Raising returns on analytics investments in insurance

Raising returns on analytics investments in insurance
In an era of narrow margins and slow growth, insurers’ need to invest in analytics has never been greater. A few thoughtful initiatives can accelerate the analytics journey.
In an era of narrow margins and slow growth, insurers’ need to invest in analytics has never been greater. A few thoughtful initiatives can accelerate the analytics journey.
Source: McKinsey

Raising returns on analytics investments in insurance

Ruby Red Grapefruit NEIPA

Ruby Red Grapefruit NEIPA
I’m a pretty unenthusiastic BJCP judge. I passed the test in 2008 with a “national” score and over the last nine years I’ve managed to earn a paltry nine judging points; 3.5 of which came at Hoppy Halloween Challenge 2015 – where I got to judge Best of Show with BJCP’s top-ranked judge, Grand Master VIII, Steve Piatz. That was a treat, but usually I don’t love waking up early in the morning to drive…
I’m a pretty unenthusiastic BJCP judge. I passed the test in 2008 with a “national” score and over the last nine years I’ve managed to earn a paltry nine judging points; 3.5 of which came at Hoppy Halloween Challenge 2015 – where I got to judge Best of Show with BJCP’s top-ranked judge, Grand Master VIII, Steve Piatz. That was a treat, but usually I don’t love waking up early in the morning to drive somewhere to drink a variety too often oxidized IPAs, fusel Belgians, and over-carbonated stouts. Sometimes though it works out and I get lucky and taste an inspiring entry.

Dosing a sample of IPA with hibiscus.That happened in 2012, while judging the DC Homebrewer’s Cherry Blossom competition, when I judged a fantastic hoppy-hibiscus beer. I’ve been thinking about brewing one since. It tasted and looked like ruby red grapefruit juice, bitter and aromatic, citrus and floral, finishing with a hint of tart brightness. Delicious and unique.

I took the other half of the Citra-Mosaic NEIPA I posted about last week and finally made it happen! It was the same wort through pitching the yeast. I used different dry hops, Ekuanot and Eureka, selected out of convenience rather than intention. Northern Brewer describes Ekuanot (formerly Equinox) as “In the midst of the bright citrus and melon there is a ribbon of green pepper. Or something like green pepper. It’s not green pepper in the eat-it-with-hummus-use-it-on-a-fajita sense of green pepper.” Not exactly appealing. I was hoping that the mid-fermentation addition paired with the fruitiness of grapefruit zest 48 hours before kegging and a dose of hibiscus tea in the keg would lead to a fruity impression. Those are ingredient techniques I had used separately in a Grapefruit APA and a Hibiscus Wit (among others).

After brewing the batch I decided I should track down the brewers of the original “Pink Hoppy Bunny.” I reached out to former DC Homebrewers President Josh Hubner and he revealed the brewers to be Pete Jones (of Lost Lagers) and Cody Gabbard. They responded that the base was a wit hopped with loads of Citra, with hibiscus and rose petals added directly to the fermentor. Turned out that batch won the category!

Ruby Red NEIPA

Smell – Mostly hops, dank, resiny, borderline green onion. Occasional tropical mango notes. Like Simcoe and Summit had a baby, and they pumped it full of steroids. Blocks out the citrus and hibiscus, but they help to temper it… a little.

Hibiscus NEIPA next to our "wild" pumpkin patch.Appearance – Red NEIPA! Oddly clearer than the other half of the batch, especially considering the beers looked similar before infusion/kegging. Maybe an effect of the lower pH? Nice slightly pink head, sticky lacing.

Taste – Really dank, Pacific-Northwest, resiny, fresh nose-in-the-hop-bag hoppiness. Firm bitterness, considerably higher than the NEIPA half. Likely a result of the lower final pH (4.05 compared to 4.57). Finally, in the finish a touch of grapefruit and cranberry-hibiscus comes through. Luckily what I don’t get is the green pepper that is a common descriptor for Ekuanot, a flavor I tasted in several beers brewed with the lupulin powder.

