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August 31, 2019

Design Automation Tips, New Facebook Ad Policies, Google Testing New Featured Snippet Functionality, & the Cost of a Videographer ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

๐Ÿค” INBOUND19 bound? Everyone who schedules their #INBOUND19 Website Throwdown in advance is entered to win a prize pack, including a $500 Amazon gift card.

I love technology โ€” but sometimes it betrays me.

For example, I want to take you back to Thursday night at 7:50 p.m.

Being the 24-hour go-getter that I am, I was lazily draped across the couch in my pajamas while eating Skittles โ€” only the red ones; all other flavors are for peasants! โ€” and binging my way through the last few episodes of season one of Amazon's The Boys.

Then, unprovoked, my Apple Watch buzzed with the following notification:

shareImage-1567189701

This happens to me a lot. 

Part of me wants to believe that I'm simply so theatrical and enthusiastic in my lounge-forward lifestyle that I don't even need to move for my Apple Watch to pick up on my energy.  

But the other, more logical part of me knows that the mini Skynet box I have strapped to my wrist isn't infallible. Heck, earlier that same day, I ran three miles... but my Apple Watch insisted it was actually three-and-a-half miles, and thus, that is what was logged. 

Basically, my Apple Watch is the computer equivalent of a super sweet and well-meaning friend I had when I was a junior in high school, who said my butt totally didn't look big in an iridescent blue taffeta cupcake nightmare of a dress I ended up wearing to homecoming that year.

(All pictures were burned, so do not ask.)

I don't know why I expect my great Apple, Google, and Facebook overlords to be unerring, when I know they aren't. My Apple Watch constantly lies to me, Google is always changing the rules without telling me, and Facebook has a bad habit of playing fast and loose with data privacy.

Still, I always come back for more. Maybe I'm too trusting?

๐ŸŽจ Yes, Design Can Be Automated & Here Are 5 Ways to Do It in 2020(Sponsored from Design Pickle)

You may have heard it said that design canโ€™t be automated. Itโ€™s art; robots canโ€™t do it! Or can they? Yes, creativity and strategy are still very human skills. However, automation can still help boost creativity and aid modern designers in their day-to-day tasks. Design can be fatiguing for creators and managers. Sometimes we sigh, โ€œCanโ€™t we get a robot to do this for us?โ€ Well, we partially can. In this article, Design Pickle Marketing Director Kate Rooney discusses the five ways automation can streamline design processes and certain tasks โ€” I'm a big fan of #4.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿšจ Heads Up, Advertisers: Facebook Is Rolling Out New Ad Policies Ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election

With 400+ days until the 2020 election, Facebook is taking steps by updating its ad policies for political advertisers and anyone running electoral or social issue ads on Facebook and Instagram. Specifically, the policies (scheduled to go into effect in mid-September) include new disclaimer requirements and updates to the platform's list of social issue topics in the United States. In this comprehensive overview, IMPACT Development Supervisor Melissa Smith explains the new Facebook and Instagram ad policies in detail, as well as what these changes mean for all Facebook advertisers.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โœ‚๏ธ Google Now Testing Featured Snippet Links That Anchor & Highlight Text in a Result 

This week, Google was spotted testing a new feature that not only provides the page with the best answers, but also highlights the section of the page that best answers the userโ€™s query. From a user perspective, this feature is a great way to get the answers youโ€™re looking for as quickly as possible. For marketers, itโ€™s slightly more complex. Thankfully, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn has the scoop on how this new Google featured snippet functionality works (with screenshots) and what it means for digital marketers

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽฌ You're Thinking About Hiring Your Own Videographer for Your Company, But Is It Worth the Cost of a Full Salary?

It's proven that video is a win for both sales and marketing teams. Video builds trust faster than any other medium and has shown, time and again, to shorten the sales cycle. With that said, adding a new employee sounds like a big-budget line item that maybe you havenโ€™t planned for. At the same time, video production invoices can add up quickly. If youโ€™re wondering whether you need to bite the bullet and hire your own videographer, this article from IMPACT Director of Sales and Revenue Melanie Collins answers the big question, "Is hiring a videographer really worth the cost?"

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 7.58.43 AM

Everyone who signs up for their INBOUND Website Throwdown in advance will be entered to win a prize pack, including a $500 Amazon gift card.๐Ÿ’ฐ

๐Ÿ‘‰ Also, the Annapolis HubSpot User Group (HUG) that was originally scheduled for earlier this month has been rescheduled to September 19!Learn how to create scalable and repeatable growth with actionable case studies and powerful examples of what it means to evolve into an authentically customer-centric organization at the next Annapolis HubSpot User Group event.Save your seat for September 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Remember, HUG events are always free to attend, and you don't need to be a HubSpot user to do so!

๐Ÿ˜‚ Weekend Nonsense 

Among the 27,291 photos of my dogs and murder-faced cat on my phone, I found this venn diagram I had downloaded from somewhere on the internet:

03rzbeyv8mh11

To whomever created this beautiful venn diagram, I thank you for bringing order to a seemingly chaotic world. Now, the rest of you โ€” put your hands up. ๐Ÿ™Œ

To those of you who are kickin' it stateside, have a great holiday weekend!

August 29, 2019

Supreme Court May Hear Website Accessibility Case, What You Can't Miss at #INBOUND19, & the 15 Best Marketing Podcasts ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

โš ๏ธ Heading up to #INBOUND19 next week? Everyone who schedules their #INBOUND19 Website Throwdown in advance is entered to win a prize pack, including a $500 Amazon gift card.

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you've lived an entire year in the span of three days? That's how I'm feeling right now. And whenever I get this way, I have a tendency to burst into childish temper tantrums over inconsequential things.

For example, today, I find myself irrationally angry at Ludacris:

ludacris

Did his bops dominate most of my mix CDs in the late 1990s and early 2000s? Absolutely. Did I enthusiastically applaud his inclusion in The Fast and the Furious series, one of the most prolific movie franchises of all time? You betcha.

But none of this changes the fact that โ€” thanks to Ludacris โ€” it took me six whole minutes of staring into space earlier today before I finally admitted to myself that I needed to Google the right spelling of "ludicrous." 

I already feel like a word nerd fraud because I have to say "Connect-icut" and "Wed-NES-day" out loud every single time, in order to spell those two words correctly. Now this? 

I appreciate that you taught me how and when I need to "stand up" and/or "get out of the way," but this is a bridge too far. To make amends, Mr. 'Cris, I humbly suggest your next LP's featured single be a spelling lesson, vis-ร -vis your name and its origins. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration โ€” now, let's get into the latest in digital sales and marketing news...

