add any ranking value.

On Pinterest, categories of interest are already sorted and categorized. You should explore the available topics that are relevant to your business and target those queries — if you need inspiration, check out the seven categories that do exceptionally well on Pinterest.

Your boards also provide an opportunity for SEO. Boards inform Pinterest’s search engine on how to categorize your Pins, which improves visibility. Focusing on both will support your SEO efforts.

8. Add value.

Endless product promotions on a Pinterest feed aren’t the best way to get an audience’s attention — and keep it. More than likely, you’ll just become a disruption and get unfollowed. You have to add value to every touchpoint with your customer for them to engage with your content.

To add value on Pinterest, try adding Pins that your audience will want to engage with that don’t include your product or business. You might offer added value by showcasing services or interests that compliment your own.

For example, if you sell cars, share content about upkeep or car accessories. Alternatively, if you’re running a Pinterest page for a coffee shop, try Pinning playlist ideas for people to listen to while they work. There is plenty of content available to curate for your audience’s benefit.

9. Mix up your content.

If you’re busy targeting your content to a persona, you’ll miss out on the organic connections and interests of your audience. While helpful for first steps, personas don’t give you everything you need to know about the people who are interacting with your ads.

Keep your content seasonal and relevant. Yes, it is good to make evergreen content — but don’t miss out on pop culture or holiday opportunities to spark interest.

10. Monitor campaign performance.

Finally, you need to keep an eye on your campaign performance to determine the success of your ads, or why they didn’t perform as you expected.

When you’re in Pinterest Ads Manager, click on Analytics and you’ll be shown an overview of all your campaigns and key metrics. These metrics include impressions, total clicks, earned cost-per-impression, effective cost-per-click, and more.

Every campaign has the opportunity to increase brand awareness or inspire purchases. After looking at your analytics, you can determine whether or not you need to widen your audience, increase your budget, or try a different ad format. Pinterest advertisements are not an exact science, so experiments are key to being successful on the platform.

Now that the logistics are out of the way, check out the Pinterest ad examples below for inspiration.

Pinterest Ad Examples

Each of these ads is an example of Pinterest advertising done right with actionable tips that you can take away as you create your own:

1. Ulta

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Pinterest is an excellent platform for beauty brands to showcase their products. This video ad from Ulta takes advantage of seasonality in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, creating an ad that is captivating and timely.

2. Ruggable

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In this ad, the image speaks for itself, which lends well to the visual nature of the Pinterest platform. The rug is front and center in an attractive home space that draws the eye (and probably triggers the shopping tendencies of those who like decorating). It does come with a catchy tagline: “Back to Homeschool.” Because who needs a back-to-school sale to buy cool stuff?

3. Love Sweat Fitness

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A big audience on Pinterest is the foodies who love to find and share recipes. Love Sweat Fitness, a fitness brand, is appealing to that crowd with easy and healthy holiday sides. The best part of the ad is how it combines high-quality imagery with attractive typography.

4. Acuity Scheduling

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One thing to take away from this ad is that Pinterest advertising isn’t just for home goods, recipes, and ecommerce. Those in the B2B space can definitely take advantage of the advertising opportunities… and who knows, your audience might be browsing for home goods, too.

This ad sets up the value proposition in a text format and gets right at the heart of the audience’s pains: “Stop scheduling time to schedule clients.” They then pair it with a call-to-action: “Start Booking Now.”

5. Torrid

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In this Pinterest ad, Torrid is using retargeting options to put their products in front of people who already visited the Torrid website. After visiting this product’s page on torrid.com, the ad “followed” me to Pinterest to stay top of mind and earn the sale.

Create Your Pinterest Campaign

Now that you have seen what Pinterest ads can look like, take the inspiration from the examples above and put it to action on your own advertising efforts.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How Emergent Leadership Can Help Your Team Thrive

Think of every group project you’ve been in – whether in high school, college, internship, or other.

Often, someone would naturally take the reigns without being officially appointed as the leader – that’s called emergent leadership and it’s something you may want to leverage in your professional life.

Learn the key characteristics of emergent leadership, examples of it in daily life, and the benefits of this approach.

Emergent leadership allows the right leader to be elected once they have demonstrated their potential in group settings. This will be someone who has earned the respect and trust of their colleagues and are able to inspire them.

Too often, companies bring in new leaders and there’s a big adjustment period. They may struggle with communication, understanding their teams’ values, establishing trust, or a number of key elements needed to propel a team forward.

This approach democratizes leadership by letting employees make key decisions regarding not only their leaders but also their projects. As a result, you can get employees who are more invested in the company and serve as its champion.

Promoting emergent leadership within your team is all about fostering an environment of collaboration and ownership. As a manager, you will serve as a resource while allowing your team to take the lead.

By creating this environment, your direct reports will feel comfortable bringing their full selves to work and take the lead whenever their skills align.

To recap, emergent leadership:

Promotes ownership and independence over one’s work.
Fosters a collaborative environment.
Can create a more cohesive team.
Prevents bottlenecks by empowering employees to be decision-makers.

Emergent Leadership Characteristics

Wondering how to identify a leader within your organization? Here are some key traits to look for.

Influential

A key characteristic of any leader is someone who is capable of impacting someone’s character and/or behavior.

Look for comments from team members like “X suggested this approach,” and “After speaking with X, I…” – Statements like these demonstrate the impact that someone has on other members of the team.

Reliable

If anything, a leader should be reliable as it’s key to building trust. It means you rely on that person to be consistent and dependable. Whether that’s in their work, communication, or another format.

How do your direct reports show up for others? Do they provide resources? Are they available to mentor? Do they follow through? If the answer’s “yes,” you’ve got a reliable person on your hands.

Inspiring

A great leader helps others feel they are capable of more. When you’re evaluating your staff, an emergent leader is someone who brings fresh ideas and perspectives, cheers others on, and is always striving to improve.

Collaborative

Emergent leadership can only happen in a collaborative environment. Look for people who celebrate new perspectives, create space for others, and invite knowledge exchanges.

Emergent Leadership Examples

The most popular example of emergent leadership comes from the famous medical TV drama, “Grey’s Anatomy.” In one episode, residents were tasked with solving a difficult case together. The goal was to help them work better together but also see who would naturally emerge as the leader of the group.

The most extroverted person in the group often seems like the obvious choice but that’s not always the answer. Just like in real life, the emergent leader in the show was the one who displayed an ability to listen, delegate, make decisions, and inspire confidence from others.

Now back to real life.

Photo app VSCO is one company that leverages emergent leadership to encourage brand champions in its own employees.

According to its former VP of People and Places, Katy Shields, the brand believes that giving up control early on in the company’s growth can help it self-correct in the face of adversity.

Back in 2015, Laszlo Bock, former SVP of People Operations at Google explained how Google tackled this.

He said, “What we realized…is that giving up power is just as important to leadership as seizing power.”

Assigned leadership is the straightforward approach most organizations take. However, emergent leadership could prove to be more effective.

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Celebrating HubSpot’s Third Annual World Certification Week

Last week, HubSpot wrapped up the third annual World Certification Week – a global virtual event where learners and peers from all around the world connected and grew by dedicating time to their professional development.

This community of people learned about a variety of industry topics, connected with fellow learners and thought leaders, and earned thousands of HubSpot certifications. HubSpot certifications are awarded year-round, but for one week, we donated $5 to education-focused organizations for every certification completed.

The first World Certification Day kicked off in 2020 when a team member bought a “certification day” web domain and we awarded over 2,300 certifications. This event has continued to grow each year, with over 7,800 certifications awarded in 2021 and 11,159 certifications in 2022.

We are lucky to bring people together to share in the sense of community, give back, and grow better. Thanks to you, we were able to donate $10,000 in 2020, $35,000 in 2021, and $50,000 in 2022.

In addition to learning and supporting a good cause, participants from around the world were dedicated to making World Certification Week fun. From learning together in groups and taking certifications live to friendly competitions and certification-inspired videos, participants got creative and made the World Certification Week their own.

