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July 30, 2019

How to 6X Your Sales Pipeline, Content Creation for Website Redesign Projects, & the Funniest #SlackDown Tweets ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!
โฐWe're one week away from IMPACT Live! Use code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your ticket price.

On the one hand, I know I should be putting forward an image of myself that is polished, on top of things, and in no way frazzled in an email newsletter that is sent to literally tens of thousands of growth-focused digital marketers and business leaders.

On the other hand... I can't lie to you. We're too close for that.

I've been more productive than ever in the past two weeks, and I'm feeling exceptionally accomplished. However, I'm far from polished and on top of things. In fact, I'm a total hot mess express right now. (I'm not at a "random salad dressing bottles of my desk" level of chaos, though. So, I guess that's one for the win column.) 

Which is why I tweeted this on Friday:

Screen Shot 2019-07-29 at 2.41.04 PM

Sounds weird, I know. But don't knock it until you've tried it.

Anyway, I ended up working through a good portion of this weekend, but I did make it a point to relax and unplug periodically for some "me time." So, when I got to Monday morning, I was feeling focused, refreshed, and totally ready to take on the world.

Little did I know, I was lying to myself.

In reality, I was mere hours away from throwing a tiny temper tantrum.

First, Slack went down. Then I couldn't edit any of the Google documents I was working on โ€” I kept getting an "unable to load" error. For hours. And finally, the completely inconsequential straw that broke the camel's back, HubSpot wouldn't load the performance metrics for a blog article we had published. 

Since I'm a totally rational adult, I immediately turned to Pumpkin (my cat) and yelled, "Did you do this? Why did you do this? Why are you trying to ruin my life?!"

After a few minutes, I remembered that cats don't control the internet. (Or do they?) And eventually, I recovered and moved on.

I know this story is not special. I know every single one of you has had your own version of a "I'm a fully-grown adult blaming my cat for work technology mishaps!" moment at some point. I just wish there was a fortune cookie-ready lesson I could share with you that wraps up this story with a nice big bow.

Sadly, there isn't. Bad days happen. You just have to suck it up, remind yourself of the big goal you're working toward and make it to tomorrow.

Now, here's a pug in a tiny hat and overalls to make up for my lack of wisdom.

๐Ÿ’ฅ How Do Companies Use Buyer Intent Data to Increase Sales Appointments by 6X?

I was today-years-old when I learned about how powerful buyer intent data can be. But it's a dense topic. Who is buyer intent data right for? Where does it come from? What kind of data can you expect to find? How are other companies using it? How much does it really cost? Good news! LeadSift founder Tukan Das answers all of these questions in this not-to-be-missed interview. Listen to (or read) this episode of the Inbound Success Podcast to learn everything you need to know about buyer intent data and how it can exponentially increase the size of your sales pipeline.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โ›” Did You Know the #1 Website Redesign Project Timeline Killer Is Content Creation?

If you've ever redesigned your company's website or you're planning to in future, this is a must-read interview. IMPACT Website Strategist Stacy Willis has seen it all when it comes to website redesigns โ€” and time and again, she's seen too many teams make the same mistake when planning out their project timeline. They vastly underestimate the time and resources required to produce the website content necessary to drive traffic, leads, and sales. In this interview, Stacy takes off the kid gloves and candidly discusses why content creation is such a blindspot in redesign projects, how to set realistic website content deadlines, and much more.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ˜œ Slack Went Down Yesterday & Here Are a Bunch of Really Funny Tweets About It to Make You Smile

If an outage happens on the internet, and no one tweets about it, did it really happen? Of course not. So, since I couldn't smash my computer with a hammer when Slack went down yesterday โ€” because IMPACT owns it, and I like staying employed โ€” I went on Twitter to commiserate with fellow Slack-dependent workers around the world. And here are the 16 funniest #SlackDown tweets that helped me deal with the fact that I was forced to use Gchat for an entire hour.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • IMPACT Live is ONLY ONE WEEK AWAY! So, if you want to learn the step-by-step playbook you need to follow in order to drive significant revenue growth for your company, use the promo code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your IMPACT Live tickettoday. Time is almost up! 
  • Tired of running sales and marketing campaigns with โ€œmehโ€ results? There could be an unseen obstacle in your database thatโ€™s directly impacting your campaign: bad data. Join top data experts from Insycle, Leadspace, and SalesIntel for a webinar on August 1 to understand how bad data is really affecting your business and what you can do to fix it. Register for this webinar now.
  • Have your website critiqued by our panel of website strategy and design experts at our next Website Throwdown on August 8 at 1 p.m. ET. This is a very special episode, as hosts Stacy Willis and Jessie-Lee Nichols will be coming to you live from IMPACT Live 2019 โ€” along with the entire IMPACT website team! So, now is the time to submit your site for next month's throwdown. You have until TOMORROW to submit your website for consideration!

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading Right Now

Finally, without preamble or context, here is what I'm reading this week:

Ta-ta for now!

July 27, 2019

13 Professional Networking Event Tips, Facebook Fined $5B by FTC, & Artificial Intelligence Trends You Need to Know ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!
๐ŸšจWith only nine days to go, the countdown is on for IMPACT Live!Few tickets remain for this two-day, immersive event for growth-focused digital marketers, sales pros, and business leaders. Use code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your ticket price.

Yesterday evening, thanks to 60 Minutes contributor John Dickerson, I came across this utterly perfect telegram written in 1945 by Dorothy Parker โ€” an American treasure of a writer and a biting satirist โ€” to her editors about how she was struggling with an unrelenting case of writer's block:

dorothy-parker-telegram

I love this telegram for two reasons:

  1. Starting now, "I can't look you in the voice" is my go-to excuse for not wanting to talk on the phone. 
  2. "All I have is a pile of paper covered with wrong words" is basically the banner headline for how I've been feeling the past three weeks.

The latter is a self-imposed pain, however. Because, even when you set yourself up for success with all of the right conditions for writing โ€” plenty of time, a clean writing space, the right music, lots of mental preparation, realistic deadlines, and so on โ€” sometimes the "magic" just won't happen.

And absolutely no writer is immune to this scenario, no matter how talented or prolific. Sadly, that's easy to forget when you're facing immovable content creation deadlines but buried under your own "pile of paper with all wrong words."

So, when I saw this tweet from Marcus Sheridan back in March, as he was working on the second edition of They Ask, You Answer... 

Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 2.28.06 PM

...I felt relieved. 

I was reminded that yes, the act of creating something from nothing (particularly with words) is painful. But it's almost impossible to describe how satisfying it feels to complete a content creation project.

The key word there being "almost." Again, Dorothy Parker comes through with the ideal articulation of this feeling:

"I hate writing. I love having written."

So, to those of you out there who are currently struggling to meet your next blogging deadline or to get a content project across the finish line, know you're not alone. (At the very least, you've got me as your comrade in creation misery, since I'm currently neck-deep in my own massive content project.)

And know that, when you finally smash that "publish" button or make the final edit on your draft, you'll also experience the pure elation that always comes in the moment when you can finally say, "I love having written."

๐Ÿ˜ฎ 13 Brutally Honest (& Surprising) Tips for Professional Networking Events Everyone Should Know 

As many of us start to pack our bags and set out of office auto-responses for upcoming conferences, itโ€™s important to take a step back and remember why we're attending these conferences in the first place. Sure, you want to learn about the latest strategies and how to develop in your career. But some of the best moments you'll experience are the one-on-one interactions with other conference attendees. Which is why IMPACT Account Executive Jessica Palmeri wrote this rundown of her top 13 tips for making the most out of those upcoming professional networking events. (I don't know how I didn't think of #6).