โš–๏ธ The Supreme Court May Hear Case on Website Accessibility

The topic of website accessibility is back in the spotlight as a result of a 2016 lawsuit from Guillermo Robles against Dominoโ€™s for not having an accessible website for blind or visually impaired visitors. But when a federal court sided with Robles on the case, Dominoโ€™s petitioned the Supreme Court to hear its case. In this article, IMPACT Content Marketing Consultant Jolie Higazi explains the particulars of the Domino's website accessibility case and what business website owners need to know about site accessibility.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ฅ If You're Going to #INBOUND19, Here Are 14 Things You Absolutely Can't Miss

Sadly, IMPACT Head of Editorial Content Ramona Sukhraj will not be "shipping up to Boston" for #INBOUND19 next week. But even with a serious case of FOMO ("fear of missing out"), she's kept her finger on the pulse of everything the jolly orange sprocket giant has planned for this year's annual event. So, in this comprehensive rundown, Ramona shares the 14 talks, events, and opportunities you can't miss at #INBOUND19.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง 15 Essential & Inspiring Marketing Podcasts to Subscribe to for Your Daily Workouts 

As you might suspect, IMPACT VP of Services Brie Rangel is a pretty busy lady. But, even with her hectic schedule, she always makes learning and professional development a priority. One of the best ways she's found to feed her hunger for learning is by listening to digital marketing podcasts as she completes daily tasks โ€” for example, working out. According to Brie, here are the 15 best digital marketing podcasts you definitely need to queue up for your next workout.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 7.58.43 AM

Everyone who signs up for their INBOUND Website Throwdown in advance will be entered to win a prize pack, including a $500 Amazon gift card.๐Ÿ’ฐ

โฐ Throwback Thursday

Late last year โ€” after many, many moons spent writing into the wee hours of the morning โ€” I finally published this pillar:

how to create a content style guide

It was a momentous occasion for me to two reasons. First, this was the topic of my talk from #INBOUND17, my very first big speaking gig. Second, it outlines a process I spent years developing and testing on my own, and then I wrote the pillar entirely by myself. 

In short, it's as close to an "act of love" as you'll ever get from me, in the professional sense. And I hope you enjoy it.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading

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

Later, squares! ๐Ÿ˜˜

August 27, 2019

Google Proposes Tighter Digital Ad Targeting Standards, How to Interview Subject Matter Experts, & The Email Sequence You Need to Land Sales Calls ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

Thanks to my dad, I was indoctrinated into the Star Wars universe at a very early age. If you saw my talk at IMPACT Live '19, this shouldn't be a surprise, since y'all know I've been in an emotionally committed relationship with Han Solo since I was 8 years old:

Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 8.08.31 PM-1

Fig. 1: A Love Story for the Ages.

Here's what's funny, though โ€” even though I agree that The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the original trilogy, as well as one of the greatest movies ever made, I never saw it until it was re-released in theaters in 1997. 

Why? Well, it scared me.

It was a chilly fall afternoon, and my dad was so excited to finally share his favorite movie with me, his only child. We had popcorn. I was wearing my favorite Fraggle Rock pajamas. We were snuggled up in blankets on the couch. 

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." came on the screen, and I gasped with excitement. 

Unfortunately, the bliss was short-lived.

I never made it past this scene with the Wampa, the monster who kidnapped Luke Skywalker on the ice planet of Hoth:

star-wars-wampa-attack

Fig. 2: Nightmare Fuel.

My dad tried to comfort me, but it was no use โ€” I was terrified. And I cried and cried until, finally, he relented and put Return of the Jedi on for the 17,623rd time. 

For many years after that I just... never watched it. Then, it was announced that they would be re-releasing the original trilogy in theaters, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Star Wars and ahead of the release of the highly anticipated prequel trilogy. 

That gave my dad an idea: "I know we were going to watch the original trilogy, but what if you wait on seeing The Empire Strikes Back until it's released in theaters? We can see it together at The Uptown, which is where I saw it the first time it came out."

The Uptown is a historic movie theater located in Washington, D.C., my hometown. The art deco "movie palace" opened its doors in 1936 and has since hosted the world premieres for movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Star Wars: A New Hope(1977), and Jurassic Park (1993). 

Finally, on a crisp February morning in 1997, I saw The Empire Strikes Back there with my dad โ€” and to see such a masterpiece for the first time on the big screen was an unforgettable experience.

"I was so sad when I couldn't get you to watch this when you were younger," he said as we were leaving after our morning showing. "But that was worth the wait." Then he hugged me, and I โ€” being a horrible teenager โ€” told him to stop because he was, like, totally embarrassing me.

Now, every time a new Star Wars movie comes out, I always see it for the first time at The Uptown.

As a self-admitted control freak, I like to think back on this story every now and then. I have a tendency to get... let's just say "mildly cheesed off" when things don't go according to plan. But when I look at the most defining and exciting moments of my career โ€” or my favorite personal memories โ€” a vast majority of them only happened because fate came along and smashed my initial plans with a hammer. 

I guess sometimes you can't do something great until you break something else first.

P.S. Can we all agree how creepy Ewoks are? I don't know why I liked them as a child... with their dead shark-eyed gazes. 

๐Ÿ”Ž In the Name of Data Privacy, Google Is Proposing Tighter Standards for Digital Ad Targeting

In a recent announcement, Google Senior Product Manager of User Trust and Privacy Chetna Bindra discussed the growing battle between personalized Google Ads and the user data that powers them โ€” and Googleโ€™s mission to help remedy it. To get the ball rolling, Bindra unveiled an in-depth proposal by Google that calls for publishers, advertisers, tech companies, and users to come together and reach a solution that works for all parties. To learn more about this big move, check out this article from IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn, which details Google's new data privacy proposal for digital ad targeting, as well as how you can get involved and provide feedback

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ฌ The 7-Step Process for Interviewing Subject Matter Experts for Content from IMPACT's Interviewing Ninja

If you're a content manager or an internal digital marketer, one of your most rewarding tasks will be to interview subject matter experts to bring their ideas to life. It'll also be one of your biggest challenges. You need to consciously not sound like yourself, which โ€” according to IMPACT Editorial Associate John Becker โ€” is weird and liberating at the same time. So, how do you interview subject matter experts effectively and create a ghostwritten piece both they and your audience will love? In this article, John shares his seven-step process for interviewing subject matter experts for content, including a few of his trade secrets.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ‘Š Website Throwdowns Are Coming to INBOUND

I've got a special message for you from IMPACT Head of Website Strategy Stacy Willis:

website throwdowns from impact

So, here's what you need to do:

  1. Watch the above video to learn what a Website Throwdown is, and why you need to sign up for one, if you're going to INBOUND next week.
  2. Sign up for a Website Throwdown

Fun fact: Everyone who signs up in advance for a Website Throwdown will be entered to win a prize pack featuring a $500 Amazon gift card

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ“ซ Learn the Exact Email Sequence Alex Berman Uses to Land Sales Calls with Billion-Dollar Companies

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Experiment27 Chairman Alex Berman pulls back the curtain on the email strategy he uses to close deals with Fortune 500 companies. From identifying your target audience, to developing an offer and writing cold emails, Alex goes into detail on his campaign blueprint and shares how both he and his clients have used it to win business. Listen to the podcast to get the details on Alex's email campaign blueprint and learn how to use it to close deals with your target prospects.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Hey, Chicago! TODAY at 11:30 a.m., IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Baiocchi will walk you through the basics of conversational marketing, share tips and tricks for creating a great conversational experience, and show you exactly how to set up live chat and build a chatbot in HubSpot using HubSpot Conversations. Register now for this Chicago Northside HUG event; it's free!

โ˜๏ธ Don't forget, all HUG events are free to attend! 

Talk to y'all later! ๐Ÿ‘‹

August 24, 2019

Ultimate SEO Checklist, Online Community Rules, & How We Produced Our "One-Take" Welcome Video ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
๐Ÿ’ฅ The countdown to #INBOUND19 is on! We'll be there at Club INBOUND, and we are challenging you to have your site critiqued by our IMPACT strategists and website experts with an IMPACT Website Throwdown. You'll walk away with actionable insights on how you can improve your website performance immediately in 10 minutes or less.

I'm a remote worker, which means I spend a lot of time... well, alone. That may sound sad, but my situation affords me the freedom to engage in some of my more "undercover freak flag" behaviors in order to keep myself motivated.