World Certification Week Impact

We want to thank the 7,815 of you who took part in World Certification Week and completed 11,159 certifications.

By participating, you advanced your career and gained valuable knowledge while helping others. Your contributions will have a big impact on others as well.

This year’s World Certification Week donations are supporting the following organizations:

Teach For All is a network of partner organizations that came together to develop collective leadership and to ensure children from all around the globe get the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Laboratoria’s mission is to create opportunities for women in Latin America by developing an inclusive and diverse digital economy.
The Clontarf Foundation aspires to help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to improve their education, discipline, life skills, and self-esteem and equip them with the tools to participate more meaningfully in society.
The Halogen Foundation is a not-for-profit Institution of a Public Character (IPC) charity that aims to help young people reach their potential to influence and lead by becoming positive change agents.

What’s next?

We are already excited about what’s in store for WCW 2023 when more learners, companies, and agencies will take part in this initiative and extend the impact.

Until then, you can take HubSpot Academy courses any day of the year. From Inbound to Contextual Marketing, choose the courses that will help you excel in what you do and grow better. See you next year!

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The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest marketing is incredibly effective. 

Marketers target Pinterest users by sharing content that’s too irresistible for us to pass up. And with over 433 million people on Pinterest, why wouldn’t marketers want to be on the platform? Not to mention 83% of users have made a purchase from content they’ve seen on Pinterest. So, how can your business use Pinterest as a marketing tactic to help improve your brand awareness and conversions?

In this guide, we’ll cover the answer to that question as well as how Pinterest works, which Pinterest marketing strategies you should implement, how small businesses can benefit from the platform, and which tools you can use to ensure your Pinterest marketing strategy works for your business. But first, we’ll review what the platform is and how it works — let’s get started.

 

Users add, or Pin, their chosen content to boards with a common theme to keep it organized so other users can discover new content related to their interests.

If you haven’t yet opened a Pinterest account, learn more about that process here. Once you sign up, you can begin sharing content and, therefore, social media marketing on the platform.

To make the most of the platform, upload your business’s content from your computer or mobile device, Pin content you find on the platform, and add content you find on the web using the Pinterest browser button.

Engagement is key. Follow the boards of your friends and competitors, “Like,” and comment on others’ Pins, re-Pin (or repost) content, and share links to your website and blog in your Pins.

It’s important to note there are personal and business accounts on Pinterest. Choosing a business account will allow you to gain access to Pinterest Analytics and other features including a visual search tool, a native video player, and the ability to run Pinterest ads if you choose — making the platform ideal for marketers.

Now, let’s review some Pinterest marketing strategies to help you improve your influence and impact on your audience.

 

These strategies represent ways to add Pinterest to your greater marketing efforts. Here are a few benefits of using Pinterest for marketing.

1. Distribute your content.

85% of Pinners search for and prefer visual content. This makes Pinterest a uniquely strong place to distribute all types of content, including written blog content. Unlike Instagram, users can click-through live links.

On Pinterest, you share content on Pinterest boards. Boards save all of your Pins and distribute your content for your followers to explore. You can have as many boards as you want, and they can be organized into themes, ideas, plans, or types of inspiration to make it easy for your audience to find the content they’re looking for.

You can also invite people to join your boards — which would make your board a “group board” — if you want other contributors to add content they believe works with your board’s theme. This is a great way to increase engagement and interaction on your profile.

2. Build a community.

Online communities bring together like-minded people and serve as helpful hubs for businesses.

With a Pinterest community, you can count on your followers and fans to interact with your boards, consume your content, and make their way to your website — driving traffic in the process.

There are millions of people who use Pinterest every month. By treating your Pinterest board as a two-way street through which you can interact with and engage users (not like a one-way billboard), you can build a loyal community of Pinterest users who may become customers, too.

How to Build Your Pinterest Following

Although you can search for and add specific friends via their name, Facebook account, and other identifiers, this is time-consuming and would make it nearly impossible to substantially grow your following.

Instead, consider the following methods to build out your base of fans and followers on Pinterest.

Promote your Pinterest account via your other social networks.
Follow accounts you believe would want to follow you back.
Watch what your competitors are doing to increase their base of followers and learn from their techniques.
Use keywords in your posts (we’ll discuss these tactics in more detail later).
Ask influencers to re-post some of your content to gain the attention of their followers.
Pay for a Pinterest ads account to run ads on the platform.

3. Educate customers.

Pinterest is rife with tutorials, infographics, how-tos, and links to additional educational content. Given its propensity for visual content, it’s a powerful channel to educate and engage customers.

While creating and sharing content for your Pinterest profile and marketing to users, be sure to keep your target audience in mind.

Similar to the way you would when creating new products, developing your branding, or posting to other social networks, you want to ensure you’re pushing out content that appeals to your target audience, current customers, and buyer personas on Pinterest.

You can do this in a few different ways:

Research your buyer personas to determine what type of content would be most helpful and appealing to them.
Survey and ask your current followers and customers for feedback on what they want from your company on Pinterest.
Look at what your competitors are doing well (or not) to help you think about new ways to push out your content and make it unique.
View the boards of your current followers and customers to aid in your understanding of who your audience is and what they’re most interested in.

4. Drive website traffic and boost online sales.

Pinterest, unlike Instagram, allows you to link your visual content to another website — namely, your website. This feature allows you to share both written and visual content and direct users back to your website in the process. 

This is a powerful addition to your marketing as it can boost online sales, too. Many brands use Pinterest to showcase product images while sharing content.

For example, this board, created by the clothing company Madewell, serves as a source of travel inspiration and is paired with real products they sell to get their audience excited about their brand, the lifestyle they promote, and the idea of purchasing some clothing.

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By integrating Pinterest on your website, you’ll be able to easily drive traffic from one of your web pages directly to your Pinterest profile so your leads and customers can begin viewing your content in seconds (and hopefully follow you!).

These Pinterest widgets and buttons allow your website visitors to interact with your Pinterest page via your website and give them the ability to view and follow your profile or go directly to a specific Pin or board. The network’s widget builder helps you quickly customize, create, and add this feature to your site.

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These 9 Pinterest marketing strategies hold value for businesses of any size, in any industry. This universal approach to marketing is one reason Pinterest is such a valuable social media tool.

1. Sign up for a business account.

To market to your target audience, you should create a Pinterest business account. As mentioned, this free account provides you with access to Pinterest Analytics (which we’ll review in more detail shortly) and other handy marketing features such as a profile that clearly states you’re a business, Pinterest widgets, and Pinterest tag. If you already have a Pinterest account and want to convert it into a Pinterest business account, you can also do that without losing any of your content or work.

Note: If you’re looking to enhance your business account and run ads on Pinterest, you can do so by upgrading your account — and setting up your method of payment because this part of Pinterest is not free — to target your audience more aggressively with the help of the platform’s Ads Manager.

2. Choose the right categories for your content.

By choosing the right category for your content to be shared in, your Pins and boards will become more searchable for users looking to discover content similar to that of your business. Users can search for specific categories on Pinterest or simply go to the “Categories” section of any profile on the platform to view all content related to the topic they’re searching for.

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Some of the most popular Pinterest categories include travel, health and wellness, and beauty.

3. Use unique images and videos.

Similar to other social networks, Pinterest contains a plethora of images and videos. Not only do you want to ensure you’re posting images and videos that will help you promote your brand and market your products/ services, but you’ll also want to ensure they stand out against all of the others on the platform. Otherwise, why would a user choose to follow you over your competition?

Here are some ways to ensure you’re sharing great and unique visual content on Pinterest:

Create and share branded videos to promote your products and company. Pinterest users watch nearly 1 billion videos per day on the platform.
Share images and videos that show your products in action so viewers can more easily envision themselves using them.
Avoid excessive blank (or white) space in your images — images with 30% less blank space in the background are pinned most.
Create videos between 30-90 seconds long because they’re proven to have the highest performance.
Create specific boards to share images of your company’s most helpful data visualizations and infographics if you have them for your audience to use as resources for their businesses.

