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NASCAR Cup Series: Results of Bristol Motor Speedway’s Saturday night race

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Saturday At Bristol Motor Speedway Bristol, Tenn. Lap length: 0.533 miles (Start position in parentheses) 1. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, … Click to Continue »

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The Great American Eclipse brings solar science to down to Earth

The Aug. 21 eclipse promises Americans a rare window into our nearest star.

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Kyle Busch wins at Bristol for 19th time in NASCAR

Kyle Busch continued his domination at Bristol Motor Speedway with a victory Friday night in the Xfinity Series race. The win was the 19th national series victory at Bristol for … Click to Continue »

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Country Girl Miley Cyrus Buys $5.8M Tennessee Mansion

Miley Cyrus might be singing about ‘Malibu,’ but she’s done buying houses there. The Disney-actress-turned-pop-star just picked up a new $5.8-million pad in Franklin, TN.

This is Cyrus’ first home purchase in her birth state, but she’s been on a shopping spree in California over the past couple of years. In 2015, she bought a horse ranch in Hidden Hills, and 2016 called for a Malibu bungalow.

The latest addition to Miley’s collection is a sprawling 5-bed, 6-bath manse nestled on 33+ acres.

Photos from Zillow listing.

The home boasts classic Southern features including a wraparound porch and a screened-in sun room (with an indoor porch swing!). Inside the 6,869-square-foot estate, hardwood floors, a soaring stone fireplace, red brick accents and vintage exposed beams contribute to a rustic vibe.

A pool and mini-golf course dominate the fenced-in backyard. If you’re not taking a dip in the pool, then the yard is really best experienced from a second-story deck that sits atop the sun room and overlooks the property’s private 33 acres.

This home purchase comes hot on the heels of Miley’s announcement that she’s releasing a new album — one that many are speculating might be a return to her country roots. While a home purchase is hardly definitive proof, it is another signal for fans anxiously anticipating her next move.

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Here’s how NASCAR plans to let Cup fans watch playoff races like a true insider

Ever wonder what the scenery looks like from inside a race car going about 200 mile per hour? NASCAR has you covered. Perhaps looking for a way to connect with … Click to Continue »

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Match Your Message to Your Market on Social Media

You may have a great message, but is it reaching the right people? Creating a great message is important. Making sure it gets to the right people, in the right way, on the platform where their attention already is, is critical.

Demographics and personas.

The first thing you need to get a solid grasp on is your audience (not in any way that will get you in trouble with HR). You need to really know and understand who your audience is. Hopefully, you already do. Ideally, you will have a wealth of background information and statistics, used them to work out personas and backed up your findings with a lot of analytical data. Then again, you may be at the start of the process and need to do all those things.

Personas are important in the creative process of getting a clear idea of the message that you need to write to match your market. A persona is a representative of your market. If you are marketing a new chocolate bar, you might imagine that your persona is a male child aged 13, who is a big fan of Boruto and is easily distracted. It’s a way to put a face on a 10- to 15-year-old predominantly male demographic. It also doesn’t tell the whole story.

Products and services may have a demographic that is more important than others, but a single persona does not represent your market place. A chocolate bar may appeal to young boys, but it will also appeal to young girls. It will also appeal to older men and women. Everyone loves chocolate. Young boys may account for 60% of the market, but that doesn’t mean you want to ignore the other 40%.

That’s why it’s useful to think of multiple demographics, and work up multiple personas. Where a young boy might care about action and excitement, a young girl might care about sharing. The older consumers, who are probably going to be the people who pay for it anyway, will have another set of concerns. They may be worried about the amount of sugar and fat in the bar, or if the products used in its manufacture are ethically sourced.

Put those together and make an ad where a team of ninja robots decide to learn a lesson about sharing and the importance of ethically sourced cocoa and milk, and you’ll get a mess (or a message that’s interesting for the wrong reasons). It’s better to work out what the different focuses of your entire audience are, and then work out different ways to get a message to those key markets.

 

Split testing is your friend.

One of the benefits of getting your message out on social media is the ability to test and change your approach continually. When you have settled on a persona and a focus for your message, there can still be different ways to realize it. Let’s take our chocolate bar and imagine that we are creating copy to appeal to our young female audience with a focus on sharing. Here are a couple of ways it could go:

  • Borrowed your sister’s favorite sweater without asking again? Say sorry by sharing your Hazleblast bar.
  • Jenny thought she didn’t have any friends. All it took was Petra to share her Hazleblast bar and it made her day!

Both are legitimate approaches. The first takes a more humorous approach and the second plays on emotions. Both target the 10- to 15-year-old female demographic and show the benefits of sharing the product. Which one is best? In fact, either of them could be the most effective. The only real way to find out is to split test them.

Let’s take Facebook as an example.  You can create two ads, which are exactly the same apart from the copy. You can set the split at 50/50 or whatever you like. Then you send your two ads out. Then you see which one has been the most successful. You can then test it against other copy if you have more ideas, or even change up the image, your call to action or even if you include emoji or not.

Through split testing, you can see your message evolve so it is the most effective at reaching your market. You are carrying out market research while you are growing brand awareness (or even selling your product).