I mention this because, y'all, it's been a heck of a week here at Liz Murphy HQ. (And by "Liz Murphy HQ," I mean the creepy dungeon of a finished basement I annexed for my home office.)

I'm not one to lean into the unhealthy glorification of "The Hustle" culture, because I think it perpetuates this ludicrous idea that if you're not always slaving away and working into all hours of the night (every night), you're not really a success story. 

That said, thanks to a massive work project that required a lot of time, mental energy, and revisions this week, I ended up eating a cupcake at my desk for dinner on Wednesday night:

Screen Shot 2019-08-24 at 10.19.31 AM

It was a Neapolitan cupcake with strawberry icing and vanilla cream in the middle. Je ne regrette rien.

I also listened to Andrew WK's "Party Hard" on repeat for about 30 minutes straight on Thursday night, when I needed a pick-me-up. (Fun fact: Did you know Andrew WK used to have an advice column in the Village Voice, and it was amazing?)

On top of that, there was definitely one night where I turned to the blank, murder-face gaze of my cat to "workshop" some copy out loud that had been giving me trouble. (She responded by knocking a pencil off my desk, so I assumed that meant she liked it.)

I bring this up because I always think it's funny what ridiculous rituals and experiments we run ourselves through to be a rockstar producer at work, but no one will ever know about them. 

I spent this week writing and rewriting 16 pages worth of copy.

But when someone finally reads it two weeks from now, they won't know that writing page 10 became such an infuriating roadblock for me that I jumped up and down and sang along to Goodness' cover of "Electricity, Electricity" from School House Rocks at 1 a.m. to refresh my mental state.

Only then was I finally able to get the right words on the page.

So, the next time you come across an epic piece of pillar content, a beautifully designed infographic, or a hefty booklet with lots and lots of copy, take a moment to honor those marketers, designers, and copywriters who sang horribly in the middle of the night with a cupcake in their hand to make it happen.

โœ… The Ultimate SEO Checklist for Your Content & Website (100+ Items)

Search engine optimization is forever a daunting challenge for a lot of digital marketers. Just when you think you've got a handle on what works and what doesn't, the rules change. Furthermore, what you need to do as a marketer and site owner to keep your site optimized has gotten more complex and technical in recent years. Thankfully, IMPACT Project Manager Melanie Moore is here to help you out with a comprehensive, soup-to-nuts SEO checklist with more than 100 items to get your site in tip-top shape.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โš ๏ธ How Do You Create & Enforce Rules for Your Online Community That Actually Work?

As Monica Geller famously once said: "Rules are good! Rules help control the fun." Nowhere is this more true than in online communities, where a lack of in-person interactions and absence of virtual guardrails can create conditions that favor self-promotion at best, and hate speech or harassment at worst. Setting rules for an online community, however, is only the first step. Enforcing them is another matter entirely. In this article, IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Baiocchi draws upon her extensive experience in community management to share the essential best practices you need to know to create and enforce online community rules.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿฟ Behind the Scenes: How We Produced Our "One-Take" Welcome to IMPACT Video 

Here at IMPACT, we recently created a welcome video that would be sent out to our new clients via email, and it's pretty awesome:

Screen Shot 2019-08-24 at 10.55.44 AM

We created this video to help new clients get to know some of the people they would be working with, in addition to showcasing our office culture and the capabilities of our video team โ€” all seemingly in one take! So, how did we do it? In this article, IMPACT video editor Megan Lang pulls back the curtain on how we made "movie magic" with our "Welcome to IMPACT!" video. 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Hey, Annapolis! Learn how to create scalable and repeatable growth with actionable case studies and powerful examples of what it means to evolve into an authentically customer-centric organization at the next Annapolis HubSpot User Group event. Save your seat for August 27 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Hey, Chicago! Same day, different city. On August 27 at 11:30 a.m., IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Baiocchi will walk you through the basics of conversational marketing, share tips and tricks for creating a great conversational experience, and show you exactly how to set up live chat and build a chatbot in HubSpot using HubSpot Conversations. Register now for this Chicago Northside HUG event.

โ˜๏ธ Don't forget, all HUG events are free to attend! 

โฐ Countdown to INBOUND

I feel as if I've been living out of my suitcase for the past few months. Two weeks ago, it was IMPACT Live. Last weekend, it was camping. Now, in a week, I'll be hopping a train up to Boston for #INBOUND19.  

In addition to having a few IMPACTers take the stage this year, I'm also excited about... 

  • Hearing from Reddit co-founder (and Mr. Serena Williams) Alexis Ohanian. Reddit is one of the most popular online forums on the planet, but it's still grossly misunderstood by so many. This should be a fascinating chat.
  • INBOUND& with BerlinRosen and West Wing Writers. BerlinRosen is one of the most powerful PR firms in the country. West Wing Writers is a speechwriting firm comprised of veterans from the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. During this session, you'll learn essential storytelling elements, and how to use stories to entertain and advance your broader strategy. (The D.C. native/politics wonk in me is dying with excitement.)
  • Finally, IMPACT Website Throwdowns are coming to Club INBOUND. If you're looking for yours truly, this is where I will be! Throughout INBOUND week, we'll be providing actionable, expert insights on how companies can improve their websites right now โ€” all in 10 minutes or less. But if you want to throw your site in the ring, to so speak, you need to book your time at the link above

๐Ÿ˜‚ Weekend Nonsense

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to laugh hysterically (and awkwardly) for five minutes at this science teacher's "Meme Day" costume. It's funny, but also he's not wrong...?

meme-day

Anyway, have a great weekend!

August 22, 2019

Facebook Users Can Stop Advertisers from Targeting Them via Browsing Activity, How to Win Your Next Sales Negotiation, & Fostering Commitment from Your People ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
๐Ÿ’ฅ INBOUND is just around the corner! We'll be there at Club INBOUND, and we are challenging you to have your site critiqued by our IMPACT strategists and website experts with an IMPACT Website Throwdown. You'll walk away with actionable insights on how you can improve your website performance immediately in 10 minutes or less.

Being a word nerd who almost collapsed in hysterics over the recent release of a book on the history of the semicolon โ€” my birthday is on October 26, if you're looking for gift ideas, by the way โ€” it should come as no surprise that I have a favorite piece of punctuation. 

interrobang-1
Original image source unknown

Meet the interrobang. 

Yes, it is a real piece of punctuation.

Yes, it is probably one of the most entertaining words you'll ever say out loud, because you'll always feel a little bit like you're shouting an inappropriate superhero name when you do. 

Isn't it just grand?

Here's what's interesting, though. The interrobang was invented in 1962 โ€” not to solve an editorial problem, but rather an advertising one. Martin K. Spector thought advertisements would look better if copywriters could use a single mark when posing a surprised rhetorical question. 

And thus, my punctuation crush was born.โค๏ธ

You use this magical glyph when you want to ask a question in a way that expresses excitement or disbelief or, in line with its origin, when posing a boisterous rhetorical question. While most fonts don't support the interrobang โ€” rude โ€” good ol' Wing Dings has you covered, as does Lucida Grande.  

What does this have to do with the content below? Absolutely nothing. I simply wanted to enrich your Thursday morning with a neat piece of trivia that is near and dear to my heart. 

Now, let's get into it...