4. Leverage keywords.

By using keywords throughout your profile, posts, Pins, and boards, you’ll be more likely to organically appear in users’ feeds and searches. Keywords and phrases on Pinterest are related to specific niches being searched by users.

For example, if you sell suitcases, you might use keywords and phrases like “vacation” or “going on a trip” throughout your profile and Pins. This way, when a user searches one of those terms, your profile and images of your suitcases will appear on their feeds.

When performing keyword research on Pinterest, start by searching terms related to your niche within the platform itself.

In the image below, I searched for the term “travel” and not only found content related to that niche, but Pinterest also provided a number of related keywords at the top of the screen. This tells you what other related terms users are searching for to support your research.

You can also use the plugin Keywords Everywhere to see the search volume for terms on Pinterest. This helps you understand the level of demand for the keywords you’re using.

Here are some locations in which you can insert keywords on Pinterest to improve your chances of organically ranking through search:

Bio and profile
Pin descriptions
Board titles
Board descriptions
Image-Alt-Text

For those of you who choose to pay for Pinterest ads, there’s also an option to use the platform’s keyword targeting tool to help you reach your audience through your ads.

5. Share your content on other social networks.

To promote your Pinterest account and content, you should share your Pins, images, and videos in other areas to improve your chances of being seen and followed. For example, you can claim your business’ Pinterest account on Etsy and YouTube so your followers can easily learn about the other platforms you’re on and how they can view more of your content. Additionally, claiming your account will provide access to analytics and data on all of these Pins so you can see the other networks your audience is most interested in.

You can also link your Pinterest profile to your Facebook and Google accounts so you can easily add and find friends, share content across networks, speed up your login on all accounts, and backup your profile in case you lose or forget your password details.

6. Follow, engage, and interact with other accounts.

When you follow and interact with other Pinterest users and their accounts, you’re able to initiate and maintain personal relationships between them and your business. This type of engagement has the potential to make your followers feel a level of loyalty towards your brand that keeps them coming back to your profile for inspiration, ideas, and to buy products.

Here are four ways you can build strong and lasting relationships with your target audience through your marketing tactics on Pinterest:

Follow new accounts of users who state or show they have interests related to the work your business does and the content you post (you can do this by searching keywords and hashtags or reviewing the people who follow your current audience members).
Re-Pin, Like, and comment on the content your followers and fans share.
Respond to the messages your followers write on your content to personalize their experience on your profile and make them feel heard.
Create engaging posts that showcase your expertise in your industry, teach your followers how to do something, or get them involved (in a giveaway or contest for example).

7. Use social media best practices.

When using Pinterest, be sure to follow the same social media practices you would on other social networks. Examples of this include remembering to interact and engage with your followers, regularly post to (and update) your account, and avoid blatant self-promotion that feels pushy and forced to your audience.

Additionally, you can focus on the following five best practices to boost engagement on Pinterest.

Encourage your followers to feature your brand in their content (and maybe offer to repost them or re-Pin their content if they do).
Provide your audience with an incentive — such as a prize — for choosing to follow and interact with you as well as create posts featuring your products and branding.
Offer your audience discount codes, coupons, as well as details about your latest products, and updates to existing products to keep them coming back to your profile.
Ensure your content is helpful and useful for your audience members — all content should have a purpose and/ or meaning.

8. Analyze your results.

If you’re putting all of this effort into marketing on Pinterest, it’s probably safe to assume you’re going to want to ensure the work you’re doing improves your business’ conversions and brand awareness.

So, you’ll need to analyze the results of your Pinterest marketing efforts to keep track of your referral traffic, number of engagements, leads generated, and anything else you’re interested in learning more about. The easiest way to do this is through Pinterest Analytics.

Pinterest Analytics provides you with four major types of information including:

Metrics about your profile as a whole.
Insights about the number of people who save and re-Pin your content.
Platform metrics to understand how people interact with your content via both desktop or mobile.
Data about your most popular Pins.

Pinterest for Small Businesses

If you have a small business, you may be wondering whether or not putting all of this effort and time into implementing Pinterest marketing strategies is actually worth it.

Short answer? Yes, it is.

Pinterest is one of the more versatile, affordable, and impactful marketing tools for businesses that are looking to convert more leads, drive traffic to their websites, and increase brand awareness to use.

Plus, Pinterest users have the highest purchase intent of any other social media users. Let’s discuss some more ways small businesses, like yours, can benefit from creating a presence on Pinterest.

Tell a visual story.

Pinterest helps you tell a visual story about your brand. Through pictures and videos, you’re able to show — rather than tell — your audience what you’re about as a company, the things you value, what and who you support, and the types of products and services you sell.

Pinterest provides you with a unique and engaging way to introduce your small business to platform users.

Humanize your brand.

Social media of any kind can help you humanize your brand and give it some personality — Pinterest is no exception. On the platform, you’re able to reach out directly to your audience members, chat with them one-on-one or as a group, and assist them through any difficulties or roadblocks they encounter while doing business with you.

You’re also able to show your audience and followers how much their support and business mean to you through giveaways, videos of your behind the scenes work, latest company news, product information, promotions, and discount codes.

Creating and maintaining these business-to-customer routines early on humanizes your brand, sets the tone for what your company will be known for, and shows customers how you intend to grow with them in mind.

Feature your blog posts.

You can use Pinterest to feature your inbound marketing efforts such as your blog posts or content offers. For example, you can Pin a photo or video to a board and include a link to blog post about that visual content. This not only promotes your blog posts but it also drives traffic directly to your website.

Source

Display your work and showcase your expertise.

Pinterest is a great way for your small business to display your work and showcase your expertise in your industry. Examples include Pins with images and videos of your work, infographics, data visualizations, and blog posts.

Due to the fact you might not be a recognized brand yet, doing this is important. That’s because as your business grows and you become more well-known, you’ll be more likely to be recognized as an industry leader and a business with helpful and applicable content for audience members.

Drive traffic to your website.

Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to your business’ website — this will help your small business generate leads and conversions. You can share URLs in your profile as well as on your Pins and boards. For example, you may choose to post content with a link to your email sign up page, “About Us” page, or blog.

Conduct market research.

Pinterest is a great resource for conducting market research. It’s especially helpful for small businesses that may not have a large following quite yet or the experience to know exactly what their audience members expect and want in terms of content.

With Pinterest, you can easily review what your competitors — and the companies in your industry that are more established than yours — are doing. This will allow you to discover which tactics they’re using on the platform and see what’s working for their audience members. You can also look at the content your audience Pins as well as who they’re following and interacting with.

Pinterest Marketing Tools

There are a number of tools you can use to help you reach your target audience and engage users on Pinterest. There are three major types of resources to help you accomplish this — account management tools, image design and creation tools, and follower count and community growth tools.

1. Social Media Management Tools

Social media management tools help you schedule posts and organize your content on any social network, including Pinterest, prior to actually posting it.

This way, you can ensure everything is shared and pushed out as planned. Social media management tools often have analytics capabilities as well, which you can use in tandem with Pinterest Analytics.

Some popular social media and Pinterest management tools include:

Hootsuite gives you the ability to schedule your Pins in advance, gain insights into your data and analytics, and measure your results on Pinterest.
Tailwind provides you with analytics about your Pinterest profile, a data reporting system to help you determine what’s doing well with your audience members, and advice about the best days and times to share your Pins.
Sprout Social allows you to take advantage of a range of features to help you reach your target audience and buyer personas through Pinterest. These include platform analytics, engagement tools, post-scheduling capabilities, and details about the type of content your audience wants.

Pinterest has also launched its own scheduling tool, allowing Business users to pre-schedule their content within the platform.

2. Pinterest Image Design and Creation Tools

Pinterest image design and creation tools allow you to design, edit, create and publish professional-looking photos and images for the platform (along with any other social media site and your website).

Considering Pinterest is a visual social network where users discover eye-catching, beautiful, and creative images and videos, it’s important your content looks perfect so you can attract more followers and engagement on your profile.

