The Latest Digital Marketing News by IMPACT
Welcome to THE LATEST, everything marketing and business leaders need to know in less than 5 minutes.
to have this delivered to your mailbox 3 times per week.
April 30, 2019

30 Lessons at Age 30, The Green-Haired Oprah of LinkedIn, & The Skills of a Rockstar Content Manager...This Is THE LATEST!

It's almost official.

As of 1:18pm ET, my twenties will be behind me and I'll officially be a wise and mature 30-year-old -- who also overslept her alarm for the first time ever yesterday (and by one hour and 15 minutes at that). 

adulting-small

What a way to close out a decade, am I right?

I know it sounds mundane, but this was actually a very comforting experience for someone like me, who doesn't take aging lightly. 

It reminded me that while it may start to seem, as we get older, that we've seen or done it all, there are always more firsts to come. More mistakes to be made. More fun to be had. And, of course, more lessons to be learned.

While 30 is understandably a mental hurdle, I would never trade it for being 20 again and I especially would never trade all of the knowledge I've gained along the way. 

🎂  At the Nexus of Life & Marketing, Here Are 30 Lessons About Both I Learned Before Turning 30

As much as I want to think that being an amazing marketer means being an elusive, majestic unicorn sitting on top of a rainbow mountain, I genuinely believe a lot of it comes back to good ol' common senseOver the years, I've learned several life lessons that have come in handy in my life as a marketer as well.

🎥  Content & Video Lessons from "The Oprah of LinkedIn," Goldie Chan [Video]

With more than 45,000 followers on and over 3 million views on her daily videos in under a year, Goldie Chan is undoubtedly one of the most successful pioneers of the "Wild West" that is LinkedIn Video. In the latest episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, our VP of Marketing, Kathleen Booth, chats with Goldie to learn how she's gotten where she is today and the advice she has for marketers looking to venture into LinkedIn Video.

💪  This Is the One Skill Every Single Content Marketing Manager Should Have

We talk a lot about the hard skills that a great content manager must have to be successful, but what about the soft skills? What about the intangibles that can't be seen or really gauged? Our very own, Director of Web & Interactive Content and THE LATEST contributor Liz Murphy dives into what she believes is the very top skill that you should have if you want to be a rockstar content manager. (It may surprise you.)

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

Officially thirty, wordy, & thriving!

April 27, 2019

Microsoft's Voice Report, Design Problems, & So Long Instagram Likes?...This Is THE LATEST!

I don't know about you, but I saw the Robin Williams' movie Bicentennial Man back in 1999 and promptly vowed never again.

The idea of a man-built robot developing emotions and wanting to live and die like a human being broke my little 10-year-old heart. I had the same reaction to Johnny 5 in Short Circuit.

johnny-five

I was a strange child, what can I say? 

Unfortunately for this now semi-strange adult, this kind of artificial intelligence may not be be so far-fetched anymore...

📣  Here Are 4 Eye-Opening Trends Microsoft Uncovered with Its 2019 Voice Report.

Thanks to voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa, the robot servants we were promised by the Jetsons are closer in reach than they've ever been, but there's still a great deal marketers and people in general have to learn about this new reality. Luckily, Microsoft just released its 2019 Voice Report and we've compiled 4 of the most compelling findings for marketers to take note of. 

🤯  Why No Problem Could Mean BIG Problems for Your Next Design Project.
 

jessie-lee

Design Supervisor Jessie-Lee Nichols explains!

👎🏽  Instagram is Considering Hiding "Like" Numbers on Its Platform. Here's Why. 

Social media is on the receiving end of a lot criticism these days, especially when it comes to its effects on self-esteem. In light of this, Instagram is throwing around the idea of hiding the number of "likes" from users on the platform -- but as you'd guess, this isn't sitting well with influencers and brands. IMPACT Account Supervisor, Kaitlyn Petro shares all the details. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

🎉 Weekend Nonsense

If Johnny 5 wasn't enough 1980s' goodness for you, here's the Jimmy Fallon and Paul Rudd frame-by-frame remake of the classic music video "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" by Dead or Alive.

No better way to start of the weekend, am I right?

Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 4.41.52 PM

See you next week!

April 25, 2019

Early Stage Tools, Google's True Feelings On Links, & Surviving Organizational Breakpoints...This Is THE LATEST!

Last week, I shared that I am a creature of habit. What you don't know is how much of a HUGE problem this used to be.

As a child, I watched the same movies every single day (no joking -- my mother had to hide the tapes), insisted on wearing the same outfits, and I never tried new foods.

Don't worry, all that is thankfully behind me, but I will say sometimes my skepticism and reluctance to try new things makes a small reappearance when it comes to marketing tools...

🔨  These 4 Marketing Tools May Be New, But There Are Huge Benefits to Being An Early Adopter

Many are reluctant to invest time and money in new tools until they're tried-and-true and there's practical reasoning behind this. However, this month's edition of IMPACT Toolbox just may change that! IMPACT front-end developer Morgan Vanderleest is back with four early stage marketing tools with huge business potential that are worth trying out now.

🔍  SEO Trivia Time!

 

Stumped?  Find the answer and what it has to do with Google's stance on links and search rank!

🤔  Are Your Processes Equipped to Scale With Your Business?