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ธ Facebook Mishandled User Data (Not News) & Now the FTC Says It Has to Pay a $5 Billion Fine (HUGE News)

Part of us should have seen it coming โ€” since Facebook seems to make headlines for all the wrong reasons at least once a week. Still, the most recent news is jaw-dropping. The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday it had slapped Facebook with a $5 billion penalty over the companyโ€™s mishandling of user data. The accusations were brought against Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which broke last year. Although the scale of this story is massive, IMPACT Account Executive Kristin Linde explains the critical lesson all business leaders and marketers in the digital era need to take from this story โ€” because ignorance may cost you.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿค– Business Leaders & Digital Marketers, You're on Notice: Artificial Intelligence Is Going to Rock Your World (MAICON 2019 Recap)

Are you aware of how artificial intelligence (AI) can and will radically upend aspects of your marketing and advertising programs? If not, itโ€™s time to start exploring whatโ€™s possible. This was the exact purpose behind the first-ever MAICON event โ€” to help marketing leaders understand what technologies are available, how to get started, and how to scale AI within their organizations now and in the future. Lucky for you, IMPACT Client Success Manager Dia Vavruska is here with a full recap of all the artificial intelligence news and trends you need to know right now from MAICON 2019.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • IMPACT Live is nine days away! So, if you want to learn the step-by-step playbook you need to follow in order to drive significant revenue growth for your company, use the promo code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your IMPACT Live tickettoday. Time is almost up! 
  • Tired of running sales and marketing campaigns with โ€œmehโ€ results? There could be an unseen obstacle in your database thatโ€™s directly impacting your campaign: bad data. Join top data experts from Insycle, Leadspace, and SalesIntel for a webinar on August 1 to understand how bad data is really affecting your business and what you can do to fix it. Register for this webinar now.
  • Have your website critiqued by our panel of website strategy and design experts at our next Website Throwdown on August 8 at 1 p.m. ET. This is a very special episode, as hosts Stacy Willis and Jessie-Lee Nichols will be coming to you live from IMPACT Live 2019 โ€” along with the entire IMPACT website team! So, now is the time to submit your site for next month's throwdown. You have until July 31 to submit your website for consideration!

โค๏ธ Weekly (Work-Related) Twitter Crushes 

Here are my favorites for this week, who are totally worth a follow:

๐Ÿค“ Weekend Nonsense

On the one hand, Ava is making a valid point here about time management:

time-management

On the other hand, though... seriously, how dare you?

Until we meet again! ๐Ÿ‘‹

July 25, 2019

Google's 2019 State of Search, How a Company Generated $3 Million in Revenue from Content Marketing, & Facebook Is Shrinking Mobile News Feed Ad Space ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!
๐ŸšจOnly 11 days until IMPACT Live! You won't want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind, immersive event for growth-focused business leaders and digital marketers. Use code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your ticket price.

I know I was all hot on condolence cards for digital marketers just last week, but things move fast at IMPACT, and I've got a new business idea I want to run by y'all โ€” commonly misunderstood, animal-based clichรฉ t-shirts:

it-bears-repeating

Because I always imagine a long line of repeating bears, whenever someone says "it bears repeating."

the-escape-goat

Because someone once said they were an "escape goat" to me, regarding a project that went awry.

For All Intensive Porpoises

Because I'm pretty sure people say "for all intensive porpoises" instead of "for all intents and purposes" because the idea of focused, smart porpoises is a lot more fun.

With conference season winding up โ€” both IMPACT Live and INBOUND are just around the corner โ€” I'm thinking this could be a fun way to spice up my usually ho-hum professional networking and on-stage speaker wardrobe. 

What do you think?

๐Ÿ”ฅ With So Many New Features, Google Releases Fascinating Insights in New State of Search Statement for 2019

Many years ago, searching for something on Google would yield a basic list of results, completely free of visual bells and whistles. In the past few years, however, digital marketers have been given more SERP (search engine results page) features to take advantage of, so their content could be more easily found online. To shed some light on how companies can take advantage of these features, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn shares the most important information you need to know about how to get the most out of your Google search strategy from the search giant's recent statement.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ฐ Can You Imagine Bringing in $3 Million in a Single Quarter from Content Marketing? That's What Happened with La-Z-Boy Southeast... 

โ€œWeโ€™ve been in business for over 43 years, and over that time thereโ€™s been a lot of changes in marketing. Weโ€™ve been marketing the same way for decades and itโ€™s always worked. And all of a sudden, it wasnโ€™t working anymore.โ€ These are the words of La-Z-Boy Southeast CEO Martha Brown, and a common refrain we hear from a lot of companies across the globe โ€” what used to work no longer works, and now we're not getting the results we need. That all changed when the La-Z-Boy Southeast team adopted a revolutionary digital content marketing strategy that brought in $3 million in a single quarter โ€” this is their story.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŒ€ Facebook Is Going to Reduce the Size of Ad Space in the Mobile News Feed, Which Is Kind of a Big Deal

This change is designed to make Facebookโ€™s mobile experience more simple, make it easier for users to digest each post, and improve consistency of the mobile experience between Facebook and its mobile-first app Instagram. Of course, no matter how positive a change is, change by its very nature is disruptive. So, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn breaks down exactly what all Facebook advertisers need to know and do before this change goes into effect on August 19.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • IMPACT Live is 11 days away! So, if you want to learn the step-by-step playbook you need to follow in order to drive significant revenue growth for your company, use the promo code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your IMPACT Live tickettoday. Time is almost up! 
  • Heads up, Chicago! Our lunchtime HUG is today! Do you struggle to keep your sales and marketing teams aligned? This month's Chicago HUG (HubSpot User Group) meeting is a special lunchtime meetup! Join us on TODAY at 11:30 a.m. CT at Workbox for lunch and lessons about sales enablement. Remember, you don't have to be a HubSpot User to attend, so register now โ€” space is limited.
  • Tired of running sales and marketing campaigns with โ€œmehโ€ results? There could be an unseen obstacle in your database thatโ€™s directly impacting your campaign: bad data. Join top data experts from Insycle, Leadspace, and SalesIntel for a webinar on August 1 to understand how bad data is really affecting your business and what you can do to fix it. Register for this webinar now.
  • Have your website critiqued by our panel of website strategy and design experts at our next Website Throwdown on August 8 at 1 p.m. ET. This is a very special episode, as hosts Stacy Willis and Jessie-Lee Nichols will be coming to you live from IMPACT Live 2019 โ€” along with the entire IMPACT website team! So, now is the time to submit your site for next month's throwdown. You have until July 31 to submit your website for consideration!

โฐ Throwback Thursday

We talk a lot about how important it is to create content that answers the most pressing questions of your potential buyers โ€” and one of the most common types of content we all create for our businesses is blog articles.

But making the decision to write a blog article for your company is a lot easier than actually sitting down and doing it. That's why, earlier this year I released this completely ungated business blogging tips guide:

Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 2.38.23 PM

It includes:

  • 60+ business blog writing prompts and guidance on the most important topics you need to be writing about.
  • The six fool-proof formulas I use to craft incredible business blog introductions, plus examples of each in practice.
  • The exact process I use to write an action-oriented and inspiring blog conclusionevery single time. 
  • Tips for getting over writer's block, blog formatting, and more.

Again, this blogging tips guide is completely ungated, so you don't need to give us your email address to read it. I wrote this guide because I genuinely want to help others be better, more effective content creators.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading Right Now

Finally, without preamble or context, here's what I'm reading:

See you later, alligator! ๐ŸŠ

July 23, 2019

13 Proven Strategies from High-Performing Marketers, When You Don't Have a Content Manager Hired Yet, & How Much It Actually Costs to Be Successful with LinkedIn Ads ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!
๐ŸšจWe are exactly two weeks away from IMPACT Live! You won't want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind, immersive event for growth-focused business leaders and digital marketers. Use code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your ticket price.

It's not summertime in Annapolis, Maryland, if I don't get stuck at the small drawbridge crossing back into the Maritime Republic of Eastport after having lunch downtown at least once a week:

eastport-bridge

From within the air-conditioned confines of my car, the scene as I wait is absolutely beautiful. Big puffy white clouds across a sparkling bright blue sky. Sailboats gliding across shimmering water. The U.S. Naval Academy off in the distance. 

But as soon as I step outside, I remember why I spend the vast majority of May through September looking (and feeling) like a grumpy, frizzy tomato:

IMG-0956

This was the weather on Saturday in Annapolis. It was 96 degrees and felt like 114 degrees. But hey, for once we didn't have 70%+ humidity, so that's something to cheer for, right? 

Look, I know some of you jokers just can't get enough of summer. And as I raise my arms to the heavens on the first day of fall in 62 days โ€” but who's counting? โ€” with tears of joy streaming quietly down my face, you'll tell me I'm crazy for being excited for the colder days ahead.

Which... well, that's fair. (My mother called me "creative" a lot when I was growing up, but with a tone that made me question whether or not that was the word she wanted to use.) 

However, I'm willing to admit just this one time that there are a few redeeming qualities about summer:

Plus, I'll be going camping with friends the weekend after IMPACT Live. And then I'll be spending 72 hours exploring New York City solo before this merciless sweat lodge of a season comes to a conclusion. So, I guess those are good things I should be excited about. 