The following three tools are great for anyone who doesn’t necessarily have a background in fields like graphic design or art but still wants to share unique and polished content on their profile.

Canva allows you to create professional images for Pinterest with over 1 million images, graphics, templates, and icons available to choose from.
Pablo provides you with a way to create beautiful images for Pinterest in under 30 seconds with easy-to-use effects and templates.
PicMonkey gives you the ability to create and edit images and has advanced image editing tools such as masking, mirroring, and double exposure.
AdobeExpress offers intuitive tools and templates, and Photoshop-quality effects to create expertly-designed images for users of all skill levels.

3. Follower Count and Community Growth Tools

Follower count and community growth tools on Pinterest are available to help you promote your profile and content as well as increase your number of followers and engagements. The following three tools were created to help you accomplish this specifically on Pinterest.

PINGROUPIE provides you with the number of Pins, users, and followers on different group boards on the platform so you can determine whether or not you want to join and Pin your content on it.
Loop88 helps you to create shareable content they’ve determined is ideal for Pinterest to help you attract your target audience and grow your following.

Start Marketing On Pinterest

Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool with the ability to help you organically increase brand awareness, boost conversions, increase sales, and create long-lasting relationships with your target audience and buyer personas.

You can achieve all of these things for your business by following the Pinterest marketing strategies we reviewed and incorporating the available tools and resources to help you succeed as a business on the platform.

So, sign up for a business account and begin creating unique and engaging content to market to your customers and followers on Pinterest.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to Create a 5-Year Plan You’ll Actually Stick To [In 4 Steps]

One common question you’ll get asked in an interview is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?

When it’s coming from a hiring manager, we usually have an answer ready. When it comes to your personal life, do you have a five-year plan?

In the most stressful times in my life, planning brings me great joy and peace. But who says you have to wait for the stress to come? In this article, we’ll outline why you should create a five-year plan and how to build one you’ll follow through with.

Benefits of a 5-Year Plan

Whether professional or personal, a five-year plan can serve as a reset for your life. Who doesn’t like a fresh start?

After all, that’s why New Year’s resolutions are so popular. They give us something to look forward to. There’s also something to be said about writing out a detailed plan. It can be a great motivator to put something in motion.

Personally, I’ve said countless times that I want to be fluent in Spanish. However, it’s not until I write a detailed plan for how that it will become real. 

This brings us to our next point: clarity. Sometimes, a path seems scarier than it actually is because we don’t actually know what it looks like.

Creating a plan is like pointing a flashlight in a dark road. A more accurate description is that it turns that dark, twisty road into a clear path forward. Doesn’t mean there won’t be any bumps in the road but at least you’ll know exactly where you’ll land and how to get there.

Lastly, a five-year plan can serve as a reminder of what’s at stake. In your daily life, it can be easy to forget that every day, we’re shaping our future.

The decisions we make today affect what our life will look like years from now. Having a visual reminder of this can keep you focused on your goals.

5-Year Plan Example

Using our downloadable five-year plan template, we were able to create a detailed five-year plan, broken down by year, process, success metric, benefit, and resources. 

How to Make a 5-Year Plan

1. Know your “why.”

This is singlehandedly the most important step in creating a plan.

A clear “why” is your North star. It’s what will guide you throughout your journey and motivate you to keep moving forward.

It can take a while to narrow this down. You’ll know you have the answer when it’s linked to a core value or belief. Otherwise, you have to keep digging.

One way to get to this is by just asking the question over and over again. For instance:

I want to learn American Sign Language. Why?
To become more connected to another culture. Why?
To broaden my perspective. Why?
To be a more understanding, tolerant, and inclusive person.

Now, we’ve taken something at surface level and brought it down to a personal, human level.

2. Consider every aspect of your life.

When creating a five-year plan, you want to review your life as a whole and plan accordingly.

It’s not enough to plan for your professional career and not your personal one. After all, one impacts the other.

There are the core four that you should always have:

Career
Health (physical and mental)
Finances
Relationships

Depending on your goals, you can also add categories for religious or spiritual development, recreation, and service.

Don’t forget bucket-list items – have you been wanting to learn a new language? Or perhaps you want to visit every country in the world. Bucket list items are perfect for five-year plans because you can spread them out over a long period of time and have fun tracking your progress.

3. Make it S.M.A.R.T.

To give you the best chances of success, every goal should pass the SMART test. That means being:

Specific – The vaguer your goal, the harder it will be to reach.
Measurable – You must be able to quantify your goals because otherwise, how will you know you’ve reached it? This doesn’t always mean assigning a figure to it, it can also be a feeling.
Achievable – While it’s good to push yourself beyond your limits, your goal should be attainable and realistic based on where you stand currently.
Relevant – How does this goal fit within the bigger picture? Does it align with your personal values? What’s the impact on your life?
Time-bound It’s not enough to say it’s a five-year plan, you have to create a timeline and set milestones at specific points within your journey.

4. Start with the big ideas then narrow your focus.

When you’re first writing your five-year plan, start with the big idea from each category.

If you don’t know where to start, use this: “In five years, I want to be [fill in the blank].” This will help you figure out goals that you may not have vocalized before.

From there, break it down into bite-size pieces.

This means turning your ideas into action items that can be executed over a certain period of time, specifically from five years to monthly milestones.

Research will play a big role in this, as you will need to learn how to achieve some of your goals. For instance, say your five-year financial plan is to be debt-free.

That’s the big idea but you need to dive deeper. How exactly will you achieve that? Your research will likely suggest setting a budget, paying off your most expensive loan first, consolidating your debts, and more.

Once you know the key action items, you can break them down by year, month, and even week.

This is a S.M.A.R.T. goal in action. The more specific you are, the better you will be at fulfilling your five-year plan.

If you want to add more structure to your life and play a more active role in shaping your future, consider creating a five-year plan. While things may not pan out exactly as you’ve expected, you’ll be surprised at how close you’ll get to what you wished for.

 

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How to Build and Maintain Workforce Resilience, According to Experts

To understand the importance of resilience in the workplace, let’s start with an example.

Let’s say your company has just been acquired by a major corporation. This means your organization is about to undergo some major changes — including your workplace culture, leadership structure, and even your team’s goals and objectives.

When it comes time to deliver the message to your marketing team, however, you’re surprised by their reactions. While there is some trepidation, most of your employees are upbeat, positive, and excited about the new opportunities and challenges ahead of them.

Their reaction doesn’t mean they aren’t also hesitant, nervous, or unsure of the future. It simply means that your team feels secure, confident, and capable of taking on those new challenges, whatever they may be.

This is the power of workforce resiliency.

Here, we’ll dive into why workforce resiliency is one of the strongest predictors of long-term employee satisfaction and retention. Plus, how to build a more resilient workforce, according to leaders who’ve done it.

What is workforce resilience?

To understand workforce resiliency, we first need to define what resiliency is.

As Merriam-Webster defines it, resiliency is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change”.

Essentially, a resilient person is someone who can adapt well to life’s unexpected challenges, stresses, and uncertainties.

Birdeye’s Head of People & Culture Camille Boothe told me, “When I think about resilience, certain thoughts come to mind — like adaptability, the ability to recover quickly, inner strength, and the ability to navigate challenges with a positive state of mind.”

So … what does resiliency matter for the workplace?

Workforce resiliency is, simply put, a group of employees who feel stable, secure, and capable of handling a workplace’s challenges, daily stresses, and organizational changes without losing engagement or motivation.

As Boothe puts it, “Why is resiliency important in the workplace? Because many employees cite workplace stress as the #1 stressor in their lives. That is why building a strong culture of resilience is essential for the success and well-being of employees.”

To put workforce resiliency into context, consider the past two years: Most businesses have made large-scale changes as a result of the pandemic.

Many companies shifted to an entirely remote lifestyle, and then shifted again towards hybrid or in-person once restrictions had been lifted.

Some leaders quit; while others made drastic changes to their strategies, goals, and future vision.

And yet … some businesses saw much higher turnover rates than others. Why is that?

