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February 28, 2019

8 Super Valuable Newsletters You Need to Check Out, How to Create an 80% Video, & 10 Stunning Business Website Homepage Heroes ...This Is THE LATEST!

How is it that February is only two or three days shorter than every other month out of the year, but I always feel like I've been cheated out of a whole week?

february-is-dumb

Live footage of me right now being not at all melodramatic.

I know time is a construct and blah blah blah, but February is officially on notice.

You're a month that's supposedly about love, but this annual tradition of you ripping valuable working days out of my hands feels like a personal attack. It's cruel and unfair, and I don't know what I did to deserve this. 

Sigh.

Still, it's the last day of the month of love. So, I'm going to attempt to pull myself out of this cranky cave by dedicating this final issue of February to stuff we're absolutely smitten with -- email newsletters, videos, website features, and more.

๐Ÿ“ฌ Here Are 8 Super Valuable & Actionable Email Newsletters for Marketers You Need to Checkout ASAP

Look, we'd love to tell you that there are no other email newsletters for marketers besides THE LATEST -- but, we'd be lying to you if we ever did that. In fact, we're living in an interesting time right now -- email newsletters are making a comeback. That's why IMPACT Head of Editorial Content Ramona Sukhraj shared eight remarkable email newsletters in this article that are obscenely helpful, sometimes funny, and totally worth your consideration.

๐ŸŽฅ The 80% Video Is One of the Most Important Videos You'll Ever Create -- Here's How to Make One (Includes Examples)

When you look at "The Selling 7" -- the seven marketing and sales videos you have to create for your business -- the one that is the most powerful is the 80% video. Since, however, the 80% video is the video type that marketers are the least familiar with, IMPACT Director of Video Training & Strategy Zach Basner explains what the 80% video is, the exact process you need to follow to create one, and a few examples of 80% videos that rock our world.

And now a brief message from... IMPACT Elite Logo-min

Hi, folks! Stephanie here! We just realized that some of you are subscribed to this newsletter but are not members of our private Facebook group, IMPACT Elite. What gives!? What are you waiting for?

OK, OK, I'm kidding. But seriously, if you aren't in IMPACT Elite yet, you're missing out.

Elite is where we continue the conversation about what's happening in THE LATEST. Plus, 5,000+ inbound professionals of all experience levels come together in Elite to share ideas, ask and answer questions, give feedback, and more. (And "more" NEVER means self-promotional content or links.)

So, Will I See You in Elite?

๐Ÿ’– Our Award-Winning Web Design Team Shares 10 Stunning Business Website Homepages Heroes You'll Want to Steal

I'm not even going to bother trying to paraphrase IMPACT Designer Marcella Jalbert's take on website homepage hero spaces, so let's get right into it -- "The hero is no longer just the start of your webpage or a place to put your value prop. A powerful hero can start a journey, make a user feel something, or even communicate your product or purpose without words." In this must-read for anyone considering a website redesign (or refresh), Marcella shares 10 business websites with creative, powerful hero spaces and what you can learn from them.

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

๐Ÿšจ Save Your Seat!

  • Are 60% conversion rates even possible? They are when you integrate Facebook and Instagram ads into your inbound approach! If youโ€™re in New Haven next Tuesday, March 5, and want to learn how exponentially increase the results you're seeing for lead gen and eCommerce, come join us!

โฐ Throwback Thursday

Last week, I facilitated a hands-on pillar content and content strategy workshop for around 50 members of the Chicago HUG:

chicago-hug

Since you all couldn't be here, here's a plucky little resource page on pillar content I shared with everyone, which features videos, articles, podcasts, pillar content examples, and more. (I would also recommend bookmarking it. I may or may not be transforming that URL into a pillar on pillars within the next month.)

Also, one of my personal favorite pillar content examples I included on that page is the brand new version of our Inbound Marketing Resources Guide. In it, you'll find 35 thought leaders, 18 books, 16 podcasts, 14 blogs, 7 online communities, 11 email newsletters7 conferences, and 35 tools you need to check out. 

(Whew.)

You're going to want to bookmark that, too, since we're updating it constantly! 

๐ŸŒŽ  IMPACTers on the Move

  • Want to convert more leads and close more deals in 2019? Come see IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth at the SMPS GROW Professional Development Conference on March 14 in Hunt Valley, Maryland! Kathleen will be showing you the exact strategies you need to implement to get found online and grow your business with content. Register now for this in-person event.
  • Don't miss Marcus Sheridan's session at Social Media Marketing World: Marcus will be in San Diego for SMM next month and you don't want to miss his talk on the March 22. He'll be discussing "How Radical Transparency With Video Can Explode Your Business and Bottom Line" and sharing a ton of first-hand experience. Get your tickets here.

Psst! If you had any suggestions for what's missing from our Inbound Marketing Resources Guide, reply to this email and let me know! We just might add in your recommendation. 

OK, back to work... ๐Ÿค“

February 26, 2019

HubSpot Demolishes Traffic Records, Pinterest Takes A Stand Against Fake Content, & IMPACT Massively Increases Article CTR...This Is THE LATEST!

So, last night was the Oscars and, as a huge movie buff, it was a big deal for me.

I had seen all of the Best Picture nominees but one (sorry Vice) and as a self-proclaimed tough critic, I was excited to see how the academy voted.

