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The Latest Digital Marketing News by IMPACT
March 31, 2020

Are you eligible for the coronavirus Payroll Protection Program, the impact of coronavirus on influencer marketing, and knowing when it's time to switch your website hosting ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ† Digital Sales & Marketing Day β€” a virtual event that will empower you and your business to thrive during these uncertain times β€” is happening on April 6, 2020. Use code "LATEST39" to get your ticket for ONLY $39 β€” a $260 savings

The emotional highs and lows of the past week have been intense.

On the high end, I fell in love on Saturday. His name is Hamuel L. Jackson. (Sadly no, they do not "speak puppy in what.") We're registered at BarkBox and Williams-Sonoma. On the low end, well, last week should have been the start of baseball season. Yet here we are, baseball-less. I'm not doing well.

In fact, I'm devastated... but at least I'm not alone. (Please help us.)

In light of this never-ending pendulum swing of feelings, I thought I would share some of my very deep and personal thoughts on my current life... in a series of haikus: 

I.
Did you know that cats
though excellent at napping
are bad at small talk?

II.
Everyone I know
says, "You must watch Tiger King!"
With spite, I decline.

III.
I should not have made

six cups of ricotta cheese.
Ugh, what have I done?

IV.
Question, why did March
feel like one really long day?
Can't wait for April. πŸ˜’

V.
In under 12 months,
I unpacked from a big move.
Thank you, pandemic.

VI.
No, I haven't watched
Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
18 times, shut-up.

VII.
I wore a blazer
while on a video call
...with duck PJ pants.

And now, here's THE LATEST... 

πŸ‘‰ "The Payroll Protection Program from the coronavirus stimulus bill is supposed to help businesses like ours β€” what do we need to know?" (3-minute read)

With the federal coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus bill's passage on Friday, March 27, 2020, many rumors and guesses have made the rounds on social media and elsewhere about what it includes, fueling speculation about free money and loan forgiveness. If you're looking for a true summary of what's included in the bill, and how it can help your business, we can help. In this article from IMPACT CEO and founder Bob Ruffolo, learn about the centerpiece of the coronavirus stimulus package, the Payroll Protection Program, and why you need to contact your bank about it immediately for your business.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

⚠️ "Our whole team is now working from home, and we are struggling β€” how do we keep our teams aligned, our business afloat, and thrive beyond this crisis?" (Here's how)

With recent events rapidly making the remote workplace a new standard, it’s more important than ever to ensure your sales and marketing teams:

β€’ Have the right tools to thrive in a digital sales space.
β€’ Are aligned on what will quickly move leads to close. 
β€’ Are focused on what moves the needle, not vanity metrics.

IMPACT’s proven methodology to succeed in a remote, digital environment was created during the 2008 recession and has helped thousands of businesses beat the competition β€” even the toughest economic times. 

πŸ‘‰ "How is coronavirus impacting influencer marketing, and what do digital marketers need to know about it?" (2-minute read)

The immediate effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) on businesses is far-reaching, no matter what industry you are in. In the marketing space, influencers are starting to see major shakeups. From losing sponsorship deals as brands cut budgets to live-event cancellations, those in the once-booming influencer-marketing industry are having to shift and adapt their formula to keep revenue coming in. In this analysis from IMPACT Director of Demand Generation Kristen Harold, you'll learn everything digital marketers need to know about how coronavirus is impacting the influencer marketing machine.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ‘‰ "How do we know if or when we should change web hosting for our business website?" (4-minute read)

Quick, tell me who your website host is? If you have trouble answering that question, you're not alone. Many businesses think of web hosting as "set it and forget it." They pay the fees and don't give it another thought. However, periodic evaluations of the service are a good idea to make sure your needs are being met, especially as your business grows and changes. In this interview with IMPACT partner Hostinger, you'll gain insights into what site hosting entails and what small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to know.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

⚠️ Resources from our pals at Petra

Not only do we coach our own clients, we have our own coaches at IMPACT, as well β€” the incredible and inspiring team at Petra, whose sole goal is to help businesses and entrepreneurs thrive. 

In response to coronavirus, Petra has put together this fantastic resource center for businesses trying to make it through these uncertain times, including webinars, articles, and other valuable insights.

🌢️ Hot topics in Elite

IMPACT Elite is our exclusive Facebook group for the brightest minds in digital sales and marketing, with almost 6,000 members. And here's today's hot topic:

🍳 Weeklong nonsense

With everything going on in the world, you now get nonsense in every single issue of THE LATEST... 

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 11.04.11 PM

Things to do with all of the eggs you've hoarded during quarantine.

Later, squares! 

March 28, 2020

What a coronavirus content strategy should look like, 5 virtual event software options for your now-remote event, and 6 problems with outsourcing website content to a freelance copywriter ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ† Digital Sales & Marketing Day β€” a virtual event that will empower you and your business to thrive during these uncertain times β€” is happening on April 6, 2020. Use code "LATEST39" to get your ticket for ONLY $39 β€” a $260 savings

If I had to choose, I'd say my book collection is my favorite thing I own.

This is due in part to the fact that I love reading β€” duh. More than that, however, I've accumulated these books over the years from different relatives, so it's become a way to keep my family with me always. No matter where I decide to call "home" on a given day, week, or month, or how much time passes. 

But hiding among the classics, history books, outdated atlases, artist retrospectives, and a downright aggressive number of publications dedicated to the subject of flower arranging (thanks, mom Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―), is what I consider to be probably one of my little library's crowning jewels...

IMG-5961

Originally published in 1952, and expanded and revised in 1974, this riveting page-turner addresses brand new "entertaining concerns." For example, "how do you serve a sit-down dinner without a maid?"

Buckle up, folks. This book is an outstanding snapshot in time.