Not all processes are meant to last forever. As your organization scales and evolves, the structures and procedures that have made it successful to that point may not be what it needs to get further. When this happens, my friend, you have yourself an organizational breakpoint. IMPACT's VP of Client Services, Brie Rangel, reflects on the breakpoints we've faced  first-hand, how we survived, and how you can too. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

  • Learn How to Create a Complete Video Marketing Strategy on May 7! You’ve committed to creating compelling videos that inform your audience and generate sales like crazy. But now what? How do you get your video in front of the right eyes? What platforms will allow you -- and your audience -- to get the most out of your videos? Join Vidyard’s Jesse Ariss and IMPACT’s Zach Basner for an hour on May 7, when they show you how to create a complete video marketing strategy and start converting engaged viewers into paying customers!

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Easter may be behind us, but thanks to the internet, we can enjoy Easter Eggs all year-round. Check out this fun throwback article sharing 17 of the Best Internet Easter Eggs you've got to see!

April 23, 2019

Google's AMP Stories, Building Your Personal Brand, & Revealing Web Development Myths...This Is THE LATEST!

Here's a story, of a lovely lady.

Who was drafting up three lovely social posts.

groovy-the-brady-bunch

All of them were viral gold, like her others, the shortest one for search.

Wait, what?

📚  Google Is Gunning For a Slice of the "Stories" Market with AMP Stories

Snapchat may have pioneered them, but Stories have slowly made their way to practically every social media platform since. Now, they're even making their mark outside of the social network world. Last week, Google announced it's introducing AMP Stories, which will live directly in search engine results. AMP Stories borrow a lot from their social media cousins, but also come with some major differences (and opportunities) that marketers should take note of. 

🤑  The CEO of BlitzMetrics Shares How to Build Your Personal Brand No Matter What Career Stage You're In [+Video]

From CEOs to interns to even members of the general public, it seems like everyone is trying to build and maintain a personal brand these days. Professionally, this can be extremely important for digital marketers, but how do you get started? On this week's episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth sits down with BlitzMetrics CEO Dennis Yu to learn the process he says anyone can use to build a strong personal brand. 

👩🏽‍💻  Here Are 3 Things Marketers Believe About Developers That Are Horribly Untrue

Believe it or not, being a web developer or programmer looks nothing like what it does in movies. That's right -- no "hacking the mainframe" on the reg -- but this isn't the only misconception many have about this highly skilled profession. One of IMPACT's talented front-end developers, Daniel Escardo, shares three myths marketers believe about what web developers do and what things really look like. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

  • Learn How to Create a Complete Video Marketing Strategy on May 7! You’ve committed to creating compelling videos that inform your audience and generate sales like crazy. But now what? How do you get your video in front of the right eyes? What platforms will allow you -- and your audience -- to get the most out of your videos? Join Vidyard’s Jesse Ariss and IMPACT’s Zach Basner for an hour on May 7, when they show you how to create a complete video marketing strategy and start converting engaged viewers into paying customers!

🌎 IMPACTers On The Move

  • Catch Marcus Sheridan at Brightcove's PLAY 2019 in One Month! At this three-day conference (May 14-16 in Boston, MA), you will immerse yourself in what’s new, what’s next, and what matters in online video and have the chance to catch IMPACT partner, keynote speaker, and author, Marcus Sheridan live. Register for PLAY now.

    Learn more about having someone from IMPACT speak at your event.
April 20, 2019

Facebook Shares Secrets to Story Success, Jack Dorsey's New Vision for Twitter, & A Nightmare Wedding Planning Experience...This Is THE LATEST!

If I've learned anything about myself in the past few months, it's that I'm a creature of habit.

Throw me out of my routine for more than a few days and it'll take what seems like a lifetime to get back into my groove.

Unfortunately, between moving into my first apartment, IMPACT building out a new office, and just getting back from a fairly culture-shocking vacation, I'm looking for a sense of normalcy.

dr-evil-bone-comp

But here's the thing about life and marketing -- nothing stays the same for long. 

They're both always changing it up to keep you on your toes (or even knock you off your feet). 

Fortunately for us (and Dr. Evil), sometimes you'll get thrown a bone to help you navigate these changes. Take this news from Facebook, for example.

📱 Facebook Wants You to Use Stories -- So Here's the Real Data on How to Do It Right. [Infographic]

It's no secret that Facebook is trying to make Stories happen harder than fetch, but rather than just not-so-subtly hinting at it or forcing the behavior through its algorithm (as it's been known to), the social media giant is giving you the tools to make them less intimidating. How inbound! This week, Facebook released an infographic sharing data-backed advice on how to create the most creative and successful Story content for your brand.

🙅🏽‍♀️  Twitter Hopes These Changes Will Help Prevent Harassment and Keep Users Safe.

Reflecting on the surge of fake news, Twitter feuds, and harassment, Twitter founder & CEO, Jack Dorsey is setting out to help make the platform "healthier" for users. How, you ask? In a TED Talk earlier this week, Dorsey said he believes that shifting away from following individuals/brands to following topics, may be one big change that will do the trick -- but that isn't sitting well with users. IMPACT Talent Manager Carolyn Edgecomb dives into the details of Dorsey's vision and how marketers may be affected. 

😒  She Asked, They Didn't Answer. Here's How Poor Content Created a Horrible Online Research Experience For One IMPACT Bride-to-Be. 