Overall, I was very happy with the way things went especially Rami Malek taking home Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody...

rami-malek-oscar

And the charming appearance by Wayne's World Duo Mike Myers and Dana Carvey...

oscars-waynes-world

But that doesn't happen every year.

Most years, I'm left rolling my eyes at what voters thought was Oscar-worthy.

I guess the same could be said about any situation, though. Personal opinions will always differ, but you know what I think we'll all agree is award-worthy?

The accomplishments these brands saw in the last few days...

๐Ÿ“ˆ  This is How HubSpot Broke All Its Website Traffic Records Thanks to a New Blogging Strategy

HubSpot has always seen impressive growth, but 2018 was hallmark even by its standards. In the last year, the HubSpot marketing team saw 80% year over year traffic growth with a brand new strategy. This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Kathleen speaks with HubSpot VP of Marketing Kieran Flanagan about the company's "hearts and minds strategy" and how it got it where it is today. 

๐Ÿ™Š  Pinterest Took A Bold Step in Censoring False Content. Could More Be On The Way?  

From recipes and decor to travel and health tips, Pinterest is a haven of useful information for millions. However, like most things shared on the internet, you can't always know if what you find is sound. Recognizing this in regards to childhood vaccinations, Pinterest recently announced that it has actively been preventing false reports from being found on its platform. In this article, we dive into what this action says about the future of content regulation and what your brand needs to know to prepare. 

And now a brief message from... IMPACT Elite Logo-min

๐Ÿ”ง  This Tool Helped IMPACT Increase the Click-through Rate of Over 75 Articles By More Than 20,000

Like HubSpot (and you, I'm sure), IMPACT has hefty traffic goals. With that in mind, we're always looking for new tools and tactics to help us better achieve them. Enter Clickflow. Clickflow offers tools to help you analyze your content and test changes that will help it rise in rank in search engines. In fact, it helped us increase the click-through rate of over 75 of our already highest performing articles by more than 20,000 clicks each. Our Marketing Creative Lead, Christine Austin, shares the tests we used in Clickflow to make it possible and you can too. 

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

๐ŸŒŽ  IMPACTers on the Move

  • Hey Annapolis, come meet our VP of Marketing, Kathleen Booth, at the PR Society of America this Thursday! Register to save your spot. 
  • Don't miss Marcus Sheridan's session at Social Media Marketing World: Marcus will be in San Diego for SMM next month and you don't want to miss his talk on the 22nd. He'll be discussing "How Radical Transparency With Video Can Explode Your Business and Bottom Line" and sharing a ton of first-hand experience. Get your tickets here.

๐Ÿ“…  Save the Date!

  • HUG it out in New Haven on Tuesday, March 5: Are 60% conversion rates even possible? They are when you integrate Facebook and Instagram ads into your inbound approach! If youโ€™re in the New Haven, CT, area next Tuesday and want to learn how to create massive results for lead gen and eCommerce, come join us!

Talk soon!

February 23, 2019

YouTube's New Strike System, Google's Search Console Changes, & Twitter Teases a "Clarification" Tool...This Is THE LATEST!

I have a dark past.

I don't tell many people about it, but it kept me tucked away in a dimly lit room whenever I wasn't in school and very few knew what was going on. 

I, my friend -- was an internet fan girl.  Ok, perhaps that wasn't the big bad secret you were expecting, but it was a nerdy part of my past I am reluctant to tell most people. (I guess we're on that level now โค๏ธ). 

computer-fan-girl

As a pre-teen, I ran a very popular website, forum, and YouTube channel dedicated to an Indian actor that was a bit of an underdog at the time. I had an active online community, reported news, and delivered original, exclusive content long before it all became known as inbound marketing -- but I also got myself into some hot water.

Many moons ago, I uploaded the trailer of a much-delayed movie featuring my favorite actor to my website's YouTube channel that I recorded from a Bollywood movie talk show that aired here in the U.S. It got hundreds of thousands of views from people all over the world, unfortunately including the film's producers. 

Long story short, I got a notice from YouTube and my channel was shut down taking all my hard-earned followers with it. I then slowly began to put this chapter behind me, but it's still left me thinking if only YouTube was as clear about their strike system back then as they are now...

๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿฝ  Three Strikes, You're Out! YouTube Clarifies & Updates Its Penalty System.

If you're creating video content for your brand (or fandom) on YouTube, listen up. In response to claims that its strike system penalizing users for uploading copyrighted or inappropriate content was unclear, YouTube has finally updated its processes and made the effort to thoroughly explain how it works. IMPACT Account Executive Karisa Egan dives into what's changed and what you should do in response. 

๐Ÿ”Ž  Google Is Completely Revamping Search Console. Here's Everything That's Changing. 

Google Search Console (GSC) has long been a staple in the marketer's SEO tool belt. Well, soon the platform will be going through some substantial changes that could change the way you read and track your data. In this article, we unbox how the GSC reports you know and love will be changing and how you can prepare ahead of time. 

๐Ÿค” Following Recent Celebrity PR Issues, Twitter is Playing Around With the Idea of Giving Users a Clarification Option. 

From Kevin Hart to the president of the United States, past tweets have gotten a lot of high profile individuals and brands into hot water. With this in mind, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey recently said the company is toying around with the idea of introducing a "clarification" feature to help give old posts more context. IMPACT's Head of Strategic Partnerships and Web Specialist, Vin Gaeta, looks into the hypothetical feature and what benefits it could bring to marketers.

