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September 28, 2019

Facebook Report Shows Rise of C-commerce, Live Chat Best Practices, & How 'The Golden Circle' Applies to B2B ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

๐Ÿšจ AUDIENCE POLL: What is one thing we can do to make THE LATEST more valuable? Every time I sit down to write this email newsletter, I do so with the goal of making sure it's as helpful, valuable, and actionable as possible. So, whether you have feedback on what we could be doing differently, an idea for a new feature, or general thoughts you wish to share, I would love to hear from you

I'm a little obsessed with vintage ads. It's one of the reasons why I am an avid collector of LIFE magazines. (In addition to the incredible photography and feature stories from around the world, the ads are a spectacular snapshot in time.)

Why vintage ads? Aside from laughing at what used to be considered delicious, tasty food, there's a whimsical, romantic part of me that just adores the care and detail paid to the art of copywriting.

To show you what I mean, here's an example from 1929:

609368_original

Source

In the digital age, it's all about instant gratification for consumers. We have no patience anymore โ€” and, for years, some have questioned if Google is making us stupid

But when I look at these ads, I find comfort in them.

They're measured. They're patient. They tell a story. The word choice is always purposeful, evoking powerful emotions and triggering aspirations of achieving something greater. The cheese tray isn't just a cheese tray โ€” it's a "vogue" European custom you can easily bring to your own table.

So yes, the products and gender norms in these ads are almost always woefully outdated, as we look at them in retrospect. But there is a lot we can learn from the copywriters of yesteryear, as they were masters of selling you an experience, not just a product. 

๐Ÿ’ฌ According to a New Facebook Research Report, Conversational Commerce Is the Future for Brands

Messaging apps aren't just another tool for promoting your latest products and sales to consumers. They represent an important group of platforms where large markets of consumers spend their time, gather information, and make their purchasing decisions. According to a new Facebook research report, this has given way to a new type of commerce โ€” conversational commerce, or "c-commerce." In this article from IMPACT Editorial Associate John Becker, learn exactly what conversational commerce is, and how you need to reimagine how you connect with your potential buyers.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โš ๏ธ If You Use Live Chat, Here Are the 7 Essential HubSpot Conversations Best Practices You Need to Know

To connect with your consumers, you need to be mirroring the way they connect with each other โ€” and, according to recent polling and data, texting is the preferred method of communication for most of your buyers. This trend has paved the way for conversational marketing tools like Drift and HubSpot Conversations. But getting conversational isn't as simple as flipping the live chat switch on, on your website. In this article, IMPACT HubSpot Consultant Jessica Palmieri sheds light on the seven most important live chat best practices every company must know to be successful with HubSpot Conversations.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โญ• Simon Sinek's Legendary 'The Golden Circle' TED Talk Is 10 Years Old & It's More Relevant Than Ever for the B2B Market

Simon Sinek's 2009 TED Talk turns 10 years old this month. Over the past decade, "starting with why" has changed the status quo of marketing, reframing the way that businesses position themselves... at least for B2C companies. In the B2B world of group purchasing decisions focused on solving complex business issues, can Sinekโ€™s principles still apply? In this analysis, IMPACT Content Marketing Consultant Brian Casey explains how "The Golden Circle" can be applied to B2B purchasing decisions, with examples of B2B organizations that have seen success by "starting with why."

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Heads up, Chicago! The next HubSpot User Group event is on October 8! It will include a recap of the most critical updates from INBOUND19, and then Stephanie and Sarah (your fearless HUG leaders) will lead a discussion on how to plan inclusive holiday campaigns. You'll walk away with important e-commerce holiday dates to remember, key things to keep in mind when planning a holiday campaign, how to manage campaigns and reporting in HubSpot, and more. Reserve your seat for this event today, as Chicago HUGs fill up fast! 

๐Ÿง Weekend Nonsense

Apparently, the National Aquarium of  New Zealand features a naughty penguin and a good penguin every month... 

Screen Shot 2019-09-28 at 11.33.57 AM

Honestly, I wouldn't have pegged a penguin named "Draco" as the good one...

โœŒ๏ธ One Last Thing

Oh, how time flies. Two years ago today, I gave my first-ever big talk as a speaker at #INBOUND17. I had made a bet the year prior with my boss that I wouldn't attend INBOUND at all the following year unless I was a speaker. Of course, immediately after saying that out loud, I felt incredibly stupid.

Why on earth would I make a bet like that? What if I didn't get selected? Or worse, what if I did and then totally bombed?

Well, lucky for me, the bet paid off... my pitch was accepted, and the talk itself went pretty well! 

IMG-2624

For those who are curious, my talk was on how to create a content style guide for your brand โ€” which you can now learn how to do from this completely ungated, advanced tutorial

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

September 26, 2019

7 Costly Content Mistakes, New Facebook Ad Types, & YouTube Introduces Video Reach Campaigns ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

๐Ÿ“š They Ask, You Answer is the definitive guide to growing your business in the digital age. Get your copy of the brand new and revised second edition of the book that revolutionized how thousands of companies around the world achieve remarkable results. (Psst. I helped edit this book, and it was quite an adventure.)

I've got a joke for you:

What's a camel? A horse designed by a committee! 

camel-joke

Source: GIPHY

This is one of my favorite jokes to tell at work, because it so exquisitely captures what us digital marketers do better than anything else โ€” ruin things.

For example, email used to be exciting and fun. Now, 99% of the emails I receive are complete and utter spammy garbage. Emails that are valuable and exciting are now the exception, not the rule. All because of marketers like me. 

Social media was fun for awhile, too. Then marketers came charging in with pushy ads โ€” and a very loose understanding of how hashtags work โ€” to the point where social media networks had to create algorithms to keep us from gaming the system. 

But my absolute favorite is how many of us build content strategies...

Our strategies should (in theory) be made up of topics that answer the most pressing questions of our buyers. Too many of us, however, create these strategies without ever asking sales โ€” the folks with the most first-hand knowledge of what our buyers care about โ€” to be a part of the conversation.

And then we wonder why they consider the vast majority of the content we publish to be fluffy or useless. 

We think we designed a horse when, in fact, we designed a big fat camel.

If that sounds like you, don't be too hard on yourself. I can only say these things now because I spent years making lots of mistakes as unwitting, world-class purveyor of camel content strategies. 

We all mistakes, and that's OK.

As the saying goes, "the first step is admitting you have a problem."

โ›” Are You Making Any of These 7 Costly Content Creation Mistakes in Your Inbound Marketing?

