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The Latest Digital Marketing News by IMPACT
January 30, 2020

15 irresponsible marketing mistakes that are costing you, 6 most common lead generation website problems, and 7 responsive design best practices you need to know ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

🎬 Video is a win for both sales and marketing β€” but how do you actually start generating demand for your company with video? What are the most impactful videos you should be creating right now, and how do you create an in-house culture of video without blowing your budget? Join Marcus Sheridan and Vidyard's Tyler Lessard on February 26 for a free webinar that will show you how to generate more leads and sales with video.

OK, I need to share a big moment I had yesterday with y'all. As you know, Digital Sales & Marketing World 2020 is right around the corner, and yours truly one of the keynote speakers:

digital sales and marketing world speakers

Well, yesterday afternoon, we finally unveiled the full DSMW2020 agenda β€” minus a few little surprises we're still keeping under wraps:

digital sales and marketing world agenda

Check it out the full agenda!

Then, there it was... nestled smack dab in the middle of day three's festivities:

Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 11.33.56 AM

Liz Moorehead. Keynote.

My face has been plastered on the agenda page for some time now, but seeing that made it real for me. In a few short months, I'll be taking the stage for the first time ever as a keynote speaker... on a topic I am incredibly passionate about. 

And that's just wild to me.

Anyway, if you haven't had a chance to check out the agenda yet and secure your tickets to DSMW2020, I would recommend doing so right now, because super early-bird pricing (the lowest price tickets will ever be) expires after tomorrow, January 31.

I hope to see you there! 

πŸ‘‰ "What are the most irresponsible mistakes we're making with our marketing that are costing us a fortune?" (10-minute read)

Your goal right now is simple. You want to make the most of your 2020 marketing budget. Especially since doing so may increase your budget allocation in 2021, meaning it’s absolutely critical you spend your money wisely. So, today, I’m staging an intervention. For all of us. In this article, I walk through the 15 most common (and insanely costly) mistakes marketing managers make and how to fix them β€” no matter how seasoned a marketing pro you are, I bet you relate to at least three things on this list.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "Why isn't our lead generation website generating leads the way it's supposed to be?" (8-minute read)

When everything is working β€œright” in digital marketing, traffic is up, conversions are high, and lead generation is operating at peak performance. But what happens when the leads dry up? How do you fix lead generation problems? Unfortunately, there’s no button on any given website that you can hit to turn on the leads. (If only it were that easy.) However, there are multiple solutions any digital marketer can implement to fix the most common lead generation website problems. In this comprehensive overview from IMPACT Content Marketing Consultant Jen Barrell, you'll discover the six most common lead generation website problems and the solutions you need to start generating more leads immediately.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ’” "No matter what we do, our sales and leadership teams simply won't buy-in to our digital marketing strategy β€” how do we fix this once and for all?" (find out)

Our transformative inbound culture workshop is designed to establish alignment and excitement across all of your teams for the direction you need to take with your digital sales and marketing. We’ve helped hundreds of companies in your exact position come together to eliminate barriers to buy-in and achieve astounding revenue growth β€” and it all began with our inbound culture workshop.

πŸ‘‰ "OK, we know responsive design is critical for our website, but what are the best practices we actually need to know and embrace?" (10-minute read)

More and more, people are browsing the web on their phones out of convenience as opposed to sitting down at their desktop or laptop computer β€” and there’s data to back it up. In the third quarter of 2019, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 51.5% of global website traffic. This is huge. Most of us are already mobile-optimizing our websites, but that doesn't necessarily mean what you have is meeting your users' needs. In this article from IMPACT Creative Lead Christine Austin, you'll learn the seven-must know responsive design best practices that will help you make sure your websites offer top-level experiences across all devices in 2020.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Wouldn't you love to call me a teammate? Well, here's your chance. We're currently accepting applications for:

πŸ‘‰ One last thing

The first month of 2020 is almost over... should you be sticking with the same ol', same ol' digital sales and marketing tactics? Or is it time to try something new?

Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 12.02.21 PM

Get your free Digital Sales & Marketing Scorecard today and start generating better results tomorrow.

Talk to y'all soon!

January 25, 2020

5 major PPC agency red flags, how to achieve true sales and marketing alignment, and 'dwell time' making waves in the SEO world ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ’― Do you want to stop feeling like you're wasting time and money with inbound marketing? Whether you're just getting started with inbound marketing or you're smashing the inbound reset button for a much needed fresh start with your strategy, this webinar on January 27 will get you on the right track toward crushing your most aggressive digital sales and marketing goals.

As I established earlier this week, I'm basically a tenured professor in the academic area of heartbreak. But my deep knowledge and insights in this area don't just come from my own experiences. 

I've spent years β€” nay, decades β€” being a shoulder to cry on, a confidante, and tough love-giver for friends when someone they loved did them wrong or they were questioning the status of their relationship.

you-in-danger-girl

Fig 1: Me giving dating advice to every single one of my high school girlfriends.

What's funny is that many of these romantic "lessons learned the hard way" often apply to the business world β€” particularly when it comes to trust. 

What is the #1 killer of a romantic relationship? Broken trust.

What is the #1 killer of an agency relationship? Broken trust.

