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May 30, 2019

Culture Fit Interview Questions, Content Style Guide No-No's, GDPR One Year Later & a Google Ads AMA ...This Is THE LATEST!

Meet my boss, Kathleen Booth

Kathleen Booth IMPACT Live

The only thing she loves more than the word "prominently" is a snappy blazer.

Kathleen is our VP of marketing at IMPACT, and I've had the pleasure of working with her for five years(She also lives exactly two miles down the road from me, which is convenient when I want to get in some quality puppy time.) 

In that time, she's not only been a colleague, she's also been a friend, a mentor, a challenging "sister," and more. However, I am not here to sing her praises today.

Instead, I have a grievance of which I need to unburden myself. 

Whenever Kathleen and I have morning meetings together, I leave feeling like the laziest person alive. 

By the time she hops onto our first meeting around 9:45 a.m., she's likely already taken her son to school, been to the gym, done an interview for the Inbound Success Podcast (which has never missed an episode), mocked up wireframes for an entire microsite, and potentially squeezed in a doctor's appointment.

Whereas I have likely done the following in the same timeframe:

  • Stared at the ceiling for 25 minutes, choosing to ponder the inevitable heat death of the universe, because getting up and taking a shower sounds like a lot of work.
  • Almost poked myself in the eye with my eyeliner. Twice.

I mention Kathleen’s go-getter morning routine as a preamble to the rest of this issue, in which I will openly brag about the amazing work of my IMPACT colleagues and let you know about upcoming events a few of them will be participating in or headlining.  

My petty grievances notwithstanding, I do genuinely feel "hashtag blessed" to work with such a talented group of people -- Kathleen most definitely included.  My fellow IMPACTers get me out of bed each day, keep my early-morning apocalyptic dread to a minimum, and inspire me to bring my A-game every day. 

On the other hand, showering still sounds hard. 

🔥 NEW: The Definitive Culture Fit Interview Questions List for 2019 Is Now Live! 

Ah, hiring for company culture fit. Some organizations don't believe in it. Others think asking "If you could build a treehouse out of any nontraditional materials, what would you choose, and why?" will bring in the right people. (I was actually asked that in an interview once.) Thankfully, IMPACT VP of Talent Natalie Davis is here with a brand new, stunning, and completely ungated guide for companies who want to know what it takes to hire for culture fit

I mean, just look at this work of art Natalie created for you all:

culture-fit-interview-guidee

See? It's amazing. Now, go learn what questions you need to ask to hire for culture fit, and what questions you should never, ever ask

⛔ INTERVENTION: There Are 4 Things You Shouldn't Put in Your Brand's Content Style Guide

Hi there. It's me, Liz. Your friendly, neighborhood content nerd. I've worked with dozens of companies around the world to help them create content style guides that make their brands sing. A content style guide is one of the most important pieces of brand documentation you will ever create. Unfortunately, it is also the most misunderstood. So, today, I'm clearing the air -- there are exactly three things you should include in your content style guide, and there are four things you shouldn't -- even though I know you want to.

⚠️ It's Been One Week Since You Looked at Me & One Year Since GDPR -- So, How's It Going?

Sorry for that headline. My Gen Y self couldn't pass up an opportunity for a Barenaked Ladies reference. Anyway, it's been one year since the European privacy regulation of GDPR went into effect. So, did it live up to the hype of wreaking havoc in the digital marketing space, or was it the modern equivalent of the Y2K bug? IMPACT Account Executive Jolie Higazi has the scoop on where GDPR stands on its first birthday and where it's going.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

OK, I teased it last week, but now I can finally reveal to you all that we're hosting a Google Ads AMA in IMPACT Elite on June 4 at 11 a.m. ET

The AMA will feature our in-house paid media specialists dream team of Jason Linde and Dan Baum -- and they've got a special message for all of you:

These recent authors of our Learn Google Ads guide are ready to take any and every question you have about Google Ads.

So, to prepare for this virtual event, you need to:

  • First, join IMPACT Elite today and RSVP "Going" to this event
  • Second, reply to this email with any questions you have about Google Ads, so we can put them on the advanced list for discussion. (We'll be taking live questions, too, obviously!)
  • Finally, sit back, relax, and watch the discussion with Jason and Dan live on June 4 at 11 a.m. ET.  

FINALLY, ATTENTION CONNECTICUT! Next month, you'll have two different chances to get your digital sales and marketing learn on with IMPACT... 

⏰ Throwback Thursday

About a month ago, IMPACT Design Supervisor Jessie-Lee Nichols wrote what I consider to be her grand opus -- an article entitled, "Why You Need to Know What Problem You're Solving for Every Single Design Project."

I've also worked with Jessie-Lee for five years, and she has been preaching the gospel of visual problem-solving in websites and design as long as I've known her

All digital marketers and business leaders need to understand why visual problem-solving is so important, and here's why:

jessie-lee-designer-video

Visual problem-solving with your designers is a big deal, and your ability to do this effectively will make or break your next design project. 

🌎 IMPACTERS on the Move

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

🗞️ What I'm Reading

Without preamble or context, here what's inspiring me this week from around the web:

Until next week, y'all!

