HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification

The final assignment for digital marketing is the HubSpot Inbound marketing exam. The exam consists of sixty questions about the material learned through the HubSpot Inbound course.   This course covers an array of topics that deal with the newest and sharpest techniques in the field of marketing.  Inbound marketing is an approach to digital marketing that is customer-centric and moves away from traditional methods of sales.  Inbound focuses on creating content that caters to customer’s needs.  It also focuses on the personalization of content.  These are just some of the attributes of inbound marketing that allow you to expand conversions while satisfying customers.  Through studying this material I have learned the value of inbound marketing and the effects  effective, customer-oriented work.

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Our most recent assignment for Digital Marketing is to create an exceptional linked in profile.  Linked in is an incredibly valuable tool to market yourself to potential employers.  With a linked in profile you can distinguish yourself from other applicants by highlighting your unique skills and experiences.   There are a number of strategies to improve your linked in profile and to use the site to your best advantage in your career.

When I visited my Linked in profile to complete this assignment I realized that my profile was in need of a lot of work. I already had a picture uploaded and I only had a summer job listed for experience, so I needed to put some work in to tidy up my profile.   The content on a linked in profile is much more important than what I have published on my personal social media accounts.   Luckily, there are plenty of resources to consult in order to check that I included the necessary components in making a top-notch profile.  The first step in cleaning up my profile was to fill in all of my relevant work experience.   I made sure that my URL was customized to include just my name and omit any other unnecessary numbers.  I updated my headline to say, “Student-Athlete at Siena College.”  I could have used my current job which is Lifeguard at Siena College but I think this one most accurately sums up how I spend most of my time.   Below work experience I filled in my volunteering experience over the past few years, and a list of skills that I have gained through my experience.

The most challenging and possibly most important section of the profile is the summary section. There is a lot of freedom to write about yourself in this section and it is a place to showcase your uniqueness and creativity.  In this section I used the space to explain what I am currently doing at Siena and what my summer plans are for an internship. This is a great spot on the profile to let people know about yourself and future plans. I was unsure of where to list my summer internship plans since I am not currently holding that position but I wanted to mention that it was in my plans and this was the right spot to indicate this.

Once the content of the profile is up to date and ready to be shown off to all of those potential employers it is important to start building up your network.  There are great resources to use with a linked in network.   Linked in offers alumni tools that show a compilation of data of people in your own alumni networks.  I have joined the Siena alumni group along with my high school alumni group. I found this very beneficial because you can see what fields and companies Siena grads are working in and even narrow it down to their location as well. This gives you an even better opportunity to network with people who are in your field and use your mutual background as a way to reach out and get advice from fellow Siena graduates.

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Linked In is an invaluable tool that allows users to personally market themselves through their profile. It offers beneficial features that enables users to showcase their experience and skills, and allows room to differentiate yourself from others.   In the constantly evolving digital age it is important to craft an exceptional profile in order to promote your personal brand to potential employers.

Email Marketing

Every day one of my rituals includes deleting countless numbers of promotional emails from different companies offering newsletters, services, discounts, promotions, and special time sensitive deals.  One email list that I subscribe to is USA water polo.  I became a part of this email list a few years ago when I was required to sign up for a membership with USA water polo in order to participate in a water polo tournament. Since then I have been receiving monthly emails from USA water polo, even though I am no longer a member.   As seen in the screenshot below there are not too many emails from USA water polo that I end up opening, I actually have opened about two of these emails a year.  Here I will look at a few of these emails from this list and examine the content.

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The most recent email I received was on March 22.  The subject line read, “USA Water Polo E-Newsletter March 2017.”  Personally I am drawn to open an email like this because I am interested in water polo news and there are not very many outlets to find content related to water polo compiled together like this newsletter has arranged.  Also, since it is March and currently women’s collegiate water polo season, I thought this email may have some relevant information that I would find useful.   However, generally the subject line is not very enticing and does not give much clue as to what sort of content could be included in this email.  This email contained about nine top stories to read, and included a brief summary and a link to click for the rest of the story. This newsletter did include an article about college water polo rankings that I was interested in reading.  The balance of the content seemed to pertain to a broad range of people.  I do think that this email was sent to all the members of USA water polo’s email list and this email was not specifically segmented to me.  But I think that the content varied enough so that each age group that has an affiliation with USA water polo would have something to read in this newsletter.  There was only one promotion for a purchase of a jacket, and this was featured at the very bottom of the email.  I think this was good that there was a limited amount of intention to make a purchase on this email because the purpose of the email was to provide news stories, and if there was an overwhelming call to purchase products I would not have been interested in this email.   The objective of this email was accomplished. It provided an update on a range of topics happening in the water polo community, and included timely information that a broad segment of individuals would be interested in.

