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    Out of Ideas? 8 Great Places to Find Inspiration on the Internet

    By Jacqueline Zenn

    brainstorm_ideas

    This post originally appeared on Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.

    If you're a designer or work in some creative capacity and are looking for visual inspiration, there are thousands of websites and resources for where you can find creative inspiration online -- design round-ups, listicles, and so on.

    ... But what if you're looking for inspiration applicable to your daily work life? Here are some places where you can find real inspiration that'll help get you excited to go to work on days when you don’t even want to get out of bed. (Hey, we’ve all been there). 

    1) Reddit & Specialized SubReddits

    Reddit isn't just for cat pictures, food posts, and inside jokes -- although you'll find a lot of that on their home page. When you look past ... Read More

    Responsive Design: Defined in a Single GIF

    By Ginny Soskey

    It's becoming more and more apparent that mobile is an important consideration for marketers. Our audiences are using mobile devices to research our companies, products, and services -- in fact, Google found that nearly 60% of consumers visit a company's mobile website in the buying cycle. And because we want to be where our audience is, it's important for us to up our mobile game.

    The first step you need to take? Make your website responsive.

    Read More
    'Tis the Season of Giving: 6 Ways Companies Are Raising Money for Charities This Year

    By Rachel Sprung

    The holiday season is in full force -- which means planning for the coming year, holiday parties, and for many, giving back to charities meaningful to us. One study showed about 34% of all charitable giving is done in the last three months of the year.

    Here at HubSpot, we get into the holiday giving spirit through our annual charity auction, where employees can donate anything they want -- and they sure get creative. This year, our COO offered to lend out his Tesla for the day to one lucky bidder.

    Read More
    7 Ways to Get Non-Marketing Employees to Blog

    By Alex Embling

    It’s a common pain point among B2B marketers. An effective inbound strategy requires a good volume of high quality, persona relevant content. You likely already know the answers to your persona’s pain points – and are working to combat them on a daily basis.

    But when it comes to creating content outlining your organization’s expertise – getting more technical or non-marketing staff to put what they do into words is a sizable challenge. Not everyone can be a writer, and not every writer has the knowledge or capacity required to create the right content. So what can be done?

    The Challenge

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    3 Ways a Pop-Up Shop Can Help Your Ecommerce Company Build Relationships

    By Melissa Gonzalez

    A pop-up shop, by simplest definition, is a temporary retail location, with the goal of making a permanent impact with your audience. More and more brands - ranging from established retail giants to ecommerce companies - are using pop-up shops as a mechanism to build stronger relationships with their customers.

    Notice that the goal is relationships, not sales? Sales are nice, but pop-ups have a unique ability to build relationships between customers and brands, so the goals are often driven more by marketing and awareness than revenue.

    Read More
    An Overview of the Major Google Algorithm Updates of 2014

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Inbound marketers are constantly on alert for changes in Google's ever-evolving algorithm ... but that doesn't mean we don't miss one every now and then. The combination of frequent algorithm updates and a busy workload means that sometimes a critical update gets lost in the sauce.

    To make sure you're fully up to date on the latest major changes in SEO, we've compiled a full list of the most important Google algorithm updates from 2014.

    Read More
    15 Ways to Fight Procrastination [Infographic]

    By Ginny Soskey

    We all procrastinate. We put off dishes in favor of one more episode in our Netflix TV show binge. We tell ourselves we'll definitely book that dentist appointment next week -- you know, when we have more time. We spend an extra few minutes at the office coffee machine chatting up coworkers instead of diving right into our work for the day. 

    But in a world where we've got a ton to do -- and not a ton of time to do it -- procrastination can have pretty big consequences.
    Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can fight back.

    Read More
    5 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Using Conversion Psychology

    By Jeremy Ellens

    This past weekend, I went to a dueling piano bar in San Diego. What I quickly learned while watching this show was that the people performing were very talented musicians, but even better businessmen.

    This particular duet consisted of a male and female, who used their genders to garner a sense of rivalry in the room. “Ladies, can we get some Taylor Swift requests going tonight?” the woman yelled into the mic. Next thing you know, a $5 bill was placed on the piano with a Taylor Swift request. “Gentlemen, let’s get $6 up here for some Guns N Roses! Let’s stop this fan-girl nonsense!” Seconds later, men were racing up to the stage. This battle between the men and women went on for nearly 15 minutes, with people putting as much as $30 for their gender-stereotyped song to be played.