Mouthfeel – Thinner, crisper than the straight NEIPA. Not as rounded. The higher acidity again. Similar medium carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – I’d hoped hibiscus and grapefruit would balance the dank hops, but they get trampled. I may try dumping in a bottle of grapefruit juice into the keg before it kicks. It isn’t a bad beer, just discordant with what I was trying to brew and how it looks.

Changes for Next Time – Fruitier, more grapefruity hops. Cascade, Chinook… Citra. Surprised that the early dry hop addition didn’t “soften” the aromatics more. The vague memory of that two ounces of beer from the competition will continue to haunt me until I try this one again… luckily now I have the recipe! A 50/50 blend with the New Englandier half of the batch gets pretty close to what I wanted.

Recipe

Batch Size: 5.50 gal
SRM: 3.6
IBU: 67.7
OG: 1.059
FG: 1.013
ABV: 6.0%
Final pH: 4.05
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71%
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Fermentables
—————–
58.8 % – 7.5 lbs Rahr 2-Row Brewer’s Malt
20.6% – 2.625 lbs Weyermann Carafoam
20.6% – 2.625 lbs 365 Old Fashion Rolled Oats

Mash
——-
Mash In – 60 min @ 155F

Hops
——-
Whirlpooling the NEIPA.1.25 oz Columbus (Whole, 15.5% AA) @ 15 min
2.00 oz Citra (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ 30 min Whirlpool
2.00 oz Mosaic (Pellet, 12.25%) @ 30 min Whirlpool
4.00 oz Eureka (Pellet, 18.00% AA) @ Day 2 Dry Hop
4.00 oz Ekuanot (Pellet, 15.00%) @ Day 2 Dry Hop
0.50 oz Ekuanot Cryo (Lupulin, 26.00% AA) @ Keg
2.00 oz Eureka (Pellets, 18.00% AA) @ Keg

Other
——-
10.00 g Calcium Chloride @ Mash

8.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) @ Mash
1.00 tsp Phosphoric Acid 10% @ Mash
.50 tsp Lactic Acid @ Mash

Calcium
Chloride
Sulfate
Sodium
Magnesium
Carbonate
150
150
150
10
5
40
Yeast
——-
Omega British Ale V (OYL-011)

Notes
——-
Recipe was originally 11 gallons, split with a standard NEIPA. Values represent the batch tasted here.

Brewed 6/18/17

24 hours before pitching fed a cup of harvested slurry (~1 month old) from, 2.3% IPA ~2.5L of starter wort.

Mashed in with 4.5 gallons filtered DC diluted with 3 gallons of distilled.

pH of mash originally read 5.51 at Mash temperature (~5.7 at room temperature) with salts and phosphoric. Rest of phosphoric down to 5.36. Lactic (ran put of phosphoric) got down to 5.26/5.46.

Sparged with 1.75 gallons of distilled, cold. Collected 7.00 gallons @ 1.053.

Chilled to 75F left at 65F to cool for a few hours to 70F before pitching.

Fermenting well after 12 hours. 67F internal.

6/20/17 Down to 1.026, dry hopped FV2 with 4 oz each of Eureka and Ekuanot.

6/28/17 Kegged with bagged hops, purged. .5 oz of Ekuanot Lupulin powder, plus 1 cup of hibiscus concentrate (5 min soak with 1.5 cups off-boiling water and 1 oz of hibiscus from TPSS Coop). Attached to gas and left in the kegerator.

6/30/17 Added an additional 2 cups of hibiscus tea made with 2 oz of hibiscus, color and flavor weren’t there.

Ruby Red Grapefruit NEIPA.

I get a commission if you buy something after clicking the links to MoreBeer/Amazon/Adventures in Homebrewing!