๐Ÿšจ Facebook Users Can Now Stop Advertisers (Like You) from Using Their Browsing Data for Ad Targeting

Earlier this year, IMPACT reported on a new feature being developed by Facebookโ€™s team called โ€œClear History.โ€ The tool aimed to provide users more transparency and control over how their information was used in ad targeting. Now, Facebook is finally getting ready to roll out this feature under a new name: Off-Facebook Activity. In this must-read news brief, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn explains how this new privacy tool works for Facebook users, as well as how it will impact Facebook advertisers.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ‘€ If You Want to Win Your Next Sales Negotiation, Here Are the Exact Steps & Strategies You Need to Follow

Love it or hate it, negotiating is a fact of life. But, for some reason, many companies avoid negotiations entirely, often because they do not have a formal negotiation process in place. This is unfortunate given that companies report significantly lower net income numbers when they don't have a formal negotiation process institutionalized than those that do. Thankfully, DM Training CEO and sales expert Steve Bookbinder is here with a comprehensive breakdown of the steps and strategies you need to embrace so you can crush your next sales negotiation. 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ‘ How Can Leaders Foster Commitment Instead of Compliance with Their People? 

Compliance and commitment are two very different states that leaders can seek to reach with their people. One gets us obedience, while the other gets us whatโ€™s possibleGreat organizations, however, are building movements, not lingering around in the way things have always been. And you donโ€™t build a movement by achieving compliance. You build a movement when your people are committed. So, in this article, IMPACT COO Chris Duprey answers the question, "How do we create an environment that takes people past compliance and into commitment?" 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Hey, Annapolis! Learn how to create scalable and repeatable growth with actionable case studies and powerful examples of what it means to evolve into an authentically customer-centric organization at the next Annapolis HubSpot User Group event. Save your seat for August 27 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Hey, Chicago! Same day, different city. On August 27 at 11:30 a.m., IMPACT Director of Audience Engagement and Community Stephanie Baiocchi will walk you through the basics of conversational marketing, share tips and tricks for creating a great conversational experience, and show you exactly how to set up live chat and build a chatbot in HubSpot using HubSpot Conversations. Register now for this Chicago Northside HUG event.

โ˜๏ธ Don't forget, all HUG events are free to attend! 

โฐ Throwback Thursday

One of my favorite pieces of content we published last year was IMPACT Demand Generation Manager Myriah Anderson's Ultimate Guide to Video for Sales โ€” a completely ungated guide that empowers sales reps and teams to immediately start using personalized video to shorten their sales cycles and close more deals.

I mean, just look at this table of contents... ๐Ÿ˜

video for sales guide

If you're not a video for sales fan, I still highly recommend you check it out.

This piece is an absolute master class in how to create a content pillar that leverages video to create a highly personalized and absurdly helpful experience for readers.

๐Ÿ“š What I'm Reading:

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

Later, gator!

August 20, 2019

Nacho Analytics Closes for Good, How to 3X Your Contacts, & Google Now Indexing Podcasts ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
๐Ÿ‘Š INBOUND is only a few weeks away โ€” will you be there? If so, sign up to have your site critiqued by our IMPACT strategists and website experts with an IMPACT Website Throwdown in Club INBOUND. 

I have returned from the wilderness, friends! 

And by "wilderness" I mean a state park in western Maryland with a bunch of beer nerds and lawn game enthusiasts. 

camping in western maryland tents

Given my "vampire chic" complexion and coloring, I came back from my four days of galavanting in the sunshine with friends a bit crispy โ€” but it was 100% worth it. (In fact, I can't remember the last time I set a vacation-related "out of office" email auto-responder prior to this trip.)

One of the major highlights from the weekend, however, came about while playing cornhole. 

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For those of you who do not know me, this seemingly innocuous game is my nemesis. Because, as I like to say, "I'm #1 at enthusiasm in cornhole, but accuracy is another story." Meaning I am really, really bad at it.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, I throw wide right or wide left or woefully short, but very rarely ever on target. One time, I even struck a small child while playing. Oops. ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ

Still, I always have a lot of fun flailing bean bags into the air with reckless abandon. But that didn't change the fact that I would feel a bit sad whenever a partner would look at me like a Little League coach who had to remind himself that he can't actually yell at six-year-olds. 

Then, something crazy happened during one game this past weekend. I actually scored points. Multiple points. And most of my shots made it on the board. I almost exploded with joy. 

The difference this time? 

I wish I could say it was some sort of recommitment to goal-setting or something else "business-y" and inspiring but, honestly, I got angry and overly competitive, and something clicked in my brain. 

Seriously, that's it. 

For a long time I resisted that part of myself โ€” the little malcontent inside of me who loathes being a punchline and loves being a winner.

But as I've gotten older, I've realized that it's OK to be competitive and to want to win. Not every tick in the win column has to seem effortless. It's OK to sweat and to let people see that you really want it.  

โ˜ ๏ธ The Fall of Nacho Analytics: How the Competitor Data Giant Failed & What We Can Learn from It 

The level of detailed competitor insights you could access through Nacho Analytics led some to wonder, "Is this even legal?" The Nacho Analytics team assured everyone that, yes, they were totally in compliance with Google's terms of service, even though it "seemed" as if they were "hacking Google or anyone's Google Analytics account." However, less than a year after its meteoric rise, Nacho Analytics announced it was closing its virtual doors. IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn has the full story about what happened to Nacho Analytics, why it failed, and what we can all learn from this cautionary digital tale.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ“ˆ Exclusive Interview: How to 3X Contacts & Grow Traffic by 138% with Repurposed Content Promotion

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Repurpose House founder Shaina Weisinger talks about the power of repurposing marketing content into video, audio, and visual assets that can be used to promote it on social media. This type of content promotion may not sound like a strategy that would drastically move the needle, but you would be wrong. In this interview, Shaina Weisinger explains how this repurposed content promotion strategy can exponentially increase your leads and grow your website traffic.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽค This Is a Big Deal โ€” Google Now Indexing Spoken Words within Podcasts in Search Results 

We all know that Google is constantly trying to improve its user experience. More specifically, the Google team is always innovating new ways to deliver more relevant and useful search results faster. Well, last week, Google shared that it would be making an improvement that is really exciting. Google is now pulling podcasts into search results if the content discussed within a podcast is relevant to our queries. IMPACT Content Marketing Consultant Arielle Gnann explains why this news is a big deal, how podcasts were previously indexed, and what we might see in future, in terms of podcast promotion within Google SERPs.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

Hey, Annapolis! Learn how to create scalable and repeatable growth with actionable case studies and powerful examples of what it means to evolve into an authentically customer-centric organization at the next Annapolis HubSpot User Group event. Save your seat for August 27 at 6:30 PM.

Hey, Chicago! Same day, different city. On August 27th at 11:30 AM, Stephanie Baiocchi (that's me!) will walk you through the basics of conversational marketing, share tips and tricks for creating a great conversational experience, and show you exactly how to set up live chat and build a chatbot in HubSpot using HubSpot Conversations. Register now for this Chicago Northside HUG event.

๐Ÿ“š What I'm Reading

Finally, here's what I'm reading this week โ€” I would say without context, but I broke my usual rule with the last one:

Finally, though published late last month, The Incredible Life and Tragic Death of Lyra McKee โ€” a longform retrospective from The New Yorker on the killing of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee during a riot in Northern Ireland earlier this year โ€” caught my attention as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed last Saturday morning while camping.

Ten minutes later, I found myself staring up at the ceiling of my tent, in tears. I know it's completely unrelated to anything digital sales and marketing. However, it has lingered with me to such a degree that I believe it worth sharing.