Don't get too cozy with me saying nice things about summer, though โ€” I'm still resolutely a fall and winter gal. In fact, if you tell anyone I said something nice about summer, I'll deny it. 

I have a snow miser-esque reputation to uphold.โ„๏ธ

โšก Marcus Sheridan Explains Exactly How to Get Started with Content Marketing If You Haven't Hired a Content Manager Yet (Interview)

This is one of the most common questions we get from business leaders and digital sales and marketing teams. They're ready to get started creating revenue-generating content right now, but how do they do that effectively while they're still looking for someone to sit in that content manager seat? In this exclusive interview, IMPACT Editorial Associate John Becker talks to Marcus Sheridan about what companies should do while they're still in the process of hiring their content manager โ€” because sitting around and waiting isn't an option if you want to get results.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽˆ The Inbound Success Podcast Celebrates 100 Episodes by Recapping the 13 Proven Strategies High-Performing Marketers Use to Get Results

On August 28, 2017, IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth published the very first episode of the Inbound Success podcast โ€” and she hasn't missed a single week since. To celebrate this milestone, Kathleen decided to reflect on the almost 100 interviews she's conducted with industry thought leaders, business founders, digital marketers, and others. In this episode โ€” which you can listen to or read โ€” Kathleen shares the 13 themes she noticed in how today's rockstar digital marketing leaders are getting big results for their brands

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ฐ How Much Does It Cost to Actually Be Successful with LinkedIn Ads? And Who Shouldn't Be Advertising on LinkedIn?

โ€œNo matter what size your budget or business, LinkedIn ads can help you achieve your marketing goals.โ€ Or, at least that is what LinkedIn will have you believe. After years of running LinkedIn Ads for clients, IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Jason Linde can confirm that the size of your budget and the nature of your business absolutely do matter. So, he wrote this article, which covers who shouldn't be advertising on LinkedIn, the limitations of advertising on LinkedIn, and how much it really costs to get started.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • TOMORROW at 11:30 a.m., ET: Join the LIVE! Facebook Watch Party for The IMPACT Show! Stephanie and Nick will be talking about how to prepare for and get the most out of IMPACT Live 2019. Learn what the first day will be like, get tips on what to pack, and more! Add the Watch Party to your Facebook calendar.
  • IMPACT Live is EXACTLY TWO WEEKS AWAY! So, if you want to learn the step-by-step playbook you need to follow in order to drive significant revenue growth for your company, use the promo code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your IMPACT Live tickettoday. Time is almost up! 
  • Heads up, Chicago! Do you struggle to keep your sales and marketing teams aligned? This month's Chicago HUG (HubSpot User Group) meeting is a special lunchtime meetup! Join us on Thursday, July 25, at 11:30 a.m. CT at Workbox for lunch and lessons about sales enablement. Remember, you don't have to be a HubSpot User to attend, so register now โ€” space is limited.
  • Tired of running sales and marketing campaigns with โ€œmehโ€ results? There could be an unseen obstacle in your database thatโ€™s directly impacting your campaign: bad data. Join top data experts from Insycle, Leadspace, and SalesIntel for a webinar on August 1 to understand how bad data is really affecting your business and what you can do to fix it. Register for this webinar now.
  • Have your website critiqued by our panel of website strategy and design experts at our next Website Throwdown on August 8 at 1 p.m. ET. This is a very special episode, as hosts Stacy Willis and Jessie-Lee Nichols will be coming to you live from IMPACT Live 2019 โ€” along with the entire IMPACT website team! So, now is the time to submit your site for next month's throwdown. You have until July 31 to submit your website for consideration!

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading Right Now

Finally, without preamble or context, here's what I'm reading:

Later, squares! 

July 20, 2019

The Great Emojis in Marketing Debate, Passive Words Ruin Thought Leadership, & Twitter Unveils Massive Redesign to Users ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!
Get your ticket to IMPACT Live 2019. You won't want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind, immersive event for growth-focused business leaders and digital marketers. Use code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your ticket price.

I should be exclusively focusing on finishing my IMPACT Live talk right now, since my slides are due in three days. (I'm not panicking, you're panicking.) But I'm going to be irresponsible and talk about something completely different instead.

As digital marketers and business leaders, we're no stranger to "heated debates" about different topics in our industry:

"If you don't want to be taken seriously in your marketing, go ahead โ€” use emojis."

"What are you talking about?! Emojis get results. Period."

"Twitter is a useless social media platform and a waste of time."

"WRONG! Twitter is where news happens; brands need to pay attention!"

But if you want to see absolute anarchy, lob a somewhat controversial editorial style topic (e.g., the Oxford Comma) in front of a bunch of agency content managers and editors. It won't be long before those seemingly teamwork-focused marketing pros devolve into territorial, bloodthirsty warriors.

For example, one of the editors from AP Stylebook (from which we derive the vast majority of our own editorial style rules at IMPACT) recently conducted an "Ask Me Anything!" session on Reddit

ap-style-ama-overview

On the whole, most of the questions were fairly innocuous. But you didn't need to scroll far to see some serious "Hatfield vs. McCoy"-level of angst coming through:

ap-style-em-dash

AP Stylebook, the choice of blasphemers?

ap-style-double-spaces-people

Eesh.

Of course, I had to share this glorious gold mine of editorial insight and tribal warfare with my fellow IMPACT content nerds, Stephanie, John, and Jen.

And it wasn't long before they began to turn on each other. 

impact-word-nerds

Am I a monster who just wants to watch the world burn? Maybe. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

In reality, however, I love working at a company that hires ridiculously smart people who come from diverse backgrounds and don't always agree. I think that's the way it should be, though. Some of the best ideas and strategies we've devised were born out of disagreements, and (personally) I like being challenged to back up my beliefs. 

Plus, think about how dull all of our jobs would be if everyone always agreed, no one fought passionately for their ideas, and everything stayed the same. 

๐Ÿฆ„ Are Emojis Juvenile Content Confetti or Game-Changing Engagement Drivers for Brands?

This past week, the internet celebrated World Emoji Day. Most big brands โ€” like T-Mobile and U.S. Soccer WNT โ€” joined in on the fun with emoji-laden social media posts. Others took the opportunity to innovate their product. For example, as of World Emoji Day, you can now use emojis to search for what you want in the Postmates app. Even with all of this fanfare, however, many marketers and business leaders are divided about using emojis. To settle the debate once and for all, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn wrote this article covering the role of emojis in modern-day marketing, and what the data says about emojis as drivers of engagement.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’€ Passive Words Like "Ensure" Are the Kiss of Death If You Want to Create Thought Leadership Content

I do not like the word "ensure." Every time I catch myself typing it in a draft, I cringe. And every time I see it used in a blog article, I want to go out of my way to ensure the author knows how much they have wounded me. Why do I feel so strongly about it? I'm glad you asked. It's indicative of a much larger issue I see in a lot of content marketing โ€” well-meaning thought leaders writing from a place of fear. So, I wrote this candid piece about why words like "ensure" undermine the big ideas in your content, and how to articulate opinions with authority without turning off your audience by being a bossy know-it-all.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿฅ Love It or Hate It, Twitter Massively Overhauled Its Desktop Experience & We Are Big Fans of the New Design

Itโ€™s been seven long years since Twitter's desktop had a facelift. So, for the past year, the Twitter team has been working to understand why people use the social network and how designers can make the platform better for its users. On July 15, they finally started implementing a new (and very different) layout for Twitter users. Is Twitter now easier to use and navigate? Well, early reports are positive. But for those who want the full scoop, IMPACT Talent Manager Carolyn Edgecomb has published a full, in-depth overview of Twitter's redesign, the new features that are now available, and everything else digital marketers need to know.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • We're only a little over TWO WEEKS AWAY from IMPACT Live! So, if you want to learn the step-by-step playbook you need to follow in order to drive significant revenue growth for your company, use the promo code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your IMPACT Live ticket today.
  • Heads up, Chicago! Do you struggle to keep your sales and marketing teams aligned? This month's Chicago HUG (HubSpot User Group) meeting is a special lunchtime meetup! Join us on Thursday, July 25, at 11:30 a.m. CT at Workbox for lunch and lessons about sales enablement. Remember, you don't have to be a HubSpot User to attend, so register now โ€” space is limited.
  • Tired of running sales and marketing campaigns with โ€œmehโ€ results? There could be an unseen obstacle in your database thatโ€™s directly impacting your campaign: bad data. Join top data experts from Insycle, Leadspace, and SalesIntel for a webinar on August 1 to understand how bad data is really affecting your business and what you can do to fix it. Register for this webinar now.
  • Have your website critiqued by our panel of website strategy and design experts at our next Website Throwdown on August 8 at 1 p.m. ET. As always, we'll be joined by a special guest (who we'll announce soon), but if you want to throw your hat in the ring, now is the time to submit your site for next month's throwdown

๐Ÿค“ Weekend Nonsense

IMG-0904

This gem from System32Comics is funny right now, but I was definitely that last panel (smiling and dying on the inside) at 7 a.m. yesterday morning, when I was trying to work on a draft for an article. Sigh.  