Even with the right content strategy in-hand, things can go wrong. In fact, our content consulting team has found that there are seven common mistakes even the most well-intentioned content contributors make that erode their credibility and diminish the trust they might have otherwise been able to establish with their audience. In this article, IMPACT content marketing consultant Christi Wharton explains what those mistakes are and how to avoid them, so you can be the rockstar, revenue-generating content machines we know you can be.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โš ๏ธ Need help creating revenue-generating content? Learn about IMPACT's content consulting services

๐ŸŽ‰ Facebook Rolls Out Video Poll Ads, Expands Playable & AR Ads

With the holidays right around the corner, Facebook is helping out brands by introducing new interactive advertising options to its news feed. Last week, the platform announced the rollout of video poll ads, and the expansion of augmented reality (AR) ads and playable ads. In this article by IMPACT Developer Supervisor Melissa Smith, learn exactly how each of these new Facebook ad types work, as well as some tips on how to integrate them into your paid media strategy.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽฌ YouTube Ads Introduces Video Reach Campaigns to Simplify Brand Awareness

Up until now, YouTube required you to create and manage separate campaigns for six-second bumper adsskippable in-stream adsnon-skippable in-stream adsTrueView ads, and masthead ads. YouTube has since realized this was a problem. So, with the launch of video reach campaigns, advertisers can now upload and manage multiple videos in a single campaign. In this article from IMPACT HubSpot Consultant Nick Bennett, you'll get the full scoop on how these new video reach campaigns work and why it's a game-changer for YouTube advertisers.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Heads up, Chicago! The next HubSpot User Group event is on October 8! It will include a recap of the most critical updates from INBOUND19, and then Stephanie and Sarah (your fearless HUG leaders) will lead a discussion on how to plan inclusive holiday campaigns. You'll walk away with important e-commerce holiday dates to remember, key things to keep in mind when planning a holiday campaign, how to manage campaigns and reporting in HubSpot, and more. Reserve your seat for this event today, as Chicago HUGs fill up fast! 

โฐ Throwback Thursday

Back in August, we produced a welcome video for new clients, because we want our relationships to start with clients feeling welcomed into the IMPACT family:

impact-welcome-video

The video itself creates the illusion that it's a seamless "one-take" shot. How did we make it happen? Go behind the scenes in this article to learn about how we created our own version of movie magic โ€” and how you can, too! 

๐Ÿšฝ One Last Thing

Like I said at the start of this, not every email I get is a total waste of cyberspace.

So, I'd like to end this edition of THE LATEST with a shoutout to the team at Charmin for this hilarious email I received yesterday:

charmin-forever-roll

The best part is you can actually buy the Charmin Forever Rolls in either size. Yes, I bought one. How could I not?

Ta-ta for now! ๐Ÿ‘‹

September 24, 2019

Google Updates Reviews in SERPs, New Facebook Video Features, & Brutally Honest Email Marketing Tips ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

๐Ÿ“š They Ask, You Answer is the definitive guide to growing your business in the digital age. Get your copy of the brand new and revised second edition of the book that revolutionized how thousands of companies around the world achieve remarkable results.

I have a nuanced relationship with change, which I've talked about before.

On the one hand, I live for change.

I like to take really big risks. I'm strangely comfortable making split-second, massively life-altering decisions. I also consider the arrival of fall to be a national holiday, even though it's inevitably 90+ degrees here in Maryland on the first day of autumn, because I live in a swamp.

On the other hand, part of me loathes change. It took me three years to finally watch the series finale of 30 Rock โ€” one of my favorite shows of all time โ€” because I couldn't accept the show was actually over.

I treat every announcement of a Google algorithm update like an epic personal crisis. Oh, and I had a small-scale meltdown when HubSpot announced they were changing the name of the content strategy tool.

Here's the thing about change, though. There's nothing any of us can do to stop it.

I can't say, "Hey, universe, I'm feeling a little fragile right now โ€” so, if you could go easy on me for the next month or so, that would be great," and expect things to calm down. Life is perpetually uncomfortable, because the rules are always changing. At home. At work. With friends. With loved ones. With coworkers.

Most of the time, I'm able to meet this reality with excitement and resilience, and I like that about myself. There are instances, however, where this lack of control totally stresses me the heck out. 

But, as an old high school friend told me over a pair of dirty martinis this past weekend:

"I know it can be frustrating and scary sometimes. But you've got to embrace being uncomfortable, Liz. That's when the good stuff happens."

Of course, she's right โ€” you never truly learn anything or grow without some discomfort. So, today, I'm passing that message onto you:

Because, if you spend your days clinging to comfort, you'll miss out on all the good stuff.

๐Ÿ‘ Google Has Updated Their Rules for Review Rich Results in SERPs

In case you missed it, review rich results is a type of schema that can be coded onto website pages to display a star rating on your Google SERP listing. And, around a year ago, review rich results were all the rage in the digital marketing space. Some folks, however, have noticed that their reviews are no longer displaying in search results like they used to. Why? IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn has the full scoop on what you need to know about the Google algorithm change that is now impacting rich review results.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽฅ Facebook Announces New Video Features for Creators & Publishers

Big news, social content creators. Last week, Facebook announced new video features for video creators and publishers. These changes include updates to Facebook Live and Watch Party, enhanced tools, and improved analytics. But what do these changes mean for you? In this article, IMPACT Account Manager Karisa Egan breaks down exactly what these updates are and how they can help you create better video content on Facebook.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ”ฅ Learn How to Build Trust & Generate Revenue with Video in 2 Days or Less with This Workshop

๐Ÿ“ฌ 11 Things You Need to Stop Doing Right Now in Your Marketing Emails

As marketers, weโ€™re responsible for making sure the content weโ€™re generating gets into the right hands. Sending email is a powerful way to reach your audience. And audiences do respond, with 59% of people admitting that marketing emails influence their purchasing decisions. Still, so many of us are getting email marketing wrong. So very, very wrong. In this brutally honest intervention of an article, IMPACT Content Marketing Consultant Jen Barrell shares the top 11 things you're doing wrong in your marketing emails and what you should be doing instead.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Our monthly live Website Throwdown returns on September 26 at 1 p.m., Eastern โ€” and I'm the special guest this month:

    September 19 Website Throwdown

    You can submit your website to be critiqued by our experts, or you can save your seat to watch the action "ringside" during the live broadcast. Learn more about how to get in on the Website Throwdown action.

๐Ÿ‘‹ In Case You Missed It

Recently, IMPACT CEO Bob Ruffolo was a guest on Win Win: An Entrepreneurial Podcast:

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 11.53.39 AM

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever else you listen to your podcasts.

๐Ÿค“ What I'm Reading Right Now

I usually say here that what follows in this section is what I'm reading, presented "without context." But I realized today that I always then give you context for every single thing. So, apparently, I'm a liar!

Anyway, here is what I'm reading... with context:

๐Ÿ—๏ธ One Last Thing

To make up for ending that last section on such a down note, here's something really cool. It's a picture from 1934 of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, mid-construction:

Image from iOS (5)

Thank you, r/HistoryPorn, for this gem! 