Source: The Mad Fermentationist

Ruby Red Grapefruit NEIPA

Improving construction productivity

Improving construction productivity
McKinsey research finds seven levers can fix construction’s productivity problem, but they require a new approach from all players. We heard from industry leaders about which barriers to change are most likely to fall first.
McKinsey research finds seven levers can fix construction’s productivity problem, but they require a new approach from all players. We heard from industry leaders about which barriers to change are most likely to fall first.
Source: McKinsey

Improving construction productivity

These Are the Best Ways I’ve Discovered to Get More Facebook Followers Free

These Are the Best Ways I’ve Discovered to Get More Facebook Followers Free
Facebook marketing is somewhat of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Facebook had 1.94 billion monthly active users as of Q1 2017. That’s the most users of any social network by far. On the other hand, its organic reach is lousy. According to a study by Social@Ogilvy, Organic reach has declined to just six percent. This means that out of 100 of your followers, only six will actually see the content you post. That’s…

Facebook marketing is somewhat of a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, Facebook had 1.94 billion monthly active users as of Q1 2017.

That’s the most users of any social network by far.

On the other hand, its organic reach is lousy.

According to a study by Social@Ogilvy,

Organic reach has declined to just six percent.

Organic Reach Chart

This means that out of 100 of your followers, only six will actually see the content you post.

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That’s not ideal.

This means one thing.

You need to grow your following.

If you apply Social@Ogilvy’s findings:

  • having 100 followers means six people would see your post
  • having 1,000 followers means 60 people would see your post
  • having 10,000 followers means 600 people would see your post

…and so on.

Although the interaction rates across social platforms naturally decline as followings grow…

Engagement rate by number of fans by channel.pngt1498054648929width433height376nameEngagement rate by number of fans by channel

…it’s obviously beneficial to have a large following.

That’s how you make real headway, generate leads and boost sales.

With years of Facebook marketing under my belt, I’ve learned a thing or two about building a following.

Here are some of the best ways I’ve discovered to get more Facebook followers free and grow your network organically.

Strive for transparency

There’s no lack of megalithic, faceless, overly corporate brands these days.

They’re a dime a dozen.

But these aren’t usually the types of brands people connect with and relate to.

If I had to use one adjective to describe what people love and admire in a brand, it’s transparency.

I don’t care how far we advance as humans and how much technology is integrated into our lives, we all have a deep, innate desire to connect with others.

And let’s be honest.

It’s hard to do that when a brand shares nothing about its philosophy, values, culture and general underpinnings of its activities.

But what does create a connection is being honest, straightforward and transparent.

This is what gets results.

Take TOMS for example.

They posted this video snippet featuring their founder Blake Mycoskie talking about the darkest period of his life, his fear of failure and how it helped motivate him in his business.

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He clearly expressed his vulnerability, which is something we all feel at some point.

Needless to say, content like this was an asset to TOMS.

Just look at their massive following.

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This isn’t to say you need to take it to this level and discuss your deepest, darkest fears or anything like that.

But it goes to show that putting yourself out there has its benefits and can help you build your following.

I’ve made it a point to incorporate this formula into my Facebook marketing, which is evident in several of the pictures I’ve posted.

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And just look at the engagement levels.

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Rock solid.

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And this is no coincidence.

I don’t care how serious or formal your brand is, a little transparency goes a long way.

Make it a point to throw in some “behind the scenes” posts every now and then.

Post videos

Don’t get me wrong, posting good old-fashioned articles is fine.

I do it all the time.

But that’s what everyone is doing.

Most people get tired of the same old format, and their interest gradually wanes.

I’ve found posting alternative types of media, and video in particular, is a great way to spice things up and get people excited about my content.

Let me give you an example.

On average, the posts on the Neil Patel Facebook page receive a reasonable amount of engagement by most brand’s standards.

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Not too shabby. I’ll take it.

But in terms of comments, it’s a little lackluster.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’ve posted multiple articles on Facebook that received numerous comments.

But take a look at what happened when I posted a video recently.

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There was solid engagement in terms of likes and shares.

But check out the comments.