Ultimately, the more resilient your workforce is, the more adept they are at handling business changes and industry shifts without feeling too much frustration, distrust, or uncertainty over how those changes will impact their livelihood.

Essentially, resiliency builds the opportunity for flexibility.

On the flip side, a non-resilient workforce is one that feels vulnerable, mistrustful of leadership, or tired and de-motivated. These are the workers who are most likely to quit, or who feel incapable of handling workplace changes with any sense of confidence or security.

Workforce resiliency is a strong component of long-term employee retention, and can help you build and maintain an effective and engaging workplace culture even when difficult situations arise. It’s important to consider workforce resiliency as the necessary backbone of any effective, strong company culture. Without resiliency, all the beer-on-tap and ping pong tables in the world can’t deter your employees from leaving.

Benefits of Workforce Resilience

If you’re still unsure of the benefits of workforce resiliency, let’s consider the data:

BetterUp found highly-resilient people were 31% more productive during the pandemic than low-resilience workers.
BetterUp also found resilience led to higher innovation (+22%), higher cognitive flexibility (+20%), and more novelty of ideas (+20%).
ADP Research Institute found engagement and workplace resilience to be positively correlated — in fact, engagement explains 64% of resilience.
ADP also found workers who experienced at least five changes at work were 13.2X more likely to be highly resilient.

All of which is to say: Work can be hard, and it can be particularly difficult to remain productive at work when an employee’s life is shifting dramatically as a result of unforeseen circumstances (like, say, a pandemic).

Resiliency, then, can help mitigate these stresses by providing a ‘safety net’ around the employee and helping them remain focused, positive, and engaged even during stressful times.

So — that’s all well and good. But, as a leader, how do you build resiliency? And, perhaps even more importantly, how do you maintain it?

How do you build workforce resilience? 

1. Bake it into your employee initiatives. 

To start, I spoke with leaders across organizations at Birdeye, Plecto, Alyce, Casted, and HubSpot to uncover tactical methods for developing resiliency in your workforce.

Boothe told me, “At Birdeye, we value resiliency and seek to develop that skill within our teams every day. We coach patience, empathy, control, and seeing change as an opportunity rather than a setback.”

She adds, “We recognize the factors that lead to resilience include optimism, balancing difficult emotions, and a sense of safety in a strong support system,” Boothe told me, adding that they’ve focused on three key initiatives at Birdeye to strengthen resiliency.

These include: 

Focusing on physical and mental health. Birdeye provides unlimited PTO and mental health days companywide for employees to rest and rejuvenate as needed. This gives employees a mindset to stay relaxed, even in the face of stressful situations.
Flexible work schedules. Birdeye is in a primary work-from-home mode which allows employees to gain better work-life balance and stress management.
Employee Resource Groups (ERG)/Social Connections. Birdeye builds relationships and connections for employees to leverage for support, as well as participate in forums and discussions on Mindfulness and Meditation.

Boothe adds, “We see resiliency as a competitive advantage and feel that building resilience is just good business sense.”

Along with employee resource groups, you might consider looking into trainings specifically focused on building resilience.

Additionally, you might consider offering your employees the chance to choose which employee benefits matter most to them, and enabling them to invest in whichever perks would best suit their lifestyles. 

As Alyce’s VP of People, Tori Oellers, told me, “The ‘power of choice’ is a core tenant of our platform. and we see first-hand how successful campaigns can be when you put the choice in the hands of recipients. We take that same philosophy with many of our benefits.”

She adds, “Rather than carving out various specialized programs and partnerships, we have made it simple by allocating budget to various stipends that provide our team the power of choice to utilize the benefits in a way that is supportive for them as an individual.”

Oellers told me, “Recognizing and operationalizing ways to recognize your people as individuals ensures that each person is getting what they need to be successful and foster resiliency.”

Finally, providing educational resources for your leaders to train themselves on building agility in the face of adversity can help you effectively strengthen resiliency from the top-down. The Agility Factor, by Christopher G. Worley, Thomas Williams, Edward E. Lawler III is a good option for helping your leaders’ uncover how to build agility — and thus resilience — within an organization.

2. Emulate resiliency as a leader.

To build resilience in your workforce, you’ll want to emulate it as a leader. For instance, let’s say you’re delivering the difficult news that leadership has decided to cut budgeting for a marketing project that’s already in-the-works.

As Jordan DiPietro, VP of HubSpot Media, told me, “Your team is always looking to you as their leader for guidance, strategic direction, and advice — and they’re also looking to you as an emotional compass. If you get way too high, or way too low, they will ride those waves with you.”

He adds, “As someone leading a massive team, I’ve needed to figure out a way to stay more even-keeled. For some people that’s easy because they are naturally steady and composed. However, I tend to be less equable — so I have to work hard to not let that reflect in my leadership.”

To remain steady during stressful or tumultuous times, DiPietro recommends leaders aim to minimize meetings and outward communication on days when they’re feeling overly stressed. On the flip side, he suggests leaders also attempt to curtail too much excitement — while it’s important to celebrate your team’s successes, you don’t want to go overboard with your emotions in either direction. 

DiPietro adds, “The one thing you can count on is that business will ebb and flow, and there will always be peaks and valleys. The more you can smooth those out for your team, the more resilient they will act throughout those times.”

Additionally, as a leader you can emulate resiliency by modeling flexibility. As Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co-founder of Casted, told me, “At Casted, we prioritize flexibility and allowing team members to choose what a flexible workday looks like to them — whether that’s working the conventional 9 a.m to 5 p.m., taking long lunches to attend a favorite workout class, logging off earlier some days to spend time with kids before they go to bed, or whatever suits each individual.”

Tjepkema adds, “If we want our teams to believe that we value flexibility, we have to model it. I share my own needs for flexibility openly with the team. They know if I have a hair appointment or a family event. When they see me or another leader communicating our availability and using that flexibility, it empowers them to do the same.”

Ultimately, your resilience as a leader is contagious. In fact, highly-resilient team leaders have direct reports who experience 52% less burnout, and have roughly 80% lower intention of leaving the organization.

3. Focus on the physical and mental health aspects of resiliency.

Did you know people are 3.5X more likely to be resilient if they have good physical health?

Providing your employees with the resources necessary to remain strong phsyically — including fitness reimbursements, flexible work schedules to go on walks or runs during lunch, and even fun workplace fitness competitions — is vital for ensuring long-term resiliency.

For instance, as CEO and Co-founder of Plecto, Kristian Øllegaard, told me, “We’re an ambitious company and thrive on striving to be the best, so contests are a natural fit for the team. Most recently, we challenged the whole company to a push-up competition! The motivation to get involved and outperform colleagues was felt company-wide. This kind of fun-loving team spirit is what makes Plecto the place to be, where we build resilience and genuine relationships.”

If your workers are burnt out, exhausted, and depleted, they won’t have the energy to take care of their physical health, and it will ultimately take its toll on your employees, and your bottom-line.

Additionally, mental health is just as important as physical. Resiliency requires a healthy mindset where people are open to change and don’t dwell on the potential negative outcomes. This can only happen through practice.

Mindfulness and yoga are two effective opportunities to practice building resiliency, so consider how you might provide these options through a discounted mindfulness app subscription, or by bringing yoga to the office.

Additionally, therapy can be incredibly helpful for those who struggle to adjust to change, so perhaps you can try offering services such as Modern Health to your team for further mental health consultations.

Finally — encourage your team to take time off. As DiPietro puts it, “People are more resilient when they have had time to relax and reset! Nobody is meant to grind and not take breaks. The mind needs to untether from work and people need to feel like it’s okay to completely unplug without their team or performance suffering.”

He adds, “Leading by example isn’t enough here. Instead, every few months I ask each of my direct reports, ‘Hey, when is your next vacation?‘ If they don’t have one planned, I follow up in each one-on-one until they make plans. I have found that the directness of my approach gives my reports the feeling of freedom to actually take time off — because if they don’t, I’m going to keep bothering them about it. Force your employees to take time off. You will be rewarded for it!”