What is the #1 killer of sales and marketing alignment? Broken trust... assuming they were ever able to establish trust between them in the first place.

Without trust, you have nothing.

If your buyers don't trust you, they won't give you their money in exchange for goods and services. If you can't trust your agency to give it to you straight when something isn't working or to always operate with your best interests as their top priority, that relationship will fail.

And on, and on. 

The applications of trust in relationships are universal. Whether you're talking about a spouse, a partner, an agency, your clients, or your teams, you have to be able to have tough conversations. You have to be able to trust what they say to you is true and transparent, and vice versa. You have to be able to trust that you are committed to growing together, learning together, and taking on your biggest challenges together, as a united front.

In short, trust is the foundation upon which all of your future successes will be built. So, don't settle for anything less. Under your own roof or in your partnerships.

πŸ‘‰ "What are the biggest red flags we should be watching out for in our PPC agency relationship?" (7-minute read)

Just like a romantic relationship, you have to have trust between you and your PPC agency partner. Without it, there will always be questions, lingering doubts, and a growing unspoken resentment that will, ultimately, kill the relationship. Without fail. Your agency must be an extension of your own team, working with you collaboratively to reach your goals. In this brutally honest piece, IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Dan Baum shares the top five signs your current (or prospective) PPC agency partner isn't the right fit for your company... and potentially doesn't have your best interests at heart.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "OK, how do we REALLY align our sales and marketing teams, so we can start crushing our goals?" (5-minute read)

If you want to achieve your most aggressive digital sales and marketing goals in 2020, you absolutely must focus on achieving true sales and marketing alignment within your company. This can't be achieved in a single meeting, through an announcement at an all-hands meeting, or by sending an email. In order to truly align these often-at-odds teams, you have to work at it with purpose. In this expert interview with IMPACT VP of Revenue Melanie Collins, you'll learn the exact steps you need to take within your company to align your sales and marketing teams, so you can meet (and exceed) your revenue goals this year and beyond.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ’” "No matter what we do, our sales and leadership teams simply won't buy-in to our digital marketing strategy β€” how do we fix this once and for all?" (find out)

Our transformative inbound culture workshop is designed to establish alignment and excitement across all of your teams for the direction you need to take with your digital sales and marketing. We’ve helped hundreds of companies in your exact position come together to eliminate barriers to buy-in and achieve astounding revenue growth β€” and it all began with our inbound culture workshop.

πŸ‘‰ "Why is everyone talking about 'dwell time' all of the sudden in the SEO world? What do we need to know?" (3-minute read)

Dwell time simply refers to the amount of time someone spends on a particular website page after clicking through it from a SERP result, before the hit the back button to the original search results. Doesn't sound like a huge deal, at first. However, many are predicting that it is going to be one of the most important metrics publishers and companies should be focusing on in their 2020 SEO strategy. In this article from IMPACT Director of Operations Kaitlyn Petro, learn everything you need to know about what dwell time is, how you measure it, and the best way to focus on this metric in your SEO strategy.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Wouldn't you love to call me a teammate? Well, here's your chance. We're currently accepting applications for:

🍰 Weekend nonsense

See, at IMPACT, we'd call this "living in the solution":

IMG-5090

Have a great weekend!

January 21, 2020

Google's push toward a cookie-free browser, a storytelling master-class from Patsy Cline for content marketers, and why your Facebook ads aren't converting ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ’― ICYM the big ANN-ouncement: Last week, we announced the one and only Ann Handley will be returning to Digital Sales & Marketing World as a keynote speaker and we couldn't be more excited. Super early bird pricing ends January 31 and you can get an extra 20% off with the code ANN20, so make sure to grab your ticket today to see her in-person!

I remember telling someone a few weeks ago that one of the ways I best process big or challenging emotions is through my writing. Either by explicitly writing about an experience as a means to better understand it, or channeling whatever those feelings are into a more productive storytelling vehicle.

As I've shared previously with you all, I have initiated a lot of big changes in my life that have pushed me through periods of growth and pain. (Often, both go hand in hand.)

Well, today I crossed a significant and bittersweet milestone as part of that very same journey. One marked by many tears and raw conversations and, ultimately, unexpected shared understandings. 

Instead of feeling the need to document this unforgettable moment in time, I opted to channel that energy and those emotions into what is the first featured article in today's issue of THE LATEST

I hope you will take the time to read it. And listen to the song that inspired this storytelling lesson β€” it's only three minutes long. My hope is that it will open your eyes to what you're truly capable of as digital marketers. Plus, it's the only way I am able to express myself on this day.

And now, here's THE LATEST.

