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March 30, 2019

Google AMP Comes to Email, Content Managers Are a Must, & Social Proof in 2019...This Is THE LATEST!

I have a big birthday coming up next month (that I dare not speak the number of) and while the practical side of me knows age is just a number and I will feel exactly the same after the calendar page turns, the superficial, dramatic side of me is freaking out. 

I will be a year older and entering a new decade -- will I ever be the same? Will anything be the same? Excuse me for a moment:

tantrum

💌  Google Amp Is Coming to Email and Your Go-To Marketing Tactic Will Never Be the Same!

I don't know about you, but for a longgg time, I've wished email marketing could be more lively. I've wanted it to include embedded video, maybe have a live poll or survey. (Seriously, I wasted my last three birthday candles on that one, so far.) Well, now that Google has announced AMP email, my dreams may finally come true! This week, Google announced that AMP technology, originally introduced for website pages, will now be coming to Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and Mail.Ru users. We detail what this will look like and how marketers can use it to start sending better email as soon as possible. 

✍🏾  Whether You Accept it or Not, Your Company Needs a Content Manager.

After over four years in this role, take my word for it: being a content manager is no cake walk. It's honestly more like a fire walk -- scary, sometimes painful if you're not in the right mindset, but ridiculously rewarding when you're done. I don't want to toot my or any other content professional's horn, but a content manager is an integral piece of any blogging strategy's success. Don't believe me? Our very own Liz Murphy (a former content manager herself), shares some harsh truths about why you need to hire a content manager if you haven't already and the dangers if you don't.

👵🏽  This Ain't Your Grandma's Social Proof. Here's What's Changed in 2019.  

Whether it's a review on Amazon, an unboxing video on YouTube, a case study on a business' website, social proof is a powerful thing. It's been around for centuries in various forms, but that doesn't mean your strategy from back then is still going to cut it. Proof's Head of Content, Ben Johnson, dives into three big ways social proof has changed in 2019 and how your brand can plan accordingly.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Final Day for Early Bird Pricing!

This weekend closes out Early Bird pricing for IMPACT Live, which means you only have a few more hours to save big on the chance to hang out with the greatest minds of inbound and learn how to become the most trusted voice in your space.

Want to save even more?

Use the code LATEST50 to knock another $50 off your ticket price. You can grab your tickets here and then give yourself a high-five for saving some dollars! 

🔥 Hot Off The Presses

I could tell you all about our latest pillar, but I'd much rather let its beyond brilliant author, Stephanie Baiocchi, do that herself:

"Since joining IMPACT 12 months ago, I have grown IMPACT Elite from 1,500 members to nearly 5,000 and, in that time, I've learned a lot. This 14,000+ word guide brings together those lessons, insight from other experienced community managers, and inspiration from some of my favorite online communities. Check out the definitive playbook for online community management."

🎉  Weekend Nonsense

Remember the genius Dollar Shave Club that took the internet by storm a few years ago? Well, a similarly amazing video recently graced my Facebook feed that I can't help but share, this week. 

no-bs-promo
This product video from skincare line No BS is nearly five minutes long, but with its humor, straightforward language, and colorful production, it keeps you engaged and wanting more.

Not only does it showcase the brand and its differentiators, but speaks to many consumer pain points, tells you how their product works, and shares social proof. Brilliant example for us all!

See you next week!

March 28, 2019

DIY Design Apps Can Hurt Your Brand, Shopify Dumped MailChimp (We Think) & Problems with the HubSpot CRM ...This Is THE LATEST!

We are mere days from the end of the quarter, and I'm more productive than I've ever been -- but I'm also vacillating between extreme pride and total panic whenever I think about the number of content projects I will have completed by March 31.

Which is this Sunday. Oh my gosh.

You know what frustrates me, though? How some (not all) marketers, work-from-homers, and agency wonks portray "the hustle" and "that agency life" on Instagram in a way that's perfectly styled, organized, and filtered. 

That's not reality. That's not what what it looks like when you're in the weeds, pulling late nights, making thousands of words come out of your brain, and having your husband make jokes about how he can't remember your name. 

This is what that looks like: 

real-life-office

Yes, that's a bottle of salad dressing on my desk, and you do not get to judge me for it. This is the ugly "hashtag hustle hashtag agency life" truth that people try to pretend doesn't exist.

That's #TheRealHustle.

Of course, order was eventually restored... for approximately five minutes:

all-better

I share this with all of you to say I am 100 percent over this romanticizing of hustle culture. We should talk more about what hustling really feels like and show more of what it actually looks like.

End of rant.

Anyway, my petty internet grievances notwithstanding, there is one area I fail at during "It's go-time!" periods like this.

I'm terrible at remembering not to cut too many corners for the sake of "efficiency" (especially with design tasks) and staying on top of major blow-ups in the marketing world. 

I mean, seriously... MailChimp and Shopify? What is going on?

🎨 Are You Hurting Your Brand by Using DIY Design Apps the Wrong Way? You Might Be... 

Tools like Canva and Piktochart are amazing -- and ironic uses of MS Paint bring me joy -- but marketers, we need to have a talk about a few things. DIY design apps and tools have democratized graphic design to such a degree that more than a few of us are at risk of eroding the credibility and authority of our brands. Thankfully, IMPACT Designer Marcella Jalbert is here to help with an article that outlines the pros and cons of DIY design tools, as well as how we need to approach branded DIY design differently.

💔 Shopify & MailChimp Broke Up, What Does That Mean for You?

Don't look now, but we've got another case of "he said, she said" on our hands. This time it's Shopify and MailChimp, who both have contradictory stories about why MailChimp's integration will no longer be supported on the Shopify platform. While the theatrics of dueling press releases is intriguing, it's not really that helpful. Don't worry. IMPACT Account Executive Kristin Linde provides a succinct, actionable rundown of what the demise of Shopify's MailChimp integration means for marketers, and what you need to do about it if you've been impacted.