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There’s no comparison.

The point I’m trying to make here is that people love video.

They eat it up.

Just look at how the number of Facebook daily video views grew in just one year.

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It’s ridiculous!

As engagement increases, so do your odds of gaining more followers.

I know I’ve had tremendous success with video and can say with certainty it’s been a contributing force in helping me gain over 900,000 followers.

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Video is definitely something you’ll want to incorporate—if you haven’t done so already.

It’s just starting to hit its stride and is poised to dominate social media (and the Internet in general) over the next few years.

Promote your Facebook page with a Follow button

Think of all the different ways your audience interacts with your brand.

There’s your homepage, landing page, personal email, newsletters, social networks and so on.

Each of these presents an opportunity to grow your Facebook following.

It’s simply a matter of making it as convenient as possible for people to follow your Facebook page.

I recommend creating a Follow button and installing it everywhere where it makes sense.

It looks something like this.

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Creating a button is fairly simple, and this guide from CCM will walk you through the process step by step.

Once you’re done, you’ll get a piece of code to copy.

All you have to do then is paste the code into the source code of your site or wherever you want to feature your Follow button.

That’s it.

What I love about this tactic is that it doesn’t require any additional effort once you’re set up.

Anyone who comes into contact with your content instantly becomes a potential Facebook follower.

With a single click, they’re following your brand.

If you want to increase the odds of someone following you even more, include a Follow button on a popup.

That’s what Wishpond did, and it seemed to work for them.

follow buttons popup

However, I would use caution if you go this route because over-the-top interstitials can result in penalties from Google, especially if they dramatically diminish the user experience.

You can learn more about it in this article from Search Engine Land.

But as long as you’re not obnoxious about it, you should be good to go.

Utilize Facebook groups

As of early 2016, there were one billion people using Facebook groups in some capacity.

And I can see why this number is so high.

Facebook groups are a great way to exchange thoughts and ideas with other like-minded people.

Each group focuses on a very specific niche so users can get great input from experts and enthusiasts.

Here’s the “Being Boss” group—a community for creative entrepreneurs and business owners.

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As you can see, it’s got a sizable number of members.

Groups also present an excellent marketing opportunity and are perfect for getting more followers.

There are two ways to go about leveraging Facebook groups.

Option #1

One way is to simply join groups relevant to your industry and area of expertise.

This tends to be the easier route because you can join a group that’s already well established and has plenty of followers.

What you want to do is get in the habit of consistently engaging with the group by leaving great comments.

It takes some time, but believe me, people will take notice.

After a while, you’ll be on the radar of other group members.

You should inevitably pique their curiosity enough so that they check out your Facebook page.

Many of these people will ultimately follow you.

Option #2

The other option is to create your own group from scratch.

I’ll be honest with you.

This takes a significant amount of time and energy.

Generating initial interest and getting the ball rolling can be difficult.

But the payoff is huge if you can get solid membership.

Just think about it.

If you’re the admin of a group, you’ll get an immense amount of exposure.

After all, your profile is one of the first things people will see when landing on the group page.

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You also have a high level of control.

You make the rules and can share files and tag various members to spark a discussion.

And generally speaking, you can expect a considerably higher level of engagement with a Facebook group than you would with a typical Facebook page.

The bottom line is building a thriving Facebook group is going to increase your visibility in a big way.

More people will end up landing on your brand’s page, and your following should increase.

For me, it’s worth putting in the time when you look at the long-term impact.

If you need some direction on how to grow a Facebook group effectively, check out this post from NeilPatel.com.

Conclusion

Facebook’s reach isn’t exactly stellar.

But you can jump over that hurdle by simply growing your following.

While there are a myriad of ways to go about this, the points I mentioned in this post are the ones that have worked the best for me and my clients.

This will provide you with a framework for gaining more followers organically without having to invest any money into paid promotions.

What’s your number one strategy for increasing your Facebook following? What are your favorite free methods?