OK, time to rejoin the real world and work on my talk for IMPACT Live. Wish me luck and have a great weekend, everybody! 

July 18, 2019

New Video Sales & Marketing Research Released, 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Advertise on LinkedIn, & Being Responsible for Things You Don't Control as a Leader ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!
Get your ticket to IMPACT Live 2019. You won't want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind, immersive event for growth-focused business leaders and digital marketers. Use code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your ticket price.

Currently, there are two different couches in my living room.

IMG-0901

This was not part of the plan. That adorable little green loveseat is supposed to be in a spare room upstairs, not gobbling up half of the living area with its fluffiness. 

You see, even though it has been completely renovated, my house was built in the early 1960s. So, it has a few quirks. For example, the hallways are a bit narrow, as are the doorways. 

Knowing this, measurements were taken โ€” of the hallway, the room the loveseat was going into, and the loveseat itself. Unfortunately, even with all that planning, an assumption that the cushions were squishier than they are in reality (as well as an extra half-inch on the back), the couch wouldn't fit in the room and almost got stuck in the hallway.

Having taken more than a few spins around the sun, I know that things not going according to plan sometimes is just a fact of life.

For instance...

IMG-0902

...this is supposed to be a bed for my dog Nugget. Instead, Pumpkin the cat bullied Nugget out of it two nights ago, and now the dog bed is a cat bed. (And Nugget isn't allowed anywhere near it.)

The same holds true in the digital sales and marketing world โ€” things don't always go according to plan.

Perhaps you expected the copywriting for a particular landing page would only take about 30 minutes to complete, but it took an hour (or more) instead. Or maybe you built a mobile-first strategy based on the knowledge that mobile use overall is way up, but later on you find out that (in reality) your users primarily interact with your site, content, and videos on a desktop computer.

There's no way to guard against any and all eventualities that may negatively impact our work, our strategies, or our campaigns. But aside from continuing to test and being thorough in our planning, one of the best things we can do to minimize "surprises" as much as possible is to devote time to true education.

So often, we only focus on consuming content that is hyper-tactical and provides in-the-moment value. We need to slow down. Yes, still devour all of those "actionable" blogs and videos, but also make the time to review new research, attend meaningful events, and consume reflective advice

That is how we'll not only achieve the goals that are directly in front of us today, but also how we'll better future-proof our strategies for success tomorrow.

๐Ÿ”ฅ [New Research] The Latest Video Sales & Marketing Business Trends You Need to Know from Vidyard's Latest 2019 Report

Did you know that, in the world of business video, consumption primarily occurs on desktop and not via mobile? Also, that 10 a.m. is the most popular time of day for video watching, and that Thursday is the most popular day of the week? These are just a few of the most eye-opening and surprising insights to come out of Vidyard and Demand Metric's latest report on video for business. Watch (or read) the latest episode of Film School for Marketers for a thorough rundown of all of the most important insights you need to know from the 2019 Video in Business Benchmark Report.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ธ Before You Invest Any Money in LinkedIn Advertising, There Are 5 Things You Need to Know First

LinkedIn users browse the network passively with an open mind, looking for insightful content, which makes it ideal for brands looking to establish awareness or thought leadership. So, in contrast to an ad network like Google Ads, LinkedIn is best for education, thought leadership, and driving top-of-the-funnel brand awareness. With that in mind, IMPACT Client Success Manager Marc Amigone has pulled together the five essential tips every company advertising on LinkedIn must know before they start their first campaign.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โš–๏ธ As a Leader, How Can You Effectively Be Responsible for Outcomes & Goals You Do Not Control?

If you're an aspiring leader, know that you'll spend less time doing the work that gets the results as you climb up the organizational ladder. Instead, you'll be managing the people who do. Additionally, you'll be the one held accountable for the outcomes and results your people are (or aren't) able to achieve. This is one of the most difficult challenges you will overcome as a leader. That's why IMPACT COO Chris Duprey wrote this article, in which he shares his own experiences handling this challenge, as well as the strategies he has used to become an effective leader who is responsible for results, but not the work itself.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Heads up, Chicago! Do you struggle to keep your sales and marketing teams aligned? This month's Chicago HUG (HubSpot User Group) meeting is a special lunchtime meetup! Join us on Thursday, July 25, at 11:30 a.m. CT at Workbox for lunch and lessons about sales enablement. Remember, you don't have to be a HubSpot User to attend, so register now โ€” space is limited.
  • Tired of running sales and marketing campaigns with โ€œmehโ€ results? There could be an unseen obstacle in your database thatโ€™s directly impacting your campaign: bad data. Join top data experts from Insycle, Leadspace, and SalesIntel for a webinar on August 1 to understand how bad data is really affecting your business and what you can do to fix it. Register for this webinar now.
  • IMPACT Live in Hartford, CT, is *gasp* only 18 days away โ€” and tickets are starting to run out. So, if you want to learn the step-by-step playbook you need to follow in order to drive significant revenue growth for your company, use the promo code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your IMPACT Live ticket today.
  • Have your website critiqued by our panel of website strategy and design experts at our next Website Throwdown on August 8 at 1 p.m. ET. As always, we'll be joined by a special guest (who we'll announce soon), but if you want to throw your hat in the ring, now is the time to submit your site for next month's throwdown

โฐ Throwback Thursday

This is one of my favorite talks from last year's IMPACT Live, and it won't take you long to understand why:

 Why Great Content Will ALWAYS Matter and How to Get Lasting Result

Gurus love to spout off about the supposed "death of content marketing." Yes, there is a lot of content out there these days โ€” lots. But does that mean it's no longer possible to stand out? Should businesses consider other strategies?

In this frank discussion, Marcus Sheridan gets real about why great content matters more than ever, and what organizations must do to stand out over the course of time. 

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading Right Now

Finally, without preamble or context, here is what I'm reading right now:

Ta-ta for now!

July 16, 2019

How to Create an Amazing Pricing Page, Strategies for Reducing Time to First Purchase by 10X, & Top Twitter Content Marketing Trends for 2019 ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!
Get your ticket to IMPACT Live 2019. You won't want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind, immersive event for growth-focused business leaders and digital marketers. Use code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your ticket price.

After about a week of being a whiny, sniffly, cranky, achy little so-and-so, I finally woke up yesterday feeling like a human being again. A human being who could breathe freely through both nostrils! Without the assistance of a nasal spray! 

But on Monday morning, as I thought back on all of the sweet messages I received from some of you last week โ€” as well as from coworkers โ€” wishing me a speedy recovery, a light bulb went off in my brain for a potentially lucrative business idea.

Condolence and get well soon greeting cards for marketing failures.

Please get WHALE soon! (5)

Because nobody's perfect.

Please get WHALE soon! (3)

We've all made a dumb mistake that we should have caught before someone else did.

Please get WHALE soon! (2)

Or a site test we were sure would increase conversions actually resulted in fewer leads.

Please get WHALE soon! (1)

And, even though we absolutely should take responsibility for what went wrong and account for why it happened, sometimes we just want someone to say, "Buck up, tiger. It happens to the best of us."

I think I'm onto something with this, y'all. 