💥 The Only Definitive Guide to Marketing Data You'll Ever Need [Sponsored by ReachForce]

B2B marketing organizations collect a wide array of data about our customers; from basic demographic information through buying habits, preferences and products used. But do we use this information to its full potential? Marketers can take the guesswork out of creating targeted and effective marketing programs by using data that we already have at our fingertips. This guide dives into the holistic state of marketing data as it is today, the challenges within and the opportunities you can harness through using data to its full potential.

👎 Real Talk, What Are the Biggest Problems Sales Teams Have with the HubSpot CRM?

Can we talk about how exciting it was when the HubSpot CRM was announced at HubSpot's annual INBOUND conference back in 2014? Because of its accessibility and ease-of-use, thousands of sales teams around the world rely on the HubSpot CRM to manage their pipelines and close deals more efficiently. However, as IMPACT Client Success Manager Marc Amigone shares here, there are still five big problems with the HubSpot CRM we need to talk about.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • IMPACT Live Early Bird Pricing Expires in 5 Days! That’s right — prices for IMPACT Live 2019 jump up April 1, so if you'd like to hang out with the greatest minds of inbound, learn how to become the most trusted voice in your space, and save some serious dollars, now’s the time to register. Want to save even more? Use the code LATEST50 to knock another $50 from your ticket price. You can grab your tickets here. (And with a week left, there’s still time to convince your boss to send you and your favorite coworker!)
  • How to Find Blog Topics Your Audience REALLY Cares About (Webinar): There are five key questions all buyers want answers to -- regardless of what they’re shopping for. In this webinar hosted by SEMRush, IMPACT Content Marketing Specialist Kevin Phillips will show you how to solve the problems your customers have by addressing the topics and questions most relevant to them. This one-hour session on April 8 starts with a 20-minute long presentation by Kevin, followed by a panel discussion with Susan Moeller and Andy Crestodina. Sign up for the SEMRush webinar here.
  • Who's in Annapolis and Needs a HUG? (A HubSpot User Group, that is!) On April 10, the Annapolis HubSpot User Group will be getting together to learn all about mastering LinkedIn advertising from IMPACT's paid media specialist, Jason Linde. Registration is free, and there will be complimentary snacks and drinks, so reserve your seat now. (The room actually does have limited space.)

🌎 IMPACTers on the Move

⏰ Throwback Thursday 

As we get excited over the agenda for IMPACT Live '19, I can't help but take a moment to look back at some of the amazing, inspiring talks we heard last year. 

Particularly, IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Baiocchi's candid, tactics-driven talk about what it really takes to build an online community that thrives and helps businesses achieve aggressive goals:

Building and Maintaining an Engaged Online Community

(Seriously, take 11 minutes to learn how to radically change your view your online community -- she packs an obscene amount of insight into such a short time, so you won't regret it.)

And if you want more IMPACT Live goodness, you can watch videos of all of our talks from last year's event here.

What Does #TheRealHustle Look Like for You?

I know I went off on a bit of a rant at the start of this issue, but these are the kinds of conversations I wish we were having more of. 

So, I want to hear from you.

Reply to this email with a picture of what your hustle really looks like, or any thoughts (or rants) you have about your experiences or your feelings on how others portray hustling online.

(I may include it in an upcoming article I'm working on about the topic.)

OK, back to work... ✍️

March 26, 2019

How AWeber Revitalized Its Newsletter, Facebook's Fight Against Discriminatory Ads, & Pinterest's IPO...This Is THE LATEST!

What, if anything, do you consider yourself an expert in? Don't freak out -- It doesn't have to be something profound or even professional.

Are you a basketball maven? A connoisseur of soft cheeses? A grandmaster of everything Star Wars?

yoda-questions-small
Personally, I like to think I'm aficionado of all things Bollywood, but I don't go throwing that claim around lightly.

When you become known as an expert, you immediately set the expectation that there is nothing in that area that you don't know. 

As digital marketers in a "They Ask, You Answer" environment, this perception from your buyers is essential. You want to be seen as the go-to resource in your industry. 

Think about it: Wouldn't you expect HubSpot to know everything about inbound marketing? Or YouTube to know everything about online video?

That's why my ears perked up a bit when I heard AWeber talking email...

💌  Here's How One Email Company Went About Revamping Its Own Email Newsletter [+Video]

Senior Content Marketing Specialist Liz Willits has sent and overseen thousands of emails at popular email marketing software provider AWeber both for the company's own marketing as well as its clients. So, when it came time to revamp their newsletter, she had more than a trick or two up her sleeve to make it a success. In the latest episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, Kathleen sits down with Liz to talk about how exactly AWeber went about revitalizing their newsletter as well as the future of email. 

✊🏽  Facebook Ads Has Made Big Changes (Yet Again) In Hopes Of Combating Discriminatory Targeting 

Yes, Facebook is in hot water again. This time, its regarding lawsuits from various civil rights organizations claiming that their ad targeting was intentionally excluding protected classes (i.e. race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion). We dive into what the social media giant is doing in response to the latest accusations and what (if anything) your brand should do as well. 

🦉  12 Free Templates to Run Better Meetings [Sponsored By Owl Labs]

Meetings can be time-consuming and costly for your organization without proper preparation. That's why Owl Labs created professionally-designed, fully-customizable templates to help you plan and run meetings that are collaborative, productive, and efficient. Get them for free in PDF or Google Drive format here.

📌  Pinterest is Preparing for An IPO and Both Users & Marketers Should Be Excited!

Instagram and Facebook may make all the headlines, but with over 250 million monthly active users, $750 million in revenue, and averaging over 2 billion monthly searches in 2018, Pinterest is no name to scoff at. The social media company filed for its IPO last week and has a bunch of exciting changes up its sleeve for both marketers and users. IMPACT Account Executive Nick Bennett uncovers what could be in store. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • Only 6 More Days for Early Bird Pricing! That’s right — prices for IMPACT Live 2019 jump up April 1, so if you like to hang out with the greatest minds of inbound, learn how to become the most trusted voice in your space, and save some serious dollars, now’s the time to register. Want to save even more? Use the code LATEST50 to knock another $50 from your ticket price. You can grab your tickets here. (And with a week left, there’s still time to convince your boss to send you and your favorite coworker!) 