Source: quicksprout

These Are the Best Ways I’ve Discovered to Get More Facebook Followers Free

Cracks in the ridesharing market—and how to fill them

Cracks in the ridesharing market—and how to fill them
For all of its remarkable growth, ridesharing is still far from ubiquitous. To boost miles traveled, the industry will need new solutions, including smarter design.
For all of its remarkable growth, ridesharing is still far from ubiquitous. To boost miles traveled, the industry will need new solutions, including smarter design.
Source: McKinsey

Cracks in the ridesharing market—and how to fill them

How to Combine PR with SEO for the Biggest Success

How to Combine PR with SEO for the Biggest Success
It used to be that PR and SEO were two very different marketing tactics with virtually zero overlap. With roots going all the way back to the founding of the colonies in the New World in the 16th century, PR is like a grizzled old vet, while SEO is more of a young whippersnapper with a history that reaches back a mere 25 years at best. Traditional PR is based on old-school, offline techniques, while…

It used to be that PR and SEO were two very different marketing tactics with virtually zero overlap.

With roots going all the way back to the founding of the colonies in the New World in the 16th century, PR is like a grizzled old vet,

while SEO is more of a young whippersnapper with a history that reaches back a mere 25 years at best.

Traditional PR is based on old-school, offline techniques, while SEO has been completely digital from the start.

But in the late twenty-teens, it’s apparent there’s now a high degree of overlap between the two.

Just think about it on the most basic level.

One of the top ranking factors of SEO is links from high-quality, relevant websites.

A sound PR strategy can be the catalyst for gaining these links and thus improving search rankings.

When you think of it like this, it’s clear that PR and SEO are two marketing strategies you should focus on simultaneously.

When you’re able to get them working in tandem, you can accomplish several important things.

You can:

  • improve your reputation
  • build trust and authority
  • increase your brand equity
  • expand your reach to a larger percentage of your target market
  • improve search rankings
  • drive a higher volume of organic traffic to your website
  • crank up sales

In this post, I’m going to highlight some strategies that will allow you to effectively combine PR with SEO for maximum success.

I will also mention some specific outlets I’ve had success with.

Let’s get right down to it.

Create an overarching persona

I’m sure you’ve heard me talking about personas before.

You know the vibe.

Personas are a fundamental element of customer segmentation and key for getting the right marketing materials in front of the right leads.

SEO is big on using audience research to unearth information about your customer base and segmenting them accordingly.

PR involves doing media research to determine which outlets are best for reaching your target audience.

For instance, a tech startup might be interested in media outlets such as Wired and TechCrunch.

A vital first step of the process involves combining SEO audience research and PR media research to create an overarching persona.

This will encompass your audience as a whole and will help guide you throughout the rest of the steps.

Develop a list of keywords

I think we can all agree keywords play a significant role in SEO.

Back in the day, simply using the right keyword density could often propel your content to the first page of the SERPs (or even the number one spot).

Although they may not have the same level of impact they did several years ago, recent research from Backlinko explains that keywords are still important.

Among Google’s 200 ranking factors, the following factors involve keywords:

  • keyword appears in top level domain
  • keyword as first word in domain
  • latent semantic indexing keywords in content (LSI)
  • LSI keywords in title and description tags
  • Quantity of other keywords page ranks for

Here’s a pie chart from Moz that shows the different ways keywords impact SEO:

So, yeah, they’re still a big deal.

Although you may use a wide variety of keywords, depending on the topics you’re covering in your content, I suggest condensing them into a handful of keywords for PR purposes.

You can think of it as a master list.

Why is this important?

To combine PR with SEO effectively, you need to have a finite number of keywords to target.

You’ll use variations of these keywords in a variety of settings:

  • in press releases
  • during interviews
  • in guest posts on industry publications
  • in executive bios
  • in social media bios
  • for brand mentions

As a result, those keywords will become synonymous with your brand.

Reporters will use them when mentioning your company; your demographic will associate them with your brand; and so on.