πŸ‘‰ "What can marketers learn about brand storytelling from Patsy Cline?" (7-minute read)

"She's Got You" by Patsy Cline is an old country song that has carried me through heartache after heartache, from my late teens through to today. But it was only recently, on one cold January afternoon (as tears were streaming down my face), that I stopped and wondered why. "What is it about this song in particular? What makes it so powerful after all of these years? Why do I always come back to it?" In this article, I share the powerful and moving storytelling lesson every single digital marketer needs to understand (and experience) before you create your next piece of content.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "What do I need to know about Google's controversial push toward a cookie-free browsing experience with Chrome?" (3-minute read)

Google's Justin Schuh, director of Chrome engineering, recently released a blog post stating that Google Chrome intends to kill off third-party cookies by 2020. This proposed change introduces friction for advertisers and marketers who continue to rely (for better or worse) on third-party cookie tracking to display relevant ads to users. Hoo-boy. To say this news is a big deal would be an understatement. In this rundown from IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Dylan Lepak, you'll learn everything you need to know, as marketers, about what a cookie-free future means for your strategies.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ“ˆ "How can we drastically improve how well our website ranks in search results right now?" (Get the answer)

How your website ranks and performs in search is dependent on a number of factors, and the rules are always changing. Unlock the action plan to skyrocket your website’s performance with our technical SEO audit, in partnership with Narrative SEO.

πŸ‘‰ "Why aren't our Facebook ads converting?" (4-minute read)

It can be extremely frustrating and disappointing when the time, energy, and money you put into Facebook ads aren't yielding the results you expected. When advertising on Facebook, the reality is that you’re playing a very layered game of variables. Meaning you have to consider the ad platform itself, which has its own shifting rulebook. In this candid, experience-backed analysis from IMPACT Paid Media Project Manager Rachel Palmateer, you'll get the brutally honest truth about the why your Facebook ads are failing you.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Wouldn't you love to call me a teammate? Well, here's your chance. We're currently accepting applications for:

πŸ”Ž In case you missed it!

You already know Ann Handley is going be at Digital Sales & Marketing World this April. Now, she’s got a personal message for all of you:

Ann Handley DSMW 2020 Promo Video 
I don't know about you, but dance party with Ann is officially on my bucket list. 

Super early-bird pricing (the lowest prices tickets will EVER be!) expires on January 31, so register today! β€” And don't forget to use Ann's special discount code ANN20 for an additional 20% off!

Toodles! 

January 18, 2020

New year reminders from 20 industry experts, our top remote-friendly tools, and the best email marketing service provider for you...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ’― ICYM the big ANN-ouncement: Earlier this week, we announced the one and only Ann Handley will be returning to Digital Sales & Marketing World as a keynote speaker and we couldn't be more excited. Super early bird pricing ends January 31 and you can get an extra 20% off with the code ANN20, so make sure to grab your ticket today to see her in-person!


Why hello, friends!

Long time, no see. Something's been on my mind since we last spoke.

You see, as the head of editorial content at IMPACT, there's one misconception that seems to follow me around like a little shadow. 

I hear it at least once a month:

"I wish writing was as easy for me as it is for you."

 

face-palm-small

 

For writers, there are few things more frustrating than hearing this and I'm sure you can understand the pain.

I mean just because you're a designer doesn't mean you can create a perfect website without any effort. Or just being a CEO doesn't mean you know the solution to every business challenge. 

Being a professional in a field doesn't mean it comes easily.

So, when people tell me they can't find the words or are having trouble getting an idea out, I get it. I really do.

We all spend hours (if not days) researching, outlining, writing, and rewriting every piece. We all highlight and delete paragraphs on paragraphs again and again until our eyes feel like they're going to bug out of our heads.  

Writing is hard. Creating content is hard. Finding your voice is hard β€” even if you are "a good writer."  

It all takes blood, sweat, and sometimes tears (seriously, I've seen some pretty nasty paper cuts).

But that's why when you get it right, it's that much more rewarding.

When you talk to your sales team, understand your buyer's questions, and hit publish on something that addresses them earnestly, it's worth it.

You see the traffic. You see the leads. And most importantly, you see how much the knowledge you share helps people make the right decisions for them, their lives, and their organizations.

You see see the fruits of all that labor and I've gotta say, it's kind of a trip. 

But anyway, enough of my rambling (though I have missed our little chats).

Here's THE LATEST.

πŸ‘‰ "What's holding me back from being the best marketer possible this year?" (14-minute read)

A quick Google search for 'marketing predictions for 2020' and you'll find yourself drowning in a sea of over 1 billion results. With a new year and decade underway, everyone wants to know what the future holds, but the fact is, most of us have no idea. That's why IMPACT's lead They Ask, You Answer consultant, Chris Marr, suggests we get back to basics. In this article, Chris asked 20 industry experts what they think marketers are forgetting and what's holding us back from being the best we can be in 2020.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "What tools and platforms can help my company be more remote-friendly?" (5-minute read)

"Remote-friendly" means more than simply offering the ability to work from home, and with more than half the IMPACT team working out of state today, we've learned that first-hand. To enable remote employees to do their best work and also make sure they feel a part of the team, sometimes you need a little extra help, so IMPACT's VP of Talent and Admin, Natalie Davis, has shared our top 7 tools and platforms for maintaining a remote-friendly culture. 

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ“ˆ "How can we drastically improve how well our website ranks in search results right now?" (Get the answer)

How your website ranks and performs in search is dependent on a number of factors, and the rules are always changing. Unlock the action plan to skyrocket your website’s performance with our Technical SEO Audit, in partnership with Narrative SEO.