🌎  IMPACTers on the Move

  • Don't Miss Marcus Sheridan Live: The IMPACT partner, author, and renowned keynote speaker is always on-the-go, but TOMORROW you can catch him speaking on "The Makings of a Digital Sales and Marketing Organization" at Cisco's Marketing Velocity Live in New Orleans!  If you're attending, make sure to catch it. If you're not, you can also catch Marcus at Sales 3.0 discussing "The Visual Sale: How to Embrace the Visual Revolution and Create a Culture of Video in Your Organization" on Monday, April 1 in San Fransisco, California. Register here

 

May the force be with you,

March 23, 2019

Content on Product Pages, Tips from Successful Podcasters, & HubSpot's App Update...This Is THE LATEST!

I'm a big believer in "everything in moderation." Kind of like the 80-20 rule in inbound -- but for life.

Never sell too hard, work too much, eat too much, sit and binge Netflix for too long.

one-more-compressed

Nothing good can come from going extreme (or too coy for that matter) with any initiative. It's all about healthy balance.

And apparently Google agrees.

🛒  Google Finally Weighs In On How Much Content is Too Much for an eCommerce Page. 

Content is king, but a picture is also worth a thousand words. If these age-old adages have made your ears ring and your head spin, you're certainly not the only one -- especially not in eCommerce. Luckily, this week, Google's John Mueller shared some valuable insights to help marketers understand how much content really needs to be on their product pages and how important this is to their rank in the search engine.

🎧  You'll Want to Keep These 24 Tips Handy When Strategizing Your Next Podcast.

Podcasting has been around for quite some time now, but it's just starting to really find its groove. In this article, IMPACT's VP of Marketing (and host of The Inbound Success Podcast), Kathleen, shares 24 dos & don’ts for businesses, leaders, & marketers who want to start a podcast in 2019. 

📲  The HubSpot Mobile App Got a Little Facelift. Here Are Our First Impressions. 

HubSpot's mobile app has been a fairly big pain point for many users over the years (including many at IMPACT). Luckily, in 2019, we've seen several updates including one this past week that introduced a fresh look and new navigation. IMPACT Account Executive Joe Bachir takes a look at what's new in HubSpot's iOS and Android apps as well as what's still left to be desired. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Last Chance for Early Bird Pricing!

Only one week left of Early Bird Pricing for IMPACT Live: That’s right — prices jump up April 1, so if you like to hang out with the greatest minds of inbound, learn how to become the most trusted voice in your space, and save some serious dollars, now’s the time to register.

Want to save even more? Use the code LATEST50 to knock another $50 from your ticket price. You can grab your tickets here. (And with a week left, there’s still time to convince your boss to send you and your favorite coworker!) 

🎉  Weekend Nonsense

I have a terrible sweet tooth. In fact, it's the thing our CEO, Bob, loves to tease me most about. That being said, DONUT get me started on how much I love this Weekend Nonsense.

This week, Dunkin' and athletic footwear brand Saucony announced they have collaborated on a limited-edition shoe to celebrate the Boston Marathon on April 15. According to Marketing Dive, "the new shoe features Dunkin’s colors and logo, with strawberry-frosted doughnut medallions, Dunkin' coffee cups and 'Boston' on its reflective strip."

Not only is it nice to see two Boston-based companies join forces for a fun, memorable project like this, but it quite literally shows that Boston runs on Dunkin'. How punderful. 

dunkin-sauconySource: Marketing Dive

Peace out, cub scout!

March 21, 2019

Google Ads Launching New Policy Manager, the Psychology of Blue in Design, & Brands Can Now Archive Facebook Stories ...This Is THE LATEST!

I've done a lot of crazy things in my life. For example, I moved to Ft. Lauderdale in my early 20s with a guy who I was "like, totally for sure was the one." Of course, he wasn't. Less than a year later the whole relationship had imploded like an episode of Dynasty -- all we were missing were the shoulder pads and clouds of Aquanet.

After all of the mental "what could have beens" had been reduced to ash, I found myself miserable and marooned in Florida.

Now, I know that Florida may sound like a dream to some of you, but I am not a Florida person. I hate hot weather and one 80-degree Christmas was enough to cure me of any fond beach thoughts I might have had. More importantly, however, I was alone.

More alone than I'd ever felt in my life. With no friends or family. 

So, one night, after about 20 straight days of sobbing, marathoning Sex and the City, and swearing off men forever, I realized something -- if I didn't leave right then, in that moment, I would be trapped there forever

I spent all night packing and calling friends.

The next morning at 6 a.m., I threw everything in the back of my silver 1998 Pontiac Grand Am, cranked a well-worn CD of The Doors Greatest Hits, and drove 800+ miles to North Carolina. Because I had friends there, and, well... truthfully, that was as far I as I could travel with the cash I had in my wallet. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 1.52.48 PM

It was probably one of the dumbest things I've ever done -- I was broke, I had zero plans or prospects, and I had never driven more than two hours by myself before. It was also the best decision I ever made in my life. 

After a few months of odd jobs, more crying, and putting my life back together, I was able to move home to Northern Virginia, and I met Patrick the love of my life. 

Now that I'm comfortably in my mid- to late-30s, I long for those impulsive days in my 20s, where I would take chances in the face of great risks. Don't get me wrong, I'm exceedingly happy. 

But I'm also very set in my ways. The smallest change will stress me out for no good reason. And if that change involves the technologies and platforms I use each day, I'll act like the world is ending. 

What does it say about me that I used to be able to roll with the changes and make massive, life-altering decisions in a split second, but now I consider every Facebook update or Google product change a personal attack?