Talk to y'all soon! ๐Ÿ˜˜

September 21, 2019

Top Digital Marketing News Sites, How to Future-Schedule Instagram Posts, & WPEngine vs. GoDaddy ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

๐Ÿ“š They Ask, You Answer is the definitive guide to growing your business in the digital age. Get your copy of the brand new and revised second edition of the book that revolutionized how thousands of companies around the world achieve remarkable results.

Why do we feel guilty when we finally realize we don't want to do something or don't like something? 

I don't mean the inconsequential stuff. For example, I had to go home with a continent's worth of macaroni and cheese after the Annapolis HubSpot User Group event on Thursday night, because we ordered it for the group and no one ate it:

IMG-2430

I love macaroni and cheese, but this is not a burden I ever wanted, and I have zero problem shouting that from the rooftops. (Seriously, someone come over and eat this. Please. I'm begging you.)

I'm talking about those Big Life Momentsโ„ข when we realize:

  • "Wow, I finally caught this thing I've been chasing after for so long, and I don't want it anymore."
  • "I thought I was passionate about what I'm doing, but I've changed. Now I'm not."

I was talking about this very topic earlier this week with a close friend who is going through a similar period of growth, and they said they felt guilty. As if their recent moment of clarity about what they don't want was somehow a shortcoming or failing on their part. 

I think we've all felt that way in the past. Or, at least I have. 

But I find that so unfair. Why is there such a chorus of triumph and support around finding your true passions, but there is such a distinct lack of fanfare for realizing what isn't right for you?

It doesn't make sense to me as you can only find true purpose and passion after breaking a few proverbial eggs. Plus, it takes a lot of strength and self-awareness for someone to say, "You know what? This isn't the right path. I need to change direction."

This doesn't have much to do with anything below, but it is a thought I've been carrying with me this week that I wanted to share with you, as it has almost universal application. We're bad at admitting when it's time to let things go; and not just in our personal lives. 

Think about it. We cling to broken processes, outdated strategies, and old ways of doing business, because it's the way it's always been done, right? And, for some reason, letting go can feel like failure. When, in reality, admitting that it's time to move on can be the most freeing and exciting thing you'll ever do

Anyway, let's get into it... 

๐Ÿšจ Here Are the 13+ Digital Marketing News Websites I Read Every Single Day to Stay Informed 

In my role as IMPACT's director of web and interactive content, I have a responsibility to stay on top of what's happening on a daily (or sometimes hourly) basis across the digital marketing landscape. Which means I don't have the luxury of giving into my lower instincts of being an Aaron Sorkin TV show-binging know-nothing. So, here are the top digital marketing news websites I look at every day to develop in my career and keep you (our audience) informed โ€” and some of them might surprise you. 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŒ WPEngine vs. GoDaddy: Which Hosting Solution Is Right for Your WordPress Website?

One of the biggest, most impactful decisions youโ€™ll make when launching a brand new WordPress website is where youโ€™ll host it. Unfortunately, this is a critically important detail thatโ€™s too often overlooked โ€” usually because companies primarily base their choice on cost alone. You might be wondering, "Isn't all website hosting the same?" Definitely not. For example, your choice of website hosting can impact how high your website pages rank in search engines. In this article, IMPACT front-end developer Daniel Escardo showcases a comprehensive, head-to-head comparison of two of the most popular hosting options for WordPress websites โ€” WPEngine and GoDaddy.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿšจ IMPACT Web Design Services: We Build Beautiful, Data-Driven Websites That Will Grow Your Business

๐Ÿ˜ You Can Now Future-Schedule Instagram Posts for Your Company Through Facebook & I Am So Happy!

Great news! Businesses can now use Facebookโ€™s Creator Studio to schedule both Instagram posts and longer IGTV video content up to six months into the future. This feature was highly anticipated, as some users spotted this functionality over the summer when it was selectively rolled out during testing. In this article from IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn, learn exactly how you can start future-scheduling your Instagram posts and reasons why you might not see this feature yet for yourself.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐ŸŒŽ IMPACTers on the Move

Recently, IMPACT CEO Bob Ruffolo was a guest on Win Win: An Entrepreneurial Podcast:

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 11.53.39 AM

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever else you listen to your podcasts.

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Our monthly live Website Throwdown returns on September 26 at 1 p.m., Eastern โ€” and I'm the special guest this month:

    September 19 Website Throwdown

    You can submit your website to be critiqued by our experts, or you can save your seat to watch the action "ringside" during the live broadcast. Learn more about how to get in on the Website Throwdown action.

๐Ÿ™ƒ Weekend Nonsense

See, I'm laughing because this is funny:

apple-stuff-is-expensive-1

I'm also crying, however, because Apple is still going to take all my money for the new iPhone in November... and then whenever the next Apple Watch comes out, and so on. 

I'm a sheep.๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ”ฅ One Last Thing

A few weeks back, I recommended one of my favorite books to you โ€” Freakonomics. But did you know that there's also a Freakonomics podcast called Freakonomics Radio?

And that this week's new episode is something that's relevant to all of our interests?

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 11.47.50 AM

So, listen to the episode and stop running bad meetings!

Have a great weekend... ๐Ÿ‘‹

September 19, 2019

Ideal Sales Rep Traits, YouTube Ads Cost, Culture Fit Interview Questions, & an IMPACT Story ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

๐Ÿค” How do you compare to the companies that are seeing incredible success with inbound? Complete our Digital Sales and Marketing Scorecard for your personalized assessment and tailored set of actionable recommendations. More than 500 companies already have! 

If you had asked me this time last year to film a video for work, I would have laughed and responded with something along the lines of:

"Oh, you naรฏve, albeit stunningly tenacious little seahorse. My face, while beguiling, is a face best suited for radio. But best of luck with your project!"

Which roughly translates into: 

"LOL. I'd rather go through an IRS audit. I hate the way I look on video and I sound like Janice โ€” so, I'll just stay over here, if you don't mind. In my content cave. Avoiding sunlight, social situations, and the harsh, unrelenting gaze of your video camera."

Well, a lot has changed in a year.

In the past 24 hours, I filmed a video for our upcoming Website Throwdown โ€” scroll down to see it, since it's an email exclusive!

I also volunteered myself to film a landing page video that needs to be updated, and I recorded two personalized videos using Vidyard's GoVideo Chrome extension โ€” a website walk-through video for our sales team and one for Marcus simply titled, "Wait, why did Liz book me for 90 minutes tomorrow?"

vidyard-go-video

Heck, I've even written an article about how to be comfortable on video.

What's different between me today and me a year ago? 

The answer is surprisingly simple โ€” my mindset. Intellectually, I understood the idea that, in order to connect with today's modern buyers, we need to embrace the fact that we're all media companies, whether we like it or not

Yet I was afraid. 