πŸ‘‰ "What's the best email marketing service option for me?" (11-minute read)

There are hundreds of different email marketing service options out there. In fact, even after asking over 700 marketers for their favorite, we still found ourselves looking at over 40 different platforms. To help you really narrow down this crowded market, IMPACT Director of Community and Events Stephanie Baiocchi dies in head-first and shares her picks for 9 best email marketing service options.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

January 16, 2020

Top 2020 digital marketing trends, Google's BERT algorithm update, and 10 blog layout best practices you need to know ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ’― "Sometimes inbound marketing feels like a big waste of time and money." Sound familiar? Whether you're just getting started with inbound or you're smashing the inbound reset button for a much needed fresh start, this webinar on January 27, 2020, at 2 p.m. Eastern is for youNow is the time to learn how to do inbound the right way, so you can start hitting your most aggressive digital sales and marketing goals.

I know a lot of people hate it, but I absolutely love hopping in my Jeep for a long, solo road trip somewhere.

Aside from the fact that there's something very emotionally freeing about cruising down the highway, blasting my favorite tunes, and feeling the sunshine stream in through the moonroof, there aren't many places in this world where I am forced to just sit alone and ponder whatever happens to come into my mind. 

When I'm behind the wheel, alone with my thoughts, that's when I feel the most present and in the moment. I don't have a phone glued to my hand as the miles of interstate roll out in front of me. And there's usually no one sitting beside me, chattering away. 

I'm thinking about this today because, in a few hours, I'll be hitting the road to hang out with some of my favorite IMPACTers for an impromptu weekend jaunt to Cleveland, Ohio.

(And, according to all the little chicks with the crimson lips, Cleveland rocks!)

With six hours on my own, I'm wondering what I'll cook up before I reach my destination.

On previous drives, I:

Look, I know long, endless highway-driving is not for everyone. However, I would encourage each of you to find the space or an activity somewhere in your life that allows you to free-think, brainstorm, and be present and alone with your ideas. 

Yes, turning to the great Google machine to answer our most pressing questions is a great and helpful thing. But sometimes you already know the answer; you just need to give yourself time to discover it.

And now, here's THE LATEST...

πŸ‘‰ "What are the most important digital marketing trends we need to be paying attention to?" (17-minute read)

When it comes to digital marketing, the landscape is always evolving β€” and sometimes spinning wildly off into new directions. For example, what most marketers ignored as a smartphone gimmick only a few years ago has now evolved into voice search, which is growing rapidly. But where should you spend your time and effort? What are the digital marketing trends worth capitalizing on? Don't worry, IMPACT Content Marketing Consultant Brian Casey has you covered with this incredibly well-researched and comprehensive overview of the 27 most critical digital marketing trends you need to know about.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "Uh, what does this Google BERT algorithm change mean for our content strategy?" (3-minute read)

BERT, or Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is Google's most recent algorithmic update to how it processes queries and curates page results. It uses machine learning to process natural language and interpret the meaning of queries and page content. Whew, that was a mouthful, am I right? But what the heck does all that mean for us digital marketers trying to get our content to rank well on search engines? In this article from IMPACT Beat Reporter Rachel Denney, you'll get the inside scoop on everything you need to know about Google's BERT algorithm change and what it means for your SEO strategy... all in three minutes or less.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ“ˆ "How can we drastically improve how well our website ranks in search results right now?" (get the answer)

How your website ranks and performs in search is dependent on a number of factors, and the rules are always changing. Unlock the action plan to skyrocket your website’s performance with our Technical SEO Audit, in partnership with Narrative SEO.

πŸ‘‰ "How should we structure our company blog's layout based on recent trends, data, and research?" (11-minute read)

To help shape and optimize the readability of your content you need it to be facilitated by a blog design that’s able to draw customers into headlines, entice interactions, optimize for conversions, and create a lasting impression. But where do you start? How do you organize everything to increase your blog's subscribers while also keeping it aesthetically pleasing? Those are the exact questions IMPACT Creative Lead Christine Austin answers in this fantastic article (with loads of examples!) on the 10 blog layout best practices you need to keep in mind in 2020.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Currently, we're accepting applications for:

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

🌎 One last thing

I told you to keep an eye out for the big Digital Sales & Marketing World keynote speaker announcement in the last issue, but did you miss it?

Well, just in case, I am so, so, SO thrilled to finally be able to spill the beans that the one-and-freaking-only Ann Handley (CCO of MarketingProfs and author of Everybody Writes) is the latest keynote speaker reveal for DSMW2020

Speaker Announcement--1_14FB_Li - Non Silhouette

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and is totally beside herself with happiness over this news? This moi.

Now, don't forget, super early-bird pricing (the lowest prices tickets will EVER be!) expires on January 31, so secure your registration today!

Au revoir!

January 14, 2020

11 blogging mistakes that are costing you, 7 SEO strategy must-haves in 2020, and 48 marketing books you need to read ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

😱 TODAY IS THE DAY! At 1 p.m. Eastern, we're making our next big keynote speaker announcement for Digital Sales & Marketing World 2020 β€” so, follow DSMW on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to be the first in the know! (Also, don't forget, super early-bird pricing ends on January 31.)

Normally, I hate marketing jokes. To me, they exist almost exclusively in the "try-hard" category of comedy, resulting in more groans than guffaws.

For instance:

Did you hear about the new strategy where companies collaborate with ill celebrities? It’s called influenza marketing. It’s really going viral.