🔥 NEW Google Ads Policy Manager Launching in April to Save Well-Intentioned Marketers from Having Ads Removed Due to Accidental Policy Violations

In 2018 alone, Google removed more than 2.5 billion ads running on their platform due to violation of their policies. For the most part, these were illegal event ticket resellers, bail bond advertisements targeting vulnerable communities, and harmful (i.e. malware, identity theft) phishing schemes. However, some of those infractions were committed by well-intentioned marketers who didn't realize they were violating Google's policies with their ads. That's why the team at Google has announced they're adding a Policy Manager into the Google Ads interface next month -- and here's everything you need to know about it.

🌀 Blue Is One of the Most Common "Favorite Colors" on the Planet, but When Should (& Shouldn't) You Be Using It in Your Marketing Visuals & Designs?

When we talk about marketing, we tend to get mired in data and other in-human measurable details -- don't get me wrong, those are important. But we also need to focus on how we make people feel through our words and, most of all, our visuals. Take the color blue, for example. How does that color make you feel? Calm? Sad? Relaxed? Lazy? That answer is going to vary from person to person. So, in this installment of our "Psychology of Design" series, IMPACT Account Executive Rachel Palmateer unpacks the emotional triggers associated with blue, how to make blue work for you, and best practices for using blue in design.

And now a brief message from...  Owl-Labs-Logo

The Definitive Guide to Marketing Data

RF_Device_Bundle_mockup

B2B marketing organizations collect a wide array of data about our customers; from basic demographic information through buying habits, preferences and products used. But do we use this information to its full potential? Marketers can take the guesswork out of creating targeted and effective marketing programs by using data that we already have at our fingertips.

This guide dives into the holistic state of marketing data as it is today, the challenges within and the opportunities you can harness through using data to its full potential.

Read the Guide

⚡ Breaking News: Company Pages on Facebook Can Now Share & Archive Facebook Stories

It wasn't that long ago that "Stories" -- social photos and videos that are only viewable for 24 hours -- were considered a Snapchat-only product. Now, however, they're a core functionality for the millions of personal users and brands on Instagram and are slowly becoming more widely adopted on Facebook, Instagram's parent company. To increase brand use of the Stories tool, Facebook has announced brands are now able to archive and share their Stories, prolonging the shelf-life of their content -- and here's the full breakdown of what you need to know about this product update.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

⏰ Throwback Thursday

OK, this week's #TBT is more of an intervention. I don't know if there's some sort of diabolical internet God up in the clouds who delights in torturing me but, this week, I've come across more than my fair share of absolutely atrocious, lazy blog article conclusions.  

panda-angry

Figure 1: Archive footage of me at 6 a.m. today after reading a blog that literally had no conclusion. The blog article just stopped.

I have reached my limit. I can no longer be silent while these content atrocities are committed. 

So, to save my sanity and to help you not tank your company's next blog article, here are the three things you should never, ever do in a blog conclusion and the exact process I use to write an amazing blog conclusion every single timein a way that's super easy.

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • Only 1 WEEK LEFT of Early Bird Pricing for IMPACT Live '19! That’s right -- prices jump up April 1! So, if you like to hang out with the greatest minds of inbound, learn how to become the most trusted voice in your space, and save some serious dollars, now’s the time to register. Want to save even more? Use the code LATEST50 to knock another $50 from your ticket price. You can grab your tickets here. (And with a week left, there’s still time to convince your boss to send you and your favorite coworker!)
  • In Chicago on March 27? Join the Chicago HUG for an extraordinary opportunity to learn from partner agencies and fellow HUG members during a live taping of HubSpot Academy's Agency Unfiltered web series. HubSpot Academy's Kevin Dunn will interview Chicago-based HubSpot partner agency owners for episodes for season two of Agency Unfiltered. Register for this in-person event now -- space is limited.
  • We're gearing up for the next Website Throwdown on April 11, where online accessibility expert Michele Landis of Accessible 360 will be joining us to critique the sites of 5 selected contenders. If you want to know how your site measures up in terms of accessibility, optimization, and design, go ahead and submit your site here for a chance to be critiqued. Rather be a spectator? You can also save your seat
  • Join IMPACT Live 2018 speaker Rob Dube at the donothing® Leadership Retreat! The purpose of this unique leadership experience April 15-18 is to help you cultivate a deeper mindfulness practice that will transform your effectiveness as a leader. Every detail is tailored to inspire: the majestic environment of Shambhala Mountain Center nestled high in the Colorado Rockies, senior meditation experts to thoughtfully guide your technique, and a supportive community of like-minded leaders to connect with. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind retreat and save your spot! 

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. Until next week!

March 19, 2019

Marketing Warnings from the Varsity Blues Scandal, The Power of Micro-Influencers, & Images in Email...This Is THE LATEST!

In the past few years, I've come to the realization that growing up my parents basically conditioned me to watch the news every night. 

The clock strikes 6:00 pm and like Pavlov's Dog, if I'm by a TV, I need to switch it on to hear what's going on in the world (and if San Diego is, indeed, staying classy.)

anchorman-gif

While, like many, the news gives me crazy anxiety these days, it also makes me feel connected and current. 

And, well, if there happens to be a juicy celebrity news story, even better...

⚠️  Celeb Scandals Aside, "Operation Varsity Blues" Comes With 2 Big Warnings for Marketers

The U.S. college admissions scandal that has become known as "Operation Varsity Blues" has been one of the hottest celebrity news stories of the past week -- but it's one every marketer needs to sit up and pay attention to. Here are the two big warnings about influencer marketing that you can take away from the fallout of Operation Varsity Blues.

💰  This Is How One Small Business 4x Their Revenue in Under a Year Thanks to Influencer Marketing

How did a small online fitness brand go from $400k in revenue to over $1 million in less than a year? Let's just say some of their consumers found themselves under an influence. In this week's episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, influencer marketing consultant Shane Barker sits down with IMPACT's VP of Marketing, Kathleen Booth, to share how he helped 4x ZBodyFitness's sales using exclusively influencer marketing tactics.

🦉 Managing a Remote Team Doesn’t Have to Be a Struggle. [Sponsored by Owl Labs]

In an interview with video conferencing technology company Owl Labs, Know Your Team CEO Claire Lew discusses the company’s origins as an internal Basecamp tool, why remote companies have an advantage over co-located teams, and how she made the tough decision to change the company’s name and product direction just a couple months ago. Claire sits down to share her insider tips on how to make sure your managers don’t crash and burn while managing a remote workforce.