IMG-5969

I guess it's time for me to pep myself up and approach my work at IMPACT as an exciting project! And I will succeed, gosh darnit!

IMG-5965

Laugh all you want, but two women were seated next to each other at dinner party in Austria-Hungary in June 1914... and that's how World War I really started.

IMG-5967

Sorry, Susan. You're on your own when it comes to bird shot. Also flies.

I like to crack this book open whenever I need a good laugh β€” I kid you not, there's an entire section dedicated specifically to the etiquette rules for men and women lighting each other's cigarettes in an office environment.

But I also like to skim through it when I need a bold reminder that, as much as we try to resist change (individually or as a society), change is inevitable.

Whether that change is initiated by unexpected world events, technological advancement, recessions, or simply the passage of time, change is a part of our lives and should be embraced. 

Often, when we are tested, pushed to our limits, or otherwise challenged to do something differently is when we surprise ourselves with our capacity for resilience, innovation, and compassion.

It's also when we learn who we really are, what we're really made of, and what we really want out of life. You may be surprised what you find.

So, don't close your eyes to it β€” even if it scares you. 

Actually, especially when it scares you.

πŸ‘‰ "How should we be approaching our content strategy as a business amid the coronavirus pandemic?" (2-minute read + podcast)

Businesses the world over are still adapting to this "new normal" brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic β€” including IMPACT. But, earlier this week, a content manager for an office interiors company in Canada reached out for help on a specific topic. How do you reimagine and/or reprioritize your content strategy, if at all, during these uncertain times? To answer that question, IMPACT Editorial Content Manager John Becker and I invited Brian Casey and Will Schultz (content and video heavy-hitters at IMPACT) to have a candid, deep discussion about how your content strategy should (and shouldn't) change, what we're doing at IMPACT, where video now fits in, and more.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

⚠️ "Our whole team is now working from home, and we are struggling β€” how do we keep our teams aligned, our business afloat, and thrive beyond this crisis?" (Here's how)

With recent events rapidly making the remote workplace a new standard, it’s more important than ever to ensure your sales and marketing teams:

β€’ Have the right tools to thrive in a digital sales space.
β€’ Are aligned on what will quickly move leads to close. 
β€’ Are focused on what moves the needle, not vanity metrics.

IMPACT’s proven methodology to succeed in a remote, digital environment was created during the 2008 recession and has helped thousands of businesses beat the competition β€” even the toughest economic times. 

πŸ‘‰ "OK, now that in-person events aren't an option, what are the best virtual event softwares out there?" (6-minute read)

Numerous marketers and thousands of companies are dealing with exactly what I’m going through: scrambling with their team to triage an in-person event that, due to COVID-19 (or coronavirus) has been abruptly cancelled, rescheduled, or sitting in event purgatory awaiting the next steps. Sound familiar?  You’re not alone. We just went through this at IMPACT. So, to help you make the best choice for your now-remote event, IMPACT VP of Marketing Vin Gaeta shares in this article the five absolute best virtual event software options on the market today.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "Wait, why shouldn't we outsource our website copywriting to a freelancer? Shouldn't I want to work with a pro?" (5-minute read)

Whether you’re finally redesigning your business website or building your first one, you have an important question to answer: who will provide the copy for all of those pages? If that's you, there's a good chance you’re thinking about finding someone else to handle all of that copy for your website. It sounds easier (and smarter) to leave that job to a "pro," right? Well, not so fast. In this article from IMPACT Lead Content Marketing Trainer Kevin Phillips, you'll learn the six most common problems you'll likely face when trusting your website copywriting project to a freelancer

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

⚠️ Resources from our pals at Petra

Not only do we coach our own clients, we have our own coaches at IMPACT, as well β€” the incredible and inspiring team at Petra, whose sole goal is to help businesses and entrepreneurs thrive. 

In response to coronavirus, Petra has put together this fantastic resource center for businesses trying to make it through these uncertain times, including webinars, articles, and other valuable insights.

🌢️ Hot topics in Elite

IMPACT Elite is our exclusive Facebook group for the brightest minds in digital sales and marketing, with almost 6,000 members. And right now, there are three audience polls that require your attention:

🎢 Weekend nonsense

Don't ask questions. Just watch:

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 12.16.40 PM

Seriously, just watch

Stay safe this weekend β€” and wash πŸ‘ your πŸ‘ hands πŸ‘!

March 26, 2020

How B2B businesses are going digital with coronavirus, coronavirus marketing strategy checklist for small businesses, and virtual selling in the age of coronavirus ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ† Digital Sales & Marketing Day β€” a virtual event that will empower you and your business to thrive during these uncertain times β€” is happening on April 6, 2020. Use code "LATEST39" to get your ticket for ONLY $39 β€” a $260 savings

Breaking news: I'm a hypocrite.πŸ‘‡

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.29.52 AM

Watch the video.

With that unfortunate confession out of the way, I want to share three things that are getting me through this morning:

And with that, here's THE LATEST... 

πŸ‘‰ "How are B2B businesses adapting their strategies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic? What is digital's role?" (4-minute read)

As marketers, we’ve been conditioned to be prepared for any changes or disruptions that come our way. Being in such a fast-moving industry, we have no choice but to be proactive and embrace the pace. The unfortunate spread of the coronavirus is no exception, and marketers everywhere are starting to review their strategies in an effort to adapt and overcome. In this article from IMPACT Director of Operations Kaitlyn Petro, you'll see how many B2B businesses β€” the vast majority of which rely on trade shows and traditional marketing to grow β€” are adapting their strategies to go digital, in light of the coronavirus crisis, and what you can learn from them.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

⚠️ "Our whole team is now working from home, and we are struggling β€” how do we keep our teams aligned, our business afloat, and thrive beyond this crisis?" (Here's how)

With recent events rapidly making the remote workplace a new standard, it’s more important than ever to ensure your sales and marketing teams:

β€’ Have the right tools to thrive in a digital sales space.
β€’ Are aligned on what will quickly move leads to close. 
β€’ Are focused on what moves the needle, not vanity metrics.