But I still have a lot of work to do to get this venture off the ground. So, for now, let's dive into some seriously juicy, actionable insights so you can prevent digital sales and marketing snafus before they happen.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Here's How to Write the Perfect Pricing Page for Your Website (No Matter How "Custom" Your Product or Service)

Every business website needs to talk about pricing. "But my pricing is too complex to put on a page, we don't want our competitors to know our pricing model, we'll scare potential clients away, and... well, it's just not done in my industry!" Wrong! Not only do you need to talk about pricing on your website, there is a simple strategy to creating the perfect pricing page for your company's website, no matter your industry or the complexity of your product or service. And in this article, Lead Website Strategist Stacy Willis explains the different types of pricing pages there are (with examples) and the four steps to follow to create an incredible pricing page for your company.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โŒ› Learn How to Reduce Your Time to First Purchase by 10X from an E-commerce Marketing Expert

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, WordPress developer and e-commerce expert Jason Resnick shares the process he uses to help businesses dramatically reduce the time from first touch to first purchase. And while Jason works primarily with e-commerce businesses, the advice he shares is equally applicable to businesses in other verticals. Listen to (or read the transcript of) this interview with Jason Resnick, in which he outlines the exact strategies he uses to reduce the time to first purchase, including content personalization, visitor segmentation, and behavioral analysis.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿฅ [New Study] The Top Twitter Trends in Content Marketing That Everyone Needs to Know for 2019 & Beyond 

Even though Twitter might not be the answer for every business, it's a great tool for those who want to stay up-to-date with the latest in content marketing. For example, even though video is one of the most engaging types of media, only 3% of tweets with visuals include a video. Want to learn more? In this article, IMPACT Project Manager Rachel Palmateer shares this comprehensive infographic based on new research from SEMrush that covers all of the Twitter content marketing trends you need to know.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Heads up, Chicago! Do you struggle to keep your sales and marketing teams aligned? This month's Chicago HUG (HubSpot User Group) meeting is a special lunchtime meetup! Join us on Thursday, July 25, at 11:30 a.m. CT at Workbox for lunch and lessons about sales enablement. Remember, you don't have to be a HubSpot User to attend, so register now โ€” space is limited.
  • IMPACT Live is *gasp* only 21 days away and tickets are starting to run out. So, if you want to learn the step-by-step playbook you need to follow in order to drive significant revenue growth for your company, use the promo code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your IMPACT Live ticket today.
  • Have your website critiqued by our panel of website strategy and design experts at our next Website Throwdown on August 8 at 1 p.m. ET. As always, we'll be joined by a special guest (who we'll announce soon), but if you want to throw your hat in the ring, now is the time to submit your site for next month's throwdown

๐Ÿ˜ฎ Facts & Figures to Blow Your Mind

  • 71% of marketers rate the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing to be better than other marketing sources.
  • According to 85% of surveyed consumers, convenience was the most common reason they would purchase something online instead of in-store.
  • 26% of Generation Z consumers say they use ad blockers, but only on mobile devices.

Ta-ta for now!

July 13, 2019

What HubSpot Can't Do, 40+ Stats That Prove the Power of Video, & New Monetization Tools for Facebook & Instagram Content Creators ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!
Get your ticket to IMPACT Live 2019 โ€” it's only 23 days away! 

After almost three months of allowing my beloved family book collection to rot in boxes, I finally did something about it around 11 p.m. on Thursday night. 

Usually, unpacking is horribly tedious and deeply unsatisfying, to the point where I consider myself emotionally allergic to the task. But as I opened up each box and sorted through every book alone in my basement, I felt warm and surrounded by love.

IMG-0789

I did not create this eclectic library. Instead, it was built over the past 60 years by my mother, who was an avid reader herself, as well as an avid collector of our family's keepsakes.

It includes antique editions of Shakespeare's works, all of Dave Barry's humorous essays, old maps and world atlases, the best novels the 1970s and 1980s had to offer, writing style guides, flower arranging manuals, dog-eared cookbooks, thick volumes on etiquette, massive coffee table books on Picasso and John Singer Sargent, and much, much more. 

But the strangest thing happened as I was putting away a book called Color and Human Response by Faber Birren from 1984... a small card fell out of it and onto the floor:

IMG-0782

I immediately laughed โ€” you couldn't go anywhere in the 1950s and 1960s, apparently, without someone trying to offer you a jello mold of some sort. 

And then I thought back to all of the wonderfully raucous Italian family dinners at my great aunt Persia Dolores' apartment at the Watergate in Washington, D.C., where she lived for almost 50 years. And how, without fail, she always gave me the gift of either a hairbrush, a rosary, or a small vial of holy water whenever I went to visit her as a child.

I know I was a bit preachy earlier this week about how important it is to be able to change and take action, without being too wedded to the past. 

But as I stood there by myself on Thursday night looking down at that card in my hands, I was reminded how important it is to also slow down and reflect on the past โ€” to question where we came from in order to understand where we are now, as well as where we're going to go. 

Like many of you, I often fall into the trap of looking to "smarter" people to tell me what's going on. Or I'll think that a new piece of technology or software (like HubSpot) is the silver bullet that will finally solve all my problems.

"I'm just too busy to do this all on my own," I'll tell myself. That's not how life works, though. You need to do your own research, form your own opinions, and solve your own problems. That's the only way you can really move forward.

โ›” If You Think HubSpot Will Solve All of Your Underlying Marketing & Sales Problems, You're in for a Rude Awakening

Look, HubSpot is pretty spectacular. It's a robust, innovative automation platform for marketing, sales, and service teams, and it has transformed the digital sales and marketing programs of thousands of companies around the world. But it can only do so much. In this interview, IMPACT HubSpot expert Carina Duffy talks about the common mistakes companies make with HubSpot, the problems it can't solve for you, and why she never became an X-Games rollerblader.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽฌ Marketers Who Use Video Generate 50% More Revenue for Their Companies Than Those Who Don't (& Other Crazy Statistics)

We keep hearing how important video is. But given how much of a commitment it requires โ€” time, money, and mindset โ€” it can sometimes feel difficult to justify fully embracing video for digital sales and marketing. Well, I'm here to rip-off the band-aid. Video is here. It's not going anywhere. And, if you make the investment, you will make money for your company. If you need help convincing yourself (or others at your company) of this fact, here are more than 40 mind-blowing stats that prove how profitable video marketing is.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ฐ If You're Trying to Monetize Your Facebook & Instagram Profiles, Facebook Has New Money-Making Tools for You

The Facebook team has finally figured it out โ€” if they want their audience to view their platform as a primary video destination, they need to incentivize big content creators to actually create video for Facebook. So, earlier this week, the social media giant announced it was rolling out new monetization options and features for both Facebook and Instagram. In this article, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn provides a detailed overview of all of the new monetization tools Facebook is offering content creators.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

So, obviously, we're excited about IMPACT Live, but we're super excited to welcome Mari Smith as a keynote speaker, who will be talking about the latest and greatest Facebook marketing strategies. 

And she's got a special message for you:

Are you ready to join us in Hartford this August? Use SPEAKERMARI to get 15% off your IMPACT Live ticket today.

โฐ Weekend Nonsense

I've spent the past six months politely asking (see: not-so-politely badgering and nagging) everyone I know to watch Barry, a dark comedy starring Bill Hader on HBO. So, when I came across "You Have to Watch This Show" โ€” an "oldie but a goodie" from The New Yorker, I felt both personally attacked but also very understood:

Screen Shot 2019-07-12 at 3.04.03 PM

I know I'm not the only one who does this, so read it and let us all admit our shortcomings together...

...but also, go watch Barry.

๐Ÿ“š What I'm Reading This Weekend (Summertime Edition)

For those keeping track, I was able to plow through Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley in less than a week. So, now it's onto the next!

This weekend, I'm cracking open Tension City by Jim Lehrer, which is an insightful retrospective of all of the televised presidential debates โ€” from Kennedy and Nixon to Obama and McCain. 

(Sorry! Growing up in and around Washington, D.C., politics is in my blood.)  

Have a great weekend! โ˜€๏ธ

July 11, 2019

25 Must-Read Inbound Marketing Blogs, Facebook Accidentally Reveals How Their Image AI Works, & Integrating Revenue-Generating Topics into Your Pillar Content Strategy ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!

With IMPACT Live only 25 days away, I have a very personal story I want to share with all of you.

Immediately after I got off the stage as a speaker last year at IMPACT Live, I was elated. Not only do I love teaching and speaking, it felt good to have people come up to me and say how much they enjoyed my talk on pillar content. 

Then, a week later, I was sent my speaker feedback from IMPACT Live attendees:

"Liz is my content pillar crush. Please bring her back next year."

"Loved, loved, loved, loved Liz! One of the best speakers (and also one of the MOST entertaining) at the conference."

"This was by far my favorite presentation. Liz had so much great information and is super funny."

Again, I was ecstatic. And since I knew we had recorded all of the IMPACT Live presentations, I couldn't wait to see the video of my talk. 