4. Practice transparency within your organization as a whole.

No matter how resilient your workforce is, they won’t feel comfortable or optimistic about company-wide or team-wide changes if they don’t understand the why behind the change.

This is where transparency comes into play. While you don’t have to over-explain, divulge confidential information, or apologize for your decisions, your team does deserve to understand the background context of the change and how leadership hopes it will impact the future of the company.

Øllegaard adds, “Since the beginning, business transparency and celebrating success have been at the heart of the Plecto culture. It’s no secret when it’s a record-breaking (or slower) month at Plecto. It’s hard to ignore the TVs around the office with dashboards of each team’s key performance metrics, which are broadcasted for everyone to see. What’s important is being completely transparent about how the company is performing.”

For instance, let’s say your CMO has issued a re-org — and, as part of the change, your social media team will move from under the Content Team VP to under the Brand Strategy VP.

When you deliver this news to your team, you’ll want to explain the context behind the decision.

For instance, you might say, “We’ve decided it makes more sense to have the social team live under Brand Strategy, since the Brand Strategy teams share a common goal of brand awareness. By contrast, most other Content teams share the goal of lead generation, which doesn’t make as much sense for our team’s purpose.”

Ultimately, transparency can build trust, which goes a long way towards making your employees comfortable, and even excited, about upcoming workplace events.

Workforce Resilience Examples

Finally, let’s dive into a few examples of workplace resilience to see how this looks in practice.

1. Staying calm with last-minute requests.

Your SEO team is getting ready for the holiday season when your VP tasks you with a major request: Please put together a memo of your 2023 vision, including areas of opportunity and pre-existing at-risk content, within one week.

When you tell your team, they immediately jump into action. They decide to stay after work, order takeout, and prep the doc together. Your employees are energized and confident that they can meet the deadline, and they’re excited about the challenge. By the end of the week they’ve created a flashy, engaging, compelling 2023 vision, and they can’t wait to hear the VP’s thoughts.

Why This Exemplifies Resilience

Even though the request is last-minute, your team feels comfortable handling the shift in priorities. A low-resilience team would’ve felt discouraged, frustrated, or uninterested in working on the task so close to the holidays, but this high-resilience team was able to shift their mindset quickly and look at the task from a more positive perspective: as a chance to impress leadership and get excited about the year ahead.

2. Taking risks and seeking out new challenges.

On Tuesday, your direct report comes to you with a pitch deck she’s put together in which she’s outlined why it’s a good idea to embed YouTube videos into existing blog posts.

It’s risky — your blog team hasn’t tried incorporating videos before, so there’s no prior evidence that it will be successful. However, your direct report has data from other brands to showcase how videos can increase blog traffic and time-on-page.

Why This Exemplifies Resilience

Risk-taking is all about willingly venturing into unknown territory … something a low-resilience person is unlikely to do. In this case, your employee is demonstrating resilience by showcasing her open-mindedness to test out new ideas and innovate, as well as her engagement and commitment to your team’s success. A low-resilient employee would likely feel less engaged and less willing to take risks.

3. Remaining positive and upbeat.

When you tell your employees your director is leaving your company for another role, they are saddened by the news. She has been an effective leader for the team for a number of years.

However, they are not fearful, mistrustful, or anxious. Instead, they understand this is the best next step for the director, and suggest ideas for a goodbye party. The vibe is ultimately positive and optimistic.

Why This Exemplifies Resilience

When a beloved leader leaves the company, it’s always a sad experience, but high-resilience employees can see the bright side of the situation and don’t dwell on the potential negative outcomes they could experience in their own roles as a result of the director’s departure. Instead, they trust your leadership and the organization at-large will continue to meet their expectations.

4. Handling constructive feedback well.

In a recent performance review, you tell your employee that he’s been underperforming. He’s missed a few deadlines, and recently arrived unprepared to a meeting with a client.

Your employee is unsurprised by this information, and responds calmly: “I really appreciate you taking the time to talk about this with me. I will give what you’ve said serious consideration, and reach out next week to plan a follow-up where we can discuss how I can improve my performance.”

Why This Exemplifies Resilience

A highly-resilient employee is likely effective at positive self-talk and harnessing optimism in the face of adversity. Additionally, resiliency enables people to handle rejection more smoothly by seeing it as an opportunity to grow.

Ultimately, you can’t always control the situations that arise in your workplace. But what you can control, if you’ve laid a foundation of resilience, is how your team reacts to those changes. The more resilient your employees are, the more likely they are to be happy, engaged, and motivated at work.

Taking the time to teach and foster resilience in your workforce isn’t easy, but in the long run, it will enable your team to more efficiently and willingly handle all the challenges thrown their way.

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A Marketer’s Guide To Video Codecs

Streaming is ubiquitous. From from services like Netflix to user-generated content on YouTube, we’re all streaming video online. As customers are consuming more video content, video marketing has become an integral part of marketing strategies. All of this is made possible by codecs.

We’ll explain what codecs are, why you need them, and how they make streaming high quality content possible.

What is a codec?

A codec is a term used to describe a computer program that can encode and decode data. Their main purpose is to compress data, particularly media. Without them, audio and video files would be too large to transfer over the internet.

A combination of “encoder” and “decoder,” a codec is used to encode data into a format that can be stored or transmitted and viewed later with its corresponding decoder. Essentially you won’t be able to play audio or video files unless they are paired with their corresponding decoder.

What is a video codec?

A video codec compresses and decompresses digital video files. The software takes large video files and compresses them so they take up less space on your computer or device. A popular video codec is MPEG, which was established by the Moving Picture Experts Group. The MPEG suite of codecs is a popular choice due to its high quality video display with relatively low data rates.

Other Common Types of Codecs

1. MP3

Most of us are familiar with MP3s. This popular audio codec changed the music industry, allowing people to listen to and share music online, store it on their phones, and computers. 

2. WAV

Created by IBM and Microsoft, Waveform (WAV) is an uncompressed audio format. Unlike MP3s it’s not meant for sharing audio files online since it takes up too much space. Instead WAV is best used in areas that need higher quality audio like radio, television, and editing music.

3. HEVC

High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is a popular compressed video format. In fact, many phones and smart TVs already have built-in hardware to support HEVC playback. Since it doesn’t require much bandwidth, HEVC has become the go-to format for streaming. The H.264 codec is used by Vimeo and YouTube.

Lossy vs. Lossless Compression

An important distinction between codecs is whether they use lossless or lossy compression. With lossy compression, some of the visual data is left out in order to reduce the size of the video or audio data. This loss is typically minor and worth the tradeoff for the smaller size.

Media files using lossy compression are very common; an MP3 is a great example of lossy compression as they can be compressed at a number of different bitrates depending on your desired file size.

Lossless compression reduces file size by identifying redundant patterns in video or audio, which ensures no data is lost. Lossless files maintain the bit rate of the original data stream creating a large, high quality file. A WAV file is an example of a lossless audio file. Use lossless video when quality matters above all else, like a final copy of a video piece you’ve created for broadcast purposes.

Why do marketers need codecs?

Working with video is becoming a must-have skill rather than nice-to-have for marketers. While you won’t necessarily have to shoot the video content, you’ll most certainly need to share and store it.

When getting started with online video you might consider using an inexpensive camera, doing some minor edits, and posting the video on your blog or social media. As quality and production value have become more important, it is critical to understand codecs.

You’ll need to ensure you’re using the proper format to compress and share video marketing content. However, the amount of codec options can be overwhelming if you’re just getting familiar. Luckily there are codec packs, which come with a variety of codecs, that allow you to simply download the pack and go.

Image Source

K-Lite: K-Lite comes in either Basic, Standard, Full, or Mega versions. This bundle is a good choice for newbies since the Basic tier covers most video and audio formats.
Media Player: This pack supports most video and audio formats, plus offers installation options for both novices and those who need more advanced options. It supports standard definition up to 4K.
Wonderfox HD Video Converter Factory Pro: While this isn’t a codec pack, it’s an excellent option for most of your audio and video needs. This tool can be used for video editing in addition to converting video formats.