IMPACT’s proven methodology to succeed in a remote, digital environment was created during the 2008 recession and has helped thousands of businesses beat the competition β€” even the toughest economic times. 

πŸ‘‰ "With coronavirus, what should our new marketing strategy checklist now include?" (5-minute read)

We were far from the only business hit with tough decisions to make over the past two weeks. In addition to live events postponing, cancelling, or going virtual, companies are faced with a multitude of questions, from how to set up their team for remote work to how to keep customers in unstable economic times. Other businesses have been forced to temporarily close or lay off employees. From a marketer’s standpoint, everything we once knew has been turned on its side. How should marketers be handing all of this? In this comprehensive checklist, IMPACT Director of Demand Generation Kristen Harold covers everything you need to do as digital marketers β€” from email marketing and paid media, to your website and events β€” in the wake of coronavirus.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "With coronavirus, our sales team now needs to embrace virtual selling, but what questions should we be asking?" (6-minute read)

In the past two weeks, IMPACT’s clients have reached out to us and shared fears, worries, and concerns about how they can transition to digital. And a large part of that is helping sales team transition to virtual selling and using video in their sales process. Luckily, since we love all things digital and have been operating as a remote culture for nearly five years, we’ve been able to help identify the mistakes and offer solutions to help our clients weather the storm. In this enlightening article from VP of Revenue Melanie Collins, she answers the top six questions we hear from clients and our audience about how to get started with virtual selling right away, so your sales team can weather the COVID-19 storm without missing a beat with prospects.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

⚠️ Resources from our pals at Petra

Not only do we coach our own clients, we have our own coaches at IMPACT, as well β€” the incredible and inspiring team at Petra, whose sole goal is to help businesses and entrepreneurs thrive. 

In response to coronavirus, Petra has put together this fantastic resource center for businesses trying to make it through these uncertain times, including webinars, articles, and other valuable insights.

🌢️ Hot topics in Elite

IMPACT Elite is our exclusive Facebook group for the brightest minds in digital sales and marketing, with almost 6,000 members. In response to the coronavirus crisis, there have been so many incredible conversations happening in this group.

Here's one that caught my eye:

😜 Weeklong nonsense

Usually, I hold all nonsense for the Saturday edition, but I think we could all use a laugh right now. So, until the world calms down, you're getting nonsense in every edition.

sparkling-isolation

Talk to y'all this weekend! 

March 24, 2020

Is content marketing dead in this coronavirus reality, how to manage an in-house videographer, how to think like a CEO (and get better results) as a sales pro ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ† Digital Sales & Marketing Day β€” a virtual event that will empower you and your business to thrive during these uncertain times β€” is happening on April 6, 2020. Use code "LATEST39" to get your ticket for ONLY $39 β€” a $260 savings

As y'all know, I (like many of you) am home-bound 24 hours a day, seven days a week thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since I can't spend all of that time working β€” because Vin would (and does... often πŸ˜’) yell at me for trying to do just that β€” I am happy to report that I am almost completely unpacked and setup my new apartment. 

IMG-5872

This is a huge accomplishment, because all of those books pictured above literally rotted in boxes for nine months after my last move last year. Whoops.

Overall, I am super pleased with how well my nerdy place is coming together...  

IMG-5688

Why yes, my bathroom does have an educational grammar poster as its visual anchor piece. 

IMG-5691

Are you really that surprised?

It's times like these, however, that remind me how many critical tasks we willingly shove to the back-burner when things are going well.

We're either "too busy" or have other "more pressing priorities." 

For example, last-year Liz totally cried "woe is me!" dozens of times about how I was too busy to unpack or spend time outdoors, only later to spend literally hours parked in front of the TV on my phone while binging Schitt's Creek for the thousandth time. 

Or, let's look at it another way. How many of you are thinking that now is the time to cut down or scale-back on content marketing? Coronavirus has turned everything on its head. The world is too crazy, there's just no time to focus on it. You're too busy working on other "more pressing priorities."

On its face, that logic seems reasonable. But you'd be wrong.

πŸ‘‰ "With the coronavirus looming, should we waste our time on content marketing? Is They Ask, You Answer still even going to work during this crisis?" (4-minute read)

"[In times of crisis, you're going to say], 'Okay, what can I cut?' And marketing generally is one of the first things to get cut. I'm not saying that everybody out there right now can afford to keep every employee, but you shouldn't lessen your marketing activity. [Cutting marketing and video is] going to hurt the organization's ability to keep any momentum going once things get back to normal." Read more from this brutally honest and insightful interview with Marcus Sheridan on the role of content marketing and They Ask, You Answer in the age of coronavirus.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

⚠️ "Our whole team is now working from home, and we are struggling β€” how do we keep our teams aligned, our business afloat, and thrive beyond this crisis?" (Here's how)

With recent events rapidly making the remote workplace a new standard, it’s more important than ever to ensure your sales and marketing teams:

β€’ Have the right tools to thrive in a digital sales space.
β€’ Are aligned on what will quickly move leads to close. 
β€’ Are focused on what moves the needle, not vanity metrics.

IMPACT’s proven methodology to succeed in a remote, digital environment was created during the 2008 recession and has helped thousands of businesses beat the competition β€” even the toughest economic times. 