Though many compliment me on my humor, the reality is that it's a defense mechanism that masks what can sometimes be crippling moments of self-loathing. Also, as I've shared in the past, I am extremely self-conscious about my looks

In short, although I love speaking in front of crowds, making people laugh, and stepping into the limelight, video still felt like a bridge too far. Which sounds incongruous, I know.

Finally, I decided to just suck it up. 

I decided I didn't want to let my fears prevent me from achieving my goals โ€” which is exactly what would have happened if I continued avoiding video. 

Am I still my own worst critic? Often, yes. Even so, I've spent more time wow-ing myself with what I'm able to accomplish in front of the camera in the past year, rather than putting myself down. In turn, I've become more confident in my own skin and less afraid overall โ€” and it only gets better every day.

So, that's your challenge for today. Find one thing where the only thing standing in your way is your own fear. And then do it. Maybe it's video. Or maybe it's something else. Whatever it is, you've got this.

๐Ÿค“ Attention Sales Managers: Here Are the 6 Traits You Need to Look for in Your Next Sales Hire 

Building, maintaining, and growing a sales team is hard work. It takes time, patience, and planning to hire the right people, motivate them in the right way, and ensure they have the right tools and resources for success. Still, sales leaders struggle to find the right rockstars to add to their team. In this article, DM Training CEO Steve Bookbinder shares the six traits you need to look for in your next sales hire, so you can not only find but also retain the best sales talent.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ“บ YouTube Ads Cost: What You Can Expect to Spend, According to Our Paid Media Expert

YouTube (a Google property) is the second largest search engine on the planet, with almost 2 billion monthly users โ€” which means YouTube ads has become one of the most coveted (and profitable) channels for paid media advertising placements. But when it comes to YouTube ads cost, what can you expect to pay? And, ultimately, is investing in YouTube ads the right move for your business? In this interview, IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Jason Linde explains in detail how YouTube ads pricing works and what businesses need to know before they start advertising on the platform.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿšจ Need Help with Paid Media? Learn More About Our Paid Media Services

๐Ÿ’ฐ What Should You Expect from Your First Google Ads Campaigns

By far the most frequently asked questions we receive when starting a new Google Ads partnership with a client is, โ€œWhat should I expect โ€” how fast will we see results?โ€ Of course, the answer is that it depends. The mistake that many make when first starting with Google Ads is thinking of the paid media channel as a silver bullet that will solve all of their lead flow issues. In this candid rundown, IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Jason Linde is back with a comprehensive answer to the age-old question, what should you expect to get out of your first Google Ads campaigns.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ‘‰ Advanced Hiring Playbook: The Only List of Culture Fit Interview Questions You'll Ever Need

The best employees are those who not only know how to do the job they've been hired for, they are also totally bought into the culture you've created at your organization. But in such a hyper-competitive job market โ€” where unemployment is at record lows, and top-tier candidates often have their choice of offers โ€” how do you find those diamonds in the rough? In this comprehensive hiring playbook for business leaders and recruiters, IMPACT VP of Talent Natalie Davis shares the definitive list of culture fit interview questions you need to ask, as well as how to screen for culture fit throughout all stages of the hiring process.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • The Annapolis HubSpot User Group (HUG) that was originally scheduled for earlier this month has been rescheduled to this week on Thursday, September 19! Learn how to create actionable case studies that will drive revenue growth for your business. This talk will feature 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 THIS THURSDAY at 6:30 p.m.

    โ˜๏ธRemember, HUG events are always free to attend, and you don't need to be a HubSpot user!

  • Our monthly live Website Throwdown returns on September 26 at 1 p.m., Eastern โ€” and I'm the special guest this month:

    September 19 Website Throwdown

    You can submit your website to be critiqued by our experts, or you can save your seat to watch the action "ringside" during the live broadcast. Learn more about how to get in on the Website Throwdown action.

โฐ Throwback Thursday

I am so, so excited, because this arrived on my doorstep yesterday afternoon:

IMG-2355

Why am I sharing my excitement with you?

Well, this beauty is the long-anticipated companion workbook to Margot Leitman's first book, Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You'll Ever Need

In case you missed it, I reviewed this book for IMPACT earlier this year and have determined that every content marketer, brand storyteller, or thought leader who wants to crush it on stage needs to read this book.

๐Ÿ“š One Last Thing

I've been obsessed with Gary Larson's The Far Side ever since I was a little...

the-far-side

...and now, it may be returning! 

Anyway, that's all for now... ๐Ÿ‘‹

September 17, 2019

Don't Respond to Emails on Vacation, Google Ads Bidding Strategies, Competitor Ads on Google My Business Pages, & How to Create a Content Style Guide ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

โšก This issue of THE LATEST is brought to you by Digital Sales & Marketing World 2020 โ€” the only conference where marketers, sales, and leadership teams get aligned on digital and ignite true business transformation.

This past weekend, I took myself to New York City for some long overdue solo adventuring, rest, and relaxation.

IMG-2262

I saw two shows โ€” one at Radio City Music Hall and one off Broadway in Times Square. I spent a leisurely afternoon eating my way through the iconic Chelsea Market. I enjoyed a cocktail at an outdoor lounge in Rockefeller Center that takes the place of the ice rink during the off-season.

I even had a milkshake with an entire Choco Taco (and two churros) sticking out of it at Black Tap, on the recommendation of a friend:

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It was a surreal and exciting little trip.

Unfortunately, I didn't keep my promise to myself to genuinely unplug from work. I've always struggled with stepping away from my job โ€” and not because I work at a company that expects me to be constantly connected and available. 

Quite the contrary. We have an unlimited vacation policy, and IMPACTers are actively encouraged by leadership to take time away to completely unplug, as needed.

Although I turned off my Slack notifications, I still found myself compulsively checking my email throughout the weekend. I also spent four hours at a coffee shop on Saturday morning writing 3,527 words for a content project that I couldn't put out of my mind. 

I'm trying not to be too hard on myself about my lack of willpower. While I love to joke that I'm an only child who embodies divine perfection at all times, I'm not. Yes, I'm an only child, but I'm not perfect. I'm a human being with flaws โ€” just like everybody else.

So, the next time I go on vacation, I need to remember it's one thing to be dedicated and passionate about my work. It's quite another, however, to be a workaholic who doesn't understand the critical importance of "me time."