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

๐ŸŒŽ  IMPACTers on the Move

  • Hey Annapolis, come meet our VP of Marketing, Kathleen Booth, at the PR Society of America on Thursday, February 28! Hear what's on the agenda below then register to save your spot. 

PRSA-kathleen

  • Don't miss Marcus Sheridan's session at Social Media Marketing World: Marcus will be in San Diego for SMM next month and you don't want to miss his talk on the 22nd. He'll be discussing "How Radical Transparency With Video Can Explode Your Business and Bottom Line" and sharing a ton of first-hand experience. Get your tickets here.

๐ŸŽ‰  Weekend Nonsense

It's that wonderful time of the year again in the U.S.

No, Christmas didn't come even earlier this year -- I'm talking about Girl Scout cookie season!

Personally, I'm a Thin Mint, Savannah Smile, Trefoil-lover, but even back in my troop days, Samoas were a big seller.

They were an even bigger hit for one clever girl in Colorado, who rebranded them "Momoas" in honor of popular Aquaman and Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa. Frankly, I don't even like Samoas, but this is one smart marketing campaign that would earn my dollar:

Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 2.54.55 PM

See you next week!

February 21, 2019

Stop Asking for Email Addresses, Why Data-Driven Sales Works, & an Honest Review of HubSpot Video ...This Is THE LATEST! 

Greetings and salutations from bright, scenic, sunny Chicago! โ˜€๏ธ

IMG_20190220_115304

Just look at that picturesque skyline!

That's right. This week, I'm hanging out with the snowbound midwest contingent of IMPACT -- Jen Barrell and Stephanie Baiocchi -- because I'm hosting a content strategy workshop tonight for the Chicago HUG. 

But in true Liz Murphy fashion, I'm only 24 hours into this trip, and we've already got hijinx

I've thrown water all over myself (twice), gotten my fingers slammed and locked in the trunk of a Honda Civic, been on the receiving end of a tiny dog named "Jack Bower" repeatedly trying to have his way with me while I watched The West Wing... 

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 11.16.29 AM

...and I left my phone in a car on the way to the train to commute into downtown Chicago this morning. 

You'd think with all of this tomfoolery that I would be down in the dumps, but overall, I'm really happy -- I'm even embracing this idea of being unplugged from my phone for a full day.

Too often, we get swept up in useless frustrations -- those moments when something happens, and we want to lean into the "I'm a victim!" mentality. 

In reality, life happens. Things go wrong. Phones get lost. Dogs will hump with reckless abandon. People won't give you their email address. Your intuition will fail you in the sales process. And HubSpot Video -- while awesome -- will have some quirks.

But it's all going to be OK.

โ›”๏ธ Marketers, You Need to Stop Asking for Email Addresses All the Time

Want to hear something crazy? Something that sounds completely counterintuitive, but it genuinely works? If you stop asking for email addresses on conversion forms, you're going to increase the number of leads you get, and those leads will be more qualified and motivated. Don't believe me? Cipher VP of Marketing John Booth shares why you can get better leads without always asking for an email address in this article

๐Ÿ“Š There Are 3 Specific Reasons Why a Data-Driven Sales Approach Works 

I've got some bad news for some of you out there -- long gone are the days where you could rely on your gut during the sales process. I know, I know. That's a tough pill to swallow, but the reality is that we live in a data-driven world. The good news, however, is that data can help you super-charge your sales process. If you're still not convinced, Steve Bookbinder of DMTraining breaks down the three reasons why a data-driven sales approach is your pathway to success.

๐Ÿง The Brutally Honest Pros & Cons of HubSpot Video

When the HubSpot team unveiled HubSpot Video -- a native set of video-driven features and functionalities -- last year, "the crowd went wild," so to speak. Video has become an indispensable way that businesses establish trust and build authority with their audience, so HubSpot's move was a smart one. Now that it's been out for awhile, however, IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Biaocchi answers the question that we're all wondering -- "Is HubSpot Video all it's cracked up to be?"

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes)

โณ Throwback Thursday

A few weeks ago, I gave birth... to an almost 11,000-word guide that covers every single blogging tip, track, hack, and strategy that lives inside of my brain. 

Learn more about it:

Check out this Video

๐Ÿ‘‰Read the guide! 

๐Ÿ“…  Save the Date!

Later, nerds!

February 19, 2019

Instagram Stories for B2B, Ads in Google Voice Assistant, & A "Very" Impressive Keyword Strategy...This Is THE LATEST! 

I had a horrible restaurant experience this weekend -- so bad so, my meal was comp'ed. 

I didn't throw a hissy fit, for the record (though I love Gordon Ramsay and have been known to do that). Rather, the waitress heard my hesitance in saying "everything's...good" and asked my friend and I for honest feedback. 

The dish was prepared incorrectly, parts were cold, the plating was nonexistent, and frankly, the food just wasn't good. 

gordon-ramsay-comp

I appreciated the staff and how they asked for feedback, but considering this was my first time there, the experience certainly didn't leave the best impression on me.

Think about how your brand is meeting prospective customers for the first time... Is it the piping hot dish they just have to taste or the sad, cold sandwich missing cheese? 

Here are a few insights to help make sure you're always the former whether it be in search engines, social media, or voice. 