πŸ‘‰ "We want to do video in-house; it's the right thing to do in this uncertain climate. But we don't know the first thing about managing a videographer; what do we need to know?" (11-minute read)

We've talked about it a thousand times β€” just like hiring a content manager, bringing an in-house videographer on-staff is one of the smartest and most profitable hiring decisions you can make. Even now, with the coronavirus looming. That said, if you're not familiar with how to manage an in-house videographer, things can go horribly wrong. Thankfully, IMPACT Video Trainer Will Schultz is here to save the day with his comprehensive, battle-tested rundown of everything you should (and shouldn't) do when managing your in-house video resource.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "We need our sales team to be more productive with their close rates than ever; how will adopting a CEO mentality help them do that?" (7-minute read)

For the best salespeople, sales isn’t just a job β€” it’s a craft. And part of mastering the craft is treating your territory as you would your own small business. You’re the CEO of that business and responsible for the success or failure of what you do on a daily basis. But, what does it mean to think like a CEO? Why would adopting a CEO’s mindset help your sales approach? In this article from DM Training CEO Steve Bookbinder, learn exactly why adopting a CEO mindset is the key to unlocking exceptional results in sales, and how to do it.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

🌢️ Hot topics in Elite

IMPACT Elite is our exclusive Facebook group for the brightest minds in digital sales and marketing, with almost 6,000 members. In response to the coronavirus crisis, there have been so many incredible conversations happening in this group, and I want to share two that really caught my eye this week:


 Talk to y'all later this week!
March 21, 2020

Why coronavirus has made video more important than ever, the ultimate guide to video for sales, and questions to ask a video marketing consultant before you hire them ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ† Digital Sales & Marketing Day β€” a virtual event that will empower you and your business to thrive during these uncertain times β€” is happening on April 6, 2020. Speakers include Marcus Sheridan, Ann Handley, David Meerman Scott, Brian Fanzo, Marcus Murphy, myself, and many others. Use code "LATEST39" to get your ticket to this event for $39 ($260 savings!), no strings attached.

Before I moved up to Connecticut, I made the "wise" decision to sell all of my work from home furniture.

At the time, it made sense.

"Well, I'm just going to be working in the office now mostly, I won't need it!"

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 8.22.21 PM

Whoops.

So, I've been working from my couch. The unexpected consequence of this, however, is that a large percentage of my Zoom video conference calls now feature an uninvited co-star... 

90538233_646733580613_8602090122541793280_o

My delightful little murder-face, Pumpkin.πŸŽƒ

In fact, she crashed one of my calls with IMPACT Video Trainer Will Schultz yesterday and bullied him silently with a glare that, I believe, Robert DeNiro would be proud of.

Understandably, he was terrified... and yet... 

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 8.36.39 PM

Poor Will. 

Given how many of us are now all working from home, I'm sure I'm not the only one dealing with a little bit of video conferencing hijinx. 

But it's inescapable, right? Video β€” whether we're talking about live video conferencing or video in our digital sales and marketing strategies β€” is now more important than ever. 

So, that's what this issue is all about: video. 

That's right, I know a lot of you out there have been avoiding video in all forms, but (in light of recent events) resistance is now futile.

Why? Well, as IMPACT Director of Video Strategy Zach Basner so eloquently put it in a recent interview:

"Video is the only type of content that allows people to see us, to hear us, and to know us. This is why video makes a difference ... [Video] offers an opportunity for real, human connection when people can see us and hear us and get to know who we are β€” especially the leaders of organizations who acknowledge the elephant in the room. I think that's one of the biggest impact that video can have right now."

Now, let's get into it.

πŸ‘‰ "With coronavirus, why is video more important now than ever before?" (5-minute read)

With an abrupt shift to remote culture amid an unprecedented international response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), work life suddenly looks drastically different for many people. In this new and constantly changing situation, video has been thrust to center stage as a solution to every problem. Businesses are scrambling to implement video to not only stay productive but to keep their marketing and sales efforts moving. In this expert interview, IMPACT Director of Video Strategy Zach Basner, you'll learn why video is more important than ever β€” and how companies can get it right.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ‘‰ "How can our sales team get started using personalized video in the sales process right now?" (ungated getting started guide)

So, you want to get started with video in your sales process, but where do you even start? What tools and technology do you really need -- and what don't you need? How do you integrate video into your sales processes? How do you make sure you're likable and comfortable on camera? How do you know whether or not your videos are successful? In this getting started guide, IMPACT Demand Generation Manager Myriah Anderson serves up everything you need to know about how to start using personalized video in your sales process TODAY, with loads of examples, hacks, best practices, and lots more

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎬 "We want to see revenue from our video marketing strategy β€” how do we do that in-house?"

By 2022, 80% of internet traffic is expected to be video consumption. Now is the time to become a media company that creates unbiased, trust-building video content for your buyers that makes it easier for them to make a purchasing decision. With IMPACT's video sales and marketing training, you can do this better than anyone in your industry.

πŸ‘‰ "We want to hire a video consultant, what should we ask them to make sure they're the right fit for us?" (10-minute read)

If it’s new to you, the world of video can seem overwhelming. And while you can go it alone, hiring a video consultant might be the most effective and fastest way to overcome the steep video learning curve. At IMPACT, it is one of the services we offer. So, sure, we might be a little biased in suggesting it’s the best way to become confident and competent in creating internal video, but we also know every agency or consultant isn’t right for every business. How do you make sure you hire the right consultant for the job? In this article from IMPACT Lead Strategic Consultant Chris Marr, you'll learn the eight questions you need to ask before hiring a video marketing consultant.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

🀐 Weekend nonsense

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 9.28.31 PM
 Talk to y'all next week!
March 17, 2020

Now is the time for excellence, 14 ways to impress on your next video conference call, and is keyword research dead ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

I hope you'll forgive the late hour and the fact that this edition will be slightly different than usual. 

I have written and rewritten this issue of THE LATEST multiple times today. In fact, this is my fourth attempt. 

I tried recording a video. I tried thinking of some pithy way to talk about what I wanted to talk about today. But, when it comes down to it, I do my best processing of thoughts and ideas in writing. 