๐ŸŒด Research Says You Shouldn't Work or Respond to Emails While on Vacation  

The numbers don't lie. Burnout โ€” which recently became an officially recognized medical diagnosis โ€” is the reason 95% of HR professionals say they can't retain staff. What's worse, 60% of employees say they work on vacation, and 53% of workers feel guilty for taking time off at all because their coworkers have to take over their job duties. In this article, Director of Inbound and Content Services Justine Timoteo talks about her personal experience with burnout, the data that shows why you shouldn't work on vacation, and the organizational benefits of a "no email" approach to time-off.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โœŒ๏ธ Google Ads Expands Automated Bidding Strategies with 2 New Choices

Google has announced the expansion of its automated bidding solutions for Google Ads, adding two new options to help advertisers get the best results for their ad spend. For those who donโ€™t know, Googleโ€™s automated bidding strategies utilize machine learning to evaluate and tailor ad bids to help advertisers reach the most people while staying within their budget. Get the full scoop in this article from IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn, which explains exactly what the two new bidding strategy options are for Google Ads and what you need to know about them.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ฅ In Case You Missed It, Google My Business Pages Are Displaying Ads from Competitors 

For local businesses, Google My Business is a great tool that can help customers discover your business and learn more about your services. However, it may also soon be a place where they can also learn about your competitorsโ€™ offerings. Recently, a Twitter user noticed Google is running ads for local competitors on Google My Business profile pages. Once again, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn has the full story, including everything you need to know about this Google My Business update and how these GMB competitor ads could impact you. 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โœ๏ธ Learn How to Create a Content Style Guide for Your Brand (Step-by-Step Process Overview & Templates Included)

A content style guide is a documented set of guidelines and rules that break down your brand personality, and how it is (and isnโ€™t) expressed through your content. This completely ungated playbook will give you the strategies and templates you need to create one on your own for your brand. In this advanced tutorial โ€” developed and written by yours truly โ€” you'll learn what a content style guide is (and isn't), what should be included in it, how to run your own content style guide workshop, how to write your style guide from your workshop findings, and much, much more! 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:


๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Are you at theDigital Agency Expo this week in New York City? If so, catch the fireside chat with IMPACT CEO Bob Ruffolo tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:30 a.m.! Bob's session โ€” "The 7 Most Important Things You Can Do to Grow Your Agency" โ€” is a "can't-miss" for agency owners.

    DAX-rectangle-Bob-Ruffolo.001
    Check out the full Digital Agency Expo agenda for more information.

  • The Annapolis HubSpot User Group (HUG) that was originally scheduled for earlier this month has been rescheduled to this week on Thursday, September 19! Learn how to create actionable case studies that will drive revenue growth for your business. This talk will feature 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 THIS THURSDAY at 6:30 p.m.

    โ˜๏ธRemember, HUG events are always free to attend, and you don't need to be a HubSpot user!

  • Our monthly live Website Throwdown returns on September 26 at 1 p.m., Eastern! You can submit your website to be critiqued by our experts, or you can save your seat to watch the action "ringside" during the live broadcast. Learn more about how to get in on the Website Throwdown action.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading Right Now

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

๐Ÿ• One Last Thing

I am obsessed with They Can Talk, a web comic. Not just because it's funny, but also because this is my life working from home every single day:

Image from iOS (4)

Sigh. At least I always feel protected with Nugget around.

Later, squares! ๐Ÿ‘‹

September 14, 2019

Agency Outsourcing Is Broken, Top Execs Write to Congress About Data Privacy Laws, & How Leaders Can Have Better Conversations with Direct Reports ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

โšก This issue of THE LATEST is brought to you by Digital Sales & Marketing World 2020 โ€” the only conference where marketers, sales, and leadership teams get aligned on digital and ignite true business transformation.

My life on Pinterest is something spectacular to behold.

I'm more fashionable. I'm healthier. I'm a cook who puts the Barefoot Contessa to shame. I'm a crafting goddess. Oh, and I know how to build a solid wood, farmhouse-style dining room table from scratch โ€” take that, Pottery Barn! 

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My Pinterest world is beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜

Unfortunately, as soon as I step away from the soothing online comfort of my Pinterest boards, I remember that my preferred "style" is monochromatic gym clothes, I'm a cheese addict who only runs under duress, I'm a mediocre cook at best, and I don't craft since I once accidentally hot glue-gunned my hand to a door. 

Oh, and since the process for building a solid wood, farmhouse-style dining room table has 113 steps and requires a variety of tools I do not own, I'd rather just pay someone to build it for me.

Still, I wouldn't say my experience with Pinterest has been a total wash.

A large number of holiday recipes I now make, year after year, have come from there. Additionally, since I'm a klutz who spills everything, Pinterest taught me how to make a handful of miraculous DIY cleaners to get most stains out of my carpets, so I don't have to pay someone to do it for me.

Even though I'm an inherently lazy person who may never build a table, I have to admit it feels good not to have to outsource the solutions to all of my problems.

โ›” Outsourcing Is Broken: Why We Need to Rethink the Relationship Between Client & Agency

If youโ€™re outsourcing content like so many organizations out there, chances are your content is going to be like everybody elseโ€™s content, and the majority of content today generates mediocre results. When companies are producing content like everybody else, they tend to get the exact same results as everybody else โ€” which is where we are today. In this article, author and world-renowned speaker Marcus Sheridan explains exactly why this model of outsourcing content to agencies doesn't work and how businesses shout be owning their own content production.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿšจ Top American Executives Are Calling on Congress to Pass New Federal Data Privacy Laws

On September 10, executives from AT&T, Amazon, American Express, Bank of America, and Ford wrote the following in a letter to Congress: โ€œWe write to urge you to pass, as soon as possible, a comprehensive consumer data privacy law that strengthens protections for consumers and establishes a national privacy framework to enable continued innovation and growth in the digital economy.โ€ In this write-up, IMPACT Director of Client Services Katie Pritchard has the full scoop on why these executives are making this request of Congress, as well as what the future of data privacy laws may hold.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ฌ How to Have Effective 1-on-1 Conversations as a Manager & Organizational Leader (Interview)

Whatever level of organizational leader you may be โ€” team leader, department manager, director, VP, or C-suite โ€” or your industry, one responsibility we all share as leaders is having one-on-one conversations with our team members and direct reports. Whether those conversations are weekly, monthly, or more ad hoc, there are some general best practices we should all keep in mind. In this expert interview, IMPACT VP of Services Brie Rangel shares her tips for having productive one-on-ones with direct reports, as well as a few critical dos and don'ts she's learned throughout her career.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • Catch IMPACT CEO Bob Ruffolo during his "fireside chat" next week at the Digital Agency Expo on September 18 in New York City! If you're an agency owner, consider his session "can't-miss," as his topic is "The 7 Most Important Things You Can Do to Grow Your Agency."

    DAX-rectangle-Bob-Ruffolo.001
    Learn more and register for this event today.

  • The Annapolis HubSpot User Group (HUG) that was originally scheduled for earlier this month has been rescheduled to September 19!Learn how to create actionable case studies that will drive revenue growth for your business. This talk will feature 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.

    โ˜๏ธRemember, HUG events are always free to attend, and you don't need to be a HubSpot user!