What? No. Just... no. 😐

But then, a miracle happened. While standing in line at a Starbucks this morning, I read a marketing joke that made me laugh so abruptly and awkwardly that I scared the woman in front of me and she dropped her purse. (Sorry!)

How many marketers does it take to change a light bulb? Um... it isn't too late to make this neon instead, is it?

OK, I was laughing at this joke... but also crying on the inside, because I felt seen, understood, and attacked all at the same time. How many of you have ever had a moment where you're feeling positive about the momentum of a project, only to have someone come in and try to take you back to square one at the 11th hour?

And then you want to sink into the floor, never to be heard from again... or maybe that's just me.

To be fair, sometimes it makes sense to smash the pause button. What you're working on was based on faulty assumptions or you need to make an unexpected pivot or "we need to slow down to speed up, blah blah blah."

Then, there are those demoralizing times where you're working with a group of people to build something. Let's say a horse. But the more you talk and analyze and debate, the more you realize you're unintentionally building a camel instead. 

The key is to be able to spot the difference. Because, sometimes β€” as much as you may want to initially roll your eyes β€” you absolutely must pump the brakes on what you're working on. Otherwise, you'll just keep making the same mistakes over and over.

And now, here's THE LATEST... 

πŸ‘‰ "What are the most costly mistakes we're making when creating blog content for our company?" (9-minute read)

"I’ve been blogging for months now and haven’t seen any impact on my traffic and leads. Does this mean content marketing doesn’t work, or am I doing something wrong?” This is one of the most frequent pain points IMPACT Lead Content Marketing Trainer Kevin Phillips hears from our clients. If you're feeling the same way, then consider this comprehensive deep-dive into the 11 most common (and costly) blogging mistakes a must-read this morning.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "OK, what actually needs to be in our SEO strategy, so we can increase our rankings in search engines?" (5-minute read)

How can marketers know how to build an SEO strategy so their content will rank in search engines and get in front of the intended prospects when the expectations keeps changing? I struggle to answer this question, personally, because it feels like the rules change every single time I get comfortable with how I think things work in the world of SEO. Thankfully, IMPACT Content Marketing Consultant Christi Wharton is here to save the day with this super accessible, easily digestible primer on the seven things your SEO strategy must include.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ“ˆ "How can we drastically improve how well our website ranks in search results right now?" (get the answer)

How your website ranks and performs in search is dependent on a number of factors, and the rules are always changing. Unlock the action plan to skyrocket your website’s performance with our Technical SEO Audit, in partnership with Narrative SEO.

πŸ‘‰ "Give it to me straight β€” what are the absolute BEST marketing books I need to know about?" (14-minute read)

This is one of the most common questions we get asked at IMPACT. So, we've hand-selected this list of books (updated just last week for 2020), across a wide range of topics including content strategy, website strategy, reimagining your sales process, conversational marketing, overall business growth, the science behind why people become brand superfans, and much more. Ready to get inspired? Then check out this amazing list from IMPACT Office Manager Carolyn Edgecomb of the best marketing books on the market guaranteed to help you achieve your most audacious sales and marketing goals in 2020.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Currently, we're accepting applications for:

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Finally, here are the long-reads, news items, and articles that have caught my eye going into this week:

Later, nerds!

January 9, 2020

Top SEO best practices for 2020, HubSpot vs. Marketo, and the rise of live social video ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

😱 Over time, a HubSpot portal can become a scary, messy, disorganized place. Join IMPACT Director of HubSpot Training Carina Duffy and HubSpot Consultant Joe Bachir on January 14 at 2 p.m. Eastern for a live webinar on how to clean up your HubSpot portal for the new year, as well as their top strategies for improving how you use the platform. Learn more and register.

"Am I seeing things? Do you really have The Avengers theme song in your 2020 Spotify playlist?"

This is an email I received in response to the last issue of THE LATEST.

No Doug, you're not hallucinating. I do, indeed, have The Avengers theme song in my 2020 playlist. 

It features prominently in that playlist (and scores of others) as it is the key ingredient in one of my favorite life hacks as an adult.

You see, whenever I get overwhelmed by something β€” for instance, when someone explains schema markup to me for the 15th time and I still don't get it β€” I can feel my brain begin to collapse in upon itself like a dying star. (Because inside this mid-30s body of mine lies the heart of a 15-year-old drama queen with no off switch.)

Instead of succumbing to these feelings, I immediately fire up The Avengers theme song at full volume... and presto!

Untitled design (15)

I feel like a mother-flippin' superhero ready to tell Thanos to stuff it. πŸ‘Š

It sounds ridiculous, I know.

But I dare you to try out this little life hack of mine next time your brain starts wrinkling over something at work and not feel like you could take on any challenge someone puts in front of you. 

And now, here's THE LATEST... 

πŸ‘‰ "What are the most important SEO best practices we need to know going into 2020?" (1-minute read + audio podcast)

If you're looking for an accessible, easy-to-understand conversation about SEO in 2020 that doesn't create more questions than it answers, this episode Content Lab β€” featuring one of my favorite humans on the planet, Franco Valentino of Narrative SEO β€” is for you. There are a lot of things digital marketers and content marketers need to pay attention to, SEO-wise every single day. But this episode is focused on answering one question β€” what are the most important SEO principles and best practices you absolutely must pay attention to and implement in your digital marketing in 2020?