Sometimes, all you need are words to tell the full story.

August 17, 2019

The Problem with Agencies Creating Content, Half of Google Searches Get No Clicks, & How to Measure Communities ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
๐Ÿ‘Š Going to INBOUND next month? Sign up to have your site critiqued by our IMPACT strategists and website experts with an IMPACT Website Throwdown in Club INBOUND. 

Last week, in front of 600 professionals, I fell on my face.

I literally fell on my face. Ate it. Biffed it. Face-planted. 

impact live day 1 stephanie

Let's take a step back (carefully, don't fall lol).

On the first full day of IMPACT Live 2019, Marcus Sheridan was in the middle of the room full of attendees and needed a handheld microphone.

That's me watching Marcus with some nearly NASA-level intensity during IMPACT Live.

When I heard his call, I sprinted to the back of the stage to retrieve the mic for Marcus and, as I turned around to face the audience, my foot caught the uplighting bar on the floor and took. me. down.

In that moment, ankle throbbing, face-down on the floor in front of a room full of sales and marketing professionals, I could have been completely embarrassed.

I could have frozen or given up completely โ€” but I didn't. 

I jumped up and ran that microphone to Marcus without missing a beat. (Okay, maybe I missed one beat.) 

Someone who witnessed my fall in all its glorious grace told me something interesting that even I didn't realize (which also made me feel better). They said: "I went to help you but you were back on your feet before you even finished falling down."

Let's cut right to the lesson here: sometimes you will fall down. Be it metaphorically or literally, you will trip and fall. 

But if you can manage to keep your focus on your goal, you will get to where you need to go much faster. 

My sole focus was on getting Marcus that microphone as quickly as possible. That goal propelled me right back up onto my feet without a second thought. 

I've fallen many times in life and I've let some of those falls bring me to a grinding halt. Think of how I could have benefited if, instead, I let these falls propel me forward. 

So, here's to smoothly James Bond-style rolling out of your next embarrassing fall or, at the very least, not letting it get you down. 

Let's jump into some other lessons, this time about digital sales and marketing, shall we? 

โœ๏ธ Is There a Problem With the Way Agencies Traditionally Approach Content Creation for Clients?

Spoiler: Yes. There is. Despite the fact that almost all businesses accept that content creation is essential, the sad reality is that way more fail than succeed in getting results from their efforts โ€” even when working with an agency. IMPACT Director of Sales & Revenue Melanie Collins is here to explain the problem with how most agencies handle content creation. 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ”Ž New Report: Half of Google Searches Donโ€™t Get Clicked

According to a recent report, 50% of Google searches don't get clicked. That means half of the time people search for things, they find the result they're looking for without clicking into a single website or ad. In this article, IMPACT Director of Partnerships Vin Gaeta breaks down all the details of this study and what it means for sales and marketing teams.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ“Š How to Measure & Score the Success of Your Customer Community

As a marketer, I'm always interested in ways to prove what I'm doing is working. As a community manager, I can tell you that communities are notoriously difficult to measure. Preetish Panda, Marketing Manager at Tribe, shared three very specific and useful ways to measure the success of your community. 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

Hey, Annapolis! Learn how to create scalable and repeatable growth with actionable case studies and powerful examples of what it means to evolve into an authentically customer-centric organization at the next Annapolis HubSpot User Group event. Save your seat for August 27 at 6:30 PM.

Hey, Chicago! Same day, different city. On August 27th at 11:30 AM, Stephanie Baiocchi (that's me!) will walk you through the basics of conversational marketing, share tips and tricks for creating a great conversational experience, and show you exactly how to set up live chat and build a chatbot in HubSpot using HubSpot Conversations. Register now for this Chicago Northside HUG event.

๐Ÿ˜‚ Weekend Nonsense

I've seen this around the internet a couple of times this week but still can't stop laughing at it. Ridiculous? Genius? I'll let you decide.

employee of the month

Thanks for hanging out with me on this Saturday morning. Next week it's back to your regularly scheduled Liz Murphy. Until next time, see you in Elite

August 15, 2019

Google Ads Launches Account Maps, Embracing the Messy as a Leader, & HubSpot Lead Scoring Mistakes ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
๐Ÿ‘Š Going to INBOUND this September? Sign up to have your site critiqued by our IMPACT strategists and website experts with an IMPACT Website Throwdown in Club INBOUND. 

Meet IMPACT COO Chris Duprey:

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"A long time ago, we used to be friends..." ๐ŸŽถ

Chris' hobbies include (but are not limited to) talking about inbound leadership, holding pens, telling awesome army stories, mindfulness, and โ€” apparently, as of yesterday afternoon โ€” being a Petty Patty about how he and I met.

You see, I'm not great with names and faces.

As a result, whenever I encounter someone I'm pretty sure I've met, I like to lead with a warm, albeit cautious, "Hey! How's it going, bud?" introduction.

Then, I'll quickly turn to whatever poor soul I know who happens to be standing next to me and introduce them to my "old pal." Lo and behold, they share their name (again), and no one is the wiser! 

Unfortunately, it didn't go quite as smoothly with Chris.

Bob Ruffolo (our CEO) introduced him to me three times over the course of four days during IMPACT Live '17 week. Twice during the conference itself, and then once at the office, because he was going to be joining our team as COO.

Each time Bob brought us together, it was as if I was meeting him for the first time. Like "50 First Dates," but much, much worse. (Nothing says, "You can count on me, boss!" like forgetting I met our incoming COO three times.) 

Since then, however, Chris and I have become good friends. We talk about mindfulness, have conversations conducted entirely in West Wing GIFs, and speak a weird, podcast-based twin language that often confuses others. 

You can see why I thought that, more than two years later, we would have moved beyond my shortcomings during our initial meeting. Well, meetings. 

Well, I was wrong. 

So, Chris, I know you're reading this and laughing at what a I troll I am, but consider this my official apology. And even though I always get the urge to pretend we haven't met every time I visit IMPACT HQ in New Haven, I promise to always try my hardest to resist temptation.

๐Ÿ‘ Managing Multiple Google Ads Accounts Just Got a Whole Lot Easier with New Account Maps Feature

If youโ€™re working at an agency or a large company with multiple Google Ads accounts, you likely already have a Manager Account. Unfortunately, when you're managing multiple accounts (often with their own sub-categories and sub-accounts), things can get a little messy and confusing. Luckily, Google has recognized that pain point and has introduced a new feature called Account Maps. In this article, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn has the full scoop on what Account Maps for Google Ads is and how it works, complete with screenshots.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŒฑ It's Amazing How Achievable Growth Is When You Learn to Embrace the Messy & Focus on What's Possible

Last Friday, IMPACT COO Chris Duprey watched as remote employees (myself included) said goodbye to their friends and coworkers, following IMPACT Live โ€” our one time together each year as a full company. He felt touched, and so he sat down to capture a poignant moment in time, full of personal reflection and words of wisdom for other organizational leaders. In this article, Chris Duprey shares his personal story, as well as how we learned to embrace the messy and focus on what's possible to achieve growth as a company and as people.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โŒ Here Are the Top 5 HubSpot Lead Scoring Mistakes We See Businesses Make That Kill Their Lead Intelligence

Lead scoring can be a powerful sales tool for a team overwhelmed by the volume of leads coming into their HubSpot database every day. When set up properly, lead scoring will help your team separate those contacts who are just looking for information from those who are serious prospects. But when it's not, your sales team is left flying blind... and leaving money on the table. Thankfully, my main man (and legendary IMPACT HubSpot consultant) Nick Bennett wrote this fantastic overview of the most common HubSpot lead scoring mistakes businesses make and how to fix them.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ† "It's an Honor to Be Nominated..."