So, here we go. 

A little over a week ago, the world looked very different to me β€” as I'm sure it did to many of you, as well

IMG-5612

I had just come off of a weekend of hiking trails around New Haven, in an attempt to get to know my new hometown. 

And, following about two and a half miles of navigating a series of winding trails around the Mill River area in East Rock Park...

IMG-5616

...I took myself to the summit at Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, which provides a jaw-dropping panoramic view of all of New Haven and its surrounding areas. And I sat there for an hour on a giant rock, feet dangling over the edge while listening to some of my favorite and most uplifting tunes.

I felt alive. I felt hopeful. After almost a year of feeling muted, stunted, and lost, I felt as if everything was possible. 

I felt like I was breathing for the first time. 

Now, like many of you, I find myself wrestling with a new normal. A new normal that is underscored in bright red ink by uncertainty and fear of what tomorrow will bring.

Entire companies are wrestling with the challenges of suddenly embracing a remote working culture, while also trying to stay on target with their goals. Small business owners are scrambling. Friends and family worry for each other, at the same time they cannot comfort each other with hugs because of social distancing.

Some are "sheltering in place," a term I had never heard of until this morning, when I heard from some friends who live in San Francisco.  

Selfishly, I'm mentally wrapping myself around the fact that I live alone and will likely only have my cat as my sole in-person companion for the foreseeable future. The loneliness this will likely induce is something I'm struggling to unpack β€” even though I know I am still luckier than many.

Ten days ago, many of our lives were different.

However, even with all of that on my mind, as I sit here in the quiet solitude of a long-past sunset, I find myself filled with purpose.

The past 48 hours in particular have proven how much each and every single person at IMPACT is dedicated fully to our company mission to create heroes, grow companies, and change lives. 

But that doesn't stop when things get hard. In fact, these turbulent times have only strengthened our resolve to be there for you, as we all navigate through these uncharted waters together. 

(Heck, even They Ask, You Answer was discovered and proven to work during the Great Recession.)

So, what's next? 

The answer to the question I posed in the subject line is simple. 

We will still be here for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, empowering you with the insights, tactics, and strategies you need to not only survive but thrive during this time and well into the future.

Because, as IMPACT CEO Bob Ruffolo so eloquently put it last week:

"Hard times have a way of showing what you’re made of. 

Now is when we all need to be at our best."

So, that's just what we're going to do here at IMPACT. We're going to show up at our best always for you. 

And it's what we should all be striving to do together.

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

 Talk to y'all later this week!
March 12, 2020

Google announces new mobile-first indexing deadline, new YouTube report all digital marketers need to see, what is account-based marketing anyway, and a big DSMW announcement ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

🎬 By 2022, 80% of internet traffic is expected to be video consumption. Now is the time to become a media company that creates unbiased, trust-building video content for your buyers that makes it easier for them to make a purchasing decision. With IMPACT's video sales and marketing training, you can do this better than anyone in your industry.

Hey, everyone β€”

My letter to you today is a serious one, because I want to share an important announcement some of you may have already seen. 

In light of the recent developments with the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Digital Sales & Marketing World has officially been rescheduled to November 30 through December 2, 2020

Of course, there's a part of my heart that's broken because I won't get to see a lot of you next month. 

On the other hand, something in my gut is telling me that this turn of events is not only going to allow us to craft some positively delicious lemonade out of this unexpected stockpile of lemons we now have in our possession β€” we're also going to be able to create an experience that's bigger and better than we could have ever originally imagined

As we like to say at IMPACT, now is the time to embrace the messy and imagine what's possible.

With that in mind, I invite you to watch this personal message from Marcus Sheridan, which talks about our vision for what's possible with DSMW, as well as an exciting invitation to save the date for April 6:

Digital Sales and Marketing World 2020: Will You Join Me?

Watch the video

For those of you who don't already have your tickets to DSMW, stay tuned for more information on how you can join us for our special April event. 

And now, here's THE LATEST...

πŸ‘‰ "Wait, what's the new deadline for Google's mobile-first indexing, and what do we need to know about it for our own website?" (2-minute read)

Google has finally announced that their full switch to mobile-first indexing of all websites online (including yours!) will be completed by September 2020. Hoo boy. That means website owners (again, like you!) need to ready their sites now for this big ol' switcharoo in order to maintain their current search rankings for content. Of course, this news likely brings up a lot of questions for many of you. Have no fear, though. In this article from IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Rachel Denney, you'll learn what mobile-first indexing is, why your content ranking is so dependent on it, and what you need to prepare for this new deadline.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ‘‰ "YouTube just released a new user trends report; what are the most important insights we need to know for our own video marketing strategy?" (2-minute read)

I still laugh when people say things like "Video is the future" for businesses. Don't get me wrong, these folks usually have their heart in the right place. The problem, however is that they still consider video as something that's coming over the horizon. Wrong. Video is already here and has proven itself time and again to be the fastest driver of trust and closed deals. Video is basically the greatest... says the girl who hates to be on camera. Anyway, for those of you would-be business video strategy all-stars, you need to check out this article from IMPACT Director of Client Services Katie Pritchard, which breaks down the top insights from Google's latest research report on YouTube usage.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎬 "We want to see revenue from our video marketing strategy β€” how do we do that in-house?"

By 2022, 80% of internet traffic is expected to be video consumption. Now is the time to become a media company that creates unbiased, trust-building video content for your buyers that makes it easier for them to make a purchasing decision. With IMPACT's video sales and marketing training, you can do this better than anyone in your industry.