When I finally did see my video, however, my heart shattered.

Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 3.09.32 PM

In the blink of an eye, it didn't matter that everyone thought I did an amazing job โ€” I was mortified.

I used to row and did winter track in school. I was in theater and danced. I was active and healthy. And now, this is who I am? How did I let myself get to this point? As I pondered these questions and looked at myself for what felt like the first time in years, I cried quietly at my desk. 

Admittedly, it took me a few weeks to climb out of that emotional hole. But once I did, I made a promise to myself that finally, after years of living in denial, I was going to make some big changes in my life.

And I did.

For the past year, I've stuck to a strict schedule of going to the gym at least three times a week, with very few exceptions. (I even went to the gym on Thanksgiving Day.) Also, as much as it has pained me, I've drastically scaled back my once very-committed relationships with cheese, pasta, and bread. Most of all, I learned to be kinder to myself and love myself.

It hasn't always been easy, and I still have a long way to go. But it has been worth it. I feel better. I am more energetic. I ran three miles for the first time in years recently. Oh, and I look a lot better, too.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Well, if I've learned anything in the past 11 months of this journey, it's that you can't expect to achieve big results โ€” particularly in business โ€” if you're not willing to put in the work. If you want to see a remarkable transformation of any kind, you need to commit to changing "the way things have always been done" and commit the time required to get stuff done.

So, today, this is my challenge to you.

Take a look in the mirror and be honest about what you need to change. Then, get after it. Make the time for the activities that really matter. Invest in what you need to be successful, whether that's a gym membership or a content manager. Stop saying, "This is the way it's always been done," and think critically about what you need to do differently to evolve and grow.

Trust me, it'll be worth it in the long run.

๐Ÿ” We've Updated Our Super Popular Top 25 Inbound Marketing Blogs List & You've Got Some Reading to Do!

As a daily digital sales and marketing publication โ€” with close to 700,000 monthly readers and more than 30,000 subscribers โ€” one of the most common questions the IMPACT publishing team gets is, "What do you all consider to be the best inbound marketing blogs out there?" To be frank, over the past 10 years, we've found that not all inbound marketing blogs are created equal. That's why we've updated our extremely popular list of the 25 best inbound marketing blogs that will actually help you get results and grow in your career in 2019 and beyond.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿค– Here Is What We Learned About How Facebook's Artificial Intelligence Tags Our Photos During Last Week's Outage

Oh, Facebook. Just when we start to get comfortable, you throw another hijinx-laden outage our way to keep us on our toes โ€” and last week was no exception, when millions of Facebook and Instagram users couldn't view or upload images for almost an entire day due to a "routine maintenance operation." But as IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn shares in this article, Facebook's image outage accidentally revealed exactly how its artificial intelligence reads and tags our images, and how much personal data the social giant really is gathering.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ– There Are 5 Content Topics Proven to Drive Sales & Here Is How You Integrate Them into Your Pillar Content Strategy

Pricing, comparisons, reviews, problems, and "best of" lists โ€” these are "The Big 5" blog topics we've been taught that are guaranteed to drive traffic, leads, and sales. But for many digital marketers, reconciling their "old school" business blogging playbooks with the "new school" architecture of topic clusters and pillar content is unfamiliar. So, in this article, I break down the two ridiculously easy steps to integrating "The Big 5" blogging strategy into your pillar content โ€” seriously, it's crazy simple.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

So, obviously, we're excited about IMPACT Live, but we're super excited to welcome Mari Smith as a keynote speaker, who will be talking about the latest and greatest Facebook marketing strategies. 

And she's got a special message for you:

Are you ready to join us in Hartford this August? Use SPEAKERMARI15 to get 15% off your IMPACT Live ticket today.

โฐ Throwback Thursday

This week, I'm only throwing back to... well, last week! (July 5, to be exact.)

While a large number of us were busy recovering from fireworks and Independence Day BBQs, IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth was busy dropping knowledge bombs about how to hire rockstar digital marketing managers

digital-marketing-manager-qualities

Given that Kathleen spent 10+ years as a digital marketing agency owner herself before joining IMPACT, she knows a thing or two about what qualities you need in your next digital marketing hire

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading

Finally, without preamble or context, here is what I'm reading right now:

See you later, alligator!

July 9, 2019

The Exact Times You Should Post on Social Media, How to 10X Your Landing Page Conversions & 3 Timeless Email Marketing Lessons for All Industries ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right Into the Good Stuff!

"Patience is a virtue" is a powerful maxim.

It has been passed down from generation to generation ever since it was believed to have been introduced by William Langland in Piers Plowman, a narrative poem, sometime in the late 12th century.

Seeing as I'm an adult, I try to exercise patience as often as possible.

Today, however, is not one of those days. 

Yesterday, around mid-afternoon, I had an allergy attack that seemed to trigger some sort of sinus implosion. So, I spent most of the afternoon (and evening) miserable and curled up in a ball on the couch believing that, if I just got some rest, I'd feel better in the morning. 

Well, that did not happen. Instead, when I woke up this morning, I felt worse. I was running a low grade fever, I felt hot and cold at the same time, and my teeth hurt. 

In fact, it took me 30 minutes of staring at the ceiling to find the strength to pull my body out of bed, so I could raid the CVS around the corner for handfuls of medication I thought would make me feel better.

fds (1)

(Although I somehow forgot to buy tissues while I was at CVS today. Go me!)

When I got home, I waited another 30 minutes for the cherry-flavored nonsense I choked down to do something โ€” anything โ€” I could consider to be a net positive. Of course, it did nothing, and I still feel like I've been hit by a truck. Now, I need to wait an absurd number of hours before I can take anything else. 

My patience (as well as my dwindling reserve of energy) is starting to wear thin.

I wish I could say I only want to throw this kind of impatient hissy fit when I'm not feeling well. I get this way at work sometimes, too. We all do.

We know crafting digital marketing strategies takes time and that content that generates results doesn't appear out of thin air โ€” it requires a lot of hard work and... (groan) patience

In those frustrating moments, we just want a "quick win," you know?

So, today, that's what I'm going to do for you.

Yes, I still have at least 24 hours before I start to rebound from whatever this life-sucking plague is, and there is nothing I can do about that. But since I want you to have a "quick win" you don't have to wait for, I have cherry-picked the most actionable content we've published in the past few days โ€” the kind of content you can immediately take action on in some way, as soon as you finish reading (or listening to) it. 

You're welcome.


In the spirit of "quick wins," let's cut right to the chase. You need to start seeing results right away, and yet another conference filled with "inspiration-only" content will just be a waste of time. IMPACT Live 2019 is a single-track, fully immersive, no-fluff  event for digital marketers, sales pros, and business leaders across all industries (B2B, B2C, and beyond) who want to learn something new and apply it quickly to see unprecedented results. If you have an obsessive desire to succeed with digital sales and marketing, you should be at IMPACT Live โ€” it's only 27 days away! 

โฐ Here Are the Exact Times You Should Post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & LinkedIn for Maximum Engagement 

How do you decide when you should publish content on social media? I've asked around and, surprisingly, I've found that most digital marketers follow some iteration of a "I'm just going to wing it!" strategy. That's because there is no single set of rules you can follow for all social media platforms, and the rules that do exist always seem to be changing. Well, thanks to a new report from Sprout Social, the days of blindly scheduling your social media posts is over. In this article, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn outlines exactly which days of the week (and times of day) will yield the highest engagement across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

โญ RELATED: The Good, Bad, & Ugly Approaches to Working with a Social Media Intern

๐Ÿ”ฅ Learn How to 10X Your Conversion Rates for Landing Pages & Calls-to-Action in this Episode of The Inbound Success Podcast

Did you know that only 4% of digital marketing teams say they use personalization? That's completely bananas, considering how much a little bit of personalization can impact conversion rates. This is exactly what RightMessage founder Shai Schechter learned first-hand with his company's landing pages and calls-to-action. And in this interview with IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth (which you can read or listen to), Shai shares the simple, straightforward, and easy solution that makes implementing personalization โ€” and getting crazy good results with your conversion rates right now โ€” a total no-brainer.

