What are the greatest concerns for marketers now

I guessed number one correctly. See if you agree with this Hubspot post – updated to reflect 2016 business marketing research.

7 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Face Today

Every marketer faces different challenges. Although we typically share similar goals, some teams are stuck on hiring top talent, while others are having trouble finding the right technology for their needs.

Whatever the case may be, there’s always at least one area that you can stand to improve. In other words, there’s always room to optimize the various components of your strategy and turn your marketing into an even more effective revenue generator.

Curious about what kinds of obstacles other marketers are up against?

To learn more about the challenges marketers face today, download the free 2016 State of Inbound report here.

We polled thousands of marketers on the challenges they face, as well as the tactics they’ve used to meet those challenges head-on. Here are some of the most common challenges marketers reported struggling with … and their solutions.

The Most Common Marketing Problems We Face, According to the 2016 State of Inbound Report

According to our report, generating traffic and leads and proving ROI are the leading challenges marketers face. Here’s a look at this year’s data:

SOI_blog_X-Top-Challenges-1.jpg

Image Credit: The 2016 State of Inbound Report

Let’s go through each of these top challenges and how marketers can address them.

Read the rest HERE

Written by Lindsay Kolowich | @

Social Media: Boost your career

Remember the post, Social media: Is it time to quit? – here’s an interesting response:

Hayden Maynard, nytimes.com
Hayden Maynard, nytimes.com
Don’t Quit Social Media. Put It to Work for Your Career Instead.

As director of digital communications and social media at the career site Monster, I read Cal Newport’s recent Preoccupations column, “Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It,” with great interest. Mr. Newport argues that social media is harmful for careers because it is too much of a distraction and doesn’t provide a valuable return on investment professionally.

As someone who spends the majority of his work time on social media helping people find careers they’ll love, I disagree with his assessment. I believe that you should not quit social media — and that doing so will actually damage your career.

Understandably, you might be questioning my motives — “Hey, this guy does social media for a living, so clearly he’s got a vested stake in this matter.” Well, you’re right. But let’s start with the point that I’m not the only one who makes a career doing this: Just one platform, Facebook, has created more than 4.5 million social media industry jobs globally, according to a study conducted by Deloitte. Talk about literal career benefits. The number of people in the creative industries, advertising and more who make a living on social media is probably much higher…

Read the rest HERE.

Outstanding free tools you need to know about

The amount of tools and information available for marketers, entrepreneurs and those bootstrapping a business is wonderful but it can be overwhelming to keep track of everything you might use now or down the road.

After creating a comprehensive list of essential free tools for Entrepreneurial Marketing students, (available HERE) one did a little extra research and found an incredible list of just about anything you might need. Big shout out to these folks – it is a terrific resource and pretty well organized for everything from business, marketing, design & code, and productivity to learning.

Click HERE for the list.

Don’t forget to visit the list of free marketing tools on this site.

Enjoy – and if you have any questions about which tools I’ve used and might be best for you please contact me or leave a comment below.

Powerful lessons that will help you craft your brand

Branding is powerful. It associates an array of associations with a commodity. Successful messaging and branding makes it about you, the customer.

An excellent and not-so-excellent example of branding happened during this past year.

Donald Trump understands its power.

Hillary Clinton did not.

The reason.

Trump’s brand messaging was focused solely on “Make America Great make-america-great-againAgain!” a take action phrase first used by the Reagan campaign in 1980. It was simple, memorable and understandable. He messaged his brand in terms folks could easily repeat, remember, take ownership of and lets_make_america_great_againtake pride in. His brand message was of an outsider that was doing it for YOU, America, the country, the underdogs. He branded himself as “for the people.”

Hillary’s overall message? “I’m With Her.”

“Stronger Together and “Love Trumps Hate” were out there as well, but the first message became the focus – and ultimately the brand message.

im-with-herUnless you’re a well-read policy wonk, the benefit of standing with the candidate is unclear. I understand what strategists were thinking. It would be great to brand this as a historic, progressive time and that America is ready for a battle-tested female president. I’m sure it spoke to her base, but it didn’t seem to contribute to growing her audience, to which good branding should aspire.

The problem.

Clinton’s campaign message didn’t appear to be about the people – it seemed to be about the candidate. Branding cannot afford to be myopic. When brands connect, such as: Nike’s “Just do it,” “Inspiration and Innovation for Every Athlete in the World.”; Coca Cola’s “Taste the feeling!” “Red, White and You.” “I’d like to buy the world a coke…”; and even benefit branding served with humor “Save 15%…” by Geico, they make it about you, the customer, taking you into account, making you the center of the message. Clinton’s campaign brand wasn’t about you, the country or people, instead placing the candidate at the center of attention. A much better branding approach for Clinton would have been (if we still needed to remind folks she was female), “She Stands for You” or a more generic “A Vote for Her is a Vote for America” style of branding and messaging. The list could go on – just anything but “I’m With Her.” Could you imagine a brand trying to define itself with, “I’m With Brand X” while still in the difficult process of convincing you that they are looking out for your best interests, and therefore your best choice? It’s a tad presumptuous.

The solution.

If you want to get people behind you, you need to make it about them, their choices, their ideologies, and their voice. It’s not about you.

Trump understood that and took it to the finish line. Will your brand?

Want to know more about that website? Use these free tools.

As many of you already know, SimilarWeb is a fantastic tool to get an idea of how other websites are doing, giving a quick traffic overview and similarweb-logosnapshot of any website’s referrals, search, social, display, content, audience, similar sites and mobile apps.

Now, thanks to a heads-up from Lindsey over at Meltwater, here’s another great tool to discover potential impressions/reach on a site. It’s called Hypestat – just plug in the website and it pulls the daily/monthly breakdown of Unique visitors, pageviews, Alexa ratings and the value of the site in ad revenue dollars.

Pro tip: For a quick average of impressions you might get by placing an ad or other content on the site, simply take the number of unique visitors and multiply by 30.

Here’s to numbers!