๐Ÿšฆ This New Keyword Strategy Brought Very an 88% Increase in Traffic [VIDEO]

Keyword strategy in 2019 is a very different beast from what it was even just last year. Marketers need to be keen about monitoring their search ranks as well as algorithm changes to keep their strategy fresh and effective. In this week's episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, IMPACT's Kathleen Booth sits down with software development company (and IMPACT client) Very's VP of Marketing, Emily Maxie, as well as our own Stacy Willis to discuss the new keyword strategy that helped catapult their website traffic up and to the right. 

๐Ÿคณ  To 'Gram or Not to 'Gram? Here's How to Determine If Your B2B Brand Should Be Using Instagram Stories

I love me an Instagram story. As a consumer and tech-savvy millennial, they are one of my favorite communication channels with my loved ones -- but can the same be said for professional, B2B interactions? In this article, IMPACT Account Supervisor Kate Fodera addresses the question of whether or not B2B brands should be investing in Instagram Stories and how to do it right. 

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ  Ads Could Be On Their Way to Google Voice Assistants Next

Between podcasts, ASMR marketing, and sonic branding, it's clear that auditory marketing isn't going anywhere any time soon. That just may be part of the reason, Google is currently testing Ads on search results delivered by its Android Google Voice Assistant. We unveil what the ads look like and what they could mean for your PPC strategy in this new piece.

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes)

๐Ÿ“…  Save The Date!

  • Come See Liz in Chicago on Wednesday! You read that correctly! This Wednesday, February 20, my partner in content crime, Liz Murphy, will be joining the folks at the Chicago HUG for a hands-on, intensive, super-fun content strategy workshop all about pillar content and topic clusters. Space is very limited for this event, and preference will be given to those who have an inbound certification. So, register for this meet-up now.

See you next week!

February 16, 2019

Google's Favorite Site Structure, Mastercard's Signature Sound, & LinkedIn's New Group Updates...This Is THE LATEST!

This week at IMPACT HQ, we had another group of our remote teammates visit for some training and team fun. 

Now, as wonderful as it is to see everyone, I have to say I was most excited to meet IMPACT Strategist Stacy's baby girl, Anna, for the first time. 

Screen Shot 2019-02-15 at 3.53.42 PMLady Boss in Training!

I mean, who doesn't love a baby? It's funny; I'm not a mother, but as a marketer and creative, I often feel like one.

Our blog is my baby. Our website and brand are everyone's babies. This newsletter is another. We create them, watch them grow, and want to do everything we can to protect them and see them succeed. I'm sure you can relate. 

Here are a few of the latest insights to help you make sure your babies stay happy and healthy this week. 

๐Ÿ’ป  This is How Google Wants You to Structure Your Website

The way you structure your website is essential to making it easy to navigate and to find the information your users want, but recent comments form Google's John Mueller revealed it plays a big part in your SEO as well. Is your website structured for success? In this article, we unveil the two types of websites Google usually encounters and which one it prefers. 

๐Ÿ”Š  Mastercard's Investment in Sonic Branding May Make You Wonder If You Should Make One Too

A few weeks ago, we talked to you about ASMR marketing. Well, between that and the growing popularity of podcasts and voice search, the rise of auditory marketing isn't slowing down! This week, Mastercard debuted its sonic brand in an audio press release and shared how it will be adapted for different mediums and markets. You've got to hear it!

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ  New Updates to LinkedIn Groups Will Reduce Spam & Increase Admin Power

Since last year, LinkedIn has been trying to breathe new life into its Groups -- and a recent report shows it's working. To keep up momentum, the platform just announced a few more updates that will help reduce spam to users and increase group admins' power to moderate activity. Let's take a closer look at LinkedIn Groups' latest notification and moderation updates here.

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

๐Ÿ“…  Save The Date!

  • Chicago, Liz is Coming for You: You read that correctly! Next Wednesay, February 20, my partner in content crime, Liz Murphy, will be joining the folks at the Chicago HUG for a hands-on, intensive, super-fun content strategy workshop all about pillar content and topic clusters. Space is very limited for this event, and preference will be given to those who have an inbound certification. So, register for this meet-up now.

๐ŸŽ‰  Weekend Nonsense

Maybe this isn't nonsense, but it is ridiculously cool. This brilliant mural in Worcester, Massachusetts, delivers two very different images when viewed through the two separate lenses of 3D glasses. Check out this Instagram post from user insane51 for the full experience:

Screen Shot 2019-02-15 at 3.41.18 PM

See you next week!

February 14, 2019

Fearless Leadership Is a Lie, Blogging Isn't Dead, & Editing Content Doesn't Have to Hurt... This Is THE LATEST!

I'm a gal who wears her heart on her sleeve, so I just have to get this out there...

i-love-you-valentine

Truly and sincerely, I love you. ๐Ÿ˜ 

I remember when I was first asked (see: "voluntold") if I would become a weekly contributor to THE LATEST, and I felt my stomach immediately drop to the bottom of my body.

Back then, I would have rather had you ask me to write a 3,000-word article than an email newsletter. The idea of hitting "schedule now" on an email that goes out to tens of thousands of people made me want to collapse upon myself like a dying star with anxiety

(I'm not dramatic, you're dramatic.)

Months later, I'm so thankful. I consider it a privilege to connect with you all each week. And the success stories, tips, ideas, and questions you reply with after each issue make my day. 