💌  To Include Images or Not to Include Images -- That Is the Email Question. 

And that exact question was the subject of much debate when we first launched THE LATEST, Liz explains. While many may argue that visuals are necessary for grabbing the eye and aiding content consumption (like yours truly), there are just as many who argue they prefer an email "no frills." What's a brand to do? Fellow author of THE LATEST Liz Murphy shares the tests we ran and the results we saw to help answer this question for IMPACT.  

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • Today! Go Behind the Scenes of Shopify's Brilliant Video Strategy with Wipster: Brands are becoming media companies—and eCommerce leader Shopify is leading the way with a full-service television and film production house focusing on the stories of entrepreneurs. In this exclusive webinar from Wipster, you'll learn how they got where they are today and your organization can too. Save Your Seat and don't miss it today
  • In Chicago on March 27? Join the Chicago HUG for an extraordinary opportunity to learn from partner agencies and fellow HUG members during a live taping of HubSpot Academy's Agency Unfiltered web series. HubSpot Academy's Kevin Dunn will interview Chicago-based HubSpot partner agency owners for episodes for Season 2 of Agency Unfiltered. Register for this in-person event now -- space is limited.
  • Join IMPACT Live 2018 speaker Rob Dube at the donothing® Leadership Retreat! The purpose of this unique leadership experience April 15-18 is to help you cultivate a deeper mindfulness practice that will transform your effectiveness as a leader. Every detail is tailored to inspire: the majestic environment of Shambhala Mountain Center nestled high in the Colorado Rockies, senior meditation experts to thoughtfully guide your technique, and a supportive community of like-minded leaders to connect with. Learn More & Reserve Your Spot.

Peace out, cub scout!

March 16, 2019

Facebook's Worst Outage Ever, Google Ads in 2019, & The #1 Sign of a Perfect Hire...This Is THE LATEST!

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and while I'm not Irish (at least according to my 23AndMe), I'm a sucker for the festivity. 

I mean, who wouldn't get behind a day that supports pots of gold and good luck?

via GIPHY

I certainly could always use a little extra luck and two of your favorite social networks could've this past week as well...

📵  Facebook & Instagram Outage Highlights the Risks of Relying on Social Media

From engagement with its Stories to leads with ads, social media is an invaluable tool to digital marketers -- but what happens when it goes down? That's the question that many were left grappling with earlier this week, when Facebook & Instagram went down for over 24 hours in the U.S. Our Director of Audience Engagement & Community, Stephanie Baiocchi, shares the details on what happened and reflects on what marketers need to know. 

💰  Tips, Tactics, & Advice to Help You Navigate How Google Ads Has Changed in 2019

Google likes to keep us on our toes, changing it up when we least expect it. What's new in 2019 and what should marketers be thinking about? My content partner in crime, Liz Murphy, interviewed IMPACT's Google Ads expert, Jason Linde, to find out. 

🤝  How Do You Know If You've Made a Successful Hire?

In the last three years, IMPACT has gone from a team of 23 to one of 65 and we don't take this growth lightly. We’ve been highly selective in order to keep our culture intact and to maintain the level of service our clients expect and deserve. But how do we know when a hire has been successful? IMPACT's VP of Client Service, Brie Rangel, shares why a great hiring process is so important and the #1 indicator that all went as planned. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • Join IMPACT Live 2018 speaker Rob Dube at the donothing® Leadership Retreat! The purpose of this unique leadership experience April 15-18 is to help you cultivate a deeper mindfulness practice that will transform your effectiveness as a leader. Every detail is tailored to inspire: the majestic environment of Shambhala Mountain Center nestled high in the Colorado Rockies, senior meditation experts to thoughtfully guide your technique, and a supportive community of like-minded leaders to connect with. Learn More & Reserve Your Spot.

  • St. Paddy’s Day Flash Sale: Save $100 on IMPACT Live! The IMPACT Live team is feeling especially festive this St. Paddy’s Day and wants to make sure your pot of gold is overflowing. That’s why we’re giving you the code IMLUCKY to pick up All Access tickets for $350 ($100 off early bird pricing!) to the digital marketing event of the summer. But the party ends tomorrow, on St. Patrick’s Day itself, so get these while you can.
  • In Chicago on March 27? Join the Chicago HUG for an extraordinary opportunity to learn from partner agencies and fellow HUG members during a live taping of HubSpot Academy's Agency Unfiltered web series. HubSpot Academy's Kevin Dunn will interview Chicago-based HubSpot partner agency owners for episodes for Season 2 of Agency Unfiltered. Register for this in-person event now -- space is limited.

  • Go Behind the Scenes of Shopify's Brilliant Video Strategy with Wipster: Brands are becoming media companies—and eCommerce leader Shopify is leading the way with a full-service television and film production house focusing on the stories of entrepreneurs. In this exclusive webinar from Wipster on March 19, you'll learn how they got where they are today and your organization can too. Save Your Seat!

🎉  Weekend Nonsense

This weekend nonsense is a bit unorthodox, but my friend, it is a work of art. Even if you didn't watch the popular 90s' sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air starring Will Smith, you're likely familiar with its opening segment and theme song.

Well, this week, YouTube user Sun Squared Media shared a dark, modern-day interpretation of the iconic intro that seriously leaves you wanting more. 

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Petition for a full movie, anyone? I think it's warranted.

Yo homes, smell ya later!

March 14, 2019

Consistently Creating Video, New HubSpot Lead Scoring, & Slack's Rebranding Missteps...This Is THE LATEST!

Good or bad, it's hard to break a habit. 

I mean, have you ever tried to cut back on caffeine, stop biting your nails, or maybe even stop calling or texting an old flame?

via GIPHY

As hard as these things are to overcome, I think sometimes it's even harder to create a new habit.

Back in the 1950s it was believed to take just 21 days for human beings to form a new habit, but in recent years that has been extended to over two months.