    What I found most exciting among all of this was the way these two used mindgames to bring in money. Those performers used psychological triggers to create this sense of rivalry in order to get the audience to take their intended action.

    Read More
    5 Clever Ways Ecommerce Companies Can Use Pre-Transactional Offers

    By Alex Whitney

    If you’re an ecommerce business owner and the only conversion opportunities on your site are to purchase, “contact us,” or subscribe to an email list or blog, you’re leaving money on the table – plain and simple. It’s a good start to have a pop-up blog subscription or “5% off your first purchase” offer, but is this type of disruptive offer really compelling? The short answer is no.

    Read More
    Business Advice From the Richest People in the World [SlideShare]

    By Corey Eridon

    I used to work near the waterfront in Boston. At lunchtime, I'd head down to the benches by the harbor with my coworkers (now two of my greatest friends), and we'd look out at all the fancy boats docked there.

    "What am I doing wrong in my career that I don't have one of those?" my friend joked. We repeated that refrain often, as all of us love the ocean and boat ownership was -- in our estimation -- the height of luxury.

    Read More
    The 4 Most Important Pages on Your Website (& How to Optimize Them)

    By Neil Patel

    Some of the pages on your website are more important than others. Okay, many of you probably find that fairly obvious -- but I'm surprised how few people actually apply this knowledge to their websites to improve conversions.

    I’m all about low hanging fruit; about undertaking the easiest tasks that will have the biggest results. What I’m about to describe in this article has the potential to improve your site dramatically with just a few, critical changes.

    Read More
    Human-to-Human Marketing: A Trend for 2015 and Beyond

    By Jess Marranco

    Imagine walking into your favorite coffee shop. It still looks and smells the same, but something is off. As you approach the counter, ready to order the usual, it hits you – this place is being run by robots.

    These particular robots don’t care that you’ve been coming there every day for the past six months, or that you’re lactose intolerant.

    Read More
    How to Make the Most Money in Your Marketing Career

    By Joe Chernov

    If I were to ask you to define a successful career, there’s a 46% chance you’d cite “money” as the measuring stick. Yet despite the emphasis placed on income, marketers are going about maximizing earnings in a flawed manner.

    I’ve managed marketers for the past decade, and most see career growth as “incrementally hierarchal” -- progress unfolds linearly as the person climbs from one level of seniority to the next.

    Read More
    How to Optimize Your Marketing Channels [Free Ebook]

    By Erik Devaney

    Calling all marketers who are totally, completely, 100% satisfied with how your marketing channels are performing. I have some bad news for you:

    There's still more work to be done. A lot more.

    You see, unlike Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling, or Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, marketing isn't a piece of artwork that has a finite end.

    Read More
    How to Syndicate Content Without Getting Dinged in Search

    By Kathleen Celmins

    Blogs are like tattoos: you can’t stop at one. You think you can, but there’s an irresistible pull toward yet another one. So you hire someone whose primary job is to focus on content. Then you start adding blogs. It’s easy to do, really. Once you have the systems in place to create high-quality content for one blog, it’s really just a matter of design and scheduling to create another.

    Each of our three company blogs has a different target persona, so we’re writing to different audiences. But we’re a sales strategy company, and all our target personas need to read some of the sales strategy we discuss, so what do we do?

    Read More
    The Evolution of HubSpot's Email Marketing Strategy: An Insider's Story

    By Ellie Mirman

    Over the last eight years, lots of things have changed in HubSpot's marketing. When I first joined, we had two marketers; now, we have seventy. We used to have a database of a few thousand; now, it's filled with millions of contacts. And our monthly lead numbers? They used to hover around a few hundred. Now, they're up in the tens of thousands. 

    As we've grown, our strategies have had to grow with us -- especially on email.

    Read More
    The 2015 Talent Grab: 8 Skills You Need to Land Your Next Job [SlideShare]

    By Jami Oetting

     

    This post originally appeared on Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.

    The marketing industry is facing a talent crisis.

    The complexity of marketing is growing as fast as technology innovation accelerates -- and it's doing so at a pace that's difficult for any industry to keep up with. But businesses can’t afford to be the tortoise or the hare in this story.