Now, in the spirit of the holiday, let's keep the lovefest going! Here are three articles I love for different reasons -- the first for its radical candor, the second for defending a marketing tactic that's under attack, and the last because... well, I wrote it.

๐Ÿ˜ก Fearless Leadership Is a Myth That Sets Us Up for Failure

Walking the path of an inbound leader can be immensely rewarding. However, there is often a built-in expectation that leaders of all stripes be fearless, and should never show weakness or concern. They must always be an unwavering force for their people. In this personal story, VP of Services Brie Rangel explains why "fearless leadership" is a toxic myth and what strategies inbound leaders like you can use in tough situations that feel out of your control.

๐Ÿ˜ต Blogging Isn't Dead for Marketers & Here's the Proof

Marketers are the worst -- and I say this as a marketer. We commit many crimes against humanity, but our worst is our compulsion to prematurely declare any sort of tried-and-true tactic or strategy "dead." SEO, keywords, Twitter -- you name it, we've tried to kill it. Now, marketers are coming for the content marketing staple of blogging. Thankfully, IMPACT Head of Editorial Content Ramona Sukhraj sets the record straight in this article with the data and thought leadership that proves blogging is very much alive and well.

๐Ÿค• Editing Marketing Content Doesn't Have to Be So Painful

"I feel like I am never, ever going to get ahead on our content calendar. I'm living in an endless loop of always feeling behind."

"I just want to scream at my bosses who want me to be more efficient, 'You have no idea how bad the quality of work is that I'm dealing with,' but they don't want to hear it."

If this sounds like you, don't panic. I know this pain all too well, which is why I wrote this article which explains the two most common bad content editing habits that contribute to these feelings and the exact editing process you need to follow to overcome them.

โณ Throwback Thursday

Last week, IMPACT Content Marketing Consultant Kevin Phillips published an incredible guide on getting started with content marketing. (If you haven't read it, it's not only informative, it's really funny.)

Since he'll be my guest on this Friday's episode of the Content Lab podcast to talk about his experience in pulling that guide together, I wanted to use this week's throwback to showcase my first interview with Kevin from last year.  

In this episode, he and I had a candid discussion about overcoming one of the most common fears people have when they get into creating content -- "But I'm not a good writer."

If this sounds familiar, you need to listen to this episode

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

๐Ÿ“…  Save The Date!

  • TODAY -- Start Creating Quality Marketing Videos on Your Own: IMPACT and Wipster are teaming up to give you the tools to produce top-notch videos in-house and create a video strategy from scratch. Curious about how to do it for yourself? Check out the Oscar-worthy teaser video for the webinar and then reserve your spot.
  • Also, TODAY, It's a Valentine's Day Throwdown! On this Thursday's Website Throwdown, Sigstr Director of Marketing Brad Beutler jumps in the ring to help us critique some viewer-submitted websites live on the air. Submissions are closed for this round, but make sure to save your seat to watch live. 

  • I'll see you next Wednesday, CHICAGO! You read that correctly -- on February 20, I will be joining the folks at the Chicago HUG for a hands-on, intensive, super-fun content strategy workshop all about pillar content and topic clusters. Space is very limited for this event, and preference will be given to those who have an inbound certification. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for my pillar content workshop now!

Whew! That was a big issue, am I right? Well, to reward your commitment to getting to the bottom of this bad boy, here's another Valentine's treat.

I love you! 

February 12, 2019

Instagram Drives Buying, Moz Transforms Domain Authority, & Attracting Talent to Your Company...This Is THE LATEST!

So, I've been hunting for my first apartment (ever) and like most first-time renters, the experience has been way more exhausting and frustrating than expected.

I thought I could just go somewhere my friends have recommended and it would all be sunshine and rainbows, but of course, that didn't happen.

crying-apartment-huntingActual footage of me after walking into the fifth uninhabitable dungeon 

Luckily, shopping for most things in 2019 isn't that hard. Buying decor, for example, is going to be a breeze -- especially with Instagram doing a ton of the heavy lifting.

๐Ÿ›๏ธ  New Data Shows Instagram Plays a Bigger Role in Every Stage of the Buyer's Journey Than You May Have Thought

We know that Instagram is popular with consumers in every market, but a new report from Facebook shows that it isn't just a fun place to "hang out" as a brand. Consumers of all ages are actually turning the platform to guide them through the stages of the buyer's journey. We dive into three big takeaways from the New Instagram Report and what you need to know about its role in your sales process and marketing funnel.

๐Ÿ“Š  Moz is Majorly Changing How it Scores Your Domain Authority

Moz's Domain Authority has become one of the most important strategic metrics in the world of search engine optimization, but last week we learned the way that number is determined is about to change dramatically. Will yours rise or fall? We explain what exactly is changing when it comes to Moz's Domain Authority and what it means for your SEO strategy in this article. 

๐Ÿ‘ซ  It's a Talent Market! Here Are 5 Ways You Can Attract Great Hires in a Competitive Market

A company is only as strong as the people in it, so you need to make sure you have the best people for the jobs on board, but how do you do that? In this article, IMPACT's VP of Talent, Natalie Davis, shares five ways you can make your organization more attractive to job seekers in an increasingly competitive market. 

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

๐Ÿ“…  Save The Date!