Frankly, it took me way longer than that to stop reaching for cans of Pepsi in college, but I'm getting off topic...

🎥  Here's How You Can Start Creating Video (& Never Stop)

You can't just make one video, upload it to YouTube, pat yourself on the back, and go back to your cave and see success. You have to consistently produce high-quality videos on a regular basis. It has to be a habit -- but, of course, that's way easier said behind a newsletter than done. In this episode of Film School for Marketers, Zach and Myriah dive into not only how to start producing video, but the roadblocks brands typically face, how you can overcome them, and ways you can empower your team to create video.

💯  HubSpot's Just Added Multiple Scoring Properties to Make Qualifying Leads Better Than Its Ever Been

Lead scoring in HubSpot has been around for quite some time, but if you've used it, you know it was far from perfect. Luckily, a lot of your old grievances have now been solved thanks to the platform's all-new multiple scoring properties. Our resident HubSpot expert, trainer, and consultant, Carina Duffy, shares all of the changes coming to the tool and why they're exciting for marketers and sales teams. 

❌  These Are the 3 Big Mistakes Slack Made With Its Rebrand 

Have you ever gotten a new haircut, felt super confident about it, then faced cringes when you walked into work the next day? That's essentially what happened to Slack when they redesigned their logo at the beginning of this year. The popular instant messaging app was met with less than favorable reactions to their new logo by users, designers, and industry folk alike, however, they likely could've avoided all of that if they steered clear of the three mistakes IMPACT Design Supervisor Jessie-Lee Nichols shared. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

⏰ Throwback Thursday

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner! If you're looking for a fun campaign your brand can run to join in on the celebrations, check out these seven Krispy Kreme, SEMRush, and more ran in 2017!

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • TODAY on Website Throwdown! We have speaker, bestselling author, and marketing strategist David Meerman Scott jumping in the ring to critique a few hand-picked sites with our panel of experts. They’ll be reviewing everything from content and design to SEO and conversion paths. Save your seat to watch user-submitted sites get torn apart!

See you in the next issue! ('Cause we all know THE LATEST is one habit you don't want to break ;) )

March 12, 2019

Screening for Company Culture Fit, HubSpot's New Customer Feedback Dashboard, & Why Mom-Friendly Company Cultures Benefit Everyone ...This Is THE LATEST!

While doing some research this weekend for a project, I came across a staggering statistic. 

Almost 30 percent of responding adults said they would give up seeing their friends in person before they would surrender their smartphone, according to The Boston Consulting Group.

What?

Look, I'll be the first to admit that this 2017 New Yorker cartoon speaks to me on an almost spiritual level...

canceled-plans

Still, I'm amazed at how quickly we all seem to forget that -- even with so much technology at our fingertips -- we are still human beings who crave human contact, validation, and interaction.

In the context of marketing and sales, buyers may be going out of their way to avoid speaking with someone in sales -- but look at the rise of conversational marketing

We now live in a digital age where buyers are not only demanding authenticity from brands, they also want to have real-time, human conversations with them. 

And if we were to look inward at our own organizations, it doesn't matter if you are starting to embrace remote workers as part of your team; the company culture you create with your people still matters.

⁉️ 3 Culture Fit Questions You Should Ask to See If a Candidate Is a Good Fit for Your Company

At IMPACT, we take our company culture very seriously. And given the amount of hiring we've done since we've opened our doors, we've learned a lot about the best questions to ask to uncover whether or not a candidate really is a great fit for us. In this article, VP of Services Brie Rangel shares the top three culture fit interview questions you should ask job candidates -- and what to look for in their answers.

💬 New HubSpot Feedback Dashboard Can Tell You How Happy Your Customers Are... or Aren't

OK, here's the deal -- even your most loyal customers probably have ideas about how you could improve your product or service, or how you can better support and service your customers. Now, HubSpot is making it easier to obtain, evaluate, and archive this kind of feedback from your customers. Learn more about HubSpot's new Service Hub Feedback Dashboard and how it will make it easier for you to learn and track what your customers really think about your company.

And now a brief message from...  Owl-Labs-Logo
 
“There's a cheesy quote about how values don't mean anything until they're difficult to act on, and that has proven itself to be true to me time and time again as a leader. When asking myself the question of what kind of leader do I want to be, I want to be the leader that follows through on what I promise to my team and my customers.”

In an interview
with video conferencing technology company Owl Labs, Know Your Team CEO Claire Lew discusses the company’s origins as an internal Basecamp tool, why remote companies have an advantage over co-located teams, and how she made the tough decision to change the company’s name and product direction just a couple of months ago.
Read the Interview

👩‍👧‍👦 Mom-Friendly Company Cultures Benefit Your Company & Future Generations

Companies, take note -- if you're not hiring moms or going out of your way to create a mom-friendly culture, research shows you're flat-out missing the boat on one of the hardest working population groups in the world. That's why working mom and IMPACT Principal Strategist Stacy Willis is challenging all of you to find ways to support working moms in your company -- for you, for them, and for future generations.

👀 ... When You're All Ears & Eyes

🎉 You Like Winning Stuff, Right? (Of Course You Do!)

What’s better than a free ticket to IMPACT Live? A free ticket to IMPACT Live plus copies of books from our spotlight speakers!

Early Bird pricing for our marquee event runs through March, and tickets are already as affordable as they’ll ever be -- you can even use the code LATEST50 for $50 off!

But who doesn’t love free stuff? We’ll be giving away a free All Access ticket and four books every month, so head over to the contest page to enter right now

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • In this month’s Website Throwdown, we have speaker, bestselling author, and marketing strategist David Meerman Scott joining the ring to critique a few hand-picked sites with our panel of experts. They’ll be reviewing everything from content and design to SEO and conversion paths. The deadline has passed to submit your website for critique, but you can still save your seat as a "ringside" spectator.

This is Liz Murphy signing off until we meet again🎶

March 9, 2019

Google Introduces Offers, Pinterest Gets More Shopping-Friendly, & Where Marketers Should Be Hanging Out On Facebook...This Is THE LATEST!