When you're making a big purchase, the first place you likely turn is Google and we IMPACTers are no different. IMPACT's Director of Client Services, Katie Pritchard, has always theoretically known the pain of not having major purchase questions answered by brands, but it wasn't until she started planning her wedding two months ago that she really experienced it first-hand as a buyer. She shares her experience and the lessons she learned as a marketer. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

  • Learn How to Create a Complete Video Marketing Strategy on May 7! You’ve committed to creating compelling videos that inform your audience and generate sales like crazy. But now what? How do you get your video in front of the right eyes? What platforms will allow you -- and your audience -- to get the most out of your videos? Join Vidyard’s Jesse Ariss and IMPACT’s Zach Basner for an hour on May 7, when they show you how to create a complete video marketing strategy and start converting engaged viewers into paying customers!

🎉 Weekend Nonsense

Ever since I saw this video shared by both beloved entertainer, Will Smith, and his wife (and INBOUND 2019 speaker), Jada Pinkett Smith, I have been OBSESSED with it.

In moments of stress, it brings me joy and I'd be shocked and appalled if it didn't do the same for you. I give you what I've dubbed, Salsa Baby:

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 1.35.19 PM

April 18, 2019

Content as an Opportunity, Video Interview Tips, & The Psychology of Green in Design ...This Is THE LATEST!

OK, guys, I'm just going to rip the proverbial bandaid off -- this is goodbye for a little while. In fact, the next time you hear from me...

may

That's right, your girl Liz is taking some time off. But not just for the sake of taking a vacation. I'm moving on Saturday! 

IMG-4593

Of course, that means I'm living in a glorified box fort until then, where I can't find anything I own.

IMG-4594

...and since I've packed up most of Pumpkin's (AKA "murder face's") sleeping spots -- or covered them in boxes -- she's now taken up a permanent residence in my bed.

Normally, this would be fine. But her absolute favorite thing to do is wake me up at 4 a.m. by swatting me in the face... for seemingly no reason. Seriously, she'll just boop me until I wake up. And then, when she's satisfied that I'm aware of her divine presence, she'll immediately turn around and go back to sleep. 

Anyway, parting is such sweet sorrow, etc., etc.

But if you need a "fix of the Liz sauce" while I'm gone, check out this week's episode of MarketHer. Angela and Kate had me on as a guest for a candid conversation about what it really means to embrace content fully -- for yourself and as an organization -- and how to help others understand what kind of opportunity creating content can really be.

✍️ How Do You Stop Thinking About Creating Content as a Pain & Start Embracing It as an Opportunity? (Podcast)

This was the question Angela and Kate wanted me to answer when they invited me on as a guest for the 50th episode of IMPACT's MarketHer podcast. As a long-time fan of the podcast, I jumped at the chance to talk with them, but I was also nervous because it's not an easy question to answer. Listen to this episode of MarketHer, during which I pour my heart out, give candid advice, and dish some tough love on how to get your team excited about creating content.  

⛔ Want to Nail Your Next Video Interview? Here's What You Should (& Shouldn't) Do... 

Did you know that HR departments and recruiters relying on video interviews has risen by 49% in the past eight years? We're definitely not shocked by the stat since we use video interviewing a lot when we're looking for top performers to join our team -- even when they're local! So, to help you prepare for the next time you need to wow a potential employer on camera, IMPACT VP of Talent Natalie Davis shares the most important dos and don'ts of video interviewing.

💚 Green Is a Powerful Color in Branding & Design, but How Do You Use It?

The color green is deceptive -- it seems calm and inviting, but it also has the ability to evoke powerful emotions within people. What type of emotions? Well, that depends on the shade(s) of green you choose and the context in which your green(s) are presented in your designs and branding. This article from IMPACT Account Executive Christi Wharton will teach you everything you need to know about how and when to use green, and the psychology of influence behind one of the world's most popular colors.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

  • Learn How to Create a Complete Video Marketing Strategy on May 7! You’ve committed to creating compelling videos that inform your audience and generate sales like crazy. But now what? How do you get your video in front of the right eyes? What platforms will allow you -- and your audience -- to get the most out of your videos? Join Vidyard’s Jesse Ariss and IMPACT’s Zach Basner for an hour on May 7, when they show you how to create a complete video marketing strategy and start converting engaged viewers into paying customers!

🌎 IMPACTers On The Move

  • Catch Marcus Sheridan at Brightcove's PLAY 2019 in One Month! At this three-day conference (May 14-16 in Boston, MA), you will immerse yourself in what’s new, what’s next, and what matters in online video and have the chance to catch IMPACT partner, keynote speaker, and author, Marcus Sheridan live. Register for PLAY now.

    Learn more about having someone from IMPACT speak at your event.

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Recently, we rolled out our series of Inbound Success Playbooks:

playbooks

They're all insanely valuable, but there's one playbook that I think deserves a little special attention -- Bring Video into Your Digital Sales & Marketing Program. We all know creating video is important, but this playbook gives you the exact step-by-step processes and tactics you need to follow and embrace to see success with video.

It covers everything from how to hire a videographer and getting your people comfortable on camera, to choosing your video hosting solution and bringing one-on-one video into your sales process. 

OK, y'all! I'll talk to you next month! 

April 16, 2019

Game of Thrones Newsjacks, DigitalMarketer's Success with Freemium, & Lessons from CONEX Chicago...This Is THE LATEST!

Last Monday, I was sitting on the shore of a blue-watered Colombian beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea...

colombian-beachThose are my feet with a terrible strappy sandal tan.

Yet, today, I couldn't be more excited to be back home. 

Why you ask?