 

Jumping from platform to platform.

Once you have defined the different areas of your audience, and split tested to find the best way to deliver that message to them – you still need to think about where you will reach them. You need to reach your audience where there attention already is, and on the device that captures that attention.

The younger audience is a good example here. Facebook doesn’t let people have their own accounts until the age of 13. So, while the split testing ad may have worked out well for the 13 to 15 year olds glued to social media, it still ignores a key part of that demographic. Although you would still want to advertise on Facebook, it might be worthwhile to extend out to websites or even in-app advertisements, because that’s where that particular audience’s attention actually is.

On a basic level – you need to think about how your message will appear on different devices. The copy on a desktop Facebook ad may take up more space than is available in an in-app ad. You always need to be aware of how your message will appear on a mobile phone, even if you’re creating the ad on a desktop computer.  Whatever device your message is being read on, you need to make sure that it is clear to read, clear to understand and has a clear purpose.

 

The medium is the message.

 There are a variety of ways you can deliver your message. It will always be accompanied by copy – but it could be a picture, a GIF, a slideshow, a video, a livestream, a 360 video, an interactive form… even through a game. When considering what medium to use to put out a message, you need to ask: (a) does it effectively represent my brand and (b) will it entertain my audience?

There may be evidence that people in the 12 to 15-year-old demographic may really respond and interact with live-streams, but unless there is a real way that a live stream can support your message and demonstrate the value of your product, then it’s better to choose a medium that works. A picture of two friends laughing a sharing a chocolate bar may be more effective than seeing how long it will take a Hazelblast bar to melt in the sun.

 

Once you’ve hit your target: retarget!

The last thing to think about in getting your message to the market is to consider what interaction they have had with your company before. People who have already interacted with your advertising, or visited the website don’t want to be given the same message over and over again. Not only can this lead to ad fatigue, it’s also easier to convert people who have already come part of the way along the sales journey.

Retargeting is a very powerful tool. Using things like the Facebook Pixel, you can automatically track the audience interaction. You can then set up a copy sequence, so that the audience can be retargeted with a message designed to push them along to the next level of your sales funnel. By honing your message to respond to their level of experience, you have a better chance of converting them.

 

Match your message to find your match.

People go on the Internet for two reasons: to have a problem solved or to be entertained. By matching your message to a persona, honing that message through split testing, placing that message on the right device and matching your message to their level of experience – you have a greater chance of them engaging with their message. They are more likely to be entertained as you are speaking directly to them, rather than to just anyone. Ultimately, you are more likely to solve their problem – whether it’s choosing a new chocolate bar or a new life insurance provider.

 

match your message to your market

The post Match Your Message to Your Market on Social Media appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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NASCAR night race at Bristol: What you need to know including team orders, slackers

Distance: 500 laps, or 266.5 miles. Where: Bristol Motor Speedway, a .533-mile, high-banked, oval in Bristol, Tenn. When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday. TV: NBC. Radio: PRN. Last year’s winner: Kevin Harvick … Click to Continue »

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How to Create a Brand that Attracts New Customers Like a Magnet

So there you are – you’ve developed a marketing campaign designed to drive prospects to your website. The results have been pretty good and you have a lot to be proud of. The problem is that none of the new visitors are doing what you want them to. Whether it’s getting them to download an eBook, sign up for an e-newsletter, or buy one of your products, they aren’t converting.

If you’re like many people with this problem, the first thing you do is to examine your marketing campaign to find out what the trouble is. Are you targeting the right people? Are you sending the right message? Are you driving the clicks you’re looking for?

 

If you think the problem is with your marketing campaign, you might be looking in the wrong place.

What do I mean by that? There are two aspects to any successful marketing campaign. The first is to get people to click through to your website. The second is to get people to convert once they’re there.

If your click-through rate is within the acceptable range (about 0.5% to 5% for a Facebook ad, about 1% for a Google Paid Search ad, etc.), then your problem isn’t getting people to your website. Instead, it’s getting people to do what you want them to do once they’re there.

If they aren’t converting once they’re at your website, you could have a landing page problem. Or, worse yet, you could have a branding problem.

 

What is a branding problem? And why is it important?

When people engage with a brand, they do so for emotional reasons and then use logic to rationalize their behaviors after the fact. In other words, people instinctively interact with your brand for subconscious reasons, and then use logic to explain why they interacted with your brand later.

Here’s a great example. Have you ever bought something on impulse while you were in the checkout line at a grocery store? If you’re like most people, the answer is a resounding yes.

Why did you buy the product? At the moment of purchase, you probably didn’t know. It was probably just an impulse buy. But once you got home, if your spouse or other family member asked you why you made the impulse buy, you can come up with a bunch of logical, rational reasons why you bought it.

Why did you make the impulse purchase? Because of branding. And that’s why branding is so important – because it can help you convert more prospects into customers for reasons they sometimes don’t even know.

 

Tips and techniques to make your brand stand out.

Perhaps the starting point in any discussion about a brand is to define what a brand is.

There are hundreds of definitions for a brand, so I came up with one myself that has held up pretty well over the years. Here it is – a brand is composed of the spoken and unspoken messages a consumer receives about your product and/or service.