May 28, 2019

Sending the RightMessage, the Most Popular Video Types on YouTube, & Supercharging Your CRM...This Is THE LATEST!

Alright, friend.

With Memorial Day behind us, it's the unofficial start to summer here in the United States. So, it's hard not to get distracted by thoughts of the beach, ice cream, and barbecues.

Even as I write this, our office is closed and I'm staring out my apartment window at a blanket of sunshine (and nearly perfect 80-degree weather) counting the minutes until I can be where the people are:

the-little-mermaidAfter seeing Aladdin I am on a Disney kick. Bear with me. 

-- but we can't lose focus! 

We need to keep our eyes on the prize, working toward those quarterly and annual marketing goals. Here are some of the latest insights to keep you on track.

👥  This Marketing Tool Will Help Make Personalizing Your Website Easier Than Ever

Wish your audience was larger? That you knew more about them and could better cater your content to them? Thanks to RightMessage that's all easier than ever for marketers. In this month's IMPACT Toolbox, front-end developer, Morgan VanDerLeest, dives into everything RightMessage has to offer and how you can get the most out of it.

🎥  The Numbers Say These Are the 13 Most Popular Types of Video on YouTube [Infographic]

By now, you know you need to be creating video content, but any old video won't do -- especially if you want to see success on YouTube. IMPACT Manager of Demand Generation, Myriah Anderson shares an insightful infographic detailing the top 13 types of video on YouTube and the numbers behind them.

🗄️  Are You Still Manually Updating Your CRM?

Customer data management is essential to sales success, but also extremely time consuming and monotonous. It's 2019 and if you're still manually updating your CRM, there are a number of more effective ways to get the job done. Enter CRM integration. LyntonWeb's Katy Ermak explains. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

If you’ll be in the Connecticut area in June, now’s the chance to save your seat at a HUG.

On Tuesday, June 11, IMPACT’s own Carina Duffy will be sharing with the group what we can learn from HubSpot’s Pick Your Own Adventure Lead Nurturing Strategy.

And later that month, on June 25, the New Haven HUG will be hosting live website throwdowns, where experts will critique attendees’ websites, offering valuable tips and tricks to improve your site right away. Make sure to register (and, if you dare, throw your hat into the ring)!

That's all for now, folks!

 

May 25, 2019

Better Browsing on Firefox, Better Brand Recognition on Google, & Better Community Bonds...This Is THE LATEST!

So, I had a recurring realization this week.  

Whether it's my best friends, my family, or my teammates, I often hear the same thing: "you're too hard on yourself."

And the truth is I know I am. A lot of us are.

As Justine and Marcella discussed in Creator's Block last week, we strive for perfection then beat ourselves up when we don't achieve it.

I'm not sure if this is the result of how we were raised or simply society, but one thing is for sure -- it isn't realistic. Perfection means different things to different people and frankly, it's impossible to achieve.  

The very best we can all do is to strive to be a little bit better every day.

A better friend, a better son or daughter, a better person in general.

I'm not saying this is going to be easy, but it is a goal anyone can reach and will only compound over time.

That being said, here are some insights to help you be a better marketer in the coming week.  

🔥 A Major Update to Firefox Will Change Its User Experience and Marketers Need to Be Prepared

While Google Chrome owns most of the browser market, Mozilla Firefox remains firmly in second place with almost 10% of worldwide users (about 250 million) turning to it according to StatCounter. That number may have potential to grow, however, as Firefox has just announced several updates that will dramatically improve its user experience. Account Executive Jenna Ott shares how the browser is getting harder, better, faster, and stronger and what marketers need to do in response. 

🔍  Google Is Adding Favicons to Its SERP in a Small Redesign But Big Branding Move

If you've visited Google on mobile lately, you've likely noticed the tiny, but mighty update that has added a website's favicon (usually its logo) alongside the page title. While a small change, this could do wonders for a company's brand recognition.

🙋🏽 Are You Leaving Your Brand's Community in the Right Hands?

When our Director of Audience Engagement & Community, Stephanie Baiocchi, first took over managing our social media presences and Facebook group, IMPACT Elite, I can't lie -- I was nervous. For so many years, they were some of my many IMPACT babies and you wouldn't just let anyone take care of your children, right? Stephanie, of course, is wonderful at her job, but finding someone like her isn't easy. In this article, she dives into the qualities of a great community manager and how you should go about hiring one for your organization. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🎉  Weekend Nonsense

If you still haven't seen the Game of Thrones series finale yet, (1) we need to discuss your priorities and (2) WARNING: this Weekend Nonsense may contain spoilers. 

In this hilarious recut of the highly-criticized conclusion of Game Of Thrones, Twitter user Senor Pachanga, merged scenes from the episode with the closing dialogue of the 80's teen classic, The Breakfast Club. The result is pure gold. Check it out:

game-of-thrones-breakfast-club

Note: Shout out to IMPACT's Ali Parmelee and Joel Waggener for sharing this with me!

May 23, 2019

Facebook's New Clear History Feature Could Make Ads Complicated, Creating Your Company Content Mission Statement, & Is the HubSpot CRM Really Free? ...This Is THE LATEST!

So, I have two major announcements to make today.