  • This Thursday -- Start Creating Quality Marketing Videos on Your Own: IMPACT and Wipster are teaming up to give you the tools to produce top-notch videos in-house and create a video strategy from scratch. Curious about how to do it for yourself? Check out the Oscar-worthy teaser video for the webinar then save your seat.
  • It's a Valentine's Day Throwdown: On this Thursday's Website Throwdown, Sigstrโ€™s Director of Marketing Brad Beutler jumps in the ring to help us critique some viewer-submitted websites live on the air. Submissions are closed for this round, but make sure to save your seat to watch live. 

  • Chicago, Liz is Coming for You: You read that correctly -- on February 20, my partner in content crime, Liz Murphy, will be joining the folks at the Chicago HUG for a hands-on, intensive, super-fun content strategy workshop all about pillar content and topic clusters. Space is very limited for this event, and preference will be given to those who have an inbound certification. So, register for this meet-up now.

See you next week!

February 9, 2019

Instagram's New Quiz Sticker, Reddit's New CPC Ads, & Facebook's Newfound Transparency...This Is THE LATEST!

Earlier this week, Liz shared with you that she hates change and, well, that's one of the many things she and I have in common. 

Don't get me wrong. I love trying new restaurants, visiting new places, and buying new clothes, but when it comes to new technology and tactics, I tend to be a bit of a skeptic.

skeptical

If it's not broken, why fix it, am I right?

Plot twist: No, I'm not. (Which is very unusual for me.)

Below, I've got three stories about big changes coming to some of the most popular marketing tools/platforms available to us today, and I've got to say, they sound pretty exciting. 

โ“ Instagram Stories Just Got Even More Engaging With a New Poll/Quiz Sticker

Viewed by over 500 million users each day, Instagram Stories is one of the most engaging social media channels available today. Now, thanks to the rumored new Quiz Sticker, its about to get even more engaging! The new Quiz Sticker will enable brands to gather audience feedback, promote new products or events, and pose questions to better understand what their audiences want. Here's everything we know so far about Instagram's New Quiz Sticker and how marketers can capitalize on it. 

๐Ÿ’ฐ  Reddit is Introducing CPC -- Its First-Ever Performance-Driven Ad Offering

Previously only having access to cost-per-impression (CPM) and cost-per-view (CPV) on Reddit, marketers and advertisers will now have the option to pay only if a user actually clicks their ads thanks to the platform's new CPC (or cost-per-click) option. This addition puts Reddit in the same arena as big players like Facebook and Google, but should you take advantage? We dive deeper into how the new Reddit ads will work and whether or not they make sense for your brand in this article. 

๐Ÿค”  Facebook is Preparing to Finally Answer the Question, "Why Am I Seeing This?"

Ever seen an ad pop up on your Facebook feed and wonder, "why the heck am I seeing this?" Well, soon, you and your audience will wonder no more. On February 28, Facebook is rolling out a new feature the dubbed "Custom Audience transparency feature" to tell users how advertisers got their information and if it has been shared with other brands. IMPACT Account Executive Kristin Linde details what this could mean for the future of your Facebook advertising in her latest article.

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

๐Ÿ”ฅ Hot off the Presses!

  • Marketing Interview Questions for Hiring Top-Performers: In this piping hot pillar piece, VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth and VP of Services Brie Rangel not only tell you what questions you should ask to find top-performing marketers, but they also pull back the curtain on how weโ€™ve revamped our own hiring processes to attract the talent weโ€™re looking for, decrease turnover, and increase client satisfaction.

  • Content Marketing Defined, the Ultimate Getting Started Guide: Content Marketing Consultant Kevin Phillips wants to help you grow your business in a digital world. So, in this guide, he cover topics such as what content marketing is, what itโ€™s not, the many faces of content marketing, how to get started with content marketing today, and how it differs from other forms of marketing.

  • How to Create a Winning Multi-Brand Strategy: Mergers and acquisitions happen constantly, and there is plenty of talk about how businesses should manage the process. But there is very little information available on how to manage the messaging and marketing strategy that goes along with it. Principal Strategist Stacy Willis aims to change that with this guide.

๐Ÿ“…  Save The Date!

  • Start Creating Quality Marketing Videos on Your Own! IMPACT and Wipster are teaming up to give you the tools to produce top-notch videos in-house and create a video strategy from scratch. Curious about how to do it for yourself? Check out the teaser video for the February 14 webinar. (Itโ€™s one of our favorites!)
  • Website Throwdown Valentine's Edition: On next Thursday's Website Throwdown, Sigstrโ€™s Director of Marketing Brad Beutler jumps in the ring to help us critique some viewer-submitted websites live on the air. Think yours has what it takes? Submit it for the chance to appear on the show by Monday February 11! Or if youโ€™d rather be a spectator, you can save your seat.

  • Chicago, Liz is Coming for You! You read that correctly -- on February 20, my partner in content crime, Liz Murphy, will be joining the folks at the Chicago HUG for a hands-on, intensive, super-fun content strategy workshop all about pillar content and topic clusters. Space is very limited for this event, and preference will be given to those who have an inbound certification. So, register for this meet-up now! 

๐ŸŽ‰  Weekend Nonsense

 

Hulu and Netflix both recently released documentaries on the Fyre Festival fiasco of 2017 and, seriously, if you haven't seen them already, you need to get on that.

Capitalizing on the trend, Shutterstock released a hilarious spoof of the festival's now infamous promo video made entirely out of stock footage. It may be the greatest thing I've seen all week.

fyrestock

See you next week!