In other words, a brand is the essence of your company articulated through your logo, your ad campaigns, your color scheme, your tone of voice, your corporate culture … pretty much anything that touches the consumer in one way or another.

A good brand takes many years to develop, but there are some steps you can take to ensure that your brand is as attractive as possible right away.

Want to take a look at the steps? If so, check them out below.

 

Step 1: Look at companies within your industry and identify best practices.

If you’re like most businesses, you have 3 to 5 competitors who are about your size and who are competing for your customers. Visit each one of their websites and take an honest look at their messaging, their aesthetics, and their overall approach. If you’re in marketing, you’ll instinctively be drawn to the one or two best ones. Figure out what they’re doing better than you are … and copy it. Yup, that’s right, copy what they’re doing but put your own spin on it. (It’s not illegal, provided you’re not stealing intellectual property.)

 

Step 2: Look at companies outside your industry and explore their techniques.

The best companies work very, very hard to ensure their brands look pristine. A good place to start is to look at what Apple, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and other top brands are doing with their websites. Examine what you like and what you don’t like about each website. Take note of the best stuff, and toss out the rest.

 

Step 3: Take an honest look at your own brand.

How does it stack up to the other brands? Are the other brands more polished? Is their messaging clearer? Do their websites hold together better than yours does? If so, keep re-visiting their websites for several days in a row. As you come back for another visit, you’ll start noticing more and more of the things they do to make their brands sizzle.

 

Step 4: Begin incorporating what you see from the best brands into your brand.

As I said, there’s no law against being inspired by your competitors and the best brands in the world. Keep an eye on what they do to differentiate their brands. In some cases, you’ll be able to incorporate their best practices into your own brand. In other cases, you’ll want to hire a marketing firm or a designer to take your brand to the next level.

Final point – remember, none of what we’ve just talked about matters unless you take action on what you’ve learned here. Don’t just read this blog post … instead, do the work.

By taking action and doing the work, you’ll end up with more prospects converting into customers. And that would be a good thing.

The post How to Create a Brand that Attracts New Customers Like a Magnet appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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"Where Should I Keep My…?": Solving the Ultimate Small Space Dilemmas

When you’re renting, square footage is something to be savored, not squandered. It’s hard enough finding a home for your everyday must-haves, let alone bulky, infrequently used, or offseason items like snowshoes,  pool toys, and holiday decorations.

Whatever your hobby or collection, there’s an organizational hack to help you store it. Here are some clever storage tricks for six of the toughest, bulkiest space-takers you may own.

Offseason wardrobe

Tuck those bulky winter sweaters (or shorts and flip-flops) in plastic bins under your bed. If your bed’s too close to the ground, lift it up with sturdy wood blocks. Even a few extra inches create enough space for a sizable storage container.

If elevating the bed isn’t an option, maximize your closet space with a few sets of cascading hangers. Put blouses on one set and T-shirts on another, and you’ll most likely double your closet space.

Extra linens

Extra pillows, comforters, and bedsheets are great for guests, but not so great for your small space. Try vacuum storage bags – stack your items inside, and use your vacuum cleaner to remove the air. Your items will shrink significantly so you can store them under your bed or on a shelf.

Shoe collection

A burgeoning shoe collection can take on a life of its own if not properly corralled. Take it back to dorm-room days with an over-the-door shoe organizer. These college favorites are popular for a reason – they store a dozen pairs of shoes or more, plus scarves, baseball caps, belts, and chunky necklaces.

Bikes

Bikes can be one of the most difficult belongings to stash, especially if you don’t have a deck or basement. Try installing a strong hook in the wall, and hang your bike by the front tire. Pro: It’s a great way to get the bike off the floor. Con: It still protrudes into the room.

For a less invasive option, hang your bike flush against the wall – like you’re hanging a piece of art. The hardware can be as simple as two wooden dowels that support the bike’s horizontal bar. )(Just make sure you anchor the supports in the wall’s studs so they can hold the weight.)

Exercise equipment

An inflatable exercise ball is a great workout aid – and a real space suck. You could always deflate it, but the hassle probably isn’t worth it. So, why not get creative and make it a usable piece of furniture?

Repurpose medium or large exercise balls as dining room chairs, and store them under the dining table when you’re done.

No room for a dining table? The bike trick applies here, too. Install a couple of dowels high up on the wall, and set the ball there until you’re ready for a crunch session.

Decorations and keepsakes

Have a collection of things you just can’t get rid of? Maybe old photo albums, holiday decorations, or crafting supplies? Strategically placed shelves are your storage lifesaver when seeking space for infrequently used items.

There’s often a wealth of unused space above and behind your hung clothing in bedroom and hallway closets. While shelves in these locations may require a footstool or flashlight to access, it won’t matter if you only need the items a few times a year.

Top photo from Zillow listing.

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Lightning injuries dwindle with more time spent indoors, safety education

Scientists have seen a decrease in lightning-related injuries with farming and other outdoor occupations becoming less prevalent. But perhaps the biggest reason deaths are down is because of efforts to teach people not to get hit in the first place.

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