πŸ‘‰ "What is account-based marketing, how does it work, and are there benefits to it?" (9-minute read)

There's only one thing marketers love more than declaring something dead β€” like blogging, SEO, or email marketing β€” and that's fancy buzzwords. (You can't fool me, Karen. "Advertainment" is just a rage-inducing way of saying "branded content.") But there's one term floating around out there that some of you may have heard of that is actually a big freakin' deal, and that's account-based marketing. And, in this comprehensive and insightful deep-dive from Lead Strategic Consultant Chris Marr, you'll discover exactly what account-based marketing is, how it works, and how it can help you achieve your most aggressive goals.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ† One last thing

Give Christoph Schachner a prize, because he is not wrong...

Screen Shot 2020-03-11 at 11.25.15 AM

In related news, I'm looking for multidisciplinary all-star to join my team.

This agile professional must be able to salsa dance, speak Albanian, explain what a pivot table is to a five-year-old, code websites, play the tuba, and hotwire a car. 

Phone calls only. No recruiters, please.

Until we meet again! πŸ’‹

March 10, 2020

Top WordPress site plugins vulnerable to hackers, how to maximize social video ROI with repurposed content, and the absolute best training resources for content managers ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

🎬 By 2022, 80% of internet traffic is expected to be video consumption. Now is the time to become a media company that creates unbiased, trust-building video content for your buyers that makes it easier for them to make a purchasing decision. With IMPACT's video sales and marketing training, you can do this better than anyone in your industry.

Meet Connor DeLaney:

IMG-5620

(I've mentioned him to y'all in the past.)

Earlier, he asked me a really interesting question:

"What is one thing you wish you had known when you first started out as a content manager?"

Given the total lack of training resources for content managers when I first started out in the role many moons ago, I initially blurted out:

"Uh, everything."

Then he was like, "I'm a jerkface, so you can only pick one."

(OK, that's not quite what he said, but he still made me only pick one.)

After a little bit of thought, my answer was obvious:

"You need to be a great writer, storyteller, interviewer, and all of that. But when you're a content manager, you need to be a relationship manager first. If you're not focused on building and nurturing relationships with your people, you will fail at your job. Period."

I even wrote about it once, which I didn't remember until this very moment.

Oh, what I wish I could teach 2015 Liz Moorehead when she first embarked on her intrepid journey as a content manager..

πŸ‘‰ "What are the top WordPress plugins we're likely using on our website that increase the likelihood that our site will be hacked?" (2-minute read)

Last month, hacking attempts on WordPress websites went up. Given WordPress’ ubiquitous presence across the internet (36% of all websites are built on WordPress according to W3Techs), hackers have lots of opportunities to exploit weaknesses and extract valuable information. And one of the most common ways hackers gain access to unsuspecting WordPress websites is the ye olde plugin. In this article from IMPACT Digital Sales and Marketing Advisor Marc Amigone, learn if your business website is more vulnerable to hackers based on this list of the WordPress plugins that present the highest risk.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ‘‰ "Social video gets results, but how do we maximize that opportunity with video content we already have?" (1-minute read + video)

How can you get the most out of your video content? And, is it possible to take one video and turn it into a dozen new marketing assets? In this brand spankin' new episode of the crowd-favorite Film School for Marketers podcast, IMPACT Video Trainer Will Schultz is joined by Repurpose House founder Shaina Weisinger to answer these questions and more. If you're a company who is embracing video (which you all should be), consider this episode mandatory viewing. So, tune in and you'll learn why social video creates such incredible ROI, the most common challenges you'll face trying to repurpose content, and the top secret social strategies to maximize the reach on every social video.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

🎬 "We want to see revenue from our video marketing strategy β€” how do we do that in-house?"

By 2022, 80% of internet traffic is expected to be video consumption. Now is the time to become a media company that creates unbiased, trust-building video content for your buyers that makes it easier for them to make a purchasing decision. With IMPACT's video sales and marketing training, you can do this better than anyone in your industry.

πŸ‘‰ "What are the best training resources out there for content managers?" (4-minute read)

When I wrote this article, I did so because I wish something like it had existed when I first started out as a content manager five years ago. If it had, I would have been so much better at my job faster. Back then, people like myself β€” and the content managers from the real world success stories we talk about today at IMPACT β€” were essentially pioneers on the frontier of a completely new role. Nowadays, however, there's a lot more out there in terms of training resources for content managers. So, to make your lives easier (in a way mine was not), I've pulled together this comprehensive list of content manager training resources, including articles, templates, tools, events, books, and more.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

😍 ICYMI

This past Sunday was International Women's Day β€” to celebrate, we asked fellow IMPACTers to share their thoughts on the women who inspire them, inside our industry and out. Find out who made the list

πŸ”Ž What I'm reading

Finally, back by popular demand, here are the latest news items, long-reads, and articles that have caught my attention around the good ol' webernet:

Toodles! πŸ’‹

March 7, 2020

Are toxic backlinks hurting your search rankings, consumers wasting billions due to fake online reviews, and we've rolled out our editorial code of ethics ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ‘‹We're getting ready to unveil our final Digital Sales & Marketing World keynote speaker β€” and I'm running an exclusive contest for LATEST subscribers! Want to learn more? Scroll to the bottom of this issue

When I first saw that we published an article about how "toxic" backlinks can significantly damage content search rankings a couple of days ago, my mind immediately went to one thing and one thing only β€” "Toxic" by Britney Spears.

toxic

I've spent days trying to mentally move on from this. Because, more than anything, I wanted to inspire you with a thought-provoking anecdote or challenge in today's issue.

But, to quote the daughter of one of my best friend's whenever she's asked to do something like share, clean her room, or pick up her toys, "I just can't."

I'm sorry, but I'm a female whose entire high school soundtrack revolved around Britney Spears, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, the Spice Girls, Hanson, and a lot of other musical acts who made highly questionable fashion choices.

I also 100% blasted "Toxic" on repeat driving back from Trader Joe's this morning, and I'm only 85% ashamed about it.