I recently realized that my life has been full of marketing lessons. One in particular that keeps proving true is that people love a free t-shirt.

via GIPHY

From my college days to NBA games to walking a marketing exhibit hall floor, people will do almost anything to get their hands on those beautiful oversized cotton trophies.

And who can blame them? Freebies and promotions are a win-win for everyone.

🤑  Google Will Now Show Promotions From Google My Business Directly in Search Results

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for a deal. In fact, oftentimes, the difference between a good shopping experience and a great one for me is a deal. Apparently Google agrees with me because this week they announced that they'll be adding Offers directly in search results. Let's take a peek at what Google Offers will look like in SERP and how you can set up yours through Google My Business. 

🛍️  5 New Features Are Going to Make Buying and Selling on Pinterest A Whole Lot Easier

Pinterest is a goldmine for finding new products, but actually buying those products isn't always easy. With this in mind, the virtual pin board platform is adding 5 exciting new features that will make it easier for users to buy things they like and for brands to find users who are ready to buy. We dive into Pinterest's new shopping features and why they're a win-win for brands and consumers.

And now a brief message from...  Film-School-for-Marketers-Logo
 
Subscribe

👫  Inbound Marketers Are Flocking To These Seven Facebook Groups

It's no secret; Facebook Groups are back and more popular than ever. In our digital world, people are craving connection and both professionally and personally, Groups are emerging as a great medium for filling this gap. In this article, IMPACT's Director of Community & Audience Engagement, Stephanie Baiocchi, shares seven Facebook groups inbound marketers should check out. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • In this month’s Website Throwdown, we have speaker, bestselling author, and marketing strategist David Meerman Scott joining the ring to critique a few hand-picked sites with our panel of experts. They’ll be reviewing everything from content and design to SEO and conversion paths. Test your luck and submit your site for the chance to be critiqued by THIS Monday, March 11! Or if you’d rather be a spectator, you can save your seat.

🎉  Weekend Nonsense

This week, Queen Elizabeth II of England posted her first ever photo to Instagram after learning about children's coding classes at the nation's science museum. The 92-year old monarch shared a letter written to her great-great grandfather, Prince Albert, by Charles Babbage who is often-credited as "the world’s first computer pioneer." 

Why am I sharing this? Well, one; I love that even the Queen of England, in her 90s, is preaching the importance of learning to code and two; if this isn't proof that everyone should be on Instagram, I don't know what is.

Screen Shot 2019-03-08 at 6.16.29 PM

See you next week!

March 7, 2019

Setting Goals as Leaders, the Most Common Facebook Ads Mistakes You're Making, & the Only Storytelling Guide You'll Ever Need ...This Is THE LATEST!

I have an emotional allergy to self-discipline

So, since I work from home, I put on my gym clothes in the morning on designated workout days. Even if I'm not going to the gym until the late afternoon or early evening.

Although I've kept to my personal goal of working out three times a week for 24 weeks, I still sometimes surprise myself with my capacity for laziness.

Meaning, in spite of my "dress for workout success" hack, I won't go. 

night-cheese

Exhibit A. Me on Monday night.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Unfortunately, when that happens, any disappointment in myself is often offset by the undeserved feeling of superiority I experience when I go to Trader Joe's in my gym clothes... instead of the gym.

I get to walk around in spandex and a track jacket, looking like I'm an "adult" who "works out" and "has it all" -- but really, I'm just there to buy the ice cream I haven't earned

However, even with those occasional triumphs of ice cream over exercise, I'm sure if our COO, Chris Duprey, was here  -- and not at a silent retreat in rural Massachusetts -- he'd tell me the fact I'm even making personal goals and (for the most part) sticking to them, is what matters.

🌱 Leaders Need to Think About Their Learning Goals Like Business Goals

IMPACT COO Chris Duprey didn't want to write about goal-setting -- which is why he calls me out at the top of this article in protest (rude) -- but I am so very glad he did. As leaders and individual contributors, we're trained to hyper-focus on business goals, team goals, and project goals. In this article, Chris shares his goals and then challenges all of us to make that same level of commitment to our learning and development

🚧 You're Probably Making at Least One of These Facebook Advertising Mistakes

How many of you know you could be getting better results with your Facebook ads strategy? I'm going to guess most of you. There are a lot of different reasons why a Facebook ads strategy can underperform -- if not fail entirely -- which is why IMPACT Principal Strategist Caitlin Sellers Castevens has updated our super popular 11 Facebook Ad Mistakes You're Probably Making (& How to Avoid Them) article for 2019

📚 Yes, This Really Is the Only Storytelling Guide You'll Ever Need

As part of my extensive homework leading up to a keynote speaker training retreat in April, I had to read Margot Leitman's Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You'll Ever Need. How was it? Well, long story short (ha), it's absolutely transformative. Here is why I believe every content marketer needs to read this book ASAP, along with three key lessons from it you can take action on right now.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • In Chicago on March 27? Join the Chicago HUG for an extraordinary opportunity to learn from partner agencies and fellow HUG members during a live taping of HubSpot Academy's Agency Unfiltered web series. HubSpot Academy's Kevin Dunn will interview Chicago-based HubSpot partner agency owners for episodes for Season 2 of Agency Unfiltered. Register for this in-person event now -- space is limited.
  • In this month’s Website Throwdown, we have speaker, bestselling author, and marketing strategist David Meerman Scott joining the ring to critique a few hand-picked sites with our panel of experts. They’ll be reviewing everything from content and design to SEO and conversion paths. Test your luck and submit your site for the chance to be critiqued by Monday, March 11! Or if you’d rather be a spectator, you can save your seat.

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Have you heard? "Video is the future of marketing and sales."

Just kidding. Video is already here, which is why so many companies are wrestling with a pretty important question -- "Do we need a video hosting solution? Is it worth the investment?"

Yes and yes. 

That's why IMPACT Director of Video Training & Strategy Zach Basner put together this interactive guide on Vidyard for businesses -- one of the most popular video hosting platforms for companies who have either already made a commitment to creating video or are starting their journey with video.