When it’s all said and done, when people enter these keywords in their searches, your brand should appear in the SERPs.

The bottom line is you want to choose your keywords carefully and make sure they fully describe your brand.

Align your message

Just like you’ll want to achieve consistency with your keywords, you’ll want consistency with your overall brand message.

You want to make sure whoever is representing your company understands your brand’s core message and relays it to the outlet they’re using.

Whether it’s an executive having an interview with a news outlet or your content team writing a guest post for an industry publication, there needs to be a sense of cohesion.

I recommend creating a formal document that outlines your target keywords and brand message you’re looking to get out there.

Providing this to your team should minimize any confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Identify optimal channels

Let me recap what I’ve discussed so far.

You’ve created an overarching persona, established a list of keywords to target and developed a unified message for your PR and SEO teams to use.

At this point, you’ll want to research potential channels (online and offline) you can use for your combined PR/SEO campaign.

Ideally, you’ll target a variety of different channels so you can achieve a nice balance and reach the largest possible portion of your demographic.

Here’s an illustration to give you some ideas:

This shows the multitude of ways you can go about it.

But for maximum effectiveness, I recommend narrowing it down to a manageable list of just a few channels initially.

You don’t want to spread yourself too thin or risk diluting your brand message by trying to be featured on a million outlets.

Keep in mind you can always expand later, once you’ve got things popping.

With that being said, there are five specific outlets I suggest focusing on right off the bat.

I’ve had tremendous success with all of these, and I know you can benefit from them as well.

Leading publications

If you can land some real estate in a major publication in your industry, the world instantly becomes your oyster.

Like I mentioned before, getting featured in Wired would be huge for a tech startup’s PR.

And the link could take its SEO to the next level.

Not to mention the surge in referral traffic it could generate.

I suggest identifying a handful of leading publications and pitching them your ideas.

Social media influencers

Did you know that “71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference?”

Getting key influencers to endorse your brand can send your brand equity soaring through the roof.

Check out this post I wrote to learn the fundamentals of getting promoted by social media influencers.

Major bloggers

It’s amazing the influence today’s top bloggers have and how much money is generated from their blogs.

For instance, Brian Clark’s CopyBlogger earns around $1 million each month!

I’ve always been a sucker for guest-posting and recommend reaching out to major bloggers as an initial first step in your PR/SEO conquest.

Besides the valuable links and instant exposure you’ll get, this can have an impact on your branded search volume as well.

People will naturally be curious about your brand, and many will search for you.

Interviews

Interviews are a huge reason why I’ve gotten to where I’m today.

For instance, this interview on Groove HQ was a tremendous help.

It’s well worth the time to seek out interview opportunities.

If you’re not sure how to go about this, check out HARO.

Speaking events

Believe it or not, I’ve spoken at hundreds of conferences.

I’ve spoken at Tech Cocktail Celebrate, Conversion Conference and Affiliate World Bangkok Asia, just to name a few.

And you know what?

It’s had a profound impact on my brand.

While not every conference will be worth your time, the PR boost can be dramatic.

Check out this resource from Famous in Your Field for information on finding speaking opportunities.

Conclusion

It’s interesting how PR and SEO have evolved over the years.

Though they were once disparate marketing tactics, they now overlap in a big way.

When you get right down to it, PR often impacts SEO.

As your link profile grows and expands, your rankings climb and improve.

But this doesn’t just happen on its own.

In order to combine PR with SEO, you need to have a solid strategy and know which direction you want to take.

You need to know which underlying persona you’re looking to reach, which keywords you need to target and which outlets enable you to gain the publicity you’re looking for.

But once you break it down, the formula is fairly straightforward.

This infographic from Moz sums up the process of integrating PR and SEO quite nicely:

With proper planning and execution, you can rev up your PR while stepping up your SEO.

Which areas of PR do you think have the biggest impact on SEO?


Source: quicksprout

How to Combine PR with SEO for the Biggest Success