The next email I looked at was a newsletter from August 31, 2016.   This newsletter included the same format as the one I previously looked at.  This email featured stories that were relevant in the month of August.  Popular content in this email included stories on the men’s and women’s US Olympic teams on their performance in Rio. Related to this at the bottom of the page featured a team USA t-shirt from the Olympic games in Rio.  I think in this case they could have included more products related to team USA because their win in Rio caused a lot of support in the water polo community.  I personally would have been interested in purchasing gear from USA water polo that related to the national team, and featuring this content directly on this email would have been an easy way to reach potential customers.  The subject line of this email was the same as the previous one.  Like the case of the previous email I was drawn to opening the email because during the month of August because I was very interested in reading about team USA’s performance as mentioned in the article that was featured.

The two newsletters that I looked at from USA water polo had effectively helped to build up the brand.  Once I actually opened them to check them out I realized that I was pretty interested in the content distributed through the newsletters. I think if USA water polo wanted to expand its content and improve its views they could take a more segmented approach to their distribution.  I personally would like to see more information related to the collegiate water polo.  USA water polo could create different newsletters and send them to each age group in the segment so that the content distributed is related to the people it is sent to.

The Saints Take on California

This past week the Siena College women’s water polo team traveled to southern California to play in six games against various teams from the Golden State.   We arrived late on Tuesday night and hit the pool on Wednesday evening for a game against Whittier College.  The defending SCIAC conference champions were able to sweep the Saints in the first game of our California trip.

Thursday the team took advantage of the sunny weather and went for a hike in Chino Hills, featured in the picture below.  We spent the rest of the afternoon at a teammate’s house before we departed for our next game at the University of Redlands.  The game against Redlands was a close one throughout all four quarters. But the Redlands Bulldogs were able to get past the Saints with the win.

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By our third day in California most of the team had a prominent cap tan on their face and were ready to take on our final four games at the California Lutheran University invitational.  The Saints rolled up on Friday morning in Thousand Oaks to take on Fresno Pacific University.  We fought hard but were not able to come back in the end and lost another one. The afternoon concluded with a game against number 24 in the nation California State University – Bakersfield.  Following the game the team dined at the elegant In and Out burger, a staple of California cuisine.

Our final day in California began with a game against the tournament hosts Cal Lutheran University.  This game was a hard fought match until the very end but the home team was able to come away with the win by just two goals.  The Saints polo team played one more game for the trip on Saturday afternoon against Cal State – East Bay before heading back out to the east coast that evening.  Overall the trip was a great bonding and learning experience. We got to play in a new environment and play against teams that we don’t normally face.   The team looks to improve once again next weekend at the Harvard invitational tournament.

Breaking Down this Blog Post

Professor Pepe’s instructions for this blog post were to use the concepts we have been working on in order to increase traffic to the post.   One way to increase the relevance of a search is to have the information in the title of the page and the URL matching the content of the post.  Another way to maximize search engine optimization is to use certain keywords.  Since this post is about Siena water polo’s trip to California I used certain keywords including the words, saints, game, team, and California.

Swim outlet.com: website traffic, conversion, and revenue analysis

This past week in class we talked about website traffic and analyzed amazon’s ability to bring more consumers to their site. We looked at amazon’s ability to generate traffic, revenue and conversions. Professor Pepe has assigned us to analyze a website related to our blog topic, so I have chosen swimoutlet.com.   Swim outlet is the place to go for all swimming and water polo gear. One piece swim suits can be ridiculously overpriced, but swim outlet sells name brand suits at a discounted price.

The first thing I looked at was the site’s ability to generate traffic.  Swim outlet does have a lot of direct traffic because it is a well-known site in the aquatics world. They sponsor competitions like water polo tournaments and swim meets all across the country. This helps the site get direct traffic since people who see these advertisements for the site are then more likely to visit.  Swim outlet also uses paid referral traffic to increase their amount of traffic on their page. Paid referral is when the site pays to have be on a banner ad on another site.  For example in the photo below there is an ad for swim outlet on the bottom of a swimming news site called swim swam.

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The next thing to look at on swim outlet.com is the sites ability to drive conversions. For a retail website the site owner’s intentions are for the consumer to make a purchase. The more this happens the higher their conversion rate is. To maximize conversions swim outlet has options to make the search process simpler. When I search “women’s water polo suit,” several options on the side bar appear to narrow down the search. This way consumers can pull out the specific type of brand they want and spend less time searching.   Making the process easier is one way to improve the conversion rate.

The final thing to look at in this analysis of swim outlet is revenue maximization. One way a site maximizes revenue is when they suggest add on purchases through the checkout process.  Swim outlet does this when looking at your cart they offer suggestions of similar products that you also might be interested in. This increases the likelihood that customers will buy more products and thus maximize potential revenue.

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