    Read More
    10 Inbound Marketing Myths It's Time to Leave Behind

    By Michael Reynolds

    Many things in life and business are misunderstood and under-appreciated. Professional athletes make playing a sport look easy but you don't see the hundreds of hours of training that occurred behind the scenes. After all, it's just putting a ball in a hoop, right? Attorneys often just get a few minutes to make their case in court but no one else sees all the behind the scenes work that goes into that short presentation.

    After all, it's just asking a bunch of questions, right? Building an app can look simple but if you knew how much planning and coding occurred behind the scenes it would blow your mind. After all, it's just putting a few screen together and writing a little bit of code, right?

    Read More
    Attention, Word Nerds: The 30 Weirdest Words Added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2014

    By Corey Eridon

    The Oxford English Dictionary adds new words and phrases to their dictionary four times a year, and in 2014, the dictionary benefited from thousands of additions. The words tend to reflect technological advancements, pervasive colloquialisms, and shifting language patterns. And while the OED hasn't been as liberal with their additions as the Oxford Dictionaries -- you won't find words and phrases like "hot mess," "adorbs," or "neckbeard" -- they've still managed to stay remarkably "with the times" without sacrificing timelessness. 

    Read More
    The Hidden Cost of Multitasking [Infographic]

    By Emma Snider

    This post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

    Monday morning. You sit down with a large cup of coffee, open your inbox, and start tackling the first email. You're almost ready to hit send when --

    Your phone rings. Midway through the call -- 

    Your boss comes over and asks you to take on a time-sensitive task. You get started on it and --

    Read More
    Buyer Persona: Defined in a Single GIF

    By Ginny Soskey

    When you're first starting out with inbound, it's really easy to get carried away with all the things you want to accomplish. Blog about all the things! Build all the landing pages! Send all the emails! Schedule all the tweets!

    In reality, there's one huge, super important thing you need to do before doing any of the above: You need to build buyer personas.

    Read More
    Should I Gate This Content? [Flowchart]

    By Joe Chernov

    We marketers seem to like rules. (And when none exist, we'll settle for guidelines.) Those of us who write about the marketing space appear to recognize this tendency, which is why you'll find so many benchmarking reports, how-to articles, and definitive lists for marketers.

    Some challenges, however, are too nuanced for a binary best practice.

    Read More
    Hackers Are Draining Your Ad Budget: What You Need to Know About Digital Ad Fraud

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    How much money do you think you're wasting on paid advertising?

    new study from ANA, in which online ad purchases by 36 major U.S. brands were tracked between August and September 2014, found that 11% of online display ads and 23% of video ads aren't actually displayed to real people. And it's estimated that advertisers could lose more than $6 billion globally to ad fraud in 2015.

    If your marketing team is paying for online advertising, you want and expect the views and clicks on your ads to be coming from humans -- real consumers who could potentially buy your product or service somewhere down the line.

    Read More
    Facebook Launches Call-to-Action Buttons on Business Pages

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Great news, marketers: Facebook just announced a feature that can help drive more traffic from your Facebook Page to your website: a call-to-action button.

    While this feature isn't available to everyone just yet, it'll roll out in the U.S. over the next few weeks and worldwide starting in 2015. So if you don't see it on your Page yet, rest assured that it's coming. In the meantime, you can catch up on all the feature's details in this post.

    Read More
    Does Your College or University Have Too Many Social Media Accounts?

    By Leigh Fitzgerald

    It’s tempting to jump on the social media bandwagon and create multiple profiles for the various departments and athletics teams within your college or university. Everyone wants to have a voice and post content they think followers will find interesting and engaging. But, there does come a point when you have to ask: “How many social media accounts is too many?” The answer becomes clear when you understand the drawbacks of maintaining multiple profiles.

    Read More
    Marketing Strategies That Rock the SaaS World

    By John McTigue

    According to Gartner, the market for SaaS (Software as a Service) applications will grow from $20 billion in 2013 to $33 billion in 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 19.5%. A Compass study shows that SaaS is growing nearly 3X as fast as software as a whole, and that 72% of all SaaS startups are at least partially funded.