First, my beloved murder face, Pumpkin, fell asleep sitting up during our biweekly team meeting today -- and IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Baiocchi happened to catch it:

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 10.11.55 AM

Fun fact: Cats snore. 😴

Second, our digital sales and marketing scorecard has been live for a little over a month. In that time, almost 100 different companies have gotten their scorecard results and recommendations.

I'm a data nerd, so I decided to dive a little deeper into the numbers! 

No organization received a perfect score.

Only 5.2% scored between 81 and 99.

Only 10.5% scored between 61 and 80.

Then 33.6% scored between 41 and 60...

...and 33.6% (again) scored between 21 and 40! 

Finally, 16.8% scored between 0 and 20. 

And here's a little fun fact -- HubSpot apparently scored an 86, according to HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan:

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 2.20.51 PM

(Of course, each digital sales and marketing scorecard result comes with a personalized set of recommendations. We don't just say, "You scored two out of 100 possible points. Ouch. Good luck to you!" That would be awful.)

Anyway, it's been interesting (for me, at least) to see what trends are already presenting themselves -- even though we've only had the scorecard live for such a short amount of time.

I think I'm most surprised by how few companies have ranked in the top two scoring tiers. Then again, we've been in the inbound and content marketing game for awhile at IMPACT, and we're still always discovering new opportunities for us to improve, grow, and become better teachers for our audience. 

But isn't that the way it should be?

✍️ If Your People Don't "Get" Why They Need to Create Content, You Need a Content Mission Statement

You know what one of the hardest parts of content marketing is? Getting your people to understand why they should bother setting aside their "more important" tasks to create content (blog articles, videos, etc.) for your company. If that sounds familiar, there's one thing you can do immediately to get buy-in from your team and make content a culture at your company. You need to create a content mission statement, and here is exactly how you do it. (By yours truly. 😘)

💰 "So, When You Say the HubSpot CRM Is Free, Is It Actually Free or...?"

I don't know about you all, but when someone says something is "free," I'm immediately waiting for them to tell me what the catch is. The same holds true for the HubSpot CRM -- it's advertised as a free CRM for sales teams with tons of features, but is there a catch? IMPACT Account Coordinator Lexie Ward spills the beans on whether or not you can get what you need from the HubSpot CRM for free (really)

⚠️ If You Pay for Ads on Facebook, You Need to Know About Its New "Clear History" Feature

It's no secret that Facebook has been in... let's say some "hot water" recently over data privacy issues. To combat that, it's adding a "clear history" option. This new feature is something consumers will love, but it's going to create some challenges -- or "complexifiers" as Jeff Bezos would say -- for businesses that advertise on Facebook. So, here is what all of you Facebook Ads buyers out there need to know about what the "clear history" feature is and how it will impact your future Facebook Ads campaigns.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

ATTENTION CONNECTICUT! In June, you'll have two different chances to get your learn on with IMPACT... 

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Last week, I got to be a fangirl by sitting in as a guest host on IMPACT's MarketHer podcast -- which I just love as a fan. 

the-fluff

As you can see, we had a little bit of fun. 

Aside from getting to live out one of my dreams as a MarketHer host, IMPACT Client Accountability Partner Kate Fodera and I had an incredible discussion about how we all need to think about opportunity differently and embrace the discomfort that comes along with it. 

🗞️ What I'm Reading

Without preamble or context, here what's inspiring me this week from around the web:

That's all, folks! 🐷

P.S. Something is happening in IMPACT Elite on June 4. We'll tell you what it is soon, but if things like... oh, I don't know, Google Ads interest you, you're going to want to become a member now if you aren't already. 

May 21, 2019

Google Image Search Updates, Promoting Your Podcast, & Choosing the Right Conference Attire...This Is THE LATEST!

Real talk: My generation gets a bad rep for taking photos of everything these days.

A pretty pancake? Click.

pretty-pancake

A cool cloud? Click.

cool-cloud

A special edition Oreo that looks like any other Oreo? Double click. 

oreo

(Note: All of these are from my Instagram -- and I'm not ashamed of that.)

But nevertheless, I don't count myself in this group.

Yes, I do take photos of everything, but this is a habit I started long before there was social media and its "likes."

Ever since I was a small child and my mother entrusted me with her camera to capture her cousin at her wedding, I've been in awe of this little box's ability to freeze a moment in time; to save something forever.

Since that day, I've always taken photos of things I love; of things I don't want to forget, big or small.

To me, a picture has truly always been worth a thousand words -- and apparently Google is starting to take this to heart as well. 

📷  3 New Features Are Coming to Google Image Search

When I first started working in inbound marketing, videos, infographics, images, and even PDFs were often treated like second-class content citizens because they could not be as effectively indexed and found in search engines. Well, those days are long gone. In fact, at last week's State of Search session at Google I/O, the search giant introduced three exciting features that are going to make your images even more search-friendly. 

🎧  Secrets to Promoting Your Podcast Like a Pro [Podcast]

You can create the best content in world, but if no one sees it, what's the point? This stands true for every medium, including podcasts. While podcasts are becoming increasingly popular among marketers, if you don't promote it after you hit publish, it isn't likely to get the traction you hope for. In this week's episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, host Kathleen is joined by Jeff Large, the founder of Come Alive Creative, a podcast strategy and production company. Jeff shares how he works with clients before, during, and after recording podcasts to set them up for success when it comes to podcast promotion.