Well, for one, I actually feel recharged. Fall of last year into 2019 was a very trying time for me both professionally and personally, and as I'm sure many of you have felt in the past, I was burnt out. I had edited a few too many articles and written a few too many emails. 

But, last week, thanks greatly to my amazing team, I was able to unplug with no cell service and limited WiFi and actually hold myself to not checking my email or Slack (though admittedly I did sneak onto the homepage every once in a while...). It was glorious and I'm so grateful. 

But that's not the only reason I'm happy to be back.

I'm excited to be home -- because Game of Thrones came back with me.

Yes, as I write this, I'm wearing a Khaleesi T-shirt and have a pack of special edition Oreos by my side:

khaleesi-cookiesDidn't believe me, did you?

And I'm not the only one giving into the final season hype... 

🐉  These X Brands Knew Just How to Capitalize on the Big Game of Thrones Premiere

Even if you're not a fan of the HBO series, it's impossible not to know that Game of Thrones is in its final season. The show is so popular, brands big and small across a wide variety of industries are using it to grab their audiences' attention with unique campaigns and products. 

📈  This Is How DigitalMarketer Rebounded Its Conversion Rates Using Freemium

DigitalMarketer may be one of the biggest names in the industry, but that doesn't mean it's immune to dropping metrics or missed goals. In this episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, Kathleen sits down with the organization's VP of marketing, Justin Rondeau, as he details how a freemium model, form update, and remarketing campaign helped them bounce back from a nearly 86% drop in conversions. 

 

🤐  Here Are 4 Secrets to an Intentional and Glorious Content Experience from CONEX Chicago

Last week, our Director of Audience Engagement & Community, Stephanie Baiocchi, attended CONEX Chicago, one stop on Uberflip's content experience (CONEX) tour of eight cities leading up to the main event in Toronto this August. While she went in hoping to catch up with some friends at other companies and looking forward to a talk or two, she walked away with four big lessons on how to transform the experience of your content as a brand. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

  • Learn How to Create a Complete Video Marketing Strategy on May 7! You’ve committed to creating compelling videos that inform your audience and generate sales like crazy. But now what? How do you get your video in front of the right eyes? What platforms will allow you -- and your audience -- to get the most out of your videos? Join Vidyard’s Jesse Ariss and IMPACT’s Zach Basner for an hour on May 7, when they show you how to create a complete video marketing strategy and start converting engaged viewers into paying customers!

🌎 IMPACTers On The Move

  • Catch Marcus Sheridan at Brightcove's PLAY 2019 in One Month! At this three-day conference (May 14-16 in Boston, MA), you will immerse yourself in what’s new, what’s next, and what matters in online video and have the chance to catch IMPACT partner, keynote speaker, and author, Marcus Sheridan live. Register for PLAY now.

    Want someone from IMPACT to speak at your event? Click here!
April 13, 2019

Slack Communities for Marketers, YouTube Channel Hacks, & Facebook Tackles "Fake News" ...This Is THE LATEST!

Yikes, I'm sorry, guys. 

Between sharing my terrifying plane experience on Tuesday and then getting all philosophical about the importance of embracing change on Thursday, things have gotten a little heavy on my watch with THE LATEST

But that's all changing right now, because the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer has finally been released. And after about seven (and counting) viewings of it, I'm at about an 11 on the one-to-10 hype scale

To be fair, while I'm a through-and-through Star Wars superfan now, my six-year-old self only got into the epic movie saga for one simple and completely superficial reason: Han Solo

han-solo

To which I replied, "Nice to meet you, Han Solo. You're also now my forever-boyfriend, you snarky space dreamboat."

Oh, who am I kidding? He's still my forever-boyfriend. 😍

Anyway, since I'm feeling a bit footloose and fancy-free as we head into this unexpectedly Star Wars-themed weekend, I'm dedicating today's issue of THE LATEST to content that's uplifting, educational, and forward-looking. 

So, buckle-in and "I don't know... fly casual." 

💬 Here Are the 8 Slack Communities Inbound Marketers Need to Check Out

Slack is an online chat platform that has completely transformed how businesses approach workplace communication -- and we know this from experience, because we use Slack here at IMPACT. But in addition to connecting with coworkers in company-designated channels and spaces, inbound marketers can also join other marketing-focused Slack communities to network, get feedback, collaborate, learn, and find inspiration. Here, IMPACT Account Executive Nicole Letendre shares eight of the best Slack communities every inbound marketer needs to check out.

📽️ If You Want to Take Your YouTube Channel to the Next Level, Do These 5 Things

While 68% of YouTube users say they watch videos on the platform to inform a purchasing decisions, it's not enough to just have a YouTube channel as a business. If you're looking to generate real revenue from YouTube -- the internet's second largest search engine -- you need to take specific steps to optimize your channel so it's a robust lead generation and sales tool. In this article, IMPACT Director of Video Training & Strategy Zach Basner lays out the five specific actions you need to take right now to transform your YouTube channel into a profit center

⛔ Facebook Outlines The Steps They're Taking to Fight Misinformation (Finally!)  

Building upon their 2016 three-step plan of "remove, reduce, inform," Facebook released a number of announcements this past week of how they are going to continue to limit the spread of "fake news," hate speech, and other content that violates their community standards. But marketers should take note of what's changing, because there's a lot we can learn from what is happening. Learn what shifts the Facebook team is making to how they address "fake news" and other types of negative content on their platform, and what those changes mean for marketers.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

⚠️ Save Your Seat!