โญ RELATED: 88 Compelling Words & Phrases to Prompt Website Visitors to Take Action [Infographic]

๐Ÿ˜ฎ I've Written More Than 50 Issues of THE LATEST Newsletter & Here Are the 3 Most Surprising Lessons I've Learned That Can Help You

I never fancied myself someone who would ever enjoy sending out a company newsletter multiple times a week. But that changed when IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth asked me to become a contributor to THE LATEST late last fall. Was I terrified at first? Yes, absolutely. But now I relish the opportunity to pen a personal, hand-curated email newsletter to the tens of thousands of business leaders and digital marketers, three times a week. My time as an author of THE LATEST has been a crash course in email marketing โ€” and here are the three most important lessons I've learned about email newsletters through this experience.

โญ RELATED: Should You Include Images in Your Email Newsletters? 

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

In addition to welcoming HubSpot CEO and co-founder Brian Halligan as an #IMLive19 keynote speaker, we're so excited that best-selling author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR David Meerman Scott will be returning to the IMPACT Live stage this year

And he's got a personal message for you all about what he's going to be talking about at the main event in August โ€” and his special promo code just for you, so you can score 15% off your IMPACT Live 2019 ticket:

Click to watch the video!

OK, now that you've watched that video (and you've got David's unique promo code!), register for IMPACT Live 2019 today. Time is running out!  

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading

Finally, without preamble or context, here is what I'm reading right now:

Ta-ta for now! I'll talk to y'all on Thursday morning! 

July 6, 2019

Email List Hygiene Is a Big Deal, Google Makes Advertising Apps Easier, & YouTube Ads Spend Is Down a Whopping 20% with Retailers ...This Is THE LATEST! 

It's now day three of the July 4th holiday weekend here in the States, and I've got to be honest with you โ€” if the past few days are any indication, I'm not winning any self-control awards in the near future. 

Case in point, July 4th, itself.

On Thursday morning, I bought an honest-to-goodness charcoal grill, and I had plans. Big, patriotic, adult-like plans.

I was going to stand outside in my backyard, while the dogs protected me from evils such as wayward squirrels in trees and birds flying 50 feet above us. I was going to light things on fire with an undeserved sense of pride. I was going to put veggie kebabs on skewers and make the most beautiful grilled salmon the world had ever seen. I was going to use my new grill tools set to flip things over and... you know, other grilling-associated of activities. 

Instead, my grill stayed in the box. 

And I ate a homemade ice cream sundae out of a waffle cone for dinner, while binging the entire third season of Stranger Things

IMG-0596

I am a weak woman. 

Still, I guess there is hope. Did I eat ice cream for dinner? Yes, I did. But I also went to the gym yesterday and today, so that's something. Plus, I bet there are more than a handful of you out there in the audience who have also committed similar summer vacation sins. 

If you're one of them, that's OK.

You can make up for it right now by taking a few minutes to peruse some of the digital sales and marketing goodness below. I've included great features on leveling-up your email marketing game, app advertising through Google, a YouTube advertising slump, and more, so there's something for everyone.

Though these articles won't help you burn off any rocket pops you may have consumed in the past 72 hours, I can guarantee you'll feel like an accomplished professional by the end of this newsletter โ€” well, at least for a little while.


Alert! Alert! IMPACT Live is only 30 days away! Have you gotten your ticket yet? If not, don't worry, there's still time. Use promo code SPEAKERHALLIGAN to get 15% off of your ticket to one of the most immersive digital sales and marketing events of the year! 

๐Ÿ“ซ Proper Email Contact List Hygiene Can Make or Break the Success for your Email Marketing Campaigns

When you think about the variables that determine the success of an email marketing campaign, what comes to mind at first? Compelling subject lines that determine open rates? Or maybe snappy in-text link and call-to-action copywriting to drive click-throughs? Those are both critical, but one of the most commonly overlooked email marketing tasks is maintaining proper email contact list hygiene. In this expert interview, IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Baiocchi explains what email contact list hygiene is and why it makes such a difference in email marketing.

โญ RELATED: Should You Use Images in Your Emails & Newsletters?

๐Ÿ’ฐ If You've Got an App, Google Is Making It Easier for You to Advertise It on Apple Devices

Does your company have an app, or are you thinking about developing one in the future? If so, we've got some big news for you โ€” especially if you use Google Ads as a part of your digital marketing strategy. Google will now begin showing app ads more frequently on iOS devices, offering app owners more opportunities to reach their target audiences via Google Ads. In this article, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn shares what you can expect from this new Google Ads opportunity for app advertising, and what you need to do to prepare for this change.

โญ RELATED: The Ultimate Google Ads Getting Started Guide for Digital Marketers

๐Ÿ† This Year, Retailers Have Spent 20% Less on YouTube Ads โ€” Is YouTube Not Delivering Enough ROI?

Well, this is kind of surprising. Apparently, for the first five months of 2019, retailers have spent 20% less than expected on YouTube Ads. This has more than a few people wondering, "Does YouTube not deliver the advertising ROI it promises?" We shouldn't be so hasty to answer "Yes!" to that question for a number of reasons. IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn returns with a great analysis on why spend for YouTube Ads is down and what this shift means for businesses.

โญ RELATED: Google Is Quietly Testing Product Ads on YouTube

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

The cat's out of the bag! HubSpot CEO and co-founder Brian Halligan is the final keynote speaker to round-out the incredible line-up we have for IMPACT Live 2019 โ€” and now the main event is only a little over a month away! 

The theme behind this year's event is They Ask, You Answer. They Ask, You Answer is a business philosophy that has sparked a movement, with thousands of businesses from around the world transforming how they grow their businesses and generate revenue from their digital strategies.

We invite you to join this movement by attending IMPACT Live 2019. (And don't forget to use the code SPEAKERHALLIGAN to get 15% off of your ticket!)

๐Ÿ˜‚ Weekend Nonsense

I know there are some people out there who don't "get" Reddit. (I'm not judging; I used to be one of those people.)

Now, I'm obsessed. And one of my favorite "subreddits" โ€” topic-specific forums โ€” is called real life doodles, because, whenever I'm stressed out, they make me laugh like a five-year-old. 

What are real life doodles? Well, here's one of my favorites:

real-life-doodle

See what I mean? It's absurd and it brightens your day. Basically, real life doodles are the best kind of nonsense.

๐Ÿ“š What I'm Reading

OK, it's Saturday and it's summertime, so I'm going to switch this section up a bit for the weekend. 

In a recent article I wrote about being the internal editor and project manager for Marcus Sheridan's second edition of They Ask, You Answer, I mentioned that one of the ways I keep myself sharp as a writer and a content creator is by consuming lots and lots of comedy writing. In fact, comedy is one of my greatest inspirations. (You'll have to read the article above to find out why, though,)

Sharing that experience with all of you inspired me to re-read one of my absolute favorite political satires of all-time โ€” Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley.

So, when I'm not eating ice cream like a child while watching TV this weekend, you can find me lounging in the sunshine in the backyard reading that book. 

What's on your bookshelf for the summer?

July 4, 2019

Chatbots vs. Live Chat, Bob's 10,181-Mile Trip Across America, & When Influencer Marketing Goes Too Far ...This Is THE LATEST! 

As Bill Pullman so epically reminded us in the 1996 cinema masterpiece Independence Day, "Today, we celebrate our Independence Day."

But (fingers crossed), given that there will be no alien invasions to spoil our July 4th barbecues and other firework-oriented adventures, we wanted to give you โ€” our dedicated subscribers โ€” a little gift...

mix-tape

That's right. The team here at IMPACT all chipped in and we created a summertime Spotify playlist of all of our warm-weather favorites for you all to enjoy during your holiday weekend shenanigans.

Because when you're declaring your own independence this July 4th โ€” however brief it may be โ€” from early morning alarms, coworkers who always forget not to reply-all, meetings that could have been an email, and a never-ending waterfall of reports, you should have a fantastic soundtrack.

Now, of course, the digital sales and marketing show must go on. 

So, for all the workaholics out there in the audience who want to stay sharp this holiday weekend, I've got a few hand-selected articles you've got to check out.

๐Ÿค– Chatbots vs. Live Chat: Do You Know Which One You Should Be Using on Your Company's Website?

Whether you're talking about bots or live chat options, conversational marketing is a big deal for one very specific reason โ€” our buyers have become less patient about how long it takes for them to get answers to their questions online. The challenge, however, is knowing which are the best conversational marketing tools to use and when. Especially if you're worried about whether or not you even have the staff to support such options. In this expert interview, IMPACT HubSpot Consultant Nick Bennett breaks down the most common misconceptions about bots and live chat, and how to make the right choice for your company website.