👚  It's Conference Season! How to Decide What to Wear to Your Marketing Event [+Video]

Summer conference season is right around the corner and while it may seem like a minor detail compared to other initiatives, choosing the right attire can be impact your confidence, how you are perceived, and even how your interactions go. In this video, IMPACT Sales Operations Specialist (and style aficionado) Shandia Drummond shares some valuable tips on how to choose the right clothing for your marketing event. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

If you’ll be in the Connecticut area in June, now’s the chance to save your seat at a HUG.

Want to learn from HubSpot’s "Choose Your Own Adventure" lead nurturing strategyOn June 11 in Hartford, our very own HubSpot ninja, Carina Duffy, will spill all of her HubSpot secrets.

Then, on June 25, the New Haven HUG will be hosting totally live website throwdowns. 

If you've never been to a website throwdown, you are in for a treat! Our panel of experts will be critiquing websites from our audience and offering valuable tips and tricks to improve your site right away. Make sure to register -- and, if you dare, throw your site into the ring!

Until next time, 

May 18, 2019

Chatbots & Retail, Google Discover Ads, & Finding Your Core Values...This Is THE LATEST!

The time is here. Winter has come and gone and the series finale of Game Of Thrones is just days away.

Although I am sad to see it end, I am more disappointed to be losing the amazing Monday morning memes that season 8 has brought us. 

These memes have become more engrained in GOT-fan culture than hating notorious series villain Cersei Lannister. 

IMG1583375470718744687

They've united and delighted fans everywhere; similar to how your company's core values can unite your team...

❤️ How to Find Your Company's Core Values

We have them. So does HubSpot, Airbnb, and Sony -- but core values don't just fall out of thin air. Determining your company's core values can be one of the most time-consuming, but important projects you take on. They can shape your culture, guide your hiring, and truly lay the foundation for your future success, but how do you find them? Our VP of Talent, Natalie Davis, shares four steps IMPACT took to find its core values and offers advice on how you can find yours.

🔎 Google Wants Discover Ads to Help Buyers Find The Products They Need Before They Know They Need Them

As inbound marketers, we always preach that you should only market to people when they are ready and searching for solutions, but let's face it, people are odd creatures. Sometimes, we don't know a problem exists until it's too late or know what we need to fix it until it's right in front of us. That's why Google thinks Discover Ads are needed. We dive into this new Google Ad offering and what it could mean for your marketing.

🤖  Juniper Research Believes Chatbots and A.I. Can Help Shake Up Online Retail 

Personally, I love walking into a store, strolling aisles, and getting to touch and feel the products I'm buying, but considering the popularity of online shopping, I may be in the minority. Arguably one of the few leg-ups brick-and-mortar retailers have on online retailers today is customer service, but according to new data from Juniper Research, chatbots and artificial intelligence may just change that in the near future.

 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🎉  Weekend Nonsense

 

Ann Handley once wrote that everything the touches is content and I know I quote this all the time, but every day, I believe it more and more.

Just look at this quirky campaign of skincare brand Olay.

When we think of content, we may think video, a blog article, maybe a social media post, copy on a poster even -- but have you ever thought of a Broadway musical?

A few weeks ago, Olay produced a one-night-only live musical (starring beloved actress and comedian, Ana Gasteyer) in New York City centered around skincare and, while hilarious, it was ultimately one long piece of branded content. If you've got an hour this weekend and you're a theater nut like me, you need to give it a watch:

 

Screen Shot 2019-05-17 at 3.03.34 PM

It just goes to show you that literally anything can be turned into marketing content, people. So, don't hold back!

May 16, 2019

HubSpot CRM Onboarding Mistakes, Mailchimp Is Now a Marketing Automation Platform, & Critical B2B Sales KPIs to Track... This Is THE LATEST!

This week, I have left my humble home office in Annapolis, Maryland, behind to join my fellow IMPACTers in our headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut, for the week...

IMG-5182

Lookin' good, New Haven. Lookin' good.

Anyway, I want to talk about the conversation I had over lunch today with one of our new team members. 

He's one of those guys who has a borderline supernatural talent for asking deceptively simple questions that force people to drop all pretense and be honest about what makes them tick. So, it didn't take long for our casual back-and-forth to turn into a deep conversation about the friction of change in a business.  

More specifically, how so many of us become blind to the fact that we've outgrown our organizational processes, systems, and structures. Even when they begin to create problems, we'd rather lean into "the devil we know" instead of acknowledging the fact that it's time for a change and a break with convention. 

Think about it. How many times have you asked someone why something is the way it is, and they come back with, "Well, that's the way it's always been done"? And how many times did you (or someone else) consider that an absolutely acceptable answer? 

This is a dangerous way of operating, and I needed that reminder today. 

Sometimes you need to break things. Sometimes you need to try something new even if it's uncomfortable. Sometimes you need to be the voice in the room that says:

"This no longer works for us. We can do better." 