    Good news for SaaS startups and growing SaaS ventures alike, but the space is getting crowded and competition is fierce. What can founders and executives do to improve the odds that their companies will get to the top of the market and stay there?

    The SaaS Challenge

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    Running an Email A/B Test? How to Determine Your Sample Size & Testing Time Frame

    By Ginny Soskey

    Do you remember your first A/B test on email? I do. (Nerdy, I know.) I felt simultaneously thrilled and terrified because I knew I had to actually use some of what I learned in college stats for my job. 

    I sat on the cusp of knowing just enough about statistics that it could be dangerous. For instance, I knew that you needed a big enough sample size to run the test on. I knew I needed to run the test long enough to get statistically significant results.

    Read More
    A Visual Guide to Creating the Perfect LinkedIn Company Page

    By Erik Devaney

    Your LinkedIn Company Page is an online beacon for both prospective customers and prospective employees. As such, it is a truly unique space on the web, one that blurs the lines between knowledge- sharing platform and relationship-building tool.

    To help you make the most of your LinkedIn Company Page, we've put together this visual guide, which features several “pro tips” provided by LinkedIn's marketing team.

    Read More
    How to Use Twitter Cards to Drive More Website Traffic [Infographic]

    By Ginny Soskey

    Hey, you. Yes, you. I know you’re trying to improve your company’s presence on Twitter, but you're often feeling constrained by that 140 character limit.

    There's actually a way around that character limit -- and it can help you increase your conversion rates.

    Think that's too good to be true? It's not: Using Twitter Cards, you can actually embed rich media that don't count toward your tweet character limit.

    Read More
    10 Ways to Mix Up Your Visual Content on Social Media

    By Anna Guerrero

    Visual content is the most powerful tool your brand can use to engage your fans on social media. It allows you to express ideas quickly and effectively, which is a valuable tactic to set your brand apart from the vast amount of written content published online every day.

    So which kinds of visual content works best on social media? The best answer: a variety. Finding clever and creative ways to mix up your visual content will boost your fan interaction and help your build your brand's identity on social.

    Read More
    What the Collaborative Economy Means to Marketers [Infographic]

    By Jeremiah Owyang

    When you think of the “collaborative economy,” chances are, you picture people sharing their cars, homes, and money. But that’s not the only thing people are sharing. 

    Now, more and more people are sharing their time. They’re sharing their time to do small projects like deliveries, or they’re helping other businesses online as contractors, or using their time to create physical goods in the maker movement.

    Read More
    9 Ways Interior Designers Can Reach New Clients Using Houzz

    By Alisa Meredith

    Houzz (“howzz”) is the place over 20 million people find and save beautiful home and garden photos, compiling the features, styles, colors, and patterns they want to create their perfect home.

    That platform is truly a social network with huge sales potential, in that it allows users to collaborate with friends and family as well as other users – including the professionals who design, install, and sell the elements that go into their dream homes. When they’re ready to turn that dream into reality, they can then search designers or contractors in their local areas – or right in the idea-books they’ve been creating all along.

    Read More
    Facebook Graph Search Now Lets You Find Old Posts: Here's What You Need to Know

    By Ginny Soskey

    Confession: Back when Facebook first rolled out Graph Search, I was a little disappointed.

    In theory, it seemed like it could help me. If I had optimized the About section on my Page with just the right details, and someone on a desktop computer actually used Facebook's awkwardly worded search queries, maybe they would find my Page. And then, maybe they'd click through to see what was going on there. And maybe they'd click on a post I had published that included a link back to my website. 

    Read More
    14 Witty Jokes for the Grammar Nerd in Your Life

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Have you ever cringed at a "Got Milk?" ad? Feel a strange sense of pride when you find a typo in a reputable book? Did you secretly (or not-so-secretly) love making syntax trees in school?

    Then you might just love these grammar jokes as much as we do. Here are a few of our favorites -- share yours with us in the comment section! 

    Read More
    The Evolution of Social Media Since 2004 [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Can you believe it's only been 10 years since Facebook was founded?

    Perhaps many of you feel like it was just yesterday when "friend" was just a noun and the phrase "pics or it didn't happen" wasn't a common quip. But because social media networks like Facebook have been a central fixture of most companies' marketing strategies for so many years now, I don't know ... 10 years makes it seem so young.

    Read More

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