โญ RELATED: 6 Examples of Conversational Marketing Done Perfectly Right

๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ Our CEO Traveled 10,181 Miles Across the Country to Capture Clients' Success Stories & Here Is What He Learned

When IMPACT CEO Bob Ruffolo embarked on his cross-country tour to meet with clients to learn more about how they created their own successful digital sales and marketing cultures, he did so with the goal of sharing those stories with the world. While Bob knew it would be an important experience as a business owner himself, he was not prepared for how powerful and transformative the trip turned out to be. Read IMPACT CEO Bob Ruffolo's personal account of his trip and the lessons he says are some of the most important he has ever learned in the past 10 years of running IMPACT.

โญ RELATED: Why We Created the Digital Sales & Marketing Scorecard

๐Ÿ† This Publicity Stunt "Engagement" Has Many Wondering If Influencer Marketing Has Gone Too Far

At first glance, Marissa Casey Fuch's globetrotting scavenger hunt โ€” supposedly orchestrated by her boyfriend, Gabriel โ€” was the stuff made of fairy tales. And her 160,000+ Instagram followers were enraptured as they waited for her to get to the end of that scavenger hunt, where they assumed Gabriel would propose. Swoon! As it turns out, however, the entire scavenger hunt proposal was pitched to advertisers and brands as an exclusive influencer marketing opportunity. IMPACT Account Executive Jenna Ott has the scoop on this wild influencer marketing story, why it's ruffled so many feathers, and what the implications are for marketers who still look to influencers in their strategies

โญ RELATED: Influencers & the Real Effect They Have on Purchases [Infographic]

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

The cat's out of the bag! HubSpot CEO and co-founder Brian Halligan is the final keynote speaker to round-out the incredible line-up we have for IMPACT Live 2019 โ€” and now the main event is only a little over a month away! 

(Eek! Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and needs to get her talk together? This gal.)

The theme behind this year's event is They Ask, You Answer. They Ask, You Answer is a business philosophy that has sparked a movement, with thousands of businesses from around the world transforming how they grow their businesses and generate revenue from their digital strategies.

We invite you to join this movement by attending IMPACT Live 2019, and you can get 15% off your ticket with promo code SPEAKERHALLIGAN. But only for a limited time!

โšก IMPACTers at #INBOUND19

Don't forget! Now is the time to favorite the sessions you want to attend at INBOUND this year โ€” and three IMPACTers will be rocking the stage this September in Boston:

Yes, favoriting is a big deal! The INBOUND team uses that data to determine how much interest a session has, so they can make sure that there will be enough room for everyone who may want to attend.

โฐ Throwback Thursday

It's not often that I get to laugh and learn at the same time. But when I read through IMPACT Design Supervisor Jessie-Lee Nichol's article, 10 Web Design Mistakes You're Making That You Love (& Your Visitors Hate), I was so utterly delighted by her candid and hysterical approach to saving all of us from ourselves. 

Here's what I mean:

Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 4.13.09 PM

Trust me, you'll want to take a few minutes to read through this gem before you head back to the office. I guarantee that you'll not only laugh, you'll also have a few moments of, "Uh oh, we're doing that." 

And that's OK! The first step is admitting you have a problem.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading

And now, without preamble or context, here is what I'm reading right now:

OK, time to crank some jams and fire up the barbecue here at the Murphy residence. And reply to this email if you think there are any songs our Summertime at IMPACT playlist is missing! 

July 2, 2019

Secret #IMLive19 Speaker Revealed, 9 Epic Brand Publishing Examples, Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads Revenue Attribution, & 3 New LinkedIn Company Page Features ...This Is THE LATEST! 

I hate keeping secrets.

Unfortunately, I've been asked to keep an unreasonable number of secrets recently. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying I'm a blabbermouth. That's not the issue. I can keep my lips zipped whenever asked.

But having to keep secrets โ€” especially good ones, which I have been drowning in, as of late โ€” is the absolute worst

For example, I unexpectedly went up to IMPACT headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut, at the end of last week โ€” that's why Stephanie graced your inboxes for last Saturday's edition of THE LATEST

But I am not allowed to tell you why I was up there, and it's killing me!  

Yes, I can show you this one photo from my time there:

IMG-0405

However, I am not allowed to say or show you anything else. All I can say is that, at some vague point in the future, I'll have something exciting to share with you. Until then, I have the distinct pleasure of biting my tongue under duress. 

Sigh.

There is a silver lining to my suffering, though. While I can't tell you what I was doing in Connecticut last week just yet, I do finally get to spill the beans on something really exciting.

Last week, Stephanie mentioned we had a secret keynote speaker lined up for IMPACT Live. Now โ€” drumroll, please! โ€” I am able to share with you who that super-secret keynote speaker is, if you missed our public announcement yesterday:

brian-halligan-keynote-speaker

That's right! HubSpot CEO and Founder Brian Halligan will be speaking at IMPACT Live, and we could not be more excited about it. 

Whew! For once, it feels so good to be sharing exciting news rather than repressing it for months on end. 

๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ IMPORTANT REMINDER ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ
We're only 34 days from IMPACT Live, y'all. With tickets flying out the door, now is the time to take advantage of the SPEAKERHALLIGAN promo code to get 15% off your IMPACT Live ticket today. Living a life full of regrets is no life at all. So, come hang with us in Hartford in August! 

๐Ÿ’ฐ These 9 Brand Publishers Are Pushing the Content Marketing Envelope & There Is a Lot You Can Learn from Them

Companies that blog are a dime a dozen these days, and content marketing has gone from a somewhat new and novel strategy to being table stakes for any business that wants to get found online and generate leads from its digital presence. As a result, brand publishing has gained significant traction as a strategy for companies โ€” like Red Bull โ€” to become true category leaders. In this article, IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth showcases nine world-class brand publishers, what they're doing right, and how brand publishing is working for them.

โญ RELATED: Brand Publishing vs. Content Marketing: What's the Difference?

๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ Should a Facebook Ad or a Google Ad Get Credit for Making a Sale in Your Campaigns?

One of the most frustrating aspects of marketing right now is over-attribution when comparing Facebook reports to Google reports. Meaning, you earned $125,000 in revenue in a campaign across both Facebook Ads and Google Ads, but both platforms are saying they earned you $100,000 in revenue in that campaign. That's $200,000! Obviously, something isn't adding up. Thankfully, IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Ali Parmelee is here to help you understand why Facebook and Google both try to take credit for sales, and how to attribute your sales to the right channel

โญ RELATED: 9 Marvelous Examples of Facebook Ads (& Why They Work)

๐Ÿ† LinkedIn Company Pages Are Getting a Facelift with 3 New Features for Brands

Last November, LinkedIn made waves when it unveiled LinkedIn Pages, the next generation of a company's online presence on the social platform. Since then, the LinkedIn team has been rolling out a stream of new features for businesses to "foster active communities" and have conversations with "employees, customers, and followers." This week, LinkedIn announced new custom call-to-action options, mobile editing options, and community hashtags โ€” and IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn has the scoop on what you need to know about these new features.

โญ RELATED: How Goldie Chan Became 'The Oprah of LinkedIn' Using LinkedIn Video (Exclusive Interview)

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

You already know that IMPACT Live 2019 is only 34 days away, and now you know that Brian Halligan is going to be one of our speakers! 

But with so many announcements recently, it's easy to lose track of everyone who will be there. So, let's take a look at our speaker line-up so far for IMPACT Live:

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 2.32.30 PM

You will be smarter after you listen to all of these amazing folks.

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 2.32.51 PM

Oh, hey. That girl, second from the right in the top row, looks familiar.

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 2.37.40 PM

Oh, yes. Marcus Sheridan will be there. 

Now, here's what you need to do. Check out the #IMLive19 agenda. If you need to, convince your boss that you should be at IMPACT Live. Then, get your ticket at 15% off with the promo code SPEAKERHALLIGAN

โšก IMPACTers at #INBOUND19

Hi, there! Three of our own will be speaking at #INBOUND19 this year. You can't register for sessions yet, but you can favorite them and add them to your calendars now

Also, IMPACT will be back at Club INBOUND this year โ€” including yours truly! So, stay tuned. We've got some fun surprises and announcements about IMPACT at INBOUND coming your way... 

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading

And now, without preamble or context, here is what I'm reading right now:

P.S. Did you know you can advertise with IMPACT? From events and podcasts, to content and video, we have hundreds of thousands of digital marketers, business leaders, and sales pros waiting to hear from you.