📛 Here Are the Most Common Problems Sales Teams Create for Themselves with the HubSpot CRM

The HubSpot CRM has a lot to offer modern sales teams, but even in the most capable and motivated hands, things can go wrong with implementation. It's not that getting started with the HubSpot CRM is hard; the real issue is getting it right. In this article, IMPACT Director of New Business Melanie Collins outlines the five most common HubSpot CRM onboarding mistakes sales teams make and how to avoid them

📫 Email Marketing Darling Mailchimp Is Now a Full Marketing Automation Platform for Small Businesses

For many years, Mailchimp has been very popular with small businesses as an easy-to-use, affordable email marketing platform. But this past week, the company made a big announcement -- it's time to say goodbye to the one-dimensional Mailchimp of yore. Mailchimp is now a robust marketing automation solution for small businesses, and here is what you need to know about it

📊 What KPIs Do Modern B2B Sales Reps Really Need to Track?

B2B sales pros -- especially those of you who are new to the space -- may feel overwhelmed by the level of activity required to maintain sales momentum and fill your pipeline every month. Moreover, your sales manager is likely going to ask you to constantly report on how your deals are progressing throughout the month. But if you want to understand how you're performing (and where you can improve), these are the four sales KPIs you also need to be tracking

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

If you’ll be in the Connecticut area in June, now’s the chance to save your seat at a HUG.

Want to learn from HubSpot’s "Choose Your Own Adventure" lead nurturing strategyOn June 11 in Hartford, our very own HubSpot ninja, Carina Duffy, will give you the scoop and spill all of the HubSpot secrets.

Then, on June 25, the New Haven HUG will be hosting totally live website throwdowns. If you've never been to one of our famous website throwdowns, you are in for a treat! Our panel of experts will be critiquing websites from our audience, offering valuable tips and tricks to improve your site right away. Make sure to register -- and, if you dare, throw your hat into the ring!

⏰ Throwback Thursday

IMPACT Live '19 is quickly approaching, and I'm really excited about all of the new and innovative topics we'll be covering in our agenda. 

However, Marcus Sheridan's talk from IMPACT Live '17 reminds me that while a lot has changed in the world of inbound, there are certain principles of what it takes to be successful with inbound that haven't:

Click the image to watch Marcus' talk! 

🗞️ What I'm Reading

Without preamble or context, here what's inspiring me this week from around the web:

Later, nerds! 

May 14, 2019

Podcasts in Google SERP, The Power of Customer Experience, & Why Leaders Can't Unplug...This Is THE LATEST!

Sunday night in the middle of the angst that was the second-to-last episode of Game of Thrones, my anxiety creeped higher receiving a text that said the power in my apartment was out.

simpons-professor-frink

If you're in the northeast, you know we've been in a bit of a prolonged rainy, cold snap, so, the thought of a dark, heatless apartment was not sitting well with me -- but I told myself not to freak out.

About an hour later, from the safety of my parents' couch, I got a follow-up message that my power was on, but when I checked my Amazon Alexa and Google Wifi apps, they were both offline.

Then I started to freak out.

Sure, the power was back, but did I really want to be stuck alone in my apartment on a rainy Sunday night with no WiFi or TV? 

That was a hard-and-fast "no." 

Here's the thing. I like unplugging. I really do. I love being unreachable and getting away from screens. In fact, I don't even use e-readers because I like to take notes in the margins of book pages and feel the paper between my fingers.

But I choose that life when I want it.  

I'm a Taurus and, frankly, I wasn't about to let Xfinity force me to unplug against my will. Besides, I'm not the only one who has trouble being forced to unplug...

🔌 Fact: Organizational Leaders Can't "Unplug" 

One of the most common struggles modern organizational leaders face across every single industry is an inability to step away from the job. Why? Well, the reasons vary, but often it comes down to a single emotion — fear. Fear that our teams can’t function without us, fear we aren’t needed, etc. IMPACT COO Chris Duprey shares candidly how he too struggled with this and how organizational leaders like him can recognize this fear and learn to set better boundaries between work and themselves.

👫 Here's Why Customer Experience Can Truly Make or Break Your Marketing [Podcast]

In 2019, most marketers claim to know the importance of customer experience, but let's face it -- very few are actually doing anything about it. In this week's episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, IMPACT's VP of Marketing, Kathleen Booth, is joined by Dan Gingiss, an author, podcaster, keynote speaker, and noted customer experience expert who has headed up social media and customer experience for a slew of Fortune 500 companies. In it, Dan shares why customer experience is so important as well as actionable tips on how marketers can develop a customer experience strategy right away.

🎧  What Will Podcasts Look Like In Google Search Results? Here's a Peek.

Speaking of podcasts... If you've been podcasting as a part of your marketing efforts or even for your personal brand, this is huge news. Last week, Google announced that it's making major updates to how podcasts are indexed and get found in its search engine results pages and this week, we're highlighting exactly what that looks like on desktop and mobile. Our Head of Strategic Partnerships & Sponsorships, Vin Gaeta, shares all of the details and what they mean for marketers. 

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

If you’ll be in the Connecticut area in June, now’s the chance to save your seat at a HUG.