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 7.57.12 AM

In it, Zach covers why choosing a video hosting solution is so important; Vidyard vs. Wistia, YouTube, and Vimeo; signs Vidyard is (and isn't) right for you; and how to get started with Vidyard, whether or not you've been creating video. 

The best part about this guide? You can either watch or read each chapter. 

🌎  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 Thursday, 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 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.

That's all folks!

March 5, 2019

The Future of ABM, Rebranding Lessons From WW, & Rethinking Agency Profitability...This Is THE LATEST!

 

I don't want to toot my own horn, but I've kind of always had an entrepreneurial spirit. 

When I was in fourth grade, for instance, I learned how to make fortune tellers out of paper and somehow got my classmates to buy them for 10 cents during recess (25 for those made out of "designer" wrapping paper).

I used this money to buy cookies and pretzels at lunch and business boomed -- for about a week. 

Looking back on it now, the reason behind my success is clear. Everyone wanted to know what the future held, even if it was just a playful guess. 

crystal-ball-small

Even today, nearly two decades later, that still reigns true.

🔮  What Does the Future Hold for Account-Based Marketing? The Co-founder of Terminus Shares!

How can some companies successfully use account-based marketing to shorten the sales cycle, increase penetration in key accounts, and improve customer NPS scores, while others can't? This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Terminus Co-Founder Sangram Vajre shares his insights on the past, present, and future of ABM, including who it is actually right for and so much more. Listen in on this exclusive interview with our VP of Marketing, Kathleen Booth. 

🏋️  Weight Watchers Stumbled With Its Rebrand. Here's How You Can Avoid The Same Fate.

Weight Watchers is now WW, but if this is your first time hearing about it, you're not alone. The iconic weight loss company recently rebranded in order to reach a wider and younger audience. Unfortunately, looking at its first quarter performance and plummeting stock values, something is clearly amok. Let's examine where WW went wrong with its rebrand and the lessons marketers everywhere can learn. 

💵  These Two Things Have More Effect on Your Agency Profitability Than You Think. [VIDEO]

Is your marketing agency financially fit? If you’re like most, you measure your financial success based on revenue, but the buck certainly shouldn't stop there! Marketing Agency Mentor & Advisor Jason Swenk shares two factors every agency should be taking into account in order to be more profitable. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • Are 60% conversion rates even possible? Find out TONIGHT in New Haven! If you’re in New Haven, CT, tonight and want to learn how exponentially increase the results you're seeing for lead gen and eCommerce when you integrate Facebook and Instagram ads into your inbound approach, register here and join us!
  • In this month’s Website Throwdown, we have speaker, bestselling author, and marketing strategist David Meerman Scott joining the ring to critique a few hand-picked sites with our panel of experts. They’ll be reviewing everything from content and design to SEO and conversion paths. Test your luck and submit your site for the chance to be critiqued by Monday, March 11! Or if you’d rather be a spectator, you can save your seat.

🌎  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 Next Thursday, 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.
March 2, 2019

Link Lessons from a Digital Nomad, Pandora Combines Podcasts & Music, & WordPress Launches 5.1...This Is THE LATEST!

When I graduated college, I made a promise to myself that once a year I would travel to a country I've never been to before.

Breathe a different air, walk a different street, select an entree from a different country's McDonald's Menu. (Seriously. This has become a must for every country I visit. I've seen 7 so far.)

the-notebook-mcdonalds-fries

Unfortunately last year, with seven weddings on my calendar, this eluded me. I'm making up for it in 2019 with two international trips already booked, but what if I didn't have to plan for them?

What if I was always on the go and took my job with me? 

🚌  HubSpot's Resident Digital Nomad Shares How You Can Use Link Building to Build Your Site Authority 

Fresh off launching a brand new business blogging course for HubSpot, Principal Inbound Professor Justin Champion joined my fellow IMPACT content queen, Liz Murphy, on the latest episode of Content Lab to talk link building. Justin and his wife have been using this content staple to build the awareness and authority of their website, Wild We Wander, and now he's teaching others to do the same. Listen in as Liz and Justin dive into how you can do guest blogging and link building right.

🎵  Pandora Stories Combines Elements of Podcasting & Your Favorite Music For One Awesome New Content Medium

I don't regularly listen to podcasts, but when I do, I am drawn to those that use music to enhance the episode (i.e. introducing a new segment or even just their intro.) Luckily for me, this week, Pandora introduced Stories, a new product designed around playlists that lets users combine music tracks from the streaming platforms library and voice tracks to create a whole new listening experience. Curious what this sounds like? We explored Pandora Stories and how brands and influencers can use it to their advantage.

impact-elite-join

💻  WordPress Users Rejoice! Betty Carter Is Here to Make Building & Maintenance Even Easier

Just a few months ago, we introduced you to Gutenberg, WordPress' newest website editor that was designed to make site maintenance a breeze for tech-challenged marketers. Well, this week, the popular CMS introduced us to "Betty Carter," its latest update that promises to only enhance everything Gutenberg has to offer. Design Supervisor Jessie-Lee Nichols takes a look at all of the exciting changes coming with WordPress 5.1 aka Betty Carter. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat!

  • In this month’s Website Throwdown, we have speaker, bestselling author, and marketing strategist David Meerman Scott joining the ring to critique a few hand-picked sites with our panel of experts. They’ll be reviewing everything from content and design to SEO and conversion paths. Test your luck and submit your site for the chance to be critiqued by Monday, March 11! Or if you’d rather be a spectator, you can save your seat.

🎉  Weekend Nonsense

A new "challenge" is taking over social media and it's certainly one I wish I knew about when I was travel-deprived last year.

In the "Pretending to Fly" challenge, people across the globe are using everyday, household items to fool their friends into thinking they're on an airplane off to exotic locations -- or perhaps they're trying to show us all that you can't always believe what you see on social media.

What will the kids think of next? Check out this video of examples:

pretending-to-fly-challenge

See you next week!