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IMPACT Live may be behind us, but August is still proving to be memorable month. We're excited and humbled to share that IMPACT was named #1757 on Inc. Magazine's 5000fastest growing companies โ€”and #11 out of those from Connecticut! 

We are so grateful to our wonderful clients, friends, and supporters who have helped make it possible. We can't wait to see what the rest of our 10th year in business has in store! 

โฐ Throwback Thursday

I got chills watching the IMPACT Live '19 recap video Marcus Sheridan shared last week on LinkedIn. Whether you were there or couldn't join us, I highly recommend you give it a watch:

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๐ŸŒŽ IMPACTers in the News

IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth recently sat down for an interview with ManagingEditor.com about how to monetize your content marketing. Here's my favorite quote:

"You can turn marketing into a profit center, as opposed to a cost center."

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading

Finally, as always, without preamble or context, here is what I'm reading:

P.S. By the time you read this, I will be road-tripping my way to western Maryland for a four-day camping adventure. You'll still get your Saturday issue, but a special guest will be filling in for me. Until next week! โ›บ

August 13, 2019

Google's New Question Hub, Snapchat Unveils "Instant Create" for Ad Creators, & the 7 Positions You Need on Your Content Marketing Team ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
โš ๏ธ Launch pricing for Digital Sales & Marketing World 2020has been extended until Wednesday at midnight with promo code "LP-Extended" โ€” the code is case sensitive. (Is it worth it? Well, almost 300 people have have already taken advantage of the deal. Just sayin'.) 

Between when I finally got home from Connecticut late Saturday evening and Monday morning, I slept for 22 hours. On the one hand, that's a lot of sleeping... even for me. On the other hand, any Sunday spent primarily as a "blanket burrito" I consider to be a Sunday well-spent.

Plus, I spent most of that day snuggling with this little monster:

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So, I'm going to put this past weekend in the win column.

Still, there's one thing that's bothering me.

Intellectually, I understand that the digital sales and marketing world will keep on spinning even when I put everything on pause for a week, as I did for IMPACT Live. Emotionally, however, I find it to be quite rude and inconsiderate. 

How dare companies continue to roll out big changes to their products or make big, sweeping announcements in my absence? 

"Liz, you're not the center of the universe, you know."

Are you sure about that, though?

Given that the universe is infinite and always expanding, there's a good chance I might be. Also, I don't think it's too much to ask that Google and Snapchat run their timelines by me next time, just to make sure I'm not inconvenienced. 

Now, let's get into it...

๐Ÿค” Introducing the Google Question Hub, a Game-Changer for Your Content Strategy

It's hard to even fathom Google not having the answer to a question or search query. But while it may sound crazy, there are some circumstances when Google comes up empty. Enter Question Hub, Google's solution for when you've actually stumped Google. In this article, IMPACT Content Consultant Jenna Ott outlines exactly what the Google Question Hub is, and how you can use it to identify lucrative gaps in your content strategy.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ“ฒ Snapchat Rolls Out "Instant Create" Feature to Make Ad Creation Easier for Marketers

Snapchat is introducing an easier way to create ads on the platform. The company launched โ€œInstant Create,โ€ a tool that offers a simple, three-step process to create ads optimized for Snapchat. Instant Create is designed for businesses with limited resources who may not have the time or expertise to go through the entire ad creation process. To make your lives easier, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn took the tool for a test drive, so she could give you this detailed walk-through of Snapchat's new "Instant Create" tool โ€” with screenshots

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ… Here Are the 7 Essential Roles You Need on Your Content Marketing Dream Team

If youโ€™re looking to ramp up your content marketing efforts, youโ€™re going to need to assemble your content marketing team. But what positions do you need to fill? How many people should be on your team? And what specific skill sets should you be looking for from each member of your team? IMPACT Lead Content Marketing Trainer Kevin Phillips explains the seven positions you need on your content marketing team, what they each bring to the table, and how they'll help you achieve your goals.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading

Finally, as always, without preamble or context, here is what I'm reading at the start of this week:

Later, squares! 

August 10, 2019

How to Overcome a Toxic Work Environment, Killing Your Rankings with Slow Site Speed, & How to Historically Optimize Content for Better Results ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
โš ๏ธI'm grossly under-caffeinated, so this reminder will be to the point. If you haven't already, you need to get your copy of They Ask, You Answer (Second Edition). Also, you need to buy your tickets to Digital Sales & Marketing World before prices go up in the next 24 hours. That's it. That's the reminder.

In a few hours, I will be packing my bright orange Jeep back up and heading home to Maryland. Of course, IMPACT Live '19 was an incredible success, but it was also one of the most demanding and exhilarating weeks I have ever experienced in my professional career. 

I think most of us felt that way, which is why the following two days we spent as a whole IMPACT family back at our headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut, were so filled with love, gratitude, laughter, and a heck of a lot of fun. 

Unfortunately, in keeping with my tradition from the last issue of THE LATEST, I was terrible at taking photos โ€” in fact, I only have three to share:

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First up, evidence that I should never quit my day job to become an artist. We had to do a company-wide scavenger hunt and challenge around the office, and this was my artistic rendering of IMPACT Director of Partnerships and Sponsorships Vin Gaeta

However, he did say of it, "Most accurate picture drawn of me this week. ๐Ÿ”ฅ"

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Next, I received this award. I won't linger on this for too long, but let's just say the past year has felt like riding on a meteor. And, even with a lot of sleepless nights, I wouldn't change a thing about it. 

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Finally, even though a lot of people I know were terrified at the idea of me being trusted with throwing sharp objects through the air, I went axe-throwing for the first time with a few friends. I've spent a lot of this week intentionally trying to push myself outside of my comfort zone by doing things that terrified me, and let me just tell you how liberating throwing axes felt. I can't recommend it enough.

That said, my axe-throwing teammate, IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Jason Linde(pictured above), and I didn't win. Although I'd like to think we came in first in enthusiasm and unnecessary celebration dances

Well, that's all she wrote, folks. As always, I've hand-picked some of our best content from the past few days for your digital sales and marketing education pleasure. 

And we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week. 

โ˜ ๏ธ How to Harness the Power of Science to Overcome a Toxic Work Environment (Infographic)

Although the term โ€œtoxic work environmentโ€ is common-place in conversations these days, trying to nail down a concrete definition of what that means is next to impossible. A toxic work environment can make you feel less motivated, depressed, and even physically ill. In this infographic feature, IMPACT designer Marcella Jalbert breaks down the most effective ways to cope with a toxic work environment, as backed by science.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โ›” Slow Site Speed Is the #1 Killer of Site User Experience & Search Engine Rankings

Even in the era of blazing fast internet speeds and soon-to-arrive 5G for mobile, page speed โ€” that is, how quickly a webpage loads โ€” is still a major factor to consider when building or redesigning a site. If you're not paying attention to it, you can easily turn off your users and tank your search rankings. In this expert interview, IMPACT Editorial Associate John Becker sat down with developer Tim Ostheimer to learn about why page speed needs to be on your mind when youโ€™re working with a developer to update your site.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽ“ Digital Marketing Lesson: How to Historically Optimize Your Older Blog Content for Higher Performance

What would you do for the secret to doubling your blog traffic and leads? While you might be willing to pay an arm and a leg, the secret to more traffic and engagement is easier than you think โ€” you need to implement historical optimization into your blogging strategy. (HubSpot increased conversions by 106% with this strategy!) In this article, IMPACT Director of Inbound and Content Services Justine Timoteo explains what historical optimization is, as well as the exact process you need to follow to execute this strategy for your content.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ˜‚ Weekend Nonsense

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Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some road-tripping to do. Talk to y'all on Tuesday morning! ๐Ÿ‘‹

August 8, 2019

IMPACT Live '19, Saying Goodbye to IMPACT Live, & Overcoming Imposter Syndrome ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
๐Ÿ’ฅIMPACT Live is transforming into Digital Sales & Marketing World for 2020 โ€” get your tickets today, and we hope to see you back in Hartford next April!  