This is who I am. Take me or leave me.

And now, here's THE LATEST...

πŸ‘‰ "What are toxic backlinks, and are we being penalized by Google in our rankings because of them?" (2-minute read)

if your website appears on link-building pages with low credibility, you may struggle to increase your website traffic. And that could be true no matter how much keyword research or search engine optimization you do. Even worse, though, is the fact that sometimes these links appear without your consent. Website owners may pay a company to help boost their search rankings, only to discover they are using the toxic practice of link building. In this quick rundown from IMPACT Editorial Manager John Becker, you'll learn what toxic backlinks are, how to know whether these toxic backlinks exist for your website, and how to get rid of them if you do.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ‘‰ "What do we need to know about fake online reviews, and why are they costing consumers billions of dollars?" (3-minute read)

Last week, TrustPilot released an alarming study that tells a very interesting story. The rise of fake or inaccurate online reviews has led to consumers wasting money on products that weren’t up to par with their expectations. On average, American consumers wasted $125 last year due to inaccurate reviews. That totals to an insane sum of roughly $25 billion β€” yes, with a B β€” just in the United States. In this article from IMPACT VP of Marketing Vin Gaeta, get the answer to the question we now all have on our minds β€” are you being hurt by five-star reviews online?

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "Why does IMPACT have an editorial code of ethics, and what's included in it?" (3-minute read + video)

When IMPACT Head of Editorial Ramona Sukhraj was originally asked to create a code of ethics for our publishing, she was somewhat intimidated. To her, a β€œcode of ethics” sounded like something followed by the Night’s Watch on Game of Thrones or ripped from the philosophy textbook gathering dust on my shelf since freshman year gen-eds. She soon realized, however, that a code of ethics is essential for anyone sharing content with an audience online. In this insightful article and interview with Ramona, learn why we created a code of ethics for our content (atypical for an agency) and exactly what's included in it

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ’€ Weekend nonsense

It's all about branding... 

IMG-5452

πŸ€” Who could our last speaker be?

Mark your calendars for March 10, y'all:

Speaker Announcement- 3.10 Announcement - FB_Li - Silhouette

Because we're unveiling our last keynote speaker for Digital Sales & Marketing World 2020, which is going down in sunny, scenic Hartford, Connecticut this April! If you have any guesses as to who it might be, reply to this email with them.

Anyone who sends me a guess (right or wrong!) between now and the day of the announcement will be entered into a drawing for a copy of They Ask, You Answer, as well as a few other choice goodies from yours truly! 

And don't forget to follow DSMW on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest updates.

Toodles! πŸ’‹

March 5, 2020

4 reasons why your content strategy is failing, does your company need a chief learning officer, and HubSpot slashes Sales Starter pricing by 50% ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

🎁 As an exclusive perk for being a subscriber of THE LATEST, use promo code "THELATEST" to still get access to early-bird pricing for Digital Sales & Marketing World β€” but only through THIS FRIDAY at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. 

Greetings and salutations, LATEST nation! 

In case you're wondering, yes, I do in still live in a dangerous box fort at my new apartment. Yesterday, however, I made significant strides by putting my bedroom together.

And by "I made significant strides," I mean I paid someone else to come over and put together my needlessly heavy bed frame because I have weak little T-rex arms.

IMG-5560

Love me a good yellow. πŸ’›

IMG-5561-1

Yes, for a brief moment in time, all of my laundry was inside the hamper.

Here's the thing, though. When I initially had the movers place my furniture inside this room, nothing fit. Even though I had the dimensions of the room in advance for planning. Even though I was so absolutely sure I had done everything perfectly, it looked like a mess.

I couldn't close the closet door β€” or open it β€” because the bed and two nightstands took up too much room. I couldn't get into my dresser without being on my bed at the same time, because there was barely any space between the two. And on, and on. 

As it turns out, much like when you're building out your content strategy, you can have all the right pieces in place β€” and seemingly rockstar plans in-hand β€” and still have things go horribly wrong.

In the case of my bedroom, I just had to rework a few things, move a couple pieces around, and ta-da! Now I have a real bedroom like a real adult. 

But whether you're talking about furniture or content strategies, the important thing to remember is to "not throw the baby out with the bathwater" (as my Nana was fond of saying) at the first sign of trouble.

Sometimes you just need to make a few key adjustments. 

πŸ‘‰ "Uh, what the heck is a chief learning officer, why does IMPACT have one, and do we need one?" (7-minute read)

Late last year, Chris Duprey transitioned from his role of COO (chief operating officer) to CLO (chief learning officer) here at IMPACT. The move was a natural one, as much of his day-to-day had become devoted to coaching, professional development, and training fellow IMPACTers, so as to create better experiences for our prospects and clients. The CLO role, however, is not a common one β€” at most organizations, let alone in the agency world. In this absolutely fascinating, eye-opening interview, IMPACT's new CLO, Chris Duprey sheds light on what a CLO is, why it is such a critical role to our ability to help our clients achieve outstanding results, and whether or not your company should consider hiring a CLO.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ‘‰ "What are the top reasons why our content strategy is failing, particularly if we're doing They Ask, You Answer?" (11-minute read)

You know what absolutely sucks rocks? When you put together a content strategy you're really excited about, only to find out after you put all the time and effort into executing it (i.e., creating the gosh-darned content) that it's a dud. For example, maybe you read They Ask, You Answer and saw what was possible by focusing your content strategy entirely around the most important questions your buyers are asking. But when you actually started doing the work yourself, you didn't see any results. Whether you're struggling with They Ask, You Answer or your inbound content strategy overall, this brutally honest article from IMPACT Content Marketing Trainer Connor DeLaney is a must-read as it explains the four most common reasons why your content strategy is likely failing, as well as exactly what you need to do to fix it

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "Wait, why did HubSpot slash the pricing of their Sales Starter product? Is it the same? Do we get less now?" (2-minute read)

As a general rule of thumb, we expect prices to go up over time, not down, but sometimes SaaS pricing strategy doesn’t follow the rules of basic economics. This week, HubSpot slashed the price of its Sales Starter seats by 50 percent. Upgrading to the new package will still cost $50/month, but your team will now have access to two Sales Starter seats instead of one. In this quick news item, you'll learn from IMPACT HubSpot Consultant Jess Palmeri exactly why the prices were cut, what's included in the Sales Starter now, and whether or not it's the right sales tool for your company.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸ€” Who could our last speaker be?