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "A lot has changed in recent years, so which is better in 2020 for marketing automation β€” HubSpot or Marketo?" (8-minute read)

HubSpot and Marketo are the #1 and #2 marketing automation software companies in the world, respectively. Although we aren't shy about our love for HubSpot, we can still give credit where it's due. Marketo is a well-established platform that marketers would be wise to consider when deciding which marketing automation software to use to implement their inbound marketing strategies. So, how do you decide which one is right for you? In this comprehensive, head-to-head comparison from IMPACT Director of HubSpot Training Carina Duffy, you'll be able to determine once and for all if you should go with HubSpot or Marketo.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ’° Want to see big results with HubSpot? IMPACT's got your back (learn more)

As HubSpot’s current Partner Agency of the Year and largest global partner, we’re on a mission to help businesses around the world to get the most out of HubSpot. Whether you're just getting started with HubSpot for the first time, or you're a HubSpot veteran looking to get more out of your investment, our agile, personalized HubSpot training and consulting services can help.

πŸ‘‰ "Why is live social video an absolute necessity for marketers in 2020?" (2-minute read)

As we start 2020 and embrace all of the beautiful, magical tech disruptions in front of us, it's important to understand the full gravity of the tools already at our disposal. While live streaming may have been for early adopters and savvy growth hackers in 2015, it's earned its spot in almost every marketer's regimen in 2020. In this article from IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Dylan Lepak, learn the true value of live social video and why live streaming will matter so much for digital marketers this year

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered


🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Currently, we're accepting applications for:

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

⏰ Throwback Thursday

Once every few months, I feel the need to get up on my high horse and encourage business and marketing leaders everywhere to please, for the love of all that is holy, hire a content manager

So, here I am, astride my aforementioned high horse, with some of my greatest hits to help you do just that:

☝️ One last thing

We are SO, so close to our next big announcement, and I can't wait until y'all find out why I am so positively giddy about this mystery speaker! Reply to this email with your guesses. Also, super early-bird pricing for DSMW expires at the end of this month.

who-could-it-be

See you later, alligator! πŸŠ

January 7, 2020

What you need to know about California's new privacy law, the ideal website redesign process, and marketing vs. advertising in 2020 ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ’ͺ Start off 2020 on the right foot! Join IMPACT Director of HubSpot Training on January 14 at 2 p.m. Eastern for a live webinar on how to clean up your HubSpot portal for the new year, as well as her top strategies for improving how you use the platform. Learn more and register today.

With California's new privacy law β€” the California Privacy Protection Act (CCPA) β€” having gone into effect at the start of this year, I've been thinking a lot about my own personal relationship with the various Skynet-esque robots in my life.

The Google Home devices in my office, bedroom, and kitchen that I shout at for the time, the weather, and to play my most recent favorite Spotify playlist. The Google search engine that empowers me to pass myself as someone qualified to be a content director at an award-winning digital sales and marketing company. 

And so on. 

On one hand, I get a little creeped out by the amount of data companies like Google and Facebook have on me β€” personal preferences, who I'm "stalking" late at night while scrolling through my phone in bed, preferred brands, health concerns, relationship status, and political beliefs.

On the other hand, I straight up lose my mind when I go to a website and it's like they've forgotten who I am. Instead of being served up a hyper-personalized experience, I'm treated like a stranger.

"What do you mean, you don't remember I've already downloaded this piece of content?" 

"Uh, why don't I have the ability to submit the same order again for Taco Bell through Door Dash just like I did last Wednesday at 10 p.m.?"

I wish I could say that last one isn't an E! True Hollywood Story experience from my own life, but here we are. Look, cooking for one is hard, OK? Don't judge me. 

taco-time

Get on my level, y'all.

Taco convenience aside, this mental push-and-pull dynamic is something I struggle with a lot when it comes to data privacy. 

I want the personalized experiences that only can occur when I allow a company to know who I am, what I want, what actions I'm taking, etc. At the same time, I don't want these companies to become the tech equivalent of a "frenemy" you keep very close to you because they know so much dirt on you that your life would literally be turned upside down if you cross them.

I have no good answers to this as a consumer or a marketer. But I share this in the hopes that we can all agree there is a lot more gray area in this issue than there are stark contrasts of black and white. 

And now, here's THE LATEST... 

πŸ‘‰ "What do we need to know about California's new privacy law that just went into effect?" (2-minute read)

Oh, look, y'all! It's a new privacy law taking effect! This time, it's in California with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). But what is the CCPA? Who is affected in and outside of California by this new legislation? What do you need to do if you're one of those impacted by the CCPA? And, whether you're impacted by the CCPA or not, what does this law tell us about the future of data privacy? Well, good news. In this article from IMPACT VP of Marketing Vin Gaeta, you'll learn absolutely everything you need to know about the CCPA and how it will impact your business (and your marketing) going forward.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "Hold on, what should a website redesign project process actually look like?" (12-minute read)

Want to hear something wild? Many, many moons ago, we didn't have a standardized "one-size-fits-all" process for redesigning websites. Not because we were lazy. Instead, we went a fully-customized, hands-on approach for each project... which, of course, was not sustainable. But after working on thousands of websites for clients, we've learned first-hand what works, what doesn't, and what needs to be in place for a website redesign project. In this article from IMPACT Website Strategy Director Stacy Willis, get the a comprehensive overview of what a website redesign process should really look like β€” a must-read for any company before they even think of touching their website.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

⏰ You don't just need a new website right now; you need a new website strategy that's guaranteed to deliver results (learn more)

Don’t settle for a website redesign that’s simply a β€œprettier” version of your existing site. Instead, invest in a website that will generate leads and drive the sales your business needs with the IMPACT Website Blueprint.