February 7, 2019

Introducing Film School for Marketers, the "Big 5" Topics to Drive Traffic & Sales, & the Facebook, Instagram, & WhatsApp Integration... This is THE LATEST!

I was an awful child.

mean-mug

In addition to dismantling my crib -- twice -- while I was in it, my first word wasn't "Mama" or "Dada."

It was "No."

I wish I could say this "precociousness" was a phase, but I'm just as stubborn now as I was then. For example, it's taken our VP of Marketing, Kathleen Booth, five years of gentle nudges and outright harassment to get me to watch Game of Thrones.

What can I say? I'm change averse. 

But now that I'm already into season three after a single week of binging ye olde Game of Thrones, I guess I can admit that change -- or simply trying something new -- isn't always a bad thing.  

๐Ÿฅ Drumroll, please... Welcome to the 1st Episode of the Film School for Marketers Podcast! 

Earlier this week, IMPACT Director of Video Training and Strategy Zach Basner, and IMPACT Client Success Specialist Myriah Anderson launched the inaugural episode of Film School for Marketers -- the definitive podcast for marketers and sales pros who want to become masters of video. In this episode, Myriah and Zach do a deep-drive into the four well-meaning mistakes people make when creating sales videos that will kill the drive of their buyers. 

๐Ÿšจ If You Want More Traffic, Leads, & Sales, These Are the "Big 5" Topics You Need to Cover

"What topics should my business blog about?" That's the million dollar inbound marketing question. If you've read Marcus Sheridan's book -- They Ask, You Answer -- you know he says to answer every question your customer has about what you sell. However, after years of evaluating the performance of our articles -- and those of hundreds of clients -- we found there are five key topic areas that are proven to drive traffic, leads, and -- most of all -- sales every single time.

๐Ÿค” Here's What You Need to Know About the Facebook, Instagram, & WhatsApp Messaging Integration

I'll admit, when I first read this headline, I completely panicked. I only have surface-level knowledge of WhatsApp. As much as I loathe multiple apps for a single purpose on my smartphone, I preferred Facebook and Instagram to stay separate. And, once more with feeling, I hate change. As it turns out, I was panicking over nothing. In this article, Iris Hearn explains how the messaging integration will work with Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, as well as the security implications and opportunities marketers need to be aware of.

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

โณ Throwback Thursday

We have an amazing webinar coming up on February 14 on in-house video production, but I know I'm not the only one who gets freaked out by the thought of having to step in front of a camera. 

(Hence why video was a change I avoided for a really, really long time.)

But this old blooper reel from IMPACT Director of Video Training and Strategy Zach Basner is a great reminder for us video newbies that even the pros mess up every once in awhile...

๐Ÿ“…  Save The Date!

  • To see Zach totally on his game, check out whatโ€™s become our favorite webinar promo to date. Zach will be joined by Wipsterโ€™s Andre van den Assum to talk about how to create quality videos every week in a way thatโ€™s consistent, authentic, and affordable. You can register for the February 14 webinar here.

  • Website Throwdown Valentine's Edition: Spend the day with us on February 14. In next weekโ€™s Website Throwdown, Sigstrโ€™s Director of Marketing Brad Beutler will be joining our panels of experts for a live website critique. Theyโ€™ll hand-pick a few sites submitted from our audience and review everything from content and design to SEO and conversion paths. Think your site has what it takes? Throw your hat in the ring and submit your site for live review. We like an audience too so if youโ€™d rather be a spectator, you can save your seat.

  • Hold on to your hats, Chicago! I'm coming to teach you about pillar content! You read that correctly -- on February 20, I'll be joining the folks at the Chicago HUG for a hands-on, intensive, super-fun content strategy workshop all about pillar content and topic clusters. Space is very limited for this event, and preference will be given to those who have an inbound certification. So, register for this workshop now! 

Later, squares!

February 5, 2019

ASMR Marketing, Super Bowl Favorites & Flops, and TikTok Possibilities...This Is THE LATEST!

In marketing, we have to be future-focused.

What's the next big tool or tactic? What are consumers going to respond to? What will the competition do next?

Sometimes, I wish we could just make like Marty McFly in Back to the Future and call up Doc Brown, hit 1.21 gigawatts, and head into the future to find out for sure. (Unless, of course, Biff gets in our way.)

back-to-the-future

In the last few days, we've gotten a peek at several exciting trends that could reshape the future of digital marketing this year and in the years to come. Luckily, we won't need a DeLorean to explore more, this week. Read on!

๐ŸŽง  These 4 Brands Are Using ASMR to Highlight Their Product's Sensory Experience Like Never Before

ASMR (or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) has been making a splash on YouTube and Instagram in recent years with its claimed ability to bring about a sense of euphoria for some people just through sound -- and brands are starting to take notice! IMPACT Account Executive Nick Bennett shares the scoop on this curious phenomena and four brands that are already using it effectively in their video marketing.

๐Ÿˆ  Who Were the Brand Bowl Winners & Losers? 

Another Super Bowl has come and gone and, and while the game may not have been the most exciting, like most years, there was plenty to keep marketers and football fans talking with the commercials. IMPACT's Director of Client Service, Katie Pritchard, recaps some of the big themes marketers need to know as well as shares her picks for favorites and flops. 