  • Our monthly live Website Throwdown returns on September 26 at 1 p.m., Eastern! You can submit your website to be critiqued by our experts, or you can save your seat to watch the action "ringside" during the live broadcast. Learn more about how to get in on the Website Throwdown action.

๐Ÿ˜‚ Weekend Nonsense

Sometimes the world is a dark and terrifying place. So, here is a video of a bunch of dinosaurs running on a horse track to make it better:

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You're welcome. 

๐Ÿ‘ป One Last Thing

This past Friday was Friday the 13th โ€” spooky! Thankfully, we all survived. But if you're still craving a little superstitious entertainment, I've got a quick roundup for you of 13 international superstitions you need to know

Talk to y'all next week! ๐Ÿ˜˜

September 12, 2019

New Facebook Ad Features, Video Production Agency Questions, Sales Enablement Content Types ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

โšก This issue of THE LATEST is brought to you by Digital Sales & Marketing World 2020 โ€” the only conference where marketers, sales, and leadership teams get aligned on digital and ignite true business transformation.

Do you ever get an idea, thought, or question stuck in your head that you wish you could un-know? I have, and it's absolute torture.

For example, as I was rushing to my train home to Maryland from South Station in Boston last week after INBOUND, I saw this sign:

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I then proceeded to obsess about it for the entire six-hour train ride home. Because I'm a maniac.

But I still didn't let it go. 

In the week since, I've engaged in numerous laughter-punctuated, light-hearted conversations about the validity of this sign โ€” all of which quickly devolved into heated debates, some pitting brother against brother โ€” as well as whether or not the hot dog qualifies as a sandwich.

Again, because I am defective. What's more, I still don't have an answer that satisfies me.

Then, in the past 48 hours, I realized that the word "homeowner" has the word "meow" right in the middle of it โ€” which means I will never be able to pronounce that word correctly ever again. I also learned that seemingly innocuous and minor inconveniences in the online buying process will cost Facebook advertisers a jaw-dropping $213 billion in lost sales this year alone

Oh, what a world we live in.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Learn About the 2 New Facebook Ad Features Being Tested to Improve Online Purchasing

Facebook is reportedly testing two new ad features that aim to help eliminate friction in the online buying process, helping advertisers gain more e-commerce sales from their digital ads on the platform. This is a very big deal. According to Facebook, friction in the online checkout process will cost businesses $213 billion dollars this year. In this article, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn outlines everything you need to know about these two new Facebook ad features.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽฌ If You Are Looking to Hire a Video Production Agency, Here Are the 5 Questions You Absolutely Must Ask

Most business owners โ€” and even a lot of digital marketers โ€” have very little subject matter expertise and experience in video production. So, making an educated decision about hiring a video production agency can be a challenge. Lucky for you, our very own Digital Sales and Marketing Advisor Marc Amigone has rounded up the five absolute essential questions you need to ask a prospective video production agency.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ“ Digital Marketers: When Your Sales Team Asks for "Sales Enablement Content" This Is What They Mean

Often, there's a disconnect between the type of content sales teams desire and the content marketing teams actually end up producing. Fundamentally, sales teams want content to address common objections, questions, and concerns from buyers, so they don't have to constantly answer them during sales conversations. In short, sales wants content that results in more educated buyers. And in this article from Digital Sales and Marketing Advisor Genna Lepore, she breaks down the three types of sales enablement content your marketing teams should be creating right now.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

  • The Annapolis HubSpot User Group (HUG) that was originally scheduled for earlier this month has been rescheduled to September 19!Learn how to create actionable case studies that will drive revenue growth for your business. This talk will feature 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.

    โ˜๏ธRemember, HUG events are always free to attend, and you don't need to be a HubSpot user!

  • Our monthly live Website Throwdown returns on September 26 at 1 p.m., Eastern! You can submit your website to be critiqued by our experts, or you can save your seat to watch the action "ringside" during the live broadcast. Learn more about how to get in on the Website Throwdown action.

โฐ Throwback Thursday

Even though I can be a bit of a scared-y cat about getting in front of a camera, I'm still downright flabbergasted by how many business leaders, digital marketers, and sales pros are still resistant to embrace video. 

Whenever someone hems and haws or drags their feet about video, I love to whip out this gem from our video archives that drives home how powerful video can be:

video-sales-cycle

If that doesn't excite you, I don't know what will. And if it did excite you, your next stop is to learn about The Selling 7, which are the seven types of sales and marketing videos guaranteed to get results.

โ˜๏ธ One Last Thing

OK, we've talked a lot about the good, the bad, and the ugly of influencer marketing in the past. But a strange little story has captivated parts of the internet, with some even calling it their "Super Bowl."

I'm torn between rolling my eyes and grabbing my popcorn over this "scandal," but I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions. Here's the Buzzfeed overview of the rise and fall of Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway, and The Cut article that has "everyone" talking.

Ta-ta for now! ๐Ÿ˜˜

September 10, 2019

How to Improve Email Deliverability, Crushing Your Goals with Personalized Video, & Yellow in Design ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

Real talk, our relationship with technology is codependent at best.

So, when a primary platform goes down โ€” for example, Facebook for the thousandth time or Google Calendar โ€” it can feel like the world is ending because, let's face it, digital marketers have a flair for melodrama.

I bring this up due to the fact that HubSpot experienced a brief hiccup for the better part of yesterday afternoon, which impacted its email platform. (Hey, hiccups happen, and HubSpot always does a great job of messaging around them.)

Tragically, it happened while I was working on this very newsletter. And given how I'm the poster child of "totally playing it cool" (lol), I started to dream up doomsday scenarios of how I would still get THE LATEST out if there were no HubSpot.

the-latest-morse-code

Initially, I briefly considered a morse code transmission, because just the words "THE LATEST" sound really cool in morse code. I quickly shelved the idea, however, due to its impersonal nature... and the fact that it's not 1912.

- .... . .-.. .- - . ... - (1)

Then I flirted with the concept of a fleet of carrier pigeons as a viable solution, since they're cute and ridiculous. Unfortunately, I don't know much about pigeon collective bargaining rights or medical benefit requirements, so it would never work.

- .... . .-.. .- - . ... - (3)

After that, I pondered a more direct and personal approach โ€” standing outside in my backyard with a bullhorn and directly broadcasting the latest and greatest digital sales and marketing news.

But before I could think too deeply about the logistics of such a strategy, HubSpot came back. Thus, you were all spared from my morse-coded, pigeon army-backed, bullhorn-powered fever dreams. 

Thank goodness. I'm not sure anyone wants to hear me recite 3,000+ words on email validation or using personalized video to boost sales and marketing results.