Hey, everyone โ€”

Today's issue of THE LATEST is going to be a bit of a departure from the norm.(Don't worry, everything will return to business as usual on Saturday morning.) 

I write to you this morning from a quiet conference room at IMPACT HQ in New Haven. As the rest of the team hustles and bustles around, I'm sitting here with a cup of coffee by my side and Walking After You by the Foo Fighters playing, because it is probably one of the most beautiful and relaxing songs ever written.  

After so much build up, hard work, and euphoric insanity, another year of IMPACT Live came to a conclusion yesterday, and it was a wild ride:

I also was honored to earn a spot as a speaker on the agenda yesterday afternoon, although I have to admit I was a bit intimidated by my placement:

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That's right, folks. It was a Liz Murphy sandwich, because I was right in between Brian Halligan (co-founder of HubSpot) and David Cancel (co-founder of Drift). So, no pressure, right? ๐Ÿ˜จ

Thankfully, I didn't fall off the stage, and my talk went well

Unfortunately, even though I promised myself I would take a ton of photos so I could capture important moments from what I knew would be a magical day, the only photo I actually ended up taking (other than the one above) is this:

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This was my view from backstage, right before Marcus Sheridan introduced me. 

Aside from the excitement of the event, there was one other highlight from this week that I want to share with all of you.

On Tuesday afternoon, IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Dan Baum published this article about overcoming imposter syndrome โ€” and it took less than 24 hours for it to become the most popular and shared article on our site for the week

Once you read it, you'll immediately understand why. 

Anyway, that's it from me for today. To make this issue special, I was going to try to do that thing where you upload an actual signature to make an email seem more personal and human.

But I don't know how to do that, so what you see below is as close as you're going to get. Talk to y'all later this week! 

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August 6, 2019

Facebook Ads Now in Search Results, How to Increase Traffic & Improve SEO with a Single Fix, & The Big Problem with Traditional HubSpot Consulting ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
๐Ÿ“š Ahem. Have you gotten your copy of the second edition of They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan yet? It's revised and updated with new chapters on the power of video, conversational marketing, how to create the perfect inbound website, and more. 

Greetings and salutations from sunny Hartford, Connecticut! That's right โ€” on Monday, I made the great voyage up the East Coast, from Annapolis, Maryland (with Kathleen as my navigator)...

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Which included a... let's just say an "adventurous" trip across the George Washington Bridge in New York. ๐Ÿ˜จ

But I'm here, at the Hartford Convention Center! 

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And I've got my badge, so I'm IMPACT Live official!

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And I finally got my mitts on a copy of the second edition of They Ask, You Answer!

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And then my heart grew three sizes reading through the acknowledgements on page 321... (Hm, I should probably see a doctor about that.)

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And, of course, I'm beyond thrilled to be here with my IMPACT family. 

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There's one downside, though. By the time this email hits your inboxes, IMPACT Live will not have officially kicked off yet. So, this is the only photo I am allowed to share with you of the incredible multimedia experience we've set up for this year's main stage. 

Sad trombone

If you're at IMPACT Live this year, I'd love to meet you! (If you don't know what I look like, just keep an eye out for an overly-caffeinated, six-foot-tall content nerd having a heated debate about the Oxford comma. That's me.)

If you're not at IMPACT Live this year... look, I can't say it doesn't hurt, but we can get through this rough patch in our relationship. For now, just check out the digital sales and marketing goodness I've hand-picked for you below.

...and then stay tuned. This Thursday's edition of THE LATEST is going to feature a few really exciting announcements. 

๐Ÿ˜ฎ Heads Up, Facebook Advertisers โ€” Ads Are Now Being Displayed in Facebook Search Results

With billions of searches being conducted on Facebook, it was only a matter of time until the social network expanded its ads real estate to include search results โ€” especially as they continue to focus on user experience and providing relevant content people are seeking out. In this article, Paid Media Specialist (and Facebook genius) Ali Parmelee breaks down everything you need to know about this huge Facebook search advertising opportunity.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿค“ Learn How to Improve Your Site SEO & Increase Organic Traffic from This Expert Interview

How can structured data markup โ€” a simple technical SEO fix โ€” increase organic traffic by 62% and the number of pages that rank in Google's top 10 and top 100 results by 100%? Geoff Atkinson's company, Huckabuy, works with companies large and small to implement structured data markup on their websites, and he has seen incredible before-and-after results. In this week's episode of the Inbound Success podcast, Geoff Atkinson explains what structured data markup, why it matters, how it works, how to implement it, and more.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿค” There's a Big Problem with HubSpot Consulting in the Inbound World; However, There's a Way Businesses Can Fix It

With a partner network now in the thousands, HubSpot has no shortage of agencies willing to help their clients utilize the platform. But in late 2017, we realized there was something fundamentally broken about how we were doing HubSpot consulting and, since then, weโ€™ve completely changed our service offerings and philosophy around how we deliver them.In this candid article, IMPACT HubSpot Expert Carina Duffy talks aboutwhat's broken with the traditional HubSpot consulting model, why it doesn't work, and how businesses can fix it.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading 

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

OK, time to go mix and mingle โ€” talk to you later this week! 

August 3, 2019

New Google Ads Update You'll Love, HubSpot vs. Mailchimp for Email, & Forever 21 Is in Hot Water Over Atkins Bars in Clothing Orders ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
๐Ÿ‘‹ Last chance to join me at IMPACT Live! Use code FRIENDOFLIZ โ€” that's me, I'm Liz! โ€” to take 30% off your ticket price. If you're going to be around the Hartford, Connecticut area, I would love to have you there as my guest. 

As I write this, it's Friday afternoon. To be more precise, it's the final Friday before I head up to the Nutmeg State with the rest of the company to put on the most memorable and exciting IMPACT Live yet.

Somehow the past 10 days at IMPACT have been chaotic, stressful, exciting, challenging, inspiring, exhausting, and energizing all at once. In short, it's been an all-hands-on deck rollercoaster of emotions.

But I realized something earlier today, when I picked up the shoes I purchased specifically to wear during my IMPACT Live talk this year...

fds (2)

Yes, they're pencil shoes. โœ๏ธ

I had finally arrived at my favorite moment.

It's a moment I experience, without fail, toward the tail-end of any crazy, company-wide push to make "big stuff happen."

All of the stress melts away and I'm left only with pure excitement, like it's Christmas Eve. Right now, my heart is full looking at all our team has accomplished โ€” even when we thought certain things couldn't be done, we banded together and made magic. 

Do I still have a scary to-do list that I need to complete before I drive to Connecticut with Kathleen on Sunday at noon? Heck yes. And every time I look at it, I kind of laugh and cry at the same time, because that's where I'm at emotionally right now.