๐Ÿ“ฑ  TikTok Could Be The Next Big Social Media Marketing Platform

According to SensorTower, social media app TikTok ushered in 75 million new users worldwide in December last year alone in a time when most of the big boys are showing declines. While the platform does not currently offer any formal advertising options, the app's engagement has marketers engaged and rightfully so. VP of Client Service Brie Rangel dives into what the big hype is surrounding TikTok and how you can start getting your feet wet with it here.

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

๐Ÿ‘  Just Had to Share

This week's Just Had to Share comes from IMPACT Designer Joe Rinaldi. 

"Traditionally, the campaigns for presidential branding have been dominated by the timeless theme of red, white, and blue, but for the 2020 election, we're seeing a new class female candidates shaking things up by choosing non-traditional color choices. These choices are meant to tie into the platforms they stand for and symbolize that change is coming and it's really cool to see. Fast Company's article on the topic is really interesting and I love some of the designs the teams are coming up with."

Check out the full article from Fast Company.

๐Ÿ“…  Save The Date!

HUG Meet Ups -- TONIGHT ! If you're in Hartford, CT, or Annapolis, MD, tonight's the big night! Hartford is hosting Website Throwdowns and Annapolis, a Critique My Campaign night. Plus, we'll have free food, drinks, and plenty of time to network! Want in on the action? Sign up to participate or attend in Hartford or Annapolis

Learn How to Make Better Videos In-House This Valentine's Day: The role of video for business is changing quickly. To keep up, brands need to start producing multiple videos per week, in a way that is consistent, authentic, and affordable. But where do you even start? IMPACT and Wipster are teaming up on February 14 to give you the tools to create a winning video strategy from scratch. Register for the webinar.

๐Ÿ”ง Tool Talk

As we're entering a new year, would you find it useful if we shared some insight on marketing tools we've found success with and trust? Asking for a friend.

Hit reply and let me know!

February 2, 2019

Super Bowl Sneak Peek, Around the LinkedIn Water Cooler, and Bye Bye Ad Blockers...This Is THE LATEST!

Tomorrow's the Super Bowl in the U.S., which means there's a lot of excitement in the air, especially for marketers! The commercials and big brands are as much a part of the game as the half-time show and personally, I can't wait.

simpsons-sports

Before you hunker down on the couch with some chips, wings, and maybe that trusty foam finger, here are a few headlines that will surely help your team score a marketing touchdown: 

๐Ÿ“บ  Tons of Super Bowl Commercials Are Already Out & These 4 Are Chock-full of Marketing Lessons

If you're like me, you're watching the Super Bowl tomorrow more to find out which commercials win the "Brand Bowl" than to see if the Pats beat the Rams. There's just always so much to learn from these big-budget wonders; that's why I love the recent trend of many commercials being released early. In this fun round-up, IMPACT's Controller, Eric Choma, shares four of his favorite Super Bowl commercials that have already been leaked online and the awesome marketing lessons that come with them. 

๐ŸŒŠ  LinkedIn's New "Water Cooler Report" Takes the Busy-work Out of Spotting Trends 

LinkedIn isn't just for job hunters anymore. It's become a very popular platform for sharing and consuming content as well. Trying to capitalize on this, LinkedIn has started publishing a monthly "Water Cooler Report," recapping the top ten pieces shared on the platform and offering marketing advice related to them. Needless to say, it's a must-read for marketers. IMPACT's Arielle Gnann dives into what you can expect in the valuable new report, in this article. 

โŒ  An Update From Google is Expected to Break Ad Blockers and Get You Seen!

Yes, you read right! With the proposed update, your ads will have a greater chance of being seen in Google. Because developers will need to recode many of their ad blocker applications, users will most likely not have the scripts running in the background to remove ads on web pages, allowing for your ads to appear. IMPACT Account Supervisor Justine Timoteo shares everything we know so far. 

๐Ÿ‘€ ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

๐Ÿ”ฅ Hot off the Presses!

It is getting harder and harder to get the same results out of our organic effortsKeyword research was once a relatively simple endeavor where we focused on long-tail keywords and just produced a lot of content. Now, marketers have to relearn how to do keyword research, thanks to massive changes in the SEO landscape. In the all-new SEO playbook, "How to Do Keyword Research: The Ultimate Guide for Digital Marketers in 2019," IMPACT Strategist Stacy Willis shares what you need to know to conquer search engines this year and beyond.

๐Ÿ“…  Save The Date!

HUG Meet Ups Next Week! Both the Hartford, CT, and Annapolis, MD, HubSpot User Groups are meeting next week on February 5 and they're all about audience participation and feedback! Hartford is hosting Website Throwdowns and Annapolis, a Critique My Campaign night. Plus, we'll have free food, drinks, and plenty of time to network! Want in on the action? Sign up to participate or attend in Hartford or Annapolis

Learn How to Make Better Videos In-House This Valentine's Day: The role of video for business is changing quickly. To keep up, brands need to start producing multiple videos per week, in a way that is consistent, authentic, and affordable. But where do you even start? IMPACT and Wipster are teaming up on February 14 to give you the tools to create a winning video strategy from scratch. Register for the webinar.

๐ŸŽ‰ Weekend Nonsense: Soup or Bowl?

Something you may not know about me is that I love a good pun (or a terrible pun, as most puns inherently are). 

Since it's Super Bowl weekend, the one in this clip -- from my favorite sitcoms growing up, Boy Meets World -- has had me laughing and knee-slapping to myself for days:

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 4.39.07 PM

See you next week!