💥 We've Got the FREE TICKET Hookup to Drift's HYPERGROWTH Conference in Boston

You read that right -- from now until April 17, use the code Q2-IMPACT to get your free ticket to Drift's HYPERGROWTH conference in Boston on September 3, which is the day before HubSpot's INBOUND conference starts. We speak from experience when we say this is an amazing and inspiring way to kick-off INBOUND week. Hope to see you there! 

😆 Weekend Nonsense

I spend a lot of time creating content as part of my job, so this... "artistic expression" from The Oatmeal speaks to me on a very deep level:

image (3)OK, that's a little dramatic. But I still laugh every time someone says they wish writing was as easy for them as it (seemingly) is for me. 

Pfft, if they only knew... 

Have a great weekend! Ramona returns next week! 

April 11, 2019

Changes Coming to The IMPACT Show, Deceptive Design Practices Under Fire, & Facebook Ad Examples ...This Is THE LATEST!

I have a bit of honest-to-goodness vacation time coming up.

Not "I have to take the afternoon off for the doctor!" or "I'm going to a conference, so I'll be off for a few days!" time off.  Starting on April 18, I will have 11 days for some long overdue, totally selfish "me time."

Well, OK, I'm moving in that timeframe into a new house, but still -- at least seven of those 11 days will be mine and mine alone to do whatever I see fit. 

And for part of that time, I saw fit to book myself two nights at a Getaway House in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia:

Screen Shot 2019-04-11 at 7.38.51 AM

Along with my dog, Nugget, I will spend two days and two nights by myself disconnected from the world and recharging in a gorgeous tiny cabin in the woods:

cabin-in-the-woods

Twenty-something me is totally laughing at 30-something me right now. 

"A tiny cabin in the woods with no internet? For two whole days?! Are you insane or just the most boring woman on the planet?"

First, I am both. I am strong enough to admit that.

Second, what I needed to recharge 10 years ago is not what I need to recharge today. This year, more than any other year of my life, I've become keenly aware of how I've changed over time.

There are some occasions where that freaks me out -- you'd better calm down up there, gray hairs! -- but, for the most part, I'm embracing what's changed. Change is good. Change is healthy. Change is often a signifier of growth.

It can be hard to say goodbye to the way things once were, but we can't spend all our time looking behind us at the past. At some point, you need to look ahead, embrace what has changed, and see what's possible down the road.

💥 There Are Some Big Changes Coming to Season 3 of The IMPACT Show with Steph & Nick! 

The IMPACT Show is (and always has been) a way for us to connect on a deeper level with our biggest fans, to share an early look into what IMPACT is working on and learning, and to try out new things. Although, it was originally envisioned as a 24-part limited series, and as of today, we've published 73 episodes. In this article, IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement & Community Stephanie Baiocchi shares what we've learned from The IMPACT Show in that time, how it's evolved already, and what you can expect in season three of the show.

🎨 "Dark Pattern" Design Practices Are the Target of New Senate Legislation

In the world of design, there is an unfortunate blurring of the lines between how we influence consumer behavior through design -- button placements, knowing how colors make people feel, and so on -- and straight-up consumer manipulation through "deceptive" online experiences that "impair user autonomy, decision-making, or choice." A new bipartisan piece of Senate legislation seeks to protect consumers from shady website design, and here is what you need to know about it -- including what types of websites are included in the bill and which design practices are being targeted

📊 You Have a Ton of Marketing Data at Your Fingertips... Are You Making the Most of It? [Sponsored By ReachForce]

As marketers, we collect a wide array of data about our customers; from basic demographic information and buying habits, to preferences and products used. But once we have all this information, are we making the most of it? Probably not. You can take the guesswork out of creating more targeted marketing campaigns by more effectively leveraging the data you already have at your fingertips. This guide dives into the holistic state of marketing data as it is today, the challenges we all face, and how you can start using your data to its full potential.

🏆 Here Are 9 World-Class Examples of Facebook Ads That Get Results 

When it comes to putting your money where your digital mouth is, how confident are you that you’re saying the right thing, reaching the right audience, and spending your digital marketing dollars wisely with your Facebook and Instagram ads? We ask, because we've seen a lot of organizations waste thousands of dollars on Facebook ads. To help you make the most of your digital ad spend, Facebook Strategist Ali Parmelee has broken down the Facebook ad best practices you need to know, and nine real-world examples of those best practices in action.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

⚠️ Save Your Seat!

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Video isn't the future. Video is here to shorten your sales cycle, help you build trust faster... and, for some of you, make your lives h-e-double-hockeysticks because you'd rather go through an IRS audit than be forced to sit in front of a camera

Well, I was once that person who dreaded being on-camera. But I decided to make 2018 the year I conquered my fear of being "the talent" for marketing and sales videos -- and here are the five tricks I shared late last year for being comfortable and likable on video... from someone who used to hate video

Later, squares! 

April 9, 2019

Fearless Leadership, Marketing Agency Effectiveness in 2019, & the Latest HubSpot Integrations ...This Is THE LATEST!

I'm back from Denver, and I was looking forward to using my first issue back to share something fun and inspiring. Instead, I want to share an unexpected experience.

After three genuinely transformative days of in-depth coaching on stage presence, branding, storytelling, neuromarketing, and more at Speak with Confidence, I was absolutely exhausted -- physically and mentally -- as I boarded my 6 p.m. flight home to Maryland. 