๐Ÿ“ฌ 3 Surefire Ways to Improve Email Validation & Sender Reputation 

In 2019, email is still the most influential source of information for B2B audiences, while consumers who purchase a product through email spend 138% more than those who didnโ€™t receive an email offer. But of the 269 billion emails sent in 2017, only 28% made it into people's inboxes. There are a lot of factors that influence email deliverability โ€” and in this article, Nelly Muradkhanyan of EmailOversight shares three expert ways to improve your email validation and sender reputation in 2020, so you can avoid a similar fate.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽฌ Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Personalized Video in a Single Interview

By just about every measurement of success, using one-to-one videos gets better sales and marketing results. And with so many new technologies available to make the creation of one-to-one video easy and affordable, there is no reason not to get started. So, on this week of The Inbound Success Podcast, BombBomb Chief Evangelist Ethan Beute breaks down the topic of personalized video โ€” why to use it, when to use it, who it's right for, how to use it well, and what kinds of results you can expect

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’› The Psychology of Design: How to Use the Color Yellow in Your Marketing & Branding 

Yellow is the brightest of the warm colors and one of the three primary colors. And yet, yellow is one of the lesser-used in the traditional color wheel. Still, it is a powerful, conspicuous choice for businesses, designers, and others hoping to attract attention โ€” and itโ€™s always been that way. In this latest installment of our color series, IMPACT Editorial Associate John Becker shares the romantic history of the color yellow, how it's used in the design world today, and best practices to keep in mind... oh, and he curated a yellow-themed playlist for y'all, too

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

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 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.

โ˜๏ธRemember, HUG events are always free to attend, and you don't need to be a HubSpot user to do so!

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What I'm Reading Right Now

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

Have a great week, everybody! 

September 7, 2019

Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah's Keynotes at INBOUND, $600,000+ in Revenue from Pillar Content, & How to Use the 'Color' White in Design ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Instead of some random couch, nook, or cranny at INBOUND at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, I'm coming to you live this morning from my cool, breezy, puppy-infested backyard in Maryland:

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It's kind of funny, however. After a full week of exclusively sporting IMPACT-branded shirts, I was so excited this morning to wear whatever I wanted... but I just looked down and realized that I had unknowingly put on one of our IMPACT baseball tees anyway. (Oh, IMPACT swag. I just can't quit you.)

I always find the first day home after a work or conference trip a bit strange.

On the one hand, after multiple days in a row of waking up early, sticking to a strict schedule, and always being "on" while meeting folks, I feel as if my whole body is breathing a sigh of relief, as the ability to completely relax washes over me.

On the other hand, after multiple days in a row of waking up early, sticking to a strict schedule, and always being "on" while meeting folks... I don't know what to do with myself.

In a way, I almost miss the structure of always having something to do. And while living out of a suitcase isn't ideal, it's exciting to be in an environment where you're constantly learning new things and meeting inspiring new people. 

Of course, if I'm being completely honest, there's a good chance I'm just in denial.

Yes, INBOUND week was galvanizing and electric and blah, blah, blah. But I'm probably feeling extra nostalgic for the busy-ness of it all as a coping mechanism to avoid acknowledging the suitcase full of dirty laundry next to the front door and the long list of housework calling my name. 

I love that I can eat ice cream for dinner as an adult, but I could do without the never-ending parade of responsibilities and bills. You'd think with the constant, rapid-paced advancements in automation and artificial intelligence, I'd have my own Rosie to take care of all that stuff by now. ๐Ÿ˜’

๐Ÿ’ฅ Here's What You Missed from Brian Halligan's & Dharmesh Shah's #INBOUND19 Keynotes

As business leaders, digital marketers, and sales teams, we're often laser-focused on growing our organizations. Sometimes at any cost. In reaction to that, the team at HubSpot has challenged us all over the past couple of years not just to grow, but to grow better. At this year's INBOUND event, HubSpot cofounders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah continued to challenge the way businesses seek "grow" and "disrupt" and achieve success. If you weren't there, IMPACT HubSpot Specialist Carina Duffy has the full scoop on Brian and Dharmesh's inspiring keynotes, including critical takeaways, videos, and more.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ˜ฎ Learn How We Generated More Than $600,000 from Our Pillar Content in Less Than a Year

We've invested a lot of time and energy into our pillar content and topic cluster strategy over the past year. In fact, it's become an obsession of mine. But I made a decision early on that ended up being critical to our success with content pillars. Instead of thinking of our new approach to content exclusively as a search-focused strategy, I decided each individual pillar should be conceived as individual profit centers โ€” and that mindset has paid off big time. In this article, I share exactly what we did to generate more than half a million dollars in revenue from content pillars alone in under 10 months.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

โšช The Psychology of Design: Learn the Powerful Uses of the "Color" White in Branding & Marketing

In the world of design, white does not get the fanfare that the blues, reds, and greens get. However, our designers would argue that white is just as important โ€” if not more important โ€” than any other color of the rainbow. White establishes contrast, helps other colors (and information) stand out, and so much more. In this deep dive, IMPACT UX Designer Joel Waggener explains everything you need to know about the seemingly innocuous presence of "white" in design and marketing, and how make better color choices for your own brand

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

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 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.

โ˜๏ธRemember, HUG events are always free to attend, and you don't need to be a HubSpot user to do so!

๐Ÿ˜‚ Weekend Nonsense

There's a reason why HubSpot was selling swag at INBOUND that said: "This meeting could have been an email..."

new-yorker

(If you're not following The New Yorker on LinkedIn โ€” of all places, I know! โ€” you're missing out.)

OK, time to conquer laundry mountain. Sob. ๐Ÿ”๏ธ

September 5, 2019

YouTube to Stop Showing Subscriber Counts, Facebook Considers Not Showing Like Counts, & Brand Publishing for Revenue Growth ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

OK, so, funny story โ€” shortly after I hit send on my love letter to train travel in the last issue of THE LATEST, my seat neighbor 100% fell asleep on my shoulder. Three times. 

Oops.

Well, whatever. Unsolicited napping notwithstanding, I made it to Boston, INBOUND is in full swing, and I am loving every minute of it. 

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I've met a ton of amazing people... 

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I took cool pictures in a tunnel full of lights (and a ball pit!) with Katie and Myriah, which made me feel much cooler than I actually am...

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(View larger.)

Most of all, I finally had a chance to hold my dancing-in-the-middle-of-the-night writing project in my hands. As a content creator, there is nothing more gratifying than the moment you get to see, clutch, and/or gaze upon the final product of something you poured your heart and soul into.  

I'll admit I was intimidated by this project. Though I felt honored to be trusted with the writing of such a lofty piece of text, the task of articulating an idea that cuts so deeply to the core of who we are and what we believe in at IMPACT was challenging.

Plus, it can be a scary moment to say: "Hey, we used to do things a certain way as a company. We see now that we were wrong."

But sometimes that's exactly what you have to do.

If you want to achieve something great โ€” and ignite true and lasting change in yourself and others โ€” you have to be willing to say something is broken. You have to be willing to admit you were not always a part of the solution.