But everything will get done. I know it will.

And soon I'll be heading up the east coast in my bright orange Jeep for what will surely be one of the best weeks of the entire year, with my IMPACT family. (I hope I'll get to see some of you there. Just look for me on-stage on Wednesday afternoon. I'll be the girl in the pencil shoes. Or tweet at me at @naptownpint if you want to meet up!)

โšก Google Ads Makes It Easier to Attract & Convert More Relevant Traffic in Your PPC Campaigns 

This is a little bit technical, but hang in there. This is a big deal for any company that uses Google Ads as part of its digital sales and marketing strategy. In the next few weeks, Google Ads will begin expanding its close variants feature to include words that have the same meaning as the targeted keyword. "Uh, what?" Essentially, this change will enable searchers to still receive relevant results even if they enter slightly different (or even misspelled) queries. In this article, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn cuts through all of the inaccessible jargon and breaks down this exciting Google Ads update in terms we can all understand.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ“ฌ HubSpot vs. Mailchimp for Email Marketing: A Head-to-Head Comparison from a Digital Marketing Expert

Email is like the little black dress of the digital sales and marketing world. No matter how many other flashy options come along, it's still relevant, classic, and a (potential) showstopper. However, HubSpotโ€™s email marketing features and the Mailchimp platform are both popular compelling options for companies looking to formalize their email marketing campaigns. In this comprehensive overview, IMPACT Account Executive Joe Bachir lays out what questions you should be asking yourself to make the right choice, as well as the pros and cons of both HubSpot and Mailchimp for email marketing.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ‘ฝ Forever 21 Faces Backlash After Including "Free Samples" of Atkins Diet Bars in Clothing Orders

Hoo boy, let's unpack this one, shall we? According to Forever 21, they often include free samples of "test products" from other companies, as a cross-promotional strategy. In an apparent "oversight" Atkins bars were included in clothing orders, and customers were not happy. In one case, a customer who ordered plus-sized jeans publicly asked the brand on Twitter, "What are you trying to tell me Forever 21 ... I'm fat, LOSE WEIGHT?" In this article, IMPACT Client Success Manager Genna Lepore reviews exactly happened with this Forever 21 strategy-gone-wrong and what lessons all brands need to learn from this incident

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • IMPACT Live IS THIS TUESDAY! Here's the deal, y'all. IMPACT Live, the definitive event for growth-focused business leaders and digital marketers, is mere days away. And I want you to be there with me. So, this is it. This is your final chance. Use FRIENDOFLIZ to take 30% off your ticket price. There are just a handful of seats left, so if you're near Hartford, Connecticut, don't sleep on this. 
  • Our next Website Throwdown on August 8 at 1 p.m. ET., during which we'll be critiquing your websites live! 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. Don't miss out on the action; reserve your spot today!

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

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

P.S. Even though I'll be at IMPACT Live all next week, THE LATEST will still be landing in your inboxes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, with no interruptions. (I love you all too much to abandon you.)

Also, watch your inboxes like a hawk for those issues. We'll be making huge announcements next week โ€” and that's all I can tell you right now without getting in trouble. ๐Ÿ™Š

August 1, 2019

Google Rolls Out New Search Feature, How to Lead Under-Performing Teams, & Brands Cashing in on "Storm Area 51!" Meme ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!
๐Ÿ”ฅ We're four days from IMPACT Live! Use code IMPACT20 to take 20% off your ticket price. There are still a few tickets left. So, if you're in the Hartford, Connecticut area, I'd love to see you join us for two days of digital sales and marketing education, networking, and unforgettable memories!

Earlier today in a meeting, I was asked to describe how I was feeling this week in one word. I said, "Surprisingly accomplished... and let's pretend that's hyphenated."

Truthfully, however, I shouldn't have felt surprised. I feel an incredible sense of satisfaction every day about the work that I do โ€” both as an individual contributor and as a member of our team. (We work really hard, produce a ton of incredible content, and are constantly iterating and innovating on how we can take what we're doing now and make it better. It can be a lot, at times, but it's oh, so exciting.)

However, my sense of daily accomplishment is often eclipsed by... well, what some might consider to be a petty feeling. 

I'm referring to those moments when I come across something so cool, I exclaim, "Man, why didn't I think of that?!" 

For example:

book-dedications

Just look at this dedication in Josh Gondelman's new book. First, why haven't I ever thought of something like that? Second, why don't I have any friends who are authors who could dedicate a book to me, so that my enemies would be jealous? 

(I don't think that's too much to ask. Just be a good friend, OK?)

Or check this out โ€” Arby's capitalized on the ridiculous "Storm Area 51!" meme by announcing on July 25 they will be at the event (which has ~1.8 million RSVPs on Facebook, by the way) serving delicious food:

Screen Shot 2019-07-31 at 4.03.51 PM

To be clear, I'm not saying I won't champion and lift up others for their amazing ideas when it's deserved. But I'm a human being with flaws. So, sometimes I'm going to pout about it, OK?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to explore my network for authors... for no particular reason. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

๐Ÿšจ NEW Google Feature: You Can Now "Swipe to Visit" Google Image Search Results when Searching via Mobile

The team at Google has made it way easier for searchers to navigate from an image directly to a website with its new "Swipe to Visit" feature. So, when someone clicks on an image in the search results, the corresponding page automatically gets loaded right below it. This gives the searcher a sneak preview of the page before they have to click-through. In this article, IMPACT Account Executive Jolie Higazi has the full scoop about Google's new "Swipe to Visit" feature including how it works, feature exclusions, and implications for digital marketers. 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โš ๏ธ How Do You Effectively Lead When Your Team Is Under-Performing & You're Always Putting Out Fires?

Itโ€™s only 11 a.m., but you just snoozed your Slack and email notifications, put your phone on silent, and decided you "needed a break" โ€” maybe you'll take a walk, or go to the kitchen, or hide out in an empty conference room. It doesn't matter, as long as you're away from your computer and people. How did you get here? In this radically candid article, IMPACT VP of Services Brie Rangel addresses how to handle team performance issues, and the importance of seeking commitment over compliance.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ‘ฝ Almost 2 Million People Are Planning to "Storm Area 51" as Part of an Internet Meme & These 5 Brands Are Capitalizing on It

Currently, there are over 1.8 million people signed up to the Facebook event โ€œStorm Area 51, They Canโ€™t Stop All of Usโ€ taking place on September 20. The group intends to storm the top-secret government facility with one simple mission: โ€œLetโ€™s see them aliens.โ€ It started as a joke, and now it's become a viral internet meme. And where there are memes, there are brands trying to capitalize on the moment. In this article, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn showcases five brands who are cashing in on the "Storm Area 51!" moment and the power of meme marketing.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • If you're tired of being disappointed in the results of your digital marketing campaigns, join us TOMORROW for our webinar featuring experts from Insycle, Leadspace, and SalesIntel. Because there's a good chance bad data is at the root of your problem. During this webinar, you'll learn how bad data is really affecting your business and what you can do to fix it. Register for this webinar now.
  • IMPACT Live is FOUR 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! 
  • 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!

โฐ Throwback Thursday

This past June, I shared my experience of acting as the internal editor and project manager for the second edition of Marcus Sheridan's ground-breaking book They Ask, You Answer

I mention this because we recently launched a brand new website and resource center for They Ask, You Answer โ€” a book and a movement that has been embraced by thousands of organizations worldwide:

they-ask-you-answer

Check it out and order your copy today

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading Right Now

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

Later, squares!