IMG-4395

About 50 minutes into our flight, we were notified of "moderate turbulence" coming up, so in-flight service was suspended.

I don't scare easily. But this level of sustained turbulence was something I had never experienced. Also, as someone who has been through "moderate" turbulence before, this was anything but. For an hour, the plane pitched and shook violently -- up and down and side to side -- while also occasionally losing altitude. 

And when we thought we were clear of it, we only had 10 minutes before flight attendants were once again asked by the pilot to abandon the service cart in the aisle to buckle in immediately for more excitement as we flew south of Chicago. Then through part of Indiana. And again over Columbus, Ohio.

When we landed, I learned that all flights in the air at that time with that flight path had the same experience, which somehow felt comforting: 

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 7.07.30 PM

I am sharing this with you because I have to thank fellow IMPACTer Chris Duprey (our COO and the author of the first featured article in this issue), who has conversed with me at length about mindfulness, as I have worked to implement my own practice of it over the past 18 months. His recent coaching around being present and trying to maintain awareness of your body when you're feeling out of control helped me tremendously.

(Yes, I still was terrified. But it could have been worse.)

As I sat there, white-knuckling the armrests, I just kept trying to mentally focus on how my feet felt rooted to the floor, how my body felt in the airplane seat, the feeling of the plastic beneath my fingertips, and so on, as I tried to regulate my breathing. Eventually, the shaking stopped.

Having that experience on the heels of my surprising personal journey last week in Denver was an oddly poetic reminder that sometimes we need to accept that we cannot always be in control -- all we can do is show up and be present.  

✍️ What Does It Really Mean to Be a Fearless Leader?

The concept of fearlessness in leadership has become twisted and distorted, to the point where many (incorrectly) believe a fearless leader does not show weakness or moments of doubt. Not only is that way of thinking destructive, it's also wrong. So, in this article, IMPACT COO Chris Duprey thoughtfully reflects on what fearless leadership really looks like, in response to VP of Services Brie Rangel's honest account of her own trials with leadership.  

💸 Is Hiring a Marketing Agency Still Worth Your Marketing Budget Dollars?

A lot has changed in the digital marketing world -- even in just the past few years. However, many organizations and agencies haven't considered how these shifts have altered what the modern agency relationship should look like, and what services you should and shouldn't be outsourcing. IMPACT Director of Sales Melanie Collins explores what's changed and why with digital marketing, and candidly explores whether or not you should consider working with an agency in 2019 and beyond.

🎟️ LATEST EXCLUSIVE: Early Bird Pricing for IMPACT Live Is Over... Except for You -- Our Subscribers! 

We ended early bird pricing for IMPACT Live last week for the general public... but there are perks to being a subscriber of THE LATEST. Using promo code LATEST50, you can still save $50 on your ticket, while everyone else is stuck paying full price. So, check out this year's incredible agenda, convince your boss you need to join us, and then get your ticket to IMPACT Live today

💥 Newsflash: Learn About HubSpot's 6 Latest Tech Integrations

HubSpot is always adding new integrations -- in fact, they currently have more than 200! -- so it makes it easier for users to connect more data points into a single automation platform. But, let's be honest. It can be hard to stay on top of what's new. Thankfully, we've got you covered with an in-depth overview of the six latest HubSpot integrations you can start using today

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

⚠️ Save Your Seat!

  • LAST CALL! Who’s in Annapolis and Needs a HUG? (A HubSpot User Group, that is!) THIS WEDNESDAY, the Annapolis HubSpot User Group will be getting together to learn all about mastering LinkedIn advertising from IMPACT 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.)

📚 A Little Light Reading

"My favorite new social network doesn’t incessantly spam me with notifications. When I post, I’m not bombarded with @mentions from bots and trolls. And after I use it, I don’t worry about ads following me around the web. That’s because my new social network is an email newsletter."

An excerpt from a wonderful ode to the more private modes of online communication from the New York Times. (🎩-tip to IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth for sending this my way.)

So long and farewell

April 6, 2019

An Honest Review of HubSpot Conversations, What HubSpot's Outage Taught Us, & Creating Helpful Content...This Is THE LATEST!

You've most likely heard the phrase "honesty is the best policy." It's simple enough, right? We're taught from a very young age that lying is bad. I used to agree. 

That is, until I saw this sign at Jimmy John's:

[if you see this turn on your images] jimmy johns honesty signImage courtesy of Dale Wilson.

Now, this is the phrase I agree with. 

Honesty may not always be the best policy, depending on your definition of "best." Harsh honesty can hurt feelings. Poorly timed honesty can cause more harm than good. However, there is no denying that honesty is not only morally right, it is indeed highly efficient. Personally, I am a huge fan of respectful, caring honesty. Also, I suck at lying.

Just ask my wife who has teased me many times because I forgot the nice little "white lie" about why we're late to a party (when the real reason is probably because we couldn't find two matching socks). 

Last weekend we watched Amy Schumer's new Netflix special. In it, Amy talks about how her husband was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and how, as part of that, he doesn't lie.

Amy. Schumer Growing QuoteClip from Amy Schumer's special called Growing.

Now, I can lie but I'm truly a terrible liar. It makes me uncomfortable and I have an awful poker face. This means, much like Amy's husband, I can't lie for my wife

The moral of my story? Honesty is the way to go. This week's content is all very honest so, buckle up. Here comes some #realtalk. 