On Tuesday, June 11, IMPACT’s own Carina Duffy will be sharing with the group what we can learn from HubSpot’s Pick Your Own Adventure Lead Nurturing Strategy.

And later that month, on June 25, the New Haven HUG will be hosting live website throwdowns, where experts will critique attendees’ websites, offering valuable tips and tricks to improve your site right away. Make sure to register (and, if you dare, throw your hat into the ring)! 

🌎 IMPACTers On The Move

  • This Week! See Marcus Sheridan at Brightcove's PLAY 2019! 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. Will you be there? Register for PLAY now.

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

May 11, 2019

Marketing to Gen Z, Product Ads on YouTube, & Choosing the Right Paid Media Platform...This Is THE LATEST!

Friends, I hate to be a broken record (or age myself further with that reference), but I've been 30 for almost two weeks and man, am I feeling it. 

I'm exhausted, my lower back has been killing me (more than usual), and I can't explain just how excited I was when my plans for tonight got postponed. 

cancelled-plans-corgiReal life photo of me upon hearing this news

I know, I know. These are all cliches that soon even I will be insulted by, but I need some time to climb over this mental hurdle and mourn my informative youth. 

It doesn't help that not once, but twice this week, we were hit with reports on how Gen Z (yes, we're already old news, my fellow millennials) are the next hot market.  

🤳 If You're Not Targeting Gen Z Already, You Will Be Soon Enough -- And You'll Want This Report Handy!

While you may think of Gen Z as just Tik-tok loving, phone-wielding teenagers, its oldest members are entering the workforce and soon will be powerful players in the consumer market. IMPACT's Director of Client Service, Katie Pritchard, dives into the report and shares crucial insights even marketers who aren't targeting Gen Z need to know.

📺  Google Is Quietly Testing Putting Product Ads on YouTube Videos (& It Could Transform Your Shopping Experience)

YouTube is overflowing with product reviews, unboxing videos, and other pieces that have proven extremely useful in buyer journeys. Wouldn't it be great if buyers could take action right after watching a rave review? Well, with the new product ads being quietly tested on YouTube, this just may be a reality sooner than later. Here's what we know so far about this covert ads experiment. 

💰 Which Paid Media Platform Is Right for You?

Paid media is quickly becoming a staple of many modern marketing strategies, but between Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, and so many others, how do you know which will give you the biggest bang for your buck? IMPACT Client Success Manager Marc Amigone breaks down the differences between five of the biggest players in the paid media space and how you know if they're right for your business.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🎉 Weekend Nonsense

Burger King has really been throwing caution to the wind in recent years when it comes to their marketing.

This week, they released not one but TWO outrageous campaigns, including this print campaign in Brazil sharing what they claim are real x-rays of customers who were injured eating the chain's iconic Whoppers. 

The goal? To show that the sandwiches live up to their name and really are that big. Here's just one of the ads being run:

BK-Injuries-small

What will they think of next? Personally, I love the edgy risks Burger King is taking, but they're definitely not for everyone.

Hit reply and let me know what you think of their bold marketing moves. :)

Here's to cancelled plans 😎, 

May 9, 2019

Why Always Relying on Freelancers for Content Doesn't Work, Facebook's New Video Algorithm, & You Need to Talk About Who You're Not Right for ...This Is THE LATEST!

Full disclosure, I'm coming to the keyboard today in a bit of a weird headspace.

A lot in my life has changed in the past year, which has led to a lot of personal growth for me. And it would seem that this year is gearing up to be much of the same -- which, quite frankly, I wasn't expecting. 

Of course, most of this change is positive, transformational, and surprising in the most exciting of ways. But here's the tricky thing about transformative change -- even when it's positive, it's disruptive

As a result, although we intellectually recognize that we need to mentally leap into the void to achieve the growth we seek personally or for our business, we will still freeze in the face of the requisite discomfort that goes hand-in-hand with that growth. 

Nothing drives this point home more effectively than this short (90 seconds) video:

So, for the next few months, I'm going to be a lobster.

Not in the snip-snap, "I'm going to get eaten at a restaurant in Maine" kind of way. Rather, I'm going to willingly lean into the discomfort and fear of the unknown that comes with the growth path I'm on, instead of trying everything in my power to avoid it. 

In short, as we so often preach here at IMPACT, I'm going to "embrace the messy."

⛔ No, You Can't Rely Solely on Freelancers for Your Content Marketing Needs & Here's Why

Fair warning, as a content nerd here at IMPACT and a former content manager who used to manage my own flock of extremely talented freelancers many moons ago, this is a very personal topic to me. Here's the deal, folks -- outsourcing your content creation efforts entirely to freelancers does not work. No one talks about it, though -- so here is my experience-backed, candid rundown of why a 100% freelance-based approach to content creation always fails to deliver the results you're looking for.

🎥 Oh, Look at That -- Facebook Changed Its Video Algorithm Again (Also, Water Is Wet!)

It used to be that there were only two things in life you could count on -- death and taxes. I would like to put forward a motion to add a third to that list: Facebook algorithm changes. While I doubt any of you would consider Facebook's clear favoritism toward video content brand new information, it recently doubled-down on its commitment to video. In this article, IMPACT Head of Strategic Partnerships & Sponsorships Vin Gaeta breaks down everything you need to know about the new Facebook video algorithm, which rolled out on Monday.