Mark your calendars for March 10, y'all:

Speaker Announcement- 3.10 Announcement - FB_Li - Silhouette

Because we're unveiling our last keynote speaker for Digital Sales & Marketing World 2020, which is going down in sunny, scenic Hartford, Connecticut this April! If you have any guesses as to who it might be, reply to this email with them.

Anyone who sends me a guess (right or wrong!) between now and the day of the announcement will be entered into a drawing for a copy of They Ask, You Answer, as well as a few other choice goodies from yours truly! 

And don't forget to follow DSMW on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest updates.

Later, squares! πŸ‘‹

March 3, 2020

Google's big change to its 'nofollow' policy, what to ask a video marketing consultant before you hire them, and what we mean when we say DSMW is for teams ...this is THE LATEST!

πŸ”₯ Hot off the presses

πŸ† Get on the path to inbound success fast. Without the long-term commitment. 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. Find out if our Fast Start Program is right for you.

I missed y'all so much this past Saturday, but clearly you were in good hands with my pal Stephanie.

Plus, in my defense, I was a little busy.

moving-to-ct

You see, early on Saturday morning, fellow Marylander, loyal friend, and IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Jason Linde and I loaded up my entire life in a U-haul and the back of my Jeep and hit the road for New England. 

It's a drive I've made many times before. For trips just to see the IMPACT family, for IMPACT Live last year, and so on. 

964D9484-68C6-48E9-B1CC-EB476C77DF71

Driving through New Jersey and New York City is the worst, but this is probably one of my favorite views along this route. Swoon, the skyline gets me every time.

But on this particular occasion, when I crossed from New York into Connecticut, the Nutmeg State wasn't welcoming me as a visitor... 

IMG-5526

...instead, I'm now an official resident of Connecticut. 

That's right. After lots and lots of planning β€” and a ton of frantic, last-minute packing on Thursday and Friday β€” I'm finally here. 

There's one big stupid problem about moving as an adult, though.

Not only do I now live in a precariously balanced box fort of a one bedroom apartment (wherein injury of some kind is a foregone conclusion), I'm also faced with the seemingly overwhelming task of going through all of the emails, Slacks, Basecamp messages, smoke signals, carrier pigeons, and delivery owls I missed while I was out of the office. 

Which brings me to a little gift that I have for y'all.

Although I'm (likely) the only one who was missing in action last week due to moving, I'm guessing a few of you still may have missed the early-bird pricing deadline for Digital Sales & Marketing World that passed on February 29. 

So, as an exclusive perk for being a subscriber of THE LATEST, you can use promo code "THELATEST" to still get access to early-bird pricing for Digital Sales & Marketing World β€” but only through THIS FRIDAY at 11:59 p.m. Eastern

Don't say I never did anything nice for you. πŸ˜˜

πŸ‘‰ "What do we need to know about Google's major shift in how they handle 'nofollow' links?" (2-minute read)

Late last week, reporting emerged that Google was penalizing guest posts β€” a very common practice for most digital publications and businesses that blog. This was due to a major change in how the search engine giant now treats what are called "nofollow" links. Even if you were "today years old" when you first heard the term "nofollow," trust me when I say this is a juicy tidbit of SEO news every single digital marketer with a content strategy needs to understand. Thankfully, we've got you covered with this two-minute rundown from IMPACT Digital Beat Reporter Dylan Lepak that will teach you exactly what nofollow links are, why they are so important, and everything you need to know about this big change from Google

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ‘‰ "What questions should we ask a potential video marketing consultant before we hire them for our company?" (10-minute read)

Full disclosure, video marketing consulting is one of the services we offer. So, sure, we might be a little biased in suggesting it’s the best way to become confident and competent in creating internal video. That being said, we also know every agency or consultant isn’t right for every business. So, how do you make sure you hire the right consultant for the job? In this no-stone-unturned analysis from IMPACT Lead Strategic Consultant Chris Marr, you'll get the inside scoop on the nine essential questions you must ask a video marketing consultant before hiring them to see if they are the right fit for you.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered

πŸ‘‰ "Why do you keep saying Digital Sales & Marketing World is for teams? What does that mean?" (4-minute read)

All too often, sales professionals go to sales conferences, and marketers go to marketing conferences. When they return to the office, the respective takeaways and resolutions each individual group is excited about rarely get implemented because it’s near-impossible to transfer knowledge between teams to ignite true business transformation. IMPACT envisioned an event that would break this cycle. An event attended by multiple people from multiple teams. In this interview with IMPACT CEO Bob Ruffolo, learn exactly why we pivoted our flagship event to cater to teams, rather than individual marketers, and why that will only increase the value businesses get from the event.

πŸ’¬ You asked, we answered 

πŸ“…  Upcoming events

🎧 Latest shows and podcasts

πŸŽ‰ ICYMI #DSMW2020 summit agendas are out!

This year at Digital Sales & Marketing World, we are introducing role-specific and industry-specific breakout summits. Check out the in-depth agendas for info about each summit. (In a surprise to no one, yours truly will be hanging out at the content managers summit.)

Talk to y'all later this week! πŸ‘‹