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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. 


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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:


"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.


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.


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.


๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

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


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:

Screen Shot 2019-08-15 at 9.43.38 AM

๐ŸŒŽ IMPACTers in the News

IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth recently sat down for an interview with 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:


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.


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


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.


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:


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"


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. 


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.


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.


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.


๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts 

๐Ÿ˜‚ Weekend Nonsense


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:


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:


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! 

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)...


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! 


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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:


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. 


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.


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.


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:


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!