Why Codecs Matter

While online video is fun to watch and an important part of your inbound marketing content strategy, it does require some technical knowledge to execute well. Codecs are involved in many stages of video production and distribution, working behind the scenes to provide a better visual experience for your audience.

This article was originallypublished in February 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How the Business Landscape (& Consumers) Could Shift in Web 3 [Executive Insights + Podcast Episode]

If you work in tech, media, or even marketing, you’ve likely heard a lot of buzz around Web 3.

And, when filtering through all the noise about future versions of the internet, you might find it hard to differentiate all of the predictions from myths and reality. And, more importantly, if you’re likely asking questions like, “How could Web 3 impact my business?”, “Will I fall behind if I don’t get in on Web 3 now?”, and “Is Web 3 just built on hype?”

“When you’re listening to the news, or you’re on Twitter, and people are talking about NFTs and Web 3, it seems really abstract and futuristic and stupid. It’s really easy to naysay all of it. I get that,” says Kipp Bodnar, HubSpot CMO. “A lot of it is going to be crap. And a lot of it’s going to fall away.”

But, Bodnar adds, “In the last version of the internet, your whole job was to make a product or value proposition 10 times better than it was before. In the next generation, the internet, it’s making something somebody thought was impossible possible.”

“And if you can’t pull that magic trick out as a business over the next 10, 20, or 30 years, you’re not going to exist. Because that is the game that’s going to change. Don’t think about the technology, think about the changing customer experience and that move from impossible to possible,” Bodnar says.

In this post, we’ll dive into the questions businesses are starting to ask about Web 3 and how it could impact the changing landscape.

To hear more about Web 3 from our very own CMO Kipp Bodnar, and our SVP of Marketing, Kieran Flanagan, you can also check out this episode of their podcast, Marketing Against the Grain (plus other episodes and interviews coming soon).

Editor’s Note: This post will discuss the wider business-wide impacts of Web 3, and while we will mention marketing a bit, you can find a piece specifically about how Web 3 will impact marketers and its core characteristics here.

What’s Web 3 (And How Did We Get Here)?

When explaining the possible impacts of Web 3, it’s helpful to go back and look at how the previous evolutions of the internet impacted consumers and businesses. The graph below highlights just a few high-level characteristics of Web1, Web2, and Web 3 without getting overly technical.

Web 1 (1983 to Early 2000s)

Web 2 (Early 2000s to Today)

Web 3 (The Next Internet Evolution)

Low-Speed

Enabled basic messaging, email, search queries, and PC-based web surfing.

High-Speed

Offers advanced messaging/communication, video calling, streaming, social media, and early AR/VR.

Highest Speed

Decentralized on the blockchain. Could Enable extended reality, user-built platforms, coin/token incentives, and other experiences.

When the internet launched, it was essentially decentralized and many companies that focused on internet services had a slight leg up as many tech firms began to invest in it and learn what it could do. Today, the internet has become drastically centralized with companies like Google and Meta owning many of the platforms we visit each day.

Because consumers want growing control over their experience and are more hyper-connected to technology than ever, some describe Web 3 as “giving the internet back to the people”, as blockchain-built web experiences are often decentralized.

The image below shows how Web 3 infrastructure could compare to that of our current internet. While business owners and marketers that aren’t goaled around Web 3 investments don’t necessarily need to know all the technical lingo in the images below, this graphic essentially shows a more streamlined, centralized path from user to internet access while Web 3 will host a more complex, decentralized path that leverages blockchain technology.

Source: Coinbase

While we won’t go too deep into the technology behind Web 3, you can find some great resources on the technical side of things with online courses – like this one from Coursera or this content from Reforge.

At this point, it’s still a bit too early to know how many of the predictions we’re seeing will come to light. And, if they do become a reality, they’ll likely require a learning curve and a long adoption lifecycle. Because of this, the move from Web 2 to Web 3 might be much slower and more gradual than some would expect.

But, even though we likely won’t see the entire internet change in one day, week, or year, we’ll still watch some Web 3 concepts, companies, and technology grow in the coming years — which could enable us to adopt it at a quicker pace.

Ultimately, you don’t need to ditch your current business plan to focus on major Web 3 investments just yet. But, there are concepts, consumer behaviors, and tech you might want to keep on your radar so your company can adapt if and when a wide-scale evolution happens.

Web 3 Concepts & Business Shifts You Could See Soon

Full Web 3 implementation is far off, and we know a lot of SMB marketers don’t have any interest, technical bandwidth, or budget to dive into Web 3 complexities yet. And, that’s okay.

But, if you put overwhelming technical lingo and wild predictions aside, the way consumers have optimistically buzzed-about Web 3’s potential shows just how much they’re ready to see the internet, businesses, and society evolve. And, even if your business plans to stay in the Web 2 world for the foreseeable future, you should still make note of how these shifts and growing web technology could impact your business.

Here are a few business shifts we’ll see soon, in part because of Web 3 development.

1. Consumers will want more say in the online products and platforms they use.

Right now, the platforms we use daily, like Google and Facebook are centralized. When you log on to a platform like Facebook, you’re exchanging web data with its Meta servers.

This means that Meta and its biggest stakeholders ultimately determine how Facebook works, user rules, how it uses your data, and how the UX changes over time. And, if Meta were to pull the plug on Facebook servers, it would disable usage for everyone.

Because of this, just a few key tech companies and big-name investment firms have a solid hold over many of the things we do and see online. And, in certain areas – as with data usage, social media feeds, search engines, or web experience – many users wish they had more say.

But, what if users were treated more like shareholders and could give input on how a platform worked, used their data, or built experiences for them? In a decentralized Web 3 world, some believe this could be possible.

For example, some platforms, like metaverses will allow you to trade crypto, NFTs, non-crypto currency, or other items of value for a plot of land (or a stake in the platform). While large brands and investment firms would still likely own a majority stake in their platforms and serve as decision-makers for terms of use, users could at least personalize their experiences a bit more, or have more control over how the platform works for them.

While not all businesses will lean into decentralized platforms, those who do could put some key developments of their online products into the hands of loyal users or customers.

Giving users the ability to play a role in the evolution of platforms they use not only allows them to feel linked to a brand through a sense of ownership and trust, but it also allows you as a business owner to benefit from the ROI of user experience improvements the users themselves are making.

How Businesses Can Respond

Even if you aren’t ready for Web 3 investments, or never plan to invest in it at all, you can still take steps to make your audiences or customers feel like they have an impact on your business’s evolution. Here are a few smaller-scale ideas.

Introducing Product Developers to Customers: Oftentimes, sales and service are the only ones who talk to customers. But, product developers can learn a lot from meeting with a few loyal customers, listening to feedback, and learning about their pain points. In turn, the customer feels like their actionable and constructive feedback has been heard.
Customer Feedback Research: If your product development team prefers to look at more quantitative data, consider running a survey about your product and returning that feedback to marketing, sales, service, and product teams.
Report on Your Progress: After customers or prospects give you feedback, create a marketing plan highlighting the improvements you’ve made around your product after receiving feedback. This will show customers and prospects that you are acting on their needs and that they have a voice when they’d like to request changing something.
Customizable Features: Customization might not make your customers feel like stakeholders, but it does have similar benefits. When users can customize how online products look, feel, and work around their preferences and goals, they might feel more attachment to your product than one that allows no customization. Ask yourself, “Are there ways I can better help my customers make their own great experience with my offerings?”

More Companies Will Invest in Incentivization

While incentivization has been around for quite some time, blockchain technology will make it easier for brands to track and incentivize usership and community engagement in Web 3.

Imagine going on a website and being paid to spend time there, or logging into an app and receiving points that you can trade for something of value later – like cryptocurrency or even NFTs. These are the types of tactics that brands could potentially leverage to gain solid growth.

“When you think about the difference between the last generation, the internet and the next generation the internet – understand that it is a massive change in incentives and the ability to incentivize,” says Bodnar.