⚠️ If You're Not Talking About Who You're Not Right for in Your Content, You Need to Start

One of the fatal flaws virtually all of us digital marketers and business leaders possess is a misguided reflex to never turn anyone off to what we are selling. Logically, we know there is such a thing as a "bad fit" client, but when it comes to saying it out loud, we slip back into that mental head space of everyone being a potential customer. Unfortunately, this just sets up our sales teams for disappointing sales conversations with prospects who aren't worth it. It's going to feel counterintuitive at first, but IMPACT Account Executive Rachel Palmateer does a great job in this article of explaining why you need to talk about who you're not a good fit for and easy tactics for how to do it well

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

  • TODAY! The Website Throwdown is kicking off at 1 p.m. Eastern, featuring our all-star panel of website strategy experts, including guest star Matt Mroczek, VP of Marketing for GetChipBot.com. There will be reviewing 5 hand-picked sites, and providing tactical feedback and recommendations on content, conversion optimization, UX, design, and SEO. Save Your Seat Now!
  • Raise your hand if you're in Chicago and want to learn more about chat bots and how to create killer, revenue-generating paid social media campaigns! If that's you, you're in luck -- on May 29, the Chicago HUG (HubSpot User Group) is going down, during which you'll learn the exact process for building chatbots your site visitors will love and the basics of paid social media strategies. Get yourself registered now before space runs out. (I've been a presenter at the Chicago HUG, so I can attest to the fact that there actually is limited space.)

🌎 IMPACTers On The Move

  • Catch Marcus Sheridan at Brightcove's PLAY 2019 This 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

Guys, I'm still head-over-heels for this Google Ads in 2019 guide IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Jason Linde and Paid Media Coordinator Dan Baum published last week. 

It's spectacular overall, but there's one part in particular that blew my mind:

Google-Ads-Guide

So, long story short, you should check out the Google Ads guide

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make like a banana peel and get the heck out of here... 🍌

...until next week! 

May 7, 2019

Pinterest Traffic Secrets, Logo Trust, & Instagram in Facebook's Creator Dashboard...This Is THE LATEST!

So, something weird happened this weekend -- twice.

First, I was watching Saturday's SNL with Adam Sandler hosting (Fun fact: it was his first time on the show since he was fired as a cast member 24 years ago) and I caught a typo in one of the skits: 

SNL-typoRomano or Ramano?

Now, I've been an avid viewer of SNL my entire life and I've never seen them make an error like that before, so I was understandably surprised. I mean, it might have been part of the gag, but for the sake of my story, let's pretend it wasn't. haha.

Then, this morning I see news break that, in Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, fans spotted a Starbucks cup sitting on a table in one of the scenes: 

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 2.29.33 PMTwitter, of course, has a field day. 

Yikes. Talk about blooper, right?

Honestly, both of these mistakes made me smile.

And no, it wasn't some heartless schadenfreude on my part, but rather, a sense of camaraderie and comfort; comfort in knowing that even the big guys make mistakes. 

SNL and HBO/Game of Thrones are institutions. They arguably have some of the greatest talents working for them and, look, even they slipped up.

The bottomline is no one is perfect. All we can do as human beings is our best and to try to stay ahead of the game. Here's some of what's going on to help this week:

📌 This is How You Can Drive Hundreds of Thousands of Views Through Pinterest [Podcast]

Fact: content posted on Pinterest has a longer shelf-life than any other major social media platformBut how can you ensure your pin is one that stands the test of time? In this week's episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, entrepreneur and social media powerhouse, Alex Nerney, sits down with Kathleen to discuss how he drives 200,000 organic visits from Pinterest each month and also millions of views on his accounts.

🤝 How Trustworthy Is Your Brand's Logo? Here's What The Data Says [Infographic]

Logos communicate more than just your brand name and colors. In fact, they can elicit feelings of love, hate, fear, and, if you play your cards right, even trust. In this article, talented IMPACT Designer Marcella Jalbert shares an infographic that dives into a super interesting report on what logo styles consumers trust the most and why.

📊  Instagram Finally Comes to The Facebook Creator Dashboard

The relationship of Facebook and Instagram is getting more serious. Not only has Instagram moved into Facebook's Creator Dashboard, but they mixed their CD collections (erm -- I mean analytics). Last week, it was announced that Instagram analytics will now be available in Facebook's Creator Dashboard making analysis more efficient and streamlined. IMPACT Account Executive Arielle Gnann shares all of the details and benefits you can expect.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

🌎 IMPACTers On The Move

  • Catch Marcus Sheridan at Brightcove's PLAY 2019 This 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.

Catch ya later!

May 4, 2019

Airbnb's New Video Strategy, Facebook's New Redesign, & Is In-house Content Really Worth It?...This Is THE LATEST!

It's May 4th, or Star Wars Day as it's known in some circles. 