🗣️  An Honest Review of HubSpot Conversations: The Pros & Cons

As I just said, I'm all about the honesty. I recently wrote an honest review of HubSpot Video and now I've tackled reviewing HubSpot Conversations with the same approach. After converting our entire website chatbot and live chat functionality to HubSpot, I had quite a bit to share. Here is an honest review of HubSpot Conversations and what you need to know if you decide to use it

🚨 What HubSpot's Outage Taught Us About Effective Crisis Communication

HubSpot experienced a major, multiday outage that began on March 28. If you were at INBOUND 2018 you may recall HubSpot's cofounder, Dharmesh Shah, sharing how "owning your screw-ups" is a core piece of the HubSpot Customer Code. HubSpot's "own your screw-ups" response to this outage teaches valuable lessons to both SaaS companies and companies that rely on platforms like HubSpot to power their business.

✏️ "Happy to Help": My Process for Creating Memorable & Engaging Content Every Single Time  

Raise your hand if you've ever said or typed the phrase "I'd be happy to help." Did you truly mean it? (I told you there'd be some #realtalk today.) In her recent article, Liz Murphy calls us out on the all too common use of "happy to help" without truly meaning it. More importantly, she's here to help us be better. Here is Liz's process for creating truly helpful, memorable, and engaging content every single time.

💌 BONUS How Meta: 6 Email Marketing Newsletter Lessons Learned from Sending 129 Issues of THE LATEST

I couldn't let this week go by without sharing this article about THE LATEST in THE LATEST because I love when things are meta. From coming face-to-face with the bad reputation email newsletters have to learning you can't make everyone happy, here are six email marketing newsletter lessons learned from sending 129 issues of THE LATEST. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🔥 Hot Off The Presses

While we normally take this time to showcase a new piece of pillar content, I have something else to share with you this week and it 👏 is 👏 awesome. 👏 Introducing: The Inbound Success Playbooks. These babies have been months in the making and feature step-by-step process overviews, expert insights, and loads of real-life examples. Plus, they're completely ungated (yup, no email required). Learn everything you need to know to transform your business with inbound and achieve remarkable marketing and sales results.

💰 Save $50 on IMPACT Live Tickets

Early Bird pricing ended this week but never fear, promo codes are here! Use the code LATEST50 to knock $50 off your ticket price. You can grab your (already very affordable) tickets here and get ready to join us in August for two days of fun times and totally immersive learning.  

🎉  Weekend Nonsense

I stumbled upon this video earlier this week and have randomly laughed in public just thinking about it at least three times now. Ah, budget vs. expectations, am I right? 

[if you see this turn on images] budget vs expectations video

Next week you'll be back to your regularly scheduled Liz and Ramona. For now, it's been fun hangin' with you all. Want to keep the conversation going? I'd love for you to join me in IMPACT Elite!

April 4, 2019

Customer Journey Mistakes, Personalization in 2019, & New Findings About Pay Inequality ...This Is THE LATEST!

I am coming to you live today from beautiful downtown Denver

IMG-4036

I am not angry at this view. Not one bit.

Granted, my journey here required me to get up before 4 a.m. to catch my flight -- ugh -- but it was well worth it.

I will be spending the next four days at Speak with Confidence -- a keynote speaker training retreat -- hosted by Melanie Spring, whom some of you may remember was a guest on Content Lab many moons ago!

The festivities and trainings haven't gotten underway yet, but I have been spending my morning thus far in Denver with some incredible brand strategists and business owners. 

And with all of those brains in one room, I decided to ask them what is one thing marketers do that drives you completely up a wall?

Here are their answers:

“Communicating in the way they like to receive information, and not the way their audience wants to receive their information.”

“Sometimes I’ve seen marketers use insider terms or jokes that -- when taken out of context -- go completely over everyone else’s heads.” 

“When marketers complain about not getting engagement online and on social media, and then I look and they’re just broadcasting stuff about themselves, not actually trying to engage in conversation.”

I hate marketing that nags you. I hate it. Don’t do it. Jerks do that. Don’t nag me, bro.” 

“When marketers have all of their messages and photos automated to broadcast across all their social media channels with the exact same messaging. You need to speak totally different languages on all platforms. I want to tell them, 'You know that makes you look lazy, right? No? Just checking.'” 

IMG-4035

Griffin... had no opinion.

Still need to be saved from yourself? (Be honest.) Here are a few articles -- and tons of resources -- that'll get you back on the right track.

🙄 What Mistakes Are You Making with Your Customer Journeys? 

Want to hear something crazy? Gartner says that we're not too far away from a time where 89% of companies will be competing on customer experience. And another study says that, by 2020, customer experience will surpass price and product as the key differentiator for brands. Woopra's Vlad Bulvakher is here to help you prepare for this by sharing the top three mistakes marketers make in their customer journeys.

👋 Embrace Personalization as a Strategy in 2019, Not a Tactic

Personalization has proven, time and again, to increase brand loyalty, boost engagement, increase conversions, shorten sales cycles, and improve the customer experience. And since we now know that, by 2020, the customer experience bit will be so critical for all of us to nail, now is the time for us to get our act together with personalization. In this article, Survicate's Kasia Kowalska breaks down the exact process for creating a magical personalization strategy for 2019 and beyond.