An IMPACT Website Blueprint is the strategy behind your website. Our strategic website experts will work closely with your in-house team during hands-on brainstorming sessions to develop your Website Blueprint over the course of three weeks. It’s an intense, data-driven process, but the results are priceless.

πŸ‘‰ "What's the difference between marketing and advertising in 2020, and is there still room for both?" (5-minute read)

This is one of those articles that makes me proud to be the content director at IMPACT. On its face, comparing and contrasting the concepts of marketing and advertising in the current digital landscape sounds like a simple, ho-hum topic. But in the hands of IMPACT Editorial Content Manager John Becker, this article is anything but. I highly encourage you to take five minutes to read this incisive, incredibly well-researched piece about what the real differences between marketing and advertising are, and how they play together in today's digital sales and marketing reality β€” you won't regret it.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Currently, we're accepting applications for:

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

☝️ One last thing

Don't forget, we've got a BIG announcement coming up! Reply to this email with your guesses. Also, super early-bird pricing for DSMW expires at the end of this month

who-could-it-be

See you later, alligator! πŸŠ

January 4, 2020

How to thrive in a recession, 8 top news stories from 2019, and off-camera interview style tips ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ’ͺ Start off 2020 on the right foot! Join IMPACT Director of HubSpot Training on January 14 at 2 p.m. Eastern for a live webinar on how to clean up your HubSpot portal for the new year, as well as her top strategies for improving how you use the platform. Learn more and register today.

Real talk, the most fun part of beginning a new chapter in your life is the borderline theatrical, fortune cookie-esque approach you can take to how you unveil that news

But then... reality sets in. 

And your "embrace what's possible" mentality quickly transforms into "embrace the devastating explosion that has become your home, because it turns out you're basically a hoarder who masks a deep sickness with a love of cleaning products and fragrant candles."

That's right, folks. The great purge-and-pack fiesta of 2020 has begun in full force here at Casa de Moorehead, and right now I am losing a battle to my epic book collection... 

IMG-4860

I have four floor-to-ceiling bookcases I am currently sorting through and packing, and it's not going well.

IMG-4861

...that's mostly because those bookcases don't even account for the books that never got unpacked in the first place. Sob.

I hate moments like this. I know what I have to do. I can't take everything with me as I embark on my next adventure. I have to learn to let go of bits and pieces of the past in order to be nimble enough to move forward. (And to be able to live in my new apartment comfortably, heh.)

"But they're just books."

To some, maybe. To me, however, those bookcases hold a great sense of comfort for me. They're books I've collected across different parts of my life. They're also how I keep my family with me, as much of it is made up of books from my mother, my father, my great aunts, and so on. 

We all have these moments in life, though β€” whether as private individuals making the tough choices, or small business leaders who realize that economic downturns are a natural cycle of business β€” where we need to be agile, forward-thinking, and willing to welcome the unknown with open arms. 

I just wish I could do that without all the cleaning involved. Seriously, moving is the worst, y'all.

Anyway, here's THE LATEST... 

πŸ‘‰ What small business leaders really need to know to thrive in a recession (7-minute read)

In his book, They Ask, You Answer, Marcus Sheridan wrote candidly about one of the darkest times in his professional life. Before River Pools and Spas became one of the greatest inbound marketing success stories in the world, it was a hair's breadth away from becoming a fatality of the Great Recession of 2008. Almost overnight, Marcus and his partners lost a staggering amount of expected revenue, as customers decided to abandon their projects due to the sudden economic downturn. That's what makes this brutally honest, self-reflective piece from IMPACT partner, author, and speaker Marcus Sheridan on what small business leaders really need to know on how to thrive in a recession a must-read.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Here are the 8 most popular digital sales and marketing news stories from 2019 (5-minute read)

Here at IMPACT, we aim to cover the most important digital marketing and sales news. Sometimes we report on events and controversies like Facebook’s loudly self-proclaimed victories against misinformation. Other times, it’s product updates from places like HubSpot or Google, or cutting-edge research. Last year, we published 582 news reactions. From IMPACT Editorial Content Manager and News Editor John Becker, here are eight of the most clicked and most discussed news stories we covered from 2019 β€” may they help you recall the bizarre year that was.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Behind-the-scenes with our video team β€” what it really takes to produce a great off-camera style interview (1-minute read + video)

Off-camera interviewing is a technique used in all types of digital sales and marketing videos, wherein a videographer or video producer sitting off-camera prompts on-camera talent with questions. The answers to those questions are then cut together β€” with the prompting questions cut out β€” for a final, clean video that looks friendly and conversational. But what do videographers and on-camera experts need to know about how those videos come together? In this behind-the-scenes interview with IMPACT Creative Director Alex Winter, learn the most important tricks and best practices we swear by for fantastic off-camera style interview videos.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎬 Learn how to build trust and close more deals faster with video in less than 2 days (learn more)

Do you know what the most common obstacle organizations run into when adopting video into their marketing and sales process is? It’s not the lack of understanding the β€œwhy” behind video, but rather β€œwhat” needs to be created and β€œhow” those videos will actually help a company increase its revenue.In reality, video is a win for both sales and marketing.