Now, I know this might bother some people, but I'm not that big of a Star Wars fan.

star-wars-small

Yes, I enjoy the films and can appreciate their place in history, but I'm in no way lining up outside the theater in a Princess Leia costume trying to be the first person to see the next one or trolling Tumblr for Reylo memes

It's just not my thing -- but you know what is? Puns. And the fact that May the fourth sounds like "May the Force" just gives me my jollies.

Kind of like this news from Airbnb...

🌴  Airbnb Hopes Unique Video Content Will Help Differentiate & Draw Attention to Services. Here's What They're Doing 

I don't know about you, but I'm a HUGE fan of House Hunters International, not the domestic version, just International. So, when I heard Airbnb was investing in original video content on YouTube and other platforms to highlight some of its most interesting spaces, my ears certainly perked up. This week, we dove deeper into what their strategy looks like, what viewers can expect, and the lesson to marketers. 

🤯  Facebook's Planning On Giving Users More of What They Want With Its Upcoming Redesign

Over the past few years, Facebook has spent a lot of time trying to steal traffic from other social media platforms by adding new (often copycat) features many arguably didn't want. Well, in a breath of fresh air, they're planning a redesign that will actually bring focus to two of the platform's most popular features among users -- Events and Groups.

🤔  The Burning Question: Is In-House Content Creation Really Worth It?

No one knows it better than I do, in-house content creation is no easy feat, but you know what they say -- nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. In this article, IMPACT Client Success Manager Genna Lepore begs the question "is in-house content creation really worth it?" and explores the reasons why and why not.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

🎉 Weekend Nonsense

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one -- at least not according to this new quiz from Adobe that put me and four other IMPACTers in that bucket.

The_Dreamer_Twitter

MyCreativeType is a 15-question quiz/campaign by Adobe Create magazine designed to explore the many different faces of the creative personality.

"Based in psychology research, the test assesses your basic habits and tendencies—how you think, how you act, how you see the world—to help you better understand who you are as a creative," says Adobe.

In between each question, you're also met with seemingly random ASMR videos and imagery that are certain to get a reaction out of you.

Take the quiz, then hit reply to let me know what you got! :) 

See you next week!

May 2, 2019

Personalized Sales & Marketing Recommendations, Your Ultimate Guide to Google Ads, & Twitter Is Testing New Layouts ...This Is THE LATEST!

Greetings and salutations, ladies and gents! I have returned.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I bought a house (complete with a firepit!), stayed in a tiny cabin in the woods without my smartphone or internet access, and began setting up my new home office...

my-new-office

Admittedly, I still have several boxes of my beloved books to unpack, but overall, I am in love with my new working space (and my new desk). Also, this is kind of crazy, but my downstairs bathroom has a bluetooth speaker... in the ceiling.  

Anyway! This week has been all about getting back in the saddle for me -- and I'm sure you know how it goes after vacation, right? You only have time to devote attention to the stuff that actually matters and will make a real difference in what you're working on right in this moment.

So, in this issue, I only included the most actionable and relevant content we've produced in the past week that will have an immediate impact on your digital marketing and sales programs.

🔥 Your Digital Sales & Marketing Scorecard Is Your Personalized Roadmap to Success with Inbound

After years of working with hundreds of companies around the world, we created the Digital Sales and Marketing Scorecard -- a series of 24 questions that assess the six core areas of your business -- to give all companies (like yours) a holistic, personalized roadmap of what you need to do to get the greatest bottom-line results with inbound. 

Here's Marcus Sheridan to tell you more about the scorecard -- what it is, how it works, and what you can expect from it... 

digital-sales-and-marketing-scorecard

Ready to get started? Get your Digital Sales and Marketing Scorecard.

👉 JUST RELEASED: Our Definitive Guide to Google Ads for Digital Marketers (Ungated!)

You know what the Google Ads platform is super good at? Draining your marketing budget. You know what the Google Ads platform is not super good at? Making it clear how to maximize your investment with Google Ads, so you can get the most bang for your buck. That's why IMPACT Paid Media Coordinator Dan Baum and Paid Media Specialist Jason Linde -- our very own Google Ads dream team -- created this comprehensive 11,000-word guide to Google Ads, which includes tons of tactical insights and expert recommendations.

🚧 Twitter Is Experimenting with New Desktop Layouts Ahead of 2020 Redesign

There's a good chance that a few of you have been included in Twitter's low-key testing of new desktop homepage layout designs for its conversation-based social platform. What's interesting, however, is that the Twitter team appears to be testing multiple versions of different layouts, not just one. Get a sneak preview of the different Twitter layouts being tested in advance of their scheduled layout change slated for January of next year.

👀 ... When You're All Ears (& Eyes) 

🚨 Save Your Seat

⏰ Throwback Thursday

It's a fact -- when video is used at different stages in the sales process, it shortens the sales cycle. But how do you actually implement video in a way that isn't a time-suck for your sales teams, so you can reap the rewards of closing more deals faster?

Last year, IMPACT Client Success Specialist Myriah Anderson created the ultimate guide to video for sales teams, and it covers everything...

video-for-sales

This obscenely bookmark-worthy resource includes loads of visuals, examples, tactics, sample sales processes, and guidance -- to the point where you can immediately start using video in your sales process

So, what are you waiting for? Learn how to get your sales team using video right now.

Later, squares!