Kieran Flanagan, HubSpot SVP of Marketing also explains, “In Web 2, for [gaining] leads and things like that, we had a cost per acquisition and freemium. You make the product free, so your cost per acquisition goes down.”

“In Web 3, I think your incentives drastically change that, again, because you have a flywheel effect through your incentives. I don’t know how it changes. … But I do think how you think about acquiring customers and the cost to doing that is greatly changed when you’re using these different incentives or tokens to build your business,” Flanagan adds.

Meanwhile, Bodnar added that incentivization will become more of an economic proposition in Web 3.

“While the cost of the old way of doing [acquisitions] is getting so high that you can take more risks to do the new way (because the old way is becoming untenable). And then, can I take that same amount of money, incentivize my community to drive referrals, and be advocates to spread word of mouth to drive the brand? And can I factor in customer acquisition cost on top of that?” Bodnar says.  

“We’re not going to give up customer acquisition cost,” Bodnar explains. “What we’re saying is, community acquisition cost is going to be the precursor. We’re going to figure out the economics of acquiring people through communities, and that customer acquisition cost is going to be basically an output metric of how effective our community strategy is.”

One example of a startup that’s already using digital incentivization (and is currently used by Flanagan) is STEPN, an app that rewards you in NFTs as you make running accomplishments with the app turned on.

“STEPN is a Web 3 lifestyle app with Social-Fi and Game-Fi elements. Users equipped with NFT Sneakers – walk, jog or run outdoors to earn GST, which can be used to level up and mint new Sneakers,” notes the website, adding that players can “choose to lease or sell their NFT Sneakers on the in-app Marketplace; users’ GST earnings are stored in the in-app Wallet, which has a built-in Swap function.”

While people are earning NFTs by running with the app on, STEPN benefits from data collection agreed upon when first using the app, transaction fees from buying and selling NFT products, and fees consumers pay to lease NFT sneakers.

To learn more about STEPN, check out this demo which STEPN features on its official website.

Ultimately, the business model is simple: Users pay to buy a product to join the app, they are treated to coinage or NFTs for spending time on the app, and the business makes money from the trades, transactions, and purchases made in the app once the user loyalty model has brought them in.

Embracing Incentivization Ahead of Web 3

Want to leverage incentivization without building a Web 3 experience? There are plenty of ways to do this.

One example of a Web2 incentivization is our HubFans platform. With the platform, HubSpot customers and partners can assist HubSpot in some way by completing “Challenges” for rewards and digital badges.

HubFans challenges that help HubSpot, could include a mix of small and larger asks, like promoting our brand, filling our feedback surveys, or meeting with teams looking to chat with customers. As you complete more challenges, you move into higher tiers of HubFans status and can start to access rewards like event invitations, networking sessions, and potentially an invite to join the HubFans council.

While HubFans doesn’t involve Web 3, it is a great example of a digital incentive-based opportunity that can both help a brand gain insights from its partners and customers on various initiatives, build a strong fan-based community, and – most importantly – reward great customers and partners for their loyalty to the brand.

Crypto, NFT, and Blockchain Tech Will Gain Wider Use

While you shouldn’t just change your whole business model or payment features to accommodate crypto, the growing interest in this currency is worth keeping on your radar if your business appeals to audiences that have invested in digital coinage.

As interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain-based transactions grows, many brands – including B2B companies have embraced crypto-based payment features on their websites or platforms for quite some time – and not just for NFT purchases. Among them are Overstock.com, Home Depot, Starbucks, and Whole Foods. Additionally, payment platforms – such as PayPal – have adapted to accept crypto-based payments.

If you think it makes sense for your brand to start accepting cryptocurrency pay, it couldn’t hurt to start looking at credible companies that offer website plugins for this, as well as platforms that can help you manage and monitor your company’s cryptocurrency. You’ll also need to read up on any laws and regulations your company or state might have about crypto usage and taxation for businesses.

If you live in the United States, you can find a list of state-based legislation for the United States here. However, you should also keep in mind that regulations might vary when doing transactions with customers in countries outside of the U.S.

Branded Content and Services Will Get More Experiential

Over the past five years or so, experiential marketing and product experiences have gained steam. And when the COVID-19 pandemic kept any of us on lockdown, millions turned to remote experiential content with VR and AR platforms.

In the marketing and sales realm, brands like Walmart and BestBuy are already identifying ways that they can sell products through VR stores (complete with sales reps who are also logged in to a VR metaverse.

Meanwhile, companies like Mercedes already leverage AR with virtual assistant platforms. Through platforms like these, customers can scan an element of their vehicle or product and have its functionality explained to them. They can also ask questions about any problems or faults in its operation. Combined with an AI chatbot, the AR element of the assistant makes it much more user-friendly.

Source: PTC

With the connectivity, speed, and advancements of Web 3, interest, and engagement in virtual experiential content could only grow.

How to Prepare for a More Experiential Internet

While most businesses can’t affordably build VR or AR experiences or even physical experiential events just yet, there might be more accessible opportunities to advertise, build communities, talk to your customers, or even offer services in a more experiential environment that arise for you as technology develops.

For example, brands can already work with businesses like Snap, tech agencies, or software companies to have AR/VR experiences created for them.

To learn more about experiential or VR marketing specifically, check out this post and this post, respectively.

Community will be Key for Business Growth

With Web 1, we still focused on building communities through word of mouth within the limits of the internet. In Web 2, we discovered the impact of community building on major social media platforms like Facebook, Reddit, Discord, and Twitter.

Now, many community managers and company leaders are just waiting with bated breath to see how they’ll be able to invest in community building in Web 3.

“The convergence of brand and community is going to be one of the biggest trends in marketing over the next decade,” says Bodnar.

“The reason communities are becoming more important is because going through intermediaries to reach people directly like Google and Facebook is getting way more expensive,” Bodnar explains.

Additionally, with Web 3’s blockchain-based incentivization opportunities, “you can now properly incentivize your community members to share in the success of your business with you in a way that you couldn’t before – through the use of tokens, NFTs, and a whole host of things.”

Building Communities (Even in Web 2)

While you don’t necessarily have to be a Web 3 expert, coder, or developer to win over audiences in the new era, building out an active and effective web community could be a key priority for your brand in the coming years.

If you have a base following and even a few channels now, you can already get started in using tactics like these to build an engaged online community and network that you could carry over into the Web 3 era.

Here are a few quick ways to start developing a sense of community.

Meet your targets where they are: Are your audiences, customers, or targets spending time on one social media channel or platform over another? Focus on growing your community and building engagement there first.
Create great content: “The core object of most communities is content. It’s some type of story, some type of exchange of ideas. If you’re going to build a remarkable brand through community, you first have to have remarkable content and remarkable stories.  In your community,” says Bodnar.  
Don’t be afraid of long-term bets: Communities don’t just appear overnight and take time and energy to build out. “I think these bets are long term. They’re not for the next six months. They’re for the next 12, 24, 36 months,” Bodnar advises.

Want to learn more about community marketing or building a community that can boost business? Check out this guide.

When to Start Thinking About Web 3

Many tech lovers will often tell you, “the Web 3 era is coming, whether we’re ready or not.”

And while a new iteration of the internet is coming, evolutions take years or even decades before a new era is clear.

Like any new technology, this rollout will be fast for some businesses, but happen over a longer time for others.

Do you have incredibly tech-savvy customers that are interested in crypto and blockchain tech? Or, do your offerings already include user-built platforms, token incentivization, blockchain services, metaverse offerings, tech security, or something that’s strongly associated with Web 3? if not, you don’t necessarily need to transform your whole business plan or take other big bets on future predictions

In any era, the best thing you can do is think about your customer or target buyer and their experience and identify what you need to do to meet them where they are.

Ultimately, when you’re responding to your customer and creating experiences for them that competitors can’t – you’ll still be ahead of the curve.

To learn more about all the latest emerging trends and how they’ll impact marketing as well as the bigger business, check out Marketing Against the Grain, HubSpot’s newest podcast hosted by Kipp Bodnar and Kieran Flanagan.