With a one- or two-day on-site video sales and marketing workshop from IMPACT, we will help you overcome these challenges, and empower your team to master video marketing strategy, on-camera performance, and video production.

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Currently, we're accepting applications for:

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

πŸ˜‚ Weekend nonsense

In case you're wondering what happens to me every single morning at 6 a.m. and every single night at 7 p.m., here's what you're missing out on:

my-life

Yes, this is a cry for help.

☝️ One last thing

Who could it be? Reply to this email with your guesses...

who-could-it-be

See you later, alligator! πŸŠ

January 2, 2020

New ultimate guide to growing your social media following, limitations of building your website on HubSpot, and what not to wear in marketing videos ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Jump right into the good stuff

🎨 Want to work for IMPACT? We're currently looking for an experienced, senior-level director to lead our award-winning web design team. Learn more about the role and apply today.

Shortly before the holidays, I stumbled across this tweet from HubSpot VP of Marketing (and previous Content Lab guest) Meghan Keaney Anderson:

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 12.56.12 PM

At the time, I chortled to myself with what I now realize was an almost Faustian level of hubris. And then I immediately retweeted it.

Now, here I am, on January 2, 2020, side-eyeing the laughably expansive to do list December 2019 me left for me to take care of. Thousands of words that still need to be edited, staged, scheduled, and published. Strategic loose ends that were "nonessential" at the end of last year that now need to be tied up. 

Then there's the horrifying black hole that is my email inbox... 

inbox

...and the list of emails I need to send β€” because (lol), "It's now 'first thing after the holidays,' so it's time to 'revisit' (fill in the blank)" β€” is marginally traumatic. 

Still, even though I woke up this morning knowing today would feel, at times, like a demoralizing game of whack-a-mole, I am so excited to be back.

The end of the year always feels like a waiting room, where we are all waxing poetic about our big plans for the new year... but we're not actually doing anything. We're all talk. So, as the final days, hours, minutes, and seconds of a year count down, I find myself more anxious to get to this moment. 

This moment where I know it's time to put one foot in front of the other, get those plans into motion, and make my big dreams a reality. Or, as modern-day philosopher Elvis Presley once said:

"Don't procrastinate, don't articulate. A little less conversation, a little more action."

And now, here's THE LATEST!

πŸ‘‰ Hot off the presses, here's the ultimate guide to growing your social media following in 2020 (18-minute read)

For businesses, building a social media following that increases brand awareness and drives revenue can be extremely challenging. From choosing the right platform, to knowing what you should post where (and when), the rules are always changing... to the point where social media can feel like a waste of time. If social media is still a struggle for your brand, have no fear. This article from IMPACT Content Marketing Consultant Connor DeLaney will teach you the basics of building a social media following and will provide you with the tools and revenue-generating tactics that brands are using to win on social media today

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Should you build your business website on HubSpot? (7-minute read)

There are a lot of reasons why 75% of the business websites we build for clients are on HubSpot β€” for example, you cannot even begin to imagine the lead generation potential of a website where the CMS and the marketing automation solution are under the exact same roof. That being said, no digital sales and marketing solution is the right fit for every single company or organization in existence. In this candid, in-depth interview with IMPACT senior front-end developer Tim Ostheimer, you'll learn the limitations of building a website on HubSpot, which types of businesses should think twice before building their website on HubSpot, and more.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ Here is what you should never wear in a marketing video, and what you should wear instead (4-minute read)

"Don't judge a book by its cover," sounds nice and all... but when it comes to how you present yourself on video β€” particularly when it comes to what you're wearing β€” looks matter. This makes sense, of course, because video is a visual medium. Here's the tricky thing about video, though; what looks good on you in person may not look so hot on film. So, in this super informative rundown from IMPACT videographer Megan Lang, you'll get the inside scoop on what looks good on camera, as well as what doesn't, with loads of examples.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ† Get on the path to inbound success fast, without the long-term commitment (learn more)

You’re looking for an inbound marketing agency to help bring your business to another level. All too often, however, the sales process goes too fast. And it doesn't take long for you to realize your agency partner never made enough time to get to know your business or its true challenges in the first place, so as to help you achieve your most aggressive growth goals with inbound marketing.

Don’t get stuck in a long-term contract and then find out what your business really needs to be successful with inbound in the long-run. With IMPACT’s Fast Start Program, you can get your inbound marketing on the right path fast, while truly getting to know us as your agency partner, risk-free.

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ‘‹ Work for IMPACT

Currently, we're accepting applications for:

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

πŸ€“ What I'm reading right now

Finally, here are the long reads, news items, and articles that have caught my eye:

See you later, alligator! πŸŠ