๐Ÿ“บ YouTube to Stop Showing Exact Subscriber Counts

YouTube has announced plans to gradually phase out displaying exact subscriber counts for channels with more than 1,000 subscribers. Instead of showing the exact amount of subscribers a specific channel has, users will see an abbreviated, public-facing number. In this article, IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Iris Hearn dishes the full scoop about exactly what this change means for YouTube channel owners.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ‘Ž Facebook Is Also Considering Hiding Like Counts for Brands & Users

Twitter has stars, Instagram has hearts, Facebook has its thumbs-up โ€” but they all indicate the same thing: how many people โ€œapproveโ€ of what youโ€™ve posted. Soon, however, that may all change. Instagram shocked everyone a few months ago when it announced it was testing hiding like counts. Now, parent company Facebook has revealed it's considering doing the same. Check out this article from IMPACT Head of Editorial Content Ramona Sukhraj if you want to know what this massive change might mean for your digital marketing and Facebook strategies. 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ’ฐ How Moving from Content Marketing to Brand Publishing as a Business Translates Into Revenue Growth

Moving from a content marketing strategy to brand publishing can dramatically increase your organizationโ€™s website traffic and the size of your audience. But did you know it can also generate significant, long-term revenue growth? We've learned that from first-hand experience. In this article, IMPACT VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth takes you behind the scenes of our own transition to brand publishing, the results we've seen, and the roadmap other organizations can follow to spark growth via brand publishing.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 7.58.43 AM

We're here today and tomorrow, if you still want to grab your Throwdown time slot

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 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!

โฐ Throwback Thursday

During my talk at IMPACT Live '19, I shared the fact that I like content that makes money. (That may sound a bit crass, but hey, it's the truth.) That's why I was so excited to see this morning that the influenced revenue from our pillar content alone now totals more than $608,000 in under 10 months.

To celebrate this milestone โ€” and to help you learn how to measure the ROI of your own content โ€” here's an article I wrote earlier this year about how we track and measure the success of our pillar content strategy.

See you later, alligator! ๐ŸŠ

September 3, 2019

Consequences of Duplicate Data, 42 Landing Page Examples to Inspire, & Lagging Voice Search Optimization ...This Is THE LATEST! 

๐Ÿ’ฏ Jump Right into the Good Stuff!

๐ŸŽ‰ It's INBOUND week, y'all! Everyone who schedules their #INBOUND19 Website Throwdown in advance is entered to win a prize pack, including a $500 Amazon gift card.

Greetings and salutations from my seat on the Amtrak Northeast Regional train, bound this morning for Boston for HubSpotโ€™s annual INBOUND event. I always enjoy days like this, knowing that some of my favorite fellow IMPACTers are also traveling from all corners of the country right now.

Although I think Iโ€™m the only one making the trek to ye olde Beantown via train this year.

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I get it. From my neck of the woods, here in Maryland, itโ€™s a more than seven-hour journey up the east coast by train to my final destination. Traveling by plane would certainly be considered much more โ€œefficientโ€ by some โ€” and, depending on where folks are traveling from, the train may not be an option.

But whenever Iโ€™m traveling to Boston or to New Haven (IMPACT HQ), I always take the train by choice.

I do this for a few reasons.

First, thereโ€™s something inherently romantic about train travel.

When Iโ€™m not furiously typing away for work, as I am right now, you'll typically find me wistfully staring out the window while listening to mellow, uplifting music โ€” this one is a current favorite โ€” as I allow my mind to clear and wander and let go of anything stressful.

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Swoon.

Second, I strongly dislike dealing with airport security, and I absolutely adore full-sized toiletries. So, yes. Flying is faster, but the hassle and stress is often not worth it. And, in some cases, traveling to the airport, going through security, and so on, adds up to the same amount of time as I would spend traveling by trainโ€ฆ with no security or cramped seating โ€” and all the family-sized shampoo and conditioner I can carry.

Finally, conference weeks (INBOUND, Digital Sales and Marketing World, etc.) or big trips up to IMPACT HQ take a lot out of me.

Donโ€™t get me wrong. I absolutely love traveling, attending (and speaking at) conferences, and being with my tribe. But bookending my trips with four to seven hours of blissful train travel to charge up, decompress, andโ€ฆ well, not be forced to talk to anyone does wonders for my sanity.

Speaking of which, it's time for me to throw on some tunes and zone out. But don't worry, I've still got you covered with the latest in digital sales and marketing goodness below. 

(Oh, and if you happen to be at INBOUND this week, stop by the IMPACT booth for a Website Throwdown and to say hi to yours truly! I always love meeting folks from THE LATEST nation.)

โ˜ ๏ธ 9 Real-World Reasons Duplicate Data Is Killing Your Marketing & Sales Returns (Sponsored from Insycle)

In the world of digital sales and marketing automation, data issues can cause irreparable harm to your budget and your bottom line. The most common data quality issue of all is duplicate data โ€” often due to customer input error, importing and exporting errors, or even mistakes from your team. Thankfully, Ryan Bozeman of Insycle is here to help. In this article, Ryan explains why duplicate data can be such a problem for companies of any size, and the different ways that it can harm your marketing and sales campaigns. 

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ˜ 42 Examples of Landing Pages to Inspire You (Updated for 2020 by Popular Demand!)

You've got a great offer โ€” maybe it's a new guide, template, or tool. That means you're going to need a rockstar landing page that entices people to convert. A great landing page clearly defines its value to its audience and generates leads. But the best type of landing page for you will depend on your specific audience, brand, and industry. That's why IMPACT Head of Editorial Content Ramona Sukhraj curated this comprehensive showcase of 42 unique landing pages (across a wide range of industries) guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing and inspire lead generation genius.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐Ÿ”Š Despite All the Hype & Excitement, Optimization for Voice Search Is Still Lagging Behind

With the popularity of smart speakers and our continued dependence on Siri and Google Assistant, voice search remains a significant (but oft-ignored) aspect of search engine activity. This fact is somewhat surprising given that, between 2017 and 2018, the number of smart speakers in the United States increased by 78%. In this article, IMPACT Editorial Associate John Becker explains why voice search optimization continues to be deprioritized and reviews the voice search optimization basics every digital marketer needs to know.

โญ RELATED CONTENT:

๐ŸŽง  Our Latest Shows & Podcasts

๐Ÿ“†  Upcoming Digital Sales & Marketing Events

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Everyone who signs up for an 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 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!

๐Ÿš‚ Travel Reads

Finally, long trips require a really good book. So, for INBOUND week, I've chosen to revisit an old favorite of mine, because it is just that good:

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Freakonomics is one of my favorite books because it is absolutely fascinating. I mean, tell me this description doesn't leave you dying to read it:

"Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. 

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics."  (Amazon)

Anyway, that's all for now โ€” talk to you later this week!