📊 You Have a Ton of Marketing Data at Your Fingertips... Are You Making the Most of It? [Sponsored By ReachForce]

As marketers, we collect a wide array of data about our customers; from basic demographic information and buying habits, to preferences and products used. But once we have all this information, are we making the most of it? Probably not. You can take the guesswork out of creating more targeted marketing campaigns by more effectively leveraging the data you already have at your fingertips. This guide dives into the holistic state of marketing data as it is today, the challenges we all face, and how you can start using your data to its full potential.

💰 [Research] What You Need to Know from Owl Labs' New Equal Pay Day Report

This past Tuesday (April 2) was Equal Pay Day, a public awareness event created by the National Committee on Pay Equity that “symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.” While strides have been made in recent decades, pay inequality still exists between men and women and there is more work to be done. To learn more, check out these three eye-opening pay inequality findings from Owl Labs' study on the wage gap

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

  • How to Find Blog Topics Your Audience REALLY Cares About (Webinar): There are five key types of 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 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.)

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Finally, I'll keep this last bit short and sweet.

One of the most common questions I get asked is how to measure the success of pillar content. Well, after almost a year of experimentation, I let the cat out of the bag last week on how we track performance of our pillar strategy for IMPACT -- and how I learned our pillar strategy has influenced more than $195,000 in revenue

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 7.18.58 AM

(What can I say? I'm a gal who loves to create content that makes money.)

OK, it's time for me to get my speaker training on. I'll talk to you all next week, when I'm back home in Maryland! 

"Wait, but Ramona said she won't be back until April 15... and if you're also gone, who is going to send out THE LATEST on Saturday?"

Stay tuned -- we've got a very special guest taking over our weekend edition of THE LATEST. 😘

Later, squares! 

April 2, 2019

An April Fools Round-Up, Events in Google Maps, & How LinkedIn Is Making Meeting Scheduling Easier...This Is THE LATEST!

 

This is goodbye.

I am leaving and no this isn't a late April Fools' joke.

Wednesday, I'll be gone... never gracing your inbox again...

Until April 15th.

gotcha-shaq-gif
See what I did there?

No, this isn't a forever goodbye, but I am going on my first vacation since 2017 (Liz and Stephanie will continue THE LATEST in my absence) so I'm feeling playful.

You know who else was feeling playful this week?

🤡  Here's How 8 Brands Made April Fools Out of Their Audiences Yesterday.

I love April Fools' Day, as a marketer. It gives brands an opportunity to get outrageously creative with a campaign and try something they may not normally, all in good fun. This year, many brands pulled out all the stops on their April Fools' Day campaigns. Our Director of Event Marketing, Jen Barrell, rounds up some of our favorites and shares how you can prepare for next year.

🗺️  Google Wants You to Use Maps to Discover New Places to Shop & Play.

Instead of just giving you driving directions, Google Maps wants to help you find more places to work and play. A recent update to the Android app allows locations to list public events and users to discover them directly on their mobile devices. Why should you care and how can your business use this to its advantage? IMPACT Account Executive Arielle Gnann explains.

🦉 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.

📅  These New LinkedIn Messenger Features Will Help You Schedule Meetings More Effectively. 

Making the jump from casual conversation to professional meeting is never easy. Luckily, LinkedIn took notice and is introducing a bunch of new features to its messenger to help you share your availability and even find a place to meet in person. IMPACT Design Supervisor Jessie-Lee Nichols dives into what the new tools look like and why they're invaluable for marketers and sales professionals. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

  • IMPACT Live Early Bird ticket pricing has been extended, but once midnight Wednesday rolls around, the price goes up for good. There’s no code needed to grab your tickets at the reduced rate. Easy, right? If you don’t want to miss out on two days full of actionable takeaways focused on playbooks, pro tips, and activities to bring you real digital sales and marketing results (and if you like to save money!), `get your tickets now.
  • 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.)
April 1, 2019

We're Making a Big Change to THE LATEST Newsletter & We're Excited to Get to Know You All Better ...This is THE LATEST!

Over the past six months, we've been overjoyed by the success of THE LATEST, which now reaches tens of thousands of marketers and business leaders

For you all, that's meant receiving the most important and actionable digital marketing news, insights, and updates three times a week from Ramona and me. And for us, this experience has helped us develop a more personal connection with our community

And we don't use the word "community" lightly. 

At IMPACT, our goal has always been to bring people together, fostering human connections -- both online and offline -- with an obsession of being as helpful as possible and empowering others to be successful. 

We've been able to make significant strides in this area with THE LATEST.

Not a week goes by where Ramona and I don't each receive multiple personal notes and replies from some of you, our subscribers. Your stories, questions, and heartfelt thank yous have shown us we really are building a true community and a movement. 

However, we know we could be doing better. 

We know that the very technology that allows us to share our own triumphs, failures, and deep thoughts every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday also limits us. 

Spam filters, automated promotional email sorting, and the seemingly never-ending waterfall of marketing emails that cascades into our inboxes every hour of every day has buried THE LATEST for some, making it harder for us to build those relationships across our entire community. 

Which is why, after three weeks of discussion and debate, we have decided to make THE LATEST a physical newsletter sent via "snail mail," rather than an email newsletter, effective April 8, 2019. 

Given our heartfelt focus on community, we know this is the right move. 

But to learn more about what this means for you and what options you have as a subscriber of THE LATEST, I encourage you to watch the following video, which addresses in more detail why we are making this change and what next steps you need to take as a subscriber.👇 

THE LATEST Subscription Update

Cheers!